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Friday, April 16, 2021 4 Iyar 5781 Vol. 22 | No. 4 | ©2021 $1.00 | majewishledger.com



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| APRIL 16, 2021



this week


8 Milestones

9 Camp

10 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.

14 & 15 Around Mass


Experiencing Hate.......................5 A new poll tracks American Jews who have encountered antisemitism

Conversation with ... ...........................................................................................4 Puppeteer Anna Sobel

Bulletin Board

17 Synagogue Directory

18 & 19 News Briefs


At the Movies..................................6 Central Mass. partners with JCC North Shore for 8th Annual International Jewish Film Festival

What’s Happening

22 Obituaries Coming home...............................5 Former Young Emissary is Central Massachusetts’ new shaliach

A Reminder From

Gary M. Gaffin

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Arts & Entertainment.................21 “Borsht Beat” recalls heyday of Jewish vacationland in the Catskills

A Reminder From

Shabbat Shalom WORCESTER Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING


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Conversation with… ANNA SOBEL


Vol. 22 No. 4


nna Sobel, director of Talking Hands Theatre, has developed PuppetSpeak, a video-based program that teaches languages through puppetry. Sobel envisions PuppetSpeak as a way to infuse remote education with “fresh energy, just as educators and parents are casting around for ways to keep kids engaged in learning one year from the start of the pandemic.” The languages offered in the videos are Spanish, French, Hebrew, Hindi, and English, all languages that Sobel speaks. She says the design is based on the latest developments in memory research, and begins with immersion in the language by watching a dramatic scene with no translation, after which the viewer repeats words or phrases while hearing and seeing what each word means. To increase cultural awareness, the backgrounds for each set are actual photographs from the country one is learning about. Sobel says she developed the program as a response to the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. PuppetSpeak subscribers sign up and receive an access code that they can use to log in to the program on any device. Currently still building the program, Sobel emails subscribers the video of the week on Monday mornings. Soon she plans have the full program up on the site, so new subscribers will be able to log on any time and learn at their own pace. Sobel lives in Shutesbury with her husband, musician and music producer Brian Bender and their two small children. She recently filled the Mass. Jewish Ledger in on how she came up the idea of PuppetSpeak and how it helps teach children to become “citizens of the world who speak one another’s languages.” JEWISH LEDGER: Tell me how and why you developed this program based on the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. What were you seeing and experiencing that made you want to do this? ANNA SOBEL: The riots that day were so completely shocking, and such a wake-up call to the prevalence of racism and xenophobia. In the aftermath, as I saw close-ups of the flags and the t-shirts the rioters had as they desecrated the Capitol, I understood, too, how much antisemitism also played a part in the events that day. My wheels started spinning right away, thinking, what tools 4

do I have that could stem the tide of hate in this country? My own anti-racism work since the killing of George Floyd last summer also played a part in which languages to include; I wanted to lift up languages spoken in countries with non-white majorities, such as Mexico and India. And including Hebrew seemed like the right thing to do to combat antisemitism -- I don’t know of a multilanguage program for children that offers Hebrew. The idea for a puppet language program had come to me just before New Year’s, and this seemed like the time to launch it. JL: How long did it take you to develop this new program and who are your customers? AS: I started building the program immediately after that. It’s been kind of insane, since we have small children at home, so there have been a lot of late nights and long hours getting everything ready. The subscriptions are trickling in slowly, but the few I have are super enthusiastic. I love hearing from families that their kids are repeating the new words at dinner or re-enacting the scenes with their stuffed animals. I have several homeschool families

who built it into their routine, logging in three days a week, as I recommend, to review the week’s video. A couple of families are doing both Hebrew and Spanish. One family is doing the Hebrew program in preparation for a year they’ll spend in Israel. The preschool class at CBI’s Hebrew school is doing the program, as is the whole Hebrew school at Beit Ahavah. JL: Why did teaching different languages become the focus? Is it about more than learning a language? AS: The main goal of the program is really to counteract the phenomenon of the ‘Ugly American,’ who has little understanding of other cultures and only speaks English


| APRIL 16, 2021

when abroad. In addition to the language, I try to convey a sense of the culture by setting specific scenes in the appropriate place within the country. So a scene between two monsters in French takes place among the gargoyles at Notre Dame; in Hebrew it’s by the Dead Sea next to a creepy dead tree; in Spanish it’s in a graveyard; in Hindi it’s among sculptures of monsters guarding a temple; and in English it’s in an abandoned mine in Appalachia. Selecting the photographs is a whole other aspect of the program, which is so much fun for me as I revisit places I’ve traveled to, and it adds another dimension of fun and learning, especially during these COVID times when travel is so limited. The other thing I should say it’s really about is humor! I have so much fun writing the episodes and making them super silly. After so many years doing shows for young children, I have a fair idea of what kids find funny. And the idea is to make you laugh so hard you’ll want to watch each video again and again, until, BINGO! you’ve learned all the words. JL: Do you speak all of the languages that are being offered? Have you taught languages before? AS: I do, and others as well. I started with Latin in 6th grade, and that gives you a wonderful understanding of the structure of languages, and it turns out the more languages you learn, the easier it becomes. When I travel, it’s very important to me to learn the language and to stay long enough to get more than just a cursory feel for the place. Some of my longer visits include living in France for three months at age 15, in Israel for six months at age 19, and in India for a year at age 24. At times I’ve thought of working as a translator or a linguistics professor, but mostly I just really enjoy speaking languages with native speakers— and, not to brag here, but I especially love surprising people by speaking their native language without an American accent, which I think just comes from being a puppeteer and a student of accents and voices. It just flies in the face of what people think about Americans! In terms of teaching, I’ve mainly taught Hebrew, which I’ve done for many years, but I’ve performed puppet shows and theater shows in both French and Spanish since college, and was on a television show with puppets that was in Hindi when I lived

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ADL: Most American Jews have experienced anti-Semitism in past five years


EW YORK, New York – Well over half of Jewish Americans have either experienced or directly witnessed some form of antisemitic incident in the last five years, according to a new poll released Thursday, April 1 by the AntiDefamation League (ADL). The 2021 poll found that 63 percent of respondents have either experienced or heard antisemitic comments, slurs or threats targeting others, an increase from 54 percent a year earlier. Alarmingly, nine percent of Jewish Americans indicated in the survey they had been physically attacked in the last five years because they are Jewish, up slightly from 2020 but still within the margin of error. And one in four Jewish Americans (25 percent) reported having been directly targeted by antisemitic comments slurs or threats. “In the aftermath of major antisemitic attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City and Monsey, American Jews are reporting that they feel less safe in the U.S. today than they were just a decade earlier,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Looking back on the past five years, which were bookended by the antisemitism in Charlottesville in 2017 and the hateful symbols on display during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it is understandable that the level of anxiety is rising and concerns about communal safety are on everyone’s minds.”




ENTRAL MASS. – When COVID-19 sidelined the Young Emissary program last year, the Central Massachusetts Jewish community lost a connection to Israel that the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC) program has provided for 18 years. But that connection will be renewed later this year in Worcester with the arrival of an Israeli shaliach. And that shaliach is no stranger, -- Aviv Jerbi served in Central Mass. as a Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether Young Emissary in 2014-15. Jerbi, 25, will arrive in Central Mass. in August and stay a full year. As shaliach, he will live in his own apartment, as opposed to living with host families as he did as a young emissary six years ago. Jerbi will work with synagogues throughout Western Mass. and their religious schools, and on projects with the Jewish Federation of Central Mass., which is sponsoring the program. “We are so excited to welcome a shaliach into our community next year,” said Steven Schimmel, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. “There are tremendous opportunities to continue to enrich and strengthen our connection to


Some additional findings include: • Fifty-six percent of Jewish Americans have heard antisemitic comments, slurs or threats targeting others in the past five years. • Jewish Americans frequently encounter antisemitism online, with 36 percent saying they had experienced some form of online harassment. • Thirty-one percent say they have been called offensive names online. • Thirteen percent say they have been physically threatened online. • Thirteen percent have avoided identifying themselves as Jewish on social media. majewishledger.com

• More than half (59 percent) of Jewish Americans polled said they feel less safe in the U.S. today than they were a decade ago. • Forty-nine percent reported being afraid of a violent attack at a synagogue. • Antisemitic harassment comes at a cost: Thirty-three percent of respondents who have been harassed reported having trouble sleeping, and 16 percent said the harassment affected their lives financially. “These findings reinforce the need for a whole-of-society approach to combat antisemitism,” said Greenblatt. “Whether it appears on social media or on a

synagogue, antisemitism has no place in our communities. We need corporate and government leaders to step up to ensure that it does not gain a foothold on social media or in broader society.” The survey was fielded by YouGov, a leading public opinion and data analytics firm, examining Jewish Americans experiences with antisemitism both online and offline. The survey of more than 500 Jewish American adults over the age of 18 was conducted from Jan. 7-15, 2021 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent. n



| APRIL 16, 2021


Central Mass. partners with JCC North Shore for 8th Annual International Jewish Film Festival


ENTRAL MASS. – This year the Central Mass International Jewish Film Festival has partnered with the JCC North Shore’s 8th Annual International Jewish Film Festival. The virtual film festival brings film selections directly into the homes of ticket-purchasers. Following the allotted time frame for each film’s viewing, the festival will offer live Zoom discussions with filmmakers, actors and directors in Q&A sessions. The following films will be shown through April 25:


They Aint Ready for Me: A force to be reckoned with, African-American rabbinical student, Tamar Manasseh, hits the streets in a grassroots effort to curb the senseless killings on the south side of Chicago.


An Irrepressible Woman: Teenager Janot Reichenbach fell in love with French-Jewish socialist three-time Prime Minister Leon Blum, however difficult life circumstances kept them from marrying.


Here We Are: Devoted father, Aharon, has dedicated his life to raising his autistic son, Uri. The father-son duo live in peace, away form the real world, but as Uri becomes a young adult, Aharon recognizes that it might be time for him to live in a specialized home.


The Crossing: The Crossing tells the story of the adventurous 10-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto, whose parents are in the Norwegian resistance movement during the Second World War.


Code Name Ayalon: Recounts the 1947 construction of The Ayalon Institute, a secret ammunition factory built by youth from the Haganah (Jewish underground military) that was made to fool the British into thinking it was a kibbutz during the British Mandate.


