CT Jewish Ledger • December 3, 2021 • 29 Kislev 5782

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Friday, December 3, 2021 29 Kislev 5782 Vol. 93 | No. 49 | ©2021 jewishledger.com

The Start-Up Nation Sets its Sights on Food-Tech



| DECEMBER 3, 2021





Emmy and Tony Award-Winning

Kristin Chenoweth


jorgensen.uconn.edu I (860) 486-4226 Box Office: M-F 10 am - 5 pm | On the UConn Storrs Campus Note: all artists, events, dates, programs and COVID-19 policies are subject to change. 2


| DECEMBER 3, 2021

@JorgensenUConn jewishledger.com


this week


7 Around CT

10 Opinion

14 Briefs

15 Torah Portion

17 Crossword


Freeing Danny................................... 5 Danny Fenster, a Jewish journalist from suburban Detroit, was held since May in a Myanmar prison by the country’s military junta. He was released on Nov. 15 — thanks in large part to a supportive Jewish community.

In Memoriam.................................... 5 After arriving in Israel in 2016, Eli Kay studied at a yeshivah, then enlisted in the IDF as a lone soldier. On Nov. 21, the 25-year-old South African was murdered in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City.

What’s Happening

19 Chanukah Around CT

20 Obituaries

21 Business and Professional Directory

22 Classified

The Ledger Scoreboard........................................................................................... 6 Greg Joseph, the only Jewish kicker in the NFL talks about the pressures of his athletic career, and the joys of being Jewish and giving back to the Jewish community.

Dancing Queen...............................11 It was at her first belly dancing class that Yoelit Hiebert knew she had found something that would become a forever part of her life. Now, 20 years later, the Hartford woman is on stage teaching — and performing — the art of belly dancing for all.


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Put together Israel’s vast agricultural and technological know-how, and you’ve got breakthroughs in food production that will feed a fast-growing, climate-threatened world more efficiently, sustainable and securely. PAGE 12 jewishledger.com

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“Fenster is Free!”

In Memoriam


Israeli terror victim Eliyahu (‘Eli’) Kay, 25, laid to rest in Jerusalem BY JOSH HASTEN


(JTA) — For nearly six months, anyone driving through this well-manicured and heavily Jewish residential Detroit suburb was guaranteed to spot the yard signs. They were red, white and blue, with a large blackand-white illustration of a bearded young man sporting a beanie and a faint smile. “FREE FENSTER,” the signs proclaimed in large text. There were other slogans, as well: “Protect The Press.” “#BringDannyHome.” Today, many of the signs are still there. But they have new, triumphant additions, much like the new marquee signage on Detroit Fleat, a hip bar-and-food-truck hangout joint in neighboring Ferndale: “Welcome Home Danny!” Danny Fenster, a 37-year-old Jewish journalist from Huntington Woods, had

been held since May 24 in a Myanmar prison by the country’s military junta, which had seized power in a violent coup earlier this year. The charges against Fenster, which international observers unanimously agreed were unlawful and political in nature, stemmed from his work at English-language Myanmar news outlets; he had been arrested while preparing to board a flight at Yangon International Airport to see his family for a surprise visit home. On Nov. 15, Fenster was released, and reunited with his family — parents Buddy and Rose and older brother Bryan. “There’s a really emotional, Jewish story here about the way the Jewish community rallied behind this,” Democratic Congressman Andy Levin, whose Michigan

district includes Huntington Woods, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The Fenster family declined an interview with JTA. But they’ve been generous in their appreciation for the community that advocated for Danny’s release. “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all of you who friended me and reached out during my days of despair,” Buddy wrote on his Facebook page after his son’s return, a message later reposted to the #FreeDannyFenster Facebook group. “Your support kept me and my family from hitting rock bottom. If only the world had some of the heart and compassion that you all have there would be less pain in it.” The Fensters spearheaded the “Free CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


(JNS) Eliyahu (“Eli”) David Kay, 25, a South African immigrant to Israel who was murdered in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning while on his way to prayers at the Western Wall, was laid to rest in the presence of thousands of mourners at Jerusalem’s Har HaMenuchot cemetery on Monday afternoon. Thousands more watched the funeral live online. Kay, who worked as a tour guide at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, was gunned down by Hamas-affiliated terrorist and Jerusalem resident Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, an extremist who often spewed anti-Israel hate during sermons he delivered in area mosques. Four other Israelis, two civilians and two border police officers, were wounded in the attack. One of the injured civilians, a rabbi in his 20s, remains in serious but stable condition and underwent multiple surgeries on Sunday night. As of Monday, he was said to be in an induced coma at a Jerusalem hospital. Abu-Shkadem, who sprayed his victims with submachine gun fire, was killed by security personnel with the assistance of an armed civilian within seconds of his murderous rampage. Kay arrived in Israel in 2016, and after studying at a yeshivah in Kiryat Gat, south of Tel Aviv, enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces’ paratroopers unit as a lone soldier where he earned the rank of sergeant. After the army, Kay volunteered with the HaShomer HaChadash organization’s post-army program working in agriculture in the Gaza border community of Kibbutz Nirim. The organization posted on social media that “after finishing the program, Eli even stayed longer to be a field coordinator and led the agricultural work of a group of graduates.” His parents, Avi and Devorah Kay, CONTINUED ON PAGE 9





DECEMBER 3, 2021


THE LEDGER SCOREBOARD The NFL’s Greg Joseph talks about his love for the Jewish community BY EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — The only Jewish kicker in the NFL for years now, Greg Joseph is used to how mentally taxing the position can be. On Sunday, 21, he found himself in another one of its do-or-die situations. With two seconds left to go in a tied game against the division-leading Green Bay Packers, Joseph kicked his Minnesota Vikings to victory with a 29-yard field goal, keeping the team’s playoff hopes alive. He was carried off the field by his teammates. Joseph, who attended Jewish schools in Florida after immigrating from South Africa, said he deals with the pressure of being a kicker by working on having “confidence and faith in my abilities.” “I know on my worst day, I’m still good enough, and my underlying technique and fundamentals are still good enough,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week. Joseph’s kick on Nov. 21 harkened back to a similar moment three years ago, when he kicked a game-winner for the Cleveland Browns in only his third game as a pro — hours after affixing a mezuzah to the doorpost of his apartment. Since then, the 27-year-old’s career has

been a rollercoaster ride, ranging from the lows of being released by multiple teams in a year to the highs of a steady starting role. This season, he is the starting kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, making 84% of field goal attempts so far on a team trying to claw its way to a playoff spot. Through it all — five teams in three years — he has remained engaged in the local Jewish communities of the cities he has traveled through. In Cleveland, he showed up to a 5-year-old’s birthday party at a Jewish school and put up his mezuzah with the help of a local ChabadLubavitch rabbi. Last year on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he joked, “I think we had a league-leading three Jews on one team” — himself, quarterback Josh Rosen and offensive lineman Ali Marpet. “That sense of community, no matter where I’ve been, you have people reach out and offer their support — Shabbat dinners, anything you need, home cooked meals. … Just all because they hear I’m Jewish, which is pretty crazy, because they don’t even know me that well, and I don’t even know them at all,” he told JTA. “I’ve



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always thought that’s a cool aspect of the community and support system that it brings.” Joseph is also comfortable being a symbol of Jewish pride in the NFL — see his pose in a Chanukah sweater with fellow Browns players for an Instagram post I 2018. NFL kicker might not sound like the natural goal for a Jewish kid born in South Africa, on a continent obsessed with the other “football.” His first dream was in fact to go pro in soccer — specifically to play for his beloved Manchester United club, and “follow in David Beckham’s footsteps.” (He wore a Man United jersey to his post-game conference this week.) His family moved from Johannesburg to Boca Raton, Florida, when he was seven years old. Most of what he remembers of his early childhood in South Africa centers around Sydenham Shul, the congregation his family belonged to and where he attended day school with his two brothers. “Growing up in South Africa, I remember having a pretty decent-sized Jewish community and going to shul every Saturday with my parents,” he said. “My whole upbringing is pretty based around religion and sports, essentially.” But those two worlds rarely overlapped for Joseph in the United States, where he attended the Donna Klein Jewish Academy day school until ninth grade. “When my soccer became more serious and I played travel soccer, I was usually the only Jewish kid out there, or one of two. And same when I started playing football,” he said. The exceptions were the Maccabiah Games, held every four years, known as the “Jewish Olympics.” He played soccer with the Boca Raton delegation, participating in junior Maccabiah games in Baltimore, San Diego and Israel. “I had a good time each and every time, getting to see different parts of the country, and meeting up with so many other Jewish athletes that you end up keeping contact with for years after,” Joseph said. Getting to travel to Israel for his last Maccabiah Games is a cherished memory. “I love Israel, it’s beautiful. To everyone that will listen to me, I tell them they need to go visit at some point. It was an awesome experience,” he says. “At that point it becomes bigger than the sport — it’s about connection and discovery and learning, and making lifelong relationships with people the same religion” as you. He switched to American football extremely late in the game — during his senior year at American Heritage School in


