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January 18, 2013 · Vol. LXXXII · No. 17 · $1.00
JewishStandard It’s party time!
Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday to elect 19th Knesset
Helping synagogues move into the 21st century 6, 7 ARTS AND CULTURE Israeli theater of the deaf and blind 53
NY BOARD OF RABBIS PRESENTS
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Tickets $50 each VIP Ticket Packages $360: 2 Tickets + Signed CD $500: 2 Tickets + Signed CD + VIP Reception with Artist $ 1,000: 2 Premiere Tickets (first 3 rows) + Signed CD + VIP Reception with Artist Invited Guests Governor Christie Senators Lautenberg & Menendez Congressmen Garrett, King & Pascrell To purchase tickets please contact Jessica Di Paolo at 212.983.3521 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
A taste of cholent
URJ helps Reform synagogues reach out 6 SLI helps local area synagogues rethink membership 7
Board of rabbis sets Saturday night of Torah study 8
t’s the quintessential arc of our times: from an Occupy Wall Street protest to a reality television cooking show. The star in this drama: Jeanette Friedman’s cholent recipe. Friedman, a New Milford writer, editor, and frequent contributor to this newspaper, will be appearing — briefly — on “The Taste,” a cooking show premiering on ABC on Tuesday night. Friedman was one of 16,000 people who sent an e-mail to apply to compete. For the initial interview, she made the pareve cholent she had prepared for the Jewish Occupy Wall Street events organized by her son, Dan Sieradski, in 2011, served with a kick — a salsa. She served it in a blue-stemmed martini glass on a white plate with a red spoon. Friedman and her cholent passed the first audition. For her second dish — prepared at home — she videoed herself preparing a light summer brunch of beef tongue, lean pastrami, and Israeli and potato salads. The screen test earned her a visit from a film crew, who came out to her house, interviewed her, and watched and tasted as she prepared chicken, matzah ball soup, unstuffed cabbage, chocolate rugelach, and jalapeno kugel with mushroom sauce. And then came the call. “The Taste” flew her out to Los Angeles, one of 60 initial contestants who each would have half an hour to make a signature dish in an initial hurdle designed to whittle the field down to 16. Friedman’s chosen dish: her jalapeno kugel. But how to prepare and bake a kugel in only 30 minutes? “I used a muffin tin. All I had to prepare was a single spoonful,” she explained. Asked to explain her dish, she outlined the history and varieties of the traditional Eastern European casserole, and how she modified a salt and pepper version by adding jalapenos. “You should have stuck to tradition,” she was told. She didn’t make the cut. But she’s not disappointed. “I’m already a winner” for making it on the air at all, she said. “What kind of child of survivors would I be if I bitched and moaned about losing?” And the taste of Hollywood’s “Taste” has given her a new dream: A cooking show where she cooks her guests’ favorite comfort food “and then we sit and shmooze about their life.”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 15
ARTS & CULTURE ARTS & CULTURE
Living with a lapsed Chabad rabbi 49
NOSHES .................................................................................................. 4 OPINION...............................................................................................12 COVER STORY...................................................................... 16 CHANGE YOUR LIFE ............................................ 29 TORAH COMMENTARY ..................................52
Theater of the deaf and blind 53
“See, we told you so” is exactly the right response to make regarding the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel
Harry Lerman, Paramus
CANDLELIGHTING TIME: FRIDAY, JAN. 18, 4:38 P.M. SHABBAT ENDS: SATURDAY, JAN 19, 5:41 P.M.
ARTS & LEISURE ...........................................................53 LIFECYCLE................................................................................... 56 CLASSIFIED ...............................................................................58 GALLERY.........................................................................................60 REAL ESTATE ........................................................................ 61
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JEWISH STANDARD JANUARY 18, 2013 3
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URJ unveils ‘communities of practice’
Local shuls to participate in experimental outreach program
hile many synagogues generate creative ideas for growing their membership, they often lack the resources to implement them. To address this issue, the Union for Reform Judaism has created the “communities of practice” program, bringing together 37 congregations around the country to share ideas and experiment with new strategies. Two of them are local — Temple Beth El of Northern Valley in Closter and Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia. “We believe that the relationships built among the … participants will support creation and innovation through a new paradigm,” said Vicky Farhi, co-director of the URJ’s Expanding Our Reach initiative. “No longer will congregations need to experiment on their own to create change.” Farhi said the idea is for congregations to work together for 18 months — through personal meetings of congregational staff and lay leadership as well as online gatherings — to “push the boundaries of existing congregational efforts, experiment in their own
Rabbi David Widzer
Rabbi Barry Schwartz
“It’s an opportunity to share experiences, learn together, experiment together, and have a network of both faculty and experts to rely on, as well as other congregations.”
— Rabbi David Widzer
communities, receive peer support and guidance along the way, create congregational changes, and garner skills that will benefit all areas of congregational life.” The first three communities of practice — Emerging Young Adult Initiatives, Successfully Engaging Young Families, and Pursuing Excellence Through Your Early Childhood Center — will launch later in January, focusing on ways to invite the participation of specific demographic groups. An additional group, Reimagining Financial Support for Your 21st-Century Congregation, will launch in March. Two URJ professionals will moderate each group, with URJ faculty and outside experts providing knowledge as needed. Farhi said congregations had to submit applications to participate, with each required to meet a set of criteria laid out in an introductory webinar. In addition, congregational boards had to pass resolutions supporting participation. The first face-to-face meeting will take place later in January at a URJ-sponsored conference in Chicago. Additional meetings will take place on-line, with subsequent in-person gatherings at the organization’s biennial in San Diego as well as at the conclusion of the program. Rabbi David Widzer, religious leader of Temple
6 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Beth El of Northern Valley in Closter, said he thinks it is a “fabulous opportunity” for his congregation to participate in the early childhood center initiative. “Even though no one solution is going to fit every congregation, we can certainly learn from one another,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to share experiences, learn together, experiment together, and have a network of both faculty and experts to rely on, as well as other congregations.” Widzer said his congregation already has a “firstrate early childhood center, recognized throughout the area. It’s not a question of not doing well but rather an opportunity to take something we’re rightfully proud of and make it even better.” The rabbi said the congregation, with approximately 325 member units, always has been innovative in its approach to early childhood education, “seeing what our families need and how we can best respond.” He cited, for example, a recent move to include the school’s before-care and after-care programs in the cost of synagogue membership. “We recognized that many who would otherwise choose a Jewish nursery school education for their children would have to go elsewhere because their needs couldn’t be met,” he said, noting that regular nursery hours might not be enough for single working parents. “So we made it free as an advantage of membership in the congregation. We want families to be able to have that access to early Jewish childhood education.” Widzer said that when URJ was organizing the communities of practice project, “we leapt at the opportunity,” choosing nursery school director Amy Nelson and board member Michael Weitzner to represent the synagogue in the project. “Those two will head up our involvement, but I foresee a good number of congregants being part of the brainstorming, learning, and experimenting,” Widzer said. “We’re honored to have been selected” for the program, he added. “We’re proud of our program and we take this as an accolade. But more than that, we’re excited at the opportunity to continue to enhance our offerings to help families in the area make Jewish choices and feel connected with our congregation and the Jewish community.” Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia has been selected for the young families initiatives. Its rabbi, Barry Schwartz, is excited about his congregation’s
participation in the project. “I think the URJ has come to realize that they need to put congregations that share the same needs and same challenges together,” he said. “That’s what this is about. Small congregations like ours have one set of challenges; large congregations have another.” While Adas Emuno, founded in 1871, is what Schwartz calls “a wonderful little congregation,” with some 100 member units, it nevertheless embraces members of all ages, including 70 children. But with no preschool — and with what the rabbi described as “demographic challenges” — it is not easy to attract young families with children. “We have a declining number of young families because the Jewish population in this part of the county is diminishing,” he said. Still, membership has been steady, “and we want to keep that base. We’ve been around 140 years. We want to make sure there’s a generation to take our place.” Noting that his synagogue serves people beyond the immediate neighborhood, Schwartz said the congregation is eager to attract families that are not yet affiliated with the community, including interfaith families. School director Annice Benamy and congregational leader Rebecca Kind Slater will represent the synagogue in URJ meetings, traveling to Chicago later this winter to participate in the inaugural conference. Both, he said, are professional teachers. “They’ll be talking to congregational staff and leaders with expertise in this area,” he said. “Why not learn some of the best practices?” The rabbi said discussion of the issue has already begun, and the congregation has initiated a series of tot programs, including offerings on Shabbat and holidays as well as field trips. He said that young families particularly enjoyed the shul’s recent Chanukah party, at which he played guitar, “did a Chanukah rap, and showed them my dreidel collection. “We’re trying to develop family-friendly programs,” he said, pointing out that the shul is employing different communications strategies, including social media, town listserves, local newspapers, and parenting publications. “We have to grow more sophisticated,” he said. “We have to go out to where the people are.” This year, the congregation’s Hebrew school launched a series of family enrichment activities. Once a month, the rabbi chooses a different grade and leads a discussion. “Last Sunday I met with third-grade parents to do a Jewish family inventory,” he said. “I listed 20 material objects and 10 observances and each family did an inventory exercise. They scored themselves and compared scores. It led to a provocative discussion of what distinguishes a Jewish home.” Schwartz said the URJ initiative will “help us come up with a comprehensive strategy [to be] an inviting institution for young families. But whether it will lead to the establishment of a preschool or day care or ‘mommy and me’ program remains to be seen. I’m supportive of the URJ’s efforts.”
Time for Jews to lose the dues?
synagogue Leadership initiative looks to alternative models of affiliation
ow well is your synagogue’s business model holding up? That’s the unexpected question being addressed by a series of programs from the Synagogue Leadership Initiative this year. Synagogue leaders regularly discuss how their roof, air-conditioning system, clergy, and religious school are doing. But discussing the broader question of a business model — defined as how an organization creates, delivers, or captures value (and not only financial value) — is an unfamiliar undertaking in an institution that has tradition as a core paradigm. In fact, the general model of synagogue affiliation — you pay dues for the privilege of membership — is so familiar that it has been taken for granted for generations. However, as Lisa Harris Glass points out, very few companies that are successful in 2013 are running on the same business model as 1963, if they even existed back then. Glass heads the Synagogue Leadership Initiative, a project of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. Last year, SLI’s programs looked at how different generations within a synagogue relate to the institution
in different ways. This year, the focus is on centage of their income instead of a fixed what is called “Synagogue Next,” helping fee (and have the option of asking the synagogues evolve “without defining what synagogue’s adjustments committee for a the next is,” Glass said. break). One way for a synagogue to change its The “free will” model goes further: business model, Glass said, is through “sigMembers are told what their per capita nificant sustainable collaboration” — where share of synagogue expenses are, but a synagogue joins with similar institutions whether they pay less or more is up to to share expenses. In a panel discussion them. Monday night, representatives of area synaIn what Glass calls the “tapas” model, gogues heard firsthand stories of religious members pay separately for different school collaboration, of synagogues of difservices — like at a Spanish tapas resLisa Harris Glass ferent denominations sharing a building taurant, where diners order small servand a sanctuary, and of a synagogue that ings of many different dishes. That’s the merged with neighboring institutions. one model that has a local implementation: The Sha’ar Another focus has looked at shifts in the business Communities, headed by Rabbi Adina Lewittes. model that a congregation can undertake on its own, “I don’t know how viable that is for an existing tradiby changing from the traditional dues and membership tional synagogue,” Glass said. “It seems difficult to implemodel of affiliation used by every synagogue in the rement if you have a building to support. gion, bar one, to what Glass calls “alternative models of “The idea is figuring out a way where people can take affiliation.” advantage of the pieces they want and not the pieces they In November, SLI convened a panel discussion predon’t want, and to thereby change the economic picture.” senting four other models of affiliation. And then there’s Glass’s own favorite, one she develIn the “fair share” model, members pay a fixed persee Dues page 26
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 7
Dues from page 7
oped herself — the “investor model.” Rather than changing the actual way in which a congregation handles its finances, this model changes the meaning assigned to money paid by members and so changes the relationship between congregations and their congregants. Don’t think of your synagogue payments as a monthly bill, this model advises. And don’t think of your congregants’ payments as dues. They are not something that is “due” to the synagogue. Think of dues as investments — payments into the present and future of a cause in which you as a synagogue member believe. “They’re giving a big chunk of their discretionary income,” Glass said. Therefore, synagogues have to “move to a framework of gratitude and appreciation from one of expectation and entitlement.” After a year of paying a monthly membership bill, she said, members will ask of their shuls. “Do you send me a thank you note? What did you do to recognize my commitment? “It wasn’t easy to write that check every month.” The investment congregants make in their synagogue isn’t measured only in money. It’s measured in time as well — in the time spent within the synagogue each year, and the accumulated years. Over time, that investment adds up. Glass believes it should be recognized and appreciated properly. It might seem that shifting to a fair share model —
where dues vary based on income — would be the easiest change to make. But in the discussions hosted by SLI, including a presentation from the head of synagogue in Saratoga, N.Y., that had implemented a fair share model, it proved the least popular. “People don’t want the synagogue to know how much money they make,” said Stephanie Hausner, who works for SLI as a synagogue change specialist. “There’s a privacy issue.” Additionally, “how much do you make?” becomes one of the first conversations a synagogue has with prospective members. “That’s not exactly a great way to build a relationship,” Glass said. Instead, for some synagogues, initial discussions of fair share dues lead to the more radical — but not necessarily less feasible — idea of free will dues. To those who sit on synagogue boards, worrying about the shul’s budget, the notion of making dues voluntary initially sounds crazy. In fact, though, most Christian congregations fund themselves through voluntary dues. A recent study by the Forward found that Jewish and Christian congregations raised equivalent amounts from their members, proving no advantage to the membership method. And some congregations have found that moving away from membership has succeeded in reversing revenue declines. “They got the same income, but it changed the conversation,” Glass said. “People were opting in, and the community was saying, ‘Thank you for your generosity.’”
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26 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Sweet Taste of Torah
Local program draws students from across northern new Jersey for a saturday night of study
hlomo Carlebach’s favorite time was dusk, reports Rabbi Gerald Friedman. “It’s the last summoning of all the little vapors of Shabbes, all of them finally coming home to rest in this very intense, strange, and liminal time,” Friedman, rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley in Park Ridge, said. If you loved Carlebach, the charismatic and influential rabbi whose music is played so frequently in so many places that it often seems organic rather than composed, or if you are intrigued by the idea that Shabbat changes, strengthens, and sweetens as it draws toward its end every week, or if you love Friedman’s teaching style, full of the insight gained by his chasidic background, infused by his warmth, then you might want to consider taking his course, “Shlomo Carlebach’s Favorite Niggun,” at the Sweet Taste of Torah, set for February 2 at Temple Emeth in Teaneck. Perhaps your musical tastes run more to Stephen Sondheim. You’re in luck! David Bockman, rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom in Pompton Lakes, is a serious Sondheim savant. He will be teaching “Disappearing Mountain: A Sondheim Sinai.” Both courses, along with 18 others, make up the Sweet Taste of Torah, a program spearheaded by the North Jersey Board of Rabbis, with the cooperation of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and many congrega-
Last year, Rabbi Rob Scheinberg talked about the many meanings of Hatikvah.
All photos courtesy of the North Jersey BoArd of rABBis
“There is tremendous talent in our community. We are energized by each other, when we feel that we’re part of a larger whole.”
— Rabbi Benjamin Shull
tions that fall within the federation’s catchment area. The program, running for its fourth year, begins with Havdallah at 6:50 and then offers participants 10 course selections for each of two sessions. Food and the chance for everyone to talk to each other end the evening. It generally draws between 200 and 300 people who come from about 20 communities. Sweet Taste of Torah is similar to other programs in other places. They’re often called Torahthons, and the federation offered an earlier version a decade or so ago, but for the past four years it has been put together by a group of NJBJ rabbis. Four rabbis are the core of that group — Friedman, Bockman, Rabbi Leana Moritt of Jewish Thresholds, and Rabbi Benjamin Shull of Temple Emanuel
of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake, who also is president of the NJBJ. The four are the steadiest participants in a group that meets every Friday to study. • “We learned that when people study together on a regular basis, they can do other things together,” Shull said. In this case, what they did was a significant job of organizing; they hired a coordinator, raised funds, attracted teachers, found synagogues that would let them use the facilities, gathered students, and began. “The program is an evening of studying Torah —Torah in the broadest sense,” Shull said. Broadly defined, Torah encompasses all Jewish wisdom and learning, starting with the literal Torah — the five book of Moses. Most Torahthon programs tend to hire well-known scholars and teachers, who give keynote talks. The Sweet Taste of Torah takes another tack. There is no out-of-town headliner. All the classes are taught and the panels peopled by local rabbis. This benefits both the rabbis and the other participants. “There is tremendous talent in our community,” Shull said. “We are energized by each other, when we feel that we’re part of a larger whole.” In fact, because each rabbi teaches only once, each is free to go to another course in the other session as a student, and many take advantage of that opportunity. “Rabbis tend to be isolated in their own congregations, and this tends to break that down, so it’s sort of for
our health too,” Shull said. “And people like hearing other people’s rabbis.” To some extent, that is because “no man is a prophet in his own city,” he said, but it’s also simply because it is good to hear fresh voices. The program eases the burden of adult education, which traditionally has problems attracting enough students to make a range of courses viable. “If on average we each bring 10 to 12 students to Sweet Taste of Torah, we have a critical mass,” Shull said. One challenge to the planners is finding a location central enough to draw people from across the area. This is the second year the program has been held in Teaneck; in other years it’s been in Fair Lawn and Ridgewood. “We would really like to be able to broaden and deepen the program, and to do that we’d have to institutionalize it,” he said. “That’s something we have to work on.” This year, the evening’s theme is the encounter on Mount Sinai, no matter how you define that encounter, understand the parties to it, or situate it in time or space. Most, although not all of the sessions, will approach the theme in some way, direct or not. Shull will lead a panel discussion called “Is Torah from Sinai or from Zion? diaspora Versus Israel as Spiritual Center.” • Moritt remembers the buzz the program generates. “When we come together as a community there is a real energy. When we first started it, we had no idea how many people would come, but so many did, and it just kept growing. “There was a real excitement around the study; between sessions people would gather and compare notes.
see ToRaH page 51
What: sweet taste of torah When: saturday, February 2; registration 6:30 p.m.;
havdallah 6:50; snow date February 9
Where: temple emeth, 1666 windsor road, teaneck How much: $15 per person pre-registered by
thursday, January 31; $20 at the door, cash or check only
How to pre-register: Go to www.jfnnj.org/sweettorah or send a check payable to the north Jersey Board of rabbis to 32 Franklin Place, Glen rock, nJ 07452.
Rabbi Gloria Rubin looked at movies as midrash.
8 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Rabbi Joel Mosbacher led an emotionally moving session on the music of Debbie Friedman.
For more information: Call nicole Falk, the program’s coordinator, at (201) 652-1687
Torah From PaGe 8
There was a richness and diversity of opinions and of topics, and people were studying with people they don’t usually mix with.” She was particularly struck by the participants. “We know that most people heard about it through their synagogues, but at least in the group I taught there were people who didn’t have a regular synagogue. This gave them an opportunity to sample what’s going on — to get their feet
Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick tackled returning to God.
wet — to get a taste of Torah!” She has taught a course that she’s called “Jewish Bedtime Stories and Rituals.” “One of the things I looked at is the Bedtime Sh’ma,” she said. “It’s been excised from all the liberal siddurim. You see it only in Orthodox shuls. It’s a daily teshuva practice, where you let go of the day, emptying yourself of the things that might plague you at night, so you wake up refreshed and renewed. “My guess is that liberal shuls dropped it because they’re not comfortable with the angel talk,” she said. “You don’t usually hear it from non-Orthodox rabbis. But she thinks the message is profound, so her students heard it from her. “It’s a way to shake things up,” she said. • Friedman, who will teach about Carlebach’s favorite niggun, said, “I have a love affair with seuda shlishit” — the third meal of Shabbat, the low-key one that you eat once you’ve stuffed yourself with food all day, the one that ushers out Shabbat and tells you that the week and the real world are about to start again very soon. “I think he said he understood it’s kind of a great revelation,” Friedman said. He had known Carlebach, and his course is based on a conversation the two shared. “I think
Rabbi Barry Schwartz detailed some of the great debates that have enriched Jewish life.
Ex xa pe ua pi m c ry re s ia s1 l /3 $2 1/ 5 13
he saw it, and dusk on Saturday night, as a time for both finding your own soul and for activating it with others. You can locate your Jewish self and your Jewish past, so it won’t be so distant from you. “We Jews work on Shabbes. It’s not the work of work, but there’s still work. God worked too on Shabbat, not on new stuff but finishing old stuff.” The end of Shabbat, he said, is when “God could finally kick back and say that his work really is something else. “It’s not a time to wrestle with God, or with yourself. It’s a time for contacting the self and saying ‘Umm, you did good.’ “I see Sweet Taste of Torah as an integration of two things,” Friedman continued. “The individual and the community. At Sinai, we stood in our individuality, with one heart. It was all individual people in the context of the tzibbur — the community.” And to move from the sublime to the mundane — from Sinai to Teaneck — “We get the community feeling most strongly when the class is over and we spill out into the halls,” he said. • Bockman will teach about Sinai as he teaches about Sondheim. “‘The Pacific Overtures’ is about the opening up of Japan to the world,” he said. “The pivotal moment in the play is when the foreigners are about to set foot in Japan. They make a treaty with the Japanese, but the Japanese have built a special treaty house on the beach, and put mats on the beach leading up to it. “When the foreigners left after concluding the treaty the house was dismantled and the mats were taken up. The Japanese were able to tell themselves that the foreigners had never even set foot on Japanese soil. “I noticed that Mount Sinai is the one meeting place between God and human beings, but even during that meeting the mountain is completely covered with clouds and fog.” His course is built on that perception. Bockman is in charge of finding rabbis and helping them decide what to teach. “This shows that there are at least 22 rabbis in our communities who really care about teaching — who really love it — and that there are hundreds of people who want to come out. There is a kind of electricity there. It fits in with the theme of Sinai. All the people were all together. That doesn’t happen all the time.”
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USY to offer its first Poland tour for adults
signature teen trip is now available to those over 24
ince 1986, United Synagogue Youth has brought thousands of teens to Poland to explore Jewish life, past and present. Now, says Jules Gutin of Teaneck, USY’s former international director, adults can take the same trip. USY is run by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. “For a long time, we had considered running a Poland program for adults, modeled after the week in Poland for USYers,” Gutin said. “Parents of kids who Jules Gutin have gone said, ‘Why not run a program for us?’ And alumni from the 1980s said they wanted to go back and see what’s changed. It’s a completely different experience now.” The adult trip, scheduled for July 1-8, will include visits to Warsaw, Crakow, Lublin, and Lodz, as well as to concentration camp sites in Majdanek, Auschwitz/ Birkenau, and Treblinka. Unlike the teens, who participate in Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar and Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage, the adults will not go on to spend a week in Israel. “There’s a dual purpose to the trip,” said Gutin, who will lead the Poland visit. “You can’t avoid the Shoah side, because the most prominent Shoah sites are in Poland. It’s an important part of the overall experience. But the other area of emphasis is the rich history of Judaism up until that point.
“There’s centuries of history — a lot more so than in most places ... And more [sites] are being restored by Jewish organizations and the Polish government.”
