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JULY 29, 2016

VOL. LXXXV NO. 47 $1.00





Auction hero
Benjamin Dollers path
from Teaneck to Sothebys

page 24


Jewish Standard
1086 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

36th Annual
Daughters of Miriam Center
The Gallen Institute

Golf Classic

benefiting Alzheimer's/Dementia Care

Trump National Golf Club
Bedminster, NJ



Alex Fleysher Andrew Kanter

David Kessler Leslie Levine

Jeff Abrams
Stevi Gurkoff
Paul Abrams
Jared Kanter
Michael Birnberg Robert Kantor
Robert Chestnov Randi Kochman
Monica Cohen
Pat Mucci, Jr.
Jay Opper
Golf Co-Chairpersons
Marc Rosenkrantz
Alex Fleysher
Avi Safer
Andrew Kanter
Joseph Silverman
Leslie LevineJeffrey Silvershein


Michael Sirota
Andrew Steiger
Dan Swick
Meryl Topchik
Gail Yamner
Morris Yamner


10:30 am sharp ........................... Registration and Range Opens

10:45 am..............................................................................Brunch
12:00 pm ..............................................................Shotgun Tee Off
5:00 pm .......................................... Cocktails and Hors doeuvres
5:30 pm ..... Lewis Family Trust, Larry A. Levy, Trustee Shootout
6:00 pm ............................................................ Awards Reception


Jeff Abrams
Paul Abrams
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Eagle ($7,500)
Gold Tee ($5,000)
Atlantic, Tomorrows Oce
Levco Shopping Centers
Sylvia & Avi Safer
Cole Schotz P.C.
Jay Horwitz
The McCutchen Foundation
Safer Textiles
Leslie, Peter & Rachel Levine
Monica Cohen
Charles McCutchen
Evco Mechanical
Carole & Joel Steiger
Planned Companies
Valley National Bank
Robert Kantor
David Kessler
$500,000 Shootout ($5,000) Lewis Family Trust, Larry A. Levy, Esq., Trustee
Randi Kochman
Pat Mucci, Jr.
Brunch, Cocktail & Dinner
Birdie ($2,500)
Jay Opper
Avi Safer
Jacqueline & Alex Fleysher Herman & Yetta Geller Fdtn
Joseph Silverman
Randi & Tedd Kochman
Kessler & Family Fox Rothschild LLP,
Anne & Andrew Kanter
Stephen A. Ploscowe, Esq.
Lisa & Je Silvershein
Spencer Savings Bank
Gail Yamner
Morris Yamner
Allwood Diner
Alpine Country Club
American Bistro
Gary Bettman
Barry Boss
Benissimo Ristorante
Buco Ristorante
Brooklyn Nets
Brookside Bistro
Brunos Restaurant & Pizzeria
Capital Grille

Vince Crescenzi
Crystal Springs Resort
Delta Dental
Rod Donnelly
Elements Massage
Este Lauder Companies, Inc.
Ethan Allen Furniture
Fairway Market
Alex Fleysher
Franklin Steakhouse
Franks GMC, Lyndhurst
Harry Frenkel-Macys
Gastronomia Rivera Restaurant
Ben Goldstein

David Gordon
Greenbaum Interiors
H. Rubin Opticians
Holstens Confectionary
Il Michelangelo Ristorante
Dave Jarvis
J R Communications
Lauren Kanter
Veronica Kanter
Kings Supermarket
Kosher Nosh
La Riviera Trattoria
LuNello Restaurant
Eric Levitt

Massage Envy
Mike Massood
W.A. Meytrott
Morre Lyons Jewelers
New York Mets
Mr. Cupcakes
National Hole-in-One
Nicolas Restaurant
Jay & Carol Opper
Palm Restaurant
Paper Mill Playhouse
Ken Posner
Preakness Hills Country Club

Alan Reisfield
The River Palm Terrace
Marc Rosenkrantz
Daryl Roth
Route 23 Auto Mall, Butler
Avi & Sylvia Safer
Senior Helpers
Nutley Park Shoprite
Graham Starr
Tao Restaurant
Valley National Bank
Walt Disney Companies
WB Mason
George Wolfson
Yanina & Co.

For more information call 973-253-5281 or visit our website at daughtersofmiriamcenter.org

Visit trumpnationalbedminster.com for directions to the course
Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey
2 Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016

Page 3
Palestinians to sue British
over the 1917 Balfour Declaration
With the 100th anniversary of

a key Zionist declaration approaching, the Palestinian Authority said it plans to sue Britain
for issuing the edict.
The PAs foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki, told Arab League
leaders in Mauritania that the
Palestinian Authority will sue
over the Balfour Declaration, saying it led to all Israeli
crimes committed since 1948,
according to the Times of Israel.
Signed on November 2, 1917,
by British Foreign Secretary
Arthur Balfour, the Balfour
Declaration said that the British
government views with favor
the establishment in Palestine
of a national home for the Jewish people and would use their
best endeavors to facilitate the
achievement of this object.
The declaration, issued while
the area that is now Israel still
was under the control of the
Ottoman Empire, represented
a pivotal victory for Zionists. It has
been credited with helping pave the
way for the establishment of the State
of Israel in 1948.
The declaration, al-Malki said, gave
people who dont belong there something that wasnt theirs.

Merchant of Venice
plays in citys ghetto
For the first time, Shakespeares

The United Kingdom has not responded to the lawsuit threat, and media reports did not
specify in what court the PA would file
such a suit or what, if any, damages it
would seek.

Kentucky death-row
prisoner sues for kosher food
A death-row prisoner in Kentucky
is suing the penitentiary where he is
incarcerated for kicking him out of the
states kosher food program.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court last
week, William Harry Meece claimed that
he was being penalized unfairly for eating rotisserie chicken that had not been
certified kosher, the Louisville CourierJournal reported.
Meece said in his lawsuit that as a
Reform Jew, he can eat meat that is not
certified kosher, and that his observance consists of avoiding pork and
shellfish and not mixing meat and dairy.
The chicken in question was from Sams
Club and had been bought from the
prison canteen.
Since 2008, Kentucky has required
prisoners who receive kosher meals
to agree not to purchase, possess or
consume any food items that are not
permitted under my religious diet.
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel of The Temple,
one of two Reform synagogues in Louisville, told the Courier-Journal that he
is supporting Meece in the conflict.
Jews dont keep kosher in one way,
but in many ways, Ariel-Joel told the
Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for Kentuckys Department of Corrections, told
the Courier-Journal that she could not

comment on pending litigation.

Because kosher meals cost 72 percent more than standard meals and
the state is concerned about prisoners falsely claiming they are Jewish in
order to receive what they consider to
be better quality food, the state is eager to limit the number of inmates who
qualify, the Courier-Journal reported.
Rabbi Aryeh Blaut, director of Jewish Prison Services International, which
provides resources for Jewish inmates,
said Kentuckys policy is not unusual
and is reasonable.
If you are accepted on to the kosher
meal program, you must be consistent,
he told the Courier-Journal.
Meece, 43, was sentenced to death
in 2006 for killing three members of a
Kentucky family Joseph and Elizabeth Wellnitz and their son Dennis.
Meece insists he is innocent and
claims that his confession was coerced.
In 2013, Meece lost another suit
related to his religious observance,
in which he requested to pray in the
prisons chapel on Shabbat with other
Jewish prisoners. The Kentucky Court
of Appeals denied his bid after Meece
was deemed too dangerous to be
permitted to join the general prison

Merchant of Venice is being performed on the spot where some of

the action takes place the main
square of the historic Venice Ghetto.
The production opened on Tuesday night and runs for a week. It is
part of a yearlong series of events
marking the 500th anniversary of the
ghettos creation as well as the 400th
anniversary of Shakespeares death.
The Merchant of Venice is most
famous for its charismatic antihero,
Shylock, the stereotypically Jewish
moneylender whose greed eventually brings him down. Directed by
Karin Coonrod and featuring an
international multilingual cast, the
production is a joint project of the
Compagnia de Colombari theater
company and Venices Ca Foscari
University. Frank London, the New
York-based trumpet player best
known for his work with the Klezmatics, wrote and performed the music.
The first performance of The
Merchant of Venice in the ghetto

is our reckoning with an imaginary

figure that has been haunting this
place for centuries, overshadowing its real inhabitants while gaining enormous fame worldwide and
becoming a proverbial name, Ca
Foscari professor Shaul Bassi wrote
in the program notes.
In the audience at Tuesday nights
premiere was Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose grandson, the actor Paul Spera, is in the
cast. He plays Lorenzo, the Christian
suitor of Shylocks daughter, Jessica.
On Wednesday, in an accompanying event, Ginsburg was set to
preside over a mock trial that questioned the outcome of the one in
the play. International lawyers were
to represent Shylock and his opponents, and the jury was to include
the U.S. ambassador to Italy as well
as noted Shakespearean scholars.
The program also includes a reading
by the actor F. Murray Abraham and
other panel discussions.

Candlelighting: Friday, July 29, 7:57 p.m.

Shabbat ends: Saturday, July 30, 9:00 p.m.

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written permission from the publisher. 2016



Donald Trump is not a tikkun olam kind of

guy. Hes more a destroy olam kind of guy.
Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach, speaking at a Jewish
Round Table discussion at the Democratic national convention.


Roths Indignation
heads to theaters
Many top
critics are
Indignation as the best
film, to date, made from
a PHILIP ROTH novel or
short story. (The film
version of Goodbye
Columbus is considered
the next best. Most of
the other six films are
described as terrible,
including Portnoys
The 2008 novel and
the film begin in 1951.
The Korean War is raging, and many young
men, like central character Marcus Messner
go to college at least in
part to be exempt from
the draft. Messner, like
Roth, now 83, is Jewish and from Newark,
and he goes to a local
college for his freshman
year. However, he wants
to get away from his
neurotic father, a kosher
butcher, and he accepts
a scholarship offer from
a small, conservative
Ohio college. He transfers to this school for his
sophomore year. There
he becomes infatuated
with a beautiful student
(Sarah Gadon) with
major mental problems.
Meanwhile, he clashes
with a dean about mandatory chapel attendance and that friction
has a profound effect
on his life. The film was
written for the screen
and directed by JAMES
SCHAMUS, 56, who has
a doctorate in English

from U.C. Berkeley. Hes

probably best known as
the partner of director
Ang Lee, producing and
often co-writing Lees
films, including Brokeback Mountain. Indignation is Schamuss debut as a director. (Opens
some places July 29.
Check theater listings
for the next few weeks.)
writer, and
Garry Marshall died on
July 19 at 81. In 2006,
then San Francisco
Chronicle film critic Mick
LaSalle gave a good
review to Keeping Up
with the Steins, a
comedy directed by
Garrys son, Scott
(whose wife is Jewish).
Its about a family
coming together to
celebrate a boys bar
mitzvah. Marshall played
the boys elderly Jewish
hippie grandfather.
LaSalle, who calls himself
Italian-American in the
review, noted: It may
come as a surprise that
Garry Marshall is not
Jewish but Italian his
family is from Abruzzo.
And he doesnt try to act
Jewish for the role
thats really him. Marshall
just happens to be a
Jewish-seeming Italian, a
sort of Harvey Keitel in reverse.
Actually, LaSalle was
just a bit off. Marshalls
father was Italian Catholic, but his mother was
mostly WASP and he
was raised Protestant.

Philip Roth

Logan Lerman

Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Woody

Allen filming Caf Society.

James Schamus

Martin Garbus

However, as Marshall
details in his 2012 autobiography, My Happy
Days in Hollywood,
his Jewish connections
began early and were
a lifelong constant. His
Bronx neighborhood was
all Italian and Jewish and
his building was almost
all Jewish. His childhood
baseball team included his buddy MARTIN
GARBUS, now 81. Garbus
is a famous legal scholar
and the father of famous
documentary maker
LIZ GARBUS, 45. Fast
forward to 1961, and
Marshall begins finding big-time success
writing sitcoms with
the late JERRY BELSON. Then they began
creating series, and
the second, The Odd
Couple (1970), was a hit.

The first series Marshall

created alone, Happy
Days (1974), became a
monster hit. Ive often
thought that if Marshall
was Jewish, and not
just philo-Semitic, he
wouldnt have the guts
to cast so many Jewish
actors both stars of
The Odd Couple were
Jewish, as were four of
the seven lead actors
in Happy Days. So, in
tribute to Marshall, you
must rent The Flamingo
Kid (1984), the first flick
Marshall directed and
wrote. While the word
Jewish doesnt come
up, Marshall perfectly
captured the milieu of an
overwhelmingly Jewish
beach club circa 1965
and its a good movie,
to boot.

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Available Now
4 32064

Woody thickens plot

with Caf Society
Caf Society, directed and written by WOODY
ALLEN, 81, stars JESSE EISENBERG, 32, as Bobby, a
Bronx Jewish neurotic who heads west in the 1930s to
work for his uncle, a powerful Hollywood agent (Steve
Carrell). There he falls in love with Vonnie, his uncles
mistress (Kristen Stewart). She doesnt return his affection, and he returns to New York, where he works as a
nightclub manager for his gangster brother (COREY
STOLL, 40). Bobby turns the club into the hottest in
town the place where caf society goes. He meets and
weds a beautiful socialite (Blake Lively) and everything is
fine until Vonnie walks into his caf. (This film opened
on July 22; but check local theater listings for when it
opens near you.)
JEANNIE BERLIN, 66, the daughter of comic legend
ELAINE MAY, 84, is in Caf Society, playing Bobbys
mother. Berlin got an Oscar nomination for playing the
sad-sack wife in The Heartbreak Kid (1972). By the way,
Entertainment Weekly recently ranked all of Allens 46
films and placed Society in the middle (#22).


