Friday, November 26, 2021 22 Kislev 5782 Vol. 93 | No. 48 | ©2021 jewishledger.com
Chanukah 5782 1
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
CHANUKAH BEGINS AT SUNSET NOVEMBER 28, 2021
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CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | NOVEMBER 26, 2021 | 22 KISLEV 5782
13 Around CT
24 Torah Portion
HATE ON TRIAL......................... 5 Mountains of evidence entered into a civil trial unfolding in Charlottsville against 24 people and groups accused of orchestrating the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally there offer a potent window into the minds of America’s most avowed ambassadors of hate.
The Ledger Scoreboard............ 6 Yeshiva University’s basketball team has attracted national attention with its winning roster of smart and talented players and a real shot at winning a national championship. Now it’s time for fans to do their part.
Arts & Entertainment................ 9 The latest Netflix breakout show about a Jewish community is a Turkish drama about a Sephardic family in 1950s Istanbul. It offers American audiences a window into an underexplored corner of the Jewish world.
29 Chanukah Around CT
31 Business and Professional Directory
On Campus........................................................18 A student government leader at Duke University de-platforms Jewish students and delegitimizes a well-known pro-Israel student group for the ‘crime’ of defending themselves on social media.
Chanukah on The Table......................................23 Way back in 2013, American Jews got the ultimate holiday gift: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah. That’s not happening this year. But it’s awfully close. So here are a few recipes to infuse Chanukah with a bit of Thanksgiving.
SHABBAT FRIDAY, NOV. 26 Hartford 4:05 p.m.
ON THE COVER:
The publisher and staff of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger wish all our readers and friends a joyous Chanukah filled with peace, love and light. Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels. PAGE 12 jewishledger.com
New Haven: 4:05 p.m. Bridgeport: 4:06 p.m. Stamford: 4:07 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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NOVEMBER 26, 2021
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CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | NOVEMBER 26, 2021 | 22 KISLEV 5782
At the Charlottesville trial, defendants got the judge to say ‘gas the kikes.’ Here’s how, and why it matters. BY RON KAMPEAS
HARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (JTA) — Days before a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of protesters here at the site of the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally, he texted his mother. Samantha Bloom was worried that her son would run into trouble in Charlottesville, where he was headed in his gray 2010 Dodge Charger to join a rally billed as a response to the proposed removal of a local statue of Robert E. Lee. “Be careful,” Bloom texted her son, who was then 20. “We’re not the one [sic] who need to be careful,” James Fields Jr. texted back. He attached a photo of Adolf Hitler. The text exchanges are among the countless pieces of evidence entered into a civil trial that is unfolding here against Fields and 23 other people and groups accused of orchestrating the rally, which left one person dead and seared images of hate — and phrases such as the marchers’ chant “Jews will not replace us” — into the national consciousness. For those who are watching closely, the trial has generated not just insights about the event that President Joe Biden cited as
a turning point in his decision to run for president but also a potent window into the thinking of some of America’s most avowed ambassadors of hate. The lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Roberta Kaplan, who is Jewish, and the nonprofit she leads, Integrity First for America, launched the civil lawsuit on behalf of nine people who were injured or traumatized at the event. The precedent they are citing, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, is a Reconstructionera law that made it a federal crime to coordinate group violence with racist or terroristic intent. It was designed to crack down on Klan terrorism in the South aimed at keeping Black people from exercising their newly acquired civil rights; an 1983 amendment extends to civilians the right to sue for monetary compensation from the government. Kaplan and the other plaintiff counsel contend the law also applies to the texts and internet messages sent by the Unite the Right organizers in the lead-up to the rally. To support their case, Kaplan and the other attorneys have brought in the plaintiffs to describe their suffering, alongside evidence of private and public
NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS TAKE PART IN A MARCH THE NIGHT BEFORE THE UNITE THE RIGHT RALLY IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA., AUG. 11, 2017. (ZACH D ROBERTS/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES)
social media interactions among the rally planners. They have also summoned expert witnesses, including global antisemitism expert Deborah Lipstadt, to comment on the role that hate speech has historically played in fomenting violence. The defendants, meanwhile, are arguing that their actions were not coordinated and that they cannot be held responsible for the violence that ensued. They’ve defined their plans and incendiary statements leading up to the march as little more than jokes in poor taste. At the same time, the defendants are also choosing to use their time in court to advance the invective and theories of racial superiority that fueled the violence, turning their own testimony into de facto recruitment tools. According to Ellie Silverman, a Washington Post correspondent who has been covering the trial daily, one defendant representing himself pressured a plaintiff to name friends who were subject to racist vitriol during the rally; those friends were then immediately doxxed by white supremacists tuning into the trial from a public access line. Some defendants and their attorneys have frequently inserted pejorative terms into the proceedings, including the N-word and “kike,” ostensibly to describe and address the evidence. When Peter Simi, an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University in California, took the stand as an expert witness, he found himself having to constantly repeat such terms during crossexamination. Josh Smith, a lawyer for the defense with a history of associations with white supremacists — and who was born Jewish as Daniel Joshua Nusbaum — pressed Simi on the pervasiveness of the term “gas the kikes” among white supremacists. He kept repeating the phrase, ostensibly to show that it was meant ironically and not literally. “You said they say this phrase all the time, do they do it all the time? I.e., do they ‘gas the kikes’ all the time?” Smith said. Smith kept pressing the issue, frustrating Judge Norman Moon, who ended up using the phrase himself.
ADL Honors former UConn Husky Sue Bird With 2021 Changemaker Award
AMDEN— The AntiDefamation League (ADL) honored University of Connecticut graduate, four-time WNBA champion, five-time Olympic gold medalist, and advocate Sue Bird with the 2021 Changemaker Award. As a former Husky, Bird won two National Championships and three Big East Championships. She credits the school with helping her prepare for her future regarding basketball and beyond. She has also used her platform as a sports celebrity to speak out against hate and prejudice. Bird accepted the award and delivered remarks at the ADL’s virtual 2021 Never Is Now Summit Against Antisemitism and Hate on Tuesday evening, Nov. 9. Bird is an avid activist for Black Lives, equality, health and wellness, and bringing opportunities to girls and other marginalized people. She has used her platform to elevate the voices of those affected by these issues and she frequently speaks out about injustices within the basketball community and beyond. Bird supported and played in the 2020 WNBA season CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
SUE BIRD DRIVES THE BALL DURING THE WOMEN’S GOLD MEDAL GAME AT THE 2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES, AUG. 20, 2016. (TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES)
CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
THE LEDGER SCOREBOARD
Yeshiva U’s basketball team continues its winning streak. Time for fans to step up.
BY AMI EDEN
Gabe Kapler wins top baseball manager award after historic season
(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — Hey, Yeshiva University fans, your high-flying basketball team needs you to step up! Fans showed up Tuesday night at the Max Stern Athletic Center in Washington Heights expecting a 41st straight win from the Yeshiva University Maccabees and plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the team’s high-voltage motion offense. They got what they came for — it just took a little while. The team struggled out of the gate against College of Mount Saint Vincent, with sloppy passing, missed shots and defensive lapses. Nothing was falling for the dynamic duo of Ryan Turell and Gabriel Leifer. Luckily for the Macs — and their #2 ranking and the longest current winning streak in men’s college basketball — Eitan Halpert was on fire from 3-point range. Even his misses were paying off: At the end of the first half, his last-second corner 3 was in and out, but Turell swooped in from the opposite side for an above-the-rim put-back that sent Y.U. to the locker room with a 38-35 lead — and momentum despite their first-half struggles. In the second half, the Macs came out with dominating defense — and nothing could save the opposing Dolphins. Final score: 81-49 (that’s 43-14 in the second half). “I loved our second half energy and defense,” Y.U. coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “In a game where we didn’t shoot the ball well, it was good to see our defense carry the day.” Steinmetz has turned Y.U. basketball into a top-level Division III program, with a winning system and a roster packed with
BY JACOB GURUS
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY GUARD OFEK REEF CAN FLY, AND SPORTS A DAZZLING HAIRSTYLE. (COURTESY Y.U.)
smart and talented players — and a real shot at winning a national championship. The team is attracting national attention. But now the fans have to do their part. Sure, they love their Macs, and they get jazzed up over a big block, slam or 3-pointer. But overall, the crowd Tuesday night felt disorganized and lacked creativity. Where are the original chants — something beyond the predictable “Dee-fense”? Maybe, “Frum Jews can jump”? Or, “We can boogie, we can fight, we don’t ball on Friday night”? Or how about singing, after every Turell big play: “Ry-an, melekh yisrael, chai chai vekayam”? A few signs would be nice. And maybe some nicknames: Jordan Armstrong, a
grad student new to the team, who already played three seasons at Oberlin as an undergrad, should hereby be known as The Matrix (if you check out his photo and don’t get it, you’re definitely not ready for the red pill). Oh, and something, anything, with latkes for goodness’ sake. In short: Watching this Macs team should feel more like big-time soccer (sans the fighting and racism) and less like a yeshiva high school game. One person you can’t blame is Turell’s mom. She’s up out of her seat, trying to organize the fans in some chants throughout the game. But, come on, Y.U. fans. She needs some help out there. A few additional notes from the game:
(JTA) — Gabe Kapler, the Jewish manager of the San Francisco Giants, was named the National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday. In his second year at the helm of the Giants, Kapler guided a team with low expectations entering 2021 to a franchiserecord and league-leading 107 wins in the regular season. San Francisco lost to their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the division series of the playoffs. Kapler’s award is based on the team’s regular season performance. Kapler earned 28 of 30 first place votes, beating Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt (formerly) of the St. Louis Cardinals. “My goal is obviously to support the players and what their goals are, create an environment that’s helpful for players to grow and develop and for staff members to also grow and develop,” Kapler said after winning the award. The 46-year old Hollywood, California native has a Jewish tattoo on each leg: a Jewish star on his left leg and “Never Again” — a reference to the Holocaust — on his right leg. Kapler played for six teams during his 12-year major league career, largely as a role player and backup outfielder. After retiring in 2010, Kapler played and coached
• Turell seemed fine bumping his head on the side of the backboard, courtesy of a lob gone wrong. But he seemed fine — his kippah may have cushioned the blow. • It was actually Turell’s second blown alleyoop of the game, the other being a difficult back-to-the-basket put-in that rolled out just as the fans were about to explode. • Even on an off-shooting night (just five points and several missed open looks), Leifer was finding ways to control the game (12 rebounds, nine assists, four steals).
EITAN HALPERT BRINGS THE BALL UP COURT AT HOME IN YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S WIN OVER EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE, NOV. 10, 2021.
• Speaking of Jews who can jump: Ofek Reef.
• Adi Markovich has more hustle than Bernie Madoff. 6
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
GABE KAPLER LOOKS ON DURING A GAME AT ORACLE PARK IN SAN FRANCISCO. (LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM/GETTY IMAGES)
for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In 2014, Kapler joined the Dodgers as the organization’s minor league system director and became a finalist for the team’s managerial opening a year later. In 2018, Kapler was hired to manage the Philadelphia Phillies, but he was fired at the end of the 2019 season. Just a month later, Kapler was hired by the Giants. He quickly resurrected his reputation as an analytically savvy manager who easily connected with players. He spoke about playing video games during quarantine, and became the first MLB manager to kneel during the national anthem to protest systemic racism. Last week, the Giants extended Kapler’s contract through 2024.
Max Fried wins 2nd consecutive Gold Glove Award for best defensive pitcher BY JACOB GURVIS
(JTA) — Max Fried is having quite a month. The Jewish star pitcher won his second
straight Gold Glove Award, given to the best defensive player at each position in each league, on Sunday night, five days after he pitched the Atlanta Braves to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 26 years. The 27-year-old left-hander beat out fellow finalists Zach Davies of the Chicago Cubs and Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies for the award. Since he became a full-time starter in 2019, Fried leads all big-league pitchers with 16 defensive runs saved, a metric that measures the number of runs a player saves or costs his team compared to an average player. He led all National League pitchers with 6 DRS in 2021. Fried has also gained a reputation for his strong pickoff move — which involves throwing to a base to catch a player with a long lead. He ranked second in the NL with six pickoffs in 2021. Fried joins Atlanta Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Phil Niekro as the only Braves pitchers to win multiple Gold Glove Awards. Maddux is the all-time MLB Gold Glove leader with 18, including 10 consecutive wins as a member of the Braves. Niekro, known for his legendary knuckleball, won five.
