Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 58 No. 16 | 2 Sivan 5780 | May 25, 2020
Will digital Jewish communities outlast the pandemic? —page 8
5 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community
10 COVID-19 impacts Camp JCC
28 AJC’s David Harris Wednesday, June 3
5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 Address Service Requested
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Healthcare in the Jewish community
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31 Bucket fun for Kids Connection and Camp JCC
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Jewish news jewishnewsva.org
We’re in this together he phrase “we’re in this together” has never rung truer than
by United Jewish Federation
in the last two months.
of Tidewater and Tidewater
Our Jewish Tidewater community continues to rise to the
Jewish Foundation, has begun
extremely difficult challenge that the COVID-19 has presented
to provide emergency support
all of us. Consider these examples: Beth Sholom Village is pro-
to our local institutions, as
viding extraordinary care to its patients and residents, as well as
well as dollars for individ-
creative socialization opportunities to connect them to their fam-
ual financial assistance needs
ilies and the community. Jewish Family Service is maintaining a
through Jewish Family Service
vital safety net to clients throughout our community, connecting
(see page 5). In addition,
individuals and families to caregivers, counselors, and resources
Tidewater Jewish Foundation
including emergency food and financial assistance. Strelitz
has provided emergency grant
International Academy, Toras Chaim, Bina School for Girls, and
funding to local affiliates.
Published 20 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757-965-6100 • fax 757-965-6102 email firstname.lastname@example.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Lisa Richmon, Staff Writer Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Ronnie Jacobs Cohen, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Betty Ann Levin
the Talmudical Academy continue to amaze us with their creative
Difficult decisions have also been made, including not holding
solutions for distance learning to keep our youngest community
an in-person camp for our youngest members, Camp Katan, at the
members engaged. The Simon Family JCC is expanding virtual
Simon Family JCC, as well as delaying the start of Camp Gadol.
fitness opportunities and outdoor classes. Federation program-
We continue to rely on guidance from the CDC, government, and
ming and educational opportunities are rising to new levels by
health officials to ensure that we provide a safe environment for
welcoming experts and authors to our community in a virtual
campers this summer.
setting. For Israel’s Independence Day, for example we partici-
Safeguarding life, Pikuah Nefesh, is a guiding principle of
pated in global Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations and presented an
Jewish law. Above all, this is the focus of our community each
exciting morning of programming just for Tidewater, Israel Fest
and every day. As we plan for the coming days, weeks, and
2020@ Home. Finally, our synagogues ensure that congregants
months, we will strive to build community in new and innovative
and community members are connected spiritually and are able
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Amy Levy, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Betty Ann Levin, Executive Vice-President jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2020 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 per year
to practice the observances and rituals so important to our faith.
For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email email@example.com.
And, so much more. Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising
Through all of this, our Jewish value of Kol Yisrael, taking care of one another, shines through. On Tuesday, May 5, all of our Jewish agencies, organizations, and synagogues joined together for “Giving Tuesday Now” to raise funds for our community’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. This Fund, spearheaded
Special Section: Healthcare in the Jewish Community. . . . . . 13 Business Profile: La Promenade . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Barbara Dudley leaves a legacy of involvement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Stein Family Scholarship recipient sets sights on Broadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Jewish Tidewater Community Survey’s results on the way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Cheesecake recipe for Shavuot. . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Goody Buckets for JCC kids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Israeli cop comedy to watch on Netflix . . . . . . 31 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Men Seniors Legal Guide Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
May 22 June 5 June 26 July 31 Sept. 4 Sept. 4
Contents Upfront . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is making a difference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ORT moves full STEAM ahead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Jewish programming goes digital to survive during the pandemic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Love Thy Neighbor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Camp JCC impacted by COVID-19. . . . . . . . . . 10 Jewish organizations lay off hundreds due to COVID-19 crisis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Many Jewish summer camps canceled; how to survive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Holocaust education bill passes Congress. . . . . 12 Be a video star for Beth Sholom Village residents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
June 8 June 22 July 13 August 17 Sept. 7 Sept. 21
Betty Ann Levin Executive Vice President/CEO United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
Friday, May 29/6 Sivan Light candles at 7:59 pm
“Faced with the responsibility of our campers’ safety and fully aware of the impact on our families’ summer plans, Camp JCC recently made two very tough decisions.” —page 10
Friday, June 5/13 Sivan Light candles at 8:04 pm Friday, June 12/20 Sivan Light candles at 8:07 pm Friday, June 19/27 Sivan Light candles at 8:09 pm Friday, June 26/4 Tammuz Light candles at 8:10 pm Friday, July 3/11 Tammuz Light candles at 8:10 pm
jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Jewish News | 3
BRIEFS US religious freedom body funding research project on anti-Semitism in Europe A government-funded body on religious freedom is looking to launch a research project that examines anti-Semitism in Europe. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent body that tracks religious freedoms overseas and has members appointed by leadership from both houses of Congress and the president, has issued a tender for the project. “This research project would seek to enhance the understanding of the phenomenon of anti-Semitism in European countries and government responses to it, in order to make specific and effective recommendations for United States policy,” according to the announcement. The final report is expected to be generated within six months. (JTA) Israelis stuck in Morocco leave on Adelsons’ plane Twenty-six Israelis who were stuck in Morocco during the coronavirus pandemic were extracted from the country in a secret operation on a plane owned by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. The group landed in Israel on Thursday, May 14, Israel Hayom reported. Miriam Adelson is the publisher of the free daily newspaper. Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Morocco, which declared a state of emergency and shut its borders when the pandemic hit more than eight weeks ago. The passengers included Israeli teens who were on an overseas trip, Bedouin Arabs from eastern Jerusalem, and Israeli and Jewish businessmen with dual IsraeliMoroccan citizenship, according to the report. Likud lawmaker Nir Barakat appealed to the Adelsons for help in hiring a plane, and the couple provided their private plane. The plane met the group in Paris, where they were able to fly on a recently reinstated commercial flight. The private plane’s pilot told Israel Hayom it was the fourth attempt to extract the group. He said he was required to keep the mission low profile by not discussing any destinations or dates of flights
he was piloting. Some members of the group were critical of the way the Foreign Ministry handled their lockdown in Morocco. The Jerusalem Post reported that 10 Israelis died in Morocco, but it is not clear if they were visiting the country or Israelis who permanently reside there. (JTA)
TikTok video makes fun of numbers tattooed on Holocaust survivors A video on the social media platform TikTok that makes fun of the numbers tattooed on the arms of Jews held in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust has received over 623,000 views. The British resident who posted the video said “it’s just a joke,” and TikTok has received “numerous” complaints, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported. The video, which was first uploaded on April 28, was not available on the TikTok site in mid-May. It shows a man getting into a taxi under the subtitle “Jewish guy getting in my taxi.” When the driver asks the passenger for his name, he rolls up his sleeve to check his tattooed arm. The driver is then seen mouthing the words “No, I don’t want your number’’ in time to the same lyrics as the song in the background, No Scrubs by TLC. The post includes hashtags such as #viral #justajoke #darkhumour #dontbemad. The video, which is less than 15 seconds, was uploaded by Bradley Booker, who was identified by the Jewish Chronicle as a resident of Maidstone, Kent. “If you read through the comments on the video, there have been Jewish people finding the funny side to it. It’s not me hating a religion—it’s just a joke,” Booker told the newspaper. TikTok reportedly boasts around 800 million users worldwide. (JTA) Italian synagogues and churches reopen, fewer worshipers allowed Synagogues and churches have reopened in northern Italy, where they had been shut down since that area went into lockdown following the first major outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe.
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The main synagogue of Milan reopened Monday, May 18 per guidelines agreedupon with government officials, Moked, the Italian-Jewish news site, reported. Synagogues also have reopened in Rome and Florence, at least. Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants also opened, ending a 10-week lockdown. About 32,000 people in Italy have died from COVID-19. In Milan, congregants must register in advance with the rabbi’s office to ensure their number does not exceed the new capacity of each synagogue under social distancing protocols, said the community’s president, Milo Hasbani. At Hasbani’s Beit Menachem synagogue, the capacity was more than halved to a limit of 28 worshipers in the men’s section and 12 in the women’s. Worshipers at Milan synagogues are not allowed to bring their own kippot, prayer shawls or other religious items. Instead they receive a sanitized kit at the entrance, which they leave for disinfection when they go. They must wear face masks and sanitize their hands before entering. Children under 13 may not enter the Beit Menachem synagogue for the time being. Its doors remain open during services. To reserve a seat for Shabbat prayers, worshipers must register by noon Tuesday, according to instructions sent to community members. (JTA)
Delta to resume flights between Israel and New York Delta Airlines will resume flights between New York and Israel next month, with facemasks mandatory for staff and travelers. The flights will be “less than daily,” Delta announced on its website. The airline’s first flight to Israel since mid-March will depart from New York’s JFK international Airport on June 3, with a return scheduled for June 6. The flights will operate on Saturday nights, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Along with the masks requirement, the announcement said that only 50 percent to 60 percent of the seats will be filled to ensure proper spacing during flights. United Airlines has been flying to Israel from Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, and San Francisco airports throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Israel still has a ban on non-citizens entering Israel and requires a 14-day self-isolation for Israelis arriving from abroad. Those restrictions could be lifted at the end of the month. (JTA)
Rep. Wasserman Schultz calls on VA to replace headstones Inscribed with swastikas A leading Jewish congresswoman called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to replace three headstones in military cemeteries bearing swastikas and invoking Hitler. “It is deeply troubling and terribly offensive that swastika-adorned headstones that include messages honoring Hitler continue to stand in this nation’s Veterans Administration National Cemeteries,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Friday, May 15. “The VA’s decision to leave the swastika’s in place, as well as the messages honoring Hitler, while ignoring calls to take the headstones down is callous, irresponsible and unacceptable—and comes at a time when documented anti-Semitic incidents in the United States have reached a new high.” Wasserman Schultz is among the most senior Jewish Democrats in Congress and for a number of years chaired the Democratic National Committee. Earlier this month, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called on Veterans Affairs to replace the headstones on the graves of German prisoners of war who died in U.S. internment camps during World War II. Two are in a San Antonio cemetery and another is in Salt Lake City. In addition to the swastikas, the tombstones include the phrase “He died far from his home for the Führer, people, and fatherland.” Führer was the title Adolf Hitler assumed for himself. In response, a VA spokesman cited an agency policy “to protect historic resources, including those that recognize divisive historical figures or events.” “I call on the VA to eliminate this antiquated policy and immediately replace these inappropriate and insensitive headstones,” Wasserman Schultz said. Organizations backing the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s call include B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center. (JTA)
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund: We’re In This Together… and We’re Making a Difference.
ast month, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Tidewater Jewish Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community to support individuals, agencies, and synagogues through financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. 100% of all dollars raised remain in Jewish Tidewater. So far, the Fund has: • Allocated $10,000 to Jewish Family Service to help provide funds for individuals in need; • Distributed $18,000 to Beth Sholom Village for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment; • Provided Jewish Family Service with $8,000 to cover Personal Protective Equipment needs; and • Assisted a local congregation with payment of utility bills.
100% of all dollars raised will remain in Jewish Tidewater
This is just the beginning. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community is raising funds to support: • Jewish Family Service to be able to
increase its capacity to serve more people in need, and provide meals to seniors and other vulnerable populations, as well as to help pay electric, water, gas, and prescription bills for people who are unemployed or underemployed. • The protection of the elderly residents and staff of Beth Sholom Village, as well as the patients, clients, and staff of Jewish Family Service and Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care. Providing critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, is a top priority. • Assistance to our vital Jewish institutions to help them survive the pandemic so they are able to deliver services now and in the future. We’re In This Together. Please Help. Make a gift to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community by sending a check to United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 or go to JewishVa.org. To volunteer, contact Ronnie Jacobs Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org or to learn more about Jewish Tidewater Volunteers, go to JewishVa.org.
