Friday, May 14, 2021 3 Sivan 5781 Vol. 93 | No. 20 | ©2021 $1.00 | jewishledger.com
SHAVUOT 5781 1
| MAY 14, 2021
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CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | MAY 14, 2021 | 3 SIVAN 5781
16 Torah Portion
Thank you, COVID............................. 5 The 2020 ADL annual audit of antisemitism in the U.S. reveals a slight downturn in the number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. in 2020. But don’t start the party just yet.
End of an era?................................... 5 Israeli President Reuven Rivlin taps Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid Party who also serves as the opposition leader, to form the next government. Could this signal the end of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s reign?
To 120!.................................................. 8 Last month, at home in West Hartford, and dripping with medals he earned during what the Soviets called “The Great Patriotic War”, Sergey Dratva celebrated his 100th birthday.
Combatting COVID........................15 India’s widely celebrated multigenerational Jewish households have increased anxiety about the onslaught of the insidious COVID-19 virus.
Arts & Culture..................................11 The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in New Orleans unveils fascinating multimedia exhibits that illustrate how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the American South.
Heart Breaker..................................21 When Thiago Benzecry left home in Brazil’s Amazon region to join the Israeli navy he didn’t know it would be the last time he would see his parents alive. His story has captured thousands of hearts in both Israel and Brazil.
22 What’s Happening
25 Business and Professional Directory
CANDLE LIGHTING ON THE COVER:
At sundown on Sunday, May 16, Jews around the world celebrate Shavuot – the Festival of Weeks – which marks the completion of the Omer counting that began on Passover, and celebrates the giving of the Torah and the harvest festival. The holiday ends the evening of Tuesday, May 18. PAGE 12 jewishledger.com
SHABBAT FRIDAY, MAY 14 Hartford 7:45 p.m. New Haven: 7:45 p.m. Bridgeport: 7:46 p.m. Stamford: 7:47 p.m.
SHAVUOT FIRST NIGHT, SUNDAY, MAY 16 Hartford 7:48 p.m. New Haven 7:48 p.m. Bridgeport 7:49 p.m. Stamford 7:50 p.m.
SECOND NIGHT, MONDAY, MAY 17 Hartford 8:55 p.m. New Haven 8:55 p.m. Bridgeport 8:56 p.m. Stamford 8:57 p.m.
To determine the time for Havdalah, add one hour and 10 minutes (to be safe) to candle lighting time.
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UP FRONT CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | MAY 14, 2021 | 3 SIVAN 5781
ADL Survey: Despite COVID restrictions, antisemitism barely decreased in US in 2020
Israeli centrist Yair Lapid is given an opportunity to replace Benjamin Netanyahu
Connecticut numbers reflect downward trend, but will it hold? BY BEN SALES
(JTA) – Despite COVID-related restrictions that kept Americans inside for significant portions of last year, the number of reported antisemitic incidents barely decreased in the United States in 2020, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The number of antisemitic assaults fell sharply, however, and for the first time in three years, no one was killed in an antisemitic attack. The ADL’s annual audit, published Tuesday, April 26, tallied 2,024 incidents of anti-semitism in the U.S. in 2020, a decline of only 4% from the 2,107 recorded in 2019. The 2020 tally is the third-highest since 1979, when the ADL began publishing annual audits, and is more than double the 2015 figure of 942. The audits are compiled from reports by victims, law enforcement and community leaders. The drop in antisemitic incidents in Connecticut over the course of 2020, however, was greater than that experienced nationally. Overall, there was a 35 percent decline in antisemitic incidents in Connecticut in 2020, compared to the previous year. According to the 2020 audit, that translates into 24 antisemitic incidents statewide down from 37 antisemitic incidents in 2019, and 39 reported incidents in the previous year, and 49 in 2017, which was an all time high. Of these 24 statewide incidents, two were assaults,; the remaining incidents comprised acts of harassment and vandalism, both of which were fewer in number in 2020 than the previous year. Examples of antisemitic assault in Connecticut 2020 included an incident March, when a rabbi standing in the driveway outside the Chabad House at Yale was approached by two teenagers who said, “Give us everything you have, you f***ing Jew.” When the rabbi resisted, the teens assaulted him and stole his car.
The COVID Connection With synagogues and other communal institutions shuttered for much of the year, 2020 was free of the deadly antisemitic shootings and stabbings that struck the Jewish community in 2019 and 2018. But jewishledger.com
COVID gave rise to a conspiracy theory in which Jews were blamed for spreading the disease, though the report cautions that “we have not identified cases where we can directly link specific instances of violent antisemitism to conspiracy theories or scapegoating surrounding the COVID-19 virus.” Last year began with a 25,000-person march in New York City, protesting a spate of attacks against Jews in the area late in 2019, two of them fatal. At that point, before the pandemic was at the top of the national agenda, Jews in New York and elsewhere worried about a further escalation of lethal violence, and leaders at all levels of government promised a response. Then everything shut down. With synagogues, schools and community centers empty for much of the year, and the streets devoid of crowds, physical manifestations of anti-semitism plummeted, along with the overall number of incidents. January saw 270 total incidents, as opposed to an average of 155 per month once COVID restrictions began. The number of antisemitic assaults decreased by nearly half, from 61 to 31, year over year. Vandalism decreased by 18%. Incidents at college campuses decreased by 32%. Steve Ginsburg, regional director of the Connecticut office of ADL, connects the COVID-19 crisis to the downturn in antisemitic incidents on college campuses and especially in grades K through 12 schools. “At least in our region,” Ginsburg told the Ledger, “there were fewer antisemitic incidents related to school because people weren’t in schools. Incidents of antisemitism were down in K through 12 schools particularly.” Then again, he says, while there were fewer physical attacks, the pandemic inspired a new manifestation of hate – “Zoombombing” – in which antisemites would disrupt virtual Jewish communal meetings and events, as well as online synagogue services, with hateful speech or
images. The ADL counted almost 200 Zoombombings throughout the year. Zoombombings made up about a third of total antisemitic harassment incidents recorded at Jewish institutions. Examples of Zoombombing in Connecticut include an incident in August, when author Daphne Geismar presented sketches from her grandfather’s Holocaust journal at an online event hosted by Voices of Hope, a group of second-generation Holocaust survivors a voice told the group of second-generation survivors. The program was Zoom-bombed with antisemitic drawings of swastikas and curses, and a voice interrupted the talk with vile comments denying the Holocaust.
Eye on domestic extremism Incidents perpetrated by known extremist groups or individuals rose more than 20% over 2019, in a year that saw social unrest due to COVID, racial justice protests and the election campaign – all settings that attracted extremist groups. “There is no question that white supremacism is a problem,” says Ginsburg. “Frankly, I think I work as much on that as anything at this moment. You know, we’re always going to be fighting for civil rights – we’re going to be fighting antisemitism and we’re going to be protecting everyone who’s discriminated against, but the domestic extremism threat right now is central to ADL, following the event of January 6.” In response, Ginsburg says, “We launched the ADL Protect Plan, which is an ADL initiative geared towards stopping domestic extremism – and a huge part of domestic extremism is white supremacy and white nationalism. ADL Connecticut has also devoted more resources to looking at domestic terror and domestic extremism. Our state police are working with the state legislature right now to create a hate crimes and extremism unit within the state police (SB 122), and we’re hoping that bill (SB 122) will pass within the next couple of weeks.
BY BEN SALES
(JTA) – Yair Lapid, an Israeli centrist, has officially been given the opportunity to remove Benjamin Netanyahu from power. On Wednesday, May 7, President Reuven Rivlin gave Lapid the mandate to form the next coalition government in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. If Lapid succeeds, Netanyahu will be out as prime minister for the first time in 12 years. This marks the closest Netanyahu has come to losing his position since 2009. In order to form a coalition and end the gridlock that has frozen Israeli politics, Lapid may allow a right-wing politician, Naftali Bennett, to serve as prime minister before him. “After two years of an ongoing political nightmare, Israeli society is wounded,” Lapid wrote Wednesday on his Facebook page following Rivlin’s choice to give him the mandate. “A unity government isn’t a compromise, it is a goal. It is on us to form a government that reflects the fact that we do not hate one another.” Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, faces a foreboding challenge. Israel’s political system has been in crisis since 2019, as the Knesset has been split between Netanyahu’s rightwing supporters and his ideologically disparate opponents. The rift has persisted through four rounds of largely inconclusive elections. Twice before, a Netanyahu rival has been given a chance to replace him, but Netanyahu has managed to survive politically, in large part as the caretaker prime minister of a transitional government. Following the most recent elections in March, Netanyahu had another opportunity to form a government under his leadership, but was unsuccessful. Now the mantle has passed to Lapid, his leading rival. To form a government, Lapid must assemble a coalition that spans the Israeli left and center, as well as right-wingers who are disaffected from Netanyahu. It also will likely have to CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
MAY 14, 2021
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ADL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
And, of course, we have a Center for Extremism that monitors exposes and disrupts extremist threats – on the internet and on the ground.
Hate on the internet An earlier ADL study found that the volume of white supremacist propaganda doubled in 2020 to the highest number in a decade. And a study by the Network Research Contagion Institute found that online antisemitism peaks during periods of national tension. With tension all across the country running so high in 2020, it’s no wonder then that the internet is playing so significant a role in the advent of antisemitism. “People are living on the internet. And when you have so much hate on the internet, that will motivate some people to take action; to leave the house and do something,” explains Ginsburg. For example, he points out: “The person who shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was following Gab [an American alt-tech social networking service known for its far-right userbase, many of whom have been banned from other social media platforms] where he read that Jews were responsible for bringing in black and brown people across the Mexican border to take the jobs from White people.” Likewise, he says, “The arrest record of that 21-year-old kid arrested in connection with one of the antisemitic incidents at UConn said that he wasn’t acting from a place of ignorance, he acted because he read online that Orthodox Jews are doing terrible things to him. “We can’t prevent all that, but we’ve got we got to try.” At the forefront of that fight is ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS). Launched in 2017,(CTS) leads the global fight against online hate and harassment. According to the latest results of the Center’s “Online Hate and Harassment” report, 36% of Jewish respondents experienced online harassment, comparable to 33% the previous year.
A positive trend? Not so fast “While any decline in the data is encouraging, we still experienced a year in which antisemitic acts remained at a disturbingly high level despite lockdowns and other significant changes in our daily lives and interactions with others,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release. “We can’t let our guard down.” Ginsburg agrees. As the pandemic at long last wanes and the state takes steps to reopen, he notes, the downward trend in antisemitic incidents is already showing nascent signs of slowing or even reversing. jewishledger.com
“The nationwide trends are good, but even these numbers are high. It’s still one of the three highest years in terms of antisemitic incidents. Even in the last several weeks, we have begun to get reports of more of the kind of school-based incidents that we used to see [prior to the pandemic]. I’m not just talking about the kind of incidents like we had at UConn – I’m talking more about K through 12 schools. We’re seeing situations where it is more of a student who doesn’t really understand or maybe just trying to get some attention. These acts are caused by a lack of education and understanding and obviously they have an impact, but they don’t raise the same level of danger that the UConn, where the antisemitic act was ideological.” The ADL audit is the latest of a few studies showing that antisemitism remained relatively prevalent in recent years. A 2019 ADL study found that more than 60% of Americans believed at least one of 11 antisemitic stereotypes while 11% believed a majority of them. A 2020 survey from the American Jewish Committee found that 88% of American Jews say antisemitism remains a problem in the United States. A survey conducted early in 2020 found that more than one in 10 American adults under 40 believes that Jews caused the Holocaust. Another survey published in 2020 found that one-fifth of respondents from 16 European countries believes that a secret network of Jews influences global political and economic affairs.
Connecticut comes through Thankfully, says Ginsburg, “When the Connecticut Jewish community reaches out for help, there is a lot of support there for us – from other groups, from legislators, from elected officials. “As opposed to some other places in the country, here in Connecticut we have a great deal of bipartisan support,” he says, pointing to the aforementioned SB 122, as well as the recently enacted Holocaust and genocide education bill which was passed by unanimous vote. We have leadership that on these types of issues is almost always supportive. ADL’s Center on Extremism has gathered the complete 2019 data, as well as data from the previous two years, on ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to geographically chart antisemitic incidents and events nationally and regionally. For more information and to read the entire survey, visit adl.org.
