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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 51 No. 3 | 27 Cheshvan 5773 | November 12, 2012

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Tidewater Jewish women go to Cuba

—page 10 30


15 Lost Tribe rides for JFS

17 Area teens go to AIPAC

18 UJFT Women’s lunch

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upfront Sandy flooding closing offices of Forward, several Jewish organizations ‘for months’ NEW YORK (JTA)—A Manhattan office building that houses the Jewish Daily Forward and several Jewish organizations may be closed for several months due to flood damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy. Citing an unnamed disaster recovery company official involved with the building, where the newspaper has an office on the eighth floor, The New York Times reported that 125 Maiden Lane may remain closed for months while transformers, boilers and other equipment are replaced. Forward publisher Samuel Norich said he heard from building management that eight million gallons of water were pumped from the basement of the building. “We had prepared for an emergency,” Norich told The New York Times. “The emergency we had prepared for was an act of terrorism, not this.” Forward reporters who had power at home worked remotely throughout the hurricane and into the weekend, and managed to publish its Yiddish and English paper the weekend after the storm. Makom Hadash, an office sharing-initiative led by the Jewish environmental group Hazon, has leased space in the Forward’s office since 2010. The initiative’s partner organizations, which also are affected by the building’s closure, include Limmud NY, Moving Traditions, Storahtelling, Nehirim, B3: The Jewish Boomer Platform and the Jewish Greening Fellowship, an initiative of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. JTA, whose New York-based employees have been operating remotely since shortly before Labor Day, expected additional delays in moving into its new Manhattan office on West 24th Street. A number of synagogues, Jewish day


Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Election 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Women in Cuba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Jason Hoffman on Millionaire. . . . . . . 13 Book Festival begins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 BSV golf tournament. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Lost Tribe and JFS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 UJFT Shabbaton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Dan Ahdoot entertains . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Teens at AIPAC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 UJFT Women’s luncheon . . . . . . . . . . 18

hurricane sandy

jewish news jewishnewsva.org

schools and other Jewish organizations sustained serious flood damage when Hurricane Sandy swept through the greater New York area on Oct. 29. Among the organizations that sustained damage to their facilities from direct flooding were the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE), the Mazel Day School and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, all in Brooklyn, as well as the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach on Long Island.

Berlin’s Jewish community stepping up for Sandy victims BERLIN (JTA—A Jewish woman in Berlin with family in hard-hit Staten Island, N.Y., started a clothing drive for those affected by superstorm Sandy. Bella Zchwiraschwili, an event manager, was moved to action after seeing what happened to her own aunts, uncles and cousins. Zchwiraschwili asked her contacts at Chabad in Berlin if they would open their doors for donations, and she said they were more than willing. Items have started to arrive. “Many people think, ‘Oh, America is rich country, it will be OK,” Zchwiraschwili told JTA. “But I practically lived through this with my family, and they are an example of how people lost everything from one day to the next.” Zchwiraschwili’s relatives, emigrants from Odessa like herself, settled on Staten Island. The family, which since has grown, lived close together. During the storm, most of the family was evacuated in dinghies. But two people stayed behind to try to rescue possessions from the house. Zchwiraschwili spoke to them as they literally were swimming through the house. The police came eventually and ordered them to leave after the sewage pipes in the area burst.

Bar Mitzvah boy and JFS. . . . . . . . . . . JFS holds memorial service. . . . . . . . . CUFi on Israel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JDC helps teen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Screenwriter Marc Moss. . . . . . . . . . . Advertiser Profile: Susan Ralston, Bank@lantec. . . . . . B’Bayit: In the home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special Section

21 22 23 24 26 27 28 30 30 33

Zchwiraschwili said many initiatives similar to the one she launched are being undertaken by churches and other groups in Berlin.

In Sandy’s aftermath, N.Y.’s UJA federation releasing $10 million in emergency aid NEW YORK (JTA)—UJA-Federation of Greater New York released $10 million in Hurricane Sandy emergency relief aid to its network agencies and synagogues. The agency made the funds available on Monday, Nov. 5; its board of directors had decided unanimously to make the money available in a special session the previous evening. “The emotional and economic impact, especially on the isolated elderly and the poor, is acute and will remain so for a long time,” the agency said. UJA-Federation had set up a Hurricane Sandy relief fund shortly after the storm hit. The week before Sandy struck the greater New York area, the federation raised a record $45 million at its annual campaign kickoff event.

Hurricane Relief Fund The Jewish Federations of North America has opened the JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund to contribute to recovery and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy Donors are urged to contribute through • United Jewish Federation of Tidewater • Online at http://JFeds.org/SandyRelief • Text RELIEF to 51818 on a mobile device to pledge • Send checks to The Jewish Federations of North America Wall Street Station, PO Box 148 New York, NY 10268 Indicate “JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund” on all checks or in the designation box online.


Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email news@ujft.org www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Laine Mednick Rutherford, Associate Editor Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Sharon Freeman, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Alvin Wall, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2012 Jewish News all rights reserved Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email mcerase@ujft.org.

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briefs Report: Netanyahu, Barak ordered preparation for Iran strike in 2010 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli military in 2010 to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, according to an Israeli television station. Netanyahu gave the order during a meeting with what is known as the cabinet of seven, or the security cabinet, Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan reported. Israel’s Channel 2 noted the command during a promotion last week for the season premiere of Dayan’s onehour weekly documentary program, Fact. Gabi Ashkenazi and Meir Dagan, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff and Mossad head, respectively, at the time, told Dayan that the order to go to a level “P Plus”—code for preparing for a military strike—was an attempt to circumvent acquiring the approval of the full Cabinet. Dagan reportedly said that “the prime minister and defense minister were trying to ‘hijack a war.’” Ashkenazi reportedly responded that the Israeli military lacked the operational capability to carry out such a strike. Since their retirements, Dagan and Ashkenazi both have publicly stated their opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran. (JTA) Syrian gunfire damages Israeli army vehicle Syrian gunfire damaged an Israeli army vehicle in what the Israeli military believed was part of the unrest in Syria. The jeep was struck Monday, Nov. 5 near the border between Syria and Israel. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that it did not believe the jeep was the target of the gunfire, but likely was fired in a gun battle between Syrian forces and civilian rebels. The IDF filed an official complaint with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, Ynet reported. The Israeli military also related the incident to the unrest in Syria and not a move against Israel. (JTA) Microsoft, Israel agree to strategic cooperation Israel and the Microsoft Corp. agreed to a strategic cooperation to advance computing technology. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer met Monday, Nov. 5 in Israel with government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, to discuss the cooperation. A series of memorandums of understanding signed by Israel’s chief information

officer, Carmela Avner, and Microsoft Israel CEO Danny Yamin in the areas of technological innovation; promoting open government policies; use of technology to reduce bureaucracy; dealing with large databases; information security and privacy protection; development of online government services; collaborative projects; and promoting Israeli technologies and startups, according to The Marker, the business publication of Haaretz. In their meeting, Netanyahu and Balmer discussed Microsoft’s commitment to Israel, and the company’s investments in the Israeli market and their impact, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. Also last week, Microsoft launched its Windows 8 smartphones in Israel. (JTA)

Israel upgrades Iron Dome system Israel upgraded the operational capability of its Iron Dome anti-missile system. The Ministry of Defense announced that its Defense Research and Development Division successfully completed trials testing the upgraded operational capability of Iron Dome. The ministry in a statement said the most recent trial “marks a significant upgrade in the operational capabilities” of the system. An Iron Dome battery—Israel’s fifth in operation—is set to be transferred to the Israel Air Force, the ministry spokesman said. “The series of trials are designed to expand and improve the operational capabilities as we face an unprecedented array of threats,” the ministry statement said. (JTA) Wiesel says he and Obama are teaming for book Elie Wiesel and President Obama are writing a book together, the Holocaust survivor and author told an Israeli newspaper. The book, which the two men will resume writing after the presidential election, is “a book of two friends,” Wiesel, a Nobel laureate, told Haaretz. Haaretz reported that Wiesel and Obama became friends in 2009 when Wiesel joined Obama on a visit to the site of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where Wiesel was interned at the end of World War II following a death march from Auschwitz. “We talk about philosophy, contemplation, thought, but never about politics. He is a thinking person, a person with depth and intellectual curiosity,” Wiesel said about the dinners that the two occasionally have together. Wiesel and Obama first met when Wiesel lectured at California’s Occidental

4 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

College, where Obama was a student. “Your lecture has stayed with me to this day,” the president told Wiesel years later, Wiesel told Haaretz. “When I heard that, my pulse went up. I told myself that I have to be careful because I can never know whether anyone in the audience will be a future president.” (JTA)

Poster collection looted by Nazis to be auctioned A collection of pre-World War II posters that were returned to the heir of a Jewish dentist who fled the Nazis is going on sale. The more than 4,300 posters collected by Hans Sachs and looted by the Nazis will be auctioned at Guernsey’s in New York on Jan. 18, though the auction house is seeking to sell the entire collection to one buyer. The posters are worth about $5.8 million, according to Bloomberg. They reportedly arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York at the height of superstorm Sandy. The posters were returned to Sachs’ son Peter of Sarasota, Fla., from the Deutsches Historisches Museum, where they had been stored. Hans Sachs was a serious poster collector who began collecting in the late 19th century. He also published a poster magazine. The posters were taken by the Gestapo in 1938; Sachs was told at the time that Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wanted them for a museum exhibit. Sachs was arrested on the night of Kristallnact in November 1938 and taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. His wife secured his freedom and the family escaped to the United States. Sachs accepted compensation for the collection from West Germany in 1961. He died in 1974. (JTA) Israel has stemmed entrance of illegal migrants, Netanyahu says Israel has stopped the infiltration of illegal African migrants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Netanyahu said last week at the regular Cabinet meeting that Israel will focus now on repatriating the illegal migrants already in the country. Some 54 infiltrators crossed into Israel from Egypt last month and were placed in detention, the prime minister said. Six months ago, at least 1,000 illegal migrants were entering Israel each month. “On the basis of these figures, one may explicitly say that we have blocked infiltration and now we must focus—and we are doing so—on repatriating the infiltrators

who are already in Israel,” Netanyahu said. More than 60,000 illegal African migrants are believed to be in Israel. Some are refugees, but most are economic migrants seeking jobs. (JTA)

Iran still enriching uranium to 20 percent, Iranian official says in rebutting report Iran has not halted its uranium enrichment to a level of 20 percent, despite media reports that it had, according to an Iranian official. Kazzem Jalali, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told the semi-official Iranian news agency FARS that the Islamic Republic is continuing to enrich uranium to 20 percent because it is “needed for Tehran’s [Research] Reactor and its medical purposes,” such as treating cancer patients. Uranium enrichment, he said, is an “inalienable right.” Twenty percent uranium enrichment is considered to be close to the capacity needed to build a nuclear device. Media reports said that Iran had put a halt to 20 percent uranium enrichment activities as a sign of good faith to Western countries to convince them to relax sanctions on the country. (JTA) Israeli defense official: ‘Shocking dictatorship’ has grown in Egypt Amos Gilad, an Israeli defense official, said that “a shocking dictatorship has grown in Egypt,” according to reports in the Israeli media. Gilad, a department director at the Ministry of Defense, reportedly told students in Herzliya that Israel and Egypt “are not talking” to each other under Mohamed Morsi, the new Egyptian president who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood. “There’s no talking between our diplomatic corps and theirs, and I believe there will not be in the future. [Morsi] won’t talk with us,” he said, according to Israel’s Army Radio. “We need to keep the peace treaty with Egypt at any price,” he said, adding that the country did not want to have to send troops against Egypt. On the Palestinian issue, Gilad said that chances of reaching peace were slim, but cooperation on security issues should be preserved. “Without the Palestinian Authority, Hamas would ascend to power,” he said. “We have to maintain a connection and a process to keep the cooperation on security issues. This is why we need a process.” (JTA)

