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Friday, November 19, 2021 15 Kislev 5782 Vol. 22 | No. 11 | ©2021

Happy Chanukah!



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this week


NOVEMBER 19, 2021 | 15 KISLEV 5782

6 Bulletin Board

8 Around Mass

9 Milestones

10 Jewish Federation of Central Mass.


Judah Maccabobble .......................4 Chanukah gets the bobblehead treatment

Never Again ......................................5 Genocide Education Act aims to prevent intolerance in future generations

In the Kitchen . ..............................16 5 unexpected products at Kosherfest 2021

Arts & Entertainment......................................................................................19 Susie Essman talks “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and cancel culture


NYT is at it again…........................ 14 Times story showing a miserable Israel inspires Israeli Twitter hashtag showing the joys of living in Israel

17 Synagogue Directory

20 What’s Happening

21 Obituaries

Shabbat Shalom

A Reminder From

ON THE COVER: The publisher and staff of the Massachusetts Jewish Ledger wish all our readers and their families a joyous Chanukah filled with the light of all things bright and beautiful. PAGE 12

Gary M. Gaffin

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The Jewish founder of the world’s only bobblehead museum creates a Chanukah bobble BY JACOB GURUS

(JTA) — In February 2019, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum came to life in Milwaukee. Co-founded by Illinois native Phil Sklar and his friend Brad Novak, the institution is the world’s only museum dedicated to bobbleheads. Its collection holds 7,000 unique bobbleheads, including some manufactured by Sklar and Novak. Bobbleheads date back to the late 1700s, Sklar explained in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). A famous painting of Queen Charlotte — a replica of which hangs in the bobblehead museum — shows two figurines behind the monarch, with heads that bobble. Fast forward to 2021, when the museum has unveiled its first-ever Chanukah items: a Bobble Menorah that features nine bobbling “flames” (sans real fire, of course) and comes in three color patterns, and a Bobble Dreidel on a gelt-shaped base. JTA spoke to Sklar about how a unique collection turned into a one-of-a-kind museum, how he uses bobbleheads for a good cause and, of course, which famous Jews have their own bobbleheads. This interview has been edited and condensed. JTA: SO, HOW DID YOU GET INTO BOBBLEHEADS? PHIL SKLAR: My dad collected baseball cards, and he got me into collecting when I was growing up. Brad was working for a minor league baseball team in the early 2000s, and they gave away a bobblehead for the first time in 2003. We decided the bobblehead was sort of cool, and the [Milwaukee] Brewers and Bucks and local soccer and hockey teams were giving out bobbleheads. So we started to circle the bobblehead dates on the calendar, since we were already going to several games a year anyway as big sports fans. The collection sort of grew from that. AND HOW DID THAT MORPH INTO THE WORLD’S ONLY BOBBLEHEAD MUSEUM? PS: We went on a journey to try to go to all the Major League Baseball stadiums, and as we traveled, we’d go to different museums in local places. Several times we’d either go to the stores in the area of the stadium, or antique malls, and just pick up some bobbleheads from the area to bring back. Before we knew it, we were doing some buying, trading, and selling on eBay, in our 4

free time. Then in 2013 we set out to produce a bobblehead for the first time, of a friend of ours who was a manager for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee sports teams, and also a Special Olympian. We thought it would be a cool way to honor him. During that process we realized there was an opportunity to produce bobbleheads and market them. At the time, our collection was numbering in the 3,000 range. We were running out of room for them. It’s a lot easier to store 3,000 baseball cards — you can get one box and store them. But 3,000 bobbleheads take up a lot more room. We started brainstorming, and realized, hey, there’s no museum in the world dedicated to bobbleheads. So we started to do market research on the museum side, and in November 2014 was when we announced the idea for the museum. IS THERE ANY BOBBLEHEAD SUBCULTURE THAT YOU’VE SEEN? PS: There definitely are various bobblehead subcultures. There’s definitely people out there who collect Jewish figures and bobbleheads. Or usually it’s their favorite team or player. There are definitely Grateful Dead [bobbleheads] — quite a few different bobbleheads, and people try to collect all of them. There are people who are political, they want all the presidential- or historicalrelated. The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle did a story, and we sent them pictures of the different Jews that have been depicted in bobbleheads. Sandy Koufax, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a member of KISS, a wide variety of people. It’s sort of fun to see, there’s more [Jews] than we had anticipated when we were going through the list. HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO CREATE THE CHANUKAH BOBBLES? PS: It was probably around this time last year, sort of close to Chanukah, and we were thinking, there hasn’t really been anything Chanukah-related when it comes to bobbleheads. And I mentioned to my aunt who lives in Omaha, she works at the [Jewish Community Center] in childcare there, and she really liked the idea and mentioned it to a few other family members, and they thought it was pretty cool. So we had a rendering made, and we went through some different iterations of the design, and thought, yeah, this would be pretty cool. You go to Target or different stores, and you see a little small display of Chanukah-


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Vol. 22 No. 11 JHL Ledger LLC Publisher Henry M. Zachs Managing Partner Leslie Iarusso Associate Publisher Judie Jacobson Editor • x3024 Hillary Sarrasin Digital Media Manager EDITORIAL Stacey Dresner Massachusetts Editor • x3008 Tim Knecht Proofreader ADVERTISING Donna Edelstein Senior Account Executive Non-Profit & JHL Ledger LLC Media Marketing • x3028 Joyce Cohen Senior Account Executive • (860) 836-9195 Trudy Goldstein Account Executive • x3007 Amy Oved Mass Account Executive • x3030


related merchandise and then aisles of Christmas stuff. We could definitely help increase that assortment. They’re not going to be at Target or Walmart this year, but it could be something that in future years could be added to that assortment for a broader audience to see and to purchase. ARE THERE ANY OTHER JEWISH HOLIDAYS THAT WOULD BE CONDUCIVE FOR A BOBBLE? PS: Yeah, I think my aunt actually sent a list. There were some characters like Judah Maccabee. We could do Purim. We’re sort of waiting to see how the Chanukah bobbleheads go. There are also some other fun things that we could turn into bobbles. A bobble hamantaschen just came to mind. But I don’t know, it might get people to try to eat it or something. We’ll put a warning on the package. A LOT OF YOUR PRODUCTS ARE CONNECTED TO CHARITIES. DOES YOUR JEWISH IDENTITY HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THAT? PS: I think it probably does have something to do with my upbringing. Being taught to give back and taught about tzedakah [charity]. We’ve seen other bobblehead companies start to do the same thing, and they hadn’t done it in the past, so I think we’ve actually inspired other people. We’re not doing it to boost the sales, but we’ve seen that when it has that good cause, it can definitely help boost the sales and boost the excitement around it as well. But we’re really doing it to give back to causes and to get people engaged.

PRODUCTION Elisa S. Wagner Creative Director Christopher D. Bonito Graphic Designer ADMINISTRATIVE Judy Yung Accounting Manager • x3016 Howard Meyerowitz Office Manager • x3035

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



NOVEMBER 19, 2021 | 15 KISLEV 5782

Sen. Eric Lesser votes to advance Genocide Education Bill


Establishes the Genocide Education Trust Fund to educate students on the history of genocide

n Oct. 21, Sen. Eric P. Lesser joined colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate to pass An Act concerning genocide education (S.2557) to provide education to middle and high school students on the history of genocide and to promote the teaching of human rights issues. The bill requires every middle school

In 2020, a widely reported survey commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which gauged Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z populations, found that 63 percent did not know six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. The survey also found that nearly half were unfamiliar with Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz. Massachusetts does not currently require Holocaust education or other genocides as part of the classroom curriculum. This bill would establish a Genocide Education Trust Fund to promote and educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide. Funds in this trust would be used for the instruction of middle and high school students on the history of genocide and ensure the development of curricular materials, as well as to provide professional development training to assist educators in the SEN. ERIC LESSER AT JGS LIFECARE IN LONGMEADOW LAST SPRING, teaching of genocide. ANNOUNCING $27,280 IN NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT FUNDING, The bill requires AFTER AN ATTEMPTED ANTISEMITIC ARSON AT JGS LIFECARE’S RUTH’S HOUSE FACILITY. each school district to annually file a description and high school in the Commonwealth on the rise and our sacred spaces continue of their lesson plan and programs related to include instruction on the history of to be attacked across our Commonwealth. to genocide education with the Department genocide. Similar legislation was advanced In response to these growing trends of hate, of Elementary and Secondary Education by the Senate in prior sessions, but this most we passed the Genocide Education Act, (DESE). The bill also establishes a recent iteration comes as incidences of hate presented by Senator Michael Rodrigues, competitive grant program that schools, and anti-Semitism are on the rise across the that would require our middle school and and districts can apply to for additional country, with several incidents reported in high schools to teach about the history of programming support. Massachusetts over the past year. genocide. We must teach future generations An Act concerning genocide education “This July, a rabbi was stabbed right that hate, and intolerance will never be now moves to the Massachusetts House of outside the Shaloh House Jewish Day School okay.” Representatives for consideration. in Brighton. In December 2020, the Martin

Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church was set on fire. In April 2020, a man tried to set off a firebomb at an assisted living facility in Longmeadow. As of August 2021, our country has seen over 9,000 antiAsian incidents reported since the start of the pandemic,” stated Senator Lesser. “As much as we’d like to think we’ve progressed as a society, hate, racism, and anti-Semitism are


