Friday, October 29, 2021 23 Cheshvan 5782 Vol. 93 | No. 44 | ©2021 jewishledger.com
Is a History of Hate Set in Stone at Yale? JEWISH LEDGER
| OCTOBER 29, 2021
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| OCTOBER 29, 2021
CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | OCTOBER 29, 2021 | 23 CHESHVAN 5782
15 Around CT
18 What’s Happening
18 Bulletin Board
Conversation with…............................................................. 4 Elisha Wiesel, who spoke recently at the unveiling of a sculpture depicting his father, Elie Wiesel z”l, at Washington’s National Cathedral. Wiesel linked his father’s activism to his Jewish faith and his love for Israel.
Leader of the Pack................................................................ 5 One major reason for the vibrancy of the Greenwich Jewish community is Pam Ehrenkranz, who is now celebrating her 25th anniversary leading the combined UJA-JCC of Greenwich.
19 Torah Portion
21 Business and Professional Directory
ON THE COVER:
Yale has had ample opportunity to address the horned Moses that sits atop the university’s Sterling Memorial Library—not necessarily by removing it, but at least by offering a historical context to remind passers-by that Jewish men don’t, in fact, cover their heads with a kippah to keep their horns at bay. Instead, the library wall offers no explanation why this offensive century-old piece of architecture exists. If they did, perhaps it would help abate the recent surge in antisemitic acts on the New Haven campus. PAGE 13 jewishledger.com
Sunrise Dawns Dark........................ 5 The Sunrise Movement, a national youth group devoted to advocating against human-caused climate change, said it did not have advance notice of a statement by its Washington D.C. affiliate calling for an end to associations with Jewish groups with ties to Israel.
The Ledger Scoreboard................. 8 One purposely wears the number 18. Another has a Hebrew tattoo. Others have made Jewish history. This NHL season has a top notch set of Jewish hockey players. Plus…Israel’s Deni Avdija helped the Washington Wizards kick off the NBA season on a high.
Opinion..............................................10 A New York Times article raised questions about whether actress Mayim Bialik was “neutral” enough to lead the popular TV institution “Jeopardy.” But the focus on her support for Israel raises more questions about the newspaper than Bialik.
SHABBAT FRIDAY, OCT. 29 Hartford 5:42 p.m. New Haven: 5:42 p.m. Bridgeport: 5:43 p.m. Stamford: 5:44 p.m. To determine the time for Havdalah, add one hour and 10 minutes (to be safe) to candle lighting time.
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OCTOBER 29, 2021
CONVERSATION WITH... ELISHA WIESEL
Honoring his father’s story, Elisha Weisel sees fighting antisemitism inextricably linked to Zionism BY DMITRIY SHAPIRO
(JNS) The late Holocaust survivor, humanrights activist and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel became the first modern Jew to have a bust of his face sculpted into the stonework of the Washington National Cathedral’s Human Rights Porch on Oct. 12, the last to be installed among four luminaries such as Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks. A small, invitation-only audience attended an unveiling ceremony, where Wiesel was eulogized by distinguished individuals such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; historian John Meacham; Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, former chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council; Mehnaz Afridi, director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center; Wai Wai Nu, founder of the Women’s Peace Network; and Rabbi David Saperstein, former Ambassador-atLarge for International Religious Freedom. The Very Rev. Randolph Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, said that Wiesel’s bust was added because of his Jewish faith and not in spite of it. “His global activism was rooted in and fueled by his belief in a just and merciful God,” said Hollerith. The event’s last speaker was Wiesel’s only child and son, Elisha Wiesel, who thanked the cathedral for the honor and for recognizing his father as an observant Jew, even introducing a blemish into the bust to address biblical concerns against graven images. Wiesel’s speech focused on his father’s Judaism, as well as support for the State of Israel, which he inextricably linked. In his speech, Wiesel, 49, asked questions of his
father, who died in 2016, that illuminated those beliefs less often considered by the secular world. “Today, you are recognized for speaking out against silence, but sometimes, I see people quote your admonition against silence as an excuse to scream at others with contempt, self-righteousness and anger. You never humiliated, ridiculed or screamed,” said Wiesel. “But what’s hardest for me is seeing those who read your books cry for the dead Jews, quote your protests against injustice, and then condemn in the most unforgiving terms the 6 million Jews living in Israel who refuse to ever again depend on the world to rescue them. “No longer stateless and defenseless, these Jews, my brothers and sisters, face
ELISHA WIESEL SPEAKING AT THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL ON OCT. 12, 2021. (SCREENSHOT) PHOTO: ELIE WIESEL
difficult circumstances and sometimes impossible choices. For this, they are held to a different standard than any other nation on earth by America’s elite.” Wiesel, a successful businessman who has in recent years campaigned against anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, spoke to JNS recently about the experience, as well as antisemitism and Jewish unity. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Q: How do you feel about your father being the first modern Jew in the cathedral to be honored? A: It’s a profound measure of respect, right? For me, the cathedral was presented to me as a multi-faith institution. I know that that’s not 100 percent right because it is primarily Episcopalian. But the thing that ultimately really moved me was that it’s an American institution, and my father was a passionately loyal and fervent citizen. You have to remember, this country offered him citizenship when nobody else had. When he arrived, he was still on a journalist visa, and he had been in a very bad traffic accident, and I think he was worried he’d missed the opportunity to renew his visa. He went to the customs office, and they said, “You know, you don’t have to renew your visa. You could become a citizen.” Now, imagine that happening in this day and age. But that was a very powerful moment for my father. He really treasured being an American. So to have him enshrined in such a powerful American institution is quite meaningful. Q: Most people in your place would have probably spoken about what your father witnessed and his accomplishments, but you chose to ask questions of your father and society, and then linked his work closer to the Israel issue. Why did you decide to do that?
THE BUST OF ELIE WIESEL WAS SCULPTED INTO THE STONEWORK OF THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL’S HUMAN RIGHTS PORCH.
| OCTOBER 29, 2021
A: I wanted to provide some balance. You know, one of the things that I was most worried about is this concept that others will tell the story of my father and who he was. But I know what was most important to my father—because he told me regularly—and that was to be a good Jew. And for him, being a good Jew, that was the ultimate thing to unpack. There were so many pieces to that.
For him to be a good Jew meant to be an observant Jew. For him to be a good Jew meant to be someone connected to Israel and to the Jewish people and to Jews all around the world, whatever their needs are. And for him to be a good Jew meant to be a good person and to be an activist, and to stand up for other people and to broadcast the values that he derived from his faith. You know, my sense was that we’re at a time in American history where my father is mostly remembered only for the third. I think that my father is remembered for his accomplishments on the diplomatic stage, for having been a human-rights activist. And it’s really only those who knew him or who read him closely or listened to his lectures, that acknowledge what a profound part of my father’s identity was wrapped up in being a Jew with all that it meant—the Zionism, the Yiddishkeit, all of it. Had every other speaker gotten up there and talked about my father as a Jew, I would have balanced it out by talking about my father as a global human-rights activist. But I had a sense that the way that the program was being constructed was very much going to be about my father as a universalist, and thus I felt it was to me to inject that particular. Q: You’re spending a large part of your time now trying to get politics out of the discussion of antisemitism, is that correct? A: I don’t know that you can get politics out of the discussion. I think it’s more a question of recognizing that it exists across all parts of the political arena. Q: Do you think today’s polarization is the worst you’ve seen? A: Yes, but I’m older than I was, so I probably notice things more. I’m more sensitized to it. But yeah, it feels very bad now. And I think it may feel particularly bad because we’re at risk of losing so many of our own people. You look at some of the polls and it’s clear that we’re not doing a great job with our next generation of American Jewry, getting them to understand very basic things. Forget the Holocaust-education piece— the fact that so many Americans don’t know what Auschwitz was. [Recent polls] suggest that there are too many Jews out there who would agree with the statement that Israel CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | OCTOBER 29, 2021 | 23 CHESHVAN 5782
Pam Ehrenkranz celebrates 25 years at the helm of Greenwich UJA-JCC
REENWICH – Pam Ehrenkranz remembers the day she began working for the UJA-JCC of Greenwich in 1996. “The day I started was the day after Yom Kippur. I remember stopping in the supermarket on the way home and people were whispering in the produce section, ‘Shana Tova, Shana Tova.’ In Stamford, people yell ‘Shana Tovah!’ I was like, ‘That’s so interesting that they lower their voices when they say that.’ Not 10 years later, wherever you might go in Greenwich people now yell, ‘Shana Tovah!’” Ehrenkranz credits that to a “huge influx” of Jewish residents who moved into town. “I think the community is very multifaceted today,” she says. “There’s a tremendous amount of Jewish options in Greenwich right now. And I think there’s an enormous amount of Jewish pride that exists today. I don’t think it’s unique to Greenwich – but I think Jewish community members are realizing Jewish pride is a key thing right now, especially with all the antisemitism that’s growing. It was a quieter Jewish community 25 years ago. Today, it’s active and it’s public and it’s vibrant – more in the forefront.” One major reason for the vibrancy of the Greenwich Jewish community is no doubt Ehrenkranz herself, who is now celebrating her 25th anniversary leading the combined UJA-JCC of Greenwich. “It takes something special to be with a community for so long,” says Christine Toback, president of the UJAJCC’s Women’s Philanthropy. ““She is so committed to growing Jewish values and establishing Jewish Greenwich as a place to be. She’s strong, wise and resourceful. She knows the community intimately and she always has something in mind to make the community stronger.” “She is the keeper of the history and the evolution of our Jewish community over the past 25 years,” says Bryanna Kallman, co-president of the UJA-JCC. “She has such a grand perspective and her depth of understanding of the community and the people is a gift. The community jewishledger.com
National Sunrise movement says it wasn’t told in advance of DC affiliate’s attack against Jewish groups
BY STACEY DRESNER
is very fortunate to have her longstanding commitment.” That commitment is in Ehrenkranz’s DNA. She comes from a religious family devoted to Judaism, Israel and Jewish education. She is the granddaughter of Rabbi Max Ehrenkranz, z”l, and the niece of Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz, z”l, the longtime spiritual leader of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford. “My family and extended family – my grandfather’s kids and his grandchildren and Rabbi Ehrenkranz’s family and my cousins’ families – everybody who came from that family are lifelong learners. And I’m still learning. “The truth is my parents gave me my Jewish education and they gave me my love for Israel, which came from their parents. I think my father’s father was one of the few Orthodox rabbis who was a Zionist in his time.” Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Pam Ehrenkranz’s family moved to White Plains in New York’s Westchester County when she was just a child. Her father, Lou, z”l, was a money manager. Her mother Eleanor is a retired English teacher. Pam attended Westchester Day School.
