Friday, July 10, 2020 18 Tammuz 5780 Vol. 92 | No. 28 | Â©2020 $1.00 | jewishledger.com
Fun at CT Camps 1
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CONNECTICUT JEWISH LEDGER | SINCE 1929 | JULY 10, 2020 | 18 TAMMUZ 5780
18 Bulletin Board
Strange Bedfellows............................................................. 5 The irony of Al Sharpton, who has a history of hate speech against Jews, calling out media giants for the same thing was not lost on Jewish organizations – except maybe for the ADL.
19 Torah Portion
In Memoriam........................................................................ 5 West Hartford’s Ruth Lee Silver, was devoted to her husband, Rabbi Harold Silver z”l, but she was also a writer, artist and social activist who never stopped fighting for the underdog.
21 Business and Professional Directory
OPINION.................................................................................10 Two Charlotte synagogues are calling for the removal of a monument to Judah Benjamin, a Jewish politician who served in the Confederate Cabinet. The names of the synagogues are etched on the monument, though neither approved of the memorial.
The Three Weeks, an annual period when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple and the beginning of our ongoing exile, begins with the 17th day of the month of Tammuz (which begins this year on the evening prior to July 9), a fast day that marks the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE. It concludes with Tisha B’Av — the fast of the 9th of Av, when both Holy Temples were set aflame (which begins this year on the evening prior to July 30).
ELECTION 2020....................................................................16 Mondaire Jones, who challenged pro-Israel Congressman Nita Lowey and is now set to take over her New York district, talks about his relationship with the Jewish community — and why he’s not just another progressive.
FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2020 ON THE COVER:
After a spring spent under quarantine and away from school and schoolmates, Connecticut kids are having a blast at camp. And we’ve got the photos to prove it! Pictured on the cover are kids at the JCC of Greater New Haven playing the popular Israeli game, Gaga. PAGE 14 jewishledger.com
Hartford: 8:09 p.m. New Haven: 8:09 p.m. Bridgeport: 8:10 p.m. Stamford: 8:11 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 | JULY 10, 2020 | 18 TAMMUZ 5780
A DUBIOUS ALLIANCE?
ADL CEO under fire for partnering with Sharpton in pressing Facebook boycott BY JACKSON RICHMAN
(JNS) Anti-Defamation League national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has come under fire from Jewish groups for appearing on the MSNBC show “Politics Nation With Al Sharpton” on Sunday, June 28 to promote the ADL’s call for corporations to boycott Facebook in July over its unwillingness to ban hate speech on the social-media giant’s platform. While the message seems on target with ADL’s work, the idea of partnering with someone like Sharpton, who has a history of antisemitism and other bigotry, is hypocritical, if not counterproductive, they say. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean and director of global social action, suggested that it was wrong of Greenblatt to appear the show since the well-known reverend, who these days makes more television appearances then leads a congregational
flock, has never apologized to the Jewish community for his words and actions. In addition to ansemitic rhetoric Sharpton has spewed over the years, his instigating violence during the August 1991 riots in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., against the Chassidic Jewish community remains etched in history. Cooper insisted that boycotting Facebook isn’t the answer. The approach, he said, should be to get social-media companies “to do more because they can.” “No one’s going to keep” the boycott, he noted, adding that the Wiesenthal Center will not be part of it. Cooper suggested that these online companies be threatened with government regulation, which he called “the real cudgel.” During the appearance, Greenblatt criticized President Donald Trump for
retweeting a video of a Trump supporter in Florida riding in a golf cart and responding to a protester calling him a racist with, “White power! White power!” (Trump later deleted the retweet.) Greenblatt said that Trump is “only able to divide and not unite.” In June, the ADL joined with several other groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, to target Facebook. They placed a June 17 fullpage ad in The Los Angeles Times alleging that it has not done enough to combat hate and disinformation. “We have long seen how Facebook has allowed some of the worst elements of society into our homes and our lives,” said CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
ADL CEO JONATHAN GREENBLATT APPEARING ON AL SHARPTON’S MSNBC SHOW “POLITICS NATION WITH AL SHARPTON” ON JUNE 28, 2020.
Ruth Lee Silver, artist and writer, dies at 90 The wife of the Rabbi Harold Silver z”l was a “modern woman” and a formidable force in her own right
BY STACEY DRESNER
EST HARTFORD – Artist and writer Ruth Lee Silver, the widow of Rabbi Harold Silver, z”l, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Is-rael in West Hartford for 25 years, died on June 12 after a short, non-COVID-related illness. She was 90. Silver was a former reporter with the West Hartford News and contributor to the Hartford Courant and other newspapers, and produced memoirs and essays throughout her life. Her collages, often featuring street scenes and the diversity of city life, appeared in art shows around Hartford and in her winter home in Sarasota, Florida. Despite her age, Silver was still actively practicing her craft at the time of her passing. The last story she wrote, an article written for the McAuley Senior Living Community magazine, will be published this month. She designed her last art piece last fall for the Mandell Jewish Community Center’s “Welcoming the Stranger” exhibit. The canvas, featuring her trademark collage work, expressed her dedication to social justice and inclusion. “Like the paper collages that she artistically patched together, Ruth Lee Silver was an amazing and remarkable woman. In her words, ‘a real hoot,’” said Rabbi Michael Pincus, senior rabbi at Beth Israel. “Kind, strong, reliant, and beautiful, she never stopped caring and fighting for the underdog. Devoted to her husband, Rabbi Harold Silver and her family, CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
JULY 10, 2020
Ruth Lee Silver
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Greenblatt in a statement. “When this hate spreads online, it causes tremendous harm and also becomes permissible offline.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced continued criticism for not doing more to police his platform for false or misleading statements, including from the president himself. Instead, the company has launched a massive drive to boost voter registration across its platforms as part of a “Voting Information Center” to help educate voters on how to register, find polling places or send ballots in by mail. The campaign launched by the ADL and others to target hate groups on Facebook is being met with concern that it could encroach on issues of free speech and lead to the censoring of political ads by conservatives. Greenblatt, a veteran of the Obama and Clinton administrations, has also been criticized for moving his organization away from a nonpartisan stance and embracing the politics of the Democratic Party. Sharpton, host of the weekly onehour show on the left-leaning cable-news network since 2011 (he had a failed run in 2004 for the Democratic presidential nomination), has long been embraced by Democratic politicians.
‘Fighting an uphill battle’ Former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, did not hold back in rebuking Greenblatt, calling the ADL leader’s appearance with Sharpton “pathetic,” “sickening” and “the worst hypocrisy in the world.” “How in God’s name isn’t the ADL ashamed of themselves?” posed Hikind. “They need to explain to the public and their supporters why it is OK to align yourself with Al Sharpton, a race-baiter and inciter of violence in the Crown Heights riots.” Referring to the ADL’s moniker, Hikind retorted: “What about Sharpton’s defamation of the Jewish people?” Liora Rez, director of StopAntisemitism. org, told JNS that while her organization supports any “attempt to help put a stop
to the endless hate content taking over social media,” Greenblatt’s appearance with Sharpton, whom Rez called “an individual that perpetuates such hate,” is an “extremely troubling” matter. Nonetheless, she expressed a willingness to support the boycott. “We have been endlessly fighting an uphill battle of antisemitic hatred on Facebook since our inception; if a July boycott of the social-media giant will result in a decrease of bigotry and hatred, regardless of its origin, we will 100 [percent] back it,” said Rez. Mort Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, told JNS that the ADL should not align itself with Sharpton to combat hatred. The social-media site, said Klein, “should remove hateful sites and posts, such as those promoting [Palestinian] ‘Days of Rage,’ Islamist groups, hate group [Students for Justice in Palestine], and antisemitic, anti-Israel BDS and demonization of Israel and Jews.” Bryan Leib, chairman of HaShevet, a new alliance of young Jewish American leaders that was formed amid dissatisfaction with mainstream Jewish advocacy organizations such as the ADL, echoed Klein as it pertains to Greenblatt and Sharpton, though questioned the Facebook boycott. “We are committed to dialogue that unites communities rather than divides, like Reverend Al Sharpton has done for decades. It is hypocritical for the AntiDefamation League’s head to work with someone who has long defamed Jews – and put on Congressional Record for references to ‘Bloodsucking Jews’ and ‘Jew Bastards’ – without apologizing,” said Leib. “Surely, Mr. Greenblatt can find more suitable partner a in policing hate speech than someone whose rhetoric once fueled a targeted, lethal attack on Brooklyn’s Jewish community.” Simultaneously, Facebook shouldn’t be the “the only social-media company to be targeted in this boycott led by the ADL,” said Leib. He noted “a tremendous amount of hate speech on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok,” saying those sites should also be boycotted.