CAMERA: UMass must act against harassment of journalist by SJP BY SEAN SAVAGE

(JNS) A Jewish civil-rights group is calling on the University of Massachusetts Boston to investigate an incident that occurred this summer, where pro-Palestinian activists targeted and accosted a journalist over his views on Israel. The event took place on June 24 in front of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England Regional Office in Boston. Dexter Van Zile, a journalist with the watchdog group CAMERA, was “accosted, spat at, shoved, and called a Nazi and a pig solely based on his perceived identity as a Zionist,” by members of the UMass Boston chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who were protesting in front of the ADL office, according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law. The group says that the incident was immediately reported to UMass, which has not taken any action. “The videos taken by the CAMERA reporters speak for themselves: Mr. Van Zile was attacked at the UMass Boston SJP event because he has been a vocal supporter of Israel. Unfortunately, it appears the university has done nothing in the three-plus months since Mr. Van Zile filed his complaints, accompanied by this documentation. By its silence, the university has implicitly condoned the conduct of UMass Boston SJP … ,” wrote the Brandeis Center in its letter on Tuesday to the university. It added that “if the university fails to act, its Jewish students are left to wonder what might happen to them if they were to go anywhere near a UMass Boston SJP rally, let alone dare to voice their objections to the antiSemitic discourse of the organization’s speakers.” According to the Brandeis Center, the behavior by the pro-Palestinian students “directly violates the UMass CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

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BULLETIN BOARD PJ LIBRARY PAJAMA DRIVE WILL BRING WARMTH TO AT-RISK CHILDREN IN THE BERKSHIRES As chilly weather returns to the Berkshires, the PJ Library Pajama Drive, running now through Dec. 6 and conducted by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires also returns to help the many children in the community who may lack the comfort of warm sleepwear. Last year’s effort collected more than 400 pairs of pajamas from individuals, groups, and local businesses. The Federation has again teamed up with Carr Hardware to offer drop-off of brand-new pajamas (sizes newborn to teen) at four locations across Berkshire County: • Carr Hardware, 256 Main Street in Great Barrington • Carr Hardware, 489 Pittsfield Road in Lenox • Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, 196 South Street in Pittsfield • Carr Hardware, 179 State Road in North Adams Monetary donations towards the purchase of pajamas are also welcome. For more information, contact Susan Frisch Lehrer (413) 442-4360, ext. 14 or email: slehrer@ Donations will be received by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in Pittsfield and will be distributed to local families during the holiday season. SPRINGFIELD JCC RELAUNCHES PJ LIBRARY IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS SPRINGFIELD – Sometimes it is interesting to look back at olOn Nov. 1, PJ Library

Western Massachusetts became a program of the Springfield Jewish Community Center. The award-winning Jewish engagement initiative will serve as a cornerstone of the JCC’s efforts to innovate how families with Jewish children can connect with Jewish culture and values. Founded as a flagship program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library offers free, highquality Jewish books and music each month to children ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years. Previously, local PJ Library subscriptions have been administered by the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts (JFWM), which has served 1,750 families and more than 2,900 children across the region. To celebrate the program’s relaunch, the Springfield JCC will host “Havdalah in the Hay” on Sunday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, on the JCC’s 20-acre campus. Elise Barber, currently the PJ Library Coordinator at JFWM, will join the Springfield JCC staff and continue to design and implement PJ Library programming as part of an expanded role focused on Jewish community engagement and education throughout the Pioneer Valley. “PJ Library provides creative and varied access points for connecting with Jewish families,” said Springfield JCC Chief Executive Officer Samantha Dubrinsky. “As an organization striving to strengthen families’ relationship to their local Jewish community, we are honored to be relaunching this program in Western Massachusetts and thrilled to be a part of the global PJ Library community.” The free outdoor festival will feature a petting zoo, bounce houses, and a multisensory Havdalah to mark the end of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath.

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Yiddish Book Center produces feature-length documentary film about Yiddish writer Avrom Sutzkever


MHERST Released in 2021, “Ver Vet Blaybn?” (Who Will Remain?), a documentary that follows one woman’s journey to understand her grandfather, Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever, is on the 2021–2022 film festival circuit, with screenings booked at upcoming festivals around the globe. Through Nov. 21 there will be streaming access through the 33rd annual Boston Jewish Film Festival (tickets available at: ). “Ver Vet Blaybn?” (Who Will Remain?) tells the story of Hadas Kalderon, Sutzkever’s granddaughter, as she attempts to better understand her grandfather. Kalderon, an Israeli actress, travels to


Lithuania, using her grandfather’s diary to trace his early life in Vilna and his survival of the Holocaust. Sutzkever (1913–2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish poet—described by the New York Times as the “greatest poet of the Holocaust”—whose verse drew on his youth in Siberia and Vilna, his spiritual and material resistance during World War II, and his postwar life in Israel. Kalderon, whose native language is Hebrew, must rely on translation of her grandfather’s work and is nevertheless determined to connect with what remains of the poet’s bygone world and accept the personal responsibility of preserving her grandfather’s literary legacy. Woven into the documentary are family home videos, newly recorded interviews,


| NOVEMBER 19, 2021

and archival recordings, including Sutzkever’s testimony at the Nuremberg trials. The film was produced by the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project. The documentary’s producer and co-director, Christa Whitney, is the director of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of more than 1,000 in-depth video interviews about Yiddish language and culture with people of all ages and backgrounds. The film’s editor and co-director, Emily Felder, is a documentary filmmaker who has worked as the premier technical assistant for the Wexler Oral History Project. To learn more about the film and to see upcoming screenings as they are added,

visit who-will-remain

CAMERA: UMass must act against harassment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Student Code of Conduct, which applies to misconduct even at off-campus events that are hosted by or affiliated with student organizations, registered or unregistered.” It also noted that the university is required to investigate and sanction students or groups that violate this code. The center warned that should the university fail to do so, administrators send a dangerous message that “students and student organizations are free to intimidate, harass and assault individuals who attend their events, based on such individuals’ perceived support of Israel,” and that “the school is a refuge for students [and student organizations] ready to disregard the rights of others and to inflict physical harm on individuals who belong to ‘out’ groups.” “It is outrageous that participants in a protest hosted by a registered student group would feel free to insult, intimidate and physically assault a reporter silently covering the event simply because he was identified as a ‘Zionist,’ ” Rachel Lerman, vice chair of the Brandeis Center, told JNS. “If the

university does nothing about attacks like this, it effectively condones them, sending an ugly message and setting a dangerous precedent. It’s almost a wink and a nod at groups like SJP that their behavior will be given a pass, even when it violates the law and the university code of conduct, so long as the target is a ‘Zionist.’ ” Lerman added that “we know from our recent survey that Jewish students are already wary of publicly expressing their Jewish identity. Groups like SJP and Sunrise DC cannot be given carte blanche to treat supporters of Israel as racists—marginalizing and excluding Jews who affiliate with Israel as part of their ethnic identity is not just unlawful, history has shown us that it leads to violence, as this instance demonstrates.”


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Around Massachusetts Christina Tuohey’s There are No Girl Colors! Teaches Children the Importance of Gender Free Colors


ONGMEADOW – As mom to three active children, local author Christina Tuohey, who works as director of Marketing and Outreach at Ruth’s House Assisted Living, part of the JGS Lifecare campus, understands the importance of raising kids to be free of gender stereotypes. To that end, her new book, aptly titled There Are No Girl Colors! creatively tells the story of a child who learns to appreciate the fact that every color should be appreciated free of gender norms. The story appeals to people of all ages, which was obvious at a recent event for Ruth’s House Assisted Living, part of JGS Lifecare. Resident Sue Huggins read There Are No Girl Colors! to a group of children, parents, staff, and residents. Both the children and adults adored the story. After the reading, the children painted “kindness” rocks that will be used to decorate the garden at Ruth’s House. “It was a beautiful moment for me seeing one of our residents reading my book to the children,” said Tuohey. “The book is about a little boy who learns to love all colors --not just the traditional colors our society once taught.” Some of the boys in the audience came straight from soccer games wearing purple and pink soccer jerseys. “That really exemplified the book’s message,” said Tuohey. Inspired by her three children and her own childhood, Tuohey wrote the book to teach her children that color is gender free. She grew up with very artistic parents and always viewed colors as gender neutral, but she realized that was not the case for everyone. “After having my children, it became very apparent that according to society there were some colors that were allowed for boys and some for girls,” said Christina. “I started noticing that my boys would refuse certain cups, or toys, or crayons just because they were not traditional “boy” colors. Hence the name of the book…Now It makes me feel good knowing children are learning that all colors should be loved and celebrated, and that there are no girl colors, just colors!” “I loved reading this book to the children,” said Sue Huggins, the Ruth’s House resident who read the book to the children. “It’s a wonderful premise. Plus, having the children on campus made the day even more special. They bring so much joy to Ruth’s House.”





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ORCESTER – The first weeks of Central Mass Hebrew School have been filled with fun and learning. From Jewish values, history, and Hebrew, students are learning in a warm and interactive way. “Children thrive when their individual talents and creativity are brought to the surface,” said Chani Fogelman, director of the Hebrew school. “I believe each child is a unique gem, and we at Central Mass Hebrew School will provide your children with the knowledge and tools to learn about who they are – their Jewish identity.” During the first week, Central Mass. Hebrew School students wrote messages inspired from the Torah on rocks, then created a rock garden. “Just like rocks are solid, last, are consistent and never change, our Torah is our rock,” explained Fogelman.



undreds of books found new homes as folks from all over the Valley came to “Celebrate the Book” at the Oct. 24 book sale at Schoen Books in South Deerfield. Sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Western Mass., the sale includes a wide assortment of books including Judaism, literature and history and raised $1,271 for local non-profit agencies, including Jewish Family Service and its Refugee Resettlement Fund, Rachel’s Table, Amherst Survival Center and the Jewish Historical Society.




Move to JGS Lifecare and join our Campus of Care 3


PRINGFIELD - An aufruf was held for Rabbi Amy Wallk and her fiancé, Rabbi Mark Cohn, at Temple Beth El on Nov. 13. The couple were called to the Torah in honor of their upcoming wedding, to be held on Jan. 2, 2022 in San Francisco. Rabbi Cohn, who has served the as rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, N.C. since 2001, will leave his position in June of 2022 to relocate to Springfield.