Delray Beach, Florida. “I got tired of running,” he joked. The real story, he said, was a more pragmatic. “I realized that in this country there’s more of an opportunity to get a scholarship and go professional in American football as opposed to soccer,” he said. “I looked at both options, it was at that time where kicking was new to me — it was exciting and something I wanted to pursue.” After attending Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on a football scholarship, Joseph was not selected in the 2018 NFL Draft but was signed as a free agent by the Miami Dolphins — then was released at the start of the season. The Cleveland Browns quickly signed him, and he made his first game-winning field goal in the fifth week of the season. Throughout the season, his NFL debut, he made 17 of his 20 field goal attempts, and 25 of 29 extra points. Still, the Browns released Joseph ahead of the 2019 season. After a brief stint with the Carolina Panthers, he joined the Tennessee Titans practice squad, playing five games, before moving to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad. In February 2021, he finally landed in Minnesota. In Tennessee, he became close with Jewish tight end Anthony Firkser, who also played in Maccabiah tournaments. In the wake of the DeSean Jackson antisemitism controversy, Joseph participated in a panel alongside Firkser and other Jewish players Mitch and Geoff Schwartz about educating NFL players. Despite the fallout around Jackson’s infamous Instagram post — in which the then-Philadelphia Eagles receiver posted quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler — Joseph said he never feels singled out as a Jew in the NFL. The support from the Jewish community he has felt in each of his teams’ cities is proof, he said. But it’s his family, Joseph said, that’s the “best support base” he has — with their backing coming at times in the form of Jewish food. “Probably no one will ever beat my grandma’s matzah ball soup,” he said. jewishledger.com

AROUND CT Teens bake nearly 300 pumpkin pies for local charities Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate the bounty of the season, but for many in Connecticut, the holiday is a stark reminder of their struggle with hunger. And so, determined to sweeten the holiday for families in need, JTConnect gathered together more than 120 Hartford area Jewish teens recently to bake nearly 300 pumpkin pies that were then donated to nine different charities for their holiday meal distribution. Kylie Gertner was among them. In fact, says the West Hartford high school senior who volunteered to bake pies at the annual JTConnect event for several years, it’s her favorite event of the year. “It gives me a chance to give back while having fun with my friends! I think it is so important to give back to my community, especially this time of the year because I receive so much from everything and everyone in it,” she says. That’s the way all the teens who take part in the annual event feel, notes Cara Levine, JTConnect associate program director. “It felt so good to be able to come together in such a big way to give back to the community,” she says. JTConnect is a program that engages teens from across the Greater Hartford community in fun, interactive and thought-provoking educational and social experiences grounded in Jewish learning and values. The teens examine religion, history and traditions through hands-on programming that includes classroom study, volunteer projects and special events. “Planning the pie bake was such a meaningful experience,” says Lily Temkin, a high school freshman from West Hartford. “Not only does the pie bake allow me to give back to my community, but it encourages others to do the same in a fun and interactive way.” Temkin helped plan the event, along with teens Elijah Chaimovitch, Kylie Gertner, Sophie Kudler, Lili Rojek, Danielle Skott, Sam Shefsky, Ellie Kay, and Isaac Gonzalez. The pie-baking event kicked off with a bit of advice from Lauren Banister of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, who challenged the teens “not to let this be the only step you take to ensure people in your community are fed. Let this be the first step. The step that educates you, that makes you inspired, that makes you interested and really binds you together as a community in using your collective voice in this fight to end hunger.” “Our tradition is explicit in commanding us to feed the hungry and care for the stranger,” says Eric Maurer, JTConnect executive director. “It is inspiring to see the commitment of teens to put Jewish values to action and make a difference in repairing our world.”

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Jordan Kei-Rahn heads to Yale Law Jordan A. Kei-Rahn of West Hartford, formerly of Longmeadow, has elected to attend Yale Law School. A graduate of Longmeadow High School (’17), Kei-Rahn is the son of Leslie V Kei-Rahn and Jeffrey A. Rahn z”l. He is a 2021 magna cum laude graduate of Brown University (’21), where he studied history (with a concentration in American Legal studies) and biology, and was inducted into both Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious honor society, and Sigma Xi, the international Scientific Research Honor Society. At Brown, he was also founder and editor-in-chief of the Brown Undergraduate Law Review, where he will continue as a consultant, leader of the Brown Lecture Board, student voice on the University Resources Committee charged with determining the Universitywide budget, appointee to the Ad Hoc Committee on Promoting the Financial Health and Sustainability of Brown University, and both a Brown Hillel-RISD and residential peer leader. jewishledger.com

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DECEMBER 3, 2021



Fenster” campaign, which started with lawn signs and shirts and became a global movement. In early June, less than two weeks into Danny’s imprisonment, the family held a rally for him at the Huntington Woods Recreation Center. Photographs and news reports from the event, showing determined, largely Jewish neighbors presenting Danny’s name and face, ran in media outlets around the world. One of the attendees at that rally was Levin. He became the foremost legislative figure advocating for Fenster’s release in Washington. “The first I heard of it was from members of the Jewish community, the day it happened,” Levin told JTA. “The concern and involvement of the Jewish community was literally the beginning of my involvement.” Levin had had some experience working with government critics in hiding in Haiti as part of his pre-congressional work with Human Rights Watch, but he’d never before worked on any cases of U.S. citizens being taken hostage. Nevertheless, in his view, he had a clear mandate to get involved: Every time he visited his district, including when he marched in Huntington Woods’ annual Fourth of July parade, Fenster was the top issue on his constituents’ minds. Besides which, Levin said, whenever he sat down to meet with a Detroit-area Jewish organization — from the local federation to the Detroit chapters of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Resource Center — “it was inconceivable that I would have a meeting where the first issue wasn’t, ‘What’s up with Danny?’” Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, Michigan, the Reform congregation the Fenster parents attend and where Bryan Fenster sent his children to day camps, mobilized for Fenster’s release as well. Member bulletins contained calls to action on his behalf, and temple board members spoke from the bimah wearing “Free Fenster” shirts. “There are a lot of folks who feel close to Rose and Buddy and who have kids the same age as Bryan and Danny,” Rabbi Matthew Zerwekh said about the temple’s advocacy efforts. Zerwekh included prayers for Danny in regular Shabbat services until his release, and also heard from local Orthodox congregations that were praying for Fenster. “I am proud of the whole Jewish community on this,” he said. Members of Danny’s extended family have played crucial roles in advocating for his release, as well. Amy Kurzweil, his cousin, is a cartoonist who has been published in the New Yorker and is currently on a fellowship in Berlin. When Kurzweil heard the news about Danny’s imprisonment, she put out a call among 8


her fellow cartoonists as part of the #BringDannyHome campaign to draw portraits of Fenster to keep his name and face in the public eye. Artists from across the globe responded to the call. “We come from a family of immigrants. My grandmother is a Holocaust survivor, and there’s this tradition of struggle in our family that I think Danny has picked up on as a journalist. He’s drawn to stories of regular people who are in difficult situations who are struggling for dignity and their quality of life,” Amy Kurzweil said in a July interview with PEN America, a nonprofit that advocates for global literary free expression. Amy’s brother Ethan, a partner at tech entrepreneurship firm Bessemer with a large social media following, and their father Ray Kurzweil, a prominent tech futurist and inventor, also used their contacts to advocate for Danny’s release. Collectively, Levin said, the families’ advocacy played a huge role in keeping Danny’s name in the headlines and applying pressure to the U.S. to figure out how to get him out of prison. Danny’s strong connections to the Detroit area were also evident despite his years spent living away from Detroit; the previous year, he’d filed a dispatch from Myanmar for a Detroit outlet about a local cafe owner obsessed with Eminem. News of Danny’s condition was difficult to come by during his detainment, and his legal hearings were largely held behind closed doors, with no opportunity given to his lawyer to push for his release. Early on, Levin said, the family learned that he was being kept separate from the rest of the prison population — thereby ensuring his relative safety — and not being tortured or starved, a small sliver of good news. But it also appeared, from their brief glimpses of him during his hearings, that Danny had contracted COVID-19 while in prison. The United States was in a difficult position: It could not be seen publicly negotiating with a government that had seized power by force. Levin said it became necessary to lean on diplomatic back channels. Those included the ambassadors of other Southeast Asian countries that could act as mediators, such as Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Levin and the Fenster family were also in constant contact with Roger Carstens, the State Department’s special presidential envoy for hostage affairs who was appointed by President Donald Trump, as well as Aung Lynn, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United States, who had been appointed by the country’s former head of state Aung San Suu Kyi prior to her ouster by the military. “He was kind of a sympathetic figure, actually,” Levin said of Lynn. “He didn’t pretend like he had any kind of authority with the coup regime, but he said, you know, ‘I send them my diplomatic cables and they read them.’” The Jewish advocacy for Fenster

