Friday, July 16, 2021 7 Av 5781 Vol. 22 | No. 7 | ©2021 $1.00 | majewishledger.com
ON THE ROAD TO TOKYO
DENTAL Insurance Medicare does not cover dental care1. That means if you need dental work done, it can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. Get Dental Insurance from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company. It helps cover over 350 procedures — from cleanings and fillings to crowns and dentures.
• See any dentist you want, but save more with one in our network • No deductible, no annual maximum • Immediate coverage for preventive care
Call to get your FREE Information Kit
“Medicare & You,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2020 Includes the Participating (in GA: Designated) Providers and Preventive Benefits Rider. Product not available in all states. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/ certificate of this type. Contact us for complete details about this insurance solicitation. This specific offer is not available in CO, LA, NY; call 1-800-969-4781 or respond for similar offer. Certificate C250A (ID: C250E; PA: C250Q); Insurance Policy P150 (GA: P150GA; NY: P150NY; OK: P150OK; TN: P150TN); Rider kinds B438/B439 (GA: B439B).
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JULY 16, 2021 | 7 AV 5781
10 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.
17 Synagogue Directory
Unsung Heroes..............................5 JFCM presents program on Methodist minister who served on the Exodus 1947 and the Worcester judge who mentored him
Conversation with…............................................................................................4 Sarah Wildman, author of Paper Love
20 What’s Happening
Boston Proud..................................6 Boston Jews rally after streak of attacks, including stabbing of rabbi
No fear rally....................................5 Rally against anti-Semitism draws 3,000 in show of unity at U.S. Capitol in Washington
Gary M. Gaffin
Accounting services for all size businesses
Gaffin & Associates, LLC 313 Park Ave. Worcester, MA 01609 T: 508-797-4826 F: 508-797-4866 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Reminder From
A Reminder From
ON THE COVER: There’s the fencer looking for redemption; Israel’s first Olympic surfer; one of the greatest canoe paddlers of all time; a teen track star para-athlete; and many more. Take a look at all the Jewish athletes to watch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. PAGE 12
Wikipedia war...............................18 Jerusalem scholar and Polish college student face off over I.B. Singer
WORCESTER Metropolitan Area
July 16 8:03 pm
July 17 9:10 pm
July 23 7:57pm
July 30 7:50 pm
August 6 7:42 pm
SPRINGFIELD Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING
July 16 8:05 pm
July 17 9:13 pm
July 24 9:03 pm
July 23 8:00 pm
July 31 8:55 pm
July 30 7:53 pm
August 7 8:45 pm
August 6 7:44 pm
August 7 8:48 pm
July 24 9:06 pm
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
July 31 8:58 pm
| JULY 16, 2021
2471 Albany Ave., West Hartford, Conn. 860.236.1965 thecrownmarket.com
Vol. 22 No. 7
Journalist embarks on a journey to learn the fate of her grandfather’s lost love during the Holocaust
JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner Leslie Iarusso Associate Publisher Judie Jacobson Editor email@example.com • x3024 Hillary Sarrasin Digital Media Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
BY STACEY DRESNER
n her book, Paper Love, Sarah Wildman tells the story of her grandfather, who left behind the woman he loved when he escaped from Vienna in 1938. He eventually settled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he practiced medicine for more than 40 years. The discovery of the woman’s existence sent Wildman on a journey to learn of the young woman’s fate. Wildman is working on turning Paper Love into a feature film, with the help of a grant from the Jewish Writer’s Initiative. She recently spoke to the Jewish Ledger about her book and how she researched her grandfather’s remarkable story. JEWISH LEDGER: How did you find out about the relationship your grandfather had in Europe before the war? SARAH WILDMAN: I was in my grandparents’ house in Northwest Massachusetts in the Berkshires. And I was kind of rooting around in an old cabinet and came across an old album, the kind with photo corners and block pages with images that were clearly from Europe. And in that book were photos of my then-very young grandfather and his sister and other family members. A small note fell out of the album – the note had four quadrants and each quadrant had an image of this woman, and under each was a caption… things like, “no call today? Maybe tomorrow, surely tomorrow there will be a letter.” I showed it to my grandmother and she sort of dryly and inexplicably said, ‘It was your grandfather’s true love,” and left the room. I didn’t quite know what to do with that. My grandfather was no longer living at the time, so I called his sister Cilli. Cilli said the woman’s name was Valerie Scheftel – Valy – and she had come alone to study medicine at the University of Vienna where my grandfather was a medical student in the early 1930s in what was then Czechoslovakia. She had fallen in love with him immediately, apparently, and he had sort of ignored her. Then one summer he realized he loved her too and raced to tell her and they had this whirlwind romance. As they watched what was happening in Germany, they planned to escape together. Instead, he escaped with my greatgrandmother and his sister, his five-year-old nephew, and his brother-in-law. 4
Cilli then wrote me a letter and said, essentially, ‘I’ve always wondered what happened to Valy – maybe you’re the one to tell her story.’ And at the time, I thought, well, how would I even do that? I was only a few years out of college at the time I first found out about Valy, and I thought, how would I go about finding this one person who didn’t have a digital footprint of any kind – where would you start? Even so, it changed what I understood of my family’s story. Of course my grandfather had not escaped with everyone – how could he? At first, I didn’t think I could find Valy. But in my journalism work, I began writing more and more stories about the Holocaust that broadened my understanding of the period. I kept wondering who were the regular people? People like me. What happened to them? Then, after a couple of years had passed – my grandmother had died at this point – I came across an old file box among my grandfather’s papers. It was labeled “Patient Correspondence A-G.” I went through it one night and realized the box was mislabeled: Inside were hundreds and hundreds of letters from my grandfather’s entire exploded Viennese world. And there were dozens and dozens of letters from this woman, Valy. Tell us about your grandfather, Karl Wildman? My grandfather Karl was born in the town of Zaleszczyki, in the Austro-Hungarian empire but came as a toddler – at just about two years old – to Vienna. He was a part of the wave of what they called “Ostjuden” – Eastern European Jews who flooded in from all parts of the empire during the First World War. He and his family settled in the second district of Vienna. He was always known in my family as incredibly clever, and insatiably curious. He was also magnetic – the kind of person everyone loved to be around. Even today, many years after his death, I still run into people who knew and loved him. Did he finish medical school in Vienna or when he arrived in the U.S.?
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
EDITORIAL Stacey Dresner Massachusetts Editor email@example.com • x3008 Tim Knecht Proofreader
He was very fortunate in that he finished medical school in Vienna. But when he arrived in the United States it was a time of aggressive lobbying against Jewish refugee physicians. Karl was helped by a group called the National Committee for the Resettlement of Foreign Physicians. That was how he ended up in the far northwest corner of Massachusetts, as they tried to help settle Jews and helped set them up with some grants because most of them were penniless. The archives of that group are held at the University of Minnesota. Remarkably, they had dozens of pages of correspondence with my grandfather – he first wrote from Vienna, then continued to write to them through the time he settled in Massachusetts. The notes showed that the family was incredibly impoverished when they arrived, and for more than a year after they got here. The family had sold his mother’s jewelry and they existed on very little money. Once he found safe haven, my grandfather was also being written to by relatives and friends stuck in Europe asking him for help – for money, for tickets – but he was barely surviving. It was surely terribly hard to know he could do so little. When the United States entered the war, Karl enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was sent to the Pacific, where he served in a M.A.S.H. unit. While he was there, he did research on malaria. For that work he won a big award, was brought back to the U.S. to lecture on his findings, and eventually left the service after being promoted to the rank of Major. Before he deployed he married my grandmother, who was from Pittsfield. What led you to write about the letters you found? Around the same time that I found Valy’s letters, I started hearing about the International Tracing Service Archives in Bad Arolsen, Germany. They were among the last
ADVERTISING Donna Edelstein Senior Account Executive Non-Profit & JHL Ledger LLC Media Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org • x3028 Joyce Cohen Senior Account Executive email@example.com • (860) 836-9195 Trudy Goldstein Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org • x3007 Amy Oved Mass Account Executive email@example.com • x3030 PRODUCTION Elisa S. Wagner Creative Director firstname.lastname@example.org Christopher D. Bonito Graphic Designer email@example.com ADMINISTRATIVE Judy Yung Accounting Manager firstname.lastname@example.org • x3016 Howard Meyerowitz Office Manager email@example.com • x3035
Samuel Neusner, Founder (1929-1960) Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman, Co-Founder and Editor (1929-1977) Berthold Gaster, Editor (1977-1992) N. Richard Greenfield, Publisher (1994-2014) PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT JHL Ledger LLC 40 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 Phone (860) 231-2424 Fax (860) 231-2485 Editorial Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Production Email: email@example.com Editorial deadline: All public and social announcements must be received by Tuesday 5 p.m. 10 days prior to publication. Advertising deadline: Thursday noon one week prior to issue. Advertisers should check ad on publication. JHL Ledger LLC and Jewish Ledger shall not be liable for failure to publish an ad for typographical error or errors in the publication except to the extent of the cost of the space which the actual error appeared in the first insertion. Publishers reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason and to alter advertising copy or graphics deemed unacceptable. The publishers cannot warrant, nor assume responsibility for, the legitimacy, reputability or legality of any products or services offered in advertisements in any of its publications. The entire contents of the Jewish Ledger are copyright © 2020. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. JHL Ledger LLC also publishes the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, All Things Jewish CT, and All Things Jewish MA. www.majewishledger.com
CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JULY 16, 2021 | 7 AV 5781
Judge Joseph Goldberg and Rev. John Stanley Grauel were passionate supporters of the State of Israel
ORCESTER – Many in the Central Massachusetts Jewish community remember the late Judge Joseph Goldberg, a passionate Zionist who once served as national vice president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and was named honorary life president of the Worcester Zionist District. However, most probably haven’t heard of his good friend Rev. John Stanley Grauel, a Methodist minister and avid supporter of the founding of Israel who became a member of the Haganah and was the only non-Jewish crew member of the Exodus 1947, the ship that carried more than 4,000 Jewish refugees from France to the Port of Haifa, then part of British Mandatory Palestine. Both of these native sons will be celebrated at “Exodus 1947 & Two Unsung Heroes of Worcester: The Rev. John Stanley Grauel & Judge Joseph Goldberg,” presented by the Jewish Federation of Central Mass.; Christians and Jews United for Israel; and Israel Bonds on Thursday, July 22 both virtually and at the Worcester JCC. “The Rev. Grauel’s connection to the Exodus story was new me. Although I knew the Exodus story, I wasn’t aware of Grauel’s role,” said Steven Schimmel, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. “It is extraordinary, and important to tell for several reasons, most importantly, it helps to strengthen the importance of the Exodus story to know that there were non-Jewish leaders advocating for the passengers aboard the ship. The Exodus story itself was a formative moment in the creation of Israel, it showed the world that Israeli needed to be established, and to have leaders from Worcester involved in this important moment in history is all the more reason why our community should know of the Rev. Grauel.” “While Judge Goldberg is remembered as a Zionist leader, I don’t think many people know much about him beyond that,” Schimmel added. “This program will add majewishledger.com
BY STACEY DRESNER
RALLY AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM DRAWS 3,000 IN SHOW OF UNITY AT U.S. CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON “Anti-Semitism is not just a Republican problem or a Democrat problem ... the fight against anti-Semitism bridges the political divide. United we stand, divided we fall,” said Republican Jewish Coalition chairman and former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.