Hate crimes see 73% rise in NYC, Asians and Jews most targeted (JTA) – A dramatic rise in attacks on Asian-Americans has led to an overall increase in hate crimes in New York City during 2021, while the number of crimes targeting Jews decreased slightly. Jews in New York were targeted in 54 hate crimes reported between Jan. 1 and May 2, down from 58 such crimes in the same period in 2020, according to New York Police Department figures released Monday, May 5. The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force said the city recorded 180 hate crimes through May 2, compared to 104 such crimes during the same period last year, a 73% increase. Asians were the most targeted group with 80 hate crimes through May 2 – soaring from 16 in the same period in 2020. Jews were the next most targeted.
A CROWD PROTESTS ANTISEMITISM IN NEW YORK CITY, OCT. 15, 2020. (TAYFUN COSKUN/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Lapid CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
broad emergency government, however challenging, that will pull the wagon out of the mud,” Bennett said. If the Lapid-Bennett alliance succeeds – by no means a certainty – it will be the culmination of a joint ascendance by the two men, who both entered politics in YAIR LAPID, CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION YESH ATID 2012 as fresh-faced newcomers PARTY, CAMPAIGNS IN THE ISRAELI COASTAL CITY OF HOD representing a younger HASHARON, MARCH 19, 2021. generation of Israeli leadership. (JACK GUEZ/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES) They are not ideologically rely on support from an Arab party, a rarity aligned: Lapid, 57, a former in Israeli politics. news anchor, seeks to represent the In order to secure agreement from the amorphous Israeli center and has attempted right-wingers, Lapid appears likely to allow to lessen the power of haredi Orthodox Bennett, a once a Netanyahu ally, to serve as Israelis in government. Bennett, 49, who is prime minister for two years. If the coalition Modern Orthodox and a former Netanyahu forms as expected, Bennett would be Israel’s aide, is an outspoken advocate of Israeli first religious Zionist prime minister. West Bank settlements who hopes to Lapid would then likely serve as prime represent an unapologetic Israeli right. minister for the term’s remaining two years. But the two have found common ground In a speech Wednesday, Bennett in the past. In 2013, they formed an informal endorsed the idea of a government with alliance and together entered a coalition with Lapid and other parties in order to avoid a Netanyahu. That government dissolved after fifth round of elections. two years. In the years since, they have been “There are two options: to rush into on opposing sides of the political spectrum, fifth and sixth and seventh elections that but may again ally in the hopes of extracting will simply destroy the state, or to form a Israel from a political quagmire. JEWISH LEDGER
MAY 14, 2021
World War II hero Sergey Dratva celebrates 100th birthday BY STACEY DRESNER
EST HARTFORD – Sergey Dratva has seen and experienced many things in his life-time – from fighting on the frontlines as a Russian soldier during World War II and watching the collapse of the former Soviet Union, to arriving in the United States in the 1990s and becoming an American citizen. Dratva celebrated his 100th birthday on April 15 with his family and a few close friends at his home in West Hartford. At the celebration he was presented with a proclamation from the mayor of West Hartford and a letter from the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York, both congratulating him for reaching this special milestone. In a recent interview with the Jewish Ledger, Dratva summed up the secret to reaching 100 years of age in one word: Discipline – something he undoubtedly learned as a soldier in the Russian army during World War II. At his birthday
celebration, he donned the numerous medals he received for his heroism and bravery during what the Soviets called “The Great Patriotic War.” “As a decent, brave, smart, person with high discipline, he defended his motherland and his relatives the invasion of the German Nazis,” his daughter Galina told the Ledger. “He and his fellow soldiers hated Nazism, helped each other on the frontlines and in battles and showed high-quality patriotism.” “We needed to fight against the fascists to save our country,” Sergey said. “It was my duty.” Born in Ananiev, a town in Ukraine, Sergey’s family was religious, attending synagogue, celebrating Jewish holidays and speaking Yiddish at home. When Sergey was three years old his father died; he recalls his grandfather taking him to synagogue to say Kaddish. Sergey attended a Jewish school for several years, but stopped when the government closed Jewish schools down. As a child, he says, he experience some, but not much, antisemitism.
SERGEY DRATVA, BEDECKED WITH HIS MANY WARTIME MEDALS, AT HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.
| MAY 14, 2021
In 1939, at the age of 18, he was accepted into the Financial-Economic University in Odessa. But that same year World War II broke out and he was drafted into the Soviet Army. He fought in some of the most difficult battles of the war including the defense of Moscow and the Kursk Bulge. He helped to liberate several cities, including Orel, Harkov, Kiev, Lviv, Krakov, Kotovica, Prague, Vinica, Belgorod, Poltava, and Kremenchug. Dratva was on the frontlines of combat for 1,265 days of the 1,418-day war. The recognition he received for his service includes an Order of the Patriotic War and Order of the Red Star, as weak as medals, including the “Za Otvagu” Medal for Courage, “Za Boevye Zaslugi” Medal for Combat Merit, and the “Za Osvobozhdenie Prague” Medal for the Liberation of Prague. One of his most courageous acts during war was saving the life of his commanding officer during an ambush by SS troops. Despite being shot in the arm, Dratva covered his superior officer as they were being fired upon and was able to get him to safety. After the war Dratva returned to Ananiev and found his mother and sisters, who had survived by escaping Georgia. But they had lost many family members to the Holocaust, including their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Four of Sergey’s uncles died as soldiers during the war. Dratva went on to marry Polina, a Jewish girl from Ananiev, who had also been evacuated safely, and they had two children, Leonid and Galina. After serving in the Soviet Army as a financial officer for 20 years, he retired as a colonel before working as an economist. Leonid Dratva and his family immigrated to the United States in 1982, and Sergey and Polina did not see them for 10 years, except for one visit to the U.S. by Polina in 1988 and a visit by Sergey in 1989. When the Soviet Union collapsed and the borders opened, Sergey and Polina decided that they wanted the whole family to be together and started planning their move to America. “We saw life is good here,” he explained. “When Soviet Union collapsed, it was a bad time. The economy was down and it was not a good time in Russia.”
SERGEI DRATVA CELEBRATES HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY SURROUNDED BY HIS FAMILY.
Sergey and Polina arrived in the United States in May 1992 when Sergey was 71 years old. Four months later his daughter and her family arrived from Chelyabinsk, Russia. After five years, during which he took English classes at Congregation Beth Israel and learned how to drive, Sergey became an American citizen. He gave a speech after he was sworn in as an American, saying in part, “Thank you, America, for giving me this good life.” During his nearly 30 years in West Hartford, Sergey has made friends and stayed active with other veterans of World War II at the Mandell Jewish Community Center, where he is a member of the Russian Veterans club. He was financial head of the group for many years, helping to run the chapter and organize club events. A member of Chabad House of Greater Hartford, Sergey went there for morning services every day for several years. After losing his vision and before Covid, he enjoyed the Friday morning services Rabbi Yosef Gopin led at his building. His wife Polina passed away eight years ago, but they have been blessed with three grandchildren and one great-grandson. With a huge 100th birthday banner draped across his living room wall, and surrounded by birthday cards and bouquets of flowers and balloons from his many friends, Sergey stressed that there is nothing magic about turning 100. All it takes is discipline. “My life is scheduled,” he said. “Everything in moderation, not too much of anything.” jewishledger.com
Stamford couple announce cancer grants
usan and Len Mark of Stamford have announced that they will fund two new grants of $300,00 each over three years to support established Israel Cancer Research Fund ( ICRF) scientists studying the biology, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of ovarian and or uterine/ MMT cancers. This is the third round of ovarian research funding from the family, bringing their support of ICRF to close to $3 million. The Marks are currently funding four ovarian cancer research grants, including two at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rambam Health Care Campus and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Their funding was initiated in 2013, when Len’s sister, Gloria, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and has continued since her passing in January 2016. The Marks have chosen to support the organization because “ICRF has brought together our desire to fight ovarian and other cancers, our lifetime commitment to Israel, and our wish to keep strong our memories of Gloria Mark Spivak.” They were honored with the ICRF Tower of Hope Humanitarian Award at the annual gala in 2014. Upon accepting the award, Susan remarked: “It is very thrilling to know that our gift might make a difference to the health and life of the world.” The Israel Cancer Research Fund was founded in 1975 by a group of North American physicians, scientists and lay
leaders who sought to ensure adequate funding for high-potential cancer research investigations while helping to prevent the loss of Israel’s most promising cancer researchers to overseas institutions due to a lack of funding. In addition to Connecticut, ICRF has chapters in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Palm Springs/ Coachella Valley, Chicago, and Jerusalem. For more information on ICRF, contact Beth Belkin at (917) 225-9604.
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MAY 14, 2021
RABBI MINNA BROMBERG
Take it from a fat rabbi: Nobody needs your dieting advice BY RABBI MINNA BROMBERG
(JTA) – Do you want to know one small but powerful way we could make Jewish life more inclusive? Stop telling fat people about your diet and asking if they’d like to join you. Last year I launched Fat Torah, with the aim of confronting weight stigma in Jewish communal life and deploying Jewish tradition in ways that are liberatory for all bodies. At the time, I assumed that I would be providing advice to individuals who were eager for an opportunity to “Ask the Fat Rabbi.” And you, my dear Jews (mostly Jewish women) have not disappointed. It has been my pleasure to connect with people in Jewish communities who are tired of diet culture interfering with our full enjoyment of traditional foods and appalled by the enshrinement of weight loss as a Jewish value. They are deeply concerned about how the pervasiveness of disparaging attitudes toward fatness and fat people harms not only the largest among us, but also those who are struggling to recover from eating 10
disorders (among the most deadly of mental illnesses). My inbox is blessedly full of their righteous anger, genuine sadness and deep love of the Jewish community, despite its failure to protect its own from fatphobia and the many oppressive forces that so often intertwine with it, including misogyny, ableism, healthism, homophobia, transphobia and white supremacy. But one problem has only recently occurred to me, 10 years in the rabbinate and 30 years as a fat activist notwithstanding: Working with individuals has its limits when what we are seeking is systemic change. The people who most need a fat rabbi’s advice – about how to “know better so you can do better” (to paraphrase Maya Angelou) or how to confront weight stigma within themselves before they continue afflicting others with it – are the ones least likely to seek my counsel. We want our communities – synagogues, schools, summer camps, programs for elders, Hillels and more – to be places that welcome us as whole human
| MAY 14, 2021
beings, created in the Divine image. Anyone who has been even a little bit fat for more than five minutes in our fatphobic culture is already deeply familiar with the sense that they don’t fit in. When you suggest a diet to us, you reinforce the message that this space is one in which we cannot or ought not belong in the fullness of who we are. If you truly feel that your offer is a kind one, and are taken aback when we do not respond with gratitude, please know that we have already received too many of these offers and your “new” diet (or “program” or “healthy lifestyle”) only reminds us that we have heard it all before. Often this urge to share your diet comes from a place of being “concerned about health.” But you cannot properly assess anyone’s health just by their size. If you insist, nonetheless, on believing that all fat people are automatically unhealthy, ask yourself: What does Jewish tradition teach us about how to care for the sick? One thing it teaches is that we need to pay attention to a person’s actual needs and desires, and not the needs that we are projecting onto them. When the Talmud (Berakhot 5b) has us follow Rabbi Yohanan, a famed healer, as he visits the sick, we learn that his very first question is “are your sufferings welcome to you?” We can all follow this model of first assessing whether our “help” is wanted. You do not need to give up your own diet. But please be mindful of how your relationship with your body – and how you talk about it publicly – impacts those around you, especially when that relationship aligns with oppressive stereotypes rather than disrupting them. Ultimately, however, the right to body autonomy extends to you, my dear dieter, as well: Your body is yours and you should do what’s right for you. No one is coming for your cauliflower. An important caveat is called for here: I have been horrified to learn about the pervasiveness in Jewish communities all across America of multilevel marketing (MLM) diets. MLM salespeople, who are sometimes called “consultants” or
“coaches,” are encouraged to sell to the people closest to them in a technique known as “relationship selling.” In what many regard as a quasi-legal Ponzi scheme – in which the vast majority of participants lose money – these salespeople make commissions not only from their own sales but from others they recruit to sell. This combination of the relational nature of MLM sales, the tremendous pressure people feel to lose weight and the closeness we aspire to in our Jewish communities creates an enormous risk of exploitation. In cases of unequal status, in which the “coach” is also someone with a large amount of social capital in the community, we have the makings of misuse of power. Jewish communal life should not be a breeding ground for these exploitative and unethical businesses. If the diet you are dying to share with others is connected with this kind of “program,” I would urge you not only to stop recruiting others, but to find a way to get out of it yourself. I yearn for a world in which our Jewish communities can be places of belonging for bodies of every size. There is no shortage of work to be done to get there – from making sure we have seating that can accommodate the largest among us, to breaking ourselves of the habit of using fatness and fat people as the targets of “humor.” But please know, my dear dieter, that simply holding yourself back from trying to recruit others to your diet plan would truly be a wonderful starting point for making a world of difference. Rabbi Minna Bromberg is founder and president of Fat Torah. She is passionate about bringing her three decades of experience in fat activism to writing, teaching and changemaking at the nexus of Judaism and body liberation. Her forthcoming book is “Belonging for Every Body: a Fat Torah Guide to Building Inclusive Spiritual Community.” She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and their children.
