Friday, June 19, 2020 27 Sivan 5780 Vol. 92 | No. 25 | ©2020 $1.00 | jewishledger.com
HONORING MY UNCLE
ON FATHER’S DAY 1
| JUNE 19, 2020
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| JUNE 19, 2020
CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JUNE 19, 2020 | 27 SIVAN 5780
21 Election 2020
21 Torah Portion
The Art of Deception..................... 5 Both far-right and far-left groups have engaged in a campaign to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement, in order to delegitimize Israel by linking police brutality in the U.S. with efforts by the IDF to protect citizens from attack.
The Road Ahead............................. 5 “It is not just sharing money, but wisdom, values and life lessons,” says Amy Holtz, co-founder of a new initiative that calls on all Jews, young and old, to allocate at least half of their estate to Jewish and Israelrelated causes.
A Dog’s Tale...................................... 8 In December, a Massachusetts woman loaded up her team of sled dogs and headed for Alaska to take part in an historic expedition, both exhausting and exhilirating, that fulfilled her dream of a lifetime.
22 Bonds of Life
24 Business and Professional Directory
ON THE COVER:
Pvt. Allan C. Franken, who was killed at the age of 20 in the final days of World War II, did not live to have children who would honor him on Father’s Day. But the New Haven native did have a nephew. And when Rabbi John Franken learned that his uncle’s grave in a U.S. military cemetery was marked by a Latin Cross, he stepped up to the plate and campaigned to have it changed. In so doing, he reclaimed the Jewish heritage of the uncle he never knew. PAGE 14 jewishledger.com
Permission Granted.........................................................10 Did AIPAC – the leading U.S. pro-Israel lobby that has always discouraged public criticism of the Jewish state – just give lawmakers the thumbs-up to criticize Bibi Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank? Sure looks like it.
And the answer is…...........................................................12 Meggie Kwait. The observant Jewish day school teacher from NYC who finished second in the ‘Jeopardy!s Teacher’s Tournament, and took home $50,000 (and lots of great friends).
FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2020 Hartford: 8:11 p.m. New Haven: 8:11 p.m. Bridgeport: 8:12 p.m. Stamford: 8:13 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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CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JUNE 19, 2020 | 27 SIVAN 5780
Groups on far-left, far-right co-opt Black Lives Matter movement to target Israel BY SEAN SAVAGE
(JNS) Groups on the far-right and far-left, including pro-Palestinian organizations with links to terrorism, have been engaged in a campaign to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to target and delegitimize Israel. “The cynical use of the Black Lives Matter by groups backed and controlled by foreign terror movements is nothing less than a repeat of the many other times that terror groups have used human shields to push their violence and hate,” Mark Greendorfer, president of the Zachor Legal Group, told JNS. A “civil-rights movement (Black Lives Matter) has been hijacked by extremists to push an agenda focused on promoting hate, in the form of antisemitism, rather than seeking justice,” he said. Last week, it was widely reported when several Jewish institutions were targeted during protests in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, which included vandalism to Jewish businesses and synagogues, such as Congregation Beth El, which was vandalized with graffiti stating “Free Palestine” and “F*** Israel.” While these incidents drew headlines and condemnations, several far-left antiIsrael groups have been engaged in a campaign on social media and in protests blaming Israel for police violence and linking the Black Lives Matter movement to
A POSTER FROM A PROTEST IN LONDON LINKING BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT TO THE SITUATION FACING THE PALESTINIANS. (SOURCE: APARTHEID OFF CAMPUS VIA FACEBOOK)
Palestinian uprisings. In particular, anti-Israel groups have been using the protests over the public murder of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minnesota by a police officer to target the Jewish state over past training programs set up between the United States and Israeli police departments. “This is where the Minneapolis Police Department learned their police brutality tactics from. Israeli occupation terrorist soldiers (on the left) murder Palestinians on a daily basis. We must stop training our American police officers to be gestapo units. #GeorgeFloyd #Palestine.” tweeted Abbas Hamideh of the group Al-Awda, a proPalestinian BDS group. Similarly, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and a student leader in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) also blamed Israel for the police tactics. “The Israeli military trains US police in racist and repressive policing tactics, which systematically targets Black and Brown bodies. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are examples of racialized, systematized violence. https://t.co/DJ7T2qh6RL” – US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (@ USCPR_) May 28, 2020
The anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which in 2017 launched its “Deadly Exchange” campaign, has long blamed Israel for helping to train U.S. police in “extrajudicial executions, shoot-tokill, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention.” Over the past week, JVP’s campaign has spread and become a popular conspiracy theory among anti-Israel activists, according to the Canary Mission, an antisemitism watchdog group. “Anti-Israel activists have claimed that Israel and American Jewish organizations are responsible for police brutality resulting in the deaths of black people, such as George Floyd,” said the Canary Mission. “They state that U.S. police forces are trained by Israel to deliberately use brutal methods of policing. They further claim that this training is organized and sponsored by the American Jewish community.”
Jewish Future Pledge calls on Jews to allocate half of their estate to charity BY ELIANA RUDEE
At the same time, several proPalestinian BDS groups have applied violent terms such as intifada (Arabic for “uprising”) to the current eruption of protests in the wake of Floyd’s death. The term was the name given to the first and second Palestinian bouts of violence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then from 2000 to 2005, which witnessed daily terror attacks, including suicide bombings, stabbings and shootings against Israeli civilians, claiming thousands of lives. In a Facebook post, the group Samidoun, which advocates for Palestinian prisoners and has ties to the U.S.designated terror group the Popular Front
(JNS) A newly launched nonprofit is calling on worldwide Jewish donors, young and old, to allocate at least half of their charitable dollars transferred at death to Jewish and Israel-related causes. Philanthropist and entrepreneur Michael Leven and longtime Jewish executive Amy Holtz launched the Jewish Future Pledge (JFP) initiative in May, during Jewish Heritage Month, with the aim of securing a vibrant Jewish future and inspiring the next generation of Jews to help support it. According to the organization, Jewish donors are estimated to transfer $1.26 trillion to charitable causes in the next 25 years; JFP hopes to direct half of that, or $630 billion, to Jewish causes. The Pledge, which was inspired in part by Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s “Giving Pledge,” has already been signed by notable Jewish philanthropists like Charles Bronfman, Bernie Marcus, Julie Platt and Tom Stern. But this is no billionaires club, Holtz told JNS. Every Jew can take part, even with small dollars. “We built the State of Israel on nickels and dimes,” she remarked. Explaining how the allocation works, Holtz posed, “I am leaving X amount of dollars for my kids, and the only parameter is that 50 percent of those dollars need to be for Jewish giving. I can choose to leave the money to specific charities or the kids can decide where to give.” “You don’t need to be a millionaire or have a family fund to participate,” said Leven in a letter to his fraternity brothers at Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), a partnering organization. “This is not
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“It’s past time to defund Minneapolis PD. The violence of police depts across the country is magnified in moments of crisis like this one, and has deepened for years thru #DeadlyExchange trainings with Israeli armed forces. E.g. https://t. co/wKxza2czYD https://t.co/ qaHShZP50o” – DeadlyExchange (@DeadlyExchange) May 28, 2020
JUNE 19, 2020
BLM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), called the Floyd protests an “intifada.” “We support the uprising in Minneapolis, the intifada of people subjected to an ongoing, vicious and structural racism, inheriting a lengthy and rich tradition of Black resistance, organizing and struggle,” wrote the group. In a statement, PFLP also expressed its solidarity with the protests. “It is not surprising for a country like the United States, which has a strategic alliance with the Zionist entity [Israel], to intersect with it in the discrimination, racism and repression that embodies its treatment of Palestinians,” the terror group wrote on its site.
‘There is no connection between the struggle’ Meanwhile, far-right neo-Nazi individuals and organizations have also been blaming Jews for the violence associated with the protests. Andrew Anglin, founder of the Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, wrote in a blog post about the protests, saying “Fear not the blacks who can burn your city, but fear the Jews who can release the blacks to burn your city and lock you in your house in hell.” Similarly, the far-right is also claiming that the violent protesters are being controlled by Jewish money. “They [Jews] Are Starting a Race War So People Don’t Rally Against ZOG [Zionist Occupation Government],” wrote neo-Nazi Kyle Hunt, according to the Canary Mission. Hunt, who is also a supporter of the
BDS movement, has previously joined antiIsrael groups IfNotNow (INN) and Al-Awda in protesting against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 2017, according to the Canary Mission. At the same time, pro-Palestinian activists have also sought to link and draw parallels between police violence in America and violence against Palestinians by Israel. In what has been termed “intersectionality,” these groups posit that no form of discrimination if distinct from one another. Following the killing of Floyd, antiIsrael activists immediately began drawing comparisons with what they describe as systematic and deadly Israeli brutality against Palestinians. Those comparisons were given further impetus in the wake of the May 30 killing of Iyad Halak, an autistic Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem, by Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City. Drawing on this, several social-media posts depicted U.S. and Israeli police as one and the same on social-media imagery. In a May 29 picture shared on Twitter by “Los Otros Judios,” it depicts an Israeli and American police officer embracing while kneeling on the necks of a Palestinian and a black man, respectively. Similarly, a picture shared by the Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj on Twitter depicts the U.S. and Israeli flags as the same color, while also having the knees of soldiers on the necks of a black man and Palestinian. Greendorfer said that “there is no connection between the struggle of blacks against racism, and the conflict between terrorists and Jews seeking to live in peace
in their homeland.” Instead, he said that many of the progressive groups supporting the Black Lives Matter movement should instead look at Israel “as an example of a tolerant, inclusive and fair society, one that welcomes LGBTQ individuals, fights against terror groups that engage in the slaughter of
Pledge CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
a fundraiser. It is a monumental chance to sustain the financial future of the Jewish people, and to ensure that our values and wisdom endure for JEWISH EXECUTIVE generations.” AMY HOLTZ, TOGETHER WITH The nonprofit PHILANTHROPIST/ had a soft launch ENTREPRENEUR MICHAEL LEVEN in Atlanta in HAVE LAUNCHED partnership THE JEWISH FUTURE with the Jewish PLEDGE. Federation of Greater Atlanta, where it garnered its first batch of hundreds of signatures, also securing partnerships with a range of other Jewish and financial organizations across the United States. JFP leadership decided to proceed with their national launch despite the coronavirus pandemic. “We must navigate this crisis without losing sight of the future. The challenges of this moment illustrate the importance of planning for the unknown,” said Holtz. “COVID highlights need that we need to act now and plan for unknown.” Jewish Future Pledge chairman Mark Silberman, who previously served as chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, added, “We are in an existential moment. Perhaps more than ever before, people are thinking about what’s important in life and what legacy they will leave behind.”
