Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 53 No. 4 | 26 Tishrei 5774 | October 20, 2014
6 Einat Wilf, Thursday, Oct. 30
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Academics sign petition opposing Israel boycott
Sarkozy despised for his Jewish origins, ex-French FM says
ore than 1,350 academics from around the world have signed a petition opposing faculty or student boycotts of Israel. The online petition of the Faculty for Academic Freedom was posted this month. “We, the undersigned academics, vigorously support free speech and free debate but we oppose faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students,” the introduction to the petition reads. Academics from colleges and universities in countries such as France, Britain, the Netherlands and Russia, as well as the United States and Israel, have signed the petition. An academic boycott “violates the very principle of academic freedom,” the petition says. It also states, “The factual record does not support the accusations and narratives of the BDS movement. Many are based on overstatements, cherry picked evidence, outright falsehood, or on disputed or highly biased data.” The boycott also harms prospects for the peace it is calling for, according to the petition. “By demonizing and seeking to isolate one of the two parties to the peace process, the anti-Israel BDS movement sets itself apart from the global consensus for peace,” the petition says. A petition endorsing a boycott of Israel and its academic institutions has been signed by more than 800 anthropologists from around the world. It was posted Oct. 1 on the website jadaliyya.com. (JTA)
ernard Kouchner, a former foreign minister of France, said that ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy was widely disliked because of his Jewish origins. Kouchner made the assertion during an interview Tuesday, Oct. 14 for RMC radio in response to a question about observations Kouchner made about Sarkozy in his newly published book, Crossed Memories. In the book, which was published last month, Kouchner wrote, “Nicolas Sarkozy wasn’t cherished; he was detested also because he was the son of a Hungarian and the grandson of a Jew.” According to a book on the origins of Sarkozy—a former interior minister for the centrist UMP party who served as president between 2007 and 2012—his paternal grandfather was a Sephardic Jew of Greek origin named Aaron Mallah. During the RMC interview Kouchner, who served as foreign minister from 2007 to 2010, said of Sarkozy and his origins, “I think France is a racist country, certainly. But he got on alright, he achieved anyway though originally, I think this issue was present.” Last month, Sarkozy announced that he would run for internal elections to lead UMP. According to recent polls, Sarkozy received 45 percent of the Jewish vote in the first rounds of the 2007 and 2012 presidential elections despite the Jewish community’s longstanding preference for left-wing candidates. (JTA)
“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this
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Facebook’s Zuckerberg and wife pledge $25 million to fight Ebola acebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight the Ebola virus. Zuckerberg announced Tuesday, Oct. 14 on his official Facebook page that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, will make the donation.
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outcome. We are hopeful this will help save lives and get this outbreak under control.” A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died after contracting the virus, tested positive for Ebola, according to reports. (JTA)
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“I think that this fighting
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Surge in anti-Semitism. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
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at least several decades,
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if not a century, if not more.”
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briefs Facebook completes purchase of WhatsApp Facebook completed its purchase of the the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for nearly $22 billion in cash and stock. The transaction was completed on Monday, Oct. 6 with Facebook paying about $2 billion more than when the deal was announced in February due to a rise in its share price. Facebook named WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum, a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant, to its board. Koum, 38, and his mother left Kiev for the United States when he was 16 to escape the “troubling political and anti-Semitic environment,” according to Forbes. “I’ve also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also is Jewish, wrote on his Facebook page when the deal was first announced. WhatsApp, a free mobile messaging service similar to texting, has more than 450 million users, with an additional million joining every day, according to reports. Users pay a $1 yearly fee to use the WhatsApp app; the first year is free. Facebook said when the purchase was announced that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the purchase. The merger was approved by U.S. antitrust authorities in April and by the European Union this month. (JTA) State Dept. brings over Israeli, Palestinian basketball coaches The U.S. State Department brought 30 Israeli and Palestinian youth basketball coaches to the United States to promote understanding. “This exchange program is part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to assist those who believe people of different nationalities, ethnicities, and creeds can live alongside one another constructively and peacefully,” the department said. The program, which ran through Oct. 19 in New York, Washington, D.C., and Stamford, Conn., emphasized “conflict resolution, sports management, and leadership.” The tour culminates a two-year program and participants are expected to continue to participate upon their return. (JTA)
Orthodox, Reform groups differ on Supreme Court’s gay marriage call Reform and Orthodox Jewish groups had opposite takes on the Supreme Court decision not to hear gay marriage cases, effectively extending the right to a majority of the states. “The Supreme Court’s decision to leave in place lower court rulings that have the potential to bring marriage equality to more than half of the states is cause for celebration for those Americans who will now be able to marry the person they love, no matter their gender,” the Religious Action Center of the Reform movement said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 7 after the court turned away five appeals of lower court rulings permitting gay marriage. The effect of the denial was to increase from 19 to 30 the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal. Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox group, said it remained committed to the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. “Agudath Israel of America remains committed to defending marriage as it has been understood since time immemorial: the sanctioned union of a man and a woman,” the group said in a statement. “We do not believe that the constitution demands an abandonment of history.” (JTA) French security official: If I were Jewish, I’d leave and join IDF A senior police officer in the French city of Marseille said that if he were a Jew who cared about his country, he would leave for Israel and join its army. Gilles Gray, secretary of the city’s prefect of police, made the statement at the prefecture during a conversation with Kurdish activists protesting what they describe as insufficient action to save Kurds in Syria and Iraq from assaults by the ISIS jihadist group. “Your brethren are there, but you are here, causing trouble in Marseille,” Gray told the activists in the conversation, whose recording was obtained by the Marseillaise daily and published online Tuesday, Oct. 7. “It’s like with the Jewish community. Me, if I were a Jew in Marseille who cared about my people and country, I would be in the Israeli army, not in Marseille.” Marseille, in southern France, is home
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to the country’s second-largest Jewish community with approximately 60,000 people. Gray added that demonstrations by Kurdish activists distract police from preventing terrorist activities on French soil. “When we’re busy with you, we don’t protect the schools,” he is heard saying. One of the delegates said he hoped Gray was telling the truth, to which he replied: “I never lie. I’m a Protestant. It’s a flaw of mine; I tell it like it is.” (JTA)
Pollard’s release listing changed back to November 2015 from life The U.S. Bureau of Prisons reverted to a 2015 release date in its listing for Jonathan Pollard from life. The listing had appeared for several days as life on the bureau’s “find an inmate” search engine, but on Monday, Oct. 6 it returned to Nov. 21, 2015, when Pollard is first eligible for parole under sentencing guidelines in 1987. The former U.S. Navy analyst was sentenced to life for spying for Israel. Ed Ross, a prisons bureau spokesman, told JTA that both decisions were “administrative” in the sense that Pollard’s status had not changed, but added that he did not know if either decision—to change the listing to life and back again—was in error. Being eligible for parole does not mean Pollard will be released. His advocates say that parole is unlikely because the U.S. government continues to deny Pollard access to classified documents that could make his case. Pollard’s wife, Esther, said she and her husband preferred the life listing because the 2015 date gave a false impression that mitigated against public pressure on President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence. (JTA) U.S. officials score Netanyahu on ‘American values’ comment Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s questioning of “American values” in pushing back against Obama administration criticism of Jerusalem building was “odd,” U.S. officials said. “American policy has been clear and unchanged under several administrations, both Democratic and Republican: We oppose any unilateral actions that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including
the status of Jerusalem,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “So I have to say it was a bit odd to use ‘American values’ when clearly we’ve had a consistent view and a consistent position on this particular issue,” she said. Netanyahu had told CBS in an interview that the criticism of expanding Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem was “against American values.” Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, went further, noting U.S. assistance to Israel. “The fact is, when it comes to American values, it’s American values that lend this country’s unwavering support to Israel,” he said. “It’s American values that have led us to fight for and secure funding to strengthen Israel’s security in tangible ways.” (JTA)
Lowey: Federally funded college programs must not have anti-Israel bias The ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee asked the U.S. Department of Education to insure that college programs receiving federal funds not include an anti-Israel bias. U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in a letter sent Sept. 29 to Education Secretary Arne Duncan requested that standards of accountability be adopted so that any college or university receiving Title VI funding not have an anti-Israel slant. “Incidents of anti-Semitism have spiked worldwide in recent months, including many that were borne out of protests against Israel’s acts of self-defense against the terrorist group Hamas,” Lowey said in the letter. “It is vital to ensure that academic programs do not become tilted against Israel in a way that engenders anti-Semitism or criticism of Israel that devolves into the defamation of the Jewish people.” Lowey urged the Department of Education “to immediately adopt standards to prevent imbalanced programs, particularly those that may spread anti-Semitic attitudes, from receiving funds.” She also asked Duncan to look into excluding programs that have an anti-Israel agenda. The Higher Education Act Title VI funding was established to enhance the study of foreign language and international studies at colleges and universities. (JTA)
Lech-Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)
oah was not destined to be the father of the Jewish people or founder of our faith. Though the most righteous one in his corrupt generation, he failed to reach out and save human lives besides those of his own family. Thus, the rabbis who were aware of Noah’s disturbing limitations in the terse Biblical text turned to instructive Midrashic fancy. They suggested that Noah did warn the people while building the ark of survival to take heed and mend their ways, but to no avail. The flood itself was conceived of as a gradual process to awaken human repentance and transformation, averting disaster. Abraham was chosen to begin the chain of Jewish life, learning and love, for he proved to possess, unlike Noah, that healthy dose of surging chutzpah that challenges even God when necessary. This confrontational response for the sake of heaven and humanity, has allowed Jews ever since to heroically transcend limiting boundaries and smash the idols of stifling and dehu-
manizing convention. The thundering divine call and command to Abraham, echoing still, Lech-Lecha, to venture forth from his familial and familiar environment—physically, spiritually and psychologically—both pushed and permitted him to depart from the world he had received in order to usher in a new one. Isaac was ultimately spared on the altar of the practiced pagan custom of child sacrifices, because his father dared embrace, not without divine intervention, the precious yet precarious gift of life and call it holy. The members of our first family of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael proved to be complex and conflicted individuals. Their very touching humanity reflects the courageous approach of our sacred literature to be faithful to reality’s truth. But the flawed humaneness of our heroes, as well as our own, becomes a noble opportunity and invitation to discover the divine potential within us to grow and change and mature. God’s fulfilled promise was that all the members of Abraham’s fractured family facing the threat of fratricide will be blessed, each one in a distinct and unique way, with restored dignity and hope. This proud foundational legacy remains our Jewish charge to turn pain into promise, hurt into healing, and blemishes into blessings. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim.
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Dr. Einat Wilf brings young, passionate perspective to year’s first Israel Today Forum Thursday, Oct. 30, 7:30 pm
Einat Wilf at the Knesset. by Laine M. Rutherford
he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partners present the first speaker in the 2014-2015 Israel Today Forum: the Honorable Einat Wilf at the Sandler Family Campus next week. Wilf will speak specifically about the topic, Danger Zone: What Regional Turmoil Means for Israel. In this free presentation, which is open to the community, Wilf will also share her views and insights on a variety of other timely issues relevant to life in Israel today. Wilf holds the distinction of being the first female speaker featured in the four-year-old, increasingly popular speaker series. She has a diverse voice that is reflective of a changing Israeli society. Born and raised in Israel, Wilf served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israel Defense Forces, was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and, most recently, was a member of the Knesset.