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A virtual mental health awareness event with
ALONE One in five U.S. adults will experience mental illness each year; it is a reality of life that affects so many. The pandemic has amplified the need for mental health services and supports for everyone. This virtual event aims to break the stigma of seeking help for mental health and remind each of us, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”.
MAY 13, 2021
For FREE tickets visit:
7:00 - 8:00 P.M.
MAY 14, 2021
Shavuot – the Festival of Weeks – begins at sundown Sunday, May 16 and ends at sundown Tuesday, May 18
Seven ways to celebrate a meaningful Shavuot (JNS) At sundown on Sunday, May 16, Jews around the world will start the two-day holiday of Shavuot, celebrated for one day in Israel and two days in the Diaspora (see p.13). Also known as the Festival of Weeks because it marks the completion of the counting of the Omer period – which is 49 days long, or seven weeks of seven days – Shavuot is one of the Jewish calendar’s shalosh regalim – one of three pilgrimage holidays. Unlike the other two pilgrimage festivals – Passover, which is marked through the retelling of the Exodus story at the seder, and Sukkot, which is celebrated by building a hut or sukkah outside one’s home – there is no definitive ritual associated with Shavuot in the text of the Torah. As such, many Jews struggle to connect with the holiday, which has several other names, including “Chag HaKatsir,” meaning the Harvest Festival. But despite its undefined nature, Shavuot is a most significant holiday. After all, it is when we received the Ten Commandments, God’s greatest present to the Jewish people. In that spirit, here are seven ways to infuse some meaning and minhag (tradition) into your Shavuot this year:
It is traditional on Shavuot to eat dairy foods. Some believe this is because the scripture compares Torah to “honey and milk… under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Another explanation is that when the Israelites received the Torah for the first time, they learned the kosher dietary laws and didn’t immediately have time to prepare kosher meat, so they ate dairy instead. Among the most popular dairy foods that are eaten on Shavuot are blintzes and cheesecake.
For families with young children, games are a great way to educate youth about the messages of Shavuot. Try playing some simple counting games with the kids. You can count up to 49 of anything: 49 ways Mommy loves you, 49 things you are grateful for,” she says. For slightly older children, try playing a Jewish commandments version of Pictionary®, in which before the holiday children draw their favorite commandment or commandments on a notecard. The cards are mixed up and put into a box or bag. Then, the family gets together, members draw picture cards, and someone acts out each commandment while
participants guess which commandment it is and why it is important.
On the second day of Shavuot, we read the Book of Ruth, the story of the first Jew by choice. This is also a story of welcoming the stranger and inclusivity. Shavuot is the perfect holiday for inviting new friends over for a meal, or for opening one’s home to people who are interested in learning more about Jewish traditions.
Taking part in a tikkun leil Shavuot – a night of Jewish learning – is another Shavuot custom. Many traditional Jews stay up all night on the first night of the holiday to study Torah. Today, many non-observant Jews aren’t affiliated with a particular synagogue. As such, hosting a communal night of learning (not affiliated with any particular religious sect or institution) may be just the think to draw in a more diverse mix of Jewish learners. For people who live in smaller communities without a formal Shavuot learning event, there are multiple online sources that can be used to organize a grassroots evening of learning at an individual’s home. And Jewish learning doesn’t have to be Biblical texts. … Torah is more than the Five Books of Moses. It could be liberal values or social justice or just a discussion about Jewish identity or Jewish laws.
On Shavuot, it is customary to decorate our homes and synagogues with flowers and plants. Following this tradition of surrounding ourselves with the lushness of the natural world could add a lot of beauty to the day. Shavuot comes in the late spring or early summer, when the weather is perfect and the flowers are blossoming – the perfect time to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the world that God created for us.
Setting goals/ reflections
A deeper reading of the Book of Ruth can transform Shavuot from simply another Jewish holiday into an opportunity to set goals and resolutions. Ruth believed in something (Judaism) and followed through on her belief. Her story really comes to life on Shavuot. She was open to the truth and therefore was willing to be honest with herself. For anyone searching and struggling, Ruth is a good role model for life.
King David birthday party
AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE SHAVUOT HOLIDAY.
CREDIT: MORITZ DANIEL OPPENHEIM/GOOGLE ART PROJECT VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
| MAY 14, 2021
Tradition has it that King David, Ruth’s (as in the Book of Ruth) great-grandson, was born and died on Shavuot. So why not host a King David birthday party – featuring decorations, cake, ice cream, and gifts. More than just a fun afternoon, the party can used s a learning tool; a springboard into a historical discussion. Ask kids to think about what they would write on a card to King David? What would they want to ask him? What would he want for a present? jewishledger.com
GRAINS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TRADITIONAL DAIRY DISHES ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOLIDAY OF SHAVUOT.
IN THE KITCHEN
CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
ON SHAVUOT, SAVOR THE DAIRY, BUT DON’T FORGET THE GRAINS BY ETHEL G. HOFMAN
(JNS) Historically, Shavuot is the celebration of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. It begins seven weeks after the first day of Passover. Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, thus deemed the “Festival of the First Fruits” (also called the “Harvest Festival” and “Festival of Weeks”). Since Shavuot takes place at a time when animals give birth and there’s an abundance of milk, the most familiar culinary custom are dishes made with dairy products. Growing up, my brothers and I ate bowlfuls of thick creamy rice pudding studded with plump raisins–and not just for a dairy meal dessert. We ate it for breakfast instead of the usual porridge and as a snack after school. But let’s not forget the grains. This is the time of winter wheat harvest so, especially in Israel, grains are included in the traditional dairy dishes. I’ve included a vegan grain dish courtesy of my Israeli colleague Phyllis Glazer, a culinary media wizard. Practically all milk and cheese items are available in low-fat versions. With the addition of fresh herbs, now in season, dishes can be boosted with bright flavor and a dose of added nutrients. I’ve incorporated these foods in recipes to inspire a contemporary Shavuot cuisine. B’Tayavon! Wheatberry Salad With Grapes and Olives (Pareve) Serves 4-6 Wheatberries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels rich in vitamins and fiber. They are available in health food stores and many supermarkets. Cook’s Tips: *Cook the wheatberries 1 to 2 days ahead of time; refrigerate until needed. *Mix the dressing ahead. Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before using or zap in microwave 15 to 20 seconds. *No grapes? Substitute diced unpeeled apples or golden raisins. Ingredients: ½ cup wheatberries 3 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon warm honey ¼ cup olive oil 1 cup snipped fresh parsley jewishledger.com
2 cups seedless green grapes, halved ⅓ cup pitted black olives, thinly sliced salt and freshly ground pepper to taste shredded lettuce or baby spinach Directions: Place the wheatberries in a bowl. Add enough cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Refrigerate and soak overnight. Drain. Place in a saucepan with enough fresh cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until chewy, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Drain. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil. Add the wheatberries, parsley, grapes and olives. Stir gently to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon over lettuce or baby spinach. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Ma’s Stovetop Rice Pudding (Dairy) Serves 4-6 I prepare my mother’s super-easy recipe with low-fat milk, a few drops of orange extract and just a knob of butter. Cook’s Tips: *Best made in a double boiler or a heavybottomed saucepan to prevent scorching. Ingredients: ½ cup rice 4 cups low-fat milk ¼ cup sugar or to taste 2 teaspoons unsalted butter ¼ teaspoon orange extract ½ cup dark raisins Directions: Place all ingredients in a saucepan or in a double boiler. If using a double boiler, water in lower pot should be kept simmering. Check often, adding more water as needed. Stir ingredients to mix. Cover and cook over lowest heat for 1½ hours, or until thick and creamy. Stir often. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cherry Pudding (Dairy) Serves 6 A summer fruit pudding from my recipe files put together while living in Basel, Switzerland. Cook’s Tips: *Instead of fresh, use pitted canned cherries, well-drained. *Challah should be used. Cut into chunks, arrange in one layer and leave out
overnight. *Top each portion with a scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt. Ingredients: 1½ cups hot low-fat milk 1½ cups small chunks of stale (day old) white bread, packed* ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature ¼ cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind 2 cups pitted fresh cherries Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 1½
quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the milk into a bowl. Add the bread. Stir to soak the bread, then whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs to blend thoroughly. Stir in the bread mixture and lemon rind. Fold in the cherries. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until set in center. Serve warm. Ethel G. Hofman is a widely syndicated American Jewish food and travel columnist, author and culinary consultant.
Is Shavuot 1 or 2 days long?
BY MJL STAFF
f you live in the land of Israel, Shavuot is a one-day holiday. Everywhere else it’s celebrated for two days (except by the Reform movement, which keeps only one). That’s not just Shavuot, either. Shavuot, like other Jewish holidays, is lunar – calculated according to the moon. Each month begins on the day of a new moon, when the tiniest crescent of the moon becomes visible after the moon has disappeared altogether. Because the moon cycle is approximately 29 1/2 days long, in some months the next new lunar month begins 29 days after the previous one and in other months it is 30 days. Astronomers can now predict the exact day and time of the new moon. In antiquity, the date of the new moon could not be calculated in advance–it had to be observed. Furthermore, according to Jewish law, it had to be “officially” observed. That is, the Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing body in the Land of Israel, had to receive sworn testimony from two eyewitnesses and then proclaim a new month. But what does this have to do with observing Shavuot for one day in Israel and two days in the Diaspora? Once the Sanhedrin received testimony of the new moon and declared a new month in the Land of Israel, the message of the new moon was delivered to Jewish communities beyond the Land of Israel so that all Jews would be on synchronized calendars. JEWISH LEDGER
According to the Mishnah, the rabbis had a rather clever system of delivering the message about a new month: signal fires atop mountains. The idea was that once a new month was declared, a fire would be lit atop a mountain in Jerusalem, and then another one atop a neighboring mountain, and so forth –spreading the message of the new month quickly across the landscape. But this system did not work for very long. The Mishnah tells us that the Samaritans, a rival religious sect, sought to disrupt the fire signals by lighting their own fires to confuse the Jews. So, in the end, the month had to be declared by horse and rider. That could take a long time, and by the time the message got to Diaspora Jewish communities (particularly with regards to holidays that fall in the first day of the month, like Rosh Hashanah), it was too late – the holiday would have already passed! Thus the Diaspora communities took to hedging their bets by celebrating major holidays for two days rather than one to ensure that they would celebrate it on the same day as their fellow Jews in the Land of Israel. Today, in honor of that tradition, Jewish communities outside the Land of Israel continue to celebrate major holidays for two days, even though we have the technological capability to synchronize our calendars well in advance. This article first appeared on My Jewish Learning. |
MAY 14, 2021
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| MAY 14, 2021
ARTS & CULTURE The first Jewish documentaries funded through Jewish Story Partners BY GABE FRIEDMAN
(JTA) – The Jewish Story Partners foundation, which Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw helped found to fund Jewish-themed documentary films, announced recently its first slate of grantees. The 10 projects received a total of $225,000 from Jewish Story Partners, which has received initial funding from Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, the Maimonides Fund and the Jim Joseph Foundation. The films are: “Coexistence My Ass!” – Directed by Amber Fares The film follows Israeli comedian Noam Schuster, who is bent on using her standup routine to get Israelis to question their biases. “The Conspiracy” – Directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin The film looks at the history behind the lie “that a dangerous cabal of powerful Jews controls the world.” “Meredith Monk: Dancing Voice, Singing Body” – Directed by Billy Shebar and David Roberts The groundbreaking composer and choreographer, who has won the National Medal of Arts and a MacArthur grant, gets her own film. The pop legend Bjork is a co-producer. “Rabbi” – Directed by Sandi DuBowski The story of pioneering Rabbi Amichau Lau-Lavie “from drag queen rebel to rabbinical student to founder of Lab/Shul, an everybody-friendly, God-optional, artistdriven, pop-up experimental congregation.” “South Commons” – Directed by Joey Soloway The Jewish creator of “Transparent” takes a hard look at the racial tensions in the Chicago community in which they grew up. “Untitled Spiritual Care Documentary” – Directed by Luke Lorentzen Mount Sinai hospitals in New York appoint interfaith chaplain residents each year – this film follows four of them. “The Wild One” – Directed by Tessa Louise Salomé The story of Jack Garfein, an Auschwitz survivor who went on to play a key role in the Actors’ Studio group and taught the craft to some of the last century’s biggest stars.
