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New Jersey Jewish Standard, January 11, 2013

New Jersey Jewish Standard, January 11, 2013

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January 11, 2013 · Vol. LXXXII · No. 16 · $1.00
JSTANDARD.COM
2012 81
N E W J E R S E Y
JewishStandard
Havana nagila
Postcard from
Federation’s
mission to
Cuba
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2 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
JANUARY
27
OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
Jewish Federation
JFNNJ.ORG/SUPERSUNDAY
for more information contact Dana Garay
201-820-3937 • danag@jfnnj.org
sign up to make calls!
THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE. THE POWER OF COMMUNITY.
Howard Chernin | Mathew Libien
Amy Shafron
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START OFF THE NEW YEAR
WITH A TOUCHDOWN
ON
PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT
Jewish Standard (USPS 275-700 ISN 0021-6747) is published weekly on Fridays with an additional edition every October, by the
New Jersey Jewish Media Group, 1086 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666. Periodicals postage paid at Hackensack, NJ and
additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to New Jersey Jewish Media Group, 1086 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ
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FYI
Tax cut fine print
Larry yudeLson
Y
ou may be relieved the fiscal cliff discussion is over.
But the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey wants
to bring your attention to some of the fine print of the tax
cuts approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack
Obama last week.
In particular, it wants those 70½ or older who are taking a
minimum distribution from their IRAs to know that they are again
allowed to donate the distribution directly to charity and “it won’t
count toward your taxable income,” according to Robin Rochlin, the
managing director of the federation’s endowment foundation.
Rollovers now are allowed for 2013 — and, retroactively, for 2012.
But to have the rollover count for the 2012 tax year, the paperwork
must be completed before the end of January.
For more information, call Rochlin at (201) 820-3970 or email her
at robinr@jfnnj.org.
The federation said that its efforts to maintain the charitable tax
deduction — through its representatives at the Jewish Federation of
North America — were successful.
The bill does reinstate the so-called “Pease limitation,” which
imposes a so-called haircut of 3 percent of income in excess of
$300,000 on certain itemized deductions, including the charitable
contribution deduction. This provision first was introduced into the
tax law in 1990, and according to JFNA it has had minimal impact on
the level of charitable giving.
letters to the edItor PAGe 14
Jewish holy places in Israel belong to all Jews of every
denomination and kind.
Shel Haas, Fort Lee
CANdlelIGhtING tIMe: FrIdAY, jAN. 11, 4:30 P.M.
shABBAt eNds: sAtUrdAY, jAN 12, 5:34 P.M.
Noshes ................................................................................................... 5
oPINIoN ...............................................................................................12
Cover storY...................................................................... 16
torAh CoMMeNtArY ................................. 34
Arts & leIsUre ...........................................................35
lIFeCYCle ....................................................................................38
ClAssIFIed ............................................................................. 40
GAllerY ......................................................................................... 42
hoMe desIGN ................................................................... 43
reAl estAte ...................................................................... 45
Contents
Yes and no, I went to dinner
and was home before midnight. 0%
No, I stayed home. 1%
Yes, I went to a party. 99%
Did you
go out for
New Year’s
Eve?
Should the Senate confirm Chuck Hagel as
Secretary of Defense?
To vote, log onto jstandard.com
IsrAel
Can Sharansky
make peace at
the Wall? 22
Arts & CUltUre
Eye on the New York
Jewish Film Festival 35
loCAl
Rabbi takes
aim at gun
violence 11
Arts & CUltUre
Talking daguerreotypes
in Teaneck 8
loCAl
The politicians of
Ridgewood’s Temple Israel 6
JS-3
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 3
On the cover: Gale s. and david Bindelglass
pose with the israeli and Cuban flags in
one of havana’s synagogues. Photographs
by their son Perry Bindelglass.
JS-4
www.jchcorp.org
“We Couldn’t Have
Said It Better Ourselves” Scan to read
more testimonials
903-905 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ
Join Us For Our Next Open House
January 31, 2013 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Enjoy Light Refreshments and a
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RSVP 973.929.2725
Our Residents Are Our Best Advertisement
Owned and Managed by the Jewish Community
Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey
Lester Senior Housing Community
Low and Moderate Income Units Available
Community
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6 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Bringing politics closer to home
ridgewood shul boasts two elected officials
Lois GoLdrich
W
hile the phrase “shul politics”
conjures up images of con-
gregants arguing heatedly
over issues from clergy to prayer books,
at Ridgewood’s Temple Israel and Jewish
Community Center politics and syna-
gogue life intersect in a different way.
Not only can the synagogue claim
Ridgewood mayor Paul Aronsohn as one
of its own, but on November 6 another
congregant, Tracy Silna Zur, won a seat
on Bergen County’s Board of Chosen
Freeholders.
For his part, Temple Israel’s Rabbi
David J. Fine, is pleased to have them as
members of the shul.
“While congregations in the D.C. area
will often have senators and members
of Congress in their ranks, having local
politicians in shul is, in a sense, more
special because with local politicians, the
relationship with the constituency is so
much more immediate,” Fine said. “We at
Temple Israel in Ridgewood are honored
to have Mayor Aronsohn and Freeholder
Zur as part of our congregation, as they
bring honor to the Jewish community as
well as the wider polity.”
Fine said he has always been inspired
by the saying of Hillel, “Do not separate
yourself from the community.” When he
graduated from rabbinical school some
14 years ago, he said, “we each had to
choose a favorite quotation from the vast
corpus of rabbinic literature, and that
was what I chose. Judaism teaches us to
be always involved and engaged in the
public good. I am thrilled to be able to
work together with Mayor Aronsohn and
Freeholder Zur towards that good, and in
setting an example for others.”
In speaking with the Jewish Standard,
both politicians cited their desire to serve
the community as the major impetus for
their political involvement.
“I love Ridgewood, and I love public
service,” Aronsohn said. He grew up in
Fort Lee, where he attended high school.
After years spent in Washington, D.C., and
New York, he came back to New Jersey,
ultimately settling in Ridgewood. Elected
to the village council in 2008, he was
re-elected in 2012 and chosen as mayor
then.
While technically the position is
not full time, “it feels like it,” Aronsohn
said. His day job — director of executive
communications at Bristol-Myers Squibb
— takes him to Princeton four days a
week.
“It’s not easy, it’s a juggling act,” he
said. Fortunately, a lot of the village
work can be done at night, when most
meetings are held. Still, to stay current, “I
carry my iPad, return emails, and step out
to make phone calls.”
Aronsohn’s political resume is
impressive.
Graduating from George Washington
University with a bachelor’s degree in
political communication in 1982 and a
master’s in political science, again from
GW, in 1992, he went on to work for the
Clinton administration in the areas of
foreign policy and national security.
He also had an opportunity to serve
three American ambassadors to the
United Nations: Madeleine Albright, Bill
Richardson, and Richard Holbrooke.
The UN community did not treat Israel
well, Aronsohn believes; but “the United
States always has been one of Israel’s
staunchest, most reliable supporters”
there, and all three ambassadors under
whom he worked focused on that
problem. Under Holbrooke, he said, the
United States was able to help change the
policy that made Israel the only country
precluded from joining a regional group.
“We were able to fix that,” he said. “As
an American Jew, I took great pride in that
effort.”
Moving back to New Jersey, he spent
a year as communications director
and spokesperson for former Governor
James McGreevey. Then, in 2006, he
ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic
candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s
5th District.
Since 2008, Aronsohn has served on
the Ridgewood Village Council.
“I started off in national and
international affairs, then state, then
local. I knew I loved public service, but
when I joined the council, it was my first
time as an elected official,” Aronsohn
said. “I’m surprised by how much I love
it — from parking issues to budgets. I love
working with people, and this gives me an
opportunity to do it even more closely.”
While his work on the Ridgewood
council has involved him in areas from
commerce to citizens’ safety, his proudest
achievement has been the creation of the
Ridgewood Community Access Network,
a local group formed to address disability-
related issues.
“Disability is a personal issue for me,”
he said. “My sister has significant physical
disabilities, and this has informed my
thinking over the years.”
Since joining the council he has run
monthly meetings dealing with various
aspects of this issue, from educational
initiatives to parking access to programs
for special-needs children.
Aronsohn credits Jewish values with
influencing his political and personal
outlook.
“Part of Jewish identity is commitment
to family, community, and public service,”
he said. “But I’d have to say that the most
profound impact [came from] my father.
He was a World War II veteran who taught
me about patriotism, sense of country,
and service.”
Aronsohn said that one of his goals
is to get local residents more engaged in
the process of government, “to make it
more transparent, more user-friendly. It
makes it more challenging when more
people come and express their views, but
at the end of the day, it will be a better
community.”
The mayor, who lives with his wife,
Marie, and stepchildren Anna and Luke,
described Ridgewood as “one of the most
inclusive places I’ve ever lived.
“We’ve got a vibrant interfaith
community, with four interfaith
services during year,” he said. One of
those gatherings commemorates the
Holocaust.
Noting the importance of having a
supportive family, Aronsohn said that
“when you live a public life like this,
demands are felt by the entire family. My
family has been 110 percent behind me.”
In addition, he said, the entire family
has a commitment to public affairs. He
met his wife when she was a journalist for
New Jersey Network; his daughter, Anna,
is a student activist; and his son, Luke, is
a history buff — “watching every history
documentary.”
-
Tracy Silna Zur, who was sworn in as
a Bergen County freeholder last week, is
equally passionate about public service.
The longtime Franklin Lakes resident,
who grew up in Woodcliff Lake, credits
her strong communal commitment to her
family.
“We had it with our Wheaties,” she
said, reeling off some of the positions held
by her father, Daniel Silna, who has been
“We at Temple Israel in
Ridgewood are honored to
have Mayor Aronsohn and
Freeholder Zur as part of our
congregation.”
— Rabbi David J. Fine
New freeholder Tracy Silna Zur with Ridgewood’s Mayor Paul Aronsohn, left, and
Rabbi David J. Fine. Johanna resnick rosen/candid eye
JS-7
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 7
president of UJA-NNJ (now the Jewish
Federation of Northern New Jersey),
the Bergen County YJCC, and Temple
Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake.
Zur has been active in her own right,
serving JFNNJ as a Women’s Philanthropy
board member, sitting on the board of
the Gerrard Berman Day School, and
volunteering for Alternatives to Domestic
Violence and Meals on Wheels.
She also learned important lessons
from her grandfather, who emigrated to
Palestine from Latvia and later moved to
the United States.
For him, “love of our country” was
critical, she said. “He told us that we
were fortunate to live in America, and in
communities that are tolerant. Our job is
to make sure that they continue to thrive.”
Noting that her father served on
the council in Woodcliff Lake, Zur said
she “grew up seeing that you can make
a difference; that being involved and
engaged was important. It was a way to
internalize the whole concept of tikkun
olam, to make the community better.”
Like Aronsohn, she described her new
job as technically being part-time. But,
she said, “I feel it will be what occupies
most of my days.”
She already is quite busy. A prosecutor
for the city of Hoboken, she also works
with the Rutherford law firm Fahy Choi.
This in addition to raising three children
— ages 6, 10, and 15 — together with
husband Bobby.
A lifelong Bergen County resident, Zur
holds a B.A. from the University of Texas
at Austin and a law degree from Fordham
University. She is now pursuing a master’s
degree in public administration from
Rutgers University.
While Zur has been involved in New
Jersey politics — she was legal counsel
and scheduler for Rep. Bill Pascrell in
1997— this is her first elected office.
“I was a judge in municipal court for
five years,” she said. “When the term
ended, I decided to go back to graduate
school for public administration. The
government side of things was the part
I liked best — where you get to make a
difference in people’s lives. Government
service was a way of doing that on a
broader scale.”
Before serving as a judge, she was
a public defender in Englewood, “so
I certainly was always involved and
engaged with government in some
way. I’ve also been involved in a
supportive role, helping other qualified
and competent individuals get elected.”
Zur said her husband and children
have been totally supportive of her
political aspirations.
“My daughters were giving out flyers
and going with me to parades and
events,” she said. “My husband manned
the fort to make sure nothing was
falling through the cracks at home.” Her
extended family — parents, cousins, and
nephews — helped out as well.
Zur said that with her election as a
county freeholder, there are now three
women on the seven-member board.
“Women have come a long way,”
she said, paying tribute to State Senate
Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, whom
she called “tremendously supportive.”
“Women bring a lot to the table,” Zur
said. “There’s a certain perspective we can
vocalize and insights we can bring to the
board. As for challenges,” she laughed,
“I’m sure I’ll learn.”
She did note, however, that women
in politics tend to have “Rolodexes that
aren’t as deep” as those of men, and
they are often called upon to negotiate
challenges related to family life.
Still, she said, “I have a family that’s
with me 100 percent, so I’m well situated
to take challenges at full throttle.”
Zur said the freeholder board meets
every Wednesday night. She will chair
three different committees — law
and public safety, health services, and
planning and economic development.
She will also serve as liaison to Bergen
Regional Medical Center and the county
board of social services.
“It will end up being a full-time
job.” she said. “I’m not delusional. It
will require a lot of work. I’ll do my
homework – reading through everything,
formulating opinions, delving into all
sides of an issue. [But] this is the kind
of work I’m passionate about, making a
difference for people in Bergen County.”
Zur described the Board of Freeholders
as a “county legislature, providing
services for all 70 towns and doing wide-
ranging work” from overseeing law and
public safety issues to making decisions
about education, special needs services,
and public works.
“There are so many different areas
in which the county is involved and
providing services,” she said. “It’s a great
opportunity. All 905,000 residents of
Bergen County are my constituents.”
The new freeholder said that she
brings to her new position the skill of
being a “good listener — one of the most
important things in government.” She
plans to have an open-door policy, to
learn “what the people need and what
their priorities are. It’s the beauty of our
democratic process of government.
“Throughout the campaign I gave out
20,000 business cards with my cell phone
number on it,” she said. “I plan to be
see RiDgewooD page 32
32 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
www.jstandard.com
JS-32
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 7
present at community events and interface with different
constituent groups, different ethnic and religious
communities, and have a dialogue about issues in the
community.”
Among her priorities will be dealing with the
relationship between county police and the sheriff’s
department, strengthening the Bergen Regional Medical
Center and Bergen Community College, attracting
businesses to the county, and providing for such groups
as seniors and children with special needs.
Zur commended the county’s response to the wave
of anti-Semitic acts that occurred during the past year.
But, she said, “the Jewish community is diverse and
is benefited by all [county] services,” such as rides for
seniors and meals on wheels. For example, she noted,
“We all want safe parks to play in and access to special
services for those who need extra help.”
She noted that Rabbi David Fine performed the
invocation at her swearing-in ceremony.
She said she “loves the congregation, not just because
of its focus on educating my children Jewishly but for
being socially cognizant,” engaging in such projects as
interfaith park cleanups.
“It fulfills us spiritually as well,” she said.
Ridgewood from page 7
32 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
“We want to focus on change that would be real and
meaningful, not on fruitless debates with diehard gun
advocates. The battle is not with the NRA” — the National
Rifle Association. “For now, we want to focus on closing
the gun show loophole, limiting the number of guns
people could buy in a month to one, passing legislation
that would limit the number of bullets in a clip, let’s say
to 10, and demanding universal background checks on
gun buyers.” (The gun show loophole allows unlicensed
vendors to sell guns without background checks.)
The goal “is to create a broad coalition on this issue,”
he continued. “We don’t want it to be just of liberal
progressive folks, but of people across the range of
political and religious perspectives who think it is time
to act.”
The group that met, as diverse as it was, was
interestingly united in its understanding of the problem
of gun violence, Mosbacher said. An entirely unscientific
poll on the four issues the group wants to address drew
unanimous agreement.
The meeting ended with a plan.
The New Jersey participants came from many
legislative districts. “We’ve already done some research,
and we know that five members of the New Jersey
delegation to Washington historically have not been
supportive of gun control legislation, so we’re trying to
get meetings with them,” Mosbacher said “We’ve already
asked for a meeting with [Rep. Scott] Garrett [R-Dist.
5]. A number of people there were from [Rep. Rodney]
Freylinghausen’s [R-Dist. 11] district and will ask for a
meeting with him. We would like to ask about their plans
on how to limit gun violence in this county.
“The intention is to do that in private, with groups
of clergy, across lines of race and faith and class and
geography.
“That’s Step 1.
“Step 2 — we’re hoping to put together a public
gathering in the next few weeks, where we would report
back on those meetings, share stories from our members
about how gun violence has affected us. In the ideal
world, we’d have these legislators with us at the meetings,
and we would ask them publicly the same questions we’d
asked them privately.
“The public meeting is for everybody,” Mosbacher
continued. “We would share stories about why this
matters. We hope the legislators, if they could come,
would be willing to support some of those things, and
we’d publicly celebrate them. Or if not they could come
and debate with us.”
This, Mosbacher said, is the group’s northern New
Jersey strategy.
On the statewide level, “in the beginning of February,
we are going to put together a clergy gathering, with
the idea of trying to meet with all the members of the
New Jersey delegation who historically have not been
supportive of gun control legislation.”
The plan is to be bipartisan. Although Democrats
are in favor of gun control legislation in New Jersey
while Republicans tend to be against it, Mosbacher
said, that pattern does not hold across the country.
Many Democrats support the NRA. The issue of gun
control ideally should not be bound by partisan politics,
Mosbacher believes.
On the most ambitious level — the national stage —
Mosbacher dreams of organizing a march on Washington
“that might bring together an unlikely, diverse group
of people – clergy, police officers, doctors, other health
care workers. The goal is not just to bring the usual
progressive coalition.
“If it’s just northeast progressives, we’ll feel good
about it, but it won’t be as effective,” he said. “We want
everyone there, in the same space.”
It is important to act now, he added, “because there is
a limited window of time.” Why? Because people forget.
“They already are forgetting. The horror that we all
felt after Newtown will fade, and soon the president and
vice president will propose whatever legislation they
propose, and heels will begin to dig in in Washington, as
they always do.”
Mosbacher knows gun control isn’t the only issue.
“We feel we can make a significant impact, but it will
not completely resolve the problem of gun violence. Do
we have to have a conversation about access to mental
health care? Yes. Do we have to have a conversation
about violence in the media? Yes.
“Right now, we’re trying to highlight or identify a few
concrete, potentially winnable steps that could make an
impact right away.”
Mosbacher is propelled into this work both by an
abstract belief in its importance and a more personal
understanding of the misery a gun can cause. “Fourteen
years ago, my father was murdered,” he said. “He was a
victim of gun violence – although the sad truth is that no
legislation is likely to have saved him.”
Mosbacher’s father owned a small business on
Chicago’s South Side. “He was held up, and it turned into
a murder,” Mosbacher said.
“I’ve always known that nothing good could come out
of his murder. He will never come back.
“We know the names of the victims of Newtown and
the people who were at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, the
victims of Aurora and Columbine. And we should know
them. But there are 30,000 victims of gun violence every
year. Nobody knows their names.”
He was not the only person at the meeting to have
been affected personally by gun violence, Mosbacher
said. “It was amazing how many people have
connections to it. We think that it’s an urban problem
– that it doesn’t affect Jews, or people who live in the
suburbs. We’re wrong.
“There are 300 million guns in private hands. I have to
be clear. We are in no way saying that it is our goal to take
back those guns.” Instead, he hopes for legislation that
controls how they are bought, sold, and used.
Mosbacher knows that the problem is huge and
seemingly intractable, but he is not daunted.
“This is a community organizational model,” he
said. “People of faith who have organized money and
organized people can be powerful. We hope that out of
this gathering of people of faith will grow powerful efforts
on a wide range of issues.
gun Violence from page 11
JS-8*
8 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Daguerreotypes from the trail
teaneck author talks about the adventures of an early Jewish photographer
Charles Zusman
W
hat would prompt a man who is successful
in business and active and respected in his
Jewish community to take leave of a loving
wife and three children and trek over the Rocky moun-
tains in winter, on foot and by mule and horseback?
In the case of Solomon Nunes Carvalho, 38 at the time,
it was the lure of a “Remarkable Western Adventure.” In
1853, Carvalho began work as a photographer with John
C. Fremont’s fifth expedition to map a railroad route to
the West Coast.
“Remarkable Western Adventure” also is the subtitle
of a book by Arlene Hirschfelder of Teaneck, who tells
Carvalho’s story,
The book, “Photo Odyssey, Solomon Carvalho’s
Remarkable Western Adventure,” was published in 2000.
It is now the subject of a nearly completed one-hour doc-
umentary, and Hirschfelder, the author of some 25 works
mainly dealing with Native American history and culture,
will speak about Carvalho on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the
Teaneck General Store, 502 Cedar Lane. Her presentation
will include an 11-minute trailer on the film.
Carvalho worked with daguerreotypes, an early form
of photography developed in France by Louis-Jacque-
Mande Daguerre. Daguerreotypes did not require
negatives. Instead, images were stored directly on silver
coated copper plates, requiring a cumbersome devel-
oping process. The cameras that captured the images
were large, boxy, and cumbersome. A modern 35 mil-
limeter device would have been an impossible dream to
the 1850s photographer — much less today’s cellphone
camera.
Carvalho had to pack a lot of heavy, awkward gear and
chemicals, dragging it all over mountains and through
blizzards — all the while putting up with recalcitrant
pack mules with minds of their own.
Carvalho was a city boy. He had lived in Baltimore,
Philadelphia, and New York, making his living as a por-
trait painter and photographer. Nevertheless, he left his
urban ties behind and signed up for the adventure of his
life.
As Hirschfelder recounts, Solomon Nunes Carvalho
was born in Charleston, S.C., a city with a vibrant Jewish
community, in 1815. The family was Sephardic, with
roots in Portugal.
Solomon’s father, David, helped establish the first
Reform congregation in the country, and his son held
on to his traditional Orthodox roots. Keeping kosher
along the trail was a challenge, as Hirschfelder writes, but
Carvalho did his best.
“He often ate nothing or had to make do” with what-
ever the Indian hunters who were part of the expedition
could supply, she writes. He compromised. He devel-
oped a taste for horsemeat, and ate mule meat as well.
After all, as Jewish law requires, he acted to save a life, in
this case his own. But when a hunter in the party killed a
coyote, Carvalho went hungry rather than eat the flesh of
an animal that fed on carrion. Similarly, although he ate
the meat of furry rodents, he drew the line at porcupine
— he thought that the animal looked too much like a pig.
Fremont hired Delaware Indians as guides and hunt-
ers for the trip, and Carvalho encountered Cheyenne
and Ute along the way. Thus, he met representatives of a
number of Native American tribes.
Hirschfelder, a Chicago native, lives in Teaneck with
her husband, Dennis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in
history from Brandeis University and a master’s in art ed-
ucation from the University of Chicago. Her book about
Carvalho is the product of an enduring interest in Native
American affairs.
