Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 54 No. 17 | 1 Iyar 5776 | May 9, 2016
18 Remembering Rabbi Arthur Steinberg
22 Elie Wiesel Student art competition
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Young Palestinians skeptical of negotiations and supportive of violence, poll finds
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
he overwhelming majority of young Palestinians believe the IsraeliPalestinian conflict cannot be resolved through negotiations. A poll of Palestinian youth, defined as ages 16–30, published last month by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center depicts a community that is socially conservative, supports violence against Israel, is skeptical about its leadership and opposes the Islamic State. It also shows significantly greater support for violence among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip than among those in the West Bank. While 47.4 percent of youths in the West Bank oppose stabbing attacks, 78.6 percent of Gaza youths support them, according to the poll. In addition, 66.6 percent of the respondents in Gaza believe the current wave of violence serves the Palestinian cause, while 40.9 percent in the West Bank agree. The poll is based on face-to-face interviews with a random sample of 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza between April 13 and 19. It has a 3 percent margin of error. The average age of the respondents was 22. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they believe that negotiations will not
succeed in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Similarly, when asked which leaders conflict, and 64.3 percent oppose the idea they trust, the plurality, or 32.7 percent, of working with like-minded Israelis to said they did not trust anyone. With 16 find a solution to the conflict. percent, Palestinian Authority President Despite the apparent cynicism about Mahmoud Abbas garnered the most trust negotiations, the majority, of any named leaders. or 52.9 percent, support One issue around a possible resumption of which there was strong negotiations with Israel, consensus was a shared but a sizable minority, at distaste for the Islamic 43 percent, oppose doing State, or ISIS, the Islamic percent of so. extremist group that conGaza youths While the survey trols parts of Syria and support found high levels of supIraq and which has perstabbing port for the Palestinian petrated terrorist attacks attacks National Authority, with in Europe and elsewhere. 67.7 percent saying it Some 83.6 percent of should stay in place and those surveyed had neg60.3 percent saying its ative opinions of the performance was good group. or very good, it also On social issues, the reported high levels of majority of those polled, mistrust for the various Palestinian polit- or 65.3 percent, said they do not shake ical factions. Asked which faction they hands with members of the opposite sex. trust the most, 32.5 percent of respon- Respondents were sharply divided on the dents said they don’t trust any faction, issue of coeducation, with 49.8 percent 33.8 percent said they trust Fatah—which opposed and 48.1 percent in favor. (JTA) controls the Palestinian Authority—more than others and 19.1 percent said they trust Hamas more than others.
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Briefs Palestinian teen convicted in murder of Israeli mother of 6 A Palestinian teenager was convicted in the murder of Dafna Meir, a mother of six, in her West Bank home. On Monday, May 2, the 16-year-old assailant was convicted of murder and illegal possession of a weapon in Judea military court, the Israel Defense Forces announced the following day. He was arrested two days after the Jan. 17 murder in Otniel and confessed to the killing during an interrogation, the Shin Bet security service said at the time of his arrest. He was indicted in February. Meir, 38, was stabbed to death at the entrance of her home while fighting off her attacker in what is believed to have been an attempt to save three of her children in the house. She was the mother of four children and a foster mother of two young children. Her 17-year-old daughter was able to give security officials a description of the assailant, who fled after he was unable to remove the knife from her body. The teen watched Palestinian television broadcasts that incited against Israel and said Israel was “killing young Palestinians” before he allegedly committed the crime, the Shin Bet said. The teen returned home after the murder and spent the evening with his family watching a movie, the indictment said. (JTA) Jewish Israeli sentenced to life plus 20 years for revenge murder of Palestinian teen The Jewish-Israeli man convicted of the revenge murder of a Palestinian teen was sentenced to life plus 20 years in jail on Tuesday, May 3. The sentence for Yosef Ben-David, 31, of Jerusalem for the kidnapping and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in July 2014 was handed down in Jerusalem District Court. The court also ordered Ben-David to pay the Palestinian teen’s family $39,000 in damages. Israel does not have a death penalty. “I request forgiveness from the family for what happened; it wasn’t under my control. That’s not my character and I am not that kind of man,” Ben-David said in court. He also said that he used to volunteer 4 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
for the Zaka rescue organization and took care of both Jewish and Arab bodies. “I always considered the human image and respect for the dead to be holy,” BenDavid said. He and two teenage accomplices burned Khdeir to death in the Jerusalem forest. The court in February determined that Ben-David was mentally fit to be sentenced, rejecting his insanity plea that he should not be held responsible for his actions at the time of the kidnapping and murder because of a history of mental illness. The plea noted that Ben-David was under medication for his condition. Ben David’s attorneys have said they will appeal the conviction and the sentence. The names of Ben-David’s accomplices, who were both 16 at the time of the killing, have not been released publicly. The accomplices were sentenced last month: one to life in prison, the other to 21 years. The three kidnapped Khdeir, then beat and burned him alive, soon after the bodies of three Jewish teens kidnapped and murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas were found in the West Bank. (JTA)
U.S. employs Israeli tactic in ISIS fight to reduce civilian casualties In fighting Islamic State combatants in Iraq, U.S. troops employed an Israeli tactic designed to reduce civilian casualties during bombardments. U.S. troops used “roof knocking” in Mosul, but a woman was killed in the attack, Air Force Maj.-Gen. Peter Gersten, deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led coalition, said April 26, according to Reuters. The tactic involves hitting buildings suspected as occupied by residents with a non-lethal projectile to warn civilians shortly before an incoming bombardment. The Israeli military used roof knocks in the 2014 Gaza war on Hamas, but a United Nations commission found in 2015 that the tactic was not effective because it often caused confusion and did not give residents enough time to escape. When the U.S. used the tactic on April 5, one woman who initially did leave the targeted building, ran back inside and was killed, Gersten said in a news conference
in which he spoke remotely over a video uplink to listeners, including journalists, at the Pentagon during a Defense Department briefing. The building housed a member of Islamic State, or ISIS, in charge of distributing money to fighters, as well as being a cash storage site, he said. The United States believed the site contained about $150 million. “We’ve certainly watched and observed their procedure,” Gersten said of the Israelis, while noting the U.S. military did not coordinate with the Israelis on the strike. “As we formulated the way to get the civilians out of the house, this [technique] was brought forward from one of our experts.” The U.S.-led coalition could employ the technique again in the future, he said. The U.S. military has acknowledged killing 41 civilians in its air campaign against ISIS, which began in 2014. (JTA)
Model of Oskar Schindler’s gold ring donated by jeweler’s son A long-thought lost model used by grateful Jewish workers to create a gold ring for Oskar Schindler has been donated to the Melbourne Jewish Holocaust Centre, where it will go on display. The model was in the Melbourne workshop of ring maker Jozef Gross for more than 50 years. The ring-making was portrayed in Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List as having been made from gold sourced from prisoners’ teeth, according to the Holocaust center. Schindler, the hero of Thomas Kenneally’s book Schindler’s Ark, as well as the Oscar-winning film, was a German industrialist and member of the Nazi Party who saved Jews by employing them in his factory and treating them humanely. He saved about 1,200 Jews. At the end of the war, Gross, a master jeweler, made the ring for Schindler, who lost it shortly after the war. The model came to Australia with Gross. The jeweler was a very private person and chose not to share his story with the world, telling only his family and a few others about his war experiences.
Importantly, however, Gross gave an in-depth description of the process used to make the ring to his Australian business partner. The model was discovered by Gross’ son, Louis, in a box, along with other jewelry-making paraphernalia after Gross died in 1997. The model is one of the few physical objects remaining from Schindler’s factory. (JTA)
JDC, HUC announce global Jewish leadership fellowship JDC Entwine—the initiative for young adults of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion – has established a Jewish leadership fellowship. The Weitzman-JDC Fellowship for Global Jewish Leaders was announced Monday, May 1. The graduate fellowship was founded by Jane Weitzman, a JDC board member, and her husband, shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, to provide HUC-JIR rabbinic, cantorial and Jewish education students expertise in Jewish needs around the world and in Israel, according to the announcement. “While all major U.S. universities today have top graduate programs developing the next generation of leaders to face the challenges of our changing world, there is a desperate need in the North American Jewish community to immerse our up-and-coming leaders in issues confronting Jews internationally,” Jane Weitzman, a board member of JTA’s parent organization, 70 Faces Media, said in a statement. Over the next five years, the WeitzmanJDC Fellowship at HUC-JIR will train 15 fellows, giving them a deeper understanding of global Jewish issues that they can bring to their congregations, classrooms and communities across North America. As part of the program, the fellows will travel to some of the 70 countries that JDC provides services. Weitzman-JDC Fellows will work from a special curriculum developed with HUCJIR to foster the concept of global Jewish responsibility and activism on Jewish issues among their congregants, students and the wider North American Jewish community, the statement said. (JTA)
Staying awake at night “Rabbi Chanina ben Chachinai said: One who is awake at night or goes on the road by himself, and turns his heart to wasteful things, this person is taking his life in his hands.” —Ethics of Our Fathers
he above text gives us an important practical lesson: If you are up at night or walking alone, don’t waste time. Turn to the Torah. Grow. Become better. Be a better Jew. About 2,000 years ago, a young shepherd by the name of Akiva decided to devote his life to the study and teaching of Torah. Everyone but his wife thought that he was crazy, but he did it. The Talmud tells us that he had 24,000 followers, and that all of them died in a plague. We mourn the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students at this time of year by not getting married and not listening to live music, but we also stop mourning on Lag B’omer, in part to celebrate the fact that Rabi Akiva picked himself up after losing all of his students and moved down South where he established new students at great peril to his life. Thanks to Rabi Akiva, the unbroken chain of the Torah’s transmission remained intact. Rabi Akiva lived at a very dark period in history and he was very alone. The Romans had outlawed Torah study and his students were wiped out in a plague. He had to go against the flow and he had
very little support. The Mishna that we opened with speaks of a person who is awake at night and a person who walks alone. A person who is awake at night is a person who wants to keep going when the whole world is standing still. A person who is awake at night is a person who wants to move forward even though he can’t be sure where his path is leading him. The worst thing for that person to do is to forget about the Torah. If he or she forgets about the Torah, they really are in danger of getting lost. They really will be alone. A Jew is never alone. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we need to remember that G-d is with us. Whether it is the middle of the night or in the middle of a personal struggle in our lives, we need to remember that we are never alone. Remember to stay awake at night. Remember to keep on growing when the world is standing still. Remember that we are never truly walking alone, because G-d is with us in every step that we take and every decision that we make.
A person who is awake at night is a person who wants to keep going when the whole world is standing still.
—Rabbi Sender Haber, B’nai Israel Congregation
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from the hal Sacks Jewish News Archives
Ruth’s will said a lot about her. What does your will say about you? As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995, Ruth
arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 17 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Writee your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
May 5, 2006 For the second consecutive year, the Week of Healthy Living, Jewish Family Service’s major fundraising event, took place. It included the 2nd Annual Run, Roll or Stroll at Norfolk Botanical Gardens, as well as a variety of speakers and free health screenings.
May 10, 1996 Rabbi Israel Bornstein was to be honored at the 50th anniversary gala of B’nai Israel Congregation.
May 23, 1986 Governor Gerald L. Baliles announced the creation of a special commission to promote and expand the economic development, educational and cultural opportunities between Virginia and Israel, in commemoration of the upcoming 40th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. The governor also directed the commission, to be called the Virginia-
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Israel Commission, to plan a year-long program for the exchange of people and ideas.
