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Friday, June 25, 2021 15 Tamuz 5781 Vol. 22 | No. 6 | ©2021 $1.00 | majewishledger.com

Summer Reading

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| JUNE 25, 2021



this week


8 Milestones

10 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.

14 Around Mass

17 Synagogue Directory


Conversation with Ethan Felson..4 Executive director of A Wider Bridge works to advance LGBTQ rights, and equality for Israel

The Perfect House...............................................................................................5 Rabbi Shmulik and Sarah Fogelman’s new Chabad House near UMass Medical School will provide bikur cholim for patients and their families

Bulletin Board

22 Obituaries

#online antisemitism...................18 Young Zionist Jews say they’re fighting antisemitism on social media. What are they accomplishing?

At the Movies.................................... 6 Berkshire Jewish Film Festival celebrates 35 years with 18 films

ON THE COVER: Summer is the perfect time to take a break and lose yourself in a good book. What to read? First, we checked the Jewish Book Council at www.jewishbookcouncil.org for a list of books with Jewish content or Jewish themes – both fiction and nonfiction – that were published in 2020/2021. Then we found 100 Jewish children’s books for the family bookshelf, created by the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Jewish Grandparents Network. Take a look to find books for everyone in the family. Enjoy! PAGE 12 majewishledger.com

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In Memoriam...............................23 Rabbi Jerome Gurland was dedicated to community service and interfaith relations

WORCESTER Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING June 25 8:09 pm

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SPRINGFIELD Metropolitan Area CANDLE LIGHTING June 25 8:12 pm

HAVDALAH June 26 9:20 pm

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| JUNE 25, 2021

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Conversation with… ETHAN FELSON, Executive director of A Wider Bridge Vol. 22 No. 6

West Hartford native works to advance LGBTQ rights and equality for Israel


JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner Leslie Iarusso Associate Publisher Judie Jacobson Editor judiej@jewishledger.com • x3024 Hillary Sarrasin Digital Media Manager hillaryp@jewishledger.com


est Hartford native Ethan Felson has more than 30 years of experience as a professional in the Jewish community. After working as assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and director of its Jewish Community Relations Council, he moved on to national leadership roles with the Jewish Federations of North America, directing its Israel Action Network, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Now Felson is executive director of A Wider Bridge (AWB), a North American LGBTQ non-profit organization whose mission is “working through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grantmaking to create equality in Israel by expanding LGBTQ inclusion in Israel, and equality for Israel by cultivating constructive engagement with Israel.” Felson’s LGBTQ activism began when he was in college as the co-founder of the Lesbian and Gay Student Union at Lehigh University. He was co-chair of the Northeast Lesbian and Gay Student Union in the 1980s and helped to pass hate crime and civil rights legislation in Connecticut as a leader with the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights and the Lesbian and Gay AntiViolence Project. He served as Vice Chair of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and on the national board of the ACLU. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law. Over the years Felson has led numerous missions to Israel, including one in 2019 with LGBTQ Christian clergy co-sponsored with A Wider Bridge and serves on UJAPride with the UJA/Federation of New York. Felson recently spoke to the Jewish Ledger about the work of A Wider Bridge, LGBTQ rights in Israel and Pride Month. JEWISH LEDGER: What is A Wider Bridge doing for Pride Month in 2021? ETHAN FELSON: For all of Pride Month we’re very excited about our “Proud and” campaign. We’re asking people to come to our virtual rallies and tell us what’s on your sign. And people are selecting a word for their sign, they’re “Proud and progressive,” “Proud and Jewish” “Proud and ally” “Proud and trans” “Proud and Zionist” “Proud and Christian.” So we show the multiple commitments of people who are in our network during Pride Month. We also say we refuse to choose. We can be many different 4

things. You can be Jewish and queer and pro-Israel, all at the same time. We get to decide. We had a wonderful panel on June 17 with Ben Freeman and Eve Barlow [both Zionist social media activists] called “Queer Compass: Navigating Jewish, Israel and LGBTQ Pride” talking about some of the issues of how we demonstrate our pride in our diversity and multiple commitments, and where we choose to take our stands. And then at the end of the month, we will have a wonderful virtual walking tour of Tel Aviv on Pride Day, live. We’ll meet with some leaders of the LGBTQ community and see the activities that are shaping them, just as Shabbat is rolling in in Tel Aviv. We’re very excited about that program as well. JL: We hear about how Israel is accepting of the LGBTQ community. How accepting is Israel? EF: Israel remains at the cutting edge in terms of LGBTQ rights, but it exists, both, in a complicated neighborhood, and as we know, from four elections in two years, a complicated society. There is not a unanimous position in favor of LGBTQ rights. There were candidates who ran on very homophobic, awful platforms and won a few seats in the Knesset. There is conversion therapy that happens in Israel, and as with anywhere there is, transphobia, broadly LGBTQ-phobia, anti-gay violence that people experience -- issues in terms of HIV AIDS, all the things that we experience anywhere and everywhere. But in Israel we also are very proud of the more than a dozen organizations that are community centers and trans rights organizations and groups that work in the religious community, with women’s community, with schools that are doing some groundbreaking work that we hope everybody will learn about. JL: And how is A Wider Bridge involved with these groups and programs? EF: A Wider bridge stands for equality in Israel, equality for Israel and justice for everyone. The equality in Israel refers to our connection with these groups; we make grants to those groups; we showcase them wherever we can so that people are aware of them and can support them because they really are our family and they are doing heroic work.



EDITORIAL Stacey Dresner Massachusetts Editor staceyd@jewishledger.com • x3008 Tim Knecht Proofreader ADVERTISING Donna Edelstein Senior Account Executive Non-Profit & JHL Ledger LLC Media Marketing donnae@jewishledger.com • x3028 Joyce Cohen Senior Account Executive joycec@jewishledger.com • (860) 836-9195 Trudy Goldstein Account Executive trudyg@jewishledger.com • x3007 Amy Oved Mass Account Executive amyo@jewishledger.com • x3030 PRODUCTION Elisa S. Wagner Creative Director elisaw@jewishledger.com Christopher D. Bonito Graphic Designer chrisb@jewishledger.com

In terms of “Equality for Israel,” the second leg of our motto, we seek fair conversation about Israel and the LGBTQ community and beyond. So we are working with LGBTQ communal leaders, organizational leaders, elected officials and their staffs, helping to educate in a fair, balanced way about the LGBTQ community. JL: Pride Month is held in June in the U.S. to coincide with the Stonewall Uprising occurred in June of 1969. Was there ever any kind of event in Israel that kind of really pushed the gay community to insist for more rights? EF: There was the murder of Shira Banki several years ago, an ally who was at a pride parade. And it was a wake up call for many that our rights and our safety cannot be taken for granted. She was a 16 year old and she was fatally was stabbed by a man went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade in July of 2015. Clearly the modern movement doesn’t start with that. But there’s a wonderful book by Lee Walzer – we had him speak in Hartford many years ago – From Sodom to Eden talking about the emergence of the LGBTQ rights movement in Israel. And Aguda -- the central LGBTQ organization is more than 40 years old. So it’s been a tireless struggle for decades in Israel. JL: What are your thoughts on those in the LGBTQ community who criticize members of the Zionist LGBTQ community?

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Samuel Neusner, Founder (1929-1960) Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman, Co-Founder and Editor (1929-1977) Berthold Gaster, Editor (1977-1992) N. Richard Greenfield, Publisher (1994-2014) PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT JHL Ledger LLC 40 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 Phone (860) 231-2424 Fax (860) 231-2485 Editorial Email: staceyd@jewishledger.com Production Email: production@jewishledger.com Editorial deadline: All public and social announcements must be received by Tuesday 5 p.m. 10 days prior to publication. Advertising deadline: Thursday noon one week prior to issue. Advertisers should check ad on publication. JHL Ledger LLC and Jewish Ledger shall not be liable for failure to publish an ad for typographical error or errors in the publication except to the extent of the cost of the space which the actual error appeared in the first insertion. Publishers reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason and to alter advertising copy or graphics deemed unacceptable. The publishers cannot warrant, nor assume responsibility for, the legitimacy, reputability or legality of any products or services offered in advertisements in any of its publications. The entire contents of the Jewish Ledger are copyright © 2020. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. JHL Ledger LLC also publishes the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, All Things Jewish CT, and All Things Jewish MA. www.majewishledger.com


| JUNE 25, 2021




Chabad House near UMass Medical School will provide Jewish programming and bikur cholim


ORCESTER -- When Rabbi Shmulik and Sarah Fogelman started Chabad of Shrewsbury and UMass Medical School more than three years ago, they thought they would be opening their doors to students and community members, teaching Torah, and organizing a Jewish community. However, two months after opening Chabad, Rabbi Fogelman received the first of many phone calls. “Since that day we’ve gotten calls from people, not just from here, but also from New York, Brazil, London -- from all over the place -- because UMass is a leader in gene therapy. “We got a call two months after we moved here from a family that comes here from Brazil every six months for a few days for treatments because UMass is a leader in the gene therapies field, totally on the cutting edge.” Since realizing the needs of some Jewish patients and their families at the medical center the Fogelmans have been providing them with bikur cholim – kosher meals, pastoral care, and even at times a place to stay in their own home. But in August, the Fogelmans will be able to offer even more to both students and patients when they open a brand new Chabad House just one block from UMass. Chabad will close on the house on Locust Avenue sometime in August and by Rosh Hashana should be open for services, classes and Jewish programming. As a Chabad House, it will provide a Jewish home away from home for UMass medical students and residents to relax, hang out or enjoy a Shabbat meal. But the new Chabad House will also include “bikur cholim” suites for families getting medical care from UMass, the home of the Horae Gene Therapy Center. As Rabbi Fogelman stated, the gene therapy center is currently developing breakthrough gene therapies for rare inherited diseases, several of which occur more often in Ashkenazic Jews than in other genetic groups, like Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis and Canavan Disease. Ground has already been broken on a new education and research building on the UMass campus majewishledger.com


Boston-area high school football team had long history of antisemitic behavior, report finds BY STEVEN ROSENBERG


(Jewish Journal-Massachusetts via JTA) – A suburban Boston high school football team that had come under fire earlier this year for using Holocaust and Jewish phrases to call plays – “Auschwitz,” “rabbi” and “yarmulke” among them – had been employing similar antisemitic language for at least the last decade. That was the conclusion of an investigation into the incident involving Duxbury High outlined in a summary of the report by the superintendent of the district schools and posted June 10 to the school’s website. According to the summary by John Antonucci, the team has called the plays with antisemitic language since at least 2010, used homophobic slurs and profanity on the sidelines, and regularly held a Catholic Mass before games for years in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution and court rulings that preclude sectarian instruction in public schools.



that will provide research space for clinical trial therapeutics. It is set for completion in 2023. Chabad of Shrewsbury and UMass Medical School has launched a capital campaign to raise $500,000 for the new Chabad House.