“Heroes” – Directed by Avishai Mekonen and Shari Rothfarb Mekonen The tale of a group of EthiopianJewish activists who fought to keep their community alive in the 1970s to 1990s, a time of harsh dictatorship. “Joyva” – Directed by Josh Freund and Sam Radutzky The 100-plus-year-old Joyva company is among the most recognized JewishAmerican candy companies, whose delicacies often end up at holiday celebrations such as Passover. The film focuses on the founder’s greatgrandchildren, who are fighting to keep the business afloat. “Walk With Me” – Directed by Heidi Levitt Levitt tracks her husband’s battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience set to open in New Orleans (JNS) Officials with the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in New Orleans announced on Wednesday, May 5, that the new attraction will open to the public on May 27. Originally slated to roll out its exhibits in February 2020, it was delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Exhibits will explore the many ways Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities. The museum covers 13 states and more than 300 years of history, including colonial times, the Civil War, World War II and the civil-rights movement. “We are excited to announce an opening date after a pause as a result of the pandemic,” said museum chair Jay Tanenbaum. “Jews in the South formed bonds of deep friendship and communitybuilding with their non-Jewish neighbors. These stories show how people of different backgrounds come together to create the American experience. This can be a bridge to a better understanding and future for all of us.” Multimedia exhibits illustrate how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the American South. The museum also addresses issues of race and antisemitism, as well as ways that Southern Jews navigated them. The museum also continues to seek artifacts for its exhibits. For more information about donating artifacts, visit: www.msje.org/our-collection. jewishledger.com
AROUND THE WORLD
Amid pandemic, India’s Jews try to stay safe while offering relief to hardest hit BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
(JTA) – Nissim Pingle, the head of Mumbai’s Jewish community center, hasn’t left his home since March. That’s when COVID-19 began to overtake India. A second wave of infections has overwhelmed its health system and is producing a daily death toll of at least 4,000. The country is on track to have the world’s highest death toll by far, as stories pile up of people succumbing to the disease because they cannot access oxygen or hospital beds. India’s approximately 7,000 Jews, most of whom live in Mumbai, generally belong to the privileged minority with the means to self-isolate. But even within the community, India’s widely celebrated multigenerational households have increased anxiety about the virus’s onslaught. Pingle’s parents live with him, his wife and their two young sons. So as cases began to rise, he closed up the family home as a bulwark against the pattern he saw playing out around him. “Younger family members contract the virus, sometimes without symptoms, and transmit it to the elderly people in the household, who are much more vulnerable,” he said. Now Pingle, 41, is working to turn the JCC he runs, which usually hosts community events, into the base of operations for the aid effort to India by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which assists with disaster relief worldwide. The JDC, which funds the JCC’s work, is having three ventilators, each costing about $10,000, shipped from Israel to Indian hospitals, according to Pingle. It’s part of a global effort by Jews in India and beyond to combat what is quickly emerging as a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. The majority of Indians live on less than $3.10 a day, according to the World Bank, and the absence of basic sanitary conditions in some places, the prevalence of multigenerational households and a lockdown preventing many wage earners from working mean that many Indians are in deep need, even if they and their families survive COVID-19. “We are Indians first,” said Yael Jirhad, an occupational consultant from Mumbai. “It is heartbreaking.” Jirhad’s husband, Ralphy, is part of a Rotary Club effort in which members transport food and other essentials to needy jewishledger.com
HERZEL SIMON CELEBRATES CHANUKAH AT HIS HOME IN MUMBAI, INDIA, DEC. 29, 2020. (COURTESY OF SIMON)
residents of the city. The Mumbai Chabad House, run by Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky and his wife, Chaya, is raising money with donors from around the world who have funded Jewish outreach in the city to deliver food and other essential items to non-Jews living there and in nearby villages, where families largely depend on salaries earned in the city but now on hold due to the lockdown. Israel’s Foreign Ministry has begun dispatching thousands of oxygen generators to India, among other medical gear items. And ISRAid, an Israeli nonprofit, is also helping in the most affected areas with support from the American Jewish Committee. On Thursday, UJA Federation-New York, the largest Jewish federation in the United States, announced that it would send $200,000 in relief funds to India. The contributions represent a drop in the bucket of what’s needed: India is reaching new highs in cases and deaths daily, while its vaccination campaign has slowed. Grim pictures of mass cremations have become impossible to miss in global news coverage. The United States has cut off travel from the country. While the Jewish community has fared better than many others, there are signs that the crisis is also having an effect on
Indian Jews. The number of people from the Jewish community who asked the JDC for financial support or material aid increased by about 35% over 2019, according to a JDC official. About 160 community members are currently receiving support. Chabad is seeing a similar increase in requests for help by Jews, Kozlovsky said. For many Indian Jews, the effects have been more psychological. Jewish community life in Mumbai has ground to a halt since March. The city has seven active synagogues and three Jewish schools, although two of those have more non-Jewish students than Jewish ones. Mumbai also has a Jewish nursing home, Pingle’s Evelyn Peters JCC and several Jewish cemeteries. The Jirhads, whose two sons are living abroad, are the only residents of their home in Mumbai, where the average household has five members. Living away from their children and other relatives is at times difficult, Yael said, especially in a society where family is all important. But during the pandemic it has allowed the Jirhads to volunteer where help is most wanted without fearing that they would thus infect others in their household. The family of Herzel Simon, a member of the congregation of the Chabad-affiliated
synagogue in Mumbai, has been particularly careful not to contract the virus because they live with his father, who had a medical procedure in January, making him especially susceptible to complications of the disease. But Simon, 46, nonetheless caught the local variant of the bug, which scientists say is especially contagious. Simon displayed no symptoms, and the infection was discovered only after a blood test showed he had antibodies. His father has not displayed symptoms, but Simon said the experience made him worry about his father’s health. Staying home, even with the knowledge that a crisis rages around them, has had some silver linings for Pingle and his family. His elder son, 12-year-old Aviv, has more time to study for his bar mitzvah with Pingle’s 73-year-old father, Joshua, who for many years served as cantor at his local synagogue. “Like most Indian Jews, we are certainly better protected than the general population in India. But for my parents, isolation has been difficult because they really don’t go out of the house much at all,” Pingle said. “Yet it has made us even closer than before. And if we feel like we need to go to synagogue, we can always visit my father’s room. He has so many books there it looks like a shul.”
MAY 14, 2021
BY SHLOMO RISKIN
“And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of Reuven, Elizur the son of Shedeur. Of Shimon, Shelimuiel the son of Zurishaddai. Of Judah, Nachshon the son of Aminadav... “ (Numbers 1:5-7).
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or so long, Orthodox Judaism has been perceived by much of the world – even the Orthodox world – as a sheltered, oldfashioned way of life unwilling to take risks in the face of new challenges, preferring to retreat into its own shell like a turtle. A Midrashic comment on this week’s portion of Bamidbar makes the point that a conservative, risk-free existence is not a genuine Torah value. Certainly standing by on the sidelines is hardly a characteristic to be found in the person of Nachshon, prince of the tribe of Judah, who jumped into the Reed Sea in advance of the Egyptians. It was only after his demonstration of faith that the Almighty went the next step and split the Reed Sea. The Midrash (also recorded in B.T. Bava Batra 91a) points out that this courageous Nachshon had four sons, including Elimelech, husband of Naomi, and Shalmon, father of Boaz; hence Nachshon was father and grandfather of two major personalities in the Scroll of Ruth, which we will be reading shortly on Shavuot. In presenting such a genealogy, the Midrash stresses not only the characteristics of risk-taking by the descendants of Nachshon, but also what kind of risks are favored by the Torah and what kind are not. The fact is that courage and risk-taking, or the lack of it, may be seen as an underlying theme of the whole book of Bamidbar, records the history of the Israelites’ forty years of wandering in the desert. When the spies return with a frightening report about the Promised Land and the ability to conquer it (Num. 13-14), the Israelites demonstrate a total lack of resolve, fortitude and faith. They wail, they tremble, they plead not to go on with the mission. They are not prepared to take the risk of war even for the conquest of the Promised Land. Nachshon at the shore of the Reed Sea shines as the antithesis of a cowardly “desert generation.” Because of his fearless daring, the people were saved. Indeed, the Gaon of Vilna points out that the Torah first describes the Israelites as having gone “into the midst of the sea on the dry land” (Ex. 14:22), and later “on dry land in the
midst of the sea” (Ex. 14:29). The initial description refers to Nachshon and his followers who risked their lives by jumping into the raging waters. God made a miracle for them, the waters splitting into dry land and serving as a wall, homa, on the right and the left. The latter description refers to the rest of the Israelites who only entered after the dry land appeared; for them the waters also became a wall, but this time written without the letter vuv, which forms the alternate reading of hema or anger! Nachshon’s remarkable ability to take risks was transmitted to his son Elimelech and grandson Boaz. Hence, the Scroll of Ruth closes with the names of ten generations from Peretz (son of Judah) to King David, and Nachshon appears right in the center, the pivotal figure between the age of the patriarchs and the generation of monarchy-messiah. But while Nachshon and Boaz are to be praised for their risktaking, Elimelech can only be reviled for his. When a terrible famine descends upon Bethlehem, the home of Elimelech, he packs up and decides to start a new life in the land of Moab. Undoubtedly, this demonstrates courage on the part of Elimelech, the ability to risk the unknown in a strange environment. But his motivation was greed. He refused to share his bounty with his starving kinsmen, and he was willing to leave his homeland and his ancestral roots for the sake of his wealth. Hence, tragedy strikes. Elimelech dies, and his sons, inevitably, marry Moabite women. His progeny die as well, causing Elimelech to have reaped as his harvest only oblivion – from a Jewish point of view. In contrast, Boaz does not leave Bethlehem during the famine. And when the challenge arises to do an act of loving-kindness for Naomi and redeem Elimelech’s land, as well as to marry the stranger – Ruth, a convert – Boaz assumes the financial obligation and the social risk involved in the marriage. The descendant from this union turns out to be none other than King David, from whom the messianic line emerges. Elimelech’s risk was based upon greed, and forsaking his tradition; it ends in his death and destruction. Boaz’s risk was based upon loving-kindness, and results in redemption. The Elimelech-Boaz dialectic is a perennial theme in the Jewish world. Risk is positive, and even mandatory, from a Jewish perspective. The question we have to ask ourselves is the motivation, and that determines the result.
