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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 52 No. 1 | 12 Tishrei 5774 | September 16, 2013
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INSIDE 11 Jewish summers for Tidewater teens
12 Sukkot begins Sept. 18
20 Conservatives celebrate Selichot
G u i d e t o J e w i s h L i v i n g i n TI d e w a t e r â€” S P e c i a l S e c t i o n
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2 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
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Week of Extraordinary Deeds
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Save the date, make the date
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Monday, Oct. 14 – Thursday, Oct. 17 “The greatness of a community is not achieved through the rote repetition of obligatory deeds regardless of the mandate,” says Alvin Wall, immediate past president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. “If I learned anything about community building in my term in office, it is that healthy robust discussion and satisfied inquiries create motivated, committed and informed donors.” “I know that we have just concluded the High Holidays and we have prayed for the ability and opportunity to fully undertake the mitzvot of Teshuvah—repentance, T’fillah—prayer and Tzedakkah—charity and justice. However, to fully and successfully undertake that challenge as individuals, and especially as a community, there needs to be a sense of personal accountability not only to God but to one another,” says Miles Leon, president, UJFT. “Miles and Alvin and many presidents before them have always brought that sense of personal and communal accountability to their terms in office. Our UJFT Mission, Vision and Value statement re-confirm this dedication to one another, to communal inclusivity and ultimately to extraordinary communal heights. The UJFT board of directors understands that such achievement is not won without the hard work of commitment, discussion and deed. Commitment to one another is only achieved through serious discussion between people regarding their disagreements, shared values and mutually understood vision for the community. We cannot be and remain an extraordinary community without difficult, but fruitful individual and communal interactions with each other,” says Harry Graber, UJFT executive vice president. During the Week of Extraordinary Deeds, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater encourages donors to meet individually with UJFT leaders to learn how their annual campaign gifts help
people locally, in Israel and throughout the world. “We want our donors to ask us the tough questions—where does our money go, who are the people we are helping?” says Amy Levy, 2014 campaign chair. “Every year we challenge ourselves to effectively convey our appreciation and respect for our donors’ gifts, trust and expectations. We have set up events all week long so our leaders can have meaningful discussions with our donors to better understand their needs and concerns. In turn, our donors then understand the vital importance of their gift and of their commitment. That is the extraordinary deed we hope to achieve.” The Week of Extraordinary Deeds begins Monday, Oct. 14, when Avraham Infeld, president of The Chais Family Foundation, delivers his message of the importance of Jewish communal leadership to UJFT’s Women’s Cabinet and guests event. Infeld, president emeritus of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, has invested a lifetime of building Jewish identity and strengthening the State of Israel. He brings a unique perspective to the ever-growing needs and challenges that face the Jewish community. On Tuesday, Oct. 15, UJFT has, among many actions and events scheduled that week, reserved seven tables at each of four restaurants for donors to meet one-on-one for lunch with UJFT leaders to discuss what the Federation supports and to make a commitment to the 2014 Annual Campaign. “We want to become partners with our supporters so that they understand how their gifts can change people’s lives for the better,” Levy says, adding that she hopes people will make their 2014 annual gift during the Week of Extraordinary Deeds. To take advantage of the Week of Extraordinary Deeds, and reserve a seat to meet with a UJFT leader, contact Alex Pomerantz at the UJFT at 757-965-6136.
About the cover: Audience members get in the act at Annual Campaign Kickoff. Photo by Laine Mednick Rutherford
Upfront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Five rabbis and cantors lead services . . . 20
Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Workshop teaches Jewish teachers . . . . . 21
Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Book reviews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Unique Campaign Kickoff a hit. . . . . . . . . 6
What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Miller Library dedication and opening. . . 8
Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Tidewater teens share summer fun. . . . . 11
Who knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Celebrate Sukkot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Shooting rattles Russian Jews . . . . . . . . . 28
First Person: Rabbi Arthur Ruberg . . . . . 17
Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
It’s a Wrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Filmmaker focuses on Detroit. . . . . . . . . 30
First day of school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Guide to Jewish Living. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email firstname.lastname@example.org www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Laine Mednick Rutherford, Associate Editor Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2013 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or JewishNewsVA email email@example.com.
Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising September 30 Mazel Tov October 14 October 28 Home November 11 November 25 Chanukah December 9 December 23 Education
September 13 September 27 October 11 October 25 November 8 November 22 December 6
“Our accomplishments and good work far surpass what would normally be expected from a community of just 5,400 Jewish households. Federations across the country look to Tidewater as a leader and innovator…”
Friday, September 20/Tishrei 16 Light candles at 6:46 pm
Friday, September 27/Tishrei 23 Light candles at 6:35 pm Friday, October 4/Tishrei 30 Light candles at 6:25 pm Friday, October 11/Cheshvan 14 Light candles at 6:15 pm Friday, October 18/Cheshvan 7 Light candles at 6:05 pm Friday, October 25/Cheshvan 21 Light candles at 5:56 pm
jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Survey: Jewish Americans are more generous than non-Jews More Jews give to non-Jewish causes than Jewish causes, and Jews overall are more generous givers than non-Jews, according to a new survey. The study, called Connected to Give, found that 76 percent of American Jews reported a charitable contribution in 2012, compared to 63 percent among non-Jewish Americans. The median annual giving rate among Jews was $1,200, double that of non-Jews. Among Jews who give charity, 92 percent of those surveyed gave to a non-Jewish organization and 79 percent gave to a Jewish organization. Additionally, 21 percent gave only to non-Jewish organizations and 4 percent gave only to Jewish organizations. The findings are based on a survey of 3,000 Jewish households and 2,000 non-Jewish households. The study was spearheaded by Jumpstart, a Jewish charity research group, and funded by an array of Jewish foundations and organizations. The most significant determinant of American Jewish generosity is the degree of engagement with the Jewish community, according to the study. Those who reported more Jewish connections—such as attending religious services, having Jewish friends, being married to a Jew—were more likely to give to charity, and not just Jewish charities. “Conventional wisdom says that fundraising from Jewish donors is a zero-sum competition, with Jewish and secular causes fighting over smaller pieces of a shrinking pie,” said Shawn Landres, Jumpstart’s co-founder. “Connected to Give challenges that assumption and shows us that the stronger a person’s Jewish community connections, the more she or he gives to all causes, and the larger the pie becomes.” Younger Jews are less likely to give to Jewish causes, according to the study: 49 percent of non-Orthodox Jews aged 18-39 gave to a Jewish group in 2012, compared to 62 percent of those 40 and older. (JTA) Anne Frank figure joins Madame Tussauds gallery in Vienna A life-size wax figure of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank has gone on display at Madame Tussauds in Vienna.
Budapest drops plans to name street for anti-Semitic writer The City Council of Budapest has dropped a plan to name a street after an anti-Semitic author. Disputes over the plan to name the street for Cecile Tormay, a Hungarian writer who died in 1937, had become “too sharp,” Mayor Istvan Tarlos was quoted as telling the Hungarian MTI news agency. In June, Tarlos ordered a re-examination of the City Council’s decision to recognize Tormay after the World Jewish Congress and the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, or Mazsihisz, protested the decision. Mazsihisz said Tormay had “inspired” many anti-Semitic thinkers and leaders in Hungary, including Miklos Horthy, the country’s pro-Nazi ruler during World War II, when 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered. (JTA)
headed by the organization’s president, Ronald Lauder, who presented the pontiff with a kiddush cup and a honey cake. A WJC statement said the pontiff and Lauder spoke about the situation in Syria “and agreed to speak out against attacks on religious minorities, such as Coptic Christians in Egypt and against trends to restrict well-established religious practices such as circumcision.” In addition, according to the statement, “The pope specifically expressed concern about the bans on kosher slaughter in Poland and directed Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Vatican’s Commission for Relations with the Jews, to investigate and host a follow-up meeting.” The WJC said the pope, using the Hebrew phrase “Shanah Tovah,” asked Lauder to convey holiday wishes to Jewish communities worldwide. The group said the pontiff reiterated a statement made last June that “a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite” and said that “to be good a Christian it is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditions.” Referring to the conflict in Syria, “the pope called the killing of human beings unacceptable and said world leaders must do everything to avoid war.” Francis has met with Jewish leaders and representatives on a number of occasions since his election to the papacy in March. The WJC called it his “first private audience with an international Jewish leader” since becoming pope. The delegation also included WJC leaders Robert Singer and Maram Stern and the heads of the Latin American Jewish Congress, Jack Terpins and Claudio Epelman. (JTA)
Pope Francis conveys Rosh Hashanah greetings Pope Francis in a meeting with Jewish leaders sent Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews worldwide and expressed “concern” at the ban on kosher slaughter in Poland. At an audience last week at the Vatican with World Jewish Congress heads, the pope said he was directing a cardinal to investigate the situation in Poland, where a ban has been in effect on ritual slaughter since January. Francis met with a WJC delegation
Jewish institutions awarded $9 million in federal security grants Jewish institutions received nearly all of the funding from the Department of Homeland Security for nonprofit groups to help protect themselves from terrorism. The department announced $10 million in federal security grants last week, and $9 million went to Jewish institutions, according to a statement by Jewish Federations of North America. “The Department of Homeland Security has demonstrated a great commitment
The display shows Anne writing in her diary at a desk in the attic of the house in Amsterdam where the teenager’s family hid from the Nazis. The diary was discovered after the Holocaust and published. Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945; informers gave away the family’s hiding place. The figure was created using historical documentation and pictures. “It is important for Madame Tussauds that we don’t just entertain but also play a role in educating people and help them learn from history,” a spokesman for the Austria museum said. Anne Frank figures also are on display at the Madame Tussauds museums in Berlin and Amsterdam. (JTA)
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to protecting at-risk communities,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA’s board of trustees. The total amount of grants was up slightly from last year’s $9.7 million. The Jewish Federations of North America and the Orthodox Union were instrumental in making sure the Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant program was continued. Since Congress established the program in 2005, a total of $138 million has been distributed to help at-risk nonprofits acquire and install security enhancements and undertake preparedness training. “Since September 11, nonprofits generally, and Jewish communal institutions specifically, have been the victim of an alarming number of threats and attacks,” said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of Jewish Federations, referring to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Homeland Security and the FBI over the past decade have alerted local officials and the Jewish community to specific terror threats, JFNA said. (JTA)
Obama has pre-Rosh Hashanah conference call with rabbis President Obama reflected on the High Holidays and offered New Year’s greetings in a conference call with nearly 1,000 rabbis. Obama during the call late last month, extended the greetings on behalf of himself and the first lady for a sweet, happy and healthy New Year. He noted that the Jewish High Holidays provide an opportunity for Jews to reflect on the past year and recommit themselves to core values. With the United States marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Obama also noted the important role played by American Jews in the civil rights movement. The president also discussed the upcoming enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act and the renewed Israel-Palestinians peace talks. Four rabbinical organizations hosted the call: the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform); the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative); the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox); and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. (JTA)
Lech—Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27)
oah was not destined to be the father of the Jewish people as well as founder of our faith. Though the most righteous one in his corrupt generation, he failed to reach out and save human lives besides those of his own family. Thus, the rabbis who were aware of Noah’s disturbing limitations in the terse Biblical text turned to instructive Midrashic fancy. They suggested that Noah did warn the people while building the ark of survival to take heed and mend their ways, but to no avail. The flood itself was conceived of as a gradual process to awaken human repentance and transformation, averting disaster. Abraham was chosen to begin the chain of Jewish life, learning and love, for he proved to possess, unlike Noah, that healthy dose of surging chutzpah that challenges even God when necessary. This confrontational response for the sake of heaven and humanity, has allowed Jews ever since to heroically transcend limiting boundaries and smash the idols of stifling
and dehumanizing convention. The thundering divine call and command to Abraham, echoing still, Lech-Lecha, to venture forth from his familial and familiar environment—physically, spiritually and psychologically—both pushed and permitted him to depart from the world he had received in order to usher in a new one. Isaac was ultimately spared on the altar of the practiced pagan custom of child sacrifices, because his father dared embrace, not without divine intervention, the precious, yet precarious gift of life and call it holy. The members of our first family of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael proved to be complex and conflicted individuals. Their very touching humanity reflects the courageous approach of our sacred literature to be faithful to reality’s truth. But the flawed humaneness of our heroes, as well as our own, becomes a noble opportunity and invitation to discover the divine potential within us to grow and change and mature. God’s fulfilled promise was that all the members of Abraham’s fractured family facing the threat of fratricide will be blessed, each in a distinct and unique way, with restored dignity and hope. This proud foundational legacy remains our Jewish charge to turn pain into promise, hurt into healing, and blemishes into blessings. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim
Ginsburg officiates at same-sex wedding, first for Supreme Court justice
uth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to preside over a same-sex marriage. Ginsburg performed the wedding ceremony of Michael Kaiser to John Roberts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, August 31. Kaiser, the president of the center, reportedly is a longtime friend of Ginsburg,
who is Jewish. More than 200 guests attended the wedding, NBC reported. Two months ago Ginsburg, 80, joined a Supreme Court decision that the federal government must recognize gay marriage, including providing federal benefits. Same-sex marriages are now legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia. (JTA)
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Kickoff headliner predicts an extraordinary campaign year for Tidewater article and photos by Laine M. Rutherford
Featured performer, Sidney Friedman.
