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Friday, October 15, 2021 9 Cheshvan 5782 Vol. 93 | No. 42 | ©2021 jewishledger.com

The 2021 US Supreme Court.

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Is it good for the Jews?

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INSIDE

this week

CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | OCTOBER 15, 2021 | 9 CHESHVAN 5782

11 & 15 Briefs

12 Around CT

14 Torah Portion

17 Crossword

18 What’s Happening

Class Act................................................................................... 5 Jewish groups in Massachusetts are concerned about a proposed bill that state lawmakers claim would facilitate the teaching of ethnic studies in schools — but that others fear would “put a target on the backs of every Jewish child.”

Arts & Entertainment.......................................................... 5 A 4K restoration of “Hester Street” — the 1975 Jewish love story infused with the flavor of the Lower East Side — is now playing in select theaters, after a recent screening at the New York Film Festival.

20 Obituaries

21 Business and Professional Directory

22 Classified

In Memoriam.................................... 9 Connecticut’s Alan Kalter z”l was a gifted TV announcer, beloved by his longtime boss David Letterman. He was also a past president of Stamford’s Temple Beth El, a lover of the Jewish people, and a true “mensch.”

ON THE COVER:

The Supreme Court’s positions on a series of hot-button topics have damaged its acrossthe-spectrum credibility, and that has Jewish groups worried. Here are a number of cases on the Supreme Court docket that could have serious repercussions for Jewish life in the United States. Pictured on the the cover is the facade and fountain of the United States Supreme Court Building. Photo by Sunira Moses via Wikimedia Commons. PAGE 12 jewishledger.com

OPINION.............................................10 The OU won’t certify Impossible Pork as kosher. And that’s a good thing, writes David Zvi Kalman, a scholar at New York’s Shalom Hartman Institute:

The Ledger Scoreboard................. 8 The Washington Wizards’ general manager calls Israel’s Deni Avdija a “very clever playmaker.” Still, the 20-year-old, who was off to an impressive start last year until he fractured his ankle, must prove himself and earn his playing time.

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UP FRONT

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ON THE DOCKET

The 2021 Supreme Court gets set to tackle an array of issues that could affect Jewish life in America

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ASHINGTON (JTA) — The Supreme Court opened a new session of cases this week, and an array of them affect Jewish life in the United States. But there is one issue that a range of Jewish groups are keenly interested in that is not on the docket: the Court’s credibility. A series of bruising confirmation battles in recent years and a pair of recent decisions — on Texas’ controversial abortion law and on President Biden’s proposed moratoriums on evictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — have polarized public opinion about the Court. In the wake of last year’s rush by Republicans to get Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as the Court’s sixth conservative justice, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there have been calls from left-leaning groups to reconstitute the Court by adding more justices. Sensing the growing criticism, several justices — liberal and conservative — have spoken out in recent weeks. Barrett emphasized that justices should not let personal biases influence their decisions. Samuel Alito dismissed claims that the Court’s conservatives have formed a “shadow docket” to push decisions through without traditional debate sessions. That has not appeased many Jewish organizations, who worry about how erosion

of the Court’s reputation could eventually harm Jews. “There will be a time when the court’s prestige is necessary to protect individual or group rights or the institutional interests of the country, and the prestige shouldn’t be squandered,” said Marc Stern, general counsel for the centrist American Jewish Committee. He cited as an example Cooper v. Aaron in 1958, when the school board in Little Rock, Arkansas, fearing anti-Black riots, sought to delay the desegregation ordered by the court several years earlier. The court unanimously rejected the school board’s bid. Stern noted that at the time, desegregation was unpopular in the south, and President Dwight Eisenhower equivocated about federal intervention. “What carried the decision was the prestige of the court,” he said. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who directs the Reform movement’s more progressive Religious Action Center, said recent court decisions have set it on a path toward radical changes, among them severely curtailing the right to an abortion. “We are worried about the hyperpolarization of the Court and the potential that it is being delegitimized when it is so out of sync with thoughtful consensus issues, like access to abortion,” Pesner said. Under that cloud, the Court’s justices

PRO-CHOICE AND ANTIABORTION ACTIVISTS PROTEST ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER DURING A DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE OF THE SUPREME COURT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 4, 2021. (KEVIN DIETSCH/GETTY IMAGES)

will hear a range of impactful cases this fall. Here are the ones that Jews should know about.

The threat to Roe v. Wade The Court has agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pitting the state of Mississippi, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks, against an abortion clinic. Lower courts — including those known to lean conservative — have upheld the abortion clinic’s claim that the law violates the seminal 1973 decision that upheld a woman’s right to an abortion, Roe. v. Wade, which held that abortions are legal until the fetus is viable, at between 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. The National Council of Jewish Women is leading a friend of the court brief on behalf of the clinic, with some 50 organizations signed on, and the Religious Action Center and Anti-Defamation League have signed onto separate amicus briefs. NCJW has launched an initiative, 73Forward (referring to the decision’s year), that will educate women about abortion and help facilitate access to abortions. It includes a component called Rabbis for Repro, now numbering some 1,500 rabbis, to underscore that for many Jews, access to abortion is a religious imperative. “We are deeply concerned about laws that would severely limit access to abortion,” Pesner said. He said the laws particularly afflict segments of the population that do not have access to private care or the means to travel to states with more liberal laws. Jody Rabhan, NCJW’s chief policy officer, said that by taking up the case the Court is signaling it wants to revisit Roe v. Wade — even though the Supreme Court does not usually take up cases that are not in dispute in the lower courts. “It’s been in front of the Court for some time, but only after Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed did the Supreme Court decide to take up this case,” she said. “There was no reason to take up this case; there was no

Ethnic-studies legislation in Mass. raises alarm from Jewish groups BY SEAN SAVAGE

(JNS) Jewish groups in Massachusetts are raising concerns about a bill being proposed by state lawmakers that would facilitate the teaching of ethnic studies in schools. The legislation, known as S.365 “An Act relative to anti-racism, equity and justice in education” has been proposed by State Sen. Jason Lewis (5th Middlesex District). The bill, citing the Jan. 6 “insurrection” and the “imminent danger” posed by “disinformation and white supremacy,” says that it would be in the best interest of Massachusetts students “that education in dismantling racism be taught to all students.” It calls for the establishment of a fund and a “Commission for AntiRacism and Equity in Education,” which would “develop curriculum materials with a social-justice perspective of dismantling racism” and “ensure that ethnic studies, racial justice, decolonizing history and unlearning racism are taught at all grade levels.” The bill was introduced earlier this year and has been referred to the committee on education. In September, a virtual hearing was held where Jewish groups submitted testimony raising concerns over the language. Robert Leikind, director of the American Jewish Committee’s New England regional office, wrote that while they support efforts to educate students on racial justice, the “terms used are undefined and vague, leaving the proposed commission broad discretion to interpret their meaning and shape policy accordingly.” Similarly, in a letter to Lewis and other lawmakers, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston expressed concern over the legislation. In particular, it noted issues related to the oversight of the “commission (in the bills’ current form, the commission has no members from the legislature CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

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discrepancy in the lower courts.” Another ominous sign for abortion rights advocates is that the Court recently let stand without hearing a Texas law that allows civilians to sue anyone who facilitates an abortion, although multiple experts said the Texas law was unconstitutional. (A federal judge temporarily blocked Texas’ enforcement of the law on Wednesday, siding with Biden’s Justice Department, which had filed an emergency request.)

The price of a religious education Accepting a case involving the separation of church and state is the one sure way to get dueling Jewish amicus briefs before the Supreme Court. Carson v. Makin fits the bill. In Maine, some parents want to use state funds to send their children to religious schools. Maine and Vermont are the only two states that allow parents of children in rural districts without a high school to opt out of sending their kids to a neighboring district’s public school. Instead, they can use state funds to send them to an in-district private school — unless that private school is religious. The parents in Carson v. Makin say that this ban is unconstitutional. The Orthodox Union has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the complainant parents, and the Anti-Defamation League is set to file an amicus brief on behalf of the state of Maine. Steve Freeman, the ADL’s vice president of civil rights and director of legal affairs, said that court precedent allows public money to be spent on religious schools as long as it did not involve religious instruction — for instance, in the use of funds for a playground. He said the ADL, in its amicus brief, will join arguments that public money should not fund indoctrination in a faith. Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s Washington director, said that the distinction that the ADL is hoping the Court will uphold may be impossible to make: There is little that a religious institution instructs that is not founded in religious belief, even if the topic is ostensibly secular, he said. Additionally, he said, it’s too late to stop public funding for religious institutions, noting as an example the decision last year to lend pandemic aid to religious institutions, which had bipartisan support. The American Jewish Committee, once a reliable partner to the ADL and other Jewish civil rights groups in defending the separation of church and state, will not be weighing in, Stern said. “There’s been a disposition within the

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THE DESCENDANTS OF A JEWISH WOMAN FORCED TO GIVE UP A CAMILLE PISSARRO PAINTING TO NAZIS FOR HER FREEDOM ARE SEEKING ITS RESTITUTION A MUSEUM IN MADRID.

agency to reexamine our position on aid to parochial schools,” he said.

