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Israel Today Forum
Laura Miller receives Lion Award
Oct. 30 Einat Wilf
Dec. 3 Mark Dubowitz
March 2015 Ofer Merin
Mitzvah Day 2014
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32 Meet the Candidates Monday, Oct. 20.
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upfront Obama talks Middle East crises on Rosh Hashanah call with rabbis
White House official: Nuclear deal could portend Iran ties
WASHINGTON (JTA)—In his annual Rosh Hashanah call with American rabbis, President Obama focused on crises in the Middle East. “He spoke about the complexities and dangers of the Middle East and the challenges facing the world,” says Rabbi William Gershon, one of two rabbis who posed questions to the president during the call. Gershon says there were 900 clergy who called in. “In general, he spoke about seeking our help in domestic issues, and more importantly foreign policy issues,” says Gershon, the president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and also senior rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas. Gershon says he could not go into further detail, as the call was off the record. In its statement describing the call, the White House said that Obama, as he has done in the past, began by “noting the important role of the American Jewish community in advancing key domestic priorities.” Obama, the statement said, continued with a focus on the Middle East. “He reaffirmed our efforts, working with allies, to degrade and destroy ISIL,” the jihadist group also known as Islamic State or ISIS, “his commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and our collective responsibility to respond to the sharp increase in global anti-Semitism,” the statement said. “He also reaffirmed his unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, his support for Iron Dome,” the anti-missile system Israel used to deflect rocket attacks during Israel’s war this summer with Hamas, “as well as his support of a sustainable peace through a two-state agreement.” Also asking a question during the call was Rabbi Leonard Matanky, an Orthodox rabbi at Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park in Chicago.
WASHINGTON (JTA)—A top Obama administration official says that a nuclear deal with Iran could start the way toward a possible resumption of ties. “A nuclear agreement could begin a multi-generational process that could lead to a new relationship between our countries,” Philip Gordon, the White House coordinator for the Middle East, said in a speech Saturday, Sept. 27 to the National Iranian American Council. “Iran could begin to reduce tensions with its neighbors and return to its rightful place in the community of nations.” Gordon made clear that Iran had much to do beyond reach a nuclear deal in order to remove its pariah status, but his casting a nuclear deal as part of a normalization process and not an end in itself represented a shift. At the outset of nuclear talks between the major powers and Iran in January, U.S. officials were adamant, including in conversations with Jewish leaders, that the only relief Iran should expect from such a deal was the removal of sanctions. Gordon says there was “progress” in the latest round of talks with Iran ahead of a Nov. 24 deadline for a deal. Israel has expressed reservations about the talks, mostly because of its concerns that the major powers seem ready to allow Iran limited uranium enrichment capacity. However, Israel and a number of Arab countries are also concerned that the talks represent an entry for Iran into accepted status in the region without addressing its meddling, including backing for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that launched a war with Israel in 2006. Gordon says that the United States in its talks with Iran had made clear that it regarded Iran as “irresponsible” and “destabilizing” in its backing for Hezbollah and other actions, but also suggested that a nuclear deal trumped other concerns. “The nuclear issue is too important to subordinate to a complete transformation of Iran internally,” he says.
conte nts Up front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Climate change, a Jewish imperative. . . . . . 6 Obama focuses on ISIS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Israeli firm lands major Chinese contract . . 9 Laura Miller honored at Lion’s conference. 10 A Week of Extraordinary Deeds. . . . . . . . . 12 Israel Today Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Two trips to Israel in one summer. . . . . . . . 16 Mazel Tov! Section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Sukkot: A lunar eclipse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Cover photo: Tel Aviv Israel Sukkot recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tidewater Lions in NYC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beth El Religious School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meet & Greet for Beth El. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion and death and dying. . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SNL’s Top 10 Jewish moments. . . . . . . . . . .
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briefs Netanyahu: Israel is source of pride, strength for Jews Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Rosh Hashanah greetings spoke of the painful year that passed and pledged his nation’s support to Diaspora Jews dealing with virulent anti-Semitism. “Over the past few months, three of our teenagers were kidnapped and brutally murdered, thousands of rockets were fired at our country and too many of our bravest young men and their families made the most painful of sacrifices for Operation Protective Edge,” Netanyahu said. “Throughout all that, we witnessed tremendous support for Israel from Jewish communities everywhere. And at the same time, we in Israel know that it has been a difficult period for many of your Jewish communities. You face increasingly virulent and even violent anti-Semitism,” he said. Netanyahu thanked Diaspora Jewry for its support and pledged that Israel “will continue to stand by your side as you confront hatred and intolerance.” “Israel will remain a source of pride and strength for Jews, no matter where they live,” he concluded. (JTA)
Dutch town quits charity drive over funding for groups deemed anti-Israel The schools in a Dutch town opted out of a charity campaign that municipal officials said collects funds for anti-Israeli groups. The six schools in Urk, located 20 miles northeast of Amsterdam, decided not to participate in the fundraising campaign this year organized by the Kinderpostzegels Association, the Omroep Flevoland broadcaster reported Sept. 26. On the same day, the Urk Town Council passed a motion calling for a boycott of the Kinderpostzegels initiative—a national drive in which children collect donations for what the association defines as “worthy causes”—because of reports that the money raised funds anti-Israel activity. “Through the Bible, we love Israel very much and we know that the Kinderpostzegels this time is used in a way in which the funds raised go to groups with anti-Israel causes and this is why we could not support the Kinderpostzegels
this time,” said Jan Koffeman, the alderman who submitted the motion. The motion followed a campaign calling for a boycott of the fundraising campaign mounted by Likoed Nederland, a pro-Israel association. Likoed Nederland flagged one recipient of Kinderpostzegels donations, the Holy Land Trust, and said it gave resources to Hamas. The association responsible for the Kinderpostzegels campaign declined to answer Likoed Nedrland’s questions on how the money raised for Palestinian groups is used. The pro-Israel group also noted that Kinderpostzegels funds Defense for Children International, an organization that supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. (JTA)
BB gun fired at Baltimore Jews leaving synagogue A man fired a BB gun and shouted “Jews, Jews, Jews” at three Jewish teens leaving a synagogue in Baltimore. One of the pellets struck a window of the Bais Hamedrash and Mesivta of Baltimore, a traditional Orthodox institution, in the Sept. 28 incident. The gunman, described as being “possibly of Middle Eastern descent,” drove away after firing the gun and shouting at the pedestrians on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. He has not been apprehended. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. “We want to stop that. We want to let people know that’s not going to be tolerated in our communities,” Cpl. John Wachter of the Baltimore County Police told the local CBS affiliate WJZ. Scott Shellenberger, the state attorney in Baltimore County, told WJZ that the suspect could be charged with a hate crime in addition to other criminal acts. (JTA)
British soccer club removes Rosh Hashanah tweet following anti-Semitic responses The Liverpool FC soccer team deleted a tweet wishing its Jewish supporters a happy Rosh Hashanah after the message elicited dozens of anti-Semitic responses.
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The message—“Liverpool FC would like to wish all our Jewish supporters around the world a happy new year. #RoshHashanah”—was posted Friday, Sept. 26 and removed several hours later, the Guardian reported. Some followers of the British squad objected to the removal of the tweet, saying it pandered to racists. On Sunday, Sept. 28, the team posted a second tweet addressing the anti-Semitic messages: “LFC believes in the practice of religious freedom—we seek a world in which we can send good wishes to supporters without hateful responses.” The message was retweeted 1,200 times in nine hours; more than 900 Twitter users made it their favorite. Liverpool FC, which has some 3.22 million followers on Twitter, has recognized various religious events and holidays on social media, according to the Guardian. Kick It Out, a watchdog on soccer racism in Britain, contacted the team after complaints about the anti-Semitic responses to the New Year’s message. “It is encouraging that a football club recognizes these holidays and religious landmarks—Liverpool did the same for Ramadan—but extremely sad when a club does that in a proactive manner and gets these responses,” a Kick It Out spokesman told the newspaper. (JTA)
Israeli cargo ship blocked in Oakland Port docks in L.A. An Israeli-owned cargo ship prevented by pro-Palestinian demonstrators from unloading in the Oakland Port will try to unload in Los Angeles. The Zim Shanghai docked in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 30 according to tracking by the website marinetraffic.com. It was still carrying its original cargo. The ship, which is owned by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Israel’s largest shipping company, was unable to unload the previous Saturday after some 200 activists prevented workers at the Oakland Port from getting near the ship. Approximately 50 police officers were on hand but did not intervene. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union released a statement say-
ing, “The ILWU is not among the groups organizing the protests, and the leadership and membership of the ILWU have taken no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict.” The union said its members could not unload the ship because “longshoremen and clerks trying to report to work were threatened physically at some points of ingress and their personal vehicles were physically blocked. As such, all personnel stood-by outside of the demonstration perimeters for health and safety purposes.” A spokeswoman for Block the Boat, which has organized previous protests of Zim ships at the Oakland Port, told Reuters that the organization was not responsible for the weekend demonstration in Oakland but was carried out by individuals. In August, demonstrators prevented the Zim Piraeus from unloading at the Oakland Port for five days in order to draw attention to Israel’s operation in Gaza. The Piraeus feigned a return to sea before doubling back secretly to port. (JTA)
Frenchman probed for telling TV he might kill Jews French police opened a criminal investigation against a young man who spoke of killing Jews in a televised interview. Yves Jannier, the prosecutor of the Pontoise region north of Paris, ordered the probe Monday, Sept. 29 following the airing by the France 2 channel of an interview with a young man about the Jews of the nearby Parisian suburb of Sarcelles, Le Parisien reported. The young man, who was not named, is seen standing with friends on the street and answering the questions posed by a journalist for France 2. “What they are doing over there in Palestine, we are doing here to the Jews. And if we get real angry, we might just kill them,” the man said. The interview was part of a 46-minute special program on the Jewish community of Sarcelles, a poor suburb where 60,000 Jews live amid a heavily Muslim population. “If I get angry, I will light up all of them, all the Jews,” the young man said. He is suspected of justifying a crime and “incitement to hate and violence” against an ethnic group, Le Parisien reported. (JTA)
Sukkot The victory lap of the holiday races
istening closely to the reading from the second Torah scroll this past Rosh Hashanah, you would have come across a puzzling reference: “On the first day of the seventh month” (Numbers 29:1)… If this is the New Year, then why isn’t it the first month? Why the seventh month? The answer takes us back to Babylonia. In that region, a fully developed religious calendar treated the autumn as the New Year. The first part of the month was devoted to repentance and fasting, and then, by the full moon, the mood turned to celebration and feasting. The ancients believed that in the first part of that month, their gods were deciding whether or not to renew their lease on life. By the 15th of the month, they believed, the powers they worshiped had indeed given them permission to go on. (Interested readers can learn more about this in Theodore Herzl Gaster, Thespis.) We are the Children of Israelites, not Babylonians. Our first month, as we know from Exodus 12, is the springtime month, the month of Passover. The autumnal equinox is therefore the middle of our seventh month. But when our people, still in the
formative era of our religion, was exiled to Babylon, we synthesized the majority’s calendar with our own distinctive monotheism, and the seventh-month “day of shofar sounding” developed into our solemn New Year, where the Holy One judges every human and determines our destiny. This religious adjustment worked well with the full moon festival, Sukkot. In ancient Israel, as in ancient Babylon, it was a peak time of rejoicing. The Bible commands, in connection with Sukkot, “You shall be especially joyful” (Deuteronomy 16:15). The seventh month, in Babylon as in Israel, was the month of the Harvest Moon. The successful completion of the harvest, before rains could spoil the crops in the field, was a time to rejoice, whatever one’s religious system may have been. It is a universal emotion. But Judaism, true to its genius, put a special interpretation on this basic human experience. For us, not only is Sukkot the time to thank God for the harvest, but also the time to celebrate God’s watchful care during our sojourn in the wilderness, after the Exodus from Egypt. The Jew knows God not only from nature, but also from history. Sukkot comes at the end of the High Holidays. There is a time for awe and a time for joy. God reigns; God cares; God redeems. We respond by opening our hearts, sharing our food, caring for the needy, and leaving our permanent buildings to dwell that much more in contact with God’s blue sky. Enjoy the victory lap of the autumn holidays! Happy Sukkot! —Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel
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jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 5
The Jewish imperative to tackle climate change—and four ways to do it by Yossi I. Abramowitz
JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Two days before the U.N. Climate Summit, approximately 300,000 demonstrators, including a large multi-faith contingent—descended on New York City to demand urgent action on climate change. The People’s Climate March, which coincided with the week of the U.N. General Assembly, was billed as the largest climate march in history. The event notably took place in the city badly battered less than two years prior by Hurricane Sandy—the “super storm” that killed 285 people and caused tens of billion of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure. Also remarkable: The march happened just three days before Rosh Hashanah. This Jewish New Year is different than all past ones, for it is the last observance of Shmita—Israel’s biblically mandated yearlong farming sabbatical—before extreme climate change becomes irreversible. P r ic e w at erhou s e C o op er s recently released its latest Low Carbon Economy Index, with the damning news that the major economies are falling further behind meeting their carbon reduction goals. All of this makes the haunting liturgy of the Days of Awe—“who shall live and who shall die”— particularly resonant. Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which erased more than 6,300 names from the Book of Life last November, was supercharged by the warming waters of the Indian Ocean and the higher sea levels due to the melting of the ice caps. Who by water. The severity of the droughts across sub-Sahara Africa threatens millions of lives. Who by thirst. Even California is suffering compromising water shortages and wildfires. Who by fire. The economic devastation alone of climate change—pric-
es for water, food and energy will rise for billions of people— coupled with the unprecedented loss of human life is like no other physical and moral challenge that humanity has ever faced. Enter the Jewish people. Let’s not fool ourselves. We are a small people, contributing a fraction of a fraction of the nearly 40 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide that trap more and more heat in our atmosphere, creating the devastating greenhouse effect. Yet we are not without agency. Here are four things we can uniquely do as a people that can turn the tide against this global challenge. 1. Swell the People’s Climate March. There are about two million Jews in the New York area, so we had a disproportionate impact at a historic inflection point. Dozens of Jewish groups, from the Shalom Center, a social action group run by Rabbi
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Arthur Waskow, to the Jewish environmental organization Hazon, from the Reform movement to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, were among the 1,000-plus sponsors of this people’s climate pilgrimage. 2. Lead by example. Jewish federation and foundation endowments, with total assets of more than $60 billion (according to the Milken Institute) in this Shmita year should divest from all carbon-intensive businesses, like oil, gas and coal companies. There is a similar call being led by 350.org for the Vatican and universities to divest from carbon; it should be supported. Every Jewish institution and family can calculate their carbon footprint and offset it by planting trees via the Jewish National Fund or other carbon-offset programs. Nigel Savage of Hazon challenges us “to become the first carbon-neutral people on the planet.”