Sparking conversations, along with donations
A POSTER FROM A PROTEST IN LONDON LINKING BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT TO THE SITUATION FACING THE PALESTINIANS.
innocents and minority groups.” “It’s possible, and, indeed, ethical,” he noted, “to support the call for police accountability and an end to discrimination without joining a terror backed call for the destruction of the country and increased discrimination (against Jews, Israel and those who support Israel).”
With three simple steps: “Sign it, seal it and share it,” the pledge is not only about giving, but about sharing their pledge with friends and family, which will spark conversations about the importance of donating, ensuring Jewish life for generations to come and imparting one’s values.
“It is not just sharing money, but wisdom, values and life lessons,” said Holtz. “The pledge is saying to the next generation: ‘We believe in your generation.’ With the risk that kids are turning away from Judaism, and may not be as connected as the previous generations, we are combining tremendous opportunity with risk.” “I wanted to start a conversation with my family about the importance of securing the Jewish future,” added Leven. “I see an enormous opportunity to help spark thousands, even millions, of similar conversations around Jewish tables before my generation passes about why the Jewish future matters.” Each individual who signs the pledge, affirmed Holtz, should speak to a lawyer about how to legalize their pledge in their estate. JFP has also started a pledge for the younger crowd, partnering with major Jewish youth organizations. “So far, the response has been phenomenal across the board, with people and organizations showing their support for this simple but powerful concept,” maintained Holtz. AEPi (of which Leven is an Alumnus Brother) and NCSY are among the partners of the youth pledge, with many more to be announced shortly. “Taking the Jewish Future Pledge not only honors our ancestors who sacrificed and suffered through exile and oppression, but it is a gift to my children to ensure the strength of klal Yisrael, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel,” Jeff Jacobson, the fraternity’s international president told JNS. “The mission of Alpha Epsilon Pi is to develop the future of the world’s Jewish communities and we see the Jewish Future Pledge as a big part of that,” Jim Fleischer, CEO of Alpha Epsilon Pi International told JNS. “Sustaining and growing our Jewish institutions for generations to come is integral to the future of the world’s Jewish communities.”
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| JUNE 19, 2020
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JUNE 19, 2020
Massachusetts woman leads her sled dogs on an Alaskan expedition BY STACEY DRESNER
arla Brodsky, owner of Hilltown Sled Dogs in Chesterfield, Massachusetts runs a camp at her kennel each summer, where kids choose one of her 20 dogs and learn the basics of training an Alaskan Malamute. This year, however, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered those plans. This year, re-ports Brodsky, camp will be “shorter and smaller – four hours long with eight campers, ages 10 and up, wearing face masks and gloves the whole time except when eating lunch. Social distancing will be maintained in dog yards, at fire pits and in puppy playpens. So, hopefully we will help
some families out and the sled dog team will get to have some fun with the kids too.” Modifying the camp, a significant stream of revenue for the kennel, may be a bit of a disappointment, but it takes more than a pandemic to rattle Brodsky. Free-spirited and determined, she never gives up. “I’ve lived my life by making my dreams a reality,” says the 60-year old Brodsky. In March she fulfilled one of her fondest dreams – running her team of sled dogs on a trek through the Alaskan in the 2020 Serum Trail Run Expedition, a 674-mile trek from Nenana to Nome. “I was like, ‘I made it!’ I always wanted to do it and I did,” she exalts.
MARLA BRODSKY SNAPPED THIS SHOT OF HER SLED DOG TEAM ‘ON THE ROAD.’
| JUNE 19, 2020
More than fulfilling a dream, Marla says this accomplishment also means a lot to her as the mother of 15-year-old daughter, Ruby. “I feel like I’ve been a role model for my daughter [showing her that] if you really want to do something, you can. You just have to work hard and you have to put your mind to it.” She has been doing that since childhood. Born and raised in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, growing up Brodsky was active in her Conservative synagogue Germantown Jewish Center, and egalitarian congregation where she received an excellent Jewish education. After delivering a flawless bat mitzvah service, the synagogue’s Cantor Ben Maissner told her mother that she was gifted and should begin voice training. “My mom sought out a local teacher from the Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia, and, at 13, I started studying classically. You hear stories of blues singers being nurtured by the church, because they started with gospel and then crossed over to the blues or jazz; I was nurtured by my synagogue,” she says, noting that she remained involved, chanting on the High Holidays and as the only youth in the temple’s adult choir. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston with a BFA in Drama, Brodsky also studied with a voice teacher at the Berklee College of Music. The dream of being a performer brought her to New York in the early 90s. Adopting the moniker Marla BB – which she still goes by most of the time – for 25 years she toured the country with her band, Marla BB and her Sassy Mama Blues Band. In 2000 she moved to Western Massachusetts and, in 2005, her partner gave birth to their daughter. To cut down on touring, Brodsky – who had taken up Tae Kwon Do years earlier – opened her own Tae Kwon Do studio. But it was while on a month-long tour of Alaska in 2007 that she completely fell in love with sled dogs and mushing. On her days off from performing she
visited as many “dog yards” as she could and became friends with champion mushers Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore. The next year she apprenticed for them and handled their Iditarod teams. At the end of the season, they gave her one of their sled dogs, Betty. So began Brodsky’s kennel of sled dogs, which she has bred and raised herself. “Once I got into mushing, I closed the [martial arts] studio,” she says. “I ended up separating from my partner and moving across the road… So now I live on 17-plus acres with my Hilltown sled dogs and my daughter 50 percent of the time. Now my world is all about mushing because when you have 20 some sled dogs, you have to have a passion and your passion becomes your life. My life has been dogs and daughter.” It has also been important for her to give her daughter a strong Jewish upbringing. “I wanted her to have the foundation I had and Northampton offers so much Jewishly,” she says. “She want to Gan Keshet Preschool and then to Lander Grinspoon Academy, the Solomon Schechter School of the Pioneer Valley. She was bat mitzvahed at CBI [Congregation B’nai Israel].”
‘I’m going to Alaska!’ As owner of Hilltown Sled Dogs, Brodsky calls herself an “Ambassador for the world of Sled Dog Sports.” Her kennel offers sled dog lessons and rides, hikes with the dogs, demonstrations, education, and tours. Her summer camp grew and grew and in 2019 it was filled to capacity. As some of her campers have gotten older and more experienced, they have become apprentices, training and helping out on sled runs, with the goal of becoming mushers themselves. In recent years Brosky has also raced and won mushing competitions throughout New England, the Midwest and Canada. She competed in the World Championships in Sweden last fall. Yet, what she really wanted to do was go on a trek through Alaska. “My goal was to go back to Alaska with my own team and train and race there, and for ten years I would say, this year I’m going to Alaska,’” she said. “This year my business jewishledger.com
FATHER’S DAY IS JUNE 21ST!
MARLA BRODSKY GETS SOME LOVE FROM A COUPLE OF HER MALAMUTES.
finally became successful enough so that financially I was able to take my dog team to Alaska.” She even wore the “Jonathan the Husky” mascot costume and wandered around UConn at Christmas-time with a live husky to make money for the trip. and, she received support from Common Capital, a non-profit community loan fund in Springfield, Massachusetts. When Brodsky learned that the commemorative Serum Run Expedition was going to take place, she applied and was selected to participate. The 674-mile trek commemorates the historic 1925 serum run by 20 mushers who relayed life-saving anti-toxin medication to Nome and the surrounding towns during a diphtheria epidemic. The Serum Run trek hadn’t been run for nearly a decade, but this year was revived by Alaskan graduate student Robert Forto for his master’s degree project. In December, Brodsky loaded up her dogs and headed for Alaska to train. She rented a cabin on a corner in Nenana, Alaska, which she called “mushing central… More dog teams went past our cabins than cars.” Brodsky was one of five mushers, all women ages 50+ who call themselves who call themselves “The Fabulous Five”. They were accompanied by eight snowmachiners, who hauled gear and helped break trail, as well as a veterinarian and a doctor. Mushing during the day, the group stayed overnights in schools, bush cabins, arctic oven tents and roadhouses along the route that took them from Nenana through towns including Old Minto, Beaver Point Lodge, Manley, Tanana, Bone Yard Cabin, Galena, Old Woman Cabin, Koyuk, White Mountain, Safety/Nuuk, and finally Nome. The expedition was challenging. jewishledger.com
Mushing for many miles per day was exhausting for both the dogs and mushers, and at times the temperature was below -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The group finally made it to Nome on March 11. “It was the perfect focus for my winter because it took me across two thirds of the Iditarod Trail,” she says. But when the time came to go home, the pandemic hit. “The goal became to rush to get from Alaska through Canada and to the lower 48 so I could get home while I still could,” she says. Brodsky and her assistant had to figure out how to get back into the U.S. as some parts of the border with Canada were closing. They finally crossed into Montana, then drove through rural areas to avoid bigger cities where Covid-19 could be a problem. Glad to be home, Brodsky spent the month of April applying for PPP and other grants to keep her business running. “I have 20 sled dogs and summer is the most fun part of their year. I do weeklong camps where every kid gets their own dog and every dog gets their own kid. They groom them, they hike with them, they swim with them, they run with them. At the end of the day the dogs and kids are just as exhausted. I need to pay staff to help take care of the dogs,” she notes. Next up: Brodsky now plans to write two children’s books about her recent experience in Alaska with her dogs. She also hopes to do some motivational speaking and perhaps produce a television show about sled dogs. “People are looking for diversions now,” she says. “Maybe this is going to be a new outlet and a new direction for me.”
