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Friday, June 5, 2020 13 Sivan 5780 Vol. 92 | No. 23 | ©2020 $1.00 | jewishledger.com

What’s so

Jewish about

“HAMILTON”?


Mazel tov to the graduates of 2020 From the Board of Directors & staff of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford

www.jewishhartford.org

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INSIDE

this week

CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JUNE 5, 2020 | 13 SIVAN 5780

10 Opinion

13 Around CT

16 Torah Portion

17 Letters

17

Anatomy of a Social Virus................................................. 5 In his documentary “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations,” now on PBS, filmmaker Andrew Goldberg probes the scourge of antisemitism which, like a virus, is mutating across cultures, borders and ideologies, making it all but impossible to stop.

Crisis Management..........................................................14 The fear and anxiety that are a byproduct of the COVID-19 crisis are over-whelming to many adults and children. What to do about it? Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford has some ideas.

Crossword Dear Class of 2020,

18 Briefs

21 Bulletin Board

22 Bonds of Life

23 Obituaries

24 Business and Professional Directory

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Arts & Entertainment................... 5 In the age of COVID-19, many indie filmmakers and established stars have seen their expensive projects and gigs fall into limbo, as Broadway theaters, cinemas, and clubs and venues of all sizes have shut down.

We know this is not the world of budding adulthood and boundless opportunity that you imagined would rise up to greet you as you flipped those tassels on graduation day. We never expected it either. But as stressful and uncertain as these times are – for you, for us, and for millions of graduates all across the country – buried deep within them are profound life lessons about courage and resiliency, optimism, inner strength and faith. It seems you have learned these lessons well. How do we know? We have watched you over the last few months as you were forced to separate from friends and extended family, and as you switched over to distance learning programs with grace and good humor. We have watched you and we have taken stock of the way in which you rose to the challenge – stepping up to support your communities and one another in any way, with caring and compassion. We have watched you as you leaned in and bravely weathered the storm, with vigor and fortitude. We have watched you and we understood that before us stood tomorrow’s leaders. And that alone gives us hope. The Talmud tells us that “The highest form of wisdom is kindness.” And so, as you move on to the next stage of life, be safe, be happy and always be kind. B’hatzlacha! The Publisher and Staff of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger

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FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020 ON THE COVER:

Good news, Hamilton fans! You can’t catch the innovative musical on Broadway right now, but on July 3 you’ll be able to stream the hit show from the comfort of your couch. So what’s so Jewish about “Hamilton”? Turns out, a bunch of stuff. PAGE 9 jewishledger.com

Hartford: 7:59 p.m. New Haven: 7:59 p.m. Bridgeport: 8:00 p.m. Stamford: 8:01 p.m. To determine the time for Havdalah, add one hour and 10 minutes (to be safe) to candle lighting time.

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Antisemitism examined as a social virus in PBS documentary (J. The Jewish News of Northern California) – As antisemitism rises around the world, so has our insight that this is a hatred with many faces, a many-headed monster fed by myths about Jews that will not die. Its more violent manifestations – defacements of Jewish cemeteries, street attacks, armed assaults on Jewish institutions – are often referred to as “outbreaks,” as if antisemitism were a disease. Indeed, the phrase “virulent antisemitism” is often used to describe the manifold expressions of that ideology. And as with a contagious disease, humanity must marshal all its informational resources to have any hope of defeating it. That is the concept of “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations,” a probing new documentary that made its television premiere May 26 on PBS. The film, which was in theaters briefly in February, opens with a black-and-white animation of what looks to be virus cell activity under a

microscope. “It started long ago … with a lie about the Jew,” the voiceover by actress Julianna Margulies explains. “The lie said the Jew was evil … conspiring … the enemy of God. The lie evolved and spread like a virus … and still does. Many don’t know they’re infected. Others don’t care. Some define themselves by it. The virus has endured for so long and spread so far because of its power to adapt and deceive. Of its thousands of mutations, this is the story of four.” The film then launches into the first of four segments, looking at the American strain. In Pittsburgh, director/producer Andrew Goldberg examines the significance of the assault on the Tree of Life synagogue, then heads to North Carolina, where he engages with Russell Walker, an open racist and antisemite who got 37% of his district’s vote when he ran for the state House of

Representatives in 2018. Other segments examine statesponsored antisemitism in Hungary under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban; the rise of antisemitism in England within the leftist Labour Party under past leader Jeremy Corbyn; and beliefs about Jews among some North African immigrants in France. In the latter case, those beliefs have conjoined with growing disaffection with global capitalism among the French Left, resulting in an atmosphere harshly inhospitable to French Jews. Goldberg travels to each of these locales to interview victims, witnesses, antisemites and experts. (To read a Jewish Ledger interview with Andrew Goldberg about his film, visit www.jewishledger.com.) A number of commentators add information and perspective. This list CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

VALERIE BRAHAM, WIDOW OF ONE OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HYPER CACHER GROCERY STORE SHOOTING IN PARIS, APPEARS IN “VIRAL: ANTISEMITISM IN FOUR MUTATIONS.”

The coronavirus didn’t just upend Broadway – it put indie projects in limbo BY CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) – Emma Seligman is trying to stay optimistic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25-year-old came extremely close to fulfilling every film student’s fantasy: having her debut indie film played at coveted festivals and becoming an up-and-coming name to know in the industry. Her film “Shiva Baby” involves both of the terms invoked in its title: a sugar baby – or a young girl who receives money or other material gifts from a wealthy older man in exchange for company, and often sex – who attends a shiva, or Jewish mourning get-together at the house of the family of the deceased. When protagonist Danielle goes to a family shiva gathering, she unexpectedly encounters her sugar daddy, along with his wife and new baby. Originally a short film and her NYU thesis, it was accepted in the South by Southwest short film program, where it received a sufficiently positive reaction to encourage Seligman to expand it to a feature. “There are a lot of sugar babies at NYU, though it’s somewhat secretive,” she said on the phone from her parents’ house in Toronto, where she has moved back to weather the virus quarantine. “I wanted to make a film about them, but from the perspective of a Jewish family.” Last December, while she was working on a final edit of the film, South by Southwest gave Seligman a Chanukah gift: the news that “Shiva Baby” was also accepted into the Austin-based fest’s feature pool. It was a big deal for the first-time director because to find a distributor, independent filmmakers and their CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

(PBS)

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films need to be seen at festivals. But like everything else, South by Southwest was canceled, leaving the potential of Seligman’s entire project at risk. Seligman isn’t alone – the rest of the country’s film festivals, full of works by up-and-coming artists craving their first mass exposure, have either been canceled, postponed or set up to screen online, without the same cachet as an in-person fest. “It didn’t come as a complete surprise,” she said about South by Southwest. COVID-19 hasn’t only been rough on indie artists. Established stars have also seen their expensive projects and gigs fall into limbo, as Broadway theaters, cinemas, and clubs and venues of all sizes have shut down. David Bryan (nee David Bryan Rashbaum) is the keyboardist for Bon Jovi, but he has also written musical scores for multiple plays. He won a Tony Award for his work on the hit Broadway show “Memphis,” and his newest musical, “Diana,” about British royal Princess Diana, was in previews, just weeks away from opening, when Broadway shut down on March 12. His bandmates had delayed releasing their new album and starting an international tour to accommodate Bryan’s theater schedule. But now both the album release and tour have been postponed – moreover, Jon Bon Jovi announced that the

band may never tour again. More bad news followed. On Friday, March 13, when Bryan began experiencing flu-like symptoms, including headaches and a fever. He was tested and found out he had COVID-19. Bryan admitted he was frightened at first, but the infection didn’t invade his lungs, and he didn’t need to be hospitalized. A second test revealed he is now virus free. Broadway is set to be closed until at least January. But will “Diana” ever see the stage? Whenever Broadway reopens, will audiences follow? Will fans crowd stadiums and arenas if the band tours? Bryan, who once said his childhood rabbi “made me the person I am,” won’t hazard a prediction. Still, Bryan claims to be the “ultimate optimist.” “When science tells you it’s OK to come back, we’ll come back,” he said. Comic Gilbert Gottfried, ensconced with his family at his in-laws’ home in the Berk-shires (the in-laws are in Florida), first responded to a request to talk about what’s going on by texting “There is no business;” and then, “I don’t want to talk about it.” How-ever, Gottfried did eventually talk. “It’s funny to think that I’ll look at my date book and see on this day we were supposed to be here, and then we were supposed to fly to this other state and do press for this club, and it’s all crossed out,” he said about his stand-up touring schedule.

DAVID BRYAN PERFORMS WITH BON JOVI AT THE NASSAU COLISEUM IN UNIONDALE, N.Y., MAY 6, 2011. (KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)

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A SCENE FROM “SHIVA BABY”

(CREDIT: MARIA RUSCHE)

“There’s a lot of paranoia. Whenever I’m outside and I get any kind of tickle in my throat or ache or pain in my body, I tell myself, ‘Uh-oh, this is it.’” Surprisingly, though, Gottfried seems comparatively at ease with his situation. He still records his podcast (modestly titled “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal

Podcast”) and offers personal greetings in his uniquely grating voice through cameo. com. “This is the first time in my life that anyone has called me level-headed. Pretty soon people will refer to me as rugged,” he said. Back in Toronto, Seligman sounds hoarse over the phone. “My older sister is here and we’re at each other’s throats,” she said, “but it’s all with love.” Ironically, some copies of “Shiva Baby” had already been distributed to a few critics, some of whom published reviews that would have appeared had the festival run as scheduled. The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire offered favorable critiques, among others; exactly the kind of response that likely would have netted Seligman some form of distribution. Obviously, she’s “really sad” but can “see some light.” Seligman is searching for other venues where “Shiva Baby” can find an audience – potentially online – from her childhood home. “Right now, [moving back in with your parents] feels more socially acceptable. A lot of people have gone home,” she said. “It’s strange. But I personally don’t mind. I think it’s kind of fun.”