Jewish Federation welcomes Rabbi Daveen H. Litwin as Director of Community Engagement and Programming


ITTSFIELD - The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires has appointed Rabbi Daveen H. Litwin as director of Community Engagement and Programming. This new full-time position builds upon the Federation’s strong existing programming and community-building efforts while expanding the Federation’s capacity to tackle important priorities for outreach and engagement as identified in its recent strategic plan. Rabbi Litwin previously served as the dean and chaplain of the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life at Dartmouth College. She has worked in leadership positions on college campuses for more than two decades, including as a chaplain at the Claremont Colleges, rabbi at Grinnell College, and RABBI DAVEEN LITWIN executive director of Hillel at the University of Kansas. She also served as a congregational rabbi in Toronto, Ontario and Northampton. “Rabbi Litwin stood out for her warmth, her in-depth experience in a variety of Jewish organizations, and her ability to listen and engage people in a thoughtful and meaningful way,” said Natalie Matus, Federation Vice President and a member of the search committee. “She brings years of successful programming experience working collaboratively with individuals of different age groups and backgrounds.” “We are delighted to welcome Rabbi Litwin to our Federation family and the Berkshire community at large,” said Federation president Elisa Schindler-Frankel. “Her experience, knowledge, and passion showed us that she is the right person to help move our community forward in a meaningful way.” “I am honored and excited to be joining the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires staff,” said Rabbi Litwin, “and look forward to continuing the creation of diverse, meaningful connections and a vibrant, inclusive community life.” Rabbi Litwin will begin in a part-time remote capacity as she relocates to the Berkshires. In addition to her programming, administrative, and pastoral experience, Rabbi Litwin has worked as a teacher and a collaborator with multifaith organizations, affinity groups, and cultural communities. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH.



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| NOVEMBER 19, 2021


News and Jewish Community Update



here is no shortage of articles talking about serious issues in the Jewish community related to apathy and unaffiliation among young Jews. The concerns are well documented and are at the forefront of nearly every new initiative from congregations to national Jewish organizations. Putting aside the fact that when talking about “young” Jews we often mean anyone under 60 years old, the concerns are often not grounded in the reality on the ground. Take our own community for example where our very active Young Adult Division grows each year. New donors come from the group, and new board members too. STEVEN SCHIMMEL, The same story is occurring EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR across the country. While it is absolutely true that Jewish Federation and our partners need to work hard and to devote serious resources to keep this group engaged, our efforts are working. Programs like Birthright, launched two decades ago, and an emphasis on making summer camp attendance more widespread, have resulted in tens of thousands of young Jews taking part in meaningful experiences that build strong Jewish identity. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to gather with a group of young leaders through Jewish Federation’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and after three days with the group I feel more certain than ever that our Jewish communities will be in great hands when the next generation’s leaders take the reins. This

group convened from around the country and is comprised of the very best leaders, they are engaged, smart, savoy, and they also happen to be tremendously generous. Surprisingly many of the attendees said that they grew up without strong Jewish identity, but through the outreach efforts of their local Federations they connected and developed into the leaders they are today. This is a bright-spot in our Jewish world- amidst all of the tragic news this is great news. In our own local Central MA community our newly seated Board President Ben Lyons comes from our Young Adult Division and has the distinction and honor of being part of National Young Leadership Cabinet which is not only meaningful to Ben but also makes our community unique in that we have as our President a current member of this extraordinary and prestigious group- and we are really fortunate! As a Jewish community we sometimes forget how much progress has been made, and where things are going “right”, and being done well- National Young Leadership gives me a lot of hope in our future. Our vibrant local young adult group, and having a fabulous representative from National Young Leadership serving as President in our own community makes me certain that better days are ahead.


PJ Library/PJOW Bagels and Books with Congregation Beth Israel, Sunday, November 28th, 4-6 pm PJ Library Hanukkah Storytimes at WAM Hanukkah Celebration with the Worcester JCC, Sunday, December 5th, 11 am-3:00 pm PJOW Ages 10-18 (PJ Our Way and up) Hanukkah Latke Cooking Demonstration at the Shrewsbury Public Library, Monday, November 29th, 3:30 pm PJ Library/PJOW Bagels and Books with Congregation Beth Israel, Sunday, January 2nd, 10 am-12 pm


YAD Hanukkah In-person “Mask”erade Celebration, Saturday, December 4th, 7:00 pm YAD/LEAD Black-Jewish Alliance Black Solidarity with Israel, Wednesday, December 8th, 7:00 pm YAD Virtual Havdalah and Dinner, Saturday, December 18, 6:00 pm YAD Day at the Movies, Saturday, December 25th, Time and locale TBA


Café Chaverot, days and times TBA Chaverim Holiday Soirée, TBA Annual Jewish Film Festival with Hadassah, Date TBA

COMMUNITY-WIDE Hanukkah Celebration at Polar Park, Sunday, December 5th, 5:00 pm Black Jewish Alliance Black Solidarity with Israel, Wednesday, December 8th, 7:00 pm



Keep up with other ongoing events and changes via our Facebook Pages and emails, or contact Mindy Hall, Director of Outreach and Engagement, YAD FALL HIKE AT THE CASCADES


| NOVEMBER 19, 2021

News and Jewish Community Update


HELP BRIGHTEN THE FUTURE Just as the Shamash candle is used to light the other candles, YOUR legacy story can inspire others to join you, magnifying your impact. ENJOYING A FALL HIKE AT THE RAIL TRAIL WITH CHAVERIM


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Kids won’t even know there are four different veggies in this variation on a holiday staple. We’ve all been there: trying to get the younger set to eat more vegetables, especially at holiday time. Here’s a recipe from a kid-friendly organization (the PJ Library) to add a dash of vitamins to their plates. In fact, have children lend a hand in the measuring and mixing, so they’re more invested in the tasty results. Hanukkah begins this year on the evening of Nov. 28 and ends the evening on Dec. 6.


NOV. 21 – DEC. 6

SUNDAY, NOV. 21 SPRINGFIELD – “Chanukah in the Hay” & PJ Library Kick-Off; enjoy an outdoor petting zoo, bounce houses, crafts, smacks and more for families with children of all ages; 10 a.m. – noon, at the Springfield Jewish Community Center; FREE & open to the public. SUNDAY, NOV. 28 SPRINGFIELD – “First Light” – Come celebrate the light and miracle of the first night of Chanukah with community cande lighting and singing as the largest menorah in Western Massachusetts is lit, 5-5:45 p.m., at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, WESTBOROUGH – Outdoor Menorah Dedication and Chanukah Celebration at Congregation B’nai Shalom; the community is invited to join CBI for the first night of Hanukkah and the dedication of a new outdoor menorah; with hot drinks, food, music and more, 5-6 p.m., 117 East Main St., (Rain date Monday, Nov 29, 6 pm.),

Hidden Veggie Latkes (Pareve) Makes 6 medium-sized latkes Ingredients: 1 large russet potato, peeled 1 large zucchini, peeled ½ head of cauliflower ½ yellow onion 1 clove of garlic, finely minced ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon pepper vegetable oil for frying



Directions: • Grate together potato, zucchini, cauliflower and onion. Use a food processor to make this step faster. • Wrap the vegetable mixture in a cheesecloth or a lightweight kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. • In a large bowl, combine vegetables with garlic, flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and pepper. • In a frying pan, heat ½ inch of oil on medium-high. Carefully drop a heaping tablespoon of latke mixture into the oil. • Fry for roughly 2 minutes, then flip and fry the other side. • Transfer each latke to a paper towellined platter. • Serve while warm with applesauce or other fruit.

MONDAY, NOV. 29 SPRINGFIELD – The SKLC Annual Chanukah Celebration, with raffles, fair trade chocolate for sale and entertainment by students; 5:45 p.m., to register: https:// SffRNsE1qAygFdDj3EdgASi8d6P1g7I9O7SnWMs2D0w16TAg/viewform TUESDAY NOV. 30 WORCESTER – Torah Center Chanukah lightingat Worcester Common 6-8pm FRIDAY, DEC. 3 SPRINGFIELD – Temple Beth El’s Chanukah Dinner, 7 p.m., following 6 p.m., Friday night service; dinner catered by Meital: field greens with roasted beets and glazed walnuts, orange chicken,, latkes and applesauce, fresh fruit and brownies (vegetarian option: stuffed zucchini with quinoa and tofu), $20/adults; $14/children 4-10; FREE/children 3 and younger; RSVP by Nov. 24;

forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd8WGszpfcCw68EE PE5ilI57MlgGUchsc1kifVx30Rt0F9bAA/ viewform SATURDAY, DEC. 4 AMHERST – Chanukah Laser Light Show; come learn what the science of lasers has to do with the Chanukah miracle, and celebrate in community, 7:15-8:15 p.m., Jewish Community of Amherst, event at Look Pak, 300 North Main Street, in Florence, for more info: (413) 256-0160. WORCESTER/ZOOM - YAD In-person “Mask”erade Chanukah Hanukkah Celebration, 6:30 p.m., in the Historic Whitcomb Mansion, contact: SUNDAY, DEC. 5 NORTHAMPTON – Congregation B’nai Israel Chanukah Celebration; 3-9 p.m., Registration: SPRINGFIELD – “Last Light” – An adult gathering on the last night of Chanukah enjoying latkes and toppings, vodka cocktails and music, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Springfield Jewish Community Center, 1160 Dickinson St., $15/JCC members; $20/ general public; **must be 21 or over to attend WORCESTER – Community Chanukah Celebration at Polar Park Stadium, with menorah lighting, magic show, Chanukah workshops, latkes, sufganiyot and stadiumstyle dinner, 6:45 p.m., a project of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass., Torah Center and PJ Library. MONDAY, DEC. 6 SPRINGFIELD – Virtual Chanukah Concert with Mister G and Friends; interactive experience with Cantor Elise Barber joining Mister G; 5:30-6:30 p.m., FREE & open to the public; Register for kick-off: s5a71l90eb0uvv/; learn about Maccabi games: sports-and-rec/jcc-maccabi-experience/

