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JSTANDARD.COM
2014 83
FEBRUARY 7, 2014
VOL. LXXXIII NO. 22 $1.00
CHANTING THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS page 6
A LOCAL FIGHTER IN THE SODASTREAM WARS page 7
IT’S A GIRL’S COVENANT TOO page 8
J e w i s h S t a n d a r d
1 0 8 6 T e a n e c k R o a d
T e a n e c k , N J 0 7 6 6 6
C H A N G E S E R V I C E R E Q U E S T E D
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2 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
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OPINION ................................................ 14
COVER STORY ..................................... 18
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GALLERY .............................................. 34
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TORAH COMMENTARY ................... 36
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CONTENTS
There’s no OU in ‘druid’
●The Celtic pagan priests were said to offer human
sacrifices, to be gifted astronomers, and to believe
in reincarnation.
Julius Caesar said they were concerned about
“divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices,
private or public, and the interpretation of ritual
questions.”
The Druids, the mysterious priestly class of an-
cient Britain and Gaul, are the namesake and inspi-
ration for a 19th century British neo-pagan religion.
Now they bear the kosher stamp of the Teaneck-
based Kof-K Kosher Supervision agency.
Well, not the Druids themselves, but rather the
Druid Circle oatmeal raisin cookies, available at
Trader Joe’s. While eating a single cookie did not
lead this intrepid reporter to any thoughts of hu-
man sacrifice, or bestow upon him the ability to
conjure spirits, it did lead to a desire to eat more
— with possible consequences for his weight loss
regimen.
You have been warned. LARRY YUDELSON
Candlelighting: Friday, February 7, 5:02 p.m.
Shabbat ends: Saturday, February 8, 6:03 p.m.
It’s a super Jewy Super Bowl,
as local girl teaches Coca Cola to sing in perfect Hebrew
●The Super Bowl in our backyard on
Sunday may have been the most Jewy
ever.
There was Bruno Mars, the halftime
performer with a Jewish grandfather.
There were the Denver Broncos, who
played like a bunch of stoned yeshiva
buchers.
There were the $6 knishes for sale in
the stadium.
And then there were the ads, for
many people the highpoint of the game
even when both teams are in fine form.
GoDaddy.com, which in the past has
drawn criticism for sexist Super Bowl
ads, this year gained notice for showing
that there was a mezuzah on Gwen’s
doorway. Gwen — someone we only
know in the commercial, in case you’re
wondering — quit her job on live Super
Bowl television to start “Puppets by
Gwen.” (Or so we’re told.)
There was the much-discussed ad for
the Israeli company SodaStream, fea-
turing Jewish actress Scarlett Johans-
son. (See page 7 for details.)
There was the surrealistic yogurt ad
featuring a grizzly bear, the voice of
Mandy Patinkin, and a Bob
Dylan classic, “I Want You.” It
was for commercials like this
one that the Yiddish word un-
gapatchka was coined.
And there was the Dylan-
esque Chrysler ad starring
Dylan himself, intoning that
“nothing is American as
America” and stating tauto-
logically that “American pride”
is “the one thing you can’t’’
import from anywhere else.”
As always with Dylan, it was
hard to tell whether it was a
reflection of his native Mid-
western industrial sympathies, a cynical
put-on, a chance to pay for new cars for
his grandchildren, or a reflection that,
in the words to the song whose music
played underneath the ads, “I used to
care but things have changed.”
But the most Jewish moments came
in the Coca-Cola ad, a celebration of
diversity in America. As “America the
Beautiful” played in a variety of lan-
guages, a variety of images were dis-
played — among them a gay couple, a
Muslim woman wearing a hijab, and two
men wearing yarmulkes. Has there ever
before been a display on high-profile
television of yarmulke wearers as em-
blematic Americans?
And wait — was that a snippet of He-
brew amidst the unfamiliar languages
set to the tune of America the Beautiful?
Why yes it was.
And therein lies the most Jewish,
most home-town tale of Super Bowl
XLVIII. It’s the story of 9-year-old
Natalie Janowski of Cresskill. Not only
did Natalie, a fourth grader at Solo-
mon Schechter Day School of Bergen
County in New Milford, sing the Hebrew
version of America the Beautiful; she
oversaw the translation.
Natalie hadn’t auditioned for the part
of translator. But when the directors of
the ad handed her a text courtesy of
Google Translate, her ear for Hebrew
— honed by an Israeli father and years
at Schechter — told her that the ma-
chine translation wasn’t the real thing.
So she consulted with her family and
with people at school who are fluent in
Hebrew and came up with a translation
that matched the cadences
and the grandeur of the
original.
“The values and mes-
sages of this commercial
mirror what is taught at
Schechter,” said her moth-
er, Jill Janowski.
You can watch Natalie
record the commercial and
talk about its meaning on
YouTube, or hear a minute-
long excerpt from the song
on Spotify, by searching for
“It’s Beautiful in Hebrew.”
LARRY YUDELSON
This year’s Super Bowl commercials were full of Jews, though the religion of the bear is unknown.
Natalie Janowski of Closter sang in Hebrew in a Coca-Cola commercial.
4 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
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Noshes
JS-5
“A real barn burner of a bar mitzvah.”
— The Hollywood Reporter, reviewing the Super Bowl half time performance of Bruno
Mars, which the magazine said “felt ceremonial and remote. In other words, it was still
light-years better than the abysmal game that bookended it.”
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 5
Holy Name Hospital Ad 6x2
Want to read more noshes? Visit facebook.com/jewishstandard
BALABAN, 67.
Rorimer worked very
closely with the real-life
Rose Valland (played
by Cate Blanchett), a
French art curator who
compiled, at some risk
to herself, an amazingly
complete list of Nazi-
plundered art and the
locations were it was
stored. She turned this
list over to the Monu-
ments Men.
On Sunday, CBS
will mark the 50th
anniversary of the
Beatles’ first American
TV appearance, on the
Ed Sullivan Show, with
a (taped) recent tribute
concert (8-10 p.m.). Musi-
cians who performed a
Beatles’ tune included
JOHN MAYER, 36; ADAM
LEVINE, 34, and his
band, Maroon 5; Alicia
Keys, Dave Grohl, Annie
Lennox, Keith Urban, and
Katy Perry.
Ringo Starr and Paul
McCartney each played
a solo, three-song set
at the end of the con-
cert. Then they joined
all the other performers
in an energetic finale.
The concert included
recorded celeb tributes
and on-stage tributes to
the late John Lennon and
the late George Harrison.
(Their respective widows
and children were in the
audience and acknowl-
edged.)
Also in the audience
were Paul’s (Jewish)
wife, NANCY SHEVELL,
53, and Ringo’s wife of
33 years, former actress
and “Bond Girl” BARBA-
RA BACH, 66. Bach’s late
father was Jewish. – N.B.
Grant Heslov
SKATING AT SOCHI:
Who’s who on
Olympic ice
Bob Balaban
John Mayer Adam Levine
The Winter Olym-
pics opened
yesterday and will
run through February
23. Israel is sending a
five-member team, none
of whom are expected
to medal. I know of one
Jewish athlete on the
American team and one
on the Canadian team. If
I learn of more, I will alert
you next week.
The American is figure
skater SIMON SHNAPIR,
26, who has competed
in pairs skating with his
partner, Marissa Casteilli,
26, since 2006. The duo
won the 2013 and the
2014 U.S. championship
in their event. Shnapir
was born in Moscow but
immigrated to the States
with his parents when he
was 16 months old.
The Canadian is figure
skater DYLAN MOS-
KOVITCH, 29, a native of
Toronto, who competes
in pairs with his partner,
Kirsten Moore-Towers, 21.
The duo has won several
international competi-
tions.
While the opening
ceremonies are on today,
figure skating, includ-
ing pairs skating, got
an early start yesterday.
This year, for the first
time, the scores in figure
skating events, including
pairs, will be used to de-
termine a national team
skating medal winner(s).
In case you’re wonder-
ing: American Gracie
Gold, top figure skater,
isn’t Jewish. Also, top
American Alpine skier
Mikaela Shiffrin has one
Jewish grandparent —
her paternal grandpa —
but she doesn’t identify
as Jewish.
Opening today is
“Monuments Men,”
an action film is
based on the exploits of
a real-life American army
unit that was tasked
with finding and rescu-
ing the works of art the
Nazis had looted from all
across Europe. (A large
percentage of the art
was stolen from Jews.)
“Men” was directed and
co-written by George
Clooney and co-written
by GRANT HESLOV, 50.
Heslov has been Cloo-
ney’s writing and busi-
ness partner for decades,
and the pair have shared
two best screenplay Os-
car nominations.
The real names of
many unit members are
used in the film, and
Clooney stars as George
L. Stout, the name of the
real-life unit head.
About half the real-
life members of the
unit were Jewish, and
Clooney said in an inter-
view that two of the unit
members will be identi-
fied as Jewish in the film.
One probably is JAMES
RORIMER (1905-1960), a
top Metropolitan Muse-
um curator who became
Stout’s right hand man.
He is played by Matt Da-
mon. The other probably
is Pvt. Preston Savitz,
who is played by BOB
Millepied takes
a step to Judaism
●Last week, French choreographer Benjamin Mil-
lepied, 36, told an Israeli newspaper that he is convert-
ing to Judaism and is about halfway through the process.
“Becoming Jewish is very important to me,” he told the
paper. Millepied wed actress NATALIE PORTMAN, 32,
in a Jewish ceremony last year, and the couple have a
young son.
The actress met the very handsome Millepied in 2010,
when he choreographed the dances for “Black Swan.”
Portman went on to win the best actress Oscar for her
role in that ilm. Millepied is set to take the post of direc-
tor of the Paris Opera ballet this September and Portman
says that the whole family will live mainly in Paris start-
ing in the near future.
By the way, Millepied’s name, which isn’t a stage
name, roughly translates to “a thousand feet.” You
couldn’t ask for a better name for a choreographer.
– N.B.
Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman
California-based Nate Bloom can be reached at
Middleoftheroad1@aol.com
Special 1.99%
Financing
Now thru February 28th
Discover.
benzelbusch.com
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6 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-6
Birth of freedom
Franklin Lakes rabbi chants Gettysburg Address in Hebrew
JOANNE PALMER
A
braham Lincoln has always felt
somehow Jewish, both in form
and in function.
First, form.
Lincoln was Father Abraham, the vision-
ary leader who followed the voice of truth
— surely similar to the voice of God — where
it took him. He was no wild-eyed fanatic,
though, no John Brown, drunk on destruc-
tion. He was instead a tall, brooding, brilliant,
melancholic, complex man, given to home-
spun wit and black depression, with a compli-
cated home life, and he led his people from
possible destruction to possible redemption.
In function, he was perhaps more like
Moshe. He freed the slaves. Yes, it was com-
plicated, messy, and incomplete, but it also
was revolutionary. Like Moshe, he saw injus-
tice and could not tolerate it; like Moshe, too,
he is venerated. Like Moshe, he was a great
orator, and his speeches hold echoes of bibli-
cal tropes.
We celebrate his birthday, along with that
of another great president, George Washing-
ton, on Presidents’ Day, which falls this year
on February 17.
Rabbi Joseph Prouser of Temple Emanuel
of North Jersey in Franklin Lakes is a student
of American history, and a great believer in
the importance of emphasizing the connec-
tions between our history as Jews and as
Americans.
He thinks that the Gettysburg Address,
President Lincoln’s concise, lyric elegy to the
dead soldiers hastily buried in a field in Penn-
sylvania, “touches on themes of national
meaning and eternal values that are in their
own right prophetic.”
He also thinks that it sounds good in
Hebrew.
Rabbi Prouser has translated the 272-Eng-
lish-word speech into Hebrew, assigned the
musical notes of haftarah trope to it, and
plans to chant it after the Torah is read at the
morning minyan at his shul on Presidents’
Day. (On Shabbat and holidays, chanted sec-
tions of the Prophets — the haftarah — follow
the Torah reading. The music of the chant,
signaled by notations in the text, is called
trope.)
Although there is always necessarily some
interpretation in translation, there is perhaps
a bit more in assigning trope, Rabbi Prouser
said. The musical notes “traditionally are
used to bring out the emphasis within the
text. There are certainly melodies that go
with climaxes and suspense. They them-
selves form a kind of commentary on the
biblical text.
“So the trope I use for the text is a commen-
tary on the text. I hope that it will bring out
the intent of Lincoln’s words, and bring them
closer to the listener.”
The service will be unchanged in every
other way; the Torah reading will proceed as
on any other Monday morning. He will chant
the address at the point in the service where
the haftarah is read on Shabbat and holidays;
the Torah will have been dressed but not yet
returned to the ark. He will not chant bless-
ings before and after, as he would were it a
haftarah he was reading, but otherwise the
service will be unchanged.
“Part of Lincoln’s message is that the Ameri-
can vision of freedom and national purpose
is constantly unfolding,” Rabbi Prouser said.
“We are always discovering it, and building
toward a more perfect expression of the
American dream.
“The Jewish people certainly have been
beneficiaries of the dream. Our purpose ulti-
mately is to celebrate the message that Lin-
coln tried to communicate in his own time,
and to offer an expression of gratitude for all
that it’s meant to the Jewish community.”
The shul has invited local officials to the
service. The invitations have been extended
by its co-chairs — Robert Yudin, who also
chairs the Bergen County Republican Orga-
nization, and Linda Schwager, a Democrat
and the mayor of Oakland.
“People forget that Lincoln was a
Republican,” Mr. Yudin said. “We Republi-
cans are proud of our heritage, proud that
Lincoln was the first Republican president,
and proud that we are the party that freed
the slaves.”
That is his feeling as a Republican. As a
Jew, “We trace our heritage back to when we
sought freedom from Pharaoh. It is a univer-
sal hope for people to be free, to be in charge
of their own destiny,” he said.
Ms. Schwager, a lawyer, is a longtime
shul member; in fact, she and her family
belonged to the Oakland Jewish Community
Center before it merged with Emanuel in the
late 1980s. A strong proponent of biparti-
sanship, she lives it every day, as the Demo-
cratic mayor of a Republican stronghold in a
Republican part of Bergen County. “I wish
there were no parties,” she said. “It would be
wonderful if we could all be nonpartisan, but
that’s not the real world.”
Ms. Schwager is thrilled about the Gettys-
burg haftarah, and the other local officials it
will attract, including Mayor Richard Gold-
berg of Hawthorne and Mayor Frank Bivona
of the shul’s hometown, Franklin Lakes. (It
will be undermined in a way, though, by its
own premise, she pointed out. It’s happen-
ing to mark Presidents’ Day — but Presidents’
Day is the start of a week of school vacation,
so many people, including local leaders who
otherwise would have joined them, will be
out of town.)
“I am so excited to be part of it!” she said. “I
normally would not get up so early to get to
the minyan — but I’ll be there.”
The Gettysburg Address
Who: Rabbi Joseph Prouser of Temple Emanuel of North Jersey
What: Will read the Gettysburg Address in Hebrew, set to haftarah trope
When: At the morning minyan on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 17, from
8 to 9:15
Where: Temple Emanuel, 558 High Mountain Road, Franklin Lakes
Why: To make explicit the connections between Jewish and American history,
and to honor the memory of the Great Emancipator.
For information: Call the shul at (201) 560-0200.
A contemporary postcard imagines the scene at Gettysburg.
Local
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JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 7
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Facebook bubbles with praise
for Scarlett Johansson
Hoboken resident launched page to show
support for her SodaStream stand
LARRY YUDELSON
Actress Scarlett Johansson wandered
into a fizzing storm of controversy when
she became “brand ambassador” and
Super Bowl ad star for SodaStream, the
Israeli manufacturer of do-it-yourself
carbonation products.
When her partnership with Soda-
Stream was announced, Ms. Johansson
was shpritzed by pro-Palestinian advo-
cates, with the harshest blows coming
from the Oxfam organization for which
she had served as a “global ambassa-
dor” for eight years.
The company said that promoting
SodaStream was “incompatible with her
role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador,”
because the company has a manufactur-
ing plant in the west bank, in an indus-
trial park adjacent to Ma’aleh Adumim.
To the delight of Israel supporters and
opponents of the Palestinian call for boy-
cott, divestment, and sanctions against
Israel, Ms. Johansson stuck with Soda-
Stream and quit her Oxfam gig.
In Hoboken last Wednes-
day evening, Liran Kapo-
ano, by day the director of
the Center for Israel Engage-
ment at the Jewish Federa-
tion of Northern New Jer-
sey, wanted to see who else
shared his happiness over
Ms. Johannson’s decision.
Looking on Facebook, he
wondered whether anyone
had made a page support-
ing her. His search came up
empty. So he started a page, “I support
Scarlett Johansson against the haters.”
He notified a couple of his friends with
whom he had fought against Palestinian
deligitimization of Israel as students at
Rutgers, and they liked the page.
As it turned out, he hit a nerve.
“All of a sudden we had ten or 15 likes
even though there were only three of
us,” he said. “By the time I went to sleep,
we had 250 people” liking the page.
In fact, that rapid support had a draw-
back. By the time he realized that he
had misspelled the actress’ name in cre-
ating the Facebook page, the page had
too many supporters for him to change
it himself. He had to appeal to Facebook
customer service to make the change — a
process that took several days.
That first night, he expressed the
hope that by the time the ad aired on the
Super Bowl, the page would have gar-
nered 10,000 likes.
Sure enough, by the time the game
was over, the page had 13,500.
The airing of the SodaStream ad didn’t
end the discussion — or the growing sup-
port for the page, which as of midday
Tuesday had more than 24,000 likes.
“There’s this group of people who
are big Israel supporters and have had
enough of this” talk of boycotts, Mr.
Kapoano said. “That’s what
it boils down to. People see
a pretty face being attacked
for no real reason.
“There’s this kind of per-
ception we’re under fire. In
reality, it doesn’t have much
tangible value in terms of
actually achieving a kind of
goal, other than getting a
very few celebrities like Elvis
Costello to vouch for them,”
he said.
Mr. Kapoano, who admits to not
having been particularly aware of Ms.
Johansson, though he enjoyed her role
in “The Avengers,” said he thinks that
attacking her may have been overreach
by the BDS movement.
“She’s a very likable person, she’s very
popular in mainstream culture. She has
a built-in base of people who want to
support her, even with nothing to do
with Israel,” he said.
Ms. Johansson insisted that the Pales-
tinians benefited from the SodaStream
factory.
“SodaStream is a company that is not
only committed to the environment but
to building a bridge to peace between
Israel and Palestine, supporting neigh-
bors working alongside each other,
receiving equal pay, equal benefits and
equal rights,” she said in a statement.
On the BDS side, though, the contre-
temps over Johanssen has been judged
a success. It brought their campaign a
SEE JOHANSSON PAGE 42
Scarlett Johansson
Liran Kapoano
Local
8 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-8*
Welcoming girls to the covenant
Local woman’s book takes detailed look at history and
advocates future for ceremonies for female newborn Jews
JOANNE PALMER
A
little more than a decade ago,
Sharon Siegel of Teaneck was
pregnant with her first child.
She and her husband, Dan
Schlosberg, decided not to learn the
baby’s gender, but Ms. Siegel, a lawyer
by trade and training and an academic by
nurture and instinct, knew that she had to
prepare for the ceremony that would wel-
come their newborn to the Jewish world.
If it was a boy, fine. She knew — or as she
later learned, she thought she knew — the
basic outlines of the brit milah — the cer-
emony of ritual circumcision — although
she was hazy on the details.
But if it was a girl? What then?
She decided to find out, beginning with
the easier ceremony, the brit milah. “I
opened my siddur to the back, to see what
the liturgy was,” she said.
Ten years, countless hours
in libraries, many hundreds
of footnotes, three daugh-
ters, and a son later — and
with the loving and entirely
necessary support of her
husband and her parents —
Ms. Siegel also has delivered
a book, “A Jewish Ceremony
for Newborn Girls: The
Torah’s Covenant Affirmed,”
published as part of the HBI
Series on Jewish Women by
Brandeis University press.
The book has taken Ms. Siegel in many
directions: she investigates ceremonies for
baby girls; devotes a great deal of thought
to the meaning of covenant; studies ritual
as it changes; thinks broadly about hala-
cha, liturgy, and change; and finally advo-
cates for a systematic way to welcome
brand new female Jews to the covenant.
Ah. Covenant. What does that mean?
“We almost universally connect the
Jewish covenant with circumcision,” Ms.
Siegel said. “I started from the very begin-
ning, with the parshiot that had to do with
Abraham, and how we became a people,
and I realized that was the chapter that
introduced circumcision.”
To learn about it, she had to start from
the beginning. It’s not that she didn’t know
the basics — originally from Fair Lawn, Ms.
Siegel had graduated first from the Yavneh
Academy and then the Frisch School
before going on to Columbia as an under-
graduate and then to law school there. “I
of course was very clear on the ritual, but
I didn’t know what the surrounding liturgy
was,” she said.
“I learned that like all our liturgy, it
evolved, actually changed substantially
over time.” For example, “in
the early medieval time, there
were a couple of centuries
where blood had developed a
spirituality to it.” That was in
response to the Dark Age Christianity that
surrounded the Jews.
That points out one of her themes.
“Nothing is stagnant,” Ms. Siegel said.
“That of course is obvious, but when you
are researching a specific or narrow area,
it’s easier for that to come into focus.” In
her book, she writes less about halacha
itself than “about customs in the halachic
system — how integral they are, and how
as customs change the whole sensibility of
our practices changes. It’s a very gradual,
very slow change.
She puts ceremonies for baby girls into
that framework.
“Customs are so fluid,” she continued.
“They are messy. They sometimes conflict
with normative halacha, and sometimes
they don’t. Sometimes they become hal-
acha, and sometimes they are virulently
rejected by halachic authorities. There is
so much give and take because there is a
deference to halacha.
“What is amazing to me about customs
is that they come from the people,” she
continued. Customs go down-up, not top-
down. Today, when we think about Jewish
practice and about halacha, we think more
in terms of the top-down model, but really
we are a people who have been going
down-up for a long time.
“The two go hand in hand.”