3. Invest in Israel’s renewables technologies and companies so that Israel can become a global platform to solve climate change while providing a healthy return for investors. (Disclosure: I am involved with two solar companies.) Israeli companies are on the cutting edge of solar robots, inverters, energy storage and concentrators, and are uniquely qualified to manage risk to bring renewables to developing countries. And even though the environmental movement in Israel is starving for donations, we succeeded earlier this month in stopping a major questionable oil shale endeavor. This historic victory over carbon can provide an inspiration to environmental groups fighting big oil everywhere. 4. Offer hope. Recent international conferences meant to fight climate change focused more and more on how to mitigate the negative impact of climate change rather than how to beat it. With the exception of Sir David King, climate adviser to the British foreign secretary, and a handful of Jewish energy pioneers, few believe we can win the ultimate climate battle. Yet those of us who had the good fortune to grow up in the Soviet Jewry movement are very familiar with the area in front of the United Nations. We know what it means to conduct and win an unprecedented global, ethical campaign. The Jewish people are at our best when we represent the value of hope in history. This is our gift; this is our responsibility. And time is running out. —Yosef I. Abramowitz was named by CNN as one of the six leading Green Pioneers on the planet and is the winner of a Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. He is a co-founder of the solar industry in Israel and serves as CEO of Energiya Global Capital, a Jerusalembased developer building solar fields in Africa and elsewhere. Abramowitz is on Twitter: @kaptainsunshine.
NEW Focusing on ISIS in U.N. speech, Obama virtually ignores Iran by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK ( JTA)—President Obama devoted the bulk of his U.N. speech to the fight against violent Islamic extremism and hardly mentioned Iran’s nuclear program. In his address last year to the General Assembly, Obama spent a great deal of time talking about Tehran’s nuclear pursuit, describing it as one of two major focus areas for American diplomatic efforts (the other was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). On Wednesday, Sept. 24, he devoted just four lines to Iran. “America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them,” Obama said. “This can only happen if Iran takes this historic opportunity. My message to Iran’s leaders and people is simple: Do not let this opportunity pass. We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.” The thin coverage of Iran drew immediate notice from Jewish groups. “Obama devoted only 78 words at #UNGA to greatest threat to world peace, the #Iran nuclear threat; 1,540 words to #ISIS,” the American Jewish Committee’s Global Jewish Advocacy project noted in a tweet. Near the speech’s conclusion, Obama also spoke a bit about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Leadership will be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. “As bleak as the landscape appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace.” The turmoil in Iraq, Syria and Libya should disabuse anyone of the mistaken notion that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is somehow the root of all Middle East conflict, Obama said. Noting that the turmoil has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace, Obama diverted from his prepared remarks and added, “That’s something Israelis should reflect on.” “The status quo in the West Bank and
Gaza is not sustainable,” Obama said. “We cannot afford to turn away from this effort, not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis or when the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza.” He said, “Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world will be more just and safe with two states living side by side in peace and security.” Most of the president’s speech focused on the need for the international community to counter what he described as the “cancer of violent extremism.” At the top of the list was ISIS, the Islamic group in Iraq and Syria also known by the acronym ISIL. “Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the dangers posed by religiously motivated fanatics and the trends that fuel their recruitment,” Obama said, outlining four major focus areas. “The terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded and ultimately destroyed,” he said. “There can be no reasoning, no negotiating with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.” The second, Obama said, is for “the world, especially Muslim communities, to explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al-Qaida and ISIL.” That means, the president said, cutting off the funding of those who fuel hateful groups and ideologies; contesting the space terrorists occupy, including the Internet and social media; expunging intolerance from schools; and bringing people of different faiths together. “There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim,” Obama said. The third focus area Obama outlined was addressing sectarian strife and resolving differences at the negotiating table rather than through violent proxies. In Syria, he said, that means finding a solution that works for all Syrian groups. “Together with our partners, America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad
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regime,” Obama said as Syria’s U.N. delegation watched from the audience. “But the only lasting solution to Syria’s civil war is political: an inclusive political transition that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens, regardless of ethnicity or creed.” The fourth area of focus, he said, must be to encourage civil society and entrepreneurship in the Arab and Muslim world, particularly among young people. The first nation Obama focused on was Russia, which he lumped in with ISIS and the Ebola virus as reasons for “a pervasive
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unease in our world – a sense that the very forces that have brought us together have created new dangers.” “Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition,” he said. “We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression and counter falsehoods with the truth.” The president also talked briefly about the need for a more robust and coordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 7
Netanyahu to U.N.: Iran is vanguard of Islamic militancy NEW YORK (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said militant Islam seeks to dominate the world like the Nazis did and fingered Iran as the vanguard of militant Islam. Speaking Monday, Sept. 29 at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu sought to link ISIS to Hamas and Iran—all part of
what he described as the “cancer” of militant Islam. “It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pickup trucks armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamist armed with weapons of mass destruction,” Netanyahu said. “Saying Iran doesn’t practice terror-
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ism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees.” He said ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and the Nusra Front are all cut from the same cloth—and one that recalls Nazism. “Militant Islam’s ambition to dominate the world seems mad. But so, too, did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept into power eight decades ago,” Netanyahu said. “The Nazis believed in a master race; the militant Islamists believe in a master faith.” Of Hamas, the terrorist group in Gaza that fought a 50-day war with Israel this summer, Netanyahu said, “ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.” He said, “Hamas’ immediate goal is to destroy Israel, but Hamas has a broader objective: They also want a caliphate.” Netanyahu also struck back at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his unity government with
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Hamas. Last week, Abbas used his own General Assembly speech to accuse Israel of genocide and war crimes against the Palestinians, and to argue that the Israeli government is not really interested in peace. “I say to President Abbas: These are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government that you head and you are responsible for,” Netanyahu said. Recalling his U.N. speech in 2012, the Israeli prime minister also did some show and tell this year: He held up a photograph from footage shot by France24 TV in Gaza that showed a rocket launcher positioned in a civilian area with children nearby. “I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries,” Netanyahu said. “The old template for peace must be updated. It must take into account new roles and responsibilities for our Arab neighbors.”
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ISCO Group, an Israel based provider of integrated security solutions, has signed a deal with several Chinese banks to provide security protection for tens of thousands of their cash machines (ATMs) across the country. China recently became the world’s largest ATM market, surpassing the U.S. with an estimated 520,000 machines, according to RBR, a UK-based analysts firm. This growth accelerated in 2013 with the installation of 100,000 machines in that year alone. RISCO Group is providing China with two of their specialized detectors to protect the ATMs from intrusion: The ShockTec™ digital shock detector which detects attempts to shake the machine to dispense more cash, and their very powerful seismic detector which monitors the vibration and temperature of the protected surface and can detect all known types of intruder attacks, including sledge hammers, diamond head drills, explosives, hydraulic pressure tools and thermal tools. RISCO Group has operated in China for many years through its office in Shanghai. Activity in the Chinese market has traditionally focused on projects for banks
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jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 9
Shining a spotlight on Laura Miller’s international recognition by Laine Mednick Rutherford
aura Miller is most comfortable working behind the scenes, changing lives in the Tidewater Jewish community, throughout the United States and around the world. She’d prefer to be out of the spotlight, but is aware that can’t always happen, as was the case last month at the Jewish Federations of North America’s International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC) in Manhattan. In addition to being a part of the delegation from the Lion’s Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater attending the conference, Miller knew she’d been named a 2014 recipient of the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award. She was humbled to be recognized as a leader who has had a significant impact in the community and beyond, who leaves a legacy for future generations, and who has motivated other women to take an active role in philanthropy and in the community. She prepared herself for the attention she would get, along with other honorees, at the closing dinner of the ILOJC on Tuesday, Sept. 9. What Miller hadn’t planned on, though, was being singled out during the dinner for her spontaneous act of kindness earlier that day.
ust before lunch, in a room filled with 1,400 female ph il a nt hropi st s, Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of JFNA, was concluding his presentation to the group. Unexpectedly, he invited two special guests to the stage: Ofir and BatGalim Shaer, the parents of Gilad Shaer, one of the teenagers kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in June. “This was a real surprise for us, and it came after we’d already heard a lot of Laura Miller embraces BatGalim Shaer after giving away her Lion of Judah pin. very powerful speakers,” says Miller. “The father told some amazing stories bring her son back, but we have to let about what this young man had done in her and all Israelis know that we are with his very short life. Quietly, his wife stood them. The first thing I did was text my by his side, hardly moving at all, until sons one simple line, ‘I love you guys and at one point the father started to break I’m so proud of you,’” says Miller. “Then I took off my necklace that had down, and then she just reached out and my Lion of Judah pin on it. I said, ‘I’ll be grabbed his arm to support him. “All I could think was that we can’t back,’ to my friends seated next to me,
Betsy Karotkin, Holocaust Commission member and former director If you want a job done—even better than you can do it yourself—Laura Miller is the person. Once she sees the value of a project, I don’t know anyone who throws him/herself so wholeheartedly into the work of making it succeed as she does. When the Holocaust Commission decided to publish the stories of our local survivors, Laura took on the task of coordinating almost every aspect of the publication, including the fundraising. To Life: Stories of Courage and Survival, is certainly one of the jewels in the crown of all the amazing work accomplished by the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. Committed on every front to the welfare of the Jewish community, Laura understands what James Carroll so beautifully stated, “How a community remembers its past is the single most important element in determining its future.” Laura gives of herself in a thoughtful and determined way that inspires all of us to work harder to ensure a bright future for the Jewish people.”
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and I ran down the center aisle, and I got down to the front just as they were coming off of the stage.” What happened next was a demonstration of Miller’s generosity of spirit, and her lack of attention-seeking behavior. She embraced BatGalim Shaer warmly and, without asking permission, pinned her gold Lion of Judah on the woman’s dress. As quickly as Miller approached the stage, she left. Shaer had no time to ask Miller’s name, or thank her. Miller felt good about what she’d done; she’d shown support for another woman, another mother, and she didn’t need accolades or applause. But there was no avoiding the spotlight, when during the dinner, Miller was asked to rise. Embarrassed to be the focus of everyone in the room, Miller reluctantly stood as the announcer recounted what had happened earlier in the day.
Miles Leon, president, UJFT
atGalim Shaer had insisted that she meet and thank the petite blonde woman who had given up her Lion pin in a statement of friendship and support. She walked to the back of the room where Miller and her friends sat. The two women hugged, and they agreed to see each other the next time Miller went to Israel. The next day, Miller told her husband Jerry about her experience at the Conference. “What she did was spontaneous, but it doesn’t surprise me,” says Jerry, president of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and active in many other Jewish organizations as well. “She’s just very generous and giving. She’s a great lady.” Laura and Jerry Miller have been married for 33 years, and their sons, Eric and Bill, also are involved in Tidewater’s Jewish community. Jerry Miller says he has wit-
I have been privileged to watch Laura emerge as an incredible community leader over the years and as president of the United Jewish Federation, I am thrilled that she is representing our community on the governing body of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Laura has long been a proponent and personification of the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam-Repairing the World. She has served so diligently and effectively on the board and committees of so many different organizations that there is hardly a remote corner of the Jewish world that she hasn’t touched and impacted. Her leadership and generosity is admired, respected and seemingly knows no bounds. I do not believe that our community could have nominated any bet-
Sandy Katz JDC director of Strategic Relations The prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recognizes the hard work Laura’s doing, fostering stronger ties between her Jewish community of Tidewater, Israel and other Jewish communities around the world. Laura has been an accomplished Jewish activist for years sitting on the boards of many organizations. I continue to be inspired by her commitment to Israel. Laura walks the walk: she advocates, provides financial support and opens her heart to the people of Israel with compassion and empathy.
ter person to receive the Kipnis-Wilson/ time of communal leadership can better
Cindy Kramer Community activist, Lion of Judah
serve as a role model for our young
I have the great pleasure of serving on the Hebrew Academy board as well as the UJFT
future leaders to emulate.