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GAWAM - This year, Hanukkah, the holiday of lights, runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. PJ Library, long a leader in providing engaging ways for families to connect with Jewish life, offers a wealth of free resources including kid-friendly Hanukkah stories, printable recipes and activity ideas, book lists, as well as two new story-based podcasts that help kids learn more about the traditions behind the festival of lights. PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation which delivers more than 680,000 free Jewish storybooks to kids around the world each month. Jewish families of all backgrounds, including interfaith households, and at all levels of Jewish knowledge and observance may sign up every child in their home for a free subscription to receive a new, agespecific book each month. What could be a better Hanukkah gift than to receive a delightful, beautifully illustrated book arriving in the mailbox each month? PJ Library’s team of experts and educators curate the book list to provide the very best children’s stories that celebrate Jewish values, traditions, and culture to engage all Jewish families. Beyond the books, PJ Library’s experts have updated their Hanukkah Hub, which offers child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story along with myriad craft ideas, delicious holiday recipes, and printables. New for 2021 are the two new PJ Library Presents podcasts for kids: “Afternoons with Mimi” and “Beyond the Bookcase.” The November episodes will be perfect Hanukkah listening (on your favorite podcast platform): Grandma Mimi prepares a delicious plate of sufganiyot and tells her grandchild the story of Judah Maccabee. Then, on “Beyond the Bookcase,” follow Miri and Micah as they are transported back to Mashal to help Jack Be Nimble find the

courage to jump over a hanukkiyah full of candles. When they launched, the two new story-based audio series climbed to the top 10 of Apple’s podcasts for kids. Long a resource for interfaith families, PJ Library also offers guidance this year, including their list of Hanukkah Books for Interfaith Families. They are co-presenting two webinars with 18Doors, an organization dedicated to empowering interfaith families and individuals to engage in Jewish life and make educated Jewish choices. For those balancing both big end-of-year holidays, these webinars will be engaging and informative: What to Do in December: A Live Q&A for Grandparents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas and What to Do

in December: A Live Q&A for Parents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas. For more Hanukkah gift ideas, PJ Library has set up shop at pjlibrary where families can find colorful aprons for cooking and crafting and books from the PJ Library imprint, PJ Publishing, including recent additions Havdalah Sky and Laila Tov, Moon.

Chanukah campaign distributes menorahs across Israel to university and gap year students from abroad


(JNS Wire) Jeff Seidel, author of The Jewish Traveler’s Resource Guide and founder of several Jewish Student Centers at universities in Israel, has begun a Chanukah menorah distribution campaign providing nearly 1,000 menorah packets to overseas students throughout Israel. The menorahs are going to students studying at The Reichman University (IDC), Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University as well as gap year students from programs such as Aardvark, Young Judea and Kivunim. For some students, this will be their first time lighting a menorah. “Many gap year programs are off during Chanukah, and now students will be able to take their menorahs with them wherever they go so that they can light their own menorah on all the nights of the holiday,” Seidel said. One group of students will be travelling to Poland during this Chanukah, “knowing that they will be able to light their menorahs in a place where there was once no light for the Jewish people will be an extremely powerful, unforgettable and moving


experience for all of us,” he added. This is not Seidel’s first menorah distribution initiative, and he plans to continue the program for years to come. Seidel said he “hopes to inspire students to be lighting their menorahs this year and years to come when they may be the minority at the universities and where they are battling the BDS movement. Wherever our students may be not only will they light their own menorah but will invite, encourage, and inspire their friends to light menorahs with them. Spreading their Chanukah miracle around the world.” Seidel, a native of Chicago, made Aliyah to Israel in 1982. Since 1982, then he has introduced thousands of Jewish college students to their first Shabbat experience and offered free tours and classes through his Jewish Student Centers at Hebrew U in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, and IDC in Herzliya. He has lived in Jerusalem’s Old City for more than 30 years. His Jewish Traveler’s Resource Guide lists Shabbat placement programs around the world.

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Anti-Israel bias in one of America’s biggest newspapers matters



(JNS) It’s not true that biased reporting about the Middle East has no impact on Israel. In the last week, a New York Times feature about a road trip taken by two of its staff through the small country generated a surge of interest on Twitter from Israelis. The 5,000-word article paints a dismal picture. Just about everyone they met as they traveled from the northern border with Lebanon to the southern port of Eilat was dissatisfied and disillusioned with the country. The Israel they depicted was dysfunctional, deeply divided and generally miserable. It was all summed up by one elderly Israeli quoted in the piece who said if his father, who had helped found one of the nation’s kibbutzim in the pre-state era, were to look at the country now, he’d say, “ ‘This wasn’t the child we prayed for.’ And then he’d return to his grave.” While most Israelis will tell you they don’t read or care about foreign press coverage, this story generated a mass response. While few would deny that their nation has a lot of problems and that its politics are pretty crazy, they also take pride in the fact that surveys have consistently shown that it is also one of the happiest places on earth. Measuring happiness is complicated, but when you take into account responses about people’s satisfaction in their lives, pollsters have come up with a fairly objective standard. And it shows that Israel ranks 12th in the world (up from 13th the year before) in the happiness index of its citizens, ranking only below some Scandinavian and European countries, as well as New Zealand. So to show the Times and its readers their contempt for this sort of shoddy agenda-driven writing, a Twitter hashtag was created called #SadSadIsrael in which Israelis posted pictures of them enjoying their lives from north to south and everywhere in-between. Scanning those posts actually provides readers with a much better picture of what life in Israel really looks like. Why did the Times writers come up with such a different picture? Call it confirmation 14

bias or just prejudiced reporting; the result was perfectly in line with the paper’s general tone of coverage of Israel. Their journey was intended to produce exactly what they pre-ordained. They went looking for a particular idea about the country, and that’s what they found. The same applies to a subsequent article in the upcoming issue of the Times Sunday Magazine with the portentous title of “Inside the Unraveling of American Zionism.” It focuses on the 93 rabbinical and cantorial students who signed a letter condemning Israel during the fighting with Hamas last May. Subsequently published in the Forward, the letter was a disgraceful and self-important rant filled with virtue signaling and pseudo-religious contempt for Israel that displayed the signers’ tunnel vision about the conflict and lack of understanding of the dilemmas faced by the Israeli people. The piece, by former Tablet writer Marc Tracy, wasn’t wrong to link their views to anti-Zionism. The students didn’t merely disdain Israeli policies; they called for an end to U.S. military aid to the Jewish state. Even worse, they fully embraced the Palestinian nakba (“catastrophe”) narrative about the illegitimacy of Israel’s creation. They also went full-bore intersectional by endorsing the comparison between the Palestinian war to destroy Israel with the struggle for civil rights in the United States. In so doing, they validated the toxic myth that Israel is a function of “white privilege,” and, whether intentionally or not, gave a permission slip to American antisemites on the left to demonize Israelis and American Jews. Frankly, it’s a disgrace that several dozen students at the non-Orthodox seminaries could be mobilized to sign such a document at a time when more than 4,000 rockets and missiles fired by Hamas were raining down on Israelis, and while antiZionist rhetoric on the floor of the House of Representatives helped incite antisemitic violence on the streets of American cities. It’s also evidence of the way some have fully


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embraced the fashionable ideologies of the left, even if it places them in opposition to basic principles of Judaism, such as the importance of the land of Israel or even the right of Israelis to self-defense against terrorism and would-be terrorists. On the other hand, to treat 93 extreme leftists as somehow representative of the complete “unraveling” of American Jewish support for Zionism is neither a serious analysis nor good journalism. It’s true that the American Jewish community has changed since the heyday of support for Israel in the post-Holocaust period that stretched from 1948 to the Yom Kippur War. As Tracy pointed out, after that, many highly assimilated Jews began to revert to the pre-World War II position of many in the community that was not sympathetic to Zionism. And it’s indeed a stretch to consider 93 students and their spiritual mentor, the appalling writer Peter Beinart, as thought leaders. Beinart, who in a few years went from posing as

the avatar of liberal Zionist to endorsing the Palestinian “right of return” and the destruction of the Jewish state, may be the poster child for such disillusionment, but to pretend that he is representative of Jewish opinion is simply untrue. After all, polls continue to show that although an overwhelming majority of American Jews are loyal Democratic voters and aren’t fans of recent Israeli governments, most say that Israel is important to them and they consider Israelis family. Other surveys demonstrate that nine out of 10 American Jews back Israel over the Palestinians. The point here is that to treat a feature about a six-month-old letter that did nothing to shape Jewish opinion about Israel as a harbinger of the end of Jewish support for Israel was irresponsible. It was also not original. The Times has been publishing similar pieces predicting the end of American Jewish Zionism for 50 years, giving Israel’s opponents the same sort of




sympathetic and out-of-proportion coverage in previous decades that they’ve given the current batch of anti-Zionists. The newspaper of record has a long history of hostile coverage of Israel and indifference to Jewish suffering dating back to its editorial policy of ignoring the Holocaust as it was happening. In the last decade, however, it has grown worse. Whereas in the decades after the Second World War, the paper’s editors didn’t give platforms to those advocating for the destruction of the one Jewish state on the planet and hosted a number of pro-Israel columnists on its op-ed page, today the Times considers such advocacy to be fair comment and employs several writers who regularly take that line. The dropping of even the pretense of objectivity in most of its news coverage on just about any topic in recent years has also led to more anti-Israel bias. The question is, does this matter? Some pro-Israel activists and most Israelis will say “no.” Israelis have always considered worrying about international opinion to be not in keeping with their goal of making their actions more important than what other people say about them. American friends of Israel say they stopped reading the Times years ago and that doing so is a waste of time. Still, it’s a mistake to ignore what remains one of the most widely read publications in the world. While the trend that Tracy’s article inflates into an “unraveling” is discussing the opinion of only a small minority, the support it gets from the newspaper that is still viewed by liberal Jews as the flagship of journalism can only strengthen it. Undermining Israel’s image by negative articles serves to help those trying to transform the Democratic Party from

one with an increasingly vocal anti-Israel element to one in which that faction dominates. That’s why it’s important that the calumnies of the Times never be allowed to go unanswered. If that answer can be in the form of mass mockery, as is the case with #SadSadIsrael, then all the better. Ignoring the danger of allowing the “apartheid Israel” lie to gain traction in popular culture or even in Jewish forums is folly. Nor should Jewish organizations be shy about speaking up in condemning the sorts of actions that the seminary letter represents since it is providing cover for antisemites elsewhere. While the vast majority of Americans remain steadfast friends of Israel and are generally unaffected by media bias, the one group that is impacted by it—and especially, at the Times—are American Jews. Fighting for Jewish opinion in this country means that no one who cares about Israel can afford to not care about what the Times publishes, no matter how wrongheaded or biased it might be. Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate.

