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A SUMMER ISRAEL TRIP TO BOOST YOUR RESUM page 6

LAST LOOKS AT LATKES AND DREIDELS pages 8, 16


IT WAS A HAPPY HACKATHONUKAH. A WHAT? page 10
ISRAELI TELEVISION LAUGHS AT JEWISH HISTORY page 30
DECEMBER 26, 2014
VOL. LXXXIV NO. 14 $1.00

NORTH JERSEY

83

2014

JSTANDARD.COM

In a different voice

A new generation of rabbis


creates a new type of congregation
page 20

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Page 3
MOTEL AT THE KOTEL
This miniature Motel 6 at Jerusalems Western Wall
Plaza comes with its own set of dolls each with a free
morning coffee in hand.
CANDLES ON SANDALS
With this Chanukah menorah, theres a place for a candle between each toe. (The shammash
hovers between the feet a modern Chanukah miracle!) Specify your shoe size when you order.

Beyond Mensch on a Bench


This year Jews yearning for their own version of
the Elf on the Shelf Christmas doll-and-book sensation could choose between two rival products.
One, Maccabee on the Mantel, offers a 10inch plush sandals-wearing, bearded Maccabee
and accompanying picture book that touches on
the Chanukah story. The other, The Mensch on
a Bench, is a 12-inch plush bearded doll named
Moshe, who also comes with a book that tells the
story of Chanukah. The Mensch on a Bench not
only has his own prayer shawl and black hat, but

also comes with an added accessory: a bench.


(Mantel not included with Maccabee on the Mantel.)
All of this made us wonder: Why only two Elf
on the Shelf knockoffs? And why limit ourselves
to plush dolls (and male ones at that) when theres
a whole universe of toy possibilities? So we came
up with a suggestion for each night of Chanukah. If
you make a fortune marketing any, be sure to send
a percentage our way.
JULIE WIENER/PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS
BY MOLLY TOLSKY/JTA WIRE SERVICE

GELT ON A BELT
You never know when youre going to feel the need for a
chocolate-y snack. This snazzy accessory lets you easily take
Chanukah gelt wherever you go without having to worry
about it melting in your hands. (We cant promise it wont melt
around your waist, however).

SHEITEL ON A DREIDEL
Get your wig into the
holiday spirit with this
dreidel-shaped sheitel
holder. Comes with a
jewel-studded hairbrush.

HAGEL IN A BAGEL
Some critics thought former
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
wasnt pro-Israel enough. But
here he shows his philo-Semitic
bona fides as he surrounds
himself with American Jewrys
favorite roll with a hole.

PRESENT ON A PHEASANT
This 12-inch plush fowl comes with
a beautifully wrapped surprise gift,
wrapped tastefully in Chanukah colors.

For convenient home delivery,


call 201-837-8818 or bit.ly/jsubscribe
Candlelighting: Friday, December 26, 4:16 p.m.
Shabbat ends: Saturday, December 27, 5:20 p.m.

DORA THE EXPLORER


WITH A TORAH
The Nick, Jr. heroine comes ready to
chant the weeks Torah portion for you.
Purple and pink prayer shawl, matching
yarmulke, and the adventure book
Doras Menorah sold separately.

PUBLISHERS STATEMENT: (USPS 275-700 ISN 0021-6747) is published weekly on Fridays with an additional edition every October, by
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The appearance of an advertisement in The Jewish Standard does
not constitute a kashrut endorsement. The publishing of a paid
political advertisement does not constitute an endorsement of any
candidate political party or political position by the newspaper or
any employees.

DREIDEL IN A CRADLE
Your dreidel gets tired after a
long night of spinning, so rock
it to sleep in this comfy cradle.

The Jewish Standard assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic materials. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial, and graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject
to JEWISH STANDARDs unrestricted right to edit and to comment
editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. 2014

CONTENTS
NOSHES ...................................................4
OPINION ................................................ 16
COVER STORY ....................................20
TORAH COMMENTARY ................... 28
CROSSWORD PUZZLE .................... 29
ARTS & CULTURE ..............................30
CALENDAR ........................................... 31
OBITUARIES ........................................ 33
GALLERY .............................................. 36
CLASSIFIEDS .................................SS54
REAL ESTATE................................ XX56

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 3

Noshes

Jesus is the reason for the season.


Springfield, Massachusetts, City Councilor Bud Williams, speaking at the towns
Chabad-led menorah lighting ceremony last week

AWARDS REPLAY:

Kennedy Center
ceremony to air
The annual
Kennedy Center
Honors awards for
excellence in the arts
were presented on
December 7 and will be
presented again on Tuesday, December 30, at 9
p.m., when CBS will show
a videotape of the
awards ceremony. It is
always a great show and
CBS never repeats. So, I
am giving you a headsup, even though this the
first year since 2005 in
which none of the five
honorees are Jewish. The honorees
include all-around good
guy Tom Hanks. His
buddy and frequent
collaborator, STEVEN
SPIELBERG, 67, took the
stage to praise Hanks,
calling him Americas
favorite son.
Two brilliant Brits,
Steven Hawking
and Alan Turing,
are the subjects of
major bio pics, The
Theory of Everything
and The Imitation
Game. Theory
opened several weeks
ago, but is still playing
in theaters, and I
recently became aware
that the British physicist
who supervised
Hawkings doctorate,
the late DENNIS
SCIAMA, was of Syrian
Jewish background.
Sciama is a larger
character in Theory
than I thought it would

be before it opened.
Imitation Game,
which opens on
December 25,
covers the triumphs and
tragedies of Turing, a
mathematical genius
who lead a diverse team
that cracked the secret
communication code
produced by the Nazi
Engima machine and
probably brought WWII
to an end two years early
thereby saving millions
of lives, including what
was left of European
Jewry. While the film
focuses on WWII
code-breaking, scenes of
Turings earlier and later
life, including his prosecution, in the early
1950s, for being homosexual, are cut into it.
English mathematician
and code-breaker PETER
HILTON (1923-2010), an
important real-life
character, also is in the
film. (He was played by
Matthew Beard.) One bio
piece about Hilton says:
Occasionally he would
even break messages
sent by Hitler, himself.
The films screenplay is
by GRAHAM MOORE, 32,
who describes himself as
a Jewish kid from Chicago. He is also the
author of the best-selling
novel, The Sherlockian.
His mother, SUSAN
STEINER SHER, 63,
was Chicagos chief civil
attorney and Michelle
Obamas chief of staff

Steven Spielberg

Graham Moore

Mark Gilbert

John Key

from 2009-2011.
The Gambler,
which opens the
same day, is a
re-make of a 1974 film of
the same name that
starred JAMES CAAN,
now 74. The re-make
stars Mark Wahlberg in
the Caan role (a literature
professor with a gambling problem who runs
into trouble with gangsters). The re-make
pretty much follows the
original script by JAMES
TOBACK, now 69. Caan
and Wahlberg, by the
way, are real-life buddies.
This is kind of
neat: the new
American ambassador to New Zealand is
MARK GILBERT, 58, a
prominent Chicagobased fundraiser for
President Obama. Gilbert

is the first major league


baseball player to be a
regular ambassador (as
opposed to an honorary
goodwill ambassador).
Drafted by the Chicago
Cubs in 1978, he played
minor league ball for the
Cubs and Reds before
appearing in seven major
league games with the
White Sox in 1985. By the
way, JOHN KEY, 53, the
Prime Minister of New
Zealand since 2008, is
the secular son of a
non-Jewish father and a
Jewish mother and,
yes, they play baseball
in New Zealand. The
website Baseball
New Zealand says that
there are now about
5,000 Kiwis playing
baseball in schools and
amateur leagues.
N.B.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

Into the Woods


onto the screen
Director Rob Marshall, who confounded skeptical pundits
when he turned the hit Broadway musical Chicago into a hit
film, tries again with Into the Woods, which was a Broadway
hit in 1987. The movie retains the original STEPHEN
SONDHEIM score and the screenplay was written by JAMES
LAPINE, who wrote the book for the original stage show. It is
a modern re-telling of a number of Brothers Grimm fairy tales,
including Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The large cast
includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, and Anna
Kendrick. (Opens December 25.)
N.B.

California-based Nate Bloom can be reached at


Middleoftheroad1@aol.com

Want to read more noshes? Visit facebook.com/jewishstandard

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 5

Local
This summer, intern in Israel
Onward Israel gives students hands-on experience in Tel Aviv companies
LARRY YUDELSON

id the taste of Israel acquired


on Birthright or through a youth
group program leave you hungering for more?
Are you between 19 and 27 years old?
Do you have June and July open on your
calendar?
Could your resum use a boost?
The Jewish Federation of Northern New
Jersey has the perfect program for you.
Onward Israel will immerse you in Israeli
life, letting you choose from hundreds of
possible two-month internships in Tel Aviv,
working with companies in fields as diverse
as finance, music, fashion, and hi-tech.
At the same time, the program will take
care of the nitty-gritty of living in a foreign
county, providing dormitory accommodations, organized trips around the country,
and even Hebrew classes.
It was absolutely fantastic, said Joshua
Blumberg, a University of Michigan student
from Croton-on-the-Hudson who went on an
Onward Israel program last summer. The
trip was amazing. The group was amazing.
My internship was incredible.
Onward Israel will provide an extraordinary opportunity for 20 young men and
women just setting out on their careers, said
Jayne Petack, the federations incoming president. What could be better than interning
in Tel Aviv, one of the top business centers in
the world?
The Jewish Agency for Israel launched
Onward Israel four years ago as a middle
ground between the short-term Birthright
Israel trips and the long-term Masa programs
that last the better part of a year. This summer will be the first time the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is bringing the
program to area residents and their children.
The federation began considering applications for its 20 available slots last week.
Participants will pay $500 and provide their
own round-trip transportation to Israel; in
Israel, they will be provided with food and
board. The fee reflects a significant subsidy
from the federation as well as from the Jewish Agency.
This is another high-quality program
that will help build Jewish identity and connect young people to Israel and the world of
being Jewish today, said Jason Shames, the
federations CEO. We need to continue to
invest heavily in the youth and, in particular, in college and post-college [students] to
help connect them.
The North Jersey participants will be based
in a dormitory in Bat Yam 20 minutes
south of Tel Aviv. While Bat Yam is largely
a bedroom community for Tel Aviv these
6 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

An Onward Israel internship puts participants in the heart of hi-tech Tel Aviv.

Joshua Blumberg

days something familiar to natives of North


Jersey it also boasts Israels finest surfing
beach.
And Onward Israel participants will have
time for surfing. The internships are scheduled for four days a week, with a fifth devoted
to educational seminars. But weekends Friday and Saturday, as weekends run in Israel
are free.
Mr. Blumberg said that his Onward Israel
trip last summer was his fourth time in Israel.
He interned for Autodesk, a leading software
company whose Tel Aviv office does research
and development. That experience gave him

a bit of an edge. It has been a really great


benefit for me and certainly helped me in my
studies.
The previous summer, he had an internship in New York City. His colleagues in the
Tel Aviv office seemed happier to be there
than the experiences Ive had in the States.
Everything is more laid back. The dress code
is not as strict. I didnt have to wear business
formal attire to work. Nice jeans and a button-down shirt were perfectly acceptable. It
made for a more encouraging environment.
He found Israelis friendly and supportive
especially during last summers war, with
its missile alerts.
Several co-workers gave me their cell
phone numbers and said if you need anything, dont hesitate to call, he said.
Ora Niknamfard graduated from New York
University last May, and now works for a software company. She said her internship in Tel
Aviv with Onward Israel was absolutely
useful. The perspective she brought from her
time with a Tel Aviv startup proved exciting to
the New York company that hired her.
Not being a fluent Hebrew speaker was no
problem for her. The company has a policy
where unless everyone in the room speaks
Hebrew as their native language, everyone
speaks English, she said.
She had traveled to Israel on Birthright the

This is another
high-quality
program that will
help build Jewish
identity and
connect young
people to Israel
and the world of
being Jewish
today.
JASON SHAMES

previous summer. That was a fantastic experience, but Onward Israel was incomparable.
She said the educational seminars that
took place each Tuesday afforded a cool perspective on Israeli politics and culture. Her
favorite was a day trip to Haifa. It was just a
really great day of seeing a new Israeli city.
She also made amazing friends, having
lived with them in a new city for two months.
These friendships I hope will continue for a
long time.

Local

Menendez blasts deal


freeing Alan Gross
Senator says groups welcoming thaw
with Cuba are dead wrong
ROBERT WIENER

en. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) welcomed the release of Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross by the
Cuban government, but disagreed
sharply with the administration over the
terms of the prisoner swap that freed Gross,
and with a thawing of relations between the
two governments.
Jewish organization are dead wrong if
they favor reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba,
Menendez said in response to a reporters
question at a news conference last Thursday.

Sen. Menendez, a Cuban-American and


chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
committee, joined colleagues, mostly
Republican, in criticizing the sweeping
changes announced Dec. 17 by the administration, including the resumption of full
diplomatic relations, the opening of an
embassy in Havana, and a loosening of
trade and travel restrictions.
Those changes were announced along
with the deal that saw the release of Gross,
65, who was jailed by the Cubans in 2009
while working as a contractor for the U.S.
Agency for International Development.
SEE ALAN GROSS PAGE 24

Alan Gross and his wife, Judy. Mr. Gross, freed from a Cuban prison earlier in the
day, waves after concluding his remarks at a news conference in Washington
shortly after arriving in the United States, Dec. 17. 
WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

CHAIRS: Allen & Barbara Applbaum Gail Billig Rhonda


& Michael Gribetz Rella Feldman & Curtiss Pulitzer
EVENT CO-CHAIRS: Penny & David Rabinowitz Debra
Stern Blumenthal EVENT COMMITTEE: Sally Rubin &
Arthur Applbaum Frances & George Aaron Marcelle
& Saul Agus Jennifer & Ronald 84 Aranoff Beatrice
Berger Rochelle & Ed Berger Phyllis & Walter Berkowitz
Beth 75 & Samuel Bernstein Roni 84 & Yehuda Blinder
Hanna-Jean & Bruce Brafman Karen & Joel Budin
S u z a n n e 8 3 & J ac o b D o f t T h a l i a & D a n n y
Federbush Margit Kaufman & Kevie Feit 87 Nira &
Michael 87 Feldman Dana Septimus & Joseph 96
Feldman Michal 88 & Natie Fox Mimi 76 & Elliot Fuld
Sandy & Zev Furst Michelle & David 83 Gellman
Rebecca 83 & Isaac Glasman Rina & Tzachi Goldberg
Alyssa 83 & Jay Goldberg Joy & Michael Goldsmith Ann
& Jerry Gontownik Amy & David Grauer Susan &
Kenny Greif Carin & Eric 87 Gribetz Orit & Seth 89
Gribetz Sarit & Jonathan 94 Gribetz Nofit & Arthur 77
Gross Rifke & Arthur Helft Debbie Indyk Alan Jacobs
Lori & David 91 Kaufthal Linda & Ilan Kaufthal Jessica
Gross 79 & Larry Klein Sharon 88 & Avi Knoll Mindy
& Jonathan Kolatch Sharon 75 & Joseph Kopitnikoff
Greenbaum Esther & Paul Lerer Shari & Nathan
Lindenbaum Ray 83 & Matthew Lindenbaum Elana 86
& Boaz Lissauer Lisa 80 & Nathan Low Mel & Sarah
zl Lubin Fern & Michael Malka Debra & Samuel Moed
Nina & John Nanasi Nancy & Norris Nissim Alice
Oppenheimer Amanda 85 & Hillel Parness Regene &
Kenneth Prager Drorit& Michael Ratzker Karen 75 &
Kenneth Reiner Fran & Arnie Rochwarger Marilyn
Rosen Ayelet & Brian 93 Rosen Sara 76 & Richard
Schlussel Lisa Rotmil 81 & Alex Schmelzer Shelly &
Ian Schorr Debra & Howard Schub Fran & Martin
Schub Rebecca Schub Dasie & Jeremy 83 Schwalbe
Jill & James 81 Schwalbe Michelle & Dov Schwartz
Michelle Foxman 83 & Daniel Small Michelle & Evan
81 Sohn Lois Blumenfeld & Norman Sohn Jill 82 & Alan
Sonnenklar Judy & Herbert Speiser Ruth & Eliezer
Stavsky Cindy & Abe Steinberger Zahava & Moshael
Straus Joyce & Daniel Straus Dalia 89 & Eric Sussman
Ellen Oppenheimer 74 & Kenneth Tauber Chani & Jason
84 Teigman Barbara & Rudy Treitel Howard Trepp 81
Cheryl & Stanley Turitz Sivya & Nahum Twersky Alisa
& Bruce Weinrib Dina & David 80 Weinstein Marion
& William Weiss Shanna 81 & David 81 Wolf Diane
Wolf Linda & Arnie Yagoda Lynne 94 & Aaron Yunis

YOU ARE INVITED TO

JOIN US
for the Rabbi J. Shelley Applbaum Library Dedication
and Moriah Leadership Reunion
SATURDAY EVENING,
JANUARY 10, 2015
19 TEVET 5775
8 PM
THE MORIAH SCHOOL
ENGLEWOOD, NJ
AS MORIAH CELEBRATES ITS 50TH YEAR, WE LOOK
TO HONOR AND RECOGNIZE ALL OF THE PAST
PRESIDENTS AND LEADERS OF MORIAH.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL
NILA LAZARUS AT 201-567-0208 EXT. 373
OR NLAZARUS@MORIAHSCHOOL.ORG
OR VISIT WWW.MORIAHLEADERSHIPEVENT.ORG

The Moriah School


53 South Woodland Street | Englewood, New Jersey 07631 | 201-567-0208

www.jstandard.com

www.moriahschool.org

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 7

Local
FIRST PERSON

Hot potato! Hot pa-tam-to!