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In a dramatic shift, AIPAC gives lawmakers a green light to criticize Israel over annexation BY RON KAMPEAS
ASHINGTON (JTA) – The leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans – just as long as the criticism stops there. Two sources – a congressional aide and a donor – say the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is delivering that guidance in Zoom meetings and phone calls with lawmakers. The message is unusual because the group assiduously discourages public criticism of Israel. But these are unusual times: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set a July 1 deadline to annex parts of the West Bank, over the criticism of people at home and abroad who say the move would set back any efforts to bring peace to the region. With anxiety pervading the U.S. Jewish
community ahead of that deadline, AIPAC faces a thorny question: Does it support Israel’s leadership at all costs, or does it draw a line on actions it believes endangers the Jewish state’s future? So far, the group has remained publicly silent. But in private, AIPAC is telling lawmakers that as long as they don’t push to limit the United States’ aid to Israel, they can criticize the annexation plan without risking future support from the lobby group. How far AIPAC is urging lawmakers to go is unclear. A spokesman would not comment except to point to a May 11 statement warning against proposals to reduce ties with Israel should annexation take place. “Doing anything to weaken this vital relationship would be a mistake,” AIPAC said then. Buried in the same statement, however, is explicit support for a two-state solution,
which annexation would inhibit, and a suggestion that criticizing Israel is valid. “It is inevitable that there will be areas of political or policy disagreement between leaders on both sides – as there are between America and all our allies,” the statement said. But AIPAC’s lobbyists are famously fastidious: No conversations would be taking place without express approval from the group, which recently called off its 2021 conference because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The donor, who is deeply involved in lobbying Congress, said AIPAC was making it clear that it would not object should lawmakers choose to criticize annexation. “We are telling the senators ‘feel free to criticize annexation, but don’t cut off aid to
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| JUNE 19, 2020
Israel,’” said the donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The congressional staffer, a Democrat who is the target of AIPAC’s lobbying, described the message from AIPAC as tacit encouragement. “They want to make sure members of Congress understand this is the time to warn Israel but not to threaten the Memorandum of Understanding,” the deal signed in 2016 between the Netanyahu and Barack Obama governments guaranteeing Israel $3.8 billion annually in defense aid for a decade, the staffer said, “not to threaten assistance.” What was clear, the donor said, was that AIPAC had shifted its tactics in part because the Netanyahu government had long ceased to take seriously behind-closed-doors warnings from AIPAC and other American Jewish groups, once the preferred means of conveying differences. “They listen,” the donor said. “But they do what they want.” The revelation of AIPAC’s greenlight comes after weeks of public pleas to Israel by U.S. Jewish leaders, some on the left but others with deep roots in AIPAC and the centrist pro-Israel community, and warnings by senators of both parties that annexation would endanger Israel’s international standing. Groups on the pro-Israel right, preeminently the Zionist Organization of America, have embraced the annexation proposal, and have the backing of some Republican senators. The Trump administration, which created the space for annexation by releasing in January a peace plan that allows for it, has been sending mixed messages. The White House and the State Department have said that annexation should come only as part of a deal with the Palestinians. But the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem has signaled that annexation could precede a deal. Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, is invested in regional stability in the Middle East, especially as the U.S. intensifies its pressure on Iran and appears to be concerned about the broader destabilizing effects of annexation. Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law who authored the peace vision is preoccupied with Trump’s reelection and does not need a foreign policy distraction. On the other hand, David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador who has a long relationship with the settler movement’s right wing, appears to be invested in annexation; he has scheduled a meeting next week with Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party and deputy prime minister who has indicated he wants to go slow on annexation. According to Israeli media reports, Friedman wants the men to resolve their differences on annexation. Gantz, a former army chief of staff and a former military attache in Washington, is attuned to the sensitivities of the American political establishment, said David Makovsky, a jewishledger.com
senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who worked on IsraeliPalestinian peacemaking for the Obama administration. “Anyone who has been chief of staff of the Israeli army understands Israeli dependence on American weaponry, even with Israel with all of its indigenous capability,” Makovsky said, “if you ever want to identify what part of Israeli system is most sensitive to the U.S.-Israel relationship, it’s security people – it’s not just $3.8 billion, it’s the technology, it’s the personal relationships, they feel it.” Annexation could in the long term threaten those very fundaments of the U.S.-Israel relationship, including the military assistance, said the Democratic congressional aid. Lawmakers have read with interest a report by the Commanders for Israel’s Security, a grouping of retired security leaders, and distributed here by the pro-two states Israel Policy Forum, and were taken aback by the estimated cost of annexation. Separating Palestinians from the newly annexed areas will require moving the security barrier, the report says, at a cost of $7.6 billion a year. “The current leadership is not interested in discussing changes to the Memorandum of Understanding, but that is not an enduring prospect,” said the congressional aide. “But if annexation goes ahead and there’s differences in the leadership in Congress then we’re looking at possible changes in the Memorandum of Understanding package, not in cutting assistance, but members of Congress want to make sure the money does not go to the massive budget to pay for annexation.” The aide was referring to the leftward drift among Democrats, which could manifest in more leadership roles for leftwingers should Democrats keep the U.S. House of Representatives and win back the Senate in November. Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, the liberal Middle East lobbying group that is sometimes seen as AIPAC’s rival, said that if Democrats sweep the November elections, his group would not advocate for cuts in aid, but for tougher oversight to make sure that the assistance not go to upholding the annexation. He would also expect a Democratic administration to join others in the international community pressuring Israel to roll back annexation. Ben-Ami said that annexing the West Bank would be inherently destabilizing and threaten Israel. “The aid that the United States provides Israel is intended to help Israel deal with meaningful security threats, weapons systems, missile defense systems, to deal with the serious threats they face,” he said. “Why would you provide money to enhance threats?”
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L IKE U S ON
JUNE 19, 2020
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Jewish day school teacher wagers $18 on ‘Jeopardy!’ and wins $50,000
MEGGIE KWAIT ON THE SET OF ‘JEOPARDY!’ WITH HOST ALEX TREBEK, SECOND FROM LEFT, AND THE OTHER TWO FINALISTS. (COURTESY: JEOPARDY PRODUCTIONS INC.)
BY PHILISSA CRAMER
(JTA) – Astute viewers could find plenty of signs during the recent “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament that one leading contestant had some Jewish bona fides. There was the fact that Meggie Kwait teaches at Beit Rabban Day School, a Jewish school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. There was her covered hair, rare among game-show contestants but more common among observant Jewish women. And then there was her bet for the final question on a day when she was so far ahead she couldn’t lose. “Yes, I wagered $18,” Kwait told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. ”That was when all the Jews realized I was Jewish.” Kwait, a humanities teacher who trained as a musician and spent some time in rabbinical school before landing in the classroom, was one of 14 contestants during the trivia show’s two-week tournament just for educators. She won two rounds to make it into the two-game final, where finished second to a music teacher from Michigan. The experience netted her $50,000 in prize money, bragging rights and, she says, new friends she anticipates keeping for life. JTA talked to Kwait about her “Jeopardy!” experience – and which of her answers has been immortalized in a gif. JTA: How did you end up on Jeopardy and what was the experience like? Kwait: I was never a big “Jeopardy!” watcher or fan, but my spouse is. We have very different TV tastes and we were looking for something to watch, and there was a “Jeopardy!” collection on Netflix. After a while he looked at me and said you’re really good, you should try out. So I registered, took the test online, was invited to audition in Boston, sat in the pool for 18 months, and then they asked me to come on the Teachers Tournament. I would describe myself as a generalist. I have this varied background, and also a memory for trivia and minutiae. I knew I 12
could answer the questions, but also knew that most of being successful is not having the right answer, but having the confidence to buzz in and the timing. People often say that men are better than women on the show. And if you look at the people who’ve had long streaks, or the amount people win, it would be easy to draw that conclusion. That was something I was really conscious of, being the only woman in the finals. I tried to be aggressive in my wagering and buzz in even if I didn’t know the answer. I hope we see more women take the test and see those perceptions dissipate. It was incredible. There were 14 teachers in the tournament. I did not anticipate that the best part of participating would be meeting all the other teachers. They were all re-ally incredible, smart, dedicated educators. It’s not every day that you get to hang out with a bunch of other nerds who have the same job as you. Filming concluded before the pandemic. What has your school year been like since? Kwait: Pretty immediately after the tournament, after we finished filming, the shelter-in-place orders came down [because of the coronavirus pandemic]. In New York there was only another week before our schools closed. So [the teachers from the tournament] have been sharing tips and tricks for how to use Zoom and providing moral support and encouraging each other. My school did a really good job. We had a full day before we started doing remote learning where we came together and talked about strategies and techniques. Overall, while there is something about face-to-face and in-the-same-room instruction that cannot be replicated, in many ways it’s the same set of skills: keeping kids engaged, being interested in the material yourself, figuring out how to teach in a variety of ways.
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My background is in music, and it’s always important to incorporate the arts as an additional way for kids to access content and also their passions. When I teach the medieval period in sixth-grade humanities, we set up a scriptorium where students create their own Hebrew illuminated manuscripts. When I teach ancient Greece, they make up battle songs for their citystates. What other reactions have you gotten from “Jeopardy!” viewers? Kwait: I got a lot of positive feedback, but also political blowback about my reaction to “Magic Mike Pompeo.” [Kwait correctly offered that answer to the clue “2012 male stripper cinematic saga that went on to be our 70th Secretary of State.”] I was happy I got it right – but then I visualized it. I really think I would have had the same reaction about, like, John Kerry. At any rate, I made it into a gif that people are using. Clearly I have an expressive face. I cover my head so I was wearing a head covering, and it has been interesting seeing comments from people asking “Why is she wearing that rag?” Getting the opportunity to explain to people what that’s all about has been interesting. Some people were really resourceful and found my school address. It’s been every-body from a 79-year-old grandmother saying how proud they were, to people saying I was a Jewish educator myself for 30 years and it’s great seeing a day school teacher up there, to teenagers saying I wish you were my teacher. It’s been really nice hearing from people – these have been a difficult couple of weeks. It felt strange posting about something that could be considered frivolous, but I’ve heard from people saying thank you for bringing a little bit of light to this dark time.
What were the Jewish highlights of your experience? Kwait: There was another Jewish teacher in the tournament [Lauren Schneider Lipton, who teaches health in Seattle]. It turned out we had mutual friends. When we were watching the other games, if there was a Bible category or Israel, we’d look at each other and think, oh I knew that one, which was a neat moment of connection. Also, my school did a virtual watch party for three of the four games, and several teachers said it was incredible to hear me say Beit Rabban, the day school’s name, on the second day of the finals. Giving visibility for our teeny, tiny day school – that was exciting. And then, before the tournament started, a producer came and told us, “We think really long and hard about adding special events to ‘Jeopardy!’ When we decided to add the Teachers Tournament, it was not because teachers can’t compete in the regular season – they do – but because we don’t do enough in this country to honor educators. You are some of the most important people in our society, and we are humbled and grateful that we can bring you to a national stage that way.” I was so touched by that. It was not a way I had thought of the tournament being framed. In the Jewish world we very much value education and erudition, and it felt like a Jewish value being expressed for the country at large. It was a beautiful moment. What are your takeaways from the experience? Kwait: My overriding memory of it is just exhilaration and excitement. Some people have said, “Oh, I’m so sad you lost,” but I really don’t feel that way. I know it sounds cheesy, but I felt like I was winning from the moment I got there.
