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Friday, June 25, 2021 15 Tammuz 5781 Vol. 93 | No. 26 | ©2021 jewishledger.com

? n e e h im t T o e G th i ve. If Not Now, W Now is







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| JUNE 25, 2021



this week


6 Jewish Dems consider condemning Ilhan Omar

10 Opinion

12 Briefs

15 Around Connecticut


Missing in Action............................. 5 Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s phone call to Jewish community leaders to brief them about his trip to Israel left many taken aback by who was on the guest list…and who wasn’t.

Torah Portion

Boston Wrong.................................... 5 A school investigation found that the Boston-area high school team that came under fire recently for using terms like “Auschwitz” and “rabbi” in play-calling has been employing similar antisemitic language for at least the last decade.

Cone of Silence...............................11 Pro-Palestinian activists wage a social media campaign against Ben & Jerry’s, calling for the company to boycott Israel. But, in response, the only “boycott” the ice cream magnates appear to have entered into is a boycott of social media itself.

16 Arts & Entertainment

17 Crossword

18 Jewish Living Campus Watch...........................................................................................................13 A lawsuit filed against Stanford University alleges that “severe and persistent” antisemitic harassment of several Jewish staff members created for them a hostile work environment that was ignored by school administrators.

19 What’s Happening

20 Obituaries

Remembering a Hero..................... 9 Forty-five years after the Entebbe rescue operation, friends and family gather at the gravesite of Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, who lost his life leading the mission.


Recognizing the importance of endowment giving, the Zachs Family Foundation has created a new and innovative matching gift opportunity – Endow Hartford 21 – that will give donors the opportunity to help build endowments for 51 nonprofits and organizations in the Greater Hartford region. PAGE 8

21 Business and Professional Directory

22 Classified


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JUNE 25, 2021


JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH West Hartford native works to advance LGBTQ rights in Israel… while building equality for Israel in North America. BY STACEY DRESNER


est Hartford native Ethan Felson has more than 30 years of experience as a professional in the Jewish community. After working as assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and director of its Jewish Community Relations Council, he moved on to national leadership roles with the Jewish Federations of North America, directing its Israel Action Network, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Now, Felson is executive director of A Wider Bridge (AWB), a North American LGBTQ non-profit organization whose mission is “working through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grant-making to create equality in Israel by expanding LGBTQ inclusion in Israel, and equality for Israel by cultivating constructive engagement with Israel.” Felson’s LGBTQ activism began when he was in college as the co-founder of the Lesbian and Gay Student Union at Lehigh University. He was co-chair of the Northeast Lesbian and Gay Student Union in the 1980s and helped to pass hate crime and civil rights legislation in Connecticut as a leader with the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights and the Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project. He served as vice chair of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and on the national board of the ACLU. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law. 4


Over the years, Felson has led numerous missions to Israel, including one in 2019 with LGBTQ Christian clergy co-sponsored with A Wider Bridge and serves on UJAPride with the UJA/Federation of New York. Felson recently spoke to the Jewish Ledger about the work of A Wider Bridge, LGBTQ rights in Israel, and Pride Month. JEWISHLEDGER: What is A Wider Bridge doing for Pride Month in 2021? ETHAN FELSON: For all of Pride Month we’re very excited about our “Proud&” campaign. We’re asking people to come to our virtual rallies and tell us what’s on your sign? And people are selecting a word for their sign, they’re “Proud and progressive,” “Proud and Jewish” “Proud and ally” “Proud and trans” “Proud and Zionist” “Proud and Christian.” So we show the multiple commitments of people who are in our network during Pride Month. We also say we refuse to choose. We can be many different things. You can be Jewish and queer and pro-Israel, all at the same time. We get to decide. We had a wonderful panel on June 17 with Ben Freeman and Eve Barlow [both Zionist social media activists] called “Queer Compass: Navigating Jewish, Israel and LGBTQ Pride” talking about some of the issues of how we demonstrate our pride in our diversity and multiple commitments, and where we choose to take our stands. And then at the end of the month, we will have a virtual walking tour of Tel Aviv with a young man named who has done many virtual walking tours with our missions and who will be going around with us on Pride Day in Tel Aviv, live, showing us what’s going on. We’ll meet with some leaders of the LGBTQ community and see the activities that are shaping them, just as Shabbat is rolling in. We’re very excited about that program as well. We hear so much about how Israel is such an accepting place for the LGBTQ community. Is that how you would describe it? Israel remains at the cutting edge in terms of LGBTQ rights, but it exists both in a

| JUNE 25, 2021

complicated neighborhood and – as we know from four elections in two years – in a complicated society. There is not a unanimous position in favor of LGBTQ rights. There were candidates who ran on very homophobic platforms and won a few seats in the Knesset. There is conversion therapy that happens in Israel and, as with anywhere there is, transphobia, broadly LGBTQ-phobia, anti-gay violence, issues in terms of HIV AIDS… all the things that we experience anywhere and everywhere. But in Israel we also are very proud of the more than a dozen organizations that are community centers and trans rights organizations and groups that work in the religious community, with women’s community, with schools that are doing some groundbreaking work that we hope everybody will learn about. How is A Wider Bridge involved with these groups and programs? A Wider Bridge stands for equality in Israel, equality for Israel and justice for everyone. Equality in Israel refers to our connection with these groups; we make grants to those groups; we showcase them wherever we can so that people are aware of them and can support them, because they really are our family and they are doing heroic work. In terms of the second leg of our motto – “Equality for Israel” – we seek fair conversation about Israel and the LGBTQ community and beyond. So we are working with LGBTQ communal leaders, organizational leaders, elected officials and their staffs, helping to educate in a fair, balanced way about the LGBTQ community. In the U.S. Pride Month coincides with the Stonewall Uprising that occurred in June 1969. Was there an event in Israel that compelled the gay community to stand up and demand their rights? There was the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki several years ago, an ally who was at a pride parade. And it was a wake-up call for many that our rights and our safety cannot be taken for granted. Shira was fatally was stabbed by a man who went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade in July 2015.

Clearly, the modern movement doesn’t start with that. But there’s a wonderful book by Lee Walzer – we had him speak in Hartford many years ago – From Sodom to Eden talking about the emergence of the LGBTQ rights movement in Israel. And Aguda – the central LGBTQ organization is more than 40 years old. So it’s been a tireless struggle for decades in Israel. On a personal level, what does Pride Month signify for you as a Jewish gay man? It’s about identity and self-actualization and change. Pride is a year-round experience, but it has particular meaning and significance when we come together and we say, “We are who we are, and we will not allow others to define us. We define ourselves and chart our destiny.” And that is amazing. We recognize that we live in a world with significant LGBTQ phobia. And we’ve been subjected to enough discrimination and violence and loathing, that we take it upon ourselves to change the conditions in our community and our world. Pride is about much more than parades and floats and rainbow flags. It is about that, but it is about very much more. What are your thoughts on those in the LGBTQ community who ostracise members who are professed Zionists? The LGBTQ community is like the rest of America, supportive and proud of Israel – but with some who feel otherwise. A small segment of them, of course, feel strongly, which is their right – but occasionally they try to make LGBTQ spaces uncomfortable for us. Recently someone tweeted to us “No Zionists at Pride.” They want us to choose between our Jewish, Zionist, and LGBTQ identities. We won’t be silenced and we won’t be bullied. We refuse to choose. We are proud of all our identities. To participate in the virtual tour of Tel Aviv on the city’s Pride Day, Friday, June 25, register at http:// awiderbridge.org/tlvpride/




Major Jewish groups are left out of Blinken’s Israel briefing. Oops. (JTA) – When the veteran Jewish leaders logged onto a call to hear from the secretary of state about his trip to Israel, many were surprised by the guest list. While many of the groups typically present on such calls were represented, so was an official from the Holocaust museum here. What, they thought, did he have to do with Middle East peace? They were more taken aback when they realized who was absent: representatives of the major Jewish denominations, public policy groups and an influential Jewish women’s organization.

name an antisemitism monitor. Previous administrations had named those positions at their outset. The absence from the call of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements, each with deep ties to Israel and long histories of seeking to influence peacemaking in the region, particularly rankled. “I know there is not currently a State Department special envoy nor a White House Jewish liaison but nonetheless, how can that be?” an official at one of the


The absences from the June 4 call with Antony Blinken was the latest incidence of what Jewish leaders are privately calling a surprising tone-deafness for an administration led by President Joe Biden, whose ties with the organized Jewish community go back decades. The misstep accelerated calls on the administration to name a White House Jewish liaison and State Department antisemitism monitor, two positions that have gone unfilled even as the Biden administration staffs up in other departments and responds to a spike in reports of antisemitic incidents. The Trump administration drew Jewish organizational complaints for never naming a Jewish liaison and for waiting two years to jewishledger.com

movements said in a letter sent to the State Department official, Kara McDonald, who organized the call. “No organizations have more direct and frequent, personal and emotional contact with the Jewish community than the religious streams or movements, their rabbis and synagogues, even as we emerge from Covid,” said the letter, which the Jewish Telegraphic Agency obtained. Beyond the denominations, the other conspicuous absences were of two major public policy groups with wide constituencies, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the National Council of Jewish Women. The call was off the record, and no

Jewish official on or off it would comment at length on the record, not wishing to alienate the administration. But Nathan Diament, who heads the Washington office of the Orthodox Union and has routinely attended such meetings for years, offered a terse comment: “It was unfortunate.” Since the call, the White House has told Jewish groups that announcements will come soon, according to a source close to the Biden administration. Biden’s nominations have been delayed in part by the exigencies of dealing with the coronavirus and rebuilding the economy devastated by the pandemic. A White House spokesperson did not offer comment. A State Department spokesperson suggested that the department would be more comprehensive in organizing future calls. “The Department of State, including the secretary, is fully committed to continuing to hear from a wide array of voices as the department moves forward on addressing challenges in the Middle East, as well as combating the scourge of antisemitism at home and around the world,” the spokesperson said. “Senior department officials will continue to speak on a regular basis with a variety of stakeholders, including community and religious organizations.” An insider close to the administration said the likeliest candidate for the antisemitism monitor job among the 10 known in April to be in contention is Emory University historian Deborah Lipstadt. The insider listed six possible candidates for the Jewish liaison job: Andrew Dolberg, who led Jewish outreach for the Biden campaign in Florida; Dan Siegel, who had the same job in Pennsylvania; Samantha Joseph, a senior adviser for Jewish engagement to the Biden campaign; Shelley Greenspan, a State Department official who helped launch the Jewish Women for Joe group during the campaign; Gabriel Barnett, the deputy director for the Jewish campaign for the Biden campaign; and Alex Goldman, the assistant Washington director for Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice group. Those candidates are all in their 20s