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD MAY 14, 2021 “All About Ruth” By: Yoni Glatt
Difficulty Level: Manageable
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ANSWERS TO MAY 7 CROSSWORD
Across 1. A husband of Ruth 5. Son of Ruth 9. Sister of Ruth 14. Cannes “film’” 15. “Sesame Street” veterinarian 16. “I didn’t ___ thing” 17. Father in law of Ruth 19. Mother in law of Ruth 20. “All About ___,” 1950 film 21. Audubon, for ex. 22. Tower topper, perhaps 25. Jerusalem’s Refaim 28. PG curse word 32. Tic-toe link 33. Devilish 36. Physics Nobelist Steven in
Obama’s Cabinet 37. Square measure 39. Jack or joker, e.g. 40. Mythical figure holding the world 42. A husband of Ruth 44. Nephew of Ruth (according to the midrash) 46. State with the smallest portion of Yellowstone 47. Rebbi Nachman city 49. It may be placed on a house 50. Fall month, for short 51. Jewish Astro superstar Alex 54. “Diff’rent Strokes” actress Charlotte 55. Figure skater’s feat
57. “What ___ could I do?” 58. Not allowed, in Judaism 60. Dobby of the “Harry Potter” books, e.g. 62. Org. for Nadal, Murray and Federer 63. Grandson of Ruth 66. Primary setting of Megilat Ruth 72. “___ Gay” (WWII bomber) 73. Iconic “Casablanca” role 74. Talk like Moses, maybe 75. Notable great-grandson of Ruth 76. Homeland of Ruth 77. Ruth is blessed by being compared to her
Down 1. Period prior to year zero, in dates 2. Temple service need 3. “___ maamin...” 4. Shabbos song 5. Admire too much, in a way 6. Strive (for) 7. “Britannica,” for one: Abbr. 8. “Yup”, to Boris 9. “How awful!” 10. Come to, as a conclusion 11. Kung ___ chicken 12. Gun location? 13. How some pronounce a word equal to 18 18. Ivri, for one 21. Hit the slopes 22. Need for a marathon
23. Issue in many time travel movies 24. Chamber within a glacier 25. Hebrew name meaning “G-d is with us” 26. Casablanca locale (Abbr.) 27. “Avengers” movie where Cap finally said “...assemble” 29. Cream-filled desserts 30. French manor house 31. Trump’s Jewish son-in-law 34. Prefix with tourism and terrorism 35. Ripken the Iron Man 38. Sound at a spa 41. Up to, in brief 43. High, arcing tennis shot 45. Words before “high note” or “lighter note”
48. British sports cars 52. Zebra, in sports? 53. A maj. league 56. Director Linka Glatter 59. Something cast 61. Make like Moses 62. Biblical king or fictional captain 63. “The West Wing” president Bartlet 64. Ending in many female names 65. Pt. of USSR 66. “___ Bum” (Shabbat song) 67. Orchestral ‘70s rock grp. 68. Confiscator of water bottles, briefly 69. “Giddyup!” 70. Einai preceder, in song 71. 65 on Rte. 66, say
MAY 14, 2021
Senator Schumer at Shiva for Meron Victim, Pinchos Menachem Knoblowitz Z”L
Jewish Biden supporters back Robert Wexler for ambassador to Israel (JTA) – At least three top Jewish Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have made representations to the White House to name Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman, to be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. The push, which has been joined by figures who led Joe Biden’s presidential election campaign in the Jewish community, intensified this week when it appeared that Biden had settled on Tom Nides, a former deputy secretary of state who is Jewish but whose Israel record is a relative blank slate. Underpinning the pressure to name Wexler is the hope that Biden names an ambassador who understands the sensitivities of the country and of the American Jewish community. Also a factor is Wexler’s familiarity with Arab players in the region, including the Palestinians. The three Jewish Democrats who have been pressing the issue are Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Jerry Nadler of New York. Deutch, who chairs the House Middle East subcommittee, replaced Wexler when Wexler quit Congress in 2010. Michael Adler, a Florida-based donor who has backed Biden presidential campaigns going back to the 1988 race, is, according to sources, leading the push for Wexler. Wexler has longstanding and deep ties to Israel and the pro-Israel community. He was the first Jewish member of Congress to back then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid in 2007. He left Congress in 2010 to lead the Center for Middle East Peace, a group that works behind the scenes to advance the two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He currently heads the Tel Aviv office of a major American lobbying outfit, Ballard Partners, but has not been a registered lobbyist for more than two years. Recently, Deutch told Haaretz, “He knows the issues, he knows the players, he’s well respected across the political spectrum and he understands the many challenges that come with that position. Hadar Susskind, the CEO of Americans for Peace Now, said he was hearing broad support for Wexler in the pro-Israel community, encompassing backers of liberal groups like his, but also backers of AIPAC, the powerhouse lobby: “In 48 hours I’ve heard from many members of Congress and Jewish community leaders, and they are a politically diverse group. APN supporters, AIPAC people, federation leaders, Jewish members of Congress, non-Jews, progressives and centrists. There is a lot of support for Robert out there.” The announcement is expected to be made by the end of May.
Senator Chuck Schumer paid an unannounced shiva call to the home of Reb Dovid and Tova Knoblowitz whose son Pinchos Menachem z”l lost his life in the Mount Meron tragedy on Lag B’Omer. During Schumer’s visit, a conversation ensued regarding the incredible power of faith that was constantly emphasized over and over by Pinchos Menachem’s father, which prompted Senator Schumer to share his perspective on faith and the centrality to one’s ability to go on with life saying “ there is a greater wisdom a reason we cannot understand; I have a deep faith in Hashem–I pray all the time.” Upon leaving the house the Senator said “ May Menachem Knoblowitz’s memory be a blessing. This was an absolute tragedy, and the family – and the families of all who lost loved ones – are in my prayers.”
US takes ‘principled decision‘ in skipping antisemitic Durban conference (JNS) Jewish leaders on Wednesday, May 5, praised the Biden administration for announcing that the United States will not participate in upcoming events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chair Dianne Lob, CEO William Daroff and vice chair Malcolm Hoenlein issued a joint statement in support of the administration’s decision. “We applaud the Biden administration’s decision to refuse to participate in commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the U.N. World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, which openly embraced antisemitism and antiIsrael extremism,” the statement read. “In declining to participate in celebratory events, the United States is rightfully rejecting the despicable hatred that was leveled against the Jewish state and the Jewish people 20 years ago. We encourage other nations to join the [United States] in continuing to fight racism, bigotry and antisemitism while rejecting and not participating in such odious proceedings.” The event is scheduled to be held on Sept. 22 and be called Durban IV. The move by the United States continues its policy of boycotting the event, which began after Israel and America dropped out of the original World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, which created the Durban Declaration singling out Israel as racist. It did not participate in Durban II in 2009 or Durban III in 2011, along with a growing list of nations also boycotting the conferences for its virulent antisemitism. A U.S. State Department spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post about the decision on Monday. “The United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the
| MAY 14, 2021
Durban process’s anti-Israel sentiment, used as a forum for antisemitism and freedom of expression issues,” the spokesperson told the Post.
German Jewish leaders alarmed by rise in politically motivated antisemitic crimes (JTA) – The number of politically motivated crimes rose sharply in Germany last year, including a 15% rise in antisemitic offenses. The total documented by the country’s federal police force is the highest since contemporary record-keeping began in 2001. German officials said new efforts are underway to help police officers identify antisemitic crime. The annual report by the Federal Criminal Police Office released last week showed an 8.54% increase in political crimes over 2019, to 44,692 crimes, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said. Within that total, the number of antisemitic crimes reported to police across the country rose to 2,351 from 2,032. The vast majority – 85 % – fell into the categories of incitement to hate, insults and propaganda, including Holocaust denial and glorification of Nazi ideology. Fifty-five were violent crimes. The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, called the news “absolutely alarming and evidence of Germany’s failure” to deal with the problem. According to the German media, Schuster said that anti-Jewish harassment is found “everywhere, on the street and on the internet.” Several antisemitism watchdogs noted that many cases are not reported to police. “A large darkfield study by the criminal investigation unit of the state of Lower Saxony [in the former West Germany] in 2017 showed that only 12% of hate crimes are reported overall,” Alexander Rasumny, a spokesperson for the Berlin-based Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism, or RIAS, which monitors and analyzes antisemitism, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Rasumny said the state’s criminal investigations department is preparing a follow-up study. Violent crimes with a political motivation jumped by 18.82% over the previous year. There were 11 murders in this category – nine in a right-wing extremist attack in February 2020 on a shisha bar in the city of Hanau. Right-wing extremism remains Germany’s largest domestic security threat, Seehofer said. The report found that 23,604 crimes were linked to right-wing perpetrators, an increase of 5.6%, while crimes linked to leftwing political ideologies rose 11.4%, to 10,971.
Decrying ‘social justice ideology,’ 49 people sign ‘Jewish Harper’s letter’ (JTA) – An open letter signed by about 50 prominent Jewish Americans is warning of the rise of “social justice ideology,” which is described as a “pernicious” force that is “antithetical to Judaism” and threatens to stifle free debate and democratic values in the United States. The group that organized the letter and many of its signatories say they were inspired by last year’s Harper’s letter, which made a similar argument about censorship of unpopular opinions in the public sphere. Signatories of the so-called “Jewish Harper’s letter” include prominent conservative writers Bret Stephens, Bari Weiss and Seth Mandel, major academics and authors such as Stephen Pinker and Daniel Gordis, as well as leading rabbis like David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. They were brought together by a new initiative called the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values. The letter calls on Jews to take action against the “suppression of dissent” that is said to be dominating the United States. “Jewish tradition cherishes debate, respects disagreement, and values questions as well as answers,” the letter says. “We members of the Jewish community add our voices to the growing chorus supporting our liberal principles, opposing the imposition of ideology, encouraging open discussions of challenging topics, and committing to achieving a more just America.”
Jared Kushner launches peace institute to advance Abraham Accords (JTA) – Jared Kushner has launched an institute to promote his major accomplishment when he advised former President Donald Trump: the normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Sunni Arab countries. Kushner founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace with Avi Berkowitz, a friend who Kushner brought in to be the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the latter part of his father-inlaw’s single presidential term, Axios reported on Wednesday. Berkowitz helped broker the accords last year that brought normalization agreements between Israel and Sudan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. The institute will promote trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges between Israel and the Arab countries. The other founders include Haim Saban, an Israeli American entertainment mogul who also is a major donor to the Democratic Party, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and the ambassadors of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to Washington. Rob Greenway, the senior Middle East official on Trump’s National Security Council, will be the executive director. Axios said that Kushner wants to bring more Democrats on board. The jewishledger.com
Abraham Accords is one of the few diplomatic initiatives launched by Trump that President Joe Biden has fully embraced. Kushner has laid low since Trump left office and has not pronounced on the false claims Trump peddles that Biden’s election was fraudulent. Kushner is reportedly no longer among his father-in-law’s political advisers.
Intel announces $600 million boost to Israel operations (Israel21c via JNS) Computing giant Intel Corp plans to invest an additional $600 million in their Israeli operations, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced last week. Gelsinger made the announcement during a one-day visit to Israel as part of a tour of Intel’s European operations, which included visits to Germany and Belgium as well. During the visit, Gelsinger met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he sees a “vibrant future” for Intel and Israel for decades to come. This announcement comes on top of Intel’s 2019 commitment to invest $10 billion in a new chip manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat. Most of the newly announced investment will be directed towards a new R&D campus in Jerusalem for MobileEye–a self-drivingcar technology firm, acquired by Intel in 2017 for just over $15 billion. Intel will be investing $400 million in the new campus for MobileEye, which the computing giant views as playing a “key part” in the company’s future. In 2019, Intel also acquired Israeli chip maker Habana Labs for $2 billion, and in 2020, it acquired the smart transportation planner Moovit for $900 million. The new MobileEye campus will join three additional Intel R&D centers in Israel, in Jerusalem, Haifa and Petah Tikva. The remaining $200 million is set to be diverted towards an R&D center in Haifa. The new center, dubbed IDC12, is to be erected alongside its existing Haifa development center, with the company planning to hire 1,000 new employees to develop what they are calling “chips of the future.” Intel is the largest private-sector employer in Israel. It started its operations in Israel in 1974, and is a central staple in the country’s booming tech industry. This article was first published by Israel21c.