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RUTH LEE SILVER STANDS NEXT TO THE CANVAS SHE CREATED FOR THE MANDELL JCC’S “WELCOMING THE STRANGER” EXHIBIT LAST FALL.
she was also a modern woman known in the community as a writer, artist and social activist. She was witty and sharp till the end and she will be deeply missed.” Born Aug. 24, 1929 in New York City, Ruth Lee was the daughter of Sally and Morris Cohen. Her father’s family owned a cosmetic company and the family relocated several times due to her father’s job. “She mentioned that she moved around a lot because of her father’s work so she would always be the new kid in the school,” said her daughter, Jenny. “I think her emphasis on connection with people and networking with people she learned to do very early because of all of the moving around,” “I think those early experiences helped form her desire for inclusion and that formed her activism, particularly for people who were marginalized,” added her daughter Molly. Silver graduated from Elmira College with an English degree, and in 1951 at the age of 22 she and Harold were married.
For several years they lived in Pittsburgh where their three children were born. In 1968, the Silvers moved to West Hartford where Harold became Beth Israel’s senior rabbi. It was a more traditional time for rebbetzin – the wives of rabbis. “Ruth Lee was amazing. In the days when she and Harold married, rebbetzin was a job – an unpaid job,” said Rabbi Stephen Fuchs, Rabbi Silver’s successor at Beth Israel and now its rabbi emeritus. “Back in the early ‘50s when Harold was ordained, the women just came along. Ruth Lee sort of broke that mold. She had her own career. She was a wonderful artist and she also had a career as a journalist. She was interested in what was going on at the synagogue and came to services, but she was just a very independent woman.” “Work was always important to her and she went back to work later in life,” said Molly. “She was always tutoring kids in the Hartford public schools. Then CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
For Fitness & Aquatics
JULY 10, 2020
MILESTONES U of Haifa professor award UConn Global Distinguished Humanities Fellowship
Yiddish Book Center wins National Endowment CARES grant
STORRS – The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI), in partnership with UConn Global Affairs, has named Professor Maoz Azaryahu as the inaugural recipient of the joint Global Distinguished Humanities Fellowship (GDHF). Dr. Azaryahu is a professor of cultural geography at the University of Haifa in Israel, and the director of Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism. Azaryahu’s research includes urban and landscape semiotics, the cultural and historical geographies of public memory and commemoration, the spatialities of memory and narrative, and the cultural history of places and landscapes. He has studied the political history of war memorials and the cultural politics of commemorative street (re)naming in different historical periods and geopolitical settings. These themes are highlights of his numerous authored, co-authored, and edited works including, among others, Positioning Memory (2018), The Political Life of Urban Streetscapes (2018), Narrating Space / Spatializing Narrative: Where Narrative Theory and Geography Meet (2016); and Namesakes: History and Politics of Street Naming in Israel (2012, Hebrew); Tel Aviv. Noted for his ability to speak across disciplinary boundaries to build productive collaborations with scholars across a wide range of fields, he previously served as a visiting professor of anthropology at Brandeis University, in Jewish Studies at Penn State University, and in Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Azaryahu’s fellowship at UConn, which
AMHERST, Massachusetts – The Yiddish Book Center has been named a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES grant. The grants are intended support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. “Over the past few months we have witnessed tremendous financial distress at cultural organizations across the country, which have been compelled to furlough staff, cancel programs, and reduce operations to make up for revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “NEH is pleased to provide $40 million to preserve thousands of jobs at museums, archives, historic sites, and colleges and universities that are vital to our nation’s cultural life and economy.” “We are grateful and honored that the Yiddish Book Center was selected to receive an NEH CARES grant for public programs,” said Susan Bronson, the Yiddish Book Center’s executive director. “This grant will help us to retain staff, advance our mission, and reach new audiences during these
PROF. MAOZ AZARYAHU
takes place in Spring 2021, is sponsored by Ken Foote, the director of Urban and Community Studies Program and Professor of Geography; Nathaniel Trumbull, associate professor of Geography and Maritime Studies; Sebastian Wogenstein and Avinoam Patt of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life; and Chris Vials, director of the American Studies Program. GDHF was a new opportunity created by UCHI and Global Affairs last year in an effort to foster international collaboration and highlight the importance of the humanities in creating a future that speaks globally to social justice, equity, and the environment. The initiative is designed to strengthen ties with UConn’s international partners by inviting faculty scholars from universities that have ongoing Memoranda of Understanding with UConn.
challenging times.” The CARES grant will support the creation of new content and programming tied to the Yiddish Book Center’s Decade of Discovery initiative and its 2020 theme, Yiddish in America: Cultural Encounters. This includes free virtual weekly public programs on Yiddish literature and culture, online library discussion groups for the Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries program, and the cataloging and sharing of newly created and curated digital content, such as the Bronx Bohemians blog, launch of the Weekly Reader – an e-newsletter of curated content and articles culled from the Center’s collections, posting of new works in translation, and the addition of a digitized collection of audio lectures, talks, and readings. For the NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded.
B’nai Mitzvah EMILIA HEVENSTONE, daughter of Sara and Michael Hevenstone of Stratford, will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah on July 11, 2020 at Congregation B’nai Torah in Trumbull.
Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy launches new Center for Community Education STAMFORD – Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut has announced the launch of a new initiative that will expand the Stamford school’s reach far beyond its pre-K through 12th grade classrooms. BCHA President David Pitkoff said, in announcing the launch of the school’s BCHA Center for Community Education (CCE), “our goal is to provide quality educational programming showcasing the extraordinary cadre of teachers, scholars and educators, living right here in Stamford to Israel, and to establish Stamford as an educational center for Modern Orthodoxy. We hope CCE will become an important resource for community members to increase the level of scholarship and learning across a broad spectrum of topics relevant to the Jewish world.”
Co-chaired by Rabbi Tzvi Bernstein, dean of the Stamford day school, and Stamford resident Michael Feldstein, who has long been active in the local Jewish community, the mission of CCE is “to establish BCHA as a hub for thoughtful and inspiring conversations related to the spectrum of Jewish issues and ideals. CCE will serve to nurture unity and a sense of community, encourage excitement about our shared commitment to Judaism, and raise the level of discourse. CCE will also create energy and excitement in and around the school with robust programming, and foster a greater love of learning among members of the greater community.” According to Rabbi Bernstein and Mr. Feldstein, CCE programs will include classes and lectures on a broad range of topics, led by both local and national
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renowned experts. The first CCE program will be a twosession online forum on the topic of race and the Jewish community. The forum will be held on Zoom at 8 p.m. on the evenings of July 19, featuring as guest speaker Yaffy Israel Newman who will share her personal experience as a Jew of color; and on July 20, featuring as guest speaker Rabbi Moshe Kletenik of Minyan Ohr Chadash in Seattle, Washington and a former president of the Rabbinical Council of America, who will discuss race from the perspective of Torah and Jewish law. The program on race “is a great way to launch our initiative. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring together our community for what promises to be a very timely and important program,” says Mr. Pitkoff.
“CCE is yet another spoke in our educational wheel, in which strive to serve the needs of our Bi-Cultural family – and beyond,” said BCHA Head of School Jackie Herman. Looking ahead, the CCE committee is now planning additional educational and inspirational programs for the upcoming school year, to be presented online, and eventually in person. In addition to Rabbi Bernstein and Mr. Feldstein, CCE committee members include Rabbi Joseph Angel, Dina Berger, Dena Block, Jay Jubas, Doni Perl, and Jon Siscovick. For more information on CCE and/or the July 19-20 program, contact Michael Feldstein at email@example.com.