Noahs Ark hosts Teanecks annual latke-eating contest
JOSH LIPOWSKY

udden death almost meant just


that.
There we were, two weary
warriors on a battlefield of gastronomic proportions, called into sudden-death overtime to determine who is
Teanecks supreme latke-eating champion.
Summoning up our reserves of strength,
we sloshed applesauce on the five latkes
set before us and set forth on our delectable task.
How had it come to this?
The day was Sunday, the fifth day of
the Festival of Lights, aka Chanukah, aka
Hannukka, aka Channukka, akayou get
the point there are a lot of ways to spell
Chanukah.
For years, Maadan, a store in Teaneck,
had been the setting for a fierce competition to see who could devour the most fried
potato pancakes. This year, the Cedar Lane
Management Group, also in Teaneck, had
taken up the mantle of latke contest host,
and Noahs Ark became the new battleground. Instead of gathering outside (bundled in warm coats and hats) at Teanecks
pedestrian plaza, as we had in years past,
we met in the back room at Noahs Ark.
When there is a need in the community, we are always happy to step up and
do the right thing, said Noam Sokolow,
who owns the restaurant.
Four teenagers and four adults lined up
along the tables, a bowl of five fresh latkes
placed before each competitor. The teenagers would go first. New to the competition this year was 17-year-old Ephraim
Taber of Bergenfield, who battled past teen
champions Penina and Devora Krischer, 13
and 16 respectively, and his own brother,
19-year-old Yitzi, who had won the 2012
teen title.
The teenagers dug in and it seemed
competitive for a while, but Yitzi Taber
pulled ahead and claimed his second win
with 13 latkes.
It feels good, he said. Maybe itll be
three times next year.
His secret to success? I just kept putting
them in my mouth, two at a time, he said.

Yitzi Taber, Noam Sokolow, and Shalom Krischer


They taste really good.
Next up were the adults: past multiyear champion and father to Penina and
Devora, Shalom Krischer; newcomers Sara
Flaumenhaft and Adira Hilbig; and me.
(We all live in Teaneck.) Though I have
claimed the Pickle Licious pickle-eating
title before, I never had won this competition. And it has hounded me like a dingo
stalking a wombat.
Mr. Krischer had beaten me in several
of the latke competitions over the years,
while some amateur competitive eaters
trying to make it onto the professional
circuit had beaten us both recently. With
only the four of us in the contest and no
professionals in sight, it seemed like this
could be my year.
Bowls of five latkes, applesauce, and
pitchers of water were placed before us.
Im going to win the prize for the least
latkes eaten, said Ms. Flaumenhaft, who
obviously joined just for the fun of it.
And with this many calories consumed,
it should be fun, or else theres really no
point. Ms. Hilbig, knowing Mr. Krischers
and my reputations, conceded that one of
us would win anyway.
As a sign of sportsmanship and chivalry,
we gave the ladies a 30-second head start
into the five-minute time limit. As the two
female competitors began, Mr. Krischer
and I filled our water, lathered our latkes
in sauce, and shook hands as worthy

Shalom Krischer and Josh Lipowsky

competitors, forever locked into our epicurean struggle.


Then it began.
Latkes in one hand and water in another,
we kept pace with each other, biting off bits
of fried potato. New bowls with another
five latkes each were placed before us
as we each finished our fifth. Ten! Mr.
Sokolow called out. Nine! Eight.
As the countdown neared its finish, so
did our respective bowls of latkes.
As time was called, both Mr. Krischer
and I each had two clean bowls in front of
us. Ms. Hilbig had eaten five latkes (plus
one of Ms. Flaumenhafts afterward) while
Ms. Flaumenhaft, true to her word, had
eaten only three. Mr. Krischer and I had
each finished 10. A tie.
But just as the Superbowl cannot end
in a tie, neither can a latke throwdown.
Two men enter, one man leaves. (Mel
Gibson may be a rabid anti-Semite, but
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome still
has one of the most memorable set-ups
for a cinematic fight ever.)
After a two-minute break, fresh bowls
of five latkes were set in front of us and
we were given a new, shorter time limit.
It was time for sudden death and with
this much grease, sudden death could
have been very true.
Unfortunately, I was not in as good
shape as the Road Warrior. I should have
gone to the gym earlier that morning to

give my metabolism a boost. Mr. Krischer


and I kept pace on the first latke, but I
found myself slowing down on the second and began to remember the rule that
what goes down has to stay down to qualify as a win.
Time was called. In all, I had downed
12-and-a-half latkes. Mr. Krischer had finished 13.
I was just watching my competition
and staying ahead of them, he said
about his win. The latkes, he said, were
phenomenal. And the three winners
were really him, Yitzi, and Noahs Ark,
for making such great latkes.
We embraced as friendly competitors
and pledged to meet again next year, and
perhaps at the pickle contest.
This was our most successful latke
eating contest ever, Mr. Sokolow said
with a grin. After all, this was the first
annual Noahs Ark contest. He definitely plans to welcome the competition again next year though, and maybe
theyll even try jalapeno latkes, added his
wife, Shelly, for whom the vegetarian restaurant across the street is named.
In the end, I may have taken second
place, but the competitors were noble and
the judging just.
As fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers used
to say, there is always next year. And as
Mr. Krischer said at the end of the contest, Bring on the latkes.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 9

Local

Happy Hackathonukah
Paramus brothers plotted a frum-friendly programmers paradise
Larry Yudelson

f your idea of a good time


is staying up all night
writing computer programs, youre no doubt in
the minority and youre also
doubtlessly familiar with hackathons, which gather programmers together to do just that.
But if youre a Shabbat-observing Jew who thinks a hackathon
with its race-the-clock challenge to create something hightech and arguably functional
really would be fun, then youve
probably already discovered the
sad truth that most hackathons
start when the weekend does, on
Friday night. And while it may be
fun, is anything less in the spirit
of Shabbos than hacking down
bugs in a computer program in
the middle of the night?
Of course, real hackers
among computer cognoscenti,
the term refers not to the malefactors who break into computer
systems and disrupt lives, but to
those able to put together quick
if not always elegant solutions
to difficult problems see problems as challenges to solve. So it
was only a matter of time before
New York hosted its first shomer
Shabbat hackathon.
Thats the back story to Hackathonukah, held two weeks ago
for 25 hours starting 7 p.m. Saturday night December 13, and ending 25 hours later.
It was organized by two Paramus brothers, Oren and Donny
Kanner. Both are graduates of the
Yavneh Academy and the Frisch
School in Paramus, and Cooper
Union in New York. Oren, 28, is
studying for a Ph.D. in robotics
at Yale. Donny, 23, works for The
Hackerati, a Manhattan engineering consultancy.
Donny and I had some random conversation over the summer venting our frustrations
about the lack of frum-peoplefriendly hackathons, said Oren.
As a result, we just decided to
make one.
They formed a company to run
it. They solicited sponsors. Theirs
was not an amateur production.
Sometimes Jewish events can
be cute or kitschy, said Oren.
We didnt want it to be cute or
kitschy. We wanted it to be at the
same level of technical rigor as

Akiva Lipshitz, a Teaneck high school freshman, demonstrates his winning Pong game.

An LED binary clock in the


shape of a menorah

Donny and Oren Kanner kick off Hackathonukah

any hackathon.
Donny explained some of the
special fun of hackathons for

10 Jewish Standard December 26, 2014

programmers.
Theres the element of doing
a complete product from start to

finish in a short period of time.


You dont often get the opportunity to very quickly come up
with a concept and execute it.
You get to meet people with
other skill sets and other backgrounds. You get exposure to
other technologies you may
not be using in your day-to-day
work, he said.
The Kanner brothers decided
to add more variety by focusing
on hardware and, in particular
appropriately enough for the
season lights. Lighting manufacturers have begun enabling
their products to connect to
computers and smartphones in
what is being called the internet
of things.
Hackathonukah had corporate sponsors such as Philips,
which not only donated some of
their computerized Hue bulbs,
but flew two engineers from

their Netherlands headquarters


to guide the hackers in using the
technology.
Oren and Donny had never
been to a complete hackathon
before. We were able to make
it to the end after Shabbat
never to the beginning.
Of course, having finally organized a post-Shabbat hackathon,
the brothers were too busy running the show for much handson geek fun. They were mostly
busy making sure the food
showed up (all kosher) and the
participants could find places
to sleep. Oren did spend a few
hours between midnight and 3
a.m. building a menorah out of
programmable light bulbs whose
lights changed color based on
stock market data.
About 60 hackers showed up.
The youngest was 14. Most were
in their 20s. Some came from
as far away as Buffalo and Pittsburgh and Washington. More
than half had never been to a
hackathon before. Probably half
of our attendees were Jewish,
and half were not. Which was
great. Our message was accessibility and openness that Jewish people didnt have access to
most hackathons.
We were really impressed
with the work that was done,
said Donny.
At the end, the finished projects were judged on creativity,
technical accomplishment, and
aesthetics. The winning team,
which included two teens, used a
motion-sensing armband (lent by
a sponsor) to play the video game
pong. You could move your
arm to control your panel, and
the color of a light would change
depending on who was winning
the game, said Oren.
We had a group that put
together a whole solution for
controlling lighting based on
arm gestures, in a way that
would be useful for theater. We
had a group that had a small
panel of LEDs that could be sewn
on your clothing that would display sports scores. It would be a
ticker, if you wanted to keep up
on your scores and not watch
television on Shabbat, he said.
Looking ahead, at the very
least were going to want to do
a repeat of this event next year,
said Donny.

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Clergy press
lawmakers on
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ROBERT WIENER
The states Jewish federations and other
Jewish organizations are spearheading
an interfaith effort to cope with the rising
problem of hunger in New Jersey.
In a Dec. 15 meeting in the State House
Annex in Trenton, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant clergy and community
leaders teamed up with several New Jersey legislators to urge more state and federal action, especially on behalf of the 20
percent of families with children who lack
adequate income for food.
Although not represented at the meeting, a Hindu community organization is
also supporting the effort.
The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, a program of the Center for Food
Action, is seeking state Senate passage
of three separate bills that would expand
and expedite applications for the Special
Nutrition Assistance Program.
All three measures passed the state
Assembly within hours after the meetings
adjourned. No votes in the state Senate
have been scheduled as yet.
The SNAP program, formerly known
as Food Stamps, was cut drastically in the
most recent Farm Bill to pass Congress
last fall.
We were very concerned when the Congress cut the budget making New Jersey
one of the 15 hardest-hit states on hunger,
said Melanie Gorelick, director of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish
Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. In
the Jewish community itself, our kosher
food pantries cannot service the increased
needs of people. We felt we could not sit
by; we are looking for a bipartisan solution,
and we believe legislators on both sides of
the aisle are committed to ending hunger.
Also present at the press conference
was Joy Kurland, director of the Jewish
Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Addressing the issue of hunger is a
major priority for JFNNJ, she said. This
year our federation invested nearly
$590,000 in hunger relief locally and overseas providing over 110,000 meals plus
additional food support through pantries.
Locally this represents about $500,000 on
nearly 67,000 meals plus pantry support.
Overseas this represents about $87,000 on
nearly 43,400 meals plus pantry support.
Other Jewish organizations involved in
the anti-hunger effort include the NJ State
Association of Jewish Federations; the
CRC; the Greater MetroWest federations
affiliated family service agencies, JFS of
Central NJ and JFS of MetroWest; and various family service organizations and community relations councils.
It is unacceptable to have one million
people in New Jersey who are food insecure, said Kenneth Rotter, the cochair of
the MetroWest CRCs government affairs

committee. The majority of them are


children and seniors.
At the event in Trenton, one by one,
religious leaders insisted that faith-based
initiatives alone cannot meet the enormous needs of the hungry. They cited statistics that more than one million people
in New Jersey suffer from food insecurity
and hunger, and some 45 percent of them
are children.
Responding to religious leaders, State
Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Dist. 20) said,
We are in your corner. We are your champions. We need to help you bring our message to our fellow Democrats and Republicans. We all know that hunger is not a
Democratic or a Republican issue.
Among the other state legislators at the
meeting were Assemblywoman Valerie
Vainieri Huttle ( Dist. 37), Assemblyman
Timothy Eustace (Dist. 38), Assemblyman
Gary Schaer (Dist. 36), and Assemblyman
Carmelo Garcia (Dist. 33).
There were no Republican lawmakers
present.
We invited Sen. Kean and Assemblywoman Munoz and several other Republicans to the meetings, but all of them said
they had other committee meetings they
had to attend, said Jacob Toporek, executive director of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations.
We are going to have to drag them
there, Lesniak said of his GOP colleagues.
All the faiths Christian, Jewish, and Muslim combined can impress both Democrats and Republicans to understand that
hunger strikes everybody whatever their
faith is. We cannot fail on this.
It is clear that hunger affects everyone, said Toporek. It crosses ethnic
lines and religious lines and affects all of
our Jewish family service agencies. It plays
on a nonpartisan basis.
Other speakers included Ali Chaudry,
president of the Islamic Center of Basking Ridge; Father Tim Graff, director of
human concerns at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark; Archdeacon
Peter Jackson of the Episcopal Diocese of
Newark; the Rev. Sara Lilja, director of the
Lutheran Office of Government Ministries;
and the Rev. Guy Campbell, president of
the General Baptist Convention of New
Jersey.
Looking ahead, the North Jersey Jewish
Community Relations Council will be initiating The Food Stamp Challenge the week
of March 16. The Food Stamp Challenge is
a national effort to raise awareness of the
issue of hunger. Community members and
legislators will be enlisted to live on the
nationwide average food stamp benefit of
$29. 40/week or $4.20/day.
This is directly tied into advocacy for
the passage of federal and state legislation
for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP) which assists nearly 45
million low income people to purchase
food for their families. More than 900,00
residents in New Jersey received SNAP
benefits in September, said Ms. Kurland.
New Jersey Jewish News. Larry Yudelson
contributed to this story.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 11

Local

The guru of kashrut


Rabbi Alexander S. Rosenberg and the
transformation of kosher certification in America
TIMOTHY D. LYTTON

And the mystery rabbi is.

f you had asked someone a hundred


years ago to name the defining charRecently, we ran a photograph on the occaacteristic of kashrut in America, they
sion of Rabbi Abraham Zigelmans death
would probably have answered corthat featured an errant photo caption [issue
ruption. In 1925, the New York City Departof Dec. 5, page 25]. That caption sparked
ment of Markets estimated that 40 percent
a conversation with our readers, who recof the meat sold in the city as kosher was
ognized one rabbi who had been misidentiactually treif. Industry associations and confied. But that left us with the unanswered
sumer groups thought the true figure was
question: Whose hand was the young Rabbi
between 50 and 65 percent.
Zigelman shaking on the day of his installaFraud was not the worst problem.
tion at Temple Beth Abraham in 1951?
Organized crime dominated kashrut. In
We believe we have found the answer,
perhaps the most notorious example,
and
that the unidentified rabbi was, in his
the Live Poultry Commission Merchants
day,
a shining star in American Judaism.
Protective Association operated a priceAccordingly,
we hereby reprint, from the
fixing scheme and distribution racket that
Fall
2013
issue
of Jewish Action magazine
dominated New York Citys kosher chicken
Rabbi Ziegelman was installed at Temple Beth Abraham in 1951; a phoof
the
Orthodox
Union, a profile of Rabbi
trade from 1906 to 1911. Local butchers
tograph from that day shows him, wearing a bow tie, shaking the hand of
Alexander
S.
Rosenberg.
First,
though,
who refused to knuckle under would find
Rabbi Alexander S. Rosenberg.
from
our
correspondents:
stores set up next door to undersell them
and drive them out of business. In some
Rav Moshe is immediately to Rabbi Zigelmans right. For a devoted
I believe that the tall man Rabbi Zigelman is
cases, nonconforming butchers suffered
yeshiva
student,
Rav
Moshes
image
is
as
recognizable
as
Honest
Abe
shaking
hands with in the photograph is Rabbi
physical violence. Finally, a store owner
Lincolns
would
be
to
most
grown-up
Americans.
I
was
privileged
to
Alexander
S. Rosenberg, who was head of the
named Bernard Baff testified against
see
Rav
Moshe
hold
a
grandson
on
his
lap
in
a
Lower
East
Side
park
OU
and
rabbi
at Congregation Ohab Zedek in
the association in a trial that put an end
in
1973
and
have
a
picture
of
him
in
my
dining
room.
May
his
memory
Yonkers,
New
York.
He was my rabbi when I was
to the associations illegal activities and
and
that
of
his
student,
Rabbi
Zigelman,
be
a
blessing
for
all
of
us.
growing
up.
landed its leaders in prison. Following the
Reuven Escott, Bergenfield
Edward S. Zizmor, Teaneck
trial, Baff s horse and chickens were poisoned, his summer cottage and one of his
stores were bombed and
Rabbi Rosenberg explained to food comcentury and that helped free homemakers
he was gunned down in
Reform finally came to
pany executives that kosher consumers
from the time-consuming labors of makbroad daylight in Manhatkashrut with the rise of a
were a small but highly influential demoing everything from scratch. By providtans Washington Market
new institution: the indegraphic because they were concentrated
ing kosher certification to Americas leadby unknown assailants,
pendent private kosher
disproportionately in major metropolitan
ing food companies, the OU, under Rabbi
who fled in a getaway car.
certification agency. And
markets, such as New York, Chicago and
Rosenberg, helped satisfy this demand.
Suspicions, of course,
no one did more to shape
Los Angeles. By increasing a companys
Rabbi Rosenberg was a handsome man
focused on the defunct
the modern kashrut sysshare in those major markets, the compawith an aristocratic bearing and a charmLive Poultry Commission
tem than Rabbi Alexannys products would achieve better posiing manner. His passionate commitment
Merchants Protective
der S. Rosenberg, rabbinic
tioning on store shelves, where all consumto making kosher-certified food available in
Association. However, it
administrator of the OU
ers, not just kosher consumers, would be
every supermarket in America earned him
turned out that the murKosher Division from 1950
more likely to see and buy them. Accorda reputation among food-industry execuder was arranged not by
to 1972.
Rabbi Alexander S.
The OU Kosher Division
ing to Rabbi Wein, a marketing manager at
tives as the guru of kosher marketing. He
the imprisoned gangsters,
Rosenberg
had been founded in the
Duncan Hines recalls that Rabbi Rosenberg
cultivated personal relationships with key
but by a group of one hunmid-1920s. When Rabbi
taught him that the whole grocery business
executives, coaching them on marketing
dred ordinary poultry
Rosenberg took charge of it, the division
depends on shelf space. As a result of OU
strategy and even, on occasion, providing
retailers who resented Baff s successful
employed about forty mashgichim to certify
certification, sales of the companys cake
counseling on personal matters. And they
efforts after the trial to take over New York
184 products for thirty-seven companies.
mix to kosher consumers in key urban marbelieved in himlike a Chassid believes in
Citys poultry distribution.
By the end of Rabbi Rosenbergs tenure,
kets increased, leading to more prominent
his rebbe, according to Rabbi [Beryl] Wein.
The problems of fraud and corruption
Rabbi Rosenberg believed passionately
the OU employed more than 750 mashgiplacement on grocery shelves, so that sales
in kashrut proved too big for even the govin the importance of making kosher food
chim to certify more than 2,500 products
among ordinary consumers rose dramatiernment to handle. Six full-time kosher
widely and easily available. At the end of
for 475 companies. This extraordinary
callymore than 40 percent in two months.
inspectors in the New York City DepartWorld War II, he had been attached to the
expansion was due to Jewish demand for
Even more important than his efforts
ment of Markets and ten in the New York
US Army in Germany, where he successkosher certification for the rapidly growing
to make kosher food more widely availState Kosher Enforcement Bureau were
fully advocated and established kosher
number of industrially produced and preable, Rabbi Rosenberg helped make wideinsufficient to oversee the 18,000 kosher
meat slaughter for Jewish survivors in dispared packaged foodsfrom canned soup to
spread fraud and corruption in kashrut a
food establishments in New York City by
placed persons camps. Rabbi Rosenbergs
cake mixesthat emerged in the twentieth
thing of the past. Some of the reduction
the late 1930s.
ambition was rooted in his religious faith.
in fraud and corruption resulted from the
Timothy D. Lytton is the Albert and Angela Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law
In the words of Rabbi Wein, his deputy
increased focus on dairy and pareve packSchool. Readers can find more about the turbulent history of kashrut in America and the OUs
at the OU, Rabbi Rosenberg was always
aged foods, which, unlike meat, require
leading role in its transformation in his new book, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of
working for God . . . he was working for
much less supervision and therefore little,
SEE GURU PAGE 24
Industrial Food, published by Harvard University Press.
the Jewish people.
12 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