Women’s Cabinet with my friend Laura Miller. I know that Laura feels fortunate to be
Friedland Award or anybody whose life-
able to help others and give back to the Jewish community. In her soft-spoken style,
Randi Gordon president, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater I met Laura more than a decade ago when she guided Steven and me through the Miller Chapel in the Commodore Levy Center on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. We
Laura is strong, smart and determined. If she sees a need in the world, she addresses it, and she does so with intelligence and efficiency. Our community and our Jewish world are made better and brighter by Laura’s involvement, and often in ways that most of us will never know.
met the Academy’s rabbi and observed midshipmen celebrating the vitality of Jewish campus life. I left Annapolis with a profound appreciation of her devotion to fostering a love of Israel and community in our next generation of leaders. Recently, I marveled at Laura’s enthusiasm as she recounted a trip to Israel she undertook with the midshipmen. Laura continues to connect young people to their faith and Jewish life during a critical period of their development. HAT is a fortunate beneficiary of Laura’s dedication to Jewish youth. She is an active board member, always eager to participate in school events. Laura influences with soft words and thoughtful advice. She challenges our board to consider how one decision impacts others from varied perspectives. I hope to emulate Laura by living the two phrases I most associate with her: “She Cares” and “She Acts.”
nessed time and again Laura’s dedication to the community, her devotion to Judaism and her willingness to go out of her comfort zone in order to get things done. “I think a lot about one of the first big projects Laura worked on—the To Life book for the Holocaust Commission,” he says. “She spent countless hours on it, and really pushed it through to its completion. I realized then just how hard and good of a worker she is, how quietly she does it, and caring she is. I’m impressed by what
she did at the Conference, and think she’s very deserving of the award she got. I’m proud of her.” Laura Miller is passionate about ensuring that the Tidewater Jewish community is as cohesive and as strong as possible. She applies lessons she has learned, and continues to learn, from some of the most well-respected rabbis and teachers in contemporary Judaism. “My first teacher, Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, taught me the idea that every year, you try to
do more than the year before, and so that’s what I try to do,” says Miller. Another of Miller’s teachers, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, asked, “What’s going to be your next big thing?” Miller thinks about that question often, and was inspired to consider it in depth after hearing a Rosh Hashanah sermon at a synagogue in Annapolis, Md. “The rabbi talked about dreaming big and praying big,” she says. “I realized that you have to pray to make a difference, and so I’m going to dream and hope and pray big. ”I dream of the day that we can have one thriving Jewish community day school and when it would be the rare Jewish family that didn’t belong to the JCC,” says Miller. My greatest wish would be for our community to come together and support Jewish life on the Sandler Family Campus, which was the vision of our community leaders when our campus was constructed.” Considering her past and present community involvement, Miller will be working diligently—behind the scenes— to make this dream come true.
Currently, Laura Miller is a board member of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Hebrew Academy and the Holocaust Commission. She serves on the boards of the Friends of the Jewish Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy, home to the Miller Chapel, and the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Miller Studio Theater. Nationally, Miller is on the board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) where she is associate chair of the Israel Immigrant Sub-Committee, and an active member of the Israel and Government Affairs committees. She is a past chair of the UJFT Women’s Cabinet and the UJFT Israel and Overseas committee, and a former member of UJFT’s Allocations and Strategic Planning Committee and the board of the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Miller served as vice president of Temple Emanuel, where she started a daily Minyan, and is an active member of Temple Israel. Laura Miller has a legion of fans in Tidewater, and beyond.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 11
Extraordinary Deeds abound during 2015 Annual Campaign Kick Off week article and photos by Laine Mednick Rutherford
hey thought it could work, but the diverse members of the 1st Annual Mitzvah Day VA organizing committee weren’t 100 percent sure that the community would show up to participate in five planned projects on Sunday, Sept. 21. The committee was comprised of representatives from almost all area synagogues and Jewish agencies who were graduates of
Kara Molin and Pam Northam.
the ATID leadership course presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater earlier in the year. Enthused by what they learned in the course and inspired by one another, the group decided to put into practice their new skills. They planned a day when every member of the Jewish community could be involved and give what they could—be it time, materials or financial donations. Led by chairs Karen and Matt Fine, Mitzvah Day projects included: making paracord bracelets for and writing letters to U.S. and Israeli soldiers through Operation Gratitude; cleaning up Beach Garden Park with Lynnhaven River Now Project; visiting residents of Beth Sholom Village; supporting juvenile diabetes research at the JDRF Walk at the Oceanfront; and handcrafting blankets and assembling lunches for the homeless with Blankets for the Homeless. “We accomplished what we set out to do…Build Community by coming together as One!” the Fines wrote in an email the day after the event. “Our collective efforts made a big difference to our larger community in so many significant ways. We truly enjoyed working with all of you and making good things happen.” More than 300 people participated in the projects, and about 200 came to the Simon Family JCC afterward for a pool party and cookout.
Kruger BBB members write letters to soldiers
12 | Jewish News | October 6, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Marcia Brodie, chair of the L’dor V’dor project at Beth Sholom Village, says that all of those who registered to participate came, and even more showed up. Activities included decorating cookies and creating fall cards, playing Bingo and visiting with residents. There were immediate effects, Brodie says. “We had a great day at Beth Sholom Village Mitzvah Day! Many families commented on how nice our facility was and they had no idea that we did so many things with our residents. A family of four filled out applications to become regular volunteers with us, and the Bina High school students talked about what a great time they had.” At Beach Garden Park, 12-year-old Ethan Richardson and his family were among those who scoured the park for trash, debris and anything that was harming wildlife and the environment. The group found water bottles and cigarette butts, lots of litter, a random shoe and evidence that many homeless people were living in the less visible areas of the Park. “This has been a better experience than I thought it could be,” says Ethan. “Doing this project gives you a feeling of making a difference. We helped animals and wildlife survive, and they can live another day. Something else, too, is that we’re able to help the homeless people. Even though I’ve been here before, I never noticed them. I’m glad we could help.”
Organizers had heard there were homeless living at the park near the Oceanfront and received a grant to provide lunches, healthy snacks, light clothing and blankets—provided by another Mitzvah Day organization, Blankets for the Homeless. Pam Northam, the Pearl Faith & Business Program Coordinator for Lynnhaven River NOW, was at the Park to help provide information, keep participants safe and tally the results of the dozens of Mitzvah Day volunteers. “Through the Pearl Faith Community, Lynnhaven River NOW reaches out to the faith community throughout Virginia Beach to help them become better stewards of their buildings and grounds by becoming more sustainable,” says Northam. “At Beach Garden Park, families became Citizen Scientists, as they also collected data for the International Coastal Cleanup (and Clean Virginia Waterways). The data, taken from sites all over the world, throughout September and October is used to combat sources of litter by identifying trends. “Within the small park, they collected 363 cigarette butts, 100 drink cans, 69 glass bottles, 57 plastic bottles, 83 plastic bags, a grocery cart, a urinary catheter and The Hobbit (in Russian )! “Not content with just helping wild animals and their habitats,” Northam says, “they were also concerned with improving the lives and safety of their fellow humans.
Amy Weinstein helps Mariah Smith of Blankets for the Homeless.
Create a Jewish legacy for the community you love through planned charitable giving . . .ask us how
Helping the environment at Beach Garden Park.
They generously brought food and blankets for the homeless population that often passes through the park. Now those are extraordinary deeds, indeed!” Collection totals for the day were 11 bags of trash and 10 bags of recyclables equaling 133 pounds of cleared debris. Later, at the Mitzvah Day Pool Party and Cookout, families, singles, young and old, who had all worked together during the afternoon, came to eat and continue to have fun. As her son Jason played with his friends, Brooke Steward said being able to participate in the JRDF Walk was great for her son. One of Jason’s friends, and a Beth Joel Rubin gets creative. Chaverim member, Joshua Weiner, died ment in the community, and your gifts to the Annual Campaign, will keep our from the disease last year. “Seeing our children work hard to get community strong, will let our kids know donations to fight this disease, and then what’s important, and will provide incredto see them run and be so proud of them- ibly important services to Jews all over the selves as members of the Mitzvah Day world. I thank you all,” said Jaffe. The Week of Extraordinary Deeds Team and Joshua’s Maccabees, was great,” began with a Campaign Kick Off event said Steward. continued on page 14 Karen Jaffe, chair of the 2015 UJFT Annual Campaign, thanked everyone at the party for their participation, not just that day, and not just the full week of activities that preceded it, but for their support of the Jewish community in Tidewater, and on college campuses, and in Ukraine, and in Israel, all year long. “Your involve- People of all ages work together to make a blanket.
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5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 180, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-424-4327 | www.hebrewacademy.net The Strelitz Early Childhood Center is an educational partnership of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and the Simon Family Jewish Community Center.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 13
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featuring actors portraying historic Zionist role models Theodor Herzl and Golda Meir on Monday, Sept. 15. It continued with the community connecting virtually on the UJFT Facebook page (fb.com/UJFTidewater), where photo albums were posted and the community was invited to do small acts of kindness that could have significant impact on others. More than 3,000 people visited the page that week. Additional good deeds took the form of personal conversations among dozens of community members. Common among these conversations was a commitment to a vibrant Jewish Tidewater, a strong Israel and vital Jewish life around the globe. They trusted each other, shared concerns, expressed solutions and spoke of their hopes and vision for the Jewish people. They sat across from one another and asked each other to make a commitment to the 2015 Annual Campaign. They knew that their responsibility had just begun, and ultimately they hoped that all of Jewish Tidewater would be engaged in such conversations and taking such actions. One person told Harry Graber, UJFT executive vice president during a conversation that, “in dreams begin responsibilities and acting upon our dreams with one another is a very Jewish thing to do.” These face to face, personal conversations successfully created powerful moments of communal dedication and brought in an increased number of donations compared to last year’s Week of Extraordinary Deeds. In restaurants, at homes and in other locales, the 61 discussions held over the five-day period raised $1.5 million, an 11 percent increase ($143,000 in real terms) to the 2015 Annual Campaign. Overall, the Week of Extraordinary Deeds was just that, says Miles Leon, UJFT president. There’s one word for it, and that’s extraordinary. Let’s remember why we have a Federation—to build a strong Jewish community here, to help the most vulnerable among us, and to support Israel and other Jews around the world.” —To see more photos from the Week of Extraordinary Deeds, like the UJFT on Facebook, and search for the hashtag #extraordinaryva. To make a donation to the 2015 Annual Campaign, visit JewishVA.org, or call 965-6100 for more information.