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JUNE 19, 2020
Reclaiming the Jewish heritage of the uncle I never knew BY RABBI JOHN FRANKEN
y uncle, Pvt. Allan C. Franken succumbed to face wounds in an army field hospital on May 24, 1945. He was just 20 years old. Allan was my father’s only sibling. My middle name was given in his memory. I suppose that’s why I grew up wanting to know as much as I could about this uncle I never knew; the father of the cousins I never had; the one with a radiant smile who, out of patriotic duty, had transferred from the U.S. Army Air Corps into the infantry in order to do do “something worthwhile” for the war effort. He served in the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. One thing my father told me I found especially upsetting. In the military cemetery in the Phillipines where Allan had been buried, his grave was marked with a Latin Cross. If this had upset my father, he never
showed it. He seemed to have become reconciled to it, perhaps because he thought nothing could be done about it anyway. So, my father told himself and his family the story that Allan had converted to Christianity during his army service. Even so, I could never make sense of it. After all, Allan and my father spent much of their childhoods in the New Haven Jewish Home for Children, where they attended Hebrew school daily and Shabbat services weekly, celebrated their b’nai mitzvah, and maintained strong ties with their mother, aunts, uncles and cousins (several of whom were refugees Nazi Germany). Thus, I reasoned, if there was a conversion it must have been for the convenient purpose of avoiding antisemitism in the U.S. Army or concealing his identity if, God forbid, he fell into enemy hands. Then, in the spring of 2019 the phone rang. On the line was Rabbi David Ellenson who, as president of the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College, had ordained me 16 years before. David explained that he was calling on behalf of his old friend Rabbi Jacob (“J.J.”) Schachter, a professor at Yeshiva University and a fellow historian. A few years earlier, Schachter was standing inside a Normandy cemetery and wondering why there were relatively few Star of David headstones, since it was well-known that Jews represented 2.7 percent (about 11,000 soldiers) of all U.S. casualties – about 11,000 Jewish soldiers. Schachter mentioned this to his friend Shalom Lamm and the two men immediately launched their own investigation. What they found was astonishing: Hundreds of Jewish war dead had mistakenly been buried under the Latin Cross – the symbol of Christianity. David suggested that Uncle Allan was one of them. I countered weakly with the family lore that somehow Allan had converted, but David explained that the research showed conclusively that Allan had lived and died a Jew. There was no indication of any conversion whatsoever and, crucially, his Jewish status upon death had been confirmed by the Jewish Welfare Board. The strong likelihood was that it was a clerical mistake, committed innocently
| JUNE 19, 2020
RABBI JOHN FRANKEN STANDS NEXT TO THE STAR OF DAVID HEADSTONE ON HIS UNCLE’S GRAVE AT THE DEDICATION CEREMONY HELD EARLIER THIS YEAR.
during the massive effort of burying 17,184 American soldiers who lost their lives in the battlefields of the Philippines and the South Pacific, in the Manila American Military Cemetery. A few weeks later, thanks to the extraordinary assistance of Lamm and Schacter’s team, I filed an application for a headstone change for Pvt. Allan C. Franken with the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). Five months later the application was approved. On Feb. 12, 2020, I was privileged to attend the solemn ceremony in which the headstones on the graves of my uncle and four other Jewish servicemen buried
beneath the cemetery’s graceful, emerald lawns, were lifted and replaced with Star of David headstones inscribed with the names of the five fallen soldiers: 1st Lt. Robert S. Fink of New York; Pvt. Allan C. Franken of Hartford, Conn.; Sgt. Jack Gilbert of New York; Pvt. Arthur Waldman of Detroit and Pvt. Louis Wolf of Philadelphia. It was one of the most moving and gratifying moments of my life. “Anyone visiting these cemeteries should recognize that Jews have been part and parcel of America, have been committed to America, have loved America, have volunteered to fight for America – and have made the ultimate sacrifice for America,” said Rabbi Schacter, speaking at the jewishledger.com
About Pvt. Allan Chase Franken
orn in New York, Allan Franken resided on New York’s Upper West Side until age 10. During the Great Depression, the family moved to his mother Jeanette’s hometown of Waterbury. Pvt. Franken’s ties to Connecticut’s Jewish community run deep. His great-great uncle, Samuel Zunder, arrived in New Haven in 1850 to serve as the first Jewish clergy for the small German Jewish immigrant community living there. Samuel’s brother, Maier, Allan Frankel’s greatgrandfather, came soon afterward and, as president of the New Haven School Board, was instrumental in making New Haven the
ceremony. In addition to to Rabbi Schacter, remarks were made by Shalom Lamm, the American Battle Monuments Commission authorities, the American and Israeli ambassadors to the Philippines, and representatives of all five families. Before his headstone change, I chose to address my uncle directly, declaring this moment the funeral he never had; these words the eulogy he never received; the memorial prayer the words that had never been prayed – all by the nephew he had never met. Together, it amounted to the jewishledger.com
first major American city to integrate its schools. The Zunder School was later dedicated to him and several articles about him appear in the Jews of New Haven series. After the Frankel family relocated to Connecticut, Pvt. Frank’s father, Adolph, left to find work but never returned. Because Jeanette had to go to work and neither childcare nor government assistance was available, Allan and his brother Larry were placed in the New Haven Jewish Home for Children. There they resided until age 18. At the Jewish home, the cultural and religious backdrop was entirely Jewish. Religious school was a requirement four afternoons a week. Shabbat services and observance of kosher dietary laws were required. And the Frankel brothers attended Jewish camp each summer in Orange. He also was regularly visited by his mother, a lifelong Reform Jew, with whom he was always close and who kept his many letters written during his time in the service. Occasionally, Adolph would come to New Haven to take Allan and Larry to Franken family gatherings in New
York or Connecticut. A number of their uncles, aunts and cousins were refugees from Nazi Germany, and Allan and Larry were well-acquainted with the antisemitism those relatives had experienced in their hometown of Nuremberg. After graduating from James Hillhouse High School in 1942, he enrolled in the University of Connecticut to study engineering. His studies were interrupted in 1943 when he entered the U.S. Army, where he first served in the Second Air Force, and then, feeling frustrated at being “pushed around from place to place with no future in sight,” he volunteered for In 1945, he shipped out, and in April 1945 he took part in the Battle of Davao. It was here he sustained machine gun fire to his face and jaw. Evacuated to an Army field hospital, he died of his wounds on May 24, 1945. Pvt. Frankel was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery, he is memorialized on the World War II Memorial in Waterbury, where his mother lived.
restoration of his good name and the redemption of his Jewish identity. It was not just a chesed shel emet (a true kindness shown to the dead by the living), but a chesed v’emet (a kindness and a truth – or, in this case, a repair of the truth). As I recited the Kaddish and placed a stone on the new Star of David headstone, I felt a sensation that Allan – 75 years after his death – at last could rest in peace. May 24, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of my uncle’s tragic and untimely death. May his memory, together with those of all of his brothers and sisters who fell in
service of our country, be ever for a blessing. A New Haven native, John Franken is rabbi of Temple Adas Shalom in Havre de Grace, Maryland. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Operation Benjamin, whose mission is to preserve the memories of American-Jewish men and women who fell in World War II. Learn more at operationbenjamin.org.
For Father’s Day…
‘Dad Jokes’ (courtesy of an Israeli guy living in Chicago) BY NAAMA BARAK
Home isolation has gotten people to do all sorts of stuff to cheer things up, baking sourdough bread and drinking copious amounts of wine being two prime examples. But Yair Bernstein, an Israeli living in Chicago, took things to the next level by reaching out to his immediate surroundings and posting daily dad jokes on his apartment window. Back when Covid-19 was the main news in the United States, Bernstein took example from a friend and colleague who was posting dad jokes on her lawn throughout quarantine. “I just decided to write the first joke of the day and post it on the window, I just stuck it there,” says Bernstein, who teaches Hebrew and Jewish studies. “I did call it ‘Dad joke no.1,’ but I didn’t know for how long I’d be posting.” And the joke? “I used to be addicted to the hokey pokey but now I’ve turned myself around,” he says. “I think that’s a good one.” “I didn’t know if it had any impact on people around me so I just continued for a while,” he says. “There were a few times that people stopped by the window, laughed a bit and took pictures.” “One day someone walked by the window and I hear him complain, ‘What, that’s the same joke as he had yesterday,’” he adds. “That’s the moment I realized that people walked by to see the jokes.” But since Bernstein started posting his jokes, the US has become engulfed in protests and social unrest following the killing of George Floyd. Bernstein, who came to the US with his wife as World Zionist Organization emissaries in 2014 and has since stayed on, continued teaching at the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and has become a dad to two young daughters. In the days following Floyd’s death, he was uncertain whether to continue with his project. “I do remember the feeling over that weekend, I already started thinking about Monday. And I think Monday morning was the first time I thought maybe not to post,” he says. “Covid-19 also hurt people; in America we have more than 100,000 people who died,” he notes. “There was a lot of bad happening even before, but then when it got to the race gap here and the inequality in opportunities and the frustration of the Afro-American community it was much harder to cheer people.” But he decided to carry on. “The reason that people enjoy it is that it gives them that moment of cheering up during hard times. I decided to continue writing and it’s been good.” Some 40 days into his project, Bernstein is still posting dad jokes on weekdays. He gets inspiration from a Twitter account called “Dad jokes” as well as from friends who have been aiding him. “I don’t post them on social media,” he notes. “I just take a picture of it and send it to my family, so they know, in Israel.” And yet, his jokes are gaining recognition and working their magic. “Two or three days ago we came home and there was an envelope,” he recalls. “It was a thank-you note from someone. It really touched me; I didn’t expect that.” “I’m going to continue until I feel people don’t need them anymore,” he adds. “As long as things are the way they are I’m going to continue.” JEWISH LEDGER
JUNE 19, 2020
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| JUNE 19, 2020
KOLOT Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Weinstein
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD JUNE 19, 2020 “Great Movie Quotes”
By: Yoni Glatt
Difficulty Level: Medium
Curbside pick up and local home delivery available!