REV. JOHN STANLEY GRAUEL, LEFT, WITH CREW MEMBERS YAAKOV ORON AND ARYEH KOLOMEITZEV, ON THE DECK OF THE SS PRESIDENT WARFIELD, WHICH LATER BECAME THE EXODUS 1947, BEFORE ITS DEPARTURE FOR EUROPE.
depth and a better understanding of who he was and will inspire others to carry on his legacy.” During the event the Federation and Israel Bonds will also celebrate Mark Shear, as well as junior Israel Bond honorees Naomi Schertzer and Charlotte Roiter. “We had initially planned to hold a stand-alone program for the Exodus presentation and for Israel Bonds, but we
JUDGE JOSEPH GOLDBERG
decided this was a great opportunity to unite the two programs,” Schimmel said. The guest speaker for the program will be Robert W. Bleakney, Ph.D., associate
professor at Hebraic Heritage Christian College and author of Evangelical Interpretation After Auschwitz: Planting Seeds for Responsible Deeds. A resident of Worcester, he previously studied at Drew University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Boston University School of Theology, where he was a student of Professor Elie Wiesel. At the July 22 event, Dr. Bleakney will speak about the Exodus 1947 and its mission, Grauel’s role leading up to and during the operation, and his friendship with Judge Joseph Goldberg. Judge Goldberg, who served as chief justice of the Worcester District Court, is fondly remembered for his dedication to the Central Massachusetts Jewish community. While his 40 years of service to the State of Israel and Zionism won him the David Ben Gurion Award in 1976, he also served as president of the Central New England Council of B’nai B’rith; as president and campaign chair of the Worcester Jewish Welfare Fund; and was on the board of both Yeshiva Achewi Timimim and Beth Israel, where he was a longtime member. Rev. John Stanley Grauel also was a strong supporter of the State of Israel. “Reverend Grauel, though he was born in Worcester, grew up here, and worshipped at Wesley Methodist on Main Street, lived in New Jersey as an adult,”
(JNS) More than 3,000 people from across the country gathered near the U.S. Capitol on Sunday to stand in solidarity against the rising tide of antiSemitism across the United States. “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity With the Jewish People” was organized by more than 100 Jewish and interfaith organizations from across the political and religious spectrum, under the leadership of business executive Elisha Wiesel, son of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. “Looking out at all of you today, it becomes clear that instead of dividing us, the enemies of the Jewish people— CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
ELISHA WIESEL, BUSINESS EXECUTIVE AND THE SON OF THE LATE NOBEL LAUREATE ELIE WIESEL, SPEAKS AT THE “NO FEAR: A RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE” ON THE NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON JULY 11, 2021. CREDIT: CHRIS KLEPONIS.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
Rachel’s Table expands food rescue program in Hampshire County
Rachel’s Table Adds Seven New Drivers, Three Food Donors and Two Agencies in Hampshire County Area
PRINGFIELD -- Rachel’s Table, the nearly 30-year-old food rescue and redistribution program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, is expanding its daily program into Hampshire County. Six days a week more than 200 Rachel’s Table volunteers collect food from over 60 donors such as local supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, farms, and bakeries, and deliver it to more than 50 agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters in the Pioneer Valley. Rachel’s Table’s expansion plans include adding seven Hampshire County-based drivers; three new food donors in Hadley, Amherst and Northampton; and two new agencies in Amherst and Northampton. Rachel’s Table already rescues and distributes hundreds of pounds of healthy food to Hampden and Franklin Counties. For years hundreds of volunteer gleaners have rescued fruits and vegetables at the Hampshire County-based farms that donate their produce to local agencies. And during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rachel’s Table delivered meat and produce to the entire Upper Valley through its Healthy Community Emergency Food Fund. This included 100 pounds of meat and gallons of milk. Now Rachel’s Table will officially rescue and redistribute food in Hampshire County six days a week. “One of our main goals at Rachel’s Table has been to fund programs that support food security throughout the Pioneer Valley,” says Jodi Falk, Rachel’s Table director. “While we have had a presence in Hampshire County through our gleaning program, we have now been able to expand and fill in the hunger gaps in this region by making sure local food goes to local people and not to landfill.” Rachel’s Table also plans to bring their new Growing Garden initiative to Hampshire County, providing materials and mentoring to help Hampshire County agencies grow their own food. “This seeds the future of food security and provides more direct access to healthy, culturally appropriate and personally desired food,” says Falk. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel’s Table increased drivers and deliveries to local agencies. Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Atkins Farms, and several Pride gas stations now have their food donations delivered three days a week to Manna Community Soup Kitchen in Northampton. As part of its annual Foodraiser event, Rachel’s Table donated food to the Amherst Survival Center, purchased shelf-stable milk through its Kalicka fund, and provided meat and produce through its Healthy Community Emergency Food Fund. Pandemic deliveries included between 70,000 to 140,000 pounds of food a month to over 53 agencies in Hamden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. “It’s been a great experience to be able to provide food from Atkins Farms and bring to Manna on Sunday mornings,” said Addie Stiles, a volunteer driver in Hampshire County. “The folks at Atkins are always so wonderful and knowing that they are willing to help our community is great. The team at Manna are always so appreciative every time I drop off. I love being able to give back to the community of Northampton, where I grew up.” People interested in driving for Rachel’s Table, or who know of food from a local restaurant, bakery or grocery store that is going to waste, please contact Rachel’s Table at www.rachelstablepv.org. During the pandemic, Rachel’s Table delivered between 70,000 to 140,000 pounds of food a month to over 53 agencies in Hamden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. New programs such as the Growing Gardens program at Rachel’s Table supports any of its 53 agencies and their constituents to grow their own personally desired, culturally relevant food. For more information on how to volunteer or donate visit www.rachelstablepv.org
Boston Jews rally together after streak of attacks in the area
BY PENNY SCHWARTZ
OSTON (JTA) – Days after a series of violent acts stunned Greater Boston and threatened its Jewish community, residents are jolted but resolute, vowing to continue taking pride in their Jewish identity. The latest incident occurred on Thursday, when Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was stabbed eight times outside of Shaloh House, a Jewish school and synagogue in Brighton, where he teaches. Less than a week prior, on June 26, in Winthrop, a seaside town just north of Boston, a white supremacist who harbored virulent racist and antisemitic views
HUNDREDS GATHER ON JULY 2, 2021, FOR A RALLY IN BRIGHTON, MASS., IN SUPPORT OF RABBI SHLOMO NOGINSKI, WHO WAS STABBED THE DAY BEFORE IN THE SAME PARK ACROSS THE STREET FROM HIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL. (COURTESY OF COMBINED JEWISH PHILANTHROPIES OF GREATER BOSTON)
murdered Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper, 60, and retired state trooper David Green, 68, both African American. The shooting took place near two synagogues and is being investigated as a hate crime. Both episodes of violence played out during a period of high alert in the area following a June 24 pro-Palestinian protest at the New England regional offices of the Anti-Defamation League in Boston, at which a non-Jewish writer for the Zionist website CAMERA was, according to video, spat at and called a Nazi by protesters. The local Jewish Journal-Massachusetts wrote in an editorial that the ADL encounter and the double murder were both “high-profile instances of antisemitism and hate.” All three incidents worried local and national Jewish groups, but it was the attack on Noginski that proved to be the tipping point for many Jewish Bostonians. With only hours of advance notice, hundreds of people gathered Friday morning in Brighton for a rally in support of Noginski, drawing a wide swath of Greater Boston’s Jewish community, its allies and scores of elected leaders, police and officials. “Our community is feeling vulnerable,” Marc Baker, president of the Combined CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
MILESTONES B’NAI MITZVAH ARIANNA BARTHEL, daughter of Marci Jones and Thomas Barthel, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Aug. 7.
LUNCH & LEARN
Getting out of your own way.
JORDAN FRESHMAN, daughter of Jonathan and Parisa Freshman, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Aug. 28. NATALIE KANTER, daughter of David Kanter and Peggy Wu, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Aug. 21. MARLEY MIDKIFF, daughter of Brian and Michelle Midkiff, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Aug. 14.
HACHAI HEBREW HIGH CLUB GRADUATION 2021
Hachai Hebrew High Club celebrated a graduation with an outdoor barbecue for students and families. In addition to a finely grilled dinner, the graduates heard from Michael Anfang, a law student at Columbia Law School. Michael encouraged the graduates to continue their Jewish learning while in college. “My advice to you is to set a fixed time weekly to learn Torah with a teacher or a learning partner.” “Surprisingly, you will have more free time in college than in high school and it is
we are only less than 5 percent,” remarked Avi Felzenstein, who will attend UMass Boston in the fall. “With the support of my teachers, even though I go to public high school, I have not lost my Jewish way. I am able to keep up a level of Jewish life and am part of the Jewish community. I am fortunate to have Hachai as part of my life,” remarked Binyamin Fenster, who will attend Stony Brook University. Naftali Fenster, who will attend Wentworth Institute of Technology, spoke about what he learned from Hachai. “Hachai helps teach you Jewish values and the struggles that come with being a Jew.” Hachai Hebrew High Club is partially
N VIR OW TUA L!
Mary-Anne will discuss moving away from the drama and chaos we have been living in over the past year and into an environment of success and self fulfillment. Mary-Anne has a unique way of helping you get out of your own way. She will share tips and tricks on how not to be your own obstacle!
Mary-Anne Schelb, Holistic Health Practitioner of Intentional Calm Holistic Consulting & Life Coaching.
TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2021 • 12:00 noon -1:15 p.m. Brief Ruth’s House update followed by Presentation, Q & A, Raffle and Virtual Tour. RSVP*: Christina Tuohey 413-567-6212 X 3609 or ctuohey@JGSLifecare.org *A confirmation and Zoom invitation will be emailed to you prior to the meeting.
780 Converse Street, Longmeadow, MA • JGSLifecare.com
A to Z Moving & Storage, Inc.
Owner operated and proudly serving the community and greater New England for over 25 years Robert Zeller “Happy feet move faster”
413-736-4440 visit us on the web at:
LEFT TO RIGHT, ESTHER KOSOFSKY, NAFTALI FENSTER, BINYAMIN FENSTER, AVI FELZENSTEIN AND RABBI YAKOV WOLFF.
important to fill your time in a productive manner”. It was beautiful to hear the reflections of how the graduates have grown in Judaism and will use the guidance they received from Rabbi Yakov Wolff and Mrs. Esther Kosofsky. The graduates enjoyed the discussions, workshops, speakers and full kosher breakfasts that Hachai offered during the school year on Sunday mornings. “Coming to Hachai, I think the spark of my soul has grown more by being with other Jewish peers my age and sharing our experiences being Jewish in a world where
AVI FELZENSTEIN MAKES HONEY CAKE DURING A HACHAI HEBREW HIGH ROSH HASHANA PROGRAM.
funded with a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Teen Education Grant. Hachai is open to area teens in Grades 8-12 and meets during the school year on Sunday mornings offering discussions, workshops, speakers and full kosher breakfasts. Hachai Hebrew High is a program offered from Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Longmeadow. For more information, contact Rabbi Yakov Wolff at (413) 567-8665, ext. 19.
find us online at wmassjewishledger.com
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
Briefs Israeli water technology comes to Navajo Nation community (JNS) The Israeli company Watergen has implemented a pilot project, installing a GEN-M water generator at Rocky Ridge Gas & Market (RRGM) in the Hard Rock community of the Navajo Nation. It was facilitated by store owner Germaine Simonson, Tó Nizhóní Ání (TNA), StandWithUs, Bright Path Strong (BPS) and 4D Products & Services (4D), in coordination with Arlando Teller, former Arizona state representative and current deputy assistant secretary for tribal affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez (LD3) assisted with the launch of this joint effort as well. Watergen creates high-quality drinking water from the air. This project aims to address the lack of access to clean drinking water within the Hard Rock community. According to recent estimates, nearly 10,000 families across Navajo Nation lack access to running water. Nicole Horseherder, executive director of Tó Nizhóní Ání, said: “We live in a region in which drinking-water sources have been compromised by coal mining. Any way to mitigate the need for water while the aquifers recover is critical.” TNA worked with Germaine Simonson and Marvin “Callo” James, owners at RRGM to prepare the site and install the electrical hardware needed to operate the GEN-M. Teller said, “Tó ííná át’é. In translation: ‘Water Is Life.’ Ms. Germaine Simonson and Ms. Nicole Horseherder have led this community-based effort to assure installation of this machine is operable and servicing community members.” Max Samarov, executive director of research and strategy at StandWithUs, said “this partnership is an opportunity to engage with Israel and help ensure that Watergen technology reaches communities that need it most.” BPS board member Dennis Hendricks explained that “access to clean drinking water has long been a threat to many Native American communities, and the onslaught of climate change is accelerating this challenge. Bright Path Strong is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Watergen to bring their life-giving technology to help alleviate this need within tribal communities–areas where some of the most vulnerable reside.” The GEN-M produces up to 211 gallons of purified drinking water per day, depending on climate conditions. Watergen, 4D and TNA will monitor its effectiveness in the Hard Rock Community, and then evaluate whether it can help other communities within the Navajo Nation. Watergen and StandWithUs are working 8
together on additional projects inside and outside the United States. For StandWithUs, the partnership is at the center of a larger initiative called Connect for Progress.
NYPD apprehends Staten Island man behind string of antisemitic attacks (JNS) The New York Police Department announced the arrest on Wednesday, July 7, of a man wanted in connection with a string of antisemitic incidents in late May that culminated with the tossing of an incendiary device that injured a woman in Midtown Manhattan. According to the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit, Mohammed Othman, 24, of Staten Island, N.Y., was seen on video tossing the device from the back of a pickup truck on May 20 as it drove through the “Diamond District” on 47th Street, where many Jews work, particularly Orthodox Jews. A 55-yearold woman who was walking by at the time was burned in the attack. Othman is being charged with three separate anti-Semitic hatecrime assaults, all of which occurred on the same day. The arrest comes a day after the NYPD released its latest crime statistics that show antisemitic attacks on the rise in the city, up some 60 percent over 2020 with more than 110 incidents to date.