But finding that perfect house has taken more than two years. A plan to build a Chabad House did not work out, and as has happened to many buyers in this seller’s market, the Fogelmans put in offers on at CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


The full report could not be released, Antonucci’s summary said, because of privacy concerns under state law. The main report focused on the actions of players and coaches, as well as the general culture of the football program, and included interviews CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

| JUNE 25, 2021


Berkshire Jewish Film Festival celebrates 35 years


ITTSFIELD – This summer the Berkshire Jewish Film Festival celebrates its 35th anniversary with a full seven weeks of programming, ranging from political documentaries and biographies to comedies, heartfelt family stories, and animation. The film festival will begin Monday, July 5 and feature 18 films, including five short films. Like last year, it will be a virtual festival showing films online and engaging audience members with Zoom talkbacks. Tickets are $10 for individual films, and season passes are $118. All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. For additional information and the online box office, visit berkshirejewishfilmfestival.org.


JULY 5, 4 P.M. A Crime on the Bayou The story of a lasting bond formed between an unjustly arrested black man, Gary

JULY 5, 8 P.M. Mr. Jones High on his recent success as the fearless journalist who just interviewed Hitler, Gareth Jones goes on to become the first person to expose The New York Times cover-up of the atrocities of the Holodomor, Stalin’s


Born into a creative Jewish family, Michael Tilson Thomas is the third generation of his

moneylender who has called in the debt. With the threat of having his community center seized as property, Rabbi Aaron embarks on a last-ditch fundraising effort by traveling to Taiwan to attract donors. (Courtesy Toronto Jewish Film Festival Narrative, 85 min, 2019, Spanish with English subtitles) man-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians between the years 1932-33. (Courtesy RogerEbert.com) Narrative, 141 minutes, 2019, English)

JULY 12, 4 P.M. Schocken: On the Verge of Consensus Salman Schocken, the King of department

Duncan, and Richard Sobol, his young Jewish attorney. In 1966, 19-year-old Duncan faced the white supremacist court system in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, for daring to touch a white boy’s arm. Standing united, the pair took the case all the way to the US Supreme Court to fight for the rights of all Americans to a fair trial. (Documentary, 89 minutes, 2020, English)

JULY 12, 8 P.M. Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now is

stores in Germany before World War II, possessed a unique collection of 60,000 rare books, founded a modern, Jewish publishing house, and later owned the Haaretz newspaper which still survives on the edge of consensus. (Documentary, 75 minutes, 2020, Hebrew, German with English subtitles)


| JUNE 25, 2021

family to pursue an artistic career and has spent his life stretching the boundaries of classical music. In 1970, Tilson Thomas was considered the great young hope of American classical music. (Courtesy Jewish Film Institute Documentary, 97 minutes, 2020)

JULY 19, 4 P.M. Soros Billionaire activist George Soros is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. With unprecedented access to the man and his inner circle, director Jesse Dylan follows Soros across the globe and pulls back the curtain on his personal history, private wealth, and public activism. (Courtesy Sorosfilm.com Documentary, 86 minutes, 2019, English)

JULY 26, 4 P.M. Magic Men A jaded Holocaust survivor who has renounced his faith, Avraham (Makram Khoury) resents the piety of his middleaged son Yehuda (Zohar Strauss), a devout Hassidic rapper. When the aging Avraham decides to return to his native Greece to find the man who offered shelter and taught him magic during World War II, he is compelled to bring Yehuda as his guardian. So begins a cross-cultural, cross-generational road trip as these characters search for absolution and reconciliation. (Narrative, 100 minutes, 2014, Hebrew with English subtitles)

JULY 26, 8 P.M. ‘Til Kingdom Come JULY 19, 8 P.M. Shalom Taiwan This uplifting dramatic comedy follows the misadventures of Rabbi Aaron as he tries to raise funds to repay a loan from a

‘Til Kingdom Come unravels the global significance of American Christians’ dogma concerning Israel’s role in the Second CONTINUED ON PAGE 21




MHERST – The Yiddish Book Center began a phased reopening on June 24. Since closing its doors to the public on March 12, 2020, due to the pandemic, the Yiddish Book Center has been and will continue to offer an ongoing series of free virtual public programs. But now the Center will be open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Center’s English-language Museum Store, which can be accessed online through its website, also opened for in-person shoppers on June 24. “We’re so looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the Center,” says Lisa Newman, director of publishing and public programs. “Our Yiddish Writers Garden is in full bloom, our permanent exhibits are in place, and we’ve just installed a dynamic new visiting exhibit that spans two galleries.” “Through the Hat” and “The Golden Medina”, the two visiting exhibits by multimedia artist Steve Marcus will be on view at the Center through fall 2021. Through the Hat includes wood-carved objects that seamlessly weave together Marcus’ childhood memories of bagels and bialys, pickles and green tomatoes from the barrel, and paper-wrapped whitefish chubs with his personal journey and passion for his own roots and culture. The Golden Medina expands on this series, welcoming the viewer deeper into Marcus’ world of contemporary kosher folk art through humorous depictions of everyday Jewish life that communicate wisdom from Yiddish proverbs This year, the Yiddish Book Center’s annual YIDSTOCK: The Festival of New Yiddish Music will be presented as a 75-minute, pre-recorded, virtual program on July 11 at 4 p.m. YIDSTOCK will feature a dozen musicians from around the world, including Eleanor Reissa, Lorin Sklamberg, Frank London, and Daniel Kahn and Sveta Kundish from Berlin, all performing Yiddish songs of social justice. These include labor anthems, protest songs, humanitarian odes, songs of struggle, and songs based in Yiddish poetry. The program’s theme of social justice is drawn from the Yiddish Book Center’s Decade of Discovery, a ten-year programming initiative, which in 2021 is themed to “Yiddish and Social Justice.” “Issues related to social justice have deep roots in Yiddish literature, songs, and dramatic works,” Newman said. “We’re excited to see how these performers are regenerating and reimagining this in their work at this year’s YIDSTOCK.” Other artists taking part include Cilla Owens, Sarah Myerson and Ilya Shneyveys, Niki Jacobs from the Netherlands, Polina and Merlin Shepherd from Brighton, UK, Sarah Gordon and Michael Winograd from Brooklyn, Tatiana Wechsler, Éléonore Weill and Zoë Aqua, and Patrick Farrell. The pre-recorded program will be emceed by YIDSTOCK artistic director Seth Rogovoy. “Moving this year’s event to online provides us the opportunity to present musical artists from around the world,” said Rogovoy. “It allows us to include a number of artists who haven’t performed at YIDSTOCK previously—fully half of the artists will be making their YIDSTOCK debuts.” In addition to the pre-recorded program on July 11, the Yiddish Book Center will be presenting a series of virtual public programs in July on the theme of Yiddish and social justice, including a talk about Yiddish music of the Holocaust and one about Jewish protest singers of the 1960s, as well as a conversation with several YIDSTOCK performers. Check the Yiddish Book Center events calendar for details and registration for these events coming soon. For more information about YIDSTOCK, other YBC programming and visitor protocols, visit yiddishbookcenter.org.


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


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.

780 Converse Street Longmeadow, MA • JGSLifecare.org

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Owner operated and proudly serving the community and greater New England for over 25 years Robert Zeller “Happy feet move faster”

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| JUNE 25, 2021


MILESTONES B’NAI MITZVAH MOLLY CHACE, daughter of Lisa and William Chace, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, celebrated her bat mitzvah on Saturday, June 19. LUCAS DAUNAIS, son of Andi and Steven Daunais, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, celebrated his bar mitzvah on Saturday, June 26. MADELYN LAFLAM, daughter of Allyson Brown, members of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, celebrated her bat mitzvah on Saturday, June 26.



he Massachusetts Board of Rabbis (MBR) is delighted to announce its newly elected leadership for 2021-2022. The elected officers of the Executive Board of the MBR are: Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, President Rabbi Ron Fish, Vice President Rabbi Alison Adler, Treasurer Rabbi Andy Vogel, Chair—Public Policy & Social Action Committee Rabbi Navah Levine, Member-at-Large Rabbi Jodi Seewald Smith, Member-at-Large Rabbi Neal Gold, Immediate Past President

Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, BCC, is the director of Spiritual Care at Hebrew SeniorLife, serving more than 3,000 elders in the greater Boston area. Rabbi Paasche-Orlow is the first Chaplain Rabbi to serve as president of MBR in the organization’s history. She is a co-founder of the HSL Chaplaincy Institute, focused on Jewish spiritual care and aging, dementia care, and end of life care. She serves on the board of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab at Brandeis. Rabbi Paasche-Orlow was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America,and is the author of articles on Jewish chaplaincy and the co-author, with Rabbi Joel Baron, of SARA PASSSCHE-ORLOW Deathbed Wisdom of the Hasidic Masters: The Book of Departures and Caring for People at the End of Life (Jewish Lights, 2016). She lives in Newton with her husband, Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow. Founded 80 years ago, the MBR is the only regional organization of rabbis from various Jewish streams and movements serving congregations, agencies, and institutions within Massachusetts. Its membership consists of women and men from across the Jewish religious spectrum who come together for study, professional development, collegiality and support, and to speak with a singular rabbinic voice on behalf of our Jewish community. The MBR’s history and recent policy papers can be accessed through the MBR website. 8


| JUNE 25, 2021



ichael Hoberman of Shelburne Falls has been selected to be the keynote speaker for the 41st Annual IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. The 2021 All-Virtual Conference will be from Aug. 1-5, 2021. Hoberman’s talk will explore the earliest vestiges of Jewish American literature which, he asserts, can be found in the personal correspondence of North America’s eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Jewish settlers. The conference will feature live-stream presentations as well as more than 100 pre-recorded, on-demand videos, both available for 60 days after the conference ends. Sessions will cover virtually every aspect of Jewish genealogy and research. The special Conference tracks this year are: Early Jewish Settlers of the Americas, Innovative Methodology, Keepers of the Shoah Memory, Beginners Research, DNA Insights for Genealogy, and Heritage and Cultural Materials. Hoberman is a professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University and author of A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History. The IAJGS is an umbrella organization of more than 93 Jewish genealogical societies worldwide. Registration and Conference program details are posted on the conference website: www.iajgs2021.org.


Send Us Your Simchas!

“Vehayita ach sameach” – you should have nothing but joy (Deut. 16:15).”