Using that understanding, “I was able to
think broadly about it, and then take a step
back and say okay, how does my stuff fit
into this? And it does.”
The question of how to bring babies
into the Jewish people is always emotion-
ally fraught, she said. “Everyone has such
a personal perspective, because there is
nothing more intimate than a baby who
is brand new to the world,” but the cere-
mony itself is public. “It is such an emo-
tionally laden time. It was almost shocking
to me, how strong the emotions were.
Before the 1970s “the modern ceremo-
nies did not exist,” she said. Well before
then, a few remote corners of the Sephardi
and Mizrachi world had developed wel-
coming rituals for baby girls. Ashkenazim
had not.
“The ceremonies that developed in the
1970s in a whirl of creativity are a genre
unto themselves,” Ms. Siegel said. “There
is no precedent. There have been efforts
to connect it to more traditional forms
of welcoming baby girls, to earlier tra-
ditional folk practices, but they are not
connected.
“That fact is important because it is
true. It is also important because the
ceremonies are no different from the many
customs that have developed throughout
our entire existence.
“It’s not good or bad. It just is. It is a
statement of fact.
“New customs have been evolving all
the time.”
The ceremonies caught on very quickly
in the liberal Jewish world, clearly filling a
gaping need. Eventually, they even started
establishing a foothold among the modern
Orthodox.
“Of course it is very important for rituals
to be evocative and meaningful, and at the
same time it is very important to connect
them with thousands of years of tradition,”
Ms. Siegel said.
To learn what kind of ceremonies are
being done now, Ms. Siegel cold-called
rabbis across the denominational spec-
trum from around the country. She was
struck by the ad-hoc nature of some of
them. “One rabbi said ‘We have the par-
ents come up to the bimah and we kind
of say a few things…’ I got off the phone,
and then it struck me. How could he have
said that?
“It was so … cute. There should be noth-
ing cute about it.
“These ceremonies should be commem-
orative, not celebratory. They are not an
excuse to have a party. Neither is a circum-
cision. Parties are fun, and you can have a
party afterward, but that is not the reason.
This is the initiative of a newborn baby into
the covenant.
“That is not cute. It is deadly serious
stuff.”
Even as they clear the Scylla of the
cutesy, ceremonies also must stay away
from the Charybdis of the excessively
wordy. “I talked to a Conservative rabbi
who said that sometimes he gets the feel-
ing that people are using words to fill the
void that the circumcision is for boys.
“To me the key is having a central rit-
ual,” she continued. “Words can be beau-
tiful, but there has to be something active
to parallel circumcision.” There also must
be standardization. That is not something
that can be forced; it must happen slowly,
one baby at a time.
Her research eventually took her to
the heart of her book, the chapter that
“goes through the different courses and
discusses the fundamental question of
whether women are part of the covenant.
I come out on the side of yes.”
The reason the question demands to
be asked is the conflation of the abstract
idea of the covenant with the very physi-
cal brit milah, the circumcision. The word
brit means covenant — the ceremony is
often simply called a bris, the Ashkenazi
Daughters Dafna and Nurit look on as their parents begin the brit
milah for their son, Yakir, who is held by his grandfather, Marshall Siegel.
Sharon Siegel
Local
JS-9*
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 9

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pronunciation calling attention to the fact that the act
itself has come to be synonymous with the covenant.
“That is erroneous,” Ms. Siegel said. “And that
erroneous belief has unwittingly excluded women
from the Jewish covenant.” The covenant is meant to
include all Jews. “It is the raison d’etre of the Jewish
people. It is why we exist, it is for what we exist. It
is the whole shebang. It is the primary theme in the
Tanach. It is everything; the pillar of Jewish belief and
Jewish culture.
“And it is all of ours.”
Circumcision certainly is a symbol of covenant, she
said, an intimate symbol, but it is far from the only
symbol. It is physical; covenant is metaphysical.
“It is crucial that every single Jew is embraced into
the covenant,” she said. If they are born into the Jew-
ish world, it should be done when they are newborn.
Becoming bat mitzvah means becoming a mature
member of the covenant; how can you do that if you
have been kept outside it?
In her book, Ms. Siegel details how circumcision
and covenant became synonymous; it is a fascinating
if gory story, a look into how the Greco-Roman dispar-
agement of the practice led the rabbis to develop some
very physical ways to counter that push.
The one question that stumps Ms. Siegel is why
baby girls have not been publicly welcomed into the
Jewish community. She simply does not know why;
the old apologetics seem inadequate but she does not
have new ones. “I am not in the business of perpetu-
ating apologies,” she said. “I look at how things are
now, how they came to be, and how to make these
rituals as meaningful and powerful as they can be and
should be.”
Or, as she wrote in the introduction to her book,
tacking the mantra of tradition and change, the bal-
ance that so many Jews from across the movements
seek, albeit differently: “The balance between tradi-
tion and change is very delicate, and the all-important
question is where to place the fulcrum at any given
moment.”
This book not only looks at ways to welcome baby
girls into the covenant, and more broadly at the cov-
enant itself, it also gives us a chance to examine that
fulcrum.
Sharon Siegel and Dan Schlosberg welcome
8-day-old Tamar to the covenant as they wrap
her in a talit.
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10 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-10*
Tzena composer remembers Pete Seeger
Issachar Miron shares memories
LARRY YUDELSON
T
he week after Pete Seeger died
seemed an appropriate time
to visit a longtime colleague
of his. Issachar Miron, whose
daughter, Ruth Miron-Schleider, lives in
Englewood, now has an apartment on
Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Mr. Miron was born in Poland but he
was in Palestine when he wrote the music
that made him famous in his youth and
a friend to Seeger for many years after.
That was the music for the song Tzena.
Mr. Miron likes to tell the story of how
he and Mr. Seeger met.
Tzena had risen to the top of the Bill-
board charts when it was recorded by
Mr. Seeger’s group, the Weavers; other
groups recorded the popular tune as
well. (It was introduced to the world as
the flip side of the 45 “Goodnight Irene.”)
Mr. Miron had come to
New York at his music pub-
lisher’s request in 1950. He
was there to ight for the roy-
alties due him; the Weavers’
record company used a com-
plicated mechanism to cheat
him.
The legal battle that fol-
lowed ultimately awarded
him ownership of two-thirds
of the song. (The other third
went to an American com-
poser, Julius Grossman.) And
it launched a third stage in
his life: He settled perma-
nently in New York City,
writing music, teaching at
the Jewish Theological Semi-
nary, and working for Jewish
organizations, including the
United Jewish Appeal and
the American-Israel Cultural
Foundation.
If proving ownership of
Tzena was acrimonious — the
topic occupied Israeli court-
rooms as well — the meeting with Mr.
Seeger, as Mr. Miron recalls it, was any-
thing but.
“I heard that at the Village Gate, a little
club in Greenwich Village, there was a
singer singing Tzena every night,” he said.
“So I went to the Village and I saw
Pete Seeger. I went up to him and he
embraced me and I thanked him for tak-
ing my little song and making it popular
in New York. He smiled and he said, ‘And
I thank Issachar Maron for catapulting
me and the Weavers to the top.’
“Afterward, we were in touch over the
years. He was coming to me quite regu-
larly to say hello, to sing together, to
speak,” Mr. Miron said.
Recently, Mr. Miron earned a share of a
Grammy for his role in Pete Seeger’s 2008
album, “At 89.”
Mr. Seeger added Arabic lyrics to the
song for the album, written by a friend of
Mr. Miron’s in Haifa.
That version also had its Hebrew lyrics
modiied to more closely match the Eng-
lish words: “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena, Tzena,
/ Can’t you hear the music playing / In the
city square? / Tzena, Tzena, Tzena, Tzena,
/ Come where all our friends will ind us /
With the dancers there.”
It had been more than half a century,
after all, since Mr. Seeger had served in
the U.S. Army and written songs attack-
ing Hitler and supporting the war effort;
he had long since assumed the role
of peacenik. But the origins of Tzena,
both words and music, were strictly
in the military. They came from that
odd moment of Jewish military history
where Hebrew-speaking Jewish soldiers
were organized in their own compa-
nies, regiments, and ultimately a bri-
gade under British command.
Mr. Miron was 20 when he wrote the
song. He had come to British-ruled Pal-
estine not long earlier and joined a kib-
butz before enlisting with the British
army.
In Poland, his family name had been
Michrovsky. He was from the central Pol-
ish town of Kutno, whose most famous res-
ident was the Yiddish author Sholem Asch.
(Mr. Asch’s son, Moses, started the Folk-
ways Record company, which recorded
Mr. Seeger back in 1943 and went on to
release many of his records.)
Mr. Miron’s father was a violinist; his
mother, who died when he was 7, was a
pianist.
The elder Mr. Miron had been ordained
as a rabbi and then went to university
to learn the violin. “It was a sin in those
days,” said his son. When he discovered
that music could not earn him a living it
was too late to return to the rabbinate, but
he found success in business.
Issachar, born in 1920, learned both
Judaism and music from his rabbi/musi-
cian father, His prime instrument was the
piano, although he could also play French
horn and other instruments. He was a
member of Beitar, the Zionist youth move-
ment, and as Polish anti-Semitism gath-
ered strength he saw it was time to leave.
“I realized that there is no future for
the Jews in Europe any longer,” Mr. Miron
recalled. “My father said ‘You are proba-
bly right, but we are already 780 years in
Poland and there were good times, very
good times, and also very bad times, and
we will survive.’
“But he said ‘If you are so eager to go to
Israel I’ll give you my blessing.’ So I left,
and unfortunately I was the only survivor
of my entire family.”
Serving in a Hebrew-speaking company
of the British Army in Palestine, Mr. Miron
composed a company anthem and the
regimental song, as well as a few others.
Eliezer Lubrani, who headed the Hebrew
section of the British-controlled Palestine
Broadcasting Service, heard the company
singing the songs in Hebrew and tracked
down Mr. Miron. The result was a radio
show “dedicated to the wonder that a sol-
dier wrote these several songs that caught
on,” as Mr. Miron recalled it.
Issachar Miron in his Manhattan apartment, and inset, with Pete Seeger.
SEE MIRON PAGE 42
JS-11
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 11
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Local
12 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-12*
February 17 is date for
annual interfaith breakfast
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is among the sponsors
of the 28th annual Interfaith Brotherhood/Sisterhood of Bergen
County breakfast, set for Monday, February 17, President’s Day.
The breakfast begins at 10 a.m. at the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton.
Author and playwright Dr. Dorothy Marcic, a professor at
Columbia University, will discuss “Faith and Values in Our Con-
temporary Society.”
This year’s host is the Baha’i community. Among the other
faith communities represented are Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim,
Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Sikh.
Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable items (no glass) to
help feed the hungry. For ticket information, call JFNNJ at (201)
820-3944 or go to www.jfnnj.org.
Debra Passner Robin and Justin Straus
Ma’ayanot plans dinner gala
Parents, students, alumnae, and friends
of Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls
will gather at Congregation Keter Torah
in Teaneck on Saturday, March 8, at 8:30
p.m., for the school’s annual scholarship
dinner, where five people will be honored.
Mark and Bracha Bluman will receive the
Keter Shem Tov award for their commit-
ment to Ma’ayanot’s mission, growth, and
success. Mr. Bluman was the school’s trea-
surer from 2007 to 2013, and Ms. Bluman
was on Ma’ayanot’s education committee
and has run a multitude of projects and
events, from open houses to graduation.
Dr. Ernie and Sallie Levi are being hon-
ored as parents of the year for enhancing
Ma’ayanot’s academic community. Ms.
Levi served as president of the Ma’ayanot
Parent Council from 2011 to 2013, bringing
creativity and innovative ideas to improve
school events and the students’ daily
experiences.
Abbie Rabin, who recently retired as the
school’s director of college guidance, will
receive the faculty appreciation award.
Ms. Rabin was the founding director of
Ma’ayanot’s college guidance department,
which she shaped and directed for 15 years.
All funds raised will benefit Ma’ayanot’s
scholarship program, which awarded more
than $1 million to families in need this fiscal
year. For information, email Pam Ennis at
ennisp@maayanot.org or call her at (201)
833-4307, ext. 265.
Abbie Rabin Mark and Bracha Bluman Dr. Ernie and Sallie Levi
PHOTOS COURTESY MA’AYANOT
P
H
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T
O
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C
O
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T
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S
Y

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S
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O
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Annual dinner set at
Congregation Netivot Shalom
Robin and Justin Straus will be hon-
ored with the Sema Heller Memorial
award at Netivot Shalom’s annual
dinner on Saturday, February 22, at
8 p.m. Debra Passner will receive the
service award. Netivot Shalom is a
Modern Orthodox synagogue.
Robin and Justin Straus, who have
lived in Teaneck for more than 30
years, are founding members of
Netivot Shalom and have been active
there since its inception in 1997. Jus-
tin Straus served on the synagogue’s
board and for many years was a regu-
lar leader of its Shabbat and holiday
services. He is a member of the house
committee and also was a member of
the aron acquisition committee.
With Robin, he has led the shul’s
participation in the Bergen County
Chanukah toy drive for the last
several years. Justin has served on
the boards of the Jewish Center of
Teaneck and the Jewish Federa-
tion of Northern New Jersey and is
a founding member of the Shirah
chorus at the Kaplen JCC on the
Palisades.
Robin Straus also served on the
shul board, and was the first chair
of the shul’s chesed committee.
She also served on the dinner and
membership committees. She is on
the board of Yad Lakashish, which
works with needy elderly in Jerusa-
lem, and she and the entire Straus
family have run several Chanukah
boutiques to benefit that organiza-
tion. She is outreach and education
coordinator at the Adler Aphasia
Center in Maywood, where she was
an active volunteer before joining
the staff three years ago.
The Strauses have three children:
Joshua, who lives in Tel Aviv, Rachel,
who lives in New York City, and
Keren, is a freshman at the Univer-
sity of Maryland.
Debra Passner and her husband,
Jonathan, began attending Netivot
Shalom when they moved to Teaneck
nine years ago. She chaired the shul’s
youth committee for three years,
planned its annual Purim carnival,
ran the family minyan program, and
helped recruit and hire a new youth
director. She also served on the board
as the vice president of programming
for two years.
For the past several years she has
organized JF-NNJ Mitzvah Day col-
lection drives at Netivot Shalom and
at the Ben Porat Yosef school. She
serves on the shul’s membership
committee, delivered meals for Tom-
chai Shabbos, and is a mentor for the
Mentoring Moms Program of the Ber-
gen County Volunteers Center. She
and her husband have two sons, Sam
and Boaz.
For information, call (201) 801-0707
or go to info@netivotshalomnj.org.
Frisch School dinner this weekend
The Frisch School Family will celebrate
its 41st annual dinner this Saturday, Feb-
ruary 8, at 8 p.m., at the Teaneck Mar-
riott at Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck.
Attendees will celebrate the many ways
that people choose to “Connect with
Frisch.”
Jeanette and Martin Heistein are the
guests of honor, Amy Albalah will receive
the Nedivat Lev award, Maren Stein-
berger Scharf (’97) and Robert Scharf
(’93) are the Alumni Recognition award
recipients, and Phoebe Weisbrot is the
Rav Shlomo Kahn Memorial Educator’s
awardee. For information, go to www.
frischdinner.com.
Martin and Jeanette
Heistein
Maren and Robert
Scharf
Amy Albalah
Phoebe Weisbrot
P
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O
S

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O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

F
R
I
S
C
H
Dr. Dorothy Marcic
JS-13
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 13
KAPLEN JCC on the Palisades 411 EAST CLINTON AVENUE, TENAFLY, NJ 07670 | 201.569.7900 | jccotp.org
TO REGISTER OR FOR MORE INFO, VISIT
jccotp.org OR CALL 201. 569.7900.
UPCOMING AT
JUDAICS
KAPLEN JCC on the Palisades
TEENS
JCC University
WINTER SESSION CONTINUES FEBRUARY 13
MORNING SESSION: Bioterrorism/Cybersecurity—
Threats and Preparedness with Dr. Leonard Cole,
Director of the Program on Terror Medicine and Security at
UMDNJ.
AFTERNOON SESSION: Standing Up: A Memoir of a
Funny (Not Always) Life with Marion Grodin, who
shares personal experiences that teach us that laughter is
truly the best medicine. Made possible by James H.
Grossmann Memorial Jewish Book Month.
To register, contact Kathy at 201.408.1454 or kgraf@jccotp.org.
Thurs, Feb 13, 10:30-2:15 pm, $35/$42 or series of three,
Feb 13, 27 & Mar 13, $100/$124
2014 Poetry Slam Contest
ABE OSTER HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AWARD
FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, GRADES 9–12
Create an original videotaped poem or narrative
monologue that communicates the relevance of
the Holocaust in the 21st Century. $1000 cash
prize for first place; $500 second place. For more
info, contest rules and applications visit us at
www.jccotp.org/holocaust-education.
Deadline: Fri, Mar 14
The Pew Research Center’s
Report on Jewish Americans
What does being Jewish mean in America
today? Featuring Rabbi Reuven Kimelman,
JCC Rabbi-in-Residence, and the following
panelists: Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO of the
Foundation for Jewish Camp; Rabbi Shmuel
Goldin of Congregation Ahavas Torah
in Englewood (Orthodox); and Rabbi
David Widzer of Temple Beth El of
Northern Valley (Reform).
Wed, Feb, 12, 8:15-9:30 pm, Free
JUDAICS
Fiesta Mexicana!
MEXICAN FEAST WITH CHEF MICHAEL WOLF,
JUST BACK FROM CAESAR’S PALACE IN LAS VEGAS.
Prepare fantastic healthy Mexican dishes and learn
essential knife skills. Menu includes 5 salsas: tomatillo
avocado, roasted pepper salsa, pico de gallo, mango
corn salsa, and classic tomato salsa, easy fish tacos
and tempeh (veggie meat replacement) Chili Verde
followed by a Tres Leches cake. For more info, contact
Judy at 201.408.1457.
Thurs, Mar 6, 7-9:30 pm, $60/$75
Hebrew Calligraphy
SOFER JAY GREENSPAN
Learn the art of writing Hebrew letters with elegance,
beauty, and consistency. Individual projects will be
strongly encouraged, while learning basic illumination
techniques. All levels and lefties welcome.
Tuesdays, Feb 11–April 1, 10-11:45 am, $200/$230, Plus
$20 materials fee
A DAY OF CULINARY ADVENTURE
Come meet Eleni Gianopulos of Eleni’s Cookies
and hear her discuss her culinary adventures while
enjoying a light breakfast at the home of Michele &
Steven Sweetwood. Morning followed by lunch at a
home or venue of your choice where hostesses will
create a unique themed luncheon experience for your
pleasure. Proceeds support senior adult programs and
Services at the JCC. Sponsored by our hostesses and
Artistic Tile, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, Tapestrie
and Esthetica MD. Register online at jccotp.org. For
more info, contact Sharon Potolsky at 201.408.1405.
Wed, Mar 5, starting at $180 per person
Editorial
1086 Teaneck Road
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Editor Emerita
Rebecca Kaplan Boroson
TRUTH REGARDLESS OF CONSEQUENCES
Why America has
no chief rabbi
The fight for Israel is the great Jewish battle of our time.
The Jewish state has become the locus for all the irratio-
nal hatred felt for Jewry worldwide.
In defending Israel, we defend the future of our peo-
ple and Jewish life itself. To fail to stand up for Israel is
to suffer a spineless privation of Jewish pride.
Does a rabbi have any more important duty than
rebutting the slander that Jews are murderers who live
with corrupt values?
Those who believe that it is only lay leaders, not rab-
bis, who are responsible for responding to the likes of
Roger Waters, who compares Israel to the Nazis, and
only Middle East experts should respond to Stephen
Hawking, the biggest name yet to join the BDS move-
ment, make the mistake of believing that Judaism is only
of the heavens and not of the earth. Rabbis should not
dirty their hands by getting into a ring with those who
malign us, they believe. Rabbis should avoid contro-
versy and promote peace.
But saying that rabbis should not be at the vanguard
of fighting anti-Semitism and the defamation of the Jew-
ish state is an invitation for rabbis to become spiritually
irrelevant communal mediocrities.
Last Shabbos my Engle-
wood community hosted
former UK Chief Rabbi Lord
Jonathan Sacks, who also
merited a cover story in this
newspaper. He was scholar
in residence at Congregation
Ahavath Torah, which Rabbi
Shmuel Goldin has built into
a modern Orthodox super-
power and easily one of the
most successful synagogues
in the world. Ahavath Torah
is a community that bucks
the trend of synagogue decline. It is bursting at the
seams.
When I lived in the UK, Rabbi Sacks was my hero. I
was and remain awed by his writings. A gifted com-
municator, Rabbi Sacks combines scholarship with a
thoroughly modern understanding of social currents. I
sought his counsel many times in my work in Oxford
and was his foremost defender against calls for his res-
ignation when he was viciously attacked for refusing
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach served as rabbi at Oxford
for 11 years and has won the London Times Preacher
of the Year competition. Follow him on Twitter @
RabbiShmuley.
14 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-14*
Godwin’s law and Israel’s
W
e’re fans of Rabbi
Dov Lipman, the Beit
Shemesh Orthodox
rabbi elected to Isra-
el’s Knesset last year with the secular
Yesh Atid party. So when we hear that
he’s supporting a bill we would ordi-
narily dismiss out of hand, we give
him a fair hearing.
In this case, the proposed law
would prohibit the word “Nazi” in
contexts other than “for the purpose
of learning, documentation, scientific
study or historical accounts.”
In general, we’re big fans of the
American approach to criminaliz-
ing offensive words: “Congress shall
make no law ... abridging the free-
dom of speech, or of the press.”
Rabbi Lipman was born in Amer-
ica but he explained his co-sponsor-
ship of the measure to the New York
Times like this: “Freedom of speech
is important, but in my opinion,
every country has to establish certain
value-based limits.”
He recalled being called “Nazi”
himself, when he was defending
modern Orthodox school girls in Beit
Shemesh from assaults by charedi
mobs who wanted their school build-
ing for their own institutions.