She has been on the lookout for stories of Jewish-
Indian connections. The two groups first met in the
1600s, when Jewish traders began traveling among the
Native Americans, she said. She read the book “Jews
Among Indians” by M.L. Marks, and there she found a
chapter on Carvalho.
“He spoke to me,” she said, recalling the excite-
ment of her discovery. “He tapped me on the shoulder.”
Carvalho’s story seemed tailor-made for her. “It all came
together,” she said. “Here was an Orthodox Jew who
learned how to hunt buffalo.”
Carvalho survived blizzards, prairie fires, and near
starvation in the Rockies, she said. He learned to chop
wood and saddle a horse. His mentors were Indian
guides and hunters. (For the record, Hirschfelder uses
the terms “Native American” and “Indian” interchange-
ably. Both are correct, she says.)
Eventually the bedraggled party — skinny, unwashed,
hungry — found itself in Parowan in southern Utah,
where the men were taken in and nurtured by Mormons.
After regaining his health, Carvalho went to Salt Lake
City, where he met and carried on philosophical discus-
sions with Mormon prophet Brigham Young.
In the end the grand adventure was just that, an ad-
venture. Congress never acted on Fremont’s findings and
the railroad he worked to map out never was built.
Hirschfelder sees a strong link between her religious
affiliaton and social justice. “Dennis and I are Reform
Jews,” she said. “Reform Jews marched with Martin
Luther King.” When she was a staffer with the Association
of American Indian Affairs, she helped the Coushatta
tribe in Louisiana gain federal recognition, a status that
brought the tribe economic benefits. She taught at the
New School in New York and has conducted workshops
for teachers. She has written some 25 books about Native
Americans.
Indians have had “such a powerful presence in U.S.
history, and were more influential than many would
think,” she said. She is disturbed by the negative imagery
often associated with Indians. “They have been so stereo-
typed,” she said.
Hirschfelder drew heavily on Carvalho’s own words
for her book. They come from his journal, “Incidents
of Travel in the Far West with Col. Fremont’s Last
Expedition.” She illustrated her book with contemporary
engravings and painting. One, by Carvalho, is of Wakara,
a peace-making Ute chief.
Carvalho took hundreds of daguerrotypes, but most
were shipped to a warehouse and were lost in a fire,
Hirschfelder said.
Carvalho died in 1897 in New York. He was 82.
the hour-long documentary “Carvalho’s Journey” is
scheduled to be completed this year, according to
its director, steve rivo. it will be distributed by the
national Center for Jewish Film and broadcast by PBs,
he added.
arlene hirschfelder’s book provides the core of the
film, which relies heavily on the work of robert shlaer,
an artist and photographer who made daguerreotypes
as he retraced the Fremont route. the film includes
interviews with historians, dramatic reenactments, and
voice-overs. it was partly filmed in the western United
states, using Carvalho’s journal as a guide. rivo said
the film, which he called a “labor of love,” is a story of
early photography as well as a chronicle of Carvalho’s
adventure. it is funded by grants from foundations and
individuals.
an 11-minute trailer will be shown sunday as part of
hirschfelder’s talk at 10:30 a.m. at the teaneck General
store.
For more information, go to www.jewishfilm.org/fiscal_
sponsorship_carvalho.htm.
Who: arlene hirschfelder
What: will talk about her book about
the early photographer solomon
nunes Carvalho
When: sunday, January 13, 10:30 a.m.
Where: the teaneck General store,
502 Cedar Lane.
For information: (201) 530-5046
Arlene Hirschfelder’s book includes daguerreotype
portrait of Solomon Carvalho. Charles Zusman
This typical daguerreotype was found in an antique
store.
JS-9
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 9
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades
Life your Center for
The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades
is a barrier free and handicapped
accessible facility.
January 11th, 2013 Shevat 5773 | ג” עשת Welcome | םיאבה םיכורב
READERS’
CHOICE
2012

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facebook.com/KaplenJCCOTP
N
ew Year, N
ew You! at the JCC
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201.408.1448 | join@jccotp.org | www.jccotp.org
Join in January
& get ONE MONTH
FREE!*
Individual, family, youth & senior
membership options available.
Offer applies to a 12 month membership.
Not to be combined with other offers.
Offer open to new members only.
Restrictions apply.
No building fund or bond required.
• Cutting edge strength training, resistance, cardio & spin equipment
• Free! More than 70 group exercise classes
• Free! orientation & fitness assessment
• Basketball, racquetball & tennis courts
• Youth Fitness Center & exercise classes for ages 6-13
• CPR-trained swim instructors & lessons for all ages
• Luxurious Spa Center
• Infant & Toddler Center and Nursery School
• Neil Klatskin Day Camp ACA accredited
• Outdoor water park & pool
*Restrictions apply
Wednesday
January 16
7:30 pm
Thursdays at 6:00 pm
January 31, February 28,
April 25 & May 30
$18 per session/per person • Pre-registration required
with Michelle Levine, Outreach & Marketing Director
for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
Interested in baking?
Want to help those in need?
It is difficult to fathom Israel’s rapid transformation from the
early pioneering days to the landscape of today, but thanks to
photos taken by the founders of the Society for the Protection
of Nature in Israel, the accelerated development comes into
crystal clear focus. In this multi-media presentation, Michelle
Levine will review Israel’s natural treasures and discuss the
status of recent environmental issues and projects in Israel.
Join us for fun sessions of cooking, discussion of Jewish
values, and chesed, and learn a new bread recipe each class!
Each session will include baking one loaf of bread for yourself,
another for Senior Adults, and donating the value of a third
loaf to the Center for Food Action.
Tu B’Shevat Program
Special Event
For more information call Robyn at 201.408.1429 For more information call Robyn at 201.408.1429
Environmental Victories in Israel
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BREAD for HUNGER
A Family Education & Social Action Program
for Parents and Children Ages 10 +
JS 011113_JS 011113 1/7/13 7:55 PM Page 1
JS-10*
10 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
From the office to the Table
alan sweifach looks back at his years at north Jersey’s federation
Larry yudeLson
W
hen you work for a Jewish communal orga-
nization, the normal frustrations of the
workaday world — the spreadsheets that
won’t print properly, the deadlines that pile up, the
nightmarish conversations with the phone company —
are overshadowed by the twin thrills of helping people
and playing a role in the grand arc of Jewish history.
For Alan Sweifach of Teaneck, the specific spread-
sheets will change as he concludes an almost 12-year
tenure at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey
and begins work at the Jewish Federations of North
America in lower Manhattan on Monday. But the mean-
ing will be the same. Having focused on community
planning for the New Jersey organization, and particu-
larly on the relationship between the federation and its
affiliated agencies, Sweifach now will help the umbrella
organization of federations plan for the needs of the
global Jewish community.
Looking back on his time at the Paramus federa-
tion, Sweifach said he is most proud of helping local
synagogues and agencies write homeland security grant
applications, which have brought in $3.6 million to the
community institutions.
He’s happy about the direct good the grants achieved
in making the community safer.
And he’s also pleased that his grant-writing helped
show the community “the value-added that the fed-
eration provides in the community, and why you need
a strong federation to have strong agencies and institu-
tions,” he said.
Sweifach came to the federation after working at the
Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest New Jersey in
East Orange, where he was involved in resettling refu-
gees from the former Soviet Union. It was experience
that proved invaluable in his connections with federa-
tion’s agencies.
“He’s loved by the agency execs and their leadership,”
David Goodman, president of the federation, said. “He’s
loved by the lay leadership. I’m really saddened we’re
going to lose him in this community.”
“Alan’s gain through this job is going to be our loss,”
said Paula Shaiman, who worked with Sweifach as a
leader of both the federation and the Jewish Family
Service of North Jersey. “But it will be wonderful to work
with him in his new position.”
Sweifach began working for the federation in March
2001. The biggest change in the charity since then?
“It is becoming more donor-centric,” he said. “Part
of it is out of necessity. For the younger donors, it’s not a
given that people will give to Federation.”
Sweifach is a big believer in “the power of collective
giving and collective action” — and is happy to have a
chance to demonstrate it through his work.
Appealing to donor’s interests is fine, he said, but he
cautions that “you still have to keep in mind what the
community’s interests are — and sometimes they don’t
coincide as much as you hope they will. You try to ex-
plain and you hope the message is compelling enough
and you explain why you do what you do. You hope
when you meet one on one with the donors and explain
it to them that they will get it.”
Sweifach points to the power of collective action in
resettling Jews from the former Soviet Union.
The federations “were able to act as a system,” he
said. “We as a system identified a need, and we as a
system moved two million Soviet Jews to Israel and to
North America. Whether or not Akron, Ohio, for ex-
ample — or any other community — resettled a single
Soviet Jew, they were expected to raise the money and
contribute toward this national effort. Those that did
not resettle Soviet Jews were expected to raise the mon-
ey and contribute toward this national effort. Those that
did resettle Soviet Jews were helped through the system
by the communities that did not.
“The question is, what are the next issues and topics
that we as a system should be tackling on behalf of the
Jewish people?”
That will be a central question he will help the fed-
eration system address in his new role as senior director
for the Global Planning Table of the Jewish Federations
of North America. Initially, the Global Planning Table
will examine overseas projects funded by the federa-
tions, but Sweifach looks forward to it eventually dis-
cussing “needs here in which we can act as a system. Is
it Jewish unemployment? Is it Jewish hunger? Is it the
elderly? I think that’s what the Global Planning Table
has the potential to do. There is a value to the system in
taking collective action, not only to identify the needs,
but to provide the funding. This will help us to raise the
dollars and show the relevance of the system.
“I believe with all my heart there is relevancy for it,
which is why I’m so excited about being a part of it.”
The worst of times
H
elping bring Homeland Security grants
to northern New Jersey was the highlight
of Alan Sweifach’s career at the Jewish
Federation of Northern New Jersey.
But what was the lowlight?
“My worst moment was two months after I
started here in Federation. I had picked up doing
the demographic study we were doing. We had
hired the contractor, hired the workers, had paid
over $100,000 to the demographers, had publicized
that the survey was taking place at such-and-such a
time — and then Verizon told me they needed one
month’s notice to hook up the telephone lines and
the date was in three weeks. I thought all Verizon
had to do was to flick a switch. Really, Verizon had to
assign telephone numbers to all the lines.
“And they told me that would take a month.
“I thought I was going to lose my job two months
after I started.”
But his wife worked at Verizon.
“It took my wife’s connections to get all the lines
all done,” he said.
Alan Sweifach faces new job but familiar challenges. Courtesy JFNNJ
“The question is, what are the next
issues and topics that we as a system
should be tackling on behalf of the
Jewish people?”
— ALAN SWEIFACH
“He’s loved by the lay leadership. I’m
really saddened we’re going to lose him
in this community.”
—DAVID GOODMAN
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 11
JS-11*
Public school students attend NCSY event in Connecticut
More than 270 public school teens from across the
country gathered last week at the Stamford Hilton in
Connecticut for NCSY’s National Yarchei Kallah. NCSY
is the Orthodox Union’s international youth movement.
The kallah is a five-day learning program designed
to connect public high school teens with their Jewish
heritage through learning Torah and discussions, as they
have fun during their winter break.
The primary focus of the week was delving into
Megillat Esther. There also were classes in Talmud,
psalms, prayer, Jewish law, prophets, ethics, chasidic
mysticism, and Jewish thought. Eitan Katz performed
on Thursday, and the kallah ended with a Shabbaton
in Teaneck. Every participant received two books from
the classes they attended thanks to a donation by Touro
College.
Bri efly local
Superstorm mitzvah event
Barnert Temple’s 13th annual Mitzvah Mall, set for
Sunday, January 13, from 9 a.m. until noon, will showcase
10 organizations actively involved in the Superstorm
Sandy relief effort.
Organizations include Family to Family, the Food
Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Good People
Fund, Jewish Association Serving the Aged, Jewish
Helping Hands, the Moonachie/Little Ferry Relief Fund,
Nechama – Jewish Response to Disaster, New Jersey
Coalition to End Homelessness, Seer Farms, and the West
End Temple.
Interactive tables will be set up to help participants
learn more about the organizations and donate to those
to which they resonate most.
Over the past 10 years, Barnert’s Mitzvah Malls have
netted on average between $20,000 and $30,000 per year.
The Mitzvah Mall is open to everyone and will be held
at the synagogue, 747 Route 208 South, Franklin Lakes.
The men’s club will host a pancake breakfast and the
sisterhood will raffle baskets. Call (201) 848 1800.
Chesed drive in Englewood
Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood will hold
a chesed drive on Sunday, January 13, from 9 a.m. to 3
p.m. Participants can donate blood through New York
Blood Center, bring food for a drive to benefit the food
pantry at Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North
Hudson, and participate in a bone marrow registry (until
noon). Bottled water, cans of tuna fish, salmon, soups,
peanut butter, detergent, and paper goods are especially
needed. The synagogue is located at 240 Broad Ave. in
Englewood. Call (201) 568-1315.
Courtesy NCsy
Doing something about gun violence
Mahwah rabbi convenes interfaith group to look for real-world, grassroots solutions
Joanne Palmer
F
eeling moral indignation
about gun violence is an
important first step, and
prayer is an activity that he val-
ues tremendously, Rabbi Joel
Mosbacher said.
But those things, as
fundamental as they are, simply
are not enough.
Gun violence has become
an epidemic in this country, he
feels, and it must end.
Mosbacher is the rabbi of
Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, a congregation
whose principles lead it to a great deal of social activism.
This week, he convened a group of local clergypeople to
figure out strategies that could lead to real-world change.
Twenty clergy members — 17 from northern New
Jersey and three from Rockland County — have joined
the group; 15 of them came to the first meeting. The
group includes Reform and Conservative rabbis and
representatives from Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and
Dutch Reformed churches and the Islamic Center of
Passaic County in Paterson.
“The purpose of the gathering is to explore some
initial steps toward making an impact on gun legislation
from a moral, ethical, and religious perspective,”
Mosbacher said. “We feel that we could have a powerful
voice because we come from religious traditions that
speak powerfully about saving lives, and about our
obligation not to stand idly by the blood of our neighbors.
“The impetus for me, and I think for everyone there,
was that we’ve all been at vigils,” he said. “Not only for
Newtown” — the Connecticut village where 20 young
children and six adults were killed by a gunman, fresh
from murdering his mother, using his mother’s guns
— “but for Aurora” — where a body-armored gunman
opened fire in a movie theater, killing 12 and grievously
wounding dozens — “and for Tucson” — where another
crazed shooter killed six people and severely wounded
others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — “and for
Columbine” — where two high school students shot up
their school and killed 13 students, injuring two dozen
more.
They have prayed, Mosbacher said, “and maybe it
is an occupational hazard but I believe that prayer is
important.
“But the question is what are we praying for? Can
we act? Yes, prayer is an act, and expressing moral
indignation is an act, but can we do more to effect
change?”
Clearly, he believes that the answer to that last
rhetorical question is yes.
“Our general goals are to work for the kinds of
legislation that protect children and innocent citizens
while respecting hunters and sportsmen who use guns in
a responsible way for sporting purposes,” he said.
He stressed that the group is not trying to test the
boundaries of the Second Amendment, much less
work for its repeal. “I have congregants in my own
congregation who are worried about legislative slips,
who worry that banning 80-round clips will lead to
banning all guns,” he said. “That is not my goal.” Nor
would it be a realistic goal anyway, he added.
see Gun violence page 32
“The public meeting is for everybody.
We would share stories about why this
matters. We hope the legislators, if they
could come, would be willing to support
some of those things, and we’d publicly
celebrate them. Or if not they could
come and debate with us.”
– Rabbi Joel Mosbacher
Rabbi Joel
Mosbacher
No way to lead
“I
s anybody there?” asks John Adams in the
musical “1776,” referring to the Continental
Congress. “Does anybody care?”
There are times when we wonder the same thing
about Congress or the White House. In fact, we question
whether anyone in Washington actually understands
what it means to lead.
The fiscal cliff and Sandy relief debacles converged in
late December into an object lesson in how not to con-
duct the people’s business.
We are not unmindful that the end of December is tra-
ditionally a lost cause when it comes to productive work,
at least in the public sector. We understand the need for
people to take time out to be with friends and family as
the December holidays unfold.
What troubles us is the petty partisanship that passes
for government today. There is no reason why the leg-
islative and executive branches of government can-
not resolve their differences over crucial issues in late
November, or even early December, without the high
drama of clocks ticking down and hysterical pronounce-
ments of the dawn of an economic apocalypse. There is
no reason why the people’s elected representatives can-
not deal swiftly and forthrightly with restoring homes
and rebuilding shorelines and giving hope and help to
those among the people who feel hopeless and helpless
in the wake of a natural disaster.
Yet that is the picture we all saw— our government
in inaction. This is a great country and it deserves great
leaders. None seem anywhere to be found. Instead, our
“leaders,” from the president on down, went on their
merry way out of town, either to return home or to go
to lush and lavish vacation spots. When some people
are homeless, their leaders teeing off on a golf course
in Paradise is insensitive. Being choked with tears upon
being handed a gavel smacks of theatrical posing, not
genuine concern.
Yet again, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. That is
not leadership; that is open contempt for us, the people
being led. Neither party acquitted itself well in these last
weeks. Both served us ill.
Surely, they must assume some of the blame. We,
the people, however, share a greater part of that blame.
We have become careless in exercising our democratic
responsibilities. Too few people vote. Of those who do,
too few actually take the time to study the issues and the
candidates. We are content to let self-serving so-called
political pundits guide us, rather than taking the time
and making the effort to make up our own minds for the
right reasons. We prefer to put our own individual inter-
ests ahead of society’s interests.
We should not expect our leaders to do their jobs if we
are not prepared to do ours
The hassle over Hagel
T
he nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be
the next secretary of defense is causing many on
the right to say, “See, we told you so.” It is proof,
they say, that President Barack Obama is getting ready
to sell out Israel, while it is a green light to Iran to move
forward with its plans to build a nuclear bomb.
There may have been better choices for the post than
Hagel, but two things he is not: He is not anti-Israel and
he is not for a nuclear Iran.
Regarding the latter, it is being said that Hagel
opposes a military strike on Iran, if such is the only way
to prevent that country from achieving its goal, and this
suggests that Prsident Obama opposes it as well. Yet only
two months ago, a Washington Post op-ed that Hagel
co-authored with several others, including a former
ambassador to Israel, Thomas Pickering, discussed the
positive values of the military option. A “U.S. attack,” the
op-ed said, not only would demonstrate that the United
States is a faithful ally, but it “would derail Iran’s nuclear
ambitions for several years, providing space for other,
potentially longer-term solutions,” by which the authors
mean negotiations. “An attack would also make clear the
United States’ full commitment to nonproliferation as
other nations contemplate moves in that direction.”
Hagel and his co-authors made it clear where they
stand: “Our position is fully consistent with the policy of
presidents for more than a decade of keeping all options
on the table, including the use of military force.... If the
United States attacks, it could set back for several years
Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon. If the objective
were large-scale damage to Iran’s military and weapons
capability, the United States could achieve substantial
success.”
Their concern, Hagel and his colleagues wrote, was
what happens after such an attack. In addition to the
potential political fallout, there is the more important
matter of ending the threat of a nuclear Iran for all time.
Both the United States and Israel acknowledge that Iran
probably has the know-how to produce a bomb. An
attack will set back its plans, but “without large numbers
of troops on the ground,” the op-ed’s authors write, “we
doubt that U.S. military attacks from the air — even if
supplemented by other means such as drones, covert
operations and cyber attacks — could eliminate Iran’s
capability to build a nuclear weapon, unseat the regime,
or force it to capitulate to U.S. demands.”
This is no ringing endorsement for a military option,
but it also is not a denial that such an option is — and
must remain — on the table. As Jewish groups prepare
to take sides on the Hagel nomination, we urge them to
stick to the facts, not exaggerate them and engage in the
kind of scare tactics we saw during the last year’s election
campaign.
Regardless of what we feel about Hagel — and we have
serious reservations about him on many fronts — his
nomination does not signal that President Obama has
abandoned any option when it comes to Iran.
As for the president selling out Israel, his support for
Israel in its most recent (and post-election) attacks in
Gaza should already have put that canard to rest.
JS-12
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We have to stay
away from the
Hagel debate
Sherwin Pomerantz
M
y guess is that none of you have ever heard of
Robert Leeds.
Robert is a 13-year-old former Angelino
now living in Sacramento, California, who just cel-
ebrated his bar mitzvah. Given his understanding of the
real meaning of this milestone in his life, he asked the
guests not to give him gifts but to contribute to a fund he
had established to buy an ambulance for Magen David
Adom’s branch in Ashkelon. (Magen David Adom is
Israel’s emergency ambulance service.)
In the speech at his party he said: “I realize that in life
I have been very blessed. This is my bar mitzvah state-
ment and the responsibility that I am taking on. It’s my
hope to show Israel and the city of Ashkelon that I stand
with them and that’s what becoming a man means to
me.”
Nice story, is it not? A young man sets an example
for all of us of what it means to really feel an obligation
to your people and your community. But this is not the
whole story.
Ashkelon is Sacramento’s 10th sister city abroad,
which was approved at a stormy city council session in
2010 and only after the city approved its 9th sister-city
relationship with Bethlehem in 2009. This was the only
way that Ashkelon could have been approved, because
the local Palestinian community was vehemently
against a relationship with any city in Israel. Welcome to
the new American reality.
In the Sacramento Bee, which carried the story, the
talkbacks also are instructive. Two examples follow:
“A nice gesture, but someone should tell this kid we
already send billions of dollars to support their war ma-
chine so they can tell us what our foreign policy should
be.”
“We give Israel $8 million a day that we borrow from
China. They use it to wage war against their neighbors,
who hate us more each day we give $8 million to Israel.”
So we have to ask the question: Is America getting
tired of its Jews? Is the country that has been the most
hospitable to our people in the entire history of hu-
mankind tired of seeing the Jewish/Israeli issue on page
one every day? By continually analyzing every single
presidential appointment in terms of whether or not it
is good for us and then acting accordingly, are we mak-
ing friends or losing supporters? Is anyone asking those
Sherwin Pomerantz, who has lived in Israel for 29 years, is
president of Atid EDI Ltd., an economic development consult-
ing firm, and a past national president of the Association of
Americans and Canadians in Israel.
12 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
edi tori al
questions? Do we even want to know the answers?
This week President Obama did what many ex-
pected him to do and nominated former Sen. Charles
Hagel, a decorated war veteran and generally well-
respected legislator, to be his secretary of defense. For
the last few weeks there has been editorial after edito-
rial, op-ed after op-ed, discussing the potential of this
appointment. The Wall Street Journal, AIPAC, and the
ADL came out squarely against the appointment, citing
what negative things will be in store for Israel if he is
confirmed. JStreet, Tom Friedman, Roger Cohen, Peter
Beinart and others of note came out in favor of the ap-
pointment and how it really will be good for Israel to
have someone at Defense who looks at Israel honestly.
