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new hillel leadership teaching tots literary letters online mmmmatzoh balls!
erce . rI slan d
july 22, 2011 • 20 tammuz 5771 • volume 87, no. 15 • $2
Tenth-grader Serena Bernthal-Jones says:
Nobody likes to be bullied: This year’s winners of the Jacob Friedman Holocaust Writing and Art Contest
Starts on page 12
@jew_ish • @jewishdotcom • @jewishcal
professionalwashington.com connecting our local Jewish community
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
Mid-Summer Family Calendar
For complete details about these and other upcoming JFS events and workshops, please visit our website: www.jfsseattle.org
FOR PARENTS FOR WOMEN
Programs of Project DVORA (Domestic Violence Outreach, Response & Advocacy) are free of charge.
Having a Baby This Summer or Fall — Sign Up Now!
PEPS – A peer support group experience for parents of newborns within a culturally relevant context. Bringing Baby Home – A workshop series for couples. Contact Marjorie Schnyder, (206) 861-3146 or email@example.com
Support Group for Jewish Women with Controlling Partners
Ongoing Confidential location, dates and time. Contact Project DVORA, (206) 461-3240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR ADULTS AGE 60+
FOR THE COMMUNITY
A community-wide program offered in partnership with Temple B’nai Torah & Temple De Hirsch Sinai. EO events are open to the public. As the state licensed home care division of Jewish Family Service, we specialize in personal and homemaker services that make the whole family feel better. All our caregivers are pre-screened, bonded, insured and actual employees of Jewish Family Service itself. What could be more comforting? PLAN AHEAD! Call for a no-fee, no-obligation intake assessment today. Services are tailored to meet the needs of parent and family alike…full or parttime, long or short-term, live-in or live-out. After all, no one cares for loved ones like family does.
AA Meetings at JFS
Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. Contact (206) 461-3240 or email@example.com
Jews of Melilla: A Spanish Territory on Mainland Africa
Join Rabbi Simon Benzaquen from Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation who will share the history of Melilla and his relationship to the garrisoned city. m Thursday, July 28 10:30 a.m. – Noon
Shaarei Tikvah: Gates of Hope Summer Shabbat Experience for People of All Abilities
Enjoy a delicious meal, Shabbat rituals and a brief service with friends, family and community! Rabbi James Mirel and Cantor David Serkin-Poole will lead the service. ASL interpretation provided. m Friday, July 29 5:30 p.m. Service begins 6:30 p.m. Catered kosher dinner Advance registration required. Contact Marjorie Schnyder, (206) 861-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Walking Tour: Issaquah’s Living History
Led by a docent from the Issaquah Historical Society m Thursday, August 11 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Kosher Food Bank
Special food bank opportunity for families who keep a kosher kitchen. m Wednesday, August 3 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Advance registration required. Contact Jana Prothman, (206) 861-3174 or email@example.com
The Jewish Image in Film, Part II
A S S O C I A T E S
A division of Jewish Family Service
With Art Feinglass m Thursday, August 18 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Seattle as Collector: Art in Public Spaces
With Deborah Paine, Curator & Collections Manager from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs m Thursday, August 25 11:00 a.m. – Noon
SAVE THE DATE
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE
119th Annual Meeting
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
JFS services and programs are made possible through generous community support of
Feldenkrais: Retrain Your Body to do Your Commands
With Irene Pasternak m Tuesday, August 30 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. RSVP Ellen Hendin, (206) 861-3183 or firstname.lastname@example.org regarding all Endless Opportunities programs.
1601 - 16th Avenue, Seattle (206) 461-3240 • www.jfsseattle.org
To donate, please visit www.jfsseattle.org
friday, July 22, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTNews
the rabbi’s turn
JT News Column
Rabbi bRuce Kadden Temple Beth El
I have just returned from spending a week on the faculty of Camp Kalsman, the regional Union for Reform Judaism camp, culminating with the camp’s fifth anniversary celebration. The opportunity to spend a week at camp has been one of the highlights of my year throughout my rabbinate. Jewish camping is arguably the greatest success story of American Jewish education. Many rabbis and other Jewish professionals attribute a significant influence of their choice of career to experiences at Jewish summer camps. Many of the lay leaders in my own congregation fondly remember their summers at Jewish camps. Jewish summer camps first developed in the early 20th century to bring Jewish children from the city to the country and help to introduce these children — most of whom were immigrants or the children of immigrants — to American culture. Toward the middle of the 20th century, camps with explicit Jewish educational or cultural programming began to develop. The second half of the 20th century saw the development of Jewish summer camps by the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements to further their educational goals and help assure the development of future Jewish leaders. These camps remain particularly strong at the beginning of the 21st century. Although I never attended Jewish overnight camp growing up, I have strong memories of retreat weekends and family camp weekends at Camp Swig in Northern California. I was a staff member at Swig, Hilltop camp in Malibu, Calif. and Jacobs Camp in Utica, Miss. Since becoming a rabbi I have served on the faculty of Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin, Swig and Newman in Northern California, and most recently Camp Kalsman. While each camp has its unique atmosphere and programming emphasis, all share a strong commitment to fostering Jewish identity and education. Why does Jewish camping have such a powerful influence on our youth? • Virtually every camp is located in a beautiful natural setting, far from the city. For many Jewish youth, camp is the only opportunity to experience the wonders of the natural world and recognize the benefit of spending time in nature. • Camp is an opportunity to live a Jewish life 24/7. The best camps assure that Jewish values, traditions and Hebrew are a natural part of day-to-day life, teaching our youth that Judaism can be an integral part of their lives each and every day. • Especially for youth from small Jewish communities, where they are often the only Jew in their class, to attend camp allows them to experience life as part of a Jewish community. My children, who are now young adults, made life-long friends through camp. • Counselors, who are most often college students, become powerful role models to campers, showing them that it is cool to be Jewish. • Campers and counselors have the opportunity to interact with rabbis and other Jewish professionals in ways that they rarely do at their home congregations. The rabbis are not just leading services, but working with campers to design a service or telling a story at cabin time or just shooting hoops and hanging out. • Jewish camp is an opportunity for staff members to grow Jewishly and help others grow Jewishly and — in some cases — find a lifelong partner. • Jewish camp provides opportunities to experiment in areas of Jewish life, both individually and communally, that are often lacking outside of camp. Much contemporary Jewish music, for example, was directly or indirectly developed at Jewish camps. • Jewish camps often expose our youth to Israelis who serve as staff, giving them a perspective on Israel that they do not get elsewhere. And the camps often give Israelis their first exposure to non-Orthodox Judaism, helping them understand that being a religiously committed Jews does not necessarily mean being an Orthodox Jew. By sending our children to camp, we are saying to them: Being Jewish is an important part of who you are and we want you to have the opportunity to develop this part of your identity in a loving, supportive Jewish atmosphere. One of the greatest gifts that we can offer our children is the chance to attend Jewish summer camp where they learn about Judaism, Israel and about themselves.
Bruce Kadden is rabbi of Temple Beth El in Tacoma. Email him at bkadden@ templebethel18.org about your experiences in Jewish summer camps.
Five years later
ilana cone Kennedy Special to JTNews
I am honored to have recently been selected as a recipient of the Pamela Waechter Jewish Communal Service Award. Having known and admired Pam, this award is especially meaningful to me. In a recent discussion about the award, two of the Holocaust Center’s college interns casually asked me, “Who was Pam?” Five years ago already, and still my hands shake when called upon to describe that day: Friday, July 28, 2006. I wasn’t shot. In fact, I never even saw the gunman until I was in the courtroom with him almost two years later. But I was there. I heard it all. I felt it. I could smell it. “In the building.” That’s how people referred to our small group. Yes, we were in the building on that Friday afternoon when Naveed Haq forced his way in and shot six women, some more than once, killing one of them and holding another hostage. He was angry at Jewish people for the world situation. He looked up Jewish organizations online and chose his target. I was “in the building” when it happened — on the floor below where the shooting occurred. It was a warm Friday afternoon. I was seven months pregnant and just beginning my fourth year as director of education at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. I heard popping. Screaming. In an instant my mind sorted through its familiar sounds trying to make sense of the situation. A party? Banging. Falling. More screaming. Popping noises. Thuds. Furniture falling? People falling? I had never heard such terrified, pain-filled screams. I knew it was gunshots. I started to run to the back entrance of the Holocaust Center, where the door opens to a hallway that leads to the staircase up to the Federation’s lobby. A person came running screaming down the hall. Don’t go that way, I told myself. I quickly closed the door and locked it. The popping noise was moving above me. Multiple shooters? Multiple guns? My colleagues? My friends? I turned off the lights so it looked like no one was here. I grabbed my bag and dialed 911 on my cell phone. My coworker Kami and I rushed out the front entrance. Standing on the sidewalk just outside the Federation’s and Holocaust Center’s entrances, the 911 operator was on the phone with me. I looked up at the Federation’s second-story windows, trying to see something. I can still hear the screaming. My coworkers. Who was screaming? “Someone is shooting,” I explained to the operator. I heard my call years later, in 2009 — in the second trial against Naveed Haq. I always wondered what I must have sounded like. Nervous, shocked, but surprisingly calm. We hurried to the corner and headed up Lenora. On Lenora, people rushed out the Federation’s side entrance. Panicstricken. Wide-eyed. Running. Just as I reached the side entrance, Christina came out. She stopped in the doorway, and looked at Kami and me on the sidewalk. She was panicked and covered in blood from her neck to her knees. She collapsed to the ground and her blood flowed onto the sidewalk by my feet. With remarkable speed Kami took her own white sweater and tried to find where the blood was coming from. I was still on the phone with 911 — the operator urged me not to hang up. Again from the recording I later heard in the courtroom, I was trying to explain that someone had been shot and was bleeding. I was trying to describe our location. And then I saw a tall policeman behind me. Chaos. How many gunmen? Was he/ were they still in there? How many people were still in the building? Who had been shot? The police moved us further up the street so they could surround the building. The SWAT team came. How long was this? Minutes? Everyone from inside the building collected in front of Starbucks. Christina’s limp body was there too, in a puddle of blood as paramedics worked to save her. I looked around. Cheryl was on the corner across the street. Bewildered. Why was she sitting down, I wondered? Molly ran toward us, as did Cheryl’s niece. Dayna
X Page 4
“I’m really excited about the coffee.” — Rabbi Oren Hayon, Hillel at the University of Washington’s new executive director, on his very recent move to Seattle from Dallas. See the story on page 6.