he morning after the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2014 Annual Campaign Kickoff, phones started ringing and emails started arriving in Campaign staffers offices. “How did he do it? That was amazing? I’ve never been to an event like this before— it was great!” The comments were in response to the featured performer at the September 10 UJFT Annual Campaign Kick-Off. Sidney Friedman, dubbed “master of all things psychic,” entertained an audience of more than 200 community members with psychic feats that were confounding and exhilarating at the same time. In addition to guessing audience members’ thoughts and revealing (mostly) correct answers through words, drawings or piano accompaniment, Friedman emphasized the importance of Federation and the work
Audience members get in on the act.
6 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
it does, as well as the need to support it, through the annual campaign. “I’ve been at close to 110 Federation events, in 80 communities across North America, so I’ve seen firsthand all the needs in those communities, from the elderly to the children,” he says. “The Federation is really a way of organizing Jewish communities throughout North America to share what we’ve gained—if we have a little bit of good fortune—with our community; with Israel, and with the rest of the Jewish world. It’s part of our culture—to give and to share. And it will come back to you in ways you can’t even imagine.” The Kickoff event began at 6:30 pm with a community cocktail and hors’doeuvres reception at the Sandler Family Campus, followed by Friedman’s performance. The Kick-Off was preceded by two separate events as well—a reception recognizing the Federation’s Ben Gurion Society donors ($1000+ donors in the Young Adult Division), and a reception celebrating
the official dedication of the Laura and Jerry Miller Family Library at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. The Miller Library will serve as a community resource for the community’s Jewish educators and others wishing to research and study. Miles Leon, president of UJFT, noted the attendance of so many community members and thanked all for attending. Amy Levy, chair of the 2014 Annual Campaign, also expressed her appreciation. “Ours is a unique community,” said Levy. “Our accomplishments and good work far surpass what would normally be expected from a community of just 5,400 Jewish households. Federations across the country look to Tidewater as a leader and innovator in community-building and successful, creative campaigns. In many ways we serve as a “light unto the Federation communities…” Levy outlined several goals for the Campaign year, which included a $4.7-million campaign total as well as the addition of
Amy and Jeff Brooke.
Al Bennas, Kirk Levy.
Larry and Leslie Siegel, Megan and Steve Zuckerman.
100 new donors. As he closed his performance for the evening, Sidney Friedman left his audience with a final set of predictions: “This Campaign Year,” he prognosticated, “is going to be extraordinary. You will meet and surpass your campaign goals… I feel that very strongly. And I sense that this year will see more people talking and getting their friends involved. I predict you’ll see closer to 250 new donors, not just 100. And you’ll see more money too.” Help ensure that Sidney Friedman’s prediction is correct by making a gift to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, by attending events, and by getting involved. Visit www.JewishVa.org to find out more.
Tami and Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Randi and Steven Gordon.
Shikma and Danny Rubin, Betty Ann Levin.
Marty and Judi Snyder, Anna Goldenberg.
Miles Leon, Amy Levy, Rachel Shames, Sidney Friedman.
jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 7
Hilltop North Shopping Center
Miller Family Library opens doors to community scholars
37th Wed.- Thurs.- Fri.- Sat.- Sun.
September 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Jerry and Laura Miller.
aura and Jerry Miller’s vision of a library, filled with books and learning resources, where anyone in the Tidewater Jewish community can come to learn and study, will begin another chapter in its storied history on October 6. The Laura & Jerry Miller Family Library, located in the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater/Konikoff Center of Learning on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community, will soon welcome scholars to begin using its Judaic Research Center. Containing a variety of material useful in research of Jewish history or for study of Jewish texts, the library will be open every Sunday (beginning Oct. 6), 3–6 pm, and
on Thursdays, 5–8 pm. Although the Library is nearly 10 years old—the first floor is used exclusively by children who attend HAT—the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater held a dedication ceremony to officially announce the opening of the Center, and to thank the Millers for their generosity, at a reception on September 10. More than 120 guests attended. HAT president Burle Stromberg, Campus president Alvin Wall, and UJFT president Miles Leon were among those who made brief presentations. “The Miller family has long been generous supporters of so many different aspects of our community, and this evening is just another indication of that varied generosity,” said Leon. “The Miller Library Judaic Research Center holds out great
Miles Leon and Bob Josephberg.
Rabbi Mordechai Wecker and David Leon.
by Laine M. Rutherford
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In 1983 Lucy Spigel Herman honored her dad by creating at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation a scholarship fund to help future architects. Today Spigel’s Scholarships are helping three Virginia architecture students learn the profession he loved. Dozens of past Spigel Scholars are busy designing buildings for us to enjoy. Spigel Scholarships will forever help architecture students pay for their educations. Design your own view of the future by ordering the free Leave Your Mark guide. Learn how easy it is to honor a family member or create your own permanent legacy. Call 757-622-7951 or visit hamptonroadscf.org.
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8 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Spigel Ad – Jewish News: 4.875” x 5.375”
promise for our community to have a site where people of all ages can come and explore the great ideas of the Jewish people. The library will not be just a destination on one’s Jewish journey, but a rich oasis of learning, reflection and inspiration as one moves forward in their lifetime quest for Jewish knowledge.” Joan Joffe, Matt Mancoll, Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin and Gloria Siegel. A variety of volumes, in both Hebrew and English, were selected for the library by Temple Israel’s Rabbi Michael Panitz, Congregation Beth El Cantor Gordon Pilch, Laura Miller, and Harry Graber, executive vice-president of the UJFT. Opening the Miller Library to all members of the Jewish community is being viewed as an example, and as a catalyst, for other Jewish libraries in the area, says Graber. He adds that an immediate goal is to share the richness of resources available Ron Kramer, Rabbi Aron Margolin and Nathan Benson. locally, and to create a database of Jewish scholarly material housed in Tidewater. To see a complete listing of available volumes, visit www.jewishva.org/millerlibrary. “Like” the Jewish News on Facebook to see more photos from the reception.
Lawrence Steingold and Richard Glasser.
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Beth Sholom Village’s Chef Dan Hahn’s recipe for Mandel Bread that was printed in the September 2 issue of Jewish News left out an important ingredient: the oil! Our mistake. Here’s the recipe in full. Enjoy!
Mandel Bread Serving Size: 12 Ingredients 5 eggs 1¼ cups of sugar 1¼ cups of oil 4¾ cups of flour 1¾ tablespoons of baking powder 1¾ tablespoons of vanilla Preparation • Mix wet ingredients • Mix dry ingredients • Combine all ingredients until dough ball forms • Flatten the dough log out so that it is flat with a thickness of 1.5 inches. • Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown • Turn the oven down to 275 When the Mandel bread has cooled, cut into strips about ½ inch wide and put the strips back into the oven for another 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. NOTE: You can put almost anything into this dough, such as dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, chocolate chips, etc.
7/6/11 11:54 AM
to Janet Drexler Kass for winning a gift certificate for two entrees at Il Giardino Ristorante in Virginia Beach in the JewishNewsVA facebook contest.
10 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
The gift certificate is courtesy of Il Giardino.
Jewish summers for Tidewater teens JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest by Channa Schachet-Briskin
his summer, the Simon Family JCC gave me the opportunity to learn more about journalism at the Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, This International Jewish Junior Olympic and Artistic conference was held in Orange County, Calif., August 4–9. Specialties to choose from included in sports: baseball, basketball, flag football, lacrosse, inline hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball, bowling, golf, swimming, table tennis, track and field, and tennis; in arts: Acting/Improv, dance, jazz, musical theater, rock band, STAR Reporters, visual arts, and vocal music. The approximate 2,300 Jewish athletes and artists were from across America, Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, and Israel. Representing the Simon Family JCC
were Leah Cooper, Camille Cooper, Billy Goldstein, Alyssa Goldberg, Hallie Stewart, and me, Channa Schachet-Briskin. Ellie Bernstein led the delegation. The opening ceremonies included a memorial to the 11 murdered Israeli athletes at 1972’s Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Many of the Maccabi athletes and artists had never heard about this awful moment in history. At the beautiful and huge Orange County JCC Campus, there were so many people participating, at times it was almost overwhelming. But it was also inspiring to look around and know that all the people there were Jewish. Maccabi expressed a sense that we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. The evening activities were incredible. Sunday night was the opening ceremonies,
where all the delegations were announced and paraded around a packed Santa Ana Stadium. The entertainment was excellent and diverse. Like at the Olympics, the participants took an oath—for this Maccabi Games all the athletes and artists pledged to do our best and play well, fairly, and with Jewish Values. There was even a Torch Passing Ceremony and the lighting of the Maccabi cauldron by members of the Orange County Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Monday night there was a Beach Party Tel Aviv and California style. It really set the mood for the rest of the week. Tuesday night was Boomers, an enormous arcade with video games, laser tag, bumper boats, mini golf, a water park, an amusement park, and a live DJ. On Wednesday it was a free night with our host families. Thursday’s closing ceremonies was a block party with ice cream, crazy hats, art
Home at Kutz
projects, bouncy houses, and bungee jumps. There was also a rave, with fog machines, laser lights, dancing, and music. Then there were the official closing ceremonies with the passing of the torch to the cities that will host next year’s Maccabi Games: Cherry Hill, N.J.; Boca Raton, Fla.; and Detroit, Mich. Channa Schachet-Briskin is a sophomore at Virginia Beach Friends School, a graduate of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, and a song leader at Ohef Sholom Temple.