California-based Nate Bloom can be reached at


6/20/16 4:26 PM

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Still going strong
Neil Sedaka keeps trying to raise the bar

is mother wanted him to be

a classical pianist.
His classmates at Brooklyns Abraham Lincoln High
School wanted him to play rock and roll.
S o m e p ro m i n e n t c a n t o r s wh o
attended his bar mitzvah wanted him to
be a chazan.
And what did he want? Neil Sedaka
wanted to do it all.
Ive tried to reinvent myself, raise the
bar, develop, and grow, said the versatile performer, now in the 60th year of
a stellar career. With few awards left to
win a sampling of honors includes
induction into the Songwriters Hall of
Fame, a street in Brooklyn bearing his
name, and a star on the Hollywood Walk
of Fame and no sign of slowing down,
Mr. Sedaka, who will appear at bergenPAC on August 17, continues to write and
perform both classical and pop music.
Add to that an album of Yiddish songs,
and more recently, an album of childfriendly songs done in collaboration
with his own grandchildren, and you get
some idea of the mans creative drive.
Born in Brooklyn in 1939 to a Sephardic father (the name Sedaka is a
variant of the Hebrew word tzedakah,
charity) and an Ashkenazic mother, and
cousin to the late singer Eydie Gorme,
Sedaka grew up in Brighton Beach. His
musical talent, he said, may have come
from his great grandfather, a chazan
in the Bronx. In fact, he said, I just
learned a few months ago from a cousin
who found an old article that many
great opera singers from the Met made
special trips to the Bronx.
Neil Sedaka, who has written more
than 700 songs, readily admits to being
inspired by composers like George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole
Porter, and Frank Loesser. My songs
are a combination of the Great American Songbook, rhythm and blues, soul,
and Yiddish music, he said. Theyre
a reflection of all the music I heard
throughout my entire life.
Who: Neil Sedaka
What: In concert
Where: At bergenPAC,
30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood
When: On August 17 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Call the box office,
(201) 227-1030
Information: Email boxoffice@


He also has been influenced by his Jewish background. In songs like You
mean Everything To Me
or One More Ride On the
Merry-Go-Round, you can
hear the tam, he said. You
can hear the flavor. You
cant take the Jew out of me.
One of Mr. Sedakas earliest memories is of sitting
with his mother, listening
to the Barry Sisters. In a
strange twist of fate, he had
the opportunity to sing with
Claire Barry at a Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre gala at Carnegie Hall in 2004. (Ms.
Barry died 10 years later, in 2014.) At that
performance, Mr. Sedaka offered selections from his album Brighton Beach
Memories Sedaka Sings Yiddish.
The songs invoke wonderful memories
for me, he said. Produced with a klezmer
band and featuring works such as Exodus, My Yiddishe Mama, Mein Shtetele
Belz, Sunrise, Sunset, and Bei Mir Bist
Du Schoen, the album, which he called a
labor of love, was a major success. People tell me they cry when they put the
record on, he said, adding that he consulted his mother, Eleanor, and his wife,
Leba, to ensure correct pronunciation.
Mr. Sedaka best known, perhaps, for
hits such as Oh Carol, written for his
then-girlfriend, the singer/songwriter Carole King, Calendar Girl, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Breaking Up Is Hard
to Do, recorded both as a rock song and
then years later as a ballad, reaching number one on the charts both times, and
Laughter in the Rain did not start off
as a rock and roll wannabe.
By the time he was 9 years old, Neil
already had begun intensive classical
piano training at the Juilliard School of
Music, his ultimate goal was to earn a
doctorate in music. His life took a sudden
turn, though, when he began to play rock
and roll music in high school. Not only did
he form a successful doo-wop group, The
Tokens, which he left in the late 1950s to
pursue a solo career but he also had the
good fortune to meet Howard Greenfield,
his longtime songwriting partner.
He and Mr. Greenfield helped create the
so-called Brill Building sound in the late
1950s and early 60s,when they were the
first to sign with Don Kirshner and Al Nevins at Aldon Music. (The company would
go on to sign Neil Diamond, Carole King,
and Paul Simon, among many others.)
After Connie Francis recorded his Stupid
Cupid and, later, Where the Boys Are,
Mr. Sedaka, now hugely successful, was in

Neil Sedaka has written more than 700 songs in his long and varied career as a
performer. Inset, Sedaka on his bar mitzvah day in Brooklyn.
a position to sign with RCA as a writer and
performer of his own material.
The rest is history.
Was his mother happy about this? After
all, she wanted him to be a classical pianist. My mother was not happy, he said.
I had to wait until she left the house to
write my rock and roll songs. But she
was okay after I got my first check. As
for the chazans who wanted him to join
their profession, they no doubt were disappointed as well. At his bar mitzvah,
which had taken place years before in
Manhattan Beachs Temple Beth El, all

the chazans were crying. They said, He

has to be a chazan.
Asking Mr. Sedaka about his favorite
song is like asking a parent to say which
child he likes best, the singer said. Still, if
compelled to do so, he probably would say
Laughter in the Rain, released in 1974,
because it was responsible for his remarkable comeback.
At the time, he had been off the charts
for 13 years.
The Beatles changed the face of music
in the 60s, Mr. Sedaka said. While he
still kept busy as a songwriter, writing

pieces such as The Hungry Years for
Frank Sinatra and Solitaire for Elvis
Presley not to mention other hit songs
for Tom Jones, the Monkees, and the
Fifth Dimension it was difficult to
pursue his solo singing career. So while
the United States fell prey to the British
Invasion, Neil Sedaka went to England,
where fans were faithful to me and to
original American rock and roll. There
he met Elton John, both a fan and a
record producer. He put me on his label
and my album, Sedakas Back, went to
number one.
In his new CD, I Do It for Applause,
Mr. Sedaka has gone back to his roots,
including a classical piece as his last track.
Its my first symphonic piece, he said,
adding that he recorded the work, Joie
De Vivre, with the London Philharmonic
in England. The 12-song acoustic collection
represents the culmination of 63 years of
writing. My main objective is to always top
the last collection, raise the bar, and reinvent Neil Sedaka.
At his August concert, Mr. Sedaka
will perform a few songs from the new

collection. But Ill do the old hits, he

promised, adding that hes proud of the
lyrics he wrote with both Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody. Now, however, No
one is putting words in my mouth. Now it
comes from deep down inside me.
Hes performed at bergenPAC several
times, Mr. Sedaka said. My music brings
back memories for people. The songs are
therapeutic, even when people are down
in the dumps. Music has that ability. I
never knew it. I only realized it in my older
days. When I was feeling down, Id put on
an old Sedaka record and smile.
Mr. Sedaka first met his wife, Leba, at
the Esther Manor, a kosher hotel in the
Catskills. Theyve been married for 53
years now. Esther Strassberg, who owned
the hotel with her husband, Irving, was
Lebas mother. I played at all the kochalains the Jewish boarding houses with
communal kitchens and dining rooms, Mr.
Sedaka said. Part of a band, he also played
gigs at hotels, including for comedians
Totie Fields and Jackie Mason.
Leba and Neil Sedaka have two children.
Dara is a recording artist and vocalist who

makes television and radio commercials,

and Marc is a screenwriter in Los Angeles
and the father of Sedakas three grandchildren, twin granddaughters Amanda and
Charlotte, and a grandson, Michael.
Fortunately, his grandchildren love Mr.
Sedakas old rock and roll music. But
they wanted to change the words to make
them more child-friendly, he said. Thus,
we now have Waking up is hard to do,
Where the toys are, and Lunch will
keep us together. These and other songs
were compiled into a CD called Waking
up is hard to do.
The CD, a family collaboration involving
Marc, Amanda, and Charlotte the twins
made their recording debut as backup
vocalists on it led to a series of books
based on the songs. Dinosaur Pet, featuring Marcs new lyrics for Calendar Girl,
was released in May 2012 and reached
number three on the New York Times
bestseller list.
Mr. Sedaka has no plans to retire in
the near future. Theres a certain magic
when you get in front of an audience,
something you dont get from records or

My main
objective is to
always top the
last collection,
raise the bar,
and reinvent
Neil Sedaka.
television, he said. Theres an adrenaline rush. Its a marvelous feeling. He
wants to go out while hes still in top
form. Unlike older performers who read
teleprompters or whose voices are shot,
I would like to know when to bow out.
In the meantime, though, Ill give it a
little bit more, he said.
And why not? My fans are still supporting me after 60 years. I reach them emotionally. Its more than just a recording
its a live person with a God-given gift, and
I love to share it.





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Leaving a legacy
Remembering Asher Strobel of Englewood

hen Asher Strobel of Englewood died suddenly in January 2011 at the age of 21, his
friends went from shock to sorrow to the
need, somehow, to honor his memory.
Now, six years later, they continue to run the basketball tournament created as a tribute to their friend.
I knew him since first grade, we grew up together, said Ari
Sarna, who grew up in Englewood and lived two houses away
from Asher. His friends death was devastating not only to him
but to all who knew him, he said.
When someone passes, people always seem to say that he
was a nice guy and the last person this should have happened
to, but in Ashers case, it was the truth, Mr. Sarna continued.
He was so pure and good and nice and funny, warmhearted
and well-intentioned. There wasnt a mean bone in his body.
He was also selfless and extremely considerate. He would walk
into a room and people would gravitate towards him. He was
inquisitive. He would engage people and genuinely care about
what they said.
His passion and zest for life made him unique and affected
all of those around him, Mr. Sarnas sister, Danielle Zaria Praport, added in an email. He was funny, intelligent, charming,
and very social always able to lighten the mood with a funny
joke or even just through his presence.
His death was sudden, she said. Asher, who studied at the
Moriah School, the Frisch School, and Binghamton University, died during a ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from
a heart condition which neither Asher nor his family knew
about. Chabad of Wyoming was very helpful both to Ashers travel companions and to his family, Mr. Sarna added.
That is why the proceeds from the first years tournament
were donated to that group.

Ron and Diane Strobel are surrounded by the winners of last years tournament.

Today, the tournament, scheduled for July 31, has grown

from 36 men playing three-on-three basketball to many more
mens and womens teams. There will also be a 5K run.
Mr. Sarna said that he is both pleased and surprised by the
increased number of participants and the large sum of money
raised; through entry fees and donations it has been averaging
about $13,000 each year. So far, the tournaments have raised
about $60,000. This year, with the run added, the organizers
hope to bring in even more.
Mr. Sarna said he is proud of his friends and everyone
involved who helps and volunteers. Not only do parents offer
their homes, donate money, and make food, but
even the little kids help, he said. I cant express
how touched I am personally that the whole community gets involved with such love and passion.
He noted also that if Asher were here, he would
not only participate but be in it to win it. He was
very competitive. In addition, this is a very social
event, and Asher also loved just hanging out, barbecuing, and messing around.
The tournament, and the events surrounding it, create an amazingly fun day, Ashers
mother, Diane Strobel, said. People come for
the enjoyment, not from a sense of obligation.
And the 5K run, organized by Isaac and Benjy
Strulowitz, will give more people a chance to
Asher and his friends went fishing. From left, Daniel Boiarsky,
participate, she added.
Eli Sipzner, Tye Bird, Isaac Strulowitz, Asher Strobel, Joseph
The Strobels have established two programs at
Cohen, Matthew Greif, and Ethan Potasnick.
East Hill Synagogue in Ashers memory. Proceeds

from the tournament will benefit the Asher Strobel Leadership Program.
My two older kids wanted to do something in his memory, but I said it wouldnt be easy, Ms. Strobel said. After all,
he just passed away he had no disease, and therefore no
existing charity to link to. Asher had three siblings: Joshua,
30; Aryeh, 23; and Joey, 15; Joshua is married, and he and his
wife, Sarah, have a daughter, Lily. Not knowing how to honor
her son, I spoke to Rabbi Reichman and [his wife] Chana,
Ms. Strobel said. They saved us. The community saved us.
Rabbi Reichman told her to wait as long as it might take. Eventually, he said, the right idea would come to her.
The Strobels involvement in East Hill Synagogue is deep
and longstanding, as is their continued connection to Englewoods Congregation Ahavath Torah. Dr. Ronald Strobel,
Ashers father, was a founder of East Hill, a past president,
and a continued supporter. Ashers brother Joshua was the
first gabbai. Ronald Strobel also ensured, through a system
of reciprocal membership, that the two synagogues, East Hill
and Ahavath Torah, would remain close. The rabbis at both
shuls, Rabbi Zev Reichman and Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, each
devoted a Shabbat to speaking about Ashers positive attributes, his mother said.
She recalled that some four years ago, then East Hill president Gabriel Bousbib asked if he and Rabbi Reichman could
come to the Strobels house. The Strobels knew that Rabbi
Reichman was deeply concerned about todays Jewish high
school students. He wants to keep people in the fold, to
ensure that they will remain Jewish and know about their

Summer Food Drive

Many families who normally depend on free school breakfasts and lunches
really struggle this time of year.
Wont you help ll our food pantry with nutritious food and snacks
for families with young children?
Needed items include cereal, shelf stable milk, juice, canned fruits, nut butters and snack items.

Jewish Family Service - 1485 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ - 201-837-9090


heritage, she said. We knew that was his
thing, he was very concerned about the
youth in town. He wanted to come up with a
leadership program.
The four jointly decided to launch the
Asher Strobel Leadership Program, which
would be based at East Hill Synagogue and
open to all Jewish teenagers in the Englewood community. A congregant who was
born in a DP camp and wanted to ensure
that the program would include a trip to
Poland would provide seed money. To date,
some 67 teens have participated in the program and the feedback has been extremely
positive. The course includes 10 classes,
ranging from public speaking to first-aid
training to public advocacy, and includes a
five-day trip to Poland.
Asher was Jewish to the bone, said his
mother, pointing out that he once said he
would be either a great businessman or a
rabbi in Ranana. The two worlds didnt collide for him. We thought it would be appropriate to have a leadership program in his
name. He was also, she said, a pied piper.
Kids loved him. So it was also appropriate
to present an award to an outstanding youth
group leader in Ashers name every year.
Diane Strobel participates in the Poland
trip each year. Kids say it totally changes
their life, she said. This program is a must.

From left, Aryeh, Ron, Asher, Joshua, Joey and Diane Strobel smile at the camera during a family outing.
Kids must know who they are and where
they came from. The trip is special; it
includes nightly sessions where participants
can discuss the days events. We have a
little game going to get the kids to speak,
she said. For example, on one trip participants were asked, Whats the worst thing
that happened to you as a Jew? Almost
all of them said nothing, though one boy
said, my bris. For this reason, she said,
its good to have group leaders from Europe

who know what the world is about, what

our kids never encountered.
On the last trip, with a group leader
from South Africa, we got candles and
everyone held one. We sat down and she
said to discuss what this trip has done for
you. We want the kids to feel comfortable
and not intimidated by each other. They
started in grade school with each other;
theres a synergy, even if they go to different
high schools. The very diverse group, she

said, included 10 girls and 10 boys, one with

payot (side locks), one socially awkward,
and one from public school.
One girl said it was the most menschlich
group she ever met. She was amazed. She
thought we wouldnt be talking to each
other. But now shes proud to say, Youre
all my friends. One boy cried. He has a disabled sister and knew when he saw the
glassed-in area in Auschwitz containing discarded wheelchairs and crutches that my
sister wouldnt have made it.
The feeling of unity was what Asher
would have wanted for the group, his
mother said, adding that she cried when
someone rose to acknowledge her and her
family in the candlelit room.
Asher was comfortable in his own skin,
and he wanted others to be just as happy
as he was, she said. He had so many best
friends. He was perfect for the internet age.
He utilized it to the maximum for socialization, to meet people. He always made
friends. So many, in fact, that more than
1,000 people attended his funeral. Asher
had such an impact, she added, and many
people have approached her to share their
positive memories of her son.
Through those memories, and through
the thriving programs now bearing his
name, his legacy surely will live on.

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Letter from Israel

From the mouths of (bilingual) babes
Sunday August 7 to Thursday August 11



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What Life Is Like at Brightview Tenafly

It is a full day to look forward to.
Rediscovering favorite pastimes. Sharing meals with friends. Enjoying the privacy
to hear yourself think.
Brightview Tenafly is filled with people who are comfortable, who feel at home,
who are rejuvenated and gain the energy to pursue their passions.
An appreciation for possibilities rather than limitations is the focus.
Everyone enjoys Brightview.
Residents are engaged in a full calendar of intellectual and cultural pursuits,
sports and exercise, music, art and travel.
Mom and Dad enjoy themselves and are no longer isolated in a house that has
gotten to be too much.
Everyone sleeps better at night.

55 Hudson Ave. Tenafly, NJ 07670

Please call Richard

to schedule a personal visit.