The Jewish Ledger wants to celebrate your special events – engagements, marriages, anniversaries and baby announcements. Email simchas to staceyd@jewishledger.com majewishledger.com

MILESTONES Study Sisters Celebrate B’not Mitzvah Milestone


hey are the “Study Sisters” -- five women, all traveling along diverse paths, with the shared dream to become B’not Mitzvah. One Jew by choice, and four Jewish women who missed out on the opportunity to read from the Torah, came together at Congregation B’nai Torah in Sudbury on June 11 to make the journey together. “When adults come together of their own volition, making a choice to become B’not Mitzvah, not just because they’ve reached a certain age, but because it’s a personal goal, it’s powerful,” said B’nai Torah’s Cantorial Soloist Jodi Blankstein, who met with the group weekly over the past 18 months. The group included a woman in the process of conversion, whose daughter will become a Bat Mitzvah next winter, former educators and administrators, a yoga instructor, and an executive director. Meeting weekly, the students practiced chanting blessings, studied individual prayers, and learned to read troupe patterns—the markings in the Torah that indicate how words are chanted. Each student’s binder contained the entire service in Hebrew as well as transliterations. Teasing out Hebrew roots allowed students to understand the meaning behind prayers and gain a deeper understanding of the words chanted together on Shabbat. Rabbi Eiduson met with the women as they prepared their Divrei Torah, guiding them and offering insight into their shared Torah portion. Each “Sister” then wrote a sequential portion to create a beautifully flowing D’var. “There is no greater privilege than working with adult learners and introducing them to serious Jewish study. The women who are becoming B’not Mitzvah have worked diligently not only to learn Hebrew and prepare the many different sections of the service, but they have also embraced the broader message of this life-cycle occasion—something that our 13-year-olds simply do not have the developmental capacity to achieve,” said Eiduson. “That is, they are committing to become life-long Jewish learners, to joyously practice Judaism and Jewish rituals inside and outside the synagogue, and to make the world a better place through social justice and deeds of lovingkindness.” “One of the most meaningful movements in my cantorial career took place in May when the women rehearsed together for their B’not Mitzvah, each chanting from the Torah Scroll for the first time,” said Blankstein. “It was the first time we had been physically together since the COVID lockdown began. As one Study Sister took her place on the Bimah and began chanting from the Torah, she was overcome by the emotion of achieving this extraordinary personal goal. “It was an incredibly powerful moment in time for all of us.”

FUN, FRIENDS, FOREVER CT’s Premier Jewish Co-ed Overnight Summer Camp



For more information or a personal guided tour, please contact us. 463 Summer Hill Rd. Madison, CT PART OF THE 2018-19 BEMA CONCERT SERIES www.laurelwood.org 2626203.421.3736 ALBANY AVENUE • WEST HARTFORD • 860.233.9696




| JUNE 25, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update



here is an increasingly growing wave of global anti-Zionism. Far beyond criticism of Israeli policy we are witnessing a dramatic surge in anti-Israel hate that claims the foundation of Israel’s founding was evil and illegal. While it has always been the default viewpoint of the vast majority of those in the Middle East, in our country this position was once only held by the most extreme activists. But recently this call for the end to Israel’s existence has frighteningly become commonplace. STEVEN SCHIMMEL, Abhorrent rhetoric has EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR come in-person, not just confined to the internet pages of fringe conspiracy-theorists, or at extremist rallies, or among supremacists. Anti-Israel activists have escalated from spewing untruths vilifying Israel at rallies around the globe to outright calling for an end to Israel “from the river to the sea.” This type of anti-Israel rhetoric has been picked up by otherwise well-respected global media outlets and by elected officials. In our own country this has led to Jews being attacked in public, synagogues have been defaced with antiIsrael graffiti, and historic antisemitic bloodlibel comments have been mainstreamed and redirected as Israel-hate. Elite college

campuses are some of the most unwelcome places for students to show any type of support for Israel and professors have no shame in debating against the merits of Israel’s right to exist. Even in our own community lies and hatred have crept into our local newspapers and Facebook pages, and our own elected officials have embraced the rhetoric of those who wish to see the end of Israel’s existence. According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance almost all of this is classifiable as Antisemitism, and a closer examination of the Israel hate does seem to be rooted in hatred of Jews. We need to be aware of what is happening around us, especially as it pertains to the viewpoints of those in influential positions and those who we look to for support. Israel’s existence is vital to the future of the Jewish people. We must ensure its survival. It goes without saying that there is fair criticism of Israeli policy- there are times when we can and should be critical. But we also must recognize that much of the anti-Israel activity we are seeing today is undoubtedly rooted in hate-filled antisemitism that seeks to end the existence of the country. We know from history what can happen in a society where hatred is allowed to flourish, we know what can happen when leaders embrace hatred, and we know what antisemitism leads to. We know what can happen when lies and

jewishcentralmass.org vilification become the norm. We know what has happened to our people when there was no Israel. We need everyone to work to combat these evils. We need the resources to have a strong Jewish community that can plan and

respond. We need to equip and prepare our young leaders. We must continue to seek allies to ensure the fight isn’t ours alone. We must speak out forcefully and loudly, we must make sure our elected officials hear our voice. Let us stand together.

STAY CONNECTED YAD (YOUNG ADULT DIVISION) Outdoor July Shabbat & Dinner, Friday, July 9th, 7:00 pm Wachusett Mountain Hike, Sunday, July 11, 10:30 am Game Day at Alison’s, Sunday, July 25th, 4:00 pm Swim, Stitch, and B-tch at Mindy H’s Pool, Sunday, August 8th, 11:00 am YAD in the Dean Park, August 15th, 9:00 am Keep up with ongoing events via YAD Private Facebook Group

PJ LIBRARY & PJ OUR WAY Newcomer Family Event, September 12th, Details TBAA


COMMUNITY Community Jewish Heritage Day at the Woo Sox, Sunday, August 22nd (note change of date) Please keep in touch with all ongoing virtual events by visiting our Facebook pages or contacting Mindy Hall, mhall@jfcm.org

Save the Date EXODUS 1947 &




July 22, 2021, 7:00PM

At Worcester JCC and virtually online -Invitation to follow-



| JUNE 25, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update



HAROLD GRINSPOON FOUNDATION HONORS THE MORE THAN 18,000 DONORS WHO HAVE MADE LEGACY COMMITMENTS Central Massachusetts’s 300 Legacy Donors honored at May 25 virtual event

ur 300 legacy donors were among the 18,000 who were honored at the first Legacy Donor Appreciation Event sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s (HGF) LIFE & LEGACY® initiative. The event, held virtually on May 25, celebrated each of the donors from LIFE & LEGACY’s seventy-two partner communities who are securing the Jewish future through their legacy gift. The evening featured 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 award-winning Political and Investigative Reporter at WTVD, the ABC-owned station in Raleigh-Durham, NC, served as the evening’s host. A recording of the event can be found at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=c-D8LqkhVIQ. “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 had the opportunity to honor all those who have made a legacy commitment to date, and to encourage others to join us in this endeavor.” During the event, Grinspoon and Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, President of the



Foundation, imagined what the Jewish future would look like if the current 18,000 legacy donors became 36,000 or 3.6 million donors. To help make this happen, LIFE & LEGACY is launched a new campaign during the event, called Each One Reach One. This campaign encourages committed legacy donors to share their stories and motivations for leaving a legacy with family and friends. By doing so, they will inspire others to leave a legacy too, thereby increasing the number of donors committed to organizations and communities throughout North America. LIFE & LEGACY donors in Central Massachusetts have made 425 legacy commitments to 11 local organizations AN ADVENTURE ON THE WEST BOYLSTON RAIL TRAIL WITH PJ LIBRARY


including: Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation B’nai Shalom, JFCM, the Jewish Healthcare Center, Temple Emanuel Sinai, Clark Hillel, Shaarai Torah West, and the Worcester JCC. We encourage everyone in Central Massachusetts to be motivated by the challenge posed by the Grinspoon’s by either inspiring others to join them in leaving a legacy or by stepping forward themselves to add their name to the list of individuals who want to ensure the Central Massachusetts Jewish community remains strong and vibrant for many years to come. To learn more visit JFCM.org or contact Leah Shuldiner at legacy@jfcm.org. With an Outstretched Arm… The year of Covid shutdown brought out the hero in many of our community members who went above and beyond to help others get through the storm. Over the next few issues we hope to bring some of these wonderful people to light. Our first unsung hero is the Raphael Family. When Federation received a plea for help by one of our beloved community members, Samantha and Aaron Raphael with their two (PJ Library) daughters stepped up to the plate and helped our community member by shopping for food, and delivering it to her home for the entire year. Needless to say our community member was filled with deep gratitude. Our hats go off to the Raphael Family for this gracious act of chesed during this scary time. It surely takes a community.




| JUNE 25, 2021



Summer Reading

ummer is the perfect time to take a break and lose yourself in a good book. What to read? We checked out the Jewish Book Council at www. jewishbookcouncil.org – and came away with an enticing list of books with Jewish content or Jewish themes – both fiction and nonfiction – that were published in 2020/2021. Enjoy!

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Last Summer at the Golden Hotel By Elyssa Friedland

In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the Catskills vacation scene. For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families – best friends and business partners – have presided over this glamorous resort. But the Catskills are not what they used to be – and neither is the relationship between the two families. As the resort begins to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden or is it too late?

The Hidden Palace By Helene Wecker

Chava is a golem, a woman made of clay, who can hear the thoughts and longings of those around her and feels compelled by her nature to help them. Ahmad is a jinni, a restless creature of fire, once free


to roam the desert but now imprisoned in the shape of a man. Fearing they’ll be exposed as monsters, these magical beings hide their true selves and try to pass as human – just two more immigrants in the bustling world of 1900s Manhattan.

The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire By Rachel Sharona Lewis

Congregation Beth Abraham expected their newest rabbi to “sing some songs and go to an environmental rally.” But Vivian Green wants her flock to engage meaningfully with their city-special mayoral elections, interfaith breakfasts and fights for affordable housing. Also, she would like just one night off to go dancing in the leather boots that make her look like her finest gay self. When Beth

Abraham bursts into flames, fingers get pointed, and everyone’s biases rise to the surface. It turns out that wasn’t the only fire burning in town.