4th Annual Israel Today Forum brings diverse voices, new perspectives and international experts to Tidewater Einat Wilf: Thursday, Oct. 30, 7:30 pm by Robin Mancoll
ompelling speakers, interesting topics and timely discussions have characterized the past three seasons of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Israel Today Forum. With the fourth season kicking off this month, the CRC is staying true to its formula of introducing contemporary Israeli (and by extension, American, Jewish and global) issues to thousands of people throughout Tidewater with three diverse voices, three new perspectives and three international experts. What regional turmoil means for Israel will be the focus of The Honorable Einat Wilf’s visit on Thursday, Oct. 30. A former Knesset member and a frequent speaker for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and American Jewish Committee, Wilf is considered a possible future Prime Minister of Israel. She is known as one of Israel’s most articulate representatives on the internaTHE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF THE UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION OF TIDEWATER AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS Simon Family Foundation
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December 3, 2014 7:30pm
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All events are FREE and open to the community. Sandler Family Campus • 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
RSVP to SMaslin@ujft.org or call 757-965-6107
For more information visit JewishVA.org/CRC “Like” us on Facebook today! FB.com/CRCUJFT
Lt. Colonel Dr. Ofer Merin Chief, IDF Field Hospitals Head of Trauma Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center Global Disaster Relief, first on scene
tional stage and a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of economics, education, foreign policy, Jewish peoplehood and society. Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan policy institute, leads projects on Iran, sanctions, nonproliferation and countering electronic repression. He has testified before Congress and advised the U.S. administration, Congress and numerous foreign governments on Iran sanctions issues. Prior to 2003, Dubowitz worked in venture capital, technology management and law and brings experience in those areas to his current work with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Speaking in Tidewater on Wednesday, Dec. 3, just days after the extension for negotiations with Iran and the P5+1 expire. Dubowitz will offer an insiders’ look at the talks, the outcome and the global implications of a nuclear Iran. Closing the forum in March 2015 is Reservist, Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Ofer Merin. When news breaks of Israeli medical rescue delegations being first on the scene in disaster zones, the man in charge is Dr. Ofer Merin. As chief of the IDF Field Hospital Unit, Merin was first on the scene in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, in Japan after the tsunami that followed the massive earthquake in 2011, in the Philippines after the Typhoon in 2013, on the Syria-Israel Border in the Fall of 2013 and this summer on the border with Gaza, although their citizens were prohibited to use the hospital by Hamas. Sharing stories of Israel’s global humanitarian efforts, Merin’s March visit will be one to remember. One of the series’ goals is to bring the Tidewater Jewish community together to support the State of Israel. Committed to maintaining the popularity and growth of the Israel Today Forum as a relevant and important ongoing speaker series, all area
synagogues, Jewish agencies and organizations, as well as some businesses, foundations and individuals have joined forces to ensure this fourth year an even bigger success. Through this series, the CRC and community partners have educated thousands throughout Tidewater on current issues facing Israel. Continuing the effort to share the visiting experts with local high school and college students, media, military, law enforcement, interfaith and other groups, experts will each visit Tidewater for two full days and help build understanding as the greater Tidewater community gets a different perspective on Israel than they see in the headlines. Co-chair of the CRC’s Israel Education and Advocacy committee and new partner of the Israel Today forum, Barbara Dudley shares that she, “decided to become a partner in the Israel Today series because Israel is a part of my life. From a young age I observed my parents being strong advocates for Israel in our hometown. My first trip to Israel was in January 1974 and I returned that summer to work on a kibbutz so I could experience Israel first hand. My family traveled to Israel in honor of our youngest daughter becoming Bat Mitzvah in 1994 and later, that daughter made the decision to make Aliyah and became
an Israeli citizen in 2006. Israel is just a part of me and the Israel Today series helps keep me and our community stay informed and up-to-date on critical issues that impact Israel and her future.” Mark Dubowitz The CRC plans to offer a call to action for attendees at each event, but community members can take action before each event. Advocacy starts with education and there’s no better place to learn about Israel’s diverse contributions to the Ofer Merin global society than with these great experts. The Israel Today Forum is free and open to the community; events are held at the Sandler Family Campus in Virginia Beach at 7:30 pm. RSVP requested: visit www.jewishva. org/IsraelToday, call 757-965-6107, or email email@example.com.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 15
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My college graduation gift: the summer of a lifetime by Hilary Bloch
couldn’t have asked for a better gift to celebrate finishing my years of formal education. I graduated in May from the Sy Syms School of Business at Stern College for Women, part of Yeshiva University in New York City. I didn’t get a car, a new wardrobe or even a grand sum of money to recognize my hard work. None of these things would have been as great as the gift I was given. I am fortunate, privileged and grateful beyond words to have had the opportunity to travel twice to Israel this summer. Organized by Taglit-Birthright Israel and OU Israel Free Spirit in conjunction with YACHAD, the Orthodox Union’s organization for individuals with developmental disabilities, I served as a staff member spending an amazing 10 days in Israel (20 days total from the two trips) with individuals who I can now call my friends. ‘Yachad,’ the Hebrew word meaning ‘together,’ is an unbelievable organization that promotes and creates an environment of inclusion for everyone. A person with a disability shouldn’t be separated from society, but rather should be able to have the same opportunities as everyone else. I got involved with YACHAD-the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, during my junior year in college when a friend persuaded me to stay in school for a weekend shabbaton in which we hosted some of these individuals. The entire weekend was a blast. There was singing, dancing, games and lots of food. I enjoyed a wonderful weekend with our guests and continued to attend other shabbatons in the New York/ New Jersey area. I wanted to continue my involvement beyond the weekend get-togethers, and that’s when I came across YACHAD Birthright. I have been very lucky to travel to Israel with family and friends and explore many parts of the country. In fact, I spent my first year of college studying in a seminary in Jerusalem. Before that, I had gone on a
16 | Jewish News | October 6, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Birthright trip as a participant. No matter how many times I had been, traveling with those two YACHAD groups I experienced and saw Israel from a completely new perspective. I got to see the land through the eyes of many on their first visit. Touring and particEnjoying the sights on Masada. ipating in activities such as making grape juice by stomping on grapes, touring Masada and learning the history of our people, and cooling off in various springs of water during nature walks in the hot Israeli sun, we created memories that will last with us forever. You would be surprised how fast you can become close with people you never met before in a mere 10 days. We enjoyed bus rides with singing, Hilary Bloch (center) on a nature walk games and catching up on sleep. Every at Tel Dan in Northern Israel. moment on the trip was a chance to bond with one another as we strengthened our ing even one siren. I made another set of connection and love for the Land of Israel. friends. We did so much in such little time: This summer was hard for Israel, and visit the Tzfat candle factory, pray at the therefore these trips were all the more Kotel (Western Wall), ride jeeps and take significant and inspiring for me. The first a boat ride on the Kinneret. Nothing could trip took place in June. Halfway through, stop us from having the time of our lives the news broke that three young boys had in such a spiritual and holy country we are been kidnapped. While it was tough news, proud to call ‘home.’ Working with these individuals and it didn’t stop us from continuing with our journey. We returned to America with sharing my love for Israel with them was a heavy hearts and tears in our eyes that our fulfilling way to spend my summer. If you know someone who might benefit from 10-day, life-changing trip was at its end. The war in Gaza took place during a such a trip, or would like to learn more huge part of the summer, but when it came about this organization, contact me or time for the second trip in August, I had YACHAD at (212) 613-8229 or visit https:// that same feeling of excitement as earlier in www.njcd.org. —Hillary Bloch graduated from Hebrew the summer. I was given another chance to see Israel through the eyes of many more Academy of Tidewater in 2006. She graduated people. There is no way to describe the from Stern College (Yeshiva University in New sense of calm and comfort that is only felt York City) in May with a degree in accounting in Israel. We were extremely grateful to and a minor in finance. have another successful trip without hear-
l e z a M v oT
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MAZEL TOV Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Dear Readers, Fortunately, there always seems to be a reason to exclaim, “Mazel Tov!” Engaged? “Mazel Tov!” Married? “Mazel Tov!” New baby? “Mazel Tov!” Graduation? “Mazel Tov” Win an award? “Mazel Tov!” We could go on and on. The good news
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
is that even in a world that feels a bit dismal at the moment, we don’t have to look too far or too hard to find an excuse to celebrate. After all, we just spent the past few weeks wishing everyone “A HAPPY
Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President
New Year!” With simchas and happiness on our minds, this section offers a couple of articles for planning events: one on music for Jewish weddings and another on how to
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make certain guests are well fed and leave happy.
© 2014 Jewish News. All rights reserved.
We have one story on a big group Jewish wedding that took place in Ukraine, a memorable event, for sure. A particularly important piece on page 20 focuses on screening for Jewish genetic diseases. A new test makes the screening process incredibly easy and convenient.
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Four ways to make wedding guests happy The perfect wedding is the one everyone remembers for all the right reasons
rides-to-be have long checklists for planning their big day. Dress, flowers, venue, vows, a sit-down dinner or hors d’oeuvres and crudités? Who will be in the wedding party? “Every bride wants her wedding to be perfect and by that, many mean that they want the event itself and themselves to be absolutely beautiful,” says Eric Gulbrandson, a wedding photographer and author of the new book, Dream Wedding Secrets: The All Important G.S.F, (www. dreamweddingsecrets.com). “But a perfect wedding is also one that people remember months and years later as a wonderful event where they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Think about it—no bride wants her wedding remembered as a disaster!” The secret is to put a high priority on what Gulbrandson calls the G.S.F.—Guest Satisfaction Factor. “It’s how others perceive your wedding,” he says. “Most brides do want their guests to be able to enjoy their wedding, but they overlook the G.S.F. because all the advice is geared toward beauty and budgets. Gulbrandson interviewed hundreds of wedding guests and compiled more than 200 do’s and don’ts for brides-to-be for ensuring a high G.S.F. Among them:
overseeing arts and crafts projects and games. Hiring relatives for this job will help keep the costs reasonable.
• Don’t plan your wedding for a holiday
weekend. Occasionally, brides plan their wedding for a three-day holiday weekend thinking it will help out-of-towners who want to attend. However, it also boosts the odds of local guests being out of town! Given that most working people have only two guaranteed threeday weekends a year, many plan ahead for them. Additionally, hotel and rental car prices tend to go up during holidays, and traffic doubles. Play it safe by avoid-
ing calendar holidays and, of course, Super Bowl Sunday.
ith food and drink, if you have to W choose between quantity and quality, choose quantity. Nobody will mind if the chicken isn’t the best they ever had, but they will if you run out. While taste and presentation are important, having enough food and drink available throughout the event is more important than a glamorous presentation. If you have children at your wedding, you can keep costs down—and make them happy—by planning a separate menu of, say, chicken nuggets.
• When it’s all said and done, don’t ruin
your perfect wedding by failing to follow through with that time-honored (for good reason) custom of sending thank-you notes. “Technically, accepted protocol allows guests a year after the wedding to send a gift, so you may be on the receiving end for quite some time!” Gulbrandson says. “Keep a list and send handwritten thank-you’s as quickly as you can. Most guests and experts agree that one to three months after the wedding is fine, but the best advice is to get on it quickly!”
• If you invite children, arrange a super-
vised activity area for them. Couples often include children on their guest list because they contribute to the family atmosphere and celebration, but weddings are not child-centered events. Kids get bored; the wedding day is often a long one with extended periods of sitting quietly and an abundance of adults consuming alcohol. Help parents and children enjoy the event by arranging for a supervised activity area on the outskirts of the reception. A couple of teenaged relatives may appreciate earning some money for
jewishnewsva.org | Mazel Tov | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 19
Say “Yes” to the test
ngagement season is nearly here. and he’s quiet. They’re both funny or enjoy Like a rumbling storm on the hori- hiking or love dogs or went to the same zon, men across the country are college. Every couple has that one thing that makes them a perventuring to their fect match. Somewhere jewelry stores of choice with down the road, however, money they’ve saved to buy many of these couples that ring that will make will “match” geneticalher say “Yes!” It’s a time for ly to have a child, and celebration. Whether that Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier ensuring they’re geneticelebration is with family, of a genetic disease cally compatible is of the friends or even the folks on utmost importance. the Internet who watch the One in four surprise proposal video he Ashkenazi Jews is a made, everybody is joining carrier of a genetic disin to celebrate the happy ease. While they don’t couple’s chemistry and necessarily have any of compatibility. When one thinks of compatibility, the disease’s symptoms, the chance exists the physical, emotional and personality that they and their partner might both aspects of a couple are generally the first be carriers and pass that disease to their considered. Maybe he’s hyper and she future child. In fact, 80% of children with keeps him grounded. Perhaps she’s loud genetic diseases are born to parents with
1 in 4
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MAZEL TOV no known history of the condition, making genetic screening a vital component for people of Jewish ancestry to consider when planning their futures. The journey each couple takes after tying the knot can often contain some unforeseen obstacles. Genetic testing, however, can bring peace of mind for couples, ensuring they know if genetic disease might be one of those obstacles and about their options. Testing for one’s carrier status has traditionally been a costly and complex process fraught with visits to the doctor and dips into savings accounts. Now, JScreen, based out of Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics, a non-profit genetic screening initiative, brings the innovative technology of genetic screening right to an individual’s front door. JScreen can test for 80 different genetic diseases and their new Jewish panel screens for more than 40 diseases that are common among people of Jewish ancestry. Results are delivered from JScreen by a cer-
Judaica Gifts & Jewelry tified genetic counselor, so questions can be asked and options discussed to help ensure healthy and happy babies. The process is easy. First, visit www. jscreen.org and request an at-home saliva-based test kit. After providing a saliva sample in the included test tube, mail it back in the pre-paid mailer. In a matter of weeks, a genetic counselor will reach out to discuss results and options. The technological advancements of JScreen have made the test more accessible than ever and its $99 price tag (with insurance) extends that accessibility even further, allowing those interested in starting families to screen their genes without breaking the bank. JScreen also allows people to give the gift of genetic screening. By visiting www. jscreen.org/gift, anybody can cover the cost of a friend or loved one’s JScreen test. After ordering the gift card, friends or family can request the screening kit online and get screened within the comfort and privacy of their own home.
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( JTA)—The Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine held a group wedding for 19 Jewish couples. Most of the couples that wed Sunday, Sept. 14 were already married under Ukrainian law, but had not had a Jewish wedding ceremony, or huppah, the director of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community, Zelig Brez, says. “It is a huge event in the spiritual sense, and, I’m not afraid to say it—historic,” he says, adding that the ceremonies were the largest group wedding performed in his city—where 50,000 Jews live—since before the communist era.
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Ten rabbis conducted the marriages on a terrace at the Menora Center, Dnepropetrovsk’s $100 million Jewish community center, which opened in 2012. The couples received special preparation by Shmuel Kaminezki, the city’s chief rabbi and Chabad’s influential envoy to Ukraine, and his wife, Chana. Under communism, Jewish life in the former Soviet Union was conducted underground, a reality that meant many Jews did not have a Jewish wedding. In many areas, a majority of Jews were not circumcised. “The challenge was both logistical and halachic,” the community wrote in a report about the weddings. Special attention went to helping couples feel the moment in their own private context as opposed to a group activity, Brez explains. For this reason, the weddings were conducted in two groups and not all at once—first for 10 couples and then for the remaining nine. “It was something special, and I’m happy that I saw my daughter, in the presence of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, finally get a huppah,” community activist Mina Dreitser says of the wedding of her daughter, Miriam Minutova, to Shlomo Skorokhod.
1/25/12 9:55:24 AM
Poll: Israeli Jews, Arabs oppose intermarriage TEL AVIV (JTA)â€”Three-quarters of Israeli Jews and nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs would not marry someone from a different religion, according to a poll. Conducted by Haaretz and the Dialog company Aug. 19â€“20, the poll found that opposition to interfaith relationships was highest among haredi Orthodox Jews, at 95 percent. But 88 percent of traditional and religious Jews, as well as 64 percent of secular Jews, also opposed interdating. Seventy-one percent of Muslim Israeli Arabs opposed interfaith relationships, but only half of Christian Israeli Arabs were opposed. Across religious denominations, Israeli Jews would be much more opposed to their relatives marrying Arabs than they would be to relatives marrying non-Arab gentiles.