Briefs Journalist Danny Fenster sentenced to 11 years in Myanmar, is released (JTA) — Danny Fenster, a Jewish American journalist who Am and was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday has been released. Former New Mexico governor and former diplomat Bill Richardson, who was in the country on a humanitarian visit, told reporters Monday that Fenster would travel back to the United States “through Qatar, over the next day and a half,” according to CNN. Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for Myanmar’s military, told CNN that Fenster “has been released and deported. We will release details why he was released later.” Fenster, who had lived and worked in Myanmar since 2019 and seven as a managing editor at Frontier Myanmar, had been detained at the airport while trying to leave the country to visit the United States in May. Fenster had been held without bail on various charges by Myanmar’s military, all having to do with his journalism. Fenster’s imprisonment had become a rallying cry in his hometown of Detroit, where many lawns display “Free Fenster” signs on their front lawns, and his family has organized rallies attended by local Congressman Andy Levin. A recent post in a “Bring Danny Home” Facebook group, which has more than 6,000 members, reads, “We wish more than anything that Danny would be brought home to this community that loves him so.”

NY Gov calls out Democrats who question ‘our commitment to Israel’ (New York Jewish Week via JTA) — New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to fight hate crimes and criticized fellow Democrats over their positions on Israel, in a speech delivered virtually to the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Hochul pledged to fight antisemitism and help bolster security at Jewish institutions. She also declared her support for Israel and called out those in her own party who disagree. “As a member of Congress a decade ago, I stood firm with Israel when they were under assault,” she said. “And even more recently, as a Democrat, now, I reject the individuals in my party who are making this an issue and questioning our commitment to Israel.” Progressives like by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have challenged their party on issues like defense assistance for Israel. Hochul noted that she was delivering the speech on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and drew a connection to present-day MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER

antisemitism. She promised that she was “working very hard to make sure that the resources are there from the state government to fund security programs.” “For so long the community has been under assault, and we talked about the rise in hate crimes against individuals who should never have that fear in their hearts,” she said. “You’ve always fought back. The Jewish people always had to fight back but it makes them stronger and more united together.” Near the end of her speech, Hochul said that she had planned to visit Israel over Thanksgiving with her family, but that in August “my life changed rather dramatically” — a reference to her becoming governor upon Cuomo’s resignation. “Let’s let me get through this year, and I’ll be there next year,” she said.

Murderer of French Holocaust survivor gets life (JTA) — A French court sentenced a man to life in prison for what it termed the antisemitic murder of a Holocaust survivor in Paris in 2018. The murderer of Mirelle Knoll, Yacine Mihoub, will be eligible for parole in 22 years, according to the ruling Wednesday, Nov. 10, by the Criminal Tribunal of Paris, AFP reported. An accomplice of his, Alex Carrimbacus, was sentenced to 15 years for theft aggravated by a hate crime for their actions in 2018. The charred body of Mireille Knoll, 85, was discovered in her apartment on March 23, 2018. Knoll, who escaped deportation to a Nazi death camp when French police rounded up Jews in Paris in 1942, was stabbed 11 times before her apartment was set ablaze by the perpetrators. Mihoub, 29, is a son of Knoll’s neighbor and had known her all his life. He and Carrimbacus, 23, were indicted in May 2020. In the verdict, the two men’s crimes were found to have been antisemitic because they targeted Knoll out of the belief that robbing and killing her would be lucrative because she is Jewish. Knoll’s murder provoked an outcry by French Jews, including a protest march through Paris organized by Jewish community leaders in which 10,000 people participated. Her murder occurred about a year after the slaying of Sarah Halimi, a Jewish physician, by a neighbor who shouted about Allah as he killed her. The killer in that case, Kobili Traore, did not stand trial because a judge found that he was suffering a psychotic episode induced by the consumption of marijuana. That ruling, which ended with Traore being admitted to a psychiatric institution, sparked a wave of protests by French Jews. Knoll’s family said the sentences imposed on her murderer and robber were fair.

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5 unexpected products at Kosherfest 2021 BY JULIA GERGELY | ALL PHOTOS BY JULIA GERGELY

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — “Honey, I think I may have a buyer!” a man in a black suit yelled into his phone, pacing up and down his 10’ x 10’ booth displaying dozens of bottles kosher of South African wine. “But we have to move now.” Kosherfest, the largest kosher-certified product trade show in the world, returned to the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey this year, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. From restaurateurs to tour group operators to hotel chains to supermarkets, “every kind of kosher decision maker will find opportunity and inspiration at Kosherfest,” according to the event’s website. The show is co-produced by Diversified Business Communications and Lubicom, and Kosher Today, a trade journal. More than 300 different exhibitors made the trip to Secaucus this week, all vying for an opportunity to pitch their products to biggest names in the kosher industry. Some vendors opted for flashy displays, decking out their booths to resemble a real bakery counter or cafe. Some vendors, like Brooklyn’s venerable Flaum Appetizing, chose instead to showcase the breadth of their wares, offering an impressive spread of samples that included slices of pizza, pasta, hummus, dips and cheese. In addition to food, there were booths for supplements, dishware and plastic utensils. If the food itself doesn’t get the message across, a brand’s spokesperson will. Some companies even hire outside people to hype their products for the two day event. Chanie Engel, who could be found at the Mehadrin Dairy booth this year, used a microphone to get festival-goers’ attention. She’s worked various booths at Kosherfest over the course of 15 years. “They fight over me,” Engel told the New York Jewish Week, lowering her microphone. “I’m the best.” While pushing Gevina Farms Greek yogurt, she chats up attendees by guessing their accents. “You’re from Dallas,” she says to one man. “You’re from Midwood,” she tells another. Her friend, Dina Tocker, used to represent the dairy booth — until Engel was hired, that is. This year she went fleishig (meat), holding down the fort at KJ Poultry from Monroe, New York. “I don’t even need a microphone,” she said. “I’m loud enough without it.” Although Kosherfest was smaller this year — Covid-related travel restrictions meant a limited international presence — Tocker was happy to see that many businesses had made it through the 16

pandemic “It’s nice to be back,” she said. While it may be a large business convention, at its heart, Kosherfest felt like a Jewish gathering. And, like any Jewish gathering, it seemed that most attendees were there to eat. So we did. The food samples were both plentiful and varied, from kimchi to gelato to Slivovitz. And while much of the fare was what you’d expect — pastries, cold cuts and kugel — here are five of the most interesting items at Kosherfest that you might see at your local kosher supermarket soon.

Good Raz Vitamin D3 Drops With Standard Time upon us — hello, sunset at 4:45! — it’s important to get extra vitamin D wherever you can. Winner of Kosherfest’s Best New Product in the category of Health and Wellness, Good Raz (pronounced “raze”) developed tasteless, scentless, water-soluble Vitamin D3 drops to put in your morning coffee or water. It’s good for kids who don’t like swallowing pills, and the water-soluble technology means it will absorb into your system more quickly than pills, the manufacturer claims. A bottle costs $19.99 and lasts 4 months.

have taken over the food industry in recent years, and the kosher industry is no different. Tauriga Sciences, a life sciences company based in Wappingers Falls, New York, returned to Kosherfest this year with six different flavors of Tauri-Gum, chewing gum that’s infused with CBD or CBG (cannabigerol), both of which are non-intoxicating and allegedly reduce inflammation and provide stress relief, among other health benefits. Fun fact: The influencer and activist Adina Miles-Sash, known on Instagram as FlatbushGirl, is the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer. A pack of eight pieces ranges from $17.99 to $22.99 depending on flavor, with subscription options available.

Cary & Main Kosher Maple Creme Traveling all the way from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Cary & Main brought a taste of the Green Mountain State with their maple creme, a delicious, creamy maple spread that’s pareve (neither meat nor dairy). The spread could go on toast, crackers, baked goods or even eaten straight out of the jar (which retails for $18.75). There are two varieties, Golden and Amber, and both are “hand-crafted by artisans in a small Vermont town as picturesque as you imagine it to be,” according to their web site.

Bee’s Water Bee’s water is turning an age-old cure for sore throats — honey — into a prepackaged beverage packed with vitamins and flavor. There are five different flavors to choose from, including blueberry and cinnamon, and an organic line on the way. It tastes like bottled-up Rosh Hashanah that you can enjoy all year round. A 12-bottle variety pack is currently selling for $35.99.

Tauri-Gum Cannabidiol or CBD-infused products

Ben’s Best Kosher Charcuterie Gone are the days of wondering what prosciutto, bacon or chorizo might taste like. After working at a top kosher restaurant in Paris, French Chef Benjamin Lapin spent years researching and developing charcuterie recipes made with 100% kosher beef. Although Ben’s Best is based in Florida, kosher buyers can order online and have its dry-cured meats shipped anywhere.