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jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Jewish News | 5
your dollars at work
STEAM fuels the ORT mission. Opportunity and adaptability propel it forward. Lisa Richmon
emaining relevant in a world of clashing ideologies and mixed agendas,
crisis upon crisis, decade after decade, is the most striking feature of a legacy organization such as ORT. Fixed, yet flexible, the foundation of ORT’s high-tech
6 | Jewish News | May 25, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
educational mission is relevance. That box was checked long before ‘Pandemic 2020.’ Barbara Birch joined ORT America as CEO in 2019 and has a dual perspective; before and during the time safe distancing became a lifestyle. “ORT has always stepped in with the right action at the right time. From World War II DP camps to a global pandemic, ORT responds with on-point training and education in significant moments,” says Birch. “ORT pivots in response to what people need. And now, as ORT meets the challenges of lockdowns around the world, I’m moved by how we immediately stepped up to support students and teachers.” At the onset of the pandemic, ORT’s team of educators rallied by designing two new programs that made an instant impact. More than 150 volunteers immediately signed up for the Virtual Volunteer
program, creating a space for mentoring between donors and volunteers and students. Virtual Volunteers invites oneon-one and group conversations among students and volunteers about an area of shared professional interest. “People jumped at the opportunity to help in a tangible way,” says Birch. “Students feel more connected, less isolated, and it takes some pressure off teachers.” Creative Connections is another rapid response that addressed the challenges of living and learning online 24/7. Students were invited to compete internationally for prizes by completing and submitting offline projects such as song-composition, photography, dance, and painting, “virtually anything that didn’t involve a screen,” says Birch. Distance learning is a double-edged sword. On the downside, the digital divide shows up with respect to access to devices and resources to work online, leaving many students at risk of being left behind. The health pandemic created an economic crisis, which spirals into a bigger learning crisis. In some cases, parents don’t speak Hebrew and can’t help or students may have poor internet connectivity. To prevent dropouts due to COVID19, ORT is raising funds for computers and tablets so students can continue to learn at home, and, for students who may have fallen behind, ORT is prepared to provide increased teaching hours and tutoring once school starts up again. Un ited Jew i sh Federation of Tidewater allocates a portion of overseas dollars to programming in Kiryat Yam in northern Israel, where ORT has made significant investments to improve the quality of education and enhance the entire
your dollars at work community. In Kiryat Yam, World ORT Kadima Mada manages two schools, runs YOUniversity, an afterschool program offering courses in robotics, photography, app development and graphic design, and built a science center and Mada (Science) Park, which serves the entire region. This funding, in conjunction with additional government funds received, enables ORT to offer the career-building benefits of a STEAM-based education rich in science,
technology, engineering, arts, and math. By placing students from challenged backgrounds on ORT’s Kadima Mada ‘science journey’ at a young age, and providing a holistic support system, ORT levels the playing field, providing equal opportunities and fostering social mobility for all. “By building up lower economic
immigrant communities, ORT is enabling today’s students to become successful and engaged Israeli citizens, which will strengthen Israel as a whole.” As part of ORT America’s outreach efforts, they are trying to cultivate new members and reach a younger audience by meeting them where they are, on the issues that matter to them. “Millennials care about social justice and economic equality. ORT’s work sits at the intersection between ability and opportunity, bridging the gap for those in under-resourced communities,” says Birch. In Kiryat Yam, UJFT invests in programming designed to engage young
people and gets them excited about science and tech and so much more. In doing so it produces a ‘what comes next’ level of excitement about life and learning.” Globally, ORT’s target audience skews young—and old. ORT’s outreach covers a broad range of vulnerable people. Programs and initiatives benefit high school students at risk of dropping out and seniors who need digital skills to stay alive. From online shopping for necessities, to opera, and FaceTiming with family, ORT has been a lifeline. From 1880 to 2020, the ORT timeline is a master class on how to stay relevant. This is part of a series of articles spotlighting local and overseas partner agencies that are beneficiaries of the United Jewish Federation Tidewater’s annual Community Campaign.
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It’s time to build digital-first Jewish communities that will outlast the pandemic Lex Rofeberg
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comments: “Try a shul in the Midwest.” We cannot lose sight of how thoroughly astonishing a comment like this would seem to Jews of any previous generation, how ordinary it has become over the past two months, and what that
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shift signifies for the present and future of Judaism. Not only is it possible today for any of us to go to services—every day—1,000 miles away, it’s more possible than doing so at our synagogue down the street. A few months ago, the digital Jewish ecosystem was relatively sparse. For most institutions, livestreaming a program was rare—the occasional cherry-on-top of the sundae that was in-person Judaism. In just two months, the norms have flipped entirely. The reason that we need to sit with the astonishing nature of this reality is that it represents a change in the entire Jewish world for the years and decades that will come. I have worked for a digital Jewish organization for over four years. For five years I’ve been studying to be a rabbi—digitally. For seven years I’ve been a part of Jewish social justice projects that operate largely via video chat, Facebook groups and other digital modalities. It is exceedingly hard for me to believe that people will simply flip a switch at the end of social distancing and go back to how things were. Once somebody has held a Passover Seder that brings together their grandparents in Arizona, their parents in Houston and their own self in Massachusetts, for free, I don’t think they will be content to gather only with folks who live nearby or can afford to travel in. The importance of digital Jewish gathering goes beyond that, too. People with disabilities—many of whom have been calling for digital programming for years—will still want and need Jewish experiences that they can enjoy from their homes once this period ends. Jews who have grown frustrated by their local communities, or who live in places without Jewish institutions, will continue to crave digital opportunities for Jewish engagement. What we’re experiencing right now isn’t a blip on the radar. For many of us, finding transcendent, supportive communities online isn’t some ridiculous pipe
Coronavirus Pandemic dream. We’ve felt it. We’ve shed tears at digital shiva minyanim. We’ve forged close bonds of friendship and connection with people we have never met in-person. In fact, we who have struggled to connect with our local institutions may have found that growing and connecting to Judaism online has been easier than in our on-the-ground neighborhoods. Perhaps that fact is a challenging thing to hear. Our approach to the digital world has too often been to perceive it as a competitor to “in-person” Judaism and its institutions. That need not be our attitude. Every Jewish community, all around the world, deserves to be celebrated and supported. And as it turns out, the Jewish community with the largest population today is not in Jerusalem or New York City. It’s the digital Jewish community, with a population numbering many, many millions. So let’s build it together; may digital Judaism become strong—truly strong—and
through it may we all be strengthened. For some Jewish organizations, maybe all of this sounds like heresy. I can’t say that impulse is ludicrous. It’s rare that you can accurately use “always” to describe a historical reality, but Jewish religious and cultural practices have always— always!—been built on shared geographic proximity. Indeed, the very phrase “Jewish community” being ascribed to digital spaces might initially seem like a contradiction in terms. But will it feel like a contradiction to our grandchildren? Could we begin to craft early versions of digital Jewish experience that grow potentially into fully formed expressions of Judaism in the coming decades and centuries? My instinct is that we can, but doing so requires us to rethink what a community is and means. If community refers to a set of Jews who share a metropolitan area, then digital work is a challenge. But if community refers to a set of people
Ohef Sholom’s Love Thy Neighbor reaches many in community Carol Roth Brum
hef Sholom Temple is reaching out in numerous ways to show love, support, and connection to the Jewish and overall Tidewater communities. The Love Thy Neighbor committee is “learning how generous our congregational family is, and we are proud of the activities that are making a difference in others’ lives,” says Dorianne Villani, co-chair of the committee. Examples of the group’s activities include: • Arranging in partnership with Brutti’s for meals to be delivered to “front line heroes” like nurses, firefighters, police, and EMT workers. • Seeking funds and “in-kind” donations to replenish vacant food shelves at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the various food pantries they supply, including Jewish Family Service.
• Working with other religious and non-profit organizations to support the immigrant community in Hampton Roads. Many of these families are out of work and are ineligible for government help; yet they have hungry children, too. • Reaching out to the elderly community in nursing and assisted living housing to provide messages of moral support to residents and staff members in theses most vulnerable communities. • Finding ways to keep feeding the homeless and hungry who have learned to depend on OST’s Soup Kitchen for at least one nutritious meal on the last Monday of every month. • Helping to distribute masks made by OSTY members and OST’s Quilting group to congregants and neighbors who need them. To participate, email carolnanroth@gmail. com or email@example.com.
who are interested in gathering together, supporting one another, sharing life’s moments of sadness and joy, and marking important calendrical times together, that’s achievable online. We just have to adopt that task fully as a Jewish collective in order to make it a reality. This piece is a part of our series of Visions for
the Post-Pandemic Jewish Future—To submit an essay for consideration, email opinion@ jta.org with “Visions Project Submission” in the subject line. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
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jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Jewish News | 9
Bernard’s Legacy Lives Forever Norfolk architect Bernard Spigel died in 1968 leaving an enduring legacy of homes, schools, theaters and commercial buildings he designed. In 1983 Lucy Spigel Herman honored her dad by creating a scholarship for future architects administered by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Dozens of past Spigel Scholars are busy today designing buildings for us to enjoy while the scholarship continues to help future architects pay for their education. Design your own view of a better future by ordering the free Leave Your Mark guide. Learn how easy it is to honor a family member or create your own lasting legacy. Leave You r Mark
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Playing it safe at Camp JCC Camp Katan (lower camp) is canceled for 2020; Camp Gadol (upper camp) delays start until July 6 Lisa Richmon
arents try to drill it into their children’s heads. The best decision is not always the easy one. Doing the right thing for the right reasons takes grit. “Faced with the responsibility of our campers’ safety and fully aware of the impact on our families’ summer plans, Camp JCC recently made two very tough decisions,” says Sierra Lautman, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s director of Jewish Innovation. In today’s COVID-19 world, the safe camp experience comes down to maintaining a six-foot distance at all times. But for young children, this concept is almost impossible to reinforce. Imagine a child with a skinned knee or one who becomes afraid and needs instant comfort
in the form of a hug. For the younger set, distance and camp just don’t ‘play’ well together. That is the main reason that there will be no lower camp this summer for children ages 2 to kindergarten. Virtual activities, however, will be created so as not to entirely disrupt the camp vibe. Nothing was deliberated overnight or in a vacuum, notes Lautman. In fact, there was reliance on a multitude of experts, industry peers, and health officials to arrive at this conclusion. Another tough call was to postpone the start of upper camp for 1st through 8th grade. The new date is July 6, 2020. Spaces are still open for Camp Gadol. The
extra time is being used to accelerate staff training on new procedures and to put proper equipment in place to ensure a safe environment. “We sincerely apologize for any family hardships that may arise from this change in our summer schedule. While we all hoped to be able to run our full in-person program, we are confident that this is the right decision to ensure the health and safety of our campers, staff, and community in these unprecedented times,” says Lautman. For additional information, to register, or for refunds, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to simonfamilyjcc.org.s
Hundreds of layoffs with more to come: We’re tracking coronavirus job losses in the Jewish world Shira Hanau
(JTA)—The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is recording layoffs and furloughs at Jewish organizations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This story is updated regularly and serves as a running log of layoffs and furloughs imposed at Jewish nonprofits. May 14: 60 laid off from Union for Reform Judaism The Reform movement laid off 60 full-time employees, constituting 20% of its workforce, and said other workers would be furloughed for three months this summer. The organization also announced pay cuts of 3–16%. The announcement came two weeks after the organization canceled its summer programming, ensuring a significant loss of revenue from camp tuition. May 6: Deep cuts at Jewish Federations of North America Dozens of people were laid off in early May, representing about 20% of the organization’s workforce. Executives also took
10 | Jewish News | May 25, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
temporary pay cuts. JFNA is the umbrella group of communal fundraising and programming organizations across the country. It is leading an emergency coalition to coordinate the Jewish response to the pandemic-induced financial crisis. April 27: 20% of Hillel International employees laid off The organization that operates a network of campus centers for Jewish college students laid off or furloughed 30 people in late April. The cuts represented 20% of staff at Hillel’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. (More than 1,000 people work for individual Hillels across the country.) April 23: Conservative Yeshiva in Israel lays off 5 people The Conservative Yeshiva, a school located at the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism, has laid off five staff members. The news was announced in an email to the yeshiva’s alumni, which include
alumni of the Nativ gap-year program. The Conservative Yeshiva attracts students from Nativ as well as rabbinical students studying in Israel and post-college students. Among the employees laid off at the yeshiva were two educators who taught there for more than 20 years. “Like so many institutions responding to COVID-19, we have faced a dramatic, unprecedented reduction in resources. This has meant making heartbreaking decisions about our staff,” Stephen Arnoff, CEO of the Fuchsberg Center, wrote in the email. “There are no words to describe adequately our disappointment at this change in our community.” April 1: Virtually total layoffs at Philadelphia-area JCC The Kaiserman Jewish Community Center outside Philadelphia laid off 176 of 178 staff members just two weeks into the crisis. The JCC, like most others across the country, depends on fees paid for services such as day care and gyms that it could no longer deliver.