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reverberated elsewhere in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the D.C.-based executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, the organization that represents Chabad-Lubavitch’s international interests, met with Lynn on June 9 to discuss Fenster. Shemtov told JTA he had communicated to the ambassador that “whoever’s in charge is going to find it difficult to find support and sympathy when it seems like this is happening in your country. … The whole world is watching you. He’s an American citizen and a journalist who is merely doing his job.” Shemtov also brought up to the ambassador Myanmar’s “seriously truncated” Jewish community, which today numbers a small handful of families who maintain a synagogue in Yangon primarily for tourists; he noted that “tourism and everything is going to suffer” if the country continued to detain Fenster. The most dispiriting moment of the #BringDannyHome campaign came on Friday, Nov. 12, when Myanmar’s military sentenced Fenster to 11 years of hard labor — while also announcing two new charges against him that each would have carried an additional sentence of up to 20 years. Their primary piece of evidence against him: a false assertion that he had worked for one news outlet, Myanmar Now, during a period when he actually worked for a different outlet, Frontier Myanmar. Yet the team that had been working behind the scenes for months was not deterred. “Our efforts to get him free were never just based on whatever legal situation he was in, because on a certain level that was always fiction,” Levin said. Indeed, only three days later, the “Free Fenster” team woke up to the news they had been waiting for all along. Fenster had been freed from prison, was on board a flight out of the country. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has become something of an unofficial U.S. hostage negotiator in hostile nations owing to his work freeing American prisoners in North Korea, played a crucial role in freeing Fenster through his nonprofit, The Richardson Center. Richardson flew to Myanmar, where he said in a statement that he had conducted faceto-face negotiations with Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the junta, and escorted Fenster out of the country himself. Levin said he couldn’t comment on the negotiation process; neither Richardson nor the State Department has answered questions from media regarding what, if anything, the United States promised to Myanmar in exchange for Fenster’s release. Upon his return to the United States, Fenster spoke at a press conference organized by the Richardson Center and streamed by the Committee to Protect Journalists, where he paid tribute to the efforts organized by his family to bring him home. “I was able to get little hints of what

was going on occasionally, throughout the experience,” he said, noting how, during one of his court sessions, a Myanmar police aide “would flash a picture on his phone of my entire family wearing T-shirts with my face on it on CNN, which was a pretty bizarre thing to see.” “I just have so much gratitude right now for everything everyone’s done. I think every action everyone’s taken has helped a little bit,” Fenster said, vowing to “continue concentrating on all the other, not just journalists and prisoners of conscience in Myanmar and everywhere else… [but also] a lot of citizens, doctors, teachers, that are in prison right now.” Fenster’s wife, Juliana Silva, remained in Myanmar after he was released from prison; his family said she planned to join them on the next available commercial flight out of the country. Levin called Fenster’s return “the happiest moment of my time in Congress.” The “Bring Danny Home” Facebook group, which had by this point grown to more than 6,500 members, lit up with congratulatory posts and welcome-home messages, including a photo of a smiling Danny himself, newly trimmed, wearing the group’s shirt. Its profile image changed to a collage of various media headlines the group’s members had helped to generate about Danny’s detention. Superimposed over them was a new message: “Fenster Is Free!!!” And in a letter to Temple Emanu-El congregants and on his Facebook page, Rabbi Zerwekh offered a prayer borrowed from Judaism’s traditional morning liturgy that typically carries only symbolic meaning. “Baruch Atah Adonai, Matir Asurim,” Zerwekh wrote. “Blessed are you God, who frees the captive.” “A beautiful part of being in community is that we are given the chance to celebrate one another during our joyful times, allows us to show up for one another during the painful times, and to receive love and support when we can use it,” the rabbi wrote. “I am proud of the whole Metro Detroit Jewish community for their voice of support and love for our Fensters and for showing what it means to be a community.”

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and three siblings who survive him—Kasriel, Chanan and Na’ama—immigrated to Israel from Johannesburg within the past year to join him and currently live in Modi’in. Both his older and younger brother enlisted in the IDF as well, with a family member telling JNS that Eli was their inspiration to join the army. Kay served as the best man at his older brother Kasriel’s wedding several weeks ago and had a serious girlfriend at the time of his death. ‘He believed in the State of Israel’ His grandparents and other family members from both South Africa and Great Britain arrived in Israel for the funeral. Funeral participants awaiting the ceremony sang solemn Jewish songs, with one participant carrying an Israeli flag and then the flag of Kay’s paratrooper brigade. Representing the government, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai addressed the deceased and said, “The land of Israel which you loved so much bids you farewell with a heavy heart. Today, we say goodbye to the paratrooper, the warrior, the yeshivah student, the citizen of the State of Israel who came here to Israel to fulfill a dream—a dream which he ultimately lost his life for. May G-d avenge his death.” Kasriel, said: “When G-d wants to take somebody he chooses the time—where and when.” He asked the crowd: “When we leave here today, what will change in our lives? What will we do so that my brother’s memory survives forever? What will we do to perpetuate what he stood for so these things [terror attacks] don’t happen?” Kasriel said everyone in Israel has his or her mission—from the prime minister all the way down to the youngest child.

“Everyone must take responsibility for our country. Everyone has a role [whether serving in the army or in other ways], and Eli would have wanted everyone to give his 100 percent, the best of their ability in whatever works for them to protect and to advance our country.” Michaya Beasley, Kay’s deputy company commander for a year in the paratroopers and worked very closely together with him, told JNS that “the most important trait he had was his warm and compassionate nature. He truly believed in v’eahavta l’reiacha kamocha (‘love others as you love yourself’).” “He really believed in the State of Israel—the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel, and everything he did was derived from there,” he said. Beasley made it a point to note that “Eli motivated his soldiers who looked up to him and admired him, as well as his commanders, as someone who left everything in South Africa to come and serve in an army far away. And even though the army is very hard, he never wavered in his belief, and he was always focused on doing what needed to be done.” Kay’s first cousin, Chaya Fuss, told JNS that “Eli was a trailblazer, filled with love for the land of Israel. He led the way for his entire family to leave their family, friends, and community to make aliyah.” She added that his family and friends “are devastated by this loss in the land that he loved, doing what he loved, holding his beloved holy objects. Eli loved his close knit family, his friends and his country. He was loved by all.” As if speaking to him, Fuss added: “We have heard endless stories of bravery, kindness and spirit over the past 24 hours. May your soul [Eli] soar to the highest heights and protect us all in the next world as you did for us this one.”

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DECEMBER 3, 2021



From Daveed Diggs to Andy Cohen, here’s how celebrities are celebrating the Festival of Lights in 2021 BY SHIRA HANAU | SCREENSHOTS FROM INSTAGRAM

(JTA) — Celebrities are just like the rest of us — flooding their social media feeds with candlelight and sizzling latkes on the first night of Chanukah. On Sunday night, Jewish stars of the stage, screen and statehouse shared videos of themselves celebrating the beginning of the eight-day holiday. Even some nonJewish celebrities got in on the action. Here’s what you might have missed.

Daveed Diggs The “Hamilton” actor and rapper provided the soundtrack to last year’s holiday when he released his instant classic, “Puppy for Hannukah.” This year, Diggs spent the first night of frying up latkes with his mom (with a cartoon Bernie Sanders in the background).


HAIM is not the only band turning Chanukah into a spectacular. As he did last year, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is spending the holiday releasing covers of songs by Jewish artists, starting with a hard-rock version of Lisa Loeb’s hit song “Stay.”

Joshua Malina The “West Wing” actor and Jewish Twitter mainstay got in the Chanukah spirit early this year, preparing latkes on Friday.

Andy Cohen The Bravo personality and consummate Jewish dad shared a picture of himself staring lovingly at his son — whom he described as having “a nice Semitic head of hair” at birth — while lighting the family menorah.

Mayim Bialik


HAIM The sisters HAIM have turned Chanukah social media posts into something of an art form, using the eight days to promote new songs. This year, the band posted a video of themselves in menorah headdresses inviting fans to return nightly for “special things.” 10


The Jeopardy host celebrated with a big batch of vegan sufganiyot, the donuts eaten to celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days. She also shared a photo of herself with several lit menorahs on an Instagram page for her podcast, Bialik Breakdown.

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Doug Emhoff and Vice President Kamala Harris Emhoff posted a picture of himself with Harris lighting a menorah (possibly by Spode) in front of a window. It’s the second time this month that the Second Husband has emphasized the family’s Jewish practices; earlier, he shared that putting up a mezuzah on the vice president’s residence, a first for the country, was a high point of his year.

Chelsea Handler The Jewish comedian posted a special “cooking” video of herself making challah — part of an extended gag about the limited holiday traditions in her family. “We never celebrated Chanukah growing up. We lit candles and we got money,” she said, before producing, well, you’ll see.

