Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 53 No. 2 | 27 Elul 5774 | September 22, 2014
Campaign Kick Off
11 YAD Family Shabbat
12 Tidewater Women in Romania
37 Israeli flag flys on Tangier Island
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L’ Shanvaa To 39 Book Festival community read now available supplement to Jewish News, september 22, 2014 jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 15
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upfront Senate letter calling for P.A. return to Gaza has AIPAC backing
What Obama’s speech has to do with Israel and the Palestinians
WASHINGTON (JTA)—A bipartisan Senate letter backing U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority toward returning it to power in the Gaza Strip has the support of AIPAC. The letter and AIPAC’s backing signal a sharp change from before the latest Israel-Hamas war in Gaza over the summer, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee supported congressional measures that would have penalized the Palestinian Authority in the wake of its agreement to work with Hamas toward elections. Sens. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), both considered close to AIPAC, initiated the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry now circulating among senators. An official of the lobby confirmed to JTA that AIPAC supports the letter. “We must enable efforts to enable the Palestinian Authority to exercise real power in Gaza,” the letter says. “Real peace between Israelis and Palestinians will require a Palestinian partner that controls the West Bank and Gaza, is focused on economic development in both areas, and will accept Gaza’s demilitarization,” says the letter, which Ayotte and Casey plan to send Sept. 18 after garnering additional signatures. “We must start this process now.” Hamas forced the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza in 2007 after a unity government collapsed into bloody warfare between the factions. Notably, while the letter says that Hamas “has no interest in peace with Israel,” it does not call for the dismantling of the new government backed by Hamas and the P.A., something Israel and the pro-Israel community had repeatedly called for before the war. It also calls for urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza, with measures taken to keep such assistance out of the hands of Hamas. The letter calls on Kerry to keep the Palestinians from taking “further harmful steps” in the United Nations and U.N.-affiliated bodies that would target Israel for its Gaza war actions and urges the P.A.’s return to peace negotiations, which collapsed in April in part because of Palestinian complaints over Israeli settlement expansion. Also backing the letter is J Street, a Jewish Middle East policy group that backs an assertive U.S. role in Middle East peacemaking. A J Street statement said the group “commends the letter’s emphasis on a negotiated end to the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a U.S. foreign policy priority.”
NEW YORK (JTA)—President Obama did not mention Israel or the Palestinians during his address to the nation this month. But his pledge to lead a U.S.-coordinated effort to destroy ISIS could end up doing more to get IsraeliPalestinian negotiations back on track than anything Secretary of State Kerry and his team managed to produce with their shuttle diplomacy. Reaching a final deal is hard enough when the region is calm. But it becomes significantly more difficult, if not impossible, when Islamic extremism is on the march and U.S. influence is in retreat. Good luck convincing Israeli leaders that it is safe to abandon any part of the Golan Heights or the Jordan Valley as ISIS destabilizes the region and moves closer to its borders, especially with a U.S. president perceived as being more interested in golf and Asia than confronting the gathering storms in the Middle East. History suggests that the most effective thing America can do to encourage Israeli risk-taking is to show that America is serious about reducing regional threats to the Jewish state. It is no accident that Israel’s biggest steps vis-a-vis the Palestinians—acceptance of the PLO as a governing power in the West Bank and Gaza, major withdrawals, dismantling of settlements—followed the two U.S. invasions of Iraq. Nor is it an accident that these Israeli moves toward a two-state solution have not worked out too well. They have been systematically undermined by terrorism and missile attacks carried out by Iranian-backed proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas. So if you’re someone who thinks a two-state solution is a must, then you have one more reason to hope that the president’s plan for defeating ISIS pans out. And while you’re at it, you may want to come up with a plan for keeping Iran in check.
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
by Ami Eden
About the cover: Karen Jaffe, Miles Leon and Jodi Klebanoff at UJFT’s Campaign Kick Off. Photography by Laine Mednick Rutherford.
Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
BEAR needs volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Israeli flags fly over Tangier . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Mah Jongg at Beth Sholom Village . . . . . . . 38
ISIS lone wolves threat to Jews . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Schmooze at the Shore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Annual Campaign Kick Off. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Book Festival’s community read . . . . . . . . . 39
YAD Family Shabbat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Tidewater goes to Romania. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
High Holidays Special Section. . . . . . . . . . . 15
Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Back to school for HAT and Strelitz students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 The Jewish Fifth Beatle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
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jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Cruz booed for telling Mideast Christian group that Israel is an ally Sen. Ted Cruz walked out of a conference on Middle East Christians after being booed for saying Christians “have no greater ally than Israel.” Prior to Cruz’s speech on Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news website, reported that the “In Defense of Christians” conference was organized by Christian Lebanese with ties to Hezbollah, the militia that has fought several wars with Israel. The Daily Caller reported that Cruz (R-Texas) was booed when he said “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” Despite appeals from an organizer, the boos continued and Cruz decided to leave. “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you,” he said. “Good night and God bless.” Cruz in his speech grouped Hezbollah and the Syrian government together with groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and al-Qaida. “Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so-called nuances and differences,” he said. “But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage through the region. A number of Christians in Lebanon and Syria are in loose alliance with the Syrian government and its Shiite Hezbollah allies in pushing back against rebels that include Sunni Islamist groups that have targeted Christians. (JTA) Anti-Semitic incidents nearly double in France A French Jewish watchdog recorded a near doubling of anti-Semitic incidents in France for the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. From Jan. 1 to July 31, SPCJ documented 527 anti-Semitic incidents compared to 276 in the same period of 2013, the security service reported. In all of last year, SPCJ documented 423 incidents. The bulk of the 91 percent increase this year, SPCJ wrote, “is attributable to a particularly large increase of 126 percent in the ‘violent acts’ category” and “to peaks
that corresponded with the anti-Israel protests” of Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza this summer. Another peak occurred early in 2014 when authorities banned the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala from going on tour with a show deemed anti-Semitic. Violent incidents rose to 158 from 70 with this year’s acts targeted equally against people and property. Across Western Europe, anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply following the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. (JTA)
Germany planning to fund anti-Semitism education for Muslim youth Germany is ready to allocate funds to tailor education about anti-Semitism for its Muslim students, the country’s Jewish outreach official said. Felix Klein, Germany’s special representative for relations with Jewish organizations, was in Washington this month to meet with Jewish groups and Obama administration officials over American concerns about a spike in anti-Semitism in Germany during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Many of the offenders were Muslims, and many of those were members of Germany’s substantial Turkish minority. “Sometimes, we hear it is difficult to teach the Holocaust” to Muslim students, Klein told JTA in an interview at the German Embassy in Washington. “We would give special tools that would interest young Muslims, that would incorporate the role of Turkey” during World War II. Klein said there was a “feeling of unease” among Germany’s 100,000 Jews after the spate of anti-Semitic incidents. He said the money for such an initiative would come from Germany’s Interior Ministry and its Ministry for Families, Youth and the Elderly, as well as from regional governments. Klein met State Department officials who deal with anti-Semitism and Holocaust issues as well as with officials of the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International. (JTA)
4 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Israel’s August tourism numbers sag Israel’s August tourist numbers took a sharp downturn from the previous year. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 182,000 visitor entries were recorded for the month in Israel, down 36 percent from August 2013. Of the visitor entries, 164,000 were tourists staying more than one night, 32 percent less than August a year ago. During the month, hundreds of rockets were fired at Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, amid the Israeli military’s operation in Gaza. Foreign airlines canceled flights for at least two days after a rocket landed near Ben Gurion Airport. It is estimated that Israel’s tourism industry generates about $11 billion annually and is responsible for creating 200,000 jobs domestically. “The tremendous blow to tourism suffered by the Israeli economy in all areas of Israel as a result of canceled visits is a factor in the economic slowdown,” Tourism Ministry director general Amir Halevy said. “Everyone understands the importance of rehabilitating tourism as an engine for economic growth.” It is not unusual for Israel’s tourism numbers to dip during times of violence. This year’s August statistics were lower than all the August statistics from 2007 to 2013, but 49 percent higher than August 2006, the time of the Second Lebanon War, with 122,000 entries. (JTA) State Dept. warns anew on travel to Israel The U.S. State Department issued a new warning on travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The warning issued Wednesday, Sept. 10 is the first since the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the 50-day conflict in Gaza. The warning, which references the rockets launched at Israel from Gaza, calls on U.S. citizens in Israel to familiarize themselves with the locations of the closest public bomb shelters or protected areas and to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command. The advisory for the first time refers to Ben Gurion Airport, where American and
European airlines refused to fly for a few days after a rocket fired from Gaza landed near the airport. He acknowledges that the cease-fire continues to hold. “Ben Gurion Airport is open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur,” the warning says. The warning restricts government employees in Israel from traveling to most areas of southern Israel, which bore the brunt of the rockets fired from Gaza. Government employees also may still not use public buses in Israel or the West Bank. (JTA)
Pope, Peres discuss ‘U.N. of religions’ at Vatican meeting Former Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and proposed a “U.N. of religions” to fight terrorism. The Vatican said the pope and Peres held a “long” and “very cordial” discussion on Sept. 4. During the 45-minute meeting, Peres described his idea to the pontiff about his organization of religions modeled after the United Nations. The motivation, Peres told the Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana, is that religion is the prime trigger for world conflicts today. “The U.N. has had its time,” Peres said, according to Famiglia Cristiana. “What we need is an organization of United Religions, the U.N. of religions. It would be the best way to combat these terrorists who kill in the name of their faith because most people are not like them, they practice their religions without killing anyone, without even thinking about it.” The Vatican news service said the pope “listened attentively and with interest” to Peres’ proposal. Also Sept. 4, the pope met for 30 minutes with Jordanian Prince El Hassan Bin Talal and also discussed interfaith cooperation. The prince is the founder of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies in Amman. Francis last met with Peres June 8, when he hosted the then-Israeli president, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at an unprecedented prayer meeting in the Vatican garden. (JTA)
The Great “Tour De Shana”
lbert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” As Jews, we find it soothing to come together for annual gatherings. Everywhere we turn we have gatherings. What we need, however, is a constant reminder about why these gatherings and services are significant and how they can change our lives. As we approach the upcoming holidays we have to ask ourselves if we have moved spiritually and emotionally forward this year or have we stayed stagnant? Are we the same person we were a year ago or are we better and more thoughtful to others? Did we have a better relationship with those around us this year or were we just as cynical and antagonistic as we were in the year prior? And finally, did we connect to Our Creator in any unique way this year or is our relationship with G-d the same as it has been for years? These are the questions that we should be asking ourselves as we approach our holiday season. When Albert Einstein said that in order to keep your balance on a bicycle you have to keep on moving, he was teaching us a powerful lesson about life. If we want better relationships we have to work on them. If we want a better self-esteem we have to do something about it. If we want to have a more powerful connection to G-d, then we have to actively bring meaning to what we do and not just do the same thing year after year. Each and every year, people approach me before Rosh Hashanah and they say that they are looking forward to the holiday. When I inquire as to why they are looking forward to the holy time, the
response is usually something that invokes meaningful reflection. They tell me about Rosh Hashanahs past spent with family and friends. They recall familiar food and annual discussions about people and places long gone. These memories are beautiful and should be treasured, but in order to make Rosh Hashanah be a renewal, a life changing exercise that can jump start your year, and a truly meaningful time that can connect one to the Highest Source, there needs to be more. Mental awareness of the holiness of time is something that we often don’t think about, but can be life altering. G-d created time and some time is created holier than other time. It is there for us to tap into and for us to make the most of. Alternatively, we can live through it, expending minute after minute of this precious commodity dwelling on the past, talking about others,
eating delicacies and enjoying the time off of work. The Chassidic Torah commentator, Sfas Emes, who became famous for his greatness in Torah study in the late 1800’s, quotes the Zohar in saying about Rosh Hashanah that when we talk about our success in the upcoming year, (i.e. our health, our wealth, our family, etc.), we are speaking to The Creator and asking Him to see who we really are and not what we have done. In other words, we should think about G-d like a father, (hence, the famous prayer, Avinu Malkeinu). A good parent knows that his or her child is basically good even when they do something wrong. The parent has faith in the child and does what is necessary to teach the child how to act properly. This year, let us try to recognize the holiness and potential of the upcoming
time we are about to embark upon. Let us join together and recognize that everything that happens is only because our Father in Heaven wants us to succeed in all of our endeavors. Let us come together under the umbrella of change and take action to make this Rosh Hashanah the most meaningful and powerful time of our year and maybe even of our lives. Finally, let us remember that we have to keep “our balance” by moving forward spiritually and never deciding that we are satisfied with what we have become. May we all be blessed with a sweet and happy new year. —Rabbi Gershon Litt is the executive director of the Norfolk Kollel, rabbi of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue and director of Hillel at the College of William & Mary.
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 5
Ruth’s will said a lot about her. What does your will say about you? As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995, Ruth
arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 19 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Write rite your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
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6 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
ISIS-inspired lone wolves seen as posing ‘significant’ threat to Jews by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA) Jewish institutions, which have faced attacks in recent years by lone wolves—extremists who draw their inspiration from the like-minded, but act on their own—now must be wary of returnees from the Iraq-Syria arena who are trained and indoctrinated by the jihadist group ISIS, top security consultants say. ISIS has “not only stated intentions to form a caliphate, but named U.S. and Jewish people as targets specifically,” says John Cohen, who until earlier this year was an undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. “There’s a significant threat to Jewish communities.” The threat became evident with revelations that Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspect in the May 24 shooting attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels that killed four people, had allegedly been active with ISIS in Syria. It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS. Cohen, now a professor at Rutgers University’s Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, says that when Nemmouche was arrested during a customs inspection of a bus in France, firearms were found wrapped in an ISIS flag. Also, a journalist held captive by ISIS has identified Nemmouche as one of his captors. Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network, which works with national and local Jewish community groups on security issues, says the Brussels attack raised red flags for Jews throughout the world. “Their first mark outside of the theater” of combat “was a Jewish institution, and it wasn’t even an Israeli institution,” Goldenberg says. “They didn’t attack an embassy, a consulate or NATO headquarters. These are people who are not only inspired but are well trained, potentially equipped and potentially coming back to the Americas. Those are the ones who have us concerned.” SCN is an arm of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel estimates that more than 100 Americans have fought or are fighting with ISIS, which is also known as Islamic State or ISIL. Cohen and Goldenberg say that many American Jewish institutions have been trained and equipped for lone wolf attacks and are positioned to fend off strikes organized from abroad. Most recently, in the April shooting attack on a Jewish community center in suburban Kansas City, lockdown procedures are believed to have kept the assailant out of the building, limiting fatalities to two people outside. “In many respects the Jewish community, because of the work that we’ve done over the years, the Jewish community is well prepared to deal with that threat,” says Cohen, who consulted often with the Jewish community during his time at Homeland Security. He notes improvements in equipment, in many cases paid for by a Homeland Security funding program, and increased awareness of suspicious activity and cooperation with local law enforcement. The Secure Community Network and the institute where Cohen now lectures are planning a conference at Rutgers for Jewish communities here and overseas. Goldenberg says SCN also was establishing a campus security task force with Hillel. Cohen says that in the wake of the Brussels attack, Homeland Security enhanced its already close relationship with the U.S. Jewish community. “We worked to share our information with members of the Jewish community and to provide guidance to members of the community so that they are better prepared,” he says. President Obama in his speech outlining his strategies to destroy ISIS said there was a possible—but not imminent—threat to the homeland. “If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States,” Obama said. “While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. “Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners, including Europeans and some Americans, have
joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.” Skeptics have said the threat is overstated. Daniel Benjamin, the top State Department official in Obama’s first term, exploded with sarcasm in comment to The New York Times on the day that Obama delivered his speech. Benjamin, now the director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, accused top U.S. officials of “describing the threat in lurid terms that are not justified.” “It’s hard to imagine a better indication of the ability of elected officials and TV talking heads to spin the public into a panic with claims that the nation is honeycombed with sleeper cells, that operatives are streaming across the border into Texas
or that the group will soon be spraying Ebola virus on mass transit systems—all on the basis of no corroborated information,” he told the newspaper. Cohen agrees that there was no immediate intelligence presaging an attack, but suggested it was beside the point. “We know we have an organization that has exhibited a certain level of brutality, a certain level of sophistication in regard to activities and an interest in recruiting Americans,” he says. “We know they have acquired significant amounts of funding, that they have directly stated that the U.S. is one of the enemies they seek to combat and that they have employed rather sophisticated techniques to recruit Westerners.” Westerners, Cohen says, are useful to ISIS most of all as potential sleepers. “They don’t need Westerners to establish a caliphate,” he says.