Coronavirus Pandemic Rob Shuford, Jr.
Summer camp is canceled. Here’s how Jewish parents can rise to the challenge. Nancy Kislin
SHORT HILLS, N.J. ( JTA)—The announcement that Jewish summer camps will be closed this year has been tough on parents around the country. If we could just have this one little remainder of normalcy, we told ourselves, we’d be fine. But as with virtually every other aspect of this pandemic, reality hasn’t conformed to our expectations. Despite the sadness and even the despair we may feel, parents, community members and leaders must help kids process this trauma, make the most of this summer and grow through this difficult period. Jewish sleepaway camp is so much more than a fun way to spend the summer. It’s about connecting to the traditions of our past, to the communities of our present and building relationships for the future. For me, the Reform movement’s Eisner Camp was my childhood home, the place I returned to as a counselor and, later, as a camp therapist. Camp became the place that ignited my soul with Jewish melodies, a love of Israel, social justice and the power of learning and implementing leadership skills. It helped me raise my daughters, both longtime campers, and connected me with lifelong friends in a shared mission to make the world a better place. For my “girls” (now accomplished women), it was—and will be—many of these same things. The significance of what camp represents cannot be understated. Our children are experiencing a collective disappointment, no matter their age. The loss is enormous—in an overly connected world, camp is one of the only times our kids get to live without devices, and allows the time and space to explore who they are without the pressure of school or organized team sports. Parents figuring out how to support their children during this time should
remember that every child’s needs are different. Simply being present for your kids can go a long way; you don’t need to immediately rush into “fix-it” mode. Create space for your child to express their feelings. Ask open-ended questions to celebrate and acknowledge what camp has meant: “Can you share with me what it was like to celebrate Shabbat at camp? Maybe we can have a similar celebration at home.” Ultimately, what do children need when they are confronted with disappointment? A listening ear, an open heart, warm arms to hug, empathy and patience. Once you’ve helped your kids through the initial shock, you can focus on nurturing in your kids a quality that will serve them for life: resilience. We all know that life delivers hard knocks. While a tough life lesson for anyone, the idea of disappointment is something we will all experience, multiple times, in our lifetimes. Teaching our children how to meet challenges they’ll face is tough work, but it’s essential. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this process begins with you. You have to break through the fears, anxieties, traumas (past and present) and old emotional patterns that keep you from bringing your whole self—vulnerable, confident, imperfect and intact—to your relationship with your child. You can do this by acknowledging your own emotions—whether you’re sad or disappointed, despairing or feeling helpless. Recognize that those are all valid and natural. Give yourself the space to be with those emotions, neither denying them nor pushing them away. And then, before you interact with your child, set those emotions aside so that you can be present and whole in that interaction. Your child will feel the difference; just as important, you will, too. Once you’re on more stable footing, you can tap your resources and creativity to bring the fun, learning and connection
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your children usually get from camp. This might be trips into nature or playing games or sports together. You can sing camp songs or explore Israeli culture and food. There’s the healing power of arts and crafts. There’s meditation, prayer and other forms of worship. Making the most of this summer will be about getting your child outside and into a camp-like “spirit.” Most important of all, think about how you can engage your child to participate in doing tikkun olam, the act of repairing the world. Each step will require vulnerability
and confidence. There is no perfect solution and the sadness is real. But for each disappointment, we can look to new opportunities and create new traditions and memories, if only for this summer. The key is to embrace that childlike willingness to try—and to enjoy the journey, even when the path ahead is so unknown. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Jewish News | 11
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CRC and Holocaust Comission Update: Never Again Education Act Passes Congress!
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he U.S. Senate adopted the House version of the Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943/S. 2085), an important Holocaust education bill, which will provide expertise and resources to states, localities and schools on Wednesday, May 13. The bill has now passed Congress and will soon go to the President for his signature. Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Mark Warner, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, Congressman Rob Wittman, and Congressman Donald McEachin co-sponsored and championed the bill. More than 1,800 Holocaust survivors and 350 local organizations from
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every state signed letters of support. Currently, 18 states either encourage or require teaching about the Holocaust, including Virginia, thanks to the successful passage of the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam last month. For more information or to get involved with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council or Holocaust Commission, contact Mega Zuckerman, CRC director at email@example.com or Elena Baum, Holocaust Commission director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ue to the COVID-19 virus, Beth Sholom Village residents are not allowed visitors. Want to let these residents of BSV know that they are being thought of and missed? Create a short video (30 seconds—1 minute) of greetings and good wishes or share a special talent (such as playing an instrument or singing a song) that will bring a smile, a sing-along, or maybe even a little dance to brighten the residents’ day and let them know you care. These short videos will be broadcast on BSV’s in-house closed television station, for only BSV residents to see, enjoy, and appreciate. Send the short videos to Ronnie Jacobs Cohen, Jewish Tidewater Volunteers coordinator, at email@example.com.
Healthcare in the Jewish community
Supplement to Jewish News May 25, 2020 jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 13
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hile healthcare is always a hot topic, it is certainly the most prevelant issue today. COVID-19 has upended the entire world, in ways never before imagined, except
Creating Joy in the Moment
perhaps in horror films. This section, therefore, is filled with articles relating to the pandemic. We offer a piece on a Jewish medical student who is helping reduce racial disparities in coronavirus testing; one on how Tel Aviv University is tracking spreading patterns in Israel; and another on a novel mask for eating—developed in Israel. Of course, even during the pandemic, all other medical issues still exist. And so, this section is not all COVID-19. Lisa Richmon asked several local health care providers to share a story about a patient that impacted them personally. I can promise that some of these short pieces might cause you to grab a tissue or two. With the old adage that ‘humor can be the best medicine,’ we conclude the section with a fun piece about learning some Yiddish while quarantined. Think these times are full of tsuris? You’re not alone! As an editor, I’m not exactly qualified to give medical advice, but, perhaps I am as a mom. So, here goes: Keep washing your hands, wear your mask, stay home when possible, and if you’ve got COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor! Please be safe,
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Israel gives final OK for export of medical cannabis JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Israel gave final approval for the export of medical cannabis—an industry it expects to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, Reuters reported. A free export order for medical cannabis products was signed this month by outgoing Economy Minister Eli Cohen. The Cabinet first approved export in January 2019, but required that a committee made up of the Finance and Health ministries write and approve the actual procedures for labeling, instructions, and
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dosages. Exporters must apply for and receive a license from the Health Ministry. There are at least eight cannabis-growing companies operating in Israel, along with several others involved in the production, marketing, and distribution. Several companies already have interested buyers abroad. Israel permits the use of medical cannabis and has largely decriminalized its recreational use.
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Patients as teachers: Local health care professionals share memorable lessons learned Lisa Richmon
edicine is science and science is predictable, but treating real people is well… complicated. Patients are teachers. That’s the big takeaway here. Each patient experience might start out routine and mundane, but years of experience prove the unforgettable ones are inspiring, transformational, and even enchanting. Following are some patient stories that permanently grabbed the hearts and minds of local Jewish professionals.
Six Weeks and 11 years Josh Adler Founder, Adler Therapy Group I’ve been an occupational therapist for 17 years and a business owner for five. As a parent, I put myself in the shoes of parents whose children I care for. From there, I try to make a connection so I can help them focus on the child’s strengths, while enlisting the parents to trust the process that addresses the challenges. My most memorable patient is one that I evaluated when he was only six weeks old with a Brachial Plexus Injury due to trauma during the birthing process. I instantly connected with this family and treated him for more than three years while I worked at CHKD. We stayed in touch over the years. Once I opened my own practice in 2015, he returned to Adler Therapy Group where I evaluated him as an 11-year-old who navigates his world with his right arm still affected, but also now with new challenges going into adolescence. Having evaluated him as a six-week old, and then again later in life, and being part of his entire journey and transformation, is a rare experience.
Family Foundation Darren Dorfman Darren Dorfman, DDS, The Art of Dentistry Sam from Pungo had a gift for gab as they say. He had a lot of dental work done, which meant we spent a lot of time together and I got to know him really well. Sam’s a mason. I hired him to do some brick work when we moved into a new house. We spent time together outside the office. He often told me how much he had loved his wife, but that she was mentally ill and committed suicide. Then, about two years ago, he lost his daughter to suicide. She was home for summer break and took her life a few weeks before returning to school for fall. This really tore me up because I knew how much he loves his kids. 16 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 25, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
Now it’s just Sam and his son. He still comes over to do jobs around the house. I see the way he watches me interact with my family and can sense the loss he feels. What sticks with me is that Sam always reminds me to love my kids and my family as much as I can. ‘Do everything you can for them.’ ‘Hug them and kiss them often.’ ‘Tell them how much you love them.’ He is currently trying to keep his son in a positive place. I admire his strength. Despite everything that has happened to him, he is always upbeat. He has shown me that despite all the things that can go wrong, it is still possible to have a positive outlook and to be happy. Even if you get dealt a bad hand, you can still overcome sadness and be grateful for what you do have.
Back to smiling Fredric Fink, M.D. Pediatric Specialists CHKD “Timmy” was 10-years old. He always came in for his checkups after his birthday, the week before Thanksgiving. His hair was neatly parted to the right. And he always had a broad, infectious smile for me when I entered the examination room. And that day, several years ago, was no different. As always, I asked him how his year was going, and his answer with that smile, “really good!” One year, something was different. His dad usually would have been there for his checkup. I asked Timmy how he was doing. No Timmy smile that day. I got a less convincing “pretty good.” His mom informed me that his dad had passed away during the summer from an aggressive form of colon cancer. As I began to exam him, I noticed a smoky smell to his clothes that wasn’t from cigarettes. I asked Mom about the smell and learned that their house caught fire two days before. Timmy and his mom were able to escape, but nearly all of their belongings were destroyed. Timmy’s big smile returned because his bike was spared from the fire and it was a birthday present he loved. I was devastated to hear this. My staff was so moved by the story that they collected clothes and toys and books for him, and clothes for his mom. We invited them to our office for lunch and gave them cooked turkeys and all the fixings, and personal items we collected for them both. He was all smiles, and we were all in tears. Timmy definitely made his mark on all of us. His ability to smile and stay positive despite such devastating circumstances will always inspire me.
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As a gynecologist, my specialty deals with issues and disorders in a limited area of the body, primarily the genitals. I don’t know why, but this is a common question I get from patients on the exam table: “I know this is not in your specialty, but can you tell me anything about this problem I have with my foot?” My standard answer is, “If your foot was in another region of the body, closer to your genitals, I could probably help you with your problem.”
Motivation and determination Lucy Cardon, RN Jewish Family Service of Tidewater My patient had ALS for five years and in those five years, as her disease progressed, she accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime. I was always in awe of her motivation and determination. Even though she could not move or breathe on her own, she continued to work from her bedside, using a computer with eye gaze technology. She attended opera and traveled to Richmond to accept an honor bestowed upon her by the late Bishop Sullivan for commissioning a piece of her beatuiful artwork to his church. She was an expert at micro-managing her own care, who also gave expert advice to anyone who needed help. She was an inspiration to me and everyone who had the pleasure of being in her presence. I still think about her often, especially when going through difficult times, I wonder what advice she would give me.