Ruth Lee Silver CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
she became an artist in her 50s, which was astonishing to all of us. But she also worked as a journalist and that was always very important to her. She balanced all of that with a lot of grace.” Ruth Lee and Harold Silver were strong partners in life, their children say. The two never spent more than three days apart. “She was always very inspiring to me because she definitely was supportive of my father and did all the things that she needed to do in her role as the wife of a rabbi of a very large congregation, but she was very much her own person,” Molly explained. “I remember as a child sitting at the dinner table with people like Elie Wiesel and Abram Sachar and other scholars who would be coming to speak at my father’s synagogue… Or my father would bring home a collection of people for a seder at the last minute, and while that would be unnerving for anybody, she was always sort of going with the flow…She could hold her own with elegance and grace.” Both Ruth Lee and Rabbi Silver were active in the resettlement of Jews from the former Soviet Union who arrived in Hartford in the 1980s. She taught English to the newcomers made lasting connections with them, as well as with a variety of friends and colleagues. “She had her artist group and her writing group. And she tutored lots of people,” Jenny said. “We have received notes from many of her friends from many walks of life [who said] she really had an impact on them.” You can often determine a lot about a person from the charities listed in their obituaries. In Ruth Lee Silver’s obit the three organizations designated for memorial contributions were the Silver Courtyard Fund at Congregation Beth Israel; the American Civil Liberties Union; and CT Core Organize Now, a group dedicated to “building communities of racial justice freedom fighters to dismantle systemic and structural racism in the state of
Connecticut.” “She was quite outspoken – I mean, you don’t want to know what she would say about our president, yet she was always a lady,” Rabbi Fuchs stated. “She was very political and swore by the New York Times,” Jenny said. “Actually, even in this last year, she had one of her groups write postcards to get people out to vote.” Her 22-year-old grandson, Ezra described her as “more of a friend than a grandmother.” “She was extremely honest and real. I was really into writing in early high school and everyone says don’t send your writing to your grandma because they will just love everything. But she gave me very real, honest feedback that was better than a lot of my friends. She was never fake. She was very accepting. I’m gay and once I talked to her about that and she said, ‘If marrying a man and not a woman makes you happy, I’m happy.’” “She was always super stylish,” he added. “In an artsy, but elegant way.” At home, Silver loved gardening. Her backyard was filled with plans and she shared her gardening expertise with her friends and family. She remained active to the end, going to Tanglewood and TheatreWorks, watching the news and reading the New York Times every day. “If I had to characterize her in one word it be that she was gracious – but honestly gracious, so that you knew when she told you something you were getting her genuine, unfiltered, if you will, perspective and it was always valuable,” said Rabbi Fuchs. “We had meals at their home, and vice versa over the years, and she was a delightful conversationalist. She was just a very bright woman. Harold and she had a wonderful marriage. He adored her and likewise, she adored him and they really were meant for one another. And I miss them both very much.”
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L IKE U S ON
JULY 10, 2020
Our synagogues’ names are on the monument honoring Judah Benjamin – against our wishes. Take it down. This letter originally appeared on the website of Temple Beth El of Charlotte, North Carolina, and was reprinted with permission. It was co-signed by Evan Wilkoff and Benjamin Benson, the president and president-elect of Temple Beth El, along with Rabbi Howard Siegel and Teresa Brenner, the rabbi and president of Temple Israel.
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HARLOTTE, N.C. (JTA) – Over seventy years ago, Temple Beth El and Temple Israel in Charlotte were approached by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to sup-port the placement of a monument dedicated to Judah P. Benjamin, a Southerner and a Jew, who played an important role in the Confederacy. While our respective Boards voted to participate, there were almost immediate misgivings. At the time of the monument’s installation in 1948, the Daughters of the Confederacy were in an open dispute with the national and state-wide chapters advocating for the monument, while the local chapter leveled anti-Semitic attacks against our Jewish community. Both congregations removed their support for the monument and the rabbis called for it not to be erected. Unfortunately, the monument – which contains both Temples’ names – was installed over the objections. The United Daughters of the Confederacy donated the monument to the City of Charlotte, which resides in the 200 block of South Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte, precisely next to the recent Black Lives Matter art installations. Our congregations’ leadership has tried to get the monument removed for many years. Every time we have tried, the city’s lawyers have cited North Carolina’s laws which prevent the removal of the monument and requires it to be relocated to a similarly prominent location. There has never been the will to change or challenge the laws. So, we are forced to once again ask the age-old Jewish question: If not now, when? JEWISH LEDGER
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The loss of life and dignity through slavery was staggering. The reverberations of racism and inequality still plague our city and our country. Erected well after the Civil War, the monument is nothing more than a show of white supremacy and solidarity towards segregationist principles. The monument has no actual historical meaning or importance. Judah P. Benjamin was not a member of our community. His only claim to Charlotte was that he spent a few days in our city while fleeing capture. On behalf of our respective synagogues, we have again requested that the City of Charlotte remove the monument from South Tryon. Now is the time. While we understand that the City of Charlotte may be challenged by the laws of our state, we ask for the City’s support. Other cities and states across the country are making the decision to remove these types of monuments and statues.
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Removing these symbols is imperative. The monument was recently damaged and defaced. We know that the monument is painful for many people. All Charlotteans should be comfortable in our city. Together, we can build an anti-racist city by directly confronting the scourge of slavery, segregation, and racism. We can construct a future that emphasizes our shared humanity. We should neither celebrate the Confederacy nor honor the legacy of white supremacy. The monument does not belong in a place of prominence within our city, just like German cities do not memorialize or erect statues to Nazis. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Ledger, JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
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JULY 10, 2020
Briefs Black Lives Matter demonstrators chant antiIsrael message (JTA) – Protesters at a demonstration in Washington, D.C., linking Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian cause chanted “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.” The demonstration July 1 was billed as an event in support of the Day of Rage called by the Palestinian Authority and other groups to protest Israel’s announced plan to annex up to 30% of the West Bank on or after July 1 (as of July 6, the annexation had still not occurred). A staff writer for The Washington Examiner, Nicolas Rowan, posted a video of some of the march on Twitter. “It was only a matter of time before the DC protests turned antisemitic,” he tweeted. Chants also alternated between “Black lives matter!” and “Palestinian lives matter!” The march, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building, was led by a Harvard student, Christian Tabash, who read a poem about Israel’s crimes against Palestinian Muslims. The poem referred to Israel as “puppet master of continents,” an age-old conspiracy theory that Jews run the world. Tabash, a rising senior, also noted several times that the Palestinian movement is “intrinsically tied to Black Lives Matter” and called to defund police departments. The Republican Jewish Coalition in response said in a statement: “We are horrified by this vicious hatemongering by Black Lives Matter protesters. The Black Lives Matter charter is filled with anti-Israel and antisemitic lies. It is deeply disturbing, but not surprising, to hear those sentiments chanted in the streets of Washington, DC.” The statement called on former Vice President Joe Biden, “as the standard bearer of the Democrat Party, to condemn these antisemitic chants by BLM protesters.”
Hollywood screenwriter backs up Winona Ryder’s claim about Mel Gibson (JTA) – Los Angeles Magazine unearthed a podcast episode from last year in which a prominent Hollywood screenwriter backs up Winona Ryder’s recent claims about Mel Gibson, namely that he is antisemitic and called the Jewish actress an “oven dodger.” On an episode of the magazine’s “The Originals” podcast, Joe Eszterhas – who wrote the scripts for films like “Basic Instinct” and “Flashdance” – said Gibson repeatedly called Jews “oven dodgers,” “Hebes” and “Jew boys” in his presence. The story began in 2010, when Gibson 12
reached out to Eszterhas, who is not Jewish, about collaborating on a potential movie about the Maccabees. Gibson’s infamous drunken antisemitic rant years earlier damaged his reputation in the industry, and Eszterhas said Gibson was interested in telling “a story of Jewish independence and Jewish strength.” Joining Gibson at the actor’s Costa Rica estate, Eszterhas said he quickly discovered Gibson’s true motivation. In addition to the antisemitic epithets he used to talk about Jews, Eszterhas claims that Gibson said “What I really want to do with this movie is convert the Jews to Christianity.” Eszterhas wrote Gibson a disgruntled letter after the project fell apart, published in The Wrap in 2012. “I believe you announced the project with great fanfare – ‘a Jewish Braveheart’ – in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of antisemitism which have dogged you,” he wrote. A representative for Gibson called Ryder’s comments “100% untrue” last week. In the wake of her claims, however, Gibson has been dropped from the cast of the upcoming animated film “Chicken Run 2.”