We got the WhatsApp message from our son Chaim
around noon on July 5:
Miriam went into labor this
morning. Were still home
and the doula is here. Ill
keep you posted.
At 3:15, he sent a photo of
our newest granddaughter
wrapped in a pink blanket in
her smiling mothers arms.
A fourth Leichman sabra,
Like her siblings, Yehuda
(7), Elisheva (6), and Tehila
(3), Avital Chana entered
the world following a labor
filled with the singing and
prayers of her parents.
Miriam is a music therapist, and last year, when
they moved into their
Abby Leichman meets her newest grandchild,
new house in the town of
Avital Chana.
Adam near Jerusalem, she
designed the music room of
made out of light on Yom Kippur. The
her dreams. It was here that she, Chaim,
Hebrew words for light and leather
and the doula spent the intense hours
both are pronounced ohr, though
before leaving just in time! for Hadassah Medical Center on MountScopus.
they are spelled differently. We were
Before Tehilas birth, Miriam and
impressed by his attempt at translation.
Chaim professionally recorded a CD of
Occasionally the children lack the English translation for a word theyve heard
Miriams original Hebrew and English
in school, or there simply isnt an Engsongs for laboring mothers, Movements
lish equivalent.
and Life. (Its very amusing to hear our
When I was walking Elisheva home
grandchildren singing snippets from
from kindergarten one recent Friday,
tracks such as I Can Do This.)
she started spinning a fantastic yarn, in
As she tunes in to the songs and spoken words around her, baby Avital will
English, about the silly things she had
discover that English reigns supreme
done that day. Then she stopped walking and burst out laughing. STOM! she
in her house (except when theres an
cried, giggling uncontrollably. Stom is
Israeli guest or service person) and in
Hebrew slang for just kidding!
the homes of both sets of grandparents,
By the time they turn 2, the chilwhile Hebrew is spoken in daycare and
drens Hebrew comprehension is at
on thestreet.
a much higher level than ours. From
Through miraculous maneuverings in
their point of view, actually, our Hebrew
her growing brain, she will sort it all out
is nonexistent.
and learn to flip back and forth between
Last year, my husband took Yehuda
languages effortlessly, depending upon
along when he went to pick up Tehila
her listener.
from daycare. The metapelet (caregiver)
Well, almost effortlessly. Especially
greeted Steve in Hebrew, and Yehuda
when they are about 3 or 4, the kids
spoke up before Steve could reply. He
often mix Hebrew and English in the
doesnt know any Hebrew, our curlysame sentence, sometimes even in the
haired cutie solemnly explained to
same word. Or they confuse similarthe caregiver.
sounding Englishwords.
In fact, we have come to realize that
For instance, Elisheva calls Barbie
we are a modern version of our own
dolls Barbiyot, adding a feminine
grandparents, most of whom spoke Yidplural Hebrew suffix. Tehila sometimes asks for more tomato when she
dish much more fluently than they spoke
English. As children we found their Yinglish quaint, and as teenagers we found it
True homophones are really tricky.
a bit embarrassing.
One year, Yehuda told us he had learned
The difference is that while we
in preschool that we do not wear shoes

American kids had no interest in or
need to learn Yiddish beyond a few
key phrases we picked up during visits
with the grandparents, Israelis understand that sooner or later, they must
become conversant in English in order
to get ahead in todaysworld.
Our grandchildren are extremely
fortunate in their bilingual upbringing, and we are extremely fortunate
to be able to communicate easily with
our sabra grandchildren. This bilingual
tradition may not carry down to the
next generation, so were conscious of
enjoying it while itlasts.
Why, the very first time we met baby
Avital she greeted us with both hello
and shalom.
STOM! Just kidding. For now her
communication is limited to the universal language of coos and cries. But
before shes out of diapers, this sweet
new little girl will be teaching her old
American grandparents newwords.

Sandi M. Malkin, LL C
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almost a decade ago. She frequently
reports on her life in her Letter
From Israel.

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This year in Ramat Beit Shemesh

Gielchinsky family making aliyah from Bergenfield in time for Tisha BAv
Last July, on the fast of Tisha BAv, the
thought crossed Aryeh Gielchinskys
mind that there was something off about
his mourning the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Jews from Israel
when at least part of the damage was in
his power to repair.
Its peculiar, its bizarre, to mourn Jerusalem from America, he thought. It wasnt
a new thought. He often had felt that way
on Tisha BAv.
This year, Tisha BAv will be a bit less
bizarre for him. Hell be fasting in Israel.
He, his wife, Hadassah, and their three
children Miriam, 7, Batya, 4, and Yoni,
20 months are flying to Israel and making aliyah on Tuesday, August 2. When
Tisha BAv arrives this year, they will have
been Israeli citizens for nearly two weeks.
When Aryeh came home from synagogue last year Bergenfields Congregation Ohr Hatorah he told Hadassah that
maybe they should think about moving to
Israel as he had mentioned before.
This time, to his surprise, Hadassah
agreed that maybe they should.
What had changed? A friend who
lives in Israel had recently sent Hadassah a picture of her son. Something in
the picture suddenly made the idea of
Israel feel alive for her. Maybe the tile
on the floor? She doesnt quite remember. But the picture had an impact. It
was summer vacation from her job as a
math teacher at Maayanot Yeshiva High
School in Teaneck, and she had time
for introspection.
So this time, when the idea of moving
to Israel came up, she agreed that maybe
they should start looking into it.
Both Hadassah and Aryeh had spent a
year in yeshiva after high school. (Hadassah first went before she was in first grade,
when her family spent six weeks in Israel.
I dont remember so much from that
trip, she said.) But that was a decade ago.
In January, they spent two weeks in
Israel, scouting out the situation, examining places to live, and learning about
schools and career options there.
Soon after their return, they made the
decision. They were moving to Israel.
We knew we would have to start registering our kids for school, so we had to
make a decision quickly. It took a couple
of weeks, Hadassah said.
Not that the time since the decision has
been all clear sailing.
There have been plenty of times Ive
gone back and forth, she said. Its hard
to turn your whole life upside down. Its a
big change.
In particular, Family is hard to leave,

Aryeh and Hadassah Gielchinsky will be observing Tisha BAv in Israel this year with their children, Miriam, 7, Yoni, 20
months, and Batya 4.

she said. Hadassah grew up in Teaneck,

where her parents, Jane and David Carr,
and her sister, Devorah, still live; her
brother, Aryeh, and his family are not far
away, in Lakewood.
Aryeh comes from Elizabeth, where
his parents still live. He has a sister and
brother-in-law, Dina and Adam Loskove,
and nieces and nephews, Ilana, Andrew,
and Serena, in Teaneck, and a brother
in Miami.
And though Bergenfield is a good community, with a lot of choices, I never really
felt it was the right place, she said. She
looks forward to the feeling of belonging
she expects to feel in Israel.
Here, I have to teach my kids that we
dress differently than the kids we see
outside, she said. I have to teach them
that certain holiday images that they see
on television are not for them. Its a little
easier in Israel. It feels more natural when
youre in an environment that observes
the things you observe.
She looks forward to being wished chag
sameach happy holiday by bus drivers
at the time of the Jewish holidays. Its how
I expect the non-Jews feel around here
when they get wished happy holidays at
Christmas time, she said. We just spoke
to a friend who has been there for two
years. She definitely feels different when
she comes back here. She doesnt feel she
belongs as much.

Their house in Bergenfield is half empty.

In the living room, the couch is gone and
bookcases are empty; the books have been
shipped to Israel, along with clothes they
wont need until winter. Furniture is being
parceled out to family members rather
than being sent to Israel.
Theres an Ikea there, Hadassah
said. We can buy some of the same stuff
we had.
They have rented an apartment in
Ramat Beit Shemesh, in a neighborhood
with many other young American families.
Its going to make the transition somewhat easier, she said.
In making the move, theyre helped
by Nefesh BNefesh. The organization
was formed to promote aliyah from
North America in 2002. Last year, 3,500
North Americans made aliyah and a similar number is expected this year. One of
next months immigrants will be number
50,000 for the organization.
Nefesh bNefesh gave the Gielchinskys
advice on where to consider living, and
helped Aryeh make professional contracts.
(He is an insurance actuary.) Nefesh
bNefesh has helped them with the paperwork needed to receive Israeli citizenship.
When they get to Israel, Aryeh and
Hadassah will enroll in an ulpan, an
intense Hebrew language course. My
father spoke to us in Hebrew when we
were little, Hadassah said. My Hebrew

is not terrible. Its a little bit dictionary

Hebrew, not colloquial. Im hoping to get
more of the idioms.
Aryeh has been improving his Hebrew.
He took a six-month ulpan course in
Teaneck this year.
And the children?
Miriams Hebrew is okay, Hadassah
said. Last year, Miriam was a first grader
at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey in River Edge. I think she learned a
good amount.
Batya, the 4-year-old, knows a couple
words, such as etzbaot, fingers, but other
than that her understanding of Hebrew is
gibberish. Shell talk in gibberish and say
shes speaking Hebrew.
Hadassah is trying to get Batya excited
about the little things. We dont have
that many sidewalks here in Bergenfield.
We tell her that not only do they have
sidewalks in Israel, you can walk in the
street because there arent so many cars
on Shabbat.
Yet Hadassah knows that the transition
will be hard.
The beginning of school is not something Im looking forward to, she said.
They are all going to go into new environments. Im sure it will come out at home.
But the parents see the short-term disruptions as worth it.
Its going to be a good thing for them,
Aryeh said.

Briefly Local
New lay leader for Franklin Lakes shul

BCHSJS students visit Rockleigh

Alvin Reisbaum of Wayne, a past president of the Jewish

Federation of Northern New Jersey, was elected president
of Temple Emanuel of North Jersey in Franklin Lakes at the
shuls annual meeting on June 27. The shuls vice presidents
are Ellen Lipschitz of Fair Lawn, Joelle Rubin of Wyckoff, and
Yael Israel of Hawthorne; the treasurer is Marcia Hofflich of
North Haledon; the financial secretary is Linda Schwager
of Oakland, and the recording secretary is Rosalie Berman
of Wyckoff. These officers will be in their positions until
next June.
Alvin Reisbaum
Founded in Paterson in 1908, Temple Emanuel of North
Jersey is a welcoming community for all, including Jewish
and interfaith families. Prayer services are traditional, egalitarian, and Conservative.
Current members come from Bergen and Passaic counties, New York, and beyond.
For information, please go to www.tenjfl.org or call (201) 560-0200.

Bergen County High School of

Jewish Studies students Benjamin Kosiborod, David Stack,
and Walter Stack visited the
Jewish Home at Rockleigh
earlier this month to present
an end-of-the-year leadership
project. The students told residents about the ways in which
Jewish teens and young adults
are getting involved in the
international Jewish community to promote tikkun olam
and continue the legacy and
David Stack, Walter Stack, and Benjamin Kositraditions of the Jewish peoborod.
ple for generations to come.
The teens talked about local
Taglit Birthright Israel, which sponsors
and national programs and organizations,
trips to Israel for teens and young adults.
including the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, BCHSJS USY, and BBYO,
The students also sang traditional Hebrew,
that provide opportunities to get involved
Yiddish, and American songs and socialized with the residents.
in the community. They also discussed

Assemblywoman Sheila
Oliver, speaker emeritus
of the New Jersey State
Assembly, recently visited Bris Avrohoms headquarters and met with
its rabbis and staff. Ms.
Oliver learned about the
organizations programs
for the Russian Jewish
community. As a token of
Bris Avrohoms appreciation for her assistance in
expanding its programs,
she was presented with a
sculpture of Jerusalem.


Bris Avrohom hosts state official

Rabbi Mordechai and Shterney Kanelsky, Bris Avrohoms executive director and associate director,
respectively, flank Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver.

Judith Kuper Jaffe, front row center, joins participants at the educator enrichment workshop.


Local director among participants

at Atlanta Jewish educator workshop

JCT installs leadership team

At a recent membership meeting at the
Jewish Center of Teaneck, its Shabbat
baal tefillah, Yitzchok Cohen, installed
new officers and trustees.
Above, from left, Isaac Student, president; Dr. Steven Meyers, vice president;
Allen Ezrapour, treasurer; trustees Robert Rabkin, Eva Gans, Judi Resnick, and

Henry Dubro; Daniel Chazin, secretary;

Sigi Laster, trustee; Reb Cohen, and
Michael Laves, trustee. Past president
Sandy Hausler and trustee Yossi Rosner
are not pictured.
The Jewish Center of Teaneck is a
modern Orthodox synagogue that offers
daily, Shabbat, and holiday services.

Judith Kuper Jaffe, the director of congregational learning at Shomrei Torah Wayne
Conservative Congregation, participated
in the Center for Israel Education and the
Emory Institute for the Study of Modern
Israel at the annual educator enrichment
workshop in Atlanta in June. She was
among 77 participants from the United
States, Canada, and Mexico, and was one
of the 11 Jewish educators who earned the
first Certificates for Jewish Education.
The five-day workshop on the history,
culture, and politics of Israel, funded by

the Avi Chai Foundation of North America,

included learning with scholars. Specialized learning tracks were included to provide strategies for implementing materials
in educational settings.
Kenneth W. Stein, the president of CIE
and a professor at Emory, founded the
workshop in 2000. The 2017 workshop is
tentatively planned June 2529. For information about the Center for Israel Education, email Rich.walter@israeled.org or go
to www.israeled.org.


Whos retired now?
Rabbi Richard Hammerman takes on interim pulpit in Montebello
Joanne Palmer

ome people just cant stay retired.

They may think theyre getting tired. They may
think that theyre getting out at the top of their
game. They have some ideas about puttering
around, doing some charitable work, reading or writing
or thinking.
And then, well, someone asks a favor, and the favor
turns into a commitment, and there they are. Back at work.
Thats certainly Rabbi Richard Hammermans story.
Rabbi Hammerman is the new interim rabbi at the Montebello Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Suffern, but to say that hes new as a rabbi in any way is a bit
of a stretch. About to turn 70, he is in a sense coming full
circle, taking over the bimah at a shul that reached out to
him through connections he made when he was just out
of rabbinical school, a lifetime ago.
Heres his story.
Richard Hammerman grew up in Washington Heights,
on Manhattans northern tip, in a very Jewish neighborhood, and he grew up deeply connected to the Jewish
community. His shul, like most in the neighborhood,
was Orthodox. It was called a Mizrachi shul, he said.
Although now that term is used to refer to Jews from the

Rabbi Richard Hammerman at the Montebello Jewish Center.

