Friday, June 18, 2021 8 Tammuz 5781 Vol. 93 | No. 25 | ©2021 jewishledger.com
Summer Reading 1
| JUNE 18, 2021
106th ANNUAL MEETING M A N D E L L
J C C
WHAT A DIFFERENCE
THIS YEAR AND EVERY YEAR
Welcome Our New Head Tennis Pro
Make this summer memorable! Relax and unwind with the JCC’s ultimate summer retreat.
The Swim & Tennis Club is an extension of the JCC, a family summer oasis bringing the same Jewish values. Conveniently located in Bloomfield, The Swim Club features one of the region’s largest Olympic-sized recreational swimming pools with a slide, parent-friendly kiddie pool, children’s playscapes and sandpit, along with 8 tennis courts – 4 Har-Tru and 4 asphalt. For more information: Sara Billings, 860-231-6331, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Join Us to Celebrate June 23, 2021 | 7:00pm | Zoom Celebrate the exciting accomplishments from the past year and get a sneak peek of what’s ahead.
• Honor our outgoing Board President, Peter Fishman • Hear from our new board president, Brad Drazen • Celebrate staff anniversaries • Pay tribute to our community partners
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| JUNE 18, 2021
CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JUNE 18, 2021 | 8 TAMMUZ 5781
8 Around Connecticut
18 What’s Happening
A DONE DEAL........................................................................... 5 Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, was removed from the job in a razor-thin vote in the Knesset. He was replaced by former ally Naftali Bennett.
Welcome to New Haven...................................................... 5 With both Jewish and Mexican roots, Beth El-Keser Israel’s new spiritual leader Rabbi Eric Woodward hopes to connect with both interfaith and mixed-race Jews.
Questioning God................................................................... 4 An excerpt from a past interview with the late Dr. Richard Rubenstein, author of the groundbreaking book After Auschwitz.
#online Antisemtism.........................................................15 Young Zionist Jews say they’re fighting antisemitism on social media. What are they accomplishing?
19 Torah Portion
21 Business and Professional Directory
ON THE COVER:
Summer is the perfect time to take a break and lose yourself in a good book. What to read? First, we checked the Jewish Book Council at www.jewishbookcouncil.org for a list of books with Jewish content or Jewish themes – both fiction and nonfiction – that were published in 2020/2021. Then we found 100 Jewish children’s books for the family bookshelf, created by the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Jewish Grandparents Network. Take a look to find books for everyone in the family. PAGE 12 jewishledger.com
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Revisting the work of the late
Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein
heologian, author, and educator Dr. Richard Lowell Rubenstein died this past May in Bridgeport. The University of Bridgeport professor was known for his groundbreaking works on the meaning of Judaism, religious life, and contemporary civilization in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the rise of the state of Israel. His 1966 book, After Auschwitz: Radical Theology and Contemporary Judaism (1966;1992) was among the first to systematically probe the significance of Auschwitz for post-holocaust religious life and initiated debate which continues to this day. In 2016, on the 50th anniversary of its publication, Dr. Rubenstein discussed his landmark – and controversial – book After Auschwitz with Judith Shapiro. An excerpt from that interview is reprinted here. JUDY SHAPIRO: After Auschwitz provoked considerable controversy when it was first published in 1966. When I asked you why, you gave me two reasons. The first reason was that you were asking the one question that major Jewish thinkers were avoiding. What question were Jewish thinkers avoiding, and why? RICHARD RUBENSTEIN: They were avoiding the question of God’s special relationship to Israel. Belief in that relationship – in God’s Covenant with Israel – had sustained us for almost 2,000 years, in the face of expulsions, pogroms, and blood libels. The Covenant sustained us because it provided a rationale for our successes as a people, but also more pointedly, it provided a rationale for the catastrophes that befell us. The catastrophes were regarded as punishment for disobeying God’s commandments. Thus, the Prophet Amos (ca. 750 BCE), spoke of the Covenant: “You, only, have I chosen from among all the peoples of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you your sins.” (3:2) The credibility of that rationale was severely challenged by the Holocaust. A pogrom could be seen as divine punishment; the Final Solution, whose objective was extermination, could not. According to contemporary scholars, the centrality of the Covenant commenced with the reforms of King Josiah of Judah, the southern kingdom, (2 Kings 23) in the seventh century B.C.E. The Jews were still worshipping idols and Josiah used the Covenant with God to impress upon the Jews that they had to be quit of their pagan practices, which included child sacrifice and ritual prostitution, and return to God and his commandments. If not, God would surely punish them. On the other hand, if
DR. RICHARD L. RUBENSTEIN
they obeyed God, they would be blessed. Those were the terms of the Covenant and the special historical role of the Jews as the Chosen People. That is how both Jews and Christians came to understand the Covenant. The difficulty of maintaining belief in such a Covenant for Jews after Auschwitz struck me with full force when, as the guest of the Bundespresseamt, the Press and Information Office of the West German Government, I interviewed the German theologian and churchman, Heinrich Gruber on August 17, 1961, four days after the Berlin Wall went up, a very scary time. Gruber had opposed Hitler and spent three years in concentration camps for his attempts to help the Jews. He was no antisemite. After the War he became dean of St. Mary’s Church in Berlin. What he said to me when we met was this: “It was God’s will to send Hitler to punish the Jews at Auschwitz.” What he was saying was no different from what Jewish theologians were thinking, even if they couldn’t say it outright. His words, after all, were in keeping with the traditional notion of the Covenantal relationship dating back to King Josiah. There was no way I could accept what he said. JS: Does this mean that God’s Covenant with the Jews post-Holocaust no longer exists? RR: It means that the Covenant with the Jews – the special status claimed for the Jews as the Chosen People, conditioned on their obeying the Holy Law or being punished for disobeying – was no longer credible. What worked for Josiah is not CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JUNE 18, 2021 | 8 TAMMUZ 5781
Naftali Bennett sworn in as head of 36th Israeli government BY BEN SALES
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER NAFTALI BENNETT AT THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT AT THE KNESSET. (CREDIT: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
(JTA) – After 12 years, seven elections and three corruption charges, Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer the prime minister of Israel. Netanyahu, who served as Israel’s leader continuously beginning in 2009 and holds the distinction of being the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was removed from the job in a razor-thin vote in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Sunday. The vote, 60-59, installed a new government with the narrowest of majorities, composed of eight parties spanning Israel’s political spectrum and dedicated to one goal: ending the Netanyahu era. The new government is headed by Naftali Bennett, a right-wing former deputy of Netanyahu who broke away from him. Bennett is the son of American immigrants to Israel and as an adult lived for a time in New York City. He speaks fluent English. In an address before the vote, Bennett thanked Netanyahu for his years of service, even as members of Netanyahu’s Likud party heckled him and shouted in attempts to drown out his speech. Bennet pledged to work on behalf of all Israelis. and to extricate Israel from the electoral crisis that has frozen its politics for two years, sending Israelis to the polls in four largely inconclusive elections since 2019. “We are facing an internal challenge, jewishledger.com
a divide in the people that is being seen at these very moments,” he said as the shouting continued. Bennett’s governing coalition is remarkable and unprecedented in ways that also make it appear precarious. It is the first government in Israeli history to include an independent Arab-Israeli party, the Islamist Raam, as a partner. It includes parties that are both staunchly right-wing and staunchly left-wing, in addition to two centrist parties. It has a record number of women serving as ministers. It was made possible only because several former close allies of Netanyahu joined his rivals. That group of Netanyahu defectors includes Bennett, whose Yamina party holds only six of the Knesset’s 120 seats but served as a linchpin for the new coalition. The largest party in the coalition is the centrist Yesh Atid, which is headed by Yair Lapid. Lapid is slated to take over as prime minister in 2023, and will serve as foreign minister until then. Choosing to skip his prewritten speech Sunday, Lapid denounced the hecklers in the parliament and apologized to his mother for the spectacle. “I wanted her to be proud of the democratic process. Instead, she and every other citizen is ashamed of you, and reminded of why it is necessary to replace you,” he said. The day was not without drama, a fitting end to recent weeks in which the future shape of the Israeli government was tense and uncertain. Netanyahu, who has called the new government dangerous and fraudulent, has put heavy pressure on the incoming coalition’s right-wing members to return to his side. In his final speech as prime minister, delivered ahead of the vote, he attempted to remind members of the parliament why he should remain as prime minister, running through a list of his accomplishments and warning that the new government would not be able to stand up to the security threats Israel would face, particularly from Iran. “The prime minister of Israel must be able to say no to the American government,” Netanyahu warned, referring to attempts by the Biden administration to revive the
BEKI finds the right new rabbi in Eric Woodward
BY STACEY DRESNER
Iran deal. Following the vote of confidence, Netanyahu shook Bennett’s hand before moving to his literal new seat in the Knesset. Under the new government, Netanyahu is leader of the parliamentary opposition, which is mostly made up of his Likud party and its right-wing religious allies. (Ayman Odeh, a Knesset member and head of the Arab Joint List, welcomed the outgoing prime minister to the opposition in a tweet Sunday.) In his speech, Netanyahu predicted that the new government will not last long, and that he would soon return to power. Whether that prediction bears out depends on how well the new, ideologically incongruous government can hold together. It is sharply divided on nearly all of the core questions facing Israeli society – from the future of the West Bank to LGBTQ rights. One potential area of common ground involves religious policy. This is the first government since 2015 that does not include haredi Orthodox parties. That means state funding for haredi institutions may be cut, and Israel could see liberalization of its laws regarding Jewish conversion, public transportation on Shabbat and a space for non-Orthodox worship at the Western Wall. For now, however, the new government has accomplished its primary objective: removing Netanyahu from office. Netanyahu, who also served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999, had become nearly synonymous with Israel during his decade-plus in power. He was known internationally for his campaign against the Iranian nuclear program and for his close personal involvement in Israel’s relations with the United States – from his frosty relationship with Barack Obama to his close friendship with Donald Trump. Within Israel, supporters hailed him for a long stretch of steady economic growth; relative security, day-to-day, for Israelis; close relationships with world leaders; the string of normalization deals last year with several Arab states; and, recently, a world-leading CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