Yet in the end it is the Beit Shem-
esh experience itself that convinces
us that speech — even as offensive as
that which trivializes the Holocaust —
should be free.
The charedim who spat at 8-year-
old girls and calling them “whores”
because they wore modern Orthodox
rather than ultra-Orthodox cloth-
ing, were arguably guilty of assault.
And the girls’ parents went to the
police reporting the crimes, seeking
both police protection and possible
prosecution.
The police — presumably directed
by the town’s charedi mayor, Moshe
Abutbol — didn’t write down or file
the complaints.
And this failure to report the
crime has now been used to claim
that the crime never occurred; that
the offenses committed by their
community never took place.
In the end, laws are enforced not
by a blind objective justice, but by
real, flawed authorities. Here in New
Jersey, we have our own experience
of the disproportionate way reason-
able laws — such as those allowing
state police to stop motorists — are
used against those whom the police
don’t like. In Israel, we’ve seen time
and again that crimes committed by
charedim — including firebombing
bookstores, attacking soldiers, and
interfering with the police — never
result in serious jail time. After all,
in Israel the police ultimately answer
to the prime minister, and the prime
minister is always thinking of the next
election.
So count us as First Amendment
absolutists: Better a marketplace of
ideas, no matter how vile and offen-
sive, than one in which the authori-
ties weigh in, perhaps on the side of
truth and goodness or perhaps just
on the side of their friends.
-LY
Strength to Strength
Last weekend Philip Seymour Hoff-
man, the Oscar award-winning actor,
was found dead in his Greenwich Vil-
lage home.
Although he had reported himself
clear for almost 30 decades, early
word is that apparently he died of a
heroin overdose.
In July 2013, Cory Monteith, an
actor on the TV show “Glee,” died as
a result of a toxic mixture of heroin
and alcohol.
Maryl and and Pennsylvani a
reported a near-epidemic of heroin
related deaths last week. The heroin
was laced with the sedative fentanyl.
The Federal Drug Enforcement
Agency has said that heroin has hit
the Northeast United States like a
tidal wave. It is inexpensive and eas-
ily available. The federal Substance
and Mental Health Services Admin-
istration reported that more than
669,000 Americans over the age of 12
had used heroin at some point dur-
ing 2012.
Does this have anything to do with
Jews? Absolutely it does.
As we report this week, substance
abuse affects our community just as it
affects others. Strength to Strength, a
non-12-step program based at Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades, helps parents
cope; similarly, JACS — Jewish Alco-
holics, Chemically dependent per-
sons, & Significant others — aimed
specifically at Jews, works both
with people battling a range of sub-
stance abuses and with their fami-
lies. (To learn more about Strength to
Strength, call 201-408-1403 or email
cleslie@jccotp.org; for JACs, call 201-
837-9090 or email ira@jfsbergen.org.
Being Jewish does not render us
immune from the ravages of addic-
tion. There should be no stigma
attached to recognizing that fact and
reaching out for help. PJ/JP
Rabbi
Shmuley
Boteach
Op-Ed
JS-15*
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 15
TRUTH REGARDLESS OF CONSEQUENCES
Why America has
no chief rabbi
The fight for Israel is the great Jewish battle of our time.
The Jewish state has become the locus for all the irratio-
nal hatred felt for Jewry worldwide.
In defending Israel, we defend the future of our peo-
ple and Jewish life itself. To fail to stand up for Israel is
to suffer a spineless privation of Jewish pride.
Does a rabbi have any more important duty than
rebutting the slander that Jews are murderers who live
with corrupt values?
Those who believe that it is only lay leaders, not rab-
bis, who are responsible for responding to the likes of
Roger Waters, who compares Israel to the Nazis, and
only Middle East experts should respond to Stephen
Hawking, the biggest name yet to join the BDS move-
ment, make the mistake of believing that Judaism is only
of the heavens and not of the earth. Rabbis should not
dirty their hands by getting into a ring with those who
malign us, they believe. Rabbis should avoid contro-
versy and promote peace.
But saying that rabbis should not be at the vanguard
of fighting anti-Semitism and the defamation of the Jew-
ish state is an invitation for rabbis to become spiritually
irrelevant communal mediocrities.
Last Shabbos my Engle-
wood community hosted
former UK Chief Rabbi Lord
Jonathan Sacks, who also
merited a cover story in this
newspaper. He was scholar
in residence at Congregation
Ahavath Torah, which Rabbi
Shmuel Goldin has built into
a modern Orthodox super-
power and easily one of the
most successful synagogues
in the world. Ahavath Torah
is a community that bucks
the trend of synagogue decline. It is bursting at the
seams.
When I lived in the UK, Rabbi Sacks was my hero. I
was and remain awed by his writings. A gifted com-
municator, Rabbi Sacks combines scholarship with a
thoroughly modern understanding of social currents. I
sought his counsel many times in my work in Oxford
and was his foremost defender against calls for his res-
ignation when he was viciously attacked for refusing
to attend the funeral of Holocaust survivor Hugo Gryn
because he had been a Reform rabbi.
But after I departed the UK and witnessed the grow-
ing tide of Israel-hatred in Britain I could no longer
understand Rabbi Sacks’ unwillingness to combat the
assault on the Jewish state. Worse still was “Prophet of
Hope,” his 2002 interview in the Guardian, where he
said that certain actions on the part of Israeli soldiers
“on a daily basis” left him “profoundly shocked” and
“uncomfortable as a Jew.” The Jerusalem Post called on
Rabbi Sacks to resign.
Here lies the paradox of Rabbi Sacks’ career as chief
rabbi, and why we in America have never been even
remotely interested in appointing one.
While Rabbi Sacks’ stature rose, the UK community
stagnated, shriveled, and diminished under his lead-
ership. Indeed, the paradox of his leadership is how,
although Britain was privileged with arguably the most
effective Jewish apologist of our generation, anti-Semi-
tism and anti-Israel sentiment exploded to frightening
proportions under his watch.
Some examples include the astonishing 2009 British
High Court ruling that the Orthodox community had
no right to determine membership in its community,
the arrest warrant a British court issued against Israeli
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the mandate that produce
from the west bank had to be labeled as coming from
the occupied territories, and the British academic estab-
lishment’s ban on Israeli academics at their conferences.
Worse of all is the loss of British campuses, a place where
Jewish students often are afraid to even wear yarmul-
kes. Rabbi Sacks reluctantly acknowledged that in 2008,
when he said: “We hope that university vice chancellors
will recognize the feeling of vulnerability that Jewish stu-
dents have expressed at many university campuses. Part
of the essence of a university is that everyone enters in
an atmosphere in which they are accepted.”
And this ignores the shocking number of physical
attacks against Jews in the British Isles.
How could such an outpouring of anti-Jewish emotion
erupt while Rabbi Sacks had unfettered access to the
airwaves and campuses? He refused to engage these hat-
ers. A chief rabbi is a member of the establishment, and
establishment figures — seeking respectability above
all else — try to avoid controversy and confrontation.
That is why we in America have never bothered with
the stifling office of chief rabbi, preferring to follow the
American example of the rabbinate as a meritocracy,
with capable leaders rising to the top rather than being
appointed.
That Rabbi Sacks did not take to the BBC to say defini-
tively that the portrayal of Israel in the British media is
for the most part foul and biased will forever remain
one of the great failures of his tenure. That he did not
speak out at his alma mater, Cambridge, even when
Stephen Hawking, in his ignorance, joined BDS, forever
will taint his legacy.
The central quality of leadership is not eloquence
but moral courage. Moses was a stutterer who became
a leader when he witnessed an Egyptian taskmaster
savagely beating a Jew. Though Moses was a member
of the Egyptian establishment he spoke truth to power
and allied himself with his people, even though it meant
being rejected by the Egyptian House of Lords. The Brit-
ish dismissed Winston Churchill as a drunk and a crank
for sounding the alarm against Hitler, but his steadfast-
ness in combating evil is what saved Western civilization.
Jonathan Sacks will be remembered as one of Juda-
ism’s most eloquent spokesmen, who prospered as chief
rabbi while his community weakened and regressed.
An open letter
to Shadrach Levi Mugoya
My Dear Shadrach:
Shalom Aleichem! How
proud I was — and how happy
for you — to read of your desire
to make aliyah to Israel, and
there to assume your rightful
place as a member of the Jew-
ish people and as a citizen of
the Jewish state. May you go
from strength to strength!
Your application to the
Israeli Interior Ministry has
been described, in Haaretz
and elsewhere, as a “test case”
for the Law of Return. That is
because you are the first mem-
ber of Uganda’s Abayudaya
community, converted to Juda-
ism by a Conservative bet din
in 2002, formally to request
recognition as a Jew, and to
seek license to move from
Uganda to Israel. As you undergo what may be an ardu-
ous process of government bureaucracy and hurtful reli-
gious politics, please remember that I and many others
are behind you, praying for you, and looking forward to
your successful, productive, and historic aliyah.
The Interior Ministry has been quoted as saying: “This
is the first time we have received a request to recog-
nize, under the Law of Return, conversions performed
abroad (whether Orthodox
or non-Orthodox) of an entire
tribe that has no Jewish roots.”
Indeed, the Abayudaya (a com-
munity of thoughtful, pious
Jews; not a “tribe”) claim no
Jewish ancestry, but embraced
Jewish tradition out of sincere
conviction in the early twenti-
eth century.
I trust that the Israeli gov-
ernment will view this fact in
terms articulated long ago by
Maimonides. Addressing him-
self to “Obadiah, the wise and learned proselyte,” Mai-
monides wrote: “Do not consider your origin as infe-
rior. While we (those born as Jews) are the descendants
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, your religious pedigree
derives directly from God, the Creator.”
It may have been the bet din that with exacting attention
to the strictures of halachah certified your Jewish status,
but it was God Himself who brought you and your com-
munity into the Covenant of Israel. Surely, in time, those
credentials will satisfy even the Israeli establishment!
It was a great personal privilege for me to serve on the
bet din that interviewed you and supervised your con-
version on February 11, 2002. I still have my handwritten
notes from the day’s proceedings. While the hundreds of
Abayudaya appearing before our rabbinic court already
all proudly bore Hebrew names, drawn from Biblical,
talmudic, or contemporary Israeli sources, “Shadrach”
was among the more unusual, so I remember meeting
you and your family well. Your biblical namesake was
a prince of Judah, taken into Babylonian captivity by
Nebuchadnezzar.
Much like the Abayudaya over the last 95 years — five
generations and more — Shadrach (together with Meshach,
Abednego, and Daniel), were tenacious in their religious
principles and defiant in their observance of Jewish prac-
tice, even in exile and under despotic regimes. Refusing to
abandon his faith, Shadrach was cast into a fiery furnace.
An angel of God rescued Shadrach (see Daniel, Chapter
3), delivering him and his companions from their captors’
cruel designs. It is my prayer that the remarkable faith in
God, which is at the very heart of your Abayudaya heri-
tage, will sustain you, as well, and that no trial or obstacle
will keep you from taking your place among the Jewish
people in its own land.
Shadrach, among the many enlightening conversations
I had with members of the Abayudaya community dur-
ing my time in Uganda was one concerning Jewish iden-
tity. Many among your community were taken aback
that members of the rabbinic court, religious leaders liv-
ing in countries far more hospitable than Uganda to acts
of Jewish identification, nevertheless used distinctively
English names: Rabbis Howard Gorin of Rockville, Mary-
land; Scott Glass of Ithaca, New York, and Andrew Sacks
of Jerusalem were my colleagues on the bet din. Pride in
Jewish identity, the Abayudaya insisted to their rabbinic
guests, requires Hebrew nomenclature. Bearing as I do
the name of a biblical hero, I was spared this criticism,
and responded with gratitude to my Ugandan hosts then
from Genesis 45:4, as I do now with conviction to you:
“Ani Yosef achichem — I am Joseph, your brother.” In other
words, “Nze Yusufu muganda wammwe!”
I pray that I will be privileged to see you next year in
Jerusalem. Until that day of blessing, be assured of my
concern, affection, and admiration for you, feelings that
are shared by countless fellow Jews. May the God of Israel
fulfill for you the blessing found in the closing verse of the
Hebrew Bible: “Any of you of all His people, the Lord his
God be with him and let him go up” (II Chronicles 36:23)…
or as the Abayudaya would render these hopeful words
of Scripture: “Buli ali mu mmwe ku bantu be bonna,
Mukama Adonai we abeera naye, ayambuke.”
Joseph H. Prouser is the rabbi of Temple Emanuel of North
Jersey in Franklin Lakes.
Abayudaya synagogue in Uganda.
Rabbi Joseph
H. Prouser
Op-Ed
16 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-16*
‘And then they shot him’
A look at uncounted victims of the Holocaust by bullets
“Eastern Europe’s Killing Fields,” ran the
subhead at the bottom of the New York
Times. Underneath it, the caption read,
“Many of the Jews who died in the Holocaust
were killed by executioners’ bullets, histori-
ans have learned.”
It was Tuesday morning, the day after
International Holocaust Remembrance
Day, commemorating the anniversary of
the liberation of Auschwitz. It was also
the second day back at school after the
end of yeshiva break. Following a week
of vacation where my children stayed up
every night until the wee hours playing
Minecraft and Assassins Creed, they were
reluctantly rolling out of bed at daybreak
and trudging out into record low tempera-
tures, waiting at frozen street corners for
their school buses.
After seeing everyone off, I spread the
paper out on the dining room table and
flipped to page A10. “Shedding Light on a
Vast Toll of Jews Killed Away From Death
Camps,” blared the headline. According to
the Times article, the Holocaust generally is
associated with concentration camps. His-
torians are now learning that a million and
a half Jews were executed in forests and vil-
lages across Eastern Europe, in the Ukraine,
in Belarus, and in parts of Russia.
For some unfathomable reason, the
Times photo editor chose to illustrate
the article with a picture of
the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at
Sachsenhausen concentration
camp.
There’s a certain conversa-
tion you have when you tell
people that your parents are
Holocaust survivors. “Really?”
they say respectfully. “What
camp were they in?”
“They weren’t in a camp,”
you explain. “They were hid-
ing in the forests, running from
place to place.”
This is followed by what my sister calls
The Look. Then some kind of variation on
this statement: “Oh, so they didn’t really
suffer. They had it pretty good.”
That he “had it pretty good” would be
news to my dad. Usually, his war stories
end with the words, “And then they took
him into the forest and shot him.”
Sometimes, the “him” in the story is his
15-year-old brother, Yehuda. When their
bunker — a hole tunneled into the side of
a hillock — was discovered by a passing
hunter, my father, my grandfather, and
another brother threw themselves into the
latrine pit. Understanding that there was
no room for him, Yehuda shoveled dirt
over his father and brothers to hide them.
Then he climbed out to face the SS.
Sometimes the “him” in
the story is my great-uncle
Aron. Aron had a gift. He
built bunkers. And his bun-
kers weren’t just a hole in
the floor, or a space hol-
lowed out behind a false
wall; Aron engineered bun-
kers that could hold 50 peo-
ple. He secreted one under
three feet of earth in a root
cellar, so that suspicious
soldiers armed with shov-
els couldn’t find it. Aron
built bunkers with electricity stolen from
Gestapo headquarters; Aron built a bun-
ker with a real working toilet; Aron built a
bunker with a shower he made from a car
radiator.
Uncle Aron was hiding out in the Ukrai-
nian forests when he was captured. The
German soldiers barked, “Don’t move, or
we’ll shoot!” Fearing that he might be tor-
tured, that he might reveal the locations of
the bunkers he’d constructed, Aron moved.
Sometimes, the “him” in the story is Aunt
Devora, who lived in the city of Drohobych,
just 11 miles away from my father’s home-
town, Podbuzh. Dad remembers being sent
to Drohobych one summer to stay with his
aunt and her wealthy merchant husband.
The family consensus was that my father
was too thin. Aunt Devora was assigned the
task of fattening him up.
“What happened to her, Dad?” I asked
him, the first time I heard this story.
“Where is she now?”
“What do you think?” he replied. “They
took her into the forest and shot her.
“And her husband, and her children, too.”
Before the war, there were around one
hundred Szapiros living in the Galitzia/
Drohobych area, Dad says, grandparents,
aunts, uncles, cousins. Of this hundred,
four survived.
The New York Times article cited Father
Patrick Desbois, a French priest who
became intrigued with the “Holocaust by
bullets” after his grandfather was captured
and held in Rava-Ruska, a camp for French
prisoners of war in Ukraine. In the camp,
his grandfather told him, life was hard.
But, he hinted darkly, there were others
for whom it was much worse. Though he
refused to talk about it, eventually Father
Desbois discovered that one of his grandfa-
ther’s jobs as a prisoner was filling in mass
graves for Jews.
Father Desbois made it his life’s work
to discover unmarked Jewish execution
sites throughout Eastern Europe. Going
from town to town in the Ukrainian coun-
tryside, he began by checking in with the
local priest and telling him of his mission.
Helen
Maryles
Shankman
Which is the dark continent?
Scandinavian circumcision controversy proves it to be Europe
B
ack in the heyday of colonialism,
Europeans used to refer to Africa
as the “dark continent.” Origi-
nally the phrase was intended
to convey a sense of Africa’s impenetrabil-
ity for colonial explorers, but over time it
acquired a pejorative meaning, conjuring
up images of savage, hostile natives.
The irony is that if there is a place deserv-
ing of such a description, it’s Europe itself.
We know well the history of the Jewish peo-
ple on that continent. From the pogrom-
scarred shtetls of Ukraine to the spectacle
of affluent Parisians pretending not to
notice as thousands of Jews were deported
by the Nazis in 1942, we Jews have good
reason to remember Europe as the “dark
continent.”
But wait, we are told, since 1945 every-
thing has changed! Europe is now an oasis
of tolerance. Its constituent nations are
satisfyingly multiethnic. The European
Union is a guarantor that European nations
will never make war on each other again.
Europe has atoned for the
crimes of the past, as demon-
strated by its many Holocaust
memorials and the fact that
Holocaust denial is illegal in
many countries. Members of
its Jewish communities live as
equals, where the law protects
them rather than discriminat-
ing against them.
On one level, all that is true.
Yet in Europe, anti-Semitism in various
forms survives — even flourishes — to dis-
turbing degrees. At the same time, many
Europeans are tired of recalling the past.
The grumbling that the stubborn Jews
won’t move on is getting louder.
To understand European anti-Semitism
today, we have to look beyond the myriad
laws that guarantee the civil rights of Jews
and other minorities. The observation of
the Zionist leader Max Nordau in 1897 —
“The nations which emancipated the Jews
have mistaken their own feelings. In order
to produce its full effect,
emancipation should first
have been completed in
sentiment before it was
declared by law” — rings
as true today as it did back
then.
Now, many American
and Israeli Jews, as they
search for the most toxic
forms of European anti-
Semitism, naturally hone in on France.
Over the last couple of months, our media
has been filled with reports about the
antics of the anti-Semitic French comedian
Dieudonne, and his inverted Nazi salute,
the quenelle. In mid-January, approxi-
mately 17,000 protestors marched through
Paris in a “Day of Rage,” chanting slogans
like, “Piss off Jew, France is not for you!”
What France demonstrates (along with
other countries like Hungary, where the
anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist Jobbik party is
a growing menace) is that many Europeans
are viscerally hostile to manifestations of
Jewish identity. They loathe the culture of
Holocaust commemoration, they deeply
resent Jewish identification with Israel,
and more and more they regard Jews as
privileged interlopers undisturbed by the
economic blight that has descended upon
much of Europe.
Will these ugly sentiments become
enshrined in law? If we move northeast to
Scandinavia, the indication, unbelievably,
is that they may well be.
As I and others have been reporting for
some time now, Scandinavia has emerged
as the epicenter of a movement that stig-
matizes one of Judaism’s most precious and
intimate rituals: the circumcision of 8-day-
old baby boys as a symbol of the Jewish cov-
enant with God. Last November, Norway’s
health minister, Bent Hoie, announced that
new legislation is in the pipeline to “regu-
late ritual circumcision.” And last week,
the major medical associations in Sweden
and Denmark recommended a ban on
Ben Cohen
Op-Ed
JS-17
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 17
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“non-medical” — i.e. religious — circumci-
sion. Swedish doctors argue that circum-
cision should be prevented until a child
reaches a minimum age — 12, in this case
— so he can give his consent to the proce-
dure. Their Danish counterparts equate
circumcision with abuse and mutilation,
thereby encouraging comparisons with
the barbaric and unrelated practice of
female genital mutilation, and want to
tighten the legal screws as a consequence.
Writing in the Copenhagen Post,
Morten Frisch, a Danish doctor, approv-
ingly cited recent opinion polls in his
country in support of a circumcision ban.
Clearly irritated by the Israeli govern-
ment’s opposition to such a ban, Frisch
portrayed the issue as a human rights
concern, citing the violation of a boy’s
“sexual autonomy.” This argument might
be persuasive if a vast number of those
who have been ritually circumcised pre-
sented themselves as akin to rape vic-
tims, but the fact remains that a mass
movement of aggrieved circumcised men
chanting “No More!” remains a fantasy.
Circumcision’s opponents want to cre-
ate victims where there are none. This
is a devious and dishonest tactic, in
that it presents discrimination as libera-
tion, prejudice as enlightenment. Mind
you, anti-Semites have never considered
themselves bigots, but rather as the bear-
ers of a message of love. Their core belief
is that our world will be a better place
without Jews and Jewish influence. And
Europe, where these sinister ideas took
root in the 19th century, remains fertile
soil for them in the 21st.
JNS.ORG
Ben Cohen, JNS’ Shillman analyst, writes
about Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern
politics. His work has been published in
Commentary, the New York Post, Haaretz,
Jewish Ideas Daily, and many other
publications.
Invariably, someone would come for-
ward. Aged villagers who were children
when the Jews of their town were killed
and buried in a patch of wasteland
behind the houses (or in a storage vault in
the market square, or a nearby quarry, or
a scarred clearing in the forest), yearned
to unburden themselves of their memo-
ries, to confess to the priest what they
had witnessed before their stories died
with them.
On Google, I typed in the word
“Drohobych” and clicked on “Images.”
