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Weaponization vs. ‘capability’
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Defining the candidates’ differences on Iran by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines last month with this question: What are the U.S. red lines when it comes to Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program? The two presidential campaigns are offering two different answers. “Recently, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have talked about weaponization and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about nuclear weapons capability,” says Michael Makovsky, a Bush administration Pentagon official who now directs the National Security Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. So what do the terms weaponization and capability mean as red lines? The issue of red lines was lent urgency on Sept. 11, when at a blistering news conference, Netanyahu seemed to warn that a failure to set red lines for Iran could trigger a strike by Israel—an action the Obama administration has tried mightily to prevent. “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu said at the time. The term “red lines” refers to actions that could trigger military action to stop Iran from progressing further. In the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate, the differences between the two U.S. presidential tickets on the Iranian nuclear issue were apparent. Ryan, Romney’s running mate on the Republican Party ticket, cast the Iranian threat as one predicated on the degree of its enrichment. “We cannot allow Iran to gain a nuclear
weapons capability,” Ryan said, using a threshold that Romney has embraced. “Now let’s take a look at where we’ve gone—come from. When Barack Obama was elected, they had enough fissile material—nuclear material to make one bomb,” the Wisconsin congressman continued. “Now they have enough for five. They’re racing toward a nuclear weapon. They’re four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.” Biden pushed back, seeming to suggest that the proper measure should be how close Iran is to achieving a weapon. “When my friend talks about fissile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20 percent up, then they have to be able to have something to put it in,” Biden said. “There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point. Both the Israelis and we know—we’ll know if they start the process of building a weapon.” But Israeli officials repeatedly have expressed the concern that Western intelligence agencies have failed to detect weaponization in time in the cases of Pakistan, India and North Korea. Makovsky says the problem was especially acute in Iran because the regime there, which denies an interest in building a nuclear weapon, has denied access to inspectors at key sites. “It’s a very hard thing to know, and we haven’t been able to detect it before,” he says. The question is whether enrichment defines “capability,” and if so, at what level of enrichment is a country nuclear-capable. The Iranians, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, already have achieved enrichment up to 20 percent—the
level cited by Biden. Israel’s concern, outlined last month by Netanyahu in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, is when they will get to the “and up” mentioned by the U.S. vice president. Uranium is weapons-capable when it is enriched to above 90 percent. “By next spring, next summer at most,” Iran will have finished the “medium enrichment” stage, Netanyahu said. “From there it’s less than a few months, possibly a few weeks, until they get enough uranium for an enriched bomb. The relevant question is not when will Iran get the bomb; the question is at what stage can we stop Iran?” Michael Adler, an Iran expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, says that Netanyahu effectively aligned himself with the Obama administration’s red line with that speech. “Netanyahu has walked capability back a lot saying it won’t come until next year,” Adler says. That may have been in part because Netanyahu and Obama had spoken extensively between Netanyahu’s Sept. 11 news conference and his U.N. speech. U.S. and Israeli officials have said subsequently that the two leaders better understood each other on the Iran issue. Ryan in the debate appeared to agree that the timeline had been extended beyond even the spring deadline outlined by Netanyahu. Alireza Nader, an Iran analyst at the Rand Corporation, which often consults with the Pentagon, said Western intelligence and IAEA inspectors should be able to detect increased enrichment. “Iran hasn’t really approached the point where it can sprint toward nuclear capability undetected,” he said.
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briefs Romney says he and Netanyahu have same ‘test’ for Iran Mitt Romney said that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would employ the same “test” for Iran’s nuclear program but a strike was “a long way” off. “My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon,” Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, told CNN. “I think that’s the same test that Benjamin Netanyahu would also apply.” Netanyahu is insisting that the “international community”—a term that Israeli politicians often use in referring to the U.S.—draw a clear “red line” in Iran’s path to obtaining nuclear weapons. Crossing the line would mean military intervention. Netanyahu has warned that vows to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons such as the ones made by the Obama administration were not enough, and that the threshold to a strike on Iran should be set at an earlier point. On CNN, Romney added that there should be “no daylight between the United States and Israel,” returning to a theme he has brought out frequently in recent campaign events. The former Massachusetts governor also said that “we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary. And hopefully it’s never necessary. Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line.” If Israel were to launch a military strike, Romney said, “the actions of Israel would not come as a surprise to me.” A report in Foreign Policy magazine on Oct. 8 said that Israel and the U.S. are considering a joint surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. (JTA) One in six U.S. Jews seeking Jewish expression outside of synagogue Some one million American Jews—or one in six—are actively seeking Jewish expression and engagement outside of synagogue life, according to a new study. The results of a study released by the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring break down the notion that American Jews either are affiliated with synagogues or have a Jewish identity that revolves around Jewish humor and food with little active connection to Jewish ritual and living. The poll was conducted between April 19 and May 3 by IPSOS, with Steven M. Cohen and Samuel J. Abrams as the
leading researchers. Results were weighted to reflect the American Jewish population by factors such as age, gender, geography and marital status. Among the respondents were 1,000 by Internet. The respondents overall tended to describe themselves as “cultural” and “spiritual.” Many said they believed in God and still prayed but shied away from congregational life. They showed numerous signs of Jewish engagement, tended to be attached to Israel and placed particular emphasis on economic justice and social equality, according to the study. As many as 40 percent of the respondents were under the age of 35, nearly three in five fasted on Yom Kippur (approximately three in four of those congregationally affiliated do so) and 46 percent “at least sometimes” have a Friday night Shabbat meal with family and friends. Also, 56 percent said they were “very attached to Israel,” which is larger than any other nonOrthodox group. Nearly half of the respondents—49 percent—are married; 18 percent are intermarried. About half, 51 percent, identified as liberals. In the past, self-defined cultural Jews had a “very passive approach” to Jewish life, Ann Toback, national director of the Workmen’s Circle, said. The study’s results, she added, show them to be “engaged with Jewish values” and wanting to be part of the Jewish community, “although often outside of a congregation.” Madelon Braun, president of the Workmen’s Circle, said the poll demonstrates “a real need for a Jewish home for those who do not seek a congregational affiliation.” (JTA)
O’Reilly recommends Bibi-Obama double date during debate with Stewart Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly talked about the Middle East among other topics in a political debate. “Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium,” which was shown on the Internet, was held Oct. 6 at George Washington University in Washington. O’Reilly, host of the political commentary program The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, suggested that Obama get closer to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to send a stronger message to Iran on the need to halt its nuclear weapons program. “All Barack Obama has to do is go on a double date with Bibi, with Netanyahu,” O’Reilly said. “Just double date with him,
4 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
go anywhere with him, that sends a little message to Tehran: They might be making up some stuff.” The double date, O’Reilly said, would send shivers up the spines of Iran’s ruling mullahs. The debate was livestreamed on the Internet for $4.95. Half of the proceeds were to be donated to charity. (JTA)
Report: Israel, U.S. considering joint ‘surgical strike’ on Iran Israel and the United States are considering a joint “surgical strike” targeting Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, a former Clinton administration official who is close to the Obama administration said. David Rothkopf, an international relations expert writing in Foreign Policy, cited a source close to the discussions between Israel and the Obama administration as saying the strike would take a couple of hours in the best case and a day or two overall. The source said the strike would be conducted by air using primarily bombers and drone support. Rothkopf said in the article that there is not “exact agreement on what constitutes a ‘red line,’” but that “the military option being advocated by the Israelis is considerably more limited and lower risk than some of those that have been publicly debated.” The surgical strike option could not be conducted alone by the Israelis, Rothkopf wrote. In order to reach Iran’s underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow, the attack would require bunker-busting bombs that Israeli planes are not equipped to carry. “The mission, therefore, must involve the United States, whether acting alone or in concert with the Israelis and others,” Rothkopf wrote. “It’s not the size of the threatened attack, but the likelihood that it will actually be made, that makes a military threat a useful diplomatic tool. And perhaps a political one, too,” he concluded. (JTA) Anti-Semitic messages inundate Jewish Agency Facebook page The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Facebook page was inundated with hundreds of explicitly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages. The attacks earlier this month were confirmed by the Jewish Agency. The messages were deleted soon after they were discovered, it said. The attack of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages coincided with the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which began on Oct.
6, 1973. Many of the message writers were Egyptian, according to the Jewish Agency. The messages included swastikas, violent imagery and anti-Semitic messages in Arabic, English and poor Hebrew. One message read, “WE ARE COMING FOR U… JUST WAIT THE EGYPTIAN HOLOCAUST COMING VERY SOOOOOON.” Another read, “May Allah help the Mujahideen in Palestine kill and destroy your nations, your people, your army.” Some of the messages referred to the war as an Egyptian “victory.” (JTA)
Robert Lefkowitz, a Jewish biochemist and doctor, shares Nobel in chemistry Robert Lefkowitz, a Jewish physician and biochemist, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Brian Kobilka, a Stanford University researcher. Lefkowitz, 61, and Kobilka, 57, won for “groundbreaking discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family…of receptors: G-protein-coupled receptors,” a posting on the website of the Nobel Prize stated. Understanding how these receptors function helped further explain how cells could sense their environment, according to the text. They will share a $1.2-million grant from the Nobel Prize Committee. Lefkowitz, a New York native who works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, and Kobilka worked together to isolate and analyze a gene that led them to discover that “the receptor was similar to one in the eye that captures light. They realized that there is a whole family of receptors that look alike and function in the same manner.” A day earlier, the Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm announced that Serge Haroche, a French-Jewish physicist, had won the Nobel Prize in physics with David Wineland of the United States. The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Dan Shechtman of Israel’s Technion. In 2008, Lefkowitz received the U.S. National Medal of Science. The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reported at the time that he was one of three AmericanJewish recipients that year of the nation’s highest honor in science and technology. In an interview that appeared this summer on the Duke website, Lefkowitz is quoted as saying, “I was clearly destined to be a physician, I dreamed about it from the third grade on.” He also said that “I do regret that my dad died thinking I would be a practicing cardiologist, never dreaming what the future held for me.” (JTA)
Lech-Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27)
oah was not destined to be the father of the Jewish people, nor the founder of our faith. Though the most righteous one in his corrupt generation, he failed to reach out and save human lives besides those of his own family. Thus, the rabbis who were aware of Noah’s disturbing limitations in the terse Biblical text turned to instructive Midrashic fancy. They suggested that Noah did warn the people while building the ark of survival to take heed and mend their ways, but to no avail. The flood itself was conceived as an educational process to gradually awaken human repentance and transformation, averting disaster. Abraham was chosen to begin the chain of Jewish life, learning and love, for he proved to possess, unlike Noah, that healthy dose of surging Chutzpah that challenges even, and particularly, God when necessary. This confrontational response for the sake of heaven and earth has allowed Jews ever since to heroically transcend limiting boundaries and smash the idols of every age, of stifling and dehumanizing convention.
The thundering divine call and command to Abraham, echoing still, LechLecha, to venture forth from his familial and familiar environment—physically, spiritually and psychologically—both pushed and permitted him to depart from the world he had received in order to usher in a new one. Not an easy transition, there is pain involved. Isaac was ultimately spared on the altar of the practiced pagan custom of child sacrifices, because his father dared embrace, in spite of his background and not without divine intervention, the precious yet precarious gift of life and call it holy. The members of our first family of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, and Ishmael proved to be complex and conflicted individuals. Their very touching humanity reflects the courageous approach of our sacred literature to be faithful to reality’s truth. But the flawed humaneness of our heroes, as well as our own, becomes a noble opportunity and invitation to discover the divine potential within them, and us, to grow and change and mature. God’s fulfilled promise was that all the members of Abraham’s fractured family facing the threat of fratricide will be blessed, each in a distinct and unique way with restored dignity and hope, though with lasting historical consequences. This proud foundational legacy remains our covenantal Jewish charge and awesome human challenge to turn pain into promise, violence into vision, hurt into healing, and blemishes into blessings. Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim.