Does any of this activity help us when it comes to
continued U.S. support for Israel, or does it hurt us? I
think it hurts us, and that we should stay out of the de-
bate altogether.
According to most analysts, the U.S. Congress does
not support Israel because of the great personal love
that each individual legislator has for Israel. Rather it
is because in most cases there is a body of voters who
support each legislator and who are both vocal about
their concerns and prepared to put their financial re-
sources behind candidates who respond to those con-
cerns. If, heaven forbid, the body politic in the United
States begins to fracture on the issue of support for
Israel, we will see a concomitant reduction of support
in Congress. We cannot afford that.
We already are seeing a splintering of support for
Israel among American Jews. The fact that the president
now gets mixed signals about Israel from different ele-
ments of the Jewish community, while providing him
with continued significant support at the voting booth,
most certainly makes him feel that as a second term
president he need not worry too much about what we
think or how we feel. Examining every one of his ap-
pointments with a fine-tooth comb and then taking the
battle to the press simply is not the most productive
tactic for a community that seems to have forgotten the
potential risks of being a vocal minority during a period
of an economic downturn.
Is America getting tired of its Jews and their prob-
lems? Not yet, and that may never happen. But there
are worrying signs, both within and outside the Jewish
community, that should give all of us pause. We who
live in Israel cannot afford to lose our one friend in the
world, even if that friend sometimes is not as friendly as
we would like it to be.
Our political leaders here are doing enough damage
to that relationship without our having to worry that
the American Jewish community is adding fuel to the
fire.
To repeat Robert Leeds’ words: “It’s my hope to show
Israel and the city of Ashkelon that I stand with them
and that’s what becoming a man means to me.” We here
need the American Jewish community to stand with us,
and to choose its battles intelligently.
Let the Senate confirmation process run its course
and stay out of the fray. We have nothing at all to gain
from getting further involved in this. Continuing this
effort will be a lose-lose situation, no matter who wins.
In defense of public service
Dovi meleS
T
he call from the Department
of the Army came to me on
a random day in the sum-
mer of 2012, an unexpected offer
to serve our country as an Army
civilian.
The opportunity presented to
me that afternoon had all the
perks that any young professional would dream of: on-
the-job training, continuing education, mentorship and
apprenticeship, in addition to job stability and security
with lifelong benefits and opportunity for job growth with
the federal government. The catch, however, would be a
commitment of two years of public service to our military
— anywhere in the world.
The offer came from the Office of the Chief of Public
Affairs, known within the Army as OCPA. Headquartered
in Washington D.C., OCPA is the United States Army
command responsible for explaining and justifying the
intricacies of the Army to the public. OCPA fulfills the
Army’s obligation to keep the American people and the
Army informed. The job is not an easy one; you must
explain and balance the intricacies of the United States
Army while protecting national security interests.
Upon learning more about the position and its
responsibilities, I began to realize what an honor and
privilege it would be to join a group of unique people who
undertake such a complex mandate with integrity and
pride. Who was I to turn down such an offer? The average
young professional fresh out of graduate school, with
limited job experience, especially in today’s economy,
more than likely would not think twice of accepting this
job offer.
But I, as an Orthodox Jew, had to think twice about it.
Still, once I realized that I would be fulfilling my lifelong
dream of public service to my country, which has given so
much to me, my family, and my community, I accepted
the Army’s offer. It is a decision I will never regret.
At the time of the offer, I was living on New York’s Upper
West Side, which is a bastion of modern Orthodoxy and
the place to live if you are young, single, and Jewish. At
the time I was working for a Jewish not-for-profit, where
I gained valuable work skills but yearned for higher job
growth. OCPA officials told me I would have to leave New
York; my initial assignment would be in Philadelphia with
later assignments in Maryland and Washington. When I
completed my training I would be assigned to a yet-to-be-
determined location based on the needs of the U.S. Army.
I welcomed the opportunity to move back home to
Philadelphia, where I was born and raised. While many
people probably would hesitate to move many times over
the course of two years, I saw it as a unique chance to live
in and explore other cities while serving the needs of our
country.
You may be wondering what young, single, Orthodox
Jewish professional would give up a stable job in New York
City and take on a career that could move him to places
where there is little or no Jewish community or identity.
There are plenty of Jewish organizations where I could
have worked, serving the Jewish community. I saw OCPA’s
fellowship, however, as a unique career opportunity — a
way of representing my Jewish roots outside of the Jewish
community.
As I began to work for the Army, I quickly came to
realize, just as I had realized previously, when I was
interning at the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, just how few Orthodox Jews work for our federal
government. (I interned at the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, and had come to this realization
then as well.) This is apparent particularly in the national
security agencies — defense, homeland security, and
state. As a student in Yeshiva University, I remember
being encouraged to understand political developments
and realities by working through the dozens of Jewish
organizations that exist, but never to help shape policy
decisions directly, from inside the government.
Why is there such apathy within our community
toward participating and working within our government?
Here is a thought — perhaps relationships and trust are
fostered from within, not without.
I believe that many Orthodox Jews share an unspoken
fear that leaving their communities would mean risking
the loss of their Jewish identity and possibly losing
their religious observance. I can tell you from personal
experience that this fear has no basis. I have found that
since I took on my new role, quite the opposite has
occurred. If you have been empowered with a tightly
rooted Jewish identity by your family, school, and
community, then working in the secular realm, in a
country that allows freedom of religion, should assuage
any fears of alienation.
To the contrary, my Jewish identity has been
strengthened in my new career. I have not changed who
I am and what I believe nor been swayed by anyone. The
non-Jewish community, and in particular the military
community, has treated me as an equal and welcomed
me into its ranks. I am respected for who I am and what I
believe in. Since many of my co-workers have not worked
with Orthodox Jews in the past, I am many times seen
more as a curiosity. I am asked many questions about
my practices simply because most people are unaware
of what we believe and why we practice the way we do. I
find it sad that many members of our community have
isolated themselves to the point where we are aware of
our secular neighbors, yet they know nothing about us.
How can we in this country create unity and religious
tolerance if we refuse to proudly show who we are?
For me, working for the U.S. Army is much more than
just a paycheck. In addition to an exciting and fulfilling
career, my job is filling what I consider to be a real void
within the Orthodox Jewish community. The federal
government invests a significant amount of money
into training people for fellowships and internships in
all branches of the government, with the promise for
enriching and rewarding careers. But by and large, the
government does not go to Orthodox Jewish colleges such
as Touro and Yeshiva University to recruit new talent. This
is largely because our community does not show an active
interest in taking part in public service.
It is vital for religious Jews of all ages to be involved in
public service in some form or another, but the numbers
of those opting to pursue professional career paths in this
field are embarrassingly low. My passion and commitment
to public service make it all the more disappointing that
most of my Orthodox friends do not consider public
service for a career. I firmly believe and hope that by
educating my peers in the Orthodox community I can
show them that you can work in a government position
and maintain your religious practice.
Once Orthodox Jews show an active interest in such
careers, government recruiters will take a more active
role in hiring people from within the Orthodox Jewish
community. We should be proud not only to serve our
community but our country as well. I encourage everyone
in my community to get involved.
Dovi Meles holds a master’s degree in social work from Temple
University and a bachelor’s in psychology from Yeshiva Uni-
versity. He has held many positions within Jewish non-profit
organizations and now works for the Office of the Chief of
Public Affairs at the United States Army. He can be reached at
admeles@gmail.com.
JS-13
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 13
op-ed
Letters
JS-14
14 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Jewish Culture
THIS
IS
TRADI TI ON. EXPRESSI ON. REFLECTI ON.
Downtown
LOWER MANHATTAN | 646.437.4202 | WWW.MJHNYC.ORG | OPEN SUN–FRI
NOW ON STAGE
ON VIEW
Public programs are made possible through a generous gift fromMrs. Lily Safra.
COMPLETE LIST OF PROGRAMS AT MJHNYC.ORG
Encounter the riveting photos
taken by Soviet photographers
during WWII. mjhnyc.org/tsje
Meet the poet who gave voice to
the Statue of Liberty.
mjhnyc.org/emma
Learn the history of the melody
that became a worldwide
theme song. mjhnyc.org/hava
Experience an inspiring sound-
scape and incomparable view
of the Statue of Liberty.
mjhnyc.org/khc/voices
Songs of Freedom:
Natalie Douglas in Concert
WED | JAN 16 | 7 P.M.
Join Natalie Douglas and friends for an uplifting concert
of Civil Rights songs, including Lena Horne's anthem
“Now,” which she sang to the tune of “Hava Nagila.”
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
A Comedic Salute to Hava Nagila
WED | JAN 23 | 7 P.M.
Loosen your Borscht Belts for an evening of laughs hosted
by Emmy winner Dave Konig and other comedians, with
special guest Cory Kahaney (Last Comic Standing).
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
The Power of Witnessing:
Reflections, Reverberations, and
Traces of the Holocaust
SUN | JAN 27 | 2:30 P.M.
In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day,
psychologists Nancy R. Goodman and Marilyn B. Meyers
join artists and survivors to discuss howthe trauma of the
Holocaust is processed.
Free with suggested donation
Tickets available starting at 11 A.M. 1/27.
Separate ticket needed for Museum admission.
Transfigured Night with
the Merlin Ensemble Vienna
WED | JAN 30 | 7 P.M.
Martin Walch, violin; Till Alexander Koerber, piano; and Luis
Zorit, cello performpieces by Jewish composers
Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, and others.
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
Let the president lead
Rabbi Engelmayer’s comment that we
have no leaders “in either house of
Congress, not even the White House
itself” does not recognize the reality of
what has gone on in Washington the last
four years (“It’s all our fault,” December
28). Factions within the Republican party,
for whatever reason — ideological, racial,
or partisan — have never accepted the
legitimacy of the Obama presidency. They
(this particular faction) had set as their
primary goal the defeat of the president.
Their method was obstructionism at ev-
ery turn. Whatever President Obama was
for, they were against, whether or not they
had been for it in the past. At any cost to
this country and its economy, the presi-
dent was not to be allowed a victory that
might increase his stature.
We are a democracy that depends
upon cooperation to make things work.
Compromise cannot be seen as evil
and legislation cannot be viewed as a
zero sum game where, if I win, you lose.
To fault President Obama for a lack
of leadership in the face of the forces
arrayed against him is unrealistic. What
he has achieved is to be admired.
Bernard Appel
Ringwood
Love, lust, and laundry
Silly me, no wonder my marriage for love
lasted only 25 years.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s dicta (“The
importance of desire,” December 7)
that Jews should marry for lust may be
the way to go. I envision a day in the list
of the lucky lady as follows: She is in an
unfinished basement, arms in soapsuds
to the elbows, scrubbing hubby’s
underwear on a corrugated washboard.
Suddenly there is a loud thumping on the
unrailed steps. Hubby hurries before the
pill fades, and speaks lustfully. “Darling,
this is the moment!” She takes her
dripping arms out of the water, throws
her sopping apron around his neck, and
says rapturously, “You have decided to let
me buy a washing machine!”
Jacqueline Wolf
Englewood Cliffs
We should care
more about Jews
I would like to comment on your edito-
rial (“Time to get the guns”) and Joanne
Palmer’s op-ed (“They were all God’s chil-
dren”) in your December 21 issue.
I agree entirely with your editorials
about the urgent need for gun control
and for the release of Jonathan Pollard.
Every day that goes by without gun
control extends the risk of more mass
murders of children and adults. As to the
consequences of gun violence, I agree
with Ms. Palmer that “We are united in
our grief and outrage” and “That all of
[the children and staff] were innocent
and that all 26 dead deserved to live….”
But that is not “all that matters” to me.
If one of those who was murdered
was one of my family, I still would grieve
deeply for all the others, but I would
grieve more intensely for my relative.
Noah Pozner was a Jewish “little man,”
as his mother called him. Therefore,
he is a member of my extended family.
All mankind is bound together, but
some more closely than others. I grieve
for all the people in the world dying of
starvation or murderous wars, but I am
more concerned for the safety of my
cousins in Israel than I am about similar
conditions for other people. I could rely
on general media for news about the
world, but I read the Jewish Standard
because you focus on issues of concern to
our Jewish community.
Furthermore, there is a difference
in being Jewish in Newtown. The
community memorial service was held
in a church. Comfort for the bereaved is
sometimes offered in Christian terms. At
this time of year everyone is wishing each
other a merry Christmas and a happy new
year. To the extent that this isolates the
Pozner family, we should let them know
that they and Noah have a special place
in our hearts. And maybe the murder of
innocents means more to us because of
the Shoah and the insecurity in Israel.
We are human beings first, but we
should not be ashamed to stand up as
Jews as well.
Stephen Tencer
New Milford
Opinions expressed in the op-ed and letters columns are not necessarily those of
The Jewish Standard. Include a day-time telephone number with your letters. The
Jewish Standard reserves the right to edit letters. Write to Letters, The Jewish
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com. Hand-written letters are not acceptable.
Reclaiming the values of the kibbutz movement
Dr. erica Brown
“W
e hoped the experiment would suc-
ceed and would be tried by others,
and we knew we had a lot to learn.”
—Joseph Baratz, “A Village by the Jordan”
On Oct. 29, 1910, a group of 10 men and two women
founded the first kibbutz in Israel: Kibbutz Degania, not
far from the Kinneret. Joseph Baratz, who was the father
of the first child to ever be born on a kibbutz, was one of
the 10 men, and in 1960 he wrote his memoirs of half a
century of kibbutz life.
Eleanor Roosevelt, who visited Degania, wrote an in-
troduction to the book. The social experiment fascinated
her, and she observed that the “desire to live in common
and share in common” represents “high thinking and
unselfishness of action.”
I recently saw the kibbutz and found an English
translation of Baratz’s book, and I could not put it down.
Looking around the green fields and early kibbutz stone
buildings, it is hard to imagine what it had been like to
come to a desolate expanse of swampland, unprotected
and rife with malaria. When he was 16, with the passion
of a young Zionist, Baratz left his family in Ukraine to be-
come a peasant of the soil of British Palestine. He writes
of reacting against his upbringing and the surrounding
culture, believing that “in order to construct our country
we had to first reconstruct ourselves.”
He was afraid to tell his parents. When he finally
confessed his desire to go to Palestine, his father went
straight to the rabbi, who offered an emphatic “no.” A
boy of 16 should not undertake such a journey; he might
“fall among free-thinkers” and drift into irreligious ways.
But his parents eventually broke down and gave him the
money for the journey. His mother called out as the train
left the station: “Joseph, my child, be a good Jew,” and
Joseph was off to a new life.
Joseph found a group of like-minded new friends who
wanted to work the land. All the theory that they had dis-
cussed about nature and human nature was then put to
the test. Growing food was not about supporting people,
as necessary as this was to a country that was not yet a
country. It was a philosophical statement for these fledg-
ling Zionists about “the wholeness” they lacked in exile.
The group was totally committed to its goal of living
collectively and tending the land and had a heated dis-
cussion about putting off marriage and children for at
least five years until the kibbutz had initial success. One
of the chief debaters against marriage at the time fell in
love a month later, married,and had the second child
born on the kibbutz: Moshe Dayan.
The idea, radical as it was at the time, was that people
would lack nothing because they possessed nothing;
strength would come from the community and go back
into the community. “Nobody would have to be ambi-
tious or to worry for himself.”
Degania, which means cornflower in Hebrew, would,
over the next decades, attract some of the most famous
Zionists and politicians, including A. D. Gordon, Joseph
Trumpeldor, and the poet Rachel. It became a flagship
kibbutz, spawning other kibbutzim and collective proj-
ects. In Baratz’s words, it fulfilled a dream of what the
Jewish nation could become on its own terms: “The land
had lost its fertility, and it seemed to us that we ourselves,
divorced from it, had become barren in spirit. Now we
must give it our strength, and it would give us back our
creativeness.”
The heyday of the kibbutz movement is long past.
Much of the social experiment failed, but we also failed it.
We have traded group laundry for the iPod, shared dining
for Facebook networking. But we cannot forget Baratz’s
youthful enthusiasm, which turned into a mature phi-
losophy of obligation to land and country. In its largely
secular flavor, the kibbutz movement imprinted Israel
with values that twinned the deepest biblical connection
to the earth with the Talmudic sensibilities of collective
responsibility.
What will our modern ideologies build to replace what
we have lost?
JNS.org Wire Service
Dr. Erica Brown is a writer and educator who works as scholar-
in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
and consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-prof-
its. She is the author of “In the Narrow Places,” “Inspired Jewish
Leadership,” “Spiritual Boredom,” and “Confronting Scandal.”
JS-15
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 15
Jewish Culture
THIS
IS
TRADI TI ON. EXPRESSI ON. REFLECTI ON.
Downtown
LOWER MANHATTAN | 646.437.4202 | WWW.MJHNYC.ORG | OPEN SUN–FRI
NOW ON STAGE
ON VIEW
Public programs are made possible through a generous gift fromMrs. Lily Safra.
COMPLETE LIST OF PROGRAMS AT MJHNYC.ORG
Encounter the riveting photos
taken by Soviet photographers
during WWII. mjhnyc.org/tsje
Meet the poet who gave voice to
the Statue of Liberty.
mjhnyc.org/emma
Learn the history of the melody
that became a worldwide
theme song. mjhnyc.org/hava
Experience an inspiring sound-
scape and incomparable view
of the Statue of Liberty.
mjhnyc.org/khc/voices
Songs of Freedom:
Natalie Douglas in Concert
WED | JAN 16 | 7 P.M.
Join Natalie Douglas and friends for an uplifting concert
of Civil Rights songs, including Lena Horne's anthem
“Now,” which she sang to the tune of “Hava Nagila.”
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
A Comedic Salute to Hava Nagila
WED | JAN 23 | 7 P.M.
Loosen your Borscht Belts for an evening of laughs hosted
by Emmy winner Dave Konig and other comedians, with
special guest Cory Kahaney (Last Comic Standing).
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
The Power of Witnessing:
Reflections, Reverberations, and
Traces of the Holocaust
SUN | JAN 27 | 2:30 P.M.
In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day,
psychologists Nancy R. Goodman and Marilyn B. Meyers
join artists and survivors to discuss howthe trauma of the
Holocaust is processed.
Free with suggested donation
Tickets available starting at 11 A.M. 1/27.
Separate ticket needed for Museum admission.
Transfigured Night with
the Merlin Ensemble Vienna
WED | JAN 30 | 7 P.M.
Martin Walch, violin; Till Alexander Koerber, piano; and Luis
Zorit, cello performpieces by Jewish composers
Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, and others.
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
The Jewish Educational Center is excited
to announce its new
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intheRavTeitzMesivtaAcademyBoys’HighSchoolDivision
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thatisalignedwithYeshivaUniversity’sHighSchoolIncentiveProgram
• 3NightsaWeekMishmarandNightSeder
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• FullIntegrationwithRTMA’sGeneralStudiesProgram

EnglishComposition&Literature,Math,Science,History,Ivrit,APCourses,SAT
Prep,andmanycoandextra-curricularopportunitiesincluding:TorahBowl,
CollegeBowl,ModelUN,DebateTeam,InternationalGildorScience
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OPENHOUSESWILLTAKEPLACEINCOMMUNITIESFOLLOWINGWINTERBREAK
PLEASECHECKWEBSITERTMA.THEJEC.ORGFORFURTHERINFORMATIONANDSCHEDULE
Formoreinformation,pleasecontactRabbiEliyahuTeitz,AssociateDean
atedteitz@thejec.orgor908-355-4850,extension112.
Women of the Wall
First I doubt that Rabbi Elyse Frishman
would consider herself in the same league
as Rosa Parks (“Furor over Frishman’s
fringes,” December 28). Rosa Parks did
it without a net, taking a stand with no
press or iPhones on ready to record the
moment. Rabbi Frishman and her col-
leagues were following the women who
had taken the risk to worship in a respect-
ful way at the center of Jewish geography.
Alan Mark Levin’s comments that wor-
ship by non-Orthodox women at the Wall
is an act of “American Jewish cultural
imperialism” (Letters, January 4) is a non-
sensical over-the-top statement that does
nothing to help resolve appropriate ac-
cess to this holy place. I have been to the
Wall three times; it is easy to see the poor
worship conditions provided to women,
Orthodox women, compared to the men’s
side. There will be a way forward for both
women and men, for Jews of all back-
grounds to worship respectfully at this
place. There will be many women coming
forward to push this goal along, helped
by the stupidity of the Israeli police and
authorities whose actions only highlight
the unfair situation faced by women of all
backgrounds, including the Orthodox.
Dr. Deborah E Hammond
Ridgewood
One answer to Rabbi Goldin is to do what
they always do. Stand around and wring
your hands for a few hundred years and
maybe the women will get tired and go
away.
Lawney Baldwin
Jonesborough, Tennessee
Jewish holy places in Israel belong to all
Jews of every denomination and kind.
Some Orthodox Jews do not even believe
in the State of Israel. The issue of the
wall is fascinating in that no one actually
can prove that it was part of the Holy of
Holies, the place where the two tables of
commandments rested. All other parts of
the Temple were places where worship-
pers could congregate. They were not
holy. There is no mention in the Torah
about the right time or place to wear a tal-
lit. Women, according to our history. have
the same rights as men. It was the men
who chose several women to lead Israel,
from the days of Deborah until today.
According to the Torah, you are a Jew
because your father was a Jew. The rab-
bis changed that, and since the days of
the sages, that has become the rule. The
Torah does not differentiate between the
sexes regarding the tallis. The Orthodox
follow rabbinic interpretations of the
Torah, as do many other sects of Judaism.
Many Jews do not believe in man’s inter-
pretation or man’s improvisation or man’s
many additions. The prayer wall has no
meaning to them. The reality is that God
gave the Jewish people their wish to have
a Temple like those of the other religions.
They wanted a place for their God. God
gave them that chance several times
and finally decided enough was enough.
The Temple became the focal point of
Judaism and God decided that was not
what Judaism was all about and had it
demolished. God should be in the minds
and hearts and deeds of man, not in the
remnants of a wall or pieces of paper
in cracks of that wall. Some pray at the
wall bemoaning the days of its destruc-
tion. The past is past. God judges man
by deeds not prayer no matter what the
place. The words inscribed by the finger
of God are ours to observe in mind and
action. All else is of little importance.
Shel Haas
Fort Lee
Birthright responds
to story on sober trips
Regarding your story about the JACS
group trip to Israel (“The sober side of
Birthright,” January 4), Taglit-Birthright
Israel would like to clarify a few points in
this story.
Birthright is proud to be celebrating its
bar mitzvah year in 2013. Approximately
400,000 Jewish young adults between the
ages of 18 and 26 have participated in
Birthright since its inception.