Arab world, at that time it meant modern Orthodox, he

said. Many of the Jews in Washington Heights were Holocaust survivors or refugees, and many of the shuls were
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ish tradition, but his was not. It was very Zionist, he said.
or Loved One?
Not only did the bimah hold American and Israeli flags,
Always a Nur
we also had the flag of the Zionist movement, with the
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menorah that appears in the Knesset, on it.
Every year, he remembers, Senator Jacob Javitz, the Jewish Republican who represented New York in Washington
for more than 30 years, would show up at shul on Yom
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Jewish Center, the prominent Orthodox synagogue on the

Upper West Side. Its rabbi, Leo Jung, a highly respected
German refugee, told him about the undergraduate joint
program that the Jewish Theological Seminary, then as
now the leading institution in the Conservative movement, ran with Columbia University.
The rest was history, Rabbi Hammerman said.
Rabbi Hammerman graduated from the joint program
with degrees from JTS and Columbia, and then went to
rabbinical school at JTS. He and his wife, Sharon, lived in
Riverdale, in the north Bronx, and belonged to the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel there; in fact, his rabbinical internship was there, at his own home shul.
After he was ordained, Rabbi Hammerman became the
director of collegiate activities at the United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism, running Atid the short-lived program for college students that later was replaced by the
longer-running-but-still-ultimately-abandoned Koach.
When Adath Israels Rabbi Chaim Pearl went on a yearlong sabbatical in Israel, he asked his most recent intern,
Richard Hammerman, then still in his 20s, his smicha
certificate barely dry, to cover for him. I was a kid,
Rabbi Hammerman said. I had no compunctions about
doing it.
It was a formidable synagogue. The congregants
included JTSs chancellor, Gerson Cohen, its vice chancellor, Stanley Schachter, many JTS faculty members, and
very many rabbinical students, he said. Sharon loves
telling about how she was at a Rabbinical Assembly convention, and Rabbi Cohen and Rabbi Schachter each stood
on either side of her, and introduced her as their rebbitzin.
She was 26 years old then.
When Rabbi Pearl came back to Riverdale, Rabbi Hammerman took a job leading Congregation Bnai Israel in
Toms River, N.J. That pulpit had been a revolving door,
hed been warned.
The door must have gotten stuck. He stayed there for
31 years, becoming the beating heart of a vibrant community. Eventually, though, he and Sharon decided together
that it was time to leave. I learned from Las Vegas comedians that its better to get offstage while the audience still
wants more, he said. Beyond that, we wanted to be in a
more Shabbat-observant community.
They moved to Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell,
N.J., in 2005. We found the community we were looking
for there, Rabbi Hammerman said. We are proud to be
members there.
Theyre also proud of their three children, whose life
choices mirror their parents with unusual faithfulness.
Their oldest child, Eytan, a JTS graduate, is the rabbi of
the Jewish Community Center in Harrison, N.Y., and his
wife, Rebecca, is the principal of the Carmel Academy, a
Jewish day school in Greenwich, Conn. Their three daughters, 8-year-old twins and a 7-year-old, all are students at
the Schechter Academy in Westchester.
Their middle child, Leah, teaches elementary school at
the Joseph Kushner Academy in Livingston, N.J.
Their youngest child, Rabbi Yael, another JTS graduate, is the director of congregational learning at Ansche
Chesed on Manhattans Upper West Side, and Yaels
husband, Rabbi Joshua Rabin, is United Synagogues
director of kehilla enrichment. They have a 4-year-old

daughter, Hannah, and another child is due
in the next few weeks.
When he left the bimah, Rabbi Hammerman meant to retire, even though he was not
quite old enough. He was tired. A bit burnt
out. But the retirement thing just didnt stick.
He became the vice president for North
America at Masorti Olami, the Conservative
movements worldwide organization. That
was fund raising; he stayed for a bit, until the





Im very
impressed with
the level of
People here are
very passionate.
Rabbi Richard Haberman

entire place was restructured. Next, he did

some substitute teaching at the local Schechter school. His plan was to teach full time. I
realized that I was too young to be retired,
but I didnt want overarching responsibilities, he said.

That didnt stick either. Rabbi Hammerman

had worked with the rabbi of Agudath Israel,
Dr. Alan Silverstein, at Masorti Olami; Rabbi
Silverstein had been that bodys president. The
shuls building was being renovated; the project was huge, ongoing, and had forced the congregation to move out and find different alternative spaces for three years. The executive
director decided to retire, Rabbi Hammerman
said. He didnt want to have the burden of finishing the building. So the president asked me
to become executive director, on a temporary
basis. Why? Because Rabbi Silverstein knew
about my executive abilities, and he recruited
me, Rabbi Hammerman said.
So there he was, pledged to spend six
months helping his own community move
into its old-new building, working as a rabbi/
executive director hybrid, mainly running
the synagogue but taking over pastoral duties
from time to time, when necessary.
Those six months lasted for five years,
Rabbi Hammerman said. Finally, though, he
said that it really had to end.
I enjoyed it but I didnt like it as much as
being the rabbi because it wasnt really mine.
And I was wedded to the office daily, which a
rabbi generally isnt. Its not a good job if you
have shpilkes which I have.
After that, the not-really-retired rabbi
See hammerman page 17

Last Pesach, Rabbi Hammerman was Moses at Congregation Agudath

Israel in Caldwell, N.J.

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Jewish Standard JULY

29, 4:21:22
2016 PM

Monsey student one of nine to win scholarship
Nine outstanding high school students
from around the country were selected to
receive the prestigious Sarah Rivkah and
Dr. Bernard Lander zl Scholarship, presented jointly by Touro College and the
National Conference of Synagogue Youth,
the international youth arm of the Orthodox Union. The scholarships, named in
memory of Touros founding president,
Dr. Bernard Lander, zl, and his wife,
Sarah Rivkah, were announced by Touro
president Dr. Alan Kadish and Orthodox

Union president Martin Nachimson.

Chavy Feder of Monsey was among this
years scholarship recipients.
Touro College, a longtime partner of
the Orthodox Union, offers scholarships
to outstanding NCSY graduates who
choose to attend one of Touros Lander
Colleges in New York City: Lander College for Men in Queens, Lander College
for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark
Hasten School in Manhattan, and Lander
College of Arts & Sciences in Brooklyn.

Rockland Federation lists upcoming events

On August 2, the PJ Library in Rockland
County will host a pool party and barbecue at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack at
4:30 p.m. (The rain date is August 3). On
August 7, there will be a family pool party
at JCC Rockland at 10 a.m. On August 18
at 10 a.m., Rabbi Paula Mack Drill will
lead a free Taste of Melton class at the
JCC campus at 10 a.m.
Save September 18 for the family
Touch-A-Truck day at the lower parking lot of the Jewish Community Campus,

from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by PJ

Library, the Rockland Federation, and
JCC Rockland. Its an opportunity to
explore a variety of construction trucks,
cars, and community service vehicles in
a safe, supervised environment.
On September 28, the federation will
launch its Campaign 2017 at 7 p.m., in the
Jewish Community Campus social hall.
For information on any of these events,
call (845) 362-4200 or go to jewishrockland.org.

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16 Jewish standard JULY 29, 2016

Shabbat at West Point

The mens clubs of the Hudson Valley

region of the Federation of Jewish Mens
Clubs has rescheduled its Shabbat service and dinner in the West Point Jewish
Chapel with cadets. It is now set for Friday, September 9, at 7 p.m. For information, call Andy Alper at (845) 638-4634
or email him at alper5@optonline.net.

Save the date for

benefit brunch
The Holocaust Museum & Center for
Tolerance and Education is planning
its annual benefit brunch on Sunday,
November 6, at Rockland Community
College in Suffern at 10 a.m. This years
honoree is Lillian Adler. Marsha and
Gary Forman, Judy and Paul Galan, and
Lyn and Hank Meyers are event chairs.
For information, call (845) 574-4099
or email holocaustrcc@gmail.com.

Holocaust museum
undergoes more
renovation work
The Holocaust Museum & Center for
Tolerance and Education Museum in
Suffern is under renovation. On June
1, more demolition and construction
of the new museum and educational
exhibits began. The new museum is
designed to be a formidable educational institution for students of all
ages, at all levels of Holocaust and
human rights education.
Fall programs will include How
Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations on Tuesday, September 20, at
7 p.m., at the West Clarkstown Jewish Center in New City. A communitywide Kristallnacht commemoration
will be held on Wednesday, November 9, at 7 p.m., at Temple Beth Sholom in New City. For information, call
(845) 574-4099 or go to www.holocauststudies.org.

Marking Tisha BAv in Rockland

Holocaust center plans film screening
The Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education at Rockland Community College in Suffern will screen
With My Whole Broken Heart to mark
Tisha BAv on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2 p.m.
In the summer of 2001, two Jewish
teenagers were hiking near their homes
in the West Bank when they were stoned
to death by Palestinian terrorists. A few
months later, Daniel Pearl, a reporter for
the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped
and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan;
his last words: My fathers Jewish, my
mothers Jewish, Im Jewish.
With My Whole Broken Heart is a
professionally-produced and emotionally-gripping 45-minute film featuring
heart-wrenching stories of valiant parents whose childrens lives were claimed
by terror and their inspiring responses
to their horrific experiences. The documentary also follows the lives of two
of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz
and Buchenwald who emerged from the
darkness and transformed the Jewish
The film is framed around the Rebbes response to the 1956 terror attack
in Kfar Chabad that claimed lives of 5

students, and features interviews with

Daniels parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl;
Sherri Mandell, mother of Kobi Mandell;
former Israeli chief rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael
Meir Lau; and Rabbi Nissan Mangel.
It will be shown in the colleges Technology Center Ellipse at Rockland Community College, 145 College Road. For
information, call Jo at (845) 574-4099 or
email HolocaustRCC@gmail.com.

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Valerie Weisler received $36,000 as the Diller Teen national award winner.

Bullying foe wins tikkun olam prize

Valerie Weisler of New City recently
received the NYC-based Diller Teen
national award. She was honored for
creating the Validation Project, a nonprofit organization that incorporates a
kindness curriculum to combat bullying in schools across the world. The
$36,000 award recognizes teens for
their commitment to social good and
volunteer service.
Valerie, 18, who graduated from
Clarkstown South High School this
spring, was a shy high school freshman
and frequently bullied at school. She
created the Validation Project after seeing the impact she had on another bullied student. When she told him you
matter, he answered by telling her

that her words validated him. That

became the foundation for Valeries
campaign, in which teens identify their
skills and passion, partner with mentors in their field of interest, and then
design campaigns to positively impact
their community. By focusing their
energy on constructive contributions,
teens overcome the obstacles, such as
bullying, that once had held them back.
Now in its tenth year, the Diller Teen
Tikkun Olam awards have given more
than $3 million dollars to 84 Jewish teens
who are tackling global issues and creating lasting change through tikkun olam
the vision of Bay Area philanthropist
Helen Diller, the force behind the Helen
Diller Family Foundation.


search committee chair, Harriet Spevack, remembered Richie Hammerman

from back in Riverdale, decades ago,
when she, her husband, Harold, and the
Hammermans all were members of the
young couples club. So Harriet called
me out of the blue we hadnt spoken in
over 40 years and asked me if I would
consider it.
That was erev Shavuot, Rabbi Hammerman said. June 10. I started here
at the beginning of this month. That
was July.
Rabbi Hammerman likes what he
sees at Montebello. Im very impressed
with the level of participation, he said.
People here are very passionate. Maybe
because its small, they have a sense of
ownership and pride.
I see my mission as keeping the ship
afloat, and piloting it in a direction similar to the one Rabbi Baldachin set it on,
he continued. I will support the search
committee as it looks for a permanent
rabbi, and I will work to keep the sense
of joy and learning alive in Montebello.

from page 15

worked for Israel Tour Connection, selling rabbis on the importance of taking
their congregants to Israel, developing
a real, physical, visceral relationship to
the land; hed led 15 trips himself, so he
knew what he was talking about.
He also led High Holy Day services in
Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley in
Park Ridge, N.J.
What next?
The job at Montebello came to him
serendipitously, Rabbi Hammerman
said. The shuls rabbi, Adam Baldachin,
who was much loved, moved on to a bigger synagogue in Scarsdale, and Montebellos search for a permanent rabbi
stalled. The rabbinic search committee
started thinking about looking for an
interim rabbi instead. Shari Brunner, the
shuls office administrator, is a member
of Beth Sholom in Park Ridge, and she
mentioned Rabbi Hammerman. Shed
loved the services hed led.
And equally serendipitously, the







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Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016 17

The power of words

he Jewish calendar, the civil calendar, and the

natural world all are conspiring to make us all
uneasy this year.
On the Jewish calendar, its the Three Weeks,
leading up to the emotional and rhetorical devastation
of Tisha BAv, the book that includes imagery that is too
brutal to think about.
In the natural world, its the middle of the summer,
still lush outside but punishingly hot. The world will
offer us one of two summertime options. Either it will
be so humid that we will lumber through a miasma of
sweat, or it will be so dry that all the green will die and
the dirt will turn to dust and clog our nostrils. (We tend
more toward the grossly humid here; in Israel, where the
Temples were destroyed, its more toward the cracked,
sere, baking-alive end of the discomfort spectrum.)
And the civil calendar offers us more of the most bleak
and terrifying presidential elections in any of our living
memories. The dystopic thundering of the Republican
convention presented a horrifying version of reality, and
the Democratic email scandal, with its hints of Russian
meddling bringing back nightmares of the Cold War, is
terrifying. (But if youre old enough, at least you can
amuse yourself by remembering Boris Badenov and
Natasha Nogoodnik. And quick does Natashas curvaceous body, knife-sharp cheekbones, and, um, Pottsylvania accent remind you of anyone?)
Without being at all partisan, maybe we can acknowledge that there was at least one shining ray of hope at
the Democratic convention. Michelle Obama, gorgeous,
brilliant, articulate, warm, and elegant, talked about the
future with fullness and generosity.
And, oddly, the focus of her talk seemed Jewish.
To Michelle Obama, everything is filtered through her
children, and after that, through everyone elses children as well. The need to protect, to nurture, to challenge, to mold, and to love her children, to understand
that all her actions will affect them, to do the absolute
best she can to bequeath them a better world, and to
teach them that soon making the world better will be
their responsibility as well, is a deeply Jewish impulse.
Certainly it is not only Jewish, but it is unmistakably
Just as words of blind, senseless hatred of sinat chinam caused the destruction of the Temple and led to
millennia of sorrow and wandering, so too do words of
love have the power to heal.
We hope that we all can cast partisanship aside at
least enough to acknowledge love when we find it, and
to share it. We can go back to fighting about ideas and
philosophies, but how much better the world would be
if love could undergird those fights.

