Jewish News | November 25, 2019

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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 58 No. 5 | 27 Cheshvan 5780 | November 25, 2019

3 Elaine Luria leads effort to stand up for Israel

10 Eileen Filler-Corn: First Jewish Speaker of the House

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Congresswoman Elaine Luria leads effort to stand up for Israel and limit Hezbollah

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Bipartisan letter to UN includes 240 Members of Congress


wo hundred and forty lawmakers signed on to Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s (VA-02) bipartisan letter to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres urging an international effort to defend Israel, limit Hezbollah, and bolster existing UN capabilities to fight terrorism in the Middle East. “The names on this letter show Congresswoman Elaine Luria the robust bipartisan support for protecting our ally Israel from Hezbollah and Iran’s toxic activities,” Congresswoman Luria says. “When I visited Israel in December, I saw the border with Lebanon and know what is at stake if Hezbollah is able to freely amass weapons. I’ll keep fighting to ensure the United States continues to stand with Israel.” More than 13 years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1701 to end the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution called for the Lebanese government to disarm all paramilitary groups in the country, including Hezbollah, so only the Lebanese state had weapons. However, Lebanon’s work to implement this resolution has been unsuccessful as Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles—all aimed at Israel—while spending millions of dollars developing underground tunnels that also pose a lethal risk to innocent civilians. Signed by 240 members—well beyond half of all House lawmakers—Congresswoman Luria’s letter urges Secretary Guterres to follow Resolution

1701 and lead an international effort to limit Hezbollah’s capabilities and avoid future conflict with America’s ally Israel. Specifically, the letter calls on Secretary Guterres “to assist Lebanon’s Prime Minister and President to finally reclaim Lebanese sovereignty and implement all the terms of UNSCR 1701,” including utilizing a United Nations force to help Lebanon secure its land and protect Israel. Leading the bipartisan effort with Congresswoman Luria are Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06). Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.

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Contents Upfront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Israeli settlements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Jewish players in impeachment. . . . . . 6 Congresswoman Luria at Temple Israel . . . 8 Eileen Filler-Corn is more than a “first”. . 10 Jewish “rising stars” in Time magazine. . . 11 Janet Gordon Mah Jongg fundraiser at BSV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Strelitz International Academy wears many HATs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Special Section: Business in the Jewish community. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

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BRIEFS station says Jewish talk show host not fired over Trump A conservative Denver radio station has disputed the claim of a Jewish talk show host that he was fired over his criticism of President Donald Trump after his program was taken off the air mid-show. Craig Silverman told the Denver Post that he was in the middle of talking about former Trump personal attorney Roy Cohn on his show on 710 KNUS radio when he was interrupted by network news. KNUS program director Kelly Michaels entered the studio and told Silverman, “You’re done,” Silverman said. But the KNUS general manager, Brian Taylor, told the Denver Post that the station never told Silverman what position to take on Trump and that “I look forward to Craig continuing his program.” Silverman told the newspaper that the podcasts of his show have been removed from the KNUS website and his entire show page has an error message. “If I am not canceled, then post my podcasts right now,” he challenged. Silverman did not commit to returning to the station to do his show. Taylor told the newspaper that Silverman’s show was not canceled but was “interrupted due to his on-air announcement about his intention to be featured on a competing radio station.” Silverman has been appearing as a guest on another radio station’s talk show. He said that he has an independent-contractor agreement with KNUS and that nothing in his contract prevents him from appearing on other shows and in fact says that his consulting services are “non-exclusive.” He also said that the station is required to give him 30 days notice before canceling the show. (JTA) Australians break world record for longest challah A kosher bakery in Sydney, Australia, has broken the Guinness world record for the longest challah. Grandma Moses Bakery, in partnership with the Jewish National Fund chapter in New South Wales, broke the record on Thursday, November 14, according to a Facebook post from the group.

The record-setting challah clocked in at more than 32 feet long and required over 150 pounds of dough and 10 hours to bake. The event was organized by the international Shabbat Project, which organized programs including challah bakes in more than 1,600 cities (one took place in Norfolk) and 105 countries worldwide. The previous record, set in Brooklyn in 2015, was a 20-foot challah. (JTA)

US Embassy in Jerusalem Prague will return pieces of Jewish gravestones used as cobblestones Pieces of Jewish gravestones used to pave sidewalks in Prague will be given to the Jewish community to return to the city’s Old Jewish Cemetery. Headstones from the 19th-century cemetery were cut into cobblestones during roadwork ahead of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Czechoslovakia in 1987, Radio Prague International reported. The cemetery is no longer used for burials. The Czech Jewish community has called for the removal and return of the stones for years. Stones uncovered during future excavation work will be returned under the memorandum signed by Prague City Hall, according to Radio Prague International. A project called Finding the Lost Face of Jewish Cemeteries will try to help identify the fragments, the station reported. (JTA) Buses to roll on Shabbat in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv will start providing public transportation on Shabbat. Beginning this month, public transportation will run in the city on Friday night and all day Saturday. The initiative, called “We move on weekends,” will have six routes as well as transportation to surrounding communities, including Ramat Hasharon, Givatayim, and Kiryat Ono. The routes will try to circumvent religious neighborhoods. Ramat Hasharon, a city just north of Tel Aviv, started a pilot Shabbat transportation program several months ago. More

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cities are planning to follow suit, according to reports. The city of Tel Aviv will pick up $2.6 million of the $3.6 million operating costs for the first year, i24 reported. In Israel, buses and trains do not generally run in Jewish-majority cities on Friday night and Saturday before sundown. The practice was born of an agreement reached between the haredi Orthodox community and David BenGurion before the formation of the state. “The ability to move from place to place throughout the week is a fundamental right,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told reporters. He challenged the Israeli government to approve such service for all citizens. (JTA)

Jewish groups join letter demanding ouster of Stephen Miller for white supremacist views Jewish groups joined a coalition of national civil rights organizations in demanding that President Donald Trump remove Stephen Miller as his senior policy advisor over his support for white supremacists. The Anti-Defamation League, Bend the Arc, and the Union for Reform Judaism signed a letter sent earlier this month to Trump on behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “In his role as your senior advisor, Stephen Miller has promoted hate speech spewed from neo-Nazis, bigots, and white supremacists,” the letter said. Southern Poverty Law Center earlier this month published hundreds of emails sent by Miller to a reporter at the conservative Breitbart News, many of them racist and anti-immigrant in nature. “Supporters of white supremacists and neo-Nazis should not be allowed to serve at any level of government, let alone in the White House. Stephen Miller has stoked bigotry, hate, and division with his extreme political rhetoric and policies throughout his career. The recent exposure of his deep-seated racism provides further proof that he is unfit to serve and should immediately leave his post,” the letter said. The groups said that Miller’s beliefs led to the implementation of several policies

that hurt immigrants, people of color, and marginalized communities, including the Muslim travel ban, efforts to end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to America as children, and the family separation policy. “Unless and until you fire Stephen Miller—and all who promulgate bigotry—and abandon your administration’s anti-civil rights agenda, you will continue to be responsible for the violence fueled by that hate,” the letter concluded. (JTA)

issues travel warning over settlements announcement The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a travel warning for visiting Americans in the aftermath of the U.S. announcement that the government does not consider the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The warning issued Monday, November 18 said the visiting Americans could be targets of “individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement.” It covers those visiting or planning to visit Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. “Potential targets include public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings; hotels, clubs, and restaurants popular with U.S. citizens; places of worship; schools; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation and airports,” the statement said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement on settlements—a reversal of U.S. policy—that day. The warning recommends that U.S. citizens “carefully consider risks to their personal safety and security at sites and events that are potential targets. In addition, U.S. citizens in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem should avoid non-essential movements and events that attract attention. U.S. citizens should carefully consider risks to their personal safety and security at sites and events that are potential targets.” The U.S. government prohibits U.S. government employees to travel to the West Bank, including Jericho and Bethlehem, as well as to the Old City of Jerusalem. (JTA)


Everything you need to know about Israeli settlements and the Trump administration’s announcement Laura E. Adkins, Ben Sales

(JTA)—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this month that the United States will no longer consider Israeli Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be illegal. Here’s an explainer about what the settlements are, how they are viewed in Israel and around the world, and what this announcement might mean. What are the settlements? How many Israelis live there? In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured large swaths of territory from neighboring countries. Israel took the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Israel later withdrew from the Sinai and Gaza, and annexed eastern Jerusalem and the Golan. It still controls the West Bank, a territory between Israel and

Jerusalem. Eastern Jerusalem contains the Old City, which is home to the city’s holiest sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims, including the Western Wall

In March, President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, the first country to officially do so. Jordan, but has not annexed it. This means that the West Bank is not legally considered a full part of the country under Israeli law, though many Israelis believe it to be so. Israelis began establishing civilian settlements in these areas soon after the war, mostly in the West Bank and eastern

and the Al-Aqsa mosque. Approximately 200,000 Israelis and 370,000 Arabs now live in eastern Jerusalem. Some 405,000 Jewish Israelis live in the West Bank, which Israel’s government refers to as Judea and Samaria, alongside 1.9 million Palestinians, who are not citizens of Israel.

There are approximately 130 West Bank settlements, ranging from small villages of 100 people near Arab towns, to the college town of Ariel with a population of 19,000, to the haredi Orthodox enclave of Modiin Illit, located just across the boundary from Israel proper, which has 70,000 inhabitants. On the Golan Heights, where Israel borders Syria, approximately 22,000 Israelis live alongside 26,000 Druze. Israel annexed the territory and thus does not consider these residents to be settlers, though much of the international community rejects the claim. In March, President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, the first country to officially do so. Israelis had also previously settled in continued on page 6

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the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, but settlements there were evacuated when Israel withdrew from those territories. What does international law say about settlements? Eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights are all widely considered to be illegally occupied under international law. In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory position that Israeli settlements were established in breach of international law. Israeli settlements are also widely considered to be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupier from “transfer[ring] parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Both Israel and the United States ratified this convention. Israel’s Foreign Ministry contends that settlements do not violate international

law because they sit “on legitimately acquired land which did not belong to a previous lawful sovereign” and are in many cases modern incarnations of historical Jewish villages. What does Israeli law say about the settlements? It’s complicated. Legally, Israeli settlements are treated differently than cities and towns in Israel proper. Israel’s government—in particular, a section of the Defense Ministry called the Civil Administration—must approve additional construction in the settlements before new homes can be built. But in practice, settlements look and operate much like any other small town in Israel—down to identical street signs and public transit. For example, Ariel in the northern West Bank is connected to Tel Aviv by a major highway and boasts Ariel University. Settlements that are not authorized

in any final peace agreement that Israelis by the Defense Ministry are known as and Palestinians might someday reach. “outposts” and generally are smaller and located farther from the border between Speaking of which… the West Bank and Israel. Many have What is the significance of the settlebeen built on private Palestinian land, ments for the peace process? and the Israeli Supreme Court has occaI s r a e l i sionally issued Palestinian rulings requirnegotiation s ing that they be have been mordemolished. A ibund for more 2017 law aimed Jewish Israelis than five years, to retroactively live in the West Bank so at this point, legalize some Pompeo’s of these settleannouncements, though ment has only its implemena theoretical tation was impact on a blocked in future Israelicourt. Palestinian agreement. Pompeo said in his announcement that But in the past, peace talks have the U.S. recognition would not extend largely been predicated on the underto settlements that Israel’s courts deem standing that a Palestinian state would illegal. He also said the new position does eventually be established in the West not prejudge the status of the West Bank