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words that were then missing from the language, including the nouns for handgun, sock, immigration, police and newspaper. “In our family, we rate cities by the size of the street honoring Eliezer,” Hovav said after the ceremony. “Jerusalem and Tel Aviv rank high, Haifa not so much. Your town scores pretty high, though.” The ceremony featured a municipal all-female marching band and choir. Hovav also unveiled a plaque in memory of Ben Yehuda in his birthplace of Luzhki. In his address, Shagal said Ben Yehuda was “but one of a wealth of personalities that show how deep Israel roots grow in Belarus.” Highlighting these cultural links is a priority for Limmud Belarus, where 600 people are participating, said the Limmud FSU’s founder, Chaim Chesler. “This emphasis helps Jewish and non-Jewish Belarussians connect to Israel and the Jewish people,” he said, adding that during the four-day conference, his group will inaugurate an exhibition at the National Museum in Minsk about the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose parents were born in what is now Belarus. Other prominent Israelis with Belarussian roots include former presidents Shimon Peres and Chaim Weizmann, as well as former prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.
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Belarus town honors Eliezer Ben Yehuda, father of modern Hebrew GLUBOKOE, Belarus (JTA)—A ceremony honoring Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, was held in the presence of Israeli dignitaries in a Belarussian town connected to his past. The ceremony, which launched the second Jewish learning conference in Belarus of Limmud FSU, was held on Thursday, Sept. 11, at the main square of Glubokoe, located 100 miles north of Minsk, where Ben Yehuda, who died in 1922 in prestate Israel, learned Jewish studies and where his wife was born. Israelis attending the gathering of a few dozen people near a statue honoring Ben Yehuda, which was erected in 2010, included Ambassador to Belarus Yosef Shagal and Gil Hovav, Ben Yehuda’s great-grandson, a celebrity chef and food critic in Israel. “Beyond being a great man and a visionary, my great-grandfather was also a man who was very much preoccupied with being respected,” Hovav said in his speech, which was delivered in Hebrew. “He would get into fights with people who he thought should show him more respect, and he rarely won in his lifetime.” Born in Luzhki in 1858, Ben Yehuda was exposed to secular studies while undertaking Jewish studies in Glubokoe. He immigrated to Ottoman-ruled Palestine in 1881, where he devoted himself to modernizing and reviving Hebrew by inventing hundreds of
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jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 7
Annual Campaign Kick Off It all starts with one by Laine Mednick Rutherford photos by Laine Mednick Rutherford and Benyamin Yaffe
rawing on the past to inspire the future, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater inaugurated its 2015 Annual Campaign by showcasing the words and deeds of two relatively contemporary Jewish role models. On Monday, Sept. 15, community members took a brief journey back in time to gain inspiration and motivation from the examples set by Theodor Herzl and Golda Meir, staunch advocates for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. Actors Michael Lifshitz and Gail Byer portrayed the pair in a featured performance at the free evening Campaign Kick Off community event at the Sandler Family Campus. To play Herzl, the nineteenth century Hungarian journalist and activist known as the father of modern, political Zionism, Lifshitz wore a topcoat reminiscent of the period and grew a beard similar to Herzl’s. Byer donned a gray wig, simple utilitarian clothing and applied makeup to appear more aged for her role as Israel’s fourth Prime Minister. Meir is often named as the most influential Jewish leader of the twentieth century. Golda and Theodor’s stories, words, and inspiration were intended to enlighten and energize this and future generations, Byer told the audience of 125. “They left us with a legacy,” she said. “A legacy of hopes and dreams in which a Jewish world could live in peace with the respect of its neighbors and an admiration of its importance. They left us a legacy of a Jewish homeland, where all Jews are accepted and welcome. They left a legacy of never having to watch our own people persecuted by others, or marched into gas chambers. “Most of all,” Byers said, “they left us a legacy that says words can and actions can, and will, make a difference…and show that ordinary people like all of us are capable of performing extraordinary deeds.” Lifshitz stressed the importance of using role models such as Herzl and Meir as inspi-
ration to build a strong community and to set examples for children and grandchildren. “You have the opportunity to make your own legacy, to write your history for others to tell,” said Lifshitz. ”By taking action, by giving of yourselves, by asking others to join you, by standing up to and being counted, by reaching out, by taking the gift they gave us and perpetuating it, you have honored Herzl, Golda, and our people in ways only the future will tell,” he said. Community leaders who were participants in the evening included Jennifer Groves, Young Adult Leadership Campaign chair, Jodi Klebanoff, Women’s Campaign chair, Karen Jaffe, 2015 Annual Campaign
Karen Jaffe, UJFT 2015 Annual Campaign chair. Michael Lifshitz as Herzl.
Burle Stromberg, Kevin and Amy Lefcoe.
Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, Gail Byer as Golda Meir, Rabbi Sender Haber.
chair, and Miles Leon, president of UJFT. Leon emphasized that UJFT leadership is working diligently to ensure funds raised through the Annual Campaign are used as efficiently and resourcefully as possible. And, while there are economic and other challenges for the community, Leon said the ultimate goal is the same. “We may have different opinions of how we do things, and how we raise money and how we can stretch the dollar a little more, but at the end of the day, we all need to stand together and make sure we can take care of our community here and overseas,”
8 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Leon said. Jaffe confided that when asked by a community member why there had to be a campaign every year, her answer was short and simple. “Because our problems don’t go away,” Jaffe said. “We have an Annual Campaign and
Elena Baum, Joan London and Mimi Karesh.
Nathan Jaffe, Dolores and Alan Bartel.
Marc Moss and Harry Graber.
Rabbi Sender and Chamie Haber.
we give every year because it’s not a perfect world—not this year, and likely not next year either.” Aaron and Rachel Shames, Greg Zittrain and Danny Rubin. Jaffe asked the audience to take motivation from the performers they heard More coverage about the UJFT’s Week of during the evening’s event, and to embody the concept that a single person can make Extraordinary Deeds, which began with this Campaign Kick Off, will continue in the next an extraordinary difference. “Our theme this year is ‘it all starts issue of Jewish News. ‘Like’ UJFT on Facebook, with one,’” Jaffe said. “Be it one idea, one FB.c m/UJFTidewater, to see more photos of conversation, or one mitzvah. Every one this event. For more information about UJFT, donation—every one to our UJFT—helps or to make a gift to the Annual Campaign, visit us change our world for the better. You can JewishVA.org. be ‘the one.’”
Helen Silverman, Steve Harwood, Rabbi Marc Kraus, Susan Alper and Alicia Kraus.
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 9
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10 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Komen organization apologizes for Houston race’s Yom Kippur date
he Susan G. Komen organization apologized for holding its Race for the Cure in Houston on Yom Kippur. Komen’s executive director, Ariana Higgins, told the Houston Chronicle that the foundation has learned its lesson following an outcry from the Jewish community. The foundation received “considerable community feedback,” according to the newspaper. In its unsigned letter of apology, the organization said it noticed five years ago that there would be a conflict and tried to change the event, but that the alternate dates offered on the crowded city calendar did not suit its needs. “Although we are aware of the message that scheduling the Race for the Cure over this important holiday may send, we must express that we did not intend any disrespect or to undervalue the significance of this holy day,” the apology said. But Rabbi David Lyon of Houston’s Congregation Beth Israel wrote in a blog post, “Over the course of five years, any
truly concerned organization would have found a better solution.” The rabbi said that he and his wife would no longer support the organization, and would find “other organizations that accept greater personal responsibility to honor the health of all women and their respective faith traditions.” Susan G. Komen, for whom the race is named, reportedly was an observant Jew. The race is traditionally held the first Saturday in October, the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some cities hold their race on the first Sunday of the month. This year, eight of the 138 races across the United States will be held on Yom Kippur, the Chronicle reported. “We’re already looking at future calendar dates and making sure we won’t encounter this in the future,” Higgins said. Participation in this year’s race is expected to be about 23,000, down from a high of 30,000 in 2011, Higgins told the Chronicle. (JTA)
Jewish couple weds at Berlin square to protest anti-Semitism
Jewish couple held a public wedding at one of Berlin’s central squares to protest the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents there. The ceremony, held recently under a huppah at Potsdamer Platz, follows a an increase over the summer in anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin and elsewhere, most of them linked to tensions in the Middle East. Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, the director of the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Educational Center in Berlin, identified the couple as Igor and Elina, immigrants from the former Soviet Union. He did not give the newlyweds’ surnames. One hundred guests were invited to the open-air wedding ceremony at this main traffic and pedestrian junction, and countless passersby took note. An estimated 70,000 people cross the plaza on a daily basis. Teichtal said he convinced the couple
not to have the ceremony at a hotel or in the enclosed Jewish center but on the street in the heart of Berlin, as a “demonstration” against recent anti-Semitic incidents. He said passers-by took photos of the unprecedented event. “We should not hide as in the past, stash our identifying characteristics or avoid speaking in Hebrew as some parts of the Jewish Berliner street claim,” said Teichtal, who conducted the ceremony. “Our answer to anti-Semitism should be elevating Jewish pride, externalizing of our Jewish characteristics and deepening our connection to our magnificent tradition,” he said. A more formal demonstration against anti-Semitism was held this month at the nearby Brandenburg Gate. Organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the rally drew a broad spectrum of political and religious leaders.
YAD Family Shabbat filled with friends, food and fun by Benyamin Yaffe Jasmine and Adam Amitay.
Noam, Risa and Evan Levitt.
Carin Simon and Lauren Barkan.
Denny, Ethan and Jack Jenkins.
Hila Moallem, Amelia Portnoy and Randall Nied.
Jonathan Muhlendorf and Matt Mancoll.
he annual Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s End of the Summer Family Shabbat took place on Friday, Sept. 5, at the Simon Family JCC outdoor water park. With more than 85 people, this year’s YAD Summer Shabbat claimed the prize of being the most successful event of its kind to date. The YAD families enjoyed the cool water, delicious hamburgers and hotdogs and networking with old and new young families in the Jewish community. YAD presents five events each year for young families, as well as extensive outreach programming to welcome new young adults to be a part of the growing Jewish population in Tidewater. Young Jewish adults with a family—or without—who would like to be part of future YAD events, should contact Benyamin Yaffe, YAD programming associate at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Weinstein, YAD director at email@example.com for more information. Be sure to like the YAD Facebook page (www.fb.com/yad. ujft) for the most up-to-date listing of YAD events. (photos by Laine Mednick Rutherford)
Locke Lerner. jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 11
Tidewater women travel to Romania
A dream becomes a reality by Karen Lombart
or a very long time, Annie Sandler has wanted to share her excitement about the Romanian Jewish community with others in Tidewater. This summer, her dream came true. Learning that the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) was taking an Ambassadors trip to the Eastern European country, she decided to invite six women to join her on the journey. The “Dream Team,” led by Sandler, included Rachel Abrams, Elyse Cardon, Robin Mancoll, Carin Simon, Megan Zuckerman and me. Together we were going to witness the miracle of the JDC’s work in Romania. From an “idea” to a reality, a multidimensional Jewish infrastructure has been built in a country where the Jewish population was decimated. From 1.5 million Jews before World War I to 8,000 today, the community is on
its way to seeing “life” again. Sandler has seen the transformation of Jewish renewal over the past 14 years. Once a vision of Zvi Feine’s (former JDC director for Romania), Camp Be’YaHad in Cristian, Transylvania has proven to be the entry point for many Romanians to explore their Jewish roots lost during the Holocaust and the era of Communism. Sandler believed in the camp when she first saw it and has been instrumental in quietly providing financial assistance for improvements throughout the years. We actually thought that we were still “dreaming” when we landed in Bucharest. We had traveled all night on Austrian Airlines, arriving on Tuesday, July 22. “Lipstick ready” for lunch, we were taken to a charming 130-year-old café where our tour guide, Rodica Gavrila, began to tell us the history of Romania. We were joined by the wonderful JDC staffers— Sandy Katz, our Tidewater Regional JDC
Dr. Weiner, president of the Federation of Romania, presents award to Annie Sandler.
12 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
representative, Zoya Shvartzman, who found the preschool center housing the spoke to the Women’s Cabinet at the 2012 choir practice that evening. We peeked into the room and found Carmen and 20 othSpring Luncheon and the current JDC ers singing familiar Hebrew songs. director for Romania, Serbia, BosniaWe listened quietly as we were Herzegovina and Macedonia, Israel motioned to walk in. Within Sabag. Although, driven by van The moments, the room erupted through the city streets, it was by Jewish into a dancing circle. the hearts and souls of our tour A few families gathered leaders and guides that we were Community in the main reception area. transported into this other world. Center of On the bottom floor, we disWe laughed our way through covered a cooking class in the city of Bucharest as we lisBucharest session, a young adult lounge tened to Gavrila’s accented was illuminated by neon, a library description of the present day bustling. area and a broadcasting center government and we whizzed by with a Jewish talk show in progthe humongous buildings that ress. On the third floor, we found had been built during Dictator a class being taught to 60 seniors. Ceaucescu’s reign. With a population of 2.2 million people today in Bucharest, Rachel Abrams said, “I could feel the joy many of the scaffolded buildings draped in as I walked through the building. It was plastic were being repaired from their years palpable.” The Center attracts families—affiliated of neglect during Communism. Delirious from little sleep, we were beginning to feel and unaffiliated, Israeli businessmen and “coo-coo” (Gavrila’s favorite word) by the women, students living in the city and day’s end. We were given just enough time the elderly. Posters for its activities hang to freshen up before dinner where we met throughout the city. One of their summer events was the “Festival Jerusalem” which two wonderful women. Magda had been a camper at Camp brings 20,000 people to the center of Be’YaHad in Cristian when she met her Bucharest to experience Jewish life—food, husband who was a young counselor. She dancing, singing and a fabricated Western declared, “Eddy and I share a passion for wall for wishes and dreams. For dinner, we joined the leadership of improving the Jewish world now that we have discovered the joy of Jewish peo- the Federation in the Great Synagogue of plehood. For our wedding ceremony, my Bucharest. Dr. Weiner, the elected presihusband and I hired a narrator to explain dent, introduced the night’s festivities with the Jewish rituals so that our guests might a presentation to Sandler for her philanunderstand the significance of the cer- thropy to the Romanian community. The emony.” We learned from Carmen who medal has only been awarded to three works in the Ambassador’s office that she kings and a few non-Jews. Sandler accepted sings in the JCC choir, which performs it graciously and complimented the president, “I love Romania. You treat your guests throughout the city. The Jewish Community Center of so warmly. As president, you encourage the Bucharest was bustling when we arrived young leadership to be involved and you the following evening. As Adrian Gueron, give them the opportunity to be invested. the director described, “We used to be a All of you understand the importance of JCC without walls. Today, we have this Jewish community and its significance in center that allows us to come together for maintaining our peoplehood.” Between gefilte fish and matzah ball our daily Jewish life in Bucharest. Our Jewish experience now extends beyond soup, we heard from Dr. Mona Bejan, head the holidays.” Painted like a fairytale, we of the Welfare Clinic and Mr. Marinesco,
Romanian Jewish community. We arrived just in time for a spirited birthday party for three of the residents. After the singing and accordion playing, we were addressed by a 95-year-old gentleman who expressed his gratitude for the center where the residents are “born again” with a plethora of social programs. We continued with a tour of the facility to find that the entire second and third floors were being Tidewater women in front of synagogue in Brasov. renovated because in Eastern Europe and yet, it all felt so the nursing home has been such a success. Added into our late afternoon schedule, familiar. Having met so many leaders, Robin we stopped for a short visit to meet the Mancoll remarked, “It’s really great to see Minister of Youth and Sports. After she that the Romanian Jewish community has spoke to us of her “dreams” for a country put so much effort into growing its future wide sports program, Elyse Cardon present- leaders. Leadership training is so important. ed the minister with a packet of postcards Tidewater has done the same for us.” Splurging with “Papagosh,” a dessert of that Cardon had created from her photographs of her last trip to Israel with the donuts and cream, we knew we had found Hineni Mission. Ironically, the Minister, a just “the right amount of sweetness.” Through the mountains of Transylvania four-time Olympic medalist, had recently signed a Treaty of Collaboration with the the next day, we stopped to eat fresh berries, Minister of Israel to learn best practices sold by the Roma Gypsies, and tour the for developing the grounds of the Peles Castle and “Dracula’s” home. In the late afternoon, we arrived at youth program. A delightful, Camp Be’YaHad, just in time to see the chalfestive dinner with lah dough being shaped into loaves before the young leaders baking. It was “Mahane Mishpachot II,” of the Jewish com- family camp week and the kids were responmunity concluded sible for making the challah for Shabbat. our third day. Many Before lighting the candles, we sat in a mentioned that their huge circle outside, speaking to some of the personal Jewish parents. A previous camper was now the journeys began at week’s organizer. And Sandler recognized the camp in Cristian. a young mother holding her infant who she During the night’s remembered as a camper years ago during a conversations, we prior visit. After listening to a short concert reminded ourselves by members of the Synagogue’s choir from that we were eating Brasov, we entered the dining hall for our dinner thousands Shabbat meal, Hebrew songfest and beauty of miles from home parlor experience. Cardon got her hair braidwith new friends ed by some of the young girls. Tidewater women, JDC Ambassadors Mission participants and professionals of Jewish social service agencies at Rosen Old Age Home in Bucharest. who had been raised continued on page 14 the editor and publisher of the Jewish Reality Magazine which has a monthly newsletter with a readership of 3,000 people. By 9:30 am the next morning, we were standing quietly outside the security-protected office of His Excellency, Dan Ben Eliezer, Israeli Ambassador to Romania, waiting for approval to enter. Happy to see us with his friend, Israel Sabag, we were ushered into a small conference room. While telling us his fascinating personal history, the ambassador revealed, “Romania is the climax of my foreign ministry’s 12 posts because it has brought me full circle. My parents were both Holocaust survivors. My mother was born in Yash. Her brother was killed during a pogrom and buried in a mass grave. This country is now in transition politically, socially and economically. Romania has ALL the ingredients for growth. It just needs the glue.” Eliezer implied that it was the right time to make the Jewish community strong again. He continues to encourage the involvement of Jewish youth and emerging leaders. The population numbers constantly change because the Holocaust survivors are passing away and others are leaving the country. Fortunately, many Romanians are rediscovering their Jewish roots and identifying with the community. He stressed that Romania and Israel have always had a good relationship, even during the time of Ceausescu’s Dictatorship that ended in 1989.
