Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 52 No. 17 | 12 Iyar 5774 | May 19, 2014
Simon Family JCC’s Annual Golf Tournament
Yom Hashoah Commemoration
Tuesday, June 24 —page 11
27 TJF Celebrates
32 Scoring big, Tuesday, May 27
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Jewish groups decry Supreme Court’s town council prayer ruling WASHINGTON (JTA)—An array of Jewish groups criticized a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing prayers at town hall meetings. The 5–4 decision along conservative-liberal lines handed down Monday, May 5 reversed a lower appeals court decision in favor of a lawsuit brought by Susan Galloway, who is Jewish, and Linda Stephens, an atheist, in Greece, a town in upstate New York. The town board has since 1999 opened meetings with a prayer, almost always by a Christian clergyman who at times proselytized. The plaintiffs held that the prayers should be nonsectarian, a position the Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled overextended government reach. “To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, “a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact.” A number of Jewish groups, which had filed friend-of-the court briefs, condemned the decision. The Anti-Defamation League, in its statement, said the ruling was “deeply disturbing” and noted the circumstances of
the Greece case, in which opening prayers involved not just lawmakers but citizens petitioning their town council. “The religiously divisive implications of this new rule are troubling in any of these contexts, however it is particularly disturbing at the local level where ordinary citizens seek recourse from public officials and will likely feel pressured to participate in religious observances not of their own faith,” the ADL said. Also condemning the decision were the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the American Jewish Committee. Marc Stern, the AJC’s general counsel, said he was relieved that the court did not go as far as some had expected and gut standards in place since the 1970s that ban legislating toward religious purpose. “It turns out to be a fairly narrow decision,” he said. In his decision, Kennedy said that “a pattern of prayers that over time denigrate, proselytize or betray an impermissible government purpose” would violate the Constitution. Stern said that the conservative major-
of this new rule
are troubling in any of these contexts.
conte nts Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Campus Divestments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Anti-Semitism high around the world. . . . . . 8 Yom Hashoah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 JCC Golf Tournament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Temple Israel and KBH celebrate. . . . . . . . . 12 JCPA Plenum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Fact checking J-Street. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Special Section: Health Care in the Jewish community . . 15 Community and Israel Independence Day. 26
ity and the liberal minority seemed to accept that the Greece town council did not intend to advance a pattern of prayers advancing proselytization, and that the perception that it was impressing Christianity on its citizens was inadvertent. “The only discernible legal difference between the plurality and the dissent is whether stupid bureaucrats violate the establishment clause,” he said. Justice Elena Kagan, in her dissent, cited a seminal moment in American Jewish history in 1790, when George Washington communicated with Moses Seixas, a lay official of the Jewish community in Newport, R.I. She noted that Seixas, in a letter to Washington, expressed gratitude for an American government “which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance—but generously affords to all liberty of conscience and immunities of Citizenship.” In his reply, now enshrined as a key document outlining religious freedoms, Washington, Kagan said, “like any successful politician” knew to borrow a successful turn of phrase—and appropriated Seixas’ language. (JTA)
quotable Chinese and Kosher at BSV. . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 TJF celebrates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Political expert on the Middle East. . . . . . . 28 Israel poster contest winner 29 Essay contest at Ohef Sholom . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Israel poster contest winner. . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Field trip to remember. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Tips on Jewish Trips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Lag B’Omer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
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briefs Anti-Semitic vandalism targets seaside Brooklyn neighborhood Vandals defaced a largely Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood with anti-Semitic graffiti, one of two such sprees in the borough in the space of two days. The New York Police Department is looking for the suspects who spray-painted anti-Jewish obscenities and crude swastikas in the Manhattan Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, the New York Daily News reported on Monday, May 5. Police are reviewing surveillance footage for clues to the attackers, and City Councilman Chaim Deutsch told the Daily News that the suspects appeared to be “four to five teenagers.” The vandalism appears to be unconnected to similar acts of vandalism that took place in the heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park. The NYPD arrested former New York policeman Michael Setiawan, 36, in connection with those acts, which targeted houses, cars and a yeshiva. Setiawan was subsequently moved to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Manhattan Beach is home to many Jews from the former Soviet Union. (JTA) nne Frank tree sapling planted at Capitol A sapling taken from the tree that grew outside the attic where teen Holocaust diarist Anne Frank was hidden was planted at the U.S. Capitol. Congressmen and Holocaust survivors, as well as Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, gathered to plant the small chestnut tree on the West front lawn, the French news agency AFP reported. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is Jewish, read the Shehecheyanu prayer recited on special occasions. “Today we dedicate this tree as a living testament to the memory of Anne Frank, a young woman of grand pleasantry and gifted insight, but who knew no peace,” Cantor said. “This sapling, although tiny now, will permanently stand as a reminder for the
ideals that Anne stood for,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Saplings taken from the tree have been planted around the world. The tree, at more than 150 years old and weakened by a fungus, collapsed in stormy weather in Amsterdam in 2010. Anne frequently wrote about the tree in her famous diary, which was discovered and published after the Holocaust. She died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. (JTA)
Ex-CFO of Met Council pleads guilty in kickback scheme Herbert Friedman, the 80-year-old former chief financial officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, pleaded guilty in New York state court to bilking the charity of $250,000 as part of an insurance kickback scheme. Under the terms of the plea bargain, Friedman will spend four months in jail and pay $775,000 in restitution. Friedman is the fourth individual to plead guilty in the $9 million scheme, which dated back to 1992, and whose discovery last August shook the politically well-connected charity, which is based in Manhattan. The Met Council’s two previous CEOs, William Rapfogel and David Cohen, have already pleaded guilty in the scheme, which involved kickbacks for inflated insurance payments, as has insurance executive Joseph Ross. Rapfogel, who had been a close ally of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, accepted a plea deal calling for 3-to-10 years in prison and restitution of $3 million. Silver has not been implicated. Friedman served as the chief financial officer for the organization under Cohen, who initiated the kickback scheme in 1992, and subsequently under Rapfogel, who took over as the charity head in 1993. Friedman, who left the Met Council in 2009, was intimately involved in the scheme, as he oversaw all payments to outside vendors, according to a joint statement issued by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli.
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“Herb Friedman abused his position of trust to help steal millions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded charitable organization— one dedicated to serving some of New York City’s poorest and most vulnerable residents,” Schneiderman said in a statement. The Met Council provides employment services, crisis intervention, emergency food and other programs for poor Jewish households. The joint investigation by the attorney general’s and comptroller’s offices remains ongoing. (JTA)
Obama wishes Israel happy Yom Ha’atzmaut President Obama wished Israel a happy independence day in a statement that reiterated his commitment to the two-state solution. “We will continue to work with Israel to support a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict,” Obama wrote in a statement published on the White House website Tuesday, May 6 “one that ensures that the Israelis will live alongside their neighbors in peace and with security.” Obama’s statement also noted that “generations of Jews dreamed of the day when the Jewish people would have their own state in their historic homeland, and 66 years ago today that dream came true.” Today, “Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy and as a ‘start-up nation’ that celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation,” he added. The United States, Obama noted, “was the first nation to recognize the government of Israel in 1948, and today we are still the first to come to Israel’s defense. The enduring relationship between our two nations, based on shared democratic values and our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, has never been stronger.” Obama’s statement on behalf of the American people contained congratulations addressed to President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli people. (JTA)
Israel’s population grows to 8.2 million Israel’s population increased to nearly 8.2 million, according to figures released last month. The population grew by 2 percent, about 157,000 people, according to the report by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Jews make up 75 percent of the population, or 6.135 million people. Arabs are 20.7 percent, or 1.694 million people. About 178,000 babies were born in the last year and about 42,000 deaths were reported. In addition, some 24,000 people moved to Israel in the last year. (JTA) Leno will make first visit to Israel to emcee Genesis Prize ceremony Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno will visit Israel to host the presentation of the inaugural Genesis Prize. The May 22 ceremony in Jerusalem will honor former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the $1 million award. “Jay Leno is a comedic icon who has entertained millions of people around the world for over 20 years,” said Stan Polovets, board chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation. “What many don’t know, however, is that he is also a great friend to Israel.” It will be Leno’s first visit to Israel, according to the Genesis Prize Foundation. Major philanthropists, Nobel laureates and global business leaders are expected to attend the ceremony for Bloomberg, who said he will use the award to promote economic ties between Israelis and Palestinians. In his third and final term as mayor, Bloomberg was chosen from among more than 200 nominees worldwide because of his “track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists,” according to the prize committee. The prize, which will be given out annually, is awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional who is a role model in his or her community and can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, according to the Genesis Prize Foundation website. (JTA)
he Talmud (Bava Kammah 50a) speaks about digging pits. It is illegal to dig a pit and leave it uncovered and accessible. If there are any damages, the digger is liable. However, if the person digging the pit donates the pit to the public, he is free of all responsibility. This was the practice of “Nechuniah the Pit Digger,” a prominent citizen of Jerusalem in Mishnaic times. He would dig wells and donate them for public use. The rabbis praised Nechuniah for his actions, despite the danger that his pits potentially posed. One day, Nechuniah’s daughter fell into a pit that he had dug. The people ran to Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa and asked him to pray for her. “Don’t worry,” he said, “she’s fine.” An hour passed and the young lady still hadn’t been rescued, so they came to Rabbi Chanina again. “Don’t worry,” he said, “she’s fine.” Another hour passed and again the people returned. “Don’t worry,” he said, “they just pulled her out.” Indeed, the people raced back to the pit to find the girl safe and sound. She explained that an old man with a ram had come by and rescued her from the pit. Terribly impressed by Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, the people began to call him a prophet. “I’m not a prophet,” he corrected them, “it was just obvious to me that the girl would not be harmed by a pit that had been so generously and meticulously dug and donated by her father. How could the daughter come to suffer from a mitzvah that her father has done?” The story could end here with a beautiful thought about the reward and protection that comes from fulfilling G-d’s commandments, but it does not. The Talmud is
painfully honest. Rabbi Acha shares with us that although Nechuniah’s daughter was saved miraculously from a well, his son actually died of thirst. This is to teach us that G-d protects those who carry out His will, but he is still very exacting in his judgment. The commentaries struggle to reconcile the confidence of Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa and the fate of Nechuniah’s son, but I think that the lesson here is very simple: We hear and experience many wonderful stories about people who are saved as a direct result of their good deeds. We ourselves do many good deeds. Still, we do not have a license to sit back and relax. We need to constantly examine and re-examine our actions. Nechuniah had dug wells throughout the entire city of Jerusalem. He had rabbinic endorsement and blessing. He even had a miracle to back him up. Still, he was not immune. Even as he was out digging wells, his own son died of thirst. Something went wrong. The days between the holidays Pesach and Shavuos are days in which we remember the students of Rabbi Akiva. These 24,000 students spanned the entire northern Israel and enlightened a generation with their scholarship. They perished in a terrible plague because they did not have enough respect for one another. Their teacher Rabbi Akiva drove the message home for future generations: “V’ahavta L’reiachah Kamocha” – The commandment that we must love our fellow as we love ourselves is a central teaching of the Torah. We dare not forget it. The students of Rabbi Akiva were sages, scholars, and righteous men. Yet they were punished all the same. Of course, we never really know why G-d causes certain people to suffer. We certainly should not dare to judge others and claim to know the reason for their suffering. Still, the point remains. We can never be complacent. There is always room to examine and to grow. —Rabbi Sender Haber, B’nai Israel Congregation
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Campus divestment votes surge, but pro-Palestinian activists don’t get many wins by Talia Lavin
NEW YORK (JTA)—On Twitter, pro-Palestinian activists dubbed it “DivestApalooza.” Student governments at three Southern California public universities all voted on divestment resolutions targeting Israel in a single day. The April 23 votes were part of a surge in student governments at American universities voting on divestment resolutions. In the past two years, at least 16 student governments have weighed divestment measures, including nine this spring, though a majority have rejected them. “There’s been a significant increase in divestment votes,” says Max Samarov, a senior research assistant with the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs. “I think activists were using previous years to test the waters and are now rolling divestment out as a truly national strategy.” The divestment measures proposed to student governments generally strongly criticize Israeli policies and urge universities to divest themselves of investments in companies doing business with the Israeli military or with West Bank settlements. Their significance is largely symbolic, since they are not binding on universities. Last academic year, the bulk of the votes took place at California universities, most of them large public schools, several of which approved divestment. This spring, many of the votes have been on campuses in other states. Pro-Palestinian groups see themselves as making headway on campus. “There’s more and more campuses that are taking up this issue,” says Ramah Kudaimi, membership and outreach coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “We’ve welcomed 10 to 15 new student groups in the past year.” On campus after campus, student government meetings to discuss divestment resolutions have been heated affairs often stretching into the night. But with only a couple exceptions, student governments
this academic year have rejected divestment measures, a worse showing than the previous year for pro-Palestinian activists. “In terms of actually winning votes, it’s been an overwhelmingly unsuccessful year for divestment activists,” Samarov says. “They may consider it a success because they’ve managed to introduce more total resolutions at more total universities in this country, but at the same time, the anti-divestment movement on campuses has become more cohesive and more prepared to push back.” DivestApalooza yielded only one win for the pro-divestment crowd, with the student government at the University of California, Riverside approving by a single vote a measure titled “Divestment from Companies that Profit from Apartheid.” The other two student governments voting that day—at the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University— both roundly rejected divestment. One place where the student government did vote for divestment this spring was Loyola University in Chicago. But the student government president, Pedro Guerrero, vetoed the resolution. “This resolution caused harm among the student community,” Guerrero wrote in a March 26 letter to the student body. “In supporting such resolutions, we run the risk of isolating students from the resource we intend to be.” At many schools, divestment votes have spurred tensions between supporters and opponents. At the University of Michigan, a divestment motion that was tabled initially went to a vote after pro-divestment students staged a weeks-long sit-in to bring the measure to the floor. Jewish students there organized an “Invest in Peace” campaign and emailed student representatives to lobby them during the period. “In those weeks, the campus climate was extremely tense,” the Michigan student government’s vice-president, Bobby Dishell, says. “The environment was also very tense during the vote itself.”