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SYNAGOGUE DIRECTORY Western and Central Massachusetts


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


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


Congregation Beth El Reconstructionist Rabbi Micah Becker Klein (802) 442-9645 225 North St., Bennington, VT 05201


Congregation Shaarei Zedeck Conservative Lay Leadership - Elena Feinberg (978) 501-2744 104 Water St., Clinton, MA 01510


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


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


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


Congregation Agudat Achim Conservative Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz (978) 534-6121 268 Washington St., Leominster, MA 01453



Beth Tikvah Synagogue Independent Rabbi Michael Swarttz (508) 616-9037 45 Oak St., Westborough, MA 01581


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

Congregation B’nai Shalom Reform Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz/ Rabbi-Educator Joseph Eiduson (508) 366-7191 117 East Main St., PO Box 1019, Westborough, MA 01581


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



Temple Beth El Conservative Rabbi Amy Walk Katz (413) 733-4149 979 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108

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


Sinai Temple Reform Rabbi Jeremy Master (413) 736-3619 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108

Congregation Ahavas Achim Unaffiliated Rabbi Dawn Rose (413) 642-1797 Ferst Interfaith Center, Westfield State University PO Box 334, 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA 01086 Find us on Facebook:

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

To join our synagogue directory, contact Howard Meyerowitz at (860) 231-2424 x3035 or


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| OCTOBER 15, 2021 •

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Susie Essman, TV’s most outrageous Jewish mother, talks ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and cancel culture BY ANDREW LAPIN

(JTA) — On the wall of Susie Essman’s powder room hangs a giant portrait of herself. Actually, the portrait is of Susie Green, Essman’s beloved, foul-mouthed character on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” HBO’s longrunning improvisational sitcom exploring the social rules that govern all of our lives, and especially those of the one percent. It comes from an episode in the show’s 10th season, which aired in early 2020 just before the pandemic, when the infamously misanthropic Larry David (the series creator, who also stars as a version of himself) has the artwork commissioned as a gift for his longtime frenemy. In the episode, a series of comic misunderstandings results in Susie’s portrait being pelted with tomatoes and chucked into the trash. But in real life, an intact painting exists. And Essman, a longtime comic actress and stand-up comedian who has known David since the 1980s and, like him, wears her Jewishness proudly on her sleeve, snapped it up for herself. “It’s absolutely one of my prized possessions,” Essman told JTA. But in “Curb”’s 11th season, currently airing Sunday nights on HBO, Essman says Susie will get many more big moments with Larry. For fans of one of the Jewiest shows on TV, the prospect of these two antagonists going at each other yet again is a sign that there is still some joy left in the world. JTA spoke to Essman about the show’s longevity and Jewishness. This interview, which took place the week after the second episode of the season aired, has been edited for length and clarity. JTA: Between “Curb” and Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” you’ve really cornered the market on– Essman: Jewish mothers. Where do you draw on your portrayals from? Well, I happen to be Jewish, and I happen to be a mother. And I’ve had mothers and I’ve had many friends, mothers and aunts and uncles and grandmothers. And, you know, I mean, Jewish mothers are like all other mothers. Just a little bit more so. You’ve known Larry David since the mid80s. Does his longevity surprise you at all?

You know, I always say that if we were hanging out at the bar at “Catch a Rising Star” in 1986, and I said to a bunch of the comics hanging out there that Larry David was going to be richer and more successful than any of us, nobody would have believed it. And not because he didn’t have the talent. He always had the talent. But he never really seemed to care that much. He didn’t seem that ambitious, you know, and he was never one, still, to pander. He always just marched to his own drummer. So yeah, it does surprise me. Although even back then, we all knew that he was a brilliant genius. His writing was so incredible. His stand-up bits were so unusual and unlike anybody else. So in that sense, it doesn’t surprise me. But it surprises me knowing Larry as a person that he’s become so successful. When the show invokes Judaism, it’s not necessarily in the friendliest light. And yet, the show’s portrayal of Judaism resonates with so many Jews. Do you have any insights as to why that might be? Because it’s honest. And because it’s funny, you know, and I think people see themselves, and that’s what comedy does. Comedy is a reflection. And people see themselves in it, and if it’s not themselves, they see their family members, somebody that’s connected to them in some way, and it’s resonant. Do you have a favorite Jewish moment from the show? I would say my favorite Jewish moment was from [season 5 episode] “The Ski Lift,” when I have to pretend to be Larry’s Orthodox wife. Reading that, I was just like, “Oh my God, this is pure gold.” I could not wait to shoot. And ultimately, what’s interesting is, that’s one of the very top of Larry’s favorite episodes. Do you have a hand in coming up with Susie’s outfits, which are so delightfully garish? Yes, I do. I mean, our wardrobe designer Leslie Schilling is terrific. She presents me with everything and then we kind of go through it together and put the combos together, and I approve or disapprove or whatever. So yes, I have a strong say in what she wears. Which is the most fun part, for me, of the character. Susie Green thinks

she has the greatest taste in the whole world. She thinks she’s always right. You know, she thinks [Larry’s ex-wife] Cheryl dresses like crap. I created the character to be this, that she is just this completely secure woman with no reason to be. That’s what’s fun. Because I’m a comic: I’m analytical, I’m insecure, I analyze everything and double-guess everything. I wanted to play a character so different from me, and she’s just complete security and complete belief in herself. And that’s why she could dress that way. And she, you know, she thinks that she’s making a statement, a fashion statement, and that she has unparalleled taste. It’s very conscious — she clearly picks those outfits. With every season, how do you find new ways to explore the character? I can only do what’s in the confines of the outline, whatever Larry and [series showrunner] Jeff Shaffer give me to do. But each year they give me more and more. It never gets dull to me. The relationships kind of change and grow. I mean, this season, Larry and I have a lot of stuff where we’re in cahoots with each other. We’re like partnering up together. So that was kind of fun and interesting and different. We’re still antagonistic, we’re not all of a sudden besties. But in a way we are. Susie and Larry’s relationship is kind of like siblings, you know: we fight and we’re screaming, we yell and I kick him out of the house and then the next day, I’m like, ‘Hey, Larr, want to go to a dinner party?’ It’s like, all is forgotten and forgiven and you just move on, like how you are with family. Is it hard to do comedy in the “cancel culture” era. So much of the show has been about breaking taboos. Is it harder to do the show now? No, because Larry does not care if he’s politically incorrect and who he offends. He doesn’t care. He’s an equal opportunity offender. If he doesn’t care, then I certainly don’t. It gives me tremendous freedom to do whatever I want to do. And you know, I mean, I always feel like Larry is so politically incorrect. He’s sticking his finger in the eye of it, in a sense. What about with your own stand-up, how has that changed for you? You know, I haven’t done stand-up for a couple of years. But it does worry me, because I do think that the job of comedians is to push the envelope. And I think that MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER


too many people feel like they have their hands tied right now, and that concerns me. Especially for younger comics. I know when I was starting out, there was no Twitter and there were no phones in the clubs, and you could kind of find your own line. Sometimes you go too far and you feel that little thing crawling up your spine. You’re kind of figuring out who you are and what your persona is on stage. And by necessity you need to make mistakes and go over the edge sometimes. And it was okay — you pull back and you figure out what works for you. But now it’s so public. Like if you do that, all of a sudden it goes viral. And you’re ostracized, castigated for it. It’s an experimental art form. And when you don’t have that freedom, it can be problematic. Could Susie get her revenge on Larry and Jeff in the finale? There was the episode where she seemed like she was trying to kill Jeff — Oh, she was not trying to kill Jeff. That was Larry’s fantasy. As the owner of the character, I don’t think she was trying to kill Jeff. I think she’d like to kill him sometimes, he’s always cheating on her. But in a certain way, she doesn’t really care as long as she’s got the money and the house and the clothes and the car. Susie’s had her moments, but her comeuppance is her anger, right? She expresses quite readily to both of them whatever she feels like. She seems to have an unhealthy amount of anger. She has a healthy amount of anger. I mean, I have women come up to me on the street all the time thanking me, because women have a really hard time expressing their anger, and Susie doesn’t. I think she gives permission to women all across our great land, and all across the world, to express their anger. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is currently airing its 11th season on HBO, and the entire series is streaming on HBO Max.

| NOVEMBER 19, 2021



NOV. 19 – JAN. 12





WESTBOROUGH - PJ Library Goes to Shabbatniks at Beth Tikvah Synagogue with Congregation B’nai Shalom; a weekly Friday preschool program, in-person drop off: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

WESTBOROUGH – PJ Library Goes to Shabbatniks at Beth Tikvah Synagogue with Congregation B’nai Shalom; a weekly Friday preschool program, in-person drop off: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

LONGMEADOW – Springfield NCSY Youth Organization “Shop & Slide” – pick out and purchase gifts for children at Baystate Children’s Hospital, then play games with friends, 2-4 p.m., at Congregation B’nai Torah, 2 Eunice Drive, Contact: Andrea Olkin - SpringfieldNCSY@ or (413) 519-5328; SpringfieldMaNCSY

WORCESTER – Chinese and Netflix Day, Time TBA,



LONGMEADOW – Springfield NCSY Youth Organization “Thanksgiving GiveBack Toiletry Packing,” at Congregation B’nai Torah, 2 Eunice Drive, Contact: Andrea Olkin - SpringfieldNCSY@gmail. com or (413) 519-5328; https://www. $5/pp; $10 max/2 +siblings

WORCESTER – Beth Israel “Bagels and Books and Latkes with PJ/PJOW,” 4-6 p.m., 15 Jamesbury Drive,

SPRINGFIELD – 2022 JCC Maccabi Games Kick-Off Event; learn how to join Team Springfield and thousands of other Jewish teens from around the world at JCC Maccabi games in San Diego, Calif, from July 31- Aug. 5; Kick-Off events is free and open to Jewish teens aged 13-16 and their families (masks are required and socially distanced seating will be provided, 5-6 p.m., in-person at JCC or online. WORCESTER/ZOOM – Israeli Culture Series with Shaliach Aviv Jerbi, “What Motivates Israeli Teenagers to Join the IDF…Or Not?” a discussion with individuals who have served or are serving in the IDF, 2 p.m., RSVP and get Zoom info: avivjerbi@

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22 TUESDAY, NOV. 30 JEWISH NATIONAL FUND VIRTUAL USA BREAKFAST FOR ISRAEL – Join JNF-USA virtually for our annual Breakfast for Israel featuring keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Yossi Klein Halevi; Come together for this event with local members of your community to learn how you can make the impossible possible for the land and people of Israel; 8-9 a.m., Register: jewish-national-fund-breakfast-for-israelcapital-region-2021 Virtual link: jewish-national-fund-breakfast-for-israelcapital-region-2021 WORCESTER – Torah Center Chanukah Lighting at Worcester Common, 6-8 p.m.