A Pissarro painting’s rightful place In Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation, the descendants of a Jewish woman forced to give up a Camille Pissarro painting to Nazis for her freedom are seeking its restitution from its current owner, a state-owned museum in Madrid. The case hinges on whether California or Spanish law applies here. Spanish law allows an owner to retain stolen property if there was no reason at the time of purchase to believe it was stolen, and if no one comes forward to claim it within a given period of time. In the U.S., by contrast, there is no time limit for the original owner to reclaim stolen property. Stern said the AJC is considering an amicus brief, in part because he would like the Court to consider an issue narrower than the thorny one of whether Spanish law supersedes U.S. law: if the museum is lying. Stern does not believe the museum carried out due diligence when it acquired the painting in 1999, and may not be entitled to the painting even under Spanish law. “You could write a brief like ‘no literate person could believe that this was not stolen,’” he said.

The case of the Christian flag The ADL and the AJC are both considering whether to weigh in on Boston’s rejection of a Christian group’s request to fly a Christian flag outside city hall, a case known as Shurtleff v. Boston. The Christian group sued on free speech grounds because the city makes the flagpole available to local groups for a limited period of time. Excluding a religious group is discriminatory, the group argues. The ADL’s Freeman said the case is “a slam dunk kind of question that flying a religious flag in front of City Hall is

| OCTOBER 15, 2021

SEVENTEEN PEOPLE WERE KILLED WHEN A GUNMAN OPENED FIRE ON STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT A PARKLAND, FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL.

not consistent with what the framers had in mind when they adopted the First Amendment.” The AJC’s Stern said a case could be made that flying a religious flag on public grounds amounts to an endorsement of faith, but he was also concerned that precedent might not be on the side of church-state separationists: Courts have for decades upheld the rights of Jewish groups (most frequently, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement) to position menorahs on public property during Chanukah.

Heeding the kids from Parkland In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a gun group is joining two individuals challenging a New York state law that only grants permits to carry concealed handguns outside the home if someone can show “proper cause” for a need for self-defense. The Reform movement’s Pesner said his group has joined an amicus brief, in part because younger Reform Jews have made gun control a focus since the deadly 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. There were a number of Jewish victims killed in the attack, and local Jews in response took up gun reform advocacy through Reform-affiliated groups. That advocacy was in part also motivated by racial equity, said Pesner. “Our young people in Parkland say they witnessed a horrific tragedy, but that event takes place every day in cities like Washington DC and Chicago and does not get the same attention.”

The case of the community college crank In Houston Community College System v. Wilson, a former member of a community college’s board of trustees sued the board for passing a resolution censuring him for his relentless opposition to the board’s agenda. He allegedly leaked confidential

information, filed lawsuits against the system and trolled the other members’ constituents with robocalls. Wilson said the censure violated his right to free speech. A lower court said that the censure amounted to little more than a statement and threw out the case. Then an appeals court reinstated it. So why is this the single case, so far, that the AJC is addressing in an amicus brief? Stern said a ruling upholding Wilson’s claim — that the community college board limited his free speech — could have dire consequences for Jewish groups that call out instances of antisemitism. Government officials should have the freedom to call people out for bad behavior without being sued, he argued, and also linked it to the AJC’s efforts to get governments to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism. “If every time a government official called out antisemitism, he’s guilty of infringing free speech, that would be a severe setback,” Stern said.

Upholding the right of the undocumented to a hearing The Court is hearing two cases, Garland v. Gonzalez and Jonson v. Arteaga-Martinez, in which undocumented migrants in detention who face dangers if they are deported to their homeland argue that they are entitled to a hearing after six months to determine whether they are eligible to be released on bond. HIAS, the lead Jewish immigration advocacy group, is tracking the cases closely, in part because the Supreme Court has leaned in favor of continued detention in recent cases, said Andrew Geibel, the group’s policy counsel. Geibel said the detainees are susceptible to COVID infection, are suffering mental health privations and are unable to adequately prepare for their defense while in detention.

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Mass. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

or the administration, for example), transparency, definitions of vague terms in the commission’s enumerated goals and the fiscal power of the commission to disburse funds without requiring legislative or administrative oversight.” The JCRC said that it looks forward to future opportunities to work with lawmakers to have more in-depth conversations. Andrea Levin, executive director of the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), told JNS that ethnic-studies curriculum as it stands now is infested with antisemitism. “There is now overwhelming evidence that critical ethnic studies and the ‘anti-racist’ pedagogy are not genuinely concerned with combating the evil of bigotry and prejudice, but are instead part of a political movement that’s shot through with antisemitism and rank anti-Zionist propaganda. To mandate this pernicious ideology in public schools is a violation of public trust, brainwashes children of all backgrounds and will ultimately put a target on the backs of every Jewish child,” she said. The concern over the bill comes as California is close to enacting mandatory ethnic-studies curriculum as a high school graduation requirement. The debate over ethnic studies in California has been ongoing for several years. The first draft of the state-approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) was criticized by pro-Israel groups and others for promoting the BDS movement against Israel and not including lessons about antisemitism. While a revised version did address some issues, groups fear that the law mandating ethnic studies, known

as AB 101, could lead to some school districts using portions of the first draft. As such, a number of pro-Israel groups and individuals had been pressuring California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto the bill. However, Newsom signed the bill into law on Oct. 8. Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, told JNS that ethnic studies and racialjustice curricula as now constructed are “poisonous to American society, as they promote tribalism and racism.” “They also follow the woke-ist formula that casts Jews as privileged whiteadjacents whose very accomplishments and success become the very proof points that we are ‘exploiters and oppressors’ here and illegitimate rulers over ‘people of color’ in Israel,” he said. He also cast doubt on whether the established Jewish community can have an impact on improving the curriculum, such as in the case of California, where major concerns still linger. “Jewish efforts to ‘improve’ these curricula will likely backfire because any ‘improved versions’ will make the entire effort seem kosher, when it is not. And in any case, it will be hard or impossible to monitor radicalminded teachers who will use the cover of an approved ‘racial-justice’ curriculum to treat Israel and Jews here as they wish,” he said. Concluded Jacobs: “The Jewish community’s mainstream leadership, already paralyzed by its embrace of the very minority groups which are openly hostile to our interests, will likely be able to ‘make improvements’ and brag about it, but they will have only put lipstick on the pig.”

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THE LEDGER SCOREBOARD

For NBA’s Deni Avdija, year two means easing back from injuries and into game mode BY HOWARD BLAS

(JNS) Basketball player Deni Avdija was the talk of the town in Israeli and Jewish circles last season. The 19-year-old Israeli was drafted No. 9 in the first round of the NBA draft by the Washington Wizards and was off to a fairly impressive start until he fractured his right ankle on April 21 during a game against the Golden State Warriors. Avdija, now 20, has been recovering and rehabilitating, and is cleared to return for his second year in the NBA. He will play on the same Wizards team, though there will be two significant changes. Coach Scott Brooks, with whom Avdija had good relationship, will not be returning; he will play under a new head coach, former Bullets star, Wes Unseld. And superstar teammate and mentor Russell Westbrook was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In a recent press conference, team general manager Tommy Sheppard discussed Avdija’s recovery and plans for the upcoming season. Sheppard is taking a somewhat cautious approach with the young player and hopes to ease him back

slowly. While Sheppard reports that “he’s doing everything full speed,” he adds that Avdija “hasn’t been jumping in the scrimmages quite yet. I think a lot of that is just being overly cautious to make sure there are no setbacks.” Sheppard mentions that it has only been six months since Avdija’s injury. “When you start your training camp at the end of September, normally you think about an injury that happened last season; it seemed like it happened forever ago. We didn’t really have that full-time with Deni—we’ll ease him in and continue to monitor dayto-day.” Sheppard alluded to other non-injuryrelated issues that have slowed Avdija’s return. “He wasn’t going to participate in summer league … and then we had some COVID protocols that he got washed up in,” with some team members testing positive and thus impacting the travel schedule. “There were just a couple of opportunities that were taken away from him,” says Sheppard.

ISRAELI NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER DENI AVDIJA OF THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS. SOURCE: SCREENSHOT.

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Avdija has thus far been kept from scrimmages with teammates in the lead-up to training camp, which opened on Sept. 28. Sheppard stressed that Avdija’s present restrictions are purely out of caution. He is expected to play in pre-season games, though his minutes will likely be limited at the start. “When you haven’t had a whole lot of playing time and a lot of 5-on-5 or anything, it’s not something you want to throw him into when everybody else is ahead. We’ll ease him in; I think that’s the wise thing.”

‘More to his game than he was able to show’ In a second media session, Unseld shared his impressions of and plans for Avdija this season, saying that “he has been great and he looks strong. He is moving well. He’s put in a ton of time.” While Unseld agrees with Sheppard’s cautious approach, he may move quickly to get Avdija on the court. “I don’t know who talked about bringing him along slowly and ramping him up cautiously, but he looks great. He is eager to go. I am excited to see how it translates.” Sheppard and Unseld offered their thoughts on what Avdija’s second year with the team may look like, with Unseld reporting that “I think the next iteration for him will be his being a playmaker, playing as a secondary ball-handler, and at times, the primary ball-handler.” Unseld said he is pleased to have the flexibility and versatility to move such players as Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie around, “so now they don’t have to orchestrate the offense as much, they don’t have to be the focal point as much, with another guy who makes plays.” Unseld says he remains impressed with many aspects of Avdija and his game. “His size will benefit us defensively, giving us the ability to switch a lot, plus his shotmaking along with the other guys, so the shooting has been amplified. You cannot have enough shooting on the floor in an NBA game.” Sheppard notes the difference between being a rookie and returning for a second season and offered thoughts on the 6-foot9-inch forward’s role this season. “I think there is more to his game than he was able to show last year, but a lot of rookies don’t get to do a whole lot. You are lucky if you get out on the floor!”