Inspired by Israel
by Madeline Budman
by Jenny Lefcoe
elcome home!” As the buses rolled into the open gates of the URJ Kutz Camp, every staff member, avodahnik, and resident advisor greeted new and returning participants with this phrase. Some new campers were puzzled, but as a two-year participant, I can attest that to everyone that travels to Warwick, N. Y., Kutz becomes home. Four OSTYites—Hannah Galbraith, Channa Schachet-Briskin, Deni Budman, and myself, Madeline Budman—attended Kutz this past summer. The four of us spread out and took advantage of everything that NFTY’s campus for Reform Jewish teens had to offer. Hannah participated in the Creative Arts major, where each artist designed their own final project, a reflection of Judaism and journeys. Channa chose the Songleading major, the biggest major on camp, where she learned a plethora of Jewish music to bring home to Ohef Sholom Temple and NFTY-MAR. Deni attended the Temple Youth Group Leadership major, acquiring all the skills necessary to come home and make OSTY
Billy Goldstein, Alyssa Goldberg, Channa SchachetBriskin, Leah and Camille Cooper and Hallie Stewart.
Deni and Madeline Budman, Hannah Galbraith, Channa Schachet-Briskin
the very best youth group that it can be. I studied with the Torah Corps major, learning a wealth of knowledge and wisdom from the Torah and grappling with some of Judaism’s biggest ethical questions. Of course, the majors we chose were not the most important part of Kutz. The moments that make Kutz so unique are the moments when we pray as a community by the lake, the moments when a cabin has an open conversation and bunkmates turn into sisters, the moments sharing shade under a willow tree with your best friend, and the moments when the entire camp stands in a circle, arms wrapped around each other to sing the Bedtime Shma and Hashkiveinu. These are the moments that make Kutz feel like home.
his summer I traveled to Israel on a program called L.A.G.I.T.T. (Los Angeles Girls Israel Torah Tours) led by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Wachsman from Chicago. The Wachsmans spend the summer inspiring and instilling a love for the country into each girl on the program. This program is designed for teenage girls throughout the country to come together in Israel for the experience of a lifetime, and leave truly inspired by what they have seen. Inspiration can come from many different types of experiences making it essential to spend the precious time in Israel taking part in all sorts of activities. Praying at the kotel at sunrise, volunteering in children’s day camps, learning with world famous authors, fun and challenging hikes, making chocolate, and baking challah were just some of the activities on our group’s schedule. The trip also included an overnight camping trip in the desert, where no technology was allowed, giving every
Jenny Lefcoe (third from left) with friends.
girl the opportunity to truly appreciate her surroundings and to form even stronger relationships with her peers. At the farewell banquet, the rebbetzin got up and said, “A Jew and Israel are a shidduch. It’s a match made in heaven by G-d, and it simply cannot be denied or broken. It may take a lifetime for one to come to feel this connection, but to give is to love and the more thought and the more time you give to Israel, I guarantee you will come to love it immediately.”
jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 11
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LOS ANGELES (JTA)—In open opposition to Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), which tells us on Sukkot “there is nothing new under the sun,” I decided to build a solar sukkah this fall. To energize my plan, I went to the 99 Cent Store to buy some solar yard lights to adapt for use on the roof. However, while driving home and accessing the construction work required for the upcoming holiday, I realized that my sukkah was not the only thing that was low energy. I had put up our sukkah umpteen years in a row, and this year I was thinking about giving the shack building a rest. The solar idea was nice, but in the end it wasn’t enough— just an artificial way of rekindling my interest in what had become an annual task. Couldn’t we just manage an invite from a couple of the families we had invited into our sukkah in previous years? Not an option: Among our friends there was a sukkah shortage. Over time, it seems, people get so used to visiting your sukkah that they lose touch with building their own. Sukkot is supposed to be “the season of our joy,” but after the chest pounding, shofar blowing and pleading for my life, the joy this year was hard to find. Was there a way to reset my spiritual clock and get my sukkah built? Psychology tells us that motivation comes in two forms: “intrinsic,”
an internal desire to perform a particular task that gives us pleasure, like knowing that putting up a sukkah is a mitzvah, and “extrinsic,” factors external and unrelated to a particular task, but a kind of reward, like praise from friends for putting up a sukkah. Searching for motivation, I read where a college rabbi at Duke had run a program called “Sex and the Sukkah.” It certainly piqued my interest (though I was confused as to whether the motivation was extrinsic or intrinsic). Apparently sex is part of the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah. But we don’t even sleep out there, and my wife wondered nervously about the neighbors. With our children in their 20s, the motivation of putting up the sukkah for them was missing, too. Balancing on a ladder in our shaky shack just so we could hang the decorations they made in school was no longer a starter. Hanging signs of their more recent achievements—term papers, pay stubs and renderings (one of them is studying to be an architect)—was an interesting updating of the tradition, but I didn’t think the public display would be appreciated. Since with each day the pile of weathered boards and rolls of bamboo seemed to be receding farther and farther into the depths of my garage, and wondering if others might be having a similar problem, I sat down to interview a psychologist. “A lack continued on page 13
Sukkot continued from page 12
of motivation and apathy could be a sign of depression,” says Rae Freed, a clinical social worker in private practice in Los Angeles who sees patients of all ages. Depression could show itself through “a lack of energy, fatigue, in difficulty in making a decision or lack of focus.” As we talk about the social component of the sukkah —inviting over guests—Freed suggests that potential sukkah builders might think the effort requires “too much energy to participate in a social interaction.” I agree, considering the effort it took in past years to call people to negotiate the “right” night. Freed also spoke about seasonal depression that comes with the shortening of days from a Jewish point of view. “You build up to the High Holy Days, spending time with family, and afterwards feel the loss,” she says. “Especially when they live on the other side of the county or have passed away.” Over time, “age and strength” become factors as well, Freed says. “Yeah, that too,” I think. “How do you get over it?” I ask Freed. For Freed, simply pretending and putting on a “mask of joy” is not going to cover it. She counters my question with questions: “Ask yourself, how did you feel in the past when you did that? Was it positive?”
“Having guests over did make me feel good,” I think. Explaining further, Freed suggests that even if you don’t feel like doing something, it might be motivating to remember the pleasure the activity brought, especially the communal associations. Recall the “memories of earlier Sukkots,” says Freed, who pleasantly recalls that she had spent her teen years living in an art deco hotel run by her father that catered to vacationing Jews in south Miami Beach, Fla. I remember having in several groups of people the previous year. It was kind of like running a sukkah hotel—tons of work, yet they sang, played instruments and filled our evenings with camaraderie. “People feel alone and isolated if they are not surrounded by family,” Freed says, and suggesting the sukkah is a way of “bringing together a temporary family.” “A temporary structure for a temporary family,” I think. Contemplating Freed’s words, my low energy thoughts dissipate. Going into the recesses of my garage, I find what it takes to build my sukkah. —Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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NEW YORK (JTA)—Sukkot is a wonderful time of year to incorporate seasonal ingredients into cooking. One of my most important rules for cooking and eating is to use what is best and freshest in the market. The better your ingredients, the better your results. Beets, cabbage and squash are vegetables that are especially delicious at this time of year and work well in many recipes. Sukkot also reminds me of savory sweet and sour dishes that we ate in Eastern Europe, where I was raised. For the holidays, I like to stick with traditional family recipes, and fortunately we have many for Sukkot. I also try to plan ahead for a holiday like Sukkot, which lasts eight days. Many of the recipes freeze well, which helps with the planning and unexpected company. Beet Salad with Ginger is a lovely way to start a Sukkot meal. It is a delicious appetizer that I like to serve at room temperature surrounded by greens lightly dressed with oil. Traditionally, beets are boiled or steamed, but I think baking gives them a much richer flavor and a gorgeous color. It is a popular custom to make stuffed foods for Sukkot as a symbol of an abundant harvest, and Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is a perfect example of the tradition. Among the many versions of the dish is the one I feature in my cookbook, Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine. It’s light, the cabbage rolls are small and not too filling, and it freezes well. The cookbook also includes a wonderful recipe for a vegetarian alternative, Barley Stuffed Cabbage. Acorn Squash Sweet-and-Sour, a flavorful accompaniment to any kind of poultry, satisfies my need to eat sweet and sour dishes on Sukkot. Acorn squash is readily available in September. A lovely way to end a sukkah meal is with a slice of Zucchini Cake and a cup of tea. The cake is moist and flavorful, and it freezes well. The following recipes are from Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine.
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BEETS WITH GINGER Ingredients 5 medium beets 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons rice vinegar Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Snipped chives, for garnish Mache or other greens, for serving Preparation Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; you can also use a toaster oven. Line a baking pan with foil. Wash the beets and, while still wet, wrap each one individually in foil. (Be sure to wrap them tightly, otherwise some of the juice may ooze out.) Place in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. Remove each beet from the oven as it becomes ready. When cool, slip the skin off the beets. Cut them into ¼-inch slices, then into ¼-inch cubes. Add the ginger, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; combine well. Season to taste. Serve on individual plates, garnished with chives and accompanied by mache. Makes 4 servings. Tips: I always wear thin plastic gloves when I work with beets to avoid staining my fingers with beet juice, which can be hard to remove. For those in a hurry, you can chop the beets in a food processor, but it will give them a different texture.
ACORN SQUASH, SWEET-AND-SOUR
This is a pretty winter dish that goes very well with any kind of poultry or fish. I often serve it with Glazed Arctic Char. Ingredients 1 small acorn squash (about 1½ pounds) 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar Preparation Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and brush the foil with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Rinse and pat dry the squash. Trim the ends and discard. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut into ½-inch wedges. Arrange the wedges in the pan. Brush the squash with the remaining oil, then the vinegar; sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the wedges are tender and the sugar has lightly caramelized. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.
Sukkot STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
In Eastern Europe, stuffed cabbage rolls are traditionally served on Sukkot. This one is a favorite, as it is light and sweet and sour. Like all stuffed cabbage recipes, this is a bit time-consuming, but you can do it in stages, and because it freezes well, you can make it in advance. CABBAGE—Ingredients 2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 medium heads cabbage (about 3 pounds each)
FILLING—Ingredients 1 onion, quartered 2 garlic cloves, quartered 1 Idaho baking potato, peeled and cut in large pieces 1 large egg 1 pound veal and 1 pound beef, ground together ½ cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped ¹⁄3 cup raw long-grain white rice 2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper SAUCE—Ingredients 2 Granny Smith apples 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces 2 onions, quartered 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 3 ⁄4 cup golden raisins 6 ounces dried apricots, diced 1 can (35 ounces) imported peeled tomatoes 1 can (28 ounces) imported crushed tomatoes 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce 2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus more as needed 1 cup chicken broth Preparation Cabbage leaves—Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt. With the point of a knife, cut out some of the hard center core of the cabbages. Remove and discard any bruised and discolored leaves. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil for a few minutes, turning the cabbage often. Remove the cabbage from the water by piercing the core with a large fork and lifting out the head. To remove the leaves without damaging them, cut where they are attached at the core, then peel off. If necessary, return the cabbage to the boiling water to soften the leaves. Shred the small center leaves. Repeat this process for the second cabbage. (You can do this earlier in the day or the night before. Place the leaves in a tightly sealed zip-top plastic bag and refrigerate until needed.) Filling—Place the onion, garlic, potato and egg in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the meat, parsley, rice, tomato paste and soy sauce. Mix with your hands to combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To fill the cabbage leaves—Spread each cabbage leaf on a cutting board and cut out some of the center rib. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Starting from the smaller end, roll the cabbage halfway, fold the sides toward the center and roll tightly to the end. Continue until all the filling has been used.