Red Rock Baby Candy By Shira Spector

In this graphic memoir, Shira Spector paints a vivid portrait of 10 years of her life – her struggle to get pregnant, the emotional turmoil of her father’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death, and her recollections of past relationships. Red Rock Baby Candy begins in subtle, tonal shades of black ink, introducing color slowly until it explodes into a glorious full color palette. The characters begin to bloom and to live life fully, resurrecting the dead in order to map the geography among infertility, sexuality, choice, and mortality.

majewishledger.com jewishledger.com

The Jewish Body: A History By Robert Jütte, Elizabeth Bredeck (Translator)

An encyclopedic survey of the Jewish body as it has existed and imagined from biblical times to the present, often for anti-Jewish purposes, examining the techniques for caring for the body that Jews acquire in childhood from parents and authority figures and how these have changed over the course of a more than 2000year history, most of it spent in exile. From consideration of traditional body stereotypes, such as the so-called Jewish nose, to matters of gender and sexuality, The Jewish Body explores the historical foundations of the human physis in all its aspects

From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History By Nancy Sinkoff

National Jewish Book Awards Winner 2020 The first comprehensive biography of Dawidowicz (1915-1990), a pioneer historian in the field that is now called Holocaust studies. Dawidowicz was a household name in the postwar years, not only because of her scholarship but also due to her political views. Dawidowicz was a youthful communist, became an FDR democrat midcentury, and later championed neoconservatism. Nancy Sinkoff argues that Dawidowicz’s rightward shift emerged out of living in prewar Poland, watching the Holocaust unfold from New York City, and working with displaced persons in postwar Germany.

An Autism Casebook for Parents and Practitioners 1st Edition By Shoshana Levin Fox

Drawing from the author’s extensive clinical experience, this autism casebook offers stimulating reflections and a fresh perspective on how we assess, diagnose, and ultimately treat young children thought to be autistic.

majewishledger.com jewishledger.com

The Nesting Dolls: A Novel

Letters to Camondo

The Nesting Dolls is about three generations of a Soviet Jewish family in 1930s Odessa, USSR, 1970s Odessa, USSR, and present day Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Three women struggle to survive through Stalin’s purges and the war against “cosmopolitism,” the Free Soviet Jewry/ refusnik movement and the battle between roots and assimilation in America.

Letters to Camondo is a collection of imaginary letters from Edmund de Waal to Moise de Camondo, the Jewish banker and art collector who created a spectacular house in Paris, now the Musée Nissim de

By Alina Adams

Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel By Michelle Cameron

When French troops occupy the Italian port city of Ancona, freeing the city’s Jews from their repressive ghetto, it unleashes a whirlwind of progressivism and brutal backlash as two very different cultures collide. Set during the turbulent days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian campaign (1796–97), Beyond the Ghetto Gates is both a cautionary tale for our present moment, with its rising tide of antiSemitism, and a story of hope – a reminder of a time in history when men and women of conflicting faiths were able to reconcile their prejudices in the face of a rapidly changing world.

By Edmund de Waal

Camondo, filling it with the greatest private collection of French 18th century art. After de Waal, one of the world’s greatest ceramic artists, was invited to make an exhibition in the Camondo house, he began to write letters to Moise de Camondo, deeply personal reflections on assimilation, melancholy, family, art, the vicissitudes of history, and the value of memory.

“100 Jewish Children’s Books for the Family Bookshelf” The Association of Jewish Libraries, with support from the Jewish Grandparents Network, has created “100 Jewish Children’s Books for the Family Bookshelf,” a list of picture and middle grade books recommended for the bookshelves of Jewish children. The books on this list create a portrait of the Jewish world in real and substantive ways and provide wonderful opportunities for reading together. The full list can currently be found at: https://jewishlibraries.org/read-together/. Here are a few selections:

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom

JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. Ages 6- 9

By Debbie Levy. Illustrated by Eizabeth Baddeley.

By Richard Michelson. Illustrated by Raul Colón.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

By Ellen Frankel. Illustrated by Avi Katz. Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Ages 5+.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. Ages 4-8.

By Michelle Markel. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

The Six-Day Hero

Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Ages 4-8.

Sydney Taylor Honor Book Ages 9-13.

By Tammar Stein.

Home is a Stranger By Parnaz Foroutan

Unmoored by the death of her father and disenchanted by the American dream, Parnaz Foroutan leaves Los Angeles for Iran 19 years after her family fled the religious police state brought on by the Islamic theocracy. From the moment Parnaz steps off the plane in Tehran, she contends with a world she only partially understands. Struggling with her own identity in a culture that feels both foreign and familiar, she tries to find a place for herself between the American girl she is and the woman she hopes to become.

Give Dad the Gift of “Jewish Lives” Jewish Lives, a series of biographies designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity, has put together The Father’s Day Collection. The collection includes the biographies of three varied Jewish personalities sure to satisfy Dad’s summer reading interests: Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One, by Mark Kurlansky; Houdini: The Elusive American by Adam Begley; and Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream by Michael Shnayerson. For more information, visit https://www.jewishlives.org/ collections/fathersday MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH JEWISHLEDGER LEDGER || JUNE JUNE18, 25,2021 2021

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Around Massachusetts



EF: The LGBTQ is like the rest of America, supportive and proud of Israel - but with some who feel otherwise. A small segment of them, of course, feel strongly, which is their right - but occasionally they try to make LGBTQ spaces uncomfortable for us. Recently someone tweeted to us “No Zionists at Pride.” They want us to choose between our Jewish, Zionist, and LGBTQ identities. We won’t be silenced, and we won’t be bullied. We refuse to choose. We are proud of all our identities.


JL: What does pride and Pride Month and mean to you as a Jewish gay man? EF: It’s about identity and self-actualization and change. Pride is a year-round experience, but it has particular meaning and significance when we come together and we say, “We are who we are, and we will not allow others to define us. We define ourselves and chart our destiny. And that is amazing. We recognize that we live in a world with significant LGBTQ phobia. And we’ve been subjected to enough discrimination and violence and loathing, that we take it upon

ourselves to change the conditions in our community and our world. Pride is about much more than parades and floats and rainbow flags. It is about that, but it is about very much more. To participate in the virtual tour of Tel Aviv on the city’s Pride Day, Friday, June 25, register at http:// awiderbridge.org/tlvpride/

Summer Stay -at SummerWood-

Experience the SummerWood lifestyle at our award-winning senior living community. Enjoy Fine Kosher dining and a wealth of other amenities including swimming at the JCC indoor and outdoor pools! Choose your own fully furnished apartment. Contact Sophia today to learn more at (860)-523-3808 or scannavo@hoffmansummerwood.org

Space is limited, call today!

n June 21, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) honored Andrew and Stephanie Zolotor for their dedication and support at LYA’s annual scholarship event, this year held virtually. Stephanie joined the LYA team in 2010. She began as a special education tutor and consultant and then went on to teach 5th grade. In addition to teaching, Stephanie took a role initially as an interim director and now serves as LYA’s director of education. In this role Stephanie has been an integral part of NEASC accreditation. This year she tirelessly planned and implemented Covid safe protocol for staff, parents and students. It is due to her hard work that this year has been such a success. She is the 2012 recipient of the Harold Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and the National Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education Andy, a native of Springfield and Longmeadow, has been working at MassMutual for more than 30 years and is currently an assistant vice president in its IT organization. The community-oriented Zolotors enjoy giving back and volunteering at LYA events with their daughters, Jami, Alexandra and ANDREW AND STEPHANIE ZOLOTOR Casey.

Sen. Eric Lesser’s Lunchtime Livestream features ADL Director


obert Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England (ADL) joined Sen. Eric P. Lesser on his weekly “Lunchtime Livestream” video on June 11. Sen. Lesser and Trestan discussed the alarming rise in antisemitism and hate crimes in recent years, citing the attempted bombing of Ruth’s House operated by JGS Lifecare Inc. in April of 2020 and the attempted arson at the MLK Community Presbyterian Church in December of 2020. Trestan attributed a fair amount of the rise to social media. “When you see [hateful hashtags] 40,000 times, thousands and thousands of impressions, it does motivate some people to act in violent ways,” he said. In order to raise awareness, Trestan stressed the need to pass legislation to educate students on genocide, the Holocaust, and its impacts. An Act advancing and promoting genocide education (S.1973), filed by Senate Ways & Means Chair Michael J. Rodrigues, would set up a community trust fund and offer incentives towards public schools providing professional development and curriculums on the history of genocide. “We want to have an educated population that stands up, that has a recognition that this is right, this is wrong,” SENATOR LESSER AND ROBERT TRESTAN Trestan explained, “and when something’s wrong, I’m gonna do something about it.” The video from the livestream can be accessed on Facebook and Twitter.

160 Simsbury Road, West Hartford CT 14


| JUNE 25, 2021


Major Jewish groups are left out of Blinken’s Israel briefing. Oops. (JTA) – When the veteran Jewish leaders logged onto a call to hear from the secretary of state about his trip to Israel, many were surprised by the guest list. While many of the groups typically present on such calls were represented, so was an official from the Holocaust museum here. What, they thought, did he have to do with Middle East peace? They were more taken aback when they realized who was absent: representatives of the major Jewish denominations, public policy groups and an influential Jewish women’s organization. The absences from the June 4 call with Antony Blinken was the latest incidence of what Jewish leaders are privately calling a surprising tone-deafness for an administration led by President Joe Biden, whose ties with the organized Jewish community go back decades. The misstep accelerated calls on the administration to name a White House Jewish liaison and State Department antisemitism monitor, two positions that have gone unfilled even as the Biden administration staffs up in other departments and responds to a spike in reports of antisemitic incidents. The Trump administration drew Jewish organizational complaints for never naming a Jewish liaison and for waiting two years to name an antisemitism monitor. Previous administrations had named those positions at their outset. The absence from the call of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements, each with deep ties to Israel and long histories of seeking to influence peacemaking in the region, particularly rankled. “I know there is not currently a State Department special envoy nor a White House Jewish liaison but nonetheless, how can that be?” an official at one of the movements said in a letter sent to the State Department official, Kara McDonald, who organized the call. “No organizations have more direct and frequent, personal and emotional contact with the Jewish community than the religious streams or movements, their rabbis and synagogues, even as we emerge from Covid,” said the letter, which the Jewish Telegraphic Agency obtained. Beyond the denominations, the other conspicuous absences were of two major public policy groups with wide constituencies, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the National Council of Jewish Women. The call was off the record, and no Jewish official on or off it would comment at length majewishledger.com

on the record, not wishing to alienate the administration. But Nathan Diament, who heads the Washington office of the Orthodox Union and has routinely attended such meetings for years, offered a terse comment: “It was unfortunate.” Since the call, the White House has told