Pictures popped up. Quaint onion-
domed churches. Pretty nineteenth-
century architecture. Wide city streets.
Charming townhouses that could be in
London, or Greenwich Village. Grand,
ornate structures that clearly once were
synagogues and have been re-purposed
into something else.
I scrolled down. More pictures swam
into view. German soldiers aiming their
rifles at four men standing against a wall,
their hands linked for courage. Nazi offi-
cers standing above a trench cut among
the trees, a trench stacked high with bod-
ies. In a clearing, a memorial shaped like
a grave marker, commemorating the Jews
of Drohobych, massacred and buried in
the Bronica Forest. A wooded glade, fea-
turing hillocks and dips covered in fallen
leaves. Under these hillocks and dips
in the forest, the caption clarifies, are
unmarked mass graves.
My father’s stories came to life. I tried
to imagine a 15-year-old boy named
Yehuda standing among the trees with
his hands up in the air. I tried to visual-
ize my grandfather leading the remnant
of his family through these woods in the
dead of night, carving a hiding place into
a mound of earth.
The true horror of this story is this: In
2014, an article about “Eastern Europe’s
Killing Fields” is news because the scope
of the killing still is unknown. The inves-
tigation continues, 69 years after the
liberation of Auschwitz, because in hun-
dreds of towns and villages where Ger-
man soldiers rounded up the local Jew-
ish population and shot them, there were
no survivors.
The number we are all familiar with is
six million.
In fact, we have no idea how many
Jews were really murdered. And it’s likely
we never will.
Helen Maryles Shankman’s short fiction
has appeared in many publications,
including The Kenyon Review and
JewishFiction.net. Her debut novel, The
Color of Light, is available on Amazon.
SEE LETTERS PAGE21
Cover Story
18 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-18
PHIL JACOBS
F
or more than two years, the
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in
Tenafly has kept a secret.
It has offered a program that
helps parents find other people like them,
parents who share the pain, the stigma,
and the enveloping darkness they have
experienced. Other parents who under-
stand them.
These parents need the safety of
anonymity.
They are the parents of drug addicts.
Some of them have been able to rebuild
their families. Some are not out of the
woods yet. Some perhaps never will be.
But in that group they might find familiar
faces, and surely they do find community.
The group, called Strength to Strength,
meets for an hour and a half every other
week. It began in January 2012. Then, it
was small; now, as many as 30 parents
of young adult children join to talk, vent,
break down, be validated, learn, and face
difficult options. No JCC membership is
necessary to join this group. All you need
is an addicted child.
These parents share a truth that has
become an unexpected and unwelcome
part of their lives. Family life was sup-
posed to be about a nice house, a healthy
bank account, a great marriage, and hav-
ing the smartest, cutest, most overachiev-
ing children in the neighborhood. It was
supposed to be about applications to pres-
tigious universities and postgraduate over-
seas experiences.
For these parents, all that went bad.
While their proud friends were talking
about a son going to medical school, a
daughter studying law, these parents have
to figure out how to put the best face on
their children’s situations. They could say
they were exploring alternative education
— in other words, they were in rehab. Or
they could say their children were taking a
year off to find themselves — again, rehab.
At rehabilitation clinics in the west and
south, or so they hope, their children
would learn how to stay clean, weaned
away from the prescription drugs they had
taken from their parents’ medicine cabi-
nets. Mom and Dad would learn words like
“pharming,” which is the act of ingesting
an assortment of opiate pills, anti-anxiety
meds, and even prescriptions for symp-
toms of ADD and ADHD. They’d learn that
heroin isn’t something to be found only in
the inner city. Heroin follows money, and
so it makes its way to wealthy suburbs.
The smoke from crystal meth and crack
cocaine pipes has found its way into our
neighborhoods, our schools, and even our
homes.
Parents learn that affluent Tenafly has a
reputation as a great place to pharm.
You probably didn’t know that.
In fact, until this week, with the death of
actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, very few
people who were not directly affected by
this scourge knew about it. Now, although
A safe,
secret place
to talk,
to cry
JCC offers parents of
drug-addicted children
anonymity, help
These parents
have to figure
out how to put
the best face on
their children’s
situations.
Cover Story
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 19
JS-19
we still do not grasp the scope of the prob-
lem, the fact that it exists, and that it looms
large, is hard to miss.
Certainly the people who meet at the
JCC know about it now.
Jeffrey A. Berman, MD., MS, FASAM,
facilitates and teaches the group. Dr. Ber-
man, who lives in Paramus, is a psychia-
trist, an assistant clinical professor of
psychiatry at the Rutgers — Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School in New Bruns-
wick, and the executive director of the Dis-
covery Institute for Addictive Disorders in
Marlboro. For decades he has specialized
in fighting drug addictions; for more than
two years he has helped every person in
this JCC program bench-press the weight
of their feelings of failure, hopelessness,
and helplessness by building up the sinews
of the strength they’ll need to cope.
He’ll tell you that for each person in
Strength to Strength there are at least 10
Bergen County residents who should be
there, who desperately need what the
group offers but have no idea that it exists.
In fact, the problem is huge. Across the
country, across all demographics, esti-
mates show that about 12 to 13 percent of
people, from teenagers on up, have prob-
lems with alcohol or other substances, Dr.
Berman said. And the incidence of other
mental disorders is significant as well;
estimates show that approximately 4
to 8 percent of Americans suffer from
depression.
Strength to Strength was created
when Carol Leslie, the JCC’s program
director, was approached by a woman
—a “pillar of the community,” she said —
who did not know what to do or where
to go to get help.
“This person had a child dealing with
addiction issues,” Ms. Leslie said. “The
child was in his early 20s, and the parent
told me she knew there were other Jew-
ish parents out there in the same situation,
not knowing where to turn.”
And did we mention the stigma? There
is a widely believed misconception that
young adult Jews don’t shoot heroin
into their arms, and they don’t steal par-
ents’ credit cards to buy pills. The stigma
attached to that behavior sends some
Jews to 12-step programs out of town or in
churches, so it is less likely that they will
see someone they know. Some say it’s the
stigma that gets in the way of any chance
of healing.
The mother approached the JCC because
she felt at home there. (Her name is being
withheld to protect her anonymity.)
“This parent wanted to know what the
possibility was of having a program in
her own backyard,” Ms. Leslie said. “We
started doing some research, looking for
programs. We felt a need for a support
group for parents who had a child strug-
gling with addiction and mental health
issues.”
“I knew so many families linked to the
JCC struggling with the same issues,” the
mother said. “Some were going to groups
such as AA or NA. Strength to Strength is
open to every race, creed and color. We
chose the JCC because so many of the
parents raised their children while com-
ing there. It’s a very comfortable venue
to meet. It’s the place we sent our kids
to nursery school. It’s a home away from
home.”
She and her husband are parents of a
young man in his mid-20s who has battled
drug abuse since he was a teenager.
“We became more open with other
parents who were also dealing with this,”
she continued. “The group provides us
a relaxed atmosphere. We talk about the
issues we face, and we’re open and honest
about it. It is a real epidemic.
“We provide emotional support for each
other. We are taking care of the parents
with an eye towards taking care of their
children.”
She said that her son walked away from
his fourth attempt at rehab and no longer
is in touch with his family.
“We weren’t at a good place,” she said.
“But because we’d been dealing with this
for so long, we decided it was time for us to
choose our own happiness. You’ve heard
the saying that a parent is as unhappy as
her least happy child. That goes against
the grain of how I live now. But this has
taken years upon years of therapy to get
this far. It’s not that easy.”
She brought her concerns to Ms. Leslie
at the JCC. Together, they came up with
Strength to Strength. She knew, though,
that for the group to have any chance of
success, it would need the guidance of a
medical professional experienced in the
areas of mental health and addiction. That
comes from Dr. Berman, who provides the
group’s the medical neshama — its spirit.
Ms. Leslie found Dr. Berman — she said
that when the group was forming, she
spoke to 10 to 15 professionals, who even-
tually led her to him.
Strength to Strength focuses on the par-
ents of young adults, 18 to 22 years old.
“Almost all of these kids had been
involved with drug abuse since they were
14 years old,” she said. “They stopped
growing at age 14, not making good deci-
sions. We learned from Dr. Berman that if
a child is in recovery, the entire family is
in recovery.”
The formula, Dr. Berman believes, is
education and compassion. A former pres-
ident of the New Jersey Society of Addic-
tion Medicine, Dr. Berman has more than
20 years of experience in this field. Before
the group was formed, he met with 12
parents who became the first Strength to
Strength parent participants.
“We did an assessment,” Dr. Berman
said. “We discussed what the problems
were. There were all these parents with
kids with serious issues, serious mental
problems or drug problems or both.
“They had nobody to talk to,” he con-
tinued. “It was like taking the top off of a
kettle, so that the steam could come out.
We set ground rules. Everything said in
that room is sacred and confidential.”
The group is not modeled after a 12-step
program, he added. For one thing, Dr. Ber-
man runs it; a typical 12-step group is not
facilitated by a physician. And it is not faith-
based. A 12-step group asks that its par-
ticipants give in to a “higher power.” God
is not discussed in Strength to Strength
unless a parent brings up religion.
Dr. Berman brought the idea that their
children could be suffering from co-
occurring disorders to the group. Some-
times people with drug addictions also
suffer from depression or other mental
illnesses, he said, and there can be over-
lap between these two populations. In
an attempt to self-medicate, people with
mental illness sometimes try drugs that
have not been prescribed to them and
do not treat their conditions. Dr. Berman
noted that the drugs, combined with
other drugs or with alcohol, might make
the young adult feel high, but they would
have little or no impact on their underly-
ing illness.
“Mental health disorders, including sub-
stance use disorders, are biological disor-
ders,” Dr. Berman said. “In the group, we
talk about that all the time. It is important
to destigmatize it.” People who suffer from
mental illness or addictions, and their
families, often feel as if they have done
something wrong; they would not have
similar feelings of guilt should they suffer
from a heart condition, say, or high blood
pressure.
Addictions can be treated with a care-
ful mix of medication and counseling,
but “there is no treatment center in Ber-
gen County or the surrounding area that
can provide state-of-the-art medication in
addition to psychosocial treatment,” Dr.
Berman said.
The parents’ concerns for their chil-
dren are basic, Dr. Berman said. They
care about their children’s safety and
their health, and they hoped ultimately
that their children could achieve mean-
ingful lives.
Parents face the recurring tension of
always waiting for the other shoe to drop,
he continued. Even as they reported that
their child was doing well at the meeting,
they anticipated that eventually something
would go wrong. Dr. Berman teaches par-
ents how to deal with their child’s chronic
illness and how to manage missteps in the
child’s recovery.
Parents also discuss how to take care
of themselves, and how to keep their
families together. “This disease takes hos-
tages,” Dr. Berman said. “Siblings are often
neglected, the marriage is often neglected,
and families get brought down by this. We
discuss taking care of one’s marriage. How
do spouses get on the same page? How do
they deal with feeling guilty?”
Dr. Berman said that the group mem-
bers drive the agenda. “Sometimes some-
one is having a major bump in the road,”
he said. “What will happen is that the
other members of the group will chime in.
Dr. Jeffrey Berman, a psychiatrist,
leads Strength to Strength. JCCOTP
There is a widely believed
misconception that young adult Jews
don’t shoot heroin into their arms.
SEE ADDICTION PAGE 20

20 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-20
We run the spectrum of people who are just starting this
experience with a child to parents whose kid has been in
treatment for years.”
There has also been one death of a child whose par-
ents are in the group.
“There’s no expectation that you can understand it,”
Dr. Berman said. “The only expectation is that you are
in some kind of pain. For the rest of the group, it’s how
can they help?” In this case, the group passed a photo
of the dead child around the table.
“The child battled addiction,” the founding parent
said. “The child’s death was earthshattering. So many of
us who like to interject what we’ve done in the past had
nothing to say. We were afraid to say the wrong thing.”
Parents are frank with one another, Dr. Berman said,
often urging each other not to let their children get away
with harmful behavior. Some parents don’t come back
to a next session if a meeting has been particularly dif-
ficult for them. Some may just skip a meeting or two, but
others never return.
“It’s tough to tell a parent, ‘don’t rescue your kid, let
him sit in jail,’” Dr. Berman said.
Other parents are told by their peers to stop sup-
porting their child financially or emotionally, even if it
means not permitting them to come home.
One of the group’s married couples was told that
their son, a college sophomore, was arrested on cam-
pus for drug use. They learned that if he didn’t go back
to school, the university wouldn’t press charges. His par-
ents enrolled him in a 90-day treatment center.
“He got well, but then the parents got complacent,”
Dr. Berman said. “He was doing drugs again.
“The group members told these parents that they
should be more vigilant.” As a result of that advice, the
parents “told their son he couldn’t come back to their
house until he got treatment again. Their son was sent
back to a treatment center. This time, he responded
to treatment. He has held on to a job and is support-
ing himself.” And he was able to return to his parents’
home.
It takes great strength for a parent to tell a child that
he may not come home, the founding mother said.
Some parents will give in, because they worry more
about the child’s becoming homeless than his addiction.
The group can see when parents don’t take the tougher
actions by how much they continue to suffer. To move
ahead, sometimes brutal decisions are necessary; any-
thing else can lead to continued drug abuse.
It often takes time to develop the strength to do the
right thing, she continued. Many parents want a quick
fix. They want addiction to be like an ear infection —
take antibiotics and the infection goes away. What frus-
trates many parents, she said, is that substance abuse
most probably isn’t going to go away with a prescription
and bed rest.
Dr. Berman also teaches group members about medi-
cations for the mentally ill, hoping that the parents of
substance abusers will become more knowledgeable
consumers of treatment.
“I find myself mentioning it at least once a month,” he
said. “Addiction and mental health problems are biologi-
cal illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. You
can’t be cured, but you can stay in a wonderful state of
remission.”
Sometimes a child succeeds — and then it all falls
apart. The child stops treatment and begins using drugs
again.
The mother who started the group said, “We talk
more about the shame of all of this than anything else.
“What did we do wrong with this child? It’s a terrible
feeling, the worst feeling ever. I’ve personally had to feel
the pain of being strong. My child decided to leave the
recovery system for a homeless shelter in Arizona. We
told him to either go back to the recovery facility or he
wasn’t welcome at home.”
When the 90-minute meeting ends, that doesn’t mean
that there is no more support available for parents for
the next two weeks. Dr. Berman stays in the conference
room for as long as the group members need him.
He’ll take their phone calls in between meetings, and
sometimes he will meet them at the emergency room.
“Dr. Berman has taught us about brain chemistry and
the components of the brain,” the mother said. “If a par-
ent is having a particularly tough time, he will go right
to that parent.”
The JCC charges enough only to cover costs. The
group is open to couples and both divorced and single
parents; to Jews and non-Jews alike. After the first meet-
ing, the founding mother said, the participants had
bonded so much they went out for coffee afterward.
“I staff the meetings for the JCC, and I bring the boxes
of tissues,” Ms. Leslie said. “Dr. Berman is brilliant. He
has taught the group about the science of the brain.
He has met parents at the ER if their child has been
admitted. The JCC feels that the need is huge. We’ve
had as little as two parents attend because of a snow-
storm, and we’ve had people who have hardly missed
a session. We have some parents who don’t take care of
themselves because they are so hurt. They often need
a place to just cry. But many of the parents have got-
ten stronger. It’s a beautiful thing, because the parents
know this is the place where they can come and say
anything they want.”
Ms. Leslie added that for many parents and their
addicted children life is a matter of two steps forward,
one step back.
Dr. Berman gives an example. When they fly, pas-
sengers are told that if the cabin depressurizes and it
becomes necessary to put on oxygen masks, adults must
put on their own masks first before they can help their
children.
At the JCC, parents are given the oxygen that they
hope to transmit to their children. It can come in the
form of Dr. Berman talking about the physiology of the
brain, or it can be parents comforting their comrades or
suggesting tougher measures.
“Short spaces between emergencies is how they
describe their lives,” the JCC’s public relations director,
Rochelle Lazarus, said. “This group is support focused,
with critical information shared.”
Or, as the group’s founding mother said, “Going
through this personally and knowing you are not alone,
that other people care for you. Well, there’s something
here that’s beautiful.
“I don’t think anyone stands on ceremony in the
group,” she continued. “Because it is a safe environ-
ment, we can talk. Dr. Berman made it so.”
To maintain the confidentiality of the group, anyone
who is interested in the program should call Carol Leslie
directly at 201-408-1403 or email her at cleslie@jccotp.
org.
It takes great
strength for a parent
to tell a child that he
may not come home.
Addiction
FROM PAGE 19
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Who you calling fat?
I take issue with my rabbinic colleague’s opinion in
“Are husbands responsible for their wives becoming
overweight?” (February 24). Rabbinic ordination does
not give someone the right to presume that overweight
people are unattractive or unsexy or to mock them in a
newspaper column, or even in a private conversation.
Further, I do not agree with what the rabbi suggests
— that a person engage in insincere compliments or flat-
tery, and that those compliments would be an effec-
tive mode of improving a relationship or of motivating
weight loss.
I am a person who has been fat at times during my
life and now I am much trimmer. I can tell the rabbi that
being trimmer is better for my health. But even when
a person is fat he or she can be attractive, sexy, and
romantic. And most people can see right through false
flattery. It doesn’t work.
Rabbi Tzvee Zahavy
Teaneck
Unpleasant truths about Seeger
I hate being the skunk at the garden party, but your
worshipful editorial/obituary of Pete Seeger ( January
31) requires a response.
I too have sung Seeger’s songs. I too recognize his con-
tributions to American folk music and to the civil rights
movement. But an intellectually honest and serious
review of his life would not ignore his active member-
ship in the U.S. Communist Party during the 1930s and
‘40s. That is when that organization slavishly followed
the propaganda line and promoted the policies of the
Soviet Union under Stalin, surely one of modern histo-
ry’s most horrendous tyrants and destroyers of human
rights, as well as a major persecutor of Jews.
(For anyone still ignorant or deluded about Stalin-
ism, may I recommend such books as “The Gulag
Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn, and “Gulag” by Washing-
ton Post writer Anne Applebaum.)
Pete Seeger willingly put his artistic talents in the ser-
vice of a mass murderer. That is a grossly immoral act,
no matter how much his admirers wish to forget it. He
was a party member even after the Hitler-Stalin pact.
If an artist or public intellectual had supported Hitler,
would we simply forget it?
Ezra Pound is widely considered one of the greatest
and most influential poets of the 20th century. He also
was a rabid Jew-hater and Nazi sympathizer. That may
not negate his art, but it is surely part of his life story.
Was Leni Riefenstahl a great documentary filmmaker, or
Hitler’s cinematic propagandist — or both?
As a recent article on Seeger by David Graham in the
Atlantic magazine notes, “As late as the 1970s, in his col-
umn in the left-wing folk magazine Sing Out!, Seeger was
giving space to horrifying ideas.... In 1999, he accepted
an award from Fidel Castro’s regime. It’s hard to square
these actions with the ideas Seeger promoted else-
where, and they deserve condemnation.”
I don’t wish to condemn the man. But even while I
admire his good works, I refuse to forget his bad judg-
ments and hypocrisies, like being what used to be
called a “useful idiot” for the Soviet regime. The good
may indeed outweigh the bad, but the latter should not
simply be airbrushed out of the picture, the way Sta-
lin used to erase evidence of the existence of liquidated
opponents.
Chief Justice Earl Warren was the main force behind
Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing school segrega-
tion. He was also the wartime attorney general of Cali-
fornia who ordered Japanese-Americans held in deten-
tion camps. Unpleasant facts should be recognized,
placed in perspective, but not simplistically ignored.
So it should be with Pete Seeger. I don’t hate him. But
I don’t worship him, either.
Alan M. Schwartz
Teaneck
BRIEF
Children from charedi sect must return to Quebec, court rules
TORONTO — An Ontario judge ruled that children from
a fringe charedi sect whose members fled Quebec while
the community was being investigated by social services
should be returned to that province.
In a ruling Monday, the court upheld an order from
Quebec to place 13 children from the Lev Tahor sect into
temporary foster care, the Canadian Press reported. But
the judge placed a 30-day stay on the order to give the
families time to appeal, according to the CP.
The children, who now live outside Chatham,
Ontario, about two hours southwest of Toronto, were
ordered into temporary foster care by a Quebec court
in November.
Authorities in Quebec, where sect members had lived
north of Montreal for several years, said they had evi-
dence of neglect, psychological abuse, poor dental and
physical health, and a substandard education regime in
the community.
But about 250 sect members fled Quebec to Ontario
in November, just before the order could be executed.
The 13 children belong to three families. A publication
ban prohibits identifying them.
The community denies all allegations and has said it
is the victim of a Zionist smear effort.
Last week, Quebec police officers, with the assistance
of local police, raided two homes in the Lev Tahor
community in Ontario. Rabbi Nachman Helbrans, son
of sect founder Shlomo Helbrans, said the search may
have been an attempt to find evidence of illegal child
marriages.
A former sect member testified in Quebec that he had
personally witnessed seven underage marriages.
In an unrelated development, the case of two Lev
Tahor children who were seized by Ontario social work-
ers in December and later returned to their parents was
adjourned until April. JTA WIRE SERVICE
Jewish World
22 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-22*
’s student ambassador progra



WINTER OLYMPICS
For Israel’s skaters,
Olympic training
is a New Jersey
state of mind
HILLEL KUTTLER
A
t a rink in Hackensack, Evgeni
Krasnapolsky and Andrea
Davidovich glide around the
ice, shadowing one another to
the accompaniment of Nino Rota’s “Love
Theme from Romeo and Juliet.”
The figure-skating pair are refining their
long program a few weeks before the Win-
ter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, that open
Friday.
Mr. Krasnapolsky, 25, and Ms. Davi-
dovich, 16, are practicing their choreo-
graphed hand holding, lifts, and throws at
the indoor Ice House complex, which has
become the epicenter of Israel’s Winter
Olympics team, or at least its figure-skat-
ing component.