ELection 2012

As Obama takes second term, Israelis wonder what the future holds President Shimon Peres also offered his congratulations. TEL AVIV (JTA)—Most Israelis were asleep Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has as the polls closed in America and voters praised Obama more than Netanyahu, said waited for the results, but on one rooftop he has “no doubt that the Obama adminisin central Tel Aviv a party with loud classic tration will continue its policy—whereby rock music and flashing lights was going Israel’s security is at its very foundations— strong. as well as its efforts to tackle the It was the pro-Obama elecchallenges facing all of us in the tion-watching party of Israel’s region; all the while continuing Israeli left-wing Meretz party. to strive for further progress in analysts said Deviating from a solidly the peace process.” anti-Obama consensus in The Palestinian Obama Israel—a poll showed Israeli Authority’s official news serJews preferring Republican vice, Wafa, reported that PA is unlikely to challenger Mitt Romney President Mahmoud Abbas over the president, 59 perrock the boat of congratulated Obama and cent to 22 percent—Meretz’s encouraged him to continue mostly positive pursuing Israeli-Palestinian young members drank, talked and danced around a peace. U.S.-Israeli projection screen alternating Political analysts, however, between CNN and Israeli news warned that there could be relations coverage. obstacles ahead for the two leadFor members of Israel’s embaters. Netanyahu’s relationship with tled left, the party was a chance to Obama has been rocky, with public celebrate liberalism. Attendees wore bright spats over a freeze on West Bank settlement green shirts reading “My heart is leftist” or building and the fight against Iran’s nuclear sporting Obama paraphernalia from 2008. program punctuating the last four years. A cheer rose as an Israeli TV station preDuring the campaign, Netanyahu was sented a photo slideshow of the president’s seen as favoring Romney, and that could life. open up Netanyahu to attack in the Israeli “We identify with the progressive values campaign leading up to the Jan. 22 elecObama represents,” said Tomer Reznik, 23, tion. chairman of the Young Meretz group. “On “Left-wing parties will say Netanyahu one hand he supports Israel, and pushes committed himself to Romney, and now Israel with the other hand.” it’s going to deteriorate the relationship Hours later, past 3 am local time, when between Israel and the U.S.,” said Avraham the results began coming in from Florida Diskin, a Hebrew University political sciand Ohio, two Israeli political diehards ence professor. sat at the back of the popular American But public pressure from Obama could bar Mike’s Place alongside small groups of strengthen Netanyahu’s hand in the Israeli American tourists and expatriates. contest, which the incumbent is predicted “I saw the four debates,” said Asaf Chen, to win. 27. “Romney hasn’t been president and he “If he’s too rough with Netanyahu, it came with lots of promises. Obama had will be counterproductive,” said Bar-Ilan four years to do things and he didn’t exactly University professor Shmuel Sandler. “It do it.” will make people rally around Netanyahu. After it became clear that Obama won People don’t like when someone from outthe election, Israeli officialdom reacted side pressures us.” quickly. In any case, Israeli analysts said Obama “The security relationship between the is unlikely to rock the boat of mostly posiUnited States and Israel is rock solid, and tive U.S.-Israeli relations during his second I look forward to working with President term, both because he has been chastened Obama to further strengthen this rela- by his failure to make progress on the tionship,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Israeli-Palestinian front and is likely to be Netanyahu said in a statement of congratu- preoccupied with domestic concerns. lations. “I look forward to working with “Obama at the beginning of the first him to advance our goals of peace and term is not Obama now,” Diskin said. security.” “Obama was a great believer in all kinds by Ben Sales

of solutions, and the reality was quite disappointing. Concerning Iran, the Muslim world, the Palestinian Authority, he’s much more sober today.” Tensions could flare between the two countries should Obama attempt to pressure Israel to make concessions in return for U.S. action on Iran, Sandler said. But Sandler said that any U.S. pressure will

come only next year or later, as Obama first must set up his new administration and deal with domestic battles. “In the two months that remain for him, he’ll be too busy with confirmations, forming his government and the economy,” Sandler said. “He’s not a strong president who can do whatever he wants. He has a divided country.”

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jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 5

ELection 2012

Fighting over every percentage point: Arguing about the Jewish vote and exit polls by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—President Obama’s Jewish numbers are down, but by how much and why? Expect four more years of tussling between Jewish Republicans and Democrats about the meaning of Obama’s dip from 78 percent Jewish support cited in 2008 exit polls to 69 percent this year in the national exit polls run by a media consortium. Is it a result of Obama’s fractious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Or is it a natural fall-off in an election that was closer across the board than it was four years ago? Does it reflect a significant shift in Jewish voting patterns toward the Republicans? A separate national exit poll released Wednesday, Nov. 7 by Jim Gerstein, a pollster affiliated with the dovish Israel policy group J Street, had similar numbers: 70 percent of respondents said they voted for Obama, while 30 percent—the same figure as in the media consortium’s Jewish sample—said they voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, says the $6.5 million spent by his group and the $1.5 million doled out by an affiliated political action committee to woo Jewish voters was “well worth it.” “We’ve increased our share of the Jewish vote by almost 50 percent,” he says, noting that Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, won 22 percent in exit polls to Romney’s 30 percent. Brooks says his group’s hard-hitting ads, which attacked Obama on his handling of both Israel and the economy, helped move the needle. “There’s no question we got significant return on our investment.” Democrats insisted that the needle didn’t wiggle so much, saying the more reliable 2008 number for Obama’s share of the Jewish vote was 74 percent—a figure that was based on a subsequent review of data by The Solomon Project, a nonprofit group affiliated with the National Jewish Democratic Council. “Right now, 69 or 70 is the best number we have for this cycle, and 74 percent is the best number we have for four years ago,” says Steve Rabinowitz, a consultant to Jewish and Democratic groups, includ6 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

ing the NJDC. “You can intentionally use a number you know has been corrected just for the purposes of comparison, or you can use the data.” The 2008 numbers, like this year’s, are based on the 2 percent of respondents identifying as Jewish in the major exit poll run by a consortium of news agencies—400 to 500 Jews among more than 25,000 respondents. The Solomon Project review, by examining a range of exit polls taken in different states as well as the national consortium, used data garnered from nearly 1,000 Jewish voters, which reduces the margin of error from approximately 6 points to 3 points. Whether the 2008 percentage was 74 or 78—or some other number given the margins of errror—Republicans and Democrats agreed that Obama’s share of the Jewish vote had declined. Rabinowitz concedes that the Republican expenditure, which dwarfed spending on the Democratic side, may have had an impact. “What yichus is there in the possibility of having picked up a handful of Jewish votes having spent so many millions of dollars?” Rabinowitz asks, using the Yiddish word connoting status. Gerstein says his findings suggest that the Republican blitz of Jewish communities in swing states such as Ohio and Florida had little effect; separate polls he ran in those states show virtually the same results as his national poll of Jewish voters. Gerstein’s national poll of 800 Jewish voters has a margin of error of 3.5 percent, while his separate polls canvassing 600 Jewish voters each in Ohio and Florida had a margin of error of 4 percent. He also notes that there were similar drop-offs in Obama’s overall take—from 53 percent of the popular vote in 2008 to 49 percent this year—as well as among an array of subgroups, including whites, independents, Catholics, those with no religion and those under 30. The only uptick for the president in the media consortium’s exit polls was seen among Hispanic voters, who likely were turned off by Romney’s tough line on illegal immigration. “You see a lot of things that are tracking between the Jewish constituency and other constituencies when you look at the shift in Obama’s vote between 2008 and now, “ he says.

The NJDC president, David Harris, attributes what shift there was to the economy. “American Jews are first and foremost Americans, and like all Americans it’s a difficult time for them,” he says. “The Democratic vote performance has decreased somewhat.” Gerstein says Republicans continued to err in presuming that Israel was an issue that could move the Jewish vote. “They’ve got to do something very different if they’re going to appeal to Jews,” he says. “The hard-line hawkish appeal to Israel isn’t working.” He cites an ad run in September in Florida by an anti-Obama group called Secure America Now that featured footage from a news conference in which Netanyahu excoriated those who he said had failed to set red lines for Iran, which was seen as a jab at Obama. Gerstein says that of the 45 percent of his Florida respondents who saw the ad, 56 percent said they were not moved by it, 27 percent said the ad made them more determined to vote for Obama and only 16 percent said it made them more determined to vote for Romney. Israel did not feature high among priorities in Gerstein’s polling—a finding that conformed with polling done over the years by the American Jewish Committee. Asked their top issue in voting, 53 percent of Gerstein’s respondents in his national poll cited the economy and 32 percent said health care. Israel tied for third with abortion and terrorism at 10 percent. His national poll shows Obama winning a strong overall approval rating of 67 percent and a similarly solid showing on domestic issues, such as entitlements, at 65 percent. The president gained majority approval of his handling of relations with Israel (53 percent) and the Iranian nuclear issue (58 percent.). But the RJC’s Brooks says he was confident that Republicans would continue to accrue gains, saying that with the exception of Obama’s strong showing in 2008, his party has steadily increased its proportion of the Jewish vote since George H. W. Bush received 11 percent in 1992. “Our investment is not in the outcome of a single election,” he says. “It’s ultimately about broadening the base of the Republican Party in the Jewish community.”

ELection 2012

Jews in the 113th Congress

by JTA Staff

NEW YORK (JTA)—The next Congress will have 10 Jews in the Senate and 22 in the House of Representatives, a decline from the 112th Congress. Below is the list of Jews who are expected to serve in the 113th Congress. SENATE: Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)** Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Ben Cardin (D-Md.)** Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Al Franken (D-Minn.) Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)** (Note: Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who is projected to win his re-election bid, does not identify a religion, but notes that his mother is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor.)

Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) Jared Polis (D-Colo.) Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) Lois Frankel (D-Fla.)* Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)* Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) Brad Schneider (D-Ill.)* John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) Sander Levin (D-Mich.) Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) David Cicilline (D-R.I.) Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) Eric Cantor (R-Va.) * Newly elected to House in the Nov. 6 election. (Note: Alan Grayson had served in the House but lost his seat in the 2010 midterm elections.)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Susan Davis (D-Calif.) Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.)*

** Senators who were re-elected.

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ELection 2012 Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline Vice President

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Congressional races: Republican Jewish hopefuls defeated, new faces for House Dems by JTA Staff

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The Classics: Signed Bronzes with Foundry Marks, 18th & 19th C. oil paintings by listed artists, Oriental Jade, Ivory, Japanese Wood Block Prints , Imperial Russian Silver with Enamel, 18th & 19th C. Long Case Clocks. The Breakable: Tiffany, Steuben, Daum, Lalique, Chihuly, Littleton, (etc) Art Glass, Lamps by Handel, Tiffany, Steuben, Miller, Pgh., Newcomb, Rookwood, Grueby, George Orr Pottery. The Man Cave Interests: Militaria incl. WWII, Civil and Revolutionary War Hardware, Flags, Letters, Nautical Hardware, Tasteful Erotica, Sports Collectibles from '30's, '40's, '50's. Furniture to Love: Mission Oak, Stickley-Limbert-Art Nouveau anything, Maker Signed '40's, '50's Mid-Century Modern Furniture, Baker, Widdicomb. Consignments should be in by December 1.