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Jan 14, 7:30 pm, Free

Tue, Jan 13, 7-8 pm

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JCC on the Palisades Taub campus | 411 e clinTon ave, Tenafly, nJ 07670 | 201.569.7900 | jccotp.org
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 13

Local
Yavneh Academy celebrates 72 years
Yavneh Academy will hold
its 72nd annual dinner on
Saturday, January 10, at
Congregation Keter Torah
in Teaneck. Nancy and
Eric Fremed are guests
of honor, and Shoshana
Susie Ammer and Rabbi
Yitzchok Furst are faculty award recipients. The
Yavneh Youth League and
Nancy and Eric Fremed
Shoshana Susie Ammer
its commissioner, Howard
Eisenstadter, will receive
the Volunteer Service
award. Yavneh also will
celebrate the graduating
class of 1989.
The Fremeds have been
involved with Yavneh for
more than two decades
and are parents of four
Ya v n e h g r a d u a t e s .
They also are founding
Rabbi Yitzchok Furst
Howard Eisenstadter
members of Congregation Netivot Shalom in
years ago. She is an active member of
Teaneck.
the teachers liaison committee and on
In addition to serving as Yavnehs immediate past president, Eric has sat on Yavnehs
the task force of the Israel Partnership
board, its executive board, and committees
2-gether Program. Her classes have partnered with the Rambam School of Nahaincluding finance, tuition assistance, dinner, and accreditation, as well as the newly
riya for five years. She has eight grandchildren enrolled in Yavneh.
formed endowment committee. He is a partner in the practice of Drs. Rabin, Fremed,
Howard Eisenstadter, parent of three
Prince PC in Englewood Cliffs, the practice
Yavneh graduates, has been leading the
has sponsored many Yavneh events.
Yavneh Youth League since 2009 and has
Rabbi Furst, Yavnehs fifth grade rebbe,
been involved with it since 2003. YYL provides a competitive shomer Shabbat softhas taught Chumash, Mishnah, and dinim
ball league to children in the north Jersey
for the last 23 years. He served on the committee for the Development of Holocaust
area. In 2014 there were 325 players across
Studies for lower grades and was among
27 teams.
the founding faculty members on the antiFor information about the dinner and
bullying program committee.
ad journal email Michelle Weinraub at
Shoshana Susie Ammer began teachMichelle.Weinraub@yavnehacademy.org
ing third grade at Yavneh Academy 22
or go to yavnehdinner.adjournal.com

Ohel hosts Teaneck training


for counseling group
The Ohel Northern New Jersey Regional
Family Center recently hosted the Yeshiva
Counseling Network. The group, a network of school psychologists and mental
health support staff from the tristate area,
met with Dr. Norman Blumenthal, Ohels
director of trauma and bereavement and
the leader of its crisis response team.
Participants included staff from Ben
Porat Yosef, Bruriah, Frisch, Rae Kushner
Yeshiva High School, Maayanot Yeshiva
High School for Girls, Magen David
Yeshiva, Yeshiva University High School for
Boys (MTA), Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North
Jersey, SAR Academy, Torah Academy of

Bergen County, Yavneh Academy, Yeshiva


Ketana of Passaic, Yeshivat Noam, and
project S.A.F.E.
Dr. Aliza Frohlich, a school psychologist at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, organizes the Yeshiva Counseling Network. Dr.
Frohlich and Rabbi Jeremy Donath, Ohels
community coordinator for northern New
Jersey, organized the event.
Clinical supervisor Dr. Zipporah
Tokayer-Torbiner, who has also spent
many years as part of Ohels crisis
response team, leads Ohels Northern
New Jersey Regional Family Center in
Teaneck.

14 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

Steven and Felicia Hoenig, Shaindy and Daniel Brothman, Amy and Daniel
Gibber
COURTESY EMUNAH

Emunah dinner fetes


Teaneck residents
The Emunah Circle of Life benefit dinner was on November 15 at the Sheraton
New York Hotel. The presidential leadership award was given to Shaindy and
Daniel Brothman, Amy and Daniel Gibber, and Felicia and Steven Hoenig, all of
Teaneck. They were recognized for their
efforts on behalf of Emunahs children
and families in Israel. The three women
are co-presidents of the local Libby Kolb
chapter of Emunah.
The dinner also paid tribute to Shari

and David Shapiro of Lawrence, N.Y.,


and honored the memory of past
national president, Gladys Baruch. Lisa
and David Zaslowsky from Cedarhurst,
N.Y., were the dinner chairs.
The dinner also celebrated Emunahs
accomplishments in Israel, as the organization continues to provide outstanding
social welfare, and educational, cultural,
and humanitarian services to every segment of Israeli society.

Moriah annual dinner in February


The Moriah School in
the synagogue and community. They have three
Englewood, which will
children, Justin, Julia,
be celebrating its semiand Andrew.
centennial, will host its
The dinner also will
50th annual dinner on
celebrate 50 Years of
Saturday, February 28, at
MAP, honoring and
8:30 p.m., at the Hilton
remembering all who
Meadowlands Hotel in
were/are involved in
East Rutherford.
leadership roles with the
Michelle and Evan
Michelle and Evan Sohn
organization. MAP proSohn (Moriah class of
vides programming and
1981) are the guests of
events for students, services for families,
honor. It also celebrates 50 years of the
and dedication to working with faculty
Moriah Association of Parents with the
and administrators.
MAP award, and honors alumni faculty and staff with the Rabbi J. Shelley
The Rabbi J. Shelley Applbaum
Applbaum award.
Award will be presented to 13 Moriah
Evan Sohn has served on Moriahs
graduates who work at Moriah in some
board since 2005, chaired the developcapacity. The honorees are Rabbi Avi
ment committee for several terms, and
Bernstein (91), Zeva Epstein (06),
joined the executive committee in 2008,
Mindy Getzler (04), Alana Green (93),
and he is now in his third and final year
Jennifer Kollender (02), Jessica Levner
as Moriahs president. He is also its first
(03), Chana Meyers (88), Lauren Pruzansky (03), Rebecca Rauch (03),
alumni president. Michelle Sohn volunteers at Moriah and in the community.
Racheli Schwartz (05), Roberta Waldman (80), Lea Wohlfarth (04), and
Michelles career in product development at OXO International has woven
Aliza Zeffren (03).
its way into Moriah through her annual
For information on Moriah or the dinner, call Nila Lazarus, the schools direcpresentation to the 4th grade Invention
tor of development, at (201) 567-0208,
Convention. Kehillat Kesher honored the
ext. 373, email nlazarus@moriahschool.
Sohns, of Englewood, in 2010 for their
org or www.themoriahdinner.org.
role in the founding and leadership of

Local

Leonard Grunstein,
holding a Torah as
he, his family, and
the community dance
the Torah across the
Wilf campus.

Richard Heisler and David Heisler of Butterflake, Beryl and Harold Steinbach,
and Janet and Ken Hoffman. 
PHOTOS BY GERALD BERNSTEIN

Area JNF dinner benefits Halutza


community
More than 140 people attended the Jewish National
Funds 47th annual buffet dinner and dessert reception earlier this month.
Yedidya Harush, the Israeli shaliach from Halutza, a
community in the Negev, was the speaker. The event
raised money for a medical and dental clinic in that
area.
Honorees were Beryl and Harold Steinbach of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, who received a Circle of Excellence award; 11 members of Congregation
Yedidya Harush
Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, recognized as Sderot supporters, in recognition of their visit to the indoor bomb shelter in Sderot last summer; and David Heisler and Richard Heisler, owners of Butterflake Bakery in Teaneck,
Community Service award winners, for their dedication and contributions to schools
and organizations with their baked goods.

Teanecks Grunstein family dedicates


Torah to Yeshiva University
Leonard Grunstein of Teaneck and his
family dedicated a sefer Torah to Yeshiva
University in memory of his father, Morris Grunstein. The elder Mr. Grunsteins
real estate deals include the sale of
Stuyvesant Town and the development of
Battery Park City. The gift was celebrated
in an all-day ceremony on December 7; as
part of the celebration, the Torah, held
under a chuppah, was paraded through
the streets surrounding YUs Wilf campus in Washington Heights in northern
Manhattan. The Torah will be used for
services at the university.
After a class presented by Rabbi Yaakov
Neuberger, rosh yeshiva at YU-affiliated
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, YU students and family filled in the
final letters of the Torah.
Leonard Grunstein and his wife, Chanie,
and their three children all are YU alumni.
A longtime supporter of the school, Mr.
Grunstein was named a member of the

Leonard Grunstein fills in final letters


of the new sefer Torah. 

PHOTOS COURTESY YU

Board of Overseers of the Bernard Revel


Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 2013.
He has been involved with an array of
other Jewish causes, such as the Hebron
Fund and the YIVO Institute.

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Norpac president Dr. Ben Chouake, Senator-elect Capito, Lori and Kevin
Lemmer.

Norpac dinner in Englewood


On November 20, Lori and Kevin Lemmer welcomed Senator-elect Shelley
Moore Capito (R-WV) to their Englewood home for a Norpac dinner event.
Ms. Capito, who is completing her seventh term as a representative of West
Virginias second district, will replace
Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller, who
is retiring after having spent 30 years
as an elected official. Ms. Capitos victory marks the first time in more than

50 years that West Virginia has elected a


Republican U.S. Senator. She is now on
the House Financial Services Committee
and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
During the two-hour dinner, Ms. Capito spoke with the nearly two dozen Norpac members and guests before sharing
her perspective on issues that affect
Israel and the United States.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 15

Editorial
The
season
after Tis

One last spin


around Chanukah

hortly after we send this weeks


Jewish Standard to the printers, but before you read this,
we will have lit the Chanukah
candles for the last time this year. But
while we have put away our chanukiyot,
the spirit of winter, marker of Northern
Hemisphere Chanukah, lingers on.
It is not quite too late, in other words,
for some parting thoughts about Chanukah past and Chanukah future.
By the standards of the Jewish calendar, Chanukah is a middle-aged holiday.
Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, and Yom
Kippur are ancient they are recorded
in the Torah. Yom Haatzmaut and Yom
Hashoah, commemorations of 20th-century events, are newborns. Between lie
Chanukah and Purim younger than
the Bible but, with origins centuries
before the Common Era, considerably
older than springtime.
Old, even ancient, does not have to
mean moribund, and Chanukah has
proved to be a poster child for change.
In the late 19th century, as historian
Jonathan Sarna has shown, a circle of
young American Jews notably including Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold
reinvented Chanukah as an Americanthemed holiday of religious freedom.
The Zionist movement shifted the
focus of the holiday from the talmudic
emphasis on the miracle of the light to
the (possibly original) celebration of the
Maccabees victory. In 1936, Menashe
Ravina a Zionist and a Communist
composed Mi Yimalel, which praised
Jewish action rather than Gods miracles: In our day all the people of Israel
will unite, rise up, and be redeemed.
Of course, holidays change not only
in the broader sense but also through
small changes in implementation. In
the Middle Ages, the original oil lamps
cited in the Talmud were replaced with

Jewish
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Marcia Garfinkle

wax candles. In recent years, olive


oil has made a comeback, with a
variety of oils to choose from.
All this is a long wind-up to
reflect on a small tweak to
Chanukah customs
that we count as a
great improvement.
We are referring
to the new rules
for Speed Dreidel
published last week
by Slate.com.
It says something
about the role of
Judaism and Chanukah
in American Jewish life that
Slate could unapologetically
devote an article to the topic with the
headline: The classic Hannukah game
is painfully slow. Its time to speed it up.
Note that rather than reporting on the
dreidel game as a quaint Jewish practice,
Slate takes it seriously as something its
readers play.
Ben Blatts article makes clear that as
much as he loves being Jewish, dreidel is
not his favorite game. (That would probably be baseball, the subject of his recent
book, I Dont Care if We Never Get Back:
30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst
Baseball Road Trip Ever.) Mr. Blatt is a
sports analytics wizard, and he isnt
afraid to bring numbers to bear in his
dreidel critique. Dreidel takes too long,
he complains, but he didnt rely on his
gut instinct to make the case.
Instead, he writes, I ran 50,000
simulations of 171 different starting conditions, for a grand total of 8.5 million
simulated dreidel games. Heres what I
mean by starting conditions: one starting condition was a game of six players with 10 tokens each. Another was
a game of three people with 15 pieces
each. All assumed eight seconds per

Editor
Joanne Palmer
Associate Editor
Larry Yudelson
Guide/Gallery Editor
Beth Janoff Chananie
Contributing Editor
Phil Jacobs
About Our Children Editor
Heidi Mae Bratt

jstandard.com
16 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

Correspondents
Warren Boroson
Lois Goldrich
Abigail K. Leichman
Miriam Rinn
Dr. Miryam Z. Wahrman
Advertising Director
Natalie D. Jay
Business Manager
Robert Chananie
Classified Director
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spin, and, again out of generosity


to dreidel, I assumed there was no
delay between player turns.
(Showing further generosity, the
article included an interactive
Dreidel Duration Estimator, where you can
try out different scenarios for yourself. For
example, if a minyan
of people play dreidel,
each starting with 20
pieces and spending
10 seconds on each
spin, you can expect
the game to last more than
two and a half days. Oy!)
Rather than simply call for the
game to no longer be played, Mr. Blatt,
in keeping with the resourceful spirit
of the Maccabees, revised the rules
rather than scrap them. And thus we
have Speed Dreidel.
The basic idea is this: Instead of taking turns with the spin, everyone spins
their own dreidel at the same time.
Depending on the spin, players take
out a token from the pot, put one in, or
share in dividing the tokens. Simultaneous play makes for less boredom. It also
results in the final conquest of the pot
happening much sooner.
This is, as he points out, good news
for dreidel manufacturers. But it is good
news for all of us who play the game,
and wish to keep traditions alive in an
increasingly fast-paced age and one
where, frankly, we have more compelling entertainments.
So count that as among this years
Chanukah miracles: that a game our
ancestors converted to Judaism (it had
started off as the European game of teetotum) can be renewed and improved
so we can pass it on to our children.
L.Y.