A Har vard University graduate, Wilf also earned an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. Currently, Wilf is a Senior Fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute, and an Adjunct Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Married, Wilf is the mother of three children under the age of four. Mentioned as a possible future Israeli Prime Minister, Wilf is a passionate and articulate representative on issues she deems important to Israel’s future: economics, education, foreign policy, Jewish peoplehood and society. Last week, Jewish News spoke by phone with Wilf in Israel. She proved to be an eloquent, emotive and thoughtful conversationalist. She’s looking forward to her visit to Virginia Beach, and is excited to share more of her insights and perspectives with the community on October 30. The following dialogue contains excerpts from our discussion: Jewish News: What would you say are the main areas of concern in the region, and how do they affect Israel? I wouldn’t say that there is a single concern, because basically what we’re seeing engulfing the entire Middle East is one of those once in a century, or once in several centuries, events that really shape a region. There’s a battle between an old order and a new order that is in the process of emerging. We’re seeing fighting
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between forces of progress and reactionary forces, between the post-World War I order and between tribal, sectarian, ethnic and religious loyalties. We’re seeing the rise of the whole variety of extremist ideologies. Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran: all of these are concerns that are part of this bigger picture of a region where a lot of forces have been kept at bay for a very long time. And now they’re all exploding on the scene. Literally. I would say that the greatest challenge and concern for Israel is how to maintain itself, as isolated as possible, from all of that turmoil. Essentially, what we have is a massive storm blowing outside and we need to be able to sustain ourselves for a very long time during that storm and, as much as possible, not let that storm affect our lives. JN: You’ve said that Israel should be a neutral bunker. Can you explain what you mean by that and how it relates to what’s happening in the Middle East now? Not completely joking, I used the comparison of Switzerland when describing this idea. Right now, we think of Switzerland as a lovely, quiet place, but for centuries, Europe was a very bloody and brutal continent. The Swiss had to basically sustain themselves as a bunker, and as a neutral bunker, in the middle of these brutal sectarian wars—wars of religion, wars of ideology. What many don’t realize, is that the Swiss army was very well trained and a formidable force that for many centuries protected Switzerland against the dangers of Europe. I think that’s what the Israeli Defense Forces will have to be. We will have to be the forces that truly defend our country from all the bloodshed and brutality outside. We need to understand that we will need to be this “bunker” for a very long time. I think that this fighting is going to go on for at least several decades, if not a century, if not more. I wouldn’t build on
prospects that are much rosier than that. However, it does not mean that life in the bunker cannot be good. JN: After the recent war with Gaza, what would you say the mood is like in Israel? It’s definitely been an exhausting summer. I think people are eager, you can see it in people’s behavior, to get back to normal as much as possible. But what you get is a sense, hovering in the air, of truly a bigger question: “What’s next?” I think in a much broader sense, people have a feeling—whether it’s on the left, or on the right—that a two-state solution as envisioned in the 90s is kind of looking less and less likely. If you read the Israeli op-eds, if you’re in discussions these days, a lot of them ask, “Is Israel becoming a binational state?” and “Is there a one state solution?” The thing is, that even the word “solution” itself has become in a way tainted. People no longer believe in “solution,” in the idea that you can sign an agreement and you can tie up things nicely in a bow, and then it’s over, and you can begin to deal with domestic issues unhindered by external issues. I think more and more people are coming to the realization that Israel will have to be at war or on the defensive, in terms of physical defensive, for a very long time. This kind of realization that is dawning on people is causing a lot of reflection, a lot of discussion. “What does it mean? Are we ready for that? If we are going to be a fighting society—for however many more years—shouldn’t we be a more socially cohesive society? Shouldn’t these things work together to be an egalitarian state? Can we afford high inequality?” So, it is a total mood of questioning, in terms of what’s next. A dawning of harsh realities. And no one, I think, has any more certainty, no more than they have an answer, about what the solution
is. Which is why people on the outside, who seem to offer solutions, annoy us—not by the fact that they’re for us or against us—but because the whole notion of having a solution doesn’t resonate any more. JNews: You’re considered a very dynamic young leader in Israel. It’s even been said that you could be a potential future Prime Minister of the state of Israel. Would you consider doing that? When that appeared in the French papers, it was the biggest surprise I ever had! It was never my ambition. My ambition was always in the big issues of domestic policy or foreign policy. I’ve always wanted to be an Israeli voice unto the nations. I definitely want to go back to politics and I definitely want to have a life in public service. I can’t see myself doing anything else. JNews: Why is it important for us to learn about events in Israel and the Middle East? On a broad scale I’d say that there is no such thing as being separate from the world these days. Specifically, on Israel and the Jewish community, I will encourage people to think about Israel as the most exciting, and difficult, project that the Jewish people have undertaken in centuries, if not longer. Establishing
the state was the least of it. Being truly sovereign, accepting responsibility for shaping our own fate, wielding power— which is something we are sometimes queasy about, but is in essence a part of being sovereign and being a state—are things that we are figuring out. Israel can’t do it alone. We are much better when we have this discussion with, and in the context of, the entire Jewish community. I would say that only by engaging with Israel can you have a full Jewish identity. It doesn’t mean you have to buy real estate here. But the idea of being a
sovereign Jew, of accepting responsibility for every part of life, from waging war to putting together a budget, to deciding what it means to be the Jewish state, I think is tremendously exciting. And difficult. And messy. And we should understand that as soon as we do anything interesting in life it’s going to be messy and difficult. For more information and to RSVP for this event, visit JewishVA.org/CRCIsraelToday, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 757-965-6107. RSVP by Oct. 27.
Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards accepting nominations for 2015 (JTA)—The Helen Diller Family Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2015 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, which recognize Jewish teens for their leadership and innovative social action projects. Fifteen teens, up to five from California and 10 from communities throughout the United States, each will receive $36,000 for the award, which recognizes the teens’ philanthropic efforts. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 14. The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have granted more than $2 million to 55 U.S. Jewish teens. Last year’s recipients came from California, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia and Illinois. Past recipients have made their mark
through projects including building soccer fields and water wells to bring people together in war-torn regions of the world; donating textbooks and school supplies to financially strapped schools in California and around the globe; collecting and distributing shoes to homeless children so they can participate in life outside their shelters; and raising awareness and changing attitudes about bullying and autism through peer-to-peer programs. The award is one of a number of projects funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties, to develop leadership in teens and enhance Jewish education.
“The Foundation believes in the importance of shining a spotlight on exemplary Jewish teens to build future generations of strong Jewish leaders,” says Helen Diller, president of the foundation. “It is our hope that the awards will not only validate the social efforts of a generation of Jewish teens but empower them to continue on their philanthropic journeys to repair the world.”
jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 7
Global surges of anti-Semitism
Surge in anti-Semitism
rom Paris to Germany to Santa Barbara to Atlanta and unfortunately, most places in between, overt anti-Semitism has returned. This month in the U.S., for example, Sears’ website touted rings with swastikas, cars were blown up near synagogues and more than one Jewish fraternity was vandalized. And these are but a few examples of what is taking place across America. In fact, last week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a security alert to Jewish institutions concerning online attacks “targeting
the websites of synagogues and other Jewish organizations, which could compromise lists and financial data.” The alert was based on an attack of a South Florida synagogue’s website which redirected visitors to a page with messages expressing support for the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. (UJFT’s Community Relations Council shared this alert with area synagogues last week.) A program to educate the community on the situation and to provide tools to help combat these disturbing incidents is now being planned
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by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The event will take place in January. Until then, and in cooperation with the Community Relations Council, Jewish News will report on world and local anti-Semitic events. Fortunately, there is some good news such as the story on page 9 about the Baptist World Alliance taking a stand against anti-Semitism. We’ll report the positive, too. Visit jewishnewsva.org and Facebook.com/ CRCUJFT for the latest information. We plan to keep you informed.
Car explodes at Atlantic City synagogue
synagogue leader’s car exploded in a suspected arson attack in Atlantic City, N.J. In the wee hours of Sept. 27, several hours after the close of Rosh Hashanah, police discovered a Ford Explorer engulfed in flames outside Congregation Rodef Sholom, an Orthodox shul. The fire caused severe damage to the parking lot and the synagogue’s outer walls, according to the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia. The car belonged to David Kushner, who serves as spiritual leader of the southern New Jersey synagogue though he is not an ordained rabbi. Kushner, who runs a wedding hall in Lakewood, N.J., learned about the fire when he showed up for Sabbath services the next morning.
“The car had been towed overnight immediately after the incident by the Fire Department for further investigation, so I saw charred remains,” Kushner told the Jewish Exponent, which quoted Kushner as saying that firemen were examining whether the blaze was a hate crime. The synagogue hasn’t had any previous occurrences of anti-Semitism, the newspaper said. “The fact that in America in 2014, a rabbi’s car parked at his synagogue during Rosh Hashanah services could be engulfed in flames and the subject of arson is beyond comprehension,” Nancy Baron-Baer, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director, told the Jewish Exponent. “Synagogues need to be alert every day.” (JTA)
Global surges of anti-Semitism
Baptist World Alliance stands against anti-Semitism
Baptist group in the United States issued a resolution reaffirming the “historic American Baptist stand against anti-Semitism” last month. The resolution, issued by American Baptist Churches USA’s (ABC USA) International Ministries (IM), declares anti-Semitism to be “wholly contrary to Jesus’ teaching” and that it “demeans Jesus and all people of Jewish ethnicity.” Baptist members and congregations are urged to sensitize themselves to issues associated with a nt i-S em it i s m by providing “age-appropr iNumber ate, Biblically of resolutions contextualized the American teaching within the congregation Baptist Churches concerning the USA have made Holocaust and against other forms of anit-Semitism genocide.” Individuals, churches and ABC USA mission partners within and outside the U.S. are also encouraged “to reach out to Jewish neighbors and/or synagogues to build relationships of solidarity and to initiate mutual actions to confront anti-Semitic attitudes and actions.” IM commended Baptists in Romania for their strong stance against anti-Semitism in the Eastern European country. “Anti-Semitic attitudes are intolerable at any time and in any place,” the letter to the Romanians read. In reference to anti-Semitic sentiments expressed on Romanian airwaves late last year, IM told Romanian Baptists they “were
deeply encouraged to read of the Baptist union’s courageous press release concerning the intolerant and anti-Semitic remarks that were aired on December 13, 2013, on Romanian radio.” Among the events IM denounced were the defacing of an exhibition of child Holocaust victims in Paris, France, in January; the defacing of the Holocaust Memorial in Philadelphia in the U.S., in March; the painting of swastikas and anti-Semite graffiti on a Holocaust monument in Odessa, Ukraine, in April; shootings at both the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood, both in Kansas in the U.S., in April; and the shooting of four persons at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, in May. The resolution, which was adopted on the 9/11 anniversary in the U.S., followed similar resolutions by American Baptists in 1976, 1983 and 1989. The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 231 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 42 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism, promoting worship, fellowship and unity, responding to people in need, defending human rights and justice and advancing relevant theological reflection.
“AntiSemitic attitudes are intolerable at any time and in any place.”