Winter Journey: In his final screen role, Bruno Ganz blends reenactments and archival materials to relate a Jewish-German couple’s poignant pre-WWII romance.

This year, the JCCNS is utilizing Eventive as its box office and virtual screening platform. Accessible from JCCNS.ORG, the site allows ticket purchasers access to purchase individual tickets or ticket series; to watch the featured films; and join discussions to further explore the films topics with others in the community. Instructions are available for all methods of viewing, including watching on your smart TV or through a streaming device. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time, or when you are ready to watch; Ticket holders will have 48 hours to complete viewing the films within a 72-hour window. Due to arrangements with the film distributors, films may only be viewed in Massachusetts. For complete film information, ticket pricing, and dates, visit JCCNS. org or contact Nancy Greenberg at ngreenberg@worcesterjcc.org



| APRIL 16, 2021


Shaliach to come to Central Mass.

We meet the 3rd Thursday of each month from 4:30-5:30 p.m.


Israel, and I’ve been working closely with our Young Emissary Coordinator Liz Baker to ensure a successful shaliach program. Ashaliach will undoubtedly enable us to develop deeper and more meaningful connections, especially as our community returns to normalcy from the pandemic.” “Aviv has been in our community so he already has relationships with many people,” Liz Baker said. “He was really very well loved, and I’d say his biggest strength is connecting with people. It just made sense to have somebody like him come here. “All of the heads of the religious schools really missed the emissaries, and they were so excited to hear about the return of


somebody that they know.” Jerbi hails from a small village called Tefahot in the north of Israel. His mother and her family made aliyah from Morocco. His father’s parents made aliyah from Libya, but he was born in Israel. Jerbi, like other Young Emissaries, delayed his service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in 2014 for a year to participate in the program. After returning home to Israel, he fulfilled his military service. After spending some time travelling, he began working at the Alexander Muss High School, an English-speaking school in Israel. Jerbi currently is director of informal education at the school where he handles “recruiting and training counselors, managing them logistically and their activities,” he said. One of Jerbi’s goals has been to return to the U.S. as a shaliach, and he underwent extensive training at the Jewish Agency’s Shlichut Institute to prepare. He attributes his interesting in being a shaliach to his love of education. “Education is something that I’m very passionate about, especially about Israel,” he said. “My plans are to begin my high education right after my Shlichut.” Jerbi said his previous year in Worcester and the relationships he forged there will be


an advantage in his work as shaliach. “I’m calling it a soft landing and even more then that, Central Mass. is a safe place for me, a second home,” he said. “I came a long way there as an individual, professionally and personally.” Baker said that the decision to bring a shaliach into the community was made at the beginning of the year. After such a draining year dealing with Covid, she and Schimmel decided that hiring an older, more mature and independent shaliach would be a better move for the community. “They’re a little bit more on their own, and for me, I won’t need to be on top of him. They have more experience. After serving in the IDF I’m sure they know a little more, they’re obviously more mature at that age,” Baker said. While there are currently shlichim in both Rhode Island and New Hampshire, none of the SNEC communities throughout Massachusetts or Connecticut have signed on to the Young Emissary program for the 2021-2022 year. Last year, after Central Mass.’s Young Emissaries were forced to go home in March due to the Covid pandemic, Central Mass. remained connected to some of their former emissaries through “Where Are They Now?” articles written by the young people, and Café Israel, a Sunday morning Zoom presentation by emissaries. “It was a great year for me in that I spent a lot of time talking to all these kids who I really love. It’s all about the


Now plus also going forward



Caregiver Support Group 3rd Thursday 4:30PM

JGS Lifecare is happy to announce they have brought back their monthly caregiver support group. This month we will be featuring guest speaker Brenda Labbe from GSSSI !!!

Greater Springfield Senior Services (GSSSI) Community Programs Supervisor will highlight and provide in-depth details for programs and services that support family caregivers. GSSSI will also share information about a program that has recently received limited grant funding for additional short-term support for family caregivers. We encourage questions so make a list of your questions and we will do our very best to answer them all. Please reach out to facilitator Mary-Anne Schelb at mschelb@JGSLifecare.org or call 413-567-6211 x 3571 to register. A Zoom link will be emailed to you.

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relationships,” Baker said. “I was able to really spend a lot of time visiting with them and got regular information from them. A number of them are now married with kids. Some of them are still in the IDF.” With four months before Jerbi arrives, Baker and the Federation are still looking for an apartment where he can live during his year in Worcester. Anyone with an available apartment are asked to email Baker at lizkbaker58@gmail. com or call (508) 320-9351. n

find us online at wmassjewishledger.com


| APRIL 16, 2021


MILESTONES B’NAI MITZVAH LEXI DWORMAN, daughter of Scott Dworman and Nancy Berley, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, May 1. They are members of Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester. CHLOE GEIMAN, daughter of Gregory and Jaime Geiman, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 17. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. SIENNA GEIMAN, daughter of Gregory and Jaime Geiman, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 17. They are members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough. JOSEPH KANTROWITZ, son of Michael Kantrowitz and Joyce Mandell, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, May 8. They are members of Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester. LILLIAN LIEBER, daughter of David and Heather Lieber, will celebrate her bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 17. They are members of Temple Beth El in Springfield. MATTHEW ZIPPIN, son of Brian and Lisa Zippin, will celebrate his bar mitzvah on Saturday, May 8. They are members of Temple Beth El in Springfield.



ewish Funders Network awarded its 2020 Shapiro Prize for Philanthropic Collaboration to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) during JFN’s recent international conference, which is being held virtually. While best known for its popular PJ Library program of distributing free books to Jewish children, the Springfield foundation has impacted Jewish life just as dramatically with Life & Legacy, a groundbreaking fundraising initiative with 63 philanthropic partners in Jewish communities throughout North America. Launched in 2012, HGF’s Life & Legacy envisions a future of vibrant, well-funded Jewish organizations and communities, with endowment funding available to provide critical support. Through Life & Legacy, HGF and its partners seek to capture the opportunity available to the Jewish community from



REAT BARRINGTON – Attorney Eve Schatz, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Berkshire Center for Justice, has been chosen to receive the Access to Justice Legal Services Award by the Massachusetts Bar Association. The awarded members are chosen for their exemplary legal skills and service to the community. The Berkshire Center for Justice in Great Barrington is a legal, social and community justice organization operating in the Berkshires since 2006. BCJ is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization. Schatz was honored on March 9 in an online pre-recorded Zoom event.

aura Silver Traiger and Emily Starr have joined together to form the law firm of Starr Traiger. From their offices in Worcester and Fitchburg, the law firm will focus on estate planning, elder law, special needs planning, guardianship and conservatorship, and estate and trust administration.



their most loyal donors in order to build their endowments. “The LIFE & LEGACY program has been tremendously helpful not only because it has given us the tools and language to create a climate for legacy giving but also because we have seen the results- gifts to the endowment

have come in that otherwise would not have. Recognizing the importance of this tremendously impactful program with this award is very appropriate and well-deserved,” said Steven Schimmel, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass., a Life & Legacy partner. “With this prize, the funder community recognizes that collaboration is an essential feature of an effective Jewish philanthropic field,” says JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny. “We face complex challenges that nobody can solve on their own; that’s why much of our work at JFN is geared toward encouraging partnerships among funders. Life & Legacy is a role model, an inspirational story of funders building long-term, multi-pronged collaborations to address critical issues in the community.”

Traiger and Starr form new law firm



the tremendous generational wealth transfer currently occurring. Over the course of a four-year partnership, Life & Legacy provides training, support, and monetary incentives to motivate Jewish organizations to secure after-lifetime commitments, often referred to as “planned giving” or “legacy giving,” from

| APRIL 16, 2021






EW YORK, N.Y. – As summer 2021 approaches, Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is taking steps to ensure Jewish camps overcome the financial challenges brought by implementing COVID-related operating procedures that would constrain occupancy and reduce tuition revenue. FJC has secured $2.6 million from the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF) for Capacity Expansion Grants that will go directly to 32 Jewish camps for projects that add more space for campers and staff while still meeting COVID-19 guidelines. Projects that the Capacity Expansion Grants support included temporary housing structures from tents to yurts, augmentations to the infirmary and dining facilities to accommodate increased traffic, and creative solutions for isolation space in case of COVID. “Camps want nothing more than to provide a safe, healthy and joyful Jewish environment for campers, and although many challenges and uncertainties remain, I feel the optimism and anticipation as FJC and our camp partners work diligently to ensure a safe and successful summer 2021,” said Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of Foundation for Jewish Camp. “FJC’s priority is to support Jewish camps through and beyond this crisis, so we’re thrilled that the JCRIF funders have invested $2.6 million for capacity expansion, and we hope others will join to support this efficient, effective initiative.” These grants expand capacity to serve approximately 3,300 additional campers and also represent a strong return on investment that will generate incremental tuition revenue of over $13 million, badly needed to offset projected operating deficits in 2021. This creative approach means more campers will be able to attend camps this summer when connection and community are needed now more than ever. “The JCRIF Grant funders were impressed with the number of strong and creative applications FJC received and are proud to help enable more kids than ever to attend camp this summer,” said Felicia Herman, Director of the Aligned Grants Program for JCRIF. The Aligned Grants Program funders include: Aviv Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Maimonides Fund, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the Paul E. Singer Foundation.

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| APRIL 16, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update



ith anti-Semitic attacks and harassment at nearhistoric levels across the country and around the world, Yom Hashoah, and Holocaust education and remembrance is more important than ever. While there are obvious connections between hate, antiSemitism and the recent attacks that have taken place, we must remember that the Holocaust was a unique tragedy in the history of humankind. Nothing on that scale happened STEVEN SCHIMMEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR before, or since. Six million of our people were murdered in a systematic, mechanical, industrial, and modern way, and while the Holocaust was certainly a phenomenon of the 20th century the roots of anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews date back many, many centuries. Expulsions, inquisition, pogromsforced conversions, culminating in gas chambers and mass execution- two-thirds of European Jews were murdered during the Nazi reign of terror from 1933-45. Keep in mind that immigration to British mandate Palestine was blocked at the time due to immense pressure from the local Arab community including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was aligned with the Nazis.