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May 28, 1976 Sunday Night at the Movies for JCC Singles featured Amos and Andy in the Center’s Young Adult Lounge. ”Single adults, 18–40 years, were invited to see good movies, eat popcorn, meet, mingle and share laughs with others at Sunday Night at the Movies.”
May 1, 1966 The Norfolk Chapter of Women’s American ORT held a champagne hour and luncheon at the Hague Club. A “gay musical” entitled Let My People A Go-Go was presented. It was written by Mrs. Leonard Strelitz, Mrs. James Kline and Mrs. Robert Baydush and directed by Mrs. Samuel Leiderman.
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May 1, 1956 A large scale program, ultimately designed to see that every eligible adult Jewish person in the community had registered and paid his poll tax, was conducted by the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Community Council.
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Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy advisers are exactly who you’d expect them to be—which is now rare by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—It’s the season of the unconventional foreign policy adviser: Donald Trump takes advice from his sonin-law and real estate attorney, and Bernie Sanders cites folks who didn’t know they were advising him. In this field, Hillary Clinton’s inner circle of foreign policy advisers stands out for not standing out. The names she has on her side are a who’s who of the last 20 years of national security policy, from Madeleine Albright, the second term secretary of state of her husband, President Bill Clinton, to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., the rising Democratic star who is the top party member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Other major insiders include Tom
Donilon, the first-term national security adviser of President Barack Obama known for his closeness to Israel; Leon Panetta, a former Obama defense secretary who has said the president missed opportunities to stem the bloodshed in Syria, and Michele Flournoy, a former defense undersecretary who turned down the opportunity in 2014 to be the first female defense secretary because she was unhappy with White House micromanagement. Others advising Hillary Clinton are not immediately recognizable, but possess the credentials that—at least until this topsy turvy election season—are prerequisites for an entrée into a senior advisory role for a presidential campaign: top schools, experience in government and proven loyalty to the candidate.
Another tie that binds Clinton’s advisers to her: Many of them, like Clinton, tack to Obama’s right on national security. On Israel-specific issues, that means tending to be more skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal and more reluctant to criticize Israel openly. But “same old, same old” is what the Clinton campaign hopes will emerge as one of its strengths. Albright, speaking last month on a campaign call after Republican front-runner Trump’s first major foreign policy speech, put it this way: “Do you want someone unpredictable with the nuclear codes?” Here’s a look at five top Middle East advisers and the chops they bring to the campaign and could carry into a Clinton administration. Jake Sullivan and Laura
Rosenberger are paid staffers, and the others belong to campaign advisory groups and have helped shape policy papers. Jake Sullivan A Yale law school alum who advised Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and went on to advise Obama, Sullivan was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff when she was Obama’s secretary of state. He moved to Vice President Joe Biden’s office after she left at the end of Obama’s first term. Sullivan, 39, is now the campaign’s foreign policy chief, and is touted to become the youngest-ever national security adviser should Clinton win the presidency. Sullivan was Clinton’s point man in helping to shape the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. According to Politico, as
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Election 2016 Biden’s national security adviser, he brokered the historic 2013 phone call between President Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. Clinton involved Sullivan in the Iranian gambit from day one. According to her second autobiography, Hard Choices, she tapped him to deliver a message to the Iranian deputy foreign minister at talks on Afghanistan in March of 2009, the second month of the Obama administration. “Jake was not the most experienced diplomat at the State Department I could have chosen, but he was discreet and had my absolute confidence,” she wrote. Sullivan, loyal to Clinton, shared her skepticism of the Iranian regime and has been credited by deal opponents as being one of the tougher Obama administration negotiators. That background gave him credibility when early in the current campaign he went after Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont vying with Clinton for the Democratic nod, for hoping to “normalize” relations with Iran in the wake of the deal. “Iran seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran is a leading sponsor of terror in the region, Iran is flouting international law with its ballistic missile tests and its threats against our allies and partners,” Sullivan said in a campaign video.
mission in Jewish terms: “Passover is my favorite holiday, because I find very much a driving mission for myself in this, the obligation of the Jewish people who have been free from oppression ourselves to root out oppression wherever we see it,” she said. Her focus is the Middle East and she has homed in on the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has flared around the campaigns of Trump, a real estate magnate, and Cruz, a Texas senator who dropped out of the race after Trump’s major victory in Indiana. Rosenberger posted on the campaign website her annotated version of Clinton’s speech in November to the Council on Foreign Relations on the threat of the Islamic State group. In a long speech that dealt with military and diplomatic options for crushing Islamic State, Rosenberger’s annotations emphasized Muslim outreach. “We cannot paint 1 billion people with the same brush,” said Rosenberger, a sensitivity she would have encountered early on in her career when she advocated on behalf of Kosovo, a secular Muslim nation often tarred on the far right as a hotbed of radical Islam.
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Laura Rosenberger A graduate of American University, a factory for State Department wonks, Laura Rosenberger made good on her degree in conflict resolution working with NGOs in the Balkans soon after she graduated in 2002. She nabbed a career position in the State Department in 2004, and moved up through the ranks, ending her career there as chief of staff to the deputy secretary of state before joining Clinton’s campaign a year ago. Rosenberger, 35, told the Jewish Journal in January that she comes from a family deeply involved in Jewish life in the Pittsburgh area, and described her core
Andrew Shapiro Hang out at pro-Israel organizations during Obama’s first term and you were likely sooner or later to run into Andrew Shapiro, then an assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. Shapiro was Clinton’s pro-Israel explainer: When tensions were ratcheting up between the Obama and Netanyahu governments, Shapiro was among the first to master the original “unprecedented aid” pitch, offering facts and figures on the level of military assistance the Obama administration was delivering to Israel. “I am proud to say that this administration has taken steps to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and preserve it in a new century and era of dramatic change,” he continued on page 10
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Election 2016 continued from page 9
told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in November 2011. “As a result of the Obama Administration’s commitment, our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before,” he said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that the security cooperation between our two countries is ‘unprecedented.’ In fact, I believe that no American administration has done as much as ours for Israel’s security.” Shapiro, 48, who studied international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and then Columbia University, is an old Clinton hand, having worked for her when she was senator from New York as a senior foreign policy adviser. In Hard Choices, she credits him with helping to secure Israel’s access to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. In Obama’s second term, Shapiro left government and established a foreign policy strategic consultancy, Beacon Global Strategies, with two other Obama administration alumni, Jeremy Bash, a top Pentagon official and the
son of a Washington area rabbi, and Philippe Reines, one of Clinton’s closest advisers when she was secretary of state. While all three are true-blue Democrats, the group’s advisory board is bipartisan and includes hawkish veterans of the President George W. Bush administration, including former ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman. It’s a grouping that signals that Shapiro, like his once and possible future boss, has ties deep inside Washington’s interventionist foreign policy establishment. James Steinberg Eight years after concluding a term as a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, James Steinberg, 62, became a deputy to his first boss’s wife, as a deputy secretary of state. Steinberg had worked on the Obama campaign, and according to the Wall Street Journal helped craft the candidate’s 2008 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which—with its emotional
recalling of the 1960s black-Jewish civil rights alliance—did much to tamp down for a period skepticism about Obama among pro-Israel centrists. Steinberg left after two years, according to Politico, because as an Obama-branded staffer he was having trouble in Clintonland. Clinton, in Hard Choices, dismisses that explanation, noting that during the 2008 cycle he had advised both campaigns. She writes that she offered him the job because of his expertise in the Asia-Pacific region, a priority in Obama’s first term. This go-round, Steinberg’s specialty in advising the Clinton campaign is the Middle East. Steinberg last September announced he would wrap up his current gig heading Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at the end of this academic year. Tamara Cofman Wittes Tamara Cofman Wittes directs the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy, a gig that is a link to one of
the best-known Clinton Israel whisperers, Haim Saban, the entertainment mogul and major Democratic Party funder. The center was until recently known as the Saban Center, and the Israeli-American magnate is still involved in its funding. It organizes the annual Saban Forum, which brings together movers and shakers from Israel and the U.S., including, reliably, Clinton. Wittes was a top Middle East policy official under Clinton when she was secretary of state, and her Brookings biography says she “was central to organizing the U.S. government’s response to the Arab awakening.” A Hebrew speaker, Wittes has a deep Israel involvement. She’s a board member of the Israel Institute, which advances Israel studies in the United States. She also is an advocate for greater representation of women in the Middle East policy world, routinely using her social media platform to ding all-male panels on the topic.
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Election 2016 Trump says he will try to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal
aying he’d “never met a person from Israel that didn’t want to make that deal,” Donald Trump said if elected president he plans to try to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. “I am going to try and make that deal just because—man, would that be a beauty—if you like deals. I like deals,”
the Republican presidential front-runner said at a rally in Terre Haute ahead of the Indiana primary last week, according to Jewish Insider. “A lot of my Jewish friends say, ‘You will never be able to make the deal’ because there are so many years of hatred, especially on the other side,” Trump added.
“You know, they [the Palestinians] grow up as young children hating, hating, hating Israel. I think the deal can be made. But we got to be smart, and we got to use our best people; gotta use me, but you got to use our best people. And I know the best people.” In the speech, Trump also said the United States should use its clout as a
major funder to demand that the United Nations do more to help resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Trump’s first foreign policy speech last month did not mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict other than criticizing President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for being too critical of the Jewish state. (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 11
opinion How ‘Seinfeld’ paved the way for Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., on March 11, 2016. Photo: Scott Pelkey ne014x/Flickr. by Rafael Medoff/JNS.org
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s recently as the 1940s, anti-Semitism was so common in the United States that even the president privately told offensive jokes about Jewish immigrants in a faux New York Jewish accent. Yet in the past few months, a candidate who is the son of Jewish immigrants and has a pronounced New York Jewish accent has won 19 presidential primaries and caucuses, and more than 6 million votes. He has received donations from more than 4 million Americans—the largest number of individual contributors to any political campaign in U.S. history. Have American public attitudes toward Jews changed so drastically? And if so, how did it happen? Anti-Semitism reached record levels in the U.S. in the 1940s. Polls found that more than half of all Americans considered Jews greedy and dishonest. More than onethird felt Jews had too much power. Nearly one-fourth regarded Jews as “a menace to America.” Not even president Franklin D. Roosevelt was immune. He once joked privately that relatives might suspect his fifth child was Jewish, in view of what he said was the baby’s “slightly Hebraic nose.” FDR’s eldest grandson, Curtis Roosevelt, has recalled “hearing the president tell mildly anti-Semitic stories in the White House,” in which “the protagonists were always Lower East Side Jews with heavy
accents.” Historians have uncovered a number of additional instances in which Roosevelt made unfriendly remarks about Jews. That was 75 years ago. Anti-Semitism in the U.S. has not vanished in the interim, but if measured according to public opinion surveys, it certainly has decreased significantly since the World War II era. The Anti-Defamation League estimates that only about 10-15 percent of Americans still subscribe to prejudices about Jews being selfish or having too much influence—in other words, less than half of the number during the Roosevelt years. There are many factors that explain this shift in attitudes—and may help explain the improbable rise of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). One has to do with Jewish characters in pop culture. A number of sympathetic Jewish characters appeared in television shows, films, plays, and novels beginning in the 1970s. The influence of TV situation comedies is especially important in this context, both because of the frequency with which they appeared (every week) and because many of their Jewish characters were, like Sanders, from the older generation. The image of the older Jew as alien and off-putting began to crumble as tens of millions of Americans welcomed an array of appealing, older Jewish sitcom characters into their living rooms week after week. The first was Rhoda Morgenstern’s
opinion mother, Ida, who appeared both in The Mary Tyler Moore Show (which aired from 1970–1977) and in Rhoda (1974–1978). She was difficult and meddlesome, to be sure, but ultimately she was lovable as well. Then there was Jerry’s Uncle Leo, in Seinfeld (1989–1998); Fran’s mother Sylvia in The Nanny (1993-1999); and Grace’s mother Bobbi in Will and Grace (1998– 2006). Sometimes they made us cringe, but they almost always made us laugh. Recurring older Jewish characters on Saturday Night Live should also be mentioned. An entire generation of American television audiences grew up with Jon Lovitz’s Hanukkah Harry (introduced in 1989) and, especially, Mike Myers’s wildly popular Linda Richman, hostess of the faux radio show Coffee Talk (1991–1995). Bernie Sanders does not possess the youthful appearance or slick presentation that one might assume a presidential candidate requires to attract a substantial number of voters, especially from the
younger generation. With his rigid ideological positions and preachy speaking style, Sanders has sometimes been described as an overbearing Jewish uncle. That, however, is just the point. There was a time when an overbearing Jewish uncle was widely perceived as foreign, unpleasant, and worthy of derision. But for the generation that grew up with Linda Richman and Uncle Leo, Sanders’s personality traits are not just tolerable—they are familiar and even endearing. Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee for president. But his unexpected achievements as a candidate illustrate a remarkable transformation in public attitudes that has taken place, in which the cranky old Jewish socialist of yesteryear is now viewed affectionately through the prism provided by Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld. —Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author of 16 books about Jewish history.