The focus of the Birthright program
is to bring young Jewish adults, who
have little to no connection to the Jewish
community, to Israel, with the hope
that they will discover and develop a
personal connection to the land and
people of Israel. Independent surveys
have shown the positive effects of the
Birthright program. Professor Len Saxe
of Brandeis University found that more
than 80 percent of participants said they
felt connected to Israel, and nearly 75
percent called Birthright a “life changing
experience.” Participants are also much
more likely to marry a Jewish spouse
and said that raising their children to be
Jewish was “very important.”
The consumption of alcohol is not
part of the Birthright itinerary, nor is it
encouraged by trip leaders or organizers.
That being said, the legal drinking
age for adults in Israel is 18, and what
participants may do after daily program
activities is their own responsibility. In
the rare case where a participant has
consumed too much alcohol, he or she
has been removed from the trip. However,
of the 400,000 participants who have
gone through the Birthright program, the
number of times this measure has been
enacted has been miniscule.
Gidi Mark
CEO
Taglit-Birthright Israel
Larry yudeLson
G
orgeous buildings in disrepair.
Ration cards to purchase food.
Jewish teenagers leading syna-
gogue services.
Cuba is a country “filled with con-
tradictions and ambiguities,” said Zvi
Marans, describing his experiences and
impressions after returning Sunday from
a three-day mission to visit the Jewish
community of Havana with the Jewish
Federation of Northern New Jersey. Marans
is set to become the group’s president this
summer.
“On the one hand, it’s a repressive
Communist regime,” he said. “On the other,
it’s a Latin society, with a feeling of open-
ness and joie de vivre.”
“And then there’s the Jewish part, which
is really fantastic.”
More than half of Cuba’s 1500 Jews live
in the capital, Havana. When Fidel Castro
came to power in 1959, Cuba became an
atheist country. There was no circumci-
sion, no Jewish weddings, no kosher food,
virtually no synagogue practice. Following
the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba
moderated its atheism and began allowing
the world Jewish community to assist the
JS-16*
Cover story
16 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Yiddels
with Fidel
Local donations
help bring relief
and renewal
Photographs by Perry Bindelglass
Larry yudeLson
G
orgeous buildings in disrepair.
Ration cards to purchase food.
Jewish teenagers leading syna-
gogue services.
Cuba is a country “filled with con-
tradictions and ambiguities,” said Zvi
Marans, describing his experiences and
impressions after returning Sunday from
a three-day mission to visit the Jewish
community of Havana with the Jewish
Federation of Northern New Jersey. Marans
is set to become the group’s president this
summer.
“On the one hand, it’s a repressive
Communist regime,” he said. “On the other,
it’s a Latin society, with a feeling of open-
ness and joie de vivre.”
“And then there’s the Jewish part, which
is really fantastic.”
More than half of Cuba’s 1500 Jews live
in the capital, Havana. When Fidel Castro
came to power in 1959, Cuba became an
atheist country. There was no circumci-
sion, no Jewish weddings, no kosher food,
virtually no synagogue practice. Following
the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba
moderated its atheism and began allowing
the world Jewish community to assist the
country’s Jews.
But religious freedom has
not been matched by freedom
of the press, or by economic
freedom. There is no internet.
A typical doctor earns $35 a
month. Jason Shames, the
federation’s CEO, said the
“economic oppression” sur-
passed anything he had seen
in travels to Ethiopia, Ukraine,
or Russia.
“You could still own a busi-
ness in Ethiopia,” he said.
“There are restaurants and
banks in Ethiopia. You don’t
have that in Cuba. Driving
around you see no real busi-
nesses of any kind. There are no accoun-
tants. There are no lawyers. Imagine a
Jewish community without lawyers and
accountants.
“It’s beyond grim. For food, you’re on a
ration card system. You’re given x amount of
rice, x amount of beans. It’s illegal to sell and
buy beef, except for the Jewish community,
because they acknowledge that Jews can’t
eat pork.
Mission participants Dr. Zvi Marans and Nathan and Shari Lindenbaum enjoy lunch with Dr.
Rosa Behar, a retired gastroenterologist and dedicated volunteer who is in charge of the
Patronato Pharmacy.
David Cantor, Joan Krieger, David Bindelglass, Judy Siboni, David Petak, and
Jason Shames stand on the steps of Temple Bet Shalom, otherwise known as
the Patronato, Havana’s Conservative synagogue.
A performance by an Israeli dance troupe followed Havdallah at the Patronato.
The federation’s Jodi Heimler, managing director for
development, and Jason Shames, its CEO, stand in front
of an image of Cuban revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos on
the Ministry of Informatics and Communications building
at the Plaza de la Revolución.
Fusterlandia, the studio and residence of artist José Rodriguez Fuster.
JS-17*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 17
Gabe Marans stands next to a car far older than he is.
A tour of the Museum of the Revolution, formerly the Presidential Palace, in Havana.
JS-18*
18 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
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“There’s no antibiotics. There’s no medicine. We
brought supplies of over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol,”
Shames said.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
provides material aid, in the form of Shabbat chicken
dinners, milk for children, and medicines, through a
communal pharmacy. And it provides spiritual aid, send-
ing Argentinean couples on two-year tours of duty to
help rebuilding the Jewish community.
“The middle-aged people grew up without any Jewish
background, but the kids are being educated now by
these Joint emissaries and gaining Jewish identity. We
saw teenagers leading services in synagogue, reading
Hebrew, singing the songs with the community. We saw
a thirst in the community for all things Jewish. It was
really a beautiful experience. It was very inspirational,”
Marans said. Last year, the federation allocated more
than $300,000 to Joint activities around the world.
The Museum of the Revolution features caricatures of
U.S. presidents.
A ration market in Havana.
The Patronato Pharmacy was dedicated by Judy and Ron Gold of Norwood. Inset,
Dr. Rosa Behar stands outside the pharmacy.
Havana is home to 850
Jews and three syna-
gogues. From the top,
they are Adath Israel,
the Orthodox shul; the
Sephardic Hebrew Center,
and Temple Beth Shalom,
also known as the
Patronato. The Patronato
Pharmacy is housed in the
synagogue.
JS-19*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 19
While Cuba suppressed religion for de-
cades, it never persecuted Jews. “There’s
no anti-Semitism. A few years back, Fidel
Castro came to visit the community on
Chanukah and light the candles. We were
walking around wearing kippot, people
would come out of the shul and would
keep their kippot on. There was absolute-
ly no anti-Semitism,” Marans said.
Some of Cuba’s Jews are Sephardic,
tracing their roots back to Turkey and
before that to Spain, but most are from
Eastern Europe. “They happened by
chance to have landed in Cuba, whereas
my grandparents landed in Ellis Island,
but really they came from the same
place,” Marans said.
“We all came back home with a
renewed sense of what our money re-
ally goes for. When you see on the ground
what our money is doing to help these
Jews, it is a strong reminder to us of why
we do what we do, and a great impetus for
us to do more each year,” he said.
a thirst in the community for all things Jewish. It was
really a beautiful experience. It was very inspirational,”
Marans said. Last year, the federation allocated more
than $300,000 to Joint activities around the world.
JS-20*
20 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
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Jewish groups softening resistance on Hagel nomination
Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON – Now that Chuck Hagel
is officially President Obama’s nominee
to be secretary of defense, Jewish groups
concerned about Hagel’s record on Israel
and Iran are faced with a choice.
Do they fight hard to derail his nomi-
nation, joining common cause with
Republican opponents? Or do they tem-
per their fire for a Vietnam War hero who
insists that opponents have distorted his
views on Israel and has a good chance of
securing one of the most sensitive posts
in the U.S.-Israel relationship?
So far, it appears to be the latter.
Jewish opponents appear to be toning
down the criticism that greeted the news
last month that Hagel, a Republican who
was a U.S. senator from Nebraska from
1997 to 2009, likely would be Obama’s
defense choice.
The Anti-Defamation League, one of
the most outspoken critics of Hagel’s po-
tential candidacy, issued a statement reit-
erating some of its concerns after Obama
made the announcement Monday — but
deferred to the president.
“Sen. Hagel would not have been my
first choice, but I respect the president’s
prerogative,” Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s
national director, said in the statement.
In his statement, Foxman alluded to
past proposals by Hagel to engage with
Iran and with terrorist groups such as
Hamas and Hezbollah, the nominee’s
skepticism about sanctions and the ef-
ficacy of a military strike on Iran, and his
criticism of Israel on how it deals with the
Palestinians.
Foxman called on Hagel to address
positions that the ADL chief said seem “so
out of sync with President Obama’s clear
commitment on issues like Iran sanc-
tions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah
and the president’s strong support for
a deepening of U.S.-Israel strategic
cooperation.”
The National Jewish Democratic
Council drew back from the tough
criticism it leveled against Hagel in 2007,
when he was considering a run as a
Republican presidential candidate. NJDC
said Monday that it is now “confident”
that Hagel would follow Obama’s lead on
Israel.
On Monday, Former Rep. Barney Frank
(D-Mass.), who has asked to be appointed
interim senator should Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.) become secretary of state, soft-
ened his opposition to Hagel based on his
comments about Jews and gays.
The shift on Hagel in some Jewish cor-
ners may be enough to give the 11 Jewish
senators room to support Hagel, or at
least to not oppose him — a significant
gain in a body in which senators tend to
take their cues on special interests from
colleagues who belong to the group in
question.
The dimming of the prospect of an
all-out lobbying effort against Hagel’s
At the White House, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, and potential succes-
sor Chuck Hagel listen as President Obama announces that he is nominating Hagel
for the defense post. DOD phOtO by U.S. Navy petty Officer 1St claSS chaD J. McNeeley
JS-21
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 21
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candidacy by some pro-Israel groups ap-
pears to be the product of White House
outreach to Jewish groups in recent
weeks, pushback by Hagel’s supporters,
and Obama’s own record on Israel.
The American Israel Public Affairs
Committee was silent on the nomina-
tion — and not just because tradition-
ally it does not comment on nominations.
Capitol Hill and pro-Israel insiders told
JTA that AIPAC has not taken a stand in
this battle.
Steve Rosen, a former foreign policy
director for AIPAC who now consults for
a number of pro-Israel groups, said it
would not help Israel’s interests to under-
cut a candidate for this key security post.
“It’s about making friends, not getting
into fights with people,” Rosen said.
Rabbi Steve Gutow, who directs the
Jewish Council for Public Affairs, said
his public policy umbrella group would
not take a position on Hagel but that he
looked forward to a thorough vetting
process.
In an interview with the Lincoln
Journal Star in his home state, Hagel said
his record of support for Israel was “un-
equivocal” and had been subject to “false-
hoods and distortions.”
“I have said many times that Iran is
a state sponsor of terrorism,” he said. “I
have also questioned some very cavalier
attitudes taken about very complicated
issues in the Middle East.”
Hagel suggested that differences on
policy were a matter of nuance and tac-
tics, not of goals.
“I have not supported unilateral sanc-
tions” on Iran “because when it is us
alone they don’t work and they just iso-
late the United States,” he said. “United
Nations sanctions are working. When we
just decree something, that doesn’t work.”
In the interview, Hagel did not refer
to the controversy over his use in 2006 of
the term “Jewish lobby” and his assertion
when he was a senator that his loyalty was
to the United States, not Israel.
Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul
general in New York and a contributing
fellow at the Israel Policy Forum, said
Israeli leaders naturally would have con-
cerns about past Hagel statements. But
Pinkas said they would deal with Hagel
not as the loquacious one-time senator
who often was critical of Israeli policy,
but as the defense secretary hewing to a
policy set by Obama of a close U.S.-Israel
security relationship.
“What a senator says at a three-martini
lunch and what a secretary of defense
says are two different things,” Pinkas said.
Obama made clear that the White
House would tout Hagel’s bona fides ag-
gressively as a wounded Vietnam War vet-
eran, twice calling him a “patriot.” There
also was a veiled reassurance to Israel in
Obama’s remarks.
“Chuck recognizes that American
leadership is indispensable in a danger-
ous world,” Obama said. “I saw this in
our travels together across the Middle
East. He understands that America stands
strongest when we stand with allies and
with friends.”
Peter Medding, a political scientist at
Hebrew University, said Israel’s leaders
understand that the White House shapes
the defense relationship and it would be
counterproductive to create distance with
the U.S. president at a time of increased
regional tensions.
“Making policy is a matter for Obama,
and the Israelis are not interested in tak-
ing on Obama at this time,” Medding said.
Hagel is by no means out of the woods.
A number of Republican senators already
have pledged to vote against him. His
apostasy on President George W. Bush’s
Iraq policies — in 2007, Hagel supported
Democratic legislation requiring a troop
withdrawal from Iraq — is still an open
wound in the party. A lone Republican
senator could hold up the nomination
unless the Obama administration is able
to muster 60 votes, which could be daunt-
ing in a chamber in which Democrats
control 55 of the 100 seats.
Support among Democrats and liberal
groups also is not assured. Gay groups
want to hear more about his apology for
opposing a 1998 ambassadorial nomina-
tion because the nominee was gay. In the
Senate, Hagel was a pronounced con-
servative on domestic issues, including
government spending, abortion, and gun
control.
Susan Turnbull, a former vice chair-
woman of the Democratic National
Committee and now chairwom-
an of Jewish Women International,
called Hagel’s views “knee-jerk” and
“worrisome.”
A range of rightist pro-Israel groups
remains committed to upending the
nomination, among them the Zionist
Organization of America, Christians
United for Israel, the Republican Jewish
Coalition, and the Emergency Committee
for Israel, which on Monday launched a
website headlined “Chuck Hagel is not a
responsible option.”
Among centrist Jewish groups, the
American Jewish Committee has written
to Democratic senators urging them to
oppose the nomination.
“AJC has shared our concerns with
members of the U.S. Senate, who have the
responsibility to ask the probing ques-
tions about Hagel’s record and vision,”
the group wrote in a statement.
For their part, Hagel’s Jewish al-
lies have pushed back hard. J Street,
Americans for Peace Now, and Israel
Policy Forum all have endorsed him.
“It is particularly troubling that some
claiming to represent the pro-Israel com-
munity have tried to impugn Sen. Hagel’s
commitment to the U.S.-Israel special
relationship and our countries’ shared
security interests,” J Street director Jeremy
Ben-Ami wrote in a letter sent to all sena-
tors. JTA Wire Service
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Can Natan Sharansky fix the Western Wall?
Ben SaleS
TEL AVIV – He brought unprecedented attention to the
plight of Soviet Jewry. He stood up to the KGB. He sur-
vived nine years in Siberia. He served in Israel’s fractious
government.
Now Natan Sharansky is facing his next challenge:
finding a solution to the growing battle over women’s
prayer restrictions at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest
site.
In recent months, diaspora Jewish activists have
grown increasingly incensed by the arrests and detention
of women seeking to pray publicly at the site. Their ac-
tions are in keeping with their religious practices — but
in violation of the rules of the wall under which women
may not sing aloud, wear tallitot (prayer shawls), or read
from the Torah.
The controversy threatens to drive a wedge between
diaspora Jewry, where egalitarian prayer is common,
and Israel, which has upheld Orthodox rules at the
wall, also known as the Kotel. American Jewish leaders
in the United States say the rules alienate Reform and
Conservative Jews. Within Israel, too, the wall has be-
come a flashpoint for non-Orthodox religious activists
and the Kotel’s charedi Orthodox leadership.
Two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu asked Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish
Agency for Israel, to look into the controversy and pro-
pose solutions. The question is whether the former re-
fusenik leader and human rights advocate can resolve a
dispute that pits Jew against Jew.
“Will it happen through Sharansky?” asked Anat
Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, a group
that organizes monthly women’s services at the Kotel.
“That I doubt, but I’m willing to give him a chance.
Sharansky will understand how much traction this issue
has.”
Hoffman was arrested in October for wearing a tallit at
the Kotel, and several more of the group’s members have
been detained at subsequent services. Last month, Rabbi
Elyse Frishman of Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes was
detained by Israeli police.
Sharansky declined to comment on the issue until he
gives his recommendations, but activists on both sides of
the issue say the gaps between the site’s leadership and
pluralism advocates may be too wide for him to bridge.
Shmuel Rabinowitz, the wall’s chief rabbi, would like
The men’s section of the Western Wall, the center of an escalating battle over restrictions on women’s prayer.
Ben SaleS
JS-23*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 23
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to maintain the status quo, where men and women are
separated by a partition and only men may wear tallit
and tefillin, convene a minyan (prayer quorum), and
read aloud from the Torah. Hoffman and her allies have
proposed alternatives that involve the religious streams
sharing time and space in the Kotel Plaza, with each
praying according to its own precepts.
Hoffman says her minimum demand is for women to
receive one hour at the beginning of every Jewish month
— excluding Rosh Hashanah — when they can pray as a
group with tallit and tefillin, and read the Torah. Ideally,
Hoffman says, she would want the Kotel’s partition be-
tween men and women to be removed for several hours
each day so that women and egalitarian groups can pray
there undisturbed, but she acknowledges that such a
scenario has virtually no chance of being approved by
Rabinowitz.
Other activists say the solution lies in adding a parti-
tion rather than removing one. Yizhar Hess, the CEO
and executive director of the Masorti movement, as
Conservative Judaism is called outside North America,
advocates dividing the Kotel Plaza into three sections:
one for men, one for women, and one for egalitarian
groups. Hess also said that he would like to see the rear
section of the plaza opened to such cultural activities as
concerts and dancing, which now are prohibited.
“There are many egalitarian groups who come to
the wall and view it as the peak of their emotional and
spiritual experience in Israel,” said Uri Regev, a Reform
rabbi who runs Hiddush, an Israeli religious pluralism
nonprofit. “The fact that they can’t express that spiritual
experience in a spiritual way is a missed opportunity.”
According to a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling,
non-Orthodox and women’s prayer groups can pray at
Robinson’s Arch, an archaeological park adjacent to the
Kotel Plaza, where an admission fee is required. Regev
suggested that Sharansky may recommend improve-
ments to Robinson’s Arch, including an expanded prayer
area and free admission for prayer groups.
That may be the maximum compromise that
Rabinowitz would make.
“I think what’s happening today at the Kotel is the
best for all viewpoints of the world,” Rabinowitz said.
“No one gets exactly what they want — not charedim and
not Women of the Wall. If someone thinks they can bring
something better, I’d love to hear it.”
Rabinowitz declined to comment on time- or space-
sharing proposals.
Meanwhile, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation,
which controls the Kotel, announced recently that wom-
en no longer are allowed to bring tallit or tefillin into the
Kotel Plaza.
The Prime Minister’s Office, one official there said,
hopes that Sharansky will bring his “unique experience
and abilities in serving as a bridge for all streams within
the Jewish people” to bear on the problem.
One potential bridge between Rabinowitz and
Hoffman are Modern Orthodox rabbis who believe in
both Orthodoxy and pluralism.
The Kotel “is a holy place, but needs to belong to all
of Israel,” said Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, who co-founded the
Modern Orthodox rabbis’ organization called Tzohar.
Cherlow says he isn’t throwing his backing behind any
particular solution, but he thinks that a time-sharing ar-
rangement may work.
Daniel Goldman, chairman of the religious-secular
nonprofit Gesher, says the only way to reach a compro-
mise is to find people who occupy middle ground and
can foster some sort of accord.
“If Natan Sharansky could broaden the people in-
volved in that debate beyond Rabbi Rabinowitz and
Women of the Wall, it’s possible to use this issue to cre-
ate a more constructive dialogue,” Goldman said. “If
you get Anat Hoffman and Rabbi Rabinowitz in a room,
it’s quite obvious and clear that there will be no com-
promise solution.” JTA Wire Service
Natan Sharansky will make recommendations on
Western Wall controversy. Ben SaleS
JS-24*
24 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Israeli election heats up
Focus on the american immigrant vote is intense
Ben SaleS
TEL AVIV —The debate moderator asked
the candidates what their parties would do
to prevent a third intifada, an increasingly
common concern in the Israeli election
campaign. In his answer, Jeremy Gimpel
drew from his upbringing — in Atlanta, Ga.
“I’m from America,” Gimpel said in
English. “We don’t talk to terrorists. In
America, we eliminate terrorists.”
Soon after Gimpel had finished, New
Jersey native Alon Tal shot back.
“There are graves in the wild west that
say, ‘Here lies John Smith, who exercised all
his rights,’” Tal said, also in English. “Do we
want to find a pragmatic solution or do we
want to be self-righteous?”
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Tal is a candidate for the center-left
Hatnua party, while Gimpel is running with
the hard-right Jewish Home faction. They
are two of a handful of American-born
candidates at the forefront of an intensive
push to win over English-speaking voters
before they go to the polls in Israel’s
January 22 elections.
While English-language campaigns
aren’t new in Israel, candidates and
observers say that this year’s effort feels
larger and more sophisticated than those
of elections past.
American-born candidates such as
Gimpel, Tal, and Dov Lipman of the
centrist Yesh Atid party, are hosting
parlor meetings in American homes.
Party leaders, including Yesh Atid’s Yair
Lapid and Jewish Home’s Naftali Bennett,
have addressed large crowds in English.
The Jerusalem Post has sponsored four
English debates in Anglo-heavy population
centers. Some parties have English bumper
stickers and fliers.
“The English-speaking community is
finally stepping up to the plate, as
we become more comfortable and
understanding of the system,” said
David London, executive director of the
Association of Americans and Canadians in
Israel, which co-sponsored the Jerusalem
Post debates.
London noted that like American Jews,
Anglo Israelis are just a small fraction of
the population — estimates are between 3
and 4 percent — but they tend to be more
financially successful than the average
Israeli. About 300,000 native English
speakers live in Israel, according to AACI.
The majority of them are American.
Gimpel, Tal, and Lipman hope to
replicate American economic success in
the political arena. Israel has not had an
American-born member of Knesset since
1984, when the ultranationalist Rabbi Meir
Kahane was elected. His party, Kach, later
was deemed racist and disqualified from
running in the 1988 elections.
The polls show Gimpel 14th on the
Jewish Home list and Tal 13th on Hatnua
— on the verge of winning Knesset seats.
Lipman, 17th on the Yesh Atid slate, is a
more unlikely victor.
“My mother tongue is English, so I
wanted to empower the English-speaking
immigrant community,” said Gimpel,
33, who moved to Israel when he was 11.
“They have someone they can turn to.”
While the three candidates come from
different parts of the political spectrum,
they agree that most English speakers care
about strengthening the state’s democratic
values and reforming its fragmented
political system, in which as many as 15
parties may enter the next Knesset.
Tal and Lipman both noted that
Americans, who come from a tradition of
religious pluralism, also emphasize issues
of religion and state and tend to oppose
“Do we want to find a
pragmatic solution or do we
want to be self-righteous?”
– Alon Tal
“We don’t talk to terrorists.
In America, we eliminate
terrorists.”
– Jeremy Gimpel
English speakers are
“very much in line with
mainstream Israel.”
– Dov Lipman
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Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 25
government support for charedi Orthodox
institutions.