Architect of World Trade Center memorial to lead Tree of Life reconstruction (JNS) Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh has announced the selection of an architect to lead its reconstruction and preservation following the October 2018 mass shooting at the temple, when 11 Jewish worshippers were shot and killed during Shabbat-morning services. New York-based architect Daniel Libeskind will spearhead the project along with the urban-design firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative of Pittsburgh, jewishledger.com
according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Libeskind, the son of Holocaust survivors, designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the World Trade Center memorial following the Sept. 11 attacks. “It is with a great sense of urgency and meaning that I join the Tree of Life to create a new center in Pittsburgh,” Libeskind said in a statement. “Our team is committed to creating a powerful and memorable space that addresses the worst antisemitic attack in United States history.” Plans include creating a home for the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s exhibits and public programs; and preserving and modernizing the synagogue’s main sanctuary space so that it will serve “as a flexible space for worship, celebrations, educational programming and communal events,” said Barb Feige, executive director of the congregation. She added that “Mr. Libeskind will also help us create a welcoming, commemorative space to reflect and remember the horrific events and lives lost on Oct. 27, 2018.” Other parts of the building, including a smaller chapel and rooms where the attack took place, will be demolished. Stainedglass windows from both the chapel and the sanctuary that depict biblical and historical Jewish themes will be preserved. Three congregations shared the building before the shooting: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash and New Light. Dor Hadash and New Light have decided not to return to the synagogue.
European intel agencies find Iran sought nuclear weapons (JNS) Iran sought on multiple occasions in 2020 to obtain technology for its nuclearweapons program, intelligence agencies from the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany said, according to a Fox News report on Monday, May 3. The General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands stopped “multiple acquisition attempts,” the agency wrote in its April report. “The joint counter-proliferation unit of the AIVD [the General Intelligence and Security Service] and the MIVD [the country’s Military Intelligence and Security Service] is investigating how countries try to obtain the knowledge and goods they need to make weapons of mass destruction. Countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea also tried to acquire such goods and technology in Europe and the Netherlands last year,” said the report. The Swedish Security Service said in its 2020 intelligence report that Iran tried to attain technology from its country for its nuclear-weapons program. “Iran also conducts industrial espionage, which is mainly targeted against Swedish high-tech industry and Swedish products, which can be used in nuclear weapons programs. Iran is investing heavy resources in this area, and some of the resources are used in Sweden,” the report said. Germany’s Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic
intelligence agency for the German state, said in its 2020 report: “Proliferation-relevant states like Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan are making efforts to expand on their conventional arsenal of weapons through the production or constant modernization of weapons of mass destruction.”
Joe Lieberman is lobbying Republicans to make DC a state (JTA) – Democrats who hope to make Washington, D.C., a state have tapped Joe Lieberman, known for his cross-party outreach, to make the case to skeptical Republicans. Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who is spearheading the bid in the Senate now that it has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, has picked Lieberman to make the sale. Lieberman, whose last acts in Congress included a D.C. statehood bill in 2012 that went nowhere, told Forbes he “would be glad” to make the case. A close Republican friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, told Forbes that Lieberman was on a mission impossible, saying the bill had “zero chance” among Senate Republicans. Since leaving the Senate in 2012, Lieberman has led efforts to promote bipartisanship. Despite a D.C. statehood bill passing the House on party lines this week, and despite the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the Senate, the statehood push faces daunting prospects. The Senate is split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the deciding 51st vote in case of a tie, but three senators in the Democratic caucus – Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Angus King of Maine – are not yet on board. Additionally, without the backing of 60 senators, Republicans will be able to filibuster the vote. Republicans say the bill is a bid to add two reliably Democratic senators. Democrats say the bill would enfranchise a city with a population larger than Wyoming or Vermont and that has a Black plurality. D.C. residents vote for president, but do not have voting congressional representation.
Release of suspect in Bronx synagogue attacks reignites debate over bail reform (JTA) – When a suspect in a series of synagogue attacks in the Riverdale section of the Bronx was released by a judge without bail Sunday evening, it revived a debate among Jews over New York state’s elimination of cash bail in most arrests – a measure hailed by progressive groups and challenged by law enforcement, Republicans and some prominent Jewish politicians. Jordan Burnette, 29, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with the rockthrowing attacks that shattered windows and glass doors at four synagogues in the heavily Jewish neighborhood starting the
weekend of April 24. He is facing 42 hate crime and other charges. At first, a judge set bail for Burnette at $20,000. Hours later, another judge overturned that decision and allowed Burnette a supervised release, saying a suspect with his charges cannot be held on bail under the current law. Under supervised release, suspects must regularly meet with a social worker while they await trial. If suspects do not comply with the reporting requirements, the judge can revoke the supervised release and return them to jail. In the days after Burnette’s release, several national organizations objected to the judge’s decision and called for the bail reform bill to be amended to allow judges to set bail for perpetrators of hate crimes. Among them was Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in California.“Change the no bail laws or New York may become the next Paris!” he said in a statement. “New York must not allow hate mongers to attack Houses of Worship with impunity. Twenty years ago, we witnessed similar scenarios occur in France, where judges refused to hold those who vandalized synagogues accountable. That soon escalated to fire-bombings, violence and even murder.” The bail reform law was modified in April 2020 to expand the types of serious crimes, including sex trafficking and grand larceny, under which judges could still set bail, as well for certain persistent offenders. The debate over bail reform first erupted in late 2019 and early 2020 when a series of antisemitic attacks on Orthodox Jews in New York City coincided with the passage of a bail reform package by the New York State Legislature. Most people arrested for a crime are not held in jail while they await trial. But those who could not afford bail could sit in jail for months or years until a trial took place. Advocates for the elimination of cash bail pointed to the case of Kalief Browder, a teenager who killed himself after being jailed at the city’s notorious Rikers Island for years while awaiting trial. But in the wake of the series of antisemitic attacks in New York City in late 2019 and early 2020, some Jewish leaders criticized the bail reform laws, claiming they were leading to an increase in crime. And after a woman named Tiffany Harris was arrested for assaulting a woman just days after her arrest for slapping three Orthodox Jewish women and subsequent release, the critics of bail reform grew louder. As objections to the reforms increased, more than 100 mostly progressive New York Jewish organizations, leaders and rabbis signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo supporting the bail reform law. Undoing the law, they wrote, “will perpetuate the racial and economic inequality that bail reform counteracted.”
MAY 14, 2021
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| MAY 14, 2021
JEWISH LIFE He left Brazil to become an Israeli lone soldier. Then he lost both parents to COVID. BY MARCUS M. GILBAN
AANANA, Israel (JTA) – When Thiago Benzecry left his home in Brazil’s Amazon region to join the Israeli navy, he knew he was putting significant distance between himself and his family, in more ways than one. He didn’t know it would be the last time he would see his parents in person. Benzecry landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in July 2019 with plans to study Hebrew and then volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces. It was a path he could hardly have imagined as a child in Manaus, where his father was a renowned Pentacostal church pastor and his mother was a party planner who supported her husband’s work. “I have never been afraid of my children’s future. Instead of giving a car when they turned 18, I always gave backpacks,” his father, Stanley Braga, wrote on social media to mark his son’s very first day in the Israeli military. Just months later, Braga was dead, and so was Benzecry’s mother, Vladya Rachel Benzecry, both victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Manaus became known to the world as a grim early hotspot in the Amazon rainforest. Braga was 49 when he died, his wife just 48. They had been married for 30 years. In Israel, Thiago Benzecry mourned without any family nearby to support him. Shortly after his parents’ deaths, he would be vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of Israel’s pace-setting inoculation drive. “I, the only one in my family not to contract the virus, am the first to receive the vaccine. What if they had had the same opportunity and the same conditions in Manaus? I felt a mix of relief and pain,” Benzecry told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Benzecry’s story has captured the hearts of supporters in both Israel and Brazil. In April, he was featured on the cover page of a major Israeli newspaper. A video testimonial posted the next day on the Israeli Defense Force’s Facebook page garnered nearly 100,000 views, “likes” and supporting messages. “My main goal is to honor my parents,” Benzecry told JTA from his bedroom in an immigrant absorption center in Raanana, the upscale Tel Aviv suburb known as Israel’s “Brazilian capital.” Much sought-after by English- and jewishledger.com
French-speaking new immigrants, Raanana is home to some 300 Brazilians and was recently declared a sister city with Rio de Janeiro. The 23-year-old Benzecry is not so different from his new neighbors, whose families found refuge in Brazil for only a few generations before making it to the Holy Land. Benzecry’s great-great-grandfather Jacob arrived in Brazil from Tetouan, Morocco, in the 1800s, as part of a wave of North African Jewish immigration. There he became the patriarch of a Sephardic dynasty in the Amazon. “The Benzecrys are among the most traditional Jewish families in the whole Amazon region, playing a pivotal role in the local economy, including trade, industry, engineering, medicine,and education,” said David Vidal Israel, president of the Amazon Israelite Committee, or CIAM, the equivalent of a local Jewish federation. “After a century, some 1,000 families had settled in the Amazon, lured by the rubber boom and by the quest for a land free of persecutions,” added CIAM director Anne Benchimol, who is also a descendant of Jacob Benzecry. “They soon created their own small communities as a way of securing their culture and tradition.” Thiago Benzecry’s paternal grandfather married someone who was not Jewish. So did his mother, who maintained ties to the Jewish community even as she devoted herself to supporting her husband’s Christian ministry. “They were both very dear to everyone here. I first met Vladya when I was a teacher at our elementary Jewish school and madrich [instructor] at the Jewish youth movement. She would also practice Israeli folk dance. Later, she started to organize many Jewish events,” Vidal Israel recalled. As a child, Benzecry said he considered himself Christian. “I experienced a dual religious identity and that’s where my education comes from,” he said. He found himself drawn to his Jewish heritage – and especially to Israel – as a teen. First, he attended a school owned by his mother’s aunt that was popular among Jewish families in Manaus. Then, at 16, he went on a 10-day tour of Israel operated by Birthright, the nonprofit that runs free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults. And
THIAGO BENZECRY (LEFT), NOW SERVING IN THE ISRAELI NAVY WITH HIS LATE PARENTS AND TWO BROTHERS. (COURTESY OF BENZECRY)
when he turned 18, he volunteered as a security guard at the Beit Yaacov Rabi Meyr, Manaus’ only synagogue. Three years ago, at 20, Benzecry decided to spend six months in Israel on Masa, a program that lets participants choose from various study, volunteer and professional opportunities in the country. He worked as a student intern at an incubator for hightech start-ups in Tel Aviv. “I was then able to know what Israel really was, the social and cultural nuances, the way that Israelis communicate, and have a clear idea of what I wanted,” Benzecry told JTA. “When I finally came on aliyah, it was not a first-time adventure anymore, which took the weight off my shoulders.” In order to make aliyah, or immigrate to Israel, Thiago Benzecry submitted a certificate showing that his maternal grandfather, Rubens, was Jewish. Born to a non-Jewish mother, Vladya’s own conversion was apparently not accepted by the Jewish Agency, which oversees immigration applications. But Benzecry was able to benefit from the Law of Return’s clause that gives every grandchild of a Jew the right to Israeli citizenship. “As I grew up and got more and more mature, I assumed my Jewish heritage and identity. Today, I’m Jewish,” Benzecry said. He added, referring to his Israeli ID card, “I am ready for conversion as part of the army because today my teudat zeut says I have no religion.” When Benzecry first arrived in Israel as an immigrant, he moved to Maagan Michael kibbutz, where he studied Hebrew at an ulpan, the government-subsidized Hebrew language school for new immigrants. Because he was already 22, he was not required to enlist in the military, but he chose to anyway. He joined Garin Tzabar, the program that supports soldiers-to-be who do not have a family in Israel. “The biggest difficulty of a lone soldier is undoubtedly being away from family and friends from the country of origin. Coming home for the weekend and not having anyone to talk to or hug is very difficult,” said Navy Maj. Rafael Rotman, who immigrated from Brazil in 1997 when he was 17 years old.