iven the opportunity to understand JDC on an intimate level, we each made two “home visits.” All of us felt a genuine sense of gratitude from the JDC’s clients who were told through the interpreter that we were visiting from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. We saw Holocaust survivors, medical recipients and/or children in need: Andreea Livia Davidovici was on “The Death Train” going nowhere in 1941 at the age of 11; Herscu Ber Masia Liba suffered from severe hunger and was forced to hide with her family in 1941; Calinescu Iacobine, now 89, was evacuated from her home during the Communistic years and forced to live in one room with five people; Israilovici Mina, also an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, was the caregiver for her 50-year-old mentally challenged, bed ridden daughter; Suffering from cancer, we met Barzoi Camelia who anticipates her multiple surgeries and continuous medical care; and Sara Rebeca and Alberto Chigulescu, described as children in need, receive medical care, school supplies and clothing donations. Trained in social service, each caseworker gave us an explanation before we greeted the clients and their caregivers. “The visits were heart wrenching,” said Megan Zuckerman and added, “The hugs were so intense. They felt like they might last forever.” The hugs continued when we went to the Rosen Old Age Home run by the local
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 13
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Saturday morning services at the synagogue in Brasov, ended in wonder and delight for Carin Simon. “No matter where I go in the world, walking into a synagogue is like being at home,” she said. Joining us for lunch in the synagogue’s multipurpose room was a group of congregants. Among them, a 40-year-old who told us his story. He started by saying, “I grew up Romanian, married a non-Jewish woman and we had several children. Several months after my father passed away (my mother was also deceased), I was having a conversation with my father-in-law who suggested that I might look through my father’s belongings. He had grown up with my father and thought that I might find it interesting. Intrigued by his comments, I hunted through my parents’ belongings in my aunts’ home and found nothing unusual until I came across a small box of my grandfather’s. Opening it, I discovered right on top, an official government certificate that bore my grandparents’ Hebrew names and their nationality, “Israelite.” I was shocked because I had never been told that I was Jewish. That was three years ago. Since that time, I have attended Shabbat services regularly. My wife and I have agreed to raise our children as Jews.” And he concluded, “My life now makes sense. I could never understand some of the things my grandfather would say. I was always drawn to the Jewish people.” We heard so many stories while we travelled, and each one confirmed once
again that the Jewish journey is extraordinary. As Zoya Shvartzman said, “If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then the experience is worth 1 billion.” Often times, as donors, we struggle with the concept of giving to the invisible. We feel like we are giving to a bottomless well. And yet, the seven of us saw, with our own eyes that the invisible is not invisible at all. It is very real to those who live in Romania. The series of 14 week-long camps has become the lifeline for those who come year after year to explore their heritage; it is the starting point for many Christians who discover that their grandparents were once Jewish, and it is a place to “feel” the intimate connection with the Jewish people. The “vision” of a Jewish community in Romania has been replaced by a thriving JCC, a nursing home that brings joy and comfort to the elderly, synagogues that provide services, choirs and programming AND camps. From our JDC hosts who give unselfishly of their lives, to the passionate guides that we met along the way, to the Jewish Romanian leadership, to the young children encouraged by their parents to discover their heritage, to the Tidewater women on this journey, and to the donors and recipients all around the world, it is the magic of all of us side by side and one by one that collectively shape our future. “The Jews in Romania are running through the doors to be a part of the Jewish community,” reports Annie Sandler. And, that is evidence that dreams can come true.
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Zoya Shvartzman, Annie Sandler and Doron Goldstein, make a home visit (to the man in the center) in Bucharest.
a n a h S â€™ L va To
Supplement to Jewish News, September 22, 2014 jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 15
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Dear Readers, The High Holidays have officially arrived.
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Synagogues have mailed their tickets, Selichot has taken place and meals have been planned, ordered and reserved. Still, there is more to come. So Jewish News offers another packed High Holiday section that recalls 5774 and celebrates the arrival of 5775. Within these next 16 pages we present some interesting lists, moving personal stories and reflections, holiday-appropriate news, always appreciated recipes, and more. For looking back, we feature several “Top of 5774” lists, including Jews who inspired, Jewish entertainment moments and videos that went viral. Mostly, they are fun. For looking inward, we asked several community members about their favorite
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part of the High Holiday season. Their thoughtful responses are sure to make us all consider what our own response would be. We’ve scattered their words throughout the section.
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In that same vein, I heard Lisa Bertini tell her Teshuva story at Ohef Sholom
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Temple late last month. I found it so inspiring that I wanted to share it in the newspaper. Fortunately, she agreed to let me do so. It is on page 18.
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In other news, it was a record year for Israel Bonds, Birthright has plans for young adults who have taken their trips to connect for the holidays, it’s the year for Shmita (Don’t know what that is? See page 30.),
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and we’ve got a piece on a New Yorker who makes kosher cheese in his basement! However you observe or celebrate, our best wishes from the Jewish News staff for a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year. L’Shana Tova,
Upcoming Special Features Issue
Terri Denison Editor
16 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
Sep 19 Oct 3
L’ Shanvaa To
Shofar so good
The Jews who inspired us in 5774 by JTA Staf
NEW YORK ( JTA)—In a year with no shortage of bad news, these 10 Jewish individuals or groups inspired or impressed us in 5774. David Blatt, for leading underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague title and weeks later nabbing the head coaching post of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Blatt played for an Israeli kibbutz team in 1979 after his sophomore year at Princeton, competed for the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1981 Maccabiah Games and played nearly a decade of professional basketball in Israel. Think the decision by superstar LeBron James to return to Cleveland has anything to do with Blatt’s hire? Gregg Roman, for working frantically to keep Jewish journalist Steven Sotloff’s Jewish and Israeli identities secret after news broke that ISIS, the radical Islamic group in Iraq and Syria, was holding him hostage. The director of the Community Relations Council at the Jewish federation in Pittsburgh, Roman knew Sotloff from time spent in Israel, and Roman spent two weeks scrubbing the Internet of any references to Sotloff’s religion or Israeli citizenship. Ultimately it didn’t make a difference: Sotloff was beheaded by ISIS, and the murder helped fuel the U.S. decision to widen its airstrikes against the Islamic group.
Eight-year-old Samuel Sommers, a.k.a. Superman Sam, for inspiring thousands of people during his struggle with leukemia, as documented by his parents Rabbi Phyllis and Michael Sommers on their blog, Superman Sam. Not long After Sam died in December, 73 rabbis shaved their heads to raise $600,000 for pediatric cancer research. Second Lt. Eitan, an Israeli soldier, for risking his life and rushing into a Gaza tunnel to pursue Hamas attackers after they snatched IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin during the fighting in Gaza. Eitan, whose last name was not publicly disclosed, was hailed as a hero in Israel for averting a kidnapping situation like that of Gilad Shalit by grabbing enough evidence during his chase to verify that Goldin had been killed in action.
Mark Zuckerberg, for being the top U.S. charitable giver in 2013. Last December, the Facebook founder and wife Priscilla Chan gave 18 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at more than $970 million, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It’s not a Jewish charity, but charity is a Jewish value. Alice Herz-Sommer, the 110-year-old Holocaust survivor and concert pianist, for wowing us with her achievements. A week after her death in February, a documentary about Herz-Sommer’s life, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, won the Academy Award for best short documentary. Janet Yellen, who just may be the most inf luential woman in America, her every utterance parsed with Talmudic scrutiny. As chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Yellen is responsible for making sure the U.S. economy stays strong even as Europe teeters on the verge of another recession. She’s the fifth Jew to lead America’s central bank, but the first woman.
Michael Bloomberg, the ex-mayor of New York City, for his good works. Bloomberg, who reportedly is worth $32.8 billion, decided to use the $1 million Genesis Prize he was awarded to create 10 $100,000 grants to seed innovative projects guided by Jewish values that seek to address the world’s pressing issues. This summer, when the Federal Aviation Administration announced a ban on flights to Tel Aviv during Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, Bloomberg jumped on an El Al flight to demonstrate the safety of flying to Israel and pressure the U.S. government to lift its ban. Israelis are still talking about this gesture—and not just because Bloomberg chose El Al over his own $24 million private jet. Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus, for winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry. The three, two of whom are Israeli, shared the prize for their “development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” French Jewry, for holding it together during trying times. When gangs of marauding Arabs set upon a Paris synagogue during Gazarelated rioting, French Jews stood strong, battling the assailants until backup arrived. Faced with rising anti-Semitism epitomized by the popularity of the quenelle—a gesture with echoes of the Nazis’ Sieg Heil French Jews seem to think things will get worse. French Jewry is now the world’s No. 1 source of immigrants to Israel.
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 17
L’ Shanvaa To
A Teshuvah story: Lisa Bertini Each year, just before the High Holidays, Ohef Sholom Temple features congregants telling their “Journey to Judaism” at three Shabbatot services. On Friday, August 29,
ewish Fou rJ n e t
Lisa Bertini delivered her story.
at i ng
JEW SH y T h i rt
18 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
y journey to Judaism started late in life. My childhood was spent in a resort town in New Jersey. The only diversity existed between the Italian Catholics and the Irish Catholics. I had one Jewish friend in high school. In fact, there was only one Jew in Ocean City High School. She was the Valedictorian. So I had Jewish people stereotyped already. Smart. Super smart. That stereotype has only been reinforced these last 35 years. After law school, I practiced in Dallas. If there was a Jewish lawyer there, I didn’t meet her. So when I met a certain Jack Siegel, then a resident at EVMS, I called my dad to tell him I had met someone special. We were chatting on the phone (this was before texts), and I told him I was dating a doctor who seemed very nice. When he asked his name and I responded, he said, “He’s Jewish.” You have to understand. My parents were born in Italy. Our priest ate dinner at our house on Sundays. My parents attended church every morning. Not just Sundays. I attended Catholic school and Georgetown. I lectured every Sunday at Sunday mass growing up. I knew the wrath of a nun. And no wrath is greater. I asked my dad, “Is that ok?” and he said “What do I care? Is he a good man? Does he have convictions? That’s what we care about.” You can see how blessed I have been. When we decided to marry, we knew we had to make a decision about our children someday. You see I wasn’t going to convert. I actually believe what I had been taught. I love my faith, so why after 31 years would I give up something that is part of me? That would be a real waste of all that Catholic school and CCD classes. Jack completely understood. Jack and I decided that faith had been a huge part of our upbringing and to choose not to make a decision in that regard for our children would be cowardly. That was our opinion. He was raised Conservative. His parents had been raised Orthodox, but decided that was too difficult a path for their child. I was raised Catholic. But before Catholic was overly righteous. Before the abortion debate and the Christian Right.
The good old days when polite folks kept their beliefs private. But perhaps it was just before I met a Jew. Our parents had given us one faith. Not a buffet. We owed our children no less. So, it was our decision to raise the girls Jewish and when I say our decision, I mean mine. I was the one giving up something huge. I said I could do it. I truly believed that nothing about the faith rebuked what I loved. Nothing was anything but dynamic. Frankly, all Christians accept the Old Testament. We just keep going. And someday, if the girls chose differently, at the least they’d have something to reject. We owed them a solid rock foundation. No choosing between parents. No favorites. Be raised Jewish with tolerance toward all other faiths and non-faiths. That was the plan. So, no Christmas at home. Again, my call. I had everything to lose here. Christmas was not trees and gifts and Irving Berlin. It was that, but so much more. Christmas is the birth of Jesus… so no comprising; a tree in our house was not going to cut it. Jack got it. This wasn’t a beauty pageant. All or nothing. I wasn’t going to have kids who thought Christmas was about presents. That would be insulting. We were doing this full on. Jewish meant Jewish. Education. Sunday School. Shabbat every Friday. High Holidays, Bat mitzvahs and Confirmations. When the Christian holidays came, we’d go to my parents’. It was like a birthday party for someone else. Not theirs. Guess what. The girls got it. They never complained that their cousins got all the gifts and they didn’t. In fact, Lucy, when only four years old, told me on one eve of Christmas that she was happy she was Jewish and not Chrismas (that’s how she pronounced Christian), because Santa was creepy. Who breaks into the homes of little children in the middle of the night? Perhaps I had gone too far. But besides that, I thought we did well. In fact, it was adorable a couple of years ago how both girls wanted me to get a tree. I decided against it as I had already given away all my decorations, but they got me an awesome smelling wreath. The point is that I have great kids. They
L’SHANA TOVA! FROM THE
VIRGINIA CHORALE HOPE, FAITH, LIFE, LOVE
Our 2014/2015 season opens with a choral pilgrimage through life.
OCTOBER 10-12, 2014
SING WE NOWELL
Organist Kevin Kwan joins us in bringing the warmth of an English Christmas to Hampton Roads.
DECEMBER 12-14, 2014
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL PASSION
David Lang’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning work receives its regional première.