He reminds us that Avdija “is just 20 years old. And I think some of that gets lost when in your rookie year—you are just out there trying to figure things out. The best thing sometimes about your rookie year is when it is over. You get to year two, and that is where he is at now.” Sheppard did get to see Avdija in action last season. “Deni was able to play quite a few minutes before he got injured. We know he can rebound. We know he can defend. I think he’ll be able to show as a secondary playmaker. I think he is capable of getting 10 toes on the paint and scoring. I think he is a guy who is a very clever playmaker. I think he’ll be able to help us.” Like the rest of the Wizards players, Avdija will have to prove himself in the preseason and earn his playing time. Sheppard has not yet determined how many minutes he will play per game. “We are certainly never going to put a cap on his minutes or on what we think his role is going to be,” he explained. “He is going to show us that. He has to go out and earn it. That is the exciting part of training camp. He is going to be out on the floor plenty and having plenty of opportunities to continue to grow. I know our coaches are very excited to work with him and expand his game. There will be a ton of opportunities for him to show his coaching staff and teammates all the things he can bring.” The Washington Wizards will begin their preseason action at Toyota Center in Houston, when they take on the Rockets on Oct. 5. The team will return to Capital One Arena in Washington to face the New York Knicks on Oct. 9 and the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 12. The Wizards will close out the preseason in New York with a matchup against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 15. Their first regularseason game is on the road on Oct. 20 versus Toronto, and their first home game is on Oct. 22 against the Indiana Pacers.

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IN MEMORIAM

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Stamford’s Alan Kalter, longtime announcer for David Letterman, was “deeply committed to the Jewish people” BY RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Alan Kalter, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman said, was a “mensch,” a past president of Stamford’s Temple Beth El who dutifully Zoomed into services throughout the pandemic. Kalter died Monday at 78 at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, surrounded by his wife and daughters. His colleagues took to social media, remembering him as a “lovely” man who was generous with his praise and encouragement. That might not be the Alan Kalter you remember: For 20 years on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” Kalter was not only Letterman’s announcer but played a foulmouthed narcissist and buffoon. Letterman, who delighted in getting his staff and guests to play against type, took it to extremes with the affable and self-effacing Kalter, who joined the talkshow host in 1995 and stayed through Letterman’s retirement from broadcast TV in 2015. A favorite routine was “Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interview.” Letterman would introduce Kalter and the camera would cut to Kalter, seated across from an A-list celebrity. George Clooney, Will Smith, Harrison Ford and Jodie Foster were among those who gamely played along. Instead of interviewing the celebrity, Kalter would spend two minutes abusing Letterman, accusing his boss of sycophantic behavior toward the celebrity (“suckhole” was one of the printable pejoratives Kalter favored), then turning on the guest — who reacted only with facial expressions, and hardly ever said a word. Kalter would rip off his mic and storm off the stage, as backstage staffers grinned and applauded. “That’s the last time we hire a guy without an interview,” Letterman said after a session with Nicolas Cage. Kalter, born in Brooklyn, taught high school English before breaking into radio and becoming a game show announcer. When Letterman was seeking a replacement for Bill Wendell, his first announcer, a producer brought in an audiotape of auditions. Kalter’s was “the first and only voice” we listened to, Letterman said. Kalter would break into show tunes, to Letterman’s mortification, or would present as a leering predator, offering to “comfort” Britney Spears after her divorce. jewishledger.com

ALAN KALTER AND HIS WIFE, PEGGY, ATTEND “NINETY YEARS OF GALLAGHERS” AT GALLAGHERS STEAKHOUSE IN NEW YORK CITY ON NOV. 14, 2017. (PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Another recurring theme was the introduction of Kalter’s long lost “son,” played by an actor who looked eerily like him, down to the copper red hair. Kalter at first denies the obvious (“For my 18th birthday my parents gave me a vasectomy”) and then cops to it, kind of. “How old are you?” Kalter asks. “Twenty, Paw,” the “son” says. “Twenty, let’s see, 1989,” Kalter thinks. “Was your mom in the Bangles?” Letterman, in a statement, recalled Kalter as a game victim of his staff’s jokes. “Whatever else, we always had the best announcer in television,” Letterman told The Associated Press. “Wonderful voice and eagerness to play a goofy character of himself. Did I mention he could sing? Yes he could. He enthusiastically did it all. A very sad day, but many great memories.” Letterman’s writers lit up social media remembering Kalter, whose nickname was Big Red because of his hair. “We loved writing for him,” said Carter Bays on Twitter. “Such a cheerful presence on the show. And around the office. Rest easy Big Red.” Caissie St. Onge, another writer, recalled on Twitter of Kalter, “He instituted the policy of saying, ‘I enjoyed that one!’ to me. He made me feel legit.” Hammerman told his congregation in a note obtained by Variety that Kalter was a “mensch” and a past president of the Temple “who was deeply committed to Jewish values and the Jewish people and was especially devoted to this, his home community.” His family asked that in lieu of flowers, mourners contribute to charities, among others, the temple’s mitzvah fund. “Over the past year, he attended our daily Zoom minyan so religiously that he even joined in from the golf course at Rockrimmon,” Hammerman said.

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OPINION

Judaism thrives on new technologies. That doesn’t mean Impossible Pork should be kosher. BY DAVID ZVI KALMAN

(JTA) — The Orthodox Union won’t certify Impossible Pork as kosher, representing a break from the way that decisions about certifying kosher food are normally made. But as someone who studies Judaism’s long relationship with technology, I would argue that it is undoubtedly the right move. Since the OU first started certifying products a century ago, kosher supervision has always remained doggedly focused on objective fact-finding: Food is kosher because of what’s in it and how it’s made (and, occasionally, who makes it) and that’s basically it. To get this information, modern kosher supervision agencies have built out fantastically complex global operations that keep track of complicated and constantly shifting supply chains. These systems are often incurious about almost everything not directly related to the food processing itself, including whether factory working conditions are acceptable, whether the ingredients are sustainably sourced, or whether the certified product will kill you (though politics sometimes leaks in anyway). So it was unusual when the OU — the largest certifier of kosher products in the world — denied certification to Impossible Pork, a next-gen meat substitute, despite the fact that every ingredient in the product is kosher. The OU explained that it could not certify a product that described itself as pork. Despite protestations to the contrary from hungry Jews and my own deep culinary curiosity, I believe that the OU made the right call. Though it seems that the decision was narrowly decided, the move to withhold kosher certification may in fact turn out to be one of the most important Jewish legal decisions of the 21st century. This may seem like a hyperbolic way of talking about soy protein slurry, but I really think it isn’t. The OU’s move is a first, tentative step towards a stance on technological innovation that desperately needs to become more common. To understand why, we need to understand the effect of new technologies on legal regimes. Law needs to be specific to be effective, and so well-constructed law is often carefully tailored to the nitty-gritty details of specific objects, systems and ways of behaving. When a new technology comes along and replaces the old — even if the new tech does exactly the same thing as the 10

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old — it can make the old law irrelevant unless lawmakers intervene with an update. Interventions are especially important when the old technology has been around for a long time and law has grown intertwined with it. Regulating cryptocurrency, for example, is crucial precisely because so many financial regulations assume that transactions take place exclusively through state-issued currency that is mostly stored in banks. But if the job of lawmakers is to create continuities between old and new tech, many modern tech firms, with their “move fast and break things” culture, often seem hellbent on tearing them apart. The makers of new technology like to call things “unprecedented” because it generates hype, but disconnecting new technologies from old ones is also a good way of shielding themselves from ethical and legal responsibility for how those technologies behave. This new tech dynamic plays out in Jewish law, too. How should the rule forbidding leather shoes on Yom Kippur — because they were considered an indulgence — apply in an era of comfortable synthetic shoes? Must one wear tzitzit (ritual fringes) at all when modern shirts don’t have the four corners that triggered the Biblical requirement of tzitzit? On a larger scale, the Shabbat elevator, the Kosher Lamp, as well as a host of technologies developed by Israel’s Tzomet Institute, all employ new technologies to circumvent existing rules while keeping within the letter, if not the spirit, of the law. Sometimes Jews have allowed these rules to be eroded because the stakes didn’t feel high enough, but when a new technology threatens to undermine Jewish tradition, the rabbis have tended to respond appropriately. The best example of this is the ban on turning electricity on or off on Shabbat. For millennia, the experience of Shabbat was shaped by the Biblical prohibition on lighting fires; with the advent of electricity at the turn of the last century, that ban threatened to become irrelevant. Orthodox rabbis responded by coalescing around the argument that electricity is fire, or was covered by some other well-established prohibition. That electricity is not actually fire didn’t matter; the argument carried because it was understood by leadership