— Jules Gutin
“There’s centuries of history — a lot more so than in most places,” he continued, citing preserved synagogues dating back to the Middle Ages. “And more are being restored by Jewish organizations and the Polish government.” Tour members not only will visit synagogues and other Jewish historical sites, but they also will go to Crakow’s annual Festival of Jewish Culture, including a klezmer concert in Szeroka Square. “It’s in the square in the heart of the old Jewish quarter,” Gutin said. “It attracts thousands and features klezmer musicians from all over the world.” The adult group will also get to spend Shabbat with USY’s Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage cohort. Gutin pointed out that Poland has changed dramatically since 1986. “Access to Jewish historical sites is much more significant, and the country has become much more westernized,” he said. He noted that a new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is inside what had been the Warsaw Ghetto, is scheduled to open in April, marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Gutin said that the itinerary of the Poland seminar
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has changed each year since its inception, broadening as new sites become available. While every group visits the concentration camps noted above, some also go to Sobibor. All trips include stays in Warsaw, Lublin, and Crakow. The July trip will bring adults to those three cities as well as to Lodz, “where there are amazing things to see,” Gutin said. According to Gutin, the Jewish community in Poland is relatively small, with different estimates placing it between 6,000 and 10,000. Still, he said, “There’s a lot going on in major cities, especially Warsaw and Cracow. The JCC in Cracow is affiliated with the world JCC movement and is housed in a beautiful modern building.” He said he hasn’t seen a change in the trip’s emotional impact on participants over the years, “though we’ve never done it with adults.” “We don’t play on the emotions,” he said. “We guide, but we allow the sites to speak for themselves. Everyone reacts differently. We make sure the kids feel comfortable, but we know that some will react more strongly than others.” “We can’t predict how the adults will respond,” he said. “That will depend on age and experience.” Like the teens, it is likely that most of them were not born until after the Shoah, but some are likely to have immediate family members who either died or were survivors of the Holocaust. “That will personalize it more,” Gutin said. Gutin said that while other groups conduct Jewish heritage tours, and many visit Poland, it appears that the people most interested in his trip are those who have a connection to USY programs, whether personally or through their children . Still, he stressed, the trip is not limited to that group. The minimum age for participants is 24, and there is no upper age limit. Gutin said the adult tour will build on the experience USY has gained over the years. “We don’t have to tweak it so much,” he said, adding that he has often taught the same material to both teens and adults. “They respond differently, but they are just as eager to absorb information.” He noted that different people will have different reasons for wanting to make this trip. “Many can trace their ancestry to family members who lived in what is now Poland,” he said, and — time and schedule permitting — there may be an opportunity to fit in visits to shtetls of particular interest to participants. In addition, he said, “There aren’t all that many places where one can have a three-dimensional connection to the Shoah, as opposed to reading about it in books. It’s one thing to see physical evidence of the horrors of the Shoah, but one gains a much greater appreciation of that event beyond cold numbers when one understands to some degree what was destroyed,” he said. “It gives a greater appreciation of what can exist in a Jewish community. It was so diverse — there’s so much to learn from it.” For more information about the trip, go to www.usy. org/escape/poland/adults.
Br i ef ly lo ca l
Legos help build a better world
The Gerrard Berman Day School – Solomon Schechter of North Jersey in Oakland is holding a “Build a Better World” event on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. From 9 a.m. to noon, children, 5 to 12, will work in small groups building windmills with 50,000 Legos. There will be a separate enrichment activity for children 4 and younger in the school’s Early Childhood Center. Parent participation welcome, but not required. Call Amy Shafron at (201) 337-1111 ext. 302, go to firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.jewishschoolnj.com.
Shevy and Eddie Solomon
Rabbi Jonathan Schachter
Photos courtesy Moriah
Moriah chooses honorees for March 2 dinner
The Moriah School will host its annual dinner on Saturday, March 2, at 8:30 p.m. at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck. Honorees include guests of honor Shevy and Eddie Solomon of Englewood; Stacy Maza of Englewood, who will receive the Moriah Association of Parents MAP award; the alumni award honoree, Rabbi Jonathan Schachter of Teaneck, Moriah 1990; and Carol Izzuolino of Rockland County, who will get the Rabbi J. Shelley Applbaum award. Shevy Solomon has been on the Moriah board for more than 10 years, chaired the communications committee, and has been a member of the executive committee. Eddie Solomon has been a member of Moriah’s technology and finance committees and has been a board member at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood. The Solomons received the Ahavath Torah Young Leadership award in 2003. Eddie Solomon also was an early supporter of Project Ezra. Stacy Maza is a former MAP president, chair, and co-chair. Her community activities include serving as sisterhood president and treasurer at Ahavath Torah, as chair and volunteer at the kosher kitchen at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, as a board member of the Frisch Parents’ Association, and as member of Hadassah, Amit, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades performing arts committee, the Teaneck Women’s Soccer League, and Emunah. Rabbi Jonathan Schachter teaches Gemara and Tanach at the Frisch School, where he also serves as director of admissions. He heads the Bnai Yeshurun teen minyan and is head of the boys’ sports program at Camp Morasha. Carol Izzuolino, who had been a math teacher at Moriah for 26 years, coaches her students in competitions, including the stock market game. She is the math coach for Moriah’s E2K team, an enrichment program that sends students to compete with children from other schools, and has traveled to Israel three times with Anastasia Kelly, chair of Moriah’s science department. For information, call the school’s development director, Nila Lazarus, at (201) 567-0208, ext. 373, e-mail her at email@example.com, or go to www. themoriahdinner.org.
OU presents live webcast on Israel election
Rabbi Avi Berman, executive director of OU Israel, will anchor an Israeli election night program, “Live from Jerusalem, It’s Election Night!” on Tuesday. The OU webcast, broadcast with Arutz Sheva, Israel National News, live from the Israel Center, will be on www.ou.org and www. israelnationalnews.com, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Israel time, (2 to 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time).
Emerson shul collecting toiletries for shelter, Jewish Family Service
The Social Action Committee of Congregation B’nai Israel in Emerson is collecting dental hygiene products and toiletries during its annual Mitzvah Day Collection Drive, through February 3. Items will be donated to the Family Promise shelter in Hackensack and Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson in Teaneck. Items can be dropped off at the temple, 53 Palisade Ave. in Emerson. Call (201) 265-2272 or www.bisrael.com.
Rabbi Avi Berman
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 11
ed i to r ial
The Israeli elections
ometimes, from the safety of America, the Israeli electoral system looks like democracy run amok. We Americans look at it from the security of our binary system — in primaries, the extremes run against the center, someone wins and everybody else loses; in general elections, Republicans run against Democrats, someone wins and someone loses. General elections always are on election day. Each office has its own term. The system has its pitfalls, certainly, but lack of structure is not among them. The Israeli elections, on the other hand, seem to be an adventure in extreme parliamentary democracy, unlike the English model unmoored to geographic particulars smaller than the state itself. It’s like a vast science experiment. The Petri dish that is the land of Israel, filled with the agar of Jewish longing for it, was stocked with sturdy pioneers, Zionist ideology, Jewish theology, socialist understandings, European customs, and the worldview of the Jews and Arabs who already were there. That by itself was a heady mix. As time went by, infusions of more and more immigrants, some Shoah refugees and survivors, some from Arab lands, some from the former Soviet
Religion’s most repellant idea
Rabbi Shmuley boteach
Union, some from other farflung places across the world, each with their own customs; increasingly inflexible theology; an always present and ever increasing threat from hostile neighbors; increasing distance from the rest of the world, and a changing relationship with supporters in North America all went into the mix. It’s volatile. But we’re not done. The political system that allows minor parties to exert major influence, forcing the oddest of bedfellows into the unlikeliest of alliances, is hard at work in this Petri dish, bubbling away in the process, right now, of producing an election that is so puzzling to us that it is virtually impossible for many of us to figure out what we’d do were we there. In some ways, it seems closest to the raucous primaries at the very beginning of our presidential campaigns, when many of the candidates are unknown and most of the politics are retail. But those elections often revolve around single issues; the upcoming Israeli elections will not. The stakes in this election are high. We hope that Israelis will have the clarity of vision and wisdom to allow the best possible coalition to be formed.
Three American lives
hree American lives, each very different from the other but embodying different parts of the classic arc of triumph and despair, present themselves to us this week. The first, Lance Armstrong, is at first glance classic tragedy. The hero strives, reaches, arrives, overreaches, and falls; both his rise and his fall are driven by something inherent within him. For Armstrong, it seems to have been the need to use his magnificent athleticism to be faster, stronger, and always to win. When you look more closely, however, you see not nobility but nastiness, self-righteousness, and betrayal. He is not heroic. Aaron Swartz, z’l, also was an American classic, a young man of extraordinary talent, charisma, and passion. His accomplishments are astounding, although, unfortunately, for those of us who are completely at home with our electronic devices and can bend them to our will but have no idea how they actually work, it is hard to understand them fully, much less explain them. His work, though, particularly with developing RSS, helped shape the Internet as we know it. Swartz was an activist and his passion was for free information; it is possible to have no opinion on exactly how right he was in his demands to see that he was hounded unbearably because of them. He was 26 years old and facing the possibility of decades in prison. He suffered from depression, and in the end his demons got him. He killed himself. He struggled heroically,
he accomplished more in his short life than most of us would were we given four or five lifetimes, and in the end he lost. Among the many lessons to be learned from his life is the deadly power of depression; how hard it is to climb out of its black slippery underground lair, and how important it is to recognize it. Swartz was Jewish; we do not value him more for that but we do mourn him particularly because of it. For those of us old enough to remember her story, Katie Beers’ triumphant re-emergence perhaps is not surprising although it is entirely miraculous. When she was 9 years old, Beers (let’s call her Katie; she was a child) was imprisoned by a family friend (socalled family, so-called friend) in a bunker he had built just for her. Before that, her life had been the stuff of Victorian nightmare; her mother a malevolent monster, her grandmother worse, her world squalid, sharp-edged, and unforgiving. When she was discovered and rescued, she emerged from her pit seemingly both sane and centered. She was adopted by a family who protected her privacy and loved her; now, married, a mother, apparently still sane and centered, she has come forward again to tell the next installment of her story. Katie Beers is not Jewish, but her story, with its arc from degradation to the pit to redemption and love, reverberates for us. It is in some ways the quintessential Jewish story.
he most dangerous and offensive of all religious ideas is that innocent people suffer because of their sins. This notion, so easily abused, makes victims into criminals, denying them divine sympathy or human compassion. We’ve heard it all before. Why was there a Holocaust? Because German Jewry assimilated and abandoned their faith. They desecrated the Sabbath. They adopted Germanic names. They married out. They wanted to be more trUtH German than the Germans. reGardleSS oF CoNSeQUeNCeS In the words of one of the greatest Jewish sages of prewar Poland, Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, who was executed by a Nazi firing squad, “The fire which will burn our bodies will be the fire that restores the Jewish people.” Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, the Satmar rebbe, felt that the Holocaust was a punishment for secular Zionism. Jews can return to Israel only when God himself redeems them. Rabbi Menachem Hartom said the exact opposite. Jews were punished by God for being too comfortable in Germany and abandoning their attachment to Israel, their ancient homeland. One rabbi who lectured in my community not long ago said, before a crowd of hundreds of modern Orthodox Jews who barely found his words objectionable, that one can see how lax Jews were in their observance in Germany from the women who were about to be gassed in Auschwitz. Pictures have them standing naked, after the SS removed their clothing, and they are not even trying to cover up in front of the German soldiers. Here was a rabbi finding fault with Jewish women who were about to be murdered along with their children, which just goes to show that the belief that suffering results from sin can lead to shocking anti-Semitism. Ideas like these are not only repulsive, they are factually inaccurate. The majority of Germany’s Jews, who supposedly incurred the divine wrath through sin, survived the Holocaust. They knew who Hitler was and had a few years to get out. The people who did not know that Hitler was coming for them were the chasidic Jews of Poland, with long sidecurls and beards, who had no idea that Hitler planned to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. They were devout in the extreme. So what was their sin? And what of the 1.5 million dead children. Of what were they guilty?
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s latest book is the newly released “The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.
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12 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
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Are these rabbis seriously suggesting that because of assimilation, God decided to ghettoize, wrack with disease, gas, and ultimately cremate six million Jews? And if that’s true, is He a God worthy of prayer? And do we have any right to condemn six million people whom we did not know to murder in the assumption that they were so horrendously sinful that they and their children warranted extermination? No. This theology is an abomination. It rejects the very name of the Jewish people, Israel — “He who wrestles with God.” A Jew must struggle with God in the face of seeming divine miscarriages of justice. What does Abraham do when God threatens to destroy Sodom and Gomorra, even though God had said, “Their sin so grievous?” Abraham thunders at the heavens: “Will the Judge of all the earth not Himself practice justice?” (Genesis 18:25). The same is true of the prophet Moses. How does the great redeemer react when God threatens to destroy the children of Israel after the sin of the golden calf? Does he bow his head in submission before God’s declaration that the people are sinful and deserving of destruction? No. Moses, in one of the most haunting passages of the Bible and one of the most eloquent defenses of human life ever recorded, says to God, “Now, forgive their sin — but if not, blot me out, I pray you, of the Torah you have written” (Exodus 32:32). The Bible is clear: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29). God is in charge of the hidden things. Why does He allow humans to suffer unjustifiably? What goes on in secret behind the partition of heaven? Well, that is of no human concern. But the revealed things, this is our area of focus. A parent is mourning the death of a child. A woman is crying over the loss of her husband. Why did they die? As far as we are concerned, for no reason at all. In the revealed here and now, their suffering served no higher purpose. Suffering is not redemptive, it is not ennobling, it is not a blessing, and it teaches us nothing that we could not have learned by gentler means. It’s Christianity, rather than Judaism, that says that someone has to die in order for sin to be forgiven. We Jews reject any idea of human sacrifice. Some cite the Talmud (Shabbat 55a): “No death without sin; no suffering without iniquity.” Or again: “If a man sees that he is afflicted with suffering, he should examine his deeds, as it is said, ‘Let us search and try our ways, and return unto the Lord’ (Lam. 3:40).” The Talmud adds: “Suffering is due to evil deeds or neglect of Torah study.” But all these pronouncements apply to our own suffering. If something bad happens to us we have the right to examine our actions. But our assumption of everyone else must be that they are righteous and their suffering is undeserved. Any attempts to infuse suffering with rich meaning shows callous indifference to the heartache of fellow humans. Suffering does not leave us ennobled, empathic, or wiser. Rather, it leave us broken, morose, and bitter. And if I’m wrong and suffering is such a great teacher, than why is it that any responsible parent would exert every effort to save their child from suffering? As for the rabbis who say that Jews are sinful and deserve to die, they make me miss the Lubavitcher rebbe even more. I can still close my eyes and see him, well into his late 80, pounding the table in public with all his might. “How long?” he would cry. “How long?” How long will Israeli soldiers die in defense of their homeland? How many more Jews will be dismembered by murderous bombs? Why has the Messiah not yet come? And how can anyone calling himself a rabbi have the chutzpah to ever justify the death of innocents? This column is dedicated to the memory of Machla Debakarov, the mother of a close friend of Rabbi Boteach.
On Jews with Guns
DR. Stephen GlickSman
’ll tell you when I first realized that the self-described “gun nuts” in our community are, indeed, “nuts.” It happened at my Shabbos table, about three years ago. We were discussing one of the community social ills of the time, as we tend to do every once in a while. I don’t recall specifically what issue we were tackling around the cholent bowl, but I believe the conversation took place around the time that the Orthodox Union decided to take on kiddish clubs in an attempt to prevent teen drinking. I should bring up at this point that as a developmental psychologist working in the Orthodox community, I probably spend more time than most people dealing with the repercussions of some of our community’s social ills, and trying to figure out how we might be able to minimize their impact on individuals or on the community as a whole. Admittedly, I also probably have something of a skewed view on some societal issues, and sometimes may view certain woes as more prevalent than they might seem to others. I probably interact a bit more than most with people affected by drinking, drugs, or eating disorders, and I sometimes get a headsup about what the next scandal might be. And I tend to have strong opinions about how we can best protect our children. At any rate, after the conversation about teen drinking, or gambling, or people cheating on their taxes, or whatever it was had ended, I made the following prediction: Within ten years, a teenager will bring a gun into a local yeshiva. A guest asked me why. I told him that I had heard about the local Orthodox Jewish gun club, and if we can assume that parents are taking their kids to the shooting range, and that guns in houses therefore will become more prevalent, and that teenage angst will remain a normal aspect of adolescent development, then I would assume that at some point some local teenager whose parent has a gun will figure out how to get that gun and how to use it to scare off a bully, or threaten a competitor, or just try to look cool. I did not predict a Columbine-type shooting or anything overly gory; I just predicted that within a decade a teenager would bring a gun to a local yeshiva. Little did I know at the time that one of the guests at our table indeed was a self-described gun nut. But it wasn’t his love of the sport of shooting and my complete distaste for it that led me to believe that this was not a person likely to engage in a rational conversation about the subject; rather, it was his response to my prediction. What he said was, “Laundry detergent is also dangerous. Do you think people shouldn’t have laundry detergent in their homes because it is dangerous?” The reason that his response shocked me so much was because it meant that he was having a completely different conversation inside his head than I was having at the table. I had never said that people shouldn’t keep guns in their homes because I feared that a 3-year-old might stumble upon it, load it, cock it, and accidently shoot someone. Nor was I concerned that a teenager going through a hard time in school would sneak some laundry detergent into a building and threaten to pretreat the stains on a bully’s shirt. In other words, this particular gun nut’s response to my prediction had nothing at all to do with my prediction. Instead, it was a kneejerk
response to someone who disagreed with him about his chosen hobby, and it was based not on the rationale for the disagreement put forth, but on an assumed and preformulated view that actually was not presented. There is a word for that sort of response: Irrational. I hadn’t really thought about that conversation in a while; other, more pressing community ills were uncovered and had to be dealt with. But, in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, gun control and gun rights have become hot topics again. Many people are viewing the recent shooting as a watershed event, a point in history when meaningful gun regulation actually might gain popular support. The change that I see in our culture as a result of the shootings, however, has been much more harrowing. Following the lead of the National Rifle Association, it seems that the spokespeople for gun enthusiasts no longer present their disagreements with gun control measures as having to do with sports or culture but instead with protection. The mantra has become “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The message is not “I need my gun because I like shooting at targets” or “I need my gun because I like shooting at deer” but “I need my gun because I need to shoot the bad people when they try to hurt me.” And that, I believe, is a frightening philosophy when shared by people who are armed and irrational. When Bill Clinton went duck hunting to show that his proposed assault weapons ban was not attempting to take away the guns of law-abiding sports enthusiasts, the message resonated with many law-abiding adult hunters. Now that message appears to be irrelevant. In recent weeks, I have not heard anyone speak against gun control with the old-school argument that “If you take away my assault weapon, next you will take away my hunting rifle.” Instead, the argument seems to have become “If you take away my assault weapon, I won’t be able to shoot people with it if I need to.” If that becomes the new norm for gun ownership, if that is the message that gun owners in our community begin to teach their children on their way to the shooting range, and if we start to premise the rationality of gun ownership on the grounds that guns really are for shooting people — it’s just a question of figuring out who is a bad and when the threat is substantial enough to demand action — then I think the threat of gun violence only will become greater. Perhaps there is a point upon which I could agree with the pro-gun lobby. It has become very popular to express the belief that it is not gun laws that need reforming, but rather laws related to the treatment of mental illness. I would agree that keeping guns out of the hands of even law-abiding citizens with mental illness is a good idea. I would point out, however, that paranoia also is a diagnosable mental illness. So perhaps we can satisfy everyone’s concerns by accepting the suggestion of the pro-gun lobby, as long as they agree to more comprehensive mental health testing amongst their own. As for my prediction, I still have seven years in which I hope to be proven wrong.
Dr. Stephen Glicksman lives in Teaneck.
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Saying Kaddish Remember Dr. King for for Newtown battling hate against all
RobeRt kanteR kenneth JacobSon
here have been at least 62 mass shootings in America in the last 30 years; 247,131 fatal shootings in 8 years. For the past several days, the Kaddish that Conservative Jews traditionally say on Yom Hashoah and Yom Kippur, from the machzor Sim Shalom, has been echoing around my brain. Here, a transliterated interpretation based on that Kaddish seeks to remember 17 of those mass murders. The sh’loshim for Newtown, Connecticut, was yesterday, January 17. Yit-gadal Watkins Glen v’yit-kadash Edmond sh’may raba Binghamton b’alma dee-v’ra che-ru-tay Garden City ve’yam-lich mal-chutay Jonesboro b’chai-yay-chon uv’yo-may-chon Manchester uv-cha-yay d’chol beit Yisrael, Columbine ba-agala u’vitze-man ka-riv, Oak Creek ve’imru amen. Y’hay sh’may raba me’varach le-alam uleh-almay alma-ya. Yit-barach v’yish-tabach, Lancaster v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-romam Salt Lake City v’yit-nasay, v’yit-hadar Virginia Tech v’yit-aleh v’yit-halal Fort Hood sh’may d’koo-d’shah, Tucson b’rich hoo. layla Oakland meen kol beer-chata v’she-rata, Aurora toosh-b’chata v’nay-ch’mata, Clackamas da-a meran b’alma, Newtown ve’imru amen. Y’hay sh’lama raba meen sh’maya v’cha-yim aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen. O’seh shalom beem-romav, hoo ya’ah-seh shalom aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, v’al kol yoshvay tevel, ve’imru amen.
or those of us who closely follow the progress in America in the battles against racism and anti-Semitism, the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this year has particular relevance. First, the King holiday, which is observed on Monday this year, reminds us of two significant anniversaries surrounding the civil rights leader. It is the 50th anniversary of his historic “I Have A Dream” speech at the Mall on Washington and the 20th anniversary of the first time that all 50 states in the union observed the holiday. Second, while leading the monumental struggle for civil rights in this country, King never equivocated in denouncing anti-Semitism. “The segregationist and racists make no fine distinction between the Negro and the Jews,” he said bluntly. And in a letter to Jewish leaders just months before his 1968 assassination, King said, “I will continue to oppose it [anti-Semitism] because it is immoral and self-destructive.” The message — that it is never enough for Jews and Jewish organizations to condemn anti-Semitism — remains terribly important for the country. Important leaders from all communities must follow King’s lead. More specifically, King’s condemnation of anti-Semitism was and is important for his own African-American community. For too long, levels of anti-Semitic attitudes have been too high. And some African-American cultural figures utter sentiments about Jews and Jewish power that remain very troubling. Not only did King react against blatant anti-Semitism, but early on he anticipated the more sophisticated versions. In an appearance at Harvard, as reported by the scholar Seymour Martin Lipset in his book “The Socialism of Fools,” King responded to a hostile question about Zionism, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews; you are talking anti-Semitism.” Third, King understood the importance of standing up for other minorities, both as a value and to strengthen support for his work on behalf of African Americans. Perhaps King’s greatest legacy was his conviction that justice for black people could not be achieved in a vacu-
um, that all Americans must live free from oppression in order to guarantee freedom. Why was obtaining civil rights for African Americans so important to the American Jewish community? Because it was the right thing to do, and because it was good for all and built coalitions in fighting all forms of prejudice. Fourth, King knew that power politics were important to bring change. Speeches, marches, demonstrations and sit-ins were all about power politics. But he profoundly understood that in the end, appealing to the moral values, the goodness, and the long-term interests of those who needed to change — that is, appealing to the white majority — was the key to changing society. In the long run, changing hearts and minds through education and appealing to the best instincts of America is the real solution. Fifth, the civil rights revolution led by King also further opened up America for Jews and is one of the key reasons why today American Jews are the freest community in the 2,000-year history of the diaspora, and why things are so much better for Jews today than they were 60 or 70 years ago. Civil rights legislation allowed Jews to challenge their exclusion. Even more, the revolution changed society in a way that being different and expressing your differences was no longer a liability. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in seeking equality for all was consistent with the values expressed by the Jewish sage Hillel two millennia ago: “If I am not for me, who will be?” We must have pride and stand up for our own. “If I am only for myself, what am I?” To be fully human, we must go beyond our own problems and stand up for others. “If not now, when?” Justice delayed is justice denied. These values were King’s values. Too often we stray from them in society today. This 50th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech is a good time to recommit to those things that brought us all together.
Kenneth Jacobson is deputy national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
Robert D. Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer, also has produced a number of television specials and projects for such nonprofit organizations as Hadassah and UJAFederation of New York.
14 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Jewish mothers, Jewish children
While the letter from Shel Haas in your January 11th issue contains several factual errors, the most grievously misleading is the statement that the Torah says that Jewish (Israelite) status is based upon the faith of the father, and that the rabbis changed it. Firstly, the Torah says no such thing — ever. The Torah specifies patrilineal descent to determine a person’s classification only in the cases of the Kohanim and the Levi’im. Secondly, the matrilineal descent law is derived logically by the rabbis directly from the Torah. Deuteronomy 7:3 forbids parents from entering their male or female children into intermarriage. Verse 4 states “For he will cause your child to turn away from after me and they will worship other gods...” The “he” obviously is the non-Jewish man married to a Jewish woman, and the fact that their offspring is referred to as “your child” shows that the product of such a union is classified as a descendant of the grandparents — that is, that such children are Jewish from birth. Were they not, they couldn’t “turn away” from Judaism. Because there is no corresponding verse for non-Jewish mothers, their offspring are not Jewish from birth. As Charles Krauthammer has said on at least one occasion, “When it comes to determining Jewish status, the father is nothing more than an appendage.”