New Hampshire lawmakers send Holocaust education bill to governor (JTA) – New Hampshire will mandate Holocaust and genocide prevention education under a bill passed overwhelmingly by its House of Representatives. If Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signs the measure into law, New Hampshire would become the 14th state to require genocide prevention education in public schools, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional office, which supported the bill. An Act Relative to Holocaust and Genocide Studies will also establish a commission to study best educational practices. The bill will enable all students to acquire knowledge of civics and government, economics, history, and Holocaust and genocide education, according to state Sen. Jay Kahn, a Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill. “Holocaust and genocide education is a fitting part of a school’s curriculum that enables students to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens,” Kahn said in a statement. The House approved the bill this week in a 299-17 vote as part of several other pieces of legislation. The state Senate had passed the measure unanimously in March. In its most recent audit on antisemitism, ADL documented 2,107 incidents across the country in 2019, the highest since the group began tracking incidents in 1979. Of the total, 411 of the incidents were in K-12 schools, representing a 19% increase from the previous year. “The need for Holocaust and genocide education in our schools could not be
| JULY 10, 2020
more urgent,” Robert Trestan, the ADL’s New England regional director, said in a statement.
Facebook ad showed Jewish Calif. state senator clutching Monopoly money (JTA) – A California trade union placed a political advertisement on Facebook about a Jewish state senator that evoked antisemitic stereotypes about Jews and money. The State Building and Construction Trades Council later removed the ad and apologized after being called out by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, the political news website CalMatters reported Tuesday. The ad accuses Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, of “selling out” to developers and the real estate industry. It featured an image of Wiener against a backdrop of a Monopoly game board, clutching a handful of Monopoly money. The union objects to a bill authored by Wiener that would allow churches and other religious organizations to more speedily develop low-income housing on their property. The union wants union-level wages and union-trained workers for the projects, which would make them more expensive. The state Senate passed the legislation on Friday. Jeremy Russell, a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, called the ad “cringeworthy,” CalMatters reported. “Everyone wants to be careful not to use that term (antisemitism) too lightly. But there’s not a question that it touched on antisemitic stereotypes and tropes,” Sen. Ben Allen, a Democrat from Santa Monica and chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, told CalMatters. “So at the very least the folks who put it up ought to be made aware of how problematic moving in that direction is.” The union’s president, Robbie Hunter, at first denied that the ad could have antisemitic connotations and suggested that Wiener was trying to deflect attention from the legislation. He said the union had designed ads using Monopoly money for non-Jewish lawmakers, too, but never released them publicly.
L.A. Jewish foundation using all $8.5 million in grants for COVID-19 relief (JTA) – The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles will distribute $8.5 million in funds for COVID-19 relief to support nonprofit organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, representing its entire grantmaking for 2020. Formally titled the COVID-19 Response Grants, the program’s first phase will focus on providing immediate relief to Los Angeles nonprofits that offer direct services to those impacted by the pandemic. The second phase will support Jewish nonprofits locally and in
Israel facing economic hardship due to the effects of the coronavirus in order to ensure their long-term survival. So far, $2.5 million has been distributed to 22 nonprofit organizations, including a $1 million grant to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The foundation said in a statement that it consulted with more than 100 nonprofits locally and in Israel, as well as other foundations in the community, to gain a better understanding of the most pressing and evolving needs. “The devastating effects of COVID-19 and the financial crisis required us to re-imagine our institutional grantmaking to meet these unprecedented challenges,” the foundation’s CEO, Marvin Schotland, said in the statement.
Family of biracial Jewish woman set on fire thanks public (JTA) – The family of a biracial Jewish woman in Wisconsin who said she was set on fire by four white men issued a public thank you for “the overwhelming outpouring of support that Althea is receiving.” Althea Bernstein, 18, of Madison said last week that the incident took place early on the morning of June 24 while her car was stopped at a light. She was treated at a hospital for burns to her face. There is now a $10,000 reward for anyone who can provide police with information that leads to the arrest of the attackers, according to reports. The Center for Combating Antisemitism, a division of the nonprofit organization StandWithUs, in conjunction with the Mizel Family Foundation, is offering a $5,000 reward in addition to Madison Area Crime Stoppers’ reward of $5,000. “Our family is still asking for privacy at this time so that Althea may focus on healing,” its statement said. According to Bernstein, someone yelled a racial epithet at her while her car was stopped and the window was down. One of the four white men she saw sprayed liquid and threw a lighter on her.
Ice Cube scolds Jake Tapper for Farrakhan tweet…and more (JTA) – Ice Cube is having some issues with journalists, including CNN’s Jake Tapper for calling Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan an antisemite, and the rapper called them out on social media. On Monday, June 29, Tapper tweeted that “Farrakhan is a vile anti-LGBTQ antisemitic misogynist. Why is a Fox channel airing his propaganda?” The Jewish anchor’s post was in response to the announcement that Fox Soul TV would be broadcasting a speech by Farrakhan on July 4. The channel has since canceled the broadcast. In response, Ice jewishledger.com
Cube tweeted the same day, “Watch your mouth Jake.” Meanwhile, on Wednesday, July 1, he posted an image of a cease-and-desist order against journalists Charles Nash of Mediaite and Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast for publishing “outrageously false unverified, and disparaging allegations regarding Ice Cube,” whose given name is O’Shea Jackson. Above the letter he wrote “Don’t play with me. This is just phase one.” The letter sent from a Los Angeles law firm specifically refers to “the ridiculous, false accusation that Ice Cube ordered his ‘entourage to beat up a rabbi,’ was sued for it, and that he is antisemitic.” Last month, the Daily Beast published an article by Stern titled “Ice Cube’s long, disturbing history of anti-Semitism.” In an article published Monday on the Mediaite website, Nash repeated the claims, citing the Daily Beast article. “The idea that Ice Cube is antisemitic is laughable, as anyone who knows the man can attest,” the lawyer letter says. “Ice Cube has no biases against any race, creed, color, ethnicity, religion or gender. His tolerance for all peoples is exactly why he was invited to be the emcee at the national tribute dinner of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in April 2017.” Also in June, Ice Cube tweeted a mural some have antisemitic, and days later tweeted images associated with multiple conspiracy theories against Jews, including that they control the world.
YouTube pages of Dieudonne, Richard Spencer, David Duke removed (JTA) – YouTube has seen enough of the French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. White supremacist Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, too. Their channels were among more than 25,000 shut down Monday, June 29, by the online video sharing platform for violating its hate speech rules. Dieudonne’s page, which was full of videos agitating against Jews, had some 400,000 subscribers. In a Facebook post, he blamed “Israeli pressures” for the removal. “This deletion follows repeated violations of our YouTube community regulations,” Google France said in a statement. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many of the videos on the channel have agitated against Jews, French Union of Jewish Students President Noémie Madar told the French media. Dieudonne has been convicted at least seven times in France for inciting racial hatred against Jews. The comic is the promoter of the quenelle quasi-Nazi salute and the term shoananas – a mash-up of the Hebrew word for Holocaust and the French one for pineapple – which he uses jewishledger.com
to suggest the Holocaust never happened without openly violating French laws forbidding such denials. Spencer, the founder of a white supremacist think tank, has advocated a white ethno-state that would exclude non-whites and Jews.
that. It’s just trouble out there,” he said. “It’s not a good place to be.”
3-D printed steaks? An Israeli startup will test them out in high-end restaurants
(JTA) – The original broadcast raised more than $3 million for coronavirus relief efforts. Now the creators of “Saturday Night Seder” are selling singles of some the show’s memorable songs to raise money for a Jewish social justice organization. Jews for Racial and Economic Justice will get the proceeds from sales of “When You Believe” and “Next Year,” two songs from the hometaped Passover special that aired in April. The creators said they chose JFREJ because of the Black Lives Matter movement that has become reinvigorated since then. “In Judaism, there’s a principle called Tikkun Olam which means to repair the broken world and to be of service to people, and so in this current moment of Black Lives Matter and to continue with that spirit of service, it was about how we could use our Tikkun Olam,” Shaina Taub, who co-wrote “Next Year,” told Variety. She added about JFREJ, “They’re an organization that really believes in Jewish people standing up as allies, for other marginalized communities.” The event’s creators are waging an Emmy bid right now, and executive producer Benj Pasek told Variety last week that some kind of encore production could be possible. Earlier this year, Pasek wrote in a piece for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he hoped that a new model for supporting Jewish art would emerge after the pandemic.