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IMPOSSIBLE PORK CHAR SIU BUNS WERE PRESENTED AT A CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE IN LAS VEGAS IN JANUARY 2020. (DAVID BECKER/GETTY IMAGES)

and laity alike that electricity was coming to replace fire, to do everything fire could do and more. Today, the restrictions on electricity are a cornerstone of the Shabbat experience, so fundamental that it is hard for many observant Jews to imagine Shabbat without it. Is Impossible Pork the 21st century version of electricity? There’s a good case to be made that it is. The rise of plantbased meat substitutes has been spurred by ethical and environmental concerns around meat production. Their success depends on their being so delicious that they escape from the boutique realm of eco-conscious consumers and take on the same cultural role as meat. That Burger King offers an Impossible Whopper signals that this is already happening, as does the fact that major meat producers have invested heavily in the growth of plant-based alternatives to their own products. These developments should be celebrated—but rather than diminishing meat’s special cultural meaning, its substitutes have only served to burnish it. Meat has a special significance in Judaism, too. God is a big fan of animal sacrifices, and many holidays still involve the ritual or cultural use of meat — and inasmuch as meat matters, it matters that the meat isn’t pork. It’s irrelevant that the Ancient Israelite origins of the ban are

obscure; it’s enough that modern observant Jews (and Muslims) still treat the ban on pig products as a cultural touchstone. We should be glad that technology has created a meaningful difference between veggie beef and veggie pork — but if the distinction is there, the ban on the pork must be, too. The OU’s ruling does not yet amount to a full-fledged policy that all fake meat should be treated like real meat; a kosher restaurant can still serve plant-based “cheeseburgers” without fear that its license will be revoked. But even if it was not intended to be profound, the OU’s decision is an example of how all regulators, both religious and governmental, can fight back against the cultural unmooring that the present onslaught of new technology continues to cause. In this unprecedented age, creating continuity between the past and the present serves to ground society in the wisdom and norms of its own past. David Zvi Kalman is the scholar in residence and director of new media at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the owner of Print-o-Craft Press. He holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Briefs Sarah Silverman calls out ‘Squad’ for trying to block Iron Dome funding (JNS) Jewish comedian and actor Sarah Silverman criticized “The Squad” of leftwing Democratic lawmakers over recent attempts to block U.S. funding for Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. Referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Silverman said on a new episode of her podcast, “I wanna love them; I really do. Their domestic policies are completely aligned with mine, and I think they are so cool and kickass, but this is really scary.” “Please do not defund the Iron Dome,” she said, pointing out that she has family living there—namely, one of her three older sisters, Rabbi Susan Silverman; her husband, Yosef Abramowitz; and their five children. Tlaib and Omar voted against a bill that was passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives to provide $1 billion in additional funds for Iron Dome interceptors, with Ocasio-Cortez voting “present.” “People only really like Jews if they’re suffering,” said Silverman.“Not having the Iron Dome is going to kill people—a lot of people.” She called Iron Dome the “one thing that protects people from missiles in a place where missiles are constantly flying at you.” Of the congresswomen, she said: “None of them talk about Hamas. No one in ‘The Squad’ is bringing up Hamas. It’s so bizarre. Why do none of them even mention Hamas?”

Online portal for college kids to report antisemitic incidents is launched (JNS) Hillel International has teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League and the Secure Community Network to launch an online portal where college students can report antisemitic incidents on their campus and receive immediate support. The creation of ReportCampusHate.org is in response to the growing threats of antisemitism on college campuses. Hillel International recorded 244 antisemitic incidents on college and university campuses last year, up from 181 the year before. It also comes after a recent survey found that 74 percent of college students reported experiencing an act of antisemitism, but that they did not report it. Some 40 percent of students polled said they did not know how to report incidents of Jew-hatred at school. “When students are impacted by antijewishledger.com

Semitism, it can be confusing and isolating to garner appropriate law-enforcement attention and support,” said Michael Masters, national director and CEO of SCN, the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America. The new website “will be a safe way for students to report these incidents and activate SCN’s security infrastructure to assess the threat and prompt immediate attention.” The site will not only empower students when needed, said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, but will also help Hillel “be better equipped to address anti-Semitism with campus administrators and improve the campus climate.”

Gavin Newsom launches council to boost Calif. Holocaust education (JTA) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the formation of a council on Holocaust and genocide education Wednesday at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The council will provide educational resources regarding the Holocaust and other instances of genocide to students at California schools and “provide young people with the tools necessary to recognize and respond to on-campus instances of anti-Semitism and bigotry,” according to the governor’s office. “We find ourselves in a moment of history where hate pervades the public discourse,” Newsom said. “National surveys have indicated a shocking decline in awareness among young people about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.” In the 2021 state budget, California allocated $10 million to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles as well as $2.5 million for an expansion of the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. It also allocated $1 million for the renovation of the Tauber Holocaust Library and Archives at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center in San Francisco.

NY Gov. Hochul unveils $25M for nonprofit security (JTA) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $25 million in grants to boost security at nonprofits threatened by hate crimes. Speaking at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan Wednesday, where a Confederate flag was tied to its doors earlier this year, Hochul also announced the rollout of a new online hate-crime reporting system meant to help the state deploy resources immediately and effectively. “You continue to wear that yarmulke every single day and I will protect you,” said Hochul. “This stops now. We’re letting

At the Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation, we understand that comfort and familiarity is a key part of the journey to wellness. We also understand that maintaining your religious beliefs and principles is fundamental in continued enrichment of life. Our Kosher meal services allow residents to maintain their dietary requirements throughout their stay with us. At the Hebrew Center, we ensure we follow all principles of Kosher including purchase, storage, preparation, and service.

At the Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation, we also offer a variety of other services and amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. THESE SERVICES INCLUDE: • Passport to Rehabilitation Program • Long-Term Skilled Nursing Care • Specialized Memory Care • Respite Care Program • Palliative Care and Hospice Services Coordination

OUR AMENITIES INCLUDE: • Barber/Beauty Shop • Café • Cultural Menus • Laundry and housekeeping services • Patient and Family education • Life Enrichment

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For more information on our Kosher program, please contact: DIRECTOR, PASTORAL SERVICES - (860) 523-3800 Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation One Abrahms Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06117

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AROUND CT

“Everyone Said Yes”

How New Haven’s Jewish Foundation chief found focus in the pandemic

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BY PAUL BASS

pandemic has a way to put life in perspective — and convince people to help each other out. Lisa Stanger is among those who have noticed that during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stanger runs the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, an umbrella organization that manages over 700 charitable funds on behalf of distribution for synagogues, social service agencies, schools and camps. She has done the work for 15 years. That experience and local knowledge came in handy when the pandemic hit in March 2020. Immediately she and her board convened an effort to raise emergency dollars for people who would need food or other help. Stanger found herself in a new role: dialing, say, doctors to make personal appeals for one-time contributions (on top of her job of helping donors establish funds, then investing the money and distributing the proceeds). Stranger was struck by the reaction: “Everyone said yes.” The effort raised $500,000. She was able to find matching national dollars. Stanger then directed money to the Towers assisted-living facility to help seniors receive meals in their rooms and use iPads to stay in contact virtually with family friends; to Jewish Family Services, which runs a food pantry and family support programs; and to individual congregants in need identified by local rabbis. Stranger also noticed that the effort helped her focus and contribute amid all the personal disruption of the pandemic, from her husband’s rounds as a doctor in the Yale

Hate Crimes Advisory Council meets

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FACT Executive Director Michael Bloom and Connecticut ADL Executive Director Steve Ginsburg were among the participants in the first Hate Crimes Advisory Council meeting, held in late September. Bloom and Ginsburg were among 25 community leaders appointed to the recently formed Council by Governor NedLamont. The Council, co-chaired by Amy Lin Meyerson and Judge Douglas Lavine, is responsible for promoting and coordinating programs that increase community awareness and the reporting of hate crimes and combat such crimes. At the meeting, the co-chairs announced the formation of subcommittees, and Council members discussed current Connecticut hate crimes statutes. The Council is expected to meet every few months with subcommittees meeting at least every month.

LISA STANGER AT WNHH FM.

New Haven Hospital intensive care unit to her daughter’s adjustment to temporarilyvirtual college. “For me emotionally, it helped me get through Covid,” Stanger said. “I felt like I had a call to action and I could make a difference.” This article is reprinted with permission of the New Haven Independent (www. newhavenindependent.org).

Stanger talked about the Foundation’s efforts during the pandemic — and about the work of the Foundation, which just announced that its assets grew 35 percent to $75 million during the past pandemic year — during an episode of WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven.” (A link to Stanger’s interview with Paul Bass on “Dateline New Haven” is provided in the video box of the Ledger website, www.jewishledger.com.)

MICHAEL BLOOM AND STEVE GINSBURG WERE AMONG THOSE IN ATTENDANCE AT CONNECTICUT’S INAUGURAL HATE CRIMES ADVISORY COUNCIL, HELD VIRTUALLY IN SEPTEMBER.

Bringing the joy of Sukkot home

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endel Wolvovsky, 14, of Glastonbury, leads Sheila and Howard Mark of Bloomfield in the waving of the lulav and etrog during the Sukkot festival. Mendel and his father, Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky of the Chabad Jewish Center in Glastonbury, brought the joy of the festival to local residents through their personal at-home visits.

B’NAI MITZVAH BRADLEY CRAMER, son of Avi and Joleen Cramer, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, Oct. 16, at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford.

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people know that if they dare raise a hand to any New Yorker, they are picking a fight with 20 million others, starting with their governor.” The grants are part of the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program, which solicited grant proposals in spring 2020 from schools, day care centers, museums and camps to boost infrastructure and security against hate crimes and haterelated incidents in New York. Hochul said the new funding will support another 800 projects across the state. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2020 Hate Crime Statistics report showed that overall hate crimes were rising, and that antisemitic hate crimes made up 57% of all religious bias crimes.