FEBRUARY 7 & 8, 2015
Jack Siegel, Zoe Siegel, Lisa Bertini and Lucy Siegel.
are strong in their faith. Zoe is involved with Hillel at NYU and adored her Birthright trip to Israel. She said she felt like Israel was her second home. She called it life changing. She stands with Israel in this difficult time regardless of how others may feel. Do you have any idea how warm I feel inside when my daughters love their faith so deeply? I know you do. Lucy, who is here tonight, is not a great fan of any public announcement of her beliefs...but she is strong and beautiful about being a good person and caring about others. To me, my daughters are the essence of Jewish women. Independent. Strong. Loving. And, resilient. And very intelligent. Super smart. Remember? So, my journey to Judaism is still in progress. Of course, I’m only 53. Young still. I have graduations and weddings to look forward to. Grandchildren, God willing. Lucy’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. I have many mitzvahs ahead. Honestly, if anything were to happen to Jack, God forbid, I’d still be loving living Jewish. I’m a ‘pizza bagel’ as Zoe says. I have the best of both cultures. All the passion, food, tradition, prayers, crazy parents, neurosis, food. Oh, I said that already. We really have Shabbat. We talk. We discuss religion weekly. We argue. We hurt feelings. We make religion, this thing that is ancient and made of stone, both new and fluid. That is what happens when you add love to tradition and beliefs. We mix it up. It makes all the dusty stuff modern and alive. It’s fabulous. It makes me smile. It must make God smile. Because in the end, he is a part of our family. Maybe a scolded younger brother some days. Maybe a respected grandmother, others. But never intimidating. Never absent.
Thank you Ohef Sholom for making this difficult decision one of the best I ever made. And as my mother in-law, Betty, of blessed memory, and no shrinking violet she, said on her dying bed to Zoe, “Marry Jewish.” Or at least raise Jewish children!!! Ok. I added the last part. In the words of a smarter person I know: “Gods’ are invisible, the future is inscrutable, and much of life is bushwhacking over uneven terrain.” So, I’d like to give my girls something they can count on. Like an umbrella in the rain. Or a bulletproof vest. Like a shelter in the storm. Judaism prepares them for life’s uncertainties. It helps them get up every time they trip. Because tripping happens. Over and over. I have been blessed with parents who adore my decisions and love my family. I have a community who has always embraced me and supported us and considered my daughters Jewish regardless of my Catholicism. I have an aunt in New Jersey who has bought us Jewish cards for holidays not even Jack has heard of. This temple is brilliant in its open mindedness. Getting that you need to make room at the table for the folks like me. I have given you two amazing women. It doesn’t get any better than that. I am Jewish. I am Catholic. I am one of you. I am the mother of the future. Shabbat Shalom. • • • • • Lisa Bertini is married to Jack Siegel, their daughter Zoe is a sophomore at New York University and daughter Lucy is a senior at Norfolk Academy. She is a member of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Music commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War.
APRIL 17-19, 2015
Stephen Coxe & Rebecca Raydo join the Chorale in music accompanied by piano four-hands.
may 29-31, 2015
tickets on sale now at vachorale.org! Full subscriptions: $100 | Flex subscriptions: $85 Single tickets: $25 | Student & group tickets: $10 Tickets also available at 757.627.8375.
Wishing the community L’ Shanah Tovah in celebration of our 60 years!
5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 180, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-424-4327 | www.hebrewacademy.net The Strelitz Early Childhood Center is an educational partnership of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and the Simon Family Jewish Community Center.
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 19
L’ Shanvaa To
Top 10 Jewish entertainment moments by Anthony Weiss
LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and the power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z (we’re not kidding) are among those who made news on the Jewish entertainment scene in 5774. Here are some of the top moments from the Jewish year soon to depart. Scarlett tells Oxfam, pop off: Actress Scarlett Johansson got an earful from the international aid organization Oxfam for promoting SodaStream, which has a factory in the West Bank. Johansson responded by dumping Oxfam (where she was an “ambassador”) rather than SodaStream (where she is a paid spokeswoman). Johansson accused the British charity of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and praised the Israeli manufacturer of home soda makers for providing good jobs for Palestinians. Gwyneth at the mikvah?: After consciously uncoupling from hubby Chris Martin (of Coldplay fame), Gwyneth Paltrow decided to consciously recouple with her Jewish heritage and reportedly is converting to Judaism. She proudly comes from a long line of rabbis on her father’s side (some
20 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
of whom shared her interest in kabbalah). Key question: Will she revive the Paltrovich family name? God declares: Jewish humor is dead: Well, not God, but Mel Brooks, who is as close as one gets to divinity in Jewish comedy. Brooks said that in a world in which we all read, watch and hear the same things, Jewish humor is no longer any different than any other kind of comedy. Somewhere, Bialystock and Bloom are crying.
Bey, Jay-Z visit to Anne Frank’s house: It’s been a rough year for the first couple of hiphop, but the superstar sweethearts proved they know what counts when their trip to Amsterdam included a long, pensive visit to the Anne Frank Museum (documented on Instagram). And unlike Justin Bieber, Beyonce managed to sign the guest book without suggesting that Anne Frank would’ve been a fan (a Bey-liever?). Classy lady. Jewish Bachelorette to inmarry (kinda): In a major cultural breakthrough, “The Bachelorette” had its first Jewish contestant, Andi Dorfman. And in a moment that warmed the hearts of Jewish continuity advocates everywhere, Andi chose Jew-ish (albeit New Testament-tweeting) bachelor Josh Murray. Truly a match made in heaven—or at least Hollywood.
In the beginning, and then: First, Darren Aronofsky brought back the blockbuster biblical epic with Noah. Then Ridley Scott teased us with a trailer for his upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings. So, logically, the next one is Leviticus, right? Can’t wait to see how they dramatize the section on ritual uncleanliness. Sarah Silverman thanks “my Jews”: When her Emmy was announced for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, the raunchy comedian dashed up the stairs barefoot and opened by thanking “my Jews at CAA,” referring to the mega-agency that represents her and what seems like half of Hollywood. Emmy bonus: Billy Crystal’s heartfelt tribute to Robin Williams, where he recounted Williams kibitzing with Crystal’s Jewish relatives and pretending to be Jewish himself. The Baby Biggs bris: Actor Jason Biggs and wife Jenny Mollen proudly announced the circumcision of son Sid with the words, “Today was not a good day to be Sid’s penis” and a couple of Instagram photos
(don’t worry, no gore). Biggs, who is not Jewish (though he describes himself on Twitter as “The Jewiest looking non-Jew”), claims that the ceremony, which featured a mohel, brachot and a tallis-wrapped family, was not a bris. Uh huh. And what did you say happened to that pie. The Gaza Twitter war: While war raged between Hamas and Israel, celebrities began taking sides. Stars like Howard Stern and the late Joan Rivers stood with Israel, while Penelope Cruz and Brian Eno slammed the Jewish state’s military operation in Gaza. But the political battlefield of Middle East politics can be a dangerous place, causing more than a few celebs (such as Cruz, Javier Bardem and Rihanna) to retreat, ultimately into anodyne messages of peace and goodwill. Miss Margalit: Maggie Gyllenhaal discovered her real birth name is Margalit—something even her mother didn’t remember. She also earned rave reviews playing an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman on the Sundance channel miniseries The Honourable Woman.
High HOLIDAY reflections Vivian Margulies
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I am very touched by hearing Kol Neidrei on Yom Kippur eve, especially when the cantor is accompanied by a violin. It is poignant and sets the mood for introspection and preparing for a
Best wishes for a happy & healthy 5775
better year. I also look forward to being with family to share the traditional holiday dishes.
Your full scope home renovation and repair specialist. Roye and Gayle Greenzaid firstname.lastname@example.org 757-452-5899 jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 21
5774 a Record Year for Israel Bonds NEW YORK—As the Jewish year 5774 comes to a close, Israel Bonds had a year marked by record sales and milestone achievements. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, U.S. sales so far in U.S. calendar year 2014 tallied more than $900 million, on pace with 2013’s record U.S. sales. Just last month, worldwide sales surpassed $37 billion since bonds were first issued in 1951.
“5774 was an historic year for Israel Bonds, in more ways than one,” says Israel Bonds president and CEO Izzy Tapoohi. “As we celebrate the beginning of 5775, we could not be more excited for what this year will bring. Israel continues to draw a diverse multitude of individual and institutional investors, even in times of conflict, who are eager to become shareholders in one of the
most resilient economies in the world.” Some highlights from the past Jewish calendar year 5774 (roughly September 2013 through September 2014): October 2013: Israel Bonds welcomed Israeli Finance Minster Yair Lapid to New York for his first meeting with Bonds’ leadership. December 31: U.S. sales of Israel bonds for the year 2013 exceeded $1.12 billion, marking the first time annual domestic sales surpassed $1 billion. January 26, 2014: Israeli Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy joined with over 700 Israel Bonds supporters from the U.S. and Canada to launch the 2014 sales effort. More than $250 million in Israel bond investments were announced at the event, which took place in Boca Raton, Florida.
March 4, 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with West Coast Israel Bonds leadership in Los Angeles. July 2014: Israel Bonds rapidly mobilized to support Israel during Operation Protective Edge, resulting in bonds sales exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars during that period. Over the course of the conflict, Israel Bonds leadership and staff were kept updated by Ambassador Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel in New York; Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer; and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chief of staff Ari Harow. September, 2014: An Israel Bonds international leadership delegation visited Israel and held meetings with Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
High HOLIDAY reflections Jason S. Hoffman
A time to reconnect, reevaluate and recommit The high holidays have always been special to me. I have very vivid memories of walking to shul with my family in Brooklyn. It was the time of year where I reconnected with friends from the neighborhood; everyone was always seated in the same place as the year before. Something about the ritual, the time of year, the reflection—truly signifies a new beginning. For me, that feeling is even more present at the High Holidays than in January. I see the High Holidays as a time and opportunity for me to re-evaluate and re-commit to being a Jew, to consider what it means to be a Jew to my children, to explore a little deeper what that means to me personally, and to ask myself what it means to me on a more global level. I always seems to come out on the other side more invigorated.
22 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
NEXT helps young Jewish adults celebrate 5775 with friends
Fourth annual High Holidays initiative has improved interactive map “The High Holidays Initiative is really
to connect with each other before attending
circles meet each other and form a commu-
about building community and making
an event or service. Now, users can share
nity for the night was very heart-warming.
“A key to this initiative’s evolution
the many dynamic High Holidays events
the specific events they find on the map via
I think several friendships came out of the
is the strong relationships we now have
and celebrations more accessible to young
social media so that they can recruit their
dinner and hopefully future chavurah-like
with communities across the country,”
Jewish adults,” says Morlie Levin, CEO
friends. They also can connect directly
events are in the works.”
says Levin. “At the end of the day, they
of NEXT, a division of Birthright Israel
to the professionals organizing the event
During the initiative, NEXT’s website
are the reason the map is populated with
Foundation’s 2014 High Holidays Initiative.
they’re considering attending. If users indi-
will offer alumni access to traditional and
such an impressive range of offerings. We
“Birthrighters—particularly those who
cate their interest in an event, engagers will
modern insights on Rosh Hashanah and
recognize that every Birthrighter is dif-
traveled to Israel this summer—are telling
be able to reach out to these young adults
Yom Kippur. Tools to help host High
ferent—the more opportunities they have
us they need spaces to reflect, learn more
to start building a relationship, seeding the
Holiday meals—including Pinterest boards
for Jewish engagement, the better. This is
and take action. The High Holidays are our
potential for year-round engagement.
featuring recipes, table setting ideas and
about empowering young adults to shape
fun High Holiday themes—will also be
their own Jewish journeys.”
community’s moment to help these young
Along with the interactive map, NEXT
adults find these spaces and engage in
expects hundreds of Birthright Israel alum-
Jewish life with their friends in personally
ni to register for High Holiday meals that
thousands of their friends will attend. As
NEXT’s popular interactive map of
with NEXT’s Passover initiative and its
High Holidays events and services now has
ongoing Shabbat initiative, these meals
improved social functionality and enables
showcase the creativity, passion and desire
Birthrighters and young adults to more
of young adults to create truly unique
easily connect to those organizing events.
experiences that build communities of
As part of the initiative, Birthright
Israel alumni can also register to receive
One of last year’s High Holidays hosts
resources and small stipends to help host
in Colorado says, “We wanted to host a
Rosh Hashanah meals, Yom Kippur pre-
meal and a ‘service’ in our home with
fast dinners, and break-the-fasts.
friends who did not have tickets to syna-
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NEXT expects the map to become
gogue. We began our time together with
populated with hundreds of services and
an hour of yoga in the yard to welcome the
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events across the country. When users
day. Then, we gathered and said prayers
LYNNHAVEN CHAPEL (757) 463-0150
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visit the map, they can filter their search
over the food and ate together. One of our
for opportunities in their city with a range
guests brought a Torah and we read from it.
of preferences—from musical services to
We sat around for hours eating and talking
LGBT-focused events, among numerous
about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and
what part of our lives we want to elevate for
Many of the interactive map’s improve-
the coming year.”
ments are based on direct feedback received
Another host from last year adds, “[I
from young Jewish adults last year. NEXT
hosted my meal] to build a Jewish commu-
frequently heard that young adults wanted
nity in DC. Having friends from different
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 23
high HOLIDAY reflections Rosalyn Landress
Thinking about the season of the New Year and all its implications This year I’m very excited about the new High Holiday prayer book, Mahzor Lev Shalem, which we at Temple Israel will be using for the first time. It is so different, filled with essays, poems, quotations, etc. that I will probably be reading the margins more than the actual liturgy. I love all the prayers, which give me hope for a clean slate, a fresh start with my relationship with God and mankind. My family has gone through a difficult five years and this year at services I will be especially grateful for the blessings we have received this year.
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24 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
Where high-tech meets High Holidays by Julie Wiener
NEW YORK ( JTA)—Unplugging more from electronic devices has become a commonly cited resolution for both the Jewish and secular new years. But electronics are also increasingly becoming integrated into Jewish New Year observances. Here are some new offerings at the junction between high-tech and High Holidays. G-dcast, a nonprofit that is best known for its animated Torah portion videos, has been expanding its repertoire in recent years, creating videos on a range of Jewish texts and topics, while also venturing into games and apps. For the new year, it’s introducing Wake up World, a digital children’s book with an interactive shofar-blowing feature, and eScapegoat, a quirky website where one can cast off one’s sins onto an animated goat and anonymously share them with others. Wake Up World, an illustrated ebook about Rosh Hashanah, enables users to hear Teruah, Tekiah and Tekiah Gadolah by touching their device’s screen or blowing into its microphone. It also features the voice (but presumably not the shofar playing) of Randi Zuckerberg, sister of the famed Facebook founder. Meanwhile, eScapegoat, a new and improved version of a similar effort last year, encourages users to prepare for Yom Kippur by offloading their sins to the goat in an echo of the ancient repentance ritual. This year G-dcast has also created Mini Goats, custom eScapegoat websites where individual communities, such as synagogues and youth group chapters, can share their members’ sins, stories and goals. Some examples: • • • • • “I put butter in the vegan sauce.” —http://t.co/olcwCgYrEw —eScapegoat (@SinfulGoat), Sept. 11 • • • • • “I said I didn’t delete my bosses files, but I did.”—http://t.co/olcwCgYrEw —eScapegoat (@SinfulGoat), Sept. 10 • • • • •
“I’m sorry I can’t forgive my mother.” —http://t.co/olcwCgYrEw —eScapegoat (@SinfulGoat), Sept. 8 • • • • • “We realized that private, ‘walled-off’ Mini Goats could be a powerful tool for communities because the interface really encourages sharing and that gets more interesting within a smaller community,” Sarah Lefton, G-dcast’s founder and executive director, says. “It lets people see what’s bubbling in their own backyards—all the regrets are so much more powerful when you know they belong to your neighbors and friends. It also creates a safe and private place for younger users in school settings.” Meanwhile, Birthright NEXT, a program for alumni of the free Israel trips, recently introduced an interactive map of High Holidays events and services that enables young adults to more easily connect to the events’ organizers. As part of the initiative, Birthright Israel alumni can also register to receive resources and small stipends to help host Rosh Hashanah meals, Yom Kippur pre-fast dinners, and breakfasts. Users can search the map, filtering by location and a range of preferences— from musical services to LGBT-focused events. The map also links to social media, so users can recruit friends to join them at events they’re considering attending. Next year, will there be an app for dipping apples in honey?