Jewish woman gives birth to sextuplets in France
Jewish woman in Strasbourg, France, gave birth to sextuplets. The five girls and one boy were born very prematurely this month at the Hautepierre Hospital in Strasbourg, requiring the assistance of 30 medical staff members, the daily LeParisien reported, citing the newspaper Les Actualités Nouvelles d’Alsace. It took four minutes to deliver the babies, who were born at 24 weeks, after which they were taken to the neonatal
intensive care unit. They weighed in at between 1.4 pounds and 1.6 pounds and likely will require a stay of many months in the hospital. The couple has two other children. The Hebrew-language news website B’haredey Haredim identified the father as Rabbi Ovadia Ben-Simon. The last sextuplets in France were born nearly 30 years ago, in 1989 in Normandy. Sextuplets occur once in 4.7 million deliveries worldwide. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 17
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Israeli falafel shop owner who cried during interview about economic hardship suffers heart attack Marcy Oster
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JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Israeli falafel show owner who sparked pity and derision after crying during a television interview about the economic toll of the coronavirus had emergency treatment for a heart attack. Yuval Carmi’s doctor told Israel’s Channel 13 earlier this month that the heart attack was related to the stress he has been experiencing in the past two months over his economic difficulties due to the country’s shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “It can totally be said that he took it to heart. No doubt,” Dr. Kobe George, director of the cardiology department at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, told the
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television news channel. Carmi went to the hospital after days of chest pains and weakness. He said he was afraid to go to a hospital due to the pandemic. He was taken for an immediate catheterization. Carmi was interviewed by Channel 13 last month, when his shop was shut down after he had reopened it, believing the relaxing of some regulations to control the coronavirus crisis allowed him to do so. He broke down in tears on camera, leading the reporter interviewing him to cry also. “Look at my wallet, it’s empty,” he said during the interview. “I don’t have a shekel in my pocket. “I’m embarrassed to face my children, to tell them I have nothing I can buy for you. I have nothing to give them. I have nothing to give them to eat. I don’t know what to do.” He said that he has gained an uncomfortable notoriety since the interview, including accusations on social media that he used the interview to increase his business or get extra assistance, or that he was actually rich. Carmi said that when he arrived at the emergency room, “Someone came up to me, his wife recognized me and said ‘Hello.’ Her husband came up and asked her, ‘Do you know him?’ She said, ‘Yes, it’s the crybaby from the television.’ It hurt me. My heart exploded.”
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18 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 25, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
Accurate 3D Imaging of sperm cells moving at top speed could improve IVF treatments Tel Aviv—Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers have developed a safe and accurate 3D imaging method to identify sperm cells moving at a high speed. A study of the research was published in Science Advances in April. It was led by Prof. Natan Shaked of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at TAU’s Faculty of Engineering. The new technology could provide doctors with the ability to select the highest-quality sperm for injection into an egg during IVF treatment, potentially increasing a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby. “The IVF procedure was invented to help fertility problems,” explains Shaked. “The most common type of IVF today is intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves sperm selection by a clinical embryologist and injection into the woman’s egg. To that end, an effort is made to select the sperm cell that is most likely to create a healthy embryo.” Under natural fertilization in the woman’s body, the fastest sperm to reach an egg is supposed to bear high-quality genetic material. Progressive movement allows this “best” sperm to overcome the veritable obstacle course of a woman’s reproductive system. “But this ‘natural selection’ is not available to the embryologist, who selects a sperm and injects it into the egg,” Shaked says. “Sperm cells not only move fast, they are also mostly transparent under regular light microscopy, and cell staining is not allowed in human IVF. Existing imaging technology that can examine the quality of the sperm’s genetic material may cause embryonic damage, so that is also prohibited. In the absence of more precise criteria, sperm cells are selected primarily according to external characteristics and their motility while swimming in water in a dish, which is very different from the
natural environment of a woman’s body. “In our study, we sought to develop an entirely new type of imaging technology that would provide as much information as possible about individual sperm cells, does not require cell staining to enhance contrast, and has the potential for enabling the selection of optimal sperm in fertilization treatments.” The researchers chose light computed tomography (CT) technology for the unique task of sperm cell imaging. “In a standard medical CT scan, the device rotates around the subject and sends out X-rays that produce multiple projections, ultimately creating a 3D image of the body,” says Shaked. “In the case of the sperm, instead of rotating the device around this tiny subject, we relied on a natural feature of the sperm itself: Its head is constantly rotating during the forward movement. We used weak light (and not X-rays), which does not damage the cell. We recorded a hologram of the sperm cell during ultrafast movement and identified various internal components. This creates an accurate, highly dynamic 3D map of its contents without using cell staining.” Using this technique, the researchers obtained a clear and accurate CT image of the sperm at very high resolution in four dimensions: three dimensions in the space at resolution of less than half a micron (one micron equals one millionth of a meter) and the exact time (motion) dimension of the second sub-millisecond. “Our new development provides a comprehensive solution to many known problems of sperm imaging,” Shaked says. In addition, Shaked concludes, “We believe that such imaging capabilities will contribute to other medical applications, such as developing efficient biomimetic micro-robots to carry drugs within the body.”
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jewishnewsva.org | May 25, 2020 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 19
Tel Aviv University research uses genomic sequencing to track coronavirus spread patterns in Israel Research finds approximately 70% of the infections in Israel were caused by a SARS-CoV2 strain imported from the United States
team of Tel Aviv University researchers led by Dr. Adi Stern of the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology at TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences have conducted the first large-scale genomic sequencing of the novel coronavirus strain that has infected to date over 16,500 people in Israel. The scientists harnessed their genomic map to pinpoint mutations indicating where the virus originated from and later spread to within Israel. The study, published May 17 on medRxiv.org, is based on an analysis of the genomic sequences of more than 200 patients at hospitals across Israel, who together constitute a representative sample of the general population.
TAU doctoral students conducted the research for the study in collaboration with scientists at Emory University, Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, the Holon Institute of Technology, Assuta Hospital Ashdod, Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center, Soroka Medical Center, Barzilai Medical Center, Poriya Medical Center, and the Genome Center at the Technion Institute of Technology. “The novel coronavirus is characterized by mutations that occur at a set pace,” explains Stern. “These mutations do not affect the virus, i.e. it remains stable, but these mutations can help us trace the chain of infection from country to country. After the pandemic broke out in Wuhan, for example, one or two mutations occurred, and one virus with
a mutation may have migrated to Europe where it experienced additional mutations, and from there it traveled to the United States, and so on. “We can look at these mutations as a kind of barcode that helps us keep track of the progression and transformation of the coronavirus as it moves from country to country.” To obtain a clear picture of the origin of infection in Israel, the researchers compared the genomic sequences of local patients to some 4,700 genomic sequences taken from patients around the world. They found that more than 70% of the patients had been infected by a coronavirus strain that originated in the U.S. The remaining nearly 30% of infections were imported from Europe and
elsewhere: Belgium (8%), France (6%), England (5%), Spain (3%), Italy (2%), the Philippines (2%), Australia (2%) and Russia (2%). Tracing the spread of COVID-19 in Israel According to Stern, the new genomic map provides insight into the precise spread of the novel coronavirus within Israel. Until now, any assessment of the spread of infection relied on such subjective
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Health Care parameters as patient feedback. The new research will be able to expose the rate of infection in a household, in an apartment building, in a school, in a neighborhood, and more. It will also provide early detection of super spreaders—people who travel far and wide and infect a large number of people—and could even identify major events with the potential to trigger widespread infection. “Going forward, the data obtained from genomic sequencing will serve as an important basis for informed decisions about which institutions to close, for what amount of time, and in which format,” says Stern. With policymakers in mind, the researchers developed a complex statistical model based on genomic sequencing that estimates the epidemiological parameters of viral spread. The model shows that the rate of infection decreased significantly following strict quarantine measures taken in Israel and highlights a major discrepancy between the number of people each coronavirus patient infected. The model also estimates that over 80% of coronavirus cases in Israel were the direct result of only 10% of the coronavirus patients in Israel, meaning that these 10% were, in fact, super-spreaders. According to the model and to the genomic sequencing, Stern says that no more than 1% of the population in Israel contracted the virus—a far cry from herd immunity. “In our study, we performed the first massive genomic sequencing of the coronavirus in Israel,” she concludes. “This technology and the information it provides is of great importance for understanding the virus and its spread in the population, as a scientific and objective basis for local and national decision-making. The data obtained from the research can greatly help policymakers on issues such as closures and quarantines. In doing so, the study makes a significant contribution to dealing with the epidemic in Israel, and, more importantly: We have developed tools that will allow us to cope, in real time, with the next outbreak that may occur.”
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This Jewish medical student is helping reduce racial disparities in coronavirus testing Josefin Dolsten
(JTA)—At the beginning of her day, Tal Lee will see as many as hundreds of cars snake around the church parking lot where she is helping to conduct coronavirus tests. Dressed in two face masks, a face shield, and scrubs, Lee works alongside doctors, nurses, and medical students like herself to conduct as many as 300 coronavirus swabs a day in predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Philadelphia. They are brought together by the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, an initiative founded by a local surgeon to combat the coronavirus pandemic’s high death rate among African-Americans. Signing onto the initiative was a natural choice for Lee, a fourth-year medical student at the Philadelphia College of
Osteopathic Medicine who plans to work as an OB-GYN treating underserved populations. Before beginning medical school, she spent a year working on a mobile medical van through Avodah, a Jewish social justice fellowship in New York, providing street-side health care, including preventive treatments and HIV testing, to homeless people and undocumented immigrants. Lee, 28, says Jewish values inspired her to take action when her in-person rotations were canceled due to the pandemic. “It’s one of the biggest reasons why I am doing this,” she says. “I think living your values and beliefs is very important. It’s something to talk about it, to learn about it, but it’s another thing to actually put beliefs and values into action.” Jewish communities were among the
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first hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. But as the pandemic has worsened, it has become clear that African-Americans are far overrepresented among cases and deaths across the country. In Philadelphia, AfricanAmericans represent 54% of coronavirus deaths despite making up 40% of the population. Many factors contribute to those disparities, but unequal access to coronavirus testing is likely playing a role. So, Dr. Ala Stanford decided to take things into her own hands and has raised more than $150,000 online to cover the cost of testing, personal protective equipment, and educational materials provided by the consortium. Many who come for the free testing do not have health insurance or access to a primary care provider. Stanford says she was inspired to found the consortium after hearing officials talk about the high death rates among people of color without taking action. “I got tired of watching it,” she told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “so I called local officials, I called the state and said, ‘What are we doing in our hard-hit communities? I want to help.’ I got crickets. Because there was nothing happening.” Lee helps patients fill out paperwork, talks to them about their symptoms, and helps prepare the nasal swabs before a
doctor or nurse conducts the test. The team works eight-hour days—rain or shine—wearing multiple layers of protective gear. Lee initially worried about potentially contracting the virus from her patients. “This person standing in front of me could have coronavirus,” she remembers thinking. “It is nerve-wracking, I’m not going to say it’s not.” But Lee says patients’ relief at being able to get tested more than makes up for the worry. She recently helped test a mother and her four daughters, several of whom had preexisting health conditions that put them at greater risk of contracting and sustaining complications from the coronavirus. “Just seeing how happy the mom was to just know the status of her children, it’s very nice to be able to give that to someone,” Lee says. In addition to volunteering with the initiative once or twice a week, Lee has also been helping with a local multi-faith initiative to deliver food to local people in need. “This is my time,” she remembers thinking when she heard about the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. “This is what I’m wanting to do and it’s presenting itself.”
Israeli inventors create facemask with slot for eating in public JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israeli restaurants are reopening and requiring about 5 feet between patrons, but what about people who aren’t ready to take off their masks when they eat in public? Some Israeli inventors have created a facemask for the coronavirus age that will allow wearers to eat food without removing it. The mask has a slot that opens with
a hand remote lever to allow food to go through, Reuters first reported. Drippy dishes might not fare very well, the story says, but solid foods “can be gobbled up in a flash a la Pac-Man.” The developer, Tel Aviv-area based Avtipus Patents and Inventions, told Reuters that it has already submitted a patent for the mask and plans to start manufacturing in the next few months.