HBO picks up film about boxer who escaped Auschwitz death march (JTA) — HBO has bought the rights to “The Survivor,” a film by acclaimed Jewish director Barry Levinson based on the true story of a boxer who escaped an Auschwitz death march after being forced to fight with his fellow prisoners. Jewish actor Ben Foster stars as Harry Haft, a Polish Jew who was imprisoned at the concentration camp at 16 but escaped as the Nazis evacuated the camps ahead of the advancing Red Army. He eventually moved to New York City. There he embarked on a fighting career that found him matched up against the likes of legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano. The movie, which premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, is based on “Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano,” a 2006 book written by Haft’s son Alan. HBO Films has not set a release date. Also involved in the production was a team from the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, an archive of Holocaust survivor testimonies started by Steven Spielberg.

Hundreds protest German hotel after Jewish celebrity is denied room (JTA) — Several hundred people protested in front of a hotel in Germany after Gil Ofarim, a 39-year-old singer and dual citizen of Israel and Germany, posted a video to social media Tuesday night, Oct. 5, in which he accused the Westin Leipzig hotel of denying him service because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. The video, which he titled “Antisemitism in Germany 2021,” went viral, with antisemitism watchdogs and others sharing it widely. After waiting in line to check in, Ofarim jewishledger.com

asked why others who arrived after him were admitted before him. According to Ofarim, another customer replied telling him to “take off the star.” At least one employee then told Ofarim he needed to remove the pendant to get service, the singer said. At least 600 people accusing the hotel staff of antisemitism, some of them carrying signs with a Star of David and the Muslim crescent, showed up at the hotel that night, Leipziger Zeitung reported. A spokesperson for Westin Leipzig told DPA, a German publication, that the hotel was “deeply concerned” and was regarding the case “extremely seriously.” The hotel has reached out to Ofarim to hear more details about what happened, the spokesperson said. Leipzig police are also looking into the incident. The hotel also posted a picture to Instagram that showed a line of people holding a banner with the hotel’s name and logo as well as Israeli flags and crescents that symbolize Islam. Leipzig is the largest city in Saxony, a region of Germany that is a stronghold for the country’s far-right political party, Alternative for Democracy or AfD.

In Netflix special, Dave Chappelle jokes about world-conquering ‘Space Jews’ (JTA) — Dave Chappelle was well aware that his latest Netflix standup comedy special, was going to bring him a storm of criticism online. That’s likely why he starts it by saying that it will be his last standup special for a while. In “The Closer,” he starts by joking about how good he felt while being molested by a preacher as a child. Then he talks about watching videos of Black people beating up Asian people during the COVID-19 pandemic, while he was quarantining with an asymptomatic case of the virus. Chappelle, who is Black, likens the beatings to his body’s efforts to beat the virus — effectively comparing Asian people to the coronavirus. Then he turns to Jews, saying UFO videos gave him an idea for a movie. “In my movie idea, we find out that these aliens are originally from earth — that they’re from an ancient civilization that achieved interstellar travel and left the earth thousands of years ago. Some other planet they go to, and things go terrible for them on the other planet, so they come back to earth, [and] decide that they want to claim the earth for their very own. It’s a pretty good plotline, huh? I call it “Space Jews.” After the joke gets only a little applause, Chappelle says, “All right, it’s gonna get worse than that, hang in there.” Whether the joke is a Zionist allegory or a bit about world domination, NPR critic Eric Deggans called it antisemitic. “[Chapelle] knows reviewers like me will quote the joke and criticize him for it, which I am. I don’t really care what point he’s

trying to make; a joke which sounds like anti-Semitism gets a hard pass from me,” Deggans wrote.

Israel hints Oman is next to join Abraham Accords (JTA) — Eliav Benjamin, the head of Israel’s foreign ministry’s bureau of the Middle East and Peace Process Division, met via Zoom with reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 5, to discuss the status of the Abraham Accords reached last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. Asked which country might be next, Benjamin singled out Oman as a country that Israel has sustained low-level relations with since 1991, when a round of peace talks were held in Madrid. “With Oman, we have ongoing cooperation and plans,” Benjamin said, noting that it was one of a handful of Arab countries to allow Israel to establish an interests office after the 1993 IsraelPalestinian Oslo agreement. Those offices shut down after the launch of the Second Intifada in 2000, during which Palestinians killed nearly 1,000 through suicide bombings and other attacks. Despite that setback, Israel remains involved in MEDRC, a freshwater research facility established in Oman in 1996, Benjamin said. “So we already have the relations with Oman,” he said. “I really hope that when we meet, if not before, his time next year we will be able to talk about our countries that have joined,” Benjamin said.

Watchdog slams ‘falsehoods’ promoted in San Diego Democratic Party panel (JNS) A recent panel discussion hosted by the San Diego County Democratic Party (SDCDP) Central Committee featured panelists who promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories and the “demonization of Israel,” revealed the San Diego chapter of StandWithUs. During the virtual event on Sept. 21, one panelist falsely accused Israel of being complicit in the May 2020 murder of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis because several senior U.S. law enforcement officials had visited Israel to learn about counter-terrorism. Another panelist defended the five former leaders of a Texas-based Muslim charity who were convicted in 2009 of funneling approximately $12 million to Hamas, saying they were “tried for the simple audacity of creating a foundation that wanted to give medical supplies to children in Gaza.” A separate panelist ignored the persecution Jews faced in the Middle East and North Africa by claiming that they lived in “harmony” with ruling Arab and Muslim populations. “While their suffering was historically less severe than European antisemitism,

Jews in the Arab world were always treated as second-class citizens at best and a persecuted minority at worst,” said Yael Steinberg, director of StandWithUs San Diego. “This inconvenient truth is frequently distorted or denied by those who seek to blame Israel and ‘Zionists’ for all problems in the region.” StandWithUs San Diego said it urges the party “to denounce the conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods promoted during the panel” and “to take steps to ensure they never allow such antisemitism to go unchallenged again.” “We also call on the SDCDP to acknowledge the centuries of oppression and systemic discrimination Jews faced across the Middle East and North Africa, long before the Arab-Israeli conflict,” added the group. “We stand with members of the SDCDP who are fighting back against this hatred and misinformation.”

Israeli PM reveals Mossad operation to find info on missing soldier (JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett disclosed on Monday, Oct. 4, that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency started an operation in September to find information about the fate of missing Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad. “It was a complex, large-scale and daring operation. That’s all that can be said at the moment. We made another effort on the way to understanding what happened to Ron,” tweeted Bennett. Lt. Col. Arad has been classified as “missing in action” since October 1986, when his plane went down over Lebanon. He successfully ejected himself but was captured by the local Shi’ite terrorist group Amal. The captured navigator was learned to have been handed over to Hezbollah, and later, maybe to Iran. Arad was married and had one daughter.

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TORAHPortion Lech Lecha

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t remains true, that all Jewish people can trace their ancestry much further back than a couple of centuries. I am reminded of the retort uttered by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe to a disciple who proudly reported that he was tutoring several “Jews with no Jewish background.” The Rebbe insisted that there was no such thing. “Those Jews,” he exclaimed, “have the same Jewish background as you do. They are all Indeed, we are all children of Abraham and Sarah, and we remain influenced by the consequences of their decisions. Study the weekly Torah portions beginning this week, and you will discover the extent to which we remain influenced by the decisions made by our patriarchs and matriarchs millennia ago. This week’s parsha, Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27), begins with one such decision: Abraham and Sarah’s resolve to leave their “native land and father’s house” and proceed to the “land that I will show you,” the land of Canaan. That decision which reverberated across the generations still sustains our commitment to the Holy Land. There are some lesser-known decisions made by Abraham in this week’s Torah portion. The first was his decision to personally intervene in a war conducted by four great world powers against five other kingdoms. What prompted Abraham to do so was the report that his kinsman, Lot, was taken captive by the invaders. Unlike some contemporary world leaders, Abraham immediately sprang into action. Not having access to jet fighters and long range missiles, he “mustered his retainers, chanichav.” He enlisted the help of 318 of those who had been “born into his household,” raised and educated by him. He made the decision to draft his disciples into military service. Was that a good decision? Not according to one view in the Talmud, Tractate Nedarim 32a: “Rabbi Avahu said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: Why was Abraham punished so that his children were enslaved in Egypt for 210 years? Because he used Torah scholars as his army!” In Abraham’s judgment, enlisting 318 of his disciples to help rescue innocent victims was a no-brainer. For Rabbi Avahu, however, Abraham’s decision was a disaster of historical proportions. There is no doubt that Abraham’s decision remains relevant down to this very day,

perhaps even more urgently than ever before. Our Torah portion continues with the narrative that describes the offer of the King of Sodom (whom Abraham defended and who had Abraham to thank for his survival) to “give me the persons, and take the booty for yourself.” Abraham, ever meticulously ethical, declines the booty but also yields the persons to the king of Sodom. A wise decision? Not according to another opinion in that Talmudic passage: “Rabbi Yochanan said that [Abraham’s children were eventually enslaved in Egypt] because he impeded the ability of those persons from taking refuge under the wings of the Shechinah.” That is, had Abraham insisted that the King of Sodom yield those “persons” to Abraham’s care, they would eventually have converted to Abraham’s monotheistic way of life. Abraham had a dilemma. Was he to insist on his ethical principles and take no reward whatsoever, not persons and not booty, from the king of Sodom? Or should he have engaged in spiritual outreach and taken those prisoners into his own household? For Abraham, his ethical principles trumped his goal of encouraging pagans to convert to monotheism. For Rabbi Yochanan, on the other hand, Abraham missed a critical opportunity. This is yet another of Abraham’s decisions with great implications for us today. We are all children of Abraham and Sarah. In so many ways, their dilemmas remain our dilemmas. Rabbi Avahu and Rabbi Yochanan taught us that we cannot merely emulate their choices. We must assess their decisions, determine their validity, and then consider the extent to which our circumstances conform to theirs. As we study the parsha each week, we must remember that we are not just reading Bible stories. We are studying ancestral decisions which continue to affect our daily lives in an uncanny way. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is executive vice president, emeritus of the Orthodox Union.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The classic Jewish film ‘Hester Street’ gets a new life in 2021