“In America, charedim have education,
there are opportunities, and they work,”
said Lipman, who himself is charedi
Orthodox. “That issue bothers us more
because we know there’s no contradiction”
between working and being charedi.
All three candidates agreed that a
common stereotype Israelis have of
American voters —that they care only
about supporting settlements — is false.
“Part of the Anglo immigrants are right-
wing religious, but a large percentage are
not,” Tal said.
Lipman added that English speakers
are “very much in line with mainstream
Israel,” and like a majority of Israelis, they
are prioritizing economic issues in this
election.
Many Israelis, and especially politicians,
speak fluent or proficient English, but
Lipman said English-speaking voters
can identify particularly well with native
English-speaking candidates.
“Your English can be as good as you
want it to be, but if you’re coming from
America you can connect with immigrants
in a much better way,” he said. “My passion
to make Israel great is driven by us being
relatively new.”
American candidates also come with
American quirks. Tal plays fiddle in a
bluegrass band. Jewish Home Chairman
Naftali Bennett, whose parents are
American, loves the film “The Shawshank
Redemption.”
Although Anglo political influence is
on the rise, it’s unclear if English speakers
will follow in the footsteps of Russian
immigrants, who formed their own
powerful Knesset party, Yisrael Beiteinu.
Gil Troy, a McGill University history
professor who is now a fellow at Jerusalem’s
Shalom Hartman Institute, said that
English speakers have historically tried
to blend into mainstream Israeli society
rather than form their own distinct culture.
“There was always this kind of
American immigrant zeal to be truly
Israeli and out-Hebraicize the Hebraists,”
Troy said. “There’s a lot of American
immigrant feeling of inadequacy in our
Hebrew, so you try to overcompensate by
not acknowledging that you’re a separate
community.”
Gimpel said that Americans are eager to
integrate into Israeli society because they
came to Israel by choice, unlike Russian
or Ethiopian Israelis, who were fleeing
oppression.
“If Americans were interested in
themselves they would have stayed in
America,” he said. “They want what’s best
for Israel.”
JTA Wire Service
English speakers have
historically tried to blend into
mainstream Israeli society
rather than form their own
distinct culture.
— Professor Gil Troy
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Order Twitter to divulge anti-Semitic tweeters,
French students ask court
France’s main Jewish student union asked
a Paris court to order Twitter to divulge
details about users who post anti-Semitic
comments.
Tuesday’s hearing came on the heels
of a weekend of Twitter posts using the
hashtag #SiJetaisNazi, or #IfIWereANazi,
which was one of the country’s top five
trending topics on January 5.
The court is expected to hand down a
decision in the case on January 24.
In October, the Union of French Jewish
Students asked Twitter to take down of-
fending tweets that had flooded the site
under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agood-
jew), with examples including: “#agood-
jew is a dead Jew.” The hashtag became
the third most popular in France.
The students’ union said it would sue
if Twitter did not comply with demands
to remove the tweets and disclose details
about the users that posted them.
A Twitter spokesman refused at the
time to comment directly on the tweets
about Jews and reiterated the company’s
standard response that it “does not medi-
ate content.” According to the standards,
Twitter cannot delete tweets, but does
allow for accounts generating content in
breach of its rules or considered illegal to
be suspended.
Twitter also said it would not hand
over details of account holders unless or-
dered by a judge. However, since French
and American speech laws differ, the
American-based company has said it will
only recognize the judgment of a U.S.
court.
The groups I Accuse! International
Action for Justice, SOS Racism, the
International League Against Racism
and Anti-Semitism, and the Movement
Against Racism and for Friendship
Between People are supporting the stu-
dents’ union in the case.
JTA Wire Service
www.jstandard.com
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In Israeli campaign,
Netanyahu gets hit from the right and left
Ben SaleS
T
EL AVIV – “Ooh, aah, look who’s coming!” the
crowd of young people chants. “It’s the next
prime minister!”
Hundreds of voices rise from a packed dance floor
Sunday as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minis-
ter, enters the room, grinning, singing along with the
pounding music overhead, and leaning over the stage
— somewhat uncomfortably, it seems — to shake hands
with supporters.
It’s a rally for Young Likud, the youth wing of
Netanyahu’s faction. His picture illuminates a screen
behind the disc jockey, and huge banners hang above
the dance floor emblazoned with the word “Machal”
— the name for Likud that will appear on the ballot in
Israel’s January 22 elections.
“For whoever wants to defend and expand the
state, there’s only one vote: Machal, Machal, Machal!”
Netanyahu exhorts the crowd. “Bring everyone to the
ballot box!”
For the prime minister, the message becomes more
urgent by the day.
While pundits and polls for months have all but
guaranteed him another term, Netanyahu’s path to vic-
tory in the past two weeks has hit two major obstacles:
an ascendant challenge from the right and a center-left
that threatens to unite against him. The result has been
a dramatic drop in Netanyahu’s poll numbers.
In October, when Likud merged lists with the nation-
alist Yisrael Beiteinu party, polls had the joint list main-
taining its current 42 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Now
most polls peg the joint list at 34 or 35 seats, with some
going as low as 32. It’s still the Knesset’s largest party, but
with a much smaller margin.
Instead of moving across the political map, most of
those votes have shifted even further to the right, to the
hard-line Jewish Home party.
Led by Naftali Bennett, 40, a charismatic former
army officer and high-tech entrepreneur whose par-
ents immigrated to Israel from San Francisco, Jewish
Home has staked out some progressive social posi-
tions on housing and budget reform. On security is-
sues, however, Bennett has taken a hard line. He favors
annexing large swaths of the west bank, firmly op-
poses Palestinian statehood, and has tried to portray
Netanyahu as inconsistent on security policy.
Jewish Home traditionally has been the party of
930 words/use stock
Netanyahu photo
Benjamin Netanyahu: No longer a sure thing.
JS-27
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 27
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Israel’s religious nationalist sector. But Bennett, with his
clean-shaven face and barely noticeable yarmulke, has
tried to appeal to all sectors of Israeli society. Fifth on
his faction’s list is Ayelet Shaked, a secular woman from
the traditionally leftist northern Tel Aviv.
“I want to make it possible for anyone to live in
Israel, especially young people,” Bennett told a crowd
of English speakers in Tel Aviv last month. “We’re open-
ing the party for the religious, secular, for charedim, for
everyone.”
Bennett’s hawkishness at times has gotten him into
trouble. He suggested that he would disobey an army
order to evacuate settlements, and this week he said
he would oppose drafting charedi yeshiva students in
Israel’s universal conscription. Even so, polls have put
Jewish Home at 14 or 15 seats, which would make it the
Knesset’s third-largest party after Likud-Beiteinu and
Labor. In the current Knesset, Jewish Home has just
three seats.
Votes moving from Likud-Beiteinu to Jewish Home,
both rightist parties, won’t hurt Netanyahu’s reelection
chances because the right-wing bloc will remain the
same size, and Likud-Beiteinu still is expected to be the
largest party.
What could unseat the prime minister, though, is a
center-left majority in the next Knesset. The center-left
is split into three major parties: Labor, led by former
journalist Shelly Yachimovich; Yesh Atid, which was
founded last year by media personality Yair Lapid,
whose father was a Knesset member; and Hatnua, the
party founded last year by former Kadima leader Tzipi
Livni that emphasizes Israeli-Palestinian peace. The
latest polls have Labor winning 18 to 20 seats, with Yesh
Atid and Hatnua at nine to 11 apiece.
Last week, Livni called on the three parties to unite
before the election. Instead of joining a Likud-led coali-
tion, Livni wants the parties to form a “blocking bloc”
in the Knesset to stop Netanyahu from leading the
government.
But the center-left has been plagued by infighting
throughout the campaign. Following an unsuccess-
ful meeting on Monday with the leaders of the three
parties, Yachimovich and Lapid accused Livni of using
them for “political spin.” Livni still is pushing for unity.
“I’ll obviously be happy if you vote for Hatnua, led by
me,” Livni said Tuesday in a video message. “But more
importantly, vote for one of the centrist parties. You
know what? In these elections there are only two ballots:
an extremist ballot and a moderate ballot.”
Even with a fragmented center, recent polls show
a tightening race. A poll conducted last week by the
Times of Israel noted that 31 percent of voters have yet
to choose a party, and that most undecided voters are
likely to break toward the center-left. And throughout
the campaign, majorities of voters have said they care
most about socioeconomic issues, which are being
championed by Labor and Yesh Atid.
Likud has responded to attacks from the right and
left by calling in its campaign for “a strong prime minis-
ter, a strong Israel.”
With a comfortable lead in the polls, Netanyahu’s
challenge is to draw voters even as most Israelis expect a
Likud-Beiteinu victory.
“It’s not every day that a prime minister puts on jeans
and goes to hang out in Tel Aviv,” Netanyahu quipped to
reporters as he headed into the Young Likud rally. Then
he straightened up and said, “A leftist bloc necessitates a
strong Likud-Beiteinu.”
JTA Wire Service
JS-28*
28 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
In Antwerp, charedi pariah
forces girls’ school to go coed
Cnaan Liphshiz
ANTWERP, Belgium – With a soft smile and two young
boys in tow, the mild-mannered Moshe Aryeh Friedman
appeared undeserving of his reputation as the scourge
of the local charedi Orthodox community as he walked
his sons to school on Monday.
Until, that is, he led them straight into Benoth
Jerusalem, a girls-only public school that was forced by
a judge to admit Friedman’s boys on the grounds that
Belgian schools cannot discriminate on the basis of
gender.
In the charedi community, gender segregation is the
norm, and Friedman’s push for admission is considered
so sensitive that Belgian police assigned an escort, lest
the Friedman boys be attacked upon their arrival.
“This is a fascinating development in our society,”
Friedman told the 15 or so Belgian journalists who had
turned out to see his sons — Jacob, 11, and Josef, 7 — at-
tend their new school. “Finally boys and girls can study
together, ending centuries of discrimination.”
Friedman, a 40-year-old Brooklyn native, is an un-
likely champion of gender equality in Jewish schools.
The charedi rabbi became a pariah after attending a
2006 conference in Iran questioning the Holocaust
and for his friendship with the country’s presi-
dent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A fierce anti-Zionist,
Friedman has befriended the leaders of Hamas and has
said he doubts whether 6 million Jews actually died in
the Holocaust.
As a result, Friedman was excommunicated by
Jewish communities in Antwerp and Vienna, where he
had lived for several years, and his children were denied
entry to communal institutions. In 2007, Friedman
sued the Viennese Jewish community after three of his
daughters were expelled from Talmud Torah, a private
school. Friedman said the expulsion was because of his
trip to Tehran; the school cited unpaid fees.
In 2011, Friedman returned to Antwerp with his wife,
Lea Rosenzweig, a Belgian national. When no charedi
schools would admit their sons, Friedman tried to en-
roll them in schools for girls. That failed, too, so he sued.
“We had very few public schools to choose from,”
Friedman said. “The element of collective punishment
against my children is well known.”
Friedman says the Jewish community is taking re-
venge on him because of his opinions.
Aron Berger, the father of one of Benoth Jerusalem’s
200 female pupils, acknowledged that Friedman was
left with little choice. But he added, “We need to ask
why this community and the one in Vienna left him no
choice. There’s trouble wherever Friedman goes.”
In a separate and pending case, Friedman has sued a
Zionist all-boys yeshiva in Antwerp for denying admis-
sion to his daughters.
By involving the Belgian courts, Friedman has violat-
ed the Orthodox norm of resolving conflicts internally.
That is a move unlikely to improve his standing in the
community. Perhaps even more important, he has com-
promised the charedi community’s pedagogical auton-
omy and separation of the sexes — two hypersensitive
points for a devout group striving to insulate itself from
Belgium’s secular and often unsympathetic society.
“It’s a sad day for the community, which has lost
a battle which is important to it and its tradition,”
said Michael Freilich, who as editor in chief of the
Joods Actueel Jewish monthly has been writing about
Friedman for years.
At an improvised news conference outside the
school, Friedman declined to comment on the
Holocaust, his private life, his past, and the accusa-
tions against him. Instead, he confined his remarks to
the legal issue at hand, which he presented as a matter
of gender equality. Friedman did not respond to more
questions that JTA tried to ask him by phone and email.
Friedman has been a thorn in the Jewish side for
years. In 2006, the Associated Press reported that he
had announced a new “coalition” between himself and
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group considered a
terrorist organization by the United States and Europe,
after a meeting in Stockholm with Atef Adwan, a senior
Hamas figure. Friedman also has been accused of hav-
ing dealings with Austria’s extreme right.
A Jewish umbrella group in Flanders filed a com-
plaint against Friedman for Holocaust denial a few
years ago. More recently, a lawyer from Antwerp ac-
cused him of not paying his debts in the United States
and Austria. In 2007, Friedman reportedly was attacked
by Jewish pilgrims during a visit to Poland.
“Pretty much any charedi community would shun
Moshe Friedman,” said Freilich, who maintains that
Friedman’s problems are less about his politics than
his tendency to “use the law as an instrument of terror,
which makes the community afraid of him.”
For now, the Benoth Jerusalem school is struggling
to adjust to its sudden fame. The leader of the Belz cha-
sidic community, to which the school is affiliated, asked
community members to let things take their course
regardless of their personal feelings. The school sent
parents and staff a letter asking the same.
But the community is anything but resigned to the
new status quo.
“For 30 years I have managed to do my work in si-
lence and devotion, but now, to our detriment, we have
been made famous by Moshe Friedman,” said Leibl
Mandel, the school’s director. “It’s bad for education.”
It also may be bad for Friedman’s children, as they
may be sucked deeper into the escalating fight. Henri
Rosenberg, a lawyer from Antwerp who has compiled a
file on Friedman’s business transactions in Vienna and
the United States, last month called for child welfare
services to investigate their domestic circumstances.
“Enrolling them here is child abuse,” Berger said.
“They can have no social interaction here, when the
girls play among themselves.”
JTA Wire Service
Moshe Friedman and his wife, Lea Rosenzweig, speak
to journalists outside Antwerp’s Benoth Jerusalem.
Their two sons are now enrolled in the girls’ school.
Cnaan Liphshiz
JS-29*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 29
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PRE-REgISTER for a chance to WIN a pair of
beats by dr.dre ibeats
The Czech
Republic’s
Joe Lieberman?
Jan Fischer, a Jewish politician, could
be europe’s first Jewish president
Dinah Spritzer
PRAGUE – If the pundits are correct, the Czech Republic
may become the first country other than Israel to elect a
Jewish president.
Jan Fischer, 62, an understated former prime minister
who led a caretaker government following a coalition
collapse in 2009, is neck and neck in the polls with an-
other former government head as the nation holds its first
round of presidential elections today and tomorrow.
The two front-runners advance to a runoff, and politi-
cal prognosticators are predicting that Fischer will reach
the second round.
“He’s like our Joe Lieberman,” said Tomas Kraus, chair-
man of the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities,
referring to the failed U.S. vice presidential candidate
and long-time senator from Connecticut. “Whether or
not you support him, you can’t help but be proud he has
come this far.”
Fischer, whose career highlights include running the
Czech Statistical Office and serving as vice president of
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
slipped from first to second in the polls following a lack-
luster performance in a televised debate last week.
His ascent from skilled technocrat to high-echelon
politics — and possibly to Prague Castle — sheds light
on the region’s nuanced relationship with Judaism and
Israel.
Running on a platform promoting economic growth
and political transparency, Fischer also is known for his
pride in what he calls the Czech Republic’s “very friendly
relations with Israel.” He noted that the Czech Republic
consistently was one of Europe’s most ardent support-
ers of Israel in times of crisis. This tradition goes back to
the 1920s, when the first Czechoslovak president, Tomas
Garrigue Masaryk, endorsed the creation of the Jewish
state.
More recently, the Czech Republic was among only a
handful of countries in the world to vote against upgrading
the Palestinians’ status at the United Nations.
Jan Fischer is favored to advance to the second
round of the presidential elections in the Czech
Republic. Courtesy Jan FisCher Campaign
see CzeCh RepubliC page 30
JS-30*
30 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Fischer thus finds it unnecessary to bluster in the same
way as his chief presidential rival, Milos Zeman, who has
declared his support for a preemptive strike against Iran.
“I have no need to demonstrate my friendly attitude
toward Israel because everyone is familiar with it, so I don’t
need to say something very strong,” he said in a wide-
ranging interview, adding that he is well aware that “Iran is
the dark force in the region.”
Fischer’s professions of devotion to Israel weren’t always
so robust. Before the Communist regime collapsed in 1989,
it was dangerous for anyone — especially a government
employee — to sympathize with Israel because the au-
thorities toed the Soviet anti-Zionist line.
Fischer’s upbringing is a case study of post-World War II
Jewish life in Central Europe. His father survived Auschwitz
and other Nazi concentration camps, and his mother was
Catholic. He celebrated Czech Christmas and attended
synagogue.
“My father brought me to the synagogue for Yom
Kippur and Rosh Hashanah and Purim,” Fischer recalled.
“During Pesach we didn’t organize a seder, but we did have
matzah. Father was a member of the Jewish community
until the end of the 1950s.”
That changed once Czechoslovak Communist leaders
became more virulently anti-religious; Judaism was no
longer high on his family’s list of priorities.
It changed again — as it did for many of Fischer’s gen-
eration — when his son, also named Jan, began to discover
his Jewish roots. The young Jan Fischer was born in 1989,
the year the Velvet Revolution swept communism from the
country.
“He was very interested in the story of the Holocaust
and he liked to talk about my father despite [the fact] that
he died in 1975,” Fischer said. “Through his discoveries he
developed a strong bond with Judaism, and he brought me
back.”
Fischer credited the Lauder Jewish School, which his
son attended, for educating the whole family.
Fischer’s father, also a Prague statistician, was forced to
collect numerical data on Jewish families for the Nazis.
“When he arrived in Auschwitz he didn’t expect to
live, but Mengele found out he was a mathematician and
thought he could be of use,” Fischer said.
Although some may not deem Fischer as Jewish by hal-
achah, or Jewish law, he invokes the Holocaust experience
as a defining characteristic of those who view themselves
as Jews.
“It is a common tragedy, and based on it I feel part of
this community,” he said.
Even in the relatively liberal-minded Czech Republic,
however, being Jewish can be a political disadvantage.
When Fischer took over as prime minister, a smattering
of comments on blogs referred negatively to his Jewish
origins. Because one of his advisers also was Jewish,
there were hints, too, that Fischer was part of a secret
brotherhood.
But Czechs mostly just were curious about their new
leader’s religious background. His ethnicity again became
a focus of public fixation when his predecessor, thinking
he was off the record during a taped magazine interview,
slurred a gay minister and Fischer, linking a penchant for
compromise to his Jewishness.
During his tenure as prime minister, Fischer was ad-
mired for aggressively pursuing extremist groups that were
terrorizing the country’s largest minority, the Roma. As a
result of these activities, and partly on account of his reli-
gion, Fischer’s son was put under police protection.
Still, asked about anti-Semitism in the Czech Republic,
Fischer responds, “This country has so many political
problems, but anti-Semitism is not one of them.”
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy, so
its president’s influence as president is limited and his
powers largely ceremonial. Still, the head of state occasion-
ally does remark on foreign policy issues. And that is where
Israel comes up again in conversation.
Fischer is bluntly critical of the European Union’s
sometimes muddy statements about Israel. Asked if he
agreed with the EU’s repeated condemnation of Israeli
settlements, he said, “The voice of the European Union is
sometimes strong [on this topic]. It is not the opinion of ev-
ery country. The reality is that the EU hasn’t got any foreign
policy. I don’t think the settlements are the greatest issue in
the region. Iran is the greatest issue.”
If there is a shadow hanging over Fischer in the eyes of
Czech voters, it is not his religion but his former member-
ship in the Communist Party. Fischer says he joined under
pressure to keep his job as a public employee and has
apologized publicly for the decision.
“I gave in and it is nothing I am proud of,” he said.
Compared to his two larger-than-life predecessors
— human rights luminary Vaclav Havel and Euroskeptic
Vaclav Klaus — Fischer is distinguished largely by the
fact that he is so reserved. Critics have noted his lack of
charisma.
Jiri Pehe, a former adviser to Havel and now a well-
known political commentator, doesn’t think that’s such a
bad thing. Fischer appeals to the average citizen, he says.
“Czechs are fed up with a presidency where a president
has to be highly visible and interfere with party politics,
and make speeches on issues like global warming,” Pehe
said. “Maybe they want someone ordinary, someone to
act as the chief notary, putting a seal on international
documents.”
Rabbi Manes Barash, who runs a Chabad synagogue
in Prague where Fischer occasionally prays, takes the cha-
risma issue a step further.
“A lot of people who are crooks have charisma,” Barash
joked. “Maybe it’s a good thing he doesn’t have charisma.”
On a more serious note, Barash says Fischer might be
good for the country, which is among the most atheistic in
the world, according to surveys.
“That he is a believer is something very special for the
Czech Republic,” Barash said. “Such a secular society, it is
missing here.”
JTA Wire Service
Czech Republic From page 29
Jewish Czech presidential candidate Jan Fischer at
the Terezin memorial ceremonies honoring the vic-
tims of Nazi persecution.
Courtesy Jan FisCher Campaign
“This country has so many political
problems, but anti-Semitism is not one
of them.”
— Jan Fischer
JS-31*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 31
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‘Hava Nagila’ — from shtetl to cliché
Chavie Lieber
Y
ou’re at a wedding or bar mitz-
vah, mingling at the bar or catch-
ing up with a distant relative,
when you hear it — the opening notes of
a familiar tune that as if by some invis-
ible force carries you and other guests
to the dance floor for the rousing dance
circle ritual.
Does “Hava Nagila” work this kind
of magic because it was handed down
at Sinai and thus encoded in the Jewish
DNA? Or is it a tale from the European
shtetl, albeit one with a timeless mes-
sage and an irrepressible melody?
It is these questions that Roberta
Grossman addresses in her new film,
“Hava Nagila (The Movie),” which will screen at the
upcoming New York Jewish Film Festival before hitting
theaters nationwide in March. The film, three years in the
making, explores the phenomenon behind the iconic folk
song and seeks to explain why the melody has been so
beloved over the years.
“When I first started doing research for the film, people
thought I was crazy and I was worried I wouldn’t find
anything substantial enough,” Grossman said. “But what I
really found was that this song is a porthole into 200 years
of Judaism’s culture and spirituality.”
Grossman’s inspiration for the film came from memo-
ries of dancing to the song at family parties. A product of
what she calls a “religiously assimilated but culturally af-
filiated” background, Grossman said twirling with family
members while “Hava Nagila” blared in the background
was a tribal moment with spiritual resonance. Part of a
generation raised on the 1971 film adaptation of “Fiddler
on the Roof,” she knew the song cold but understood little
about its origins.