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Nevada primary, a Muslim facing a Jew says he was passed over for his faith by Ron Kampeas
Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the powerful minority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Emily’s List, which backs pro-choice Democratic women. Sbaih, says Reid’s machine has cut off access to Democratic consultants who could help him. Much of his campaign is self-funded. He says he is running to give back to the community—he arrived in the United States with his parents when he was 11. He has endorsed the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running a campaign emphasizing income inequality —and who incidentally is the first Jewish candidate for a major party to win nominating contests. (Sanders lost Nevada, but by a small margin, to Hillary Clinton.) “I believe in the goodness and the spirit of the American people,” Sbaih says. “There are serious issues facing our community. In this district of 744,000 people, we have 64,000 people living below the poverty line. Did Reid bring up Sbaih’s faith? It comes . down to he said/she said—quite literally. Spectacular contemporary home with river view and private back yard on the Two weeks before meeting with Reid, Lynnhaven. Dramatic two story foyer and great room. Relax in over 5000 square feet Sbaih met with Rebecca Lambe, a political including huge master with fireplace and bay window overlooking river. Potential consultant to the senator. Sbaih says she in law suite. Extensive withIhot L A K decking E SM Ttub. H Convenient to all of Hampton Roads. was the first to suggest his faith could be an Ready for you to enjoy! obstacle. Orthman referred JTA to Lambe’s This all brick home statement last month to the Washington overlooking serene Post, when she said she raised a number of Lake Smith is bright issues in that first meeting, including his and up-to-date. religion, “to more fully understand the path New roof and windows. and potential attacks from the other side.” Custom neighborhood Sbaih showed JTA a series of texts he convenient to all of sent to Lambe after his Aug. 25 meeting Hampton Roads. with Reid, in which he candidly discusses whether he should suspend his campaign because of his “ethnicity/religion.” Lambe 5113 Crystal Point Drive did not immediately cut him off—she 5113 Crystal Point Drive $539,900 refers to a possible federal appointment that Reid’s team discussed with Sbaih—so she does not appear to be put off or surprised by his reference to his religion or its political implications. However, Sbaih’s references to his faith in the texts could refer to his earlier Janet Frenck, GRI conversation with Lambe and not to the 757-439-4039 conversation with Reid. It is also not clear 757-439-4039 Howard Hanna William E Wood from the texts if she straight out said Janet Frenck, CRB, GRI HENDERSON, Nev. ( JTA)—Come November, Nevadans in this suburban Las Vegas district may well elect to Congress Jacky Rosen, a software developer and president of her synagogue. A Jordanian-American lawyer says her win would be at his expense, and it’s because of his Muslim faith. But Jesse Sbaih isn’t blaming Rosen. Rather he is blitzing the Nevada media with his claim that Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the states’s Democratic boss, counted him out of the race in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District because he is a Muslim. Sbaih was more than happy to present his argument to JTA, and at no point suggests that Rosen—who was ultimately Reid’s pick in the bid to replace Joe Heck, a Republican whose run for Senate leaves his seat open—was selected because she is Jewish. Instead, he says, Reid was simply
seeking someone who was not Jesse Sbaih. “‘Let me be blunt, you can’t win this race because you’re a Muslim,’” Sbaih quotes Reid as telling him last August when they met at a Las Vegas hotel. Reid’s office acknowledges the meeting, but flatly denies that Sbaih’s religion came up. “We have said many times that Jesse is not telling the truth,” Kristen Orthman, the senator’s spokeswoman, says. Sbaih remains in the running for the June 14 congressional primary, but Reid’s full-throttled power is behind Rosen. Reid is retiring this year and wants to leave his mark on the state. Heck’s open seat is an opportunity—President Barack Obama won the district in 2008 and 2012, albeit by relatively small margins. Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund political action committee is backing Rosen. She also has the backing of a political action committee associated with Rep.
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being Muslim would be a problem, or if he simply inferred that from her saying that he should anticipate attacks because of his religion— which she acknowledges. What’s also not explained is why Democrats would fear running an Arab American or a Muslim for office. Multiple Arab Americans from both parties have served or are serving in Congress, and there are two Muslim Democrats from the Midwest—Sbaih would be the first member to be both Arab American and Muslim. Where Sbaih has ammunition, however, is in the claim by Reid’s team that the senator simply wanted Sbaih, 40, to gain seasoning—through the statehouse or federal government work—before running. “Senator Reid said, ‘You have a future, you should look at running for state Assembly or state Senate,” Orthman says. “That was the crux of the meeting.” The problem with that argument is that Rosen also was not a known quantity. Reid, according to Nevada politics reporter Jon Ralston, had hoped to find a “big name” before settling earlier this year on Rosen. “She’s been a community leader for years, she’s known in the district she’s running in,” Orthman says, referring to Rosen. Sbaih says his work specializing in consumer rights lends him a high profile, which is burnished by his physician wife Sameera’s busy family practice in this suburb of casinos, resorts and strip malls. The Rosen campaign deflected multiple requests by JTA to meet or interview the candidate. Regarding her leadership experience, all she cites was her presidency of Ner Tamid, a Reform synagogue here and the largest shul in the region. She notes the synagogue’s use of solar panels to conserve energy and says she balanced a budget of $2.5 million a year. Otherwise, Rosen appears to lack preparation, eager to avoid wonky topics and to focus on a feel-good message. “We can talk about energy and education and economics, but what’s most important is to talk about is empowerment,” she says.
Global surges of anti-Semitism Ex-mayor of London suspended from Labour for saying Hitler was Zionist
ritain’s Labour Party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone last month for saying Adolf Hitler was a Zionist. A Labour spokesperson told The Guardian that the action was “for bringing the party into disrepute.” British anti-racism activists and Labour Party politicians are demanding Livingstone’s expulsion. In a radio interview with the BBC, Livingstone said, “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.” He made the remarks in defense of Labour lawmaker Naz Shah, who was suspended over a Facebook post in 2014 suggesting Israelis should be moved en masse to the United States. She apologized a day after the remarks came to light. Asked during the interview whether he regarded her statement as anti-Semitic, Livingstone said: “No, it’s completely over the top but it’s not anti-Semitic.” The ex-mayor also said there was a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticized Israeli policy as anti-Semitic.” Livingstone’s remarks come at a sensitive time for Labour, which in recent months has seen the suspension of several members, including at the senior level, for anti-Semitic hate speech that critics say party leader Jeremy Corbyn is not doing enough to curb. Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends” after inviting representatives from both terrorist groups to visit the British Parliament as his guests, is also accused of
encouraging vitriol against Israel and Jews by not distancing himself from groups such as Hamas. “No one can call themselves progressive if they regurgitate the worst ideas of the Nazis and other classic anti-Semites throughout history as many people associated with the Labour party have done recently,” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement about Livingstone. He spoke of “a pattern emerging of a party which tolerates at best, and ignores at worst, a groundswell of Jew-hatred.” John Mann, a Labour lawmaker and central figure in the fight against anti-Semitism in Britain, confronted Livingstone and shouted at him, calling him a “disgrace” and a “Nazi apologist.” He has called for him to be expelled from the party. Mann told Sky News that Livingstone’s comments were “insane,” branded him an “anti-Semite,” and said the Labour veteran had “gone totally mad.” Sadiq Khan, Labour’s contender in the London mayoral elections, joined a growing chorus of Labour politicians calling for Livingstone’s expulsion. Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism watchdog, said in a statement: “The Labour Party must expel Ken Livingstone. Today he has claimed that Hitler was a Zionist and that anti-Semitism is not racism. Enough is enough. He should not be suspended, he should be expelled today.” Livingstone served as mayor twice, from 1981 to 1986 and from 2000 to 2008. (JTA)
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Michigan JCC, day school evacuated following bomb threat
he Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor, Michigan, was evacuated after an unknown person called in a bomb threat. The unidentified caller on Monday, May 2 said a bomb would explode in a locker in the building in 30 minutes, the Ann Arbor News reported, citing David Shtulman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Ann Arbor. The building was immediately evacuated.
The JCC also houses the Jewish federation and the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor police brought bomb-sniffing dogs to the building, but no explosives were found inside the JCC or on its grounds, according to the report. Staff and students were cleared to return to the building after about an hour. The police have opened an investigation into the phone call. (JTA) jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 15
Holocaust Commission adds three powerful films to What We Carry program Premiere of short documentaries at free screening Sunday, May 22, 2 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts by Laine Mednick Rutherford
“My name is Alfred Dreyfus. I was born in Rastatt, Germany in 1923.” “My name is Mary Sigillo Barraco. I was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1923.” “My name is William John Jucksch. I was born in McAllen, Texas in 1925.”
he opening scenes of three new mini documentaries premiering on Sunday, May 22 at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts are simple and charming. A lilting piano composition plays behind the engaging faces and clear voices of the films’ three senior subjects. As photographs from their past appear onscreen and happy childhoods are recounted, there is no hint of the changes ahead—the difficulties these three will endure, and survive, as teenagers and young adults growing up during the Holocaust. Alfred Dreyfus, Dame Mary Barraco and Bill Jucksch share the stories of their unforgettable experiences in the newest additions to What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish
Federation of Tidewater’s unique, multimedia educational program. Each person is the narrator of their own 20–30 minute film, which combines interview footage with archival clips, still images, and an original musical score. While a What We Carry presentation is designed to be broken into sections with docents contributing background information between film chapters, the films will run in their entirety at the premiere. The movies follow the format award-winning filmmakers Janice Engel and Amber Howell used when they created the first What We Carry documentaries, which featured the stories of Holocaust survivors David Katz* and Hanns Loewenbach*, Kitty Saks, and Dana Cohen. Premiering to a standing room only
About Alfred, Mary and Bill Alfred Dreyfus spent his pre-teen and teen years eluding capture and almost certain death in one European country after another, hunted and hated because he was Jewish. Dreyfus repeatedly defied the odds to survive the Holocaust and after resettling in Virginia, founded ECPI University. Mary Sigillo Barraco moved from America to her mother’s native country of Belgium before she was 10 years old. When the Nazis invaded Belgium, Barraco, a devout Catholic, joined the Resistance, helping prisoners of war and Jewish children and their families escape. Arrested and brutally tortured by the Gestapo, Barraco rejoined the Resistance when released. She was knighted by proclamation of the King of Belgium in 2004, and is now known as Dame Mary Barraco. A sense of moral duty spurred Bill Jucksch’s enlistment in the United States Army as soon as he turned 18. As a forward observer in the 71st Infantry Division (assigned to General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army), Jucksch and his unit helped liberate survivors they discovered at the Gunskirchen death camp in Austria. For decades, Jucksch was unable to speak about the horrific human suffering he witnessed. Now, he speaks to silence those who deny the Holocaust.