At the University of California, Los Angeles, a divestment resolution was brought to the student government in February by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Jewish students with a broad spectrum of views opposed the measure, which ultimately failed. “The BDS movement’s reliance on a one-sided narrative isolates and alienates Jewish students on campus,” Dor Carpel and Gil Bar-Or, members of the dovish campus Israel activist group J Street U wrote in UCLA’s Daily Bruin. While some divestment votes provided students an opportunity for ample—if often strained—discussion, other divestment votes were put on the agenda hastily. “We found out at the last minute,” Rabbi Shimon Brand, the Jewish chaplain at Oberlin, says of the Ohio college’s divestment resolution that passed in May 2013. “This was not normal procedure for the student senate.” According to Brand, the divestment resolution arose in the Oberlin Student Senate after a student petition garnered some 200 signatures—a small fraction of the student body. “On a campus like this, anyone will sign petitions,” he says. Students affiliated with the Oberlin Hillel gathered and worked out a strategy to oppose the measure. “Twelve to 14 students went to the Student Senate meeting,” Brand says. “Other than the Student Senate themselves, there were maybe three other students there.” Student speakers at the meeting managed to narrow the scope of the divestment resolution, he said. The resolution adopted by the Oberlin Student Senate applied to six specific companies that the resolution
alleges “directly profit from the ongoing violations of international law and human rights.” “Of course, Hillel and many of the students would have preferred divesting from nothing,” Brand says. “But we only found out at the last minute.” Hal Ossman, executive director of the Cornell Hillel in upstate New York, similarly recounted Jewish students being confronted with a surprise divestment resolution. “We found out 48 hours before that [the divestment resolution] was on the April 10 meeting agenda, although we had known that a resolution had been written,” Ossman says. The meeting date, which was the Thursday immediately preceding Passover, ordinarily would have served as a travel day for many Jewish students heading home for seder. Nevertheless, Jewish student leaders at Cornell mobilized quickly. “Student leaders met that day from about 5 pm to 3 in the morning at the multi-faith center where the Hillel offices are,” Ossman says. “They were here all day Thursday organizing materials, talking points and questions, getting the word out to students to come out and be present at the student assembly meeting and lobbying members of the student government to vote no.” In the end, the resolution was tabled indefinitely following a meeting that ended in tension and invective. Weeks later, debate is ongoing on the Cornell campus. “It’s important that the students are the voice countering this, not adults, not the outside organizations speaking on their behalf,” Ossman says. “This is their student-elected government, and they are the student voice of Israel on campus.”
Peres to visit White House Israeli President Shimon Peres will visit the White House at the end of June. The meeting, set for June 25, will come just weeks before Peres steps down as president. A successor is expected to be chosen in June, before the end of Peres’ term in July. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Peres that “President Obama
looks forward to welcoming him for a visit to the White House on June 25th,” according to a White House readout of a meeting in Jerusalem. In June 2012, Obama presented Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded by the United States to a civilian, at a White House ceremony. (JTA)
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NEW YORK (JTA)—A lot of people around the world hate the Jews. That’s the main finding of the AntiDefamation League’s largest-ever worldwide survey of anti-Semitic attitudes. The survey, released Tuesday, May 13, found that 26 percent of those polled —representing approximately 1.1 billion adults worldwide—harbor deeply anti-Semitic views. More than 53,000 people were surveyed in 102 countries and territories covering approximately 86 percent of the world’s population. “Our findings are sobering but, sadly, not surprising,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said at a news conference at ADL’s national headquarters in New York. “The data clearly indicates that classic anti-Semitic canards defy national, cultural, religious and economic boundaries.” Among the survey’s key findings: • Some 70 percent of those considered anti-Semitic said they have never met a Jew. Overall, 74 percent of respondents said they had never met a Jew. • Thirty-five percent of those surveyed had never heard of the Holocaust. Of those who had, roughly one-third said it is either a myth or greatly exaggerated. • The most anti-Semitic region in the world is the Middle East and North Africa, with 74 percent harboring anti-Semitic views. Eastern Europe was second at 34 percent. The least anti-Semitic region was Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) at 14 percent. • The three countries outside the Middle East with the highest rates of anti-Semitic attitudes were Greece, at 69 percent, Malaysia at 61 percent and Armenia at 58 percent. • About 49 percent of Muslims world-
wide harbor anti-Semitic views, compared to 24 percent of Christians. • The West Bank and Gaza were the most anti-Semitic places surveyed, with 93 percent of respondents expressing anti-Semitic views. The Arab country with the lowest level of anti-Semitic views was Morocco, at 80 percent. Iran ranked as the least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East, at 56 percent. • The least anti-Semitic country overall was Laos, where 0.2 percent of the population holds anti-Semitic views. The Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands and Vietnam all came in at 6 percent or lower. • Approximately 9 percent of Americans and 14 percent of Canadians harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. • Thirty-four percent of respondents older than 65 were deemed anti-Semitic, compared to 25 percent of those younger than 65. Men polled were slightly more anti-Semitic than women. “The ADL’s Global 100 index will serve as a baseline,” Foxman said. “For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world.” The survey gauged anti-Semitism by asking whether respondents agreed with an index of 11 statements that the ADL believes suggest anti-Jewish bias: Jews talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust; Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in; Jews think they are better than other people; Jews have too much power in international financial markets; Jews have too much power in the business world; Jews have too much control over global affairs; people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave; Jews have too much control over the U.S. government; Jews have too much control over global media; Jews are respon-
sible for most of the world’s wars; Jews people are Jewish. The actual figure is 0.19 don’t care about what happens to anyone percent of the world’s population, according to the ADL. but their own kind. After the Palestinian-populated terriRespondents who agreed that a majority of the statements are “probably true” tories, the most anti-Semitic places were Iraq, where 92 percent harbor anti-Semitic were deemed anti-Semitic. Over the years, the ADL has been views; Yemen at 88 percent; Algeria and criticized for overstating what qualifies Libya at 87 percent; Tunisia at 86 percent; as anti-Semitism, with critics suggesting Kuwait at 82 percent; and Bahrain and that some of the statements used to mea- Jordan at 81 percent. Israel was not included in the survey. sure bias actually are more indicative of “It is very evident that admiration for Jews than the Middle East conflict anti-Jewish hostility. matters with regard to Foxman addressed anti-Semitism,” Foxman such criticism: said. “It just is not clear “We frequently whether the Middle East get accused of seeing Percent of those conflict is the cause anti-Semitism everypolled in Greece of or the excuse for where, and we’re very are anti-Semitic anti-Semitism. There is conscious about the no statistical data at this credibility,” he said. “We moment to support cauwere cautious, we were sality.” conservative, to underAfter Laos, anti-Semitism was lowest state rather than overstate.” The survey was overseen by First in the Philippines at 3 percent; Sweden International Resources and conducted by at 4 percent; the Netherlands at 5 perAnzalone Liszt Grove Research. It included cent; Vietnam at 6 percent; the United telephone and in-person surveys conduct- Kingdom at 8 percent, the United States ed in 96 languages between July 2013 and and Denmark at 9 percent; Tanzania at 12 February 2014. At least 500 adults were percent; and Thailand at 13 percent. In Western Europe, the most anti-Seinterviewed in each of the countries surveyed. The margin of error is 4.4 percent mitic countries were Greece (69 percent) in countries with 500 interviews and 3.2 and France (37 percent). In Eastern percent in countries with 1,000 interviews. Europe, Poland (45 percent) and Bulgaria The study was funded by New York philan- (44 percent) topped the list, and the Czech thropist Leonard Stern; the ADL declined Republic was the least anti-Semitic, at 13 percent. to say how much it cost. In the Americas, Panama (52 perThe survey also questioned respondents about their attitudes toward Israel. cent) and the Dominican Republic (41 Outside the Middle East, Israel’s favorable percent) ranked as most anti-Semitic. In rating was 37 percent, compared to 26 Sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal was the most percent unfavorable. Within the Middle anti-Semitic, at 56 percent. The least were East, Israel’s unfavorable rating rose to Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania, all 84 percent. The only other region where at between 16 and 12 percent. The most commonly held stereotype Israel’s unfavorable rating outweighed its favorable was Asia: 30 percent unfavorable, among the ADL’s list of 11 statements was that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to compared to 26 percent favorably. Asked how many Jews they believe their home country—a view held by 41 there are worldwide, more than half of percent of respondents. More than onethe respondents significantly overestimat- third agreed with the statements that Jews ed the number. Some 30 percent said Jews have too much power in the business world comprise between 1 and 10 percent of the and in international financial markets, that world’s population, 18 percent said the Jews think they are better than other peofigure was larger than 10 percent, and 9 ple and that Jews don’t care what happens percent said more than 20 percent of all to anyone but their own kind.
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Yom Hashoah Commemoration honors the past, celebrates the present and provides hope for the future and chose to ignore the lesson taught by history: that if allowed to go too far, humans can do terrible things.” If there could be a polar opposite to that stance, it was represented by the winners of the Holocaust Commission’s 2014 Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions for students. Thirtyone junior high and Holocaust Commission chair Anne Fleder, Commission Director Elena Baum, Yom high school students Hashoah guest speaker Werner Reich and his wife Eva, Yom Hashoah co-chairs Wendy were honored at Juren Auerbach and Elyse Cardon. Yom Hashoah with cash prizes, a handblown Star of David paperweight made and by Elena Barr Baum donated by local artist Matthew Fine, and ust when you think it can’t get more the recognition they deserved for submitmeaningful, it does. This year’s Yom ting outstanding work. Princess Anne High Hashoah program, sponsored by the School junior Tara Opitz read her winning Holocaust Commission of the United poem, A Scattering of Petals, inspired by the Jewish Federation of Tidewater at Ohef courageous actions of the White Rose resisSholom Temple on Sunday, April 27, was tance group in Nazi Germany. A highlight of the evening was the another poignant and powerful tribute to those we lost, those who survived, the righ- address given by visiting speaker, 87-yearteous gentiles who risked their lives to save old Werner Reich. The survivor of Gestapo Jews, and the liberators who freed the camps. beatings, prisons, and four concentration As in previous years, there were few camps including Auschwitz, Reich let the audience know right away that he empty seats. “This is an event that truly brings the could still laugh. You might not expect a community together,” says Anne Fleder, Holocaust survivor to open with a joke, but his humor put the audience at ease, and Holocaust Commission chair. Fleder welcomed everyone with thanks, made them more able to connect with him. but also with a reminder of why the Reich shared the story of the most importCommission is necessary. She related the ant day of his life, when he was one of 89 story of Sophie Roth-Douquet, the 16-year- young boys selected to live, out of a group old daughter of a Marine living in Germany. of 6,000, by the infamous Angel of Death, In an opinion piece for USA Today, Roth- Dr. Josef Mengele. Like many survivors, Reich acknowledgDouquet told of how her German classmates hardly learned anything of the Holocaust es the role of luck in his survival, but he also in their school curriculum, and therefore does not want people to feel sorry for him. “I survived. Feel sorry for those who did were dismissive about it, even joking about it while on a field trip to the concentration not,” is a line he uses in many talks. In fact, camp, Dachau. Their attitude, Fleder relat- while he was in the area he wowed audied, “covered up [the] tragedies of the past ences of middle school students at Norfolk
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Academy and high school honor students at Granby and Norview with a 70-minute presentation, including more than 300 slides that he gives up to 100 times a year in schools. “You could have heard a pin drop,” says Gary Laws, Middle School director at Norfolk Academy, who was as inspired as the 350 students with whom he heard Reich’s presentation. Each year, Yom Hashoah closes after a somber candle lighting ceremony, during Holocaust Commission member Ellie Brooke pins a which local survivors, liberators, and yellow rose on Liberator Bill Jucksch, who took part in Righteous Gentiles are honored. The number the candlelighting ceremony, of honorees who light candles grows smaller each year, as that population grows older. As the quiet and respectful audience looked on during the ceremony, Reich’s closing words seemed to echo in the synagogue: “We are here, tonight, to honor the victims of the Holocaust and as tribute to them we light 21 candles. The light of these candles will illuminate this room, but only this room, and that, but for a very short time. “But if, instead of mourning or shedding tears, all of us were to make a promise to educate ourselves, and then pass this knowledge to our community, then the light of this knowledge will not only illumine this room but will also, for a long time, brighten the world around us, and with it Holocaust survivor Dana Cohen lights a candle during a banish ignorance and prejudice; it will elim- Yom Hashoah remembrance ceremony. inate hate and give our children and grandchildren a safe future. And that, my friends, would be a true tribute to the victims of the Shoah.” —Elena Barr Baum is director of the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. For more information about the Holocaust Commission, its educational programs and its resources, visit www. HolocaustCommission. Michelle Waterman looks at winning entries in the Elie Wiesel Visual Arts org. Competition for Students, displayed at Ohef Sholom Temple during Yom Hashoah.