Google Cultural Institute preserves Jewish content in first exhibits Google introduced a new online historical collection of digitized material, highlighting several Jewish themes, events and institutional partners in its first wave of exhibits. At least 13 of the Google Cultural Institute’s inaugural collection of 42 featured exhibits consist of materials from the Anne Frank House, the Polish History Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Foundation France Israel and Yad Vashem. Highlighted exhibits include the testimony of Jan Karski, the World War II Polish resistance hero who tried to convince Allied leaders of the horrors of the Holocaust; as
well as the saga of Edek Galinski and Mala Zimetbaum, a couple who unsuccessfully attempted to escape Auschwitz. Visitors to Google’s new online multimedia museum can also see the last known photograph taken of Anne Frank and browse featured historical events that include the Nuremberg Trials, the 1948 Arab-Israel War and the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in Atlanta. The new resource comes one year after Google published the Dead Sea Scrolls online, the result of a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority. (JTA)
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Presidential candidates’ Jewish surrogates debate in Virginia by Suzanne Pollak
FAIRFAX, Va. (JTA)—Prominent Jewish surrogates for President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney tackled domestic issues and foreign affairs during a cordial debate in Northern Virginia. Former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), representing Obama, faced off against Dov Zakheim, an under secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, on issues such as Israel, national security, jobs and women’s issues. The approximately 150 audience members at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center Oct. 10 appeared evenly divided in their support of the two candidates. At one point, many in the audience broke into applause when Zakheim criticized Obama for not having visited Israel as president. “Why hasn’t he visited it in three-and-aquarter years? I just don’t get it,” Zakheim said.
Wexler countered that it was rare for U.S. presidents to travel to Israel during their first terms, noting that while George W. Bush visited Israel twice, both trips took place in the last year of his second term. Throughout the evening, Wexler portrayed Obama as a strong supporter of Israel who continually provides that country with weapons and financial assistance and is there when Israel needs help. He specifically noted Obama’s efforts to stop the Palestinian Authority from unilaterally declaring statehood and his call to the Egyptian government when the Israeli Embassy was being stormed by rioters. But Zakheim countered that Israel needed an American president who would chart a different course in the Middle East. “You’ve got to think of the whole Middle East, not just Israel,” he said, noting that if elected, Romney’s approach would be peace through strength. “You can’t have credibility unless
you are strong, and Mr. is not going to solve the Romney knows that,” his deficit problem.” surrogate said. Zakheim said that it The two surrogates was time to stop blaming spelled out the different the Bush administration positions of their canfor the state of the econoaudience divided didates on many issues. my and instead to work to in support of Romney would arm the stimulate job growth. the two candidates Syrian rebels and set the Wexler defined same red line as Israeli Obama’s position on budPrime Minister Benjamin get issues as a balanced Netanyahu on Iran’s efforts approach in which there to obtain nuclear weapons, Zakheim said. are “reductions and income enhancements.” On social issues, Wexler noted Obama’s The two surrogates differed on the support for abortion rights, same-sex defense budget, with Zakheim saying, “I marriage and a more liberal approach to don’t think defense should be held hostage immigration. to anything.” Wexler countered that cuts Zakheim replied that Romney would be were needed to help balance the budget. more focused on creating jobs than dealing The event was sponsored by The with social issues. Israel Project and the Jewish Community “I agree the economy is the No. 1 issue Relations Council of Greater Washington. on most people’s minds. I am not sure Roe Virginia is considered a key swing state. v. Wade is,” Zakheim said. “Roe v. Wade
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Protestant churches’ letter on Israel straining ties with Jews by Neil Rubin
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In the meantime, Marans says Jewish groups should continue pursuing local Christian-Jewish ties in other venues. “Liberal Protestants live side by side with Jews, and rabbis have relationships with local ministers,” Marans says. “Once the antipathy toward Israel of some national leaders is communicated in the context of these relationships, the local religious leadership is heard from and communicates to their national leadership their concerns. “The Jewish community understands that the overwhelming majority of Americans and American Christians understand that Israel must defend itself and that Israel is not an aggressor, that Israel is on the front lines of terrorism and has modeled how to create a balance between security and concern for the individual rights of all of the inhabitants.” Indeed, some Presbyterians are openly angry with their leader, the Rev. Grayde Parsons, who signed the letter to Congress. “We know there’s a very small, very vocal group in the Presbyterian Church that wants to see Israel punished,” says the Rev. John Wimberly, co-moderator of an unofficial group called Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. “We think we represent the 70 percent of Presbyterians polled in 2009 who said that maintaining a strong diplomatic and military relationship with Israel should be a U.S. priority.” He says Parsons’ signing of the letter “makes a lot of people mad and a larger number of people embarrassed.” Parsons did not return JTA’s calls for comment. David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel, a largely evangelical group often billed as the Christian AIPAC, called the move by the mainline Protestant churches to reach out to Congress an “accelerating trend” with a message for the Jewish community. “This should be a wake-up call,” says Brog, who is Jewish. “Christians will be involved in Israel and the Middle East whether Jews accept that or not. We cannot take Christian support for Israel for granted. We have to actively engage our Christian neighbors and take the case to them, so that when they are active on this issue they support Israel.” Two programs to promote understanding and build relationships between the Jewish community and other faith communities are slated to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 4. Both are sponsored by the outreach committee of the Community Relations Council of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. See page 23 for details.
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WASHINGTON (JTA)—When 15 prominent American Protestant leaders sent a letter to Congress this month calling for an investigation and possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel, at least one outcome was certain: The Jews wouldn’t like it. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Jewish groups unilaterally pulled out of an upcoming annual Christian-Jewish roundtable meeting, saying the Oct. 22–23 forum was no longer viable. Earlier in the week, the AntiDefamation League had announced that it would skip the meeting and called on representatives from other Jewish groups to follow suit. The Jewish groups—the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism—wrote to their Christian colleagues that the letter to lawmakers “represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach.” They called for senior leadership of Jewish and the Christian groups to meet to “determine a more positive path forward for our communities.” In addition to its content, Jewish groups were upset that they had no advance warning of the letter and that it was released on the first day of a two-day Jewish holiday, when most Jewish organizations were closed in observance of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The annual interfaith roundtable began in 2004 as the issue of Protestant groups divesting from their financial portfolios operations doing business with Israel rose to prominence. This year, participants were to update one another on activities regarding Israel, such as the Palestinian push for membership in the United Nations and the upcoming Israeli elections. Saying “there’s been a betrayal of trust,” Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella group says, “We have to discern if there’s a positive path forward.” The Protestants’ letter, sent to every member of Congress, was signed by leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches USA and the United Church of Christ. Saying they have “witnessed the
pain and suffering” of both Israelis and Palestinians, the signers said that “unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the longterm security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.” The letter called for the launching of “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of agreements with Washington for alleged illegal use of U.S.sold weapons against Palestinians. The signers also asked for “regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance.” In the past, many of these same church leaders have sent notes to Congress criticizing specific Israeli efforts, particularly settlement building. However, this is the first salvo against the $3 billion annual U.S. aid package to Israel. A number of mainline Protestant churches have had fights at recent conventions over boycotting products made in the West Bank, divesting in companies doing business with Israel or harshly criticizing Israel’s rule of the West Bank. This summer, the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejected divestment from companies doing business with Israeli security forces in the West Bank by a 333-331 vote. A similar call was defeated more decisively at a Methodist assembly in May. And in September, the Quaker group Friends Fiduciary Corporation voted to remove a French and an American company from its financial portfolio over what it said was the companies’ involvement with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian areas. Rabbi Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations for the American Jewish Committee, and a cochair of the roundtable, initially told JTA that boycotting the meeting was not the right response, despite the legitimate anger of Jewish groups. However, on Oct. 17 he said, “Unfortunately, some Christian leaders chose to take their anger regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Washington without any warning to Jewish partners in the roundtable. We need to meet to reset the framework for ongoing dialogue that has and can produce positive results.” Felson says JCPA is considering asking Congress to investigate delegitimizers of Israel and to issue a resolution against their efforts. Suggesting that American Jewish groups could retaliate by advocating against U.S. aid to the Palestinians, Felson says the signers of the letter are “opening up a Pandora’s box.”
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From Ethiopia to Tidewater— a conversation with Max Sandler by Laine Mednick Rutherford
eaching Max Sandler for a chat can be tough these days. Telephone service and Internet reception are unreliable near Gondar, Ethiopia where the Norfolk Academy and College of Charleston graduate is currently living and working. For that matter, so are other things many in Tidewater would consider necessities, such as running water and electricity. Sandler, though, is reveling in the experiences that are so vastly different than the privileged lifestyle in which he grew up in Virginia Beach, and the adult life the 26-year-old has been making for himself in Northern Virginia. For the next year, Sandler will live and work in Ethiopia as a Jewish Service Corps fellow. The Jewish Service Corps is an initiative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Entwine network, which features education and awareness programs for young professionals. Sandler and his family are quite familiar with JDC. His mother, Annie, is a JDC board member, and in 2008, Sandler went on a JDC board of director’s mission to both Ethiopia and Rwanda. He became involved in Entwine when he moved to Northern Virginia in 2009, throughout his internship with Republican Whip Eric Cantor and his subsequent work in the consumer finance industry for Mariner Finance. In Gondar, as well as working in a JDC-supported school teaching English and leading programs, Sandler will work on JDC projects connected to providing access to education, water and public health initiatives. After several attempts at talking over the phone, failed, Jewish News and Sandler were finally able to chat last month—via email:
JN: Where are you living? What are your living accommodations like? MS: I live in a two-story house. We have views of the village and the surrounding mountains. The house itself is three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room and kitchen. It is very comfortable. How do you get around? (Mode of transportation?) One thing that I love about Gondar is that the entire city is walkable. That being said, we also use Bajajs (also called a tuk tuk, it’s a small three wheeled vehicle with a canopy), taxis and minibuses. The minibuses are the cheapest and stop at all of the main areas (GTZ, College, Hospital and Piazza). Our most frequent mode of transportation is our car, which is supplied by JDC. You’ve been in Ethiopia for, what, a month? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen and done since you’ve been there? This Monday will make it a month. The most interesting thing I have seen is the slaughtering of a sheep on New Years Day in Addis Ababa. A lot of Ethiopians celebrate their New Year with a feast. Lamb is a huge part of the diet here. Every part of the animal was used and I mean every part. It was something that I probably won’t watch again but it was great to see once. What’s the saddest thing…? The saddest thing for me is the poverty. Most Ethiopians live on less then a dollar a day. Really think about that. A dollar a day. It doesn’t get any easier to see. Naturally you want to help everyone. Luckily there are a variety of ways to do that and it doesn’t just have to be monetary.