Try cucumber salad and your own cream cheese Cakey Crunch Sweet Potato Kugel Ingredients 8 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3–4 heaping tablespoons brown sugar ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ cup orange juice or orange-flavored liqueur 8 ounces mini marshmallows 1 box yellow cake mix 2 sticks margarine or butter, melted
Preparation Boil sweet potatoes in large pot of water until tender, around 20–25 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the sweet potatoes and mash in a large bowl. Add vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt and orange juice or orange-flavored liqueur and mix well. Grease a 9-by-11 baking dish. Layer half of the sweet potato mixture evenly in the baking dish. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top. Add remaining sweet potato mixture on top of marshmallows and spread evenly using an off-set spatula or knife. Sprinkle yellow cake mix evenly over the top of sweet potato mixture. Pour melted butter or margarine evenly over the top of the cake mix. Bake for 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 16 servings
Chipotle Cream Cheese Ingredients 28 -ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature 1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (depending on your tastes), minced 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon white pepper ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Preparation In a mixing bowl, combine minced chipotle and liquid, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add softened cream cheese and mix until combined thoroughly. Serve with fresh bagels and sliced avocado. Yield: 12–14 servings
by Shannon Sarna
(MyJewishLearning.com)—Fasting on Yom Kippur is one of my least favorite parts of being Jewish. I recognize the value of reflective fasting, and I know some people even enjoy the fast day, but for me, it is a torturous 25 hours until I can break into the bagels and kugel. The last thing anyone wants to do after fasting and sitting in synagogue is to start cooking and prepping a complicated or heavy meal. The dishes I like to serve for Yom Kippur can all be made in advance—in fact, they are better when prepared well ahead of time. And not just for the sake of your sanity. A quick pickled cucumber salad is a standard in my home and a dish I learned to make from my grandmother. It’s slightly sweet, just a tad spicy, and the crunch of the cucumber is really satisfying next to a bagel schmeared with cream cheese. You need to make this recipe ahead of time to properly allow the cucumber to absorb the flavors. Anyone can break open a tub of cream cheese for a break-fast. But if you make your own custom cream cheese flavor—like the Chipotle Cream Cheese Spread below—your family and guests will think you spent hours and hours in the kitchen. Making your own cream cheese is very easy and a fun way to take the spread up a notch. If butternut squash kugel and a coffee Ingredients cake had a baby, the Cakey Crunch Sweet 1 large seedless English cucumber Potato Kugel below would be the result. 1 onion, thinly sliced It is absolutely delicious, but I make sure 6 tablespoon white wine vinegar to warn people: It’s highly addictive, you 3 tablespoon water won’t be able to eat just one portion. It is 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh also the perfect dish to make ahead and dill reheat once the fast is over. 2 tablespoons sugar —Shannon Sarna is editor of The Nosher ½ teaspoon salt blog on MyJewishLearning.com, where these ¼ teaspoon pepper recipes originally appeared. Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad
Preparation Slice cucumber ¼- to ½-inch thick. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and dill. Add thinly sliced cucumbers and onions to bowl and mix until liquid coats all the cucumbers and onions. Place salad into container and allow to chill several hours or overnight. Yield: 14 servings
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 25
L’ Shanvaa To
Top 10 viral videos of 5774 which the Hamas lyric “Demolish [Israel] down to her foundations” is placed in the mouths of prairie dogs from The Lion King.
by Anthony Weiss
NEW YORK (JTA)—For a few days this year, they clogged up our Facebook feeds and then, perhaps, our subconscious. In our list of the top viral videos of 5774, we bring back those videos that had you hitting “share” again and again
Prairie dogs under Gaza http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/music/181478/ hamas-anthem-israel?all=1 https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=DDDUeEmgnm4 What was supposed to be a Hamas war anthem translated into Hebrew to scare Israelis—Up, Do Terrorist Attacks—turned into a hit in Israel, propelled by its catchy pop hook and poorly pronounced Hebrew. Mocking the song’s Hamas producers, Israelis appropriated the tune to create their own versions, such as this one in
Drake becomes a man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqTXwvo4MY0 Drake’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live turned into a reimagination of the black-Jewish rapper’s bar mitzvah (oh yes, he had one). There’s a lot of code-switching, a few stereotypes and some sharp-eyed jokes. It all culminates with Drake dropping rhymes over Hava Nagila. Stewart gets an earful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmCKZYKsiGM Daily Show host Jon Stewart has never been shy of controversy, and he stirred up plenty of it with his commentary during the conflict in Gaza. Rather than back off, Stewart and Company mocked the criticism in a segment where even Stewart’s most timid offerings on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict provoke invective from each side. Stewart’s
beleaguered expression—and tongue-tied silence—says it all.
Hot mameloshen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvEWNlcefAw Jason Derulo’s 2013 hit Talk Dirty to Me featured a bit of Jewish flair when it sampled klezmer-infused Israeli band Balkan Beat Box. This year, Vintage Klezmer brought things full circle with a klezmer cover of the hip-hop hit, including a full verse in Yiddish. Seems like the old tongue can still turn a few new tricks. Nice Jewish boy gets naughty http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/ nice-modern-orthodox-boy-slings-penis-jokeson-americas-got-talent/ When yarmulke-clad 12-year-old Josh Orlian took the stage at America’s Got Talent in his tucked-in shirt and hiked-up jeans, he looked like the epitome of the nice, dorky Jewish boy. And then he opened his mouth and the penis jokes began to fly. Whoa! Orlian may go on to tell better jokes, but he will never again achieve such shock value. And Mel Brooks says Jewish humor is dead! Bar mitzvah rhapsody http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/ half-asian-half-jewish-boy-stars-in-his-ownqueen-medley-bar-mitzvah-music-video If you are concerned that the modern American bar mitzvah is turning into a festival of glitz and performance at the expense of thoughtful Jewish engagement, this will be cold comfort to you. In this apotheosis of the cheesy bar mitzvah video, young Jorel offers an elaborate and shockingly well-executed adaptation of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, complete with elaborate choreography, family member appearances, fancy editing and blessedly in-key singing. Hamas, caught red-handed http://www.jta.org/2014/08/05/default/watchindian-tv-records-gaza-rocket-launch-1 Shortly before the close of this summer’s Gaza war, Indian news network NDTV captured on camera what nobody else could: Hamas fighters surreptitiously setting up and then firing a rocket at Israel from a densely populated residential district in Gaza. The video spread like wildfire in part because it was a rare glimpse of Hamas fighters, and the Israeli government
26 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
brandished it as evidence of Hamas malfeasance. That prompted the Indian reporter who produced it to explain that, though he knew it might be used by the Israelis as propaganda, its journalistic importance made it impossible to ignore.
They’re back! Jerry Seinfeld has been on the comeback trail with his hit web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” (If you haven’t seen the one with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, do yourself a favor and watch it; we’ll wait.) In February, Seinfeld brought things full circle when, in honor of the Super Bowl, Jerry went for coffee with his old friend, George Costanza (as played by Jason Alexander). Buckets of challenges http://www.jta.org/2014/08/19/news-opinion/ jews-take-up-the-ice-bucket-challenge-andsome-choose-hummus http://www.jta.org/2014/08/25/news-opinion/ the-telegraph/rubble-bucket-challenge-is-latest-online-salvo-in-gaza-conflict The ice bucket challenge started as a viral bit of summer fun, combining social media, a good cause and an opportunity to see friends and celebrities douse themselves and look silly. Then came the copycat challenges. Enter the Middle East conflict. There was the hummus challenge from the Israel Defense Forces, the rubble bucket challenge from Palestinian activists and even the blood bucket challenge from supporters of the movement to use Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Yep, nothing spells summer fun like a bucket of blood. The ‘Frozen’ Chosen http://www.jta.org/2014/04/08/news-opinion/ the-telegraph/is-let-it-go-passovers-new-dayenu Passover Parody of Let it Go—“Let Us Go” from Chuck Green on Vimeo. The hit song “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” first went viral as the song of choice for cute little girls, posted on Facebook by adoring parents. But then a few clever Jews realized that with just a slight tweak this aria to personal freedom could become “Let Us Go,” a Passover sensation. And lo, it was so, and the Internet was filled with versions from ukulele reggae to a cappella.
High HOLIDAY reflections Kevin Lefcoe
A time of joy with Sukkot The ”Shechechiyanu” on the first night of Sukkot gets me every time. The Mitzvah of “dwelling in Sukkah” comes with unique and empowering opportunities to connect to Hashem, our generations, and the Jewish People in ways that can only happen during these extraordinary seven days each year. Sukkot is a Chag, a Festival, when we shake four species, the lulav and etrog, as a symbol of the body and soul of every Jew and the entire Klal Yisrael. Sukkot is known as ”zeman simchateinu”—“a time of our joy.” Simply, we are commanded to be joyous. I love it.
Happy New Year! L’shana tova tikatevu
May You Be Inscribed in the Book of Life The Simon Family Jewish Community Center Board of Directors and its Staff wishes everyone a sweet and healthy new year.
So when we arrive in the Sukkah the first night, we have just invested ourselves for the past few months in self-reflection and contemplating serious times for ourselves
and our fellow Jews (Tisha B’Av and Elul), through judgment and atonement (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Now, I walk directly into the Sukkah and the loving presence of the Ribono Shel Olam (the Master of the World). We welcome the Ushpezin
Wishing You a Happy & Healthy New Year!
(“Guests of Honor”), the first being Avraham Avinu and his expression of Chesed (kindness). We praise Hashem in Kiddush, Hamotzi, Lashev B’Sukkah and Shechechiyanu. “Thank you for bringing us to THIS day.” It happens once a year. My favorite time.
Reform congregations to hold bone marrow drives on Yom Kippur WASHINGTON (JTA)—Seventy-five Reform congregations throughout the United States are holding bone marrow registration drives on Yom Kippur. For the second straight year, the Reform movement is partnering with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation in an effort to register potential donors. A cheek swab will be taken from potential donors with the goal of helping patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers and genetic disorders. “We are proud that so many of our congregations recognize the importance of performing good deeds during the High Holidays,” says Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Jay Feinberg, the founder and executive director of the Gift of Life, says the Reform congregations will be conducting “the greatest mitzvah of all—pikuach nefesh, saving a life—during this special time of year.”
You never know when you’ll need help, but you’ll always know where to find it. 260 Grayson Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-321-2222 • jfshamptonroads.org
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 27
Deli Sandwiches • Cakes • Bakery Treats
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Recipes that even ‘non-bakers’ should try 296 Constitution Drive at Town Center Virginia Beach • 757-368-CAKE (2253) • www.TheBlissBakery.com
The Holiday Kosher Baker Paula Shoyer Photos by Michael Bennett Kress Sterling, 2014 222 pages, $35 ISBN:978-1-4549-0714-5
L’Shana Y Tova Best wishes for a happy and healthy year with shalom. BRESS PAWN & JEWELRY 721 Granby Street Downtown Norfolk Free Parking 757 625 4228 www.bresspawnshop.com
28 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
our reviewer is admittedly a non-baker. However, Paula Shoyer, a former attorney, author of the very successful The Kosher Baker Hal Sacks (2010) and now The Holiday Kosher Baker, could make non-bakers want to try: The photos by Michael Bennett Kress will make bakers want to cry. If only you could turn out such beautiful cake, pies, cookies and other dessert delights. You will love the recipes and appreciate the thought Shoyer has put into a Kosher Baking Encyclopedia, defining just what the kosher kitchen will require in appliances and utensils, how one bakes for a bris or a shiva, and even what a pared down Passover kitchen will require in equipment. You will hate the book itself; large, heavy, impossible to place open on a counter without heavy weights to hold its luscious looking pages in place. This book demands and deserves a ring-binder version that can be placed flat.
That said, author Shoyer is very specific about contents and recipes are clearly labeled dairy, parve, no nuts, low sugar, vegan, gluten free, etc. Many recipes have been reworked to substitute healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste, although I’d be personally wary about whole-wheat chocolate babka. One might say dayenu to a book that offers eight hamentaschen recipes all made with the popular chilled or frozen cookie-type dough of which I am personally not a fan—having grown up with the tantalizing yeast-dough hamentaschen baked by my grandmother (“from scratch” as we used to say). There are 45 Passover recipes clearly delineating non-gebrokt where applicable. Passover baking has been a weak spot in our family’s repertoire; however, there is a one-bowl sponge cake recipe that does not require separating the eggs and seems to be worth a try (but a standing mixer is needed). The time demands placed on households where both partners work outside the home have drastically reduced the amount of home cooking altogether, much less baking. The Holiday Kosher Baker contains many recipes that promise success with a minimum of fuss. Whether the home is kosher or not there are recipes that invoke our holidays and are worth the effort when celebrating. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Babka Bites Chocolate babka is my most popular dessert, and I have enjoyed teaching audiences of all ages all over the U.S. how to make it. Because it is also one of my most addictive recipes, I came up with a two-bite version so I can enjoy my beloved babka without overeating. In the end they came out so good that the risk of overeating has not been completely eliminated. Be careful not to over bake these bites or you will lose the soft interior. —Paula Shoyer
Dough ¼ cup (60ml) warm water ½ ounce (2 envelopes; 14g) dry yeast ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided 2½ cups (315g) all-purpose flour Dash salt 4 tablespoons (57g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes ¼ cup (60ml) canola oil 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
Filling ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa ¾ cup (150g) sugar 1⁄3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips
To make the dough: PLACE WARM WATER, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add the ¼ cup (50g) sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg and egg white. Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1½ hours.
To make the filling: PLACE THE MARGARINE into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising. PREHEAT OVEN to 325°F (160°C). Place mini muffin papers into a 12-cup mini muffin pan. You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake: AFTER THE DOUGH HAS RISEN, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30-cm) rectangle so that the 12-inch (30-cm) side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it. Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way. Cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm) slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
BAKE for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months. Recipe from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer. Sterling/November 2013
Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year Southside Chapel 422-4000 • Maestas Chapel 428-1112 Chesapeake Chapel 482-3311
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 29
L’ Shanvaa To
LG B T
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
pu re & natu ra l ho ney
NOW MORE THAN EVER, IT’S TIME TO LOOK BEYOND OUR LABELS With the crisis in Israel foremost in our minds, this Rosh Hashanah takes on an even deeper significance. And so does our unity. Because no matter how we may label ourselves—we are all Jews. That’s what matters. Now more than ever. This Rosh Hashanah, let’s make it a sweeter new year by standing together. You can do that by giving generously to the Federation. Your gift helps support our brothers and sisters in Israel and in our entire global community.
YOUR IMPACT IS IMMEASURABLE. IT ALL STARTS WITH ONE.