EW HAVEN – Raised in an interfaith and mixed-race family in Los Angeles, Rabbi Eric Woodward says he knows “what it’s like to feel on the margins.” His mother Lisa is an Ashkenazic Jew, and his father Michael was raised Catholic by his mother Maria who immigrated at the age of six to the U.S. from Oaxaca, a state in the south of Mexico. “Something that’s been really important for me over the years is to be particularly welcoming to interfaith families, or to RABBI ERIC WOODWARD Jews of color or other people of color, or to connect to other non-Jewish communities that are near us. That’s a really important part of my rabbinate. “People who have come from an interfaith background, whether that means that they’re the child of an interfaith relationship or they’re in an interfaith relationship, can sometimes feel less than,” he added. “So, I try to make sure that when I’m on the bimah I’m very transparent about growing up in an interfaith family because I think it’s important for people to feel that normalization is okay – that it’s really all right to be from this background.” Rabbi Woodward will be expressing those ideas of acceptance and inclusion on the bimah of Congregation Beth El Keser Israel (BEKI) starting July 1 as the synagogue’s new rabbi. Woodward has been working at BEKI remotely since the beginning of June while his two daughters finish school in Blue Bell, Pa. where he most recently served as senior rabbi of Tiferet Bet Israel. He is relocating to Westville with his wife, Katharine Baker, the publications director for the Rabbinical Assembly; and daughters, Ayelet, 8, and CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
Briefs Writers remove references to Anne Frank and Israel from their novels following social media complaints (JTA) – Bestselling authors Elin Hilderbrand and Casey McQuiston removed references to Anne Frank and Israel from their novels this week following an outcry on social media from small subsets of readers. The moves have ignited a storm of controversy in the literary world. The campaigns against the books have been successful despite appearing to be relatively small in size and originate from wildly different perspectives on Jews and Israel. One takes the authors to task for a joke perceived as antisemitic, while the other objects to the mere mention of Israel. In the former case, the first edition of Hilderbrand’s new novel, “Golden Girl,” contains a line of dialogue in which two teenage girls in Nantucket discuss a plan for one of them to hide in her friend’s attic for the summer. One of the girls then jokes that she would be “like Anne Frank.” Some readers on Instagram said the joke was antisemitic and demanded an apology from Hilderbrand. The author issued one and announced she would be removing the passage from future printings of the book. McQuiston, a romance novelist, is taken to task for the 2019 novel “Red, White & Royal Blue,” about a romance between the son of the U.S. president and a prince of England. The president jokes that the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations “said something idiotic about Israel, and now I have to call Netanyahu and personally apologize.” A handful of Twitter users wrote that even mentioning Israel in fiction “normalizes” the occupation of Palestine. Their complaints were amplified by a fan account of the book, which prompted McQuiston to say the line would be changed for future printings. McQuiston has a new book coming out this year. Several compared the incidents to other recent campaigns against young-adult novels for perceived cultural insensitivities, saying that many readers on social media have lost the ability to distinguish between a character’s points of view and the author’s.
Journalist who vandalized Warsaw Ghetto wall is teaching British teachers about antisemitism (JTA) – A journalist who wrote “Free Gaza and Palestine” on the walls of the former Warsaw Ghetto has been tasked with teaching members of a British teachers 6
union about antisemitism. Ewa Jasiewicz, who spray-painted the slogan in Poland in 2010, has given three sessions titled “Understanding Antisemitism,” the Jewish News of London reported Tuesday. Separately, another journalist for Sky News, Mark Stone, has apologized for writing on Twitter Tuesday to a Jewish person who had complained about antisemitism that “the ‘Jew hatred’ you experience is actually the consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies; their prolongation of an untenable occupation.” Criticized for questioning or excusing antisemitism, Stone wrote: “Very sorry if my last Tweet suggested that anti-semitism is in anyway imagined” or caused by Israel. Jasiewicz prior to her sessions asked participants to read materials that “challenge common Eurocentric understanding of antisemitism” and prepare to hear “four prominent black British Jews discuss their experiences of racism in the Jewish community.” The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, called Jasiewicz’s role “grotesque” in a letter Wednesday to the teachers union.
Russian-Israeli tennis player Aslan Karatsev reaches French Open mixed doubles final (JTA) – Perhaps it’s beginners luck: Russian-Israeli tennis player Aslan Karatsev, playing mixed doubles for the first time, has reached the finals of the French Open with partner Elena Vesnina. Maybe not: At the Australian Open in February, Karatsev had an amazing run, reaching the semifinals before losing to the eventual champion, Novak Djokovic. That was his first Grand Slam tournament in singles or doubles. Karatsev and Vesnina now have their sights set on playing mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics starting next month. Karatsev, 27, was born in the North Caucasus region of Russia. His maternal grandfather is Jewish, and he moved to Israel when he was 3 years old. He left at 12 and said the Israel Tennis Association’s lack of funding was a major factor pushing him to leave. His mother and sister remained in Israel. Karatsev will be representing Russia in singles at the postponed Olympics due to his ranking, No. 26 in the world as of May, and he reached out to his fellow Russian Vesnina, 34, a women’s doubles champion, about the possibility of competing in the mixed doubles draw. “We spoke before the tournament, like two months ago, and I asked her to try to play mixed with me,” Karatsev said. “I was asking her if she wants to play mixed because it’s a good opportunity to play [in
| JUNE 18, 2021
the] Olympics together. She has a good experience. She’s had a great career in the past [and] she continues right now after she stopped for two years.” (Vesninia stepped away from tennis after giving birth to her daughter in November 2018.) “I was honestly surprised when I saw the message from him,” Vesnina joked. “He texted me in February. He was like, ‘Oh hey, do you want to play mixed with me at the French?’ And I was like, ‘Aslan, it’s only February!’” That text has paid off: Karatsev and Vesnina defeated the third-ranked Dutch team of Demi Schuurs and Wesley Koolhoof, 6-4, 6-1, in the semifinals on Tuesday. They will face American Desiree Krawczyk and Brit Joe Salisbury in the finals on Thursday. Karatsev lost in the second round of the singles draw.
Netanyahu’s political party says his claims of ‘election fraud’ are different from Trump’s (JTA) – When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that his rivals are perpetrating the “greatest electoral fraud in the history of the country,” he’s not actually talking about voter fraud or negating a peaceful transfer of power, his Likud party said. In a series of tweets in English Thursday, Likud sought to dispel the idea that Netanyahu was casting doubt on the actual results of the recent Israeli election or opposing a peaceful transfer of power. The tweets came after Netanyahu said in a speech that the incoming government set to replace him is the result of historic fraud and “endangers the State of Israel in a way we haven’t seen for many years.” In the United States and Israel, the speech drew comparisons to then-President Donald Trump’s rhetoric ahead of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. The Twitter postings seemed designed to rebut that comparison. “When PM Netanyahu speaks about ‘election fraud’ he isn’t referring to the vote counting process in Israel in which he has complete confidence,” Likud wrote. “There is also no question about the peaceful transition of power. There always has been a peaceful transfer of power in Israel and there always will be.”
In significant verdict, French court sentences Holocaust denier to 5 years for making death threats (JTA) – A blogger who posted videos of himself calling for the murder of prominent French Jews was sentenced to five years in prison by a court in France. The sentence, for promoting terrorism
and making death threats, is among the harshest in recent years in France over such offenses. The tribunal of Cusset, a town near Vichy in central France, handed down its guilty verdict and sentence on Thursday to Ahmed Moualek, 53, who had posted death threats against Gilles William Golnadel and Alain Jakubowitz, two well-known Jewish lawyers, as well as journalist Elisabeth Levy, La Montagne reported. Moualek is a former associate of Dieudonne M’bala M’bala and Alain Soral, Holocaust deniers who 10 years ago founded the now-defunct Anti-Zionist Party. Moualek was among the party’s founders. On the 2019 anniversary of the 2015 murder of four Jews by a jihadist at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, Moualek posted a video addressed to “the dirty Jews” in which he said, “You know it would have pleased me no end if the Shoah existed but I’m just sorry you weren’t on the train.”
Belfast City Council calls for Israeli ambassadors to be expelled from UK and Ireland (JTA) – The City Council of Belfast in Northern Ireland passed a motion calling on the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland to expel Israel’s ambassadors to those countries. In addition to the vote in Belfast, the capital of the British region of Northern Ireland, pro-Palestinian students and activists staged a sit-in protest on Thursday in front of the Foreign Ministry of Ireland in Dublin. They blocked the entrance for hours, waving signs urging Ireland to expel the Israeli ambassador. “I think the expulsion of ambassadors is a first step – a preliminary step – to greater action, but it’s an incredibly important and symbolic step,” Fiona Ferguson, a far-left politician who initiated the voting, said during the voting session, the Jewish Chronicle of London reported. The motion calls on the municipality to urge Ireland and the U.K. “to expel from office Israeli ambassadors, with immediate effect.” It passed with votes from left-wing parties including Sinn Fein, the council’s largest party with 18 seats out of 60. But opposition parties voiced their disapproval of the motion. “The Jews are the original indigenous inhabitants of Palestine and as such have the right to exist as a nation state,” said John Kyle of the Progressive Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. “Israel is confronted by organizations which do not recognize its right to exist … and this is antisemitism.” On May 21, Israel and Gaza militants ended an 11-day exchange of rockets that killed more than 230 people on the Palestinian side and 12 in Israel.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Tamar, 6. Before BEKI’s rabbinical search committee began interviewing candidates for the rabbi position, the temple conducted a survey of the congregation and held focus group conversations to learn what BEKI members wanted in their next rabbi. As it turned out, what they wanted in their next rabbi was everything Rabbi Eric Woodward has to offer. “What was perhaps most thrilling to us as a committee was the number of congregants urging us to hire Rabbi Woodward. And not just giving him their vote but speaking with passion and excitement about having him as our new rabbi,” said Rachel Light, the search committee co-chair. “We did not go into this process expecting that there would be such an obvious choice. But when we heard this groundswell of passion and eagerness, imploring us to hire Rabbi Woodward, it was absolutely clear that we had found the right rabbi for BEKI.” “From the moment we first interviewed him, Rabbi Woodward impressed me with his enthusiasm, his learning, and his basic decency,” committee member Mark Oppenheimer said. “This is a guy
e sav ate the d
whose passion for Jews and Judaism comes through even over Zoom, which is pretty rare – almost as rare as the kind of consensus we got around his candidacy.” It’s hard not to like Rabbi Eric Woodward; even after one phone conversation one feels like best buds with Woodward, whose sentences are peppered with the words “like” and “totally.” But he is unapologetic about his California accent. “I was born and raised in Los Angeles,” he explained. “LA is a great city, and it was really fun to live there in the ‘80s. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, so I very much inherited all of the dialect patterns of the “Valley Girl” and I could never get it out of my system to say ‘like’ or ‘awesome.’ Using all of those words is just how I was raised.” Both natives of Los Angeles, Rabbi Woodward’s parents met as students at UCLA. His mother Lisa was raised in an assimilated Jewish household. “They belonged to a Reform synagogue, but they weren’t really connected [to Judaism] in any sort of deep way,” he said. His father Michael grew up in a Catholic home (although he is non-practicing). While Michael’s father was of ScotchIrish descent – hence the Woodward surname – their home was based very much around his mother’s Mexican culture.