Israel sends Nepal vital supplies to fight COVID-19 pandemic (Israel Hayom via JNS) Israel on Wednesday, July 7, sent Nepal supplies meant to help the country battle the coronavirus pandemic battering its population. The South Asian nation has recorded more than 650,000 cases of the virus so far, almost 9,300 deaths. The Israeli Foreign Ministry spearheaded the operation, which saw leading organizations such as IsraAid, Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and the Commerce Ministry for Israel and Nepal, as well as other organizations, donate essential supplies. The aid package, which includes ventilators, oxygen tanks and advanced protective gear, was delivered to Kathmandu via a Nepal Air aircraft. “The State of Israel is proud to help Nepal fight the coronavirus pandemic,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement. “Israel’s allies and friends know that Israel will stand by them in times of trouble.” Israel and Nepal this month mark 61 years of diplomatic relations.
Anti-Israel activists accuse IDF of exploiting Surfside disaster (JNS) Anti-Israel activists took to social media to accuse the Israel Defense Forces of exploiting the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida. Rafael Shimunov, a political activist from Queens, N.Y., questioned the motives
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
of involvement by the Israeli military. He tweeted: “I really don’t understand the IDF’s involvement in rescue attempts of people tragically crushed under buildings in Miami. Their expertise is crushing buildings with people in them, not rescuing them.” He added: “As if we don’t have any expertise or technology here in the U.S. Using these tragic deaths for pro-Israel propaganda is just quite something. These forces are literally stepping over buildings they crushed with children in them to go to Miami and do a PR stunt.” Pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour replied to Shiminov’s tweet with fingers pointing downwards in agreement. In response, Emily Schrader tweeted: “Imagine being such a small person you’re mad about people you don’t like saving lives. Linda Sarsour is mad the IDF is saving lives in Miami.” A rescue delegation from the IDF’s Home Front Command was sent to Surfside to assist in the search and recovery mission. The delegation arrived within 72 hours of the building’s collapse, helping first responders using 3D mapping and conducting a humanitarian effort to support the families of the missing. B’nai B’rith International was “outraged and disgusted” by the tweet and retweet from Shimunov and Sarsour. “This horrific statement comes as families are mourning the loss of loved ones and hoping for miracles in the tragic building collapse that still has 113 missing in the rubble. The IDF has worked tirelessly, as Lt. Col. Oz Gino told Hamodia, ‘on the pile as if everybody is alive,’ ” wrote B’nai B’rith International president Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin. “The tweet is not only deeply insensitive but antiZionist and anti-Semitic,” they continued. “A people that, sadly, has had to deal with bombs from Palestinian terrorists is now told it has the temerity to help people in Florida based on their own tragic experience.”
Facebook will provide Holocaust education in 12 languages (JTA) – Facebook is expanding its efforts to combat Holocaust denial by directing users to Holocaust education materials in 12 languages, including Arabic, Russian and German. Beginning in January, people who searched in English for information about the Holocaust or Holocaust denial were given a prompt to visit AboutHolocaust.org, a website that provides basic facts about the genocide and provides testimonies by survivors. By July 13, the site will be available to people who search for those terms in several other widely spoken languages. The site is a project of the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization. “It is essential that people all over the world have access to factually accurate information about the Holocaust,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement. “In the context of the global rise of misinformation, social media platforms have
a role to play in combating false narratives and hate, and redirecting users to reliable sources of information.” The expansion of the Holocaust education site continues an about-face for Facebook that began last year, when the social media giant said it would ban Holocaust denial, after years of defending its distribution as a kind of misinformed but legitimate expression. The WJC has worked with Facebook on fighting Holocaust denial. Last year, before the policy change, the Anti-Defamation League co-organized a high-profile advertising boycott of Facebook to protest its approach to hate speech.
Survey: US Jews getting younger on average (JTA) – The median age of American Jews has dropped from 52 to 48 since 2013, according to a massive survey of Americans and religion, making Jews one of only two religious groups to grow younger on average. Every other religious grouping except for mainline Protestants tended to age during the same period, although a number remained on average younger than Jews. The median age for all Americans was 47, the survey found. The Public Religion Research Institute survey, published Thursday, was based on interviews with close to 500,000 people from 2013 until now. The survey, which said Jews comprise 1% of the population, also found, unsurprisingly, that Jews “are primarily concentrated in the Northeast and areas around New York City.” A majority of Jews, 51%, live in suburban areas, 40% live in urban areas and just 8% live in rural areas. Politically, 44% of Jews identify as Democrats, 31% identify as Independent and 22% as Republican. Jews were one of three groupings among which a majority had college degrees: 58% of Jews, 59% of Unitarian Universalists and 67% of Hindus had degrees. The report’s findings on age largely align with an earlier study this year by the Pew Research Center, which put the median age for Jews at 49. The Pew study also found that Orthodox Jews had a younger median age (35) than Conservative (62) and Reform Jews (53). The report’s major takeaway is that a precipitous drop in recent decades among white Christians has stabilized. More than 80% of Americans identified as white Christians in 1976, NPR reported, and that proportion was at two-thirds in 1996.
3 years after shul massacre, PA lawmakers eliminate nonprofit security funding (JTA) – The Orthodox Union blasted Pennsylvania Republican-led Pennsylvania legislature for cutting security funding for nonprofits to zero. The General Assembly budget passed last month effectively ended a five-year fund the state established in 2019, just after the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, to secure nonprofits. The fund has so far distributed $10 million in grants of between $25,000 and $150,000 to organizations designated by the FBI as likely targets for hate crimes, including synagogues, churches and mosques. White supremacist activity has only increased in the Pittsburgh area since then. “Jewish community leaders across the commonwealth are disappointed with the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s decision to defund security support for at-risk groups last week,” the Orthodox Union said in a statement July 6. “Although authorized to fund the nonprofit grant program through 2024, the legislature has now curtailed the five-year directive, zeroing out a resource demanded by the biased crimes and violence rampant in the country.” The cut was one of a number of programs zeroed out as Republicans led the passage of a $40 billion budget that invests in education and infrastructure, but reserves about $5 billion for savings in order to keep taxes from rising. Much of the reserved money comes from billions in federal stimulus funds directed to the state for coronavirus relief. “How do you choose to be fiscally conservative and leave so many populations in need when you have excess dollars because of the federal stimulus dollars?” said Arielle Frankston-Morris, the executive director of Teach PA, an Orthodox Union project. “One of the hardest parts for me is going back to JCCs, synagogues and camps and saying, ‘I know you’re scared, but this year we don’t have the funding.’”
Marjorie Taylor Greene invokes another Nazi analogy (JTA) – Just weeks after touring the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and apologizing for using Nazi analogies, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likened vaccination outreach to Naziera thugs. “Biden pushing a vaccine that is NOT FDA approved shows covid is a political tool used to control people,” Greene, a Georgia Republican, tweeted on Tuesday, July 6. “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.” Greene attached her tweet to a video of President Joe Biden speaking earlier in the day about accelerated efforts to achieve herd immunity in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Among other majewishledger.com
measures, he said, “Now we need to go to the community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door – literally knocking on doors – to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.” Biden did not say vaccines would be coerced, and there is no record of federal officials coercing vaccination. All available vaccines have conditional federal Food and Drug Administration approval; it’s not clear what vaccine Greene is referring to in her tweet. Brownshirts is a collective term for militias prevalent before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and after he assumed power. They used violence to target Jews and some minorities. Greene apologized last month for likening coronavirus protections to Holocaust-era restrictions on Jews. She had a private tour of the Holocaust museum before issuing her apology.
England’s Chelsea soccer club partners with ADL to fight bigotry (JTA) – The famed London-based Chelsea Football Club and the Anti-Defamation League have joined in a partnership to combat bigotry. For the next three years, Chelsea’s foundation will fund the expansion of the ADL’s Center on Extremism – which feeds information on extremist activity to law enforcement – and the ADL’s work with a British group tracking extremism, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Also funded will be BINAH Europe, a resource for non-Jewish students to learn about antisemitism and Jewish identity, Chelsea said in a release last week. The team and the ADL already work together on “No Place for Hate,” an anti-bigotry curriculum for school-aged children. Roman Abramovich, the dual RussianIsraeli citizen who owns Chelsea Football Club, has made combating antisemitism and bigotry in sports and elsewhere a focus of his ownership. In the statement announcing the partnership, Bruce Buck, the Chelsea FC chairman, alluded to online antisemitic attacks on Abramovich and racist attacks on players. “The online hate towards our players, both men and women, towards our executives and towards our owner has increased severalfold in the last year alone,” he said. In April, the football club banned a fan from attending games for 10 years for targeting a journalist with antisemitic messages online.
Jewish man documents himself encountering antisemitic abuse in London (JTA) – A Jewish man documented himself encountering antisemitic rhetoric twice in one hour while using London’s public transportation system, refocusing British media attention to the issue. In one incident
aboard a bus, a passenger threatened to ” shank” the Jewish man, who is an Orthodox Jew, and “slit his throat for Palestine.” The man also called the alleged victim “f***ing scumbag” and told him he’d “f***ing beat the s*** out of you.” An hour later, the same Jewish man filmed himself being mocked by young men while exiting a subway station. One of the men shouted: “F***ing hate the Jews.” The Daily Mail tabloid reported on the incidents, which happened Saturday night. Marie van der Zyl , the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in a statement called the rhetoric “disgusting racist threats and abuse” and added that those responsible “should be must be tracked down and prosecuted.” Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s security unit, documented 460 incidents from May 8 to June 7, the highest monthly total since records began in 1984, with 316 happening offline and 144 online. Israel’s latest violent conflict with Hamas militants in Gaza began on May 9.
Belarus president says Jews got the world to ‘bow before them’ (JTA) – In a speech about raising awareness of Nazi war crimes against Belarusian citizens, President Alexander Lukashenko said his country’s people should follow the example of “the Jews,” who got the world to “bow before them.” “I have already said that we began to do this, investigating the crimes of Nazism on the Belarusian land. This is akin to the Belarusian Holocaust, or the Holocaust of the Belarusian people. The Jews were able to prove it. The whole world today bows before them, they are even afraid to point a finger at them, and we are so tolerant, so kind, we did not want to offend anyone,” he said. In the speech, timed to Belarus’ independence day, Lukashenko, an authoritarian leader, warned against revisionism of World War II history but did not say who is behind these attempts. The Nazis killed about three million civilians in Belarus, including about 800,000 Jews. Public expressions of antisemitism are rare in Belarus, but the country saw an uptick in online antisemitic rhetoric in 2018, after a Jewish businessman opened a restaurant on the edge of a mass grave of non-Jewish victims of the Soviet secret police.
Hoffman SummerWood -featuring fine kosher dining-
Full social calendar of programs, entertainment & events. Classes, services and programs with Community Rabbi. Freshly prepared meals featuring Fine Kosher Dining. Weekly private housekeeping services. Complimentary transportation. Customized in-home care and assistance services. A bright, welcoming and happy community of friendly neighbors and friends. ...The only thing missing is you!
Place your deposit before July31st for
Place your deposit before July31st for
-Complimentary furnishings for the first 90 days-
Monthly rent until 2022!
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
News and Jewish Community Update
OUR HOPE OUR CHILDREN
f you have listened to Jewish leaders or read Jewish publications over the past several years, you’re aware of the growing concern that Jewish lives here in the U.S. and around the world appear to be under increasing threat. The rise in global antisemitism has been palpable, felt even in our own region with a Rabbi attacked and stabbed only a month ago in Brighton, MA following other attacks and threats on Jewish institutions in our area in recent years. We are a people alltoo accustomed to hate. Antisemitism today is STEVEN SCHIMMEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR not very different from the hostility we have faced since the destruction of the Temple in the First Century CE- the beginning of our tragic diaspora. And whether it was the Inquisition or the Nazis, the hatred of our people is and always has been irrational. It can’t be reasoned away; it makes no difference if we try to befriend our haters or fight back. This has always been the case.