“I was raised Modern Orthodox; I identify as Modern Orthodox. Once I moved to Westchester, I had a phenomenal Jewish education. But I will say that a very precious Jewish influence on my life came from my adult Jewish education as well,” Ehrenkranz says, referring the masters in Jewish Studies she received from Gratz College five years ago. But back in the early 1980s, she majored in psychology at New York University and minored in religion, “because there was an interest within me, not just about the Jewish religion, but other religions as well.” Ehrenkranz didn’t consider a career in the Jewish communal world, she says, because she really wasn’t aware that such jobs existed. Modern Orthodox women could not be rabbis at that time and, she notes, “I was not exposed to the idea that there were 1,000 other ways to serve the Jewish community as a Jewish communal professional. I just didn’t know.” After college she went into the diamond business. A few years later, she and her now ex-husband founded a wholesale jewelry business in the city while raising their three daughters in Stamford, where she has resided since 1985. All the while, she found the diamond business unfulfilling. “I couldn’t name it, but what I was doing on a day to day basis was lacking meaning, she says. “On the sidelines, I was volunteering for the Stamford Jewish community running the program ‘Turn Friday night into Shabbos’ and women’s educational conferences,” she recalls. “One day, a member of the community said to me, ‘Did you know you could get paid for doing this kind of work? I said, ‘Wait, what?’ I was floored. He said, ‘Yeah, who do you think runs all these Jewish organizations like Amit and Hadassah?’ That was the turning point.” Soon after that, a friend who was a member of the Greenwich Jewish community asked Ehrenkranz to volunteer on some committees for the UJA in Greenwich. At a Shabbat dinner with Nan
BY RON KAMPEAS
ASHINGTON (JTA) — The Sunrise Movement, a national youth group devoted to advocating against human-caused climate change, said it did not have advance notice of a statement by its Washington D.C. affiliate calling for an end to associations with Jewish groups with ties to Israel. “Sunrise Movement is a decentralized grassroots movement,” the group said in a statement Thursday, in response to press queries, including from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Hundreds of hubs like Sunrise DC exist across the country powered by volunteers, and each of them has the ability to act independently — whether it’s organizing protests, supporting candidates, or sending out public statements,” the statement said. “Sunrise DC made a decision to issue this statement, and we weren’t given the chance to look at it before it became public.” It was not clear from the statement issued by the national group stood on its Washington D.C. affiliate’s call on progressive movements to cut off ties with three progressive Jewish groups — or how the group viewed the backlash, which included Jewish groups calling Sunrise DC’s statement antisemitic. “Our work on behalf of all humanity is rooted in the value of human dignity and we reject all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism,” the national Sunrise movement said. “As a national movement that supports freedom and dignity for all people, we will always welcome anyone who acts on our principles and chooses to join the fight for collective liberation. We CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
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OCTOBER 29, 2021
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and Peter Levy of Greenwich, who told her that the Greenwich UJA needed an assistant director. They suggested she interview for the position. “I said, ‘Ok, I’ve got nothing to lose.’” Nancy Zisson was on the committee that interviewed Ehrenkranz for the job as assistant director. “[Pam] didn’t have any professional Jewish communal experience, but we liked her and we liked what she had to say, so we hired her,” says Zisson. “My goal was to learn the community at that point,” says Ehrenkranz. “Quite honestly, I was terrified.” Her appointment three years later to the position of executive director was for the UJA board a no-brainer. “She has wonderful ideas and is able to implement them,” says Zisson. “She’s smart and expresses herself very well, but it’s also her connection to people. This is a people business. The UJA is all about connecting with people to promote it and she connects with people.” Greenwich has grown a lot since Ehrenkranz became head of the UJA-JCC. She estimates that there were 1,700 Jewish households in the town 25 years ago; now there are 2,200 households on the agency’s mailing list. It was in sometime in the early 2000s that the growing community considered building a Jewish community center. “We did a strategic plan and the most overwhelming response that we could read from that plan was that the Jewish community in Greenwich wanted a JCC – overwhelmingly for educational and cultural programming,” says Ehrenkranz. “They
would have supported a building…a facility with great audio-visual and sports, but that strategic plan came out right around the time of the financial collapse, followed by the Madoff issue, and we realized that raising $30 million at that point in time was not going to be necessary. But we also realized we could deliver to the community what they really wanted, which actually was each other. We wanted to gather together over shared interests. I would say that is this Federation’s biggest strength.” While there is no brick and mortar JCC in Greenwich, Ehrenkranz said that Greenwich has enjoyed a wealth of Jewish programming for some time. “We have a JCC Without Walls,” Ehrenkranz said. “I took a look at every invitation for every program we had in the five years prior to having a JCC without Walls, and the truth is, we were already running one. We just didn’t know it.” Today, under Ehrenkranz’s leadership, the UJA - JCC runs vibrant family programming like PJ Library and J-Babies. The community has an annual Jewish Film Festival; a weekly Lunch and Learn program with renowned scholars; and is launching its second “Confronting Antisemitism” through the arts program. All outside the walls of a JCC. “Tomorrow night we will have 200 people in person and hundreds more online with an author coming in. We called the Greenwich Library and said, ‘Hey, do you want to partner on this?’” Ehrenkranz says. “We found that not having a building has allowed us to partner with really important local agencies – the YWCA, the library, our synagogues.”
One of the things Ehrenkranz has loved most about her job is organizing missions to Israel for the community. “Going to Israel was always so exciting for me. The first time I went I was 18 years old and I counted each trip for many years,” she says. “I am filled with gratitude to admit that I have had the blessing of going to Israel so many times, that I can no longer keep count. I have gone on JFNA Israel missions—and done the work of crafting missions for teens, people who wanted to see Israel through Jewish text, community service, and even had one or two private trips in between. There is nothing that recharges my soul and spirit like a trip to Israel!” Hoping to pass that love of Israel on to future generations, Ehrenkranz planned two missions solely for teens from Greenwich. “We had gotten involved in creating an Israel club at Greenwich High School… When we had Young Israeli Emissaries, they would go to the high school twice a week to meet with the club,” she recalls. “I went to one of the meetings and just found myself saying to the kids, ‘If you guys want to go to Israel, I’ll take you to Israel.’ We did two missions — mostly Jewish kids, but some non-Jewish kids too. If you really want to help create educated Zionists, who really can speak about the reality of Israel, one of the only ways to do it is to take them there.” Ehrenkranz says that even after 25 years of leading the UJA-JCC, it would be a mistake to “get too comfortable with what we’re doing.” “The world changes around us at an unbelievable pace,” she says. “We need to
PAM EHRENKRANZ, 3RD FROM RIGHT, AND HER HUSBAND, MATT GREENBERG, FAR LEFT, ON THE GREENWICH UJA-JCC TEEN MISSION TO ISRAEL IN 2013.
| OCTOBER 29, 2021
believe that the rights of Palestinians are a part of that struggle and are committed to embracing that struggle together.” The national group’s seeming equivocation infuriated the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, one of three groups targeted by Sunrise DC in its original statement. “The failure of the Sunrise movement to speak clearly in condemnation of the offensive statement this week from their Sunrise DC hub that sought to erase the presence of the RAC, NCJW, and JCPA from the fight for voting rights, is shameful,” said the RAC statement, referring both to itself and the two other targeted groups, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The statement and tepid response seem to be an indication that they consider the Jewish community expendable in the fight for social justice and comes perilously close to fomenting antisemitism,” the RAC said. “Our commitment to voting rights for all Americans is not contingent on who will stand with us.” Sunrise DC on Tuesday said it would not participate in a rally Saturday promoting voting rights because the three named groups had ties to Israel. The Washington D.C. group’s statement called for cutting off ties with the National Council of Jewish Women, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs as groups supporting Israel, which Sunrise DC called a “colonial project.” “Given our commitment to racial justice, self-governance and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that enforces its ideology,” Sunrise DC said in a statement it posted Tuesday, Oct. 19 on believe that we can’t do tomorrow what we did yesterday. It is a constant reevaluation, constant checking in with people, watching and listening. If you listen and you watch, you’ll know what the changes are before they are articulated – where people are gathering, how they’re gathering, if they even want to gather at all, what they’re opting into and what they’re opting out of.” Asked if she and her husband, Matt Greenberg, president and CEO of Jewish Family Services in Stamford, are a Jewish “super couple,” Ehrenkranz laughs. “We do spend a lot of time talking about Jewish communal meetings,” she says. “We both have a commitment beyond a job to do what we do. We live and breathe these agencies, and that’s what we have in common, for starters. We have that same kind of commitment to see that the Jewish world is well taken care of.” And she plans to continue taking care of the Greenwich Jewish community into the future. “I will stay here as long as they will allow me to have the privilege of doing this work.” jewishledger.com
Twitter. At least one other major sponsor of the rally, the American Federation of Teachers, has ties as deep to Israel as the three named groups. Like those groups, AFT backs a twostate solution and has been critical of some Israeli government policies. Sunrise DC did not single out AFT, which is not a Jewish group, for boycott. Another two groups in the coalition organizing the rally, the Arab American Institute and Code Pink, are sharply critical of Israel but did not shy from joining in coalition with the three Jewish groups Sunrise DC named. Sunrise DC did not call for the boycott of another two Jewish groups that are part of the coalition organizing the voting rights rally: Bend the Arc, which has no position on Israel, and The Workers Circle, which is highly critical of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and has called for aid to Israel to be conditioned on its human rights record. Sunrise DC ‘s statement prompted defiance from the three Jewish groups it named, which said they would be undeterred from attending the rally, and criticism from Jewish groups and a number of members of
Congress. Several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said Sunrise DC’s position was antisemitic. “This is antisemitism, plain and simple,” JDCA said in a tweet. “Targeting Jewish Americans in such an open and blatant way is a shameful attempt to bar Jews from participating in civic spaces.” JCPA, the umbrella group for Jewish public policy groups, and Reform’s RAC have in recent years emphasized voting rights advocacy. “In keeping with our 77-year history, JCPA will continue our ongoing engagement on voting rights efforts in coalition with interfaith and diverse communities, including our involvement in the freedom to vote rally and in support of fair, free and accessible elections for all people,” said its senior vice president, Melanie Gorelick. Notably, a Washington D.C.-based campus affiliate of the Sunrise movement, at George Washington University, robustly rejected the call by Sunrise DC. The two operate as separate affiliates. “Sunrise GW unequivocally condemns the Sunrise DC hub’s statement this week
PROTESTERS WITH THE SUNRISE MOVEMENT PROTEST IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE AGAINST WHAT THEY SAY IS SLOW ACTION ON INFRASTRUCTURE LEGISLATION, JOB CREATION AND ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE, AS WELL AS AGAINST ATTEMPTS TO WORK WITH SENATE REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 4, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)
calling for the removal of three Jewish organizations from the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition,” the group said Thursday on Twitter. “Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people is morally just and not antisemitic. Singling out explicitly Jewish organizations despite nonJewish organizations in the coalition holding
similar stances on Israel is unquestionably antisemitic and has no place in our movement.” A number of Sunrise chapters appear to have members who are also active in Hazon, a Jewish climate activism group with ties to Israel.