the campaign; Gabriel Barnett, the deputy director for the Jewish campaign for the Biden campaign; and Alex Goldman, the assistant Washington director for Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice group. Those candidates are all in their 20s and 30s. Two candidates who are more senior and have appeared on the shortlist in the past, Matt Nosanchuk, who held the role in the Obama administration, and Aaron Keyak, who led Jewish outreach for the Biden administration, are not seen as likely because the Jewish liaison position is IN THIS HANDOUT IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE, likely not to be a SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN, LEFT, MEETS IN JERUSALEM WITH ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ON THE FIRST LEG OF HIS senior position. FOUR-DAY TRIP TO THE MIDDLE EAST, MAY 25, 2021. No one on (HAIM ZACH/GPO VIA GETTY IMAGES) or off the call believed the snubs Jewish groups that announcements will come were deliberate, pointing to other recent soon, according to a source close to the Biden times when groups that were excluded administration. Biden’s nominations have had been treated respectfully by the Biden been delayed in part by the exigencies of administration. Jewish Federations of dealing with the coronavirus and rebuilding North America and the Orthodox Union the economy devastated by the pandemic. were among five organizations that got an A White House spokesperson did immediate response last month after they not offer comment. A State Department requested quick action from the White House spokesperson suggested that the department to address rising antisemitism amid the Gaza would be more comprehensive in organizing conflict. And a full range of organizations future calls. that deal with domestic issues were on a call “The Department of State, including the Friday, June 11 – the same day as the Blinken secretary, is fully committed to continuing call – with two top Justice Department civil to hear from a wide array of voices as the rights officials, Vanita Gupta and Kristen department moves forward on addressing Clarke. challenges in the Middle East, as well as They said McDonald, the deputy assistant combating the scourge of antisemitism secretary of state for democracy, human at home and around the world,” the rights and labor who is directing the office spokesperson said. “Senior department of the antisemitism monitor until one is in officials will continue to speak on a regular place and who organized the Blinken call, is basis with a variety of stakeholders, including simply unfamiliar with the organized Jewish community and religious organizations.” community. An insider close to the administration Insiders noted that in March, when said the likeliest candidate for the Blinken wrote a letter to say that the Biden antisemitism monitor job among the 10 administration “enthusiastically” embraced known in April to be in contention is Emory a definition of antisemitism favored by University historian Deborah Lipstadt. mainstream Jewish groups, he sent it to the The insider listed six possible candidates American Zionist Movement, an umbrella for the Jewish liaison job: Andrew Dolberg, group that does not deal with antisemitism. who led Jewish outreach for the Biden That, they say, was a misstep by McDonald, campaign in Florida; Dan Siegel, who had the who did not reply to a request for comment same job in Pennsylvania; Samantha Joseph, on how she selected who would attend the a senior adviser for Jewish engagement to Blinken meeting. the Biden campaign; Shelley Greenspan, a McDonald is steeped in issues of religious State Department official who helped launch freedom and antisemitism monitoring, the Jewish Women for Joe group during which is why she might have included

Robert Williams, the deputy director of international affairs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. But his participation was still considered odd by others in the group: The museum is a federally and privately supported institution, not a Jewish or proIsrael group. Blinken spoke briefly about rising antisemitism at the meeting. The bad feelings undermined what participants said was an otherwise good and productive conversation: Blinken assured participants that the Biden administration would hew to strict guidelines to keep postGaza conflict humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians from reaching Hamas, and would maintain restrictions on aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it subsidizes the families of convicted terrorists. “Good conversation with Jewish community leaders on Israel and the West Bank & Gaza,” Blinken said on Twitter after the meeting. “I reiterated [Biden’s] commitment to combat antisemitism amidst a troubling rise in incidents and that Israelis & Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, opportunity, freedom and dignity.” Blinken, who is Jewish, had a call the same day with Palestinian-American groups. “Important conversation with PalestinianAmerican leaders about the violence in Israel, the West Bank & Gaza,” he said on Twitter. “We are committed to rebuilding our relationship with the Palestinian people. Israelis & Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity and dignity.” On the Jewish call were the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Israel Policy Forum, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, J Street, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Democratic Majority for Israel, the American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress, as well as the Holocaust museum. The Presidents Conference representative, CEO William Daroff, got the first question, and Susie Gelman, the chairwoman of the Israel Policy Forum was next, followed by the ADL and AIPAC. The IPF is relatively small, but its posture – emphatically endorsing a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while opposing conditioning defense assistance to Israel – is closest to the Biden administration’s Middle East policy. The president of J Street, Jeremy BenAmi, was lower down on the list. The group also backs two states, but more recently has also joined a number of lawmakers on the Democratic left who say assistance for Israel should be up for review.


| JUNE 25, 2021



least a dozen houses that ended up going to other buyers. When the Locust Avenue house went on the market they moved fast and were able to make a quick offer that was accepted.

The bikur cholim suites at the Chabad House will include three bedrooms and a handicapped-accessible bathroom for the families of UMass patients. The kitchen will be stocked with kosher food for the visitors


“This is a tremendous location. This is probably the best location that I’ve seen of all of them,” Rabbi Fogelman said. “It’s a really good place. We’re very happy with it.” The house’s walkout basement – one big room – will serve as the shul and multipurpose room, with a wheelchair accessible bathroom. “There will also be a student lounge area for classes and students can just hang out or read or borrow a Jewish book,” Rabbi Fogelman said. “Jewish students hanging out together is what the Lubavitcher Rebbe wants.”

including fresh baked goods; and hot kosher meals will be provided. And all of this is offered to the families for free. “Here, they will have their own space with all the amenities, and it’s their own space for however long they need that space,” said Rabbi Fogelman. “We want to really make them feel warm and invited. It’s a very, very hard time for them, especially for people who have been coming for years for treatment. And the food and everything we provide is to try to alleviate some of that stress.” Which is something the Fogelmans have been doing even before getting the Chabad




| JUNE 25, 2021

House up and rolling. The couple has offered bikur cholim in several ways over the past three years – hosting some of these families at their own house on Lake Avenue and bringing kosher snacks and hot meals to them when they are up in their children’s hospital rooms or waiting rooms. “We don’t ask them to come to the front door to pick up food, we go to where they are. If they’re getting a treatment in the north side of the building I’ll go over there and bring it directly to them if they are comfortable with that.” They even drop off freshly baked cookies at the front desks of local hotels for families coming into town for treatment. And of course, they also offer the families more spiritual services. This includes providing a minyan for a father whose son was getting treatment recently at UMass. Rabbi Fogelman gathered a minyan so that the man could say kaddish for his mother. “He was just so grateful. We were able to arrange so he was able to take his son to treatment and able to do kaddish.” The Fogelmans know personally how difficult it can be when a loved one is in the hospital. Their son Berel was born with some health issues last September. “We were in and out of the hospital for five months,” Rabbi Fogelman said. Berel is okay and at home now, but that time spent in the hospital with him gave his parents even more of an understanding of the work that they do. “We have realized how important our work is with families,” Sarah Fogelman. “It was interesting for us because it put even more value to what we do -- to see how important it is. We always thought it was important but personally, I really feel it on

a different level now. You could think food is just such a simple thing, but when you’re sitting there in the hospital and doctors and nurses are talking to you and you really don’t have time to leave at all and then someone comes and brings you food… you can’t put a price on that. We are continuing what we’ve been doing for the past few years, but with a deeper feeling and appreciation for it.” Rabbi Fogelman calls the new Chabad House “a game-changer.” “UMass Medical School in the last three years has been growing tremendously on the Jewish side of things,” Rabbi Fogelman said. “We’ve been doing services all over the place at UMass. We’ve been doing services in classrooms, in the chapel, in auditoriums. We brought kosher food into the UMass cafeteria via Chani’s Kosher Takeout Catering, and moving around in a rented room in [our former] apartment building. We rented a house this year because of Covid; we rented a field. We’re doing it all over the place. “This is going to be a permanent address for all of the hundreds of people at UMass – students, residents, patients, administration, doctors – it’s an address to come to for anything you need for Yiddishkeit. And now we have an easy address to find us. This house is going to be popping all week. There’s going to be classes, there’s are going to be barbecues, there’s going to be students talking and learning Torah there. There will be Jews meeting other Jews. The students are really enriching their Jewish lives for the long haul with this address. It’s going to be the permanent address for Judaism at UMass.” n



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 Rabbi Dawn Rose (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


| JUNE 25, 2021


Young Zionist Jews say they’re fighting antisemitism on social media. What are they accomplishing?



EW YORK (JTA) — Two weeks after the recent flareup of violence in Israel and Gaza, as fights over Israel and Palestine raged on social media, Julia Jassey wondered aloud whether any of her effort was worth it. Jassey, a student at the University of Chicago, has spent the better part of a year immersed in online skirmishes surrounding Israel and antisemitism. Last summer, as racial justice protests swept the country, she and a few other college students founded Jewish on Campus, an Instagram account chronicling antisemitism and anti-Zionism facing Jewish students. It was modeled after similar accounts documenting racism at universities and high schools. In recent weeks, Jewish on Campus has collected anonymous anecdotes of antisemitism online and in person in the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict. Jassey said the account has been inundated with submissions. At the same time, harsh critics of Israel have taken aim at her and her personal posts — including some people she knows from school. “We can’t even have meaningful discussions, we just fight,” she tweeted on June 3. “It’s toxic, and it brings us nowhere productive. Where do we go from here? I don’t know about you, but I am tired of it.” Jassey is part of a small group of young, assertively Zionist Jews with an active social media presence who have taken it upon themselves to call out and respond to anti-Zionism, antisemitism and the many instances in which they believe those two concepts overlap. But after weeks of fighting over Israel and Judaism on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram, those activists, and others who observe them, are asking whether the effort of combating antisemitism online, in real time, is winnable or worthwhile. Does that fight create space for substantive dialogue or narrow it? Can a crusade to combat antisemitism distort our understanding of it? What does it do to the mental and emotional health of those involved? Is social media, with algorithms that incentivize division and anger, and policies that have long been criticized for tolerating hate speech, the right arena for this debate?