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Virus CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

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includes former President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, and journalists Fareed Zakaria, George Will and Yair Rosenberg of Tablet. “Antisemitism is a conspiracy theory,” Lipstadt says of the penchant for antisemites to blame Jews for just about everything based on “the notion that there are forces more powerful than you.” Based on his own experiences as a former white supremacist, Arno Michael agrees. “If I’m looking to recruit, I’m going to look for white kids who have something going wrong in their life … and find a way to blame that on the Jews,” he says in the documentary. But after 90 minutes of examination, one is left with the sense that the film has but skimmed the surface of a bottomless black hole. Goldberg, 52, has pursued the subject of prejudice throughout his career, from his Emmy-winning “A Yiddish World Remembered” in 2002 to a well-received documentary about the Armenian genocide. He also wrote, produced and directed “Antisemitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence,” which covered the history of antisemitism in Europe. It aired on PBS in 2017. In the British segment of “Viral,” Goldberg visits Paul Marmot, an English cousin whom he had never met. Marnot recounts how, after a lifetime as a leftist British Jew, he tore up his Labour Party membership card when Corbyn was chosen as its leader in 2015. Critiques of Israeli policy are acceptable, he says, but Corbyn enabled criticism that crossed over into anti-Jewish sentiment. Meanwhile, on our shores, Goldberg takes note of how antisemitism in the U.S. has been getting worse over the past dozen years. By the time 11 Jews were gunned down in October 2018 in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, this film project was already

underway. In his view, anti-Jewish sentiment in the non-Jewish world is always “only a couple of centimeters below the surface” at any given time, though social forces may push it down. “The biggest mute button on antisemitism was the Holocaust itself,” he said, adding that it led to “better behavior” toward Jews in most of the Western world for more than 50 years. “And the precursor [to those prejudices surfacing] is societies becoming more polarized.” Another factor, he said, is that fewer Holocaust survivors are around to give firsthand testimony about how unchecked antisemitism branches off into utter horror. In the France portion of “Viral,” Goldberg interviews a brother of the shooter in the 2015 assault on the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery in Paris. Asked to describe the motivations of his jihadist brother, Abdel Ghani Merah describes the North African immigrant milieu of their parents, who brought to France a post-colonial belief that Western nations, Israel and global Jewry were allied against the Arab world. “Hatred of Jews was legitimate in my parents’ eyes,” he says, while distancing himself from that view (in fact, he has committed his life to countering antisemitism). “If they failed at something or were rejected, right away it was somehow a Jew’s fault. They owned the world.” A final word is given to the Valerie Braham, widow of Philippe Braham, one of four French Jews killed in the attack on Hyper Cacher, a kosher supermarket in Paris. “We don’t walk in the streets easily like we used to,” she says. “I won’t let my sons wear the kippah. I won’t say their names out loud.” For those who see it, will this film provide some kind of vaccine, so to speak, against antisemitism? That is the perennial hope – the panacea we are all waiting for.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

13 Jewish facts about ‘Hamilton’ that will make you smile BY ARIELLE KAPLAN

I

Seller told Jewish News. “He gets on a boat to New York to further his education, prospects and opportunities, and we see a direct line to the Jews of Eastern Europe who came to the United States for the same reason.”

n the ultimate COVID-19 silver lining, the Broadway smash “Hamilton“ will soon be available to stream from the comfort of your quarantine couch. Huzzah! Originally set to hit theaters on in October 2021, Disney+ snaged rights to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical. With Broadway theaters shuttered indefinitely, there’s now something to look forward to on July 3 (just in time for America’s birthday). In honor of this exciting news delivered at a truly hellacious time, here’s a bunch of Jewish facts about “Hamilton,” the innovative hip-hop musical that tells the tale of the Founding Father on the $10 bill. 1. Is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator, Jewish? Nope – but he’s most certainly an honorary Jew, and we have the receipts to prove it. Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican family, the artist – composer, lyricist, producer, actor, singer and playwright – grew up with a lot of Jewish friends. While studying at Wesleyan, Miranda, 40, joined a Jewish a cappella group, the Mazel Tones, and sung a popular rendition of “Hinei Ba HaShalom.” He also later worked as a bar mitzvah dancer to pay his rent. Oh, to be the bar mitzvah boy! But that’s not all, folks: In 2009, Yeshiva University gave Miranda an honorary degree, prompting him to tweet, “The day I became a Jewish doctor!” A year later, at his wedding, the oh-so romantic newlywed performed a surprise rendition of “To Life!” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” Needless to say, his new wife, Vanessa Nadal, was overjoyed. So were we. And, you can imagine how we felt when he tweeted in Hebrew in March, shortly after coronavirus hit the U.S. 2. Oy, we almost forgot about Miranda’s most recent, super-Jewish act: publicly thanking a generous bat mitzvah girl. In April, the Broadway star reached out to “Hamilton” super fan Elliana Zucker, who is making face masks as part of her mitzvah project. After the bat mitzvah’s mom reached out to Miranda, Elliana received a handwritten letter from “the desk of Lin-Manuel Miranda.” “As we all do our part by staying home you’ve chosen to take on a little more,” the composer wrote. “May the music of Hamilton continue to accompany you in your honorable endeavor.” Her response? “It kind of reminds me of sleepaway camp when you don’t have a phone and you get a letter,” she told the Miami Herald. “It’s old school.” jewishledger.com

10. Jewish mom Mandy Gonzalez was cast as Angelica Schuyler in the off-Broadway, and Broadway production. Gonzalez, who recently announced her battle with breast cancer, says her bubbe, the “Yiddish Queen of St. Louis,” gave her her “love of music.” Judaism and “having a faith in community” is incredibly important for young adults, Gonzalez said, who “strongly identifies” with Judaism and its “beauty and the culture.” (IMAGE VIA HAMILTON PLAYBILL; DESIGN BY ARIELLE KAPLAN)

3. OK, so Miranda isn’t technically Jewish. But what about Alexander Hamilton, the musical’s titular role Miranda plays? Well, it’s complicated. Hamilton grew up in the Caribbean, and some scholars believe that the Founding Father’s mother, Rachel Faucette, might have been Jewish. In any event, the Anglican Church banned young Hamilton from its school because he was born out of wedlock, so instead he studied at a Jewish day school at a synagogue. He learned Hebrew there and allegedly told his son that he learned to recite the Ten Commandments. “Rarely as he alluded to his personal history, he mentioned at the school of a Jewess, when so small that he was placed standing by her side upon a table,” Hamilton’s son recalled. 4. Hamilton was, at the very least, an advocate for the Jewish people. During a heated debate in a legal case, Hamilton is recorded saying: “Why distrust the evidence of the Jews? Discredit them and you will destroy the Christian religion … Were not the [Jews] witness of that pure and holy, happy and heaven-approved faith, converts to that faith?” 5. It was Jewish historian Ron Chernow’s 2004 book Alexander Hamilton that inspired Miranda to create a rap musical about the Founding Father. While reading the Pulitzer Prize winner’s book on vacation, Miranda got the idea to retell the story in a modern way. The actor approached Chernow and the rest, well, is history!

6. Aside from Chernow, the Broadway cast of “Hamilton” has tons of Jews, like Jewish director Thomas Kail, who actually met Miranda at Wesleyan, their alma mater. 7. If you’ve seen “Hamilton,” you can thank Jewish associate choreographer Stephanie Crain Klemons for the marvelous dance moves. “Hamilton” led Klemons to strengthen his connection to his Jewish roots. “As our Holocaust generation dwindles, the passing down of stories and traditions becomes both increasingly important and increasingly difficult. In ‘Hamilton’ especially, there’s a resurgence of the desire to know where you come from and the path your immediate ancestors experienced.” Klemons told the Crescent City Jewish News. 8. Jewish and African-American actor Daveed Diggs, who starred in the original Broadway cast as both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, originally thought a rap musical about Alexander Hamilton was a “terrible idea.” He went on to win a Tony Award for his performance thanks, in part, to his “really, really fast” rapping skills. 9. Lead Jewish producer Jeffrey Seller, who also produced Miranda’s first Tony Award-winning musical, “In the Heights,” believes that Hamilton reflects the story of Jewish immigrants. “Hamilton’s story reflects the long line of Jewish immigrants who came to America’s shores seeking opportunities to better their lives,”

11. The Jewish members of the Broadway cast apparently even had a nickname for themselves: the “Hamil-Jews.” In addition to those we’ve already mentioned, this also includes set designer David Korins, ensemble member Seth Stewart and sound designer Nevin Steinberg. Between shows, the Hamil-Jews celebrated Jewish holidays! Klemons said on Yom Kippur, those who chose to fast were supported by the rest of the Jewish friend group. “We did a little apple/honey Rosh Hashanah prayer,” Klemons said. ‘We did a Passover matzah exchange. Everyone makes a dish and we help each other out.” 12. In 2017, Miranda created Hamildrops, a project in which he released a new tracks inspired by “Hamilton,” in collaboration with featured artists. For the fourth mashup, Miranda teamed up with Jewish actor Ben Platt for a gorgeous duet of “Story of Tonight” from “Hamilton” and “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen.” 13. Since everybody loves “Hamilton,” and everybody loves Jewish holiday parody videos, perhaps it’s a bit of a no-brainer that there are a bunch of great Jewish a cappella versions of “Hamilton” songs, including this Chanukah parody from the Maccabeats and this one from Six13. Enjoy! This story originally appeared on Kveller.

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Opinion

The Problem with Trump’s “Bloodlines” BY RAFAEL MEDOFF

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resident Trump’s recent remark about Henry Ford’s “good bloodlines” has aroused curiosity and controversy. Trump actually is not the first president to subscribe to the discredited notion that there is such a thing as “good” blood and “bad” blood. But you have to go back nearly a century to find another American head of state who openly embraced such notions. During his visit to a Ford Motor Company plant in Michigan on May 21, Mr. Trump was supposed to read from a prepared text, in which he would state simply, “The company founded by a man named Henry Ford teamed up with the company founded by Thomas Edison – that’s General Electric.” But with Ford executive chairman William C. Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Henry Ford, standing nearby, Trump turned to him and ad-libbed: “The company founded by a man named Henry Ford–good bloodlines, good bloodlines, if you believe in that stuff. You got good blood. They teamed up with the company founded by Thomas Edison – that’s General Electric. It’s good stuff. That’s good stuff.” One wishes the president of the United States would have more than a passing familiarity with American history. Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect Mr. Trump to know that Henry Ford was America’s worst promulgator of antisemitism in the 1920s – for which Adolf Hitler praised him, by name, in the pages of Mein Kampf. Or that Ford accepted Nazi Germany’s highest award for foreigners, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, in 1938. Still, Trump’s advisers and speechwriters have an obligation to keep him fully informed. The more disturbing question, however, pertains to President Trump’s references to “good blood.” Granted, he inserted the caveat, “if you believe in that stuff.” But the very fact that he brought it up, unprovoked – and the fact that he has made similar remarks in the past – suggests that he, for one, does “believe in that stuff.” In 2016, Mr. Trump told British business leaders that they have “good bloodlines” and “amazing DNA.” At a rally in Mississippi that year, he said, “I have great genes and all that stuff, which I’m a believer in.” In a 2014 documentary, he said, “I’m proud to have that German blood, there’s no question about it. Great stuff.” 10