Tee up and head out to the Simon Family JCC’s Annual Golf Tournament
Green Jacket - $5,000 Albatross - $2,500 Beverage Cart - $1,800 Eagle - $1,000
Tuesday, June 24, noon Heron Ridge Golf Club Virginia Beach
Birdie - $750 Hole - $500 Host - $300 Tournament Players Individual Golf Player - $180
by Leslie Shroyer and Rebecca Bickford
he Simon Family JCC’s 4th Annual Presidents’ Cup Tournament has actually existed as a golf tournament since the 1980s. It was renamed the Presidents’ Cup to honor past presidents who have served as leaders and visionaries of the JCC. For more than 60 years, the JCC has been fortunate to have the strong leadership of people who have given countless hours to guide the Center’s successful development. Sandra Porter Leon was rounding out her first year as president when the idea was presented to host the golf tournament as a way to recognize those past leaders. “The Presidents’ Cup is a way to honor and thank our past presidents for all of their time and commitment in making the JCC what it is today,” says Leon. “It’s a nice idea to have renamed it the Presidents’ Cup,” says Barry Einhorn, past president and father of incoming president Marty Einhorn. “Past presidents of the JCC
still want to be involved and it’s also nice to be recognized.” The Presidents’ Cup is one of the Simon Family JCC’s primary fundraisers, which helps the center maintain its state-of-theart facility, as well as provide relevant and quality programming. Specifically, the funds raised by the tournament directly support JCC children’s programs, which help improve the lives of thousands in Tidewater. These special services include financial assistance and scholarships for the Kids Connection before and after school enrichment program, Camp JCC and the camp’s special needs inclusion program, teen programming, the Kid Fit health and nutrition program, and more. “The tournament gives the JCC the opportunity to provide important programming for this community,” says Einhorn. “Although all the funding is not necessarily given to Jewish children, everything we do at the JCC exposes children to our Jewish values.” The day of the tournament begins with a bang. The noon shot-gun start sends a stream of golf carts onto the picturesque greens of Heron Ridge Golf Club. Throughout the day, golfers will have multiple opportunities to win fun prizes, a car, and even cash. Golfers will participate in side competitions such as the longest
drive, closest to the pin, a putting competition, and a hole-in-one contest. After 18 holes, golfers will return to the clubhouse to enjoy a catered reception and of course, win more prizes, such as one of the many prize raffle gifts as well as the 50/50 raffle. Golfers will also have the opportunity to hear directly from a beneficiary of the funds raised through the Presidents’ Cup. Finally, the Presidents’ Cup trophy will be presented to the winning foursome as tribute is paid to the honored guests, the past presidents of the JCC. The day concludes with a toast to their leadership which has guided the JCC since 1952; and for 62 years, has allowed the JCC to be the center of Tidewater’s Jewish community by providing a safe and welcoming gathering place for all generations. “Aside from getting away from the office and having a fun day of golf with people that support the JCC, corporately and personally, we contribute to this important annual fund raising event,” says Gene Ross, president of LoanCare Servicing and past president of the JCC. “With proceeds largely directed toward children’s programming, it’s easy to acknowledge the significance of this event.” “I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow past presidents on the course,” says Einhorn. “But I hope they don’t make me look too bad!” To register to play and support the golf tournament, visit www.SimonFamilyJCC. org to complete the golfer registration form. Contact Evan Levitt, JCC development director, for more information on becoming a Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament sponsor at 757-321-2337 or email@example.com.
Foursome - $720
Appreciation The Simon Family JCC extends a special thanks to commitments made by this year’s early sponsors. The Alcaraz Mercadante West Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi Babbi and Brad Bangel Beth Sholom Village Calliott, Dermeter & Harrell Investment & Wealth Advisors CB Richard Ellis Building Services Fulton Bank Hercules Fence Company KPMG LoanCare, LLC Miller IMG No Frill Grill Payday Payroll Portfolio Recovery Associates Price’s Transmission Rashkind Family Foundation S.L. Nusbaum Insurance Agency Samuel I. White, P.C.
Dave Mellott, Mike Petit and Lud Presto, 2013 Presidents’ Cup Tournament winners. jewishnewsva.org | May 19, 2014 | Jewish News | 11
Can a relationship celebrate a Bar Mitzvah? Temple Israel and KBH by Elie Bar Adon
he “Bar Mitzvah boy” did not receive a fountain pen. There was no sheet cake shaped like a Torah scroll. No band played too loudly, and no one raided a 401k plan to pay for the event. And yet, when two of Tidewater’s Masorti/ Conservative congregations, Kehillat Bet HaMidrash (KBH) of Kempsville and Temple Israel of Norfolk, celebrated the 13th year of their partnership, on the Shabbat of March 22, the feeling of a Bar Mitzvah was very much in the air. Alene Kaufman and Sharon Grossman, past presidents of each congregation who were at the helm at the inception of the partnership, reminisced about what brought the congregations together, and each emphasized the high degree of respect for each other that has made the partnership an ongoing success. Jason Silverstein,
Harvey Eluto and Phil Walzer, current co-presidents of KBH and president of Temple Israel, symbolically held a Torah pointer and shared an aliyah, giving the “Bar Mitzvah” a ritual expression. The two congregations began their programming partnership in the 5760 (2000/2001) synagogue season. They merged their Sunday religious schools, each congregation supplying teachers and students to the enlarged school. They created a schedule of worship services at each location for the combined membership— selected festival morning services at Temple Israel, annual Friday night services and Shabbat dinners at KBH. They celebrate special moments on the calendar together—Lag B’Omer and Yom Ha-Atsma’ut at KBH, Yom Ha-Zikaron at Temple Israel. Rabbi Michael Panitz, spiritual leader of Temple Israel since 1992, gives an adult education lecture series at KBH every win-
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ter. This year, the series dealt with “Jews in the arts.” Cantor David Proser, who has served as the clergy for KBH for an entire generation, endures being bedecked with silly hats by the children, each Simchat Torah morning, as he chants the haftarah or the musaf prayers. The partnership exists because it benefits both congregations. Temple Israel has members in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and the Peninsula, as well as Norfolk. A Kempsville location for programs means that many of Temple Israel’s members can skip a considerable drive and still receive value for their membership. KBH does not employ ordained clergy, and so access to one of the community’s rabbinic veterans helps its own members in spiritual, educational and pastoral areas of Jewish life. Why don’t the two congregations simply merge? According to their leaders, the continued independence of the two institutions,
at least for now, is how they are true to their natures. Each one fulfills an important task, and a merger would weaken, not strengthen, their ability. Rabbi Panitz knows about this from personal experience. “As a rabbinic intern, I served a small congregation which saw fit to merge with a much larger one during my final student year. The merger was a disaster in terms of the Jewish engagement of the members of the smaller congregation. No longer challenged to keep their shul operating, they relaxed…too much! And the larger congregation’s members made no serious attempt to understand and welcome the new members. They mostly saw the merger in terms of the revenue they gained from the sale of a building. As a result, after only a few years, not a single member of the smaller congregation was still active in the successor synagogue. Instead of a merger, it was extinction for one of the congregations. “I was determined that Temple Israel and KBH would find a better way. Our lay leaders have embraced a good vision of celebrating each other, which is the foundation of the success of our partnership,” says Rabbi Panitz. The good feelings are equally shared by leaders and members of both congregations. Cantor Proser says, “It has been most enjoyable to work with Temple Israel over the past 13 years of our programming partnership. The educational benefits for both our Hebrew and Sunday School age children, as well as our adult members, have been immeasurable. We look forward to every opportunity to share joint services and social events while still maintaining our individual congregational identities. We have enjoyed many years of interesting and informative adult education programs led by Rabbi Panitz with his vast wealth of Judaic knowledge. As a “lay” leader, I have highly valued the assistance and guidance that I have received from Rabbi Panitz during this period, and I am honored to consider him my colleague, my teacher, and my friend. We look forward to many more years of programming cooperation and joint activities between our two congregations.”
Future for Israel and American Jewry explored by Brad Lerner
he Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) held its annual Plenum in Atlanta, Ga., March 8–11. The Plenum is the annual conference for Jewish community leaders and representatives from 125 Jewish Community Relations Councils and 16 national Jewish agencies to gather, learn, debate, and vote on consensus policy. I attended as a “lay leader” as part of my involvement with JCPA through the Lois and Larry Frank Institute Fellowship. Robin Mancoll, director of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s CRC, and Megan Zuckerman, chair, also attended. The JCPA is Tidewater’s CRC’s umbrella organization. I was able to meet up with some dear friends from the Frank Fellowship (a diverse group of eight from Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Louisville, San Francisco and Atlanta). Lois and Larry Frank, two philanthropists from Atlanta, funded our program where young U.S. Jewish leaders visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and Israel. As I noted in an earlier article, the Franks’ gift was transformative. The Franks invited the Fellows to their home for dinner one night, and subsidized our Plenum trip, so their boundless generosity continued in Atlanta. I cannot thank them enough for the remarkable experience. In one of the best Plenum sessions, David Makovsky, who recently joined the U.S. State Department peace process team (and past Tidewater CRC Israel Today speaker), spoke about the need for a twostate solution and the prospects for peace. Concerns like Iran and religious extremism are shared by Arabs and Israelis, and without the Palestinian conflict to divide them, they could begin to cooperate more. Support for two states for two peoples has been a bipartisan American goal for many years, according to Makovsky. Of particular interest to me was the lively discussion on the implications of the 2013 Pew Research Survey about how Jews view themselves in the U.S. The survey suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion. In order to combat a growing ennui toward Jewry in America, a panel of experts (Elana Kahn-Oren, CRC
director, Milwaukee; Jerry Silverman, CEO of Jewish Federations of North America; and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) offered several intriguing suggestions, including providing free early childhood Jewish education, increasing capacity of Jewish camps, attracting the Birthright generation within the communities and better engagement within Jewish neighborhoods. As the father of young children, I loved the idea of subsidized Jewish preschool or the increased presence of Jewish camps. Hampton Roads could benefit from such initiatives should they gain traction or funding. The challenges of the Pew study were discussed by Abe Foxman, AntiDefamation League director. After warning of the costs to world Jewry if America retreated from the world stage, Foxman said that crucial to stemming the estrangement of today’s Jewish youth is stopping what he calls the ignorance of today’s youth. It is incumbent to explain why our concerns matter. Foxman also stated that Jews often have a truncated Jewish identity by over-emphasizing Bar/Bat Mitzvah as end point for Jewish education. This resonated with me since my own Bar Mitzvah was effectively the end of my formal Hebrew/Sunday school years. I attended a break-out session on the topic of Judaism and public school curriculum. Since the Virginia legislature recently passed Senate Bill 236 on prayer in school, along with the controversy of Saturday make-up days for snow, this issue felt timely. Jews in Tidewater must remain vigilant that Jewish history/traditions and Israeli politics are not taught in our schools in a biased manner. This session taught me many strategies on how to address the sensitive church/state separation issue. The JCPA resolutions process encouraged interesting discussion as far as new policies on human trafficking, the minimum wage, reproductive rights, inclusion and disabilities, international LGBT discrimination, and increasing government support for public higher education. I was impressed with the level of thought and consideration that goes into the resolution process. I look forward to attending future Plenums!