BY HOWARD MEYEROWITZ
When his two daughters were young, Howard Meyerowitz delighted them with imaginative Shabbat tales that he wrote. Today, Howard carries on writing similar stories for his two grandchildren. We are pleased to share one of Howard’s tales with our readers. You ask,”Who is Weinstein and why has she come to be in the company of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Botticelli?” Selma Weinstein played an important role in the creative education of these three greatly gifted men whose artistic legacy has provided enumerable pleasure for millions of people through the centuries. At different times in each of their young lives these artistic geniuses had been guests at Selma’s Shabbos dinner table. Selma was a renowned cook as well as an extremely gifted sculptor, but because her artistic medium was her mouthwatering homemade kishke, her sculptures were enthusiastically devoured each Shabbos evening so nothing remains of her artwork. Yes, Selma could turn kishke into visual and gastronomic works of art! Using various sizes of sharpened knives she was able to carve the most intricate designs and shapes out of a piece of kishke, as well create subtle shadings of light and dark with an assortment of food colorings. Aware of her artistry and her famous cooking skills, the young Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli did what they could to be invited to Selma’s home for Shabbos dinner. At first they came for dinner hoping to take notes and make sketches of her creations, but because Selma was Shomer Shabbos the boys couldn’t draw once candles were lit, and, of course, the kishke sculpture would be devoured at dinner. To accommodate these budding artists Selma arranged for them to come to her home mid-afternoon each Friday so they could watch and learn, taking notes and sketching all the drawings they wanted as she created her kishke sculpture for Shabbos dinner. Biographers and art historians researching Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli have found Selma Weinstein’s name fondly mentioned in their collected letters and diaries acknowledging her caring influence in their early lives. Howard Meyerowitz is a Ledger staff member and a member of Beth El Temple in West Hartford. He lives in Bloomfield with his wife, Susan.
ANSWERS TO JUNE 12 CROSSWORD
SHABBAT DINNER TRADITIONAL DAIRY LUNCHEON DELI SANDWICH PLATTER DINNER MENU
Across 1. 5K entrants 7. Words after call or hail 11. Org. for some authors 14. Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood”, for one 15. Home of a Tempio Maggiore 16. Rage 17. Famous movie quote for one who does not like giving tzedakah? 19. ___ Tamid 20. Important times 21. Something people uncover this time of year 22. Lucas who had trouble throwing home for the Mets in the 2015 World Series
24. Jogged 25. Aviv of note 26. One of a daily 1,440 28. Famous movie quote from the Witch of Endor? 32. Michael of computer fame 33. Mike Trout’s team on scoreboards 34. Six Day War loser, for short 35. Famous movie quote from one who believes in tchiyat hamaytim? 40. Fire residue 43. “Israfel” author’s monogram 44. Bring aboard 47. Famous movie quote from Aaron before building the Golden Calf?
52. Battle cry 53. Reason for braces, maybe 54. Israeli mouth 56. Like rocker Billy just chilling out? 57. Fish market emanation 59. Highland dialect 60. Wartime entertainment grp. 61. Famous movie quote for one shining the Menorah? 64. Computer capacity, slangily 65. Declare formally, in law 66. Hadassim partners 67. Rosen and Michaels 68. One of a Columbian trio 69. New parents, at a bris
Down 1. Waters who isn’t exactly a zionist 2. 52-Across from above 3. Detox, e.g. 4. It’s the Torah truth? 5. Nifty 6. Shot from cover 7. Affleck’s Best Picture 8. Nifty 9. “I love,” in 15-Across 10. Antagonist, informally 11. They start pitches 12. In a big way 13. ___ Lingus 18. Flounder relative 23. Simple card game
25. Expose a secret 26. Assigner of G’s and R’s 27. Ending for “puppet” or “profit” 29. Samuel’s mentor 30. Avraham’s first? 31. Light pat 36. Onion’s relative 37. Something to swing 38. Take a swing 39. Mishpacha 40. Simile’s part 41. Eponymous Israeli hit 42. Ballgame fare 45. Censure 46. “I only have ___ you” 48. Mart start 49. Ian who wrote “Atonement”
50. Ghostbuster Spengler 51. Israeli spy Ashraf 55. Shleps 57. Bovine animals 58. Associate of Map 59. Midterm for one 60. Costar of Ethan in “Gattaca” 62. Notable Rabbi Weiss 63. Legendary Notre Dame coach Parseghian
JUNE 19, 2020
800 rabbis sign statement supporting peaceful protest against racism
Iran to execute alleged US-Israel spy (JNS) Iran announced on Tuesday, June 9 that it will execute a suspected spy for the U.S. and Israel who relayed to those nations information regarding the location of former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by an American drone in Iraq in January. Iranian Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili gave the alleged spy’s name as Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, ac-cording to an AP report. Esmaili accused Majd of being “linked to the CIA and the Mossad,” and did not say when he would be executed. The Iranian official also did not say that the information on Soleimani that Majd allegedly provided led to the killing of the arch-terrorist. At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Security Cabinet ministers that the Jewish state was not involved in the killing of Soleimani, and that the Jewish state must not be dragged into the increasing conflict, reported Axios, citing two ministers who attended the meeting. “The killing of Soleimani is a U.S. event, not an Israeli event, and we should stay out of it,” said Netanyahu, according to the ministers.
Drive-through corona testing in Congo, courtesy of Israel
Rapper Ice Cube tweets mural critics call antisemitic (JTA) – Rapper Ice Cube tweeted an image of a mural that was removed from a wall in London in 2012 after complaints that the image was antisemitic. In the tweet, the image, which depicts several men sitting around a Monopoly board resting on the backs of naked black and brown men, is captioned: “All we have to do is stand up and their little game is over.” The tweet, which came amid a torrent of expressions of support from the rapper for the Black Lives Matter movement in recent days, has been liked nearly 50,000 times and retweeted more than 19,000 times since it was posted on Saturday. The image by Los Angeles artist Mear One was painted on a building in London’s East End in 2012. It was removed after complaints, but future-Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the time tweeted his support for artist’s right to display it. British journalist Michael Segalov, who wrote about the issue in 2018, tweeted at Ice Cube to say that the image was antiSemitic. Ice Cube later tweeted that he was “very concerned about the table in this image,” but did not remove it.
(JTA) – More than 800 rabbis, including the leaders of three major denominations, signed a statement in support of peaceful protest against racism and in memory of George Floyd. The statement invoked Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, an iconic Jewish civil rights activist who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was written and distributed by the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, a political advocacy organization that has a long history of civil rights activism. “Mr. Floyd was a victim of the nation’s long history of brutality against people of color, and particularly Black men,” the statement reads. “Protests are a just response to all-too-familiar anger, frustration, and pain. I stand for the right to peaceful protest and call on our nation’s law enforcement and elected officials not to interfere with this bedrock First Amendment expression.” Among the signers are Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Hara Person, chief executive of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, chief executive of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly; and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of Reconstructing Judaism.
(Israel21c via JNS) The Israeli coronavirus drive-through testing concept is now coming to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Congo’s Honorary Consul in Israel, Dan Gertler, saw how Israel was handling coronavirus testing and contacted MDA to help with his country’s fight against COVID-19. Building the drive-through facility is the easy part. What’s trickier is the software that manages the entire process – from sampling to sending the swab off to the lab and responding to patients. In addition to creating a version of Israel’s software specifically for the Congo, MDA prepared a training program with videos and written materials for the Congolese medical professionals who began operating the facility at the end of May. “During the long period in which we operated the many drive-through sampling facilities, the technology we used proved itself, along with the effective and safe practices” that prevented infection among MDA’s teams, said MDA chief information officer Ido Rosenblat. “From the moment they contacted us, we were ready to help and to share our knowledge.” MDA director general Eli Bin added that “the medical capabilities and technologies
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of Magen David Adom, along the methods we are developing, are among the most advanced in the world. We are now happy to share this knowledge with other medical entities around the world, for the sake of saving human lives.” Israel has a longstanding tradition of providing aid to the developing world. Israel established MASHAV in 1958, which has helped build hospitals, airports, universities and roads in almost every African country. Israel provided food aid to the Congo in 2008.
Latin American Holocaust education network launches (JTA) – Nine institutions in Latin America devoted to Holocaust studies have launched a network to join experiences and training. As a first activity, the Red LAES network will offer weekly talks titled “Latin America speaks about the Holocaust” by the Museum of the Jewish Community of Costa Rica to begin on Thursday, June 11. “I am convinced that the LAES network will create a new meeting space for memory, education and human rights,” Marcelo Mindlin, president of the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires, told the JTA. Facing “the new normality” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers said LAES will develop virtual activities to teach together. Along with the Buenos Aires and Costa Rican museums, the network members are the Holocaust Museum in Curitiba, Brazil; the Interactive Jewish Museum in Chile; the Anne Frank Center and the Center for Holocaust Studies in Guatemala; the Memory and Tolerance Museum of Mexico; the Emet Foundation of Panama; the Jewish Museum of Peru; and the Shoah Museum of Uruguay.
his decision that he has “been humbled by (the) overall nuance and complexity” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “As a 20-year old who has not finished a college degree and who is not from Palestinian or Jewish descent, I do not feel qualified to make a decision about one of the most complex international conflicts in the world on my own,” he said. Krueger said the student government has failed the campus Jewish community, pointing to a history of antisemitism on campus, and acknowledged that ASUCD must be an ally to Palestinian students as well. “But our respect for the Palestinian community cannot come at the expense of the respect for the Jewish community,” his statement also said.
Israeli woman granted religious divorce after 14 years of trying (JTA) – An Israeli rabbinical court granted a religious divorce to a woman who was prevented from marrying for 14 years after her husband moved abroad. Vicky Tzur was granted a Jewish writ of divorce, known as a get, in Netanya on Sunday, June 7. Tzur’s husband signed a divorce agreement last week after receiving special permission to leave his house during the coronavirus pandemic in order to do so. In 2006, Tzur’s husband filed for divorce and left the country but refused to grant her a get. Under Orthodox Jewish law, that rendered Tzur an agunah, literally a “chained woman” unable to remarry. In 2019, she filed a civil lawsuit against her husband for damages resulting from his refusal to grant her a divorce and was awarded over $200,000. Tzur was assisted in securing the get by the Jerusalem-based Yad La’isha organization.