Gary M. Rosenberg Englewood
Being open to others
I found “In defense of public service” by Dovi Meles (January 11) to be well written, honest, and an on-target opinion piece. It sounds to me like Mr. Meles marchs to the beat of his own drum,
traveling the path less traveled, and for that I applaud him. I have a doctorate in clinical psychology, and have used this to bridge the gap, so to speak. Working in the field of psychology for the last 20 years, I have come to generalize the findings of my research of veterans into the general population. The most robust factor in emotional healing is a sense of affiliation and social support. I have the privilege of working directly with the Department of Defense on various military bases around the globe, conducting pre- and post-deployment workshops for all branches of service. Putting pieces of lives back together after life-changing events is vital to healing, and maintaining a positive perspective is the fuel that puts it into motion. This is why I was so moved by what Mr. Meles so eloquently wrote about the importance of tolerance, and of moving closer together in order to form alliances and strength from which we all will benefit. He has said that all people should reach across the aisle and form an understanding and awareness of other people’s beliefs, culture, and religion. The only way we broaden our perspective is to open our hearts and marvel at our uniqueness and our
similarities. I think his article is a call to action, in which he has demonstrated how moving beyond the confines of our own minds and expectations opens a vast world of endless possibilities.
Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D., NCC, CTS CEO/President Hearts Toward Home International Bellingham, WA
We told you so!
“See, we told you so” is exactly the right response to make regarding the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense (“The hassle over Hagel,” January 11). Why else would President Obama select Hagel, a man of questionable and controversial opinions about Israel, Iran, and identifying terrorist organizations to this critical position? I am not calling Obama or Hagel antiSemitic or anti Israel, but I strongly feel that their policies weaken our ability to prevent a nuclear Iran, defeat our enemies, and protect our allies.
Harry Lerman, Paramus
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 Standard, 1086 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666, or e-mail email@example.com. Hand-written letters are not acceptable.
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A reader’s guide
is Jewish Home, a hawkish pro-settler party that also favors some progressive economic policies. Historically a religious Zionist party, Jewish Home has broadened its base successfully this cycle and has an excellent shot at a third-place finish. People to watch: Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud chairman and current prime minister, almost certainly will win another term. Netanyahu, 63, has relentlessly sounded the alarm on Iran’s nuclear program and shaped Israel’s supply-side economic policies. He was first elected prime minister in 1996, lost the 1999 election, and made a comeback in 2009, winning his second term. Avigdor Liberman, Yisrael Beiteinu’s chairman, was Israel’s foreign minister until he resigned following his indictment for fraud and breach of trust in December. An immigrant from Moldova, Liberman, 54, advocates hardline foreign and domestic policies. Naftali Bennett, a high-tech entrepreneur and a past leader of the settlement movement, is the charismatic new chairman of Jewish Home. Bennett, 40, has changed the image of the party from a sectarian religious Zionist faction to one that courts Jewish Israelis of all stripes. Moshe Feiglin, 50, has led a revolution within Likud, driving a sharp turn to the right that has led to the rise of other hawkish politicians and has nudged out moderates. He is 14th on the Likud list and almost certain to gain a Knesset seat.
emember the second U.S. presidential debate in October, when the incumbent, Barack Obama, and the challenger, Mitt Romney, stood about six inches from each other, with one interrupting the other at every turn? Add about a dozen candidates, take away the formal rules of debate, switch to Hebrew — and you’ve got a fairly good approximation of the tenor of Israel’s current election campaign. Israel’s parliamentary system, in which voters choose a party instead of a candidate, makes for some narrowly focused parties and strange bedfellows, though factions do tend to fall in with their natural political allies. Parties submit lists of candidates and their top choices are seated in proportion to the party’s total share of the vote. This year, 34 parties are vying officially for the Knesset in Tuesday’s elections, though only about a dozen are likely actually to cross the threshold necessary to win seats. They fall broadly into the following major blocs.
Major parties: Israel’s biggest political bloc, the right wing, has led the polls throughout the campaign and almost definitely will lead the next coalition. Its flagship party is a merger of two factions: the right-wing Likud and the hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu. Likud favors a tough foreign policy and has presided over an expansion of Jewish settlements in the west bank. On economic policy, the party tacks conservative, promoting free markets, privatization of state industries, and reduced regulation. Yisrael Beiteinu, originally founded as a party for Russian immigrants, has attracted a broader base with hard-line nationalist rhetoric, a secularist agenda, and calls for universal army or volunteer service. An upstart challenger to Likud-Beiteinu
16 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Major parties: Israel’s most fragmented political bloc, likely headed for the opposition, the center has three major — and largely similar — parties. Labor, Israel’s founding party, has pushed progressive socialist policies. Yesh Atid, a party of political neophytes, emphasizes middle-class tax cuts and mandatory
if israeli political parties were characters on the simpsons...
Charedi party aims attack ad at Euclid’s geomety
army or volunteer service for all Israelis. Hatnua, also founded last year, supports Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a two-state solution. Kadima, the largest party in the Knesset and the ruling party from 2006 to 2009, largely has been discredited and may not cross the 2 percent vote threshold necessary to win a seat in the Knesset. People to watch: Shelly Yachimovich, 52, a former television journalist, is the Labor chair and has shifted the party’s focus from a two-state solution back to the progressive socioeconomic policies that once defined it. She has been criticized for barely addressing diplomatic policy, though she recently vowed not to join a Likud-Beiteinu coalition. Yair Lapid, 49, another former TV journalist and the head of Yesh Atid, announced his entrance into politics early last year amid hype that his party could rival Likud. Lapid is the son of former journalist and politician Tommy Lapid. Tzipi Livni, 54, chairwoman of Hatnua, has shifted from right to centerleft during a lengthy political career. Originally a senior politician in Likud, Livni followed former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Kadima in 2005 and served as foreign minister from 2006 to 2009. She resigned from Kadima last year after losing the chairmanship in the party primaries.
Major parties: The two main charedi parties are the Sephardic Shas and United Torah Judaism, a merger of a few Ashkenazi charedi parties. UTJ’s main issues are government support for yeshivot (including stipends for full-time students), continued charedi control of the chief rabbinate, social services for their often low-income charedi constituents, and continued exemption of full-time yeshiva students from military service. Shas advocates a more moderate versions of those policies as well as social services for Israel’s poor families, many of whom are Sephardic and vote for Shas even though they are not charedi. Am Shalem, a new breakaway party from Shas, was founded last year and opposes much of the charedi agenda, advocating military or volunteer service and the elimination of subsidies for most full-time yeshiva students. It is considered a long shot to win any Knesset seats. People to watch: Aryeh Deri, one of the three leaders of Shas, won 17 seats for the party in 1999’s Knesset elections, only to wind up in prison on charges of bribery a year later. Now the charismatic Deri is free to run again and has retaken the
see ELECtions page 18
“Euclid. no, it’s not the name of a medicine,” reads this ad by the United torah Judaism charedi party. “it’s a greek mathematician that your son will study instead of Mishna.” it warns that a government without the party would force charedi children to study secular subjects.
In Israeli elections, Netanyahu and right-wing coalition seen cruising to encore
TEL AVIV — Uncertainty is an inherent condition election has come not from his traditional sparring of democratic politics, but one outcome is all but partners on the left but from the right, where the certain in Tuesday’s Israeli elections: the right wing hawkish Jewish Home Party has enjoyed a meteoric will win and the left wing will lose. rise in the polls. Almost every party acknowledges that the The ascent of Jewish Home has been the biggest merged Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu factions will story of the campaign. When elections were called in take the most seats and be the standard-bearer of October, pundits expected the religious Zionist party the next coalition government. For the fifth straight to win seven or eight seats. Now most polls have election, the center-left Labor will likely lose as the number at 14 or 15, and it is on track to be the naftali Bennett, Likud or an offshoot runs the state. Knesset’s third-largest party. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Likud prime chairman of the Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, a right-wing Jewish minister, almost definitely will win another term. home party newcomer to politics — he has had a successful Likud-Beiteinu is expected to win 33 to 38 seats in high-tech career and held leadership positions in the 120-seat Knesset, nearly twice as many as the likely runnerthe settler movement — has engineered the gain by courting up, Labor, which should receive 17 to 20. secular right-wing voters and adopting some progressive The virtual certainty of this outcome, and the right wing’s economic policies. bold self-assurance in its face, has reduced a fragmented But Bennett is no moderate. He opposes the creation of a center-left to shambles. Labor and two new parties, Yesh Palestinian state under any conditions and has said he would Atid and Hatnua, have similar agendas that focus largely on disobey a military command to dismantle settlements, though socioeconomic issues, yet every unification effort has ended in he later walked back from that position. recriminations. And among the three parties only Hatnua has The party’s fortunes will depend on whether voters trust anything to say about the diplomatic future of the state, and it’s Bennett’s promises of tighter security and cheaper housing, or led by a former rising star of the right. remain wary of a party that skews far right on certain national Netanyahu’s biggest challenge leading up to the January 22 see right wing page 20
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 17
Major parties: As Labor has tacked to the center, the standard-bearer of the Zionist left has become Meretz, a party that advocates Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, equal rights for all Israeli citizens, far greater separation of religion and state, and progressive economic policies. To Meretz’s left is the non-Zionist, communist, Arab-Jewish Hadash, which also advocates equal rights and progressive economics but does not prioritize Israel remaining a Jewish state. People to watch: Zahava Gal-on, Meretz’s chairwoman, immigrated to Israel from Russia as a child and has been an outspoken supporter of civil liberties since she first entered the Knesset in 1999. Hadash’s chairman, Mohammed Barakeh, has been indicted for alleged violence at protests, but also has earned praise for visiting Auschwitz in 2010. Hadash’s third in line, Dov Khenin, is a well-known leftist activist who ran for mayor of Tel Aviv.
Elections from page 17
helm at Shas, along with Eli Yishai, the current interior minister, whose policies are decidedly right wing. Haim Amsalem, a former member of Shas, is now a thorn in that party’s side with his new faction, Am Shalem. Amsalem hasn’t pulled his punches, relentlessly criticizing Shas and claiming in his ads that Maimonides would vote for him.
‘You’re not Jewish?’ ‘Now I am!’
Major parties: Arab parties never have served in a coalition government and historically have underrepresented the Israeli Arab population, which is about a quarter of the country. The two Arab slates in this election are the secular Balad, which is explicitly anti-Zionist and believes that Israel should be a state of all its citizens, and Ra’am-Ta’al, an alliance of the religious Ra’am and the secular Ta’al that is not as explicitly anti-Zionist. All of the parties favor better treatment of Israel’s Arab minority, a two-state solution, and peace with neighboring Arab countries. People to watch: As no Israeli government has included Arab parties, their main purpose is to speak up for Arab-Israeli rights and against what they see as Jewish discrimination. Two of the most outspoken Israeli Arab members of Knesset have been Ta’al leader Ahmad Tibi, a former adviser to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, and Hanin Zouabi of Balad. Both at times have been disqualified from running for Knesset as a result of anti-Zionist statements, but the bans have been overturned by Israel’s Supreme Court.
JTA Wire Service
A blonde stereotypically russian-looking bride dials her cell phone and receives a faxed conversion under the chuppah in a video by the sefardi party shas. the Knesset elections board soon banned the ad for being racist.
N.J.-born candidate aims for Knesset seat
JERUSALEM — Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has had members from almost 50 countries around the world — some of which no longer exist. But until now only one was a New Jersey native. That was Newark-born Marcia Freedman, who served from 1974 to 1977 as a representative of the Civil Rights Movement, which now is part of Meretz. That could change in the January 22 Israeli election, when New Brunswick-born environmentalist Alon Tal hopes to become not only the second New Jersey-born Knesset member, but also the first American-born MK since the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane, whom, ironically, Tal helped prosecute when he worked for the Israeli attorney general. An environmental law professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and chair of Israel’s Green Movement, Tal is a Knesset candidate for Hatnua, the party formed by Israel’s former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. Tal is the 13th candidate on the party’s list, which received 11 seats in a poll published last week by the Israeli news portal Walla. To help his party gain support, Tal has canvassed the country, taken bike rides to the Knesset with Livni and other candidates, and debated other American-born candidates from other parties. “I think Tzipi Livni would make a much better prime minister” than Benjamin Netanyahu, Tal said. “She has gained experience, and polls show more than half of Israelis want her to be in charge of Israel’s foreign policy. She can lead Israel to an agreement with the Palestinians that can guarantee Israel’s future as a Jewish-democratic state.”
Gil Hoffman is Israel correspondent for the New Jersey Jewish News.
18 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura. Three other parties are offering candidates who are former Americans: Atlanta-born Jeremy Gimpel is running in the religious-Zionist Bayit Yehudi; Bostonborn Kahanist Baruch Marzel is a candidate in the new Strong Israel Party; and Rabbi Dov Lipman, a fervently Orthodox rabbi from Maryland, is a candidate on Yair Lapid’s new secularist Yesh Atid list, which shares his aversion to Orthodox coercion.
‘Dream of peace’
new Jersey-born candidate Alon tal heads his party’s efforts to advance religious pluralism in israel.
Tal was born Albert Rosenthal in New Brunswick’s Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in 1960, back when it was known as Middlesex Hospital. His father worked at Squibb Pharmaceuticals and his mother studied at Rutgers University. The family moved to North Carolina when Tal was a child but he maintained his connections with New Jersey, Many years later, two of his books were published by Rutgers University Press. “I still have fond memories of growing up on Livingston Avenue,” Tal said. Tal, who moved to Israel in 1980, earned a law degree from the Hebrew University and a doctorate in environmental science and policy from Harvard. One of Israel’s leading environmentalists, he founded the
Each of the candidates has put an emphasis on representing American immigrants to Israel in the Knesset. Livni appointed Tal to head her party’s efforts to advance religious pluralism in Israel and its campaign among the country’s Anglos. That has special meaning for Tal, who is a committed Masorti, or Conservative, Jew and the gabbai (sexton) of the Masorti Shalhevet Hamaccabim synagogue in Maccabim-Re’ut, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. His 17-year-old daughter recently was harassed by police for wearing a tallit at the Western Wall. “She got a sad lesson on how religion works in this country,” Tal said. “I am concerned about the extremism that has captured governmental institutions and delegitimized us.” Tal said that Livni shares his concerns. He said she describes herself as a Masorti Jew and that her sons attended the Masorti movement’s Noam youth group. If he is elected, Tal hopes to organize the first egalitarian minyan in the Knesset synagogue. He said he
see tAL page 20
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tal from page 18
would give Livni the first aliyah. “I am thrilled to be in a party led by someone who understands that Jewish tradition can be manifested in more than just an Orthodox tradition and that there is room for all expressions of religious affiliation in our country,” Tal said of Livni. “She had the opportunity to become prime minister, but she refused to capitulate to ultra-Orthodox blackmail.” When he campaigns among American immigrants, he tells them that the U.S.-Israel relationship has gotten worse, as result of Netanyahu’s perceived connection to the Republican Party and his problematic relationship with President Barack Obama. Tal is especially appreciative that Livni adopted his environmental agenda. He said the Netanyahu administration failed to fight pollution and make progress on other environmental causes. “Livni has ‘green’ in her DNA,” Tal said. “There has never been a large party that cared about environmental issues.” Despite his party’s declining poll numbers, Tal said he is convinced that he will become a Knesset member on Tuesday. If he does, he promises to celebrate with a Knesset “hootenanny” starring his Arava Riders bluegrass band. “Many people are still undecided,” Tal said. “I am an optimist, and so is Tzipi. I am not willing to give up on the dream of peace that we pray for. Israel’s diplomatic, social, and environmental problems can be solved. Israel just needs the kind of vision to get us beyond the present situation.”
right wing from page 17
security and religious questions. As the fortunes of Jewish Home have risen, those of Yesh Atid have declined. Expected to be a major story in the campaign when it launched in April, Yesh Atid was founded by Yair Lapid, a former television journalist and son of the late secularist politician Tommy Lapid. But its poll numbers have fallen in response to infighting in the centrist camp and Lapid’s unwillingness to discuss diplomatic and security issues. Polls now show the party taking about 10 seats, but if Yesh Atid gains 12 or 13, it will mean that Lapid’s economic message has struck a chord as Israel confronts a budget deficit of more than $10 billion. If voters perceive Lapid as unprincipled or inexperienced, especially on matters of diplomacy and security, they may turn to the one centrist party focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations: Hatnua, which was founded and is led by Tzipi Livni, a former Kadima head and ex-Likud minister. Livni has spent the entire campaign bashing Netanyahu for his alarmist and isolating rhetoric on national security. But she has not vowed to oppose his coalition and could give him cover to move forward on negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians if he chooses. Hatnua has polled numbers that are similar to Yesh Atid’s. If it reaches the teens, it could indicate that a constituency still exists that supports peace negotiations. A mediocre Hatnua showing would confirm many Israelis’ perception that the conflict will not be resolved in the coming years.
What Livni really wants is a coalition without Netanyahu, led either by her or by Labor chair Shelly Yachimovich. Seeking to harness the energy of 2011’s social protests here, Labor has presented itself as the alternative to Likud-Beiteinu. Yachimovich said recently that she would not join a Netanyahu-led coalition, in a move that would seem to consign Labor to the opposition. Labor has avoided discussing Israel’s diplomatic future, which seems to have disaffected some voters, and almost certainly it will take fewer than 25 seats. That would be an improvement on last election’s 13 but still a decline for a party that once dominated Israeli politics. As Livni, Lapid, Yachimovich, and Bennett jockey for potential spots in a Likud-led Cabinet, one political bloc’s numbers is likely to remain fairly stable. Charedi Orthodox parties have 15 seats now, and that number is expected to slightly increase. The charedi platform, however, has become increasingly unpopular, as more and more Israelis oppose full-time yeshiva students receiving government stipends while avoiding the nation’s mandatory military conscription — concerns that have animated Yesh Atid’s campaign, among others. A sliver of hope for a centrist victory does exist, with Livni and Yachimovich still campaigning as if they have a shot at the premiership. According to two polls, approximately 20 percent of voters remain undecided. If those votes all go to centrist parties, the centrists may be able to cobble together a governing coalition. At this point, though, it looks like a fantasy for Labor, which leaves it in the same place it’s been since 2001: figuring out how to fit into a Knesset where the right runs the show.
JTA Wire Service
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 21
Meet Yitzhak Shamir’s son, Yair
TEL AVIV – Yair Shamir says he doesn’t discuss hypotheticals. For the Israeli Air Force commander turned technocrat turned politician, these topics include how to respond to settlement evacuations or achieve Palestinian statehood, a fracture in the U.S.-Israel relationship, or Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman’s departure from politics. Shamir, the 67-year-old son of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, is the hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu’s No. 2. With Liberman, the former foreign minister, under indictment for fraud and breach of trust, he is the de facto heir apparent to one of Israel’s largest political parties. Assuming that mantle would be quite a shift for Shamir, who entered politics only last year. He served as a pilot and officer in the IAF for 25 years before moving on to private business. Until 2011 he was chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries, the country’s leading aircraft manufacturer. Before that he was an executive at El Al Israel Airlines, a large telecommunications firm, a venture capital fund, and a computer equipment company. Entering politics was a “nationalist decision,” Shamir said, a choice “to give my coming years to strengthen Israel on the national level and not on the private level.” Last year he was appointed deputy to Liberman in Yisrael Beiteinu, a party that originally focused on Russian immigrant concerns but since has attracted Israelis with nationalist views from other backgrounds. Shamir tries to avoid talking about the party without Liberman. “The press is trying to create a rivalry between us,” Shamir said. “I’m almost convinced that he’ll come out innocent. A public figure who is found guilty in court shouldn’t be a public figure, but everyone needs to follow his own conscience.” That attitude fits into Shamir’s overall political philosophy. He professes deep respect for pluralism and democracy while also opposing a Palestinian state — a position that puts him at odds with Liberman. Liberman has called for redrawing the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state in the west bank to include more Jews and exclude as many Arabs as possible. Shamir follows in the ideological footsteps of his father, who served as prime minister from 1986 to 1992 and died last July. As leader of the Likud party, the elder Shamir opposed any compromise with the Palestinians, even after the outbreak of the first intifada, and strongly supported west bank settlement expansion. “I see him as my lighthouse,” Shamir said of his father. “A lighthouse isn’t the nicest building. It’s a simple building but it stands on a cliff and always shines its light, in bad and good weather. It’s not shaken by a storm or a calm sea.” Like his father, Shamir wants Israel to hang tough in the constantly unstable Middle East. His top priority as a politician, he says, will be to contribute his business experience to government by strengthening the country’s infrastructure and economy. “The only way to maintain the land and the people is to be strong economically and militarily,” he said. “When you look at who Israeli politicians are, there isn’t enough representation of industry and agriculture, the people that are really doing anything.”
Yair Shamir, son of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, is second on the hardline Yisrael Beiteinu’s Knesset list.
Courtesy yair shamir
When it comes to opposing a Palestinian state or settlement evacuations, Shamir says the state of Israel deserves the entire land of Israel and sees no reason to be conciliatory as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains intractable. That’s why he treats a scenario of settlement evacuations and Palestinian statehood as a hypothetical. “Right now there’s no hocus-pocus solution,” Shamir said. “The Arabs there who call themselves Palestinian, they’ll stay or go, but we’ll definitely stay. We need to keep building in the land.”
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22 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Shamir seems like a throwback to the Likud of his father’s time — a party committed to Greater Israel. And while he isn’t traditionally observant, Shamir calls himself a “believing Jew.” He supports the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and keeps a copy of the Tanya, its principal philosophical tract, on his desk, along with a Bible. Yisrael Beiteinu has merged lists with Likud for the upcoming elections, but Shamir says the present-day Likud has lost sight of what’s important to Israel’s growth: immigration and settlement. As a party founded by Russian immigrants, Yisrael Beiteinu was attractive to Shamir, he said. He runs an organization called Gvahim that specializes in helping academics immigrate to Israel. “There’s no future without immigration, if the majority of the Jewish people aren’t here,” Shamir said. He stopped short of calling for mass immigration from the United States, which has the largest Jewish community in the diaspora by far, though he said he would be happy “if millions came here.” One possible reason Shamir may be on Yisrael Beiteinu’s list rather than Likud’s is that Likud holds primaries for its Knesset list, while Yisrael Beiteinu candidates are handpicked by Liberman, aided by a committee. “The biggest advantage Yisrael Beiteinu has over anyone is that you have to talk to one person instead of 150,000,” said pollster Mitchell Barak, a former adviser under Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. “There are a lot of backroom deals when it comes to being elected to Knesset” in primaries. Shamir feels that Yisrael Beiteinu is no less democratic
Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, speaks at a news conference in Jerusalem in October. yonatan sindel/Flash90/Jta
than any other faction, and that its emphasis on leadership lets it stay true to its principles — the principles, he says, that have always made Israel strong. “Everyone attacks Liberman, that he’s the party, but why don’t they attack Yair Lapid or Tzipi Livni, who weren’t elected?” he said, referring to the founders of the centrist parties Yesh Atid and Hatnua, respectively. “Yisrael Beiteinu is still young, still hungry. It sets clear lines.”
