Friday, February 12, 2021 30 Shevat 5781 Vol. 22 | No. 2 | Â©2021 $1.00 | majewishledger.com
A Sacred Craft
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MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | FEBRUARY 12, 2021 | 30 SHEVAT 5781
4 Bulletin Board
10 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.
Anti-Vaxxer fired ........................... 5 Local rabbi’s social media opposed lockdowns, masks and Covid vaccines
16 News Briefs
Has it been a year already?.........5 Purim in 2021
Purim Food..................................... 15 How about some Rosewater-Pistachio Hamantaschen?
And the Golden Globe goes to... ...........................................................................19 All the Jewish nominees
In memoriam............................... 23 Seymour Frankel was a longtime supporter of the Springfield Jewish community
17 Synagogue Directory
20 What’s Happening
ON THE COVER: One of the films featured in the 16th annual Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival is “Commandment 613” featuring Western Mass’s own Rabbi Kevin Hale. This year’s mini-festival, running through March 22, showcases some of the best independent Jewish cinema from around the world. PAGE 12
A Reminder From
Gary M. Gaffin
Accounting services for all size businesses firstname.lastname@example.org Bisceglia, Steiman & Fudeman, LLP 313 Park Ave. Worcester, MA 01609 T: 508-797-4826 F: 508-797-4866 E: email@example.com www.bsfcpas.com
Shabbat Shalom WORCESTER Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING
SPRINGFIELD Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING
February 12 4:54 pm February 13 6:04 pm
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BULLETIN BOARD Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation of Western Mass. present virtual film event WESTERN MASS. - Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Western Mass. will present a virtual film program, “The One and Only Jewish Miss America” on Saturday, Feb. 20. The documentary tells the story of Bess Myerson, a beauty queen from the Bronx, who overcame anti-Semitism to win the 1945 Miss America pageant. The 51-minute documentary will be followed by a live discussion with: • David Arond, director of the film • Barra Grant, daughter of Bess Myerson • Professor Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and a professor of criminal justice • Professor Emerita Catherine Portuges, Founding Director BESS MYERSON of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All are welcome to attend this community program. A boxed kosher dinner prepared by caterer Cheryl Blonder under the supervision of the Massachusetts Kosher Commission, is available for pickup or local delivery. Dinner tickets at the $25 level and any additional donations will help fund future Women’s Philanthropy events. Thanks to a Rekindle Shabbat grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a subsidized dinner cost of $10 is available. There is no charge for those attending the film only. For more information about the event or the dinner menu, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, go to https://jewishwesternmass. org/womens-philanthropy-upcomingevents/. Co-hosted by Women’s Philanthropy Co-Chairs Lara Curtis and Henny Lewin, and Development Officer Nora Gorenstein.
Zoom presentation of “Gimpel the Fool” on Feb. 18. The Central Massachusetts Jewish Theater Co. will; present a Zoom screening of “Gimpel the Fool,” on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The event is in conjunction with Theatre Nephesh of Tel Aviv, Israel. A treasure from Yiddish literature, “Gimpel the Fool” based in the classic story by Isaac Bahevis Singer, blends 4
klezmer music into a surrealistic theatrical presentation. In the face of betrayal and ridicule, Gimpel’s childlike acceptance and steadfast belief in God and human goodness has inspired audiences throughout the world. The work is translated from the Yiddish by Saul Bellow and was adapted and stars Howard Rypp. Gimpel the Fool is presented at no
Jewish Family Jam on Zoom! WESTERN MASS. - Jewish Family Zoom! will meet every Friday morning until March 26. The weekly Jewish music class for kids 0-5 and their caretakers is led by Jewish educator and musician Felicia Sloin and will be held on Zoom on Fridays from 9-9:30 a.m. A spring session of Jewish Family Zoom will begin on April 9 and end May 28. To pre-register, go to www.jfswm.org/ jewish-famil-jam.
charge. However, the purchase of a virtual ticket for $10 will help offset production and presentation costs. To register go to: https://us02web. zoom.us/webinar/register/4716119294934/ WN_mASqeIyHRaqkoD5iRscYlg FELICIA SLOIN
YAD LEAD to present talk by Hussein Aboubakr Mansour CENTRAL MASS. – The Young Adult Division (YAD)’s LEAD program will present “Journey into the Light,” with Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, an Arab Muslim who fled his homeland of Egypt after enduring persecution and torture surrounding his ideal for co-existence with Israel. Mansour will share his story on Zoom on Sunday, March 7 at 4 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the entire community. The program is co-sponsored by YAD and Clark U Hillel. To RSVP and for Zoom link go to www. jfcm.org/LEADSWU
Jewish Federation of Central Mass. presents Passover wine tasting CENTRAL MASS. “The Legacy of the Grape, a community-wide pre-Passover virtual wine tasting will be held on Sunday, March 14, 6:30-8 p.m. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. and Life & Legacy, the evening will include learning about and tasting Passover wines hosted by Brad dePlessis, lead wine consultant of KosherWines.com. All participants will be mailed a box which will contain three distinct full bottles of wine from three different countries (limit one order per household). The cost is $18 for 2021 JFCM campaign donors; $18 for Life & Legacy members; and $60 for non-donors, but participants can make a 2021 gift commitment to receive donor rate. Payment by cash or check only Sign up by Feb. 28: www.jfcm.org/ virtualwine.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
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The registration fee is $25 per eightweek session. Online payment is accepted. For more information, contact Roz Torrey at email@example.com or visit www.jfswm.org.
Hillel scholarship deadline is March 15 Hillel is offering two scholarship to help incoming college freshmen and current college students pay for the cost of their education. Scholarships are open to students who identify as Jewish, who are attending or preparing to attend fouryear colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, and meet the individual scholarship requirements listed below. The deadline for applications is March 15. The Handeli First-Year Student Scholarship is a $4,000 scholarship awarded annually to two graduating high school seniors who are preparing to seek a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada. Applicants must demonstrate a record of leadership and/or volunteer service in any aspect of their local community, and must also self-identify as Jewish. Hillel Campus Leadership Award is a $4,000 scholarship awarded annually to two full-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university who demonstrate extraordinary leadership abilities, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants must self-identify as Jewish and commit to attending at least one Hillel event in the upcoming school year. Previous attendance at Hillel events is not a requirement for this scholarship.
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MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | FEBRUARY 12, 2021 | 30 SHEVAT 578
Purim ~ One year after Covid BY STACEY DRESNER
early one full year has passed since Covid-19 struck the U.S. last March, just as Jewish communities were getting ready to celebrate
Purim. “Purim was the last in-person thing we did,” recalled Rabbi Rachel Gurevich of Congregation B’nai Shalom (CBS) in Westborough. This year, CBS will celebrate the festival as most other congregations will – via Zoom. The congregation will hold a Mixology & Megillah Zoom party for adults on the first night, Feb. 25. The next evening they will present “Live from Persia – It’s Shushan Night Live,” a shpiel that was written by four religious school students during their winter break (and Rabbi Gurevich) and which will be performed by the students as well. On Sunday, children and families can participate in a “CAR’nival” – dressing up themselves – and their cars – in Purim costumes. “It seems so small to be able to wave at each other from your car windows but its not – it lifts the spirit when other things aren’t possible, and people really appreciate it…We need these moments of relief and release,” Rabbi Gurevich said. “That does not diminish the suffering and
the losses that have happened during this period of time, because all of that is there as well, but we can’t only emotionally be in that place. “Jews historically have dealt with some of the most challenging experiences as a people with humor and with comedy and so I think there is a place for that,” she added. “I do expect that mixology night -- which is going to have a little bit of megillah-connected midrash mixed in with the cocktail making – is going to make us laugh together and have that feeling of connection with each other.” Purim was also the last in-person event held last year at Temple Israel in Greenfield. “Even when we made our misholach manot, we were all going, ‘Should we be [handling] these things with tongs?’” recalled Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener. “So, we were aware, but we were just beginning to imagine the adaptation.” This year Temple Israel will be distributing Purim materials to members’ homes, including hamantaschen; and packages with groggers and other fun for children, courtesy of PJ Library. The congregation will begin its Purim celebration at 5:30 p.m. with childrenfriendly content before segueing into a more “anachronistic, political humor” in
the shpiel, co-written by Rabbi CohenKiener and a team of congregants. “We’re going to start out with a television announcer giving the news report about all the casualties in the Judean war and how many Persians were killed and how much booty was reclaimed…and then just break character, and say, ‘You know what? We’re going to do it differently this year, because the cycle of being the victim and then the avenger is an old, old story, and we’re not the only ones that tell this story,” Rabbi CohenKiener said. “I’ll hand it over to one of the other writers and he’s going to share his impressions – who’s the good guy and the bad guy in our story, and about revenge and about celebrating this bloodthirsty story. We’ll ask people to interact and talk about healing and dealing with hard times, and good and evil. We just decided to go real.” Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz of Temple Beth El in Springfield said her congregation will have a lighter focus. “This year, especially, we are keeping it light,” Rabbi Katz said. “People have had enough death in their life. We are going to focus on the light and bringing the community together,” she said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
RABBI AMY KATZ, SECOND FROM THE RIGHT, WITH TEMPLE BETH EL MEMBERS AT A PRE-COVID PURIM PARTY.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
Anti-vaxxer rabbi fired by Chabad over social media posts BY SHIRA HANAU
(JTA) — A longtime Chabad emissary in Massachusetts was fired after months of social media posts in which he railed against pandemic-related lockdowns and mask mandates. In more recent weeks Rabbi Michoel Green, the Hasidic movement’s envoy in Westborough for almost 20 years, encouraged his followers not to be vaccinated with the new COVID vaccines. “It’s NOT immunization. It’s pathogenic priming & mass sterilization,” he wrote last week, according to Haaretz. Anti-vaxxers constitute a small minority in Orthodox communities. In 2019, antivaxxers contributed to an outbreak of measles in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Rockland County, New York, that was resolved through vaccination campaigns by government and community groups, as well as barring unvaccinated children from schools. During the COVID pandemic, in which some Orthodox communities have seen little compliance with mask wearing and social distancing, misinformation about the new vaccines has been spreading for months. Green apparently had been promoting his anti-vaccine views since the 2019 measles crisis, but the posts intensified during the pandemic. Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, director of the Central Massachusetts Chabad, told Haaretz that Green’s social media posts were “contrary to the organization’s mission and a direct conflict with the sacred task for which he was appointed.” “It became clear that dismissal was our only choice,” Fogelman said. Green was dismissed on Jan. 27. The Westborough area, located about 35 miles outside Boston, “constitutes a second hub of Jewish life in the Central Massachusetts area,” according to the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts. n
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Purim CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Last year by Purim, the leaders at TBE were already discussing what to do as Covid-19 began its spread. “We had already said, ‘We can’t do this. We had already begun to wind down,” Rabbi Katz said. “We had some doctors who said, ‘Wake up and smell the coffee.’ And so that’s is what we did. And when we woke up and smelled the coffee, we found that we had to close.” TBE did do Purim on a smaller scare last year. Rabbi Katz estimates that instead of their usual 400 congregants maybe 125 showed up. “This year, I’m actually very proud of our temple community because we, together with Sinai Temple and the JCC, are going to do a Purim magic show for little ones; then we’re going to do a short service and Noah Aronson, who is a terrific performer, is going to do a concert and chapter five of the Megillah for us. And then we’ll do a full Megillah reading on Friday morning for the people who really want that regular Megillah reading,” she said. Rabbi Jeremy Master of Sinai Temple
Purim at Congregation B’nai Torah LONGMEADOW – Purim at Congregation B’nai Torah (CBT) will begin Thursday, Feb. 25 with Maariv followed by Megillah and Zoom at 6:05 p.m. On Friday, Feb. 26, Purim Shacharit & Megillah reading at CBT and Zoom will take place at 7 a.m. A Drive-in Megillah reading will take place at 10:30 a.m. (safely done from your vehicle.) Mishloach Manot/Shabbat pick-up will be at 1:15 a.m., with Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat at 5:15 p.m. For more information, email email@example.com
A Taste of Purim LONGMEADOW – To fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the Megillah once by night and once by day, live and in person, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) will hold multiple readings in order to maintain social distance on Thursday night, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb. 26. You must reserve a time slot to attend. Call Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky for times and to sign up at (413) 567-8665, ext., 17. LYA rabbis will also read Megillah for people at home, first come, first served. Please call Rabbi Yakov Wolff at (413) 567-8665, ext. 19 for more information. LYA will also offer A Taste of Purim with a menu offered in this Purim poem:
has written a Purim shpiel that both his congregation, Temple Beth El and JCC members will be able to experience. “The shpiel I wrote is making light of some of the challenges of a year of being on Zoom,” Rabbi Master explained. “We are having the characters of the story engaging in the story via Zoom and encountering things like speaking while muted or having a conversation in the background while not realizing you are muted. The last time we were in person last year was Purim so I was really thinking about how to find some humor in the past year of Zooming [because] finding humor in life is what I think Purim is all about.” While everyone longs for the day when things get back to normal and synagogues open fully, there are some reasons to be thankful for the blessings Zoom has brought to many. “What we’ve heard from our members more than anything else is how it brings us together, how it does create community, how good it is to have that feeling of celebration together,” said Rabbi Gurevich. “In some ways it’s become easier to reach beyond the walls of the congregation. A lot of congregations have realized that when everything is digital and online, you have
Purim fun is on its way Reserve your Taste of Purim today! Meal includes deli sub, and on the side cole slaw, pasta & pickle we will provide hamentash, of course we will include For the festive meal with your food So come one, come all and reserve For the Holiday of Purim to observe
Curbside pick-up for Taste of Purim will be at LYA, 1148 Converse St., on Friday, Feb. 26 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. RSVP by Monday, Feb. 22 to Rabbi Yakov Wolff at (413) 567-8665, ext. 19 or firstname.lastname@example.org. $5 suggested donation per person.