Rabbi Woodward and his brother Gregory grew up celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas. Growing up Woodward says he felt a deep connection to his Mexican roots, but he also attended a Reform synagogue where he had his bar mitzvah. “I really, like, started connecting a little bit to the identity of being Jewish, but I always felt like maybe I wasn’t Jewish enough because my father wasn’t Jewish, and I was a little bit insecure about that,” he said. “Then like so many other people, after my bar mitzvah, I kind of checked out. Just sort of a normal teen thing.” He headed to the East Coast to attend Williams College in Williamsport, Mass., where he majored in Religion. “I realized that I had to actively choose to be Jewish there in order to connect to that part of myself. And that was actually really fun,” he recalled. “I realized that it wasn’t what my last name sounded like that made me Jewish or not but it was what I did with my time, and I started getting involved with the Jewish Center and taking classes in Jewish Studies.” After getting his undergraduate degree, he went on to get his master’s in Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary. “I realized that I really loved learning and I started to develop a Jewish spiritual vocabulary and realized that this stuff
really mattered to me,” he said. “I thought I wanted to be an academic at first, but what I realized is that I liked schmoozing about Jewish texts, but I didn’t have the right temperament to actually be an academic. I had to kind of get that out of my system to know that I really wanted to be a rabbi. I really wanted to facilitate Jewish communities through ritual and story and text, and to help lift people up and be with people in all these different ways.” Before rabbinical school, Woodward worked as a program director at a synagogue in his wife’s native Durham, N.C. He attended rabbinical school at JTS from 2007 to 2013, spending a year of that in Israel. Ordained in 2013, he then moved to Columbus, Ohio to serve as assistant rabbi at Congregation Tifereth Israel, before heading to the Philadelphia suburbs to work at Tiferet Bet Israel. After leaving Philly last year, Rabbi Woodward applied for the job at BEKI as soon as it went up online “What I was really looking for was a place that felt like, ‘Oh, this is my spiritual home, like this is a synagogue that I would want to be a member of and want to connect to.’ And I just got that vibe from BEKI right away,” he said. “It felt like a place that is serious about Judaism, but CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
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AROUND CT Friendship Circle event celebrates inclusion, acceptance and pride Hundreds gathered outside West Hartford Town Hall on Sunday, June 6 for a concert and Friendship Circle celebration honoring the children, teens and young adults, living with and without disability, that joined together in friendship to fight isolation, during the pandemic year. A highlight of the day was rejoicing with those who missed the opportunity to properly mark their Bar/Bat Mitzvah milestones during the pandemic year. The Teen Leadership Board of Friendship Circle demonstrated with gumballs how every hour that Friendship Circle members invested in friendship adds up to a monumental sum. Each gumball they used represents one hour of laughter, acceptance and pride in being part of an inclusive Jewish community. The cumulative effect created together by the children, teens and young adults – with and without special needs – equaled 1,989 gumballs!
MARK K., LEFT, AND KEIGHAN KOSMINOFF, CENTER, LEAD THE SHEMA WITH THEIR NEW TEFILIN IN CELEBRATION OF THEIR BAR MITZVAHS. THEIR BAR MITZVAH PLANS LAST YEAR WERE UPSET BY COVID, BUT WERE CELEBRATED AT SUNDAYS EVENT.
TEEN LEADERSHIP BOARD MEMBER BENJAMIN COVICI POURS GUMBALLS IN CYLINDER AS OTHER BOARD MEMBERS WATCH.
MEMBERS OF FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE WHOSE B’NAI MITZVAH WERE AFFECTED BY COVID STAND ON STAGE AS THE ROGERS PARK BAND HONORED THEM.
Cantor Joseph Ness honored at Cantor’s Assembly Cantor Joseph Ness of Beth El Temple in West Hartford has received The Max Wohlberg Award for Music Composition. The Award was presented online by Sanford Cohn, Cantor Emeritus, Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, at the 2021 (Virtual) Annual Cantors Assembly. Cantor Ness gave an acceptance speech and presented an audio/video of his original work, Esah Einei © 2011, Beth El Temple. “Cantor Ness is a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. The depth of his musical knowledge and skills in composition have been a blessing to Beth El and the entire community,” said Rabbi James Rosen of Beth El Temple. “He has made our congregation a center of musical depth. And in arranging and performing the little or unknown music of pre-Holocaust Europe for he has enriched the entire Jewish world. In addition, his personal kindness and concern for everyone have touched countless hearts. He is a remarkable colleague and he so richly deserves this award.”
JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
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JTS honors 36 rabbis for their dedication and commitment at June 2021 Convocation NEW YORK, NY – Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen, former rabbi at Beth El Keser Israel (BEKI) in New Haven was one of 36 rabbis awarded honorary doctorates by the Jewish Theological Seminary at an online convocation ceremony on June 6. JTS celebrated and honored the achievements of these important spiritual leaders and expressed appreciation for their contributions to Jewish life. Each recipient has served the Jewish community and the Conservative Movement with distinction for over 25 years.
Clare Feldman named chair of Hartford Seminary Board of Trustees HARTFORD – Clare R. Feldman was elected chair of the Hartford Seminary Board of Trustees of Hartford Seminary at the Seminary’s Annual Meeting held on May 20. A former resident of West Hartford, Feldman was appointed to the Board in 2016 and has served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Governance and Personnel Committees. She is also a member of the Development Committee. Her professional career included serving as a senior vice president of Connecticut’s Citizens Bank. She also held senior level management positions in several other Connecticut banks. She has extensive experience as a volunteer for non-profits, including serving as president of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford; president of the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls; and president of Combined Health Appeal. Feldman and her husband Barry now live in Delray Beach, Florida.
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Elie Wiesel’s son: Jews always speak up for everyone els up for ourselves. (New York Jewish Week via JTA) – In the 1960s, the Communist Party cut the Russian Jews off from the Jewish people. They prohibited them from wearing tefillin, or celebrating b’nai mitzvah, or expressing support for the State of Israel. They intimidated and imprisoned them. And the Communist Party governed with one big antisemitic lie: The Jews are the enemy of the workers. When my father Elie Wiesel visited, the Russian dissidents would ask him eagerly: How many in America are marching for us? And my father would be too ashamed to tell them how few there were. He wrote a book about it called “The Jews of Silence.” Many thought he was referring to the Soviet Jews, who had to study our sacred texts in hushed secrecy.
But he was referring to us: the American Jews who refused to speak up for their Jewish brethren across oceans and borders. Today, we are still victims of a terrible antisemitic lie, one that well-intentioned progressives who care about justice have too often swallowed. This big lie seeks to turn the fire of the racial justice movement against its earliest supporters: The Jews are White, the Palestinians are Black. The inconvenient truth for our haters is that the Jewish people are not the enemy of the workers. Or of people of color. Or of social justice. And that the modern Jewish nation has sought peace with her Arab neighbors since before she was created in 1948. The truth is that when half of our number finally governed themselves once again in their ancestral homeland of Israel, they built
the socialized health care system that Bernie Sanders dreams of. The sons and daughters of the Ethiopian Jewish community, airlifted out of Africa by Israel in the 1980s, are reaching the Knesset and the Eurovision stage. LGBTQ Arabs can follow their hearts and their faith freely in Israel, and an Arab political party may yet be the kingmaker in this year’s elections. The truth is that Hamas endangers civilians, Palestinian and Israeli, just to feed hatred. Their goal is the total eradication of the State of Israel. And now, once again, too many of us have shamefully become the Jews of Silence. We have spoken up for every cause but our own. It is time to shed our silence and speak with a loud voice. If you have been silent because you feel
Israel can take care of itself, think again. Your voice matters. Just weeks ago, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers with the express intent of maximizing civilian deaths. Iron Dome is why there aren’t thousands of murdered Jews. Some in Congress are clamoring for the United States to defund it. If you have been silent because you feel Israel can never have security without peace, then commit yourself to peace. And while you build this critical common ground with our Palestinian cousins, speak up for Israel which has given up land in the name of peace, most recently with disastrous consequences in Gaza. If you have been silent because “antisemitism could never happen here,” then take a look around. It is no longer just the Lubavitch asking “are you Jewish?” to help
An open letter to ‘The Onion’: Prejudic ELISHA WIESEL AT A RALLY FOR ISRAEL AND AGAINST ANTISEMITISM IN LOWER MANHATTAN, MAY 23, 2021. (SHACHAR AZRAN/ISRAELI-AMERICAN COUNCIL).