(JTA) – Trying to capitalize on the fastgrowing global market for meat alternatives, an Israeli startup company has created a plant-based steak using a 3-D printer. Redefine Meat announced Tuesday that it would begin testing its vegan steaks in high-end restaurants ahead of a more largescale distribution. The company makes what it calls Alt-Steak with industrial-scale 3-D food printers using its plant-based formulations. By printing with multiple materials, Redefine says it can create “sustainable, high-protein, no-cholesterol steaks that look, cook, and taste like beef.” The product has a 95 percent smaller environmental impact than producing actual beef, the company says. Redefine plans to sell its 3-D meat printers and alt-meat formulations to restaurants beginning in 2021. The restaurants can print steaks to be softer or harder, or juicier with less fat, for example. The worldwide market for meat alternatives is expected to reach $140 billion annually, according to the company.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ coming back for 11th season (JTA) – Larry David excoriated Californians months ago in a public service announcement for failing to social distance and advised them “Go home! Watch TV!” At some point they’ll have a chance to tune in for new episodes of his “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” HBO announced Tuesday, June 30, that it would renew the show created by and starring David for an 11th season, Variety reported. “Believe me, I’m as upset about this as you are,” David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld,” said in a statement. “One day I can only hope that HBO will come to their senses and grant me the cancellation I so richly deserve.” It’s not clear when filming will begin due to restrictions in place because of the coronavirus. The show is filmed with only an outline, no script, and cast members improvise their lines. It premiered in 2000, took a hiatus in 2011 after eight seasons and was revived in 2017. In his PSA for the state of California released April 1, David called on “the idiots out there” to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “You know, if you’ve seen my show, nothing good ever happens going out of the house, you know
Next up for ‘Saturday Night Seder’: Raising money for Jewish social justice group
US antisemitism envoy warns of continued online hatred after COVID subsides (JNS) As antisemitism has fomented during the coronavirus pandemic, hatred towards Jews as it pertains to the outbreak won’t go away once it ends, warned U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr. “We’ve seen a tsunami of antisemitic hatred on the Internet and social media that baselessly blames Jews for … having invented the coronavirus, for intentionally spreading from it, profiting from it or using it as a tool for global control,” said Carr on Monday, June 29, at the virtual summit hosted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in lieu of the organization’s annual summit in Washington, D.C. “The only thing new or novel about this absurd allegation is the coronavirus itself,” continued Carr. “Blaming Jews for the world’s maladies has been a standard feature of antisemitism for centuries.” Carr also cautioned that even when the pandemic subsides, antisemitism
related to it won’t disappear. “When COVID-19 is behind us – God willing, may that be soon – we will be forced to confront the antisemitism that feeds off of the economic downturn resulting from this global shutdown,” he said. “Throughout history, periods of economic pain have almost always seen Jew-hatred increase and not just in words, but in violent acts.”
In July 4th speech, Farrakhan rebuts charges of antisemitism (JTA) – Bumped from FOX Soul TV, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan took to YouTube this weekend for a three-hour July Fourth address in which he addressed criticism of his record of antisemitism. “They tell lies to make you think I am a bigot or anti-Semite, so that you won’t listen to what I’m saying. So far they’ve been pretty successful,” he said during his speech, which also addressed racism, police brutality and the coronavirus pandemic. Farrakhan, who has led the Nation of Islam, a Black Muslim group, since 1977, has . long history of antisemitic comments. He has praised Adolf Hitler, repeated longtime stereotypes about Jewish control and manipulation, referred to Jews as “termites” and repeatedly denounced what he calls the “Synagogue of Satan.” During his speech, Farrakhan, 87, repeated criticism of Jews, who he said had supplanted the Torah with the Talmud. “They made that word in their minds and in their believers’ minds greater than God’s word,” he said. But he said he harbored no ill will toward Jews. “If you really think I hate the Jewish people, you don’t know me at all,” he said. “[I’ve never] uttered the words of death to the Jewish people.” He also thanked Jewish comedian Chelsea Handler for posting a video of a Farrakhan appearance on once popular talk-show “The Phil Donahue Show.” Handler removed the video and apologized after coming under fire for supporting him owing to his anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric. His speech, titled “The Criterion,” originally was to be broadcast Saturday by Fox Soul TV, a streaming TV channel launched earlier this year by 20th Century Fox focused on reaching Black Americans. But five days after announcing the speech, the channel had drawn so much criticism because of Farrakhan’s record that it replaced him with a program featuring speeches from Black leaders throughout American history.
JULY 10, 2020
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o open or not to open? That was the question just a few weeks ago, when it seemed unclear if the virulent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic would allow for the opening of Connecticut day camps. Eventually, we’re happy to report, the question was answered with a resounding – and carefully considered – “YES!” The opening of day camps would be delayed, but not cancelled on account of coronavirus. Now, summer is in full swing … and Connecticut campers are enjoying lots of fun in the sun – with social distancing and other health safety rules in place. Here are some scenes from JCC day camps around the state!
In Woodbridge The JCC Day Camp is located in Woodbridge, on the magnificent 54-acre campus of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven. For more than 20 years it has been offering children of all backgrounds a summer filled with sports, arts, outdoor adventure, swimming and specialty programs. Pictured here: Campers get a good workout playing the popular Israeli game of Gaga; and a coach – protecting his campers by wearing a mask – gives a young camper tips on how to hit that t-ball.
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| JULY 10, 2020
amp Round Up! IN STAMFORD At “Day Camps@The J,” the Stamford Jewish Community Center’ summer programs for kids, campers learn life skills (and hone their social skills) while playing sports, creating art projects and testing the limits on our adventure course. Pictured here: Day Camps@The J director Jason Samuel greets campers Rose and Adele Forman on the first day of what promises to be a summer of fun. And, one young camper practices his kicks for a game of soccer – just one of many fun activities to look forward to! (Photos by Nicolas Mancheno).
IN WINDSOR Camp Shalom, the summer day camp of the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford, is located on more than 100 acres of woods and waterfront in Windsor. Pictured here: Campers flex their creative muscles in Maplewoodshop, the camp’s new woodworking program; while on the waterfront, campers get ready to hit the Rainbow River Reservoir using their individual kayaks (aka “funyaks”).
JULY 10, 2020
ELECTION 2020 Mondaire Jones, Nita Lowey’s presumed successor, says he’ll be a friend to Israel
MONDAIRE JONES SAYS THAT “HAVING BEEN BORN AND RAISED IN ROCKLAND COUNTY, I FEEL LIKE I’M PART OF THE JEWISH FAMILY.” (COURTESY OF MONDAIRE FOR CONGRESS)
BY SHIRA HANAU
(JTA) – From the very beginning, Mondaire Jones didn’t exactly fit the model created by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she unseated one of the most powerful incumbent Democrats in the country. Some might have thought he would. Running as a Black, gay man challenging a popular pro-Israel incumbent of 31 years not far from Ocasio-Cortez’s district certainly made him seem like a natural next member of “The Squad.” (Jones announced his run as a primary challenger to Nita Lowey last summer. Lowey later announced her retirement, opening the field to several other candidates.) But despite his progressive policy goals, the 33-yearold Jones sees himself as his own kind of leader. “I am going to be an independent voice,” he said. Unlike Jamaal Bowman, another New York progressive who unseated another staunchly pro-Israel incumbent, Eliot Engel, Jones did not seek the endorsement
of the Justice Democrats, the progressive group that helped elect Ocasio-Cortez and supports progressive challengers to Democratic incumbents. Nor did Jones, a lawyer by trade, see Israel as much of an issue in his primary campaign. “I didn’t give people a reason to think that I would not be a friend to Israel,” he said. JTA spoke with Jones about how he built his relationships with the Jewish communities in his district over the course of the campaign and how he hopes to repair and strengthen the Black-Jewish relationship. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.) JTA: What lessons do you take away from your win? Jones: That you have got to believe in yourself in politics to make the change that we desperately need in this country. And that is going to be required when you have
the establishment pushing back against you. And people saying you’re too young or that you’re inexperienced because you’ve never held local elected office, or that you’re Black and gay and voters will never support you. I think voters are hungry for change. They are so disappointed with the status quo leadership. Not just in Washington, and not just with Republicans, but also with Democrats who are not giving voice to the lived experiences of the average American. You know, Congress is full of millionaires who don’t know what it’s like to struggle on top of not reflecting the kind of diversity – racially, ethnically, economically and even in terms of sexual orientation – that we would be better for having more of because those experiences inform our policymaking. Who are your role models in Congress and what kind of lane do you see yourself occupying? Elizabeth Warren is a big role model for me. I think she’s brilliant, she speaks with moral clarity and she’s pragmatic. I’m going to be occupying my own lane. One of the things that has frustrated me a little bit is that because someone has endorsed my campaign that I’m going to take their position on Israel. One thing I want Jewish people to know is that I will be a friend to Israel and that my love for the Jewish community is a longstanding affinity. Having been born and raised in Rockland County, I feel like I’m part of the Jewish family. Who are you thinking of when you say you don’t want people to get the wrong idea based on who has endorsed you? I hear them saying he’s a progressive and he’s been endorsed by progressives. We know that progressives disagree on any number of issues, and the same way that some progressives say ‘I support Medicare for All’ or ‘I support a public option,’ there’s great diversity within the progressive movement and the topic of Israel tends to be something that divides progressives. Now don’t get me wrong, I want equal treatment under the law and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, and my ardent support of a two-state solution is beneficial for Jews and Palestinians and the strategic interests of the United States. But it does disappoint me when I see some people suggest with-out evidence that somehow I’m going to be non-friendly to Israel. It’s just not true.