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nation Bank. Because there are settlements in that territory, many peace proposals have called for the large settlement blocs on the Israeli border to become part of Israel and for the rest to be evacuated. Palestinians, in addition to viewing the settlements as a violation of international law, see them as both physical and ideological obstacles to peace. Besides taking up the territory of a would-be Palestinian state, Palestinians see settlement expansion as a signal that Israelis are not sincere about withdrawing from the territory. Palestinians have also protested violence on the part of settlers. Israeli opinion on the settlements is split. According to a 2018 poll from the Israel Democracy Institute, 47 percent of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution, which would presumably require the dismantling of at least some settlements. And a poll this year from the American Jewish Committee found that half of Jewish Israelis believe no settlements at

all should be dismantled as part of a peace agreement. Settlers consider the West Bank the geographical center of the historical Land of Israel, and many religious Jews value it as the place where many of the Bible’s events are thought to have occurred. Some Israelis also believe that control of the territory enhances Israel’s security. Other Israelis believe Israel’s presence in the West Bank is unjust, or that controlling a large population of the Palestinians harms the country’s security, moral standing or Jewish demographic majority. Arab Israelis largely oppose the settlements and favor the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a travel warning for Americans, saying they could be targeted by “individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement.”

How have Israeli and Palestinian leaders reacted to Pompeo’s announcement? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the move—as did Benny Gantz, his political rival who was in the final hours of trying to cobble together

a governing coalition in the Knesset. The announcement could help Netanyahu, who vowed this year to annex parts of the West Bank should he remain in office. Gantz has been more vague about his position on the West Bank. Arab-Israeli leader Ayman Odeh

criticized the announcement, saying, that “no foreign minister will change the fact that the settlements were built on occupied land on which a sovereign Palestinian state will be established by Israel’s side.” Saeb Erekat, a longtime Palestinian diplomat and negotiator with Israel, said in a statement that “with this announcement, the Trump administration is demonstrating the extent to which it’s threatening the international system with its unceasing attempts to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’” And though the announcement came from the Trump administration, so did a note of caution about the policy change. The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a travel warning for Americans, saying they could be targeted by “individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement.” U.S. government employees are prohibited from visiting the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem.

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The Tell: The Jewish players in impeachment Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The first public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry began this month with quite a splash. A bunch of Jewish actors are at play in this drama, and we’ve covered some before: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is caught in the middle of it all. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Californian Democrat who is running the hearings. And Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the associates of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, who are alleged to be instrumental in pressuring Zelensky to give in to Trump and provide damaging information on his political rivals. In the first hearings, and in their aftermath, there were some new and familiar Jewish wrinkles. Here are a few: Who was that lawyer? Democrats handed the first 45 minutes of questioning to Daniel Goldman, and his restrained sarcasm immediately drew attention. “I want to spend a little time reading the transcript, as we’ve been encouraged to do,” he said. Trump has urged Twitter followers to “read the transcript” at least a dozen times. (Of course, Goldman proceeded to read parts of the transcript that backed the Democrats’ charges.) Goldman is a former U.S. attorney who earned a reputation for busting mobsters and became a “TV lawyer” on NBC. (Watch him confess to popping the question to his wife with a ring inside a fortune cookie.) He’s also descended from Levi Strauss stock.

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Schiff v. Nadler Among the six House committee chairmen assigned a role in the impeachment hearings, three are Jewish: Schiff, who chairs Intelligence, and two New York reps, Jerry Nadler (Judiciary) and Eliot Engel (Foreign Affairs).

8 | Jewish News | November 25, 2019 |

Nadler led the hearings related to the special counsel’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But he was criticized in and out of his caucus for handing Republicans a political win— his hearings at times appeared hijacked by Republicans exercising parliamentary maneuvers, and commentators agreed that his primetime witness, Robert Mueller, fell flat in his public testimony. The first day of hearings, led by Schiff, was a stark contrast. Schiff cut off Republicans seeking to interrupt the hearings. Committee Democrats stuck to a script and asked the two witnesses pointed questions aimed at shaping a cohesive narrative. It wasn’t until hours into the testimony that Republicans were able to score some points, with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio emphasizing that neither of the witnesses had first hand knowledge of the exchanges between Zelensky and Trump. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York pointed out that the alleged bribe never came to fruition: Zelensky did not open an investigation into Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election or into Biden, and Ukraine eventually got its aid. Who’s afraid of George Soros? Soros, the liberal Jewish philanthropist who has become a bugbear for Trump and the Republicans, did not surface in the hearing—but he did in its prequel and aftermath. Soros had come up in closed testimony last month when Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council staffer, alleged that Trump fired Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch because of a smear campaign orchestrated by Giuliani depicting Yovanovitch as in Soros’ pocket—a narrative Hill called “frankly anti-Semitic.” Hill’s lawyer wanted it noted for the record that Stephen Castor, the lead Republican staff lawyer (who helped lead the questioning at the first public hearing), was laughing when Hill brought up anti-Semitism. Castor shot back that it was “outrageous” and “ridiculous” to suggest he was laughing at Hill’s characterization

of the smear campaign as anti-Semitic. Soros also came up in Fox Business Channel post-hearing analysis: Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova, the lawyer couple who represent a Ukrainian oligarch tied into the scandal, as well as John Solomon, a right-wing muckraker who has advanced the Biden corruption narrative, told Lou Dobbs that Soros runs, well, everything. “There’s no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service at the United States State Department. He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas,” DiGenova said. “He corrupted FBI officials, he corrupted foreign service officers.” DiGenova did not offer any evidence. (Fun fact: DiGenova was the U.S. attorney who in the 1980s led the successful prosecution of Jonathan Pollard, the spy for Israel.) What’s up next? Two Jewish witnesses were on the docket, each with firsthand testimony. Gordon Sondland, a Portland hotelier whose parents fled Nazi Europe, is a longtime Republican donor who disavowed Trump during the 2016 campaign when Trump disparaged the Muslim parents of a slain soldier. But after Trump was elected, Sondland funneled $1 million into Trump’s inauguration and earned a role as ambassador to the European Union. Sondland took a lead role in Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine, an unusual involvement for an EU ambassador. William Taylor, dropped a bombshell at the hearing: Sondland told a Taylor aide that Trump cared more about damaging Joe Biden than about helping Ukraine. Expect Sondland to be grilled about the conversation. Alexander Vindman is the senior NSC staffer who listened in on the TrumpZelensky call and raised alarms afterward. He has been smeared as having dual loyalties to Ukraine.

it’s a Wrap Congresswoman Luria a hit at Temple Israel Sisterhood event


erhaps it’s not surprising that a Jewish congresswoman begins her talk to a Jewish group with personal references that the audience finds quite familiar. So it was with 2nd District Representative Elaine Luria who spoke to the Temple Israel Sisterhood on November 10. “In Alabama where I grew up, my mother was active in her synagogue Sisterhood and in Hadassah,” said Luria, who is less than a year into her first term in Washington. In fact, Elaine Goodman Luria’s mother and grandmother were also involved in the National Council of Jewish Women (of which her mother was president) and the Birmingham Jewish Federation. Luria, who held a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier after 9/11, is a member of Ohef Sholom Temple, but her chaplain at the US Naval Academy, from which she graduated in 1997, was Jonathan Panitz, brother of Temple Israel’s Rabbi Michael Panitz. Her bona fides established, Luria, who served 20 years in the Navy and was the first female American sailor to spend her entire career on combat ships, gave the crowd an update on the extensive work she is doing as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She is also busy on the Virginia Congressional caucus, which she says is a very productive and collegial group. “We’re the only ones who do it,” Luria said. “But after all, finding common ground is the Virginia way.” Luria said the 20 Jewish members of the House of Representatives, four of whom are committee chairs, meet monthly, not as an official caucus, but to discuss areas of mutual concern and interest. Looking toward Richmond, Luria gave a special nod to Democrat Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, who is likely to become the first female Speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, as well as the first Jewish


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OUR VISION IS CLEAR! Congresswoman Elaine Luria

person to hold that office, when the state legislature convenes in January. Luria said the potential for passage of a federal Medicare For All plan is “zero” at this point; her preference being a public option that builds on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act. At Temple Israel, she also discussed mental health benefits for veterans, her decision to support the impeachment process after the whistleblower’s complaint regarding President Trump’s conversations with the Ukrainian president, the withdrawal of American forces from Syria, as well as HR 3, that deals with prescription drug costs, and HR 8, which calls for universal background checks for gun purchases. She also spoke about the challenges posed by the Squad, four other female freshman representatives. In particular, she focused on accusations of dual loyalty by Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib that informed Luria’s decision to speak on the House floor for the first time. Temple Israel members who coordinated the Sisterhood Paid Up Membership event included Wendy Brodsky, Beverlee Tiger, Sara Jo Rubin, Natalie Steiner, Laure Saunders, Ruth Ellen Moscovitz, Scott Moscovitz, Tina Moses, Sharon Leach, Lois Einhorn, and Andy Rabiner.

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Eileen Filler-Corn is more than a “first” person woman for Virginia’s future Lisa Richmon


emocrats flipped both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates on November 5. Days later, Eileen Filler-Corn won a competitive race for the top spot in the House, beating out three opponents. Already making history in Virginia as the first Jewish woman minority leader, Filler-Corn is breaking yet another barrier becoming both the first woman and the first Jewish Speaker of the House. For many, these firsts are a sign of hope and a referendum on how Virginians envision an inclusive legislature, signaling a Virginia in transition. “The firsts are not lost on me—the first woman and the first Jewish person elected Speaker-designee in our 400-year legislative history—but it doesn’t define

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Eileen Filler-Corn is slated to become Virginia’s first Jewish and first female speaker of the house.

me. When I joined this body less than 10 years ago, I was the only mom serving with school-aged kids. We have come so far since then,” Filler-Corn said, touting the legislative body’s cultural, gender, and geographic diversity in a CNN interview. “The big deal about her win is women are the catalysts for major change in Virginia—from finally ratifying the ERA to enacting commonsense gun legislation,”

Eileen Filler-Corn

says Susan Loesberg, a local activist. In last year’s General Assembly session, the ERA bill passed the Republican led Senate, but failed in the Republican led House. “Filler-Corn will make history by ensuring that Virginia will be the 38th state, and last state needed, to ratify the ERA,” Loesberg says, who holds leadership roles with multiple organizations including Moms Demand Action. “With the Democrats winning the legislature, and Filler-Corn at the helm, we can pass Governor Northam’s slate of commonsense gun reforms.” Filler-Corn’s transition team met Friday, November 22. Jody Wagner, a member of the transition team, is expected to work on issues dealing with House Appropriations and the budget, based on her experience as State Treasurer and Secretary of Finance. “I am most excited that important issues that have been blocked from consideration by the prior Speaker, can now be addressed,” says Wagner. “For example, reasonable legislation to protect all of us from gun violence. “I was honored that Speaker-Elect Filler-Corn asked me to serve on the Transition Team. The General Assembly will be facing significant issues that affect all of our families, from gun violence to funding of services such as education. Setting up the right structure to address those issues is very important,” says Wagner.


