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Friday, January 15, 2021 2 Shevat, 5781 Vol. 22 | No. 1 | ©2021 $1.00 | majewishledger.com

The PEOPLE’S House


We join together in saying we will not tolerate domestic abuse in the Jewish community. Rabbi Susan Abramson Temple Shalom Emeth, Burlington Rabbi Laura Abrasley Temple Shalom, Newton Rabbi Katy Allen Ma’yan Tikvah, Wayland Rabbi Thomas Alpert Temple Etz Chaim, Franklin Rabbinic Chaplain Matia Angelou Makom Hazon, Wayland Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld Hebrew College, Newton Rabbi Marc Baker Combined Jewish Philanthropies Cantor Elise Barber Temple Beth El, Springfield Rabbi Dr. Terry R. Bard Harvard Medical School Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Shalom, Chelmsford Rabbi Yisroel Baron Tobin Bridge Chabad, Chelsea & Everett Rabbi Jordana Schuster Battis Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland Rabbi Laura Bellows Prozdor & Teen Learning at Hebrew College Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum West Roxbury Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline Rabbi Jethro Berkman

Cantor Vera Broekhuysen Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill Rabbi Caryn Broitman Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, Vineyard Haven Rabbi Danny Burkeman Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland Rabbi Kenneth Carr Rabbi Noah Cheses Young Israel of Sharon Rabbi Micah Citrin Temple Beth David, Westwood Rabbi Sharon Clevenger The Rashi School Rabbi Howard A. Cohen Congregation Shirat Hayam, Marshfield Rabbi David Cohen-Henriquez Temple Sinai, Marblehead Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener Temple Israel, Greenfield Rabbi David Ehrenkranz

Rabbi Leonard Gordon B’nai Tikvah, Canton Rabbi Andrea M. Gouze Temple Beth Emunah, Easton Rabbi Jen Gubitz Temple Israel of Boston Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz Congregation B’nai Shalom, Westborough Rabbi Eric S. Gurvis Sha’arei Shalom of Ashland Rabbi David Hellman Young Israel of Brookline Rabbi Greg Hersh Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield Rabbi Amy Hertz

Rabbi Ben Lanckton Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Rabbi Van Lanckton Newton Student Rabbi Talia Laster Hebrew College Rabbi Allan Lehmann Hebrew College Rabbi Elie Lehmann

Rabbi Darby J. Leigh Kerem Shalom, Concord Rabbi David Lerner Temple Emunah, Lexington Student Rabbi Ryan Leszner Hebrew College, Newton Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch Rabbi Daniel Liben Temple Anshe Amunim, Pittsfield Temple Israel of Natick Rabbi Neil Hirsch Rabbi Elias Lieberman Reform Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Falmouth Jewish Congregation, Great Barrington East Falmouth Student Rabbi Neil Hirsch Rabbi Yossi Lipsker Hebrew College Rabbinical School Chabad of the North Shore, Swampscott Rabbi Judi Ehrlich Rabbi Janie Hodgetts Hebrew SeniorLife, NewBridge, Dedham Rabbi Jessica Lowenthal Chaplain, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Temple Beth Shalom, Melrose Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz Boston Congregation Agudat Achim, Leominster Cantor Emeritus Bruce Malin Rabbi Sandi Intraub Cape Cod Synagogue, Hyannis Rabbi Joe Eiduson Beth El Temple Center, Belmont Congregation B’nai Shalom, Westborough Rabba Claudia Marbach Rabbi/Cantor Idan Irelander Teen Beit Midrash of Hebrew College, Rabbi Lisa Eiduson Newton Rabbi Suzie Jacobson Congregation B’nai Torah, Sudbury Temple Israel, Boston Rabbi Todd Markley Rabbi Mark Elber Temple Beth Shalom, Needham Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe Temple Beth El, Fall River Temple Isaiah, Lexington Rabbi Jeremy Master Rabbi Michelle Fisher Sinai Temple, Springfield Rabbi Daniel Berman Rabbi Randy Kafka MIT Hillel, Cambridge Temple Kol Tikvah, Sharon Temple Reyim, Newton Alex Matthews, Spiritual Rabbi Mendel Fogelman Rabbi Aryeh Klapper Leader Central Mass Chabad, Worcester Rabbi Allison Berry Center for Modern Torah Leadership, Sharon Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport Temple Shalom, Newton Rabbi Jeff Foust Spiritual Life Center, Bentley University, Waltham Rabbi Daniel Klein Cantor Michael McCloskey Rabbi Moshe Bleich Hebrew College, Newton Temple Emeth, Brookline Wellesley Weston Chabad, Wellesley Rabbi Yisroel Freeman Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox Chabad Jewish Center of Sudbury Rabbi Rim Meirowitz Rav Sam Blumberg Chapel Havurah, Newton Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester Temple Beth Am, Framingham Rabbi Lev Friedman Grand Rabbi Y. A. Korff Azamra Shabbat Minyan; Mishkan Tefila, Rabbi Joseph Meszler Rabbi Dena Bodian Chaplain of the City of Boston / Brookline Temple Sinai, Sharon Wellesley College, Wellesley Zvhil-Mezbuz Beis Medrash Boston Rabbi David J. Meyer Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney-Cohen Rabbi Shoshana Meira Rabbi Jamie Kotler Friedman Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline Brookline Boston Rabbi Mimi Micner Rabbi Joshua Breindel Rabbi Claudia Kreiman Rabbi Carol Glass Temple Beth Torah, Hollistron Congregation Beth El, Sudbury Temple Beth Zion (TBZ), Brookline Newton Rabbi Jim Morgan Rabbi Julie Bressler Rabbi Suri Krieger Rabbi Neal Gold Hebrew SeniorLife, Brookline Temple Beth Shalom, Needham B’nai Or Jewish Renewal of Boston Massachusetts Board of Rabbis


Rabbi Sarah Noyovitz Merrimack, NH Rabbi Allison Peiser Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead Rabbi Barbara Penzner Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, West Roxbury Rabbi Carl M. Perkins Temple Aliyah, Needham Rabbi Leora Kling Perkins Temple Emunah, Lexington Rabbi Jay Perlman Temple Beth Shalom, Needham Rabbi Richard Perlman Temple Ner Tamid (USCJ), Peabody Rabbi Marcia Plumb Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Brookline Rabbi Louis Polisson Congregation Or Atid, Wayland Rabbi Mordechai Rackover Temple Israel of Sharon Rabbi Michael Ragozin Congregation Shirat Hayam, Swampscott Cantor Ken Richmond Temple Israel of Natick Cantor Jeri Robins Beth El Temple Center, Belmont Rabbi Dan Rodkin Shaloh House, Brighton Rabbi Michael Rothbaum Congregation Beth Elohim, Acton Rabbi Richard Rudnick Jewish Health Care Center, Worcester Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton Centre Rabbi Rachel Saphire Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley Cantor Hollis Schachner Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland Rabbi Daniel Schaefer Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman Chabad of Peabody Jewish Center Rabbi Gershon Segal Congregation Beth El Atereth Israel, Newton Centre Cantor Leah Shafritz Temple Shalom of Newton

Rabbi Philip Sherman Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley Rabbi Rachel Silverman Temple Israel, Sharon Rabbi Becky Silverstein Jamaica Plain Cantor Sarra Spierer Congregation Beth Elohim, Acton Rabbi Toba Spitzer Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, West Newton Rabbi Keith Stern Temple Beth Avodah, Newton Rabbi Liza Stern Congregation Eitz Chaym, Cambridge Student Rabbi Ashira (Jen) Stevens Hebrew College, Newton Cantor Alicia Stillman Temple Israel of Boston Rabbi Jason Strauss Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe, Brighton Rabbi Michael Swarttz Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Westborough Rabbi Leslie Tannenwald Jewish Life Services, Newton/Needham Rabbi Sarah Tasman The Tasman Center for Jewish Creativity Cantor Louise Treitman Temple Beth David, Westwood Rabbi Andrew Vogel Temple Sinai, Brookline Rabbi Ora Weiss

Rabbi Alex Weissman Congregation Agudas Achim, Attleboro Rabbi David G. Winship Temple Beth David of the South Shore, Canton Cantor David Wolff Temple Beth Am, Framingham Rabbi Julie Wolkoff Rabbi Elaine Zecher Temple Israel of Boston Cantor Shanna Zell Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley Rabbi Henry A. Zoob Temple Beth David, Westwood Rabbi Julie Zupan Sharon


This project was partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. We deeply appreciate this support.


We are grateful to the Miriam Fund, which supported the Safe Havens/JF&CS Journey to Safety partnership and our past research.



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this week


8 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.

11 Jewish Federation of Western Mass.


The New England .......................... 5 Jewish Experience Ken Schoen of Jewish Historical Society of Western Mass. will be a panelist at conference for new regional collaborative


17 Synagogue Directory

Flying high!.......................................4 Boston native is first American woman to graduate Israeli Air Force’s pilot course

Making a difference..................... 6 Local Jewish nursing homes work hard to keep seniors safe

Arts & Entertainment ................................................................................................ 7 The Yiddish Book Center celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory

Conversation with…................... 21 Lesléa Newman on her new book of poetry I Wish My Father

18 Around Mass

20 What’s Happening

22 Obituaries

A Reminder From ON THE COVER: This week Americans, along with reasonable people everywhere, watched in shock and dismay as our nation’s Capitol was besieged by marauding hordes of homegrown terrorists who violently attacked the very soul of our democracy. Cover photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images. PAGE 12


Gary M. Gaffin

Accounting services for all size businesses garyg@bsfcpas.com Bisceglia, Steiman & Fudeman, LLP 313 Park Ave. Worcester, MA 01609 T: 508-797-4826 F: 508-797-4866 E: ashleyg@bsfcpas.com www.bsfcpas.com

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Boston native is first American woman to graduate Israeli Air Force’s pilot course

Vol. 22 No. 1 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner Leslie Iarusso Associate Publisher Judie Jacobson Editor judiej@jewishledger.com • x3024 Hillary Sarrasin Digital Media Manager hillaryp@jewishledger.com EDITORIAL Stacey Dresner Massachusetts Editor staceyd@jewishledger.com • x3008 Tim Knecht Proofreader


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E’ER SHEVA, Israel – Three years ago, 500 ambitious cadets entered the prestigious Israeli Air Force (IAF) pilot course. On Dec. 23, only 39 graduated in a special ceremony on the Hatzerim Airbase in the Negev, near Be’er Sheva. Among the graduates was Boston-native “Lt. O”,* one of only two women graduating from the course this year. Lt. O, 21, is the first American woman to graduate from the IAF’s pilot course and will serve as an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Flight Engineer. She is a member of a small group of women who have completed the IAF pilot course, which women have only gained access to in the last 25 years. Lt. O, who serves as a Lone Soldier, one who joins the IDF with no immediate family in Israel, is the daughter of a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New England employee. FIDF provides guidance and support to Lone Soldiers from all over the world, including flights to visit family and friends in their countries of origin; a 24-hour call center for soldiers and their parents; grants and financial assistance; holiday gift packages and vouchers; Shabbat and holiday meals; social networks and gatherings for soldiers and parents; postservice scholarships to those eligible; fun and recreation days; and soldiers’ homes throughout Israel. Currently, about 1,000 Lone Soldiers from the United States are serving in the IDF. 4

Like her older sister, Lt. O graduated from Brookline High School a year early. After a short gap year at 17, in which she

become a Lone Soldier in order to protect Israel. Lt. O demonstrates how one person can secure a future for the broader Jewish

Samuel Neusner, Founder (1929-1960) Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman, Co-Founder and Editor (1929-1977) Berthold Gaster, Editor (1977-1992) N. Richard Greenfield, Publisher (1994-2014) PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT JHL Ledger LLC 40 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 Phone (860) 231-2424 Fax (860) 231-2485 Editorial Email: staceyd@jewishledger.com Production Email: production@jewishledger.com Editorial deadline: All public and social announcements must be received by Tuesday 5 p.m. 10 days prior to publication. Advertising deadline: Thursday noon one week prior to issue. Advertisers should check ad on publication.


backpacked through Central America, she went to Israel and took the IAF’s qualifying exams. Lt. O’s father was a fighter navigator in the IAF. “In addition to making history, it’s important to remember that Lt. O was not obligated to serve in the IDF but chose to


| JANUARY 15, 2021

community. From all of us in Boston, Mazel Tov and thank you – we are so proud!” said FIDF New England Executive Director Luba Loewenberg. *Name of IDF and IAF members not printed for their security.