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
2031 thirD avenue | seattle, wa | 98121-2412 | p: 206-443-5400 info@Jewishinseattle.org | www.Jewishinseattle.org
W five years later Page 3
Join the Party! “Many Voices….One Jewish Community” 2012 Community Celebration & Campaign Kickoff
sunday, september 18 at McCaw Hall, Seattle Center • Doors open 4:30pm Chairs: Lorna and David Isenberg Join us on sunday, september 18 as we kick off the 2012 Community Campaign, with an American and Israeli-themed Kosher dinner buffet, plus live music by the all-star a cappella group The Maccabeats. Help celebrate the launch of our 85th year of Jewish giving in Seattle with this first-ever Seattle performance by The Maccabeats. We’ll be recognizing the community dedication and many years of service of Herb and Lucy Pruzan, and introducing an exciting and fresh
direction in Jewish giving that’s creating a lot of buzz, and will let you turn your passions into meaningful impact for our Jewish community. Registration is now open. Bring your friends for an evening of fun and fundraising... rows of ten are available and may be reserved at www.Jewishinseattle.org/Kickoff or 206-443-5400.
Mark Your Calendar:
Israeli Camp Counselors to Share Stories
Be our guest on tuesday, July 26 from 7:45pm to 9:45pm at a private home on Capitol Hill to hear the perspectives of three young adults from Kiryat Malachi, our partnership community in Israel, who are spending the summer in Seattle as camp counselors at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. Come learn about the challenges of poverty and social integration faced by developing communities and populations in Israel. Learn how the Federation’s targeted support for human needs and social services in Israel is making an enormous impact on the lives of young Israelis. This will be an opportunity to gain an insider’s perspective on these issues. There is no charge for this presentation; Kosher desserts and coffee will be served. Details and a map of the event location will be sent once you complete your registration. Please RSVP by calling 206-443-5400, or email MichaelW@JewishInSeattle.org.
The Jewish Federation supports our broad Jewish professional community by helping provide networking opportunities that connect professionals with each other and with potential clients. The Greater Seattle Jewish Business Network (GSJBN) is the online networking site that helps professionals in all areas of business and services connect with each other. You’ll find potential clients, potential employment opportunities, and just plain good connections to help you link up with other professionals in the Jewish business community. Visit www.JewishInSeattle.org and click on the link. Looking for even more professional connections? Then the new “Professional Directory to Jewish Washington” is for you. The directory, published annually, hits the newsstands today, and is available online at www. ProfessionalWashington.com. Check this directory first, when you are looking for a service or product. Support other Jewish professionals and keep our Jewish business community thriving. If you are a professional and want to be included in the online directory, you will find a link on the directory website.
was on a stretcher, as was Carol. I started to cry when I saw Dayna. Like me, she was pregnant. Oh God, what happened? Confusion. Shock. The media arrived. My husband and sister suddenly were at my side. The news had already broadcast that a pregnant woman had been shot. Jon thought it was me. It wasn’t. Crazy luck. Hours went by. A small bus took those of us who were “in the building” but not needing medical attention to the police station. We all compared stories, made phone calls, tried to figure out what happened. Who was missing? Did someone die? We didn’t yet know. Kami and I sat with a piece of paper in the back of the bus. We made lists and lists of the people we thought had been there that afternoon. Who was not with us? Did one of “us” die? Hours more at the police station, as we all gave our statements. Then, the longest day was over. Jon picked me up. We went home. It was getting dark. My lovely friend thoughtfully dropped off flowers. An email went out to our neighborhood: “Heads up everyone — this is one of our neighbors.” I couldn’t eat. I could hardly talk. I was home, but nothing looked like it had that morning. I was bewildered and frightened. I went to bed that night wondering if someone might come to get me because I am Jewish and maybe they wanted to finish the job. Pam Waechter was killed. Pam. Pam — who my parents knew from when we were members of Temple B’nai Torah when it was in a tiny building on Mercer Island. Pam — who had just given me suggestions on possible locations for events. Pam — who had never done anything to anyone. This man took her life away. Pam was a Jew by choice — she had chosen this religion, people, and history to be her own. She committed herself to this community with passion. She became president of her synagogue, president of the region for the Union of Reform Judaism. She headed committees as a volunteer, and later worked at several executive positions at the Jewish Federation. She was a role model and mentor to so many, including me. Christina had been shot twice, as had Layla. Cheryl, Carol, and Dayna each had also been shot. My colleagues — people I
saw every day. My work, where I went every day, no longer seemed like a place I could trust. And I had this baby to consider. I had to keep it together. The pieces of the story finally fell into place. I remember I cried a lot in those first few months afterward. I cried at random times — driving in my car, making dinner, or grocery shopping. I cried for my friends who had been shot. For their families and unexpected tragedies that forever changed their lives in ways I still cannot even imagine. I cried for all of the pain and suffering that exists in this world. And I listened to angry music — because I was truly angry. I testified in two long trials against Naveed Haq. But even after his sentencing, I didn’t feel closure. My world had changed. It never escaped me that this happens to people every day, and the world goes on. Most don’t get the support we received — alone they are left to pick up the pieces. I went into labor on Yom Kippur. My son Erez was born early the next day — a healthy, beautiful boy. “Strong as a cedar tree” his name means — and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Indeed his spirit is strong. The world goes on and on, despite the everyday tragedies and the daily miracles. I doubly committed myself to my work at the Holocaust Center, where we try to impart on students the dangers of stereotyping and prejudice and the importance of speaking out against intolerance. For over eight years I’ve had the gift and honor of working with Holocaust survivors, teachers, and students, children and grandchildren of survivors, and individuals from all over the globe interested in learning about genocide and how we can make a difference. Each day I come to work, to a building with increased security. When I walk up the stairs to the Jewish Federation, which I do several times a day, I can’t help but think of Pam. She died on those stairs. Erez is now almost 5 and our younger daughter, Lilah, is almost 3. I am keenly aware that life can change in an instant. Each night I kiss my kids and thank God for all of these gifts in my life. And each day, when the problems of the world seem almost too big, too overwhelming, I try to remind myself that my choices and actions each day, even the little ones, make a difference.
Letter to the editor
Pressure the PaLestinians
m a r k
y o u r
c a l e n d a r !
July 26 • IsraelI Camp Counselors presentatIon September 1 • ChaI soCIety reCeptIon September 18 • CommunIty CelebratIon and CampaIgn KICKoff
I commend Anav Silverman for her perceptive op-ed column (“No yellow brick road for Palestinian UN bid,” July 8) as right on the mark. Silverman rightly points out the lack of accountability of funds among the Palestinian leadership and that the majority of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem would rather remain citizens of Israel than become Palestinian citizens, if given the choice. Also, the creation of a Palestinian state via the UN will in no way end the Mideast conflict, but will only add to the instability in the region. It will not serve the interest of the Palestinian people. Until Palestinians elect honest leaders that will create a sound electoral system, transparent accounting, and a fair judicial system there should be no creation of a Palestinian-Arab nation. President Abbas has said “reconciliation” with anti-Semitic Hamas leaves no room for peace with
Details for all progr ams at w w w.Jewishinseat tle.org
X Page 5
friday, July 22, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTNews
by isaac azose
May his merit help us When a person mentions a saintly man or a very respected individual, people say, “May his pious life stand as a shield for us and may he protect us from all disaster.”
inside this issue
Hillel’s new leader: Ready to roll
Rabbi Oren Hayon, who at the beginning of this month became the new director of Hillel at the University of Washington, is getting right to work.
Su zehuth ke mos mampare
a new way to educate our children
A revolution in Jewish early-childhood education is simmering, and much of that change is happening here in Seattle. The sea change started last month.
about the cover artwork
not too dense, not too fluffy
The new deli on Mercer Island just had a contest to see who could make the best matzoh ball soup. The winner, it turns out, was carrying on his grandmother’s legacy.