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To make the sauce—Peel, core and quarter the apples. Chop the apples, carrots and onions in a food processor, one at a time. (Chopping each ingredient separately preserves its distinct texture.) Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the apples, carrots and onions, and saute for a few minutes. Remove to a large bowl and add the parsley, raisins, apricots, peeled and crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar and broth. To cook the rolls—Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rolls near each other, seam side down, in an enamel-lined saucepan large enough to hold the rolls in 2 or 3 layers. Scatter the leftover shredded cabbage on top. Add the sauce. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. (If the heat is too high, the bottom will burn.) Cover the pan with heavy foil and a tight-fitting lid. Place in the oven and cook for 1½ hours. Season the sauce to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Makes about 3 dozen small rolls. continued on page 16
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Sukkot continued from page 15
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My 50-year love affair—with Israel by Rabbi Arthur Ruberg Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth El
his summer I thought a lot about my very first trip to Israel exactly 50 years ago. In July and August of 1963, I went on a program for high school juniors sponsored by Camp Ramah. It was only the second year of operation of the National Ramah Seminar in Israel that thrives to this day. Looking back, it was a summer that changed my life. I went to Israel that time not because it was the fulfillment of a dream. Far from it. In fact, the previous summer, I told the director of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Rabbi David Mogilner, of blessed memory, that I had no desire to go to Israel, and wouldn’t he please let me instead come back to camp as a staff member. I’ll never forget his answer. “Archie, going to Israel will be more valuable to you than all your years at camp and Hebrew School put together. You have no choice. You’re going next summer!” And so I went, and Rabbi Mogilner was so right. That Israel experience 50 years ago captured my Jewish soul in a way I had never imagined. Seven weeks of traveling in the young, dynamic, barely 15-year-old Jewish state made me feel at home and connected to my Jewish heritage. That Israel trip, highlighted by a reception with President Zalman Shazar in his home and a presentation by Israel’s Nobel Prize winning author, Shai Agnon, started for me a love affair, so to speak, one that has continued for…well, 50 years. During the week after I came home
in August of 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech on the mall in D.C. I, like many other young people at the time, was moved by Dr. King’s Rabbis Arthur and speech and by his Jeremy Ruberg at a coffee dream of an America house in Jerusalem. of racial equality, harmony, and understanding. But now my commitment to a just America had to share mental space with another commitment—a passion for the State of Israel and its people. I now had my own personal dream—the dream of getting back to Israel—if not to live, then to study, to visit, to spend time, and to maintain and deepen the connection that began that summer. In this article, I know I can’t trace my love for Israel through the next 50 years. Most of my long-time congregants know where I stand on that count anyway. Suffice it to say this—I have been fortunate enough to get back to Israel more than 20 times since that teen trip—visits that ranged from a year of study at the Hebrew University to a 1½ day mission to console victims of suicide bombings in 1994, to a three-week family trip which the congregation was so generous to fund after my 10th year as rabbi. In addition, I consider a major highlight of my years in the rabbinate to be five synagogue Israel trips, on which many synagogue and Jewish continued on page 18
jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 17
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FIRST PERSON continued from page 17
community members joined my wife and me for their first Israel experiences. There’s another reason Israel was very much on my mind this summer. Up until this summer, my last visit to Israel was in February of 2009 when I attended the annual worldwide Conference of Conservative Rabbis, held that year in Jerusalem. Barely a month later, I suffered a severe stroke that left me nearly paralyzed on the left side. To this day, I have no feeling, minimal strength and limited balance in my legs. In the wake of the stroke, when it became clear how extensive was the physical damage, I began to reconcile myself to the reality that I had gone to Israel for the last time. Sadly, I would just have to be satisfied with working on behalf of Israel here in America, and living vicariously through other people’s Israel experiences. But during this past year I began to look with a new perspective at my physical capabilities. As I found myself taking on and meeting more physical challenges, I began to say “why not?” I started to dream again about getting back to Israel. No, I wouldn’t climb Masada again. Or even stroll on the beaches of Tel Aviv. But I might well be able to pray again at the Western Wall. And then this June, exactly 50 years after that 1963 Ramah Seminar, I did. The Rabbinical Assembly convention was again held in Jerusalem, and I set my goal to be there. I will spare you the details of how it came about. My son, Rabbi Jeremy Ruberg, was able to participate in the convention representing his synagogue in New City, N.Y., and he sat with me on the long plane ride. I reserved one of the handicapped rooms at the Dan Panorama Hotel. I found a company that rented me a motorized scooter so I could get around Jerusalem a bit myself. The staff of the Rabbinical Assembly was incredibly helpful, and I am so grateful to them. Besides programming for 200 rabbis, they arranged for me to have a personal escort to guide me through the disabled entrances of the Knesset, where we met with the different ministers of the Parliament. They arranged also for a private security screening for me at the President’s house so I could be part of a meeting with Israel’s President Shimon Peres at his home, exactly 50 years after with meeting
President Shazar. And of course, there was always Jeremy to fill in the gaps. When the scooter batteries gave out (as they inevitably did on the hilly Jerusalem streets), it was Jeremy who bought me my falafel on Ben Yehuda Street and who pushed me long distances so I could get my iced coffee at the Aroma Café. Maybe even more significantly, he helped me walk down the 60 stairs leading to Robinson’s Arch at the Western Wall so I could attend the Bar Mitzvah of a congregant family. I took a certain pride in telling Israelis that I had been there 50 years ago. From the cab driver who no doubt thought of me as your typical American tourist to the Ben Gurion Airport security interviewer to whom I spoke in Hebrew, it seemed to impress the rarely impressed Israelis that I had walked those same streets 50 years before. There was a banner hanging outside Jerusalem’s best known falafel stand, “Melech HaFelafel” (Falafel King) on King George Street. It read “Celebrating 50 years.” Indeed, I had eaten at Melech HaFelafel back then. And now I had come again as it marked its 50th anniversary in business. In 1963, I saw Israel through the eyes of a teenager. Israel has changed immeasurably since the emerging teenage country that it was when I first visited. Its flaws have been exposed since then, not just to anti-Semites or its traditional enemies, but also to those of us who care for it deeply. But flaws or no flaws, the magic is still there; and the personal connection and relationship with Israel I first felt in 1963 is, if anything, stronger than ever. None of us know what the future holds, either for ourselves personally or for the State of Israel. But on my last day, as I rode with Jeremy from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport, I made myself one more commitment. “I’m coming back here again,” I said. And this time I have no doubt that I will. Now in the season of the High Holy Days, I pray that all who read this piece will join me in wishing a fulfilling year also to our brothers and sisters in the land of Israel. May we continue to learn about them, to support them and visit them, and as we say at the end of the Yom Kippur service and at the Pesach Seder— “L’Shanah ha-baa b’yirushalyim, Next Year in Jerusalem.” I pray that the dream will come true for you as it has for me.
It’s a Wrap Beth Sholom becomes a home away from home for Shabbat
First day of school at Hebrew Academy and the Strelitz preschool by Dee Dee Becker
by Marcia Brodie
Tami Arnowitz arrives with her boys. “It was an exciting morning with each boy dressing “just so” to equal the importance of the first day. It was an especially big day for our new kindergartner. The teachers warmly guided him down the hall and off he went, with a smile and without a look back.”
which I observed with their very detailed questions. I’m looking forward to seeing them grow and learn.” Hebrew Academy of Tidewater is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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tanley Peck loves Shabbat, looking forward to sundown every Friday. He loves everything about it. He loves the prayers, the food, honoring God, and of course, being with his family. Peck recently had a bit of Getting ready for Shabbat for Stanley Peck at Beth Sholom. a challenge. He was at Beth Sholom Village for about a week receiving cated what was important in preparing the physical therapy for a new hip. The week many rituals. Peck invited family and in rehab included a Friday night. How friends to gather around the table in the would he honor the Sabbath in the way he Glasser Conference room, which was set with white linens and beautiful flowers. wanted? Before bringing in Shabbat, Peck Not in his own home, he was, however, in Beth Sholom’s home and the team pulled allowed for a few pictures. Once the cantogether to give him a Shabbat dinner that dles were lit, the Sabbath began. Beth would allow him to continue his traditions. Sholom’s home had becomes his. Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency Stan Riddick, dietary manager, consulted with Nancy, Peck’s wife, who communi- of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
s any parent and child has experienced, the first day of school is always highly anticipated. Between setting the alarm clock for an on-time arrival to donning those very special “first day of school clothes,” it can be very exciting. A scan of friends’ Facebook pictures or being a “fly-on-the-wall” at Hebrew Academy and the Strelitz preschool makes it easy to see the action play out. “Nathan’s first day of school...I drop him off in his room and he says, ‘Let’s do a quick hug and kiss and then you can go,’” says Strelitz preschool mom Allison Cooper. “We do, and then he turns right around and immediately runs off to play.” Betty Ann Levin adds, “Sam is in kindergarten now. I could have walked him in today, but he jumped out ready to go!” For Hebrew Academy parents of older students, morning drop-off goes even quicker, but not without equal exuberance. “Kids bounded into school from the carpool line with bright shiny faces, colorful backpacks and galaxy sized smiles,” says Janet Jenkins, director of general studies. “Superstars were born as we welcomed them on the first day by rolling out the gold carpet, officially launching them into the new school year.” As for the day that ensued, Zohar BenMoshe, fifth grade music teacher has already noted a difference in her classroom. “Students already seem so much older with the passing of one summer. They have an increased thirst and eagerness for learning,
www.worththewaitusa.com jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 19
It’s a Wrap
Area Conservative Synagogues gather for Annual Selichot services by Alene Kaufman
hat do five rabbis, five cantors, and five members of military families have in common? They all participated in this year’s annual shared Selichot services, held on Saturday night, August 31. For about two decades, the Conservative congregations of South Hampton Roads have joined together to begin the Selichot prayers of forgiveness to prepare for the upcoming High Holidays. The service location rotates among the synagogues; the host synagogue prepares a program and is responsible for organizing the service. This year’s program was hosted by Kehillat Bet Hamidrash/Kempsville Conservative Synagogue. The evening began with a panel discussion entitled, “The Committed Conservative Jew in Today’s Military.” Dr. David and Karen Rosenberg, Kareem Shaw, Benjamin
Simon, and Dr. Marty Snyder, answered a variety of questions about how their personal lives, Jewish practice, and beliefs impacted on their role in the military and vice versa. It was an engaging, often entertaining, and thought-provoking discussion and KBH co-president Jason Silverstein, who was the panel moderator, even after an hour, had a hard time finding a good stopping point. Perhaps (former) navy wife, Karen Rosenberg provided the best place when she compared the Tidewater community with other communities where they had lived, commending everyone for being supportive and welcoming and expressing appreciation for this area. After Silverstein acknowledged everyone in attendance who served America, the group recited A Prayer for our Soldiers, written by Rabbi Jerome Epstein of the USCJ. It was a fitting and moving tribute to the service personnel. Following a brief break for a beautiful
Beth El. Rabbi reception chaired David Goldstein by Rona Proser and of Gomley Chesed Ed Landress, the and Rabbi David attendees reassemBarnett led readbled for the spiritual ings, while Rabbi part of the evening. Jeffrey Arnowitz After a welcome of Congregation by Cantor David Beth El and Rabbi Proser of KBH, Michael Panitz of Rabbi Marc Kraus Temple Israel led of Temple Emanuel Bottom row: Cantor Elihu Flax, Rabbi David Barnett, Cantor Gordon Piltch, Rabbi Marc Kraus. Second row: readings and prodelivered an illus- Rabbi David Goldstein, Cantor David Proser, Chaplain Michael Horwitz, Rabbi Jeffery Arnowitz. Third row: vided explanations trative d’var torah to Cantor Larry Tiger and Rabbi Michael Panitz. of the source and help set the mood. The first beautiful, stirring musical piece role of the liturgy. As everyone assembled left for their homes was provided by Cantor Michael Horwitz, Chaplain resident at Bon Secours Maryview and to ready themselves for High Holiday Medical Center, and the spiritual melodies services in their individual congregations, continued with the voices of Cantor Proser, there was a strong feeling of unity as well as an Cantor Elihu Flax of Beth Sholoom Village, appreciation for all that the community offers. Judy White, KBH ritual chair, and her Cantor Larry Tiger of Temple Israel, and Cantor Gordon Piltch of Congregation committee organized the evening.