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Down with Judaisms downer days

isha BAv is two weeks from tomorrow, up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself.
although it will be marked one day later
Dont set your eyes upon beauty; rather, set your eyes
this year. That is because, unlike Yom Kip- upon family. For grace is false and beauty is vain; a
pur, neither Tisha BAv nor any other pub- woman who fears, the Lord she will be praised.
lic fast (there are four others) may be observed on a
Nevertheless, that Yom Kippur was a day of fasting
Shabbat. The reason why opens the door to a serious
even in biblical times can be seen in Isaiah 58, where
question about fasts in general: Other than on Yom
it is assumed with good reason that Yom Kippur is
Kippur, should we be fasting at all?
being referenced. Yet there is no question that fasting per se is not mentioned in the Torah in connecThe reason for not delaying the Yom Kippur fast
is a simple one. The Torah commands the obser- tion to Yom Kippur, or any other day.
vance of Yom Kippur on the tenth day of the seventh
The Torah knows nothing about mourning past
month, meaning on Tishrei 10. Besides, the day itself
calamities, either. The lifestyle it prescribes celebrates life; it does not burden life by establishing
is considered a Shabbat. (See Leviticus 23:32.)
memorials to the catastrophes of yesteryear.
It also could be argued that Yom Kippur is not a fast
We celebrate the Exodus from Egypt, but we pass
day in the sense that the other five annual fasts are.
over the catastrophes that befell Israel in Egypt, and
Liturgically, in fact, it contains elements found only
especially the horrific mass murder of
on festival days elements that would
the newborn male children. We celebe totally inappropriate on the other
brate the giving of the Torah on Mount
five fast days. The Torah, in fact, does
Sinai, but ignore the murderous attack
not refer to Yom Kippur as a fast day.
Amalek launched against Israel on the
Rather, it is a day to afflict your souls,
way to Sinai an attack that targeted the
or exercise self-denial, depending on
elderly, the infirm, and the very young.
how you choose to define vinitem et
The Torah does not memorialize
nafshoteichem. (See Leviticus 23:27
catastrophes. They will not be forgotten
and 32.)
because they are on record, and that is
This phrase has been taken to include
enough. Move on.
a number of activities, not just fasting, Rabbi
Fasting was practiced in biblical times,
and certainly not fasting for the purpose
of course. There are several biblical
of mourning. Whether any of these are
examples of private fasts, such as when
what the Torah had in mind is open to
David sought to convince God to spare his and Bathspeculation, if for no other reason than that the Yom
shebas firstborn. (See II Samuel 12:2223.) Fasting
Kippur of the Torah is a cultic observance involving
also occurred following calamities, but these were
specific rituals to be performed by the High Priest
within the sacred precincts. It is through those ritu- of the moment only. (See Judges 20:26, I Samuel 7:6
als alone that atonement is achieved.
and 14:24, and II Chronicles 20:3.)
There also is serious evidence that Yom Kippur
And, of course, there were fasts meant to thwart
afternoons were not only festive occasions, but were
calamities, the most famous of which were the spontaneous fasts that broke throughout Persia after
something akin to Al Capps mythical Sadie Hawkins
Hamans plot was revealed, and the three-day fast
Day, in which young women went out in search of
husbands. As the Talmud explains (see Mishnah Ta- Esther ordered in Shushan before she approached
the king. (See Esther 4:3 and 16.)
anit 4:8):
There is nothing in the Book of Esther, howRabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no
ever, that ordains a permanent annual fast in
more joyous days in Israel than the 15th of Av [known
colloquially as Tu BAv] and Yom Hakippurim. On
That the three other minor fasts and Tisha BAv
these days, the daughters of Israel went out dressed
in [borrowed and ritually cleaned] white clothing. were ordained by the prophets is also questionable.
Yes, the prophet Zechariah (see 8:19) talks of the
[They] would go out and dance in the vineyards
[where the young men awaited them]. And what is fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and
the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth, but
it that they said [as they danced]? Young man, lift
Shammai Engelmayer is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel of the Palisades in Cliffside Park.

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Not so fast
Responding to a day of ambiguity
this reference is problematic. It would seem
to confirm that the three minor fasts the
Seventeenth of Tammuz, the Third of Tishrei (the Fast of Gedaliah), and the Tenth of
Tevet as well as Tisha BAv were ordained
by some authority during biblical times, but
not necessarily the prophets. Zechariah,
however, did not characterize these fasts
in any way, and he did not provide specific
dates for their observance.
The biblical texts that are cited to support
prophetic initiation of the fasts do provide
specific dates, but these are at odds with
when we observe three of them. If the walls
of Jerusalem were breached on the 17th
of Tammuz, there is no biblical record of

For reasons far

beyond the
destruction of the
Temple, Tisha
BAv is much too
important to be
ignored or
tossed aside.
that. The First Temple was supposed to
have been destroyed on the Ninth of Av
(Tisha BAv), but the biblical record puts
the destruction on the seventh of Av (see
II Kings 25.:8-9) or the tenth (see Jeremiah
52:12). We know Gedaliah was killed in Tishrei, but not on what day. (See II Kings 25
and Jeremiah 41.)
Differing dates aside, none of these texts
refer to fasts being observed or proclaimed.
For reasons far beyond the destruction of the Temple, Tisha BAv is much too
important to be ignored or tossed aside.
The minor fasts, however, need to be reexamined, as do the mourning-like rituals
between Passover and Shavuot, and of the
Three Weeks. These color Judaism as being
obsessed with tragedy and death.
Yes, there is a reason the Torah avoids
mention of fasting, much less ordains such
fasts. Judaism is about reaffirming life, not
dwelling on death and destruction.

The opinions expressed in this section are

those of the authors, not necessarily those of
the newspapers editors, publishers, or other
staffers. We welcome letters to the editor.
Send them to jstandardletters@gmail.com.

write these words as I fast in observance of Shivah

a world away Americans celebrated our independence
Asar bTammuz the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tamfor the last time before entering World War II.
muz. The fast commemorates the breeching of the
The Sages of the Talmud taught: Good things are destined to occur on historically auspicious days, while tragwalls of Jerusalem during the siege that culminated in
edies befall us on days with a history of misfortune (Taathe destruction of the Temple. In point of fact, I write these
nit 29A). By all accounts, the seventeenth of Tammuz is a
words on the eighteenth of Tammuz. The fast was delayed
day with an ambiguous legacy. In many ways it is an Indein deference to Shabbat, which fell on the seventeenth of
pendence Day to be celebrated with heartfelt gratitude
Tammuz this year.
The continued relevance of this minor fast is underas a watershed moment in the history of Jewish freedom,
standably questioned by many. Repeatedly continuing to
achievement, and opportunity. Yet the seventeenth of Tammuz also has a deeply dark record, comprising some of the
mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the loss of Jewish
most profound losses of both our distant past and our more
national sovereignty when Jerusalem is a vibrant, modern
recent history.
Jewish city at the political and spiritual heart of a beautiful, living, sovereign, free and democratic Jewish state
I fervently believe that the Prophet Zechariah was right.
seems to some Jews to be spiritually obtuse, scandalously
One day, even the darkest moments in our history will be
lacking in gratitude, and insensitive to the miraculous
transformed into joy and gladness and celebration. I fervently believe that the events of Shivah Asar bTammuz 5536
nature of the State of Israel.
I am not immune to such feelings of cognitive dissonance
( July 4, 1776) represent a significant step forward in achieving such an enlightened and redeemed future.
and spiritual inconsistency in maintaining this
I also fervently believe that we as Jews and
historic commemoration. After struggling with
we together with all Americans have a great
the contemporary tensions inherent in this fast
deal of work to do before the transformation
day, however, I remain committed to its observance. In fact, I am convinced that this years
envisioned by Zechariah can be realized fully.
Shivah Asar bTammuz offers a uniquely comI fervently believe that such a divine transforpelling message, especially to American Jews.
mation can be brought about only through the
It was 240 years ago, on Shivah Asar
concerted efforts of very human agents. The
bTammuz 5536 (that is, July 4, 1776) that the
political and cultural divides in American society today represent a lamentable stain on the
Declaration of Independence was signed in
legacy of the founding fathers. The analogous
Philadelphia. (This calendrical confluence
Joseph H.
infighting and petty partisan religious politics
recurs not infrequently.) It is tempting to see
bedeviling the Jewish state and the Jewish peoirony in the fact that Jews were mourning and
ple from within despite the very real threats
fasting and looking back in time to the losses
from increasingly hostile external detractors
of antiquity just as the American founding
make it clear that Shivah Asar bTammuz is no time to celfathers were attending the birth of a nation and inaugurating a future of unprecedented freedom and opportuebrate. Not yet.
nity, full acceptance, and genuine enfranchisement for the
It is a time to reflect on both our copious gifts and our
Jewish people.
considerable challenges. It is time to get to work. We occupy
It is tempting to identify in the founding of the United States
a moment in history at which both the United States and
on Shivah Asar bTammuz fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
the House of Judah find ourselves at a crossroads. American
Zechariah (8:19) foretold: The fast of the fourth month (i.e.,
Jews must take to heart our obligations both as citizens of
Tammuz) shall become an occasion for joy and gladness, a
the nation founded on Shivah Asar bTammuz and as heirs
happy festival for the House of Judah. The events of 17 Tamto an ancient and sacred tradition that met some of its most
muz 5536 (the fast of the fourth month) indeed are observed
dire perils on Shivah Asar bTammuz.
as a happy festival (though marked according to the GregoI spent the first days of this historic month visiting Getrian calendar!) worthy of celebration, joy and gladness by
tysburg, Pennsylvania. I was haunted there by the words of
the House of Judah in the twenty-first century. The historic
Abraham Lincoln, who (First Amendment objections notwithstanding) famously declared a day of national humilialliance and friendship between the United States and the
ation, fasting and prayer as the Civil War raged. Lincolns
State of Israel accounts in no small part for the Jewish significance of this modern festival.
call for a day of fasting and reflection speaks to todays
The modern history of Shivah Asar bTammuz is not
Americans, who similarly must recognize the onerous cost
all cheerful news for the House of Judah. This years fast
of continued divisiveness. Let us then rest humbly in the
represents a dark historic anniversary, far more recent
hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united
and in many ways more compelling than the breeching
cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with
of ancient Jerusalems city walls. It was precisely 75 years
blessings, no less than the restoration of our now divided
ago Shivah Asar bTammuz of 1941 that the rabbis of
and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of
Vilna were arrested en masse, abused and tortured by the
unity and peace. Fasting, prayer, and national introspection, together with the wise, principled, and effective disNazi regime, and at days end, shot to death at Ponary
charge of our responsibilities as Jews and as Americans, still
an isolated, deceptively bucolic expanse of farmland some
are very much the order of the day, lest painful breeches
five miles from the city. Vilna was perhaps Europes most
give way to a still more devastating calamity.
vital center of Jewish scholarship and piety, dubbed the
I write these words even as I fast in (an albeit delayed)
Jerusalem of Lithuania by no less a visitor than Napoleon.
observance of Shivah Asar bTammuz. We must begin this
The Jewish national losses of Shivah Asar bTammuz 5701
process in earnest. Now. Some obligations unlike minor
were incalculable.
The executions at Ponary (also known as Ponarz, Punar,
fast days can simply not be put off until tomorrow.
and Panarai) lasted for months, claiming thousands of victims. As many as 2,000 Jews were murdered on a single day.
Joseph H. Prouser is the rabbi of Temple Emanuel of North
The lethal liquidation of Vilna Jewry began on July 4, 1941, as
Jersey in Franklin Lakes.


The Berrie Fellows go to Israel

Cohort of local leaders learn to listen to each other

s I write this, I am preparing

my thoughts, expectations,
and goals for what promises to
be a transformative 10-day trip
to Israel with the Berrie Fellows Leadership Program.
The Berrie fellowship is an 18-month
learning and training program for 20 Jewish men and women who hold lay leadership roles in the northern Jersey area
theyre presidents and board members of
synagogues, JCCs, JFNNJ, day schools, the
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey,
and similar groups. It is funded by the Russell Berrie Foundation, whose president,
Angelica Berrie, is a leading philanthropist
and visionary, and it is administered by
Our Berrie cohort, the fourth of five, is
working to expand on the Berrie Foundations twofold mission to promote the
continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life and to foster the spirit of religious
understanding and pluralism.
The 20 of us represent religious denominations ranging from Orthodox to Reconstructionist, as well as political philosophies
from the most liberal to the most conservative. In other words, we are not going to
agree about Donald Trumps acceptance
speech. But what we all share is a desire to
improve the lives of the Jewish community,

a commitment to the vibrancy of the Jewish

people, and an understanding of the importance of the State of Israel.
The program consists of lectures, discussions, meetings, forums, and the study of
both secular and religious texts. Berrie Fellows add to it their desire to make Jewish life
more inclusive, open, and accepting. While
we disagree, often vehemently, over such
hot-button issues as intermarriage, Jewish
practices, Israeli settlements, responses to
terrorism, and Palestinian issues, we do so
respectfully. We also do so without judgment
and without questioning other peoples
motives or vilifying their belief systems when
they differ from our own.
Most importantly, we exemplify what is so
sorely missing in the Democratic and Republican parties today. That is, we accept that
the people whose views we disagree with
are good people, people who are just as committed to the same goals as we are that the
Jewish people and Israel must be strong but
with differing ideas about the way to accomplish those goals.
The Fellows are open to learning about
each other and our divergent experiences,
so that we can bring the strength of our joint
commitments, rather than the divisiveness or
our differences, together, using it to advance
the future of our community. The issues that
divide us are far fewer than those that bind

Dont call them names

Its time to figure out how to accept
and welcome LGBT people

t a recent Zion and Jerusalem

conference attended by 700 rabbis and educators in Israel, Rabbi
Yigal Levenstein, the co-director
of Bnei David, Israels original and flagship
Mechina program in the West Bank town of
Eli, made some highly controversial comments about LGBT people and Reform Jews.
The comments elicited criticism across
the political spectrum, and even from some
Orthodox leaders.
Rabbi Levenstein has had enormous influence on thousands of religious Zionist Israelis, young men who have completed his
Mechina program. The program aims to prepare students to meet the challenges they will
face from encountering secular society during their army tour of duty.
At the conference, Rabbi Levenstein
labeled the Reform movement a Christian
Dr. Kenneth Prager is professor of medicine
and director of medical ethics at Columbia
University Medical Center. He is a member of
Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood.

movement. He also criticized the IDF for

allowing gay men to serve. He said: Soldiers
and officers are taught to refer to [LGBT people] as proud, but I dont dare call them that
perverts is what I call them.
It is surprising and chilling to hear such an
influential rabbi, who has a profound influence on thousands of religious young Israelis,
using a term as ugly as perverts when referring to LGPT people and criticizing the IDF
for accepting gay men.
What is even more depressing and disturbing is the fact that 300 religious Zionist
rabbis signed a petition supporting Rabbi
Compare this to the Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community. Signed
in 2010 by more 100 Orthodox American
rabbis, the statement called for the inclusion of gay people as full members of the
Orthodox community. While Rabbi Levenstein made no distinction between same-sex
attraction and a single act between gay men
prohibited by the Torah, the Statement of

the formidable challenges that

us. We are mindful of the fact
are before us, we must come
that we are one people, bound
together. The insidious BDS
by a common history and the
movement and its older cousin,
teachings of the Torah.
anti-Semitism, are back in
In Israel, the Berrie Fellows will study at the Shalom
vogue. They are both rampant
Hartman Institute, meet with
now, especially in our no longer intellectually open or honphilanthropic and political
est institutions of higher learnleaders, visit diverse sites to
ing. The world is a dangerous
see programs in action, and
place, with ISIS, unrelenting
tour various settlements,
terrorism and nonstop verbal
Arab areas, ultra-Orthodox
attacks (of the liar, liar pants on fire kind)
towns, and secular neighborhoods to better understand the fabric that makes up
on the State of Israel.
the modern State of Israel. We will explore
We Berrie Fellows are being equipped with
the complexities of Israeli life and look at
the tools necessary to fight the internal and
the burgeoning philanthropic environexternal threats to the Jewish people. I anticiment that is growing as a result of expandpate that the experiences in Israel will supering economic opportunities.
charge the learning that we have already had
I am excited to travel with this group of
in the first 12 months of the program. However, though we will have many of the tools to
extraordinary people, who are leaving their
do the job, we will still need many others to
families and jobs for 10 days to devote themselves to the advancement of the Jewish peoassist us with the building, and in many cases,
ple. We know that what we will see and do
remodeling of the Jewish philanthropic and
in Israel will be unique and extraordinary.
leadership models.
When we return to northern New Jersey,
I know that when we work together, we
our charge will be to take these experiences
can do great things. To thrive, we must focus
and use them to improve the availability and
on that which unites us and not that which
efficiency of Jewish religious institutions and
divides us. We must also believe that Jewish continuity and a strong State of Israel is
social organizations. It also will be to continue to work to bring our people together
important to us, our children and the future
that is the only way we will survive.
of our people.
As Abraham Lincoln famously said, A
Daniel Shlufman of Tenafly is a member of the
house divided against itself cannot stand.
board of the Jewish Federation of Northern
For too long, the Jewish people have built
New Jersey and one of its Berrie Fellows. He is
our institutions upon an unstable foundation of separatism and exclusion. To accept
an attorney and a mortgage broker.