Jews were similarly blocked from entering the United States with many turning a blind eye or choosing not to recognize to the plight of our people- for instance the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto was only casually mentioned by the New York Times, on page 7 next to an ad selling pianos. We had no refuge. We had few allies. We had no Israel. We were helpless and powerless. It has been 76 years since the liberation of the camps at the end of the war- even the youngest survivors are now well into their senior years and we are among the last generation who will know them- who will hear their stories first-hand. When we as a people realized what had happened we said “never forget”—-and yet, I fear many of us have forgotten. In particular, too many young people, especially among the most educated think about it in relativistic terms. That frustrates and angers me but it is an affront to our survivors. In the wake of recent tragedies and a severe uptick in antiJewish attitudes let’s reaffirm to do more to honor the lives of the Six million. Let’s continue to tell their story and let’s pledge never again. Speak out against anti-Semitic political cartoons, speak out against political leaders who use historic anti-Semitic tropes to selectively criticize Israel, the world’s one Jewish state, speak out against those who spread propaganda about Jews controlling the media or foreign policy, and speak out against those who seek our destruction. n






STAY CONNECTED YAD (YOUNG ADULT DIVISION) YAD Virtual April Shabbat, Friday, April 23, 7:30 pm YAD Virtual May Shabbat, Friday, May 7, 7:30 Virtual Game Night, May Date TBA Ice Cream for Shavuot, Tuesday, May 18, Time TBA Socially Distant Hike and Picnic at Lake Chauncey, Sunday, June TBA Socially Distant Picnic at Tower Hill, July, Date TBA Dean Park, August, Date TBA Keep up with ongoing events via YAD Private Facebook Group

PJ LIBRARY & PJ OUR WAY LPJ Storytime with Lori and Friends, Friday, April 23, Facebook Live, 9:00 am Springtime Socially Distant Hike and Ice Cream, Date TBA

CHAVERIM Virtual Night Out at the Jewish Film Festival with Hadassah: Here We Go, available to start stream April 21-23

COMMUNITY Fill the Fridge, a community-wide volunteer program to combat food insecurity Jewish Heritage Day at the Woo Sox, Sunday, August 1 (TBC) Please keep in touch with all ongoing virtual events by visiting our Facebook pages or contacting Mindy Hall, mhall@jfcm.org


| APRIL 16, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update




entral Massachusetts’s 287 legacy donors are among the 18,000 who will be honored at the first Legacy Donor Appreciation Event sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s (HGF) LIFE & LEGACY® initiative. The event, to be held virtually on May 25 at 7:30 pm eastern time, will celebrate each of the donors from LIFE & LEGACY’s seventy-one partner communities who are securing the Jewish future through their legacy gift. The evening will feature the stories of donors from across North America who have made legacy commitments as well as greetings and reflections from Harold Grinspoon, Founder of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, the Foundation’s president. Jonah Kaplan, an awardwinning Political and Investigative Reporter at WTVD, the ABC-owned

station in Raleigh-Durham, NC, will serve as the evening’s host. There is no charge for the 45-minute event. “Through LIFE & LEGACY, we are sustaining vibrant communities so future generations will be able to enjoy our rich Jewish culture and heritage,” said Harold Grinspoon, the founder of HGF. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to honor all those who have made a legacy commitment to date, and to encourage others to join us in this endeavor.” Central Massachusetts’s LIFE & LEGACY donors have made commitments to 11 local organizations including: Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Clark University Hillel, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation B’nai Shalom, Congregation Shaarai Torah West, Jewish Federation of Central Mass, Jewish Healthcare Center, Temple Emanuel Sinai, and

Worcester JCC. “I want to make sure that there continue to be strong and vibrant organizations for future generations, so I am working with our excellent committee members to get everyone in our community to consider making a legacy gift to an organization they cherish,” said Sharon Krefetz, LIFE & LEGACY advisory committee chair. “I am very grateful that so many donors in Central Mass have joined me in making a legacy gift.” If you have not yet had a chance to make your legacy commitment, and would like to participate in the May 25th event, please contact the organizations named above or Leah Shuldiner at legacy@jfcm.org on how you can make a legacy gift. Legacy donors who have yet to register for the event can do so by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/ r/2021LegacyDonorEvent.






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Celebrate Israel @ 73! Yom HaZikaron – Israel Memorial Day – honors Israel’s fallen soldiers, as well as civilian victims of terror attacks against the Jewish state. This year, Yom HaZikaron begins the evening of Tuesday, April 12 and ends the evening of Wednesday, April 13. Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day – begins at the close of Yom Hazikaron and ends Thursday, April 14.


fairytale location, says Israeli photographer Noam Chen, “is someplace you find yourself disconnecting from the troubles of the world, just drowning in the beauty and serenity of the place and forgetting about everything else.” The fairytale locations he shares here were photographed using his special techniques that turn beautiful landscapes into dreamy scenes with an unreal quality. Yet these magnificent images do exist in Israel – even if tourists cannot come enjoy them just yet. So sit back and let your imagination run wild as Chen’s photos take you to magical places. It’s a perfect antidote to a year of pandemicinduced stress. Our fairytale tour begins up north at Nimrod Fortress in the Golan Heights. “It’s the largest fortress in Israel, and its magnitude and lush green surroundings makes it feel a proper fairytale location,” Chen says. “You can use your imagination to see royalty there.”


The Golan Heights and the Galilee are blessed with many fairytale-like water elements. “Among the streams and waterfalls of the North, you can go and find quiet and mesmerizing little spots that transport you to another place,” says Chen. Moving a bit southeast to the Upper Galilee, we come to the Hula Valley, which has it all: fields of wildflowers, thousands of migrating birds, clear lakes teeming with wildlife.





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Rosh Hanikra in the upper Western Galilee is famous for its Mediterranean grottos reached by cable car. “When you go into the grottos, the thing that pops out immediately is the dreamy turquoise color of the water which makes you feel you’re entering another world,” Chen says. “Outside the grottos, the white cliffs overlooking the sea are certainly a fairytale setting.” About 20 minutes south of Rosh Hanikra is Nahariya, a beautiful beach city of the Western Galilee where Chen spent his childhood. The Tal Shahar Forest in central Israel, otherwise known as Cyclamen Hill because of the wildflowers that dominate the landscape in February and March, is surely a proper fairytale

setting. “You just need a princess in th Chen remarks. Having lived in Tel Aviv and in the years, Chen came back to the north of pandemic and recently relocated to Je across the world and hopes to do his n capital city. Just south of Jerusalem is the Gus where you’ll find Herodian (also calle Park. Here, in the first century BCE, K forces of nature by building one of the of the ancient world. “The story behind it is what makes majewishledger.com







he middle of the field,”

e United States for many f Israel during the Covid erusalem. He’s exhibited next show in Israel’s

sh Etzion region, ed Herodium) National King Herod challenged the e most daring structures

s this a fairytale location,” majewishledger.com


says Chen. “It was a huge palace complex and Herod chose it to be his burial site. The Judean Desert landscape around it takes it to another level.” One of the most popular tourist sites in the southern Judean Desert is the salty Dead Sea, the lowest place on Planet Earth. “In spite of the fact that it’s a popular tourist destination, the Dead Sea still has many spots that not everyone knows about and that literally looks like an alien landscape with features like salt flats,” says Chen. “It really looks like a different world down here,” he adds. “At sunrise and sunset there are the most beautiful skies.” And for our last fairytale location, here’s a glimpse of the gorgeous Red South fields of the Negev when carpeted with anemones.


To achieve his trademark effect, Chen combines different exposures in order to capture the big contrast between highlights and shadows in the frame. “But the most important thing is to keep it real,” he says. Even when the image is the stuff of fairytales. For a look at Noam Chen’s work, visit https://www.instagram.com/noamc_official/


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Around Massachusetts Vaccinated residents of Jewish Nursing Home get in-person visits with loved ones


ONGMEADOW – Last month family members were welcomed into The Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home to visit their loved ones in the privacy of their own rooms under a new family visitation policy. Following new guidelines released by Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), any resident who has been fully vaccinated (and gone through the 14-day waiting period after their final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine) is eligible to receive fully-vaccinated visitors in his or her room. “Our Mom has been here since before Covid,” said Beth Croteau, when going through the screening process with her sister Sonya Brenton to visit their mother Patricia Brenton. “We’ve enjoyed our socially distanced visits outdoors and in the auditorium, but we have never seen the new room she moved into. We are excited to see the space she has been living in and give her a big hug and embrace!” Brad and Jane Albert arrived carrying a bouquet of flowers for Brad’s mother, Marcia Albert, who they were excited to finally get to see and spend some quality time with. “We’ve been counting the days and hours to see her,” Brad said. Jane, an executive at Baystate Health knows all too well the hardship of families not being able visit their loved ones. “I am


aware on a daily basis of the challenges families face when separated from those they love. Being away from Mom for so long in addition to not being able to be with her as she transitioned into her new home at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home




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top priority. I appreciate how patient and resilient our families have been during these very challenging times. With the drop in our community positivity rate and the vaccines being more readily available we are now able to offer in-room visits. It is so encouraging to see the happy smiles and embraces, and sometimes tears, of families reunited.” Measures are still underway to screen all visitors. Family members must wait at least 14 days after receiving their second vaccine before they can visit. Temperatures are checked, and a questionnaire is filled out, to ensure that the visit is safe. For those not eligible for in-resident room visits, the process for indoor and outdoor visits remains the same. The Leavitt Family Jewish Home will continue to comply with DPH’s surveillance testing program of all residents and staff. Should there be a Covid-19 positive case in the building all indoor visits will be suspended and already scheduled visits will automatically be converted to outdoor visits, until the necessary days for Covid-19 clearance have passed.

was challenging. Knowing we can now visit with mom is certainly bringing us all much For more information, call comfort and joy.” The Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home When Cantor Martin Levson walked into at 413-567-6211 or visit JGSLifecare.org. his wife Sheri’s room her eyes lit up. Martin has frequently visited his wife Sheri through socially distanced visits both indoors and outdoors, weather permitting. Jean Topolski and Joanne Duggan arrived to visit with Joanne’s motherin-law Joyce Duggan. Jean is Joyce’s neighbor of 50 years and they raised their children together. “I don’t want to lose my good friend now,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing her and have a few laughs!” “One of the hardest things to implement during this pandemic has been the restrictions on family in-person visitations, due to our need to implement social distancing measures and infection control JOYCE DUGGAN ENJOYS SEEING HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW practices,” said Rob JOANN DUGGAN AND LONG-TIME NEIGHBOR AND FRIEND Whitten, executive director JEAN TOPOLSKI TO CATCH UP AND SHARE SOME LAUGHS. of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “The safety and wellbeing of each and every one of our residents has been and remains our