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OCTOBER 29, 2021
THE LEDGER SCOREBOARD The NHL has a historically good set of Jewish hockey players right now BY EVELYN FRICK
(JTA) — The 2021-2022 NHL season is underway, and there are some pretty exciting updates for hockey fans. There’s the new team the Seattle Kraken (yes, named after the huge sea monster from Scandinavian folklore), and the fact that NHL stars will return to the Olympics in Beijing in 2022 — the first time they will be allowed to compete at the games since 2014, thanks to a new collective bargaining agreement. But this year the NHL also boasts a historically good crop of Jewish players to root for. One week into the season, here’s a review of the Jewish players to look out for and their highlights on the ice so far.
ZACH HYMAN Hyman is one of the league’s best, and most underrated, wingers. He can “play up and down the lineup, doesn’t take a shift off, can kill penalties and adds some scoring touch,” ESPN wrote during his recent free agency. In one of the offseason’s biggest storylines, the 29-year-old, who had played 6 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, signed a 7-year, $38.5 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Eagle-eyed fans will also notice another change for Hyman this year: the number on the back of his jersey. In Toronto, he was #11, now he sports #18. The change was prompted by the fact that #11 is retired in Edmonton, in tribute to former Oilers captain Mark Messier. But as he pointed out in an interview with The Athletic, the number’s Jewish meaning also holds significance for him.
“I’m Jewish, and in Judaism, 18 is a lucky number; it’s chai, which means ‘life’ in Hebrew,” he said. Hyman comes from a Jewish family in Toronto, and attended school at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. In 2013, he represented Canada at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, where he won a gold medal. Edmonton’s move to sign him already seems to be paying off. He scored in their first game of the season, a go-ahead goal during a power play during the second period. Edmonton went on to win that game 3-2 in a shootout. When Hyman is away from the rink, he’s also a best-selling and award-winning children’s author. With Penguin Random House he has written the books “Hockey Hero,” “The Bambino and Me” and “The Magician’s Secret.”
JACK HUGHES Hughes made history in 2019 when he became the first Jewish player picked No. 1 in an NHL draft. The then-teenage prospect was born in Orlando, Florida to a Jewish mother and Catholic father. Though his upbringing was mostly secular, his family celebrated Passover and he had a bar mitzvah. While his rookie season last year with the New Jersey Devils was average, considering the expectations, Hughes is already looking sharper this season. In the Devils’ season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks, Hughes, still only 20, first proved himself a difference-maker on the ice in the second period, silkily skating through multiple defenders and scoring
JACK HUGHES IN ACTION FOR THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS AT THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER IN NEWARK, N.J., OCT. 15, 2021. (MIKE STOBE/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)
| OCTOBER 29, 2021
right in front of goal. His most notable goal of the night, however, was a game-winner in overtime. Showing patience beyond his age, Hughes deked out Blackhawks goalie Kevin Lankinen to get the puck at the back of the net. The win would not have been complete without his smooth celebration, during which he tossed his game-winning stick over the glass and into the crowd.
he wasn’t helping to jumpstart New York’s offense, Fox showed off his clear hockey smarts and skill — he spent a team-high 25 minutes on the ice, and in the next two games played approximately 27 minutes and 28 minutes, respectively. The defenseman is coming up on the end of his contract, and if his success holds, Fox will most likely be looking at a big extension with the Rangers after this year.
Zucker is a veteran winger who has played most of the past two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, before several with the Minnesota Wild. Born to a Jewish family from Las Vegas, he has a tattoo in Hebrew on his left arm in honor of his heritage; in English it translates to “In pursuit of perfection.” Though he never had a bar mitzvah, due to the fact that he didn’t want to miss out on playing hockey to study, he still engages in Jewish traditions and holidays like Chanukah. “I would do virtual menorah lighting with my family back while I was out of town playing juniors or college,” he explained to NHL.com. In his own words, Zucker had an “awful” season last year. Since being traded to Pittsburgh in 2020, he has struggled to develop offensive chemistry with his new teammates. Not helping matters, in his first full season with the Penguins in 2021 he missed all of March with an injury. It would be inaccurate to say he never really bounced back, because to be quite frank, he never had his footing with the Penguins to begin with. That said, Zucker is hoping to turn things around for 2021-2022 and so far there are promising signs. By the time Zucker made it 5-1 with a goal at the end of the second period in the Pen’s home opener last week, it seemed inevitable that Pittsburgh would win. But that doesn’t make his goal, a cute shot over his left shoulder as he skated just above the blue paint, any less sweet. And, just the game before, he came through with an assist on a goal by Evan Rodrigues.
Jack Hughes is far from the only talented hockey player in his family. His older brother Quinn, just 21, became one of the highest paid defenders in the league this month after re-signing with the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-year, $47.1 million contract. (Their younger brother Luke was also drafted last year.) Quinn had a spectacular rookie season in 2019-2020, making the 2020 NHL AllStar Game and finishing second for the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. While he had an average showing during 20202021, his impact in the first few games of this season shows a lot of promise and his new contract symbolizes the confidence that Canucks management has in him. Though the Canucks’ season is off to a tenuous start with a 1-2 record, Hughes got his first goal of the season in the third period of the season opener, sneaking the puck past Oilers’ goalie Mike Smith from an incredibly difficult angle. (And yes, it was an answer to Zach Hyman’s goal earlier in the game.)
ADAM FOX Fox made some Jewish history of his own last year, becoming the first Jewish player to win a major NHL award when he was given the Norris Trophy for best defenseman in the league. The 23-year-old is most highly skilled in his ability to handle the puck and generate chances for his team, whether that’s fearlessly taking long shots on goal or finding his teammates down the ice. Fox comes from a Jewish family from Long Island, New York, and has said he is proud to represent the Jewish community in the NHL. Now he plays in New York for the Rangers and is currently showing that his trophy was no fluke. Despite the Rangers’ home opener loss to the Dallas Stars on Oct. 14, Fox put on a clinic on both ends of the ice. He put his team on the board in the second period, sniping a goal from distance. And when
JOSH HO-SANG Though he is not currently playing in the NHL, we would be remiss not to mention Josh Ho-Sang, who recently had an impressive debut with the Toronto Marlies, a Canadian professional hockey team and the top affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, Toronto Sun writer Steve Simmons predicted in 2014 that Ho-Sang would “be
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Tipping off new NBA eason, Deni Avdija is ooking to put ‘Israel on he map’
NS) Deni Avdija took one look at all of e members of the Israeli media on the oom screen armed with questions and ked that he was worried he’d miss the ashington Wizards team flight to Toronto. he Wizards kicked off the NBA regular ason on Oct. 20 with a victory against the oronto Raptors. Avdija had eight points nd one assist in 21 minutes of playing time. Avdija has worked hard to come back from his April 21 season that ended with a fracture in his right ankle. “I always play the hardest I can and want to be DENI AVDIJA perfect from the (SCREENSHOT) beginning,” he says. Yet he knows this isn’t always realistic. he people I love tell me it doesn’t come ght away. I was rushing to be faster than fore, to score more. I know I should just patient and just be better every day.” The 20-year-old Israeli is a tough mpetitor and even tougher self-critic. He so shows signs of maturity and insight as enters his second NBA season. Coach Wes Unseld has high hopes for vdija and anticipates him having a “bigger le” on the team. “He has the capability to a playmaker. We will move him around understand all five spots on the floor.” Unseld also insists that Avdija earn his aying time. “He’s not there yet. He has to rn those minutes.” Of course, Unseld actively continues to lp Avdija develop his mental game. “We
er than all” previous Jewish players in NHL. Ho-Sang, a 25-year-old Toronto native, maican and Chinese on his father’s side Russian-Jewish and Swedish on his her’s side. I’ve grown up Jewish as my mother cka) is Jewish,” Josh once said in an view. “I have always celebrated the sh holidays like Chanukah and the h Holidays with family and friends.” Ho-Sang scored twice in his first game ct. 16, helping the Marlies beat the itoba Moose 2-1. If all goes well this on, Ho-Sang could get the opportunity e promoted back into the NHL with the s; he had previously signed with the York Islanders and played with them 6-2018 and for part of the 2018-2019
have a lot of confidence in Deni; we want him to have as much confidence in himself as we have in him. He just needs more— bottom line.” Unseld notes that Tuesday’s final team pre-season practice was devoted to mental preparation. He further shares that Avdija stays after practice regularly and asks questions in an effort to constantly improve and to master positions. He notes that he had made some mistakes in the team’s recent practice and wanted to better understand what he had done wrong. “Me and Anthony Gill stayed and brought three coaches to run all of our plays—we want to be perfect.” Avdija has three goals for the upcoming seasons: to be more aggressive, more experienced and more confident. He also hopes to continue getting to know and enjoy his teammates. “We are doing stuff together. The off-the-court stuff is helping us on the court, too!” Avdija says he’d also like to continue being a goodwill ambassador for Israel and Judaism, much like his friend and mentor Omri Casspi did during his 10 years in the NBA. Due to COVID precautions, he hasn’t yet had an opportunity to get to know the local Jewish community or interact with fans. But he notes, “I try to implement a lot of Israeli atmosphere [into my daily life] with food, holidays, in every way that I can. I haven’t met the Jewish community yet, but I am excited and looking forward to doing many things together.” He says he’s also looking forward to helping put “Israel on the map, as they say.” For now, Avdija is focusing on the NBA season. “In the meantime, I am concentrating on my basketball, coming back from my injury, so I didn’t have a lot of time, but I believe that in the future, we will have great times.”
season before being demoted to various development and affiliate team from 2019 until this year.