MAX FRIED FIELDS THE BALL DURING GAME 1 OF THE 2021 NLCS. (DANIEL SHIREY/MLB PHOTOS VIA GETTY IMAGES)
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
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12/8/16 9:25 AM jewishledger.com
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ILKER KILIÇ, LEFT, AS MORDO, AND ASUDE KALEBEK AS RAŞEL IN “THE CLUB.”
Netflix’s ‘The Club’ – a rare portrait of Turkish Jews, shattering historical taboos
BY DAVID I. KLEIN
STANBUL (JTA) — Imported Israeli TV has given Netflix several big hits in recent years, largely focused on the travails of Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews. The latest breakout show about a Jewish community is very different. “The Club” is a Turkish drama about a Sephardic family in 1950s Istanbul, and it’s both reshaping what representation feels like for the roughly 15,000 Jews living in Turkey today and offering American audiences a window into an underexplored corner of the Jewish world. The first episode of “The Club” (translated from “Kulüp”), which debuted on Netflix Nov. 5 and is available to view for U.S. subscribers to the streaming platform, begins with a Hebrew sabbath prayer and ends in a Ladino song. It only dives deeper from there, weaving the intricacies of Jewish observance and the country’s ever-present struggle between minority acceptance and assimilation into its plot. From discussion of Shabbat rules, to the tradition of kissing a mezuzah when entering a room, to the scenes shot in Turkish synagogues, many Turkish Jews have found the show a revelation — especially given the fact that Jewish characters are usually relegated to stereotypes in Turkish productions. Turkish is the main language of the series, but there is some Ladino — the historical language of Sephardic Jewry, a mixture of medievalSpanish, Hebrew and Aramaic alongside Turkish, Greek, Arabic and other languages — in every episode. “Jewish people were just happy to see themselves,” Eli Haligua, editor of the Turkish Jewish news outlet Avlaremoz, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. It’s not just Jews who are watching either, as the show has become popular across a large swath of Turkish society. While the series can be at times convoluted and its ultimate resolution underwhelming, the show’s real strength lies in the world of Turkish minorities that it depicts. Its characters’ names make that clear — there is Agop (Armenian); Yanni, Tasula and Niko (Greeks); and of course, Matilda, Davit, Raşel and Mordo (Sephardic Jews). Much of “The Club” takes place in the Istanbul neighborhood of Galata, colloquially known as Kula, a site that evokes a strong sense of nostalgia for Turkish Jews. Today it is one of Istanbul’s biggest tourist attractions, thanks to its eponymous tower, but in the era in which the show is set, the neighborhood was home to a large and close-knit Jewish community, jewishledger.com
where one was as likely to hear Ladino on its twisting streets and alleyways as Greek or Turkish. To get the setting right, the show’s producers brought on many prominent Ladino speakers from the Turkish Jewish community, including theater actor Izzet Bana, actress Forti Barokas and Karen Şarhon, also an actress and editor of the last printed Ladino language magazine, El Ameneser. They and several other members of the Istanbul Jewish community had small roles in the series. “I saw in the show five or seven people that I know in person,” Haligua said. “So of course, I felt a belonging to the story.” Set in the 1950s, the plot follows Matilda (played by Gökçe Bahadir), a Sephardic Jewish woman who has just been released from prison, her daughter Raşel (pronounced Rashel, and played by Asude Kalebek) and the other workers of the titular nightclub, Club Istanbul, where Matilda finds herself working. When the viewer first meets Matilda, she has been locked up for a murder she committed as a teenager. The identity of the victim and her motive start off unclear, but as one mystery is revealed, another is introduced. Jewish themes emerge throughout the drama. An early bit of conflict comes between Matilda and her main foil, the brutish Çelebi (pronounced Chelebi and played by Firat Taniş) when the latter forces her to work through the start of Shabbat on her first week at the club. “Ah, that day when you people don’t even touch a light switch,” Çelebi smugly says before switching them off, leaving Matilda working in the dark with Shabbat approaching. Episodes later, Çelebi’s true back story is revealed in the midst of a Purim party, and quickly followed with a monologue deftly delivered by Bana, a veteran of Ladino theatre. “You must know what Purim is, Matilda,” Bana’s character Haymi says. “It is the holiday of contradictions, the revealing of that which was hidden.” The six-episode series isn’t director Zeynep Günay Tan’s first experience with Jewish audiences. One of her past projects, “The Bride of Istanbul,” became a smash hit in Israel, where Turkish soap operas have become increasingly popular in recent years. Since the Arab Spring a decade ago, Turkey’s film and television industry has replaced Egypt’s as the largest and most influential in the Muslim world. But
even though Turkey has a sizable Jewish population, unlike Egypt, the shift had not translated into meaningful representation. “Until today, we had only heard the names of these people on Turkish television: The textile merchant Nedim, pawnbroker Solomon, Mossad agent Moshe, Jewish businessman Mison, etc,” wrote Gabi Behiri, an Istanbul-born Jew, on Twitter in Turkish last week. “In other words, a uniform and generalized Jew was shown to people living in Turkey, using all of the known antisemitic tropes.” In contrast, “The Club” portrays its Jewish characters, both rich and poor, in a largely sympathetic light. “One of the major things people were really happy about was that the Jewish characters weren’t shown as evil or as a kind of loan shark,” Haligua said. “It was one of the first times that all minorities and non-Muslim people were represented, not as evil, or the enemy, but actually as victims of the politics of Turkification,” or the practice of forced assimilation that has characterized much of Turkish history. “That was kind of a milestone,” he added. “And not only for Jewish people, also Armenian people and Greek people.” The show tackles another taboo from Turkish history: The timeframe places the show in the aftermath of the infamous wealth tax of the 1940s and the 1955 Istanbul Pogrom. The wealth tax, or Varlik Vergisi, was a policy of the Turkish Republic instituted in 1942. Its stated purpose was to fund a standing army in case Turkey was invaded by either the Nazis or the Soviet Union. In reality, the goal turned out to be a transfer wealth from non-Muslim minorities, who were prominent in Turkey’s merchant classes, to the Muslim majority. As such, while Muslims were taxed at a rate of less than 5% on the value of their non-movable assets, Jews and Greeks saw rates well over 100%. Armenians were hit harshest of all with rates over 200%. For many, that surpassed their entire wealth, and those who could not pay within 15 days were sent to labor camps near the town of Aşkale in Eastern Turkey. At least a thousand people toiled there and dozens were ultimately worked to death. The law destroyed the financial wellbeing and security of many of Turkey’s minority communities, accelerating an
exodus of Turkish Jews. Nearly half of the Turkish Jewish population departed the country between 1948 and 1951, following the establishment of the state of Israel. The 1955 Istanbul pogrom, which was mainly aimed at the Greek population but affected Jews and Armenians as well, also prompted thousands more to emigrate. The pogrom was incited by the government of then-Turkish premier Adnan Menderes and his ruling Democrat Party. Over the course of the Sept. 6 and 7, 1955, thousands of rioters who had been trucked into the city were frenzied by fake news reports that Greek nationalists had bombed Turkish consulates in Greece and the childhood home of modern Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Thessaloniki. For nine hours they assaulted Greek neighborhoods — which were often side by side with Jewish and Armenian ones — killing over a dozen people and damaging thousands of properties, including 73 churches, two monasteries and a synagogue. Menderes would be ousted from power in 1960 by a military coup. In “The Club,” the viewer quickly learns that the wealth tax is what destroyed Matilda’s once happy family, sending her brother and father to Aşkale to be worked to death. That story is known by most Turkish Jews, but not outside of the community, as the topic has been near untouchable in Turkish public discourse for nearly eight decades. “People had no idea about what the wealth tax was,” Betsy Penso, another Istanbul-born Jew and writer for Avlaremoz who is currently living in Israel. “We try to explain this to our friends and even they fail to understand it because it is never taught in schools.” Thanks to “The Club” and its popularity in Turkey, that may be changing. Avlaremoz has frequently written about the tax and its impact, including a special series of articles on it this spring. Since the show’s release, Penso said the site has seen a flood of new readers. “We have been talking about the wealth tax for at least five years now, but we could only reach the people who were really already interested,” Penso said. “Now people who had no idea, or weren’t interested, are making their own research.”
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
My son wasn’t surprised when antisemites attacked him on TikTok. That makes me angry. BY JESSICA RUSSAK-HOFFMAN
(JTA) — “Why does everybody hate us?” My son Izzy asked me this question after a man with a machete attacked Jews at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, in 2019. Izzy was 12 years old when he flopped onto the couch, kicked up his feet and asked the question no Jewish parent wants to hear. I spoke to him about the history of antisemitism, how it’s always irrational, and how when we’re hurt for being Jewish, we need to be even more outspoken in our Judaism. That to really be a “Bear Jew” — like the Nazi-hunting character in the revenge fantasy “Inglourious Basterds” — we stand up and fight back with pride. As Elsa says to Jojo in “Jojo Rabbit,” “There are no weak Jews. I am descended from those who wrestle angels and kill giants. We were chosen by God.” So when the antisemitic comments started to pour in after a TikTok video of Izzy laying tefillin went viral earlier this month, he was somewhat prepared and,
sadly, unsurprised. A few weeks ago we went to New York for a wedding and stayed with my sister Melinda Strauss, who shares videos about Jewish life and kosher food with over 420,000 followers on her account “My Orthodox Jewish Life.” Some of her followers had asked to see a video of someone putting on tefillin, the black box and leather straps used by Jews in their weekday morning prayers. When she saw Izzy about to daven, she asked if she could film him as he wrapped the tefillin around his head and arm. Izzy and his aunt joked all the time about her TikTok and how if he ever stayed at her house, he’d want to be featured, so he gladly obliged. At first the comments were a combination of sweet and curious. Some people thanked her for sharing the beauty of her faith, and some wanted to learn more about tefillin. A week or two went by. And then Izzy wandered into the living
room with a half-smile on his face. “Mom, I’m famous,” he quipped. He told me there were over 3 million views and he’d scrolled through over 2,000 comments and found … lots of antisemitism. He sat down next to me. I opened the app and looked through it with him, mocking the really dark comments that included: “That’s it! To the gas chamber.” “Should of died in the gas chamber.” “Gas them allllllll.” “Yo! Hitler is behind you.” “I snitched on u to the Germans.” “Zey are in ze attic.” We also made jokes about the Jesusspecific comments that included: “Does he have to wear that to apologize for killing Jesus?” “Repent and believe in Jesus Christ!” “When do y’all crucify Jesus? Ah. Wait. Y’all already did that.” Izzy’s sense of humor is perfectly suited to this classic Jewish coping mechanism of mocking antisemitic accusations. I recently read Sholom Aleichem’s “The Bloody Hoax,” and laughed with recognition at the description of Jews coping with a blood
THE COMMENT SECTION OF MELINDA STRAUSS’ TIKTOK ACCOUNT FILLED UP WITH ANTISEMITIC REMARKS AFTER SHE POSTED A VIDEO OF HER NEPHEW IZZY, ABOVE, PUTTING ON A SET OF TEFILLIN. (IMAGE VIA TIKTOK/MONTAGE BY GRACE YAGEL)
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
libel accusation by having faux-Talmudic debates about the halacha, or Jewish law, of slaughtering Christian children to use their blood for matzah. (Halacha does not deal with this issue because it is not part of Judaism, despite what antisemites throughout history have said.) It is almost a rite of passage to be welcomed into this centuries-old tradition of using humor to respond to the irrational accusations the world throws our way. The comments included plenty of judgmental cracks accusing Izzy of being brainwashed, and those were the ones that bothered him the most. Because while he’s used to hatred against Jews, he can’t understand why anyone would think it’s wrong for a Jewish kid to be brought up keeping Jewish practices. “I’m not indoctrinated. I’m Jewish,” he said with frustration. I’m kvelling with pride. But I’m also angry. Izzy doesn’t feel unsafe or shaken in his Jewish identity. He knows his parents have his back, that we keep him physically safe and protected. And he isn’t surprised that there is antisemitism, not even at 14. And that is why I am angry: As a mother and as a Jew, I am angry that Izzy was not surprised, and I am angry that this is the norm. I am angry that TikTok allows antisemitism to thrive in videos and comments, and rarely takes down reported videos — with notable exceptions being videos created by Jews that were bombarded with false reporting from antisemites. Melinda’s account has been suspended on multiple occasions for videos about Shabbat and keeping kosher. I am angry that I have to help my children develop their coping mechanisms. I am angry that even though we managed to report and successfully remove a couple of the most vile comments, more have replaced them. The TikTok of Izzy laying tefillin now has more than eight million views and over 13,000 comments. And yet I cling to a tiny glimmer of hope, thanks to the non-Jews in the replies defending Jews and defending Izzy. And to Bear Jews everywhere, laying tefillin every morning and refusing to cower. Jessica Russak-Hoffman is a Seattlebased author. For more information, visit jessicarussakhoffman.com. jewishledger.com
Charlottesville CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
“You asked him whether the people were ‘gassing the kikes’ all the time,” Moon said. “The answer to that was no.” Simi, whom one defendant unsuccessfully pushed to remove as a witness owing to his “Jewish ancestry,” was on the stand to argue that these sorts of conversations, slogans and memes, along with the speeches, the uniforms and the confessions in evidence, were not disparate but were instead knitted into a single culture. “What we’re talking about here is really an organized effort to transform society by a collection of individuals and organizations,” said Simi, who was embedded with white supremacists for years from the late 1990s through the early 2000s to study their culture. “We’re not talking about a random individual who may express a racist idea over the holidays with their relatives … We’re talking about organizations and individuals that share culture, that have common strategies and common goals.” Simi pointed to a conversation among some of the rally organizers on a messaging app that devolved from shopping for weapons on Amazon to images of mass murder. “What we’re dealing with here is a culture of violence,” he said. “When we talk about the white supremacist movement, it’s not really all that different than a culture of violence you find, say, in the Mafia, organized crime, al Qaeda, ISIS … These kinds of conversations are important from a cultural standpoint, in terms of helping normalize violence and make it seem kind of more common and mundane.” Edward ReBrook, an attorney for defendant Jeff Schoep and the group he once led, the National Socialist Movement, probed Simi about a meme that the expert had analyzed earlier in the day. A member of the chat group planning the rally, identified as Tyrone, had posted a photo of a John Deere excavator, calling it a “multilane protester digester.” Simi suggested the photo anticipated Fields’
murderous car-ramming. “You get again a reference to this kind of vehicle, which would obviously, if that were to be used, would likely injure, if not kill, people if they were used on protesters,” Simi said. ReBrook tried to cast the meme as humor, unrelated to any plan to kill people. “Are you aware of any people at the Unite the Right [rally] being injured by John Deere farming equipment?” he asked. Simi argued that humor was part of the con. “They develop plausible deniability because they can talk about violence, they can advocate for violence, and then say, ‘Well, that was just a joke,’” he said Belligerent defendants aren’t the only obstacles the prosecution has faced during the trial; technical illiteracy has also played a role. Last Thursday, Judge Moon, who is 85 and speaks in an accent redolent of the central Virginia of his upbringing, had to ask counsel David Mills to explain the concept of “tagging.” “Would you say exactly what you mean now about ‘tagged’?” he asked Mills. “When you post something on Twitter and tag somebody, that message goes directly to that person’s account,” Mills said. “It’s not repeating what somebody said?” Moon asked. “That’s ‘retweeting,’” Mills said. The trial now heads to the jurors. Charlottesville — and the country — are watching to see whether the lawsuit could impose a severe financial penalty on the white supremacists, thus inhibiting future violence, or whether a loss by the plaintiffs will further embolden the American far right. As part of his arguments, Mills played a jailhouse recording of a conversation between Fields and his mother. Fields was complaining to Bloom about Susan Bro, the mother of the woman he murdered. “She’s going to speeches and shit, slandering me,” Fields said. “Well, she lost her daughter, and—” Samantha Bloom explained to her son. Fields interrupted: “It doesn’t fucking matter, she’s a communist.” “You’ve got to stop talking,” Bloom said.