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8 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

Vaaf #733

NEW YORK (JTA)—Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is no closer to having a minyan. The majority leader will remain the sole Jewish member of his party’s caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a generally rough night for Republicans, the party’s top Jewish congressional prospects all went down to defeat to Democrats. In Ohio, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, a former Marine, failed to unseat Sen. Sherrod Brown. In Hawaii, former Gov. Linda Lingle lost in her Senate bid to Rep. Mazie Hirono. On New York’s Long Island, businessman Randy Altschuler—seen as the best shot at adding a second Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives—was fended off by Rep. Tim Bishop, who had narrowly beaten Altschuler two years earlier. In a South Florida race pitting two Jewish candidates, Adam Hasner, the former majority leader in the state Senate, was defeated in his congressional bid by Lois Frankel, the former mayor of West Palm Beach. Jewish Democrats, meanwhile, had cause to celebrate beyond President Obama’s victory. The House Democratic caucus will feature some new Jewish faces: In Florida, aside from Frankel’s victory, former congressman Alan Grayson—a fiery liberal who had been unseated in the Republican electoral surge in 2010—won a return ticket to Capitol Hill with his victory in an Orlando-area district. In suburban Chicago, Democratic business consultant and Jewish community activist Brad Schneider unseated first-term Rep. Robert Dold, a Republican. In Southern California, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal took a congressional seat spanning parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties. In Rhode Island, first-term Rep. David Cicilline, a Jewish Democrat, held on to his seat. His reelection effort had struggled after embarrassing revelations about severe budget problems in Providence, where he previously had served as mayor. Some Jewish Democrats, however, came up short. In a closely watched Senate race in Nevada, Rep. Shelley Berkley failed in her effort to unseat the Republican incum-

bent, Dean Heller. Berkley, an outspoken supporter of Israel who has had a long-running feud with Las Vegas casino tycoon and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, will leave Congress after 14 years in the House. Rep. Howard Berman, a 30-year veteran of the House, lost a bitter redistrictingfueled, intraparty battle to fellow Jewish incumbent Rep. Brad Sherman. The campaign pitted two pro-Israel Democrats against each other in the San Fernando Valley congressional district with an intensity so ferocious that it became physical: Sherman briefly grabbed Berman at a debate. While Berman enjoyed an overwhelming advantage in endorsements from congressional colleagues, leading elected officials and Hollywood machers, he did not fare well in the redrawn district, most of which had been represented by Sherman. Berman garnered only 39.5 percent of the vote to Sherman’s 60.5 percent. Berman’s influential position as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is now up for grabs, and Sherman has said he would vie for it. In New Jersey, several Jewish candidates challenging congressional incumbents went down to defeat. Democrat Shelley Adler lost her bid to unseat Republican Jon Runyan, a former pro football player who had captured the seat from her Adler’s husband, now deceased, in 2010. Democrat Adam Gussen, the deputy mayor of Teaneck, lost his long-shot challenge to Rep. Scott Garrett. Media personality and Republican candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach lost to veteran incumbent Rep. Bill Pascrell by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. Pascrell had defeated fellow incumbent Rep. Steve Rothman in a redistricting-induced Democratic primary. The next Congress will have 10 Jews serving in the Senate and 22 members of the House—a decline from the 12 Jews elected to the Senate and 27 elected to the House in 2010. Retiring lawmakers include Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), and Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Bob Filner (D-Calif.), who held a narrow lead in his race for mayor of San Diego.

Entertaining comedy from Performing Arts at the J by Leslie Shroyer


omedian Dan Ahdoot, the first of three events at the Simon Family JCC in this season’s Performing Arts at the J, presented by Leah Wohl*, kept the jokes coming, pleasing adults of all ages on Saturday, Oct. 20. Susan Schwartzman, chairperson of the series, says the night was a big success. “Ticket sales were good, we had a great audience, Dan was terrific and there was lots of laughter.” Ina and Moss Friedman, who were very close with Leah Wohl, attended Ahdoot’s performance. As stewards of Wohl’s estate, they Dan Ahdoot performs. made the decision to sponsor the Performing Arts Series in her name for the next three years. “I think that Leah would say that she’s happy to see our younger generation come together at the JCC to enjoy an evening of entertainment,” says Ina Friedman. The remaining Performing Arts at the J events include Mike Reiss (an Emmy award winning writer/ Lonny and Terri Sarfan with Fern and Larry Leibowitz. producer of the Simpsons) and David Krohn (an operatic baritone). The year, the JCC is also partnering with the Virginia Arts Festival to present Israeli singing sensation Noa in April. For more information, go to www. simonfamilyj.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. David and Jody Laibstain with Mike Shroyer.

*Of blessed memory

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jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 9

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10 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

Tidewater Jewish women experience Cuba dreidels! The medical supplies were collected and donated primarily by the Cuba? Bucket list? medical professionals involved in UJFT’s Not on it for most of us, and by most of Maimonides Society. us, I mean the 28 women who signed on It was a little unnerving to consider that for last month’s United Jewish Federation we were bringing these items into a counof Tidewater’s/Joint Distribution Committee try that had been subject to a U.S. trade sponsored women’s mission to Havana embargo since the Cuban revolution and Cuba, led by mission chairs Laura Gross Castro’s rise to power. But we knew how and Jodi Klebanoff and Women’s Campaign important this contribution would be to director, Amy Zelenka. (A disclaimer or their Jewish community and it was reassurtwo: Sofia Konikoff is of Cuban decent and ing to have Sandy Katz with us, knowing had been on prior Cuba Missions and so that she had the long arm of the JDC at her was a returning “daughter” of the island. disposal, should we run into any glitches And Sandy Katz, our JDC regional repre- (which we didn’t!). And we also knew that sentative had also visited Cuba with other we’d be restricted to a mere 40 pounds of Jewish community missions.) The rest of us luggage including our care packages and had no idea what we were in for. handbags—talk about a selfless sorority The four-day visit to the Jewish communi- soldiering the cause. ty of Havana was eye-opening and inspiring. Upon our arrival, we knew we weren’t After two pre-mission briefings, we had in Kansas anymore (or Norfolk, or any a rough idea of our itinerary. We were each other U.S. city for that matter). Not that we asked to pack and bring medicines and were expecting the likes of Ricky Ricardo supplies for the Jewish community’s central and his orchestra, but the atmosphere in pharmacy (run out of one of Havana’s three the airport was strictly business. Once on synagogues)—everything from Tylenol the bus and on the road (after an hour delay and syringes to underwear and Chanukah for questioning by a customs official and the random search of two of our bags), a series of looming billboards, dark and foreboding, reminded all travelers of the cruel nature of the U.S. embargo, the most enduring in modern history. We would be reminded of this throughout our tour whether by present propaganda (such as the billboards), archived history in the museums, or just by our personal encounters. “Ladies, Ladies, please may I have your attention?” Our charming and experienced Cuban guide, Alaine, was patient but persisLulo welcomes the group to Kabalat Shabbat services at the Patranato Synagogue tent in his handling of a bus load of by Kim Simon FInk

Group in the old Jewish neighborhood of Havana.

ladies. “What you need to do first and foremost upon visiting Havana is just simply take it all in. Look around you, visit with the people, experience where you are.” That first piece of advice, while it had no way of stemming our first impressions as we entered the capital city, proved in the end to be the most penetrating and sage advice and something each and every one of us took home as a lasting souvenir. What we saw initially and what we later came to experience were polar opposites. Entering Old Havana, once the largest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in all the Americas, the first things that caught our eyes were the beautifully restored, brightly colored 1950s sedans. It was a marvel to see them gliding down the streets. But, much like a scratch to the surface of those cars, what was eventually revealed was a city of neglect and decay. Magnificent baroque and neoclassical buildings were literally crumbling ruins. The economy was no better. The annual salary we were told averaged no more than $20 a month. Under Castro’s communist dictatorship, Cubans do not own their own homes and receive sparse food rations to supplement their sparse incomes. Restaurants are for tourists and there is a noticeable absence of boats in any harbor. We could only imagine how a small Jewish community was faring in this impoverished state. What we saw in the Jewish community, the people we met, the leaders who

Lulo. Both are shining examples of the kinds of energetic and hard-working young professionals that JDC places in Jewish communities around the world. Only one year into a two-year stay in Cuba, the couple is warmly regarded and highly respected by the entire Jewish community of Cuba. Lulo and Allie run a full spectrum of programming, serving all age groups within the community. Rotating such innovative counseling the community is exposed to fresh ideas and energies while relying on the continuity of its home grown outstanding leaders, elected presidents with life terms. During our four action-packed days, we visited, discussed, ate, sang and danced with our Cuban counterparts. The Patranato (Grand Synagogue) housed the community’s make-shift pharmacy (one of the best-stocked pharmacies in all of Cuba, thanks to Jewish community missions, which come bearing much-needed medical supplies and medicines). The Sephardic Synagogue housed Cuba’s riveting Holocaust Remembrance Exhibit—one

presented, (primarily women and “Golda Meirs” each and every one!), the facilities, the activities, the vitality of the Cuban Jewish community, simply put, was nothing short of miraculous. Three small synagogues, one Orthodox, one Conservative, and one Sephardic, served the 1,100 or so Jewbans living within Havana (an estimated 400 or so also live elsewhere throughout the island.) We were privileged and honored to share Kabalat Shabbat services with the community. Later that evening we sat down with more than 100 of our new friends for a hot chicken dinner, and to enjoy a most genuine feeling of Jewish community; community born not only from JDC dollars—which are the result of Federation dollars—but also from JDC leadership. Lulo, (short for Luciano), and Allie, a bright young Argentinean couple, are the JDC professionals currently assigned to serve the Cuban community. While we didn’t have the opportunity to meet Allie (she was home recovering from Jewish community President Adele Dworin Dengue Fever), we meets with the group. spent a lot of time with

of only two in all of Latin America. The Orthodox synagogue was located in what had been the original Jewish neighborhood of Havana, but what was now perhaps the poorest and most run-down section of the city. The sites, the smells, the sounds of that neighborhood will stay with all of us for a long, long time. During that walking tour, we were introduced to the “rationing centers” of Cuba, which display their wares in small glass bottles— indicating to Cuban citizens that ‘today we have corn meal, beans, and vegetable oil.’ Families of four are entitled to four times the ration; families of six get six times the ration, etc. The ration centers were threadbare, to say the least, and it was difficult for our group to imagine having to “shop” for groceries this way. Perhaps most impressive was the realization that the Jewish community of Havana was being led by strong, smart, and visionary Jewish women. Adela Dworin, the long-time president of the Cuban Jewish community met with us before Shabbat. With incredible comic timing, she shared her amazing experiences (not the least of which included inviting and receiving Fidel Castro at one of the community’s Chanukah parties!). She talked about the challenges facing the community, including the country’s deplorable and dilapidated transportation system; the lack of reliable communication services. (NOTE: it was simultaneously strange and liberating to be “off the grid”—without cell phone or internet service for four days.). At the same time she spoke with pride about the country and its 99% literacy rate. continued on page 12