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What’s the most joyful thing…? The most joyful thing I’ve experienced was attending Rosh Hashanah services in Gondar. I felt completely at home. Naturally everyone wants to know who you are and what you are doing here because we’re different. But no one treats you like an outlier. What kinds of food are you eating? I absolutely LOVE Ethiopian food and I eat it almost every meal. Some favorites are tibs (which is a like a meat stir fry with onions and green peppers), red lentils and shiro tegabino (chick peas with onions and green peppers). This being said you can find a variety of food in Gondar. Many restaurants serve pasta, rice, pizza and hamburgers. We had yogurt this morning, which is very rare. In addition, the produce here is wonderful. We enjoy going to the Merkato (local market) and buying fresh fruit and bread to keep at home. What do you miss the most about life in America? The thing that I miss most about America is the connectivity. You always have cell phone service and Internet. I was always connected to family and friends and you get all of your information instantaneously. Here it’s slower. Having Internet isn’t a given even in some of the hotels. We don’t always have power. Running water is touch and go. The beauty of the experience is that we adapt. We take everything as it comes and we still have most of the comforts of home. If we don’t have power we use candles. If the water isn’t running we fill up buckets. We have everything that we could possibly need. You blog about showering in the rain and having no running water (or being able to count on it, OR communication ser-
vice). That’s quite a difference from how you were raised, “the lifestyle to which you’d become accustomed.” Is your life in Ethiopia something you ever imagined would be part of your story? I visited Ethiopia in 2008 with JDC. When I stepped foot on the plane to come home I
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Tidewater Jewish Foundation
The 2013-2014 Stein Family Scholarship
Applications available online, October 19, 2012 www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein
The Stein Family College Scholarship is an annual grant that provides one scholarship, up to $10,000, for a freshman. Those awarded scholarships may apply for renewal for their remaining years and receive up to $40,000 towards his/her college education. Scholarship Requirements: Jewish students who have a strong academic record, have provided service to the community and demonstrate financial need are invited to apply. Students must be accepted to or attending an accredited undergraduate college or university program with parents who are permanent residents of the Hampton Roads area. Must be a full time student, and under the age of 24, as of January 1, 2013. All students are welcome to reapply each year, unless otherwise noted. Applications must be received by April 1, 2013. Applications may be submitted online, mailed or in person to:
For more information, please contact Shelby Tudor: Donor Services Manager email@example.com or 757-965-6105.
Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Stein Family Scholarship, 5000 Corporate Woods Dr, Ste. 200, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 A lay committee anonymously reviews applications and makes final decisions. Scholarship recipients should be notified by April 25, 2013. jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 9
continued from page 9
knew I would be back, the only thing I didn’t know was in what capacity. I could not be happier with where I am. The answer to this question would depend on when you asked me. Five years ago I would not have thought I’d be living in Gondar, Ethiopia some time in the future. Two years ago I started strongly considering living and working abroad and here I am. I worked hard to get this opportunity and I couldn’t be more proud to be doing what I am doing. I believe the best way to learn about a culture is full immersion. We don’t have a choice whether to learn the language here or not. We’re learning to communicate. Nothing is too difficult to get accustomed to. We have things in common with the people around us; friends, family, etc. There are plenty of things to talk about. Everyone here is crazy about soccer just like I am. It’s been a huge help. Did you celebrate Rosh Hashanah? What was that experience like? We did celebrate Rosh Hashanah. We went to services at the Jewish Community Center in Gondar. It was a great experience. I sat in the back by myself. Men and women sit separately so Elizabeth—another JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps fellow—and I sat separately but I didn’t feel alone. As I mentioned earlier people want to know who you are and what you’re doing in Gondar. Everyone is incredibly friendly. For me, services were different from home. The prayers sounded different although I recognized many of them. I felt a connection with the people there. Dirt floor, rusty benches, it was beautiful. The synagogue was full. It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. Your career was on an upward path—not that it isn’t still, but this is vastly different than what you were doing before. What influenced your decision to become a JSC Fellow for a year? This is a great question. I could write a few pages but I’ll try to keep it short. I was doing very well at my job. I had recently been promoted and was heading for another promotion. This being said I wasn’t fulfilled. For the last few years I’ve strongly considered moving abroad and having a different type of experience. When someone first mentioned the JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps to me I was intrigued. I looked into it a little more and then I applied. When I first submitted my application I didn’t know if this was right for me. Some people said to go travel. Others thought that it was just some sort of bug. I have always believed in tzedakah, something my parents instilled in all of their kids. I also believe in tikkun olam—repairing the world. We may not be able to change the world, but it’s absolutely our duty to try. The JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps offered all of these 10 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
things. An experience, an opportunity to grow personally and a way to do a small part in making the world a better place. This is truly a wonderful program and one that I am happy to be a part of. Do I believe this will help me professionally? Absolutely. This program will teach me life skills that I may never learn otherwise. I was elated when I was accepted and even more so when I found out my placement was in Gondar. Why did you want to go to Ethiopia? The thing that really drew me to Ethiopia was the need. I have been here before and seen the different ways that JDC helps people here. It is inspiring. On my first trip I was lucky enough to be present when a school building was dedicated. As soon as my family returned home we donated money to build one as well—the Chilo Primary School. Yesterday I got to see Chilo for the first time. It is beautiful. Things like a three room school building, which a lot of students take for granted in the US, aren’t always common here. You can literally change lives by raising money, donating money, or coming here and volunteering your time to help. How does your personal interpretation of Jewish values fit in with the work you are/will be doing? When describing my motivations for this program I use terms associated with Judaism, mainly tzedakah and tikkun olam. These are values taught to me by my parents and reinforced throughout my Jewish upbringing. They are a strong part of who I am. It is our duty not only as Jews but as human beings to help each other. I don’t think these values are specific to Jews but it does help make us who we are. Is there anything you would like to share with the community about the work the JSC and JDC do in Ethiopia? There is so much to be done here. And you have no idea how thankful people are until you hear it for yourself. JDC is doing amazing things in Ethiopia. I’m sure you’ve heard about their work in Addis and their medical director Dr.
Rick Hodes. If not, please look into him. Dr. Hodes is an inspiration. Money goes a long way here. JDC is devoted to helping this community. They are currently constructing a Science Center in Gondar that is very modern and will be one in a network of Science Centers in neighboring countries. JDC operates a clinic here that helps a lot of people receive needed medical attention that they wouldn’t get otherwise. JDC sponsors nursing students and supports their four years of undergraduate education at the Gondar University Hospital. They support people like Elizabeth and me to get on the ground here and lend a hand in any way possible. JDC’s work here improves and saves lives. When you say you’re here with “The Joint” everyone knows whom you are talking about. JDC’s reputation precedes it and this is simply due to their track record of successful initiatives here. Max Sandler is documenting his life in Ethiopia on his blog: www.tibsfordinner. blogspot.com. Through generous gifts, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater supports the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and its initiatives—such as Entwine—as well as many other local, national, global and Israeli Jewish organizations. To find out more or to make a gift, visit www.jewishva.org.
In New York, Lost Tribes beer company resurrects ancient brews by Chavie Lieber
NEW YORK (JTA)—As he weaves in and out of traffic in New York City on a Friday afternoon, David Itzkowitz has two things on his mind: Shabbat and beer. Beer because Itzkowitz, 26, is a co-founder of Lost Tribes, a beverage company that makes microbrews derived from ancient recipes held dear by Jewish cultures from exotic parts of the world. And Shabbat because Itzkowitz, an observant Jew, still has deliveries to make before sundown. “It’s all about the pale ale,” Itzkowitz says on his way to a delivery in the Bronx. “You need a balance of the perfect amount of hop with a little malt. It needs to tickle your taste buds and have a little buzz, too.” The idea behind Lost Tribes, which is less than a year old, was born in 2009 when three of the company’s five founders ventured to Israel to learn more about the country’s budding microbrewery industry and come up with ideas for their own beer. They spent time with Jews that some say hail from the 10 lost tribes of Israel—Ethiopian Jews, said by some to be descendants of the Tribe of Dan, and Indian Jews, said by some to be from the Tribe of Menashe. “We were exploring, looking to find new recipes, and Jews from all these interesting places kept approaching us about their family recipes,” Itzkowitz says. “They were worried that these ancient recipes, which are thousands of years old, would be lost, since nobody was selling them on a commercial scale and their kids didn’t know them.” The three collected recipes, took notes and, upon their return stateside, began working with a brewmaster to test the recipes and develop the beers for commercial sale. By early this year the group—Itzkowitz, Allan Farago, Ari Smith, Andrew Septimus and Rabbi Harry Rozenberg, five Jewish childhood friends all under age 31—began selling the beer commercially. Lost Tribes now sells to 75 locations in New York, mostly bars and supermarkets but also by special delivery. The company hopes to go national in the coming months. According to the company’s website, “2,700 years ago, 10 of the 12 tribes were sent into exile, eventually settling across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Legend has it that one day the tribes will return home bearing gifts from their lands. We’ve discovered that each tribe holds a unique crew recipe—we believe that their brews were the gifts they were meant to bring home.” Lost Tribes sells three beer lines: a pale ale they call Shikra, an Aramaic word
for alcoholic beverage; Tej, an Ethiopianadapted recipe of honey and herbs that is kosher for Passover; and a low-calorie option called Light. The beers are made in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, and the company’s warehouse is in Queens. The company says it donates a fixed amount of profits to Israeli groups that work with Jews from the ethnic minorities said to be from the lost tribes. One of the company’s next projects—aside from developing more craft brews—is to launch a social media website called iTribe, where people from around the world can digitally connect and learn about ancient traditions by sharing photos, literature and recipes. After Lost Tribe’s website went live in 2011, people from around the world wrote in claiming to be part of a lost tribe and offering up their own family recipes, the founders said. “We got an email last week from someone in Japan who said he was part of a lost tribe and has an incredible Japanese whiskey recipe for us,” Itzkowitz says. “We’ve also heard from Lemba, people from South Africa with a Jewish claim, who have their own brew recipe.” It’s not surprising that so many of these cultures have their own beer recipe, Rozenberg says. After all, nearly every culture has its own alcoholic traditions, though carbonated beer of the sort imbibed today did not emerge until the 16th or 17th century. Even the Talmud speaks of beer, Rozenberg notes, pointing to a passage in Tractate Pesachim in which Rav Papa, a famous sage, makes beer from dates. Lost Tribes is in the process of developing several new beverages, including Zuting, a rice and yeast-based wine; Chibuku, a heavy beer of Zimbabwean origins; and their own version of sake. Farago, the inhouse beer connoisseur, attributes much of the company’s success to New York’s downtown tech scene, Silicon Alley, where the brewer has partnered to do corporate parties with companies such as Vimeo, Buzzfeed and College Humor. Lost Tribes also runs Tumblr’s monthly beer-pong tournaments. Forbes magazine listed Lost Tribes as one of the new cool beers to try. “The response has been so great, and the reorder requests from the bars have been overwhelming,” Farago says. “People love our backstory. It’s great to see how many people care about our attempts to resurrect ancient brews.”
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Making Chanukah brighter for local families
ardship has no season, with struggling local Jewish families needing assistance throughout the year. Through donations of toys and money, Jewish Family Service serves many local Jewish children and teens by providing new gift items for Chanukah and for use throughout the year. JFS begins the 20th year of the Chanukah Gift Program on Nov. 1. For donors, this is an opportunity to do a mitzvah for children who have no choice in their family’s financial situation. For young donors, this is a personal way to learn and practice tzedakah, giving to others, as they shop with parents for gifts for other children, knowing that the gifts will make a significant impact.
How can you help? • Purchase new, unwrapped gifts, both fun and practical, for specific children and teens in need. Donors may call JFS at 757-459-4640 for children’s wish lists starting Nov. 1. • Go shopping with your family and buy some extra items for those in need. • Purchase gift cards from local department stores, electronics stores, music stores, and grocery stores, so families can go shopping themselves. • Send JFS a tax-deductible donation and JFS will do the shopping for you.