Around Massachusetts Rachel’s Table thanks PJ Library for stocking the shelves


achel’s Table, a program of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass., sends out a big “Thank You!” to PJ Library of Central Mass., which collected 660 pounds of food for Rachel’s Table through their Stocking the Shelves project last month. Organized by Mindy Hall and the PJ Library Council, food was collected at a variety of PJ Library members’ homes and dropped off at the Worcester JCC. Rachel’s Table delivered the food to the South Worcester Neighborhood Center, filling their food pantry shelves. South Worcester helped over 32,000 people with food in the past year. Rachel’s Table provides an average of 14,000 pounds of food every month to 30 social service agencies in Worcester. Most of this food would be thrown away if not donated. The Children’s Milk Fund program is presently purchasing more than 1,000 gallons of milk every week for 21 of these family agencies. Last year 25,000 children received milk. This is the only regular source of donated milk in the city and agencies in the program wouldn’t have milk for their clients without this help. Rachel’s Table has been working especially hard to meet the increased need for food aid in the community since Covid-19. Since the pandemic started, Rachel’s Table has been buying 1,300 pounds of produce every week for seven food pantries, a lunch program, and a soup kitchen. When funding allows, the agency provided fruits and vegetables for summer meals for children. For more information about Rachel’s Table and how to volunteer or donate go to www. rachelstable.org


Young artists create art and essays depicting the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising


he 14 Annual Pinkhus & Rhoda Gurevich Yom HaShoah Essay & Art Challenge this year asked its young participants to research the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a moment of heroic Jewish resistance in the face of total annihilation. The young people wrote essays and poetry and created works of art from paintings and drawings to three-dimensional pieces. Sponsored by B’nai B’rith Commonwealth Worcester Lodge 600 and organized by Jewish Federation of Central Mass., the finished projects were exhibited at the Worcester Community Yom Hashoah memorial on April 7. Here are several of this year’s works of art.


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BULLETIN BOARD NATURAL VOICE: A VIRTUAL TWO-PART VOICE WORKSHOP FOR TEENS GREENFIELD – Temple Israel Greenfield is offering a free Two-part voice class for interested teens, using the Natural Voice method. Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener was trained in this method, which is used by both singers and actors. In Natural Voice we learn the shape of our instrument, the muscles etc, involved in creating sound. We also practice being sensitive to our bodies as we sing, so we can notice tensions and interruptions in the flow of breath and sound. It’s lots of fun and you can feel the benefits immediately. We’ll do group exercises and each participant will have a chance to sing or orate for individual feedback. There is no charge for the program, which is supported by a grant from The Harold Grinspoon Foundation of Western Mass. Classes will take place April 25 and May 2 at 11 a.m. To register and get Zoom information, Email rabbi@templeisraelgreenfield.org.

QUEEN ESTHER SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION WORCESTER -- The Queen Esther scholarship of B’nai Brith, in conjunction with Probus Club of Worcester, annually awards several scholarships to students of the Jewish faith who will be entering their freshman year of undergraduate college or their first year of any training beyond the high school level. Award decisions will be based on need, involvement in the Jewish community, academic achievement, and character Individual scholarships amounts vary. All applicants must reside in Worcester County and all information included in the application is kept in strict confidence. All completed applications must be returned by May 30, 2021. Applications may be requested in by emailing Steven Sosnoff at stevesosnoff@gmail.com. For more information, call Al Cooper at (508) 789-5066. Scholarship is in conjunction with the Gerald Landgarten Trust Fund.



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TO HOLD QUALIFYING POKER GAME ON APRIL 26 BOSTON - Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ (FIDF) New England Chapter will hold a qualifying poker event on April 26th at 7 p.m., EDT, and is calling members of the New England community who are interested to register and join the event. Those who are unable to make the qualifying event but would like to participate in the tournament can register for open seat night, taking place on April 29 at 8 p.m. EDT/ 5 p.m., PDT. The top players will advance to FIDF’s first-ever National Poker Tournament final event on May 2 at 7p.m. EDT/ 4p.m. PDT. Joining the final event will be professional poker player, award-winning author and Massachusetts native Maria Konnikova, celebrity poker player Eli Elezra and commentator Jeff Platt. All proceeds from the tournament will support FIDF’s wellbeing and educational programs for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. Maria Konnikova most recently authored “The Biggest Bluff,” a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of 2020. While researching “The Biggest Bluff,” Maria became an international poker champion and the winner of over $300,000 in tournament earnings—inadvertently turning into a professional poker player. “I’m excited to be able to support such a wonderful organization. Its mission is one I feel strongly about - and I hope you’ll join me in playing for a great cause,” said Konnikova. “And to my competitors: play well, be smart, make good decisions -- but most importantly, have fun!” For more information or to support FIDF, please click here or contact New England FIDF Executive Director, Luba Loewenberg at Luba.Loewenberg@fidf.org

RADIO PREMIERE OF SHOLOM ASCH’S “THE DEAD MAN” AT CARNEGIE HALL’S VOICES OF HOPE FESTIVAL AMHERST -- First performed on the Yiddish stage in 1922, Caraid O’Brien’s latest work is part of the Carnegie Hall Voices of Hope festival examining art created amidst times of crisis and human tragedy. This program will be presented by the Yiddish Book Center as part of the virtual festival, which runs from April 16–30. The Dead Man will air (in English translation) on Sunday, April 25, at 7 p.m. (EDT). The Irish born O’Brien, a Roman Catholic and current resident of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, has been called “Yiddish culture’s most ardent and least likely champion.” The play’s author, Sholem Asch (1880–1957), remains the preeminent

novelist and playwright of modern Yiddish literature. Surviving members of a Jewish community gather in the rubble of a decimated synagogue in Poland in the aftermath of World War I. Ravaged by destruction, hunger and the influenza pandemic, how will they rebuild their lives? Dealing with dislocation, madness, and death, all they have left is a powerful hope for a prosperous new future. The Dead Man is a timeless story of heartbreak and strength, and the relevance to today’s global moment is striking. “The play focuses on a traumatized community trying to move forward,” says O’Brien. “Together, they chip through the darkness by not shying away from their collective horror.” Masterfully translated by O’Brien—in its English entirety for the first time ever—the play’s radio drama format is reminiscent of the wildly popular Yiddish theater broadcasts of the 1920s and ‘30s. Twenty-four talented actors were cast (ranging in age from 3 to 85), including Broadway veteran Hal Robinson. O’Brien recorded each during the current pandemic. An accomplished actor, writer, and producer, O’Brien is a three-time recipient of a new play commission from the Foundation for Jewish Culture. She began learning Yiddish while interning at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, where she would later serve as a Translation Fellow. She was mentored by legendary Yiddish performers Luba Kadison and Seymour Rechtzeit, and her first book, Seymour and Miriam: Yiddish Theater and Radio in the Twentieth Century, is forthcoming from Harvard Judaica. Voices of Hope, an online festival that examines the resilience of artists, exploring works that they felt compelled to create despite, and often because of, appalling circumstances and human tragedy. Over the two weeks, Carnegie Hall’s first-ever digital festival explores this theme through more than 100 events including digital programming presented by Carnegie Hall and more than 35 leading cultural and academic institutions across New York City and beyond. For more information contact Jennifer Einhorn, director of Communications and Marketing; Yiddish Book Center; jeinhorn@ yiddishbookcenter.org or (413) 256-4900, ext. 118.


SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY Western and Central Massachusetts


Jewish Community of Amherst Reconstructionist Rabbi Benjamin Weiner (413) 256-0160 info@jcamherst.org www.jcamherst.org 742 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002


Temple Israel Unaffiliated/Egalitarian Reb Sarah Noyovitz (978) 249-9481 templeisraelathol@gmail.com 107 Walnut Street Athol, MA 01331


Congregation Beth El Reconstructionist Rabbi Micah Becker Klein (802) 442-9645 cbevtoffice@gmail.com www.cbevermont.org 225 North St., Bennington, VT 05201


Congregation Shaarei Zedeck Conservative Lay Leadership - Elena Feinberg (978) 501-2744 sherryesq@yahoo.com www.shaareizedeck.org 104 Water St., Clinton, MA 01510


Beit Ahavah, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton Reform Rabbi Riqi Kosovske (413) 587-3770 info@beitahavah.org www.beitahavah.org 130 Pine St. Florence, MA 01062


Temple Israel of Greenfield Unaffiliated Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (413) 773-5884 office@templeisraelgreenfield.org www.templeisraelgreenfield.org 27 Pierce St. Greenfield, MA 01301


Congregation Rodphey Sholom Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Helfen Religious Leader (413) 534-5262 djs1818@aol.com 1800 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040 Congregation Sons of Zion Conservative Rabbi Saul Perlmutter (413) 534-3369 office@sonsofzionholyoke.org www.sonsofzionholyoke.org 378 Maple St. Holyoke, MA 01040


Congregation Agudat Achim Conservative Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz (978) 534-6121 office@agudat-achim.org www.agudat-achim.org 268 Washington St., Leominster, MA 01453


Congregation B’nai Torah Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe Rabbi Yakov Wolff (413) 567-0036 office@bnaitorahma.org rabbi@bnaitorahma.org www.bnaitorahma.org 2 Eunice Drive Longmeadow, MA 01106 Neighborhood Minyan 124 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108


Congregation B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Justin David (413) 584-3593 office@CBINorthampton.org www.CBINorthampton.org 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA 01060


Temple Anshe Amunim Reform Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch (413) 442-5910 rabbiliz@ansheamunim.org www.ansheamunim.org 26 Broad St., Pittsfield, MA 01201


Sinai Temple Reform Rabbi Jeremy Master (413) 736-3619 rblanchettegage@sinai-temple.org www.sinai-temple.org 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108

Temple Beth El Conservative Rabbi Amy Walk Katz (413) 733-4149 office@tbesprinfield.org www.tbespringfield.org 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108