JTA Wire Service
Liberman says he will resign from politics if convicted
JERUSALEM – Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, under indictment for fraud and breach of trust, said he would resign from politics if he is convicted. Liberman, who remains head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party and is No. 2 on the combined Knesset list of his party and Likud behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the January 22 elections, said in an Army Radio interview on Monday that he would step down even though it is not required by law. He would have to resign if a conviction includes moral turpitude. Liberman resigned as foreign minister at the end of December, shortly before his indictment on the charges of fraud and breach of trust for allegedly advancing the position of Zeev Ben Aryeh, Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus, in exchange for information on an investigation against him. The charges came after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein closed a 12-year probe of Liberman in other cases on December 13. Liberman’s statement that he would resign if convicted follows statements last week by his party’s No. 2, Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, that Liberman should resign if he were to be found guilty. “A public official who faltered while in public service must make way for those who have not,” said Shamir, formerly an executive with El Al. “Whether the offense carries the designation of moral turpitude or not is irrelevant.” “I agree with him,” Liberman said on Army Radio. “I think that there have to be clear norms. Even if there is no moral turpitude, I will not continue in politics. There must be clear norms.” He added that Shamir will not be penalized for his comments. “I have no problems with what Shamir said, and Shamir will without any doubt have a senior role in the
Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu
Jta Wire serviCe
Likud Beiteinu government,” Liberman said. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reportedly is the state’s key witness in the Ben Aryeh case, and reportedly will testify against Liberman during the trial. Shortly before the indictment was formally issued, Liberman announced that Ayalon would not be included on the Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset list for the January elections. Ayalon stayed on at the Foreign Ministry even though Liberman stepped down.
JTA Wire Service
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 23
Hagel gains key support from Jewish Dems as the nomination battle intensifies
WASHINGTON – Even as critics intensify their efforts to depict him as unfit to protect the U.S.-Israel relationship, Chuck Hagel has convinced several of the most prominent Jewish Democratic lawmakers to endorse his nomination to lead the Pentagon. Since rumors of his nomination first surfaced in December, opponents have argued to varying degrees that Hagel is anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. At the center of many of the attacks has been his 2006 comment to an interviewer that the “Jewish lobby” intimidates many people in Washington. In recent days, Hagel has secured endorsements from three of the most identifiably Jewish and pro-Israel Democratic lawmakers: Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), as well as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. The endorsements follow several discussions with lawmakers during which Hagel is said to have expressed regret for the “Jewish lobby” comment. In those discussions, he also assured lawmakers that he is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “In our conversation, Sen. Hagel made a crystal-clear promise that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including the use of military force,” Schumer said in a statement about his Monday meeting with Hagel. “He said his ‘top priority’ as secretary of defense would be the planning of military contingencies related to Iran.” President Barack Obama’s formal nomination of Hagel on January 7 only intensified the battle lines over the former Nebraska senator and Vietnam War hero. That day, one of his most prominent critics, Elliott Abrams, told NPR that Hagel “appears to be” an anti-Semite. Less than a week later, on the January 13 broadcast of “Meet the Press,” one of Hagel’s more prominent defenders, Colin Powell, called such attacks “disgraceful.” Powell’s rejoinder was all the more extraordinary because he and Abrams were the top shapers of foreign policy in the George W. Bush administration — Powell as secretary of state in the first term and Abrams as the deputy national security adviser who took the lead on Middle East issues. “When they go over the edge and say because Chuck said Jewish lobby he is anti-Semitic, that’s disgraceful,” Powell said. “We shouldn’t have that kind of language in our dialogue.” There was little sign that the sharp exchanges would fade before Hagel’s confirmation hearings, which are likely to take place as early as next month. The Emergency Committee for Israel, a group that has consistently opposed Obama’s Israel policies and backed only GOP candidates, ran a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday, urging readers to call Schumer and the junior senator from
Chuck Hagel speaking at the announcement of his nomination as secretary of defense on January 7, as President Barack Obama and Homeland Security adviser John Brennan look on. Brennan has been nominated as CIA director. DOD phOtO by U.S. Navy petty
Officer 1St claSS chaD J. McNeeley
New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, also a Democrat, and tell them not to confirm Hagel. “Ask them to put country ahead of party,” the ad said. The Zionist Organization of America and Christians United for Israel continue to advocate against Hagel on Capitol Hill and through social media. On Tuesday they were joined by one of the pre-eminent political action
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24 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
committees, NORPAC, which asked its activists to tell their senators that they oppose Hagel’s nomination. Liberal Jewish groups such as Americans for Peace Now, J Street, and the Israel Policy Forum have backed Hagel. Centrist groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee at one time seemed poised to fight the choice — but not now. For example, in letters to Democratic senators before the formal nomination, AJC pressed them to urge Obama not to nominate Hagel. Since the nomination, however, the group has said it is “concerned but does not formally oppose the nomination.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has not made any public statement on the matter, and Hill insiders say its officials also have been silent on Hagel in their private encounters. Josh Block, the former AIPAC spokesman who now runs the Israel Project, has been directing reporters to material critical of Hagel, but from his private e-mail account. Hagel, meanwhile, has granted very few interviews — a JTA request is pending — but has reached out to top Jewish lawmakers to explain what appear to be past equivocations on Iran policy and to apologize for remarks in which he referred to an “intimidating” Jewish lobby.
“After speaking extensively with Sen. Hagel by phone last week and after receiving a detailed written response to my questions late today, I will support Sen. Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense.”
— Sen. Barbara Boxer
Calling the term “Jewish lobby” a “very poor choice of words,” Hagel said in a letter to Boxer that “I used that terminology only once, in an interview. I recognize that this kind of language can be construed as anti-Israel.” He delivered a similar apology over the phone last week to Wasserman Schultz, a flag bearer for Jewish causes among Democrats — it was her freshman legislation that established Jewish Heritage Month in 2006. “He realized some of the things he had said previously were offensive and inappropriate,” Wasserman Schultz said. Hagel already had the backing of two leading Jewish senators, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif,), but insiders considered Schumer’s endorsement critical. Schumer has noted repeatedly to Jewish audiences that his name derives from the Hebrew word “shomer,” or guardian, and that he sees Israel’s security as his calling. Boxer also is a go-to Jewish lawmaker. Last year, she was the lead on a bill that enhanced the U.S.-Israel security relationship. “After speaking extensively with Sen. Hagel by phone last week and after receiving a detailed written response to my questions late today, I will support Sen. Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense,” Boxer said in a release late Monday. “First and foremost, he has pledged without reservation to support President Obama’s polices — policies that I believe have made our world safer and our alliances stronger.” Beyond his remarks about a “Jewish lobby,” the issues that had exercised Boxer and Wasserman Schultz, as well as some pro-Israel groups, had to do with Hagel’s past
skepticism about the efficacy of unilateral sanctions as a means of keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, as well as his wariness of a military option in the same case. In his letter to Boxer, Hagel reiterated his preference for multilateral sanctions, noting his past support, but added that unilateral sanctions in some instances were “necessary.” He did not mention the possibility of a strike. But Wasserman Schultz said that in her phone call with Hagel, “he said that all options should be on the table, including a military option.” In both interactions, Hagel also noted his solid Senate record voting to fund defense assistance to Israel. Wasserman Schultz pressed Hagel to explain why he had not signed a number of letters organized by the proIsrael and Jewish communities, particularly an American Jewish Committee-backed letter in 1999 asking Russian President Boris Yeltsin to address the rise of violent antiSemitism. The letter drew 99 signatories out of 100 senators; Hagel was the only one to pass. The Florida lawmaker told JTA that she was satisfied with his response — that as a senator he preferred not to write foreign leaders, but over the years wrote Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to express his concern about anti-Semitism overseas. Nonetheless, his insistence on standing apart apparently gave Wasserman Schultz pause. “I told him, when it’s 99 to 1, everybody can’t be wrong,” she said. Left untreated in Hagel’s interactions with Wasserman Schultz and Boxer was the hostile worldview that critics have said holistically underpin Hagel’s history with Israel and its supporters. “This is not a mere choice of words,” wrote Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s conservative blogger, referring to Hagel’s apology to Boxer for using “Jewish lobby.” “Hagel said that the Jewish lobby ‘intimidates’ lawmakers,” wrote Rubin, a mainstay of the effort to keep Hagel from the top defense post. “Which lawmakers? Was he intimidated?” Hagel made the “Jewish lobby” comment in an interview with Aaron David Miller, the author and former U.S. peace negotiator. Hagel also told Miller in the same interview that he was an “American senator,” not an Israeli one. In her JTA interview, Wasserman Schultz paused before answering whether she agreed with Hagel that the proIsrael lobby intimidates. She repeated the question and then said, “In our conversation he expressed regret and was apologetic that the reference was hurtful.” Boxer in a conference call said those who read imputations of disloyalty against pro-Israel groups into Hagel’s remarks “were reading too much.” “I don’t think he thinks people are less loyal,” she said, adding, “I don’t agree with what he said; I was concerned with what he said.” Boxer noted that Hagel’s letter to her had arisen out of a conversation she had with Hagel. She thought it was important to get his thoughts in writing, and he agreed. “He told me, if there’s one thing in his life that he could take back, it’s that,” the California senator said. Writing to Boxer, Hagel did not precisely retreat from his impassioned comments in 2006, when he said during Israel’s war with Hezbollah that “extended military action is tearing Lebanon apart, killing innocent civilians, devastating its economy and infrastructure.” Instead, he said that in that war, “Israel was defending itself” but added, “these attacks were not perpetrated by the Lebanese government, which remains an important partner to the United States.”
JTA Wire Service
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 25
A refugee girl gets a helping hand from representatives of HIAS and the United Nations refugee agency.
March deadline looms on funds
across the country, Jewish groups brace for possible sequester cuts
pregnant Darfuri woman at a refugee camp in Chad, a Latino senior citizen living below the poverty line in the Bronx, and an elderly Jewish immigrant from the former Soviet Union living in Boston. They may not know it, but these people all are beneficiaries of programs run by Jewish organizations with public money. And if Congress can’t reach a deal to avoid the socalled sequester by March 1, many of these programs could be severely scaled back, if not terminated. “Both our international and national work can be impacted,” said Mark Hetfield, the interim president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which provides medical kits to mothers of newborn children in Chad, among other services. “It could cause some really serious cuts to the programs, but we still have no idea what they might be.” HIAS is among the dozens of Jewish organizations grappling with the potential loss of federal funds from the so-called sequester, a measure adopted by the U.S. Congress last year to force itself to confront a hemorrhaging national debt and return the country to sound fiscal footing. Unless a budget compromise could be found, draconian across-the-board cutbacks of 8.5 percent were to have taken effect automatically on January 1, as the country went over the so-called fiscal cliff. The impact of those cuts was designed to be so devastatingly painful that in effect Congress would force its own hand. Despite the self-imposed deadline, however, intense negotiations failed to produce the desired outcome. In late December, Congress agreed to raise new revenue by increasing taxes on affluent Americans but put off decisions on spending cuts. The lawmakers also pushed the sequester deadline back to March 1. As the new deadline nears, some Jewish organizations are preparing for the worst, identifying nonessential services to be axed while lobbying federal officials to protect vital programs.
Hetfield says HIAS’s most vulnerable operations are in Ecuador, where the agency helps refugees who fled fighting between government and rebel forces in Colombia, and Chad, where it provides aid to fugitives from Sudan’s neighbor, the war-torn Darfur province. “These are programs I think will be targeted more deeply because they are not emergency refugee maintenance programs,” Hetfield said. “But cutting a program might create an emergency.” Other HIAS operations, such as the agency’s refugee resettlement program, also are in limbo. Robert Marmor, executive director of HIAS’s Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts, says his staff recently helped an Iraqi mother and her three daughters file a request for reunification with the family’s father. The successful completion of that process would depend on continued funding from the federal government. “The worst-case scenario would mean no new refugees, and that would be the worst, especially for families that are waiting for relatives,” Marmor said. Budget cuts have forced Valeriya Beloshkurenko, the director of the Met Council’s Home Services department in New York, to let more than half her staff go in the last two years. Approximately 50 percent of her remaining budget comes directly from the federal government, and the other 50 percent that comes from city and state sources also is at risk. Beloshkurenko manages a team of three handymen who help low-income seniors with everyday home maintenance tasks throughout New York City — things such as installing door knobs and locks, changing light bulbs, putting grab bars in bathrooms, and opening clogged drains. “When our team shows up the people we help, whether they are Latinos in the South Bronx or Russian Jews in Brighton Beach, are so grateful,” Beloshkurenko said. “I cannot tell you how many thank- you letters we receive.”
see mArcH deAdlINe page 28
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 27
A HIAS volunteer teaching english to refugee children in ecuador.
A HIAS meeting with community elders at a camp in chad, where HIAS is providing services to darfuri refugees. Courtesy HIAs
march deadline from page 27
Susan Rack, the director of Covenant House, a B’nai B’rith-run home for the elderly in Boston, has a staff of 10 nurses and maintenance workers caring for more than 300 tenants, mostly Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Although the home is in relatively good financial standing thanks to a recently awarded $3 million grant, the current cutbacks might force Rack to reduce salary costs. “Do we do it by cutting everybody’s hours or by cutting one person?” she said. “I’m not sure.” B’nai B’rith runs 38 such homes across the United States, and their directors are likely to face similar dilemmas if federal spending on the elderly is cut. “If the sequester were to go into effect in two months from now, that could affect our ability to serve residents we already have as well as bring new residents,” said Rachel Goldberg, B’nai B’rith’s director of aging policy. In the buildup to the March 1 deadline, B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Federations of North America, and many other Jewish groups are lobbying lawmakers in a bid to blunt reductions. In those efforts, Goldberg said, they have found friends and foes on both sides of the aisle. “At this point, parties themselves have pretty interesting patterns within their caucuses,” she said. “We’ve seen within the Republican Party there were disagreements. We’ve walked into Democratic offices and found less friendliness than expected, and the other way around.” When approaching politicians, Goldberg says, the most important thing to stress is that “spending cuts do not fall disproportionately on low-income citizens and elderly-spending programs.”
JTA Wire Service
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t’s not that I want to go outside at 5:30 in the morning. I don’t ever really want go out then, and most certainly I don’t want to at this time of year, when I know that the sun won’t rise for more than an hour and a half and the chill will insinuate itself between my fingers and my gloves and leave my hands clumsy with cold. But I have to go outside. I have no choice. My 5-year-old Tibetan terrier, a smallish dog, black and white and fuzzy all over, spotted so that once a little girl who saw him asked her mother “Why does that doggie look like a cow?,” and my boarder dog, my parents’ flood refugee, a squat, charming 2-year-old mutt with enough personality to make up for the leg length she’s missing, are dogs. Therefore, they are not toilet trained. Not going out with them simply is not an option. So I put on my tights and two pair of sweat pants and warm boots and shirt and hooded sweatshirt and fleece and gloves and winter coat, parboil in the elevator, and then head on out, juggling my iPhone, earbuds, and dog treats, occasionally sticking the wrong thing in my ear. And then I get outside. At this time of year the air is thin and clear and the sky is a very dark blue that lightens almost imperceptibly. Every shadow cast by every streetlight is distinct. Sometimes the moon is huge and low in the sky. It’s quiet. Sometimes a car will go by; sometimes I pass people delivering newspapers.
Occasionally I see other dogwalkers. Mainly, though, the city is mine. I live on the Upper West Side, and in the early mornings I walk north on Riverside Drive, with the river invisible beyond the trees on my left but the lights of Edgewater and Guttenberg shining beyond them, and the city asleep on my right. I walk up past Columbia and then turn by Grant’s Tomb and come back down along the top of the park. Then I can see the river glinting, and sometimes huge boats, their lights sparingly hung at front and at back, hulk and loom. Sometimes they glide by like ghost ships. I see River Road alight along the Hudson, the dark of the cliffs above, and apartment buildings starting to spark to life at the top. Walking with dogs is not the same as walking alone. I have to accommodate not only my own needs — which is to walk straight ahead very fast — but theirs. Darcy pulls on her leash, straining to run, diverting to say hello to any dog she sees. (My niece named her after her heartthrob, Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, but Jane Austen would not see the similarity. Darcy the man was handsome, remote, glacial, hiding shyness behind arrogance. Darcy the dog is promiscuous in her affections, tail-waggy, loving, hiding nothing behind anything. Of course, she really can’t hide anything. She is a dog.) Reggie, on the other hand, has an absolute need to
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smell everything. He moves slowly from one luscious garbage bag to the other. If there is a dead pigeon or squirrel or rat on the street (that doesn’t happen often but significantly more often than never) he will find it and have to be dragged from it. Evidently believing that his urine is golden, he will walk for blocks before finding the right place to spray it. I move down the street sandwiched by dogs, Darcy straining at the leash in front of me, Reggie ambling crookedly behind. The city allows dogs off leash in at least some parts of most parks from nine at night until nine in the mornings, and I often take advantage of that. On Sunday mornings I take the dogs to Central Park, where my friend Susan, her dog, Maccabee, and the two of us walk for hours, talking, talking, talking, and then calling for the dogs. On nice days there are so many dogs gamboling and people talking, walking, running, biking, rollerblading, and otherwise amusing themselves that it looks like an updated version of a work by Hieronymus Bosch. For years now together we have watched the seasons change in the extraordinary work of combined nature and art that is Central Park. The dogs love it too. There are so many piles of stuff to investigate, so many dogs to sniff at, so many puddles of mud to roll in. (Oh, no, Reggie! Stop that now!!) It’s hard to predict when dogs will run but sometimes something just clicks and they go. They run in great glorious circles, legs flat out so it looks as if they’re flying, just a few inches off the ground, their ears flowing in the wind. To look at them is to feel the joy of their muscles as their pent-up energy is released. It’s heartening, too, to see how the dogs always come back. They know where home is, and who loves them. They are astonishingly like small children in the playground, absorbed in their games, but checking every few minutes to make sure their grown-ups are still there. We always are still there. For me, dog walking is perfect. It’s exercise, but it doesn’t feel like it; you are taking care of the needs of a living being for which you are entirely responsible — but you’re taking care of your own at exactly the same time. It gets me out at times when I otherwise would be in, and then I get to own the streets as I never could when I have to share them. It gives me time to think — although I bring my iPhone and earphones often I don’t use them, or turn it on but then realized that I’ve tuned it out. I use the time and the hypnotic effects of the walk to think. I write much of what later goes on my computer in my head as I walk; in fact, most of this piece came to me on Riverside Drive. And it also gives me time to listen to aubiobooks. I’ve become a great customer of audible.com. Walking is a perfect way to listen to books; you don’t have to concentrate as intensely as you often do when you’re driving, and you can make your walk as long as want when you realize that you absolutely must hear the end of the story. All you have to do is adjust the volume when trucks rumble by. I know that some people don’t like dogs. They find them a huge responsibility. That is true. They find that they make the house harder to clean, and sometimes it can smell like dog. That is true as well. They say that it is expensive to pay for food, dogs, visits to the vet, and stays at a kennel or with a dogsitter. Yes, also true. But there are so many tradeoffs! Not only do dogs provide you with a foolproof reason to go out and walk, they also give you pure and uncomplicated love, which clearly does not replace the human love you get from other people but complements it perfectly. Once you have come back home to be greeted by your dog at the door, smiling at you, wagging his tail, loving you no matter what, you (and by that I suppose I mean I, but I also mean you) realize that no life is entirely complete without a dog.
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f you’ve been struggling with weight loss for years, we can help. Weight loss isn’t just about looking good. It’s about your overall well-being. Obesity puts you at risk for severe health problems and hampers your quality of life. Weight Loss for Life is an innovative, multi-disciplinary weight loss surgery program operating at both New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. We can help you make the most rewarding personal transformation, resulting in more energy, better health, and improved self-esteem. As pioneers in the field of bariatric surgery since 1996, our team has performed more than 5,000 surgeries, helping both men and women conquer severe obesity and experience extraordinary benefits. Weight loss surgery has been shown to cure diabetes, reduce hypertension, and help people live longer, richer, and more fulfilling lives. You are a candidate for surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40, or a BMI of 35 with health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, arthritis, or other problems. The new minimally invasive surgeries we’ve helped to develop — and are now teaching to surgeons all over the country — have proven to be the safest and most effective. Our program is nationally recognized as offering the only long-term solution to severe obesity. Weight Loss for Life has been honored by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) as a Bariatric Center of Excellence operating at the highest level. All of our surgeons are on the faculty of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, one of the nation’s top medical schools, as well as on the staff of New YorkPresbyterian, repeatedly chosen as one of “America’s Ten Best Hospitals,” according to U.S. News and World Report. At Weight Loss for Life, you will be cared for by worldclass bariatric surgeons 24/7 and by specially trained nurse practitioners and nutritionists. Ongoing support groups and behavioral health counseling emphasize the right eating habits and exercise routines and help you maintain your weight loss over time. Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. At Weight Loss for Life, our experts perform the four most effective weight loss procedures: gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal switch. After careful consultation, you and your physician will choose the one that’s right for you. For further information, call New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, (212) 3054000, or The Valley Hospital Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, (201) 251-3480.
Warren Geller named president and CEO of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
The Englewood Hospital and Medical transition to the foundation. It has moved Center Board of Trustees announced that up this plan to be effective one year earlier, the current executive vice president and allowing Geller to lead the medical center at chief operating officer, Warren Geller, has a pivotal time as it embarks on a major exbeen named president and chief executive pansion plan. Also, this will permit Duchak officer of Englewood Healthcare System and to devote his full time to the foundation. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Geller joined Englewood as executive The current chief executive officer, vice president and chief operating officer Douglas A. Duchak, will transition to a new in 2009. He was previously a senior vice role in fundraising, as he joins the team at president at Northern Westchester Hospital the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and was a director for 10 years at Mount Foundation. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. In his Warren Geller The EHMC board announced last May previous role at Englewood Hospital, he that as part of its leadership succession plan, Geller would was responsible for day-to-day operations and many of assume this role on January 1, 2014 and Duchak would Englewood Hospital’s recent strategic initiatives.
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Weight Loss for Life
If you are constantly struggling with your weight, you're not alone. At the Columbia University Centers for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, we regularly help seriously overweight adults for whom every diet they tried has failed. Our surgeons are distinguished leaders, innovators, and educators in the field of bariatric surgery. We have helped more than 5,000 people achieve and maintain weight loss through a combination of strategies and long-term, personalized care. Whether you see our world class physicians just over the George Washington Bridge at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center or at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, you will be making the right choice to attain your weight loss goals.
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The Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery
NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NYC The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 31
START THE NEW YEAR WITH A NEW LOOK!
Israeli vets formulate new vaccine for dogs
a serendipitous lab discovery led to a breakthrough vaccine for a fatal tick-borne disease. now investors are sought to take it commercial
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Welcome to Teaneck Radiology Center offering the best of both worlds.
• The expertise of radiologists from both Columbia WelcomeUniversity Department of Radiology to Teaneck Radiology Center and University Radiology Group • A community outpatient imaging center where • you get personalized attention The expertise of radiologists from both
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r. Shimon Harrus did not intend to find the world’s first vaccine against canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CMT), a sometimes fatal tick-borne disease in dogs. Instead, he was attempting to determine how long ticks must be attached to a dog’s fur in order to transmit CMT. “I was using bacteria I cultured in my lab, and all of a sudden I realized the two dogs in our experiment did not become sick, and the ticks I put on the dogs did not become infected,” Harrus says. “Then we performed a big study and we realized something important was going on.” The remarkable results of the experiments done by Harrus and his lab partner, Dr. Gad Baneth, over the past four or five years are outlined in a December 17, 2012 article in the journal Vaccine. Harrus is dean of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine in Rehovot. Baneth is a professor of veterinary medicine at the school. Harrus explains that CME is prevalent worldwide, and currently cannot be prevented aside from tick control. If dogs become infected, they must undergo a lengthy course of antibiotic treatment. “The vaccine developed by Profs. Harrus and Baneth is the first vaccine to prove effective against this disease,” said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum, the university’s technology transfer company. “The current lack of vaccine for CME, the growing awareness of the market and the growing market needs make this invention particularly attractive, and Yissum is currently looking for commercial partners for further development and commercialization purposes.” A bite from a brown dog tick passes Ehrlichia bacteria into the dog’s bloodstream. The disease may be acute or chronic. In the acute stage, several weeks
after infection and lasting for up to a month, the dog will have fever and lowered peripheral blood-cell counts. Some dogs progress to the chronic phase, which can lead to low blood-cell counts, bone marrow suppression and bleeding, often resulting in death. The potential vaccine was developed from Harrus and Baneth’s proprietary attenuated strain of Ehrlichia canis. They and their doctoral students assessed the formula on 12 dogs divided into three groups. Four dogs were inoculated (vaccinated) with the attenuated Ehrlichia strain twice, four dogs only once and the last group of four dogs served as the control group. The vaccinated dogs showed no clinical signs of disease after the inoculation, suggesting that the novel vaccine is safe and does not induce adverse effects. When the dogs were later infected with a virulent Ehrlichia field strain, the control dogs all developed a severe disease, whereas only three of the eight vaccinated dogs presented mild transient fever and the rest remained healthy. Harrus says funding is needed for continued research before the vaccine can be commercialized. “We need to make sure it works against other strains, we need to learn the mechanism by comparing the attenuated strain against wild strains, and we have many other research questions.” Now in his sixth year as head of the veterinary school, Harrus says his research is so important to him that he gave up most of his clinical work at the vet school’s affiliated animal hospital in order to remain active in the lab. His areas of interest are infectious and vector-borne diseases; how fleas and rodents carry and transmit disease to animals; and the Bartonella bacteria that cause diseases such as cat-scratch Israel21c.org fever.