Stocked shelves at the Jewish community pharmacy—made possible through the donations of mission groups like this one.

jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 11

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We were surprised to learn that dozens of the community’s young adults have participated in Birthright Israel and/or March of the Living missions. We were even more surprised to learn that the Cuban government allows Jews to make aliyah to Israel. So, with losses due to death and aliyah, combined with a nearly 99% intermarriage rate, we wondered how the Jewish community of Cuba could continue to maintain its size. We learned that non-Jewish spouses of many intermarried couples end up converting after about five years of marriage. And so every few years, the community arranges for a rabbi to travel from Argentina to perform multiple chuppah weddings for these couples. Moving slightly away from the Jewish community, our group visited the American Interest Section, located in the Swiss Embassy, which housed 51 U.S. diplomats (this despite the U.S. having no official diplomatic relations with the Cuban government). There we received a briefing on today’s Cuba—what life is like for the average Cuban, with many challenges and great potential, and also what the future may hold for Cuba and its relationship with the U.S. Throughout the mission, our group walked the streets of Havana’s neighborhoods, stopping to peek in at museums and wrangle over prices with vendors in the markets and galleries. And yes, we did indulge in a few infamous Cuban cigars and Mojitos at the famed Hotel Nacional de Cuba whose notable guests over the years have included Jack Dempsey, Buster Keaton, Errol Flynn, Meyer Lansky, Winston Churchill, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ava Gardner, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Mickey Mantle, and Walt Disney (to name a smattering). One particular evening saw our group “transported back in time” to the high stepping showy dance numbers and acrobatics of the famed Tropicana dancers. Speaking of Ricky Ricardo…. Our last evening was spent participating in a moving Havdala service at the Patronato. Strangers no longer, we sang and danced with our new friends. The youth groups performed Israeli dances with chins lifted high and smiles that infused us all with the indomitable spirit we all share as kindred Jews no matter our nationalities. Words could not express the emotions shared, although one single hand written letter tacked to a wall at the hall’s entrance came close: “When I see how much cultural restoration has been performed by you and others, it reminds me again about why I am so proud to be a Jew. Thank you, Shalom”—Steven Spielberg

| November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org 9/27/12 11:30 AM

The continuity of community…a community of women…a community of Jewish women reaching out and embracing another community…a community striving to be self-sustaining. By the end of our short stay we had indeed come full circle. Our Cuban guide’s sage advice day one resonated and took on a whole new meaning by day four. By mission’s end, we had indeed taken in all that we experienced. The poverty that made us gasp at first glance had faded away. What we saw now took our breath away. In its place were men and women, teens and children, a community who, while not having much, certainly had each other.

Mission participants Jeri Jo Halpern, Sandy Katz (JDC) and Janet Mercadante at the Hotel Nacional.

Mission participants Leah Flax, Alice Werner, and co-chair Jodi Klebanoff at the Hotel Nacional.

Mission participants Renee Strelitz and Shelly Simon.

Mission participant Jen Rush receives her Lion Pin during the mission caucus.

Mission participant Janet Mercadante receives her Tikva pendant during the mission caucus.

Jason Hoffman wins (kind of) big on TV game show by Laine M. Rutherford

Yes, Jason Hoffman wants to be a millionaire. Did he become one because of his appearance on a television game show? Yay or nay, and is that your final answer? Hoffman, chair of the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and associate vice president - investments for the Alcaraz Mercadante West Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, was a contestant recently on the TV show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? At a breakfast hosted by Hoffman’s friend, Art Sandler, a group of more than 50 people gathered at the Sandler Family Campus on Oct. 31 to watch the broadcast of Hoffman answering questions ranging from who invented Spanx to which celebrity died on Halloween. Correct answers on the program, which airs locally on Fox 43 weekdays at 10 am, could be worth a million dollar prize. “This has been two years of work, essentially on my wife, Denise’s, part,” says Hoffman. “After a friend said to her that they thought I’d be good on the show because I have so much information in my head, she constantly checked the Millionaire website for audition dates until we found out when they were coming to the area, and then she made sure I went.” The audition consisted of a 30-minute, 40-question test. Hoffman took it, then left the next day for a summer UJFT Men’s Division trip to Israel. When he returned home, he received a postcard congratulating him for making it into the contestants’ pool, where his name would remain for two years. About a month later, Hoffman received a call asking him if he was available for a taping on Sept. 25, and also asking if he would be willing to compete in a costume. “I was told we might be taping for the Halloween show, so I told Liz, the producer, I could be a clown, or a zombie, or I could dress up like Meredith Vieira,” Hoffman says, referring to the game’s female host. “They asked if I would really do that, and I said, ‘why not?’ Next thing I know, they called and said they’d get me a dress and a wig, and that all I’d need to bring was the size 13W black pumps—not the easiest size to find!” The sight of Hoffman appearing on screen, bedecked in a blonde wig, makeup, a pink dress and looming over Vieira in his two-inch heels, had friends and family laughing and applauding. For the next 15 minutes, the crowd watched as Hoffman, a.k.a. “Scarideth,” easily answered some questions and was stumped by others. Only he and Denise knew the outcome of the show, and they weren’t revealing whether he had won the grand prize, or no prize at all.

“I was as nervous watching it as I was when I was at the taping in New York, even though I knew what was going to happen,” says Denise Hoffman. As Jason’s winnings mounted, the questions become harder. With his purse totaling $53,500 and only four more questions to reach the million dollars, Hoffman had depleted his opportunities for extra help with answers. The question that eventually stopped him was a tough one: “Though it sounds like an event for bald men hoping to achieve their dreams, regaining is actually a what?” The answers Hoffman had to choose from were a cooking method, a folk dance, an outdoor sport or a chess move. He narrowed it down to folk dance or outdoor sport and chose folk dance. Hoffman should have chosen outdoor sport. “You just never know what they’re going to ask, and I had no idea what that answer was,” Hoffman says. “Really, I never even expected to get as far as I did.” While he ended up losing some of his accumulated prize money, Hoffman still left the show with $25,000. “It was an amazing opportunity and a wonderful experience then, and has been great today, bringing the community together for something fun,” says Hoffman. Jason Hoffman, dressed as host Meredith Vieira, competes on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 13

Children’s events launch 2012 Book Festival at the JCC


hildren were the theme for the first day of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Book Festival, as dozens of young faces, some familiar, some new, came to enjoy the arts at the Simon Family JCC. Author Heidi Smith Hyde shared her story of Emanuel, a Portuguese Jew taught to keep his faith a secret. His family and Jewish neighbors rise above their fears and light the way home for Emanuel and the whaling ship he ventured on after it is partially destroyed by a storm. Hyde led a lively discussion and whale craft with a group of elementary age children. This first Book Festival event was followed by a performance of The Virginia Opera’s Hansel and Gretel as part of its Community Events series. Lynn Sher Cohen, Book Festival chair, welcomed the Virginia Opera, who will also perform The Pirates of Penzance at the JCC in the spring. “This opportunity to partner with the

Jewish Community Center on JCC’s most important children’s program initiative has been a wonderful experience for Virginia Opera and we look forward to our return,” said Lisa Sands, director of development, Virginia Opera. “On a personal note, my very first exposure to live performance was as a student attending the Metropolitan Opera, an event that significantly impacted my future. As a former educator, I cannot begin to stress the importance of the arts and their ability to both inform and engage. With one brief encounter, we can alter the course for the voices of tomorrow.” The last week of the Book Festival offers events for readers of all ages and tastes: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 12:15 pm—Ben Frank shares his book, which takes readers to exotic Jewish communities around the world, including Tahiti, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Cuba, Israel and more. ($10, includes lunch) Thursday, Nov. 15, 12:30 pm—Hanna Perlstein Marcus discusses her journey of

discovery as a Holocaust Survivor’s daughter uncovers her mother’s secret past when she stumbles upon old letters and photographs. ($8, box lunch available). Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 pm—Get moving in the right direction as Deborah Grayson Riegel weaves her 25 easy to follow self-help strategies with Jewish humor and tradition. Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 pm— Help children celebrate their inner beauty and embrace Hansel and Gretel the beauty within others as internationally known storyteller Peninnah All events take place at the Simon Schram reads The Apple Tree’s Discovery. Family JCC. Call 321-2338 or visit simonSunday, Nov. 18, 1 pm—Enjoy six familyj.org for more information. Visit the words, from the likes of Larry David and JCC to see the hundreds of books on sale Mayor Ed Koch, and make a Six-Word now through Nov. 18. Memoir with Larry Smith at the final Book The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency Festival event. of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.


…You are helping special needs children in Israel become bar or bat mitzvah, regardless of their ability? Money raised here in Tidewater makes a real difference to real people every day.


14 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org


Golf’s Longest Day above par Beth Sholom Village’s Fifth Annual Richard “Dick” Porter Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Monday, Oct. 22 at Bayville Golf Course. Six golfers braved the beautiful blue skies, low humidity and bright sunshine and played a total of 332 holes of golf! The golfers were joined at lunch by Ellie Porter, Sandra Porter Leon, and Neil Friedman, president of Beth Sholom Village. Many people in the community pledged row: Stewart Kahn, Ellie Porter, and Larry Siegel. Back row: Bob Salter, Chris a flat amount or a Front Sisler, David Abraham, Neil Friedman, Sandra Porter Leon and Bryan Mesh. “per hole” amount to raise almost $60,000. The golfers (and the number of holes they Plans are already underway for next played) are: David Abraham, Village execu- year’s tournament so plan to be a part of tive vice president (42), Bryan Mesh, Village the fun-raising. For information call Bryan chief development officer (64), Stewart Kahn Mesh 420-2512. (72), Bob Salter (54), Larry Siegel (54), and Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of Chris Sisler (46). In addition to lunch, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. golfers had a good time at the 19th hole.


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Lost Tribe helps JFS raise money for families in need at Chanukah


he only Jewish motorcycle club in Tidewater, The Lost Tribe “is not your stereotypical bunch of Jews,” says Mike Ashe, club co-founder. “Although biking might be a Jewish mother’s worst nightmare, our

motorcyclists are bound together by our enthusiasm for motorcycles, our religion, pride in our Jewish cultural connections and the shared joy of the roads to be explored. Most importantly, we strive to do some good in our community as well.” This Chanukah, as part of The Lost Tribe’s ongoing commitment to helping those less fortunate, the club will partner with Jewish Family Service to raise money for children and families in need. The Lost Tribe is selling its popular club t-shirts and donating 100% of First row: Carolyn Nachman, Terry and Wayne White, Rabbi Sender Haber, the net proceeds to Mike and Mitzi Ashe, Drew Cohen (on lap) Howard Cohen. Second row: Mike Jaffe, the JFS Chanukah Mark Nachman, Scottt and Carolyn Cimring, Debbie Hibberd, Lee Pollack. Third row: Jeff Fischel, Richard Studebaker, Ben Cohen, and Jim Hibberd. Gift Program.