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ebruary got shafted, and I dont


think thats very nice, no, not
very nice at all.
But lets go back to the holidayfest that precedes it:
November is a time for thanks, where we
evaluate all the good things we have in our
lives and show our appreciation for them
over a nice feast of turkey and marshmallow sweet potatoes.
The gratitude we feel on Thanksgiving,
and the preparation for it, start not just on
the actual day of, but also in the weeks leading up to it. In school, children are taught
about pilgrims and the Mayflower, preschoolers dress up in Indian garb and feathered construction paper hats, adults create
menus and assign whos in charge of what
food item, young parents are faced with
the headache of choosing which familys
meal theyre going to attend, and so forth.
But after all of that, after were stuffed with
so much stuffing that we can be stuffed no
more, the holiday has passed and to show
for it we are left with protruding stomachs
and divvied up leftovers.
Then we have December, when winter
tunes start playing on the radio (some even
before Thanksgiving), warming our hearts
until theyre played so much on every station that eventually they annoy us. These
songs culminate in the top 100 of the year
as we approach the Big Day. We also have
the holiday lights, which, regardless of your
religion, arguably are a welcoming respite
from the darkness of early winter. And of
course, the candles of our Chanukah menorahs burning bright, an additional candle
as the holiday progresses. We also masy
encounter our first snowfall before the New
Year, one that is met with wonder (as Winter Wonderland loops in our heads) until
when, a couple of months later, it does not.
After the big ball drops and confetti and
litter are cleaned up from Times Square,
theres a bit of post-holiday blues, as all the
hype from the previous two months are

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Opinion

GOING OUT
OF
BUSINESS
AFTER 67 YEARS
FLEISCHMAN FURS IS CLOSING
THEIR DOORS FOREVER

Every Fur
Must Be
Sold!!

met with the rest of a looming


festivities of Sukkot, often in
winter. But fear not, as there
October, where we eat in our
is Yeshiva Break to look
bamboo and canvas huts and
forward to, thanks to it being
hope the rain doesnt make
switched in most schools
them unusable for more time
from late December. Alas,
than they are usable.
January is saved from gloom.
And then, after all of this,
But then comes February.
we arrive back at November.
Lets face it, as mentioned
And December. And JanuDena Croog
ary. Which, as noted, all
earlier, February really got
consist of their own distinct
left in the shadows. Sure, we
attributes.
have the poor-excuse-forAnd then theres February, the sada-holiday called Groundhogs Day. But
dest month on the calendar, with no
come on the shadow of a furry little animal is going to determine how long a set
turkeys or cranberry sauce, no bright
season is going to operate, when its the
lights, no holiday music, no dreidels or
same result, regardless of that shadow,
latkes, no promise of warmer climates,
every single year?
no small and modest mountains, no
I mean, even March, though it still is
dressing up as princesses and pirates,
cold and dreary, carries with it the idiom
no hamentashen (most of the time), no
In like a lion, out like a lamb. And with
flowers, no learning through the night,
that in mind we hope for our Purim packno grand escapes from slavery, no
ages to be delivered on warm front doorbright sunshine, no trips to the beach,
steps rather than in the snow.
no apples and honey, no purity of fasting, no shaking palm leaves or the sweet
And then April showers bring May
smell of citrus fruit, no dancing with the
flowers. Spring fever, from April through
Torah, and all the way back to where
June, is marked by Passover and Shavuot.
we started, which was a month of gratiFirst, the story of the Exodus, from slavery to freedom, the ultimate transition
tude culminating in nice warm pumpkin
from darkness to light, celebrated with
pie, followed by a season of light amidst
matzah and maror and potato kugel and
darkness.
children asking questions and the HagNo, February gets none of this treatgadah and wine and children hiding the
ment. February gets a pointless tradition
afikomon (sometimes falling asleep before
of a small little animal not determining
we have time to ask where its hidden).
the coming of a season thats already set
Shavout is a time to appreciate the Torah
by the calendar. As I said, February got
by learning all through the night and eatshafted, and big time. The saddest month
ing cheesecake.
of the year.
This, followed by July and August sumWell, at least its also the shortest.
mer vacation! which consist of camp,
trips, and sun tans.
Dena Croog is a writer and editor in
September is marked by the High HoliTeaneck whose work has focused primarily
days, when, in between our new fruits
on psychiatry, mental health, and the book
and apples and honey, we pray to cleanse
publishing industry. More information is
our souls. Then we look forward to the
available at www.denacroog.com.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 17

Opinion

As they lay dying

t some point in the life of


parents as soul mates who were
the average adult, the conborn 10 days apart and who, Aside
versation shifts from How
from WWII, work, illness, and going
are the kids? to Whats
to the bathroom did everything
happening with your parents?
together. Mom, a former assistant
If youre lucky, you can talk about
principal, is domineering and
two silver-haired retirees, enjoying
oddly patrician; her dad, a former
their relative good health, their Road
schoolteacher, is submissive, easily
Scholar vacations, and their time
distracted, and anxious. When
Andrew
with the grandkids. But no matter
the two seem no longer capable
Silow-Carroll
how lucky you or they are, the
of living safely in their Brooklyn
conversations will one day become
apartment (I worried about them
less pleasant and more fraught. Mom
constantly, writes Ms. Chast), she
or dad will inevitably decline, and youll start
must convince them to consider assisted living the
to talk about options: perhaps an aide to help
kinds of places, she writes, with euphemistic names
around the house, or maybe a move to an assisted
like End-of-the-Trail Acres and Final Bridge Rest
living center. If, God forbid, one or the other dies,
Home.
you might ask the survivor if he or she wants to
Ms. Chast describes the options available for
live with you or would prefer to find a place.
those in lifes late stages (thats the clinical term,
One week you are helping to fill out permission
not hers) as a series of painful, unsettling, and
slips and college applications; the next, you are
obscenely expensive choices. Society, she suggested
cosigning advance medical directives and powerin her remarks, hasnt adapted to the reality of
of-attorney applications.
people living so long in poor or declining health.
This is the territory Roz Chast stakes out in her
We dont have the signposts we once had, she said.
variously hilarious and heartbreaking graphic
We dont talk about it as a culture. She suggests,
memoir, Cant We Talk About Something More
only half-joking, that the frail elderly be allowed to
Pleasant? The book is graphic in every sense.
live out their final years blissfully high on opium
Ms. Chast, an iconic New Yorker cartoonist,
or heroin, eating as much ice cream as they want.
chronicles her parents decline and fall in words
Extreme palliative care, she calls it, for when
youve had it with everything else: the
and drawings, using
X-rays, the MRIs, the boring food, and
the same spidery lines
the pills that dont do anything at all.
and ner vous enery
Would that be so bad?
that has made her the
poet laureate of middleMr. Kraemer, meanwhile, recalled
class neurosis. And the
a line from Philip Roths Everyman:
book is unsparing in its
Old age isnt a battle; old age is a
details about her parents
massacre.
personalities, their
Despite the medical emergencies
medical issues, their final
and the endless trips down the
days, and the searing mood
Depressing Aisle for adult
swings from guilt to
diapers and nutrition shakes, Ms.
amusement to exasperation
Chast also finds moments of love
that have afflicted anyone
and grace during her parents
tasked with caring for an
final years. But she knows that as
elderly relative.
much as we cherish our parents
Ms. Chast gave the Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture
and want whats best for them, caregiving is a
at the Jewish Theological Seminary last week,
clash of generous and selfish impulses. The
although what she delivered was less a lecture than
gallant daughter-caretaker treasures the time
a spellbinding performance based on her book.
spent with her parents, because she knows that
Although charming and as funny as her wonderfully
soon, theyll be gone. Meanwhile, the goofus
weird cartoons, Ms. Chast seemed militantly
daughter-caretaker mostly, when with her aged
unphilosophical. When David Kraemer, the JTS
parents, wishes she were somewhere else.
librarian and himself a scholar of Jewish death and
The evening at JTS ended on a sweet and
dying, sought to draw her out on the Jewish and
unexpected note. During the question-andspiritual ideas in her work, Ms. Chast wouldnt
answer period, three members of the audience
bite. (She didnt disagree when Mr. Kraemer
surprised Ms. Chast by explaining that they had
suggested that the book is a chronicle of the biblical
met her parents. One, a student of her fathers,
commandment to honor ones mother and father,
thanked him for turning his life around. Another
but suggested Torah was Mr. Kraemers bailiwick,
met them in a hospital where they boasted about
not hers.) When an audience member asked what
their daughter, the cartoonist. And another, an
she learned from watching her parents decline,
art teacher, said she taught the two how to make
Ms. Chast advised hiring an elder lawyer to help
paper cuts.
with the bureaucracy and buying a notebook to
Funny and sad, Ms. Chasts book is about how
write down your parents social security numbers,
two people die. These strangers reminded us all
medications, doctors numbers, etc.
how they lived.
Its clear that everything Ms. Chast has to say
Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor in chief of the New
on caring for ones aging parents is found on the
Jersey Jewish News, where this originally appeared.
228 pages of Cant We Talk. She describes her
18 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

Time to rethink
Holocaust
Remembrance Day?

o we need Holocaust
For what its worth, HETI
Remembrance Day?
has since clarified that there is
Since some of you
no ban on mentioning Israel at
may be incredulous
the Holocaust Memorial Day
that I even asked that question, let
commemoration in Ireland. Israel
me first explain why I am doing so.
will be referred to and the Israeli
Over the last week, a scandal
ambassador has attended and
has erupted in Ireland regarding
participated in the ceremony
whether or not Israel can be
since its inception in 2003 and
mentioned at the forthcoming
will do so again in January 2015.
official Holocaust commemoration
But there was no apoloy for
on Sunday, Jan. 25. (The official
the initial decision, and more
international remembrance day
importantly, no explanation as
follows two days later.) It was Yanky
to how it was reached. When I
Fachler, the avuncular Irish-Jewish
recently spoke to Yanky Fachler, he
broadcaster who has been master
told me that while it was unlikely
of ceremonies
that HETI would
of the event for
reinstate him as the
several years now,
commemoration
who alerted the
d ay s M C , h e
outside world to
wouldnt want
this development
the role anyway,
when he released
given the lack of
a letter from Peter
answers from the
Cassells, the chair
organization over
of Holocaust
w hy i t d e e m e d
Ben Cohen
Educational Trust
the mentioning of
I re l a n d ( H E T I ) ,
Israel to be, as the
informing him that
Germans might say,
he could not say the words Israel
verboten.
or Jewish state in any of his
I dont know whether HETI
remarks.
will ever provide us with an
After a subsequent tussle with
unvarnished account as to how
HETI, Fachler was informed that
it arrived at, and then apparently
his services as MC would no longer
revised, its ban on the mentioning
be needed. At the same time, Jewish
of Israel. Ive tried to get answers
leaders around the world, along
from Peter Cassells, but his office
with leading Irish personalities
has remained silent.
like Alan Shatter, a Jew who until
What I do know is that the
recently served as Minister of
controversy in Ireland neatly
Justice, condemned the decision
captures the tension between
on uttering the word Israel in
those who want to emphasize the
no uncertain terms. Ironically, at
universal lessons of the Holocaust
this years ceremony in Dublin,
and those who place the accent on
Shatter underlined the centrality
what the extermination of 6 million
of Israel to our understanding of
of our people means for future
the legacy of the Holocaust when
generations of Jews.
That tension shouldnt really
he said, Holocaust denial is the
be there. There is no reason why
favorite sport of some, in particular
we cannot first mourn those Jews
in Europe, and in the Middle East.
who died solely because they were
It is the first cousin of those who
Jews and salute those who resisted
still see Jews, for no reason other
the Nazi menace even as they
than they are Jewish, as legitimate
suffered from hunger and cold,
targets for hate speech and
while at the same time pointing
random violence and of extremists
to the Jewish experience during
who would, if they could, bring
World War II as a moral lesson
about a second Holocaust by the
against both future genocides and
extermination of the 6 million Jews
those that have occurred since the
who today are citizens of the state
Nazi defeat in 1945 (in Rwanda,
of Israel.
Bosnia, the Kurdish region of Iraq,
In other words, to prevent
and too many other locations).
another Holocaust, Jews need to
It seems that HETI, as Fachler
be able to defend themselves from
pointed out to me, cares more
outside persecutors and to do
about dead Jews than living ones.
that properly, they need a state.

Letters
Thats certainly one potential explanation
as to why HETI believes its manifestly all
right to grieve for those who died but
deny the right of their descendants to
express pride in the central achievement
of post-Holocaust Jewry: the creation of
the state of Israel.
Look at where this leads us.
Increasingly, Holocaust education is
becoming general tolerance education.
From warning against the evils of
genocide in general a legitimate and
important thing to do we now wield
the Holocaust as a tool to combat ills
from the bullying of overweight kids to
anti-immigrant rhetoric. And that means
we lose our perspective. You dont
need to invoke the Holocaust to explain
why harassing someone over their
appearance or their origins is wrong.
Equally, this same emphasis on one
human family is diluting the particular
lessons of the Holocaust for Jews, as

Increasingly,
Holocaust
education is
becoming
general
tolerance
education.
well as providing an opportunity for
anti-Zionist of whom there are many
in Ireland, as elsewhere in Europe to
scorn and demean the idea that Jewish
sovereignty is the best answer to the
persecution of our people.
So if commemorating the Holocaust in
the public sphere requires Jews to play
down their affiliation with Israel, and to
elide the intimate connection between
what the Holocaust represents and
the significance of a Jewish state in our
own time, then Id say we are better off
without Holocaust Remembrance Day.
That doesnt mean Jews should forget
about the Nazi extermination nor will
they, as the enduring power of Yom
HaShoah in Israel attests. But surely its
better to just commemorate it amongst
ourselves, and stress to the outside
world that self-determination is our
antidote to centuries of anti-Semitism,
than to be forced into ugly compromises
about when we can or cant mention
Israel.
JNS.ORG

Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for
JNS.org. His writings on Jewish affairs
and Middle Eastern politics have been
published in Commentary, the New York
Post, Haaretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and
many other publications.

What was Standard


thinking?

I have read many offensive editorials


in the Jewish Standard over the past 30
years, but What were they thinking?
(December 19) ranks among the worst.
The board of the Jewish Center made
a courageous decision to keep one of
Teanecks most important Jewish institutions within the Jewish community,
despite the fact that there was more
money available to them through a sale
of that institution to Holy Name Hospital,
and you have the unmitigated gall to castigate them for their decision!
Whats worse, you imply that the board
acted as it did because of some animus
toward the non-Jewish world.
Holy Name Hospital is a fine institution
and has gone out of its way to cater to the
Jewish community, but in the end it is not
a Jewish institution.
There is nothing shameful in maintaining a Jewish institution in Jewish hands.
Indeed, I suspect that the founders of
the Jewish Center would be proud of this
decision to provide a permanent home
for a Jewish school, despite the lucrative
offer from the hospital.
For the record, I have no association
with the Teaneck Jewish Center in any
capacity. But I do have infinite respect for
a courageous board of directors. While
the Jewish Standard is entitled to its point
of view, it is sad that you have taken to
task these individuals who merely seek
to maintain the infrastructure of the
Teaneck Jewish community.
Jerry Milch
Teaneck
As regards your editorial What were
they thinking? about the Teaneck Jewish Center, the proper question is, What
was the Jewish Standard thinking?
The Jewish Standard seems to think
that the board of trustees of a synagogue
should be pursuing profits as if it were
representing shareholders seeking a
dividend. Nothing can be further from
the truth. The first responsibility of the
officers and trustees of any non-profit
corporation is to fulfill the mission statement of the organization. All discussions
about how to raise money, how to spend
money and when to acquire and dispose
of assets is governed first and foremost
by how the decision reflects the core values and mission statement. The second
consideration is for decisions to be made
in accordance with the constitution and
by-laws of the organization.
The editorial of December 18th about
the sale of the Teaneck Jewish Center
building decries their not even considering the highest cash offer. This specious
logic denies the very nature of non-profit,
for it fails to ask the most fundamental
question. What would the board do with
an additional $4 million (the reported
discrepancy between Holy Names offer
and Heichal HaTorah)? Who is to say that

keeping this valuable piece of real estate


in the heart of the Jewish community as
an active asset in daily use by a Jewish
High School is not the best way to honor
the mission statement, constitution and
by-laws of the Teaneck Jewish Center?
Large parcels of real estate that are
suitable for Jewish schools, synagogues
and community centers within easy
walking distance or short drives from the
population they are designed to serve
are hard to come by. Transferring such
an asset to a health care institution is not
a decision to take lightly and certainly
not an action to be taken just because of
the money involved.
The Board of Trustees of the Teaneck
Jewish Center has some difficult decisions to make. They are the custodians of
a valuable asset that is no longer fulfilling
the organizations mission to serve the
Jewish community. The changing demographics of the Jewish community in Bergen County require the organization to
make difficult decisions about how to fulfill their mission. Criticizing them about
turning down a better cash offer gives
no constructive input. Gratuitous insults
about the size of the board of trustees relative to the membership a number that
is often defined in the constitution and
difficult to change are grossly unfair
and insulting to the Teaneck Jewish Center and to the intelligence of the Jewish
Standards readers.
Richard Langer
Teaneck
The writer is the Executive Director of the
Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Bronx, NY.

