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JTNews | May 28, 2010

JTNews | May 28, 2010

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Published by Joel Magalnick
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington issue for May 28, 2010
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington issue for May 28, 2010

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Published by: Joel Magalnick on May 27, 2010
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05/26/2010

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vol. 86, no. 11
n
friday, may 28, 2010
n
15 sivan 5770
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jtnews.net
 a jewish transcript publication
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$2.00
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 www.jtnews.net
h vi  ih hingn
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R A/SJCC
The three cantrs, David Serkin-Ple, let,  Temple B’nai Trah, Bradlee Kurland, center,  Herzl-Ner Tamid, and Isaac Azse, hazzan emeritus  Cngregatin Ezra Bessarth,perrmed sacred music and Jewish standards tgether in a standing-rm nly shw at the Strum Jewish Cmmunity Center n May 23.Page 15Page 11
Federation faces dropin annual campaign
 Joel Magalnick
Editor, JTNews
Tough Seattle is oten ahead o the curve when itcomes to innovations in technology and community building, those advantages haven’t insulated the arearom the downturn in the economy. Washington State haslagged behind recovery rom this deep recession, and thedelay has been maniested as budget cuts and reducedcharitable giving throughout the state’s Jewish community.Tat calls into question whether the Jewish Federation o Greater Seattle will be able to meet its undraising goals setor the annual Community Campaign, the pot o money that gets allocated to local Jewish organizations as well assome in Israel and in other countries. About a month beore the end o the scal year, whichmarks the end o the 2010 community campaign, gits aredown between $200,000 and $400,000 over 2009, whichitsel had shrunk by close to 6 percent rom the yearbeore.“It’s a conuence o the worst conditions you canimagine,” said Ron Leibsohn, the Federation’s boardchair. “We’re in an economic downturn that’s aectingnot just people and their jobs at the middle class or lower-paying jobs, it’s aecting people at the higher level as well,because many o them are investors and business people,and their business is o, and the ree dollars able to makecontributions are down as well.” According to Federation CEO Richard Fruchter, what’sat issue is that many o the agency’s most inuentialdonors — those whose annual donations reach into thetens to hundreds o thousands o dollars — have eitherdelayed making a commitment or been unable to do so.
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Page 13
 
J   -  T   e   e   n   
S  E  C  T  I  o  N   B  
M.o.t.: Mmbr  h trib 8jih n erh 9wh’ Yur jQ? 10 ar & enrinmn 14cmmuniy cndr 17th shuk cifd 19
Leyna Krow
 Assistant Editor, JTNews
Much to the relie o Seattle’s pro-Israel community,Central Co-op’s Madison Market will not be enacting aboycott o Israeli products.Members o the Central Co-op’s Purchasing IssuesCommittee dismissed the proposed boycott through lack o action at their May 25 meeting. Ater eight months o discussion in the PIC, the Central Co-op’s board o trust-ees had insisted that the committee vote on the boycott atthe uesday night meeting, or the issue would be droppedentirely. PIC members chose not to hold a vote on the boy-cott, thereby bringing the matter to a close.“I was rankly thrilled or the community and or Mad-ison Market that they were able to wrap up this issue andto not boycott Israel,” said Rob Jacobs, director or Israeladvocacy organization StandWithUs Northwest, who worked to rally local opposition to the boycott. Although allowing the boycott to simply slide o thestore’s agenda through lack o consensus may seem ip-pant, the decision not to vote was a deliberate one on thepart o the PIC. Trough the course o a three-and-a-hal-hour meeting, the committee agreed they would not berecommending a boycott to the board, but declined totake an ocial vote in an eort to avoid alienating com-munity members on either side o the issue.he motion to boycott Israeli products was irstbrought to the PIC in the October o 2009 by co-op ownerErin Wade, who is also a member o the Seattle chapter o the Palestinian Solidarity Committee. As a cooperative venture, Madison Market encour-ages its shoppers to become owners by paying a member-ship ee. Te owners, o which there are more than 10,000,are able to take part in the decision-making processes or what the store sells and how it operates by oering sug-gestions to various committees or joining a committee as voting members.For the May 25 meeting, close to 40 people packed intothe living room o the two-bedroom apartment above themarket that Central Co-op uses as its oce and commu-nity space. Concerned parties on both sides o the debatemade impassioned one-minute pleas or or against theboycott during the meeting’s public comments period.Following the public comments, Wade proposed amotion to the committee to ask the board o trustees ormore time to reach a decision about the boycott, insistingnot enough attention had been paid to the issue duringthe previous months’ meetings and that the PIC was notsuciently inormed to vote one way or the other.Te motion was voted down with several PIC com-mittee members arguing that, i anything, ar too muchtime had already been spent addressing the boycott pro-posal and that the issue was beginning to have a negativeimpact on the way the grocery store does business.PIC member and outgoing trustee Rick Bannermanexpressed his concern that taking a political stand onsuch a divisive international issue could be damagingto Madison Market. rustees and sta received a delugeo calls and e-mails rom concerned individuals whothreatened to quit shopping at the market i the boycott was enacted.“Tis issue has become a malignancy to our business,”Bannerman said. “It’s an albatross around our necks. And it needs to halt now.” With the motion or a time extension struck down, Wade declined to pursue a vote on the boycott itsel,insisting the board o trustees were orcing the PIC to act
No I ocott o MionMkt
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Page 19
 
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he
JTNews
is the Voice of JewishWashington. Our mission is to meet the interests of our Jewish community through fair and accurate coverage of local,national and international news, opinionand information. We seek to expose our readers to diverse viewpoints and vibrant debate on many fronts, including the newsand events in Israel. We strive to contribute tothe continued growth of our local Jewishcommunity as we carry out our mission.
2041 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
 phone 206-441-4553 ax 206-441-2736E-mail: editor@jtnews.netwww.jtnews.net
 JTNews
(ISSN0021-678X) is published biweekly byThe Seattle Jewish Transcript, a nonprot corporationowned by the Jewish Federation o Greater Seattle,2041 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121. Subscriptions are$56.50 or one year, $96.50 or two years. Periodi-cals postage paid at Seattle, WA. POSTMASTER:Send address changes to JTNews, 2041 Third Ave.,Seattle, WA 98121.
STA
 
Reach us directly at 206-441-4553 + ext.
Publisher
*Karen Chachkes 267
 Editor
*
Jel Magalnick 233
Assistant Editor
Leyna Krw 240
 Account Executive
Lynn eldhammer 264
 Account Executive
David Stahl 235
Account Executive
Stacy Schill 292
Classieds Manager
Rebecca Minsky 238
 Art Director
Susan Beardsley 239
 Prooreader
Mrdecai Gldstein
BoARD o DIRECToRS
Peter Hrvitz, Chair*;
Robin Boehler;Andrew Cohen
; Cynthia Flash Hemphill*;Nancy Greer
; Aimee Johnson; Stan Mark;Daniel Mayer; Cantor David Serkin-Poole*;Leland Rocko; Tana Senn
 