Non-Jewish celebrities got in on the action, too. Singer Mariah Carey posted a snippet of a vide of her teaching a Chanukah song she said she learned in grade school — she grew up on New York’s Long Island — to two of her young children. Comedian Tig Notaro didn’t post any pictures from Chanukah, but she told Ellen Degeneres last week that she planned to light a menorah with her children. No one in the family is Jewish, she said, but her kids learned about Jewish traditions at school — including the one about eight days of presents. And Trish Paytas, the YouTube personality who ignited a TikTok-sized controversy last year when she began celebrating Chanukah with her Israeli boyfriend, posted a series of videos from their first night — including one showing off the Hebrew she’s learned over the course of the year and one that showcases her firstnight gift haul. jewishledger.com


For one Hartford woman, Belly dancing is a creative and spiritual outlet — and a whole lot of fun BY STACEY DRESNER


ARTFORD - During her very first belly dancing class Yoelit Hiebert knew within minutes that she had found something that would forever become a part of her life. “I remember saying to myself, ‘I want to learn how to do this! This is what I want to do for my hobby, for fun, and as a creative and spiritual outlet,” she says. That was 20 years ago. Since then, Hiebert, who lives in Hartford, has studied, performed, and taught the art of belly dancing to hundreds of women — including those in the Hartford area who take one of her workshops or see her perform live on stage, or take her Belly Dance Blast class at at Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford. And she says belly dance is about more than swinging your hips. “Belly dance is different from other styles of western dance where the body acts as a unit and there is a lot of emphasis on the arms and legs. Think about ballet and all of the jumps…and the music is somewhat incidental,” Hiebert explained. “In belly dance the focus is on the core, but there is an emphasis on isolation of different parts of the body – isolating the belly, or the core, as well as isolating the top and bottom parts of your body. That requires strength and flexibility. And your body is interpreting the music that you are hearing. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. As you progress, you need to be able to listen to the music and interpret it through the moves. For Hiebert belly dance is also about empowerment. “It really provides a sense of control over your body and feeling that sense of control over your body then translates to more of a sense of control in your everyday life,” Hiebert explains. “I really feel an empowerment -- a connection with this sort of mystical vibration, knowing that this is something women have practiced for a very long time, this form of dance is almost to me a form of prayer. I don’t know that everyone feels that way. But it’s that intense for me and that meaningful.” Belly dance reportedly began thousands of years ago in Egypt, spreading through the Middle East to countries like Turkey and Lebanon, which put their own spin on the dance form. And its initial purpose, unlike how it has been portrayed in Hollywood, was not seduction. “There’s varying theories as to the jewishledger.com


origin,” Hiebert says. “One of the most prevalent theories is that these movements were originally part of a fertility rite. Certainly, the movements do seem to be helpful in preparing the body for childbirth. It’s been passed down by mothers to their daughters for hundreds and hundreds of years in the societies where it first started.” Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri by Israeli parents, Hiebert was enrolled in ballet classes when she was five years old. “I really took to it, but then around the age of 15 or so, I think puberty hit. My body was changing, and it wasn’t such a good fit anymore.” Encouraged by her father to be independent – “He used to say, ‘Women should have a trade!’” Hiebert recalls – she went to the Missouri University of Science and Technology and became an engineer. She hadn’t danced for a while when she was sitting in a hair salon one day reading a magazine. She had been having back pain and noticed an article about belly dancing and how it eases back pain. She signed up for a class at a local dance studio and fell in love.

“It has been 20 years and I haven’t looked back,” she says. She started doing performances at festivals, showcases and private events like showers and parties seven years after she began studying the dance form and began teaching classes 10 years ago. Now divorced, Hiebert relocated to Hartford a little over two years ago to be halfway between her two grown children – a son and his wife in Albany, N.Y. and a daughter in the Washington, D.C. area. “I see them quite often and I love Connecticut!” she exclaims. She works for an electronics manufacturing firm in Southington, but once a week teaches a Belly Dance Blast class at the Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford. She also is available for performances and runs workshops. Hiebert dances under the name “Delilah.” “Most dancers, once they get to a certain level, pick a stage name. Usually, it’s something meaningful to them personally. Delilah was my maternal grandmother,” she explains. “She was from Iraq. Even though I only met her a few times because she was in Israel, I really felt a connection to her and to that aspect of my background and so that’s why I picked her name.” Dafna Cramer of West Hartford recently took Yoelit’s belly dance class in Elmwood. “It was totally different from any exercise class I ever took,” Cramer says. “I was sure it was going to be very difficult for me to get into it, but it’s actually perfect for my age and for people who cannot do aerobics. I have a knee problem and I cannot jump around. It was perfect. It was relaxing, almost like mixing exercise and yoga together. “Yoelit moves like she doesn’t have any bones in her body, it’s unbelievable,” Cramer adds. “She is very calm, and she projects this energy to you so you feel comfortable going to the class. So, even though I am the worst dancer in the world I didn’t feel like I was sticking out and didn’t belong. She welcomed everybody. It was like a great atmosphere like we were meeting a group of friends.” Hiebert says she always sees a growing confidence in her students as they progress through classes. “At the beginning of the last session there was a lot of self-consciousness, but by the end that had diminished to a great degree,” Hiebert says. “When I teach, I really try to emphasize that we’re there to

forget about the day-to-day aspects of our lives -- the aggravation and the frustration. We’re just there to experience the joy of moving our body to the music. You have to kind of turn off your mind and not relate to it intellectually, but more through your gut and through your inner self. And the difference from the first class to the last class with this group of women being able to channel that was really dramatic.” Hiebert also agrees with Cramer that belly dance is for women of any age. “The movements are very harmonious with the body. There’s not a lot of jumping and no high impact kinds of movements. So, you can practice this dance form indefinitely and make a contribution in terms of expressing yourself through your dancing.” Cramer, an Israeli whose family comes from Libya, took the class with her daughter Zoe. “My daughter was proof that I have the roots of an Arab country in me because she can move. I cannot,” Cramer laughs. Hiebert.’ So, there’s a sort of barrier that has to be broken through,” Hiebert said. “This is a universal, beautiful, feminine, empowering dance form. And anyone can enjoy it.” In fact, “Delilah” led a belly dance workshop for the Sisterhood of The Emanuel Synagogue earlier this month. On a Sunday afternoon Hiebert led Sisterhood members through basic belly dance moves on the dance floor in the synagogue’s auditorium, then gave them a brief history lessons about the art of belly dance. “When I heard about this I thought it would be a lot of fun,” said Sandra Myers, who does programming for Sisterhood. “The women who came really enjoyed it. There was a mixed range of women ages from the 40s to those pushing 70. It was fun and definitely a good bonding experience.” Hiebert’s next 8-week session of classes at the Elmwood Community Center begins Jan. 19. “I really gear my class more toward perfection of technique, but more than that it is a chance to be unplugged for an hour and experience the joy of dance and learning this art form.”



DECEMBER 3, 2021


Israelis are masters of food innovation. Here BY ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN

(Israel21C via JNS) What is the recipe for meat and dairy without cows? Snacks and sauces with less sugar and salt? Longlasting fresh produce and compostable food wrappers? A fast-growing, climate-threatened world is hungry for such recipes. Appropriately enough, the search began in the kitchen—or rather, The Kitchen. The world’s first food-tech hub was launched in 2015 by The Strauss Group, one of Israel’s largest food producers, as part of the Israeli Innovation Authority’s Technological Incubators Program. “This doesn’t exist elsewhere,” said The Kitchen’s vice president of business development, Amir Zaidman, in 2016. Today, The Kitchen has 22 portfolio companies cooking up innovations to feed the world more efficiently, sustainably and securely. But The Kitchen is no longer alone: Governmental, corporate and academic foodtech labs and incubators are opening across Israel. The number of food-tech startups has risen to approximately 400. Food-tech (increasingly referred to as agri-food-tech) combines two of Israel’s best assets, says Nisan Zeevi, head of business development at Margalit Startup City #Galilee. “Our agricultural knowhow, which is one of the wonders of the world, and our technological knowhow that we have built in the past 40 to 50 years. Put them together and you’ve got breakthroughs on a global scale.”

Success is sticky The Israeli Economy and Industry Ministry reports that food-tech investment nearly doubled between 2013 ($52 million) and 2018 ($100 million) with input from multinationals including Coca-Cola, Mars, Tyson Foods, Nestle, Danone, AB inBev, Starbucks, PepsiCo, McDonalds, Heineken and Unilever. Tel Aviv research firm IVC found foodtech garnered $432 million in investments in 2020, less than sectors such as cyber and fintech, but growing fast. “Success stories attract more entrepreneurs into the field,” says The Kitchen’s Zaidman, who was scheduled to speak at the Food Biotech Congress Nov. 8-11 and at the first global virtual food trade show, Nov. 21-24. “Israel is a very entrepreneurial country and both new and serial entrepreneurs are always thinking about the next big thing. They see food-tech is an impact area on environment and health,” says Zaidman. “Maybe they were hesitant before when looking at the money going into sectors like cyber, but now they see they can get capital investment in food-tech that can be gamechanging.” Zaidman predicts major financing rounds for Israeli food-tech in 2022. “Startups like [cultivated steak pioneer] Aleph Farms don’t even have products in the market yet. But what they are doing is so amazing they get a lot of attention.” Indeed, Aleph Farms got a recent investment from Leonardo DiCaprio, while Ashton Kutcher put money into MeaTech.