This Chanukah, Light the Way for Future Generations Be remembered forever by the Greater Hartford Jewish community with a gift in your will, trust, retirement account, or life insurance policy. To find out more, please contact Elana MacGilpin: email@example.com Thank you to the donors who have already made a commitment to a bright future as part of Greater Hartford’s LIFE & LEGACY, a program which aims to endow our Jewish community organizations through after-lifetime gifts. Anonymous (9) Dianne Aborn Marla and Peter Adelsberger Pamela Krist Atwood Lauren and Ross Benthien Robin S. Bergman Elizabeth and Arnold Berman Marion Judith Berman z”l Barnett and Wilma Black Frances Blumenthal Sandra and Robert M. Bourke Howard A. Breinan Eleanor N. Caplan Harriet Cutler Karen Donn Andrew and Susan Feller Sandra M. Flaxman Madelene and Jim Francese Robert B. Goldfarb & Francine L. Goldfarb Helena Friedman and Jeff Kamenetz Rabbi Jeff and Mindy Glickman Karen and Gerald Goldberg Kathryn Gonnerman Shanna and Joshua Gottfried Elysa L. Graber-Lipperman Steven M. Greenspan David and Merle Harris Cantor Scott and Sharon Harris Walter and Dianne Harrison
Janice and Richard Hoff Anna and Seth Huttner David L. Jacobs Adam and Sarah Kaprove Seth and Blythe Kaufman David Kravet William and Barbara Lavine Mark and Ellen Beth Lescher Mark and Liisa Livingston Elana and Scott MacGilpin Phil Maltz Harriet Mindlin Peikes Family Marla N. Perlstein Sherri G. Pliskin Jacob Schreiber and Edna Levy June Miller Rosenblatt z”l Paula Schwartz Robert and Erika Schwartz Roy Schwartz Jaime and Mark Seltzer Tracy Smith and Dan Joseph Laura Soll-Broxterman Linda and Bruce Stanger Gayle and Steven Temkin Libby and Ben Wallace Steven and Kay Weiss Lori and David Wetsman David and Andrea Yalof As of 10/28/21
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
that was dedicated in the memory of Breonna Taylor. Beyond that, her social media timelines are populated with graphics and links spreading awareness on these issues while also inviting a dialogue on inclusion. Regarded as the world’s premier point guard, Sue Bird is the WNBA’s All-Time Leader in Assists and known for being selfless, driven, encouraging, funny and smart. Off the court, Sue spends time as a basketball analyst for ESPN, as an NBA front office executive. Never Is Now is the world’s largest annual summit on antisemitism and hate. The threeday virtual event ran from November 7-9. The discussion of antisemitism and hate is being led by extraordinary speakers and experts from all different backgrounds including Vice President Kamala Harris; actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim; and more. jewishledger.com
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
Best Wishes For a Happy, Healthy & Peaceful Chanukah! United States Senator
Richard Blumenthal Paid for by Richard Blumenthal personally
Wishing your family a Chanukah full of happiness and light!
Congressman Jim Himes Representing Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District 203.450.9395
© 2020 Himes for Congress 12
Paid for by Himes for Congress
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
AROUND CT Sisterhood rules at Emanuel Ninety-seven guests, wearing masks and toting their COVID vaccination cards, were in attendance at The Emanuel Synagogue on Nov. 11, to enjoy the West Hartford synagogue’s paid up dinner, chaired by Sisterhood Vice President of Membership Beth S. Goldberg. Among the speakers were Sisterhood President Fern Cohen who greeted guests; Emanuel’s Rabbi Emeritus Philip Lazowski, who shared words of wisdom and recounted his meeting with President Joe Biden at a dedication in Connecticut; and Emanuel President Ken Simon, who talked about the important role Sisterhood played in his own life when his mother died shortly before his bar mitzvah. Cantor Daniella Rissman recited the Motzi before dinner was served. The evening also included entertainment by four talented students from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, accompanied and directed by musician/composer Roert Felstein of the Hartt School, who wowed the crowd with a repertoire of Broadway songs.
AT THE EMANUEL SISTERHOOD DINNER WERE: (FRONT ROW, L TO R) BONNIE LASKER, SUE BERGMAN, FERN COHEN, BETH GOLDBERG, AND SANDRA MEYERS; (BACK ROW, L TO R) JENNIFER MOLINARI, RACHEL ARNETT, MADALYN LEVY, DEBORAH MEHLMAN, FAITH HELENE ,CAROLYN TOPOL, SHARON BUDKOFSKY AND LISA TESSER.
Wishing a Happy Chanukah to all!
Mayor Shari Cantor and faMily
(CREDIT: GARY M. COHEN)
What the world needs now! Four-year-old students at the Mandell JCC’s Beatrice Auerbach Early Childhood Center celebrated World Kindness Day by exploring the Jewish concept of belonging and commitment. The children spread their love and kindness with one another by lying on the floor and joining hands in a circle.
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
In 2021, the eight-day Festival of Lights starts on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28, and lasts until the evening of Monday, Dec. 6.
How Judith became a Chanukah heroine BY SARAH OGINCE
(JNS) Holding a sword in one hand and a severed head in the other, she is terrifying and beautiful, a personification of the feminine power to entice, destroy and redeem. This is Judith, a pious Jewish widow who, in the apocryphal book that bears her name, seduces and then beheads an enemy general. An object of fascination for millennia, she inspired paintings by Caravaggio and Michelangelo, oratorios by Vivaldi and Mozart. She also appears on antique menorahs. In Jewish tradition, Judith—or Yehudit—is the heroine of the Chanukah story. A female counterpart to Judah the Maccabee, she is credited with precipitating the Syrian-Greeks’ downfall with her courageous act. Some
Jews eat dairy products on Chanukah to commemorate the salty cheese she offered to the general before she killed him. But Judith’s path to Chanukah heroine was not a smooth one. In fact, for more than a thousand years after it was written, her story was forgotten. “It is not clear precisely when or why [Judith] disappeared from Jewish tradition, nor do we know for certain whether it was originally written in Hebrew or in Greek,” Deborah Gera, emerita professor of classics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of a commentary on the book of Judith, told JNS. The oldest copy of the book of Judith is found in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of
“JUDITH WITH THE HEAD OF HOLOPHERNES” BY CRISTOFANO ALLORI, 1613, OIL ON CANVAS, FROM THE ROYAL COLLECTION IN LONDON. CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
the Hebrew Bible compiled around the second century BCE. It reads something like this: Judith, a beautiful and religious widow living in the Judean town of Bethulia, finds herself at a critical juncture in history— Holofernes, a general of Nebuchadnezzar, “king of Assyria,” has besieged her town on his way to conquer Jerusalem. The townspeople are ready to surrender, but Judith reprimands them for their lack of faith and convinces them to wait a little longer. She dresses in her finest garments, approaches the enemy camp and demands to see the general, claiming to have information to share. Holofernes is entranced by her beauty and invites her to a banquet in his tent. Apparently, at Judith’s urging, he drinks “so much [wine] as he had never had in his life” (12:20) and passes out. Judith utters a prayer and beheads him with his own sword. She takes Holofernes’ head back to Bethulia and tells the people to hang it from the city walls. The encouraged Jews proceed to rout the disheartened Assyrian army; Judith sings a song of praise to G-d, and lives to be 105 years old, during which time, “there was none that troubled Israel” (16:30). ‘Women are obligated to light the menorah’ Though scholars agree that it was written by a Jew, the book of Judith, like the book of the Maccabees, was not included in the Tanach, the Jewish scriptural canon. This may be because it was composed so late (scholars date it to around 100 BCE) and because the text contains obvious anachronisms: Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king (the Assyrians were his enemies); the story takes place in the “13th year” of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, or 592 BCE—five years after the first Babylonian siege of Jerusalem; and the town of Bethulia is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture or historical records. Being excluded from the canon did not cause the Maccabees to be forgotten—their story was preserved in the Talmud—but for Judith, it was fatal. She is not mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls or other early sources. “When Judith returned to Jewish sources in medieval times, it was in the wake of the
translation of the Vulgate, the Latin version of Judith, into Hebrew,” said Gera. “The Vulgate version of Judith is different from the Greek one, with Judith a less independent figure, and the medieval Jewish Judith comes from this Latin tradition.” It is in these medieval tales, or “Judith midrashim,” that Judith becomes a Chanukah heroine. In them, Nebuchadnezzar is Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the evil Syrian king of the Chanukah story; Judith is the daughter or aunt of Judah the Maccabee, her victory over Holofernes mirroring Judah’s beheading of the Syrian general Nicanor. And while the first Judith brought her own food into Holofernes’ tent to avoid eating non-kosher food, the Chanukah Judith brings salty cheese, which she feeds to the general, causing him to binge on wine. The Judith midrashim eventually found expression in Jewish law. The medieval French commentator Rashi alludes to Judith, writing that women are obligated to light the menorah because the miracle of Chanukah was brought about by a woman. In his commentary on Shulchan Aruch, the “Code of Jewish Law,” Rabbi Nissim ben Reuben (c. 1310-1375) calls Judith the daughter of the High Priest Yochanan and cites her story as the source for the custom of eating cheese on Chanukah. Despite her long absence from Jewish tradition, the historical interpretation of Judith is likely correct. The Maccabean Revolt took place in 164 BCE, six decades before the book of Judith was composed, and it is entirely possible that the author intended the story to be understood in that context. Certainly, Judith makes Chanukah—and its cuisine—richer. “Judith is a paradoxical, challenging heroine, a pious and seductive woman who prays regularly to God and saves her people by lying and killing,” said Gera. “Some modern readers of her story may have reservations about the means Judith uses to achieve her ends, but it is difficult to resist her cleverness, independence and beauty.”