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Some of his statements regarding genes and blood concern his uncle, the late Dr. John Trump. As a presidential candidate in 2015, he asserted at one rally that he has “good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart” as supposedly proven by the fact that his uncle was a professor at MIT. Earlier this year, President Trump said he believes he has “a natural ability” in the field of medicine because his uncle “was a great super genius.” The idea that a person’s abilities and behavior are determined chiefly by their “blood” or genes was widespread in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It went hand in glove with the notion that whites from northern Europe were a superior race that was under siege by inferior races from Africa, Asia, and southern and eastern Europe. Such attitudes extended even to the White House. Theodore Roosevelt wrote in 1897 – just a few years before he became president – that it was important to “keep for the white race the best portion of the new world’s surface.” He insisted it was the responsibility of “Anglo-Saxon women” to bear children “numerous enough so that the race shall increase and not decrease.” Woodrow Wilson wrote a book in 1902 in which he warned that “men of the lowest class” from Italy and “of the meaner sort” from Hungary and Poland, were “men out of the ranks where there was neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence; and they came in the numbers which increased from year to year, as if the countries of the south of Europe were disburdening themselves of the more sordid and hapless elements of their population.” There is “a fundamental, eternal, inescapable difference” between the races, President Warren Harding declared in a speech in 1921. “Racial amalgamation there cannot be.” Vice president – and soon to be president – Calvin Coolidge wrote in Good Housekeeping magazine in 1921: “There are racial considerations too grave to be brushed aside for any sentimental reasons. Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides.” Based on that premise, the U.S. government adopted restrictive immigration

| JUNE 5, 2020

laws, based on national origins, in the early 1920s. “We have closed the doors just in time to prevent our Nordic population being overrun by the lower races,” Senator David A. Reed, one of the authors of the restrictive legislation, asserted in a New York Times oped. “The racial composition of America at the present time thus is made permanent.” Franklin D. Roosevelt shared these sentiments. In the 1920s, he wrote articles warning that “the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.” He asserted that America should welcome European immigrants who possessed “blood of the right sort.” In 1939, as president, he privately boasted to a Senate ally that “we know there is no Jewish blood in our veins.” FDR’s harsh policy of suppressing Jewish refugee immigration far below what the quota laws allowed, in the 1930s and 1940s, reflected his vision of a United States that was overwhelmingly white, AngloSaxon and Protestant. In his view, modest numbers of foreigners should be admitted only if they were, as he put it, “spread thin” around the country and thoroughly assimilated. With the advent of modern science and more enlightened views concerning race and culture, century-old attitudes about one race being better than others generally have been discarded, except among a small fringe of extremists. All that talk about the value of “good bloodlines,” which did not disturb many people eighty or a hundred years ago, by now should be a thing of the past. The fact that the president of the United States is expressing such views in the year 2020 is a reminder that some bad ideas do not easily go out of style. Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author of more than 20 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust.

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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 Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and at additional mailing offices. Jewish Ledger (USPS # 131 - 150) is published 24 times per year by JHL Ledger LLC from our office at: Jewish Ledger 40 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 Phone (860) 231-2424 Fax (860) 231-2485 Toll Free 1-800-286-6397 Postmaster, send address changes to: Jewish Ledger 40 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 Subscriptions: $36 yearly, $9 Twelve Issue Institutional subscription. Send name, address, zip code with payment. Editorial deadline: All public and social announcements must be received by Tuesday 5 p.m. 10 days prior to publication. Advertising deadline: Wednesday 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 Jewish Ledger MA, All Things Jewish CT, and All Things Jewish MA. www.jewishledger.com

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Hunger is big. Our community is bigger.

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Your support is critical to helping Foodshare provide food for our neighbors struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donate or Volunteer →

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Mazel Tov 2020 Graduates! Mazel Tov

Mazel Tov

on your graduation from Cheshire High School. Good Luck next year at Brandeis!

2020 Graduate of the University of New Hampshire. You will do great things - the sky’s the limit!

Love, Grandma

Love, Dad, Mom, Gaby & Buttercup

Alex Dragunoff

Hayley Dresner

Aaron Snyder

Brian Silberman

Kiryl Nenadovich

New England Jewish Academy wishes a heartfelt

Mazel Tov to the Class of 2020 Moshe Gesin

Nochum Levitan

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as they move on to Binghamton University, Capital Community College, Drexel University, Holyoke Community College, UMass Amherst, University of Hartford, and the U.S. Marine Corp.

Asaf Glahn

Shoshana Olkin

Moshe Koenigsberg

Yehuda Meyer

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Around Connecticut “Hero” Leah Raich helps keep Stamford emergency personnel well fed

O

n April 16, Leah Raich had expected to be in Israel celebrating her bat mitzvah with family. Instead, she was at home, quarantined, attending school virtually, cut off from friends, hoping to stay safe from the pandemic sweeping across the world. Not that Leah, a 7th-grader at Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, felt sorry for herself. To the contrary, she felt a need to help those struggling at this time. She came up with an idea to help support Beldotti Bakery, Stamford’s kosher bakery, while also helping our emergency workers. “I’m raising money to send a variety of individually wrapped baked goods – smile cookies, muffins, bagels, donuts, etc. – to Stamford emergency and critical care workers over the next few weeks,” she wrote in a letter to the community. “This way emergency workers feel supported by the community in these hard times and Beldotti Bakery gets more business,” helping it to stay afloat. Leah’s heroic efforts brought in $5,500 to Beldotti’s, which was used to deliver eight weeks worth of individually-wrapped treats and bagel breakfasts to workers at Stamford Hospital and Stamford Police Department. Leah’s favorite Beldotti’s treat: the smiley face cookie. Because, she explains, “I wanted to support Beldotti Bakery, while also helping Stamford’s emergency workers by bringing smiles to their faces.”

LEAH RAICH DELIVERS A BOX

Cross-grade learning in Bi-Cultural’s OF TREAT FROM BELDOTTI BAKERY TO THE STAMFORD Makerspace Innovation Lab

POLICE DEPT. AS PART OF HER BAT MITZVAH PROJECT.

MAZEL TOV, GRADUATES!

“Scholars enhance peace in the world” – Talmud, Berakhot During these difficult times, we applaud our remarkable graduates for their resilience, their optimism, their solidarity, and their endless kindness and concern for others.You are our heroes. LOWER SCHOOL GRADUATES Samantha Bradley Jake Brenner Lana Busch Jake Davisson Noah Doft Asher Farber Erez Fass

Alexandra (Sasha) Geller Nily Genger Esther Goldstein Mia Haron Ella Hecht Elisheva (Tzippy) Kanefsky Jason Kwalwasser Ella Leferman Charlotte Moreen Sawyer Price

Zachary Price Isaac Reicin Jonah Rosenberg Samuelle (Sammy) Sendersky Avi Shapiro Ben Steiner Allan Weiner Teresa (Tess) Weiner

UPPER SCHOOL GRADUATES

Douglas Herman UConn

Kovi Bodek Stonybrook University

Nathaniel Herman UConn

Where each student matters and every moment counts. Sarah Hanna UConn, 7-Year Medical School Program

Justin Krebs Syracuse University

Andrew Yakubovich

Zoë Jaffe-Berkowitz

Come see for yourself. Open House Sunday, November 4. Vanerbilt University University of Miami Early Childhood 10:00am-12noon 2186 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT Please RSVP to Denise Rafailov 203-329-2186, ext 1310 or drafailov@bcds.org

Brandon Rosenthal University of Maryland A pre-K – grade 12 school

High School 1:30-4:00pm 1937 W. Main Street, Stamford, CT Please RSVP to Sarah Rich 203-357-0850 or srich@jhsct.org 2186 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06903 • (203) 329-2186

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Maintaining Mental Health During COVID-19 “This is affecting all of us. It’s not about mental health professionals sitting on one side and others sitting on the other side needing help. We all are here. … This is an ‘us’ experience.” – Dr. Evan Fox, Hartford Hospital BY STACEY DRESNER

T

he issue of COVID-19 and how to cope with the stresses it continues to place on one’s mental health has been in the spotlight of late, with many agencies, such as Jewish Family Services, creating special programs and hosting virtual talks to help alleviate the psychological affects of the crisis. “We’re living through a time of fear and disruption in our daily lives that most of us have just never experienced, and I think that’s part of what makes this so challenging for people,” says Anne Danaher, outgoing CEO of Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford. “It threatens our health, our safety, our financial security. Add to that the impact of all of the social isolation; we’re just not used to that.” Danaher says she hasn’t seen a time like this before when so many people have been so anxious and in need of some mental or emotional health guidance. She

estimates that JFS has seen a 20 percent increase in requests for clinical support and reassurance, short-term emotional support and resource coordination. To meet the demand, JFS has added an additional parttime social worker. “We live pretty structured lives in many ways and now all of a sudden there is this massive disruption of the normal routines in our life. I think in our minds intellectually, and even in our bodies, this causes a whole series of anxious feelings that first responders of the world deal with all the time, but for many people this is uncharted territory,” Danaher says. During a Zoom conversation on the subject last month, hosted by Jewish Family Service of Greater Hartford (JFS) and Tara’s Closet, Dr. Evan Fox of Hartford Hospital, noted that the COVID-19 crisis is unique in that it is affecting everyone’s mental health in varying degrees. “This is affecting all of us,” Fox said in the May 14 conversation. “It’s not about mental health professionals sitting on one side and others sitting on the other needing help. We all are here. Frankly this is an ‘us’ experience and that’s what makes this engagement such a meaningful experience.”

Going Virtual

IN MAY 2019, TARA’S CLOSET INTRODUCED A POP-UP LOCATION IN WEST HARTFORD. PICTURED HERE IN MAY 2019 IN THE POP-UP’S BISHOP’S CORNER LOCATION ARE (L TO R) BISHOP’S CORNER REGIONAL PROPERTY MANAGER, EDENS; BARBARA ROTH, TARA’S CLOSET FOUNDER; PIA ROSENBERG TORO, JFS PRESIDENT; ANNE DANAHER, JFS CEO, JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN THE POP-UP SPACE IN BISHOPS CORNER. (CREDIT: JFS)

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When COVID-19 began affecting people throughout Connecticut and talk of “sheltering-in-place” began, JFS switched from seeing clients in person at its West Hartford offices to utilizing “telehealth” – meaning clinical clients are now being seen virtually by their counselors on Skype and FaceTime. Clients without computers or seniors who are not up on technology are speaking to their clinicians by telephone. “Years ago telehealth was considered a luxury for people who might not want to come into an office and needed to have therapy in their homes,” says Janice Rothstein, JFS director of clinical services. “But now it’s essential; it’s a necessity. And it’s been very successful.” For people in the community who are | JUNE 5, 2020

not JFS clients but are having issues dealing with fallout from the pandemic, JFS has launched “JFS On Call”, an emotional support telephone hotline. From 1 to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, individuals dealing with fear and stress resulting from the pandemic may call the free confidential hotline to discuss their issues. “The calls pertain to everything – the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to hap-pen, how long it’s going to last, how to talk about it to their children, struggling with partners,” Rothstein explains. “For some people the problem is there’s no schedule. They say, ‘I used to get up every morning and I knew exactly what my day was going to be like and now that’s different for me, for my kids, for my husband.’ People are really trying to find a way to cope. It’s nice to be able to call someone who understands and is able to do some problem-solving with you or provide some tools for dealing with the stress.”.