Boston-area high school football team had long history of antisemitic behavior, report finds BY STEVEN ROSENBERG

(Jewish Journal-Massachusetts via JTA) – A suburban Boston high school football team that had come under fire earlier this year for using Holocaust and Jewish phrases to call plays – “Auschwitz,” “rabbi” and “yarmulke” among them – had been employing similar antisemitic language for at least the last decade. That was the conclusion of an investigation into the incident involving


Duxbury High outlined in a summary of the report by the superintendent of the district schools and posted June 10 to the school’s website. According to the summary by John Antonucci, the team has called the plays with antisemitic language since at least 2010, used homophobic slurs and profanity on the sidelines, and regularly held a Catholic Mass before games for years in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution and court rulings that preclude sectarian instruction in public schools. The full report could not be released, Antonucci’s summary said, because of privacy concerns under state law. The main report focused on the actions of players and coaches, as well as the general culture of the football program, and included interviews with 52 witnesses, including current and former coaches and players, along with parents, teachers and administrators. CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE




JUNE 25, 2021



and 30s. Two candidates who are more senior and have appeared on the shortlist in the past, Matt Nosanchuk, who held the role in the Obama administration, and Aaron Keyak, who led Jewish outreach for the Biden administration, are not seen as likely because the Jewish liaison position is likely not to be a senior position. No one on or off the call believed the snubs were deliberate, pointing to other recent times when groups that were excluded had been treated respectfully by the Biden administration. Jewish Federations of North America and the Orthodox Union were among five organizations that got an immediate response last month after they requested quick action from the White House to address rising antisemitism amid the Gaza conflict. And a full range of organizations that deal with domestic issues were on a call Friday, June 11 – the same day as the Blinken call – with two top Justice Department civil rights officials, Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke. They said McDonald, the deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor who is directing the office of the antisemitism monitor until one is in place and who organized the Blinken call, is simply unfamiliar with the organized Jewish community. Insiders noted that in March, when Blinken wrote a letter to say that the Biden administration “enthusiastically” embraced a definition of antisemitism favored by mainstream Jewish groups, he sent it to the American Zionist Movement, an umbrella group that does not deal with antisemitism. That, they say, was a misstep by McDonald, who did not reply to a request for comment on how she selected who would attend the Blinken meeting. McDonald is steeped in issues of religious freedom and antisemitism monitoring, which is why she might have included Robert Williams, the deputy director of international affairs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. But his participation was still considered odd by others in the group: The museum is a federally and privately supported institution, not a Jewish or pro-Israel group. Blinken spoke briefly about rising antisemitism at the meeting. The bad feelings undermined what participants said was an otherwise good and productive conversation: Blinken assured participants that the Biden administration would hew to strict guidelines to keep post-Gaza conflict humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians from reaching Hamas, and would maintain restrictions on aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it subsidizes the families of convicted terrorists. 6


“Good conversation with Jewish community leaders on Israel and the West Bank & Gaza,” Blinken said on Twitter after the meeting. “I reiterated [Biden’s] commitment to combat antisemitism amidst a troubling rise in incidents and that Israelis & Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, opportunity, freedom and dignity.” Blinken, who is Jewish, had a call the same day with Palestinian-American groups. “Important conversation with Palestinian-American leaders about the violence in Israel, the West Bank & Gaza,” he said on Twitter. “We are committed to rebuilding our relationship with the Palestinian people. Israelis & Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity and dignity.” On the Jewish call were the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Israel Policy Forum, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, J Street, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Democratic Majority for Israel, the American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress, as well as the Holocaust museum. The Presidents Conference representative, CEO William Daroff, got the first question, and Susie Gelman, the chairwoman of the Israel Policy Forum was next, followed by the ADL and AIPAC. The IPF is relatively small, but its posture – emphatically endorsing a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while opposing conditioning defense assistance to Israel – is closest to the Biden administration’s Middle East policy. The president of J Street, Jeremy Ben-Ami, was lower down on the list. The group also backs two states, but more recently has also joined a number of lawmakers on the Democratic left who say assistance for Israel should be up for review.

Jewish Dems consider conde likening Hamas to Israel & U (JTA) – Jewish Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives met Wednesday, June 16 to discuss antisemitism. The 25 members of the unofficial caucus ended up fulminating about a fellow Democrat, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for appearing to liken Hamas and the Taliban to Israel and the United States. It was the second meeting of the Jewish Democrats in recent weeks. The first focused on the Israel-Hamas conflict and the accompanying spike in antisemitic incidents in the United States. Wednesday’s assembly focused on an Omar tweet from Monday, June 14.


“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar posted. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” A number of lawmakers at the meeting want to name Omar in a statement saying that her claim “discredited” the party, two sources said. Such a statement would be unprecedented since the Gaza conflict: Jewish members have called out statements on Israel by lawmakers on the party’s left, but have yet to name them. (Jewish lawmakers named Omar during a separate controversy in 2019.) Others on the call were hesitant to issue a statement. There appeared to be unanimous frustration with Omar’s comment, but not about how to address it. Among those pressing to condemn Omar by name were Brad Schneider of Illinois, Brad Sherman of California and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a leading progressive, appeared to be hesitant, but did not outright oppose a statement, the sources said. No one on the call said they believed the tweet was antisemitic, the sources added. Critics of Omar within the Jewish Democratic caucus were considering sending their own letter if they were unable to persuade the entire caucus to sign on, a source said. Others attending included Jerry Nadler of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Elaine Luria of Virginia. In 2019, Schakowsky joined Omar on a campaign against antisemitism and Islamophobia. Republicans have chided Democrats for not singling out purported offenders in their ranks, noting that they have condemned by name one

High school football CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

“Duxbury let their players and the community down by allowing winning games to take precedence over fostering an environment that is inclusive and free of bias, slander and stereotyping,” said Robert Trestan, the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional director. “Pregame religious services violate Constitutional protections and ignore the power imbalance between students and their coaches. The systemic problem documented in the report confirms the need for institutional change.” Trestan said the ADL was working with district officials as changes are implemented. The report was part of an investigation commissioned by the town after school | JUNE 25, 2021

officials learned that a Duxbury player had called out a play termed “Auschwitz” in a March 12 game. Later that month, the school district fired the football coach, Dave Maimaron, who told the Boston Herald that some of the chants had been started years ago by Jewish football players as a “tongue-incheek” gesture. According to the report, “antisemitic words and other references to the Holocaust by members of the football program,” including “rabbi,” “dreidel,” “yarmulke” and “Hanukkah,” were “a systemic issue and had happened at practices potentially as far back as 2010. Sufficient credible evidence was found to support the conclusion that coaching jewishledger.com

emning Ilhan Omar for US of their own – Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia – for her conspiracy-fueled statements invoking the Holocaust. Omar’s tweet contained a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Congress that day about why the Biden administration opposes efforts by the International Criminal Court to probe nationals of certain countries for alleged war crimes. Omar said she did not believe that Hamas, the Afghanistan government, the Taliban and Israel met the threshold of a military justice system sufficient to independently pursue justice. “I haven’t seen in evidence in either case,” the Afghan and the Gaza conflicts, “that domestic courts both can and will prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity,” she said. “Where do we think victims are supposed to go for justice, and what justice mechanisms do you support?” Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Omar, said her question focused on thanking the Biden administration for withdrawing sanctions on the ICC for considering prosecutions of U.S. and Israeli officials, and asking what mechanism victims of alleged war crimes could access outside the ICC. “Rep. Omar thanked Secretary of State Blinken for the administration’s decision to repeal the sanctions and asked about justice mechanisms for victims of war crimes outside the criminal court,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “As usual, the far right is ginning up hate against Rep. Omar for a technical question about an ongoing investigation. It is the congresswoman’s role as a member of Congress conducting federal oversight to follow the facts, ask questions of the administration and work to make sure the

staff were aware of the use of such terms during practices.” The report identified several “corrective actions” for the district to implement. They include reviewing the athletic program and its handbook, coaching evaluations and business functions. In addition, an Athletic Advisory Committee has been established to review and make recommendations about the athletic program. Some coaches have participated in diversity, equity and inclusion training program. Also, a group of coaches and players will take part in a training by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. “I am glad the school released a report jewishledger.com

public understands our government shouldn’t deny any person from seeking justice.” Israeli and mainstream pro-Israel officials expressed outrage over the Omar tweet. “Beyond shocking. Beyond reprehensible,” David Harris, the American Jewish Committee CEO, said on Twitter. “Will members of her own party speak up?” Schneider was involved in AJC before entering Congress. Twelve hours after a request from the Democratic congressmen that she clarify her remarks, Omar complied – but added that the request for clarification was itself bigoted. She was also furious that the Jewish Democrats who issued the statement did not first reach out to her. “It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call,” she said. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.” Slevin, in a separate tweet, said that accusing a Muslim member of Congress of covering for terrorism was Islamophobic. Also calling out the 12 Jewish members for not dealing with the issue privately first was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat who is a leader of the “squad” of progressives that includes Omar. “Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” Ocasio Cortez said on Twitter. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leading to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”

about the Duxbury High School football team’s use of antisemitic terms,” said Karen Wong, a Duxbury resident who is one of an estimated 60 Jews in the small coastal town. “Emotions in the community are running high. “I was surprised and disappointed to learn that religious prayers and attending Mass were blended into the culture of a public-school sports program. While participation was optional, it is very difficult for student-athletes to opt out of events that are meant to be team building.” A version of this story originally appeared in the Jewish JournalMassachusetts.