HONORABLE MENTIONS Though they’ve been less productive in the beginning of this season, other Jewish players to look out for in the NHL include: Mark Friedman, a defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins; Luke Kunin, a center for the Nashville Predators; Jakob Chychrun, a defenseman and alternate captain for the Arizona Coyotes; and Nate Thompson, a center for the Philadelphia Flyers. Thus far, Kunin has one assist in two games and Friedman has one assist in three games.
NOVEMBER 16-21 bush nell.org
OCTOBER 29, 2021
Is Mayim Bialik too Jewish for ‘Jeopardy!?’ BY JONATHAN S. TOBIN
(JNS) It may turn out that a lot of Americans are devoting as much thought to the question of who will ultimately succeed the late Alex Trebek as the host of “Jeopardy!” than they do about far weightier issues. When Trebek, who had been the face of the venerable quiz show for 36 years, died last year at the age of 80 it set off a much-ballyhooed search for a successor. The competition was intense and ultimately involved a broad range of celebrities who aspired to the job. But now, after a series of twists and turns that was the stuff of soap operas, a tentative, if not permanent choice has been made—in the person of actress Mayim Bialik—some people seem to be asking whether it’s kosher for “Jeopardy!” to be led
loved Trebek. There may be some controversy about her views on vaccines in the past (though she and her sons, ages 12 and 15, did get the COVID vaccine) and about one of the products that she has endorsed. But the only “hot-button” issue listed by the Times in the article involved her support for Israel and “her devotion to Judaism.” The conceit of the piece was that since Trebek was perceived as being so “neutral,” Bialik was somehow a bad fit for the position of “Jeopardy!” The implication was not only that she had been too open about her life and beliefs—she has more than 1 million followers for her “Breakdown” podcast on YouTube and a similarly huge following for a video blog “Grok Nation”
MAYIM BIALIK IN A SUKKAH, OCTOBER 2020. (TWITTER)
by someone so open about both her Jewish faith and her support for the Jewish state. America in 2021 is a place where antisemitism is quite real. But it’s also a country where Jews have been accepted in just about every sector of culture, industry and government. Indeed, it may be that the only job titles that can be said to be offlimits to Jews are those like, say, Catholic Archbishop of New York, which are reserved for believers of a different faith. But according to a recent feature in The New York Times, Bialik may be too open about her opinions about “vaccines” (she has said she is a “non-vaccinating family”), a “disputed brain supplement” and “hot-button issues” to fit the supposedly impartial mold long filled by the much10
that she did for many years and wrote for the Kveller.com website—when compared to Trebek. But that the “neutrality” that some seem to think is a requisite for the job was incompatible with her open profession of faith and Jewish identity. And if you didn’t get the message from the article, Bialik’s willingness to be upfront about being a proud Jew was apparent in the pictures accompanying it in which she was shown wearing a Star of David necklace. After Trebek’s passing, the search for his replacement turned into an ongoing television event over the course of the ensuing months with people like “Star Trek” and “Roots” actor Levar Burton, “Today” show personality Savannah Guthrie, former TV-news anchor Katie
JEWISH LEDGER | OCTOBER 29, 2021
Couric, “Good Morning America” host and former Clinton administration adviser George Stephanopoulos, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, former “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, CNN host Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta of the same network, all getting guest host shots to display their talents. In August, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards ended the suspense and chose himself to take on Trebek’s job while tapping Bialik to a subsidiary position as host of the nighttime version of the show as well as specials. But not long after that announcement, Richards was sunk by revelations about sexist and other offensive comments he had made in the past. With Richards out of the running and pushed out of his producer’s job as well, Bialik was left as the last person standing in the competition and, at least for now, is the full-time “Jeopardy!” host. She hopes that will turn into a permanent gig. But those who consider the decision about the identity of the person who will provide clues to the show’s contestants—who must answer in the form of a question—to be akin to electing a pope or confirming a chief justice of the Supreme Court are weighing in on Bialik’s suitability with all the viciousness and snark that you would expect to be part of such a solemn choice. That means that everything Bialik has ever said or done is being gone through with a fine-tooth comb. According to left-wing CBS late-night comedy-show host Stephen Colbert, the only people who don’t think she’s controversial are those without access to the Internet. A search of her YouTube videos would show that she has expressed an opinion about just about every aspect of her life as a parent (about which she has also written two books), her divorce, open relationships, sexual harassment, holistic medicine, food (she is vegan) and her experiences as a sitcom actress. So there’s plenty of ammunition for critics. Although the charming and knowledgeable Trebek often sounded as if he knew the answers to many of the questions on the show even without being told, he was just a radio and television announcer who went on to success as a popular game-show host. Bialik was a successful child actress. She took a long break from the arts to go to college and ultimately wound up with a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA before eventually returning to acting as a better way to support and spend more time with her
children, as opposed to a position as a research scientist. That, along with her own brand of charm and comic timing, as well as long experience in the rigors of work in television, made her a solid candidate for the coveted position. Yet as the Times article—and the many comments appended to it from readers who highlight their anger about someone who is not supportive of “Palestine”—makes clear, her connection with Judaism seems to stick in a lot of people’s throats. Her past views on vaccines are certainly controversial, but since she’s not a COVID holdout that would not seem to be much of an obstacle. As for the brain supplement, she asserts that she just said it was beneficial rather than making claims that it cures anyone of anything. And considering that Trebek made a fortune shilling for an insurance company, a motel chain and a brand of crackers, the notion that the host of “Jeopardy!” should not be tainted by commercialism is a bit rich. So other than those who object to her looks or her gender—or who are just fans of one of the other candidates—the only really substantive objection to Bialik is her public embrace of both Judaism and Israel. Indeed, the fact that she raised funds to buy bullet-proof vests for Israel Defense Force soldiers during the 2014 Gaza war as terrorist rockets rained down on Israeli villages, towns and cities is considered a problem for Times readers. It’s not clear in what context being a “staunch Zionist” and a Jew who takes her faith seriously (though raised in the Reform movement, she now identifies as Modern Orthodox) would disqualify someone for any job. That the Times highlights this as a reasonable objection to being a gameshow host would be puzzling if not for the newspaper’s long history of biased coverage of Israel and Jewish issues. The security of the Jewish community won’t rest on Bialik’s prospects for becoming the permanent host of “Jeopardy!” But the mere fact that her open Jewish identity is considered problematic speaks volumes about what passes for reasonable reporting and discourse at the newspaper that still poses as America’s paper of record should trouble everyone. Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_ tobin. jewishledger.com
a new exhibition at the
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should not exist, who would agree with the statement that Israel is guilty of genocide. So it somehow feels worse to me now in that we’ve even lost the plot a little bit with some of our own people. Q: Are you worried about this embrace, especially among some Democrats and a lot of young progressives, of calling Israel an apartheid state? A: Of course, I’m worried, and it’s such a shame because I think if you look at Jewish activism over the past century in this country, so much of it has been aligned with progressive ideals. And the causes that we agree with—whether it’s the importance of voting rights, whether it’s the importance of gender or equality, or for the LGBTQ community to not feel persecuted— whatever the issue is Jews have, by and large, been on the right side of these things. And then to discover that within these communities, this hate can take hold… I think there’s really two parts of it—one is that there are definitely conscious actors out there looking to seed lies and hatred among people that are very impressionable and very passionate. And then I think that there is a fair amount of ignorance. We’ve gotten intellectually lazy as a country, and Israel-Palestine is hard, so who wants to sit there and do the work to understand the truth of what it means that Israel has had to fight defensive wars. Q: What are your suggestions for attacking antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment? A: I think we have to do what we’ve been doing all along, which is to call it out when we see it. But we also have to not give up and cede territory. You know, it might be so tempting, particularly on the more progressive side of politics to say, “This feels like a betrayal. You know what? We’re not going to engage in these causes anymore.” But I think that’s a mistake, and I think that the credibility that we earn, rightfully, by being there for the most important causes in this country will over time show our allies as opposed to telling them that our values truly are in sync. So that’s why I very much believe that we can’t cede the progressive territory. Those of us who believe in some of these very important causes need to continue standing up for them and do so as Zionists. We don’t need to hit them over the head with it, but people need to understand that we’re not going to be excluded from any part of the political sphere where we feel we want to operate.
CONNECTICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Q: Antisemitism has been around for thousands of years and in every culture. I’m assuming the problem of totally getting rid of antisemitism is not possible. How else could we approach the issue if we cannot totally eradicate it? A: There are all sorts of spheres in which one can operate. In the political sphere— what I said earlier—we have to be true to our values and show up for the causes we believe in, and ultimately, our allies will see that we’re showing, not telling. But I also think it’s true in the personal sphere. You know, it’s interesting, voices as diverse as the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and [former New York Times editor and columnist] Bari Weiss speak about this, how important it is to be pro-semitic. The best way to be anti-antisemitic is to be prosemitic. And that means if you’re raising a family, raise them a little bit more Jewish than you otherwise might. If you aren’t keeping Shabbat dinner, keep Shabbat dinner. If you haven’t been to shul in a long time, go to shul. Talk about Israel at the dinner table. Connect to a family member in Israel. I think that there is a lot of truth in that the best way to fight against the darkness is to just be the light. And there’s so much in our tradition and in our peoplehood to appreciate and explore, that I think once people get started a little bit down that path it becomes an easier path to travel.
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Q: Do you think that it’s possible to eradicate it? What’s your end goal? A: There’s a commentary that says, “Esau hates Jacob.” And it’s just the way it is. I don’t know if you can ever fully erase it. But I don’t know that we need to fully erase it. We need to erase it enough that it doesn’t prevent us from living the lives that we want to lead and, thank God, we have a State of Israel now where the Jewish people have a point of security that we haven’t had in 2,000 years. So I think the expectation that we’re going to eliminate it completely is too idealistic.
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OCTOBER 29, 2021
Briefs Thomas Jefferson statue removed from NYC Council was gift from Jewish officer (JTA) — The statue of Thomas Jefferson that will be removed from the chambers of the New York City Council at the urging of Black lawmakers was a gift in 1834 from one of the first Jewish officers in the U.S. military. The city’s Public Design Commission decided to remove the statue following complaints from Assemblymen Charles Barron, Councilwoman Inez Barron and others that Jefferson was a slaveholder. The statue, which has stood in the city council’s chambers for over a century, was commissioned by Uriah Phillips Levy, a lifelong fan of Jefferson’s. Levy was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue in New York City. Levy served in the U.S. Navy, including during the War of 1812, eventually earning the rank of commodore. Having faced antisemitic prejudice in the Navy, Levy fought against religious discrimination and commissioned a bronze sculpture of Jefferson that stands in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, in honor of Jefferson’s support for religious freedom. The New York version is a copy. Levy even purchased Monticello, Jefferson’s mansion in Virginia, in 1836 and restored it. It is not yet clear where the statue will end up after it is removed from the city council chambers. Possible new locations include the New York Historical Society, where it can be displayed with historical context. In the same week, a life-size bronze statue of Diane Arbus, a Jewish photographer who was born on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1923, was erected in Central Park, where she took some of her most famous photos. The statue, only the second sculpture in the park to honor a woman, will be on display until August 2022.
Google Maps removes ‘apartheid wall’ label from Israel security barrier (JNS) Google has announced that it has removed the label “Apartheid Wall” from a road adjacent to the security barrier on the outskirts of eastern Jerusalem. While it is unclear how it came about, the company called it “inappropriate” and removed the label after being alerted by JNS. “We have taken swift action to update this inappropriate error,” a Google spokesperson told JNS. The unnamed road appears to be a military route that runs alongside the security barrier not far from the Bethphage church on the eastern slopes of the Mount 12
of Olives and the Tomb of Lazarus east of Jerusalem. Erected after the wave of Palestinian suicide bombings during the years of the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005, the security barrier has been seen as an effective tool in order to prevent infiltrations from the West Bank by terror groups, with the number of such bombings dropping dramatically following its construction. Still, it has drawn criticism from the international community, which sees the barrier as evidence of Israel’s intent to annex land and undermine the Mideast peace process. Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, say that the “apartheid label would seem to question the legitimacy of the world’s only Jewish state and its continued existence.”
Technion researcher develops Innovative breastcancer treatment (JNS) Researchers at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology have developed an innovative treatment for breast cancer based on analgesic nanoparticles that target the nervous system. The study, published in Science Advances, was led by Professor Avi Schroeder and Ph.D. student Maya Kaduri of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, and despite breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment, approximately 1,000 women in Israel die of the disease per year. Worldwide, it causes some 685,000 deaths annually. Schroeder has years of experience in developing innovative cancer treatments, including ones for breast cancer— specifically, triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type characterized by rapid cell division with a higher risk of metastasis. Technologies developed in his lab include novel methods for encapsulating drug molecules in nanoparticles that transport the drug to the tumor and release it inside without damaging healthy tissue. The researchers found that cancer cells have a reciprocal relationship with the nerve cells around them; the cancer cells stimulate infiltration of nerve cells into the tumor, and this infiltration stimulates cancer-cell proliferation, growth and migration. In other words, the cancer cells recruit the nerve cells for their purposes. Based on these findings, the researchers developed a treatment that targets the tumor through the nerve cells based on injecting nanoparticles containing anesthetic into the bloodstream. The nanoparticles travel through the bloodstream towards the tumor, accumulate around the nerve cells in the cancerous tissue, and paralyze the local nerves and communication between the nerve cells and the cancer cells. The result: significant inhibition of tumor development and of metastasis to the lungs, brain and bone marrow. The nanoparticles simulate the cell
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membrane and are coated with special polymers that disguise them from the immune system and enable a long circulation time in the bloodstream. Each such particle, which is around 100 nanometers in diameter, contains the anesthetic. In experiments on cancer-cell cultures and in the treatment of mice, the new technology inhibited not only tumor development but also metastasis. The researchers estimate that these findings may be relevant for the treatment of breast cancer in humans.
Gantz eulogizes Colin Powell (JNS) Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz expressed sorrow over the death of Colin Powell on Monday, Oct. 18, stating, “The world has lost a great American statesman and military leader, Colin Powell. Not only was he a patriot and a professional, but also a pioneer—the first African-American to serve as U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Secretary of State.” Powell was also the first African-American Secretary of State and a former national security advisor. Gantz added that he was “honored to have met him on several occasions in Washington. Time and again, he demonstrated that his support for the U.S.-Israel alliance was unwavering. On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I express gratitude for his legacy and send my condolences to his loved ones.” Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “I send my deepest condolences to the family of Colin Powell and to the American people. Colin Powell served his country with great dedication, and we will always remember his friendship to the State of Israel.” Similarly, the Israeli embassy called Powell “A true civil servant, Secretary Powell served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, putting dedication to his country before everything else. He set an example for those who would follow in his footsteps, becoming the first Black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the statement said.
United Arab Emirates to join Israel in moon shot (JTA) — United Arab Emirates and Israel plan to land Israel’s un-crewed Beresheet craft on the moon in 2024 in a joint space exploration deal, Haaretz reported on Wednesday. Israel’s first attempt to land a lunar module on the moon failed in 2019 when it crashed. The Beresheet 2 effort will be part of an agreement slated to be signed between Israel and the UAE to develop space technologies. The craft will collect soil samples and conduct experiments. Israel and the UAE are accelerating their cooperation under the Abraham Accords normalization deal brokered last year by the Trump administration. Last week,
their foreign ministers met in Washington with their U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to sign trilateral agreements on advancing religious freedoms and collaborating on climate change.
Rabbis arrested demanding climate action by Wall Street giant’s Jewish CEO (JTA) — Three rabbis and six Jewish teenagers were among those arrested Monday, Oct. 18, at a climate protest at the Manhattan headquarters of BlackRock, the largest investment management company in New York. The demonstration, organized by the Jewish Youth Climate Movement with support from the interfaith organization GreenFaith, in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference set for Oct. 31, demanded the firm stop its investments in and cut ties with companies that fund the fossil fuel industry, which include Enbridge, Inc., Formosa Plastics and Shell. Rabbis Rachel Timoner and Stephanie Kolin of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Rabbi Rachel KahnTroster, vice president of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, were among those arrested. “Judaism’s highest priority is saving lives,” said Timoner in a statement. “The Jewish youth who are leading us today understand that we are in a life or death moment, that we must divest from fossil fuels now in order to save lives.” The Jewish Youth Climate Movement, founded by the Jewish environmental group Hazon in 2019, is a Gen Z-led movement dedicated to combating climate change and environmental injustice from a Jewish lens. The activists called on Larry Fink, BlackRock’s founder and CEO since 1988, “to stand by his Jewish values and end BlackRock’s funding of the fossil fuel industry and end human rights violations,” according to a news press release. “BlackRock is the biggest funder of climate destruction in the world. It’s time for Larry Fink to live up to his talk and divest from the fossil fuel industry and end BlackRock’s human rights violations,” said Morgan Long, one of the organizers of the event. Fink, in a 2021 “Letter to CEOs,” said BlackRock was taking steps to ensure that the companies its clients are invested in are emitting no more carbon dioxide than they remove from the atmosphere by 2050.