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BY MIA J. MERRILL

oan Micklin Silver, the pivotal female Jewish American filmmaker, always worked with a wit and wisdom that made her stories feel both timeless and personal. Best known for the romcom “Crossing Delancey,” Micklin Silver passed away last year while working on the restoration of her 1975 film “Hester Street” with the Cohen Film Collection. That 4K restoration — which essentially involves repairing breakdowns in the original physical film — is now playing in select theaters, and recently screened at the New York Film Festival. Like “Crossing Delancey,” “Hester Street” is a Jewish love story infused with the flavor of the Lower East Side. Performed in a mix of English and Yiddish, “Hester Street” was Mickin Silver’s first feature film. It follows a down-on-hisluck playboy, Yaakov (Steven Keats, who changed his Polish Jewish surname from Keitz), known to his friends and family back home as Yankel and to his American compatriots as Jake, in 1896 New York. Yankel’s bachelor lifestyle with the wealthy and beautiful Mamie (Dorrie Kavanaugh) is threatened when his wife, Gitl (Carol Kane), arrives from the “old country” with their young son (Paul Freedman). The estranged family must readapt to each other in an apartment shared with Mr. Bernstein (Mel Howard), a studious, religious man who evades all suggestions of meeting with a matchmaker as he pines after Gitl. “Hester Street” presents assimilation as an inevitable reality, the good and the bad — the nice new clothes reserved for upper classes back in Poland that anyone can wear in New York; the open space of the Lower East Side streets; the realization that the cloistered, segregated New York of the turn of the century can isolate Jews as much as any shtetl; the way that English first feels foreign in Gitl’s mouth before it slowly overtakes her, replacing words and phrases in Yiddish until she can express herself fully in either language. But it’s a violent assimilation as well, one filled with cries as Jake pushes past Gitl with scissors to cut off their son’s peyos (sidelocks), insisting that he not be called Yossele anymore, but Joey. The film presents a world just out of reach to 1975 audiences, when some may have been able to recall the golden age of Yiddish theatre and cinema, by then almost entirely gone. “Hester Street” feels almost like a musical at times, the ensemble moving in tableau on the streets and Yiddish lilting like a song. Micklin Silver and her husband, real jewishledger.com

estate developer-turned-filmmaker Raphael D. Silver, struggled to secure financing for the film because of its use of Yiddish. “People wanted to pigeonhole it as an ‘ethnic’ specialty,” says Tim Lanza, an archivist and the vice president of the Cohen Film Collection. “It got to the point that they had to finance it themselves.” Kane, best known now for her comedic work, worked with a dialect coach on set to learn Yiddish, while Howard grew up speaking the language. (She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role.) Doris Roberts infused the Yiddishisms of her grandfather into her performance as Mrs. Kavarsky, who helps Gitl come into her own and reclaim herself from Jake’s aggressive torment. Her well-known quip to Jake, “You can’t pee up my back and make me think it’s rain,” was improvised, Lanza says. Lanza — who refers to “Hester Street” as the “jewel” of Micklin Silver’s films that the Cohen Film Collection has worked on, which also include the comedy “A Fish in the Bathtub” — notes that the story speaks to a variety of immigrant experiences, even as it embraces Jewish viewers with a particular familiarity. Before Joey first goes out onto the streets of New York with his father, Gitl puts salt in his coat pockets to protect him from the evil eye. “That’s something that my Sicilian grandmother would have done,” Lanza says. These subtle behaviors that are so integral to 20th-century immigrant life evolve over the film as well, with changes one may not notice at first glance. Gitl, for example, may be the only person to walk through a doorway and kiss the mezuzah, the decorative scroll containing the Shema prayer. Despite assurances from Mrs. Kavarsky that she can maintain her sense of self in America once she is free from Jake’s control, both Gitl and the viewer recognize by the end of the film that some change is unavoidable — that it happens before one even knows it. The restoration of “Hester Street” looks like a charcoal drawing, with warmth coaxed out of the black and white frames through the process. With the film’s re-release, Lanza hopes more first-time viewers can see “Hester Street” on the big screen. It was this author’s first time seeing the film in a theater, which felt like a communal experience with director of photography Kenneth Van Sickle and production designer Stuart Wurtzel in attendance. Though Micklin Silver had passed before the final cut of the restoration was finished, the Cohen Film Collection was able to

(COHEN FILM COLLECTION)

(COHEN FILM COLLECTION)

consult another filmmaker with a personal connection to the project: Marisa Silver, her daughter. “I wanted some kind of validation, I think, from someone connected to the film,” Lanza says of the collaboration, which led to a change in the restoration’s color grading. The result is a film that shines with new life while reminding you of something you

already knew was there, with a timid beauty that both comforts and restores you. The restored “Hester Street” is now playing in select theaters. The film is also available to stream. This article originally appeared on Alma.

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THE KOSHER CROSSWORD OCT. 15, 2021 “Confusing Contours” By: Yoni Glatt

Difficulty Level: Medium

Vol. 93 No. 42 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner

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Leslie Iarusso Associate Publisher Judie Jacobson Editor judiej@jewishledger.com • x3024 Hillary Sarrasin Digital Media Manager hillaryp@jewishledger.com EDITORIAL Stacey Dresner Massachusetts Editor staceyd@jewishledger.com • x3008 Tim Knecht Proofreader

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ANSWERS TO OCT. 8 CROSSWORD

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Across 1. The “eye” in broadcasting 4. Basketball team, e.g. 10. Chris who plays Kirk 14. “What?” 15. Wild donkey 16. VISA alternative, for short 17. “Porgy and Bess” lyricist Gershwin 18. 2005 Best Foreign Language Film set in South Africa 19. 2019 Best Foreign Language Film not set in Italy 20. She was in many a movie with Daniel Radcliffe 22. Splitting one is complicated 23. Show where Doron and Steve fight terrorists 24. Amazon shpts.

26. Many plays 30. Flavoring used in cooking teriyaki 34. ___atine, nutrition supplement 37. Locale guarded by rotating flaming sword 38. ___-fe (Inquisition “ceremony”) 39. Woman of the d’Urbervilles 41. The Hulk’s catalyst 43. Model Nordegren once married to Tiger Woods 44. Flower product 46. It’s not so simple to do this in the Dead Sea 48. QB protectors 49. Aerodynamic-looking 50. Star of “Sophie’s Choice”

52. Supreme Court Justice Warren 54. Common power found in Israel 58. Ark’s setting 61. Like many at the end of an eight-day Passover program...or another name for this puzzle 65. Kind of crime 66. Bahrain’s peninsula 67. It’s a link 68. Profess as true 69. It comes in September, in Australia 70. Ripe fish eggs 71. Many a house with kids at the end of Shabbat 72. Fly out of Africa? 73. Industrious critter

Down 1. Hill or Mahomes, e.g. 2. Aka Myanmar 3. Phased-out SeaWorld attraction 4. Clay vessels, e.g. 5. ___lada (side dish with filete) 6. Israeli shoe brand 7. Archery bullseyes: Abbr. 8. “___ Fables” 9. What one does when making kiddish 10. Opposite of a host 11. Rivka and Rachel, for two 12. Captain of the Nautilus 13. Proctored event 21. “You shall not ___ nor take

away...” (Deut.) 25. Major college in Fairfax, VA 27. It follows Shevat 28. Most prophets 29. “The Breakfast Club” subject 31. Let the dice fly 32. “Cool, bro” 33. Brit grannies 34. Amazon shpts. 35. Cinema spool 36. Ending for coal or fluor 38. R&B’s India.___ 40. The Black and Gold of the NFL 42. United hub, for short 45. Palindrome on a police blotter 47. Mail body

50. Consumes conspicuously 51. Nes Gadol Haya ___ 53. Lay out in the sun 55. Bush with twin daughters 56. It might say “The Grillmaster” 57. Change tenants 58. Hoax 59. Consume 60. Beehive State college players 62. Amount subtracted from gross weight 63. Memorial column, for short 64. Necessity if serving fish at 58-Across

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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.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27

Love & Knishes Luncheon returns live and in person. With soprano Liliya Bikbova, Oct. 14 1 pm at the Jewish Federation of Western CT, 444 Main St. North, Southbury. Mother daughter duo who have performed at Carnegie Hall. $10. All guests must wear a mask. Teriyaki chicken, fried rice, asian blend vegetables, egg rolls ambrosia