That dynamic only deepened over the last year, as the pandemic set in and made international travel unsafe and difficult. Israel has not allowed people who are not citizens to visit except in narrow instances since very early on in the crisis, in March 2020. As Manaus turned into a hotspot, Benzecry watched from afar as his father worked to support the city’s many impoverished families. Braga announced an effort to deliver 10,000 food baskets to families in crisis as part of his ministry. He also used his radio show to express support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro’s decision to keep the economy open despite the deepening pandemic. When he tested positive for COVID-19 last September, Braga wrote to his son from his hospital bed urging him not to worry. Benzecry was totally unprepared for the phone call a short while later telling him his father had died. Just as the father’s funeral was ending, Benzecry’s mother and 31-year-old brother collapsed and were soon diagnosed with the coronavirus. While his brother recovered, his mother died in late October, after six weeks in intensive care. Benzecry finished his tugboat mechanics training course before traveling to Brazil in December to visit his two brothers and 16-year-old sister. The next month, a brutal second COVID-19 wave overloaded Manaus’ health care system, again turning pictures of mass graves in the city into front-page news worldwide. Now, as Benzecry begins to consider what he will do after his military service is complete, he sees his future in Israel, not South America. “I’m proud to be Brazilian and that’s what I tell everyone, everywhere. Brazil is part of my story, a place of communion. It’s my family, my culture, a place I can always visit, but it’s not my target anymore. It’s just a remembrance. The world is too big,” he said. “My parents were the greatest supporters of my choices. The educational and cultural heritage I received from them is the reason why I’m here today. I feel like I’m also living their dream.”
MAY 14, 2021
WHAT’S HAPPENING Jewish organizations are invited to submit their upcoming events to the our What’s Happening section. Events are placed on the Ledger website on Tuesday afternoons. Deadline for submission of calendar items is the previous Tuesday. Send items to: judiej@ jewishledger.com.
against the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and trends in hate and racism. Co-sponsored by UJA/JCC, YWCA Greenwich. For more information or to register, visit adl.zoom.us.
THURSDAY, MAY 13 THRU SUNDAY MAY 16 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT
NOW THRU TUESDAY, JUNE 1 Art in Action: Young Artists’ Vision of 2020 The Mandell Jewish Community Center, in collaboration with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, will showcase “Art in Action: Young Artists’ Vision of 2020,” a collection of creative work that captured the thoughts and emotions of teens from across the Greater Hartford region during the Covid-19 crisis. During the fall of 2020, more than three dozen Greater Hartford artists, ages 13-19, submitted to the Hartford Foundation a variety of creative projects which reflected their energy and emotions during the pandemic. The artwork – in an array of art forms, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, poems and music – were subsequently featured at the Foundation’s annual stakeholder event and in a virtual gallery on the organization[’s website. The works will be on display at the Mandell JCC May 5–June 11. For more information, visit mandelljcc.org.
MONDAY, MAY 10 How to talk to your children about antisemitism Child psychologist Dr. Lynne Goldstein, ADL CT Deputy Director Marji-Lipshez-Shapiro, and ADL antisemitism educator Susan Walden, will have a candid discussion about age-appropriate ways to discuss antisemitism with children; strategies to respond when incidents happen; and tools to empower children to move forward after an incident, on May 10, 7 - 8 p.m. Register at https://adl.zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_u3aPV1FuQQOCLonMfPniuw.
THURSDAY, MAY 13 A conversation about Hate crimes and bias in CT ADL Connecticut will host a conversation on hate crimes, bias and the actionable steps we can take to ensure the safety of our communities on Zoom, May 13, 7:30 - 8:30 pm. Guest speakers will be CT Attorney General William Tong and ADL CT Regional Director Steve Ginsburg. The conversation will focus on hate crimes, the surge in incidents 22
The Italian film “A Starry Sky Above the Roman” will screen online, with English subtitles, at the 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT on May 13 - 16. The film , interlacing past and present, surrounds the discovery of a puzzling photograph which sparks a student to probe the history of Rome’s Jewish ghetto and the fate of a little girl. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 pm. Screening will be followed on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a Q&A with the film’s director Giulio Base. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.
SUNDAY, MAY 16 & MONDAY, MAY 17 Tikkun Leil Shavuot A virtual annual celebration of Shavuot, co-sponsored by Beth Tikvoh-Sholom and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, will be held May 16 and 17 at noon. Participation is FREE. For more information, call (860) 243-3576.
MONDAY, MAY 17 Monday Night Shavuot Young Israel of West Hartford will host a Shavuot program outdoors, with social distancing, May 17, 6:45 - 10 p.m. Participants may choose from numerous opportunities to learn with local scholars. Treats will be provided throughout the night. The evening will also include ‘breakfast for dinner, late night BBQ, s’mores and more. The parking lot will be closed for the program; please drop-off on the adjacent Seneca Road. Reservations a must by Friday, May 14. For more information or to register: (860) 727-6610.
TUESDAY, MAY 18 The Future of Persian Gulf Security The JCC in Sherman’s Great Decisions 2021 series will discuss the topic of “The Future of Persian Gulf Security” on Zoom, May 18, 7 - 8:30 p.m. FREE. For more information: jccinsherman.org/greatdecisions.
| MAY 14, 2021
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 Community Conversations on Racial Inequity The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Leadership Academy will launch a year-long community conversation on racism and its impact on Zoom, May 19, 7 - 8 .m. The conversation will begin with Isabel Wilkerson’s book The Warmth of Other Suns, which participants can read either as individuals or part of a group. Participants will receive a reading and conversation guide and invitations to a series of relevant, thought-provoking programs, initially over Zoom. To enroll in the program, email email@example.com. For more information, email abutler@jewishhartford. org.
THURSDAY, MAY 20 THRU SUNDAY MAY 23 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT The Israeli/German film “Kiss Me Kosher” will screen online, in Hebrew with English subtitles, at the 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT on May 20 - 23. Sparks fly when two families from wildly different cultural backgrounds collide to plan a same-sex wedding, in this screwball romantic comedy that crosses all borders.. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 pm. Screening will be followed May 23, 7:30 p.m. with director Shirel Peleg and producer Christine Günther. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com. 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT The short film “The Shaboos Goy” will screen online as part of the 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT on May 20 - 23. In this delightful comedic short God literally forbids Chana to turn off her vibrator gone rogue, so she sets out on a quest to find someone who can. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 pm. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.
SUNDAY, MAY 23 BTS FIlm Schmooze: “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” First, watch the film “Hava Nagila (The Movie),” a fun and fascinating journey through history, mystery and meaning of this great Jewish standard, featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and more (available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and
Google Play). Then join a virtual discussion of the film on May 23 at 7 p.m., led by Shari J. Cantor, who has an MA in Judaic Studies and has danced the hora at a wedding a time or two. For more information, call (860) 2433576. “L’Chaim 2Life,” virtual concert from “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” A virtual concert featuring selections from the hit Off-Broadway production “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” performed by the show’s award-winning star Steven Skybell, will be presented May 23 at 11 a.m. During the program, Skybell and Tony Award-nominated composer Zalmen Mlotek will share stories and first-hand experiences from the hit play. The program is presented by 2Life Communities, a Boston-area nonprofit senior living organization. The portion of the musical that is performed in Yiddish contains subtitles. The Yiddish-language production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was a huge OffBroadway hit. Originally scheduled to run for eight weeks, the show played for more than a year and a half, winning the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Skybell, who starred as Tevye, earned rave reviews. In addition to Skybell and Mlotek’s music, viewers will also get an introduction to the performance from Dr. Barbara Wallace Grossman, a renowned theater historian, director and professor at Tufts University’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and hear stories from 2Life residents about how the themes of “Fiddler on the Roof” connect to their own lives. The concert is FREE. For more information, visit 2LifeCommunities.org.
TUESDAY, MAY 25 “Hineni: Here for Each Other” virtual community celebration The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford presents “Hineni: Here for Each Other” on May 25, 7 - 8:15 p.m. The evening will feature a virtual interview with Lior Raz, star and co-creator of the hit Israeli Netflix series “Fauda, on May 25, 7 - 8:15 p.m. Attendees will receive a “celebration box” filled with kosher treats delivered to their door. Tickets are $36 per household. Paid reservations are required by May 11 to receive celebration box. Attendees are also asked to make a gift to the Federation’s 2021 Annual Campaign, payable by Dec. 331, 2021. For more information or to register: http://bit.ly/Hineni2021RSVP.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2 Spring Dinner with Jean Chatzky United Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy will host its Spring Dinner jewishledger.com
MAY 10 – JUNE 17 featuring guest speaker Jean Chatzky, CEO of HerMoney.com and host of the podcast HerMoney with Jean Chatzky, with live music by Arielle Eden. Masks required and all safety precautions and social distancing protocols will be observed. Zoom participation is also welcome. Pre-packaged dinner with wine tasting, crafts, Tricky Tray and silent auction at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the program at 7:30 p.m. $95/per person before May 21; $125/ after May 21. For Tricky Tray/auction ticket information, visit ujf.org.
THURSDAY, JUNE 3 THRU SUNDAY JUNE 6 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT “They Ain’t Ready for Me,” a feature-length documentary about Tamar Manasseh, the African American mother and rabbinical student who is leading the fight against senseless killings on the south side of Chicago, will screen online at the 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT on June 3 - 6. Tamar, who is both authentically Jewish and authentically Black, brings an understanding of both communities, even as she struggles for acceptance in the Jewish world. Screening will followed by director Brad Rothschild and Tamar Manasseh on June 6, 7:30 p.m. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 pm. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.
SUNDAY, JUNE 6 Friendship Circle Celebration The Friendship Circle of West Hartford will host a Covid-safe concert featuring the Rogers Park Band on June 6, 3 pm, in the parking lot of West Hartford Town Hall. Outdoor socially distanced seating or stay-in-car options available.Celebrate bar/bat mitzvah milestones that occurred during the past pandemic year, and applaud the children, teens and young adults living with and without disabilities whose friendships endured through these challenging times. Limited space; reservations required. $36/adults; $18/children. Register at friendshipcirclect.com.
TUESDAY, JUNE 15 Brexit: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead The JCC in Sherman’s Great Decisions 2021 series will discuss the topic of “Brexit: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” on Zoom, June 15, 7 - 8:30 p.m. FREE. For more information: jccinsherman.org/greatdecisions.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17 Virtual Spring Celebration honoring Rabbi Herbert Brockman Rabbi Herbert Brockman, rabbi emeritus at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, will be honored at a virtual celebration hosted by Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven on June 17 at 7 p.m. The evening will also include a look at the impact of JFS of Greater New Haven on the community. For more info: (203) 389-5599 x110, jfsnh.org.
Racial inequity the focus of “Community Conversations” series WEST HARTFORD – The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford (JCRC) and the Jewish Leadership Academy (JLA), both part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, will launch a year-long series of community conversations on racism and its impact later this month. Through Community Conversations, participants will explore similarities, differences, and intersections among the Jewish and Black experiences; identify and learn to dismantle the internal biases and external structures that reinforce racism; and develop empathic listening and advocacy skills to be better allies to Jews of Color and the Black community at large. While the series and resource materials are designed for a Jewish audience, everyone is welcome to participate regardless of religious or cultural affiliation. The series includes two cycles of programming. In the first cycle, which begins in May, individuals and groups are invited to read The Warmth of Other Suns by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson. It chronicles the real-life journeys of three Black Americans from America’s South to its northern and western cities during the Great Migration. Participants receive a guide to reading, discussion, reflection, and action, as well as invitations to related programs throughout the spring and summer. A community-wide discussion will take place in August. The second cycle will take place from late fall to winter and focus on a different book. The series is supported by a grant from Liberty Bank. An information session will be held on Zoom, Wednesday, May 19, 7 to 8 p.m. To register, visit https:// bit. ly/CCInfoSession519 or email Jody Angell at jody@jlahartford. org. For more information about Community Conversations, email Alana Butler at abutler@ jewishhartford.org.