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Jewish Education Council’s Summer Institute 2013 by Leslie Shroyer
ewish educators gather for two evenings each August at the Simon Family JCC for the Jewish Education Council’s Summer Institute. This hands-on workshop is designed to improve teaching skills and share what works and inspires in the classroom. Mary Meyerson, a consultant who works with religious schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area, was this Mary Meyerson with Sharon Wasserberg of Congregation Beth El. year’s guest leader. “I was thrilled to work with teachers in this community,” Meyerson says. “They were open to someone from outside the area sharing the ‘to-do’s.’ They were hard working and excited about learning.” The workshop was divided into a theme each of the two nights. “The Hurried-er I go, the Behind-er I get,” was the first night’s subject, which focused on making the most of classroom time. “It’s unrealistic to think that we can teach all we want to teach in each class session,” says Meyerson. “We must maximize the time we have. As teachers, we must self-reflect on what worked and didn’t work. If we fail to plan, we planned to fail.” The second night’s theme focused on using all five senses in the classroom, which Meyerson believes enhances the mitzvah of teaching. She asked participants if they incorporated modalities using all five senses in their classrooms. “Expand beyond auditory and visual,” she advises. “If a holiday includes taste and smell, for example, share these in the classroom.” Her definition of senses expands to the figurative tone and feel of the class. “Is learning sweet, bittersweet, or sour? We must be honest with ourselves in order to maximize the impact of our teaching.” Summer Institute is sponsored by the Jewish Education Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and presented by the Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family Jewish Community Center.
I knew my weight problem was out of control, and something had to change. Throughout my life, I had always gone up and down with my weight. I tried so many diets and weight loss programs over the years, just to gain it all back again, and then some. I had just turned 50 and lost a close high school friend. This hit too close to home and was the turning point for me. I did not want to become the next statistic and leave my husband and two children. My gynecologist had told me about Dr. Margaret Gaglione, and Tidewater Bariatrics.
Beth El at the ball game by Mark Kozak
hat’s more American than baseball, hotdogs and the rabbi’s house? That’s what some 60 members of Congregation Beth El were thinking Aug. 11 when the Men’s Club sponsored its annual hotdog night and Norfolk Tides game. The outing traditionally begins with kosher dogs and fixings cooked up in the Beth El kitchen. This year’s family event was hosted at the home of Tami and Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz. Despite ongoing Ghent road construction and the threat of rain, a fine crowd turned out in the Arnowitz’s backyard, living room, dining room and basement. The cookout menu also featured potato salad, cole slaw, beans, watermelon and a
number of young and adult beverages. Chaired by Men’s Club board member Dr. Craig Schranz, all of the tickets to the game were donated by Beth El members who have Tides season tickets. While thunderstorms delayed the start of the game, it was played under comfortable temperatures and occasional sprinkles. The bad news? The Tides fell to Rochester, 5–0, on a five-hitter by the appropriately named Scott Diamond. And the Tides’ lone Jewish player, third baseman Danny Valencia, went 0-for-4. The good news? Gabriel Arnowitz went home with a baseball from the Tides’ dugout.
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jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 21
book reviews Can man conquer geography?
dle eastern deserts and, therefore, ravaged the more environmentally friendly eastern Europe: Anatolia, northern Mesopotamia, Iran, central Asia, India, and China. We turned a house that grew with us Again, the union of Franks, Goths, The Revenge of Geography: What the and Roman provincials against Asiatics Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts into a home with fewer ups and downs. (Huns, Bulgarians, Magyars, and Mongols), and the Battle Against Fate which produced modern France, Venice, Robert D. Kaplan If you are 62 or better and looking to Germany, Austria, and Hungary was geoRandom House, 2012 improve your retirement years, call us at graphically driven. 403 pages, $28.00 TowneBank Mortgage. We can discuss ways The Revenge of Geography escorts the ISBN 978-1-4000-6983-5 to tap into your home’s equity for daily living reader through history, showing where the expenses, medical costs, renovations, existence of mountains, rivers, steppes, Those familiar with the travel, and more. plains, and harbors influenced the actions work of journalist/scholar of tribes and states in their quest for comRobert Kaplan are accusChris Fanney merce, protection, and lebensraum. tomed to his rich reportage, Reverse Mortgage Loan Officer Thus geography which has blessed combining boots on the Direct: 757-581-8067 Hal Sacks Office: 757-416-6449 nations such as the United States, with its ground subject intimacy chris.fanney@@townebankmortgage.com with intellectual support and analysis. He largely temperate climate, and its ability to NMLS# 144509 has been a foreign correspondent for The feed its people and use its great harbors Atlantic for more than a quarter of a century to facilitate trade is likewise working to and Foreign Policy magazine considers him create a greater modern China. Virtually among the top global thinkers in the world. all of Russia is north of 50 degrees latiThe 2002 Balkan Ghosts, detailing tude. China, on the other hand, is roughly Kaplan’s idiosyncratic tour through the area the same as the U.S. Harbin is on a par during the 1980s, provided an analysis of with Maine; Beijing with New York City; o e t for r a the issues based on an understanding of Shanghai with New Orleans. The Tropic Read our story at TheShopper.com h C oads ro v P ealt R ng H n e m the regional history, geography, and cul- of Cancer passes through south China and pton s Providi Hamo W r a of Women 0 ye 0 1 NORFOLK ture exhibited by few western reporters. Key West. r ove 250 W. Brambleton Avenue Kaplan agrees that individual acts of The Revenge of Geography is another entity Suite 202 altogether. This is not a book for the beach. man (building a canal) can prove more Kaplan has not merely revisited old territo- historically crucial than the simple fact of VIRGINIA BEACH 880 Kempsville Road ry; he has embarked on an intellectual tour geography. One thinks of the Panama and Suite 2200 de force with mind-boggling attribution to Suez canals in an international context, learned works, both well-known and arcane. but the Chinese Grand Canal linking the CHESAPEAKE Beginning with reference to the Yellow and Yangzi rivers in the 7th Century 300 Medical Parkway Suite 308 Thucididean pantheon of fear, self inter- did for China what the transcontinenJeffrey Wentw Wentworth MD S.• Mehdi MD • T. Jon Crockford JonJeffrey L. Crockford, MD • Holly Puritz, Parva MD • Martha Fernandez, MDMD tal railroad did for the U.S. in the 19th est, and honor (phobus, kerdes, and doxa) Convenient FREE parking DanielMD Noffsinger MDGroves, • Dwight Danie Jeffrey M. Wentworth, • C. Dwight MD •Groves GinieneMD M. Pirkle, MD is because the major rivers which make for a world of incessant con- Century. This available for all locations. Giniene MD • Martha Fernandez MD • Holly DanielPirkle L. Noffsinger, MD • Denise Harris-Proctor, MDPuritz MD Giniene Pirkle flict and coercion, the author asserts that in China flow east-west and in the U.S. Kimberly J. Stockmaster,MD MD• •Kimberly M. MehdiStockmaster Parva, MD MD Denise Harris-Proctor Har there Denise is created a legacy of geography, his- north-south. • Family Centered Obstetrics A current example of how mankind tory, and culture that sets limits on what • Gynecology Norfolk • 250 West Brambleton Avenue, Suite 202 can be accomplished in any given time. can defeat geography is the apparent cliN orfolk • Ultrasound kempsville • 880 Kempsville Road, Suite 2200 Ultimately, he continues, only the exis- mate change that may yet open Russia’s kempsville • WellCWoman hesapeakeExams • 300 Medical Parkway, Suite 308 Chesapeake tence of a universal moral conscience, one only oceanic frontage, now largely blocked • Minimally Invasive Surgery Call which sees war as a “natural catastrophe” by ice. In the end, Kaplan agrees that FREE parking available for all locations •Convenient Adolescent Gynecological Exams Convenient FRE www.TheGroupForWomen.com not as a mere extension of foreign policy, events like “the Arab Spring” result in the • In-Office Procedures defeat of geography through the power of limits war’s occurrence. • Menopausal Management According to Kaplan, the most signifi- communications, but as time passes, he cant events in the second millennium of the maintains, the geographics tend to reassert TheGroupForWomen.com Common Era were the “geography-deter- themselves. To support that thesis, Kaplan provides mined” invasions by the Mongols of southern Asia which decimated Russia. “Geography- an extended meditation on our relationship determined” simply because the horse-borne with Mexico. America, bordered by oceans army couldn’t function in the arid mid- to the east and west, and to the north by the
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22 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
book reviews Canadian Arctic, which provides for a thin band of population on the border is vulnerable only in the Southwest. American GDPO is nine times that of Mexico, the largest gap between any two contiguous countries in the world. With half the length of America’s southern frontier being an artificial boundary line established by treaties following the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848, the fact of northern Mexico’s population doubling since the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1994, portends a continuation of the tensions which have existed along the border. As Harvard professor, Samuel Huntington writes, “Mexican immigration is heading toward the demographic reconquista of these areas, Mexicanizing them in a manner comparable to, although different from, the Cubanization that has occurred in southern Florida. It appears that we have foolishly wasted our resources fighting wars in the Middle East for the past two decades instead of spending them to help solve Mexico’s problems in our own hemisphere. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Historical account The Hunger Angel (A Novel) Herta Muller, translated by Philip Boehm Metropolitan Books, 2012 290 pages, $26 Author Herta Muller, the 2009 Nobel Laureate in literature, is a native of Romania who lives in Berlin, Germany. Her latRabbi Zoberman est book, The Hunger Angel, was first published in Germany in 2009. It was rightfully hailed as a unique contribution to the portrayal of the human condition in the straits of oppression. The author’s literary style of stark realism fits the dreariness of existence in a forced labor camp of the past Soviet gulag, exposing the human body and spirit to grave suffering and death. The novel is rooted in the historical account of the punitive deportation of ethnic Germans living in Romania (including
Muller’s mother), at Stalin’s order following the victory over Nazi Germany with which the Fascist Romanian dictator, Ian Antonescu, was aligned. Affected were those of 17–45 years of age, male and female, who, if they survived, would spend five years away from home, forever changing and marking their lives. The book’s title, The Hunger Angel, is indicative of the constant and extreme hunger hovering over the unfortunate deportees; hunger for food that they received in meager, starving portions of one shovel of coal equal to one gram of bread. “What can be said about chronic hunger? Perhaps that there’s a hunger that can make you sick with hunger… That there is a hunger that is always new, which grows insatiably, which pounces on the never-ending old hunger that already took such effort to tame. How can you face the world if all you say about yourself is that you’re hungry?” Hunger can drive one to steal food even from dear family members, as it happened in my family. Not everyone can resist hunger’s corroding moral impact. Each laborer was assigned a number, not unlike the inmates in the German concentration camps, with the goal to dehumanize and destroy the “old” identity. My own Polish family, exiled to Siberia and Kazakhstan during WWII, similarly experienced deprivation and the struggle to maintain one’s humanity and dignity. There is the added hunger of homesickness that is debilitating too, given such a frustrating reality; but a harsh environment is also nourishing with hope, keeping one focused on survival. Sexual identity and drive are also at risk. In the novel, bartering one’s precious items such as cloth and even book pages for food was a common phenomenon, as well as swapping bread with fellow inmates since it appeared that one would end up with a larger piece, but often after several swaps ended up with the original bread. Another challenge was not eating up one’s saved and hidden portions. The book’s protagonist is 17-year-old Leo Auberg. Sixty years after his release, he still does not take eating as a matter of fact, rejoicing in the very act. I know from my own once refugee mother, that hoarding food years later is an instinctive response to past deprivation.