Mixology and Megillah Congregation B’nai Shalom of Westborough will celebrate Purim this year with a variety of fun activities. Erev Purim, Thursday, Feb. 25 at 8:30 p.m., we’ll celebrate with Mixology and Megilah. Join Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz and friends for cocktail and mock-tail demos, along with a little alternative Megillah reading muddled in for good measure. Friday evening, Feb. 26 at 6:45 p.m. – LIVE FROM PERSIA – it’s Shushan Night Live!, our Purim Shpiel written by and featuring our Chai School students. And, Sunday, Feb. 28, we’ll be holding a Purim CAR-nival, dress up yourself and your car for a Purim parade (there will be prizes), followed by a drive-in songfest. Details on all these events can be found at www.cbnaishalom.org.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
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a way to reach people and make what your are doing available to other people who don’t have specific congregation affiliation.” Rabbi Cohen-Kiener agreed that being online has in some cases helped her congregation. “We’ve had a Tuesday morning minyan for three years now. Before, when we met in the building, we might have had about four people. Now, knock on wood, we get a minyan almost every Tuesday morning,” she said. “Same with services, same with programs.” Not all synagogues are going the Zoom route this Purim. Orthodox synagogues, including Springfield Chabad, feel that it is important for their members to hear the Megillah in person. “We are, as with every thing, trying to figure out how to adapt and be Covid compliant,” said Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky, director of Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Longmeadow. “So this year instead of having one or two large Megillah readings we are going to read the Megillah a number of times in different locations around our building, and with these multiple readings we will make sure that it is safe and that people are socially-distanced.” The mitzvah of the Megillah, Rabbi
Springfield Community Purim Celebration SPRINGFIELD – Join Temple Beth El, Sinai Temple and the Springfield Jewish Community Center on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 4:30 p.m. for a virtual Magic Show with Sammie and Tudie. Sammie and Tudie have been performing for over 20 years. They create a zany, side-splitting comedy that is interactive and playful (with a side of mischief) Designed especially for elementary students, but all ages are welcome! Login with this Zoom link. This year’s shpiel, written by Sinai Temple’s Rabbi Jeremy Master, will be played via Zoom on Purim evening, Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. This will be in lieu of a full Megillah reading. Following the shpiel, we will have a brief service and an abbreviated Megillah reading, followed by a concert with Noah Aronson, one of the most sought after Jewish musicians in North America. For more information, email Caryn at email@example.com. The complete Megillah will be read on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 a.m., during the morning minyan. Click here to join. Password: 611668
PJ Pals & LGA make Purim costumes Amherst – Wearable Art for Purim with the Eric Carle Museum, a virtual program of PJ Pals and Lander-Grinspoon Academy transforming everyday materials into Purim costumes for children ages
Kosofsky said, is “to hear the megillah once by night and once by day, and this should be done live.” Rabbi Kosofsky says that this comes from the verse (Proverbs 14:28; Mishna Berura 687:5) that “loosely says, ‘the larger the crowd, the more glory for the king.’” “The Talmud applies it specifically to the Megillah reading so that although some may read the megillah with a small group or individually, the mitzvah is that it is preferable to read it in a group.” To keep their Megillah readings safe, Rabbi Kosofsky said, people must make a reservation so that LYA can plan for how to socially distance all who attend -- keeping the readings safe. And they will make house calls. “For people who are not comfortable, we will do our best to accommodate them by reading at their home, as long as we have the manpower and the time,” Rabbi Kosofsky said. “Reading the Megillah and hearing the Megillah is a priority for us.”
3 to 6 and their grownups, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Register: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/wearable-art-for-purim-wtheeric-carle-museum-lander-grinspoonacademy-tickets-136181920791?fbclid=I wAR0Amg0sg3ycZlAyhw3_wiyxNHraM_ p2cd2pWfyYwssICMGfMr-bqnptVDw HOLYOKE – At SOZ’s Purim Celebration via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., the SOZ Theater Company will present “To Tell the Truth (the “real” story of Purim) and an abridged reading of the Megillah. Participants will need: • A Megillah • groggers or pots, pans and utensils to make a lot of noise, • Costumes and Purim masks are encouraged. For more information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congregation Beth Israel WORCESTER – Purim at Congregation Beth Israel on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. will include Maariv, Megillah reading, Shpiel, and raffle drawing. On Friday, Feb 26, at 7:30 a.m., Purim celebration will feature Shacharit and Megillah reading. All programs will be on ZOOM. Masks optional...
ICC TO OPEN WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION AGAINST ISRAEL (JNS) - Harsh criticism is being directed toward the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague after it ruled on Friday that the court has jurisdiction to open a war-crimes investigation against Israel. “The decision from the ICC is hardly surprising,” said NGO Monitor legal adviser Anne Herzberg. “The ICC prosecutor has been gunning for Israel for several years and has been working closely with Europeanfunded terror-linked NGOs to craft bogus indictments against Israeli officials. The fact that Palestine is not a state, that the Oslo accords expressly prevent the court from asserting jurisdiction, and that the prosecutor made up a fake rule to go after the Jewish state, were ignored. And the judges have repeatedly flouted the ICC’s own procedures to try and manufacture a case against Israel.” A three-judge panel at the ICC decided that Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem are within its jurisdiction, as “Palestine [is] a State party to the ICC Rome Statute.” The ICC’s 2-1 decision cleared the way for Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a war-crimes probe into IDF actions. NGO Monitor, together with three other groups, jointly filed an amicus brief with the ICC that lays out the legal and factual flaws behind the argument that the ICC has jurisdiction. Based on NGO Monitor reports, Herzberg further asserted that Bensouda colluded with terror-linked NGOs and accepted legal submissions from anti-Israel, pro-BDS organizations. “NGO Monitor has found that many of these radical groups benefit from European governmental financial support,” said Herzberg. “In other words, anti-Israel animus and political machinations are more important to the court than preserving its credibility. European donors of the terrortied NGOs and the court share responsibility for this legal travesty.” Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, who currently serves as chairman of the World Likud, also had harsh words for Bensouda. “If anyone should take the stand, it should be ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda,” said Danon, adding that the ICC has “once again chosen to demonize and persecute Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.” Danon further stated that “this hypocritical and antisemitic ruling” by Bensouda “focuses on Israel while ignoring countries who carry out horrific human rights abuses every single day. This lack of accountability is a misuse of the ICC’s power and position, a perversion of justice, and much worse, enables the real and sickening exploitation to continue. The decision majewishledger.com
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS. SOURCE: UNITED NATIONS.
has broadcast the ICC’s true colors to the international community.” Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, agreed that the ICC has no jurisdiction in this case. “The ICC’s acceptance of jurisdiction to investigate a non-member state on behalf of a member that is not a state, and its conclusion about jurisdiction are lawless and entirely results-oriented,” he said. “The ICC has treated Israel by a standard it has applied to no other nation. It makes a mockery of the Oslo Accords and shows Israel that it gains nothing from concessions, while the Palestinians face no consequences from unilateral action.” Kontorovich noted that the Biden State Department recently asked that neither side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict take action to change the status quo at this time. “Now the P.A. [Palestinian Authority] is seeking to establish borders via the ICC, rather than negotiations. One wonders how Washington will react to this,” said Kontorovich. Representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations also rejected the claim that the ICC has jurisdiction in the case, charging that the court was “politically and ideologically motivated” since the court’s own founding statutes “limit its involvements to disputes between sovereign states only.” In a statement signed by its executive team, the Jewish umbrella group called the ruling a “distortion of international law” and said that the court’s ruling “undermines its own legitimacy as an unbiased judicial forum.” The group said they appreciated the concern shown by the U.S. State Department,
which also challenged the court’s jurisdiction in this matter. They noted a statement issued by the Biden administration which expressed the view that the P.A. is “not qualified to obtain
membership as a state, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities or conferences, including the ICC.”
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1. Ruth’s House Assisted Living 2. Sosin Center for Rehabilitation 3. Leavitt Family Jewish Home 4. Wernick Adult Day Health Care 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
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
MILESTONES B’NAI MITZVAH MIRANDA HABER, daughter of Mason and Adele Haber, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Feb. 27. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. HANNA NEALON, daughter of JoAnna Nealon, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 6. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. JACOB NEALON, daughter of JoAnna Nealon, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, March 6. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. WILLIAM NEALON, daughter of JoAnna Nealon, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, March 6. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. EMMA ROFFE, daughter of Arvi and Brigid Roffe, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 6. They are members of Temple Beth El of Springfield. KALMAN SINOFSKY, son of David and Heather Sinofsky, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, March 6. They are members of Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester. ALINA SWARTZ, daughter rof Debora Diemont and Bradley Swartz, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 13. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. ALANA ZAK, daughter of Arkadi Zak, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 13. They are members of Temple Beth El in Springfield.