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Fact-checking J Street and its critics movement, the Conservative movement, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (a body bringing together the largest synagogue movements, several national organizations and scores of local community relations councils) say you belong in the Conference of Presidents, then by definition you are operating within the communal tent. Don’t shoot the messenger—take it up with all of the above, not to mention the prominent Jewish and Israeli figures associated with J Street.
by Ami Eden
(JTA)—The vote is over, but the debate rages on over the recent rejection of J Street’s application to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Depending on where you stand, the 22–17 vote rejecting the application was either about J Street’s own missteps or the conference’s failure to live up to its billing as the Jewish community’s vehicle for bringing together organizations from across the political and religious spectrum to forge a strong pro-Israel consensus. With passions running high, it seemed like a good time for some fact-checking: 1) Claim: J Street is beyond the communal pale J Street did not round up the votes, but in defeat it put to bed the argument that the group falls outside of the communal mainstream. If the Reform
2) Claim: J Street is more left wing than the other dovish members in the Conference of Presidents Yes, J Street has pushed for the U.S. government to exert pressure on Israel, but so have other groups in the conference. J Street hasn’t endorsed a settlement boycott, or (unlike conference member Americans for Peace Now) even sort
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of endorsed a settlement boycott. And in sticking by the Obama administration’s side on Iran through various policy shifts, J Street has at times found itself to the right of some of those on the left in the Conference of Presidents. 3) Claim: J Street is just like any other left-wing group Well, no. When it launched several years ago, J Street came out swinging—not just at Israeli policies it thought were dangerous but also at the Jewish establishment. The group has demonstrated a willingness to take aim at individuals and individual organizations, some of whom have long memories and sharp elbows. The group and its supporters are outraged by any suggestion that J Street is not pro-Israel but have no problem questioning others’ commitment to peace. J Street hosts BDS supporters at its conference in the name of fostering dialogue and maintaining a big tent, but has publicly pressured others to boycott Pastor John Hagee and shun pro-Israel evangelicals. So, yeah, J Street might fall within the conference’s and the community’s existing political spectrum, but the group sure has a way of getting under people’s skin. If you’re looking for another example of why, just check out this statement from J Street in response to the vote: “So,” J Street declared in its statement, “join us in thanking Malcolm Hoenlein for clarifying this situation and revealing to all what we’ve long known: a new voice is needed to represent the true majority of American Jews—and non-Jewish supporters of an Israel at peace.” First off, why make it all about Hoenlein, the conference’s chief executive? By all accounts that I have seen or heard, whatever Hoenlein thinks about J Street, this process for better or worse was driven by the 50 member organizations, with plenty of openness and debate. Second, why not use the electoral defeat as a way to dispel the notion that you are a sanctimonious organization that is incapable of playing nice with others (not an unimportant trait when you are trying to gain admittance
to a politically and religiously diverse consensus-driven organization)? Maybe something like: “While disappointed that we failed to gain admission this time around, we appreciate the opportunity to apply and look forward to reopening the conversation at some point down the road. Meanwhile, we hope to find ways to work with our fellow Jewish groups as we devote ourselves to securing a peaceful and democratic future for Israel.” Even some of those who voted for J Street have expressed frustration and/ or disgust with the way the organization has at times conducted itself. 4) Claim: The Conference of Presidents no longer represents the full spectrum of the Jewish community You can argue that J Street belongs in the Conference of Presidents. You can argue that the existing voting rules are out of whack, giving too much influence to smaller groups on the right over larger left-leaning and centrist groups. But that doesn’t change the fact that, with or without J Street, J Street’s views are represented in the Conference of Presidents, and the conference continues to serve as the most diverse and reflective platform in the Jewish organizational world. Period. Full stop. Plus, it’s worth noting that the process doesn’t need to be over. Other groups have fallen short and then made it in down the road. All that said, it’s easy to understand why, if someone is a member of J Street—or just identifies with the organization’s stated commitments—he or she might feel slighted, not wanted, disenfranchised. This vote took place in a wider context, where J Street and its members have been consistently, harshly and sometimes unfairly attacked, and their motives and loyalty (as opposed to their ideas) questioned, with some of the group’s loudest opponents all but saying there is no room in the Jewish community for those who would criticize Israeli policies. So, yeah, it’s complicated. What do you expect? After all, we’re talking about the Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Health Care in the Jewish Community
Supplement to Jewish News May 19, 2014 jewishnewsva.org | Health Care | May 19, 2014 | Jewish News | 15
Health Care Dear Readers,
ou say you know no Yiddish or German? To that we say, “Gesundheit!” The word literally means health in those languages, and invoking the popular response to sneezing is a fitting way to introduce this Jewish News special section on Health Care in the Jewish Community. Within these pages, we share with you stories and articles about world-class doctors and dentists, the latest in health care treatments, and a closer look at how rehab at Beth Sholom Village is helping members of our community get back on their feet. We are fortunate to live in an area that has such a vast, knowledgeable, concerned, and progressive health care community. May this allergy season be an easy one for you, and if not, let’s practice our Yiddish together: Gesundheit! The staff of the Jewish News
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. © 2014 Jewish News. All rights reserved.
Upcoming Special Features Issue
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With electromagnetics and metal caps, Israeli companies aim to zap brain diseases by Ben Sales
JERUSALEM (JTA)—It looks like a futuristic salon hair dryer. Connected to a computer by a bright orange strip, the half-cube with rounded corners sits comfortably atop the head, a coil of wires resting on the skull. As a doctor stands at the computer, the patient gets comfortable. A few seconds later, a brief electromagnetic pulse hits the head. Do this every weekday for six weeks, doctors tell Alzheimer’s patients, and you’ll feel your brain come back to life. The technique, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, uses electromagnetic waves to penetrate the brain and activate underused neural connections. Two Israeli companies are hoping it will change the way brain diseases are treated. “This is the first time in neuroscience that we have a noninvasive tool to directly penetrate and influence deep structures of the brain in a targeted way,” says Ronen Segal, the chief technology officer of Brainsway, based in Jerusaslem. “No shocks, no hospitalization. You come into the clinic, you sit
in the chair for 20 minutes, you get a series of electromagnetic zaps.” Unlike electroshock therapy, now known as electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT a risky and controversial procedure long used to counteract severe depression and other disorders—TMS targets specific regions of the brain rather than the whole organ and at a much lower intensity. Unlike ECT, Brainsway’s clinical trials show TMS carries almost no risk of seizure. Brainsway is working on using TMS to combat a range of diseases. The company received approval last year from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat depression with TMS, and has European Union permission to use the technique to treat 10 diseases or disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism, even tobacco addiction. Other drug addictions and obesity are next on the company’s list. Another Israeli company, Neuronix, focuses on Alzheimer’s, which affects 5 million Americans—a number sure to rise as the baby boomer generation ages. “Every emotion, thought or action starts with electric activity in the brain,” Segal says. “The problem is if you have too much or too
little activity, you get a brain disorder.” In a person suffering from depression, for example, the section of the brain that regulates mood isn’t as active as it should be. Electromagnetic pulses targeting that section stimulate brain cells to fire, restoring them to a normal level of activity, Segal says, and teaching them to be more active in the long term. For Alzheimer’s patients, treatment entails an additional step. Patients who receive Neuronix’s electromagnetic pulse have less than a minute of increased brain activity. During that window, a computer screen flashes a simple task meant to exercise the affected region of the brain— asking patients, in one example, whether two sentences mean the same thing. Affirming that “The salad has tomatoes” equals “There are tomatoes in the salad” helps sustain the short-term benefit of TMS therapy. “To understand [the sentences], to process them, to understand whether they have the same meaning, is a challenge,” says Orly Bar, Neuronix’s vice president for marketing. “We want to get to a point where the mechanism improves.”
While both companies emphasize that treatment should complement existing medication, not replace it, clinical trials show that TMS can be more effective in counteracting Alzheimer’s than current medications. And unlike pills that enter the bloodstream, the electromagnetic zaps have no side effects. “We know there’s medicine that works on the same mechanism,” Bar says. “There’s no contradiction. They can work together great.” Neuronix and Brainsway were both featured at Braintech Israel 2013, a conference highlighting Israel’s growing brain technology industry. Along with medical advancements, the conference showcased innovation in fields such as brain modeling and mind-control gaming. “It’s widely accepted that we’ve made a lot of progress in heart disease and cancer,” says Miri Polachek, executive director of Israel Brain Technologies, the nonprofit that organized the conference. “The one area where we need to make a big push is the field of brain research. “It’s no longer science fiction. You can see these things becoming real.”
What exactly is rehab?
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If you ask three people what rehab in a skilled nursing facility means you will certainly get three different responses. Some people will say it is for the person who has had a stroke and needs to re-learn the basic functions of daily living. Others believe it is for those who have had a knee or hip replacement. Then, some say it is for the resident who has become weak over time and needs to build up strength. All of those descriptions are correct. It is the experience and care one receives that is different. Rehab at Beth Sholom Village, for example, is far different than you might expect.
Ellie Lipkin spent six weeks at BSV for a broken femur. She says the physical therapist (PT) and occupation therapist (OT) were great and she worked very hard to get better. In fact, she wanted to be the first in the gym every morning so she could get on the exercise bike right away. Lipkin was so pleased that every CNA, RN and the dietary team knew her name and made sure she was comfortable and got what she needed. Warren Aleck entered rehab after having a lot of pain after a knee replacement. He rolled in in a wheelchair and walked out with a cane.
jewishnewsva.org | Health Care | May 19, 2014 | Jewish News | 17
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Patience with the patient Abbey Horwitz, DDS
here are traditional moments of dentistry where you help someone—although everybody, no matter what you do, has those. I would say one of the most striking moments I’ve had took place when the Soviet Union fell, and Russian Jews resettled all over the world, including Tidewater. Everyone chipped in to help them set up their new lives here—doctors, dentists, businessmen, real estate agents; we were seeing all these people who had nothing, and it was very rewarding helping them. There was a translator, a Russian émigré (who I am still friends with to this day), who brought this one gentleman to me to get dental work done, and this fellow was just absolutely obnoxious. I don’t even remember what he was so obnoxious about, but I remember I was incensed by his behavior. I’m thinking, “I’m here to help you, we’re not charging, I’m here to take care of you. I’m not even asking you to be grateful, but don’t be mean and don’t be an idiot.” And he just persisted in behaving that way and when finally I finished the day with him I said to the translator, “It’s just not worth it. I don’t think I’ve dealt with a patient like this except maybe once every five years, but please don’t bring him back. It’s enough. I can’t believe he’s such a butthead.” The patient went away. After a while the translator stopped by and asked to speak to me—he was a very nice gentleman and he said he had spoken to the fellow I’d asked him not to bring back, and the fellow wanted to come one more time. Against my better judgment, I acquiesced. I said, “Alright fine, lets hope he behaves himself.” So the patient did show up, and before we even started, he handed me two pieces of paper. One was in Russian and the other was the English translation of the Russian. It was a summary of the transcript of his court hearing in Russia. At a much earlier age, he had been drafted into the Russian army and he had refused to serve, which at the time in Russia was treason. According to the transcript, when they asked him if he would serve, he told them he would not serve anybody but the Israeli army. They said, “You understand this is treason?” and he said, “Yes.” And they said, “You understand that the punishment for treason in communist Russia is death?” He said, “Kill me.” And they sentenced him to death, and he accepted it. They commuted the death sentence to life in prison in a gulag in Siberia, which is where he stayed for a long time—until the Soviet Union fell and he got out. And I’m reading this document with a real sense of shock and awe, and I decided if he could tell the Russian government to go screw themselves, to go to hell, then I guess I could take a little abuse, and I did end up taking care of him. I took a copy of that transcript and translation home to show my children. It is something that affected me deeply, and is a rare moment in dentistry.
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Abbey Horwitz, DDS Dental Education Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry in Richmond Former president of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, former president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Dr. Horwitz provides community care dentistry for our neighbors who are in need as an ongoing project. He has also been involved in volunteer dental services and projects in Israel, Romania and the former Soviet Union. Recently, Dr. Horwitz traveled to Nicaragua through Physicians for Peace, as a mission leader, to train dental professionals on good oral hygiene.
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Israelis treating Syria’s wounded confront complex injuries, cultural gaps by Ben Sales
SAFED, Israel (JTA)—When an Israeli army ambulance brought an injured Syrian man to Ziv Medical Center in this northern Israeli city a few months ago, the doctors didn’t know where exactly he was from. They saw that his leg had been amputated, and based on his own fragmented account and the physical evidence, the doctors surmised he had been hit by a shell. But they didn’t know exactly how he had gotten there. And when he leaves the hospital later this month, they don’t know where he’s going. “I’m not scared,” says the Syrian, whose name was withheld by the hospital because Israel and Syria are in a state of war.
“Nothing worse will happen to me, so who cares if I’m in Israel?” Despite decades of hostility between Israel and Syria, hundreds of victims of Syria’s 3-year-old civil war have received life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. Israeli medical personnel say that while they’re happy to treat Syrians, the wounded pose a unique set of challenges. For one, their injuries are often complex, owing to the heavy artillery used in the conflict. They sometimes arrive at the hospital as much as days after suffering the injury, complicating treatment. And the wounded often are wary of Israelis they have been taught to despise, making it hard for Israel to address their emotional traumas in addition to their physical ones.
20 | Jewish News | May 19, 2014 | Health Care | jewishnewsva.org
“As nurses, it’s unique to deal with viding emotional support say Syrians are wounded like this,” says Refaat Sharf, a reticent to open up about their experiencnurse at Ziv, which has treated 162 Syrian es. Besides the trauma of war, there is the patients. “We hadn’t been used to these additional fear of being in an enemy state. injuries, neither in terms of their character Israeli Arabs who share a language and certain cultural norms with the wounded are nor their frequency.” Since last year, more than 700 wound- employed at all levels at Ziv and Rambam ed Syrians have come to Israeli hospitals and say they help Syrian patients navigate via the Syria-Israel border crossing on the cultural gaps they encounter. “If you want to the Golan Heights. talk about respect for The Israel Defense men and women, [a Forces has set up Medical personnel say male Syrian patient] a field hospital can’t see a woman, there, and transfers say hi to a woman,” patients it cannot that when they do says Johnny Khbeis, care for to nearby an Israeli Arab who hospitals. In some works as a medical cases it brings a leave the hospital, clown at Ziv. “There family member as are women who well. change their sheets, Northern Israel’s Syrians are grateful for and that’s hard for hospitals have them because that extensive experidoesn’t happen ence dealing with the care they received. there.” patients woundAdi Pachter-Alt, ed in battle—most Rambam’s deputy recently during Israel’s 2006 war with the Lebanese terror- director of social work, says the patients’ ist group Hezbollah. But in that conflict, reluctance to speak openly about their feelthe wounded typically received medical ings comes more from the trauma of being injured and less from ill will toward Israel. attention rather quickly. “It’s hard for us to give overall emoJoseph Guilbard, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Rambam Medical tional support because they mistrust us,” Center in Haifa, recalls an especially severe Pachter-Alt says. “It’s not due to the state case in which a 12-year-old Syrian boy of war. It’s because you’re in a different arrived in a deep coma with a severe state after trauma. You’re very alone, very brain injury. Guilbard performed multiple suspicious.” Medical personnel say that when they surgeries, reducing excessive pressure on the brain, removing parts of his skull and do leave the hospital, Syrians are gratereplacing them with acrylic. When he was ful for the care they received. The Syrian patient in Ziv says his opinion of Israel has discharged, the boy was walking. “If you see yourself as a doctor, a sur- flipped during his stay there. “Before the revolt, the authorities told geon and a trauma specialist, you give the same treatment to everyone,” says Hany us Israel was the enemy and we must fight Bathoth, the director of the trauma unit at them,” he says. “But after the recent events Rambam. “In every trauma, that’s how it is. there, I saw that in Israel they take care of You feel like you helped the injured. That the patients. All of the Israelis I met, Arabs and Jews, seemed unified.” gives you strength.” Hospital personnel tasked with pro-
Simon Family JCC group exercise program offers fitness for every level by Leslie Shroyer
“At the Simon Family JCC, we are constantly changing and updating classes, working to offer the newest and best we can for our members,” says Sharon Giannelli, group exercise director. “We pride ourselves on the diversity of the classes. There is truly something for everyone.” More than 60 classes are offered each week. For active older participants, for example, the JCC offers the award winning Zumba Gold. This class also serves as an introduction for those just starting Zumba. Ai Chi is a new restorative class, taught in the warm water therapy pool. Regular water fitness classes continue to be popular with active seniors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. The JCC is the only official facility in Virginia Beach to offer Piloxing. The program blends the power, speed, and agility of boxing with the targeted sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. These techniques are supplemented by the use of weighted gloves. The class is very popular among members.