Beth Tikvah Synagogue Independent Rabbi Michael Swarttz (508) 616-9037 president@bethtikvahsynagogue.org www.bethtikvahsynagogue.org 45 Oak St., Westborough, MA 01581 Congregation B’nai Shalom Reform Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz/ Rabbi-Educator Joseph Eiduson (508) 366-7191 info@cbnaishalom.org www.cbnaishalom.org 117 East Main St., PO Box 1019, Westborough, MA 01581


Congregation Ahavas Achim Unaffiliated Cantor Colman Reaboi (413) 642-1797 ahavasachiminquiry@gmail.com www.congregationahavasachim.org Ferst Interfaith Center, Westfield State University PO Box 334, 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA 01086 Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AhavasAchimWestfield/


Central Mass Chabad Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, Rabbi Chaim Fishman, Rabbi Michael Phillips, Cantor Eli Abramowitz (508) 752-0904 rabbi@centralmasschabad.com www.centralmasschabad.com 22 Newton Avenue, Worcester, MA 01602 Congregation Beth Israel Conservative Rabbi Aviva Fellman (508) 756-6204 receptionist@bethisraelworc.org www.bethisraelworc.org 15 Jamesbury Drive Worcester, MA 01609 Congregation Shaarai Torah West Orthodox Rabbi Yakov Blotner (508) 791-0013 Brotman156@aol.com www.shaaraitorah.org 835 Pleasant St. Worcester, MA 01602 Temple Emanuel Sinai Reform Rabbi Valerie Cohen (508) 755-1257 amayou@emanuelsinai.org www.emanuelsinai.org 661 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609

To join our synagogue directory, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or howardm@jewishledger.com majewishledger.com


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Briefs Jewish and Arab-American groups join in backing hate crimes bill (JTA) – Jewish and Arab-American are joining in support of a bipartisan bill in the House and Senate that would streamline the reporting of hate crimes. The NO HATE bill introduced Thursday would train law enforcement across the country to report hate crimes according to a single standard. Anti-defamation groups have long complained that assessing hate crimes in the United States is frustrated by wildly varying standards among police departments determining what crimes should be designated as hate crimes, when law enforcement reports the crime at all. Among the groups backing the new bill in a joint release were the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council and the Arab American Institute. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Fred Upton, R-Mich., Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., introduced the measure. Blumenthal is Jewish. Jewish Federations of North America spearheaded a letter last month signed by 30 Jewish organizations covering all Jewish religious streams, and ranging from left to right, from Ameinu to the Zionist Organization of America, urging backing for the bill, which was then in draft mode. That letter was pinned to reports of a rise in crimes targeting Asian Americans spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Others joining in praising the introduction of the bill included Asian American umbrella groups; the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella group; law enforcement in Miami and Washington, D.C.; and the families of Heather Heyer and Khalid Jabara. The bill is named in part for Heyer, killed in 2017 during a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Jabara, who was murdered in Tulsa in 2016 by a neighbor who for years had targeted Jabarin’s family with anti-Arab epithets and violence. The bill also backs programs that rehabilitate perpetrators of hate crime through community service and education.

Antony Blinken recalls State Dept. blocking of bids to save Jews (JTA) – U.S. Secretary of Sate Antony Blinken used Holocaust Remembrance Day to take his department to task for its neglect of Jews during the Nazi era, and to call for action on behalf of the persecuted 18

today. Blinklen, delivering the keynote address Thursday at the event organized by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, savaged the World War II-era assistant secretary of state, Breckinridge Long, for blocking the entry into the United States of Jews fleeing Nazi Europe, and for lying to Congress about it. “He had immense power to help those being persecuted,” Blinken said at the event, this year presented virtually because of the coronavirus. “Yet as the Nazis began to systematically round up and execute Jews, Long made it harder and harder for Jews to be granted refuge in the United States.” Long notoriously also suppressed information from sources overseas describing the Nazi genocide. Blinken, who has said he was shaped by the story of his stepfather’s Holocaust survival, said Long’s failures were a lesson for U.S. policymakers today, pointing both to attacks on minorities in the United States and the need to speak out for those oppressed abroad. Also delivering remarks for Holocaust Remembrance Day was Jill Biden, the first lady, who recorded a video address for the Jewish Federations of North America. Biden in her remarks focused on assistance for elderly Holocaust survivors, praising Jewish Federations for its programs funded in part by the federal government under an initiative launched by President Joe Biden when he was vice president.

Pro-Trump Congressman Lee Zeldin announces run for NY governor (JTA) – Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress and a staunch defender of Donald Trump, is running for governor of New York. “The bottom line is this: To save New York, Andrew Cuomo’s gotta go,” Zeldin said in a news release Thursday. Zeldin, a House member from Long Island, handily won reelection in the fall over a Democratic Jewish challenger, despite being abashedly pro-Trump in a state where the former president is extremely unpopular. Both Zeldin and David Kustoff of Tennessee, the other Jewish House Republican, voted to object to the Electoral College’s presidential vote tally after condemning the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The last Jewish governor of New York was Eliot Spitzer, who held the office between 2007 and 2008 before resigning amid a prostitution scandal.

Deni Avdija writes ‘Yizkor’ on sneakers for Yom Hashoah (JTA) – Israeli NBA player Deni Avdija commemorated his native country’s Holocaust remembrance day by writing “Yizkor,” which translates to “will remember,” on his sneakers in Hebrew for


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his team’s Wednesday night game. Yom Hashoah began that night in Israel, where Avdija grew up and played professionally before being drafted by the Washington Wizards last year. The Wizards’ Hebrew Twitter account, which the team started to cater to Avdija’s Israeli fans, tweeted a video of Jewish Wizards broadcaster Justin Kutcher mentioning the sneakers before the game on TV. Avdija, who has leaned into talking about his Jewish identity in his time in the NBA, recorded one of the strongest performances of his rookie season on Wednesday night, notching 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and five rebounds in a win over the Orlando Magic.

Fauci receives award from Holocaust remembrance group (JTA) – Drawing a line between its mission of Holocaust remembrance and the ravages inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, the March of the Living honored Dr. Anthony Fauci with an award for “moral courage in medicine” on the eve of Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust commemoration day. The award to Fauci, who for decades has been the top U.S. official handling infectious diseases, culminated in an online program on Wednesday called “Medicine and Morality.” In his acceptance remarks, Fauci referred to Maimonides, the medieval Jewish scholar and physician. “Maimonides reminded us that goodness and evil coexist, but that we are free to choose one over the other,” Fauci said. “I believe that the healing arts lie on the path of goodness, the same path, all of you have chosen in remembering and listening to the voices of those who perished in the Holocaust.” Fauci has faced a barrage of criticism, notably from former President Donald Trump, for his warnings about neglecting recommended public health practices, including mask-wearing and social distancing, to limit the pandemic’s spread. Brian Strom, the chancellor of Rutgers University, which joined the March of the Living, the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust, and the Shoah Foundation in organizing the event, alluded to attacks on figures like Fauci from skeptics of the potency of the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re very fortunate to have one guiding light throughout the pandemic,” Strom said. “In an era when public-spiritedness and confidence in the disciplines and methodologies of science, were not held up as virtues of high esteem, Dr. Anthony Fauci embodied both.”

Biden resumes payments to UN group that gives Palestinians aid (JTA) – The Biden administration resumed U.S. funding for UNRWA, the U.N. agency that administers to Palestinian refugees

and their descendants, overturning Trump administration policy and drawing a rebuke from Israel’s government. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $235 million in aid for the Palestinians in a statement Wednesday, April 7, including $150 million for UNRWA, $75 million in humanitarian assistance, and $10 million for peacebuilding programs. The money is in addition to $15 million Blinken announced last month that would go to coronavirus relief, and to $40 million that will go to security training for Palestinian police. The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration notified Congress on Monday of the money for security training. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, immediately posted on social media a video saying Israel opposed the refunding, citing reports that UNRWA continues to allow antisemitic textbooks in the schools it administers and the claim that UNRWA’s definition of a Palestinian refugee is too broad, encompassing descendants of refugees. The $75 million in humanitarian assistance cited in Blinken’s statement must according to U.S. law not go to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continues to pay families of Palestinians who have killed Israelis or Americans. A workaround is for the funding to go to nongovernmental groups that administer assistance. “All assistance will be provided consistent with U.S. law,” Blinken’s statement said.

Biden removes sanctions on the International Criminal Court (JTA) – The Biden administration removed sanctions that President Donald Trump had imposed on International Criminal Court officials while continuing to decry the ICC’s work targeting U.S. and Israeli personnel. “These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday in a statement. “We continue to disagree strongly with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations,” Blinken said, referring to separate investigations into alleged war crimes by U.S. and Israeli personnel. “We maintain our longstanding objection to the Court’s efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel,” he said, referring to the fact that neither Israel or the United States have accepted ICC jurisdiction. “We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.” Trump last year imposed economic sanctions and travel restrictions against ICC workers directly involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials for possible war crimes in Afghanistan. In majewishledger.com

the same executive order, Trump said he may extend the sanctions against investigations into U.S. allies, naming Israel. Israel backed Trump’s sanctions and reportedly asked Biden not to remove them. The Palestinian Authority in February cleared a major hurdle to getting the ICC to prosecute Israelis when an ICC panel decided the court has jurisdiction to investigate Israelis and Palestinian terrorists, including from Hamas, for alleged crimes during the 2014 Gaza War.

Helen Mirren to portray Golda Meir in film on Yom Kippur War (Israel Hayom via JNS) Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren will play the role of iconic Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in an upcoming biographical film Golda. The movie will be directed by Oscarwinning Israeli director Guy Nattiv. Production is to begin in October. The screenplay, which was written by worldrenowned writer and producer Nicholas Martin, focuses on the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the challenges it presented Meir, also known as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics. “As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honored to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel,” said Nattiv said. “Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year, a core of delusional generals undermining Golda’s judgment, all the while undergoing secret treatments for her illness.” Meir died of lymphoma in 1978, four years after resigning from office.