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Philanthropist launches endowment campaign to strengthen non-profits throughout Greater Hartford


reater Hartford has hundreds of nonprofits, educational and cultural institutions that keep us healthy, support our most vulnerable populations, inspire our creativity and care for our historical treasures. These institutions are a critical economic engine and an integral part of our region’s civic fabric. By establishing and building endowments, they can secure their future and send a message of long-term stability, fiscal responsibility, and financial viability. Recognizing the importance of endowment giving, the Zachs Family Foundation has created a matching gift opportunity, Endow Hartford 21, to help build endowments for nonprofit organizations in the Greater Hartford region. More than 60 organizations were invited to participate, representing a broad spectrum of nonprofit services from health and human services to arts and culture. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving (HFPG) and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford (JCF) are collaborating to provide administrative support and in so doing, have helped to create a ‘first of its kind’ program, designed to incentivize endowment giving throughout the community. With a matching fund to stimulate giving, it is hoped that donors will be inspired to make gifts to multiple organizations, and thereby ensure the longterm stability of these vital institutions. The Endow Hartford 21 Match Program has been initially funded with $1 million from the Zachs Family Foundation. Other organizations and individuals are being approached for additional matching funds and to date, an additional $700,000 has been raised. “I woke up Thanksgiving Day at 4 a.m. and thought ‘something is missing,’” says Henry Zachs, president of the Zachs Family Foundation, explaining how he came up with the idea for this new and innovative endowment campaign. “I came up with the idea for Endow Hartford 21 and it has evolved into something truly remarkable

and unique. In total, 51 organizations have signed on to participate. With multiple organizations spreading the word about this special opportunity, I believe we will achieve “cross-pollination” of the donors, to the benefit of every organization that participates. It will help raise awareness of the critical work being done in our community. Many will learn of worthy nonprofits they never knew existed. This is something Hartford is ready for and can be proud to be a part of.” The five-member Advisory Board of Endow Hartford 21, JoAnn Price, Marilda Gándara, David Miller, Henry Zachs and Eric Zachs, will help guide this remarkable philanthropic endeavor. Additionally, all donors will be recognized on the Endow Hartford 21 website through a designated “honor roll” that lists donors by giving range, but which especially highlights those who make gifts to multiple participating organizations. Endow Hartford 21 stands out not only for its uniqueness and the impressive breadth of agencies it will benefit, but also for bringing together Hartford’s two leading foundations in a community-wide campaign for the very first time. “The Jewish Community Foundation is privileged to support Henry’s vision to help endow Greater Hartford’s nonprofits, to ensure they remain vibrant and vital for generations to come,” says Jacob Schreiber, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. “It’s amazing how Henry continues to initiate campaigns – without being asked – because of the values he grew up with, his tireless entrepreneurial spirit, and his belief that the world becomes a better place only when people act in a determined fashion.” Jay Williams, president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving agrees, noting, “The Endow Hartford 21 initiative is a wonderful opportunity for our community. We are grateful to the Zachs family and the other matching donors and are pleased to support the effort to enhance the financial

stability of so many vital organizations across Greater Hartford.”

How to contribute to the campaign The more matching funds raised, the greater the matching opportunity. A larger matching fund will help the organizations increase their endowments. If you are interested in becoming a Lead Donor to the general matching fund, please contact Sara or Henry directly. The Endow Hartford 21 Match Program will run for a minimum of 1 year, beginning June 1, 2021. The program will match gifts between $250 to $10,000 per donor per organization made by an individual, family, foundation, business, or corporation. Donors are encouraged to give to multiple participating organizations. Pledges alone will not qualify for the match. Gifts may be made by check, credit card, or gifts of appreciated stock. The participating organizations have chosen either the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving or the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford to administer the funds. Visit www.EndowHartford21.com for more information on how to make a gift to one or more organizations. Gifts must be paid by the donor directly to the Hartford Foundation or Jewish Community Foundation for the benefit of the donor’s chosen organization(s). All gifts will be unrestricted for the benefit of the participating organizations. For a full list of participating organizations see the list to the right or visit the Endow 21 website. For more information about Endow Hartford 21, contact Sara Gelpke at sgelpke@mcmgmt.com, or 860-727-5733, or Henry Zachs at hzachs@mcmgmt.com or 860-306-2787. For information regarding the administration of the funds, contact: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Deborah Rothstein Phone: 860-463-5233 Email: DRothstein@hfpg.org Website: https://www.hfpg.org Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford Kathryn Gonnerman Phone: 413-475-0415 Email: KGonnerman@jcfhartford.org Website: https://www.jcfhartford.org



| JUNE 25, 2021

ENDOW HARTFORD 21 LIST OF PARTICIPATING AGENCIES American School for the Deaf Bushnell Park Foundation Charter Oak Cultural Center Chrysalis Center, Inc. Connecticut Explored, Inc. Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare Connecticut Historical Society Connecticut Science Center Covenant Preparatory School CT Immigrant Refugee Coalition (CIRC) Dignity Grows Elizabeth Park Conservancy Federation Homes Friends of Keney Park Girls for Technology Grace Academy Harc, Inc. Hartford Artisan’s Weaving Center Hartford Promise Hartford Public Library Hartford Stage Hartford Symphony Orchestra Hartford Youth Scholars Hebrew Senior Care Hill-Stead Museum Hispanic Health Council Intensive Education Academy Interval House Jewish Association for Community Living Jewish Family Services Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford Jewish Teen Learning Connection (JTConnect) JFACT Fund Mandell Jewish Community Center (JCC) New England Jewish Academy Oak Hill School Our Piece of the Pie Playhouse Theatre Group Real Art Ways Renbrook School Riverfront Recapture San Juan Center Solomon Schechter Day School The Amistad Center for Art & Culture The Children’s Museum The Mark Twain House & Museum The Village for Families & Children TheaterWorks Urban League of Greater Hartford Voices of Hope


IN MEMORIAM Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu: ‘A Symbol of courage and heroism’ BY YEHUDA SHLEZINGER

(Israel Hayom via JNS) A memorial service was held on Wednesday, June 16, at the gravesite of Lt. Col. Yonatan (“Yoni”) Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, who lost his life 45 years ago during “Operation Entebbe,” a successful counterterrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by Israeli commandos at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976. The service, held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, was attended by family and friends, including Netanyahu, now the opposition leader, and his wife, Sara, as well as President-elect Isaac Herzog and many Likud members. Herzog, the main speaker at the event, described the late officer as the symbol of bravery in Israeli ethos. “In the 45 years since Entebbe, Yoni has become engraved in our hearts and minds as a symbol of a soldier, a fighter, a commander, a brother and leader, to look up to and learn about courage and heroism,” he said. Maj. Gen. Shai Avital, who served in a unit that was under Yoni Netanyahu’s command during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, recalled how instead of being paralyzed with fear during a fierce battle with the Syrian army, Netanyahu led his soldiers with bravery and a clear mind, inspiring his soldiers to continue fighting. “Such descriptions are an example of Yoni Netanyahu’s legacy,” noted Herzog. “He was a fearless fighter who had the courage to stand up to the enemy, a commander whose soldiers became stronger


under his daring leadership, a man whose every action and decision in life were an expression of heroism and an Israeli who did everything to protect his home, country, birthplace and people,” he said. “My family and I would like to thank all of you for coming today, and you, President Isaac Herzog, for your accurate and uplifting words,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony’s end. “It’s been 45 years since we lost Yoni. Had he lived, he would be 75 years old and would have so much to contribute to the State of Israel. I want to say that there is not a single day that I do not think of him. Not a day when I do not remember him.” This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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JUNE 25, 2021



How a ‘wokestorm’ is misleading a generation about Israel BY AVRAM MLOTEK


ust a few weeks ago, the streets of New York City were filled with thousands of people shouting “intifada” while also claiming “Black Lives Matter.” In that same period, a violent proPalestinian mob attacked Jews on the streets of New York. Others violently assaulted Jews at a restaurant in Los Angeles, vandalized European synagogues, and targeted Jews in Chicago and Montreal. Normally, unprovoked attacks against another group of people would be widely condemned and its perpetrators called out for what they are. But these attacks were “tied” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so many on the left defended them in the name of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech – or worse, by suggesting that the victims somehow deserved it. In light of the recent violence in Israel and Gaza, woke warriors today are rehashing their charges of “apartheid,” claiming Israel is a “white supremacist” society seeking to subvert and cleanse its Palestinian population. But something far more insidious is happening as well in Jewish communities all over the world: Jew haters are using the conflict in the Middle East as an excuse to unleash their unabashed hatred of Jews wherever they dwell.

How can honest advocates for justice condone such violent attacks against a people? The answer is a simple one, though many refuse to accept it: Antisemitism is socially acceptable among the woke. Or to put in “boomers” terms, apparently Jewish blood is still cheap. Nearly 80 years ago, Jewish children were burned in ovens under German state-sponsored terrorism while the world shrugged. The world is still shrugging as Israeli children go to sleep in bomb shelters, fearful for their lives and well-being. Israelis come in all colors and creeds. Look at Lod, Haifa and Acre, the multiethnic, multicultural cities of Arabs and Jews torn apart by rioting during last month’s conflict. It is because Israel strives to be a country “of all its inhabitants” – including 2 million Arab citizens – that the unrest is being treated as an internal crisis, and politicians have condemned Jewish vigilantes and Arab rioters. Israeli Jews are roughly divided between Ashkenazi Jews with roots in Europe and Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews with roots around the Mediterranean and the Middle East, who in turn were descendants of Jews from the Holy Land going back hundreds and thousands of years. Claiming that Jews are white, European “colonizers of Israel” – as




woke activists frequently do – is about as historically honest as saying Native Americans don’t have a right to live in the United States. Unfortunately, segments of the Jewish population are some of the most vocal supporters of this fraudulent ideology, trading our people for acceptance, forgetting our own history for the expediency of being politically correct. Jewish Currents magazine would have us believe that Israel still needs to perform “teshuva” (repentance) for providing safe haven to Jews in 1948 (forget that countless Arab countries expelled their Jews then). IfNotNow questions whether Zionism – the movement for Jewish self-determination, the movement that gave birth to a country where more than 7 million fellow Jews now live – should be “a core part of our [Jewish] identity.” Jewish Voice for Peace considers Zionism “a false and failed answer” to centuries of murderous antisemitism. It seems that portions of our people have forgotten why Israel was established in the first place: to serve as a safe haven for Jews in our own ancestral homeland. Cleary that need is as vital today as it was in the 1930s and before. Instead, the Jewish woke equate tikkun olam with intifada and in so doing pervert Jewish values to a sickening extreme, aligning themselves not just with Palestinians with legitimate grievances and a vision for a shared future, but with people who seek the destruction of the Jewish people wherever they may live. (Note: Hamas doesn’t just want Israel Judenrein, but the whole world.) Of course, Jewish fanaticism is abhorrent. Like any democracy, Israel has its religious and political extremes. As a rabbi I have spoken against the prime minister’s inclusion of militant parties in his coalition and denounce bigotry and violence from wherever it may stem. The current anti-Zionist moment is not about that. It is about rejecting one people’s claims to a land in favor of another’s, a mirror image of the “apartheid” label they attach to Israel. Of course, Palestinian lives matter. Even Alan Dershowitz said that much before Bernie Sanders realized he could co-opt a woke slogan. How profoundly unfortunate it is that the Palestinian leadership continues to undermine its own people’s well-being, repeatedly rejecting peace accords with Israel, and most recently, refusing its own people democratic elections. Let’s remember that the Palestinian prime minister is still serving a four-year term that started in 2006.