As the only official Spinning facility in Virginia Beach, the JCC provides top-level cycle classes, and has the ability to host training and certifications. A new Boxing Fit class uses boxing equipment such as gloves and wraps, instructing students on boxing techniques such as foot work, agility and speed. A New H.I.T. (high intensity training) class has become a power lunch hour class, with circuit training designed to strengthen and simultaneously provide an intense cardio vascular workout. The long-standing popular classes at the fitness center continue, such as Life Fit, a strength and cardio workout designed as a moderately intensive group exercise class. A range of yoga and Pilates classes for the experienced and the beginner continue, as does the Barre Body class, a lengthening and strengthening class, which is ballet-based and includes upper body, as well as floor work. The outdoor pool opens Memorial Day weekend, and some water fitness classes will move outside for the summer. For more information about the JCC’s group exercise classes, contact Sharon Giannelli at 321-2310.
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Your Table is Waiting! 22 | Jewish News | May 19, 2014 | Health Care | jewishnewsva.org
Biologic healing is something that I think people need to know about. It is absolutely the future of medicine. It’s the next frontier in healthcare and it’s already here—it’s [adult]stem cells and it’s PRP [platelet rich plasma injections]. The concept of biologic healing is that contained in your blood (assuming you have normal cell counts in your blood, which many people do), we have all kinds of very important cells: different kinds of white cells, platelets, and a variety of growth factors. These growth factors are unique and are immunologically linked to you. When they are extracted in a particular way, concentrated, and then injected into certain areas of your body, they act like a pseudo stem cell and can promote the regeneration of normal, healthy tissue. We’ve been able to show that PRP is one of the only things that can be injected, for example, into an arthritic knee and that can cause regeneration—over time—of cartilage of the knee. I had a PRP injection in my knee a couple of months ago—a knee that’s given me problems my whole life—and it’s phenomenal. I was the first physician in the state of Virginia to do PRP, about 10 years ago. I see myself as a kind of visionary, but just like with everything else that I do, I start kind of quietly. People tend to be a little skeptical of biologic healing; some of these procedures that we do are not considered traditional approaches and some of them are not covered by insurance—yet. The only insurance that covers PRP now is Workman’s Comp, but we’re starting to see some of the commercial carriers covering it for certain conditions; the two conditions where PRP has been most studied is in treatment for tennis elbow and osteoarthritis of the knee. Unfortunately, until it’s more accepted by the insurance companies, people who have limited financial resources won’t have access. I treat a lot of the injured firefighters and police officers in the city of Virginia Beach. I’m their main go-to person. A lot of them, all they want is PRP now. They don’t want steroid injections; they want to be treated like a pro athlete. They watch football games, they read about all these golfers who are getting this, and that’s what they want. The city of Virginia Beach has been extremely proactive with this, and we have been able to get so many people back to work full time, on full duty, and these are people who have really strenuous jobs, who otherwise would have been sidelined in their careers. The city has been so progressive in embracing all of this. I’ve also been involved in treating several of the PGA Tour players, and I’ve actually had a big time PGA tour player come see me here a couple of times. (I’m not a name dropper. Sorry!) It can be great to have patients like that—because of him, I was able to go to the 2012 U.S. Open in San Francisco. Medicine tends to get stuck in a rut, particularly where there’s an accepted standard of care, and until someone stands up and changes the standard of care, it can take a long time for things to change. For example, look at how prostate surgeries used to be done. They were barbaric. They used to cut out the prostate and destroy all of the surrounding tissue, leaving the poor guys impotent and incontinent. And now, robots are doing the procedure. The concept of biologic healing is an evolutionary process. Physicians by their nature are not really risk takers; they don’t like change. They’re going to stick to the way things are done until they’re forced to do something different. continued on page 23
This chaplain helps end-of-life patients on their spiritual journey by Marcia Brodie
What exactly is a chaplain? Chaplain Keya Bhagirath gets this question and other similar inquires just about every day. As the chaplain for Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater (HPCT), she works with patients that are at the end of life or have a life-limiting illness. Bhagirath is not an RN or a social worker, although her master’s degree is in human services and counseling. She says she “is one cog in the wheel, one member of a team that supports, assists and cares for hospice patients.” Bhagirath, known as Chaplain Keya, says she “Provides a comforting presence that promotes emotional and spiritual healing.” Patients often try to reconcile the end of their life, and “end up digging deeper into their religion and spirituality then they ever have.” Chaplain Keya helps guide them through the process, helping people connect to their spiritual self. The religious part of her job brings up additional questions. HPCT serves the
needs of patients of all religions and beliefs, therefore she needs to be prepared to assist those of all faiths. Chaplain Keya will reach out to a patient’s personal clergy if requested or look within the community to find the right person if requested. She says her job is to know and learn about most religions and speak to shared humanity. Sometimes Bhagirath sits with a patient and holds their hand as they pass into the next world. Sometimes she is there as support for the patient’s family to help them say their final good-byes. Many times, Bhagirath helps a patient and their family re-define hope and guide them toward making peace with death. There is no cookie cutter process. As a chaplain, Bhagirath listens, taking time to learn what is important to each patient. She encourages patients and families to talk about things in their life that have made them happy, challenged them or caused them pure joy. Chaplain Keya’s goal is to make the complicated process of dying a little simpler, a little calmer and most importantly, more peaceful to the patient and the family.
continued from page 22
Maybe 150 doctors across the country are doing this. Maybe. But, this is the way medicine is going, and soon, the whole thing is going to change. I can guarantee you that PRP will become the standard of care over the next five to 10 years—for osteoarthritis of the knee, for most soft tissue conditions, for small rotator cuff tears in the shoulder, for discogenic back pain, early osteoarthritis of the hip, Achilles tendon tears, ankle sprains that don’t heal, you name it. Medical Education Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she was chief resident in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Affiliations Assistant professor in the Department of Pain Management & Rehabilitation at EVMS Board Certifications and memberships Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physiatric Spine Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation International Spinal Injection Society AAOM Tidewater Medical Women’s Society The Medical Society of Virginia.
jewishnewsva.org | Health Care | May 19, 2014 | Jewish News | 23
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I didn’t have to go into podiatry or become a podiatrist. When I was young, I always thought about what kind of doctor I would be—I did know I’d go into medicine—but I was never told by my parents that I had to go into podiatry, even though I knew it was always an option. Podiatrists run in our family. I’m a third generation podiatrist. My grandfather, Dr. H. (Hyman) Seltzer, moved from New Jersey down here to Newport News in 1942 where he opened his practice. His office was right above the Masonic Temple in downtown Newport News, and for many years he was pretty much the only podiatrist in that area. Then my uncle, Steven Seltzer, also decided to go into podiatry. He went to medical school in Philadelphia and then did his residency in Michigan in surgery. When he started practicing in this area with my grandfather, he was one of only a few podiatrists doing surgery at that time. Then I went to school, and as a pre-med student at the University of Virginia I got into the field of sports medicine and was intrigued. I’d considered practicing pediatrics for a while, but after learning about sports medicine, I decided I’d go into podiatry too. For about five years, my grandfather, my uncle and I all worked together. Earlier, my grandmother used to come to the office, too, and my mother, Linda Roesen, still comes to work in the office three days a week. My uncle retired early, but my grandfather kept working until he was about 85. We have a lot of patients, still, who come in and say, “I saw your grandfather, I saw your uncle, and now I’m seeing you. Your grandfather was the greatest guy, he always gave us that great foot rub at the end.” It makes us feel good to know patients are still coming back to us after all these years, even though we don’t do that foot rub anymore—times change. I have a daughter and a son who are in school at Cape Henry Collegiate, and it’s always a running joke in my family: will they be the next generation of podiatrists? I’m not so sure about my children, but I do have a nephew…. Howard Roesen, DPM Affiliated Podiatrists, LLC Medical Education Temple University College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa. D.P.M. Degree: June 1990 Professional Affiliations Member, American Podiatric Medical Association Member, Virginia Podiatric Medical Association Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
24 | Jewish News | May 19, 2014 | Health Care | jewishnewsva.org
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it’s a wrap Community supports Israel at Independence Day event by Laine Mednick Rutherford
he Tidewater community showed its support for Israel at a celebratory event held on May 6 in honor of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, in partnership with the Simon Family JCC’s Celebrate Israel series, presented a free screening of the documentary The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers, that evening at the JCC. “The annual Israel Fest in our community is a great way people can show their support for Israel, but we wanted to make sure we had something the community could participate in on the actual date that Yom Ha’Atzmaut is celebrated there,” says Robin Mancoll, CRC director. “The Prime Ministers rekindled a spirit and pride for the state of Israel,” says
Philip Rovner, president and CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and a member of the audience. “I believe it’s an excellent film to show and discuss with our older teenagers, college students and young adults.” More than 150 screened the movie, where they munched on Israeli snack food, met the winner of the CRC’s annual Israel Poster Contest, and joined in singing the Israeli national anthem, Hatikva, and the recitation of a prayer for Israel. Attendees were mesmerized by this film based on Ambassador Yehuda Avner’s book of the same name and look forward to seeing part two with the CRC next year after its release. More information can be found at http://theprimeministers.org/. For more information about the CRC, its many resources and events, visit JewishVA. org/CRC.
Shikma Rubin watches as Leo Kamer signs his poster.
Cantor Elihu Flax and Rabbi Israel Zoberman.
Marie Deegan and Dorothy Zimmerman.
26 | Jewish News | May 19, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Chinese and Kosher?
fter several months of discussions and preparation, Beth Sholom Village was host to a family dinner with congregants of B’nai Israel. The concern that Beth Sholom Village is not at a level of Kashrut for many of the Orthodox community has been around for some time. Still, BSV is a kosher facility supervised by Cantor Elihu Flax filled with Jewish residents who appreciate the level of Kashrut that has allowed them to live the Jewish lifestyle that is important to them. To be certain that all of BSV’s guests, residents and visiting friends feel welcome and comfortable enough to enjoy a meal there, an effort is underway to begin to bridge the gap. Rabbi Sender Haber of B’nai Israel took part in the initial discussions. Supportive from the start, he brought Rabbi Sholom Mostofsky, the Kashruth administrator for the Vaad Hakasruth of Tidewater, into the next round of discussions. Together, Cantor Flax, Rabbi Mostosfsky and Stan Riddick, food service director for BSV, worked to bring the first Chinese Family Dinner to fruition. With careful supervision and amazing teamwork, on Sunday, May 4, BSV fed more than 60 people a Chinese dinner complete with Chinese themed decorations and chopsticks. Guests left the building asking when the next dinner would be held.
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he Tidewater Jewish Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary, acknowledged the members of the Simon Family Legacy Society and honored Philip Rovner on his retirement from the Foundation after 18 years of service on Thursday, April 24. Approximately 150 people attended. The program included a welcome by the Foundation’s chair, Ron Kramer, a brief history of the Foundation by Hal Sacks, TJF’s executive director emeritus, and remarks by Kim Simon Fink on behalf of the Simon family.
Morty and Bootsie Goldmeier with Ron Kramer.
“We are an effective, efficient machine. We give so that we can sustain, we increase our giving so we can build and grow,” said Fink. “It gives me great pride that the legacy continues.” Rovner was honored by Miles Leon, president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and Harry Graber, its executive vice president with remarks and two pieces of art. Rovner was also presented a cherry tree, planted on Campus, by Randy Parrish, CFO of the Foundation, on behalf of TJF’s staff. “Like this tree, this organization is very healthy, its roots are very firmly in the soil, and I fully expect that Philip’s work will generate great things and continue to grow in the future,” said Parrish. Rovner concluded the program with his remarks about his mentors and inspiration over his 18 years of service. “This evening we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. I’ve been so very honored, humbled and fortunate to have been its president and CEO. You have heard and viewed some of the history of the Foundation from others tonight. What I wish to share with you is a sense of community and commitment that most every one of our donors has expressed
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jewishnewsva.org | May 19, 2014 | Jewish News | 27
it’s a wrap Political expert discusses leadership, genocide, peace, and more at Israel Today Forum by Laine Mednick Rutherford
s executive director of the esteemed Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a D.C.-based think tank, Robert Satloff has a wealth of knowledge and depth of understanding about Middle East politics that is paralleled by few. Tidewater Jews, and many others throughout the region, were afforded the opportunity to learn from and speak with Satloff, the final guest in the 2013-2014 Israel Today Forum. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partners presents the popular, annual speaker series. Israel Today’s featured experts are diverse, and their topics timely—as was the case with Satloff’s appearance at the Simon Family JCC on Thursday, May 1.