Artist’s statement: The silhouette is generic — we have all been victims at one time or another. The tears shed are for the suffering of those bullied. The black stripes represent prison bars, showing how harassment makes victims of bullying feel isolated and alone. The silhouette is red, representing the bloodshed of the Holocaust, warning what can happen if no one stands up for those victimized. The duct tape covering the mouth reminds us that victims feel powerless to speak up. The poster urges the viewer to no longer stand by in silence and allow bullying to take place. — Serena Bernthal-Jones, a 10th grader at Seattle Preparatory School in Seattle
no more bullying: the students speak
Students throughout the state reflected on the effects of bullying in the annual Holocaust writing and art contest. We’ve got some of the best here.
a Sephardic synagogue gets a new rabbi
Many of the families at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth already know their new rabbi — he educates their kids.
From JTNews, August 4, 2006. One week before this issue came out, the unthinkable happened: A man burst into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and shot six women. One, Pamela Waechter, whose face is pictured on the program of her memorial at Temple B’nai Torah, was killed. The way Jewish organizations conduct business — and indeed the way many local Jews view their religion and culture — was irrevocably changed on that hot Friday afternoon.
mORe m.O.t.: at bloggerheads What’s your jQ?: addicted to ms. anthony the arts community calendar lifecycles the Shouk classifieds
8 18 16 16 19 16
Correction In the stories about 10 Under 40 honorees Whitney Stern and Dave Sanford (Jew-ish section, July 8) the photos should have been credited to Arthur Shwab. JTNews regrets the errors.
W letters Page 4 Israel. Hamas, an extremist organization that uses classic anti-Semitism to justify the elimination of Israel, must change its charter, denounce anti-Semitism and stop calling for Israel’s destruction. UN Security Council Resolution 242 adopted on November 22, 1967 is the cornerstone for what it calls “a just and lasting peace” that recognizes Israel’s need for “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution became the foundation for future peace negotiations. A negotiated two-state solution to attain a lasting peace can only be achieved if the Palestinian leadership has the courage to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and renounce violence and a campaign of hate. Israel must not be pressured to make one-sided concessions that would leave it with insecure and indefensible borders. A majority of Americans support that position. Josh basson seattle
THoMAS JAMES HuRST/THE SEATTLE TiMES
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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
Find a Faithful Friend
by Debbie Manber Kupfer
This Week’s Wisdom
‘very humbling, very exciting’: Hillel’s new leader
emily K. alhadeff Assistant Editor, JTNews
ing the dynamics of the community in order Twelve hours before he started work as to keep the momentum of Hillel going. Hillel’s new Greenstein Family Executive “I’m doing my best to be as much a Director, Oren Hayon rolled into Seattle receiver as anything else during this first with his family. phase,” he said. “That’s helped me shape “It was a bit of a whirlwind,” he said. my vision, my goals for the place.” Hayon, who worked for a large Reform congregation in Dallas before taking the position at Hillel at the University of Washington, said that all things considered, his transition into the Seattle scene has been seamless. For Hayon and his wife, Julie, “it feels like a place where we can live the kind of life we’ve wanted to live.” And as for the weather? “I’m feeling a little bit like there was a bait and switch,” he said, laughing. “I’m trying CouRTESy oREN HAyoN to feel like I was not misled. Oren Hayon performs for a young adult crowd at Purim Fiesta in I’m being patient.” Dallas in 2010. The enchilada enthusiast is taking recommendations Hayon’s pre-rabbinic for good Mexican food. background in the enterWhile he’s keeping his visions and tainment industry and his interest in plans vague during this learning phase, music, film and nature may help to shape Hayon can foresee bringing tools like Hillel’s programming, but “so far I’ve been popular culture into Hillel’s programming, doing a lot of listening,” he said. Through conversations with students, staff, board members and donors he’s learnX Page 19
An old Jewish saying goes, “Who finds a faithful friend finds a treasure.” In this puzzle, your treasures are words and phrases that contain words for “friend.”
ACROSS 1 Prayer pronoun 5 Grand Canyon feature 9 Heavy brass 14 April Fool’s Day prank 15 Kvetcher 16 Helpful 17 Wee bit 18 Columns’ counterparts 19 Belt in the Alps? 20 Friends for milkmaids’ stools? 23 Lentil dish at an Indian restaurant 24 Phi Beta ___ 25 Fail to act 27 Glasgow gal 30 Wound on a bobbin 33 Grimm beginning? 36 Top 40 genre 38 Kudos 39 Cheerleader’s cry 40 Friend for a baby koala? 42 2004 horror film with six sequels 43 Human forebears 45 California’s Big ___ 46 Bed-___ (Brooklyn neighborhood) 47 Terse 49 Capri, for one 51 Snack from a Jewish deli 52 Napoleon’s punishment 56 Rum ___ Tugger 58 Dos and cuatro, from their friend’s perspective? 62 Courageous 64 Eltana’s is wood-fired 65 Hog food 66 Gown material 67 Become sentimental 68 Suitable for the upper crust 69 Skirt fold 70 “If all ___ fails...” 71 Certain sauces
DOWN 1 Not the sharpest tool in the shed 2 Kerfuffle 3 “Mangia, mangia!” 4 Role models set a good one 5 Hosiery shade 6 Gator’s kin 7 Dove’s opposite 8 Fixate (on) 9 First all-CGI feature film 10 Sci-fi saucer 11 Friend for a shopping cart? 12 No longer in harbor 13 Order in a bear market 21 Call to Bo-Peep 22 Appreciative diners 26 Flamboyant neckwear 28 High school subject 29 Fa follower 31 Jacob’s twin brother 32 Like a meadow in the morning 33 ___ hygiene 34 Vintners’ valley 35 Pay stub, from its friend’s perspective? 37 Nightgown alternative 40 Remorseful 41 Non-non? 44 Sun. follower 46 Men with discriminating tastes? 48 Browser developed by Google 50 NASA moon vehicle 53 White house? 54 Bonkers 55 Annual sports awards 56 Recipe amt. 57 Eurasia’s ___ Mountains 59 Daredevil Knievel 60 Certain aquarium exhibits 61 Feed the kitty 63 By way of
Answers on page 12
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© 2011 Eltana Wood-Fired Bagel Cafe, 1538 12th Avenue, Seattle. All rights reserved. Puzzle created by Lone Shark Games, Inc. Edited by Mike Selinker and Mark L. Gottlieb.
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friday, July 22, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTNews
Teachers take the lead in educating the smallest students
Joel magalnicK Editor, JTNews
Last month, a group of 21 early-childhood directors and teachers from seven schools across the greater Seattle Jewish community gathered in Temple De Hirsch Sinai’s Bellevue social hall for two-and-ahalf days of learning, meeting and collaborating. This seminar was the beginning of a two-year fellowship on how to create the best possible Jewish education for the area’s children from birth to age 5. “The goal is to bring more and more families to be part of the Jewish earlychildhood centers,” said Liat Zaidenberg, the director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s Jewish Education Center and the fellowship coordinator. “It’s an entry point to Jewish life.” The educators who attended are all considered leaders or rising leaders in their early childhood programs at seven school: The Seattle and Mercer Island campuses of the Stroum Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Day School, the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder, Seattle Hebrew Academy, Congregation Beth Shalom and Temple De Hirsch Sinai. Many of these teachers did not know each other going in, but they came out with a better understanding of their colleagues, their colleagues’ challenges and frustrations — many similar to their own — and ideas for getting past those challenges to become better, more holistic educators. At the same time, these new relationships will allow for the schools to work together, instead of in competition with each other. “One of the very nice things that’s going to evolve from this program is just the intercommunity collaboration,” said Rabbi Yossi Charytan, head of school at the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder in Seattle’s Northend and one of the fellows. “One of the biggest things that we’re going to bring back is the idea of reflective practice, how we can incorporate this concept into our philosophy, into our whole staff culture. That’s a huge thing.” Renowned Jewish early-childhood expert Diana Ganger spoke at the launch retreat and will visit Seattle a total of 10 times over the two years to work with the educators. “It’s very important for communities to dream big. Many places need to develop a vision of excellence in order to be able to journey forward, and people need to understand themselves in process, change and growth,” Ganger told JTNews. “We are pushing a big cultural change. Every school is in a different place on the journey.” Ganger said she has high expectations of this group, and they will be working hard throughout the fellowship. She emphasized these educators are only beginning their journey: “Big, deep change takes five to 10 years. The two years are the beginning of the culture change, the shift,” she said. “If we can get to the culture that “When you look at everything in perspective, the big Jewish ideas that you apply to everything you do [are] what make you Jewish. It’s not ritual or not just a moment in time,” Ganger said. The process, therefore, becomes a constant environment of learning, development and reflection for teachers — first within this cohort, and from them filJoEL MAgALNiCK tering to the rest of Early childhood fellowship director Liat Zaidenberg, left, handed out iPads the teaching staff. to Sarah Zosen and each of the other fellows — a perk the teachers are “You have to be using as a communications, collaboration and teaching tool. reflective,” Zaidenberg said. “I do believe that you have we’re always learning and growing, and to learn all the time, and when you have a get the people to want to learn, and have direction and when you know where to go, the infrastructure where people have the it’s easier because there are a lot of things time to dialogue about the work, we have that you can do as the leader of a school.” done well,” she said. Charytan spoke with Ganger before her Jewish learning is intentionally woven visit, and also brought her to his school’s throughout this culture change. new building, where he said she asked questions that made him consider how his staff could create the best learning environment. “She’s able to help organizations really get down to the core of who they are,” Charytan said. “When I came [to the retreat] and saw the beginning and saw what the process was going to look like, it was exciting.” As they grouped together, the teachers wrote their hopes and dreams on easels: One, “celebrating commonalities and welcoming diversity/differences,” echoed the tone the organizers were trying to set. Another, “allowing more time for reflection and intentionality,” portrayed a constant struggle for many of these teachers — and their colleagues across the country. “For many of our early childhood professionals, they don’t get enough professional development,” said Amy Wasser-Simpson, director of planning and community services at the Jewish Federation. In addition, “they are unfortunately, usually, paid at the bottom of the educational tier of pay grade and they’re doing really important work.” This fellowship is the first step in trying