These 10 Yiddish words will get you through quarantine Ellen Scolnic and Joyce Eisenberg
e’ve been self-quarantining for more than 40 days and 40 nights and, quite frankly, we’re running out of steam. Still, we can’t escape all the social media posts and articles (and our mother’s voices in our heads) telling us to make good use of this time. Friends, editors, and even country singer Roseanne Cash reminded us that Shakespeare wrote King Lear when he was quarantined during the Great Plague. Actress—no, sorry, lifestyle expert Gwyneth Paltrow urged us to write a book, teach ourselves to code online and learn a language. Teen idol Harry Styles upped the ante when he told us he’s learning sign language and Italian. But in between cooking every single meal—to say nothing of snacks—and motivating our kids to stay focused on their distance learning assignments, just how are we supposed to find the time to learn a new language? (Moreover, how can we even practice said language when our mouths are pretty much always filled with cookies?) Here’s one thing we can find the time to do, however: We could all learn just a few words of a new language. Why not spend part of your “free time” at home brushing up on some of your bubbe and zayde’s favorite Yiddish words? In the shtetl, Yiddish was the language that allowed Eastern European Jews to talk freely among themselves without fear of reprisals. In American Jewish homes, it was the language that grandparents spoke when they didn’t want the kinder to know what they were talking about. And now, if your kids are literally all over you 24/7, wouldn’t it be nice to have a secret language when you want to have a discreet chat with your partner? So now that you’ve binge-watched Unorthodox, it’s time to get off your tuchas and start using your keppe (head)! These 10 Yiddish words—each one loaded with emotion and angst, and
boy do we have plenty of that!—will come in handy to describe this pandemic mishegas (craziness). 1. Tsedrayte adj. (tsuh-DRATE) All mixed up, confused. Before the COVID-19 virus, tsedrayte meant we couldn’t remember if we promised to meet a friend for lunch on Thursday or Friday. Now we don’t know what day of the week it is. These days, just getting the mail makes us tsedrayte. Do we leave the letters on the floor for 24 hours? Do we wipe the package before we put it on the floor or wash our hands and then wipe the package? And what do we do after we open it? 2. Shpilkes (SHPILL-kiss) Impatience, restlessness. Before COVID-19, when our young kids had “ants in their pants,” we’d tell them to go outside and play. Now, however, we have to mask them up first, and watch them carefully so they stay six feet away from all the other kids who are also trying to get their shpilkes out. We used to go out to a yoga class; now when our little ones have shpilkes, we watch Cosmic Kids Yoga and do downward facing dogs right along with them. 3. Shlub n. (SHLUB) A slob; some who dresses sloppily. All this self-quarantining has made shlubs even shlubbier. Sweatpants and torn T-shirts have gone from weekend wear to all day, everyday wear—unless you’re one of those people who dons business casual from the waist up for your Zoom conference calls. If we’ve learned any fashion sense while being self-quarantined, it’s that a bra is optional. 4. Pulkes pl. n. (PULL-keys) Thighs. The word usually refers to cute, chubby baby thighs, but it can also mean those belonging to poultry. And with all the freezer diving we’re doing, we’ve discovered and eaten our fair share of pulkes in
the last month. We’re counting the days till we can swap out our sweatpants for shorts and attend a summer barbecue, but we’re not certain our pulkes will be ready for public viewing after all we’ve eaten. 5. Sekhel n. (SEH-khul) Common sense; good judgment. Advice used to flow downstream. Our parents would nag us: “Have a little sekhel; do you really have to fly when you’re pregnant?” Now the tables have turned and we nag our parents: “Wash your hands. Wear a mask. You’re going to the supermarket? You’re old. Stay home!” And our kids? They have the computer sekhel we need: They’ve taught us how to complete the online school attendance form and how to limit our Facebook posts to “friends only” so we don’t embarrass them in front of “the whole world!” They’ve also taught us that there’s nothing wrong with eating ice cream twice a day.
kind of cheese. “It tastes funny. It doesn’t taste like Panzone’s pizza. Why can’t we go to Panzone’s?”
Now, if your kids are literally all over you 24/7, wouldn’t it be nice to have a secret language when you want to have a discreet chat with your partner?
6. Eyngeshparter n. (AYN-guh-shpar-ter) A stubborn person; someone who cannot be convinced with logic. These are the people who are protesting to end the shutdown before it’s safe, ordering “cures” on the Internet, and claiming the pandemic is all a hoax.
9. Tsuris n. (TSORE-iss) troubles and worries; problems. We can’t help worrying when our sister tells us she had a suspicious mammogram or our son hints that someone bullied him in school. But these days, instead of worrying about illness or money or school or our family or the future—we’re worried about all of it. Tsuris has gone from personal to universal.
7. Bubkes n. (BUP-kiss) Literally beans, nothing. Something that’s worthless or that falls short of expectations. In this new normal, we’re getting used to bubkes in the toilet paper aisle, bubkes in our fresh vegetable drawer, and bubkes in our checking account.
10. Oy int. (OY) Perhaps the most popular Yiddish expression, oy conveys dozens of emotions, from surprise, joy, and relief to pain, fear and grief. Bubbe Mitzi used to say that just groaning “a good oy” could make you feel better.
8. Ongeblozen adj. (un-geh-BLUH-zin) Sulky, pouty; a sourpuss. Our kids used to get ongeblozzen when we said we couldn’t go out for pizza. Now everyone’s ongeblozzen because we spent all afternoon making dough from scratch… and we didn’t have the right
So give a good oy, tie the shmata on your face—be sure to cover your mouth and your nose!—and try not to get tsedraye. Here’s hoping all this tsuris will be over soon. This story originally appeared on Kveller.
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La Promenade: Virginia Beach lifestyle carousel plays a strong retail game Lisa Richmon
n a ‘typical’ lockdown Saturday morning before Mother’s Day, a store manager places orange traffic cones strategically in the parking lot outside Nothing Bundt Cakes at La Promenade in Virginia Beach. The popular cake boutique preps for the pre-Mother’s Day surge with curbside attendants to greet and guide customers through “call ahead” and “new order” lanes. In March, leading up to Easter Sunday, the record number of cars waiting for curbside pickup was 15. A typical wait was under 10 minutes. Loyal Nothing Bundt Cakes lover and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater employee Amy Cobb looked forward to the drive to La Promenade for their featured fall pumpkin specialty flavor. “The week before Mother’s Day I was working and thinking about the strawberries and cream ‘bundtlet,’” says Cobb, referring to the new featured spring flavor. “It’s one of my favorite seasonal items. All the cakes are delicious and they freeze well, too.” Not one to show up empty-handed on Mother’s Day, she ordered online the spring flavor to bring to her mother in Franklin, and was unfazed by a 30-minute wait in a parking lot line littered with fellow cake-lovers on a beautiful spring day. If curbside is here to stay, La Promenade was built to last. Pandemic protocol had nothing to do with La Promenade’s original building design vision circa 1986. The intention was to differentiate La Promenade from the typical area shopping center with a grocery store or drug chain anchor, and the regulation aesthetic where all stores look the same. “We purposely went for a meandering street vibe,” says co-owner Jon Sedel. “Every store looks different and has a character of its own. “We didn’t plan it this way, but we are perfectly laid out for curbside service. The demand for curbside take-out service made by COVID-19 has worked out beautifully for Nothing Bundt Cakes, as well as Mizuno Japanese
Restaurant & Sushi Bar—and Aldo’s Ristorante, the Center’s first adopter and leader of successful and improvisational curbside reinvention. Despite intense challenges, the silver lining for Aldo’s co-owner Debbi Kassir is learning how much Aldo’s means to its customers. Aldo’s has been at La Promenade 32 of its 34 years in existence. The dining public’s connection to and love for this local, family business has also made it a new customer and tenant magnet for the center. Maybe it took a pandemic for Kassir to realize how much people care. “We have the best clientele anywhere. They have been so loyal, kind, and so generous with our staff during this crisis,” says Kassir. “We’ve had to completely reinvent a fine dining restaurant into a curbside format and we still managed to have a successful Mother’s Day. Kassir and her staff immersed themselves in cautious steps for reopening safely with limited outdoor seating. “We’re reinventing the wheel every day.” Tenants like Aldo’s are very vocal about the Jewish community standing behind their favorite La Promenade businesses with an outpouring of support and generosity. Thirty-four years ago, the La Promenade vision was to build a luxury lifestyle destination shopping center with brand names that locals did not have to fly to, or drive through tolls, to experience. “Why aren’t they here?” was the question driving the original La Promenade concept. When it comes to national and regional tenants, Virginia Beach was underserved. “They didn’t respect the area,” says Sedel. “We were thought of as a hamburger and hotdog town.” La Promenade blazed a new retail trail. “Getting Talbots wasn’t easy,” says Sedel. “We bugged them and bugged them. Listen, back then we didn’t have names like Williams Sonoma and Chico’s, but once we nailed Talbots, the others seemed to fall into place. We made the first Starbucks deal in HR. That was a dream
tenant. When they opened here, there was just one other (Virginia) location in Richmond.” Sedel acts as principal in an investment partnership between the Sedel and Snyder families, the owners of La Promenade. “Once we got brands like Talbots, Jos A. Banks, and Williams Sonoma, we filled in the gaps with some really great mom and pops.” The center was home to many local and regional boutiques and retailers that offered unique apparel, jewelry, and giftware. Then, five years ago, the retail landscape changed and Sedel could no longer take success for granted on the upscale fashion and food-forward lifestyle path previously followed. There was just an oversaturation of retail stores. Too much overlap and competition, making it the ideal time for Amazon and the internet to disrupt the brick and mortar space. Sedel’s timely move to health and wellness served the center well. He recognized the need to concentrate on more service-driven businesses like Massage Luxe, Anthony Vince Nail Salon, Ava Marie Beauty Salon, Club Pilates, Dr. Kaado, MD (a med spa destination), and Restore Cryotherapy, with its popular cryo treatments, IV drip therapy, and hyperbaric chamber. Sedel loves how he feels after intensely restorative cryo-treatments, but the real rush comes from knowing his nimble moves prevented La Promenade from becoming another brick and mortar statistic. La Promenade lost Starbucks before COVID-19, but added the Williamsburg Winery wine bar, gaining an evening crowd to gather around an outdoor firepit, sip wine, and guzzle charcuterie. Other stores such as Calico and Ocean Palm persevere with loyal customers to thank. With paranoia plaguing a vigilant public, landlords can’t be too fastidious
about their grounds. “We’ve always operated as a first-class shopping center at the max level in terms in our industry. But even more so now. We perform deep cleaning of all building components, painting manhole covers, pressure washing, planting. Even the trash cans look sterile. All new. Spray it down. Clean it. Paint it.” Turnover is inevitable. “Some tenants won’t make it,” says Sedel. “Operating with reduced staff during the crisis, stores and restaurants must be creative and reduce overhead to maintain profitability while there’s less of demand for physical space they pay rent for. We’re trying to help them out. As they begin to re-open this summer, we will need to maintain tables outside and continue curbside, which is really a bridge-fix from one point to the next.” A lot remains to be seen. “Regardless, we’ll use these challenges as an opportunity to find another business or service that we don’t currently have. Food service operators will emerge from this with curbside pick-up and more grab and go. New chains and new concepts will appear. We’ll be looking for the right ones,” say Sedel. Aldo’s and Mizuno are among the most popular Italian and Japanese restaurants in the region. Sedel wants them to stay and is not alone. Scads of forever customers also hope and pray that these two food fixtures prove to be COVID-resistant.
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Life & legacy
Giving back is in Barbara Dudley’s DNA Ronnie Jacobs Cohen
IS MY LEGACY STEPHANIE ADLER CALLIOTT
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rowing up in Martinsville, Virginia, Barbara Dudley knew Judaism was an integral part of her life—and that her parents’ strong sense of Zionism guided their involvement in Jewish philanthropy. As a young girl, each year she attended Kol Nidre services with her father at their synagogue, Ohev Zion, and helped him distribute small cards to congregants. She had no idea what these cards were or why people took them, but she loved the oneon-one time with her father. Dudley later learned that her father was responsible for their synagogue’s Israel Bond campaign in 1967 following Israel’s Six-Day War. Three months after the Yom Kippur War in 1974, when she was a junior at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Dudley’s mother took her to Israel. This first trip was a United Jewish Appeal Women’s Mission and Dudley, the youngest participant, was naturally impressed by the high level meetings with Knesset members and commanders of the Israel Defense Forces. Dudley returned to Israel that summer as a volunteer on Kibbutz Kfar Menahem. For three months she worked in the cotton fields, orange groves, and the children’s homes (gans). Bomb shelters were the only place to watch television on the kibbutz, so free time was spent there watching the news coverage of President Richard Nixon’s impeachment
WHAT’S YOUR LEGACY? For more information, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner email@example.com | 757-965-6103 foundation.jewishva.org Barbara Dudley (center) on the UJA Mission in 1974.