“Do I think that having full-out brawls on social media are effective? No,” said Susan Heller Pinto, the Anti-Defamation League’s senior director for international affairs. “If that’s how somebody seeks to engage, it’s really going to only appeal to the people who are already hardened in their opinions. “There’s no secret meme, silver meme, that is being developed that someone is going to glance at and is going to say, ‘That explains the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian situation to me.’ Social media does not lend itself to complexity, to nuance and to deep research.” That’s been Jassey’s experience as she has posted her feelings about Israel and seen vitriolic responses pour in. She said one acquaintance told her it was “tone deaf” to post that her relatives in Tel Aviv were being targeted with rocket fire. Another tweeted that if he had to read another one of her “brain dead takes on my [timeline], I’m gonna explode.”


| JUNE 25, 2021

“Anyone can have a Twitter account and post whatever they’d like,” Jassey told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “That doesn’t mean that their ideas are good or that they’re going to be productive.” Jassey and the rest of the cohort of young Zionists on social media are in their 20s and 30s, some still in college. They say they’re on the front lines of confronting a problem — anti-Zionism and antisemitism in progressive spaces, especially online — that the rest of the Jewish community is just waking up to. They feel duty-bound to keep posting. The alternative, they say, is abandoning a public square to those who hate them. The issues surrounding progressive antisemitism “seemed to have their moment in the spotlight this month,” said Blake Flayton, a student at George Washington University who will be graduating this summer. “What we’re seeing right now from the progressive left is a coalition organizing

around hatred of Zionism, calling Zionism racism, and then excusing treating pro-Israel Jews as racist by extension.” There is nothing new about fighting antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric online, an effort that has attracted funding in recent years from wealthy Jewish donors as well as the Israeli government. Israel and its military have a robust social media operation. Any number of groups dedicated to fighting antisemitism — from establishment organizations like the ADL to pro-Israel activist groups such as StandWithUs to an account called @StopAntisemites — call out what they view as hatred of Jews. Now a few of the young Zionists, like Flayton, are trying to expand their work beyond skirmishes on Twitter and Instagram. Several are co-founders of two nascent groups — the New Zionist Congress and Jewish on Campus, both started in the past year and in the process of registering as nonprofits. Flayton, who is affiliated with the New Zionist


Congress, and Jassey told JTA that the groups will rely on private donations, and both declined to say where those donations would be coming from. For now, both groups are most visible on social media — Jewish on Campus primarily through its Instagram account and the New Zionist Congress through the audio app Clubhouse, where it hosts discussions and a book club. Jewish on Campus also offers to personally help students who are facing antisemitism. Those activists have also become targets of the rhetoric they are condemning, especially during the recent Israel-Gaza conflict. Many of them respond to criticism they receive online with more posts of their own, often showing solidarity with each other, sparking a cycle that can alternately look like strength in numbers or a hostile conversation with no end in sight. “I don’t want to put myself through abuse or harassment,” said Isaac de Castro, a Cornell student who is a co-founder of both Jewish on Campus and the New Zionist Congress. De Castro limits who can message him directly and comment on his posts. But, he added, “We need people out front who are putting out our perspective, putting out our story as Jewish people. There need to be people out front. I don’t think logging off completely is the answer because antisemitism isn’t going to go away if we just close our eyes.” Hen Mazzig, a prominent pro-Israel activist, said being pugnacious isn’t the right approach. Mazzig has gained attention on the left for his aggressiveness online in the past, but said he has tried to soften that tone recently, emphasizing coexistence and the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. Now he sees other Zionists going down the same path he once did and worries that punching back hard against anti-Zionism threatens to only make things worse. “I think there’s a serious issue with antisemitism online and hate speech against Jews online, and we have to combat it,” said Mazzig, a senior fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute. “What I feel like many on the proIsrael side are doing right now is to try and combat hate speech, I don’t want to say with more hate speech, but with rhetoric that is not helping defuse the situation.” Data on recent online antisemitism is hard to come by, but a few numbers give some sense of its scope. The phrase “Hitler was right” was tweeted 17,000 times from May 7 to 14, according to the Anti-Defamation League. According to the Network Contagion Research Institute, which tracks hate online, the hashtag #COVID1948, connecting the pandemic and the year of Israel’s founding, trended on Twitter in the United States. The institute also found that tweets containing both “Israel” and “genocide” were shared as often as 2,000 times per hour during the fighting.


Instagram accounts with enormous followings, such as the model Bella Hadid’s with 43 million followers, shared content that accused Israel of colonization and ethnic cleansing and got millions of likes. There were explicitly antisemitic posts as well, such as a tweet quoting Hitler (now deleted) from a Pakistani movie star with more than 1 million followers. On TikTok, a Holocaust survivor wished users a “Shabbat Shalom” and got spammed with antisemitic messages. The online hate came alongside a wave of antisemitic incidents on the ground that, according to the ADL and other groups, spiked during the fighting in Israel and Gaza. The ADL found that the number of antisemitic incidents in the nearly two weeks of fighting was more than double the figure in the previous two weeks. The incidents included a string of physical assaults, as well as antisemitic and some anti-Zionist harassment and vandalism. “There’s the emotional impact of seeing these attacks in real time,” said Ben Freeman, a Scottish Jew and New Zionist Congress member who wrote the recently published book “Jewish Pride.” “There’s the impact of seeing my friends be attacked online. And then, my family live in Israel, and I love Israel, and I care about Israel, so it was kind of like a triple whammy: It was online, it was in Israel and it was happening in the Diaspora. And I really don’t see those three things as separate from one another.” Since a cease-fire in the Gaza-Israel rocket exchange, one of the fiercest fights online has been not about Israel itself but how to talk about antisemitic and antiZionist posts. Eve Barlow, a Scottish-Jewish music journalist living in Los Angeles, wrote an essay in Tablet calling the negative posts directed at her and other Zionist activists a “social media pogrom.” She also wrote that they were “permission for an online lynching” and “digital waterboarding.” More than 20,000 tweets contained the name “Eve Fartlow,” which she called her “hate name” in an interview with JTA. Barlow’s piece generated backlash of its own, from those who found it inappropriate to compare harassment on social media, however rampant, to violent, often statesponsored mob attacks on Eastern European Jewish villages. In a recent essay in The Nation, the progressive Jewish writer Talia Lavin (who once worked for JTA) called Barlow’s piece “misguided and narcissistic” in light of the loss of life in Gaza and Israel, and wrote that Barlow and her allies “turn the word ‘pogrom’ into a punchline.” Even some other Zionist activists on social media balked at the term, such as Mazzig, who said that “unless it’s a situation where people were being killed, let’s not compare it to a pogrom.” And while Flayton said he wouldn’t use “pogrom” to describe something happening on social media, he has used the hashtag “#BeinartPogroms” to implicate Peter

Beinart, the left-wing Jewish opinion columnist, in the recent wave of antisemitic physical attacks in the U.S. Last year, Beinart came out in favor of a lone democratic state for Jewish Israelis and Palestinians. To explain his accusation, Flayton pointed to a thread by an Israeli professor, Shany Mor, that accuses Beinart of aiming “to assign a collective guilt on American Jews for their complicity in some cosmic evil.” Beinart told JTA that he had no comment on the accusation. Barlow said she stands by her word choice, as do some of her allies online, including Freeman, who called the essay a “must read.” “I didn’t have reservations because I believe in the power of language,” she said. “If people would rather get personally offended by the use of a word than to take seriously how Jews are being attacked in the street and how Jews are being attacked on the internet, then that’s a problem.” Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the director of T’ruah, a liberal rabbinic human rights group, did not address any activists specifically but said that some pro-Israel advocates can be too quick to label criticism of Israel as antisemitism. She said that some anti-Zionist language on the left is “very harsh, and it’s very hard to hear for people who are committed to the safety of the State of Israel, but it doesn’t necessarily cross the line into antisemitism.” (For example, Jacobs said, “Free Palestine” in and of itself is not antisemitic, but it would be antisemitic to post the term in response to a Jewish video that has nothing to do with Israel.) Harry Reis, a former ADL employee who now works for the New Israel Fund, a charity that supports an array of progressive groups in Israel, said, “I don’t think hate online is overblown.” But he also said that some Jews may conflate anti-Israel rhetoric with antisemitism, which “doesn’t leave a lot of space for conversation about Palestinian rights.” Reis also worries that some of the more aggressive social media fights against antisemitism may string together individual events to misconstrue the nature of antiJewish hate. Reis stressed that he did not want to call out individuals but said that some online activism creates an alarmist picture of antisemitism — a problem that is all too real but, in his view, not structural. “I do have a sense of a general feeling of grievance and of a kind of narrative of Jewish victimization that’s often, I feel, misplaced, [and] that doesn’t describe my experience as a Jewish person in American institutions and our access to power,” he said. “I think too often this places individual acts of antisemitic speech or violence as evidence of institutional or structural discrimination, which doesn’t, I think, describe the American Jewish experience and access to power.”

Zionist activists dispute the idea that they are making too much of Jew-hatred or conflating criticism of policy with antisemitism, and say they draw the line at opposing Israel’s right to exist. “I don’t care how evil you think the settlement project is because I would happily lend my voice to those concerns, or how corrupt you think Benjamin Netanyahu is,” Flayton said, but added, “Denying the Jews a homeland, denying the Jews protection is hateful and bigoted in and of itself.” Flayton and others do say they feel politically homeless as progressive Jews who are unapologetically Zionist. Flayton articulated those feelings in a 2019 New York Times op-ed . “I am a young, gay, left-wing Jew. Yet I am called an ‘apartheid-enabler,’ a ‘baby killer’ and a ‘colonial apologist,’” he wrote. Flayton told JTA that from his perspective, left-wing antisemitism is more of a problem than antisemitism on the right. “What we’ve been seeing for the past month [is that] antisemitism on the left disguises itself as justice, it disguises itself as advocating for human rights, and it tries to convince the Jews that they brought this hatred upon themselves,” he said. “I’m still going to vote for things like a $15 minimum wage, universal health care and environmental reforms, etc., but there’s a lot of Jews who are being pushed out of these spaces rather aggressively.” Jassey thinks the social media battle is important — but it’s begun to feel less appealing. She said she wants to keep working in the Jewish world and pursue a career in politics or international relations. She still believes in having the conversations and debates that have occupied the past several months of her life. Jassey hopes, however, that more will happen face to face. “I do think that the internet has become a forum of discussion and a public sphere of sorts, and so I think that it is important to combat antisemitism online and spread ideas on the internet,” she said. “It’s an important space, but it’s not the most important space. “We have to take that work also offline, and I think that’s when things start to seem a lot more possible.” n


| JUNE 25, 2021


BULLETIN BOARD MAK’HELA CELEBRATES JEWISH MUSIC FROM THE PIONEER VALLEY A new concert, “Jewish Music from the Pioneer Valley,” is now available on YouTube. The concert, presented by Mak’hekla, The Jewish Chorus of Western Massachusetts.

The concert, celebrating Jewish music and the talent of performers in the Pioneer Valley features not only Mak’hela, but also The Three Cantors (Cantor Diana Brewer, Cantor Elise Barber and Cantor Vera Broekhuysen), The Sinai Temple Adult Chor, Ne’imah: The JCA Shabbat Band, and the The JCA Klezmer Workshop, can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/U9_7P7WzCCs. For more information about Mak’hela, visit its website at https://makhela.org/ support/ JFS PARTNERS WITH SOCCER WITHOUT BORDERS AND SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE TO PRESENT SOCCER CLINIC SPRINGFIELD – Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts has partnered with Soccer without Borders and Springfield College to host a first-of-its-kind soccer clinic in Springfield. The week-long clinic will be held June 28 - July 2 from at Springfield College for 50 refugee and immigrant Springfield high school students. The soccer clinic will provide a positive summer experience for refugee and immigrant students who attend Springfield Public Schools. For some students, this will be the first in-person activity of the school year, and for others new to the city or the U.S., it is an opportunity to meet peers in person and find common ground. “As one of the few global languages, soccer has the power to shape the world for the better,” explained Soccer without Borders Boston Program Director Bruno Contreras. “Soccer Without Borders (SWB) uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth in the U.S. and abroad with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. SWB Boston has been serving the refugee 20

and immigrant community in and around East Boston since 2012 with a culture of welcoming and belonging that supports newcomers to build a new home.” The clinic will bring together youth and coaches from diverse cultural backgrounds to create community, exercise, build leadership, and practice their English language skills. Over the course of the week, teens will have the opportunity to foster teamwork, and connect and build friendships with other teens.