X Page 19
m.O.T.: member Of The Tribe
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
Riding the waves of the blogosphere
tant because the people who They’re out there at their the law recognizes as parents keyboards, typing out their have all sorts of … obligathoughts for you. Writing tions,” she observes. “People daily, weekly, or when they assume that biology deterhave something to say, these mines parentage, but that bloggers are hard at work on has hardly ever been true.” our home shores. (By comShe tries to keep her blog, plete coincidence, the three www.julieshapiro.wordpress. Jewish bloggers sampled here com, narrowly focused on came originally from New two primary topics: Assisted Jersey!) reproductive technology and When I spoke to Seattle “the related fascination with University law profesDNA.” sor Julie Shapiro, she Julie started blogging was on her annual pilgrimage three-and-a-half years ago, to Cape Cod with her partand aims for three entries ner Shelly Cohen and chila week, turning to the daily dren Eli, 16, and Leah, 12. papers for inspiration and It’s where she spent childsubject matter. She’s had over hood summers and is “the 130,000 hits. place I always came back to,” While it’s not in the blog, she says. the Temple Beth Am member While she teaches civil is always happy to comment procedure to first-year stuon being a Jewish lesbian dents, her specialty is in family SHELLy CoHEN law and law and sexuality. She Blogger and longtime law professor at a Jesuit university, which she calls “terrific,” does plenty of academic writ- professor Julie Shapiro. adding, “Jesuits care enoring, but “I’d much rather mously about dialog with people who are reach the general audience…because of different… [and are] respectful of reliwhat I’m interested in,” she says, which is, gious traditions.” “how we determine who is a legal parent.” “Legal parentage is enormously impor-
diana bRement JTNews columnist
employment. While writing is something he can only do in his spare time, the father of three managed to write a novel five years ago called Murphy’s Bed. An agent picked it up (an accomplishment in and of itself), but was unable to find a publisher, so Ed selfpublished through Amazon’s Create Space. Writing is no problem, he CouRTESy ED HARRiS observes, where Ed Harris, second from left, with his kids Izzy, left, Sam, center, Gabriela, volume is conright, and future son-in-law Andrew, second from right. cerned. “I probably write 100 e-mails a day” in his day job as a technology comOver in Bellevue, Ed Harris pany executive, but producing some(no, not the actor) is also blogthing that “has real merit is not something ging about family, but on a peryou can do quickly,” he says. He doesn’t sonal level. Ed explores the meaning of want to just churn out copy. “Maybe it’s fatherhood at “Wisdom of a Jewish Dad” egotism: I want to have something of (wisdomofajewishdad.blogspot.com). higher quality. I’ve only done 10 or so In an ideal world, Ed would be a posts,” he says, but he hopes they are writer, “but my reality is that I’ve got a family to take care of” and he’s “never had the nerve to step away from” gainful X Page 11
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friday, July 22, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTNews
fOcus ON mercer islaNd
Just the right amount of fluffy
emily K. alhadeff Assistant Editor, JTNews
Just a week after Seattle Weekly’s Hanna Raskin gave Stopsky’s Delicatessen a rating of two sinkers, calling it “a vortex of discombobulation and disappointment,” friends of the recently opened Mercer Island deli packed into its bright, clean quarters to find the community’s best matzoh ball soup. Servers passed around finger foods while Stopsky’s cooks doled out servings of soup to a panel of five judges: Lisa Kranseler, Lisa Porad, Judy Chase, Dan Brawer and Beth Alhadeff (who — full disclosure — is my nana-in-law). Admittedly, the place was discombobulated, though in a nice way. Some ordered sit-down meals, others wandered around with a nosh and a glass of wine. Children clamored over the partition to watch as each soup came out, which was done without much formality. If one thing was clear, it was that everyone was having fun. The matzoh-ball arbiters confessed they had little experience in the field — besides really liking matzoh ball soup, that is. “I’ve had a lot of matzoh ball soup in my life,” Chase said. “I’ve always thought my mom’s is the best,” Brawer said. “None of them so far have been better than my mom’s, though.” As the judges slurped on soup number four or five, they looked disappointed. Was it the beginning of a carbohydrate coma? “It has not been that tough,” said Kranseler about the judging process. “None so far have knocked our socks off.” “They’re not fluffy enough,” lamented Nana. Shane Robinson, Stopsky’s lead chef since the departure of founding chef Robin Leventhal, explained what he looks for in a matzoh ball. “I look for a floater. I want it to almost fall apart,” he said. Robinson uses a roasted chicken broth, and he says Stopsky’s sells somewhere between 20 and 40 bowls of the Jewish penicillin a day. Robinson entered his own soup into the running — in keeping with the Stopsky’s theme of “tradition, updated,” his soup came flecked with thinly sliced mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil. But when it came time to determine the
EMiLy K. ALHADEFF
Above, Stopsky’s executive chef Shane Robinson and sous chef Austin Zimmerman. “In my heart we won,” said Robinson of the matzoh ball contest. At left, Paul Sommer thanks his grandmother for the recipe that took the trophy for best matzoh ball soup at Stopsky’s Great Matzoh Ball Showdown.
winner, tradition in its purest sense took the gold. The matzoh ball to be named Stopsky’s official went to Paul Sommer, who has been making this version of the classic for ages. Credit, however, goes to his late grandmother, born in 1896. The secret? “Tasting things when you’re cook-
ing!” he said. “It was just perfect,” Chase gushed to Sommer afterward. It was fluffy, and the broth wasn’t too salty. “You wowed us all,” she said. “That was the matzoh ball I remember as a child,” said Kranseler. “We were waiting for the traditional matzoh ball.”
Focus on Mercer Island
fOcus ON mercer islaNd
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
(while trying to stay warm) Left: Hannah and CeeCee show off some
papier mâchè they made at the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s summer day camp on Mercer Island.
Right: In what can best be described as
a boys-can-be-boys moment, counselors at the Stroum JCC’s Seattle day camp, taking place at the Seattle Jewish Community School in North Seattle, show their campers what happens when you mix Diet Coke and Mentos.
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W M.O.T. Page 8
“book quality.” Ed says he and his Dutch-born wife, Anne, who met in Israel, have an “Israelcentric” household. When we spoke, his middle son had just returned from the Alexander Muss high school program. They are members of Herzl-Ner Tamid and all three of their kids, Gabriela, 21, Sam, 17, and Izzy, 12, attended the Jewish Day School. Like any good writer, Ed is also a reader who likes “chewy, meaty” books, calling Brideshead Revisited his favorite novel. He golfs a bit and rides his bike, but says his primary — and very dad-like — hobby is
“driving somebody into Seattle or halfway across the Eastside.”
Jane Isenberg is a successful author with eight mysteries, a novel and a memoir under her belt. But even with that track record, the retired English teacher’s agent is still looking for a publisher for her most recent manuscript, a historical mystery inspired by her adopted home and by the local history, A Family of Strangers by Molly Cone, Jacqueline Williams and Howard Droker. The former Florida resident set The Bones and the Book (working title) in Seattle, going back and forth from the Gold Rush to 1965. Now the Temple De Hirsch
Mystery writer and new blogger Jane Isenberg.
Sinai member has started a blog that will make book-lovers’ hearts go pitter-pat. “Notes to My Muses” (www.notestomymuses.wordpress.com) are fan mail from Jane to the authors who have most inspired her. So far she’s covered Philip Roth, John D. MacDonald, Bharati Mukherjee and Bea Kaufman on her site where she also provides links to other interesting blogs. Adding entries when the spirit moves, the retiree says her life is “not too earthshaking,” she says. “I write, I read, I babysit my grandkids, [who] are adorable, but not any more than other people’s.”
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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
of the 2011 Jacob Friedman Holocaust Writing and Art Contest
Sponsored by the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. See all the winners online at www.wsherc.org.
For myself only
natalie PilgeRam, 10th gRade.