But we do have one infallible tool that has ensured - our survival through the darkest days, our children. Our most important and our best tool for survival is ensuring that Judaism continues on strong in the next generation despite these external pressures or threats. In the shadow of the Holocaust survivors said that their families were the redemption of the Shoah, and the “rebirth” of Israel has similar symbolism. Children gave us hope and the will to carry through the hard times century after century. Today, once again we face an uncertain future and again our attention turns to our children and how to ensure that they will continue our heritage and tradition. The world our children will inherit should be a better one, the existence of Israel, the assurances of religious freedom and the alliances we have built should ensure security- but it isn’t enough. The modern-day mission of the Jewish people must be to turn the strength of the global Jewish community and direct it to ensure that the threats against our people won’t impact the next generation. May we grow stronger generation to generation. n
STAY CONNECTED YAD (YOUNG ADULT DIVISION) Game Day at Alison’s, Sunday, July 25th, 4:00 pm Swim, Stitch, and B-tch at Mindy H’s Pool, Sunday, August 8th, 11:00 am YAD in the Dean Park, August 15th, 9:00 am Keep up with ongoing events via YAD Private Facebook Group
PJ LIBRARY & PJ OUR WAY Newcomer Family Event, September 19th, 3-5 pm PJ Library Summertime Meet-Ups
CHAVERIM Cafe Chaverot - weekly Wednesday daytime summer meet-ups for women of Chaverim
COMMUNITY Exodus 1947 & Two Unsung Heroes of Worcester & Israel Bonds Event honoring Mark Shear and Jr. Honorees Naomi Shertzer and Charlotte Roiter, July 22nd at 7:00 pm Community Jewish Heritage Day at the Woo Sox, Sunday, August 22nd at 1:05 pm Please keep in touch with all ongoing events by visiting our Facebook pages or contacting Mindy Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
News and Jewish Community Update
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS AIMS TO DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF LEGACY DONORS AS PART OF NORTH AMERICAN GIVING INITIATIVE
hrough a new LIFE & LEGACY® campaign, called Each One Reach One, the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts is partnering with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) to increase the number of donors participating in its community-wide endowment building legacy giving initiative. This new effort encourages committed legacy donors to share their stories and motivations for leaving a legacy with family and friends, helping others understand their passion for the Jewish future and their communities. By doing so, we are hopeful family and friends will be inspired to leave a legacy too. “In just 4 years of the LIFE & LEGACY program, 295 dedicated donors have giving over $2.4 Million dollars to our community and have promised another $9M. This is such an outpouring of love for our Jewish community in Central Mass. The Each One Reach One program gives those donors a chance to share their stories of love and their pride in being Jewish with family and friends,
and that is truly an amazing gift.,” said Leah Shuldiner, Legacy Giving Coordinator, Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts. “Legacy giving allows everyone to be a philanthropist, to acknowledge the impact local organizations and programs have had on their life and make it possible for future generations to have a similar experience. We are so thankful that to date 18,000 donors across North America have stepped up and made a legacy commitment to one or more valued organizations. Imagine if each of you reached out to one other person, shared why you left a legacy and encouraged your friend or family member to join you. We would double our numbers and the Jewish future would be twice as bright.” said Arlene D. Schiff, National Director of the LIFE & LEGACY program. The Each One Reach One campaign was launched at LIFE & LEGACY’s Virtual Legacy Donor Appreciation Event on May 25 where donors from across North America shared their stories. During the event, Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, President of HGF and Harold Grinspoon, Founder, encouraged us
all to imagine what the Jewish future would look like if 18,000 legacy donors became 36,000 or 360,000 or 3.6 million. To view the event visit https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=c-D8LqkhVIQ. To encourage donors, organizations, and our community to participate, HGF is offering $300,000 in national incentives. To learn more visit www.jfcm.org or contact Leah Shuldiner at email@example.com LIFE & LEGACY is an initiative of HGF which is investing $30 million dollars over a ten-year period to preserve vibrant Jewish life for future generations by ensuring the longterm financial health of Jewish community organizations in cities across North America, including Central Mass. “Providing Jewish communities with proven tools and training to help them secure their long-term financial goals is absolutely vital. Through the LIFE & LEGACY program, I’m hopeful that we will be able to help sustain vibrant communities that allow future generations to enjoy our rich Jewish culture and heritage,” said Harold Grinspoon, the founder of HGF.
FRAYA RAPHAEL GOES SHOPPING WITH HER FAMILY TO HELP “FILL THE FRIDGE”, JFCM COMMUNITY PROJECT TO HELP WORCESTER COMMUNITY FRIDGES HELP BATTLE FOOD INSECURITY.
WONDERFUL REUNION AT CHAVERIM’S IN-PERSON WELCOME BACK DINNER AND HAVDALAH
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
Tokyo Olympics: Al BY EMILY BURACK
(JTA) – The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are finally happening, a full year after they were planned. And yes, they’re still being called the 2020 Olympics, even though they’re happening in 2021. The Jewish athletes competing this year – and there are many – are the products of inspiring journeys. There’s the fencer looking for redemption, Israel’s first Olympic surfer, one of the greatest canoe paddlers of all time, a teen track star para-athlete, and so many more. The games run July 23 through August 8; the Paralympics will be held August 24 to Sept. 5. Here are many of the inspiring Jewish athletes to root for. SUE BIRD Basketball, USA Is Sue Bird one of the greatest Jewish athletes of all time? Perhaps. The basketball legend has won gold medals with the U.S. women’s basketball team in the last four – yes, four – Olympics. (The team has not lost at the games since 1992.) Bird, now 40, is back for her fifth, and likely last, Olympics. The child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, Bird was born and raised in Syosset, Long Island. She’s been a basketball star since her debut for the University of Connecticut in 1998 and selection as the WNBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2002 by the Seattle Storm. In her nearly 20 years as a pro, Bird has won four WNBA championships (including last year in the COVID-19 bubble) and is a 12-time All-
Star. Bird also gained Israeli citizenship in 2006 in a basketball-motivated decision, so she could play for European teams. Her citizenship also allowed her to connect to her Jewish identity. “It was cool because what I found was in this effort to create an opportunity in my basketball career, I was able to learn a lot about a culture that I probably wouldn’t have tapped into otherwise,” Bird told the Washington Jewish Museum. The women’s basketball tournament begins on July 26; the U.S. plays its first game on July 27 against Nigeria. The gold medal game is August 8.
LINOY ASHRAM Rhythmic Gymnastics, Israel Israel’s best chance at winning a medal is 22-year-old Linoy Ashram. The Mizrahi and Sephardi gymnast (her father is Yemeni Jewish and her mother is Greek Jewish) is set to compete in her first Olympics after winning
SUE BIRD (TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES)
LINOY ASHRAM. (ULRIK PEDERSEN/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES)
in the individual rhythmic category at the European Championships in 2020 – the first athlete to take the gold medal in decades who was not from a former Soviet country or Bulgaria. Ashram has many firsts for her country: She’s the first rhythmic gymnast from Israel to win an individual all-around medal at the World Championships, the first to win gold in the World Cup series and the first to win a European All-Around title. Can she be the first to win gold in gymnastics at the Olympics? 12
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
ll the Jewish athletes to watch limits. I mean, look at me. I had no idea that this would happen, and now I’m going to the freaking Olympics.” The surfing competition is subject to change depending on wave conditions at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. The women’s competition is tentatively scheduled for July 25-28.
TEAM ISRAEL Baseball, Israel ALIX KLINEMAN (LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM/GETTY IMAGES)
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN (TPN/GETTY IMAGES)
ALIX KLINEMAN Beach volleyball, USA The rhythmic gymnastics competition takes place August 6-8.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN Tennis, Argentina Diego Schwartzman is the highest-ranked Jewish tennis player in the world. Last year he broke into the top 10 for the first time, becoming the shortest top 8 player since 5-foot-6 Harold Solomon, also Jewish, in 1981. The Argentine’s listed height of 5-7 is called “one of the more generous measurements in professional sports” – he likely stands around 5-4 (the U.S. Open lists him at 5-5). Watching him go shot to shot with players that are over a foot taller is nothing short of remarkable. Nicknamed “El Peque,” or “Shorty,” the 28-year-old is set to play in his first Olympics. (For tennis, qualifications are based on world rankings, with the top 56 players becoming eligible.) Schwartzman is proud of his Jewish identity. Last year he wrote movingly on his family’s Holocaust history, and how his great-grandfather escaped a train car headed for a concentration camp and ended up in Argentina. “I am Jewish and in Argentina, we have many Jewish [people] there, and all the people there know me,” he said in 2017. The men’s tennis tournament begins on July 24.
Alix Klineman had played indoor volleyball for Stanford in college and professionally following her graduation in 2011. But in 2016, she failed to make the U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team and vowed to find another way to compete at the games. So she switched to beach volleyball. Unlike indoor volleyball, which has teams with rosters selected by coaches, beach volleyball is a twoperson sport dependent on your own results with a partner.
“I looked at the beach as a new opportunity and a chance to chase my dreams without anybody having to give me approval or put me on a roster,” she said in 2019. Klineman teamed with two-time Olympian April Ross – she had been partnered with three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings – and they quickly rose in the rankings. They are entering the Tokyo Games with a world ranking of No. 2, with a more than solid chance of winning gold. Klineman, 31, was raised in Southern California in a Jewish family. In 2015, she was inducted into the SoCal Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The women’s beach volleyball tournament begins on July 24.
ANAT LEILOR Surfing, Israel
ANAT LELIOR (JOSE MANUEL ALVAREZ/ QUALITY SPORT IMAGES/ GETTY IMAGES)
Anat Lelior is Israel’s first – and only – Olympic surfer. Surfing is new to the Olympics, and only 20 men and 20 women will be competing this summer. Lelior, 21, qualified as the highest-ranked female surfer from Europe (Israel competes in European leagues). Lelior, who hails from Tel Aviv and served in the Israeli military, started surfing at five, and by 12 she had won the Israeli national championships. “I know people aren’t aware of surfing in Israel, and the fact that I get to be the one to show people that we’re capable of more than they think, that’s just amazing,” Lelior told Surfline. “But more than that, I want to show kids, women, everyone from everywhere, that they can do anything they want. There’s no
The Cinderella story continues. In 2017, Israel’s national baseball team – which included several American Jewish players who became Israeli citizens to represent the country – surprised observers by placing sixth at the World Baseball Classic, an international tournament of the world’s best teams, with wins over top squads from South Korea, Chinese Taipei, the Netherlands and Cuba. Israel was far from a top-10 powerhouse at the time, not even ranked in the top 10 teams in Europe. That made sense, as few Israelis play the sport. Along the way, the team ginned up enthusiasm for baseball in Israel and gave some under-the-radar Jewish players, many who had spent several years in the minor leagues, new chances to shine. Oh, and there was that endearing mascot – a life-sized Mensch on a Bench. In 2019, Team Israel won the European Baseball Championship to qualify for the Olympics. The current roster is anchored by de facto captain Danny Valencia – who has Cuban and Jewish heritage and hit 96 home runs over eight Major League Baseball seasons – and Ian Kinsler, a former fourtime MLB All-Star who made it to Israel on one of the last flights before COVID19 shutdowns last year to earn his Israeli citizenship. Only six teams are in play (the field also includes South Korea, Japan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the United States), so Team Israel has a chance of snagging a medal. Keep an eye out for more coverage of the team closer to the games. The baseball tournament runs July 28-Aug. 7. Israel’s first game is against the United States.
JESSICA FOX Canoe slalom, Australia Jessica Fox is known as the greatest paddler of all time: She has 10 World Championship medals, including seven gold medals, and seven overall World Cup titles. Her parents, Richard Fox and Myriam Jerusalmi, also were Olympic canoeists – Myriam, a French-
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
ORI SASSON Judo, Israel
(RYAN PIERSE/GETTY IMAGES)
(JESSICA RINALDI/THE ASTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES)
(SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IMAGES)
Jewish athlete, won bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Mom is now coaching her daughter. Born in Marseille, France, Fox moved to Australia at four, so her dad could take up a coaching position with the Australian Olympic team. “Both my parents competing in the Olympic Games is something pretty special,” she said. “It definitely inspired me to get to this position. Winning a medal is something that you dream [of] and I’m proud to follow in my mother’s footsteps.” Fox, 27, won silver in the K-1 slalom competition at the 2012 London Olympics and bronze in the 2016 Rio Games. This year, for the first time, women will also be competing in C-1 slalom – so Fox, ranked No. 1 in the world, is favored to win not just one but two gold medals. In 2012, Fox became the the second Australian Jewish athlete to ever win an Olympic medal. The women’s K-1 slalom competition is July 25-27. C-1 slalom is July 28-29.
ELI DERSHWITZ Fencing, USA Eli Dershwitz is returning to the Olympics for redemption. At the 2016 Rio Games, the Jewish saber fencer lost in the opening round. In 2021, he’s ranked No. 2 in the world and 14
hoping to medal. Dershwitz, who started fencing at 9, would win back-to-back NCAA championships for Harvard in 2017 and 2018. In Tokyo, he will aim to become the fifth U.S. man to win a medal in saber fencing. No American man has ever won gold in the category. Born and raised in Sherborn, Massachusetts, to a Jewish family, Dershwitz’s maternal grandparents are Holocaust survivors. He has a twin sister, Sally, who worked on the frontlines caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dershwitz grew up attending a Conservative synagogue in Natick, Massachusetts, and told Hillel International before the Rio Games that he considers himself a “proud member of the Jewish community.” “The Jewish community has been very supportive throughout my journey to the Olympics, and I look forward to representing them on the world stage,” he said in 2016. The men’s saber fencing individual competition takes place on July 24; the men’s saber team competition is on July 28.