Dr. Richard Nabel to be honored by New England Jewish Academy
EST HARTFORD – Dr. Richard B. Nabel of West Hartrford has been named the recipient of the New England Jewish Academy (NEJA) 2021 President’s Award. Nabel was presented with his award at NEJA’s 2021 Annual Gala & Awards Event on Feb. 10. The staff of the West Hartford school was also honored at the virtual event. Nabel, who was hired as the head of general studies at the Hebrew High School of New England in 2012. When the school formally merged with the Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford in 2019, he served as the interim head of school, before settling into his current role of Upper Division principal. Dr. Nabel holds a B.A. with distinction in English from Franklin and Marshall College, a judicial degree from the UConn School of Law, an M.A. in Education, a Sixth Year degree in Educational Administration from the University of Hartford, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He has taught at the elementary and high school levels, and served as high school principal in East Haddam, Naugatuck, Hamden, and Brookfield. After retiring for the first time in 2006, he spent two years as Superintendent of schools in Monson, Massachusetts, 8
retiring again in 2008 before signing on to supervise an after school Federal Title I program in reading and math. Upon his third retirement in 2012, he joined the administrative team at HHNE/NEJA. Nabel has reportedly accepted the reality that he does not know how to retire. NEJA’s Class of 2021, Student Council members, and parents joined together to create a virtual showcase celebrating the 33 faculty members who inspire and educate students as young as two years old, throughout their elementary, middle, and high school years.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Rabbi Amy Katz honored by The Jewish Theological Seminary
EW YORK -- Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz of Temple Beth El in Springfield is among the 45 rabbis who were awarded honorary doctorates by The Jewish Theological Seminary on Sunday, Jan. 31 at an online convocation. JTS celebrated and honored the achievements of these important spiritual leaders and expressed appreciation for their contributions to Jewish life. Each recipient of the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, has served the Jewish community and the Conservative Movement with distinction for over 25 years Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, chancellor of JTS, conferred the degrees and delivered remarks on the occasion. Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins, dean of the Division of Religious Leadership and Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School delivered a d’var Torah, and he along with Rabbi Julia Andelman, director of Community Engagement at JTS, presented the honorary degree candidates. Rabbi Gordon Tucker, vice chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement, offered a blessing to the honorees. Alan Levine, Esq., chair of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the assembled, and Rabbi Stewart Vogel, president of the Rabbinical Assembly, delivered greetings on behalf of the RA. Rabbis Gordon Bernat-Kunin, Howard Stecker, and Valerie Stessin delivered remarks on behalf of the honorees.
RABBI AMY WALLK KATZ
MILESTONES 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners Announced
wo residents of Western Massachusetts were among the winners of the annual Sydney Taylor Book Award, announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries on Jan. 25 in a virtual livecast at the Youth Media Awards announcement at the American Library Association. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.
Lesléa Newman of Northampton was a gold medalist in the picture book category for Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, illustrated by Susan Gal and published by Charlesbridge. According to the association, “This warmly illustrated, poetic book parallels the experiences of a young boy at a Passover seder and a small white kitten outdoors. When the boy opens the door to welcome the prophet Elijah, he finds a furry friend instead. Simple text, diverse characters, and a timeless feel make this a story to be treasured.” Other gold medalists were Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein in the Middle Grade category; and Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder, in the Young Adult category. Jane Yolen of Hatfield was a silver medalist for her picture book Miriam at the River, illustrated by Khoa Le, and published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. Other silver medalists include the picture book I Am the Tree of Life: My Jewish Yoga Book by Mychal Copeland; Anya and the Nightingale by Sofiya Pasternack, No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen; and The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman, all in the middle grade category; and They Went Left by Monica Hesse in middle grade for young adults. More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, a complete listing of the award winners and notables, and seals for purchase can be found at www.sydneytaylorbookawards.org.
Winning authors and illustrators will receive their awards at the Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries, to be held virtually from June 27 to July 1, 2021.
MIRIAM AT THE RIVER
Elise Barber is new PJ Library coordinator
ESTERN MASS. - Elise Barber has been named the Jewish Federation of Western Mass.’ new PJ Library coordinator. Barber is a cantor and educator with an M.A. in Jewish Studies and ordination as Cantor from Hebrew College in Newton. She has worked at Temple Beth El in Springfield, the Jewish Community of Amherst, Congregation Beth Israel in Worcester, Hillel B’nai Torah in West Roxbury, Temple Beth Zion in Brighton, and many other synagogues. She lives in Deerfield with her husband Rabbi Ben Weiner, and their two young children. ELISE BARBER
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
News and Jewish Community Update
t has become glaringly obvious that antisemitism and anti-Zionism are two interconnected, hate-driven forces, and these twin evils appear to be growing alarmingly more prevalent. Within recent months the remarks of famous athletes, celebrities, social-media personalities, and political leaders have revealed deeply concerning opinions about Jews and about Israel. Ranging from tropes about a supposed dual loyalty of American Jews, to lunatic-level theories about Jewish space lasers, all of STEVEN SCHIMMEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR these verbal attacks are rooted in antisemitic feelings. These comments are more than just abhorrent. When made by people in influential positions, their harm has a huge ripple effect. When a comment is amplified by a million followers, it has the power to subvert and change minds on a dangerous scale. But these high-profile haters also lead us to the sobering realization that there are likely many more among us with these types of feelings than we realize. This hostile behavior is everywhere, not just confined to the dark corners of the Internet or to the Facebook pages of conspiracy theorists. Anyone with a student in their family knows that college campuses have too often become unwelcome
territory for young Jews. Antisemitism and anti-Zionism even live in the hallowed halls of Congress and among clergy. Antisemities have camouflaged themselves behind the cover of anti-Israel activism in order to turn activist organizations, which historically have had little interest in Israel, into antiZionist coalitions, and in the process made Jewish members unwelcome. The anti-Israel movement pushes the boundaries from acceptable criticism of Israel to threatening hostility in an effort to squelch support of Israel and replacing it with new avenues of acceptance for Jew hatred. Hateful views of Israel are just what they appear to be ... antisemitism. We need to be cautiously aware of what is happening around us, especially as it pertains to the viewpoints of those in influential positions. We know from history that turmoil and tension in society always makes fertile ground for those who wish to do harm to the Jewish people. We need to be vigilant of those who wield their influence to attack us -- even more so when there are other social problems present. We need every possible tool to combat these evils and, in particular, we need to equip and prepare our young leaders. We must continue to seek allies to ensure the fight isnâ€™t ours alone. We must never forget the lessons of our past, nor should we lose hope for a better future. n
STAY CONNECTED PJ LIBRARY AND PJ OUR WAY Daily Virtual PJ Library Programs at www.pjlibrary.org/familyactivities PJ Library Storytime with Lori and Friends: Friday, February 19th, 9:30 am via Facebook Live (for 6 and under) PJ Library/PJ Our Way Hamantaschen Making with JuJu: Sunday, February 21st, 3:00 pm via Zoom
YAD LEAD programs:A Conversation with Steven Weil, CEO, Friends of the IDF (FIDF), Wednesday, February 17th. 7:00 pm via Zoom Journey Into the Light: The Transformation of Egyptian Arab Muslim Hussein Aboubakr Mansour (Stand With US), Sunday, Sunday, March 7th, 4:00 pm via Zoom YAD Virtual Purim Shabbat, February 19th, 7:30 pm YAD Virtual Shabbat, March 19th, 7:30 pm Virtual Passover Seder, Date TBA Game Night TBA
COMMUNITY-WIDE LEAD programs (see under YAD). Open to Community. Worcester Black-Jewish Alliance Invites you to SAVE-THE-DATE for a special Passover Unity Seder on Thursday, March 11, 7:30PM VIRTUAL-ZOOM PROGRAM Legacy of the Grape: A Community-Wide Pre-Passover Virtual Wine Tasting, Sunday, March 14th, 6:45 pm. Please keep in touch with all ongoing virtual events by visiting our Facebook pages or contacting Mindy Hall, email@example.com
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
News and Jewish Community Update
“I DID TWO VERY OPPOSITE THINGS THIS WEEK. I SHOVELED SNOW AND DREW UP THE PLANS FOR MY VEGETABLE GARDEN.” – Leah Shuldiner
he approach of Tu b’Shevat is the perfect reminder to start planning your garden. It’s the time to order seeds, sprout seeds that need to be started indoors, and deciding what worked last year and what didn’t and what you want to repeat. It is also the time of true winter in New England. I love winter and snow. It’s my favorite season, and it’s why I’ve chosen New Hampshire as my home. The big storm we just got is thrilling to me and I don’t even mind shoveling a path for my cats so they can travel from the back door to under the porch. It is weird, though, to look out at my barren peach and plum trees, my grape and raspberry canes, my overgrown asparagus fronds sticking out of the snow, and think that there is future potential
there. It is weird to be planning out a garden when I can’t even see the dirt. But if I don’t plan now, there won’t be a garden in the spring. I need to plant the tomato seeds now, indoors, or they won’t be big enough to give me any tomatoes by summer’s end. I know that the horseradish root I planted 5 years ago is still out there under all that snow. It spent the fall growing, and in the spring I’ll be able to find it for my Seder plate. Growth takes planning. For people too, growth takes planning. My son will be a senior next year, and then off to college. We’ve spent his whole life planning, teaching him, saving for him, and encouraging him to find his own path. Communities take planning too. Yesterday’s legacy donors built our synagogues, created our scholarship funds, started our summer camps.
They set all that in place for us. And we need to do the same. We need to make plans now for the future growth of our Jewish LEAH SHULDINER community. In Central Massachusetts we have 287 people who have told us about their plans to leave a legacy to our Jewish community. I am so thankful to each one of them. They are planning our future growth and blossoming. If you have not made a legacy intention, reach out to me or one of our partner organizations to find outhow easy it is to do. Legacy@jfcm.org Happy planning! n
YAD JOINED WITH NEXTGEN WESTERN MASS FOR A COMEDY NIGHT WITH COMEDIAN ELI LEBOWICZ FOLLOWED BY A SINGLES MIXER.
LEARNING ABOUT EDEN SHEVIT’S FAMILY FARM IN ISRAEL AT YAD’S TU B’SHEVAT SHABBAT AND GAME NIGHT
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD AND STAFF OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF CENTRAL MA, WE WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY HEALTHY AND SWEET NEW YEAR.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
The 16th Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival Goes Virtual
PRINGFIELD –The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center, marks its 16th year with a virtual mini-festival that runs through March 22. The 2020 festival was postponed due to COVID-19, just days before launching last year. PVJFF will now present seven online film screenings, as the festival continues its tradition of showcasing some of the best independent Jewish cinema from around the world. Thought-provoking Zoom discussions are planned for nearly all of the films, featuring directors, screenwriters, and experts on an array of topics of cultural and historical significance. This year’s festival includes an eclectic mix of dramas and documentaries, plus a short film. “As always, PVJFF films promise to stir emotions and inspire conversations,” said Deb Krivoy, Springfield JCC Chief Operating Officer and Festival Director. “This year, we’re thrilled to offer an engaging, virtual festival that can bring people together in the safest possible way.”
Two powerful dramas anchor the film festival:
Records, which produced jazz stars Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and more.
n Dror Zahavi’s Crescendo is about a world-famous conductor (played by Toni Erdmann’s Peter Simonischek) who accepts the job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra and steps into a firestorm of conflict as he tries to bring the two factions of young musicians together in harmony. Crescendo screenwriter Stephen Glantz will lead a Q&A about the film.
n Picture of His Life is a riveting documentary about acclaimed Israeli underwater wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum, who has always dreamed of swimming underwater with a polar bear and capturing it face-to-face on film.