JHL Ledger LLC and Jewish Ledger shall not be liable for failure to publish an ad for typographical error or errors in the publication except to the extent of the cost of the space which the actual error appeared in the first insertion. Publishers reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason and to alter advertising copy or graphics deemed unacceptable. The publishers cannot warrant, nor assume responsibility for, the legitimacy, reputability or legality of any products or services offered in advertisements in any of its publications. The entire contents of the Jewish Ledger are copyright © 2020. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. JHL Ledger LLC also publishes the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, All Things Jewish CT, and All Things Jewish MA. www.majewishledger.com




What is the New England Jewish Experience? Jewish historical societies from around the region will discuss that at Jan. 24 Zoom conference BY STACEY DRESNER


hen Ken Schoen and his late wife Jane Trigere founded the Jewish Historical Society of Western Mass. in 1999, it was a labor of love. Spurred on by the merging of Springfield’s three Orthodox synagogues and the resulting documents and memorabilia that would need a new home, the couple began collecting all other sorts of memorabilia from the synagogues, day schools and other Jewish organizations around the Pioneer Valley, storing it in the 1930s firehouse in South Deerfield that became the JHSWM’s home. A few years ago, Schoen began sending boxes of the historical society’s materials to the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. “We had accumulated so much material here and we didn’t have the staffing, really, to fully archive it for the public and to put it online. We’re a modest operation,” Schoen explained. “We were always in touch with the Jewish Heritage Center and they said they had been collecting things from other communities throughout Massachusetts, and archiving in Boston, and they would be very happy to accept all of our collections.” The JHSWM’s first shipment to the Jewish Heritage Center in 2016 was 30 legal boxes chock full of Western Mass. Jewish history. He and his board continue to send more boxes each year, including material from some of the closed and merged congregations as well as documents and photographs from Heritage Academy, donated after it was closed. Schoen will now be getting even more



of a hand with his precious historical cache as a member of the New England Jewish Historical Collaborative, headed up by the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center and including seven other New England Jewish historical societies. The first-ever gathering of these organizations, “What is the New England Jewish

Experience?” will take place during a Zoom conference on Sunday, Jan. 24. Besides Western Mass., the other organizations involved are Documenting Maine Jewry, the Jewish Cemetery Association of North America, Jewish Communities of Vermont, Jewish Federation of New Hampshire the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Harford, and the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Society. During the conference, representatives MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER

of the historical societies will hold a panel discussion where they will share information and resources within their organizations and discuss developing partnerships and programs on the New England Jewish experience. Michael Hoberman, Ph.D., a professor at Fitchburg State University and author of New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America and How Strange CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

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KEEPING OUR SENIORS SAFE Local nursing homes and assisted living centers work to promote infection control and keep facilities clean and safe during these challenging times.

JGS Lifecare Kicks Off “Superheroes Saving Lives” Campaign


ONGMEADOW - JGS Lifecare, one of New England’s leading nonprofit healthcare systems serving seniors and their families, unveiled its new Superheroes Saving Lives campaign. Geared to its dedicated and loyal frontline staff, the light-hearted campaign focuses upon serious subjects: thanking employees for adhering to

and proper hygiene protocols. “We have faced many challenging and unprecedented situations since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Rob Whitten, executive director of JGS Lifecare’s Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “Our staff has been extraordinary the entire time. I am incredibly grateful for their resilience, dedication, and cooperation in keeping our residents safe

Eisenberg Assisted Living launches Air Quality Protective Services


ORCESTER -- In addition to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), social distancing and infection control, Eisenberg Assisted Living, an affiliate of the Jewish Healthcare Center (JHC) has included air quality in its COVID precaution plan. “Communal activities are essential to Assisted Living Communities, be it dining, social activities, religious services or family visits,” said Eisenberg’s Executive Director David Price. “As the weather started to turn, we challenged ourselves to best replicate the benefits of outdoor fresh air indoors so our residents could continue to enjoy these communal activities. We knew that it was a matter of time before keeping windows open would become uncomfortable for our residents.” According to the director of Plant Services, George Belliveau, “It starts with having clean air coming into the building. The HVAC system feeds the building with 100 percent outside air. There is no recirculation of air through building’s HVAC system which is key during a pandemic.” The Eisenberg team researched air quality and consulted with several experts. An engineer by training, Price purchased a CO2 meter for $200 and did an analysis of carbon dioxide levels and airflow in common spaces to ensure sufficient ventilation for the number of occupants in the room. Employees and residents took data to gain an understanding of the importance of air quality.


proper infection control protocols as well as conveying the importance of taking the coronavirus vaccine. Created in English and Spanish, the three-month campaign features videos from Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence and Leavitt Family Jewish Home residents, who thank the staff for their “heroic” efforts in keeping them safe during the pandemic. The videos run the gamut from humorous to serious to emotional. Staff also encouraged their own family members to record videos showing how important it is for individuals to follow safety guidelines

and healthy. This campaign is our way of thanking our employees and letting them know how much we appreciate their efforts…We’re also hoping it instills a little bit of humor into our daily routine.” The campaign slogan, “Not all superheroes wear capes. At JGS Lifecare, we wear masks,” emphasizes the fact that healthcare workers have emerged as real-life superheroes, risking their own health every day to save the lives of their beloved residents. Both Leavitt Family Jewish Home and Ruth’s House, the assisted living residence, created their own videos, showcasing heartfelt “thank





“Fortunately, The Eisenberg building’s HVAC system was well designed when built 20 years ago, and the airflow calculations and CO2 readings are in recommended ranges in most areas,” said Price. “Where necessary, we added cost effective window fans to generate over 10 Air Changes per Hour, which is in the recommended range for hospital operating rooms.” Eisenberg has also installed Ultraviolet light (UV-C) air sanitizers CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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Forty Years in Yiddishland: The Yiddish Book Center Celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory Band


MHERST - On the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 24, the Yiddish Book Center will present “40 Years in Yiddishland: The Yiddish Book Center Celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory Band,” a video special celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Yiddish Book Center and the Klezmer Conservatory Band (KCB), two enduring institutions pivotal in spearheading the unprecedented international resurgence of Yiddish culture. The broadcast will feature Dr. Hankus Netsky, KCB founder and director, New England Conservatory Contemporary Improvisation Department co-chair, and former Yiddish Book Center Center vice president for education, Dr. Hankus Netsky, and Aaron Lansky, the Center’s founder and president. It will include a historical overview of the band’s history, along with exciting video concert footage from over the years,

in conversation with LA Times and NPR film critic Kenneth Turan, along with tribute greetings from well-known KCB collaborators, including Itzhak Perlman and Joel Grey. MacArthur Fellow Aaron Lansky is credited with not only single-handedly rescuing the rich world of Yiddish literature from its path toward near extinction in the mid-twentieth century but also with making that literature accessible worldwide through the massive digitization and translation projects he launched through the Yiddish Book Center. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and scholar Hankus Netsky has been instrumental in transforming the once forgotten Eastern European Jewish instrumental genre known as “klezmer” into one of the most ubiquitous and widely recognized contemporary strains of world music. He is also credited with mentoring several younger generations of the music’s best-known practitioners. Their discussion

early as 1981 and continuing more recently with their performances as perennial headliners at the Center’s Yidstock Festival of New Yiddish Music. The 90-minute special will be presented live via Zoom starting at 2 p.m. and will also stream live on the Yiddish Book

Center’s Facebook page. If you’d like to reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience, which will allow you to submit questions, registration is required.

A memory bank collecting and documenting the vibrant life in the Emek HaHalutz…

Jewish Historical Society of Western Massachusetts www.JHSWM.org

Move to Ruth’s House Assisted Living and join our Campus of Care

* 3

THE KLEZMER CONSERVATORY BAND including excerpts from such acclaimed productions as A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden (1986), The Fool and the Flying Ship with Robin Williams (1991), and two PBS Great Performances specials, “In the Fiddler’s House” with Itzhak Perlman (1997) and “Rejoice” (2014), featuring the KCB along with Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. The program will present Netsky and Lansky majewishledger.com

will explore how forty years of activism has assured Yiddish literature and music an enduring place not only in the world of Jewish culture but among the world’s most cherished cultural traditions. The KCB and the Yiddish Book Center have been celebrating together throughout the histories of both organizations, beginning with the band’s appearance at the Center’s milestone events in Amherst as

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1. Sosin Center for Rehabilitation 2. Wernick Adult Day Health Care 3. Ruth’s House Assisted Living 4. Leavitt Family Jewish Home 5. Spectrum Home Health & Hospice Care 6. Genesis House for Independent Living