Trudi Pelican, Leo’s friend, who became a human horse, pulling the lime wagon and later removing the naked corpses, shared with him her dream of a rich American whose money gets her out of the camp to marry her, and even has a sister for Leo. Dreaming is a temporary and consoling way to escape a harsh present. In the camp’s last year with freedom within reach, love budded among the starved inmates, physically and emotionally. Couples came to be formed if only temporarily, with babies being born, along with abortions, and both women and men suddenly taking note of their appearance. A reminder of what happened in the Displaced Camps of Europe—My family and I were in the Wetzlar, Germany camp— following WWII. Freedom, however, can be a scary proposition following lengthy denial, as expressed by Leo upon his return, nearing
home. After all, the dreaded “home” he could not wait to leave became his real home paradoxically and ironically. Indeed, freedom is not free from the preceding experience of enslavement, which is bound to leave a scar. He was already 22 years old, while his family presumed he had died, given that there was no communication. Both sides found it hard to adjust. In the book’s Afterward, the author expresses gratitude to the poet Oskar Pastior, who shared with her his experiences at the camp. They planned to jointly write the novel, but he died unexpectedly in 2006. The book is a moving memorial to all victims of oppression as well as a celebration of the durability of human spirit and it’s undying quest for freedom—physically, psychologically and spiritually. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim.
Catch a good read in the New Year Terrific reads for book clubs Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 pm—Sunday, Nov. 10, 3 pm by Leslie Shroyer
he Simon Family JCC is gearing up for this year’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Jewish Book Festival. Two fantastic reads are now available for purchase at the JCC front desk** and through Amazon for Kindles on the Cultural Arts page of SimonFamilyJCC.org. This year’s Community Read, A Guide for the Perplexed, by Dara Horn is a thrilling novel centering on how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul. Horn is the winner of two National Jewish Book Awards. Local book clubs are reading this novel and planning to attend this event on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 pm. Bloodlines, an Apartheid era novel about the universal bond between a mother in South Africa and her estranged adult son across the Atlantic and the decisions she must face, is written by Neville Frankel, a relative of locals Sharon and Bill Nusbaum. This author will visit on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 pm.
Book committee members for 2013 are Lynn Sher Cohen (co-chair), Anne Kramer (co-chair), Sandra Porter Leon, Karen Plotnick, Farideh Goldin, Linda Peck, Joan Benas, Staci Katz, Cindy Krell, Sharon Nusbaum, Betty Sacks, Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and Michele Goldberg, director of Cultural Arts. The committee has met regularly since June to choose a lineup of 10 authors to speak at the JCC, ranging in topics from parenting to recipes, from Hezbollah to comedy. Look for great holiday choices when perusing the hundreds of books for sale in the Cardo of the JCC in November. Check SimonFamilyJCC. org Cultural Arts page for a complete Book Festival lineup, or contact email@example.com for more information. *Of blessed memory **Dara Horn’s book is $18.95 and Neville Frankel’s is $19.95, both discounted when purchased through the JCC. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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what’s happening Step into September with new classes at the JCC Fitness Center by Leslie Shroyer
eptember brings a new Spinning® program, Power Yoga, and Tai Chi in the water class, among other new additions, to the Simon Family JCC Fitness Center. On Sept. 22, JCC cycle instructors will participate in a day-long Spinning® certification to become Spinning® certified. Holly Gebel, master instructor for the spinning program, is also a certified personal trainer, a group exercise instructor, and a JCC member. Having Spinning® at the JCC means members can “expect a better ride than a regular cycling class,” says Gebel. Spinning® was the first indoor cycling program created in the ’90s by a cyclist, so the techniques mimic outdoor cycling. “Spinning® is science-backed, not choreographed,” says Gebel. Participants are guided by heart rate and training zones during a typical one hour class, which can be for anyone looking for a non-competitive cardiovascular workout. Instructors are taught to accommodate all levels so that everyone will be challenged. “It allows for creativity in music choices and in the order and sequence of class. By having this common footing for all J instructors, we can ensure quality classes will be offered to members.” Spinning® at the JCC, officially launches on Oct. 1 with a master class, 5:30-7 pm complete with goody bags and refreshments. Other new classes include Power Yoga, a 75-minute class Wednesdays at 5:30 pm. Sharon Giannelli, group fitness director, says members with yoga experience asked for a class that moved faster. Kay Lucas, a regular JCC teacher, will instruct this intermediate to advanced level class. The warm water arthritis class recently participated in an Ai Chi demonstration in the warm water pool at the JCC. Ai Chi is a water movement and relaxation pro-
gram created to help aquatic practitioners and clients enjoy the water in a flowing, yet powerful progression. According to Ai Chi founders, it is “an efficient exercise program that increases oxygen and caloric consumption simply with correct form and positioning in the water.” It is also ideal for creating improved range of motion, balance and mobility. Ai Chi, created by combining Tai-Chi concepts with Shiatsu and other techniques, is performed standing in shoulder depth water using a combination of deep breathing and slow, broad movements of the arms, legs, and torso. A new class will start late fall at the JCC. The BeWell personalized wellness program at the JCC recently began. This customized snapshot of daily wellness is based on each person’s input and is designed to track results. From stress management and wellness blogs to nutrition tips and workout plans, it is customized to an individual’s needs, with health assessments, meal and exercise planners, calorie counters, wellness workshops and more. It’s available online through the JCC website or at the fitness center. The Simon Family JCC, now open 362 days a year, is open 8 am–6 pm Saturdays and Sunday. At the end of each month, members are encouraged to bring up to two guests for free (September dates are Sept. 26–29). The JCC’s Open House and Fall Festival will take place Sunday, Oct. 20, 11 am to 3 pm. Enjoy a family day of fun and activities, including a petting zoo, hay rides, farmer’s market, inflatables, refreshments, and Virginia Opera’s family friendly performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. For more information about any of these programs, call 321-2338 or visit simonfamilyj.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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First PJ Library event of the New Year Bedtime in the Sukkah Sunday, Sept. 22, 5–6:30 pm by Leslie Shroyer
” stands for “pajamas,” and invokes that time at the end of the day when parents and children strengthen their bond through love and learning by cuddling up with a book. The PJ Library® is an international, award-winning Jewish family engagement program designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families and their relationship to Jewish community. The PJ Library offers free, high-quality Jewish books and music each month to 60,000 children in more than 125 communities in the United States, Canada, and Israel. The program was created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which funds institutions and programs that directly transmit Jewish learning to children, adults and families. PJ Library partners with philanthropists and Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Centers, and other Jewish non-profit organizations
to bring The PJ Library books and music to children. Locally, the PJ Library receives funding from a grant from Tidewater Jewish Foundation. In Tidewater, the Simon Family JCC’s Children and Family department coordinates the PJ Library. Any Jewish child between the ages of six months and five and one half years may receive free books each month, as well as participate in seasonal programs at the Simon Family JCC with other PJ Library families. At Bedtime in the Sukkah, a family program for preschool through 2nd graders and their siblings, children can dress in their favorite pajamas, hear stories, sing, make crafts and eat a dinner of cereal and bagels in the Sukkah. For more information about joining PJ Library, visit www.pjlibrary.org. or contact Jill Sava at 757-321-2306. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Yiddish Club presents teacher and translator Tuesday, Sept. 24, 11 am
indle Crystel Gross, a teacher of conversational Yiddish, will be the featured speaker at The Yiddish Club at the Simon Family JCC. This meeting is open to everyone, Yiddish club members and nonmembers, Yiddish speakers, and those who speak none at all. A light brunch will be served. A graduate of Sholom Aleykhem
Yiddish School, and a bilingual secretary for Farband Labor Zionist Order and Workman’s Circle, Gross has translated Yiddish for movies, books, letters and personal items. Highly regarded as a Yiddish translator, Gross will speak about her many experiences with Yiddish, as well as share a DVD about the translation of a long forgotten book about the Holocaust.
Middle School Lock-in at the JCC
Saturday, Sept. 28, 7:30 pm—Sunday, Sept. 29, 9 am
ix through eighth graders are invited to join friends at the Simon Family JCC Middle School Lock In. Kick off the new school year with plenty of fun, food, games, movies and more.
$15 for JCC members; $30 for non-members. Register online at simonfamilyj.org or by calling 321-2338 For more information, contact Ellie Bernstein at 321-2324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
what’s happening OST offers introductory Hebrew class
Live from 92nd Street Y in N.Y. at Beth El Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7:30 pm
Sundays, Oct. 13–Nov. 10 9 to 10 am
ince learning doesn’t stop at a particular age or after finishing formal schooling, consider a five-week introductory course in Hebrew to become more inspired and active Jewish learners. This course consists of learning basic Hebrew words and skills. Upon course completion, students will have learned the basic skills to understanding Hebrew prayers and words. The class takes place at Ohef Sholom Temple. Cost for OST members is $20; non-members are $25. To register, contact Linda Peck at 625-4295 or linda@ ohefsholom.org or go online to www. ohefsholom.org/study/adult-learning/ltrhebrew. Registration deadline is Oct. 4.
hrough a grant from the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and with the support of the Milton Kramer Scholar-inResidence Fund, Congregation Beth El will host Malcolm Gladwell in a program broadcast live via satellite from the 92nd Street Y in New York. This will be an interactive experience, with an opportunity during the live event to submit questions to the speaker via email. Malcolm Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point, as well as many other books, and is a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine. His topic will be “When Underdogs Break the Rules.” He will discuss why people are so often surprised when underdogs win; whether Goliaths make mistakes in spite of their strength—
or because of it; and why the childhoods of people at the top of so many professions marked by deprivation. Gladwell uncovers the hidden rules Malcolm Gladwell that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty. The satellite broadcast series Live from NY’s 92nd Street Y™, now in its ninth year, brings lectures, interviews and readings from nationally and internationally recognized political figures, entertainers, newsmakers and authors to community organizations across America and Canada. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 625-7821. For more information on 92nd Street Y, visit www.92Y.org.