The pair, who began working together
less than a year ago, will represent Israel
at the Sochi games along with fellow
figure skater Alexei Bychenko, 25, who
also trains here year-round. The figure
skating competition will be held February
11-12.
Rounding out the Israeli contingent are
alpine skier Virgile Vandeput, 24, based
in Belgium, and short-track speed skater
Vladislav Bykanov, 19, based in the Nether-
lands. All are first-time Olympians.
Mr. Krasnapolsky and Ms. Davidovich
are coached by Galit Chait, a three-time
Israeli Olympian in ice dancing, and Gen-
nadi Krasnitski. Overseeing the New Jersey
operations is Chait’s Moldova-born father,
Boris Chait, who is the president of the
Israel Ice Skating Federation although he
has lived in the United States since 1975.
He’s not the only American playing a
major role on the Israeli Winter Olympics
scene. New York native Stanley Rubin-
stein, who immigrated to Israel in 1971
and lives in Caesarea, founded the Israel
Ski Federation and serves on its board.
Mr. Chait, the owner of a computer con-
sultancy, is cultivating a crop of skaters he
predicts will represent Israel at the 2018
Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South
Korea, and beyond.
The Chaits offer some names to keep
an eye on: Artem Tsoglin, Netta Schreiber,
Polina Shlepen, Daniel Samohin, Kimberly
Berkovich, Ronald Zilberberg, Allison
Reed and Vasili Rogov.
“I hope that we continue to grow and
produce athletes who … are at the top of
the world in international competitions,”
said Galit Chait, who is coaching seven
2014 Olympians.
A nonprofit organization founded by
Boris Chait, the International Sports Pro-
gram, houses and trains the 11 skaters here
who are Israeli citizens, along with nine
others based in New York California, Rus-
sia, and Ukraine. The athletes train abroad
From left, Alexei Bychenko, Andrea Davidovich and Evgeni Krasnapolsky are
among Israel’s Sochi-bound figure skaters training in Hackensack. HILLEL KUTTLER
Jewish World
JS-23
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 23 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 23
JS-23
because of Israel’s paucity of ice rinks
and high-quality coaching.
Funding for the program comes from
private donations along with the Israel
Ice Skating Federation, the Olympic Com-
mittee of Israel, and the International
Skating Union, he said.
Greater funding for training, regard-
less of locale, would serve Israel’s inter-
ests beyond sport because every athlete
“is an ambassador” for the country, Mr.
Chait said from a gallery while observing
Mr. Bychenko and Ms. Tsoglin, a 15-year-
old from Kiryat Shemona in northern
Israel.
The New Jersey operation has pro-
vided some encouraging achievements.
At the European Championships last
month in Budapest, the Krasnapolsky-
Davidovich duo finished seventh and
Mr. Bychenko was 10th. In December,
in Croatia, the pair placed first and Mr.
Bychenko was fourth at the Golden Spin
of Zagreb. Israel has yet to medal in a
Winter Olympics.
The achievements come at a cost: The
upkeep for each athlete training here
runs about $100,000 annually, cover-
ing room and board, ice time, coaches,
costumes, choreographers, travel to
competitions — “including, including,
including,” Chait added, gesturing with
a rolling hand.
The arrangement means that “athletes
don’t have to worry about their next
meal,” he said. “All they have to do is
train hard on and off the ice and do their
schoolwork,” if they are that age. Ms.
Davidovich and Ms. Tsoglin are enrolled
in an online high school.
Ten of the 11 Hackensack skaters live in
a tidy, refurbished white house less than
a mile from the Ice House, overseen by
a den mother named Nadia. Ms. Davi-
dovich lives with her family a 40-minute
drive away.
Absent the New Jersey infrastructure,
“we would not be able to get to the Olym-
pics,” Mr. Bychenko said, sitting in one of
the home’s two kitchens while gulping a
mid-afternoon yogurt.
“It was a hard decision because my
family is there,” he added. Mr. Bychenko
came to New Jersey from Kiev three years
ago. “If I were skating in Ukraine, I would
not have gotten to the level I am at now.”
Mr. Krasnapolsky, also from Kiev, was
raised in Kiryat Shemona — near Metulla,
home of the Canada Center ice rink —
and has known Mr. Chait “since I started
skating.” He calls Mr. Chait’s wife, Irene,
“my second mom.”
Sitting beside Mr. Krasnapolsky, Ms.
Davidovich nods. She and her part-
ner believe they are progressing nicely,
tweaking their routines along the way.
Earlier in the week they added a more
difficult triple-throw to their short pro-
gram (to Joshua Bell’s “Fantasy for Violin
and Orchestra”).
On the ice an hour earlier, Galit Chait had
held up her iPad as she consulted with the
pair, slowing down a video clip to point out
errors she had observed with her naked eye.
“We were a little bit off in the parallel spin,”
Ms. Davidovich said.
Before their on-ice session, the pair had
spent 40 minutes in the Ice House work-
out room practicing lifts, throws, and
twists in their stockinged feet, each land-
ing occurring inside a marked white box.
They rehearse this way twice daily, and
they do cross-training and ballet each
twice weekly.
Soon after they settled on their long pro-
gram’s music last June, Ms. Davidovich’s
mother, Marina, took them to Manhattan
to see the American Ballet Theatre’s per-
formance of “Romeo and Juliet.” The show
yielded ideas they could incorporate in their
performance.
Soon they won’t have many more leisure
opportunities. A month after Sochi, they’ll
be off to Japan for the World Figure Skating
Championships.
That means lots more training at Isra-
el’s home away from home in the Garden
State, where the next Olympic yield is
being tended. JTA WIRE SERVICE
I hope that we
continue to grow
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24 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
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Kerry works on
peace framework
Jewish groups keeping low profile
RON KAMPEAS
WASHINGTON — As the Obama admin-
istration prepares to unveil a frame-
work plan for peace between Israel and
the Palestinians, Jewish groups have
responded by laying low.
In contrast to the noisy Iran sanc-
tions contretemps between the admin-
istration and much of the pro-Israel
community, the leading centrist Jewish
groups have largely adopted a wait-and-
see approach as U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry works on the framework
agreement.
The groups all publicly express sup-
port for Mr. Kerry’s efforts, but they
have refrained from aggressive lobbying
or commenting on news reports about
purported details of the framework.
The American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, which usually takes the lead
in framing community response to peace
talks, has been quiet, congressional and
administration insiders said.
“As we have since the beginning of the
process, we continue to support Secre-
tary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve
a secure and lasting peace between the
Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC
spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a
statement.
There are a number of reasons for the
community’s relatively low profile. In
addition to their focus on Iran, centrist
groups do not want to weigh in prema-
turely on an anticipated proposal that
has yet to see the light of day.
The muted response also echoes the
approach taken by Israeli Prime Min-
ister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has
emphasized that he is receptive to Mr.
Kerry’s efforts, even as he has suggested
that Israel will not necessarily have to
agree to all the elements of an American
framework proposal.
In addition, the Obama administration
has tried to head off concerns by stress-
ing that it is developing the framework
in close consultation with Israeli and Pal-
estinian leaders, emphasizing that there
will be no surprises.
At least 50 Jewish organizational lead-
ers received a preview of some of the
framework’s likely elements in a confer-
ence call last week with Martin Indyk,
the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Pales-
tinian negotiations.
Jewish communal leaders offer varied
assessments of the communal expec-
tations of whether Kerry’s efforts will
advance the cause of peace.
Martin Raffel, senior vice president
at the Jewish Council of Public Affairs,
the umbrella body for Jewish public
policy groups, said the community was
invested in a successful outcome.
“The mainstream is overwhelmingly
hopeful that Kerry will get to what they
are trying to accomplish, which is to
get to a framework that the parties will
agree to even if they have reservations,
but there are sufficient grounds to build
on,” he said.
But Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defa-
mation League’s national director, noted
what he described as a widespread Jew-
ish communal skepticism, rooted in two
decades of frustration.
“The skepticism is overwhelming
on all sides, so now we’re waiting and
seeing,” Mr. Foxman said, referring to
attitudes within the organized Jewish
community.
In a short radio commentary released
Tuesday, the American Jewish Commit-
tee’s executive director, David Harris,
applauded Kerry’s efforts.
Noting that advancing peace “isn’t
for the faint-hearted,” Mr. Harris said.
“Bravo, then, to Secretary of State John
Kerry for his current effort.”
But Mr. Kerry’s efforts have met with
outspoken opposition from the right,
both in the American Jewish community
and in Israel.
The Zionist Organization of America
accused the Obama administration of
turning itself into the Palestinian Author-
ity’s “attorney and chief negotiator.”
Some right-wing members of Netan-
yahu’s Likud party and larger govern-
ing coalition have reacted with alarm to
Kerry’s efforts.
Martin Indyk, the U.S. special envoy
for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations,
right, shakes hands with Secretary
of State John Kerry at Israel’s Ben
Gurion International Airport on
January 5.
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JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 25
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Jewish World
26 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-26
26 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-26
26 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
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Last month, Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, was
quoted by an Israeli newspaper as telling colleagues pri-
vately that Kerry had an “incomprehensible obsession and
a messianic feeling.” Mr. Yaalon later apologized, saying
he was sorry if Kerry was offended by the remarks attrib-
uted to him.
More recently, a Knesset member from the pro-settler
Jewish Home party, Moti Yogev, suggested that Mr. Kerry
was driven by anti-Semitic and anti-Israel feelings. His
statement was condemned by Jewish groups, including
the ADL and AJC.
Tensions also flared recently between Mr. Kerry and
Mr. Netanyahu. Israeli officials reacted with anger to Mr.
Kerry’s warning in a speech last weekend that failure to
arrive at a deal could give momentum to efforts to isolate
and boycott Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu responded that “no pressure will cause
me to concede the vital interests of the State of Israel,”
while Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, Yuval
Steinitz, called Mr. Kerry’s remarks “intolerable.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki shot
back that Kerry opposes boycotts and simply was
describing what was at stake, adding that the sec-
retary of state “expects all parties to accurately
portray his record and statements.” Susan Rice,
Obama’s national security adviser, said on Twitter
that the attacks on Mr. Kerry were “unfounded and
unacceptable.”
The ADL weighed in with an open letter criticizing
Mr. Kerry’s remark.
“Describing the potential for expanded boycotts
of Israel makes it more, not less, likely that the talks
will not succeed; makes it more, not less, likely that
Israel will be blamed if the talks fail; and more, not
less, likely that boycotts will ensue,” Mr. Foxman
wrote.
But Mr. Foxman’s letter did express support for
Mr. Kerry’s peace efforts and respect for his work.
Some of the likely elements of the framework that
have been discussed in briefings and news reports
would be received warmly by Jewish groups. Accord-
ing to participants in the off-the-record call with Mr.
Indyk, the peace envoy suggested that the frame-
work would include a call for recognition of Israel
as a state of the Jewish people — a key Netanyahu
demand that has been firmly rejected by Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
But in addressing delicate issues such as Jerusa-
lem and refugees, the framework could draw objec-
tions from both sides. News reports have suggested
that the framework would call for Jerusalem to be a
shared capital and for Palestinian refugees and their
descendants not to have the right to resettle in Israel,
although the reliability of such reports is not clear.
The State Department has stressed that the frame-
work is a work in progress and so even Mr. Indyk’s
characterizations should not be considered final.
Jewish communal professionals say that sensitive
compromises likely to be embedded in an agreement
would require community consideration, particu-
larly on Jerusalem.
“Most organizations have passed a number of res-
olutions on these issues,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld,
executive vice president of the Conservative move-
ment’s Rabbinical Assembly. “If what comes out in
the framework differs from that, we want to engage
with our community in a thoughtful examination of
where we are now.”
Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the
Orthodox Union, said his group would push back
against anything less than full Israeli sovereignty in
Jerusalem.
“Our position is very clear,” he said. “The O.U. is
flat opposed to any proposals that would re-divide
the city of Jerusalem and we regularly communicate
that to people in the Obama administration.”
Josh Block, the president of the Israel Project, said
Jewish groups throughout the process should be urg-
ing sensitivity to Israeli security needs in a tumultu-
ous neighborhood. But, he said, the groups should
be prepared as well for the possibility of the talks
failing due to Palestinian intransigence.
In that event, Mr. Block said, it will be important to
work to ensure that the Palestinians, and not Israel,
are held responsible.
“The Israelis are cooperative,” he said. “Are Indyk
and Kerry at the end saying both sides wouldn’t get
it done, or are they going to say it’s the Palestinians?”
JTA WIRE SERVICE
Kerry
FROM PAGE 24
Jewish World
JS-27
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 27
JS-27
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 27
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BRIEFS
Jewish leaders praise retiring
Congressman Henry Waxman
Jewish leaders on Thursday praised U.S. Rep. Henry
Waxman (DCA), who announced his intent to retire,
for his contributions to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Waxman represented southern California for 20
terms in the House.
“Henry Waxman has devoted his career to ful-
illing the Jewish concept of tikkun olam— repair-
ing the world. In ensuring the safety of food and
drugs, working to promote affordable health care,
and being a stalwart leader in building a strong U.S.-
Israel relationship,” William Daroff, director of the
Washington Ofice of the Jewish Federations of North
America, said.
Waxman has been a champion of Jewish causes
such as “the plight of Holocaust survivors and the U.S.-
Israel relationship,” said Rabbi Jack Moline, head of
the National Jewish Democratic Council.
JNS.ORG
Nazi-looted art should
be returned, Lauder urges
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder on
Thursday urged German oficials in Berlin to work
toward returning Nazi-looted art to its rightful Jewish
owners. The art pieces “are the last prisoners of World
War II… They should be returned to the victims of the
Holocaust and their heirs,” Lauder said, according to
the Associated Press.
Lauder said many of the stolen art pieces still hang
in German museums today. In 2012, more than 1,400
works of art were discovered in the Munich apartment
belonging to the son of a Nazi-era art dealer.
On January 29, Germany’s top cultural affairs ofi-
cial, Monica Gruetters, said the country is seeking
to double its $19.7 million state funding dedicated to
searching for Nazi-looted art.
JNS.ORG
French Jews hold massive
pro-Israel rally in Paris
As anti-Semitism rises in France, the country’s Jew-
ish community held a major rally in central Paris
on Sunday. The Jewish National Fund ( JNF), the
Israeli Foreign, Defense, Tourism, Agriculture and
Immigrant Absorption ministries, and other donors
funded the event.
Titled “Israel Today and Tomorrow,” the rally was
the brainchild of the JNF’s chief emissary in France,
Reuven Naamat, and gathered 15,000 demonstrators,
among them Jewish community leaders from across
France, Israeli government ministers, and JNF Chair-
man Ei Stenzler.
“Just last week, on International Holocaust Memo-
rial Day, we saw the latest statistics portraying the large
number of anti-Semitic incidents in France over the
past year,” said Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny
Danon at the rally. “Before the European diplomats
lecture us on how to conduct ourselves in our historic
homeland, they should irst focus on ending the age-
old bigotry of anti-Semitism in their own backyards.”
JNS.ORG
www.jstandard.com
Jewish World
28 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-28
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Hundreds of rabbis to bolster
Hungarian Jewry
ISRAEL HAYOM/EXCLUSIVE TO JNS.ORG
Hundreds of rabbis from all over Europe are planning
to travel to Hungary in March for a conference meant
to strengthen the Jewish community, as anti-Semitic
nationalist parties gain traction in the country’s political
scene.
The March 24-25 event, organized by the Rabbinical
Center of Europe, will be attended by Israel’s chief rab-
bis as part of extensive cooperation with the Hungarian
government to battle anti-Semitism. The extreme right-
wing Hungarian party Jobbik, which has strengthened its
hand in the Hungarian Diet, has proposed fascist laws.
Hungarian Jews have reported gangs of thugs on
the streets seeking to accost and assault minority
groups, especially Jews and Roma.
Last week, Jobbik members announced plans to
hold a political rally in the northern Hungarian city
of Esztergom, in a building that once functioned as a
synagogue. JNS.ORG
Netanyahu: No deal without
Palestinian recognition of
Israel as Jewish state
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Pal-
estinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on
Monday for his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jew-
ish state. Netanyahu’s statements came after Abbas
told the New York Times that Palestinian recognition
of Israel as a Jewish state was “out of the question.”
At a Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting on Sunday,
Netanyahu said, “[Abbas] knows that there will not
be an agreement without recognition of the nation
state of the Jewish people,” Israel Hayom reported.
Netanyahu said it would be “absurd” to expect
Israel to recognize a nation state for the Palestinian
people without reciprocal recognition of Israel as the
nation state for the Jewish people. JNS.ORG
Defense Forces seek
budget increase in 2015
The Knesset Subcommittee for the Defense Budget
convened Sunday to discuss a request by the Israel
Defense Forces to increase its 2015 budget by 2.75
billion shekels ($781 million), which would bring the
overall defense budget for next year to NIS 64 billion
($18 billion), Israel Hayom reported.
The committee, which includes members from the
Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense and Finance
committees, was presented with the military’s multi-
year work plan, which has already been approved by
Israel’s security cabinet.
“The data presented by the IDF indicates that it
will not be able to meet its needs. We will probably
have to increase the budget,” Finance Committee
Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi)
said Sunday. JNS.ORG
Nobel Laureate Shechtman
kicks off campaign for
president
Dan Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize for chem-
istry in 2011, met with Israeli politicians Monday to
garner support for his recently announced campaign
for president of Israel.
Schechtman met with Knesset speaker Yuli Edel-
stein (Likud), Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minis-
ter Yair Lapid, Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh
Atid), and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yis-
rael Beiteinu). Combined, Lapid and Lieberman’s
parties control a quarter of the Israeli Knesset. In
order to run for president, Shechtman needs to win
support from at least 10 MKs.
The Israeli presidency is a largely ceremonial post,
now held by Shimon Peres. Shechtman announced
his plan to run for president in January. If he wins,
he would be the first non-politician to win the post
since biophysicist Ephraim Katzir in 1973. JNS.ORG
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No lost sleep over boycott
threat for west bank CEOs
BEN SALES
TEL AVIV — Of the 200,000 wine bottles
Yakov Burg produced last year, 16,000
went to Europe.
The possibility of a boycott and
repeated rumblings that Europe is plan-
ning to label goods produced in the set-
tlements could decrease that number,
but Burg isn’t worried.
The CEO of Psagot Winery, which is
set in a settlement of the same name in
the hills of the central west bank, Mr.
Burg prides himself on running a Jewish-
owned business in the west bank, even
welcoming groups of Christian Zion-
ists who want to volunteer during the
harvest.
The winery’s location, though,
also makes it a prime target for boy-
cotts aimed at goods produced in the
settlements.
“There are a lot of places that won’t
buy the wine, so of course there’s dam-
age,” Mr. Burg said. “It doesn’t scare me.
We need to fight the boycott, not just do
what they want.”
The effort to boycott goods pro-
duced in the west bank, long an objec-
tive of anti-Israel activists and some
Jewish critics of the Israeli occupation,
has achieved some notable victories in
recent weeks.
Last month, PGGM, the largest Dutch
pension fund, announced it was divest-
ing from five Israeli banks because of
their involvement in financing Israeli
settlements. That was followed by an
announcement that Denmark’s Dan-
ske Bank was blacklisting Israel’s Bank
Hapoalim over its settlement activity.
Sweden’s Nordea Bank has asked two
other Israeli banks for more information
about their activities in the settlements.
In the United States, settlement goods
were in the news recently after actress
Scarlett Johansson came under fire for
representing SodaStream, an Israeli
company that produces home soda
machines at a factory in the west bank.
And in Europe, the United Kingdom
and the Netherlands already label goods
made in the settlements, and the Euro-
pean Union has threatened repeatedly
to take the labeling continent-wide. U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry warned last
week that Israel could face even greater
boycott pressure if peace talks with the
Palestinians collapse.
But several CEOs of companies that
operate factories in the settlements
acknowledged that while boycotts could
hurt sales, they don’t yet represent a
serious threat to business.
Yehuda Cohen, CEO of the plastics
company Lipski, which has a factory in
the northern west bank Barkan indus-
trial park, says sales dropped 17 percent
in 2010 when local Palestinians started
Yakov Burg, CEO of Psagot Winery
in the Israeli west bank settlement
of Psagot, says boycotts of settle-
ment goods haven’t affected profits
significantly. COURTESY PSAGOT WINERY
Psagot Winery, in an Israeli west bank settlement, exported 16,000 bottles of
wine to Europe in 2013. COURTESY PSAGOT WINERY
SEE BOYCOTT PAGE 42
JS-31
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 31
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Elizabeth Traub, Esperanza Bolivar, and Betsey Carson are in the top row,
and Grace Rosenberg, Zhana Hoffman, Allie Platt, and Nina Rapfogel
are in the front. PHOTO PROVIDED
Cooking for homeless
As part of Grace Rosenberg’s bat mitzvah
project, she organized a student/teacher
cooking competition last month at the
Dwight-Englewood School. Four seventh
graders and teachers cooked together
for homeless families, raising money for
Family Promise of Bergen County, an
organization that helps homeless fami-
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The school lent its kitchen facilities and
Kings Supermarket and Cooktique of
Tenafly helped sponsor it.
Grace Rosenberg and Zhana Hoffman
then helped serve the meal to homeless
families staying at Temple Sinai of Ber-
gen County in Tenafly through Family
Promise.
Pressels hit the market
Pressels, a new pareve OU-certified pret-
zel chip available at local ShopRite and
Christmas Tree Shops locations, offers
the crispy crunch of a potato chip with
80 percent less fat.
The three thin and crispy Pressels
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ame — are available in 7.1 ounce sizes and
contain no food coloring or artificial fla-
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Time to order the OU Passover Guide
The Orthodox Union’s much anticipated annual guide
to everything you need or want to know about Pass-
over is available to order.
This year’s guide will feature articles and informa-
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primer, Passover seder shiurim, Passover recipe
For those families, like mine, that use the out-
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ours is right outside our kitchen on the deck),
here is a great new tool.