The Israeli-Arab conflict is a decadeslong, complex one, but woke culture sees no nuance, only supremacist and victim. Many of the leading lights of the Democratic Party amplify this mess. If only Bernie could listen to Bernie from 2014 telling protesters that Hamas uses Gazan children as shields. Common sense isn’t what it used to be. And of course, Judaism advocates for a certain kind of “wokeness.” Judaism instructs us to pursue justice constantly. But the prophets of the Hebrew Bible were not only the most adamant in calling for a righteous society but in creating a generous one, too. “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God,” the prophet Micah charged. It seems that today’s generation has forgotten Micah’s last sentiment. Woke culture is in desperate need of humility, admitting that truth does not dwell in Twitter nor the Messiah in a meme. If the “woke community” really sought to awaken, it would realize that Jew hatred is the oldest of hatreds. Of all the countries in the world with egregious human rights records, how is it that the State of Israel, which has Arab members of Knesset and a LGBTQ parade in Jerusalem, is so often singled out by the United Nations for reprimand? Which other country on the planet would tolerate a daily barrage of missiles aimed at its civilian populations? How can one justify the assault on nonIsraelis in cities worldwide in the name of ending the “occupation”? It is time for the world to “wake up” and recognize when defense of Palestinian rights becomes a one-sided, distorted, often violent assault against Jews, plain and simple. People of conscience and especially Jews ought to know better. Rabbi Avram Mlotek was named one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis by the Forward in May 2016 and is a founder of Base Hillel, a home focused rabbinic ministry now in ten cities worldwide. He is the author of “Why Jews Do That or 30 Questions Your Rabbi Never Answered.” This article originally appeared on The New York Jewish Week.


Ben & Jerry’s stop using social media. Is pro-Palestinian harassment the reason? BY ASAF SHALEV

(JTA) – Pro-Palestinian activists were swarming the social media comments sections of Ben & Jerry’s to demand the company boycott Israel. In response, Ben & Jerry’s appears to have indeed entered a boycott – of social media itself. The international ice cream brand with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales typically posts to its Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages daily, including about the many progressive social causes that the company supports. But Ben & Jerry’s fell silent on May 18 amid the deadly exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that also played out intensely on social media. The company did not respond to a JTA request for an explanation. Those who waged a social media campaign against Ben & Jerry’s because of its affiliated factory in Israel and the availability of its products in Israeli settlements are taking credit for the silence. “20 days without online advertising means @benandjerrys knows they can’t go back to business as usual without addressing their investments in Israeli colonization and land theft. Now is not the time to back down,” a user named @ princessmlokhia, an anti-Zionist account with nearly 15,000 followers, tweeted earlier this week. The movement even has a hashtag, #HasBenand JerrysTweetedYet. The silence is atypical for a company famously founded by two Jewish hippies in Vermont. Ben & Jerry’s, which launched in 1978, is known for its marketing strategy of appealing to social justice values. Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the company added a special section of its website devoted to combating white supremacy. “Silence is NOT an option,” the site says. But Ben & Jerry’s has conspicuously refrained from weighing in on IsraeliPalestinian affairs. So while it has readily marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling barring school segregation in the 1950s and condemned the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack as a riot for white supremacy, the company did not mention Israel or Palestine even as the flare-up in May grabbed headlines around the world. But on social media, users can respond even when nothing has been said. And each time a new Ben & Jerry’s post appeared, a digital crowd formed to condemn the company. For example, when Ben & Jerry’s asked, ”Any mint lovers out there?” user @ husammunism spoke up – but not about favorite flavors. jewishledger.com

Offering an opinion on the company’s politics, this user wrote: “Will never buy Ben and Jerry’s until I hear you all stop doing business in illegal settlements stealing Palestinian land and contributing to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” In other words, Ben & Jerry’s was being repeatedly ratioed, which is internet slang for when replies to a post, typically negative, vastly outnumber “likes.” The criticism of the brand coalesced on May 19 with a call by a social justice group called Decolonize Burlington in Vermont for Americans to boycott the company, according to the Burlington Free Press. Local activists have been lobbying against Ben & Jerry’s Israel ties since at least 2012. “If Ben & Jerry’s wants to profit off of anti-racist messaging, they need to be consistent,” Decolonize Burlington said in its post. “The BLM movement has publicly supported the Palestinian cause. It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to divest from their holdings in Israel.” Ben & Jerry’s has not responded to the activists. The last time Ben & Jerry’s was caught up in Israeli-Palestinian politics on social media was in 2018, when the proIsrael camp was attacking the brand for supporting left-wing activists such as Linda Sarsour, who has been accused of animus toward Israel. The Israeli Ben & Jerry’s, the brand’s only independent licensee, is widely popular. It has produced special flavors for holidays, such as haroset for Passover and “mixed-up” for this spring’s national election, and last year held a Purim costume party whose prize was a six-month supply of ice cream. The Israeli Ben & Jerry’s also did not post during the recent conflict. But the day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire, it resumed posting to its thousands of followers. “The quality of a weekend is measured in a quality brunch,” it said in Hebrew, “for example one that incorporates an ice cream sandwich.”


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JUNE 25, 2021



Jewish groups among recipients of MacKenzie Scott’s grants

Israeli’s birthplace switched from ‘Jerusalem’ to ‘Occupied Territories’ on UK passport (JNS) Israel’s Foreign Ministry is investigating a report that an Israeli woman had her birthplace changed from “Jerusalem” to “Occupied Palestinian Territories” upon renewing her U.K. passport. Ayelet Balaban, a dual IsraeliBritish citizen who has held a U.K. passport all her life, said she was shocked upon receiving the new document, according to Israel’s Kan. According to Balaban, she sent her old passport to England about two weeks ago, and received the new one on Monday. Upon discovering the change, Balaban checked with her brother, who renewed his British passport two years ago, and which still listed “Jerusalem” as his place of birth. Her brother, who works at Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization helping Jews from English-speaking countries immigrate to Israel, said it’s the first time the organization has encountered the change, according to the report. Balaban sent a letter to Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, on Tuesday, May 15, but said she hasn’t yet heard back. Inquiries have also been sent to the British Embassy in Israel.

Biden names former top Obama State Dept. official as ambassador to Israel (JTA) – President Joe Biden nominated Tom Nides, a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, to be his ambassador to Israel. Nides, a banker, was the deputy secretary of state for management and resources from 2011 to 2013 and had good relations with Israeli diplomats, although he was less involved in substantive diplomacy. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, in his book “Ally” chronicling his ambassadorship, described Nides as “irreverent, hardworking, highly intelligent, and warm.” Oren said Nides quickly earned his “affection and trust.” Nides, who is Jewish, is a Minnesota native who has been close to Joe Lieberman since running his vice presidential campaign in 2000. Lieberman, then a Connecticut senator, was Al Gore’s running mate and the first Jewish candidate on a major party presidential ticket. Some in the centrist and liberal pro-Israel communities had pushed to have Biden tap Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman who now heads a nongovernmental group advocating for Israeli-Arab peace, to the post. 12


(JTA) – Three Jewish nonprofit organizations will receive a slice of the latest $2.74 billion in grants handed out by MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Scott and her husband Dan Jewett announced June 15 that they were distributing new funds to 286 different organizations, bringing Scott’s total charitable giving since July 2020 to $8.5 billion. The latest grants include Scott’s first to Jewish groups. The three Jewish grantees are Maryland-based HIAS, which advocates for and gives aid to immigrants and refugees; Repair the World, a community service and social justice organization based in New York; and Afrika Tikkun, an aid organization founded by the chief rabbi of South Africa after the end of apartheid there. “Because community-centered service is such a powerful catalyst and multiplier, we spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected,” Scott said in her announcement about the grants. “We chose to make relatively large gifts to the [organizations], both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others.” Scott didn’t spell out why she gave any particular group or how much each had received. Repair the World released a statement announcing a $7 million “unrestricted” gift from Scott that will help get more young people involved in community service and advocacy on humanitarian and civic issues. HIAS announced it had received “a transformational grant” from Scott.

California Jewish lawmakers secure $80 million for Jewish-related causes (JTA) – Citing the recent spike in antisemitic attacks, the Jewish caucus in the California State Legislature has secured $50 million to help protect nonprofits and $10 million for an exhibit on antisemitism at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The total allocated for Jewish or Jewishrelated causes in the 2021-22 state budget is $80 million. Also listed in a statement issued Tuesday by the 18-member caucus is $2.5 million for the Holocaust Museum Los Angeles for capital improvement; $5.7 million for Jewish Family Services Los Angeles to purchase a permanent location; $1 million to renovate the Tauber Holocaust Library; and $8 million for case management support for individuals and families granted asylum, a program administered in part by HIAS, the lead Jewish immigration advocacy group. The

| JUNE 25, 2021

$50 million for nonprofits is in addition to federal funds allocated this year to protect nonprofits nationwide. The $10 million will create an exhibit comprising an entire floor at the Museum of Tolerance, which is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Our Caucus is deeply concerned about the increase in antisemitism, and we have been working hard over the past several months to ensure that the State of California stands with our community during these challenging times,” the caucus chairman, Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, said in a statement. All 18 members of the caucus are Democrats.

BBC writer who tweeted ‘Hitler was right’ is let go (JTA) – A BBC writer who in 2014 tweeted “#HitlerWasRight” about Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza is no longer working for the broadcaster, a spokesperson said. Tala Halawa “no longer works for the BBC,” the spokesperson told The Jewish Chronicle of London on Friday. The spokesperson did not specify what led to the termination of Halawa’s employment by the BBC. Last month, the BBC launched a probe following the surfacing of the tweet by Halawa, who was based in Ramallah. It read: “#Israel is more #Nazi than #Hitler! Oh, #HitlerWasRight #IDF go to hell. #prayForGaza.” In 2014, she was working for 24FM, a Palestinian radio station. Halawa’s account on the LinkedIn social network listed her as a “Digital Journalist at BBC Monitoring,” a position she began in 2017. Last month, Halawa was credited on the BBC website for participating in the writing of an article titled “Israel-Gaza violence: The children who have died in the conflict” between Hamas and Israel.