ON CAMPUS Yale should look in the mirror, and at its buildings, to address antisemitism surge BY JONATHAN HAROUNOFF AND STEPHANIE POSNER
(JNS) Antisemitic and racist graffiti found on the Yale University campus in recent weeks has made New Haven less of a haven for the community’s Jewish population. And these weren’t isolated incidents. In less than two years, synagogues have been ransacked, false bomb threats have been made to Jewish community centers and a Chabad rabbi was robbed and beaten outside his own synagogue. Exactly two years ago, antisemitic graffiti was found scrawled on the steps of Yale Law School. Arrests were made and a statement of solidarity was issued by Yale president Peter Salovey, who reaffirmed his commitment to “fostering a diverse and inclusive community.” Such statements can often seem like just that—statements. Meaningful change won’t come until real action is taken. Yale can start by addressing an offensive, century-old piece of architecture on one of the school’s most iconic buildings that has eluded serious scrutiny. Cross campus is the beating heart of Yale’s student universe. In a pre-pandemic world, the campus quad would be perennially overrun by streams of students and sightseers. Flanking the quad is the university’s sprawling gothic centerpiece, Sterling Memorial Library, home to more than 2.5 million books and some 3,300 stained-glass windows. Nestled atop one corner of the library are 15 buttresses that, according to a 1930 Yale University Library Gazette article, are “figures representative of the fields of knowledge covered by the classification of the contents of the library.” Socrates is perched up there to represent the study of philosophy; Shakespeare for literature; Bach for music; Newton for physics; Leonardi da Vinci for fine arts; Adam Smith for economics; and Moses for religion. Great idea, right? The problem is that the university’s Moses, clutching the Ten Commandments, has horns protruding from his head. And the library walls—the university’s symbol of knowledge and truth—offer no explanation why this is so. Antisemitic attacks in New Haven are not, of course, a result of the horned Moses, but if Yale wants to demonstrate its commitment to fostering a hatred-free campus beyond disseminating pre-packaged statements of dismay and unity, it should start by looking in the mirror. The university has had ample opportunity to address the horned Moses— jewishledger.com
not necessarily by removing it, but at least by offering a historical context to remind passers-by that Jewish men don’t, in fact, cover their heads with a kippah to keep their horns at bay. One of the university’s committees is even called the Committee on Art in Public Spaces, established to advise the president about the “numerous works of art situated in Yale’s public spaces,” but Moses didn’t seem to make the cut. The best-known rendering of a horned Moses is Michelangelo’s 16th-century statue, now sitting in Rome’s Church of San Pietro in Vincoli as part of Pope Julius II’s mausoleum. The horns of Moses have traditionally been explained as a result of a mistranslation by St. Jerome, who interpreted the Hebrew word keren as “horn,” rather than “ray of light.” “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” “I was naïve to think that the last place I would see a millennium-long antisemitic depiction of Moshe would be on the Yale campus crown jewel, Sterling Memorial Library,” said Cameron Frostbaum, a Yale theater management student, currently on leave to study in Jerusalem, who noticed the statue while walking through campus. He added that the “easy thing to do would be to have the statue altered or taken down. But this is a part of Yale’s history that people should be aware of as we see Jewish people experiencing harassment and antisemitic incidents at alarming rates all over the United States, and specifically in New Haven.” Yale has in the past altered some of its contentious architecture. In 2017, the university concealed part of a stone carving outside Yale’s Sterling Library that showed a Puritan man pointing a gun at a Native American’s head. But expunging history isn’t exactly the best tool for remembering egregious forms of bigotry. For Meir Chaim Posner, a Yale Chabad rabbi whose colleague, Shua Rosenstein, was beaten and robbed outside the Chabad shul in April 2020, the inconsistency in how Yale has dealt with problematic art or architecture on campus is the key point of contention. “There’s an important need to provide context to those depictions and the antisemitic tropes they propagate,” said Posner, who bears no relation to the author,
YALE UNIVERSITY’S STERLING MEMORIAL LIBRARY, WITH A STATUE OF MOSES WITH HORNS PROTRUDING FROM HIS HEAD. CREDIT: KARYN BELL.
adding that he’s “not in the camp that supports removing the Moses in question, but does condemn the fact that it’s ignored.” Stephen Bertman, professor emeritus of languages, literature and culture at the University of Windsor in Canada, also noted: “These works of art should be preserved—as long as a conscious effort is made to inform the viewer about any lies they might otherwise perpetuate. Such works of art that distort history should be accompanied by captions or commentaries that anticipate and serve to correct the initial and incorrect impressions that an uninformed viewer may come away with.” In response to calls to demolish Nelson’s Column in London because he supported slavery, Sir Roy Strong, art historian and former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, wrote in a 2017 Times of London column, “Once you start rewriting history on that scale, there won’t be a statue or a historic house standing … The past is the past. You can’t rewrite history.” History and architecture can be powerful reminders of human flaws, and the best history lessons can often be drawn by some of the past’s most nefarious characters. Removing a significant part of Yale’s history doesn’t necessarily serve a purpose, and it certainly does little to prevent the continuation of Jew-hatred. However, the decorative Moses at Yale is not a historical monument, nor is it displayed in a museum where there is an opportunity for explanation. Yale is not the only U.S. university to house bedeviled depictions of Moses. A towering statue of a horned Moses, with his
index finger pointing upwards to indicate that there’s only one God, also sits outside of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, despite claims by undergraduate students that the statue, which also isn’t adequately contextualized, has helped perpetuate antisemitic tropes across campus. Large, crooked noses and horns are features that antisemites have classically attributed to Jews. Such features were regularly used by Nazis in the 1930s to demonize Jews. And more recently, in 2019, antisemitic fliers featuring Jewish men with enlarged noses and horns were found throughout Newton, Massachusetts, allegedly distributed by far-right, neo-Nazi group The Daily Stormer. Yale, like Notre Dame, should do better if they truly want to create a campus culture devoid of all forms of hatred. Jonathan Harounoff, a former New Haven resident, is a British analyst and journalist based in New York City. He is also a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an alumnus of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard. Stephanie Posner is a policy professional and recent master’s student at the Yale University School of Management and Jackson Institute of Global Affairs. She is also a former Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University and holds a BA in Classics from Cambridge University.
OCTOBER 29, 2021
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Jewish actor declines Off-Broadway role as Syrian immigrant BY EMILY BURACK
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
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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| OCTOBER 29, 2021
(JTA) — An Off-Broadway show about an undocumented Syrian immigrant will open without the Jewish actor who was slated to play the part. “The Visitor,” starring the Tony Awardwinning actor Ari’el Stachel, was set to open Off-Broadway at New York’s Public Theater in April 2020 and is only now in previews following the COVID-19 shutdown. Stachel had previously expressed misgivings about his casting in the musical, in which he plays an undocumented Syrian character who is sent to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center. Earlier this year, he told Playbill, he asked the production team why his character — who was raised in the United States — would speak with an accent. The start date of “The Visitor” had been delayed this fall, with the theater citing “conversations and commitments around equity and anti-racism.” Requests for comment from Stachel’s representatives were not immediately returned. “The Public Theater and Ari’el Stachel have made a mutual decision that he will step away from THE VISITOR and his role in the production,” the theater said in a statement posted Oct. 20 to its social media channels. “We are grateful for his artistry and participation over the past six years. We wish Ari well in his future endeavors.” “The Visitor” previews began Oct. 16, but in the show’s early preview performances, including one attended by JTA, Stachel’s role had been filled with an understudy. The stage musical is adapted from the Oscar-nominated 2007 film of the same name. It tells the story of Walter, a white college professor, who travels to New York City to find Tarek and Zainab, a young, undocumented couple staying in his apartment. After Tarek, who is Syrian, is arrested due to a misunderstanding and subsequently sent to an ICE detention center, Walter gets entangled in their lives trying to help him stay in America. According to Playbill, “recent discussions have included the concern over the centering of a middle-aged white man as a protagonist in a story largely about immigrant experiences as well as assurances that cast members have access to resources to fully participate in telling these stories.” The COVID-19 shutdown of New York theater coincided with the protests over the police killings of African-Americans, forcing many theater and arts companies to confront issues of representation and inclusivity.
Stachel has been with the show since early workshops, and his frustration over his character’s accent has been one of the more contentious issues of the show. “I got to the point where I couldn’t separate the experiences I was having in the world with what I was doing on stage. It is not enough to just play a role and have fun, it really needs to exist and align politically, spiritually, artistically, for me,” Stachel told Playbill in April. “I thought to myself, ‘my brown body needs to be not seen as an “other” anymore,’ so I’m actually trying to morph this opportunity.” Stachel previously won a Tony for his role as Haled, an Egyptian musician, in “The Band’s Visit,” the smash-hit stage adaptation of the 2007 Israeli movie. Stachel’s father was born in “an immigrant absorption tent city” to Yemeni Jews and his mom is Ashkenazi, from New York. “In third grade, someone told me I was too Black to be Jewish,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2017. By high school, said Stachel, “I started avoiding being seen in public with my father. I didn’t want to be seen with somebody who looked like an Arab.” “The Band’s Visit,” about an Egyptian band stranded in an Israeli backwater, helped him connect with his Middle Eastern and Arab identity. When auditioning for Haled, Stachel explained to Playbill, he “felt this was actually our only shot and, at the time, it was exhilarating to just have a job on Broadway. By the time I got around to ‘The Visitor,’ actually, I started having an issue with the fact that all of the roles I was playing had accents.”
ARI’EL STACHEL ATTENDS A SCREENING OF “BLINDSPOTTING” HOSTED BY LIONSGATE AT ANGELIKA FILM CENTER IN NEW YORK CITY ON JULY 16, 2018. (PAUL BRUINOOGE/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford elects new board members
our community leaders were elected to the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford at the organization’s recent annual meeting, it was announced recently by Merrill Mandell, chair of the Foundation’s Governance Committee.
The new Board of Trustees members include: Naomi Baline Kleinman of West Hartford. A corporate financial executive and Chartered Life Underwriter, Kleinman served in various leadership roles at The Phoenix Company, Inc. and, prior to that, at Connecticut Mutual. A dedicated community volunteer, she was chair of the Endowment Committee of The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, served as treasurer of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, president of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, and secretary of the National Investor Relations Institute-Connecticut/ Westchester Chapter. Kleinman and her husband, Joel, are members of The Emanuel Synagogue. Alan E. Solinsky, M.D., of West Hartford is CEO, managing partner and founder of Solinsky EyeCare LLC, a private practice based in West Hartford with eight additional locations throughout Connecticut. Solinsky was named one of America’s top Ophthalmologists by the Consumer Research Council of America,
and as one of Connecticut’s Top Doctors by Connecticut Magazine. A recipient of the Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism award, he is a former board chair of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford, and a 2010 recipient of the school’s Ner Tamid Award. Solinsky and his wife, Susan Solinsky are members of Beth El Temple and the Young Israel of West Hartford. Their three children all attended Solomon Schechter Day School. Dana Keller of West Hartford is the new ex-officio member of the Jewish Community Foundation. A member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Board since 2017, she currently serves as the organization’s board chair. She previously served as Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy chair (2017-2019) and chairperson of Federation’s Annual Campaign (2019–2021). She also co-chaired the joint Federation and Jewish Community Foundation’s Jewish Hartford Rapid Relief and Recovery Fund, which raised close to one million dollars for community needs in the wake of COVID 19. Keller is also a board member of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and a member of JFNA’s
National Women’s Philanthropy. She previously served on the boards of the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls in Hartford and the Watkinson School in Hartford. Keller and her husband Jonathan are members of Beth El Synagogue. They have two daughters, Lilly and Sasha. David Miller of West Hartford is a life trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation. An actuary by trade, he worked for 35 years at Travelers insurance, rising to vice president and chief actuary. He later specialized in money management and investments at Citigroup and Conning Asset Management. An active community leader, Miller served as a board member at Congregation Beth Israel (CBI), the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, and the West Hartford Pension Board. In 2006, he joined the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation and rose to the position of Board chair in 2012. He also co-chaired the Aim Chai Community Endowment Campaign, which raised $40 million. Miller also participated in the joint Foundation/Federation Jewish Cemeteries Task Force, 403(b) Review Panel, Long-Range Planning Committee and Rapid Relief and Recovery Fund Grants Committee. He recently joined the Federation’s Jewish Free Loan Fund Committee and CBI’s LIFE & LEGACY Team. Miller and his wife, Lauri, are members of CBI. They have two children and one grandchild.