16 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
individual’s story.” audience at the Tidewater What We Carry is Community College Roper designed to be mobile, Performing Arts Center adaptable for a variety of in 2012, those films have settings—large and small. now been seen by more In addition to the films, than 20,000 students, vintage suitcases filled military and community with personal artifacts and members. The program mementos seen during each has been presented at person’s narrative accomYad Vashem in Jerusalem, pany the presentations. The the Simon Wiesenthal suitcases are designed to Museum of Tolerance in be interactive, giving audiLos Angeles, Holocaust ences something tangible museums, schools, educathat connects them even tors’ conferences, military installations, and featured U.S. Army publication commemorating more strongly to the messages shared in the films. on JLTV’s nationwide liberation of Gunskirchen Lager. The portable format broadcast, The J Report. “What We Carry speaks to today’s stu- has proven effective, and Holocaust dents and communities, but also reaches Commission volunteers take films and suitinto the future by creating a strong and cases to schools, military bases, churches lasting impact on viewers,” says Wendy and community groups on a weekly basis. Juren Auerbach, chair of the Holocaust The presentations are entirely free, except for the occasional cost of shipping to Commission. “With the voices of those who wit- requested sites outside of the Hampton nessed the Holocaust disappearing Roads area. The Commission tries to find rapidly—and that includes survivors, lib- grants to help defray those expenses. “My hope is that we will be able to share erators and Righteous Gentiles—we realize how important it is to record and share this program across the United States, and their stories in a way that touches people’s that we’ll have the funding for this program to always be free,” says Held. “And my sense of humanity,” Auerbach says. Holocaust Commission volunteers and fervent wish—and it’s almost too late—is the What We Carry committee have spent that other communities will film What We Carry stories of their own. months planning the special event. “I have such pride in the fact that even “None of us knew what we were getting when we asked Amber and Janice to work though we are such a small community, we with us on this—years ago,” says Mickey have created this amazing program,” Held Held, co-chair of What We Carry with * of blessed memory Deb Segaloff. “We knew we wanted to preserve the stories in a way that was meaningful and in a format that we could take into other settings. “I believe we have impacted the way the Holocaust has been taught, says Held. The way audiences respond to this format—they’re transfixed and they Dame Mary Barraco (second from right) become invested in the in a band with many Resistance fighters.
says. “What We Carry is a legacy our Federation has Perry Deglandon, the artist who created all seven suitcases—one for each What We Carry film. The suitcases given to future generations.” Jay Klebanoff, UJFT president, expresses appre- will be displayed at the premiere. Harry Graber, UJFT execuciation and admiration for the tive vice-president, encourages dedication of Commission the community to attend the members, and the importance premiere, where he believes of the work they do. members will be both emotion“The impact the Holocaust ally moved and intrinsically Commission achieves through inspired. the What We Carry presenta“The critical messages that tions and its other educational are inherent in the work of the and outreach programs is Holocaust Commission and impressive, and will be even delivered so beautifully in the greater with the addition of the texture of each frame of What three new What We Carry film,” We Carry, represent the essensays Klebanoff. tial values of the UJFT and our “The UJFT is grateful to the Dame Mary Barraco made this in prison people,” Graber says. Holocaust Commission volun- from pieces of her mattress. “The opportunity to take our teers and to the generosity of Jewish community and other donors, whose contribu- experiences, regardless of their horror and combine tions ensure the stories and lessons of the Holocaust them with our teachings so that they may be a light onto and for other people is one of the beautiful experiences will not be forgotten,” he says. Audience members at the premiere will have an of being a Jew.” opportunity to hear from What We Carry filmmakers about the making of these mini-documentaries and RSVPs are not required for the premiere, but are appreciated. how this project forever changed their perspectives on Reply online at www.JewishVA.org/whatwecarrypremiere, life. Engel and Howell, who were not able to attend the email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 757‑9652012 screening, are looking forward to seeing the audi- 6100. The Sandler Center is located at 201 Market St., ence’s reaction, as these films are shown for the first Virginia Beach. Due to subject matter, parental guidance is suggested. time. They will hold a question and answer discussion after the final film is shown. Also attending will be
Volunteers, film subjects, and consumers talk about What We Carry Alphonso D. Hayes Commander Expeditionary Combat Command COMNECC, N10C, Contractor I was blessed to be able to see the presentation and to visit the Holocaust museum in Richmond this past year. Both events were life changing for me. It made me examine myself and how I treat people, as well as how I respond to people being treated wrongly. It’s one thing to read about it, but when you see the exhibits and hear the survivors’ stories, it just takes it to another level. In my case, I was able to see not just one, but two living survivors (Kitty Saks and Dana Cohen) and to hear their stories just made it personal for me. I felt like I had to do my part to get this program in front of our sailors and civilian personnel. The fact that we have survivors right here in our community helps to drive the point home and make it personal. People need to see this presentation in order to really understand how tragic this event was.
Dame Mary Barraco
Kitty Saks, Holocaust survivor, subject of What We Carry film Why do I share my story? Beloved Rabbi Israel Bornstein,* himself a survivor, said, “if you don’t remember the victims, you kill them a second time.” Lisa Bertini, one of the most active volunteer presenters of WWC and full-time attorney This commission has provided me an abundance in return for the little offered. Most importantly, it has granted me the opportunity to meet and get to know our community’s survivors. That has forever changed my perspective on the events of the last 60 years in this world. How can you even quantify the value of a personal perspective of such an atrocity and then the continuation of such strength and humanity in these individuals? I also feel that I have become better educated in the views of the Jewish community and the sensitivity in the lesson of keeping the Holocaust unique in its occurrence and place in history. I do it because I believe in the future and I’m desperately trying to be an optimistic person. I believe in the message to the young people in our schools
that we can “never forget.” When I see them actively engaged and listening to these stories and wanting to ask questions, I know that my time has been so well spent and I’m humbled to be part of the program that is universal in its message of perseverance, forgiveness and love in the face of monstrous acts. Dana Cohen, Holocaust survivor, subject of What We Carry film It feels very rewarding to know people are continuing to hear these stories—that somebody at least understands what some of the survivors went through. I think what we’re doing, we’re doing very well. I speak to people in other cities—other survivors, and I think we’re doing a lot better than the usual presentations. It’s easier for me now to go to a presentation and I just have to answer and don’t have to speak for a long time first. But for me, I still like to be there. I’m looking forward to seeing the new films. Mary Barraco should be very interesting, and as you know, there’s nothing like a dame. * of blessed memory jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 17
Rabbi Arthur Z. Steinberg February 7, 1938–April 10, 2016 Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg delivered the eulogy for Rabbi Arthur Z. Steinberg at Ohef Sholom Temple. An abbreviated version follows.
eart-broken and sorrow filled, as we gather to remember our beloved Rabbi Arthur Z. Steinberg, we reflect on the prayer from the new Reform Rabbis’ Manual, L’Chol Z’man v’Eit, For everything there is a season and time. May we take comfort in the message of this prayer, which reminds us that love is, indeed, stronger than death. It is love that sustains us. It is our Arthur, Otts, Pop, and Rabbi Steinberg, whose light and warmth will always be with us bringing us comfort, strength, and, one day, even peace. “Mourning is the price we pay for having the courage to love others.” If there are two words that could define the remarkable and full life of Arthur Zanville Steinberg, they might be courage and love. For all of his 78 years, Arthur was a man of courage and conviction. Informed by his Reform Jewish upbringing, he believed in the Biblical Prophets’ call for fairness and justice for all; and he never wavered. And it wasn’t just about having his name on the long and distinguished list of social service, civic, Jewish and interfaith clergy boards on which he served that were recalled in his beautiful obituary. No, Arthur Steinberg was a man of action. To him, God wasn’t simply a supernatural being in the sky; rather, plain and simple, to Rabbi Steinberg, God was the work of our human hands. Indeed, he taught his family and community, by example, that to be a Jew was to do. “That’s what a Jew does,” he would say, “we do.” He walked the walk. You all know this because he treated every single one of you with the same kindness, compassion, respect, dignity, friendship, and, always, humor…regardless of your degree or station, color or creed. He was a rabbi for 50 years. And he was incredibly intuitive, wise, and well-spoken, yet in the teaching and giving of sermons that he loved so much, he touched our minds and our hearts, without ever preaching or speaking down to any of us. Through kindness, humor, and gentleness, he showed us, with his characteristic modesty and humility, that we could be and do better, that we could better our world. He also had the courage to love.