30 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
Understanding Shmita, Israel’s agricultural Shabbat
by Ben Sales
TEL AVIV (JTA)—When Rosh Hashanah comes this week, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shmita, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course, its politics. The genesis of Shmita is Exodus, which commands the Israelites, “Plant your land and gather its produce for six years. But on the seventh, let it lie fallow and it will rest.…” Other biblical mandates prohibit planting, trimming or harvesting crops during Shmita, amounting to a total prohibition on farming. In advance of Shmita, which takes place every seventh year, here are seven things to know about Israel’s sabbatical year. What is Shmita? According to the Torah mandates, the Shmita year is something like an agricultural Shabbat. Just like everyone is commanded to rest for a day at the end of every week, Shmita is a chance to let the land rest for a year after six years of work. It’s easy to calculate when Shmita comes around: Start from year zero in the Jewish calendar—that would be 5,775 years ago— and count off every seven years; this is Israel’s 466th Shmita. The concept of the sabbatical year has spread to academics and clergy, many of whom receive sabbaticals to travel and study. And the root of the word “shmita” has found contemporary usage in Hebrew. Israelis use the word “mishtamet” to refer to someone who dodged mandatory military conscription. How was Shmita observed in the past? Because the commandment applies only in the biblical land of Israel, it became largely theoretical once the Jews were exiled by the Roman Empire after the Bar Kochba revolt in 136 c.e. Generations of Jewish farmers in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere
had no religious imperative to let the land rest. But once Jews started returning to Palestine in the 1880s and founding kibbutzim, Shmita again became relevant—and problematic. At a time when Jewish farmers were struggling just to keep their farms viable, a year of no production would have been a deathblow. To skirt that problem, rabbis in Israel created something called the “heter mechirah,” or sale permit—similar to the sale of leavened food before Passover. The permit allowed Jewish farmers to “sell” their land to local non-Jews for a token amount, then hire non-Jews to do the forbidden labor. That way, because it wasn’t “their” land, Jews could keep their farms going without sin. How is Shmita observed in contemporary Israel? As Israel’s population and agricultural sector expanded, so too has the hand-wringing over Shmita. Here are some of the Jewish legal acrobatics they use to get around it. The sale permit: Israel’s Chief Rabbinate allows every farm to register for a sale permit like those allowed in the 1880s, and the Rabbinate “sells” all the land to a non-Jew for about $5,000 total, according to Rabbi Haggai Bar Giora, who oversaw Shmita for Israel’s Chief Rabbinate seven years ago. At the end of the year, the Rabbinate buys back the land on the farmers’ behalf for a similar amount. Bar Giora chose a non-Jewish buyer who observes the seven Noahide laws—the Torah’s commandments for non-Jews. Greenhouses: Shmita only applies if the crops are grown in the land itself. Therefore, growing vegetables on tables disconnected from the land steers clear of violating the commandment. Religious courts: Farmers aren’t allowed to sell their crops, but if crops began growing before Shmita started, people are allowed to take them for free. So through another legal mechanism, a Jewish religious court will hire farmers to harvest the produce and the religious court will sell it. But buyers aren’t paying for the produce itself; they’re only paying for the farmer’s
labor, getting the produce for “free.” Wink. Nudge. Not observing Shmita: Most large-scale Israeli farmers use a sale permit in order to obtain rabbinic certification for their crops, Bar Giora says. But some small, nonreligious farmers who sell their produce independently ignore the sabbatical year completely and do not receive kosher certification. What happens to fruits, vegetables and other plants that grow on their own during Shmita? Just like Jewish environmentalists can connect to the idea of letting the land rest, social justice-minded Jews can appreciate that whatever grows on the land during Shmita is, in theory, supposed to be free for anyone, especially the poor. When Shmita is first mentioned in Exodus, the Torah says the crops should be for “the poor of your nation, and the rest for wild animals.” But given that almost all farmers in Israel get around Shmita in one way or another, walking onto a farm looking for a free lunch is ill advised. How does Shmita affect you if you’re not a farmer? Because all kosher-certified produce cannot violate Shmita, Israelis shopping in major grocery stores and outdoor markets don’t have to worry about Shmita. But religious Jews—and businesses— that don’t trust the legal loopholes, just buy their produce from non-Jewish farmers in Israel. An organization called Otzar Haaretz, or Fruit of the Land, seeks to support Jewish farmers specifically and is organizing farmers who use religious courts and the greenhouse method to sell to supermarkets in Israel. Customers who wish to buy from Otzar Haaretz can pay a monthly fee to get a discount on its produce.
Shmita has an impact beyond the produce stands, too. Mickey Gitzin, founder of the religious pluralism organization Be Free Israel, says that while the “the idea that the land should rest” is a positive one, Shmita can have a negative effect on public parks. As public property, the parks cannot be sold to a non-Jew. And because they remain under Jewish ownership, some public community gardens don’t receive care during Shmita. What does this mean for Jews outside of Israel? Although they’re not obligated to observe Shmita, Jews outside of Israel have found ways of commemorating the year. At Hazon, a Jewish sustainability organization, the Shmita Project aims to engage in a study of the textual sources of Shmita and develop programs to mark the year without letting the land lie completely fallow. Another group, the Shmitta Association, has purchased a grid of 4-square-foot plots of land in Israel that Jews abroad can purchase for $180 and then let lie idle, enabling them to observe Shmita without being an Israeli or a farmer. What does this have to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Because they don’t want to buy from Jewish farmers during Shmita, some haredi Orthodox Jews buy from Palestinian West Bank farms. But during the past couple of Shmita cycles, there has been backlash against buying Palestinian-grown produce. Jerusalem Post columnist David Weinberg urged Israelis last week to avoid supporting Palestinian farms. “Primary reliance on Arab produce is neither realistic nor acceptable for health, nationalistic and religious reasons,” he wrote. During the Shmita year that began in 2007, Israel’s health and agriculture ministries said there was no elevated risk to eating produce grown in the Palestinian territories.
jewishnewsva.org | High Holidays | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 31
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32 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
by Hillel Kuttler
YONKERS, N.Y. (JTA)—If you’re going to Brent Delman’s home in this New York City suburb on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, don’t expect to see the typical meat menu. Delman and his physician wife, Patricia, plan to host a dairy lunch on the first day that features casseroles and quiches. The meal also will feature a cheese tasting with tropical fruits like guava, dates and figs. The sharpness of the cheeses and the sweetness of the fruits make a delicious combination, he says.
What do you expect from someone who dubs himself “The Cheese Guy”? Delman has plans, too, for the holiday’s most symbolic food. “When you drizzle honey over the cheese,” he says, “it’s just a beautiful combination.” Delman, 51, will use cheeses he ages in his cheese cellar three steps below ground level in his home in Yonkers, which borders the Bronx. He has 300 wheels and blocks of such varieties as havarti, provolone, cheddar, Swiss, gouda, Pecorino Romano and several variations of parmesan.
The cheeses he ages are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. Those he cures in such solutions as oil, beer and wine are not yet O.U.-certified. With the High Holidays approaching, Delman is preparing a line of Brie that he considers ideal for Yom Kippur break-thefasts, when eager eaters look for what to slather on their bagels. Brie is a departure from his standard offerings of hard cheeses. Rabbi Avraham Gordimer, the rabbinical coordinator for OU Kosher, a leading kashrut-certification organization, calls Delman a gastronomic trailblazer. “If not for him, these cheeses—most kosher gourmet cheeses—would not be available at all,” says Gordimer, who specializes in certifying dairy products. “The face of the kosher cheese market is changing because of him.” Delman does it all in a 500-square-foot, $50,000 refrigeration unit installed six years ago, when he decided to expand his wholesale food business. Many of the cheeses, including non-kosher varieties, are aged and cured in Delman’s warehouse in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., but he says he likes the
hands-on convenience of the home unit, for which he received a permit from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Delman says the cool, damp conditions downstairs, even before the refrigerator’s installation, evoked the environment of caves where some European cheeses have long been aged, such as the Roquefort variety in France. “I like involving myself in something I’m passionate about. I’m very passionate about food,” he says. Making cheese is “one way to be creative” and is tradition-based—much like Judaism. “I enjoy living and practicing the best of our traditions,” says the kippah-wearing Delman, a father of four, including a 19-year-old son serving in the Israeli army. “And since it’s in my home I’m able, six days a week, to go down and age the cheese —the French term is affinage, the process of aging cheese. I try to coax greatness out of each wheel of cheese.” Gordimer says U.S. kosher offerings before Delman were “run-of-the mill, standardized cheese,” primarily American and cheddar.
Most cheeses include rennet, an enzyme in animal stomachs that cannot be used in kosher products. The Orthodox Union has certified 84 of Delman’s offerings as kosher, including 15 aged in the Yonkers cellar, Gordimer says. Delman’s Pecorino Romano, made from sheep’s milk on the Italian island of Sardinia, might be the only one of its kind certified by the O.U., he adds. Most of Delman’s clients are New Yorkarea gourmet shops, supermarkets and kosher groceries. Many are not kosher observant or even Jewish. At one Long Island store, a woman told Delman that as a vegetarian, she and her Muslim husband buy his cheeses because of the certainty that they lack animal byproducts. Delman contracts with creameries, or dairy farms, in New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Ohio and California—and several in Italy—that prepare his cheeses under O.U. supervision despite not being kosher themselves. The cheese wheels and blocks reach Yonkers relatively soft, mild and creamy. The subterranean aging process of one to
two years breaks down their bacteria and molds, removes the moisture and develops the flavors and textures. Each aged wheel or block—some weigh 60 pounds—is taken to industrial facilities and sliced into smaller, retail-sized chunks, also under strict supervision. Neil Weiss, of nearby New Rochelle says that visiting Delman’s cellar was eyeand palate-opening. “I was impressed that you can age cheeses, in the right environment, in your house,” he says after nibbling on some Gouda, cheddar and Pecorino Romano. “I came away thinking that I could buy some really good, quality kosher cheeses.” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano didn’t have to buy last September when he received two Rosh Hashanah gifts from Delman—unusual given that he’s not Jewish—at his office. One was cheddar cheese shaped like a shofar. The other was a wheel of Pecorino Romano that Spano says tasted like the kind he enjoyed as a child. “I’ve got to see your cheese cellar,” he told Delman. Mr. Mayor, one piece of advice: Bring a coat; it’s mighty cold down there!
Teri and I wish you an easy fast and that you and your family may be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life. May 5775 be one of peace for you, your family, and Israel. Congressman& Mrs.
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34 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | High Holidays | Jewishnewsva.org
HAT and Strelitz preschool usher in the start of a new academic year by Dee Dee Becker
The kickoff of a new academic year for Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and the Strelitz Early Childhood Center preschool took place on Monday, Aug. 25. Filled with excitement and hope for the learning and growth that’s in store, students were welcomed back to school along with more than 30 new HAT and Strelitz families. Students, parents, faculty and administration shared hugs, exclamations and endless smiles, overshadowing any lament to the end of summer vacation. “Once again it’s a start of a new chapter,” says Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, head of school, “which will be marked by hard work and great fun, all aimed at ensuring that each student is challenged and progresses to the best of his or her abilities. We look forward to seeing what remarkable accomplishments they have waiting for us this year!” Rabbi Wecker adds a special “thanks to our entire HAT and Strelitz faculty for their detailed and thorough preparations, including participation in staff development workshops and also for their labor of love in organizing the classrooms. We also thank our parents for entrusting us with your children. Our partnership with you is what makes ‘our’ children flourish.” Hebrew Academy of Tidewater is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Ariella Jackson, Shayna Friedman and Maurice Treslow arrive on the first day of school.
Isaac Arnowitz and Kenna Werby learn to match and sort through puzzle play.
Nate and Ari Simon arrive in celebrity style. Yes, that’s Dad (Mike Simon) peering on at left and Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, head of school, greeting students on the right.
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 35
Ready to read to a Bear Cub? by Sherri Wisoff
he BE A Reader or “BEAR” program is a literacy project that needs more volunteers to read to young children in area public schools. BEAR operates during the 39-week school year, September through June. Children in grades 1–3, are helped to acquire the reading and literacy skills necessary to lead happy and productive lives. BEAR students, who might be reading below grade level, are referred by their teacher, principal or reading specialist to work one-on-one with BEAR mentors. Each volunteer is a member of a team led by a volunteer captain. Volunteers meet weekly for one hour with their assigned BEAR student, lovingly referred to as a BEAR cub. The BEAR Program is a wonderful way to reaffirm one’s commitment to ‘tikkun olam,’ repairing the world, one child at
a time. If interested in participating in this mitzvah opportunity, contact Sherri Wisoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-321-2304 for more information.
Lady Gaga in Israel Pop icon Lady Gaga gave a show-stopping performance in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on Saturday, Sept. 13 as part of her “artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball” world tour. Some 30,000 concertgoers were also wowed with
a surprise appearance by the legendary Tony Bennett, who performed a duet with Lady Gaga taken from their collaborative effort, Cheek to Cheek, released on Sept. 19.
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Tangier Island—a proud friend to Israel in the Chesapeake Bay by Betsy Karotkin
n July, Eddie and I set sail for two and one half weeks on the Chesapeake Bay, as we do each summer. I don’t know which of us looks forward to it more. Our days are spent navigating, watching for crab pots (a real hazard to boaters), for shoals, for changes in wind direction, plotting our course to the next port and continually checking our coordinates and charts. When winds are gentle and seas are calm, we even have time to do crossword puzzles together, for which we never tire. One of the marinas that seems to draw us back each year is the unique island of Tangier, situated in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, about 12 miles off the Eastern shore of Virginia. Get ready to step back in time. Access to the island is by boat or plane only. Believed to have been founded by Captain John Smith back in the early 1600s, the island was originally home to about seven or eight families from Cornwall, England. Graveyards dot the front yards of homes and street corners where the names of Parks, Crockett, Thomas, Eskridge and a few others are engraved on head stones everywhere. The people of Tangier are watermen, mostly crabbers, who eke out a living from the waters of the Chesapeake. The crabs they bring in during the hours when we are sleeping are already in the seafood markets of New York by midday. Sleeping on our boat, we can hear and see the crabbers as they leave for work in their fishing boats around 2:30 am each morning, returning sometime around noon. While the warm weather might make this lifestyle seem rather romantic, not so in the winter when they often return covered in ice. The islanders still speak with a trace of an Elizabethan accent and often it can be difficult to understand the watermen when they are talking among themselves. But they are a warm, friendly, proud people who love their island and their way of life. In the past two years, while bike riding around the island, Ed and I noticed an Israeli flag flying alongside the American flag over one of the homes. This year we decided to see who the owner was. Our
good friend, Milton Parks, the dock master of the island, told us it belongs to the Mayor of Tangier, Ooker Eskridge. That night, who should be sitting next to us at dinner, but Mayor Eskridge. We thanked him profusely for his support of Israel Mayor Ooker Eskridge. and he began to tell us his story. It seems that members of the Methodist Church on the Island had a difference of opinion on Israel. Ooker and all of the members who wanted to actively support Israel broke away from the church and founded The New Church, which is non-denominational. As we were heading out of the Tangier Harbor, another Israeli flag greeted us – it was flying once again with the American flag above Ooker’s crab shed. All of a sudden, a fishing boat appeared on the side of our boat—it was Ooker wishing us a safe return trip. On his boat is the Christian symbol of the fish alongside a Jewish star. When we returned to our home, I sent photos to our children, who immediately noticed that the Israeli flag was pretty weather beaten. The stars were aligned, for in a few weeks our good friends from Israel, Nili and Charlie Coral, would be coming to visit. I told them about Tangier and asked if they would bring two Israeli flags that we could present to Mayor Eskridge. With not enough time to sail to Tangier and back with our friends, we drove to Onancock and took the ferry to Tangier. It was an absolutely wonderful day. Before leaving the island, we presented the flags to Ooker. He had organized a group of his watermen friends to meet with us so that Charlie could tell them the story of how he came to Virginia Beach as the chief electrical engineer with Israel Aircraft Industries in 1985 for a joint venture with the American Navy and Air Force. The watermen were eager to know about Israel
Mayor Ooker Eskridge, Nili and Charlie Coral and Ed Karotkin.
and expressed their warm feelings and support. Only about 450 people are left on Tangier. The young people often go away to college and few return to take up the hard life of a waterman. To add to their concern over the future, the Flags flying at Mayor Ooker Eskridge’s home. island is losing land every year as the Chesapeake sized that the victims suffered more…from waters rise. With all that has occurred in the the indifference of the onlookers than from Mideast during this summer and the unjus- the brutality of the executioner…. It was tified condemnation of Israel by so many the silence of those he believed to be his around the world, it feels good to know friends…which broke his heart.” Go to Tangier, book passage on the that there are people who are not afraid to speak out on behalf of our beloved Israel, Onancock Ferry and travel back in time even though it caused a rift in their church. and thank Mayor Eskridge and his congrePerhaps they are the “Righteous Gentiles” gants for standing by us. It will be a trip worthwhile in every respect. of our time. I often think about what Eli Wiesel said in Legends of Our Time, “It must be empha-
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 37
it’s a wrap Congregation Beth El enjoys a Schmooze at the Shore
Mah Jongg at Beth Sholom Village goes retro
by Mark Kozak
ot dogs, hamburgers and sand. Cookout at the beach? Right. Minyan? Also right. Sunday, Aug. 17 marked Congregation Beth El’s third annual Schmooze on the Shore at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Some 75 members—from seniors to young families—enjoyed an afternoon of sunshine on the Chesapeake Playing one of the games. Bay, followed by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz’s grilling skills and ending with mincha/maariv services. Friends and families kibitzed on the beach, swam and played in the water and in the sand. There was even a game of football in the bay. During dinner, Sharon Wasserberg, director of Congregational Learning, organized games. “My family had a great time sharing shade under our umbrella with other Beth Elians at the beach,” says Erinn Portnoy. “Dalia happily dug in the sand. Amelia was excited to run a threelegged race with her Aba and then roll him in toilet paper! A perfect ending to the weekend.” Before heading up to the shelter to begin his chef duties, Rabbi Arnowitz took the ALS Ice Norma and Sammy Vergano. Bucket Challenge, assisted by his wife, Tami, and four children. The man of the (wet) cloth then quickly posted the video and asked congregants for donations to support the nationwide fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). After schmooze-goers had scarfed down many packages of kosher dogs, burgers, chips, salads and cookies, congregants gathered for an afternoon/evening service while facing east at the top of the beach. In the midst of the Hebrew prayers, other beach-goers entered and exited around the minyan as if nothing strange was going on. Sharon and Avi Debb. Rabbi Arnowitz sums up the day, saying “It was such a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect, laugh, play games and, of course, eat. The highlight for me was everyone praying the evening service together, on the bridge, as the sun went down.” Rabbi Arnowitz’s sentiments were echoed by another attendee, Sara Trub, who says “What a wonderful afternoon: beautiful weather and children, delightful company, and delicious food prepared by our own Chef Rabbi Jeff, concluding with a meaningful evening service by the bay. Definitely a don’t miss on our calendar next year!”