Breakthroughs on a global scale One of the Israeli companies already making inroads in the global market is InnovoPro. Its proprietary process transforms chickpeas— the humble nourishing basis of hummus—into a neutral-tasting protein concentrate for foods and beverages. InnovoPro has factories in Canada and Germany, and a new subsidiary in Chicago as it launches a chickpea TVP (texturized vegetable protein) for plant-based burgers, nuggets and meatballs. Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer and supermarket chain, uses InnovoPro’s product in a dairy-free yogurt. “Hummus is a Middle East product. You take the technology and combine it with Israeli knowhow and–boom—you’ve got a successful food-tech company,” says Zeevi. Hoping to create similar successes, Jerusalem-based Margalit Startup City inaugurated its Galilee branch in September. The Kiryat Shmona campus encompasses a food-tech accelerator, institute, executive park and Fresh Start early-stage incubator supported by food giants Tnuva and Tempo along with Finistere Ventures and OurCrowd. “Five years ago, we came to the Galilee and wrote a plan to transform this area into a food-tech and ag-tech center with the involvement of municipalities, service providers, investors, academies and research institutes across the Galilee. The government gave it a budget of 500 million shekels,” says Zeevi. Margalit Startup City #Galilee has attracted satellite offices of Jerusalem Venture Partners, Cisco, Tel Hai College and the Migal Galilee Research Institute of the Israeli Science and Technology Ministry. One portfolio company, DynaFresh, was established by Migal post-harvest experts to optimize the shelf life of fresh produce. “Margalit Startup City is where everything converges at a physical hub and meets the international and business sector,” says Zeevi. Unlike cyber and fintech, a food-tech company not only needs skilled scientists and technicians but also, after scaleup, factory workers. This makes food-tech a promising equalopportunity employment driver for Israel’s northern and southern periphery, says Zeevi.

Hearty investments Not only existing VCs are investing in foodtech. Israel also has Millennium Food-Tech, an R&D partnership started in June 2020 and traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. “There was no specialized vehicle in Israel for the post-seed food-tech startup with proven technology waiting to be piloted and commercialized,” VP Business Development 12


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Yossi Halevy tells ISRAEL21c. “So we built a VC dedicated to food-tech. This is a sector that is untouched.” Among Millennium’s portfolio companies are SavorEat (alternative protein), Tipa (compostable packaging), TripleW (lactic acid and other upcycled products from food waste), Aleph Farms, and Phytolon (natural food colors). Halevy, a certified public accountant formerly with E&Y in Tel Aviv, became interested in venture creation in food and agriculture four years ago, when “the ecosystem was in diapers,” he says. So he jumped at the chance to join his old friend, former Fresh Start director Chanan Schneider, in Millennium Food-Tech. ‘We work with Nestlé and other major food companies,” Halevy tells ISRAEL21c. “It’s a triangle relationship: We use their knowledge for our due diligence, and they use ours for investment and proof of concept.” Halevy sees ingredient development as one of Israel’s strongest capabilities because it maximizes the country’s well-honed, wellconnected multidisciplinary talents. “Israel is unique from many aspects, but most significant is that everyone knows everyone,” he points out. “That’s very helpful in food-tech because it has so many disciplines that need to be combined—innovation, entrepreneurship, biotech, physics, chemistry, robotics, computer vision, artificial intelligence. You can easily assemble a team and cross-mine ideas and development.”

Corporations get in on foodtech The food-tech scene in Israel is expanding like a yeasty bread dough into many sectors, from corporate to academic to nonprofit, with governmental participation sprinkled in. International Flavors & Fragrances, a

e’s why.





US-based multinational with operations in Migdal HaEmek in northern Israel, runs the FoodNxt incubator in partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority. IFF shares its knowledge about industry processes and technologies, international regulations and general food science expertise. The incubator also provides funding and helps portfolio startups build business plans, develop patent strategies and test products. Salt of The Earth, a global Israeli company in the North founded in 1922, has teamed up with Tel-Hai College for multiple projects, such as testing ingredients at the college’s analytical lab. Tel-Hai students recently were challenged to create innovations emphasizing sodium reduction and flavor enhancement. They were guided by Salt of The Earth R&D technologist and application manager Rakefet Rosenblatt, a food science graduate of Tel-Hai. “We always think about what we can make better,” she tells ISRAEL21c. “Salt is a known product; how can we help the industry use it in a smarter way? Students have great ideas and it’s good to invest in them.” One group proposed a salt product enhanced with mineral-rich seaweed, using a special process to neutralize the seaweed’s strong flavor and color. Another group developed a savory vegan snack based on chickpea flour and Salt of the Earth’s Mediterranean Umami Bold flavor enhancer. At the opposite end of Israel, down south in the Negev town of Rahat, seven major companies with a regional presence, such as SodaStream, Netafim and Dolav Plastic Products, joined with academic and VC partners in the IIA’s InNegev incubator for food-tech, ag-tech, clean-tech and Industry 4.0. “This is our first year of operation. We’re mostly doing venture creation now, utilizing the capabilities of our partners in the Negev,”

says Amir Tzach, InNegev’s VP Business Development & Investments. Among food-tech innovations under consideration at InNegev are post-harvest sensors—one that detects bacteria and another that detects soft rot in potatoes early enough so that the bad potato(es) can be removed before the rot spreads. In the hot field of alternative protein, InNegev is looking at companies in the South engaged in algae production, and may assist local meat-processing facilities in converting space for alt-protein production.

Academic and nonprofit food-tech Going back up north, the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center was inaugurated in September at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. The center will house R&D for industrial production, a startup hub, packaging laboratory, industrial kitchen, tasting and evaluation units, and an educational visitor area. Prof. Marcelle Machluf, dean of the Technion Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, said that the COVID19 pandemic “has only emphasized the importance of food and biotechnology in maintaining our existence and meeting future existential challenges. To address the many challenges in this field, including access to healthy, affordable food and innovative medical treatments, we need advanced infrastructure that will enable the integration of new engineering and scientific tools.” In Tel Aviv, the Israeli not-for-profit StartUp Nation Central joined forces with global entrepreneur network TiE to advance Israeli and Indian food- and ag-tech solutions for novel foods, post-harvest storage, alternative protein, food safety and packaging. Israeli startups selected for the

mentorship program so far include multiple award-winning grasshopper protein company Hargol, automated cooking manufacturer Kitchen Robotics, vision-based robotic controller Deep Learning Robotics and produce storage humidity control solution UmiGo.

Fighting food scarcity for the future Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson notes that farmers face increasingly harsher weather conditions, environmental pollutants and soil depletion. Coupled with population growth and increased product demand, these issues increase global concerns about food security. “Technologies that have the potential to either improve crop yields or transform, preserve, and tailor foods with improved functional and nutritional values will ensure a stable supply of food in the future,” says Hasson. The Kitchen’s Zaidman predicts that as the sector matures, we’ll see more segmentation. “For example, Aleph Farms started working on cultivated meat before there was any existing technology. A lot of the innovation we’ll see in the next two to three years will be much more specialized in certain aspects that support this industry,” he explains. “In terms of global trends, alternative proteins will continue as a strong trend because we’re just scratching the surface of consumer interest. There’s a lot of potential in alternative dairy, seafood and eggs.” Aviv Oren, business engagement and innovation director of the Israeli branch of the Good Food Institute, says Israel hosts about 100 alt-protein startups and 28 altprotein research labs in academic institutions. One of the newest ones, Alfred’s, offers an innovative platform for producing plant-

based whole cuts for the meat, poultry, meat analog and cultivated meat industry. “Israel now ranks second in the world behind the United States in its total number of fermentation and cultivated meat companies,” Oren notes. GFI Israel Managing Director Nir Goldstein sees Israel’s role as potentially monumental. “With governmental support in this industry, Israel, which currently exports only five percent of the food it produces, could become a global supplier of raw materials and advanced production technologies for alternative proteins,” he says. This article first appeared in Israel21c.




DECEMBER 3, 2021


Briefs 70 writers back Sally Rooney’s boycott of Israel publishers (JTA) — Seventy notable writers and publishers including Rachel Kushner, Francisco Goldman and Eileen Myles have signed a letter supporting Irish novelist Sally Rooney in her refusal to have her third novel translated into Hebrew by an Israeli publisher. The letter calls Rooney’s boycott of Israeli publishers “an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians.” Rooney published her newest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, in September, but wouldn’t accept an offer to sell the Hebrew translation rights to Modan, the Israeli publisher responsible for putting out her first two novels in Israel. She said she was refusing to do further business with Modan out of support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, a Palestinian initiative against Israeli rule. In response, Israel’s largest booksellers decided to remove Rooney’s earlier novels from their shelves. The two books, which were popular in Israel, will no longer be available in the 200 retail locations of bookstores chains Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim nor on the chains’ websites. On Nov. 22, a pro-Palestinian group called Artists for Palestine UK announced it had organized a letter of support for Rooney with a list of signatories from the United States and Great Britain. “Like her, we will continue to respond to the Palestinian call for effective solidarity, just as millions supported the campaign against apartheid in South Africa,” the letter said. “We will continue to support the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.” In defending Rooney, the letter cited a Human Rights Watch report from April that Israel is guilty of instituting a regime of “apartheid.”