Principles made this distincof Principles, was premature.

tion very clear, emphasizing
The statement, while adhering to the Torah prohibition
that Jewish law does not prohibit orientation or feelings of
against a single homosexual act
same-sex attraction, and noth penetrative sex between two
ing in the Torah devalues the
men stated: embarrassing,
human beings who struggle
harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientawith them.
tion or same-sex attraction is a
As a modern Orthodox Jew
Dr. Kenneth
violation of Torah prohibitions
who loves and accepts his lesPrager
bian daughter, her partner,
that embody the deepest values of Judaism.
and their two sons as deeply
It is clear that given our secular societys
as I love my three other children and their
increasing acceptance of LGBT peoples right
families, I find Rabbi Levensteins comments
to live their lives in a manner comparable
contemptible and utterly contrary to a Torah
to heterosexuals, Orthodox Judaism faces a
whose ways are ways of pleasantness
great halachic challenge. How to treat Jews
(Proverbs 3:17). Imagine how thousands of
whose inborn sexual orientation is uncongay Orthodox Jews and even accepting
ventional with respect and acceptance, while
the most conservative estimates of the percentage of the population that is gay, their
remaining true to the Torahs prohibition, is
number must reach the thousands react to
a challenge but it clearly is doable. What is
Rabbi Levensteins use of the term perverts
needed is a new approach to the entire question of what it means to be LGBT in the light
to describe them.
of the narrow Torah prohibition of a particWhat I fear is that Rabbi Levenstein may be
ular sexual act between two men. What is
looked up to by many modern Orthodox Rabbis as a hero for bravely stating what they feel
needed is an acceptance by rabbis that gay
in their hearts but are too politically correct
people were made that way by God, and that
to say. If that is true, then the optimism I have
it is therefore cruel to demand that they live
felt over the past few years, thinking modern
loveless and lonely lives within halacha or
Orthodox rabbis were making slow progress,
leave Judaism entirely.
along the lines enunciated in the Statement

Biblical intermarriage

Regarding the discussion of intermarriage by Rabbi

Zahavy (Dear Rabbi, June 30) I agree with his views,
and note that he cites Ruth as a favorable, indeed admirable, example. But I am surprised that in his and others
discussions of intermarriage, the two notable instances of
intermarriage in the Torah, by arguably its two greatest
figures, are rarely noted.
To make matters worse, they married daughters of pagan
priests! I refer first to Joseph, who married Asenath, the
daughter of a priest of On (mentioned twice, for emphasis,
in Genesis 43:45,50). (On was an Egyptian city, the center of
the cult of the sun-god Re.) Second, there was Moses, who
married Zipporah, the daughter of a Midianite priest, Jethro
(Exodus 2:16-22). One might explain these away by noting
that the husbands were leaders not likely to be led astray,
but still were they setting an example?
Dan Mosenkis, Fair Lawn

In defense of Orthodox institutions

I write in response to Mr. Joseph Kaplans July 22 op-ed,

Sorrowful Words. I follow the order of his letter.

Disappointments with the RCA Geirus GPS

The key benefit of establishing the GPS protocols is that the

convert is assured of the acceptance of their geirus in North
America and Israel. Mr. Kaplan claims the GPS contains
overly strict procedures that put up barriers to conversion rather than help people convert. I am sure that Mr.
Kaplan does not endorse the position that there can be a
conversion without any standards. So, I ask Mr. Kaplan,
which provisions of the GPS are overly strict?
Mr. Kaplan continues his assault on the GPS by seeking
to tarnish it by calling out the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, the former chairman of the GPS Committee of the RCA.
Rabbi Freundel pled guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism and
was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison. While it is crystal
clear that what Rabbi Freundel did was criminal, unconscionable, and cannot be condemned enough, at the same
time, it also should be crystal clear that none of his atrocious activities bear on the GPS or, most importantly, on the
giyuirm that were performed under the GPS.
Mr. Kaplan further seeks to undermine the GPS system
by citing the GPS Review. On the contrary, the GPS Review
stands by the purpose and halachic standards outlined in
the GPS Policies and Procedures. The following is from the
Reviews opening:
While there were those who expressed opposition to the
entire notion of a centralized system of conversion courts
calling for a return to conversions done by local rabbis, the
RCA affirms the value of its centralized system of Regional
Courts for Conversion, the GPS system. In particular:
1. The RCA affirms the fundamental value of the GPS system, whose standards in halacha are in accordance with the
most widely accepted views of our poskim. A conversion
completed through this system grants the convert the assurance that the conversion will be the most widely accepted
both in North America and by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
2. The RCA affirms the halachic standards of the GPS
3. While the Freundel arrest is an unmitigated tragedy and
gives urgency to this review, the GPS system includes many
people who have worked appropriately, including rabbis,
administrators, teachers, and mentors. These people are
not to be judged unfairly due to the criminal activity of one.
4. While affirming the strengths of the GPS, the GPS is
acknowledged to have weaknesses, as does any system.
Some of these are due to the nature of a centralized system
and some are due to the delivery of the services.
5. The RCA is committed to improving the GPS system by
both making it more efficient and by improving the experience of the convert.

In the words of Rabbi Josh Yuter, the real importance

of the report can be found on page 11, and worth quoting
at length.
From the report: At the time of the establishment of the
GPS system, attention was paid primarily to the development
of Batei Din that would function according to standardized
halachic procedures. Primary concerns included the essential requirement of conversion candidates full observance of
Jewish law at the time of the conversion, as well as with their
expectation and commitment to continue to live as observant
Jews. The emphasis in establishing this system was to maintain a high quality of the conversions in order to assure that
they would be widely recognized.
The emphasis of the RCA in establishing these Batei Din
was thus primarily on the halachic practices of the Batei Din
and not on the experiences of the converts. It was assumed at
the time that the experiences of converts, their training, their
spiritual and religious development, their emotional process
and comfort would be tended to by their sponsoring rabbis
who had much experience in these areas.
The collection of data from the surveys, from input of those
involved in conversion preparation as teachers and sponsoring rabbis, as well as from the collective experience of the
Review Committee members, have made apparent, however,
that the RCA must not limit its attention to halachic details, but
to the many areas and aspects of the complexity of the total
conversion experience for conversion candidates, including
emotional, spiritual, social issues, power dynamics, and other
factors. While many converts felt satisfied with the process
of conversion, a significant minority felt vulnerable, unduly
stressed, and sometimes even resentful of the process. These
recommendations expand the attention that must be given to
the quality of the experiences of converts.
While there are opportunities for improvement to the GPS
Policies and Procedures, they are, as they exist today, halachically sound and certainly not problematic.
With regard to the very unfortunate circumstance about
Nicole, who converted under the auspices of Rabbi Lookstein, the incident itself gives support for the need of the GPS.
The GPS anticipates this unfortunate outcome by stating:
Rabbis and lay people who carry out conversions outside
of this framework should know that they cannot be assured
of recognition by the RCA/BDA with respect to such conversions. And, in my own words, by extension, by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Disappointments with the RCA Press Releases

For the record, the full text of both press releases is offered
below. Mr. Kaplan is disappointed in that the statements do
not make specific points and do not pass his editorial muster.
I prefer to see the RCA statements as being on point and representing the best of modern Orthodox rabbinic leadership.
Your readers can judge for themselves.
RCA Condemns Terror Attack in Orlando
Jun 14, 2016 The Rabbinical Council of America, the leading
organization of Orthodox rabbis in North America, expresses its
shock at the hate filled terrorist attack in Orlando that brutally
murdered 49 innocent people and wounded 53.
Murderous attacks in the name of religion are anathema
said RCA president Shalom Baum. We condemn the philosophy and actions of radical Islamists which are the antithesis
of personal responsibility, coexistence, and peace. We call on
world leaders to continue the fight to protect innocent people
from the violence motivated by ISIS and those sharing its cruel
We categorically condemn the hatred and violence perpetrated against the patrons of the Pulse nightclub said Vice
President Elazar Muskin. No individual or group should be
singled out in such a nefarious way. Our deepest condolences
are extended to all the bereaved families, their friends and
community, in this time of pain. Our thoughts and prayers for

a speedy and full recovery are with all the wounded.

RCA Protests Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage
Jun 26, 2015 The Rabbinical Council of America expresses deep
concern over todays ruling of the Supreme Court of the United
States regarding same-sex marriage.
While recognizing the civil rights of all who live in a democratic country as well as the diversity of religious and political
opinions in a multi-religious society, the RCA rejects the Courts
redefinition of marriage. Marriage is an institution defined by
the Bible and subsequent religious codes and it is upon the
foundation of traditional family life that our society has been
built for millennia.
We are sobered by the response of Chief Justice John Roberts,
that people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they
receive from the majority today and are alarmed about the
threat articulated by Justice Samuel A. Alito that the majority
opinion will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to
assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the
majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied
equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.
We call on the United States government to ensure, in the
words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, That religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek
to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to
their lives and faiths.
Rabbi Leonard Matanky, president of the RCA, said, We
remind all Americans of faith, Jewish and non-Jewish, that no
court can change Gods immutable law. We will redouble our
efforts to use persuasion to make the case for Gods eternal
truths about the nuclear family and the bond between husband
and wife. We stand committed not to lose faith in faith itself, and
hope that others who cherish Gods teaching will join us.

Disappointments with the OU Rabbinic

Coordinator Open Orthodoxy

Mr. Kaplan is disappointed that the OU does not publically

distance itself from articles by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer that
are critical of open Orthodoxy. But, why should the OU do so?
Where is the opportunity for a discussion and debate of the
issues? Instead of calling for the OU to disassociate from Rabbi
Gordimers articles, Mr. Kaplan should be encouraging Rabbi
Gordimers articles and their respective responses. This way
the public can make an informed judgment based on transparent presentations of both sides of the debate.

Disappointments with the OU Rabbinic

Coordinator Rabbi Belsky

Mr. Kaplan is disappointed that the OU featured a profile

about Rabbi Belsky after his recent petirah. Mr. Kaplan omits
that while he was still alive, Rabbi Belsky made clear in a public letter that he favors the reporting of credible suspicions of
abuse directly to the civil authorities without the need to seek
prior rabbinic permission. I prefer to view Rabbi Belsky in the
very words of the OU Koshers CEO (for whom Mr. Kaplan has
strong respect and admiration) Rabbi Menachem Genack, He
advocated on behalf of people for whom everyone else had
lost hope and he did so at enormous risk. He wasnt necessarily always right, but he was always motivated by compassion and a sense of profound kinship for the most unfortunate
and isolated person. He was extraordinary in that way. He was
incredibly unique and irreplaceable. I loved him very much.


Instead of focusing on his disappointments and generalizing

from specific events to negatively characterize our community institutions, I would urge Mr. Kaplan to draw inspiration
from all of the good work that is done by our flagship modern
Orthodox institutions, the OU and the RCA.
Yisrael Gottesman, Teaneck

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Russias President Vladimir Putin, left, clasps hands with Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey after the failed coup, fascism

e live in an era of resurgent strongattention that had been focused on the previous days
man leaders.
terrorist atrocity in Nice, France, suddenly lurched
Some of them, like Russias Presitoward Ankara and Istanbul, where tanks were in the
dent Vladimir Putin, carry an aura of
streets, fighter jets were flying overhead, and state
invincibility, a sense that they effortlessly control the
media was announcing the existence of something
levers of power at every level of state activity, from
called a peace council that henceforth would manparliament to intelligence operations to the military.
age the countrys crisis. Erdogan himself was rumored
Some of them cling to power even as
to have left the country, and there even
the states they created crumble under
were reports that he had requested asythe weight of corruption, mismanagelum in Germany.
ment, political repression, and ecoBut by Saturday, Erdogan and his
nomic degradation; Venezuelas leader,
cohorts were back in control. We perhaps
Nicolas Maduro, is a prime example of
will never know the true story of what
this. Still others cling to power through
happened during those fateful hours,
brute force and mass murder, propped
but it is striking that this coup appears to
up by outside allies. The most obvious
have been so incompetently executed, all
case here is the Syrian tyrant Bashar althe more so in Turkey, which has had its
Ben Cohen
Assad, who has lived another day thanks
fair share of violent transitions of power
to his friends in Moscow and Tehran.
in the recent past.
Theres another class of strongman
Certainly, Erdogan has reaped great
leader, who accumulates more and more power by prerewards in the aftermath, which has seen him move
senting himself as the innocent victim of murky outside
several steps closer to the sultan-like status he craves.
conspiracies, spinning his unfortunate condition as an
Does that he mean that he staged the coup? Ive always
attack on the sovereign will of the people, and not just
been highly skeptical of false flag operation theories,
upon himself or his political party. Case in point? Enter
but if youre hunting for one, youre probably on more
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
solid ground with the attempted coup in Turkey than
For a few hours on Friday, July 15, the world believed
you are with 9/11 in America or the assault on the Charthat Erdogan had been the target of a coup. Media
lie Hebdo magazine in Paris.



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broadcasters having their
licenses revoked and dozens
of internet portals blocked.
Erdogan can claim the
support of around half of
Turkeys population now.
The other half detests him.
There were many antiregime Turks who laughed
bitterly when they saw
Erdogan, as the coup was
under way, imploring his
people to get into the streets
and demonstrate. They
remembered, of course, the
defeated uprising against
Erdogan in 2013, when
more than 8,000 were
injured in clashes with the authorities
and thousands more were arrested.
Internally, Erdogan is far stronger
now than in 2013, when more than 3
million Turks defied him openly. In
terms of Turkeys regional status, it is
a slightly different matter. The regime
has been humbled in its dealings with
both Russia, with whom Erdogan has
been at loggerheads over the war in

Erdogan has named

and blamed his most
hated enemy, the
Muslim cleric
Fethullah Gulen, for
the coup, in which
approximately 200
people were killed.
Erdogan has named and blamed his
most hated enemy, the Pennsylvaniabased Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen,
for the coup, in which approximately
200 people were killed. The figurehead
of a movement that blends fealty to
Islam with a commitment to scientific
inquiry and interfaith dialogue, Gulen
was a close ally of Erdogan until 2013,
following an enormous corruption
scandal that was centered upon leading
figures in the Turkish presidents
ruling AKP Party, including Erdogan himself.
Rather like Leon Trotsky, the
founder of the Soviet Red Army,
who was hounded and chased
out of the USSR by Joseph Stalin, Gulen has become an allencompassing explanation for
the existential threats, as Erdogan perceives them, that are
plaguing Turkey. Stalin saw the
influence of Trotskyite counterrevolutionaries everywhere, and brutally purged every element of the Soviet
apparatus. Erdogan now is doing much
the same with the Gulenist terrorists.
Since Trotsky himself was eventually
assassinated in Mexico City in 1940,
after more than a decade of wandering the globe, Gulen can be forgiven
for wondering whether he will face a
similar fate at his home in the Poconos
assuming, that is, that the Obama
administration doesnt accede to Erdogans demand that the cleric be extradited to his homeland.
In Turkey itself, Erdogan has
embarked up on a rapacious statewide
purge. About 60,000 soldiers, police,
judges, civil servants, and teachers have
been suspended or detained, or are
under investigation by the regime. At
Istanbul University alone, nearly 100
academics have been ousted from their
positions, and all academics are now
banned from traveling abroad. Nearly
700 private schools have been closed
down summarily. The crackdown on
the media long the subject of Erdogans hatred, which means that Turkey
is at number 151 in the global press freedom rankings, just below Tajikistan
has been especially fearsome, with 24

Erdogan can claim

the support of
around half of
Turkeys population
now. The other
half detests him.
Syria, and Israel, which endured his
vulgar anti-Semitic rhetoric for more
than a decade before reaching a reconciliation deal with Turkey in June. You
might even marvel at the fact that Erdogan has purged more than 600 leading
military officers at a time when youd
think he needs them but remember
that Stalin did exactly the same.
Erdogan has established himself as a
dictator, and Turkey a NATO member
and still a candidate for membership of
the European Union is dismantling
what precious few civil liberties remain.
There was a time when Turkeys
apologists, particularly in the American-Jewish community, sycophantically described the country as the only
democracy in the Middle East beside
Israel. Only the most foolish of them
would do so now.
This is what fascism looks like. JNS.ORG
Ben Cohen, senior editor of TheTower.
org and the Tower magazine, writes
a weekly column for JNS.org on
Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern
politics. His work has been published
in Commentary, the New York Post,
Haaretz, the Wall Street Journal, and
many other publications.