B’NAI MITZVAH HANNAH FINK, daughter of Barbara and Jonathan Fink, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, Oct. 30, at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford.
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Joyce Mandell is recipient of JFNA’s Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award
hilanthropist and community leader Joyce Mandell of West Hartford has been selected to receive the 2022 Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award from the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy division. The Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award honors extraordinary women philanthropists and volunteers each year since 2004. Among her many accomplishments, Mandell served as the Mandell JCC’s first female president and board chair; co-founder of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Wallenberg Society; and board member of Trinity Health of New England. She will receive her award at the International Lion of Judah Conference to be held Dec. 11-13, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona, and will also be honored at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Lion of Judah Annual Celebration on June 1, 2022. “We are thrilled that Joyce Mandell is receiving this incredible honor,” said Jill Dulitsky, Federation’s 2022 Women’s Philanthropy chair. “She is a shining example of a Woman of Impact, helping to lead our community from strength to strength.” The Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award was created as a tribute to Norma KipnisWilson and Toby Friedland z”l, who co-founded Federation’s Lion of Judah program in 1972. Lions of Judah women contribute $5,000 or more annually to Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign. Today, more than 18,000 women worldwide are Lions of Judah. Mandell is a Platinum Lion of Judah in both Connecticut and Florida. “When the power of women joins forces with the power of philanthropy, the possibilities are limitless,” said Mandell. “My connection to my Jewish community allowed me to become a part of something greater than myself – a journey that led my family to make an increasingly significant impact in our local Jewish community, and to realize increasingly rewarding returns.” For more information about the Lion of Judah program, contact Laurie Mandell at email@example.com or (860) 335-7350.
OCTOBER 29, 2021
SUPPORT THE CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE AND HAVE LOTS OF FUN AT THE...
Y TAKE A SELFIE WITH THE BEARS AND TAG US! #WEHABEARFAIR
An interactive art exhibit & fundraiser featuring artfully painted oversized bears on display at Webster Walk, 20 South Main St. in West Hartford from August 31 through October 28.
For the latest updates and fun events and contests go to 20media20.com or follow us on Twitter: @wehabearfair Facebook: @wehabearfair Instagram: @wehabearfair This event is brought to you by
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| OCTOBER 29, 2021
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD OCT. 29, 2021 “A Jewish Halloween” By: Yoni Glatt Difficulty Level: Challenging
Vol. 93 No. 44 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner
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ANSWERS TO OCT. 22 CROSSWORD
Across 1. Matzah doesn’t do it 5. One of several daily verses said in Judaism 10. Haul 14. Gulf of Aqaba city (Var.) 15. Esa follower, in a 5-Across 16. Post game locker room filler, often 17. A Jewish name for October 31? 20. Telepathy term 21. Keanu is playing him for the fourth time 22. “Yippee!” 23. Bubbi alternative 25. Numbers to dress to
27. Jewish fixture on Halloween? 33. Involving the shin 34. Great Rabbi Baba 35. Eggplant or roasted garlic 38. 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, for short 39. Isaac Newton’s title 42. Sounds one might make before giving musar 43. Hard-rock band from Oz 45. Summertime quaff 48. October 31, this year 53. Abba ___ (aka Rav) 54. Not the religion of 53-Down 56. Alternative to bold 59. It may be bent or lent
61. Palindromic girl’s name 62. Jewish kid observing Halloween? 66. Non-clerical 67. Extreme dislike 68. Place to get a knish 69. Naval assistant 70. Actress Mila who has weekly Shabbat meals 71. Phrase of estimation
Down 1. Gathers, as grain 2. “You got that right” 3. Sample in a swab test 4. Neighbor of Kenya: Abbr. 5. “Football” star from Brazil 6. Storage for forage 7. Year, to Pedro 8. ___ Zealand, Muppet with a boomerang fish 9. Moed, e.g. 10. Kelly and Ryan, e.g. 11. It follows Shevat 12. Home of (the) Hurva 13. High chair feature 18. He trained Ahsoka 19. “A Serious Man” director
24. One actually CAN be buried in Jewish cemetery with one 25. Biblical fighter for land 26. “Let me check” 28. He trained 18-Down, for short 29. Alda’s character on “The West Wing” 30. What observers of 10 Tevet don’t do 31. Mr. Hyde’s creator, briefly 32. Beat or no-good ending 35. Cowboy Prescott 36. IV-covered area? 37. Shareable doc format 40. First word said after a birth 41. End a furlough 44. Kiddush cup, for one
46. When doubled, a lively dance 47. Colorado NHL team, in headlines 49. Comic Idle 50. Cowboy Wild Bill 51. at ___ date (in the future) 52. Lint locales 55. “Donkey Kong” hero 56. Fisher of “Tag” 57. Like some noodle dishes 58. Israel’s Yesh 59. Fancy vanity case 60. The Rock’s guns 63. Norfolk, Virginia, sch. 64. Opening of two Tins 65. Hustle or bustle
OCTOBER 29, 2021
WHAT’S HAPPENING WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27 A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays 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 seventime Best American Essays “notable., on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Venue to be announced. Bookman is executive director of the Atlantic Center for Capi-tal Representation, a nonprofit that provides services for those facing possible execu-tion.(Dinner individually packaged per person). For more information email Sharon Franklin firstname.lastname@example.org. $25
from unwittingly lending their voices to antisemitic agendas? A 4-session course held on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and led by 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: email@example.com or call (860) 232-8556.
OCTOBER 27 – NOVEMBER 11 americatrendspodcast.com, where he looks at changes in our society and our politics. For information and reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 From the ICC Command Center: AntiBDS Emergency Ops
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30
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.
Rabbi Ethan Tucker to speak in New Haven
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Have a child in high school or college? Go behind the curtain with Jacob Baime and Megan Nathan, leading strategists in the war on today’s shifting forces of antisemitism at this Zoom talk hosted by UJA-JCC Greenwich on Nov. 9, 7:30 - 9 p.m. Jacob Baime, executive director of Israel on Campus Coalition, is a public affairs professional and campus organizer, and an expert on pro-Israel campus affairs. As former national field director with AIPAC, he oversaw strategic campus initiatives, and managed AIPAC’s national training platforms for college and high school students. He most recently served as area director in AIPAC’s New England Region. Megan Nathan is managing director of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) where she provides pro-Israel students across the country with the tools and the resources to support Israel and fight BDS on campus. She worked at the US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) where she built coalitions of leaders from top NGOs, Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. military to educate Americans about the importance of global devel-opment. Most recently, she worked at a crisis PR firm creating campaigns for companies, nonprofits, and issue advocacy organizations.
Stamford Federation hosts Super Sunday
“Black Voters Matter” free webinar
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 hon-oring Hartford healthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks on Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m., at Emanuel Syna-gogue, 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.
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 kid-dush lunch. Rabbi Tucker is president and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, an observant, egalitarian yeshiva. Sabbath rules will be observed. Masks are required
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 Prof. Corinne Blackmer discusses new book Professor Corinne Blackmer, a professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, will discuss her new book, Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary America” via Zoom, sponsored by Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel, 85 Harrison St., New Haven. To request the Zoom link: email@example.com or (203) 389-2108 x114
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1
Volunteers are needed to make calls on the Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford’s Super Sunday on Nov. 7. Available shifts: 10 am-12 pm; 4 - 6 pm; 6 - 8 pm.; The day will also include UJF Family Fun Day with all sorts of activities for kids, including Petting Zoo, Stars of Hope Mitzvah Craft, a hat, glove and sock driver for refugees. Kids who bring their coins will get a prize. Volunteers are also needed for Family Fun Day. To volunteer or for more information, contact Sharon Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LaTosha Brown, co-Founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter Social activ-ist, 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 email@example.com or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.