| JULY 10, 2020
Did Israel come up more or less than you expected in the primary? It came up less than I expected. J Street gave me its primary approval designation in the primary. (Note: J Street gave the designation, which is not an endorsement, to three Democratic candidates in the race, including Jones, Evelyn Farkas and Allison Fine.) It just did not come up all that often. I think it also didn’t come up because I didn’t give people a reason to think that I would not be a friend to Israel. This week in an Instagram live conversation with Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Linda Sarsour said she told Jamaal Bowman that he had orders to do whatever the four congresswomen who make up ‘The Squad’ say, “no questions asked.” What do you make of that? It sounds like she was joking based on what you just described. But beyond the joking aspect of it. I’m going to be in Congress as the best representative the district has ever seen. I take my orders from no one other than the voters of New York’s 17th District. I am going to be an independent voice, a forceful voice for the people I represent, and that means that sometimes I’m going to disagree with Democrats and Republicans if it’s in the best interest of the people I represent. What have you done to build relationships with the Jewish community since you first announced your candidacy? I’m so grateful to have tremendous support from the Jewish community which, as you know, is not monolithic by any stretch of the imagination. The leaders of the progressive movement in Rockland County are largely Jewish and they coalesced behind my campaign and propelled me to victory. And the same is true for the base of the activist community in Westchester, again largely Jewish, and that community coalesced be-hind me and propelled me to victory. I did as well in Westchester as I did in Rockland County, which is a great position to be in and I suspect will convey the message to anyone who would try to challenge me in the future that it would be a fool’s errand to try to do so. I have been in conversation with rabbis in different parts of the Jewish community. jewishledger.com
I spoke to Michael Miller of the Jewish Community Relations Council in New York recently, I’ve spoken to Rabbi Yossi Menczer from Yorktown, he’s the head of a school there, I’ve spoken to David Kirschtel, who is head of the JCC of Rockland.
THE KOSHER CROSSWORD JULY 10, 2020
“Keeping Up With The Steins”
By: Yoni Glatt
Difficulty Level: Manageable
In the last year there have been some unfortunate antisemitic acts of violence including the Monsey attack in December in your district. Did the issue of antisemitism come up in your conversations with voters?
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When I worked for Westchester County, I was the legal adviser to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission, where I worked closely with the members of that commission to formulate a response to rising acts of antisemitism and other forms of white nationalism in Westchester County. After the killing in Monsey, I penned an op-ed calling for the Black community to stand with the Jewish community, and historically that has been true. I talked about how during the civil rights era, for example, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner lost their lives during the freedom rides. (Note: Goodman and Schwerner were Jewish freedom riders who were killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan.) I think I am uniquely able, of the candidates who are looking to succeed Nita Lowey in Congress, to build those relationships and strengthen those relationships because they have frayed, especially in Rockland County.
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Last year, shortly after you declared your run for Congress, you admitted that your district’s Orthodox community wasn’t a big fan of yours. How do you win over the Orthodox Jews in Rockland County who supported Adam Schleifer? They’ve already reached out to me and did so before the primary. I think it was clear to people in the final days of the race that I was going to decisively win this election. And here’s the thing, obviously leaders in the Hasidic community supported Adam Schleifer, but I’m not holding any grudges towards anyone. I’m going to be a representative for everyone. I’m going to meet with everyone and I’m going to represent everyone. People can vote for whoever they want to in a primary, that is a democratic process. And when they reached out, what did they say? They said that my opponents had tried to make me into a boogeyman but that they appreciated that I did not run a campaign in which I tried to vilify them in a way that other candidates historically have done. And I said thank you for your phone call, after I win the primary I will be representing you and all of us, and I will meet with you just like I meet with anyone else.
ANSWERS TO JUNE 26 CROSSWORD
Across 1. Eban of Israel 5. Green tropical fruit 10. Eight-sided street sign 14. “Aw, heck!” 15. Frequently used keyboard key 16. Land of Columbus 17. Star of “Bumblebee” and “Dickinson” 20. Mo. which often has High Holidays 21. Barinholtz of “The Mindy Project” 22. Racetrack alternative: Abbr. 23. Boardgame that involves zero
luck 25. Feathered projectile 29. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem dir. 32. Israel Prize winning Rabbi who published an edition of the Talmud 35. “Doesn’t do it for me” 36. Spanish couple? 37. Knee bend, in ballet 38. Co-organizer of the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality 42. Glowing gas 43. Be a nudnik 44. “General” on Chinese menus 45. Pioneer in quantum theory
50. You get six for a TD 51. Like “20 Questions” questions 52. Esther’s antagonist 54. Election Day: Abbr. 56. Star Wars episode hated by fans but loved by critics 58. Org. interested in education 59. “The Giving Tree” author 65. Make dough 66. He played Dr. Dreidel opposite Key’s Gefilte Fresh 67. “___ Olam” 68. Idina Menzel’s “Frozen” role 69. Vast chasm 70. Declare false
Down 1. For a specific purpose, as a committee 2. There’s many a one in tefilla 3. Set, as a trap 4. N.L. East team 5. Dweeb 6. Beat, as an incumbent 7. Lawyer, briefly 8. Winner’s sign 9. “All Things Considered” host Shapiro 10. Like plush toys 11. Most popular woman at a dance 12. Chanukah buy 13. Pea’s place 18. Iger’s predecessor at Disney 19. “___ as good a time as any”
24. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Biles 26. Washington athlete with a controversial name 27. Quiet band that didn’t make quiet music 28. Starts 30. Term for “self-stimulation” often associated with autism 31. Sleep-___ (insomnia medication) 33. Many a Muslim 34. Sleeping issue 31-Down can’t help 38. Dreidel winnings 39. You can be sure 32-Across won’t be eating these 40. “Wonder Woman” foe 41. First words of “Bohemian
Rhapsody” 42. Daily activity for many a toddler, and Saturday activity for many a parent 46. Jewish deli loaf 47. King creations 48. Be a roadblock to 49. Israel or Canada, e.g. 53. Parent’s helper 55. A forearm bone 57. Outrages 59. Observe 60. Evil computer of sci-fi 61. Goose Island or Voodoo Ranger drinks 62. Isr. neighbor 63. Oy follower 64. Youngest Lincoln son
JULY 10, 2020
BULLETIN BOARD Hartford’s historic Jewish Cemeteries in the spotlight, July 22 The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford is hosting a virtual program on Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m., to learn about Hartford’s historic Jewish cemeteries. Leonard Holtz of the Hebrew Funeral Association and Lisa Vaeth of the Federation’s Association of Jewish Cemeteries, will talk about how these cemeteries were first organized, where they are located, and what the challenges of maintaining them are. To register for this free program visit jhsgh.org/historiccemeteries/. For more information, email Lynn Newman at lnewman@jewishhartford. org.
Author Allison Holzer talks about finding inspiration online, July 9
Voices of Hope Virtual Summer Series Voices of Hope 2020 Summer Series is held virtually on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. The series includes conversations with authors, filmmakers and lecturers from around the world. For information and/ or to register for these Zoom events, visit www.ctvoicesofhope.org or contact info@ ctvoicesofhope.org.
Allison Holzer, co-author of the new book Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life, will offer a roadmap for how to find and create inspiration during these uncertain and challenging times, at a virtual event hosted by the Mandell JCC on Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m. A Q&A will follow. To join the event visit the Mandell JCC on Facebook or its new virtual JCC platform, at- https://www. facebook.com/events/258824351992535/
JULY 14 – A Conversation with Mike Turner, producer of “Monument,” a new documentary about memory and memorialization.