Only a third of secular Jewish Israelis would be opposed to a relative marrying an American or European Christian, but a majority would oppose a relative marrying an Arab. Seventy-two percent of Israeli Jews overall would be opposed to a relative marrying an Arab. Opposition to intermarriage was lowest among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. More than half would avoid having a relationship with a non-Jew, but if they were to fall in love with a non-Jew, only 35 percent would insist their spouse convert. Two-thirds of Israeli Jews see intermarriage as a serious threat to Jews worldwide, and one-third see it as a serious threat to Jews in Israel. The poll questioned 505 respondents and had a 4.4 percent margin of error.
jewishnewsva.org | Mazel Tov | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 23
MAZEL TOV Milken Archive of Jewish Music Virtual Museum FINE ITALIAN DINING
Prayers and Celebrations Throughout the Jewish Year: Weddings, Funerals, and Memorial Services
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hose who are in the midst of planning a wedding have probably already started thinking about one of the occasion’s most important components: music. And not just the klezmer band to kick off the party after the crushing of the glass, but music during the ceremony to accompany the processionals and the lighting of candles, to segue between different parts of the ceremony. The freylakhs and bulgars—and, of course, the hora— are a lot of fun and should by no means be dismissed, but often it’s the music that transpires during the ceremony that lends the occasion the most gravitas and cultural context—that imbues it with the aura of a major event in the cycle of life. Such music for Jewish weddings comprises one of two new releases available from the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. As part of the multi-album Volume 4: Cycle of Life in Synagogue and Home, these albums are the latest installment in a series of releases featuring music of Jewish ritual and life-cycle events. And with a composer roster that reads like a who’s who of Jewish music, it is music that serves its “functional” purpose without sacrificing artistic expression. Need a wedding march? This album has three by Ernest Bloch, the Swissborn émigré many consider to be history’s
Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill
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greatest “Jewish” composer. Like other famous émigrés, Bloch left Europe to avoid persecution and found great success in America. Bloch’s wedding marches, performed by organist and composer Barbara Harbach, are brief and functional, yet easy to appreciate for their lilting rhythms and simple melodies. Got sheva b’rakhot? The “seven blessings” that constitute the second part of a traditional Jewish wedding, are featured here in three settings. Simon Spiro’s arrangement pays homage to the Eastern European choral-cantorial (khor shul) style and draws on previous compositions by Sholom Kalib and Meyer Machtenberg. In Spiro’s hands, and with his backup choir (the all-male cantorial choir Coro Hebraeico), the performance is by turns festive, joyous, somber and deeply emotional. Settings of the sheva b’rakhot by Meir Finkelstein and Morris Barash occur in the context of larger wedding services that also include other obligatory liturgical texts. A more straightforward approach (compared to Kalib’s) and Finkelstein’s silky-smooth tenor are among the highlights of this service, but listeners will also delight in the tastefully adapted Hollywood melodies in his settings of Ma y’didot mishk’notekha or How Lovely Are Your Tabernacles (Flashdance’s What A Feeling) and Halleluya (Superman’s main theme) that bracket the sheva b’rhakhot and lend the otherwise dignified service a tinge of pop catchiness. The wedding service by Morris Barash features the dark baritone cantillations of Cantor Raphael Frieder and compliments the organ-choral accompaniment with a chamber ensemble. The Milken Archive Archive’s virtual museum www.milkenarchive.org is an interactive guide to music, videos, oral histories, photos and essays.
Is lunar eclipse at Sukkot an ominous sign? by Edmon J. Rodman
LOS ANGELES (JTA)—As we usher in Sukkot, will there be a blood moon rising? John Hagee, the San Antonio pastor who wrote the book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change, would have us believe so. Hagee predicts that because of a cycle of four lunar eclipses called a tetrad—two this year and next on Passover and Sukkot —that something big is about to happen, like the Rapture. The eclipse will be seen throughout much of the world on Oct. 7 and 8—the latter the eve of Sukkot. It will be visible throughout much of the United States on Oct. 8, but only in New Zealand on the actual holiday. During a lunar eclipse, the moon moves directly behind the earth and into its shadow. Seeing the first so-called “blood moon” following the first night’s seder this year— it looked more like watered-down kiddush wine—did fill me with wonder. Or was that just the Four Cups talking? So is some sort of cataclysm on its way? Should I even bother putting up my sukkah? Jeremy Schnittman, a research astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and an observant Jew, is putting up his, so maybe we shouldn’t worry.
“The lunar tetrad event is perfectly normal,” Schnittman says. “Every night when you go outside on the first night of Sukkot, it is going to be a full moon. And every lunar eclipse happens during a full moon,” he says. “On average there are two lunar eclipses every year. The chance of having a lunar eclipse on Sukkot is one in six. “The same is true for the first night of Pesach,” he says, demystifying what at first seems like an awesome coincidence. But what about the fact that the eclipses fall on the two Jewish holidays? “If there’s one on Sukkot, then there’s a very high chance that there will be one on Pesach,” says Schnittman, noting that the holidays are exactly six months apart. “There’s been a lot of hubbub about ‘Four Blood Moons’ in a row,” he adds. But once the plane of the orbits of the moon and earth are aligned so that an eclipse occurs, “it’s actually quite reasonable that you are going to get them again every six months for the next couple of years before the cycle moves a little bit out of alignment.” As for the blood-like color, which is even mentioned in the book of Joel, Schnittman explains, “Full eclipses are always red. Just like the clouds on earth turn red during the sunset, during an eclipse the full moon turns red.” Perhaps adding a tinge of credibility
to Hagee’s claim is that in the Talmud, the rabbis said that “when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon.” “That reflects a more ancient superstitious approach to Judaism and astronomy,” says Schnittman, who in graduate school studied theoretical black holes and later attended Yeshivat Hamitzar in Israel for a year. In his book, Hagee builds his theory by lining up catastrophic events in Jewish history, like the Spanish Inquisition and Israel’s War of Independence, with lunar tetrads in 1492 and 1948. “People are looking for patterns,” Schnittman says. “Humans are really good at it. But sometimes you find a pattern that’s not really there. “From a historical point of view, you could close your eyes and stick your finger on a historical date in the last 2,000 years and there’s probably something inauspicious” going for the Jews, he says. “You would think that if this were a real portent of doom for Israel, it would actually be visible from Israel,” Schnittman says. “But it’s not happening there until the middle of the day, so they are not going to see anything. None of the four of the tetrad are actually visible in Israel. Schnittman says he’s been interested in astronomy since he was young. “About half the gifts I got for my bar mitz-
vah were astronomy books,” he recalls. “They sat collecting dust on my shelf for around 10 years before I pulled them out again.” For Schnittman, the coming lunar eclipse “isn’t a random event. You can calculate exactly when all these things happen,” he says. “When I sit down and calculate with a piece of paper and pencil that there’s going to be an eclipse three years from now and it happens, that to me is like getting a little peek inside of God’s world.” For some people, Schnittman says, he knows his approach “takes some of the mysticism out of it.” But “it’s exactly quite the opposite.” “The fact that God created a world that has all these amazing events and also gave us the ability to both predict them and understand them, to me that’s exactly a very religious experience,” he says. And what about finding the date for the next lunar eclipse on a Jewish holiday? “In 2016, there’s one on March 23, which is probably Purim,” he says. “I’m sure people will be coming out saying something about that.” That got me thinking about writing a book filled with dire predictions—including, of course, a hamantashen shortage. The Purim Prophecy, anyone? —Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles. Contact him at email@example.com.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 25
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
Take it outside: Hail kale (salad), bring on the beef (stew) by Shannon Sarna
(MyJewishLearning.com)—During the summer we relish al fresco dining. The moment we can bring our meals outside is always a happy one, and we schedule the summer months with picnics, barbecues and rooftop cocktails as much as possible. Then the autumn arrives and we move indoors. But Sukkot offers a beautiful moment to extend our time outside and enjoy the tastes of early fall. Give me a salad with some roasted beets and I am a happy lady. The Chopped Kale Salad with Apples and Beets recipe is satisfying and sweet with crunch from some walnuts and a hint of tartness from dried cranberries. The kale is hearty and will hold up well if you need to transport it to someone’s sukkah for lunch or dinner. Apple Cider Beef Stew uses one of my favorite fall treats, apple cider, to make a rich stew that is perfect to serve on a chilly fall day over some egg noodles or rice. It’s also a great alternative to cholent for a hearty Shabbat lunch in the sukkah. Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting will have your guests asking incredulously, “are you sure these are nondairy?” And yes, they are. The sweet potato ensures a super moist cake even without milk or butter, and the slight spice sings of fall flavors. The marshmallow frosting is super easy to make and even more fun to toast using the oven broiler or a small hand torch if you have one. —Shannon Sarna is editor of The Nosher blog on MyJewishLearning. com, where these recipes originally appeared.)
Chopped Kale Salad with Apple and Roasted Beets Ingredients 3 cups chopped fresh kale 2 medium beets ½ apple, diced ¼ cup chopped candied walnuts ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper Preparation Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the beets. Place in tin foil and roast in oven for 45–60 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool. Remove the outer peel of beets using hands or a vegetable peeler. Cut beets into bite-sized pieces. Place chopped kale in a large salad bowl. Add beets, apple, candied walnuts and dried cherries or cranberries. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or salad dressing of your choosing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 4 servings
26 | Jewish News | October 6, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Apple Cider Beef Stew Ingredients 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes Salt and pepper All-purpose flour 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced 3–4 garlic cloves 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch crushed red pepper 2 cups apple cider 1 cup red wine 1 cup vegetable or beef stock 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 4–5 m edium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients 2 medium sweet potatoes 1½ cups flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon ¾ teaspoon ginger ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar ½ cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preparation Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and wrap in tin foil. Roast for 40–50 minutes or until soft. Let cool. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out flesh. Place in a food processor fitted with a blade and pulse until smooth. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add pureed sweet potatoes, sugar and oil to a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture in batches; beat just until blended.
Preparation Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line and grease muffin tins. Fill muffin trays until ¾ full.
Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper liberally over beef. Cover beef in light coating of flour.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out cool. Allow to cool.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large oven-safe pot. Brown meat on all sides and then remove from pot and set aside on a dish.
Pipe frosting in a swirl on top of each cupcake. Using a hand-held blow torch, gently drag the torch across the frosting, toasting the frosting until just lightly brown.
Add another tablespoon olive oil and saute onions, carrots and garlic cloves, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and pinch of red pepper flakes, continuing to stir. Saute vegetables until translucent. Add apple cider, red wine, stock and balsamic vinegar and let come to simmer. Add salt and pepper. Place beef back into the pot, stir and cover cooking for 2 hours in preheated oven. At the 2-hour mark, add the potatoes. Taste the stew, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Put stew back into the oven for another 45 minutes. Serve with rice or noodles. Yield: 6 servings
Make frosting (see recipe below).
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosting (half recipe) (via Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes) Ingredients 8 large egg whites 2 cups sugar ½ teaspoon cream of tartar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Preparation Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately. Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes
Tidewater Lions take a bite out of the Big Apple by Amy Zelenka, UJFT Women’s Campaign director
n a very special Sunday in September, six women from the Tidewater Jewish community met on the eighth floor of the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Times Square. As they quietly greeted one another, the spaces around them began to fill with more than 1,400 powerful, beautiful, opinionated and generous Jewish women from communities across North America and elsewhere. The volume in the room began to rise pursuant to the number of conversations taking place. As the Tidewater contingent made its way around the opening reception of this year’s International Lion of Judah Conference, it was impossible to miss these uniquely familiar snippets of discussion… common Jewish experiences were compared and Jewish geography explored. Concerns for Israel’s security and fear over the plight of Jews living in Ukraine were themes which floated to the top of several conversations taking place in various corners of the room. Certain things became very clear: this was a special place to be, and this conference promised to speak to the heart of the issues near and dear to the hearts of the Lions. What is a Lion of Judah Conference? To answer that question one needs to know what is a Lion of Judah. By definition, a Lion of Judah is a woman philanthropist giving $5,000 per year or more to her local Jewish Federation. But the truth is that a Lion of Judah is so much more. She is a role model in her community and often times beyond. She is a concerned Jewish woman who seeks to educate herself and others about the issues that impact local and global Jewish community and Jewish life. And she is an activist who looks for ways and opportunities to repair the world—for her fellow Jews and for all mankind. She sees herself as part of a People whose responsibility is to serve as a “light unto the nations” and a shining example of the best qualities of civilized men and women. Lofty enough? Well, don’t be scared away. The Lion of Judah (in many cases) is also a party animal! And the Lion of Judah conference provided 1,400 Lions
with opportunities to learn, to be inspired to action, to bond with one another and to celebrate the collective power of Jewish women. Co-chaired by Tidewater Lions Cindy Kramer and Martha Mednick-Glasser, other Tidewater Lions at the conference included Rebecca Dreyfus, Jodi Klebanoff, Laura Miller and Amy Zelenka. Miller was not just a conference participant, but also a national Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award Winner. The Tidewater group was extremely proud of her as she stood to receive her award alongside fellow recipients from around the country. Immediately following the award presentation Miller was singled-out by the conference organizers for special recognition. Unbeknownst to most of the women in the room, Miller had (earlier that day) performed an incredible act of kindness. Once announced, it was immediately clear to all in the room just how special she is and why it was so easy to name her Tidewater’s KWF award winner. (See related story on page 10). Conference plenaries featured such world-class speakers as Second-Lady Dr. Jill Biden; Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR synagogue in Los Angeles (named one of Newsweek’s top 50 rabbis in 2013 and its first woman rabbi to make the list); Rabbi Shira Stutman of Washington, DC’s 6th & I Historic Synagogue (named one of America’s most inspiring rabbis in 2012 by The Jewish Daily Forward); Knesset Member Dov Lipman of the Yesh Atid party; David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and its Ziegler Distinguished Fellow; Caryl Stern, CEO of UNICEF; and Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Musical performances by Sara Merson (a finalist on The Voice of Israel); Cantor Shayna Postman (from the Town & Village Synagogue in lower Manhattan); and closing performer Einat Sarouf (Israeli pop star) added further ruach and inspiration. While the conference plenaries were energizing and inspiring, it was the smaller group breakout sessions and forums where real learning and ideas sharing took place. Day one breakout sessions ranged in topic from Jewish Genetic Wellness to Jewish
Education; from Engaging Volunteers to Leadership and Social Change; from Next Gen to Imagining a Shared Society in Israel; from Creating W e l c o m i n g Communities to Modern Orthodoxy and the Israeli Feminist Movement. The conference on a whole spent a good deal of time on discussions surrounding social
Tidewater Lions enjoy lunch in the city. Seated: Jodi Klebanoff, Bonnie Brand, Amy Zelenka and Laura Miller. Standing: Martha Glasser and Cindy Kramer (Missing from photo: Rebecca Dreyfus.).