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446 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 201-692-0192 Fax 201-692-3656

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CareOne at Teaneck

CareOne at Teaneck
544 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, N.J. 07666

You are cordially invited to

Important Legal Topics for Seniors

Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 7:00pm

Special Guest Speaker:


Attorney at Law

Topics for Discussion:

Asset Protection and Preservation

Estate Planning
Wills and Trusts
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Power of Attorneys
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016
6:00pm to 7:30pm

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Cover Story

24 Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016

Cover Story

Benjy? Is that you?

Sothebys chairman of Americas,
Benjamin Doller, talks about growing up in Teaneck

Joanne Palmer
ts not that theres any reason that the chairman of
Americas for Sothebys, the
huge, iconic art dealer and
auction house, created in
London in 1744, shouldnt
have grown up in Teaneck.
Theres no reason why
that chairman, who is also
a senior auctioneer and
top expert in 19th-century British art,
the Impressionists, and modern art,
shouldnt have been a member of an
Orthodox shul and have been educated
in part in a yeshiva.
Its just that although theres no reason
why it shouldnt be, you dont expect it.
Benjamin Dollers logical path to the top at
Sothebys confounds expectations.
Of course, part of being an artist, or of
understanding art on the profound level
that Mr. Doller does, is to confound expectations. Its part of the job description.
Ben Dollers parents, Samuel and Shirley
Falk Doller, both were born in the Bronx
to parents with roots in Eastern Europe.
In fact, his unusual last name, complete
with the e toward the end that makes
clear that were not talking about money,
can be traced back to the 19th century, Mr.
Doller said.
When his parents first married, they
lived in Greenwich Village, but soon after
he was born, in the late 1950s, the family,
which also included his older sister, Shira
now Shira Doller Grosser, a beloved
teacher at the Yavneh Academy in Paramus moved to Teaneck.
My father was an optometrist, and my
mother was a womens dress designer,
Mr. Doller said. She was eccentric, and
everyone knew her in Teaneck for always
wearing hats. Now, many Orthodox
women live in Teaneck, and many of them
cover their hair, often with hats, so thats
not a surprising thing to say. Then? Really,
not so much.
Shirley Doller didnt wear hats to fulfill a
religious mandate. She liked hats. The crazier the better, her son said. She had fun
with them.
His father had a great big moustache,

Benjamin Doller, far left, leading an auction; above, at right, he stands with a museum director in 2011 as they discuss a work
by the Belgian painter Charles Hermann. It sold for $1 million and now hangs in an Asian museum.

Both Samuel and Shirley Doller

loved art, and they took their
children to museums and art
galleries on Sunday afternoons.
Mr. Doller added, so his parents were visually striking, both separately and together.
People in town knew them.
They became even more well known
locally when friends invited them to a
party. Those friends had another friend
Alan Funt, the friendly, avuncular, bearshaped man, whose white hair framed his
shining bald head, and whose specialty
was setting people up in embarrassing situations on nationwide television and filming them as they made fools of themselves.
Alan Funt, that is, of Candid Camera.

My parents were invited to a wrongnight party, he said. They were invited

into a stunt.
It was classic. They argued with each
other about who was wrong. It was blackand-white 60s TV, and they were like a
comedy act. They were funny. They were
good. Eventually, the stunt was revealed
Youre on Candid Camera, Mr. Funt
would crow. I think they enjoyed it, Mr.
Doller said. Certainly they enjoyed the
local fame it got them, he added.
Both Samuel and Shirley Doller loved

art, and they took their children to museums and art galleries on Sunday afternoons. When I was very little, I remember going to the studio of the artist Chaim
Gross, Mr. Doller said. (Chaim Gross was
a well-known European-born Jewish sculptor who was born at the beginning of the
20th century and escaped the continent
between the two world wars to flourish in
New York. ) He picked me up, and he held
the hammer and I held the chisel. That
was very exciting.
It was also very exciting that at one of
the first auctions I ever did as an auctioneer, he was in the audience, buying.
At one point Sothebys sold part of his
collection, and I was able to tell his daughter the story.
As important as art was to the Dollers,
it was not all that motivated them. They
moved to Teaneck for the public schools;
friends who lived there told them that
the system was good. But once they got
Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016 25

Cover Story
to town, their next-door neighbors, Janet
and Hy Sainer, told my parents that you
should send the kids to Yavneh.( Janet
Sainer went on to be Mayor Ed Kochs
Commissioner on Aging from 1978 to 1989.
New York Citys benefit was Teanecks loss,
Mr. Doller said, because in order to take the
job, the Sainers had to move to the city.)
When the Dollers moved to Teaneck,
they had been Conservative Jews; they
belonged to the Teaneck Jewish Center.
But then Congregation Beth Aaron was
created, in a local house, and my parents
were founding members, Mr. Doller said.
I was at the first minyan at Beth Aaron.
As Teaneck became more observant
and Orthodox, so did the Dollers. Still,
when he graduated from Yavneh, Mr.
Doller went to Teaneck High School,
where he felt more at home. It was a
really strong progressive liberal education, he said. We had about 20 Merit
Scholars at one time. The school also
took advantage of being so close to New
York. I remember that we read Cat On
a Hot Tin Roof in one of our classes, and
then we were taken to Broadway and we
saw Elizabeth Ashley in it, he said. And
Katherine Hepburn was in the audience
that day. (And, he added, many years
later, I was the auctioneer for her estate.)
After high school, Mr. Doller went to
college at NYU but not in the liberal arts
school. Despite his love of art, he enrolled
in the undergraduate business school.
In those days, in the 1970s, if you were
a Jewish kid you had three options for
your major, he said. Pre-med, pre-law,
or accounting.
Its not that my parents said that they
didnt, they would have supported anything I did, but it was in our DNA.
And one day I was sitting next to a
friend in a marketing class, and he asked
me if I had a summer job. No, I said.
Why? And he said that he worked at the
Frick Library, and We need some parttime help this summer.
It was that one conversation, that
chance conversation, that got me here,
Mr. Doller said.
I worked at the Frick Library for two
years while I was in college, he continued. I started taking more art history
classes, but I wouldnt major in art history,
because there were no jobs. My major still
was in business and marketing.
Mr. Doller has fond memories of the
Frick. When I worked there, Miss Frick,
the daughter of Henry Clay Frick, was
still alive, he said. (That was Helen Clay
Frick, who established and directed the
Frick Art Reference Library, to give it its
full name. She died in 1984.) She would
pay Christmas bonuses to employees from
her personal account. I do have the pay
stubs, he added. One was for $10, and
the other was $15.
When I graduated, I was going to go for
an MBA, but again by chance somebody at
the Frick had a girlfriend who worked at
an employment agency, and he mentioned
26 Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016

that hed heard that there were some jobs

at the accounting department at Parke Bernet, Mr. Doller said. (Parke Bernet was an
auction house that Sothebys had bought
a decade or so earlier; Sothebys retained
the name for some time.)
It turns out that Mr. Dollers combination of business and art was a wise one.
I like to say that when I started working at Sothebys, I was walking around
delivering paychecks, he said. I ran the
payroll office. I got the job because of
my accounting background I do really
like math and then after two years, in

Cataloguing is
when you look
at the painting,
you title it, you
measure it, you
research it.
1979, I switched over to the client end, to
accounting and credit, and then after a few
years I landed a job as a cataloguer trainee
in the 19th-century European paintings department.
Before he made the move, Mr. Doller
spent a lot of time challenging himself and
questioning his knowledge and assumptions. I spent every weekend at exhibitions, he said, looking and absorbing and
learning. Even when I wasnt sure if I
would make the move, I knew I wanted to
learn, he said.
And then theres the job he took. What
does cataloguing mean in this context?
Cataloguing is when you look at the
painting, you title it, you measure it, you
research it, Mr. Doller said. Lets say
there is no specific catalogue on the artist. I would have to check it by writing to
specialists, learning about the painting and
about its context.
By handling a work and looking at it,
you train your eye.
Why did he pick 19th-century Europe?
Because it seemed to be a good place to
start. I always loved the Old Masters, but
they scared me, Mr. Doller said. More
often than not, theyre not signed. And I
thought that because the 19th century is
just 100 years, I could learn it and figure it
out, and I could become a specialist in that
one area. I felt that I didnt have a strong
enough background in art history.
His plan worked. I became a specialist
in that area, and eventually I became the
head of the department, and then worldwide head of the department, he said.
When I was worldwide head, I was really
coming up with selling strategies and overseeing staffing and business for the global
19th-century department.
One of the many advantages of his job,
Mr. Doller said, was the travel. Join Sothebys and see the world, he said. Some of

Shirley, Samuel, and Ben Doller all cherished their museum and gallery visits.

A young Ben Doller, as a Sothebys cataloguer, in the early 1980s, holds a work
by the American painter Frederick Childe Hassam.

the travel was exotic, but some was to

small towns across the United States. If he
was told about a painting if someone
sent a photograph or emailed an image,
Id get on a plane if it seemed as if it might
have value.
Sometimes those images could come
from home. One day, in 1989, we got a
photograph of a very interesting painting
from someone in Teaneck, he said. It
was from not quite five blocks from where
my parents lived. So I called the people,
and we chatted, and I said that I wanted
to go to see it, so I went with a colleague.
It was a painting that we thought probably was worth around $4,000 to $6,000.
My colleague and I talked to them about
the picture, told them what we could do
with it, and they said, That sounds great.
So I gave them a receipt and wrapped
up the painting, and I said, By the way,

you probably dont know this, but my parents live just a few blocks from here. And
the woman said, We know your parents
from Beth Aaron, and this was a done deal
before you got here.
In the end, the painting sold for about
$8,000 dollars, and we took my parents
to dinner and a show, Mr. Doller said.
My mother was the welcome wagon for
Beth Aaron, and she had gone over to
meet this woman immediately when she
first came to town.
When Mr. Doller was 29, at just about
the same time that he began to learn how
to catalogue, he also learned how to lead
an auction. When he realized how much
he wanted to stand at the front of the room
and use his intuition and theatrical flair to
cause huge sums of money to flow from
one owner to another, with some diverted
toward Sothebys, he met with the auction

Cover Story
houses John Marion, one of the greatest
auctioneers ever, he said. I told him that
I wanted to be an auctioneer, and he said
okay, but first go get a haircut, and then
we will go to lunch. I got a haircut, and the
next day we went to lunch, and he said to
me, I think you will be a good auctioneer,
because you really want to be one.
He also told me that you have to give
the last lot the same gusto as the first, and
I remembered that when I sold an estate
and was on the rostrum for five hours.
Being an auctioneer is like conducting
an orchestra, he continued. And sometimes there are great surprises. I had a
painting by Alma-Tadema, a once-storied
Victorian painter whose work has had
clockwork turns from adoration through
disdain back to adoration. It was estimated
to sell for $3 million and sold for $35.9 million. That, parenthetically, was the painting that had belonged to Alan Funt.
It took about eight minutes to sell, he
said. It was wonderful. I remember not
looking over to one particular colleague,
because I knew that if we caught each others eye, I didnt know if we would laugh or
cry, it was that exciting.
We used to have more auctions than we
do now, he said; the internet has cut into
that business, as it has so many others.
Mr. Doller no longer lives in Teaneck,
or anywhere else in New Jersey. He now
lives in the Dakota, the massive, dark late
19th-century quintessentially Central Park
West Gothic Revival apartment building
that looms over Central Park. It always has
housed and continues to house large
numbers of wealthy celebrities, and was
the backdrop to Rosemarys Baby and John
Lennons murder.

A serious player and fan, here Ben Doller stands with tennis great Pete Sampras.

Mr. Dollers home is the apartment

once owned by the actors and art collectors Ruth Ford Scott and Zachary Scott.
Ms. Fords brother, Charles Henry Ford,
was a writer, artist, and the partner of
another artist, the French Russian Surrealist painter and set designer Pavel Tchelitchew. When Ms. Scott died, she left the
whole vast trove, combining all four collections, to her butler. It fell to Sothebys,
in the overseeing form of Mr. Doller, to sell
the collection.
As he spent time in the Scotts two
apartments, coming to know their art, Mr.
Doller fell in love with the space. Eventually he bought one of the apartments, and
he now sits on the buildings board.

This sculpture, Alberto Giacomettis Chariot, sold for $101 million in 2014.