Turns out, it doesn’t go back nearly as far as Sinai. The
song originated as a chasidic niggun, or wordless melody,
credited to the Ruzhiner rebbe, Israel Friedman, who lived
in the Ukrainian town of Sadagora in the 18th century.
A Jewish shtetl in the Pale of Settlement, Sadagora often
was subjected to pogroms, and chasidic leaders encour-
aged music as a way to combat the tragedies of everyday
life. When a wave of European immigrants moved to Israel
in the early 1900s, they took their niggun with them, where
it later became representative of Zionist
culture.
In 1915, the prominent musicologist
Abraham Zevi Idelsohn adapted the
song with Hebrew lyrics. Three years
later he unveiled his new variation at a
Jerusalem concert. “Hava Nagila,” liter-
ally “let us rejoice,” went on to hit its
peak popularity in the 1950s and ‘60s,
and became a favorite pop tune for
American Jews.
“It’s unclear if Idelsohn really knew
the extent of how far his song would go,
but after that concert celebrating the
British victory in Palestine, the streets
of Jerusalem erupted and the song took
off,” said Mark Kligman, a professor of Jewish musicology
at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Kligman is featured in the film.
“Israel was a vacuum at that point, with immigrants
from all over who had very little in common,” he said.
“They were dealing with their identity, and the need for
music, and this song unified them.”
Decades later, that still is true. The song is widely
covered — Bob Dylan, Ben Folds, and Regina Spektor all
have performed it. Last summer it was the soundtrack for
U.S. Olympian Ally Raisman’s gold medal-winning per-
formance in the floor exercise at the London Games. And
though the Wall Street Journal recently noted that some
see it as cliche and avoid having it played at their parties —
Grossman refers to these folks as “Hava haters” — it may
be the most popular Jewish song on the planet.
In the film, which includes a hora dancing tutorial,
Grossman journeys to Sadagora as well as other obscure
places where the song hit. The film notes how popular
“Hava Nagila” became with non-Jewish music lovers, and
features interviews with such singers as Lena Horne, the
Cuban-American salsa performer Celia Cruz, and the pop
star Connie Francis.
“I believe that Hava has actually accrued a great deal of
meaning and depth on its long journey from Ukraine to
YouTube,” Grossman said. “Hava’s journey is our journey.
By understanding where Hava has come from, we under-
stand where we have come from and more.”
JTA Wire Service
Roberta Grossman spent three
years in research for the film.
“Hava Nagila (The Movie)” positions the classic Jewish tune as a portal into 200 years of Judaism’s culture and
spirituality. photos Courtesy “have Nagila the Movie”
JS-33*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 33
$5 million budget hole is latest woe
for Conservative synagogue group
Gil Shefler
T
he congregational
arm of the Conserv-
vative movement
ran a cumulative budget
deficit of more than $5 mil-
lion over the past two years,
JTA has learned, renewing
longstanding concerns for
the future of one of the
movement’s key institu-
tional pillars.
According to a financial
audit obtained by JTA,
the United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism re-
ported back-to-back losses
of $3 million in 2012 and
$2.7 million the previous
year. Over the same period,
the organization, which is
celebrating its centennial
this year and counts hundreds of congregations as mem-
bers, has seen a more than 10 percent drop in its overall
assets, from $45.2 million to $40.1 million.
United Synagogue’s chief executive officer, Rabbi
Steven Wernick, told JTA that the negative cash flows
were due mostly to a handful of one-off events. Not
counting those expenses, the operational deficit in 2012
is only about a third as large, at $1.1 million.
“We hope to reduce it to $600,000 next year and bal-
ance the budget the year after that,” Wernick said.
Still, the numbers are bad news for an organization
that unveiled a much-heralded strategic plan two years
ago that aimed to reverse years of flagging membership
and declining revenues.
United Synagogue leaders are “rearranging the chairs
on the deck of the Titanic,” said a senior executive at one
of the movement’s largest synagogues who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity.
“Operating that far in the red is a big red flag,” the ex-
ecutive said. “I think it’s important for them to get their
financial standing in order. I think they wouldn’t advise
their synagogues that way.”
Once the largest Jewish religious stream in the United
States, the Conservative movement has suffered through
years of decline brought on in part by an aging and
shrinking membership, some bruising philosophical
battles, and most recently a string of financial losses. The
movement’s flagship institution, the Jewish Theological
Seminary, went through two rounds of layoffs in the past
four years to close a multimillion-dollar budget gap.
United Synagogue has seen a 14 percent drop in its
membership rolls over the past decade. In 2008, three
Canadian synagogues quit United Synagogue to form
their own partnership, claiming the burden of paying
fees to the umbrella group outweighed the benefits.
According to Wernick, the recent financial troubles
stem from three one-time expenditures: the settlement
of a longstanding lawsuit related to ownership of the
movement’s Fuchsberg Center in Jerusalem that cost
$887,000; structural reorganization resulting in a large
number of severance packages; and the cost of imple-
menting a new strategic plan.
Wernick said the organization hoped to balance its
books through a mix of savings from structural reorga-
nization carried out in 2011 and 2012, a new fundraising
arm, and the generation of new revenue by raising mem-
bership fees by $1 per household — the first such hike in
five years. Under the terms of the strategic plan released
last year, synagogue dues were to have been reduced.
At the United Synagogue board meeting last month
in Las Vegas, discussion of the audit was limited to just
a few minutes near the end, leading some to charge that
Wernick was deliberately seeking to avoid scrutiny of the
budget. Wernick denied claims of any intentional wrong-
doing, saying the limited time was due to unexpected
delays.
“In our last meeting we ran out of time, but the pro-
cess was a normal, healthy process,” he said.
Wernick has endured something of a rocky tenure
in the three years since he took the helm of United
Synagogue. On the eve of his appointment, United
Synagogue came under intense criticism from some
of the movement’s most successful rabbis, united in a
coalition that called itself HaYom. Shortly thereafter,
the Forward reported on an unsent letter from several
synagogue presidents accusing the organization of being
“insular, unresponsive, and of diminishing value to its
member congregations.”
More broadly, many in the movement are coming to
believe the time for large, centralized organizations in
Jewish religious life in America has passed.
“The reason why USCJ continues to struggle is be-
cause synagogues can have their needs met without
it,” said Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation
Netivot Hashalom in Berkeley, Calif. “The question fac-
ing Conservative Judaism as an American movement
is not the same as the USCJ’s financial health. And so
as Conservative Judaism continues to evolve in North
America, a new movement might emerge to connect our
synagogues to one another.”
Wernick strongly defended his organization’s place
within Conservative Judaism. He cited a list of programs
and activities — including Sulam, a leadership devel-
opment program, and the subsidies given to member
synagogues in times of crisis, like the recent efforts to aid
victims of Superstorm Sandy — as proof of its relevance.
“We believe we’re implementing [our strategic plan]
with great success and that the future is only going to be
brighter,” he said. “Are some congregational leaders not
in love with what we do? Sure, but there are many more
coming to us to ask for our support.”
The United Synagogue executive board is set to hold
a briefing on the audit’s findings in a conference call on
Thursday and put it to a vote one week later. Wernick
said the full content of the audit will be placed online
after the vote as part of the organization’s commitment
to transparency.
“We’re still in the start-up phase and it’s not easy, but
we’re moving out of it and we’re growing,” Wernick said.
“And you don’t get that in an audit.”
JTA Wire Service
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Rabbi Steven Wernick,
chief executive officer of
the United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism,
says the group’s $5 mil-
lion deficit over the last
two years stems mainly
from three one-time
expenditures.
Courtesy usCJ
D’var Torah
JS-34*
34 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
Va’era: Stuck in the middle?
Rabbi ShaRon Litwin
Education director, Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center, Ridgewood, Conservative
OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
Jewish Federation
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BLOGS
jstandard.com/blogs
O
ur portion, Va’era, starts and ends in the middle
of the story. There is no exciting introduction
to new characters: We know Moses, we know
Aaron, we know Pharaoh. We know about slavery and
oppression in Egypt. And when it ends, there is still
Moses, still Aaron, still Pharaoh, and still slavery and
oppression in Egypt, although Va’era presents the first
seven plagues that God set upon Egypt in the hopes that
Pharaoh would let the Children of Israel go. Va’era is in
the middle and, I would assert, this makes the story all
the more relevant to us, as we too are in the middle. Most
of us have not had new people come into our lives this
week and, hopefully, none have left us either.
We’re all in the middle of some form of slavery, all
working toward freedom and redemption in our lives
with the hope of something better. But, sometimes we
get stuck. When Moses first approaches the Children of
Israel, they don’t even want to leave Egypt. The Torah
tells us that God instructed Moses to tell the people that
God would soon free them. “But when Moses told this to
the Israelites, they would not listen to Moses, their spirits
crushed by cruel bondage.” (Ex 6:9) Nahum Sarna in his
commentary on Exodus teaches that the literal mean-
ing of “their spirits crushed” — in the Hebrew, “mikotzer
ru’ach” — is that they had a shortness of spirit, they had
nothing left with which to motivate themselves. The
Hebrew ru’ach, teaches Sarna, “is the spiritual and psy-
chic energy that motivates action. Its absence or attenu-
ation signifies atrophy of the will.” The Children of Israel
were spiritually stuck. They were in the middle of some-
thing and they had neither the spirit nor the wherewithal
to see the way out even with God’s divine leadership.
Sometimes it is hard to see the meaning of a particular
event or series of events in our lives or the lives of our
community and its hard to imagine that change can
come. Last week, when I read Rabbi Joel Mosbacher’s
D’var Torah in the Jewish Standard, he wrote that we
need to find serious ways in which we can address chal-
lenges and “hold our officials accountable to make the
world safer, rather than be complicit in a culture that
throws its hands in the air, resigned that we can do noth-
ing to curb violence.” He addressed gun violence and
asked us not to stand idly by. We are in the middle of
something and we seem to be unable or unwilling to get
out of it, or maybe just plain old stuck. How many Sandy
Hooks, Auroras, Tuscons, Virginia Techs, Columbines do
we need to have? How many plagues need to rain down
before we are ready to move to the next stage of the story?
The Children of Israel were witnesses to the plagues of
blood, frogs, lice, wild beasts (or insects), cattle disease,
boils and hail in Va’era; and they still weren’t spiritually
ready to listen to Moses. It took a few more plagues on
their task masters for them to be spiritually prepared to
make the change to be ready to leave slavery and oppres-
sion and move toward redemption and hope.
I hope we are not stuck for long in the middle of the
story of gun violence in schools and on streets. I hope
we can find a way to come together in the community
and in the United States so that the story moves from
plagues and spiritual “stuck-ness” to a place of security
and peacefulness. I wouldn’t want us to be comfortable
in an environment where we acceptg gun violence as de
rigueur, as the Children of Israel accepted their enslave-
ment. I wouldn’t want us to be comfortable in an envi-
ronment where our neighbors are plagued and we are
not able to do anything about it. Of course the plagues in
Va’era were sent down to our enemies, but even amongst
the Egyptians there were innocent people who suffered.
We’re in the middle now. We don’t know how this story
will end. I pray that the ending brings hope and security.
Arts & culture
JS-35*
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 35
The 22nd Annual New York Jewish Film Festival
Eric A. GoldmAn
T
here is little doubt, at least in my mind, that some
of the best and brightest are filmmakers. They
struggle with the issues of today and record them
in their documentaries or tackle them through their
stories. Each year, the New York Jewish Film Festival,
presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the
Jewish Museum, introduces us to new Jewish films, offer-
ing an opportunity to not only enjoy and be entertained
but to grapple with several of the important issues facing
Jews today.
This year, we have the opportunity to look at many of
the great Jewish personalities of our time, delve into the
changing character of Israeli society, wrestle with issues
facing Jews in Argentina and France, continue our ongo-
ing engagement with the Holocaust, and examine Jewish
culture here and in Israel. Sprinkled among 45 fine short
and feature-length films from nine countries are several
nuggets not to be missed.
If you love music, there is plenty to find this year.
The opening night movie is “AKA Doc Pomus,” a film
by Peter Miller, Will Hechter, and Sharyn Felder, which
tells the remarkable story of Jerome Felder (brother of
attorney Raoul), who contracted polio at 6 and found his
path through music, heavily influenced by the African-
American rhythm and blues he heard on the radio.
He emerged as Doc Pomus, a blues singer, but when
producers discovered that this incredible writer-singer
was not black, but rather a paralyzed Jewish kid from
Brooklyn, he had to focus on his writing, eventually
turning out some of the great songs of rock and roll. The
filmmakers do a fine job telling the story of how Pomus
overcame adversity to become one of American music’s
greats.
Another story of a Brooklyn boy who rose to the top
is Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen’s “Joe Papp in Five
Acts.” It is just as much a story of one man’s triumph
over bureaucracy to bring theater to the masses as
it is a modern day tale of an American Jew who hid
his Jewish background only to embrace it late in life.
Papp brought us Shakespeare in the Park and the
Public Theater, refusing to hear no. In the course of an
incredibly productive life, he chose to be married to his
work, neglecting those around him whom he loved. The
filmmakers tackle all aspects of his complex personality,
bringing in many of the fine actors whom he introduced
to the theater; they unabashedly throw kisses his way
while telling deep truths about all five “acts” of Joe Papp.
For me, the most enlightening aspect of the film was how
Papp, born Papirofsky, came back to his Jewish roots and
reconnected with his mother, who spoke with an accent
and whom he shunned most of his life. Papp, along with
creating incredible productions of Shakespeare, brought
us “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” and the Yiddish theater
production, “Songs of Paradise,” which unfortunately the
filmmakers failed to mention.
One film that is sure to be a hit on the theatrical film
circuit this year is “Hava Nagila (The Movie).” For more
on that movie, go to page 31.
Gabriel Bibliowicz’ “Let’s Dance” provides an unusual
window into the changing face of Israel. It is not only
a compelling look at the changing character of dance
in Israel, it is an observation on Israeli life and culture.
Various authorities provide insight into how the hora
began as a representation of the pioneering spirit, an
expression of the relationship of the halutzim with the
land, not only building it but being built up by it. Each
held each other up as they danced the hora, as one
people in sync in its goals and ideals.
As Bibliowicz uses dance to study Israel, in “The
Iron Lady and the Photo House” Tamar Tal uses the
photograph and the story of the photo house of Rudi
Weissenstein to explore an Israel in transformation.
Weissenstein documented in photography Israel’s
foundational moments and it is left to his widow and
grandson to preserve the past while moving into the
future. Both of these Israeli film studies are pearls of the
festival.
Dina Zvi-Riklis is one of my favorite Israeli filmmakers,
and “The Fifth Heaven,” like her other films, takes a look
at the “other” in Israeli society. Iraq-born Zvi-Riklis, who
came to Israel as a child, experienced what it is to be an
outsider. She dealt with this in her brilliant 2006 film,
“Three Mothers,” and here she presents the story of
13-year-old Maya, who is placed in an orphanage by a
father whose wife deserted them and who finds himself
incapable of caring for the child. Riklis, married to film
director Eran Riklis, now an “insider” and one half of
Israeli cinema’s “power couple,” continues to ask tough
questions.
The three other narrative feature entries this year from
Israel are Idan Hubel’s “The Cutoff Man,” Beni Torati’s
“Ballad of the Weeping Spring,” and Nadav Lapid’s
“The Policeman.” The highly talented Moshe Ivgy is
superb as Gaby the cutoff man, whose job is to cut off
water to customers unable to pay in a tough economy.
Watching Torati’s “Ballad” is like watching a spaghetti
western from the 1960s, just plain fun, with kitsch at
every corner. Instead of Clint Eastwood we have Uri
Gavrieli, and his search for the perfect musical group is
an excuse to perform amazing eastern music. Lapid’s
“The Policeman,” which was screened last year at the
New York Film Festival, looks at male machismo, societal
inequality, and the role of protest in Israeli society. It
features command performances by Yiftach Klein and
Yaara Pelzig in a difficult and piercing portrait of an Israel
in need of fixing.
Some of the best Jewish filmmaking today deals with
the Shoah, and “Numbered” and “The Trial of Adolf
Eichmann” are just excellent. Michael Prazan is skillful in
presenting us with the complete story of the Eichmann
trial — the questions of legality, the logistics of the
kidnapping, the international repercussions, and what
Ben Gurion hoped to accomplish by bringing this trial to
Israel. Dana Doron and Uriel Sinai craft a sensitive film
in “Numbered,” a look at how survivors reflect, with a
combination of humiliation and cachet, on the numbers
they carry on their arms. This is a beautiful and insightful
visual portrait.
Tickets go fast, so don’t waste any time going to one of
the great film events that New York has to offer. For more
information and tickets, go to: www.FilmLinc.com or call
212.875.5601.
Eric Goldman teaches cinema at Stern College for Women and
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
[bio]
[photos –
https://www.box.com/s/tv3l0hm7gp6y5ye8p5y0/1/530692830/5114872474/1
https://www.box.com/s/tv3l0hm7gp6y5ye8p5y0/1/530940360/5116905266/1
https://www.box.com/s/tv3l0hm7gp6y5ye8p5y0/1/530941376/5116916538/1
“Let’s Dance” looks at the changing face of Israel.
Bob Dylan with Jerome Felder, AKA Doc Pomus.
Film tackles the complex personality of Joe Papp.
“Short Outquote”
Calendar
JS-36*
friday [january 11]
Shabbat in Wayne The Chabad Center of
Passaic County hosts a Shabbat Russian-
themed meal with entertainment by Hebrew
school students, 6 p.m. 194 Ratzer Road.
(973) 964-6274 or www.jewishwayne.com.
Shabbat in Paramus The JCC of Paramus
hosts a catered Shabbat dinner, beginning
with dinner at 6:45 p.m.; services at 8:30.
East 304 Midland Ave. (201) 262-7691 or
office@jccparamus.org.
Shabbat in Washington Township
Temple Beth Or offers Shabbat Hallelu,
a musical family service, 7:30 p.m. 56
Ridgewood Road. (201) 664-7422 or
www.templebethornj.org.
Shabbat in Closter Temple Beth El offers
a service featuring the music of Debbie
Friedman, 7:30 p.m. 221 Schraalenburgh
Road. (201) 768-5112.
Shabbat in Wyckoff Temple Beth Rishon
holds Shabbat Tzavta (together), a
participatory folk-rock service, 8 p.m.
Selections from contemporary and classical
repertoires, folk rock melodies, liturgical
selections, traditional motifs, Israeli
melodies, and synagogue melodies from
Argentina. Dessert and coffee. 585 Russell
Ave. (201) 891-4466 or bethrishon.org.
saturday [january 12]
Shabbat in Paramus The JCC of Paramus
offers Club Shabbat, with prayer, songs,
Torah experiences, games, playtime,
and refreshments, for 2- to 6-year-olds
accompanied by a parent, grandparent,
or caregiver, 10:30 a.m. East 304 Midland
Ave. Judy Fox, (201) 967-1334 or
eccdirector@jccparamus.org.
Shabbat in Teaneck Temple Emeth offers a
special Shabbat service and day of learning
exploring the themes of “The Zookeeper’s
Wife” by Diane Ackerman, which is a
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s
“One Book, One Community” event. Torah
study, 9 a.m., services and activities, 10:30;
kiddush lunch, noon; screening of the
documentary “Safe Haven,” 2:30 p.m. 1666
Windsor Road, (201) 833-1322.
Family event The Glen Rock Jewish
Center offers family fun night, 6:30-9 p.m.,
with movies, games, dairy and pareve
appetizers, and ice cream sundaes.
BYO kosher. 682 Harristown Road.
(201) 652-6624 or office@grjc.org.
sunday [january 13]
Blood drive in Englewood Congregation
Ahavath Torah holds a blood drive with New
Jersey Blood Services, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (800)
933-BLOOD.
Mitzvah Mall in Franklin Lakes Barnert
Temple hosts its annual Mitzvah Mall,
9 a.m. Pancake breakfast followed by
Shabbat in Closter Rabbi David S. Widzer
and Cantor Rica Timman of Temple Beth
El are joined by the religious school’s
fifth-grade and Rinat Beth El Junior
Choir for a family service, 6:45 p.m.,
preceded by Shabbat dinner at 5:45. 221
Schraalenburgh Road. (201) 768-5112.
Marcia Lyles
Shabbat in Jersey City Temple Beth-El
hosts its annual service in tribute to Martin
Luther King, Jr., 7:45 p.m. Marcia Lyles,
Jersey City superintendent of schools, is the
guest speaker. 2419 Kennedy Boulevard.
(201) 333-4229 or www.betheljc.org.
wednesday [january 16]
Yiddish club Khaverim Far Yidish (Friends
for Yiddish) of the Jewish Community
Center of Paramus meets, 2 p.m. Tu Bi-
Sh’vat refreshments. Group meets the third
Wednesday of the month. East 304 Midland
Ave. Varda, (201) 791-0327.
Tu Bi-Sh’vat in Tenafly Michelle Levine,
outreach and marketing director for the
Society for the Protection of Nature in
Israel, discusses “Environmental Victories in
Israel” at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades,
7:30 p.m. Cosponsored by the Israel
Connections department and the Center for
Israel Engagement of the Jewish Federation
of Northern New Jersey. 411 East Clinton
Ave. (201) 408-1429 or www.jccotp.org.
friday [january 18]
Shabbat in Washington Township Temple
Beth Or celebrates Mishpacha Shabbat
for families with young children, 6 p.m.;
regular services at 8. 56 Ridgewood Road.
(201) 664-7422 or www.templebethornj.org.
interaction with representatives of 10
charities, dedicated to helping victims of
Superstorm Sandy. 747 Route 208 South.
(201) 848-1800 or www.barnerttemple.org.
Bagels/preschool class The JCC of
Paramus offers a bagel and schmooze
breakfast hosted by the Young Jewish
Families group, 9:30 a.m. Candle Club,
a monthly pre-K holiday class with
stories, music, arts and crafts, and nut-
free snacks, 9:45 a.m. (201) 262-7733 or
edudirector@jccparamus.org.
Frederick Katzenberg Courtesy yMCA
Concert in Wayne The YMCA of Wayne
continues its Sundays Backstage at
the Y series with a performance by
oboeist Frederick Katzenberg and pianist
Gary Klein, 11:45 a.m. 1 Pike Drive.
(973) 595-0100, ext. 257.
Party Showcase in Park Ridge Celebrate!
Party Showcase’s 21st annual show
presented by Mitzvah Market is at the
Park Ridge Marriott, noon-5 p.m. Party
décor, entertainment, candle lighting poem
help, out-of-the-box venues, photo and
wearable favors, and treats. Free admission
and parking. 300 Brae Boulevard.
(646) 652-7512 or Facebook.com/
CelebrateShowcase. Sign up in advance to
win a pair of “ibeat Beats by Dr. Dre.”