Scott Cimring, one of The Lost Tribe’s charter members and liaison to the international Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance, says “since our inception in 2007, our riders have always been involved in charity rides. In 2011, the Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance asked our club to host the annual gathering of Jewish clubs and riders from around the world.” The yearly gathering’s “Ride to Remember” includes clubs from Israel, England, South Africa, Australia, USA, and Canada and raises funds for Holocaust education in the host group’s community. The 2011 “Ride to Remember” in Virginia Beach raised $27,000 for the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish

Federation of Tidewater. In 2012, members of The Lost Tribe rode their motorcycles to Toronto for the annual gathering of the JMA, where more than $32,000 was raised in support of Holocaust education for the host community. To purchase a t-shirt, send “double chai,” a $36 check or money order, made payable to “Lost Tribe” [in memo write “JFS”]. T-shirts are being printed in multicolored lettering and graphics that pop! Pre-paid t-shirts will be delivered to JFS, 260 Grayson Road, Virginia Beach, for pick up. For questions about this project or the t-shirts for sale, e-mail Mike Ashe at ashe@ lawyervirginia.com.

jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 15

Professor shines despite the hurricane by Rabbis Michael Panitz and Jeffrey Arnowitz


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16 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

ver the past two years, a good new spirit has gathered strength in Tidewater’s local Jewish community, a spirit of collegiality and partnership, encompassing the synagogues in town and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Last year, the community joined forces to celebrate the first annual “Federation Shabbaton” hosting Shoel Silver for a Sunday morning brunch and conversation about the challenges to Jewish unity, in Israel and domestically. Last month congregations again hosted a Federation-Synagogue Shabbaton with Professor David Elcott, scholar-in-residence. He spoke on “Rebuilding Community: The Search for New Models of Leadership.” Elcott spoke Friday night, Oct. 26 at Beth El, which also hosted a Federationsponsored Family Shabbat dinner and on Saturday, Oct. 27 at a joint Temple Israel/ KBI Shabbat morning services and brunch at Temple Israel. A scholar in the field of political psychology and Middle East studies, and an expert in the study of American sociological developments, Elcott came to the community with a record of incisive analysis and effective communication. He has published A Sacred Journey: The Jewish Quest for a Perfect World. Among the leadership positions in which he has served, he has been a vice president of CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and is the former national director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. Elcott addressed the challenge of renewing the Jewish community. This is a subject that will require more than a weekend retreat to comprehend and to solve, but the Shabbaton provided an excellent setting for mobilizing thoughts and energies. On Friday evening, Elcott taught a series of Torah texts at a gathering in Beth El congregation. His teaching focused on the morning blessings of gratitude. Elcott pointed out that these blessings represent not only gratitude, but also a mission for the Jewish people. For example, when

thanking God for being just, it is a reminder that it is the Jewish mission to work for justice in the world. When thanking God for healing the sick, it is also a reminder that it is each person’s role to help bring healing, both literally in the field of medicine and figuratively by supporting health initiatives. Elcott pointed out that Abraham’s blessing in the weekly parsha was to grow into a great nation and to inherit the land, but also, and equally important, to be a blessing in the land and beyond. The blessings remind what kind of a blessing each person is meant to be. He highlighted the fact that this is the first period in history for 2,000 years that Jews actually have to find a balance between stewardship for the Land of Israel and sharing blessings with the rest of the world and he pointed out the Jewish community’s important role in organizing resources for both. On Shabbat morning Elcott—athletically as well as intellectually fit!—literally ran over to Temple Israel from the downtown guesthouse where he had been staying. He delivered the d’var Torah, asking the congregation to consider closely the story of Abraham’s departure for Canaan. What makes Abraham so worthy of Jewish tradition’s praise, Elcott suggested, was that he was willing to take a risk, embarking on a journey whose end he could not totally foresee. Abraham’s father had already left Mesopotamia, but he did not leave behind the conventional thinking of his era. By contrast, Abraham was willing to follow the force of his principles not only to a new land, but more fundamentally, to a new religious reality. His descendants have an obligation to be true not only to the past, but also to the dynamism of Abraham’s journey, and to embrace the changes that will balance with tradition to produce a vital Jewish future. Professor Elcott’s stay was unfortunately shortened because of the approach of Hurricane Sandy, but he left those he met with wiser for his presentations, and eager to learn more. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater underwrote and co-sponsored this Shabbaton with several area synagogues.

Teens brave Hurricane Sandy to learn about Israel Advocacy with AIPAC by Skylar Arias, Julia Laibstain, Nathan Levy, Jake Patish, and Adam Zelenka


eens Skylar Arias, Julia Laibstain, Nathan Levy, Jake Patish, and Adam Zelenka braved hurricane Sandy to attend the twoday AIPAC Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Washington, D.C. late last month. The jam-packed summit included lobbying preparation, informative sessions, and multiple guest speakers including Howard Kohr, AIPAC executive director. “I came to this Summit knowing near to nothing about AIPAC but now I plan Row: Nathan Levy, Jake Patish, Adam Zelenka, and Robin Mancoll. to go home and continue Top Bottom Row: Staci Eichelbaum, Julia Laibstain, and Skylar Arias. studying and immersing myself in American-Israel affairs,” says Arias. of AIPAC on college campuses across the Patish gained a new perspective on country. The teens had the opportunity to AIPAC as he says “I was motivated by seeing meet with representatives from more than the multiple Jewish teen organizations and 30 schools and discuss Jewish life, the delegations that sent participants to this influence of AIPAC, and ask other general incredible conference.” questions about the universities. Laibstain had a slightly different motivaThe various workshops and lectures tion for attending the Summit. After studying allowed participants to look at the issues in Israel for two months this past spring, she and ways to advocate. Some lectures is incredibly passionate about the Jewish focused on the issues, how they affect Israel state and gained many new approaches to and the United States, and why the issues personally making a difference in advocating are important. The main issue covered was for the American-Israel alliance. the threat of a nuclear Iran. The group found it interesting to Other workshops taught participants learn about not only the Jewish leaders how to advocate about these issues. Teens in AIPAC, but also the non-Jewish profes- got the chance to role-play, when they sionals including an Evangelical Christian pretended to lobby with someone acting as and a Mormon, and the fact that many a member of Congress. The teens learned AIPAC professionals were convinced to from each other by hearing both praise and join the AIPAC cause by their friends and critiques from their peers and the AIPAC colleagues, which shows the importance of experts. spreading the word about the U.S.-Israel In addition to being exposed to so relationship. much information over the 48 hours at Since the teens were not able to lobby the Summit, the five Tidewater teens got due to Hurricane Sandy, they wrote letters a chance to meet a wide range of fellow to their local congressmen and made plans teens that are passionate about Israel, both to lobby in the future. They also learned Jewish and non-Jewish from across the that despite the fact that none of the stu- country. After the summit concluded, all of dents are of voting age, their voices about the teens agreed they had learned so much the American-Israel relationship will still useful information that they could not wait be heard. to begin using it back in Tidewater at their The college fair at the conference own synagogues, in their schools, and in allowed the teens to explore the influence their youth groups.

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jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 17

Celebrating the power of Jewish Women by Amy Zelenka, UJFT Women’s Campaign director


ust walking into the Fleder Multipurpose Room at noontime on Thursday, Nov. 1, one sensed energy and high spirits. Looking a little more closely, one immediately understood…this was a room full of powerful women. The 2013 United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Lion Tikva Chai Luncheon was all about celebrating the power of Jewish women to make a difference in the world and shape the future for generations to come. Jodi Klebanoff, Women’s Cabinet vice chair, invited the women to take their seats and enjoy the lunch. Bootsie Goldmeier, luncheon co-chair, welcomed all to the event and opened with a beautiful D’Var Torah referencing the week’s parasha Vayera, where (among many other things) Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Without once questioning, and with full faith in God, Abraham prepares to undertake the task. God rewards his unwavering faith by sparing Isaac and blessing the Jewish People. Amy Lefcoe, luncheon co-chair, recognized the campaign’s newest milestone women donors. New Chai Society Donors (women giving an individual campaign gift of $1,800

or greater to the 2013 UJFT Annual Campaign) are: Dale Bangel Beth Berman Deborah Casey Alicia Friedman Joyce Graber Jeri Halprin Ellen Hundley Danielle Leibovici Stacie Moss Rachel Schoenbaum New Tikva Society Donors (women giving an individual campaign gift of $3,600 or greater to the 2013 UJFT Annual Campaign) are: Mona Flax Janet Mercadante Laure Saunders New Lion of Judah Donors (women giving an individual campaign gift of $5,000 or greater to the 2013 UJFT Annual Campaign) are: Rachel Abrams Hannah Chakoff Wendy Konikoff Nancy Nusbaum Jennifer Rush

Seated: Tanya Miller, Hilde Deutsch; Standing: Marilyn Buxbaum, Thelma Oser, and Dorothy Zimmerman

18 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

In addition, two Lions of Judah moved from one milestone level to another: Shelia Josephberg became a new Amethyst Lion of Judah Donor (making an individual campaign gift of $50,000 or greater), and Randi Gordon became a new Ruby Lion of Judah (making an individual campaign gift of $10,000 or greater)

Ann Copeland with Ellen Hundley

Lefcoe introduced the guest speaker, Lori Palatnik. In her remarks, Palatnik, founder of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, spoke directly to the issue of the power of Jewish women, citing a variety of biblical interpretations, and pointing out that throughout the Torah, it was the women who consistently trusted in God (hearkening back to parsaha Vayera and Abraham’s unwavering faith) and kept the Jewish People moving forward toward the Promised Land, even when the men doubted or feared, or stumbled along the way. Palatnik was charming and engaging, using humor and pop culture to reinforce her message of empowerment. Palatnik enchanted the room with humor and grace. She made each of the more than 80 participants feel that they personally had the power to help shape the future of the Jewish community and to make the world a better place.

Sofia Konikoff

Rebecca Dreyfus, Laura Miller, Annie Sandler, Ilana Benson, and Charlene Cohen

Standing: Mimi Karesh, Deb Segaloff, Dolores Bartel; Seated: Joyce Salzberg, Danielle Leibovici, Randy Gordon, and Carin Simon

Annabel Sacks recognizes Phyllis Lannik as Tidewater’s Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient

Luncheon co-chairs Amy Lefcoe and Bootsie Goldmeier with speaker Lori Palatnik

Renee Strelitz and Stacie Moss

Laura Gross, Women’s Cabinet chair, closed the event with a thank you to the women who make the gifts and who make the calls to ask others to support the Jewish community. She appealed to those who had not yet made their 2013 Campaign commitments to do so before leaving the luncheon. And she shared some of her recent experiences during the Women’s Mission to Cuba. Gross stressed the importance of continuing to support the agencies and programs which improve Jewish lives from Tidewater to Havana (Cuba), to Bucharest (Romania), to Budapest (Hungary) to Pardes Katz (Israel). “We are obligated to take care of one another,” said Gross, and the Annual Campaign of the UJFT offers a way to fulfill that obligation. For more photos from the Lion Tikva Chai Luncheon (as well as from the recent UJFT Women’s Mission to Cuba), visit www.jewishva.org/women. For more information on how to get involved in the UJFT Women’s Campaign, contact Amy Zelenka at azelenka@ujft.org or call 965-6139.