Federation of Western Massachusetts, Totsy Foundation, Basketball Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Yiddish Book Center, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Lathrop Communities, and Tower Square Hotel. For more information, visit the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival online at pvjff.org.
n The short documentary Commandment 613 profiles Northampton’s Rabbi Kevin Hale, who has dedicated his life to the 613th biblical commandment – to write a Torah scroll. As a sofer (Jewish scribe), Rabbi Hale brings new life to Torah scrolls saved from Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. Producer/ director Miriam Lewin, cinematographer/editor Randi Cecchine, and Rabbi Hale, and will lead a virtual discussion. The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival is a nonprofit arts festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center with support from the following major sponsors: Jewish
The 2021 Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival is free of charge, but organizers are encouraging donations to support the ongoing work of the PVJFF. Registration is required for all of the online screenings and virtual discussions. For a complete list of films and instructions on how to watch them, and to register for the festival programs, visit pvjff.org.
n The inspiring biopic The Keeper tells the incredible true story of Bert Trautmann, a German POW who, amid much protest and prejudice, secures the position of goalkeeper at Manchester City and becomes a soccer icon. His signing causes outrage among thousands of fans, many of them Jewish, until Manchester’s communal rabbi intervenes on his behalf. This year’s festival showcases an array of enlightening documentaries, including: n It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story follows two young émigrés from Berlin who founded the legendary jazz label Blue Note
16TH ANNUAL PIONEER VALLEY JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL FILMS LISTED BY DATE
PICTURE OF HIS LIFE WATCH IT AT HOME: FEB.13-15 Virtual discussion: Monday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. To photograph some of the most fearsome creatures on Earth, Amos Nachoum has gone face-to-face with anacondas, giant leopard seals, great white sharks, orcas, and crocodiles. But at age 65, Nachoum, one of the greatest underwater photographers of all time, is about to face his ultimate challenge: photographing a polar bear – up close – without any protection. As he
prepares for his biggest mission in the Canadian Arctic, Nachoum contemplates the series of unspoken events that have shaped his life in this intimate story of dedication, sacrifice, and personal redemption. Speaker: Andy Danylchuk, director of the Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program and professor of Fish Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 71 MINUTES/ENGLISH, HEBREW AND INUKTITUT WITH SUBTITLES
IT MUST SCHWING! THE BLUE NOTE STORY WATCH IT AT HOME: FEB. 20-22 Virtual discussion: Monday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m. In 1939, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two young émigrés from Berlin, founded the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records
equals. Not only did the label value their talents, it also gave them a much-needed platform. It Must Schwing! tells the moving story of two friends, united by a passionate love for jazz, and of their profound belief in equality and freedom for every single human being.
in New York City. The label dedicated itself exclusively to the recording of American jazz music and developed its own unmistakable recording style and sound. Blue Note Records discovered and produced an impressive roster of international jazz stars, including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Thelonius Monk, and Quincy Jones. At a time when AfricanAmerican musicians in the U.S. were discriminated against and ostracized, Blue Note Records respected them as artists and
Speaker: Larry Hott, Emmy Awardwinning documentary filmmaker and owner of Florentine Films/Hott Productions 115 MINUTES/ GERMAN AND ENGLISH
CRESCENDO WATCH IT AT HOME: FEB. 27-MARCH 1 Virtual discussion: Monday, March 1, 7 p.m. A renowned conductor assembles an orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian youth, only to be drawn into a tempest of CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021 majewishledger.com
A Sacred Craft
Local rabbi highlighted in “Commandment 613” BY STACEY DRESNER
ESTERN MASS. – Miriam Lewin was in Leeds visiting her first cousin Rabbi Kevin Hale in August of 2016 when she learned of his work with the Czech Memorial Scrolls. Hale is one of 17 authorized scribes who work on the restoration and repair of scrolls that were rescued after World War II by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust in London. Today more than 1,500 restored Czech Torah scrolls are on permanent loan in Jewish communities all over the world.
the community was all but destroyed after the Germans invaded the country in March of 1939. During the war, Judaica, including 1,800 Torah scrolls from the regions of Bohemia and Moravia, was taken from synagogues, collected by the Nazis and eventually stored for decades in a basement in Prague. In 1964, the Czech government offered the long forgotten scrolls to a British art dealer, and they were acquired by the Westminster Synagogue in London. Soon the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust was founded to protect and keep track
RABBI KEVIN HALE, LEFT, AND HIS COUSIN, FILMMAKER MIRIAM LEWIN, WORKING ON “COMMANDMENT 613.”
“I always knew what he did,” Lewin said. “But one day I was visiting him at his house in the Pioneer Valley and he was telling me about the work that he does with these specific scrolls -- the Torah scrolls from the Memorial Scrolls Trust -- and that he goes to a lot of congregations and works on the scrolls, and I blindly said, ‘That sounds like a film!’ Kind of like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney saying, “Hey, let’s put on a show!’” The result of that family encounter is “Commandment 613” a 23-minute short film, directed and produced by Lewin that will be featured in the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival from March 5-8. A virtual discussion of the film with Lewin, Rabbi Hale, and cinematographer/editor Randi Cecchine will be held on March 8 at 7 p.m. Commandment 613 tells not only the story of Rabbi Hale’s work, but shares some of the history of the historic Czech Torah scrolls. Czechoslovakia had a thriving Jewish community for more than 1,000 years, but majewishledger.com
of the precious Torahs. And for more than 50 years, scribes like Rabbi Hale have painstakingly restored these scrolls so that they may still be used in Jewish communities around the world. The documentary got its title, Rabbi Hale explains in the film, because “it is “generally accepted that the last [commandment] -- 613 -- is God saying to Moses, ‘And now write this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel’”…or write your own Torah. Hale took an interesting journey in becoming a sofer. Growing up Reform on Long Island, in a family that he calls “classic Jewish German secular,” he dropped out of Hebrew school before he could be bar mitzvahed. His mother Irene and Miriam Lewin’s father Frank are brother and sister. A photo in the film shows Irene as a little girl and Frank as a teenager, standing with their parents Lisa and Max on March 17, 1939, a week before they left Germany. “That photo came from Kevin. He’s the
family archivist on that side of the family,” Lewin said. Hale’s paternal side was also from Germany. Hale says that his father Ken (nee Heilbut) didn’t even know he was Jewish until the rise of the Nazis. After receiving a BA in Classical Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology from Yale, Kevin Hale worked as a “self-employed toy maker” in Berkeley, California for several years. At the age of 29, after a trip to Germany to see extended family still living there, he had a calling to become a rabbi. “I sensed that there were treasures in Judaism,” Hale says, “and I wanted to find them.” Growing up with Hale “No one saw ‘Rabbi’ coming,” laughed Lewin. But she says his work as a sofer makes sense. “Kevin is curious and creative and a tinkerer,” she said. “He comes from a family of people who build things. His father’s an engineer. His brother is a photographer and maker of tiny incredible objects. They are all builders, and Kevin has all of those ‘want-to-build it’ tinkerer skills. He just gets interested and he says, ‘Oh, I’m going to figure out how to bake matzah…I’m going to figure out how to mow a maze in my yard. I’m going to build instruments’ -- He builds tons of instruments. He’s always stopping to think about how to make something. And he was always been like that.” Lewin and Cecchine were able to spend time filming Rabbi Hale at work in his Leeds office/workshop where he explains his work. In his creative, down to earth way, Hale shares some of what goes into restoring a Torah -- from the ink and tools used for different parts of the process, to the animal skin parchment and how the Torah panels are sewn together, to ancient customs and rules scribes follow during different steps of the scribing process. (To illustrate one custom, Rabbi Hale even references Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard in the Harry Potter books). “I really pushed for us to film in his studio,” said Cecchine. “We didn’t use a lot of the footage, but I loved the studio tour that he gave on camera. I love his relationship to his objects, to the tools and toys that he tinkers with, and his relationship to sacred craft and fun.” Cecchine has some ties to the Pioneer Valley – she is a graduate of Hampshire College. Having worked with Lewin MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
before on other films, she says she was excited when she was asked to work on Commandment 613. “I didn’t know anything about what a sofer does or about the Czech scrolls before,” Cecchine said. “The two communities we visited were close to where my parents live, and later I found out that the synagogue where my parents were married and where my sister and I had our bat mitzvahs -- Beth David Reform Congregation in Pennsylvania -- also has a Czech scroll.” Before making Commandment 613, Brooklyn-based Lewin had mainly
CINEMATOGRAPHER RANDI CECCHINE SHOOTING FOOTAGE OF RABBI KEVIN HALE IN HIS WORKSHOP.
made documentaries for professional development for teachers, many dealing with teaching the arts. “I’ve never made a film longer than 30 minutes. This is the first time that I’ve made a film without a client, a budget or a deadline,” she said. “We tend to call those passion projects. And I always said I wasn’t going to do one…For me, filmmaking was a craft, a profession. And to be honest, I had seen too many people put their own money into films and [spend] a long time doing them, and have it not work out or take a long time. It was just wasn’t something that interested me.” But her cousin’s work inspired her. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
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PVJFF Schedule CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
COMMANDMENT 613 WATCH IT AT HOME: MARCH 5-8 Join the virtual discussion: Monday, March 8, 7 p.m. Northampton’s Rabbi Kevin Hale joyfully practices the sacred craft of Torah restoration, bringing new life to scrolls saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah. As his scribal work takes him to
distrust and discord. For personal reasons, maestro Eduard Sporck (veteran actor Peter Simonischek) agrees to arrange a symbolic concert for a Middle East peace summit in Italy. But corralling the young artists—sworn enemies from the ArabIsraeli divide—is easier said than done. As auditions begin in Tel Aviv, conflict between the factions flares up almost instantly. It takes all the conductor’s skills to get his musicians in harmony, building to a tense, emotional finale. An impressive cast of Israeli and Palestinian non-actors, lends authenticity to this powerful drama, loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s West– Eastern Divan Orchestra. Speaker: Crescendo screenwriter Stephen Glantz 106 MINUTES/ ENGLISH AND GERMAN
communities now entrusted with the scrolls, he reflects on his own path to faith and practice. Torah scrolls are written by hand, following rules that go back thousands of years. Made to last for centuries, they are central to Jewish ritual; what is contained in them – the first five books of the Hebrew Bible – is the foundation of Jewish life. The final commandment in the Torah, number 613, is to write the scroll for yourself. As Rabbi Hale goes about his work as a sofer (Torah scribe), this son of refugees from Nazi Germany reflects on his own path to a life of faith and practice. Speakers: Producer/director Miriam Lewin; film subject Rabbi Kevin Hale, and cinematographer/editor Randi Cecchine. Moderated by documentary filmmaker Larry Hott.
THE KEEPER WATCH IT AT HOME: MARCH 13-15 A decorated ex-Nazi paratrooper plays for redemption on the soccer field in this rousing and romantic true story. Released from a British prisoner-of-war camp, Bert Trautmann’s goalkeeping skills secure him a position on the Manchester City team, where he catches the eye of the club manager’s daughter Margaret. But his arrival also arouses the post-war ire of fans, many of them Jewish. With unexpected support from a local rabbi, Trautmann wins over his critics, famously playing the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck. Unbeknownst to him was that his greatest challenge was yet to come. Featuring a sympathetic lead performance by David
Kross (Steven Spielberg’s War Horse), this magnificent epic speaks to the power of sports to unite. (Film note from Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.) 119 MINUTES/ENGLISH AND GERMAN WITH SUBTITLES
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
“I guess I was at a point in my career when I started this one where I was more open to doing something like that. It was a story that grabbed me.” In the back of her mind, Lewin says, was something she witnessed the year before during her stepdaughter’s bat mitzvah. During a short delay when the congregation was waiting for someone to arrive, Rabbi Hale – who knew the congregation’s rabbi -- invited people to come up to the bimah and look at the Torah. “He just said, ‘Has anyone not ever been close to a Torah?’ And a lot of people raised their hands among our friends and family. I saw all these people come crowding up around and looking at it with this look of awe on their faces. “There was something about that moment and the way Kevin explained things in such a natural, unassuming way that stuck in my mind. It was really one of the highlights for me of that beautiful day,” Lewin recalled. “So, when we started filming I somehow knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to 14
see people having that experience of getting close to the scroll when they’re not used to it.” For that, Lewin and Cecchine followed Hale to Media, Pa., where he was working to restore two of the Czech scrolls. One, Scroll No. 795, had belonged to a synagogue in Prostjav, Moravia and was now at a Conservative synagogue called Congregation Beth Israel. The home of the scroll, No. 586 is Wesley Enhanced Living. Both scrolls are on permanent loan from the Memorial Scroll Trust. Lewin and Cecchine spent three days filming Hale as he shared his knowledge of the Torah and the art of scroll restoration in Pennsylvania with groups from young religious school children up to the elderly residents of the assisted living center, all eager for a glimpse of Hale’s sacred handiwork. “Some of my favorite moments in the film is when you see the people crowding around and Kevin is teaching them things…And people have this look on their faces, like ‘I’m so close to this thing!’ With these particular scrolls that have such meaning for those congregations, the emotion is even stronger.” Lewin and Cecchine began filming in
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Ran Tal’s magnificent film The Museum with its unprecedented look behind the scenes at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem isn’t a conventional documentary about the history of the museum, or its worldclass collection of 500,000 objects (including the Dead Sea Scrolls). It’s a lyrical work in and of itself, a poetic celebration of storytelling and humanity. Tal is one of Israel’s most accomplished and creative documentarians and his genius lies in revealing the essence of a place or an idea. Gorgeously photographed, poignant, and wry, The Museum artfully curates moments and details, introducing us to a diverse range of curators, artists, guards, and visitors from around the world, each with a story to tell.