All donations should be made by Nov. 26. For more information about the Chanukah Gift Program, call Emily Bettendorf, special needs coordinator for JFS, at 757-321-2256. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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12 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
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by Annabel Sacks
hat’s R-O-A-D not RHODE. It used to be “Elderhostel” programs, but apparently the connotation of “Elder” was a put-off to people under 90. So, it became “Road Scholar” programs—all over the country; all over the world—and in Baltimore. For us, it started with a call from my cousin in New York who reported that she and her husband had just signed up for a five-day Road Scholar program at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. She said there were just two openings left in the program so we’d better sign up immediately. Well, the dates were pretty open in our calendar (only one meeting that week), so I called and we got the last two spots. The Peabody Institute is part of Johns Hopkins University. It resides in an historic (read ‘old’) building on a small campus in the Mount Vernon area of Baltimore and has a sterling national reputation in music education at all levels. I had always thought that Peabody was strictly a classical music institution and, therefore, its Road Scholar programs would be solely in the classical venue. Think again. The program we signed up for was “Jewish Roots of American Popular Music and Dance.” We drove to Baltimore—right to the door of Peabody where student assistants (what we might call “work/study” students) took the luggage, checked us in, and directed us to the garage. On the first floor of the building there’s a lobby style room with couches and chairs. Our room had twin beds and a private bathroom and was “made up” daily. Meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, were in the student dining hall on campus, about half a block away. The food was good and ample—cafeteria style with to-order breakfast and grill, soup and salad bar, and desserts (I ate way too many macadamia nut-white chocolate chip cookies). No television, except in the classrooms, which were available after classes were over for the day. We never bothered and never missed it. There were 40 people in the “class” which met in the same building. We introduced ourselves at the first meeting—a really interesting group of people from all over the country. (The nature of the program produced a class in which there were
Annabel and Hal Sacks.
only three people who weren’t Jewish.) The daily schedule started with breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 am, then two 85-minute classes with a break in between and one class after lunch. The three courses focused on George Gershwin, Klezmer in America, and Fred Astaire’s career (all the composers for Astaire’s shows were Jewish, with the exception of Cole Porter). Each day, after the post-lunch class, there was the tour of the day—Peabody Library, Walters Museum, downtown Baltimore (or take a nap!). Each night after dinner, there was a recital—classical guitar; several piano performances, a Klezmer band—all in performance spaces on campus. When the recital was over you might have a cup of coffee or tea and socialize in the lobby (or just fall into bed as we did). The three instructors were truly experts in their field. The Gershwin instructor was an opera singer who focused on Porgy and Bess (think Summertime and It Ain’t Necessarily So). The Klezmer instructor played clarinet, tenor sax or flute each day as class started. He lead a Klezmer band, the “Alexandria Klezmets,” which performed one evening and had an incredible knowledge of the history of Klezmer, its migration to America, and effect on American music. With the Fred Astaire instructor, it was like watching a performance every day. He had stories galore and illuminated everything he talked about by playing illustrative examples on the piano—and sang as well. It was a wonderful five days of learning. We made new friends, especially one —Sylvia, a survivor with a fantastic story who has two grandchildren at—where else —Old Dominion University. No matter where you go, it’s six degrees of separation with someone.
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jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 13
Meet the Candidate Series brings politicians to the Jewish community by Laine Mednick Rutherford
ocal voters have had two opportunities this month to rely on more than sound bites to inform their decision on Election Day, and to let politicians know the Tidewater Jewish community cares about its organizations, Israel and domestic policies. Through its Meet the Candidate series, the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater hosted former Virginia Governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) at the Sandler Family Campus. Allen appeared at noon on Wed., Oct. 3. and Kaine spoke with the community on Fri., Oct. 12, also at noon. The men are vying for a United States Senate seat in one of the most closely
watched races in the country; the new Senator could determine the direction the government will take for the next four years. The events were free and open to the community and followed a similar format. After introductions from community members Jeff Brooke (Allen) and Jody Wagner (Kaine), the politicians presented their credentials and beliefs, their positions on Israel, and their arguments as to why they would make the better choice for Senator. Moderator Joel Rubin then joined the candidate onstage, directed the discussion and asked questions submitted previously online or during the event from audience members. “From the CRC’s commitment to Motivate, Educate and Advocate and, we think it’s important that our community hears from the candidates about what they stand for, and how they may vote on certain issues when they’re elected, so that we
can be good and effective advocates,” says Megan Zuckerman, CRC vice-chair. “It’s vital too, that the candidates know about our agencies, like Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, and what our community does. “I think it is also very important that we hear their opinions in person rather than reading about them or just guessing, particularly their views on Israel and social policy—both which affect us as a community,” Zuckerman says. “I hope this series of appearances makes people motivated to take part in future CRC programming,
Jeff Brooke introduces George Allen.
so they’ll be well-informed when issues and events come up— especially Jewish issues.” The CRC will hold one final Meet the Candidate event on Thurs., Oct. 25, 7 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. The CRC’s 2nd Congressional District of Virginia Forum features incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R) and challenger Paul Hirschbiel (D). Joel Rubin will moderate the free event. Questions for the politicians may be submitted at www.jewishva.org/crc. Videos of Kaine’s and Allen’s CRC appearances can be found at www. jewishva.org/CRC. Video of the upcoming forum will be posted before election day. For more information, visit www.jewishva. org, or contact Robin Mancoll, CRC director, at 757-965-6120 or email@example.com.
that we hear their
opinions in person
rather than reading about them or just guessing
George Allen. Joel Rubin, George Allen, CRC vice-chair Megan Zuckerman, CRC chair Miriam Seeherman.
George Allen and Art Sandler.
Moderator Joel Rubin with George Allen.
14 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
George Allen speaks with audience members.
Michael and Marilyn Ashe with Tim Kaine.
Michael Blachman, David Brand, Linda Samuels, Delores Bartel, Tim Kaine, Nancy Rosenberg, Becky Winstead Roberts, and Andrew Fink.
Jody Wagner, former Treasurer of Virginia, and Virginia Secretary of Finance, introduces Tim Kaine.
Tim Kaine and Miriam Brunn Ruberg.
Harvey and Harriett Eluto.
jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 15
A dozen authors, thousands of books at the
Simon Family JCC
The Lee and Bernard Jaffe*
Jewish Book Festival 2012 Author Events at the Simon Family JCC Sunday, Nov. 4, 1pm FREE
Sunday, Nov. 4–Sunday, Nov. 18
by Leslie Shroyer
he Cardo area of the Sandler Family Campus will be filled with books of all shapes and sizes next month when the Simon Family JCC presents The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival 2012. In conjunction with its partner, Barnes and Noble, the JCC will
have thousands of books for sale, including children’s books, novels,
non-fiction, local interest, and cookbooks, as well as the works of the 12 authors making presentations. “The book festival is a great way to have fun and support the Jewish Community Center. Everything from the History of Ha to A Hanukkah Adventure, there is an event for everyone, as well as some holiday shopping while you’re here,” says Sandra Porter Leon. Author presentations mirror the diversity of the categories of books on display, and range from comedy to traveling the Diaspora to writing a Jewish memoir. During the two author events for children, the kids will learn about a special Chanukah rescue and how to discover the inner beauty within each person. Lynn Sher Cohen, Book Festival chair, along with her committee of Anne Kramer, Marcia Samuels, Cindy Krell, Sandy Sher, Shelly Loeb, Sandra Porter Leon, Gloria Siegel and Sheryl-Lynn Makela, has been working since June on festival details. The committee
A Hanukkah Adventure Featuring Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue by Heidi Smith Hyde Embark on this hear t-warming adventure with nine-year old Emanuel who stows away on a whaling ship, only to depend on his family’s menorah to light the way home. Author presentation and activities for children ages six–10 presented in partnership with Children and Family Programs at the JCC.
Monday, Nov. 5, 7pm FREE
Soviet No More: Immigrants’ Real-Life Stories Featuring Old Lives and New by Edith Rogovin Frankel Frankel paints an incredibly sweeping and human por trait of Soviet Jewry over the past century, interweaving their personal stories, the desires that inspired them and the steadfast faith that kept them going. Author presentation and desser t reception presented in par tnership with the Communit y Relations Council of the UJFT.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:15pm FREE Community Read
cultural arts undertaking each November, carefully selecting books to sell and authors that
Learning To Salsa With The King of the Jungle
this community will particularly enjoy.
Featuring The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron
works closely with the Cultural Arts department of the JCC, producing the JCC’s largest
Laugh, cry, and be moved as best-selling humorist, author, and screenwriter, Delia Ephron, weaves the story of three troubled women’s lives.
“Books are a window for our eyes and ears and a wonderful way for us to see and learn about the world without leaving a room,” says Sher Cohen. “Because of this, I LOVE them and tend to get lost in them, and just want to share a piece of my passion with others in this community.” Now in her fifth year on the committee and her third year as chair, she is
oin in this communit y read with a brown bag J lunch (boxed lunches available for pre-order at the JCC**).
as enthusiastic as ever about working with the festival. All events are free with the exception of two, as noted. For detailed information about the Book Festival, visit simonfamilyj.org, refer to the coverage on these pages, and to the recently mailed brochure, which can also be picked up at the JCC. The Simon Family JCC acknowledges the Jewish Book Council and its membership in the JBC Network. *of blessed memory The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 7pm FREE Community Read
Tradition vs. Passion Featuring The Innocents by Francesca Segal Set in the modern-day, upper -crust Jewish communit y of Nor th West London, this slyly humorous and deeply satisf ying novel illuminates the conflict bet ween responsibilit y and passion, tradition and independence. Enjoy a dessert reception at this community read.
16 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Saturday, Nov. 10, 8pm | Cash Bar, 7pm
Thursday, Nov. 15, 12:30pm FREE
The History of Ha!
Unraveling Secrets, Sewing A New Life
Featuring Funny: The Book: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Comedy by David Misch
Featuring Sidonia’s Thread by Hanna Perlstein Marcus
Laugh and Learn! From Let terman to Saturday Night Live, writer David Misch will enter tain you with his fun-packed, wide-ranging look at the principles and practice of comedy, from its pre-history origins to the worlds of movies, T V, prose, theater, stand-up, and jokes. Beer, wine and belly laughs! $10 per person.
Join in the journey of discovery as a Holocaust sur vivor’s daughter uncovers her mother’s secret past when she stumbles upon old let ters and photographs. This brown bag lunch is presented in par tnership with the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. (Boxed lunches available for pre-order from the JCC.**)
Sunday, Nov. 11, 1pm FREE
Thursday, Nov. 15, 6pm FREE
The Collateral Damage of Family Secrets
Oy Vey! Isn’t A Strategy
Featuring Camp by Elaine Wolf
Featuring Oy Vey! Isn’t A Strategy
For ages 13–adult. Experience this spell-binding story of bullying, mothers and daughters, Holocaust guilt, and the collateral damage of family secrets. The story of a teenage girl set in the 1960s, this fascinating novel reaches across the generations.
by Deborah Grayson Riegel Get moving in the right direction as this internationally-renowned self-help coach weaves her 25 easy-to-follow strategies with Jewish humor and tradition.
This author event is presented in par tnership with B’Nai Brith Youth Organization.
Presented in par tnership with the Business & Legal Societ y of the UJFT and the Young Adult Division of the UJFT.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 4pm FREE Community Read.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1pm FREE
Featuring The Apple Tree’s Discovery by Peninnah Schram
Discovering What Makes You Special
Featuring Southern Vapors by Lynn Garson Goodman The memoir of local author Lynn Garson Goodman can be described as poignant, painful, and just plain funny. “WOW! I was stunned by the strength and courage it took to not only survive her story, but to be able to put it in writing in such a clear, insight ful and humorous way.” —Cynthia Tessler
Internationally known story teller, teacher, and author, Peninnah Schram reworks the familiar “star inside the apple” story to help your children celebrate their inner beaut y and embrace the beaut y within others. This story telling event is intended for children ages five–nine.