UC Davis student gov’t president vetoes boycott Israel resolution
Palestinians threaten to declare state along ’67 borders
(JTA) – The president of the student government at the University of California, Davis, vetoed a resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The day after the measure passed last week, Kyle Krueger said he acted “because it included minimal to no input from the Jewish community before-hand,” and the resolution “has been widely condemned by Jewish students of many different sects/beliefs who feel marginalized by ASUCD and its actions.” The Associated Students, University of California Davis, or ASUCD, had passed the measure in a 5-4 vote with one abstention. It was the third time the student senate had passed such resolutions in the past several years, but the others were overturned – once by a student court and once by the campus Judicial Council. Krueger said in a statement defending
(JNS) Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday, June 9, that if Israel annexes parts of Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would declare a state based on the pre-1967 lines and launch an international recognition campaign. The campaign, he said, would include recognition of eastern Jerusalem as the state’s capital, reported Ynet. Shtayyeh called annexation an “existential threat” for the Palestinians. Former senior U.S. officials told JNS earlier this month that it was unlikely that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas would follow through on threats to cut ties with Israel, stop security cooperation and void past agreements if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues with his plan to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and jewishledger.com
Samaria. According to Harold Rhode, a former adviser on Islamic affairs within the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment, Abbas’s threat is empty since it is in his and other senior Palestinian officials’ interest to continue the cooperation. Law professor Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University’s school of law, who is also director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East and of International Law at the Jerusalembased Kohelet Policy Forum, told JNS, “Once again we are seeing the Palestinians threaten to end agreements with Israel which they never honored in the first place and which they repeatedly claimed to have already ended, while still claiming their benefits. The threat of declaring a state on ’67 lines is comical, as they have already claimed a state on all of Israel multiple times in the past. It just shows that the Palestinians have no more cards to play.”
Bar Refaeli gets community service for tax evasion, but mom is going to prison (JTA) – Bar Refaeli will perform community service, but the supermodel’s mother will spend 16 months in prison under a plea bargain they signed Tuesday with Israeli prosecutors for tax evasion. Each will pay a fine of about $720,000 and $2.3 million in back taxes. Tzipi Refaeli was her daughter’s business manager. Bar Refaeli says she didn’t know anything about the efforts made to conceal her earnings in 2009 and 2010. During those years, the supermodel claimed that her main residence was in the United States, where she shared a house with then-boyfriend Leonardo Di Caprio, and therefore she owed less in taxes to Israel. Tzipi Refaeli also is suspected of failing to report income of nearly $1 million from commissions she received as agent and by making deposits in foreign bank accounts on behalf of her daughter.
Likud, Blue and White to work toward decriminalizing cannabis (JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Vice Premier Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying they would work to “resolve the issue of decriminalization and legalization” of marijuana. Blue and White MK Ram Shefa and Likud MK Sharren Haskel would advance a bill “as soon as possible” aiming to make it easier for patients to get access to medical marijuana and easier for growers to obtain licenses, according to the statement. But the proposed legislation will also apply to recreational use, according to a report by Channel 12, though details were not revealed, with the statement simply indicating that it would be “a responsible jewishledger.com
model that will fit the State of Israel and the Israeli population.” According to the report, cannabis use will be permitted only over the age of 21, driving will be forbidden while under the influence of cannabis, designated shops will sell it, educational programs will be established to teach about the dangers and addictive properties of cannabis, and advertising will be heavily restricted. Cannabis use was partially decriminalized in Israel in 2017, with firsttime offenders being subject to fines and treatment rather than criminal charges. Last week, the Public Security Ministry issued a statement confirming that its new head, Amir Ohana, who oversees Israel’s police, aims “to minimize harm as much as possible to law-abiding citizens who have offenses linked to the drug.” When he served as justice minister, Ohana decried the criminalization of marijuana, saying it “took law-abiding citizens and turned them into criminals. Not because they harmed another person, God forbid, but rather because they allegedly harmed themselves.”
UK Jewish group commissions report on the prejudice black Jews face (JTA) – In response to protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd in the U.S., The Board of Deputies of British Jews – the largest Jewish communal organization in the United Kingdom – has launched a commission to investigate the prejudices British Jews of color face and how to make the Jewish community a more welcoming environment. “We recognize that, while the outpouring of solidarity with the Black community from many Jewish institutions has been heartening, this must now be matched by a willingness in the community to learn and strive to become a more welcoming environment for its own Black members,” the board said in a statement. The board plans to ask British Jews about their experiences in communal settings, then make recommendations for action to local Jewish communities. The commission will be chaired by Stephen Bush, a black journalist and editor of the New Statesman who has written about his Jewish heritage.
ADL: Anti-Israel campus activities make Jewish students feel ‘threatened’ (JNS) A significant segment of anti-Israel activism on college campuses activism reported in 2019 contributed to an atmosphere in which Jewish students felt under attack, and from which antisemitism sometimes emerged, according to an AntiDefamation League report released on May 27. The report comes as some campuses plan to reopen in the fall. “We anticipate a significant uptick in
anti-Israel activity once students are able to return,” said ADL national president and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “Some of the more radical expressions of anti-Israel sentiment that we witnessed last year morphed into outright antisemitism. Many of these manifestations left Jewish students feeling besieged and threatened.” According to the new report titled “Antisemitism and the Radical Anti-Israel Movement on U.S. Campuses in 2019,” antiIsrael rhetoric and activities on campuses often emerged from the campaigns calling for boycotting the Jewish state and the implementation of annual Israeli Apartheid Week programs. Additionally, the report documented several events where pro-Israel or Jewish students felt threatened. The report highlighted that anti-Israel groups on campuses receive much of their funding from student government resources, which generally are supported by student activity fees. They are also supported by outside donors, including foundations, some of whom have expressed their own anti-Israel positions. Most notable is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), which provides significant funding
to the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace. RBF also donates to the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Grassroots Jerusalem, both of which have engaged in anti-Zionist rhetoric that has veered into extremism or antisemitism. Another funder is the Westchester Peace Action Committee, which provides significant funding to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and has its own website that includes antisemitic content. SJP is also funded by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), some of whose members have a history of making antisemitic remarks. The ADL report calls on campus administrators and faculty to take a series of steps to address anti-Israel incidents and antisemitism on campus. Said Greenblatt, “At a time when antisemitism in the U.S. has spiked to historic levels and against the backdrop of COVID-19, which has revived old anti-Jewish conspiracies, college presidents and university administrators should take steps to prevent this prejudice from violating norms on campus and diminishing the educational experience of these students.”
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ELECTION 2020 Following Ocasio-Cortez’ lead, Bernie Sanders endorses Eliot Engel’s opponent BY GABE FRIEDMAN
(JTA) – Bernie Sanders just made Eliot Engel’s bad week worse. Engel, the 16-term Democratic congressman from New York and chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, is facing a strong primary challenge by progressive Jamaal Bowman. A series of mishaps by Engel and endorsements for Bowman by key figures, including Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, have significantly tightened the once overlooked race. On Tuesday, June 9, Sanders gave his influential stamp of approval to Bowman, saying that the former Bronx public school principal would “fight to invest in public schools, end mass incarceration and address the housing crisis.” Engel is a moderate Democrat and a leading pro-Israel voice in Congress who voted against the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Israel policy is not featuring large in the primary, but Engel’s ouster would be a triumph for progressives who want the party to move to a more critical posture on Israel. Engel hasn’t been doing himself any favors as the race has become more competitive. Last Tuesday, just weeks before New York’s Democratic primary on June 23, he was caught on a hot mic saying that he was only interested in speaking at a news conference on vandalism from the George Floyd protests in his Bronx district because of his upcoming primary. “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” he said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president. “Don’t do that to me, we’re not gonna do this. We’re not politicizing,” Diaz said back. That moment encapsulated what Engel’s critics have called his lack of interest in his home district. While many other House representatives have quarantined at their home bases during the COVID19 pandemic, Engel, 73, had largely been absent from New York City, preferring to stay in Washington, D.C., The Atlantic and others have reported. Engel has said his role as a committee chairman meant he had to stay close to the Capitol. As the chaos surrounding the pandemic has shifted to chaos surrounding the George Floyd protests and an international dialogue about racism, Engel’s critics have found an appealing alternative in Bowman, who is black and has spoken about his own experience with police misconduct. jewishledger.com
“As a working-class black male educator during the entirety of Bloomberg’s tenure, I got to experience the horrors and the trauma of how his police department treated people like me,” Bowman wrote in an essay for NBC News. He described “just two examples of many” unwarranted encounters with police. Two days after the mic incident, OcasioCortez endorsed Bowman. The next day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has worked closely with Engel for decades, noted that she supports both Engel and Ocasio-Cortez. Bowman also has the backing of his former fellow progressive primary challenger, Andom Ghebreghiorgis, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. Engel represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester, a district whose constituents range from low-income minorities to the affluent residents of the Riverdale neighborhood. Sanders doesn’t necessarily back sure shots – policy and ideology often trump viability in his endorsements. Still, he fronts a formidable fundraising machine, and he could help tip the balance in the race. If Engel is unseated, the Foreign Affairs Committee would get a new chair responsible for steering its direction, likely drawn from the moderates who still occupy leadership positions in the House because of their seniority. One person considered a likely fit for the role is Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida who chairs the committee’s Middle East subcommittee and is staunchly pro-Israel.