Mt. Spokane High School, Mead. Teacher: Eleen Northcutt. 2nd Place “What was done was not of my doing. I had the feeling of a Pontius Pilate. I felt that it was not with me that the guilt lay.” — Adolf Eichmann (SS official), 1961 I’ve heard the statistics — half of all high school students are bullies, and nearly half have been victimized by bullying — but, if I am going to be honest, it’s not something I’ve given much thought. My perception of bullying is that of the big, dumb kid stealing a little boy’s lunch money, and I’ve never experienced that exactly. Sure, I was talked about behind my back a few times as a younger student, but it wasn’t really “bullying,” right? Just a normal part of childhood, and of growing up. Every day as I travel between classes, or enjoy lunch with my friends, I see those students who seem not to belong anywhere, not with anyone but themselves. But they’ve never truly been “bullied,” I reason. If they desired friendship, they would seek it out themselves. No one is directly excluding them. I’m not directly excluding them. And so, the issue isn’t mine to confront. I was not uncomfortable with that perspective until, while studying the Holocaust, I came across the account of Melita Maschmann, who was a German living in the midst of rising anti-Semitism, which made her a witness of the aftermath of Kristallnacht (“the night of broken glass” — an infamous pogrom directed towards German Jews), that drew a reaction she would later describe: “For the space of a second I was clearly aware that something terrible had happened here. Something frighteningly brutal. But almost at once I switched over to accepting what had happened as over and done with, and avoiding critical reflection... With these or similar thoughts, I constructed for myself a justification of the pogrom. But in any case, I forced the memory of it out of my consciousness as quickly as possible. As the years went by, I grew better and better at switching off quickly in this manner on similar occasions.” Though many years separate us, Maschmann’s response to anti-Semitism around her eerily reflected my own thoughts in regards to bullying. The quote stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I too was “avoiding critical reflection,” knowing that an honest examination would strip away the illusions that justified my comfortable way of living. While the Holocaust was being perpetrated, the majority of the global community abided under these same types of illusions. By first taking time to examine two of the major reasons behind our ignorance throughout human history of blatant injustice, we can move forward to understand the importance of the choice facing every witness to bullying — whether or not to continue the pattern of the past.
First place, 7th and 8th grade Kacee Gibson, 8th grade, Reardan Middle School, Reardan.
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We break it down
Keelin eveRly-lang, 10th gRade.
Decatur High School, Federal Way. Teacher: Jeanette Kearney. 1st place Bully: an aggressive person who intimidates or mistreats those weaker than them. In museums they break down the Holocaust by date, by country, by severity, by bags of hair. Broken down into broken beds and empty gas pellets. How small do we have to make it to be able to understand? I wonder if the bodies know that they have become statistics. There are still no exact numbers of the people who were lost in the Holocaust. Instead we have amputated families with no roots back to their ancestors. There is no one to remember the way back to the past. It is arrogant to believe we can feel any more than a fraction of this tragedy by looking at seas of shoes left behind and pictures of strangers before they were killed. It is arrogant to believe that one person’s mind can hold so many dead. So we break it down. In a society where tragedies such as the Holocaust are allowed to happen, everyone has the potential to be a bully. It’s surprising how often people fulfill their potential when hate is the easiest option. Bullying on the scale of the Holocaust is an inevitable manifestation of a larger societal problem. The more people see a particular group being bullied, the more they come to believe that the people in that group deserve it. When individuals in a hated group start disappearing, the general populace doesn’t question it. The more times we reinforce stereotypes, the easier it is to take them as truth. Even for people who are already socially conscious and aware of civil rights issues. Although our intentions may be good, it’s the results of our actions that actually matter. My first reaction to the Holocaust was sadness. When I realized how much work was put into making it happen, my sadness turned to disgust. The Holocaust was not an accident. It was built on centuries of anti‐Semitism and violence in Europe. The Jews were portrayed by fearful Christians as baby‐eating monsters for so long that many people came to believe all these rumors were fact. Martin Luther wrote an entire book about the plague that was Judaism. When the Nazis chose this religious faction to target, anti‐Semitism was already accepted in society. During World War II the Jewish population of America was informed of the atrocities taking place in Germany. American newspapers reported Nazi activities to the American public, but it was decided by the American government that it was better not to intervene. This indifference is another symptom of practiced bigotry. When hate becomes indifference it develops into something bigger than bullying. In Germany in the late 1930s, a man could get sent to a concentration camp for implied homosexuality. Any contact with a person of the same gender could be blown up into a warrant for arrest. Conditions in concentration camps were worse for the gays than for any group, except the Jews. This stemmed from the guards and concentration camp victims’ societal fear of homosexuality. Homosexuals were bullied by other inmates. Homosexuals were also forced to do the hardest work and to perform sexual acts with lieutenants for food. The experience of the concentration camps still couldn’t overwhelm the hate toward homosexuals that many people of that time possessed. Even today there is less respect for homosexuals affected by the Holocaust than other minority groups.
First place, 5th and 6th grade Quinn AngelouLysaker, 6th grade, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle.
Gays were not pardoned for the “criminal” offense of homosexuality until 2002. We haven’t learned from our mistakes yet. Think about how many people it took to make a Holocaust. Every person who perpetuated prejudice in Europe contributed to the suffering of millions of people. How dare we be so suicidal? I want to stop looking at the past because change does not happen by feeling guilty. Today there are still genocides. I refuse to participate in the self‐destructive pattern of accepting hatred as fact. Learning about the Holocaust has changed my perspective on humanity’s capacity for inaction in the face of brutality. Today’s youth are educated in the
mistakes of the past, but not on the opportunities to change the future. Our history should be a tool for self‐reflection, not a tool for change. Our tools for change are taking action in today’s problems. When lamenting the actions we could have taken 70 years ago, we are instead repeating past mistakes. There is no point in thinking about what we would have done. I am a gay 15‐year‐old agitator. If I had been in the Holocaust I most likely would be dead right now. Instead I focus on what I could do. I am a 15‐year‐old photojournalist. I am going to make pain so blindingly beautiful that you won’t be able to look away. We need to learn from our mistakes today. Let me show you.
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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
Rachel nies, 10th gRade
Henry M. Jackson High School, Mill Creek. Teacher: Deb Kalina Honorable mention Sadly, dehumanization still occurs daily. I witness bullying between students at Jackson High School regularly, even though the acts aren’t as drastic as the mass murders in the Holocaust, the continuous belittling eventually leads some students to suicide. The types of bullying at my school include both physical and verbal abuse and they can be over numerous topics including religion, race, sexuality and hobbies. It seems as if we are still discriminating against one another about practically anything that we see as different or unusual. I believe the bullying at my school takes place to gain power and weaken the fellow classmates around them. Frequently, I see degrading names being shouted or the ever-so-famous death glare as the more common types of bullying in the halls at Jackson. However, it’s becoming even harder to escape the tormenting due to cyber bullying. Not only are students being bullied during school, but the teasing now even follows them home. Cell phones, Facebook, and blogging sites have empowered Jackson’s bullies even more. They’ve allowed them to hide behind their phones and computer screens, and then send threatening texts or post malicious comments to innocent classmates. After constant harassment, many of our students try to change who they truly are to fit in and become accepted, ruining the diversity at JHS. Almost every day I see this senior girl and her followers strut down the hall after third period, she will purposely bump into a girl in my grade and then spit out humiliating comments such as, “Watch it, fatty.” Mortified, the girl puts her head down and scurries off. I’ve seen the defeated look on her face far too many times, and I want so badly to stand up to the snobby senior. Yet I never have. I’ve always been too scared and have kept silent. This is the case for many students at my school as well, many of us are too worried to speak up to the bully so we either silently watch or even laugh with encouragement. However, after becoming a student of the Holocaust the way I perceive people and respond to uniqueness has changed completely. Personally, I have always been strong enough to brush off the harsh slurs I’ve received over the years. Thus, I never categorized myself as a true victim of bullying, and until reading the book Night. I didn’t think I was a bully either. Night has taught me that the people who witness the bullying and don’t do anything are just as guilty as the bully himself.
First place, 9–12th grade Claire Kennedy, 10th grade, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle.
I Stretch My Hand
teResa yandl, 8th gRade.
St. Luke School, Shoreline. Teacher: Rosemary Conroy. Third Place A childhood forgotten A past we put behind I hoped we could ignore it But now there is no choice People have begun, I fear To ignore the voice The voice of reason speaks to them But they don’t seem to hear It tells them what they do is wrong That it was tried before And all it brought was pain and sorrow It will shake you to the core So I tell you now A battle ground Is what you force on we Who would never want to hurt you, friend This you cannot see Genocide is not an option Everyone will die I pray that you will not decide To kill a race that does no hurt For you, my friend I stretch my hand In the embrace of forgiveness If you would only Open yours
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Toni Calvo Waldbaum, DDS Richard Calvo, DDS 206-246-1424 Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry Designing beautiful smiles 207 SW 156th St., #4, Seattle Hills of Eternity Cemetery Owned and operated by Temple De Hirsch Sinai 206-323-8486 Serving the greater Seattle Jewish community. Jewish cemetery open to all pre-need and at-need services. Affordable rates • Planning assistance. Queen Anne, Seattle
Matzoh Momma Catering Catering with a personal touch 206-324-MAMA Serving the community for over 25 years. Full service catering and event planning for all your Life Cycle events. Miriam and Pip Meyerson
United Insurance Brokers, Inc. Linda Kosin 425-454-9373 ✉☎ email@example.com F 425-453-5313 Your insurance source since 1968 Employee benefits Commercial business and Personal insurance 50 116th Ave SE #201, Bellevue 98004
Place your Service online See your Service in Print Dani Weiss Photography 206-760-3336 www.daniweissphotography.com Photographer Specializing in People. Children, B’nai Mitzvahs, Families, Parties, Promotions & Weddings.
certified Public accountants
Dennis B. Goldstein & Assoc., CPAs, PS Tax Preparation & Consulting 425-455-0430 F 425-455-0459 ✉☎ firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren J. Libman, D.D.S., M.S.D. 425-453-1308 www.libmandds.com Certified Specialist in Prosthodontics: • Restorative • Reconstructive • Cosmetic Dentistry 14595 Bel Red Rd. #100, Bellevue
Jewish Family Service 206-461-3240 www.jfsseattle.org Comprehensive geriatric care management and support services for seniors and their families. Expertise with in-home assessments, residential placement, family dynamics and on-going case management. Jewish knowledge and sensitivity.