Enjoy a wine and cheese reception at this communit y read.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1pm FREE Tuesday, Nov. 13, 12:15pm
The Scattered Tribe Featuring The Scattered Tribe: Traveling the Diaspora from Cuba to India to Tahiti & Beyond by Ben Frank Travel the world with author Ben Frank who will take you on a remarkable journey to exotic Jewish communities around the world with adventures set in Tahiti, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Cuba, Russia, (including Siberia), Morocco, Algeria, and Israel.
Inform, Delight and Inspire: In Exactly Six Words Featuring Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life: Oy! Only six? Why not more? by Larry Smith Enjoy six words, from the likes of Larry David and Mayor Ed Koch and let Larry Smith guide you in writing your own meaningful and inspiring sixword memoir. Come away from this interactive and humorous presentation with your own six-word memoir.
Luncheon $10 per person. Catered by Beth Sholom Village, and presented in par tnership with Jewish Family Service
*of blessed memory ** Advance purchase required for lunch by Oct. 30. Stop by or call the JCC at 757-321-2338. jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 17
Sunday Schools’ outing to Federation provides living history lesson by Laine Mednick Rutherford
T Maly Jackson speaks with Lauren, Robert and Emily Weinberg of Temple Emanuel following the event.
ute presentation, the more than 65 audience members also were treated to firsthand accounts from Dr. Mark Lipton and UJFT community development specialist Carolyn Amacher. Both lived in Israel at the time that Jackson and her family were secretly airlifted from Sudan and brought to Israel as part of Operation Moses (1984-85), and helped provide shelter and material goods for the new citizens. Culminating the special FederationSynagogue Partnership program was a walk
he number of hands thrust into the air at the end of Maly Jackson’s presentation about her childhood escape from Ethiopia was testimony to the power of her story. A dozen of the Sunday School students visiting the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater wanted to ask Jackson questions, to find out more about her dangerous trek across the desert to Sudanese refugee camps at age seven, her earliest memories as a Jewish Ethiopian, and her life after she and her family moved to Israel. Students and adults from synagogues that included Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel and Kempsville Conservative Synagogue -Kehillat Bet Hamidrash, came to the Sandler Family Campus on Oct. 7 to hear Jackson. During the 90-min- Viewing the photography exhibit—Josh Rubin, Lauren Weinberg.
Teri and I are deeply grateful for the
Jewish community, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve you and your family in Congress for nearly two years. We look forward to meeting with you again on October 25th at the JCC to share with you how I am working to create jobs, protect Medicare, maintain our strong ties to Israel and preserve her safety, strengthen our military and reach across the aisle to find real solutions to the problems facing our nation!
Paid for and Authorized by Scott Rigell
18 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline Vice President
Andy Kline President
Maly Jackson speaks to Sunday School students. Dr. Mark Lipton, right, also shared his experiences. 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 Call us today to see how we can help, 757-523-0605 or visit us at www.paydaypayroll.com.
Rabbi David Barnett, Temple Emanuel, leads prayers on the last day of Sukkot
through the Leon Art Gallery, where guests could view It Takes a Village: From Gondar to Jerusalem—the Remarkable Journey of Ethiopia’s Jews: A Photographic Retrospective. The large-scale photographs, as well as the stories they had just heard, made an impact on students and their parents. “When you hear these very personal stories, it gives you such a different perspective,” says Janet Yue of Temple Emanuel, who accompanied her daughter Sarah to the event. “I think many of us cannot conceptualize a situation like this, so hearing it from Maly really brings it home—the reality of the devastating experiences that Jews have gone through and continue to go through. This has been a valuable lesson for all of these children here—and for all of us adults as well.” Jackson was both humbled and encouraged by the response of the Sunday School students. An assistant teacher at the Strelitz Early Childhood Center whose children attend Strelitz and the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Jackson only recently has begun to open up about her experiences. “It’s still hard to talk about,” she says. “But everyone really seems to listen and
7/6/11 11:54 AM
Ruth’s will said a lot about her. What does your will say about you? Students and adults view a special photography exhibit on Ethiopian Jews.
be interested. Some students came up after and said they wanted to raise money to help the Jews still in Ethiopia and the ones having a hard time in Israel. One girl even invited me to her bat mitzvah!” A video of Maly Jackson telling her story will be posted soon on www.jewishva.org. Through generous gifts, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater allocates funds for pre-Aliyah training for Ethiopian Jews and educational and social integration programs for Ethiopian-Israelis. Donations are accepted online at www.jewishva.org. To find our more, contact Carolyn Amacher at 757-452-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995, Ruth
arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 21 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Write your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
www.leaveabequest.org. (757) 622-7951
jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 19
Goodman Ad – Jewish News: 4.875” x 5.375”
Men’s Major Gift Dinner serves up camaraderie and community
n what has been a longstanding tradition, men of the local community gathered together to share a meal at the start of the UJFT annual fundraising campaign. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, a week after the public 2013 Annual Campaign Kickoff, 65 guests attended a dinner at the Sandler Family Campus. Invited men included community members who make significant gifts to the Federation each year, as well as those who traveled to Israel in 2006 and 2012 on mission trips with the UJFT Men’s Division. A slide show of photos taken during the Israeli missions played as guests enjoyed drinks and dinner. Afterward, the group gathered in a large circle to discuss the Tidewater Jewish community, its importance in their lives and the lives of their families, and to share why they choose to make financial gifts to the UJFT. Harry Graber, UJFT executive vice-president, says many felt proud to be invited to the dinner for the first time and were
moved by what they heard from other guests. Others felt great pride and satisfaction in seeing the newly attended embrace this philanthropic legacy. “This year we invited a larger group of men to the event, and younger men too, not solely with the expectation that they would give, but to offer an opportunity to speak, and to hear others speak,” Graber says. “At these meals, they speak about family, about Israel and what it means to them, about philanthropic legacies they wish to carry on, about other people in the room and about people who may no longer be there, all of which and all of whom inspire them to make gifts. “With camaraderie, kinship and common purpose, in a confidential, safe space, this evening allows people to communicate and understand the heartfelt importance of being Jewish—what individual responsibilities and actions mean as part of the whole—from being a part of our local community, to Israel, to Jewish communities around the globe.”
Stephen Caplan and Albert Konikoff.
Ben Simon and John Feigenbaum.
Amy Levy and Art Sandler.
Alan Frieden, Andrew Nusbaum and Alvin Wall.
20 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Jason Hoffman, Glen Arluk, Hugh Cohen, David Konikoff and Jeff Chernitzer.
Ron Spindel, Miles Leon, Lonny Sarfan and Ron Kramer.
Adam White, Steve Sandler and Nathan Drory.
Maimonides Society learns about cross border disaster preparedness training
r. Lior Nesher, former head of the department of emergency medicine at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, spoke to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s
Maimonides Society at the Sandler Family Campus last month. The event was sponsored by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) Washington/Baltimore Region and UJFT’s Maimonides Society.
Dr. Lior Nesher of Ben Gurion University with Maimonides Society members: Sam and Danielle Liebovici; Betsy and Ed Karotkin; and Selma and Stanley Graber.
JCC Double Pro-Am a smash
The guests enjoyed a Sukkot brunch while Nesher led the discussion on emergency medicine. Under the auspices of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, BGU’s department of emergency medicine offers a unique, cross-border Dr. Lior Nesher, former head of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS) at Ben-Gurion training for Jordanian and Israeli University of the Negev (BGU), presented plans for Emergency first responders. BGU offers the Preparedness in the Negev Desert and in neighboring Jordan should only academic program for emer- there be an earthquake, bioterrorism attack or other disaster. gency medicine in Israel, and one of the few worldwide. Nesher presented plans for emergency Negev plays a vital role in sustaining David preparedness in the Negev Desert and in Ben-Gurion’s vision, creating a world-class neighboring Jordan should there be an earth- institution of education and research in quake, bioterrorism attack or other disaster. the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev The 30 Maimonides Society members and community and sharing the University’s guests also discussed potential partnerships expertise locally and around the globe. with the Ben Gurion University School of With some 20,000 students on campuses in Medicine, the only full service/level one hos- Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel’s pital in the south of Israel. southern desert, BGU integrates the highAmerican Associates, Ben-Gurion est academic standards with community University of the Negev American involvement, and is committed to sustainAssociates, Ben-Gurion University of the able development of the Negev.
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Solomon Mohammed, Darryl Cummings and Neal Schulwolf.
“It’s all about mixing and mingling, meeting new people, playing with different skill levels, and having fun,” says Darryl Cummings, tennis director of the Simon Family JCC. On Sunday, Oct. 14, a group of 16 did just that. Players had a chance to hit with top area players, including Solomon Mohammed, who played for Old Dominion University, Jason Dunn, who played for University of Mary Washington, and top high school players, Conor Sommers (Cape Henry Collegiate), Olivia Large (Cox High School), and Clark Cummings (Norfolk Academy). The JCC will host regular weekend Pro-Am round robins. Email Darryl@ Darrylcummings.com or call 757-641-6146 to participate.
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what’s happening Why Do THEY Do That? A series of understanding
B’nai Israel’s 2nd Annual Comedy Night
Begins Sunday, Nov. 11, 2 pm
Saturday, Nov. 3, 8 pm
he Jewish Museum & Cultural Center is presenting an exciting new series to discuss the differences in religious cultures, yet how many rituals are derived from the same ideas. The series takes place on the second Sunday of each month with a discussion on the differences and similarities of the major world religions and their customs and how they parallel those of the Jewish faith. Each presentation will explore various questions in regard to the featured topic and answered in the views of religious doctrine. Each event is open to the public and suitable for all ages. Donation of $5 per person. The Jewish Museum & Cultural Center is located at 607 Effingham Street in Portsmouth. Space is limited. Call 757‑391‑9266 for a guaranteed reservation.
Diverse December Differences Sunday, Dec. 9 What are the customs and traditions of Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and Ramadan? How are they different and are they alike? The series continues through March 2013.
ome of Hampton Roads’ best local comedians will be featured at B’nai Israel’s 2nd Annual Comedy Night: Mike Easmeil, Jim Seward, Vince Pilato, Dwayne Murphy, Jr., Tim “The Big 44” Loulies and Sid Bridge. The evening will feature clean comedy and great food. A local veteran of stand-up comedy, Mike Easmeil recently performed at the Arab American Comedy Festival in New York. Jim Seward performs regularly at area comedy clubs including the Virginia Beach Funny Bone and Cozzy’s. He has won numerous comedy competitions and performs at venues all over the East Coast. Tim Loulies (AKA, The Big 44) has performed at The Apollo Theatre and the Improv in Los Angeles, as well as clubs throughout the East Coast. He also teaches stand-up comedy classes at the Virginia Beach Funny Bone.
A fast-rising star on the local comedy scene, Dwayne Murphy, Jr. has performed shows all over the East Coast and has made a name for himself as a host and talented improv performer. Vince Pilato is a local comedy veteran who performs clean comedy at many local clubs and performed regularly at the Thoroughgood Inn. Sid Bridge has been performing standup in Hampton Roads for two years, and has been seen at venues such as the Virginia Beach Funny Bone, Cozzy’s and Cinema Café. He is also a member of Bnai Israel Synagogue. Admission is $15 ($12 for JCC members). Food and drink will be available for purchase. RSVP to the B’nai Israel Office at 757-6277358 or email email@example.com.
when you ne t i ed it. e v we h a ave it w h hen you want it. e
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Foods of Faith Sunday, Nov. 11 What are traditional religious ritual foods? Why is a Challah braided? What is Kosher and Halal food? Are they the same? What are dietary customs? Sample various foods and learn these answers and more.