Outsmarting Antisemitism: A 4-session course
Talk show host and author Larry Rifkin in Southbury
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 10
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 Israel-focused antisemitism and prevent our own youth
Former CT Public Television executive and former WATR radio talk show host Larry Rifkin will discuss his soon-to-be-published book, No Dead Air, on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Jewish Federation of Western CT, 444 Main Street North in Southbury. Under his leadership, CPTV amassed more than 50 Emmy Awards in the Boston/New England competition. He now hosts the podcast,
| OCTOBER 29, 2021
- Keser Israel (BEKI), 85 Harrison St., New Haven. To request the Zoom link: of-fice@ beki.org or (203) 389.2108 x114
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 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. 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 indi-viduals 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/saul-cohen-jfslecture/
Christian Kabbalists of 17th Century Europe Max DuBoff, a PhD student in Classics and Philosophy at Yale University, will explain how some European Christians became interested in Kabbalah to address puzzles about the nature of God and creation; via Zoom, sponsored by Congregation Beth El jewishledger.com
TORAHPortion Chayei Sarah
BY RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB
rief is the most powerful and most painful of human emotions. Yet, it is an emotion which few human beings can avoid in their lifetime. We all face loss, and we all grieve. Interestingly, the first death of which we read in detail in the Bible is a murder. And the reaction of the murderer is one of denial and, ultimately, guilt. I speak, of course, of Cain’s slaying of Abel. We do not read of Cain’s grief, nor do we know at all of the reaction of Abel’s parents, Adam and Eve, to his death. In this week’s Torah portion, for the first time, we learn in detail of the reaction of a surviving relative to the death of a loved one. I speak of Abraham and his response to the death of his wife, Sarah. Much has been written about the psychology of the emotion of grief. It is a complex emotion and is a very long, sometimes life-long, process. It seems that there are at least two components to normal grief. There is an emotional component, consisting of feelings of great sadness and pervasive melancholy. There is also an intellectual component, as the mourner seeks to make some sense of his or her loss and to find purpose and meaning in the death of the loved one, to thus be able to move on in life. So, it is not surprising that when Abraham learned of Sarah’s death — and he apparently was not in the vicinity of where she died — he came rushing to make the arrangements for her burial. We read that he “came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her.” Note the two components of his response. Crying, expressing feelings of loss through sobs and tears, bechi, was one component. The other component was much more cerebral and consisted of a well thoughtout and carefully composed eulogy. Abraham honored Sarah with his heart, his feelings; but also with his head, with his mind and intellect. Both aspects of this dual response are necessary. Over the first, the emotional aspect, we have little control. Feelings burst forth even when we try to suppress them. But the second aspect, the reasoned and verbally expressed eulogy, is one over which we have great control. We can plan intentionally what we will say and what we won’t say in a eulogy, a hesped. There is a beautiful eulogy in the homiletic writings of the great 18th
century sage, Rabbi Ezekiel Landau, author of the authoritative halachic work, Noda B’Yehuda. In that eulogy, Rabbi Landau speaks about his wife, Leeba, and compares her to the matriarch Sarah. He notes that in our text, Abraham cries “for her,” the pronoun “her” being used instead of the proper name. However, he “eulogizes Sarah. No pronoun here, but her personal name— the name by which she was known to him and to all of her acquaintances. Rabbi Landau insists that Abraham was setting an example for all eulogies to follow, for all time and eternity. A eulogy must be specific and speak in detail about the particular and unique qualities of the deceased. One should not just eulogize “her,” one must eulogize “Sarah.” Those listening to the eulogy must come away with a better sense of who the deceased was, with some details about what made the deceased special. Too often at funerals, we hear clergymen make very impersonal remarks about death and eternity, and they do not leave us with even an impression of the biographical details and significance of the life that was just lost. Abraham set the tone for a proper eulogy. He eulogized the Sarah that he knew. Not some abstract description which could fit any woman, but an exquisitely detailed portrait of the real Sarah, from the perspective of one who shared his life with her. There is so much that careful students of Torah have learned from the lives of Abraham and Sarah. One lesson that I personally cherish is the lesson of Abraham’s eulogy for his life’s companion. The actual words of this eulogy are not recorded, but the message is clear. It was not an anonymous “her” that he mourned, but a real, flesh and blood, deeply beloved life-long spouse, Sarah. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is executive vice president, emeritus of the Orthodox Union.
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BURSACK Elaine Feuer Bursack, 83, of Brooklyn, N.Y., formerly of West Hartford, died Oct. 15. She was the widow of Jack Bursack. She was the daughter of the late Anna and Benjamin Feuer. She was an active member of Beth El Temple. She was also predeceased by her daughter Alisa Bursack Komsky. She is survived by her son Larry David; her grandchildren, Lauren and Lexi David; her brother Michael Feuer and his wife Robin); and numerous nieces and nephews. RUBIN Herman & Marilyn (Devorah) Rubin. Herman Rubin, 93, of New Haven, formerly of Milford, died Oct. 13. Born in New Haven, he was the son of the late Morris and Anna Rubin. He assisted in the Signal Corps in the post-occupation forces following World War II. Marilyn Desrosiers Rubin, 87, of New Haven, formerly of Milford, died Jan. 30, 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. She did not have a public obituary at that time, so her death is acknowledged here. Born in Burlington, Vt., and raised in New Haven, she was the daughter of the late Leo and Marion Desrosiers. Herman and Marilyn are survived by their daughters, Judy (Dan) Davidson and her husband Dan, Janice Rubin, Michal (John) Rentschler and her husband John, and Tracy (Troy) Lumley and her husband Troy; her brother Ed Desrosiers and his wife Barbara) of Southington; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. SEIGEL Jerome W Seigel, 93, of Sarasota, Fla., formerly of West Hartford, died Oct. 12. He was the widower of Ann (Weinstein) Seigel. Born in Newark, N.J., he was the son of the late Edward and Kathrine (Bloom)
Seigel. He was a US Army veteran of World War II. He is survived by his sons, Paul Seigel of New Haven, David Seigel of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Marc Seigel of Elkton, Md.; nine grandchildren; and six greatgrandchildren. He was also predeceased by his son Neal R. Seigel, and his brother Sheldon Seigel. STARR Irene Dorothy (Godgart) Starr passed away on Oct. 16, 2021 at age 96. Irene was the daughter of Jennie and Harry Godgart. She was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Irving S. Starr. Irene was pre-deceased by her cherished son, Jay M. Starr, and her beloved brother, Martin Godgart. She leaves her sons, Richard M. Starr and Lawrence A. Starr, M.D. and his wife Sheryl. Irene leaves grandchildren, Andrew Starr, Julie, Melissa and Aliza Starr and Joshua and Rebecca Starr. She also leaves her great-grandchildren Isabel Rose Starr Wood and Aria Jade Starr. Irene was a beautiful and vibrant woman. Early in her youth she was an artist and interested in fashion design. She later became a travel agent and for many years worked for KLM RoyalDutch Airlines. She waspPresident of ORT in Florida for many years. Irene was a supportive partner and instrumental in her husband’s professional success as Dean of the School of education at the University of Hartford. She also took great pride as the mother of her three sons Funeral services were in private in Boston, MA. Remembrances to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.
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2-year-old Alta Fixsler is taken off life support BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
(JTA) — A 2-year-old Jewish girl died in the United Kingdom Monday after she was taken off life support despite her parents’ objections. Alta Fixsler of Manchester, England, had serious natal complications that made her dependent on life support from birth. When medical authorities at the hospital where she was treated wanted to take her off life support, her Chaya and Abraham Fixsler, haredi Orthodox Jews, took the medical authorities to court, claiming that taking the child off life support would violate their religious principles. Judaism commands the preservation of human life and generally forbids actions to end it, though rabbis, including Orthodox ones, have diverging opinions taking patients with incurable ailments off life support. The High Court of London ruled in May that ending Alta’s life would be in her best interest. A British judge rejected a petition by the girl’s parents to have her moved to a hospital in Jerusalem. Attempts to make Alta a U.S. citizen did not succeed in time to prevent her death.
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CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Cantor Niema Hirsch email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cbsrz.org COLCHESTER Congregation Ahavath Achim Conservative Rabbi Kenneth Alter (860) 537-2809 email@example.com
EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 firstname.lastname@example.org FAIRFIELD Congregation Ahavath Achim Orthodox (203) 372-6529 email@example.com www.ahavathachim.org Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ratner (203) 374-5544 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 email@example.com www.kolhaverim.org GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grs.org Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Kevin Peters (203) 869-7191 email@example.com www.templesholom.com
HAMDEN Congregation Mishkan Israel Reform Rabbi Brian P. Immerman (203) 288-3877 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cmihamden.org
Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel Conservative Rabbi Eric Woodward email@example.com (203) 389-2108 office@BEKI.org www.BEKI.org
ORANGE Chabad of Orange/ Woodbridge Chabad Rabbi Sheya Hecht (203) 795-5261 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadow.org
Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 email@example.com www.tbshamden.com
Orchard Street ShulCongregation Beth Israel Orthodox Rabbi Mendy Hecht 203-776-1468 www.orchardstreetshul.org NEW LONDON Ahavath Chesed Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg 860-442-3234 Ahavath.firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Danny Moss (203) 245-7028 email@example.com www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.myshul.org MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Nelly Altenburger (860) 346-4709 email@example.com www.adathisraelct.org NEW HAVEN The Towers at Tower Lane Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader Sarah Moskowitz, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 firstname.lastname@example.org www.towerlane.org
Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Earl Kideckel (860) 442-0418 email@example.com www.bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 email@example.com www.congadathisrael.org NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 firstname.lastname@example.org bethisraelchabad.org Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar (203) 866-0148 email@example.com www.templeshalomweb.org NORWICH Congregation Brothers of Joseph Modern Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Resnick (781 )201-0377 firstname.lastname@example.org https://brofjo.tripod.com
WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 email@example.com www.bethisraelwallingford.org
Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kehilatchaverim.org
Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 email@example.com www.orshalomct.org
WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jewishlifect.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 email@example.com www.congregationbnaishalom.org
WATERFORD Temple Emanu - El Reform Rabbi Marc Ekstrand Rabbi Emeritus Aaron Rosenberg (860) 443-3005 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com www.usgh.org
SIMSBURY Chabad of the Farmington Valley Chabad Rabbi Mendel Samuels (860) 658-4903 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadotvalley.org
WEST HARTFORD Beth David Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adler (860) 236-1241 email@example.com www.bethdavidwh.org
Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 firstname.lastname@example.org www.youngisraelwh.org
Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, Emek Shalom Reform Rabbi Rebekah Goldman Mag (860) 658-1075 email@example.com www.fvjc.org
Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Rachel Zerin Cantor Joseph Ness (860) 233-9696 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethelwesthartford.org Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 email@example.com www.chabadhartford.com
SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbhsw.org
Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaitorahct.org
Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 email@example.com www.jewishrenewalct.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tiwestport.org WETHERSFIELD Temple Beth Torah Unaffiliated Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz (860) 828-3377 email@example.com templebethtorahwethersfield.org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaijacob.org
OCTOBER 29, 2021
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