Marjorie Taylor Greene apologizes for likening COVID protections to Holocaust (JTA) – Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Georgia Republican congresswoman, toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and apologized for likening coronavirus protections to the Holocaust. “I have made a mistake and it’s really bothered me for a couple of weeks now, and so I definitely want to own it. The horrors of the Holocaust are something that some people don’t even believe happened, and some people deny but there is no comparison to the Holocaust,” Greene said Monday, June 13 outside the Capitol after completing a private tour. “And there are words that I have said, remarks that I’ve made, that I know are offensive, and for that I want to apologize. Antisemitism is true hate, and I saw that today at the Holocaust Museum,” she added. “And I think it’s something that we should all

remember and never forget. So I just wanted to come here today and say that I’m truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust, there’s no comparison. There never ever will be.” Last month, Greene compared a supermarket’s decision to add a logo to the badges of vaccinated workers to the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear in Nazioccupied Europe. Jewish organizations as well as Democrats and Republicans alike rebuked her for the comment, but she doubled down.

Silicon Valley tech leaders: ‘We stand against antisemitism’ (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) – Leaders from some of Silicon Valley’s most recognized tech companies, including Google, Twitter and YouTube, are among about 200 technology and business leaders who have signed on to a letter calling out antisemitism. The signatories include former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, media mogul Ariana Huffington, current Google executives and CEOs at Bay Area startups. “To be too Jewish in America, or to be a Jew, is still a dangerous mark,” the statement says. “As business leaders, we have a collective responsibility to stand up for the society we want. Today, we stand against anti-Semitism and violence against Jews. This is true regardless of your views on Israel; this is about protecting people from the injustice of anti-Semitism and hatred.” The letter described the incident in Los Angelein which Jewish diners were attacked with bottles at a sushi restaurant. According to Jewish Insider, the statement’s primary author is Jordana Stein, CEO of Enrich, a private network for industry professionals. Signatories also include cultural and business figures, such as makeup artist Bobbi Brown, former NBA player Baron Davis and Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO of the glasses company Warby Parker. The letter comes on the heels of an increase in antisemitic incidents across the United States. It also comes as the tech industry grapples with antisemitism in its own ranks. Antisemitic comments made by Google’s diversity head Kamau Bobb were found this month in a 2007 blog post in which he said that Jews have “an insatiable appetite for war and killing.” The Mountain View company later moved Bobb off the diversity position.

Poll: Majority of Palestinians support Hamas, not Palestinian Authority (JNS) Palestinian attitudes have undergone a “paradigm shift” in favor of Hamas, according to a new study. The survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, found that 53 jewishledger.com

percent of Palestinians now agree with the statement “Hamas is most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” versus only 14 percent who say the same of Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The poll was conducted in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip between June 9-12. Sample size was 1,200 adults interviewed face-to-face in 120 random locations. The margin of error was given as 3 percent. The study also found the “overwhelming majority of Palestinians” (77 percent) believe that Hamas won the recent conflict with Israel. Eighteen percent said neither side won and two percent said both won. Only one percent believed Israel had emerged the victor. The vast majority, 94 percent, said they were proud of the Gaza Strip’s performance during the May conflict, with 39 percent explaining they were proud because Gaza had delivered a strike in defense of Jerusalem and exposed the weakness of the Israeli army. The poll also found a spike in support for a return to armed conflict, rising sharply to 60 percent. Support for a return to negotiations and confidence that diplomacy was the most effective means to achieve Palestinian goals dropped.

North American immigration to Israel spikes after ‘year of COVID’ (Israel Hayom via JNS) Some 5,000 new immigrants from the United States and Canada are scheduled to immigrate to Israel by the end of 2021, according to new data published by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization in conjunction with Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael–Jewish National Fund USA. Nefesh B’Nefesh has reported a spike in the number of immigration requests and files opened during the COVID pandemic. In 2020, the organization received 14,022 requests, compared to 4,582 in 2019. Since January 2021, 1,171 immigrants from North American have arrived in Israel, a 95 percent increase over the same time period in 2020 and 22 percent more than in 2019,

the organization reported. In 2020, a total of 3,168 immigrants from North America arrived in Israel through Nefesh B’Nefesh. This year’s immigration wave is expected to crest in August, when over 1,000 North American immigrants are slated to arrive.

Damage to Montreal kosher restaurant one of many 2021 Canadian hate crimes (JNS) A kosher restaurant in Montreal is temporarily closed after it was vandalized on Sunday night, June 13, in what is believed to be a hate crime. According to B’nai Brith Canada, “unknown assailants shattered the front door of Chez Benny in Ville Saint-Laurent with a rock, then attempt to light a fire, which failed to catch due to a lack of flammable material. There was no evidence of any attempt to take money or valuables from the restaurant. No one was in the restaurant at the time of the incident.” Two other non-kosher restaurants are in the same plaza as Chez Benny; neither was damaged. The vandalism comes amid a rising number of hate crimes across Canada since mid-May. According to B’nai Brith, the organization had recorded as many hate crimes in May 2021 as it had during the entire year of 2020. “It has been a difficult month-and-a-half for Jews across Canada, so people are naturally on edge following this attack,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, who expressed appreciation to local police for their “swift work” on the case. Elsewhere, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs CIJA, the advocacy arm of the Jewish federation system in Canada, has created a “Fight It!” campaign to combat rising antisemitism across the country. It has also urged the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to convene an emergency summit to address the rising incidents of Jewish hatred in Canada. While the government announced late last week that it will convene a summit, no date has been set.

Join our email list for the latest updates! Contact Howard Meyerowitz howardm@jewishledger.com 860.231.2424 x3035 jewishledger.com

Stanford diversity programs create a ‘hostile climate’ for Jews, staffers charge (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) – Two Jewish mental health professionals at Stanford University’s on-campus counseling clinic have filed federal complaints of workplace discrimination for what they call “severe and persistent” anti-Jewish harassment by colleagues. Dr. Ronald Albucher, a psychiatrist and associate professor in the medical school, and Sheila Levin, a therapist specializing in eating disorders, describe being pressed into joining a “whiteness” affinity group by staffers with the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, or DEI, being told they were “privileged” and seeing antisemitic incidents downplayed. The university responded inadequately to their concerns, made over the course of a year, Albucher and Levin say, thereby fostering a “hostile and unwelcoming environment” for Jewish employees working for Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services office, or CAPS. The complaints, which were released publicly on Tuesday, June 15, were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. They allege violations of state and federal laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Attorneys with the Louis D. Brandeis Center, a Washington, D.C.-based Jewish legal rights organization, are representing Albucher and Levin. Albucher and Levin allege a pattern of anti-Jewish bias within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, including omitting discussions of antisemitism from a 2020 session that immediately followed a reported Zoom bombing antisemitic incident on campus. During the session, DEI committee members “justified the omission of anti-Semitism” from their dialogue, the complaint says, “by insisting that unlike other minority groups, Jews can hide behind their white identity.” During the meeting, Albucher and Levin say they were “subjected to antiJewish stereotypes,” such as that Jews are “wealthy and powerful business owners.” The complaint also details other alleged incidents of harassment and intimidation, including one DEI representative stating that she “takes an anti-Zionist approach to social justice.” Both staffers say in the complaint that they eventually stopped participating in DEI seminars. A Stanford spokesperson, Dee Mostofi, responded to the J. request for comment via email. “We are deeply committed to

nurturing a diverse and inclusive work environment, one free from harassment and discrimination of any kind,” Mostofi said. “We value and respect the dignity of every member of our community.” Most programs and departments at Stanford have internal DEI programs, as do universities across the Bay Area and across the country. But some programs aimed at racial inclusion in education have had a contentious relationship with Jewish staff and students in recent years, as campus conversations around racial justice have struggled to situate Jews within broader discussions of privilege, power and discrimination. A proposed California ethnic studies curriculum prompted a yearlong debate over how Jews were addressed in its language. Years earlier, in 2015, a Princeton student caused a stir when he wrote that he didn’t have to “check his privilege” because he was a Jew whose ancestors died in the Holocaust. The complaints at Stanford come as the school grapples with other reports of anti-Jewish bias. On June 8, its Hillel director, Rabbi Jessica Kirschner, sent an email to her mailing list describing an “alarming amount” of online and in-person incidents stemming in large part from anti-Israel animosity amid the violence in Israel and Gaza. One Jewish student was told, “Don’t talk to me if you’re Jewish,” while another was told by a classmate, “I’m not going to talk to you, Nazi,” Kirschner wrote. Alyza Lewin, the lead lawyer from the Brandeis Center working on the case, said the complaint also impacts how Stanford’s student counselors are being trained to respond to the needs of Jewish students. “Our concern is that this department is training therapists that provide mental health care to students on campus,” she said of the CAPS program, which employs about 30 therapists. “Our worry is that if you are training your professionals to dismiss antisemitism, or to disregard or deny it, how does that impact the quality of care?” Albucher says it concerns him that politics are apparently being infused into health care. “How are they going to work clinically with Jewish students? We need to be improving our skills within the mental health field,” he said. “It’s clear these people will put politics ahead of science.” A version of this story originally appeared in J. The Jewish News of Northern California.



JUNE 25, 2021


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| JUNE 25, 2021



AROUND CT Simsbury student receives scholarship from Jewish Community Foundation The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford last week announced that Andrew Robbins of Simsbury earned $4,000 in scholarship monies from the Jonathan Seth Kronick Memorial Scholarship and the Foundation’s Dr. Leizor and Barbara Kessel Scholarship Funds. Robbins, a lifelong resident of Simsbury, is a rising senior at Case ANDREW ROBBINS Western Reserve University with a double major in biochemistry and music. “We are pleased to award this scholarship to Andrew,” says Michael Elfenbaum, vice president of Grant Programs at the Jewish Community

Foundation of Greater Hartford. “The Scholarship Committee was impressed with his achievements and felt he was an ideal candidate, especially for the Kronick scholarship that was established by Allen and Judy Kronick in memory of their son, Jonathan, who was particularly interested in technology and music.” “I deeply appreciate the Foundation’s generosity in supporting my education,” said Robbin, the son of Karen Elise Robbins of Simsbury and Daniel Donshik of Lakewood Ranch, Florida. “During a time of unexpected need, the Foundation’s support made a real difference and I’m truly grateful.” Donors establish endowed funds at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford to support promising students in their pursuit of a college education. For more information, please visit www. jcfhartford.org.