A new smile for a new year at Teaneck Dentist
Are you thinking of revolutionizing your smile? Teaneck Dentist has an array of options, from whitening, veneers, crowns, implants, Invisalign, and Snap-on-Smile to help you achieve a new look. By correcting or improving the shade, shape, spacing, height, or width of your teeth, Teaneck Dentist can transform your smile into your best asset. An increasingly popular choice for improving a smile is porcelain veneers. These are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front and top surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile because of their simplicity and versatility. With veneers as an option, there is no reason to put up with gaps between your teeth, or teeth that are stained, badly shaped, or crooked. Doctors Bloch, Gertler, and Frohlich are all highly qualified and skilled in the field of porcelain veneers. You can see examples of their work at www.teaneckdentist.com. To explore further, call (201) 837-3000. Teaneck Dentist is located at 100 State St. in Teaneck.
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32 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
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NEIGHBORS’ TOP CHOICE FOR A FIVE STAR RETIREMENT.
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 33
Voted “Best Retirement Community,” 2012 and “Best Independent Living,” 2011, by Jewish Standard readers.
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st Century Dermatology LLC
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here are many common misconceptions, misinformation, and misunderstandings about how to lose weight. For example, I want to loose belly fat, so I should do a lot of sit-ups, right? Or, I’m doing all kinds of cardio but I’m not losing weight. What’s wrong? Here’s the real story: Sit-ups don’t help you lose belly fat. You can target specific muscles but you cannot target a specific area to lose fat. Where you loose fat first, second, third, and last is hidden in your genetic code. Wherever it went on most recently is where you will loose it first. Wherever it has been the longest, is where it will come off last. You need to be actively involved in three areas to loose body fat — cardiovascular exercise, weight training/ resistance training, and controlling what you put in your mouth. Cardiovascular exercise: Here’s an area of misconception. Many people think they need to go as hard as they can to loose weight. If you are sweating buckets, that’s good, right? Wrong. Going as hard as you can and sweating buckets usually indicates that you are exercising at a higher intensity than is healthy for you. The key to loosing body fat with cardiovascular exercise is keeping your heart rate in your target heart rate zone. Staying in your zone strengthens your heart, lowers your cholesterol, releases endorphins (those happy hormones), increases circulation (which also increases the available nutrients to your extremities), burns calories, and burns fat. Weight training/resistance training: The more tone your muscles are, the higher your metabolism is. The higher your metabolism is, the more calories you burn while you are sitting on the couch or even sleeping. Toning/building muscle
helps keeps your bones strong. Having tone/strong muscles helps you feel like you are a superhero when you easily have the strength to do your day-to-day activities like carrying heavy groceries. You may just end up looking like a super hero too. Controlling what you put in your mouth: I’m not talking about a diet although that may be appropriate for some. I’m talking about increased awareness of what is going in your mouth as opposed to mindless eating. Look up the nutritional charts of your favorite food. How large is a serving? How many calories are in a serving? How much fat? How much salt? How much sugar? What are the ingredients? You may change some of the things you eat simply by learning more about them. Perhaps the serving size is much smaller than you imagined. Sometimes those small bags of chips are technically three servings! Maybe that healthy looking yogurt is much higher in calories, fat, and sugar than you thought. Crackers are another innocent looking food. Check the package. The bottom line is: calories in, calories out. The food you eat minus daily activity and exercise. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest. It takes time and discipline. You can do it. The more regularly you exercise, the more you will be pleased with the results and the more you will want to do it. It becomes a constructive, affirming cycle. Happy exercising!
Lelia Marcus is an AFAA-certified personal trainer. For more information, call (201) 6578507 or visit http://TeaneckPersonalTrainer. com.
A community for healing at Elisha’s Gate
For many people, the experience of sickness, loss, or mourning can raise questions of faith and meaning, both existential and spiritual. Often these prompt the beginnings of a journey into tradition and community. Others with established connections to Judaism often discover their own community lacks the resources to offer meaningful support during these moments, leaving the individual feeling the paradox of isolation within the community. Elisha’s Gate of Wholeness and Healing seeks to reach out to individuals and families during these critical moments. Capturing the opportunity to consider one’s relationship to faith and tra34 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
dition and the legacy one hopes to pass down to children and grandchildren is another focus of this unique community. Our programs and services seek to provide opportunities for people to craft their personal Jewish narratives and teachings in a way that can be meaningfully transmitted to loved ones, friends and colleagues. Elisha’s Gate of Wholeness and Healing is one of the many and varied portals into Jewish life and community offered by Sha’ar Communities. For more information, go to http:// shaarcommunities.org e-mail info@ shaarcommunities.org, or call (201) 213-9569.
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 35
‘I Should Have Made This Move Years Ago’
We hear this all the time. Many of our independent seniors say they were tired of feeling isolated in their home, or living too far away from the children, or not having things – like delicious meals, a full schedule of activities, friends – easily accessible. Only they didn’t know where to go or were afraid to make changes. Fear no more.
Just ask Sisyphus
o arduously push a heavy rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down, and then have to start again is an ironic parody to an exercise routine. Just ask Sisyphus! In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king punished by the god Zeus for his unabashed hubris by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. Sisyphus was consigned to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration. Do not many seniors regard exercise and old age with the same wary attitude? Every senior was once 30 years old. They were young, aggressive, and imbued with a spirit of boundless optimism. Young bones, effortless walking, energy to spare, illimitable strength and a ceaseless eye focused upon the future — that seems to be a recipe for youth. Sisyphus is not their seer, but rather Atlas, who can uphold the weight of the world while standing tall in the sunshine. Many seniors cast a suspicious eye upon aging. They feel it robs them of those very qualities which imparted a lifelong concept of themselves. They feel no longer self-conceptualized. They are now defined, by themselves and society, as old, past their prime, useless, and at the precipice of the end game. Well, no wonder they can be depressed and self-limiting! Yet, a senior can still be an Atlas. We are bequeathed life’s complications just as when we were 30. It is how we lift the
burden that makes all the difference. Are we Sisyphus or Atlas? Do we approach our burdens as if a useless effort, or shoulder our loads with courage and optimism? There is no doubt that seniors have their own set of issues. Illness and disease can sap the very soul of you. Financial and family issues can add even a greater magnitude of worries. But to be an Atlas, you must believe that you can still dominate and control what seems a diminishing life. Atlas has strong legs and powerful shoulders. It enables him to dominant his world. Follow his example and control the weight of your world. I have witnessed seniors who have Parkinson’s and MS, who suffer from strokes and heart attacks, and who are encumbered by fibromyalgia and dementia exercise to remain strong and control their activities of daily living. They do not view their efforts as useless. Rather they view their efforts as self-affirming and prideful. They exercise to remain strong, to counter osteoporosis and to be as self-sufficient as possible. Illness, pain, discomfort be damned. They will balance their world upon strong shoulders and not permit the boulder to roll back down the hill.
Richard Portugal is the founder and owner of Fitness Senior Style, which exercises seniors for balance, strength, and cognitive fitness in their own homes. He has been certified as a senior trainer by the American Senior Fitness Association. For further information, call (201) 937-4722.
That’s the Pointe. Heritage Pointe.
Join Us on Thursday, January 24th
for a presentation on the current value of gold, silver, gems and other estate jewelry.
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center trains surgeons from abroad in robotic techniques
A group of surgeons from Latin America recently traveled to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center to learn advanced robotic surgery for the treatment of cancer. Nine surgeons from Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Venezuela watched live from a conference room as Dr. Michael Stifelman performed a complex procedure to remove a tumor in a patient with kidney cancer. During the interactive training session, Dr. Stifelman discussed each step of the surgery as he navigated four surgical robot arms. “We have built an extremely successful robotic surgery program using the da Vinci Si HD system, a revolutionary technology that has enhanced our precision in treating patients with kidney, prostate and gynecologic cancers,” explained Stifelman. “We want patients worldwide to experience the benefits of this technique and are proud to serve as a model of a successful robotic surgery program.” Upon completion of the live surgery, Stifelman also demonstrated how robotic surgery can be used in general procedures. Visiting surgeons had the opportunity to observe a second operation to treat a patient with a horseshoe kidney, a congenital disorder that causes the kidneys to fuse together. The minimally invasive technique allows for better outcomes, less pain, and a shorter recovery period. “This latest advancement is a game changer in terms of the way we perform surgery,” said Stifelman. “Our humanistic approach to highquality patient care certainly gives us an added edge, which was extremely important to incorporate into the training session.”
For a tour call Joel Goldin at 201-836-9260 .com www.heritagepointeofteaneck.com
Get in touch with natural pain relief
A Full Service Independent Rental Retirement Community
Heritage Pointe of Teaneck
600 Frank W. Burr Boulevard, Teaneck, New Jersey
Back in Touch Massage Therapy in Teaneck, in business for 11 years, uses natural and specific bodywork techniques to bring long-term pain relief. Therapists are trained to uncover and release long-held tightness, increasing range of motion, and to ease th pain associated with stressed
and overused muscles and joints. Readers are invited to come in for a free five-minute chair massage. Back in Touch Massage Therapy is located at 427 Water St., Teaneck. Call (201) 836-0006, or www.backintouchmassagetherapyNJ.com
36 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
THERE’S A TREASURE IN YOUR BACK YARD
by Jenny Brown
My name is Jenny and I have been a member of Feminine Fitness since August 2012. My good friend and co-worker Janet introduced me to your fine establishment and unmatched support system. I just wanted to reach out and thank you! My husband’s cousin and the best man at our wedding past away a little over a year ago. He was that guy with the shoulder to lean on when you were down, the smiling face that made the bad days better, the life of the party, the person you could never imagine living without. Ryan was someone my husband and I imagined growing old with...so the day Ryan died – I died. I ate my troubles away. I gained over seventy pounds in less than a year. And I absolutely hated myself. I couldn’t fit into the airplane seat and I barely fit in the chairs at work. I was FAT! My doctor told me I was morbidly obese. My sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol were all elevated. I went from a healthy person in her twenties to an unhealthy and extremely sick individual in a few short months. I was literally slowly killing myself. My life had become so out of control – and I needed to do something and FAST! That was when Janet introduced me to Z and Yaz and Adeena and Karla and Velma and all these amazingly supportive women I now have in my life. In a little less than 5 months, I have lost 65 pounds and I’m finally human again. I can play with my three-year-old-son, who was previously begging me to play with him. I have a whole new outlook on life. Although I am learning to give myself credit, I am forever indebted to Feminine Fitness and the wonderful group of women you have chosen to run it. Adeena invited me to all of her classes and encouraged me throughout the entire process of getting accustomed to the gym once again. I can recall one day asking her if she thought I could take a class because of the difficulty...Appalled she screamed; “Now why would you think you couldn’t do it! Of course you can”! And I did. Yaz and Z always have smiling faces and supporting me every step of the way. They talked to me about health and fitness and it really helps being able to relate. In the Step n’ Strength class one day – Velma said, “I feel honored to have you in my class.” I thought it was such a beautiful thing to say to someone. Karla literally went above and far beyond for me, and still does. She has become the core of my support system. She has become that person outside of my husband that I can count on. She gave me her phone number and told me to call or text anytime. She has made this journey such a great endeavor and celebrated with me through each and every small victory. Throughout hurricane Sandy, Karla never clocked out and made sure I was keeping on track. She listens and cares and understands where you’re coming from. The group of women that work at Feminine Fitness has changed my life in ways I didn’t know was possible and I don’t know how I could ever repay them. These women have been my life after death. They have helped me become that strong and confident wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, cousin, and niece that was hiding behind all that fat. I am so proud and thankful that I am member at Feminine Fitness. You are blessed to have a staff like yours and I am blessed to have them all in my life. I am forever indebted to Feminine Fitness and its supportive staff. To read more testimonials go to www.FeminineFitness.com click on Testimonials and get your 7 day pass.
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 37
Parkinson’s treatment may boost creativity
an israeli neurologist compiled studies on patients who suddenly started drawing, sculpting or writing while on dopamine-stimulating drugs.
abigail Klein leichman
sraeli neurologist Dr. Rivka Inzelberg noticed for years that patients taking dopamine-stimulating medication to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease didn’t bring her the customary box of chocolates at holiday time. Instead they brought drawings, sculptures, or poems they’d created despite never having been artistically inclined before.
“I saw it was becoming such a phenomenon, and I looked in the literature to see if anyone ever worked on this,” she says. “I found many articles about patients who have become artists in the context of being Parkinsonian.” Inzelberg has now written her own article, soon to be published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, which reviews
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and summarizes all the ism or gambling.” knowledge thus far accuOne of the case studies mulated about this pheshe read involved a medinomenon. In the article, cated Parkinson’s patient she also brings up related who painted compulsivequestions about the role ly around the clock, but of dopamine — a brain stopped when the dosage neurotransmitter that is was reduced. lacking in people with Inzelberg stresses that Parkinson’s — on human not all Parkinson’s patients creativity. on dopamine-stimulating Inzelberg, who treats drugs develop creativity Dr. Rivka Inzelberg’s patients at the Joseph Sagol area of interest is disor impulsiveness. She and Neuroscience Center at eases of the aging brain. several colleagues are curSheba Medical Center and rently building a battery teaches at the medical school of Tel Aviv of tests to measure creative skills and University, says the connection between impulse control in order to figure out why dopamine and artistic tendencies has some patients on dopamine stimulants been observed for years. develop these traits while others do not. The artist Vincent Van Gogh suffered “This is important for a better underfrom schizophrenia, which is characterstanding of the neurological basis of creized by the overproduction of dopamine. ativity in ‘normal’ humans. Is it possible And psycho-stimulants such as cocaine something else aside from dopamine is and Ecstasy increase activity of dopamine influencing this?” asks Inzelberg. in the brain. Her main area of interest over the past “People think these drugs help them 25 years of her medical practice has been become more creative, but there is no diseases of the aging brain, including systematic study that checked this, except both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Each anecdotal studies among addicts showing of these conditions affects millions of creativity or a high self-measure of talpeople worldwide. ent,” cautions Inzelberg. “I’m interested in the epidemiology of Too much dopamine may also cause the disease, what changes its onset and impulsive behaviors, because this brain course; genetic factors that influence the chemical is responsible for reward-driven course of the disease; and also concomibehavior and pleasure seeking. tant diseases.” “The feeling of happiness from She explains that people with rewarding activities is transferred by Parkinson’s disease seem to be protected dopamine in the brain,” she explains. from all kinds of cancer except for skin “It is possible that in patients with cancer; they actually have a higher risk Parkinson’s, when they take these drugs of developing skin cancer. “If we can find to ease their muscle disability, a side efwhy they have such low rates of almost fect can be a need to do things that bring every cancer, this would be significant for pleasure in a hyper way such as hobbysaving lives,” Inzelberg says.
(Resident, Lillian Grunfeld with her daughter, Dir. of Community Relations, Debbie Corwin)
Minds, not just medicine
hope Quality Patient Care means staying healthy with healthy relationships
Hope Quality Patient Care strives to keep clients and patients active in their surroundings with kindness and care, empowering them to identify their interests, experiences and philosophies of life. Hope’s aides and staff strive to maximize physical and mental functions of patients so that they may continue to participate in social networks and lead independent, purposeful lives. They aim not only to increase patient longevity but also to increase the number of healthy and active years of their lives. Hope Care believes the following will decrease the level of stress in the lives of their patients and works for each of their patients to receive them: • Having close relationships with family and friends; • Allowing them to feel in control of their decision-making; • Encouraging ability to manage strong feelings and impulses; • Maximizing choice to ensure they have freedom of mind; • Giving them a positive view of themselves and confidence in their strengths and abilities, and • Allowing them to find a positive meaning in their life despite any difficulties.
…where our residents maintain the level of independence they desire while receiving the care they need.
• Family owned community • Spacious, fully furnished apartments • Daily Lifestyle Activities to enrich mind, body & spirit • RN Director of Wellness Program • Respite Program available • Licensed by NYSDOH • Conveniently located on the Rockland/Bergen border
The Esplanade at Chestnut Ridge 168 Red Schoolhouse Rd. Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 845-620-0606 www.EsplanadeChestnutRidge.com
Visit our other locations at www.PromenadeSenior.com
38 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Come F eel Our Warmth
Women’s Digital Imaging of Ridgewood chosen for fitness Lelia Marcus Certified Personal Trainer research study
Research, a clinical research organization (CRO) serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and consumer health care industries, is conducting an investigational research study for a protein supplement and has chosen Woman’s Digital Imaging of Ridgewood (www.womensdigital.com) to give participants a DEXA Total Body Composition Exam at the beginning and conclusion of the study. DEXA total body composition is a quick and painless exam in which an overhead scanner assesses the ratio of fat to muscle throughout the body. The study needed the most accurate method of determining body composition for participants and determined that DEXA was more accurate than other common measurements such as skin fold caliper and Body Mass Index (BMI). Women’s Digital Imaging of Ridgewood is one of the only facilities in the area with DEXA Total Body Composition Analysis. “DEXA Total Body Composition Analysis is like a GPS for fitness,” said Dr. Lisa Weinstock, director of Women’s Digital Imaging of Ridgewood. “With health and fitness, as in travel, you have to know where you are to map where you want to go. DEXA tells you where you have too much fat in your body so you can plan an exercise program to eliminate it.” Body fat isn’t simply a matter of aesthetics but of health. Weinstock gives an example of a patient who was underweight but had a fat percentage on the high side. “If you are a woman who weighs only 98 pounds yet you have a body fat measure in the 40s, you’re at the same cardiac risk as a woman who weighs 300 pounds.” She said the opposite scenario is also important to know. “I have a patient who is heavy but works out several times a week and has good muscle mass. She is at less of a risk than the thin woman with not enough muscle!” Both patients had BMI measurements that were inaccurate. Weinstock recommends a DEXA total body exam for anyone who wants a more accurate ratio of muscle to fat. Personal trainers use DEXA analysis to plan exercise programs for clients. Physicians and nutritionists also use DEXA to assess patients with a wide variety of medical conditions from obesity to anorexia. For more information about DEXA Total Body Composition Analysis, or to make an appointment, contact Women’s Digital Imaging, 79 Chestnut St., Ridgewood, at (201) 444-4484.
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Healthy Kosher Cooking with Susie Fishbein
Wednesday, Feb. 20th 7-8:30 p.m. CareOne at Teaneck 544 Teaneck Road, Teaneck
An invitation from CareOne at Teaneck —
How Reiki relieves stress
What happens when we bump a knee? We instinctively put our hands on it to make it feel better. Reiki works the same way to relieve the “ouches,” or stresses, in our lives. As a psychotherapist and Reiki master, Jennifer Graf offers stress relief two ways. You may have difficulty sleeping, have headaches, unwarranted fears, poor concentration, learning difficulties, indigestion, colds, or eating, drinking and smoking issues. Reiki helps you experience your feelings, open your heart, and let go of stress. Reiki is recommended before and after surgery, is used along with other conventional treatments, and maintains energetic balance that can help in illness prevention. Mind-body techniques such as guided imagery and breath work may also be explored off the table and on the couch for a pyschotherapeutic approach. For more information, call (917) 562-0590 or www. jennifergraf.net.
Join us and Kosher by Design author Susie Fishbein, as she demonstrates her time-tested methods of preparing and serving delicious meals, followed by a book signing. Space is limited so respond early! RSVP by February 13th to email@example.com
CareOne at Teaneck • 544 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666 • 201-862-3300
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 39
Allendale raises awareness for American Heart Month
senior campus advocates healthy lifestyle through proper diet, exercise
ebruary is American Heart Month, and not just because of Valentine’s Day. It’s the time to recognize the strides being made to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. The Allendale Community for Mature Living, a leading provider of continuing care retirement living, is raising awareness by encouraging seniors to be heart healthy through proper diet and regular exercise. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year about 610,000 Americans have a new heart attack and an estimated 325,000 have a recurrent attack. Many first-ever heart attacks or strokes are fatal or disabling, so prevention is critical. Heart disease is the leading killer among both men and women aged 50 and over. To improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, health professionals at Allendale recommend regular check-ups with a personal physician to monitor glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. “Although these seem quite simple, you’d be surprised by the number of people who fail to make an annual physical exam appointment and, as a result, are at risk for stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, or diabetes,” said Dr. Stephen Sherer, medical director for The Allendale Community, and a board-certified cardiologist and internist. According to the CDC, making the following choices
can also help reduce the risks: • Follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications. • Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. • Take a brisk 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week. • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. An in-depth interactive Heart Attack Risk Assessment survey can be found online at www.heart.org. The tool is designed to help assess the risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next 10 years. Regular physical activity is essential to healthy aging. It can reduce the risk for heart disease, as well as lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. The CDC claims that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Even taking up activities such as gardening, dancing, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will provide positive health benefits. Seniors should check with their doctor before they start any exercise program. According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults who are inactive lose ground in four areas that are important for staying healthy and independent: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Exercise
and physical activity helps to maintain or at least partially restore those four areas. For more information visit nihseniorhealth.gov. “There’s a lot that seniors can do to stay heart healthy,” said Jolanta Giancarlo, vice president of The Allendale Community. “And it’s part of our mission to educate people about the importance of making smart lifestyle choices. It’s never too late to start.” Developed in stages beginning in 1967, The Allendale Community for Mature Living pioneered modern-day eldercare. Today, the continuing care senior campus remains physician-owned and operated, housing four full-service residences. In addition to The Atrium, where residents can utilize long-term care insurance and veteran’s benefits as partial or full payment for the monthly rental fee, The Allendale Community includes Carlton Court, a memory-care neighborhood; The Allendale Nursing Home, a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility; and The Rehabilitation Center at The Allendale Community, which provides subacute services to people of all ages who have suffered an illness or injury. Located in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Allendale, just off Route 17 South, the community also offers a respite short-term stay program as well as the Senior Social Club, an adult day program. For more information about The Allendale Community for Mature Living, call (201) 825-0660 or visit www. allendalecommunity.com.
Saturday, January 26th, 1-3pm
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Wishing you a Happy Passover
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“My body has become more lean, ﬁt and toned. I physically and mentally feel so much better. All of the components of the program worked for me especially the accountability. I love the staff and the support they give to me to maintain my new healthy life style.”
After care is so important to a patient’s recovery … once a patient is released from the hospital the real challenges often begin – the challenges they now have to face as they try and regain their strength and independence.
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40 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
After care is so important to a patient’s recovery … oncew hospital the real challenges often begin – the challenges t try and regain their strength and independence.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 41
SAVINGS FOR THE NEW YEAR!