CONGREGATION AHAVAS ACHIM TAKES A SUMMER BREAK WESTFIELD – On Friday, June 25, Congregation Ahavas Achim is hosting our last service prior to our summer break. The service will begin promptly at 7:15 p.m. It will be held at the Interfaith Center located on the campus of Westfield State University. It will be the first in-person service after hosting virtual services this past year. Immediately following the service, there will be a potluck Oneg Shabbat at the Interfaith Center. This will provide all members and friends of Congregation Ahavas Achim the opportunity to wish Cantor Colman Reaboi well in his future endeavors and also thank him for his service to Congregation Ahavas Achim. Attendees are asked to bring a dessert or beverage to share. For more information, contact Congregation Ahavas Achim at ahavasachiminquiry@ gmail.com. TECH GOES HOME AND JEWISH VOCATIONAL SERVICE PARTNER TO PROVIDE DIGITAL TOOLS AND TRAINING BOSTON – Tech Goes Home (TGH) and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) have formed a new partnership to connect hundreds of workers across Massachusetts with the digital tools and skills they need to find employment and complete key job responsibilities online, including remote work, and access other critical resources online. TGH works with a diverse network of community and nonprofit organizations to provide individuals and families with digital devices, internet connectivity, and skills training to overcome barriers to digital


| JUNE 25, 2021

access and expand economic opportunity. Advancing digital equity is a key element of building a more inclusive and resilient workforce; today, across the country, one third of workers lack basic digital literacy skills for navigating technology and the internet, and many more lack computers or access to the internet. Through the partnership announced today, JVS will fund TGH programming for up to 500 learners over the next year, and will work actively with TGH staff to identify learners who will benefit from expanded digital access and literacy. Each participant in the TGH programming will receive a new computer or tablet, access to high-speed internet, and 15 hours of skills training focused on key competencies to help workers find and participate fully in employment opportunities, and practice other critical skills. “We know that a strong, inclusive workforce is essential for a strong economy,” said JVS Chief Operating Officer Kira Khazatsky. “For many workers and families, lack of digital skills has been a barrier to economic opportunities for too long. As we recover and rebuild from COVID-19, it is critical that we equip workers and families with the tools and the skills they need to participate in today’s workforce. We are excited about the opportunity to work with Tech Goes Home to help address the digital divide, for the sake of workers, families, and our economy. Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonsectarian organization founded in 1938. JVS serves more than 16,000 individuals annually and is one of the largest community-based providers of adult education and workforce development services in Greater Boston. JVS’s mission is to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, while partnering with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces. In support of this mission, JVS provides a wide range of adult education, vocational training, job readiness, career counseling, and job placement services, as well as related supportive services. Learn more about JVS at jvs-boston.org. TEENS INVITED ON A VIRTUAL COLLEGE ROAD TRIP TO EXPLORE ALL ASPECTS OF CAMPUS LIFE High school students and their families can explore college and Jewish life on campus on a Virtual College Road Trip, a month-long series. Each day until June 30, the Virtual College Road Trip will offer student-led college tours, virtual information sessions with university admissions and Hillel professionals who will share insights

on Jewish and general campus life, new engaging webinars, and other resources. For a comprehensive list of the 40 plus participating campuses across the country, visit roadtriptocollege.org. Teens are invited to #JumpOnTheBus where they can follow college student “bus drivers” for insider guides sharing the highlights of their campus and college towns—what they love, what makes the place special, and what Jewish life is like there. New this year are webinars for teens and parents on: • supporting wellness and mental health during the college years • the myth of college rankings and finding your right fit • gap year opportunities and realistic alternatives to a traditional campus experience • “launch logistics” for parents seeking to set up their teens up for success • exploring how LGBTQ+ identifying students have found diverse Jewish places to call home on campus The Virtual College Road Trip also provides formal information sessions featuring over 40 diverse US colleges and universities. Participants can connect directly to admissions and Hillel professionals, interact with current students, ask questions and get a sense of each school’s unique flavor. “This past year, teens have missed out on so many milestones – including college visits which are very much a rite of passage and often something they do with their parents,” said Rabbi Dena Shaffer, director of Learning and Engagement at the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative. “Selecting colleges and transitioning to campus life can be challenging for any teen; the Virtual College Road Trip is a support system and a new way to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the changes we face. This month of interactive learning elevates key elements of the college search and helps make campus exploration more accessible and affordable for all.” The Virtual College Road Trip is offered to the community for free by the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, a network of national and local funders working together to develop, nurture and scale new approaches to teen engagement.



with 52 witnesses, including current and former coaches and players, along with parents, teachers and administrators. “Duxbury let their players and the community down by allowing winning games to take precedence over fostering an environment that is inclusive and free of bias, slander and stereotyping,” said Robert Trestan, the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional director. “Pregame religious services violate Constitutional protections and ignore the power imbalance between students and their coaches. The systemic problem documented in the report confirms the need for institutional change.” Trestan said the ADL was working with district officials as changes are implemented. The report was part of an investigation commissioned by the town after school officials learned that a Duxbury player had called out a play termed “Auschwitz” in a March 12 game. Later that month, the school district fired the football coach, Dave Maimaron, who told the Boston Herald that some of the chants had been started years ago by Jewish football players as a “tongue-in-cheek” gesture. According to the report, “antisemitic words and other references to the Holocaust by members of the football program,” including “rabbi,” “dreidel,” “yarmulke” and “Hanukkah,” were “a systemic issue and had happened at practices potentially as far back as 2010. Sufficient credible evidence was found to support the conclusion that coaching staff were aware of the use of such terms during practices.” The report identified several “corrective actions” for the district to implement. They include reviewing the athletic program and its handbook, coaching evaluations and business functions. In addition, an Athletic Advisory Committee has been established to review and make recommendations about the athletic program. Some coaches have participated in diversity, equity and inclusion training program. Also, a group of coaches and players will take part in a training by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. “I am glad the school released a report about the Duxbury High School football team’s use of antisemitic terms,” said Karen Wong, a Duxbury resident who is one of an estimated 60 Jews in the small coastal town. “Emotions in the community are running high. “I was surprised and disappointed to learn that religious prayers and attending Mass were blended into the culture of a public-school sports program. While participation was optional, it is very difficult for student-athletes to opt out of events that are meant to be team building.” A version of this story originally appeared in the Jewish Journal-Massachusetts.

Shir Joy Chorus presents “Together in Song” CENTRAL MASS. – Shir Joy Chorus presents “Together in Song”—a summer concert of community, connection, and celebration, its last fully virtual concert with a combination of virtual choirs, courtyard chorus, and live commentary, on Sunday, June 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. The concert combines the best technological adaptations to distanced singing; it’s the next best thing to being there. With the reduction of restrictions for in-person gatherings, Shir Joy Chorus has been able to rehearse live together in preparation for this concert. Some of the selections for this concert will be live performances recorded in our outdoor rehearsal space. While Director Nan AK Gibbons has become quite accustomed to presenting virtual concerts, she is excited about our gradual return to live performance. “We’ve been able to rehearse live together because all of our chorus members have gotten the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a relief and a joy to be able to sing together live and in-person.” The concert will be presented live on Zoom. Preregistration is required to get the Zoom link. Attendees must sign up on the Shir Joy website to get a Zoom link to the concert: https://www.shirjoychorus.com/reservations/shir-joy-togetherin-song Suggested donation $18, with a free option.


Berkshire Jewish Film Festival CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

Coming. Prominent among the millions of American Evangelicals praying for Israel is Pastor Boyd Bingham IV, one in a line of a dynasty of Kentucky pastors, and the congregants he leads in a small coal-mining town. Firm in his conviction that his calling in life is to raise money for Israel and his congregants’ donations are fueled by the belief that Jews are crucial to Jesus’s return. (Documentary, 76 minutes, 2020, English)

AUG. 2, 4 P.M. The Invisible Line — America’s Nazi Experiment Seeking to explain how Hitler brainwashed the Germans, history teacher Ron Jones subjected his high school students to a Nazilike code of conduct. The experiment spiraled out of control, attracting hundreds of students to the rising fascist movement. Some 50 years later, Jones, his wife, and original pupils reunite to share their troubling memories and reflect on the trauma and regret that haunt them still. (Courtesy Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Documentary, 53 minutes, 2020, English)

AUG. 2, 8 P.M. Tango Shalom Moshe Yehuda, a Hasidic Rabbi, enters a televised Tango competition to save his Hebrew school from bankruptcy. But due to his orthodox religious beliefs, he is not allowed to touch a woman! At odds with his family and Hasidic community, Moshe asks a Catholic priest, a Muslim imam, and Sikh holy man for advice. Together, they hash out a plan to help Moshe dance in the Tango contest without sacrificing his sacred beliefs, setting in motion a fun, passionate dance movie. (Narrative, 115 minutes, 2020, English) MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER

AUG. 9, 4 P.M. Cinema Rex At a famed 1930s Jerusalem cinematheque, a Jewish boy and an Arab girl bond over their love of movies. (Animation, 8 minutes, 2020, Hebrew (English subtitles)

Mum’s Hairpins Yasha, a young Jewish boy, seizes a last chance to escape a Ukrainian shtetl under siege from Nazi invaders in this somber, poetic, and haunting tale of survival and loss. (Narrative, 20 minutes, 2019, Russian with English subtitles.)