It’s a Tidewater reunion! Claudia Dreyfus, Mindy Strelitz, Joyce Kramer, Rebecca Dreyfus, Amy Zelenka, Jodi Klebanoff, Laura Miller, Bonnie Brand, Martha Glasser and Cindy Kramer.
justice issues (including human trafficking, advocating for the rights of women and girls in Muslim countries, eradicating genetic diseases and addressing the needs of the worlds’ poorest children). Day two of the conference brought meaningful discussions with the Federations’ overseas service delivery partners, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel. These sessions were particularly poignant and useful, providing excellent updates on the work UJFT helps to fund, as well as a global assessment of world Jewry and the threats and challenges it faces—today and tomorrow. The conference ended with an Israelistyle party complete with singing and
dancing to live traditional and pop culture Israeli music. Two and a half powerful days of philanthropy, Jewish activism and inspiration brought the Tidewater Lions home energized and with new ideas and enthusiasm to continue bringing light into a world which sometimes seems very bleak. Still in the High Holidays mood, it is with great satisfaction that the group can look back at the 2014 International Lion of Judah Conference, knowing that the Lions of Tidewater and elsewhere truly are performing acts of righteousness (tzedakah). And by doing so, they are helping to fulfil the mandates of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh— taking care of fellow Jews.
jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 27
Bernard is doing good works forever. How will you help shape the future? Norfolk architect Bernard Spigel died in 1968 leaving an enduring legacy of homes, schools, theaters and commercial buildings he designed.
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it’s a wrap Congregation Beth El Religious School’s opening day by Sharon Wasserberg
ongregation Beth El Religious School (BERS) students eagerly returned to class on Sunday, Sept. 7. Tefillah in the Main Sanctuary was vibrant and when Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz asked the children to give a Shanah Tovah “shout-out,” the chapel minyan had to close their doors. To meet growing enrollment and changes in teachers, BERS has several new faces in the halls. Mike Wasserberg is teamed with Jim Camic for the eighth and ninth graders. Both veteran Religious School teachers, they are focusing on tikkun olam and ethics. They have gotten a positive response to this new focus and “no complaints” about putting their learning into action. For example, the students have been asked to lead a Shabbat morning Junior Congregation service once during the school year. As Wasserberg put it to the class: “you all went to Junior Congregation and know what you liked and didn’t like. Go and do with the kids attending Junior Congregation now.” Cami Glass, a product of BERS and alumna of USY programs, brings her artistic and musical talents to her third graders
Barbara Rossen, fifth Grade Teacher, with her students.
and their focus on the Holiness Code. In addition to working with the third grade class, Glass will help with the Kadima youth group. Rachel Lev, the new fourth grade teacher, is a Sephardic Jew who was born and raised in Chile. She speaks a fluent Ladino, as well as Hebrew. Her students will explore both Sephardi and Ashkenazi customs as they learn about what it means to be a Conservative Jew and kashrut. Yana Samberg, the new sixth grade teacher, immigrated with her family to Chicago from Russia when she was five. Day-school educated and also multi-lingual (Hebrew, Russian and others), Samberg brings an easy smile and quick wit to her students for their course of study: becoming an adult Jew. A new program this year is PACT-ivities (Parents And Children Together activities). For information about Beth El Religious School, contact Sharon Wasserberg, director of Congregational Learning, at 625-7821 or Sharon@bethelnorfolk.com.
Colors and shapes at the Chrysler by Jennifer Adut
ore than 20 Beth El children and their families enjoyed a special “Growing Together” program at the Chrysler Museum of Art on Sunday, Sept. 14. The museum’s docent gave the group a child-friendly tour of selected works of art from a “kid’s perspective.” After the tour, the children enjoyed an arts and crafts activity in a private room. Both kids and parents had a great time and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about art and each other. Beth El member Lisa Leon says, “it
was such a nice opportunity to expose the children to various works of art and also a great way for parents to socialize and be together.” The “Growing Together” group at Beth El is an interest group for young families and is designed to create community, foster lasting relationships, share Jewish experiences and have fun. For more information, contact Jennifer Adut at Jenadut@yahoo.com.
it’s a wrap Beth El hosts “Meet & Greet” by Betsy Karotkin
curtain seemed to hold back the rain on Sunday, Sept. 7 as new members of Congregation Beth El, along with many prospective members, enjoyed each other’s company at the beautiful Norfolk home of Leslie and Charles Hecht-Leavitt. More than 50 adults and 15 children had an opportunity to meet Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and his wife, Tami, along with lay leaders of Beth El, including Leslie Hecht-Leavitt, chair of the “Keruv” initiative—bringing interfaith families closer, Alicia Friedman, membership chair, and Jerry Kantor, president. “We enjoyed ourselves and met so many nice people,” say Jade and Greg Rouzeau. Similarly, Jesse and Charlene Gordon say that, “The Beth El Meet and Greet was a great chance for a new member of the synagogue to connect with other members and learn about some of the new and exciting programs at the Temple.” Meryl Mulligan, along with her husband Sean, are also new members. She says “The Meet and Greet was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with new friends and the synagogue leadership. Sean and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and we are looking forward to many future events with the Beth El community.” Leslie Hecht-Leavitt, says she felt “heartened and invigorated by the warm and joyful spirit of the new members and young families. This is the future of Beth El and it is bright. What a great way to start the New Year!”
Ashley Zittrain greets Dr. Brad and Rebecca Levitt.
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs Graduations Birthdays Anniversaries Office Events Receptions Gallery Tours and Demonstrations Unique Shopping One of a Kind Artworks and Gifts
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Charles Hecht-Leavitt with new member Jonathan Rose.
The Meet and Greet was the first of many events to be held this year that are designed to introduce and deepen relationships among Beth El members. Friedman and her committee will be reaching out to all of Beth El’s new members. Hecht-Levitt is working on the initiative initially developed by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs to help couples, families and synagogues deal with issues regarding interfaith relationships and marriage. Beth El is committed to the Keruv initiative and welcomes couples and/or families with two faiths. On Friday, Nov. 21, Congregation Beth El will host a Shabbat dinner to honor all new members. Anyone interested in learning more about Beth El is also invited that evening.
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it’s a wrap OUR COMMUNITY THEATRE SINCE 1926.
Religion and death and dying discussed at ODU by Joe Hades, visiting professor at Old Dominion University
by Ken Ludwig OCTOBER 31 – NOVEMBER 23, 2014
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lecture on Religion, Ethics and Dying: Controversies and Perspective, took place on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Old Dominion University. Representing the Catholic and Jewish approaches to death and dying, Dr. Gerard Magill, a tenured professor in the center for healthcare ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburg and Dr. Jonathan Crane, a professor of bioethics and Jewish thought at Emory University in Atlanta, spoke to a packed house. The program was presented in coordination with ODU’s Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, ODU’s department of Philosophy and Religious studies, Eastern Virginia Medical School and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Maimonides Society. Each panelist spent 20 minutes presenting his views. While both men seemed to agree that advancements in technology and medicine are moving at a faster pace than society is able to keep up with, and that religion provides guidelines for dealing with death and dying, they came from very different approaches. Magill emphasized that in Catholicism, attempts are made to not over complicate death and dying and are geared towards keeping it as simple as possible. Crane, however, said that Judaism derives its medical ethics from one of the most complicated sources, that of the Shulcan Aruch, a 16th century compilation of Jewish law, penned by Rabbi Joseph Karo. Crane gave examples of how even a single segment of the text can be interpreted in vastly different ways, making it anything but straightforward. In many ways, these different approaches encapsulate the theological differences between Judaism and Catholicism. Catholicism tends to keep things simple to the point where in the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic church rather than deal with complexity, simply banned books altogether, such as the work of Plato and Aristotle. Judaism, theologically, goes to the other
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side of the spectrum where its most studied text, the Talmud, is 90% commentary and often sites contradictory traditions to provide answers to problems and questions. If there is a question, the Talmud often shows how one rabbi said to do one thing, while another rabbi said to do something else. Following the 20-minute presentations, the panelists fielded questions from the audience, again basically agreeing on the answers, but giving different approaches to how to deal with the various situations. At one point, Magill in his thick Scottish accent turned to Crane and said, “Can we find something to disagree on please?” which got a good laugh from the audience. During the question component of the event, the creativity and imagination of the panelists was apparent. Not only did they both offer fascinating theories on how to bridge centuries-old religious traditions with an ever-changing world, but they
directly addressed the need for imagination. They made it clear that thinking must be expanded as much as possible to incorporate all strands of thought from Eastern philosophy and Chinese medicine to fantastical storytelling; because death and dying are complicated and the technology to assist death is advancing so fast that anything less than a demand for wide thinking and imaginative problem solving will simply be stagnant. Author’s note: The evening was a wonderful success. It was a clear and fascinating talk by brilliant panelists to a packed hall. As a new comer to ODU, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the level of scholarship orchestrated by the University, as well as the depth of questioning from the audience. It seemed to represent all that is finest in the American academic tradition: People of different faiths, coming together in an amicable way to discuss difficult ethical dilemmas, with optimism and depth.
NFL competition passes at JCC
he Simon Family JCC had a great turnout Sunday, Sept. 21 for its first NFL Punt Pass and Kick competition. Kids participated from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk. These local competition winners earned a spot in the Sectional Competitions. Sectional winners advance to the Team Competition at FedEx Field during a Redskins game.
what’s happening First Person
Fresh start: back to school and the Jewish New Year Allison Josephs, Scholar-in Residence at B’nai Israel —November 7–9 by Allison Josephs
’m pretty sure that there’s a place in hell where the really bad people are trapped in a shoe store with hordes of short people who whine “Mommy” at them— forever. There is a certain dread that Allison Josephs fills my being at the end of every summer as we begin our back to school shopping. The shoe store is my least favorite stop on the long road we take each August in order to return the kids to school. Two of my children have one foot that is slightly longer than the other. You would never know except for the inordinate number of reject boxes that cover the floor by the time we’re done. That coupled with my older son throwing a tantrum over us not buying him Spiderman shoes (despite my extremely cogent argument that the REAL Spiderman would never wear a shoe with his face on it), plus my younger son randomly pulling boxes off the shelves, and running through the aisles giggling as we clean up after him and try to chase him down, leaves me in the looney (shoe) bin by the end of the outing. The school supply trip isn’t much better. Pushing our way through crowded aisles filled with other procrastinators. “Ma, I need colored pencils.” Crayons, thick markers, thin markers, short markers, dry erase markers, regular pencils. “Oh look, colored pencils!” “Actually, Mommy, this is a 12-pack, the list says we need a 24-pack.” Post-it Notes, glue sticks, index cards, Poly-pocket folders, and a packet of exactly FOUR highlighters containing blue, green, pink and yellow. Not a three pack. Not a five pack. Only a four-pack. Although I detest back to school shopping, there is something wonderful about
it that I still remember from my childhood: Everything was new. Everything was fresh. What a wonderful feeling it was to have folders with edges that hadn’t been bent back yet, erasers that were still bright pink and notebooks that were crisp with the promise of a new beginning. In theory, parents could just have their kids rip out the used pages of old notebooks, erase the writing on marked up papers and tell them to make do. But as long as they as they can afford it, most parents get their kids new supplies. I think part of the psychology (whether or not people think about it) of having unblemished supplies is a hope that comes with starting off anew. I was always a good student, but I didn’t always keep my school supplies in the neatest order, and every year, there was a certain point in the semester that I’d get disgusted with my stained, ripped notebooks and binders and long for that fresh start. And through the chaos of back to school shopping, I got to thinking about how this time of year, we don’t just give our kids new school supplies. We are given a chance for a new self through the power of teshuva (repenting/returning) that comes with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When we truly do teshuva, last year’s mistakes aren’t simply “ripped out of the old notebook” or “erased off the used paper” leaving us with a lingering memory of the past. No—our start is completely fresh. Our “eraser becomes one that never erased.” Our “supplies” are all brand spanking new. And just as our children should feel grateful that we don’t make them reuse the old stuff, so too we should appreciate the kindness that the Almighty does for us allowing us to be reinvented each and every year. The image of leaving last year’s mess behind, last year’s disappointments in last year is a pretty powerful one. Our new start should also fill us with hope. We’re wise enough to know that our “supplies” will get “spilled on” and “stepped on” and “marked up” by the year’s end. But maybe we’ll get through this year with a few less “scribbles”
and “tears” than the year before. This article first appeared on jewinthecity.com. Allison Josephs will be a Scholar-in Residence at B’nai Israel Nov. 7–9. She will
speak at the JCC on Saturday, Nov. 8. Contact B’nai Israel at 757-627-7358 or email@example.com.