The words in your publication can work to entrench prejudi BY DAVID J. MICHAELS
(JNS) The following is a letter I’ve sent to Chad Nackers, editor of “The Onion.” Although directed to that satirical newspaper, its core message applies to many outlets now catering to politically minded young people, particularly online. Let me volunteer that I’ve been a diehard fan of The Onion. “Our Front Pages” and “Our Dumb World” enjoy a more prominent place in my home than I probably should admit. I also hesitate to approach you with a substantive concern. Writing satirists a serious response to their work might seem a questionable choice. I do so, though, because I know that even satirical publications can have a conscience – and many aim to balance or even guide their entertainment with a sense of social responsibility. I’m writing about multiple posts by The Onion during the unnerving 11 days of the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip. With headlines like “Palestinian Family Who Lost Home In Airstrike Takes Comfort In Knowing This All Very Complicated” and “Israel Returns Occupied Territories To Palestinians After Running Out Of Targets To Hit In Gaza,” in practically all of these stories, Palestinians feature exclusively as victims and Israelis feature exclusively as aggressors. 10
JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
A quick search of your website finds the same stark pattern over a stunningly long period–with criticism even of Palestinian radicals last surfacing only years ago. A biting piece like “Crazed Palestinian Gunman Angered by Stereotypes” goes back all the way to 1997. To be clear, I recognize and am pained by the suffering of every innocent person. And under normal circumstances, I’d welcome the dishing out of smart, good-natured mockery on an equal-opportunity basis. But seeing humanity and suffering on only one side of a conflict isn’t fair, and it isn’t funny. I’m not going to litigate the conflict here – not the causes of Israel’s specific military actions, its efforts to try avoiding civilian casualties or the reasons for higher losses among Palestinians nonetheless. This said, over recent weeks–and this conflict, of course, is not limited to recent weeks – millions of Israeli civilians were terrorized by more than 4,000 rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza. Their lives matter, too. Other countries would be expected to exact a massive response to much less. Now, a few words about me. I’m a Jew. Almost all of my grandfather’s family was murdered in the Holocaust. I still have the bullet that entered my grandfather’s back in a deliberate attempt to end his life, and mine, too. When as a boy, I visited his native jewishledger.com
se. Now’s the time to stand you do a mitzvah. Roving gangs of anti-Israel demonstrators in New York and Los Angeles are asking the same question. They brandish knives. They throw fists, bottles and hateful words. And if you have been silent because you felt you stood alone, I promise you that you are not alone. Over 30 years ago, my father and other leaders of the Jewish community convened a quarter of a million of us and our allies in Washington, D.C. to show solidarity with Soviet Jewry on Freedom Sunday. It is now our generation’s turn to speak our truth: Neither the millions of us here in the United States nor our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel are going anywhere. We will not bow to terror. At the height of this most recent conflict, President Biden defended the dream of a
two-state solution and directly spoke against the hatred at the core of the Hamas charter, saying, “Until the region says unequivocally that they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace.” I am grateful to President Biden for standing with the Jewish people. Now it is our turn. Let’s end our silence and join him. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
ce is no joke
ice or dispel it, exacerbate divisions or help ease them. Poland – home now to perhaps 10,000 Jews, where there were 3 million before the genocide – I was greeted with ubiquitous spray-painted swastikas, Stars of David on a gallows and the words Żydzi, wydostać się z Polski (“Jews, out of Poland”) on a synagogue. Years later, I went to Israel, to take courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – overwhelmingly a bastion of liberalism, where Arabs, Jews and others pursue higher learning together. That summer, the cafeteria of the university’s international school was bombed in an attack proudly claimed by Hamas. Nine people were killed, 100 were wounded, and countless more were traumatized. Fast-forward to 2021, when my family members in Israel, including little children, have again repeatedly been forced to take cover from relentless assaults by fanatics who aren’t engaged in a limited territorial or political dispute with Israel but openly, doctrinally, pledge the destruction of the Jewish state in its entirety. And now, in the United States, where I live, a spate of unprovoked attacks on Jews by proPalestinian extremists is being widely reported. Well prior to the renewed hostilities in the Middle East, Jews – a small minority – were already by far the leading targets of faith-based hate crimes. In my community, some mothers now tell their children not to wear a skullcap or jewishledger.com
Star of David in public, even in America – far removed from the tensions in the Middle East. One-sided “reporting” by a publication like The Onion might not seem to be the most critical problem today, and it’s not. But we could probably agree that your outlet can serve a vital role by giving readers a respite from the hardships they endure. Even more importantly, it can entrench prejudice or dispel it, exacerbate divisions or help ease them. Young people in particular actually look to your “news” for just that – and this has implications in the real world. Even jokes carry a message and can imbibe assumed truths, especially when they are repeatedly reinforced. Please ensure that your work does not erase the story and the experience of Israeli Jews. David J. Michaels is the director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs at B’nai B’rith International, where he began working in 2004 as Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President. A Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar and past winner of the Young Professional Award of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, he holds degrees from Yale and Yeshiva universities.
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L IKE U S ON
JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
ummer is the perfect time to take a break and lose yourself in a good book. What to read? We checked out the Jewish Book Council at www. jewishbookcouncil.org – and came away with an enticing list of books with Jewish content or Jewish themes – both fiction and nonfiction – that were published in 2020/2021. Enjoy!
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel By Elyssa Friedland
In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the Catskills vacation scene. For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families – best friends and business partners – have presided over this glamorous resort. But the Catskills are not what they used to be – and neither is the relationship between the two families. As the resort begins to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden or is it too late?
The Hidden Palace By Helene Wecker
Chava is a golem, a woman made of clay, who can hear the thoughts and longings of those around her and feels compelled by her nature to help them. Ahmad is a jinni, a restless creature of fire, once free
| JUNE 18, 2021
to roam the desert but now imprisoned in the shape of a man. Fearing they’ll be exposed as monsters, these magical beings hide their true selves and try to pass as human – just two more immigrants in the bustling world of 1900s Manhattan.
The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire By Rachel Sharona Lewis
Congregation Beth Abraham expected their newest rabbi to “sing some songs and go to an environmental rally.” But Vivian Green wants her flock to engage meaningfully with their city-special mayoral elections, interfaith breakfasts and fights for affordable housing. Also, she would like just one night off to go dancing in the leather boots that make her look like her finest gay self. When Beth
Abraham bursts into flames, fingers get pointed, and everyone’s biases rise to the surface. It turns out that wasn’t the only fire burning in town.
Red Rock Baby Candy By Shira Spector
In this graphic memoir, Shira Spector paints a vivid portrait of 10 years of her life – her struggle to get pregnant, the emotional turmoil of her father’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death, and her recollections of past relationships. Red Rock Baby Candy begins in subtle, tonal shades of black ink, introducing color slowly until it explodes into a glorious full color palette. The characters begin to bloom and to live life fully, resurrecting the dead in order to map the geography among infertility, sexuality, choice, and mortality.
The Jewish Body: A History By Robert Jütte, Elizabeth Bredeck (Translator)
An encyclopedic survey of the Jewish body as it has existed and imagined from biblical times to the present, often for anti-Jewish purposes, examining the techniques for caring for the body that Jews acquire in childhood from parents and authority figures and how these have changed over the course of a more than 2000year history, most of it spent in exile. From consideration of traditional body stereotypes, such as the so-called Jewish nose, to matters of gender and sexuality, The Jewish Body explores the historical foundations of the human physis in all its aspects
From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History By Nancy Sinkoff
National Jewish Book Awards Winner 2020 The first comprehensive biography of Dawidowicz (1915-1990), a pioneer historian in the field that is now called Holocaust studies. Dawidowicz was a household name in the postwar years, not only because of her scholarship but also due to her political views. Dawidowicz was a youthful communist, became an FDR democrat midcentury, and later championed neoconservatism. Nancy Sinkoff argues that Dawidowicz’s rightward shift emerged out of living in prewar Poland, watching the Holocaust unfold from New York City, and working with displaced persons in postwar Germany.
An Autism Casebook for Parents and Practitioners 1st Edition By Shoshana Levin Fox
Drawing from the author’s extensive clinical experience, this autism casebook offers stimulating reflections and a fresh perspective on how we assess, diagnose, and ultimately treat young children thought to be autistic.
The Nesting Dolls: A Novel
Letters to Camondo
The Nesting Dolls is about three generations of a Soviet Jewish family in 1930s Odessa, USSR, 1970s Odessa, USSR, and present day Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Three women struggle to survive through Stalin’s purges and the war against “cosmopolitism,” the Free Soviet Jewry/ refusnik movement and the battle between roots and assimilation in America.
Letters to Camondo is a collection of imaginary letters from Edmund de Waal to Moise de Camondo, the Jewish banker and art collector who created a spectacular house in Paris, now the Musée Nissim de
By Alina Adams
Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel By Michelle Cameron
When French troops occupy the Italian port city of Ancona, freeing the city’s Jews from their repressive ghetto, it unleashes a whirlwind of progressivism and brutal backlash as two very different cultures collide. Set during the turbulent days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian campaign (1796–97), Beyond the Ghetto Gates is both a cautionary tale for our present moment, with its rising tide of antiSemitism, and a story of hope – a reminder of a time in history when men and women of conflicting faiths were able to reconcile their prejudices in the face of a rapidly changing world.
Camondo, filling it with the greatest private collection of French 18th century art. After de Waal, one of the world’s greatest ceramic artists, was invited to make an exhibition in the Camondo house, he began to write letters to Moise de Camondo, deeply personal reflections on assimilation, melancholy, family, art, the vicissitudes of history, and the value of memory.
By Edmund de Waal
“100 Jewish Children’s Books for the Family Bookshelf” The Association of Jewish Libraries, with support from the Jewish Grandparents Network, has created “100 Jewish Children’s Books for the Family Bookshelf,” a list of picture and middle grade books recommended for the bookshelves of Jewish children. The books on this list create a portrait of the Jewish world in real and substantive ways and provide wonderful opportunities for reading together. The full list can currently be found at: https://jewishlibraries.org/read-together/. Here are a few selections:
As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom
JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible
Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. Ages 6- 9
By Debbie Levy. Illustrated by Eizabeth Baddeley.