Fliers posted at UC Santa Barbara blame Jews for 9/11
series of fliers posted on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, accused Jews of being behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The fliers, which appeared around campus in late September, when students were moving in for the fall semester, declared that “9/11 Was an Outside Job,” with a large blue Star of David. The text urged readers to visit websites arguing that the attacks were the result of an international Zionist conspiracy and to Google terms such as “9/11 Was Mossad.” Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of UC Santa Barbara’s Hillel, estimated
that up to 10 fliers were posted around campus, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported. In a posting on the blog for the Santa Barbara Hillel, Goodman said that Hillel and university staff along with students had taken down the fliers, and that there was no indication that any students or student groups had put them up. Goodman’s post noted that the first student to take down a flier and bring it to Hillel was a Muslim student leader. He also said that the “UCSB administration has been prompt and proactive in their response to these postings.” (JTA)
Jews jeer Toronto candidate Doug Ford’s defense of mayor brother
oronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford drew boos and jeers from a Jewish audience while trying to defend his brother, the current mayor, Rob Ford. Doug Ford during a candidates’ debate on Sunday, Oct. 5 sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto was trying to distance himself from racist remarks made several months earlier by his brother. The exchange began when a Jewish candidate, Ari Goldkind, said he could not stay silent about the comments made by Rob Ford in March that included cursing and pejoratives for Jews, blacks and Italians. Asked about containing anti-Semitism, Goldkind said, “I would start by not having a mayor who refers to us, the people in this room, the Jewish people in this room, with a derogatory name that starts with k. The fact that he insulted my religion, whether it was under the influence or not, we cannot have a mayor like that. Because that is where it starts.” Doug Ford said his brother, whose term in office has been plagued by allegations of drug
and alcohol abuse, had apologized for the slurs. “I have told him very clearly that it was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he said. Doug Ford added: “You know something, my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish…accountant,” he began, as booing nearly drowned him out. “We’ve known, our family, can you please, please let me finish. Our family has the utmost respect. Let me finish. Please. My family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community, and we look forward to working with the Jewish community, as we have for the last four years.” The Toronto UJA Federation’s campaign director, Steve Shulman, told the Globe and Mail that Doug Ford’s response was phrased “maybe in an inelegant way,” but he commended the four candidates for agreeing that there was no place in the city for such bigotry. Last month, Rob Ford announced that he would not seek re-election because of a cancer diagnosis. At the last minute his brother, a city councilman, said he would run for mayor. (JTA)
Swastika painted on Spokane synagogue during Yom Kippur services
swastika was painted on the wall of a synagogue in Spokane, Wash., as Yom Kippur services were taking place. On Saturday, Oct. 4, the swastika was painted on the concrete wall of Temple
Beth Shalom’s enclosed courtyard, according to local reports. Spokane Police are reviewing the synagogue’s security camera footage, according to reports. (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 9
Global surges of anti-Semitism
Lee’s will said a lot about him. What does your will say about you? Virginia Beach attorney H. Lee Kanter loved the arts and always leaped to his feet to shout “bravo” after cultural performances. Before he died in 2001, Lee arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to provide grants for performing arts in Hampton Roads. anter grants have helped Virginia Arts Festival, Kanter Todd Rosenlieb Dance and the Virginia Symphony. Thanks to Lee’s generosity he will forever bring great performances to his home region. Connect your passion to the futuree by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
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Pamela Geller-led group sues NYC’s MTA over ‘killing Jews’ ad
pro-Israel group sued New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority for rejecting its advertisement on the city’s public transportation. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is headed by blogger Pamela Geller and is known for its sharp anti-Muslim rhetoric, sought to post an ad that included the quote “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah.” Geller says the quote is from Hamasaffiliated TV and exposes the organization’s true agenda. The lawsuit was filed Oct. 1 in a federal court in Manhattan, The Associated Press reported.
The MTA had said that the ad could be seen as a call to violence against Jews and violated its “viewpoint-neutral” advertising standards. The American Freedom Defense Initiative alleged that its free speech and due process rights were violated. It noted that the ad has run in other cities without inciting violence. Geller and her group have drawn attention for their controversial ads. In a rare backdown recently, the group complied with a request from the family of journalist James Foley to remove from an ad an image from the video depicting his beheading in August. (JTA)
Swastikas drawn on Yale dorm steps
wastikas were drawn in chalk on the steps of a Yale University dormitory. The swastikas were discovered early Sunday, Oct. 12 on the New Haven, Conn., campus. The Yale Police Department was investigating but had no leads as of Tuesday, Oct. 14 the Yale Daily News reported. “I condemn this shameful defacement, perpetrated anonymously under cover of night,” Yale dean Jonathan Holloway wrote in an email to the campus community. “There is no room for hate in this house. “The use of the swastika violates our values of respect, thoughtfulness, gener-
osity, and goodwill. I will not stand idly by when this or other symbols of hate are used on this campus. It is my hope that you will join me in taking a similar stand.” Following the discovery of the swastikas, Yale students gathered outside the dorm to write messages of support for the Jewish community as part of a chalk mural. Last month, two swastikas were drawn on a whiteboard in a Yale lecture hall. The follows several incidents of swastikas drawn on campuses, including at Emory and Eastern Michigan. (JTA)
Sears removes swastika ring for sale on website NEW YORK—The retailing giant Sears removed a swastika ring offered for sale on its website. The item was listed under the “men’s punk rock style” jewelry collection. “This gothic jewelry item in particular features a Swastika ring that’s made of .925 Thai silver,” the item description read. “Not for Neo Nazi or any Nazi implication. These jewelry items are going to make you look beautiful at your next dinner date.”
10 | Jewish News | October 20, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
After consumers called attention to the item, a Sears representative responded via Twitter: “This item is a 3rd party Sears Marketplace product that does not abide with our guidelines and is being removed.” The item also was for sale on Amazon. com, though it is listed currently as unavailable. The Jewish parenting website Kveller posted an image of the Sears page with the swastika ring before it was taken down. (JTA)
Global surges of anti-Semitism Jewish leader attacked by pro-Palestinian assailant after Nets-Maccabi game NEW YORK (JTA)—Leonard Petlakh, the head of a Jewish Y in Brooklyn, was attacked by a pro-Palestinian protester following the exhibition basketball game between the NBA’s Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay Y, said he required eight stitches and his nose was broken after being punched on Tuesday, Oct. 7 while exiting the Barclays Center arena following the Nets’ 111-94 victory. Prior to the game, a reception was held to raise funds for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Fans verbally sparred inside the arena as the game was ending when pro-Pales-
tinian protesters began shouting slogans and a pro-Israel fan grabbed a Palestinian flag from one of the protesters, according to Petlakh. As the crowds spilled out of the arena and onto the street, one of the protesters took a swing at Petlakh, who was with his 14- and 10-year-old sons. “The last thing I remember is this guy screaming ‘Free Palestine’ and then a really strong punch,” Petlakh told JTA. “To get bloodied in front of your kids, it really crosses all the red lines.” The assailant ran away and Petlakh sought medical care. He reported the incident to the police, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
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Knife-wielding biker near Vienna synagogue is arrested
biker brandishing a knife and shouting anti-Semitic slogans in front of Vienna’s main synagogue was arrested. The biker, identified as Markus G., 51, was taken into custody by Austrian police on Oct. 4, the news site oe24.at reported. According to the report, the man assaulted police when they approached
him but he did not hurt anyone prior to his arrest. His demeanor suggested he was inebriated but he refused to undergo an alcohol test. In 1981, two people who had attended a bar mitzvah ceremony at the synagogue were murdered and 30 were injured in an armed attack by Palestinian terrorists. (JTA)
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Police thwart attack on Jewish site in Buenos Aires BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ( JTA)— Argentine police arrested a man suspected of planning to attack a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Argentina’s national security secretary, Sergio Berni, said that police received an alert from Interpol of a possible plot to attack the Sociedad Hebraica. The suspect, 57, was arrested Tuesday, Oct. 7 at an Internet cafe in Buenos Aires by the Anti-Terrorist Division of the Federal Police. Berni declined to provide additional details other than to say that 1,500 security personnel had been deployed to 99 sites
during the Jewish High Holidays season. After a threat posted on Facebook, the Sociedad Hebraica was evacuated on the night of Oct. 2 and was closed the following day for security reasons. “We are very satisfied by the actions of the police and the Justice Ministry in this case,” Julio Schlosser, the president of Argentina’s political umbrella group, DAIA, told Argentine media. Buenos Aires was the site of two major attacks on Jewish sites in the 1990s. A 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy killed 29. The 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center left 85 dead.
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at the Simon Family JCC
Nine author presentations, thousands of books November 2–16
resh books and colorful book covers means book festival time at the Simon Family JCC. The Cardo area of the Sandler Family Campus will be filled with books of all shapes and sizes, as the JCC presents The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival 2014 next month. Books of all types, including adult novels, non-fiction, local interest, cookbooks, books for children, as well as the works of the nine authors who are making presentations will be sold. Author presentations reflect the diversity of the categories of books on display, and range from learning to play the cello to opposing the Harlem Globetrotters, to a new generation of kosher recipes.
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by Leslie Shroyer
Young children will have Shabbat fun and older children and teens will be engaged at a presentation about a how to be “plugged in” to social media without neglecting the necessity and power of physical, human interaction. And, people of all ages will learn about having organic, meaningful relationships in The Green Bubbie, the author book event presented for the Global Day of Jewish Learning on Sunday, Nov. 16. Christianity’s involvement in widespread anti-Jewish sentiment and action during the Holocaust will be explored and the teachings of Menachen M. Schnerson will be discussed. The book committee works closely with the JCC’s cultural arts department, producing one of the JCC’s largest cultural arts undertaking each November, carefully
selecting books to sell and authors to present interesting topics. The authors are chosen after a Jewish Book Council meeting in June. Sponsors of the Book Festival include the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel (providing authors’ accommodations), Barnes & Noble (supplying most of the books for sale), and Beth Sholom Village (catering events). Events are free, with the exception of two luncheons, as noted in the schedule on page 15. For more details about the Book Festival, visit SimonFamilyJCC.org or call 757-321-2336. *of blessed memory The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Sunday, Nov. 2, 2 pm
Thursday, Nov. 6, 12 pm
Under The Tree
Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation
by Danielle Leibovici This enchanting tale will appeal to any child or adult who has ever found themselves in an unfamiliar place. Come along on the boy’s big adventure and see just what he discovers before he can return home. Written by a local award winning author. For children ages 4–10 Presented in partnership with Children & Family Programs of the Simon Family JCC.
Monday, Nov. 3, 7 pm
by Cantor Mitch Kowitz
Cantor Mitch brings Kosher cooking to a new generation and away from the stove. Kosher Cuisine For a New Generation is the perfect kitchen companion for anyone looking to put the chutzpah in cooking. Whether looking for soups, salads, or favorite family recipes, it can be found in this one-of-a-kind creation from the infamous Singing Chef. Presented in partnership with Beth Sholom Village and Jewish Family Service. $10 per person • RSVP to 757-321-2338 by Nov. 2
Sunday, Nov. 9, 1 pm
Thursday, Nov. 13, 12 pm
The Holocaust, The Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences by Anthony Sciolino
In a haunting yet readable history, Sciolino shows how Christian anti-Semitism contributed to the church’s silent complicity. Both an indictment for past misdeeds and a call to a more responsible future, The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences is poised to add new depth to discussions of Christianity’s involvement in widespread anti-Jewish sentiment and action. Presented in partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. Box lunch available for $8.50 • Purchase by Nov. 7, RSVP to 757-321-2338
Friday, Nov. 14, 11 am
by Joseph Telushkin This popular rabbi, scholar and author of 18 books presents his latest work about the life and teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, who defied conventional boundaries and turned Chabad-Lubavitch into a dynamic and widespread Jewish organization. Event is sponsored by generous community members.