These Jews made Time magazine’s new list of ‘rising stars’ Josefin Dolsten


ime magazine is building on its list of the most influential people of the year by releasing a list of “rising stars,” or what it calls the Time 100 Next. The list features what the publication says is an increasing number of influential people who aren’t establishment types— the world leaders, CEOs of big companies, and blockbuster actors that make up its Time 100 list. The new list includes a diverse range of figures, from pop star Camila Cabello to the viral rapper Lil Nas X to presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg. Among them are a few Jews and one Israeli politician. Keep reading to learn more about them. Beanie Feldstein Feldstein, 26, became a household name after portraying the quirky best friend of the title character in the 2017 film Lady Bird. Recently she appeared in Booksmart, a comedy about two nerdy high school seniors directed by actress Olivia Wilde, who penned Time’s blurb on Feldstein. “Who else is that earnest and irreverent?” Wilde asks. “So prepared and yet so present? Such a strong physical comedian and a subtle dramatic actor?”

Ezra Miller Miller is a 27-year-old genderqueer actor who got his big break in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Most recently he appeared in the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts films. “Miller has fully embraced and broadcast the pieces of his life that set him apart, from his love for his 95-acre farm in Vermont to his queerness, gender fluidity and polyamory,” reads Time blurb about him. Aly Raisman The 25-year-old Olympic gymnast made waves last year after she testified at the trial of Larry Nasser, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who was convicted of molesting girls. “Aly is a true role model,

i n spi r i ng and urging all of us to be proud of who we are, inside and out, and to learn Aly Raisman that confidence is the most beautiful thing of all,” model and activist Ashley Graham writes of the six-time medalist, including three golds. Audrey Gelman The 32-year-old businesswoman is the founder of The Wing, a women’s co-working space and social club in New York that now has nine locations in the United States and England. “As a young professional with a hectic schedule, Audrey Gelman relied on coffee shops and Amtrak bathrooms to change clothes between commitments,” her listing in Time reads. “It was this experience—and her desire for a more professional alternative—that first inspired The Wing.” Zach Weinberg In 2012, Weinberg founded Flatiron Health with his college friend Nat Turner. The health tech company uses data from millions of patients to improve cancer care. “Flatiron’s software helps researchers track which cancer treatments—at which doses, delivered at which times—work for which patients,” the blurb reads. Ayman Odeh Odeh, a 44-year-old Arab-Israeli lawmaker, leads the Joint List, a coalition of Arab parties that ended up endorsing Benny Gantz’s bid to become prime minister. “As the contest for leadership of the self-declared Jewish state teetered between right-wing and centrist factions, Odeh emerged not only as a possible kingmaker but also as a stirring new voice for equality and inclusion,” writes Karl Vick, Time’s former Jerusalem bureau chief.


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Beth Sholom Village

The annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg Day of Play, Tournament, and Luncheon at Beth Sholom Village


or the last 11 years, the Gordon Family, headed by Daniel Gordon, has generously supported the annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg fundraiser as a way to honor Janet Gordon in a meaningful and festive day. On November 3, 2019, Beth Sholom Village was filled with more than 100 guests and Mah Jongg mavens. Each year, the day brings generations of women together to have fun and support Beth Sholom Village’s residents, while raising significant money. The goal was exceeded this year. “I was so proud of the hard work that the co-chairs and their committee put into this day,” says Amy Weinstein, BSV philanthropy director. “Believe it or not, we are already planning next year’s event!” Rachel Abraham, the event’s co-chair, says, “This year was special because it was the first time that we have seen such a good representation of different generations and age groups, from our contemporaries

to our parent’s age and beyond.” The delicious lunch was a first for this event in that a kosher meat meal was served. Players loved the change in the menu, and the opportunity to get the first glance at newly renovated Pincus Paul Hall. “We closely listened to the participants from the last two years, and we incorporated the wishes of many. The serious players who were in the tournament loved the quiet atmosphere that allowed for their competitive spirit to thrive. Players who were new to the game or who just wanted to come out and see friends and support Beth Sholom were able to do so in the front lobby,” says Dana Patish, co-chair of the event. The generosity and participation of the Gordon Family, all of the events sponsors, raffle prize donors, and Mah Jongg players combine to help enhance the lives of all the residents at Beth Sholom Village. The Gordon Family.

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Strelitz International Academy—A school wearing many HATs! Lisa Richmon


ou don’t have to be Jewish to love Strelitz International Academy. (Still, it doesn’t hurt.) Hebrew Academy of Tidewater (HAT) has been recognized as an exceptional learning experience for nearly 65 years. Building on its success in promoting an excellent Jewish and General Studies education, HAT, now named Strelitz International Academy, was recently accepted as an International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Program candidate school. This elevates SIA’s brand as an extraordinary educational program worldwide. What this means for the local Jewish community, and all parents in Tidewater, is the opportunity for preschool and elementary school-aged children of all faiths to enjoy the benefits of SIA’s project-based learning approach. The Strelitz International Academy focuses on shaping active, compassionate, and lifelong learners, grounded by intercultural understanding and respect. Heather Moore, Head of School, says, “I am really excited about their global and inquiry-based learning approach. The IB® methodology fits so well with our approach to learning. We implemented project-based learning last year in which students drive their own learning for certain projects. The IB program adds a layer which provides us with an excellent framework to seamlessly apply our inquiry-based learning approach, and the rest of our curriculum.” HAT’s decision to unite its preschool and elementary school, and rebrand itself Strelitz International Academy was made to reflect the Board of Trustees’ vision and the academy’s new IB status.

“At this time, we are the only IB Primary Years Program in Hampton Roads for both private and public schools,” says David Leon, SIA board president. “This is an exciting time for the school as we start our 65th year.” To sustain itself and grow, SIA must stay responsive and relevant. The advanced curriculum offers the best of everything academically while universal values makes it appealing to all faiths. “We have such a broad spectrum of Jewish students from non-observant and interfaith to Chabad, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform,” says Carin Simon, director of admissions at SIA. “Being open to non-Jewish families interested in learning about Judaism is not a significant change in our dynamic. We will continue to maintain our identity as a Jewish school promoting our values: Kavod (respect), Kehillah (community), Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) and Torah Lishma (love of learning).” The IB program starts with threeyear-old preschool classes and continues through fifth grade. Due to SIA’s nurturing environment, Hebrew language classes, violin, and specialized science program, SIA graduates are better prepared for middle school. They advance to area gifted programs, IB programs, AP classes, and the area’s top private schools. Jessica Crawford has two children currently enrolled at SIA. “When I drop my daughters off at school, they are both

14 | Jewish News | November 25, 2019 |

greeted by name, which is very welcoming. Our kindergartener has learned so much since starting with Strelitz, and in the first two months of school is already learning to read, speak, and spell in Hebrew, and play the violin, among so many other academic and social opportunities Strelitz provides her with. Finally, we value SIA’s excellent communication with Strelitz families, including weekly school newsletters, class updates, and prompt responses to messages.” In addition, SIA currently has the largest infant care center in Virginia Beach. Today, the Strelitz International Academy is boasting one of its highest enrollments in its history. Parents say they

appreciate the opportunity to place their children in the nurturing environment provided at SIA—from infant day care, up to fifth grade. For more information, contact Carin Simon at

Business in the Jewish Community

Supplement to Jewish News November 25, 2019


BUSINESS THRIVES, WE ALL SUCCEED.” Rob Shuford, Jr. President & CEO Old Point National Bank

Old Point is 100% committed to this community. We all live, work, and shop in Hampton Roads. We know your family. We know your business. You matter to us.

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A Perfect Holiday Gift Idea!

Business Dear Readers,


t’s not personal, it’s business.” Who doesn’t know that line from The Godfather?

The truth is, as Kathleen Kelly says in You’ve Got Mail, business is personal. And, that’s exactly what the three quick profiles on business owners Avi Eli, Jody Greason, and Lindsay Bangel are all about: the personal aspects of their businesses. They each have a story to tell and do so beginning on page 19. Also, in this section, Tidewater Jewish Foundation offers some year-end planning tips for 2019. It’s hard to keep up these days and TJF suggests taking their tips and talking with professional advisors. Page 18. United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals is an outreach group that is all about engagement, education, and networking. Learn more about SOP on page 24, along with a profile of Attorney David Kushner, on page 22. As we go to press, Governor Ralph Northam is leading an International Trade and Marketing Mission to Israel and United Arab Emirates. How exciting for Jewish Virginians and those interested in Virginia-Israel trade and commerce. That article and one on artificial intelligence at Tel Aviv University may be found on page 23. Of course, there are more articles—including one about a Belgian Jewish baker who is mass-producing cannabis bread. Page 25. Since we’re on the subject of business and investments, please always try to support those businesses that support Jewish News. Thanks!

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one year in order to exceed the standard deduction amount and claim the higher standard deduction in other years is a great strategy. And perhaps the easiest itemized deduction to bunch is for charitable contributions. One way to accomplish this is to combine all tax-deductible contributions that would otherwise be given in two or more years into one year and “bunch” them into a new or existing donor-advised fund (DAF) offered by TJF. Claim the charitable deduction in the year you make the contributions and spread distributions to favorite charities from the DAF over several years. Using appreciated securities for the DAF contribution adds another benefit of bypassing capital gains taxes. TJF has matching funds available to help open new DAFs, too.

s the end of 2019 approaches, the Tidewater Jewish Foundation offers some planning tips to community members with a note of encouragement to share this information, talk with professional advisors, and contact the TJF staff with any questions. One big change in the recent federal tax act was the near doubling of the standard deduction. For 2019, married couples filing jointly can claim a standard deduction of $24,400 ($25,300 for those over age 65). With this increase, coupled with the $10,000 limitation to the deduction for state and local taxes and the elimination of other deductible items, less than 10 percent of all taxpayers are expected to itemize their deductions for the 2019 tax year. “Bunching” such deductions into

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It is not necessary to itemize to get the tax benefit of a gift

For those who are at least 70½ years old and are considering donating to charity, it may be more beneficial to make the donation from an Individual Retirement Sccount (IRA). Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) of up to $100,000 annually can count against the “required minimum distribution” amount that would otherwise be taxable income. An IRA QCD is not deductible, but because it is not included in gross income, the net effect may be the same as it would have been had you made a charitable contribution. It is not necessary to itemize to get the tax benefit of a gift, so it is still possible to claim the higher standard deduction. The QCD must be made directly from an IRA custodian (and cannot go into a DAF or supporting/ private foundation). TJF offers a great online tool for this process ( qcd) which can establish a Lion of Judah (LOJE) or Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment (PACE) or establish an endowment under LIFE & LEGACY® plans. For more information, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner at, 757-965-6103 or