Satloff arrived in Virginia Beach two days after the deadline for the United States negotiated peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians expired. While geopolitics was the umbrella term under which Satloff spoke, he spent a portion of his hour-long presentation discussing what went wrong in the American-led peace talks, and what might happen next. “The perception in the Middle East that America is an empty suit is powerful and pervasive. Leadership matters,” says Satloff. “When we look at the Middle East, we see that our allies don’t heed us—see Turkey and Egypt, our adversaries don’t respect us—see Syria, and our enemies don’t fear us—see Iran. “What it comes down to is that Abu Mazen [nickname of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] chose to unify
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with Hamas [Palestinian extremist group]. He chose unity over progress. Until the day comes when there’s a Palestinian Begin or Rabin who is willing to look at his own people and say, ‘We have to make a choice—it will be a costly choice, but we need to make it,’ there will be no ultimate peace.” Satloff answered a question he is frequently asked: will there be peace and, if so, when will that happen? “The only honest answer,” he says, “is you don’t know. The most likely outcome Dr. Robert Satloff of The Washington Institute. from this is that they will continue talking.” Satloff addressed other Middle East events that play a major role in Israel’s aid, to espionage, to, yes, military force—to present day-to-day life, and its future. The address the problems of this region,” Satloff crisis in Syria, occurring so close to Israel’s says. “And unless we do it, those problems borders, he emphasized, is the greatest will come home, as we saw in 9/11, and they’ll come home to Israel, as they live unspoken topic of Middle East politics. “Syria is the most serious humanitarian with it every day.” More than 200 people attended the crisis facing the world today, and it’s the only place in the world where our human- Israel Today Forum. The CRC also arranged itarian interests and our strategic interests for thousands more to hear Satloff before and during his visit: he was a guest on meet,” he says. Stressing the need for the world-wide WHRV’s Cathy Lewis’ Hearsay, he spoke Jewish community to step in and speak at two area high schools, shared insights out about the atrocities occurring in with The Virginian-Pilot editorial board, was Syria’s civil war, Satloff quoted a statement interviewed on CBN, and gave a private released days before by the United States briefing to community leaders at a recepHolocaust Memorial Museum: Syria is not tion before his public appearance. The Israel Today Forum will return just a nasty civil war; Syria is a place on the next year, with more dynamic speakers road to genocide. And Iran’s strategic, political and nuclear and relevant topics to inform and engage movements should not be dismissed, Satloff the community, and to fulfill the CRC’s says. Iran is intricately linked to the war in abbreviated, but powerful goals: Motivate. Educate. Advocate. Syria, and is a significant threat to Israel. For more information about the CRC, its many Satloff urged audience members to be aware of Middle East issues, and not to allow resources and events, visit JewishVA.org/CRC. war weariness, complacency, isolation and reluctance to engage in the world to lull them into inaction. “If we want to truly be a friend to Israel, and serve our interests well, we have to be engaged before problems become crises; before crises become tragedies. “America has a toolkit from A to Z that it needs to wield—from diplomacy, to Rachel and Marc Abrams, Elyse and David Cardon, Steve Zuckerman and Alicia Friedman.
it’s a wrap HAT student wins 2014 Israel Poster Contest by Laine Mednick Rutherford
or his Bar Mitzvah project, Bradley Friedman chose to administer the First Annual Ohef Sholom Temple Religious School Essay Contest. All students in grades one through 10 were invited to participate. The topic for this year’s contest was:
eo Kamer had a selection of cool facts about Israeli innovations to choose from as inspiration for an illustrated entry in the area’s 2014 Israel Poster Contest. The one the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater fifth grader liked the best, though, had to do with a bicycle. The bike is made from cardboard that can withstand rain and sun, and the Israeli company that invented and manufactures the bike hopes that it will make transportation more accessible to people around the world. Leo’s illustration, which described the fact and depicted a person riding a bike amid a smattering of raindrops, was the top vote getter in the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual contest. Voting on the public’s favorite poster took place in March and April, and was held both physically—by those who viewed the work and submitted their votes in the Simon Family JCC’s Cardo, and virtually—by online voters, who chose from a field narrowed down from more than 100 entries to a top 10. Smiling with delight, Leo found out he had won before the screening of The Prime Ministers: the Pioneers film shown at the community’s celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, on May 6 at the Simon Family JCC. Shikma Rubin, chair of the CRC’s Israel
Winning essays awarded at Ohef Sholom Temple Religious School
Israel Poster Contest winner Leo Kamer with Harry Graber, UJFT executive director.
committee, called the young man to the front of the JCC’s multipurpose room to congratulate him and had him sign his original artwork. Returning to his seat, Leo turned to his mother, Marcia Samuels, and asked, “Did you know about this?” With a twinkle in her eye and a proud smile, Samuels admitted she did. Leo’s poster will be professionally framed, and will hang permanently in the Sandler Family Campus. A version of the poster will be distributed at the annual Israel Festival. For more information about the CRC, its many resources and events, visit JewishVA. org/CRC.
“Our Temple was founded in 1844! That will make it 175 years old in 2019. We want it to be a wonderful, active and inspiring place for many more years. What do you think we can do to make this happen? What can we do for our members, families, students and community that will keep you involved even when you are a grownup and have children of your own?”
The contest kicked off in February with Bradley making an announcement at Religious School and it was included in the weekly Religious School updates with a deadline of Friday, March 14. Rules and parameters of the contest included that entries should be between 250 and 500 words; that all entries must be 100% the work of the student; and that anyone attending OST Religious School was eligible to submit one entry. Bradley promoted the contest, designed the scoring rubric, and reviewed all the entries (45 or 50 of them). Kitty Wolff, Religious School educator, Rabbi Arthur Steinberg and Gail Bachman, OST admin-
istrator, were among the judges. He summarized the best recommendations into a final report, which is being prepared for the Temple’s board to review, and of course, he presented the top three winners with their awards at the closing assembly on Mother’s Day at temple. The winners and their prizes are: • First place: Helene Schulwolf, fourth grader, $100 VISA gift card • Second place: Alisa Kosovsky, eighth grader, $50 VISA gift card • Third place: Ayden Cohn, eighth grader, $25 VISA gift card Bradley, a sixth grader at Nansemond Suffolk Academy, says he is quite excited that he can enter his own essay into the 2015 contest. He is the son of Debbie and Mark Friedman.
A field trip not to be forgotten by Marilyn Goldberg Johns
On the rainy, dreary morning (which added to the solemn mood) of Monday, April 7, 220 fourth and fifth graders and 15 teachers loaded onto school buses at Providence Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Their destination was the Sandler Center to watch the one act play, My Heart In A Suitcase. Written for fourth through eighth grade
students, the play presents the story of a child and her family’s courage during 1938, as the Nazis rose to power in Germany, showing how it began to spell a darker and darker fate for the Jewish people. Knowing they had to say goodbye forever, the central character Anne’s parents sent her to Britain on the Kindertransport to save her life. A gripping and poignant production, the Providence Elementary students were spellbound.
The classroom teachers and I prepared them before going with background information and cross-curricular activities. I was so proud of how respectful and attentive my students were during the play. I was also so proud to have been given this opportunity to answer their many questions since they know that I am Jewish and have friends and family that lived and died during this time in history. The students’ thank you cards brought tears to my eyes as the message of “Never letting it happen again” now has a deeper
meaning to them. So many of the students couldn’t wait to show me the books that they were inspired to check out of the library to read and learn more. The Virginia Beach public schools Title I, the Sandler Center’s Access to the Arts program and principal Lou Anne Metzger, who partnered to provide this matinee for the students at no charge, all deserve much appreciation. This was one field trip the students will never forget.
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Scholars seek Hebrew Bible’s original text—but did one ever exist? by Anthony Weiss
LOS ANGELES ( JTA)—According to Jewish tradition, the Torah is so sacred that even a single error made on a single letter renders the entire scroll unfit for use. And yet the Hebrew Bible—including the Torah, its first five books—is riddled with corruptions and alterations that have accrued and been passed down over the millennia. Now an international team of scholars is working to fix all that. For the past 14 years, the team behind The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition has been laboring on a project to sift through the text and reverse the accumulated imperfections and changes, returning the books of the Hebrew Bible to something like their original versions. The first volume is due out later this year. “It is a little chutzpadik,” acknowledges Ronald Hendel, HBCE’s general editor and a professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of California, Berkeley. It’s also a messy, painstaking and controversial endeavor that has been criticized by some of the world’s leading biblical scholars. The critics argue that what Hendel and his team are attempting to do is misleading, counterproductive or flat-out impossible. “I think it will actually end up causing more problems,” says Michael Segal,
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a senior lecturer in Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The difficulties in the project stem from the Bible’s long history of transmission from scribe to scribe through the centuries. HBCE is trying to reverse engineer that process, to sift through the various extant texts of the Bible and—by analyzing grammatical glitches, stylistic hitches and contradictions of the texts—establish a reading closer to if not the original, then at least the archetype on which the subsequent copies were based. The goal is to rewind the clock as far as possible toward the time when the various biblical texts attained their canonical form, around the start of the Common Era. Many of today’s printings of the Hebrew Bible come from the Second Rabbinic Bible, a text assembled in 16th-century Venice. The Jewish Publication Society uses the Leningrad Codex, which at approximately 1,000 years old is the oldest complete surviving text. Still others use the 10th-century Aleppo Codex, which the Torah scholar Maimonides praised for its accuracy but has been missing much of the Torah since a 1947 fire. Contemporary scholars seeking to understand the history of the Hebrew Bible’s text utilize a range of other sources, including ancient Greek and Syriac translations, quotations from rabbinic manuscripts, the Samaritan Pentateuch
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and others. Many of these are older than the Masoretic text and often contradict it, in ways small and large. Some of the errors are natural outgrowths of the process of scribal transmission—essentially typos in which the scribe mistook one letter for another, skipped a word or transposed words. In other cases the scribes may have changed the text intentionally to make it more comprehensible or pious. The scholars behind The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition argue that textual scholars now have enough evidence at their disposal to make reasonable judgments about where the text has been corrupted, why and how to fix it thanks in large part to the discovery and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These ancient manuscripts, though largely fragmentary, are by far the oldest Hebrew copies of the Bible, and they gave scholars a key by which to judge the accuracy of the subsequent texts. “The Dead Sea Scrolls have created a new era in the study of textual history of the Hebrew Bible,” Hendel says. “The kind of thing that we’re doing couldn’t have been done even 15 to 20 years ago because the field wasn’t really ripe.” The effort is now bearing fruit as the Society of Biblical Literature is preparing this fall to publish the first HBCE volume, Proverbs, edited by Michael Fox, an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hendel hopes the project will continue to print a new volume every year or two. (Up until a few months ago, the project was slated for printing by Oxford University Press and was known as the Oxford Hebrew Bible. Hendel said the project and Oxford parted ways over the scope of an electronic edition. Oxford did not return a call seeking comment.) There have been various previous attempts to produce a single, corrected text of the Bible dating back for over a century. All have foundered due to the inherent difficulty in peering back through the centuries. Instead, the preferred method has been to produce what is known in the field as a “diplomatic edition”—that is, a reprint of some version of the Masoretic text accompanied by notes listing possible variants and corrections that one could make to the text.