Speaker: Simon Sibelman, professor Emeritus of Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University, and former executive director of the Virginia Holocaust Museum 74 MINUTES/ ENGLISH, HEBREW WITH SUBTITLES
THE MUSEUM WATCH IT AT HOME: MARCH 20-22 Join the virtual discussion: Monday, March 22, 7 p.m.
September of 2016; filmed some scenes in both 2017 and 2018; then finished shooting in 2019. The film was completed in May of 2020. Filming Hale was easy, Lewin said “I do have to say he was patient because this is not a fly on the wall, Frederick Wiseman kind of film where things just happen and the camera catches them. He did have to write with a camera, two inches away over his shoulder. He did have to tell us things in a way that made sense for the film to get from Point A to Point B and so we had to ask him the same things again in a later interview. So he was extremely patient.” Cecchine actually moved from New York to Amsterdam, in the middle of filming, “Which kind of cramped our style. But it also meant that we were accustomed to editing remotely, to having long conversations, to her sending me cuts and me making comments,” Lewin said, preparing the duo for working together online when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Cecchine’s move to the Netherlands has also intensified her view of what the scrolls mean to the world. “I am reminded often of the destruction of the Jewish community here,” she says.
“The missing community is a tangible piece of every day life here. I feel that the saving of the Czech scrolls is such a gift.” And while the two filmmakers worked well together virtually, the pandemic changed the way Lewin thought she would promote the film. “I expected to be going to film festivals and to synagogue screenings, not sitting at my desk,” Lewin said. But the more than 20 screenings she has attended virtually have been as emotional as in-person ones might have been, she says. “What’s really been interesting is that those online screenings, particularly for synagogues that have one of the scrolls, have been so meaningful for their communities,” she explained. “These people who can’t get together personally, can get together online and focus on something that has great significance for them. Those sessions have been very meaningful for us.” “Commandment 613” will be shown virtually from March 5-8. To register for the film or the virtual film discussion on March 8 at 7 p.m. visit pvjff.org.
Rosewater & Pistachio Hamantaschen BY SHANNON SARNA
Each year as Purim approaches food bloggers like me scramble to find the most unique, creative and sometimes bizarre ways to make “hamantaschen.” I was thinking about color this year, and the Persian-inspired combination of rosewater and pistachio. Since picking up rosewater in Israel this past summer, I have tried using it in a number of dishes. I really love the subtle, fragrant flavor, although I have also learned that a little goes a long way: it can pack quite an overwhelming floral punch if you use too much. Since the Purim story of Esther, Mordechai and Haman takes place in ancient Persia, what better flavors to use than rosewater and pistachio? INGREDIENTS: ½ cup butter ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 Tbsp milk ½ tsp rosewater Pink food coloring 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour ¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt White chocolate chips Chopped pistachios
DIRECTIONS: Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk, rosewater and a drop of pink food coloring until mixed thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated. Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/4 cup of flour until firm. Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
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Dust your work surface with powdered sugar or flour to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about ¼ – ½ inch thick.
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Using a round cookie cutter, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in powdered sugar or flour before each cut.
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Fill cookies with a few white chocolate chips in each. Fold up sides of hamantaschen and pinch carefully. Pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill before baking. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Add crushed pistachios on top immediately after coming out of the oven. Remove from baking pan and place on cooling rack. This article first appeared in The Nosher.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Briefs Israel sends 5,000 coronavirus vaccines to Palestinian areas (JTA) – Israel is sending 5,000 coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian areas, earning praise from some U.S. lawmakers who had urged the country to extend its successful vaccination program to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “In accordance with the recommendation of the Defense Minister and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the political echelon approved the transfer of 5,000 vaccine doses to medical teams in the Palestinian Authority,” The Times of Israel quoted Israeli military officials as saying Monday, Feb. 1. Israel had been saying that it was not obligated under law or prior agreements to supply Palestinians living under Palestinian Authority rule with the vaccine. The P.A. leadership has sent mixed signals, saying it would prefer to get the vaccines from other sources, but more recently asked for 10,000 doses for its frontline health care workers. A number of Democrats had faulted Israel for not doing enough to get vaccines to the Palestinians. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Monday that he had raised the issue with the Biden administration and was “glad to see” Israel deliver the doses. Also noting Israel’s delivery of the vaccines was Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a progressive congressman from New York who added that he believed Israel was obliged to deliver the vaccines to the entire Palestinian population. Bowman, who last week posted and then deleted a tweet criticizing Israel, on Tuesday posted a letter on Twitter to Israel’s consulate in New York asking for a meeting to discuss the issue. “The entire population in the West Bank and Gaza must also be covered,” said Bowman, who said he was “heartened” by the news that Israel was set to deliver 5,000 doses. Bowman told Acting Consul General Israel Nitzan that the issue for him was personal as a Black man. “I know the feeling of being neglected in my government and society, of feeling like a second class citizen or not a citizen at all in my own home,” he said.
Canada places Proud Boys on terror list (JTA) – Canada designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist group on Wednesday, Jan. 3, less than a month after the far-right group allegedly took part in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. The addition of the Proud Boys on Canada’s list appeared to mark the first time that the U.S.-based group was formally designated as terrorist. Along with the Proud Boys, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced the addition of three others to the terrorist list: Atomwaffen Division and The Base, white supremacist groups based in the United States, and the Russian Imperial Movement based in Russia. All the groups have trafficked to varying degrees in antisemitism. U.S. Jewish groups are pressing the government to create a category for designated domestic terrorism groups. The United States now designates only foreign groups as terrorists. Canada’s list of terrorists includes Islamist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida and al-Shahab. Canadian officials who spoke anonymously to journalists after the Capitol riot in January described the Proud Boys as a “neo-fascist organization that engages in political violence” and who “espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, antisemitic, anti-immigrant, and/or white supremacist ideologies and associate with white supremacist groups.” The Capitol riot was spurred by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election. The rioters were trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s win.
Biden administration ‘embraces’ international definition of antisemitism (JNS) The Biden administration has said it will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, a key tool in fighting antisemitism at home and abroad. While addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald stated: “We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action. That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool…. As prior U.S. administrations of both political stripes have done, the Biden administration embraces and champions the working definition. We applaud the growing number of countries and international bodies that apply it. We urge all that haven’t done so to do likewise.” The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
praised the announcement. The adoption comes amid tensions within the American Jewish community over the IHRA definition. Earlier in January, a group of left-wing Jewish and Israeli groups known as the Progressive Israel Network issued a joint statement in opposition to adopting the definition. The Conference of Presidents pushed back, expressing support for the IHRA definition. The 51-member Conference of Presidents adopted the IHRA definition last week ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. However, two members of the Conference that also belong to the Progressive Israel Network did not: Americans for Peace Now and the Workers Circle. Over the last several years, the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism has been adopted by countries and organizations across the world as the standard to help combat rising antisemitism.
Supreme Court rejects appeal by Holocaust heirs seeking restitution in US (JTA) – The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously rejected an appeal by Holocaust survivors and their heirs who wanted to pursue restitution claims in the United States after failing in the countries where the art was stolen. The opinion published Feb. 3, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, agreed with the defense and with the U.S. government, which joined the defense, that allowing the lawsuits to go ahead would contradict international agreements. “As a Nation, we would be surprised – and might even initiate reciprocal action – if a court in Germany adjudicated claims by Americans that they were entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars because of human rights violations committed by the United States Government years ago,” Roberts wrote. During oral arguments in December, some of the justices had appeared skeptical of the government’s position and expressed surprise that the solicitor general could not identify how the lawsuits would damage the nation’s foreign policy. The two cases are known as the Republic of Hungary v. Simon and Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp. The plaintiffs are Hungarian survivors who were deported to death camps and whose property was appropriated by the Hungarian collaborationist government, and the descendants of German Jewish art dealers who say that Nazi German authorities coerced their ancestors into selling their collections to the state at less than market value. The defendants, the governments of Germany and Hungary, claimed that the Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act protects foreign governments from having to defend claims in U.S. courts. The plaintiffs contended that an exception to the act holds that claims regarding property taken in violation of
international law may be pursued in U.S. courts.
ADL proposes offensive against domestic terrorism (JTA) – Citing the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the AntiDefamation League says the threat of domestic terrorism is so serious that it requires a “whole of society” offensive, comprising federal and state governments and the tech sector. The plan ADL launched Feb. 3 simultaneously with its annual report on murders by extremists, calls on the Biden administration to convene a Preventing Domestic Terrorism Summit bringing together state, federal and private sector officials. “On January 6, Americans watched as an insurrection fueled by violent conspiracy theories and white supremacy gripped the nation and attacked our democracy,” the report said. “This was a predictable act of political violence fueled by years of increasing extremism; the forces that led to the attack on our Capitol continue to pose a threat to American security and democracy.” The proposal calls for greater interagency coordination at the federal level and for states to designate officials that would work with the federal government in identifying domestic threats. One ADL recommendation calls on Congress to “investigate any complicity between social media companies and extremists, and make social media platforms more transparent and accountable for dangerous disinformation and misinformation.” The proposal also calls for the identification of elected and other officials who identify with extremist groups like QAnon, the conspiracy movement that peddles false slanders, including some with antisemitic themes, and for the tracking of terrorist white supremacist groups overseas. The report on murder and extremism said domestic extremists killed at least 17 people in the United States in 15 incidents in 2020, the lowest number since 2004. All but one of the murders were linked to rightwing extremism. The low number is due to the absence of mass killings, the report said, and sounds a note of caution, saying that extremists remain active. “ADL has documented more than 4,500 incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution in the U.S. in 2020, compared to only 2,724 in 2019.”
SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY Western and Central Massachusetts
Jewish Community of Amherst Reconstructionist Rabbi Benjamin Weiner (413) 256-0160 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jcamherst.org 742 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002
Temple Israel Unafﬁliated/Egalitarian Reb Sarah Noyovitz (978) 249-9481 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.shaareizedeck.org 104 Water St., Clinton, MA 01510
Beit Ahavah, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton Reform Rabbi Riqi Kosovske (413) 587-3770 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Beth Tikvah Synagogue Independent Rabbi Michael Swarttz (508) 616-9037 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com www.sinai-temple.org 1100 Dickinson St., Springﬁeld, MA 01108
Congregation Ahavas Achim Unafﬁliated Cantor Colman Reaboi (413) 642-1797 firstname.lastname@example.org 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/
Central Mass Chabad Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, Rabbi Chaim Fishman, Rabbi Michael Phillips, Cantor Eli Abramowitz (508) 752-0904 email@example.com www.centralmasschabad.com 22 Newton Avenue, Worcester, MA 01602 Congregation Beth Israel Conservative Rabbi Aviva Fellman (508) 756-6204 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com www.emanuelsinai.org 661 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609
To join our synagogue directory, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org majewishledger.com
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
WOMEN WALK THROUGH WILLIAMSBURG, HOME TO A LARGE ORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY, ON APRIL 10, 2019 IN NEW YORK CITY. (SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES)
In Orthodox communities where pregnancy is prized, vaccines leave women confused and afraid BY SHIRA HANAU
(JTA) — For much of the last year, the young mothers of Lakewood, New Jersey, have experienced the pandemic as much as a nuisance as a matter of life and death. That’s not to say the community hasn’t experienced its share of outbreaks; it has. Or that families haven’t lost loved ones; they have. But to hear the young mothers of the large Orthodox community tell it, the crisis part of the pandemic had passed. Most people recovered from the virus, they thought, and only the elderly and high-risk needed to continue staying home. And to watch the Instagram videos of the frequent indoor weddings held in the town, where few if any guests wear masks, the dark days of last March have nearly been forgotten. Now, as physicians there and across the Orthodox world mount a campaign to convince women to get vaccinated when 18
they’re eligible and to be more careful if they’re not, some mothers in Lakewood are reconsidering their families’ approach to COVID safety. Lakewood, with a haredi Orthodox community that makes up more than half the town’s population of over 100,000, is by far New Jersey’s most fertile town. In 2015, it recorded 45 live births per 1,000 residents — a rate more than four times the state’s average, and among the highest in the world. So when rumors started circulating about the effect of the soon-toarrive COVID-19 vaccines on fertility, locals were alarmed. The rumors began right around the time New Jersey began offering vaccines, and they took root on Instagram and WhatsApp, the social network and messaging platform that are popular among Orthodox women.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
In one WhatsApp group organized by Orthodox Jews to discuss COVID, a woman said she had been thinking of moving to Israel but was reconsidering after the mayor of the Israeli city of Lod said he would require parents to be vaccinated before their children could come to school. Tova Herskovitz, a 30-year-old mother of four living in Tom’s River, New Jersey, a large Orthodox community neighboring Lakewood, said many of her friends are confused about the vaccine and don’t know who to trust. “It’s scary to know that there are women who are saying whatever they want about this vaccine,” she said, noting that Instagram influencers popular in the Orthodox community have spread misinformation about the vaccines. “A lot of my friends follow these people.” Dr. Mark Kirschenbaum, a pediatrician with a practice in Borough Park and Williamsburg, both Hasidic communities where weddings and other social events resumed their pre-pandemic pace months ago, said that he thinks about 20% of his patient families are “vaccine skeptical.” Most vaccinate their children for other diseases because of school requirements, he said, but the COVID-19 vaccines are currently optional if you can get one at all. The speed of their development and their newness means he expects even more skepticism. “People have more of a fear of the vaccine than the virus,” Kirschenbaum said. To combat that fear, the Orthodox health care professionals who spent last year exhorting their communities to take pandemic guidelines seriously are now turning their attention to building
confidence in the new vaccines. The Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association, an organization for Orthodox women doctors and medical students, has been debunking misinformation in a fact sheet and podcast that it produces. And a group of Orthodox Jewish nurses are hosting a weekly call to discuss the vaccines, to take place on hotlines that are accessible to women who do not use the internet for religious reasons and at a time, 9 p.m. on Thursdays, when most kids are in bed and women are often cooking for Shabbat. Orthodox doctors said they’ve been getting dozens of phone calls about the safety of vaccines over the past two months, many with questions about whether the vaccines are safe for young women or for women who are already pregnant. Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, the chief of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau on Long Island and an assistant rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere, a large Orthodox synagogue in Long Island’s Nassau County, said he’d gotten questions from parents of young women who are starting to date and who will want to conceive soon after getting married, asking whether the vaccine could be a problem. “If somebody asks me, I absolutely recommend that they take it,” Glatt said. “You’re dealing with a real risk of dying or having serious complications from COVID versus a theoretical risk when there’s no real theoretical reason why it should be dangerous.” He added: “There is zero evidence to suggest there’s any risk with infertility.” The new coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer and Modern have not been tested on pregnant women, leading the World Health Organization to originally advise that only pregnant women who are at high risk for complications from COVID get vaccinated. But over time a consensus has emerged that pregnancy itself represents a risk factor, and the WHO has changed its advice, though it still does not advise the vaccine for all pregnant women and recommends women speak to their doctors. New Jersey includes pregnancy in a list of conditions entitling people to early vaccines; New York just added it as well. Local volunteers with the Covid Plasma Initiative, which connects people who have tested positive for COVID to hospitals and outpatient clinics administering monoclonal antibody treatment, have been encouraging pregnant women to consider the treatment if they become ill. But even some volunteers with the project, like Chedva Thuman, say they aren’t sure about whether the vaccine makes sense for everybody. Thuman, a high school teacher, and her husband, who is high-risk for complications, got the vaccine last week. “If I thought it was something really unsafe, I would not have gotten it myself,” she said.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 2021 Golden Globes: All the Jewish nominees
2021 NAACP Image Awards: The Jewish nominees
BY EMILY BURACK
BY EMILY BURACK
(JTA) – “Schitt’s Creek” is trying to pick up in the Golden Globes where it left off in the fall with its historic Emmys sweep. The show about a wealthy interfaith Jewish family was nominated Wednesday for five awards, including four for the main actors and one for best series. There are plenty of other Jewish nominations, too, notably “Mank,” the acclaimed film on the story of Jewish screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, with six. The Golden Globes, taking place virtually in the new pandemic normal, will be held Feb. 28 and hosted for the fourth time by comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. This time they’ll be on different coasts. Unlike the Oscars, the Globes divide their film categories into musical or comedy and drama, allowing for a wider range of actors and actresses to be nominated. The television categories are divided, too, similar to the Emmys. Check out all the Jewish nominees below.
TELEVISION “Schitt’s Creek” is up for best series and Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy are all nominated in the best television series, musical or comedy categories. The show follows the well-to-do family that loses its money and is forced to live in a small town they once bought as a joke. “Unorthodox,” the hit Netflix drama based on Deborah Feldman’s memoir of the same name about a young woman leaving the haredi Orthodox world, is nominated
for best limited series. The Israeli star of the show, Shira Haas, is also nominated for best actress in a limited series. Up against “Unorthodox” in that category is “The Undoing,” a not-veryJewish HBO miniseries adapted from Jewish author Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel “You Should Have Known.” Jane Levy is nominated for her role in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” a musical NBC comedy. Last but not least: Al Pacino is nominated for his role as Meyer Offerman, a Jewish Nazi hunter with a Yiddish accent in the Amazon Prime show “Hunters.”
MOVIES “Mank,” starring Gary Oldman (in a controversial casting decision), leads the pack with its six nominations: for best motion picture, drama, best screenplay, best supporting actress, best actor (drama), best original score and best director. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” starring Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, a fictional journalist from Kazakhstan, was filled with Jewish moments and timely commentary on anti-Semitism. It received three nods from the Globes: for best motion picture, musical or comedy, for best actor in the musical or comedy category (Cohen) and best actress in the same category. Maria Bakalova, the Bulgarian actress who plays Borat’s daughter in the film, delighted viewers with a wacky breakout performance (and a memorable scene with Rudy Giuliani). “Palm Springs,” the “Groundhog Day”-style time-loop comedy from Hulu starring Jewish actor Andy Samberg, is up for best motion picture, musical or comedy. Samberg also notched a best actor nomination in the comedy category. “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” also starring Sacha Baron Cohen, is the story of Jewish anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman from Jewish writer-director Aaron Sorkin. The film is up for five awards: for best motion picture, drama; supporting actor for Cohen; best director and best screenplay for Sorkin; and best original song for “Here My Voice.” Sophia Loren‘s Holocaust film “The Life Ahead,” which tells the tale of survivor and former sex worker Madame Rosa, is up for two awards – best motion picture and best original song. Jewish actress Kate Hudson was nominated for her role in “Music,” the musical drama film from singer-songwriter Sia.
(JTA) – Several Jewish stars are among the nominees for the 2021 NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate Black achievement in movies, television, music and literature. The list announced Tuesday features a mix of familiar Jewish names, such as the often-awarded rapper Drake and TV star Tracee Ellis Ross, along with rising artists like actress Jurnee Smollett and rapper Doja Cat. The ceremony will air virtually on March 27. Here are the Jews to know. FROM LEFT: DAVEED DIGGS, JURNEE SMOLLETT AND THE MISSY CHARACTER FROM “BIG MOUTH.”
THE STARS Jurnee Smollett received a nomination for her breakout role as Leti in “Lovecraft Country,” the HBO horror drama that received eight nominations, including for outstanding drama series. Smollett last won a NAACP Image Award for her role in the 2008 film “The Great Debaters.” “Blackish,” which stars Tracee Ellis Ross, leads the TV categories with 11 nominations, including for outstanding series. Ross was tapped for the sixth consecutive year as outstanding actress in a comedy series – she’s won four times. Ross tacked on another nomination, as outstanding actress in a motion picture for “The High Note,” and now has 16, bringing her career total to 16. Multi-hyphenate star Daveed Diggs, whose 2020 included an instantly iconic Hanukkah song and a viral dig at Donald Trump, was nominated for his portrayal of Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the filmed recording of the musical “Hamilton,” the Broadway sensation that was released on Disney+ last summer. The musical film received a total of four nominations. Diggs is up against his fellow “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr.
(NETFLIX; HBO; GETTY IMAGES)
animated series. The series made waves after it recast the voice of the character Missy, a Black Jewish tween, after Jewish actress Jenny Slate stepped away in June. “At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mom is Jewish and White – as am I. But ‘Missy’ is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” Slate wrote in a statement posted by Instagram. Toward the end of last season, Missy’s voice changed to from Slate to Ayo Edebiri, a writer on the show.
MUSIC Breakout rapper Doja Cat, real name Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini, was nominated for best new artist for her record “Say So.” Doja Cat also garnered many nods at the 2021 Grammys. Drake, real name Aubrey Drake Graham, received three nominations: for outstanding male artist, and two for outstanding hip hop/rap song, for the tracks “Laugh Now, Cry Later” and “Life Is Good.” Jhené Aiko, a singer-songwriter with Jewish heritage, received two nominations for her song “B.S.” feat. H.E.R., and a nomination for her album “Chilombo.”
THE SHOWS The Netflix sitcom “#blackAF,” starring Jewish actress Rashida Jones alongside creator Kenya Barris, was nominated for outstanding comedy series, as was “The Last O.G.,” which stars Jewish actress Tiffany Haddish alongside Tracy Morgan. “Bridgerton,” the hit Netflix series based on the series of the same name by Jewish romance author Julia Quinn (nee Julie Cotler), received three nominations: for outstanding drama series, for Rege-Jean Page’s star turn as the Duke of Hastings, and for Adjoa Andoh’s portrayal of Lady Danbury. “Big Mouth,” the very Jewish animated Netflix show about puberty in suburban Westchester, received a nod for outstanding
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
LITERATURE Author Walter Mosley, who recently was honored with the National Book Foundation’s lifetime achievement award, was nominated in the outstanding literary work, fiction category for his novel The Awkward Black Man. Laura Freeman, a children’s book illustrator, received a nomination alongside author Nikki Grimes for their children’s book Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice.