Masa Israel Journey opens new programming year Masa Israel Journey, together with The Jewish Agency and The Government of Israel, has announced the opening of registration for Israel experience programs through summer 2021. Masa has also announced several changes to eligibility for grants and scholarships, resulting from the annual budget agreement between Masa, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government. Since 2004, Masa has been the home of long-term experiences in Israel. The organization has brought over 160,000 young adults from 62 countries to Israel for gap year, academic, internship, professional training and service-learning programs. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Masa has continued operations. “With the significant economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Agency and the government of Israel reduced Masa’s budget,” said Masa’s Acting CEO Ofer Gutman. “At the same time, demand for Masa programs is increasing significantly as job markets tighten and universities remain closed for in-person classes. With over 7,000 preregistrations, together with our funders, we had to make difficult choices that advanced 18
our strategic priorities while maximizing our funds. We are actively seeking out new fundraising opportunities that close the gaps created by these budget cuts and match the increasing demand.” To contend with budgetary cuts, Masa has adjusted eligibility requirements for Masa grants and scholarships. These include changes to the length of programs subsidized for Fellows from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and academic programs. Grants and scholarships for Fellows from North America and the United Kingdom in Jewish studies programs will be limited to participants 22 years and older. Masa Israel Journey is the largest immersive, long-term educational experience for young adults ages 18-30. Its programs range from two months to a year.
JULY 21 – Author David Slucki: Memory and The Third Generation (in partnership with UConn Center for Judaic Studies & Contemporary Jewish Life.) JULY 28 – “Seeking Refuge: Exile to Mexico during the Second World War,” with Dr. Aleksandra Pomiecko.
Yiddish culture series continued in July “Di Yidishe Velt: A Virtual Festival of Yiddish Culture,” a project of UConn Center for Judaic Studies in partnership with the Jewish Hartford European Roots Project, co-sponsored by Voices of Hope, will host several programs in July. To register, contact Pamela Weathers at pamela. firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration closes July 12. JULY 13, 7 p.m. – “The World of Yiddish Theatre in History and Digital” with Nick Underwood, assistant professor of history and Berger-Neilsen Chair of Judaic Studies, The College of Idaho. Over the past 150 years of so, Yiddish theater has engaged millions of people and has embraced several artistic and theatrical forms. Through an exploration of Yiddish theater from its
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origins to today, participants will discover the world of Yiddish theater and learn about the ways that the medium has come into contact with the digital age. JULY 27, 7 p.m. – “The Yiddish Song Today” with Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus, Wesleyan University. Cosponsored by the University of Hartford Greenberg Center.
Need for Jewish genetic screening expected to increase JScreen, a national non-profit public health initiative dedicated to preventing Jewish genetic diseases, held a webinar with the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven recently to highlight the importance and ease of genetic screening. “Many experts predict a baby boom in the wake of our country’s shelter at home orders, making this a perfect time to discuss the importance of genetic screening and the essential information that can be learned from our easy, safe and affordable at-home spit test,” said Robyn Teplitzky, New Haven native and JScreen representative. JScreen tests for genetic diseases by providing an at-home saliva test that gives couples planning for children an understanding of their own genetic makeup and risks relating to their children’s health. The program tests for more than 200 different genetic diseases. Today, it’s increasingly clear that Jews of all backgrounds, as well as interfaith couples, are at risk for having children with genetic diseases and should be screened for a panel of diseases impacting their communities. If genetic screening indicates that a person or couple’s risk is elevated, JScreen genetic counselors provide couples with options to help them plan for the health of their future children. Copies of test results are shared with the couple and their healthcare provider. For more information visit jscreen.org.
New website “outs” Israeli profs who promote anti-Israel activity A new website launched by the pro-Israel watchdog group Im Tirtzu lists dozens of Israeli academics who promote BDS and other anti-Israel activity in Israel and abroad. The website, “Know the Anti-Israel Israeli Professor” (knowbdsinisrael.com) contains a listing of 150 Israeli professors who are involved in anti-Israel activity such as promoting BDS, encouraging international pressure on Israel, accusing the IDF of war crimes, and calling to refuse service in the IDF. In May 2019, Im Tirtzu launched a similar website in Hebrew listing dozens
of Israeli academics who teach in Israeli universities. The new English website also includes Israeli professors who teach outside of Israel. “The international BDS and delegitimization phenomenon against Israel does not exist in a vacuum; rather, it is often created, bolstered, and spearheaded by Israelis themselves,” says a statement on the group’s website. “By virtue of being Israeli, these radical professors are viewed by the outside observer as neutral and credible authorities on matters concerning Israel. Im Tirtzu lists 10 guidelines that warrant inclusion in the website, including voicing support for BDS, promoting international pressure on Israel, and accusing the IDF of war crimes and purposefully murdering innocent people.
JCC in Sherman to open its doors for “SwingSet” The JCC in Sherman will re-open its doors on Saturday, July 11, 7 p..m. for “SwingSet,” the first in-person event since it was shut as a result of the pandemic. SwingSet is made up of three accomplished musicians who offer a unique take on Swing, Jazz and Bossa standards: Wendy Matthews (ukulele and vocals), a member of the swing duo, The Edukated Fleas; Julie Sorcek (flute, sax and vocals), who has played with many family dance bands; and Ernie Pugliese (guitar), who has performed with various jazz, swing and gypsy jazz bands. Special guest: Niles Spaulding (bass), who teaches at Guitar Center in Danbury and School of Rock, Ridgefield. Tickets: $20/members, $25/nonmembers; For safety purposes, tickets must be purchased online prior the event. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Limit of 30 tickets available for this first event to allow for safe social distancing.
Race is topic of conversation of first BCHA Center for Community Education The subject of race will be the focus of the inaugural online forum hosted by Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy’s Center for Community Education (see announcement in Milestones, p. 8). The two-part forum will be held on Zoom at 8 p.m. on July 19 and 20. On July 19, Yaffy Israel Newman will share her personal experience as a Jew of color; on July 20, Rabbi Moshe Kletenik of Minyan Ohr Chadash in Seattle, Washington and a former president of the Rabbinical Council of America, will discuss race from the perspective of Torah and Jewish law. For more information on CCE and/or the July 19-20 program, contact Michael Feldstein at michaelgfeldstein@ gmail.com. jewishledger.com
BY SHLOMO RISKIN
“Moses said to the Lord, ‘May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd”’ (Num. 27:15-17).
oses’s request is made immediately after God instructs him to climb Mount Abarim and take a glimpse of the Promised Land – after which “he will be gathered to his family-nation.” God explains that Moses must now relinquish his leadership because he did not sanctify God when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. On what basis is Joshua chosen by God to be Moses’ successor? The Midrash (Tanhuma Pinhas 11) suggests that the most logical choice would have been the more intellectually gifted Phinehas or Eleazar the priest, or alternatively, the personal choice of Moses himself – his own sons (see Rashi on Num. 27:16). The Midrash explains the choice of Joshua by citing a biblical verse: “He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored. Let the one who watches over the fig tree get to eat of its fruits” (Prov. 27:18). Joshua was the devoted servant and faithful disciple who never left Moses’s tent (Ex. 33:11). But why was devotion the primary consideration for a successor to Moses? After all, the most unique Mosaic quality was his outstanding intellect, the fact that he was able to connect and cleave to the active intellect of the Divine (as it were) so that Moses’s Torah and God’s Torah would merge together as one. Moses was a “law-giver King,” a ruler whose precepts of compassionate righteousness and moral justice would rule Israel until the end of time. Why choose the outstanding caretaker, the best shamash, not the most praiseworthy jurist, the leading expert in analysis and halachic judgment? I would submit that, although Jews throughout the ages have been proud of their intellectual accomplishments in Torah, in philosophy and in science, our Torah-Book is first and foremost meant to foster the wellbeing of the people: “Its ways are pleasant ways, and all its paths are peace. It is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed” (Prov. 3: 17-18).