Sarah Snyder appointed head of Voices of Hope HERO Center Sarah Snyder has been named director of the new Holocaust Education Resource and Outreach (HERO) Center established by Voices of Hope, an organization that serves the serves the families of Holocaust survivors and promotes Holocaust education. Snyder is the Mike Jacobs Fellow in Holocaust Studies and a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas in History. Her PhD is entitled “The Historical Complexities of Time Constructs in Relation to the Term ‘Post-Holocaust.’” During the course of her academic journey, Snyder, who is a professor, has taken part in a variety of Holocaust fellowships and workshops and worked at various concentration camp museums.

“As the new director [of the HERO Center], I look forward to sharing my expertise by tailoring the resources the HERO Center has to offer to meet teachers’ SARAH SNYDER educational requirements and community needs.” Currently a resident of Frisco, Texas, Snyder plans of relocating to Connecticut within the next few months.

B’NAI MITZVAH CHLOE WASSERMAN, daughter of Mara and Seth Wasserman, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, June 26, at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford.





n this week’s Torah portion, Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), the Torah itself provides with information about two Ancient Near East cultures with which our ancestors were confronted in the very opening stages of our history. I refer, of course, to Moab and Midian. It also introduces us to a “culture hero,” possibly “the most prominent public intellectual of his time, Balaam son of Beor in Pethor, which is by the Euphrates.” I believe the Torah does this to impress upon us that the Jewish people, even while still in the desert, lived in a cultural context and not in isolation. Moreover, the Torah teaches us a bit about the nature of those cultures, with which its own teachings stand in stark contrast. By far, the larger section of this week’s Torah portion is devoted to Balaam: to his personal character, his eloquence, and surprisingly, even to his theology. That Balaam was a “major player” in the Ancient Near East is attested to not only in the Torah text we read this Shabbat, but in the texts of the remnants of other ancient cultures. Hence, we read on a fragmentary inscription on wall plaster (dated to the late 9th to 8th century B.C.E.) from a temple at Deir Alla in what is today Jordan, which records the night vision of a certain Balaam! The seer described in this precious relic bears the same name and patronymic as the Balaam in our Torah portion. Pethor is identified by archeologists as a site on the Sajur River in Aram (today, Syria) some 400 miles from Moab. All of this is important context for the message of our parsha. What is that message? It is that even in the Ancient Near East, there were forces antagonistic to our people, our belief system, and our morality. Furthermore, these forces were, in many ways, amazingly similar to some of the forces we face today. What are some aspects of Balaam’s mindset that may typify a philosophy prevalent in the Ancient Near East but which are equally common nowadays? Let’s begin with his willingness to sell himself and his services for the right price. Balaam, we have seen, lived hundreds of miles from Moab. He himself was not at all endangered by the Israelites as they marched towards the Promised Land and posed a threat to trespass Moab’s territory. Indeed, his first response to Balak’s emissaries was a negative one. But soon we see that he was really just playing “hard to get.” I rephrase what he said so that it sounds more like the language of so many contemporary

politicians: “I have principles that I will not compromise. That is, I will not compromise except for the right price.” Once the client ups the ante, the principles are abandoned and off he marches hand in hand with his new client, ready to comply with the client’s wishes. Our sages, in Ethics of the Fathers (5:23), impress us with their ability to reduce Balaam’s entire character into three concise phrases: “Whoever possesses these three qualities is a disciple of the wicked Balaam: an evil eye, a haughty spirit, and mighty desires.” In other words, Baalam’s special “assets” were envy, arrogance and lust; certainly not an uncommon triad of attributes among the politicians of our time. Even more insightful is the observation made in the Talmud, which discovers the secret of Balaam’s ability to place a curse upon others. The Talmud tells us that he was somehow able to calculate the one precise moment in the day when the Almighty, compassionate at all other times, was wrathful. I understand this to mean that Balaam was able to separate out the aspects of the deity that, taken out of the context of God’s mercy, looked very much like violent anger. He was able to use religion as an excuse for violence. In this regard, he could easily find company in modern times, when so many are able to ignore the abundant religious teachings of peace and tolerance and instead use religion as an excuse for hatred and harmful acts. The correlation between religion and violence is one that critics of religion use well on behalf of their cause. That correlation, to the extent that it is true, is directly attributable to the ability of some religious extremists to “calculate the fleeting moment of God’s wrath,” to ignore the 99.9% of the Lord’s day and dwell upon the microsecond in which His anger flares. To fully appreciate the Torah’s important messages, one must come to know against whom and against what they are aimed. The Torah elaborates at great length upon the figure of Balaam because he represents what was most objectionable in the Ancient Near East. But the Torah is eternal, and all that it teaches in opposition to the prevalent culture of ancient times is equally relevant in modern times. Man’s dark side has not changed. Neither have the Torah’s lessons of light.



JUNE 25, 2021



Lin-Manuel Miranda and my German-Jewish grandma both made ‘the Heights’ what it is BY STEVE NORTH

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) – Several years before skyrocketing to superstardom with “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the exuberant Broadway musical “In the Heights.” In the last act of the stage production, a salsa-flavored celebration of the Latino community of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, a sign for “Rosario’s Car and Limousine“ service is taken down. Beneath it is the faded word “Bäckerei,” German for “bakery.” It is the only reference in the play to the heyday of another immigrant group that settled on Manhattan’s northern tip: German-Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors, about 20,000 strong. When Miranda spoke to The Jewish Week in 2008, he said he wasn’t aware of the German-Jewish presence when he wrote the first draft of “In the Heights” as a Wesleyan University sophomore. “But the summer after I wrote it,” he recalled, “I got a job at the Manhattan Times. I started writing articles, and I learned a lot about the history of our neighborhood. I saw that even if there were no Latino people in Washington Heights, it would still be a classic immigrant community, given the large numbers of German and later Russian Jews.”

The multiple Tony Award-winning show, which ran on Broadway from 2008 to 2011, has now gone Hollywood, with the film version making its COVID-delayed debut on Friday. It’s a good time to remember Washington Heights for what it was and is, and the role it still plays in the New York Jewish narrative. While I never lived there, my mother’s German-Jewish family did following their escape from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and after some years living in the East Bronx, just across the Henry Hudson Bridge from the Heights. I spent my childhood visiting my grandmother and her sister at 812 W. 181st St., along with countless other relatives in the surrounding area. A typical day might include a stroll down the block to Gruenebaum’s bakery for lebkuchen and water challah, as well as a stop at Bloch and Falk for kosher aufschnitt (cold cuts). Along the way we’d pass friends sitting outside on folding chairs reading the German-language Aufbau newspaper or bouncing grandkids on their knees and reciting “Hoppe hoppe, Reiter” (Hop, Hop, Rider!). In a 2020 exhibit titled “Refuge in the Heights,” the Leo Baeck Institute in Manhattan recalled how the neighborhood

in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge was, for German and Austrian Jews fleeing the Nazis, “fertile ground upon which to build new lives.” “In the Heights, refugees saw familiar names and faces, German-speaking businesses and clubs, and Jewish institutions established by those of EastEuropean descent who had made their way uptown in the years prior,” according to the exhibit. “By the end of the 1930s, approximately 37 percent of Washington Heights was Jewish, most Germanspeaking.” The area long had a Puerto Rican and Cuban component, but the large influx of Dominicans beginning in the mid-1960s turned Washington Heights into “Quisqueya Heights” – an indigenous name for what became the Dominic Republic. While many of the older Jewish immigrants stayed put, their children and grandchildren joined the Jewish exodus to the suburbs. Slowly the Bachenheimer and Nussbaum families were replaced by the Benitez and Nunez clans. Synagogues closed, the Aufbau gave way to the Dominican Times News and it became easier to score an empanada than a Sachertorte. The late Dr. Steven Lowenstein, author of “Frankfurt on the Hudson,” the definitive




book on the German-Jewish culture of Washington Heights, told me in 2008 that the population change was a prime example of “ethnic succession.” “It’s a cyclical thing,” explained Lowenstein, a distant cousin of mine who grew up in the Heights, “and in general, memory of the previous ethnic group fades quickly. In this case there was much hostility to the German Jews at first from the Irish population, but fewer problems between the Jews and Hispanics. They didn’t mix a lot, but there never was that much tension.” The tension in recent decades has been sparked by the area’s gentrification, which is pushing out Dominican families who have lived there for generations. Many young Jews are again calling the area home, either attracted (for a time) by affordable rents or the proximity to Yeshiva University. Miranda captures the dreams and frustrations of this barrio in transition in music and words filled with warmth and pride, and it all seemed strangely familiar to me when I first watched the play. That didn’t surprise him. “What’s wonderful about it,” Miranda told The Jewish Week during the 2008 run, is the “older [Jewish] women who come up to me after the show and say ‘I lived on 173rd and Pinehurst in 1943, and it felt just like that.’ We all have immigrant parents and grandparents who did a difficult job that nobody wants to do, so that their kids could do better. And people are responding to the universal nature of that.” The German Jewish “Breuer” community remains a presence in Washington Heights, along with a separate Jewish influence from Yeshiva U., but I know I won’t be able to find any bottles of my Oma Jenny’s beloved “himbeersaft” (raspberry syrup) among the “Productos Tropicales” now sold in the bodegas of St. Nicholas Avenue. She moved out of the area in the 1980s, but one great-aunt remained in her apartment on 180th Street until her death in 2004 at age 95. When I asked Tante Herta if she minded being the very last “yekke” in a building then filled with Dominicans, she said, “Why should I mind? They’re nice people, and very nice to me.” Perhaps she saw in their lives a reflection of her own family’s struggles. Or, as Miranda put it, “At the end of the day, it’s an immigrant community, no matter which immigrant group it is.” jewishledger.com


“36 Years of Shlock Rock” By: Yoni Glatt

Difficulty Level: Challenging

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Across 1. B’way booth in Times Square 5. Companion of Thummim 9. Dip before 9 Av 14. Jewish start 15. “Meh” 16. Like some musical notes 17. Shlock Rock parody of...”Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys 19. Hawkins of dances 20. Mortal danger 21. ...”Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran 23. Dwight’s cousin on “The Office” 26. Sch. near Rocky Mountain National Park

27. ...”Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from “Mary Poppins” 34. Music, e.g. 35. Rockin’ Turner 36. India’s neighbor 38. Washingtons 40. ...”Windy” by the Association 43. Pave the way for 44. Kind of 46. “Toodles” 48. Sort of sack 49. ... “With or Without You” by U2 53. When doubled, a fly 54. Fr. fraulein 55. ...”Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by The Beatles