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jewishnewsva.org | October 6, 2014 | Jewish News | 31
what’s happening To non-Jewish mothers raising Jewish children, the Jewish community says, “Thank You!”
“Meet the Candidates” reception for 2nd Congressional District
The Mothers Circle program begins Tuesday, Oct. 21, 9 am
Hosted by UJFT’s Community Relations Council Monday, Oct. 20, 6:30 pm, Sandler Family Campus
n the United States, at least half of all Jewish marriages are interfaith marriages. In many such unions, women of different faiths want to understand more about Judaism and raising Jewish children, but may not have available an accessible or sympathetic source of Jewish learning and understanding. To find ways to appreciate and support non-Jewish spouses, five Tidewater Jewish organizations have joined togeth- Ashley Lemke at home. er to sponsor a national educationLemke’s children al program called started at Strelitz The Mothers Circle. Early Childhood This program Center two years advocates learning ago because she about Judaism in a and her husband, relaxed, supportive Shawn, sought a environment with a place to educate set non-denominathemselves as well tional curriculum. as their children The goal of The about Judaism, and Mothers Circle is to they didn’t belong to provide women not other Jewish organiraised Jewish with Ashley Lemke and her daughter. zations. the tools to explain “Once my chiland celebrate holidays, create a Jewish home and raise Jewish dren attended Strelitz, I found a spiritual children, if they so choose. The program, connection with my husband because I had which is free, will be held twice a month a positive Jewish experience. My husband on Tuesday mornings at the Simon Family and I can finally pray together, because JCC. Free babysitting will be offered for I’ve learned blessings through my children. participants during each class. In addition I want to expand on my own knowledge to the course, four couple or family-friend- about Judaism so we can enhance that conly events are planned for evenings and nection, and I can be a competent spiritual weekends so that all interfaith families can leader in my family. I look forward to meeting and learning from other women who are learn about and enjoy Judaism together. Ashley Lemke spearheaded the effort to on a similar journey.” The Mothers Circle is sponsored by Ohef start this program since she is of a different faith and wants to support her children’s Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, the understanding of their Jewish heritage. “It’s Simon Family Jewish Community Center, clear there are many women like me who Strelitz Early Childhood Center and the are struggling to understand their husband’s Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. For more Jewish religion. It can be difficult for hus- information about The Mothers Circle, contact bands to explain the ‘who, what and why’ Linda Peck, director of Congregational Life of a culture they’ve been part of since birth. at Ohef Sholom Temple, at 757-625-4295 The Mothers Circle is a way for women to or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out The learn together what Judaism is about and to Mothers Circle Facebook page at www.facefigure out with their spouses how Judaism book.com/TheMothersCircleCoastalVirginia. will be part of their families.”
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by Robin Mancoll
n what may be one of only a few appearances together, the two candidates hoping to represent Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District for the next two years in Washington, D.C., will discuss issues important to the Tidewater Jewish community at the Sandler Family Campus. The election is November 4. The 2nd Congressional District is comprised of Virginia Beach, the Eastern Shore and parts of Norfolk and Hampton. Incumbent Scott Rigell (R) and Suzanne Patrick (D) will meet the community in this free and open to the public event. After presenting their platforms from the stage, the candidates will spend time up close and personal with attendees, answering questions face to face, instead of from the stage. Topics sure to be included in conversations will focus on the candidates’ views on the AmericanIsrael relationship, the U.S. role in the Middle East, as well as domestic concerns important to Tidewater Jewish community agencies. Rigell, a former marine and a local car dealer, is seeking his third term in Congress. Patrick, a former Pentagon official and retired naval officer, is making her first bid for public office. “Attending the UJFT Meet the Candidates reception remains one of my fondest memories as a first-time candidate in 2010,” says Rigell. “Listening and learning are two key attributes for anyone in public service, and one of my top priorities in Congress is to ensure that the full fabric of our community crosses the finish line together. Teri and I look forward to listening, learning and seeing old friends as well as making new ones on October 20.” Patrick says about the event, “I welcome this opportunity to talk about the issues important to the constituents in
the Second District and thank United Jewish Federation of Tidewater for its hard work to organize the forum. It comes at an important time in our world history. During this period of heightened instability and conflict in the Middle East, I look forward to discussing my strong support of Israel and its special relationship with America.” Megan Zuckerman, chairman of the Community Relations Council, says, “I am very pleased that Second District Congressman Rigell and candidate Suzanne Patrick are making it a priority in their campaign schedules to spend an evening with the Jewish community. The CRC’s mission is to motivate, educate, and advocate on issues important to our Jewish community locally, nationally and globally. In this vein, we must know the people we elect to represent us and they must know us, and the issues impacting our community. We hope the community will turn out to demonstrate how critical this election is to our Jewish community.” This forum offers an opportunity to become personally informed and engaged, and to demonstrate that Tidewater consists of a strong, concerned, involved community whose votes and opinions matter. For more information or to RSVP by Oct. 15, visit www.JewishVA.org/CRC, email SMaslin@ujft.org, or call 767-965-6107.
what’s happening Visit the Opera at the JCC Sunday, Oct. 19, 2:30 pm
irginia Opera returns to the Simon Family JCC with a performance for young opera enthusiasts with scenes from The Empress and the Nightingale. This Hans Christian Andersen classic is a children’s story of a small bird sharing her gift of song. With a cast of three, this opera vividly teaches the value of music performed live and how humans cannot control nature. The Opera’s community series for children travels to area schools and community centers. “The performance engaged my students for the entire 45 minutes,” says John Tyler Elementary music teacher Marie Weber. “All the kindergarteners, who had never been to an assembly before, loved the show. One little girl even cried at the end
because she was sad the show was over!” The Virginia Opera has performed for the past two years at the JCC as part of its Children’s Cultural Arts Series. Last year, the group showcased Jack and the Beanstalk, which, like The Empress and the Nightingale, is performed by just several cast members and aims to engage a young audience, encouraging questions and conversation after the performance. Tickets for the Opera are: Child (ages 10 and under) $6, $4 (JCC member); Adult (ages 11 and up) $8, $6 (JCC member); Family (2 adults + children), $27, $22 (JCC member). Call 321-2338 for tickets. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Stop & Shop…and support a great cause Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s Helping Hearts project Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5–8:30 pm
ewish Family Service of Tidewater is hosting a ‘one-stop shopping event’ featuring numerous direct sales and community vendors. The event will take place 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. Now in its 10th year, the Helping Hearts project provides indigent adults with gifts for the holidays. It’s hard to imagine spending a holiday alone, but sadly, many adults in Tidewater do just that. Dorothy Salomonsky, director of JFS’ Personal Affairs Management program, says, “Many of the recipients live off of $30 per month and have little or no family or friends to see during the holiday months. This year, we hope to provide 1,000 adults
The Devil’s Arithmetic at The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center Sunday, Oct. 12, 2 pm
1999 TV movie based on the novel by Jane Yolen, The Devil’s Arithmetic is the first film of The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s season. The story of a Jewish girl who, during a Seder, is transported in time to 1942 Poland where she is sent to a death camp and learns the importance of knowing history, the movie will be introduced and discussed by Rabbi Arthur Steinberg and Professor Andrew Quicke of Regent University. The suggested donation is $5. Popcorn and water will be served. The museum is located at 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth. For information, call 391-9266 or visit the website www. jewishmuseumportsmouth.org.
Celebrate Shabbat Under the Stars
E with these gifts to let them know they are not alone and to spread a little cheer.” A number of the individuals served by this project are part of the JFS Personal Affairs Management (PAM) program for incapacitated adults. For information about the “Stop & Shop” event, call Nikcole Sales at 757-531-7378. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Friday, Oct. 24, 5:30–8 pm
xperience a real Shabbat dinner with friends and families and do an activity related to the week’s Parsha, Noah. Also see what the sky looks like that night, and talk about the sky in Noah’s time. Sponsored by the Simon Family JCC Children and Family department, the event takes place at the TCC Planetarium, Virginia Beach Campus Science Building. Family Planetarium Show at 5:30 pm;* Shabbat Dinner at 6:30 pm. $15 for adults; $10 for children, ages 3-16. RSVP required to email@example.com. *No late admittance to planetarium shows
October JCC Membership open house Sunday, Oct. 19, 12–3 pm
Those who join in October receive November free. Participate in any part of three hours of fitness classes, get your body composition and blood pressure checked, enjoy an inflatable obstacle course, arts and crafts, healthy snacks and more.
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Two for one Sundays are back at Il Giardino. The tradition continues October through April. Order one entrée at regular price and get a second of equal or lesser value for free every Sunday* at Il Giardino.
October 15, Wednesday JCC Senior Club meeting with entertainment by The Daybreak Singers. Board meeting at 10:30 am; lunch at 12 noon; general meeting follows. For further information, call 338-2676. October 19, Sunday The Empress and the Nightingale, presented by the Virginia Opera at the Simon Family JCC. 2:30 pm. Call 757‑321-2338 for tickets. See page 33. October 20, Monday Meet the Candidates for 2nd District Congressional seat, Scott Rigell (R) and Suzanne Patrick (D) at a free community reception hosted by the Community Relations Council at 6:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. RSVP by Oct. 15 to jewishva.org/CRC, SMaslin@ujft. org, or 965-6107. See page 32 for more details.
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.
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OCTOBER 12, SUNDAY Sukkot celebration with Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, 2–5 pm, at 4661 Priscilla Lane, Virginia Beach. Come shake a lulav and etrog and have a nosh! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
10th and Atlantic on the oceanfront
Andy Kline President
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. 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. Community Relations Council and partners kick off Israel Today forum with former Knesset member, Dr. Einat Wilf at 7:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. RSVP by Oct. 27 to jewishva.org/CRC, SMaslin@ujft.org, or 965-6107. See page 15 for more details.
Payroll, Taxes and W-2s • Web Based Time and Attendance NCS Background Checks • Employee Loans • Pay As You Go Workers Comp Insurance HR Answerlink H.R. Legal Resources • Employee Self Service Online Cobra Administration • VISA Debit Payday Cards
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. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Call us today to see how we can help, 757-523-0605 or visit us at www.paydaypayroll.com.
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Simon Family Jewish Community Center positions available
Mazel Tov to ACHIEVEMENT Jerome S. Blackman, MD, who was elected president of the American College of Psychoanalysts (National Honorary Association of Physician-Psychoanalysts) at its annual meeting held in conjunction with the University of Paris – Diderot, in Paris. Also, his book chapter, “Fear of Injury” was published in S. Akhtar, Fear: A Dark Shadow Across our Life Span (London: Karnac). He continues his private practice in Virginia Beach and his teaching as professor of clinical psychiatry at EVMS. BIRTH Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky on becaming the parents of a baby girl. Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky was born on Friday, Sept. 26 at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
“Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky,” Clinton said in a tweet. Mezvinsky, who is Jewish, is the banker son of two ex-Congress members. Clinton, the daughter of the former U.S. president and former U.S. secretary of state, serves as the vice chairwoman of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. In a statement, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton said they are “blessed, grateful and so happy to be the grandparents of a beautiful girl.” Clinton and Mezvinsky were married in late July 2010 under a traditional huppah, or wedding canopy, and recited the traditional sheva brachot, or seven wedding blessings. A rabbi and a Methodist minister officiated at the wedding. The couple signed a ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract. (JTA) Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
Marketing and Membership Director The Opportunity Excellent career opportunity for a Marketing/Membership professional that has experience working collaboratively with intricate organizational programs, staff and community partners; to develop and ensure the successful implementation of agency branding, marketing, advertising, promotion and membership strategies which support the vision, mission and goals of the Simon Family JCC Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or related field from an accredited college or university plus a minimum of 7 years of progressive experience including overseeing marketing collateral creation, creative production, writing, and project management OR Master’s degree with 5 years of related experience; • Proven ability to manage/supervise employees and workflow; • Outstanding teambuilding and collaboration skills; • Strong knowledge of web-based marketing strategies and strong contacts with local media; • Knowledge of Jewish community with understanding, appreciation and passion for the mission and values of the JCC; • Strong knowledge of Jewish heritage, values, traditions and culture; • Willingness to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required; • Knowledge of or experience supporting fundraising preferred. The duties outlined in this job description are meant to be representative, but not all inclusive, assigned to this job. These duties may be amended at the discretion of the Executive Director. Submit resumes with salary requirements to: email@example.com.
who knew? Winehouse statue features Star of David (JTA)—A statue of Amy Winehouse in London has the iconic blues singer wearing a Star of David. The unveiling last month in the Camden Town neighborhood, where Winehouse lived, marked what would have been Winehouse’s 31st birthday and was attended by her parents. The statue, by Scott Eaton, casts the singer, who was Jewish, mostly in gray striking a typical pose—one hand on hip,
the other clutching a miniskirt—topped by a bouffant hairdo stuck with the statue’s only burst of color, a red rose. Around her neck is a Star of David set in a circle. “It is incredibly emotional to see Amy immortalised like this, but Scott has done an amazing job in capturing her,” her father, Mitch Winehouse, was quoted as saying by New Musical Express. “It is like stopping her in a beautiful moment in time.” Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 at 27.