770-780 Converse St, Longmeadow, MA 01106 • www.JGSLifecare.org MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER

| JANUARY 15, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update




s a member of the Central MA Jewish community, I hope that you share our feelings of optimism about local Jewish life, and as we have just turned another page on the calendar, now is a good time to take a look around our great community. There is a lot to feel good about. The heart of Central MA is our wonderful congregations, each one with its own personality and character. No matter how you approach Judaism you will find yourself at home in one of the nine local STEVEN SCHIMMEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR congregations and Shuls. We are in the process right now of working with them to reach out to community members who aren’t affiliated. Our JCC is buzzing with activity even through the pandemic. Despite an exceptionally difficult year the JCC has rallied to persevere and serve the community. Federation is proud to have helped the JCC when it was most needed. The staff and leadership have done a terrific job keeping everyone healthy and active. We all look forward to seeing each other at the JCC! We have an impressively full events calendar offering enriching activities to strengthen Jewish life. Events continue though COVID, weekly webinars and presentations are available for the entire community, and virtual events and even in-person programs (COVID-safe) have taken place. Drive-in events for Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah brought out hundreds of attendees. We’ve also been reconnecting to our past Young Emissarieskeeping our connection to Israel and our sister-city Afula strong. For the next generation of leaders our YADs (Young Adult Division) have been especially active. The group grows larger each year, and philanthropic engagement has increased measurably. The number of families receiving PJ Library books has also increased over the past several years- indicating that young families are joining our community, doubling to nearly 400 subscriptions in the past five years. Our college students enjoy a strong Hillel, and they led the way as the pandemic began by creating a 15,000 member virtual group called Zoom University Hillel that went


national and then global. They also engage in activities throughout the community and support a number of charitable efforts including Rachel’s Table. We hear from a growing number of students each year who plan to remain in Central MA after college. The Jewish value of caring for one another is paramount and there are assistance programs in place to care for the elderly, those in need, and all who find themselves challenged by this pandemic. Whether it is to shop for groceries, or help with rent, or a ride to the doctor, help is there. Jewish Federation has assisted a number of families through COVID and our community recently successfully raised $50,000 which was matched with a $25,000 special grant to help provide more COVID relief. This past year we have also been actively beautifying and refurbishing our three local cemeteries, this has been a substantial undertaking led by Dana Levenson and was generously supported by our community. Security concerns have also been addressed, and Federation’s security liaison Mark Shear has been instrumental in assuring that our institutions have important security protocols in place and that we have a strong relationship with law enforcement. Jewish Federation is the infrastructure of all that happens locally, partnering with our institutions and raising the essential funds to give vital support to ensure that we may all continue to grow and thrive. This past Annual Campaign raised $783,000 which was $9,500 more than the year before, a testament to the generosity of our community even in challenging times. We had more than 100 new donors to campaign. You are the generous and committed members of our community who make all of this possible. We thank you on behalf of all of those who have benefited from your support through the years. Let us continue to grow stronger and more united each year. n


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STAY CONNECTED PJ LIBRARY AND PJ OUR WAY Daily Virtual PJ Library Programs at www.pjlibrary.org/familyactivities Friday, January 22nd, 9:00am via Facebook Live: PJ Library Storytime with Lori and Friends Live via Facebook with the ECC program of Congregation B’nai Shalom and Beth Tikvah Synagogue Saturday, February 6th, 10:00 am via Zoom: PJ Library Storytime and Craft with Lori and Friends with the ECC program of Congregation B’nai Shalom and Beth Tikvah Synagogue Friday, February 19th, 9:00 am via Facebook Live: PJ Library Storytime with Lori and Friends with the ECC program of Congregation B’nai Shalom and Beth Tikvah Synagogue Sunday, February 21st, 3:00 pm via Zoom: Baking Hamantashen with Juliana Be on the lookout for more information regarding our PJ Library/PJ Our Way Food Drive with Rachel’s Table

YAD Friday, January 22nd, 7:30 pm via Zoom: Tu B’Shevat Shabbat Friday, February 26th, 7:30 via Zoom, Purim Shabbat Saturday, January 30th, 8:00 pm. Young Adult Comedy Night Mixer with NextGen of Western Mass. Be on the lookout for added events including Game nights and speakers

COMMUNITY-WIDE Sunday, January 17th, 9:00 am via Zoom: Breakfast with Our Emissaries Series: Ron Marom (2006-7), “Following Values vs. Life Challenges” Be on the lookout for new guest speaker programs coming soon Please keep in touch with all ongoing virtual events by visiting our Facebook pages or contacting Mindy Hall, mhall@jfcm.org


News and Jewish Community Update


“I’m a teacher, and education is very important to me, and handing down tradition is extremely important to me. That’s why leaving a legacy was the perfect opportunity.” –Barbara Rossman, Legacy Donor The Jewish Federation of Central Mass would like to honor our local community members who have committed to leaving a legacy gift as part of our LIFE & LEGACY program. We are proud to present the list of LIFE & LEGACY donors as of January 6, 2021. Myra & Jay Aframe Susan & Howard Alfred Abbe Allexenberg Michael Allexenberg Benita Amsden William Amsden Anonymous (66) A. Averbach Brad Avergon Cynthia Avergon Robert Bachrach Mike & Anita Z”L Backer Robin Baer Bernard Bailin Elizabeth & Joel Baker Margot Barnet Jacqueline Bechek Cara Berg Powers Jordan Berg Powers Mark Birnbaum & Meg Hoey Patricia Bizzell Rabbi & Mrs. Yakov Blotner Robert & Stacey Blumberg Lydia Borenstein Morton and Lorraine Brond David Bunker Deborah Bunker Eric Capellari Robert & Shari Cashman Ethel K. Chaifetz Mark & Julie Chapleau Alberta Chase Lori Chastanet Paul Chastanet Michelle V. Cochran Alysa & Mitch Cohen Janice & David Cohen Jonathan Cohen Lisa Cohen Rabbi Valerie Cohen Alan Cooper David Coyne Jonah Cuker Douglas Cutler

Melvin Cutler Herbert K. Daroff Judy & Stu Deane Evelyn Dolinsky Robyn Lori Bernstein Donati EJ Dotts Shelley Dubin & Dennis Lindenberg Victoria Dubrovsky Rabbis Joe & Lisa Eiduson Donna & Joel Elfman Gary Englander Marlene Farbman Deborah Fins Edith Fisher Everett Fox Joshua Franklin Jody Fredman Jason & Laurie Fromer Stuart Glass Norman Glick Z”L Lillian Glixman Z”L Steven Goldstein & Sharon Brown Goldstein Jennifer & Sam Goodman Harvey & Patti Gould Carole & Mark Grayson Jeffrey Greenberg Joel N. Greenberg Barbara Greenberg Z”L * Minna & Ira Gregerman Jamie Grossman Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz Gary Gurwitz Rabbi Debra Hachen & Peter Weinrobe Mindy Hall Steven & Debra Heims Family Peter Herman and Stefanie Bradie Sarah & Neil Herzig Ilene S. Hoffman Emily Holdstein James Holdstein Joshua Honig Bernard Z”L & Beverly Hurwitz Martha Hurwitz

Col. Irving Yarock Post 32 Jewish War Veterans Benjamin Joseph Cynthia Kalish Frank W. Kanserstein Cheryl & Gary Kasof Carol Goodman Kaufman Joel M. Kaufman, MD Eli & Iris Kraus Elliot Krefetz Sharon Krefetz Anna M. Krendel Steve Krintzman Nancy B. Leavitt Phillip Leavitt Van Leichter & Marcy Supovitz Dana Levenson Steven B. Levine Z”L Vincent Librandi Howard & Thelma Lockwood Z”L Judith Luber-Narod Benjamin and Cara Lyons Robert Mack Gordon Manning & Karen Rothman Kim & Mike Manning Gregory Manousos & Amy Rosenberg Judith K. Markowitz Stacey & Stephen Marmor Deborah Martin Michelson Family Errol Mortimer Alan Moss Jeffrey Narod Barbara Newman Stephanie Oakan Allison & David Orenstein Marcy Ostrow Matthew Ostrow Sondra Padow Glenn & Pamela Penna Marlene Persky* Marlene & David Persky George and Becky Pins Elizabeth Raphaelson

Jonathan Rappaport Morris Snieder Z”L Ghodrat & Lida Refah Elaine Solomon Mary Jane Rein Paula Sommer Toby Z’’L and Chuck Richmond Denise Sosnoff Harriet & Jordan Z”L Robbins Steven Sosnoff Barry Robins Morty Sreiberg Suzanne Robins Dotty & Jerry Starr Emily & Martin Rosenbaum Howard & Carolyn Stempler Martha Rosenblatt* Alan & Nina Stoll Rachel and Myron Rosenblum Mari & Allen Storm Barbara Rossman Andrea Sullivan David & Sandra Roth Rabbi Michael Swarttz Bernie Rotman Lisa Thurlow Benita Rotman Laura & Richard Traiger Ida Rotman Z”L Dr. Sheila Trugman Hope Rubin Wayne Ushman Ruth Rubin Patricia & Leonard Vairo Adam Sachs Brenda Verduin-Dean Jonathan & Anne Sadick Bruce & Ellen Wahle Larry & Eileen Samberg Mark Waxler Yael Savage Brian Weiner Roberta Schaefer William Weinstein Steven Schimmel Ellen Weiss Paul & Zelda Schwartz Matthew Weiss Benson & Norma Shapiro Irving & Selma White Mark & Debra Shear Michael & Beth Whitman Rachel & Philip Sher Steven and Kimberly Willens Dan Shertzer David Wilner Allan Shriber Wendy Wilsker Judy Shriber Steve & Lori Winer Debra L. Shrier Steve & Judy Wolfe Richard Shrier Sharon & Alan Yaffe Fred Shuster Jody & Alan Yoffie Marcy Shuster Allen Young Edward & Merna Siff Joyce Zakim The Sigel Family Foundation Pamela Zinn Bonnie & Richard Silver Ronald J. Silver Richard P. Silverman An * indicates a Lion of Judah Carol Sleeper* endowment. Michael & Carol Sleeper Bradford A. Smith To create your Jewish Legacy, contact BEHALF OF THE Lauren P.ON Smith Leah Shuldiner at legacy@jfcm.org BOARD AND STAFF Michael & SusanOF Smith THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF CENTRAL MA, WE WISH YOU ALL VERY HAPPY Beth Tikvah Synagogue • Clark University Hillel • Congregation Beth Israel • Congregation B’nai Shalom • CongregationA Shaarai Torah West • Jewish Family & Children’s Service • HEALTHY AND SWEET NEW Jewish Federation of Central MA • Jewish Healthcare Center • Temple Emanuel Sinai • Temple IsraelYEAR. • Worcester JCC




| JANUARY 15, 2021


JGS Lifecare




you” messages from the residents. Components of the campaign include Superhero buttons, care packages, t-shirts, candy, and capes. Employees are encouraged to take the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare Superhero pledge, in which they promise to “keep myself, my co-workers, my residents and my community safe by following safety practices at work, at home, and in my community.”

in areas where common spaces and offices throughout the building as an extra step towards achieving healthy indoor air quality. Price said that Eisenberg has not had any COVID-19 cases since last spring. “It’s impossible to know the extent to which our air quality work has led to keeping our residents COVID free this fall, and we know there is no absolute way to prevent COVID,” he said. “We wanted to do our homework and share what we have learned. We consulted with subject matter experts, the executive office of Elder Affairs and Worcester DPH along the way to ensure our COVID precautions are on target to facilitate a high quality of life for our residents.” LEFT TO RIGHT: ROBERT WHITTEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND “IRONMAN” ED MACK, HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER AT THE LEAVITT FAMILY JEWISH HOME, ARE AMONG THE FIRST TO SIGN THE JGS LIFECARE SUPERHERO PLEDGE.