A Resource for older adults One of hardest hit populations has been the elderly, says Rothstein. “Not too long ago we had Passover and Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day is approaching – all of these holidays and occasions that at one time we celebrated with family,” she says. “This has been a very different experience for those who live alone; who can’t have their family come see them. It’s been a huge loss – a loss of freedom and a loss of family, and a loss of tradition. It’s a new and very different world.” That’s where the JFS mental health hotline comes in. “It’s someone to talk to about your feelings, worries and fears. For some older adults we are ‘it’, because they are not able to go out of their homes. We can help them figure out what they can do with their time and how to have some control in their lives,” she explains.

A place to talk for young people Rothstein says adolescents have also been reaching out through the hotline. “It’s a safe place to talk about your feelings and your struggles,” she explains. For younger children, the lack of structure and socialization can be an issue. “It can impact their social development,” Rothstein says. “There is a lack of social interaction, a disruption of activities, not having a routine. There is a whole social dis-connect, as well as uncertainty and worry. So, as hard as it is, parents need to talk to their kids and listen to their fears and try to build some coping skills, which is not easy to do at any time.” Ignoring these issues now can affect future emotional and mental health. “I think there will be an ongoing mental health crisis,” Rothstein says. “Let’s look back at other traumatic events in the past. We know with 9/11 – especially with children, because they have been followed extensively – that the impact is long-term. For kids, a single childhood trauma lasts for years. A large scale disaster whether its traumatic, like mass shootings, or environmental like, flooding and hurricanes, is always accompanied by an increase in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorder, and probably a range of other behavioral disorders including an increase of domestic violence and child abuse. So we know that this pandemic is going to most certainly produce very similar issues long-term.” Professionals – clinicians, pediatricians, and teachers – must be vigilant and watch for signs of trauma.

Maintaining mental health According to Rothstein, there are steps we can all take to help maintain our mental health. “Maintaining a routine, making sure we are sleeping, healthy eating, exercising, staying connected to friends and family; jewishledger.com


Conversation with Anne Danaher The outgoing head of JFS of Greater Hartford looks back on how mental health issues have changed over the years.

W

BY STACEY DRESNER

EST HARTFORD – Over the course of the 30 years that Anne Danaher has been on staff at Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford – 18 of them as chief executive officer – the social services agency has grown enormously. Under Danaher’s leadership, JFS has grown to include the Anja Rosenberg’s Kosher Food Pantry; the state-licensed Benet Rothstein Child Service Program, which provides crucial psychiatric outpatient services to children and teens; the Jewish Employment Transition Service (JETS) created as a response to the economic downturn and significant local unemployment; and JFS Care at Home, a home care agency which later expanded to include Geriatric Management. During Danaher’s tenure, JFS also launched Tara’s Closet and its annual Mental Health Awareness Month event in May, designed to reduce the stigma around mental illness. In addition, during Danaher’s tenure, the agency has grown. The number of clients has grown from fewer than 1,000

clients, to 5,672. Likewise when Danaher joined the agency, its budget was under $1 million. During the last fiscal year, it had a revenue of $4,275,000. On June 30, Danaher will step down as CEO, retiring from the role she has held since 2002. “It has been a true honor to serve JFS clients and their families,” Danaher says. “Retiring is bittersweet, but I know I am leaving the agency in a strong position and that my replacement will embrace our mission and continue to deliver services and care to those who need it the most.” “JFS and our entire community have benefited greatly from Anne’s leadership, dedication and vision,” said JFS Board President Pia Rosenberg Toro in a letter addressed to statewide associations, colleagues, partners and donors. “On be-half on the board, I would like to sincerely thank Anne for her long years of service and deep commitment to our agency.” To thank Danaher for her hard work and dedication, JFS has established the Anne M. Danaher Essential Needs Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families in crisis and struggling to provide their own basic human needs, such as rent, mortgage, utilities, medical needs, and transportation assistance.

video chats for people who can’t see their family members, increased phone calls. Even older adults in their 80s and 90s should move, do some stretching. Do the things that give you joy. And stay hopeful. There are things we can control,” she counsels. Rothstein says. “Even when we get back to what we used to think of as normal, we need to stay aware of mental health issues and continuing the dialogue.” For needier populations, this has been a particularly trying time. But JFS offers several resources that can be of assistance, including the Anya Rosenberg Kosher Food Pan-try, Tara’s Closet, and the Jewish Employment Transition Service (JETS) Barbara Roth founded Tara’s Closet, inspired by her daughter Tara Savin, who lost her battle with bipolar depression in 2010. A program of JFS, Tara’s Closet provides free clothing for JFS clients in need. Though the pandemic has forced the Tara’s Closet to close, Roth says the service Tara’s Closet provides continues. In fact, during the crisis, if somebody can’t afford the required co-pay, Tara’s Closet is covering that cost.

“Because we don’t know enough about the virus ,we felt it wasn’t safe to have people go through the clothing. So, Tara’s Closet now is giving their clients gift cards to Walmart to buy clothing for their families or for their families’ necessities,” Roth says. “About 100 clients are taking part in that. They can also get food from the Anya Rosen-berg Kosher Pantry.” Roth says that shedding a spotlight on mental health and the services that JFS offers is critical now more than ever. “There is nothing more important to me then helping people with mental health and now it is amplified a thousand-fold,” Roth says. “There are people who are suffering from anxiety, people who have lost their jobs and have lost their pay – it goes on and on. We are dealing with a quagmire of emotional trauma that people are facing and we are just trying to take care of our people.” Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the 4th annual “Embracing Possibility: Spotlight on Mental Health,” a program of Tara’s Closet and Jewish Family Service of Greater Hartford, has been rescheduled from May 7 to Oct. 15.

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“It has been a true honor to serve JFS clients and their families,” Danaher said. “Retiring is bittersweet, but I know I am leaving the agency in a strong position and that my replacement will embrace our mission and continue to deliver services and care to those who need it the most. JFS will host a Virtual Annual Meeting/ Community Celebration to honor and recognize Anne Danaher’’s commitment and leadership on Tuesday, June 16. Danaher spoke to the Jewish Ledger about her time at JFS and how she has seen the issue of mental health change over the years. Jewish Ledger (JL): From where did your desire to work in the social service field come? Was it a part of your upbringing? Anne Danaher (AD): Yes. My mother was a social worker and my dad worked for the state of Connecticut and he was the director of the Medicaid program for many years, and then he became a nursing home administrator. So I think service to others was absolutely how I was raised. Even as a teenager I worked in nursing homes. I always had an interest in service to others and I do think those were some of the values that were instilled in me by my parents. JL: Was your goal to become a social worker like your mother? AD: My undergraduate work was in social work and sociology. In my graduate work in public health my concentration was health services administration and also mental health administration. My goal was to be able to plan and run programs and direct an organization. JL: Looking back, how has the state of mental health issues changed? AD: Over the years I have been at JFS I have definitely seen, unfortunately, an increase in the severity of mental health issues that people face. Some of it involves trauma, especially for children, and the big impact of social media especially on children and teens. I think the pressures of daily life are much more significant for people and I think it’s harder to manage. On the upside, a positive trend has been that there is now much more awareness about the value of mental health services. Although we have a ways to go, I think the stigma has been somewhat reduced. And, quite honestly, I think it’s programs like our Tara’s Closet, founded by Barbara Roth, which now enables us to hold the large mental health awareness event that we do, that have gone a long way towards normalizing mental health. When I started [at JFS] we never could have had 600 in attendance at an event like this, and now we are able to do that every

year. In part it’s because of people like Barbara Roth who are willing to share the story of the struggles within their family. JL: Today, what kinds of mental health issues are families experiencing? AD: We’ve seen increases in depression, higher rates of suicide, and more clients who express suicidal ideas. We have had times where we have seen children as young as four years old who are depressed, going all the way to the other end of the spectrum, with clients who are almost 100. I do think mental health issues are impacting people earlier in their lives, especially the children. JL: Over the years, how has JFS dealt with this increasing need for mental health services and other forms of aid to the community? AD: One example is the Benet Rothstein Child Service Psychiatric outpatient program for children and teens that we launched 2004, and that was because there was a lack of adequate mental health services for children at the time. Truthfully, most, if not all, of the programs that we have started, certainly during my tenure, as well as historically, have always been in response to change in the community. The Anja Rosenberg Kosher Pantry was founded in response to clients who told our clinicians they didn’t have enough food. JETS, the Jewish Employment Transition Service, started in 2008 right as we had that terrible recession, was a direct response to inquiries from members of the community, and rabbis dealing with congregants who had lost jobs. I think JETS is going to be even more needed now, as people have lost jobs because of the pandemic. Even with the JETS program, there are also times when we also offer emotional support groups. JL: Do you still provide services to Holocaust survivors and to Russian Jews whom you helped to resettle in the 1980s and early 1990s? AD: To this day, although we no longer do resettlement work itself, we still provide counseling services as well as basic human needs for people who came here from the former Soviet Union. We consistently have at least one part-time counselor on staff who is Russian-speaking. Another program that has been very important is our Holocaust Survivors grant program which helps provide dental care for some of our survivors, some of whom are also from the former Soviet Union. The grant is offered through the Claims Conference in New York, which provides reparation money for survivors in need. I think that a really critical program providing needed support for Holocaust survivors who are very elderly.