Business Jewish News asked three Jewish-owned businesses what they do to make their brand stand out in a sea of sameness, how they give back, what they have learned, and how resilient they are to change. Lisa Richmon

Avi Eli: Hebrew Hustler


n 2011, Avi Eli was the guy with the funny accent hustling Dead Sea products at the mall. Today’s he’s enjoying life in Miami while Mr. Shawarma runs “hands free” and dominates Norfolk’s Middle Eastern street food sector. In 2015, following in the footsteps of his food proprietor parents, Eli went from kiosk guy to owner/operator of Mr. Shawarma, where he introduced the shawarma pole, a secret weapon of Israeli street food that flavors shaved morsels of turkey and lamb for pita and flatbread wrapping. Eli was first to market it, teasing and tempting the Norfolk kosher (and non-kosher) community with thousands of years of Middle Eastern history in every bite. Today, he has three local managers, giving him the freedom to enjoy the sunshine state, conduct a real estate business, and come and go when needed. How does Mr. Shawarma align with your customer’s lifestyle? We are a Kosher and Health friendly business with a multicultural customer base. What makes Mr. Shawarma different? First, we are the only Kosher restaurant in Tidewater. Secondly, we are in the fast food niche, but we make everything fresh daily and in house. We also pride ourselves on our meticulous cleanliness. How does internet and pop-up culture impact your business? We have a strong Facebook and Instagram presence. Customers constantly come in and comment on posts we have made about new foods, recipe changes, and specials.

Avi Eli

What’s the one thing you had to figure out the hard way, but wish someone told you? Some people look for instructions and ask directions. I have found I learn best by trying and failing. Do you mentor? What is your best experience, being mentored, or mentoring someone else? I like to promote and mentor within my business and employee family. I would rather build up my staff and see them succeed then bring in outside help.

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How do you like to give back? It is my belief you give in secret. The blessing is in what is hidden. What animal best describes you? I would say an octopus. They are methodical, problem solvers, adaptive and can make the choice to be seen or blend into the scene around them.

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BUS848_19 | November 25, 2019 | Business | Jewish News | 19


Jody Greason: Kitchen-to-closet lifestyle zester






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any know Jody Greason as a mom and twin sister who helps modern women own their personal style in denim, cashmere, and organic cotton. Greason is neither hyper-focused on fitness nor averse to adding fries to an occasional food order. So, it might surprise some to know that her interest in health and nutrition got serious enough to become a certified nutritionist. Casual conversations with customers about health, nutrition, fashion, and kids took a serious turn when a good friend was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, eluding and rattling everyone who knew and loved her. Greason led a fierce campaign researching everything she could find on the impact of food on health, particularly on cancer. “People told me, ‘you should have been a nutritionist,” Greason says. To which she told herself, “‘I still can.’” How does JodyG align with your customer’s lifestyle? It’s a beach lifestyle, casual, comfortable, but classy and stylish, too. Effortless style. My girls may or may not work, most have kids of varying ages, many do volunteer work, and enjoy date night or a night out with the girls. All want to look put together, with minimal thought or preparation. I try to provide a wardrobe for this lifestyle by providing fashion right pieces that are easy to grab out of your closet for kids’ sports events to date nights to charity events to lunches with the girls. What makes JodyG different? I think with any boutique, it’s all about point of view. I believe fashion is a form of expression, it’s how you wish others to see you, because like it or not, first impressions are a fact of life. It’s not about age, or size, or trying to look younger... it’s about looking and feeling your best, no matter what your personal situation is. I help busy women, and bring a highly edited selection each season, that is fashion right, age appropriate, and suitable for the awesome beach lifestyle that we are all fortunate enough to lead.

Jody Greason

How does internet and pop-up culture impact your business? The internet is awesome! It enables us to get our message out on a consistent basis. Before the internet, we would have to send an email or snail mail postcard to announce new arrivals. It’s so quick now. We just take new items out of the box, post a photo, and it’s out there! People are constantly coming in and asking for something they saw we posted on Instagram. The power of social media is truly amazing. What’s the one thing you had to figure out the hard way, but wish someone had told you? Running a retail business isn’t all rainbows and butterflies…it’s really hard. My background prior to opening my store prepared me somewhat…but it’s still really, really hard and stressful. How do you like to give back? People are always asking for donations for charity functions. I very rarely, rarely say no. Being on the board at JFS provides new opportunities for me to give back. What animal best describes you? I have no idea. I love most animals. My husband says “cheetah.”


Lindsay Bangel: Behind the LABL


indsay Bangel lived in New York and loved her work and workout life. During the day, she taught second graders with Asperger’s syndrome. Her typical after-work routine included hailing a cab to one of her top three spin gyms and fitness studios, and meeting girlfriends for drinks and dinner. In 2016, Bangel moved back home to Virginia Beach to heal after losing her twin brother, Justin. At the time, both parents Lindsay Bangel faced health issues that worried her enough to kiss her New York lifestyle goodbye. As a walking billboard for elevated work-out wear that local women couldn’t help but notice, but didn’t know about, and wanted for themselves, Bangel, the entrepreneur, saw and seized a budding athleisure market. The idea for LABL solidified on a trip home for her grandmother’s graveside unveiling where everyone asked, “What are you wearing and where can I get it?” LABL began as a pop-up at Jim White Fitness studios and at various other area venues. In 2018, Bangel joined Tommi Long, owner of Contravan, and together they formed The Collective, first at La Promenade in Virginia Beach and most recently, at Hilltop East on Laskin Road. Merchandise at LABL consists of: leggings, joggers, sports bras, tanks, sweatshirts, casual dresses, kitsch hair accessories, Alexa Leigh Jewelry, and men’s activewear. How does LABL align with your customer’s lifestyle? Fashion meets function and comfort. I started this business because being in fashionable activewear made me feel confident during workouts and everyday life. There’s something for everyone and if you go anywhere in town, everyone is in activewear!

What makes LABL different? I bring the knowledge of my favorite brands from NYC to Virginia Beach. I am always researching new and different brands that I can bring to the area. How does internet and pop-up culture impact your business? It’s nice living in a small town because there seems to be a mentality of supporting small business. Social media has helped business tremendously. People see things and want it instantly. What’s the one thing you wish someone told you when you started LABL that you had to figure out for yourself the hard way? You can’t make EVERYONE happy! Do you mentor? What is your best experience, being mentored, or mentoring someone else? I am in a unique situation in that my business partner, Tommi Long (Contravan) has been in retail for over 10 years. We are fortunate in that we can bounce ideas off each other and working on growing our businesses together. It’s been nice sharing this experience of growing a business with someone who is likeminded and creative. How do you like to give back? Tommi and I have organizations that are close to us and we have decided to choose an organization monthly to host a shopping event in which we donate a percentage of sales from the day. What animal best describes you? Owl. Owls are wise and birds of integrity. I’m good at getting what I want and take my responsibilities seriously.


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Business Presented by the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together

Society of Professionals: Spotlight on David Kushner



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omprised of area Jewish legal, medical, and business professionals, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals encourages engagement and networking through a variety of activities. David A. Kushner A partner in the law firm of Willcox Savage, David Kushner maintains a busy legal practice concentrating David Kushner in the areas of Labor and Employment law, as well as Fair Housing and Public Accommodation. He is married to Nichole Kushner, has two daughters, and somehow finds time to serve on the boards of directors of Ohef Sholom Temple and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Jewish News: What is one thing that would surprise people to know about you and your practice? David Kushner: After generations of Kushners in the rabbinate in Eastern Europe, the last three generations have been attorneys. Despite the fall from grace

22 | Jewish News | Business | November 25, 2019 |

JN: What are you most proud of as a Jewish lawyer? DK: I aim to treat my clients’ challenges and opportunities with as much urgency and passion as I would my own. Navigating the minefield of employee relations can create near daily emergencies, and I want my clients to feel confident that I will be available when they need me, and will help them find a solution efficiently and cost-effectively. JN: Can you describe any recent changes that might be noteworthy? DK: I recently became chair of Willcox Savage’s labor and employment law Practice Group. I also head up the firm’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodation group.

Amazon adds Hebrew to its international website Marcy Oster

FREE and open to the community. Learn more and RSVP at

from the rabbinate into the law, I love my job. I am passionate about helping my clients solve difficult employment issues in an efficient and pragmatic manner.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amazon has made its international website available in Hebrew and is offering free delivery on purchases over $49. Hebrew becomes the eighth language offered by Amazon. The Hebrew site launched this month also provides prices quoted in shekels. Customer service also will be available in Hebrew, according to

the Israeli business website Calcalist. International orders from Amazon will continue to be subject to local import laws and regulations. Duty on imports is waived for orders under $75. Amazon also has a local sales platform that hosts Israeli merchants for Israeli customers. Among the other languages offered by Amazon are English, Chinese, German, Spanish and Korean.

Business Governor Ralph Northam led International Trade and Marketing Mission to Israel and United Arab Emirates this month


irginia Governor Ralph Northam led a six-day international trade and marketing mission to Israel and the United Arab Emirates November 15–21. The Governor was accompanied by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, as well as representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. “We live in a competitive global economy, and it is important that we share the Virginia story with businesses and trade partners around the world

who are interested in buying our goods and services,” says Governor Northam. “International trade and marketing missions are critical tools to recruit new investment to the Commonwealth and maintain the relationships that will lead to new jobs, more exports by Virginia companies, and shared economic growth.” Governor-led international trade and marketing missions aim to promote the Commonwealth’s desirable business location advantages, increased opportunities for Virginia agricultural products, and tourism assets. In Israel, the Governor visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and in the United Arab Emirates, he traveled to Dubai.

First AI Week takes place at Tel Aviv University


I Week, Tel Aviv University’s first international weeklong conference on the fast-growing technological discipline of artificial intelligence, opened on November 17 to industry experts, academics, business executives, and government officials from Israel and abroad. The brainchild of TAU’s Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (Blavatnik ICRC) and its Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, AI Week explored the greatest challenges facing the burgeoning industry. The conference was presented in association with Intel and the Israel Innovation Authority and attracted more than 2,000 technologists, researchers, and data scientists from around the world. The role of artificial intelligence was explored for medicine, computer vision, startups, transportation, and human capital development, among other areas. State-of-the-art artificial intelligence, data science, applied machine learning and AI predictive applications were all addressed.

Artificial intelligence is poised to overtake electricity in its importance to the world.