In fact, there are two such scholarly biblical projects currently taking place. One, the Hebrew University Bible Project, was established in 1956 to assemble every known textual variant of the Hebrew Bible. Unlike HBCE, the project is designed to assemble variations, not to choose one that is correct. Massively comprehensive and aimed largely at high-level scholars, the HUBP has published only three volumes in its more than half-century of existence—Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. A fourth, of the 12 minor prophets, is slated for publication this fall. At the same time, the German Bible Society is producing the Biblia Hebraica Quinta, its fifth version of a diplomatic Hebrew Bible, with the first published in 1906. Intended as a more accessible, single-volume text, it strikes a middle ground, indicating preferred readings but without altering the text itself. The project has published 10 of the Hebrew Bible’s 24 books. “The more years I’ve been involved in the study of the history of the biblical text, the less confident I am in deciding what is more original or not,” said the Hebrew University’s Segal, the Hebrew University Bible Project’s general editor. To this, the editors of HBCE respond that errors and uncertainty are inherent in any of the biblical texts one could print and thus unavoidable. But there is also a second, more fundamental critique of HBCE—namely, can such a thing as an original truly be said to exist? Was there ever a moment when the biblical text crystallized into a single version, or has it simply continued to evolve? In other words, by chasing what the field of textual study calls an ur-text, the scholars of HBCE may, in fact, be chasing a ghost. Critics of HBCE argue that in creating a single text, the series will create the fiction of unity where there has always been multiplicity. Hendel argues that what he and his team are presenting is not meant to be a definitive text but simply the most definitive that one can achieve. And he says he is not put off by the criticism. “There’s a lot of pushback in the field. A lot of people think that this is still premature, or just unthinkable,” Hendel says. “But that’s OK, I live in California. We can do new things.”
what’s happening Elie Wiesel student competitions continue to engage young minds Student Holocaust Commission art exhibit opening reception Tuesday, May 20, 5–7 pm, in the Atrium, ODU Virginia Beach by Laine Mednick Rutherford
ore than 1,400 students entered the 2014 Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions presented by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. These students did more than just write, or sculpt, or film; they thought, they researched, and they learned. For each level of the competitions— junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12)—the students were given a statement to consider and questions to answer as a starting point for their entries. These thought-provoking ideas change each year, and are designed to promote Holocaust education, stimulate higher-level thinking, and demonstrate creative consideration of the past, the present, and the future. Sarah Bragg, a Virginia Beach Middle School eighth grader, entered the multimedia category of the 2014 Visual Arts Competition. A dancer, Sarah’s creation was a response to this year’s s directive to look at the role the White Rose, Righteous Gentiles, and other heroes of humanity played in the Holocaust, and to express her feelings and ideas about such heroes. “I already had a song that meant a lot to
me that I thought would work really well for this,” says Sarah, who attended the Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance event held on April 27 at Ohef Sholom Temple. “I did different movements that I had a friend video, and then put them together with the words and the music of the song—it was hard but I enjoyed it and learned a lot.” In the description of her piece, Sarah says her entry represents a girl who is lonely and has no one to look up to. The dance is an interpretation of the girl’s struggle and her search for a hero. Sarah’s mother, Laura, attended Yom Hashoah with her daughter and said they were both were moved by the event, the other student artwork on display that night, and the benefits of entering the competition. “Hearing the speaker tonight was so different than reading a book, because he actually went through the Holocaust himself, and we got a lot out of being here” says Laura Bragg. “I know that Sarah took this competition very seriously and I think
she did a great job—and all of these other artists did, too. This is very inspirational.” Sarah, who was awarded a third place in the junior multimedia division, and all of the other winners in the Elie Wiesel competitions, were presented with a certificate of achievement, a cash award, and a hand-cast glass Star of David paperweight created by local artist Matthew Fine. “Despite the multiple school closings this year due to snowfall, both the 17th annual Elie Wiesel Writing Competition, made possible through the generosity of the Simon Family Foundation, and the 12th Annual Elie Wiesel Visual Arts Competition, sponsored by TowneBank, had a very successful year,” says Deb Segaloff, Holocaust Commission member, who spoke at Yom Hashoah. The poems, essays, two- and three-dimensional artwork and multimedia entries came from 34 public and private schools in Hampton Roads, Illinois, Minnesota, and, for the first time, international entries came from a school in Newfoundland, notes Segaloff. “These students’ work represents voices of hope for the future, the voices to speak out against evil and hatred, so that we may all have a better tomorrow,” Segaloff says. “Whatever their particular opinion or point of view, these entries showed us that there were more than 1,400 young people thinking seriously about the lessons of the Holocaust.
“We were deeply moved that so many of them indicated that studying the Holocaust made them want to be better people. As a Commission, this is what we hope for.” An exhibit of the finest work from the Visual Arts Competition will displayed in the Atrium at Old Dominion University Virginia Beach through June 7. The opening reception on Tuesday, May 20 is free and open to the public All winning entries in the Holocaust Commission’s 2014 Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions for Students can be found online at www.HolocaustCommission.org.
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what’s happening Business professionals tackle discussion of pro sports and arena proposals Scoring Big: Bringing the Pros to Hampton Roads
Brunch to celebrate Alene Jo Kaufman
Tuesday, May 27, 5:30 pm, Harbor Park, Norfolk. For business and legal professionals.
Sunday, June 1, 11:30 am
by Laine Mednick Rutherford
t’s not time to decide the winners just yet, but big league players, in the form of two business alliances, are lining up to win the rights to build and manage a new 18,000-seat arena in Virginia Beach. The arena proposals were submitted to the city earlier this winter; consultants hired to analyze the proposals released one report to the city council recently and another report is scheduled to be presented in June. The fact that there are no professional sports teams linked to the proposals inspired the steering committee of the Business and Legal Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater to plan Scoring Big: Bringing the Pros to Hampton Roads. The end-of-the-year event for the Society provides an opportunity for Jewish business and legal professionals to socialize, network, watch a Norfolk Tides ballgame (versus the Lehigh Valley IronPigs), and to discuss the proposals with two experienced sports business executives. Scoring Big’s MVPs—Most Valuable Professionals—Ken Young and Jeff Cogen—will discuss the probability, viability and profitability of building an arena in Virginia Beach and attracting a major league sports team to play in it. Young is the president of the Norfolk Tides and the Norfolk Admirals. He has been the Tides’ president since 1993, the year the team moved into Harbor Park and it was an affiliate of the New York Mets. The Tides are now the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate. The Norfolk Admirals are an American Hockey League team affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks. Young has been involved in numerous Major League stadiums, arenas, national and international events, including the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Olympics. He is also on the board of trustees of Minor League Baseball, and heads up the licensing operations for college football’s Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. After the 2009
season, he was named as Baseball America’s Minor League Executive of the Year. Jeff Cogen is a Newport News native and Old Dominion University graduate. He is the chief executive officer for the Nashville Predators, a National Hockey League team based in Tennessee. He is also CEO of Nashville’s Ken Young Bridgestone Arena. Prior to working with the Predators, Cogen’s career included positions as president of both the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers, and chief operating officer of the Florida Panthers and the then-Office Depot Center. In many of his jobs, Cogen oversaw all business aspects of the franchises, as well as the operations of the arenas. “Three things are coming together that make this event so great,” says Kirk Levy, co-chair of the Business and Legal Society. “We have two Jewish people who are at the top of their professions, who are both experts at running sports teams, arenas and stadiums, who have agreed to share their opinions and expertise with us. We’re going to be filling a niche by discussing this incredibly timely subject, which doesn’t just involve sports, but all kinds of other issues, too, like light rail in Virginia Beach and public/private funding,” Levy says. “And, finally, this is a great way for Jewish professionals to meet other people in their fields, to have fun and to increase
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Jeff Cogen Alene Jo Kaufman
their knowledge exponentially.” Levy says Business and Legal Society events are planned to allow participants to broaden their horizons on a variety of timely subjects, which in the past two years have ranged from briefings on Israel, to developing phone and computer apps, to music production and a tour of a local concert venue. Scoring Big is open to all Jewish business and legal professionals, from small-business owners, salespeople, office workers and entrepreneurs, to business executives and world-renowned attorneys. Reservations are $10 and include dinner at Hits in the Park—meat with Kosher parve options—the discussion with Young and Cogen, the baseball game, and prizes, including the opportunity to throw out the first pitch of the game. To make reservations for Scoring Big, or for more information, visit JewishVa. org/BusinessAndLegalSociety or call 757‑965-6124.
o honor Alene Kaufman’s 36 years of dedication to the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning and Strelitz Early Childhood Center, a brunch will take place at the Sandler Family Campus. Kaufman will retire as director of the Strelitz Early Childhood Center at the conclusion of this school year. The community is invited to attend. Contributions may be made to the Alene Jo Kaufman Endowment Fund to preserve her legacy at the school for years to come. To contribute, make checks payable to HAT or visit www.hebrewacademy. net to pay by credit card. To attend the brunch, RSVP by Tuesday, May 27 to email@example.com or call Linda Bridges, 757-424-4327. Hebrew Academy of Tidewater is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Host families needed Camp JCC has two Israeli counselors joining its staff for the summer. These girls, Lior Goldrat and Thai Zehavy, will be in Virginia Beach the entire summer. Families interested in housing them should contact Scott Katz, JCC Center director, at 321-231
SAVE THE DATE
what’s happening GAGA for Camp JCC with time to save on fees Sunday, June 1, 1–4 pm
et revved up for the summer at Camp JCC at an open house social filled with games, pool fun and other activities. New and returning campers are invited for pool games and a pool party in the Simon Family JCC splash park, to enjoy Putt-Putt and other games, and to participate in the GAGA (Israeli four square) tournament, which begins at 3 pm. Winners will receive prizes. Returning counselors include Eve Young, Danielle Danzig, Morgan Kaplan, and others. “I still remember all of my counselors and friends in my groups when I was a camper,” says Danzig. “I loved swimming in the big dome pool at the old JCC, and then in the water park at the new
JCC. My summers would not have been the same without JCC Camp, so I like to come back to work here to make the summers equally memorable for campers.” “The best part of Camp JCC is the variety,” says Kaplan. With a calendar full of exciting choices, themes and trips, there is never a dull moment at Camp JCC. Register for one week or all eight weeks of Camp JCC by the end of the June 1 event, and save $100 off camp fees. For more information about this Camp JCC event, contact Erika at 321-2342. Food and beverages will be available at the event. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
On the Run/To or From… The art of Lorraine Fink Through Wednesday, June 18
show by artist Lorraine Fink is now on exhibit in the Leon Family Art Gallery at the Simon Family JCC. For more information, contact Sherri Wisoff at 757-321-2338.
Monday, August 18, 2014 11:30 - 5 pm
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Rabbi Israel Zoberman celebrates 40th anniversary of his ordination Sunday, June 1, 3 pm
abbi Israel Zoberman, founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach, will celebrate his 40th ordination anniversary at the synagogue next month. The community is invited to attend the celebration. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-463-3226.
Jennifer and Rabbi Israel Zoberman at the time of his ordination.
Janet Frenck, CRB, GRI
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calendar May 19–June 6 Exhibit features selections from the annual Elie Wiesel Visual Arts Competition for Students. Opening Reception Tuesday, May 20, 5–7 pm, ODU Virginia Beach. www.holocaustcommission.org. See page 26. May 21, Wednesday The JCC Senior Club will meet with guest speaker Inez Loyd from the Social Security Administration. She will speak about Social Security benefits now and what can be expected. Board meeting begins at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 noon, General Meeting follows. For further information, call 338-2676. MAY 22, THURSDAY Elie Wiesel live, via satellite, in a 92nd Street Y program at Congregation Beth El. Dessert reception at 7:30 pm, live program begins promptly at 8 pm. $5 for congregants; $10 for non-members. Call 625-7821 to RSVP. May 27, Tuesday Business & Legal Society at Harbor Park. 5:30 pm. $10. For more information and to make reservations, visit JewishVa.org/Scoring-Big, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 757-965-6124. See page 32.
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JUNE 1, SUNDAY Brith Sholom meeting will be held at the Beth Sholom Home. Board meeting at 10 am; general meeting at 11 am, followed by annual Memorial Service led by Cantor Flax. Brunch will be served following the service. Brunch to celebrate Alene Jo Kaufman, 11:30 am. 757-424-4327. See page 32.
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GAGA for Camp JCC. Pre-camp open house with pool games in the JCC’s splash park, Putt-Putt and GAGA. 1–4 pm. See page 33. Rabbi Israel Zoberman celebrates 40th anniversary of his ordination. 3 pm. See page 33.
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JUNE 24, TUESDAY 4th Annual Simon Family JCC Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament at Heron Ridge Golf Tournament. Captain’s Choice with multiple flights. Individual player, $180; Foursome, $720. Registration deadline is Friday, June 6. For sponsorship opportunities and to sign up, call 321-2337. For more information, visit SimonfFamilyJCC.org. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 Continuing Sunny Werth’s work, the local JWV is holding a fundraising program. For a $25 donation the Norfolk JWV Post 158 will Payroll, Taxes and W-2s • Web Based Time and Attendance NCS Background Checks • Employee Loans • Pay As You Go Workers Comp Insurance HR Answerlink H.R. Legal Resources • Employee Self Service Online Cobra Administration • VISA Debit Payday Cards
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7/6/11 11:54 AM
tips on Jewish trips National Museum of American Jewish History’s Pay what you wish Wednesdays, 5–8 pm through Labor Day
very Wednesday through Labor Day, the National Museum of American Jewish History will have extended hours and the option of “paying-what-you-wish.” Located on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the entire Museum, including the permanent exhibition and the current special exhibition, Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American, will be open. In addition, hour-long tours featuring highlights of both exhibitions will be available at 5:30 pm. “We’re thrilled to be making the Museum and our special exhibition, Chasing Dreams, even more welcoming, inviting, and accessible to visitors of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to welcoming many new friends this summer,” says Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director. The Museum Store and Pomegranates Café will also be open through the extended hours and will be serving complimentary baseball-themed snacks and beer. The National Museum of American Jewish History, which brings to life the 350-year history of Jews in America, is located at 101 South Independence Mall East at the corner of Fifth and Market Streets in Philadelphia. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 am–5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10 am–5:30 pm.
Museum admission is $12 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and youth, free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit NMAJH.org or call 215.923.3811.