Richard ruchter
, CEO and President, Jewish Federation o Greater Seattle
Rn Leibshn
, Federation Board Chair*
Member
,
 JTNews
Editorial Board
Ex-ofci Member
 The opinions o our columnists and advertisers donot necessarily refect the views o 
 JTNews
.
friday, may 28, 2010 
n
jtnews
3
viewpointSpAge
W wo ov to  om o! O gi to witing  tt to t ito cn  on on o W it: www.jtnw.nt/in.pp?/tt_giin.tmThe deadlINe fOr The NexT Issue Is JuNe 1
n
fuTure deadlINes May be fOuNd ONlINe
Robert Wilkes
Special to JTNews
Let’s get it out and get it over with. I ama Jewish Republican. When my relativesound out, they sat
shiva
or me. As then-chairman o the DemocraticNational Committee, Howard Dean,amously said on “Meet the Press:” “Ourmoral values, in contradiction to theRepublicans, is we don’t think kids oughtto go to bed hungry at night.”Face it. We read and view inorma-tion that conrms what we already know,and disregard inormation that contra-dicts our belies. You do. I do. We all do.rust me.I you’re like me, you’re burned out by the shrill tone o our (un)civil discourse. When we meet someone new, our anten-nae may pick up Democrat or Republi-can, but mentally we are determiningriend or oe. Both sides believe the very lie o the republic depends on winningon election day. In that charged atmo-sphere, we converse without hearing andunderstanding.I love politics, I ollow them avidly. But
dnking t mt
 Jewish conservatives do exist, and they’re not as bad asthey are oten made out to be
Rabbi MosheKletenik
Bikur Cholim-MachzikayHadathCongregation 
Tat hundreds o rabbis came to theRabbinical Council o America’s annualconvention is not unusual. hat they came knowing that the long-anticipatedresolution on ordination o women asrabbis and on the role o women in Ortho-dox communal lie was being debatedand voted upon was something o whichto take note. Tis resolution marked theculmination o a tumultuous period o several months which were most chal-lenging to Orthodoxy and, on a personallevel, very trying as well.Here we are, resh rom having justcelebrated the Shavuos estival mark-ing Divine revelation and the giving o the orah. It is natural to appreciate the words at the very beginning o 
Pirkei Avos
: “Moshe received the orah romSinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshuato the Elders; the Elders to the Prophets;and the Prophets transmitted it to themembers o the Great Assembly.”Tis is the chain o transmission o the orah, o both the written law and theoral tradition that continues to this very day. Tis unbroken transmission has sus-tained our people or millennia, includingturmoil-lled centuries in the Diaspora. When Jerusalem was about to all to theRoman Legions in 70 C.E., the Roman gen-eral, Vespasian, oered Rabbi Yochananben Zakai the chance to make a request. When Rabbi Yochanan asked that the acad-emy at Yavneh and its sages be granted sal- vation, he was criticized by some or askingor something seemingly insigniicant.History has demonstrated his wisdom. Yavneh became the center or orahstudy ater the destruction o Jerusalem.It was here that orah lourished androm Yavneh was transmitted to uturegenerations. It is this
mesorah
, our tradi-tion, passed rom generation to genera-tion, that has guaranteed the vibrancy o Jewish lie even thousands o years aterthe destruction o the emple.Several months ago, a well-knownOrthodox rabbi conerred the title “rabbaupon a woman, apparently ordaining her. A controversy ared within the Orthodox community. Many predicted a schism within Orthodoxy and a racturing o theRabbinical Council o America, the larg-est organization o Orthodox rabbis in the world. Because I serve as president o theRCA, I was immediately thrust into themidst o a very highly charged debate.Understandably, this discussionattracted the attention o the ull spectrumo the Jewish media. What was surpris-ing was the degree to which it captivatedthe secular media. We were contacted by publications such as the
Wall Street Jour-nal 
and
New York Magazine
. Te storyline was the same or virtually all: A great con-ict in Orthodoxy threatened to split theOrthodox Jewish community.During the ensuing weeks it becameessential to preserve the unity o the RCA,an organization o a thousand rabbis rep-resenting the ull spectrum o ModernOrthodoxy, and to prevent a schism within the community. We needed to takea principled stance on this controver-sial issue to preserve our tradition, whileat the same time making it clear we ully endorse and encourage orah scholarshipat the most advanced levels or women.Te RCA applauds the creation o mean-ingul opportunities or positions o stat-ure that are proessionally satisying orlearned, committed Jewish women withinthe community and the synagogue.Certain changes can occur withintraditional Jewish lie, but innovationsthat aect