Up for auction: Letter by Einstein about antisemitism in US academia (JNS) The Kedem Auction House in Israel began auctioning a handwritten letter by world-renowned physicist and mathematician Albert Einstein last week in which he warns his friend about antisemitism in American academia prior to World War II. Einstein wrote and signed the German-language letter to his friend, Austrian Jewish pianist Bruno Eisner, in 1936. At the time, the latter considered working in the United States while Einstein was already living in Princeton, N.J., following the Nazi rise to power in Germany and Einstein’s decision to renounce his German citizenship and not return to his home country. 14


“There exists here a tremendous [degree of] anti-Semitism, especially in academia (though also in industry and banking),” Einstein wrote in part, according to an English translation of the letter provided by the auction house. “Mind you, it never takes the form of brutal speech or action, but rather, it brews, all the more intensely, under the surface. It is, so to speak, an omnipresent enemy, one that’s impossible to see, [whose presence] you only perceive.” Eisner eventually managed to find his niche in the American classical music scene. He nurtured a career as a concert pianist and professor of music, teaching at universities and music academies across the country, and died at age 94 in New York. The letter went on sale on Tuesday with a starting price of $10,000. Einstein was given a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in New Jersey when he left Germany and worked there until his death at age 76 on April 18, 1955.

Israel plans to build $7 million high-tech park for Arab sector (JNS) The Israeli government announced it is planning to build the first high-tech park for the country’s Arab sector in the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth. The 10-acre park will cost around $7 million, and the Economy Ministry projects it will provide 200 jobs in high-tech, i24 News reported on Tuesday. “We hope that this new high-tech park… will give us another opportunity to bring more companies and more high-tech engineers, Arab and Jewish, together, in Nazareth,” Sami Saadi, Co-CEO of Tsofen, told i24NEWS. Tsofen is a non-profit that works with the Nazareth municipality and seeks to increase the number of high-tech opportunities in Israel’s Arab sector.

Britain to criminalize support for Hamas (JTA) — Anyone in the United Kingdom who expresses support for the Palestinian political party Hamas or its militant wing could soon be hit with a prison sentence of up to 14 years. The U.K. already considers the group’s military wing a terrorist group. British Interior Secretary Priti Patel said Friday that parliament will add the designation to Hamas’ political wing next week, erasing a distinction that the British Jewish community has criticized for over 20 years. “Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities,” Patel said in a statement. “That is why today I have acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.” The United States and the European Union both regard the entire Hamas movement as an illegal terror organization. Hamas officials have been banned from entering the U.K., but the British government has until

| DECEMBER 3, 2021

now maintained that Hamas’ political and military wings are separate organizations — even though Hamas officials have often referred to the military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as part and parcel of the organization.

Palestinian human-rights activist sues Ben & Jerry’s for stirring ‘hatred’ (JNS) Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid filed a complaint in New York state recently against Ben & Jerry’s over the ice-cream maker’s decision to boycott Israeli territories. Eid filed the complaint last month with New York State’s Division of Human Rights against Conopco Inc., the U.S. division of Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever, reported the New York Post. Eid alleged in his complaint that Ben & Jerry’s announcement in July to stop selling its products in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem is “counterproductive to peace and creates only more hatred, enmity and polarization.” The activist was born in eastern Jerusalem and lives in Jericho in the West Bank. “I, as a Palestinian, as well as many of my friends, family and other Palestinians, are regular shoppers at Gush Etzion commercial center … where we also frequent to eat icecream,” said Eid in the complaint. “This shopping area is the true realization of coexistence, as both Jews and Muslims from both Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories … work and shop here.” Eid further criticized the “gangsters” behind the BDS movement against Israel who are “causing a lot of damage to the Palestinians.” “If they poured all of the money they are spending on boycotts into building factories and creating jobs in the West Bank and Gaza, it would go a long way to truly helping Palestinians,” he said. Eid added that Unilever has “aided and abetted” Ben & Jerry’s actions by “its refusal to overturn the boycott.”

Israel-UAE bilateral trade to surpass billion dollars in 2021 (JNS) Bilateral trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is “exceeding all predictions” and expected to pass a billion dollars this year, chairman of the Israel Export Institute Adiv Baruch told the Khaleej Times. “We expected it would take a few years to reach a billion dollars annually in bilateral trade, but we are very close to it,” said Baruch. “By the end of 2021, bilateral trade will be much higher than a billion dollars, and that’s before we even have the figure for technology services.” “The top parameter here that has helped success is respect,” said Baruch. “There’s also a need for much patience—understanding needs and looking at partners’ strategic bonds to see how you can fit in as well. All of this is happening on a very high level. I believe we still have to continue paving the road, but

there’s definitely strong will to make this a very effective economic diplomacy effort.” Baruch also noted growing discussions about expanding Israel-UAE cooperation in other areas, including digital health care, financial technology and food security. He described the relationship between the two countries: “It started off as a gold rush, but we said we have to do it professionally, building the right contacts and establishing the right trust. We started to see that mature thinkers and business leaders looking for long-term partnerships took it seriously on a professional level.”

Aaron Keyak appointed deputy antisemitism envoy (JNS) Democratic consultant Aaron Keyak, 36, has been appointed to serve as U.S. Deputy Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Demitism after recently directing U.S. President Joe Biden’s Jewish outreach during the 2020 election campaign. Keyak’s role will not require Senate confirmation, allowing him to begin serving immediately as acting envoy until the Senate moves on the nomination of Holocaust historian and Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the U.S. Envoy for Monitor and Combat antiSemitism. Lipstadt’s nomination has been delayed by Republicans in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over a tweet she sent criticizing statements by committee member Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). An Orthodox Jew, Keyak previously worked on the Jewish outreach team of the Obama campaign in 2012, as well as serving as communications director for Reps. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). Keyak also served briefly as interim executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council in 2013. In 2014, he and Democratic consultant Steve Rabinowitz started the communications firm Bluelight Strategies. “When Deborah is—God willing—is Senate confirmed, Aaron will make a terrific compliment. He respects her tremendously, as we all do; she’s incomparable, after all,” Rabinowitz said via email. “But in the meantime, he’ll also be a great acting U.S. special envoy in his own right for as long as it takes.” However, earlier this year, Keyak drew some criticism over a tweet where he suggested that Jews remove Jewish symbols like a kipah or Magen David (“Star of David”) if they fear for their safety.

Israel’s UN resolution on sustainable agricultural tech passes with landslide majority (JNS) A United Nations resolution proposed by Israel on promoting agriculture technology for sustainable development passed on Tuesday 140-1. According to the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, the resolution jewishledger.com

aims to provide developing countries, as well as countries facing famine and drought, with access to advanced sustainable agricultural technologies, a field in which Israel has made groundbreaking advancements. A recordbreaking number of over 130 countries joined the resolution as co-sponsors. Syria was the sole country that voted against the resolution, while Iran abstained. Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan accused the two countries of anti-Semitism for opposing the resolution, and said they are choosing “hate and petty politics over the betterment of humankind.” “Voting against a resolution, simply because it was proposed by Israel, was more important for them than voting for a brighter future for their citizens,” Erdan said in a speech to the Economic and Financial Committee. “But honestly, this is not surprising. Why would Syria, a Member State who uses chemical weapons on its people, care for the future of its population? Why would Iran vote in favor while it prefers to sponsor global terror over providing the farmers of Isfahan with water for their crops?” The resolution will be voted on for a second time in the U.N. General Assembly in December.

NY neighbors object to a Jewish billionaire’s penthouse pavilion plans (New York Jewish Week via JTA) — Neighbors are objecting to the two-story glass pavilion that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and his wife, the Israeli-born architect and designer Neri Oxman, want to build on the roof of their apartment building on Manhattan’s West 77th Street. The dispute has pulled in some high-powered neighbors and advocates on both sides, including legendary PBS journalist Bill Moyers (he’s against) and a small “Who’s Who” of prominent Jewish New Yorkers. Columnist Gina Bellafante reports that the dispute isn’t about historic architecture, sunlight or other similar flashpoints in New York city zoning disputes. It’s about what, if anything, the city will do to limit the increasing power of its billionaire class. A three-hour debate over the proposal in the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bellafante wrote, was “about where the retaining wall ought to be erected against the desires of the magnificently wealthy to configure the world precisely to their specifications.” Ackman made a giant windfall in March 2020 by betting that COVID would crash the economy. The Haifa-born Oxman, who teaches at MIT, has drawn wide praise for her pioneering work fusing principles of nature and sustainability into her designs. The couple — who were introduced by Marty Peretz, the former publisher of The New Republic and co-founder of TheStreet.com — were married at Central Synagogue in January 2019. Ackman has donated large sums to a range of Jewish causes, from the Center for Jewish History to Birthright. jewishledger.com

Among their supporters at the Landmarks Preservation Committee meeting were many prominent Jews, including architecture critic Paul Goldberger; Louise Mirrer, the president of the New-York Historical Society and expert on medieval Spanish Jewry; and Betsy Gotbaum, the Historical Society’s former president and the New York City Public Advocate from 2002 through 2009. The former owner of the property was media executive Norman Pearlstine. As Bellafante reports it, the city’s landmarks commission asked Ackman and his architect, the British “starchitect” Norman Foster, to submit a new plan for the rooftop pavilion with a smaller second story.