Should Jews pack their bags for Detroit? by Julie Wiener
(JTA)—Sure, the news from the city of Detroit seems endlessly grim: bankruptcy, crime and so forth. But the metro area, whose northwest suburbs host a panoply of Jewish amenities, is the most affordable place in the United States to raise a “committed Jewish family,” at least according to one graduate student’s admittedly “back-of-the-napkin” calculations. In a widely shared April 28 post on his blog, Matthew Williams ranked the 10 most and least affordable places that meet the following minimum criteria: a mikvah, an eruv, at least one synagogue for each major denomination, K-12 Jewish day school options and at least one kosher restaurant or kosher-friendly supermarket. Williams, a Jim Joseph fellow pursuing a joint doctorate in history and education in connection with Stanford’s Education and Jewish Studies program, came up with a list of 50 cities and towns that met the minimum criteria, then ranked them in order of affordability as measured by average real estate prices and average day school tuition. Just behind Detroit are Cleveland, Buffalo and Milwaukee. At the other end, the least affordable, according to the rank-
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ing, are Palo Alto, Calif. (where Williams lives); Manhattan and San Francisco. The post has garnered more than 57,000 visits, according to Williams. Not surprisingly, the post generated comments galore, most of them of the “Why didn’t you include my community?” and “Every Jew should move to Israel” varieties, along with a few disses of the communities that the list did include. “There’s never going to be a definitive list of what’s the most affordable,” Williams said in a phone interview with JTA. “If anything, I just wanted to provoke the conversation.” A former day school teacher at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Md.—a Washington suburb that didn’t make the list (D.C. ranked 10th least affordable, while nearby Silver Spring, Md. was 24th most affordable) — Williams said he was pleasantly surprised by the interest his list has generated. Jews searching for affordable places to live are being sought after by Jewish communities looking to bolster their numbers. The Orthodox Union organizes an annual Jewish Community Fair, a gathering highlighting affordable, Orthodox-friendly communities around North America. The O.U.’s last fair attracted 1,500 visitors, said Rabbi Judah Isaacs, the Orthodox Union’s director of community engagement. Isaacs said that as a result of the O.U.’s fairs, he gets calls from communities eager to tout their affordability and other virtues. A number of smaller Jewish communities have, in recent years, not just promoted themselves at fairs and online but offered
financial incentives—such as mortgage help and day school discounts—to attract young families. Williams says he plans to redo his ranking to include additional factors, such as crime rates, percentage of day school students receiving financial aid, income data and cost-of-living indices. He’s also adding more communities to the list, incorporating some of the commenter suggestions, and is limiting the real estate price data to neighborhoods within easy commuting distance of Jewish institutions, rather than the entire metro areas — something he did inconsistently in the current ranking. The redo may well topple Detroit from its No. 1 perch, since Williams used data for the entire metro area, rather than for far posher Oakland County, where the overwhelming majority of area Jews live. The rock-bottom housing prices south of Eight Mile Road, the border between city and suburb, no doubt skewed the averages dramatically downward. Scott Kaufman, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, says that “the cost of Jewish life—housing and day school tuition—is very reasonable here.” Moreover, he said, the community of approximately 67,000 Jews is on the upswing. “We experienced population shrinkage for decades, but in the last few years, we have seen an uptick for the first time in recent memory of both young adults and young families,” Kaufman said. And the growth is not just in the suburbs, he said, with 20- and 30-somethings increasingly moving to the city.
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obituaries Ruth Bigio Chesapeake—Ruth Armstrong-Bigio, 62, of Chesapeake, passed on May 2, 2014. Altmeyer Funeral Home. Jack Kenneth Boyd Virginia Beach—Jack Kenneth Boyd died on May 1, 2014. He was born on August 29, 1919 in Knoxville, Tenn. to Julius Raht Boyd and Louisa Norton Boyd. A 1937 graduate of Knoxville High School, he attended the University of Tennessee before enlisting in the Army in 1941. He served as a weatherman in the Pacific during World War II. Following the war he began a career in Memphis, Tenn. with the Federal Aviation Administration as an air route traffic controller. He retired in 1974 with 33 years of federal service. He was active in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and Calvary Church in Memphis. He was a strong supporter of the Memphis Interfaith Association and a committed volunteer with the food bank program. After moving to Virginia Beach in 2008, he became a faithful member of Eastern Shore Chapel. In retirement, he and his wife traveled widely throughout the world with Elderhostel and with University of Tennessee Alumni Tours. A lifelong learner, he developed remarkable knowledge of geography and world history. He remained a competent weatherman throughout his life. He is predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Ruth Anne Koontz Boyd and his daughter, Rebecca Anne Boyd. He is survived by his daughter, Rachael Shedaker, and her husband Stanley, of Salisbury, Md., his daughter Louise Friedman and her husband Martin of Virginia Beach, and his son James Boyd and his wife Hilda of
Knoxville. Also surviving are his six grandchildren, Tim Price and wife LiPing Price, Amy Price Neff and husband Eric Neff, Leah Friedman and her husband Stephen Feldman, Jeffrey Boyd and his wife Erika Boyd, Wilson Boyd and his wife Neily Boyd, and Rebecca Everett and husband Jay Everett. He delighted in attending their graduations and weddings. He is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Memphis Interfaith Association, 910 Vance Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38173, or to Eastern Shore Chapel, 2020 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454. His body was donated to a medical school. IRWIN HELLER Richmond, Va.—Irwin Allen Heller, 71, of Richmond, Va., died Saturday after a brief illness. Irwin was born to the late Ethel and Louis Heller on May 30, 1942 in Richmond, Va. Irwin graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1960 and received a BA from RPI in 1964. Irwin received his Juris Doctor from American University Washington School of Law in 1967. Irwin married Gaby Hirsh in 1965. They briefly lived in Germany during Irwin’s service in the U.S. Army before relocating back to Richmond where Irwin started his law practice. Irwin offered his legal expertise and counsel to the Richmond community for over 40 years. Irwin was passionate about providing sound advice and assistance to his clients and friends. Irwin is survived by wife, Gaby; son, Marc (Erin); grandchildren, Alexander and Isla; sisters, Joy Spigel (Larry); Tina Kavit (Mark); and Mickey Glick (Harvey-deceased).
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The family requests that donations be made to the Emek Shalom Holocaust Cemetery. A graveside ceremony took place at Emek Shalom Cemetery at Forest Lawn. Bliley’s Central Chapel.
Gary Becker, Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has died. Becker, who won the Nobel in economic sciences in 1992, died Saturday, May 3 in Chicago. He was 83. A professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago, Becker also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was known for applying economic analysis to human behavior and daily life. His teacher and mentor was Milton Friedman, also a University of Chicago economist and fellow Nobel Prize winner. Becker, who was Jewish, was best known for his work in labor economics. (JTA)
Al Feldstein, longtime editor of Mad magazine Al Feldstein, the editor of Mad magazine for nearly three decades, has died. Feldstein died Tuesday, April 29 at his home in Montana. He was 88. He became editor of Mad in 1956 and remained at the satirical publication’s helm until his retirement in 1984. Feldstein began working as a comic book writer and artist at EC Comics in 1948 and soon became its editor, though his artwork continued to grace the covers of the comics. He introduced several new titles, mostly horror, including Weird Science, Weird Fantasy and Tales from the Crypt. Following his retirement, Feldstein began painting again, focusing on nature. (JTA)
French Jews organize Kaddish at Normandy for fallen Jewish invaders A French Jewish group is helping organize a special commemoration for 149 Jews who died during the U.S. invasion of Normandy 70 years ago. The commemoration is planned for June 8—two days after the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the first landing by American troops in France—and will feature a collective Kaddish prayer for 149 Jewish soldiers who died there, the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities said in a statement published on its website. “What would have become of us had the Allied forces not landed on June 6, 1944?” CRIF wrote in the statement. “We are organizing a day that will honor the memory of our brothers who fell in battle.” Recent research by the U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation recorded 2,499 American D-Day fatalities and 1,914 from the other Allied nations. The invasion went on for weeks, exacting heavy casualties on all sides. Today, 27 war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 who died at Normandy: 77,866 soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany and 9,386 Americans along with 17,769 British, 5,002 Canadian and 650 Poles. The Kaddish ceremony is planned for the American cemetery at Colleville-surMer. Participants of the memorial day advertised by CRIF will receive kosher meals, CRIF wrote. The CRIF statement included a picture of the Star of David-shaped military headstone of the grave of Technical Sergeant Dave Kramer from Wisconsin, who died on D-Day at the age of 22 when German anti-aircraft guns brought down his plane at Bois de Limors, killing the paratroopers and crew instantly.
obituaries The Battle of Normandy was one of the largest amphibious landings in human history. As German counterattacks were thwarted, the Allies poured men and materiel into France through Normandy and later through additional beach heads. With the Red Army advancing from the east, Hitler’s armies were shoved back into Germany until their defeat almost a full year later. (JTA)
Israeli filmmaker and actor Assi Dayan, son of Moshe Dayan Filmmaker and actor Assi Dayan, the son of the late Israeli general Moshe Dayan, has died. Dayan was discovered dead in his Tel Aviv home on Thursday, April 24. He was 68 and had suffered from serious health problems, according to Israeli media. Dayan appeared in some 50 Israeli films and television series, and directed at
least 16 films, including some considered Israeli classics. In recent years he starred in the popular television drama B’Tipul or In Treatment,”which was adapted for United States television. Dayan began his acting career in the 1967 film He Walked Through the Fields. Among the films he directed were Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer, Life According to Agfa and An Electric Blanket named Moshe. He received a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in 1998. (JTA)
Hungarian Jewish cemetery vandalized More than 50 gravestones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in northeast Hungary. The gravestones in Szikszo were smashed or toppled, Jeno Freund, the president of the Autonomous Orthodox
Israelite Community of Miskolc, told the Hungarian MTI news agency. The vandalism was discovered in recent days; it is unknown when it occurred since the cemetery has been closed since World War II. A police spokesman said an investigation is underway. (JTA)
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Lag B’Omer with Jewish soldiers—at the pyramids Begins in the evening Saturday May 17, ends in the evening Sunday May 18
by Rafael Medoff
WASHINGTON (JTA)—On the outskirts of Cairo, on a blistering hot afternoon in May 1942, British Army chaplain Rabbi
Louis Rabinowitz ordered the driver of his military transport truck to pull over for a group of uniformed women who were hitchhiking. “We want to go as far as the Pyramids,”
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one of the women explained. “Her accent betrays that she is not English, and instantly I realize that they are the Jewish Palestinian A.T.S. [volunteers in the British armed forces], the first Jewish Amazons in history!” the rabbi recalled in his memoir. “With a grin, I lapse into Hebrew.” (Imagine the women’s surprise!) “I shall be very glad indeed to take you,” the rabbi said. It would be the most remarkable Lag B’Omer he would ever experience. Thirty thousand Jewish men and 4,350 Jewish women from Mandatory Palestine volunteered to serve in the British Army during World War II. Although horrified by the British White Paper that cut off most Jewish immigration to the holy land, they were anxious to take part in the Allies’ war effort against the Nazis. The women served in units known as the Palestine Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.) and some were assigned to British positions in Egypt where, along with their male comrades, they played important roles in bolstering the British fight to halt General Rommel’s advance across North Africa. One of the most famous missions carried out by these Palestinian Jewish soldiers is described in the 1943 book The Forgotten Ally, by the renowned journalist (and Christian Zionist) Pierre van Paassen. Twenty soldiers who were German Jewish refugees donned German military uniforms and, with their flawless accents, managed to infiltrate Nazi lines in western Egypt. When their true identities were discovered, the saboteurs opened fire on the enemy and, according to the sole survivor, managed to kill more than 100 Germans. The women hitchhikers for whom Rabinowitz stopped were on their way to meet up with comrades at the pyramids for a Lag B’Omer celebration. “The Galilean village of Meron [site of the most famous Lag B’Omer festivities] transported to Gizeh,” the rabbi marveled, “and Palestinian songs and dances in the shades of the Pyramids.” They arrived to find dozens of young
Jewish soldiers igniting a huge bonfire. “Round and round they danced the Horah with increasing enthusiasm and tempo,” the rabbi recalled. “’Ben Yohai!,’ ‘El Yivne Hagalil!’, ‘Anu Olim Artzah!’ The flames throw the eager, laughing, joyous aces into vivid relief. From time to time, a figure would detach itself from the whirling circle, and with an ecstatic cry of triumph would leap high over the burning pile, to land safely and triumphantly on the other side.” Standing there in the silhouette of the pyramids, Rabinowitz was moved to offer a dvar torah with a message that uniquely linked past to present: “I spoke of Bar Kochba and of Rabbi Akiva, of his disciple, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, who is so intimately connected with Lag B’Omer; of [Bar Kochba’s] war for Jewish independence; of the long and weary exile of the Jewish people; of the significant fact that from that time we had not until the present day seen Palestinian Jews enrolled and organized to fight for the freedom of humanity and their own future.” But the connection to Pharaoh, builder of the pyramids, was even more significant, he said. Pharaoh, after all, had ordered the murder of all Jewish male babies for fear they would grow up to be soldiers who would turn against him; but he let the Jewish female babies live. “What possible military value could there be in women?” the Egyptian ruler reasoned. Surely girls posed no threat of becoming Jewish fighters. “And now, 4,000 years after,” Rabinowitz declared, “these Palestinian A.T.S. were showing, in no uncertain way, within sight of these Pyramids,” that they too could fight for the Jewish nation. These “Jewish Amazons,” as the rabbi proudly called them, were living proof of the failure of the enemies of the Jewish people. “As I left them that evening,” he wrote, “my mind was filled with the vivid conviction—these mighty Pyramids will crumble to dust before the Jewish people will perish.” —Rafael Medoff is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
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Jewish News May 19 2014