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7 pm
Beyond Texting by Debra Fine
Beyond Texting is the first book for teens to explain how to be plugged in without neglecting the necessity and power of physical, human interaction. Offering practical advice and cheat sheets, Beyond Texting strives to help teens balance their digital and real world image and relationships. For ages 13 and up. Presented in partnership with BBYO.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 7 pm
Shabbat is Coming! by Tracy Newman
Shabbat is Coming! is the newest title in Kar-Ben’s Very First Board Books series introducing young children to Jewish life. Told in simple rhyme, a family and their pet puppy eagerly prepare for Shabbat. For preschool age children. Presented in partnership with Strelitz Early Childhood Center.
Sunday, Nov. 16, 1–3 pm Global Day of Jewish Learning
The Late Starters Orchestra
by Ari Goldman • Community Read Goldman is a former New York Times reporter and the author of a New York Times Notable Book. In The Late Starters Orchestra readers follow his personal account of what happens when a middle-aged writer picks up the cello for the first time in 25 years and reignites his passion for music. Dessert reception and music performed by Alan Bartel and other local musicians.
The Legend of Red Klotz:
How Basketball’s Loss Leader Won Over the World 14,000 Times by Tim Kelly
During a career spanning eight decades, Red opposed the Harlem Globetrotters 14,000 times, beating them just once on his winning shot. This biography traces Red’s unlikely journey as basketball’s most traveled man, overcoming his small stature, anti-Semitism, the Great Depression and WWII to succeed in basketball. Presented in partnership with YAD and the Men’s Cabinet of the UJFT. Includes concession style dinner at 6 pm, with contests and prizes after. Come dressed to play ball. RSVP to email@example.com
The Green Bubbie by Ruth Feldman
The Green Bubbie is for grownups of all ages who want to reach out and connect—to have real, organic, intergenerational relationships in real time with real people. It’s about unconditional love and the nourishment we give and get from the Garden of Life. Presented in partnership with the Board of Rabbis and Cantors of Hampton Roads.
jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 13
Rabbi’s coming-out highlights dramatic shift in Conservative Judaism
by Anthony Weiss
LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Gil Steinlauf, a nationally prominent Conservative rabbi, made headlines this month when he announced to his large Washington, D.C., synagogue that he is gay, and that he and his wife of 20 years would divorce. As surprised as his congregants at Adas Israel may have been by the news, it was Steinlauf, the congregation’s senior rabbi, who found himself stunned by the response to it. “There’s been so much positive energy from the congregation, and I’m getting a constant flood of emails, calls, texts and Facebook expressing every positive sentiment you could imagine,” Steinlauf says. In fact, Steinlauf and some of his congregants say the response within the congregation has been exclusively positive, including a supportive letter from the synagogue’s president, Arnie Podgorsky. Posts on Steinlauf’s Facebook page have come from as far as Israel and South Africa, and have included posts from Conservative movement officials. “[O]vernight you have also become a role model to LGBT Jews everywhere, in particular within the Conservative Movement,” wrote Aimee Close, the transformation specialist for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement’s congregational arm. “On behalf of all of us, thank you for your courage and your leadership.” Steinlauf’s proclamation marked the culmination of a long, painful personal
journey that included being bullied as a child, years denying his sexuality and a struggle to maintain a loving but ultimately unsustainable marriage. The reaction to his announcement is a culmination for the Conservative movement itself. Fewer than eight years ago, Conservative doctrine stated that homosexual behavior was antithetical to Jewish law, that gays could not marry or serve as clergy and that a rabbi could be forced from the pulpit for coming out as gay. At Conservative congregations, gays and lesbians were welcome “as individual members.” Then came the movement’s controversial December 2006 adoption of a responsum declaring that homosexuality was permissible under its interpretation of halachah, or traditional Jewish law. The ruling paved the way for the ordination of openly gay rabbis at American seminaries and for Conservative rabbis to officiate at same-sex weddings. These changes in the Conservative movement also opened the door for widespread and open acceptance of gays and lesbians within the movement. Coupled with a sea change in American attitudes toward vastly greater support for gay and lesbians, such shifts transformed Conservative Judaism from a realm in which homosexuality was ignored or denounced to one in which, for many younger Conservative Jews, being gay is utterly unremarkable. Steinlauf, in fact, bridged the two generations, coming of age when awareness of gays and gay issues was changing, but acceptance had not yet come in the Conservative movement. “When I was at the Jewish Theological Seminary—graduated in 1998—there were plenty of gay people there, but they were all closeted because it was not a safe environment to be gay,” Steinlauf recalls, noting that at the time he did not think of himself as gay. Some movement leaders, too, were
14 | Jewish News | October 20, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
aware that there were closeted students in their ranks. “What we were saying, as the deans of rabbinical schools, was that they had to lie about themselves,” says Rabbi Elliott Dorff, a former dean of the movement’s Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at what is now known as American Jewish University in Los Angeles, and now serves at the university as rector and a philosophy professor. “I thought that was just immoral.” However, the conversation over gay inclusion was starting to shift, particularly at progressive congregations like Adas Israel. Members say that efforts to accommodate gay and lesbian members starting in the 1990s were quiet at first—aliyot for gay couples, changes to membership structure to accommodate gay families. “It wasn’t as public as it is today, and it wasn’t as talked about,” says Toni Bickart, a former president of Adas Israel. But the momentum was growing, and in 2003, members of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Law and Standards asked that the issue be brought up again. Following three years of discussions, drafts of opinions and political maneuvering, in December 2006 a majority of the 25-member committee voted in favor of two legal responsa—one stated that homosexuality was halachically acceptable and one said it was not, with each receiving 13 votes. (One rabbi voted for both, in the name of pluralism, and an additional responsum advocating for gay conversion therapy passed as a minority opinion with six votes.) By the unique rules of the law committee, where any ruling that garners six or more votes is considered valid, it meant that the fight for full gay rights in the movement had ended in triumph. Proof of the victory came quickly. Most of the members opposed to halachic acceptance of homosexuality resigned from the law committee. The Ziegler School (now led by Rabbi Bradley Artson, whose progay legal opinion had been rejected by the movement back in 1992) promptly announced that gay applicants were welcome; the Jewish Theological Seminary in
New York followed suit several months later. Steinlauf was inspired by the movement’s decision to increase his activism on inclusion for gays as well as other marginalized groups, such as the terrorized residents of the Darfur region in Sudan. He also began to speak about his own experiences in the course of counseling synagogue members, telling gay and lesbian congregants about being called a “faggot” by his peers as a child. It was, he says, part of his journey toward acknowledging that he is gay. In the meantime, voices of opposition have faded or shifted. Rabbi Danny Nevins, who co-authored the 2006 gay rights opinion alongside Dorff and Rabbi Avraham Reisner, and who now leads the rabbinical school at JTS, says that while a few opponents retired from Conservative institutions like JTS, most reconciled themselves to the change and continued to support their students, including gay and newly out students. But there do remain some within the Conservative movement who oppose the shift, arguing that it cannot be reconciled with halachah. “Sadness and disappointment at the Movement’s inability to be guided by traditional Jewish morality has led me and others to feel that the Conservative Judaism we knew is no longer,” Rabbi Harlan Wechsler, rabbi emeritus at Congregation Or Zarua in Manhattan, says. Yet even for some opponents, the debate over gay rights, both legal and beyond, has been transformative. Rabbi Paul Plotkin of Temple Beth Am in Margate, Fla., who opposed the 2006 law committee decision advancing gay inclusion, and who remains unconvinced that homosexuality can be reconciled with Jewish law, says his thinking on the issue, and his encounters with gay individuals, changed how he understood and interacted with gay people. “My personal interactions, my overview, my understanding have dramatically evolved to become much more accepting,” Plotkin says. “After a while, ‘gays’ stopped being a title. They changed to being people.”
Supplement to Jewish News October 20, 2014
H O M E
HOME Celebrate Your Home!
ith the cooler months on their way, we’re all likely to spend
Also featuring Michael Aram
more time indoors at home, making it
a perfect time to update the feel of a
few rooms. Some people swap pillows
and slipcovers with each season, oth-
ers change furniture around. In this
section, interior designer Francine
Morgan offers some easy suggestions
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email firstname.lastname@example.org www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Beth Weiner Gross, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader
for freshening up your living spaces. For those considering selling their homes, Linda Fox-Jarvis advocates The Shops at Hilltop North 1628 Laskin Road Virginia Beach (757) 422-3313
investing in a few home improve-
Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President
ments before putting your house on the market. When those dollars are spent smartly, she says, homes sell faster and for better prices. Her rec-
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ommendations might make all the difference is how fast a home sells.
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It’s always a good time to relax and enjoy your own home. We hope this section puts you in the mood to do so.
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To improve or not improve? by Jewish News staff
hen it is time to sell, homeowners are often faced with the dilemma of whether or not to invest in improvements to entice wouldbe buyers. For some, it might seem a waste of money, sort of like throwing a party and not attending. Still, when spent on the right area, these dollars might be the best a homeowner spends. “When a homeowner wants to sell, there are certain improvements I recommend that will help them get the highest possible asking price,” says Linda FoxJarvis, CRC. Other renovations, she notes, might be too costly and won’t net a return.
Passing the buck A natural thought for homeowners is that it is best to let the new owners do their own improvements. In fact, when cosmetic issues are needed such as paint and carpet, often sellers will say, ‘I don’t know what colors they will want, let the buyer make their own improvements, I will make an allowance.’ “The problem with this thinking,” says Fox-Jarvis, ”is that when the buyer looks at a home needing these types of improvements, half of them will be turned off. They cannot see beyond the cosmetic issues, they want a move-in ready home, and will move on to the next home. The other half can see past the cosmetic issues and visualize the potential, but they will also see it as ammunition to negotiate on the price. And
what they will do is estimate two to three times what the actual cost will be for that improvement, taking into consideration the aggravation of making the repairs themselves and will make a low ball offer. So my recommendation is to make these cosmetic repairs so that the home sparkles, competes well with other properties on the market, attracts the buyers who are looking for move-in ready and don’t want to do the work, and will help the seller get closer to top dollar for their home.” Fox-Jarvis, managing broker of Linda Fox-Jarvis and Team, RE/MAX Ambassadors, says that walls and floors give the overall first impression and suggests neutral colors and making sure that all walls and floor coverings are in good condition. “The next biggies are the kitchen and the baths,” says Fox-Jarvis. “Buyers want them updated and will pay top dollar for them. With the kitchen, buyers want upgraded appliances and counter tops. The
big thing now are stainless appliances and granite counters.” These upgrades make a huge difference in how the home shows and to potentially getting the highest possible price.
How much to spend? What needs to be considered is the cost of the improvement or repair versus if that improvement/repair is not done. How much lower must the sales price be and how much lower will a buyer probably offer? If the sales price will exceed the cost of the improvement, then it is recommended. “On the floor coverings, I always say that if you are replacing carpet or vinyl, you can put in builders grade or a little above builders grade. The carpet will look new and smell new and that is what helps the home show well. If the seller does not make this improvement, the buyer is going to estimate the cost of the highest quality floor coverings and offer lower, including additional for labor, inconvenience, etc.” says Fox-Jarvis.