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22 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
what’s happening Senior associate for Israel and Middle East Affairs visits Tidewater
Community Relations Council offers two opportunities to hear from International Christian organizations working to support Israel Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 4
Thursday, Nov. 8, 12:30 pm
oin the Community Relations Council for a Learn@Lunch program with David Cohen, the senior associate for Israel and Middle East Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia as he talks about current events relating to Israel and the Middle East. Cohen has spent more than 15 years as a Middle East analyst and Israel programs director, working for communities in both Israel and the United States. He previously served as associate director for the AntiDefamation League’s New England Region and as an Israel Missions director for the Greater Boston Jewish Federation. This free and open to the community learning opportunity will take place at Wilcox and Savage located in the Wells Fargo building at 440 Monticello Ave. in Norfolk. Bring a lunch. Contact JJohnson@ ujft.org by Nov. 5 to RSVP or for more info.
Missions Possible Holiday gift shows NORFOLK Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 & 9 10 am–7 pm Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 am – 4 pm Virginia Arts Festival Barr Building 440 Bank Street VIRGINIA BEACH Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 13 & 14 11:30 am – 7:30 pm La Bella Italia Restaurant 1065 Laskin Road Also showing: Silpada Jewelry – Tamsen Davis 10% to purchaser’s choice: Simon Family JCC Cultural Arts, Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Opera, Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Symphony, Hurrah Players or ODU Art Dept. Call Clay Barr or Lauren Barr at (757) 226‑0700 or visit www.missionspossibleusa.com.
The American Theatre
The 25th Anniversary Season
by Robin Mancoll
romoting understanding and building relationships between the Jewish community and other faith communities, is the mission of the outreach committee of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. “Any time people, who might have different and conflicting views, can sit together and learn and talk it is very beneficial—If the views on common issues are not in conflict, it also helps to have both groups get to know each other, understand the thoughts and motivations of both groups and to gain trust with each other when future issues may come up,” says Jerry Kantor, chair of the outreach committee. Two international organizations will visit Tidewater to offer explanations why they work to support Israel. Both events are free and open to the community. Pastor Victor Styrsky, eastern regional coordinator for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) will be speak about “Why Christians Support Israel” during a CRC Learn@Lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 12:15 pm on the Sandler Family Campus. Styrsky has been a pastor, music director, and pro-Israel activist in Northern California for more than 25 years and is the author of “Honest to God—Christian Zionists Confront 10 Questions Jews Need Answered.” Styrsky assumed CUFI’s eastern regional coordinator position after serving several years as CUFI’s California director. A Christian Zionist for more than 30 years, he has been a frequent speaker at AIPAC, on college campuses, Zionist Organization of America, Eagles Wings, the Israel-Christian Nexus and other pro-Israel organizations across the nation. In 2007, Styrsky addressed the 25,000-person rally outside the United Nations in protest of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance. CUFI, with more than 1,000,000 members, is the largest grass roots, pro-Israel organization in the world. Their purpose is to provide a national association through which every pro-Israel church, para-church organization, ministry or individual in America can speak and act with one voice in support of Israel in matters related to Biblical issues. This will be Pastor Styrsky’s third visit to Tidewater’s Jewish community. Stop by the Cardo Café and pick up lunch
Pastor Victor Styrsky
while Pastor Styrsky speaks about the mission of CUFI, why they support Israel, and then takes questions. USA director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Susan Michael will speak over a light breakfast at Temple Emanuel on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 10 am in a partnership program between the CRC and Temple Emanuel. Michael is director of the U.S. branch of the ICEJ and a member of the international board in Jerusalem, having served in various capacities with the ICEJ for 30 years. For more than 30 years, the ICEJ has stood by Israel, showing their support in a variety of ways, both in the land and around the world. They administer several aid projects, engage in advocacy for Israel, and assist in Aliyah to the Jewish homeland. During his visit a year and a half ago, Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel for the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, the CRC’s umbrella organization mentioned, “if you want to get Jews to understand why Christians support Israel, you MUST have Susan Michael speak.” Michael’s talk will be on “Should the Jewish community work with Evangelicals in support of Israel?” and is not one to be missed. Nichole A. Kushner, vice chair of the CRC outreach committee says, “The mutual respect and understanding of our local Christian community comes at a time in history when the need for outreach and tolerance has never been so great. Cultural and religious understanding also enriches our community, and affords us all the foundation for relationships to grow.” At this time, Israel needs all the friends she can get. Show support of the work that Christians United for Israel and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem do by attending one or both of these events. For more information or to RSVP to these free and open to the community events, contact JJohnson@ujft.org. See related article on page 7.
L.A. Theatre Works in
Pride & Prejudice
Tuesday October 23, 7:30pm
School matinée (abbreviated version) at 11am. Q and A after the performance.
Tell Me Something Good
Ethel with Todd Rundgren Tuesday October 30, 7:30pm
Wednesday October 31, 7:30pm
Program works by Handel, dall’Abaco, Vivaldi and Telemann
Bellydance Superstars Saturday November 3, 8pm Sunday November 4, 2:30pm
Wednesday November 7, 7:30pm
Friday November 9, 8pm Q & A Following the show.
Circo Aereo/Gandini Juggling Tuesday November 13, 7:30pm Wednesday November 14, 7:30pm Aquila Theatre Company in
Cyrano de Bergerac Friday November 16, 8pm
Lecture in the studio at 7pm. Free.
757-722-2787 www.HamptonArts.net 125 E. Mellen St., Hampton
jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 12012 | Jewish News JN_Due10-5_Run10-22.indd 9/27/12| 23 11:31 AM
what’s happening The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Jewish Book Festival JCC Book Festival event brings the danger of bullying to all ages
Storyteller helps little apple trees discover their roots
Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 pm
nown as the “Anti-Bullying Novelist,” author Elaine Wolf will talk about her book Camp: Every Secret Has a Price, as part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. A compelling story for people of all ages, Camp is the captivating story of Amy, a 14-year-old girl who is sent to Camp Takawanda only to find herself where mean girls practice bullying as a sport. “The characters in C a m p are so real. I feel very drawn to Amy and her experience of life, which brought me back to my own camp days and to the insecurity and vulnerability of adolescence. I was tearful by the end, touched by the emotions revealed by the characters and circumstances,” says Sandy Bernstein, Psy.D., a psychologist and psychotherapist. “I write about what really happens behind closed gates and doors of our camps and schools. Camp and Danny’s Mom have given me a literal bully pulpit, a platform from which to keep the bullying conversation going so that, in concert with professionals in our communities, we will make our camps and schools safer for all children,” says Wolf. This event takes place at 1 pm at the Simon Family JCC and is free and open to the public. Call 321-2338 or visit simonfamilyj.org for more information about the lineup of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. * of blessed memory
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1pm
amed storyteller Peninnah Schram will be a featured speaker at the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. Schram is a storyteller, teacher, author, recording artist, and a professor at Stern College of Yeshiva University. She has received many awards for her work including the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator, The Circle of Excellence Award, and the National Storytellers Network Lifetime Achievement Award. Schram’s book, The Apple Tree’s Discovery teaches readers to believe in their own unique gifts rather than longing for the traits of others. Children and parents alike can enjoy the message in this folktale. A little apple tree in a forest of oaks begs God for stars like those glimmering on the branches of the great oak trees beside her. As the seasons pass, she learns to appreciate her own gifts and realizes that it’s possible to find a star in every individual. This event takes place at the Simon Family JCC. It is intended for children, ages five to nine and is free and open to the public. Call 321-2338 or visit simonfamilyj.org for more information about the complete lineup of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. *of blessed memory
24 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Veteran’s Day event honors Jewish veterans Monday, Nov. 12, 11 am
Everyone has a (six-word) story Sunday, Nov. 18, 1pm
a r r y Smith believes that everyone has a story and he travels the country helping people tell those stories. Smith is best known for his SixWord Memoir Project, a global phenomenon and a bestselling book series. Smith will talk about his book, SixWord Memoirs on Jewish Life: Oy! Only six? Why not more? at an interactive presentation at the Simon Family JCC as a part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. “We loved the six-word project as far more than a book,” says Roger Bennett, a Reboot founder and philanthropy executive. “The process offers communities, organizations, and synagogues a powerful mechanism to engage their members in defining questions, values, and opinions in a way that range from the profound to the humorous.” Participants will enjoy six words from the likes of Larry David and Mayor Ed Koch, and Smith will then guide them in writing their own meaningful and inspiring six-word memoir. To help them get there, the book contains a glossary of various words and phrases that may be new or unknown to both Jews and non-Jews alike. “In five years of running the Six-Word Memoir project, I’ve found the number one reason a topic works is if it inspires passion and a sense of self, and the Jewish life surely does,” says Smith. This event takes place at the Simon Family JCC and is free and open to the public. Call 321-2338 or visit simonfamilyj.org for more information about the complete lineup of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival. *of blessed memory
he Tidewater Jewish Foundation will hold a Veterans Day memorial event honoring Jewish War Veterans who have served the United States of America. Cultural myths about Jews and a perceived avoidance of military service persist. This Tidewater monument proves the myth to be pure fabrication. Whenever this nation has called its young men and women to battle, American Jews have stepped up and have served the nation with true dedication and bravery. The service will take place on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community at the Jewish War Veterans monument, which was completed and unveiled in 2010. Following the ceremony, a light lunch will be served. To attend the event, RSVP to Shelby Tudor at 757-965-6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, Nov. 6. To purchase a memorial paver to honor a veteran, contact Benita Watts at 757-965-6123 or email@example.com.
Let’s Go to the (Silent) Movies Nov. 2, 8 pm, Ferguson Center Nov. 3, 8 pm, Chrysler Hall
ravel back in time to the glamorous 1920s for an evening of music and film with guest conductor Rick Benjamin and The Clown Princes. Experience Charlie Chaplin’s The Pawnshop, Buster Keaton’s Cops and Harold Lloyd’s Get Out and Get Under with incidental music from their original scores performed live by the Virginia Symphony POPS. Tickets start at $20. Simon Family JCC members and supporters save 20%. Members should check their email for the code to receive the discount. For more information, call (757) 892-6366 or go to www.VirginiaSymphony.org.
what’s happening Political Forum features Scott Rigell and Paul Hirschbiel
Pizza with a purpose
Thursday, Oct. 25, 7 pm
Thursday, Oct. 25
s Election Day nears, the candidates vying for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat will address the Tidewater Jewish community and answer audience questions. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites area voters to see and hear local political hopefuls at the last event in its Meet Your Candidate series with a forum featuring Rep. Scott Rigell (R), incumbent, and Paul Hirschbiel (D), challenger. The event takes place at the Sandler Family Campus. Joel Rubin of Rubin Communications Group, will serve as the forum moderator. Questions for the politicians will be forwarded to Rubin during the event or can be submitted in advance at www.jewishva. org/crc. The 2nd Congressional District includes
the City of Virginia Beach, Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore, portions of Hampton, redistricted areas of Norfolk and newly added parts of Newport News. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www. jewishva.org, or contact Robin Mancoll, director of the CRC, at 757-965-6120 or firstname.lastname@example.org/crc.
ant to eat some pizza and help a worthy cause at the same time? Jewish Family Service of Tidewater is hosting an all day “Pizza with a purpose night” at California Pizza Kitchen, at both the Virginia Beach and Norfolk restaurants. Participants must present a special coupon, and CPK will donate 20% of the ticket to JFS for its Helping Hearts project. Every year for the past seven years, JFS has coordinated the Helping Hearts project, which provides indigent adults with bags filled with basic necessities. Many of these
adults have no family in the area to visit with during the holiday season, and many of them live monthly on less than what a tank of gas costs. This year, the Helping Hearts project hopes to build upon its success of years past and collect enough toiletries, grooming items, snacks, socks, winter hats, gloves, novelties and even gift cards for incapacitated adults from ages 18 to 104. A number of these individuals are part of the JFS Personal Affairs Management (PAM) program for incapacitated adults.