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hearings. Asked by kibbutzniks about America’s judicial system and impeachment process, Dudley, a political science major, readily contrasted the differences between the United States’ constitution, the three branches of government, the system of checks and balances, and what impeachment means—with Israel’s social democracy and constitution. Before returning home, Dudley and her sister, who was on another kibbutz, hitchhiked across Israel. Her parents never knew. While her friends today might find this free-spirited behavior to be out of character, the experience helped secure Israel in the forefront of her mind as the homeland for the Jewish people—her people. In late September 1972, Dudley first met her future husband, Noel Dudley, when he was a senior at Lehigh University and she was an incoming college freshman. Dudley was attending an all-girls’ college and she and a friend were sitting atop a rock on Dead Man’s Curve, watching “the comings and goings to the parties.” A station wagon “full of guys hanging out the windows and onto the luggage rack came down the mountain, went around the curve, and came back up,” recalls Dudley. The carload of college seniors invited them to a party and Noel was one of the guys. He had thick curly hair and “cupid hit her heart.” She says she just knew. They dated briefly before Noel graduated and left for Kenya to serve in the Peace Corps. They corresponded, but there was nothing particularly serious, or so she thought. One evening after he completed his Peace Corps service, Noel appeared unannounced at her dorm during her senior year. They picked up where they had left off and the rest, as they say, is history.
Life & legacy In August 1976, they were married by a rabbi and agreed to keep a Jewish home, but Noel chose not to convert to Judaism. Two daughters—Amelia and Elizabeth (Liz), followed the union. In 1995, the year of Liz’s bat mitzvah, the family traveled to Israel with their rabbi and congregation, Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland. Dudley was thrilled to share her love of the Jewish nation with her family and was overwhelmed by the incredible ways Israel had flourished since her trip 21 years earlier. Noel paid close attention. Upon their return, they registered for a two-year course, “Why Be Jewish,” taught by one of their rabbis. Dudley stopped attending, but Noel continued and decided to convert to Judaism at the course’s conclusion. He wanted to be able to stand under the chuppah when his daughters were married and realized that Jewish values had been the same core values by which he had led his life.
“It all started with what I saw modeled at home.”
Noel was a nuclear engineer and served in the U. S. Navy as a submarine officer aboard the U.S.S. Simon Bolivar and the U.S.S. Ray. Around the time Amelia was preparing to go to college, Noel took her to see Top Gun. Amelia fell in love with the aviator glasses and the leather jacket and wanted to be a U.S. Navy pilot, hoping this would help her realize her dream of becoming an astronaut. A Naval recruiting officer explained the requirements to become a Naval aviator, and the conversation guided her to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) course of study upon entering Cornell University. Amelia earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and her master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.
Now living in Manassas, Virginia, she is Lieutenant Commander at the National Reconnaissance Office, an agency of the U. S. Department of Defense. Like her mother and grandparents before her, Liz was drawn to Israel. During her high school summers, she attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Harlam in the foothills of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. She was active in her youth group at Temple Beth Ami and in the summer after her junior year in high school, participated in “l’dor vador,” a program of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement. After graduating from Duke University, Liz participated in Project Utzmah, a program sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington D.C. to bring young Jewish adults to Israel. In Israel, Liz worked with three different non-profit organizations: an absorption center for Ethiopian immigrants; Israel’s version of Planned Parenthood; and a center which served as a gathering place for Israeli soldiers recently discharged from the IDF that provided social support, counseling services, and assistance with education and testing to go to university. At the center she met Lior Dovrat, her future husband. During that year, Liz applied to and was accepted to Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, with thoughts of becoming a rabbi. A strong sense of Zionism had drawn Liz to Israel and a desire to make a difference played a large role in her making aliyah in December 2006. She attended an ulpan course to learn to speak Hebrew, utilized the services of Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit organization that promotes, encourages, and facilitates aliyah, and completed a master’s degree at Tel Aviv University. Liz now teaches English at Tel Hai College in Kiryat Shimona. She and her husband have twin girls, Lia and Nofar, four years old, and a son, Noam, given Noel’s Hebrew name, just celebrated his first birthday. In 2005, Noel started making retirement plans. He knew about his wife’s fond childhood memories of spending summers in Virginia Beach with her family on 87th Street, so they purchased a little “run-down” cottage on that same street.
This generational street, where houses were passed from one family member to the next, became home to Barbara, Noel, and their children. The Dudleys tore down that little cottage, built a new house, looked for a Reform conBarbara and Noel Dudley on the backroad to Tzfat in February 2016. gregation to join, In the background is the Hula Valley, Golan Heights, and Agamon Hula. found Ohef Sholom Temple, quickly became involved, and knew they had found their home. Dudley joined United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Women’s Cabinet and she and Noel found UJFT’s programs and the Community Relations Council’s speakers to be Barbara Dudley (center) with Liz, Noam, and Lior Dovrat. appealing and interesting. Her join her new Jewish community on the involvement grew—she served as co-prestrip. During the caucus, Dudley shared ident of Ohef Sholom’s Sisterhood with Noel’s diagnosis, in an effort to remove Sharon Nusbaum, 2010 through 2013; is the shame and uncertainty associated a member of the advisory team for the with Alzheimer’s and show others that temple’s 175th Anniversary Campaign; life continues. Dudley credits both UJFT became an active member of CRC; was and Ohef Sholom with playing supportive chair of UJFT’s Israel and Overseas roles in providing normalcy in her life as Committee from 2017 until 2019; and she dealt with this devastating illness, is now vice chair of UJFT’s Women’s helping her to function and be a better Cabinet. Dudley was particularly proud caregiver to Noel, until his passing in to receive the Kurt Rosenbach Award 2018. in 2016, which honors an Ohef Sholom Dudley says her decision to particiTemple board member who shows exempate in the Life & Legacy Program is her plary service to the temple. “To be given way of giving back, of helping another an award that bears the name of this individual, couple, or family who may be wonderful person was such a meaningful suffering with a loss or crisis. tribute,” she says. Today, she serves on the “It all started with what I saw modtemple’s executive committee as secretary. eled at home,” Dudley says. “I’m hoping Dudley was intrigued by a UJFT by leaving a legacy of involvement, that Mission to Budapest and Prague—places my children and grandchildren will find she’d always wanted to visit. Noel was something to be passionate about, get just beginning to exhibit symptoms of involved, and give freely. The rewards are early-onset Alzheimer’s, so, not knowing great.” what their future held, she decided to
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what’s happening AJC CEO to brief Tidewater Jewish community on rise of global anti-Semitism Wednesday, June 3, 7 pm
avid Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, will brief Tidewater’s Jewish community on the rise of global anti-Semitism. The event is presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council and Holocaust Commission. Anti-Semitism is the world’s oldest hatred and a tangible threat not only to Jews but also to the very fabric of democratic societies. In recent years, violent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions and anti-Jewish sentiments expressed by the leaders of far-right and far-left political parties, as well as Islamists, have surfaced around the globe. As CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), David Harris
works to counter anti-Semitism in all its guises by calling on governments to act and by organizing coalitions with other faith and ethnic groups to forge a united front against hate. Harris is one of the most erudite, knowledgeable, and informative leaders in Jewish life today. CEO of the American Jewish Committee since 1990, he is a visionary who brings the world’s diverse Jewish communities together to fight anti-Semitism, support Israel, and reject extremism. He is a staunch defender of democracy and human rights around the world. A leader in the Soviet Jewry movement, Harris worked closely with refuseniks to fight anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and ultimately help them gain their freedom. Called the “Foreign Minister of the Jewish People” by the late Israeli president Shimon Peres, Harris regularly meets with prime ministers and senior officials around the world, and has a unique perspective on Jewish issues from a global vantage point.
This is a Zoom call not to be missed. FREE and open to the community with pre-registration required at ujft.salsalabs.org/ AJCDavidHarrisZOOM. Contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director at MZuckerman@ ujft.org for more information.
Ohef Sholom Temples’ Shirei Tikvah (Songs of Hope): A Quarantine Concert Series with Noah Aronson Thursday, June 4, 7 pm, Zoom
ongwriter and prayer music innovator Noah Aronson will perform for Ohef Sholom Temple’s third virtual concert. His music already has a special place in OST’s prayer repertoire. Aronson is one of the most acclaimed stars in the Jewish music world due to his immense creativity and playful, soulful spirit. This is a unique opportunity to invite these Jewish musical stars into your home. All are welcome and these concerts are free of charge. To receive the Zoom link, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a 2020 Graduate? The Class of 2020 may be without a traditional graduation ceremony, but they shouldn’t be without recognition. Jewish News wants to honor Jewish Tidewater’s 2020 graduates so that they get at least some of the acknowledgment they have earned and deserve.
mazel tov to Achievement Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman on his article on Israel’s 72nd anniversary being inserted into the Congressional Record by Congressman Donald McEachin, and his article on Passover and the Coronavirus
High School, College, Graduate School… being inserted by Congresswoman Elaine Luria. Rabbi Zoberman is the founder and spiritual leader of Temple Lev Tikvah in Virginia Beach.
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to email@example.com with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
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Help us honor these students by submitting their: Name School Degree Honors Special Notes (Activities) Plans (Next-step education or job) Parents Please submit with a photograph by Thursday, May 28 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Myers receives Stein Family Scholarship from Tidewater Jewish Foundation
he annual Stein Family College Scholarship of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation was recently awarded to Emily Myers, a soon-to-be graduate of Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach. Myers is the 12th recipient of the fouryear scholarship, which provides up to $10,000 per year to a Jewish student in Tidewater. The Stein Family College Scholarship was established in 2009 in memory of Arlene Stein, who did not complete college because of financial hardship. Arlene passed away in 2007 and Jerry Stein, her beloved husband, in 2014. TJF works closely with the Stein family each year to administer the scholarship. “Being awarded the Stein Family Scholarship means getting to carry out Arlene Stein’s legacy of tikkun olam from a college stage,” says Myers. For Myers, that collegiate stage will be the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, where she will study musical theater. “I knew I wanted to pursue musical theater when I was eight,” she says. Whether it was reenacting a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader chant for her family, working with her theater
group, or attending the Governor’s School for the Arts, Myers has made a lifelong connection with musical theater. In addition to appearing in various productions, such as Beauty and the Beast and Thoroughly Modern Millie, she also volunteers at Virginia Musical Theater, working behind the scenes of productions gaining valuable leadership and professional experience. Myers says her family doesn’t see her doing anything else. “My mom says it’s in my soul,” says Myers. “I can’t not do it. I just love it a lot.” Myers is also active in the community. She’s on the youth board for the Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, which fosters people-to-people exchanges and relationships with Virginia Beach and its sister cities. She’s also an advocate for mental illness, serves on the board of Helping Orphans Latin America, and was a member of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO). “I served on the chapter board of BBYO,” says Myers. “I helped organize our big day of charity. We made blankets and collected canned goods for the Samaritan House, which was a really great experience.” As Myers transitions from high school graduate to college freshman, she’s
already looking forward to the new experiences she’ll have at the Shenandoah Conservatory. “I’m really looking forward to finding a new community because the musical theater department is going to be so small,” she says. “It’s going to become a family, we’re all going to become really tight-knit, and we’re all going to make art together. I’m excited to have new experiences.” Ultimately, Myers hopes to use her college platform and musical theater experience to do something meaningful. “The dream, of course, is Broadway,” says Myers. “Something that is really important throughout my career is to bring awareness to the different causes that I am championing. I’d love to do something focused on music and dance, like organizing people-to-people exchange trips.” For now, the aspiring Broadway star is, more than anything, thankful. “Thank you to the committee for believing in me and for giving me this opportunity,” she says. “Thank you for helping me not let my circumstances define my future.” Prior recipients of the scholarship include Morgan Conley (Brandeis University ’13), Eric Smith (University
of Virginia ’14), Marissa Arager (George Mason University ’15), Avi Malkin (College of William and Mary ’16), Dinar Yusufov (James Madison University ’17), Amanda Gladstone (Virginia Tech ’18), Dana Cohen (Virginia Tech ’19), Brett Pomerantz (Virginia Tech ’20), Sydney Levine (University of Virginia ’21), and Lucie Waldman (attended Franklin and Marshall), and Faith White (Kent State University, ’23). For more information and to apply for next year’s Stein Family Scholarship, contact Ann Swindell, Tidewater Jewish Foundation Donor Relations and Grant manager, at aswindell@ ujft.org or 757-965-6111.