Spear Studios, Graphic Design Sandra Spear 206-898-4685 ✉☎ email@example.com • Newsletters • Brochures • Logos • Letterheads • Custom invitations • Photo Editing for Genealogy Projects
Newman Dierst Hales, PLLC Nolan A. Newman, CPA 206-284-1383 ✉☎ firstname.lastname@example.org www.ndhaccountants.com Tax • Accounting • Healthcare Consulting
Arnold S. Reich, D.M.D. 425-228-6444 www.drareich.com Just off 405 in N. Renton • Gentle Care • Family • Preventive • Cosmetic Dentistry
College Placement Consultants 425-453-1730 ✉☎ email@example.com www.collegeplacementconsultants.com Pauline B. Reiter, Ph.D. Expert help with undergraduate and graduate college selection, applications and essays. 40 Lake Bellevue, #100, Bellevue 98005
Michael Spektor, D.D.S. 425-643-3746 ✉☎ firstname.lastname@example.org www.spektordental.com Specializing in periodontics, dental implants, and cosmetic gum therapy. Bellevue
Meryl Schenker Photography 206-718-0398 www.merylschenker.com Family Portraits, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Business Photos, Private Lessons. 20 years experience as a professional photographer.
The Summit at First Hill 206-652-4444 www.klinegallandcenter.org The only Jewish retirement community in the state of Washington offers transition assessment and planning for individuals looking to downsize or be part of an active community of peers. Multi-disciplinary professionals with depth of experience available for consultation.
The 2011-2012 Professional Directory to Jewish Washington.
Look for it in homes and everywhere around town starting July 22. Join us for the Professioal Directory inside every issue of JTNews. Bonus! Now through August 15, log on to the Professional Directory and reserve a Bold or Premium listing, and we’ll give you a two months in print in the JTNews Professional Directory as a gift.
Wendy Shultz Spektor, D.D.S. 425-454-1322 ✉☎ email@example.com www.spektordental.com Emphasis: Cosmetic and Preventive Dentistry • Convenient location in Bellevue
Hamrick Investment Counsel, LLC Roy A. Hamrick, CFA 206-441-9911 ✉☎ firstname.lastname@example.org www.hamrickinvestment.com Professional portfolio management services for individuals, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
Linda Jacobs & Associates College Placement Services 206-323-8902 ✉☎ email@example.com Successfully matching student and school. Seattle.
www.professionalwashington.com Don’t wait! Do it today!
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
Find more events online at calendar.jtnews.net.
Candlelighting times July 22 ............................ 8:46 p.m. July 29 ............................ 8:39 p.m. August 5 ......................... 8:31 p.m. August 12 ....................... 8:21 p.m. satuRday fRiday
5:30 p.m. — Shaarei Tikvah: gates of Hope Summer Shabbat Experience for People of All Abilities
Marjorie Schnyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-861-3146 Enjoy a delicious meal, Shabbat rituals, and a brief service with friends, family, and community. Rabbi James Mirel, Cantor David Serkin-Poole and special guests will lead the service. Accessible for all, young and old, persons of all abilities. ASL provided by a CI/CT interpreter. Catered kosher dinner. At Temple B’nai Torah, 15727 NE 4th St., Bellevue.
11 a.m. — Kiddush in honor of the Jews of Rhodes and Kos
Daniel Alhadeff, email@example.com Shabbat kiddush luncheon commemorates the 67th anniversary of the deportation of the Jews of Rhodes and Kos. All are welcome, especially survivors, their families and descendants. At Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, 5217 S Brandon St., Seattle.
1–4 p.m. — Kayaking at Agua Verde
Josh Furman at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jconnectseattle.org Young adults: Kayak around Lakes Union and Washington. $10/hour if you RSVP. Arrive on time to ensure a kayak. Snacks and drinks on the deck at 3:00. At Agua Verde, 1303 NE Boat St., Seattle.
7:45–9:45 p.m. — Life in Kiryat Malachi
Michael Wardlow at MichaelW@JewishInSeattle.org or 206-443-5400 or jewishinseattle.org Hear the perspectives of three young adults from Kiryat Malachi, Israel, who are spending the summer in Seattle as camp counselors at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. Kosher dessert and coffee served. Free. Address given upon RSVP, Seattle.
5–10 p.m. — Parents’ Night out: Summer Edition
Josh Johnson at JoshJ@sjcc.org or 206-388-0839 or www.sjcc.org Pre-K through 5th grade: Play games, have a pizza dinner, and enjoy an outdoor movie on the big screen (bring a blanket!), swimming and gym games. For ages 6 months through 4 years: Ages 3-plus can swim. Pack diapers, swimsuit, pajamas, and any food if not eating pizza. $25–$45. At the Stroum JCC, 3801 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island.
July 29 sarah’s key Film opening French director Gilles PaquetBrenner has transformed Tatiana de Rosnay’s novel, Sarah’s Key, about the 1942 French Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of Parisian Jews, into film. Originally titled in the French as Elle s’appelait Sarah, Sarah’s Key follows Sarah, who escapes her concentration camp to attempt to rescue her brother left hidden in her former Paris apartment, and modern-day journalist Julia, who finds herself investigating the roundup. At the Guild 45th, 2115 North 45th St., Seattle. Call 206-781-5755 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
July 30 at 9 p.m. Matisyahu concert Rasta-Chassid superstar Matisyahu will beat-box his way to Seattle on his 2011 tour, accompanied by San Francisco jam band Tea Leaf Green. With his band Dub Trio, the reggae superstar comes to the stage with a mellower, folksy vibe inspired by work on his latest album, Live at Stubbs Vol. II. At the Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St., Seattle. Tickets are $25.50 and can be purchased through matisyahuworld.com or by calling 877-784-4849. All-ages balcony, 21-plus floor.
4–7 p.m. — SJCS Summer Play Date
Deb Frockt at email@example.com or 206-522-5212 Free drop-in activities perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners and their parents or caregivers. Come by for a play date. Free. At Seattle Jewish Community School, 12351 8th Ave. NE, Seattle.
July 30 at 7 p.m. Drash under the stars Public reading Drash: A Northwest Mosaic is enjoying its fifth season with a series of readings. The journal, a compendium of poetry, prose and photography about Jewish life and Northwest themes, features writers from Seattle and beyond. At Temple Beth Am, 2632 NE 80th St., Seattle. For more information contact Wendy Marcus at wendy@ templebetham.org.
july 22, 2011
admissions counseling college placement funeral/burial services
cemetery gan shalom
A Jewish cemetery that meets the needs of the greater Seattle Jewish community. Zero interest payments available. For information, call temple Beth am at 206-525-0915.
Get Ready foR spRinG!
Green Thumb Solutions
Landscaping Carpentry Masonry Handyman
college placement consultants
Expert help with undergraduate and graduate college selection, applications and essays.
a college eDUcatIon Is a maJor InVestment
Sensitive professional assistance to ensure a succesful match between student and school
complete funeral/burial services
Serving the needs of the greater Seattle community Planning assistance • Affordable $2295.00
www.greenthumbsolutions.co Licensed, Bonded & insured #GReents902QC
linda Jacobs & associates college Placement services
Howden-Kennedy funeral Home
Dennis 206-799-3334 • Jack Barokas 206-725-0364
425-453-1730 Pauline B. Reiter, Ph.D.
TeMple BeTH or CeMeTery
Beautiful location near Snohomish. Serving the burial needs of Reform Jews and their families. For information, please call (425) 259-7125. Traditional Jewish funeral services provided by the Seattle Jewish Chapel. For further information, please call 206-725-3067.
Next issue: august 5 ad deadliNe: july 27 call becky: 206-774-2238
help Wanted? room for rent? car for sale? tutoring?