The Simon Family JCC is seeking an energetic, organized, and articulate individual with excellent people skills to oversee and coordinate Children and Family Programming for the center. This is a management position which requires independent judgment, initiative, creativity planning programs and flexibility. This individual welcomes collaboration with the staff, enjoys interacting with children, is dedicated to promoting an appreciation for Jewish culture and values, and is passionate about building a nurturing dynamic environment to serve families and their children. The Program Director is responsible for design, development, business development, marketing, implementation, management and evaluation of all children, family and community programs and activities provided by the Simon Family JCC including summer camp. A BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university with 3-5 years of management/supervisory experience directing a summer camp and children and family programs is required. For more information, contact Human Resources at 757-965-6117. Submit resumes with salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Simon Family Jewish Community Center is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability or veteran status.
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obituaries Ted Neil Goldberg Virginia Beach–Ted Neil Goldberg, 56, passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Ted was born in Jamaica Queens, N.Y., the son of Rita and the late Barton Goldberg. He is survived by his mother Rita Goldberg, of Virginia Beach; sister Jane Park and husband Bill; nieces Leah Warden Schwager and husband Jon, and Carli Warden; nephew Justin Park and wife Lauren; and a host of other relatives and friends. Ted’s family and friends will always remember him for his quick, clever humor, his appreciation for fashionable, casual clothing and his love of good food. A graveside service took place in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.altmeyer.com. Morey Lipton M.D. CHARLESTON—Morey Lipton, M.D., 87, of Charleston, S.C., died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Dr. Lipton was born in Charleston at Baker Hospital on Feb. 14, 1927, to Helen Stern Lipton and Samuel Halevi Lipton. He grew up in the idyllic setting of historic Beaufort, S.C. He began Clemson University at age 16 and withdrew as soon as he was able to join the United States Navy and serve his country proudly during World War II. Following the U.S. victory over the Axis powers he returned to Clemson, from which he soon received his bachelor’s of science degree and where he then taught zoology for two years before he was accepted at the Medical University of South Carolina for medical school. Graduating from MUSC in 1954, Dr. Lipton remained at the school for a fiveyear surgical residency. He was in private practice in Charleston for 35 years and was board certified, a surgical fellow and diplomate of the American College of Surgeons. He took particular delight in getting to know all of his patients as individuals and attending to their needs. Dr. Lipton was the first physician to serve on the board of St. Francis Hospital. He also served as the chairman for the Charleston chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Through his life, he remained interested in improving public policy, enhancing appreciation of the fine arts and educating others about the importance of supporting our nation’s friendship with the nation of Israel. As such, he was a longtime member of the Charleston Jewish Federation, serving as its chairman and president and on its community relations committee. He was also a member of the executive committee for the United Jewish Appeal. Dr. Lipton was an active member of the Charleston Jewish Community Center, serving as the program chairman for its cultural committee for 25 years and bringing many speakers and programs to Charleston. He was also a member of the Hebrew Orphan Society and the Hebrew Benevolent Society. He received many awards for his selfless devotion to various Jewish and humanitarian causes. Dr. Lipton was vice president of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and volunteered his medical services to Spoleto Festival U.S.A. Up until the time of his death, he served as a commissioner for the Charleston Municipal Golf Course, where he played for decades. He was also an active tennis player, a voracious reader and a devoted and accomplished gardener. Following his first trip to Israel in 1970, he became especially interested in motivating others to help the Jewish state and come to the aid of Jews under assault anywhere. In 1971, Dr. Lipton organized a march down King Street in protest of the way the former Soviet Union treated its Jewish citizens. He was a regular contributor of letters to the editor to the Charleston daily newspapers, the last of which was published this Sept. 14. For the last 14 years, he served as a faithful Middle East correspondent for the Charleston Mercury newspaper and was a tireless advisor to its editor and publisher. He was prolific, writing 315 impactful and educational columns for the Mercury and speaking to many civic groups about the Middle East and representing the paper in a variety of capacities at the request of the publisher. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 59 years, Sandra Goldberg; his brother, Joseph (Nancy) of Columbia, S.C.; daughters Rachel (Phil Wagers) and Ellen (Mark Yampolsky), all of Charleston, and son Mark of Virginia Beach, Va. Dr. Lipton is also survived by six grandchildren:
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Goldie Solodar (Denver, Col.); Samuel Solodar (Austin, Texas); Jana Yampolsky (Columbia, S.C.); Justin Yampolsky (Washington, D.C.); as well as Maya Lipton and Seth Lipton (Virginia Beach, Va.). Dr. Lipton took great joy in the time he could spend individually with all of his children and grandchildren and especially enjoyed having all family nearby for Sabbath meals and the High Holy Days. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Alfred. Those wishing to honor Dr. Lipton’s memory may send a memorial to the charity of their choice. His funeral service was held at Synagogue Emanu-El. Burial followed immediately at the Emanu-El Cemetery in Maryville. Memorial messages may be addressed to the family by visiting www.jhenrystuhr.com. Doris B. Rosen NORFOLK—Doris Brody Rosen passed away in her home in Miami Beach on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Doris was born in Jamaica N.Y., the daughter of the late Jacob and Esther Brody. She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Martin L. Rosen, as well as her sister Eleanor Rashkind and her brother Alan Brody. Doris is survived by her children Nancy Rosenblatt (Chuck), David Rosen (Michelle), and Debbie Davidson (Don), and granddaughters Amy, Barbara, Emily (David), Madeleine, Allison, Abagail, Rachel and Gillian. Doris was a woman behind the scenes who made things happen. She had a lifelong interest in the arts, education and her gardens. She served on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Center of Tidewater for over two decades, having served in numerous capacities, including vice-president of programming. In Miami she served on the Miami Opera Guild and the Miami Salon Group, to name but a few. In the mountains of North Carolina, Doris served on the board of trustees of Lees-McRae College. At Appalachian State University, she and her late husband established the Rosen Sculpture Walk, a nationally recognized juried competition, and The Martin & Doris Rosen Summer Symposium at the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies. A funeral service was held at Temple
Israel in Norfolk, with Rabbi Michael Panitz officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Temple Israel of Norfolk, the Simon Family Jewish Community Center, Martin & Doris Rosen Summer Symposium at Appalachian State University, or a charity of one’s choice. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel.
Polly Bergen, actress and singer Polly Bergen, who won accolades as a film, television and stage actress as well as a singer, has died. Bergen, who starred in the 1962 film Cape Fear, died Saturday, Sept. 20 at her home in Southbury, Conn., from natural causes, publicist Judy Katz told media outlets. She was 84. Katz said she was surrounded by family and close friends. Born Nellie Paulina Burgin, Bergen converted to Judaism in 1956 after marrying the Hollywood talent agent Freddie Fields. The couple adopted two children. In Cape Fear, she played the wife of a lawyer (portrayed by Gregory Peck) who is stalked by a psychopath (Robert Mitchum). She won an Emmy Award in 1957 for Best Single Performance playing the title role of The Helen Morgan Story, part of the anthology series Playhouse 90. She also performed on Broadway and sang on the radio and in nightclubs. Later in her career, Bergen received a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies. She also appeared on the popular television dramas Desperate Housewives and The Sopranos. Bergen succeeded on the business side: In the mid-1960s, she began selling a line of Polly Bergen Cosmetics that she later sold to Faberge. She also published three advice books. (JTA)
Arnold Fine, Jewish Press editor and columnist Arnold Fine, a Jewish Press columnist and editor who worked at the conservative Orthodox weekly for more than 50 years, has died. Fine, who died Friday, Sept. 5 at 90, was associated with the newspaper for most of its 54-year history. The Jewish Press, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., describes itself as “the largest independent weekly Jewish newspaper in the United States.” His column, “I Remember When,” con-
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obituaries sisting of recollections of Jewish life in the 1930 and ’40s, was a mainstay of the paper, and his writings were anthologized in other books and periodicals, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Readers Digest. Fine also served as an editor at the Brooklyn-based paper for many years, eventually rising to become senior editor. Before joining the Jewish Press, he served in both the U.S. Army and Navy and worked as a press photographer in New York City, according to a statement released by the Jewish Press. Fine also worked as a special education teacher in the New York City school system. (JTA)
Vittorio Dan Segre, Italian writer and political figure Vittorio Dan Segre, an Italian-Israeli diplomat, a writer and political figure, has died. Segre, a committed Zionist who was also one of the grand old men of con-
temporary Italian Jewry, died in Turin on Saturday, Sept. 27. He was 92. Born near Turin in 1922, he fled to Palestine in 1938 after Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini imposed anti-Jewish racial laws. He volunteered for the British Navy in World War II, and later fought in Israel’s War of Independence as a paratroop officer. After Israel’s independence he became an Israeli diplomat. Known in Israel as Dan Avni, Segre was a friend of David Ben-Gurion and recalled that he practiced yoga with the nation’s first prime minister. Segre wrote for Italian newspapers and authored numerous books. He taught at universities in Israel, the United States and Switzerland. In the United States, Segre was best known for his best-selling autobiography, Memoir of a Fortunate Jew, which first came out in English in 1987. He also was known, especially in the U.S., as Dan Vittorio Segre.
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—with genius results. Best line: “You can deny the Holocaust all you want, but you can’t deny that there’s something between us.”
SNL’s Top 10 Jewish moments
6. Sabra ‘Price Is Right’ Tom Hanks channels his inner shady, pushy Israeli as Uri, a game-show host who tries to convince contestants that the merchandise they see is not as crappy as it appears to be. Best line: “Watch him,” Uri says to his lackey (pre-Zohan Adam Sandler) when Chris Rock takes the stage.
He began his opening monologue with a bio (black, Jewish, Canadian, former star of Degrassi: The Next Generation) and closed it with a flashback of a rap he performed at his bar mitzvah. Best line: “Please don’t forget I’m black, please, don’t forget I’m Jewish/I play ball like LeBron and I know what a W-2 is.”
by Jana Banin
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA)—Last month marked the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, which is entering its 40th season. Happy birthday
knives, you’re giving me flashbacks to my bris. I don’t know if I should clap or cover my shmeckle!”
5. Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy explains Chanukah Weekend Update is paid a visit by our favorite 13-year-old (Vanessa Bayer), who gives dreidels and gifts his signature awkward bimah speech treatment. Best accessory: The oversized Yankees yarmulke. Best line: “It’s no Xbox 360!”
8. Jewish Willy Wonka In 2011, Ben Stiller hosted just as Yom Kippur was coming to a close. Naturally, after all the fasting, he was feeling rather woozy during his monologue—so woozy he conjured up Jewish Willy Wonka (Andy Samberg). The two traveled together to a world full of giant pickles and mustard. Singing ensued. Best line: “You’re in a magical world of Jewish foods. It’s every taste you’ve ever imagined, from salty to fishy.
4. Elijah the Prophet attends a Passover seder This version of Elijah (Jerry Seinfeld circa 1992) doesn’t just slip in for a sec and take an obligatory sip of wine. He pulls up a chair, demands something better than Manischewitz and cracks a bunch of jokes (some corny, some dirty). Best line: “What is this, a matzah ball? Or are you going to put a chain on it and demolish a building?”
7. Iran so far In this Digital Short from 2007, Andy Samberg, Adam Levine and Jake Gyllenhaal join forces to serenade Iranian President
3. Drake’s bar mitzvah rap Anyone wondering if Drake would play the Jewish card during his stint as SNL host in 2014 didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
guys! To mark the occasion, we’ve assembled a list of our 10 all-time favorite Jewish moments on SNL (they’re like butter, so good Coffee Talk and Hanukkah Harry didn’t make the cut): 10. Saving ‘Soviet Jewelry’ Gilda Radner scores as Emily Litella on a Chevy Chasehosted Weekend Update segment, with her classic talking-head rant trying to figure out what all the fuss is about over Soviet Jewelry. Best line: “Save Soviet jewelry?! Where are we going to put it? I say keep it over THERE, with all their ballet dancers!”
9. Jonah Hill as Evan Grossman Meet Evan, a 6-year-old from a broken home who frequents Benihana and communicates entirely via Borscht Belt jokes. Best line, delivered to the chef: “I love your showmanship but careful with those
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2. Jewess Jeans A lot of what Radner did felt Jewish on some basic level, but there was nothing more hilariously overt than this 1980 fake ad for Jewess Jeans, a parody of a Jordache commercial. The best line is the tag line: “You don’t have to be Jewish. But it wouldn’t hurt.”
1. “The Hanukkah Song” A bunch of centuries after the original Chanukah miracle, Adam Sandler bestowed upon the Jewish people a second one. This modern Maccabee, if you will, appeared on Weekend Update in 1994 and belted out a clever, catchy tune that became an anthem of Jewish pride, calling all tribe members to put on their yarmulkes and tell their friend Veronica that Chanukah is not just a sad little holiday that exists in the shadow of Christmas but something special in its own right. Something special that happens to be observed by a lot of famous people. Best line: “Paul Newman’s half Jewish, Goldie Hawn is too, put them together what a fine-looking Jew.”
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