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Business Society of professionals

‘Meet and Greet’—and grow your business and network with Society of Professionals Lisa Richmon


nited Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals is a professional outreach connecting business leaders though speaker events, networking, exclusive engagement opportunities, social gatherings, and targeted educational events that feature nationally and globally recognized industry and medical leaders and experts. Entrepreneurism, medicine, social enterprise, technology, healthcare, and geopolitics are areas explored. Carly Glikman, UJFT’s outreach manager, says, “Our group includes physicians,

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attorneys, clergy, and business owners, anyone who works really,” says Glikman. We welcome talented professionals who see advantages offered and who envision the growth potential of this collaborative society. SOP is an opportunity to invest in the professional community, take on a leadership role by becoming a committee member, and grow professionally.” Future events planned include a Networking Happy Hour at Butchers Son in Virginia Beach in January and a women’s only business event for February. A recent event featured geopolitical expert

Chef Michael Solomonov is helping to build a culinary school in Israel Josefin Dolsten

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Jamie Metzl. “Our purpose is to foster community— to learn about each other, to support each other, and to give back where we can. SOP is a group of medical professionals, attorneys, business owners—anyone who considers themselves a professional is welcome,” says Greg Zittrain, co-chair of the Society of Professionals. “We proudly consider ourselves an outreach arm of our Federation, and we connect with the greater Tidewater community. Going forward, we have a dynamic lineup of trailblazing industry icons to look forward to,” says Zittrain.

NEW YORK (JTA)—Michael Solomonov, the award-winning Philadelphia restauranteur, has joined the advisory council of an Israeli culinary school set to open in 2021. Solomonov announced he was becoming the inaugural member of the school’s advisory council at a press conference in New York this month alongside Lior Lev Sercarz, an Israeli chef involved in the project. Both chefs are working with the Jewish National Fund to create the Galilee Culinary Institute at Kibbutz Gonen near Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. Solomonov is also working with JNF to build a food and technology innovation center in the city. The institute and center will cost $29 million to build. The institute will offer a four-year accredited program, and the first class is expected to start in the fall of 2021.

“I always felt bad that young men and women in Israel or the region don’t necessarily have where to go to learn about cooking and the culinary studies. There are a few private schools now, which is great, but not at the scale that I would want it to be,” Sercarz told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2017. Both chefs are born in Israel, but based in the United States. Solomonov has opened a number of restaurants, and his Philadelphia eatery Zahav was named the best in the country in May by the James Beard Foundation. Sercarz owns La Boite, an upscale spice shop in Manhattan. “We are seeing a renaissance in Israeli food as American diners embrace the cultural melting pot of cuisines from my home country,” Solomonov said in a statement. “GCI by JNF will be a new type of culinary school, where budding chefs will work with the unique mix of cultures and cuisines that can only be found in the north of Israel.”


Belgian Jewish baker launches Europe’s first mass-produced cannabis bread Cnaan Liphshiz

AMSTERDAM (JTA)—Connoisseurs can find a wide range of products containing cannabis in the Netherlands, where it has long been practically legal: Cannabis popsicles, lollipops, chocolate and soap are but a few of the products available for purchase in the Dutch capital. But don’t expect to have an easy time of it if you’re looking for something to hold your lunchtime turkey slices. For that, you will need to take a trip to neighboring Belgium, where a Jewish baker is about to launch Europe’s first commercial line of cannabis bread. Cannabread will be available for purchase in Carrefour supermarkets in Brussels and two other Belgian cities later in November, according to a report last month in Vice Belgium. The bread is already on sale in at least one of five Lowy’s bakery shops in Brussels. Lowy’s owner Charly Lowy said about 15 percent of the dough in Cannabread is made from cannabis seeds, but eating the bread will not get you high. The level of THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, is low, which is also why it can be sold without restrictions in Belgium, where marijuana laws are more restrictive. Cannabread is also certified organic and, according to Lowy, full of minerals, vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6, fibers, carotene and magnesium. “The bread is intended first and foremost for people who just love bread, and different kinds of it,” Lowy told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “But it’s true that cannabis products are in right now.” Boutique bakers in the Netherlands and beyond have occasionally offered cannabis bread in the past, but Lowy is the first to mass produce it, according to media reports. While not intoxicating, the bread does taste and smell like cannabis, the Vice report said. Which may be why Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety

of the Food Chain raided the bakery in 2018 and destroyed Lowy’s entire stock of Cannabread, citing the absence of certificates proving it does not get people high.

While not intoxicating, the




bread does taste and smell like cannabis. ON BEHALF OF CHAIRS


Lowy is tall and handsome. The Vice writer found him to resemble Don Draper, the lead character portrayed by Jon Hamm in the hit television drama Mad Men. And he has a history of baking innovative breads, including one with beer and a purple bread containing wild rice. His family story is also a common European Jewish tale of success amid adversity. His late father, Otto, fled to Belgium from his native Austria, when it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. After the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1940, Otto went underground. It was then, during the most perilous period of his life, that he met his wife, Hania, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. They wed in 1942 and had three children. Charly is the youngest. When Otto died in 1980, Charly, who was then studying political science, took over the bakery and massively expanded the family business that his father had established in 1947. Back then, the bakery’s motto was: “Bread, that’s all.” No longer.






FIDF.ORG/VAGALA19 For more information please contact Alex Pomerantz, Director of VA, Midatlantic Region at or 757-472-9054. | November 25, 2019 | Business | Jewish News | 25

26 | Jewish News | Business | November 25, 2019 |

Israel Today First Person

Israel Today series kicks off with Inbal Arieli

Inbal Arieli

Elyse Cardon


nbal Arieli kicked off the 2019–2020 Israel Today series with intrigue and passion for sharing Israel’s secret sauce as to “Why Israel is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.” Arieli got the chance to share her message with a variety of community members including United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Women’s Cabinet, the Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School, ECPI University’s newly formed Women in Technology group, and UJFT’s Society of Professionals. Arieli concluded her visit with UJFT’s Community Relations Council, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ Israel Today evening event at the Sandler Family Campus, as part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival in coordination with the Jewish Book Council.

I heard Arieli talk and after reading her extensive military, academic, and high-tech biography, I was surprised and enamored by her never-met-a-stranger personality and profoundly relatable power point presentation. Arieli jumped between her own childhood and raising her children, noting throughout that it was merely a slice of common life in Israel. She shined a spotlight on the differences in Israeli children simply playing in an ordinary park like we have down the street. In the image shown though, there was nothing ordinary about the multiple children exploring how many ways they could go up and down a slide. There were no restrictions. No one to say there’s only one way to properly use a slide. Israeli parents typically allow the children to work it out, and they don’t get scolded for finding an alternative way. The concept of being comfortable using their imagination is nurtured as young as Kindergarten. Learning the commonly used Hebrew phrase, tipesh esre, which refers to the years 12–18, and actually translates in English to “stupid age,” was a favorite moment for many. This, I loved, since three of my four are currently in those stupid years. Yet it are during these years that Israeli

Inbal Arieli (right) at Kempsville High School.

teens comprise 67% of the Israeli Red Cross/Magen David Adom (MDA). Like Red Cross organizations across the world, MDA trains nurses, coordinates blood donations, helps the disabled, the needy, and the elderly, and provides ambulance and rescue services. The teens are not doing boring paperwork, they are in the field. Talk about being counted on and contributing to community. Arieli then took our attention to the young adults who finish school and enter the IDF. This is also unique to Israel, and while she cannot say it would work in other countries, it certainly works in Israel. Interestingly, the key difference in the IDF skill set when compared to other militaries, is they are trained to expect the unexpected. They are trained for the unknown, taught to lead while embracing uncertainty. This is a critical thinking skill for anything in life and it was very easy to see how it truly is a recipe for innovation. The discussion was fascinating and was confirmation in the way I am raising my four kids. In fact, I often answer people’s, “How are you? How are the kids?” with the same answer, “We are good… Every day is new!” And boy, that is my truth! It may be more work at times, and it is definitely more messy, but planting the seeds of curiosity is invaluable. I so appreciated Arieli’s passion—her

chutzpah (love the title of her new book) and her message challenging all to consider raising children with more opportunities for uncertainty, responsibility, and freedom of imagination. Now in its ninth year, Israel Today is a year-long offering of scholarly and cultural events celebrating Israel, its people, their stories, and the Jewish community’s shared future. The program is made possible through the support of numerous community partners and friends. Please join me on December 9 to hear Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post’s editor in chief, at the Sandler Family Campus. See page 33. For more information on Katz and other upcoming Israel Today events, visit IsraelToday.

Inbal Arieli at ECPI.

Society of Professionals members gathered for an intimate dinner conversation with Inbal Arieli to discuss the Israeli start-up scene. | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 27

woman’s luncheon

Israeli entrepreneur and author addresses women leaders Amy Zelenka, Campaign director


o what do you think about letting your kindergartener play with a rusty old kitchen stove? How about old truck tires or a baby bathtub that’s seen better days? At first, you’re probably taken aback just thinking about that scenario…but to hear Israeli high-tech entrepreneur and author Inbal Arieli tell it…that’s part of the secret sauce that makes Israel so successful. When asked what makes Israel so successful—especially in the area of high-tech development—many people naturally think about Israel’s policy of compulsory military service. Others think about an emphasis on STEM education throughout a young person’s life. Still others point to an abundance of research universities sprinkled throughout the tiny country. These are all valid points, and “all of

these experiences reinforce one another,” said Arieli in her remarks during the annual Lion Tikva Chai Luncheon, hosted on November 8 by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Women’s Division. But the real secret in the secret sauce, claims Arieli, is allowing children from very young ages—preschool even —to experiment with real objects (not toy stoves, but real ones which have surpassed their useful lives; real tires that are worn out and no longer road worthy). These and other household items now sit in playgrounds across Israel—even in wealthy neighborhoods—alongside slides, swings, and monkey bars. They are there to allow the children to use their imaginations to build space ships, robots, and other still undiscovered creations. And all the while, the teachers and aides are observing and monitoring, but not interfering. As a result, very young Israeli children

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find ways to dig into their creative minds; work collaboratively with their peers for help out of necessity (to move, for example, a heavy tire from here to there), and combine their ideas for an even better outcome. It’s true that they might get a scrape or a scratch in the process (after all, real life items are not built with childfriendly corners), but they quickly learn the best ways of handling these items. And they learn that a little scratch is not an excuse for quitting. It encourages them to take risks. There are many other lessons to be learned on these Israeli playgrounds. But what quickly becomes clear is that these lessons are the ones that infuse both the sense of independence and that of interdependence within these children at a very young age, thus preparing them for IDF service and later in life when it is both necessary and natural for them to create, build, and offer their valued products and ideas to the world. This is the Start Up Nation of Israel. The Lion Tikva Chai lunch was marked by a series of welcomes, thanks, and remembrances. Cabinet Chair Mona Flax welcomed all to the event and gave a brief update on the status of the 2020 Community Campaign. She then turned the program over to Barbara Dudley, vice chair/chair-elect and to Janet Mercadante, immediate past chair, to welcome the newest Lions, Tikvas, and Chais, and to remember the community’s Endowed Lions of Blessed Memory. New milestone givers in the 2020 Women’s Campaign included: New Ruby Lions Wendy Konikoff and Annabel Sacks; New Lions Barbara Dudley and Barb Gelb; New Tikvas Ellen Hundley and Carin Leon; and new Chai Anne Kramer. New Endowed Lions (LOJE’s) included: Shari Friedman, Marcia Moss, and Renee Strelitz. In closing her remarks, Dudley thanked each of the newest milestone givers in the community, encouraging them “to continue to go from strength to strength in [their] philanthropy and [their] commitment.” Mercadante then called the names of the community’s Endowed Lions of

Very young Israeli children find ways to dig into their creative minds; work collaboratively with their peers for help out of necessity.