NBA’s Paul Pierce talks of love of Shabbat in racy video that led to ESPN firing (JTA) – In the middle of a racy viral Instagram video that preceded his firing from a broadcasting gig at ESPN, NBA legend Paul Pierce spent over a minute lauding the Jewish ritual of a sit-down Shabbat dinner. Pierce is not Jewish, but during the live-streamed video from his house over the weekend – the Hall of Fame finalist gets massaged by scantily clad women and appears to smoke marijuana while flaunting COVID-19 social distancing protocols – he said the family style of meal on the Jewish Sabbath contrasts with his upbringing. At first, Pierce, who is married with three children, says that a friend playing poker across the room “skipped Shabbat” to attend his party. The friend retorts that he isn’t Jewish. “Hey man, shout-out to all the Jews for Shabbat. I wish I could come to Shabbat,” Pierce says in response. “Shout-out to all my Jewish homies, I got love, I know Friday night’s your night … I’ll see y’all on Sunday.”


He then tells his feed of Instagram commenters that he would like to attend a Shabbat dinner. “Can somebody invite me to [their] Shabbat? I would love to have a sit down meal like that, ’cause I really never had that type of family environment growing up, you know what I’m saying? I would love to join one of y’all Shabbats. I never had that in my life … I never had my pops around,” Pierce says. He then looks seriously into the camera and says “I don’t know. I wish I could see what that’s like.”

NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigates attack on Orthodox Jewish family (JNS) The New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating an attack on an Orthodox Jewish family that took place two weeks ago week in Lower Manhattan, said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. A 22-year-old husband, his 23-year-old wife and their 1-year-old baby were slashed by a knife-wielding man while taking a walk on March 31. The family, visiting from Belgium, was dressed in traditional Chassidic garb. The Jewish man suffered an injury to his head, his wife was slashed on the lip, and the baby boy was injured on the chin. The family was treated at the scene by emergency medical services, said the NYPD. Darryl Jones, 30, was arrested in connection to the attack. He was arraigned on Friday, April 2 and charged with one count of attempted murder, three counts of assault in the second degree, three counts of attempted assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Jones has not entered a plea yet, CNN reported on Friday. The suspect was paroled in February after serving several years in state prison for attempted murder, according to ABC News. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Unit is also looking into the incident, though there is no evidence that it was a hate crime, according to spokeswoman Emily Tuttle.

Israel gets ready for presidential elections BY GIDEON ALLON (Israel Hayom) The Knesset has begun preparations to elect President Reuven Rivlin’s successor. Rivlin’s term as president is slated to end on July 9, and according to law, elections for the next president must be held 30 to 90 days before his term is over. Knesset counsel Sagit Afik distributed a legal opinion to all 120 Knesset members on Sunday in which she noted that the exact date for the presidential election should be decided by the Knesset speaker and his deputy. The decision must be made no later

than three weeks before the date of the election, meaning that a new president will likely be elected in late May or early June, the opinion states. Names of candidates must be submitted up to two weeks before the vote.

Israel to begin receiving vaccinated tourists on May 23 (JNS) Israel will begin receiving vaccinated tourists from abroad through a phased plan that will begin on May 23, the Israeli Tourism Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Israeli Tourism Ministry Orit FarksahHacohen and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein have agreed on a framework for receiving tourists, after a ban lasting over a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. “The agreements were reached following the work of the task force set up by the [two] ministries,” the statement said. In the first stage, a limited number of tour groups will start to arrive on May 23. The number will then increase in line with the “health situation and progress of the program,” the statement added. Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage, with health considerations determining the timeline. All visitors will have to take a PCR test before boarding flights to Israel, and after arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport, will need to take a serological test to prove that they have been vaccinated, according to the statement. “In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological tests,” said the Tourism Ministry. A more detailed outline of the plan will be released in the upcoming days. “After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening up tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation,” said Edelstein.

A day before Natanz blast, Iran nuclear chief says centrifuges activated years ahead of plan (MEMRI) A day before an “electrical incident” reportedly took Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility offline on Sunday, the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization said a full chain of advanced uraniumenrichment centrifuges had begun operation at the site, years ahead of schedule. Ali-Akbar Salehi told Iran’s Channel 1 that the chain of 164 IR-6 centrifuges were to have gone into operation only in seven to eight years. Iran now had an enrichment

capacity of 16,500 SWU (separative work units), he said, compared to just 13,000 SWU in 2013, prior to the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear accord. “Now we have 16,500 SWU and this capacity is constantly growing. All of this is without using the IR-1 centrifuges that we pulled out as part of the JCPOA. If we added those, our capacity would have surpassed 25,000 SWU,” he said. “However, we are taking slow and calculated steps forward.” Salehi went on to say that the Natanz facility was back to full operation following the blast at the site last year, adding that the facility was scheduled to move deep underground by the end of 2021. “Unfortunately, about 10 months ago, the enemy blew up the hall [at Natanz] in which our centrifuges are assembled. But we did not stop. Today, it was announced that we had managed to build a hall to replace the one that was lost. This is temporary, of course. Currently, we are working 24/7 to move all our sensitive halls into the heart of the mountain near Natanz. We hope that these halls in the heart of the mountain will be ready by next year, so we can move these facilities to them,” he said. “With regard to enrichment, I can tell you that Iran has reached the technological threshold, and we no longer have any problems. We are designing our own [centrifuges], and no longer in need of reverse engineering,” he added. Salehi also revealed details regarding Iran’s new IR-9 centrifuge. The IR-9, he said, “is about 5 meters long. It is a real monster. It has a large diameter and is very tall.” “It has five bellows. You cannot build a 5-meter rotor, because it could cause problems once it starts rotating. The rotors are divided to parts that connect to one another. The parts that connect the rotors are called the bellows. So this centrifuge has five bellows,” he said. “So what are we doing? In order to test this centrifuge, our engineers do it at first with one sub-critical rotor. Then they install two rotors, one on top of the other, and so on. It takes 10 years to pass through all these phases and bring the IR-9 centrifuges to industrial production. Today we unveiled the sub-critical and one-bellow centrifuges. We already built the 5-bellow centrifuge and started it, but we must begin from the no-bellow phase and proceed in the natural technical stages.” Iran can achieve 190,000 SWU within two or three years using just IR-6 centrifuges, he said, but does not wish to, preferring to proceed at a pace of “natural growth.” This article was first published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.



APRIL 16, 2021


WHAT’S HAPPENING FRIDAY, APRIL 16 Springfield – Virtual Tot Shabbat with Marlene Rachelle, Temple Beth El, and PJ Library, Grab an instrument and a favorite stuffy as we welcome Shabbat together and fill our homes with music and fun; 5:30-6:15 p.m.; Register: https:// us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZIldOGtrjIjG93LsyTK8ANSe6VKaVF50Myj Western Mass. – Jewish Family Zoom! A weekly Jewish musical class with Felicia Sloin for kids 0-5 and their caregiver, 9-9:30 a.m., Pre-register: www.jfswm.org/jewish-familyjam

SUNDAY, APRIL 18 Western Mass. – Jewish Federation of Western Mass. 2021 Annual Campaign Kickoff events: Virtual Chocolate Tasting (You choose which date); Ticket includes guided virtual tasting and package delivered to your home, $60; Register: BIT. LY/3RRJB9B

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21 Longmeadow - Monthly virtual Lunch and Learn series at Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence, “Incorporating Ayurvedic Medicine into everyday life for better health & wellness,” with Holistic Health Practitioner, Leah Doroch, 12 p.m. noon Welcome/Update; 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.:


in India. JL: How did you develop the curriculum for PuppetSpeak? AS: Since the beginning of COVID, I’ve been teaching Hebrew on Zoom for the Beit Ahavah kids. When we were in-person, there were certain games I developed and adapted to teach different words and numbers for pre-K -2nd grade, but now I had to invent a curriculum for Zoom. So the puppet language program is somewhat based on the order in which I’ve introduced concepts for my Beit Ahavah students this past year, and also based on my many years of language study. JL: Which and how many of your puppets are a part of this program, and can you describe them and how they are used to teach? AS: I have tons of different puppets, so I didn’t build any specifically for the program, although I’ve been limited by those that


presentation, Q&A, Raffle & Virtual Tour RSVP for Zoom invite: Christina Tuohey (413) 567-6212 or ctuohey@JGSLifecare.org Springfield – “I Carry My Mother/I Wish My Father: A Caring Daughter’s Journey,” a Zoom presentation by Leslea Newman, 2-3 p.m., a program of JFS of Western Mass., FREE & open to the public: Register online at www.jfswm.or or call (413) 737-2601. Worcester - Chaverim’s annual Night Out at the Central Mass Int’l Jewish Film Festival with Hadassah: “Here We Are,” Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

THURSDAY, APRIL 22 Western Mass. – Jewish Federation of Western Mass. 2021 Annual Campaign Kickoff events: Virtual Chocolate Tasting (You choose which date); Ticket includes guided virtual tasting and package delivered to your home, $60; Register: BIT. LY/3RRJB9B

FRIDAY, APRIL 23 Western Mass. – Jewish Family Zoom! A weekly Jewish musical class with Felicia Sloin for kids 0-5 and their caregiver, 9-9:30 a.m., Pre-register: www.jfswm.org/jewishfamily-jam

APRIL 16 – MAY 21 SUNDAY, APRIL 25 Greenfield – “Natural Voice: A virtual two-part voice workshop for teens,” 11 a.m., (second class on May 2); class is free and supported by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Email rabbi@ templeisraelgreenfield.org to register and get zoom information. Worcester – “What’s a Nice Jewish Girl Doing as a Cartoonist?” AwardWinining Hilary Price to Speak to Hadassah as part of Worcester Chapter of Hadassah’s “Dream Big” virtual event to benefit Youth Aliyah, HILARY PRICE the organization’s child rescue project, 11 a.m., Registration is required: link: www.hadassah. org/events/dreambig.