60. Smooths out 64. “Sarah, ___, Brit Milah, Angels visit, Akeida” (Lenny Solomon) 65. ...”La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens 68. “I make sure ___ smile If my neighbor needs my help” (Lenny Solomon) 69. Second word in many fairy tales 70. Created 71. Supported in a dispute 72. Le Pew who’s a victim of cancel culture (seriously) 73. One way to get to Israel

Down 1. Snare 2. Late Laker Bryant 3. Bygone ruler in Asia 4. If it’s on a kosher menu it must be mock 5. “Born in the ___, now I’m making aliyah today” (Lenny Solomon) 6. Burgundy with a popular podcast 7. “___ fire to the rain” (Not Lenny Solomon) 8. Awful idolatrous entity 9. Attack 10. Iranian leader who had much better relations with Israel than the Ayatolah 11. Trip an Iranian might make

12. Canal of note 13. Hurl 18. What one might do if they don’t hurl 22. Cape Town locale: Abbr. 24. Kibbutz near Kiryat Shmona 25. Teacher Krabappel on “The Simpsons” 27. Paulo and Miguel 28. “... but I could be wrong” 29. Developing, in a way, with “in” 30. Delhi division of society 31. Untruth 32. Malign 33. “...___ an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew...” (Exodus 2:11) 37. Kennedy and Cruz 39. Name that sounds like a cholent alternative

41. “___ im haGolan!” 42. Word with “do” or “cost you” 45. Alka-Seltzer, for one 47. Fully committed 50. Any of the Florida Keys: Abbr. 51. Become allies 52. Steelers great Bettis or Gene Wilder’s real first name 55. Like the songs in this puzzle 56. Great Rav of the Talmud 57. Kosher organization, generically 58. See romantically 59. Excitement 61. Torah that’s now written 62. Zip 63. Writer Silverstein 66. Swabbing need 67. Gaza to Jerusalem Dir.



JUNE 25, 2021



An EU ruling on kosher slaughter tells rabbis how to go about their business



(JTA) – Jewish leaders in Europe say the European Union is not only banning some methods of kosher and halal slaughter, but telling Jews and Muslims how to practice their religions. That’s according to many who have read a recent ruling by the EU’s highest court. It upholds bans in Belgium on producing kosher and halal meat, outlawing a practice whereby livestock is slaughtered without first being stunned electrically into unconsciousness. Jewish and Muslims authorities forego stunning under similar religious laws that require animals be conscious when they are killed for meat. The court and animal rights activists say that’s cruel. But the decision on Dec. 17 by the Court of the European Union goes a step further: Remarkably, the 11,000-word document suggests that Jews and Muslims should and could find a way to allow animals to be stunned using electricity. This aspect of the ruling is already rekindling internal communal debates in Muslim and Jewish communities amid allegations that the court is eroding the separation of church and state. “That part of it is astonishing,” said Shimon Cohen, campaign director for Shechita UK, a London-based organization that lobbies against attempts to ban shechita, or kosher slaughter. A secular court does not have “the authority to tell people if they can practice elements of their faith. I may disagree with some of the restrictions, but not with the mandate. But a secular court has no right to tell me how to practice. That’s gross overreaching.” Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the European Conference of Rabbis, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that for the court “to seek to define shechita is absurd.” Goldschmidt rejected the court’s apparent interpretation of electric stunning as compatible with Judaism. Meat from animals that had been stunned by any means, including electricity, prior to their slaughter cannot be considered kosher, he said. The court declined JTA’s request for comment. The bans in Belgium are part of a struggle across Europe between animal 18

welfare activists and Muslim and Jewish community representatives over the halal and kosher slaughter methods. In recent years, anti-immigration activists and politicians have joined the debate in an apparent push to minimize the footprint of Muslim presence in Europe, and in some cases also the Jewish one. A similar fight is unfolding around nonmedical circumcision of boys, or milah, which some children’s rights activists say is cruel. The ruling on slaughter, rejecting a petition filed by Muslim and Jewish groups in Belgium, suggests that because “electronarcosis” is itself nonlethal, religious authorities should be able to adapt it within their religious rituals. Additionally, the ruling said that since the ban is limited to parts of Belgium, Jews and Muslims may still obtain a supply of kosher and halal meat, mitigating the encroachment on their freedom of worship. Cohen objects to these arguments. The science on what causes an animal to suffer less – an electric shock or a sharp, swift slash of a knife – is far from settled, Cohen argued, and subject to religious interpretations that are beyond the court’s purview. As for the supply argument, he noted that kosher meat shortages are already common in Europe today. The court appeared to rely on the authority of a Muslim veterinarian who testified before a Belgian parliamentary committee on the environment. Jamal Zahri, a representative of the Executive of Belgian Muslims, seemed to endorse electric stunning. “We’re not closed, it’s not that we don’t want it,” Zahri said about electric stunning. “We’re only looking to preserve two Muslim requirements: That the animal be alive [when its neck is cut] and that it bleeds out.” He added: “This is my position as a doctor representing the Executive of Belgian Muslims.” Zahri’s position was based on some religious Muslim edicts that permit electronarcosis if no other choice is available. Judaism has no such edicts, Goldschmidt said. Zahri also favored a procedure in which an animal is stunned very shortly after


its neck is cut, limiting convulsions and, according to some, suffering. Some Jewish communities and rabbis have accepted this method, as have some Muslim ones. But it is not widely accepted in either religion. Nonetheless, during the parliamentary debate, where no Jewish community representatives were present, Zahri said that both post-cut stunning and electronarcosis are acceptable compromises for Belgian Muslims. His statements triggered an uproar in his community. The Executive of Belgian Muslims disavowed Zahri, publishing a statement that calls his position “merely his personal opinion” and representing a minority view. In addition to wading into religious areas in which it has no business, Cohen said, the court “lumped Muslim and Jewish customs together.” The two religions have distinct methods for ritual slaughter “The court’s ruling makes as much sense as moving Shabbat to Sunday because Christians are fine with it,” Cohen said. Ironically or not, the court’s ruling is being cited by Jewish advocates of post-cut stunning. They say the method satisfies animal welfare considerations and would modernize halacha, Jewish law, without sacrificing its core values. “Post-cut stunning happens after all the demands of kosher shechita have been met,” one of those advocates, Lilianne Vana, an associate professor specializing in Jewish studies at the Université libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, said. “It satisfies all the parties’ requirements. And it’s already happening.” Across the European Union, kosher meat has a negligible share of the market, accounting for less than a percent of the 2.5 million cattle slaughtered in the United Kingdom annually, Cohen said. The far larger halal meat industry accounted in 2012 for 6% of the total market, according to a European Parliament document. The post-cut stunning technique was once used in some abattoirs in Austria, that country’s previous chief rabbi, Arie Folger, told JTA, but is no longer taking place. Austria has no kosher slaughter of bovines today. Europe currently has a hodgepodge of laws about ritual slaughter. In the Netherlands, an arrangement allows

a 40-second delay between cutting an animal’s neck and applying the electric charge. That was the compromise that allowed for the reinstatement of ritual slaughter after it was temporarily banned in 2011. In 2011, the Netherlands briefly joined several EU countries where ritual slaughter is illegal, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia. The Dutch Senate reversed the ban in 2012, citing freedom of worship. Poland also outlawed the practice in 2013 but has since scaled back the ban to include only meat for export. The ruling by the EU court, which is based in Luxembourg, “isn’t helping the fight to keep shechita legal,” Cohen said, adding however that so far his group isn’t losing the fight. Kosher slaughter in Europe of cattle and sheep is done by shochtim, or kosher slaughterers, in regular slaughterhouses. Jewish communities and organizations in Europe own no abattoirs for larger animals and only a handful of poultry factories, Cohen said. To Vana, the ruling highlights questions on how Orthodox Judaism can adapt, she said. “Sadly, Jewish communal leaders have become entrenched in their opposition” even when halacha would allow changes, she told the La Libre Belgique newspaper. Rabbi Mencahem Margolin, chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, disputes that premise. “On a continent where hunting sports are cherished traditions and the fur trade thrives, this debate is not about animal welfare,” he said. Animal welfare arguments on shechita and children’s rights debates on milah “are cloaking a broader ideological clash between secular judges and governments who regard religion essentially as something silly, and people of all faiths who must stand together and insist on their freedoms,” he told JTA. Despite repeated statements by officials about Europe not being Europe without Jews, Margolin said “the practical implication of the ruling and inaction about it by EU leaders tells Jews clearly that they have no place on the continent.”


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.

THURSDAY, JUNE 24 Lunch & Learn: Torah from the Years of Wrath Henry Abramson, PhD, will discuss 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 p.m.. Register at ujajcc.org. For information: (203) 5521818.

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. The film tells 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. Cast includes Israeli and Palestinian non-actors who lend authenticity to this powerful drama, loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s WestEastern 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 Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Admission is FREE (donations welcome). Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit JFEC.com.

THURSDAY, JUNE 24 Inaugural Holocaust Survivor Day Cafe Europa, a social group for Holocaust survivors, will hold it’s first in-person gettogether since the pandemic on June 24, 12 - 1:30 p.m., featuring a kosher barbecue lunch followed by musical entertainment celebrating the first Holocaust Survivor jewishledger.com

Day. Sponsored by Voices of Hope and the Mandell jCC, survivors and their families are invited to attend the event, which will be held under a tent in the Mandell JCC President’s Courtyard. For reservations and information: sholtzberg@mandelljcc. org, (860) 231-6311. FREE for survivors and their spouses and aides. $10/for other family members.

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 info@jccinsherman.org, or call (860) 355-8050. Shir Ami Beach Havdallah Congregation Shir Ami’s next Havdallah service will be held on the beach at Tod’s Point (and on Zoom) on June 26 at 7 p.m. To attend in person and be allowed onto the beach without a pass, registeration is required. Ronny and Ira Kaplan will provide the symbols of havdallah (wine, spices and braided candles) in memory of their friend Jan Weingrad Smith. Bring your own chairs or towels, and food/drinks – 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. Those not vaccinated must wear masks and maintain a social distance. For more information, visit shirami.info@gmail. com.