Chanukah care packages for troops
Outreach Committee of Ohef
Sholom Temple is collecting items such as crossword and Sudoku puzzle books, paperback books, Amazon gift cards, DVD movies and batteries, along with mints, fruit chews, and powdered drink mixes for deployed troops for Chanukah care packages. Bring unwrapped items to Ohef Sholom by Monday, Oct. 28. Contact email@example.com
757‑625-4295 for more information.
jewishnewsva.org | September 16, 2013 | Jewish News | 25
International security expert Amos Guiora returns to talk about Mideast peace Sunday, September 22, 10 am Temple Israel, 7255 Granby Street, Norfolk
he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Temple Israel invite the community to a special briefing with Amos Guiora. A renowned security expert, media commentator, and resource for the United States and international governments, Guiora is a professor of law and the director of S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He is also 19-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces JAG Corps, and a prolific author. A featured presenter at last season’s CRC’s Israel Today Forum, Guiora was one of the most compelling and popular speakers in the series. The community wanted more time with him, and the CRC and Temple Israel worked diligently to plan his return. Guiora will focus his presentation at Temple Israel on the renewed IsraeliPalestinian peace talks, and will attempt to answer the question: Are we still talking about talking, or will talks move forward this time? “I think that Secretary of State Kerry has begun the process of talking,” Guiora
says, “and I think the talks are being conducted seriously. But events are happening at such a breakneck pace [in Syria], who knows what will happen.” Guiora says Amos Guiora he will talk about the core issues he believes are fundamental to achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians: settlements, Jerusalem, and a land swap. “I’ll try to explain the claims of each side to the audience,” he says,” and we’ll look at the issues in the sense of how one goes forward.” Following Guiora’s discussion, the community is invited to stay for lunch in the sukkah, prepared by the Temple Israel Sisterhood. RSVP required; email Liz at LHenderson@ujft.org, or call 965-6107. For more information about this and other CRC initiatives, visit www.jewishva. org/crc .
September 16, Monday and September 30, Monday An Israel Advocacy Seminar, offered by the Simon Family JCC Jewish Life and Learning department will take place very other week through Oct. 28 Mondays at 7 pm. This seminar will augment what you already know and show you how to organize your facts into a cogent, coherent and concise case for Israel. Dr. Sandra Haas-Radin and Mark Solberg will facilitate. $15 for materials. For more information or to register, contact Miriam Brunn Ruberg at MBrunnRuberg@simonfamilyj.org or 321-2328.
SEPTEMBER 18, wednesday The JCC Seniors Club at the Simon Family JCC. Board meeting, 10:30 am; Lunch, 12 pm. General meeting follows with guest speaker Howard Schwartz, membership director of the Simon Family JCC. He will speak on “Eating for Energy” in the JCC’s Sukkah or inside if it rains. Call Wayne Goron at 757-426-3297.
September 21, Saturday Kids Night Out for Simon Family JCC members. For six-week through 12-year-olds at the JCC. Parents enjoy a night out, 6-10 pm, while the children Huddle Hut and Hike with Capture the Flag, swimming, snacks in the Sukkah and more. $10 per child. Call 321-2338 to register.
September 22, Sunday The community is invited to a free briefing followed by lunch in the sukkah. Join Professor Amos Guiora as he shares insight on the renewed Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks and whether progress will be made. At Temple Israel. 10 am. For more information or to RSVP, contact Liz Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-965-6107.
October 23, Wednesday Nosh and Knowledge at Ohef Sholom. Learn about breast cancer. 12–1:30 pm. Call 625-4295 for details.
Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Virginia Opera at the Simon Family JCC Sunday, Oct. 20, 2:30pm
amilies and children will love this shortened, operatic version of the beloved fable Jack and the Beanstalk, based on scenes from the operattas of Sir Arthur
Sullivan. A wonderful introduction to the world of opera and music. Adults, $7.50, children $5, families, $25. Call 321-2338.
School is in, become a BEAR mentor! Volunteers are needed.
he Simon Family JCC’s Be a Reader program helps at-risk children in area public schools acquire reading skills. If you have an extra hour or two a week, call 321-2303 and become a volunteer for this great program.
26 | Jewish News | September 16, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Free Guest Days at the JCC September 26–29 Simon Family JCC members may bring up to three friends and enjoy all that the Center has to offer.
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Who Knew? Celebrity Rosh Hashanah Newly engaged Katie Couric, who has Jewish roots, spread her New Years’ cheer with this sweet tweet: L’shana tova, happy healthy new year to all my friends celebrating Rosh Hashanah!! Katie Couric (@ katiecouric) September 5, 2013. Perhaps a favorite Rosh Hashanah greeting was this one from The New Yorker. In honor of the new year, editor David Remnick dug deep into the archives for some vintage Woody Allen. Hassidic Tales, With a Guide to Their Interpretation by the Noted Scholar is Allen’s delightful “re-telling and parody” of 18th-century allegorical tales about the founders of Hasidism. The post also included a 1965 video of Allen doing standup. “The Tales are the apples; this is the honey,” Remnick says of the clip. Amen. (JTA)
Nicholas Sparks’ first Jewish love story The Longest Ride, the new novel from the hyper-prolific author Nicholas Sparks, opens with Ira Levinson, a 91-year-old Southern Jew, trapped in his car after an accident speaking to his deceased wife, Ruth. The story follows their romance, which begins with the 16-year-old Ruth, the daughter of European refugees, meeting Ira, the child of a North Carolina haberdasher. Anyone familiar with Sparks’ work knows this isn’t his first love story. It is, however, his first love story with Jewish protagonists. “It was something I hadn’t done before and I thought people would like it,” the Catholic-born author told the Forward. “Also, not a lot of people know there are Jewish people in the South. We all know there are a lot of Jewish people in New York and other big cities. Not a lot of people realize how prominent they are in the history of the South. New Bern is the home of the first synagogue in North Carolina.” The Ira character is based on the Jewish man that Sparks’ grandmother dated after her divorce. “They went to Israel together, they had lunch together,” Sparks recalls. “We didn’t have a lot of money, so we’d vacation in San Diego and stay at Grandma’s house. I became very close to him. He was almost like a grandfather to me.” (JTA)
Jack Black’s paranormal web series The new year brings a new web series from Jewish funnyman Jack Black. Ghost Girls, a comedy about two friends in the business of solving paranormal mysteries, launched recently on Yahoo! Screens. In the first episode, Heidi (Amanda Lund) and Angelica (Maria Basucci) are hired by Eddie (Jake Johnson), who thinks the house he shares with his roommate (Jason Ritter) is haunted. According to our crystal ball (fine, The Hollywood Reporter), future episodes will feature guest stars such as Black himself, Dave Grohl, Val Kilmer, Molly Shannon and Jason Schwartzman. (JTA)
Jewish game developer to market Holocaust game for smartphones The developer of a Holocaust-themed game that was rejected by Nintendo says he is planning to release his work for smartphone users. British game developer Luc Bernard, 26, announced his plan on the website Indiegogo, a crowd-sourcing platform that helps developers and inventors find funding for their products. Bernard made headlines in 2008 with his game Imagination is the Only Escape, which he developed for Nintendo and views the events of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child. The gaming giant eventually decided not to buy and market the game because it was deemed unfit for children, according to The New York Times. Now Bernard says he will bypass corporations and raise funds online with a plan to release the game next year, according to a report by the news website The Verge. Bernard’s mother is Jewish and her mother looked after orphaned Jewish children after World War II, he told the Times. His game features the character of a young boy named Samuel during the Nazi occupation of France in 1942 who seeks to escape real life into his own fantasy world. Bernard told The Verge that the game is meant to inspire players to read up on the history of the Holocaust. (JTA)
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Rabbi’s shooting shakes Russian community’s confidence in its future by Cnaan Liphshiz
DERBENT, Russia (JTA)—Accustomed to the sound of gunfire at night, neighbors of Rabbi Ovadia Isakov were not particularly startled when a shot rang out on Pushkin Street on July 25. But unlike the volleys that partygoers often fire heavenward in this lawless corner of the Russian Caucasus, the shooters outside the rabbi’s door had a terrestrial target. As Isakov walked from his car to his front door, a bullet struck his chest. Neighbors heard his cries and called emergency services. The next day, the rabbi was airlifted to Israel for surgery. Isakov, 40, is still recovering in Israel from his near-fatal injury. Meanwhile, Russian authorities continue to hunt for the Islamist separatists they believe attacked him as part of their 13-year-long struggle to control the Russian republic of Dagestan, where about 2,000 Jews live among a predominantly Muslim population. Isakov says authorities have obtained a picture of one of the suspects and are “making serious efforts” to catch the culprits. But despite the government’s responsiveness—not to mention the recent opening of a flashy Jewish community center and the deep cultural roots that Jews have established here—the shooting is prompting Derbent’s 1,200 Jews to reconsider their options. “There is no future for Jews here,” says Angela Rubinov, head of the Derbent office of Atzmaut, a nongovernmental organization funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. “It seems that every day there are explosions or violence. I’m staying because someone needs to turn off the lights.” Jews have lived in relative peace in this Caspian Sea city for more than a millennium. At one point, the community was said to have numbered at least 19,000 and, according to community archives, the city’s three main streets were entirely Jewish. But decades of communist repression reduced the Jewish community to a shadow of its former self. Now a simmering Islamist insurgency threatens to weaken it further. “The shooting has made many young people realize we’d better leave sometime in the very near future,” says Hava, 20, who
asked that her last name not be published. “I would not want to start a family here.” Under communist rule, interethnic tensions in this fractious region were kept under a lid. But with the fall of the Iron Curtain, local identities began to reassert themselves and a nationalist movement seeking independence from Russia gained steam. “People who lived in the mountains, rural and deeply Muslim folks, came to the city,” Rubinov says. In August 1999, local extremists and their Chechen allies killed several Russian troops in a cross-border raid. Ever since, Russian troops and separatist Islamist groups have been engaged in a guerrilla war that has claimed hundreds of lives, according to a report by the World Security Network Foundation. In the ensuing instability, additional militant groups have resorted to persecuting religious minorities and moderate Muslims. Last October, unknown assailants detonated a bomb in the interior yard of Derbent’s main synagogue. Nobody was hurt in the explosion. Rubinov says a few men shattered the windows of her office six months ago while shouting “Jews inside, stones away.” But it was only after Isakov’s shooting that “things became very serious,” according to Rubinov. Several Jewish families put up their homes for sale and in the past few months, two of Rubinov’s nephews have left for Moscow. Her 17-year-old son is planning to join them next year. In 2000, Derbent had only one mosque. Now there are five adjacent muezzin that erupt into a syncopated cacophony five times a day. One large new mosque features neon green lights that shine far into a city with 120,000 residents and few functioning streetlights. The radicalization in Dagestan is so powerful that it is spreading to neighboring Azerbaijan, according to Rabbi Elezar Nisimov of Krasnaiya Sloboda, an Azeri Jewish town located 50 miles south of Derbent. “You can see that the people who return to Azerbaijan after living in Dagestan are stricter, they are bringing in dangerous zeal,” Nisimov says. In the basement of the new commu-
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nity center, Rabbi Yusuf Mishutov helps Chabad-trained rabbi, had helped to bring maintain a small museum showcasing the many closer to Jewish practice. According traditional costumes of Dagestani Jewry, to Rubinov, the community now has 25 known as Mountain Jews, descendants of men capable of reading prayers in Hebrew, compared to only a handful of boys a Persian Jewish migrants who arrived few years ago. here some 1,200 years ago. “We In Isakov’s absence, only 10 Built in 2010 with donaendured men showed up for evening tions from affluent Mountain prayer on a weekday late last Jews from around the world, everything. month. the three-story center does The wars, the “The Muslim popnot suggest a communiulation in Derbent has ty in imminent fear of its pogroms, the moved toward religion, own extinction. The facilbut so has the Jewish one,” ity houses a synagogue, communists, says Mikhailov Victor kindergarten, wedding hall, We will endure Siyunovich, editor in chief guesthouse and mikvah. of Vatan, Dagestan’s Jewish “We endured everything. anything.” monthly. The wars, the pogroms, the Isakov says that he plans communists,” Mishutov says. to return to Derbent when it is “We will endure anything.” safe and he is well enough to travel. Mishutov says relations between Muslims and Jews in Derbent were “fine Olga Avrumovna, who runs the Jewish and without fear,” and he disputed the kindergarten, has told her 30 students notion that Isakov’s shooting was motivat- as much. They have become attached to ed by anti-Semitism, saying the assailants Isakov thanks to the lessons he has given may have been just criminals. Asked why them on Jewish customs, she says. “He is a sensitive man with a percriminals would target a rabbi, he shrugs and steers the conversation back to the manent smile and endless patience,” Avrumovna says. “Life here isn’t the same costume display. In his eight years in Derbent, Isakov, a when he’s gone.”