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield NCSY New Year’s Sledding in Forest Park, 1-3 p.m., Come sled with your friends at Mausoleum Hill, bring your sled, hot chocolate will be provided, Copntact: Andrea Olkin or (413) 519-5328; SpringfieldMaNCSY

TUESDAY, DEC. 28 WESTERN MASS./VIRTUAL – “Celebrating Jewish Music with Our Pioneer Valley Families and Friends,” participatory YouTube program with Mak’hela: you will be sent background music tracks, music and directions for recording; you can record multiple family members together; a collaboration between Mak’hela and Jewish Federation/PJ Library, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Register:; $15 per recording

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 12 SPRINGFIELD/VIRTUAL – Literatour author event and Q&A with Naomi Ragen, author of The Observant Wife,” 2-3 p.m., Registration: https://springfieldjcc.wufoo. com/forms/rwnnelk07w392y/

Wishing You a Healthy, Happy Chanukah!!

TUESDAY, DEC. 7 SPRINGFIELD/VIRTUAL – Literatour author talk and Q&A with Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, 7-8 p.m., Registration: https://springfieldjcc.wufoo. com/forms/r1hg3j501g64nqe/

THURSDAY, DEC. 16 SHALIACH AVIV JERBI WORCESTER – Temple Emanuel Sinai program with Howard Veisz, author of Henny and Her Boat: Righteousness and Resistance in Nazi Occupied Denmark, the story of a 22-year-old Danish woman and the boat she captained to bring Danish Jews to safety in Sweden, 10 a.m.


SPRINGFIELD – Film: “Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, 7-8:30 p.m., at Temple Beth El, 979 Dickinson St., Register:

FRIDAY, DEC. 17 SPRINGFIELD – Holiday Pickleball Tournament, in person at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., To register: visit


| NOVEMBER 19, 2021 508.797.4826

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OBITUARIES BRAUN Charles “Charlie” Braun of Northampton, formerly of Guilford, VT, died Oct. 6 in a bicycling accident. He was born in Minneola, N.Y. to Lester and Sylvia (Newmark) Braun. He was a school counselor in both Leyden and West Tisbury and was an avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in a family of musicians, he was a prolific songwriter and performed and recorded across many genres. He was also a master timber framer, building many dwellings, including his own family home in Vermont. In addition to his mother, he is survived by two daughters, Cedar Onchi and her husband, Jon, and Jemma Siperstein and her husband Stephen; four grandchildren, Ella, Meeka, Harper, and Nate; and siblings Linda Braun, Carolyn Braun, and Michael Braun. Memorial contributions may be made to https://www.musicandyouth. org;; www.; and https:// ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME BURKE Eileen Kudish Burke, 81, of Longmeadow, died Oct. 20. She was the widow of Ronald Burke. Born in Bronx, N.Y., the was the daughter of Samuel and Dora Kudish. She attended the Bronx Public School system as well as Farband afterschool program, in which she learned in Yiddish and Hebrew. She graduated from City College in 1961, was certified as a Spanish teacher in NYC, and earned her master’s in Education from the College of our Lady of the Elms in 1996. She had a long career as a healthcare administrator. Upon moving to Longmeadow in 1972 she became the president of the PTO of Heritage Academy, later serving as the chairman of the day school’s education committee. She also served on Heritage Academy’s building committee. In 1988, at the annual Heritage Academy Scholarship Dinner, she was honored for her commitment to Jewish education. In her retirement volunteered her time to the South Hadley Senior Center and SHINE Program. She is survived by her children and their spouses Audrey and James Lark and Kevin and Amy Burke; three granddaughters, Hannah Burke, Anaya Lark and Tessa Burke; and siblings Albert Kudish and Sara Horowitz. She was predeceased by a son, Noel Burke. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of South Hadley Seniors, JGS Life Care, Yiddish Book Center, and Neighbors Helping Neighbors. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME CHASE Phyllis R. (Antarsh) Chase, 86, of Westborough, died Oct. 7 at The Residence at Orchard Grove in Shrewsbury. She was

the wife of Lewis Chase. Born in West Hartford, Conn., she was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she studied dental hygienics. With her husband, she owned and operated Chase Paper CO. in Westborough for many years. She is survived by a son, Larry Chase and his wife, Laurie, of Southborough; a daughter, Amy Chase and her husband, John Cryan, of Shrewsbury; and six grandchildren, Emily, Noah, and April Cryan; Sydney, Joshua and Eli Chase. Memorial contributions may be made to Rachel’s Table, 633 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN COTTON Joyce (Mallen) Cotton, 91, of Worcester, died Oct. 17 in Newbridge on the Charles in Dedham. She was the widow of Joseph S. Cotton. Born in Worcester, she was the daughter of Phillip and Bertha (Hartz) Mallen. She had lived many years in Needham, Boynton Beach, Fla., and Framingham.She was proud of accomplishing her bat mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Newton three years ago at the age of 88. She is survived by three sons, Barry Cotton and his wife, Wendy, of Newton, Jeff Cotton and his wife, Beth, of Needham, and Donald Cotton and his wife, Sue, of Needham; a daughter, Betsy Gilman and her husband, Rob, of Hull; a daughterin-law, Gretchen Cotton of Shrewsbury; 13 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, Billy Cotton. Memorial contributions may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME FISHER Doris “Dolly” Fisher, 95, of Worcester, died Oct. 11 after a period of declining health. She was the widow of Lawrence “Larry” Fisher. Born in Woonsocket, R.I., she was the daughter of Robert and Rebecca (Eisenberg) Levine. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in mathematics. Her family owned and operated the popular Robert’s Children’s Stores in Woonsocket, Pawtucket and Cranston, R.I. She was a real estate executive with Fisher Properties and Dorel Realty in Worcester for many years. She was a founding member of Beth Israel Synagogue and its Sisterhood, the Genesis Club of Worcester and the former Mount Pleasant Country Club in Boylston. She was a member of Worcester Chapter of Hadassah, the Presidents Club at the Jewish Healthcare Center and its Ladies Auxiliary and NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill). She is survived by three children, Elaine Fisher (Eric Schaefer)

of Massachusetts, Dr. William Fisher and his wife, Kathy Amiri, of Diablo, Calif., and Robert Fisher of Worcester; a grandson, Maddox Fisher of California; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two brothers, George and Jason Levine. Memorial Contributions may be made to Eisenberg Assisted Living Residence, 631 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609 or to Genesis Club, 274 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA 01605. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN FIGARSKY S. Michael Figarsky, 74, of Westhampton, died Nov. 1 after a long battle with cancer. Born in Springfield, he was the son of the late Ann Ida Cohen and George Figarsky of Springfield. He was a graduate of American International College with a major in Business and was a proud member of the Army National Guard with specialty training as a Medic. He worked as an Accountant for the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. In 1981 he opened Iris Photo Company in Northampton, a photolab and camera/ accessories store. He is survived by a sister, Esther Latham of Hadley, and many friends. He was predeceased by a sister, Marilyn (Figarsky) Epstein of Bloomfield, Conn. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society of Massachusetts or Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME

Hartford; and five grandchildren, Joshua and Raphael Rose, and Ethan, Ezra, and Eli Greenberg; and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a sister, Norma Barowsky; and a brother, Merrill Magidson. Memorial contributions may be made to PragerU, American Friends of the IDF, and the USO. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME HAGER Leslie Hager, 79, of Springfield, died Oct. 26. She was the daughter of the late Ernest and Hilda Goldstein. She was an artist and teacher. She was an active Member of Sinai Temple. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth Land, Rebecca Land, Joshua and Stefanie Hager; her grandchildren, Sabina Fouser, Rubin Soodak, Jonah Fouser, Ellis Soodak, Zachary Fouser, Cassia Soodak, Shay Soodak, and Ally Hager; her siblings, Arnold Goldstein and his wife, Susan, and Judi Epstein; and a large extended family. She was predeceased by a brother, Alan Goldstein. Memorial contributions may be made to the Anti-Defamation League at ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME

JACKOWITZ Frances Lee (Schaffer) Jackowitz, 90, of Lake Worth, Fla., and formerly of Springfield, died Oct. 21 after a brief illness. She was predeceased by her husband, Herbert Jackowitz. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of Becky and Sam Schaffer, She GOFF graduated The High School of Commerce Larry B. Goff, a lifelong resident of in Springfield. Her life experiences ranged Worcester, died Oct. 17. He was the son of from being executive secretary at Hampden the late Harry A. and Marcia Goff. He is Brass and Aluminum working at local dress survived by a sister, Barbara Goff Greenwald shops and clothing stores, to assisting and her husband, Michael, of Palm Beach, in running an elderly ophthalmologist’s Fla.; a niece, Marisa Kenney and her practice. She volunteered at the local husband, Keith, of Needham; two nephews, hospital gift shop and participating in art Nolan and Michael B. Greenwald of Palm classes at the Springfield Museums. She Beach, Fla.; great-nephews and niece, was known for her abundant amounts of Maxwell Goff, Asher Reese, and Brooke Lee; food at family meals, including her famous and extended family members, Debby and kugel and her chocolate chip cookie squares. Scott Sinrich and their children Hannah, She is survived by four children and their Olivia, Max and Alexandra. Memorial spouses, Mark and Ronda Jackowitz, Elaine contributions may be made to Palm Beach Rotenberg and Steve Rubin, Ken and Lori Synagogue 120 North County Road, Palm Jackowitz, and Judy and Ken Rotenberg; Beach, FL 33480. her grandchildren and their spouses, RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL Rachel and Ari Berezin, Adam and Iryssa HOME OF HOLDEN Jackowitz, Leah and Pedro Rangel, Talia and Patrick Griffin, Sam and Keilah Rotenberg, GREENBERG Rebecca Rotenberg, Ethan Jackowitz, Mia Frances Magidson Greenberg, 101, of West Jackowitz, Jacob Rotenberg and Zachary Hartford, formerly of Springfield, died Oct. Rotenberg; her great-grandchildren, Nava 16. She was the widow of Samuel Greenberg. and Ella Berezin, Meir, Della and Orly Born in Springfield, she was the daughter Rotenberg, Geordan and Callie Jackowitz, of the late Eva and Saul Magidson. She and Remy Rangel; two sisters, Sibby (Yale) attended Goddard College and received Newman and Duffy Brooks; a sister-in-law, her RN degree from State Street Hospital Lois Goldberg; and numerous nieces and in Portland, Maine. She is survived by two nephews. She was predeceased by a brother, children and their spouses, Susan and David; and brothers-in-law, Jason Brooks Lawrence Rose of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and Cal Goldberg. Memorial contributions and Jonathan and Galya Greenberg of West may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, MASSACHUSETTS JEWISH LEDGER | OCTOBER 15, 2021 21