Jewish Tidewater Community Survey: Results available soon Terri Denison
or the first time in 19 years, Tidewater’s Jewish community conducted a survey to gather information to build a stronger, more dynamic Jewish community. The survey took place in February. The last survey, the 2001 Jewish Community demographic Study, revealed where Jewish people lived, their ages, information about households (ages and number of people), and other such details. The 2020 survey aimed to learn where people are on their Jewish journey, what types of services and activities they seek,
and how they want to be connected or contacted. The Jewish Tidewater survey was designed to help the Jewish community understand what local Jews attend and what they don’t—and why and what services and events they want. Conducted by the Melior Group of Philadelphia, Pa., the survey exceeded its first goal—the number of participants. More than 860 members of Jewish Tidewater took the survey, hundreds beyond the expectation for a community of its size. “We were thrilled with the participation,” says Betty Ann Levy, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s executive vice president/CEO. “We heard from all
segments of the population—young and old, and all levels of observance.” The survey’s analysis is nearly done. Data has been compiled and sorted and a summary is expected soon. When it is complete, the pertinent information will be disseminated to the appropriate agencies, synagogues, schools, and organizations. Information will also be shared here, in Jewish News.
Then, the organized community will have an opportunity to address the feedback and use the information to create strategic priorities for Jewish Tidewater.
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shavout Shavout begins on the evening of Thursday, May 28 and ends on the evening of Saturday, May 30. The holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. It is customary to eat dairy products on Shavout, often cheesecake.
How to make cheesecake in your Instant Pot Sheri Silver
quick search for “Instant Pot recipes” will yield hundreds of ideas for savory dishes—everything from chili, pasta, soup, casseroles, and more. But did you know that you can also use your Instant Pot to make dessert? And that your Instant Pot just happens to make the very best cheesecake? While cheesecake is not time-consuming or difficult to prepare, there are a few tips to ensure a smooth, creamy filling with no cracking. You want to make sure that all of your ingredients are completely at room temperature—especially the cream cheese. If it’s even a bit chilled, it will not incorporate evenly into your other ingredients, leaving you with bits of the cream cheese throughout the filling. You also want to thoroughly scrape down the sides of the mixer after each ingredient addition. You’ll get any thicker parts of the batter that typically collect around the sides of the bowl down into the center so that they get mixed in completely with the rest of the batter. Finally, you want to bake the cheesecake in a “bain-marie”—or water bath. By placing the springform pan into a larger pan filled partly with water, you insulate the filling and at the same time create steam as the water heats up. Both of these factors are what is key to achieving a smooth cheesecake with no cracks. Filling your Instant Pot with a bit of water and placing the cheesecake on a trivet inside creates an ideal cooking environment, and results in perfect cheesecake in about 30 minutes! I paired this creamy cheesecake with an easy fudge sauce, making this an ideal dessert for Shavuot or any time you are craving some indulgence.
Cheesecake with fudge sauce Ingredients For the fudge sauce ¹/3 cup chocolate chips 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon sugar, divided ¼ cup water 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1½ teaspoons vanilla, divided For the cheesecake: 1 cup graham cracker (or other cookie) crumbs 4 tablespoons butter (2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature 1¼ cup sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature ¼ cup sour cream ¼ cup flour Directions 1. To make the fudge sauce: Combine chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla. Let cool completely and store covered, in the fridge (bring to room temperature before using). 2. Place 1½ cups water into the stainless steel insert; put the trivet in. 3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon sugar and the graham cracker crumbs—stir to combine. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 7-inch springform pan; place in the freezer. 4. Beat the cream cheese and remaining ½ cup sugar for 2 minutes; scrape down the sides. Add the eggs, sour cream and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides. Add the flour and beat once more. 5. Scrape the batter over your prepared crust and place on the trivet. Place the lid on top, close, and seal. Set to cook on “high” pressure and set the timer for 30 minutes. 6. When the time is up, carefully remove the lid according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Blot any moisture that is on the cheesecake and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the Instant Pot and let cool com-
This recipe originally appeared on The Nosher.
pletely. Chill in the fridge overnight. 7. To serve, either pour the fudge sauce over and cut into slices or pass the sauce separately. Serves 8-10.
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This Israeli cop comedy on Netflix is the perfect pandemic pick-me-up Lior Zaltzman
ocial distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This column suggests Jewish movies and TV shows that you should stream in quarantine.
Hashoter Hatov Streams for free on: Netflix Family friendly? Teenagers and up (JTA)—Israeli TV is all the rage right now. You’ve probably heard of Shtisel, the sensation about a haredi Orthodox family in Jerusalem that swept the world since it premiered on Netflix in 2019, or maybe you know The Beauty and the Baker, an enchanting Israeli comedic telenovela (streamable on Amazon Prime for all your romance lovers), which, by the way, just got an exciting stateside adaptation by ABC. But one less hailed Israeli show that you definitely should be watching is called Hashoter Hatov—Hebrew for “The Good Cop.” This Israeli police comedy is a delight that turns the toxic masculinity associated with police work—especially in a macho country like Israel—on its head. It’s so great that it already got an American adaptation—one with Josh Groban and Tony Danza at its helm, no less. But the American show couldn’t fully capture the lightness and magic of its Israeli counterpart and fizzled after one season. Hashoter Hatov stars comedy veteran Yuval Semo (known for being a member of Israeli comedy troupe The Prozac Trio and a cast member of the Israeli ensemble show Eretz Nehederet) as Danny Konfino, a gruff and successful cop who comes from a family of petty criminals. Unsurprisingly, they don’t really respect his penchant for the law. Konfino lives with his girlfriend and her son until he finds her cheating on him, with a woman. So he winds up back in his childhood home. Konfino’s mother is played by Liora Rivlin, who is known as one of the leads in Krovim Krovim, Israel’s first sitcom from the 80s.
She is absolutely spectacular as both a loving mom and sexuality-empowered woman. Then there’s Konfino’s father, played by Moshe Ivgy, an Israeli acting legend. Here I have to stop and say that Ivgy has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, and was convicted earlier this year of indecent assault. At first, this made me question whether I should write about this show. But since the series takes on and dismantles toxic ideas about masculinity and sex, I decided it was still worth recommending. In the push and pull between appearing authoritative and manly, or loving and gracious, Danny choses the latter, over and over again. Hashoter Hatov was originally conceived as a Reno 911-inspired show, but it turned out to be its own creature, one that is a mix of moving and funny, that brings a heartfelt vulnerability to a profession normally thought of as macho. The show was conceived Erez Aviram, a former journalist and veteran writer for Eretz Nehederet (Israel’s Saturday Night Live equivalent) who has years of an almost anthropological knowledge of the comedic fabric of Israeli society. That in turn makes the show deeply and accurately Israeli. The show’s brand of humor is heartfelt and infectious. You can feel its spirit in the opening number, which has the troupe of cops do a silly dance across a hallway. It’s deceptively simple, but it’s one of my favorite openings to a show—the cast keeps straight faces and brings out the personality of their characters to a joyfully imperfect musical number. Like many serialized police shows, Hashoter Hatov digs into the personal lives of its heroes, and how those intersect with their professional ones—but there’s nothing glamorous about the daily lives of these broke cops, in a country that also, well, is not exactly into rules and regulations. Still, the show has a vision of justice, in which friendship and love triumph over being a stickler to the rules. So if you’re looking to be moved, to laugh and to be distracted from the raging pandemic—Hashoter Hatov is your next binge.
Buckets for kids K
ids Connection and Camp JCC kids received Goody Buckets earlier this month “to lift their spirits and let them know that we’re thinking about them,” says Sarah Cooper, Simon Family JCC’s Kids Connection Before & After School Program manager.
Omree and Arbel Horev have fun with Goody Buckets filled with outdoor summer activities.
Leia Silverstein gets into the bubbles from her bucket.
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Obituaries Dolores Bartel Virginia Beach—We are saddened by the passing of Dolores Bartel on May 7, 2020, after fighting a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Dolores was born in Miami Beach, Fla., the daughter of George and Alice Norris. She graduated from Miami Beach High and attended the University of Florida. Dolores was well known as a “professional volunteer,” especially for people with special needs. She was a tireless advocate and counselor for special needs children, young adults and their families. Dolores was a leader in the community and served on the boards of a large number of organizations, including: Jewish Family Service, Beth Sholom Home, the Women’s Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Association for Hearing Impaired Children, and the Virginia Beach Community Services Board. Along with her husband, Dr. Alan Bartel, she was a co-founder of the International Network for Persons with Autism and Hearing and Visual Impairment, which was one of the original databases and resources to help those dealing with autism, as well as, deafness and/or blindness. Even in her later years when she was robbed of her vivacious personality and enthusiasm for life, she was always committed to her family and community. Dolores was a loving, friendly and social person, always lending a helping hand and knowing no enemies. She was an avid snow skier for over 30 years, often venturing “out West” three or four times a winter in search of powder. Dolores could often be found fast walking the feeder road at the North End of Virginia Beach with her close friends. Her memory will be cherished by her family, whom she spent a lifetime loving. Little things, such as the trademark Spearmint Ice Breakers she always carried around, will serve as reminders of her presence every day. She leaves behind her husband Alan, sons Gary and Craig, three wonderful and loving granddaughters: Haley, Carly and Jody, and her “honorary” daughter and good friend, Shannon. Graveside services were held via Zoom. Memorial donations may be made
to Jewish Family Service at www.jfshamptonroads.org.www.altmeyerfh.com.