ONGMEADOW—Glenmeadow, a non-profit life planning community in Longmeadow, recently trained seven new volunteers for its Neighbor to Neighbor program. Through Neighbor to Neighbor, volunteers—most of them older adults themselves—are paired with individuals in Greater Springfield who seek companionship. The program was started to combat social isolation, which can lead to depression, cognitive decline, and major health problems. Erin Koebler, director of Community Care at Glenmeadow, said the training that was held mostly virtually in late October was originally scheduled for March, and the life plan community felt it could wait no longer to renew the program and recruitment efforts. “Older adults can easily become isolated from friends, family and the community, putting them at risk for health issues


and decline in independence,” Koebler said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this already concerning problem, putting many more elders in our midst at risk. We are reinvigorating our program, knowing that residents of the Greater Longmeadow area are so isolated.” Neighbor to Neighbor serves both people living at Glenmeadow and those in their own homes. Funding to launch the work came in 2018 from Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. (GSSSI), which provided a $5,000 grant that year. Glenmeadow led development efforts, assisted by its regional partners Temple Beth El in Springfield, the First Church of Christ, the Longmeadow Adult Center, and the Spiritual Services and the Clinical Pastoral Education Department at Baystate Medical Center. In the first year, the funds allowed the recruitment of 30 volunteers and neighbors. For the past two years, GSSSI has awarded the life plan community a $7,000


| JANUARY 15, 2021

grant, and Koebler said Glenmeadow is committed to growing the program through new, creative means. “This year, with no end in sight to the COVID-19 crisis, we intend to expend some of our resources on technology that will make connecting easier for those who participate,” she said. She noted that few of those who were paired before COVID are meeting live now; many are speaking regularly on the phone instead. Volunteers are sending cards and letters to their neighbors, and vice versa, and volunteers are dropping off baked goods and surprises on porches and back steps. “We are hoping to create joy through friendship and the building of relationships,” Koebler said. In late October, Glenmeadow held the training session for volunteers on Zoom and allowed several people who did not feel at risk to join live in a setting that offered social distance.

The trainer spent two hours explaining the basics of isolation and why social interaction is important and also helping volunteers to get comfortable with various situations and challenges they might experience. Koebler said the training touched on how to establish rapport over the telephone and be an empathetic listener, and the leader also explained that some neighbors could have behavioral, visual, or cognitive impairments. “We prepare people for all the difficult situations they might face and follow up if they have a day with their neighbor when things are challenging,” she said. For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor, or if you would like to be a neighbor or volunteer, call Erin Koebler at (413) 567-5977 or visit www.glenmeadow. org.


FUNDS AVAILABLE HEALTHY COMMUNITY EMERGENCY FUND In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts has been working to help Jewish institutions, individuals, and families to weather the storm. Central to this effort was the establishment of a Healthy Community Emergency Fund (HCEF). Thanks to the generosity of donors, and funding from the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Federation has raised nearly $400,000 to help our community. A portion of the funds raised have been made available to help individuals and families who require assistance, including over $10,000 which has already been approved for distribution beginning next week. Additional funds are being used to safeguard community institutions; to ensure that even during a crisis, Western Massachusetts is home to vibrant Jewish life. The Federation is currently in the process of determining the needs of their beneficiary agencies, with the goal of beginning the distribution of those funds within two weeks. The Federation has partnered with Jewish

Family Services of Western Massachusetts (JFS), an independent third-party, that will be reviewing and evaluating applications for individual and family assistance. JFS provides exceptional social services, grounded in Jewish values, to support individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. Their involvement will help to ensure that aid is distributed appropriately. Additionally, the Federation’s program Rachel’s Table has set up a specialized Healthy Community Emergency Food Fund, and a Feed the Front Lines initiative. These efforts are helping to alleviate the food insecurity problems in our community that have been exacerbated by the economic impact of the pandemic, and are giving support to those who are putting their lives at risk every day to keep us safe. If you wish to contribute to the Healthy Community Emergency Fund, or to request aid for yourself or your family, please visit our website:

springfield from josh

jewishwesternmass.org majewishledger.com


| JANUARY 15, 2021


THE CAPITOL UNDER ATTACK Orthodox Jewish Trump supporters decry violence but not the movement that fueled the mob BY SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) – Heshy Tischler, the pro-Trump provocateur of Orthodox Brooklyn, wasn’t at the U.S. capitol when a mob stormed it Wednesday – but not because he didn’t want to be. Tischler was one of a throng of Orthodox Jews who traveled down to D.C. to join mass protests of the election results Wednesday, Jan. 6. He had left the city before the protest turned into an insurrection that drove members of Congress and the vice president into hiding, and in which a woman was killed. But that afternoon, unaware that his compatriots were now occupying the Senate chamber and its environs, he said that he, too, would like to take his complaint straight to the halls of Congress. “We want to be there,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We just can’t get in.” On his show Wednesday night, he condemned the violence, and said he would have handled the situation differently. “If I was actually in the front I wouldn’t have stormed, I would have walked in the doors,” he said. Much of the Orthodox community had lined up behind Trump ahead of the election. Polls showed Orthodox voters supporting him by overwhelming margins. In the same week that mobs of young Orthodox men burned masks in the streets of Brooklyn in October, crowds of the young men carried Trump flags in their protests against lockdowns. And on Wednesday, some Orthodox Jews took their support for Trump to the next level, traveling to Washington to participate in the Trump rally that turned into a mob. Some of the Orthodox Jewish Trump supporters who attended even traveled to the rally on specially chartered buses from Orthodox Jewish communities, some of which were organized in special WhatsApp groups. One person who attended the rally said there were at least eight buses to Washington organized by Orthodox Jews. Groups were formed for people from Monsey, New York, and Lakewood, New Jersey, two areas with large Orthodox populations. Two buses were reportedly chartered from Brooklyn. Orthodox Jews were present at the rally where President Trump spoke Wednesday, telling the crowd to “walk down to the 12

Capitol” and that “you will never take back our country with weakness.” But many Orthodox Trump supporters condemned the violence that followed when protesters stormed the capitol. For some Orthodox Jews, it appeared to be a moment of reckoning that made them reconsider their support for the president. But many claimed, without evidence, that the mob was the result of meddling by Antifa or of people who were not really “conservative” co-opting the movement. Others compared the mob to the Black Lives Matter protests last year. It was a shameful day, they said, but it did not make them regret their support for Donald Trump. “Had John Roberts heard that case and legitimately heard that case and Trump would have lost, I probably wouldn’t have gone today,” Nachman Mostofsky said, referring to a petition to the Supreme Court to hear a case over alleged election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The court rejected the petition. Mostofsky, who serves as executive director of Chovevei Zion, a politically conservative Orthodox Jewish advocacy organization, was in Washington for the opening of the new session of Congress and extended his stay to attend the protests. He said he left before the storming of the Capitol, and condemned the violence that took place there. He was also one of a few Orthodox Jews who, speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, appeared to compare Wednesday’s events to the racial justice protests that spread across the country last year. “No conservative will condone what happened today, the actual storming of the Capitol…it was unpatriotic,” he said. “But we heard for months during the summer when people don’t feel heard, this is what happens.” Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew who represented the heavily Orthodox neighborhood of Borough Park for decades in the New York State Assembly, said he was horrified by the violence and, although he himself questioned the results of the election back in November, called the president’s claims about election fraud “malarky.” “Biden won by 7 million votes,” he said, noting that virtually all claims of voter fraud brought by the Trump campaign were found


to be without evidence. “Every single case was almost, without exception, the courts ruled against Trump.” While Hikind said there was no point in continuing to claim that Trump won the election, he defended the rights of Trump supporters to protest in support of the president. He said Wednesday’s events went far beyond that. “What happened today was very different, the violation of laws, taking over the Capitol. I mean my god, the irony of this is that the Republicans are the ones who talk about law and order,” he said. “What a contradiction, what hypocrisy.” But he also said it was hypocritical to speak out about violence at the Capitol after the racial justice protests turned, in some instances, violent. “As much as what we saw today was an absolute horror especially because it happened at the Capitol, but it was only a short while ago that you had violence all over this country,” Hikind said. “My party, the Democratic party, was not so vociferous and so outspoken in terms of that violence.” Eli Steinberg, an Orthodox writer who lives in Lakewood, New Jersey and who voted for Trump, called the violence “an awful moment.” “It’s sad and scary and I’m kind of grappling with what does it mean that we’ve gotten to this point, and what does it mean for what comes next,” Steinberg said. But he also didn’t see the episode as reason to regret his support for Trump. “It bothers me that this moment has to be seen that way,” he said. “Seventy-four million people voted for him. 74 million people were not involved in this moment and did not agree to this moment.” Agudath Israel, an advocacy organization for haredi Orthodox Jews, did not issue a statement. The Orthodox Union, an organization representing Modern Orthodox synagogues, joined the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations, of which it is a member, in issuing a statement condemning the violence Wednesday. On Thursday, the Orthodox Union issued its own statement condemning the violence. “We call upon President Trump to do all that is in his power – and it is indeed in his power – to restore that peace,” the organization said. The National Council of Young Israel, an Orthodox synagogue association that has

been outspokenly pro-Trump in the past, also “strongly condemned” Wednesday’s events, saying in a statement that “the violent protests and wanton attacks that we witnessed today are deplorable and a dangerous assault on the very foundation upon which this nation is built.” The Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, which are generally more liberal than Orthodox organizations, both condemned the mob’s actions. On social media, some Orthodox leaders denounced the violence. Chaskel Bennett, a leader of Agudath Israel, called the violence “reprehensible and frightening.” Others seemed to downplay it. Yossi Gestetner, who runs the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Committee, told his followers to “relax” and called the rioters’ actions as entering “a building unauthorized.” “After 5 years of they and their leaders being violently attacked and also abused by the State via prosecutions, the same side

Jewish groups re DC violence with ‘disgust,’ criticizi BY RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) – AIPAC hardly ever pronounces on any issue that does not relate to Israel. It’s also loath to criticize a sitting president. But the preeminent pro-Israel lobby did both on Wednesday after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the count of electoral votes that would formalize Joe Biden’s win. “We share the anger of our fellow Americans over the attack at the Capitol and condemn the assault on our democratic values and process,” AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said in a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday evening. “This violence, and President Trump’s incitement of it, is outrageous and must end.” The statement, crafted during an emergency meeting of the lobby’s executive committee, was among a host of extraordinary

| JANUARY 15, 2021 majewishledger.com

comm grou parti A organ day t unth hund roam craft lobby the o T D.C., marc tense to dis T Trum

can’t even enter a building unauthorized without being denounced by their own side,” he tweeted. He tweeted again later, seeming to question whether there were any alternative to violence as a remedy to a “stolen” election. ”What if 30 years down the road the POTUS elections are clearly stolen and nobody (Secs of States, Legislatures and the Courts) wants to stop it and/or they enable it. What’s the remedy? Is that a democratic remedy Who decides when those actions can be triggered?” Michal Weinstein, a pro-Trump Instagram influencer who organized a proTrump rally in her Orthodox community on Long Island in October, declined to comment on the violence. “I don’t want to be part of something that’s going to paint Trump supporters as evil and bad,” she said. But her co-organizer of the October rally, Gila Jedwab, went to Washington for the rally, posting a photo of herself in front

espond to h ‘outrage,’ ing Trump

ments on American democracy by Jewish ups, many of which typically steer clear of isan politics. AIPAC was not the only mainstream Jewish nization to speak out on an extraordinary that resulted in what once was hinkable: police spiriting into safe havens dreds of lawmakers while marauders med and looted the Capitol. Its statement, ted during an emergency meeting of the y’s executive committee, also was far from only one to criticize Trump explicitly. Trump invited protesters to Washington, , and earlier Wednesday urged them to ch on the Capitol. As the situation grew e, he simultaneously urged his supporters sband and told them that he “loved them.” The Anti-Defamation League also named mp. “The violence at the US Capitol is majewishledger.com