Blessed Memory, which included: Esther Fleder, Helen Gifford, Fay Halpern, Lee Jaffe, Sophia Konikoff, Alma Laderberg, Telsa Leon, Eleanor Rashkind, Annette Shore, Joyce Strelitz, and Sylvia Yavner. “May the memory of these wonderful women,” said Mercadante in closing her remarks, “Continue as a blessing for our community and for each of us as well.” The Federation Women’s Division’s Lion Tikva Chai Lunch was a day of sisterhood and strength, as the community welcomed new leaders and remembered those whose hard work and dedication created a bedrock upon which to continue to build. Inbal Areli was in town as part of the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council, and as part of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ 9th annual Israel Today series.

Guest Speaker, Inbal Arieli with Mona Flax, Women’s Cabinet chair.

woman’s luncheon

Marcia Hofheimer, Ina Levy, Laura Gross, Judy Nachman, and Marsha Chenman.

Susan Alper and Bonnie Brand.

Charlene Cohen, Betty Ann Levin, United Jewish Federation Tidewater executive vice president, Shelly Simon, Emily Nied, Renee Strelitz, and Jodi Klebanoff, UJFT Campaign chair.

Annabel Sacks, Ellen Sacks, and Thelma Oser.

Sara Jo Rubin, Judy Rosenblatt, Ellen Wagner, Shelly Loeb, and Barbara Dudley, Women’s Cabinet vice chair.

Megan Zuckerman with her mom, Leslie Siegel.

Inbal Arieli with Laura Miller and Cindy Kramer.

Honey Maizel with Joan London

Jodi Klebanoff, UJFT Campaign chair, Susan Hirschbiel, Ellen Hundley, Linda Spindell, and Charlene Cohen.

Joan London, Connie Jacobson, and Linda Spindel. | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 29

it’s a Wrap Old Dominion AZA held a reunion filled with memories of good times Jack Frieden

“Magical.” “Once In a Lifetime Experience.” “Captured Lightning in A Bottle.”


hese are just a few of the reactions from former members of Old Dominion AZA who joined nearly 150 fellow alumni, spouses, and significant others to celebrate and pay tribute to an organization that played such an important role in their lives as Jewish teens growing up in Hampton Roads. The event, which took place on Saturday, October 19 at the Hilton Oceanfront in Virginia Beach brought together former members from Georgia, Arizona, California, Maine, Florida, Maryland, and many other location s — both near and far. It was truly an evening filled with genuine warmth and a sense of brotherhood as many in attendance had not seen each other in more than 50 years.

The evening kicked off a with pre-dinner reception followed by a seated dinner and short program led off by OD AZA alumnus Mark Jacobson of Atlanta, who had the original vision for the reunion and worked tirelessly with the reunion committee to make the evening such a memorable experience. Throughout the program, which included speeches that were at times humorous and at other times genuinely emotional, a common theme was how the forward-thinking leadership skills of the key OD AZA officers of that era influenced so many alumni during the years that followed. Among the many accolades expressed in the days following the event, alum Carl Cogan, summed up the feelings best, “It

Jack Frieden, Mark Jacobson, Alan Lubel, Rick Lombart, Larry Rossen, Bruce Frieden, and Mark Robbins.

ODU AZA alumni.

30 | Jewish News | November 25, 2019 |

truly was like a journey through time (half a century to be exact). I’m estimating that I had not seen nearly half of the alephs in attendance since I finished high school. “Sad that some of our brethren were not able to attend for having left the planet prematurely. Unfortunate, also, for the ones still living who couldn’t make it for various reasons. One thought particularly striking to me, was that each of us were celebrating a huge part of our earlier lives, and it was a very important thread we all shared in common. Everyone returned briefly to our teenage years and unquestionably each person in the room had equal stature, regardless of what we have or have not accomplished in life.”

Marlene Rossen and Jeff Meyers.

Mark Barr and Beverly and Alan Frieden.

Robert Fink, Peter Brundage, and Richard Laibstain.

Celebrate the season with us!

it’s a Wrap Rabbi Warren delights Beth El with Veterans Day talk Mark Kozak


oni Warren is a man of many titles. On Sunday, November 10, he merged them all in a pre-Veterans Day talk during a Men’s Club bagel brunch at Congregation Beth El. Rabbi Warren, a lieutenant and Navy chaplain, educated and entertained a crowd of congregants and students on the topic, Build it, Bridge it, or Blow it up: Lessons in Torah and Soul from an Engineer Battalion in the United States Marine Corps. Using his own brand of humor and humility, the 6'4" Rabbi Warren cited chapter and verse from the Bible and the Mishna that closely tied Judaism and Marine Corps life. Both require a bit of suffering that ultimately leads to happiness, he said. For instance, Psalms 128:2, “You shall eat bread with salt, and rationed water shall you drink; you shall sleep on the ground, your life will be one of privation, and in Torah shall you labor. Happy shall you be.” Or as the Marine Corps puts it, “Embrace the suck.” Warren, a Hampton native and Hebrew

Academy of Tidewater graduate, is the husband of Leora Skolnik and father to young girls Calanit and Meirav. He related his path from the University of Maryland to the Jewish Theological Seminary to military service. His three-year tour has become eight. And his plan to be aboard a Navy ship instead led him to Okinawa, Japan, where he found himself in a Marine Corps explosives unit. “I may have been a little too eager,” he said. “But they had professionals to protect us.” In chaplain training, he learned to be a pastor to all religions. “Some chaplains handle the rule of no proselytizing better than others,” he noted. In addition to organizing various religious services, he is a counselor to sailors dealing with “Dear John letters,” those feeling suicidal, and many who become angry from spending too much time cooped up below deck. Keeping kosher in the field or aboard ship is a challenge, but less so if one can deal with eating a lot of eggs or salad. And, though he literally wears his Judaism on his uniform sleeves, anti-Semitism is rarely a problem. There are estimates of about 3,000 Jews in the Navy, many of whom live in anonymity, Warren said. Just as in the Marines, “most things

in life can be built, bridged or blown up,” said Warren, who now is chaplain at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. “Building” can mean a constant state of learning, be that Torah or other topics. “Bridging” can mean creating cooperative relationships. And “blowing something up” means embracing change or “transcending the moment.” Even the Marine Corps slogan, “Semper Fidelis or “Always Faithful” sounds quite Jewish. It embodies the precepts of courage, honor, and commitment that we should all live by, he said. Rabbi Warren’s talk came not only on the day before Veterans Day, but also on the weekend convergence of the anniversaries of kristallnacht (the beginning of the Holocaust in 1938); the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989; and the birthday of the Marine Corps in 1775. He closed out the morning by leading the congregants—many of them veterans—in hymns to their respective military branches. And, of course, in a prayer for the safety of those who serve. Would a rabbi-chaplain-officer do it any other way?


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VBPD visits Virginia Holocaust Museum

A merry evening filled with holiday music and the best in craft brews! Dec. 21


he Virginia Beach Police Department continued their commitment to “Never Again” by taking a group of 30 recruits to visit the Virginia Holocaust Museum on November 1, a trip they make twice a year. Organized by the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy, Sergeant Bryan W. Strouse says the recruits found the trip to be very beneficial. Recruit Curtis Honaker called the trip “a glaring reminder for everyone, but especially police, that we must actively fight against falling into the trap of groupthink and to audit our actions and decisions on a regular basis.” For the past eight years, the Community Relations Council and the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater have supported the Virginia Beach Police Department in their Holocaust education training by providing lunch for the attendees while at the museum.



Reserve the best seats now! 757.892.6366 To learn more about the initiative or to support the effort, contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director at or Elena Baum, Holocaust Commission director, at | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 31

it’s a Wrap Hineni reunion: a time to catch up and make new plans

what’s happening Sarah Hurwitz: New Heights for the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund and Tidewater Together Sunday, December 8, 10 am, Temple Emanuel, Free The Storyteller’s Story—Michelle Obama’s trailblazing speechwriter forges new path, again Lisa Richmon

Jeff Werby, Steve Zuckerman and Eliot Weinstein.


n a beautiful night in September, more than 40 people gathered at the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club to see old friends and make new ones. Some talked about children who recently celebrated their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, while others showed off pictures of infants. Everyone was there to celebrate one shared, profound experience. All in attendance completed the Hineni Leadership Training Program and have been on the Hineni Israel Mission. Virtually anyone who has been on the Hineni Israel trip gets more involved in the Jewish community by either serving on a board, or by contributing to United Jewish Federation of Tidewater or another cause that is close to their hearts. Despite a commitment to stay in touch, many had not seen each other in far too long, and it was wonderful to catch up in this setting. One of the primary reasons for the reunion was to spark excitement and ideas for new program initiatives. The Hineni alum want to reconnect more and engage Jewish adults who are not yet involved, but would like to be. The group wants to start a new program that will gather together for fun events and pure entertainment, but that also fulfills their commitment to community service and fundraising. For more information, contact Carly Glickman at

Sarah Hurwitz was Michelle Obama’s speechwriter. Now she’s dubbed Judaism’s speechwriter. If grace and gravitas were a big box brand, Sarah Hurwitz would be Sarah the one to beat. Hurwitz Sarah Hurwitz is not a name brand, but that didn’t stop her from making her mark around the world. As stated in her conversation with Melanie Newman at the Communications Network convention in Miami Beach earlier this year, Hurwitz overcame serious risk aversion and the sting of national campaign losses to accept the position of Obama White House speechwriter. She pushed through defeat more than once, showing the White House, and the world, what political speeches should ‘look’ like. Hurwitz shared her #1 Rule: “Talk like a human being,” says Hurwitz. “Talk like yourself.” The power of speaking your truth resonated universally when First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the resonant ‘when they go low, we go high’ speech. During her exchange with Newman, Hurwitz credits the former First Lady for its impact. “That was her line entirely—not a slogan,” says Hurwitz. “It reflects how Mrs. Obama approaches life and speeches.” In politics and social enterprise, Hurwitz is a big believer in delivering edgy and uncomfortable messaging, if it’s your deepest, most important truth on that particular day. Hurwitz amplified Michelle Obama’s strong voice, forced nothing, and went on a seven-year speechwriting spree with the First Lady, supporting her desire to connect with diverse audiences through inclusive stories and images.