Eddy’s World The entertaining story of Eddy Goldfarb, a 98-year-old working toy inventor, best known for the iconic Yakity Yak Teeth and nearly 800 classic toys. (Documentary, 28 minutes, English)

AUG. 9, 8 P.M. Empty Spaces Nati, an officer in the IDF is heading south with three soldiers in order to perform a very complicated mission. (Narrative, 27 minutes, 2021, Hebrew subtitles)

A Father’s Kaddish Sitting at his potter’s wheel to heal emotionally and honor his son’s memory, a grieving New England father shares his contemplative, meditative ritual of creating exquisite works of art born of love, tragedy and time. (Courtesy Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Short documentary, 31 minutes, English)

| JUNE 25, 2021


OBITUARIES AKERMAN Shirley Whitehouse Akerman, 101, of Springfield, died at home May 11. She was the wife of Paul C. Akerman. Born in Syracuse, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Anna and Herbert Kopp. She moved to Los Angeles, Calif. as a young girl and graduated from Fairfax High School in 1936 and attended Los Angeles City College. Upon graduation, she worked for Lockheed Corporation in Burbank. California. After the United States declared war with Germany and Japan, Shirley joined the United States Navy. She went through officer training at Smith College in Northampton. She began her naval career as an ensign and was later promoted to lieutenant JG. She was stationed in San Diego and Washington. After the war, she moved to Springfield, assisting her husband in building his real estate company and managing his office. She was a member of Temple Beth El. She is survived by a daughter, Ellen Akerman Hammond of Toronto; a son, Nick Akerman and his wife, Lisa Helmrich, of New York City; seven grandchildren, Amanda Blakley, Adam Moffat, Danielle Blakley, Daniel Hedges, Benjamin Blakley, Kira Akerman, Lily Akerman; and four great-grandchildren, Rosalie, Harrison, Atticus and Archer. She was predeceased by a sister, Lois Margolis; and a brother, Paul Whitehouse. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union: https://action.aclu. org/give/now?redirect=donate. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME BAILIN Bernard “Bennie” Bailin, died June 1 at the Jewish Healthcare Center. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Samuel and Rose (Sworin) Bailin. For more than 30 years he, along with his brothers, was a builder and developer, of single family homes and commercial rental properties including Salisbury Hill, Hidden Farms, Rosewood Estates in Worcester and Rosewood Gardens in North Grafton. He was one of the largest apartment rental owners in Worcester. With his brothers, he also owned and operated Bailin Brothers Trucking Co. He was a member of Yeshiva Achei Tmimim and the Jewish Healthcare Center. With his brothers, he was philanthropically involved in the Jewish Healthcare Center, Yeshiva Achei Tmimim, Eisenberg Assisted Living Center and Holy Society Cemetery, where he had the roads and parking lot paved. He financed the construction of Duffy Field Playground at Newton Square, home to the Jesse Burkett Little League, and was responsible for the renovation of Banis Square Park. He is survived by a cousin, Carol Adlestein and her husband, Steven, of Worcester. He was 22

predeceased by his brothers, Maurice “Moe” Bailin and Harold “Mickey” Bailin. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609; the Cardiology Department of UMass Memorial Hospital, 55 Lake Ave., N. Worcester, MA 01655; or to Post # 32 of the Jewish War Veterans, 633 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN EPSHTEYN Mikhail Epshteyn, 95, of Longmeadow, died May 20. He was predeceased by his wife, Galina in 2003. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, he was a proud veteran who fought in World War II against the Nazis for the Soviet Army. In April of 1990, Mikhail immigrated to Springfield, later settling in Longmeadow. He is survived by a son, Roman Epshteyn and his wife, Juliya of Agawam; two granddaughters, Yana Powers of Longmeadow and Inna Epshteyn of West Springfield; and two great-grandchildren Ari and Vicki. He also leaves behind a large extended family and his network of friends. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME FINERMAN Dorine (Hallett) Finerman, 91, of Springfield died May 8 at home. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Sarah (Smith) Hallett. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack Finerman. She graduated from Westfield State Teachers College, working after graduation as an elementary school teacher. She was a member of Sinai Temple. She is survived by two daughters, Jan Krasnor and her husband, Richard, of Madison, Conn., and Susan Finerman-Bierly and her husband, Jeffrey Bierly, of Portland, Conn.; four grandchildren, Leah DelGobbo and her husband, Chris, of Wolcott, Conn., Alison Krasnor of Brighton, Evan Bierly of Middletown, Conn., and Sarah Bierly of Brighton; a brother, Wayne Hallett and his wife, Janice, of East Longmeadow; a niece, Cathy Parker of West Springfield; and many other nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by two sisters, Rosalie Parker and Frances Gordon. Memorial contributions can be made to Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108; to Beacon Hospice and Amedisys Foundation, Springfield, MA; or to the donor’s choice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME FREEDMAN Sidney G. Freedman, 71, of West Boylston, died June 1 after a brief battle with glioblastoma. He was the husband of Lisa Freedman. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Aaron and Dorothy (Shack)


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Freedman. After graduating from Doherty Memorial High School in 1968, he took business courses at Suffolk University and went on to earn an associate degree in business at Worcester Junior College. After graduation, he started working at the family business, Olympic Sporting Goods and Trophy, and a few years, he took over the company and pioneered new graphics innovations. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Dov Freedman of Worcester, Dalilah Gilmartin and her husband Brad of Worcester, Dahci Croci and her husband Jason of Holden, and Desi Freedman of Worcester; eight grandchildren, Cara, Michael, Dylan, Annabelle, Nera, Tova, Kieran, and Quinnlyn; a brother, David and his wife, Susan Peirce of Clemson, S.C.; a niece, niece Hannah; and a nephew, Micah. Memorial contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, 65 Boys & Girls Club Way, Worcester, MA 01610. MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN GASS Doris Fogelman Gass of Worcester, formerly of Bangor, Maine and Boca Raton, Fla., died May 12. She was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Julius Gass. Born June 23, 1918, in Passaic, N.J., she was the daughter of Sarah and Isadore Fogelman. She worked for many years as a designer for the family office supply business. She loved being involved with local theater, and taught ceramics at the JCC. She is survived by three children, Denise Sosnoff and her husband, Steven, of Paxton, Sharon Temple and her significant other, Jim Fish, of Seattle, Wash., and Jeffrey Gass and his wife, Susan of McMinnville, Ore; a daughter-in-law, Lynne Gass of Sanford, Maine; three grandchildren, Michael Gass and his wife, Kimberly, of Portsmouth, N.H., Jodi Sosnoff of Arlington; and Richard Sosnoff and his wife, Marcela, of Panama; seven great-grandchildren, Zoe, Dorian and Latham Gass of Portsmouth, N.H., and Isabella, Angelina, Olivia and Nicolas Virzi Sosnoff of Panama; and numerous nieces. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609; or the charity of the donor’s choice. MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN GROSSMAN Morton P. “Morty” Grossman, 88, died May 9 at the Jewish Healthcare Center after a period of declining health. He was the husband of Sheila (Fellman) Grossman. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Joseph and Clara (Stigman) Grossman. After attending Commerce High School, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed in Korea

for 17 months in the Infantry. Following his military service, he joined his parents in the family jewelry business, eventually transitioning to a career in furniture sales. He was an active participant of The Torah Center of Worcester, and an active member of the Irving Yarock Post #32 of Jewish War Veterans. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two stepsons, Alan Gordon of Worcester, and David Gordon of Natick. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN MEYERS Jodi A. Meyers, 59, of New Haven, Conn., died April 8 after a battle with cancer. Born in Stamford, Conn., she was the daughter of Lois “Kris” Meyers and the late Robert Meyers. Raised in Longmeadow, she was a graduate of Longmeadow High School. She was active with both the Parents’ Foundation and Fellowship Place in New Haven. In addition to her mother, she is survived by a sister, Ellen Meyers; a sisterin-law, Kim Anno; a nephew, Jack AnnoMeyers; her stepmother, Sarah Meyers; and two half-brothers David and Alex Meyers. Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship Place, 441 Elm St, New Haven, CT, 06511. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME NESTELBAUM Menucha (Wagman) Nestelbaum of Worcester died May 18 at home. She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, Elimelech Nestelbaum in 2002. Born in Luxembourg on August 21, 1927, she was the daughter of Mordechai and Sonia (Lubich) Wagman. She survived World War II, but lost many family members in the Holocaust, including her father and her brother Henry. After the war she settled in Israel before moving to the United States. She lived in Worcester for 63 years and was a member of Shaarei Torah West. She was also active in Amit Women and a member of Hadassah and various Holocaust related organizations. She was an avid reader and was active in the family real estate business. She is survived by a daughter, Liora Weinberg (Lee) of Pittsburgh, Pa.; two sons, Zamir Nestelbaum (Leah) of New York City, and David Nestelbaum of Worcester; seven grandchildren, Ariella Reinherz (Adam), Sam Weinberg (Becky), Sonia Schwartz (Oren), Miriam Weinberg, Max Nestelbaum, Nick Nestelbaum and Ethan Nestelbaum; and 11 great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Shaarai Torah West, 835 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA 01602. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN majewishledger.com

OBITUARIES ODENTZ Miriam Odentz, 91, of Springfield, died June 10. She was the widow of Milton Odentz. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of the late Jacob and Bessie Katz. She graduated Classical High School class of 1946. She attended AIC for two years. She worked at Monsanto as a clerk typist for five years, followed by 18 years in the Springfield/ Longmeadow school systems, volunteering in the library at Wolf Swamp Rd School and as a teacher’s aide in Springfield. She volunteered

at the COA in Longmeadow working in the office and teaching mahjong in her spare time. She is survived by two sons, Robin and Core; two grandsons, Jacob and Simon; and one great-grandson, Everett. She was predeceased by two sisters, Sylvia Simpson and Ethel Suher. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME

Rabbi Jerome Gurland was dedicated to community service and interfaith relations


England College, where he served as a professor, member of the campus ministry, and Cultural Liaison Coordinator for more than 30 years. As part of his dedication to community service and interfaith relations, some of his civic involvements and awards included serving as longtime chairman of the Community Relations Commission of the City of Springfield; and chairman of the Greater Springfield BlackJewish dialogue and the Western Massachusetts Interfaith Council. He was recipient of the Order of William Pynchon Award from the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, which recognizes RABBI JEROME GURLAND those citizens who have rendered With a desire to become an educator, distinguished service to the community. Rabbi Gurland graduated from Brooklyn Rabbi Gurland is survived by two College before attending Johns Hopkins daughters and sons-in-law, Anne and University where he studied modern Michael Chernick and Ellen and Craig languages, German, Danish, and Spanish. Piper; five grandchildren, Jacob, Zachary, While there he realized that he wanted to and Abigail Chernick and Max and Molly become a rabbi. He then attended Hebrew Magerman; and his nieces and nephews. Union College in Cincinnati for five years He was predeceased by a brother, Harvey before being ordained there a Reform rabbi. Gurland. Memorial contributions may be He began his rabbinic career in Providence, made to Elms College Library for additions Rhode Island, followed by serving as the to the Rabbi Jerome Gurland Interfaith Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Cranston, Rhode Collection; and the Sinai Temple Rabbi Island. At that time, he also began his Jerome S. Gurland Human Relations Fund. teaching career at Salve Regina College. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME Rabbi Gurland’s lifelong passion for teaching brought him to Western New abbi Jerome Sheldon Gurland, 88, of Longmeadow, died peacefully at his home on May 20. Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Joseph and Esther (Holzberg) Gurland.


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Massachusetts Jewish Ledger • June 25, 2021 • 15 Tammuz 5781  

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