Planning Ahead For those who plan ahead, say a couple who knows they will sell when their last child heads off to college, those improvements can be made a few years in advance, so they can be enjoyed. Sort of like getting to attend the party they are hosting. “I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to owners who said, ‘This has always been on my list to do and I wish I had done it earlier so I could have gotten the
Linda Fox-Jarvis, CRC
benefit of the improvement.’ If advance planning is involved, the owner is able to make more substantial upgrades that will really make a difference in the selling price, and will have the time necessary to recoup the costs in increased appreciation. I often have appointments with sellers who are just trying to get a feel for the market and what they should do to improve their property, and yet will not be putting it on the market for a good amount of time.” It is important to realize that what buyers consider is the asking price of the home and the condition and upgrades, compared to the prices of other similar properties that are on the market, and those that have recently sold. “That is the key,” says FoxJarvis, “being competitive in terms of price and condition.”
Three Factors to Selling “There are three factors to selling a home,” says Fox-Jarvis, a 33-year-veteran in the field. First, is price. Next is condition, and the third is marketing. “You can have the right price and condition, but if you don’t have the right agent aggressively marketing your home, no one knows about it and it won’t sell. On the other hand, you can have the right agent marketing, but if the price and condition are not competitive, it will not sell either. If you are not competitive on price and condition, you are just helping sell the other homes on the market, by making them look like a better value than yours,” she says. It’s a lot to consider, but then again, selling your home may be the largest transaction you ever make.
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Creating a space that incorporates prized possessions might be a bit more of a challenge for designers, but the assignment is not at all unusual. After all, it is those artifacts and memories that often make a house feel like a home. ”I like to work with what people have,” says Francine Morgan, a local interior designer with more than 30 years experience. “Mixing the old with the new gives a room an eclectic look. “I always like a room to be coordinated, but not to match-match,” says Morgan. On the other hand, she notes, “Rooms shouldn’t look like a garage sale…that pieces don’t match at all, coming from so many eras.”
Morgan has her own version of the “3 Rs,” only hers are the “Recycle 3 Rs.”
First, Re-Arrange. Morgan says the simple act of moving items around in a room, or from room to room, can make a space feel fresh. “Whether art, accessories or furniture, changing their location can make a big visual impact.” Second, Re-Finish. “A trend today is to give furniture a highgloss lacquer finish,” says Morgan. When furniture is painted, she says, the impact is tremendous, really altering the look of the piece. Of course, traditional furniture re-finishing is another option. Doing so certainly freshens up older furnishings. Third, Re-Upholster. It might seem obvious, Morgan says, but new fabric really does change everything, without completely starting over. Morgan’s “3 Rs” can transform a room, without a transformative budget, she says.
Where to begin? The initial areas to consider changing in a room, says Morgan, are the floors and wall colors. “The first thing I do when I meet with a client is to find a smashing rug and from there we can build on the colors around the room, including on the walls.” Wall coverings, notes Morgan, are big again, and all types, including wall paper and grasscloth. “Designers are using wallpaper again everywhere. For so many years, it was faux painting. Now, that’s in the garbage!” If clients are willing, the next items are a variety of moldings. “Crown molding for where the walls and ceiling meet, chair rails and wainscoting, are three design elements, whether from plaster or wood, that all dress up rooms,” says Morgan.
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Feeling spacious For homeowners who want their spaces to feel open, Morgan says the key to
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making a room feel larger is not a lot of clutter. “Most people are getting rid of the accessories,” she says. (Maybe that cherished great grandmother’s vase needs to safely be put in a cabinet.) says A nd, Morgan, get rid of the heavy big furniture. Excessive furnishings can really close in a room. Recessed lighting, she says, makes ceilings look taller, while hanging chandeliers do the opposite. Save them for a foyer, says Morgan. Bulky draperies and other window coverings also make a room feel smaller. Morgan says a lot of people are just using privacy screens now and are foregoing other traditional window treatments. Also, Morgan says that keeping walls
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ardly a day goes by that we aren’t surrounded by talk of the environment and what each person can do to better live at home in harmony with it. “We’re seeing more and more people who realize that, if each of us does what we can every day, collectively, we can have a tremendous impact,” says Lynda Chervil, a thought leader and green technology advocate whose book, Fool’s Return, mirrors real-life efforts to develop sustainable energy sources. “All the people carrying reusable grocery sacks, people who’ve quit the plastic water bottle habit, folks heating their pools or houses with solar panels—that’s what we should be celebrating.” This year’s March Gallup Environment poll found that 42 percent of Americans believe the outlook for the environment has improved, up from only 26 percent in 2008. Chervil, who studies the science behind green technology, says environmental awareness has ramped up production of affordable goods that can shrink individuals’ carbon footprints. She shares four devices she says would make nice gifts: •H ybridLight Solar Flashlight: These flashlights never need batteries, can be charged from any light source and they always work. The 120 lumens model will burn for eight hours on one charge. HybridLight’s flashlights are so reliable, the Boy Scouts’ Utah National Parks Council endorse them—and they come with a lifetime guarantee. For every 10 hours of use, 100 HybridLight flashlights avert 60 pounds of toxic battery landfill waste. An added very cool note —HybridLights has a mission to light up corners of the world with little or no electricity. Recently, the company supplied everyone in a Kenyan village with their own flashlight. Prices start at less than $20.
•B edol Water Alarm Clock: Imagine a water-powered alarm clock that’s loud enough to scare you out of bed! Bedol’s water clocks run strictly on tap water— no batteries, no nothing else. The energy comes from a natural reaction between the water and two metal plates. The smallest clocks in the line run for six to 12 weeks before the display begins to fade, indicating that the water needs to be changed. Occasionally, you also need to clean the metal plates with vinegar. Prices start at $19. • i Go Green Power Smart Wall: We’ve all heard of the “vampires” in our homes that suck up power whether we’re using them or not—everything from coffee pots to laptops. Stem the bleeding with this surge protector that cuts the suck by up to 85 percent. The unit, which plugs into the wall, has four outlets, two of which are always on. The other two automatically power down when the attached appliance is not in use. Prices start at about $12. •P ama Eco Navigator Satellite Navigation system: This GPS system also saves gasoline by providing the most energy-efficient routes to your destinations, and feedback on your car’s performance, so you can adjust your driving habits to improve your gas mileage. It also saves all your routes, so you can assess their fuel efficiency. Watch for pricing and availability on Amazon. “Most of these items are not only budget priced, they save you money in batteries, electricity and fuel,” Chervil says. “Not only are you doing something great for the planet when you use green technology, you’re taking a load off your wallet.”
Amid drought, Jewish groups push conservation agenda by Anthony Weiss
LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Devorah Brous’ San Fernando Valley home is shaded by green trees, studded with 19 fruit trees and patrolled by a pair of affable chickens that strut around the backyard. But at the moment, she is eager to show a visitor her dying lawn. Comparing the withering grass to a thriving orange tree a few feet away, Brous, the founding executive director of the Jewish-led interfaith environmental and food justice network Netiya, says, “It’s survival of the fittest.” For Netiya—Hebrew for “planting”— and other Jewish environmental groups, California’s debilitating drought has tied together a number of issues that have been gaining prominence in the Jewish activist community: sustainability, social justice and ethically and environmentally responsible food production. Their efforts range in size and scope. In San Diego, the local branch of Hazon had children paint rain barrels that will capture rainwater for irrigation as part of the environmental group’s Sukkot festivities. Meanwhile, in Pescadero, south of San Francisco, the group Wilderness Torah, a Jewish community and education nonprofit
focused on connecting Jewish ritual with the outdoors, hosted a panel discussion on water usage as part of its annual Sukkot on the Farm festival. After the panel, there was a ceremony based on an ancient Temple rite in which the high priest would draw water from the spring and offer it at the altar in hopes of bringing seasonal rains. Participants circling around a fountain “bless the waters of the world and call in the rain,” says Suzannah Sosman, festivals manager for Wilderness Torah. But the main thrust of the work of Jewish groups working on drought relief is water conservation, capture and reuse. “I don’t think people are necessarily aware of how to save water other than turning off their faucets when they’re brushing
their teeth,” Sosman says. Netiya, which organizes religious communities to create sustainable gardens on underused in stitution al lands, has installed gardens at 11 congregations around Los Angeles, including at Ikar, where Brous’ sister, Sharon, is the founding rabbi. All the gardens include drip irrigation, a technique invented in Israel to conserve water during the irrigation process. This summer, Netiya conducted a
series of five workshops focused on water conservation and gardening. At a recent workshop, volunteers helped install a water-capture system that will disperse rainwater on the grounds of a Los Angeles church. At another Netiya event, attendees continued on page 22
Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill
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HOME continued from page 21
helped put in place a greywater irrigation system at the home of Devorah Brous that recycles used water from her washing machine and funnels it to her herb garden. “Every time I turn on the faucet, I’m thinking about all the water that’s not going back into my landscape,” Ashley
Sullivan, who is Jewish and who attended the greywater installation, says. “We use so much perfectly good water once, just rinsing our hands.” For other organizations, water conservation is not simply a response to the drought but a perennial concern. Urban Adamah, an urban farm and
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educational center in Berkeley, not only uses drip irrigation but also began roughly a year ago to grow some of its plants using aquaponics, a system that utilizes 80 percent less water than conventional agriculture. “Even though we’re in a drought now, we’re sort of in a perpetual state of drought in California,” says Adam Berman, the executive director of Urban Adamah. “Our mission is to teach sustainable agricultural practice, of which water conservation is a key part, even in good years.” Brous, in turn, hopes to spark a broader conversation in the Jewish world about the relationship between food and the environment. In the process, she plans to reach out to Stewart and Lynda Resnick, billionaire residents of Beverly Hills, in a bid to bring them into a conversation about food and resources. The Resnicks are among the largest landowners in California’s Central Valley,
as well as among the largest growers of water-intensive crops such as almonds, pistachios and pomegranates. (A JTA request for comment placed with the Resnickowned Roll Global Corp. was not returned.) “Are these boutique perennial crops things that we should be growing in California, or should we grow something else?” Brous asks rhetorically. “There are questions we should be asking.” Judaism originally grew out of the life of a desert people, and though much of Jewish life has long since moved into towns and cities, its foundational texts still speak of ethical principles for caring for land and water. Brous begins her workshops with relevant readings from the Torah, as well as the Koran and the Christian Bible, and she hopes that they can serve as the basis for a renewed Jewish conversation about water, food and environment “It’s still in the text,” she says. “It’s extraordinary spiritual soil to grow from.”
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22 | Jewish News | October 20, 2014 | Home | Jewishnewsva.org
Book ReviewS A mesmerizing tale The Pope and Mussolini (The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe) David I. Kertzer Random House, 2014 549 pages, $32
e are in the debt of prolific and award-winning author David I. Kertzer, the Paul Dupee, Jr. University Rabbi Zoberman professor of social science and professor of anthropology and Italian studies at Brown University, for this eye-opening and sobering account of history. This is a must-read for all seeking the indispensable truth concerning the critical, though controversial bond between Benito Mussolini, Italy’s Fascist dictator, and Pope Pius XI, the Vatican’s leader representing at that time, 300 million Roman Catholics. It was Pope John Paul II who made possible this nearly decade in-the-making breakthrough study. He authorized in 2002 the open sharing of the Vatican’s Secret Archives of Pius XI papacy with full disclosure in 2006, along with Kertzer’s availability of the Italian government archives of the Central State Archive and that of the Italian Foreign Ministry. In a mesmerizing tale, gradually drawing the reader deeper and deeper into a complex web disentangled and clarified by the skillful author, the inescapable conclusion emerges; clearly, the common notion that the Vatican opposed Mussolini’s anti-Jewish racial policies is debunked. The book’s impeccable academic standing of painstaking research with meticulous notes, reflects the extraordinary care undertaken by Kertzer and his team, mindful of the great sensitivities of the discussed issues. Though Pius XI and Mussolini are the main protagonists, the figure and impact throughout of Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli who in 1939 became the much-debated Pope Pius XII, hovers over the entire book.