The Chanukah story that Jews need to learn BY STEVEN BURG
(JNS) Many of us know the themes of the Chanukah story: pride in being Jewish; the few against the many; the defeat of our enemy; and the rededication of the Jewish Temple. Or perhaps some have only learned of the miracle of the oil and how it burned continuously for eight days. While these are important themes, there is much more to the Chanukah story that is at the heart of why we celebrate the holiday and why it’s so relevant today. Looking at the story of Chanukah, which happened in the second century BCE, we know that many Jews of that era were assimilated. They wanted it all; they identified as Jews but didn’t want to affiliate, and they were not studying Torah. Some were culturally Jewish—until that, too, was banned. These Jews, known as Hellenists, emulated everything Greek culture had to offer. In order to be accepted in the halls of commerce and power, they thought that they had to dissociate themselves from their Jewish brothers. Core Jewish values of justice and morality got in the way of the self-preserving and decadent mores of the conquering Greek culture. But when the non-Jewish ruling government started to clamp down on religious freedom, life became decidedly uncomfortable for their brethren—observant Jews. Forced to do away with Jewish rituals, including brit milah (circumcision), Jewish names, Shabbat, festivals and Torah study, those who hadn’t assimilated were forced to choose between embracing Greek culture or punishment by death. A minority within the religious community that chose to fight this oppression joined the Maccabees and became part of an uprising. They managed a miraculous military defeat, the part of the Chanukah story that is well known. The other piece of the story, however, is that the pressure to stamp out “hard-line Judaism” came from the Hellenists—the assimilated Jews. They resented the fact that their lives were made more difficult by a minority of their own people who refused to “give up their old ways.” The Assyrian Greeks, as conquerors of the land of Israel, expected to absorb the Jews, despite the fact that they were indigenous. Not only was it uncomfortable (and not politically correct) for those who wanted to fit in; but the Hellenists (Jews) were just as brutal towards their fellow Jews who refused to fit into the “new reality and morality.” Those who held fast to their Jewish heritage were “called out” and turned in to the authorities by other Jews. The Maccabees were forced to go into hiding and deal with castigation from their own, in addition to fighting their Greek oppressors. As we near the Chanukah season, a time
when we celebrate our own Jewish pride, we sadly find ourselves in the shadow of the Hellenists. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and here we are, reading about Jewish employees at Amazon and Google who are leading the charge with a petition to get their respective companies to “call out” their fellow Jews. They are asking for these two corporate giants to renege on a contract with the Israel Defense Forces, which would ultimately compromise the security of the State of Israel—their eventual goal. Armed with incorrect and erroneous information, the petitioners claim that the use of the government’s cloud storage will cause harm to the Palestinians, and aid and abet Israeli settlement activity in “occupied territory.” What the petition does not address is that Google and Amazon both have contracts with countries that openly admit to occupying territory. Russia, which occupies part of Georgia and Ukraine; Vietnam, which occupies Cambodia; and others. In other words, these social activists are silent when it comes to human-rights violations around the world. Both Amazon’s and Google’s signed contracts will help Israel continue to prosper and grow with safety and security, innovating solutions to problems around the world. This is a fact ignored by the United Nations and the majority of the world, with a false narrative of oppression, and misunderstood by the petition’s signatories. If I am a Jew with no understanding of why that matters or how that makes me part of a family, then I can only distance myself from my own people and culture if I find an opportunity to call them out. This allows me to dissociate with the parts of where I come from that I don’t understand enough to value or know are sources of pride. And, the self-loathing as a Jew that translates into destructive antisemitism on this systemic level is more than frightening. Make no mistake about who is responsible for this lack of understanding and the need to dissociate from the greater Jewish community: We are. The global Jewish community has known for some time that Jewish education has failed most of its own children. The experiment of passing along nice stories and abstract ideas without context, practice or community has simply failed. Of the 5.8 million adult Jews in the United States, 1.5 million—or just above 25 percent—identify as “Jews of no religion.” The 2020 Pew study, released in May 2021, tells us that Jews are no longer affiliating with synagogues or even other, secular Jewish institutions. They have not had positive Jewish experiences. They don’t know what the Jewish religion is about or why it should be a source of pride. They do not know what
Jewish wisdom is or why they should. They do not identify with other Jewish people as the one Jewish family that we are. We have watched this problem grow and worsen. AISH founder Rabbi Noah Weinberg warned of the dangerous ramifications as far back as the 1970s. Because we have allowed Jews to grow into young adults without Jewish wisdom or understanding of Jewish values, focusing instead on talent, ambition and intelligence—as a way of making a mark on the world—we see the devastating rise of attacks on other Jews. Tragically, it is inevitable. While I am sure that many of the young, misguided activists involved believe that they are innovative and trailblazing, they could sit down with the thousands of Jews that the Maccabees had to fight so many hundreds of years ago and hear the power of their hindsight. They might wring their heart upon learning just how wrong—dangerously wrong—they are, but should this scenario actually be able to take place, they would rightfully turn to us and ask: “Why didn’t you teach us to know better?” And they would be right. I have every faith that the cloud-storage contract will move forward as planned. And should Google and Amazon not merit working with Israel, another company will. Even if Israel has to build its own storage or contract with a smaller David instead of a Goliath, someone else will make that money and help Israel continue to be a source of good. It may take longer, but it will happen. Sadly, it may be too late to bring any kind of understanding to many of those who signed this petition or to their peers. It is Judaism’s core values that are the true path to justice, righteousness and human dignity, and the path to actually end oppression in the world. But it is never too late for those who
will come next. And when they turn to us and ask why we didn’t teach them to know better, what will our answer be? At Aish, we are laser-focused on standing up and taking responsibility for conveying and sharing Jewish wisdom, trying to reach a staggering number over the next decade so that they can “know better.” This requires out-of-the-box creativity, including massive initiatives on social media. This is where the next generation of leaders, thinkers—and Google employees— digest their information. Once we manage to break through the constant cacophony of too much digital information, where do we take those who are curious? We at Aish are working on developing content that effectively gives a “customer journey,” allowing people wherever they are, regardless of background, access to timeless Jewish wisdom. Some others are, too, but we know it’s not enough. As a Jewish community, we have to wake up and deal with the situation as the emergency that it is. We must connect the attacks on Israel, the attacks on Jews, the embarrassment in public and in private, in admitting one is a Jew in America today as the urgent, threatening state that it is. We cannot continue to ignore the lack of Jewish literacy and the growing antisemitism coming at us, even and especially from our own brothers and sisters. It’s not only that our own are turning on their Jewish family. It’s not only that the Jewish people’s homeland faces daily attacks from our own. All of this is true. But we are also failing those who are choosing to attack us, and we have the power to bring change. Rabbi Steven Burg is CEO of Aish and on the board of governors of the Jewish Agency.
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
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| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD NOV. 26, 2021 “Alternative Fuels” By: Yoni Glatt Difficulty Level: Challenging
Vol. 93 No. 48 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner
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ANSWERS TO NOV. 19 CROSSWORD
Across 1. Real dump 5. *Big Book of Jonah character 9. “Lazy” woman? 14. Carry out an order 15. Santa winds 16. “___ broken clock is right....” 17. *Something used for carpas, simply 19. Leather with a soft surface 20. Bold 21. Freestyle skiing jumps 23. ___ Od Milvado 24. Seminary study: Abbr. 26. ___ made in heaven 29. Some Kosher wines
31. Bone (prefix) 33. “Estadio” cheer 34. Arctic Ocean sheet 36. Beck’s, e.g., to the Germans 37. *Genesis villain 40. Chanukah item attached to the starred clues in this puzzle 41. *Kind of home rarely seen in Israel 42. Athletic trainer’s roll 43. Great Israelite Judge 45. Fiverr or Waze 46. Get set to be photographed 47. Signs up (var.) 51. Like cards in a crooked deck 53. One in a minyan
54. Stale, say 55. Partaking in a shidduch match 58. Fur of note 60. “___ on a Prayer” 62. *One can grow to be “giant” in northern Israel 64. Awful mistake 65. Chips thrown on a table 66. Great Rav Yosef 67. Four equivalent 68. *One can grow to be quite large in southern Israel 69. MIT part (Abbr.)
Down 1. Name of the second Lubavitcher Rebbe 2. Peninsula of Europe 3. They might not get invited to a lot of BBQs 4. Sees 5. Govt. flight regulator 6. It used to be (The) Larome 7. For ___ 8. One at YULA or Ramaz 9. *American equivalent of (Rechov) Sumsum 10. It hangs out in your mouth 11. Gets the job done 12. “Go on....” 13. Refusal from a lad 18. 3x
22. “I can’t believe ___ the whole thing.” (Homer Simpson) 25. Ashkelon to Hebron dir. 27. Miss who pretended to be a psychic 28. Mister, to the Germans 30. Half Dome or Nahal Amud, e.g. 31. *Branch of peace 32. Cup brand 35. Agag and Saul, to each other 36. Nuclear Niels 37. Kind of chalav 38. Winemaking valley 39. A mashgiach might give it 41. “America’s Got Talent” judge 43. Connecticut senator, 19812011
44. Big name in outdoor gear 46. *Bamba need 48. Friend of Ahsoka and Mace 49. Like what comes out of the “swords” of 48-Down 50. City attacked by the most rockets in world history 52. Need for a mohel 53. Movie where Babs identified as a he 56. “Get on it!” 57. Dagim or Bumblebee 59. Marvel villain not created by Marvel 60. Tripping on it can be extremely dangerous 61. 63-Down name suffix 63. Masc. alternative
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
ON CAMPUS A floating Chabad center on the River Seine BY MENDEL SUPER
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
LIKE US ON
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
(Chabad.org/News via JNS) In the 13th arrondissement of the City of Light, where classic Baroque and Belle Époque architecture meets modern high-risers, boats of all kinds dot the left bank of the River Seine. The Paris neighborhood, home to several colleges and universities, is teeming with students from around the world—about 30,000 of them. The boats serve as popular spots to mingle, dine and party for the bustling student population, though one barge stands out. The long white vessel with blue stripes looks like any other until you walk up the gangway and enter to find that it is Chabad on Campus’ floating lounge. During the day, it’s a space where Jewish students can study, relax or attend a Torah class; at night, it becomes the location of choice for Parisian Jews to celebrate engagements or birthday parties. Rabbi Mendy and Mushky Lachkar, co-directors of Chabad of the 13th arrondissement focus on the estimated 2,000
Jewish students in the neighborhood. They began in 2014, providing kosher meals, teaching Torah classes and hosting Shabbat meals; however, the neighborhood’s layout and the typical small Parisian apartments presented a challenge. “There are a number of schools here spread out across the district,” says Rabbi Lachkar, explaining that the students don’t have any single central location and don’t live on campus. The high cost of housing and lack of space meant that hosting programs at their own home was difficult. The Lachkars began renting boats on the Seine to host events, and that’s when the rabbi saw the solution. “Why not just buy a boat and make it a Chabad House?” At 130 feet long and 16 feet wide, Chabad’s boat fills a practical need while doubling as a creative spot that appeals to students. “It’s a comfortable space and makes people feel at home,” says Lachkar, adding that the boat, which they began using in September, will undergo extensive renovations over the coming months to give it a more modern feel. “It’s a place where I can connect with friends and with Torah,” says Binyamin Dukan, 20, a student at the Paris School of Business. “It’s the perfect spot to share a moment with fellow Jews and have something kosher to eat.” Dukan explains that before Chabad’s permanent boat location, he had no kosher dining options on campus. “The boat is close by and very accessible; it’s a space where I can study, put on tefillin or just chill. And the rabbi
IN PARIS, THE CHABAD ON CAMPUS FLOATING LOUNGE SERVES DURING THE DAY AS A SPACE WHERE JEWISH STUDENTS CAN STUDY, RELAX OR ATTEND A TORAH CLASS; AT NIGHT, IT BECOMES THE LOCATION OF CHOICE FOR PARISIAN JEWS TO CELEBRATE ENGAGEMENTS OR BIRTHDAY PARTIES. CREDIT: CHABAD.ORG/NEWS.
and his wife are so inviting.” For Dukan, one thing draws him the most: “There is nothing like the pleasure of putting on tefillin on the Seine.” Reprinted with permission from Chabad. org/News.