Auto Fire Life Boat Umbrella
Serving the state of Washington 800-848-2120 2856 80th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA
Burial plots are available for purchase at Bikur Cholim and Machzikay Hadath cemeteries. For further information, please call 206-721-0970.
advertise right here
july 22, 2011
help wanted help wanted help wanted
Jewish Family Service is seeking a Clinical Therapist to work in a part-time 18.75/hours/week position. Position is mainly at the JFS Main Office, but some work in the Bellevue office is expected. Requires some evening hours but no weekends. Requirements: • A Master’s degree in Social Work, counseling or a related field. • A minimum 2 years of counseling experience. • A state licensure, LMHC, LICSW or LMFT. • Strong psychotherapy skills and experience assisting people with depression, anxiety, trauma and relationship issues. • Knowledge of Jewish culture. Also desirable: • Experience with women’s issues, domestic violence and substance abuse. • Experience in group work. • Experience providing psycho-educational programming. Jewish Family Service - Seattle (JFS) firmly embraces the belief that repairing the world begins here at home. JFS delivers essential human services to alleviate suffering, sustain healthy relationships and support people in times of need. It’s been that way since 1892, and we don’t plan on changing now. Our 10 different programs are as diverse as the community we serve including domestic violence prevention and alternatives to addiction, counseling, refugee and immigrant services, in-home care and a food bank. Our staff of friendly, dedicated, passionate professionals is driven by our mission and values. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, Jewish Family Service might just be the career move you’ve been waiting for! Check us out at www.jfsseattle.org. Jewish Family Service offers a generous benefits package including: • Health, dental and vision insurance • Long Term Care • Life insurance and Long Term Disability • Paid holidays, vacation and Jewish holidays • Employer-paid 401K Plan
PrOJeCt DVOra (DOmestiC ViOlenCe)
Part-time Program advocate
The vision of Project DVORA is to create the conditions in the Jewish community to support loving, safe, and respectful relationships, and to build the capacity in the community to respond to domestic abuse. This part-time position provides direct services to and advocacy on behalf of survivors of domestic violence; group facilitation; outreach and education to the Jewish community, youth, and to secular domestic violence agencies. Duties include: Advocacy-based counseling; Information and referral; Crisis intervention; Facilitation of parenting group; Community building; Domestic violence outreach and education. Starting salary range: $1,500 - $1,666 monthly. Must be able to work Monday afternoon and evenings, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Competitive benefits package. EOE. Send résumé and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 206-861-3192. Jewish Family Service – Seattle (JFS) firmly embraces the belief that repairing the world begins here at home. JFS delivers essential human services to alleviate suffering, sustain healthy relationships and support people in times of need. It’s been that way since 1892, and we don’t plan on changing now. Our 10 different programs are as diverse as the community we serve including domestic violence prevention and alternatives to addiction, counseling, refugee and immigrant services, in-home care and a food bank. Our staff of friendly, dedicated, passionate professionals is driven by our mission and values. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, Jewish Family Service might just be the career move you’ve been waiting for! Check us out at www.jfsseattle.org. Jewish Family Service offers a generous benefits package including: • Health, dental and vision insurance • Life insurance and Long Term Disability • Employer-paid 401K Plan • Long Term Care • Paid holidays, vacation and Jewish holidays JFS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
to apply email cover letter and résumé to Jane relin at email@example.com. JFS is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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Vice President, Center for Jewish Philanthropy (Chief Development Officer)
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle seeks a dynamic, take-charge chief development professional who has a clear and compelling vision to take us to the next level of philanthropic success and community building. This year we are rolling out a new philanthropy model that seeks to connect donor interests and passions to meaningful impact in our Jewish community. The Federation is looking for a chief development officer who can orchestrate a multi-faceted development plan to take advantage of the fundraising opportunities in this new model. This professional will lead day-to-day development operations, manage a team of 10 other professionals, and work with numerous volunteers. The successful candidate for this position will have prior experience managing a sophisticated development operation, and will play a key role in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors. To apply send your résumé and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Sylvia 425-277-9088.
Private master suite in 2 bd/2½ ba, 1440 sq. ft., light-filled townhome. Mature NS female looking for same. W/D, D/W, fireplace, cable, internet. Pool, clubhouse, landscaping, garage. $750/mo + ½ expenses. 6 month lease.
house cleaning services
Clean your house, apartment or condo reliable, honest, responsible Daily, weekly, monthly Excellent references • Seattle/Eastside
EvErgrEEn rEgion program dirEctor/ stroum jcc tEEn dirEctor
BBYO and the Stroum Jewish Community Center are looking for a strong candidate to fill a new full-time position focused on Jewish teens in Greater Seattle and throughout the Northwest. Excellent benefits package. Complete description at http://www.bbyo.org/careers
Gift Certificate Available!
nurse, cna licensed
Home healthcare with over 15 years experience. Great references. Compassionate, caring, kind and loving. Will travel for client.
WE NEED CARS!
• Free Pick-up • No DOL filing • No smog certif. • Running or not
Donate your used car to Chabad & receive a tremendous tax write-off.
• Any vehicle okay • Plus RVs, boats, real estate, lots, etc.
Call Carolyn at 206-271-5820
a housecleaning service Seattle Eastside 206/325-8902 425/454-1512 www.renta-yenta.com
• Licensed • Bonded • insured
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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
What Casey Anthony can teach us about compassion
Rivy PouPKo KleteniK JTNews Columnist
Dear Rivy, I confess: I became drawn in and addicted to the Casey Anthony trial. There is something captivating about this mystery — I cannot get enough. I cannot believe that she was allowed to go free; a mother who did not report her baby missing for 31 days! If I lived in Orlando, I would have been one of those screaming protestors outside the courthouse. I am curious about how such a case would be viewed by Jewish law. mation to police. On April 13, 2009, prosecutors announced they planned to seek the death penalty. To seek the death penalty is of course an extremely grave undertaking for all courts of law. Consider this classic teaching from the Mishnah in tractate Makot, where we find a telling discussion around the pros and cons of capital punishment. Interestingly, one aspect of this Mishnah is often quoted out of context, leading people to think that capital punishment may have been exceedingly rare in Ancient Israel. differently. In his five-volume work, Contemporary Halakhic Problems, in the chapter “Capital Punishment in the Noachide Code,” he notes cases even in Jewish law which would allow for circumstantial evidence to be used in capital cases. But at this point in time for Jews, as well as in a nonJewish “Noachide” court, it is not obligatory and might be set aside as a result of compelling objections. From a Jewish perspective, it was not mandatory to seek the death penalty — though it was possible if the evidence was sufficiently compelling. On to the issue of family dysfunction: Throughout the proceedings, the bizarre dynamic of the Anthony family became painfully apparent. The renowned American philosopher Oprah Winfrey once remarked, “Our pain is in inverse proportion to how much we were loved as a child. If you didn’t receive love then you have a lot of dysfunction that you’re forever trying to work out.” Cut this, clip it and hang it on your refrigerator. It is a simply put truth that cannot be denied. This does not excuse, nor does it solve any issues. It merely brings some degree of clarity to the circumstances. My heart goes out to the Anthony family; something very wrong is at its core. What can you gain by being caught up in a case such as this? If it results in something learned, then there is worth to the compulsion. We might learn a valuable lesson through soul-searching and reflecting upon how we support our struggling friends and community members. How can we help friends or family to grapple openly with mental-health issues in the family? How can we provide services and counseling to victims in our community? How are our schools prepared to deal with children from complicated homes? How can we strengthen our support services and how can we, as a collective community, take responsibility and action when we see cases of abuse and problematic home lives? How do we train our synagogues and school staffs to recognize the signs of abuse? Finally, in what way do we enable ongoing abuse — even subtle abuse — in our community? When we turn away from certain behaviors for fear of taking them on, in what way are we contributing to an unhealthy situation? When we civilly enable and empower abusive and bullying personalities in our institutions for fear of “making trouble” or not being included, or for concerns over acceptance and social position, does that make us responsible? Few among us have not witnessed unacceptable behaviors in our own milieus. It is time to accept responsibility and speak up, lest another child fall victim, lest another family suffer from such dysfunction and before a whole community becomes victimized by the behaviors perpetrated by the acting out of individuals. Finally, as an American Jew, it is gratifying to see the law upheld, to live in a society that so treasures human life and dignity and which takes seriously the death of a child and the life and well-being of every person. It is part of our role as Jewish American citizens to be involved in the welfare of our society, as the prophet Jeremiah exhorted those first exiled from Judea: “Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace shall you have peace.”
Rivy Poupko Kletenik is an internationally renowned educator and Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy. If you have a question that’s been tickling your brain, send Rivy an e-mail at email@example.com.
First a disclaimer: Though I too was an avid follower of the case, said to be the “biggest ratings draw in recent history” and the “social media trial of the century,” I do not claim to be an expert on the hours of testimony, nor can I display a proficiency in regard to the vast amount of evidence. That said, there are certainly Jewish values and valuable lessons that can be drawn from the national spectacle that these proceedings became since the disappearance of little Caylee Anthony in June of 2008. A few issues might be considered through a Jewish lens: Can an individual be subjected to capital punishment based on circumstantial evidence? How might we grapple with cases of such family dysfunction? To what degree is it appropriate for the public to be engaged in matters of this sort? What does this case reveal about the American justice system, and as American Jews, what should be our attitude to this structure? On October 14, 2008, Casey Anthony was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false infor-
A Sanhedrin that effects an execution in seven years is branded a destructive tribunal; Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says, once in seventy years. Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva say, were we members of a Sanhedrin, no person would be put to death. Thereupon Rabban Simon ben Gamliel remarked, yes and they would also multiply shedders of blood in Israel! Here we see the tension between the feared and harsh implementation of a death penalty versus deterrence of this harsh punishment. Complicating the issue, Casey Anthony was indicted based only on circumstantial evidence. It is often claimed that Judaism does not recognize circumstantial evidence, but demands two witnesses and due warning in capital offenses. Rabbi J. David Bleich, an authority on Jewish law and ethics, professor of Talmud, head of a postgraduate institute for the study of Talmudic jurisprudence and family law at Yeshiva University, and professor at Cardozo Law School, concludes
Kind of demanding. But worth it.
friend us on facebook @ jewishdotcom to get in on the conversation.
friday, July 22, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTNews
Asher Simon Kopelovich
Rachel Weissman and Jonathan Kopelovich of Iowa City, Iowa, announce the birth of their son Asher Simon on June 20, 2011, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Asher weighed 7 lbs., 3-1/2 oz. and measured 20 inches. Asher’s grandparents are Marilyn and Wayne Weissman of Seattle, and Lenore and Levi Kopelovich of Virginia. Asher’s great-grandparents are Rosella Weissman of Rancho Mirage, Calif., the late Sidney Weissman, the late Merry Klass and the late Marvin Klass. The baby is named after his aunt, Nancy Sarles.