We know he loved Reform Judaism, our imperative to do justice, and as a Rabbi and human being, he strove to teach this truth to his congregations from Miami and Corpus Christi to Toledo and Tidewater. He especially loved children—engaging, teaching, and entertaining his own kids and grandkids; the youth of his synagogues; and the Jewish children of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana, where he taught each summer. He loved his country, serving as a Navy Chaplain, stationed in Norfolk for six years. He loved this community, truly an extended family of friends, for 36 years, first as Rabbi of Temple Sinai, and then of Ohef Sholom, where we fell in love with him anew. He loved the people of Hampton Roads and Portsmouth as chaplain for Old Dominion University and its Hillel and for the Portsmouth Police Department. Calling himself a Religious Humanist, he loved all people, especially, the stranger in his midst, advocating for the homeless and hungry through Oasis Social Ministry. Indeed, he loved all those who were discriminated against, actively working for full and equal rights for LGBTQ people to love and to marry. In truth, he loved all who were hungry for love and friendship; he and Kitty opened their home to anyone in need and, throughout the past three decades, many, many men, women, children and animals were beneficiaries of their openhearted generosity. Truly, nowhere was Arthur Steinberg’s courage to love fiercer than when it came to his family, who included his late parents, Bernard and Louise, and his brother Steven, all of blessed memory; as well as his sister-in-law Eve and niece Rachel. But the sun truly rose and set with you, Kitty. You were not only his beloved, but also, you were, as he told me many times, his best friend. It wasn’t just that you enjoyed doing so many things together from travel, theater, and opera to eating good food, entertaining, and living Judaism. It was that you respected and revered one another in every way. You were a team, partners in all things, and helpmates in the sense of being sounding boards against which you could measure and better yourselves and each other; truly you were soul mates. We
18 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
knew it from the way he treated you, talked about you, and, wisely, deferred to you. We also saw it in the way he looked at you, when he thought no one else was looking. There was nothing the two of you loved more than your family. Gretchen, Jennifer, Jill Bari, Jon and Emily, what a wonderful childhood you had growing up together. Rabbi Arthur Z. Steinberg Describing your life as a sitcom, your house was always filled with unbridled laughter classicist poets Gerald Manley Hopkins and William Butler Yeats and rabbinic stoand with unbounded love. Performing his magic shows at every ries from traditional midrash. And he thoroughly enjoyed participatone of your birthday parties (and later at those of his grandchildren), he called him- ing in the Greater Carolina Association self, “Zanville, the Pretty Good,” because, Interfaith Institute in Wildacres every year he didn’t want to be accused of false for the past 25 years. He also loved other rabbis; he was a advertising. At parties, he told people he was a “Pool “rabbi’s rabbi,” a mentor, a tried and true Table Salesman” or in “Women’s Lingerie friend who stuck by you when the going Sales” because he didn’t want to miss any got tough, and a confidante and wise counselor to all of us, his colleagues, gathered of the dirty jokes. And, even when he knew he was cor- here and to the many more who wrote rect, he’d say to anyone who offered an beautiful letters of their profound admiraopinion contrary to his own, “You could tion and loss. Our Pop, Arthur, Otts, Rabbi Steinberg be right,” which we all heard many a time. And just as he loved his own children, had the courage to love. And he did it withhe also adored Rob, Beth, Tom, Leslie, and out judgment, always saying, not simply “I Mark,—his children in love—delighting love you,” but “I love you for who you are.” in each of you as individuals and as his It is no wonder he touched so very many children’s soul mates. Not surprisingly, Pop lives. The world has truly lost a beloved was born to be a grandfather and he always rabbi, teacher, and friend; a devoted husseemed to have bottomless love to share band, father, and Pop; a humanitarian and with you—Harry, Caroline, Ally, Marisol, community activist; a force for righteousness and good in our midst; a mensch. Jake, Chip, and Zach. Zichronch Livracha. May your memory, Personally, he also loved all music from Gilbert and Sullivan and Golden Oldies to dear Arthur, the memory of the righteous, be folk and, especially, classical music. Many always for a blessing. Amen. of us remember that, for 11 years, Arthur Zanville hosted a Classical Music program as a partMemory of a young time DJ on WHRO. Jewish Naval Chaplain He was a collector of bow ties and, ugust 8, 1967 was a bright, sunny day at the Destroyer except for when he Piers. I was ordered to relieve Captain J.J. Tice as comwas dressed casumanding officer of USS Steinaker (DD863). Tice was the senior ally in one of his destroyer captain in the Atlantic Fleet. I was to be the junior many Hawaiian or skipper; but not too junior to demand the presence of a rabbi zany tee shirts, who on the program. among us can recall That assignment fell to a recently ordained rabbi, Arthur him without one Steinberg, serving as the Fifth Naval District Jewish Chaplain. of those bow ties He was a bit intimidated by all the brass present on board, as adorning his lapel? this was his first time participating in a change of command. He read voraNaturally, he did splendidly and thus began a 49-year-friendship. ciously, especially —Commander Hal Sacks mysteries; loved the
Book Review Witness to pre-Holocaust life in Poland Three Minutes in Poland (Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film) Glenn Kurtz Farrar, Strauss and Girioux 415 pages, $33
t began on July 23, 1938, almost a year before the outbreak of WWll in the European theatre, when David and Liza Kurtz Rabbi Zoberman from Brooklyn, New York, author Glenn Kurtz’s grandparents, boarded the Niew Amsterdam on a vacation journey with friends to England, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Poland. Grandpa David, whom the author never knew, brought along his color 16mm movie camera. Three minutes (book’s title) out of 14 in the film, are from the visit to Nasielsk, Poland, David’s hometown, which he had left for the United States 45 years earlier. No one could predict when the three minutes were shot on August 5, 1938, that the world they captured would so soon face its demise. They fortunately piqued the author’s curiosity enough to devote four years of his life to painstakingly explore what those three minutes implied for his family’s roots, and a community so cruelly destroyed among many others during the Holocaust. Glenn Kurtz, who grew up in Roslyn on Long Island, found the damaged film in an aluminum can in his parents’ house in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 1999. The restored film is available now for viewing in the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as at Poland’s Auschwitz Museum and Memorial, Jewish Pavilion. The film is a significant witness of a rare kind to the very life of a small Jewish population of 3,000 out of 7,000 residents. It salvages from the jaws of merciless death, Holocaust deniers and time’s forgetfulness, irreplaceable memories of what once was a lively Jewish community only 35 miles north west of Warsaw, Poland’s capital. On December 3, 1939, unsuspecting Nasielsk’s Jews were placed on cattle cars without basic provisions, and following
days of inhumane travel, ended up in the Lublin district’s (where my father’s family is from) towns of Lukow and Miedzyrzec. All but 80 were murdered upon arrival in Treblinka in the fall of 1942. The author’s keen and observing eye was intrigued by the film’s brief, yet rich three minutes of images of people of all ages fascinated no doubt by the well-groomed visitors from distant America, and the various buildings in the background. Kurtz probingly asked himself, “Who are these people? What brought them to be on the street, in view of my grandfather’s lens, on that day, in that moment? What relation, if any, do they have to my grandparents? And what became of them, each one, individually?” Glenn David’s own journey of the film’s reconstruction and discovery by a faithful grandson, who admits to coming from a non-active Jewish family though affiliated, took him to multiple places and personalities in the United States, Canada, England, Poland and Israel, digging into archives and leaving no stone unturned, figuratively as well as literally. By 2012, he found eight living survivors of Nasielsk’s 100 survivors in 1945, and was able to identify 20 of the film’s people. A key person proved to be 87-year-old Morry Chandler from Boca Raton, Florida, who in the film is 13-year-old Moszik Tuchendler of a prominent family. DNA testing confirmed his relationship to the author’s family. Chandler’s sharp mind and memory, despite his age and elapsing time, critically assisted the detective-like work with a web of unfolding pertinent relations, which the author doggedly pursued. A point of light in much darkness was Morry’s protection by Gentiles near Trebklinka during the war. The author movingly shares, “My grandfather’s film preserves the few moments of Nasielsk’s life that survive. We must be grateful for this precious record which adds nuance to the broad strokes of history, preserving the identities of individuals and the few slender facts about their lives. For the survivors, Nasielsk is preserved only in mourning, in the immediacy of their grief.” —Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman is the spir‑ itual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach. He is the son of Polish Holocaust survivors.
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SAVE THE DATE Monday, July 25, 2016
it’s a wrap Seder at Strelitz
THE ANNUAL JANET GORDON
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Your check is your reservation! Couvert $60.00 per player Mail checks to Claire Roth 6401 Auburn Drive • Virginia Beach, VA 23464
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n Tuesday, April 19, the Strelitz Early Childhood Center held an educational and fun Model Passover Seder. Preschool parents were invited to attend with their children. Together, parents and children sang Passover songs, tasted Passover foods, and the children enjoyed showing off all that they had learned about the holiday.
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what’s happening Visit Israel in Virginia beach
Annual Israel Fest presented by Charles Barker Automotive Sunday, June 5, 11 am, Simon Family JCC
Al Benas’ impressions are set to impress May 16–June 15, Leon Family Art Gallery Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus Exhibition opening, Sunday, May 22, 3 pm
Al Benas by Gaby Grune
ortrait photographer Diane Arbus once said, “A photograph is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” The delicate floral close-ups, wideopen landscapes, and textural geometric shadows in Al Benas’ photographs leave viewers mystified. Whatever the secret is behind capturing compelling images, Benas appears to be in on it. An exhibition of Benas’ covert
conceptions opens this month in the Leon Family Art Gallery at the Sandler Family Campus. “I do not try to document specific locations, but rather my impressions of them,” Benas says. His images evoke eerie and romantic qualities that morph the familiar into something alien. The artist’s photographs of Tidewater do not remind area natives of their hometown, but bare an obscure resemblance to something nostalgic. “I find comfort and inspiration in looking at the natural world created by Nature, and modified by the presence of Man,” Benas says, explaining what drives him to focus on the recurring themes in his pieces. This intent is evident in his piece titled Maintenance Road, in which cypress trees tower over a man-made pathway leading to a building in the distance. The cypresses stand like ancient columns, constructing a grand organic archway. The viewer’s instinct is to locate reality in the image, but their focus gets lost in the deep contrasts and rich shadows that fill the digital print. Benas’ work is all digital, allowing him a tactile feel that silver gelatin papers don’t offer. For more information about Al Benas, visit albenasphotography.com. Email Natalia Horev for more information about the exhibit at email@example.com.
Israel Fest 2015. by Gaby Grune
“A celebration for the entire community at large, Israel Fest caters to people of all ages and backgrounds,” Michele Goldberg, director of cultural arts, at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center, says of the yearly festival commemorating Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Since 2010, the Simon Family JCC has held a festival featuring cultural, artistic, and culinary gifts of Israel. It is an opportunity for the Tidewater community to dance, feast, play games, ride a camel, shop, learn more about Israel and raise a glass of Goldstar beer in celebration. This year’s festivities include old and new activities. New features include a rock wall, a kid’s train ride, an Israeli DJ providing upbeat Israeli music, and an Israeli artist, Moshe Monzon, who will feature his work and jewelry in the Israeli “Shuk” or marketplace. Traditional aspects of the festival that bring back community members, year after year, will include crafts and jewelry by local artisans. The Travel to Israel booth will again showcase different opportunities for those planning a trip to Israel. The Ask the Rabbi booth returns to answers questions. For more low-key adventures, a game
Israel Fest 2015.
tent will provide fun to keep the entire family entertained. Exploration of the Israeli beers and authentic Israeli foods will keep patrons energized as they wander from one activity to the next. Those wanting to reach new heights can jump on the inflatable bouncy house and soar to the sky. At Israel Fest, the sky really is the only limit! For more information, visit SimonFamilyJCC.org or contact Michele Goldberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-321-2341.
jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 21
what’s happening Student art exhibit completes the Holocaust Commission’s Elie Wiesel competitions May 10–May 31, Old Dominion University Higher Education Center, Virginia Beach
by Laureen Richard
he Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2016 Elie Wiesel Visual Arts competition, which yielded a record number of submissions from students across the nation, will culminate with a student art show at the Old Dominion University Higher Education Center in Virginia Beach. Seventy pieces were selected from the more than 450 two- and three-dimensional art entries. Student winners, their parents and teachers will be honored with a reception on Wednesday, May 18 at the Higher Education Center. In addition to the tangible artwork categories, winners from Escape the multimedia division of the competition will also be honored and have their winning films projected at the reception. Phyllis Sperling, co-chair of the art competition, says that the entries were not only impressive in terms of quality and the level of creativity displayed students, but the accompanying artists’ statements particularly poignant and insightful. This, coupled the quantity of entries, made this year’s compeparticularly challenging to judge. Twelve middle schools and 11 high schools were represented in this year’s visual arts compeincluding one school from Hickory, North Carolina. In addition to art and multimedia entries, the Elie competition includes a writing competition. This number of entries, from as far away as New York and totaled more than 1,700—making it a record year competition. Winners were honored at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration on May 4. The win- Would you walk in her shoes? pieces—including essay, poetry, art and multimedia— online at www.JewishVA.org/holocaust-elie-wiesel. The annual competition is generously sponsored by TowneBank and the Simon Family Foundation.