FRIDAY, APRIL 30 Western Mass. – Jewish Family Zoom! A weekly Jewish musical class with Felicia Sloin for kids 0-5 and their caregiver, 9-9:30 a.m., Pre-register: www.jfswm.org/jewish-familyjam;

SATURDAY, MAY 1 WESTERN Mass. -- Shabbat Shabloom on Zoom, with Aram Rubenstein-Gillis, a fun,

have a moving mouth. To some degree, the scripts are inspired by who I have to work with, so I have a walrus from my show WHALE TALES who teaches the numbers 1-5 by attempting to build a block tower, but his clumsy flippers keep knocking the blocks over, necessitating lots of repetition, which is the name of the game in language instruction. JL: How do you produce your videos? AS: After I write and translate all the scripts for that week’s episode, I set up a green screen, a camera, some studio lights, and a microphone… and oodles more audio equipment that my other half, Brian Bender, has in his studio where I record. Then I point a phone at the back of the camera and connect it to a computer on the ground facing me—that’s my home version of a monitor. That allows me to ensure my puppet is looking right at the camera, isn’t listing to one side or anything, and to check that I’m not visible in the shot. It’s backward, so it’s always tricky to work out which way to move to correct things! Lastly, I get suited up with any masking I need to wear—usually a green hat and sometimes a green sleeve or two, just in case the top of


| APRIL 16, 2021

my head or my arm is visible. Then I turn on the camera and audio track and run the scene and the repeat-after-me section in each language, one after the other, in one long track. It’s a great work-out for my brain to have to shift from one language to another! Then I disconnect everything and the editing process begins! JL: How long is each video and how many you done? AS: Oh man, after so much work, the videos are only a minute or two long! But that’s actually great, because the idea is to watch them more than once at a time. At this writing, the program is 12 videos long. In the future, I may extend it to more advanced concepts. JL: What ages and grades is this program for? AS: This program is beginner level. I always think puppetry self-selects—if you’re a funloving adult, I think there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy the program. You’d just whip through it a lot faster than children would. On the other hand, I’ve designed it so you don’t necessarily have to be literate

song filled Shabbat morning sing-a-long time every 2nd Saturday on the month; 9-9:45 a.m., hosted by Congregation B’nai Israel; Zoom info: https://us02web.zoom. us/j/86814409262 Meeting ID: 868 1440 9262; Virtual Link: https://us02web. zoom.us/j/86814409262 Registration: mailto:molly@cbinorthampton.org;

FRIDAY, MAY 7 Western Mass. – Jewish Family Zoom! A weekly Jewish music class for kids 0-5 and their caretakers led by Jewish educator and musician Felicia Sloin, 9-9:30 a.m.; To preregister, go to www.jfswm.org/jewish-familjam; ALSO May, 14, 21 & 28

THURSDAY, MAY 20 Springfield – Rachel’s Table Virtual Bountiful Bowls Fundraiser to fight food insecurity, with the theme of inspiring others to step up; honoring anti-hunger activists Suze Goldman and Bob Bolduc

FRIDAY, MAY 21 Springfield – Virtual Tot Shabbat with Marlene Rachelle, Temple Beth El, and PJ Library, Grab an instrument and a favorite stuffy as we welcome Shabbat together and fill our homes with music and fun; 5:30-6:15 p.m.; Register: https:// us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZIldOGtrjIjG93LsyTK8ANSe6VKaVF50Myj;

to do it. I’d recommend it for ages three through 10. JL: When the pandemic hit, what did this do to your work as a puppeteer? AS:: I did lose a ton of work at first. Any shows I had booked for schools and public events for spring and summer 2020 were canceled, and most were not rescheduled as online events. But when PJ Library of Eastern Mass. reached out to me to start doing weekly shows starting in May of 2020, from there more Jewish organizations around the country heard about me, and I started doing shows for communities I never would have been able to reach otherwise! JL: What do you hope PuppetSpeak will accomplish? AS: World peace. Is that too much to ask? All right, then I’ll settle for cultivating a new generation of kids who are curious about other cultures, who travel with humility, and who embrace newcomers to this country.



Meet the 27-year-old amplifying the sounds of the Borscht Belt (and listen to his favorite Yiddish songs) (New York Jewish Week via JTA) – Growing up, Aaron Bendich would spend lots of time with his grandfather Max in the North Bronx, in a house “filled to the brim” with records, videotapes and CDs. Among Max’s collection were recordings of Yiddish songs and other Jewish music. Fast forward a few years and Aaron is the manager of the radio station at Vassar College and taking Yiddish classes. Inevitably he started a show featuring Yiddish music and spent his free time scouring thrift shops and used record stores for obscure Jewish recordings. Now 27 and living in Brooklyn, Bendich is about to launch his second Yiddish music show – on WJFF Radio Catskill, the public radio station for the Catskills and Northeast Pennsylvania. He’ll host “Borscht Beat,” a weekly hour of Jewish music recalling the heyday of the Jewish vacationland in upstate New York. “If I can be a bridge to this lost media to other people, Jewish or not, and anyone who might enjoy, it is just so pleasing,” said Bendich, whose day job is director of advertising for Digital Media Rights, a film distributor in Manhattan. “There’s a real magic to it.” Bendich said he was excited to be hosting the new show, which launches Sunday at 1 p.m., on a radio station with ties to a historic epicenter of Yiddish culture in the United States. “Most of the artists I play have, at one time, performed within WJFF’s broadcast area,” Bendich said. “I think it’s very wonderful and exciting that my show is now on the station. There is some beautiful continuity with the rich Jewish cultural history of the region.” We asked Bendich to pick and discuss five songs that represent the range of the Borscht Belt. He added a sixth as a bonus: a recording of his grandfather, Max Bendich, who ran a laundry service in the Bronx and recently passed away at the age of 105.

“Mein Shtetl Yaass” – Marc Kurz https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=HeR7yAkBlaI A nostalgic tune about the longing for one’s home in the Old World is uncharacteristically raucous in this 1960 sing-along record by Marv Kurz, a band leader who frequently performed in the ’40s and ’50s at Gibber Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York. Kurz’s voice has the crazed excitement that many of the great Yiddish

majewishledger.com 21 JEWISH LEDGER

stage performers once had. The scat-singing conclusion is explosive, and inspires ecstatic longing for an Old World that I’ve never been to.

“Birds Chorus” – Jenny Kessler https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=dCGqXO6clPQ I found a copy of this record at a Hasidicrun thrift shop called Blessed Buy in Brooklyn among a stack of much older 78 rpm records. To my surprise, this relatively recent LP was by far the least documented, and rarest, of my haul. I could find no information about it online, except Kessler put out the album with an Israeli conductor named Martin Moskovitch. I gave it a listen, and this opening track, “Bird’s Chorus,” blew me away with its upbeat, poppy sound, prefaced with audio of actual birds chirping. In the years since, Blessed Buy has closed, but someone uploaded the record onto YouTube, and it’s been a joy to listen to such a sweet and happy record.

“Ot Azoy” (from “Az Men Git Nemt Men”) – Yakov Bodo https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=iBE3WEZCHL8 I first heard this odd, disco-inflected Yiddish song from a YouTube search. The video, featuring a group of young dancing Hasidim surrounding a notably older singer (Yakov Bodo), captivated me and my grandfather as well. I showed him the video nearly every time I visited him, and he learned the words quickly (which was no small feat for a centenarian). “Az Men Git Nemt Men” was the first film in Yiddish produced in Israel, and was released in 1982. Bodo is still alive and performing in Yiddish theater in Israel, and turned 90 on March 28.

“Coney Island” – The Barry Sisters https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kEaZqu_xxOI The Barry Sisters, born Minnie and Clara Bagelman, were crossover superstars of Yiddish song from the 1940s to the early 1970s. They had a long, illustrious career and recorded a substantial body of work in many languages. When Claire Barry died in 2014 (her younger sister Merna had died in 1976), The New York Times remembered them not only as “darlings of the Catskills, Miami Beach and other Jewish | APRIL 9, 2021


entertainment outposts,” but as stars in Las Vegas and on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” This tune, “Coney Island,” has a classic “Yinglish” style of lyricism; English lyrics are seamlessly melded with those in Yiddish. The lyrics revel in the boundless joy to be found a short train ride away, in Coney Island: “There’s garlic and cheese in the ocean breeze.”

dramatic skills,” according to a website dedicated to his memory. His idiosyncratic style is still beloved and remembered to this day.

“A Chazandl in Amerike” – Aaron Lebedeff

My main inspiration for my record collecting and radio pursuits is my zayde (grandfather) Max Bendich, who was an avid collector himself, a devout Yiddishist and a fount of knowledge and wisdom. Three years ago he burst out in song with a Yiddish tune I’d never heard before, with lyrics about the goldfish-swallowing fad of the 1930s. I recorded him and circulated the recording to the point where it has been viewed thousands of times. Max died on Dec. 23 at the age of 105 without ever learning where the song came from, but he took great joy in knowing I was carrying on his legacy of collecting Jewish music and sharing it with others.

https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=38JeU32HPYg This is a parody of the classic tune “A Chazan af Shabbos” (“A Cantor for the Sabbath”), where a cantor auditions and three workers describe the glory of his voice in terms of their labors. In this parody, the judges are restaurateurs, each coming from a different region of the Yiddish-speaking world: one a Litvak, one a Galitzianer and one from America. Each of the three compare the singing to their favorite foods, in their wildly hyperbolic accents. This culminates in the Amerikaner comparing the cantor to ham and eggs, and then proclaiming “Holy Moses! Jesus Christ! Is this a cantor!” This hysterical parody was actually censored in its LP release by The Greater Recording Co. and the name of Jesus was removed from the recording. The singer, the legendary Aaron Lebedeff (1873-1960), was one of the greatest Yiddish theater performers, who would “regularly lead a contingent of actors and actresses to the Catskills to perfect their

“Mentshn Zenen Mishigge” – Max Bendich https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=IbtEVDxisXs

WJFF Radio Catskill is available on-air at 90.5 FM, online at wjffradio.org, on smartphone via the WJFF app, and on smart speaker. Episodes of some of Aaron’s previous shows featuring Jewish music are available at his website, laughingwithlizards.com.