FEBRUARY 12, 2021
WHAT’S HAPPENING SATURDAY, FEB. 13 – SUNDAY, FEB14 Greenfield – Saturday: “Love at the Center: A Creative Shabbat” at Temple Israel, raising chants, prayers, poems and meditation that warm and support the heart, 10 -11 a.m.; Sunday: “Dislocation, Justice and Renewal: A Comparative Study of Three Exiles,” with Dr. Jan Flaska, 10 – 11 a.m., Register: email@example.com
FRIDAY, FEB. 19
SUNDAY, FEB. 21
SUNDAY, MARCH 7
Greenfield – “Farming While Black,” with Leah Penniman, a food justice activist, writer and co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, N.Y., 7-8:30 p.m., Register: https://us02web. zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcChpzwtGNAh2euwa3oZK9VpAKCI8DUc
Amherst – Wearable Art for Purim with the Eric Carle Museum, a virtual program of PJ Pals and Lander-Grinspoon Academy transforming everyday materials into Purim costumes for children ages 3 to 6 and their grownups, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Register: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/wearable-art-for-purim-wtheeric-carle-museum-lander-grinspoonacademy-tickets-136181920791?fbclid=I wAR0Amg0sg3ycZlAyhw3_wiyxNHraM_ p2cd2pWfyYwssICMGfMr-bqnptVDw
Worcester – “Journey Into the Light,” a Young Adult Division LEAD program with Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, an Arab Muslim who fled Egypt due to persecution for his ideal for co-existence with Israel, 4 p.m., Free & open to the entire community; RSVP for Zoom link: www.jfcm.org/ LEADSWU
TUESDAY, FEB. 16 Northampton – Author and Book Talk with Leslea Newman author of “I Wish My Father,” 7-8 p.m., sponsored by Congregation B’nai Israel’s Adult Ed Committee; Register: https://www. cbinorthampton.org/form/lesleanewman
Worcester – Hamantaschen baking with Juju Fisher via Zoom! at 3 p.m. Join in this a virtual baking demonstration; a list of ingredients will be provided so you can bake along or try it yourself afterwards. Fun for the entire family! RSVP for Zoom link: Mhall@jfcm.org; Free & open to all PJ Library and PJ Our Way families.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17 Worcester – An evening with Steven Weil, national director and CEO of Friends of the IDF (FIDF), 7 p.m., a program of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass.’ LEAD (Leadership program of the Young Adult Division) Register: https://events.idonate. com/stevenweil
THURSDAY, FEB. 25 Springfield – Temple Beth El and Sinai Temple virtual musical performance of Noah Aronson, 7 p.m., for link, email office@ tbespringfield.org
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; 5:30-6:15 p.m.; Register: https:// us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZIldOGtrjIjG93LsyTK8ANSe6VKaVF50Myj; ALSO: March 6 & 19, and April 3 Western Mass. – Jewish Family Zoom! A weekly Jewish musical class with Felicia Sloin for kids 0-5 and their caregiver, 9-9:30 a.m., Pre-register: www.jfswm.org/jewishfamily-jam; ALSO: Feb. 26, March 5, 12, 18 & 26 STEVEN WEIL, NATIONAL DIRECTOR AND CEO OF FIDF.
THURSDAY, FEB. 18 Springfield — JCC Literatour Series with Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V, 2 p.m., All Literatour events are free and open to the public on Zoom. Preregistration is required: visit SpringfieldJCC.org or call (413) 739-4715.
FEB.13 - MARCH. 23
SATURDAY, FEB. 20 Western Mass. – Women’s Philanthropy Film Program, “Bess Myerson, The One and Only Jewish Miss America,” 7-10 p.m., firstname.lastname@example.org
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
SATURDAY, FEB. 27 Greenfield – Rabbi Andrea’s Scary Stories – Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener shares s cary stories from her own life and friends, 7-8 p.m., Register: office@ templeisraelgreenfield.org
HUSSEIN ABOUBAKR MANSOUR
SUNDAY, MARCH 14
Springfield — JCC Literatour Series with Stephanie Butnilk, author of The 100 Most Jewish Foods. 7 p.m., All Literatour events are free and open to the public on Zoom. Preregistration is required: visit SpringfieldJCC.org or call (413) 739-4715.
Worcester – “The Legacy of the Grape, a community-wide pre-Passover virtual wine tasting, 6:30-8 p.m. sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. and Life & Legacy; Cost: $18 for 2021 JFCM campaign donors; $18 for Life & Legacy members; $60 non-donors (make 2021 gift commitment to receive donor rate-payment by cash or check); Sign up by Feb. 28: www.jfcm.org/ virtualwine
SATURDAY, MARCH 6
TUESDAY, MARCH 23
Western Mass. – Shabbat Shabloom on Zoom, with Aram Rubenstein-Gillis, a fun, song filled Shabbat morning sing-a-long time every 2nd Saturday on the month; 9-9:45 a.m., hosted by Congregation B’nai Israel; Zoom info: https://us02web.zoom. us/j/86814409262 Meeting ID: 868 1440 9262; Virtual Link: https://us02web. zoom.us/j/86814409262 Registration: mailto:email@example.com; ALSO: April 3
Springfield — JCC Literatour Series with Ronald Balson, author of Eli’s Promise, 7 p.m., All Literatour events are free and open to the public on Zoom. Preregistration is required: visit SpringfieldJCC.org or call (413) 739-4715.
TUESDAY, MARCH 2
OBITUARIES ABRAMOV Alina Abramov, 93, died Jan. 19 at Christopher House of Worcester after a period of declining health. She was the widow of Nicholas Lisin. Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, she was the daughter of Matvey and Rakhil (Krichevskaya) Abramov. After graduating from medical school in 1952, she worked for 38 years as a pathologist, managing a testing lab in Ukraine. In 1990, she, along with her entire family, immigrated to the United States, settling in Worcester. She is survived by a daughter, Victoria Lisina, of New York City; a grandson, Dimitri Lisin and his wife, Tatiana, of Shrewsbury; a greatgranddaughter, Miriam; and her former son-in-law, Aron Margulis. MILES FUNERAL HOME ALBERT Howard Albert died Jan. 11 at Baystate Medical Center from complications from Covid-19. He was the husband of Marcia (Goldberg) Albert. Born in Springfield, June 10, 1926, he was the son of Rose (Solomon) and Michael Albert. He graduated from Technical High School and attended Northeastern University. He then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS Butte supporting the marines in the battle at Okinawa and then on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt on its inaugural voyage traveling to Rio de Janeiro. He spent his entire working career in the wholesale meat business, first at the family-owned Hampden Beef and later Spencer Foods in Springfield. Appreciating the importance of food availability from his work in the industry, he was for many years committed to Rachel’s Table, for which he volunteered to deliver food to area food pantries and shelters. In addition to his wife of 70 years, he is survived by three children, Caryn Gavin and her husband, Jim, Brad Albert and his wife Jane, and David Albert and his partner Vinnie; seven grandchildren, Sara, Alissa (Dave), Michael (Margery), Daniel (Rachel), Erica (Mike), Brendan (Deb), and Kira (Ray); three great- grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Ellen Fieldstein and Ruth Albert; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Irving and Moshe. Memorial contributions may be made to Rachel’s Table, 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108; or to Baystate Health Foundation, 280 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA 01199. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
CHERNYAKOV Lev Chernyakov, 83, of Worcester, died Jan. 15 at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus. He was the husband of Zhanna (Vaispapir) Chernyakov for 55 years. He was born in Feodocia, Ukraine and came to Worcester in 1994. He graduated college and had been an electronics engineer for many years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Inna Chernyakova and her husband, Vsevolod Semenov, and Anna Perlin, and her husband, Paul, all of Worcester; two sisters, Asia Persidski and her husband, Edward Persidski, and Sofia Nikitenko, all of Worcester; and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN CRAMER Allen A. Cramer, 95, died peacefully at home Oct. 15. He was the husband of Natalie (Broder) Cramer. Born in Worcester, he graduated from Classical High School. Just before graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the infantry as a rifleman with the 11th Armored Division. His were the first troops to enter and liberate Gusen Concentration Camp in Austria. He was awarded The Purple Heart Medal, The Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, and three battle stars. He attended Harvard University, then joined his father in the Louis H. Cramer insurance agency, retiring in 1985. He served as Worshipful Master of Matthew John Whittall Lodge of Masons and as District Deputy Grand Marshal. He also served as president of The Worcester Insurance Society. In addition to his wife of 73 years, he is survived by two sons, Michael Cramer and his wife, Marsha, and Zak Cramer and his wife, Susan; two grandchildren, Melanie Cramer, and Matthew Cramer and his wife Kaylee; two great-grandchildren, April Cryan and Logan Cramer; and a brother, Russell Cramer. Memorial contributions may be made to Rachel’s Table, 633 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609; or to a charity of the donor’s choice. GORDENSTEIN Walter “Budgy” Gordenstein, 90, of Londmeadow died Jan. 20. He was the husband of June Gordenstein. Born in Springfield, he was the son of Harry and Edythe (Steinberg). After attending Georgia Tech for engineering, he served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in New London and Newfoundland during the Korean War. He ran the family business started by his father and uncles, now known Broadway Office
Interiors. He served as president and on the boards of several organizations including Spectrum Home Health Care, Jewish Nursing Home and Crestview Country Club. He was an active member of Temple BethEl and was involved in its rebuilding in 1967 and 2020. In addition to his wife of almost 66 years, he is survived two children, Peter (Alex Novack) and Ron (Marcia); and three grandchildren, Taylor, Harry and William. He was predeceased by a brother, Robert. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish Geriatric Services 660 Converse St., Longmeadow, MA 01106; or Temple Beth-El 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME GREEN Shelley Green of Springfield, formerly of New York City, died Jan. 8 surrounded by loved ones. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of the late Julius and Gretel Green. She received a bachelor’s degree in Education from Westfield State College and worked in Hospitality for numerous years teaching and training. She is survived by two nieces, Pauline (Chris) Reynolds and Jillian Green; an uncle, Michael Phillips; an aunt, Jane Green; a sister-in-law, Marianne Hutchinson, her great-niblings Collin and Cal Green and Edan Reynolds; and several cousins and their families. She was predeceased by a brother, Gordon Green. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s research or the charity of the donor’s choice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME GREENBERG Sandra Diane (Kessler) Greenberg of Longmeadow, formerly of Tewksbury, N.J., died Jan. 25. She was the widow of Walter Greenberg. Born Aug. 21, 1934 in Newark, N.J., she was the daughter of Rose (Salz) Kessler and Charles Kessler. She is survived by five children, Jeffrey (Jill Nimensky) Greenberg, Barbara (Jeffrey) Adelglass, Brad (Lisa Smyth) Greenberg, Candace (Gary) Weiner, and Tyler (Shireen Lobo) Greenberg; nine grandchildren, Shana (Dennis) Prieto, Jordan (Jamie Cooper) Greenberg, Cara (David) Berkowitz, Ross (Arielle Hartman) Adelglass, Wyatt Greenberg, Alexa (Andrew) Callery, Cydney Weiner, Devan Greenberg, and Maya Greenberg; and five great-grandchildren. She volunteered to make the world a better place through charitable work. She was a dedicated wife, mother, Nana and friend. Memorial contributions may be made to JGS Lifecare, 770 Converse St., Longmeadow, MA 01106, jgslifecare.org. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
GRUBER Helen Gruber recently died. She was the widow of Maxwell Gruber. After graduating from the High School of Commerce, she worked as a secretary. When her three kids were young, she enrolled at American International College and attained her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s in Education. Upon graduation, she took a job with the East Longmeadow School System, teaching at Meadowbrook for 25 years and then transferring to Mapleshade whre she taught third grade. She was a member of Kodimoh Synagogue, (B’nai Torah), and was a devoted student of Torah. She wrote and published two poetry books For Heaven’s Sake, and For the Love of G-d. She also studied art with renowned Russian artist, Shimon Okshteyn, in the 1970’s. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth (Steven) Harris of Los Angeles, Calif.; a son, Barry Gruber, of Jerusalem, Israel; four grandchildren, Sarah, Yakov, Shalom, and Doni; and two great-granddaughters, Mia, 4, and Kira; one step-granddaughter, Bonnie Harris; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a son, Michael. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME HERMAN Betty (Hess) Herman passed away on February 2. She was the widow of Stedman Herman. Born in Newport, R.I., she was the only child of Florence (Kashman) and Everett Hess. Raised in West Hartford, Conn., she was a graduate of Northeastern University and also did graduate work at American International College, where she received a teaching certificate. Before getting married, she was on the Executive Training Squad at G. Fox and Co. in Hartford Conn. She was a past president of the Mary Walsh School (formerly Sixteen Acres School) PTA and was active in many civic organizations. She was cofounder of the Sixteen Acres Library in Springfield and in 1966 became a life member of the Springfield Library and Museum association in Springfield. She is survived by three daughters. Ruth Wells and her husband, Dan, Carol Abram, and Beth Herman-Davis and her husband, Eric; four grandchildren, Christopher Wells, Meagan Wells-Clark, Rebecca Abram, Sarah Abram; and three great-grandchildren, Owen and Parker Wells, and Izzy Wells-Clark. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