of the Capitol to Facebook. “We took back our house today,” read the caption. The WhatsApp groups created to organize travel and meetups for Orthodox Trump supporters at the rally were divided. Some members condemned the mob, but others thought the violence was worth it. After one person wondered what the rest of the world must be thinking, another responded: “You gotta fight for freedom.” Some alleged that the violent protesters belonged to Antifa, a loose network of antifascist activists who sometimes dress in all

the result of disinformation from our highest office,” it said in a tweet. “Extremists are among the rioters in DC supporting President Trump’s reckless rhetoric on America’s democratic institutions.” ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called on social media to suspend Trump’s accounts; a number of platforms eventually heeded those calls. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy bodies, also named Trump. “This was a direct assault on our democratic process, and nothing less than an attempt to disrupt the peaceful transition of power in a presidential election and an act of sedition,” it said in a statement. “We urge in the strongest possible terms that President Trump and others immediately cease incendiary rhetoric and restore order.” Two legacy groups were cautious and condemned the violence while not directly blaming Trump. The American Jewish Committee called on Trump “to call for an immediate end to the riots and respect the certification process currently underway,” without noting that Trump started the fire, as many others had – including some leading Republicans. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the umbrella foreign policy group for the Jewish community,

black and engage in street fights with rightwing extremists. Trump and his supporters have sought to portray Antifa, often without much evidence, as a threat to public safety. One member sent a screenshot supposedly showing an announcement to Antifa members to show up for “election day” wearing Trump gear. One claimed in a voice message, “I bet you right now that people who started the rioting part was Antifa.” Mostofsky said that even if he didn’t support the violence, the grievances that

did not name Trump at all, although its statement was forceful. “We are disgusted by the violence at the US Capitol and urge the rioters to disperse immediately,” it said in a statement. ”Law and order must be restored, and the peaceful transition of administrations must continue.” The Orthodox Union weighed in at first by endorsing the Presidents’ Conference statement, but on Thursday morning issued a statement pointedly aimed at Trump and with a tone of relief at the prospect of Trump’s term ending and a new administration incoming. “We are deeply saddened and shaken by yesterday’s violent events at the U.S. Capitol that have badly upset our sense of peace and security,” the statement said. “There is no place for the kind of outrageous incitement that fed that assault on the pillars of our democracy. It must stop. We call upon President Trump to do all that is in his power – and it is indeed in his power – to restore that peace.” It concluded: “We pray to the Almighty that He grant strength and wisdom to Presidentelect Biden and Vice President-elect [Kamala] Harris as they lead this great country forward in unity, peace, and security.” Agudath Israel of America posted on Twitter a statement by its longtime Washington director, Rabbi Abba Cohen.

caused the protest – over what Republicans have baselessly claimed is widespread election fraud – couldn’t be ignored and wouldn’t go away. “The country is being gaslit by the media and by the courts and by the Democratic Party and by some in the Republican Party,” he said. “What you saw today was frustration, I don’t condone it … but I understand where it came from.” He added: “This is going to get worse, it’s not going to get better.”

“The U.S. Capitol is more than a majestic building,” Cohen said. “It is the true house of the people and the home of democracy. It is the hope of the nation. You feel it when entering its doors and walking its halls. Today, it was a place of shameful violence and tyranny. Stop or we are lost.” The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly called on Trump “to defend and uphold the constitution of the United States,” but did not blame him for what it called an “attack on democracy and its institutions.” The Reform movement’s Religious Action Center was less shy, saying, “The fact that today’s events were encouraged by the President of the United States who has refused to accept his electoral loss is equally terrifying and heartbreaking.” Liberal groups like the RAC have throughout Trump’s presidency had an adversarial relationship with him, criticizing both his policies, including his antiimmigration policies, and his expressions of bigotry. It was no different on Wednesday. “Earlier today, an armed seditious mob stormed the Capitol at President Trump’s behest, with the aim of preventing elected Members of



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“This is our worst fears realized” Extremism watchdogs, after months of warnings, watch the violence in DC BY BEN SALES

(JTA) – They warned us. And warned us. And warned us. Extremism watchdogs said there could be violence in the streets. They said minority communities – Jews among them – could be put at risk. They said that the incessant, false claims of a rigged election, of a fraudulent vote, of a conspiracy to bring down the president, could all lead to violence on or after Election Day. All year, and especially after President Donald Trump said he would not accept the election results in November, people who monitor the far right in America warned about where America could be headed. Officials and analysts worried openly about attacks on police or threats to synagogues or polling places in Black neighborhoods. One dire document, produced by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, predicted, among its more extreme scenarios, that conspiracy theorists may “threaten and target federally elected representatives [and] government institutions.” That language came to life on Wednesday when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Congress, in the middle of a hearing about the election results, escaped into hiding.


Extremists, carrying the symbols of their hate, sat at the dais in the Senate chamber and peered into government computers, abandoned by staffers who fled in haste. The vice president was rushed to a secure location while the president said “we love you” to the people who forced him to flee. And someone – so far unnamed – was shot and killed in the middle of a crowd that was forcibly occupied the halls of government. “Yeah, this is it,” said Heidi Beirich, who’s been monitoring extremists for 20 years, when asked if Wednesday’s chaos is what she worried about before the election. “This is our worst fears realized.” “Everyone in my world has been warning of this exact thing,” she added. Watching their predictions come true on TV, people in the anti-extremism world on Wednesday all said they got no pleasure from saying “I told you so.” “This seems to be a logical conclusion to so much of what we have seen throughout the year, whether it’s reopen protests and efforts to delegitimize state governments, whether it’s conspiracy theories,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the AntiDefamation League’s Center on Extremism. “These things have consequences. People pay attention, and they animate those who could care less about their democracy.” The chaos at the Capitol resembled what happened when white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia three years ago. That event inspired Joe Biden to run for president, because he didn’t want to live in an America that tolerated “the same antisemitic bile heard across Europe in the ‘30s.” Both were rallies with a lot of extremist groups that included violence. Someone was killed then, too. Back then, Trump called the extremists “very fine people.” Today, in a video also urging the mob to disperse and “go home,” he told them, “We love you.”

Jewish groups CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

Congress from certifying the presidential vote in the Electoral College,” said the Israel Policy Forum, a two-state advocacy group. (A staffer describes his experience during the tumult here.) “We unreservedly and wholly condemn this.” J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, said, “The president repeatedly incited far-right thugs to subvert our democracy, and now they’re trying to do just that.” “I’m heartbroken for our country,” National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz said on Twitter. Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, alluded to Trump, saying that “The criminal behavior and events of this afternoon are abhorrent, as are attempts to disrupt democracy with incitement to violence. 14


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But the analysts said they should not be equated. After all, said Michael Masters, the CEO of the Secure Community Network, a Jewish security agency, “why the protest is occurring is different.” In other words: Neo-Nazis marching with swastikas and chanting “Jews will not replace us” is somewhat different than pro-Trump extremists (including neo-Nazis) storming the Capitol and fighting with police officers. They’re both really bad, according to these watchdogs, but they’re each bad in their own way. What unites them, Segal said, is what unites all extremists: a sense of grievance. They feel that something has been taken away from them, and they want to fight the people who took it. In Charlottesville, the neo-Nazis wanted to fight the Jews for taking away their imagined white societies. On Wednesday, the mob wanted to fight the government for “stealing” Trump’s (imaginary) victory. And unlike Charlottesville, the violence

As Jews, we know the power of words and demand our elected leaders raise the level of discourse and lead with civility.” Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, a group known for its support for Trump’s Israel policies, said on Twitter that the marauding in the Capitol was “thoroughly unacceptable & intolerable” but went on to say, baselessly, that the FBI was investigating a claim that the marauders belonged to Antifa, a catchall term for leftist protesters. The Republican Jewish Coalition’ on Thursday morning congratulated Biden on winning the election, and in its statement included a plea for a peaceful transition to power. “After the abhorrent mob attack yesterday on our Capitol, our elected officials went back to work, fulfilled their duty under our Constitution, and certified

at the Capitol wasn’t really about the Jews – though Orsini said Jews might be more attuned to it than other people. “This resonates more so because we’ve seen this uptick, this rhetoric of antisemitism. We’ve seen violent attacks,” he said. The difference now is that Wednesday’s mob affected everyone in the country. “What folks are seeing today, it’s not just a problem for Jews, it’s an American problem,” Segal said. Extremism researchers aren’t sure what comes next. They want order to return to the Capitol, and they want the new administration to do what this one has not – to urge calm, to call out hate unequivocally. But mostly, they want people to listen. “I hoped I’d be out of a job years ago,” said Beirich, who co-founded the Global Project against Hate and Extremism only at the beginning of 2020, after a long career studying hate. “I didn’t want this to keep metastasizing and growing.”

the results of the 2020 election,” the RJC said. “Now is the time for the same peaceful transition of power that the U.S. has carried out for over 220 years,” the RJC said. The statement made no mention of Trump. The Jewish Democratic Council of America was scathing, calling for Trump’s removal from power. “President Trump has abused his power, endangered American lives, and undermined our democratic institutions,” it said. “Today, he intentionally jeopardized security at the Capitol to further his depraved autocratic agenda, risking the lives of the Vice President and Republican and Democratic lawmakers,” the JDCA said. “Donald Trump was impeached by Congress for abuse of power one year ago, and today he should be immediately removed from office for sedition, insurrection, and abuse of power.” majewishledger.com

MILESTONES Leominster native is the new CEO of Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut


ary Jones has been named chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, A resident of West Hartford, Conn., Jones was born and raised in Leominster, where his family belonged to Congregation Agudat Achim. Jones was a practicing lawer in Waterbury and Hartford, Conn. for many years, and served as a lay leader at several non-profit organizations including the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and its Jewish Community Relations Committee, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Hebrew Senior Care, formerly the Hebrew Home and Hospital. In 2010, Jones left his work as a fulltime lawyer and became executive director of the ADL’s Connecticut office. He also did a stint as interim director of UConn Hillel in 2015, and later helped Hebrew Senior Care through its bankruptcy as its interim executive director. “We are fortunate to have found an individual with such a diverse array of skills and experiences to lead our Federation,” said Pauline Zimmerman, president of the Federation. “We consider it a bonus that his positions as an attorney in Waterbury and as the Regional Director of the Connecticut Regional Office of the AntiDefamation League have given Gary a very good understanding of our communities and resulted in excellent relationships with many of the leaders of Federation and other Jewish communal organizations here in GARY JONES Western Connecticut.” Jones got his BA in politics and American studies at Brandeis University, graduating magna cum laude. He then went to New York University Law School. He is married to Jill Epstein Jones and they have three grown sons.