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by Marcia Brodie
he Annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg Tournament at Beth Sholom Village proved to be spectacular. After lunch for 120 guests, 91 women played several hours of competitive Mah Jongg. The money raised each year goes directly to Beth Sholom Village. This year’s theme was retro and many players Lynn Saunders welcomed guests. dressed to look the part. Decorations included old 45 records as napkin holders and old black and white photographs hanging from the ceiling. The meal started with a cold gazpacho soup. Main courses included a cold poached citrus salmon, a chicken salad with almonds and raisins and cold bow tie pasta, with sides of a green salad and Israeli couscous. The dessert was a Mah Jongg tile cake and orange chocolate brittle. Mimosas and Sangria were offered. After eating, the ladies filed into Pincus Paul Hall to begin the very competitive tournament. At the end of the long day, Lori Tabakin was the winner. Organizers and volunteers worked for Lori Tabakin, tournament winner. several months to plan this event. In fact, volunteers spent four consecutive days setting up the retro decorations and making certain everything was ready. Charlene Cohen and Ellen Mesh, co-chaired the event and worked with volunteers: Rachel Abraham, Babbi Bangel, Ilana Benson, Frances Birshtein, Gail Berger, Karen Gilbert, Karen Griffing, Jeri Jo Halprin, Joan Joffe, Wendy Konikoff, Marlene Rossen, Leslie Siegel, Shelly Slone and Linda Spindel. Beth Sholom greatly appreciates the Gordon family and their annual commitment to this event, which is always memorable, fun, competitive and most importantly, supports the efforts of Beth Stephanie Calliott won a fruit basket. Sholom Village. —Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
First Book Festival read is now available by Leslie Shroyer
ust arrived for The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Jewish Book Festival, The Late Starters Orchestra, by Ari L. Goldman, is a quick and inspirational read. It is now on sale at the Simon Family JCC. “Delightful is the best word to describe Ari L. Goldman’s book, The Late Starters Orchestra,” says Jewish Book Council reviewer Carol Poll. “Goldman has captured the humor, struggles, humiliations and triumphs of learning to play the cello for his 60th birthday party. The story will resonate with all of us who have decided to acquire a new skill such as speaking Spanish, playing an instrument, becoming a gourmet cook or engaging in significant Torah study at the tender age of 50, 60 or older.” Chosen as this year’s community read for the Book Festival, which is Nov. 2–16, Ari Goldman’s presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Simon Family JCC, will be followed by the author/musician performing with Alan Bartel and several other area musicians during a dessert reception. The Late Starters Orchestra is also the featured book at the JCC’s Book Club, which meets the third Monday each month at 1:30 pm. Harriett Eluto leads the club, and looks forward to discussing it with her group on Monday, Oct. 20. “It’s about coming back to an instrument or picking something back up that you used to do years ago while you still can,” she says. The book is sure to lead to lively discussions. “The book is about deciding to do something that means a lot to you before it is too late. It’s inspirational to those of us who share similar sentiments.” Eluto encourages new members to join the club. The annual Jewish Book Festival’s keynote speaker is Joseph Telushkin. No
stranger to this community, this popular rabbi, scholar and author of 18 books, presents his latest work about the life and teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, who defied conventional boundaries and turned ChabadLubavitch into a dynamic and widespread Jewish organization. Look for the complete listing of author presentations in the Monday, Oct. 20 issue of Jewish News, or visit www.simonfamilyjcc.org’s cultural arts page. Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 39
what’s happening Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s 7th Annual Lecture Series: “American With a Jewish Accent,” Sundays, 2 pm Nov. 4, Jarrod Tanny Dec. 7, Dr. Maura Hametz Jan. 11, Peter Adams March 1, Dr. Adam Mendelsohn
he Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s 7th Annual Lecture series begins on Sunday, Nov. 4 with Jarrod Tanny, professor of Jewish History at University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He will discuss Jewish humor “From the Borscht Belt to the Bible Belt.” Dr. Maura Hametz, professor of history at Old Dominion University, will speak about Jewish perspectives on racial issues as depicted from archival letters she has researched on Sunday, Dec. 7. She will focus on Southern vs. Northern views, as well as new immigrant vs. more established immigrants gleaned from letters of two Harvard University students around 1920. The letters were written by Samuel Spitzer, Minette Cooper’s uncle.
Sundays Peter Adams, an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University who has recently published a book, Politics and the Making of American Judaism, will speak about Americanizing the Diaspora on Sunday, Jan. 11. The final speaker on Sunday, March 1, is University of Charleston’s Dr. Adam Mendelsohn. His topic is the Jewish immigrant roles in the development of the garment industry in the United States. His new book, The Rag Race, will be published in December. The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is located at 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth. For information, call 757-391-9266 or visit www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org.
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How to raise children in a religion that is not your own The Mothers Circle comes to Tidewater Classes begin: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 9 am
here may be as many as 200,000 non-Jewish mothers across the nation who are raising their children Jewish due to skyrocketing Jewish intermarriage. Since 2002, Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute has sponsored a program called The Mothers Circle to provide these women with free education and support in raising a family in an unfamiliar faith. The program, which began in Atlanta and launched nationally in 2005, has expanded to nearly 100 communities, and next month, the program lands in Tidewater. “Attitudes in the Jewish community toward intermarriage have shifted dramatically in a very short period of time,” says Alyssa Muhlendorf, MA, MSW, who chose to convert to Judaism, and will facilitate the program. “My first experience in a temple was with my now-husband during a Rosh Hashanah service 10 years ago. The rabbi’s sermon was on intermarriage. Around the same time, I had friends turned away by rabbis who wouldn’t marry them because they were of different faiths. Yet today in Tidewater, rabbis of several denominations are actively welcoming and reaching out to interfaith couples and families. The more non-Jewish spouses feel engaged and educated, the more likely they are to feel comfortable with Jewish culture and religion and make informed choices with their Jewish partner.” A broad coalition of Jewish organizations banded together to bring The Mothers Circle to Tidewater, including Ohef Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, the Simon
Family Jewish Community Center, Strelitz Early Childhood Center, and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. “Our hope is that all of these organizations working together give this clear message to non-Jewish wives and mothers: as a community we welcome you and we will provide you tools to understand Judaism if you would like to learn,” says Scott Katz, director of the Simon Family JCC. The program has a number of components. “Mothers Circle: The Course” is an eight-month, bi-weekly educational course. Tuition is free and no prior Jewish knowledge is required. The Mothers Circle creates comfortable spaces for women to learn about Judaism, explore Jewish holidays and rituals, discover how to enrich their families’ Jewish experience and deepen their connection to the religion of their husbands and children—and to do so with peers so they’re not all alone. Family events are offered throughout the year, and a rabbi is on call to answer questions one-on-one. The JCC will offer free babysitting during The Mother’s Circle classes, which will take place at the Simon Family JCC and continues through May 2015. The Mothers Circle also offers a national email discussion listserve. This supportive, online community of peers shares experiences, thoughts and questions. Women can sign up at www.TheMothersCircle.org. Contact Linda Peck, director of Congregational Life for Ohef Sholom Temple, at 757-625-4295 or email@example.com for more information or to register for the program.
An exclusive look inside ZIM USA ZIM: Connecting Israel, Tidewater and the World Wednesday, Oct. 8, 11:30 am–2 pm
he Business and Legal Society of the United Jewish Federation of presents a lunch, discussion and tour of ZIM USA, the North American headquarters of one of the world’s largest cargo shipping companies, the Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. This exclusive event features a conversation with Lea Bogatch-Genossar,
40 | Jewish News | September 22, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
president of ZIM USA. Free for area Jewish business and legal professionals. RSVP to Lea Bogatch-Genossar. firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 757-965-6136. NOTE: space is extremely limited. RSVP is mandatory.
what’s happening YAD creates business networking opportunities YAD Talks: Monday, Sept. 29, 6 pm
wo new initiatives to enrich education and business networking for Jewish young professionals are being planned by the Young Adult Division of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Jacob Mart, YAD Business Networking co-chair, says, “We are very excited to announce two separate events called YAD Talks and Lunchtime Business Connection: Party of Four.” YAD Talks will be like TED Talks with business-oriented topics delivered by distinguished community leaders. The first YAD Talks speakers are Jordan Slone, CEO and president of Harbor Group International and Dana Rosen, a Federal judge. This event takes palce at Vintage Kitchen. “The goal of YAD Talks is to connect, grow and motivate,” says Mart. When asked what caused YAD to plan these types of events, Mart says, “Currently, YAD doesn’t have any events specifically geared toward professional development. We recognized an appetite for business-related events and wanted to create some that allow members
to get to know each other professionally, provide professional growth and motivate them to accomplish their goals. By adding a new genre of events, we hope to cast a wider net and another opportunity for members to engage each other.” For the second business networking initiative, Lunchtime Business Connection: Party of Four, young Jewish professionals will meet monthly in groups of four. Participants in each networking lunch will be from different industries and backgrounds. Shikma Rubin, YAD Business Networking co-chair, says, “We want to give YAD a business networking component and help young adults build their careers. That’s why we’re creating opportunities for mentorship and career development.” YAD members may register for the lunch via the website jewishva.org. Choices on the sign up list will include lunch in Virginia Beach or Norfolk. These events are open to all young Jewish professionals in Tidewater. For more information, contact Benyamin Yaffe at email@example.com.
YAD Sukkah Hop Saturday, Oct. 11, 7pm
elebrate Sukkot at the Young Adult Division’s 2nd Annual Sukkah Hop with a night of fun, food, drinks and a celebration of the holiday. YAD’s Sukkah Hop is a progressive dinner held at the homes of several YADians who live within walking distance of each other in Virginia Beach’s Middle Plantation. Tickets are $12 and include drinks,
appetizers, entrée and dessert under the stars in a sukkah. Open to all young Jewish adults ages 22-45 living in Tidewater. Make reservations at JewishVA.org/ YAD-Sukkah-Hop 2014 or on the YAD Facebook page at FB.com/yad.ujft. For more information, contact Benyamin Yaffe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YAD Girls Night Out Paint Party Wednesday, Oct. 22, 6–8 pm, Whole Foods
pen to all young Jewish women (ages 22 through 45), the cost for this YAD event is $20 and includes an original painting, wine and cheese tastings. Spots will fill up fast, so register soon at jewishVA.org/YAD-Girls-Night-Out-Oct. For more information, contact Benyamin Yaffe at email@example.com.
B’nai Israel’s Scholar In Residence: Allison Josephs November 7–9 Allison Josephs of jewinthcity.com will visit Tidewater as B’nai Israel’s Scholar In Residence. Her visit is made possible by a grant from the Temple/Synagogue Allison Josephs Initiative of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Founder and director of JITC, Josephs has been involved in the field of Jewish Outreach for more than a dozen years, teaching and lecturing, working at Partners in Torah, Sinai Retreats, and NCSY, and is the Partner in Torah mentor to actress Mayim Bialik. Josephs was named one of NJOP’s Top Ten Jewish Influencers in 2012 and was one of the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 in 2013. Josephs has been quoted or written about in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post and Yahoo News. Josephs will speak at the Synagogue on Friday night, at the Simon Family JCC on Saturday night and at a women’s brunch on Sunday at B’nai Israel. All events are open to the general community. For more information, contact the B’nai Israel office at 757-627-7358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 41
YAD Hands On Tidewater—Volunteer at the Foodbank Thursday, Oct. 2, 5:30 pm
oung Jewish adults in Tidewater will perform a mitzvah by volunteering at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. There, volunteers will sort and pack non-perishable food items for Mobile Pantry and emergency food relief. They will also prepare youth-friendly food bags for the Foodbank’s Backpack program, which is focused on kid-friendly food dis-
tributed every other week to elementary school children so they have access to nutritious food over the weekend. The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is located at 800 Tidewater Dr. in Norfolk. To register for this event, go to the YAD Facebook page, FB.com/yad.ujft find Hands on Tidewater Foodbank Volunteer Night and follow the directions.
The Empress and the Nightingale presented by the Virginia Opera Sunday, Oct. 19, 2:30 pm
he Simon Family JCC presents a Virginia Opera production of The Empress and the Nightingale for families and children. This adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic children’s story of a small bird sharing her gift of song has a cast of three who perform original music. The opera vividly teaches the value
of music performed live and how humans cannot control nature. Recommended for children in grades K-5. Adults (ages 11 and up) $8 ($6 JCC member); children (ages 10 and under) $6 ($4 JCC member); family (2 adults and children) $27 ($22 JCC member). Call 321‑2338 for tickets.
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September 29, Monday First class of Israeli Dancing at the JCC. 7:30pm. $5. ($3 for JCC members.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or register at the JCC front desk. OCTOBER 5, SUNDAY Brith Sholom meeting will be held at Beth Sholom Village. Board meeting at 10 am, General meeting at 11 am, Brunch at 12 noon. October 7, Tuesday ODU Literary Festival features award-winning artist, Sarah Lightman. 4–5 pm. Her lecture is part of an annual week-long celebration of literature featuring more than 20 artists and writers. Lightman’s artwork will be on display at ODU’s Gordon Gallery through October. Contact Farideh Goldin, director, Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding (IJIU), at email@example.com or at 757-683‑6816. OCTOBER 12, SUNDAY Sukkot celebration with Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, 2–5 pm, backyard at 4661 Priscilla Lane, Virginia Beach. Come shake a lulav and etrog and have a nosh! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 26, SUNDAY Brith Sholom’s Post Holiday Dinner at Beth Sholom Village. Dinner will include matzo ball soup, roasted chicken with bone, brisket, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, potato kugel, raisin challah, sugar-free peach and apple pies and drinks. Entertainment will be a repeat performance of “Fond Memories.” 5:30 pm. $10 for members; $20 for guests. Reservations and payment must be received by Oct. 2. Call Gail at 461-1150 to RSVP. October 28, Tuesday First year Melton class begins at the JCC. This dynamic, year-long class meets 10 am–12:30 pm. For more information, call 757‑321-2328 or email mbrunnruberg@simonfamily jcc.org. November 2, Sunday Lecture series at Jewish Museum and Cultural Center begins. “American—With a Jewish Accent” is the subject for the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s 2014–2015 Sunday afternoon lecture series. The first lecturer, Jarrod Tanney, associate professor and Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History at University of North Carolina Wilmington, will discuss the “Borscht Belt to B’nai Mississippi.” 391-9266 or www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org. See page 40.