Dutch city unveils memorial for Holocaust diarist Helga Deen (JTA)—The Jewish community of Tilburg in the Netherlands unveiled a statue commemorating Helga Deen, a teenage Jewish diarist who died in a concentration camp 70 years ago. The Liberal Jewish Community of Tilburg unveiled the monument in memory of Deen earlier this month in partnership with a neighborhood association, the Dutch daily Brabants Dagblad reported. The city of Tilburg also has named the square where the statue was erected for Deen, who was killed at 18 in a gas chamber at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Her German mother, Dutch father and 15-year-old brother, Klaus, also were killed there. Unlike the teen Dutch-Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who wrote about her life in hiding in Amsterdam, Deen’s diary was about her monthlong stay as a prisoner in the Vught camp. From there she was shipped to Westerbork, another Dutch concentration camp, and then to Sobibor in Poland. Frank also was incarcerated at Westerbork; she died at 15 in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Approximately 75 percent of Holland’s Jewish population of 140,000 died in the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem. During her stay in Vught, Deen also wrote to her fiance, Kees van den Berg. Her letters to him were found after van den Berg’s death by his son, who gave them to a local archive along with the diary that Deen sent to van den Berg from the camp. Deen’s writings appeared in a book published in 2007.
obituaries Lawrence M. Diamond NEWPORT NEWS—Lawrence M. Diamond, 89, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. He is survived by his loving family: his wife of 60 years, Judith, daughters Sherry Diamond Liebman and Marian Diamond, her husband, Ari Tapper and four grandchildren: Daniel, Rachel, Ben and Zoe. Born in Kimball, W. Va., a resident of Newport News for more than 80 years, Lawrence served as a medic in WWII. After graduating from the Medical College of Virginia, he was the pharmacist/owner of Diamond Pharmacy for more than 50 years. Lawrence enjoyed many activities with his family, including walking on the Noland trail in Mariners Museum, fishing, tennis, singing and dancing. A dedicated member of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue for more than seven decades, he led religious services for many years, served as president and was on the board of directors Donations may be made in his name to Adath Jeshurun, 2700 Spring Road, Newport News, VA 23606. RiversideAltmeyer Funeral Home. Ira Ginsburg Virginia Beach—Ira Carl Ginsburg, 91, born in New York on July 3, 1922 died peacefully in Virginia Beach on August 25, 2013. He was predeceased by his parents Ester Sherris Ginsburg and Hyman Ginsburg and his lifelong companion Dorothy Good. An accomplished percussionist, Ira worked with many of the country’s major orchestra conductors, music greats, and in the theatre and cinema. He took personal pride in the achievements of his music students and with his masters degree in music therapy. He was a veteran. He is survived by his sister, Norma Flax; nieces, Pat Flax-Jankowsky (Michael) and Judy Rosenberg, nephews and cousin. He will also be greatly missed by his wonderful friends. The family wishes to thank Cantor Flax and the caring staff at Beth Sholom Village. A memorial service was held at the Beth Sholom Home. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be offered to the family at hdoliver.com.
Ira Grolman Virginia Beach—Ira Grolman, 85, passed away on August 25, 2013. He was born on July 29, 1928 to the late Alexander and Sadie Grolman in Washington, D.C. He is predeceased by his brother Norman Grolman. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Phyllis Grolman; daughter, Alexis Duncan and husband Michael and their children Samantha and Joshua and his wife Crystal; son, David Grolman and his children Hunter and Sydney and their mother Emily; sisters, Verece Silverman and Annette Wilen and her husband Allen Wolpe; sister-in-law, Carolyn Grolman; brother-in-law, Allan Koonin; sister-in-law, Judith Whitehurst and her husband Ray; and three generations of many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life was held at the residence at Mike and Lexie Duncan. Memorial donations to Beth Sholom, 6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach, Va. 23464. Condolences at www.mem.com. Minette Siegel Kerr Virginia Beach—Minette Siegel Kerr, 66, died peacefully, surrounded by family and loved ones on Monday, September 2, 2013. A native to Hampton Roads, she grew up in the Ghent area of Norfolk and graduated from Maury High School. She resided in Virginia Beach for her adult years and worked as a hairdresser, homemaker, and later as a special education assistant for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Minette dedicated her life to being an exceptional wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her greatest love was her family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Solly and Shirley Siegel. Survivors include her loving husband of 44 years, Daniel Kerr; son Andrew B. Kerr (Adriane); daughter Karen G. Bennett (Joshuah); four grandchildren Michael and Amanda Bennett, Thomas and Kevin Kerr; sister Heliene Siegel; brother David J. Siegel (Linda); and many others whose lives she touched. A memorial service was held at Congregation Beth Chaverim with Rabbi Israel Zoberman officiating. Memorial
donations to Congregation Beth Chaverim. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com. Sonya E. Lachman Norfolk—Sonya Eisenberg Lachman, of Los Angeles, California, died August 29, 2013 in a Los Angeles nursing home. She was born in the USSR and lived in Portsmouth, Va. before moving to Los Angeles many years ago. Sonya was a former member of Chevra T’hilim Congregation on Effingham St. She is survived by her husband of more than 50 years, Martin Lachman, of Los Angeles; her devoted brother, Herman Muni Eisenberg of Norfolk, Va; three nieces, Adelle Adie Adler of Norfolk; Myra Kramer and Rhonda Vogel of Newport News; and many caring cousins. A graveside service was held at Chevra T’hilim Cemetery on George Washington Highway in Portsmouth by Rabbi David Goldstein. Sturtevant Funeral Home.
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by Yaffa Klugerman
DETROIT (JTA)—Take heart, America. Together we can save Detroit while earning some fabulous prizes. For a mere $500, you can have an abandoned home. Pony up $25,000 and get your name engraved on City Hall. A cool $50 million will earn you the deed to the Detroit Zoo. That’s the offer pitched by an enthusiastic, earnest-looking young woman in the first episode of the satiric web series Detroit (Blank) City, which appeared on the Kickstarter fundraising site early this year. The campaign left many viewers scratching their heads. Was the $500 million campaign to save Detroit for real? Was filmmaker Oren Goldenberg serious? Turns out, he was—sort of. The Kickstarter effort was legitimate, though its goal was to raise $15,000 to fund a six-part video series, not millions to bail out a city that was soon to declare the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. And it ended not with the restoration of a great American metropolis but with a private donor’s pledge of $3,000 to create the first two episodes. “For me, it was really cathartic,” Goldenberg, 29, says. “I needed to laugh about the tragedies that are happening to the city because it’s unbearable to think of how absurd it is.” Goldenberg witnesses those tragedies daily. He lives in downtown Detroit and has created countless films about a place that once was an emblem of American industrial might and now ranks among the country’s fastest shrinking cities. Through his company, Cass Corridor Films, Goldenberg has won widespread acclaim—most recently from the prestigious Michigan-based Kresge Foundation, which awarded him $25,000 and named him its 2013 Visual Arts Fellow. “I go against the grain here,” Goldenberg says. “People think I go against everything, which is not true. I just think that we can do better.” One of his Detroit (Blank) City videos pokes fun at the relentless branding of the city and features a succession of logos read by a robotic voice: Grown in Detroit. Invest Detroit. My Jewish Detroit. Reclaim Detroit. “The idea that you can use the pronoun
of Detroit to mean something for your cause is really fascinating and ridiculous to me,” Goldenberg says. “This idea of blank slate, that you can do whatever you want, like the Wild West, and just state your claim? No. There are people here. There is history here. There are issues here.” Goldenberg is a Detroit native who grew up in the nearby suburb of Huntington Woods, attended the Hillel Day School and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan. He was the only one of 300 students in the university’s film and video program to move to Detroit, where he worked on a documentary about the city’s public schools called Our School. His latest project involves creating a requiem to mark the razing of the city’s public housing. Five years ago he became involved with the historic Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, the last remaining Conservative Jewish house of worship in downtown Detroit. At the time there was barely a weekly minyan. He and a few friends began working on synagogue programming. Their efforts paid off. The 92-year-old synagogue is experiencing a revival, fueled in part by Jewish communal efforts to repopulate the downtown area. Isaac Agree Downtown attracts hundreds of regulars to its daily programs and recently raised more than $150,000 to update the building and plan for a full-scale renovation. Goldenberg is a member of its board. “We are going to be perpetually fundraising until our building is full and occupied,” he says. “This place should be a medallion of what Judaism can be in Detroit.” But while the city’s Jewish life is experiencing a rebirth, Goldenberg is not optimistic about Detroit’s future. He cites fraudulent elections, cut pensions and the bankruptcy filing. He and his friends came to Detroit to do social justice work, he says, but they no longer feel the idealism they once did. “The way we are treated in the media, the economy, how they treat buildings here, how they treat people here, what they do to them—it’s horrific,” he says. “These are the deep problems in our society, shrouded over with a lofty ‘Let’s Save Detroit’ and kids smiling. It’s delusional.”
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