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| JANUARY 15, 2021


Historical Societies CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

it Seems: Cultural Life of Jews in SmallTown New England, will give a keynote talk. Hoberman says he will give an overview of the Jewish experience in New England, starting with the Colonial period, and ending with present day…”picking particular stories and highlighting certain communities, not because they are more important than any others, but to give people a flavor and a texture of the New England Jewish experience.”



he Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center was formerly the New England archive of the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). In 2015, the JHC formalized a collaboration with the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to enhance Jewish historical and genealogical research and to be a premier site for collection and

King said. “So the original concept for the conference was more of an academic one. We really wanted to organize ourselves so that we could highlight this history, and attract more scholars to use our resources when doing their research.” Those resources include two million historical documents, mostly from Jewish organizations in Massachusetts. Work is ongoing to digitize the materials – so far nearly 700,000 of them have been digitized. As the conference organizers began


“I’ll address some of the bigger questions about what is of value of the Jewish history specific to New England and if there’s anything unique about Jewish life in New England as opposed to Jewish life elsewhere in the world,” Hoberman said. “I am considering those kinds of questions. I don’t think I am necessarily answering them at the end because they are such broad questions, but I am trying to address some of the patterns in respect to the Jewish historical experience in the six states of New England.”



preservation of Jewish history. In 2018, the center was named for longtime supporters Justin and Genevieve Wyner. The idea to form a New England Jewish historical collaborative began nearly two years ago when the Jewish Heritage Center was approached by Harris Gleckman, one of the founders of Documenting Maine Jewry, an in-depth online archive of the history of Jewish families in Maine. Gleckman brought up that some other regions around the United States have actively promoted the study of their Jewish history, for example, the Southern Jewish Historical Society, which has held annual conferences since the 1970s and has a website and extensive online archives from the Jewish communities of Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. “The archives of some these historical societies and their academic resources are pretty well known and documented whereas there is so little awareness of New England Jewish history and the resources and organizations dedicated to the study of it,”


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planning the event they realized there were other advantages to the historical society staffers coming together. “As we started the talk, we also realized that there was just a great opportunity for us all to get to know each other,” she said. “We also just didn’t know what other organizations were out there in other states and even in some cases our own states. We didn’t know what each other had, in terms of collections and resources. So it just made sense to get to know each other and start talking about potential partnerships and collaboration that we can do together.” The conference was originally supposed to be held in-person last March, but as with most everything, Covid-19 forced the event to be postponed. This gave the organizers more time to work on another of the goals – creating a new website with information about Jewish history in the various states in New England as well as a resource guide. “When the conference didn’t happen we had many months to chat about all of this. So we decided to do a gathering online and

because we had this extra time we said why don’t we get started on creating a resource guide, something that kind of pulls together everything that we all have about New England Jewish history and make it available for us to promote those resources,” King said. The resource guide features listings of local Jewish historical societies, genealogical and other organizations involved, publications, collections and exhibits and more, state by state – “one stop shopping for where to find this information,” King said. And while the original in-person conference was to be held for mainly the Jewish historical society staff in the Jewish Heritage Center’s limited space in Boston, the online conference allows for many more people log on and learn about New England Jewish history and the plans for the Collaborative. And that includes representatives of Jewish historical societies not yet involved. “I would say this is pretty broad, but we are not claiming this is comprehensive. We are actually hoping that organizations will come forward and say, ‘We have fantastic resources, please include these as well.’ But we are really seeing this as a launch,” King said. “I’m excited to get started… We plan to stay in contact with each or any other groups or individuals who jump on board to talk about projects we can do together, perhaps organizing a more academic conference down the road. We want it to be the location where scholars and those in the public who are interested in learning more about New England Jewish history can visit and find what they are looking for.” Ken Schoen sees this collaborative as furthering his mission to save and protect Jewish history both locally and regionally. And he hopes those in the Western Mass. Jewish community will continue to donate any and all things Jewish. “I just got a call the other day that someone had an old B’nai B’rith photograph from the 1930s with all of the different members, and did I want it. I said ‘Certainly!’ That’s the kind of material we want, photographs, even videos or DVDs of weddings or bar mitzvahs,” Schoen said. “We are thinking ahead. Just like S. Ansky went off into the Ukraine in 1912 to document Jewish life, he was realizing that things were changing. He was thinking ahead to the future. And now we have thousands of photographs he took of a world that has vanished. We’re thinking ahead for our future generations.” “What is the New England Jewish Experience?” will take place on Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. To register go to NEJEconference@nehgs.org.


SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY Western and Central Massachusetts


Jewish Community of Amherst Reconstructionist Rabbi Benjamin Weiner (413) 256-0160 info@jcamherst.org www.jcamherst.org 742 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002


Temple Israel Unaffiliated/Egalitarian Reb Sarah Noyovitz (978) 249-9481 templeisraelathol@gmail.com 107 Walnut Street Athol, MA 01331


Congregation Beth El Reconstructionist Rabbi Micah Becker Klein (802) 442-9645 cbevtoffice@gmail.com www.cbevermont.org 225 North St., Bennington, VT 05201


Congregation Shaarei Zedeck Conservative Lay Leadership - Elena Feinberg (978) 501-2744 sherryesq@yahoo.com www.shaareizedeck.org 104 Water St., Clinton, MA 01510


Beit Ahavah, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton Reform Rabbi Riqi Kosovske (413) 587-3770 info@beitahavah.org www.beitahavah.org 130 Pine St. Florence, MA 01062


Temple Israel of Greenfield Unaffiliated Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (413) 773-5884 office@templeisraelgreenfield.org www.templeisraelgreenfield.org 27 Pierce St. Greenfield, MA 01301


Congregation Rodphey Sholom Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Helfen Religious Leader (413) 534-5262 djs1818@aol.com 1800 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040 Congregation Sons of Zion Conservative Rabbi Saul Perlmutter (413) 534-3369 office@sonsofzionholyoke.org www.sonsofzionholyoke.org 378 Maple St. Holyoke, MA 01040


Congregation Agudat Achim Conservative Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz (978) 534-6121 office@agudat-achim.org www.agudat-achim.org 268 Washington St., Leominster, MA 01453


Central Mass Chabad Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, Rabbi Chaim Fishman, Rabbi Michael Phillips, Cantor Eli Abramowitz (508) 752-0904 rabbi@centralmasschabad.com www.centralmasschabad.com 22 Newton Avenue, Worcester, MA 01602


Beth Tikvah Synagogue Independent Rabbi Michael Swarttz (508) 616-9037 president@bethtikvahsynagogue.org www.bethtikvahsynagogue.org 45 Oak St., Westborough, MA 01581


Congregation B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Justin David (413) 584-3593 office@CBINorthampton.org www.CBINorthampton.org 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA 01060

Congregation B’nai Shalom Reform Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz/ Rabbi-Educator Joseph Eiduson (508) 366-7191 info@cbnaishalom.org www.cbnaishalom.org 117 East Main St., PO Box 1019, Westborough, MA 01581


Temple Anshe Amunim Reform Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch (413) 442-5910 rabbiliz@ansheamunim.org www.ansheamunim.org 26 Broad St., Pittsfield, MA 01201



Temple Beth El Conservative Rabbi Amy Walk Katz (413) 733-4149 office@tbesprinfield.org www.tbespringfield.org 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108

Congregation B’nai Torah Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe Rabbi Yakov Wolff (413) 567-0036 office@bnaitorahma.org rabbi@bnaitorahma.org www.bnaitorahma.org 2 Eunice Drive Longmeadow, MA 01106 Neighborhood Minyan 124 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108


Sinai Temple Reform Rabbi Jeremy Master (413) 736-3619 rblanchettegage@sinai-temple.org www.sinai-temple.org 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108

Congregation Ahavas Achim Unaffiliated Cantor Colman Reaboi (413) 642-1797 ahavasachiminquiry@gmail.com www.congregationahavasachim.org Ferst Interfaith Center, Westfield State University PO Box 334, 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA 01086 Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AhavasAchimWestfield/

Congregation Beth Israel Conservative Rabbi Aviva Fellman (508) 756-6204 receptionist@bethisraelworc.org www.bethisraelworc.org 15 Jamesbury Drive Worcester, MA 01609 Congregation Shaarai Torah West Orthodox Rabbi Yakov Blotner (508) 791-0013 Brotman156@aol.com www.shaaraitorah.org 835 Pleasant St. Worcester, MA 01602 Temple Emanuel Sinai Reform Rabbi Valerie Cohen (508) 755-1257 amayou@emanuelsinai.org www.emanuelsinai.org 661 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609

To join our synagogue directory, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or howardm@jewishledger.com majewishledger.com


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Around Massachusetts LYA Lights Up Western Mass. LONGMEADOW/SPRINGFIELD – While this year might be a bit different, Chanukah light still spread across Western Massachusetts. Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) held several Covid-safe Chanukah programs that reached all ages and segments of the community.








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Around Massachusetts CENTRAL MASS CHANUKAH The spirit of Chanukah shone brightly in Central Massachusetts as the community celebrated a socially-distanced Festival of Lights through a variety of special events organized by the Jewish Federation of Central Mass.










JANUARY 15, 2021


WHAT’S HAPPENING FRIDAY, JAN. 15 Springfield – Virtual Tot Shabbat with Marlene Rachelle, Temple Beth El, and PJ Library, Grab an instrument and a favorite stuffy as we welcome Shabbat together and fill our homes with music and fun; 5:306:15 p.m.; ALSO: Feb. 6 & 19 Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZIldOGtrjIjG93LsyTK8ANSe6VKaVF50Myj

SUNDAY, JAN. 17 Central Mass. – Breakfast with Past Young Israeli Emissary (2006-2007) Ron Marom, “Following Values vs. Life Challenges,” for PJ/PJOW parents, 9 a.m., RSVP for Zoom link. To lizbaker58@gmail.com

TUESDAY, JAN. 19 Northampton – “Wealth and Poverty in the Hebrew Bible,” four-part Zoom mini-course, 7-8 p.m., Congregation B’nai Israel, Register: https://www.cbinorthampton.org/form/ wealthandpoverty

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20 Western Mass. – Jewish Family Jam, Explore Jewish holidays, language, culture and values through music, movement and drumming, 10:30-11:30 a.m., (Also: Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17 & 24) http:// jfswm.org/jewish-family-jam Longmeadow – The Rebbe, a Model of Leadership Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy Zoom talk with Rabbi Abba Perelmuter, 7:30 p.m., talk is FREE; catered dinner by Yosi Awad available for $10 a person (up to 4 people), each additional family member $5/person & special child dinner/$6; includes rolls, soup, choice of chicken or salmon, two side dishes & dessert; Pickup at LYA Jan. 21 between 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. RSVP for the free Zoom link and/or dinner by emailing: info@lya. org or call (413) 567-8665; To reserve dinner RSVP by Sunday, Jan. 17.

Zoom starting at 2 p.m. and will also stream live on the Yiddish Book Center’s Facebook page. For a virtual seat in the Zoom audience, which will allow you to submit questions, registration is required. West Hartford – “Bimah to Broadway” in concert with Cantor Azi Schwartz, Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York and a world-renowned vocal performer, whose craft of Jewish liturgical music has been described as emotionally moving, spiritually uplifting, and artistically dynamic; 8 p.m., Part of the 2021 Beth El Temple Online Music Season with Cantor Joseph Ness. Limited viewers. No charge. Register now. Go to: http://betheltemplemusic.com/home/ upcoming-events-list/event/from-bimah-tobroadway-with-cantor-azi-schwartz/

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 3 Longmeadow – “Journey of the Soul: How to look at life, death, and the rest—in peace,” a Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) and Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy new sixsession course, 7:30 p.m., each Wednesday; open to the public and designed for people at all levels of knowledge, including no background in Jewish learning; Cost: $100 a person (a couple’s discount is available). Call Rabbi Wolff at (413) 348-4978 or visitwww. myJLI.com for registration and for other course-related information.