OBITUARIES Jewish Family Services of Western Mass., Alpert Jewish Family Services of West Palm Beach, or Temple Beth El. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME KATZNER Ruth Anna Bellows Katzner, 78, of Amherst, died Oct. 19. She was the wife of Donald W. Katzner. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., she was the daughter of Eva (Greenberg) and Marvin Bellows. After graduating from Girls High in Philadelphia, she earned an RN from Hahnemann School of Nursing and then worked as an ICU nurse at Hahnemann Hospital. She left nursing to marry and raise a family. Later she completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She went on to earn a Master’s in Social Work from Smith College in Northampton. She was a clinical social worker employed at agencies in Palmer and Springfield, but for most of her career she ran a private practice in Amherst. She was a member of the National Association of Social Workers and volunteered for hospice programs in the Pioneer Valley area. In addition to her husband of 54 years, she is survived by two sons, Todd (Erin) and Brett (Jennifer); and three

grandchildren, Sadie, Ethan, and Chloe. She was predeceased by a daughter, Tara Michelle. Memorial contributions may be can be made to Mass General Hospital in Boston ( donate/); or to Cooley Dickinson Health Care in Northampton (https://www. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME LEVY Marvin Paul Levy, 85, of Worcester, died Oct. 16 in UMASS Memorial Healthcare. He was the husband of Lila (Jonas) Levy. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Issac and Tillie (Gershkon) Levy. He lived in Worcester for the past 17 years. He graduated from Brooklyn College and received his master’s degree in history. He taught history at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and at City- As-School for many years, retiring in 1995. He was a member of Congregation Beth Israel, W.I.S.E. Institute, Hadassah and Technion Institute in Israel. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Alan Levy and his wife, Beth, of East Meadow, N.Y., and David Levy and his wife, Caroline, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a daughter, Elyse Potter and her husband, Jeremy, of

Brookline; and seven grandchildren, Rae, Alexis, Benjamin, Danielle, Tea, Hannah and Evie. He was predeceased by a brother, Norman Levy; and by a sister, Florence Stein. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Beth Israel, 15 Jamesbury Drive, Worcester, MA 01609; Technion Institute of Israel; or the charity of the donor’s choice. RICHARD PERLMAN OF MILES FUNERAL HOME OF HOLDEN MEDNICK Loren J. Mednick, 89, died Oct. 28. He was predeceased by his wife, Esther Elsa Mednick. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Anna (Levine) and Philip Mednick. He was a graduate of Bronx High School of Science in New York City, and also attended New York University. He served in the United States Army at the Medical Field Service School at Fort Sam in Houston, Tex. as a Medical Laboratory Specialist. He later served at the Medical Area Laboratory in Fort Lewis, WA. Following his military service he attended the University of Basel in Switzerland and then received a diploma in tropical medicine from the Swiss Institute of Tropical Medicine. Upon returning home, he served a residency in St. Francis

Hospital in Hartford, Conn, then had additional training at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester. He trained in the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Providence, R.I., serving in the former Holyoke Hospital Pathology Department, before being appointed Medical Examiner of Western Massachusetts in 1983. Memorial contributions may be made to Second Chance Animal Shelter and directed to his love for cats, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01515. PETLOCK Gary Petlock, 68, of Easthampton, died on Nov. 1. His passions included researching and collecting items that he found fascinating as well as his immense love for dogs. He is survived by three brothers, Wayne and his wife Marie (who Gary lived with); Ralph and his wife, Paula. And Scott and his partner, Maria; and many nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME

Comedian Mort Sahl fused stand-up with political satire and inspired the likes of Lenny Bruce BY SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Mort Sahl, a Jewish satirist who was credited with making caustic political and social satire popular in stand-up comedy, died Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 94. Often walking on stage holding just a rolled up newspaper, Sahl liked to riff on the headlines of the day in extended improvised monologues. At a time when comedians tended to steer clear of politics, Sahl took aim at politicians and was known to end his sets with the line: “Are there any groups I haven’t offended?” Steve Allen, the first host of “The Tonight Show,” once introduced Sahl as “probably the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.” Though Sahl was not religious and did not discuss his Jewishness in routines or often in public, he inspired a wave of fellow Jewish stand-ups. Woody Allen named him as a major influence and commented in interviews how Sahl also influenced the fellow Jewish pioneer Lenny Bruce — who would take Sahl’s freeform style and cutting satire to crude new heights.


Sahl was born in Montreal in 1927 to Jewish parents from New York’s Lower East Side and eventually moved to Los Angeles. As a teenager, Sahl dropped out of high school there and tried to enroll in the ROTC program by lying about his age, but his mother found him out after two weeks and brought him home. Sahl was married three times and a had a son, Mort Jr., with his second wife. Mort Jr., died of a drug overdose at age 19 in 1996. The elder Sahl got his break performing in San Francisco years after graduating from college, performing sets at a club known for attracting an intellectual crowd. His jokes about national politics eventually earned him a following and he started appearing on late night shows and performing in clubs across the country. After appearing in several movies in the 1950s and early ’60s, his career took a dive after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, which Sahl came to believe had been orchestrated by the CIA. But he continued to act and perform stand-up into his 90s.


| NOVEMBER 19, 2021

In 1982, Sahl played the role of Werner Finck, a German-Jewish satirist, in a fivehour TV special. In 2003, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture honored Sahl with the Alan King Award in American Jewish Humor. But Sahl explained to J. The Jewish News of Northern California in 2004 that he never emphasized his Jewishness on stage because it wasn’t a major part of his upbringing. “I never stressed it,” he says, “because I didn’t have those kinds of parents. I grew up in a homogenized neighborhood, and was a kind of a mail-order, cardboard Jew.” Speaking with the paper not long after the premiere of Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” Sahl opined on the movie and antisemitism. “Terrible movie,” he said. “Two hours of unrelieved sadism. But the Romans are nice! I think everyone’s second nature is antisemitism, so all the anxiety [over the film] is justified.”



Serving the Jewish Communities of Worcester, Worcester County and Surrounding areas


(JTA) — Tyler Herron, a former major league baseball prospect who pitched for Team Israel during their Cinderella run in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, died this week at 35. No cause or exact date of Herron’s death have been reported. Several of the minor league teams he played for posted tributes to Herron on social media on Thursday, Nov. 4. The West Palm Beach native and former Palm Beach Cardinals pitcher passed away at the young age of 35. Herron, who grew up in Florida, had a Jewish father and grandmother. He appeared in three games during the 2017 World Baseball Classic and called it “the best experience I’ve ever had in baseball.” Team Israel finished sixth in the international tournament, despite being ranked outside of the top 40 countries in the world before entering. Team Israel Baseball posted a note on social media on Thursday: “He is remembered fondly by all his teammates and coaches from Team Israel. Israel Baseball sends its deepest condolences to Herron’s family and loved ones.” A native of West Palm Beach, Herron was a standout high school pitcher. During his senior year, the right-hander led the country with a 0.25 earned run average, striking out 81 batters in 57 innings.

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He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft, and in 2007 was ranked by Baseball America as the organization’s 10th best prospect. But he never made it to the major leagues. During a 16-year career, Herron played for several minor league teams in multiple organizations, as well as in foreign and independent leagues — including in Puerto Rico. The head of the Puerto Rico Players Association told El Nuevo Dia that an investigation into Herron’s death is underway. This year, Herron pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the independent American Association league, his fourth separate stint with the team.


| NOVEMBER 19, 2021


Thanksgiving In-Store Holiday Order Pickups Schedule: Wednesday, 11/24 from 2pm - 7pm (store closes promptly at 7) Thursday, 11/25 8am- Noon (Store closes promptly at noon) Out Of Town Schedule:

Monday, November 22nd �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Congregation Beth Israel, Worcester, MA �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������9:00AM-9:30AM Springfield Jewish Community Center, Springfield, MA ����������������������������������������������������������������11:00AM-11:30AM Congregation Ohav Shalom, Albany, NY ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1:15PM-1:45PM Tuesday, November 23rd ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Pearl St. Parking Lot, Newton MA�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������9:00AM-9:30AM Temple Israel of Natick, Natick MA ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10:00AM-10:30AM Temple Torat Yisrael, East Greenwich �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12:00PM-12:30PM Beth Jacob Synagogue, Norwich ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1:30PM-2:00PM Wednesday, November 24th ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� United Jewish Federation, Stamford (1035 Newfield Ave, Stamford, CT) ������������������������������������������������������ 10:00AM-10:30AM JCC Woodbridge �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12:00PM-12:30PM

Order Deadline 11/16 by 4PM The Crown Market

Open Thanksgiving Day 8am-12pm

2471 Albany Ave West Hartford, CT 06117



| NOVEMBER 19, 2021

HKC supervises the Bakery, Five o’clock Shop, Butcher Department and Catering. We’re not JUST kosher...we’re DELICIOUS!