32 | Jewish News | November 25, 2019 |

Their secret sauce was getting out of each other’s way to co-create storytelling magic. “Write like a person” sounds simple, but maybe it’s not. So many charismatic people, especially politicians, swing the other way. What’s a nice Jewish girl doing in a place like this? Audiences that gather to hear Hurwitz tell her story ‘see’ the White House through a Jewish lens. When she talks to community groups about being Jewish in the White House, as if that were the most natural place for a Jewish female to create groundbreaking content, make her mark, and be taken seriously—or even respected—her story is filtered through a very personal Jewish point of reference. Looking back on a decade of political speech writing, she finds a common theme: Jewish values. At ComNet, she concedes that people’s perception of her might not align with someone who connects to Michelle Obama’s backstory. On paper, a white, Jewish daughter of a corporate attorney from a Boston suburb doesn’t fit the profile of someone who can relate to an African American female, raised in a working-class family on Chicago’s south side. Hurwitz sets that record straight when she talks about her grandmother and Michelle Robinson Obama’s father– two beloved influencers of their respective careers and outlook on life. “To my grandmother and Michelle’s father, education was religion,” says Hurwitz. No longer a White House speechwriter, Hurwitz continues speaking at conventions, to businesses, and to companies about the value of ‘writing like a person.’

With that, she continues to blaze new trails. A first-time author, Hurwitz is a spiritual late bloomer whose soulful persona manifests in enlightenment bundled in self-deprecation and humility. In Here All Along, Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life-in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There), Hurwitz shares her Jewish journey to enrich lives, not fix them. She wasn’t broken and didn’t set out on a mission. With extra time on her hands, (post-White House and romantic break-up,) Hurwitz seized the opportunity to explore the gap between the richness of Judaism, and the way so many Jews, just like her, experience and understand it.

Looking back on a decade of political speech writing, she finds a common theme: Jewish values.

To hear more of her story, join Sarah Hurwitz for brunch at Temple Emanuel with Congregation Beth Chaverim. Free and open to the community, RSVP required. Tidewater Together is a collaboration between the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and area synagogues to provide opportunities to connect Jewishly on a variety of topics, offering something for everyone. To RSVP and to learn more about Tidewater Together visit TidewaterTogether, or contact Sierra Lautman, director of Jewish Innovation, at 757-965-6107 or

what’s happening A page-turner about family secrets

The Face Tells the Secret Jane Bernstein Monday, December 16, noon, Beth Sholom Village Sherry Lieberman


he Face Tells the Secret by Jane Bernstein is a story of a woman who discovers love and learns how to open herself to life’s happier relationships.


The main character, Bernstein Roxanne, a single 40-year old product designer living in Pittsburgh, finds out that she has a twin sister living near Tel Aviv in a group institute, Chaverim, who is profoundly disabled. This is a deeply moving story about the ways we are loved and the ways we let ourselves be loved. A definite page-turner, The Face Tells the Secret reveals family secrets and the realization that Roxanne’s mother is not capable of maternal love. Bernstein’s characters come alive. The author brings together her considerable skills as a writer and has told her finest story with much for the reader to

discover. Jane Bernstein will share details from her book, answer questions and sign copies of her book on Monday, December 16 at noon at Beth Sholom Village. This event is part of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, which is held in coordination with the Jewish Book Council, the only organization in the organized American Jewish community whose sole purpose is the promotion of Jewish books. $12 lunch/$21 lunch and book. Bundled registration for lunch and signed book closes December 9. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact Patty Shelanski, Arts + Ideas manager, at 757452-3184 or Sherry Lieberman is the Simon Family JCC Book Club leader.


Latkes, books, music, crafts and camps Sunday, December 15, 11:30 am–2:30 pm Sandler Family Campus


hree children’s authors, a light lunch and latkes, crafts, visiting overnight camp representatives, and tons of activities combine to create a celebration of Hanukkah for the community. The event is part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffe Jewish Book Festival, and One Happy Camper’s Camp Extravaganza, with PJ Library. It is possible because of support from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, and the Jewish Book Council.

Had Israel not carried out this mission, what would the Middle East look like today? Israel Today: Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post and author of Shadow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power

Monday, December 9, 7:30 pm Sandler Family Campus, Free “On September 6, 2007, shortly after midnight, Israeli fighters advanced on Deir ez-Zour in Syria. Israel often flew into Syria as a warning to President Bashar al-Assad. But this time, there was no warning and no explanation. This was a covert operation, with one goal: to destroy a nuclear reactor being built by North Korea under a tight veil of secrecy in the Syrian desert.” —Shadow Strike


eading like a spy-thriller novel, Yaakov Katz’s Shadow Strike takes you behind the scenes in the Oval Office, at Mossad headquarters, and in the Syrian desert on a mission too com- Yaakov Katz plex and daring to be believed,” says Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel and senior director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council during the Obama Administration. The Tidewater community will have the opportunity to decide if they agree with Shapiro after hearing from the author when he is in town next month. Editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, Katz is the second guest expert in the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC and community partners’ 9th annual Israel Today series. As part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, Katz will share details from his latest book. Shadow Strike tells the story of the espionage, political courage, military might, and psychological warfare behind Israel’s daring operation to stop one of the greatest known acts of nuclear proliferation. It also brings Israel’s powerful military and diplomatic alliance with the United States to life,

revealing the debates President George W. Bush had with Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as well as the diplomatic and military planning that took place in the Oval Office, the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, and inside the IDF’s underground war room beneath Tel Aviv. These two countries remain united in a battle to prevent nuclear proliferation, to defeat Islamic terror, and to curtail Iran’s attempts to spread its hegemony throughout the Middle East. Shadow Strike explores how this operation continues to impact today’s world and if what happened in 2007 is a sign of what Israel will need to do one day to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Katz served for close to a decade as the Jerusalem Post’s military reporter and defense analyst and is the co-author of the books, The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower and Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War. He also served for two years as a senior policy adviser to Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Diaspora Affairs. Originally from Chicago, Katz also has a law degree from Bar Ilan University. Reserve seats for this event or learn more at

For more information or to RSVP, contact Sierra Lautman at 757-965-6107 or slautman@ | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 33


what’s happening Jewish Museum and Cultural Center: “Saturdays At Seven”


or its 10th Annual Chevra Cinema Series, the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is featuring “Saturdays At Seven.” These four Saturday evening films, beginning at 7 pm, will have an introductory commentary by the cinema specialist who chose the evening movie. The series begins January 4, 2020, with Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel presenting the film, The Chosen, a classic adapted from Chaim Potok’s book by the same title. On Saturday, January 11, Old Dominion University Professor of English, Peter Adams will introduce the Woody Allen film, The Front, which explores McCarthyism of the 1950s. Barbara Rossen, administrator and curator of the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center, will present The Debt, on February 1,

a movie drama involving a secret mission to capture a Nazi War criminal. “Saturdays At Seven” will conclude with Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand on February 29. This final film will be introduced by Andrew Quicke, the former Bureau Chief CBN-Jerusalem, Israel chair, and professor of Cinema-Television and Performing Arts at Regent University. The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is a non-profit organization providing educational opportunities regarding Jewish history, faith, and culture. There is no admission cost for the films, although donations are always welcome. The museum is located at 607 Effingham Street in Portsmouth. For more information, contact Barbara Rossen at jmccportsmouth@



December 1, Sunday Brith Sholom will hold its board meeting at 10 am followed by the general membership meeting at 11 am at Beth Sholom Village. Deluxe brunch follows. $3 per member in advance; $5 at the door; and $10 per guest. Contact LeeAnne Mallory at 757-461-1150 or Brith. to RSVP or for more information by November 27. DECEMBER 4, WEDNESDAY In A Field Guide to the Jewish People, comedic legends Dave Barry, Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel tackle the tough questions that have plagued Jews and non-Jews alike for centuries. 7:30 pm at Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Virginia Wesleyan University. Presented by the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together series as part of the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. Limited Seating. Advance tickets strongly suggested. $18 admission ($40 admission and book if purchased by Nov. 27). For more information or tickets, visit DECEMBER 8, SUNDAY Sarah Hurwitz, author of Here All Along. Brunch at 10 am, at Temple Emanuel in partnership with Congregation Beth Chaverim. Presented by the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholarin-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together series as part of the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. For more information or to RSVP (required) for this free event, visit See page 32. DECEMBER 9, MONDAY Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief, Yaakov Katz presents details on his new book, Shadow Strike, Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power. Presented by Israel Today. 7:30 pm at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, Free. For more information or to RSVP (required), visit See page 33. DECEMBER 15, SUNDAY A community celebration of Hanukkah, Latkepalooza, is part of the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, with One Happy Camper’s Camp Extravaganza, and PJ Library along with support from the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. Featuring three children’s authors, music, crafts, and a light latke lunch. Free, fun for all ages, 11:30 am–2:30 pm. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. For more information on authors, activities, times, or to RSVP (required), visit DECEMBER 16, MONDAY Jane Bernstein, author of The Face Tells the Secret tells the story about a woman who finds love, explores disability, and raises questions about the responsibility of caring for relatives. $12 lunch/$21 lunch and book if purchased by Dec. 9. 12:00 pm, Beth Sholom Village. With the Simon Family JCC Book Club. For more information or to RSVP (required), visit See page 33.

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who knew? Sacha Baron Cohen to be honored by ADL for his ‘vision, imagination and creativity’


acha Baron Cohen will be honored by the AntiDefamation League for his “vision, imagination and creativity.” Cohen, who most recently portrayed the late Israeli spy Eli Cohen in a Netflix series, will receive the International Leadership Award during the civil rights organization’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate. The summit will be held in New York City. The actor, comedian and director, whose political satire films include Borat and The Dictator, will deliver a keynote address. “Baron Cohen has used humor and satire to expose people’s inherent biases by depicting racists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, Islamophobes and others as deeply flawed, ordinary people whose prejudices are, ultimately, laughable,” the ADL said in a statement. “As a celebrity and public figure, he’s not shied away from taking on tough subjects off-screen, having recently spoken out about the failure of social media companies to adequately address the rampant racism,

anti-Semitism and hate on their platforms.” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in the statement that Cohen’s characters “help to expose how common prejudices are in our society and our world.” “There are many ways to combat prejudice, and anti-bias education, exposure and awareness are important tools. But there are other, more unorthodox ways to fight hate,” Greenblatt said. “Sacha’s hilarious characters fall into that latter category. They push envelopes. They cross boundaries. They evoke stereotypes and tropes, but for comedic effect.” (JTA)

Idina Menzel gets Hollywood star


ctress Idina Menzel got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Broadway, television and film star was honored with her star on Tuesday, November 19, days before the opening of Frozen 2, where she reprises her role as the voice of Elsa. Frozen co-star Kristen Bell also received a star the same day. Menzel was a recurring character on the television show Glee and starred in the original Broadway run of Wicked. (JTA)

Dorothy Salomonsky, director of Personal Affairs Management, Jody Laibstain, volunteer coordinator, and Bonnie Lindenberg, Volunteer of the Year..