Wrong With the Wind

Please let me take exception to your column regarding Gone With the Wind for
two reasons.
First of all, the Jews you mentioned
were hardly proud Jews. Many of the
people made strong efforts to hide their
Jewish identity. David O. Selznick even
made films which were acceptable to the
Nazis. Werent there any proud Jews of
Hollywood the author could write about?
Secondly, the movies portrayal of slavery and Reconstruction were not merely
dated; they were out and out racist.
Author Margaret Mitchell herself was a
fan of Birth of a Nation and regarded
African Americans as less than human.
Both the book and the movie portrayed
slavery as a benevolent institution. (By
contrast, a contemporary, Mark Twain,
once described it as depriving both
the master and slave of humanity.) The
book, though less so the movie, showed
African Americans as incapable of any
governance during Reconstruction. In
fact, the governments containing African
American officials were far more competent and less corrupt than the all-white
governments which came about after the
end of Reconstruction.
Clearly, both the movie and the book
are part of American history. However,

both the movie and the book have a dark


side which should not be downplayed. As
Jews with our history, we should be the
last ones to do that.
Alan Mark Levin
Fair Lawn

Huckabee and the


Constitution

I am writing In regard to Anthony Grays


letter entitled Huckabee is unfit
(December 19), in which he states that
Mr. Huckabee would be well advised to
familiarize himself with the United States
Constitution....
Mr. Gray totally misunderstands our
founding document.
While Article VI, paragraph 3, forbids
the government from requiring religious
tests for office holders, the Constitution
does not forbid voters from following
Mr. Huckabees advice that the public
should fire politicians who do not hear
Gods heart.
The public fires politicians by voting against them; voters are free to
vote for whomever they wish for any
motive. Perhaps Mr. Gray is the one who
has a breathtaking ignorance of the
Constitution.
Calman and Rosalie Greenberg
Teaneck

Jews in Food Action

Contrary to the impression in the article


Rolling up our sleeves (December 19),
The Center for Food Action does indeed
have a Jewish presence. The National
Council of Jewish Women Bergen County
Section has been volunteering at the center for many years. We have weekly volunteers at the Englewood site who pack
food and others who make food appointments and direct calls for housing assistance. CFA is the recipient of an annual
grant from our community services budget as well as our monthly pass the basket donations.
On January 20, our general meeting
will be spent packing items for the Center for Food Actions weekend Snack
Pack program which provides healthy
snack-type food for distribution to kids
in four local elementary schools. This is
part of the community effort to reduce
childhood hunger in our neighborhoods.
We would welcome non-members assistance to help pack the packs. The
meeting will be at 12:30 p.m. at Temple
Emeth, 1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck. For
further information, contact Marcia Levy
at mllevy0648@gmail.com.
Gladys Laden and Ann Levenstein
Co-presidents
National Council of Jewish Women
Bergen County Section
Teaneck

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 19

Cover Story
A Whole New World
Female rabbis at forefront of pioneering prayer communities
ANTHONY WEISS

decade ago in Los Angeles, two


organizations opened their
doors with a call to prayer or
they would have if they had any
doors to open.
Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and
Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were
conceived separately. But when they
launched in 2004, both offered a novel,
and in many ways similar, approach to
Jewish spirituality and community regularly scheduled, rabbi-led services that
were not affiliated with any movement or
institution, that met in rented space, and
that were avowedly not synagogues.
We were trying to walk into the conversation about Jewish identity and community and ritual without preconceived ideas
about where we would land, Brous said,
describing the beginnings of Ikar. What
we were trying to do didnt follow any
model that already existed.
Since then, however, the format pioneered by Nashuva and Ikar has become
its own recognizable model, and similar

spiritual communities with a noticeably


common style have sprung up in a number
of other cities across the country.
Prayer is designed to be heartfelt and
arouse the spirit. Often there is clapping,
dancing, and singing without words. Worshipers tend to skew young, informal,
and hip. The groups dont own buildings;
typically they meet in up-and-coming or
already desirable neighborhoods.
The communities are led by charismatic
rabbis who stress innovation and outreach
to Jews who feel alienated from existing
Jewish institutions. They are nondenominational. They often dont know exactly
how to describe themselves.
And most, but not all, have one more
common element: They were founded,
and are still being led, by female rabbis.
In 2006, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum
launched the Kavana Cooperative in Seattle. In 2011, Rabbi Noa Kushner opened the
Kitchen in San Francisco and Rabbi Lizzi
Heydemann initiated Mishkan Chicago in
the Windy City. In 2012, Rabbi Lori Shapiro started Open Temple in the West Los
Angeles neighborhood of Venice.

The communities
are led by
charismatic
rabbis who stress
innovation and
outreach to
Jews who feel
alienated from
existing Jewish
institutions.
This new paradigm represented a sharp
break with the past and has found a receptive audience among a younger cohort.
As noted by David Myers, the chair of
the history department at the University of California Los Angeles, 20th-century American Judaism was defined in
large part by building brick-and-mortar

institutions. But the new rabbi-led communities are part of a 21st century spate of
innovation outside the established boundaries of Jewish institutional life.
[Younger] people feel that its much
more important to find their spiritual
voice than to build up an institution for the
institutions sake, Myers said.
Thus, these communities founded
by women are part of a much broader
landscape.
A number of male rabbis also have
formed and led innovative spiritual communities. Two are in New York: Rabbi
Andy Bachman founded Brooklyn Jews in
2003 and later folded it into the boroughs
Temple Beth Elohim, and Rabbi David Ingber started Manhattans Romemu, a Jewish
Renewal shul, in 2006.
Other models have proliferated, too.
Kehillat Hadar, founded in 2001, helped
launch a movement of independent, lay-led
minyanim that formed in cities throughout
the country to pray without clergy or professional staff. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue
in Washington, restored and relaunched in
2004, is now among several organizations

Dancing at an Ikar
event in
Los Angeles

At right, Amichai
Lau -Lavie translates the Torah
reading at Lab/
Shul services in
New York City.

20 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

Cover Story

From left, Rabbis Sharon Brous, Naomi Levy, Rachel Nussbaum, Noa Kushner, Lizzi Heydemann, and Lori Shapiro

housed in former synagogue buildings that


host a combination of prayer services and
community events.
Well-established synagogues also have
experimented with prayer services featuring nontraditional music, looser structures, and an emphasis on a warmer, more
communal feel. In Denver, for example,
Rabbi Bruce Dollin of the Hebrew Educational Alliance synagogue instituted a second service with drumming and a davening team to help lead that took a page
from independent spiritual communities.
But rabbi-led spiritual communities,
unaffiliated with a movement and untethered to a single home building, has
become one part of the Jewish world
where female rabbis have not only found
a foothold but have taken the lead as pioneers and innovators.
It hasnt been easy. The women who
founded these communities have struggled to build organizational structures
from scratch, to scrape together funds to
rent space and pay salaries, and to connect
with a target audience that often is disconnected from the normal channels of the

Jewish communities.
Some even have had to bypass roadblocks set up by existing Jewish institutions and colleagues who have seen them
as rivals.
Its a double-edged sword because on
the one hand, the excitement of creating
something from nothing is that you dont
have to deal with, Well, weve always done
it this way, Levy said. The frightening
part is not having any structure. When we
started Nashuva, we had no money, we
had no staff, we had no people. There was
no community.
Yet the enormous challenges also provide the opportunity for women to revolutionize spiritual and institutional life.
Many women aspire to leadership, but
they also aspire to change how leadership
is offered, said Shifra Bronznik, founding president of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, a
nonprofit dedicated to supporting female
professionals in the Jewish world. Thats
actually easier to do if youre building from
the ground up.
As noted by a number of the rabbis, as

well as a number of Jewish communal professionals, traditional Jewish institutions


and the lead roles in them have been
shaped largely by men. Thus, the increasing prevalence of female rabbis opens up
the space to rethink certain patterns.
By definition, having a woman rabbi in
your community means youre not going
to do things the way theyve been done for
the last 2,000 years, Ikars Brous, 41, said.
That creates a space for fluidity in organizational life.
Some of those changes involve aspects
of organizational life with a gendered component to them for example, the role of
a rabbi as the traditional male breadwinner, with a wife to take care of the family.
Theres an old-school model where
the rabbi is married to the congregation,
said Nussbaum, 38, of Kavana. Thats the
rabbis first priority, and the role is sort of
boundless around that.
In other ways, that sense of reimagining
also can penetrate approaches to the religious texts.
Women need to reinvent Judaism in
order to see themselves reflected in the

Jewish narrative, said Bronznick, who


has worked with several of these rabbis on
issues related to womens organizational
leadership. Theyre creating something
that never was, which is a Jewish narrative
authored in the voice of woman.
Strikingly, many of the innovative female
rabbis come from the Conservative movement, the most recent of the denominations to ordain female rabbis, in 1985. Levy,
Brous, and Nussbaum all were ordained
by Conservative Judaisms flagship Jewish

Many women
aspire to
leadership, but
they also aspire
to change how
leadership is
offered.
SHIFRA BRONZNIK

An Ikar event
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 21

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Theological Seminary, while Heydemann, 33, attended


the movements Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at
American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
Kushner, 44, ordained at the Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion in New York, is a Reform
rabbi like her father, Lawrence Kushner, who is also
an author, while Shapiro, 43, was ordained at the nondenominational Academy for Jewish Religion in Los
Angeles.
Not all of the female-led communities have broken
the mold in the same way. Thus, for example, Ikar and
Nashuva, the two early innovators in the field, have
taken somewhat different paths.
Levy, 52, describes Nashuva as a spiritual outreach
community aimed squarely at Jews who feel disconnected from Jewish life. Nashuva operates on a shoestring budget, with a payroll consisting only of Levy and
the members of its eight-piece band, and most of the
year meets just twice a month for Friday-night services
at the Brentwood Presbyterian Church and on a Sunday
for a community service event.
This is precisely as Levy wants it. She says she has
no desire to open a religious school, expand her staff,
or institute any kind of membership model. Instead,
Nashuva raises money only through voluntary contributions, including a suggested donation of $350 for the
High Holidays.
Although Nashuva remains nondenominational, Levy
has retained close ties to the Conservative movement.
A member of the first class of women admitted to the
Jewish Theological Seminarys rabbinic program, she
served on the executive council of the movements Rabbinical Assembly, and she travels regularly to speak at
synagogues about how they incorporate some of Nashuvas innovations into congregational life.
Ikar, by contrast, has expanded rapidly. Brous is now
one of two full-time congregational rabbis, along with a
permanent staff of 14, plus seasonal and teaching staff,
and Ikar operates a preschool and religious school. It
offers tiered membership plans and charges non-members for High Holidays tickets. (This reporter has been a
member of Ikar since 2009.)
In certain ways, Ikar also has served as the mother
ship of the rabbi-led spiritual community movement
and helped create a mentoring network among several
of the congregations.
When Nussbaum left her suburban Seattle congregation
to start Kavanah, she sought out Brous for advice. And
when Kushner decided to start the Kitchen, she spoke
to Nussbaum and Brous. Heydemann, in turn, served as
a rabbinic fellow under Brous at Ikar, and already had
known Kushner at Stanford University while she was an
undergraduate and Kushner was the Hillel rabbi.
Each of these communities, in turn, has developed its

own distinctive shape and culture.


Kavana is based on a cooperative model in which
members are expected to take an active volunteer role in
helping to put together and run events, and are encouraged to attend at least one community event per month.
The Kitchen has embraced an experimental, start-up
ethos. The founders partnered with a design firm, IDEO,
to help think through not only a design aesthetic for the
communitys materials (modern typefaces, no Judaica
motifs), but also the service itself from the ground up.
As befits its name (chosen to suggest an open, familiar
place to experiment and try things out), the Kitchen has
also made a point of partnering with trendy local restaurants for Shabbat meals.
Mishkan Chicago has established itself as a youngerskewing congregation particularly focused on singing
and prayer.
Several of the communities are moving toward affiliating with one another in a more formal way.
In May, Brous, Kushner, Nussbaum, and Heydemann
along with Romemus Ingber, Amichai Lau-Lavie of
Lab/Shul in Manhattan and Rabbi Scott Perlo (a former
rabbinic intern at Ikar) from Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
met at the Leichtag Ranch north of San Diego to discuss ways to work together more closely and potentially
articulate a common vision. The groups participants,
who jokingly call themselves the G7, said the discussions had not yet turned into anything concrete, but
suggested that something more definite would be forthcoming in the coming weeks and months.
They all stressed that they were not looking to form
any sort of movement.
The innovative communities and their rabbis increasingly are being cited as models for the Jewish future. Several were honored in the Slingshot Funds newly issued
directory of innovative Jewish organizations, and Levy
says she travels on a monthly basis to speak to synagogues about spiritual outreach and creativity.
How precisely these communities will evolve remains
an open question. And in certain ways, they already
have adding new services as the congregations grow
and as members needs and desires change. Kavana has
created a Hebrew immersion preschool and religious
school, and has added adult education programs as its
cohort of older congregants grows. The Kitchens Shabbatify program organizes Shabbat dinners of 12 to 20
people in participants homes, and the community is in
the process of opening a store to sell its self-designed
prayer books and a Passover game.
But Myers, an Ikar member from its early days, says
that as the communities grow and evolve, those that
wish to survive in the long term will inevitably need to
develop their institutional forms and find new ways to
generate and harness energy.
Ironically, the way to marshal and galvanize that new
energy is probably to get a building, he said.
Indeed, for the past several years Ikar has been looking into buying or constructing its own building. That
would represent a profound symbolic move from its
early days.
Ikar was the anti-building form of spiritual community, Myers said.
But ultimately, the rabbis argue, the measure of their
success or failure has nothing to do with buildings,
denominations, or labels. Rather, staying true to their
mission involves not differentiating themselves but staying relevant.
I dont think Im re-creating Jewish world, Kushner
said. Im doing my part for my generation.
These ideas of trying to bring immediacy, relevancy,
meaning these are not brand new ideas. Theyre ideas
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rapprochement with Castro regime
cause for concern
URIEL HEILMAN

or many Cuban Jews the majority of whom


now live in the United States it was a bittersweet week.
Like countless Jews around the world, they
cheered the release of Alan Gross, the American Jewish
telecommunications contractor who had been held in a
Cuban prison for the last five years.
But then theres the matter of reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.
For those old enough to remember the most brutal
years of the Castro regime, the idea of rapprochement
with a country still ruled by the Castro family (Fidels
brother, Raul, is now president) is more cause for concern than celebration. And while theres some acknowledgment that ending the embargo may bring some benefits for the Cuban people, it is surpassed by abiding
concern that the deal President Obama announced on
Wednesday will extend the life of a brutal dictatorship
whose crimes can be neither forgotten nor forgiven.
Castro is being saved today by Obama! bemoaned
Joseph Perelis, who came to the United States in 1961,
two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. In the
terms I see, this will allow Castro to maintain his grip
on power.
The newly announced deal with Washington, he said,
likely would enable Cuba to adopt the Chinese model:
a Communist regime where the army and the party are
enriched by capitalist enterprise while the cheap labor
of the people is exploited for the benefit of the regime
and its trading partners.
The old 1959 political refugees want a democratic
regime change: free press, free elections, free Internet,
a real improvement for the Cuban people, Perelis said.

Nancy Brook, who left Cuba in 1961 when she was 12,
expressed similar concerns, even as she acknowledged
the failure of Americas Cuba policy to dislodge the
Cuban regime.
It is obvious that the so-called embargo has not
worked, she said.
But will these new measures bring benefits and freedom to the Cuban people or just benefit the Cuban government and their bunch of thugs?
Brook has not been back to Cuba since she left. Her
parents came to the United States three years later, after
the two stores and eight-story building they owned were
confiscated by Castros Communist regime.
There is something of a generational divide among
Cuban Americans when it comes to the question of the
embargo. Many younger Cuban Americans say ending the long U.S. embargo may provide new opportunities to change life in Cuba for the better. But those
who witnessed the regimes crimes firsthand generally
believe there can be no rapprochement with a Castroled government.
The older Cubans, both Jewish and non-Jewish,
are mostly against because they suffered: They had to
abandon Cuba, they saw a lot of injustices, said Sergio
Grobler, a past president of the Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Temple Beth Shmuel. The younger
Cubans mostly are for an easing of the relationships
between Cuba and the U.S., because the most horrifying things happened before they were born. When
you dont see it with your own flesh, its different. But
I think it would be immoral to accept what has been
happening.
That generational divide is evident within Groblers
own family.
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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 23

Jewish World/Local
Cuban Jews
FROM PAGE 23

Grobler says his son has talked to him


about wanting to visit Cuba; visits by
Americans have been permitted to the
island nation for some time, so long as
they take place under certain conditions, such as under religious or journalistic auspices. Grobler says he has no
problem with his son going to see the
place his father grew up and visiting the
local Jewish community, but he himself
wont go until the Communist dictatorship has been removed.
I refuse to go to Cuba, Grobler said.
I refuse to do business with them. I will
go the day prior to the day there will be
elections in Cuba.
In the Perelis family, too, the generational divide is evident.
In general, younger Cuban Americans (myself included) see the embargo
as a stupid policy which only gives the
Castro regime an enemy to blame and
excuses for their incompetence and
absence of human rights, said Joseph
Perelis son, Ronnie Perelis, a Teaneck
resident who is a professor of Sephardic
studies at Yeshiva University and was
born in the United States. Nixon went

Guru
FROM PAGE 12

if any, mark-up in price. Since koshercertified cake mix costs no more than
uncertified cake mix, there is less incentive to intentionally defraud consumers. The complexity and high volume
of industrial food production, however, increased the risk of mistakes.
Rabbi Rosenberg instituted reforms that
reduced the risk of mistakes and counteracted any remaining incentives to
intentionally defraud consumers.
Having demonstrated to food executives the value of kosher certification,
the kashrut guru convinced them that
not all hechsherim were of equal quality.
In kosher certification, as in most businesses, you get what you pay for. Rabbi
Rosenberg developed the OUs good
name among industry executives and
consumers into Americas leading brand
of kosher certification. He asserted that
the OU provided the nations most reliable assurance of kashrut, and he supported this claim with concrete reforms
designed to reduce the potential for mistakes and wrongdoing within the organization. He hired a full-time professional
staff that set high uniform standards
for kashrut supervision throughout the
country and made sure that local rabbis working for the OU conformed to
them. To reduce the conflict of interest
that resulted when mashgichim were
paid by the companies whose products

to China. We have had diplomatic and


military relationships with dastardly
regimes from the Saudis to [the late Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet.
Yet Ronnie Perelis acknowledges
some ambivalence about this weeks
announced changes.
Clearly the embargo has been a failure and perhaps openness can open a
new way forward, he said. The chance
of person-to-person contact changing
things in small ways in the island is not
insignificant.
But, he added, the change may also
simply leave the regime in a stronger
position to continue their control of
the population without any democratic
change.
Marcos Kerbel, a past president and
now chair of the finance committee
at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation in
Miami, says the community is taking a
wait-and-see attitude for now.
Were all extremely happy about the
release of Alan Gross, Kerbel said. I
dont take political sides. We see in Congress there are some debates about the
new policy. My attitude right now is wait
and see whats going to happen.
JTA WIRE SERVICE

they certified, Rabbi Rosenberg insisted


that company clients pay the OU, which
would then pay mashgichim. In addition,
to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Rabbi Rosenberg forbade mashgichim from accepting any gifts from
clients. He believed that the OUs real
interest lay not in pleasing any particular company by reducing its demands
on them, but rather in building a reputation for reliability that would increase
the value of the OU brand.
In sum, Rabbi Rosenberg transformed
the OU and established the foundation
of the modern industrial kashrut system
by professionalizing supervision and
instituting new management controls.
The full realization of these reforms
would have to wait for the appointment
of Rabbi Menachem Genack, the OUs
current rabbinic administrator, in 1980.
Under more than three decades of Rabbi
Genacks leadership, the OU has trained
a new generation of kashrut professionals, with expertise in halachah and
industrial food production, and instituted a highly developed system of management controls, including extensive
oversight and sophisticated information
technology.
The roots of these accomplishments,
however, lie in the vision and efforts of
Rabbi Alexander S. Rosenberg. Thanks
to him, kashrut in America is no longer synonymous with corruption, but
instead with trust and reliability.