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New test by ENT and Allergy Associates helps diagnose, prevent oral cancer
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mother of three in her early forties. An engineer in his mid-fifties. An artist in her late thirties. Oral cancer is rising among women, non-smokers and young people. ENT and Allergy Associates (ENTA) and OralCDx are working together to reduce the rate of the disease. In fact, in the year since the OralCDx BrushTest became available through ENTA’s 130 physician/36 clinical office practice, the partnership has helped save dozens of lives. When Dr. Daniel Grinberg, an otolaryngologist at ENTA’s West Nyack, N.Y., office, noticed a small white spot on the tongue of one of his patients, he brushed it with the BrushTest. The laboratory result showed abnormalities, and the non-smoker, who is in her forties, was subsequently diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma, skin cancer of the mouth. The patient’s early diagnosis not only likely saved her life, but also potentially saved her from years of aggressive and debilitating treatments. “We are seeing an increasing number of non-smokers with oral pre-cancer and cancer,” says Grinberg. “The OralCDx BrushTest makes it possible for me to test common looking spots that I see, even if the patient has no known risk factors.” Dr. Daniel Scher, who practices in ENTA’s Wayne office, had a similar experience with a non-smoking patient who does not routinely drink. Scher noticed a red spot on the patient’s tongue and brushed it. As a follow up to
the BrushTest, the patient was diagnosed with oral cancer early enough that it potentially saved his life. “Finding pre-cancer in a patient who is in his early forties is, unfortunately, no longer as uncommon as it used to be,” explains Scher. “Studies have shown that an increasing number of younger people are diagnosed with oral cancer largely due to the human papilloma virus (HPV) and other unknown risk factors.” To date, the OralCDx BrushTest has detected over 50,000 abnormalities, helping to prevent thousands of cancers and potentially saving thousands of lives. OralCDx BrushTest (www.thebrushtest.com) is an easy, painless and definitive way for doctors to test the common small white and red oral spots that most people have in their mouth at one time or another. The BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells (known as dysplasia) that, if undetected, may develop into oral cancer. The OralCDx BrushTest is a non-invasive test for oral pre-cancer and cancer. ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP (www.entandallergy. com) is the largest and most comprehensive ear, nose, throat, allergy and audiology practice in the nation with 36 offices and over 130 physicians. Each location provides access to a full range of services. The practice has a clinical alliance with the Mount Sinai Hospital for the treatment of diseases of the head and neck and a partnership with the American Cancer Society to educate and treat patients with smoking disorders and cancer.
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Touro proposes plan for new medical school in Catskill region
Plans were announced this month that would allow the long-vacant Horton Hospital complex in Middleton, N.Y., to be reborn as a regional medical and educational center anchored by Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM), an affiliate of New York City-based Touro College and University System. The final approval process for the new school is under way. When fully operational, the new medical school would enroll more than 500 students and occupy up to 110,000 square feet of space in the complex. In addition to the medical school, a portion of the space may be devoted to other health science-related schools. Touro would enter into a long-term lease with the property’s owner, The Danza Leser Group, and would invest $24 million to renovate the facility. Boosted by $1 million from the State of New York’s Regional Council Program, the initiative would create some 800 jobs. “Expanding Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in the former Horton Hospital site would offer a rare opportunity to meaningfully improve the health care and educational systems and provide an economic boost to an underserved area of New York State,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president and CEO of Touro College and University System. “This planned extension of TouroCOM’s main campus would help ensure that the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions have sufficient physicians to meet the growing needs in the coming decades.” Currently located on Harlem’s 125th Street, TouroCOM would offer a four-year degree program for physicians at the new campus, the school’s largest-ever expansion. TouroCOM is also considering the inclusion of training physical and occupational therapists, nurses and pharmacists. “Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine would provide our residents with quality health options while adding much-needed jobs to our region,” said Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana. “I welcome them to our county and look forward to their success in our community.” “The health indicators for our region are as bad as the worst places in the United States,” said Dr. Ron Israelski, a prominent physician in Orange County who helped make this medical school possible. “So in addition to the national trend that we need more doctors for an aging population, we need more schools for doctors. With TouroCOM, we address local needs of good health and quality higher education while giving a boost to the region’s economy.” “Our approach to medical education is strongly connected to community service and community engagement,” said Dr. Robert Goldberg, dean of TouroCOM. “We look forward to working in close cooperation with a broad spectrum of local constituencies to make long-term improvements in health outcomes throughout the region.” “Osteopathic medicine places special emphasis on teaching and learning in the areas of primary care, and adopts a holistic approach to the patient,” said Dr. Jay Sexter, CEO of TouroCOM. “Medical students nationwide are increasingly turning to osteopathic medicine because of its capacity to enhance the healing process. The Hudson Valley region would reap the benefits.” Touro College and University System is one of the largest health care educational systems in the nation and offers a wide array of degree programs in medical and health sciences fields. In addition to colleges of osteopathic medicine in New York City and the one in Middletown, the Touro system also includes colleges of osteopathic medicine in Nevada and California. Touro has colleges of pharmacy in both New York and California, as well as graduate and undergraduate schools of health sciences on Long Island, in Manhattan, and in Nevada and California. Together with New York Medical College, Touro College and University System educates approximately 5,300 health sciences students annually.
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42 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Study shows Zylast antiseptic products kill more than 99% of E. Coli, other bacteria on contact
new round of extensive time-kill testing on Zylast antimicrobial products showed that more than 99.99 percent of disease-causing germs were destroyed within 15 seconds, making Zylast the most effective antimicrobial on the market. The Zylast products, including an alcohol-based antiseptic, a water-based antiseptic lotion, and a foaming hand soap, were tested against a range of 25 different bacteria. The list of bacteria tested is standard, and was developed to ensure a broad, representative spectrum of organisms was evaluated. Among the bacteria tested were E. Coli, a leading cause of food poisoning, S. Pneumoniae, a primary source of pneumonia and meningitis, and Acinetobacter baumannii, a drugresistant bacteria that causes many fatal hospital infections and is prevalent in soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of the most prevalent and dangerous of these drug-resistant bacteria are Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE). Testing was performed with the Zylast Antiseptic against both. Not only did the Antiseptic destroy more than 99.99 percent of these bacteria on contact, it was still killing more than 90 percent of both VRE and MRSA one hour after it was applied. All Zylast products have been shown to be persistent for six hours, and now have demonstrated rapid, broadspectrum kill as well. In-vitro testing on skin substitutes has shown that all Zylast products are still killing at or above 97 percent of disease-causing bacteria at one hour, and remaining above 90 percent at four hours after application. When the Zylast Antiseptic was tested, it was shown to be more than 100 times more effective against Norovirus than alcohol alone (Liu et al, BioScience Results). Previous testing has also been performed against the H1N1 flu, where the Zylast Antiseptic killed 99.99 percent of the virus within 15 seconds. Innovative BioDefense Inc, the creators of Zylast, believe the combination of increased immediate kill and long-lasting persistence can significantly reduce infection rates in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and businesses. The Zylast products were 100 times more effective than necessary to exceed the FDA Healthcare Personnel Handwash requirement, and passed the Surgical Scrub test as well. “The Zylast line of products was developed to provide both immediate and persistent protection against germs,” said Dr. Robert Sloane. “Competing alcohol sanitizers only kill bacteria until the product evaporates, after about 15 seconds. This greatly limits their effectiveness -— immediately after application, hands can again become contaminated. As many bacteria become drug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections become even more dangerous — 90,000 people are killed by these infections each year in the United States alone.” Studies have shown that even in hospitals, healthcare workers only comply with hand hygiene protocols about 50 percent of the time, leaving patients vulnerable nearly half the time. Time-kill testing is specified by the FDA, and is a laboratory test designed to determine how well, and how long, a given product eliminates bacteria. A known amount of the bacteria is put into a solution of the antimicrobial product and left for the specified time — 15, 30, or 60 seconds — and then counted to determine how effective the agent was in destroying the microbe. The testing was performed by one of the foremost independent microbiology labs in the country, BioScience Laboratories.
A recent investigation demonstrated the shortcomings of standard alcohol sanitizers. Encompassing 91 separate facilities, the study, published in the Journal of Infection Control, showed that long-term care facilities that relied on alcohol sanitizers were six times more likely to suffer a Norovirus outbreak than those relying on handwashing alone. Homes that used alcohol sanitizers were more likely than not to have an outbreak within the year. This can be explained by two factors: alcohol sanitizers have no persistence, and are often ineffective against viruses. This combination of rapid, broad-spectrum kill and persistence has significant clinical importance. Using a product with persistence was shown to decrease illness-related absenteeism in elementary schools by 42
percent (Dyer et al), as compared to 0-19 percent with alcohol alone. In a pilot hospital study of more than 6,000 patients, hospital-acquired infection rates were reduced by 44 percent across three different wards using the Antiseptic. Zylast is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a full line of antiseptic products for use by health care professionals, businesses and consumers. Zylast products, based on proprietary and patented combinations of pharmaceutical ingredients, are owned by Innovative BioDefense Inc, a privately held company headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif. For information or product ordering, contact Jay Harmon at (914) 523-4000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Hospital inquiries are welcome.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 43
Good news for knees
in a groundbreaking advance, a novel israeli implant provides a scaffold for the body to regenerate true joint-protecting cartilage.
abigail Klein leichman
f you get a cut, break a bone or scrape an elbow, your bloodstream brings the injury all the necessary nutrients for healing. But if your cartilage gets damaged, you’re out of luck. This flexible soft tissue that cushions joints — especially in the knee — has no blood vessels and therefore little ability to heal itself. However, a privately held Israeli medical device company is now offering a safe and effective novel offthe-shelf cartilage regeneration solution in a global market worth an estimated $1.6 billion annually. CartiHeal’s trademarked Agili-C can be implanted in a single-step arthroscopic procedure. In clinical studies, it was shown to regenerate true hyaline cartilage (the most abundant type of cartilage in the human body) after six months. Founder and CEO Nir Altschuler says that this is a breakthrough in the field — the “Holy Grail” in orthopedics — because other experimental treatments generate only “hyaline-like” cartilage, which is actually a nonlasting fibrous tissue rather than the real deal. “Our clinical results, to date, confirm rapid cartilage and bone formation, as clearly visible on MRIs and X-rays,” says Altschuler. “Patients are reporting significant improvement in pain level and return to normal
function, including sports.” The implant has earned the European Union’s CE Mark of approval, and the company is currently running post-marketing clinical studies at leading centers in Europe.
Going beyond pain relief
There are approximately 1.2 million cartilage repair procedures performed annually worldwide, and these surgeries mainly aim for pain relief since it hasn’t been possible until now to regenerate true hyaline cartilage. Altschuler says Agili-C has the potential to heal the problem at an early stage and halt further joint degeneration, and therefore might have the potential to prevent the need for more radical procedures, such as knee replacement, down the road. The implant provides a scaffold that enables stem cells to climb up from the bone marrow, form vessels within the scaffold and regenerate tissue, Altschuler explains. Within a few months, the top layer becomes cartilage while the bottom layer becomes bone — each identical to the body’s own tissues. The regenerated cells gradu-
ally dissolve the implanted scaffold and the joints are nearly as good as normal. The first patient to receive Agili-C was a 47-year-old Slovenian man, a former athlete whose knee cartilage was damaged due to a volleyball injury six years before the June 2011 surgery. Unable to enjoy sports, he suffered on and off from knee swelling and pain. Six months after receiving the Agili-C implant, the patient was on the ski slopes. A year from his surgery, he completed a 180K cycling marathon, according to company officials. “The X-ray and MRI images are promising,” says Altschuler. “At six months you can see signs of cartilage formation and at a year it is nearly fully regenerated. The newly formed cartilage is hyaline cartilage, the body’s native cartilage, distinguished by its specific type of collagen.” Altschuler founded CartiHeal in 2009 as a portfolio company of Peregrine Ventures’ Incentive Technological Incubator. Today, CartiHeal is backed by a recent financing round of up to $10 million from Accelmed, Access Medical Ventures and Elron.
The Flu is Here
Jacqueline Kates, Community Relations Coordinator - Holy Name Medical Center TV and press coverage of this season’s flu outbreak make it very clear – “The flu is here: BIG TIME,” to quote Dr. Thomas Birch, President of the Medical Staff at Holy Name Medical Center and an infectious disease specialist. As have other hospitals in New Jersey and throughout the country, Holy Name Medical Center has seen a significant increase in influenza-like illness. Every flu season, Holy Name prepares to ramp up for a higher volume of patients, both in our emergency department and our inpatient beds, if necessary, and we staff accordingly. The public can be assured that the Medical Center is well prepared to treat patients throughout flu season, but an unexpectedly early and severe flu season can place added strain on the facilities and staffing levels. A triage system is used to ensure that the most serious patients get the care they need first. Patients with flu-like symptoms should first seek the advice of their primary care provider, who, in most instances, can deliver the healthcare services needed to treat the flu. However, if you become acutely ill with the flu – with such symptoms as constant vomiting or difficulty breathing, or symptoms that temporarily improve but return with a higher fever and a cough that’s worse, you should seek emergency care. We take careful precautions within our facilities to limit the spread of flu, including increased use of masks and respiratory equipment as well as isolation of patients. The precautions are important, since individuals with the flu are contagious 24 hours before they are symptomatic. You can help to prevent the spread of flu. To protect yourself and others, the New Jersey Hospital Association urges residents of New Jersey to take commonsense precautions: • Wash your hands often. • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. • Stay home from work or school if you are sick. • Don’t visit patients at the hospital if you are not feeling well. Most importantly, if you haven’t gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. According to public health officials, this year’s combination of flu vaccine has been very effective against the strains of flu circulating this season. The flu shot is especially important for people over age 65, people with chronic health conditions that could be aggravated by the flu, as well as people who spend time with infants less than 6 months of age or with individuals who have a chronic condition or compromised immune system.
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those active cultures may help digestion and the immune system
hether it is yogurt that makes you fit or pills with active cultures, companies claim that these beneficial bacteria help regulate digestion, boost the immune system and even reduce lactose intolerance. But, do we really need this stuff? Well, yes and no. The human body is home to some 100 trillion bacteria — that’s 10 times the number of cells in the human body — and among them are hundreds of strains of good bacteria. Most people enjoy a healthy colony of helpful microorganisms in their digestive tract, renewed through foods like cheese, yogurt, bananas and sauerkraut. “There should be more than 550 kinds (of good intestinal flora) in our gut totaling about 6 pounds,” says Nancy Parlette, a certified digestive health specialist with the Loomis Institute. “They feed off the fiber in our foods and are a huge part of our immune system.” It’s a naturally occurring symbiotic relationship. These beneficial bacteria aid in digestion by fermenting unused nutrients. They also destroy harmful bacteria, bolster the immune system and produce vitamins like biotin and vitamin K — and we’re not the only species that rely on microflora for proper health. Cows, for example, get the bulk of their nutrients from the microbes in their fourchambered stomachs rather than from the food they eat directly. The bacteria ferment and digest cellulose in plants, and the cow absorbs the nutrient-rich byproducts. They also absorb the microbes themselves as they die off, which supply additional protein and energy. Green iguanas, too, rely on microorganisms to break down the fibrous plant material that comprises the bulk of their diet —- and the species has developed a rather unsavory strategy to seed their systems. Babies frequently nibble on the excrement of adult iguanas, which contains enough of the beneficial bacteria to jump-start a colony. Thankfully, humans have more palatable options for bolstering good bacteria. Of late, grocery shelves are packed with all manner of foods and supplements intended to replenish our digestive systems. Over time, a poor diet, stress and the use of certain medications can kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut. “We either starve them to death by not eating anything with fiber or we kill them off by taking all the pills or treatments like antibiotics, antacids, steroids, chemotherapy, and radiation,” Parlette explains. Medical research has shown a strong correlation between healthy, active colonies of microflora and healthy bodies — there is even evidence to suggest that a daily probiotic supplement can alleviate chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and lactose
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intolerance. Research also shows a possible link between probiotics and a reduced risk of colon cancer, obesity, urinary tract infections, tooth decay, skin problems, and allergies. “Probiotics have not classically been proven to help in many of the disorders of digestion. There have been no classic studies which compare them against a placebo with a measurable endpoint that proves probiotics are better than a placebo,” says Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez, author of “The Acid Reflux Solution” and a frequent guest on the TV shows “The Doctors,” “Good Morning America” and “The View.” “That being said, there are many meta analysis that show that probiotics may help treat H. pylori ulcers, diarrhea due to antibiotics, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome,” Rodriguez says. “I tell my patients to go ahead and take them along with accepted, proven medical therapy. It can’t hurt.” Different strains of probiotics offer different benefits, so be sure to read the label carefully when choosing a supplement or supplemented food. The packaging should include the types of bacteria included and define the potency by billions of cells, which will determine how much you need to consume to reap the benefits. Parlette recommends a multi-strain, daily probiotic supplement that contains both lactobacillus for the small intestine and bifidobacterium for the large intestine. For daily maintenance, choose a regimen that contains 20-50 billion cells. Supplements typically offer more bacteria for the buck than supplemented foods like yogurt, cheese and cereal. The fine print in one yogurt commercial, for example, states that it must be eaten three times a day to get the full benefits, while most supplements found in the vitamin aisle pack all you need into one small pill. To get the most out of the supplements, cut back on sugar and white flour, which feed the harmful bacteria, Parlette says. Instead, focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which contain the fiber to feed the beneficial bacteria. Also, eat plenty of naturally probioticrich foods like cottage cheese, bananas, artichokes, pickles, sourdough bread, and Creators.com miso soup.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 45
A Reason to Smile
Have the smile of your dreams with porcelain veneers.
Controlling acid reflux
identifying the clues and treating the causes of indigestion
ixty-four-year-old Kate Levin knows to avoid eating any tomato-based sauce products in the late afternoon or early evening. “If I eat anything with a red sauce — spaghetti, pizza, whatever it might be — I’ll have indigestion all night and won’t be able to sleep.” Levin also sometimes suffers from a nagging cough that her doctor says is caused by acid reflux. “My doctor has given me some medication to take, and sometimes when I don’t take the medicine I can really tell the difference,” she says. Photo of Our Patient Indigestion problems aren’t limited to seniors. John Lund, 24, also has acid reflux. A fit, athletic law enforcement professional, he takes a specialist-prescribed medication every day. Lund says knowing his paternal Richard S. Gertler, DMD, FAGD grandfather died of esophageal cancer at age 55 makes taking care of his acid reflux now, as a young man, especially Michelle Bloch, DDS important. Ari Frohlich, DMD Levin and Lund are two of the almost 125 million Americans whose source of misery begins with the conVisit us on Facebook sequences of what they eat. There are several kinds of acid reflux, explains Dr. Jamie Koufman, a pioneering laryn100 State Street · Teaneck, NJ gologist and director of the Voice Institute of New York. Koufman says a backup of the stomach contents into the throat causes laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR, the www.teaneckdentist.com medical term for reflux in the throat. LPR is also known Convenient Morning, Evening & Sunday Hours as airway reflux and silent reflux. Silent reflux describes when a person is unaware that the problem is actually acid reflux and 0003384451-01_0002872222-01.qxd 10/24/12 9:41 AM Page 1may think they have postnasal drip, allergies or asthma. Koufman, who is also a professor of clinical otolaryngology at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of the New York Medical College, has been studying the frightening 850 percent increase in reflux-related esophageal cancer and 3384451 the acidification of the American diet since the 1970s. According to Koufman, the clues lie in the tissues of GRAF, JENNIFER the larynx, or voice box, that show evidence of a digestive enzyme called pepsin. Pepsin is manufactured in the SWEETWOOD stomach, and the backflow of stomach acid and pepsin is corrosive. 201 DEC Symptoms of reflux are hoarseness, chronic throatvm clearing, cough, choking episodes, trouble swallowing, a lump-in-the-throat sensation, postnasal drip, sinusitis, LCSW This ad is heartburn, and indigestion. asthma, sore throat, copyrighted by North Jersey Media Group and may not be Eating carefully is important, says reproKoufman, who is the
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co-author of the book “Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure.” The book is a crash course on acid reflux, which covers the history of the disease and helpful hints. Koufman recommends a two-week “acid detox.” For 14 days, avoid consuming any acidic foods, and fill your meals with fish, poultry, tofu, melons, bananas, oatmeal, whole-grain breads and cereals, mushrooms, and greens. “Eat close to the earth — things like grain, poultry, fish,” she says. “Grains are good; almost all vegetables.” Avoid fried food, chocolate and soft drinks. Another New York-based physician, Dr. Nieca Goldberg, author of “Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health,” also recommends avoiding peppermint, caffeinated drinks, citrus juices, tomato juice, and fatty foods. Goldberg says when she was younger she suffered with acid reflux in the form of a sharp pain in her chest as well as a “sick feeling.” “I was starting my practice, working on a research project, and generally juggling several heavy balls simultaneously,” she writes in her book. “I was drinking a great deal of coffee. “I went to my doctor, who diagnosed acid reflux and suggested appropriate medication. I got better, but having the pain of acid reflux made me more aware of how frightening such chest pain can be.” She says gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD, is often cured with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Both Koufman and Goldberg recommend “closing the kitchen” after 8 p.m., as late-night meals and snacks provoke indigestion. “Eating earlier in the evening will allow the stomach to empty before you lie down to sleep,” says Goldberg. “Raise the head of the bed to keep the esophagus above the stomach,” Goldberg says. “People who sleep on their left sides seem to do better than on their right.” Other quick fixes include giving up smoking, avoiding wearing clothing that is too tight, and giving up exercising directly after a meal, says Koufman. Finally, Goldberg recommends maintaining a healthy weight and letting your doctor know if you are following the above-mentioned recommendations and are still having symptoms of acid reflux, GERD or LPR. Creators.com
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The empty square in the center of Brussels’ Maimonides educational complex.
tos by Cnaan Liphshiz
Jews move, schools periled in Belgium
France and holland also experience a flight from the urban centers
BRUSSELS – On the third floor of the Belgian capital’s oldest Jewish school, Jacquy Wajc pauses to listen to the eerie silence that hangs in the hallways. Established in 1947 as a testament to Belgian Jewry’s post-Holocaust revival, the Athenee Maimonides Bruxelles school once accommodated 600 students in its spacious building in downtown Brussels but now has only 150. Enrollment entered a free fall 10 years ago as Jews left the area for the suburbs and were replaced by immigrants, many of them Muslims, who made Jewish parents believe the area was unsafe. “It breaks my heart,” says Wajc (pronounced “vights”), president of the Maimonides school. “I remember when you couldn’t hear a thing this time of the day over the raucous PE class.” As anti-Semitic attacks spiked during the second Palestinian intifada in the early 2000s, parents who themselves were proud Maimonides alumni enrolled their children elsewhere, citing security concerns. With fewer students, the school went massively into debt; Maimonides now owes various government bodies a total of $8 million. This year, Maimonides’ staff has stepped up efforts to find an alternative locale in the suburbs. If their bid fails, the school may shut down later this year, Wajc said — a development that would complete the silent exodus of Jews from central Brussels. “The story of Maimonides is the story of Brussels’ Jewish community and its growing unease in the city,” said Joel Rubinfeld, a Maimonides alumnus and co-chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Parliament. It’s not only Brussels. Across Europe, Jews have quietly abandoned long-inhabited neighborhoods in central urban areas for remote suburbs. Unlike in the United States, where the Jewish flight to the suburbs often was part of a larger migration of the affluent from increasingly crime-ridden inner cities, in Europe the wealthier urban precincts are typically the more central ones. But in a number of cities, neighborhoods once teeming with Jewish life have become no-go zones for Jews — especially if they wear a kippah. The Jewish population of 80,000 in Marseille, France, has almost completely cleared out of the heavily Muslim city center it inhabited until the 1980s. Similar migrations have taken place in another French city, Lyon, as well as in Amsterdam and even Antwerp — home to one of the last European Jewish communities to live and work almost exclusively in an urban center. “It’s not happening everywhere but is happening in France, Belgium, and Holland,” said Dina Porat, head of Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry. “Some leave to improve their quality of living, others because they feel unsafe as Muslims move in. For some, it’s a combination of both.” Since the second intifada began, attacks against Jews have more or less doubled in France, Spain, and the Benelux, where a total of 600,000 Jews live. Between 2009 and 2011, the Belgian government agency that monitors antiSemitism recorded an average of 82 incidents a year, double the level recorded in
see BelgiuM page 48
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Belgium From page 47
2002-04. Most of the incidents occurred in Brussels. “Walking with a kippah is unsafe in many other European cities,” Rubinfeld said. Even before last year, when a Muslim extremist murdered three Jewish children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in France, security was very tight around Maimonides, Wajc said. Since then, the police have beefed up their presence outside the school, an 80,000-square-foot complex that looks more like a top-secret military facility than a school. Maimonides has no windows and its
exterior is fitted with armor plating. Its massive metal doors have no markings. The entrance leads to an inspection zone where security guards and cameras welcome arrivals from behind bulletproof glass. Such intensive measures weren’t necessary in 1945, when Seligman Bamberger, an educator who survived the Holocaust, first laid the groundwork for what would become Maimonides. “He placed a table and a chair on the platform of the Gare du Midi train station and asked random children if they were Jewish,” Wajc recounted. Within two years, Bamberger had attracted 100 children, whom he taught in a local community center. In 1947, the
Children playing in a physical education class at the Maimonides school in Brussels.