A Splatter of Courage
by the w e r e w i t h tition
tition, Wiesel year’s Florida, for the Cornered Being
n i n g a r e
Reaching for Freedom 22 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
what’s happening 2016 JUNIOR VISUAL ART WINNERS
JDC photograph auction includes image by Annie Sandler Repairing the World: Frame by Frame Tuesday, May 17, 6 pm Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York
First Place Madison Sellers 7th Grade, Northview Middle School Teacher—Byron Jones Escape Second Place Leah Johnson 8th Grade, Northview Middle School Teacher—Byron Jones Generations Third Place Brady Callahan 7th Grade, Virginia Beach Middle School Teacher—Leah Krueger A Splatter of Courage Honorable Mention Amelia Fox 7th Grade, Ruffner Middle School Teacher—Helen Pryor Reaching for Freedom
2016 SENIOR VISUAL ART WINNERS First Place Samya Zitouni 12th Grade, Frank W. Cox High School Teacher—Jessica Szymanski Cages Second Place Kaitlin Gray 12th Grade, Grassfield High School Teacher—Margaret Childers Would You Walk in Her Shoes? Third Place Ian Edwards 11th Grade, Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School Teacher—Ellen Sullivan Washed Honorable Mention Ja’Ron Rhodes 12th Grade, Maury High School Teacher—Valerie McGill Cornered Being
Two-Room School, Ethiopia, by Annie Sandler.
he American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is presenting its first ever auction of original photographs by board members who have been involved with JDC’s humanitarian programs around the world, as well as from a group of esteemed Israeli photographers/philanthropists known as JDOCU, and others who have been witness to JDC work worldwide, including photographs from its Archives. Members of JDOCU learn, travel and document JDC’s wide-reaching global efforts. These photographers speak about “using the camera as a tool” to highlight acts of chesed and Tikkun Olam. Their photographs bring these acts to life, frame by frame, strengthening JDC’s resolve to “be in the picture.” “These photographs so clearly, in ways that words alone cannot, transmit the mission and amazing things that JDC accomplishes,” says Annie Sandler. Her photograph, Two-Room School, Ethiopia, was
taken in 2008. “We were with the Segal family in Ethiopia. Their youngest son, Justin, had visited the year before and noticed kids sitting on rocks to learn. Over the following year, Justin raised enough money to build a two-room schoolhouse with a teacher and a well for fresh water. It was a five-handkerchief dedication ceremony. We took our four kids out of college to participate in this trip and they were amazed to see how lives and futures could be changed,” says Sandler about the circumstance in which she took the photograph. The exhibit in New York coincides with the release of a limited edition collection of JDOCU photographs. All proceeds of the event and auction go to help Jews in need around the world. Tickets for the event are $180 per person and $35 for JDC Entwine/young leaders. Bidding will also take place online. Go to Jdcambassadors. org for more information. jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 23
what’s happening The Omer Countdown and lag b’omer
YAD, JCC, and Chabad’s Lag B’Omer Bash Bonfire • Food • Beer • Music
Simon Family JCC’s 6th Annual President’s Golf Cup Tournament improves kids programs at every shot Thursday, June 9, 1 pm, Heron Ridge Golf Club
Thursday, May 26, 5:30 pm by Gaby Grune
by Gaby Grune
n the midst of Omer count, count off these 10 fun facts about the Lag B’omer holiday, to get informed and pumped for the upcoming YAD, JCC and Chabad Lag B’Omer Bash. • L ag B’Omer, literally translated from Hebrew to English, means the 33rd day of the Omer. • The Omer (an ancient Hebrew word for first harvest), starts on the second day of Passover. The Torah says it is a mitzvah every day to “count the Omer”—the 50 days leading up to Shavuot.
people forego the restrictions of the Omer in hopes they may take on some of his good spirit. • L ag B’Omer is the one-day, during these 50 days, where music is played, weddings are held, and it’s okay to a haircut.
• During these 50 days of introspection, the Jewish people prepare for the Shavuot holiday to mark the end of the Omer.
• To celebrate Lag B’Omer, Jews from around Israel light bonfires to commemorate the great mystical illuminations that Rabbi Shimon revealed.
• Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven-week preparation period. • During these 50 days of Omer, there are restrictions: no weddings, no listening to instrumental music, either live or recorded (vocal music is permitted), and no haircuts or shaving. • R abbi Shimon bar Yochai, who died on the 33rd day of the Omer, about 18 centuries ago, was a great tzadik, equivalent to a Jewish saint. • On the day he died, it is said that Shimon revealed the secrets of the Zohar, the primary book of Jewish mysticism (kabbalah), for which on this day thanks are given. • The Rabbi’s soul was so good that on the 33rd day of the Omer, the Jewish
Want to learn more about this holiday? There is no better way than to participate in the fun with the Simon Family JCC, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division, and the Chabad Congregation as they light up the night sky for an Israeli inspired Lag B’Omer Bash. The festivities include dinner, Israeli beer, music, a bonfire, fire juggling, and drum circle jams. On that joyous night, the Jewish community will trade in the Omer countdown for a Lag B’Omer hoedown in honor of Rabbi Shimon’s spirit. Go to www.SimonFamilyJCC.org/lagbomer to purchase tickets. Contact Jasmine Amitay at email@example.com for more information.
24 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
ne of the greatest professional golfers of all time, William Ben Hogan, said, “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” The Simon Family JCC applies that sentiment when planning their Annual Presidents’ Golf Cup Tournament, which raises funds to bring children’s activities and programs to life—year after year, shot after shot. The specific JCC programs that benefit from the tournament are: Kids Connection, a before and after school program, which serves kids of all ages and backgrounds throughout the year, and Camp JCC. Camp JCC is an enriching experience for children throughout Tidewater, and includes a special needs component, enabling those with developmental disabilities to enjoy all the activities of a summer camp experience. The camp’s Shadow Program is fully inclusive, making it unique among the majority of area day camps where children with disabilities attend. The program gets its name from specially trained counselors, “shadows,” who provide extra support if needed. John Strelitz, a past president of the Simon Family JCC, says of Camp JCC’s shadow program, “I think that it’s really, really important that children with special
needs get an environment in which they can feel part of a bigger group.” Proceeds from the tournament are responsible for maintaining and growing such programs. Strelitz says he is always “blown away” by the way this tournament impacts the morale of the people in the Tidewater Jewish community. “It’s a different environment. You can see people in a different venue and we can interact in a different way and build a team effort to raise money. Anytime you take a group of employees and volunteers and put them in a different place, it creates a certain bit of synergy, and I think that’s important,” he says. “When I see the people from the JCC, I’m used to seeing them behind the desk, and then I see them out there, and it’s a great way of bonding with the staff and volunteers—all having a common goal to make this a better agency and to get better programming for the community.” Registration for the Simon Family JCC’s 6th Annual President’s Golf Cup Tournament can be completed online at www.simonfamilyjcc.org/PresidentsCup. For more information on how to volunteer, register, or participate in the tournament, contact Corrie Lentz, assistant director of development for the Simon Family JCC, at 757-321-2337 or CLentz@simonfamilyjcc.org.
Conversations Before the Crisis: An End of Life Discussion Tuesday, May 24, 6:30 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
he Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater presents an informative program on hospice and palliative care. The program will be presented by Dr. Deborah A. Morris, medical director of HPCT, in collaboration with the Maimonides Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, call 757-321-2242.
what’s happening Matti Friedman Israel Today—Sifting through the media spin
And the winner is…
CRC announces winner of 4th annual Israel Poster Contest
Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
atti Friedman, former Jerusalem Bureau reporter and editor for the Associated Press will be the featured speaker in the final event of the 5th Annual Israel Today Series, hosted by the Community Relations Council and its community partners. This “whistleblower,” as he’s been called by detractors, will discuss his experience reporting from Israel and his subsequent decision to leave the AP and “out” the international media for its ideologically-based spin. Not only will he address how media bias affects the world’s perception of Israel, and in particular, Israel’s role in the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, he will also discuss social media and its impact on how information is gathered and how news is disseminated. Jewish News recently spoke with Friedman from his home in Israel, about the intriguing topic he’ll tackle. The first installment was published in the April 25 issue of Jewish News (find the first piece at JewishNewsVa.org). Here is the conclusion of that interview. JN: What impact has the rise of social media had—particularly in regards to the speed with which “news” and opinions are posted? The democratization of the flow of informa‑ tion has had all kinds of effects on the media, mostly economic. When I started working as a journalist, there were all kinds of newspaper bureaus that no longer exist—the Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune had of reporters here. I think actually that the number of sources of information and the craziness of the dis‑ course on social media actually drives people back into the arms of the big brands. I read The New York Times, and I want some educated person to tell me what’s going on. I’m a believer in the mainstream media. I think that you need knowledgeable people who
can tell you what’s going on in a smart way. I don’t think Facebook is going to replace that. I think that people tend to live in bubbles where they get a lot of self-enforcing informa‑ tion. A lot of the information is not credible and very extreme—on both sides by the way, not just the anti-Israel stuff, but also the pro-Israel stuff. The debate about it is so over the top that I find it very difficult to deal with. I do still think that we need the mainstream media outlets to be the adults and put this in context and tell people what’s going on. The fact that I do believe that makes it more painful for me that that’s not what’s happening. If I just thought that we could rely on Facebook and forget about the AP and The New York Times, then I wouldn’t have a prob‑ lem. But I don’t think that. I think we need The New York Times, and I think we need the AP, and I think we need them to do their job. The Israeli government seems to be taking social media seriously and doing a better job of getting information out— what’s your opinion on these efforts? The government is no longer dependent on the goodwill of journalists in order to reach the public. It can now go around the media and talk straight to the public, which is important— that’s good. As a neutral reader, I’m still going to trust my local paper more than I’m going to trust, basically, propaganda from any government or official communique from the army. That direct information is not going to compete in the hearts and minds with the people who depend on the intermediaries of journalists to interpret the information for them. But, the intermediary has malfunctioned here. The pipeline isn’t just rusty and leaking— which is the way it always is in the media—it’s intentionally blocked. The players, like the Israeli government and the Army, are trying to get around the block by going straight to people. As, a journalist, don’t trust Army commu‑ niques; I’m suspicious of all social information
Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
and I’m suspicious of spin—and I know that everyone’s spinning everyone. So when people ask me abroad what they can trust, what source of info they can trust, it’s not an easy question to answer. What I do is have a few different sources that I’ve learned that you can more or less use to get a good picture of what’s going on. I read the Times of Israel, that’s a good site if you’re looking for just the daily movement of the story, very smart journalists here, including journal‑ ists working for the mainstream outlets like The New York Times. I know there are certain names that I trust. I know if I see a certain byline I’ll read it. I’m also living here—so I have my finger on the pulse. It’s much harder for someone who’s living in Virginia Beach or somewhere else outside of Israel.
Call 757-965-6107 or visit www.JewishVa.org/ CRCIsraelToday for more information and to RSVP for this free and open to the community event with Matti Friedman, in partnership with all synagogues, Jewish agencies and orga‑ nizations, and generous donors, as well as the Simon Family JCC as a part of their annual Celebrate Israel series.