JEMIMA MONTAG Racewalking, Australia Jemima Montag was perhaps destined for Jewish athletic greatness. Her parents, Ray and Amanda, met at the 1989 Maccabiah
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
Games – the Olympics for Jewish athletes held in Israel – where Amanda was competing in the heptathlon and Ray was a cricketer. They hit it off on the flight home to Australia. Growing up, the Montags encouraged their daughters (Jemima is one of three) to try everything, from long jump to shot put to ballet. But for Montag, race walking just clicked. “I found that my combination of endurance, hypermobile joints and fiery competitiveness were a great trio for racewalking,” she said. Montag soon became one of the best racewalkers in Australia, but after the World Youth Championships in 2015, she decided to step away from the sport. A family ski trip to Japan in 2017 reignited her competitive spirit. Her sister joked she’d love to return to the country for the Olympics, and her mom encouraged her to go for it. A year later, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games – a tournament of the Commonwealth nations, or the former territories under British control – Montag won gold in the 20km event. Montag credits her Holocaust survivor grandparents for her work ethic and resilience. When a training session or race feels tough, she thinks about them and reminds herself that “grit and perseverance are in my DNA.” The women’s 20km race walk will take place on August 6.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Or “Ori” Sasson won bronze in the men’s heavyweight judo competition and became a national hero overnight – not just for his skill but also his sportsmanship after one of his opponents, from Egypt, refused to shake his hand following a match. “Every boy and girl saw not only a great athlete but a man with values,” then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Sasson in a phone call that was broadcast live on Israeli TV. “You showed the true face of Israel, its beautiful face.” Sasson spent the pandemic year delay competing on Israel’s version of “The Masked Singer” – his costume was a falafel sandwich – and finished third. This year, the Kurdish Jewish Sasson – now 30 and likely in his last Olympics – is set to compete in the heavyweight competition and in the team competition, an addition to the Olympics judo lineup. Judo has been the pride of Israel’s Olympic fortunes, winning five of the nation’s nine overall medals. (See more on one of Sasson’s teammates below.) The men’s 100+ kg competition is on July 30. The team competition is on July 31.
SAGI MUKI Judo, Israel Sagi Muki made headlines when he befriended an Iranian judoka, Saeid Mollaei, who was forced to throw a match to avoid competing against an Israeli athlete. Mollaei fled Iran as a dissident and received refugee status in Germany. The story of their friendship is now being made into a TV show. But Muki, 29, is an Olympic medal contender in his own right. The halfmiddleweight judoka is a two-time Israeli national champion, a 2019 world champion, and the 2017 and 2018 European champion. He was expected to medal at the 2016 Rio Games but was hampered by an injury. Born and raised in Netanya, Israel, to a Yemeni Jewish family, he started focusing on judo when he was eight years old. The men’s under-81 kg competition is on July 27.
(MOTO YOSHIMURA/GETTY IMAGES)
(JOHN TLUMACKI/THE BOSTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES)
EZRA FRECH Paralympics track and field, USA
MARU TEFERI (MARCO VERCH/FLICKR)
MARU TEFERI Marathon, Israel Maru Teferi, who was born in northwestern Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel with his Jewish family when he was 14, is the Israeli record holder in six distances, including the half marathon and the marathon. His fastest marathon time of 2:07:20, run right before the pandemic in February 2020 – is just six minutes off the world record. Now he’s set to compete in his second Olympics. This time he’ll be joined by his wife, Selamawit “Selam” Dagnachew Teferi. They’ll be the first married couple to represent Israel at the Olympics. Teferi, 28, met now-wife Selam while training in Ethiopia in 2012. Selam, 27, is not Jewish, but she moved to Israel in 2017 after the couple married and became an Israeli citizen. That made her eligible to represent Israel at the Olympics. “Even in our wildest dreams, we didn’t think this would be possible,” Selam said. The men’s marathon will take place on the last day of the Olympics, Aug. 8. To watch Selam, the women’s 5,000m competition begins July 30; the finals are August 2. The women’s 10,000m is on August 7.
Ezra Frech is only 16 years old, but he’s already made a name for himself as a paraathlete. The Los Angeles native competes in the high jump, long jump and the 100m race. Due to a congenital abnormality, Frech was born with only one finger on his left hand, and he was missing his left knee and shinbone. At two he had surgery to remove the curved part of his leg, and had a toe attached to his left hand. By nine he was on “Ellen” talking about his athletics and advocating for adaptive sports, and at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships, he was the youngest athlete in the world to compete at 14. “Everywhere you go, people don’t think you’re capable of what an able-bodied person can do,” Frech said. “I’ll go to my high school track meet and they don’t expect the onelegged kid to go out and win the competition. When I was younger it got to me, but now it’s a motivation and excites me that I have a chance to prove people wrong, to shock them and turn some heads.” His mom, Bahar Soomekh, is a Persian Jewish actress. She fled Iran with her family in 1979. His dad, Clayton Frech, left his job in 2013 to found Angel City Sports – to bring adaptive sports opportunities to Los Angeles.
MAOR TIYOURI Marathon, Israel Israel has another marathoner in Maor Tiyouri. Like Teferi, this is Tiyouri’s second Olympics, but qualifying this time was much more challenging for the 30-year-old runner. For the women’s marathon competition, the Olympic standard – the time needed to qualify for the games – dropped 15 minutes, from 2 hours, 45 minutes to 2:29:30. For Tiyouri, that meant running 13 minutes faster than her personal best. “When they changed it back in 2018 I was devastated because it seemed like such a huge jump at the time and I didn’t fully believe then that I could quite get it in time for Tokyo,” Tiyouri told Alma. “I knew I had to raise my game if I wanted to be on that starting line.” And she made it – running 2:29:03 in April. Her grandparents are from Iran and Iraq, and she is proud to represent the Jewish nation. “Representing Israel, such a small country that has known so many hardships in the little amount of time she existed, is such an honor and a privilege,” Tiyouri said. The women’s marathon will take place on August 7. Tiyouri will be joined by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, a Kenyan-Israeli runner who gained Israeli citizenship through marriage in March 2016 and ran for Israel in the 2016 Olympics.
wheelchair basketball, then decided to try rowing to get to the Paralympic Games. Her two biggest dreams were becoming a mother and winning an Olympic medal – and now she’s achieved both. “If you want to be a very successful woman, you should have a woman by your side,” she once joked. With wife Limor Goldberg, she’s now a mom of two. And in Tokyo, she’s going for gold.
MATTHEW LEVY Paralympics swimming, Australia Matthew Levy is returning to compete in his fifth Paralympics. The Australian Jewish swimmer, 34, competes in the freestyle, butterfly and medley races. Levy was born premature at 25 weeks with cerebral palsy and vision impairment. Following many surgeries, he started swimming at five as part of his rehabilitation. At 12 he realized he could swim competitively. Levy made his Paralympic debut at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. At the 2008 Beijing Games, he won his first medal – gold in the 4x100m medley. At the 2012 London Games he won five medals (a gold, a silver and three bronze), and at the 2016 Rio Games, he took home a bronze medal. He’s looking to add to his medal count in Tokyo as the oldest member of the Australian Paralympic swimming team. Fun facts: In 2014, Levy was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to sport. And in 2017, at the Maccabiah Games, Levy became the first person in its history to break a world record while competing there.
MORAN SAMUEL Paralympics rowing, Israel
MAOR TIYOURI (RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES FOR BEGOC)
Frech said his goal in Tokyo is to win multiple medals. He has no shortage of confidence it will happen. “You can quote me on this: I will be a multi medalist when I walk away from Tokyo,” he said. “We can look back after the Games and I’ll say ‘I called it.’”
Moran Samuel won a Paralympic medal at the 2016 games in Rio, taking bronze in the women’s 1,000-meter single sculls rowing competition. Samuel, 39, grew up playing basketball, and was a member of the Israeli women’s national team. In 2006, at the age of 24, she suffered a spinal stroke and was paralyzed in her lower body. She started playing MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
MATTHEW LEVY (ALEXANDRE SCHNEIDER /GETTY IMAGES)
| JULY 16, 2021
Unity at U.S. Capitol in Washington
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
whether from the right or the left, at home or abroad—have instead united us,” Wiesel told the crowd. “Here we stand, a coalition of Jews and our allies from all backgrounds, all political beliefs and all religious affiliations, who have come together to stand up to anti-Semitism,” he said. “This coalition will not be silenced whether Jews are facing violence in Los Angeles, or Brooklyn, or Paris or Tel Aviv. It won’t be silent whether Jews are being attacked in our synagogues, on our streets, on our campuses or on the floor of the House of Representatives.” In a show of unity, Joshua Washington, executive director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, and Rabbi Menachem Creditor, UJA Federation of New York scholar in residence, appeared on stage together and led the crowd in singing, “Kol Ha’Olam Kulo Gesher Tzar Meod,” meaning, “The whole entire world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is to have no fear at all.” The event included speeches from Deputy Assistant to the President Biden Erika Moritsugu; TV host Meghan McCain; Israeli actress and author Noa Tishby; Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) chairman and former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.); Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) chairman and former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.); former U.S. Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein; Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez; and numerous faith and grassroots leaders. “As President [Joe] Biden so often says, ‘silence is complicity,’ ” said Moritsugu. “Each and every one of you attending this rally today in person or virtually understands that shared responsibility to come together, speak out and fight the evil of anti-Semitism. The Biden-Harris administration stands with you and the Jewish community.” Wiesel thanked the Biden administration for sending Moritsugu and “for the way that the White House stood with Israel” during the recent hostilities with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “I think the president and the White House deserve our appreciation,” he added. Sharing the stage with Klein, Coleman declared, “Anti-Semitism is not just a Republican problem or a Democrat problem, and Republicans and Democrats share a common interest in calling it out when we see it, even when it’s in our own backyard … the fight against anti-Semitism bridges the political divide. United we stand, divided we fall.” “It cannot be a norm in America for Jews or any other religion, racial or ethnic group to be slandered, libeled or physically assaulted,” said Klein. “Today, we stand together as elected leaders from both political parties, faith leaders, business and community leaders, to send a message that
MORE THAN 3,000 PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY GATHERED NEAR THE U.S. CAPITOL ON JULY 11 TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY AGAINST THE RISING TIDE OF ANTI-SEMITISM ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.