Rita Semel Cohen Norfolk—Rita Semel Cohen 86, of Norfolk, died May 16, 2020 at Beth Sholom Home in Virginia Beach. Born in Syracuse, New York she was the daughter of the late Jack Semel and Sarah Coplon Semel. Rita was a graduate of Maury High School and attended Syracuse University. She was a member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. Rita was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years Ramon Cohen and her daughter Susan Cohen MacMillan. Survivors include her son, Bruce Cohen and his wife Helen, six grandchildren; Sophia, Rebecca, Boris, Gordon (Annie), Sarah (Livio) and Laurel. Rita is also survived by two great grandchildren, her dear cousin Lewis Greenhouse and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. A private family service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk. Memorial donations may be made to Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.hdoliver.com. Dr. Ronald I. Dozoretz Washington, DC—Dr. Ronald I. Dozoretz passed away peacefully on May 8, 2020 at the age of 85. Ron, affectionally known as Dr. D, dedicated his entire life to helping people. He had a very gentle and kind nature; however, he was a strong, confident leader who touched so many family members, communities, and individuals worldwide. Ron was born on April 10, 1935 in Buffalo, N.Y. He graduated from Bennett High School and received his undergraduate degree as well as his medical degree at the University of Buffalo (SUNY at Buffalo). He completed his residency in psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University Hospital. He then served as Lieutenant Commander at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. Ron was a pioneer in the mental health field. After recognizing the lack of psychiatric hospital beds for mentally ill
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patients, he founded Center Psychiatrists and Portsmouth Psychiatric Center. Additionally, he created First Hospital Corporation, the first private psychiatric hospital system with close to 20 psychiatric and chemical dependency facilities around the country. Ron was the Founder and Chairman of ValueOptions, Inc., one of the nation’s leading behavioral health and wellness companies serving over 38 million people. ValueOptions, Inc. was a leading provider of mental health management services to the Department of Defense, state Medicaid programs, and many Fortune 500 companies. He held numerous positions with healthcare-related professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. He served as a member of the Board of Advisors for RAND Health, Board of Directors for the National Health Policy Council, and the National Foundation for Mental Health. Also, Ron received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from SUNY at Buffalo. He was an appointed Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ron was a true philanthropist, impacting numerous communities and individuals. He quietly helped so many people, and had little concern about recognition. He was especially proud of the Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences at Norfolk State University, a scholarship program that sends hundreds of students to graduate programs in applied sciences. Ron was a founding member of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, and was a past president of the Medical Society of Virginia. He was also on numerous nonprofit boards, some of which included the Kennedy Center, Norfolk State University, and Case Western Reserve University. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for The Field School, Sidwell Friends School, and the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. He was a recipient of the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Virginia
AFL-CIO Paul Askew Community Service Award. Ron had a long history of involvement in politics, making a large impact on policies and many politicians from local mayors to the Presidents of the United States. Ron’s passion for his family was reflected in every aspect of his life. He was the patriarch of the family, always advising, mentoring, and taking care of his immediate and extended family throughout the years. Ron was predeceased by his parents, Bessie and Joseph Dozoretz, and his sisters, Beverly Dozoretz and Eileen Bertola. He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 30 years, Beth Dozoretz, who he adored and always wanted by his side. He is also survived by his four children, Shari Friedman, Renée Strelitz (John Strelitz), Josh Dozoretz, and Brody Dozoretz, and his six grandchildren, Erica Friedman, Craig Friedman, Jason Friedman, Julia Strelitz, Jacqueline Strelitz, and Joseph Strelitz. Dr. D lived a life with the highest moral and ethical standards with a priority of helping others. His endless charm and charisma will be forever missed.
Lillian T. Kozak Virginia Beach—Lillian T. Kozak, 93, a retired U.S. Navy civilian and mother of an all-male “Brady bunch,” died May 11, 2020, at Beth Sholom Village. Mrs. Kozak was born in Norfolk to the late Benjamin and Sara Traub, later graduating Maury High School, and then raising her family in Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, before retiring to Western Branch in Chesapeake. She is survived by her children, Alan Kurzer of Norfolk, Mark Kozak (Brenda) of Chesapeake, George Kozak (Angela) of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., Ben Kozak of Chesapeake; sisters-in-law Dorothy Traub and Eunice Kozak, her grandchildren Rachel Rabin (Daniel) and Sam Kozak, and her great-grandchild, Naomi Rabin. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Norman J. Kozak; her son, Larry B. Kurzer; and her brother, Morton Traub. Beginning with their marriage in 1968 at Suffolk’s Agudath Achim Congregation, Norman and Lillian successfully united their two families of five boys in
Obituaries Portsmouth’s Glenshellah neighborhood. They enjoyed a busy social life, bridge and dancing. Mrs. Kozak worked as a court stenographer and in real estate and investment offices before becoming a Navy civilian. Through a succession of jobs, she eventually became the administrative assistant to the Commanding Officer of U.S. Navy Inactive Ships, a position she held for 22 years before her retirement. Mrs. Kozak, who maintained a kosher home, was active in B’nai Israel, Gomley Chesed and Beth El synagogues, including Sisterhood and Hadassah. At Gomley Chesed, she helped in the office, served on the board and became the Gabbai. She volunteered for multiple community organizations, including Meals on Wheels and Reading is Fundamental. During her first marriage to Phil Kurzer, they put sons Alan and Larry through the original Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and into scouting at B’nai Israel. Larry went on to the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, and the rest of the sons followed in advanced Jewish education at Gomley Chesed. She was on the auxiliary of Beth Sholom Village where she was an unfailing caretaker of her mother and husband before living there herself. She enjoyed participating in all activities, arts and crafts, and religious services. A socially distant graveside service, conducted by Rabbi Murray Ezring, was held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery. Some aspects of the funeral, shivah and minyans were virtual. Sturtevant Funeral Home. Donations are suggested to Congregation Beth El, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, or Strelitz International Academy (formerly HAT). www.SturtevantFuneralHome.com.
Ronald “Ronnie” L. Levy NORFOLK—On Friday, May 15, 2020, Ronald “Ronnie” L. Levy, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 79. Ronnie was born in Norfolk, Va. to Max and Goldie (Peltz) Levy. A graduate of Newport News High School, he was a member of “Granby High School’s lost class of ‘59.” After attending Norfolk Division of William and Mary, he graduated from
Weaver Airlines School in Kansas City, Missouri. On July 4, 1965, he married Paula Faye Krukin. They raised two sons, Mark and Jason. Ronnie loved airplanes and flying the ‘friendly skies.’ Enjoying 40 years with United Airlines, he received many awards and commendations for exceptional service throughout his career. The only passion Ronnie enjoyed more than airplanes was his love for family, friends, and his 4-legged creatures. Known to everyone for his kind and gentle soul, Ronnie showed warmth and compassion to everyone and everything he encountered. Ronnie always lit up a room with his smile and a laughter that made those around him feel lucky to be with him. Ronnie was preceded in death by his father, Max and his mother, Goldie. He is survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Paula; his children, Mark, Frank, Jason, and Erin; his granddaughter Logan; his brother, Marshall; and sister-in-law, Sandi;
his sister, Brenda and brother-in-law Larry; his sister-in-law, Gail and brother-in-law Seymour; as well as eight nieces and nephews and nine great-nieces and nephews. A graveside funeral service was conducted at the Hebrew Cemetery on Kecoughtan Road in Hampton, Va. Donations may be sent to Temple Emanuel at 424 25th Street, Virginia Beach, VA
23451 or a charity of your choice. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be sent to the family through www. hdoliver.com.
Betty J. Weinstein Fairfax—Betty J. Weinstein 89, died May 6, 2020 in Fairfax, Virginia. Born continued on page 34
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Obituaries continued from page 33
in Norfolk, she was the daughter of the late Julius M. Tischler and Helen Weisel Tischler. Mrs. Weinstein worked for the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk for 37 years. She was preceded in death by her husband’s Maury V. Weinstein and Russell Walter. Survivors include her two sons; Steven Weinstein and his wife Michelle of Fairfax, Va., Barry Carl Weinstein and his wife Beverly of Nashua, NH, two grandchildren, David Weinstein and Jillian Weinstein-Price, a niece Lori Rosenfeld of California and a nephew Warren Klein of New York. A private graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to a charity of choice. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.hdoliver.com
Hyman Siegal taught young Leonard Nimoy to develop film BOSTON (JTA)—As a teenager growing up in the West End of Boston in the early 1940s, Hyman Siegal was a regular at the West End House, a philanthropic club that offered programming for the sons of immigrants and a place to gather away from the crowded tenement homes. It was there that he befriended another young Jewish Bostonian, Leonard Nimoy, who would become a world-renowned actor for his portrayal of Spock on Star Trek. Siegal had taken to photography early, using the money he earned delivering newspapers to buy his first camera, and he taught Nimoy to develop and print film, according to Siegal’s brother Alan. A photo of Nimoy and their West End friends that Siegal took is featured on the website of the West End Museum. Nimoy would later in life publish a controversial book of his own photographs, Shekhina, in 2002. Siegal, whose affinity for the arts remained a lifelong passion, died of complications due to COVID-19 on April 29. He was 90. Siegal was born in 1929. A veteran of the Korean War, he earned his college degree in accounting and went to work for the IRS. After his retirement, he
volunteered to help seniors and low-income people with their taxes. His dedication to helping others was also evident in his long time association with the Jewish War Veterans. On Memorial Day, Siegal would place flags at the graves of Jewish veterans. “He had a good neshama,” says Rabbi Laurence Bazer, the former rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham, using the Hebrew word for soul. Siegel was a regular at the synagogue west of Boston, where he lived for decades with his late wife Harriet. He celebrated a second bar mitzvah there, chanting the reading from the prophets on Shabbat morning that he hadn’t had a chance to do at his first bar mitzvah. But it was Siegal’s unlikely participation in a congregational trip to Israel, in 2007, that most stands out for Bazer. Siegal was determined to trek up Mount Bental, a 3,800-foot peak in the Golan Heights, and when he made it to the top and took in the panoramic view, he felt like he had fulfilled a lifelong ambition. “His eyes lit up,” Bazer recalls. Later that evening at dinner, Siegal spontaneously led the group in dancing the horah. “It was a side of Hy that was just woken,” Bazer says. “It was beautiful.” Siegal is survived by two children, Robert and Valerie, and brother Alan Siegal.
Joel Kupperman, template for the smart Jewish kid He lisped. He wore an intense and engaged stare in photos. And he knew just about everything. Joel Kupperman, the adorable child star who helped burnish the stereotype of the brainy Jew as a panelist on the 1940s show Quiz Kids, died on April 8, according to an obituary published by the New York Times. The death certificate describes an “influenza-like illness (probably Covid‑19)” as the cause of death. He was 83. “A fairly cute kid who can do math quite well has never been such a big deal at any other time in American history,” Kupperman’s son Michael once wrote of his father. “It could only have happened with a Jewish child, during a war that
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many people saw as a fight to save Jews.” Kupperman was one of the original Quiz Kids, which aired on NBC radio and then TV in the 1940s and 1950s. Airing a time when Jewish children were being ripped from their parents in Europe, the show, which featured a group of mostly Jewish kids fielding questions about a range of subjects, offered American audiences a Jewish stereotype that inspired affection rather than revulsion. “When we moved through crowds, there were loud remarks of ‘Oh, they’re all Jews!’” Ruth Duskin, another Jewish panelist on the show, wrote. The show would inspire J.D. Salinger’s fictional Jewish Glass family, whose children were all featured on a fictional radio quiz show and grew into deeply neurotic adults. Like Kupperman, Seymour Glass fast tracks to a Ph.D. In his 2010 book Theories of Human Nature, Kupperman appeared to wink at Salinger as a kindred spirit, describing him as “a well known example of someone who retreated from his celebrity, as did the actress Greta Garbo.” Kupperman’s awkward persona would also find reflection in roles later popularized by other Jewish child actors: Barry Gordon in the 1960s, Robby Benson in the 1970s, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman in the 1980s, and Mayim Bialik and Jonathan Lipnicki in the 1990s, through to Jaren Lewison, who plays Ben Gross, the love interest on the breakout Netflix hit, Never Have I Ever. Kupperman, who was a Quiz Kid from age 6 until 16, was forever scarred by the experience and reluctant to discuss it. Michael Kupperman spent years researching his father’s experiences and in 2018 published a well-received graphic novel, All the Answers.
As a teenager, Kupperman appeared awkward and robotic on the TV version of the show. He enrolled at 16 at the University of Chicago, where he was bullied. A professor advised him to get out of the country. He found his niche at Cambridge University, and later at the University of Connecticut, where he remained until his retirement in 2010. He would walk away when people asked him about his experience as a Quiz Kid, and opened up to his son only in retirement. “He wanted to retreat into the life of the mind, and in many ways he succeeded,” his wife told the Times. “He really lived in his head.” The only time he raised his Quiz Kid experiences with his son was when he spontaneously volunteered that Abbot and Costello had once given him a dog. “That’s literally the only time he spontaneously shared a bit of showbiz remembrance, ever,” the younger Kupperman told the Guardian in 2018, the year he published his book about his father. “Never before or after, so it was a huge shock.” In 2006, Kupperman published a popular book on philosophy called Six Myths about the Good Life: Thinking About What Has Value. In it, he strives to break through the strictures of facile expectations. In a review of the book, Samantha Vice singled out Kupperman’s hope to create a “philosophical therapy … loosening the hold of attractive and simple ideas that get in the way of our intelligence.” It was an apt credo for a child who transitioned out of a stereotype into his own man. In addition to his wife and son, Kupperman is survived by his daughter, Charlie; a sister, Harriet Moss; and a grandson. (JTA)
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