Moses J. Ezekiel: Civil War soldier, renown sculptor Sunday, Nov. 18, 4 pm
olonel Keith Gibson will discuss Moses J. Ezekiel as part of The Jewish Museum & Cultural Center’s Lecture Series 2012–2013, A Minority in the Midst of Conflict: Jewish Experiences During The Civil War. Few sculptors of the 19th century were as well known during their lifetime as Moses Ezekiel, though he is not wellknown today. The first Jewish cadet at VMI, he fought in the battle of New Market in 1864 and was encouraged by Robert E. Lee to pursue his artistic calling. Colonel Gibson is the executive director of Museum Programs and Architectural
Historian for VMI. He is the author or co-author of several books and articles on the Civil War era and has worked as a consultant on several historical documentary films. The event is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Ezra Landres Fund to Promote Excellence in Jewish Education. The Jewish Museum & Cultural Center is located at 607 Effingham Street in Portsmouth. $15 donation at the door. For more information, call 757-391-9266 or email email@example.com.
jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 25
what’s happening Temple Israel to host Prof. David Elcott, expert on Jewish Communal leadership Community Shabbaton — Friday, Oct. 26–Sunday, Oct. 27
by Rabbi Michael Panitz
ver the past two years, a good new spirit has gathered strength in the local Jewish community, a spirit of collegiality and partnership, encompassing the synagogues in town and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Last year, the synagogues and Federation joined forces to celebrate the first annual Federation Shabbaton. Temple Israel played a significant role in that endeavor, hosting Shoel Silver for a Sunday morning brunch and conversation about the challenges to Jewish unity, in Israel and domestically. On Saturday, Oct. 27, as a key component
of the second annual Community Shabbaton, Temple Israel will host Professor David Elcott, scholar in residence. He will speak on “Rebuilding Community: The Search for New Models of Leadership.” As ever, this Shabbaton is free and open to the public. A scholar in the field of political psychology and Middle East studies, and an expert in the study of American sociological developments, Elcott has a record of incisive analysis and effective communication. He has published A Sacred Journey: The Jewish Quest for a Perfect World. Among the leadership positions in which he has served, he has been a vice president of CLAL: the
National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and is the former national director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. It ought to come as no surprise to members of Tidewater’s Jewish community that the phenomenon of “bowling leagues” as a metaphor for American social life, when Americans saw themselves as “joiners” in a full spectrum of organizations and enterprises, is not as attractive to the current generation as it was to their grandparents. It should be seriously pondered: in an era of “bowling alone,” how dose the Jewish community become re-grounded? That is a
subject that will require more than a weekend retreat to comprehend and to solve, but this weekend will provide an excellent setting for mobilizing thoughts and energies. Dr. Elcott will also speak at other synagogues throughout the weekend, including Congregation Beth El, B’nai Israel Congregation and Ohef Sholom Temple. For a complete schedule and more information about the Community-Federation Shabbaton call Carolyn Amacher, 757-4523181, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jewishva.org. Reprinted in part from the October, 2012 Temple Israel bulletin
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jewishnewsva.org | October 22, 2012 | Jewish News | 27
obituaries Melissa Susan Jaffe Winter Park, Fla—Melissa Susan Jaffe, 61, of Winter Park, Fla., passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. She was born in Richmond, Va. and was the daughter of the late Bernard and Lee Banks Jaffe. Melissa was employed at the Lakewood Center in Fern Park, Fla., where she was a well-respected member of the community. Previously, she worked in real estate management in New York City and as a market research interviewer in Norfolk. She graduated with honors from Granby High School in Norfolk and majored in English Literature at Simmons College and Brandeis University. Melissa enjoyed taking cooking classes, loved doing yoga and working with a fitness trainer. She looked forward to attending art shows in Florida and taking cruises with her Lakewood friends. Her treasured cat, Inky, was always happy to see her when she returned. Melissa’s adventurous spirit and her kind soul will be missed by many. She is survived by her sister Karen Jaffe, her brother Nathan Jaffe and his wife Beth Cohen Jaffe, all of Virginia Beach, and her niece, Abbi Jaffe, of Underhill, Vermont. A private family graveside funeral took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery, with Rabbi Michael Panitz and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, 260 Grayson Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, or La Amistad Foundation, Inc. 8400 La Amistad Cove, Fern Park, FL 32730, or JDC for the Jaffe Jewish Family Service in Budapest, PO Box 4124, New York, NY 10163. Mildred S. Johnson Norfolk—Mildred Ruth Smith Johnson, beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully Oct. 9, 2012 in Fairfax Hospital at 83 years of age. Formerly of Portsmouth, she was born on Jan. 8, 1929 and was the daughter of the late Gussie Crocker Smith and Edna Harris Smith. She was also predeceased by her cherished aunt, Mildred Harris Parker, and granddaughter, Kimberly Eve Gray, whom she helped raise and loved. Mildred received her two-year certificate to teach elementary school from James Madison University and matriculated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor of arts, majoring in elementary education. She taught within the Portsmouth and Chesapeake public school systems, and retired from Deep Creek Elementary School after 25 years of teaching first graders.
Mildred continued to teach children and adults of Pinecrest Baptist Church where she and her husband raised their girls, as well as Jackson Memorial Baptist where she and her husband were married in 1948. In her spare time, Mildred helped many family and friends with meals, delicious cakes, sending cards for every occasion and by singing whenever asked. Mildred enjoyed her time with her family the most and traveled with them almost every vacation. Mildred is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Marvin W. Johnson, her brother, William Smith of Richmond; her daughter Marion Lidman and husband, Roger Lidman, M.D. of Norfolk; her daughter, Edna Kindley and husband George, of Fairfax; her granddaughter Kristen Wabuge and husband, George of Alexandria, her grandson Kevin Kindley of Norfolk; her sweet granddaughter Naomei Lidman of Norfolk and her precious great-granddaughter, Simone Wabuge of Alexandria. Funeral services were held at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in the Mausoleum Chapel, in Chesapeake. Donations to a charity of choice or to the JMBC Music Fund. Harry Kittner Chapel Hill—Harry Kittner, 90, passed away on Oct. 12, 2012, after a period of declining health. Harry was born March 18, 1922, in Weldon, N.C., the fourth of six children of the late Rose and Louis Kittner. Raised in a close-knit, Jewish family, he was the product of the values, traditions and aspirations of his immigrant parents combined with the best attributes of the small, neighborly town of Weldon, where he lived for much of his life. His friendly, outgoing manner and kindness to others will long be remembered. He lived an exemplary and remarkable life. Harry’s parents stressed hard work and the importance of education. Harry excelled in school and graduated from Weldon High School, where he was selected as “Best All Round” by his teachers. Throughout his childhood, he helped out in his father’s shoe repair shop, which later grew into Kittner’s Department Store. Kittner could proudly boast that he attended all three of the Triangle’s top universities. He matriculated as a freshman to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, due to the urgent need for engineers as the U.S. was drawn into World War II, he transferred early in his sophomore year to N.C. State to study engineering. While at State, he also volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
28 | Jewish News | October 22, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
At the end of his junior year, he received orders to join the V-12 program and was transferred to Duke University, where he graduated with honors. While proud of his ties to all three institutions, he was, at his core, a Tar Heel. Upon college graduation in 1944, he completed basic training at Paris Island, S.C., and was commissioned as a second lieutenant at the marine training base in Quantico, Va. He was sent to the Pacific theatre to join the 3rd Marine Division on the island of Guam. With the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended and Harry’s fate took a different turn. He was sent to Mainland China for occupation duty with the 1st Marine Division. In 1946, he was discharged from active duty as a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves. Kittner returned to Weldon and entered the family business. He had the excellent fortune to be introduced by his best friend’s wife to the love of his life, Sarah Kornblau of Richmond. They married in 1952 and started a family. Among the civic activities in which he participated over many years, Kittner served on the boards of the Weldon City Schools, Halifax Memorial Hospital, and the Halifax Community College Foundation. He was one of the founders of the Weldon Business Bureau, as well as a board member of the N.C. Retail Merchants Association. He was an active volunteer for numerous local charities. Kittner was a member and lay leader of Temple Emanu-El of Weldon and a longtime member of North Carolina B’nai B’rith. When the Weldon synagogue closed its doors in 2003, he was instrumental in ensuring that the religious objects and Torahs were passed along to other Jewish communities for continued use. Harry and Sarah relocated to Chapel Hill in 1998. In Chapel Hill, Harry was a member of Kehillah Synagogue. Through his efforts, a chapel was established at the Kehillah as a memorial to Temple Emanu-El of Weldon. At the center of Harry’s world was his family. He was a devoted son and son-in-law, loyal brother, loving husband, cherished father and adored “Pop-Pop.” He loved his nieces and nephews and was great friends with his many cousins. Harry is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sarah K. Kittner of Chapel Hill; children, Ben Kittner of Raleigh; Betty Kittner and Kent Dewey of Greensboro; Berta Kittner and Robert Levin of Chapel Hill; Sam and Bobbi Kittner of Takoma Park, Md.; Kim Kittner of Raleigh; six grandchildren— Noah Kittner, Kaylie Kittner, Louis Levin, Sally Levin, Max Kittner and Joe Kittner.
Also surviving, siblings, David and Connie Kittner of Philadelphia, Pa.; Lucille Kittner Frank of Portsmouth, Va.; William and Ida Kittner of Norfolk, Va; brother-inlaw, Theodore Bleecker of Sarasota, Fl.; and brother- and sister-in-law, Sam and Helen Kornblau of Richmond, Va. Kittner also leaves behind 13 nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph M. Kittner, and his wife, Esther; sister, Dorothy Kittner Bleecker; and brother-in-law, B. Joseph Frank. Funeral services were held at Kehillah Synagogue with Rabbi Jen Feldman officiating. Burial followed in the Kehillah Section of Markham Memorial Gardens. Contributions can be made to Halifax Community College, Kittner Family Scholarship Fund, PO Drawer 809, Weldon, N.C. 27890; Kehillah Synagogue, 1200 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514; UNC Kittner Eye Center, c/o Sandy Scarlett, Campus Box 7040, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; or the charity of one’s choice. Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home. Online condolences at www.howertonbryan.com.