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school was established formally at its current address near the train station. The area used to be “the ideal location” "Quality craftsmanship for a Jewish school, Wajc said, because at affordable prices" of the approximately 100 Jewish families who lived nearby and sold produce in the commercial area. Dozens hung on until the early 1990s, but now only three Jewish families remain, he said. As their children and businesses grew, the Jews from the station area began moving to the greener and more affluent suburbs of Forest and Uccle, said Rubinfeld, Shomer Shabbos who is a former president of the CCOJB Cell: 732-600-0229 Fully Insured umbrella organization that represents Office: 201-530-5285 NJ Lic #13vh04252700 Belgium’s 20,000 French-speaking Jews. Please visit customer testimonial page www.Goldman&Goldman.com Two more Jewish schools opened to accommodate the new arrivals: Ganenou, We beat Home Depot kitchen installation estimates by 20% the largest, with about 600 students, and the smaller Beth Aviv. Both schools teach in French, while Maimonides teaches its Francophone pupils in Flemish from the third grade on — an approach that is S c h e d u l e a F R E E D e n t a l E va l u a t i o n important for bridging the cultural divide f o r y o u r p e t b y o u r s t a f f T O D AY ! ! ! between the country’s Flemish speakers and its French-speaking Wallonians, Rubinfeld said. Meanwhile, Arab immigrants graduALL DENTAL SERVICES AND PRODUCTS ally took the place of the departed Jews. Today, the 0003235969-01area around Gare du Midi is considered unsafe, especially after Family Friendly Petcare TEANECK ANIMAL CLINIC & SPA dark. 2/9/12 “The area has an immigrant populaProper dental care is as tion that doesn’t have a very favorable OPEN
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attitude to Jews,” said Agnes Bensimon, an employee of the Israeli Embassy in Brussels and a former member of the Maimonides parents association. “On top of that, it’s just like any other poor urban area.” During the second intifada, assailants attacked Bensimon’s son, Nethanel, in the metro station. Similar attacks were carried out against a number of other Maimonides students. The school responded by instructing students to disembark at a more distant station and walk the distance to school. Location and language are not the only differences between Maimonides and Brussels’ other Jewish schools. Maimonides does not accept pupils who are not Jewish according to halachah, Jewish law. With Belgian Jewry’s estimated 40 percent intermarriage rate, this further diminishes the pool of potential students. “The assimilation makes me very uncertain about the future 35 years from now,” Wajc said. “But here and now it means we’re not competing with the other schools as we appeal to parents with different sensibilities. Only a few years ago there were enough of them. “They will once again send their kids to us — if we get out of here in time.”
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‘Jijitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde’
a journalist experiences chasidic life in an odd Couple Brooklyn setting
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hat would happen if a pretty, well-educated, secular journalist experiences a horrible breakup, finds herself broke, and ends up living with a jujitsu-practicing atheist rabbi in a chasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn? So goes the hilarious “Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde,” a new book by Rebecca Dana, a disgruntled fashion reporter for the Daily Beast who is forced to seek shelter in Crown Heights solely because of its affordable rent. Smart and biting, the book describes what happens when Dana’s aspirations suddenly come crashing down and how the world of Chabad-Lubavitch helped her get back on her feet. Dana writes in a style similar to David Sedaris’, her prose peppered with amusing anecdotes about bat mitzvah lessons, her lonely childhood in Pittsburgh, and a search for some trace of humanity in the cutthroat world of Tina Brown’s Daily Beast. The book does not offer a road map to spiritual growth or self-discovery, but it does provide one paradigm for how a generation raised on the daydreams of Nora Ephron and Carrie Bradshaw can find meaning beyond a life of shoes, parties, and bacon. Chavie Lieber: Can you give us a quick elevator pitch about what the book is about? Rebecca Dana: The book is the nine months I spent living in the Lubavitch chasidic community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I was roommates with a 30-yearold bass-playing, jujitsu-practicing, lapsed ultra-Orthodox rabbi while working as a fashion reporter for Tina Brown. The book sets up the contrast, and in some cases the comparison, of these two very different worlds that are geographically jammed right against each other. On the one hand, I talk about the sort of glitzy, glamorous media and fashion world of Manhattan, and on the other hand this very traditional, very religious world of Brooklyn. Only a half-hour on the subway train separates them, and yet they couldn’t be more different. It’s a funny, “Odd Couple” story of me living with this rabbi, of all people, and our cultural exchange: He would invite me to Shabbat dinner and events in the community because I was curious about the life they were living, and I, in turn, would take him to movie premieres and events
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Journalist Rebecca Dana chronicles her time living with a lapsed Chabad rabbi in Brooklyn in her new book, “Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde.”
in Manhattan because he was curious about the secular life. CL: This book has a really loaded title and could be misleading for anyone looking for a martial arts book, a religion book or a fashion book. Why the complicated title? RD: After I wrote my 90-page book proposal, my literary agents told me to come up with a title. I was suggesting very milquetoasty neutral things. I lived on Crown Street in Brooklyn, so I suggested calling it “Crown Street,” and my agents said no to all literary suggestions. Finally I suggested calling it “Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde,” which I thought was the most ridiculous, literal version. And they said, “Actually, yes!” It’s kind of a mouthful, I know, but it also makes it stand out. I hope it hints at the humor of the book but will also be taken seriously. CL: Can you tell us about your struggles in the book? RD: I came to New York from Pittsburgh with a very clear idea of the person I wanted to be. I had a very lonely, sad childhood, and part of what kept me going was this fantasy of being this person I was going to be when I was an adult.
see JIJITSU RABBI page 50
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 49
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The fantasy came from the books and magazines I read, the movies I watched, and the culture I absorbed as an only child, and I fell for a particular vision of adult life in New York. And it’s relatable to anyone who wants to live a glamorous life, where you’re thin and you’re pretty and you go to fabulous parties and you wear fabulous shoes. It’s a familiar fantasy that writers write about, like Carrie Bradshaw and Nora Ephron, and I dreamed of this version of life. I got really close to this imaginary dream, I got close to living my life to the way Carrie Bradshaw wrote it, and after I had a horrible breakup, the thing I found is that all this stuff didn’t make me happy. There was low-grade dissatisfaction I was feeling, and all this stuff didn’t add up to the perfect life I imagined I would be living. CL: I kept waiting for the book to have a religious conclusion or moment of self-discovery. Why didn’t you talk about that? RD: I think there’s an impulse in writing books like this to land on easy answers for things, to go someplace and then have an easy solution to something. I wanted this book to feel ruthlessly authentic, and the truth is, I saw part of the community that made me feel envious, but I didn’t feel any easy embrace of Chabad or any desire to be in that community. Many of my experiences in the Chabad community help me realize what I was missing more than providing me with a clear path toward a solution. I think a lot of books try to artificially create solutions and I thought that would be an easy way out. CL: The book talks a lot about the Chabad community, from gender roles to quoting the Lubavitcher rebbe. Did you do a lot of research or are they your own observations? RD: I did a little research. I want to stress that this isn’t a recorded book about Chabad. I don’t want anyone to think I did extensive research into Chabad. I talked a lot to my rabbi roommate, and I also read a great book, “The Rebbe’s Army” by Sue Fishkoff. I also read local publications and spoke to some people in the community. Also, when I quote the Lubavitcher rebbe, I got it from pamphlets. There’s always pamphlets floating around the neighborhood, and I read them with general interest in what they had to say. CL: Do you think your book will offend the Chabad community? RD: I don’t know. I hope not. I think it’s a fair depiction
of the experience I had there and I try to present a fair to generous depiction of what life in the community is like. But it’s truly a book about the dozen or so people I got to interact with there. CL: In the book, you talk about going to a religious program in the Chabad community. What was that experience like? RD: I went to a really great program called Yeshivication run by an organization in Crown Heights called Machon Chana. They were really sweet and welcoming to me, even though I was not a typical member of the school. At this point in my life, things might change, but my views of Judaism and the role it plays in my life are pretty well established. I knew going into the Chabad classes that I wasn’t going to suddenly become a person of faith. I wasn’t going to go to shul and I wasn’t going to become a devout Jew. I will admit to some prejudice going into the school. I always had a prejudice against more religious Jews. I’m a Jew, and I live in a world of secular, enlightened Manhattan Jews, and I think a lot of us instinctively feel a little ashamed of the more traditional people who live across the bridge. It seemed to me like they were restrictive and abusive to women; it seemed like it was from another era. When I moved there, I was initially scared of them and I was really judgmental. But once I got to know them more, I became curious about who they really were. I did Yeshivication not because I thought it would turn me into a believing, observant Jew but because I thought it would teach me about who these people are. And one of the things I got out of being in Crown Heights was a discovery of the humanity in the community. I made quick, unfair generalizations about them. CL: Looking back, do you see your time in the Chabad community as part of your spiritual journey? RD: I’m not sure if I’d call it a spiritual journey, but living in Crown Heights completely changed my life. I’m a completely different person. Outwardly, my life might look quite similar, but now I try to be a better person and value community and humanity, the way Chabad helped me to see. The experience made me realize there was a component of service missing from my life. It’s hard to draw a linear conclusion, but I can say that being in that community helped me see that the job I was doing before was not enough. Now I try a bit harder to be a nicer person, and I’m much more family oriented than I was before. But like I said, this book isn’t about finding easy answers.
JTA Wire Service
B r i ef
Israeli film ‘Fill the Void’ takes prize at Palm Springs festival
LOS ANGELES – The Israeli movie “Fill the Void” was named the best foreign language film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in southern California. The FIRESCI, or International Federation of Film Critics Prize, for the Israeli entry was announced Sunday at the conclusion of the 11-day festival and assuaged some of the disappointment at the movie’s failure to make the shortlist for the Academy Awards. The film beat out entries from 41countries for the Palm Springs prize. Though not as prestigious as the Oscars or as well known as the Cannes or Venice film festivals, the Palm Springs event is considered the primary U.S. venue for the screening of foreign movies. This year, the festival screened 182 films, including 42 of the 71 foreign language movies submitted in the Oscars competition. “Fill the Void,” written and directed by Rama Burshtein, examines profound issues of faith and conduct within the charedi Orthodox community in Tel Aviv, as viewed from an insider’s perspective. The festival jury praised the movie for “portraying a culture usually depicted in stereotypical terms with subtlety, sympathy and sensuality, and employing a style that is intimate but not intrusive.
50 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
“Fill the Void” has won seven Ophir Awards, Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars, and received high praise at the Toronto, Venice, New York and Sao Paulo film fests. Hadas Yaron, who portrays an 18-year old girl torn by the choice of a future husband she chooses and another preferred by her family, won the best actress award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. Also honored this year in Palm Springs was the Holocaust-themed Serbian film “When Day Breaks.” In the film, directed by Goran Paskaljevic, an elderly music professor who has always considered himself Christian discovers that he is the son of Jewish parents who left him with a farmer’s family and later perished in the Holocaust. As the stunned professor wanders through presentday Belgrade, he finds that few people remember the war years or that the city’s neglected fairgrounds served as a concentration camp for the local Jews. With his musician friends, he sets about to establish a memorial at the site. Like the professor, “I cannot NOT remember,” Paskaljevic said in an interview. “If we forget the crimes committed during World War II, and later in Bosnia, that opens the door to new crimes.”
d’ va r to rah
Parashat Bo: Free at last, God Almighty, free at last
Rabbi NathaNiel helfgot Congregation Netivot Shalom, Teaneck, Orthodox
any of us have had the opportunity in the last few weeks to see the wonderful, historically-based film “Lincoln.” In this film, director Steven Spielberg presents a riveting picture of the ins and outs of how President Lincoln cajoled, maneuvered, and manipulated the legislative process to ensure passage of the 13th Amendment. This watershed amendment abolished slavery in our country once and for all, enshrining the slavery ban as a formal part of our legal heritage and not just a wartime executive order as had been expressed in the Emancipation Proclamation. Unfortunately, as we know from subsequent American history and as alluded to in the movie, the abolition of slavery did not bring an end to racism and did not usher in an era of totally equality, enfranchisement, and full acceptance of African-Americans as equal citizens in all aspects of life with all rights and responsibilities. Too many people in society focused only on the aspect of “freedom from” slavery — to use the terminology of Erich Fromm and Isaiah Berlin — without allowing former slaves and their families to truly experience the true freedom which is “freedom to,” that is, the freedom to shape their destiny and assume all the rights and responsibilities of human agency. The African-American struggle in this country was, as is evidenced from a cursory study of the inspired sermons and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., profoundly influenced by the Exodus narrative of the Torah. The theme of the oppressed nation yearning for freedom and being released from bondage resonated deeply in the ranks of slaves and abolitionists alike. And ultimately, as time went on, people slowly (too
slowly) came to understand that the passage of the 13th Amendment was just the first step to true freedom. This very message is embedded in the Torah portions that we have been reading the last few weeks. They emphasize precisely the point that freedom involves not just “freedom from” but “freedom to.” When Moses appeared before Pharoh in his very first visit he did not simply demand “Let My people go” but rather: “So says the Lord: Let My people go that they shall may worship Me.” God breaks through the distance of transcendence to redeem His people so that they will be able to consecrate themselves to His service and create an ideal society animated by striving for holiness and ethical monotheism. In this week’s parasha, Parshat Bo, the people receive their first set of commandments as a people, as a collective. According to the plain sense of the text, the first mitzvah the Jewish people receive is that of the Paschal sacrifice. Even prior to the actual Exodus, prior to the liberation from bondage and leaving Egypt, Am Yisrael is to experience a national experience of service to God. Indeed the term “Avodah” service is used for the first time in our parasha in relation to the world of Torah and mitzvot. Even while readying themselves for physical freedom, the Torah sets up a paradigm where the people are already involved in the next steps, the step of “freedom to,” of freedom to actualize the great spiritual potential that God has given to the Jew to connect to His maker and each other through sacred moments. As a number of modern writers have noted, the Paschal sacrifice, the Korban Pesah, involves turning one’s very house, one’s home, into a mizbei-ach, an altar,
with the ritual of the sprinkling of the blood taking place on the very doorpost of the home and the roasting of the meat and its consumption taking place in its four walls. Each and every family on that night of glory, that night of Exodus so many centuries ago, affirmed that they were ready for more than physical freedom from bondage. They were ready to enter into a covenantal relationship with God. They would be free-willed beings who would embrace the opportunities, the rights and the responsibilities that God would share with them as they would make the trek from Egypt to Sinai. As we read through these parshiyot and think about our own lives, we too need to consider our own journey, our own spiritual Exodus. The chasidic masters often noted that the Hebrew word Mitzrayim, Egypt, is associated with the Hebrew words meitzar, in the narrows. Each of us is often boxed in and trapped in our own personal Egypt of material and existential pressures, of conformity, of expectations, and of anxieties and slavish servitude to external pushes that shape and limn the contours of our religious lives. We, too, often yearn and should yearn for the freedom from peer pressure and from the rat race and from a corroding materialism. But in that pursuit we need to keep our eyes on the prize. We are not simply running away from something, but rather we need to embrace a freedom that contains in it ethical responsibility. We hope and pray for a freedom that leaves us with a heightened awareness of God in our lives through mitzvot and reflective thought, of shared love and concern for others, of living full Jewish lives that give us purpose and meaning as we go about the small and grand moments of our lives.
Briefly local from page 11
Coach records 250th win
Bobby Kaplan of Teaneck recorded his 250th victory coaching the Frisch School’s girls’ varsity basketball team when they won the game against Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School on December 9. Kaplan has been coaching the team for the past 23 years and has coached more than 1,200 Bobby Kaplan Photo games over his 43-year career. During his coaching tenure Provided at Frisch, “Coach K” has won four girls’ Yeshiva League championships. He also won three league championships coaching the Frisch boys’ varsity from 1988 to 1994. In addition to coaching, Kaplan recently published a basketball handbook titled “BBall Basics for Kids.”
JLI ethics courses scheduled at two teaching locations
Living with Integrity, a Rohr Jewish Learning Institute course, fulfilling 10.8 CLE (9 ethics) credits, is offered in six morning or evening sessions in Franklin Lakes and Oakland. The Franklin Lakes course starts on Wednesday, January 30, at 8 p.m., at the Chabad Jewish Center in Franklin Lakes. The Oakland course begins on Monday, February 4, at 9 a.m., at the law firm of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri, Jacobs in Oakland. Living with Integrity challenges students to articulate their opinions while providing tools and guidance culled from Talmudic principles and Jewish wisdom to help navigate common ethical challenges. Like all JLI courses, Living with Integrity is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, from novice to scholar, and is open to attorneys and all members of the public. Call (201) 848-0449 or go to www.chabadplace.org or www.myJLI.com.
Valley Chabad will sponsor teen series on anti-Semitism
Jewish high schoolers can explore anti-Semitism in an interactive learning series sponsored by Valley Chabad. The program, “SuperJew: The Miracle of Jewish Survival,” includes six classes that will address reasons for antiSemitism, assimilation, lessons from the Holocaust, the meaning of “chosenness” in Judaism, and how to embrace Jewish identity in a modern world. The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute produced the program. The six-week Sunday evening program will be at Valley Chabad starting January 27. For information, call Rabbi Yosef Orenstein, director of the Valley Chabad Teen Leadership Initiative, at (201) 476-1057, email him at email@example.com, or go to valleychabad. org/teens.
Support groups for caregivers
Those providing care to spouses who are chronically ill or incapacitated are invited to join Jewish Family Service of North Jersey’s Spousal Caregiver’s Support Group. Melanie Lester will facilitate the group that addresses the stresses and personal challenges that come with caring for a loved one. JFS also offers another caregiver support group for adult children of aging parents. The group, facilitated by Lisa Clare, will provide participants with an opportunity to share challenges they face and offer support and tips to one another. Contact Lester at firstname.lastname@example.org or Clare at email@example.com; or call (973) 595-0111. Preregistration is required.
52 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Arts & culture
The Israeli Nalaga’at theater troupe is made up entirely of blind and deaf actors.
Courtesy Nalaga’at CeNter
For Israeli theater troupe, believing requires neither seeing nor hearing
Deborah Fineblum raub
ry to imagine what it’s like to live your life not hearing or seeing. Imagine the difficulties of communicating with the other inhabitants of your world, who all seem to be chattering away and interacting in ways that make little sense to you. Then, increase your challenge exponentially by landing yourself onstage. As an actor, it’s now your job to communicate with others and inspire in them a deeper understanding of your life and the fundamental human condition that, after all is said (or communicated in some other way) and done, unites us all.
Now you have the makings of high drama. American audiences will be able to bear witness to what happens next. The Nalaga’at Theater, the only troupe in the world whose actors are deaf and blind, is leaving its comfortable home in the Israeli port of Jaffa to perform “Not by Bread Alone” at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan from January 16 to February 3. The Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble was founded in 2002 by Adina Tal to integrate deaf-blind people into the community, promote their needs and
aspirations, and provide them with the opportunity to express themselves in a creative way. A key component of Tal’s vision is giving audiences a wholly unique and powerful theater experience, one that will linger in their consciousness long after the curtain falls. Described as “a magical journey that spans various stories, dreams and locations,” “Not By Bread Alone” features 11 deaf and blind actors. It has been performed not only in Israel, but also in South Korea and London. (In the British newspaper The Guardian, a reviewer, Lyn Gardner, wrote that its production is “a test of theater itself, the way good work can communicate across the boundaries of darkness and silence.”) This also will be the Nalaga’at’s third visit to New York, following one in 2005. During the course of the show, audiences should not be surprised to hear the beat of a drum on stage occasionally. This cue announces the start of a new scene to actors who can neither see nor hear the drum but can feel its vibrations. This kind of deepening awareness about the creative force of sensory adaptation will also go well beyond what happens onstage. On tap for the public will be replicas of Nalaga’at’s two Jaffa eateries, which will be open both before and after the show. At Kapish Café, all waiters are deaf and communicate with the guests in sign language, teaching them a different
form of communication. At the BlackOut, guests dine in absolute darkness, and blind waiters serve as their guides. The object of both the play and the dining experiences is to create a powerful and visceral understanding of what it’s like to live your entire life without two of our most important senses, said Tal, who continues to guide the troupe as the Nalaga’at Center’s artistic director and its CEO. “And what excites me most about the upcoming production in New York is, each time another person sees the amazing things our actors accomplish onstage, our dream becomes more of a reality,” Tal said. “As we reach new audiences, and as they open their minds and hearts to another way of living, more and more people from all over the world are making it their dream as well.” In addition, Skirball will host a festive gala night as an awareness- and fundraiser for the not-for-profit Nalaga’at Center on January 23. That evening, the performance will be followed by a cocktail reception. “Not by Bread Alone” is performed daily until February 3, except for Fridays and Mondays. To learn more or to buy tickets, go to http://nyuskirball.org/calendar/ notbybreadalone or call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111. For details about the January 23 gala, e-mail talia@nalagaat. org.il or call 646-862-1847.
JNS.org Wire Service
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 53
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. 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 a Shabbat dinner at 5:45. 221 Schraalenburgh Road. (201) 768-5112. 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.
for Health, a gentle exercise program for people 60+, at the JCC of Bayonne, 10 a.m. 1050 Kennedy Boulevard. (201) 436-6900, (973) 765-9050, or www.jfsmetrowest.org.
sunday [january 20]
Author for NCJWBCS event Robert Egan, owner of Cubby’s BBQ in Hackensack and co-author, with Kurt Pitzer, of “Eating with the Enemy,” speaks at a meeting of the National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section, 12:30 p.m., at Temple Emeth, Teaneck. 1666 Windsor Road. (201) 385-4847 or www.ncjwbcs.org.
saturday [january 19]
Havdalah/bingo/ice cream The Jewish Community Center of Paramus offers Havdalah services followed by family bingo and make-your-own sundaes, 7 p.m. $5 per person; includes prizes and refreshments. (201) 262-7691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy temple Israel
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 night 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.
Book club in Paramus Beth Chananie facilitates a discussion on “Defending Jacob” by William Landay at the Jewish Community Center of Paramus, 10 a.m. Brunch. Donation suggested. East 304 Midland Ave. (201) 262-7691. 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. Concert in Wayne The YMCA of Wayne continues its Sundays Backstage at the Y series with a performance by the Steve Alexander Trio, with jazz pianist Steve Alexander, trumpeter/cornetist Stephen Baldalamenti, and drummer Stew Shiffer, 11:45 a.m. 1 Pike Drive. (973) 595-0100, ext. 257. Film in Franklin Lakes Temple Emanuel of North Jersey screens “A Brivele De Mamen,” produced in Poland before the Nazi-Soviet invasion, 2 p.m. Yiddish with English subtitles. Refreshments. 558 High Mountain Road. (201) 560-0200 or www.tenjfl.org. Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. The Oakland-Franklin Lakes Interfaith Clergy Council offers communal sharing, prayer, and song, followed by a potluck supper, at Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, 5-7 p.m. 747 Route 208 South. (201) 848-1800 or www.barnerttemple.org.
wednesday [january 23]
Israel seminar in Franklin Lakes Rabbi Elyse Frishman leads a session on “Power and Powerlessness” at 7:30 p.m. at Barnert Temple. 747 Route 208 South. (201) 848-1800.