By Richard Michelson. Illustrated by Raul Colón.
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909
By Ellen Frankel. Illustrated by Avi Katz. Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Ages 5+.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. Ages 4-8.
By Michelle Markel. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
The Six-Day Hero
Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Ages 4-8.
Sydney Taylor Honor Book Ages 9-13.
By Tammar Stein.
Home is a Stranger By Parnaz Foroutan
Unmoored by the death of her father and disenchanted by the American dream, Parnaz Foroutan leaves Los Angeles for Iran 19 years after her family fled the religious police state brought on by the Islamic theocracy. From the moment Parnaz steps off the plane in Tehran, she contends with a world she only partially understands. Struggling with her own identity in a culture that feels both foreign and familiar, she tries to find a place for herself between the American girl she is and the woman she hopes to become.
Give Dad the Gift of “Jewish Lives” Jewish Lives, a series of biographies designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity, has put together The Father’s Day Collection. The collection includes the biographies of three varied Jewish personalities sure to satisfy Dad’s summer reading interests: Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One, by Mark Kurlansky; Houdini: The Elusive American by Adam Begley; and Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream by Michael Shnayerson. For more information, visit https://www.jewishlives.org/ collections/fathersday JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
Q&A CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
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likely to work after Auschwitz. Nevertheless, religion and religious ritual remain indispensable. This is especially true of lifecycle events such as the death of a family member with its rituals of leave-taking, the solemnization of a marital bond, or puberty rites, and in that sense the Covenant exists today as part of who we are; a social-psychological perception of what it means to be a Jew. That is why I go to religious services regularly. The Covenant as something that actually happened may no longer be credible, but the Jewish people must live, and there are times in our lives that remain sacred, that is, of decisive importance, to us, even if objectively we are not a Chosen People. We will not find that newly invented rituals can do for us what our traditional rituals can. What matters now are our hallowed, ancient traditions, not because they are better than other men’s or because they are somehow more pleasing in God’s sight. We cherish them simply because they are ours, part of our family memory, and we would not with dignity or honor exchange them for any others. Every tradition has got to have rituals with which to deal with lifecycle events. We are no different. JS: The second reason you gave for the book’s controversy was that you were making the case that religion played a larger role in the Holocaust than people wanted to admit. RR: Yes, religion played a large role in the Holocaust and it starts with Paul of Tarsus and Augustine who wanted Jews to survive so that they could eventually come to recognize Jesus Christ as their Savior. Augustine said it best: “Jews must survive but not thrive.” Hitler, however, was not interested in persecuting the Jews; he sought to exterminate them. He claimed that the Jew sought to destroy Christian civilization. What made his claim credible was that
Jews had been among the leaders of the Russian Revolution and of Bolshevism, an intellectual movement that believed in an alternative, godless society. European Christians were already primed to view Jews as outsiders. It was not asking too much to have them now view the Jews as purveyors of godless communism seeking to destroy Christian civilization. The future Pope Pious XII, who would be pope during World War II, witnessed the establishment of the Munich Soviet Republic in 1918 as the Papal Ambassador to Germany. The founder of this short-lived attempt to establish a socialist state in the Free State of Bavaria, was Kurt Eisner, a Jew. There were also Trotsky and the Red Army, etc. JS: When the second edition of After Auschwitz was published in 1992 … chapters were eliminated, others were revised, and other new ones were added. At the time you explained that the first version contained a “spirit of opposition and revolt,” while the second contained a “spirit of synthesis and reconciliation.” I understand the “spirit of opposition and revolt” you felt in 1966. But can you explain the “spirit of synthesis and reconciliation” you were feeling in 1992. RR: I’ll start with reconciliation. I am reconciled in the sense that I have more sympathy for those who opposed me and even attempted to deprive me of my vocation. I now realize how painful it was for them to hear what I was saying. And in that sense I am reconciled to the struggles I had as an outlier. The synthesis comes from my belief that we Jews are or should be all in this together. And in that regard I have to say that I feel that this congregation and this rabbi are part of my extended family. I have found my religious community. And for that I am grateful.
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Young Zionist Jews say they’re fighting antisemitism on social media. What are they accomplishing? BY BEN SALES
EW YORK (JTA) – Two weeks after the recent flareup of violence in Israel and Gaza, as fights over Israel and Palestine raged on social media, Julia Jassey wondered aloud whether any of her effort was worth it. Jassey, a student at the University of Chicago, has spent the better part of a year immersed in online skirmishes surrounding Israel and antisemitism. Last summer, as racial justice protests swept the country, she and a few other college students founded Jewish on Campus, an Instagram account chronicling antisemitism and anti-Zionism facing Jewish students. It was modeled after similar accounts documenting racism at universities and high schools. In recent weeks, Jewish on Campus has collected anonymous anecdotes of antisemitism online and in person in the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict. Jassey said the account has been inundated with submissions. At the same time, harsh critics of Israel have taken aim at her and her personal posts – including some people she knows from school. “We can’t even have meaningful discussions, we just fight,” she tweeted on June 3. “It’s toxic, and it brings us nowhere productive. Where do we go from here? I don’t know about you, but I am tired of it.” Jassey is part of a small group of young, assertively Zionist Jews with an active social media presence who have taken it upon themselves to call out and respond to anti-Zionism, antisemitism and the many instances in which they believe those two concepts overlap. But after weeks of fighting over Israel and Judaism on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram, those activists, and others who observe them, are asking whether the effort of combating antisemitism online, in real time, is winnable or worthwhile. “Do I think that having full-out brawls on social media are effective? No,” said Susan Heller Pinto, the Anti-Defamation League’s senior director for international affairs. “If that’s how somebody seeks to engage, it’s really going to only appeal to the people who are already hardened in their opinions. “There’s no secret meme, silver meme, that is being developed that someone is going to glance at and is going to say, ‘That explains the complexity of the Israelijewishledger.com
Palestinian situation to me.’ Social media does not lend itself to complexity, to nuance and to deep research.” That’s been Jassey’s experience as she has posted her feelings about Israel and seen vitriolic responses pour in. She said one acquaintance told her it was “tone deaf” to post that her relatives in Tel Aviv were being targeted with rocket fire. Another tweeted that if he had to read another one of her “brain dead takes on my [timeline], I’m gonna explode.” Jassey and the rest of the cohort of young Zionists on social media are in their 20s and 30s, some still in college. They say they’re on the front lines of confronting a problem – anti-Zionism and antisemitism in progressive spaces, especially online – that the rest of the Jewish community is just waking up to. They feel duty-bound to keep posting. The alternative, they say, is abandoning a public square to those who hate them. The issues surrounding progressive antisemitism “seemed to have their moment in the spotlight this month,” said Blake Flayton, a student at George Washington University who will be graduating this summer. “What we’re seeing right now from the progressive left is a coalition organizing around hatred of Zionism, calling Zionism racism, and then excusing treating proIsrael Jews as racist by extension.” There is nothing new about fighting antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric online, an effort that has attracted funding in recent years from wealthy Jewish donors as well as the Israeli government. Israel and its military have a robust social media operation. Any number of groups dedicated to fighting antisemitism – from establishment organizations like the ADL to pro-Israel activist groups such as StandWithUs to an account called @ StopAntisemites – call out what they view as hatred of Jews. Now a few of the young Zionists, like Flayton, are trying to expand their work beyond skirmishes on Twitter and Instagram. Several are co-founders of two nascent groups – the New Zionist Congress and Jewish on Campus, both started in the past year and in the process of registering as nonprofits. For now, both groups are most visible on social media – Jewish on Campus primarily through its Instagram account and the New
A COHORT OF YOUNG JEWS IS TRYING TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM AND ANTI-ZIONISM ON SOCIAL MEDIA. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JULIA JASSEY, BLAKE FLAYTON, ISAAC DE CASTRO, EVE BARLOW AND BEN FREEMAN. (PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY GRACE YAGEL)
Zionist Congress through the audio app Clubhouse. Those activists have also become targets of the rhetoric they are condemning, especially during the recent Israel-Gaza conflict. Many of them respond to criticism they receive online with more posts of their own, often showing solidarity with each other, sparking a cycle that can alternately look like strength in numbers or a hostile conversation with no end in sight. “I don’t want to put myself through abuse or harassment,” said Isaac de Castro, a Cornell student who is a co-founder of both Jewish on Campus and the New Zionist Congress. De Castro limits who can message him directly and comment on his posts. But, he added, “We need people out front who are putting out our perspective, putting out our story as Jewish people. There need to be people out front. I don’t think logging off completely is the answer because antisemitism isn’t going to go away if we just close our eyes.” Hen Mazzig, a prominent pro-Israel activist, said being pugnacious isn’t the right approach. Mazzig has gained attention on the left for his aggressiveness online in the past, but said he has tried to soften that tone recently, emphasizing coexistence and the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. Now he sees other Zionists going down the same path he once did, and worries that punching back hard against anti-Zionism threatens to only make things worse. “I think there’s a serious issue with antisemitism online and hate speech against Jews online, and we have to combat it,” said Mazzig, a senior fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute. “What I feel like many on the proIsrael side are doing right now is to try and combat hate speech, I don’t want to say with more hate speech, but with rhetoric that is not helping defuse the situation.” The online hate came alongside a wave of antisemitic incidents on the ground that, according to the ADL and other groups, spiked during the fighting in Israel and
Gaza. The ADL found that the number of antisemitic incidents in the nearly two weeks of fighting was more than double the figure in the previous two weeks. The incidents included a string of physical assaults, as well as antisemitic and some anti-Zionist harassment and vandalism. “There’s the emotional impact of seeing these attacks in real time,” said Ben Freeman, a Scottish Jew and New Zionist Congress member who wrote the recently published book “Jewish Pride.” “There’s the impact of seeing my friends be attacked online. And then, my family live in Israel, and I love Israel, and I care about Israel, so it was kind of like a triple whammy: It was online, it was in Israel and it was happening in the Diaspora. And I really don’t see those three things as separate from one another.” Since a cease-fire in the Gaza-Israel rocket exchange, one of the fiercest fights online has been not about Israel itself but how to talk about antisemitic and antiZionist posts. Eve Barlow, a Scottish-Jewish music journalist living in Los Angeles, wrote an essay in Tablet calling the negative posts directed at her and other Zionist activists a “social media pogrom.” She also wrote that they were “permission for an online lynching” and “digital waterboarding.” Barlow’s piece generated backlash of its own, from those who found it inappropriate to compare harassment on social media, however rampant, to violent, often state-sponsored mob attacks on Eastern European Jewish villages. Barlow said she stands by her word choice, as do some of her allies online, including Freeman, who called the essay a “must read.” “I didn’t have reservations because I believe in the power of language,” she said. “If people would rather get personally offended by the use of a word than to take seriously how Jews are being attacked in the street and how Jews are being attacked on the internet, then that’s a problem.” CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
JEWISH LEDGER | JUNE 18, 2021
Rabbi Woodward CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
also unpretentious. It’s a place where they really value having love and warmth from the rabbi…It’s a place that really believes that Judaism has something to say about our place in the world today, politically and morally, and that wants to partner with other organizations to do tikkun olam – to make our world better. And then, there’s all the other stuff.” The other stuff he refers to is all that makes New Haven special, like the fact that Yale University is nearby. “We used to live in Durham where Duke is. I loved being in a shul in a university town. It’s really cool to deal with all of the academics and to be spiritually present for them. And I just really liked that, as soon as I started meeting the people at BEKI I just connected so much. I felt like gosh, ‘This is really the place for me.’ And I really feel like I sort of fell in love with them over the course of applying there. And I had heard the pizza there is really awesome.” Which brings us to another of Rabbi Woodward’s passions – food. “I’m super into food. I am a completely crazy, foodie person,” he said. “I have always known about New Haven pizza, so when I saw the job was in New Haven I thought, ‘Oh, this is awesome.’ And I read more about the city and its great food scene and culture scene, and that was very exciting.” Rabbi Woodward also loves to cook and he cites his Mexican background for his interest in the culinary arts. “I grew up not keeping kosher, and so many of the Mexican foods that I grew up with weren’t kosher, obviously. I realized as I started to keep kosher that if I wanted to have tamales, for example, I would have to learn to make them [kosher] myself.”