JAN.15 - FEB. 20 SUMMER CAMP SCHOLARSHIP FUND ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF RABBI MARK DOV SHAPIRO SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Jewish Community Center has established the Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro Memorial Fund for Social Justice to help lower-income families send their children to summer camp at the Springfield JCC. The fund honors the life and legacy of Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro, a beloved spiritual leader who passed away in July 2020. Springfield attorney Gary Weiner initiated the endowed scholarship as a meaningful way to recognize Shapiro’s passionate commitment to social justice and ensure that the J’s summer day camp is accessible for children of all backgrounds. “Mark Shapiro was someone who continually crossed boundaries, spiritually and socially, to strive for inclusion of all individuals, whether they were Jewish or not,” said Weiner. “In setting up this scholarship, it is my way to, hopefully, be part of the solution as we all try to bring people together of different faiths and cultures.” “The JCC has a wonderful summer camp that has meant so much to my family,” said Marsha Shapiro, the Rabbi’s wife of nearly 48 years. “This fund is a special way to honor Mark and will ensure the maximum number of kids have access to camp programs – it’s really about having the most impact possible.” Rabbi Shapiro served as spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Springfield for 28 years. He was an active member of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts and served as the first “rabbi in residence” at Christ Church Cathedral, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

THURSDAY, FEB. 4 Florida – Worcester Florida Party 2021, the annual get together for Worcester snowbirds or former Worcester residents now living in Florida, 11 a.m., at the Delray Country Club, 2200 Highland Ave., Delray Beach; Register on website: worcesterfloridaparty. myevent.com or contact Alan Cooper at ALANCOOPER1818@GMAIL.COM at (508) 789-5066.


Central Mass. - PJ Library Storytime with Lori and Friends on FB Live, Learn about Jewish holidays, traditions, values, and Shabbat through PJ Library stories with Lori and Friends; 9 a.m., RSVP here.

Western Mass. – Shabbat Shabloom on Zoom! Join Aram Rubenstein-Gillis for a fun, song filled Shabbat morning sing-a-long time every 2nd Saturday on the month, 9-9:45am; Virtual Link: https://us02web.zoom. us/j/86814409262 Registration: mailto:molly@cbinorthampton.org



“Through his dedication to civic learning and social justice causes, Rabbi Shapiro touched the lives of countless individuals in our area,” said Michael Paysnick, Springfield JCC Chief Executive Officer. “This fund will provide even more children with an engaging summer camp experience, and will continue the Rabbi’s lasting impact for generations to come.”

Amherst – “40 Years in Yiddishland: The Yiddish Book Center Celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory Band,” a video special celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Yiddish Book Center and the KCB; the 90-minute special will be presented live via

Western Mass. – Women’s Philanthropy Film Program, “Bess Myerson, The One and Only Jewish Miss America,” 7-10 p.m., ngorenstein@jewishwesternmass.org

To contribute to the Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro Memorial Fund for Social Justice, contact the Springfield JCC at (413) 739-4715. Online donations can be accepted at the J’s website (springfieldjcc.org) or checks can be mailed to the JCC, 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108.




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n 2015 Lesléa Newman published I Carry My Mother, a book of poetry about the final years of her mother ‘s life. Now she has written I Wish My Father, poems about her late father, and the very different journey she went through with him before his death at the age of 90 in 2017. The book was published on Jan. 2 (Headmistress Press). The poems in I Wish My Father begin at the point where Newman’s mother died in 2012. It shares how Newman’s father dealt with the loss of his beloved wife after 63 years of marriage and how hard he fought against losing his independence as he aged. Northampton-based Newman is the author of 75 books for readers of all ages, including A Letter to Harvey Milk; October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard; The Boy Who Cried Fabulous; Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed; and Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children’s book to portray lesbian families in a positive way. She has followed that up with several more children’s books on lesbian and gay families: Felicia’s Favorite Story, Too Far Away to Touch, Saturday Is Pattyday, Mommy, Mama, and Me, and Daddy, Papa, and Me. Newman recently spoke to the Mass. Jewish Ledger about her new book of poems and how they JEWISH LEDGER: After writing your 2012 book of poetry, I Carry My Mother, was it just a natural, automatic thing to then to write a book of poems about your father? LESLÉA NEWMAN: I absolutely knew I would write a book about my dad because he deserved a book just like my mom deserved a book, They were both very supportive of my writing and they were both, obviously, such important people in my life. But even not being my parents, they were just very interesting people, very strong personalities, very opinionated, a little stubborn – they were great source material. JL: Your father passed away in 2017 at the age of 90. What exactly did he die from? LN: My opinion is that he died of a broken heart. Nobody knows why he died, he was just found in this room. He had been to the doctor the previous week for his annual


checkup and received a clean bill of health. I think he was just ready. As it says in one of the poems, when he moved into Independent Living he wasn’t very happy. He said, ‘Eh, I’ll give it a year.’ And he died just short of a year moving there.

parents all over again. However, when I give readings from the book, which I do now only online, via Zoom, of course, it brings me a lot of joy because I feel like I’m sharing my parents with the world and keeping them alive in that way.

JL: How has your view of aging changed after watching your parents go through all that they did as they got older?

JL: What has been the response to these books from people who are going through the same thing with their aging parents?

LN: You know, my parents’ journeys were each so different. My mother’s journey was completely physical in terms of her illness. She had COPD and cancer but her mind stayed completely intact. And my dad stayed physically fit; he was playing tennis until he was 88, and driving. But he was having these episodes that kept compromising his mental capabilities… I just kept thinking, which would I prefer? Obviously, I’d prefer neither, but each situation was painful in its own unique way. I felt it was a blessing that I had the time and resources to be able to spend a lot of time with my parents and care for them. I don’t regret one minute that I spent with them. And frankly, it’s also made me think about the fact that I don’t have children and who is going to do this for me? It’s a scary thought. But also, I know … it’s not a reason to have kids. It’s a little too late to change my mind. But it just made me think about ‘the world’ having to take care of me in whatever way that’s meant to be. But it’s a privilege to be with someone for the last two years of their lives and witness what they’re going through and their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their regrets. JL: Did writing these poems help you to heal? LN: It definitely helped me. I don’t know if ‘heal’ is the word I would use. I don’t know if I will ever be healed from losing my parents. But it helped me process what I went through. Writing is what I do. It helps me understand the world outside of myself, the world inside of myself, and the relationship between the two. So writing in some ways, saved me. I felt when writing each book that my parents were keeping me company in a way and I was surprised that a very hard thing for me was when I finished each book because then I felt like I had to let go of my

LN: The book I Carry My Mother came out in 2013 so I heard from many people all kinds of reactions, from ‘I couldn’t put it down. I read it from cover to cover and then started it again,’ to ‘it was so painful to read I had to read one poem and then wait a day, and maybe read another poem the next day.’ People have very emotional responses and I am anticipating it will be the same with the book about my dad. JL: Your father sounds like he was quite a character. How would you describe him and your relationship? LN: We were always very close. I have two brothers, so I am the girl, and I’m definitely a daddy’s girl. I take after him in many ways. I’m a type A personality like he was. I’m a go-getter in terms of my career like he was, and I hope I exemplify some of the qualities that I admired in him, such as his generosity and his kindness. JL: He sounds like a character. LN: He had a great sense of humor and he was charming. I never met a person who did not love my father. He was very charismatic. JL: The poems detail your father’s dementia. How difficult was that to go through and to write about? LN: That was excruciating, I have to say. That was much worse than my mother’s illness because my mother’s brain and personality and take charge attitude stayed intact, so she could tell me what she wanted. And my job was to follow those requests even when I didn’t agree with them as long as she was safe. My father really lost the ability to make decisions that were safe for him… He continued to drive long after he should not have been driving… and [it was difficult knowing] how to negotiate that. And also, he was a widower. He had my mom and they were a team and they each had their own mold in their marriage, which worked for them for 63 years. So, you know, MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER


my dad couldn’t cook; he couldn’t do the laundry, so I had to hire someone to do those things for him. He of course thought he didn’t need that. So, you know, there was much more friction between my dad and me because I had to negotiate ways to take care of him without make him feel emasculated and treating them like a child. And that was hard. The publishing of these poems is very bittersweet. I did get to show I Carry My Mother to my father. And that was a very emotional moment as you can imagine. He read the book from cover to cover, and used an entire box of tissues, and kept telling me how brave he thought I was to write something like that – I’m not sure why he thought it took a lot of bravery. But he loved it and was very proud of it. Of course when this book came out I couldn’t show it to my mother because obviously she had passed first, so that was very emotional. They’re both gone. In a way, I couldn’t fully grieve my mom because right after she died I had to really go into caretaker mode and take care of my dad. And now that they’re both gone. There is an emptiness. Their absence is present with me every day.

For each copy of I Wish My Father purchased on Newman’s website, she will make a donation to Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, an organization loved by her father. To order go to: https:// lesleanewman.com/books-for-adults/ poetry/i-wish-my-father/

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OBITUARIES BAILEY Stuart E. Bailey, 60, of Pittsfield, formerly of Springfield, died Dec. 17 at a local nursing home. Born in New Haven, Conn. and raised in Longmeadow, he was the son of the late Mark I. Bailey and Jacquelyn D. Bailey. He graduated from Longmeadow High School in 1981. He is survived by two brothers, Steven (Sarah) of Pennsylvania and Robert (Tracy) of Feeding Hills; his nephews and nieces, Kristyn, Rachael, JR, Joshua, Ian, Jasmine, and Desmond. Memorial contributions may be made to Oasis Food Pantry, c/o Project 13, lnc, 1913 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME KOGON Alexander Kogon, 46, of Springfield, died unexpectedly on Dec. 22 after a difficult battle with Covid 19. He was the husband of Mindy Kogon. Born in Kiev, Russia, he was the son of the late Igor and Jane (Yevgenya) Kogon. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 7. He worked for Home Depot for more than 13 years. In addition to his wife he is survived by two stepdaughters, Amber and Ashlee Hoskins; and a granddaughter, Sammy Jane. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME FIELDSTEIN Moe Fieldstein, 90, of Longmeadow, died Nov. 26 due to complications from COVID. He was the husband of Ellen G. Fieldstein. Born in Springfield, he was the son of Rose and Jacob Fieldstein. He began working at Brightwood Hardware in Longmeadow as a young boy, helping his father run the original hardware store located in the Brightwood section of Springfield. After serving in United States Air Force as a flight navigator, he returned to build the business. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister, Benis F. Glasser of Colorado and his children and grandchildren, Susan and Mark Fieldstein of Wilmington, N.C. and daughters Jordan Fieldstein, Katherine and Cameron Greene; Jill Fieldstein and Barry Osher of Dover Plains, N.Y. and son Kyle Osher; Laurie Cohn and Miriam Mandell of Brookline; Susan Cohn-Child and Andrew Child and sons Alex and Zach Child of Acton; and Ken Cohn and wife Tina, daughter Ally and son Vinnie of East Longmeadow; his parents-in-law, Marcia and Howie Albert; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Marcia Goldberg (Jerry) of Bloomfield, Conn.; a brother in-law, Bob Glasser; and a sister in-law, Merna L. D’agostino. Memorial contributions may be made to the National M.S. Society (nationalmssociety. org). ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME 22