Standing: Jeri Jo Halprin, Shari Friedman, Amy Levy, and Marcy Mostofsky; Seated: Lynn Schoenbaum, Stephanie Calliott

Shelly Simon and Terri Sarfan

New LOJEs Laura Gross, Mimi Karesh, and Betsy Karotkin (not shown Amy Levy)

Robin Mancoll and Miriam Seeherman

Lynn Schoenbaum with her daughter Rachel Schoenbaum jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 19

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You never know when you’ll need help, but you’ll always know where to find it. 20 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

The Power of One

Grayson Goodove’s Bar Mitzvah project raises $1,000 for Jewish Family Service Not your ordinary Bar Mitzvah boy, Grayson Goodove took the message of Torah and went out to make the world a better place. Inspired by his portion of Ki Tavo, he embarked on a Grayson Goodove project to make a difference by adopting one of Jewish Family Service’s financial assistance families. Ki Tavo, which Grayson read on Sept. 8 at Ohef Sholom Temple, teaches that each person’s wellbeing and blessings are closely linked to the way they take care of their communal obligations and the powerless. It reminds to give “to the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.”  When asked why he chose JFS, Grayson says, “I wanted to help a Jewish family. My Bar Mitzvah tutor, Becky Roberts, helped me select JFS, for they are always there to help those who are less fortunate. JFS helped me ‘adopt a family’ anonymously.”

Grayson then went to his family, friends and community for contributions. He asked in person and online, and in just a few weeks, he raised more than $300. He also gathered almost $700 in gift cards, which JFS gave the family to use for recreational activities. His mother, Michelle Goodove, says, “He really got it. This project has changed who he is as a person. He was forced to reflect on his own good fortune and he has become more mature, more empathetic and more thoughtful than he was before.” Grayson enjoyed helping out so much that he has already signed up to help a family through the JFS Chanukah Gift program. “Making someone’s day—even making their year—is just the best feeling. I can’t wait to do it again,” he says. To work with Jewish Family Service as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah project (like Grayson and other children in Tidewater who have chosen JFS as a mitzvah project), or the annual Chanukah Gift Project, contact Emily Bettendorf, JFS Special Needs Case manager at 757- 459-4640 or EBettendorf@ jfshamptonroads.org.

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Stein Family Scholarship winner Marissa Arager visits Israel by Marissa Arager

Over the summer, I was delighted to have the opportunity to go on Birthright Israel with Hillel. I went with people from all over the United States and it was a remarkable experience meeting these amazing people with whom I shared the trip of a lifetime. We arrived in Israel early on Aug. 14, ready to start our first full day. We met our tour guide, Niro, and a group of Israeli soldiers who joined us for 10 days. All of the soldiers had finished their duty in the Israeli army and most were already in school. We first stopped in Tel Aviv and went to a market called Nachalat Binyamin. This is where I had my first ever authentic Israeli meal. We walked around in the market and then departed for the South, stopping at The Salad Trail. We learned that farmers grow crops in Israel by using high-tech greenhouses. At the end of the tour we made fried pita and drank tea. We spent the night at a Kibbutz.

Day two began with us hiking in the Negev Desert. I had never been to a desert and it was an amazing sight. I loved looking into the distance and not being able to see an end. After a long and exhausting (but fun!) hike through the desert, we were off to meet some Bedouin women at Rikmat Hamidbar, the Center for Bedouin Embroidery. These women had an interesting story about how they came to have this factory, starting out as a few women who were unhappy with their lifestyles because they felt controlled by the men in their lives. What started out as an impossible dream for four women ended up becoming a reality for all of the women in their city. This small group of women expanded and created Rikmat Hamidbar, affording women employment opportunities. To read about Marissa’s Birthright trip, go to www.jewishva.org/arager. Marissa Arager is the 2011 recipient of the Stein Family College Scholarship through the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. She attends George Mason University. For more information on the Stein Family College Scholarship, visit www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein. jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 21

JFS honors clients at annual memorial service “It touches my heart to be able to do this.” That’s how one nurse described her experience serving home health clients at Jewish Family Service’s annual memorial service on Oct. 17. The service was held in the Lee & Bernard Jaffe* Family Healing Garden at JFS. This annual event is designed to provide support and healing to JFS staff who often forge deep bonds with clients and families while providing home health care, counseling, guardianship and other services. The memorial service is sponsored by the Ronald N. Hyman* Home Health and Hospice Fund of the Jewish Family Service Foundation. The service began with the lighting of the yahrzeit candle by Betty Ann Levin, executive director, and the recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish by JFS volunteer coordinator Patty Shelanski. Keya M. Bhagirath, MA, chaplain of the Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater, was the guest speaker. Nurses, social workers, case managers and other staff members read the names of the clients who have passed during the past year. Several staff members also shared memories of those being memorialized. One caregiver commented, “While I’m serving them, they are giving me so much more back.” Jan Ganderson, JFS nursing supervisor, concluded the service by reading The Dash, an inspirational poem by Linda Ellis, which highlights that it is not the date on which one is born, or the date one dies—but the importance of The Dash between those years. The poem says, “It’s what you do with your Dash to make a difference with your life.” At the conclusion of the service, a winter daphne plant was planted in the healing garden as a reminder of the lives lost in the past year. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. *of blessed memory

22 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

Diverse speakers engage community in CRC’s Learn@Lunch Sessions by Laine M. Rutherford


he concept behind the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Learn@Lunch series is to provide education opportunities on a variety of issues, in different places, during

business lunch hours. “We were hearing from some members of our community that they couldn’t make it to events that we have on nights or on Sundays,” says Robin Mancoll, CRC director. “Offering a lunchtime series gives everyone an opportunity to learn about issues that are important to our community.”

Pastor Victor Styrsky, Eastern Regional Coordinator of Christians United for Israel speaks at a CRC Learn@Lunch session.


On Oct. 24, at the Sandler Family Campus, the CRC hosted a Learn@ Lunch with Pastor Victor Styrsky, eastern regional coordinator of Christians United for Israel. A group of about 25 people, including two rabbis and a city council candidate, listened as Styrsky explained CUFI’s support for Israel. David Brand, Pastor Victor Styrsky and Rabbi Aron Margolin, “We believe that Chabad of Tidewater director look at information being distributed at colleges. as Christians, we should be standing with Israel, not interfering with Israel,” Ha-Shem to us, meaningful and sanctifying says Styrsky, a frequent speaker in church- to come alongside of your people.” es, synagogues and on college campuses. For information about upcoming CRC “We will join with the Jewish community, Learn@Lunch and other events, visit www. with whatever they want. It is a Kiddush jewishva.org/CRC.

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jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 23

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Why Do THEY Do That? A series of understanding


he Jewish Museum & Cultural Center continues its new series to discuss the many differences in religious cultures, yet similarities. The series takes place on the second Sunday of each month. Each event is open to the public and suitable for all ages. Donation of $5 per person. The Jewish Museum & Cultural Center is located at 607 Effingham Street in Portsmouth. Space is limited. Call 757‑391 9266 for a guaranteed reservation.

Diverse December Differences Sunday, Dec. 9, 2pm What are the customs and traditions  of Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and Ramadan? How are they different and are they alike? Birth and Coming of Age Sunday, Jan. 13, 2pm Some customs seem extreme. Discover the meanings and reasoning behind life cycle events such as circumcision, shaving of a child’s head, communion, and baptism. The series continues through March 2013.

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Cardo Café at Simon Family JCC offers Thanksgiving specials

ide dishes for a Thanksgiving dinner are available this year from the Cardo Café’s caterers. Menu items, which are all pareve, include: Mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, stuffing and dressing, relish, gravy and dinner rolls. For pricing information, email ops@ujft.org. Pre-order by Monday, Nov. 19 and pick up on Wednesday, Nov. 21 by 4pm. Pareve desserts and challah will be available at a bake sale on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

what’s happening Israel Today partners B’nai Israel Congregation Beth Sholom Village Chabad of Tidewater Congregation Beth Chaverim Congregation Beth El Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Jewish Family Service Kehillat Bet Hamidrash Norfolk-Virginia Beach Chapter of Hadassah Norfolk-Virginia Beach Chapter of ORT America ODU- Hillel Ohef Sholom Temple Simon Family Foundation Simon Family JCC Temple Emanuel Temple Israel Tidewater Jewish Foundation UJFT Business and Legal Society UJFT Holocaust Commission UJFT Maimonides Society UJFT Men’s Campaign UJFT Women’s Cabinet UJFT YAD Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi Ann & Bobby Copeland Family Lois & Barry Einhorn Nataly & Seth Fleishman Lori & Michael Glasser Bootsie & Morton Goldmeier Sheila & Bob Josephberg Kathy & Jerry Kantor Arnold Leon Rose & Kurt Rosenbach Art Sandler Steve Sandler Miriam Seeherman Linda & Ron Spindel Rubin Communications Group Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. and WealthQuest Financial Services, LLC


CRC to focus on Israel Today in 2nd Annual Series beginning with morality Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 pm by Laine M. Rutherford


he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, along with community partners including all area synagogues, agencies and many organizations, kicks off its 2012-2013 Israel Today Series with Dr. Amos Guiora, an expert in geopolitics, global counterterrorism, and international law. In a free community event at the Sandler Family Campus, Guiora will speak about the first topic in the three-part CRC series: morality. An Israeli-American, Guiora is a professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Frequently called upon for commentary in the media and government for his expertise in the subjects he teaches--perspectives on counterterrorism, religion, and terrorism—Guiora is also well versed in the difficult, relatively new topics of drone use and targeted killing. “One of the great questions facing the nation state—whatever nation state it is—is how on the one hand to protect the innocent population, and on the other hand, to proactively and aggressively to minimize the threat posed by terrorists,” Guiora said in an interview given to the Jewish Federations of Canada last May. Israel today, Guiora says, is experienced in both terrorism and the limits of counterterrorism, while the American experience with terrorism is largely new, and to that extent more reflective of a panic response than a policy approach. Policy, he says, needs to be developed that is firmly rooted in the law.

Guiora’s breadth of knowledge is derived, in part, from his 19 years of service with the Israel Defense Forces. He held a number of senior command positions, including commander of the IDF School of Military Law, before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. As well as teaching, Guiora is a prolific and published writer. His books include Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism, and Homeland Security: What is it and Where is it Going? “For the intellectually curious, the Israel Today series provides excellent, current information that we can’t read about in newspapers or see on television,” says Miriam Seeherman, CRC chair. “After last year’s series, which featured insight and advice from Neil Lazarus, Mitchell Bard and Will Recant, the feedback we got was, ‘We want more of this.’ This series gives us incentive to want to learn more, and to be better spokespeople for Israel.” The Israel Today series continues on Feb. 13 with a second appearance by Neil Lazarus, an internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Israeli advocacy, Middle East politics and effective communication training. The series concludes in March with a special visit from Ambassador Yehuda Avner, who will discuss leadership in Israel. For decades, Avner served in diplomatic posts outside of Israel, and in Israel was a speechwriter, secretary and/or advisor to five Israeli Prime Ministers. His experiences are documented in the bestselling memoir The Prime Ministers, a finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award and the basis for two upcoming films. For more information, or to RSVP to the events, visit www.jewishva.org/CRC or contact Jan Johnson at 321-2323 or jjohnson@ujft.org.