The year 1922 brings fatefully and fatally together two unlikely men to rise to great power. Achilli Ratti, a priest and librarian appointed Archbishop of Milan, who in 1922 becomes Cardinal as well as Pope Pius XI in a surprise replacement for Pope Benedict XI. His partner to be, Benito Mussolini, a radical socialist leader transformed into Italy’s Fascist movement’s founder, prime minister, and dictator who would inspire Hitler’s own ascent into absolute power. Both Pius XI and Mussolini shared humble backgrounds, authoritarian personalities and disdain for both Communism and modernity represented by the French Revolution which they regarded as the tragic outcome of a Masonic-Jewish plot. The Protestants, too, were deemed a threat by Pius XI and his 1928 encyclical forbade interfaith dialogue, while dissolving Friends of Israel, an international Catholic organization focused on converting Jews when it sought to further aid its purpose by removing the deicide charge, the alleged drinking of Christian blood at the Passover ritual and the Good Friday liturgy reference to the “perfidious Jews.” The Lateran Accords of 1929, based on mutual interests between Pius XI and Mussolini, ended Italy’s hostile church and state separation going back to 1861. A restored privileged Church presence in society’s institutions, with the Vatican reciprocated support for Mussolini as Catholic priests enhanced the Duce’s incredible personality cult in spite of persistent attacks on them by the manipulative leader. It was Cardinal Pacelli, who when elected Pope Pius XII, made sure that gravely ill Pius XI’s intended speech copies—finally somewhat disengaging from Mussolini’s racial policies—for the 10th anniversary of the Accords’ celebration, would disappear upon Pius XI’s death. The Germans vigorously campaigned for Pacelli’s election, “Mussolini’s most powerful ally in the Vatican.” Two missed opportunities to stymie Hitler’s rise: Pope Pius XI’s support for
Hitler in the March 1933 elections in spite of Germany’s Catholic bishops valiant opposition to Hitler, and Mussolini’s denied request to excommunicate Catholic Hitler following his 1938 invasion of Austria, Italy’s benign neighbor. Though the Vatican derided Nazism as neo-Paganism, it was indifferent to the bitter fate of fellow Jewish Italians who were for long an integral and important part of Italian society. In fact, Mussolini’s government utilized medieval anti-Semitic Church literature to impose harsh discrimination laws, driving many Jews to commit suicide or be baptized to escape persecution. A thousand Jews hiding in Rome’s Catholic facilities were transported to Auschwitz. Pope Pius XII’s protest via Cardinal Maglione was not assertive enough. Most of the total 7,500 Italian Jews who were in Auschwitz perished. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman is founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim.
Complex and interesting from a Norfolk native Father, Son, Stone Allan H. Goodman Solomon Publications, 2014 463 pp., $18.99 ISBN 978-0-9670973-6-7
o, what does a Norfolk kid who graduated from Granby High School, practiced law for 18 years and served Hal Sacks as a federal administrative judge for a couple of decades do in his spare time? He writes an enormously complex and interesting historical novel, of course. One might say it is in his genes. Author Goodman’s father, Lenny Goodman, of blessed memory, former Maury High School and University of Virginia baseball star, covered high school sports for the Ledger Dispatch. However, he is no doubt better remembered as the CEO of Shoney’s of Tidewater and as the beloved lay lead-
er for 20 years at Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. Considering the fact that East Jerusalem is in the news as Jewish “settlers” have moved into buildings in a neighborhood that is mainly Arab, reading Father, Son, Stone will provide an excellent historic background for such current events. For those unfamiliar with East Jerusalem or the Sons of Ishmael or Yeshua Bar-Yosef (among many other places, events, and people), Father, Son, Stone will be a first-rate learning experience. For those who have been to Jerusalem, memories of the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Kotel will provide “illustrations” for Goodman’s book. This is an historical novel in every sense of the genre (just check the bibliography) with both fictional and non-fictional characters and events (clearly explicated at the end of the book). However, to ensure that his intentions are perfectly clear, Goodman has an important fictional character comment, “History is a mixture of what is remembered, forgotten, hidden, and confused.” The book opens in the future, year 2035, as the narrator, Nuri ibn Hamid, begins describing his 90-year-old grandfather unfolding a perplexing story to him when he was 18 years old. Goodman has created an historical mystery that, though complex, moves smoothly backward and forward from the seventh century, cleverly weaving the fictional and historical—replete with events (and characters) with which we should all be familiar. Considering current events, we should all look forward to the realization, expressed in the Afterword, of Goodman’s “hope and belief that people can live together in peace, despite their difference.” —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years. • • • Father, Son, Stone will be on sale at the Simon Family JCC Book Festival.
jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 23
what’s happening Dreazen to speak in Newport News on “The Invisible Front”
Joseph Telushkin returns to the JCC Book Festival Monday, Nov. 3, 7 pm
Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 pm, United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula
uthor of The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War, Yochi Dreazen will speak about his new book. One of the most respected military journalists in the country, Dreazen is the managing editor of Foreign Policy, and a frequent guest on NPR programs such as The Diane Rehm Show. Dreazen’s appearance is sponsored by Temple Sinai of Newport News through the Jewish Book Council network and will take place at the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula, 410 City Center Blvd., as part of their annual book fair. The Invisible Front tells the story of the Graham family, Mark, a two-star general, and his wife Carol. The Grahams lost two sons—one to suicide and one in combat—and devoted their lives to fighting the military’s suicide epidemic. Dreazen met the Grahams in 2009, when Mark Graham was commander of Fort Carson, where the couple committed themselves to reducing the stigma surrounding PTSD (Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder) and Yochi Dreazen mental illness and to making it easier for troubled soldiers to get the care they needed. Their efforts put them in direct conflict with an entrenched military bureaucracy that considered mental health problems to be a display of weakness and refused to acknowledge the severity of its suicide problem. Dreazen understands PTSD well, since after two years covering the war in Iraq, often as an embedded frontline reporter, he faced his own struggle with anger, anxiety and depression. Fortunately, a friend in the military identified his symptoms as PTSD and Dreazen was able to get help. Dreazen’s appearance is the first of four author events that Temple Sinai will hold over the next year through the Jewish Book Council network. The programs are also made possible by a grant from the UJCVP. For more information, call Temple Sinai 757-596-8352 or the UJCVP at 757‑930‑1422.
Free Hebrew Reading Crash Course open to community Begins Monday, Nov. 3, 7:15 pm, B’nai Israel
orfolk’s B’nai Israel Congregation is offering a free Hebrew Reading Crash Course to all members of the Tidewater Jewish community. The course is designed to teach those with no basic knowledge of Hebrew how to read the language in five lessons. B’nai Israel is offering the course to inspire unaffiliated Jews to become more involved in Jewish life. An estimated four million American Jews are not affiliated with any religious denomination or institution. For many such Jews, the inability to read Hebrew and understand the synagogue services is an effective barrier to active participation in Jewish life. By teaching them to read Hebrew and making them feel comfortable in synagogues, NJOP, sponsor of the Hebrew Reading Crash Course, hopes to open the door to Jewish growth and
commitment for thousands of previously uninvolved or marginally affiliated Jews. The five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course is geared toward “Jewish beginners,” as well as those who feel left out during synagogue services, unable to follow or appreciate the liturgy. The course begins with learning the Hebrew alphabet and covers basic reading skills, preparing the participant for the experience of reading and understanding the prayer book and other Jewish texts. Those who complete the course will be able to read Hebrew and gain a rudimentary understanding of the prayers in their original language. For more information, call B’nai Israel at 757-627-7358 or NJOP at 800-44-HEBRE(W). B’nai Israel is located at 420 Spotswood Avenue in Ghent.
24 | Jewish News | October 20, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Joseph Telushkin. by Leslie Shroyer
amed by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is the keynote speaker at this year’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. Joseph Telushkin is the bestselling author of Jewish Literacy, A Code of Ethics and Biblical Literacy, among many others. His third visit in recent years to the area, Telushkin will present Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, which published in June. The title indicates that the Rebbe was THE most influential rabbi in modern history. He was unquestionably a leader both inside and outside Chabad-Lubavitch circles. “Although he never sought the position of Rebbe (even going so far as to protest the international campaign for his candidacy) and was initially known to be an introvert, Schneerson quickly became a global ambassador for Judaism when he expanded an obscure group of Hasidic Jews to an international powerhouse of outreach and
education,” says Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, educator, activist, and writer. “Fast forward several decades and the Chabad-Lubavitch global influence reaches far beyond that of any other Jewish institution in history.” “I have been privileged to hear Rabbi Telushkin speak here in our community several times, as well as at Jewish education conferences,” says Miriam Brunn Ruberg, director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Simon Family JCC. She introduced Telushkin when he appeared in Tidewater in 2009. “I own a good number of Rabbi Telushkin’s books. When asked about a Jewish book to give as an award or gift, usually the first words out of my mouth are to mention one of Rabbi Telushkin’s books. He writes Jewish information books in a way that anyone can understand them. They are also very useful for those with a deeper Jewish knowledge, for he puts forth information clearly while at the same time not writing on too simplistic a level.” The book, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s death, is a journalistic exploration of the life of Menachem M. Schneerson. “It will appeal to those curious about the Rebbe’s influence on public life,” says acclaimed author Dara Horn, who presented at last year’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. “Rabbi Telushkin is particularly strong on the Rebbe’s impact on Soviet Jewry, Israel-Diaspora relations and American politics. He includes many revealing anecdotes, along with the Rebbe’s thoughts on subjects ranging from evolution to baseball.” * of blessed memory
what’s happening Virginia Jewish Choral Celebration combines congregations Sunday, Nov. 16, 3:30 pm, Congregation Beth Ahabah, Richmond
ewish choral groups from across the central and southern regions of Virginia will perform as a single choir, in the first-ever Virginia Jewish Choral Celebration at Richmond’s Beth Ahabah. The event is free and open to the public. The Virginia Jewish Choral Celebration will bring togethCharles Woodward. er singers from at least five synagogues: Congregation Beth Israel (Charlottesville), Congregation Beth Ahabah (Richmond), Temple Emmanuel (Roanoke), Congregation Agudath Sholom (Lynchburg), and Ohef Sholom Temple (Norfolk). Four choral directors will contribute their talents directing the choir: Sharon McCord (Charlottesville), Naomi Amos (Lynchburg), Natan Berenshteyn (Richmond) and Charles Woodward (Norfolk). “After participating in the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Biennial Choir, I want-
Stop & Shop…and support Jewish Family Service’s Helping Hearts project Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5–8:30 pm
ed to bring that experience home to the people who were not able to attend,” says Jan Levin, a member of Agudath Sholom, who, together with Ken Roeper, a member of Congregation Beth Ahabah, has spearheaded the initiative. The Virginia Jewish Choral Celebration program includes an assortment of sacred and secular works in a range of musical settings. Ono Adonai, by early 20th century composer, educator and director Max Helfman, offers a classic rendering of a soulful prayer from the S’lichot service, a set of penitential prayers said prior to the High Holidays and other Jewish fast days. By contrast, Sing, Sing, Sing, a 1997 composition by noted jazz musician and Goucher College president Jose Bowen, though based on Psalm 98, has a decidedly modern flair. Finally, Seekers of Peace, by Jewish composer, pianist and educator Simon Sargon, which takes its text from the sacred book Sayings of the Fathers, is peaceful and contemplative in tone. Several of the non-liturgically based program selections may be familiar to many, including a lush choral setting of the popular Israeli song Erev Shel Shoshanim, arranged by Jack Klebanow, and an imaginative four-part rendering of the Hebrew folk song Hine Ma Tov by New York City-based composer and educator Neil Ginsberg. Attendees will also be treated to the haunting Eili, Eili, a soulful poem left behind by Hannah Senesh, a heroic young woman who gave her life to free other Jews
after escaping Nazi Europe. The work is arranged for four voices by London-born Canadian composer Steven Glass. Also featured in the program are original compositions and arrangements by three of the directors. Sharon McCord, director of the Chutzpah choir from Congregation Beth Israel, who arranged the Debbie Friedman song Not by Might, explains, “This song blends the biblical message from Zachariah that a world of peace comes not from might or power, but from a joyful spirit.” Naomi Amos, High Holiday choral director at Agudath Sholom, will direct her composition To Olga, a contemporary choral setting of a poem written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp by a young Holocaust survivor, Alena Sunkova. A third original work, Le Dor va Dor, by Natan Berenshteyn, choral director at Congregation Beth Ahabah, offers a choral setting of a liturgical text expressing the strength of the ties of the Jewish people to God across the generations. The Virginia Jewish Choral Celebration choir is expected to include more than 60 singers. The program includes nine choral pieces presented with commentary by the directors and will run about an hour. Congregation Beth Ahabah is located at 1111 W Franklin Street in Richmond. For more information, contact Ken Roeper at email@example.com or Jan Levin at jan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
ewish Family Service of Tidewater is hosting a ‘one-stop shopping event’ featuring direct sales and community vendors at TowneHall (attached to TowneBank), 137 Mount Pleasant Road in Chesapeake. Free and open to the public, proceeds from vendor fees and door prize tickets will benefit JFS’ Helping Hearts project. The Helping Hearts project provides indigent adults with gifts for the holidays. Call Nikcole Sales at 757-531-7378 for information.