OBITUARIES HERSH Allan Hersh, 89, of Worcester, died Jan. 7, a victim of Covid-19. He was the husband of Sandra Hersh. Born and raised in Worcester, he was the son of Ann and Samuel Hersh. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked at and was an eventual co-owner of The Boston Beef Company in Worcester. After that he became a meat entrepreneur, opening Falmouth Beef and Deli with his brother and later opening Allie’s Deli in Sarasota, featuring his signature sandwich, the “It-Allie.” In addition to his wife of 27 years, he is survived three children, Stephen and his wife, Dana, Andrea and her husband, Joel, and David and his wife, Holly; seven grandchildren, Jacob, Noah, Caleb, Eli, Sam, Rebecca, and Benjamin; four greatgrandchildren, Asher, Desmond, Eliot and Rose; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Memorial contributions may be made to The Food Pantries for the Capital District – thefoodpantries.org; The Ossining Food Pantry, ossiningfoodpantry.org/donate/; or Worcester County Food Bank – foodbank. org. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN KATZ Leonard E. Katz, 95, of Framingham, died Jan. 10 at UMass Medical Center in Worcester. Born and raised in Dorchester, he was the son of David and Rebecca Katz and lived the last 42 years in Framingham. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1942. Following graduation, he worked as a civilian technician for MIT’s Radiation Laboratory during World War II to help perfect Radar technology. He later graduated from Northeastern University in 1952, where he majored in electrical engineering. He worked as an electronics representative for much of the next 50 years. As the president and owner of Electro-Comp, Inc. he was one of the New England representatives for many large Electronic corporations, including Raytheon and Hughes Aircraft Company. He was a Mason and a long time member of Level Lodge of Masons in Shrewsbury. He is survived by a son, Richard Katz (Lisa Audette) of Worcester; a daughter, Dr. Debbie Klos of Folsom, Calif.; and three grandchildren, Robin Klos, Alexandra Klos and Daniel Klos. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc., 220 East 42nd St., New York, NY 10017 (JDC.org). MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN
MARTIN Judith (Brunell) Martin, 76, of Worcester, died Jan. 6 at UMass Memorial Medical Center-University Campus, after a brief illness. Born in Worcester, she was the daughter of Philip and Jeannie (Steele) Brunell. After graduating from Classical High, she attended Boston University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, eventually earning a Master’s Degree from Worcester State College. She worked for many years in the Paxton Elementary School as a Reading Specialist and also worked part-time in the Worcester Public Schools. After her retirement, she continued as a volunteer in the Worcester Public Schools. She is survived by a son, Richard Martin of Spencer; a granddaughter Maddie Martin; a brother, David R. Brunell and his wife, Deborah, of Jensen Beach, Fla.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by two brothers, Richard S. Brunell and Robert S. Brunell. Memorial contributions may be made to Worcester Jewish Community Center, 633 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN ODENTZ Joline “Jolly” Odentz died Jan. 14 at Glenmeadow in Longmeadow. She was the widow of Dr. Gerald Esi Odentz. Born in Springfield on July 11, 1929, she was the daughter of Solomon Greenberg and Frances (Weinberg) Greenberg. She graduated at the top of her class from Classical High School in 1946, winning the Latin and French awards. She went on to Radcliffe College where she was one of the first women to write for the Harvard Crimson, a Harvard/Radcliffe publication. She graduated in 1950. She worked for several years at Monsanto prior to settling in Longmeadow. A lifelong member of Temple Beth El, she was active in the Sisterhood organization, co-ran the Temple Beth El gift shop for over a decade, as well as published the temple calendar. She also volunteered for several other organizations. She is survived by three children and their spouses, Lauren (Nathan Levin) of Needham, Sheryl Odentz Maller (Brant Maller) of Larchmont, N.Y., and Howard Odentz (David Gilfor) of Somers, Conn.; three grandchildren, Zachary Maller, Gregory Maller and Briana Levin; and many nephews and nieces. Memorial contributions may be made to Glenmeadow Senior Living in Longmeadow, MA. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
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 PLOTKIN Leonard Harold “Bob” Plotkin, M.D. died at home Jan. 20. He was the widower of Adrienne (Scharaga) Plotkin. Born Oct. 16, 1923 in Hartford, Conn., he was the son of William and Sophie Plotkin. He grew up in Springfield, graduating from Classical High School and then serving in the Army Air Force during World War II. Upon his return from military service, he graduated from American International College with honors and was the president of Phi Sigma Phi and Alpha Chi honor fraternities. While at AIC he was elected to Who’s Who in American Colleges. He graduated from the Medical School of Tufts College in 1954, where he won the Mosby scholarship and was a member Phi Lambda Kappa medical fraternity. He spent his internship and residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Medical Center in Boston, and was appointed a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School. In 1957, he founded his own practice in Springfield, which became Pioneer Valley Pediatrics in Longmeadow. He is survived by five children, Richard (Patricia Sweeney) Plotkin, Susan Dellheim (David Huntoon), Michael (Tammy) Plotkin, Lisa (Laurence) Meskin, and David (Maya Khuri) Plotkin; 10 grandchildren, Jeffrey Plotkin, Zachary (Michelle) Dellheim, Avery (Colby) Aiken, Sadie Plotkin, Zoe Plotkin, Jarret Meskin, Carly Meskin, Malek Plotkin, Sena Plotkin and Zaid Plotkin; and a greatgranddaughter, Lucy Adrienne Aiken. He was predeceased by a daughter, Nancy. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME REISMAN Helen Reisman of Springfield died Jan. 6 at Baystate Medical Center. She was the widow of Abraham Reisman. The daughter of Otto and Sarah (Cohen) Damb, she was a lifelong resident of Springfield, and graduated from Technical High School. She was employed by Lerner Shops for many years as a manager, and also worked at Shawmut Bank and Trust. She was a long time active member of Kodimoh Synagogue, now Congregation B’nai Torah. She is survived by a son, Jeffrey Reisman; a daughter, Brenda (Jeffrey) Steinberg; and two grandchildren, Eric and Jason Steinberg. She was predeceased by a brother, Sidney
Damb. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation B’nai Torah Synagogue, 2 Eunice Drive, Longmeadow, MA 01106; or to the charity of the donor’s choice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME STEINBERG Norman Steinberg, 86, of Boynton Beach, Fla. and Centerville, formerly of Framingham, died Jan. 8, due to complications from Covid-19. He was the husband of Tonyia (Goodman) Steinberg. Born in Worcester, he was the son of the late Hyman and Mollie (Rovner) Steinberg. After graduating from Clark University, he worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals, Tracer Lab, and Polaroid. He found his real passion working in the investment business for over 50 years. He started with Sterman & Gowell and worked for Clarke Dodge and Moseley Securities before setting up the Bostonbased operations for Credit Lyonnaise. He went on to co-found Steinberg Global Asset Management with his son, Richard. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children, Susan Ivancic and her husband, Robert, of Framingham, and Richard Steinberg and his wife, Naomi, of Boca Raton, Fla.; four grandchildren, Melissa, Michael, Alana and Jack; and, many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Mindy Steinberg; a sister, Vivian (Steinberg) Sigel and her husband, Morton; and a brother, Morton Steinberg, and his wife, Edith. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Beth Am in Framingham, MA, designated for the Mindy J. Steinberg Memorial Fund or to a charity of the donor’s choice. TAPPER Alan Tapper of Springfield, formerly of Wakefield, died Jan. 13. He was the husband of Marilyn Lee Dubrofsky. Born on Nov. 27, 1934 in Revere, he was the son of William and Freda Tapper. A graduate of Revere High School, as a young adult, he was a member of the Army National Guard. He had a professional career in sales for firms including Dunn and Bradstreet of Boston, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual and finally for himself in the pen business. He was also an active member and leader at Temple Emmanuel in Wakefield. In addition to his wife of more than 60 years, he is survived by three children, Judith, Richard and Rob; a son-in-law, Irwin; a daughter-in-law, Helen; his siblings, Jerome, Mortimer, Fred and Rosalyn; and four grandchildren, Lucas, Eric, Levi and Micah. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
OBITUARIES Seymour Frankel of Longmeadow, supporter of several Jewish organizations, dies at 90
eymour Frankel, 90, of Longmeadow, a longtime supporter of the local Jewish community, died Dec. 31, 2020. He was the widower of Edna Frankel. Born in Springfield, Frankel was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. He was the owner of two womenâ€™s clothing stores in Springfield, including the former Beverly Shop in Longmeadow. He was recipient of JGS Lifecareâ€™s first Charimanâ€™s Service Award; UMassâ€™s Fine Arts Center Award; and awards from the Jewish Federation of Western Mass. and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for his volunteer work and fundraising efforts. Frankel was a longtime volunteer driver for Rachelâ€™s Table and over the years performed in many theater productions at the Springfield JCC. He also founded a local walk that raises funds for the Alzheimers Association. â€œSo many organizations like to call Seymour their own, as they should. He has made a difference in the success of so many of our community organizations,â€? said Susan Halpern, JGS Lifecareâ€™s vice president of development and communications. â€œBut at JGS Lifecare, Seymour has been our standard-bearer and historian, steeped in so many years of involvement and advocacy for the care of our elders. The consummate volunteer and committee participant, willing to roll up his sleeves and do the daily tasks of fundraising and friend-raising to help make a real difference in the lives of so many generations of our elders. I depended upon him to fill in my understanding of the history of JGS and he was a walking â€œwhoâ€™s whoâ€? resource of people in the community, including their phone numbers! Seymour was kind, and humble and always seeking new ways to raise fund for JGS.â€? JGS Lifecareâ€™s Frankel-Kinsler Classic was Frankelâ€™s brainchild. First held in 1981, the event was conceived as a day of fun, food and friendship to raise support for the organization. Originally known as The Kinsler Summer Classic, named to honor major event sponsors, The Kinsler Family, the tournament was renamed in 2014 to also honor the late Michael Frankel, son of Seymour and Edna Frankel and past chairman of JGS Lifecare. â€œSeymour has left an unmatched legacy of caring at JGS Lifecare and will be sorely missed but never forgotten,â€? Halpern said. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
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
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Funeral Directors: RYAN S. ASCHER â€˘ ROBERT P. ZIMMERMAN 413.734.5229 â€˘ 888.827.2437
44 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ascherzimmerman.com
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Owner operated and proudly serving the community and greater New England for over 25 years Robert Zeller â€œHappy feet move fasterâ€?
413-736-4440 SEYMOUR FRANKEL, RIGHT, WITH DAUGHTER-IN-LAW DONNA FRANKEL AND HER DAUGHTER JOELY AT THE RIBBON CUTTING FOR SOSIN CENTER FOR REHABILITIATON AND MICHAELâ€™S CAFĂ‰, NAMED TO HONOR SEYMOURâ€™S SON MICHAEL FRANKEL.
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a-zmovers.net MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Our Passover Menu Is Ready! Continuing our tradition of bringing delicious kosher foods, expertly butchered meats and traditional holiday groceries throughout Massachussetts!
www.thecrownmarket.com Deadline For Orders Is 3/8 Deliveries Throughout MA Friday 3/19 The Crown Market 2471 Albany Ave West Hartford, CT 06117
Newton: Natick: Worcester: Springfield:
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM 11:45 AM - 12:15 AM 1:45 PM - 2:15 PM
HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS!