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JTNews | May 11, 2012

JTNews | May 11, 2012

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Published by Joel Magalnick
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington issue for May 11, 2012
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington issue for May 11, 2012

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Published by: Joel Magalnick on May 10, 2012
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j e w i s h
may 11, 2012 • 19 iyar 5772 • volume 88, no. 10 • $2
connecting our local Jewish community
@jew_ish • @jewishdotcom • @jewishcal
9 11 15 18
hard workersj-teen returns!jewish indy filmstrimpins discover
Mission complete: Club’s disbanding marks thepassing o a generation
Charlene Kahn
JTNw Corrpondnt
A once-vibrant part o Seattle Jewish history has drawn to a close.Te Jewish Club o Washington, organized by Holocaust-era GermanJewish reugees over 70 years ago, held its nal meeting April 24 at TeSummit at First Hill retirement community. At its high point, more than400 members belonged to the immigrant-assistance and social organi-zation. In recent years, numbers dropped to 25, according to club presi-dent Walter Oppenheimer, a reugee himsel who arrived in Seattle withhis amily in 1940. Te club’s nal bulletin invited members to the lastmeeting because, as it said, “aer 72 years the club will cease to exist.”“en members voted to give the [remaining] unds to three organi-zations,” Oppenheimer, 88, told JNews. Te recipient organizationsare Jewish Family Service’s Polack Food Bank, the Kline Galland CenterFoundation and the Washington State Holocaust Education ResourceCenter.Formed by German Jewish reugees and survivors o the Holocaustto aid one another, the Jewish Club o Washington served as an essen-tial network or these new immigrants, easing the adjustment o adapt-ing to their new lives.
CharleNe KahN
Pu nd Kus Stern, ontme memers of the now-defunct Jewsh Cu of Wshnton, t ther home n Sette wth  frmed note from uthor Ee Wese. Sternhd sent feow Hoocust survvor Wese “Rememer, Forve, Foret,”  poem he composed n 1983 n commemorton of the 40th nnversry of the Wrsw uprsn.“Kus ws the sou of the cu,” sd Wt Oppenhemer, the cu’s st presdent.
PagE 4
jewish on earth
jtn .
friday, may 11, 2012
Wht does the end of the word ook ke?
Martin WesterMan
JTNw Columnit
I the world as we knewit were going to end, whatwould you tell your lovedones? Religious undamen-talists might ind the Endo Days prospect comort-ing: Foretold in holy books,it promises a better scenariothan earthbound toil andwoe. But i you’re not part o that zealous ew, you mightnot want to sit this one out — especially since you can do something to slow, stopor reverse the end.Survival action is part o Jewish DNA.he orah commands it: “I have putbeore you lie and death, blessing andcurse — thereore choose lie” (Deut.30:19) — and, we assume, blessing. Jewshave survived or 3,500 years by standingup to tyranny and injustice, and by escap-ing rom them to ght another day.So when everyone rom Al Gore andHunter Lovins to Leonardo DiCaprio andAlicia Gravitz says we need to mobilize onthe scale o World War II to turn this tide,we might expect to see most Jews at theoreront. Basically, humanity aces a nexuso dangers that threaten to end lie on Earth:
• Exploding human population that con
-sumes natural resources aster than they can be replaced.
• Global climate changes due
to carbon and greenhousegases in the atmosphere anddecimation o the resourcesthe earth needs to absorb andprocess them.
• Glacier melt that erases
world water supplies ordrinking and agriculture.
• Ocean acidification —
increasing carbonic acid anddecreasing pH as oceans over-absorb carbon result in dissolv-ing rees and killing sea lie.
• Hydrogen sulde blooms — as masses of 
resh water enter the ocean rom meltingglaciers, ocean currents and oxygenationstop, allowing hydrogen sulde-emittingbacteria to grow, and move us towardsuocating mass extinction — as hasoccurred six times over the past 20 mil-lion years.Could things get worse? O course: Asenvironmental activists mobilize, vocalminorities, politicians and “think tanks”call these dangers “hoaxes,” or parts o natural cycles that humans can’t control.Meanwhile, quiet American majorities dolittle or nothing, claiming they’re too con-used to act, or it’s inconvenient or bador business — even though we possessthe technologies to arrest, or even reversethese developing dangers worldwide.Curiously, all ve dangers arise rom asingle cause: Emissions rom burning ossiluels. Prior to initiating the coal-red Indus-trial Revolution, human population onearth barely topped hal a billion. In 1700,humans tallied 610 million; but by 1850,they’d doubled to 1.2 billion — thanks toimprovements in science, medicine andsanitation. Adding industrialized pro-duction o ood, water, clothing and shel-ter made radical dierences in our health,longevity and numbers. Also, until a ewdecades ago, seasons, animal migration pat-terns and natural cycles repeated depend-ably, almost like clockwork. oday, morethan 7 billion people inhabit this planet, andmost o us reuse to believe an end could becoming. It’s not that we’re optimistic. It’s just how we deal with bad news.At physical trauma, our bodies go intoshock; at mental trauma — it’s denial,anger, bargaining, depression, and nally,acceptance — ve steps outlined by Eliz-abeth Kubler Ross. Around environmen-tal issues, we can’t seem to break ree o denial, anger and depression. Neuroscien-tists have shown that the “reality” whereeach o us lives is a mental constructassembled rom what our brains can per-ceive and understand through our vesenses. And we simply can’t register whatwe don’t understand. hus, journalistGeorge Monbiot, in his essay “Sleepwalk-ing to Extinction,” argued that humanslive more in a dream world than in a worldthat reason would relect. o surviveglobal crises would require “draconianregulation, rationing and prohibition: allthe measures which our existing politics,inormed by our dreaming, orbid.”Gaia theorist James Lovelock’s cata-strophic prediction o 6 billion humansdead by 2100 might be a gross exaggera-tion. But our trajectory and lack o actionare atally evident, and they’ve prompted ahost o observers to oer contrary, accept-ing perspectives.So, are we going to tell our childrenand grandchildren that we mobilized, took heroic actions and demanded them romour leaders? Or do we tell them nothing,because we joined the crowd looking or-ward to the end o toil and woe?
 Author and teacher Martin Westerman writesand consults on sustainable living. He can becontacted with questions at artartart@seanet.com.
ea r t h
Bigger and better and handy as ever.
Be part o the ourth annual print edition o the Proessional Directory to Jewish Washington,the only directory networking proessionals around the Sound with our vibrant local Jewish community.
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In addition to sending the Directory to all JTNews subscribers, we and our community partners distribute ree copies othe Directory throughout the community at businesses and organization, special events, in waiting rooms, and as part o welcome packets all year long, at every opportunity.
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Tank you to Professional Directory Presenting Partner
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Greater Seattle & South: Cameroncameronl@jtnews.net 206-774-2292Eastside & North: Stacystacys@jtnews.net 206-774-2269Proessional Directory & Classifed: Beckybeckym@jtnews.net 206-774-2238National & other inquiries: Lynnlynn@jtnews.net 206-774-2264
friday, may 11, 2012 .
jtnews OpiniOn
letters to the editor the rabbi’s turn
“Israelis don’t differentiate between a Democrat and a Republican president. They just want a pro-Israel president.”— Jerusalem Post political correspondent Gil Hoffman on what his fellow citizens look for in American leadership. See the story on page 7.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We wold love to hear from yo! Or gide to writig aletter to the editor ca be fod at www.jtew.et/idex.php?/letter_gidelie.html,bt pleae limit yor letter to approximately 350 word. The deadlie for the ext ie iMay 15. Ftre deadlie may be fod olie.