Herzog meets Prince Charles, names scholarship for Princess Alice (JNS) Israeli President Isaac Herzog announced the establishment of “The Compassion and Perseverance Scholarship” in memory of Princess Alice of Battenberg, who sheltered a Jewish family during the Nazi occupation of Greece, on Monday as part of a state visit to the United Kingdom. Princess Alice was the mother of the late Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, who died on April 9 at the age of 99, and the paternal grandmother of Prince Charles. Herzog introduced the new scholarship in nursing to be instituted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem while meeting with the Prince of Wales on Monday, the second day of Herzog’s trip. The family of Haimaki Cohen—a Jew and former member of Parliament in Greece— stayed in Princess Alice’s residence in Greece until the Nazi liberation, according to Yad Vashem. She was even interviewed by the Gestapo when they became suspicious that she was protecting Jews, but the princess used her deafness to pretend not to understand their questions until they left her alone. Princess Alice was recognized by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1993. Prince Philip previously said about his mother’s efforts during the Holocaust, “I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a totally human action to fellow human beings in distress.” She is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. During their meeting, Herzog also thanked Prince Charles for his work promoting Holocaust education.

TORAHPortion Miketz



isdom is the rarest of all important human qualities. Observers of the contemporary state of affairs often remark that wisdom, which is especially necessary in this day and age, is now particularly lacking. Yet, at the same time, we are told that there is an age in life when most of us finally do obtain wisdom. Erik Erikson, the famous psychologist and thinker, believes that the course of the lifespan is marked by a series of developmental stages. At each stage of life, we master different developmental tasks. In late middle age, about age sixty, one begins to achieve wisdom. Erikson’s book, Childhood and Society, devotes an entire chapter to defining wisdom and to detailing the process by which one achieves it, or fails to achieve it. What is wisdom from a Jewish perspective? And what does wisdom have to do with this week’s Chanukah theme? The search for wisdom is a frequent biblical theme. King Solomon was once assured by the Almighty that he would be granted the fulfillment of one wish. He wished for wisdom, obtained it, and is therefore termed in our tradition the wisest of all men. Reading this story of Solomon and other sacred texts leads to the conclusion that there are at least two components to wisdom. There is a knowledge base; mastery of the facts and its data. There is also, however, the essential ability to select from this database those bits of knowledge which apply to the situation at hand. There is the mastery of material, and there is the ability to advance that material and make it relevant. One of the early 20th century masterpieces in the field of Jewish ethics is a book by Rabbi Joseph Hurvitz of Novardok, entitled Madregas Ha’Adam (Man’s Stature). Torah wisdom is one of Rabbi Joseph’s themes. He insists that mastery of the corpus of Jewish law in and of itself does not constitute wisdom. Knowledge in “matters of the world” is also necessary; abstract knowledge must be interrelated with concrete reality. The symbol of the Chanukah festival is, of course, the Menorah. The original Menorah in the holy Temple was situated in the southern end of the inner Temple shrine and consisted of seven branches. The Menorah symbolizes the light of wisdom, and its seven branches, the

seven classical areas of wisdom, which include not only knowledge of the divine, but also mathematics and music. Combining the wisdom symbolized by the Menorah with Rabbi Joseph’s insights, we begin to appreciate the complexity of the concept of wisdom. It encompasses theoretical and practical knowledge, and it involves the seven major areas of human inquiry. It is in this week’s Torah portion, Miketz, we encounter the first man to be known as wise, to be recognized as a fount of wisdom. That man is the biblical Joseph, and it is the Pharaoh of Egypt who calls him wise. You know the story. The Pharaoh has his dreams, Joseph interprets them and suggests a plan of action. Pharaoh is pleased by the plan and says to his courtiers, “Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” And he continues and says to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is none so discerning and wise as you”. The Pharaoh recognizes that wisdom is not only mastery of facts and the ability to apply them; it is more than familiarity with the seven branches of worldly wisdom, and it is even more than life experience. Besides all that, it is a gift of God. I have had the good fortune of meeting several wise people in my life, and I am sure that most of you have as well. Whenever I have met such people, I have been struck by how their words seemed to come from a higher place. Their insights reflect that they have access to a source beyond my ken. This was Pharaoh’s experience when he heard Joseph’s interpretation. He realized that no course of study – no training, no mastery of expertise – was sufficient to account for the good counsel that he was hearing. He knew that the man in front of him was blessed with the Spirit of God. There is no better time than this Shabbat, as we celebrate the second Shabbat Chanukah and read the story of Joseph, to reflect upon the quality of human wisdom and to fully appreciate this lesson: Whatever else wisdom comprises, it has one indispensable ingredient. It is ultimately the inspiration of the One Above. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is executive vice president, emeritus of the Orthodox Union.



DECEMBER 3, 2021


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THE KOSHER CROSSWORD DEC. 3, 2021 “Terrific Teams” By: Yoni Glatt

Difficulty Level: Easy

Vol. 93 No. 49 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner

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Across 1. There’s a Roman one at Masada 5. What Bader Ginsburg once practiced 8. Name on the Tara deed 13. Width x length, for a rectangle 14. “Baa baa” mama 15. Baby who was renamed Clark Kent 16. Superhero team for Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel? 18. “... had a farm” follower 19. Reactions to 32-Down 20. Cease to be 21. ___Pop Popcorn 23. Yomi preceder 24. Edu. lobby group

25. Superhero team for Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel? 28. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” director Lee 29. Modify, as a dress 30. “Guarding ___” (1994 Cage/ MacLaine picture) 32. Tedious task 33. “Loser” singer 37. Barreled toward 39. Mets’ MLB div. 40. Superhero team for Benjamin Cardozo, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan? 45. Lethal weapon 46. Part of a dreidel, perhaps

47. Comic Conan 48. Oscar winner Brody 50. “Tom Sawyer” writer 51. Ali who had a perfect record in the ring 52. Superhero team for Simeon, Levi, and the Maccabees? 55. Many Jews attend its Policy Conference 56. Busy CPA month 57. Farmyard females 58. It may be stolen on a movie set? 59. Merrick Garland and Janet Reno: Abbr. 60. Young NBA star?

Down 1. “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly ___ Jepsen 2. Output of Renoir or Monet 3. They often happen on Zoom 4. Joseph to Ephraim 5. “Mrs. O’___ Cow” 6. Belt hole makers 7. Director Craven or Anderson 8. “Sky Above Clouds” painter Georgia 9. Samson’s source of strength 10. Closing prayer of Mincha or Maariv 11. “Mad About You” and

“Stranger Things” actor Paul 12. Honolulu greeting 17. The dog in “Peter Pan” 20. Peaceful agreements 21. Holy city in the Holy Land (Var.) 22. Film “Citizen” 23. Make weak, as a drink 26. Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim 27. Planet or sphere 31. Many 18-yr.-olds 32. “Bloomin’” veggie 34. Locomotive operator 35. Detective’s discovery

36. “Peachy ___!” 38. Completely untroubled 40. Like the laws of kosher food, say 41. Still too green 42. Tunes down 43. “My Country” author Abba 44. “Make ___ turn at the light” 45. Big parties 49. Israeli hero Ramon 50. “The Mandalorian” rating 52. One step below the Majors 53. Genetic component 54. Tel Aviv to Bet Shemesh dir.



DECEMBER 3, 2021


WHAT’S HAPPENING Jewish organizations are invited to submit their upcoming events to the our What’s Happening section. Events are placed on the Ledger website on Tuesday afternoons. Deadline for submission of calendar items is the previous Tuesday. Send items to: judiej@ jewishledger.com.

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.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2 West Hartford’s Marc Lasry talk about his personal journey 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 sbenita@jewishhartford.org or lmandell@jewishhartford.org.


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/# Violin Concert in New Haven Violinist Ilana Zaks will perform on Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm in the library of Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel (BEKI), 85 Harrison St., at the corner of Whalley Ave. Now in her second year in the master’s program at the Yale School of Music, Zaks has been described as a “fearless, refreshing and


commanding” performer. Her program will include Paganini Caprice #4, Bloch Nigun from Three Pictures of Hasidic Life, Tartini Devil’s Trill Sonata, and the Paul Ben Haim Sonata. Masks are required; free admission.

slowly going deaf. Sponsored by UJA/JCC of Greenwich. Five episodes, streaming Dec. 19 through Jan. 16 at 9 p .m. Tickets: $18

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23 Bluegrass in New Haven

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 Davis Film Fest presents “Stream” 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

The Bluegrass Characters Revue will present “A Tribute to Phil Zimmerman and Stacy Phillips” at 7:30 pm on at Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel, 85 Harrison St. Also performing is Kol Kahol, a group of young musicians drawing inspiration from bluegrass musicians like Stacy Phillips, as well as contemporary Jewish bands such as the Klezmatics, the Moshav Band, and Nefesh Mountain. Masks required; no food or beverages will be permitted. Admission is free, but the musicians will pass the hat.