KOLOT ‘Good Shabbos’ BY HOWARD MEYEROWITZ
ood Shabbos. Good Shabbos. What does this really mean?” David thought to himself on his way home Friday evening from shul. “Each Friday on my way to shul and returning home I’ll say this many times to the people I meet, and then Saturday morning the same thing on my way to and at shul, but I’ve never really given it much thought.” Still thinking about the meaning of ‘Good Shabbos’ David opened the front door to his secondfloor two-bedroom apartment where he and his wife, Chani, raised their three daughters, and the delicious aromas of Shabbos cooking caressed his nostrils. When he entered his kitchen David saw the table set for Shabbos dinner. There was the beautiful hand-crocheted lace tablecloth lovingly made by Great Tante Sophie that had adorned their Shabbos table for the past 50 years. Then there were the two mismatched plain solid brass candlesticks. One was a gift from Chani’s parents and one from his parents when they got married, because that was all they could afford at the time. Over the years friends, and even their daughters, had suggested replacing the candlesticks with newer and fancier ones, but for Chani and David the joy shown on the faces of their parents as they presented the candlesticks to their children could never be replaced. Next to the candlesticks was the silver kiddush cup they had acquired a few months after they were married. One pleasant spring Sunday afternoon as Chani and David were strolling through the Jewish commercial section of the city where they lived they spotted this kiddush cup in the window of Max Abrahamson’s second-hand store. The cup was tarnished and had a ding and a dent, but for some reason it caught the attention of the newlyweds and they knew it was meant for
them. Mr. Abrahamson, embarrassed to even sell the cup, gave it to them for free. With careful polishing and a little elbow grease the kiddush cup took on a new life and has been a shining presence on their Shabbos table ever since. The challah board was a gift early in their marriage from a woodworker they had befriended when he first immigrated to this country. He created this stunning board from pieces of oak and maple that he glued together and sanded and stained and brought to the fine luster that has held for decades. And, of course, there was the challah cover. This was a third grade Hebrew school project that was painstakingly crafted by their daughters who used a large new white linen napkin and indelible markers along with other coloring materials to create pictures and symbols that represented Shabbos. Except for a few wine and food stains this magical cloth continues to cover Chani’s homemade challahs each Shabbos. As David stood thoughtfully drinking in all that he saw, Chani, his beloved wife of fifty years, entered the kitchen dressed in her Shabbos best, thus completing the picture of what “Good Shabbos” means. Howard Meyerowitz is a Ledger staff member and a member of Beth El Temple in West Hartford. He lives in Bloomfield with his wife, Susan. The father of two grown daughters, he delights his two grandchildren with his original and imaginative Shabbat tales. Readers are invited to submit original work on a topic of their choosing to Kolot. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAY 14, 2021
OBITUARIES BURKE Pauline (Banet) Burke, 71, of Boca Raton, Fla., formerly of Wallingford, died April 29. She was the wife of William Burke. She was the daughter of the late Rose and Benjamin Banet. She is survived by her brother, Robert Banet; her sister Margery Jenetopulos and her husband George; her nieces and nephews; and many cousins. She was also predeceased by her sister-in-law Audrey Banet.
Air Force. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Alice Beck and her husband Lawrence, Scott Schachter, Lora Reisfeld and her husband David; and his grandchildren, Sara Beck Steinberger and her husband Jonathan, Andrew Beck and his wife Kate, Jason Reisfeld and his wife Allyson, Michael Reisfeld and his wife Amanda, and Jake Schachter; and his great-grandchildren, Spencer and Benjamin Steinberger and Oliver Beck.
GREEN Marilyn (Ginsberg) Green, 86, of Hamden, died May 3. Born in New Haven, she was the daughter of the late Harry and Frances (Jacobowitz) Ginsberg. She is survived by her children, Jeffrey Green, Allyson Green, Jonathan Green, Daryl Green and his wife Jennifer; her brother Gerry Ginsberg; her sister Beverly (Ginsberg) Franken; and seven grandchildren.
WEISS Morris Weiss. Born August 14, 1919 – deceased April 26, 2021. He graduated from Weaver High School in 1938. Morris attended Bentley College, and received a Bachelor’s degree in business. He served as a heavy machine gunner in the U.S. Army during World War II, deployed to Guadalcanal Bismarck Archipelago. After returning to Connecticut, he and his brother-in-law Saul Simon started a wholesale housewares business. Plastic Distributors became a large regional wholesaler, flourishing for over 30 years. Morris was predeceased by his parents Anna and Louis Weiss, sisters Rose Lubin and Faye Simon, wives Anna Baggish Weiss and Gloria Baron Weiss, son Jay B Weiss, and step-children Andrew Baron and Barbara Baron Miller. He is survived by his sister Sylvia Weiss Katz of Beachwood, Ohio, formerly of Hartford, CT and Pittsfield, MA, and by many nieces, nephews, step-children and stepgrandchildren. Moe brought love, joy and positivity everywhere he went, and his playful nature and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him. Morris lived in Bloomfield, Conn. and then retired to Delray Beach, Florida. At the time of his death he was living in Pompano Beach, Florida.
ROSENBLATT Harold Marvin Rosenblatt, 77, of Trinity, Fla., formerly of West Hartford, died May 5. He was the husband of Sandra Rosenblatt. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Herman and Marion Rosenblatt. In addition to his wife, he is served by his children from his first marriage, From his first marriage, he is survived by his children from his first marriage, Sarah Dreyer and her husband Darryl, Robert Rosenblatt and his wife Susan, and Howard Rosenblatt; his grandchildren, Jacob Dreyer, Zachary Dreyer, Alyssa Dreyer, Sophia Dreyer, Joseph Rosenblatt, Emma Rosenblatt, Charles Rosenblatt, Avraham Rosenblatt and Adiel Rosenblatt. SCHACHTER Abraham Schachter, 89, of Bridgeport, died April 28. He was the husband of Phyllis Schachter. Born in Bridgeport, he was the son of the late Isadore and Frieda Schachter. He served honorably as captain in the United States
For more information on placing an obituary, contact: judiej@ jewishledger.
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| MAY 14, 2021
19-year-old victim of drive-by West Bank shooting dies BY RON KAMPEAS
(JTA) – One of the three 19-year old yeshiva students shot in a drive-by shooting this week in the West Bank has died of his wounds. The Israeli army meantime apprehended a suspect in the shooting. Yehuda Guetta died Wednesday and was buried Thursday. Assailants had opened fire on the students, who were waiting Sunday. May 5, at a bus stop at the Tapuach Junction in the northern West Bank. They all attended a yeshiva in Itamar, near the junction. The wounded students are Benaya Peretz and Amichai Hala. The suspect, Muntassir Shalabi, was apprehended Wednesday, May 7. Shalabi, who is in his 40s, had returned recently from the United States, Haaretz reported, quoting residents of Turmus Ayya, a village in the northern West Bank. He had gambling debts, they said. No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, although Hamas and Islamic Jihad have praised it. Separately, Israeli troops shot dead a
AN UNDATED FAMILY PHOTO OF YEHUDA GUETTA, A 19-YEAR OLD WHO DIED OF WOUNDS SUSTAINED IN A WEST BANK DRIVE-BY SHOOTING ON MAY 5, 2021
Palestinian 16-year-old during clashes in the northern West Bank. The army said troops fired on suspects who were throwing firebombs and that it was investigating the incident. Palestinian health authorities said Saeed Yusuf Muhammad Oudeh was shot in the back in the village of Odla, Haaretz reported.
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CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org. BLOOMFIELD B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/ Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Conservative Rabbi Debra Cantor (860) 243-3576 office@BTSonline.org www.btsonline.org BRIDGEPORT Congregation B’nai Israel Reform Rabbi Evan Schultz (203) 336-1858 email@example.com www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Cantor Niema Hirsch firstname.lastname@example.org www.rodephsholom.com CHESHIRE Temple Beth David Reform Rabbi Micah Ellenson (203) 272-0037 office@TBDCheshire.org www.TBDCheshire.org CHESTER Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Reform Rabbi Marci Bellows (860) 526-8920 email@example.com www.cbsrz.org
COLCHESTER Congregation Ahavath Achim Conservative Rabbi Kenneth Alter (860) 537-2809 firstname.lastname@example.org
Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Kevin Peters Cantor Sandy Bernstein (203) 869-7191 email@example.com www.templesholom.com
EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 firstname.lastname@example.org
HAMDEN Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 email@example.com www.tbshamden.com
FAIRFIELD Congregation Ahavath Achim Orthodox (203) 372-6529 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ahavathachim.org Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Marcelo Kormis (203) 374-5544 email@example.com www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kolhaverim.org GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 email@example.com www.grs.org
MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Stacy Offner (203) 245-7028 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org email@example.com www.myshul.org MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Nelly Altenburger (860) 346-4709 firstname.lastname@example.org www.adathisraelct.org
NEW HAVEN The Towers at Tower Lane Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader Sarah Moskowitz, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 email@example.com www.towerlane.org Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel Conservative Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen (203) 389-2108 office@BEKI.org www.BEKI.org Orchard Street ShulCongregation Beth Israel Orthodox Rabbi Mendy Hecht 203-776-1468 www.orchardstreetshul.org NEW LONDON Ahavath Chesed Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg 860-442-3234 Ahavath.firstname.lastname@example.org Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Earl Kideckel (860) 442-0418 email@example.com www.bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 email@example.com www.congadathisrael.org
NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 firstname.lastname@example.org bethisraelchabad.org
Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar (203) 866-0148 email@example.com www.templeshalomweb.org ORANGE Chabad of Orange/ Woodbridge Chabad Rabbi Sheya Hecht (203) 795-5261 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadow.org Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 email@example.com www.orshalomct.org SIMSBURY Chabad of the Farmington Valley Chabad Rabbi Mendel Samuels (860) 658-4903 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadotvalley.org Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, Emek Shalom Reform Rabbi Rebekah Goldman Mag (860) 658-1075 email@example.com www.fvjc.org SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbhsw.org
WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 info@bethisraelwallingford. org www.bethisraelwallingford. org WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 email@example.com www.jewishlife.org WATERFORD Temple Emanu - El Reform Rabbi Marc Ekstrand Rabbi Emeritus Aaron Rosenberg (860) 443-3005 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tewaterford.org WEST HARTFORD Beth David Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adler (860) 236-1241 email@example.com www.bethdavidwh.org Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Ilana Garber (860) 233-9696 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethelwesthartford.org Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 email@example.com www.chabadhartford.com
SOUTHINGTON Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation Reform Rabbi Alana Wasserman (860) 276-9113 President@gsjc.org www.gsjc.org TRUMBULL Congregation B’nai Torah Conservative Rabbi Colin Brodie (203) 268-6940 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaitorahct.org
Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 email@example.com www.cbict.org Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jewishrenewalct.org
Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 email@example.com www.kehilatchaverim.org The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 firstname.lastname@example.org www.emanuelsynagogue.org United Synagogues of Greater Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Eli Ostrozynsk i synagogue voice mail (860) 586-8067 Rabbi’s mobile (718) 6794446 email@example.com www.usgh.org Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 firstname.lastname@example.org www.youngisraelwh.org WESTPORT Temple Israel Reform Rabbi Michael S. Friedman, Senior Rabbi Rabbi Danny M. Moss, Associate Rabbi Rabbi Elana Nemitoff-Bresler, Rabbi Educator (203) 227-1293 email@example.com www.tiwestport.org WETHERSFIELD Temple Beth Torah Unaffiliated Rabbi Seth Riemer (860) 828-3377 firstname.lastname@example.org templebethtorahwethersfield. org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 email@example.com www.bnaijacob.org
MAY 14, 2021
Chag Shavuot Sameach! Blintzes
An d So Mu Mo ch re!
The Crown Market 2471 Albany Ave West Hartford, CT 06117
The Crown Will Be Closed, In Observance of Shavuot: Monday 5/17 Tuesday 5/18 We Re-Open Wednesday, 5/19 during our regular business hours
HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department, Sushi, Pizza and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS! 28
| MAY 14, 2021