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jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 25
what’s happening New film to host a major world premier in Tidewater Thursday, Nov. 20, 7 pm, Regent University Theater
by Robin Mancoll
ith fresh memories of this past summer’s Operation Protective Edge and the young adults who were casualties of war while defending the State of Israel, the IDF Rabbi Raphael Shore soldiers are back in the spotlight. The risk that these young people take during Israel’s compulsory service in the IDF beginning at age 18, is again in the forefront of the minds of not only Israeli parents, but of all parents. Following a two-year production, the new full-length documentary, Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front, will premier worldwide beginning December 2015. Tidewater will be one of the few communities to offer the film prior to that date, joining Jerusalem, New York and Los Angeles with November screenings. Kevin Lefcoe, Community Relations Council’s Outreach chair says, “As we look for reasons to partner in the community, the work of Jerusalem U and their latest film, Beneath the Helmet, offered another opportunity for us to collaborate with staunch Israel supporters at the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University. “When mentioning the opportunity to the dean of the School of Communications
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at R e ge n t University, Mitch Land, he jumped at the chance to host the premier in their theater and gathered a group of leaders from all corners of the CBN campus to ensure the event would be a success.” Regent’s theater offers stateof-the-art visuals and sound for this free event. RSVP is required to attend. Beneath the Helmet is a film from Jerusalem U, the creators of the PBS featured documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. This coming-of-age story highlights the dramatic transformation of five young Israeli high-school graduates who left their homes and families to become the defenders of a nation and a people. Revealing what young Israelis go through as they train to become IDF soldiers, the lessons and shared values they learn along the way will be appreciated, understood and internalized by the film’s audience. The filmmakers were offered exceptional access into the lives of these young people, which allowed them to bring to the screen rarely seen intimate profiles of IDF soldiers. Following the eight-month basic training of the five teenage stars of the film who enlisted in the paratroopers, Ethiopian
immigrant Private Mekonan, lone soldier Private Oren, Private Elon, Sergeant Coral and Commander Eden will make young adults everywhere step back and evaluate their own identity including answering, to what lengths would they take to defend their own homeland? Living in a country surrounded by enemies, these young soldiers know that the outlook, attitudes and experiences that they share will impact the rest of their lives. Jerusalem U is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 by Rabbi Raphael Shore, that creates films, film-based classes and courses to transform Jewish and Israel education. Shore’s goals with this film are to nurture a greater sense of pride based on a deeper understanding for the Jewish people and its values and to foster the relationship with non-Jews as the country’s humanity and shared values are revealed in the film. Rabbi Shore will discuss the making of the film and why it became an important production at the Nov. 20 event. The CRC will offer free screenings followed by a facilitated discussion of Beneath the Helmet over the course of the next year in local synagogues, schools, churches, civic organizations and more. To host an event, or for more information, contact Robin Mancoll, director of the Community Relations Council at RMancoll@ujft.org. Watch a trailer at www.BeneathHelmet.com. To RSVP (required by Nov. 19) for Tidewater’s premier of the film, Beneath the Helmet, email SMaslin@ujft.org or call 965-6107.
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Tips on Jewish Trips
The Jewish dressmaker FDR turned away “Stitching History” exhibit, open through Feb. 28,The Jewish Museum Milwaukee by Rafael Medoff
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Was the Jewish “lady tailor” who ran a Prague dressmaking shop a potential Nazi spy? The Roosevelt administration apparently thought so. The Jewish Museum Milwaukee recently opened a remarkable exhibit about the late Hedy Strnad, a Jewish-Czech dressmaker who with her husband, Paul, attempted to immigrate to the United States on the eve of the Holocaust. The exhibit has its roots in a December 1939 letter sent by Paul to his cousins in Milwaukee asking them to help seek permission for him and his wife to come to America. Paul enclosed eight of Hedy’s clothing design sketches. He knew the U.S. authorities would turn away refugees who might have trouble finding employment; Hedy’s sketches demonstrated her professional skills. Testimony submitted to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, by the Strnads’ niece, Brigitte Rohaczek, provided the Milwaukee exhibit designers with additional information. She shared poignant memories of her vivacious Aunt Hedy—her real name was Hedwig—and the dressmaking shop she owned and operated in Prague. Hedy—a “lady tailor,” as Rohaczek described her—sometimes had her seamstresses sew clothes for Rohaczek’s dolls. The directors of the Milwaukee museum came up with an innovative way to remember the Strnads: enlisting the costume makers from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater to create clothing based on Hedy’s sketches. The resulting exhibit, “Stitching History from the Holocaust,” is a powerful and moving way to introduce an individual, personal dimension to Holocaust remembrance. It features eight outfits—among them fitted blouses and blazers, paired with A-line skirts, and knee-length dresses that cinched at the waist. Why were the Strnads denied admission to the United States? America’s immigration
laws at the time made it difficult for refugees such as the Strnads to enter, and the way the Roosevelt administration implemented those laws made it even harder. Franklin Roosevelt’s State Department piled on extra requirements and bureaucratic obstacles. In an internal memo in 1940, Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long sketched out his department’s policy to “delay and effectively stop” refugee immigration by putting “every obstacle in the way,” such as requiring additional documents and resorting to “various administrative devices which would postpone and postpone the granting of the visas.” The annual quota of immigrants from Czechoslovakia was small—just 2,874— but even that quota was not filled in any year during FDR’s 12 years in office. In 1940, the year the Strnads wanted to immigrate, the Czech quota was only 68 percent filled; nearly 1,000 quota places sat unused. Even though there was room in the quota, and even though Hedy was a successful businesswoman and the couple had relatives in the United States, the Strnads’ applications were turned down. At the same time the Strnads were seeking a haven, refugee advocates were trying to convince the Roosevelt administration to permit European Jews to settle in areas that were at the time U.S. territories but not states, such as the Virgin Islands and Alaska. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, the governor and legislative assembly of the Virgin Islands offered to open its doors to Jewish refugees, but Roosevelt personally blocked the proposal. In public and private statements, FDR claimed that Nazi spies might sneak into America disguised as refugees. U.S. officials imagined that if spies reached the Virgin Islands, it would put them within easy reach of the mainland United States. (No Nazi spies were ever discovered among the few Jewish refugees who were let into the country.)
As for proposals to settle Jews in Alaska, Interior Secretary Harold Ickes Jr. noted in his diary that Roosevelt said he would support the plan only if no more than 10 percent of the settlers were Jews—so as “to avoid the undoubted criticism that we would be subjected to if there were an undue proportion of Jews,” FDR explained. Shortly after, the administration pushed through legislation that made it even more difficult for Jewish refugees to qualify for U.S. visas. The “close relatives” edict, as it was called, barred the entry of anyone who had close relatives in Europe. The theory was that the Nazis might take their relatives hostage in order to force them to become spies for Hitler. An interesting theory, but there was no evidence to substantiate it.
With all doors shut, the fate of Paul and Hedy—and countless other Jewish refugees—was sealed. They were sent first to the Terezin concentration camp, an hour north of Prague. Then they were deported to the Warsaw Ghetto. What exactly happened next is unclear. They may have been murdered in Warsaw, or they may have been deported, along with the other Jews of Warsaw, to the Treblinka death camp and perished there. The “Stitching History” exhibit is a fitting tribute to a life taken too soon. It is also a sad reminder of a time when the U.S. government regarded Jewish refugees—even a lady tailor from Prague—as a danger. —Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
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calendar October 21 and 28, Tuesdays JCC’s Stroke of the Week continues with Coach Carl Earnshaw. Spend time on tennis strokes in a group setting with an experienced and friendly tennis professional committed to the success of tennis (and pickleball) at the JCC. $8. JCC members (free) October 24, Friday Celebrate Shabbat Under the Stars at the TCC Planetarium/Virginia Beach Campus Science Building Family Planetarium Show. 5:30 pm. Shabbat dinner, 6:30 pm. $15 adult/$10 child (ages 3–16). No late admittance to planetarium show. RSVP required to campjcc@ simonfamilyjcc.org. Sponsored by the Simon family JCC Children and Family Department. October 25, Saturday Another World plays at the NARO Expanded Cinema in Ghent in partnership with the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. See this Israeli Zombie horror flick, directed by Eitan Reuven, in time for Halloween. The film is set in a near post-apocalyptic future, where a biological warfare program goes wrong and turns most of humanity to mindless, murderous creatures. Visit Narocinema.com for details and times.
B’nai Israel Congregation
7:15 on Monday nights (11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1)
OCTOBER 26, SUNDAY Brith Sholom’s Post Holiday Dinner at Beth Sholom Village. Dinner will include matzo ball soup, roasted chicken with bone, brisket, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, potato kugel, raisin challah, sugar-free peach and apple pies and drinks. Entertainment will be a repeat performance of “Fond Memories.” 5:30 pm. $10 for members; $20 for guests. Call Gail at 461-1150 to RSVP.
This class will be led by Rabbi Haber. Please call (757) 627-7358 to register.
October 28, Tuesday First year Melton class begins at the JCC. This dynamic, year-long class meets 10 am–12:30 pm. For more information, call 757‑321-2328 or email mbrunnruberg@simonfamily jcc.org.