Our Talmud’s ultimate objective must be to create a perfect society which looks out for the welfare of each individual; hence Maimonides concludes his magnum opus, the Mishne Torah, with a description of the Messianic Age, the period of human fulfillment and redemption which is the purpose of our entire halachic system. And it is not by chance that the source of our Oral Law, according to the Midrash is within the contextual frame of the Divine characteristics, the God of love, compassion, freely giving grace, longsuffering, great loving-kindness, and truth. We may be the people of the Book, but the objective of the Book is the welfare of the people – one might even add, “to the people, by the people (human input in the Oral Law) and for the people.” The true fruit of the tree of Torah is the Jewish people, whom Torah has informed, nurtured and recreated for the past 4,000 years. One can become too involved with the tree, so that one forgets that its purpose is its fruits, so involved in the analysis and casuistry of the logic that one overlooks the human enhancement which is its truest aim. Only one who watches over the tree and worries about preserving its fruits has the right to legislate for them. That’s why Joshua is appointed just as Moses is reminded of his sin at the “waters of strife,” when he strikes the rock (which symbolizes the often hard and stiff-necked nation) rather than speaking to it the loving words of our Oral Law. That is why the most fundamental task facing Joshua must be to understand the various spiritual needs (ruah) of the people comprising the nation and suit his decisions (as much as possible) to their temperaments and requirements. He must sensitively nurture his people just like a shepherd nurtures his flock, not only leading from up-front but also personally “bringing them in and taking them out” whenever necessary. Joshua is a true leader, who proved himself by “nurturing” and tending to the needs of his rebbe and learned from his rebbe to be devoted to the needs of his nation. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone and chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel.
IN MEMORIAM Carl Reiner, a comedy legend and consummate old Jew telling jokes BY JTA STAFF
(JTA) – Until the last day of his life, Carl Reiner was tweeting about some of his favorite topics: politics, comedy and the twists and turns he experienced over decades as one of the world’s greatest living funnymen. Reiner died Monday, June 29, at 98, hours after reiterating his dismay that Donald Trump had become president, days after posing with his daughter Annie and longtime friend Mel Brooks in Black Lives Matter shirts and 70 years after his first television appearance. The Bronx native, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, called himself a “Jewish atheist” and said his faith in God had ended with the Holocaust. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Reiner began a long and varied show business career. In the infancy of television, he was a performer and writer on “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour.” In the 1960s he created “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which won numerous Emmy Awards, including for himself as a writer. Along the way he formed a comedy duo with Brooks that was highlighted in their album the “2000 Year Old Man.” Reiner wrote screenplays for Steve Martin films including “The Jerk” and, in his later years, voiced characters in animated films. In a 2015 documentary about longevity that Reiner hosted, he offered his own secrets for long life. “The key to longevity,” he said, “is to interact with other people.” Reiner and Brooks remained close friends into their 90s, often eating dinner together, as an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” showed. In the documentary, Reiner also offered insight into what made him funny. “I think it’s partly your genes,” he said.
“Also, it’s your environment. Also, if you have a funny bone; if you grew up in a family with a sense of humor.” Reiner’s son Rob also would go on to have a distinguished career as an actor, notably in the groundbreaking TV comedy “All in the Family,” and as a director of such films as “When Harry Met Sally” and “A Few Good Men.” Reiner’s wife of 64 years, Estelle, died in 2008. Along with Rob and Annie, he is survived by a son Lucas, their children and their children’s children.
Joel Schumacher, director of ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ and 2 ‘Batman’ films BY MARCY OSTER
(JTA) – Joel Schumacher, who directed such box office hits as “St. Elmo’s Fire” and two “Batman films,” has died. Schumacher died Monday, June 22 in New York City at 80. He had cancer. He took over at Warner Bros. for Tim Burton to direct “Batman Forever” in 1995 and “Batman & Robin” in 1997. Among his two biggest hits are the Brat Pack films “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “The Lost Boys.” Schumacher also directed the film version of the musical “The Phantom of the Opera” in 2004, an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original stage musical. He directed adaptations of John Grisham’s “The Client” (1994) and “A Time to Kill” (1996), as well as two episodes of the first season of the Netflix series “House of Cards.” He started as a window dresser before moving to Los Angeles to launch his career in the film industry. He worked as a costume designer, including on Woody Allen’s “Sleeper,” and later wrote screenplays, including for “The Wiz” and “Car Wash.” His film debut as a director came in 1981 with “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” starring Lily Tomlin. His father died when he was 4 years old and he was raised by his Jewish mother in Long Island City. He was openly gay throughout his career.
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OBITUARIES ABELL Jerrold Abell, 85, of Glastonbury, died June 28. He was the widower of Sheila Abell. Born in Salem, Mass., he was the son of the late Lily and David Abell. He was a longtime member of Temple Beth Sholom in Manchester. He is survived by his partner Barbara Gordes of Glastonbury; his children, Ronald M. Abell and his wife Brenda of Palm Harbor, Fla., and Lisa N. Krell and her husband Daniel of Brookeville, Md.; his grandchildren, Chelsea Abell and Ivy Lyn Krell; his sister Maxine Simons and her husband Robert of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; his brother-inlaw Joel Blumsack of Sarasota, Fla.; and several nephews and a niece. He was also predeceased by his nephew Craig Blumsack. BRICK Lawrence ‘Larry’ Samuel Brick, 74, of West Hartford, died June 17. He was the husband of Arline ‘Lonnie’ (Roth) Brick. Born in Hartford and raised in Meriden, he was the son of the late Sidney and Charlotte (Ticotsky) Brick. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Jason Brick and his fiancée Katrina, Sheri (Brick) Kiley and her husband Patrick, and Adam Brick and
wife Renee; his grandson Jackson; and his sister Joyce Nitkin. GALIN Gloria (Sigal) Galin, 91 of West Hartford and Delray Beach, Florida, died June 27. She was the widow of Alfred Galin. Born in Hartford, she was the daughter of the late Lena and Harry Sigal and the loving wife of the late Alfred Galin. She is survived by her children, Gerri Wile and her husband Larry, Marty Galin and his wife Donna, and Dorie Bobrow; her grandchildren Brian (Nina) Decker, Kenny (Wendy) Decker, Kimberly (Jason) DiBella, Mindy (Jeremy) Jason, David (Allison) Galin, Kevin (Kristin) Galin, Melissa (Jonah) Simon and Aaron (Nick) Wile; her great-grandchildren, Isaiah, Zoe, Desmond, Ben, Jack, Nate, Avery, Luke, Kayla and Malcolm; her sister-in-law Gert Galin; and many nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by her brothers Morris and Julius Sigal, and her son-in-law Randy Bobrow. GLAZIER Gerald (“Jerry”) Alan Glazier of Delray Beach, Fla., formerly of Bloomfield and Old Lyme, died June 19. He was the
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husband of Frannie (Hurwitz) Glazier. He would have turned 86 in July. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Lee Katz, and stepson of the late Ray Katz. He served in the United States Army. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Marci Glazier Brody and her husband Steven, and Staci Glazier; his grandchildren, Stephanie Brody, Lisa Brody and Jeffery Zion “JZ” Glazier; his brother Neal Katz and his wife Sue; his sister Edyse Smith. his sister inlaw Muriel Hyne; and many nieces nephews, cousins and their families. He was also predeceased by his grandmother, Bertha “Ma” Levine-Weiser, and his in-laws Sol “Poppu” and Lillian “Bubbi” Hurwitz. KAPLAN Seymour M Kaplan, 100, of West Hartford, died July 5. He was the husband of Rhoda (Elansky) Kaplan. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late David and Mollie (Saposnick) Kaplan. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Bronze Star. He was a longtime member of The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Leonard M. Kaplan of West Hartford. He was also predeceased by his five sisters and four brothers.
MILLER Lillian Miller, 91, of Rocky Hill, died June 30. She was the widow of Bernard. Born in West Hartford, she was the daughter of the late Eli and Pearl (Singer) Zingeser. She was a longtime member of the former Beth Hillel Synagogue, now The Emanual Synagogue. She is survived by her children, Bev Pugliese an her husband Bob of Rocky Hill, Ron Miller and his wife Sandy of Northport, Fla., and Alan Miller and his wife Evelyn of Ellington; her grandchildren, Andrea, Jonathan (Crystal), Jason, Michael, Teresa (Ryan), Carl (Kathleen) and Jacqueline (Neil); five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by three sisters and a brother. SEIGEL Ann (Weinstein) Seigel, 90, of Sarasota, Fla., formerly of West Hartford, died June 23. She was the wife of Jerome W. Seigel. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Edward and Kate (Beers) Weinstein. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons, Paul Seigel of New Haven, David Seigel of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Marc Seigel of Elkton, Md.; her sister, Flora Perskie of Fort Lee, N.J.; nine grandchildren, and six greatgrandchildren. She was also predeceased by her son Neal Seigel.
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