Mushky Brashevitzky, winner of the 2015 CRC Israel Poster Contest and friends from Toras Chaim: Rena Lewin, Shifra Chana Harpaz, Minna Haber, Rivka Shoenfeld, Mushky Brashevitzky, Shirel Suissa, Shaina Lefkovitz, and Pesha Shereshevsky.
ore than 100 students in grades 1 through 12 entered the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 4th annual Israel Poster Contest. Students produced and submitted handmade posters illustrating a cool fact about Israel. The list of cool facts students chose from may be viewed at www. JewishVa.org/CRCIsraelPosterContest. After an initial round of in-person voting in the Simon Family JCC Cardo at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, the top 10 vote-getting posters were selected as finalists. Those posters were available for online voting during the month of April. The winning poster will be announced on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, May 11, at the CRC and community partners’ Israel Today event with Matti Friedman. Details may be found at www.jewishva. org/CRCIsraelToday. RSVP today at www. JewishVa.org/CRCIsraelToday.
jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 25
Splashes of color and hours of fun planned for opening day pool party Sunday, May 22, 1–4 pm, Simon Family JCC, Free for everyone
he calendar may say May, but the weather shouts, “summer.” Simon Family JCC members and guests are invited to cool off and get their feet wet at the first pool party of 2016. The family friendly outdoor waterpark was scheduled to officially open on Memorial Day weekend, but with a reconditioned pool floor, a come-on-in-the-water’s-fine temperature, and an experienced lifeguard staff, the decision was made to open the pool a week early for this special event. Plans for the party include something for everyone—from babies and toddlers to preschoolers, older children, parents and grandparents. Poolside lounging is encouraged, but so is non-stop movement. Activities include a bounce house, dunk tank, and Gaga tournaments. Partygoers will get to express their artistic sides, too, throwing balloons filled with colored water at a wall and creating a one-of-a-kind mural. Giveaways and games are planned, as well. The pool party provides a welcoming opportunity for new and interested campers to experience some of the fun they’ll have when they attend Camp JCC this summer. All of the children who attend are invited to join in the taping of a new, 2016 Camp JCC music video. Former campers
are encouraged to wear their favorite Camp JCC t-shirt from seasons past for the chance to be featured in the video. Two of the best summertime deals in Hampton Roads will be offered at the pool party and through the end of the month: the Simon Family JCC’s Summer Membership Camp Special is only $150 per family, for the entire summer, when one child is registered for four weeks of camp. No kids in camp? No problem. The JCC’s $299 Early Bird Special offers the same membership benefits for all family members. Summer memberships include the same as a year-round membership: • Fitness center membership • Outdoor water park • Three indoor pools • Free babysitting while working out • O utdoor mini golf, playgrounds, tennis courts • Towel service, steam room, sauna • Indoor gymnasium • More than 65 group fitness classes each week For more information about the party and the JCC’s summer membership specials, visit www. SimonFamilyJCC.org or call 757-321-2338.
May 10, Tuesday Swordfish Summer Swim Team parents meeting for all youth ages 5–18 interested in being on the Simon Family JCC’s team. 5:30 pm. Monday through Friday practices, season runs June 1–July 28. Call 757-321-2308. May 11, Wednesday Matti Friedman, journalist and author, at the CRC and community partner’s 5th Annual Israel Today. Exposing imbalance in the media coverage of Israel, Friedman felt compelled to “out” the media for its uneven and potentially dangerous coverage of Israel, particularly during 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. For more information or to RSVP (required) for this free and open to the community event at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus at 7:30pm, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCIsraelToday or call 757-965-6107. See page 25. MAY 18, WEDNESDAY J.C.C. Seniors Club board meeting at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 noon, board meeting follows. The speaker is B. Frank Earnest, an historian specializing in American history, primarily the ‘War for Southern Independence.’ His interest started at an early age with the history of his own family as told to him by his maternal grandmother. His roots in Virginia date from 1635 with members of his family serving in every conflict beginning with the Algonquin Uprising of 1644, to include his own service from Vietnam to Desert Storm. Earnest has been a member, officer, and spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the past 25 years. He has spoken on and debated this period of American history on both radio and television. For more information, call 757-497-0229. May 22, Sunday What We Carry premier. Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is adding three new stories to its What We Carry program. The presentation will take place at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. 2 pm. HolocaustCommission.org. See page 16. Pool Party at the Simon Family JCC. 1 to 4 pm. The JCC is opening the water park for one day to celebrate summer memberships, a newly resurfaced pool, and Camp JCC’s last chance registrations. Come for music, bounce houses, pool time, and lots of family fun. Don’t forget swimsuits and sunscreen! Call 757-321-2338. Toras Chaim Chinese Auction. Desserts and hot buffet. Door prizes and tickets raffled throughout the evening. Doors open at 6:30 pm; auction at 8:30 pm. Simon Family JCC. $25. Check Early Bird Specials at www.toraschaimauction.com. May 26, Thursday JCC, YAD & Chabad’s Lag B’Omer Bash. 5:30 pm. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus (outside). Celebrate Lag B’Omer JCC, YAD and Chabad style. Delicious BBQ dinner, beer, rockin’ music, fire juggling, a magical drum circle, and a BONFIRE. Family: $15 Adult: $5. See page 24. June 5, Sunday Annual Israel Fest at Simon Family JCC. A Celebrate Israel Series event sponsored by Charles Barker Automotive. 11 am–4 pm. Interested vendors contact Naty Horev at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-321-2304. See page 21. Brith Sholom board meeting 10 am, general meeting 11 am. Memorial Service led by Cantor Elihu Flax at Beth Sholom Home. Brunch follows. For information, call Lee Anne at 757-461-1150. June 9, Thursday The Simon Family Jewish Community Center’s 6th Annual Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament. 1 pm Shotgun Start. Hero Ridge Golf Club, 2973 Heron Ridge Drive in Virginia Beach. Registration: $180 per player, $720 per foursome (deadline is Friday, May 27). Proceeds to benefit children’s programming at the Simon Family JCC. For sponsorship opportunities and to register, call Corrie Lentz: 757-321-2337. See page 24.
Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
26 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Employment Oppor tunity
mazel tov to Engagement Amy Amanda Shroyer and James Godfrey Lightbourn, who will be married on May 14, 2016 by Rosalin Mandelberg at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach. Amy, 26, is a communications director at a nonprofit in New York City. Amy graduated from the University of Virginia and received a bachelor’s degree in media studies and Spanish.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC seek a Chief Operating Officer (COO). This is a unique role to lead newly designed operations, as well as programing and marketing sides of organization. If you have superior leadership skills and have a demonstrated background of success in creating efficiencies and leadership across a broad spectrum of organizational areas then your job satisfaction will go through the roof in this role. The qualified candidate for the position of Chief Operating Officer must have: • Successful experience managing company operations via team of managers. • Experience working with and understanding needs of customers or members. • Experience as business manager over range of departments and services. • Leadership experience in a nonprofit or for profit organization qualifies. • Desire to make a difference.
She is the daughter of Dr. Michael and Leslie Shroyer of Norfolk. James, 25, is an assistant vice president at CIT, in their ship financing department in New York City. He graduated from the University of Virginia and received a bachelor’s degree in economics. He is a son of Christopher and Christian Lightbourn of Nassau, Bahamas.
EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s Degree in non profit management, social work, business administration or related field required. Eight (8) years of strong operational experience; with at least five (5) years in a senior management role. Experience must represent related progressive management of program professionals, administrative, and clerical support staff. Strong knowledge of Jewish history, culture, and practice preferred. Complete job description at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org or www.jewishva.org
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: email@example.com Submit by mail to: Chief Operating Officer - Search Committee Attention: Human Resources – Confidential 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
Obama—asking ‘mah nishtana?’ answers that it’s his last White House Passover WASHINGTON (JTA)—President Barack Obama sounded a wistful note in his last Passover message as president. “Mah nishtana halailah hazeh?” said the White House statement released hours before the start of the holiday, using the Haggadah’s phrase, reserved for the youngest child at the seder meal, who asks “Why is this night different from all others?” “For Michelle and me, this Passover is different from all other Passovers because it will mark our last Seder in the White House—a tradition we have looked forward to each year since hosting the first-ever White House Seder in 2009,” Obama said in his message. Obama this year held the seder late because he was overseas during the first two nights of the holiday. The statement sounded familiar notes from past Obama statements for Jewish holidays, linking the quest for Jewish freedom to broader civil and human rights themes. “This story of redemption and hope, told and retold over thousands of years, has comforted countless Jewish families during times of oppression, echoing in rallying cries for civil rights around the world,” Obama said. “We dip the greens of renewal in
saltwater to recall the tears of those imprisoned unjustly,” he said. “As we count the 10 Plagues, we spill wine from our glasses to remember those who suffered and those who still do. And as we humbly sing ‘Dayenu,’ we are mindful that even the smallest blessings and slowest progress deserve our gratitude.” He signed the message, “chag sameach,” the Hebrew for “Happy Holiday.” On April 18, Obama marked Education and Sharing Day, a declaration presidents have issued since the Carter administration in honor of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late leader of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Obama cited Schneerson’s “tireless devotion to extending access to education to more people—regardless of their gender or background.” He cited among his presidency’s education initiatives expanding access to early childhood education and a proposal to make two years of community college free to those “who work for it.” “The Rebbe’s lifetime of contribution imparts a reminder of the tremendous importance of making sure every child has the tools and resources they need to grow, flourish, and pursue their dreams,” Obama said in that statement. (JTA)
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Staff Orientation: June 13 - 17 Camp JCC: June 20 - August 12 Post Camp: August 15 - September 2
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• Counselors (HS grads, min.) • Junior Counselors (Rising HS junior, min.) • Specialists (full & part-time): Sports, Music, and Arts • Special Needs Counselors • Lead Counselors • Camp Nurse
Summer camp JCC offers a rich and unique day camp experience, allowing every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills and form meaningful relationships. Staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. Positions available for experienced counselors, unit head lead counselors, part time and first time counselors. All camp personnel have a background check and participate in an extensive mandatory orientation program. EOE For more information, contact:
Erika Eskanazi, Children, Family and Camp Assistant Director (757) 321-2342 Taffy Hunter, Human Resource Director (757) 965-6117
Submit completed application to: Applications available at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org
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Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
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Don't wait! Applications accepted TODAY! jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 27
obituaries Barry Behrman Virginia Beach—Barry S. Behrman, 70, of Virginia Beach, passed away April 23, 2016. Barry was born in Norfolk, the son of the late Aaron and Gertrude Behrman. Barry was the proud founder of Q-Master Billiards, which he operated for more than 40 years, as well as was the founder of Pools’ most prestigious 9-Ball event in the world, the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. He is survived by his children, Brady of Charlottesville, Va. and Shannon Paschall (Walter) of Virginia Beach, sisters; Gloria Ornoff of Norfolk, Sharon Schloss (Ben) of Norfolk; grandchildren, Hailey and Hannah Behrman and Aiden, Bailey and Abigail Paschall, as well as his “Boys,” Buddy and Wimpy. A graveside service took place in Forest Lawn Cemetery Norfolk with Cantor Elihu Flax officiating. A celebration of life was held at Q-Master Billiards immediately following the service. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.altmeyerfh.com. Donations to the charity of the donor’s choice. Ira M. Cantin, M.D. Norfolk—Ira Marshall Cantin, M.D., passed away at home on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Ira was born in Richmond, Va. on December 29, 1927. He is preceded in death by his mother Tess Kramer Cantin and father Nathan Cantin. Ira Cantin attended Taylor Elementary School, Blair Junior High School and Maury High School and graduated early from the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory
School in New York City at the age of 16. He attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he received his undergraduate and medical school degrees. He received his Doctor of Medicine in 1951, but not before joining the United State Air Force. He was a flight surgeon during the Korean conflict. After his military service, Ira Cantin completed his residency in general surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City and his orthopedic residency and fellowship at New York Hospital, also known as Columbia Presbyterian Hospital from 1953 through 1958, where he met his wife, Mary, a registered nurse. The couple wed in 1958. Ira and Mary returned to Norfolk to be close to family. That’s when he joined an esteemed group of orthopedic surgeons to form the group, Vann, Taylor, Pole, and Cantin, where they served the needs of the Tidewater community for decades. Cantin, a practicing orthopedic surgeon for 36 years, was one of the first surgeons to bring arthroscopic knee surgery, a non-invasive outpatient procedure, to Tidewater. A lover of sports, Ira served as one of the team doctors for the Norfolk Neptunes and Tidewater Sharks, but his real love was baseball. For 13 years, he was the team doctor for the Tidewater Tides, which at the time was the farm team for the New York Mets. Many spring breaks, Ira would take Mary and their children to Florida for spring training. Ira remained a loyal New York Mets and Virginia Cavaliers fan. Ira and Mary loved to travel whether by boat, plane, train or sports car. Dr. Cantin was a proud member of the American Medical Association, Medical
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Society of Virginia, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Virginia Orthopedic Society. Proud to call Norfolk his home, Ira was a lifetime member of Ohef Sholom Temple and the Sertoma Club, where he served a year as president. After his retirement, Ira volunteered at the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, in part because he enjoyed riding the ferry so much across the river to get there. Ira was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He is survived by his wife Mary of 57 years, and three children, Jane Cantin of Norfolk, Nancy Cantin Burton of Marysville, Ohio and Ira Marshall Cantin, Jr. of Virginia Beach; and three grandchildren, Laura Shelby Cantin of Wilton Manor, Fla., McKenzie Cantin Burton and Madeline Wilson Burton of Marysville, Ohio. A memorial service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg officiated. Contributions to the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk chapel. Miriam Schajer Drory Virginia Beach—Miriam Schajer Drory, 76, died Wednesday, April 20, 2016. She was born in Poland and moved to Australia where she married and started her family. In 1970, the family moved to Israel and after six years, they settled in Virginia Beach, where they have lived ever since. She was the daughter of the late Nachman and Dora Schindler Schajer. Mrs. Drory retired from Broudy-Kantor Company as a purchasing manager after
25 years employment and was a lifelong member of B’nai Israel Congregation. Survivors include her loving husband of 56 years, Joseph Drory of Virginia Beach and her daughters; Tammy Cohen and her husband Jeff and Ilana Gamerman and her husband Gary all of Vienna, Va. and her son, Nathan Drory and his wife Leora of Virginia Beach. She is also survived by her brother, Arnold Schyer and his wife Ruth of Melbourne, Australia and eight grandchildren; Erika, Danit, Aaron, Joshua, Leah, Ari, Noah and Zachary. Funeral Services were held in the Norfolk chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Rabbi Sender Haber officiated. Memorial donations to the Beth Sholom Home. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com.