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Andy Kline President
October 30, thursday The Community Relations Council and area synagogues, Jewish agencies, organizations and partners kick off Israel Today forum with former Knesset member, Dr. Einat Wilf speaking on the topic of Danger Zone: What Regional Turmoil Means for Israel. 7:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. RSVP by Oct. 27 to jewishva.org/CRC, SMaslin@ujft.org, or 965-6107. See page 6. November 2, Sunday Lecture series at Jewish Museum and Cultural Center begins. “American—With a Jewish Accent” is the subject for the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s 2014–2015 Sunday afternoon lecture series. The first lecturer, Jarrod Tanney, associate professor and Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History at University of North Carolina Wilmington, will discuss the “Borscht Belt to B’nai Mississippi.” 391-9266 or www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org. Brith Sholom meeting at Beth Sholom Village. Board meeting at 10 am, General Meeting at 11am, Brunch at 12 noon.
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November 20, Thursday The Community Relations Council offers an early premier of Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Homefront at the Regent University Theater in Virginia Beach. Appearing at the premier will be special guest, Rabbi Raphael Shore, founder of Jerusalem U and The Clarion Project and executive producer of this film. RSVP (required by Nov.19, IDs will be checked) for this FREE and open to the community event by contacting SMaslin@ujft.org or 965-6107. See page 26. Send submissions for calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Call us today to see how we can help, 757-523-0605 or visit us at www.paydaypayroll.com.
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28 | Jewish News | October 20, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
7/6/11 11:54 AM
Mazel Tov to ACHIEVEMENT On the occasion of his 40th anniversary in the rabbinate, Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Congregation Beth Chaverim, offered the opening prayer at the House Congressman Scott Rigell, Jennifer Zoberman, Rear Admiral Janet Donovan, Rabbi of Representatives Israel Zoberman, Chaplain of the House Patrick J. Conroy and Harel Zoberman. as the guest of Congressman Scott Riggell this past to be a full-time mother. summer. Sources close to Kunis told media outlets before her pregnancy was announced that she planned to have children and raise them Mila Kunis gives birth to girl Jewish actress Mila Kunis gave birth to a Jewish. Kutcher is a follower of the Kabbalah girl. The baby was born Sept. 30 at Cedars- movement and reportedly keeps kosher. (JTA) Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed The father is Kunis’ fiancee, actor Ashton to email@example.com with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engageKutcher. ments and weddings are appropriate simchas to Kunis said in interviews before her delivannounce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a ery that she would take a break from acting daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
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Richard Gere to star in Joseph Cedar movie filmed in Israel JERUSALEM (JTA)—Actor Richard Gere is set to star in a new film by award-winning Israeli director Joseph Cedar. Cedar also wrote the screenplay for the movie, which will be filmed in New York and Israel, the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported. The movie will be called Oppenheimer, according to Yediot, and also star Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi. Two of Cedar’s films, Footnote and Beaufort, were nominated for Academy Awards. Gere was a Golden Globe winner for his role in the film version of Chicago. Meanwhile, the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats is slated to come to Israel for the first time. The musical, which has been running on Broadway for 18 years, will be performed in Israel in November. (JTA)
Anne Sidney Hetherington in Carmina Burana by John Butler. Richmond Ballet 2006. All rights reserved. Photo by Suzanne Grandis.
ED S U IF T S 31 BE C E BY D • jewishnewsva.org | October 20, 2014 | Jewish News | 29
obituaries Boyd Briskin Riverside, Calif—Boyd Briskin, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2014. Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 1932, Boyd moved as a youth to Riverside, Calif. He was active in Scouting, earning the rank of Eagle Scout and as an adult working with scouts and being awarded the Silver Beaver. He played clarinet as a teen in the ROTC Band and throughout his life, and graduated Riverside Polytechnic High School at age 16 and University of California, Los Angeles at 20. He attended Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. After World War II he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska as a file clerk. Boyd practiced family law in Riverside, where he also volunteered at a free legal clinic. He was active on the board of Riverside Temple Beth El, eventually serving as its president. He founded Tel-Law, a call-in service offering free legal advice. He and his wife, Sylvia, were supporters of
the Riverside Symphony Orchestra, underwriting two chairs. Sylvia and Boyd were early members of the Riverside Folk Song Society, in which they remained active for many years. He was the father of Cantor Wally (Tammy) Schachet-Briskin of Virginia Beach and Randy Briskin of Atlanta. He was the grandfather of Channa and Micah Schachet-Briskin and Jennifer, Allison and Michael Briskin. A funeral service was held at Temple Beth El in Riverside, Calif., with interment at Olivewood Memorial Park. A memorial service also took place at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk. Sally Sarah Cohen Norfolk—Sally Sarah Cohen, 91, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. She was born in Boston, Mass. She was predeceased by her husband, Howard B. Cohen and her parents, Louis Cohen and Esther Epstein Cohen.
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Sally cherished her family. She is survived by her daughters Gloria Cohen, Donna Cohen Diamond (John). Her sons Paul Cohen, Ron Cohen (Allisan). Grandchildren, Deborah White (Billy), Clinton Diamond (Michelle), Lisa Wall (Jay), Gregory Kopiloff, Gavrielle Bargash (Dastan), Adam Cohen (Brittany), Marissa Diamond, Amy Cohen, Abigail Cohen, Ethan Cohen and Isabella Cohen. Great-grandchildren, Ashley Papageorge (Maikis), Lindsay White (Gary), Adina Wall, Joshua and Miller Diamond, Shoshanna Wall, Paisley Cohen and Lana Bargash. Two great-great-grandchildren, Cali and Delilah Papageorge. We all love her and will miss her dearly. She was a member of the Eastern Star and B’nai Israel Congregation Norfolk. Graveside funeral services were held at Forest Lawn Cemetery by Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky of Chabad House Norfolk. Donations can be sent to www.chabadoftidewater.com. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be sent to www. hdoliver.com. Michael Jacobson Norfolk—Mr. Michael Jacobson, a native of Norfolk, passed away unexpectedly in his residence on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 at the age of 59. He was born on Nov. 6, 1954 to Felmore and Mildred Jacobson. Michael played tennis at Maury High School and graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College. He was preceded in death by his father, Felmore Jacobson, and is survived by his mother, Mildred Jacobson.
A graveside funeral service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg officiated. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com. Felix Kahn Virginia Beach—Felix Kahn, 98, a resident of The Terrace at Beth Sholom Village, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. Felix was born in Somborn, Germany on March 13, 1916. By 1937, he was forced to emigrate to the United States following his oldest brother Gustav, while his other brother, Leo emigrated to South Africa, leaving behind their parents, Lara and Ferdinand, and extended family, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. Felix settled in New York City, where he took any available job to make ends meet. When the United States entered WW II, he enlisted in the Army, where his familiarity with numerous German dialects was discovered so he spent his entire service at the Pentagon, serving as a translator, often for top-secret documents. Although offered a commission at the end of the War to entice him to serve on as a translator at the Nuremberg War Trials, he declined and returned to civilian life. Shortly thereafter, two major events occurred which were to affect him for the rest of his life—he met the love of his life, Pepi, and they were married on Sept. 18, 1948, and he entered the textile business. Throughout his life in the textile business as a ‘rag peddler,’ he always referred to himself as a salesman, despite owning the company. His sales efforts required him
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obituaries to travel extensively in the United States, to large cities and towns too small to find on a map. He managed to make friends with customers through all of his travels and always seemed to know someone in any given area. With his determination to succeed, his “gift of gab,” and willingness to adapt to changing tastes and times, the business continued to grow and prosper until his retirement in 1981. With retirement, Felix and Pepi had the opportunity to travel which they enjoyed tremendously—whether for long stays in Palm Springs, Hawaii, England or Switzerland—they always returned with a smile and many stories to share. Felix and Pepi moved to Virginia Beach, where Pepi passed away in 2002. Despite losing the sun around which his world revolved for 53 years, Felix continued to enjoy life, spending time with his grandchildren, walking and biking along the beach. Only the effects of time were able to slow him down. He is survived by his children, Ellen and her husband, Francis Piderit, and Stewart and his wife, Eileen Kahn, and his beloved grandchildren, Michael Piderit and Andrew, Steven and Laura Kahn. The family expresses gratitude to the entire staff of The Terrace for the care, comfort and loving attention they gave to Felix for his 10-year residence at The Terrace. Burial was conducted by Rabbi Michael Panitz and Cantor Elihu Flax at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Contributions to Beth Sholom Village, Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care, Temple Israel, the Alzheimer’s Association or the charity of one’s choice. Altmeyer Funeral Home. Helene S. Rosenshein Virginia Beach—Helene Silverman Rosenshein passed away Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at the age of 83. She was born in the Bronx, N. Y. on Oct. 13, 1930, the daughter of the late Max and Emma Silverman. When she was five years old, the family moved to Hartford, Conn. Helene spent most of her summers with relatives in New London, Conn. As a youngster, she frequently appeared on the local radio amateur program where she sang many songs. She graduated from Hartford High School,
where she sang in the school’s a capella choir. From the time she was a youngster, she had a love for animals; this love of animals extended throughout her life. Helene married Joseph Rosenshein on Jan. 28, 1951. They were married for 63 years and lived in many parts of the country: Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Rhode Island, Florida, Kansas, and Virginia. She enjoyed international travel and loved music and was talented at crafts; each crafted item reflected her unique ability and her imaginative mind. Helene was predeceased by her parents, her twin brother Stanley, her older brother Eddie, and her older sister Cybil Abel. She is survived by her husband Joseph, her son Leonard of Fort Worth, Texas, her son Richard and wife Veronica of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., her daughter Susan of Lawrence, Kansas, brother-in-law David Rosenshein and wife Fran of Illinois, her sister-in-laws, Schania Zelvin of Mystic Ct, and Fay Rosenshein of Suffolk, Va., who
were sisters to her, as well as two granddaughters, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. The funeral was held in Woodlawn Cemetery with Rabbi Israel Zoberman officiating. Visit www.altmeyer.com to leave a note to the family. Herman A. Spigel Norfolk—Herman Alan Spigel, 86, died on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, at Harbor’s Edge in Norfolk. He was predeceased by his parents, Wallace Spigel, MD and Jennie E. Spigel, by two daughters, Janet Spigel Linic and Katharine Lucy Spigel, and his sister, Suzanne Spigel Redmond. Herman is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara Joseph Spigel, his daughter Rosalind, his son-in-law Dan Linic, and three grandchildren, Alan, Jake and Matea. He is also survived by his cousins Larry and Joy Spigel of Chesapeake, Jeff and Bonnie Spigel of Newport News and Lucy
Herman of Atlantic Shores. After graduating from the Choate School in Connecticut and the University of Virginia, Herman had a successful business career in Canada; he retired from that after many years of traveling and became a teacher at a school in upstate New York. The long summer holidays and the lack of endless traveling allowed him to indulge in his favorite sport—sailing, and spend more time with his wife and family. Herman was a founding member of Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club in Ontario, and a member of the Youngstown Yacht Club in Youngstown, N.Y. Herman was also a Freemason, and belonged to Norfolk Lodge No. 1, A.F. & A.M. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, and was also in the Royal Arch Masons and the Knights Templar. A memorial service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple. Burial was private. Memorial donations to Ohef Sholom Temple 530 Raleigh Ave. Norfolk, Va. 23507. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments.
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