Achievement Bonnie Lindenberg, Jewish Family Service 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Lindenberg volunteers in the JFS PAM department. She prepares more than 60 tax returns each year for clients who cannot afford to pay a tax preparation fee. Lindenberg is a certified public accountant and is available to answer tax questions that case managers may have regarding their clients. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee. | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 35

Obituaries Calvin L. Belkov Norfolk—Calvin L. Belkov, DDS, of Norfolk, died November 19, 2019. Dr. Belkov was born in Norfolk, the son of the late Harry Belkov and Sylvia Achbar Belkov. Dr. Belkov was a graduate of William and Mary College and the MCV/VCU School of Dentistry where he was very involved with the Endowment Fund. He was also a member of the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity. He was a member of Congregation Beth El and the Beth El Men’s Club. Dr. Belkov was also a member of the Norfolk Masonic Lodge. Dr. Belkov was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Epstein Belkov, his sister Beverly Handel, and his brother Philip Belkov. Survivors include his daughter Lisa D. Snyder and her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Alan Snyder; and three grandchildren; Jordan, Joshua, and Samantha. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Sylvia Belkov and Ronnie Jane Konikoff. A graveside service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk. Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El or to a charity of choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments Norfolk Chapel. Judith Shiloff Plainsboro, New Jersey—Judith Shiloff died Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro. She was 93. A graveside service was held at Beth David Cemetery, 300 Elmont Road, Elmont, N.Y. Interment immediately followed. For more information, or to post a tribute online, visit DR. MAURICE S. SPIVAK Virginia Beach—Maurice Sidney Spivak of Virginia Beach, died peacefully at home on November 7, 2019. He was 93. Spivak lived an exemplary life devoted to family and country. He came from humble beginnings, yet his legacy of commitment to the principles of honesty, integrity, equality, responsibility, and generosity touched hundreds of people throughout his lifetime.

At 17, Spivak volunteered for service in the U.S. Army. He served in the 65th Infantry Division under General George S. Patton in some of the bloodiest battles of WWII, including the Battle of the Bulge and the push through the Rhineland. During the battle for Saalaurtern, at the French-German border, Spivak spent 13 days manning a fortified machine gun position in the cellar of a home facing heavy resistance from German troops, fielding grenades from the floors above and direct enemy fire. Near the Siegfried Line, during a German counteroffensive, Spivak volunteered to locate American troops trapped in enemy territory and escort them to safety. He succeeded and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his valor. Spivak participated in the liberation of seven concentration camps, including Mauthausen, where future Medal of Honor recipient Tibor Rubin was a child prisoner. Spivak’s unit rescued Rubin and Rubin went on to save hundreds of American lives during the Korean War. Fluent in German, Spivak remained in Europe serving as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He deposed hundreds of German officers, soldiers and Holocaust survivors, collecting information for post-war trials, including Nuremburg. During this duty, his assigned housing was the former Nazi officers’ quarters of Dachau concentration camp. While in Munich, he worked behind the scenes to help several Jewish families escape war torn Europe and build new lives in America. There he also met a young refugee from Romania, a member of the country’s royal family. He helped him as well, and they became close friends. Dedicated to life-long learning, Spivak began his post-war studies at the Hebrew Union College rabbinical school in Cincinnati, but transferred to The Citadel, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and became a dedicated “Bulldog.” He pursued graduate studies at Boston University and received a master’s degree from West Virginia University in biochemistry. Spivak began his career as a research scientist at Worcester Polytechnic Research Institute and later at

36 | Jewish News | November 25, 2019 |

Massachusetts General Hospital where he worked with 1953 Nobel prize winner for biochemistry, Dr. Fritz Lipmann. Spivak was commissioned with the U.S. Naval Reserves and served aboard the USS Champlain. He joined the civil service and worked at the Springfield Armory, the Charleston Naval Shipyard and Edgewood Arsenal developing many innovative products for the Department of Defense. These included a reinforced metal to support the vulnerable under-bellies of helicopters used in Vietnam and the freeze-dried food process used for America’s astronauts in the fledgling space program. Recruited by the Army Corps of Engineers, he returned to school and got another master’s degree in civil engineering. One of the highlights of his career with the Corps occurred in 1975, when he served as lead engineer for the transition of infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula from Israeli to Egyptian authority. He spent over 30 years in government service receiving numerous awards. After retirement, at age 70, Spivak returned to his studies and obtained a Ph.D. in engineering. Spivak considered his 67 year-long, loving marriage to Annette “Honey” Spivak his greatest life achievement. He took pride in nurturing his family relationships and his life-long friendships. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Michelle Spivak Melinger (Joseph Melinger), Jonah Spivak (Karen Takane) and Myra Spivak; by his grandchildren David Lessans, Aaron P. Kelley, Ariel Melinger-Cohen, Emily Ostrom (Brandon Ostrom), Asher Spivak, Miranda Spivak, Eden Melinger and his great-grandson, Merlin Ostrom; and by his many dear extended family members and beloved friends. A funeral service was held at Altmeyer Funeral Home, followed by a service at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk. Contributions in memory of Maurice S. Spivak to Temple Israel, Norfolk; Operation Smile; or Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters. May his memory forever be a blessing.

Schindler’s List producer and Holocaust survivor Branko Lustig Branko Lustig, the Oscar-winning producer of the Holocaust film Schindler’s List, has died. Lustig died Thursday, November 14 at his home in Croatia at the age of 87. His death was announced by the Festival of Tolerance, a Jewish film festival held in the Croatian capital of Zagreb for the last 13 years. Born to a Jewish family in 1932, Lustig was imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Much of his family was killed by the Nazis, including his father and grandmother. He began his film career in the Yugoslavian film industry in the 1950s and worked as a production supervisor on the 1982 Hollywood film Sophie’s Choice, part of which was shot in Yugoslavia. Lustig’s work on American films helped him move to Los Angeles in the 1980s, where he met Steven Spielberg, who directed Schindler’s List. The film won the Oscar for best picture in 1994. “My number was 83317,” Lustig said in an emotional speech at the award ceremony. “I’m a Holocaust survivor. It’s a long way from Auschwitz to this stage.” Lustig went on to recall the people he saw die in the camps, who urged him to be a witness to their murder. “By helping Steven to make this movie, I hope I fulfill my obligation to the innocent victims of the Holocaust,” Lustig continued. “In the name of the 6 million Jews killed in the Shoah, and other Nazi’s victims, I want to thank everyone who acknowledge this movie.” Lustig went on to work with other Hollywood luminaries. He produced the 1997 film The Peacemaker starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman and served as executive producer of the 2001 Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down. He won another Oscar for producing Scott’s 2000 film Gladiator, which also won best picture. A decade ago he returned to Croatia to become president of the Festival of Tolerance. (JTA)


Mayim Bialik: Everything I’ll never know because my father died Mayim Bialik

Abba, are you there? You died 4 1/2 years ago, but I still forget sometimes. I was driving in sixth gear the other day. I went to exit the freeway and, on the off-ramp, I downshifted enough that I was able to shift directly into fourth. You taught me never to skip a gear. You said it was bad for the car. I never asked more about it; I just did what you said. Because you were Abba and I was me and you knew best. You knew all. That was your job. But now I want to know why. I bet you knew but I didn’t think to ask. I didn’t know to ask. Like: Does it hurt the gears? What if the speed is sufficiently low? Is that not the same as shifting to neutral and then into an appropriate gear? I mean, it is—right? I won’t Google it. The internet is not the answer because you were the answer. And you disliked the internet. You didn’t think it would really catch on, the same way you said cellphones wouldn’t. Abba, I laughed at you with disdain. And I’m sorry. I understand you better now that you’re gone. I understand how scary the internet was for you. It’s scary to me, too. We have trouble processing a certain kind of information, you and me. Filling out forms is hard for us. Lots of stimulus is hard for us. The internet can really overwhelm our brains in ways other people don’t get overwhelmed. They tell us we have a touch of ADD, which seems so strange since we are so productive and focused in so many ways. They didn’t have alternatives for us when the internet became popular. We just pretended we didn’t like it. So instead of looking up why I shouldn’t skip gears when I drive, I prefer to keep it in the category of “Things I Can’t Know Because My Father Died.” This list of things is long, and it is a terrifying one. There is no comfort, there is no peace. Some more items on the list: What was Grandpa really like? What was he always angry about when you were a kid?

What was your bar mitzvah like? Who taught you how to dance so well? Were you scared to become a dad? What was the best part about me being born? Was it weird having a daughter look so much like you? Did you like that? Why did you collect such strange books? What did they mean to you? And then there are the many things I wish I never knew. Like what it was like for you to feel your body dying. What it was like to lose the ability to control your walking, your balance, your speech, your writing. I know these things because you told me. And I was there to receive them. That was my job. I know your regrets—about your lack of Jewish dedication, about your communication, about your faults, about how you treated mom sometimes. I know the last things you wanted to

say to your brother, your cousins, your niece and nephews. To your son. I know what you wanted mom to hear you say before you died. I helped you say it. I was there for all of it, and still, I forget you are gone.

This is the time of year when we remember. Four times a year—including Yom Kippur—we have Yizkor, an entire Jewish memorial service just for people like me. We stand and we weep, or we can’t weep and that’s weird because we continued on page 38

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Obituaries continued from page 37

cry ALL THE TIME everywhere else, all over everyone and ever thing. So, we stand and listen for the ancient words that seal the deal. The rabbinical punctuation mark to end all punctuation marks. The punctuation is this: Your father is dead. He is never coming back. You won’t ever know the things you don’t know and you can’t unknow the things you do. You will live the rest of your life in his shadow, as his shadow. You are the daughter of a

dead father. Binyomin Yidl ben Meir v’Shayna Duba. Who will receive your name? Who will carry that weight and that blessing into generations I can only pray God gives me the time to see? If my older son reads this, he will say, “Ema, I carry his countenance. I look like him. I talk like him. I make people laugh like him. I am like Zaidy.” And my son will also invariably Google why you shouldn’t skip gears when you

drive. And maybe, just maybe, he will tell me the thing I don’t want to know: That it’s not true. Zaidy was wrong. Zaidy believed it because his father told him it was so, and he believed it because no one questioned one’s father. No one should question one’s father. Abba, are you there? This story originally appeared on Kveller.

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Yaakov Katz Shadow Strike

Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power On September 6, 2007, shortly after midnight, Israeli fighters advanced on Deir ez-Zour in Syria. Israel often flew into Syria as a warning to President Bashar alAssad. But this time, there was no warning and no explanation. This was a covert operation, with one goal: to destroy a nuclear reactor being built by North Korea under a tight veil of secrecy in the Syrian desert. Shadow Strike tells, for the first time, the story of the espionage, political courage, military might and psychological warfare behind Israel’s daring operation to stop one of the greatest known acts of nuclear proliferation. It also brings Israel’s powerful military and diplomatic alliance with the US to life, revealing the debates President Bush had with Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as well as the diplomatic and military planning that took place in the Oval Office, the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, and inside the IDF’s underground war room beneath Tel Aviv. Yaakov Katz is editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. He previously served as the paper’s military reporter and defense analyst. He spent two years as a senior policy advisor to Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Diaspora Affairs.





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FREE and open to the community For more information and to RSVP (required), call 965-6137 or visit: | November 25, 2019 | Jewish News | 39

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