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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 by UJA/JCC Greenwich, this event is




| DECEMBER 3, 2021

Contact Howard Meyerowitz howardm@jewishledger.com 860.231.2424 x3035



Chanukah Singalong, Dec. 4

Simply Tsfat Chanukah Concert, Dec. 5 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 chabad@snet.net or call (203) 533-7595. For a Zoom link to this live event, email chabad or visit facebookcom/yossiyaffe.

HARTFORD Vodka and Latkes, Nov. 30 Enjoy music, latkes, drinks and time with friends, old and new, at this FREE event for adults 21-plus to be held on Nov. 30 at 7- 9 p.m. Play ping pong and cornhole in an industrial-style room. Huge garage doors will be opened for plenty of fresh air to keep the night covid-safe. RSVP for location and further details. For information: Shalom@ UrbanDor.og.

NEW HAVEN Children’s Chanukah Event, Dec. 1 Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) is celebrating Chanukah with PJ Library on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The program starts with a readaloud at 4 p.m. at Mitchell Library, then continues at 5:15 p.m. across the street at BEKI, 85 Harrison St., for crafts, lighting the menorah, and a singalong, The festivities end at 6:15 pm. RSVP to office@ beki.org or (203) 389-2108 x114.

Sing Chanukah songs around a campfire in the courtyard of Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel (BEKI), 85 Harrison St., on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. The program will start with havdalah and menorah lighting, followed by an hour of Chanukah songs. Song sheets will be provided. In case of rain, the event will move indoors.

NORWALK Outdoor Public Menorah Lighting, 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.

SOUTHBURY Chanukah Celebration, Dec. 4 Schmooze with friends and enjoy a night of Israeli dancing, latkes and libations (which will be served outside owing to the pandemic, so dress warmly!). Adults ONLY. Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Western 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

WEST HARTFORD ‘Chanukah Hop,’ through Dec. 4 The Emerging Leadership Division of the



Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford is hosting a series of special events for Chanukah that will include the lighting of the menorah. All events are free and take place in West Hartford. Masks are required indoors. So-sponsors by Dignity Grows, Spiritual Life Center, Hillel U of Hartford, and Momentum. For reservations: email Rebecca Lenkiewicz at flenkiewicz@jewishhartford. org. Here’s what Chanukah Hoppers have will enjoy: 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. Teen Chanukah Celebration, Dec. 4

Temple, Dec. 4 at 7:30 - 9 p.m. Co-hosted by JTConnect BBYO, USY, NCSY, JSU and NUTSY. Enjoy menorah lighting, laser tag, music, photo booth, sufganiyot, door prizes, raffles, games and more. Open to all teens. For information, contact Cara at cara@ jtconnect.org. The music of Mozart, Vivaldi…and Chanukah, Dec. 5 A concert with Cantor Joseph Ness and Cantor Stephanie Kupfer on Sunday, Dec. 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 at the door. Virtual tickets also available. At Beth El Temple, 626 Albany Ave. in West Hartford. Free parking, Handicap access.

A night of celebration for teens at Beth El

Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Shines A Light on Hate


ith 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 will be held on Zoom as the Festival of Lights comes to a close on Monday, Dec. 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 Federation 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 between 2020 and 2021. 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 JEWISH LEDGER


DECEMBER 3, 2021


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DRABKIN Ann Marie Greenfield Drabkin, 86, of Hamden, died Nov. 13. She was the 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. WOLVOVSKY Razel Wolvovsky, 66, passed away Sunday, Nov. 21. She was the mother of Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky, director of the Harold Rothstein Chabad Jewish Center in Glastonbury. Born Razel Wilhelm, she was the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Dovid and Rivka Wilhelm. Her father was a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp. Her mother was a refugee from the Soviet Union. They married in France where Razel, their oldest child, was born. Later, they moved to the United States and, together, built a large and beautiful family. Razel was an expert and beloved educator. She inspired countless children, instilling within them a love for Jewish

tradition. Thousands of families throughout the world live more meaningful and joyous lives because of her. Razel was married to Rabbi Mordechai Wolvovsky. Together, they built a large and beautiful family of their own. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the pride of her life. She established a special and unique relationship with each of them. Along with her husband, she instilled in her family wisdom and kindness based on the teachings of the Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson. Living in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, Rabbi and Mrs. Wolvovsky opened their home to all. Razel was a gracious and generous host, arranging family and community functions in her warm home. She turned every Shabbat and holiday into a magical occasion. She made everyone feel comfortable, and encouraged them to bring others in. Razel was a joyous people-connector. She introduced hundreds of young women and men to each other, resulting in the establishment of happy Jewish families the world over. She was the center of many circles. Whether it be her siblings or her children, her neighbors or the broader community, Razel was the consumate uniter. She will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered by her family, friends, and all who had the privilege to know her. Razel Wolvovsky’s funeral took place Nov. 22 in Queens, N.Y. Memorial contributions may be made to the Razel Wolvovsky Legacy Fund at the Chabad Jewish Center. For more information on placing an obituary, contact: judiej@ jewishledger.

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Contact Leslie 860.231.2424 or leslie@jewishledger.com jewishledger.com

CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or howardm@jewishledger.com. BLOOMFIELD B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/ Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Conservative Rabbi Debra Cantor (860) 243-3576 office@BTSonline.org www.btsonline.org BRIDGEPORT Congregation B’nai Israel Reform Rabbi Evan Schultz (203) 336-1858 info@cbibpt.org www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Cantor Niema Hirsch info@rodephsholom.com www.rodephsholom.com CHESHIRE Temple Beth David Reform Rabbi Micah Ellenson (203) 272-0037 office@TBDCheshire.org www.TBDCheshire.org CHESTER Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Reform Rabbi Marci Bellows (860) 526-8920 rabbibellows@cbsrz.org www.cbsrz.org EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 templebetht@yahoo.com

FAIRFIELD Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ratner (203) 374-5544 office@bethelfairfield.org www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 office@kolhaverim.org www.kolhaverim.org GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 WendyBarr@grs.com www.grs.org Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Kevin Peters (203) 869-7191 info@templesholom.com www.templesholom.com HAMDEN Congregation Mishkan Israel Reform Rabbi Brian P. Immerman (203) 288-3877 tepstein@cmihamden.org www.cmihamden.org Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 tbsoffice@tbshamden.com www.tbshamden.com

MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Danny Moss (203) 245-7028 office@tbtshoreline.org www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org admin@myshul.org www.myshul.org MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Nelly Altenburger (860) 346-4709 office@adathisraelct.org www.adathisraelct.org NEW HAVEN The Towers at Tower Lane Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader Sarah Moskowitz, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 rebecca@towerlane.org www.towerlane.org Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel Conservative Rabbi Eric Woodward rabbi@beki.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.chesed@att.net Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Earl Kideckel (860) 442-0418 office@bethel-nl.org www.bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 templesinaict@gmail.com www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 office@congadathisrael.org www.congadathisrael.org NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 info@bethisraelchabad.org bethisraelchabad.org Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar (203) 866-0148 admin@templeshalomweb.org www.templeshalomweb.org NORWICH Congregation Brothers of Joseph Modern Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Resnick (781 )201-0377 yosef.resnick@gmail.com https://brofjo.tripod.com ORANGE Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 info@orshalomct.org www.orshalomct.org

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

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

United Synagogues of Greater Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Eli Ostrozynsk i synagogue voice mail (860) 586-8067 Rabbi’s mobile (718) 679-4446 ostro770@hotmail.com

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

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

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

Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, Emek Shalom Reform Rabbi Rebekah Goldman Mag (860) 658-1075 admin@fvjc.org www.fvjc.org SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 tbhrabbi@gmail.com www.tbhsw.org

Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 info@chabadhartford.com www.chabadhartford.com Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 bethisrael@cbict.org www.cbict.org

SOUTHINGTON Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation Reform Rabbi Alana Wasserman (860) 276-9113 President@gsjc.org www.gsjc.org TRUMBULL Congregation B’nai Torah Conservative Rabbi Colin Brodie (203) 268-6940 office@bnaitorahct.org www.bnaitorahct.org WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 info@bethisraelwallingford.org www.bethisraelwallingford.org WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 jewishlifect@gmail.com www.jewishlifect.org

Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Rachel Zerin Cantor Joseph Ness (860) 233-9696 info@bethelwh.org www.bethelwesthartford.org

Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services & Holidays Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 pnaiorct@gmail.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 info@tiwestport.org www.tiwestport.org WETHERSFIELD Temple Beth Torah Unaffiliated Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz 860-529-2410 tbt.w.ct@gmail.com templebethtorahwethersfield.org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 info@bnaijacob.org www.bnaijacob.org

Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Nancy Malley (860) 951-6877 mnmalley@yahoo.com www.kehilatchaverim.org The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 communications@ emanuelsynagogue.org www.emanuelsynagogue.org

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DECEMBER 3, 2021


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