Alan Gross
FROM PAGE 7

Mr. Gross was in Cuba to set up Internet


access for the Cuban Jewish community
Jewish groups, ecstatic over the release
of the suburban Washington resident,
were cautiously optimistic in greeting
news of the thaw.
Dina Siegel Vann, the director of the
American Jewish Committees Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs,
said Gross release and the opening of ties
with Cuba is a twofer for the Jews: In addition to the benefits accrued to all Cubans
from open relations, she said, Cuban Jews
will have stronger ties to Jewish organizations, they will be much more in the
open. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Jews
live in Cuba.
Ms. Vann said improved U.S.-Cuba relations would have a rollover effect, removing obstacles to U.S. ties with other Latin
American countries and this in turn
would remove tensions that have affected
Jewish communities.
Cuba and Venezuela have a very interdependent relationship, she said. Anti-Semitism and anti-American rhetoric are being
used by the regime in Venezuela, and with
this thats being undermined.
Daniel Mariaschin, who directs Bnai Brith
International, a group with a strong Latin
American presence, said a new era of ties
will raise the profile of Latin American communities and interest in those communities.
Asked by the New Jersey Jewish News at
last weeks news conference in Paterson
to react to such views, Sen. Menendez said
they are dead wrong for the following reason: Smoking a cigar made by hands that
do not get paid directly but are in essence
slave labor and sunning yourself on Veradero
Beach and having a Cuba Libre which is an
oxymoron does not liberate the people of
Cuba.
Sen. Menendez said he personally intervened to help American Jews travel to Cuba
to help rebuild a synagogue in Havana. Nurturing the Jewish community or any other
community of faith is always a positive thing,
he said.
But Ive got to be honest with you, he
added. I see a lot of these trips and where
[they spent] a day or two in the community
and the rest of the time they were on the
beach. Being on the beach doesnt liberate
the Cuban people. Going to a hotel that is coowned by the state and co-owned by the military doesnt free the Cuban people.
Sen. Menendez suggested that Jewish
Americans should not only nurture the community in Havana but be voices of democracy and human rights. When people go
to Cuba, why dont they meet with human
rights activist, with political dissidents, with

independent journalists who are struggling


inside of a tyranny? he asked.
Sen. Menendez said Mr. Gross should have
been released immediately and unconditionally five years ago. He committed no crime
and was simply working to provide internet
access to Cubas small Jewish community.
Sen. Menendez was, however, critical of
the deal, technically separate from the Gross
release, in which the United States and Cuba
agreed to exchange three remaining incarcerated members of the Cuban Five, a
Florida-based spy ring, for an American spy
held in Cuba for 20 years and whose identity
remains a secret.
President Obamas actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. There is no equivalence between
an international aid worker and convicted
spies who were found guilty of conspiracy
to commit espionage against our nation, he
said in a Dec. 17 statement.

Being on the
beach doesnt
liberate the
Cuban people.
Going to a hotel
that is co-owned
by the state and
co-owned by
the military
doesnt free the
Cuban people.
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ

Added Sen. Menendez: Trading Mr.


Gross for three convicted criminals sets an
extremely dangerous precedent. It invites
dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips. I
fear that todays actions will put at risk the
thousands of Americans that work overseas
to support civil society, advocate for access to
information, provide humanitarian services,
and promote democratic reforms.
President Obama insisted that Mr. Gross
was not part of the spy exchange and that,
in fact, his imprisonment held up changes to
the U.S. Cuba relationship he had intended
on initiating years ago.
While Ive been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in our way, the president said in
remarks last Wednesday on the release of
Mr. Gross.
NEW JERSEY JEWISH NEWS AND JTA WIRE SERVICE

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24 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

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ISRAELI ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MINISTRY

A solar field grows in


Israel near oil spill
BEN SALES
TEL AVIV In the sun-parched fields near where the
largest oil spill in Israeli history poured millions of
liters of crude oil into the desert on Dec. 4, an ambitious effort is under way to help reduce global dependency on petroleum for energy.
Known as the Eilot Belt, the area is the site of Israels largest solar energy field. It is the locus of an effort
to provide by next year the daytime energy for the
areas 55,000 residents and fill all their energy needs
by 2020.
The areas eight commercial solar fields are part
of a wider initiative that aims to reduce the worlds
reliance on the black liquid that befouled a 3.5-mile
stretch of Israeli desert. The plan also includes a
model village subsisting entirely on renewable energy
sources and an incubator for clean energy high-tech
start-ups.
We have a lot of sunlight and a lot of open space, so
this is the most appropriate for us, said Dorit Banet,
CEO of the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative,
a local government body that aims to transform the
region into a global hub of renewable energy research
and development. The spill, Banet said, strengthens
the fact that we dont want to stop with oil, that we
want to do clean energy.
Banets organization hopes to make renewable
energy an economic growth engine for the Eilot Belt,
a region around the southern resort town of Eilat
that has traditionally supported itself with date and
dairy farming. Along with fostering the growth of
solar power plants, the Renewable Energy Initiative
designed an educational curriculum around renewable energy for local schools, runs international
SEE SPILL PAGE 27

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 25

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Jewish World
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FROM PAGE 25

renewable energy conferences, and offers tours of


the areas clean energy attractions.
The initiative, which has brought 80 jobs to the
area, also hopes to export Israeli expertise abroad.
Entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, who spearheaded
the construction of the areas first solar field in 2011, is
now marketing renewable energy solutions in Africa
based on his success in Israel.
We were supposed to use the success of Eilat-Eilot
as a region to say to places in Africa, this region is
going 100 percent solar during the day, so can you,
said Abramowitz, the CEO of Energiya Global Capital,
which recently built a solar field in Rwanda. The idea
was to show the State of Israel that its possible, and
then we wanted Israel to be able to demonstrate that
for the rest of the world.

To help develop alternative energy solutions for the


developing world, the Renewable Energy Initiative has
built a life-size model of an off-the-grid village, where they
test new technologies like biodiesel cooking or solar-powered lights. The village doubles as a tourist attraction and
a destination for school field trips, providing visitors with
an opportunity to experience alternative energy firsthand.
We want to raise awareness about renewable energy,
to show the activity in the desert plains, said Avital Nusinow, the initiatives training and education coordinator.
For tourists, its interesting to see how that works. Were
the only place with so many renewable energy facilities in
one place.
Clean energy entrepreneurship is nothing new for the
region. Lotan, a kibbutz founded by Reform Jewish immigrants in 1983, hosts a village of geodesic domes made
largely of earth and straw bales.
The domes, which house 20 students, need no heating,

and all other power needs come from solar panels on the
top of the kibbutz recycling center. Lotan resident Alex Cicelsky, who designed the domes, said the goal is a building that uses very little energy and has a small carbon
footprint.
The initiative is also encouraging the spread of renewable energy through its start-up incubator, which currently
houses six early-stage companies working on new energy
technologies. One is working to make solar panels more
efficient; another is integrating a solar panel with a wind
turbine.
The Renewable Energy Initiative hopes such technologies
spread across Israel and worldwide. But in the meantime,
Nusinow said, solar power is something to get excited about
in a previously struggling and now polluted region.
This is the agriculture of the future for us, she said.
Were harvesting the sun.
JTA WIRE SERVICE

BRIEFS

India is weighing
dropping
its pro-Palestinian
stance at United Nations
Like other foreign policy issues, the [Prime Minister
Narendra] Modi government is looking at Indias voting record at the United Nations on the Palestinian
issue, a government source told The Hindu, an Indian
daily newspaper, adding that the U.N. policy change
only needs an administrative nod.
The report indicates that India would shift from voting for the Palestinian cause to one of abstention. India
and Israel have enjoyed increasingly close military and
economic cooperation over the past two decades.
With the election of Modi earlier this year, many speculated that Israel-India ties would grow due to Modis
personal and business ties with the Jewish state, dating
to his time as chief minister of one of Indias wealthiest
and industrialized states.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Modi met for the first time last September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New
York to discuss bilateral ties and Irans nuclear program. Last week, Modi also sent out Chanukah greetings to his Jewish friends via his Twitter account.
May this Festival of Lights and the festive season
ring in peace, hope, and well-being for all, Modi
wrote.
The move by India comes as the Palestinians have
indicated their intent to push for unilateral statehood recognition in several international bodies. At
the same time, several of Israels long-standing allies
in Europe have passed non-binding legislative resolutions calling for recognition of Palestinian statehood.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 27

Dvar Torah
Vayigash: Closure, but not at any cost

ur secular year, 2014, is ending. We look to tie up the loose


ends. Sometimes putting the
year to bed involves something
simple, like paying off the last bill. But sometimes it is more complex.
It is so fitting, therefore, to read our parashah, in which Joseph is finally reconciled
with his brothers and his father. Josephs
brothers had sold him down to Egypt,
telling Josephs father that he was dead.
After a long, convoluted series of tests and
demands, Judah makes a passionate speech
in which he atones for the brothers sin in
selling Joseph and appeals to his mercy.
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, and
they embrace in tears. The brothers return
to Canaan to bring Jacob down to see his
favorite son. The father and son embrace in
tears. All is forgiven, the loose ends of the
story are tied together.
Yet the story contains a perplexing
detail. As Jacob travels down to Egypt to
re-unite with his beloved son, the Torah
describes a night encounter. When Jacob
reaches Beersheba, he has a Divine

vision, in which he is reassured not to be


afraid. Here is Jacob, on his way to meet
his favorite son whom he had long given
up for dead. What can he possibly be
afraid of ? Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin suggested that Jacob is afraid that his
descendants would become assimilated
among the Egyptians and take on their
culture and values.
We seek closure also after traumatic
events such as 9/11. I was reminded of
the possibility of assimilation when I
read some of the Jewish responses to the
report of the CIA torture program that
followed in the wake of 9/11. Officially
known as the Committee Study of the
Central Intelligence Agencys Detention
and Interrogation Program, the report
was written by the bipartisan United
States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence after five years of review. The
report lays out in excruciating detail
the cruel and inhumane ways our government treated prisoners. The report
further states that many of those tortured were innocent of any connection

28 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

to terrorists and that no


American values?
actionable information was
Rabbi Ar yeh Klapper
gained through the torture
teaches that endorsing torture fundamentally deseprogram, and concludes
crates Gods Name. The role
that those who participated
of Judaism is to raise moral
broke both American law
standards in the world,
and the Geneva Convention.
not to legitimate a lowest
Judaism, which so deeply
moral common denomistresses the infinite worth of
Rabbi Cathy
nator. The brutalities and
every human being, could
L. Felix,
savage inhumanities of our
never accept torture as a
Jewish Center of
enemies must not blind us
justified tool of interrogaSussex County,
tion, whether or not it is
to the impressive and genuNewton
ine moral commitments to
effective. So I was startled
human dignity, or to use the
to read that a prominent
Rabbinic term, kavod habrabbi has publicly endorsed
riyot. Torture, Rabbi Klapper reminds
torture as an acceptable government procedure. I was more surprised to read that
us, can never be a Jewish value. We can
51 percent of Americans in a recent Pew
only find a sense of closure after 9/11 if
Research Poll felt that torture was juswe return to our Jewish understanding of
tified. It made me wonder if the accepthe infinite worth of every human being.
tance of torture in some Jewish circles
We seek closure on our year of 2014 as
is influenced by the fact that half of all
Joseph found reconciliation with his family.
Americans are comfortable with the CIA
And we remember that our desires for closure cannot trump our Jewish value of the
torture program. Were Jacobs fears accurate? Are Jews assimilating our values to
inherent worth of every human being.

Crossword BY DAVID BENKOF

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1. Professional wrestler Jerry, born Jerome
Saganowich

5. Equivalent of the Yiddish-origin Phooey


10. Driving Miss Daisy, e.g.
14. In the Messianic Age, by tradition, the
whole world will realize Judaism is it

15. The first recorded use of Israel is found

on the Merneptah one


16. It comes after Saturday Night
17. Important Abba of Israel
18. Yeshiva boy of short story and cinematic
fame
19. Location of the Golan Heights on a world
map
20. The American Hebrew Academy (a Jewish
boarding school) is located there
23. Midwest location about a days journey
from TLV
24. Oy vey!
25. The Torah says theyre canceled every
seven years
28. Marx ___ (abbr.)
29. The Man Who ___ His Wife for a Hat by
Oliver Sacks
31. How to Get More Out of Being Jewish ___
If... (First nine words of a 1996 Jewish
book title with 36 words)
33. Janet Yellen runs it
34. Bane of Michael Bloomberg (abbr.)
35. The Dybbuk (1937) and The Golem
(1920)
40. Rapper Dicky
41. Id alternative
42. ___ the Woods (Sondheim movie musical released December 25, 2014)
43. Frustrating Simon Wiesenthal, perhaps
46. Thinker Ayn
48. Orthodox group that elects a patriarch
49. 1968 Nobel Peace Prize winner Cassin
50. Year in the early Geonic period
53. Levi, Gad, or Reuben - but not Joseph
57. Julianna Marguliess character on The
Good Wife might arrange one
59. Yinglish, e.g.
60. Alan of Allens Crimes and
Misdemeanors
61. Acted in a covetous fashion
62. Prominent media doctor with a Ph.D. in
physiology
63. Polite term used by Columbo
64. Mostel who was blacklisted during the
1950s
65. Sacha Baron Cohen/Isla Fisher and others
66. See 28-Down

The solution to last weeks puzzle


is on page 35.

Down
1. Employee of a dictator?
2. Place for a JNF tree
3. ___ Your Tongue (work about proper
speech)

4. Appointed as a shaliach
5. Title of a Robert Bloch book about Norman
Bates

6. Prepares stuffed cabbage, perhaps


7. Diplomat Kissinger
8. Shoshana Damaris voice type
9. Rebecca ran to it to get water for Eliezer
and his camels

10. Shuster and Siegel invented one named


Krypton

11. She was Denise Huxtable


12. Marvel Studios founder Arad
13. Behold, you are comely, my beloved, ___
pleasant... (Song of Songs 1:16)

21. No, Jews dont have them


22. They play a different role than egos, psychologically speaking

26. And a ___ even more so... (lyric from


Lydia the Tattooed Lady)

27. Matisyahu musical genre


28. With 66-Across, Jeremiahs grandson whose
halachic status was debated by rabbis

29. Way to start mitzvot?


30. The bride and the groom at a Reform
wedding might each say it

31. Actress Blunt who co-starred with Jason


Segel in The Five-Year Engagement

32. Kind of person on some IDF bases


33. Jew___ (hairstyle)
36. The ___ Commandments (1956 film)
37. Matzah brei ingredient
38. Borei Pri Hagafen refers to them
39. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, e.g.
40. ___ Miz (show with Claude-Michel
Schoenberg music)

44. The Road to El ___ (2000 animated


musical with Kevin Klines voice)

45. Amin of Entebbe infamy


46. Conservative alternative
47. Novelists Brookner and Diamant
49. Madoff, e.g.
50. Lama of The Jew in the Lotus
51. Tree of Lebanon
52. It chews its cud but does not have cloven
hooves

54. Hai land?


55. Was at the Arch of Titus?
56. Some offerings
57. Candy with a key role in a Seinfeld episode
58. Job complained that even if he washed his
hands with it, God would make him dirty
again

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 29

Arts & Culture


The Jews are coming

New Israeli series tackles Jewish history with hard-hitting comedic brilliance
SHOSHANA RAZEL
GORDON GUEDALIA

asada. 73 CE. A young man


in brown robes makes his
way through stone enclosures, around strewn bodies of his comrades, up a few steps, and
into what appears to be an office, at the
entrance to which the sign has the modern Hebrew acronym for Military Psychiatry Officer.
Why dont you tell me why you are
here, suggests the officer.
Well, says the young man, you see
the reason Im here, is, ummm I dont
want to kill myself.
That is entirely sane, the officer
assures him calmly. No one wants to kill
themselves.
Oh. Good.
But we must! says the psychiatrist.
This is Masada, after all.
But, the young soldier falters, What
do you mean? If so many people are killing themselves, does it really matter if one
doesnt?
Oh! retorts the psychiatry officer, So,
very nice, then I suppose everyone should
say to themselves, Let everyone else
kill themselves and I wont, who would
notice? Before you know it, no one would
kill themselves, everyone would live. Does
this seem logical? The mans voice is
angry.
Well, a bit?
No! the psychiatrist responds. Its
not! That is exactly what the Romans
want! We cannot stoop to their level! Do
you understand?!? he demands.

Abraham hears God telling him to sacrifice Isaac. Comedy ensues.