anti-Semitism has no place in America or anywhere in the world.” Participants also heard from victims of anti-Semitism, including Tree of Life Synagogue’s Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Pittsburgh; Illinois students Daniel and Talia Raab; Los Angeles resident Matthew Haverim; and Boston Rabbi Shlomo
that the terrorist managed to penetrate into my body, we will ordain a new rabbi to serve hundreds … he wanted to kill one rabbi, we will make sure to [add] eight more.” A number of major Jewish and interfaith organizations participated as presenting sponsors, including the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Alliance for Israel, American Zionist Movement, B’nai B’rith International, Baltimore Zionist District, Birthright Israel Foundation, Combat Antisemitism Movement, Hadassah, Hillel, Interfaith Council of Metropolitan D.C., Jewish Council Public Affairs, Jewish Democratic RABBI SHLOMO NOGINSKI, WHO WAS TARGETED BY A TERRORIST Council of America, IN BOSTON FOR BEING A JEW, SPEAKS AT THE “NO FEAR: A RALLY Jewish Federations IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE” ON THE of North America, NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON JULY 11, 2021. Jewish National CREDIT: CHRIS KLEPONIS. Fund USA, Mercaz USA, Orthodox Noginski, who survived a stabbing attack Union, Rabbinical Assembly, Republican outside a Jewish day school just 10 days ago. Jewish Coalition, StandWithUs, the Israel “Last week, my body was injured, and I Forever Foundation, the Jewish Agency still need a lot of medication and treatment, for Israel, UJA-Federation of New York, but my soul and my spirit are strong,” said Union for Reforwashingm Judaism, United the rabbi. “We will defend ourselves, we will Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, World fight anti-Semitism, we will emerge with our Jewish Congress–North America, Institute heads held high … but our true answer is that for Black Solidarity with Israel, Israel Bonds, we will love one another through expressions Zionist Rabbinic Coalition, International and acts of consideration and kindness.” March of the Living, Jewish Future Noginski pledged to open a new Jewish Pledge, MASA, Simon Wiesenthal Center, education center where he will ordain eight JCC Association and National Coalition new rabbis. “For every one of the eight stabs Supporting European Jewry. n
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, said at the rally. “And we are feeling angry, wondering whether we can be safe in our own country, and our own cities.” Organized by Shaloh House, CJP, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and the New England branch of the ADL, the rally was held across the street from the school and synagogue where Noginski was attacked. Police apprehended the alleged attacker, Khaled Awad. Former friends and college roommates of Awad’s, including a Jewish roommate, have described him as “violent” and “very antisemitic.” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is investigating both the stabbing and the shootings. She has launched a civil rights investigation to determine if the stabbing of Noginski was a hate crime. Attendees at the Boston rally sought to project a resilient face. “The Jewish community is angry, but the Jewish community is united,” JCRC Boston’s executive director, Jeremy Burton, told the crowd. “We demand that we have the right to live. The right to walk in the street. To be visible, or not, to live our lives as Jews, fully and without fear.” His message was reinforced by Rabbi Dan Rodkin, executive director of Shaloh House. “We are not going to sit back,” Rodkin said. “We will make sure to send a strong message: Evil has no place in America.” The Greater Boston area has around 248,000 Jews, and more than a quarter of Jewish households live in Brighton and the contiguous communities of Brookline and Newton, according to the 2015 Greater Boston Jewish population study conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. “Yesterday’s attack left the rabbi injured and our community shaken,” said Boston’s acting Mayor Kim Janey. “An attack on any member of [our] community is an attack on all of us.” The attack drew support for Noginski and condemnation against antisemitism from many leaders, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Boston Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley. Nina Baron, a 26-year-old Bostonian, was upset by the attack on the rabbi and accompanied her father to the rally. Growing up in a suburb, she didn’t have that many concerns about antisemitism, she told JTA at the rally. “This time in America is different for all marginalized groups. But as a Jew, I definitely feel different than I used to,” she said. n
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cbevermont.org 225 North St., Bennington, VT 05201
Congregation Shaarei Zedeck Conservative Lay Leadership - Elena Feinberg (978) 501-2744 email@example.com www.shaareizedeck.org 104 Water St., Clinton, MA 01510
Beit Ahavah, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton Reform Rabbi Riqi Kosovske (413) 587-3770 firstname.lastname@example.org www.beitahavah.org 130 Pine St. Florence, MA 01062
Temple Israel of Greenfield Unaffiliated Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (413) 773-5884 email@example.com 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 email@example.com www.sonsofzionholyoke.org 378 Maple St. Holyoke, MA 01040
Congregation Agudat Achim Conservative Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz (978) 534-6121 firstname.lastname@example.org www.agudat-achim.org 268 Washington St., Leominster, MA 01453
Congregation B’nai Torah Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe Rabbi Yakov Wolff (413) 567-0036 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaitorahma.org 2 Eunice Drive Longmeadow, MA 01106 Neighborhood Minyan 124 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108
Congregation B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Justin David (413) 584-3593 office@CBINorthampton.org www.CBINorthampton.org 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA 01060
Temple Anshe Amunim Reform Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch (413) 442-5910 email@example.com www.ansheamunim.org 26 Broad St., Pittsfield, MA 01201
Sinai Temple Reform Rabbi Jeremy Master (413) 736-3619 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sinai-temple.org 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108
Temple Beth El Conservative Rabbi Amy Walk Katz (413) 733-4149 email@example.com www.tbespringfield.org 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108
Beth Tikvah Synagogue Independent Rabbi Michael Swarttz (508) 616-9037 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethtikvahsynagogue.org 45 Oak St., Westborough, MA 01581 Congregation B’nai Shalom Reform Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz/ Rabbi-Educator Joseph Eiduson (508) 366-7191 email@example.com www.cbnaishalom.org 117 East Main St., PO Box 1019, Westborough, MA 01581
Congregation Ahavas Achim Unaffiliated Rabbi Dawn Rose (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
| JULY 16, 2021
ARTS & CULTURE
The NY Times called Isaac Bashevis Singer a Polish writ BY ASAF SHALEV
(JTA) – Few things rile an online crowd like a mistake in The New York Times. One example is the Twitter account of a contemptuous troll dedicated to pointing out typos and grammar mistakes in the paper of record. But there’s another category of error – the botching of a fraught historical detail – that elicits a special shock and insult. In April, novelist Sigrid Nunez, writing an essay about unexpected bonds between strangers in the Times’ style magazine, was found to have committed such a violation. She described, in passing, Isaac Bashevis Singer as a “Polish-American author.” The various reactions featured words like “yikes,” “obscene,” “disgusting,” aghast” and “shanda.” “Shame on @NYTIMES for erasing his identity and heritage,” one Twitter user wrote. It may be true that the Nobel laureate was born and raised in Poland, but Singer is, in fact, best described as a Jewish author, and any labeling that elevates the former while ignoring the latter will strike many Jews as tone-deaf at best. This sensitivity is understandable given that Singer’s hyphenated identities are the result of his immigration to the United States only a few years before the near annihilation of Polish Jewry. Since Nunez surely didn’t mean to bring about a crime against history, the question is where did she pick up the wording that appeared in The Times? The likely answer is quite obvious: Wikipedia. At the time, the introduction to the Wikipedia entry on Singer described him as a “Polish American writer in Yiddish.” The word “Jewish” appeared lower, in the body of the text. Check now and you’ll see a different first
line: Singer is “a Polish-born Jewish-American writer.” But the process of editing these few words was long and complicated, offering lessons on the pitfalls and continued promise of decentralized knowledge in the era of disinformation, with some possible insights about Polish ultranationalism. The story of how a set of Wikipedia warriors made Isaac Bashevis Singer Jewish again starts a few years ago with a keyboard battle between two strong-willed strangers on the internet. On one side: Wikipedia novice David Stromberg, 40, an Israel-born, U.S.-raised literary scholar and writer who lives in Jerusalem and whose research on Singer appears in academic journals. “I’ve been in this battle since 2019, have gotten really obsessed with it,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “You ask yourself, ‘how could this be happening?’” On the other side: seasoned Wikipedian Oliver Szydlowski, 22, a Polish college student enrolled in a construction management program at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. “Wikipedia is a battleground, and you do tend to argue with a lot of people,” Szydlowski told JTA. “What I’m trying to do is to improve every single article as much as possible.” At first, Stromberg found himself consulting the Wikipedia page on Singer for work. He’s a serious Singer scholar, but the page provided a quick and easy reference for certain details, like the listing of Singer’s published works. There were little mistakes in dates and titles, and Stromberg fixed them as he went along. Then one day, he noticed Singer was identified as a “Polish American,” so he fixed that, too.
DAVID STROMBERG AT HIS JERUSALEM HOME, MAY 2021. (COURTESY OF STROMBERG)
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
OLIVER SZYDLOWSKI IS A MEMBER OF WIKIPROJECT POLAND. (COURTESY OF OLIVER SZYDLOWSKI)
“And within like an hour it was back,” Stromberg recalled. “So I went and changed it again. And again it was back.” Stromberg navigated to the backend of the page and searched for who was making the changes. It was a user that went by the Polish-sounding “Oliszydlowski.” A user page for Oliszydlowski seemed to hint at the motivation of Stromberg’s adversary. The page showed that Oliszydlowski was awarded the Polish Barnstar of National Merit, 1st Class by something called WikiProject Poland for having created an article on Polonophilia, which means fondness for Polish culture and history. To Stromberg, Szydlowski’s Wikipedia profile suggested that he might belong to the movement of Polish ultranationalists who have been fighting to improve the world’s perception of Poland’s 20th-century history. The sanitized narrative advanced by this movement is that the Polish people bear no responsibility for the Holocaust and were themselves victims of the Nazis. As the back-and-forth over the Singer article continued, Szydlowski’s track record as an editor and knowledge of the Wikipedia rules allowed him to trump Stromberg’s corrections. The Wikipedia administrators who got involved sided with Szydlowski. Eventually Stromberg’s account was blocked. He had picked the username IBSLiteraryTrust, after the Isaac Bashevis Singer Literary Trust, where he serves as an editor. It was a bad choice – Wikipedia frowns on anything that looks like promotional activity by a business or organization. Stromberg occasionally felt silly about continuing to fight and thought of letting the error stand, hoping that internet users would know better than to trust Wikipedia. But he also knew that Wikipedia is widely read and worried that the idea of Singer being a Polish American could enter the wider culture – the
kind of scenario that eventually happened wit the phrase’s appearance in The Times. So Stromberg fought on. He pleaded to have his account unblocked. “I have been put here in order to stop a clarification that is scholarly in nature and has nothing to do with promotion or sales,” Stromberg wrote as part of a Wikipedia grievance process in November. “User Oliszydlowski is constantly undermining these changes and using all kinds of Wikipedia trick to block my access. Please help!!” Oliszydlowski, meanwhile, chimed in to sa he merely hoped to enforce Wikipedia’s rules. According to his understanding, the descripto “Jewish” didn’t belong in the lead sentence. Only a person’s nationality – rather than religion or ethnicity – is allowed in the lead, and Jewish is not a nationality, he argued. Stromberg countered by giving the example of articles on important figures whos lead sentence did say “Jewish,” like Walter Benjamin, Martin Buber and Shalom Shabazi. And he added that according to Wikipedia itself, Jewish can, in fact, be considered a nationality. “The Wikipedia entry on ‘Jewish’ clearly frames being Jewish as an ethnoreligious group and a nation, and states that ‘Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongl interrelated,’” Stromberg wrote. Oliszydlowski’s repeated rejections, Stromberg wrote, suggested “national belligerence.” Nothing worked. Stromberg kept posting the wrong answers from the wrong accounts at the wrong moments and was rebuffed each time. He decided to give up. “The administrators on Wikipedia were no interested in upholding what might be factual information,” Stromberg said in a recent interview. “Their main concern was that peop should play by their rules. To me, that kind of game is not a game worth playing.” Then he reconsidered. “It’s not a game worth playing alone,” he said. In the 20 years since it was launched, Wikipedia has proven remarkably resilient. Run by a nonprofit and edited by anyone with an internet connection who would like to volunteer, the site turned out to be reliable in defiance of its early critics while standing as the only noncommercial entity among the mo popular websites on the internet. Wikipedia has become a part of the digital infrastructure Corporate propaganda and political agendas always made the job of Wikipedia difficult, but with the rise of state-sponsored, social media-powered disinformation, the Wikipedia community has struggled to fend o rogue editors and bad-faith revisions. When majewishledger.com
ter. Wikipedia warriors made him Jewish again.
ay . or
fighting breaks out in Gaza, for example, mobs wage war over related Wikipedia pages and administrators are forced to freeze editing. Meanwhile, the entry for the Second Intifada, which ended more than 15 years ago, is still being litigated. The battle over Singer’s identity didn’t erupt in quite that way, but a small crowd did coalesce after the article in The Times was published. Stromberg recruited help through Facebook; others came from Twitter. Someone would edit the first line to add the word Jewish, and Oliszydlowski would immediately undo it, adding comments that grew increasingly impatient and acerbic – for example: “Disruptive vandalism” and “No such nationality as Jewish. How hard is that to comprehend[?]” An Israeli Wikipedia administrator named Amir Aharoni joined the challengers as the matter went into a dispute resolution process. Aharoni wanted the word “Jewish” added “somewhere, anywhere, in the first, allimportant sentence” of the Singer article, but with his more than 15 years of experience editing Wikipedia – and sorting through countless such disputes as an administrator – Aharoni also felt a responsibility to keep the debate civil. “With sensitive things like the nationality of famous people, and especially Jews, of course, it’s better to be careful and not fight with other editors,” Aharoni told JTA. (Aharoni, who is an employee of the site’s operator, the Wikimedia Foundation, said he edits Wikipedia as a volunteer, and that the two functions are independent of each other.) Rather than argue against Singer’s Polishness, Aharoni emphasized his Jewishness by citing sources like newspaper accounts and the Nobel Committee’s summary of Singer’s accomplishment. To Oliszydlowski’s point that ethnicity and religion don’t belong in the first line, Aharoni noted the Wikipedia Manual of Style, which says that ethnicity and religion do belong if they are “relevant to the subject’s notability.” The final decision, based on a consensus, excluding Oliszydlowski, was to identify Singer in his entry’s first sentence as Jewish, not Polish. “There was a bit of an argument,” Aharoni said, “but it was small compared to many other arguments that happen in Wikipedia.” A few weeks later, Szydlowski agreed to an interview with JTA. He didn’t sound exactly like the Polish propagandist that Stromberg suspected him of being. Logging in from Australia, where he is finishing up a bachelor’s degree in construction management and urban development, Szydlowski said he still thinks it’s correct to majewishledger.com
SINGER SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS AT A RECEPTION HOSTED BY MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL JEWISH COMMUNITY IN STOCKHOLM, DEC. 9, 1978. SINGER WAS IN THE SWEDISH CAPITAL TO RECEIVE HIS NOBEL PRIZE. (CHUCK FISHMAN/GETTY IMAGES)
refer to Singer as a Pole but has accepted the community’s decision. “Me, personally, I don’t really have an opinion,” he said. “If they concluded that he should be described as this or that does not matter just as long as it’s correct within the Wikipedia guidelines. Really, I’m very neutral in this perspective in this dispute. I’m satisfied now that it has actually been discussed.” His argument was that Singer was not only Polish by nationality but that the country played a significant role in his life and career. Singer left Poland when he was in his 30s, Szydlowski noted, having already begun his career as a writer. And the literature he produced examined not just any Jews but Jews in Poland. Szydlowski doesn’t deny Singer’s Jewishness and, in fact, is something of a Judeophile. He talked about the richness of prewar Ashkenazi culture in Europe and recited statistics on the historical size of the Jewish population of different cities. His user profile says he has Ashkenazi heritage. Asked about that, Szydlowski shared that his great-grandfather was Jewish and survived the war by concealing his identity.