the entire community mustbe undertaken only with a consensus o the rabbinate, which operates with rmunderpinnings within our tradition.In 1918, Sarah Schenirer, a seamstressrom Cracow, Poland, took note o the actthat Jewish women were being exposed toadvanced secular education. It was crucialthey have the opportunity to study orahas well. Her response was to establish theBeis Yaakov schools, a network that grew to over 200 schools in Eastern Europe, edu-cating more than 35,000 young women.Her initiative had the approval o leadingrabbis such as Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan,the Choetz Chaim, and Rabbi AvrahamMordechai Alter, the Gerrer Rebbe.More recently, leading gures suchas Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik advo-cated or enhanced opportunities ororah learning or women. Over the lasttwo decades, we have seen the growth o institutions or orah study or womenin the United States and Israel, includ-ing programs or the study o almudand
halachah
, Jewish law, on a sophis-ticated level. Te concept o advancedorah education or women is virtually universally accepted within the Ortho-dox Jewish world.he RCA leadership resisted callsto issue statements o condemnation.Instead, we engaged in dialogue. Inthe course o these conversations therabbi who had initially granted the title“rabba” made a commitment to notordain women as rabbis and to not conersuch a title. But this alone did not resolvethe issue. We appointed a broad-basedcommittee to crat a resolution to bepresented or adoption at the annual con- vention o the RCA. Te committee spenttwo months reaching out to various con-stituencies or input and crating a very careully worded resolution. We hoped toachieve a broad consensus.Tis is the text o the resolution pre-sented:
Resolution on Women’s CommunalRoles in Orthodox Jewish Lie
 Adopted Without Dissent by the 51stConvention o Te Rabbinical Council o  America1) Te owering o orah study andteaching by God-earing Orthodox  women in recent decades stands as a sig-niicant achievement. he RabbinicalCouncil o America is gratied that our
chaverim
have played a prominent role inacilitating these accomplishments.2) We members o the RabbinicalCouncil o America see as our sacredand joyul duty the practice and trans-mission o Judaism in all o its extraor-dinary, multiaceted depth and richness
halachah, hashkafah
, tradition andhistorical memory.3) In light o the opportunity createdby advanced women’s learning, the Rab-binical Council o America encourages adiversity o 
halachically 
and communally appropriate proessional opportunitiesor learned, committed women, in theservice o our collective mission to pre-serve and transmit our heritage. Due toour aoresaid commitment to sacred con-tinuity, however, we cannot accept eitherthe ordination o women or the recogni-tion o women as members o the Ortho-dox rabbinate, regardless o the title.4) Young Orthodox women are now being reared, educated, and inspired by mothers, teachers and mentors who arethemselves beneiciaries o advanced women’s orah education. As memberso the new generation rise to positionso inuence and stature, we pray thatthey will contribute to an ever-broad-ening and ever-deepening wellspring o almud orah,
 yiRabbiat Shamayim
[earo heaven], and
dikduk be-mitzvot 
[scru-pulous observance o commentaries].Te resolution was presented to theconvention and was discussed by rab-binic participants or two days. Tere wasopen debate and discussion on Monday night. When the vote was taken that nightater a lively debate, the resolution passed without opposition. Tis surpassed ourexpectations and hopes. A number o rabbis relected later on the dramatic vote, saying they elt they were part o a historic moment that night. Te spirito goodwill and desire to preserve unity rom the right and the let was palpable.Our sages teach us “
 gadol hasha-lom
,” great is peace. Although the lastew months were raught with tryingmoments, there is great satisaction andprivilege to have played a role in a signi-cant moment in Orthodox Jewish lie.
Mking  pc o womn
Rabbis confrm importance o women’s participation in Orthodox lie
RAbbi’S tuRn
u
Page 4
Coction
Te article about the building o Jewish Family Service’s expansion(“New JFS building nally gets greenlight,” May 14) incorrectly stated thename o the new building. A namehas not yet been chosen or the new structure. Also, the Association o JewishLibraries convention (“Te keepers o the books o the people o the book,”May 14) will not eature a presenta-tion by the Jewish Federation’s direc-tor o Jewish education, as was listedin the “I you go” section. However,a one-day session or educators willaward teacher certiication credit(JC), stars and/or clock hours.
 JNews
regrets the errors.

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