Groovers — grill-cleaning pads with inter-
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grates while they are still hot — have hit
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brush and scrub. No rinsing is required. The
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completely food safe, and leaves no chemi-
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Fax: 201-670-5674 www.koshernosh.com
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Nut Free
STRICTLY KOSHER • shomer shabbos
UNDER RCBC • cholov yisroel • pas yisroel
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CHOICE
2013
FIRST PLACE
BEST BAKERY
BEST CHALLAH
Large selection of delicious
Challah · Pastries · cookies · bobkas · pies & More...
Commercial Caterers & Restaurants welcome
Where Quality and Freshness Count!
19-09 FAIR LAWN AVE
FAIR LAWN
201 796-6565
“Cooking with Beth”
blog at
www.jstandard.com
For
cooking
ideas
visit the
Time to order the OU Passover Guide
The Orthodox Union’s much anticipated annual guide
to everything you need or want to know about Pass-
over is available to order.
This year’s guide will feature articles and informa-
tion including Passover FAQs, a kashering your kitchen
primer, Passover seder shiurim, Passover recipe
substitutes, medicines and non-food items, and com-
plete listings of OU-P and kosher for Passover year-
round products.
For information, email Eli Lebowicz at lebowicze@
ou.org or call him at (212) 613-8290.
Preserves
are OU certified
The Orthodox Union has certified
kosher the entire line of gourmet
preserves by Blake Hill Preserves
of Vermont, producers of award-
winning, all-natural chutneys,
jams, and marmalades.
Good Food Awards, the organi-
zation that sets the nation’s stan-
dards for taste, authenticity, and
social responsibility, named Blake
Hill Preserves’ “Plum & Fennel”
chutney as a 2014 winner. Blake
Hill’s “Raspberry & Hibiscus” jam,
and “Grapefruit, Lemon & Thyme”
marmalade were finalists. Blake
Hill is the first preserves maker
ever to receive three Good Food
Awards in one year.
“Cook in Israel” by Orly Ziv, nominated on the Joy of
Kosher website for Best New Kosher Cookbook, offers
100 recipes for Jewish holidays, unique dishes, and
familiar favorites. The easy-to-follow recipes, with
accompanying photographs, help cooks to bring the fla-
vors and colors of Israeli food into their kitchens.
The author uses her Jewish-Greek heritage and the
Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavors of her Tel Aviv
home for recipes good for weeknight or entertaining.
Ms. Ziv has been offering cooking classes and culinary
tours of Israel for years.
New cookbook offers
Mediterranean menu
BETH JANOFF CHANANIE
In light of all the snow and ice and with President’s
Day coming, I chose the following recipe — it is cheery,
colorful, light, and healthy.
President’s Salad
The inspiration for this salad came from a newspaper
recipe by the Israeli president’s chef. Lettuce, oranges, and
pomegranates are a classic Mediterranean combination.
OZ
2 oranges
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2-3 cups washed lettuce leaves
1/2 cup arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
dash of honey or silan (optional)
Peel the oranges and trim away any remaining white
pith. Break apart into segments.
Put the oranges, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, lettuce,
and arugula in a salad bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon
juice, and a pinch of salt. Add a drizzle of honey if you
prefer a sweeter dressing.
Gallery
34 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-34*
n 1 Nearly 70 professionals gathered last
month at Jewish Federation of Northern
New Jersey’s Commerce and Profession-
als sector’s Winter Power Networking
Breakfast. Josh Gottheimer, a writer, former
presidential speech writer for Bill Clinton,
political commentator, and technology
executive, discussed “An Insider’s Look at
Political Gridlock in Washington: Is There
Any Relief in Our Future?” From left are the
federation’s CEO Jason Shames; its secre-
tary, Daniel Shlufman; the breakfast co-chair,
Arlene Weiss; the federation’s president, Dr.
Zvi Marans; Mr. Gottheimer, and breakfast
co-chair Jason Shafron. COURTESY JFNNJ
n 2 The Gozalim class at Gan Aviv in Ber-
genfield was ready to sort and deliver “mail”
in a replica of a mail truck that they built.
The older classes have been writing letters
to their friends in other classrooms, and the
younger ones deliver them. COURTESY GAN AVIV
n 3 Last month, supporters of the Acad-
emies at GBDS in Oakland celebrated a
new science and leadership curriculum with
“It’s All Brand New” at Neiman Marcus at
the Westfield Garden State Plaza. Proceeds
from the event will benefit the day school’s
capital campaign. Among those at the event,
from left, were Jackie Rigante, Sheree Weid-
man, Naomi Shoenblum, Leah Matsil, Jackie
Helfand, and Sheila Barbach. COURTESY GBDS
n 4 Yeshiva University students, including
Sam Reinstein of Teaneck, left, participated
in a Super Storm Sandy Relief Mission, one
of YU’s Winter Missions Around the World
organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish
Future. More than 90 students went to Khar-
kov and Sumy in Ukraine; Kiryat Malachi,
Kiryat Gat, and Dimona in the Negev region
of Israel; areas of New York damaged by
Super Storm Sandy; and cities across the
American Midwest. Sam Weinstein, also of
Teaneck, was a counselor for Israel Counter-
point Israel: Winter Camp, a 10-day mission
aiming to empower Israeli teens from low
socioeconomic backgrounds. COURTESY YU
n 5 Marty Kasdan, back left, and Alan Mu-
sicant, of Gutterman and Musicant Jewish
Funeral Directors in Hackensack, with Jewish
Home at Rockleigh residents Marie Erbeck,
front left, and Ursala Nelson. Mr. Kasdan and
Mr. Musicant volunteered at the home’s inau-
gural challah baking program, where partici-
pants prepare small loaves and rolls for bak-
ing. The bread is baked in the home’s new
portable convection oven, which was donat-
ed by Gutterman and Musicant. COURTESY JHR
n 6 Students at the Fair Lawn Jewish
Center/Congregation B’nai Israel’s Shirley
and Paul Pintel Nursery School take part
in the school’s monthly “Touch the Music”
program, where they learn about different
instruments. COURTESY RABBI RONALD S. ROTH
n 7 Glen Rock Jewish Center volunteers
and staff coordinated, cooked, assembled,
delivered, and served a meal for more than
125 people at the Bergen County Hous-
ing, Health, and Human Services Center
in Hackensack last month. COURTESY GRJC
1
2
3
4
5 6 7
Dear Rabbi
JS-35
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 35
Dear Rabbi,
I play golf often with my friend Charlie,
who is a secular Jew. We generally are sent
out by the starter to play the round along
with another twosome. After a few holes,
Charlie inevitably inconspicuously asks me
if I think the guys we are playing with are
“members of the tribe.” I can’t understand
why Charlie is so concerned about his and
other people’s Jewishness if he does not him-
self follow any religious practices.
Kosher Golfer
Mahwah
Dear Golfer,
You raise an issue about our genetic or
tribal identification as Jews that is core to
our self-understanding as a people. I used
to teach that in modern times there can be
a clear distinction between Jews, who con-
nect to our people by descent only, and
Judaists, who are Jews and also practice
the religion of Judaism. I have come of late
to recognize that genealogy and theology
are intertwined in a more involved fashion.
I now recognize that when someone
like Charlie identifies as a member of the
tribe and seeks to identify if others are
also, that’s not for the purpose of scien-
tific classification. It’s a religious act. His
belief is that Jews are a special ethnic divi-
sion of humankind, and his fervent devout
activity is to seek out his fellow tribesmen
whenever the opportunity presents itself.
We Jews, religious or not, have believed
in the special character of Jews, the cho-
senness of our people, ever since that leg-
acy was chronicled in the Tanach. There
are two perspectives on that conviction
that may help you better understand the
importance of our tribalism, and why
Charlie deems it so notable.
Some evolutionary biologists believe
that the strong drive people have towards
tribal affiliation is an innate genetic trait,
not just a social preference. Over many
generations, people who firmly banded
together proved to be fitter and more
prone to survive and propagate. Accord-
ingly, the tribal impulse became a potent
part of our human genetic makeup.
Another perspective on the tribal nature
of us Jews comes from prominent theo-
logians who spoke approvingly in their
works of the special character of the Jew-
ish people. In the middle ages, for exam-
ple, in his book the Kuzari, Judah HaLevi
proposed that we Jews as a people possess
a special intrinsic mystical quality that he
called Inyan Elohi, a divine substance or
power that is transmitted from generation
to generation. That substance makes us
more receptive to divine revelation and
sets us apart in the world.
Your friend may not keep the Sabbath
or kashrut. But you should understand
and respect that a deeply religious set of
motives drives his interest in his own Jew-
ish identification and motivates him to
seek continually, on the golf course and
elsewhere, to clarify whether or not others
are fellow members of the Jewish nation.
Dear Rabbi,
I’m having trouble enjoying our local syn-
agogue. The rabbi relentlessly grandstands
on political issues and conjures up petty
harangues about this or that shul behav-
ior that he seeks to regulate. Aside from my
group of friends, who are affable, other con-
gregants act coldly toward me no matter
how hard I try to reach out to them.
My wife says I am too sensitive, and that I
should accept things as they are, and be glad
that I can attend a well-kept building and
spend some time with a few of my comrades.
But the palpable tension that I feel utterly
distracts me from the services. It turns me
off. I cling to the notion that there is a more
unspoiled ideal that I can find in Jewish syn-
agogue culture.
Who is right, me or my wife?
Spiritual Striver
Bergen County
Dear Striver,
Since this is a talmudic advice column I
have the right to say to you that the answer
is that you are both right. You should seek
the ideal, but you should not expect to find
it easily. To help you better recognize the
intricacy of your query, I’ll share with you
some of my own experiences in the form
of a midrash-like personal narrative.
In 1978, I was on a leave from my teach-
ing for six months and went to live in Jeru-
salem. I decided on an ambitious program
— to try to pray at least one time in every
one of the synagogues in Jerusalem, the
most sacred city in Judaism — to find the
perfect religious experience.
In a fanciful way, I saw my search as
a parallel to the one Bruce Brown cata-
logued in the great 1966 film “Endless
Summer.” That documentary film fol-
lowed two young surfers, on a quest to
find the perfect wave, the mark of simple
perfection in their quasi-mystical sport.
The basic narrative of “The Endless Sum-
mer” helped me to form a valid metaphor
for what I was seeking in my travels, my
search for the flawless spiritual wave — the
ideal davening at the perfect synagogue.
The Dear Rabbi column offers
timely advice based on timeless
Talmudic wisdom. It aspires to be
equally respectful and meaningful
to all varieties and denominations
of Judaism. You can find it here on
the first Friday of the month. Send
your questions to DearRabbi@
jewishmediagroup.com
Your talmudic advice column
And during a chapter of my own quest,
like the surfers in the film who found
their unspoiled wave at an out-of-the-way
beach at Cape St. Francis in South Africa, I
found a single, impeccable, mystical place
of worship at a small, off-the-beaten-path
synagogue in Jerusalem. It was a compact
little synagogue called Har-El, around the
corner from where I was living on Hapal-
mach Street in Jerusalem.
This was a simple one-room shul-house
structure. Its exterior was Jerusalem stone
like most of the buildings in the area.
Inside, the little synagogue had a one-wire
electric heater affixed to the wall at the
front of the room and no fancy fixtures
or trimmings anywhere to be found. The
pews were simple fold-down hardwood
seats. Each place to sit had a cubby in front
of it, hanging from the back of the next pew
forward. On top of that cubby was a wood
stand on which you could rest your prayer
book. A plain eternal lamp, with a flicker-
ing bulb to simulate a candle, hung above
a basic light-hued wooden ark that housed
the Torah at the front of the sanctuary.
At Har-El, the few windows along the
sides of the room were made of frosted
jalousie glass slats that were opened and
closed by rotating their small handles. In
the center of the shul, the bimah platform
for reading the Torah and reciting the
prayers was modest in size and undeco-
rated. All-in-all, the place had a kind of
Amish or Puritan simplicity.
Most of the members of that minyan
were established Israeli Orthodox Jews
whose parents or grandparents originally
derived from Western European roots.
With few exceptions, these worshippers
were not recent Anglo or French immi-
grants, not Sephardic, and not chasidic.
They knew each other from the neigh-
borhood and respected each other with
a formal civility that you had to see to
appreciate.
Back then, it hit me that this was the
right mix, the perfect minyan for me.
These were my analogs to Bruce Brown’s
gang of surfers and to the colorful local
characters he found at the surfing beach.
They were people of different histories
and stories but all with shared religious
propensities, skills, and needs. In this
brief moment of time and place, clerks
and professors, accountants and bank-
ers, business owners, contractors, rabbis
and craftspeople joined every day in their
counterpart activity to surfing.
They came together to recite and sing
their familiar prayers. This flock of like-
minded peers prayed in the same way, with
just the right measure of fervor and with
staunch confidence in their mastery of the
ins and outs of the liturgy. These people
showed no overt interest in political divi-
sions or quarrels. They were sincere believ-
ers and pure practitioners of Judaism.
Day after day, I’d go to this little shul to
pray, and it never varied. I was never dis-
appointed. I imagined in retrospect that it
was as if I had found a beach where I went
out into the surf and, every day the waves
were ideal.
That one season of mystical satisfaction
proved to me that, yes, the faultless prayer
does exist; it was serene and smooth and
seamless. The equilibrium and numinous
quality of Har-El was still there for me for
a while; and then I had to go back home to
the United States.
Alas, when I returned and visited a few
years later in 1986, I could not recover the
special quality at the synagogue. The shul
building was still there — and is there now
— and many of the same characters were
still davening there. But other congregants
had joined the mix, and a few improve-
ments had been made to the small sanc-
tuary. A bigger heating element had been
installed, and worst of all, they had put an
air conditioning unit into the wall.
So after my arrival back in Jerusalem in
the hot summer of 1986, I went to Har-El
to pray. I wanted so much to ride again
the perfect wave of davening that I knew
from the past. The service started out as
I remembered, and all the spiritual and
mystical feelings started welling up within
me. And then I watched as one, two, and
three people politely got up during our
first few minutes of prayers to adjust the
plastic A/C cooling ducts.
First, a familiar-looking person whom
I knew from the bank got up to point the
ducts one way, and then another syna-
gogue member who lived in my building
arose and moved them to blow the air in
another route. It unnerved me; I imagined
surfers who did not like the way the waves
were breaking on that legendary beach in
South Africa paddling out to try to move
some rocks in the jetty to redirect the curl
of an unspoiled wave.
One after another after another, the
same simple surfers in the shul tried to
adjust the context of the wave to their pref-
erences. Because of their persistent tinker-
ing with an insignificant air flow, I saw the
harmony that I imagined in the congrega-
tion dissipate. A simple technicality had
disrupted my spirituality. The magic spell
was broken, the tides had shifted, and the
well-formed wave could not be recovered.
In my quest for an exceptional spiritual
pursuit, I needed to move on to try to find
another venue.
My answer to you then, via my brief fig-
urative narrative, is that your quest defi-
nitely is worth the while. If you are patient
and if you are persistent in the face of great
and petty obstacles, from time to time you
will find more of the fulfillment that you
seek.
Rabbi Dr. Tzvee Zahavy was ordained at
Yeshiva University and earned his Ph.D. in
religious studies at Brown University.
D’var Torah
36 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-36*
Tetzaveh: The inviolable core
A
t the conclusion of
this week’s Torah
portion, a direc-
tive is given to
fashion the mizbe’ach hazahav
— the gold plated altar. Last
week’s Torah portion contains
the directive to fashion the
mizbe’ach ha’nichoshes — the
copper plated altar.
Our Sages teach that in con-
tradistinction to the vast major-
ity of Temple artifacts which
could become ritually defiled
through contact with impure
sources, both Temple altars
remained in a perpetual state
of ritual purity regardless of circumstances.
There are two opinions as to why this is:
Rabbi Eliezer explains that the Torah com-
pared the altars to earth and earth cannot
contract ritual impurity. The
majority of the rabbis main-
tain that the altars do not
become impure because they
are hermetically sealed within
the gold or copper plating.
Since the structure itself can-
not become impure, there-
fore, the shell — by virtue of its
secondary status, in which it
is nullified to the main struc-
ture — cannot become impure
independently.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe
sheds light on the deeper sig-
nificance of this law:
Our Sages explain God’s
instruction to “Make for me a sanctuary and I
will dwell in them” to mean that God ‘dwells’
within every Jew who lives in accordance
with the Torah’s dictates, thereby making
himself into a sanctuary for God.
Moreover, just as the Holy Temple con-
tained an altar, a core of purity which could
never be defiled, so too, every Jew contains
an “altar” within, a place of purity.
What then is the deeper significance of the
difference in opinion between Rabbi Eliezer
and the Rabbis?
Rabbi Eliezer maintains that the entire
structure of the altar, including the metal plat-
ing, remains inherently pure since the altar,
in its entirety, is compared to earth which
can never become ritually impure. Carry-
ing his stance forward, Rabbi Eliezer would
maintain that the entirety of a Jew — the inner
subconscious sanctum of his heart as well as
his conscious behavior — can never be defiled
since his entire existence is inexorably bound
with God just as earth is completely nullified
to the will of those treading on it.
Rabbi Eliezer — known as “Rabbi Eliezer
the great” who was “equal to all the wise
men of Israel” — held such a noble and lofty
estimation of every Jew since he viewed
others through his own sainted eyes.
The Rabbis however viewed the world
through more pragmatic eyes. While they
believed as Rabbi Eliezer did, that the inner
core of the Jew remains inviolable, they also
knew that the conscious behavior of the aver-
age Jew did not live up to these lofty goals.
Extending this logic to our analog, just as
the Rabbis maintained that the reason the
altars remained pure was because the cov-
ering was nullified to the core structure, so
too, while a Jew may not live with a conscious
connection to God at all times, nevertheless,
his compromised actions are nullified to the
inviolable core desire of every Jewish heart,
to be at one with God.
Our awareness of this idea fortifies us in
the face of life’s challenges. One must never
abandon hope in his or her own capacity
to rise above past failing and inadequacies;
these flaws are merely surface deep. Rather,
mine the depth of your being and you will
discover a place of inviolable beauty and
sanctity within.
Rabbi
Chanoch
Kaplan
Chabad Jewish
Center of
Northwest Bergen
County, Franklin
Lakes, Orthodox
JS-37
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 37
Hunting Elephants
www. j f nnj . or g/ f i l mf es t i v al
OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
Jewish Federation
March 22 - Apri l 10, 2014
16th Annual
Israel Film &
Cultural Festival
THE PRIME MINISTERS
UNDER THE SAME SUN
HUNTING ELEPHANTS
THE ATTACK
THE WONDERS
BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
ZAYTOUN
Leslie Billet, Chair, Israel Film & Cultural Festival
Liran Kapoano Director, Center for Israel Engagement
LiranK@jfnnj.org | 201.820.3909
www. j f nnj . or g/f i l mf est i val
Coming Soon to
“Theaters” Near You!
Art Exhibit
Water: The Essence of Our Lives
Kapl en JCC on the Pal i sades, Tenafl y
Bel ski e Museum of Art & Sci ence, Cl oster
Partnership2Gether Community Task Force cordially
invites you to a traveling international art exhibit.
Under the Same Sun
38 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-38
38 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-38
Crossword BY DAVID BENKOF
HOURS: MON.-WED. 10AM-6PM • THURS.-FRI. 10AM-8PM • SAT. 10AM-6PM • SUN. 12PM-5PM
271 Livingston St, Northvale, NJ (Next to Applebee’s)
BOOKS&GREETINGS
www.booksandgreetings.com www.booksandgreetings.com
201-784-2665 201-784-2665
Your Valentine’s
1 Stop Shopping!
Candy, Cards &
Sweetheart gifts
for all ages.
SUPER
NANNY
JO FROST
Autographed
Books Make
Great Gifts!








MARCH 12TH
WEDNESDAY, 7PM
DAVID
SHEFF
FAMILY ADDICTION EXPERT
MARCH 6TH
THURSDAY, 7PM
FEB. 11TH
TUESDAY, 7PM
FEB. 10TH
MONDAY, 4:30PM
FEB. 27TH
THURSDAY, 7PM
HENRY WINKLER
“THE FONZ” &
LIN OLIVER
FROM REAL HOUSEWIVES
OF NEW YORK
AVIVA
DRESCHER
BRANDI
GLANVILLE
FROM REAL HOUSEWIVES
OF BEVERLY HILLS
www.jstandard.com
Across
1. Designer Mizrahi
6. “An American ___” (animated film
with Feivel Mousekewitz)
10. Stable sound
14. Kind of rye found in a deli
15. Hebrew alternative
16. “A Wild ___” (Mel Blanc’s debut as
Bugs Bunny)
17. One of 156 in North America
19. “I Bought Me ___”: Copland
20. Jessica chooses to ___ for her nup-
tials in “The Merchant of Venice”
21. Solomonic
23. Country N. of Israel
25. Director of the “Rush Hour” series
28. Both parts of a Biblical bk.
30. It was parted for Moses
31. Chavrutas, e.g.
32. Bynes in the 2007 film “Hairspray”
35. Year BCE during the Hasmonean rule
37. MIT new-Left linguist
41. Islands whose first Jewish settlers
arrived in 1847
42. Simple organism
45. “My rhymes ___ your shine”
(Matisyahu lyric)
49. Torah bk.
51. “If ___ a Hammer” (song Peter
Yarrow sang at the 1963 March on
Washington)
52. Jewish Enlightenment pioneer Moses
56. Olive ___ of Fleischer Studios
57. Rabbit or goat variety
58. They may be used to make tzitzit
60. ___-do-well (Luftmensch, in Yiddish)
61. Holocaust survivor and SF Bay Area
rock promoter
66. “Anti-___ googles” (glasses sold to
ultra-Orthodox Jews to help them
avoid looking at women)
67. “My beloved is like ___” (Song of
Songs 2:9)
68. “Metmorphasis ___” (Houdini illu-
sion)
69. Say “Vidui” on Yom Kippur, slangily
70. Reform teen org. whose 2013-4
study theme is “Am I my Brother’s
Keeper?”