“I love researching Jewish topics, and I love comparing what Polish and Ashkenazi Jewish cultures were like because the mutual influence was unbelievable,” Szydlowski said. The Singer dispute is not the only time Szydlowski has insisted on striking “Jewish” from the first sentence of Wikipedia articles on notable Polish Jews. In 2019, for example, he became embroiled in an argument with other Wikipedians over Renia Spiegel, a Holocaust victim whose diary has been compared to that of Anne Frank. The nerdy-scholastic confidence of Szydlowski appears to have been shaped by years as a volunteer on Wikipedia. Starting as a young teenager, he admittedly had “no knowledge, no experience” and focused on fixing typos and grammatical errors or adding references. Szydlowski eventually became involved in a group known as WikiProject Poland, one of more than 2,000 such collaborations on English Wikipedia alone. Each country has its own WikiProject with the goal to create standard language, improve the quality of related articles and generate
new content. The 170 or so members of the Poland team help maintain tens of thousands of articles. “It’s very difficult to say why I do it,” Szydlowski said. “I really enjoy it. I enjoy writing about history and reading about it.” Asked about Stromberg’s suspicion that he’s a Polish nationalist harboring a certain agenda, Szydlowski denied the assertion. He said that as an editor his job is to enforce Wikipedia’s rule against personal points of view, which includes nationalism. “I understand where [Stromberg is] coming from because there is a lot of nationalism on Wikipedia,” Szydlowski said. “It is a battleground, but what he’s saying – no, it’s not true.” Stromberg said that Szydlowski’s denial belies the record of his actions – his insistence and persistence up until the point that other Wikipedians got involved and an arbitration mechanism was imposed. “What’s a college student in Australia doing working overtime on the WikiProject Poland?” Stromberg asked. “Would a troll reveal that he’s a troll?”
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
JULY 16 – AUG. 7
FRIDAY, JULY 16
TUESDAY, JULY 20
FRIDAY, JULY 30
FLORENCE – Kabbalat Shabbat Under the Pines, in the backyard of Beit Ahavah, 7 p.m., 130 Pine St., RSVP: email@example.com
SPRINGFIELD – “A Cultural Journey into the Western Galiliee,” a Jewish National Fund virtual tour of the Western Galiliee led by Michal Sholoah Galnoor, 9-10 p.m., Register: https://www.jnf.org/events- landing-pages/ a-cultural-journey-into-the-western-galilee
FLORENCE – Meditative Shabbat Under the Stars, in the backyards of Beit Ahavah, 6-8 p.m., 130 Pine St., www.beitahavah.org
NORTHAMPTON – Shabbat Shabloom, a musical program for children ages 0-5 and their families, will run on Friday mornings from 10 – 11 a.m. this summer at Abundance Farm, 257 Prospect St., a Jewish food justice farm, outdoor classroom and community building space located in Northampton next to Congregation B’nai Israel. End the week with a joyful morning of music, singing and stories led by Aram Rubenstein-Gilis. After the program, explore the farm, pick flowers, then stay and play on the playground; Attendance is free for first visit, with a $5/family suggested donation thereafter. Everyone is welcome and no registration is required. Upcoming Shabbat Shabloom dates are: July 23 & 30; and Aug. 6, 13, & 20. For more information email office@ cbinorthampton.org or call (413) 584-3593.
MONDAY, JULY 19 NORTHAMPTON – Community Harvest Days at Abundance Farm and Congregation B’nai Israel, “Pick Your Own” free, seasonal, fresh, organic produce straight from the farm, *every Monday, 3-6 p.m. and Thursday, 3-6 p.m.; activity appropriate for all ages and inspired by ancient Jewish justice laws that say that the land is owner-less and that this food already belongs to those who pick it; 257 Prospect St., For more information, contact: Rose Cherneff: firstname.lastname@example.org; PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, virtual screening of “Soros” 4 p.m., Billionaire activist George Soros is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. With unprecedented access to the man and his inner circle, director Jesse Dylan follows Soros across the globe and pulls back the curtain on his personal history, private wealth, and public activism; “Shalom Taiwan” 8 p.m. This uplifting dramatic comedy follows the misadventures of Rabbi Aaron as he tries to raise funds to repay a loan from a moneylender who has called in the debt. With the threat of having his community center seized as property, Rabbi Aaron embarks on a last-ditch fundraising effort by traveling to Taiwan to attract donors, 8 p.m.; Tickets are $10 for individual films, and season passes are $118. All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. For additional information and the online box office, visit berkshirejewishfilmfestival. org.
THURSDAY, JULY 22 WORCESTER – “Exodus 1947 & Two Unsung Heroes of Worcester,” about The Rev. John Stanley Graul and Judge Joseph Goldberg, presented by Robert W. Bleakney, PH.D, associate professor, Hebraic Heritage Christian College; and Israel bonds honoring Mark Shear and junior honorees Naomi Schertzer and Charlotte Roiter, 7 p.m., at Worcester JCC and online.
SATURDAY, JULY 24 FLORENCE – “Back to the Heart: Kirtan Concert of Love for Tu B’av,” at Beit Ahavah, with Kirtan Rabbi Shoshana Jedwab and full band, performed live in backyard of Beit Ahavah and streamed live, 7-9 p.m., Virtual Link: https://www.facebook.com/ events/236899671325369 Registration: beitahavah.org/rsvp
MONDAY, JULY 26 PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, virtual screening of “Magic Men” 4 p.m. A jaded Holocaust survivor who has renounced his faith, Avraham (Makram Khoury) resents the piety of his middleaged son Yehuda (Zohar Strauss), a devout Hassidic rapper. When the aging Avraham decides to return to his native Greece to find the man who offered shelter and taught him magic during World War II, he is compelled to bring Yehuda as his guardian. So begins a cross-cultural, cross-generational road trip as these characters search for absolution and reconciliation; “‘Til Kingdom Come” 8 p.m. Unravelling the global significance of American Christians’ dogma concerning Israel’s role in the Second Coming. Prominent among the millions of American Evangelicals praying for Israel is Pastor Boyd Bingham IV, one in a line of a dynasty of Kentucky pastors, and the congregants he leads in a small coal-mining town. Firm in his conviction that his calling in life is to raise money for Israel and his congregants’ donations are fueled by the belief that Jews are crucial to Jesus’s return. Tickets are $10 for individual films, and season passes are $118. All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. For additional information and the online box office, visit berkshirejewishfilmfestival. org.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
MONDAY, AUG. 2 PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, virtual screening of “The Invisible Line – America’s Nazi Experiment” 4 p.m. Seeking to explain how Hitler brainwashed the Germans, history teacher Ron Jones subjected his high school students to a Nazi-like code of conduct. The experiment spiraled out of control, attracting hundreds of students to the rising fascist movement. Some 50 years later, Jones, his wife, and original pupils reunite to share their troubling memories and reflect on the trauma and regret that haunt them still; “Tango Shalom” 8 p.m. Moshe Yehuda, a Hasidic Rabbi, enters a televised Tango competition to save his Hebrew school from bankruptcy. But due to his orthodox religious beliefs, he is not allowed to touch a woman! At odds with his family and Hasidic community, Moshe asks a Catholic priest, a Muslim imam, and Sikh holy man for advice. Together, they hash out a plan to help Moshe dance in the Tango contest without sacrificing his sacred beliefs, setting in motion a fun, passionate dance movie. 8 p.m.; Tickets are $10 for individual films, and season passes are $118. All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. For additional information and the online box office, visit berkshirejewishfilmfestival.org.
GILI YALO AND THE ANABESSA ORCHESTRA WILL PERFORM AT BEIT AVAVAH IN FLORENCE ON AUG. 7.
FRIDAY, AUG. 7 FLORENCE – Gilo Yalo Concert & Anabessa Orchestra at Beit Ahavah, 6-8:30 p.m., bring a picnic for 6 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m., 130 Pine St., More info and tickets: https://thirdrow.live/events/giliyaloanbessaorchestra/ Website:
MONDAY, AUG. 9 PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, virtual screening of five short films: “Cinema Rex,” “Mum’s Hairpins” and “Eddy’s World” 4 p.m.; “Empty Spaces” and “A Father’s Kaddish” 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for individual films, and season passes are $118. All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. For additional information and the online box office, visit berkshirejewishfilmfestival.org.
COMMUNITY HARVEST DAYS AT ABUNDANCE FARM IN NORTHAMPTON ARE ON MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS FROM 3 – 6 P.M.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
closed Holocaust archives. I wondered: what If I could go with the first group of scholars when they open it and investigate what’s inside? At first, I set out to write a series of stories for Slate about the archives, and Valy. I wanted to be able to tell the story of the archives, by understanding how to search for a single person there, and what I could find about her. I was curious what I’d find. It wasn’t clear at the outset. Now they’ve been digitized but at the time, they weren’t. When I arrived, almost everything was just paper and cardboard boxes. It was a bit like the last scene of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – miles and miles of boxes and files. This is what the book was born out of, which was originally looking at these archives. What did you find in the archives? In Bad Arolsen, I asked if they had what was called a “Tracing and Documentation” file for Valy. That meant a file created when an individual was searched for. Amazingly, they did have one. But it hadn’t been my grandfather who had come looking for her. In other words the information was tantalizing, but unclear. So while I considered what to do to find that searcher, I decided to first retrace Valy’s steps. In the letters she wrote to my grandfather, I saw she ended up leaving Vienna and returning to her town in Czechoslovakia, which was, in mid 1938, still free. The Munich agreement changed that. After the Sudetenland became part of the Reich her town became too antisemitic to stay. She ended up going into Berlin to look for work. It was 1939. She continued to write my grandfather, from there, desperately asking him for help through 1941 – first for herself, and then for herself and her mother. I retraced her steps. I went to all the places that she went to try and figure out where she had gone, how she had lived, and what she went through. I followed her steps until the U.S. entered the war when her letters were cut off. And at that point, I thought, I don’t know where to go from here. One of my colleagues said, ‘Why don’t you look for the woman who searched for her?’ The results of that search changed my whole trajectory of understanding what happened to Valy. But for that you’ll have to read Paper Love. What were you doing at that time that you began working on this project? I received grants to work on a five-part series of stories for Slate on the last majewishledger.com 21
Holocaust archives. I was an Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Germany and also was an American Council on Germany Fellow. With those grants, I went with the first group of scholars from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that was organized to see the archives at Bad Arolsen when they began to open. Then I stayed on in Germany to continue the search. My work also took me to Vienna, Czechoslovakia, Israel, and London. How did trying to find your grandfather’s “true love” affect the way you saw your grandparents’ relationship? I think “true love” represented everything that had happened before he was forced to flee. It was the life he’d lived, the people he’d known, the world he was from. In some ways, she was a representative of that lost world. And yet, despite that – my grandfather lived with a tremendous amount of joy. He loved Vienna and went back again and again...starting in 1950, to search for those who remained. And also because, I think, he refused to let them take his Vienna from him. I pursued this because I was drawn to better understanding the totality of my grandfather’s story – and therefore my own. What does it mean to carry this legacy, to know these people, to be the bearers of their stories? How can we continue to tell their stories, as we lose witnesses? Valy was this incredibly modern woman, an intellectual, one we wouldn’t know if my grandfather hadn’t preserved her words and maintained the dignity of her individuality. Her words became my witness in Paper Love. “A Conversation with Sarah Wildman” will be held on July 12 at 7 p.m. over Zoom. The program is free and open to the public. To register, visit https://voices-ofhope-inc.networkforgood.com/ events/30568-an-evening-withsarah-wildman or Voices of Hope’s Facebook page or website www. ctvoicesofhope.org.