Village offers holiday treats


eth Sholom Village Caterers are offering holiday treats for Thanksgiving and Chanukah. Homemade pies will be available for Thanksgiving with a choice of apple, cherry, pecan, pumpkin or sweet potato. Pies are 9”, parve and $10 each. Orders must be in by Wednesday, Nov. 14 at noon. Pies will be ready for pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 21. In December, The Village Caterers will be in holiday mode with something new, “Chanukah in a Box.” Everything (kosher of course) needed for a celebration: potato latkes, applesauce, jelly donuts, gelt, dreidels and candles will be available for pick-up on Thursday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 7. Chanukah begins at sundown Saturday, Dec. 8. Orders must be received by Friday, Nov. 30. Latkes will be fully cooked and frozen. Just warm them up and serve. Donuts will need to be thawed. Family of four–$24 12 latkes, 12 jelly donuts, plus all the accompaniments. Family of 8–$44 24 latkes, 24 jelly donuts plus all the accompaniments. Family of 12–$64 36 latkes, 36 jelly donuts plus all the accompaniments. Call Marcia Brodie at 757-420-2512 or e-mail to mbrodie@bethsholomvillage. com or e-mail Stan Riddick at sriddick@ bethsholomvillage.com to order. Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Temple Emanuel Day at Barnes and Noble Town Center — Thursday, Nov. 29

ll proceeds from the purchase of books, toys, magazines, DVDs, gifts, Nooks, and even from the cafe at Barnes and Nobel on Nov. 29 will go to Temple Emanuel’s Religious School and the Temple Library for scholarships, textbooks, supplies, books for the library and new children’s library programs. Just mention voucher number “10839421” or “Temple

Emanuel” at checkout. Programs that day at the bookstore include: Rabbi Barnett’s Torah study at 1:30 pm, children’s story time and crafts at 5 pm, a Chanukah sing-a-long with Rabbi David Barnett at 5:30 pm, and the Book Club’s monthly meeting at 7:30 pm. The support is not just limited to that store on that

day. Barnes and Noble purchases on-line Nov. 29 through Dec. 4 with the voucher number “10839421” entered at checkout and purchases at any Barnes and Noble in the United States on Nov. 29 with the mention of the voucher number will send the proceeds to the temple. Cafe purchases count only at the Town Center store. For more information, call Beth Gross at 428-2591.

jewishnewsva.org | November 12, 2012 | Jewish News | 25

Elizabeth: A young athlete finds a supportive home away from home


lizabeth, 16, has had a tough time dealing with her parents’ divorce, among other family problems. Born to immigrants from Ukraine and raised in Ashkelon, a city in the south of Israel, Elizabeth is a talented athlete who runs track, but has always struggled with schoolwork. She was homesick when she first came to Hadassah Neurim, a boarding school that is one of four youth villages managed by The Jewish Agency for Israel and funded by Federation Annual Campaign dollars. Located along the Mediterranean coast of Israel near Netanya, Hadassah Neurim was originally established to serve students who had been evacuated from their homes during the 1948 War of Independence. As waves of settlers immigrated to Israel, the school expanded to accommodate teenage European refugees. Now the high school has about 400 students from 17 different countries, both boarders and day students. Most of these students are kids who have not known previous academic success, many from low-income families. “Until they got to this village, they didn’t have the right or the appropriate chance to succeed,” says headmaster Natan Biton, who came to the school after a successful career in the corporate world. One of

six children and the veteran of a troubled youth himself, he has a very personal connection with his students and a knack for recognizing exactly what each one needs to succeed. He understands the work these teenagers have to do at the Youth Village: they must transform their negative emotions and their views on society. “Every student in this village needs emotional support,” he says. “We are doing our best to show them that everything is possible. We give them a full range of emotional and strategic and social support.” “At Hadassah Neurim, I can forget about the problems at home,” says Elizabeth. She can discuss her feelings about her parents’ divorce, as well as any other problems she may have, with her teachers and with other students who have similarly troubled personal lives. “The youth village, this is family.” “They teach me values. They teach me love,” Elizabeth adds. “I don’t feel alone.” “It’s my second home,” agrees 19-yearold Samir, who came to Hadassah Neurim from Azerbaijan and studies engineering. The Youth Village is not only a therapeutic center—it is an academically rigorous high school. For students like Samir who are recent immigrants, it’s also a path to integration into Israeli society. “We start

to learn Hebrew, and then we earn English,” says Samir, who is hoping to have a career in Israel’s high-tech sector. Thanks to partnerships with companies like Siemens and with Israel’s National Union of Athletics, Hadassah Neurim is able to offer its students very spe- Elizabeth cial opportunities. Samir works with a robotic smart car, an automobile that can maneuver itself without a driver. “I want to work with electronics and robots,” he says. Elizabeth and other budding athletes have access to stateof-the-art facilities to nurture their talents. And, says Elizabeth, she has also received the help she needed to finally conquer her fear of math. In Israel, an important measure of success for young adults is whether they serve in the Israel Defense Force and in what types of units. Hadassah Neurim prepares its students well. “We’re really proud that

92% of our graduates are going to army, 62% of them to fighting units, which is a rare success.” Natan emphasizes that the Youth Village does not just help its students, but it strengthens an entire community. “If you fix the weakest parts of society, the society of Israel becomes stronger,” he says. “Over 64 years, we have created a beautiful country and we are connected with the same values. You may be over the ocean, but we have so much in common, all speaking the same language.”


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obituaries Iris G. Elkins Virginia Beach—Iris G. Elkins, 93, of Virginia Beach, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. She was the wife of the late Robert B. Elkins. She is survived by two daughters: Sheila Emanuel of Norfolk and Eileen Torow of Milford, Conn. She is also survived by five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held at Beth Sholom Home. Donations may be made to Beth Sholom Home, 6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. Ben Gordon Norfolk—Ben Gordon, 76, died on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. He was predeceased by his parents, Sam and Florence Gordon. He is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Brenda; four children, Stacy Smith, Debi (Ricky) Rothstein, Ivy (Howard) Keithan, and Shaina (Andy) Moore; seven grandchildren, Jaquelyn and Madelin Smith, Josh and Rebecca Rothstein, Jillian Rothstein, Jenna Dahl, Adam and Heather Dahl, and Caleb Moore; two great-grandchildren, Addison Marks and Isaiah Dahl. The funeral service was held at Congregation Beth El with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and Cantor Gordon Piltch officiating. Burial followed in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El or CHKD. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer.com. Ruth Kroskin Virginia Beach—Ruth Sherman Kroskin, 72, of Silver Sands Circle in Virginia Beach, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at home surrounded by her family. A native of Atlantic City, N.J. she was the daughter of the late Ernest and Marion Sherman. Mrs. Kroskin was a graduate of American University and went on to teach in the Norfolk Public School System until her retirement in 2010. Mrs. Kroskin was a longtime active member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk, a member and past president of Hadassah and an active volunteer with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Mrs. Kroskin is survived by her husband of 51 years Irwin Kroskin of Virginia Beach; daughters Suzanne Kroskin Mazer and husband Stephen of Potomac, Md., Stephanie Kroskin Block and husband Gary of Owings Mills, Md.; son Philip Eric

Kroskin and wife Julie of Bethesda, Md.; sister Debbie Grant and husband Alan and brother Alan Sherman and wife Claire; and seven grandchildren, Zachary, Hannah, Kayla, Abby, Joey, Matthew and Eli. She is also survived by numerous other family members and a host of dear close friends. Funeral services were held at Congregation Beth El in Norfolk with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Rabbi Greg Harris, and Cantor Gordon Piltch officiating. Burial followed at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Oxon Hill, Md. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater at jewishva.org/donation-holocaust or to F.O.R.C.E. (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) at facingourrisk.org or to Lungevity at lungevity.org or to The Johns Hopkins Lung Cancer Center of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at hopkinsmedicine.org. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Norfolk Chapel. Condolences may be offered to the family at hdoliver.com. Helen Hurst Levin Virginia Beach—Helen Hurst Levin, age 92, died peacefully at her residence on Friday Nov. 2, 2012. A native of the Bronx, N. Y., Helen, was the daughter of Leo and Frances Hurst. Her family moved to Portsmouth in 1934. She was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. In 1937, she married Irvin Levin and remained happily married until his death in 1975. Together they founded and operated Phillips Jewelers in Portsmouth until retirement. After Irvin’s death in 1975, Helen moved to Virginia Beach, maintaining her memberships at Chevra Thillim and Gomley Chesed Congregation. She is survived by her three children, Susan Ashbee and her husband Ronnie, Phillip Levin and his wife Darlene and Franklin Levin and his wife Sandra; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A graveside service was held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery with Rabbi David L. Goldstein officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Gomley Chesed Congregation or Our Lady of Perpetual Help. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Seymour Lenox Virginia Beach—Seymour Lenox, 83, died Tuesday, Oc. 16, 2012. He was a native of Chelsea, Mass. and a member of Beth Chaverim. Seymour retired from the Naval Electronics Systems Engineering Center after 40 years of government service and proudly served seven years in the U.S. Air

28 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

Force Reserve. For more than 10 years, he was a volunteer math tutor at the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center and for his dedication, he was awarded the volunteer of the year award from the Virginia Beach Public Schools Superintendent. He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Eleanor Lenox; a son, Bradford Lenox; three grandchildren, Jacob, Adam, and Benjamin Lenox; and a daughter-inlaw, Dr. Jenny Franczak Lenox. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, co-workers, students, fellow congregants, caretakers and friends at Beth Sholom. A graveside service was held with Rabbi Israel Zoberman officiating in the King David Section of Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. Roger Oberndorf Virginia Beach—Roger Lee Oberndorf passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at Norfolk General Hospital, as the result of complications from a brain injury. He was 75. Roger was born on Nov. 19, 1936, in Jersey City, N.J., the third son of Jerome and Sadie Oberndorf. Growing up, he excelled in music, playing the saxophone and clarinet. Roger proudly earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in the Boy Scouts of America. He started college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and performed in the famous Marching Illini marching band. When his father passed away unexpectedly, Roger moved back to New Jersey to help his family, and finished his undergraduate degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned his master’s degree in organizational management at George Washington University. While attending a mixer in New York City in the early 1960s, Roger met the love of his life, Meyera Fran Ellenson of Newport News, who was attending college at Stern College for Women. He moved south to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Va. He and Meyera were married at the historic Chamberlin Hotel in Hampton on June 11, 1961. Roger served on active duty in the Coast Guard for four years and was ultimately promoted to the rank of captain as he continued his service in the reserves for 26 years. Entering civilian life, Roger began work as an engineer and supervisor at the Ford Motor Plant in Norfolk. He and Meyera moved to the Kempsville neighborhood in Virginia Beach, and became the proud parents of two daughters, Marcie and Heide. The Oberndorfs welcomed another daughter into the family in later years when they

became the guardians of Linda Smith. Roger soon discovered his true passions in life besides his family: aviation and local politics. He earned his private pilot’s license and often flew his family to events and vacations. Beginning in 1976, Roger was the campaign manager and the driving force for Meyera’s political career. She started on the Virginia Beach Library board and became the first directly elected mayor of the city in 1988, an office she held for 20 years. Meyera and Roger were a familiar, popular couple around town, often appearing at events and ceremonies in one of Roger’s sporty Ford convertibles. After retiring from Ford, Roger focused on charitable and community efforts. He was a dedicated member of Kiwanis International and was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flights, an organization providing free air transportation to hospitals for individuals and their families in medical need. For 10 years, he served on the Virginia Aviation board, eight of those as chairman. As an engineer and military veteran, Roger had an outwardly practical and regimented demeanor, but his family and friends knew him as a man with an adventurous spirit, an irreverent sense of humor and a kind heart. He dearly loved his many dogs and enjoyed music ranging from Sousa marches to Broadway show tunes. He was a loving father and grandfather, a devoted husband, and a true friend to many. Roger is survived by his wife Meyera; daughter Marcie Oberndorf-Kelso, son-inlaw Marty Kelso, granddaughter Lila Kelso and grandson Joey Kelso of Charlotte, N.C.; daughter Heide Oberndorf and partner Sharon Bispo of San Francisco, Calif; and his brother Bill Oberndorf of Fair Lawn, NJ. A service was held at the Laskin Road Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Burial was at Hebrew Cemetery in Hampton. Donations may be made to the Town Center Kiwanis Club of Virginia Beach, P.O. Box 62111, Virginia Beach, VA 23666. Harvey Gilford Saks NORFOLK—Harvey G. Saks, 78, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 at The Talbot on Granby, his home for the last three-and-a-half years. He was born in Norfolk on Dec. 8, 1933. A native of Norfolk, he graduated Maury High School in 1951. He then attended the Norfolk Division of William and Mary, the University of Richmond, Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University), and the Toxicology Dept. of the Medical College of Virginia.