Pro-Israel campus group at Duke University protests veto of club recognition (JNS) Students Supporting Israel (SSI) said in an open letter that it urges the Duke University Student Government (DSG) to vote against its president, who vetoed a decision to formally recognize the organization. DSG president Christina Wang vetoed recognition of SSI on Monday because the group called out a student on social media in a way that was “unacceptable for any student group,” Wang wrote in a statement obtained by Duke’s student publication, The Chronicle. “Have we really gotten to the point where one student government leader can de-platform
Jewish students and delegitimize a wellknown pro-Israel student group for the ‘crime’ of defending themselves on social media?” said Jacob Baime, CEO of Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). “Duke administrators must step in and take swift action to restore Students Supporting Israel’s status as a recognized campus organization. In the context of a historic increase in antisemitic hate crimes and a broader national conversation about race and equity, the university has an obligation to make it clear that Jewish students are no less worthy of dignity, respect and safety than anyone else,” said the letter. The incident concerns Duke University sophomore Elyana Riddick, who posted an article on Twitter about DSG recognizing SSI and wrote in the caption: “My school promotes settler colonialism.” SSI shared a screenshot of Riddick’s tweet on Instagram and responded to her post saying: “Please allow us to educate you on what ‘settler colonialism’ actually is, and why Israel does not fall under this category whatsoever. These types of narratives are what we strive to combat and condemn, which is why Duke’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel has been officially established & is here to stay.” SSI later posted an apology to Riddick, but it has since been deleted. The group defended its original response in the open letter published on Wednesday. “Students Supporting Israel at Duke University’s response to this student’s tweet was not to defame, but rather to use our free speech right to educate and discuss in the name of self-defense and inclusivity. It would set a dangerous precedent for DSG to label this as ‘hostility,’ ” the letter read. It concluded by addressing Wang’s veto. “To remove our group from campus conversation in order to protect a public antisemitic statement by a student is to side with that of the oppressor, limit free speech and excuse antisemitism to persist at Duke University,” said SSI.
“At this time of year, when the sun is most hidden, Chanukah celebrates the rays of hope and light.” ~ Rafael Goldstein ~
Wishing you blessings and joy this season
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NOVEMBER 26, 2021
Briefs Israeli couple detained in Turkey for 8 days return home (JTA) — An Israeli couple who were detained by Turkish police for eight days because they were suspected of being spies have been freed. Natali and Mordy Oknin were arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of espionage after taking a photo of the presidential palace in Istanbul and sending it to family in Israel. Their family feared the couple could be held for the long term after a Turkish judge ordered the couple held for an additional 20 days, but the couple was released from prison Thursday morning and flew home on a private jet chartered by the Israeli government. The couple thanked Israeli government officials for working to free them at a press conference outside their home in Modiin Thursday. “We want to thank all the people of Israel who supported our country and family. Thank you to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, President Isaac Herzog,” Natali Oknin said. “We were jailed for eight days and nights — our own private Hanukkah miracle occurred.” Bennett and Lapid thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for releasing them in a statement ,and Herzog spoke to Erdogan by phone Thursday to thank him. Israel and Turkey currently do not have ambassadors in each other’s capitals and have had strained relations in recent years.
Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg to star in ‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ (JTA) — Jewish actors Jesse Eisenberg and Lizzy Caplan will play lead roles in the TV adaptation of Fleishman is in Trouble, the 2019 novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner about a Jewish man’s middle-age crisis. The husband and wife characters met while studying abroad in Israel. The casting comes amid a renewed debate over whether only Jewish actors should play Jewish characters on screen. The announcement of Kathryn Hahn as the choice to play Joan Rivers in a biopic — which is no longer getting made, due to objections by Rivers’ family — set off a recent spike in conversation on the topic. Comedian Sarah Silverman has had strong thoughts on the topic, dubbed the “Jewface” debate by some, in interviews. “Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug. Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan,” Silverman fumed in a September episode of her podcast. “And on and on and on. Rachel McAdams in ‘Disobedience.’ It really is endless, and none of these actresses are doing anything wrong. But collectively, it’s f—ed up.” Eisenberg, 39, was raised in a secular Jewish family in New Jersey and has 20
previously portrayed Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Jewish founder, in “The Social Network. Caplan, also 39, made her debut as Sara, the girlfriend of Jason Segel‘s character, on the cult TV hit “Freaks and Geeks” more than 20 years ago. Since then, the actress, who grew up in a Reform Jewish home in Los Angeles and went to Jewish summer camp, has starred in a range of roles and will replace Glenn Close in a forthcoming remake of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Whoever was chosen for the lead roles, there is no question that the series, which is in production now and will air on FX and Hulu, will lean heavily into its character’s Jewish identities. “This is a book about a Jew in New York,” Brodesser-Akner told Kveller in 2019. “I like the idea of not explaining what a Friday night dinner is — just having a Friday night dinner. I like the idea of everyone going only to the school where they’re going to meet other Jews like them. There’s still this huge culture around Jewishness, and I’m very comfortable in it.”
Jewish Republican congressmen try to stop reopening of consulate in Jerusalem (JTA) — The two Jewish Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are leading the effort to keep the Biden administration from reopening the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. David Kustoff of Tennessee on Wednesday introduced a bill that would block the Biden administration from reopening the consulate. His bill has the backing of the GOP leadership and about 100 cosponsors. His fellow Tennessean, Sen. Bill Hagerty, has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Among the cosponsors of the House bill is Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Republican from Long Island who is running for governor of New York, and who has garnered 206 signatures, all from Republicans, on a letter to President Joe Biden opposing the move. Former President Donald Trump shut down the mission and merged its activities with the newly relocated U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The Palestinians consider the consolidation an endorsement of Israel’s claims on Jerusalem. The Republican bill says that opening a separate consulate meant to serve Palestinians undermines Israel’s claim on Jerusalem as its capital. Reopening the consulate now, especially if it is in the building used in recent years in western Jerusalem, territory that the United States recognizes as sovereign Israel, would require the assent of the Israeli government. Biden campaigned on reopening the consulate. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett opposes the reopening but is also seeking to repair ties between Israel and Democrats. The sides are quietly seeking solutions behind closed doors. Republicans are in the minority in the House and Senate, but that does not necessarily doom the bill: At least two
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
HouseDemocrats, Juan Vargas of California and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, have expressed reservations about the move.
Brazilian journalist apologizes for remark about killing Jews (JTA) — A journalist working for one of Brazil’s largest broadcasters apologized for saying on TV on Wednesday, Nov. 17, that the only way his country could match Germany’s wealth is by killing its Jews. Jose Carlos Bernardi, a pundit for Jovem Pan, a rightleaning radio and television station, made the comments in a discussion Tuesday about a visit by former Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva to Germany. Asked by journalist Amanda Klein how Brazil could attain the economic development enjoyed by Germany, Bernardi replied: “Only by attacking Jews will we get there. If we kill a gazillion Jews and appropriate their economic power, then Brazil will get rich. That’s what happened with Germany after the war.” Bernardi’s remarks provoked an outcry by critics who accused him of inciting violence and repeating antisemitic stereotypes about Jews and wealth. A prosecutor in Sao Paulo is looking into charging Bernardi with incitement to hatred. In a statement, Bernardi said he “apologized for the unfortunate remarks” he had made, saying his intention was to address and highlight the injustice done to Jews by Germany rather than recommend it as a course of action. Jovem Pan also apologized for the remarks but did not respond to calls to fire Bernardi. A right-wing lawmaker in the parliament of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, Antônio Campos Machado, said that his office has pulled out of a contract with Bernardi, who had provided consulting services to Campos Machado.
Dianne Feinstein could become first Jew to be 3rd in line for presidency (JTA) — Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is the longest-serving member of his party in the U.S. Senate, announced on Monday, Nov. 15, that he will not run for reelection next year, setting the stage for Dianne Feinstein of California to be the first woman and first Jew to be the Senate’s president pro tempore, the third in line to the U.S. presidency. The president pro tempore presides over the Senate when the vice president is absent, and also has the power to name people to administrative positions and commissions. The Senate elects the president pro tempore, which means that the position is always filled by a member of the majority party. Since the mid-20th century, both parties have named their longest-serving senator to the job. Leahy has served in the chamber since 1975 and Feinstein has since 1992. There is no guarantee that Feinstein, who
was elected to serve until January 2025, will get the job. Republicans hope to regain the evenly divided Senate in next year’s midterm elections. Additionally, Feinstein, who is 88, is believed to be in ill health. She stepped down last year from the chairmanship of the powerful Judiciary Committee and did not seek a leadership position on any other committee. Should Feinstein assume the job, and should Democrats keep the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterms, there would be three California women lined up to succeed President Joe Biden should he leave office before the next election: In order, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Feinstein.
Owner of Nazi tattoo kit to donate it to Holocaust museum (Israel Hayom via JNS) The anonymous owner of a tattoo kit said to have been used on prisoners in the Auschwitz death camp informed an Israeli court on Thursday that he plans to donate it to the Haifa Holocaust Museum instead of selling it. Bidding had reached $3,400 when the auction of the eight tattoo stamps was halted by the court pending a hearing, after news of the planned sale caused an outcry. The auction house had estimated that the stamps would sell for $30,000 to $40,000. The Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors filed a lawsuit against the auction house and the owner in an attempt to prevent the sale of the dies altogether. The name of the seller remained anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the matter. The court informed the seller’s lawyers that he had eight days to make a decision with regard to the conflict over the items, and he ultimately decided to donate them. In a letter to the court, the seller explained that as someone who worked in the field of Holocaust history and purchased items to keep its memory alive, he had not expected the auction to cause such a storm. The letter also stressed that the owner’s intent all along had been to sell the kits to “an individual who would then donate it to a Holocaust commemorative organization.” The owner pointed out that “while he has no legal obligation to give away the items, he is willing to do so in light of the fact that at the end of the day, his only goal is to act for the commemoration of the Holocaust.” He plans to donate the dies to the Yad Ezer L’Haver organization, that runs the Haifa Holocaust Museum and works with survivors. Not everyone was satisfied—The Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors wanted the items to be transferred to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The seller has made his decision known to the court, which must now make a ruling.
Israeli defense minister’s house cleaner arrested on suspicion of espionage (Israel Hayom via JNS) An individual who worked as a cleaner at Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s home was arrested earlier this month on suspicions of espionage. According to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police investigation revealed that Omri Goren, 37, from Lod, reportedly contacted the Iran-affiliated Black Shadow hacker group of his own accord a few days before his arrest, and offered to provide information from within the defense minister’s home. In exchange for an undisclosed sum of money, he offered to install spyware on the minister’s computer that would allow access by a third party. He also supposedly took photographs of Gantz’s desk, computers, a tablet, a locked safe, a shredder, papers with IP addresses, a package with a label listing the souvenirs Gantz received as IDF chief of staff, framed photos of the family, municipal tax bills and more. Some of the photos Goren shared with the group to prove that he did indeed have access to Gantz’s home. The Shin Bet stressed that Goren had not had access to classified materials. Once the investigation concluded, the Central District prosecution filed an indictment against Goren for espionage. The Shin Bet said that in light of the incident, it has set out to research ways to limit “the possibility of cases like this repeating themselves in the future.”
Reigning ‘Miss Universe’ rejects calls to boycott Israelhosted pageant (JNS) The reigning “Miss Universe” came out on Wednesday against the pressure on contestants to boycott the beauty pageant, which is being held for the first time in Israel next month. “Everyone with different beliefs, with different backgrounds, with different cultures—they all come together and when you are in there you forget about politics, about your religion,” Mexico’s Andrea Meza told The Associated Press ahead of a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. “It’s just about embracing other women,” said the 27-year-old Meza, who is slated to hand over her crown to the winner of the 70th “Miss Universe” pageant in Eilat on Dec. 12. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, a founding member of the BDS movement, has been calling on contestants to “do no harm to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality by withdrawing from the pageant.” The South African government withdrew its support for its contestant, Lalela Mswane, because she refuses to abide by an Israel boycott. “The atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians are well documented,” the government said in a statement, according to AP, adding that it “cannot in good conscience associate itself with such.”
Mswane, who was crowned Miss South Africa in late October, has been facing online harassment since tweeting on Nov. 2 that she is “looking forward” to the event. “There is a stirring in my soul; a restless, a wild anticipation. I am staring out into the horizon as far as I can,” she wrote. The post has been receiving hostile comments under the hashtags #NotMyMissSouthAfrica, “#freepalestine” and “#boycottisrael.” Many Twitter users also posted the emoji of the Palestinian flag and called for a boycott of the entire pageant.