Jstce, jstce we wprse, nd mke hstory 
rabbi Zari Weiss
Kol haNama
On January 4, 2012, I hadthe privilege o participat-ing in an historic event atthe state capitol, when Gov-ernor Christine Gregoireannounced she would intro-duce legislation to ensuremarriage equality or allpeople in Washington State.It was exciting and movingto be present that day, sur-rounded by legislators and other commu-nity leaders and activists who had workedhard or years on this issue.Standing at the podium, Gov. Gregoireshared her internal struggle, as she hadtried to reconcile what her aith traditiontaught with her own belies about whatwas right and just. She said she had calledher priest that morning to tell him o herdecision. As she spoke to us and the press,her words were rm and unequivocal: Tetime had come, she said, or the state tostop discriminating against one group o people by denying them the rights thatother citizens enjoyed. During that legisla-tive session, she said, she would back leg-islation guaranteeing marriage equality,and she was condent the proposed legis-lation would pass.As we all know, she was absolutely right. From that moment on, everythingunolded very rapidly. First the Senateand then the House passed the legislation,and then Gov. Gregoire signed the billinto law (Senate Bill 6239) on February 13, 2012, making Washington the seventhstate in the country to grant those who areLGBQ the right to marry.Opponents o marriage equality quickly went to work. Tey led theirintention with the Secretary o State’soce to put a reerendum on the ballot,which has been designated as Reeren-dum 74. I the opponents gather a su-cient number o signatures (more than120,000), it will be placed on the Novem-ber ballot, to be voted upon by the public.At that point, Re. 74 must be approved by the public by 50 percent plus 1; otherwise,the marriage-equality law will be repealed.Failure to approve by 50 percent plus 1essentially vetoes what the legislature andthe governor already approved.As Jews, we are guided by a number o core values in determining how we treatothers and the world around us. First andoremost is the concept o tzelem elohim,the belie that every human being is cre-ated in the image o God, as it states in theBook o Genesis 1:2: “And God createdthe human being in God’s image in theimage o God did God create the human;male and emale God createdthem.”Underlying this principleis the belie that all people,regardless o their race, reli-gion, nationality, age, gender,sexual orientation, ability,or any other distinguish-ing characteristic, have aninherent right to dignity, orkavod. I believe that such dig-nity includes the right to love whom onechooses to love, and to sanctiy that love ina way and manner that refects one’s owndeepest religious belies and practices. Noperson, institution, or government has theright to deny another person that dignity.Another value that guides us as Jews isthe concept o adam yachid. According tothe sacred text o our people, the orah,one human being — Adam — was createdoriginally so no one can say, “My parent[ather] was greater than your parent.” (M.Sanhedrin 4:5). In other words, all peopleare equal, and deserve to be treated equally.But Judaism should not determine ourcivil law, just as it should not be deter-mined by Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,or any other religious tradition, or us oror others. Tereore, as Americans, wemust insist that our civil laws be guidednot by any one religious tradition or inter-pretation, but by the ounding principleso this country, which declare: “We holdthese truths to be sel-evident, that allmen [people]
are created equal 
, that they are endowed by their Creator with cer-tain unalienable Rights, that among theseare Lie, Liberty, and
the pursuit of Happi-ness
.” (Te Declaration o Independence,July 4, 1776. Italics mine). And, “Congressshall make no law respecting an establish-ment o religion, or prohibiting the reeexercise thereo.” (Amendment 1, Bill o Rights, ratied December 15, 1791).Under the U.S. Constitution, the statemay not
religious groups to o-ciate at, or bless, same-sex marriages. Aclergy person may reuse, thereore, tomarry an interaith couple without any ear o liability. At the same time, how-ever, it is not the state’s unction or roleto sanction one set o religious belies orpractices over another. For the state toprevent the legal recognition o marriageso same-sex couples because some aithtraditions object is to violate the religiousliberty provisions o the Constitution.Back to Judaism. As Jews we knowthat, in addition to the above concepts/ values, we are also guided by the mitzvah,the sacred obligation, o “tzedek, tzedek,tirdo” — “Justice, justice, you shallpursue.” (Deut. 16:20). Pursuing justicemeans ending discriminatory practicesthat have been unairly directed againstany one person or any group.Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgen-der people are citizens o this country and citizens o this state; they require thesame rights as all other citizens. It is parto our sacred obligation as Jews to redressthe injustice perpetrated against this onegroup or too long. Justice, justice, we willpursue, until all people, (whether coupledor single, gay or straight), are treated withdignity, kavod, and with an equal applica-tion o the law — with all o the rights andresponsibilities thereo.I urge all those who share my view to join me in speaking out in support o therecently passed marriage-equality law.ogether we can ensure that same-sexcouples can legally marry, while clergy andaith traditions can decide or themselveswhether they will recognize and solemnizethese legal marriages. As or this rabbi, Ilook orward to being able to sign legalmarriage licenses or same-sex couples inthe near uture. I know my congregationenthusiastically supports my decision.