Specter remembered as an iconoclast who enjoyed going toe to toe with tyrants by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—During his 30 years in the clubby confines of the U.S. Senate, Arlen Specter never lost his acerbic prosecutorial zeal, friends and associates say. The insistent questions, the commitment to independence that made the longtime Pennsylvania senator a critical player in recent U.S. history, ultimately did in his career. In his 2010 bid for a sixth term, Specter lost the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Specter, who had been the longestserving U.S. senator from his state, died Sunday, Oct. 14 of complications from nonHodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 82. His iconoclasm was his brand, from the outset of his career, when he made a name for himself as the young Philadelphia assistant district attorney on the Warren Commission who first postulated that a single bullet hit both President John F. Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally. And he wore his independence as a badge of honor: The pro-choice Republican who helped fell Robert Bork’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, and then ensured Clarence Thomas’ ascension by leading what many liberal groups saw as the smearing of Anita Hill, a one-time aide to Thomas who had accused the former head
obituaries of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of sexually harassing her. The pro-Israel stalwart who enjoyed his one-onones with some of the Middle East’s most bloodstained tyrants. Running for district attorney in Philadelphia in 1965, he left the Democratic Party, but returned in 2009, frustrated with what he said was the Republican Party’s lurch rightward. Specter the Democrat helped pass President Obama’s health care reforms. “He would tell me, ‘Every morning I wake up I look in the mirror and I see the toughest guy in politics,’ ” recalls Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America who first lobbied and then befriended Specter. Specter, who represented Pennsylvania in the Senate from 1981 to 2011, was shaped by his childhood as the only Jewish kid in his class in a small Midwestern town, Russell, Kan., says David Brog, a longtime aide to Specter who eventually rose to be his chief of staff. “He was a tough Jew,” Brog says. Specter’s upbringing—helping out his father, a peddler and scrap metal business owner, when he was barely beyond toddler age—was a factor in his pro-Israel leadership, Brog says. “He saw a little of Israel in himself as the only Jew in his class in Russell,” he says. Although his sisters were Orthodox Jewish, Specter himself was not outwardly religious, though he had a strong sense of Jewish identity. Brog notes that on his visits to the Jewish state, Specter would make a point of visiting the grave of his father, who came to the United States from what is now Ukraine, and who wished to be buried in Israel. Specter was a congressional leader in advancing the cause of Soviet Jews, recalls Mark Levin, who directs NCSJ, the former National Council on Soviet Jewry. “He had a particular interest in addressing these issues through legal means,” Levin says, particularly by leveraging international human rights laws. Specter would grill his interlocutors from the Soviet Jewry activist movement, asking them to come up with new avenues to leverage the Soviet Union and other European states. Specter also helped preserve the Lautenberg Amendment, named for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), which eased immigration for refugees from persecution. Designed as a way to advance the exodus of Soviet Jews, Specter extended the amendment to minorities from other nations, including Iran. “A prescient leader, he understood early on that religious minorities within Iran
needed special protection,” says a statement from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. “The senator never forgot his Jewish roots, and his legacy within the Jewish community is great.” Specter throughout his career was a proIsrael leader, in recent years leading efforts to condition aid to the Palestinian Authority on its peace process performance. He also aimed to protect Jewish students on campuses from anti-Israel harassment. An array of Jewish and pro-Israel groups mourned his passing. “Time and time again, Sen. Specter worked to ensure that America’s ally had the resources necessary to defend herself and protect U.S. interests in the Middle East,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee says in a statement. “He was a good friend of our organization and a leading architect of the congressional bond between our country and Israel.” The Israeli Embassy in Washington calls Specter “an unswerving defender of the Jewish State and a stalwart advocate of peace.” Yet Specter also courted the region’s tyrants, including Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the Assads in Syria. He longed for a role brokering peace between Israel and Syria, even after his departure from the Senate. “He visited these tyrants and he was convinced that he could convince them to moderate their policies,” Klein says. “And as we know, he never did.” “He and Hafez Assad would sit for hours on end drinking tea, seeing who would need to go for a bathroom break first,” Brog says, referring to the late Syrian strongman and father of the country’s current ruler, Bashar Assad. More seriously, Brog says, Specter was committed to creating an environment friendly to peacemaking for Israel by forging a deal with its most recalcitrant neighbor. Specter’s independence took a toll on his staff, Brog says. “Every single vote he wanted a briefing on the merits without just knowing how the party wanted the vote,” he says. Nominees for the federal bench were a regular target of his difficult questions, says Sammie Moshenberg, the Washington director of the National Council of Jewish Women. “He was always independent and was proud of the fact that he went with his conscience,” she says. Moshenberg found his tough questions gratifying when Specter grilled nominees on reproductive rights, but recalled being “infuriated” when he accused Hill of perjuring herself in accusing Thomas of sexual
harassment. As the political climate grew more polarized, Specter found himself assailed by the left and the right. In 2004 he barely fended off a Republican primary challenge from his right by Rep. Pat Toomey. Five years later, realizing he would likely not be able to beat Toomey again, Specter switched parties, saying the GOP had “moved far to the right.” Yet the Democratic Party proved no more welcoming; he lost in the 2010 primary to Rep. Joe Sestak, who in turn was defeated by Toomey in the general election. The Jewish affiliates of both parties issued statements commemorating Specter’s career. Each emphasized different aspects of his career—the National Jewish Democratic Council calling him a “crucial voice of moderation” and the Republican Jewish Coalition saying he was a “staunch supporter of Israel.” But the groups echoed one another in describing Specter’s higher calling: The RJC notes that he was a “devoted public servant,” and the NJDC calls him a “consummate public servant.”
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Face to face
Jason Leibowitz: JFNA’s new guy on the block by Karen Lombart
ason Leibowitz, 25, stepped out of a cab two years ago in front of the convention center in New Orleans and discovered that he was smiling back at himself from the murals draped across the building’s front entrance. When his picture was taken at the JFNA (Jewish Federations of North America) offices a few weeks earlier, he had no idea he would find his photograph, larger than life, posted throughout the hall, welcoming attendees into the Federation’s General Assembly’s three day symposium. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Leibowitz exclaims. The serendipitous surprise eventually proved to be prophetic because several months later, he discovered that much of his personal journey was molded by the Federation’s recipient agencies. Today, as JFNA’S senior program manager for the young adult population, Leibowitz’s department assists 155 federated communities whose young adult professionals create and manage programming for the 22- to 45-year-olds in their cities. In Tidewater, Amy Weinstein heads up the YAD division. Leibowitz is also part of the management team for the 300-person National Young Leadership Cabinet, which develops next generation leadership. “My parents, Fern and Larry, are from New York and my Jewish lens is probably more a reflection of their Northern upbringing than my southern roots,” says Leibowitz. He laughs about his recent house hunting. “As soon as my maternal grandfather learned I was interested in moving from an apartment in New York City to a co-op in Brooklyn, he took the lead on my home search. Not only was he excited, he had worked in the real estate market in Brooklyn Heights for over 30 years.” Leibowitz is thrilled to live in Brooklyn’s unpretentious neighborhood. He loves that he can walk to a kosher restaurant. “Since preschool, I have longed to be fully immersed in a thriving Jewish community,” he says. His personal story reveals that his Jewish soul, his “nashama,” prompted many of his life’s transitions. Leibowitz began his Jewish journey, attending the JCC preschool on Newport Avenue and kindergarten at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater on Thompson Lane. While at Cape Henry during his elementary years, he studied at the United
Hebrew School and Congregation Beth El’s Sunday school. One afternoon his parents received a phone call from Leibowitz’s first grade teacher, reporting a class problem. During the Christmas holiday party, their son was caught telling his classmates that Santa Claus was not real. Unbeknownst to them, Leibowitz had secretly tucked a yamulke into his book bag and wore it during the holiday celebration. “Even as a kid, I wanted to learn more from my United Hebrew School lessons than memorization. I wanted to understand the emotional connections to Judaism and its peoplehood,” Leibowitz elaborates. “In Gimel, Yardena Abrons brought the classroom to life. She later became my tutor for my Bar Mitzvah on April 1, 2000.” By sixth grade, Leibowitz transferred to Norfolk Collegiate and enrolled in Teen Dialogue with the JCC’s Rabbi Stu Warner. On Collegiate’s campus during his free period, he attended a 30-minute “Jewish club” led by Rabbi Ephraim Adler, a Kollel educator. Leibowitz’s search for Jewish meaning intensified during his high school years. He went on his first Shabbaton to New York City and insisted that his family begin to go to synagogue on Shabbat and have Friday night dinners. Each morning, before he went to school, Lebowitz put on tefillin. As he continued his practice, he felt as if he lived in two separate worlds, the observant and the secular. Challenged often by his uncle, Leibowitz welcomed the opportunities to debate about history, politics and his religious practice. It was these intimate conversations that meant more to him than his activities with the local BBYO and USY groups. Applying to colleges, Leibowitz only considered schools with large Jewish populations, enrolling at New York University. Attending Hillel weekly, he immersed himself in its “amazing” activities. Leibowitz learned that it was okay to take a leap of faith and then figure out the reasons for some religious behaviors. His observance became more Orthodox, keeping kosher, and becoming Shomer Shabbas. He loved going to Friday night services at the Hillel House and sharing Shabbat dinner with friends. He even took Hebrew as a foreign language. Becoming a member of the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, aka AEPi, Leibowitz and his fraternity brothers enjoyed working on social action projects, like building a
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playground in Queens and a sukkah on campus. Staying true to his beliefs has always been important to him. Still, Leibowitz laughs when he talks about his parents’ reaction to one of his homecomings. “Imagine my parents surprise when they opened up the refrigerator door to find the interior light bulb covered in tape preventing me from activating the electricity during Shabbat,” he chuckles. Jason Leibowitz on JFNA mural in New Orleans. In 2006, during his summer between his freshman and sophomore as if he is making a real difference. He is years, Leibowitz went to Israel on Birthright part of the team that created Tribefest, Israel through Oranim with his fraternity an introductory program for young adults brothers. Unexpectedly, he found that being to acquaint themselves with the Jewish Jewish in Israel was not characterized by world through interactive sessions, stratereligious observance. It was defined by a gic partnerships, roundtables and engaging sense of community—an overarching belief keynote speakers. that the Jewish citizens saw themselves as He is now intricately involved in planone people. This new understanding broad- ning and supervising the 2013 Summer ened his perspective and offered him a new Young Adult Trip to Israel where he will sense of balance. lead the participants on a mission specifiIn the spring of 2007, he returned to cally designed to highlight programs relying Israel to study for a semester at Hebrew on funding from Federation dollars. University in the Rothberg International He already knows that the participants School through the Masa Israel program. will pick corn on a farm for 45 minutes to He took some classes with Professor Meron feed 200 people as a means of understandMedzini who grew up with Golda Meir and ing Project Leket. They will also travel to taught history by relating personal stories. Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center, run by “It was unbelievable to feel that intimate the Jewish Agency to farm, cook and make connection to Israeli history!” he says. He traditional Ethiopian coffee along with the also studied at the Ulpan, taking his foun- new Ethiopian Israelis. dational alpeh bet skills quickly to the level Excited, Leibowitz readily admits, “The of conversational Hebrew. Federation has made me who I am today.” After college graduation, Leibowitz felt His Jewish values, his pride for Israel and compelled to work in the Jewish world. His his participation in the global Jewish world first job was with Bikkurim, a Federation- are born from his parents’ emotional supsupported organization that incubates new port and their desire to provide him with Jewish non-profits by providing funding, many Jewish opportunities that were, coinoffice space, grant applications and assis- cidently, Federation based. tance in creating a governing board, all with “When you are sitting in the stands at the intent to help it expand. Bikkurim’s Yankee Stadium, and everyone around you office space was located on the same floors is cheering for the same team, there is an as JFNA’s New York office. emotional connection, a deep rooted comLeibowitz often wandered over to the mitment because you know and the people Federation side of the building. With his around you know, that you are ‘one.’ That, gregarious personality and engaging smile, is what life is like for me now,” Leibowitz he made lots of friends. Beth Mann, associ- says. “The people at work and in my neighate vice president for development affinities borhood are all rooting for the same team, and Tali Strom, senior director of National and I love it!” Young Leadership asked him to consider a job with JFNA. *The italics are agencies funded by In this new position, Leibowitz feels United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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