Now, if youll excuse me, says the officer, and he rises from his desk, strides to
the window, and before the young soldier
can say boo, hes out the window.
Welcome to the skewed comic world of
Hayehudim Baim, The Jews are Coming, the new Israeli television show that
brings a Monty Python sensibility to Jewish

Youre not the Rambam? asks a deflated fan at the door of the Ramban. Not
the Rambam, he replies, The Ramban.
30 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

history. The first half-hour episode aired in


November. By now, seven episodes have
aired and made their way to YouTube.
The Israeli daily Maariv dubbed it the
perfect satire, with every skit funny to
the point of tears.
Who could resist such a description? I
sat down with a friend to watch the first
few installments.
We laughed so hard it hurt.
We laughed even as it felt wrong to laugh
for instance, as a stone-faced Alfred
Dreyfus, falsely accused, is stripped of
his stripes and sword and even of his eyeglasses, putting up a struggle only when
the guards break apart his thousand-piece
puzzle.
We laughed when a dejected Ramban
(Nachmanides), depicted as living in a
medieval Spanish apartment building
beneath the Rambam (Maimonides), keeps
answering the door to fans and mail and
even flowers, always meant for his more
popular rabbinic neighbor upstairs. (Never
mind that that lesser-known rabbi and biblical exegete was only 10 years old when
the famous Maimonides died; this is comedy, after all.)

We laughed when Joseph so irritated


his brothers that they paid a passing slave
trader to take him.
We even laughed when well, not
everything fit to broadcast on Israeli television is fit to be described in this paper.
Not all the skits are as shocking as the
one conjuring a scenario depicting the
betrayal of Pollard by his Israeli handlers,
or that of Moses losing his cool with his
challengers, or that of legendary Zionist
fighter Yosef Trumpeldor being mocked
by his bitter wife, who feels neglected.
Some are simply silly.
Choni HaMeagel (the circlemaker) the
legendary talmudic figure who challenged
God during a drought by drawing a circle
in the sand and not leaving it until there
was rain starts to feel insecure after he is
joined in his circle by Shuli HaMeagel and
Rafi HaMeagel, who then invite more to
join their circle and crowd out poor Choni.
The legendary biblical songster, King
David, turns out to love nothing more than
singing songs about himself. (Me-EE, King
of Is-ra-el!)
And the prophet Jonah tries to hide from
SEE COMING PAGE 34

Calendar
Friday

Friday

DECEMBER 26

JANUARY 2

Shabbat in Teaneck:

Shabbat in Teaneck:

Rabbi Elimelech
Goldberg, founder and
international director
of Kids Kicking Cancer;
clinical assistant
professor, department
of pediatrics, Wayne
State University Medical
School, discusses A
Perfect God Created
an Imperfect World,
Perfectly Life Lessons
from Kids Kicking
Cancer, at Congregation
Rinat Yisrael, 7:45 p.m.
He is the also former
director of Camp Simcha
and Chai Lifeline and
Rabbi emeritus, Young
Israel of Southfield, Mich.
389 W. Englewood Ave.
(201) 837-2795.

Monday
DECEMBER 29
Blood drive in Teaneck:
Holy Name Medical
Center holds a blood
drive with New Jersey
Blood Services, a division
of New York Blood
Center, in the hospital
parking lot, 1-7 p.m.
718 Teaneck Road.
(800) 933-2566 or www.
nybloodcenter.org.

The Fabric of Life Handmade Wall


Hangings from Kishorit will be on display
at the Waltuch Art Gallery of the Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades, from January 4 to
27. Kishorit is a kibbutz in Israels Galilee. The opening
reception is set for Tuesday, January 6, from 7:30-9:30
p.m. 411 East Clinton Avenue, Tenafly. (201) 408-1493 or
www.jccotp.org.

JAN.

Free weekly
museum tours
Beginning on January 6, the Museum
of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Manhattan will
offer guided tours of its core exhibition. The drop-in tours, which are free
with museum admission, will begin
at 3 p.m. They will include all three
floors of the exhibition, which explore
Jewish Life a Century Ago, The
War Against the Jews, and Jewish
Renewal.
Interested visitors should meet
the gallery educator in the lobby of
the museum by 3. The tour is recommended for visitors who are at least
12 years old, and parents are advised
to preview the exhibition. For information, go to www.mjhnyc.org or call
(646) 437-4202.

Temple Emeth offers


services for families with
young children, 7:30 p.m.
1666 Windsor Road.
(201) 833-1322 or www.
emeth.org.

Sunday
JANUARY 4
Jews and humor in
Mahwah: Bob Mankoff,
the cartoon editor of the
New Yorker Magazine,
discusses How About
Never Is Never Good
For You? My Life in
Cartoons, at Beth
Haverim/Shir Shalom,
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Book signing will
follow. Refreshments.
280 Ramapo Valley
Road. (201) 512-1983 or
sthailer@optonline.net.

Wednesday
JANUARY 7
Networking in Wayne:
The Jewish Business
Network of New Jersey,
hosted by the Chabad
Center of Passaic
County, meets for an
informational session
and breakfast, 7:30 a.m.
Program will continue on
the first Wednesday of
every month. 194 Ratzer
Road. Rabbi Gurkov,
(973) 694-6274, or Cal
Uretsky, curetsky@
scientific-air.com.

Caregiver support in
Rockleigh: A support
group for those caring
for the physically frail or
people with Alzheimers
disease meets at the
Gallen Adult Day
Health Care Center at
the Jewish Home at
Rockleigh, 10-11:30 a.m.
Topics include long term
care options, financial
planning, legal concerns
and the personal toll
of caregiving. Shelley
Steiner, (201) 784-1414,
ext. 5340.

Friday
JANUARY 9
Shabbat in Closter:
Temple Beth El offers
services led by Rabbi
David S. Widzer and
Cantor Rica Timman with
the Shabbat Unplugged
Band, featuring
congregants, 7:30 p.m.
221 Schraalenburgh
Road. (201) 768-5112 or
www.tbenv.org.

Singles
Sunday
JANUARY 11
Senior singles meet
in West Nyack:
Singles 65+ meets for
a social get-together
at the JCC Rockland,
11 a.m. 450 West Nyack
Road. $3. Gene Arkin,
(845) 356-5525.

Winter Beit Midrash program in NYC


The Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus program of the Orthodox Union presents the first Intercollegiate Winter Beit
Midrash for its undergraduate and graduate students.
The JLIC program will highlight Jews
and the Broader Community, which will
analyze the role of Jews as the chosen people as it pertains to social/societal, religious, intellectual, and political matters.

The five-day program will go from Sunday, January 4, to Thursday, January 8,


from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Jewish Center, 131 W. 86th St., in Manhattan. Classes
will be held at varying levels of learning
for students from a variety of universities,
including Binghamton, Brandeis, Brooklyn and Queens colleges, Otis College of
Art and Design, University of Maryland
College Park; University of Massachusetts

Amherst; and University of Pennsylvania.


The OU, in partnership with Hillel,
administers JLIC.
The JLIC, which is at 21 universities in
the United States and Canada, places rabbinic couples to serve as Torah educators
on secular campuses, providing a support
system and vehicle for Jewish growth for
yeshiva and day school graduates and
other religiously committed students.

Tickets on sale for bergenPAC shows


Tickets went on sale this week for new
shows at bergenPAC in Englewood.
Burt Bacharach will perform on Saturday, March 7, and the B-52s on Saturday June 6, both at 8 p.m. Burt Bacharach, winner of three Academy Awards
and eight Grammy Awards, has 48
Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs, more than

500 compositions, and a landmark


50+year run on the charts. The B-52s,
known as the Worlds Greatest Party
Band, has a 35-year run with over 20
million albums into their career.
Go to www.ticketmaster.com or call
B-52s, above, and Burt
the box office at (201) 227-1030.
Bacharach.  COURTESY BERGENPAC
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 31

Jewish World

Obituaries
Rabbi Harold Schulweis
Rabbi Harold Schulweis, a longtime
Southern California spiritual leader and
a national leader in the Conservative
movement and beyond, has died.
Schulweis died Thursdaymorning at
his Los Angeles-area home following a
long battle with heart disease, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reported. He
was 89.
He was the longtime spiritual leader
of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Calif.
one of the largest congregations in
the United States for nearly 45 years.
Schulweis, the author of nine books,

helped found several Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Foundation


for the Righteous, Mazonl, and Jewish
World Watch.
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Schulweis
was raised in a secular Jewish family, but
began studying Judaic texts as a teenager and then attended Yeshiva College.
He received his rabbinic ordination from
the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1950.
Schulweis is survived by his wife of
64 years, Malkah, four children, and 11
grandchildren.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein arriving in Israel with the first group of immigrants
brought by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, on Monday.
INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS

Jewish-Christian fellowship
gets into aliyah game
CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Citing failures by the organization traditionally responsible for bringing Jews to
Israel, the founder of a Jerusalem-based
interfaith charity said his organization
would begin bringing more Jews to Israel
from Europe starting with Ukraine.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder of the
International Fellowship of Christians and
Jews, accused the Jewish Agency for Israel
of not responding quickly enough to the
demand for aliyah sparked by violence in
Ukraine, prompting the fellowship to launch
its own aliyah operation in the country.
The first group of 226 Ukrainian Jews
brought to Israel with the fellowships
help arrived Monday at Ben Gurion Airport. Two additional flights are expected
in coming weeks, Eckstein said.
More and more Ukrainian Jews are
open to moving to Israel and going on aliyah, Eckstein said. But there were too
many blockages in the system, too much
bureaucracy in the system to enable them
to go quickly enough.
Eckstein has sparred in the past with
Jewish Agency officials over what he said
was a lack of recognition of his organizations contributions. The fellowship has
given the Jewish Agency $170 million since
1994 donations that Eckstein has repeatedly threatened to suspend over what he
said was an attempt to obscure the Christian source of the funds.
The Jewish Agency denies the claim.
The agencys spokesman, Yigal Palmor,
said his organization cherished the contribution of the fellowship, but said it must
go through the Jewish Agency to become
involved in aliyah.
We will gladly share the Jewish Agencys
infrastructure with any group or individual
who wishes to cooperate rather than compete with our efforts, Palmor said.

Earlier this month, Israel implemented


special procedures to speed up the immigration process for people with Jewish origins from Ukraines conflict zones.
Eckstein said the fellowship decided
to become involved in aliyah because of
delays in getting Jews out of embattled
areas of Ukraine, adding that he may begin
to help organize emigration from Russia,
Muslim countries, and elsewhere.
The Jewish Agency has only one representative to Ukraine, Eckstein told JTA.
The Israeli Embassy was closed for business during critical times. Thats not the
way I work. I put together a team and we
started working.
Palmor said the Jewish Agencys efforts
resulted in the aliyah of over 5,100 Jews
from Ukraine in the first 11 months of 2014,
more than double the figure for the whole
of 2013. He declined to comment further
on Ecksteins criticism.
We are interested in overcoming the
unnecessary tensions that may have arisen
while this flight was being put together,
and in cooperating for the greater cause
of encouraging aliyah, Palmor said. The
Jewish Agency is working intensively in
Ukraine and elsewhere and is thankful of
the contribution of its partners, including
the fellowship led by Rabbi Eckstein.
Perhaps mindful of the millions Eckstein contributes, Jewish Agency officials
would not criticize him on the record,
though one did note that emigres received
a $1,000 grant from the fellowship on the
condition that they flew with the group
flight on Monday.
They are ready to accept the money
but not to say thank you, and we wont tolerate it anymore, Eckstein said. Weve
been trying to get the Jewish Agency to
acknowledge our donors publicly, but
it hasnt happened, so we took our own
JTA WIRE SERVICE
route.

32 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

The sTaff of The


Jewish sTandard exTend Their
deepesT condolences To ediTor

Joanne palmer on The loss


of her beloved faTher,

Joseph palmer, zl
May Joanne and her family
be comforted among the mourners
of Zion and Jerusalem.

Obituaries
Doreen Lajkiewicz

Doreen Sheila Lajkiewicz, ne Birnbach, 68, of


Mahwah, died Dec. 18.
Born in Brooklyn, she is survived by her husband
of 36 years, John; sons, Brian of Texas and Neil of
Pennsylvania; and one grandchild.
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.

Major Landau

Major Landau, 89, of Hackensack, formerly of Teaneck,


died December 20.
Born in Jersey City, he was a lighting designer, specializing in the architectural, theatrical, and commercial
fields.
He was very active at the Teaneck Jewish Center, serving as president, mens club president, and in many
other roles. He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran
serving in Europe for three years as a forward observer.
Predeceased by a son, Fred, he is survived by his wife,
Natalie; children, Iris Fisher (Eugene), and Jerry; and two
grandsons, Paul and Andrew Fisher.
Contributions can be sent to the Jewish Center of
Teaneck or Congregation Shomrei Torah in Wayne.
Arrangements were by Gutterman and Musicant Jewish
Funeral Directors, Hackensack.

Ruth Roth

Ruth Y. Roth, 105, ne Yuran, of New York City,


formerly of North Brunswick and Jersey City, died
December 18.
Before retiring, she worked in fur sales in Manhattan.
She was a member of Congregation Ahavath Achim
of Highland Park. A niece and nephew and great- niece
and great-nephew survive her.
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.

Steven Wachtel

Steven J. Wachtel, 62, of Fort Lee, died December 16.


Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.

Sam Levinson of Edmonds, Wash., formerly of Fair


Lawn, died December 15. Arrangements were by Louis
Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn.

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Joseph Palmer, 88, of Oceanside, N.Y., died December 21.


Born in Brooklyn, he is survived by his wife, Lorraine;
children, Joanne Palmer, Lynn Makler, and Michael
Palmer; son-in-law Andrew Sherman; daughter-in-law
Cathy Palmer; grandchildren, Miriam Palmer-Sherman
and her husband, Rabbi David Vaisberg; Sara and Stephen Makler; Gregory, Natalie, and Allison Palmer; and
Nava Sherman-Vaisberg. He was predeceased by granddaughter Shira Palmer-Shermanand son-in-law David
Makler.

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Anna Rosenberg, ne Gutkin, 108, of Clifton, formerly


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Predeceased by her husband, William, and a
daughter and son-in-law, Charlotte Herman (Harvey),
she is survived by a son, Melvin, four grandchildren
and seven great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel,
Fair Lawn.

Erna Weigl, 94, of Clifton, formerly of Vineland and


Israel, died December 7. She was a longtime resident of
Daughters of Miriam.
Born in Germany, she was a retired nurse and a
member of Chevra Kadisha of Vineland.
Predeceased by her husband, Dr. Alfred, she is
survived by nephews in Israel.
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 33

Jewish World/Arts & Culture

Libeskind-designed Holocaust monument


collecting dust in Toronto warehouse
JOSH TAPPER
TORONTO Mere days after the Wheel
of Conscience was unveiled in January
2011, it broke down something that
would happen to the Daniel Libeskinddesigned Holocaust monument twice
more within the year.
In January 2012, the wheel broke
again and was sent from its home at
the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21,
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for repairs at a
Toronto warehouse.
Ever since, thats where Canadas first
and only Holocaust monument outside
a Jewish community institution has been
sitting and, in the words of Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish
Congress, collecting dust.
Its really a slap in the face for Holocaust survivors, Farber said. (The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA,
absorbed the Canadian Jewish Congress
in 2011, but the wheel remains the property of the CJC.)
Three years on, it is unclear if the
wheel will ever return to Halifax and
the Jewish community is divided over
whether it belonged there in the first
place.
The Wheel of Conscience, which
features four interlocking, mechanical rotating gears, commemorates the
doomed voyage of the M.S. St. Louis, a
ship carrying 937 refugees fleeing Nazi
Germany in 1939. Wandering at sea for
nearly a month, the St. Louis was turned
away at ports in Havana and Miami
before Canadian authorities denied it
safe harbor in Halifax.
The ship ultimately returned to
Europe, where 254 of its passengers died
in the Holocaust.
The wheels four glass-encased gears
are labeled with four words: anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hatred and racism. As
they rotate, the gears slowly create and
deconstruct a black-and-white image of
the St. Louis.
Libeskind, the internationally prominent architect who designed the Berlin
Jewish Museum, has said the drawnout process is meant to represent the
bureaucratic gears of Canadas prewar government that rejected the
ocean liner. The back of the wheel is
emblazoned with the entire passenger
manifest.
According to Farber, who visited
the monument at the warehouse in
mid-December, the wheel has been in
working order for about a year. Still, it
remains closed to the public.
Marie Chapman, CEO of Pier 21, a federally funded national museum, and
Shimon Fogel, CEO of CIJA, an advocacy

The Wheel of
Conscience
monument
commemorates
the doomed
Holocaust-era
voyage of the
M.S. St. Louis.
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF
IMMIGRATION AT PIER 21

organization affiliated with the Jewish


Federations of Canada, have blamed the
wheels mechanical failures on coastal
environmental factors such as humidity and constant shifts in pressure and
temperature.
Chapman said the wheel emitted
a burning smell while its gears were
rotating.
Its a beautiful one-off design that for
whatever reason doesnt work when it
gets here, she said.
The monument, which was built with
a $500,000 grant from the Canadian
government, has also fallen victim to
simple carelessness. It broke in January 2012 after workers lost control and
dropped the wheel while unloading it
from a truck into the museum.
It had just arrived back in Halifax from
Toronto after a round of repairs.
Chapman said the wheel has no doubt
had a difficult time in Halifax, but
stressed that it will always have a home
on the East Coast.
I want it to work, it needs to work,
she said. If it can work at Pier 21, thats
great.
But, she added, Its not the only place
it could be.
The question, then, is where the
Holocaust memorial belongs at Pier
21, its intended but ill-fated home, or
another site, such as the new Canadian
Museum for Human Rights, in Winnipeg, or the outdoor National Holocaust Monument, which Libeskind
will design and is expected to open in
Ottawa next year.
There is little consensus, however, as
to where the Wheel of Consciences frustrating journey should come to an end.
In an interview with JTA, Fogel, whose
organization is working with Pier 21 to
resolve the issue, said the Holocaust
memorial site in Ottawa would be an
ideal location. The federal Department
of Canadian Heritage said in a statement

34 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 19, 2014

that CIJA and the museum are working to


find a home for the Wheel that is closer to
the manufacturer and provides a more
appropriate environment.
In other words, not Halifax, home
to approximately 1,500 Jews. (Pier 21 is