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TORAHPortion Naso

BY SHLOMO RISKIN

This week’s reading of Naso describes the “Sota,” the woman who acts immodestly. At the very least, she sequesters herself alone with a man despite the fact that her husband warned her against seeing that person. She therefore undergoes the test of the bitter waters. However, during the spring holiday period, we saw two other women – great heroines of our people, Esther (Purim) and Ruth (Shavuot) who also commit immodest acts, for which salvation and redemption are brought about. Here is how they differ from the Sota. Both heroines compromise their modesty and perhaps even their chastity, Esther with Ahasuerus in the palace of the king and Ruth with Boaz on the threshing floor in Efrat. Both of these women hail from gentile countries of exile and one even from gentile stock: Esther from Persia and Ruth from Moab. Although each of these two women undergoes a profound, existential change, a switch in direction with profound ramifications, they part company in very significant ways. Esther seems to have been an assimilating Jewess who was eager to become the Queen of Persia. She used her Persian name, rather than her Hebrew name Hadassah; she even concurs with Mordecai (her cousin, or even perhaps her husband as the midrash suggests) not to reveal her national heritage (lest she be rejected on the grounds that she is Jewish – see the suggestion, albeit rejected by the Ibn Ezra). It is only when Mordecai publicly demonstrates in front of the king’s gate in sackcloth and ashes against Haman’s decree to annihilate the Jews of Persia, bidding Esther to “come out of the closet,” as it were, and go before the king on behalf of her people, that Esther puts her life on the line. By doing so, she becomes one of the greatest penitents of Jewish history. The words Mordecai uses to convince Esther have reverberated throughout Jewish history: “Do not imagine in your soul that you will be able to escape in the king’s palace any more than the rest of the Jews. For if you persist in keeping silent at a time like this, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether it was just for a time such as this that you attained the royal position” (Esther 5:13,14). The Jews in Shushan gather for three days of prayer and fasting, Esther persuades the king to allow the Jews to

protect themselves during the Persian “pogrom” against them, Haman and his sons are killed, and the Jewish community survives. The Talmud (B.T. Megila 14a) rules that despite all the other festivities, Hallel (psalms of praise) is not to be chanted on Purim; since “we still remained slaves to Ahasuerus.” Esther, was born of Jewish parents but married the gentile Ahasuerus: Ruth was a Moabite, she followed Naomi to the Land of Israel, changing geographically and existentially by converting to Judaism. Her ancestor Lot had defected from Abraham when he left Israel and moved to Sodom, now she repaired this by becoming a second Abraham. Like our forefather, she left her birthplace and homeland for the Land of Israel, a strange nation and the God of ethical monotheism. In her own words, “Where you go, I will go” (to the Land of Israel) – “your nation will be my nation, your God shall be my God” (Ruth 1:16). In the deepest sense, Ruth entered Abraham’s “Covenant between the Parts” (Genesis 15). God promised Abraham that he would be an eternal nation, his seed would never be destroyed and his descendants would live in their homeland, Israel and through this nation, “all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:1). This is far more than the survival of the Jews in Persia; this is world redemption. Hence, Naomi sends Ruth to the threshing floor to seduce Boaz, to bear his Jewish seed, just as Tamar, the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi’s ancestor Judah the son of Jacob, had seduced her father-in-law in order to bear his seed (Gen. 38). But Ruth is not satisfied. She understands that Jewish eternity is linked to two crucial components: Jewish seed in the land of Israel. She doesn’t consummate their relationship on the threshing floor; she asks him to “redeem” her, to buy back Naomi’s familial inheritance and to marry her “in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel” so that her descendants can be Jews in the Jewish homeland. Through their actions, Esther succeeded in gaining a respite in persecution, which is the most we can hope for in galut (exile). Ruth succeeded in entering Jewish eternity, the Abrahamic Covenant, and due to her compassionate righteousness and lovingkindness toward Naomi she became the herald of Jewish redemption. Her journey leads to the day when the nations of the world will join the family of Abraham, father of a multitude of nations.

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Letters Will Abbas really stop security cooperation with Israel? Not likely

THE KOSHER CROSSWORD JUNE 5, 2020 “Summer Blockbusters”

By: Yoni Glatt

Difficulty Level: Easy

By the time I saw the Jewish Ledger article “Israel loans millions to help Palestinians avert virus-related crisis; will they use it for terror?” (May 19, 2020), Mahmoud Abbas had (again) announced the Palestinian Authority no longer considered itself bound by the solemn agreements it had signed with Israel (as if it had ever honored them!). He said the PA would stop all cooperation with Israel and refused to accept 16 tons of medical supplies, sent by the United Arab Emirates to help the PA protect its people from the COVID-19 pandemic, because the plane carrying the supplies landed at Ben Gurion Airport and preventing normalization of relations with Israel – an obvious pre-requisite to peace – is abhorrent to him. Of course, Abbas won’t actually stop the security cooperation with Israel that keeps him alive until he’s on his deathbed and nobody should be surprised by the perversity of Abbas’ actions, but the proximity of those three events is another reminder that in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israelis wear the white hats.

Curbside pick up and local home delivery available! SHABBAT DINNER TRADITIONAL DAIRY LUNCHEON DELI SANDWICH PLATTER DINNER MENU

Alan Stein Netanya, Israel and Natick, Massachusetts The writer was a longtime resident of Connecticut

Never Forget It is an essential part of world history (not just Jewish history) to never forget or ignore the Holocaust. which killed six million Jews. But there are other essential parts of 20th century middle eastern history that are usually overlooked. Never forget the approximate 900,000 Middle Eastern Jews who were tossed out of Middle Eastern Muslim countries. They are perhaps forgotten, but only because Israel took them in and they now represent over 50% of Israel’s Jewish population. Also forgotten is that the Palestinians, were rejected as refugees by their Arab compatriots, except for Jordan. Sad for the Palestinians, yes. But blame the Arab nations who re-fused to take the Palestinians in. Don’t blame Israel. And don’t forget that, historically, many of the countries in the Muslim Middle East – today including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia – were created out of the same 20th century historical events as Israel. The Jews got a very small piece of the territory, which is today’s Israel. The Arab s got the rest. Lester Freundlich Stamford

ANSWERS TO MAY 29 CROSSWORD

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Across 1. Speaks scratchily 6. The IDF, for one 10. Amts. in recipes 14. “Shake off your dust, ___!” (Isaiah, 52:2) 15. “’Arrivederci’” 16. Jewish dance 17. 1997 summer blockbuster about the garb of many kollel students? 19. Starting point? 20. Lee who directed “Hulk” 21. Money mentioned in “Les Miz” 22. Give a new form, as Play-Doh 24. Hightail 26. Kind of dot

27. Out of sight 29. Akin, on Mom’s side 33. Get lighter, as jeans 36. “You’ve Got Mail!” co. 37. Makes a smooth transition 38. Military branch up high, briefly 39. 1990 summer blockbuster about Samuel’s return from the dead? 41. Chances 42. River that Vienna and Budapest are on 44. Race car driver Fabi 45. AMEX alternative 46. “Creed II” sympathetic villain 47. Chewbacca, e.g.

49. Omar of concern, to some 51. El Al alternative 55. Trump spends a lot of time on it 58. “Sketchy” NBC show? 59. ___-ray disc 60. Hindi word for “queen” 61. 1998 summer blockbuster about the end of days? 64. Israel’s Tel 65. Read Torah 66. Believe in 67. Rose or Sampras 68. Problem with a fishing line 69. 1992 Australian, French, and U.S. Open winner Monica

Down 1. Big name in Jewish camp 2. Basketball game setting 3. Belts out 4. Trident-shaped Greek letter 5. Mr. Miyagi, to Daniel 6. Bill of Rights advocates, for short 7. Bayou 8. Current President of France 9. Cletus the Slack-Jawed ___ (“The Simpsons” character) 10. 2009 summer blockbuster about the day after Purim? 11. Coke, e.g. 12. School like Eton or Harrow 13. Not meshuggah 18. Moses freed the Israelites

from it 23. Arcade game, ___-ball 25. 1993 summer blockbuster about Elijah’s time on the run from Jezebel and Ahab? 26. Fitness company that soared in popularity this spring 28. Cry from Homer 30. Car from Germany 31. Cruz and Koppel 32. She, to Luigi 33. Last name in wabbit hunting 34. Israeli teen? 35. Comedian Carvey 37. Tending, as a fire 40. One of its letters stands for “optimization” 43. Ultrafast Usain

47. Elizabeth who ran for President 48. Florida Keys, e.g. 50. Gets better, as a wound 52. Paula who had a Bat Mitzvah 53. Words of defeat 54. They’re the littlest in their litters 55. “It’s a ___!” (noted “Star Wars” line) 56. Ballpark crowd antic 57. “What’s ___ for me?” 58. Made like 52-Down, at times 62. “Mamma ___!” 63. Notable Dr. who does not have a PhD

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Briefs

Jewish content, including describing in 2017 a children’s book in Hebrew that his sister, Maayan, bought about a cat who sits on a rug and abides while other animals join it.

Kellyanne Conway unleashes Trump fans on Twitter’s integrity czar

These kosher NYC restaurants close for good

(JTA) – On Tuesday, May 26, Twitter instituted a practice of offering fact checks of tweets that include misleading information. Two of President Trump’s tweets yesterday were labeled with the new fact check button, which links to news stories about the topics. When Trump tweeted: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..” Twitter’s integrity chief, Yoel Roth, wrote a post that explains the policy will be applied mostly to tweets involving false information about COVID19. Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to the president, wasn’t happy. On Wednesday, she warned Roth in an appearance on Fox News that he was about to get plenty of new followers. “He’s the head of integrity and his name is Yoel Roth, he’s @yoyoel,” Conway said on the morning show “Fox and Friends,” which Trump monitors closely and has promoted to his followers. “Somebody in San Francisco, go wake him up and tell him he’s about to get a lot more followers.” She noted tweets in Roth’s feed from several years ago that attack Trump, Republicans and Trump voters. Trump is threatening to take action against Twitter and other social media platforms because of the action. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen,” he said on Twitter, without explaining what tools he had to carry that out. Since 2018, Roth has been the head of Twitter’s integrity team, which his LinkedIn page describes as being “responsible for policy development, implementation, and investigations for spam, data privacy and security, information operations, election security, and misinformation.” It also directs “Twitter’s efforts to combat information operations and suspected statebacked activity.” Roth, who is Jewish, has led efforts to address the recent surge of antisemitic harassment on Twitter. He said in 2018 that a focus was on bot networks spreading antisemitism. “We’ve expanded our policies, built our internal tooling, and tightened our enforcement against coordinated platform manipulation, including bot networks – regardless of the origin,” he told NPR for a story written just after the massacre of at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Some of Roth’s lighter tweets include 18

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(JTA) – Many New York City restaurants are closing for good as their owners are unable to pay rent during the state’s shutdown. In addition to the city’s high rents, eateries catering to observant Jews have to shoulder additional costs. Kosher products, especially meat, is pricier than nonkosher counterparts. Kosher certification can cost more than $1,000 a month and many eateries hire full-time kosher supervisors. Most kosher restaurants are also closed on Shabbat, which means they lose a crucial weekend day of profit. So it’s not a surprise that several kosher restaurants in New York have closed permanently since March. Abigael’s, a kosher steakhouse in Times Square, announced on May 25, that it would not reopen. Co-owner Jeff Nathan said he had already decided prior to the pandemic that he would close in December, since his landlord asked for more than double his current rent to renew his lease. After being forced to shut his doors due to the coronavirus, Nathan decided to close for good. “I planned on closing anyway,” Nathan said. “The only thing the virus did is speed it up.” Nathan is teaming with Park East Kosher, a meat shop on the Upper East Side, to continue his catering business. He’s also keeping his stand in Madison Square Garden that offers kosher sandwiches and hot dogs. Meanwhile, the kosher deli Fine & Schapiro on the Upper West Side was reported to have closed permanently in March, a few days before New York’s shutdown started. “Business was slow. Because of their age and bad health, they decided to close,” building manager Joe Kizner told the West Side Rag at the time about the deli’s owners. The upscale Wolf & Lamb Steakhouse announced in April that it would not be reopening its Brooklyn location “due to stresses related to COVID-19,” co-owner Zalman Wuensch said. The restaurant has been operating in Brooklyn since 2012. Wuensch is planning to reopen the steakhouse’s location in Midtown Manhattan and hopes to find a new location in Brooklyn in the coming years.