71. Yarmulkes go on them
Down
1. Org. once led by the controversial
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
2. Take the next step after JDate
3. “Liar’s Gospel” author Naomi
4. First murder victim, ever
5. Common Tu B’Shvat treat
6. Some who learn from a melamed
7. ___ Sephardic Synagogue (Tsfat’s old-
est prayer house)
8. 1998 Lisa Loeb hit
9. Kind of calendar that might require a
leap month
10. Like a yente
11. Manuscript omission
12. Gave a sermon
13. Shaffer and Falk
18. Mo. in 1740 when Haym Solomon
was born
22. Mengele trait
23. U.S. agency concerned with retirees
24. ___ Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)
26. Mark Zuckerberg and Sergei Brin
27. Ki ___ (“When You Enter”): Torah
portion read in September
29. Cone lead-in
33. More meshuga
34. Berlin’s “___ Blue?”
36. Abba’s wife
38. Panel that addresses issues of hala-
cha for the Conservative mvmt.
39. Pond fish
40. Israeli novelist A.B. ___
43. Tampa ___ Jewish Film Festival
44. Abe Foxman’s org.
45. “Esau was a cunning hunter, ___ the
field.” (Gen. 25:27)
46. (Offensively) “Jew someone out of”
47. Marx co-author
48. Feels like Jacob did toward Rachel
50. Kind of shot by Noam Behr on the
court
53. Jacob’s father-in-law
54. Source of chazer
55. Region of Israel that includes the
Golan and the Galil
59. Satu ___ (whence some Hasidim)
62. In Heb., it’s known as Tzahal
63. One of many drawn before Purim
64. “The King ___ I” (Rodgers and
Hammerstein musical)
65. Tzipi Livni and Tzipi Hotovely (abbr.) The solution for last week’s puzzle
is on page 45.
Calendar
JS-39*
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 39
Friday
FEBRUARY 7
Shabbat in Franklin
Lakes: The Chabad
Center of NW Bergen
County holds its monthly
character tot Shabbat
with songs, cartoon
character guests, food,
crafts, and dinner, for
children up to 6, 4 p.m.
375 Pulis Ave. (201)
848-0449 or www.
chabadplace.org.
Shabbat in Closter:
Rabbi David S. Widzer
and Cantor Rica Timman
lead informal tot Shabbat
with songs, stories, and
crafts, 5:15 p.m., followed
by an optional Chinese
dinner at 5:45, and family
friendly service at 6:45.
221 Schraalenburgh
Road. (201) 768-5112.
Shabbat in Woodcliff
Lake: Temple Emanuel
of the Pascack Valley
holds a service for young
families, 6:15 p.m. 87
Overlook Drive. (201)
391-0801.
Shabbat in Emerson:
Congregation B’nai
Israel hosts a fun and
casual “Adon Olam”
service; members and
non-members invited to
share a few stanzas of
Adon Olam sung to many
melodies, 7:30 p.m. 53
Palisade Ave. (201) 265-
2272 or www.bisrael.com.
Saturday
FEBRUARY 8
Shabbat in Closter:
Temple Emanu-El
offers Beyachad, a new
musical tot Shabbat
for 3- to 7-year olds
with Suzy Rosenberg,
10:15 a.m.; at the same
time it offers Shabbat
Havurah for families with
8- to 12-year-olds. 180
Piermont Road. (201)
750-9997 or Heymann@
templeemanu-el.com.
Havdalah in Emerson:
Congregation B’nai Israel
offers Pajama Havdalah
for families with children
up to 8 years old, along
with their parents,
grandparents, and
siblings, 5:30 p.m. Bring a
bedtime toy and pillow. 53
Palisade Ave. (201) 265-
2272 or www.bisrael.com.
Wine tasting in Franklin
Lakes: Barnert Temple
offers a gourmet dinner
with wines from around
the world, 7 p.m. 747
Route 208 South. (201)
848-1800 or www.
barnerttemple.org.
PHOTO PROVIDED
Mentalist/mind
reader in Wayne: Asi
Wind entertains at
Congregation Shomrei
Torah. Doors open at
7:30 p.m. Admission
includes one drink per
ticket. (973) 696-2500 or
office@shomreitorahwcc.
org.
Cabaret in Wyckoff:
Temple Beth Rishon
invites the community
to an evening of cabaret
style music, 7:30 p.m.,
featuring selections from
the Broadway stage and
opera, contemporary
compositions, jazz,
classic rock, classical,
Jewish, and American
folk music, and a tap
dance by the Syncopated
Seniors Tap Dance
Troupe. Participants
include congregants with
pianists Judy Kessler and
Jane Koch, percussionist
Jimmy Cohen, guitarists
Ilan Mamber, Mark
Kantrowitz, Adam
Friedlander, and Irwin
Tessler, violinist Sylvia
Rubin, and clarinetist
Jacob Niederman. Hors
d’oeuvres and desserts.
BYOB. (201) 891-4466 or
www.bethrishon.org.
Jonathan Taylor
COURTESY TEMPLE ISRAEL
Music in Ridgewood:
Temple Israel and JCC
continues its season
of Winter Music
Saturdays with pianist/
congregant Jonathan
Taylor performing works
by Chopin. Havdalah
at 7:45 p.m.; concert
follows. 475 Grove St.
(201) 201-444-9320 or
www.synagogue.org.
Tribute concert in
Tenafly: The Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades
presents “More Songs
that She Loved,” a tribute
for Stephanie Prezant,
8 p.m. Featuring Susan
Collins Caploe, vocalist,
Udy Kashkash, guitar
and vocals, Shlomi Pilo,
keyboard and vocals, and
other musicians, friends,
and family. Ms. Prezant
died in an accident
in 2012. Funds raised
will support the JCC’s
Stephanie I. Prezant
Maccabi Fund. (201) 408-
1406 or www.jccotp.org.
Sunday
FEBRUARY 9
Blood drive in
Englewood:
Congregation Ahavath
Torah holds a blood
drive, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
240 Broad Ave. (800)
933-2566 or www.
nybloodcenter.org.
Get rid of clutter: The
sisterhood of Temple
Beth El in Closter offers
a fun workshop, “Cut the
Clutter — The Top 7 Tips
to an Organized Home,”
9:30 a.m. Refreshments.
221 Schraalenburgh
Road. (201) 768-5112.
Preschool program in
Woodcliff Lake: Temple
Emanuel of the Pascack
Valley holds Club Katan
for children who will
begin kindergarten in
September, 10:15 a.m.
87 Overlook Drive. (201)
391-0801, ext. 12.
B’nai mitzvah program:
Sha’ar Communities
begins a six-part b’nai
mitzvah series, “Mosaic
of the Mitzvot.” Each
session meets in different
places and at different
times. The unique
program uses the tristate
area as a living beit
midrash/classroom and
prepares children for the
many and varied aspects
of becoming a bar or bat
mitzvah. JoAnne, (201)
213-9569 or joanne@
shaarcommunities.org.
Toddler program in
Washington Township:
As part of the shul’s
Holiday Happenings
program, the sisterhood
of Temple Beth Or offers
music, stories, crafts, and
snacks, all with a Shabbat
theme, for 2- to 6-year-
olds and their parents,
11:15 a.m. 56 Ridgewood
Road. (201) 664-7422 or
www.templebethornj.org.
Benefit spinning: “Ride
to Provide” to raise
money to help end
hunger in the community,
sponsored by Temple
Emanu-El of Closter,
is at Flywheel Sports,
Englewood, 11:30 a.m. 25
South Van Brunt St.(201)
750-9997 or Alan Yung
at aiy@me.com.
COURTESY YMCA
Concert in Wayne:
The YMCA of
Wayne concludes its
Backstage Series with
“Piano Creations,”
a performance by
musician/composer Matt
Daniel, noon. His music
includes jazz, Latin,
blues, and rock ’n roll.
The Metro YMCAs of the
Oranges is a partner of
the YM-YWHA of North
Jersey. 1 Pike Drive. (973)
595-0100, ext. 257.
Choir festival in
Washington Township:
Temple Beth Or hosts the
second annual Bergen
County Junior Choir
Festival, 2 p.m. Other
participants include
Avodat Shalom in River
Edge, Beth El in Closter,
and Emeth and Beth
Sholom of Teaneck. 56
Ridgewood Road. (201)
664-7422 or bfelixson@
templebethornj.org.
Pajama party in
Tenafly: Lubavitch on
the Palisades Preschool
hosts a preschool Pajama
Party with a dairy dinner
and a bedtime story by
author, storyteller, and
entertainer Meish Goldish
5 p.m. 11 Harold St. (201)
871-1152 or www.lpsnj.org.
Community book event
in Englewood: One
Book, One Community, a
program from the Jewish
Federation of Northern
New Jersey, designed
to enhance adult
Jewish learning through
shared conversations,
discussions, and
events, continues with
a discussion by retired
English teacher Alice
Twombly about this
year’s selection, “By Fire,
By Water,” 7:30 p.m., at a
private location. Hosted
by Congregation Kol
HaNeshamah. Rebecca
Ivry at rsvp@khnj.org or
(201) 820-3904 or www.
jfnnj.org/onebook.
Monday
FEBRUARY 10
Reading Torah in
Closter: Temple Emanu-
El offers Project Aliyah,
teaching how to read
Torah, 7:30 p.m. 180
Piermont Road. (201)
750-9997.
Successful students:
Lubavitch on the
Palisades School holds
a meet-and-greet
session, “Building
Successful Students
in the 21st Century: A
Focus on Standards and
Assessments,” 8 p.m.
Location information,
(201) 871-1152 or www.
lpsnj.org.
Tuesday
FEBRUARY 11
Networking in Saddle
Brook: The Jewish
Business Network meets
at Ameriprise Financial,
8:15 a.m. Park 80 West,
Plaza 2, 250 Pehle
Ave., Suite 500. www.
jbusinessnetwork.net.
Congregation Beth
Aaron in Teaneck
welcomes music
sensation Eitan Katz
as guest cantor this weekend.
He and his band will perform
in concert on Saturday at 8:30
p.m. His latest album is “Shuvu.”
Sponsorships are available.
950 Queen Anne Road. www.
bethaaron.org, irit.sandler@gmail.
com, or www.eitankatz.com.
PHOTO PROVIDED
FEB.
7-8

40 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-40*
Holocaust survivor
group in Fair Lawn:
Cafe Europa, a social
program the Jewish
Family Service of North
Jersey sponsors for
Holocaust survivors,
funded in part by the
Conference on Material
Claims Against Germany,
Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey,
and private donations,
meets at the Fair
Lawn Jewish Center/
Congregation B’nai Israel,
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Andrea
Strongwater, author of
“The Lost Synagogues
of Europe,” discusses
her work and shows her
paintings of destroyed
synagogues based on
archival photos and
reference materials. Light
lunch. 10-10 Norma Ave.
Transportation available.
(973) 595-0111 or www.
jfsnorthjersey.org.
Parents of LGBTQ
teens meet in Closter:
Sha’ar Communities
offers New Jersey’s
first Jewish LGBTQ
teen initiative, where
parents can discuss
issues relevant to their
children and families,
at a private home,
7:30 p.m. JoAnne, (201)
213-9569 or joanne@
shaarcommunities.org.
What to wear: The
sisterhood of the Fair
Lawn Jewish Center/
Congregation B’nai Israel
supports the Professional
Women’s Network with
a program on “what to
wear” led by Pamela
Etzin from An Eye for
Detail, at the shul, 8 p.m.
PWN welcomes women
who want to meet others
in a variety of fields and
stages of their lives and
careers for conversation
and skills development.
Rescheduled for snow.
10-10 Norma Ave. (201)
796-5040.
Beauty expert: Rachelle
Weisberger, a licensed
cosmetologist and
author of “Biblical
Beauty: Ancient Secrets
and Modern Solutions,”
is the guest speaker at
a sisterhood meeting of
the Jewish Community
Center of Paramus/
Congregation Beth
Tikvah, 8:15 p.m. 304 East
Midland Ave. (201) 262-
7691.
Wednesday
FEBRUARY 12
Spices in Tenafly: One
Book, One Community,
a community-wide
program of Jewish
Federation of Northern
New Jersey, designed
to enhance adult
Jewish learning through
shared conversations,
discussions, and events,
continues at the Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades
with “Tasting the Spice
Route” (with the Savory
Spice Shop), a theme of
this year’s book selection,
“By Fire, By Water,”
11 a.m. Jessica Wolf
Spiegel, jspiegel@jccotp.
org, (201) 569-7900.
Lunch and learn in Fort
Lee: Benjamin Nelson,
Fairleigh Dickinson
University professor
emeritus of English and
comparative literature,
talks about the Leo Frank
case as the guest lecturer
for the adult study
institute at Young Israel
of Fort Lee, noon. 1610
Parker Ave. (201) 592-
1518 or yiftlee.org.
Thursday
FEBRUARY 13
Big Jewish questions:
Rabbi Neil Tow continues
to answer questions in
a series, “Big Jewish
Questions,” at the Glen
Rock Jewish Center,
noon. Attendees should
bring a dairy lunch. 682
Harristown Road. (201)
652-6624 or rabbi@grjc.
org.
Play group in Paramus:
The Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey’s
Shalom Baby offers
baby sign language, play
time, music, storytime,
snacks, and crafts for
moms and dads of
newborns through
3-year-olds at Jewish
Community Center of
Paramus/Congregation
Beth Tikvah, 9:30 a.m.
Administered by JFNNJ’s
Synagogue Leadership
Initiative, funded by
the Henry and Marilyn
Taub Foundation. East
304 Midland Ave. (201)
820-3917, ellenf@jfnnj.
org, or www.jfnnj.org/
shalombaby.
Book discussion in
Closter: Temple Beth
El of Northern Valley
offers a discussion by
Susan Schwinger and
Julia Nock on Mitchell
James Kaplan’s novel,
“By Fire, By Water,”
7:30 p.m. The program
is part of JFNNJ’s One
Book One Community.
Refreshments. 221
Schraalenburgh Road.
(201) 768-5112.
Friday,
FEBRUARY 14
Shabbat in Washington
Township: Temple
Beth Or offers Shabbat
Hallelu, a musical family
service including singing,
clapping, and birthday
blessings for children,
7:30 p.m. 56 Ridgewood
Road. (201) 664-7422 or
www.templebethornj.org.
Saturday
FEBRUARY 15
Torah yoga in Franklin
Lakes: Barnert Temple
offers yoga, prayer,
and renewing body
and spirit using themes
inspired by the Jewish
calendar and teachings,
9 a.m. Bring a yoga mat
and wear comfortable,
nonrestrictive clothing.
747 Route 208 South.
(201) 848-1800 or www.
barnerttemple.org.
Bazaar in Washington
Township: Temple
Beth Or holds a bazaar,
7-9:30 p.m. and Sunday,
9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. Items
include gently used
household items, clothes
and toys. 56 Ridgewood
Road. (201) 664-7422 or
www.templebethornj.org.
Sunday
FEBRUARY 16
Camp open house:
White Pines Day Camp
holds an open house
at the Wayne YMCA,
11 a.m.-2 p.m. The Metro
YMCAs of the Oranges
is a partner of the YM-
YWHA of North Jersey.
1 Pike Drive. (973)
595-0100 or www.
wayneymca.org.
Film series: The Glen
Rock Jewish Center
shows “Sholem
Aleichem: Laughing
in the Darkness,”
4 p.m. The film’s director,
Joseph Dorman, will
lead a discussion. 682
Harristown Road. (201)
652-6624.
Film in Fair Lawn:
Temple Beth Sholom
screens “Expulsion and
Memory: Descendants
of the Hidden Jews,”
a documentary shot
on location in Spain,
Portugal, Israel,
Canada, and the U.S.
Refreshments. 40-25
Fair Lawn Ave. (201) 797-
9321.
In New York
Sunday
FEBRUARY 9
Maccabeats in New
City: The Maccabeats
perform at the New
City Jewish Center
during “Come In From
the Cold,” a brunch,
concert, and street fair,
beginning at 11 a.m.
(concert at 12:45 p.m.) 47
Old Schoolhouse Road.
(845) 638-9600 or www.
newcityjc.org.
COURTESY JEWISH MUSEUM
Family concerts:
Manhattan’s Jewish
Museum offers two
family concerts with the
children’s band David
Weinstone and the Music
for Aardvarks Band,
11:30 a.m. and again
at 2 p.m. Adults must
accompany children.
Fifth Avenue and 92nd
Street. (212) 423-3337 or
www.TheJewishMuseum.
org.
Chamber music: The
Israeli Chamber Project
performs at the Town
Hall, 2 p.m. 123 West 43rd
St. (212) 586-4680 or
www.pscny.org.
Singles
Sunday
FEBRUARY 9
Senior singles meet in
West Nyack: Singles 65+
meet for a social event/
brunch music by the
Divas of the 40s and 50s
with Jeff Sherer at the
JCC Rockland, 10:30 a.m.
450 West Nyack Road.
$5. Gene Arkin, (845)
356-5525
Singles meet in
Caldwell: New Jersey
Jewish Singles 45+ meet
at Congregation Agudath
Israel for “fun and food,”
12: 45 p.m. $10. 20
Academy Road. (973)
226-3600 or singles@
agudath.org.
NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • ONE CENTER STREET, NEWARK, NJ
For tickets and full schedule visit njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC
Sleeping Beauty
State Ballet Theatre
of Russia
Sun, Feb 9 at 3pm
All-Tchaikovsky!
St. Petersburg
Philharmonic
Orchestra
Yuri Temirkanov,
conductor
Denis Kozhukhin,
piano
Sun, Feb 16 at 3pm
Part of the
Bank of America Classical Series
The Peking Acrobats
& JIGU!
Thunder Drums of China
Sun, Feb 23 at 3pm
*
Use code: 25FAM.
Restrictions apply.
NEW TIME!
Symphonie fantastique
Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda,
conductor
Sat, March 29 at 8:30pm
Part of the
Bank of America Classical Series
Paddy Moloney
and the Chieftains
Fri, Feb 28 at 8pm
World Music Series
sponsored by American Express
An Evening with
Patti LuPone
and Mandy Patinkin
Sat, Mar 1 at 8pm
Sunday!
Family
Tickets
$25
each!
NJPAC_jewishmedgroup_5x6.5_ad_2-7.indd 1 1/30/14 11:24 AM

JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 41
JS-41*
Esther Rachel
Russell
COURTESY CHABAD
Comedy in
River Edge
The Brotherhood of Temple Avodat Sha-
lom presents “Comedy Night Part V”
with stand-up comedians Mike Fine, Brad
Trackman, and Dan Wilson on Saturday,
March 8, at 8 p.m. Coffee and cake will
be served after the show, and BYOB. The
synagogue is at 385 Howland Ave. in River
Edge. Early ticket discounts are available.
For information, call (201) 489-2463 or
email brotherhood@avodatshalom.net.
Camp open house set for February 16
White Pines Day Camp at the Wayne YMCA
will hold an open house on Sunday, Febru-
ary 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Metro
YMCAs of the Oranges is a partner of the
YM-YWHA of North Jersey.
The open house offers an opportu-
nity to meet the staff, tour the grounds
and facilities, and learn about the camp.
Programs include summer play school
for 2- to 5-year-olds, traditional day and
performing arts specialty camps for 5- to
13-year-olds, summer sports academy for
6- to 14-year-olds, swim tech camp for chil-
dren 8 and older, and a CIT (Counselor in
Training) program for 14- and 15-year-olds.
Camp programs provide educational and
fun experiences, and before- and after-
camp care is available.
For information call (973) 595-0100 or
go to www.wayneymca.org. The Y is at 1
Pike Drive in Wayne.
Campers wave goodbye on the last day of camp last summer. COURTESY YMCA
Art in Tenafly
This month’s exhibition at the Waltuch
Gallery of the Kaplen JCC on the Pali-
sades in Tenafly features artist Clare
Stokolska’s view of life’s little pleasures
at home and abroad. Her exhibit, “Les
Petits Plaisirs” (Little Pleasures) —
Watercolors and Multi-Medium, will be
on display February 3 to 26. There will
be an opening reception on Sunday at
12:30 p.m.
For information call Jessica Spiegel
at (201) 408-1426 or go to www.jccotp.
org.
Les Petits Plaisirs (Little Pleasures)
The role of
social service
professionals
The Jewish Association Serving the Age-
ing’s Elder Abuse Training Institute looks
at the role of social service professionals
on Thursday, February 13, beginning at 9
a.m., at UJA-Federation of New York.
Topics will include types of elder abuse
and risk factors, interviewing and counsel-
ing techniques, mock case presentation
with audience participation, prevention
and intervention strategies, and interdis-
ciplinary referral sources. The program is
geared for social workers, case managers,
geriatric case managers, legal and health
care professionals, housing and home care
providers, law enforcement, and advocacy
coalitions that work with elderly.
The program will be at 130 E. 59th
Street, Manhattan, Room 653/655. Light
refreshments will be served. For informa-
tion call Martha Pollack at (718) 286-1540
or email her at mpollack@jasa.org.
Character Tot Shabbat
Winnie-the-Pooh and Rabbi Chanoch
Kaplan lead last month’s Character Tot
Shabbat at Chabad in Franklin Lakes.
The program is open to children up to 6,
along with their parents.
Join characters tonight — Friday, Feb-
ruary 7 — at 4 p.m., at the Chabad Center,
375 Pulis Avenue, in Franklin Lakes, and
again on March 7. Call (201) 848-0449 or
go to www.chabadplace.org.
Babies and
moms/caregivers
welcome to
playgroup
Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Val-
ley in Woodcliff Lake offers a play-
group for mothers of infants up to
12 months. The free program is held
twice a month on Friday mornings.
Future dates include February 21, and
March 7 and 21. Participants can drop
in between 10 and 11:30 a.m. The ses-
sion ends with a music time.
Temple Emanuel Playgroup is spon-
sored by the early childhood program
at Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Val-
ley and is facilitated by parent/child
program coordinator Lisa Lonschein.
Temple Emanuel is at 87 Overlook
Drive, Woodcliff Lake. Call (201) 391-
8329 or email Ms. Lonschein at lisa@
tepv.org.
A participant and his mom at
Temple Emanuel Playgroup.