Movie in Hackensack Temple Beth El
screens “Crossing Delancey,” starring Amy
Irving and Peter Riegert, 2 p.m. 280 Summit
Ave. (201) 342-2045.
tuesday [january 15]
Networking in Paramus Jewish Business
Network holds a breakfast at Whole Foods
Market, 8:15 a.m. 300 Bergen Town Center.
www.jbusinessnetwork.net.
Women’s rosh chodesh Rabbi Adina
Lewittes offers a discussion, “Self,
Identity, and Consciousness in the
Torah: The Commentary of Dr. Aviva
Gottlieb Zornberg,” at the Kaplen JCC
on the Palisades in Tenafly, 7:30 p.m.
(201) 408-1426 or www.jccotp.org.
36 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
A musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day featuring cabaret star Natalie
Douglas and her Broadway ensemble is at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A
Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City, Wednesday, January 16, 7
p.m. The concert of freedom songs includes “We Shall Overcome” and Lena
Horne’s anthem, “Now,” set to the tune of “Hava Nagila.” (646) 437-4202 or
www.mjhnyc.org. Presented in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition, Hava
Nagila: A Song for the People. Lynn redMiLe
Lunch and learn in Fort Lee
Rabbi Akiva Block, leader of Congregation Kehillat
Kesher in Englewood, discusses “Significance of the
Hebrew Language in Observing and Understanding Our
Traditions,” at a lunch and learn session at the Young
Israel of Fort Lee. The lecture will be on January 16 at
noon at the Barad Center in Fort Lee. A light lunch will be
served. Call (201) 592-1518 or email yiftlee.org.
Game On at the YJCC Jan. 25
The Bergen County YJCC in Washington Township has
set its annual “Game On” day for Friday, January 25.
The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with continental breakfast.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. it’s time for games, including
mah jongg, bridge, canasta, and Scrabble; lunch follows.
There also will be raffles. Registration is requested by
January 18; proceeds benefit YJCC programs.
Carol Berliner and Karen Feltman are co-chairs. For
information, call (201) 666-6610, ext. 5812.
JS-37*
saturday [january 19]
Havdalah/bingo/ice cream The Jewish
Community Center of Paramus offers
Havdalah services followed by family bingo
with make-your-own sundaes, 7 p.m. $5 per
person includes prizes and refreshments.
(201) 262-7691 or julieleopold@yahoo.com.
Music in Ridgewood Temple Israel and JCC
of Ridgewood kicks off its second season
of “Winter Music Saturdays” with cellist
Jennifer Green and pianist Kai Pangune Kim
playing a classical chamber music program
featuring works by Ernst Bloch, J.S. Bach,
Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Alexander
Glasunov. Havdalah at 7:30 p.m.; concert
follows. 475 Grove St. (201) 201-444-9320
or www.synagogue.org.
Comedy in Teaneck Mordechai (Mike)
Schmutter invites all comedians to
join him for stand-up comedy at
the Teaneck General Store, 8 p.m.
502A Cedar Lane. (201) 530-5046 or
www.teaneckgeneralstore.com.
Café event in Fair Lawn The men’s club
of Temple Beth Sholom and the Fair
Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai
Israel co-sponsor Café Night/Battle of
the Bands at TBS, 8 p.m. Dance to the
music of A Touch of Gray and the Prospect
Medical Orchestra. Snacks and desserts;
BYOB (kosher). 40-25 Fair Lawn Ave.
(201) 797-9321.
sunday [january 20]
Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rabbi Steven Sirbu leads a discussion
about Dr. King’s legacy at Temple Emeth in
Teaneck’s B’yachad breakfast, 10:30 a.m.
1666 Windsor Road. (201) 833-1322.
Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. The
Oakland-Franklin Lakes Interfaith Clergy
Council offers communal sharing, prayer,
and song followed by a potluck supper at
si ngles
sunday [january 13]
Brunch in Caldwell New Jersey
Jewish Singles 45+ meet for brunch at
Congregation Agudath Israel, 11:30 a.m.
20 Academy Road. (973) 226-3600,
meetup.com (use group name) or
singles@agudath.org.
For Jewish women A seminar, “Inner
Self/Outer Self,” offers a spiritual and
physical makeover “from head to toe” for
single and married women, with certified
makeup artists, professional hair stylists,
a nutritional therapist, a personal trainer,
a spiritual and dating life coach, an image
consultant/stylist, and Zumba. Bring
sneakers. Demonstrations, discussions,
applications, refreshments, give-aways,
and prizes. Congregation Talmud Torah
Adereth El, 2-6:30 p.m. Registration, 1:45.
133 East 29th St., Manhattan, between
Lexington and 3rd Avenue. (973) 851-9070
or grin31@gmail.com.
thursday [january 17]
Singles mingle in Scotch Plains The B’nai
B’rith Young Professional Network, 23-33,
offers “Mingle with Jewish Singles,” with a
happy hour and free appetizers, at Stage
House Tavern, 5 -7 p.m. 366 Park Ave.,
Danielle Ross, dross33433@gmail.com.
Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, 5-7 p.m.
747 Route 208 South. (201) 848-1800 or
www.barnerttemple.org.
monday [january 21]
Discussing Israel Fair Lawn Hadassah
meets at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/
Congregation B’nai Israel as the Jewish
Federation of Northern New Jersey’s
shaliach, Avinoam Segal-Elad, discusses
“The Judiciary System in Israel.” 1 p.m.
10-10 Norma Ave. Fair Lawn. Varda,
(201) 791-0327.
i n new york
sunday [january 13]
Film in NYC After a screening of the critically
acclaimed film “Portrait of Wally” at the
Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living
Memorial to the Holocaust at 2:30 p.m.,
art expert David D’Arcy, who is one of the
film’s screenwriters and producers, will talk
about it with museum director David G.
Marwell. 36 Battery Place. (646) 437-4202
or www.mjhnyc.org.
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 37
Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble to perform
The JCC Thurnauer
School of Music
at the Kaplen JCC
on the Palisades in
Tenafly announces
the 23rd annual Gift
of Music Gala Benefit
Concert, featuring
11-time Grammy
Award-winner Paquito
D’Rivera and his Latin
jazz ensemble, on
Wednesday, January 30,
at 7:30 p.m. The show
will be at the Bergen
Performing Arts Center,
30 North Van Brunt
Street, in Englewood. A VIP reception will precede the
concert, at 6:30, and a reception with the opportunity to
meet the artists will follow. Proceeds from the evening
will benefit all the music school’s programs, including
its scholarship fund and its Music Discovery Partnership
— a collaboration with Englewood public schools that
began in 1997.
The evening also will include a special tribute to
Avi and Dr. Galit M. Sacajiu. Avi Sacajiu is a member of
the JCC’s board of directors and Dr. Galit Sacajiu is a
physician who has devoted herself to rebuilding medical
services in Haiti in the last few years. Both are dedicated
supporters of the Thurnauer School.
Call (201) 408-1465 or email thurnauer@jccotp.org.
Art exhibit features local
The Teaneck Public Library Gallery
exhibits artwork by Bernice Greenberg of
Teaneck this month. Her work has been
exhibited in various venues, including the
Nassau County Museum of Art; the Jewish
Center in Roslyn, N.Y.; and the Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. She also
creates ketubot for Judaic Connection.
Lunch and learn in Fort Lee
Rabbi Akiva Block, leader of Congregation Kehillat
Kesher in Englewood, discusses “Significance of the
Hebrew Language in Observing and Understanding Our
Traditions,” at a lunch and learn session at the Young
Israel of Fort Lee. The lecture will be on January 16 at
noon at the Barad Center in Fort Lee. A light lunch will be
served. Call (201) 592-1518 or email yiftlee.org.
From left, Gail Adler, Karen Miller, Joy Shorr, and
Leslie Smith enjoy last year’s “Game On” festivities.
Courtesy yJCC
Paquito D’Rivera JAy sAvuLiCh
Game On at the YJCC Jan. 25
The Bergen County YJCC in Washington Township has
set its annual “Game On” day for Friday, January 25.
The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with continental breakfast.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. it’s time for games, including
mah jongg, bridge, canasta, and Scrabble; lunch follows.
There also will be raffles. Registration is requested by
January 18; proceeds benefit YJCC programs.
Carol Berliner and Karen Feltman are co-chairs. For
information, call (201) 666-6610, ext. 5812.
A ketubah by Bernice Greenberg.
Photo Courtesy of Artist
Saturday January 19th 8pm
SAVION
GLOVER
January 31st 8pm
Lifecycle
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38 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
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B’nai mitzvah
Tal Kopman
Tal Kopman, son of Avi and Fanny
Kopman of Washington Township
and brother of Yonathan, celebrated
becoming a bar mitzvah on January
5 at Temple Beth Sholom in Fair
Lawn. His grandparents are Eva and
Shalom Kopman of Fair Lawn and
Malka and Eli Dahan of Israel.
Stellie Leibowitz
Stellie Leibowitz, daughter of Susan
and Steven Leibowitz of Woodcliff
Lake and sister of Gabby, celebrated
becoming a bat mitzvah on January
5 at Temple Emanuel of the Pascack
Valley in Woodcliff Lake.
Benjamin Putzer
Benjamin Putzer, son of Jane and
Jason Putzer of Harrington Park,
celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah
on January 5 at Temple Beth El of
Northern Valley in Closter.
Hailey Ryan
Hailey Nicole Ryan, daughter of
Laura and Robert Ryan of Tenafly
and sister of Leah, Lauren, Hannah,
and Robby, celebrated becoming a
bat mitzvah on January 5 at Temple
Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly.
Brian Zahabian
Brian Zahabian, son of Shadi and
Mahran Zahabian of Paramus,
celebrated becoming a bar
mitzvah on January 5 at the Jewish
Community Center of Paramus.
OBituaries
Nelli Altshuller
Nelli Altshuller , 86, of Fair Lawn, died December 31.
Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.
Eileen Elberg
Eileen Elberg, 83, of Englewood, died January 1.
Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.
Jennifer L. Luethke
Jennifer Luethke, 49, of Haworth, died January 2.
She attended Northern Valley Regional High School
where she met her husband.
Predeceased by her father, Barry I. Croland, she
is survived by her husband, Michael; mother, Joan
Croland; sons, Andrew, Benjamin, Michael, and William;
siblings, Richard Croland, Heidi Croland-Herman, and
Lizabeth Croland-Sarakin; nieces and nephews; in-laws,
and friends.
Contributions can be sent to the Center for Food
Action, Englewood, or Hospice House at Hackensack.
Arrangements were by Robert Schoem’s Menorah
Chapel, Paramus.
Judith Minker
Martin Minker
Judith Minker, née Goldstein, 81, of Boca Raton,
Fla., formerly of Westwood and Park Ridge, died on
December 28, eight days before her husband, Martin
Minker, 85, who died on January 5. They celebrated their
60th wedding anniversary in November.
Judith was predeceased by a sister, Lenore Solomon.
They are survived by sons Bruce (Diane Farre) of
Tamarac, Fla., Gary (Elena) of Park Ridge, and Alan
(Susan Walters) of Durham, N.C.; Martin’s brother,
Arnold, of Bergenfield; a brother-in-law, Arthur
Solomon; and six grandchildren.
Judith was a registered nurse at Bergen Pines Hospital
in Paramus for 25 years, a president of the Bergen
County Nurses Association, a member of the Westwood
Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and a patient advocate at
several hospitals.
Martin was an Army staff sergeant in World War II
serving in Italy. He owned F & F Men’s and Boy’s Wear
in Westwood for 30 years and then had a career in
commercial real estate.
Donations can be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation. Arrangements were by Louis
Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Dr. Lawrence Nessman
Dr. Lawrence Nessman, 81, of Wayne, formerly of
Brooklyn, died January 6.
He served in the Army Reserves, retiring as a
colonel. A doctor with offices in Wayne, he was a
member of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Wayne, a
member and chair of the Passaic County Osteopathic
Association, a member and the first commander of the
Jewish War Veterans of Wayne, a member and board
member of the YM-YWHA in Wayne, and a chair for
State of Israel Bonds.

Celebrate your simcha
we welcome announcements of readers’
bar/bat mitzvahs, engagements, marriages
and births. announcements are free, but
there is a $10 charge for photographs,
which must be accompanied by a stamped,
self-addressed envelope if the photograph
is to be returned. there is a $10 charge for
mazal tov announcements plus a
$10 photograph charge.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 39
He is survived by his wife, Leslie; children, Ravi
(Hallie Ludsin) of Delhi, India, Alisa Chafitz (Benjamin)
of Jericho, N.Y., Chari Nacson (Yosi) of Plainview, N.Y.,
and Mali Ben-Shachar (Itamar) of Raanana, Israel; and
nine grandchildren.
Donations can be sent to Jewish National Fund.
Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.
Selma Schwartz
Selma L. Schwartz, neé Littman, of Fair Lawn, formerly
of Paterson, died January 1.
Before retiring, she was a math teacher at Thomas
Jefferson and Memorial junior high schools in Fair
Lawn.
Predeceased by her husband, Milton, she is survived
by children Howard, Ann, and Jay (Lilian); siblings,
Frances Weiner (Puggy), and Sidney Littman (Linda);
and a grandchild, Aidan Mauricio Schwartz.
Donations can be sent to the Adler Aphasia Center,
Maywood. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban
Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Alvin S. Shore
Alvin Shore, 83, of Fair Lawn, died January 2.
Predeceased by his wife, Florence, he is survived by a
daughter, Michelle.
Born in Bayonne, along with his wife he owned
Florence Shore Manufacturer’s Outlet in Fair Lawn.
He was an Army veteran of the Korean conflict and a
member of the Fair Lawn Jewish Center.
Donations can be made to the National Spasmodic
Torticollis Association Research Fund, Fountain Valley,
Calif. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.
Stanley B. Sidlov
Stanley Sidlov, 60, of Pompton Lakes, died December 31.
He was a programmer in the finance industry for
many years and a former member and board member of
Congregation Beth Sholom in Pompton Lakes.
Predeceased by his father, Joseph, he is survived by his
wife, Jennifer; his mother, Maria; a daughter, Lizabeth; a
sister, Susan Schwerberg; four nephews and a niece.
Donations can be sent to Georgia Tech Foundation
Band or Georgia Tech Hillel, Atlanta. Arrangements were
by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Isabel Stark
Isabel Stark, neé Brawer, 72, of Boynton Beach, Fla., died
January 1.
A graduate of Syracuse University and Seton Hall
University School of Law, she was a lawyer in New Jersey
and served as a Superior Court Judge in Bergen County
for 21 years.
She is survived by her husband, Harvey Gold;
daughters Laura Baker and Diane Stark; sisters, Edith
Ratner and Roberta Lobel; and four grandchildren.
Donations can be made to Hospice of Palm Beach
County, West Palm Beach, Fla. Arrangements were by
Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Paramus.
Mark J. Zymet
Mark Zymet, 57, of River Vale, formerly of Teaneck, died
January 3.
He was an investment banker for Southwest
Securities, Inc., in Bloomfield.
He is survived by his wife, Lynn, née Block; parents,
Beverly and Dr. Harvey Zymet of Hackensack; sons,
Corey Scott and Jesse Adam; brother, Eric (Marge) of
Paramus; brother-in-law Honorable Lawrence Block
of Alexandria, Va., and Dr. Lee Surkin (Elizabeth) of
Greenville, N.C.
Contributions can be sent to Disabled American
Veterans. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban
Chapel, Fair Lawn.
This week’s
Torah commentary
is on page 34.
Obituaries
are prepared with information provided by
funeral homes. Correcting
errors is the responsibility
of the funeral home.
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Beatrice chazin
Beatrice Chazin (neé Pugatsky) died on
January 5, 2013. She lived in Rydal, Pa.
Wife of the late Rabbi Pinchos J. Chazin.
Mother of Rhena ( Dr. Steven) Kelsen,
Judge Meryl “Michal” (Hazzan Leon)
Lissek of Teaneck, N.J., and Daniel Chazin.
Grandmother of Francine Hannon, Michael
(Karoline) Kelsen, Devorah Lissek (Dr.
Joshua Barash), Dr. Shmuel (Dr. Zohara)
Cohen-Lissek, and Hazzan Shira Lissek,
(Lloyd Nerenberg). Great-grandmother of
Abraham, Jamie, Molly, Eitan, Jack, Megan,
Samantha, Reuben, Carmela, and Maayan.
Contributions in her memory may be made
to any Camp Ramah or the Philadelphia
Jewish Archives Center, c/o Congregation
Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, Pa. 19123. Arrangements were
by Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael Sacks
Funeral Home, Philadelphia, Pa.
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40 Jewish standard January 11, 2013
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100 Dorigo Lane Secaucus, NJ · 973-930-1118 · 800-318-3552
Co-opS For Sale
HORIzON COMPLEX
5 Horizon Road, Fort Lee
17th Floor, River view,
1 BDRM, 1 Bth
Priced to sell! Asking:$125,000
PROMINENT PROPERTIES
SOTHERBY’S
DORIS COHEN 201-218-0731
Florida Condo For rent
ALEXANDER Hotel, Miami Beach
beautiful 2 BDRM, 2 Bth on the
beach. Strictly Kosher! Low floor.
Call 516-313-2151
Help Wanted

After School Sitter
(pick up at school)
Monday -Thursday
3:30 - 5:15 P.M.
Friday
1 P.M. to variable times
Position available
starting immediately
Englewood location
Call 732-991-6697
Help Wanted
CASHIER
Part-time/full-time
wanted in Fort Lee kosher
food store. Flexible hours.
Friday a must!
Please email resume to:
paylessglatt@gmail.com
College CounSelling
MICKEY GILBERT’S
COLLEGE CHOICE
Selection • Application • Essay
• Interview • Tour
An individualized
college search process
973-263-0421
- JUNIORS -
CALL NOW!
FREE FIRST SESSION!
tutoring
• MATH TUTOR •
Middle/High School Subjects
SAT • ACT
Licensed NJ MathTeacher/MBA
First Session $25.00
References available
Carol Herman
201-599-9415
carolherman1@gmail.com
SituationS Wanted
A CARING experienced European
woman available now to care for
elderly/sick. Live-in/Out. English
speaking. References. Driver’s lics.
Call Lena 908-494-4540
CAREGIvER/HHA experienced.
Looking to care for elderly or
housekeeper. Monday-Friday.
Live-out. English speaking. Simone
973-816-5671
CARING, Reliable lady looking for
weekend Saturday & Sunday posi-
tion. Available also 12 hr shift at
night. References! Drives! 201-
741-3042
CHHA looking for position to take
care of elderly or sick . Good refer-
ences. Call 732-589-6362
CHHA looking to care for elderly or
children. Live-in. Experienced, very
reliable, good references. Own car
w/valid lics. Speaks English. 609-
456-9637
HHA looking for position as Com-
panion. Live-in/out. Experienced!
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SituationS Wanted
LICS. CNA/HHA experienced in
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to appointments, errands. Referen-
ces. English speaking. 201-357-
5670
MARkETING MANAGER
Do you need a Marketing
Manager that can increase
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Award winning Business Mar-
keting Manager with an exten-
sive career in product Market-
ing, product & lifecycle manage-
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Seeking new position, please
call 201-444-8850, ext. 15 or
email: scgarr@yahoo.com
SALES, Marketing, BusDev
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Estates Bought & Sold
Fine Furniture
Antiques
Accessories
Cash Paid
201-920-8875
T U
NICHOLAS
ANTIQUES
JS-35
Jewish standard January 11, 2013 41
JS-41
PARTY
PLANNER
antiqueS
Fuel surcharge added up to 10%· Additional charge may be applied to credit card payment
Car SerViCe
Residential Dumpster Specials • 10 YDS • 15 YDS • 20 YDS
(201) 342-9333 · (973) 340-7454
WE REMOVE
• Pianos • Furniture
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• Demo Work
WE CLEAN UP
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AGreene@BaRockorchestra.com
www.BaRockOrchestra.com
Free
Estimates
Roof
Repairs
201-487-5050
83 FIRST STREET
HACKENSACK, NJ 07601
ROOFING · SIDING GUTTERS · LEADERS
HACKENSACK HACKENSACK HACKENSACK HACKENSACK HACKENSACK
R RR RROO OO OO OO OOFING FING FING FING FING
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• Organize/process
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bookkeeping
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insurance claims
Free Consultation
RITA FINE
201-214-1777
www.daughterforaday.com
PERSONAL ORGANIzER
I’ll organize your
Kitchen and Bathroom
and help you declutter your
closets and basement.
Experienced, References,
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channahsumner@gmail.com
PRODUCTION/SOURCING
MANAGER
Cut & Sew Knitwear
Manage production time tables
Product dev., communicate
w/design, tech, merchandising
& sales. Source new factories.
Willing to travel. 201-921-7177
driVing SerViCe
MICHAEL’S CAR
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Flooring
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Hardwood Floors
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201-651-9494 · 201-438-7105
Furniture repair
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201-384-4526
HandYMan
Your Neighbor with Tools
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Adam 201-675-0816 Jacob
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www.yourneighborwithtools.blogspot.com
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NO JOB IS TOO SMALL
24 Hour x 5 1/2 Emergency Services
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General Repairs
painting/Wallpapering
AccuPro Painting, LLC
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Interior, Exterior,
Decks, & Garage Floors
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Haworth, NJ
David Polifroni
pluMBing
Complete Kitchen &
Bath Remodeling
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Appliances
Furniture
Wood·Metals
Construction
Debris
Homes · Estates
Factories · Contractors
Join MAZON’s effort to ensure that no one goes hungry.
Help us transform how it is into how it should be.
Donate to MAZON today.
Can you imagine
the
of a constant
struggle to put
food on the table?
exhaustion
P.O. Box 894765
Los Angeles, CA 90189-4765
800.813.0557 | mazon.org
Photo licensed under Creative Commons fromfickr user [auro].
We don’t blame you for feeling tired of
hearing stories about the ever-growing
number of families struggling with hunger.
1
Second-graders at the Lubavitch
on the Palisades School received
their Chumashim from parents at a
celebration followed by a collation.
Courtesy LotP
2
A group of 17 women from the
Jewish Women’s Renaissance
Project, shown here on Masada, went
on a mission to Israel in December.
Julie Farkas, who teaches a Judaism
class on Sunday mornings in Teaneck,
led the Bergen County group. Stops
included Tzfet, Herzliya, Tiberias,
Jerusalem, Rachel’s Tomb, and the
Dead Sea. Courtesy Debra Werner
3
National Council of Jewish
Women Bergen County Section
presented a check for $11,000 to
Bergen Family Center at the seniors’
holiday party on December 21.
Seniors and children at the center will
benefit from the donation. Bergen
Family Center is one of more than 18
community services supported with
funds and volunteers by NCJW BCS.
From left are NCJW BCS volunteers Phyllis Schriger, Roz Haber,
Marlene Furer, and Celia Argintar; Gladys Laden, co-vice president
of NCJW BCS community services; Nouly Lolis, BFC seniors
coordinator; Erica Reis, NCJW BCS volunteer; Elaine Pollack,
NCJW BCS co-president; and Marcia Levy, NCJW BCS co-vice
president of community services. Courtesy nCJW bCs
4
First-graders at Ben Porat Yosef received their first siddurim.