Coming
FROM PAGE 30

God in a horse costume before meeting


Pinocchio in the belly of the fish.
Long before the show aired, it was
already criticized following reports of skits
making fun of sensitive topics from recent
Israeli history. There was the one depicting an increasingly frustrated Baruch Goldstein who killed 29 Muslims in the Cave
of the Patriarchs in 1994 losing it when
God never answers his letters. And then
there was the one featuring Yigal Amir
who killed Yitzhak Rabin at the family
dinner table, where the Amir family shares
their daily frustrations, idly suggesting
murder as the solution to every predicament, but stopping short aghast when
Yigal asks the family what they think of
Rabin. How many times have I asked you
not to discuss politics at the table? his
father chastens him. His family glares at
him and he falls silent.
The sting of the criticism seemed
sharper since the show was running on
Channel One, the government channel
financed by Israeli taxpayers.
The shows creators, Asaf Baizer and
Natali Marcus, denied a partisan intent.
We are here to make people laugh,
they told Ynet in late November. The
series has no one specific political stance.
We examined history and Zionism and
sought out many perspectives. Our main
statement is that everything is a matter of
interpretation. There is room for interpretations and for asking questions.
We knew that such material is
very sensitive, said Marcus, and we

currently closed for renovations, but is


slated to reopen in May.)
But Sidney Zoltak, co-president of the
Canadian Association of Holocaust Survivors
and Descendants, said Pier 21 is the only
place for a monument remembering one of
the darkest moments in Canadian immigration history. Had the St. Louis been permitted to dock in Halifax, its passengers almost
certainly would have entered Canada at Pier
21, which like Ellis Island was a major point
of debarkation for thousands of immigrants
to North America.
For Zoltak, a Polish Holocaust survivor
who landed at Pier 21 in May 1948, the decision to station a federally funded memorial
to a failure of Canadian immigration policy
at one of the countrys historic immigration hubs was a symbolic apology by the
government.
If you take that monument away and put
it somewhere else, that apology, as far as Im
concerned, is not there, he said.
JTA WIRE SERVICE

approached it with grave respect and with


much thought.
It would make me very happy, said
Beizer, if the relative success of The Jews
Are Coming would remind people that
there is a thirst for scripted humor, and
certainly for satire, and that there is not
enough humorous programming. There
is too much reality, and I would be happy
if people understood that this material of
ours works, and that people want it.
This rings true. My grandfather was a
partisan fighter in the woods of Belarus
during the war and one of the funniest
people I ever met. His humor was offbeat,
hard-hitting, and irreverent. And this past
summer was made tolerable only by the
hearty spirit of family and friends in Israel,
which shone through their oft-shocking
jokes and wry remarks.
Jewish humor has long been seen as an
antidote to our precarious position on the
world stage. What The Jews Are Coming
shows us is that even when we are established in our own state, with our own government-run television channels with high
production values, we still havent lost our
sense of humor.
By providing the most absurd lenses
upon day-to-day situations found throughout Jewish history, by re-envisioning stories and legends and ambiguous historical
moments with a fine blend of deep human
empathy and chutzpah, the cast and writers of The Jews are Coming promise to
keep us in stitchesstronger for our ability
to laugheven as they challenge us all to
examine ourselves with eyes wide open.
And that is something to smile about.

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NO JOB IS TOO SMALL!

Antiques

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Free Estimates

Visit us online at: www.apluslimo1.com E-mail: apluslimo@earthlink.net

We pay cash for


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Used Furniture
Oil Paintings
Bronzes Silver
Porcelain China
Modern Art

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of the

Antiques Wanted
WE BUY
Oil Paintings

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Bronzes

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Furniture

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Chandeliers

Chinese Art

Bric-A-Brac

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Established by Bubbe in 1940!

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Shomer Shabbos

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NICHOL AS
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Estates Bought & Sold

Fine Furniture
Antiques
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U
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Driving Service

MICHAELS CAR
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Airports Cruise Terminals


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Sculpture Paintings Porcelain Silver
Jewelry Furniture Etc.

TOP CASH PRICES PAID


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sterlingauction@optonline.net
70 Herbert Avenue, Closter, N.J. 07642
Mohels
MOHEL
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TRAINED AT & CERTIFIED BY HADASSAH HOSPITAL, JERUSALEM
CERTIFIED BY THE CHIEF RABBINATE OF JERUSALEM

973-334-6044
www.rabbichirnomas.com

Jewish Standard december 26, 2014 35

Gallery
1

n 1 Second graders at Moriah received their first Chumashim. They also presented a play that highlighted significant events in Jewish history. COURTESY MORIAH
n 2 More than 25 children from the Chaverim group at
Waynes Shomrei Torah attended a Chanukah dance
party with Miss Ashley. COURTESY SHOMREI TORAH
n 3 For Chanukah, children at Lubavitch on the Palisades Preschool sang songs, made projects, and lit
the menorah at their class parties. COURTESY LOTP
n 4 The Tink group (knit spelled backwards) of the Jersey Hills
section of the National Council of Jewish Women donated
handmade hat, scarf, and mitten sets to every kindergarten
and first grade child at School #3 in Passaic. COURTESY NCJW

36 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

n 5 The two-year-olds class at Temple Sinai of Bergen County


in Tenafly baked cookies for Chanukah. COURTESY TEMPLE SINAI
n 6 Children in the Glen Rock Jewish Center Nursery School and
Kindergarten enrichment program collected 125 pairs of pajamas
as part of Scholastic Books Great Bed Time Story Pajama Drive.
Scholastic donates two books for every pair of pajamas. The books
and pajamas are donated to needy local families. COURTESY GRJC
n 7 Children and their parents enjoyed a Chanukah party at the Leah Sokoloff Nursery School at Congregation Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn. COURTESY LSNS

Real Estate & Business


BANK-OWNED PROPERTIES

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Daniel M. Shlufman
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MLO #6706
dshlufman@classicllc.com

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Visit our Website
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www.RussoRealEstate.com

FIRST PLACE
REAL ESTATE AGENCY

(201) 837-8800

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 37

SELLING YOUR HOME?

Real Estate & Business

Area rugs provide a quick and colorful change to a rooms look.


CREATORS.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF FLOORING.COM

Call Susan Laskin Today


To Make Your Next Move A Successful One!
BergenCountyRealEstateSource.com

Cell: 201-615-5353

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.

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38 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014

Rug refresh
SHARON NAYLOR

or an easy room refresh, simply add a new area rug. Unlike


the complicated task of a fullroom rug installation, all it
takes to create a new feel for a room is
to unroll an area rug of any size, set it in
place and call it a day.
Area rugs achieve several decor goals
at once: adding color, adding texture,
and defining a space within a room,
such as a sitting area or an area for play
or sleep. For example, a large area rug
placed beneath a bed becomes a sort
of frame for the bed, and depending on
your choice of color and material, a rug
can add warmth to a room or a dramatic
pop of color in that neutral room you
find so boring.
An area rug can change the look of a
room, making it seem as if youve just
painted, and can elevate the look of
your furniture say, by bringing out the
shade of your couch or the soft texture of
its suede material.
Best of all, this is one remodel that
can be done on a budget, especially
if using home-decor store coupons or
reward points to load up on area rugs
for several rooms at once.
Here are the top five new trends in
area rugs to help inspire you:
Shape. Area rugs arent just the
traditional rectangular styles you may be
used to. Now, you can find square rugs,
ovals, and circles to create your desired
effect.
Graphic patterns. In a simply
designed room with little pattern,
area rugs add a punch of artistry to
the space. According to the design
team at the Home Design Lover blog
(homedesignlover.com), trendy patterns
for area rugs include oversized geometric
shapes, colorful checkerboard patterns,
cobblestone, branches, and other nature
motifs including birds, black-and-white
lace for a formal bedroom or bathroom
design, oversized stripes that create a

nautical theme, and pairing two vibrant


shades for a childs playroom.
Layered rugs. Shelly Hill, associate
editor at the online furniture company
Wayfair.com, says, To create a space
thats unique and full of warmth,
consider layering two (or even three)
area rugs on top of each other. A few
popular combinations are: jute or sisal
and animal hide, multiple kilim rugs, and
flatweave and sheepskin. The key to this
trend is to keep the larger bottom rug in
a neutral color. By setting a neutral base,
you can layer a fun, colorful or patterned
rug on top, and it wont clash or become
too overwhelming. Hill advises making
sure the top rug is at least 12 to 18 inches
smaller than the bottom rug so that you
can see the contrast between the two.
Message on a rug. Messages are not
just for wall hangings. Every morning
when you walk into your kitchen to
make your coffee, you can see This
day will be beautiful on the rug at the
foot of the sink, or be reminded to live,
laugh, love on an area rug set before
your coffee maker. Kids rooms could
have custom-worded rugs, such as
Zoes Magic Carpet, and an area rug in
your walk-in closet could feature a sassy
phrase like, You look amazing, darling!
The effect of a rug. The experts
at custom bathroom design company
Birdsall Bath say that a custom, ornate
mosaic tile pattern incorporated into
your bathroom floor tiling can create the
look of an area rug placed in front of an
armoire or in front of his-and-hers sinks.
Remember that just like wall-to-wall
rugs are now made with recycled and
eco-friendly materials, so, too, are area
rugs. So explore your options in rugs
made from ultra-soft bamboo and other
materials to ensure they are comfy to
walk, stand and play on, yet not too
plush so as to pose a tripping hazard
for your family and guests. Try them
out in-store to be sure they pass the
touch test and are ideal as a functional
CREATORS.COM
element of your room.

The Art of Real Estate


NJ:
NY:

Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY
CHELSEA

201.266.8555
T: 212.888.6250
T:

201.906.6024
M: 917.576.0776

Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ

M:

UPPER WEST SIDE

EAST VILLAGE

GREENWICH VILLAGE

The Greenwich House. A Chelsea gem.

Grand 3,000 sq. ft. corner unit. $22,000/mo

Studios, 1 & 2 BR. From $2,400/month.

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BEDFORD STUYVESANT

MIDTOWN EAST

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5 BR/3.5 BTH Triplex. $8,995/month

Garden duplex plus rental apartment. $980,000

Great unit. Breathtaking courtyard. $340,000

ENGLEWOOD

ENGLEWOOD

ENGLEWOOD

ENGLEWOOD

J
SO UST
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!

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BY
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OW OV
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TO D
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ST ORM
UD A
IO N
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CO AO
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Great 5 BR/4.5 BTH Colonial. $1,325,000

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Custom designed 1.7 acre retreat w/pool.

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FORT LEE

FORT LEE

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LIS JUS
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Exquisitely renov. Old Smith Village Colonial.

Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!

www.MironProperties.com
Each Miron Properties office is independently owned and operated.

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 26, 2014 39

Store HourS

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666

SuN - tue: 7AM - 9PM


WeD: 7AM - 10PM
tHurS: 7AM - 11PM
FrI: 7AM - 2 HourS
BeFore SuNDoWN

Tel: 201-855-8500 Fax: 201-801-0225

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Loyalty
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Sale effective
12/28/14 - 1/2/15

Fine Foods
Great Savings
CEDAR MARKET

Loyalty
Program

CEDAR MARKET

5/$

PKGS.

Sweet
Clementines

MEAt DEPARtMENt
Fresh

Fresh

American Black Angus Beef

Boneless
Cholent Meat

89

Assorted

Sabra
Salads

2/$
8 OZ.

original

Floridas Natural
orange Juice

$ 99

59 OZ.

original

Philadelphia
Cream Cheese Bar

$ 79

original or Chewy only

Nabisco
Chips
Ahoy!

8 OZ.

$ 99

Qt.

Cauliflower Kugel
Jerusalem
Kugel

$ 99

$ 99
8 oz.

Assorted

Mauzone
Mania
Biscotti

2/$
6 OZ

Cottage Cheese

Friendship
Fit to Go

79

5 OZ.

Assorted

Dannon
Yogurt

2/$
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reddi Wip
Whipped topping

$ 99

$ 99

6.5 OZ.

Assorted

Assorted

Simply
Lemonade

2/$

59 OZ.

Assorted

Sabra
to Go!

2/$

4.56 OZ.

Assorted

89

17 OZ.

Honey roasted only

$ 99

$ 79

14.315.35 OZ.

14.5 OZ.

Save on!

original Chicken Noodle only

Glicks
Chow Mein
Noodles

Gefen
Cup of
Soup

4/$

4/$
10 OZ.

FROZEN

2.3 OZ

$ 99

6 PK.

Chocolate Chips only

eggo
Pancakes

2/$

14.8 OZ.

Save on!

real Kosher
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Save on!

Goodmans
onion Soup
Mix

$ 99

12 OZ.

Save on!

Birds eye
Whole Kernel Corn

79

10 OZ.

ea.

Crispy
Dragon

1150

$
FISH

ea.

Breaded
Flounder

$ 99
lb.

Frozen

tri-Color
Gefilte Fish

99 $1399
2.75 OZ.

EA.

Salmon
Quaker With Seafood
oats

old Fashioned or Quick

$ 89

18 OZ.

1199

lb.

Check out our New Line of Cooked Fish

HOMEMADE DAIRY

original only

Kedem
tea original only
Biscuits tuna

5/$
4.2 OZ.

$ 49

28.8 OZ.

Mendelsohns
Pizza Squares

lb

Gefen
Dairy Creamer

$ 99

Save on!

550

$ 99

Salad

BAKERY
`

Non Dairy

Save on!

Moms
Chicken Nuggets

2/$
6 PK.

ea.

roll

lb

$ 99

Nabisco
Post
oreo Honey Bunches
Cookies
of oats

Swiss Miss
Puddings

75
4
California

ready to Grill

Sparkling
Ice
Water

original and Double Stuffed only

4.5 OZ.

$ 99

lb

6 OZ.

Ground Lamb
Shish Kebab

4/$

tropical
roll

Lamb
Shwarma

lb

$ 99

original only

FISH
SUSHI
`

ready to Cook

ready to Bake

Near east
rice
Pilaf

16 oz.

DeLI, SouPS, SALADS, K


KuGeLS,
LS, DIPS, APPetIZer
APPetIZerS & MuCH More

$ 99

Fresh

16 oz.

Kugles & Souffles

Jalapeno Dip
Grilled Eggplant
Pesto Basil

thin Cut

13 OZ.

96 OZ.

Garden Red Bliss


Tri Color Pasta
Rainbow Quinoa

Savory Dips

Boneless
Fillet Steak

lb

Gourmet Salad

$ 99

American Black Angus Beef

$ 99

2/$

Save on!

13 OZ

14. OZ.

$ 99

$ 99

DAIRY

for

MARKET

Spinach Egg Drop


French Onion

Ground
Breaded
Chuck Chicken Drumsticks
lb

2/$

Nutella
Shibolim
Hazelnut Whole Wheat
Spread
Knockers

4/$

Super
Family
Pack

Seasons
Hearts
of Palm

Mazola
Canola
oil

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Hunts
Barbecue
Sauce

lb

Whole only!

Save on!

4 PK.

original

2/$

$ 99

lb

16 OZ.

99

15 OZ

99

Hunts
Snack Pack
Gels

18 OZ.

Strawberry, Straw./orange, Sugar Free Cherry,


and Sugar Free Strawberry/orange only

Don Pepino
Pizza
Sauce

organic
Broccoli

Boneless
Pot roast

$ 99

Save on!

2/$
40 OZ

Chicken
Wings

ronzoni
elbows
& rotini

Mikee
Duck
Sauce

Save on!

for

American Black Angus Beef

Baby
Back ribs

Sweet & Sour

15 OZ.

lb.

American Black Angus Beef

Fresh

$ 99

lb

gROCERY

99

69

Fresh

99

lb

Boneless
Lamb roast

$ 99

Hunts
tomato
Sauce

$ 89

lb

original only

Super
Family
Pack

Chicken
Cutlets

$ 29

Granny Smith
Apples

2/$

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666


201-855-8500 Fax: 201-801-0225
www.thecedarmarket.com
info@thecedarmarket.com

DELI SAVINGS
Homemade Soups

Loyalty
Program

Cedar Markets Meat Dept. Prides Itself On Quality, Freshness And Affordability. We Carry the Finest Cuts Of Meat And
the Freshest Poultry... Our Dedicated Butchers Will Custom Cut Anything For You... Just Ask!
Super
Family
Pack

Whole Chickens
Cut in 1/4s or 1/8s

for

4/$
bags

5/$

Baby
Carrots

for

5 lb. bags

6/$

4/$

Two
In A
Pack

box

Navel
oranges

Yellow

Pomegranates

5/$

$ 99

onions
2 lb. bags

eastern
Potatoes

Fresh
Kale

ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC

Mushrooms

Gift Box

organic

ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC

PRODUCE
Cello

at:
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t
e
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www.thecedarma

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666


201-855-8500 Fax: 201-801-0225
www.thecedarmarket.com
info@thecedarmarket.com

MARKET

TERMS & CONDITIONS: This card is the property of Cedar Market, Inc. and is intended for exclusive
use of the recipient and their household members. Card is not transferable. We reserve the right to
change or rescind the terms and conditions of the Cedar Market loyalty program at any time, and
without notice. By using this card, the cardholder signifies his/her agreement to the terms &
conditions for use. Not to be combined with any other Discount/Store Coupon/Offer. *Loyalty Card
must be presented at time of purchase along
with ID for verification. Purchase cannot be
reversed once sale is completed.

Melt
Cookies

16 OZ.

EA.

$ 49

16 oz

PROVISIONS
`
Sliced
Birds eye
Shor Habor
Steamfresh
Whole Green Beans Smoked turkey Breast

$ 79

12 OZ.

Family Pack

Kineret
Cookie
Dough

$ 99

24 OZ.

$ 99
4 OZ

Chicken and turkey

empire
Franks

2/$
16 OZ.

We reserve the right to limit sales to 1 per family. Prices effective this store only. Not responsible for typographical errors. Some pictures are for design purposes only and do not necessarily represent items on sale. While Supply Lasts. No rain checks.