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First PJ Library event of the New Year. The Simon Family JCC will host a Fall Holiday Sampler where children can try a miniature Rosh Hashanah Sedar, taste Tashlich Sorry Crumbs and make Sukkah decorations. Children will also get a Simchat Torah treat. 10 – 11:30 am. 757-321-2338.
October 19, Sunday The Empress and the Nightingale, presented by the Virginia Opera at the Simon Family JCC. 2:30 pm. Call 757‑321-2338 for tickets.
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September 28, Sunday Brith Sholom dinner at Beth Sholom Home. Entertainment provided by the Daybreak Singers. 5:30 pm. $10 for members; $20 for guests. RSVP to Gail, 461-1150.
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.
Mazel Tov to Achievement Julia Laibstain, who was named JNF Campus Fellow at Indiana University. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) Campus Fellowship program creates a cadre of paid campus leaders across the United States who will represent JNF to the entire campus community. As a JNF representative, Julia will promote a positive view of Israel as a young, desert nation that is a global leader in renewable energy, agricultural innovation and medical breakthroughs that improve quality of life all over the world and make the world a better place. As a Fellow, she will plan Israel programs and be a conduit between the campus community and the JNF Israel Advocacy and Education department. Julia will represent JNF on Indiana University’s campus and at Israel events on campus. She will be responsible for plan-
ning and executing one Positively Israel program, a Tu B’Shevat Across Campus program and recruit a team at IU to participate in JNF’s Alternative Spring Break in Israel. Julia is a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in non-profit management with a certificate in Jewish Studies. She will participate in JNF Campus Fellowship training at JNF’s National Conference in Los Angeles this month. She is the daughter of Jodi and David Laibstain. Eric Mazur, the Gloria & David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies, for being named the Religion, Law, & Politics Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College. Mazur, who also has edited a number of volumes on religion and American popular culture, has spent a lifetime working, conducting research and writing in this field, including service as a page in the Virginia House of Delegates, work on Virginia state and congressional campaigns and lobbying
for the American Jewish Committee and Americans for Democratic Action. His published work includes The Americanization of Religious Minorities (1999) and Religion on Trial (2004, with Philip Hammond and David Machacek). He is currently working on an analysis of the religious views of 19th century Supreme Court Justices. Birth Ilana and Nathan Benson on the birth of their grandson, Blake Dylan Nadler (Yisroel Baruch), born August 6. Parents are Carla and David Nadler and his big brother is Tyler Mason. They reside in Bethesda, Md. Paternal grandparents are Cheryl and Steven Nadler of Philadelphia, Pa. Engagement Allie Dolsey on her engagement to Mark Barney, son of Kevin and Karen Barney of Virginia Beach. Allie is the daughter of Ronni Marcus of Virginia Beach and Robert Dolsey of Virginia Beach. Allie is a
graduate of George Mason University. Mark is a graduate of Old Dominion University. Mark and Allie are both managers at Enterprise. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
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jewishnewsva.org | September 22, 2014 | Jewish News | 43
obituaries Beatrice Klein Richmond, Va.—Beatrice Klein, 94, of Richmond, beloved mother, grandmother and artist, died Sept. 10, 2014, of old age. Bea was born to the late Samuel A. and Jennie Oppleman Temko, Feb. 7, 1920 in Lynchburg, Va. She married Dr. Arthur Klein in 1943, in Richmond and they lived happily together in the Richmond’s West End until his death in 1998. They were lifelong members of Congregation Beth Ahabah. Bea began drawing and painting during her childhood in Rocky Mount, N.C. and pursued this lifelong passion until just a few years prior to her death. As a young woman, she attended Maryland Institute of Art (now MICA) and the Art Students League in New York, where she studied under Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Bea taught painting and drawing to others, but never stopped being a student herself, seeking always to develop her skills with classes at the Hans Hofmann School in Provincetown, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Museum School. She was a founding member of the Richmond Artists Association. She exhibited widely in juried and solo shows and her works were acquired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, area corporations and individual collectors. Her forte was portraits and she was commissioned to paint many community leaders, private individuals and their families. She was also an enthusiastic world traveler, Bridge player, birder and walker. Bea is survived by her children, Jane Klein Goldman (Ronald Dyer) and Richard Klein (Ronnie Klein); her grandchildren, Anna Goldman (Samuel Gershman),
Michael Klein (Victoria Cespedes), Kathryn Klein (Yoav Hagler) and Douglas Klein (Kristin Slayback); her four great-grandchildren, Alexander and Javier Klein, and Alice and Eloise Hagler; and her brother and sister-in-law, Philip and Judy Temko. Burial was private. A gathering of friends and a memorial service took place in the Fellowship Hall of the Hermitage at Cedarfield. Memorial contributions to the Congregation Beth Ahabah Museum and Archive, the ALS Association (DC/MD/VA Chapter), or a charity of one’s choice. Edna Mesh Tamarac, Fla.—Edna Mesh, age 92, passed peacefully on Sept. 10, 2014. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the fourth daughter of Jacob and Bessie Miller. Married in 1940 to Norman Mesh, they celebrated 50 years of love and hard work. They retired to Florida in 1977, and had many years of joyous life with their family and friends. Their children Bryan and Ellen Mesh of Virginia Beach; Leslie and Sandi Mesh of Plano, Texas; and Lori and Dennis Golden of Delray Beach, Fla gave her seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She will be missed by everyone. A funeral service took place at Star of David in North Lauderdale, Fla. Donations to ORT America. Edice Schloss Norfolk—Edice Aron Schloss, 78, passed away at the Beth Sholom Home, Sept. 15, 2014. A native of Portsmouth, she was the daughter of the late Max and Hannah
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Aron and the widow of Max Schloss. She was predeceased by her brothers Fred and Sidney Aron and her sister and brotherin-law, Shirley and Louis Mirman. Edice was retired from Sears, working in their credit department for many years. She was a member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. Mrs. Schloss is survived by her children, Linda Kastriner (David) of New York and Lynn M. Thornton of Los Angeles, Calif.; grandchildren Jared Kastriner, Chelsie Ybarra, Shea Kastriner and Maxine Kastriner ; her nieces Ina Mirman Leiderman (Marty), Fay Mirman, Laurie Sloan ( Jordan), Connie Myers (Bruce), Andrea (Jeff) Aron Taylor, Helen (Yehuda) Schloss-Griffin, Laura Schloss , Caroline Schloss, Lauren Schloss, and nephews, Marc Mirman, Marcus (Lisa) Aron, Eric Schloss and Brad Schloss. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Freida Aron and Natalie Aron; brothers-in-law Bern Schloss and Ben (Sharon) Schloss as well as many cousins and great nieces and nephews who will remember her with love. The family thanks Dorothy Salomonsky and Gail Walton with Jewish Family Service, Beth Sholom Village (especially the Blue Unit) and Juliet who took such good care of her in the last year. Funeral services were held at the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, officiated by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Rabbi Emeritus Arthur Ruberg, Cantor Gordon Piltch and Cantor Elihu Flax. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations to Congregation Beth El, Jewish Family Service, Beth Sholom Village, or a charity of choice. Online condolences at hdoliver.com. Suzanne Mollie Zedd Virginia Beach—Suzanne Mollie Zedd, known to friends and family as Susie, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 5, 2014, while tending her yard in Norfolk, Va. Born on Sept. 15, 1950, Suzanne was the daughter of Sarah B. Zedd and the late Stanley Zedd, of Norfolk. A lifetime resident of Norfolk, Suzanne recently retired after 32 years of civilian service to the United States Navy. Suzanne is survived by her mother, Mrs. Sarah B. Zedd of Norfolk; her brother, Sol
B. Zedd of Chesapeake; daughter Rosanne and husband Michael Stupar of Yorktown; and granddaughters Aliyah Gabrielle and Sadie Victoria Stupar of Yorktown. A graveside service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery by Rabbi David Proser. In keeping with Susie’s love for pets and her granddaughters, the family requests donations to the S.P.C.A. or the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula (UJCVP). H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts.
Rashi Fein, a ‘father of Medicare’
ashi Fein, a Harvard professor known for his contributions to medicine and social policy, has died. Fein, a professor emeritus of economics of medicine at Harvard Medical School, was the brother of Jewish activist and writer Leonard Fein, who died nearly a month ago. He was instrumental in the development of U.S. health policy, beginning with the Truman administration. Fein served as a senior staff member of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors and is considered by many as one of the “fathers of Medicare,” according to the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action. Fein served on the Advisory Committee of the alliance. “A love of his Yiddish heritage, a passion for social justice, and a strong Zionist, he was always available to consider, discuss, and critique policies undertaken both by the U.S. and Israeli governments,” the alliance said in a statement. Fein also served as a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s economics program and as chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program from 1994 to 2002. He was honored by national and local organizations for his contributions to medicine and social policy. (JTA)
At private funeral for Joan Rivers, celebrities inside and fans outside N.Y. temple Howard Stern offered a eulogy and Hugh Jackman provided a musical interlude at the celebrity-studded funeral for comedian Joan Rivers. Hundreds of mourners attended the pri-
obituaries vate service on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. The temple’s rabbi, Joshua Davidson, offered the opening prayer at the funeral, which was closed to the media. Fans and paparazzi also gathered outside the synagogue to pay their respects. Television host Charlie Rose called the funeral “moving, funny, loving,” and said Rivers “would have liked it,” The New York Times reported. Rose was among the television personalities, journalists and entertainment stars who came to remember Rivers, 81, the trailblazing comic who died a week after being rushed to Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital after her heart stopped during throat surgery at a clinic. Doctors at the hospital put her in an induced coma. Her daughter, Melissa, with whom the late comic appeared on a reality television show, also spoke at the funeral. The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus performed show
tunes and Broadway actress Audra McDonald sang Smile, according to the Times. In a statement on the Joan Rivers website, Melissa Rivers wrote, “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.” In her 2012 book, I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me, Rivers described her funeral. “When I die (and, yes, Melissa, that day will come; and, yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action…I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way,” she wrote, adding, “I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents…I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.” (JTA)
Andrew Madoff, son of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff Andrew Madoff, the younger son of jailed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, died of cancer in New York. Madoff died Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan of mantle cell lymphoma, according to his lawyer. He was 48. Both of Bernie Madoff’s sons have died since he was jailed in 2009 for an investment fraud scheme estimated at $16 billion. Mark Madoff committed suicide in 2010 at the age of 46. The sons said they were kept in the dark about their father’s fraud, which caught in its net numerous Jewish institutions, nonprofit organizations and investors. First arrested in December 2008, Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to the massive fraud the following March and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. (JTA)
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Jewish ‘Fifth Beatle’ figures prominently in new book about band’s first U.S. tour by Tom Tugend
LOS ANGELES (JTA)—It was 6 am on Aug. 19, 1964 when the phone rang in the Los Angeles apartment of Ivor Davis, the young West Coast correspondent for
London’s Daily Express, circulation 4 million. On the other end was the paper’s foreign editor, who told Davis to drive to the airport and catch the 11 am flight to San Francisco. His assignment was to cover that evening’s
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gig at the Cow Palace by a hot British pop group called The Beatles. For Davis and the band, it would be the start of a hysterical 34-day, 24-city tour across the United States and Canada. “I had unfettered access to the boys— I lived and ate with them, played cards and Monopoly until the early hours of the morning,” Davis recalls. “I was there when they popped pills, talked candidly about their passions…and how they coped with the revolving door of women that was the inevitable result of their perch as global sex symbols.” It has taken 50 years, but Davis, 76, otherwise a quick and prolific journalist and author, has finally put together the highs and lows of the memorable tour in a lively new book, The Beatles and Me. In it, he writes of the pressure, adulation, booze, drugs and girls in the lives of the group. Davis, who was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in East London, devotes considerable space to the influence of the “Fifth Beatle,” Brian Samuel Epstein, manager of the Fab Four and a frequent target of the stereotypical Jewish cracks of that time and environment by some of “the boys.” Asked why he delayed writing the book for such a long time, Davis says, “I never expected their fame and legacy would last this long.” Neither did the Beatles themselves. In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Ringo Starr said that John Lennon expected the group’s style and music to endure for about four years, that Paul McCartney planned on a writing career and George Harrison wanted to open a garage. Ringo’s ambition: to run a hair salon. Davis attributes the instant success and enduring mythology of the Beatles in part to timing. “For one, the Beatles came and lifted American spirits depressed by the assassination of President Kennedy,” he says. “For another, Lennon and McCartney proved to be really talented composers. “It seems unlikely that Beyonce or Justin Bieber will be remembered this way 50 years from now.” Epstein was born in Liverpool on Yom Kippur into a well-to-do merchant family.
Without any managerial experience, he more or less appointed himself as manager of the largely unknown band after hearing it play at a local cellar club. The Beatles took on Epstein partially in the conviction that “Jews are good with money,” as McCartney reportedly put it. Despite his lack of managerial acumen, Epstein, or “Eppy,” successfully transformed the stage presence of his charges. The rough working-class lads wearing black leather and performing in the basement of a converted warehouse became nice middle-class chaps clad in neat, dark business suits. “Epstein changed the boys into cleancut lads whom he could take home and introduce to his Yiddishe mamma,” Davis explains in an interview. “If he were to try the same with the Rolling Stones, they would have burned down the house.” Under the outward appearance of a perfectly groomed, well-spoken and somewhat aloof Englishman, Epstein wrestled with the burden of being closeted as a Jew and gay at a time when engaging in a homosexual act was considered a criminal offense in Britain. Of course, the boys knew all about the skeletons in Epstein’s closet, as illustrated by an exchange during a late-night drink. Epstein mentioned that he had just finished his (ghost-written) autobiography. Lennon, who enjoyed getting under Epstein’s skin, asked for the book’s title. A Cellarful of Noise, Epstein replied. “How about A Cellarful of Boys,” Lennon countered. Getting into the spirit, Epstein offered A Cellarful of Goys, though he wasn’t sure the Beatles knew the meaning of the term. “No, no,” said Lennon, “I’ve got the perfect title—Queer Jew.” When Lennon was recording Baby, You’re A Rich Man, he occasionally switched the lyrics to “Baby, You’re A Rich Jew,” to the anguish of the group’s producer. At his
most provocative, Lennon often addressed Epstein to his face as a “rich fag Jew.” Despite such provocations, Davis does not believe that Lennon was an outright anti-Semite. “John was extraordinarily bright and had a nasty, warped sense of humor,” Davis says. “He knew how to get a rise out of people.” Epstein rarely talked to the press and had hardly exchanged a word with Davis during the first four weeks of the national tour. So when the group arrived in New Orleans and checked into a hotel before the performance, Davis was startled when he was summoned to Epstein’s suite. “It’s Yom Kippur tomorrow,” Epstein informed Davis. “I wonder if you know anyone who could arrange for me to pop in at the local synagogue,” adding quickly, “I won’t be able to stay all day, of course.” Davis called the synagogue, and without mentioning Epstein’s name or who he was scored two free tickets. The noble offer was in vain, since in the end neither Epstein nor Davis showed up for the services. The Beatles popularity would outlive Epstein; he died in 1967 at 32. The coroner listed the death as accidental and probably caused by prolonged overuse of the sedative carbitrol. The Beatles and Me cites a few other Jewish aspects of the 1964 tour: • When the band performed in Montreal, a caller to the hotel threatened to “kill the Jew Ringo”—which he wasn’t, although his father-in-law was. • At a news conference, a reporter asked the Beatles if they thought Jews played too influential a role in show business. Sensing an obvious provocation, the foursome skipped on to the next question. • McCartney had an affinity for Jewish wives. His second spouse, Linda Eastman, was Jewish; she died in 1998. His current wife, Nancy Shevell, also is Jewish. Throughout his far-ranging writing career, Davis, in collaboration with his late wife Sally Ogle Davis, has reported on Hollywood stars, headline trials, natural disasters and politics for the Times of London, Daily Express, New York Times Syndicate and American magazines. Living out his golden years in the California beachfront community of Ventura, Davis is now working on two new books—one about movies, the other a true crime story.
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