Building Bridges - Zionist Lives Matter

A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays

The Funk Express in Sherman

Jews of the Italian Renaissance Gabriel Mancuso, PhD, director, The Eugene Grant Research Program on Jewish History and Culture in Early Modern Europe at The Medici Archive Project, Florence, Italy will deliver a free webinar on the topic, “The Other Dome’ – The Jews of Italian Renaissance Italy, Between Paradigms and Paradoxes,” on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies of Fairfield University. For more information, contact Jennifer Haynos at bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or (203) 2544000, ext. 2066. Kristi Flagg album launch Kristi Flagg: Record Release Bash & “Living Room” interview w/ George Mallas of ‘The Songwriters Block’ (Pawling Public Radio) will be held at the JCC in Sherman on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.. Kristi will play all the tunes from her new album “The Other Side,” along with some from her first release “Brave New View.” George Mallas will join Kristi on stage for a live interview during the concert. Attendants are encouraged to bring picnic dinners. For more information: jccinsherman.org, (860) 355-8050. Virtual book talk with Dr. Robert Lefkowitz United Jewish Federation’s Maimonides Medical Society presents: A Discussion with Robert Lefkowitz, MD, author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm: The Adrenaline- Fueled Adventures of a Doctor and Accidental Scientist, will speak, with Randy Hall, on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Ilan Fogel Dr. Lefkowitz is James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical School, and an author, cardiologist and legendary scientist and Nobel Prize winner. He will talk about his memoir which revels in the joy of science and discovery. This virtual program is FREE. For more info contact Sharon@ujf.org.

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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13

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THURSDAY, OCT. 14

The JCC in Sherman presents “The Funk Express” on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. A fun night of dancing to some of the greatest pop hits of all time. An all-star cast headlined by Sherman School’s Steven Trinchillo and Chris Carlone will perform. Reservations required. Concert indoors at JCC in Sheman, 9 Rte 39 South, Sherman. Masks required for everyone. For information of reservations: (860) 355-8050, info@jccinsherman.org, jccinsherman.org. $15/adults; $12/kids 17 and under

Thirty-year-old IDF captain and Ethiopian Israeli activist Ashager Araro, recently profiled in Forbes as a social media warrior against extremism, will discuss the way forward in combatting racism, antisemitism and anti-Zionism on Oct. 19 at 10:30 a.m. Hosted by UJA/JCC Greenwich. To register, visit ujajcc.org. Zoom link will be provided upon Registration

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 Daniella Risman, Emanuel Synagogue’s new cantor, will headline a concert at the Synagogue that includes the music of Felix Mendelssohn and explores “What is Jewish Music” through other musicians of the time. The concert is in advance of the Nov. 7 staged reading of “Havdalah,” a new play by Emanuel member Ben Engel (see story this page). Admission to the concert is FREE. For more information: (860) 236-1275.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24

Noah’s Ark family program in West Hartford

Tech2Peace: Israelis & Palestinians Innovating a Better Future

“In the Same Boat,” a FREE Noah’s Ark virtual family program hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford will be held Oct. 17 at 9:15 - 10:15 a.m. on Zoom. Local Jewish children in grades K-2 (plus an adult family member) are invited to “visit” the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem and craft their own 3-D ark models using the story of Noath as a guide. Materials are provided. To register: contact Deb Howson at dhowson@ jewishhartford.org or your local synagogue director by Oct. 4 (membership in a synagogue not required)

Tech2Peace (T2P) brings together young Palestinians and Israelis through intensive high-tech and entrepreneurship training, dialogue, joint start-ups, and an active alumni community. This interactive program introduces Palestinian and Israeli staff and alumni of T2P who share their perspectives and what they’ve learned by working together. A BYO brunch and workshop presented on Oct. 24, 12-1:15 p.m., by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford and co-sponsored by Federation’s Emerging Leadership Division, University of Connecticut Hillel, and University of Hartford Hillel. Advance registration required: https:// bit.ly/Tech2Peace1024.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 Mayoral Candidate Forum in Stamford The United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford and the Jewish Community Relations Council will host a Mayoral Candidate Forum on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Moderated by JCRC chair Joshua Esses, the forum will be held at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield Ave., or may be viewed on Zoom (TBD). For more information, email slewis@ ujf.org. Register at /ujf.regfox.com/mayoralforum-2. Co-sponsored by the Stamford JCC, Congregation Agudath Sholom, Temple Beth El, Temple Sinai, and Young Israel of Stamford.

| OCTOBER 15, 2021

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25

United Jewish Federation of Stamford’s Cardozo Law Society presents “A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays” with Marc Bookman, veteran capital defense lawyer and seven-time Best American Essays “notable., on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Venue to be announced. Bookman is executive director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, a nonprofit that provides services for those facing possible execution. (Dinner individually packaged per person). For more information email Sharon Franklin sharon@ujf.org. $25

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 Chabad honors Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks “On the Front Lines: Mind, Body and Soul” is the theme of the 2021 Chabad Gala honoring Hartford healthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks on Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m., at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford. Flaks will be recognized for his crucial work during the pandemic. The event will be held according to CDC guidelines in place at the time of the Gala. For information: Miriamgopin@yahoo.com, (860) 232-1116.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Rabbi Ethan Tucker to speak in New Haven Rabbi Ethan Tucker will discuss “Navigating Relationships in a World of Difference: How do we proceed when aspects of our Jewish observance create discomfort with family members and friends?” at Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel, 85 Harrison St., at the corner of Whalley Ave. on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m., following Shabbat services and kiddush lunch. Rabbi Tucker is president and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, an observant, egalitarian yeshiva. Sabbath rules will be observed. Masks are required

Facebook: The Inside Story United Jewish Federation of Stamford’s Rothschild Business Society will present on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. renowned tech writer Steven Levy, author of Facebook: The Inside Story. Levy has had unprecedented access to Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other staff for three years. He will discuss the history of one of Facebook — America’s most powerful and controversial companies. Dinner, drinks nd time to socialize followed by the program. Food individually packaged per person. For more information or to register., email Sharon Franklin, sharon@ujf.org. Venue to be announced. $25

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1 Outsmarting Antisemitism: A 4-session course A four-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), titled Outsmarting Antisemitism. Using history, Talmudic sources, Jewish mysticism, and contemporary expert analysis, the course addresses: Why does antisemitism persist? How can we make hate go away? How can we counter Israelfocused antisemitism and prevent our own youth from unwittingly lending their voices to antisemitic agendas? A 4-session course held on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and led by jewishledger.com


OCTOBER 13 – NOVEMBER 18 Rabbi Shaya Gopin of the Chabad House of Greater Hartford The four-week course begins Monday, November 1, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. The course will be offered in-person for a limited audience as well as on Zoom. Sign-in information will be provided upon enrollment For more information or to register, visit chabadhartford.com, email: rabbishaya@ chabadhartford.com or call (860) 232-8556.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Love & Knishes luncheon with entertainment by Airborne Trio, on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Federation of Western CT, 444 Main St. North, Southbury. For reservations, email cconti@jfed.net. Admission: $10.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2 pm Former CT Public Television executive and former WATR radio talk show host Larry Rifkin will discuss his new book, “No Dead Air,” on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Under his leadership, CPTV amassed over fifty (50) Emmy Awards in the Boston/New England competition. He now hosts the podcast, americatrendspodcast.com, where he looks at changes in our society and our politics. For information and reservation, email cconti@ jfed.net.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 “Black Voters Matter” free webinar LaTosha Brown, co-Founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter Social activist, political strategist, and jazz singer, will discuss “Black Voters Matter: Our Obligation to Democracy and Equality,” in collaboration with Open Visions Forum. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies of Fairfield University. For more information, contact Jennifer Haynos at bennettcenter@ fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11

10th Annual Saul Cohen-Schoke JFS (Virtual) Lecture Rabbi Steve Z. Leder will discuss “If You Have to Go Through Hell, Don’t Come Out Empty-Handed” as keynote speaker of the 10th Annual Saul Cohen-Schoke JFS Lecture, presented by Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County. Co-sponsored this year by the Stamford JCC, the virtual lecture will take place on Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Leder will discuss finding meaning in all sorts of painful losses: How can individuals transform loss into more than just loss? How can suffering be more than just painful? What do the sages teach about transcending pain and loss? Currently senior rabbi of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Rabbi Leder is the author of four books including The Beauty of What Remains; How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift and More Beautiful Than Before; How Suffering Transforms Us. Newsweek Magazine twice named him one of the ten most influential rabbis in America. For more information or to register, visit: https://www.ctjfs.org/saulcohen-jfs-lecture/

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18 “A History of Holocaust Trials? Under discussion in Fairfield Lawrence R. Douglas, JD, will deliver a lecture entitled “A History of Holocaust Trials: From Nuremberg to Demjanjuk and Back Again,” to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Lawrence R. Douglas, JD, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Amherst College; author, The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (2001),The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trials (2016). The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies of Fairfield University. For more information, contact Jennifer Haynos at bennettcenter@fairfield. edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

19th Annual Contemporary Israeli Voices series

W

esleyan University’s 19th Annual Contemporary Israeli Voices series will open on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. with a talk by Ayelet GundarGoshen, author of the new book The Liar. Sponsored by Wesleyan’s Center for Jewish Studies and organized by Dalit Katz. the 19th Annual Contemporary Israeli Voices series celebrates the voices of women and minorities.This year, two women writers from Israel and a Palestinian author who writes in Hebrew will deliver online multi-media presentations followed by question-andanswer periods with the audience. All presentations are free. To register, visit http://civ.site.wesleyan.edu. The schedule of presentations includes:

THURSDAY, OCT. 14 at 4 pm

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 20 at 4 pm Bestselling novelist Emuna Elon will discuss her latest novel, House on Endless Waters, which deals with WWII and her family place in the Netherlands, and the reasons why the survival of past times continue to emerge in our survival of the present.