In his letter (“Difcult decisions,” April 25), David Shayne misrepresents my views andmy comments during my recent visit to Seattle. The subject of my talk was not the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic stalemate, and I did not assert that Israeli settlements and BenjaminNetanyahu’s intransigence are solely responsible for that stalemate. Rather, I described thedanger that the settlement effort poses to Israel’s own democracy and cohesion as a state.A two-state agreement, I argued, is in Israel’s interests. Obviously, reaching an agree-ment also depends on the Palestinian side. But I’m hardly alone in the assessment that theNetanyahu government is uninterested in reaching an accord. The former head of Israel’sShin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, recently expressed the same evaluation, based onhis own experience working with Netanyahu.Contrary to what Shayne writes, I do not dismiss Hamas’s attitudes toward Israel. How-ever, his argument that Israel cannot pursue peace as long as Hamas has an inuence in Pal-estinian politics grants that organization a permanent veto over compromise. Israel cannotdictate internal Palestinian politics. But it does have the potential to reduce Hamas’s inu-ence and increase that of moderate Palestinians by showing that it is committed to a two-state outcome. On the other hand, to postpone peace efforts grants a victory to extremism.
Gerhom GorebergJeralem
Thank you for your coverage of author Gershom Gorenberg, who spoke about pre-serving Israel’s democracy on April 17 to a packed house at Temple De Hirsch Sinai inSeattle. I would like to add a few comments to the JTNews story about Gorenberg’s visit.First of all, I was deeply touched that so much support from local congregations wasvisible at the event. Though primarily sponsored by J Street Seattle and Temple De HirschSinai, additional co-sponsorship was provided by Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Con-gregation and Temple B’nai Torah. Additional support was given by Congregation BethShalom and Temple Beth Am. I commend the rabbis, staff and members of each of thesecommunities for their participation.Second, I was delighted to nd that the audience included a diverse representation of the political and denominational landscape. Why? Because Gorenberg asks us to challengestereotypes and reject the either/or argument of “Israel can do no wrong” versus “Israelcan do no right” that is simplistic, divisive, and only serves to promote a knee-jerk reactionto bury one’s Jewish head in the sand to “avoid conict” about something “so complicated” and “so political.” I thought the nal remark of the JTNews article was right on the mark: “Instead he (Gorenberg) encourages people to learn to understand complexity andchallenge themselves with cognitive dissonance.” For me, it is only through cognitive dissonance (e.g., the simultaneous truth of “I loveIsrael” and “I don’t think Israel is living up to ethics of my Judaic foundation”) that I canbegin to unbury my head and engage in sane dialogue on the subject of Israel’s occupa-tion of Palestine. Dialogue is not debate. Dialogue is engaging and empowering. It offersus a safe environment in which we can stop, listen, engage, reect, and connect.J Street provides me, as an American Jew, a way to engage nuance in a forward-think-ing manner. For me, pro-Israel dialogue is that which is focused on a viable future forboth Israelis and Palestinians. Protection of Israel’s security and preservation of Israel’sdemocracy are not mutually exclusive ends. It’s denitely time for more dialogue!
Margie Coleseattle

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