Bipartisan letter calls for removing swastikas, ‘Hitler’ from veterans’ cemeteries (JNS) U.S. House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Rep. Kay Granger

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(R-Texas), sent a bipartisan request to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Monday, May 25, urging that all gravestones inscribed with swastikas and messages honoring Hitler be removed from military cemeteries. U.S. House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and the subcommittee’s ranking member, John Carter (R-Texas), also signed the letter calling for the removal of the words, which were found in VA cemeteries in Texas and Utah on graves of German prisoners of war. “Allowing these gravestones with symbols and messages of hatred, racism, intolerance and genocide is especially offensive to all the veterans who risked, and often lost, their lives defending this country and our way of life,” wrote the members of Congress. “It is also a stain on the hallowed ground where so many veterans and their families are laid to rest. Families who visit their loved ones, who are buried in the same cemeteries with the Nazi soldiers whom they fought against, should never have to confront symbols of hatred that are antithetical to our American values.” The bipartisan group also wrote that the VA’s “decision to leave the swastikas and messages honoring Hitler in place and ignore the calls to take them down is callous, irresponsible and unacceptable.” The VA’s claims they cannot replace these headstones because the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires federal agencies to protect historic resources. However, the letter said, “That law protects resources of extreme historical significance for, as the statutory text states, ‘the inspiration and benefit of present and future generations.’ We should certainly all agree that honoring Hitler on the headstones of German soldiers who took up arms against the United States is not in line with the law’s intent.” In a statement to JNS, the VA said, “Headstones of enemy prisoners of war stand only in cemeteries where enemy POWs are buried, and we have no plans to change the posture of previous administrations by disturbing those gravesites.”

American association of professors awards women with anti-Israel portfolios (JNS) A nonprofit organization of professors and other academics in the United States announced awards on Wednesday for professors with anti-Israel backgrounds. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) announced Rabab Abdulhadi, a Palestinian professor at San Francisco State University, as a recipient of the Georgina M. Smith Award for “exceptional leadership in a given year in improving the status of academic women or in academic collective bargaining and through that work improved the profession

in general,” according to AAUP’s website. AAUP also announced Rutgers University professor Deepa Kumar as the recipient of the Marilyn Sternberg Award, “which is presented to an AAUP member who demonstrates concern for human rights, courage, persistence, political foresight, imagination and collective bargaining skills,” according to AAUP’s website. Both Abdulhadi and Kumar have a history of anti-Israel activism. Abdulhadi – a founding member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott, which is part of the movement calling for boycotting Israel – has called the presence of pro-Israel students on campus a “declaration of war” against Arabs and Muslims; compared Zionists to white supremacists; and praised terrorists. Kumar has spoken at events sponsored by antiIsrael groups including Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace; defended the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas; called Israel “a settler colonial state”; and tweeted that “the U.S. is more brutal than ISIS.” AAUP did not respond to a request for comment.

Woman arrested in vandalism of Texas synagogue (JTA) – A woman has been arrested in connection with the vandalism of a Texas synagogue and two other houses of worship. Temple Emanuel, a Reform synagogue in McAllen, a church and a Hindu temple were spray-painted Tuesday morning with a swastika and the words “WITCH,” “HADES,” “RAPEST,” “NEW YORK KILLER” and other random phrases and words, The Monitor reported. The unnamed suspect was arrested Tuesday afternoon, May 25, and is in custody of the McAllen Police Department with charges pending.

Ilhan Omar says Israel, Saudi Arabia has too much influence on Trump (JTA) – Rep. Ilhan Omar likened Saudi Arabia’s influence on the Trump administration to Israel’s, saying both countries relied in part on money to bring about their preferred outcomes. An interview with the London-based Sunday Times ahead of the publication of her book This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman, was likely to fuel tensions between Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, and supporters of Israel. “We know the amount of money and influence and connection that the Saudis have with the administration is really the reason that everything destructive they do is nullified,” she told the newspaper. “And that really is no different to what’s happening with Israel.” jewishledger.com


The story said that Omar’s “new approach is to pivot to Saudi Arabia so she isn’t singling out the Jews.” “There’s an alarming connection to the really destructive policies Israel is proposing and how much of it is being rubber stamped by this administration,” she said. “And how much of it is being urged by Americans who have connection and influence with this administration.” Omar apologized last year for a tweet in which she said “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to the pro-Israel lobby’s influence on lawmakers. Critics from both parties accused her of indulging an antisemitic trope that Jews buy influence. Omar in the interview said she has a better understanding now of why such expressions are hurtful, and suggested that invoking the Saudis should protect her from charges of bigotry. “I talk about Saudi blood money and them being bloodsuckers and no one says ‘This is Islamophobic,’” said Omar, who is Muslim.

Stanford undergrad student senator re-elected, despite anti-Israel tweets (JNS) A student has been re-elected to Stanford University’s undergraduate legislative body, despite antisemitic tweets being exposed ahead of the election, which was held May 18-19. Mià Bahr, a rising junior, was again elected to the school’s undergraduate senate – the Associated Students of Stanford University – reported The Stanford Daily on May 22. On June 2018, she tweeted: “If you still support israel [sic], you can choke, honestly.” She retweeted a March 2019 post that read, “FCK ISRAEL, FREE PALESTINE.” The following August, Bahr tweeted, “some of these st*nford leftists suddenly forgot their values when their white friend is pro-israel [sic] or their partner is misogynistic/sexually assaults other women,” adding a thinking emoticon and the word “interesting.” Bahr seems to have since deleted her account and created a new one with the same Twitter handle. On May 15, Bahr issued two statements about her social-media activity: one to the university community and another to the Jewish community. In the letter to the university community, Bahr stated that her tweets were taken out of context, and that SCR “has called me antisemitic for my support of a peaceful two-state solution and the admonishment of police and military violence.” She added that while she regrets her phrasing, she will “continue to stand firm” on her ideas. In her letter to the Jewish community, Bahr apologized for her tweets, claiming that there was a “lack of context the screenshots SCR’s post came with.” “I recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people,” she wrote. Bahr also distanced herself from the BDS movement jewishledger.com

to boycott Israel. In a Facebook post on May 18, the Stanford Israel Association wrote, “It’s clear that the anger she expressed through past tweets is directed toward what she had believed was morally wrong. Unfortunately, these hostile tweets not only represent Mià’s personal views, but they reflect a broader misperception of Israel that pervades our campus. Although we have been disappointed by her words, SIA considers this incident to be an opportunity for growth.”

Iran law to ban the use of Israeli technology (JTA) A bill passed last week on “confronting the hostile acts of the Zionist regime against peace and security” prevents any cooperation with Israel. That means the purchase and use of Israeli technology such as computer hardware and software, the Iranian Fars News Agency reported. President Hassan Rouhani issued the implementation order on Tuesday, May 25, according to Fars, the semi-official news agency of the Iranian government. The Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, said earlier this month that “any cooperation or spying for the Zionist regime is equal to enmity towards God and corruption on earth,” Fars reported. The law calls for action against Israel’s “warmongering and terrorist moves, siege (of Gaza), settlement construction, displacing the Palestinian people, and occupation of countries’ lands, including Golan.” In March, the Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said it would be permissible to use a future vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Israel if “there is no substitute.” But he also said that, in general, “It is not permissible to buy and sell from Zionists and Israel.”

Israeli court: Accused sex offender Malka Leifer mentally fit for extradition (JTA) – Alleged sex offender Malka Leifer is mentally fit to be extradited and stand trial in Australia, a Jerusalem judge ruled Tuesday, May 25. District Court Judge Chana Miriam Lomp ruled that extradition proceedings should reopen. The decision can and likely will be appealed to the Supreme Court. A panel of state psychiatrists determined in January that Leifer was fit for extradition. Earlier evaluations had found her too unstable to be deported. Leifer, 53, fled to Israel from Australia in 2008 amid allegations that she had sexually abused students when she was the principal at the Adass Yisroel school in Melbourne. Australia officially filed an extradition request in 2014 after she was indicted in

a court there on 74 counts of rape and sexual assault. She was arrested the same year and then released after claiming, and being deemed, mentally unfit for the legal proceedings. She was rearrested in 2018 after an undercover investigation found that she lived a normal life and was mentally fit to face extradition proceedings. Former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman was accused of threatening the state psychiatrists in the latest evaluation to declare Leifer unfit for extradition. Police in August recommended Litzman be indicted on charges of witness tampering, fraud and breach of trust over his involvement in Leifer’s case. The dragging out of the case over six years has led to bad feelings against Israel in the Australian Jewish community.

Pompeo, on his whirlwind trip to Israel on May 13, urged Israel not to choose the China-based firm. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Washington has been scrutinizing Israeli academic ties with China, including technology research and development, as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to persuade Israel to reduce those ties. The “Sorek B” plant is expected to produce 200 billion liters of desalinated water annually, or a quarter of Israel’s overall water consumption. According to the contract, IDE Technologies will operate it for 25 years. The current seawater desalinization plant at Sorek – one of five in the country – is run by IDE Technologies and became operational in 2013.

Israeli boy discovers ancient tablet in southern Israel

Museum of Jewish Montreal told it must vacate premises

(JTA) – A six-year-old Israeli boy discovered a 3,500-year-old tablet during a visit to the site of an archaeological site in the Negev desert. Imri Elya from Kibbutz Nirim found the artifact at Tel Jemmah, and turned it over to the National Treasures Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The 1.1-inch by 1.1-inch clay tablet is engraved with a depiction of a man wearing a skirt leading a naked captive whose hands are tied behind the back. The tablet seems to indicate ethnic differences between captor and captive; the captor’s hair is curled and his face is full, while the captive is thin and his face elongated. It is the first such tablet ever found in Israel. Researchers estimate that the artifact dates to between the 12th and 15th centuries BCE, a period during which the Egyptian empire ruled the area. The tablet “opens a visual window to understanding the struggle for dominance in the south of the country during the Canaanite period,” archaeologists Saar Ganor, Itamar Weissbein and Oren Shmueli of the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

(JTA) – The Museum of Jewish Montreal has been told it must vacate its premises by the end of June. The museum, which is being evicted by the building’s new owners, has been running online experiences since being forced to close due to the coronavirus crisis. “Our storefront has been the heart and soul of our community for the past four years,” the museum’s executive director, Zev Moses, and president, Sara Tauben, said in the statement. “It’s sad and difficult for us to leave a space that meant so much to us, to you, and to the city. So much of our Museum has been built around transformative in-person educational and cultural experiences. We have moved quickly to bring as many of these activities as possible online, launching a series of digital cultural and social events” in response to the coronavirus crisis, according to the statement. The museum will be introducing online tours and educational experiences for school groups and visitors from around the world. Moses and Tauben said they have looked at alternative spaces that can host the more than 25,000 visitors it receives annually. “For now, though, we have chosen to focus our activities online until the time is right to reopen a physical space,” they said in the statement.