REP. ELIOT ENGEL WALKS PAST JOURNALISTS AS HE ARRIVES AT THE U.S. CAPITOL, JAN. 14, 2020. (CREDIT: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)
BY RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB
n this week’s Torah portion, Shelach (Numbers 13:1-15:41), we read of two very different types of people: optimists and pessimists. We read of the 12 men who were sent out from the wilderness on an espionage mission to spy out the land of Canaan. Upon their return, we discover that ten of them are, to say the least, pessimists. They report that the land is “a land that devours its inhabitants” and that it is occupied by giants who cannot possibly be conquered. But two of these “spies,” Joshua and Caleb, have a different message. They optimistically report that “the land is very, very good” and that “if we but desist from rebelling against the Lord,” we need not fear, and can easily even defeat, the giants. The 19th-century commentator Rabbi Jacob Mecklenburg, whose work HaK’tav VeHaKabbalah typically unveils hidden nuances in the Hebrew language of the biblical text, points out that our sacred language provides two different verbs to describe these two different types of people, optimists and pessimists. Two different verbs are used in the Chumash (Five Book of Moses) for the term “spy.” One is latur and the other is leragel. Rabbi Mecklenburg demonstrates that latur is best translated not as “to spy” but as “to explore,” or perhaps as “to wande,r” or even as “to tour.” On the other hand, leragel is best translated as “to seek fault,” or “to find weaknesses”. One who engages in leragel is the classic pessimist. He seeks the negative in every situation and invariably finds it. But one whose mission is latur seeks the positive in his explorations and discovers, to use our metaphor, that the cup is not only half-full but entirely full. Toward the end of this week’s Torah portion, I discovered another use of the “two types of people” categorization that is extremely insightful and very instructive. Here I draw upon another of the great 19th-century commentators, namely Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, known as the Netziv. Towards the end of this week’s parsha, we read about the mitzvah of tzitzit, of wearing strings upon the fringes of our four cornered garments. We are instructed that, in addition to the uncolored or white strings, there must be one or two strings dyed blue, called tekhelet. The Netziv suggests, in a homiletic tour de force, that the white/uncolored
strings and the blue dyed strings represent two types of people—more specifically, two types of devout religious people. The white stings, he argues, represent those Jews whose piety is exemplary but who also engage in mundane matters. They attend synagogue regularly, keep the various festivals and ritual activities, study Torah, and contribute to charity. But they have other concerns, whether in the world of commerce, with the arts and sciences, or with political affairs. The blue strings represent the Jew who is exclusively preoccupied with heavenly matters and has room in his life for only purely spiritual concerns. He has a mystical bent and prefers to avoid the material world. The Netziv points out that the passage contains two imperatives, two commands, to gaze at the tzitzis and thereby come to “remember the mitzvot and perform them.” In verse 15:39, we read, “… and remember all of the Lord’s mitzvot and perform them and do not be led astray by your heart and by your eyes”. And in verse 40, we read again, “… so that you will remember and perform all of my mitzvot and thereby become holy to the Almighty.” “Are not these two verses repetitive?” asks the Netziv. He answers that the first verse is directed to the “whites,” to those who observe the religious basics but who can be led astray by their other interests and activities. They are told to be sure to observe the tradition and not to be seduced by the ideologies that their “hearts” encounter and by the attractions that their “eyes” observe. The second verse, he continues, is addressed in the religious purists, the “blues,” who wish to “cleave to the Lord.” They must be reminded that they too must observe all the mitzvot, even those that require intense involvement in everyday affairs, in the needs of the community, and in the establishment of a just society. Only thereby will they become “holy to the Almighty.” How relevant are the Netziv’s words to all of us today. The “whites” among us have chosen a path that has its moral and ethical temptations. They must creatively and energetically resist those temptations. They must know their boundaries. The “blues” among us must realize that they cannot remain “in the heavens,” in the proverbial “ivory tower.” They must bring their spiritual gifts to bear upon the imperfect world in which we all live. We need both types of people, the “blues” and the “whites.”
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Bonds of Life: Memorializing those we lost to COVID-19 Race care driver Cyril Wick dressed British, thought Yiddish (JTA) – There was something exotic and debonair about Cyril Wick in the 1950s. Wick had just completed his service in Britain’s Royal Air Force and was studying engineering when he decided that he wanted to become a race car driver. In the years that followed, he would take part in prestigious races like that at Le Mans, France, making a name for himself in the world of motorsports until an accident forced his retirement in 1955. “He was a knight in a shining sports car,” recalled his third wife Roberta “Robbie” Wick. Wick, who died from COVID-19 on April 10, was born in 1929 in London to Jewish immigrants from Poland and Lithuania. He was educated at the prestigious Harrow School, where he faced antisemitic taunts during sporting matches. “He was like James Bond,” Balaban said. “He raced cars and wore cool suits and did cool things and yet was passionately Jewish.” Wick was a supporter of numerous Jewish organizations, Balaban said. His approach was very much “dress British, think Yiddish,” she said. “He spoke like an old Harrovian, but also sang songs in Yiddish and dirty Russian. He taught his children an English drinking song and we sang sea shanties at my wedding in his honor.” As the founder of engineering firm Diffusion Alloys, he developed a number of techniques for coating metals in chrome and titanium, working with such corporate giants as General Electric and Lufthansa. He also created a diverse workforce including women and people of color. Wick continued to run the firm until selling it at age 82.
Holocaust survivor Felicia Friedman refused to relinquish her faith (JTA) – In 1939, 13-year-old Felicia Friedman was ripped from her family and sent to the Płaszow concentration camp outside Krakow, Poland, where she saw the infamous Nazi war criminal Amon Göth kill her six-year-old cousin. After later hearing another teenaged inmate declare that after all she had witnessed she no longer believed in God, Deutscher responded that God did exist but that humans had chosen the path of evil. “My father – her husband to be – overheard the conversation and was very impressed by the remarks of this young girl,” Friedman’s son, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, told JTA. “They agreed to meet again if they were both able to survive the war.” 22
After the war, Friedman discovered that her entire family had been wiped out by the Nazis, but she managed to reconnect with the young man from Płaszow. The pair married and attempted to make their way to pre-state Israel. Turned away at the Italian border, they ended up in a displaced persons camp in Germany before moving to the United States in 1947. Friedman, who died of COVID-19 in New York on May 19 at the age of 94, wound up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she began taking night classes to improve her English while working as a bookkeeper and raising a family. While lacking a formal Jewish education beyond age 13, Friedman was a proud and committed Jew. In Auschwitz, declined to beg for mercy from a guard who was beating her, even though the guard promised he would stop if she did. In America, she chose to raise her children with joy despite all she had endured, telling one of her grandchildren that the number tattooed on her arm was her phone. “You moved to Florida,” the child said in response. “Didn’t you have to change your number?” Friedman is survived by two children and 20 grandchildren.
Painter Sylvia Glenn befriended Margaret Mead (JTA) – As a young girl, Sylvia Glenn enjoyed making chalk drawings on the sidewalk outside her family’s Brooklyn apartment. As an adult, that creative impulse led to a degree in art, professional work at national magazines (including Life) and a lifelong passion for the arts that she pursued well into her 90s. Glenn explored a range of styles in her paintings, including abstraction, fashion illustration and Japanese Sumie ink painting, according to her daughter Laura Glenn. Many of her paintings now hang in the homes of her four children. Several of them also surrounded Glenn at the assisted living facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, where she died on March 31 of COVID-19. She was 98. Sylvia Grauer Glenn was born in Brooklyn in 1921. After college, she married Jules Glenn, who she first met in elementary school. While raising four children, Glenn found time to garden, cultivating plants and flowers that were often the subject of her still life paintings. Their home became a regular hangout for their friends, including the rock bands of her sons Mel and Russ. “There was a lively, creative atmosphere and plenty to eat and drink,” Laura wrote in an email. When her kids were teens, Glenn returned to school and earned a master’s
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degree in anthropology at New York University. She studied with the prominent cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and the two became friends. In her 90s, Glenn published The Twisted Tree, a novel set in Bali that she originally wrote decades earlier. With Laura’s assistance, they published copies for
family, friends and residents and staff of the retirement community to which Glenn had moved to be nearer to two of her children. Glenn is survived by her four children: Russell, Mel, Laura and Janet; eight grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren.
BULLETIN BOARD Virtual programs Museum of Jewish Heritage in June The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, continues to host interesting virtual programs while the Museum remains closed in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information, visit mjhnyc.org/events. The following events are scheduled for June and July: Book Talk: “The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are” Tuesday, June 16 | 2 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/the-lostfamily-how-dna-testing-is-upendingwho-we-are/ In the book The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless drive for answers that becomes a modern genetic detective story. Copeland will be in conversation with journalist and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn for a discussion about the book and the significance of DNA testing within Jewish communities and beyond. After The Synagogue Shooting: Pittsburghers Reflect On Antisemitism And Racism Tuesday June 23 | 2 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/after-thesynagogue-shooting-pittsburghersreflect-on-antisemitism-and-racism/ “Meanings of October 27th” is an oral history project that explores Jewish and non-Jewish Pittsburghers’ life histories and reflections on the Oct. 27, 2018 synagogue shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Join project co-creators Noah Schoen and Aliza Becker for this interactive webinar developed around several audio clips from the interviews of “Meanings of October 27th.” Understanding Anne Frank with Teresien Da Silva
Thursday, June 25 | 2 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/ understanding-anne-frank-with-teresienda-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. Join Teresien da Silva, head of collections at the Anne Frank House, for a discussion of Anne’s life, legacy, and diary. Exploring New York’s Jewish LGBT History Tuesday, July 7 | 2 p.m. https://mjhnyc.org/events/exploringnew-yorks-jewish-lgbt-history/ LGBT Jewish New Yorkers have made a profound impact on the American arts scene, LGBT activism, and American religious life. These include composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, poet Allen Ginsberg, archivist and activist Joan Nestle, PFLAG co-founder Jeanne Manford, leaders and community members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, and more. New York has also hosted Jewish LGBT visitors with global impacts like Magnus Hirschfeld. Join the Museum and Andrew Dolkart, Ken Lustbader, and Jay Shockley, co-founders of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, for an exploration of New York’s Jewish LGBT History.
NEJA Annual Meeting 2020 New England Jewish Academy (NEJA) will host a virtual annual meeting on Wednesday, June 24, at 7 p.m. Speakers will be outgoing Head of School Dr. Josh Levisohn, and incoming Head of School Naty Katz. The evening will also include the election of a new slate of board and executive members. The Zoom meeting link will be sent out in advance of this meeting.
OBITUARIES ALDERMAN Ursula B. Alderman of Milford, formerly of New Haven, died June 3, 10 days before turning 92. She was the wife of Joel Alderman. Born in Boston and raised in Salem, Mass., she was the daughter of the late Simon Beres and Gertrude Mahoney. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter Lauren Pamela Laub; her granddaughters, Whitney Laub and Ashley Laub; her great-grandchildren, Keila Laub and Hannah Gilbert, all of Tucson, Ariz.; and her half-sister Penelope Hill of Kentucky. APTER Augusta (Gus/Gussie) V. Apter, 104, of West Hartford, formerly of Hartford, died May 30, due to COVID-19. She was the widow of Harry S. Apter. Born in Hartford, she was the daughter of Samuel and Eva (Novarr) Katz. She was a lifetime member of Congregation Ados Israel Synagogue in Hartford, and a former member of the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford. She is survived by her children, Amy P. Apter of West Hartford, and Matthew N. Apter and his wife Melody; and her granddaughters, Meredith A. Apter and Melissa N. Apter of Altamonte Springs, Fla. She was predeceased by her siblings, Ann Novarr, Ruth Slutsky and David Katz. BARASH Paul G. Barash, MD, 78, of Orange, died June 8. He was the husband of Norma Barash. Raised in Forest Hills, N.Y., he was the son of the late Rose and A. Malcolm Barash. He was also predeceased by his son Daniel Barash. He was a member of Congregation Or Shalom. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, David Barash and his wife Shari, and Jed Barash and his wife Gillian; his grandchildren, Seth, Leah, Henry, and Jack; and his sister Ellen Kaiden and her husband Jeff, as well as countless friends.