The milestone was marked by a musical production, done
entirely in Hebrew, explaining the different parts of the siddur and
the reasons why people pray. MiChaeL Laves
5
Teens from Sha’ar Communities met with Jack Antonoff of
the Band FUN, pictured back row, center, to talk about Jewish
identity. Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Sha’ar facilitated the discussion
as part of a series, “Teens 2.0: Hitting the Refresh Button on
Jewish Identity.” Courtesy sha’ar
JS-42*
gallery
1
5
2 3
4
42 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
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Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 43
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HOME DESI GN & REAL ESTATE
Remodeling your kitchen?
Prepare yourself with a checklist
Mark J. Donovan
A
 kitchen remodeling checklist is
paramount to a successful kitch-
en remodel. A top-level checklist
is composed of a sequence of tasks that
should be performed in order to achieve
a successful outcome. I say “sequence”
because a specific order in working
through a remodeling project is essen-
tial. If you don’t follow the proper steps,
you inevitably will spend more time and
money and experience more headaches
and hassles in completing your kitchen
remodel.
At the top of your checklist should be
defining the objectives of your kitchen
remodel. Ask yourself what you want to
achieve with your new kitchen in regard
to features and space, how much money
you want to spend on it, and when you
want it completed. Answering those three
basic questions will help you to establish
a top-level budget and a timeline for
completing the project.
Next on the checklist is to develop a
set of kitchen design plans and the key
elements that you want to incorporate
into those plans. For most homeowners,
it makes sense to work with a professional
kitchen designer, as they can provide you
with wonderful tips on the latest kitchen
cabinetry and countertop features — and
can actually generate detailed kitchen
design plans for you.
The most important element of a
kitchen remodeling project — or any ma-
jor home remodeling project for that mat-
ter — is hiring the right contractor. Hiring
the wrong contractor often leads to large
cost overruns, schedule delays and ma-
jor frustrations. In the worst cases, it can
lead to the project never being completed
and the contractor stealing from you by
buying excess materials for your project
and then skimming the materials for an-
other job. Make no mistake: These types
of problems are very common when the
wrong contractor is hired.
Consequently, when embarking on
a kitchen remodeling project, make
sure your checklist includes a thorough
process for hiring the right contractor.
Often the kitchen designer can help in
this process, as well. Whatever you do in
regard to hiring a contractor, make sure
to check the references of each prospec-
tive contractor and view pictures of their
complete projects, and if at all possible,
go out and visit one of their most recently
completed projects. Also, make sure
they are a licensed kitchen remodeling
contractor in your state and that they are
properly insured. Finally, keep in mind
that the more thorough a contractor’s bid
the more accurate it is likely to be in terms
of cost and schedule. Look for quality bids
that include detailed schedules and a
complete bill of materials.
Once your kitchen remodeling plans
are in place and you know what the ex-
pected costs are for your project, visit
your local building inspector to pull any
necessary permits. Failing to pull the nec-
essary permits could cost you greatly in
terms of steep fines and hassles.
With permits in hand, you can begin
to do the actual remodeling work. A
well-planned kitchen remodeling project
should only take a couple of weeks to
complete. During the actual remodeling
phase, talk with your contractor about
once a day to see whether there are any
issues that need to be addressed and to
ensure that the project is on track for an
on-time completion.
By following this top-level checklist,
your chances of a successful kitchen re-
model skyrocket. Enjoy your new kitchen!
Creators.com
Mark J. Donovan’s website is http://www.
HomeAdditionPlus.com.
www.jstandard.com
JS-44
44  Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 
HOME
FURNISHINGS,
ACCESSORIES, GIFTS,
AND MORE…
67 Closter Plaza Shopping Center
Closter, New Jersey 07624
Phone: 201-784-6061 · Fax: 201-784-6082
25% OFF ONE ITEM
Expires 2/8/13
Not Valid on Sales, Clearance & Florals
Reg. Price
Kiwi Closets
Adam J. Goldberg
171 Garfeld Avenue
Passaic Park, NJ 07055
T 973-471-9696 • F 973-471-7610
kiwiclosets@yahoo.com
Great Designs at
Reasonable Prices!
We’ll organize and
maximize your space
with our creative designs
•Finestqualitymaterials
and installation
•Promptturn-around
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Adam J. Goldberg
171 Garfeld Avenue · Passaic Park, NJ
973-471-9696
kiwiclosets@yahoo.com
Why shlep to “California”?!
CLOSETS
KIWI
www.jstandard.com
Annual Man-O-Manischewitz cook-off offers $25,000 prize
The Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off en-
courages at-home chefs to experiment
with kosher products while preparing deli-
cious recipes that could be a new family
favorite, or one that has been shared for
generations.
The entry deadline is Monday, February
4. To enter, log onto www.manischewitz.
com, and click on the Cook-Off Banner
to submit your recipe. The recipe must
adhere to kosher guidelines, be prepared
in under an hour, have no more than 9
ingredients which must include one of the
Manischewitz All-Natural broth flavors
— new Turkey, Chicken, Reduced Sodium
Chicken, Beef and Vegetable — plus one
additional Manischewitz product. Four fi-
nalists will be chosen by the judging panel
and five semi-finalists will be posted on
www.manischewitz.com from February 21
through February 28, allowing consumers
to vote online to select the fifth finalist.
For complete contest details, go to www.
manischewitz.com.
All five finalists will win an all-expense
paid trip to compete live on March 21 at
the Manischewitz manufacturing plant
and headquarters in Newark, in front of a
live panel of judges consisting of food me-
dia and other culinary experts. The grand
prize package includes Maytag appliances,
cash, and a beautiful crystal trophy.
"Quality craftsmanship
at afordable prices"
Kitchens • Bathrooms
Roofng • Siding • Windows
Heating • Air-Condition
Energy Conservation
Shomer Shabbos
Please visit customer testimonial page www.Goldman&Goldman.com
Freedom from high prices and low quality craftsmanship!
Fully Insured
NJ Lic #13vh04252700
Robert Goldman
Cell: 732-600-0229
Ofce 201-530-5285
Goldman & Goldman Construction
JS-45
45  Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 
Allan Dorfman
Broker/Associate
201-461-6764 Eve
201-970-4118 Cell
201-585-8080 x144 Offce
Realtorallan@yahoo.com
START THE NEW YEAR
I N FORT LEE
Serving Bergen County since 1985.
■ 1 Br 1.5 Baths Updated $149,900
■ 1 Br 1.5 Baths Total Renovation
$229,900
■ 3 Br 2.5 Baths Renovated
$559,900
■ 3 Br 2.5 Baths Renovated
High Floor $569,000
We now have a movie theater!
240 Grand Avenue
Englewood, NJ 07631
T: 201.568.3300
F: 201.808.2711
E: info@anhaltrealty.com
EnglEwood
InvEstors dElIght!
Two retail/Commercial units, Two residential units.
Zoned for mixed use. Great income producer....
$675,000
355 Broad Avenue, Englewood
4 Bedrooms, 3 Full Bathrooms. Lot size 100 x 146.
Near houses of worship. TLC needed. $605,000
EnglEwood East hIll
offIcE ExclusIvE
Orna Jackson, Sales Associate 201-376-1389
TENAFLY
894-1234
TM
TENAFLY SPECTACULAR $1,550,000
Sprawling 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath ranch high on the East Hill offers complete
privacy, many updates, hardwood floors, living room w/fireplace, spacious eat-in
kitchen, master bedroom w/cathedral ceiling & his/her baths,
lower level w/newer family room, gym, bedroom & bath.
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS
568-1818
TENAFLY
894-1234
CRESSKILL
871-0800
ALPINE/CLOSTER
768-6868
RIVERVALE
666-0777
OPEN HOUSES
SATURDAY 1/12/13
Hackensack
593 Summit Avenue $725,000 1-3PM
Classic Mini Estate minutes from Manhattan. 126 x 432 park-
like grounds CH col Grand LR/fplc Solarium/fplc Formal DR
Maid’s Qtrs. Master/fplc. (Total 4 bdrms 4.5 bth.) 3 car Carriage
house/apartment. Fabulous European Hunting Lodge Game
Rm/stone fplc/bar Stained glass windows. MUST BE SEEN!!!!
SUNDAY 1/13/13
Bergenfield
460 New Bridge Road $544,900 1-3:30PM
Beautifully updated and expanded Contemporary split. Tile
foyer & Family rm. Vaulted ceiling LR/fplc/DR with skylites and
sldg drs to deck Designer granite kit/atrium windowed brkfst
rm/deck 3 bdrms 2.5 new bths C/A/C Circ driveway. 2 car gar
Teaneck
277 Edgewood avenue $430’s 1-3PM
Prime W. Eng Area. Brick front Col Lr/fplc DR New granite kit/
brkfst bar open to huge Fam Rm/deck. 3 bdrms 1.5 new bths
C/A/C Gar 151’ deep prop.
Teaneck
27 Lerome Place $284,900 1-3PM
Everything is done. Beautifully decorated Cape. Fenced prop.
Polished oak floors Living Rm. JR. DinRm Gorgeous new kit/tile
backsplash. 3 bedrooms 2 new bths Ceramic tiled game rm
bsmt/ outside entry Gar. Close to all
For Our Full Inventory & Directions
Visit our Website
www.RussoRealEstate.com
(201) 837-8800
READERS’
CHOICE
2012
FIRST PLACE
REAL ESTATE AGENCY

JAN 13TH OPEN HOUSES
529 Churchill Rd, Tnk $1,229,000 1:00-3:00pm
330 Edgewood Ave, Tnk $845,000 1:00-3:00pm
60 Golf Ct, Tnk $569,000 12:00-2:00pm
372 Maitland Ave, Tnk $465,000 1:00-3:00pm
688 Forest Ave, Tnk $444,900 1:30-3:30pm
33 Fycke Lane, Tnk $369,000 12:00-2:00pm
36 Dudley Dr, Bgfld $769,000 1:00-3:00pm
PREVIEW EXCEPTIONAL HOME
1st Time Offered! LR & Banquet Sized FDR, Generous Fam
Rm/Fplc overlooking Inground Pool. 2 Car attached garage,
fin bsmnt/full bath. 3 Zone heat, C/A - $729,000 Call V & N for
an appointment.
FOLLOW US ON
FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
www.vera-nechama.com
201-692-3700
Kitchen Q & A
improve the storage capacity of
kitchen cabinets
Pat Logan
Dear Pat: My house has just an average-size kitchen, and
I am totally remodeling it. Do you have any guidelines for
selecting or designing kitchen cabinets or counter areas for
the most usable space? - Jennifer F.
Dear Jennifer: Your question is an interesting one
because the storage in 95 percent of new and remodeled
kitchens is very poorly designed. The cabinets and draw-
ers may be of high quality and well-made, but the storage
basics are just not well-thought-out.
A typical example is having a knife drawer or a com-
partment in a kitchen drawer for knives, forks, spoons,
etc. This might sound like a wise plan because you always
know where the knives are, at least until your children
put them in the wrong place.
Actually, a much better way to store cooking utensils is
by their specific function and where they are used more
often. If you use a paring knife most often by the sink and
the bread knife on another countertop, store each closer
to where it usually is used. The paring knife can be stored
in a slot in the countertop, and the bread knife can be
stored in the breadbox.
This one item might save only a few steps and a few
extra motions, but when you add up all these extra mo-
tions for a large meal preparation, the time saved can
be significant. It is not unlike how an industrial engineer
lays out a workspace for a worker in a factory. The goal is
to minimize the extra motions that just waste time.
Before you buy any of the base cabinets (under the
countertop) and upper cabinets (on the walls over the
countertop), make a list of the items you want to store in
them. Categorize them by how often they are used and
where they are used in the kitchen.
For example, there really is no need to store all your
spices in the same location. You may have some spices
that you use almost every time you cook and others you
seldom use. Store the frequently used ones near the front
at eye level in a prime storage area. The others can be put
in a harder-to-reach location.
Many seldom-used items can be stored on top shelves
in the backs of the cabinets to free up the more easily ac-
cessible areas. In most kitchens, the backs of many of the
upper cabinets never are used, and the front areas are
cluttered with these items.
Next, subcategorize the items by their height, because
this will determine the required heights of the drawers
and cabinet shelves. Some short items can be placed
on tilted (staircase) racks inside a drawer to reduce the
drawer height. One-inch clearance above the items is
all that is required. With this planning, you can have the
cabinets designed with drawers and shelves of proper
heights.
Keep in mind that the easy-access zone for most
people is a height from the floor of about 22 to 55 inches.
This area is easy to reach and see without bending or
stretching. For handicapped or elderly people in wheel-
chairs, the upper range for easy access is about 46 inches.
Another storage tip to consider is to store larger plates
vertically in racks in the upper cabinets. When they are
stacked one on top of another, the top one may be dif-
ficult to reach.
Creators.com
Pat Logan’s weekly column, “Here’s How,” can be found at
creators.com.
JS-46
46  Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 
Looking to buy, sell or rent in NYC?
…all you have to do is call Amy!
(Bergen County bred, Manhattan resident)
AMY AXELROD
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
aaxelrod@citihabitats.com
201.638.9575
AMY AXELROD
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
aaxelrod@citihabitats.com
201.638.9575
Looking to buy, sell or rent in NYC?
…all you have to do is call Amy!
(Bergen County bred, Manhattan resident)
Interest Rates Are
At An All Time Low!
Please contact us for
refnance options to reduce
the payment on your current
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to purchase a home.
Classic Mortgage, LLC
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www.classicmortgagellc.com
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MLO #58058
ladclassic@aol.com
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CROWN HEIGHTS
817 ST. JOHN’S PLACE
2 BR unit. Prime area.
MURRAY HILL $4,050/MO
630 FIRST AVE, #11-N
Renov. 2 BR/2 BTH. Lux. bldg.
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451 W. 22ND ST, #3-F
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2,500+ sq. ft. State-of-the-art loft.
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20 PINE ST, #518
Luxury casa by Armani.
WILLIAMSBURG
34 NORTH 7TH STREET
Stylish bldg. Heart of Brooklyn.
CLINTON HILL
157 WAVERLY AVENUE
Spacious 1,000 sq. ft. loft.
TRIBECA $3,985,000
110 DUANE STREET, #PH3S
Posh penthouse. Prime location.
Jeff@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com
Ruth@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com/NJ
Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.
Contact us for your complimentary consultation
Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY
Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ
TENAFLY
63 OAK STREET
Picture perfect Center Hall Col.
TENAFLY
14 LAWRENCE COURT
Exquisite E.H. Center Hall Col.
TENAFLY
297 ENGLE STREET
Magnificently renov. Dutch Col.
TENAFLY
15 BIRCHWOOD PLACE
Stately Old Smith Village Col.
ENGLEWOOD
215 E. LINDEN AVENUE
Majestic 8 BR E.H. Col.
ENGLEWOOD $725,000
240 VAN NOSTRAND AVE
SUNDAY OPEN HOUSE, 2-4 PM
ENGLEWOOD $1,975,000
230 WALNUT STREET
.64 Acre. Picturesque.
ENGLEWOOD $1,550,000
212 MAPLE STREET
7 Br/5.5 Bth Construction.
TEANECK
368 WINTHROP ROAD
Expanded Col. Num. amenities.
TEANECK
193 VANDELINDA AVE.
Beautiful Col. Gorgeous property.
TEANECK
1094 TRAFALGAR ST.
Charming Brick & Stone Col.
TEANECK
1624 DOVER COURT
Spectacular contemporary Col.
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NJ: T: 201.266.8555 • M: 201.906.6024
NY: T: 212.888.6250 • M: 917.576.0776
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SELLING YOUR HOME?
Call Susan Laskin Today
To Make Your Next Move A Successful One!
©2013 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.
BergenCountyRealEstateSource.com Cell: 201-615-5353
ProminentProperties.com
90 County Road | Tenafy, NJ 07670 | 201.568.5668
11 Offces Serving Northern and Central New Jersey
Each Offce Independently Owned & Operated
EQUAL HOUSING OPPORT UNI T Y
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY JAN. 13 • 1-4 PM
148 NORMA RD. TEANECK
Queen Anne Road to Norma
Sprawling grand Tudor Colonial with understated
elegance. Impressive, open and spacious 4 BR, 2.5 Bath
home w/huge center island chef ’s Kitchen, abundance
of light all day. Long list of amenities! Convenient to
Houses of Worship................................................. $855,900
Elizabeth and Jack
Roditi
Sales Associates
Liz’s cell 201-315-3848 • Jack’s cell: 201-970-7731
www.TeamRoditi.com
Price Reduction!
Wendy Wineburgh Dessanti
Weichert President’s Club
Weichert · Tenafly/Teaneck Office
201-310-2255 (cell) · 201-541-1449, ext. 192
wendydess@aol.com
Wendy delivers great results in every market!
NJAR 10 YR Distinguished Sales Club
Open HOuses sun Jan 13tH · 12-4 pM
1086 Pembroke, Teaneck
New Listing! 3 BR, 2BTH, great decor, desirable W. Eng area. $329K
57 Grayson, Teaneck
Just reduced! Spacious 5BR,3BTH fabulous FDR, great rm. $529K
Thomas C. Senter Elected as chairman
of Englewood Hospital
Englewood Hospital and
Medical Center is pleased
to announce the election
of Thomas C. Senter as
chairman of the Board of
Trustees.
Additional officers elect-
ed to the hospital board
include Sam Kim, vice
chairman, and Robert F.
Mangano, elected to a sec-
ond term as treasurer. In
addition, Jonathan Abad
has been elected as a new
hospital trustee. The Medical Center’s foundation also
announces new trustees: Nancy Brown, Joseph Brad
Campoli, Robert H. Feuerstein, Wendy R. Hurst, Eric J.
Margolis, Jay Nadel, and Martin Zaikov.
Senter is a partner in the law firm of Greenbaum,
Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, with offices in Woodbridge and
Roseland, New Jersey. He is a member of its Tax, Trust &
Estates Department and chair of its Employee Benefits
Practice Group. Mr. Senter is a Fellow of the American
College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is listed in The
Best Lawyers in America in the Employee Benefits cat-
egory. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal
of Pension Planning & Compliance.
Senter is a graduate of the Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania. He received his law degree
from St. John’s University and a masters of laws in taxa-
tion from New York University. He and his wife, Linda,
live in Tenafly with their children, Meredith and Matthew.
Thomas Senter
Englewood Idol Show at bergenPAC
Area students will be competing in the Eighth an-
nual Englewood Idol Show to benefit the Dr. John Grieco
Scholarship Fund on Thursday, January 17, at 7 p.m., at
BergenPAC in Englewood.
For more information, visit http://englewoodidol.
com.
Israel’s IDE to design and operate new US desalination plant
IDE Technologies, a subsidiary of Israeli desalination gi-
ant, is to design a new $922 million desalination plant in
California that will be the biggest desalination project in
the United States.
The new 204,412 cubic meter seawater desalination
plant, called the Carlsbad Desalination Project, is to be
built in San Diego. It will be designed by IDE subsidiary,
IDE Americas, and administered by Poseidon Resources, a
subsidiary of Poseidon Water. It will be carried out in part-
nership with the San Diego County Water Authority.
San Diego currently suffers a water shortage and has
committed itself to supplying seven percent of the region’s
water through desalination by 2020.
Construction of the new plant will begin this year, and
it is likely to be operational by 2016, according to IDE
Technologies, which will receive $150 million for the de-
sign contract, and a further $500 million for operating and
maintaining the plant under a 30-year contract.
IDE Technologies, which is based in Kadima near
Netanya, has built and operates some of the world’s largest
desalination plants, including the Ashkelon and Hadera
desalination plants in Israel, which are currently the larg-
est in the world. It is also responsible for the new Soreq
desalination plant in Israel, which is scheduled to begin
operating this year.
The company has worked in 400 plants in 40 coun-
tries, and is now building China’s largest and ‘greenest’
desalination plant in Tianjin. “The Carlsbad Desalination
Project is a significant milestone for us, California and the
US at large, as we believe it will set the stage for the future
of desalination in America,” said Avshalom Felber, CEO of
IDE Technologies, in the Jerusalem Post. Israel21c.org
JS-47
Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013 47 
CROWN HEIGHTS
817 ST. JOHN’S PLACE
2 BR unit. Prime area.
MURRAY HILL $4,050/MO
630 FIRST AVE, #11-N
Renov. 2 BR/2 BTH. Lux. bldg.
CHELSEA $310,000
451 W. 22ND ST, #3-F
“Prettiest block in Chelsea”/TimeOut NY.
W. VILLAGE $3,995,000
166 PERRY STREET, #1-B
2,500+ sq. ft. State-of-the-art loft.
FINANCIAL DISTRICT $1,595K
20 PINE ST, #518
Luxury casa by Armani.
WILLIAMSBURG
34 NORTH 7TH STREET
Stylish bldg. Heart of Brooklyn.
CLINTON HILL
157 WAVERLY AVENUE
Spacious 1,000 sq. ft. loft.
TRIBECA $3,985,000
110 DUANE STREET, #PH3S
Posh penthouse. Prime location.
Jeff@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com
Ruth@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com/NJ
Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.
Contact us for your complimentary consultation
Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY
Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ
TENAFLY
63 OAK STREET
Picture perfect Center Hall Col.
TENAFLY
14 LAWRENCE COURT
Exquisite E.H. Center Hall Col.
TENAFLY
297 ENGLE STREET
Magnificently renov. Dutch Col.
TENAFLY
15 BIRCHWOOD PLACE
Stately Old Smith Village Col.
ENGLEWOOD
215 E. LINDEN AVENUE
Majestic 8 BR E.H. Col.
ENGLEWOOD $725,000
240 VAN NOSTRAND AVE
SUNDAY OPEN HOUSE, 2-4 PM
ENGLEWOOD $1,975,000
230 WALNUT STREET
.64 Acre. Picturesque.
ENGLEWOOD $1,550,000
212 MAPLE STREET
7 Br/5.5 Bth Construction.
TEANECK
368 WINTHROP ROAD
Expanded Col. Num. amenities.
TEANECK
193 VANDELINDA AVE.
Beautiful Col. Gorgeous property.
TEANECK
1094 TRAFALGAR ST.
Charming Brick & Stone Col.
TEANECK
1624 DOVER COURT
Spectacular contemporary Col.
S
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NJ: T: 201.266.8555 • M: 201.906.6024
NY: T: 212.888.6250 • M: 917.576.0776
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JS-48
48 Jewish standard JanUarY 11, 2013
RCBC
*
* While supplies last the week of January 13.
Mashgiach Temidi / Open 7:00 am Sunday through Friday · Now closing Friday at 2:00 pm
1400 Queen Anne Rd · Teaneck, NJ · 201-837-8110
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