Israel’s IDE Technology beats out China-based firm’s desalinization plant tender (JNS) The Israeli company IDE Technologies on Tuesday, May 25, won the tender to build what is expected to be the world’s largest seawater desalinization plant – worth $1.5 billion – at Nahal Sorek, near the Palmachim air base, south of Tel Aviv. The Israeli firm beat a bid by Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings to construct and operate the plant, Ynet reported. The issue of growing trade relations between Israel and companies directly or indirectly tied to Beijing is of concern to the United States, and Secretary of State Mike

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BULLETIN BOARD UConn Judaic studies centers partners with shuls Members of the Judaic Studies faculty of several academic institutions will present weekly lectures for local synagogues organizing online programs. The community is invited to join any of the lectures which are accessible on Zoom using the call-in number below. For information, contact Rabbi Howard Rosenbaum at hrosenbaum@cbict.org or (860) 920-5686. Meeting ID: 934 142 286 Password: lectures Dial by your location +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) Lecture Schedule All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 Dr. Sara Johnson, Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, UConn “Not Lost in Translation: The Greek Bible from Aristeas to the Rabbis” Monday, June 8 Dr. Sam Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of History, Trinity College “David Ben Gurion and the Making of the Jewish State” Thursday, June 18 Dr. Stuart Miller, Professor of Hebrew, History, and Judaic Studies and Academic Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, UConn “Separating out the Facts: The Origins of Christianity and the History of Judaism”

Cantor Ellen Dreskin is musical guest at Temple Beth Hillel virtual service SOUTH WINDSOR – Temple Beth Hillel will feature Cantor Ellen Dreskin as musical guest on Friday, June 5 at 6:45 p.m. Cantor Dreskin will join the South Windsor synagogue’s Cantor Harris for a special Shabbat service. Cantor Dreskin is coordinator of the Cantorial Certification Program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York. An innovative leader and educator in today’s Jewish Reform movement, she has worked with Jews all across the country and of all denominations. Her expertise extends from music to synagogue transformation, and from experiential education to enlivened liturgy and mysticism. To watch the June 5 service via live stream or Facebook, go to www.tbhsw.org jewishledger.com

and scroll down on the home page. To learn more about Cantor Ellen Dreskin and her music, visit www. Ellendreskin.com.

Virtual programs Museum of Jewish Heritage in June The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, continues to launch new, virtual programs for its audiences while the Museum remains closed in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions. The following events are scheduled for June: GENerally Speaking Thursday, June 4 | 7 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/generallyspeaking-with-stephanie-butnick/ What does it mean to be a third- or fourth-generation Holocaust survivor? Is trauma transmitted through epigenetics, or inherited along with family stories and heirlooms? Tablet Magazine Deputy Editor Stephanie Butnick, co-host of the leading Jewish podcast “Unorthodox,” will lead a new MJH Live series exploring these questions and more with a changing roster of guests. The first installment will feature guests Alyssa Greengrass Sommer and David Wachs, who will share their grandparents’ Holocaust stories. Perspectives from the AuschwitzBirkenau State Museum Tuesday, June 9 | 2 p.m. One million Jews and tens of thousands of others were murdered at Auschwitz, which has become the most widely-recognized symbol of the Holocaust. The AuschwitzBirkenau State Museum (ABSM) is responsible for preserving and interpreting that momentous history on the site of the former Nazi camp in Oswiecim, Poland. Pawel Sawicki, ABSM press officer and a project leader of the “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” exhibition, will discuss the Museum’s expansive work. Understanding Anne Frank Thursday, June 25 | 2 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/ understanding-anne-frank-withteresien-da-silva/ The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has become a site of pilgrimage for millions of people around the world captivated by Anne Frank’s story. Its rich collections include many of Anne’s original items, several of which are on display in “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Join Teresien da Silva, Head of Collections at the Anne Frank House, for a discussion of Anne’s life, legacy, and diary.

Kosherfest coming to New Jersey Nov. 10-11 Kosherfest, the leading kosher products trade show in the U.S., will be held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, Nov. 10-11. To learn more, visit www.kosherfest.com.

New initiative to provide emergency relief for Jews of Color during COVID-19 SAN FRANCISCO, California – The Jews of Color Initiative COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Individuals is a new program created to assist Jews of Color in the U.S. who are most in need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and economic fallout. “Systemic racism is amplifying the impact of COVID-19 on Jews of Color and all People of Color in the U.S,” says Ilana Kaufman, executive director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. “We need to get funds into the hands of the most vulnerable, many of whom struggle daily to pay bills and put food on the table. We are committed to both inviting applications and disbursing funds in ways that are transparent and reflect a welcoming environment for Jews of Color.” The initiative’s application requires minimal documentation and is open to People of Color in the Jewish community living in the U.S., including People of Color who self-identify as Jewish, People of Color who work or have worked for a Jewish communal organization, and People of Color affiliated with organizations in the Jewish community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as funds are available. Funding will be in the range of $250-$2500 and is for individuals facing hardship and an inability to obtain basic necessities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. All

funding must be used for rent or mortgage payment; transportation to work or medical appointments; utilities; groceries; medical bills; or burial expenses. For more information or an application, visit jewsofcolorinitiative.org/resources.

Hebrew Book Fest comes to Zoom Israelis in CT is sponsoring the first virtual Hebrew Book Fest. Modeled after the Israeli Shvua Hasefer Haivri (Hebrew Book Week), the all-Hebrew event that is running now through June 8. Scheduled are sessions for adults and children. Knowledge of Hebrew is required. Israelis in CT also offers a Hebrew Conversation Group for novice Hebrew speakers. All levels welcome. To register and for Zoom links, or to find out more about Hebrew programs, contact Israelis in CT at israelisinct@hotmail.com. For adults: Creative Story Telling: How to tell and write a good story Monday, June 8, 8 p.m. This session will cover the elements required for taking a simple incident and turning it into an interesting storyline. For children: Bedtime story, nightly at 7:30 p.m. Stories are read in Hebrew Schedule of stories: Tuesday, June 2: Alef-Beit Yoga with Yael Wednesday, June 3: Hanan Haganan, read by Lilach Thursday, June 4: Tell Me What’s Your Name, read by Tikva.

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Bonds of Life:

Memorializing those we lost to COVID-19 Alison Schwartz, 29, was People magazine staffer (JTA) – When Alison Schwartz set out to find a gift for her best friend’s wedding in 2018, she did it with her trademark creativity and fastidiousness. The idea was to make a 42-square-foot quilt with all 1,450 words of the couple’s wedding vows hand stitched on the underside. But Schwartz was a perfectionist, and when the quilt arrived with an error, she sent it back. And then sent it back again when the second attempt also fell short. It took a year, but she finally delivered Jared Misner and his husband the finished product – devoid of errors. “That encapsulates Alison in multiple ways,” said Misner, who has known Schwartz since they were freshmen at the University of Florida. “She gave this quilter the same amount of slack she would have given herself, which is to say zero. She was a wonderfully compassionate and ruthless editor. And she was the most generous gift giver you can imagine.” A New York native, Schwartz, who died April 28 of COVID-19 at the age of 29, grew up in Wellington, Florida, just outside West Palm Beach. A journalism major, a summer internship at People led to a full-time job offer, and Schwartz worked her way up to become director of digital platforms. Colleagues remembered her as a gifted writer and a joyful colleague. But it was her thoughtfulness and care for her friends that stood out. One of the last things she did before going into the hospital was send a gift card to a college roommate who works as a nurse in Florida, which the roommate then used to buy masks for her hospital staff. During one of the few moments of consciousness while she was in the hospital, she wrote a message on a chalkboard to tell a friend that she hadn’t forgotten her birthday, Misner said. Schwartz is survived by her parents, Robin and Richard Schwartz, and a brother, Adam. A scholarship was established in her memory at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.

Atty Lee Kozol, 87, represented the Patriots BOSTON (JTA) – Lee Kozol, who died on April 24 of COVID-19 at the age of 87, had a legal career that spanned some six decades, and he was at the center of many of the important issues of his day. A graduate of Harvard Law School, 22

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in the 1960s he served as head of the civil rights division in the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, where he oversaw the state’s implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision barring prayer in public schools. Back in private practice, he successfully persuaded the state’s highest court that lead paint should not be excluded from pollution controls. And in 1988, he and his brother Joel, also a Harvard Law School grad, represented the New England Patriots in the team’s 1988 sale. Even in retirement, Kozol remained a force, leading his condominium’s headlinemaking effort to block one of the city’s major real estate developers from erecting a massive tower along the Boston waterfront. “He was one of the smartest people I have ever known,” said Diane Rubin, an attorney who got to know Kozol in her role representing the condominium, Harbor Towers. Rubin described Kozol as a great mentor, eloquent and modest. Kozol was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1933. After law school, he clerked for Judge William Hatie at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 1963, he was appointed chief of the civil rights division by Attorney General Edward Brooke, who went on to become a U.S. Senator. In addition to wife, Gail, Kozol leaves three daughters from his first marriage, and four grandchildren.

Aaron Rubashkin, 92, patriarch of troubled kosher meat empire (JTA) – As a child in the Russian town of Nevel, Aaron Rubashkin saw his Jewish school shut down by the Soviet government in 1938. After the Nazis arrived in the summer of 1941, the Rubashkin family fled on foot, landing in Uzbekistan before finally arriving in the United States in 1953. So it was perhaps not surprising that in 2008, when hundreds of federal agents descended on the tiny Iowa town where his family operated what at the time was the largest kosher meat producer in the United States, Rubashkin saw it as another case of government mistreatment. “Everything is a lie,” Rubashkin said of the misdeeds alleged against the company, Agriprocessors, chiefly that it was employing hundreds of undocumented workers. “We are ethical people. We don’t do no injustice to nobody, not to a cat.” Rubashkin, who died April 2 of COVID19 at the age of 92, was not the face of the

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scandal that would eventually lead to the company’s sale to an Orthodox Canadian billionaire. That was his son Sholom, who despite the swirling allegations against the company, would be convicted only of financial fraud and sentenced to 27 years in prison, of which he served eight years before President Trump commuted the sentence in 2017. But Rubashkin felt the pain of the controversy acutely. It was he who had gotten the family into the meat business in Borough Park, Brooklyn, in 1953. And it was he who had purchased the Iowa plant in 1987, transforming the way kosher meat was produced and distributed in the United States. And it was his name that adorned the Aaron’s Best brand that Agriprocessors produced. ” he told JTA in an angry 2008 interview. In the Chabad Hasidic community, Rubashkin was known less for his business controversies than his many acts of kindness. A lengthy obituary on the Chabad.org website detailed the stories of Rubashkin’s generosity that have become the stuff of legend. Crown Deli, which the family opened on 13th Avenue in Brooklyn, effectively functioned as a soup kitchen, feeding anyone in need. Rubashkin is survived by his wife, Rivka, and nine children.