Now cooking and food have become his way of connecting to both his Jewish and Mexican roots. “As I got really into cooking, I realized this is the way to connect to the best aspects of myself,” he explained. “I love cooking. I love all food. But I really enjoy cooking Mexican food and I try to cook Mexican food for Jewish holidays in ways that are meaningful. So, I try to make mole for Rosh Hashana. Mole is a traditional ground chili paste sauce from Mexico. Oaxaca, the state that my grandmother is from is known as the Land of the Seven Moles. It is like a very sort of traditional cultural food. Mole there is like what kugel is to Jews. It’s really deep and connecting.” Rabbi Woodward’s deep roots – both Jewish and Mexican – are never far from his thoughts. He recalls reading an article a few years ago about young children who were in danger of being deported when Donald Trump attempted to terminate DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. “One was a girl who came here at the age of six or seven from Oaxaca, and I realized that’s exactly what my grandmother was, even though it was in 1926 as opposed to 2017,” he said. That parallel between his grandmother and a young DACA “dreamer” hit home for Woodward, but he was already looking toward how he could help various vulnerable communities. In 2012 he was a part of an American Jewish World Service clergy delegation to Muchucuxcah, a Mayan village in the Mexican Yucatan. Early on, he knew that their goals were the same. “It was so clear that the BEKI does so many things that were about Jewish values and about taking care of the vulnerable and needy. And it was very clearly not just words from them, but it was really who they were in a deep way.”
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Orna Barbivai (Yesh Atid) – economy minister
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Merav Michaeli (Labor) – transportation minister
COVID vaccination drive. Opponents in Israel derided him for maintaining the status quo regarding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, as well as for a persistent housing crisis. He passed a controversial law in 2018 defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, which critics said marginalized Israel’s Arab minority. American Jewish organizations as well as some secular Israelis also criticized him for perpetuating haredi control of Israel’s religious establishment, to the exclusion of non-Orthodox Jews. Except for a period of several years about a decade ago, Netanyahu has been a lifelong public opponent of a Palestinian state. In recent years, he had made preelection promises to annex parts of the West Bank, which never ended up happening. And under Netanyahu, Israel conducted three major offensives against Hamas in Gaza, including the 2014 Gaza War and the recent fighting in May. In 2019, Netanyahu was indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust – the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister went on criminal trial. The trial sparked a protest movement that demonstrated regularly outside the prime minister’s residence, calling on Netanyahu to resign. Netanyahu has denied the charges and vowed to fight them. He persisted in office with a shrinking group of allies who proved too few to form a governing coalition. Last month, after considering joining a coalition with Netanyahu, Bennett instead worked with Lapid to assemble a “change government” that would remove Netanyahu from his position.
Members of Israel’s new government Israel’s new government is comprised of eight (left, right, center and Islamist) of the 13 parties that won seats in the elections. They are:
Fight antisemitism Zionist activists dispute the idea that they are making too much of Jew-hatred or conflating criticism of policy with antisemitism, and say they draw the line at opposing Israel’s right to exist. “I don’t care how evil you think the settlement project is because I would happily lend my voice to those concerns, or how corrupt you think Benjamin Netanyahu is,” Flayton said, but added, “Denying the Jews a homeland, denying the Jews protection is hateful and bigoted in and of itself.” Flayton and others do say they feel politically homeless as progressive Jews who are unapologetically Zionist. Flayton articulated those feelings in a 2019 New York Times op-ed .
“I am a young, gay, left-wing Jew. Yet I am called an ‘apartheid-enabler,’ a ‘baby killer’ and a ‘colonial apologist,’” he wrote. Flayton told JTA that from his perspective, left-wing antisemitism is more of a problem than antisemitism on the right. “What we’ve been seeing for the past month [is that] antisemitism on the left disguises itself as justice, it disguises itself as advocating for human rights, and it tries to convince the Jews that they brought this hatred upon themselves,” he said. “I’m still going to vote for things like a $15 minimum wage, universal health care and environmental reforms, etc., but there’s a lot of Jews who are being pushed out of these spaces rather aggressively.” | JUNE 18, 2021
Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) – energy minister Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) – intelligence minister Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) – public security minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope) – housing and Jerusalem affairs minister Yoaz Hendel (New Hope) – communications minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) – environment minister Hili Tropper (Blue and White) – culture and sport minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White) – immigration and absorption minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) – welfare minister Merav Cohen (Yesh Atid) – social equality minister Matan Kahana (Yamina) – religious affairs minister Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu) – minister in the Finance Ministry Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu) – agriculture and Negev minister Esawi Frej (Meretz) – regional cooperation minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Blue and White) – science and technology minister Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) – tourism minister Nachman Shai (Labor) – Diaspora affairs minister
Naftali Bennett (Yamina) – prime minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) – alternate prime minister and foreign minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) – defense minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope) – justice minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) – finance minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) – interior minister Yifat Shasha Biton (New Hope) – education minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) – health minister
YESH ATID HEAD YAIR LAPID, AT THE SWEARING-IN OF THE NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AT THE KNESSET IN JERUSALEM (CREDIT: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD JUNE 18, 2021 “So I heard...”
By: Yoni Glatt
Difficulty Level: Medium
Vol. 93 No. 25 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner
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ANSWERS TO JUNE 11 CROSSWORD
Across 1. NYC highway 4. Most common foreign capital in crosswords 8. They’re Grand in Wyoming 14. Hi or lo follower 15. David Bowie genre 16. ___ Moore AKA P!nk 17. Blue Jays’ prov. 18. Video-game star Croft 19. Brother of (Wanda) Maximoff 20. Classic Uris novel 23. Famous female created by (Joe) Shuster and (Jerry) Siegel 24. Notable ship builder 25. “Chocolat” director Hallstrom
29. A’s and Jays 31. Made like King Solomon 33. President who should not have repeatedly messed with Israel 37. Architect Saarinen 38. “Rumor has it....”...or a hint to what’s literally happening with 20 & 23-Across and 58 & 64- Across 43. It can be soothing 44. Liam who’s been a Jedi, Nazi, and CIA agent 45. “Street Fighter” character who gives advice to Wreck-It-Ralph 47. Delete icon 52. Arab rulers 53. Strikes out
57. Til 58. Reason for decline in Jewish numbers 61. Got rid of a debt 64. Kind of block or map 65. Miracle feeling 66. Constructing crosswords is certainly an unusual one 67. Tatty alternative 68. Lana Del of song 69. Spanish dessert wine 70. “Don’t ___” (what would be a good slogan for the IDF) 71. 1760 make a mi.
Down 1. Born and bred in Beverlywood, say 2. 2016 film about Deborah Lipstadt’s work 3. “Wheel of Fortune” freebies 4. Stare 5. Like many a Philistine, by David 6. A southern Key 7. Where Warren Buffett bought this community’s chametz, once 8. Record 9. Song taken from Psalm 22 10. Many a TikTok user 11. Mo. that often has some High Holidays 12. Kibbutz Yitzchak or Moshav Yisrael 13. First word in Brazilian town
names 21. Irish carrier Lingus 22. “___ a crowd” 26. Giant Super Bowl winner Chris...who married the coache’s daughter 27. Dry 28. Jewish witnesses 30. “Cone” or “Cat” intro 32. Jyn of “Rogue One” 34. Current British princess 35. Graf of tennis fame 36. Each of the past three answers, e.g. 38. Israeli directory? 39. Hazeh, for one 40. Piece of “the San Francisco treat” 41. Humiliating type
42. “Boom” maker 46. Bank named on a credit card 48. Something you don’t want to get stuck in (with “a”) 49. Abode that’s abuzz 50. Hid (away) 51. Products of 49-Down 54. Father of Miriam 55. Weeping woman of Greek mythology 56. Big chunks of concrete or marble 59. Like most tennis players 60. Part of a name for some shuls 61. CPU environs 62. “How comfy!” 63. Livid feeling
JUNE 18, 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.