IAEA report: Iran has increased stockpile of highly enriched uranium (JNS) Iran has significantly increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium in a breach of the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Citing a confidential quarterly report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) watchdog, the report stated “that Iran has an estimated stock of 17.7 kilograms [39 pounds] of uranium enriched to up to 60 percent fissile purity, an increase of almost 8 kilograms since August.” The report noted that “such highly enriched uranium can be easily refined to make atomic weapons, which is why world powers have sought to contain Tehran’s nuclear program.” The Vienna-based IAEA told members that it could not verify the exact stockpile of enriched uranium “due to the limitations that Tehran imposed on U.N. inspectors earlier this year.” Those restrictions include denial of access by Iran to surveillance footage at its nuclear sites, as well as online enrichment monitors and electronic seals, all of which have been cut off by Tehran since February. IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi was quoted by the report as saying that the lack of oversight was similar to “flying in a heavily clouded sky.” On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had resumed its production of equipment for making advanced centrifuges at an assembly plant in Karaj, a city west of Tehran, adding that the IAEA has been unable to monitor the site for months.
1/4 of European Jewish community leaders have considered emigrating (JTA) — A survey of Jewish community leaders in Europe found that 23% said they were considering emigrating in light of growing antisemitism. That figure is unchanged since the last time the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee conducted its regular survey of European Jewish sentiment three years ago. But the JDC survey found that European Jewish leaders, especially in Western Europe, are increasingly concerned about antisemitism, which for the first time since 2008 topped respondents’ rankings of concerns for their communities. It also found that European Jewish leaders say they feel less connected to communities across the continent than they have in the past and that they are more concerned about poverty in their own communities. Only 3% of the leaders surveyed said they had made active preparations to leave Europe and 67% said they had not considered emigrating at all. Another 8% did not answer the question. Of the Jewish community leaders who said they had contemplated leaving, roughly two thirds said they would make aliyah, or immigrate to Israel. The survey did not ask respondents their reasons for contemplating emigrating. But it is clear from their responses that European Jewish leaders are increasingly concerned about antisemitism and security. More than two thirds of respondents said they expected antisemitism to increase in Europe over the next decade; only about half of respondents answered that way in 2008, the first time the survey was conducted. At the same time, 22% of respondents said they feel unsafe in their cities now, compared to 7% in 2008. Concern was highest in Western Europe, where a spate of jihadist attacks on Jews over the last decade have contributed to increased immigration to Israel, particularly from France. In the years 2000 to 2010,
fewer than 20,000 French Jews moved to Israel. But in the last decade, more than 40,000 have, a trend that surged after a jihadist murdered four Jews at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, and surged again after another jihadist attack in 2015 left four Jews dead at a Paris kosher supermarket. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have hurt members’ income and communal cash makers such as museums, are also visible in the survey. Poverty in the community, “though not one of the top threats, has grown steadily over the years, from 10% in 2008 to 35% in 2021,” the authors wrote. Some 37% of respondents marked financial hardship among members due to COVID-19 as a major threat to the community. Efforts in several countries to ban the slaughter of animals for meat without stunning — a key factor in European efforts to curtail kosher slaughter — and nonmedical male circumcision emerged for the first time as one of the top three greatest threats facing Jewish communities. Among respondents younger than 40, 26% said this was a very serious threat, as did 66% of older respondents. Support for Israel has grown among respondents over previous polls. For example, 66% agreed this year with the statement “I support Israel fully, regardless of how its government behaves.” The same statement had a support rating of only 48% in 2015 and 57% in 2011. But in keeping with trends detected outside Europe, respondents under 40 were less likely to agree with that statement and ranked support for Israel as the lowest among 18 communal priorities. The survey included 1,054 respondents in 31 countries and was conducted in 10 languages. About a third of respondents said they were Orthodox Jews, while a similar number characterized themselves as culturally Jewish. Nearly 60% were male and over 55 years old, reflecting the fact that the survey is of communal leaders; few Jews under 40 sit on communal organizations’ boards, according to the survey.
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everal year ago, there was a joke told frequently that concerned a woman from the Bronx who sought to visit a famous guru somewhere in the Far East. She boarded a plane and began the long and arduous flight, landed at the closest airport to the remote ashram, or temple, where the guru had his mountain retreat. Then took a donkey cart to meet the guru. When she finally arrived at the guru’s quarters, she learned that the guru has just begun a period of fasting and meditation and could not be interrupted. She finally persuaded the guards that she only wanted to say three words to the guru. And so, they allowed her access into the guru’s inner chamber. There she found him sitting in the lotus yoga position, totally entranced in his meditation. She approached him, but he remained unaware of her presence. Finally, she bent over and whispered in his ear: “Melvin, come home!” Although this phenomenon is no longer as prevalent as it once was, today many people remain dissatisfied with the Western way of life which is centered around the relentless pressures and frantic pace. Many seek an alternative that promises serenity, tranquility, and inner peace. This leads us to a question that connects to this week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23): “Is there anything wrong with seeking tranquility and inner peace? Are they not highly desirable components of a healthy and meaningful lifestyle?” An answer can be found in the words of the Midrash Rabbah that appear in most contemporary editions of Rashi’s commentary, although they are absent from earlier manuscript editions. The first words in this week’s Torah portion read: “Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had sojourned…” The Bible then narrates the story of Jacob’s son Joseph and how he is sold into slavery by his brothers. Rashi, quoting the Midrash, comments: “Jacob wished to dwell in peace and tranquility but immediately was beset by Joseph’s troubles and tribulations.” These words imply that it was somehow improper for Jacob to desire a calm and serene existence. The comment even suggests that Jacob was punished for his wish by suffering the disappearance, and supposed death, of
his favored son. Why? What possible sin would Jacob have committed by hoping for tranquility? Had he not suffered enough during his years of exile? Were the family crises described in detail in last week’s parsha not sufficient torture? Rabbi Yehuda Leib Alter (the second Rebbe of Gur), the author of the Sfat Emet (“Lips of Truth”), a profoundly insightful Chassidic work, suggests that the calm and peaceful life is not necessarily religiously desirable. Such a life is conducive to complacency. “What God wants from the Jew,” he writes, “is for him to have a life of constant toil in the service of His Blessed Name, because there is no limit to striving for perfection.” The Torah’s ideal is a life of action and involvement in worldly affairs. The Torah rejects the attitude of detachment and passivity which is implicit in the teachings of Eastern religions. The Torah cannot envision the good life if that life is without challenge. Achievement of inner peace is not the ultimate value, especially not if it results in withdrawal from responsible action within society. The author of the Sfat Emet wrote his works in the latter half of the 19th century. But the important lesson he taught was expressed about a century before, in the words of Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzato, the 18th-century Italian mystic, whose work Mesilat Yesharim (“The Path of the Just”) contains the following demanding passage: “A man must know that he was not created to enjoy rest in this world, but to toil and labor. He should, therefore, act as though he were a laborer working for hire. We are only day laborers. Think of the soldier at the battlefront who eats in haste, whose sleep is interrupted, and who is always prepared for an attack. “Man is born to toil” (Job 5:7). The teaching of both of these authors was anticipated by this passage in the Talmud (Berakhot 64a), as translated and elucidated in the Koren Talmud Bavli: “Torah scholars have rest neither in this world nor in the World-to-Come, as in both worlds they are constantly progressing, as it is stated: “They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.” Some religions promise inner peace and serenity and advocate detachment. Judaism makes no such promises. It tells us that life is all about struggle and challenge, and it demands that we be actively involved in improving the world.
IN THE KITCHEN
Thanksgivukkah is back, sort of — and here are 4 recipes to go with it BY SHANNON SARNA
These recipes originally appeared on The Nosher.
stuffing fans and a devout latke lovers. Makes approximately 10 latkes.
ay back in 2013, American Jews got the ultimate holiday gift: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah.
Ingredients: • 2 cups leftover stuffing of your choice
Sweet potato kugel, cranberry filled sufganiyot, turkey-shaped challah and, of course, the menurkey (Turkey menorah) became delicious expressions of our Americanness and Jewishness. We were able to gather with family and get double our return on that family time: We did two holidays in one. This year, Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 25 and Chanukah starts almost immediately after, on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28. It’s not quite another Thanksgivukkah, but it’s close. Add the pandemic into the mix, and the fact that many families may not have taken the opportunity to gather together, and this year’s holiday weekend presents a very special chance to celebrate twice as hard. And so, here is a list of recipes perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving-Chanukah convergence. Enjoy!
Latkes with Leftover Stuffing BY STEPHANIE GANZ
The perfect recipe or diehard Thanksgiving
• 1 large russet potato, peeled, shredded, and stored in cool water • 1 egg, beaten • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, dill, chives, or sage), finely chopped • Vegetable oil for frying • Salt, to taste • Sour cream and chopped fresh herbs for serving (optional) Directions • Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels.
crispy. Remove to the sheet tray, and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
• In a large sauce pan, heat about a cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until a small piece of stuffing sizzles and bubbles when it’s added to the oil.
• Serve warm with sour cream and chopped, fresh herbs if desired.
• Remove the shredded potatoes from the water, and use a kitchen towel to wring out any excess moisture.
Sweet Potato-Pecan Kugel
• Combine stuffing, potatoes, egg, and herbs, and combine. Depending on the moisture level of your leftover stuffing and potatoes, you may need to add a little more egg to make the mixture come together so that you can shape the latkes with your hands. (approximately 10-12). • Fry each latke in oil for about 5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown and
BY LEAH KOENIG
A good example of how Jewish communities in the American South incorporated local ingredients and flavors into traditional Ashkenazi dishes. Yields 6 to 8 pieces of kugel. Reprinted from The Jewish Cookbook, by Leah Koenig (Phaidon Press, 2019). Ingredients: For the kugel: • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium) • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped • 1/2 packed cup light brown sugar • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour • 1/2 tsp kosher salt Directions: • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork and roast until the flesh can be easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, let cool to the touch, and scoop flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skin, and mash well with a potato masher. (This step can be completed up to a day in advance.) • Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Combine mashed sweet potato, apple, brown sugar, eggs, flour, orange zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Spread mixture into the prepared baking pan. • Stir together the melted butter, pecans, brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the kugel. Bake, uncovered, until kugel sets and lightly browns around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper For the topping: • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted jewishledger.com
CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
PRESENTED BY HARTFORD HEALTHCARE INSTITUTE OF LIVING
Mashed Potato, Turkey and Cranberry Knishes with Cranberry Mustard
WITH SUPPORT FROM
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One of the many CHS members who understands and cares.
Combine these bit-sized Thanksgiving knishes with some cranberry mustard dipping sauce and leftovers never sounded so good! Yields about 18 knishes. Other variations: • Substitute the mashed potatoes with leftover stuffing or mashed sweet potatoes. • Substitute the cranberry sauce inside the knishes for leftover gravy. Ingredients: • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed for 30 minutes • 1 cup cranberry sauce, divided
Wishing you a safe, warm and happy holiday!
• 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard • 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard • 1/2 cup leftover mashed potato • 1/2 – 3/4 cup leftover turkey, diced • 1 egg, beaten
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• All purpose flour for rolling out puff pastry
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• On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry on all sides so that dough stretches slightly. Cut into 9 even squares.
Directions: • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• Using fingers stretch each square just a little bit more. Add tsp of mashed potatoes, a few pieces of turkey and tsp of cranberry sauce on each square. • Fold each point of the puff pastry up and pinch at the top. Twist puff pastry and then push down. Repeat. 24
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
• Brush each knish with beaten egg. • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. • While knishes bake, mix ½ cup cranberry sauce with 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard and ½ tsp whole grain mustard. Spicy brown mustard can also be substituted. Whisk together until smooth. • Serve knishes while warm with cranberry mustard.