After moving to Los Angeles, Jay Sanderson made frequent cross-country trips to visit his brother and mother, who remained in the area until last summer, when she relocated to a senior residence in California. Because of the pandemic, Jay Sanderson had to inform his mother by phone that Jeffrey had died, even though his mother lives only three miles away. “I couldn’t comfort her or hug her over the loss of her son,” he said. Jay Sanderson credits his brother with teaching him about kindness and empathy, lessons that shaped his personal and professional life. “He taught us how to care for others, how to love without judgment and how to appreciate the little things,” Jay wrote in a letter to friends. “I do what I do because of him,” said Jay’s son Jonah, a rabbinical student. “He had the most beautiful neshama,” Jonah said, using the Hebrew word for soul. “He was the most beautiful soul you’d ever see.” Jeffrey Sanderson leaves his mother, Rhoda Sanderson; brother Jay and his wife, Laura Lampert Sanderson; nephew Jonah and niece Isabelle.

Jeffrey Sanderson, 62, took pleasure in the small things (JTA) – For Jeffrey Sanderson, it was the small things in life that brought the most joy. He couldn’t get enough of old episodes of “I Love Lucy,” and “Leave it to Beaver,” which tickled his sense of humor. And always, sharing jokes with his family was sure to set off fits of laughter. Sanderson died on April 18 of COVID19. He was 62 and lived in a group home for people with intellectual disabilities in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. “He was the most endearing person,” said his twin brother, Jay Sanderson, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. “He was funny, he was charming. The things he loved, he really loved. He had such joy for little things.” The Sanderson brothers grew up on the North Shore of Boston. Just before their fifth birthday, their father died of a heart attack. It was not long after Jeffrey had moved out of the family home for the intensive caretaking he required. jewishledger.com


OBITUARIES The Ledger prints a basic obituary free of charge. Free obituaries are edited to fit the newspaper’s style. Obituaries that those submitting would like to run “as is,” as well as accompanying photos, may be printed for a charge. For more information: j­ udiej@jewishledger.com, 860.231.2424.

GANS Dr. Alan Lewis Gans, 92, of New Haven has died. Born in New Haven, he was the son of the late Dr. Louis and Lillian Gans. He served as a U.S. Navy lieutenant during the Korean Conflict. He was also predeceased by his sister Audrey Saidel. He is survived by his nieces, Margo Schiff, Karen Schur, and Alison Kovachi. KALB Jeanette (Jeanie) Kalb, 94, of Farmington, died May 19. She was born in the Bronx, N.Y. and lived for many years in Syracuse and New Jersey. She was the wife of Gerald (Jerry) Kalb. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters, Karen Kalb of Syracuse, N.Y., and Lisa Feigenbaum and her husband Barry of West Hartford; her grandchildren, Melanie Feigenbaum and David Feigenbaum; her sister Doris Schwartz of New Jersey; and many nieces, nephews and cousins and friends. TELIS Esther Telis, 93, of Boca Raton, Fla., formerly of Cheshire, died May 19. Born in Poland, she was a Holocaust survivor. She was the widow of Zelig Telis. She is survived by her children, Rita Horowitz (the late Mark Horowitz) and Sherman Telis and his wife Karen; her grandchildren, Alexander (Kate), Michael (AnnaRose King), Samantha (Joshua Juster); and great-grandchildren Liam Zelig Telis, Willow Rose King Telis and Logan Mark Juster.

TUPPER Ruth (Baer) Tupper, 86, of Washington, D.C., formerly of West Hartford, died May 22. She was the widow of Jay S. Tupper. Born in Germany, she was the daughter of the late Heinrich and Nellie (Kahn) Baer. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth Tupper of Washington, D.C., and Michael Tupper and his wife Naseem Munshi of Lafayette, Colo.; her brother Thomas Baer of New York, N.Y.; and her sister Marjorie Possick and her husband Paul Possick of Woodcliff Lake, N.J. WINTHROP Justin (“Jud”) Irving Winthrop, 99, of Dedham, Mass., formerly of West Hartford, died May 21. He was the widower of Marilyn Peck Winthrop. Born in Lynn, Mass., he was the son of Harry and Flora Winthrop. He served as an officer and a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a member of Congregation Beth Israel for more than 40 years. He is survived by his children, Earl Winthrop and his wife Maria of Boston Mass., Mark Winthrop and his wife Ellie of Hopkinton Mass., and Beth Winthrop Holzman and her husband Jim of Brookline Mass.; and his grandchildren, Max, Lucas, Anna, Sean, Nicole, Sydney, Maya, and Chase.

Call 860.231.2424 x3028 to place your memorial in the Ledger.

Prominent AIDS activist Larry Kramer dies at 84 BY MARCY OSTER

(JTA) – Larry Kramer, one of the most important figures in the history of LGBTQ activism and a writer, died on Wednesday, May 27. He was 84. Kramer, who wrote the semiautobiographical play “A Normal Heart,” died in Manhattan of pneumonia, his husband, David Webster, confirmed to The New York Times. He had undergone a liver transplant after contracting liver disease and was infected with HIV, the virus that can turn into AIDS. Kramer was a co-founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, now one of the biggest AIDS service organizations in the world, but was forced out because of his outspokenness and went on to found the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, a more militant group that took to the streets to protest for more AIDS drugs research and an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians. His worldview was shaped by his Jewish identity, JTA wrote in 2016. Kramer and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, crossed paths as the AIDS crisis continued to kill gay men, with Kramer calling him a killer. Fauci told The New York Times that Kramer spurred him to break through the slow federal bureaucracy that held up AIDS research. They later became friends, according to the report. In March, Kramer told a Times reporter that he emailed Fauci to tell him he was sorry for how he is being treated as the

public face of the efforts to combat the coronavirus. Kramer wrote books, plays and screenplays, many with gay themes and some autobiographical. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play “The Destiny of Me,” which picks up where “The Normal Heart” leaves off. His book Reports for the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist, is a collection of his essays on AIDS activism and LGBT civil rights. In the weeks before his death, Kramer had started to write a play in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. He was a graduate of Yale University and enlisted in the Army. He began working for Columbia Pictures in the early 1960s.

AMERICAN WRITER AND GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST LARRY KRAMER POSES FOR A PORTRAIT AT THE OPEN DOOR OF HIS NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT, APRIL 1993. (CATHERINE MCGANN/GETTY IMAGES)

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CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or howardm@jewishledger.com. BLOOMFIELD B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/ Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Conservative Rabbi Debra Cantor (860) 243-3576 office@BTSonline.org www.btsonline.org BRIDGEPORT Congregation B’nai Israel Reform Rabbi Evan Schultz (203) 336-1858 info@cbibpt.org www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Rabbi-in-Residence Cantor Niema Hirsch info@rodephsholom.com www.rodephsholom.com Jewish Senior Services Traditional Rabbi Stephen Shulman (203) 396-1001 sshulman@jseniors.org www.jseniors.org CHESHIRE Temple Beth David Reform Rabbi Micah Ellenson (203) 272-0037 office@TBDCheshire.org www.TBDCheshire.org

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CHESTER Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Reform Rabbi Marci Bellows (860) 526-8920 rabbibellows@cbsrz.org www.cbsrz.org COLCHESTER Congregation Ahavath Achim Conservative Rabbi Kenneth Alter (860) 537-2809 secretary@congregationahavathachim.org EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 templebetht@yahoo.com FAIRFIELD Congregation Ahavath Achim Orthodox (203) 372-6529 office@ahavathachim.org www.ahavathachim.org Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Marcelo Kormis (203) 374-5544 office@bethelfairfield.org www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 office@kolhaverim.org www.kolhaverim.org

GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 hadaselias@grs.org www.grs.org Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Chaya Bender Cantor Sandy Bernstein (203) 869-7191 info@templesholom.com www.templesholom.com HAMDEN Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 tbsoffice@tbshamden.com www.tbshamden.com MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Stacy Offner (203) 245-7028 office@tbtshoreline.org www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org programming@myshul.org www.myshul.org

MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Spiritual Leaders: Rabbi Marshal Press Rabbi Michael Kohn (860) 346-4709 office@adathisraelct.org www.adathisraelct.org NEW BRITAIN Congregation Tephereth Israel Orthodox Rabbi Andrew Hechtman (860) 229-1485 NEW HAVEN The Towers Conservative Ruth Greenblatt, Spiritual Leader (203) 772-1816 rebecca@towerone.org www.towerone.org Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel Conservative Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen (203) 389-2108 office@BEKI.org www.BEKI.org Orchard Street ShulCongregation Beth Israel Orthodox Rabbi Mendy Hecht 973-723-9070 www.orchardstreetshul.org NEW LONDON Ahavath Chesed Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg 860-442-3234 Ahavath.chesed@att.net Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Rachel Safman (860) 442-0418 office@bethel-nl.org bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 templesinaict@gmail.com www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 office@congadathisrael.org www.congadathisrael.org

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SOUTHINGTON Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation Reform Rabbi Alana Wasserman (860) 276-9113 President@gsjc.org www.gsjc.org

Congregation Beth Israel Reform Rabbi Michael Pincus Rabbi Andi Fliegel Cantor Stephanie Kupfer (860) 233-8215 bethisrael@cbict.org www.cbict.org

TRUMBULL Congregation B’nai Torah Conservative Rabbi Colin Brodie (203) 268-6940 office@bnaitorahct.org www.bnaitorahct.org

Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 pnaiorct@gmail.com www.jewishrenewalct.org

Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Mark Lipson (203) 866-0148 admin@templeshalomweb.org www.templeshalomweb.org

WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 richardcaplan@sbcglobal.net www.bethisrael/wallingford. org

Kehilat Chaverim of Greater Hartford Chavurah Adm. - Marcey Ginsburg Munoz (860) 951-6877 info@ kehilatchaverim.org www.kehilatchaverim.org

ORANGE Congregation Or Shalom Conservative Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus (203) 799-2341 info@orshalomct.org www.orshalomct.org

WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 admin@jewishlifect.org www.jewishlife.org

RIDGEFIELD Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties Reform Rabbi David Reiner Cantor Debora Katchko-Gray (203) 438-6589 office@ourshirshalom.org

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

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

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

NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 info@bethisraelchabad.org bethisraelchabad.org Congregation Beth El-Norwalk Conservative Rabbi Ita Paskind (203) 838-2710 Jody@congbethel.org www.congbethel.org

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

Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Ilana Garber (860) 233-9696 hsowalsky@bethelwh.org www.bethelwesthartford.org Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 info@chabadhartford.com www.chabadhartford.com

The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 communications@emanuelsynagogue.org www.emanuelsynagogue.org United Synagogues of Greater Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Eli Ostrozynski synagogue voice mail (860) 586-8067 Rabbi’s mobile (718) 6794446 ostro770@hotmail.com www.usgh.org Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 info@youngisraelwh.org www.youngisraelwh.org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 info@bnaijacob.org www.bnaijacob.org

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