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. Combatting Antisemitism webinar on June 15 The Simon Wiesenthal Center ADL Connecticut and Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford invite the public to “Combatting Antisemitism: Working with Unlikely Allies to Challenge Hate” on Tuesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. As Jews and other marginalized communities find themselves increasingly under hate-filled attack, it’s more important than ever that we stand together. During this webinar, renowned coalition-building experts will explore the powerful potential of intercommunity allyship, how to initiate and cultivate these relationships, and responsibilities and expectations on both sides. The webinar’s guest speakers will be Walter Mosely, CEO of Mosley Advisory Group and Former NYS Assembly; Rabbi Bob Kaplan, executive director of The Center for Community Leadership at the JCRC- NY; and Joel N. Lohr, PhD., president of The Hartford Seminary. The moderator will be Dr. Dale Atkins, psychologist, author, commentator. Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_CPdjBIOTSk6DcF0Y6ChXhA
THURSDAY, JUNE 17 Panel: The Future of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State Hadassah’s Eastern CT will present a panel discussion on the future of Israel as our Jewish and Democratic State with three of Hadassah’s national leaders in Zionist education and advocacy for a panel discussion followed by comments and questions. Over the past several weeks, Israel has been in the throes of tumultuous events, on the battlefield and in the political world. Our panel will address the state of play in Israel today – will help us understand the background history of how we got here and will lead us in discussing what the future may 18
portend and how we – as American Jews – can respond and advocate. The three panelists are Judy Shereck – the National Zionist Advocacy Chair; Naomi J. Brunnlehrman, Director of Hadassah’s Education and Advocacy Division; and Cheryl Sperber, the Chair of Zionist Education. Hadassah Members will receive the Zoom link for the program. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. Please contact President Karen Bloustine at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to receive the Zoom link for Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m. 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. Book Club: “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love” Inheritance, a memoir by author Dani Shapiro will be up for virtual discussion at the first meeting of Congregation Or Shalom’s book club to be held June 17 at 7 p.m. Inheritance is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story – and secrets – of her own identity. Discussion led by Toby Zabinski. To register and receive the Zoom link, email coshalom@ sbcglobal.net. Lunch & Learn: From Bruriah to Nechama Leibowitz Yuliya Mazur-Shlomi will lead an examination of these two female Torah scholars–apart in time, yet similar in destiny–and assess whether we’re walking in their footsteps today. From antiquity to today, are we our mothers’ daughters? Lunch & Learn is a weekly Zoom program hosted by UJA/JCC of Greenwich, every Thursday, 12:30 – 1:30 pm on Zoom. To register, visit ujajcc.org. For information: (203) 552-1818.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17 THRU SUNDAY, JUNE 20 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT “The Spy Behind Home Plate,” from the USA (2018, 80 minutes) will screen online on June 17 - 20 at 7:30 p.m. The first feature-length documentary to tell the real story of Morris “Moe” Berg, the enigmatic and brilliant Jewish baseball player turned spy. Berg caught and fielded in the major leagues during baseball’s Golden Age in the 1920s and 1930s. But very few people know that Berg also worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), spying in Europe and playing a prominent role in
| JUNE 18, 2021
America’s efforts to undermine the German atomic bomb program during WWII. Guest speaker: Producer/Director/Writer Aviva Kempner, Sunday, June 20, 7:30 p.m. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 p.m. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.
FRIDAY, JUNE 18 Join the Dignity Stroll UJA-JCC is sponsoring the Dignity Stroll at Cos Cob Park on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (rain date: June 25), to benefit Dignity Grows, a program that provides essential personal hygiene products to those in need. Meet at the park’s pavillion; bring coffee or tea/a challah tasting will be provided. Participants must sponsor a Dignity Pack. Free parking provided. For more information go to ujajcc.org
SUNDAY, JUNE 20 THRU TUESDAY, JUNE 22 Davis Film Festival: “Here We Are” UJA-JCC Greenwich Davis Film Festival presents “Here We Are” (Israel, drama/ comedy, 91 min.), the story of a young happily married couple desperate to have a baby. A sincere yet painfully funny look at the pressures of family planning. Contains nudity and explicit sexual content. To register to receive a personalized Vimeo link (can only be viewed on the Vimeo site): (203) 552-1818. ujajcc.org.
MONDAY, JUNE 21 Tackling Antisemitism and Bigotry with NFL star Zach Banner UJA-JCC Greenwich presents “30 Minutes with Pittsburgh Steelers player Zach Banner on June 21. Moderated by Michael Neuman, founder of the Jewish Inspiration Foundation. In his work with Black Lives Matter, Banner advocates that communities of color must understand the Jewish experience of discrimination and seek ways to elevate themselves without “stepping on the backs of other people.” For more information, visit ujajcc.org.
THURSDAY, JUNE 24 Lunch & Learn: Torah from the Years of Wrath Henry Abramson, PhD, the Warsaw Ghetto writings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira (the Aish Kodesh). Lunch & Learn is a weekly Zoom program hosted by UJA/JCC of Greenwich, every Thursday, 12:30 – 1:30
pm on Zoom. To register, visit ujajcc.org. For information: (203) 552-1818.
THURSDAY, JUNE 24 THRU SUNDAY, JUNE 27 27th Annual Jewish FilmFest of Eastern CT “Crescendo” (from Germany, with English subtitles, 2020, 106 minutes) will screen June 24 - 27 at 7:30 p.m. It tell the story of a renowned conductor who assembles an orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian youth, only to be drawn into a tempest of distrust and discord. For personal reasons, maestro Eduardo Sporck agrees to arrange a symbolic concert for a Middle East peace summit in Italy. But as auditions begin in Tel Aviv, conflict between the factions flares up, and it takes all the conductor’s skills to get his musicians in harmony. An impressive cast of Israeli and Palestinian non-actors, lends authenticity to this powerful drama, loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Guest speaker: Screenwriter Stephen Glantz, Sunday, June 27, 7:30 pm. Movie link will be available to view from Thursday at 12:01 a.m. through Sundays at 11:59 p.m. Admission if FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.
SATURDAY, JUNE 26 Benny Carter Tribute Jazz Concert This summer, the JCC in Sherman brings back its annual Benny Carter Tribute Jazz Concert featuring the TJ Thompson Trio, playing the soul, jazz and Blues of Nola, Memphis and more, will be held outdoors on June 26, 7 9 p.m. (rain date: Sunday June 27, 7 p.m.) Bring your mask and a chair! Tickets must be purchased online prior to the concert; they will not be available at the door. Limited seating available. Tickets: $20 Members | $25 Non-Members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jccinsherman.org, email email@example.com, or call (860) 355-8050. Shir Ami Beach Havdallah Congregation Shir Ami’s next Havdalla service will take place on the beach at Tod’s Point on Saturday evening, June 26 at 7 p.m. To attend in person and be allowed onto the beach without a pass, you must register ahead of time so your name can be put on a list given to Tod’s Point. Ronny and Ira Kaplan will provide the symbols of havdallah (wine, sopices and braided candles) in memory of their friend Jan Weingrad Smith. Please follow these CDC and Shir Ami safety guidelines: Bring your own chairs or towels to use for seating at our outdoor Beach Shabbat Services; Bring your own food/drinks jewishledger.com
JUNE 15 – JUNE 29 – no sharing of food; Fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks but should have them available for group singing or for using in the rest rooms; Adults/Children who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks and social distance; Anyone who has been recently exposed or who isn’t feeling well should do a home test prior to coming to confirm they have a negative test or attend the service via Zoom; In order to keep everyone healthy and safe, we ask that people refrain from hugs and kisses for the time being. For more information visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, JUNE 29 The Important & Impact of Telling Family Stories For more than two decades, along with his Emory Colleague Robyn Fivush, Prof. Marshall Duke has been studying the positive impact on children (and adults) of knowing their family stories – the good parts and the not-so-good parts. This FREE virtual talk will describe their research and bring participants up-to-date on the relationship between knowledge of family stories and psychological
resilience. It will be held June 29 at 7 p.m. and hosted by United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. To register, visit ujf.org/story. www.ujf.org/ story. For more information, contact Sharon Franklin at email@example.com Jewish Historian Hasia Diner to discuss the Jewish migration to the New World Jewish historian Hasia Diner, the Paul And Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University and a two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, will talk about her book, Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migration to the New World as guest speaker at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford Annual Meeting, to be held June 29 at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. Diner is known for her work on immigration and ethnicity, American Jewry and the Holocaust, her biographies of Julius Rosenwald and Hank Greenberg, and more. Co-sponsored by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. To register, visit jhsgh.org/2021-annualmeeting.
BULLETIN BOARD New England Chapter of March of the Living Launches Recruitment Drive for 2022 Trip to Poland and Israel A $2,000 scholarship is being offered to every qualified high school junior and senior who participates in the 2022 March of the Living (MOTL) Jewish heritage trip to Poland and Israel. The 2022 MOTL trip will run April 24 – May 8, 2022. Trip guides include educators, rabbis, Holocaust survivors. “This is the only program of its kind and it is important that we take as many students as possible,” said Irv Kempner of Sharon, chair of New England Friends of MOTL. “The annual March of the Living (MOTL) trip (only missed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic) simultaneously teaches about the roots of prejudice and Holocaust history, builds lifelong Jewish identity, creates ambassadors for Israel, and helps teens meet new friends from around the world.” Highlights of the two-week trip include visits to historic Jewish sites in Poland, visits to concentration camps with Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah) ceremonies in Poland, followed a week later with tours throughout Israel, climaxing with celebrations in Jerusalem on Israel jewishledger.com
Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). Kempner, the son of Holocaust survivors, emphasized the importance of educating the next generation. In a college student survey last year, 63 percent of those surveyed did not know that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Seven percent weren’t sure if the Holocaust even occurred and three percent denied that it happened. Another survey showed 95 percent of participants in past MOTL trips agreed the experience strengthened their Jewish identity and their bond with Israel. It’s a lifelong lesson about ‘Never again.’ New England Friends of MOTL is committed to make the experience affordable for every Jewish teen who wants to participate through its $2,000 scholarship offer. Space is limited. Contact Aaron Kischel, director of Teen Programming for more information about registration: kischel7241@gmail. com / (781)799-4765. Additional financial assistance may be available from area temples and organizations. To contribute, contact Development Chair Jim Slovin at jim@motlnewengland. org / (508) 846-2448. Contributions may be made via the website https:// motlnewengland.org/. New England Friends of MOTL is a tax-exempt charitable organization as defined by Federal Tax code section 501(c)(3).