THURSDAY, NOV. 18 at 8 p.m. Sayed Kashua, author of three well received novels and the creator of the hit TV series Arab Labor, will present on the topic of “The Foreign Mother Tongue.” Kashua will discuss Arab identity, Palestinian identity and Israeli identity, and explore what it means to sit at a point of intersection between them.

Ayelet GundarGoshen will speak on the topic of “On Love and Obsession.” In her new book, The Liar, Gunar-Goshen writes about what happens when a lie we tell gains momentum and spins out of control?

Author Elyssa Friedland to speak at Virtual Book Club Author Elyssa Friedland will discuss her new book Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, in conversation with Rebecca Anikstein, at the next Virtual Book Club meeting, hosted by UJA-JC Greenwich on Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. Friedland is the author of four novels. She attended Yale University and Columbia Law School, and worked as an attorney until turning to writing full time. She currently teaches creative writing at Yale. Attendance is FREE. To register or for more information: ujajcc.org.

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OBITUARIES KALTER Alan Kalter, 78, of Stamford, died Oct. 4. He was the husband of Peggy Kalter. Born in New York City and raised in Little Neck, Queens, N.Y., he was the son of Erwin and Doris Kalter. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Lauren Hass and her husband David, and Diana Binger and her husband Scott; his brother, Gary Kalter and wife Nancy; his grandchildren, Samantha, Ethan and Jordan Hass, and Isabelle and Owen Binger; and many nieces and nephews. His career as a television broadcaster included 20 years with The David Letterman Show. He was a past president of Temple Beth El. KATZ Harriet Katz, 91, of Boynton Beach, Fla., formerly of West Hartford, died Oct. 5. She was the widow of Marin Katz. She was the daughter of Frank and Rose Schwartz. She is survived by her children Stuart and his wife Heidi, Karen and her significant other Howard, Robert and his wife Andrea, and Harold; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Daniel), Michael, Stephanie (Brian), Michael, Andrew (AJ), Arielle, Jason, David, Brian; her great-grandchildren, Jayden, Ashton and Julianna; her nephew David Baram and his wife Paula). She was also predeceased by her siblings, Herbert Schwartz, Murray Schwartz and Arlene Baram. She was a long time member of The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford. LEVINE Corrinne Levine, 93, of Jupiter, Fla., formerly of Stamford, died August 23. She was the widow of William B. Levine. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in New

Jersey, she was the daughter of the late Ruth and Sigmund (Sid) Dyckman. She was also predeceased by her sister, Marcia Kestenbaum, and her son Robert Jonathan Levine. She is survived by her brother Ed; her children, Peter Levine (Shelley), and Lisa Hawley (Henry); her daughter-in-law Eva; her grandchildren, Allie, Simon, Becca, Nick, David, Lindsay and Julia; and her great-grandchildren, Ben, Caroline, Charlie and Noah. REITER Howard Jay Reiter, 61, of Woodbridge, died Sept. 4. He was the husband of Jody Ellant. He was the son of parents Dr. Stanley and Marcia Reiter. He was a member of Congregation B’nai Jacob. In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his children, Gavriela, Aiden, Ari and Gideon Ellant Reiter; his siblings, Robert (Fredrica) Reiter, Steven Reiter, and Debra Reiter Panitch; his in-laws. Dr. Jonathan and Devi Enerio Ellant, and Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. ZAKAR Beverly Janet Zakar, 93, died Oct. 1. She was the widow of Isidore Samuel Zakar. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Irving and Esther Bleich. She was also predeceased by her daughter Beth Zakar. She is survived by her sons, Steven and his wife Irene, Jay and his wife Janice Nista; and her grandson Robert. For more information on placing an obituary, contact: judiej@ jewishledger.

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Neal Sher transformed the U.S. Nazi-hunting system BY RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Neal Sher, who as the U.S.’s chief Nazi hunter established the formula that led to the deportation of dozens of Nazis, died Sunday, Oct. 3 in Manhattan. He was 74. Sher led the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations for 11 years, where he unveiled the discovery of monsters disguised as working men living contented lives in American suburbia. During his years at the OSI, first as a litigator when he joined in 1979, and then as its director from 1983-1994, he transformed the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting system from one that had relied on tips to one which systematically checked Nazi-era German records against U.S. immigration records. Under his system, the office has removed 69 former Nazis, in most cases revoking their citizenship for lying about their Nazi past when immigrating to the United States. In one explosive episode, Sher, citing evidence that former U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim had not disclosed his past as a Nazi officer, got the U.S. government to ban his entry to the United States. Sher’s doggedness also led to the discovery of major figures, such as Archbishop Valerian Trifa, who had instigated a pogrom against Bucharest’s Jews; and Arthur Rudolph, the NASA scientist deported to Germany after Sher showed that he had directed a German wartime factory where he worked Jews to death. There were occasional flubs: The OSI’s efforts led to the extradition in 1986 of Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk to Israel; the OSI identified Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible, the mass murderer at Sobibor, and it was for those crimes Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in

an Israeli court. An Israeli appeals court in 1993 established that Demjanjuk was not Ivan, and returned him to the U.S. The OSI continued to pursue the case, noting the overwhelming evidence that Demjanjuk was a lower level camp guard implicated in the murder of thousands, and he was deported to Germany in 2009, where he was tried and convicted. He died in 2012. Sher’s relentlessness infuriated the leaders of Ukrainian, Polish and Romanian communities in the United States who said that the old men should be left alone decades after the crime. Sher rejected those objections. “There’s no statute of limitations for mass murder,” Sher said on CBS. Sher became AIPAC’s executive director in 1994 but lasted in the job for only two years. Both sides said it was not a good fit. “We mourn the passing of Neal Sher, who led a life dedicated to the pursuit of justice and the defense of the Jewish people,” AIPAC said Thursday in a statement. In 1998, Sher became the first chief of staff for the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, the body established to extract claims that insurance companies had resisted disbursing to the survivors of clients murdered in the Holocaust. He was forced to resign in 2002 after filing more than $100,000 in false expenses. He repaid the fees, was disbarred in Washington D.C. and was suspended by the New York Bar. His New York Bar status restored, he offered legal representation for the families of victims of a 2009 terrorist shooting at Forth Hood in Texas. The army characterized the killings, carried out by a psychiatrist who became an Islamist, as “workplace killings.” Sher’s relentless advocacy led Congress to pass legislation in 2015 that allowed the Purple Heart to be awarded to those killed and wounded in the attack.

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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

EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 templebetht@yahoo.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 Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Kevin Peters (203) 869-7191 info@templesholom.com www.templesholom.com

HAMDEN Congregation Mishkan Israel Reform Rabbi Brian P. Immerman (203) 288-3877 tepstein@cmihamden.org www.cmihamden.org Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 tbsoffice@tbshamden.com www.tbshamden.com 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 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 Eric Woodward (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 NORWICH Congregation Brothers of Joseph Modern Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Resnick (781 )201-0377 yosef.resnick@gmail.com https://brofjo.tripod.com

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WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 info@bethisraelwallingford.org www.bethisraelwallingford.org

Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 mnmalley@yahoo.com www.kehilatchaverim.org

Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 info@orshalomct.org www.orshalomct.org

WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 jewishlifect@gmail.com www.jewishlife.org

The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 communications@emanuelsynagogue.org www.emanuelsynagogue.org

PUTNAM Congregation B’nai Shalom Conservative Rabbi Eliana Falk - Visiting Rabbi (860) 315-5181 susandstern@gmail.com www.congregationbnaishalom.org

WATERFORD Temple Emanu - El Reform Rabbi Marc Ekstrand Rabbi Emeritus Aaron Rosenberg (860) 443-3005 office@tewaterfrord.org www.tewaterford.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

SIMSBURY Chabad of the Farmington Valley Chabad Rabbi Mendel Samuels (860) 658-4903 chabadsimsbury@gmail.com www.chabadotvalley.org

WEST HARTFORD Beth David Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adler (860) 236-1241 office@bethdavidwh.org www.bethdavidwh.org

Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 info@youngisraelwh.org www.youngisraelwh.org

ORANGE Chabad of Orange/ Woodbridge Chabad Rabbi Sheya Hecht (203) 795-5261 info@chabadow.org www.chabadow.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

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 Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 bethisrael@cbict.org www.cbict.org

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 P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 pnaiorct@gmail.com www.jewishrenewalct.org

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WESTPORT Temple Israel of Westport Reform Rabbi Michael Friedman, Senior Rabbi Cantor Julia Cadrain, Senior Cantor Rabbi Elana Nemitoff-Bresler, Rabbi Educator Rabbi Zach Plesent, Assistant Rabbi (203) 227-1293 info@tiwestport.org www.tiwestport.org WETHERSFIELD Temple Beth Torah Unaffiliated Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz (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

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