Becky Hornsten and Greg Ewer were married on April 17, 2011, at The Canal in Seattle, Wash. Rabbi Marla Hornsten, sister of the bride, officiated. Becky is the daughter of Tom and Jo Ann Hornsten of Mercer Island. She graduated from Mercer Island High School, and holds an undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and a graduate degree from Boston University. She is a graphic designer for the Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Portland and runs her own graphic design business, Silver Spot, ink. Greg is the son of Michael and Jane Ewer of Houston, Tex. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and a graduate degree from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He is a violinist for the Oregon Symphony and other ensembles. The couple resides in Portland, Ore.
Everyone comes home from summer camp with memorable anecdotes, but Raphael Alcabes brought back a special memory from Sephardic Adventure Camp this year — it was there he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on June 30. Overlooking Lost Lake at Camp Bishop, near Shelton, and surrounded by trees, clothing hung out to dry, family, counselors, rabbis and a hundred of his closest friends dressed in their fanciest shorts and t-shirts, and despite suffering from camp-induced laryngitis (a common malady), Raphael read the parashah loudly and clearly. From left to right: Hazzan Isaac Azose, Hayim Feuer, Raphael Alcabes, and Rabbi Simon Benzaquen.
W hillel director Page 6
as well as spending time with students outdoors, engaging in social justice projects, and text study. “My goal as a rabbi is to demonstrate Judaism’s relevance and to invite people to use all of the sophistication and creativity to make their Jewish lives relevant,” he said. Working with college students is ideal, too, “because it is the most exciting, dynamic time in a human being’s life, a time when you’re figuring out who you are,” he said, “and you start charting your course to that place.” Great possibility and potential come with the open-mindedness and experimental nature of college students, Hayon said.
W teachers PAGE 7
“If you look at the national Jewish scene,” he said, “almost without exception the people who are doing the most exciting, dynamic, entrepreneurial work are part of this demographic.” A couple of things Hayon toys with are social media and music. “I think that there is still some really good untapped potential for Hillel’s social networking strategy,” he said. “I’m working to improve and expand our presence online.” And then there’s the music. “At some point I would love to offer an extended course on the spiritual depth of Bruce Springsteen,” he said. One thing that has surprised Hayon is the role Hillel plays as a community institution outside of campus. The teachers, however, aren’t willing to wait that long. “After that two days I had a phone call,” Zaidenberg said. “The groups said to me, ‘We want to take it now to our schools, and basically do the same or similar exercises that we did [at the retreat].’” Both Ganger and Zaidenberg said the collaboration among the schools is unique and that many other communities are watching to see how this group proceeds. “There are many other communities in the country who would love to be where Seattle is,” Ganger said. “They can be a light unto the nation.” For the teachers, however, this is more about improving the education for their own community’s youngest learners. “I think that what we’re going to walk away with at the end of the day is going to be very, very insightful,” Charytan said, “and hopefully very visionary and practical.”
“I think I’m still trying to navigate those communal relationships,” he said. The presence of Jconnect and Hillel in the greater community “give it an influence and a personality bigger and better than a lot of other Hillels.” Julia Bacharach, Hillel’s board president, told JTNews via email that the board feels Hayon is “off to a running start. He has been busy making connections in the community and doing the all-important work of talking to people. I know that the staff is excited to have him on board as they prepare to welcome the students back to campus in the fall.” In his Hillel UW bio, Rabbi Hayon invites everyone to come to him for con-
versations about movies, music, and to learn those 35 Scrabble words that contain “q” but not “u.” What are they? He laughs. “There are a lot of them. If you want to play scrabble seriously you have to learn those words.” “Sheqel” is one, and “qabbalah” is another. Apparently it’s not cheating to use Hebrew, either. “I’m telling you, that’s some powerful ninja scrabble right there,” he said. Hayon is excited to “do the work I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “It’s a place where you can bring about real, lasting, transformative change in people’s lives. Very humbling, and very exciting. “And I’m really excited about the coffee.”
to change that. It came about as the result of a two-year, $110,000 Long-Term Community Impact Grant from the Federation. Zaidenberg spent nearly a year writing the grant, working closely with each of the schools and basing it on a study completed three years ago that recommended a $1.5 million investment in several facets of Jewish education for 0–5-year-olds. Due to economic and strategic roadblocks, only one of the recommendations, the PJ Library book program, had been implemented. “We believe that there are really solid opportunities for growth in the area of engaging young families with children from birth to age 5,” Wasser-Simpson said. “Hopefully at the end of the two-year period we will not only have trained the teachers specifically in the program, but as part of the program they will begin training the other teachers in their early childhood centers as well.”
How do i submit a Lifecycle announcement?
Send lifecycle notices to: JTNews/Lifecycles, 2041 Third Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 206-441-4553 for assistance. Submissions for the August 5, 2011 issue are due by July 26. Download forms or submit online at www.jtnews.net/index.php?/lifecycle Please submit images in jpg format, 400 KB or larger. Thank you!
2-for-1 “ You’re Amazing” Cards
When you let JFS “Tribute Cards” do the talking, you send your best wishes and say you care about funding vital JFS programs here at home. Call Irene at (206) 861-3150 or, on the web, click on “Donations” at www.jfsseattle.org. Use Visa or MasterCard. It’s the most gratifying 2-for-1 in town.
JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 22, 2011
New Ezra Bessaroth rabbi comes from the neighborhood
Janis siegel JTNews Correspondent
After a two-year effort by its search committee and as many unaccepted job offers to East Coast candidates, the Sephardic Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in South Seattle has finally hired its new rabbi. RonAmi Meyers, who came to Seattle in 2009, teaches many of his new congregation’s children at the Seattle Hebrew Academy — and will maintain a full teaching load. He officially comes on board August 1. “We started with surveys and focus groups,” Elana Zana, one of eight Ezra Bessaroth search committee members, told JTNews about the lengthy process. “The most important quality respondents were looking for was spiritual leadership.” The historic 100-year-old synagogue hired Meyers, who is currently the head rabbi of the K-8 Jewish studies program at SHA, and an Ashkenazi Jew. Meyers will continue a 50-year legacy of two of Ezra Bessaroth’s Ashkenazi rabbis, William Greenberg and Isadore Kahan. The survey revealed that the membership felt that having a Sephardic rabbi was far less important than having a spiritual leader who was wise, could communicate well, could care for the sick, and would engage the younger members. “We have a great [cantor] who is Sephardic,” said Zana, referring to Yogev Nona. “Rabbi Meyers has the stability in his own life, he’s already a member of the community, he’s shown a commitment to learning about our [customs], he can communicate well, and his speeches are filled with good content. The synagogue is really rallying around him.” Meyers grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and met his wife, Miriam Geffen, in Israel in 1983. They lived abroad for 20 years while raising their 10 children, who range in age from 4 to 25 years old, and three grandchildren with one on the way. “Rabbi Meyers is an amazing teacher and spiritual leader,” Rivy Poupko Kletenik, head of school at SHA told JTNews. “It’s exciting for our students to see the connection between [their] synagogue and [their] school.” Meyers will spend a block of time every day dedicated to synagogue business, and meeting every family. As one of the tech-savvy pioneers of Webyeshiva.org, an online and live Jewish education website, and a former assistant editor and broadcaster for Arutz Sheva Radio, Meyers told JTNews that his Canadian upbringing in a “traditional” family, and his foray into an Orthodox life while living in Israel, exposed him to a “potpourri of different kinds of people.” When Meyers started writing a blog that he linked to the Ezra Bessaroth website, it to someone on a personal level,” Meyers said. “The way to reconnect with the tradition is through relationships.” Although it is an Orthodox synagogue, many of Ezra Bessaroth’s members are not observant. The congregation is a diverse group of people of varied ages and backgrounds who have one thing in common — to enjoy a Jewish life that preserves the unique Sephardic customs, worship, language, and food of the Rhodes community that founded it in 1904. “We have an extremely diverse congregation where there’s no such thing as denominations,” said Michael Behar, a longtime member and descendant of the Rev. David J. Behar, who served as Ezra Bessaroth’s spiritual leader and cantor from 1918 until 1939, and as cantor until 1966. A congregation that, decades ago, once held daily services in the Spanish-Hebrew hybrid language of Ladino, now uses nearly all Hebrew and English content with a few prayers in Ladino. “We are the last stand from the Rhodes tradition,” Behar said, who is also one of the parents at Ezra Bessaroth whose son is in one of Meyers’ classes at SHA. The response from his child tells him that the synagogue made the right choice. “He loves Rabbi Meyers’s class,” Behar said. “He energizes the kids.”
Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers, a teacher at Seattle Hebrew Academy and Congregation Ezra Bessaroth’s newly hired rabbi.
got 350 hits in the first week it debuted. “I’m a big communicator and I use a lot of different high-tech tools that we have available to teach,” he said. Meyers believes that a sense of humor and a “light approach” fits well with Ezra Bessaroth, whose congregation spans generations with many different levels of observance. “It’s humor and also the ability to talk
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