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OBITUARIES FELDMAN Scott A. Feldman, 55, of Worcester, died March 10. Born in Webster, he was the son of Albert and the late Reva (Burwick) Feldman. He was a graduate of Fanning Trade High School, after which he enlisted in the U.S. Army, proudly serving as a Culinary Specialist. After military service, he pursued a professional career in food services, which spanned 35 years at Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, eventually as a Lead Supervisor. Some of the locations he worked at included W.P.I. and Clark University. He managed food services for the Worcester Tornadoes and at the Clara Barton and Joslin summer camps. In addition to his father, he is survived by two brothers, Jason Feldman and his wife, Kimberly, of West Boylston and Seth Feldman of Worcester; a niece, Rachel; and two nephews, Caine and Luke. Memorial contributions may be made to World Central Kitchen, 655 New York Ave. NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001 (www.wck.org). MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN GOULD Amy J. (Kangisser) Gould, 74, of Framingham, died Feb. 17 in Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She was the wife of John F. Gould of Framingham. Born in Worcester, she was the daughter of Charles and Mildred (Kaplan) Kangisser and had lived in Framingham for 53 years. She worked as a unit secretary for over 30 years at MetroWest Hospital. In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, Michael Gould of Framingham, and Jeffrey Gould and his wife, Bertha, of Jersey City, N.J.; a sister, Sue Kangisser of Framingham; a brother Joel Kangisser and his wife, Rachel, of Jerusalem, Israel; two grandchildren, Verenice and Jeremy; and two nieces. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN HELLMAN Pearl Hellman, 97, of Springfield, formerly of Florida and New Jersey, died April 4 at home. She was the widow of Henry Hellman. She received her bachelor’s degree from Penn State, graduating Phi Betta Kapa; and received her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in social work. She had worked as the director of social work for Jewish senior housing in Orlando, Fla., and worked as a discharge planner at a nursing home and for the state of New Jersey as a supervisor of federal contracts for daycare centers. She is survived by a daughter, Eileen Rutman of Springfield; two grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased 22

by a daughter, Phyllis Swartz. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME KIMBALL Richard R. Kimball, 78, of Delray Beach, Fla. and Clinton, Conn., died at home with loved ones March 14. He was the husband of Harriet Reisner Kimball. Born Springfield, he was the son of Irving and Pearl (Silverman) Kimball. Raised in Longmeadow, he graduated from Longmeadow High School. He graduated from Wharton School of Business in 1964, and he and his wife moved to Michigan where he earned his Master’s Degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State, later returning to Longmeadow where they resided for 37 years. He was president of The Kimball Companies in East Longmeadow, and served as president of the East Longmeadow Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Jewish Community Center. He also served in the Air National Guard. In addition to his wife, he is survived son Brian Kimball; a daughter, Suzanne (Kimball) Richardson; a granddaughter, Jasmine Richardson; two brothers David Kimball and his wife, Robin, and Robert Kimball and his wife, Jenny. He was predeceased by a son-in-law, Anthony Richardson. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Beth El, 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108 or to support liposarcoma research donate to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY 10087. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME LERNER Shirley Lerner, 95, of West Yarmouth, formerly of Worcester, died March 15 at her home. She was the widow of Dr. Saul Lerner. Born and raised in Worcester, she was the daughter of Abraham and Dora (Aberman) Milman. She attended Clark University and received her Master’s Degree in social work at Boston University School of Social Work. After her marriage, she lived in New York City where she worked as a medical social worker at Mount Sinai Hospital. She later returned to Worcester where she raised her family, later retiring to Cape Cod. She is survived by her daughters, Lenore Lerner of Worcester and Lisa Lerner Balegno and her husband, Sergio, of Marstons Mills; grandchildren, Ashley Bronson of Boston and Rachel Holmgren and her husband, Paul, of East Sandwich; and Jenna and Sam Balegno; and two greatgrandchildren, Brooke and Chase. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. MILES FUNERAL HOME


| APRIL 16, 2021

RUBIN Allen Irving Rubin, 92, died March 16 at Bay State Medical Center. He was the widower of Shirley Solomon Rubin. Born in Springfield, he was the son of Paul and Isabelle Rubin. He graduated from Springfield Technical High School in 1946. After high school, he served in the U.S. Army, 82 Airborne as a paratrooper. He was stationed in Italy and discharged in 1948. Upon returning home, he worked at J Rubin Sons, the family candy manufacturing company in Chicopee from 1949 - 1973, after which he held various sales jobs until his retirement in 2018. He was a member of Sinai Temple where his parents were founding members of the congregation. He was a Shriner. He is survived by a daughter, Pam MacPhaul and her husband, Charlie MacPhaul, of Marietta, Ga.; two sons, Mark and his wife, Renee of Edgewater Md., and Scott and his wife, Gina, of Longmeadow; grandsons, Kevin (Kelly) MacPhaul, John Basile, Jackson Rubin and Benjamin Rubin; granddaughters, Kara (Joey Cole) MacPhaul, Giulia Rubin and Danielle Basile; great- grandsons Connor and Hudson MacPhaul; two brothers, Martin Rubin of Longmeadow, and Monroe Rubin of Vero Beach Fla.; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions be made to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 516 Carew St. Springfield, MA 01104. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME SOLOMON Dr. Seymour M. Solomon, 81, of Worcester, died April 5. Born in Worcester, he was the son of the late Barney and Beatrice (Fischer) Solomon. He graduated from Classical High School and attended Franklin and Marshall University in Pennsylvania. He completed his medical degree at Tufts University in Boston, with completion of his residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was board-certified in dermatology and internal medicine. He spent more than 50 years practicing medicine throughout the state of Massachusetts aside from owning a private practice in San Francisco for a short time. He is survived by a sister in law, Janet (Schultz) Solomon; a niece, Beth I. Solomon of Brookeville, Md.; and a nephew, Edward J. Solomon of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was predeceased by a brother, Herbert E. Solomon. Memorial contributions in can be made to either St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; and Doctors Without Borders, Attn: Donor Services, 40 Rector St., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10006. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN

SLITZKY Irving Slitzky, 88, of Longmeadow, died Feb. 8. He was the husband of Marilyn Slitzky. Born in The Bronx, N.Y., he lived in Elmont, N.Y. for many years where he owned several Kosher butcher stores. He later relocated to Chatsworth, Calif., and then Longmeadow to be near family. He was a lifelong member and assistant scoutmaster of the Boy Scouts of America where he helped organize and supervise National Jamborees. He was also a Ham Radio Operator and enjoyed speaking with people from all over the world. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Barry and wife, Margaret, of Longmeadow, and Kenneth and wife, Jeannie, of Chatsworth, Calif.; and three grandchildren, David, Matthew and his wife, Hannah Corwin, and Hannah. Memorial contributions may be made to Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing, Att: Director of Community Engagement, 246 North Main St., South Hadley, 01075. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME TOBIN Lenore Kutlow Tobin, 84, died Feb. 28 after a seven-year battle with vascular dementia. Born in New York City, she was raised in Miami Beach, later returning to New York. She graduated from Barnard College in 1957. She was a real estate broker in the village for many years. She was an active community member during her 50 years in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., volunteering at her childrens’ schools, leading arts and crafts summer events, and organizing adult education. She is survived by three children, Jocelyn Tobin (Stu Weissman) of Longmeadow, Alison Tobin of Denver, Colo., and Michael Tobin (Danna Greenberg) of Wellesley; seven grandchildren, Nathan, Benjamin, Max, Gillian, Micaela, Jonah and Seth; a brother, Herb Kutlow (Dee) of Cardiff, Calif; a sister, Rosalee Kutlow Lubell of Tustin, Calif.; and several cousins. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME GORDENSTEIN June Gordenstein of Springfield died in March. She was predecessed by her husband of 66 years, Walter Gordenstein, two months ago on Jan. 20. She is survived by two sons, Peter (Alex Novack) of New York City, and Ronald and his wife, Marcia, of Suffield, Conn.; and three grandchildren, Taylor, Harry, and William. Memorial contributions may be made to either Rachel’s Table 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield MA 01108 or Baystate Health, 759 Chestnut St., Springfield MA 01199. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME


Prince Philip, perhaps the closest member of the British royal family to Jews and Jewish causes, has died at 99 (JTA) Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip’s death on Friday, April 9. Philip, who had been married to Queen Elizabeth II for 74 years, since five years before she ascended to the throne, had been in declining health for some time. Also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip’s support for Jewish and pro-Israel causes ran deep. His mother, Princess Alice of Greece, sheltered a Jewish family during the Holocaust and is recognized as one of fewer than 30,000 “righteous among the nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum. Philip’s four sisters each married German nobles, at least three of whom became Nazis. But Philip, educated in Britain, joined the allied war effort. As an adult, he showed little patience for Nazi collaborators; he was instrumental in making a pariah of his wife’s uncle Edward, who after abdicating the throne dallied with Nazi Germany. Philip over the years spoke multiple times at Jewish and pro-Israel events. Philip, who had a passion for environmental preservation, spoke multiple times at Jewish National Fund events and lent his royal sponsorship to other Jewish events. He came under attack in the 1960s for speaking to pro-Israel groups, and, famously impervious to criticism, ignored the attacks. In 1994, Philip was the first British royal to visit Israel, when he accepted Yad Vashem’s recognition of his mother and visited her burial site at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. At Yad Vashem, Philip planted a maple tree in memory of his mother, who was married to Prince Andrew of Greece and helped shelter three members of the family of a late Greek-Jewish politician in her palace in Athens. The Gestapo was suspicious of Alice, even questioning her, but the princess, who was deaf, pretended not to understand their questions. Alice later became a nun. “The Holocaust was the most horrific event in all Jewish history, and it will remain in the memory of all future generations,” Philip said at the time. “It is, therefore, a very generous gesture that also remembered here are the many millions of non-Jews, like my mother, who shared in your pain and anguish and did what they could in small ways to alleviate the horror.” The 1994 visit broke with what was then an unofficial but nonetheless binding ban on royals traveling to Israel, which had been enforced following violence by Zionist fighters against British targets in the years that predated the establishment of the State of Israel in what had been before 1948 the British Mandate over Palestine. For all its trappings, Philip’s 1994 visit was in a personal capacity. The Royal House ended its policy on official visits to Israel in 2018, when Prince William, Prince Philip’s grandson, visited Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Philip’s retirement from public life in 2017 triggered an outpouring of plaudits for a life well-lived from Jewish groups and leaders. Those groups expressed grief upon his death Friday. Philip’s life “was spent in public service, from his active duty in the Navy during World War II to the tens of thousands of engagements which he carried out over six and a half decades of royal duties,” the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, wrote in a statement. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin joined dozens of other heads of state who expressed their sympathies with the Royal House. Rivlin used the traditional Jewish phrase when speaking about a deceased person, ending his tweet about Philip with “May his memory be a blessing.” majewishledger.com

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Massachusetts Jewish Ledger • April 16, 2021 • 4 Iyar 5781  

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