Cranberry Applesauce BY EMILY PASTER
Applesauce is one of the best-known and best-loved Jewish preserves, because it is one of the two traditional toppings for latkes. (The other being sour cream. Let’s not argue over which one is better.) In Europe, Ashkenazi Jews often made a version of applesauce that included foraged berries, such as raspberries or blackberries. I have updated that tradition by adding cranberries, that quintessential North American berry, to my applesauce. The cranberries add tartness and a beautiful rosy color. Make this crimsonhued applesauce in October or November, when whole cranberries and heirloom varieties of apples are readily available at farmers’ markets, and put up several jars to accompany your Chanukah latkes in December or as a side dish for your Thanksgiving celebration. Yields 3 to 4 pints. This recipe is excerpted with permission from The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster. Ingredients: • 4 lb (1.8 kg) apples, preferably a mixture of sweet and tart varieties • 2 cups (200 g) whole cranberries (fresh or frozen) • 1/4cup (59 ml) lemon juice • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar jewishledger.com
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon • 1/4 tsp cloves Directions: • Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples. Combine the apples, cranberries, ½ cup (120 ml) water and lemon juice in a large saucepan. • Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer the apples, covered, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare a boiling water bath and heat four pint-sized (473 ml) jars. • When the apples are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the varieties you use, remove from the heat. Mash the apples with a potato masher. For a smoother texture, purée with an immersion blender but leave
some chunkiness. • Add the sugar and spices and return mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and distribute the spices. Ladle the sauce into the clean, warm jars, leaving ¾ inch (2 cm) of space at the top. • After the jar is filled, run a thin plastic utensil around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. This is known as “bubbling the jar.” Wipe the rims with a damp cloth. • Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. • Keep the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Happy Chanukah Happy Chanukah! From all of your friends at
Best Wishes For A Happy & Healthy Chanukah To All Our Members & Their Families & Friends
THE HARTFORD MUTUAL SOCIETY A progressive, welcoming Reform Jewish community
701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, CT www.cbict.org I 860-233-8215
Gershon Sosin, President: (860) 242-9773 Jeffrey Kaplan, Financial Secretary: (561) 429-6226 Martin London, Sexton: (860) 219-9248
Church & Allen
Norwich • Montville Ph. (860) 889-2374 • Fax (860) 886-2396
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May your Chanukah be healthy
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The Publisher and Staff of the CT Jewish Ledger wish our readers a Happy Thanksgiving and a Wonderful Chanukah filled with light. JEWISH LEDGER
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
Happy Chanukah Happy Chanukah from your friends at
May these eight nights bring you peace, love and good health! We pray you ﬁnd warmth and comfort in the lights this holiday season. - from our Beth El family to yours
Our Judaica Craft Gallery is open!
640 Farmington Avenue Hartford, Connecticut 06105 860.233.2675
Zoom & In-Person Chanukah Programs Daily Minyans Shabbat Services
You’ll ﬁnd a lovely selection of mezuzot, kippot, challah covers, plus chanukiot, collectible dreidels and more!
Details at BethElWestHartford.org/CraftGallery
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Wishing our clients and friends Happy Chanukah!
Wishing all of our friends a most Happy Chanukah.
MONUMENTS CEMETERY LETTERING BRONZE & GRANITE MARKERS 804 BLUE HILLS AVE. BLOOMFIELD, CT 06002 860.242.7371 860.242.5881 SERVING ALL FAITHS IN ALL CEMETERIES 26
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CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
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Happy Chanukah “Happy and Healthy Chanukah!”
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HEBREW FUNERAL ASSOCIATION, INC. Leonard J. Holtz, Executive Funeral Director
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Have a fun Chanukah! 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002 (860) 380-5006 | Duncaster.org
122 Years of a Traditional Way For All Jews. 906 Farmington Ave., West Hartford CT 06119
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May your candles burn long… And your celebration be joyous. Congregation Or Shalom Orange, CT • 203.799.2341 www.orshalomct.org
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NOVEMBER 26, 2021
WHAT’S HAPPENING DECEMBER 1 – DECEMBER 19 Jewish organizations are invited to submit their upcoming events to the our What’s Happening section. Events are placed on the Ledger website on Tuesday afternoons. Deadline for submission of calendar items is the previous Tuesday. Send items to: judiej@ jewishledger.com.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 An Evening of the Gershwins Join us on Dec. 1, 7 p.m., for an evening of music by the Gershwin brothers featuring the singing quartet of Rebecca Cooper, Marissa Cortese, Jacob Litt and Brian Rosenblum, who will be accompanied by a three-piece orchestra. Also back for an encore is Broadway producer Jack Viertel, who will give commentary on lyrics, plays and the history of George and Ira Gershwin. Hosted by UJA/JCC Greenwich. Proof of vaccination required. At Ferguson Library in Stamford. Tickets: $36/in advance; $50/ at the door.
by UJA/JCC Greenwich, this event is FREE (Zoom link will be provided upon registration). To register or for more information, visit ujajcc.org.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11 An Evening of Klezmer Join the Stamford Symphony on Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. for the FREE online premiere of An Evening of Klezmer. Presented in affiliation with the United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien, UJA-JCC Greenwich, and the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County. The virtual event will include Klezmer music performed by members of the Stamford Symphony, conversations with Stamford Symphony Music Director Michael Stern and Grammy-award-winning jazz musician Branford Marsalis, renowned klezmer musician Salmon Mlotek, and performances from local and international Klezmer groups. For reservations: https:// www.stamfordsymphony.org/an-eveningof-klezmer/#
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2
Davis Film Fest presents “Stream”
West Hartford’s Marc Lasry talk about his personal journey
The Davis Film Festival presents the drama “Stream” co-starring Lior Ashkenazi and Shira Haas. “Stream” tells the story of Noah, a world-renowned orchestra conductor who returns him to Petah Tikvah after 30 years, where he finds his father in a state of progressive Alzheimer’s with singing in the community choir as his only remaining joy. When the choir’s conductor dies, Noah decides to take his place…all the while, he is slowly going deaf. Sponsored by UJA/JCC of Greenwich. Five episodes, streaming Dec. 19 through Jan. 16 at 9 p .m. Tickets: $18
Marc Lasry, chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team, who attended West Hartford’s Hall High School, in conversation with West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, on Zoom on Dec. 2, 5:30 6:30 p.m. Lasry shares his personal story and the story of his family’s 32-year-old business, and discusses his philanthropic work. Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the evening will include Chanukah candle-lighting and a Chanukah treat will be shipped to the address of your choice. Admission: $18. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Menorah Lighting on Nov. 28
Chanukah Celebration on Dec. 4
Chabad of the Shoreline is hosting a menorah lighting on the first night of Chanukah, Sunday, Nov. 28 4-4:30 p.m. on the Guilford Green (across from 55 Whitfield St.). The festive event will include a fire show, music and holiday treats. For information or to RSVP: https://www. jewishshoreline.org/templates/articlecco_ cdo/aid/5314500/jewish/1st-NightMenorah-Lighting-on-Guilford-Green.htm.
Schmooze with friends and enjoy a nigh of Israeli dancing, latkes and libations (which will be served outside owing to t pandemic, so dress warmly!). Adults ON Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Wes CT, 444 Main St North in Southbury. On Saturday, Dec. 4, 7 - 9 p.m. Proof of vaccination and masks required. Tickets $18. RSVP by Nov. 30 to https://form. jotform.com/213134996280156
Simply Tsfat Chanukah Concert on Dec. 5
IN WEST HARTFORD
Celebrate the last day of Chanukah at a concert hosted by Chabad of the Shoreline, featuring the music of Simply Tsat of Israel. To be held Sunday, Dec. 5, 5 - 6:30 p.m. at the James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main St. in Branford. Hailing from the northern Galilee city of Tsfat, the trio presents a vibrant musical blend of powerful lyrics and soulful tines in the Chassidic mystical tradition. Menorah lighting and refreshments will follow the concert on the library terrace. Admission is FREE, but space is limited. Reservations are a must. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (203) 533-7595. For a Zoom link to this live event, email chabad or visit facebookcom/yossiyaffe.
IN NORWALK Outdoor Public Menorah Lighting on Dec. 1 The community is invited to an outdoors Menorah lighting ceremony on the front lawn of Norwalk City Hall, facing East Ave., on the 4th night of Chanukah, Dec.1 at 5 p.m. Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht of Beth Israel Chabad will be emcee of the event, together with Rabbi Levi Stone. Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling will be on hand for the lighting. Live music will accompany the ceremony. Pre-packaged Chanukah gelt, cookies and dreidels will be distributed to all. Admission is FREE. For information: (203) 247-6289.
Stew Leonard’s Norwalk store, located at 100 Westport Ave., hosts its 30th annual menorah lighting celebration on Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. The celebration starts with Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht of Beth Israel Chabad of Westport/Norwalk lighting an 18-foot menorah. Following by a celebration with live entertainment and pre-packaged Kosher refreshments. Traditional dreidels and chocolate gelt will be distributed to all.
Promoting PhiloSemitism in the Middle East Robert Nicholson, founder, president and executive director of the Philos Project, and Luke Moon, the project’s deputy director, will discuss the Philos Project, a Christian leadership community dedicated to countering BDS and antisemitism in the Middle East, at a virtual talk to be held on Zoom on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Hosted JEWISH LEDGER
Chanukah celebration & candle lighting at Stew Leonard’s, Nov. 28
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7
CHANUKAH AROUND CT
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
“Fire on ICE” on Nov. 28
Chabad of Greater Hartford’s popular “Fire on ICE – Chanukah @ Blue Back” celebration will take place on Sunday, N 28 (the 1st night of Chanukah) at 4 p.m in front of West Hartford’s Town Hall (t enable an “In-person” celebration as we as a “Drive-in” option for this year’s eve Highlights include: A concert by the pop Israeli singer/songwriter Yoni Z; a mast ice sculptor will sculpt a raw block of ice into a giant menorah; Chanukah kits (as available), filled with games, crafts, coo Chocolate gelt, raffles, prizes and facepainting, hot drinks from Starbucks and food for sale. Once again, the West Hart Fire Dept. will hold its “Great Chanuka Gift Drop” in which they ‘rain’ down tre on kids from atop their long ladder. The event is FREE. Register at ChabadHartford.com/fire.
The music of Mozart, Vivaldi…and Chanukah on Dec. 5
A concert with Cantor Joseph Ness and Cantor Stephanie Kupfer on Sunday, De 5, 7 p.m.. Tickets: $25/ seniors (65+) and students; $2/FREE for children 12 & under. For tickets, visit: tinyurl.com/ BacktotheMusic. Tickets also available a the door. Virtual tickets also available. A Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Ave. in W Hartford. Free parking, Handicap acces ‘Chanukah Hop,’ Nov. 28-Dec. 4
The Emerging Leadership Division of th Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford i hosting a four-day series of special even for Chanukah that will include the light of the menorah. All events are free and place in West Hartford. Masks are requ indoors. So-sponsors by Dignity Grows, Spiritual Life Center, Hillel U of Hartfor and Momentum. For reservations: email Rebecca Lenkiewicz at rlenkiewicz@jewishhartfo org. Here’s what Chanukah Hoppers ha will enjoy: Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. — Dignity Grows Packing Party at Solomon Schech Day School, 26 Buena Vista Rd. jewishledger.com
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Monday, Nov 29 at 7 p.m. — Interfaith Candle lighting at Spiritual Life Center, 303 Tunxis Rd. Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. — Share career experiences with UHart Hillel at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave. Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5:45 p.m. — Family Chanukah Celebration. Address provided upon registration.
CT’s Jewish Federations ‘Shine A Light on Antisemitism’ on Dec. 6 With the goal of drawing attention to the number of antisemitic incidents on a dangerous upward spiral all across the country, the Jewish Federations of Connecticut, together with their respective Jewish Community Relations Councils, the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) and ADL Connecticut, will join together to present “Shine A Light on Antisemitism” during the holiday of Chanukah. The statewide program, presented in partnership with NAACP, Urban League, the Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford, will be held on Zoom as the Festival of Lights comes to a close on Monday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. It will feature a musical presentation by Cantor Julia Cadrain of Temple Israel in Westport; a talk by Oren Jacobson, co-founder of Project Shema; and a personal story told by Ellie Cooper of Middlefield, a recent college graduate and ADL volunteer. The Chanukah event is part of “Shine A Light on Antisemitism,” a nationwide awareness campaign launched by the Jewish Federations of North America, to counter the unsettling increase in antisemitic incidents in North American. According to the annual ADL survey, there were 185 antisemitic incidents in Connecticut in 2020. During the same period, ADL tabulated 2,024 reported antisemitic incidents throughout the United States. This is a four percent decrease from the 2,107 incidents recorded in 2019, but is still the third-highest year on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. In addition to attending the virtual event, the community is encourage to use the hashtag #shinealightCT on their social media accounts during Chanukah (November 28 - December 6) to voice their support for the Jewish community. Visit www.shinealightCT.org for more ways to help.