COURTESY TEPV
Women’s evening
of fun and laughter
The Chabad of Teaneck Women’s Circle hosts “Laugh,
Laugh, Laugh and Laugh Some More,” led by writer,
producer, and actress Esther Rachel Russell, on Mon-
day, February 17, at 8 p.m.
Ms. Russell also is a laughter therapist and creator
of the comedy improvisation workshop to “Break
Through Barriers.” The women’s-only event at
Chabad of Teaneck, 513 Kenwood Place, celebrates
the month of Adar. Desserts by Rivky will be served.
For information, email rivkygee@aol.com.
Local/Jewish World
42 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-42*
higher profile, scoring not only an op ed
in the New York Times by BDS originator
Omar Barghouti, but articles laying out
the claims and counterclaims about the
political situation of Palestinian workers in
publications as disparate as the Christian
Science Monitor, the Economist, and the
technology blog Gizmodo.
And it’s not clear whether the high-
profile advertising benefited SodaStream.
While it didn’t help that the Super Bowl lost
viewers in the second half, when the SodaS-
tream ad aired — by then the dismal fate of
the Denver Broncos was a foregone conclu-
sion — the controversy may have been a fac-
tor in seeing the company’s stock drop to
the lowest level in more than a year.
Company CEO Daniel Birnbaum said ear-
lier this week that the Israeli government
had reneged on a deal to provide millions
of dollars in aid to the company in order to
expand its factory in the Negev, within the
1967 borders. He said the company would
scale back its planned expansion.
In an interview with Forward, Mr. Birn-
baum said his company’s west bank fac-
tory was “a pain in the ass.” He said he
would have never established the plant,
which was set up before his tenure at the
company, but vowed he would not close
the factory in response to pressure. He
told the Forward that he “just can’t see
how it would help the cause of the Pales-
tinians if we fired them.”
Miriam Allenson, the Jewish federation
of Northern New Jersey’s director of mar-
keting services, emailed a statement from
the organization. “We’ve spoken out about
the BDS movement’s push to delegitimize
Israel from the beginning,” she wrote.
“Lately, in the wake of the American
Studies Association boycott resolution
and other anti-Israel challenges, we’ve
increased our vigilance. When the issue
of the SodaStream commercial arose, we
spoke out and took action. In regard to the
BDS movement and all others who would
harm Israel, we see ourselves as the watch-
men on the wall.”
For his part, Mr. Kapoano said that
his goal is not to endorse SodaStream —
though his father has one “and it’s a pretty
good product.” At work, the Jewish Federa-
tion just bought one for its kitchen area.
But at home in Hoboken, “I don’t have
room on the counter.”
JTA Wire Service contributed to this story
Johansson
FROM PAGE 7
A couple of months after the show aired,
Mr. Miron received a letter from Yehiel
Haggiz, who introduced himself as a Jew-
ish soldier now serving with his Palestin-
ian company in Tripoli. He had heard of
Mr. Miron’s musical talents, and sent him
a poem to be set to music.
The song began “Tzena, tzena — go out,
go out, daughters, and see the soldiers in
the village.” As written by Mr. Haggiz, it
had four verses.
Like Mr. Miron, Mr. Haggiz was the son
of a rabbi, so the core of the song could
have come from the classic Yiddish Torah
explanation for women, “Tzena Urena,”
or from the verse in Song of Songs that
gave the book its title: “Go forth, O ye
daughters of Zion, and gaze upon king
Solomon.”
In any event, it was a call by the male
soldiers to the girls of the village, tell-
ing them: “Don’t be shy.” No wonder it
caught on in the army.
Mr. Miron came up with the melody,
and he doubled the repetition of the
word “tzena.”
“I wanted that the entire company
would sing it, so I wrote it as a round,”
he said. “And amazingly, the entire camp
sang it. Everybody. The Palestinian
Israelis. The Australians. The English.
Everybody.
“Since they didn’t know Hebrew, they
sang ‘Tzena tzena tzena tzena tzena
tzena tzena tzena,’” he said, singing as
he told the story.
“The song became so immensely popu-
lar that the entire country started to sing
it,” he said. “This was the beginning.”
Mr. Haggiz and Mr. Miron wrote 200
songs together.
“Sadly, he died young. He was the best
friend and creative partner I ever had,”
Mr. Miron said.
Not long after his service in the British
Army, Mr. Miron served in the new Israeli
Army as chief educational and cultural
officer. He organized musical events “in a
way that little Israel hadn’t known — and
the whole nation sang.”
In Palestine and young Israel, song-
writers were deliberately creating the
soundtrack for a new culture in a newly
spoken language.
Were the new Hebrew songs new?
Or were they “of the folk”? Mr. Miron
learned one of the ironies of folk music
the hard way.
He was in a synagogue in New York
when he saw that a song he had written
— “Mah yafeh hayom, Shabbat shalom” —
was accredited as traditional.
“From Sinai,” he said.
He knew better. He had written it.
He tracked down the publisher, and
said: “I’m very grateful that you’ve pub-
lished my song, but it’s my song, duly
copyright by Mills Music.”
“They asked forgiveness and fixed the
records and gave me some money,” he said.
Miron
FROM PAGE 10
boycotting his products. His company
has since recovered, growing by 18 per-
cent last year.
Though only a fraction of Lipski’s prod-
ucts are shipped abroad — 18 percent of
total sales are for export, of which a major-
ity goes to Europe — Mr. Cohen acknowl-
edges that the EU move to label settlement
products is a real threat. Labeling settle-
ment products, he said, could hamper
relations with retailers.
“I don’t think we’ve come to the level of
a boycott, but labeling is half a boycott,”
Mr. Cohen said. “The retailer will say, ‘I
don’t want problems. Israel is not acting
well.’”
A European boycott could have a much
larger impact on SodaStream, which
according to a 2012 Bloomberg News
report looks to Europe for a majority of
sales. The company’s CEO, Daniel Birn-
baum, told the Forward recently that hav-
ing a factory in a settlement was a “pain
in the ass.”
The impact of a boycott, though hardly
irrelevant, would be more limited for
Psagot and Lipski, neither of which are as
reliant on European business.
But neither Mr. Burg nor Mr. Cohen
share Mr. Birnbaum’s sentiments about the
virtues of operating a business in the west
bank. Nor does Rami Levy, the head of
the budget supermarket chain Rami Levy
Hashikma Market, which operates three
locations in the west bank.
For Mr. Burg, his vineyard’s location is
in part an ideological statement of opposi-
tion to a Palestinian state. Mr. Cohen said
he supports Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
and the goal of a two-state solution. Like
other CEOs of companies with west bank
operations, he believes his company fur-
thers the cause of peace by giving jobs to
Palestinians.
“Not only does it not do damage, it pro-
vides an example of how to live together,
how we can do business together,” Mr.
Levy said. “When you open businesses,
you create more jobs. Just don’t dis-
criminate based on religion, race and
nationality.”
Mr. Levy, whose chain employs about
2,000 Palestinians, was part of a delega-
tion of 100 Israeli businessmen to the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzer-
land, last month aimed at encouraging a
peace agreement. More than half the 90
employees of Lipski’s west bank factory
are Palestinians. Cohen employs four Pal-
estinians out of 20 total employees.
Hilik Bar, who chairs the Knesset Caucus
for Furthering Relations Between Israel
and Europe, said Mr. Levy’s argument
won’t convince Europeans in the absence
of a peace agreement. Mr. Bar strongly
opposes boycotts, but the Labor party law-
maker believes the government needs to
pursue peace more aggressively.
“It’s not just the two [Scandinavian]
banks; it is spreading everywhere,” said
Mr. Bar, who also chairs the Caucus for the
Promotion of a Solution for the Israeli-Arab
Conflict. “Israel has an image as a state
worthy to isolate. It’s a whole world we’re
giving up on economically as long as we
don’t come to a two-state solution.”
But Mr. Levy claims not to be wor-
ried. Europeans talk a good game when
it comes to settlements, he said, but ulti-
mately they’re focused on the bottom line.
“If we let them profit, in the end they’ll
invest,” he added. “The Europeans know
one thing: Israel treats them well.”
JTA WIRE SERVICE
Boycott
FROM PAGE 30
Psagot Winery at night. COURTESY PSAGOT WINERY
Obituaries
JS-43*
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 43
LEONARD ROSEN
Leonard Rosen, beloved husband of Roslyn, passed
away on Saturday, February 1st, in his Florida home
surrounded by his family. Mr. Rosen was a resident
of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Fort Lee, N.J. He is
survived by his sister, Sylvia Parnis, his children, Saul
Rosen, Jay and Amy Rosen, and Shelley and Ira Taub,
and his grandchildren, David, Jeffrey, Philip, and
Evan Rosen, Dr. Hara Berger and Daniel Berger, and
Sydney, Alex, and Julia Taub. Mr. Rosen was formerly
President and co-founder of Streichler Trucking
Company and North River Warehouses for 36 years.
He is a member of both Hunters Run Country Club
and also of Alpine Country Club since 1964. Lenny
had a zest for life, always had a smile on his face, and
was loved by all those who came into his path. May
he rest in peace. Religious services were on Tuesday
at Temple Sinai of Bergen County, Tenafly, N.J. For
condolences or information, (201) 947-3336.
Veterans are Honored Here
We are committed to celebrating the significance of lives that
have been lived, which is why we have always made service
to veterans and their families a priority.
We assure that all deceased veterans have an American
Flag and a Jewish War Veteran Medallion flagholder placed
at their graves at the time of interment. Our Advanced
Planning service has enabled us to expedite military
honors, when requested, because the need for the
documentation is immediate and it is part of the pre-need
protocol. And if requested, an American Flag may drape the
casket at a funeral service.
We have also established an “Honor Wall” of veterans names,
and it is a part of our Annual Veterans Memorial Service.
GUTTERMAN AND MUSICANT
JEWISH FUNERAL DIRECTORS
800-522-0588
WIEN & WIEN, INC.
MEMORIAL CHAPELS
800-322-0533
402 PARK STREET, HACKENSACK, NJ 07601
ALAN L. MUSICANT, Mgr., N.J. LIC. NO. 2890
MARTIN D. KASDAN, N.J. LIC. NO. 4482
IRVING KLEINBERG, N.J. LIC. NO. 2517
Advance Planning Conferences Conveniently Arranged
at Our Funeral Home or in Your Own Home
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• Handicap Accessibility From Large
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201.843.9090 1.800.426.5869
Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Inc
Jewish Funeral Directors
FAMILY OWNED & MANAGED
Generations of Lasting Service to the Jewish Community
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Gary Schoem – Manager - NJ Lic. 3811
Martin Birnbaum
Martin “Marty” Birnbaum, 73, of Fair
Lawn, formerly of Bayonne, died
January 30.
He owned Birne’s Delivery Service in
Fair Lawn and was a former member of
Temple Beth Sholom in Fair Lawn and
the Elmwood Park Jewish Center, where
he was men’s club president. He was
a life member of Benjamin N. Cardozo
Knights of Pythias Lodge #163 in Fair
Lawn where he was past chancellor
commander. He held the same position
with the Knights of Pythias Domain of
New Jersey.
He is survived by his wife of 47
years, Dory, neé Zibowsky; children,
Beverly, Holli Martir, and Caryn Johnson
(Douglas); a sister, Shirley Nezni; and
four grandchildren.
Donations can be made to Deborah
Hospital, Browns Mills. Arrangements
were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.
Sid Canter
Sid Canter of Jersey City died
February 3.
Predeceased by a son, Steven, and
brothers, Alvin and Howard, he is
survived by his wife, Jane; children,
Barry and Michael ( Juan Tamargo); and
a brother, Robert of California.
Services were at Congregation B’nai
Jacob, Jersey City. Arrangements were
by Gutterman Bros. Funeral Directors.
Shirley Dobrow
Shirley Dobrow, 86, of Teaneck, died
January 28. Arrangements were by Louis
Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Theresa Handler
Theresa Handler, 96, of Woodcliff Lake,
died January 28. Arrangements were by
Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Rosanne Sachs
Rosanne Sach, 88, of River Edge died
January 30. Predeceased by her
husband, Jerome, she is survived by her
children, Richard, and Debi DiPippo
(Ray); and a sister, Millie Weiss.
She was a former member of Temple
Avodat Shalom in River Edge.
Donations can be made to the River
Edge Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the
River Edge P.B.A. Arrangements were by
Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.
Touro community remembers
Dr. Bernard Lander on his yahrzeit
The Touro College community gathered at Yeshivas Ohr
Hachaim on motzei Shabbat, January 25, to commemo-
rate the fourth yahrzeit of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander,
founder and first president of the Touro College and Uni-
versity System.
The featured speaker, Rabbi Nosson Scherman,
general editor of Artscroll/Mesorah Publishing, noted
that Dr. Lander established Touro so that the Jewish
community could operate within the secular world with-
out having to sacrifice its Yiddishkeit.
Rabbi Doniel Lander, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr
Hachaim and Dr. Lander’s son, also spoke.
To commemorate Dr. Lander’s third yahrzeit a year
ago, Touro released Dr. Lander’s biography, “The
Lander Legacy: The Life Story of Rabbi Dr. Bernard
Lander,” by Peter Weisz (Ktav Publishing House, Inc.).
BRIEFS
Mourning walk group forming
Sha’ar Communities begins a walking group for those in
any stage of the grieving process. The group will spend
an hour walking the beautiful Palisades in fellowship
with others mourning the loss of a loved one. After-
wards, they will have coffee at the Market.
The group will convene at the trailhead of Tallman
Mountain State Park on the east side of US 9W, 0.3 miles
north of Oak Tree Road in Palisades, N.Y., alternating
Thursday mornings, at 8 a.m., beginning February 13.
Email JoAnne@shaarcommunities.org to sign up
for weather alerts and schedule updates, or call her
at (201) 213-9569.
Obituaries are prepared with
information provided by funeral
homes. Correcting errors is the
responsibility of the funeral home.
Classified
44 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-44
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DONATE
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Real Estate & Business
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 45
JS-45*
Allan Dorfman
Broker/Associate
201-461-6764 Eve
201-970-4118 Cell
201-585-8080 x144 Office
Realtorallan@yahoo.com
FORT LEE - THE COLONY
■ 1 BR High floor. Updated. $164,900
■ 1 BR High floor. Updated. Laundry.
Gorgeous sunset view. $210,000
■ 2 BR Full river. Renovated. Laundry.
Priced to sell. $399,000
■ 2 BR Low floor. New kitchen.
Renovated. $539,000
■ 2 BR High floor. Gut renovation.
Laundry. $565,000
No fee rentals starting at
$1950 per month.
Serving Bergen County since 1985.
Real Estate Associates
Ann Murad, ABR, GRI
Sales Associate
NJAR Circle of Excellence Gold Level, 2001, 2003-2006
Silver Level, 1997-2000, 2002,2009,2011,2012
Direct: (201) 664 6181, Cell: (201) 981 7994
E-mai l : anni eget si t sol d@msn. com
123 Broadway, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
(201) 573 8811 ext. 316
Each Office Independenty Owned and Operated
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Adorable and cozy 2 bedroom Dutch colonial recently updated with newer boiler,
hot water heater & windows, beautiful open eat-in kitchen with state of the art
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For Our Full Inventory & Directions
Visit our Website
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(201) 837-8800
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BY APPOINTMENT
$259,000. Cape Cod Ready for your Personal Touches.
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42 Irvington Rd.
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758 Bayard St.
430 Kensington Rd.
1163 E Laurelton Pkwy.
441 Churchill Rd.
Ruth Weitzman, SRES
Broker Associate
Properties
82 E Allendale Rd. Suite 4B
Fair Lawn/ Saddle River, NJ 07458
201 825-6600 ext 314 Ofce
201 314-7042 Cell
201 445-2483 Home
www.ruthweitzman.com
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201-837-8818
Around the world… at home
The residents of FountainView at College Road, a retire-
ment community in Monsey, travel the world “virtually.”
Most recently they “visited” China, learning about Chi-
nese culture, dress, architecture, customs and food. The
program ended with a snack of Chinese eggrolls. Pictured
are staff and resident participants.
Jeff@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com
Ruth@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com/NJ
Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.
Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!
TENAFLY
Beautiful Contemporary on a cul-de-sac.
TENAFLY
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TENAFLY
Sprawling Ranch on .97 acre w/babbling brook.
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Lovely 2 BR/2 BTH townhouse. $418,000
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Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY
Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ
NJ: T: 201.266.8555 • M: 201.906.6024
NY: T: 212.888.6250 • M: 917.576.0776
Remarkable Service. Exceptional Results.
Real Estate & Business
46 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-46*
SELLING YOUR HOME?
Call Susan Laskin Today
To Make Your Next Move A Successful One!
©2014 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.
Cell: 201-615-5353 BergenCountyRealEstateSource.com
Have you ever felt frustrated by conver-
sations with friends, family members or
work colleagues who are indifferent to or
deny the science of climate change? It can
be exasperating and discouraging.
A North Jersey Public Policy Network
program February 20 will provide citizens
concerned about climate change with
information needed to communicate effec-
tively on this complicated issue.
As part of its Distinguished Expert Lec-
ture Series, NJPPN will present America’s
Future: Communicating with our Neigh-
bors on Climate Change, a free lecture
and discussion with Geoffrey Feinberg, a
recognized expert on climate change com-
munication and research director at the
Yale University Project on Climate Com-
munication. Professor Feinberg’s talk will
be moderated by Climate Nexus, a group
working to highlight the impact of climate
change and clean energy solutions.
The program will focus on research by
Professor Feinberg and his team which
identifies “six Americas,” each looking at
climate change through a slightly different
lens. The evening will include small-group
workshops led by Climate Nexus lead-
ers, who will help participants develop
answers to questions about climate
change.
The program, co-sponsored by the Insti-
tute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh
Dickinson University, will be held at 6:30
p.m. at the FDU Metro Campus, Dickinson
Hall, Wilson Auditorium, 140 University
Plaza Drive, Hackensack.
Talking about climate change
Program at FDU to help
participants communicate
What: America’s Future: Communicating with our Neighbors on Climate Change
— a discussion with Geoffrey Feinberg of Yale University’s Project on Climat-
eChange Communication, and Climate Nexus
When: February 20, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Fairleigh Dickenson University, Metro Campus, Dickinson Hall, Wilson
Auditorium, 140 University Plaza Drive, Hackensack, 07601
Directions: http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=227; Google Maps
Fee: Free and open to the public; reservations required by Feb. 7
RSVP: enviro@njppn.org
A night of love songs
with Neil Berg
Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar in Piermont, N.Y., offers live
music and entertainment, along with expansive views
of the Hudson River. Among its upcoming shows is
“A Night of Love Songs” by Broadway composer
Neil Berg, with Rita Harvey and a cast of Broadway
stars, on Saturday, February 15, at 7 p.m. Admission
includes show ticket and a three-course meal with
complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before
the show. A fish entrée will be offered and vegetarian
is available with advance notice. For information, call
(845) 848-2550 or www.pier701ny.com.
Lander College junior
wins stock market challenge
Aaron Benia, a junior at the Lander Col-
lege for Men, won the school’s fall semes-
ter Stock Market Challenge, his third
victory in the last four contests. A psy-
chology major with a minor in marketing
management, Benia had an incredible 28
percent return on investments.
The bi-annual contest, organized
by senior Avraham Weiser and junior
Shlomi Landesman, is an opportunity
for students at Lander College to try
their hand at investing like real-time
stock traders. Each of the 45 contestants
received “$1 million” to invest in any
shares available on the New York Stock
Exchange (within certain restrictions:
contestants cannot purchase penny
stocks and a maximum of 20 percent
of one’s credit can be invested in one
company).
“This competition enables students
to apply the sophisticated theories they
learn in class to the practical realities of
investment,” said Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean
of the college.
A native of Toronto, Mr. Benia said his
strategy was relatively simple: Each day
he would note which stocks were down
15 percent or more and then check out
the performance over the prior three
months. If it was at the lowest price over
that time he would buy. If it continued to
fall he doubled it. It didn’t always work—
the one time he didn’t win he lost $80K—
but more often than not he’s made a
profit. In his two previous victories he
finished with very impressive returns in
the mid-teens.
“It’s a pretty well-known strategy,” he
said. “Obviously there’s no easy way or
some people would [consistently] be
making a lot of money on the stock mar-
ket.” He said that a few of his friends had
jokingly accused him of insider trading.
Mr. Benia said that, despite his appar-
ent financial talent, he plans to pursue
a masters in psychology after he gradu-
ates next January. Although he’s tempted
to see if his success in the contest would
translate to the real market, he said that
the pressure of losing actual dollars
might take away the fun.
“It’s risky with real money. With real
money it would consume more of your
life.”
The Lander College Investment
Group, which meets every other week
to discuss matters related to the finan-
cial world, oversees the contest and has
its own entry as well.
The members collaborate on its invest-
ments and should it win, whichever
member suggested a stock with the high-
est return would receive the $100 cash
prize.
“And the bragging rights. You can’t
forget about the bragging rights,” said
Mr. Weiser.
Like Mr. Benia, most members of the
Investment Club are not finance majors.
Mr. Weiser said this reinforces one of the
goals of the contest, to demonstrate that
investing isn’t just for the fast-moving
bankers and brokers.
“The point is to get rid of the scariness
of investing and get people comfort-
able with the process,” said Mr. Weiser,
himself a marketing major and the lone
investor to unseat Mr. Benia in the last
four contests. “We want to create an
interest in learning about companies
and teach people to look at them from a
financial point of view.”
The Lander College for Men is an
undergraduate division of Touro Col-
lege. Established in the fall of 2000 and
located in Queens, the Lander College
for Men is grounded in a dual curricu-
lum of intensive Torah study and a wide
range of academic programs, and stu-
dents major in professionally oriented
disciplines.
www.jstandard.com
JS-47
JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014 47
Jeff@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com
Ruth@MironProperties.com · www.MironProperties.com/NJ
Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.
Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!
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Large L-shaped studio. Great location.
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Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY
Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ
NJ: T: 201.266.8555 • M: 201.906.6024
NY: T: 212.888.6250 • M: 917.576.0776
Remarkable Service. Exceptional Results.
48 JEWISH STANDARD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
JS-48
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