BRODSKY Judith (Rosenbaum) Brodsky, 93, of Boynton Beach, Fla., formerly of New Britain, died June 9. She was the widow of Harold Brodsky. She was the daughter of Jacob and Bertha (Michelson) Rosenbaum of Hartford. She is survived by her children, Mark Brodsky and his wife Sima of West Hartford, and Sharon Richman and her husband Howard of Lake Worth, Fla.; her brother Alan Whitman and his wife Rickie of Westlake Village, Calif.; her grandchildren, Jesse Richman and his wife Lindsay, Adam Richman and his wife Johanna Silver, Elana Kerr and her husband Peter , Bonni Brodsky and her husband Theo Beers, and Jay Brodsky; and her great-grandchildren, Sophie and Oliver Kerr, Lionel and Pepper Richman, Simon Richman, and Henry and Clara Beers. FISHMAN Gerald Fishman (Jerry), 87, of Stamford, died June 4, He was the husband of Judy Dinner Fishman. He was raised at Homecrest, The Hebrew Home for Boys in Yonkers, N.Y. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany as a medic with the 3rd Armor Division. He was a member of Temple Beth El. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Shari Weinberger and her husband Zachary of Providence, R.I., Merri Kapiloff and her husband Howie of Glenrock, N.J., and David Fishman and his wife Robin Zucker of Los Angeles, Calif.; and his grandchildren, Michael Weinberger and Yuu Taniguchi, Hillary Weinberger, Amanda Weinberger, Nathan Kapiloff, Jason Kapiloff, Owen Fishman and Reese Fishman. GOLDBERG Selma K. (Rome) Goldberg, 92, of Reston, Va., formerly of Orange, died June 1. She was the widow of Lazarus Goldberg. Born in Hartford, she was the daughter of the late Edward and Ida Rome. She is survived by
her children, Jodi Walker and her husband Doug of Leesburg, Va., and Eric Goldberg and his wife Maggie of Old Saybrook; her sister Betty Garrity of Manchester; and her grandchildren, Courtney, Sean, Danny, Ryan and Connor. HOBERMAN Naomi “Mimi” (Russman) Hoberman, 86, of Bloomfield, died June 7. She was the wife of Marvin Hoberman. Born in Middletown, she was the daughter of Dr. Charles and Ethel Russman. She was a lifelong member of Beth Hillel Synagogue in Bloomfield. She was also predeceased by her twin sister, Reva Paley, of Portland, Conn. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Jeffrey Hoberman and his wife Ana of West Hartford, Marci Shipman and her husband Gregg of Glastonbury, and Susan Orenstein and her partner Scott Seder of Glastonbury; her grandchildren, Charles and Lilia Hoberman, Daniel, Michael and Andrew Shipman, Joseph Orenstein and his wife, Katherine, and Jacob Orenstein; her brother Leonard Russman and his wife Jean; her brothersin-law, Hymie Paley and Gene Hoffman; and many nieces and nephews. LEVINE Ruth Levine, 101, of West Hartford, formerly of Lowell, Mass., died June 8. She was the widow Abraham Levine. Born in New York, she was the daughter of Jacob and Mamie Brody. She was also predeceased by her brothers, Manny and Sydney, her sister, Gertrude, her daughter, Marilyn Satran, and her grandson-in-law Brian Crisileo. She is survived by her son Robert Levine and his wife Carolyn of West Hartford; her son-in-law Neal Satran of Orleans, Mass..; her grandchildren, Deborah and Andrew Kursman of West Hartford, Michael Levine of Salem, Mass., Doug Satran of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Jennifer Crisileo of Franklin, Mass.; and
her great-grandchildren, Josh, Sam and Danielle Kursman, Benjamin Levine, and Jessica and Jacob Crisileo. ROSENTHAL Shirley (Zarchen) Rosenthal, 86, of Simsbury, formerly of West Hartford and Avon, died on June 7. She was the widow of Irving I. Rosenthal, M.D. Born in Providence, R.I., she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Eva (Muffs) Zarchen. She is survived by her sons, Stephen Rosenthal of Needham, Mass., Stuart Rosenthal and his wife Selma, of Fayetteville, N.Y., and Dan RosenthalBaxter and his husband Lawrence P. Baxter of West Hartford; her brother-in-law Joseph A Rosenthal of Willmington, De.; her grandchildren Eric, Gregory, Amelia, Abby, Andrew, and Rebecca; four nieces and a nephew. She was also predeceased by her sister Phyllis (Zarchen) Nathan, her brother-in-law Robert Nathan, and her sister-in-law Joan Rosenthal. ZIMMERMAN Phyllis Zimmerman. 85, of South Windsor, died June 4. She was the widow of Alan Zimmerman. Born in Hartford, she was the daughter of the late Betty and George Grobard. She was also predeceased by her brother Harvey Grobard, who passed away in 1989. She is survived by her sons, Mark Zimmerman and his wife Joy of Ellington, and Craig Zimmerman of South Windsor; her grandchildren, Amanda Kerr and her husband Brian of Vernon, and Joe Zimmerman of Enfield; and her greatgranddaughter Sophia Kerr.
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CT SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY To join our synagogue directories, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org. BLOOMFIELD B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/ Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Conservative Rabbi Debra Cantor (860) 243-3576 office@BTSonline.org www.btsonline.org BRIDGEPORT Congregation B’nai Israel Reform Rabbi Evan Schultz (203) 336-1858 email@example.com www.cbibpt.org Congregation Rodeph Sholom Conservative (203) 334-0159 Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Rabbi-in-Residence Cantor Niema Hirsch firstname.lastname@example.org www.rodephsholom.com Jewish Senior Services Traditional Rabbi Stephen Shulman (203) 396-1001 email@example.com www.jseniors.org CHESHIRE Temple Beth David Reform Rabbi Micah Ellenson (203) 272-0037 office@TBDCheshire.org www.TBDCheshire.org
CHESTER Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Reform Rabbi Marci Bellows (860) 526-8920 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cbsrz.org COLCHESTER Congregation Ahavath Achim Conservative Rabbi Kenneth Alter (860) 537-2809 email@example.com EAST HARTFORD Temple Beth Tefilah Conservative Rabbi Yisroel Snyder (860) 569-0670 firstname.lastname@example.org FAIRFIELD Congregation Ahavath Achim Orthodox (203) 372-6529 email@example.com www.ahavathachim.org Congregation Beth El, Fairfield Conservative Rabbi Marcelo Kormis (203) 374-5544 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethelfairfield.org GLASTONBURY Congregation Kol Haverim Reform Rabbi Dr. Kari Tuling (860) 633-3966 email@example.com www.kolhaverim.org
GREENWICH Greenwich Reform Synagogue Reform Rabbi Jordie Gerson (203) 629-0018 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grs.org Temple Sholom Conservative Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz Rabbi Chaya Bender Cantor Sandy Bernstein (203) 869-7191 email@example.com www.templesholom.com HAMDEN Temple Beth Sholom Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Edidin Scolnic (203) 288-7748 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbshamden.com MADISON Temple Beth Tikvah Reform Rabbi Stacy Offner (203) 245-7028 email@example.com www.tbtshoreline.org MANCHESTER Beth Sholom B’nai Israel Conservative Rabbi Randall Konigsburg (860) 643-9563 Rabbenu@myshul.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.myshul.org
MIDDLETOWN Adath Israel Conservative Spiritual Leaders: Rabbi Marshal Press Rabbi Michael Kohn (860) 346-4709 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.email@example.com Congregation Beth El Conservative Rabbi Rachel Safman (860) 442-0418 firstname.lastname@example.org bethel-nl.org NEWINGTON Temple Sinai Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett (860) 561-1055 email@example.com www.sinaict.org NEWTOWN Congregation Adath Israel Conservative Rabbi Barukh Schectman (203) 426-5188 firstname.lastname@example.org www.congadathisrael.org
| JUNE 19, 2020
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 email@example.com www.cbict.org
TRUMBULL Congregation B’nai Torah Conservative Rabbi Colin Brodie (203) 268-6940 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaitorahct.org
Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Shabbat Services Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (860) 561-5905 email@example.com www.jewishrenewalct.org
Temple Shalom Reform Rabbi Mark Lipson (203) 866-0148 firstname.lastname@example.org www.templeshalomweb.org
WALLINGFORD Beth Israel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Bruce Alpert (203) 269-5983 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.orshalomct.org
WASHINGTON Greater Washington Coalition Rabbi James Greene (860) 868-2434 email@example.com www.jewishlife.org
RIDGEFIELD Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties Reform Rabbi David Reiner Cantor Debora Katchko-Gray (203) 438-6589 firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERFORD Temple Emanu - El Reform Rabbi Marc Ekstrand Rabbi Emeritus Aaron Rosenberg (860) 443-3005 email@example.com www.tewaterford.org
SIMSBURY Chabad of the Farmington Valley Chabad Rabbi Mendel Samuels (860) 658-4903 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadotvalley.org
WEST HARTFORD Beth David Synagogue Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adler (860) 236-1241 email@example.com www.bethdavidwh.org
NORWALK Beth Israel Synagogue – Chabad of Westport/ Norwalk Orthodox-Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (203) 866-0534 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com www.fvjc.org SOUTH WINDSOR Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman (860) 282-8466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tbhsw.org
Beth El Temple Conservative Rabbi James Rosen Rabbi Ilana Garber (860) 233-9696 email@example.com www.bethelwesthartford.org Chabad House of Greater Hartford Rabbi Joseph Gopin Rabbi Shaya Gopin, Director of Education (860) 232-1116 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chabadhartford.com
The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative The Emanuel Synagogue Conservative Rabbi David J. Small (860) 236-1275 email@example.com www.emanuelsynagogue.org United Synagogues of Greater Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Eli Ostrozynski synagogue voice mail (860) 586-8067 Rabbi’s mobile (718) 6794446 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgh.org Young Israel of West Hartford Orthodox Rabbi Tuvia Brander (860) 233-3084 email@example.com www.youngisraelwh.org WOODBRIDGE Congregation B’nai Jacob Conservative Rabbi Rona Shapiro (203) 389-2111 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bnaijacob.org
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