obituaries While stationed in Europe with the U.S. Army, Harvey met Shirley Ratzger of London, England. They married and had one son, Daryl. After 20 years in England, and following the deaths of his wife and son, he returned to Norfolk. He became a metals buyer for Peck Iron & Metal, where he worked until retiring in 1995. In 1980, he married Felice Abram Stern, also a Maury graduate. Harvey was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple for many years. He had a great love of animals, particularly his chow dog, Ferrovius, and his many cats. Above all, he loved the game of baseball and his memories of his own pitching days in college and the Army. Left to remember him are his wife of 32 years, Felice A. Saks of Norfolk; brother Abbott Saks and wife Kitty of Norfolk; niece Tonie Saks-Wilkins and husband Frank Wilkins of Virginia Beach; nephew David Saks, wife Mary Lou, and grandnephews Elliot and Adam, of Boca Raton, Fla.; stepson Jules A. Stern of Virginia Beach; stepdaughter Alison Stern-Dunyak, husband James Dunyak, and grandson Alexander Dunyak, of Lexington, Mass.; and Sheila Saks, widow of Mr. Saks’ beloved late brother Louis Saks, of Columbia, S.C. A service was held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts, followed by a graveside service at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, King David section. Cantor Wally SchachetBriskin officiated. Donations may be made to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia, P.O. Box 1940, Norfolk, Va. 23501; www. foodbankonline.org. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver. com.


George McGovern, a pacifist who wanted to bomb Auschwitz by Rafael Medoff

WASHINGTON (JTA)—George McGovern is widely remembered for advocating immediate American withdrawal from Vietnam and sharp reductions in defense spending. Yet despite his reputation as a pacifist, the former U.S. senator and 1972 presidential candidate, who died Sunday, Oct. 21 at 90, did believe there were times when America should use military force abroad. Case in point: the Allies’ failure to bomb Auschwitz, an episode with which McGovern had a little-known personal connection. In June 1944, the Roosevelt administration received a detailed report about Auschwitz from two escapees who described

the mass-murder process and drew diagrams pinpointing the gas chambers and crematoria. Jewish organizations repeatedly asked U.S. officials to order the bombing of Auschwitz and the railroad lines leading to the camp. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that it would require “considerable diversion” of planes that were needed elsewhere for the war effort. One U.S. official claimed that bombing Auschwitz “might provoke even more vindictive action by the Germans.” Enter McGovern. In World War II, the 22-year-old son of a South Dakota pastor piloted a B-24 “Liberator” bomber. Among his targets: German synthetic oil factories in occupied Poland—some of them less than five miles from the Auschwitz gas chambers. In 2004, McGovern spoke on camera for the first time about those experiences in a meeting organized by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies with Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Sigmund Rolat and filmmakers Stuart Erdheim and Chaim Hecht. McGovern dismissed the Roosevelt administration’s claims about the diversion of planes. The argument was just “a rationalization,” he said, noting that no diversions would have been needed when he and other U.S pilots already were flying over that area. Ironically, the Allies did divert military resources for other reasons. For example, FDR in 1943 ordered the Army to divert money and manpower to rescue artwork and historic monuments in Europe’s battle zones. The British provided ships to bring 20,000 Muslims on a religious pilgrimage from Egypt to Mecca in the middle of the war. Gen. George Patton even diverted U.S. troops in Austria to save 150 of the famous Lipizzaner dancing horses. “There is no question we should have attempted…to go after Auschwitz,” McGovern said in the interview. “There was a pretty good chance we could have blasted those rail lines off the face of the earth, which would have interrupted the flow of people to those death chambers, and we had a pretty good chance of knocking out those gas ovens.” Even if there was a danger of accidentally harming some of the prisoners, “it was certainly worth the effort, despite all the risks,” McGovern said, because the prisoners were already “doomed to death” and an Allied bombing attack might have slowed down the mass-murder process, thus saving many more lives. At the time, 16-year-old Elie Wiesel was

part of a slave labor battalion stationed just outside the main camp of Auschwitz. Many years later, in his best-selling book Night, Wiesel described a U.S. bombing raid on the oil factories that he witnessed. “[I]f a bomb had fallen on the blocks [the prisoners’ barracks], it alone would have claimed hundreds of victims on the spot. But we were no longer afraid of death; at any rate, not of that death,” Wiesel wrote. “Every bomb that exploded filled us with joy and gave us new confidence in life. The raid lasted over an hour. If it could only have lasted ten times ten hours!” At the time, McGovern and his fellow pilots had no idea what was happening in Auschwitz. “I attended every briefing that the Air Force gave to us,” he said. “I heard everyone, from generals on down. I never heard once mentioned the possibility that the United States Air Force might interdict against the gas chambers.” Ironically, in one raid, several stray bombs from McGovern’s squadron missed the oil factory they were targeting and accidentally struck an SS sick bay, killing five SS men.

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Successful screenwriter crafts movie dialogue far from Hollywood Hills by Laine M. Rutherford


pair of related events in October gave Marc Moss a clear reminder, and a gratifying confirmation, that moving back to Virginia Beach from Los Angeles two years ago was one of the best decisions of his life. Moss is a screenwriter, a successful, Hollywood (now Virginia Beach) screenwriter. A wordsmith and visual creator whose work can be heard and seen in such movies as Kiss the Girls, Runaway Jury and Along Came a Spider, Moss is one of the few people who has been able to make a successful and lengthy career in the finicky and demanding writing end of the entertainment industry. His most recent work, for which the Norfolk Academy grad received star billing, was as the screenwriter (with Kerry Williamson) for the movie Alex Cross, based on a James Patterson novel. Starring Tyler Perry as Detective Alex Cross (taking over the character already established by Morgan

Marc Moss and Tyler Perry

The Virginia gang!

Freeman), the film also features Edward Burns, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Rachel Nichols and Cicely Tyson. On October 15, Moss traversed the red carpet at the Hollywood premier of Alex Cross, along with his wife Stacie, daughter Hannah, 21, sons Tom and Max, both 17, and other close family members. “Premieres are always kind of fun because you’re celebrating something that’s so hard to accomplish. You’re getting a movie made, regardless of all the obstacles in your way,” Moss says. “But I’ve been around a while and I’ve become cynical of the industry. What made the premiere different and much more enjoyable for me this time was being able to bring the kids along. They were younger when those other movies came out and we didn’t have the opportunity to take them. So this was their first one and they had a blast. It was a memory they’ll have forever.” Photos taken at the event show a beaming Moss family, accompanied by Moss’ sister Amy Levy and her husband Kirk, and Moss’ parents, Marcia and Burton Moss, posing with director Rob Cohen, stars Tyler Perry, Edward Burns and in one photo, a surprise guest, Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorious. “The boys especially liked meeting Oscar. Everything else was good, but that, to them, was great,” Moss says. Cut to less than a week later, when Moss and his family returned home for the East Coast Premiere of Alex Cross at the Beach Bistro on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. “The theater was filled with friends and family. To me, it was far more memorable and far more amazing than the Hollywood premiere; to be in a movie theater and look around and realize, ‘Hey, I know everyone here,’ it was just great,” Moss says. “We would never be able to sell out a 120-seat theater in L.A., not even after living there for over 20 years.” After 21 years in California, and work on eight well-known films under his belt, credited and uncredited (an outstanding record for a writer Moss says), he and Stacie decided to move back to Virginia. Their roots were firmly established here—both are locals with large extended families, and each summer they would bring the children out for lengthy visits.

30 | Jewish News | November 12, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org

advertiser profile Name: S u s a n R. Rals t o n Business: B a n k @ la n t e c Age: 48 E d u c a t i o n : B A in B u sin es s A d minis t r a t io n f r o m Was hin g t o n & J e f f e r s o n C olleg e, M B A f r o m O D U Ni c k n a m e : S u z M a r i t a l s t a t u s : M a r r ie d Children: Jacob (7) H o m e t o w n : Was hin g t o n, P a.

Back Row: Stacie and Hannah Moss, Oscar Pistorious, Tom and Max Moss Front Row: Tyler Perry, Marc Moss, Ed Burns

Favorite food: E n c r u s t e d s alm o n w i t h c a p e r s a n d le m o n s a u c e Favorite movies: Gone with the Wind Favorite book: S u e G r a f t o n s e r ies Favorite vacation: M y 2 012 v a c a t io n t o Ir ela n d ! L a s t b o o k r e ad : The Emperor of All Maladies b y Sid d h a r t h a M u k h e r je e. Best decision ever made: To a d o p t m y s o n, J a c o b.

Marc Moss, Rob Cohen, Matthew Fox

“I’ve thought a lot about why we finally decided to move back,” says Moss. “It’s just nicer here. The people are nicer. The community is nicer. L.A. is kind of going down the tubes; it’s kind of a messed up place and we were lucky in that we were able to raise three great kids in that huge city. “The kids have acclimated better than we thought. Hannah’s at college at JMU and Tom and Max are seniors at Norfolk Academy. From the first day of school, the boys knew people in their classes and they have eight cousins who go to school there. They’re still trying to figure out who all of their cousins are!” Living outside of Hollywood has not hindered Moss’ film work. Currently, he’s doing a “ghost” rewrite of a Sylvester Stallone produced and written film called Homefront. Scheduled for release in 2013, the movie stars Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder and Kate Bosworth.

Worst decision ever made: I f I c o uld c h a n g e a n y t hin g, I w o uld h a v e b e c o m e a s t e a d y u s e r o f su ns c r e e n a t a m u c h y o u n g e r a g e. N o w, m y d e r m a t olo gis t is m y b es t f r ie n d. H o b b i e s : G ol f, b o a t in g, r e a d in g, t r a v elin g, S t e ele r s f a n. P e t s : M o s es, a t w o - y e a r - old S h el t ie a n d e x p e c t in g a n o t h e r S h el t ie, S a m p s o n. Favorite song: Climb On b y S h a w n C ol v in H e r o : M y s o n. Most proud achievement : S t a r t in g P e dia t r ic P r o t o n F o u n d a t io n w hic h as sis t s f a milie s in o b t ainin g p r o t o n t r e a t m e n t ( a d v a n c e d r a dia t io n t r e a t m e n t ) f o r c hild r e n. F a v o r i t e q u o t e : “ T h e g r e a t es t o a k w as o n c e a li t t le n u t w h o h eld i t s g r o u n d.” — U n k n o w n


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