Martin Gray, author of best-selling Holocaust memoir Martin Gray, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor whose memoir about his experiences during World War II inspired a successful TV miniseries, has died at 93. Gray was found in the swimming pool of his second home in Ciney, Belgium, but officials said no foul play was suspected, the BBC reported. In 1971, the Warsaw native born as Mietek Grayewski published For Those I Loved, a best-selling autobiography about life in the ghetto, his escape from the death camp Treblinka and his experiences fighting in the Soviet army. The book also addressed the 1970 death of his wife and four children in a house fire. Written in French with a co-author, For Those I Loved was translated into 26
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obituaries languages and sold 30 million copies, according to the BBC. The miniseries aired in Europe in 1985. The book was not without controversy, however, with some critics deriding it as a hoax. However, Nazi hunter Serge Klarfeld told Agence France Press that he believed Gray’s story. According to the European Jewish Press, Gray immigrated to the United States in 1946. He later moved to southern France and then Belgium. “Martin Gray was a monument who tried to promote democracy with the experiences of his life,” said the mayor of Ciney, Jean-Marie Cheffert, the BBC reported. “He was a charming man and a great humanist.” (JTA)
Frederick Mayer, German Jewturned U.S. spy against the Nazis Frederick Mayer, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and parachuted back in seven years later as an American spy, has died. Mayer died on Friday, April 15 in Charles Town, West Virginia, at the age of 94, his daughter Claudette confirmed to The New York Times. Mayer posed as a German soldier for more than two months in western Austria, sending intelligence on Nazi troop movements to his commanders in the United States in the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency. Shortly before the end of the war, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, which had discovered that he was spying for the United States. Despite water boarding and pistol-whipping, he did not reveal the location of other American spies and soldiers, according to the Times. He told the newspaper in an interview two months before his death that he volunteered as a spy out of a sense of duty and boredom with other military assignments. He also said he did not like being called a hero, despite receiving medals and honors for his work. Mayer enlisted in the U.S. Army a day after the Dec. 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. He worked at bases in Arizona, Georgia and Maryland before volunteering to work in covert operations.
In addition to tracking Nazi troop movements in Austria, Mayer also organized hundreds of resistance fighters against the Nazis. Mayer worked as a power plant supervisor at Voice of America outposts around the world before in 1977. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels there for more than three decades, continuing to deliver meals to the elderly and shut-ins until weeks before his death, according to the Times. (JTA)
Ohio Jewish leader cited by John Kasich for Holocaust memorial role Joyce Garver Keller, the longtime executive director of Ohio’s Jewish community relations council who helped establish a state Holocaust memorial, has died at 68. On Monday, May 2, less than two weeks before she was scheduled to be honored at a Jewish Council for Public Affairs event in Cleveland, Keller died at her home in suburban Columbus. No cause of death
was reported. According to the Cleveland Jewish News, Keller served 25 years at Ohio Jewish Communities, which represents the state’s Jewish federations and their partner agencies in Washington and Ohio’s state capital, retiring last June. Keller also worked behind the scenes to bring the Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial at the Ohio Statehouse to fruition. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the $2.1 million memorial was unveiled in June 2014. Keller raised private donations for the memorial and helped advance the project, the Columbus Dispatch reported. In a statement provided to the Dispatch, Ohio Gov. John Kasich called Keller’s death “a deep personal loss for me and for so many others in Ohio who valued her friendship and have long admired her leadership.” “I will forever be grateful for her essential role in helping make the Ohio
Holocaust and Liberators Memorial a reality,” said Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate. “Her dedication to the Jewish community, as well as her understanding of the importance of leading lives of commitment to values larger than ourselves, is a model for us all.” Mitchell Levine, Keller’s rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in Columbus, told the Cleveland Jewish News that Keller “had a lot of spirit and a lot of energy, so it’s a huge shock, and her loss will be felt in virtually every corner of Ohio.” Howie Beigelman, Keller’s successor at Ohio Jewish Communities, told the Jewish News: “She was a mentor to so many people in and out of Ohio in the community advocacy field, and a guide to so many public officials in understanding our community and working with our community. Everything we do each day is based on the foundation she laid.” Keller is survived by her husband, Steven, a son and three grandchildren. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 29
Preschool hoop house full of hope Enriching the lives of little seedlings
Caterpillar hoop house at Sandler Family Campus. by Gaby Grune
visit to the Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center’s garden reveals some changes. In fact, some rather sizable changes—an eight-foot tall caterpillar, to be exact. Situated next to the garden beds in the back yard of the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, the caterpillar is a hoop house, used for yearround growing. A hoop house is similar to a greenhouse with some exceptions. A greenhouse usually uses a heater and ventilation fans, while a hoop house strictly uses solar heat and is cooled by the wind. And, instead of being a solid framed house, a hoop house is made of piping and greenhouse plastic that stretches over crops to form a cylindrical shape. Prolonged growing seasons, quicker and improved seed starting, and tropical planting opportunities are just a few of the benefits hoop house gardening provides.
Toward the end of February, Strelitz installed the hoop house for students to learn about nature, even during the winter months. In March, the preschool turned the hoop house into a caterpillar. Rooted in family traditions Shawn and Ashley Lemke, owners of a landscaping and hardscaping business, Beach Ground Works, Inc., got the inspiration to found this garden and its additions from various aspects in their lives. “My kids kind of think tomatoes come from the grocery store,” Shawn Lemke jokingly remarks when asked about what motivated the construction of the Strelitz Early Childhood Garden. The groundwork began when his son, MJ, was in Strelitz Gan Gimel in 2012. During Family Week, students are encouraged to teach each other about their families’ interests. Since the Lemkes spend a lot of time outside planting plants
30 | Jewish News | May 9, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
and making vegetable gardens at home, it was only natural that they share their outdoor expertise with their son’s school. The different nature activities the Lemkes organized eventually led to the creation of the first garden. Their little sprouting space generated a lot of interest, and has been used every season since for myriad purposes including garden parties and events. And, now, their daughter, Breckin, who is a kindergarten student at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, is in the newly formed Garden Club that room moms started. Israel’s influence The Lemke children were one of the two driving forces. The other was the couple’s trip to Israel where they learned about the country’s agricultural and horticultural innovations. Shawn says he “was blown away by how involved Israeli families were in the food making process—from the garden to the table.” He knew bringing those principals home were imperative for his children and the children of the Tidewater community. Lemke says, “Irrigation, water harvesting, pollinators, and compositing are all trades and places for innovation in Israel. The garden can also serve to teach the value of hard work and being resourceful, something our kids need more of. Perhaps we have the next great innovator or sustainable farmer in our school right now. I want our children to understand that
working with their hands is rewarding and can provide many things for many people.” Continued growth The Lemkes’ long-term goals for the garden are visionary. Shawn says he wants the plots to provide agricultural education, as well as to be a resource that will enrich the students and the entire community. Future additions could include irrigation modules to increase the yield of edible crops, while supplying the Cardo Cafe with their own local organic produce, and a stage to implement outdoor plays, performances, and concerts. Lemke describes his dreams, “A place that mirrors the beauty of the memorial gardens in the front of our campus.... Maybe even a stage in the garden. Imagine watching a play or musical performance in the garden. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I hope that things like this would draw pieces of our community together.”
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Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, firstname.lastname@example.org or submit resume to
Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
We appreciate all of our sponsors. Proceeds benefit children’s programming at the Simon Family JCC For more information, sponsorship opportunities,
and to register, contact Corrie Lentz at 757-321-2337 or CLentz@SimonFamilyJCC.org.
jewishnewsva.org | May 9, 2016 | Jewish News | 31
The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
Invites you to the premiere of three new, short documentaries
Stories of survival and courage featuring:
Dame Mary Barraco Alfred Dreyfus Bill Jucksch
Sunday, May 22 2:00pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts 201 Market Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
No tickets required, but RSVPs are appreciated. Free and open to the public. To RSVP, email email@example.com or call 757-965-6100.
“Evil does not need your help, just your indifference.”
— Hanns Loewenbach, Holocaust Survivor, 1915-2012 Due to subject matter, parental discretion is advised.
To find out more about What We Carry, please visit www.HolocaustCommission.org.
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