says Dr. Bleakney, who fears that not many others have heard of Rev. Grauel and his accomplishments. “People know about the Exodus, but not about his particular part in it. Among Methodists in New England, I have a feeling that Grauel has been largely forgotten and that’s of concern,” Dr. Bleakney said. “There have been various resolutions not so friendly to Israel at United Methodist events, and I think it would be helpful for the future of Methodist-Jewish relations if Grauel were to be seen not only by Jews, but also by Methodists, as a hero. And the importance of them remembering is all the greater because Methodists don’t seem to remember that they were two German-American Methodist ministers who spoke well of Hitler and an English Methodist minister, Rev. John Leale on Guernsey Island who collaborated with the Nazis betraying Jews to their killers…There’s a lot of terrible things that happened in the history of Jewish-Christian relations and it’s a good thing when somebody does something positive that can be remembered and so that all the more warrants appreciation.” Grauel was a witness to an act of antisemitism in 1940 when he was a student pastor in Stonington, Maine. “A store of a Jewish shopkeeper got vandalized…so he contacted two other clergy and they put on their clergy robes and led the community in the cleanup,” Dr. Bleakney said. He also was keeping abreast of what was happening to the Jews in Europe during World War II through newspaper accounts. “He was quite distressed by the news,” Dr. Bleakney said. “His mother was a Methodist Christian and she taught him to respect the Jewish people. So, when he saw news about what was happening in Europe, he had her moral influence in mind and was appalled. He wanted to do something positive.” Grauel received advice on how to do that from Judge Joseph Goldberg. “Judge Goldberg was known as a supporter of the Jewish homeland…. So, he knew that Judge Goldberg would be a person to go to talk with about his concerns. Judge Goldberg served in the old courthouse in Worcester which was just a short walk from where the Grauel family lived,” Dr. Bleakney said. “They had an ongoing friendship. In his memoir… Grauel he refers to Goldberg as his ‘friend and Zionist mentor.’” Judge Goldberg put Grauel in touch with the American Christian Palestine Committee, which supported building a Jewish state. Soon Grauel left his post as a student minister to join the committee’s staff, eventually becoming director of the Philadelphia office. “When he worked for the American Christian Palestine group, just down the hall was the office for the Haganah. So, he
got acquainted with them,” Dr. Bleakney said. “He became one of the fundraisers for Haganah, so he got to know the leadership. He was there when they had meetings in New York City, so he would have known Chaim Weitzman and David Ben Gurion, he would have known them all. He met Golda Meir in Jerusalem.” Rev. Grauel eventually joined the Haganah to help smuggle Jewish refugees into Palestine. He posed as a journalist for an Episcopal publication onboard the Exodus, while serving as a member of the galley crew and acting as a liaison between the refugee passengers and the crew. Dr. Bleakney’s talk will include more information about what occurred when the Exodus 1947 landed in Haifa, as well as testimony that Rev. Grauel gave to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine that Golda Meir reportedly believed aided in the UN’s recommendation to end the British Mandate and partition Palestine. What led a young Methodist minister to become so involved in the plight of Holocaust survivors and the creation of the State of Israel? “I think there’s a sort of mystery there because a lot of other people saw the same news reports and their journeys did not lead to them doing any of this. My guess is it was a matter of incremental steps over time,” Dr. Bleakney said. “My guess is that the more he did, the more deeply it grew.” Bleakney came to learn about Rev. Grauel while doing research for his book, Evangelical Interpretation After Auschwitz, a look at post-Holocaust commentaries in Evangelical study Bibles and how many continued to include anti-Jewish sentiments. While studying Hebrew at the Worcester JCC, Bleakney met Schimmel and introduced him to the story of Grauel. “I showed him photos I’d gotten from the Holocaust Memorial Museum of Rev. Grauel and said, ‘Here’s a local hero who should be recognized,’” Bleakney recalled. “And there are other people in the collective memory of Worcester -- Robert Goddard, a pioneer in rockets; and Abby Kelley Foster and her husband Stephen Foster who are heroes from the abolitionist movement. And I think that Grauel and Goldberg also deserve to be part of the collective memory of the community. How people who remember the past can influence the choices people make looking ahead to the future.” “Exodus 1947 & Two Unsung Heroes of Worcester” will be held on Thursday, July 22 at 7 p.m. both in person at the Worcester JCC, 633 Salisbury St. in Worcester, and on Zoom. To RSVP, visit jfcm.org/ exodus.
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
JULY 16, 2021
OBITUARIES GOLDMAN Richard L. Goldman, 76, of Wilbraham, formerly of Framingham, died July 7. He was the husband of Roberta (Jacobson) Goldman. He was the son of the late Louis and Irene (Belin) Goldman. As owner of the Bancroft Building in Framingham, Massachusetts, he provided a home for a thriving artist community known as Fountain Street Studios. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Melissa Kaplan and her husband, Brian, Matt Goldman and his wife, Margaret, and Bruce Goldman and his wife, Amy; seven grandchildren, Jonathan, Rachael, and Abby Kaplan, Charlie and Flynn Goldman, and Ariana and Hadley Goldman; and siblings, Merle Jacobson, Stephen Goldman, and Marjorie Reichman. Memorial contributions may be made to Mass General Hospital for the research of Dr. Yi Bin Chen, 125 Nashua St., Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114-1101. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
RADNER Judith P. Radner, 85, formerly of Longmeadow and Boynton Beach, Fla., died on July 3. She was the wife of Robert Radner. Born in Schenectady, she was the daughter of Harold and Rose Provda. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Smith College in 1958 with a BA in Education. Judy was a teacher and worked as a receptionist in Bob’s dental practice. She was an avid reader of books and loved movies, the theater, and live performances. In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Nadine Minor and her husband, Peter, of Franklin, Gregory Radner and his wife, Joanne, of Newbury, and Samuel Radner and his wife, Mary, of Longmeadow; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a brother, Peter Provda and his wife, Roberta, of New Jersey; and numerous other family members. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www. alz.org/). ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME
SADOWSKY Lester Sadowsky, 96, of Palm Beach, Fla., died June 15 at UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus. He was the husband of Joan (Ziegler) Sadowsky for 72 years. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Abraham and Sarah (Binomovitz) Sadowsky. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a radio gunner in Okinawa. Upon his return home, he went into the business that his father, Atlas Distributing in Worcester. He went to the University of Illinois on a baseball scholarship and was drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics. Called to serve in the U.S. Army, that duty took precedence. He played tennis, racquetball, squash and handball and was inducted into the Worcester Sports Hall of Fame. He was the president of Atlas Distributing, now in Auburn in Auburn. He was philanthropically involved in the Chamber of Commerce in Worcester, Temple Emanuel, The Ecotarium, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Assumption University and the United Way. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, John
Sadowsky and his wife, Birgit of Charmey, Switzerland, Karen Sadowsky and her husband, Richard Kaufman, of Sturbridge, Laura Jane Sadowsky and her husband, Guy Bouchard, of Gaspe, Quebec, Canada, and Ken Sadowsky of Miami Beach, Fla; a brother, Harold, of Naples, Fla.; and three grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by two brothers, William Sadowsky of Longmeadow and Dr. Norman Sadowsky of Brookline; and two sisters, Ida (Teddy) Josephs, and Rose Segal both of Palm Beach, Fla. Memorial contributions may be made online at www. Umassmed.edu/give or mailed to: Office of Advancement UMass Medical School, 333 South St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN
The U of Chicago’s Jewish community reels after the death of two students BY BEN SALES
(JTA) – Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen has counseled Jewish students at the University of Chicago through crises before. But she says the last two weeks have been “devastating.” First, Ilan Naibryf, 21, disappeared in last month’s Surfside, Fla. building collapse. He had been visiting with his girlfriend, Deborah Berezdivin, whose family owned two units in the building; neither of them has been found yet. Then, last week, Max Lewis, 20, was struck by a stray bullet while riding the train back from his internship at a finance firm. Paralyzed from the neck down, he died on Sunday after he asked to be taken off life support. Levin Rosen, rabbi of the university’s Hillel, visited Lewis’ hospital the morning he died, standing in a circle with 15 of his family members and friends and leading them in reciting the Shema and singing Psalm 121, which is about trusting in God during hard times. “The fabric of our community has been irreparably torn through these tragedies,” she said. “There’s a combination of unimaginable devastation for all who knew them, especially those who were friends with both, and the desire to be present for each other and support
MAX LEWIS, LEFT, AND ILAN NAIBRYF BOTH SERVED AS LEADERS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO JEWISH COMMUNITY (COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CHABAD)
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021
SIMON Robert Herbert Melvin “Bob” Simon, 96, of Longmeadow, died at his home on July 3. He was the widower of Sheila (Levy) Simon. Born in New York City, he was the son of Joseph and Elsie Simon. He grew up in Brooklyn and at age 18, he joined the Army Air Corps and served in Europe as a navigator in the 401st Bomb Group during World War II. In 1948, he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. A few years later, he entered the graduate program at Yale University, earning a doctorate in chemical engineering. In 1958, he and his family relocated to Longmeadow. He was a scientist with multiple patents, as well as an accomplished pianist, oboist and composer, who had considered becoming a professional musician. He was an oboist and writer of program notes for the Holyoke Civic Symphony for more than 40 years. He is survived by four children and their spouses, Burt Simon (Minh), Stewart Simon (Leslie), Diana Simon Benoit (Philippe), and Alice Simon Ericson (Tracy); 13 grandchildren,
each other knowing that that’s the best thing we can do to give honor to what matters most to them.” Both Lewis and Naibryf were prominent members of the University of Chicago’s small Jewish community, which numbers around 800 in a student body of about 6,700. Naibryf, a rising senior, was president of the Chabad Student Board and an outspoken advocate for Israel. Lewis, a rising junior, was the president of the campus chapter of AEPi, the Jewish fraternity. Baila Brackman, who runs the university’s Chabad center with her husband, Rabbi Yossi Brackman, said both students were inquisitive, caring and energetic. “They were precious young men whom we cared about deeply and loved deeply,” she said. “Both of them always had a huge smile. Their smiles just brightened up the room. They were very happy, kind, caring and giving. Not once did I hear them say a bad word about someone.” Brackman said that Naibryf became active in Chabad as a freshman and that she and her husband came to view him as a family member, “almost a sibling” to their kids. “He was unapologetic about Israel and how much he loved Israel, and he wanted to make sure that students had the history of Israel,” Baila Brackman said. “He worked very hard to make sure there was a lot of Jewish pride on campus. He would just come into the Chabad house, just smile and say, ‘What can I do and how can I help?’”
Chau (Kevin), Tran (John), Tien, Rachel, Laura, Claire, Natalie, Valerie, Rebecca, AJ, Julie, Kevin and Olivia; two great-grandchildren, Adrien and Vivienne; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was also predeceased by a brother Henry and his wife, Selma Simon; and a brother-in-law, David Levy and his wife, Marilyn Levy; and a nephew, Steven Simon. Memorial donations may be made to Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108 or any charity of choice. 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
Miles Funeral Directors of Holden Honoring Lives ~ Celebrating Memories 508.829.4434 Respect, Dignity and Compassion
Taharah (religious preparation) Taharah is performed on-site by the (religious preparation) is performed on-site FamilyKadisha Owned and Operated Worcester Chevra by the Worcester Chevra Kadisha
Richy Perlman* and Rick Mansfield Richard S. Mansfield, Funeral Director Ricky Mansfield www.milesfuneralhome.com Holden and Sterling locations
508-829-4434 | 978-422-0100
A similar spirit animated Lewis, said his best friend and roommate, Zach Cogan. Cogan recalled that during the pandemic, Lewis stayed on campus to make sure he was there for other AEPi brothers. “For Max, there was nothing bad you could possibly say about him,” said Cogan. “He was the best of us. He was so caring and selfless, and he never asked anybody for anything.” The past few days have been “extremely difficult and taxing,” Cogan said. “I’ve gone to text him several times and realize he’s not here, and it’s crushing.” Now, Levin Rosen and the Brackmans are figuring out how to comfort their students over the summer and once school restarts in the fall. They held a joint Shabbat dinner for students and Lewis’ relatives on Friday. They’re helping students access professional counseling and are reaching out to Lewis’ and Naibryf’s friends to check in. The Brackmans hope to memorialize both students, perhaps dedicating a portion of the Chabad building in their memory. But they’re also struggling with what Brackman, called “one of our most difficult weeks.” “Why????????” the Brackmans posted Sunday, shortly after Lewis’ death, on a joint Facebook account. “There’s no answer. Our hearts just break, again.”
Contact 800-983-4434 Richard Perlman www.milesfuneralhome.com Cell: 508.769.7017 Nationally recognized as a Selected Independent Funeral Home *Lic.and – Typeprofessional 6 with the highest ethical standards.
Proudly Serving the Community for Over 60 Years
Funeral Directors: RYAN S. ASCHER • ROBERT P. ZIMMERMAN 413.734.5229 • 888.827.2437
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
44 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108 E: email@example.com www.ascherzimmerman.com
| JULY 16, 2021
Next Delivery Date: 8/27 Deadline: 8/18 The Crown Market 2471 Albany Ave West Hartford, CT 06117
www.crownmarketonline.com HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department, Sushi, Pizza and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS! 24
MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER
| JULY 16, 2021