BY RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB
ur voices can be expressed in a variety of ways: through speech, through the written word, and even by means of our postures and gestures. Our voices can also be expressed through song. Each of the great leaders of the Jewish people, from biblical times down to the present, had his or her own distinctive voice. The voice of Abraham was heard throughout his world; the voice of Isaac was almost silent in comparison. Moses described his own voice as defective, yet he was capable of supreme eloquence. Joshua’s voice is never described as wanting in any way, yet we have few examples of his personal unique voice. Some of our great leaders, including Moses, expressed their voices in song. We have the Song of the Sea in which the voice of Moses dominates; his sister Miriam responds to Moses’ song in her own voice; the Prophetess Deborah and King David are exemplary in their ability to use the medium of song to express their unique and distinctive voices. All of the above are examples of how individual Jewish heroes and heroines found and expressed their voices. This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Chukat, provides an example of an entirely different kind of a voice: not the voice of one person, but the voice of an entire group, indeed of an entire nation. It is the Song of the Well, of the Be’er: “...the well where the Lord said to Moses, ‘Assemble the people that I may give them water.’ Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well – sing to it – The well which the chieftains dug, Which the nobles of the people started With the sceptre, and with their own staffs. And from the wilderness to Mattanah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth...” (Numbers 21:16-19) This is a much briefer song then the song that Moses led when the people of Israel miraculously crossed the Sea. But part of this passage too, at least in the synagogues with which I am familiar, is chanted melodically. I have long been impressed by the fact that this week’s Torah portion, in which the Song of the Well appears, describes a critical transition in the leadership of the Jewish people. From the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people essentially have had three leaders: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. In this week’s
parsha, Miriam dies and is buried; Aaron too is “gathered unto his people” and is mourned; and Moses learns that his leadership role will come to an end sooner than he had thought, before the Jewish people enter the Promised Land. This is indeed a story of transition, of the end of an era, of the passing of the mantle of leadership to a new generation. No wonder then that the song sung in this week’s parsha is so very different from the song sung by Moses at that triumphant moment near the beginning of his leadership career. Our Sages tell us in the Talmudic tractate of Sotah that the Song of the Sea was sung by the people responsively. That is, Moses said the first phrase, which the people said after him. He proceeded then to the second phrase, and the people echoed him. Moses was an authoritative leader, and the people were obedient followers. Moses was the active composer of the song, the choirmaster as it were, and the people were but the choir. In this week’s Torah portion, two of the leaders pass from the scene, and Moses learns that his leadership authority is waning. The Song of the Well is an entirely different leadership song from the Song of the Sea. In this week’s song, the entire people sing as one. It begins not “Then Moses sang this song,” but rather “Then Israel sang this song.” The leadership passes from one Divinely chosen charismatic leader to the people as a whole. The people find their voice, and it is the voice of song. How beautifully this is expressed in the Midrash Yalkut Shimoni (Chukat Note 764): ...after 40 years, the people finally matured and began to sing a song on their own accord, saying, “Master of the Universe, it is now incumbent upon You to do miracles for us and for us to sing, as it is written: ‘It has pleased the Lord to deliver us and that is why we sing our song all the days of our lives...’” (Isaiah 38:20) Jewish history has known epochs in which there were clear leaders, gifted and often charismatic individuals who, by virtue of their wisdom or heroism, seemed ordained by the Almighty Himself to lead our people. But we have also known times, such as the present, when such prominent leaders are not apparent. It is at times such as these that we all must assume leadership responsibilities. It is at times such as these that we cannot afford to humbly refrain from acting as leaders in our own families and communities. It is at times such as these that we must, each of us, find our own voices and sing the songs of leadership.
JUNE 18, 2021
OBITUARIES FINERMAN Dorine (Hallett) Finerman, 91, of Springfield, Mass., died May 8. She was the wife of the late Jack Finerman. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Sarah (Smith) Hallett. She is survived by two daughters, Jan Krasnor and her husband, Richard, of Madison, and Susan Finerman-Bierly and her husband Jeffrey of Portland; four grandchildren, Leah DelGobbo and her husband Chris of Wolcott, Alison Krasnor of Brighton, Mass., Evan Bierly of Middletown, and Sarah Bierly of Brighton, Mass.; a brother, Wayne Hallett and his wife Janice of East Longmeadow, Mass.; a niece, Cathy Parker of West Springfield, Mass.; and many other nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by two sisters, Rosalie Parker and Frances Gordon. MEYERS Jodi A. Meyers, 59, of New Haven, died on April 8 after a battle with cancer. Born in Stamford but raised in Longmeadow, Mass., she was the daughter of Lois “Kris” Meyers and the late Robert Meyers. In addition to her mother, she is survived by a sister, Ellen Meyers; a sister-in-law, Kim
Anno; a nephew, Jack Anno-Meyers; her stepmother, Sarah Meyers; and two halfbrothers David and Alex Meyers.
Ty, Ethan, Benjamin, Evan, Jacob, Lucas, Lillian, and William; and several nieces and nephews and cousins and their children.
PESKIN Robert Peskin of Springfield, Mass. died on May 15. He was the husband of Marilyn Peskin. The son of the late Sam and Deenie Peskin, he grew up in Norwalk. He was drafted and stationed in Korea during the Korean war as a medic. He was wounded there and received a purple heart. In addition to his wife of 68 years, he is survived by three sons Brian and Debby of Houston, Texas, Stephen and Nancy of Pearland, Texas and Jon and Audrey of Mansfield; and a granddaughter, Alexa Curtis.
TENDLER James David Tendler, 85, of Boynton Beach, Fla., died June 4, 2021. He was the husband of the late Carol (Rosell) Tendler. Born in New Haven, he was the son of the late John and Ida (Rubin) Tendler. He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Dix, N.J. He is survived by two daughters Linda Corradi (Ralph) of Stony Creek, Karen Tendler (John) of Guilford; and a son-in-law, John Pendergast of Orange; a sister, Ellen Cohen of Denver, Colo; five grandchildren, Jacob, Daniel, Rachel, Jennifer, and Lauren; many nieces and nephews; and special friend Bernice Selsky of Boynton Beach, Fla. He was predeceased by a daughter, Jill Pendergast; and a grandchild, Matthew.
SMALL Ann Cecil Warsh Small of of Fairfield, died June 1. She was the wife of the late Dr. John Howard Small. Born in Albany, N.Y., she was the daughter of Tilda and Harry Warsh. She is survived by three children, Andrew Small (Nancy Tricamo) of Orange, N.J., Dr. Jeffrey Small (Ann Small) of Fairfield, and Betsy Small (James Campbell) of Milford, N.H.; ten grandchildren, Andrew, Jesse,
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WEINER Judith D. Weiner of Norwalk died May 28. She was the wife of the late Lawrence Weiner. She is survived by a son, David Hoffman and his wife, Robin, of Lynnfield, Mass.; a daughter, Susan Barra of Stamford; four grandchildren, Matthew Hoffman and husband Thomas Goodman of Boston, Mass., Nathan Hoffman and wife Samantha of Washington, D.C., Holly Barra of New York, N.Y., and Kevin Barra of New York, N.Y.; and step-nieces and nephew, Susan Wells and husband Jim of Seattle, Wash., Marion Weiner Prusher of Queens, N.Y., Judy Jickling of Naperville, Ill., Robert Varenik and wife Tina of New York, N.Y., and Sylvia Nizri and husband Jack of Scotch Plains, N.J. She was predeceased by a brother, Eliot. For more information on placing an obituary, contact: judiej@ jewishledger.
David Dushman, Auschwitz liberator who drove a tank through its fence, dies at 98 (JTA) – David Dushman, a Jewish soldier who liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, died at 98. Dushman died on Saturday, according to the International Olympic Committee. Dushman drove a tank for the Soviet Army when his division arrived at Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in Poland where more than a million Jews were murdered, on Jan. 27, 1945. Dushman mowed down the camp’s fence with his tank, helping liberate the inmates inside, according to Agence France-Presse. “We hardly knew anything about Auschwitz,” he said in a 2015 interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German publication, according to AFP. “They staggered out of the barracks, sat and lay
among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all our canned food and immediately went on to hunt down the fascists.” Dushman was seriously injured in the war but went on to become a renowned fencing coach. He coached the Soviet women’s Olympic fencing team from 1952 to 1988, and several of his fencers won medals. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, when 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, Dushman was sleeping in lodgings across from the Israeli delegation. He moved to Austria and later to Munich, where he fenced recreationally until four years ago.
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Needed, a live-in caregiver for an elderly female home owner in Bloomfield. Duties include trash out, availability at night in case of emergency - attached apartment provided at reduced rent. Applicant must submit 3 references. Call Vivian at 860301-2066.
Nurse (LPN, Male). 2 Years Experience in long term care. 4 Years Home Care as CNA and Nurse. Seeks Private duty. Reliable, honest, hardworking. 860-656-8280.
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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
JUNE 18, 2021
Father’s Day Without Bagels And Lox? You Wouldn’t Let THAT Happen on Father’s Day, Would You? (Stop In For Some Today!)
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HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS! 24
| JUNE 18, 2021