THURSDAY, JUNE 29 The Importance 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. To be held June 29 at 7 p.m. and hosted by United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. To register, visit

JUNE 15 – JULY 15 ujf.org/story. www.ujf.org/ story. For more information, contact Sharon Franklin at sharon@tujf.org. Jewish Historian Hasia Diner to discuss the Jewish migration to America 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 AUTHOR AND her work on HISTORIAN PROF. HASIA DINER WILL TALK ABOUT immigration JEWISH MIGRATION TO and ethnicity, THE NEW WORLD ON American ZOOM, JUNE 29. 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.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30 Dignity Grows drive thru packing party & virtual book talk Help pack Dignity Grows totes on June 30, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. to be held in the parking lot of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, 333 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford. Hosted by the Zachs Family Foundation and Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the event will include treats and surprises. River Bend Bookshop will be on site to sell signed copies of Anita Diament’s new book, Period. End of Sentence. RSVP to bclaflin@jewishhartford.org by June 25 and indicate preferred entrance time: 5:30, 6, 6:30 or 7 p.m./ $20/suggested donation (provides 2 Dignity Grows totes. To donate, siti jewishhartford.org/dignity-growsdonations. Anita Diament and Melissa Berton, founder of The Pad Project and the producer of the Academy Award winning documentary “Period,” will speak in conversation with Dignity Grows founder and chairwoman Jessica Zachs at “Virtually Limitless: Our Shared Shelf,” a monthly book and author series hosted by National


Women’s Philanthropy, to be held online following the packing party at 8 p.m. Dignity Grows is a nonprofit providing hygiene products to those in need, created in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. Participation is FREE. Zoom link provided upon registration. To register: feds.org/ NWPsharedshelf.

MONDAY, JULY 12 A Conversation with Sarah Wildman Journalist Sarah Wildman, author of “Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind,” will discuss her book July 12, 7 p.m. on Zoom, hosted by Voices of Hope. Wildman is co-creator, producer, and host of Foreign Policy’s First Person podcast and is currently an op-ed page editor at the New York Times. She is currently in the process of turning “Paper Love” into a film. To register, visit voicesAUTHOR SARAH WILDMAN TO DISCUSS of-hope-inc. HER NEW BOOK ON networkforgood. ZOOM, JULY 12. com.

THURSDAY, JULY 15 Author Tal Ben-Shahar talks about being happy (no matter what) Harvard Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar, a trailblazing positive psychologist and serial entrepreneur, will discuss his New York Times bestselling book “Happier No Matter What: Cultivating Hope, Resilience, and Purpose in Hard Times.” A free event hosted by UJA-JCC Greenwich. Link provided upon registration. To register and for more information, visit info@ujajcc.org.



JUNE 25, 2021


OBITUARIES grandson. He is survived by his daughter Nina and her family; his grandnephew Edward and his mother Sofia and wife Jacklyn and their children.

BARON Herb “Herbie” Baron, of Calabasas, Calif., has died. The son of Isadore and Ida Baron of Moodus, he was predeceased by his brothers, Harold, Sidney and Melvin. He is survived by his children, Hugh, Stacie and Mallorie; and his grandchildren Tyler, Casey and Aida. GORLICK Debora Gorlick,70, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., died June 13. She was the wife of Jan Gorlick. Born in Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Leonard and Viola Todd. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Jason Shane and his wife Susan, and Todd Shane; and her grandson, Cole Shane. MOLODETSKY Ilya Gregory Molodetsky, 91, of Stamford, died June 11. He was the widower of Olga Molchadsky. He was the son of the late Gregory Molodetsky and Maria Lipson. He served in Red Army Artillery during World War II, as lieutenant commander of his tank division. He immigrated to the United States in 1979. He was also predeceased by his sister Anna Kulgevich and her husband Nolik, her sons and

SILVERSTEIN Melvin (Mike) Saul Silverstein, 95, of Worcester, Mass., formerly of Norwalk and Hartford, died May 18. He was the widower of Florence Heath Silverstein. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Samuel and Dora Kosofsky Silverstein. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a gunner on a B-24 Liberator, just as World War II ended. He was awarded the WW II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was an activ member of Temple Shalom in Norwalk, becoming principal of the religious school. He is survived by his children, Lucy Tannen of Framingham, Mass., Jeffrey Silverstein of Blackstone, Mass., Timothy Silverstein and his wife Sally of Norwalk, Melanie Rosenbaum and her husband Bruce of Thorndike, Mass.; his grandchildren, Caroline Savitzky and her fiancé Mark-Anthony Delgado of Arlington, Mass., Alex Savitzky and his fiancé Sandy Duplantis of Marlboro, Mass., Kate Silverstein and her fiancé Chris Skall

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of Somerville, Mass., Ben Silverstein of Whitinsville, Mass., Lindsay Navarro and her husband Matthew of La Grange, Ill., Michael Silverstein of Norwalk, Joseph Rosenbaum and his fiancé Sydney Holewa of Boston, Mass., and Daniel Rosenbaum of Somerville Mass.; his great-grandchildren, Devin Smith, Paige, Jordan and Zoey Savitzky, Jonathan and Nicole Navarro, and Madilyn and Salma Delgado-Savitzky; his brother Nathan Silverstein of Branford; a cousin, and many nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by his brother Irving and his twin sister Evelyn Fain. SISKIN Sydney Siskin, 86, of Newington, died June 13. He was the husband of Barbara (Coopersmith) Siskin. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Reuben and

Nellie (Sattar) Siskin. He was a member of the former Congregation B’nai Sholom in Newington. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Marc Siskin of Newington. He was also predeceased by his brother, Dr. Jerome Siskin. ZIPLOW Samuel ‘Sandy’ Andrew Ziplow, 67, died June 15. He was the husband of Ellyn (Dicker) Ziplow. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Morris ‘Zip’ and Natalie (Ratner) Ziplow. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Paige and Matthew and Matthew’s wife Virna; his brother Alan Mendelson and his wife Peggy; his brother-in-law Henry Dicker and his wife Tracy; a niece, nephews and many cousins and extended family.

Herb Sturz was a strong advocate for criminal justice reform BY PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) – Herb Sturz, whose extensive career included promoting bail reform and serving as a top deputy to New York City Mayor Ed Koch in the 1970s, has died. Sturz, who was 90, worked with philanthropist Louis Schweitzer in 1961 to found the Vera Institute of Justice, an early effort to advance the idea that those accused of crimes should not remain in jail prior to their trials simply because they could not afford to post bail. The two Jewish men spurred a movement, including dozens of criminal justice advocacy groups, that had sweeping impact last year when multiple states, including New York, eliminated cash bail. (The change has divided New York City Jews.) As deputy mayor to Koch, Sturz advocated for closing Rikers Island, New

York City’s infamous jail complex. In recent years, he sat on a city commission that led the City Council to vote in 2019 to do just that. Rikers is set to close by 2027. Sturz died on Thursday. Born in 1930 in Bayonne, New Jersey, Sturz was the child of Jewish immigrants from Europe who recalled his saloonkeeper father crying only once, upon learning that members of his family had been murdered by the Nazis. According to a 2009 biography, “A Kind of Genius: Herb Sturz and Society’s Toughest Problems,” Sturz attended Hebrew school as a child but never considered himself religious, though he fasted on Yom Kippur. “I’m a Jew when Jews are under attack,” Sturz told Sam Roberts, his biographer.

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CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or howardm@jewishledger.com. 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 info@cbibpt.org www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Cantor Niema Hirsch info@rodephsholom.com 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 rabbibellows@cbsrz.org www.cbsrz.org

COLCHESTER Congregation Ahavath Achim Conservative Rabbi Kenneth Alter (860) 537-2809 secretary@congregationahavathachim.org

Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Kevin Peters Cantor Sandy Bernstein (203) 869-7191 info@templesholom.com www.templesholom.com

EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 templebetht@yahoo.com

HAMDEN Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 tbsoffice@tbshamden.com www.tbshamden.com

FAIRFIELD Congregation Ahavath Achim Orthodox (203) 372-6529 office@ahavathachim.org www.ahavathachim.org Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Marcelo Kormis (203) 374-5544 office@bethelfairfield.org www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 office@kolhaverim.org www.kolhaverim.org GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 hadaselias@grs.org www.grs.org

MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Stacy Offner (203) 245-7028 office@tbtshoreline.org www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org programming@myshul.org www.myshul.org MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Nelly Altenburger (860) 346-4709 office@adathisraelct.org www.adathisraelct.org

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NEW HAVEN The Towers at Tower Lane Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader Sarah Moskowitz, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 rebecca@towerlane.org 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.chesed@att.net Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Earl Kideckel (860) 442-0418 office@bethel-nl.org www.bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 templesinaict@gmail.com www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 office@congadathisrael.org www.congadathisrael.org

NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 info@bethisraelchabad.org bethisraelchabad.org


Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar (203) 866-0148 admin@templeshalomweb.org www.templeshalomweb.org ORANGE Chabad of Orange/ Woodbridge Chabad Rabbi Sheya Hecht (203) 795-5261 info@chabadow.org www.chabadow.org Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 info@orshalomct.org www.orshalomct.org SIMSBURY Chabad of the Farmington Valley Chabad Rabbi Mendel Samuels (860) 658-4903 chabadsimsbury@gmail.com www.chabadotvalley.org Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, Emek Shalom Reform Rabbi Rebekah Goldman Mag (860) 658-1075 admin@fvjc.org www.fvjc.org SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 tbhrabbi@gmail.com 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 jewishlifect@gmail.com www.jewishlife.org WATERFORD Temple Emanu - El Reform Rabbi Marc Ekstrand Rabbi Emeritus Aaron Rosenberg (860) 443-3005 office@tewaterfrord.org www.tewaterford.org WEST HARTFORD Beth David Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adler (860) 236-1241 office@bethdavidwh.org www.bethdavidwh.org Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Ilana Garber (860) 233-9696 hsowalsky@bethelwh.org www.bethelwesthartford.org Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 info@chabadhartford.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 office@bnaitorahct.org www.bnaitorahct.org

Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 bethisrael@cbict.org www.cbict.org Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 pnaiorct@gmail.com www.jewishrenewalct.org



Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 mnmalley@yahoo.com www.kehilatchaverim.org The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 communications@emanuelsynagogue.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 ostro770@hotmail.com www.usgh.org Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 info@youngisraelwh.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 info@tiwestport.org www.tiwestport.org WETHERSFIELD Temple Beth Torah Unaffiliated Rabbi Seth Riemer (860) 828-3377 tbt.w.ct@gmail.com templebethtorahwethersfield. org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 info@bnaijacob.org www.bnaijacob.org

JUNE 25, 2021


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CT Jewish Ledger • June 26, 2021 • 15 Tammuz 5781  

CT Jewish Ledger • June 26, 2021 • 15 Tammuz 5781  

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