HERRING Arthur Louis Herring, 95, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., formerly of Worcester, died Dec. 9, in White Plains, N.Y. He was the widower of Ruth Herring. At 14 years of age, Arthur and his family left a small village in Lithuania and boarded the last ship leaving Cherbourg before war broke out in Germany. His family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Worcester. In 1952, he founded Modern Manufacturing of Worcester and worked tirelessly building his window business. By 1971 he had 275 employees and was honored with the Small Businessman of the Year Award by the Worcester Chamber of Commerce. In the 1980s, he and his son Zachary built and donated the giant Menorah that still stands in Newton Square at Chanukah each year. He is survived by a son, Jonathan; a daughter, Debbie Spiro and her husband, Marc Spiro; a grandson, Perry Spiro; a granddaughter, Jennifer Aisenberg; and a sister, Marilyn Adelman. He was predeceased by a son, Zachary; a daughter, Abby; and a grandson, Nathan. Memorial contributions may be made to Chabad of Central Massachusetts, 22 Newton Ave., Worcester, MA 01602; or to Chabad of Bedford, 100 South Bedford Road, Suite 300, Bedford, NY 10549. MAGID Emanuel (Manny) Magid, 95, of Worcester, formerly of Maplewood, N.J., died Dec. 23 at his home. He was the widower of Phyllis (Sperber) Magid. Born in New York, N.Y., he was the son of the late Max and Anna Magid. He graduated Brooklyn College in 1942, and began his teaching career prior to serving in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. In 1948, he earned a master’s degree from Columbia Teachers College and subsequently taught at several schools in Newark, N.J., including South Side then East Side High School, where he was chairman of the Math Department until 1977. He was active in the Newark Teachers Union. After his teaching career, he joined the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, where he worked from 1977 through 1983. From 1983 until his retirement in 1993, he worked as an accountant. He was a member of Congregation B’nai Israel of Millburn, N.J. for over 50 years, before moving to Massachusetts and joining Congregation Beth Israel in Worcester. He is survived by three sons, Martin Magid (Elizabeth) of Newton, David Magid (Debra) of Worcester, and Joseph Magid (Elizabeth) of Wynnewood, Pa.; and six grandchildren, Joshua, Rachel, Zoe, Noah, Max, and Zachary. Memorial contributions may be made to The Blue Card Fund, 171 Madison Ave., Suite #1405, New York, NY


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10016 (https://www.bluecardfund.org/); Hebrew Free Loan Society, 675 Third Ave., 19th Floor, New York, NY 10017 (https:// hfls.org/donate/); or Worcester Chamber Music Society, 323 Main St., Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA 01608 (https:// worcesterchambermusic.org/). MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN OKUN Sheryl Okun, 67, of Longmeadow, died Jan. 3. She was the wife of Gary Okun. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Lewis. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or JGS Lifecare. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME PEMSTONE Harriet Rome Pemstein of Auburndale died Dec. 26 in Newton. Born in 1929 in Worcester, she was the daughter of Dora and Myer Pemstein. She began her career in New York at NBC News. She lived for several years in Israel working at Hebrew University. She returned to the United States to care for her ailing mother and worked at the Museum of Fine Arts. She is survived by many Pemstein and Rome cousins. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice with notice to her cousin Alan Pemstein. ROTHBERG Irving Paul Rothberg of Easthampton died Nov. 28. He was the widower of Irene (Podhurst) Rothberg. Born on June 8, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Harry and Jenny Rothberg. After graduating from Northeast High School in 1939, he worked at various jobs, including at a photographic equipment store (kindling a lifelong interest in cameras and photography) while attending night classes at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and was assigned to the Intelligence unit of Troop Carrier Squadron S-2 Section. His unit supported the Allied invasions of Italy and France (notably, on D-Day). After the war, he attended college on the G.I. Bill, graduating from Temple University with honors and a B.S. in education from the Pennsylvania State University, earning an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Columbia. He served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut and Temple University before joining the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1962, starting a 30-year career in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, where he became a full professor in 1967. He served for a time as Department Chair, and

retired in 1992. He was editor of Hispania, the scholarly journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), from 1966 to 1974 and served as AATSP’s vice president in 1982 and president in 1983. In 1978 King Juan Carlos of Spain awarded him the Cruz de Cabellero de la Orden del Mérito, which honors extraordinary service by Spanish and foreign citizens for the benefit of Spain. He served on the Amherst Town Meeting. He is survived by two sons, Seth Rothberg of Amherst, and Adam Rothberg and his wife, Janet, of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; and two granddaughters, Isabel and Maggie. He was predeceased by his sisters, Sally and Clare. Memorial contributions may be made to the JDRF Diabetes Foundation. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME SHAPIRO Stanley Shapiro, 87, of Worcester, died Dec. 14 after a long and courageous battle with MDS. He was the husband of “Betsy” Judith Shapiro. Born in Worcester, he was the son of the late Abraham and Dorothy Shapiro. He graduated from Commerce High in Worcester and Franklin Tech in Boston with a degree in photography. He began his career as a photographer and then went on to work as an editor of a newspaper project for Readex/NewsBank for more than 43 years. Through his work, he traveled to libraries, colleges, museums, and historical societies throughout New England and New York from where he would borrow rare and valuable newspapers, which would then be microfilmed. He published miniature books through his company Oakham Bindery. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Alek Shapiro of Worcester; two stepdaughters, Karen Strachovsky (John) of Summerfield, Fla., and Dale Shaw (Larry) of Palmer; two sisters, Leona Ricklin (Donald) and Beatrice Shapiro Cohen, both of Worcester; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. Memorial contributions may be made the ASPCA, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, D.C., 20077-7127; or to the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN SMITH Marjorie E. Smith, 61, of Longmeadow, died Dec. 30 after a brief illness. She was the wife of Donald A. Smith. Born and raised in Longmeadow, she was the daughter of the late Norman and Janice Epstein. She was a graduate of Longmeadow High School in 1978 and the Isenburg School of Management at UMass in 1982. She worked as an accountant and was the director of human resources and office manager at MP CPAs in Springfield for the last 13 years. majewishledger.com

She was a volunteer for many organizations. She served as president of the Center School PTO and a charter member of the Longmeadow Public Schools District Learning Team when her children were young and assumed numerous leadership roles at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, including becoming its first female president. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Alexandra (Nick) Dayton; a son, Daniel (Stephanie Aguado) Smith; two grandchildren, Theo and Penelope Smith; three sisters, Laura (Bill) Lebow, Phyllis (Steve) Sensenig, and Susan (Lenny) Shaker; a nephew, Jonathan (Julia) Shaker; two nieces, Dana and Lauren Shaker; several cousins; and members of

her husband’s extensive family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield JCC, 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME TOLLIN Alan S. “Ace� Tollin, 87, of Wilbraham, died Dec. 10 with his family by his side. Born in Springfield, he was the son of the late Herman Tollin and Sarah Hurwitz Tollin. He worked in the furniture business until retirement. He is survived by two daughters, Lori S. Armida and Shery L. Bradbury and her, husband Thomas; three grandsons, Ryan T. Armida, Jonathan M. Armida and Joseph A. Armida.

Serving the Jewish Communities of Worcester, * Worcester County and Surrounding areas

Richard Perlman Serving the Jewish communities of Worcester and Worcester County Is now affiliated with

Miles Funeral Directors  of Holden   Honoring Lives ~ Celebrating Memories 508.829.4434 Respect, Dignity and Compassion

Ruth Calish Weiss, longtime supporter of the Jewish community


uth Calish Weiss, of Key Biscayne, Fla., formerly of Longmeadow, died Dec. 16. For over 50 years, Ruth was a pillar of the Jewish community, leaving a distinguished history of supporting and advocating for all its members and for the State of Israel. Born in Lynn, she was the daughter of Rose (Ravich) Calish and David I. Calish. She graduated from Swampscott High School and then Syracuse University in 1954. Known for her good taste in fashion, she started her career in the buying and merchandising industry for Filene’s. In 1957, she and Franklin (Fred) Weiss (Z�L), whom she lovingly called Freddy, married and settled in Longmeadow. They completed their family with two beautiful daughters and together they shared 46 wonderful years. Ruth’s love, dedication and commitment to Israel and the Jewish people was evidenced by her leadership and philanthropy. Her many roles included serving as president and campaign chair of the Women’s Division and as general campaign chair of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, and Israel Bonds chair. She was a board member of the Jewish Endowment Foundation and created the “Generation to Generation� society, ensuring support for the community for generations to come. She also served for 14 years on the National Women’s Philanthropy board of the Jewish Federations of North America. She was the epitome of a strong Jewish woman, and was proud to pass this tradition on to her children and grandchildren. Ruth, along with her three friends started a gift giving business, the Candy Depot. An avid traveler, she visited all corners of the world. She was, however, most proud of her over 30 trips to Israel, where she solidified her relationship RUTH WEISS with the country and its people. She had a great appreciation for the arts, supporting Jacob’s Pillow, The Springfield Museums, the Miami City Ballet and the New World Symphony Orchestra. Ruth was a lifelong member of Sinai Temple in Springfield, MA, supporter of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and Mass General Hospital. Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Fred. She is survived by her two daughters, Susan (William) Weiss Firestone of Longmeadow, and Debra (Robert) Finkel of New York, N.Y.; and five grandchildren, Rachel and Andie Firestone and Max, Hannah and Aliyah Finkel. Memorial contributions may be made to Sinai Temple in Springfield, MA; The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Mass.; or The Greater Miami Jewish Federation.


Taharah (religious preparation) Taharah is performed on-site by the (religious preparation) is performed on-site FamilyKadisha Owned and Operated Worcester Chevra by the Worcester Chevra Kadisha

Richy Perlman* and Rick Mansfield Richard S. Mansfield, Funeral Director Ricky Mansfield www.milesfuneralhome.com Holden and Sterling locations

508-829-4434 | 978-422-0100

Contact 800-983-4434 Richard Perlman www.milesfuneralhome.com Cell: 508.769.7017 Nationally recognized as a Selected Independent Funeral Home *Lic.and – Typeprofessional 6 with the highest ethical standards.


Proudly Serving the Community for Over 60 Years

Funeral Directors: RYAN S. ASCHER • ROBERT P. ZIMMERMAN 413.734.5229 • 888.827.2437

44 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108 E: ascherzimmerman@aol.com www.ascherzimmerman.com

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JANUARY 15, 2021


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Massachusetts Jewish Ledger • January 15, 2021 • 2 Shevat 5781  

Massachusetts Jewish Ledger • January 15, 2021 • 2 Shevat 5781