Hundreds of communities worldwide ‘reunite around the light’ (JNS) As people emerge from the pandemic eager for community experiences, hundreds of synagogues, congregations, Jewish Community Centers, Federations, schools, camps, independent minyans and Jewish organizations are arranging gatherings this Chanukah to mark a worldwide rededication of relational communities. Under the banner, “Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend,” events around the world will be held onsite and online from Dec. 3-5, inviting those engaged and those not-yet-engaged to connect with the community and each other. “This Chanukah is such a unique moment as Jewish communities begin returning to a sense of normalcy right at this festive, communal and family-oriented holiday,” says Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University, who is leading the initiative. “The events are an opportunity to be a part of something greater, special—an exciting opportunity to celebrate not simply the holiday, but what we have all missed so much—our relationships with each other.” Activities include services, rituals, meals, festivals, community art projects, concerts and candle-lightings. “What an awesome equation to bring together the Jewish community from all over into our synagogues and organizational homes for a grand homecoming after all this time,” says Rabbi Elaine Zecher, senior rabbi of Temple Israel in Boston. “The opportunity to do this together, across the world, truly adds up to a beautiful experience of holiness wherever we find ourselves.” Adds Wolfson: “The message is ‘reunite around the light’ and ‘come home.’ ” Organized by the Kripke Institute’s Center for Relational Judaism, the initiative is supported by a JCRIF grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the Maimonides Fund. Organizations are invited to join the Hanukkah Homecoming network by registering at HanukkahHomecoming.org.
Padma Lakshmi heads to the NY’s Lower East Side for a Chanukah edition of ‘Taste the Nation’ BY JULIA GERGELY
(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation,” the acclaimed food docuseries on Hulu, returned to Hulu recently with a special, four-part holiday edition highlighting traditional holiday foods from locations around the U.S. Lakshmi visits Los Angeles to celebrate the Korean New Year, Miami to learn about Cuban Christmas and Cape Cod to learn about food traditions of the Wampanoag Nation, and to deconstruct the holiday narrative of Thanksgiving. To learn about Chanukah? Lakshmi only needed to travel around the corner from her East Village apartment. In the episode, titled “Happy Challah Days,” she visits the Lower East Side, where hundreds of thousands of Jews lived after immigrating from Eastern Europe around the turn of the 20th century. The episode is a New York Jewish food lover’s dream. Lakshmi — the author, model and food mogul who’s been nominated for 11 Emmys for her hosting/judging work on Bravo’s “Top Chef” (her Jewish co-host Gail Simmons has been nominated for two) — makes her first stop at Russ and Daughters appetizing shop on Houston Street, a Lower East Side landmark since 1914. The shop is run by Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman, great-grandchildren of the store’s original owner, Joel Russ. At Russ and Daughters, Lakshmi learns to make latkes and samples many of the
store’s signature Ashkenazi offerings: caviar, schmaltz, herring and liver. Lakshmi next visits the Tenement Museum, the Pickle Guys — an Essex Street mainstay since 2010 — and New York’s Central Synagogue, where she discusses the history of Chanukah with Rabbi Ari Lorge. After speaking with Ruth Zimbler, a Holocaust survivor, she learns how to make holishkes (stuffed cabbage) with the creators of the artisanal gefilte fish brand Gefilteria. She also brings her daughter Krishna along to share a brisket and kugel meal with Deb Perelman, the food blogger behind Smitten Kitchen. The episode tells viewers the Yiddish name for each of the foods Lakshmi tastes, and celebrates the freedom Jewish communities have to practice their religion in America. Throughout, Lakshmi compares the Jewish immigrant and family experience with her own experience immigrating to the U.S. from India as a child. Lakshmi also takes care to de-emphasize the role Chanukah has traditionally played in Jewish culture — she knows the holiday is not as religiously important as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and even Passover. She tells her non-Jewish audience members that, contrary to popular gentile belief, the holiday is not “Jewish Christmas.” Instead, Lakshmi uses Chanukah as a way to explore how Jewish-American culture came to be — its resilience, its community, its assimilation, its struggle, with food at the core of it all. She also explores her own relationship to the oildrenched foods that play an important symbolic role during Chanukah. “Personally,” she said, “I’ve never needed an excuse to eat anything fried.” The “Taste the Nation” episode, “Happy Challah Days,” is streaming now on Hulu.
LAKSHMI LIGHTS A MENORAH ON HER VISIT TO NEW YORK CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE DURING THE “HAPPY CHALLAH DAYS” EPISODE OF HER HULU SHOW, “TASTE THE NATION.” (CRAIG BLANKENHORN/HULU)
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
OBITUARIES DRABKIN Ann Marie Greenfield Drabkin, 86, of Hamden, died Nov. 13. She was the beloved widow of Leonard Drabkin. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is survived by her children, Sue, Cindy and her husband Logan, Lois and Karen Drabkin; her grandchildren, Skyler, Stirling and Beckett duBell; and many nephews and nieces. PUKLIN Richard H. Puklin of Delray Beach, Fla., formerly of Hamden, died Nov. 12. He was the widower of Betty (Benzel) Puklin. Born in New Haven, he was son of the late Herbert and Marion Puklin. He is survived by his children, Heidi Parlato, and Alan Puklin; his grandchildren, Rachel Puklin and her husband John, and Sarah Livingston and her husband Andrew. He was also predeceased by his son-in-law Vincent Parlato. For more information on placing an obituary, contact: judiej@ jewishledger.
Helene Fortunoff, who pioneered a jewelry empire, was 88 BY SHIRA HANAU
(JTA) — Helene Fortunoff, who helped turn her husband’s mom-and-pop housewares business into a major jewelry company, died Nov. 8 at age 88 in Miami Beach, Florida. Fortunoff became a powerful player in the jewelry industry long before many women had entered the workplace. Speaking to The New York Times in 2001, a year after the death of her husband and her promotion to the role of president of the Fortunoff company, she discussed her approach to balancing work and family. ”I always wanted a family and a career, and no one ever told me I couldn’t have both,” she said. ”I generally allowed myself 11 days off for the birth of my children. I had a staff to manage things at home while I worked full-time at the store.” Fortunoff was born Helene Finke in 1933. Growing up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, she started working for her father’s heating and cooling business at age 13, according to The New York Times. Fortunoff began her undergraduate studies at Syracuse University but transferred partway through
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to New York University’s business school, where she met her husband, Alan Fortunoff, in a real estate course. The couple married after graduating in 1953 and Helene went to work at her husband’s eponymous family housewares business, then based in East New York, Brooklyn. In 1957, Helene launched Fortunoff’s first jewelry line, which would later become a multi-million dollar business. In 1979, the company brought on the actress Lauren Bacall as a spokeswoman for the jewelry line. In the ensuing decades, Fortunoff became one of the biggest retailers in the New York City area: By 2003, according to the New York Times, the company had six retail stores specializing in high-end giftware, including its flagship location on Fifth Avenue at 54th Street and a popular branch in Westbury, Long Island. After a series of industry setbacks, bankruptcies and sales of the original business, the chain was liquidated in 2009, and Fortunoff Fine Jewelry exists only online, with the name back under family control. The Fortunoffs were frequent donors to Jewish causes. In 1987, Alan Fortunoff created an endowment for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University, adding the Fortunoff name to the archive in memory of his parents, Max and Clara Fortunoff. Helene
Fortunoff continued to support the archive after her husband’s death. Throughout her life, Fortunoff was honored by a number of Jewish organizations including UJA Federation-NY and the ORT, an organization that historically provided job training to Russian Jewish immigrants. Fortunoff is survived by Robert Grossman, whom she married in 2006, and by five of her six children. Her son, Louis, died in 2012 of pancreatic cancer at age 47. In an obituary for Louis, David Fortunoff, another son, told The Centurion, an industry paper, that the family’s work ethic meant never stopping, even for holidays. “The only holiday that we got to celebrate [before the business was sold] was Christmas, even though we were Jewish,” Fortunoff told the paper. The family would spend that day, their only day off during the busy holiday season, watching movies together. Most of the Fortunoff children followed their parents into the jewelry business, with daughter Esther Fortunoff-Greene serving as president of the company. “She taught us how to balance motherhood and work, so that we could raise our own children as she raised us. Her guidance and example have been central to our lives,” Fortunoff-Greene wrote in a blog post about her mother for Women’s History Month in 2018.
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CNA - Five or Seven Days - Live In - Seventeen Years Experience - References Available - 860938-1476. Mary and Alex Housecleaning. We have experience and references. We are an insured company. Please call or Txt for a free quote. 860-328-1757 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NURSE SEEKING POSITION: GETTING BETTER TOGETHER! Adult care only. Live-in, days or nights and weekends. Responsible and dedicated caregiver with medical education. Leave message: 860229-2038 No Text or Email. Caregiver - Willing to care for your loved ones overnight - Excellent local references Avoid nursing home or hospital in light of Covid 19. Call 860550-0483.
JEWISH CONNECTICUT September
Polish certified nursing assistant. Twenty years experience in hospitals, nursing homes and private home settings looking to help your loved ones. Please call 860-803-6007.
Mikael Poreshi - Remodeling & Painting - 860-978-2505 - miki. email@example.com.
For more information on advertising in these magazines, call Donna 860.833.0839 or DonnaE@jewishledger.com JEWISH LEDGER
Third Generation Jeweler - Gold & Diamond Buyer - Is Buying All Gold Jewelry - Sterling Silver Flatware Sets - Diamonds Over 2 Carats - Fast Payment Contact - mitchellrosin@gmail. com. Collector looking to purchase coins and currency, silver, copper, and gold. No collection is too small. Will travel. Call 860951-5191 firstname.lastname@example.org.
CNA with 25 years experience, reliable car, live-in or hourly. References available, and negotiable rates. Call Sandy 860-460-3051.
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Have something to sell? Have something to rent? Have a service to promote?
Tricia’s Cleaning Service - Residential & Commercial Detailed cleaning for Home & Office - For Free Quote call 860477-8636.
Driver available for shopping & errands in the greater Hartford area. Reasonable rates, senior discount and references available. Call Ira 860-849-0999.
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021
CNA - 8 Years Experience Reliable - Own Car - Live-in 24/7 - Negotiable Rates - Please call Tina 860-461-8692.
Reach our highly qualified readers by placing your display classified ad in our digital issue with a LIVE link to your website!
Contact Leslie 860.231.2424 or email@example.com jewishledger.com
CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org. BLOOMFIELD B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/ Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Conservative Rabbi Debra Cantor (860) 243-3576 office@BTSonline.org www.btsonline.org BRIDGEPORT Congregation B’nai Israel Reform Rabbi Evan Schultz (203) 336-1858 email@example.com www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Cantor Niema Hirsch firstname.lastname@example.org www.rodephsholom.com CHESHIRE Temple Beth David Reform Rabbi Micah Ellenson (203) 272-0037 office@TBDCheshire.org www.TBDCheshire.org CHESTER Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Reform Rabbi Marci Bellows (860) 526-8920 email@example.com www.cbsrz.org EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 firstname.lastname@example.org
FAIRFIELD Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ratner (203) 374-5544 email@example.com www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kolhaverim.org GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 WendyBarr@grs.com 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 Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 email@example.com www.tbshamden.com
MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Danny Moss (203) 245-7028 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org email@example.com www.myshul.org MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Nelly Altenburger (860) 346-4709 firstname.lastname@example.org www.adathisraelct.org NEW HAVEN The Towers at Tower Lane Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader Sarah Moskowitz, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 email@example.com www.towerlane.org Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel Conservative Rabbi Eric Woodward firstname.lastname@example.org (203) 389-2108 office@BEKI.org www.BEKI.org Orchard Street ShulCongregation Beth Israel Orthodox Rabbi Mendy Hecht 203-776-1468 www.orchardstreetshul.org
NEW LONDON Ahavath Chesed Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg 860-442-3234 Ahavath.email@example.com Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Earl Kideckel (860) 442-0418 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 email@example.com www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 firstname.lastname@example.org www.congadathisrael.org NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 email@example.com bethisraelchabad.org Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar (203) 866-0148 firstname.lastname@example.org www.templeshalomweb.org NORWICH Congregation Brothers of Joseph Modern Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Resnick (781 )201-0377 email@example.com https://brofjo.tripod.com ORANGE Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 firstname.lastname@example.org www.orshalomct.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) 679-4446 email@example.com
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 Modern 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 SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbhsw.org
Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 email@example.com www.chabadhartford.com Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cbict.org
SOUTHINGTON Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation Reform Rabbi Alana Wasserman (860) 276-9113 President@gsjc.org www.gsjc.org TRUMBULL Congregation B’nai Torah Conservative Rabbi Colin Brodie (203) 268-6940 email@example.com www.bnaitorahct.org WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethisraelwallingford.org WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 email@example.com www.jewishlifect.org
Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Rachel Zerin Cantor Joseph Ness (860) 233-9696 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethelwesthartford.org
Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services & Holidays 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 860-529-2410 email@example.com templebethtorahwethersfield.org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaijacob.org
Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 email@example.com www.kehilatchaverim.org The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 communications@ emanuelsynagogue.org www.emanuelsynagogue.org
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
Stop In For Our Famous Latkes! The Crown Market
2471 Albany Ave West Hartford, CT 06117
Only At THE CROWN
www.crownmarketonline.com HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS! 34
| NOVEMBER 26, 2021