Shabbat in Franklin Lakes Barnert Temple offers Shabbat Shirah/Tu Bi-Sh’vat seder, 7 p.m., with a potluck seder. 747 Route 208 South. Natalie, (201) 848-1800 or email@example.com. Shabbat in Jersey City Congregation B’nai Jacob and Temple Beth-El Friday hold their second annual joint Shabbat/ Tu Bi-Sh’vat seder, at TBE, 7:30 p.m. 2419 Kennedy Boulevard. (201) 333-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Shabbat in Closter Temple Beth El hosts a Shabbat Shira spiritual service, 7:30 p.m., with guest violinist Sheryl Staples. 221 Schraalenburgh Road. (201) 768-5112. Shabbat in Leonia Congregation Adas Emuno offers services, 7:30 p.m., followed by a Tu Bi-Sh’vat dessert seder. 254 Broad Ave. (201) 592-1712 or www.adasemuno.org. Shabbat in Wyckoff Temple Beth Rishon offers a Shabbat of Song, 8 p.m., with the Kol Rishon and Zemer Rishon choirs, instrumental accompaniment by guitarists Cantor Ilan Mamber and Mark Kantrowitz, pianist Itay Goren, violinist Sylvia Rubin, and percussionist Jimmy Cohen. 585 Russell Ave. (201) 891-4466 or www.bethrishon.org.
saturday [january 26]
Shabbat in Short Hills The Union for Reform Judaism hosts a Shabbaton at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jews from the Reform Northeast region gather for an inspirational day of learning, prayer, music, and food. 1025 South Orange Ave. (973) 379-3177. Shabbat in Teaneck The Jewish Learning Experience offers an educational Shabbat prayer service at Congregation Beth Aaron, 9:45 a.m. All welcome to sing a selection of prayers, some in English, and some in Hebrew — with transliterations available — including discussion and commentary. Zvi Weissler will read from the weekly Torah portion. Shabbat morning youth groups for children. Rabbi David Pietruszka, (201) 966-4498, email@example.com, or www.jle.org. Latin music/dance/food in Closter Temple Beth El of Northern Valley celebrates the Latin Jewish connection with music, dancing, and food, 7 p.m. Salsa music by vocalist Kike Cruz and the Orquestra Royal, dance instructors from Anchor Dance Studio of Oradell, Latin food, (not kosher), and sangria. 221 Schraalenburgh Road. (201) 768-5112 or www.tbenv.org/music.
thursday [january 24]
Networking in Short Hills The Jewish Business Network meets with the Tribe and members of Temple B’nai Jeshurun, 8 a.m. 1025 South Orange Ave. www.jbusinessnetwork.net. Book discussion in Washington Township Temple Beth Or’s People of the Book series meets to discuss “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” 8 p.m. Copies of book available for $10. 56 Ridgewood Road. (201) 664-7422 or www.templebethornj.org.
friday [january 25]
Game event Mah jongg, canasta, bridge, and Scrabble players are invited to the Bergen YJCC in Washington Township for “Game On,” with breakfast, games, socializing, and lunch, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Carol Berliner and Karen Feltman are event chairs. Proceeds will benefit YJCC programs. (201) 666-6610, ext. 5812.
monday [january 21]
Avinoam Segal-Elad Discussing Israel Fair Lawn Hadassah meets at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation B’nai Israel, 1 p.m. 10-10 Norma Ave. Fair Lawn. Avinoam SegalElad, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s shaliach, describes “The Judiciary System in Israel.” 10-10 Norma Ave. Varda, (201) 791-0327.
tuesday [january 22]
Tai Chi in Bayonne The Chai Café of the Jewish Family and Counseling Service of Jersey City, Bayonne, and Hoboken and the Arthritis Foundation continue Tai Chi
54 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
The Jewish Museum in Manhattan presents “Animals Illuminated Family Day,” a multigenerational party celebrating its exhibition, “Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries,” Sunday, January 20, noon to 4 p.m. Activities include two performances by Father Goose, pictured, a drop-in art workshop, original puppets and costumes with the Puppeteers’ Cooperative, calligraphy demonstrations, and family tours. Adults are asked to accompany their children. (212) 423-3200 or TheJewishMuseum.org/specialfamilydays. Courtesy Jm
Music in Jersey City Con Vivo performs at Temple Beth-El, 7:30 p.m., as part of the temple’s Contemporary Concert series. The trio includes pianist Denise Fillion, oboist Karisa Werdon, and violinist Amelia Hollander. Wine, soft drinks, and sweets at 7. Raffle prizes. 2419 Kennedy Boulevard. (201) 333-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
sunday [january 27]
Blood drive in Franklin Lakes Barnert Temple hosts a blood drive, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. www.redcrossblood.org/make-donationsponsor. (201) 848-1800. Concert in Wayne The YMCA of Wayne continues its Sundays Backstage at the Y series with a performance by jazz vocalist Laura Hull, 11:45 a.m. 1 Pike Drive. (973) 595-0100, ext. 257. Camp fair The New Jersey Summer Camp Fair is at the East Hanover Ramada Inn and Conference Center, noon-3 p.m. 130 Route 10 West. www.njcampfairs.com. U.N. Holocaust Remembrance Day Milton Ohring commemorates the Holocaust with an audiovisual slide presentation about 18 pieces that he created in stone and metal at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, 1:30 p.m. Holocaust programs are sponsored by the Martin Perlman & JoAnn Hassan Holocaust Education Institute Endowment Fund. Robyn, (201) 408-1429 or www.jccotp.org.
Children’s concert in Tenafly Temple Sinai of Bergen County’s Early Childhood Center hosts a winter concert with the Dirty Sock Funtime Band, 3:30 p.m. 1 Engle St. (201) 568-3035. Women’s book club The Chabad Center of Passaic County offers a discussion on Alex Witchel’s book, “All Gone,” at a private home in Wayne, 7:30 p.m. Refreshments. Chani, (973) 694-6274 or email@example.com.
Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. The OU Singles Connection is a division of the OU Department of Community Engagement. 5 East 62nd St. (212) 613-8300 or www.oucommunity.org.
sunday [january 20]
Square dance/brunch The North Jersey Jewish Singles group (45-60) at the Clifton Jewish Center hosts a square dance with brunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dancing with professional caller Ron Kapnick. Martine, (973) 772-3131 or www.meetup.com (use group name).
s i ngles
saturday [january 19]
Manischewitz Cook-Off offers $25,000 grand prize
Beatles tribute The Orthodox Union Singles Connection invites singles of all ages to a Beatles extravaganza featuring “Come Together,” a Beatles tribute band, at the
The Manischewitz Cook-Off contest is back for its seventh year. Its $25,000 grand prize package includes cash, Maytag appliances, and a trophy. Entries will be accepted until February 4.
For information, visit the cooking with Beth blog at www.jstandard.com or go to http://www.manischewitz.com/assets/ cookoff2013/index.php.
– New York Daily News – The Village Voice – The New York Times – Backstage – Variety
Five terriﬁc performers. Fiendishly madcap.”
– New York Daily News
”A KOSHER PICKLE BARREL OF LAUGHS!
”YOU’LL LAUGH YOUR TUCHUS OFF!
This show could run forever.”
The Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street Telecharge.com / 212-239-6200 www.ojtjonstage.com
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 55
Sarah Fishbein, daughter of Leslie and Eric Fishbein of Harrington Park and sister of Jake and Rachel, celebrated becoming a bat mitzvah on January 12 at Temple Emanu-El in Closter.
Daniel Sedaka, son of Jennifer Chais of Fair Lawn and brother of Cobey, celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah on January 12 at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation B’nai Israel.
Robert L. Birkhahn
Robert Birkhahn, 49, of Lopatcong, formerly of Wyckoff, died on January 9 in Miami, Fla. A graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., he was the vice president of Affinity Federal Credit Union in Basking Ridge. He is survived by his wife, Nanette; parents, Iris and Leonard Birkhahn; children, Zachary, Taylor, Jake, and Max; and a brother, David (Julie). Donations can be made to the American Diabetes Foundation. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Florence R. Isaac
Florence Isaac, 87, of Paterson, died on January 11. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Michael Aksen, son of Irina and Leonard Aksen of Fair Lawn and brother of Mark, celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah on January 12 at Glen Rock Jewish Center. His grandparents are Yefim and Yevgeniya Markman of Fair Lawn and Nina Aksen of New York. Edward Friedman, son of Elizabeth Friedman of Cresskill, celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah on January 12 at Temple Emanu-El in Closter.
Phylene Kligerman of Fair Lawn died on January 9. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Jules H. Masel
Jules Masel, 85, of Rockaway Township, formerly of Paramus, died on January 14. A World War II Army veteran, he was a graphics designer before retiring, and was co-founder of the East Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Bergen County SHHH (Self Help for The Hard of Hearing), and a former member of the Paramus Environmental Commission. He is survived by his wife, Joan; daughters, Abbe Gore of Taft, Calif., and Gwen Bauman (Russell) of Landing; a brother, Dr. Sheldon of Aventura, Fla.; and three grandchildren, Andy, Eric, and Melissa. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Sofie Kravitz, daughter of Wendy and Michael Kravitz of Norwood, celebrated becoming a bat mitzvah on January 12 at Temple Beth El of Northern Valley in Closter. Jacob Ziff, son of Bonnie and Robert Ziff of Ramsey and brother of Michelle and Rachel, both 7, celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah on January 12 at Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake.
Susanne Friedman of Monroe Township and Lake Worth, Fla., died on January 13 in Florida. She was a member of the Wantagh Jewish Center in Wantagh, N.Y., for more than 40 years. Predeceased by her husband, Harry, she is survived by a daughter, Deborah Barbash (Richard) of Old Tappan; sons, Marc (Daniella) of Potomac, Md., and Leonard of Chicago, Ill.; grandchildren Scott (Tamar), Josh (Laura), Daniel, Avital, Yael, and Eran; and a great-grandson, Matthew. Donations can be sent to the National Kidney Foundation in New York. Arrangements were by Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Paramus.
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. Please include a daytime telephone number and send to: NJ Jewish Media Group 1086 Teaneck Rd. Teaneck, NJ 07666 firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Nowak, née Weintraub, 89, of Fair Lawn, formerly of Paterson, died on January 10. A Holocaust survivor, she was predeceased by her husband, Nathan, son Stuart, and granddaughter, Becky. She is survived by daughter-in-law, Debbie; son, Stanley (Laurie); daughter, Gale Bindelglass (David); grandchildren, Jason, Jordan, Eli, Lindsay, Jamie, Evan, and Perry; and great-granddaughters, Ariana and Emerson. She and her husband were former members of the Fair Lawn Jewish Center. Donations can be made to the Holocaust programs of the Jewish Family Service of North Jersey, Wayne. Arrangements were by Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Paramus.
Harriet Greenberg, neé Reiser, 93, of Paramus died on January 14. Predeceased by her husband, Philip, she is survived by her children, Eileen Stanley, and Robert (Linda); four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Rabbi Gerald Chirnomas
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56 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
Lee Parvin, 86, of Wanaque, formerly of Fair Lawn, died on January 15. Predeceased by her husband, Leonard, she is survived by her children, Charles (Ann) of South Carolina, Steven (Mary) of Rockaway, Jill Moskowitz (Marvin) of East Brunswick, and Tammy Klein (Richard) of Franklin Lakes; a brother, Alan Canell (Helene) of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and six grandchildren. Donations can be sent to the American Heart Association. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Leon Leyson, the youngest person on Schindler’s list, dies at 83
The youngest person saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler has died. Leon Leyson, whom Schindler called “Little Leyson,” died of lymphoma on January 12 in Whittier, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 83 years old. Leyson was 13 when he went to work at Schindler’s factory in Krakow, Poland, where he had to stand on a box to operate the machinery. He was a high school educator for nearly four decades and rarely spoke about his Holocaust experiences until the 1993 release of the Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List.” Following the interest generated by the Steven Spielberg movie, Leyson traveled throughout the United States telling his story. Two of Leyson’s brothers were killed in the Shoah, including one whom Schindler added to his list but who refused to get off the train to Auschwitz because his girlfriend was not on the list, according to the Los Angeles Times. Schindler placed Leyson’s mother and two other siblings on the list of 1,100 Jews, along with his father, making it one of the few families that he protected. Leyson’s siblings later immigrated to Israel. Leyson criticized the film for emphasizing Schindler’s womanizing and profiteering instead of his decency and compassion, the newspaper report said. In 1949, Leyson immigrated to America and later fought in the Vietnam War. He taught machine shop and was a guidance counselor at Huntington Park High School, retiring in 1997. He was the father of two and grandfather of four.
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Dr. Howard A., Schwartz, 68, of Upper Saddle River died on January 10. Predeceased by his wife, Rita, née Blumenthal, he is survived by sons, Andrew (Alexis) and Steven (Sasha); a brother, Irwin (Janice); and two grandchildren, Ruby and Jack. He earned his degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry and was a periodontist in Englewood. He was a former president of the New Jersey Dental Association. Donations can be sent to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Donor Services, Pittsfield, Mass. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
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Sara Tseytina of Fair Lawn died on January 9. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
This week’s Torah commentary is on page 52.
We offer a variety of grief support booklets from Life LightsTM series. This collection is designed to help those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or are experiencing end-of-life issues. Obituaries are prepared with information provided by funeral homes. Correcting errors is the responsibility of the funeral home. Please call or visit us to obtain a complimentary booklet to help you cope with or preempt the complex emotions that you may be experiencing.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 57
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Jewish standard January 18, 2013 59
The Bergen Sharks, the Bergen County YJCC’s competitive swim team, took first place in the YM-YWHA Swim League All-Star Meet held at the Raritan Bay YMCA on December 9. Teams competing were JCC of Central New Jersey, Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, JCC of Middlesex County, Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC, YM-YWHA of Union County, and JCC MetroWest. The Sharks broke seven meet records, along with eight of their own team records. COURTESY YJCC
Local college students were among 115 participants on Jewish National Fund’s Alternative Winter Break trip to Israel. Each participant raised $1,100 to fund JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign. Local students at Neot Kedumim, include, from left, Shachar Avraham of Fair Lawn and Binghamton University; JNF’s regional director, Jocelyn Inglis; Lauren Blachorsky of Paramus and Dalya Arussy of Fair Lawn, both students at Queens College; and Cody Gecht of Paramus and Binghamton.
Yavneh Middle School students decorated snowflakes as part of an international campaign to create a “Winter Wonderland” in the new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, Conn. DEBBIE ABRAMOWITZ
Herman Negreann, a longtime member of Temple Beth Or in Washington Township, received the shul’s Chai Hamsa award on January 8. It is given to members who perform exceptional acts of kindness. He is flanked, from left, by Irene Bolton, the director of Life Long Learning; Teddy Fine, a congregant and the shul librarian; Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick; congregant Isabel Kurlan, and Cantor Regina Hayut. A leaf was dedicated in the library in honor of Negreann and his great granddaughter, Temima Etka Negreann. COURTESY TBO
60 JEWISH STANDARD JANUARY 18, 2013
Teens from Temple Emanu-El of Closter’s F2F/USY group gathered for their annual Build-A Bear mitzvah event in the Palisades Mall. The group made 19 stuffed animals, which will be donated to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center’s pediatric wings and emergency room.
Ari Quinn, Mendel Drizin, and Max Miller are pictured at the Castle Fun Center in Chester, N.Y., during a trip from Valley Chabad Camp Gan’s winter break session. Valley Chabad teachers and youth directors Rabbi Yosef and Estie Orenstein led the trip.
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Total Boox totally rethinks e-reading
need ‘volumes’ for a desert island? take them all and pay only for what you use with new israeli app
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hat books would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island — if you had an e-book reader and unlimited battery power? You’d probably want a whole virtual bookshelf. But that would cost a pretty penny and you might not finish everything before you got rescued. Successful Israeli serial entrepreneur Yoav Lorch wants you to have that bookshelf – and to only pay for what you actually read. That’s the concept behind his latest startup, Total Boox, a “pay as you go” platform that tracks how many pages you’ve viewed and charges only for content consumed. It’s a model whose time has come, Lorch contends. “‘Pay first, read later’ made sense with printed books where you have to cover your costs. But in the world of digital books, the idea is counterproductive. It discourages readers from exploring.” Total Boox, due to launch in early 2013, is a mobile app with an Android version currently in beta and one for Apple on the way. Once you’ve installed the app, you simply choose the books you want. Total Boox tracks how long you linger on a particular page. If it senses you’re really reading and not just skimming through, the app charges you for the percentage of the book you’ve read. You never pay more than what you’d have spent to buy the book up front. Total Boox has lots of other nifty features such as the ability to create book “playlists” you can share with friends. They can then download the playlists — and the entire bookshelf – to their device at no risk. After all, you only pay for what you read.
Once the system has proven itself, Lorch is confident that another element of Total Boox will enthrall the big leagues: The best reading analytics in the business. “We provide publishers with detailed information about who reads what, when, where and how,” he says. “We know more about what people are reading than anyone. And we share this with the publishers. Amazon doesn’t.” Which brings up the Amaz-elephant in the room: Total Boox cannot be used on a Kindle. “Amazon is a closed shop. They’ll never let us onto the Kindle,” Lorch admits. While Amazon represents the biggest part of the market, it’s not alone. As more and more people buy iPad Mini’s and seven-inch Android tablets as their e-readers, the Total Boox app may just find a home on a few desert islands out there.
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Camp Veritans prepares for summer 2013 activities
Camp Veritans, an ACA accredited summer day camp for children entering kindergarten through 10th grade, is getting ready for another summer to remember. In addition to its Red Cross swim program, a variety of sports options, and go-carts, the camp also offers a topnotch ropes/challenge course with both high and low elements. Campers can test their skills on the inclined log ladder, switch to the two-line traverse leading to the catwalk 30 feet up, and continue to the multi-vine. They complete the circuit with an exciting ride on the zip line. The staff at Camp Veritans has planned new trips and programs so kids will have the best summer ever. They provide an environment where campers build their selfesteem through fun, while making friendships and lifelong memories. Attending a summer day camp like Camp Veritans is a great way to create positive experiences for your child. Camp Veritans will be holding walking tours Sunday, February 3, March 3, and April 14 between 10 a.m. and noon. Call the office to reserve a place in the tour. Additional dates and times can also be scheduled. To find out more about Camp Veritans, call (973) 9561220 or visit www.campveritans.com. Camp Veritans is located at 225 Pompton Road in Haledon, next to entry gate number one of William Paterson University.
True CH Col in private setting! 9 ft ceilings, Chef's Kitchen/cherry cabinets adj to Great Rm/Fplc. Ensuite Guest Br w Bath on Main Lvl, 6 add’l brs - $1,179,000
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As with SkypeOut, the Internet telephone system’s plan for calling non-Skype phones for a fee, with Total Boox you must pay a minimum amount in advance that gets drawn upon as you read. When you get low, Total Boox asks you to top off your balance. Lorch has considered implementing an unlimited plan — all you can read for $20 per month, perhaps — but questions whether what works for mobile web browsing will work the same way in the world of books. Total Boox is a radical rethinking of the electronic reading model, so it’s not surprising that the biggest publishers haven’t signed on yet. But Total Boox has some of the bigger independents on board — Sourcebooks and F+W Media, among others. The Total Boox system currently offers 7,000 titles, and splits revenues with the publishers; there is no upfront fee to publishers to partner up. Lorch, 59, has been around the publishing block a few times. He studied economics and philosophy in university before turning to writing — he’s done translations, written for TV and the theater in Israel, and published six books in Germany (where his family is from). He joined the Israeli printing technology heavyweight Scitex at the height of its 1990s success, then started a Scitex spinoff called PressPoint that built digital point-of-sale newspaper kiosks. He was also the founder of Zlango, a startup that created a new iconic language for smartphones. The company raised a significant amount of venture capital and is still going strong. Total Boox is based at TheTime incubator, with a staff of eight people in the company’s Tel Aviv office. Lorch is in the process of raising a $1 million round now from private investors.
1100 SUSSEX ROAD $340’s Mint cond. 3 bdrm 2.5 bath colonial. (Huge Master bedroom) LR/fplc Den Formal DR Mod eat in kit. 3 season porch. Game Rm bsmt. Det Gar 1101 DARTMOUTH STREET $420’s Lovely Street. Great for extended families. Lg LR/fplc Den Formal DR Deck. 3 bedrooms 3.5 baths (inclds master). Fin bsmt. Att Gar. 736 MILDRED STREET $1,125,000 Beautiful street in the Hospital area. 286’ deep private parklike prop., Charming 5 bdrm 3 full/2 half bath Tudor Colonial. Grand LR/fplc Den + Florida Rm. Brkfst rm. Vaulted ceiling great Rm/ fplc. 5 rm Prof office suite/ Potential In-laws suite. 2 car gar
Well maintained colonial on beautiful tree-lined cul-de-sac in desirable East Hill location, 2 story foyer, family room with floor-ceiling brick fireplace, kitchen with island, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, lower level with media room, office & 3 car garage, almost 1/3 private acre.
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Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 61
Clean fuels made in N.J. with Israeli talent and financing
Primus Green energy, soon to make alternative jet and auto products, is backed by the renewable energy arm of the israel Corporation
aBigail Klein leichman
sraeli-financed Primus Green Energy in New Jersey has set its sights on making cost-efficient and clean alternative liquid transportation fuels derived from natural gas and biomass. George Boyajian, vice president for business development, says that the company is about to close a deal with “a major global airline.” Though the company’s proprietary
process can use a variety of feedstocks, including pelletized wood waste or energy crops, Primus is focusing for now on cheaply obtained natural gas. “We’re completing a full-scale demonstration plant in Hillsborough, which comes on line April 1 and will produce drop-in gasoline and jet fuel from natural gas. And then we expect to break ground for our first commercial
Primus Green Energy Chairman Dr. Yom-Tov Samia, front middle, with guests including former New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, at his left, at the company’s demo plant dedication. The beakers contain wood pellet feedstock and Primus’ 93-octane gasoline.
Majestically set on rarely available 4.3 acres. Vincent Volpe, Jr. 640 Palisade Avenue Englewood Cliffs, NJ
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plant in the fourth quarter of 2013,” says Boyajian. Last June’s dedication of the $8 million demo plant, which can produce 33 liters of gasoline per hour, was highlighted by a test drive of an automobile powered with 93-octane fuel made from natural gas and biomass. The future commercial plant will produce annually about 25 million gallons of biofuel from natural gas-derived syngas, taking advantage of the low prices of domestically abundant natural gas. The cost of production is expected to be competitive with petroleum-based fuels. The patented process used by Primus was developed by co-founder Moshe Ben Reuven, a Princeton Universityeducated engineer who is now CEO at Verdant Aerospace in Princeton. The same process can also produce aromatic chemicals needed for the production of plastics and rubber. “The chemical steps we go through in our process are well understood, but the method by which we implement them is unique,” says Boyajian. “What we’re doing is a big step in the evolution of making gasoline, and we make it more efficiently so we get greater yields at a lower cost. We have a very talented group of engineers doing R&D toward that goal.”
The Israeli connection
Much of the management staff at Primus is Israeli. President and chairman of the board Yom-Tov Samia, a retired two-star major general in the IDF, was formerly CEO of the Baran Group, the largest planning and engineering group in Israel. Vice president Arie Toren came up through the ranks at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Chief technology officer Eli Gal is a Technion-Israel Institute of Technology-trained expert in coal and biomass gasification processes, air pollution control, clean-tech and water treatment. COO Sam Golan was formerly
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62 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
general manager of Cimatron Israel. Ben-Reuven began the company in 2007 with real-estate developer Shlomo Schattner, former deputy director of Israel’s Office of Budget Management. The two men put together Ben-Reuven’s expertise with Schattner’s connections in the Israeli corporate world, and the result was Primus Green Energy, solely funded and majority owned by IC Green Energy, the renewable energy arm of the publicly traded Israel Corporation. “Through a series of discussions and ultimately the investment from IC Green, they came to the conclusion that the best product to pursue was ‘drop-in’ gasoline,” says Boyajian. “There is no such thing as finished gasoline. It’s a blendable component to which they add ethanol, dyes and sometimes detergent.” The fuels produced from the Primus STG+ technology are virtually indistinguishable from petroleum-based fuels and can be used directly in engines as a component of standard fuel formulas, he adds. The technology does not require any changes to engines, fuel delivery infrastructure or consumer behavior. Boyajian, who holds a doctorate in geophysical sciences, explains that the Primus methanol-to-gasoline process results in converting high-yield syngas first into methanol and then into light high-octane gasoline without the need for separation or further treatment. Most competitors using biological methods produce an intermediate product, such as biobutanol, which must be synthesized and refined before it can be used as fuel. If the airline deal goes through, it may be possible for the Primus drop-in jet fuel to be certified in the next year or two for use in commercial jetliners. Meanwhile, IC Green Energy has invested another $12 million in Primus Green Energy, bringing its total investment in the company to $40 million.
©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.
We specialize in residential and commercial rentals and sales. We will be happy to assist you with all your real estate needs.
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Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.
Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013 63
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64 Jewish standard JanUarY 18, 2013
1400 Queen Anne Rd · Teaneck, NJ · 201-837-8110
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