Mr. Dollers work does not keep him

from outside activities. He is an avid supporter of tennis, and is on the board of the
United States Tennis Association. He is
also on the board of the American Friends
of the Musee dOrsay.
And Mr. Doller still is an active member
of the Jewish community. He is a member
and supporter of Manhattans LGBT synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
the shuls rabbi, Sharon Kleinbaum,
who comes from Bergen County, graduated from the Frisch School in Paramus. I
helped raise funds for the new building
the shul moved to its new home in a landmarked midtown building earlier this year
and I had Butterflake, a kosher bakery

Here, hes at a family wedding with his

sister, Shira Doller Grosser of Teaneck.

in Teaneck, make cookies for it that said

CBST, he said.
I do tons of charity auctions too, he
added. I once did one in Israel for Betzalel, the Jerusalem-based art institute.
He is championing the work of a Viennese Jewish artist, Isidor Kaufmann, who
is the best Judaica painter of the 19th century, Mr. Doller said. He is so good that
Ive sold some of his paintings to nonJewish clients, including the theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Kaufmanns
subjects included rabbis, chasidism, and
other stereotypically Jewish scenes, presented non-stereotypically.
Although it was not his project, Mr.
Doller was both struck and moved by the
public reaction to the Valmadonna Library
Trust, a great private trove of about 13,000
Jewish manuscripts that Sothebys displayed in Manhattan in 2009. The exhibit
drew enormous crowds who waited to see
all those riches, together in a few small
rooms. The show, which was more or less
a gift to the public, was a huge success.
We never advertised the collection anywhere, but there were lines around the
block as word got out, Mr. Doller said.
Whenever I went up in the elevator to
the 10th floor, inevitably someone waiting
on line or in the exhibit would say, Benjy?
Benjy Doller? Is that you?
I was with our CEO one day, and he
looked at me and said, Im going to start
calling you Benjy.
All in all, Mr. Doller said, his background
and education positioned him perfectly.
Now that hes chairman what does that
mean? More work, he said he continues to love his work, which he feels
suits him perfectly. I am a very visual
person, and I love doing deals. The perfect combination.
And it all started in Teaneck.
Jewish Standard JULY 29, 2016 27

Jewish World

Lithuanian concentration camp

promoted as a wedding venue
KAUNAS, LITHUANIA In this drab city 55
miles west of Vilnius, there are few heritage
sites as mysterious and lovely looking as the
Seventh Fort.
This 18-acre red-brick bunker complex,
which dates to 1882, features massive underground passages that connect its halls and
chambers. Above ground, the hilltop fortress is carpeted with lush grass and flowers, whose yellow blooms attract bees and
songbirds as well as families who come here
to frolic in the brief Baltic summer.
Its also a popular venue for graduation parties and wedding receptions, complete with buffets and barbecues, as well
as for summer camps for children who
enjoy the elaborate treasure hunts around
the premises.
Most of the visitors are unaware that they
are playing, dining, and celebrating at a former concentration camp.

In 1941, thousands of Jews were imprisoned, starved, and finally massacred by

Lithuanian Nazi collaborators at the Seventh
Fort, in what was then the largest mass killing in the countrys history. The complex is
believed to be the first concentration camp
on territory that Nazi Germany conquered in
its eastward invasion.
Even by the unfortunate commemorative
standards in Eastern Europe where many
Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust sites have
been damaged or neglected the Seventh
Fort is unusual for its erasure of the recent
past. It was privatized in 2009 and now is
owned by the Military Heritage Center,
a nongovernmental association run by a
37-year-old Lithuanian informatics specialist, Vladimir Orlov. It charges admission
fees of approximately $4 to some parts of
the compound and organizes parties at
the venue.
Critics say this reality is a byproduct of
the Lithuanian states alleged failures in

to the hundreds of children and adults
in our community who participated this
summer in our fifth annual Swimathon

Thank you

for your role as our founding Swimathon site, and for

enthusiastically supporting this event since its inception.

Thank you Chabad Kiddie Camp

for your participation again this year.

Most of all, thank you to all of the parents and sponsors for encouraging your
children to engage in this wonderful act of chesed.
The thousands of dollars that you raised will directly benefit SINAI Schools
Scholarship Fund.
Thanks to your efforts, we can say YES to more children who turn
to us for the uniquely special education they need.
Thanks to your efforts, these children will receive
the Jewish education they deserve.

Tizku LMitzvot!

A boy plays soccer at the entrance to the former concentration camp known
as the Seventh Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania, earlier this month. 

confronting the countrys dark history

during the genocide.
It just says a lot of bad things about
my country, said Ruta Vanagaite, a Lithuanian novelist who drew international
attention to the site in a book she cowrote last year with Efraim Zuroff, the
Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal
Center. The apparent amnesia surrounding the fort, she added, also is indicative of the attitude to the people who
were killed.
The remains of 5,000 murdered Jews
are buried at the fort in mass graves that
are marked by a few poles and rocks.
Relatives sometimes light candles in
memory of the dead.
The Military Heritage Centers website tells of the areas Holocaust-era significance. For a fee, it offers tours of the
former killing site, as well as a general
tour about the forts military history. It
also has a military history museum but
does not have a permanent exhibit about
the Holocaust.
The Seventh Fort is one of several controversial issues featured in Vanagaites
best-selling book, Our People, which
now is being translated from Lithuanian
to English. A groundbreaking treatise
on Lithuanians complicity in the Holocaust, the book flies in the face of the
government-promoted narrative that
speaks of Lithuanians merely as victims
of the Russian occupation that replaced
the German one.
This sentiment is prevalent across
Eastern Europe but is particularly strong
in Lithuania, the only country in the
world that formally considers Russias
domination of its territory a genocide.
For decades, Zuroff said, the countrys
perception of victimhood has precluded

an open debate on the prominent role

of thousands of Lithuanian collaborators some of them honored as patriotic
heroes for their anti-communist credentials in the murder of 95 percent of the
countrys Jews.
Jonny Daniels, founder of From the
Depths, a Holocaust commemoration
group in Poland, said he was shocked
and disgusted during his visit to the
Seventh Fort earlier this month. The
site is below any level of decency and
respect, he said, adding that Lithuanias
government should hold their heads in
shame and be condemned internationally that such an important and holy site
be privatized.
In Poland, Daniels said, one could be
prosecuted for much less.
The criticism notwithstanding, Lithuania recently made gestures that drew
praise from local and international
Jewish groups. Last month, the countrys parliament passed naturalization laws that facilitate the acquisition
of Lithuanian nationality for descendants of Litvak Jews. The city of Vilnius, which opened a Yiddish institute
in 2001, is planning to build a $10 million Jewish museum and is carrying an
archaeological excavation of its former
great synagogue.
But Lithuania also has faced harsh
criticism for honoring collaborators,
including Jonas Noreika, who is believed
to have helped murder Jews, and Juozas
Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis, the leader of
a local pro-Nazi government. The latter was reburied in Lithuania in a state
funeral in 2012, while the former is commemorated with a memorial plaque on
a park near the home of Vilnius mayor.
Lithuania has laws against displaying




Jewish World
Nazi and communist symbols, but it is one
of a handful EU countries where someone
can display a swastika with impunity, as
per a 2010 court ruling that defines a Baltic variant of the symbol as an ancient part
of Lithuanian tradition predating its use by
the Nazis. Nonetheless, classic swastikas, identical to the ones featured on Nazi
Germanys flag, sometimes are featured
in ultranationalist marches that are held
annually across Lithuania.
In a country where many again feel
threatened by an expansionist Russia, the
veneration of such figures as Noreika and
Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis goes hand in
hand with cases of disrespect toward the
victims at the Seventh Fort, Zuroff said.
Theres also an element of concealment if its not commemorated, then it
didnt happen, he added.
Orlov, the operator of the fort, insists
that events are not held on the area where
the Holocaust victims are buried. That
ground, he said, accounts for 2 percent of
the entire compound.
Every place you see in Lithuania has
some tragic story. This place is no different, he told a JTA reporter who inquired
about costs for a wedding reception.
Assuring his interlocutor that a reception would not be a problem, Orlov

promised to send a quote indicating cost.

The email was never received, though
perhaps it was snared in the interviewers
spam filter.
Orlov said the financial reports of his
organization were confidential information, but added it had a growing income
of approximately $35,000 annually. All
revenues go toward maintenance and
educational work on the Seventh Fort, he
said, and to paying a staff of 11 an average
monthly salary of $110, about a third of the
minimum wage in Lithuania.
In their book, Vanagaite and Zuroff
revealed that in 2012, Orlov discovered human remains in the area he had
bought. When authorities did not answer
his request for resolving issues that arose
with his discovery, he had the remains of
thousands of Holocaust victims exhumed
and placed in trash bags.
In the pit we discovered a layer of
lime, through which what looked like
sticks were sticking up, the book quoted
Orlov as saying. They were the bones of
the people shot. After pumping the water
out of the ditch and sticking a hand down
there, I felt an endless number of bones.
Their depth might be several meters.
He went to the police, the Cultural
Heritage Protection Department, and the

A film crew prepares to record at the Seventh Fort. 

Jewish community to report his discovery, according to the book. But failing to
achieve any result, the book said, Orlov
packed the bones into three garbage bags
and left them in a storage space. Following reports on the situation by the local
media, in 2014 the Kaunas city administration had the bones reburied where they
had been discovered.
Despite these problems, for the first time


Lithuanian society is on the path to dealing with its Holocaust record, Zuroff said.
The book he wrote with Vanagaite triggered the first major public debate in mass
media on the subject, leading to initiatives
to revoke state honors for collaborators
and a pledge by state historians to try
to publish this year a list of about 1,000
known Holocaust perpetrators.


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Jewish World

The rise and fall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

PHILADELPHIA When Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke to the Florida delegation as the national Democratic convention got under way on Monday morning,
some delegates cheered.
Other delegates booed.
The chaos at the Marriott Hotel here
demonstrated the degree to which the
Florida congresswoman, perhaps the
partys most prominent Jewish leader,
had become a divisive figure since she
emerged a decade ago as the tyro no one
in the party could praise enough.
Wasserman Schultz, 49, was forced to
step down over the weekend as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, a post she has held since 2011, after
leaked emails revealed that she and other
DNC insiders had little love lost for Clintons primary campaign challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders.
Wasserman Schultz appeared game at
the breakfast, overcoming the noise to say
that she appreciated a little bit of interest in her presence.
We know that the voices in this room
that are standing up and being disruptive,
the Florida we know is united in backing
Clinton, she said over cries of Shame!
It couldnt have been easy for Wasserman Schultz. The political leader most
out front with her Jewishness now must
contend with the fact that the most significant setback in her career came in part
because an aide had questioned whether
Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to
win major nominating contests, was Jewish enough.
The chaos on Monday was a radically
different scene from the first day of her
second term in Congress, in January 2007,
when Wasserman Schultz commandeered
one of the larger rooms on the ground
floor of the Cannon U.S. House of Representatives Office building for her re-election party.
Snagging the room was a bold move for
a sophomore just turned 40 in a congressional pecking order that at times seems
like high school in perpetuity, but she
could get away with it. She was the third
top fundraiser among Democrats that election year, pulling in $15 million, trailing
only Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California, the first female speaker in House
history, and Rahm Emanuel of Illinois.
Pelosi rewarded Wasserman Schultz
with a spot on the powerful Appropriations Committee, rare for a sophomore,
and with the title of deputy whip.
But the theme of the party in Cannon
was unmistakably Jewish. Staff approached
guests to reassure them that the pastrami,
imported from a deli in Wasserman Schultzs South Florida district, was kosher. And
the walls were lined with headlines touting
a triumph that meant more to her than all

the titles Pelosi could confer: Wasserman

Schultz, in her freshman term, had passed
a law itself extraordinary establishing
Jewish American Heritage Month.
During her spectacular rise, Wasserman Schultz has made her Jewish identity abundantly clear. A typical refrain for
her was that she considered her policies
not merely as a lawmaker but as a Jewish mother. She took time out to attend
Jewish events, appearing in 2011 at a roast
for Ira Forman, who had retired as the
director of the National Jewish Democratic
Council where she had one of her first
political jobs in the early 1990s. (She was
a gofer.)
At the 2012 convention in Charlotte,
North Carolina, Wasserman Schultz
spent an inordinate amount of time working with Jewish Democrats to push back
against the inroads that Republicans were
making among Florida Jews. The efforts
paid off. Those gains showing up in internal polls were rolled back by November,
helping President Barack Obama win the
key state.
The organized Jewish community sometimes appreciated her attentions and
sometimes was wary of them. National
Jewish leaders learned to expect her
scorching dressings-down if she did not
deem them responsive enough to perceived Republican sins against the Jews.
Still, for Democrats, and Jewish Democrats particularly, she could do little
wrong. Wasserman Schultz originally had
kept her battle with breast cancer hidden,
but starting in 2009, she spoke about it
with eloquence and force. She said the
health plan she had as a member of Congress was critical to her care and one she
wanted to extend to all Americans through
Obamas signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.
In 2011, when her close friend Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Jewish Democrat from Arizona, was shot, she joined
with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
in maintaining a bedside vigil. In their
media appearances, Wasserman Schultz
and Gillibrand became the best friends
everyone wanted during that drama
fierce, loving, and protective.
Soon thereafter, Wasserman Schultz
achieved a new pinnacle, chairing the
DNC. She brought to the job her prodigious fundraising skills and what had been
a talent for balancing effective attacks
against Republicans with a sympathetic
(to her allies, anyway) presence.
Turns out, maintaining that balance
was harder than it seemed. Republicans
pounced and Democrats and feminists
winced in 2014, when she likened Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to a wife beater
while criticizing his policies. She later said
she regretted the analogy.
Her fundraising lagged. This election
cycle, the DNC has raised just short of

Debbie Wasserman Schultz sits for an interview in Las Vegas last October, before the first Democratic presidential debate. LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

$130 million to the Republican National

Committees $180 million, according to
Open Secrets.
In recent years, Democrats have been
all too eager to leak details of her alleged
excesses, which included demanding that
the party pay for her wardrobe for special
occasions and naming unskilled loyalists
to inside jobs. (She denied the allegations.)
These pressures mounted as differences
between Obama and the pro-Israel community sharpened, especially during the
debate over the Iran nuclear deal. Wasserman Schultz became one of the mostwatched Democrats as the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee and Obamas surrogates took opposite sides over a Republican bid to kill the deal. When she finally
announced in favor of the deal, appearing on CNN just days before the vote, she
again said that she was doing so as a Jewish mother and she wept.
The deal out of the way, Wasserman
Schultz set about contending with an election season in which the conventional wisdom was that Clinton would be the inevitable nominee.
Sanders proved a more formidable
candidate than anyone had anticipated,
including Sanders himself, and tensions
soon arose. Sanders accused Wasserman
Schultz of tilting the scales against him
with a debate schedule he said favored
Clinton, as well as a reluctance to deliver
the assistance that parties must distribute
evenly among all candidates.
Wasserman Schultz vigorously denied
the accusations until last week, when
WikiLeaks dumped emails believed to
have been hacked by Russians. There
was no smoking gun showing an actual
attempt to sabotage Sanders, but there
were proposals to do so. The most damaging came from Brad Marshall, the

campaigns finance boss, who suggested

depicting Sanders as an atheist alienated
from his Jewish heritage. (Sanders says he
believes in God, and he celebrates his Jewish background.)
Wasserman Schultz is down but not yet
out of the 2016 campaign. Negotiating her
exit from the DNC, she secured a senior
surrogate spot on the Clinton campaign,
and she insisted in sticking out the week.
She also said she wanted to speak at the
convention, despite the Clinton campaign
seeming none too enthusiastic about the
prospect, before opting to stay away from
the stage just two hours before she was set
to open the gathering.
I have decided that in the interest of
making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am
not going to gavel in the convention, Wasserman Schultz told her hometown newspaper, the Broward County edition of the
Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Wasserman Schultz faces a Sanders
backer, Tim Canova, a law professor, in
her district in the primary next month.
Canova, spurred by Sanders enthusiastic
endorsement, has raised more money.
Ron Klein has known Wasserman
Schultz since they both were elected to
the Florida House of Representatives in
1992, when Wasserman Schultz was 26.
He is now consulting with Democrats,
and said he expected her to triumph,
in part because she remains a hyperactive campaigner who is still beloved in
her district.
First things first, he said. She has to
fight hard and win this next election.
And dont count out Wasserman Schultzs return to a leadership role, he added.
Maybe she will go forward and try to run
within the House leadership down the
road, he said.

Jewish World

Temima Danzig, LCSW

Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy

- Anxiety
- Social Challenges
- Depression
- Life Transitions
- Adjustment to - Stress Management
Chronic Illness

201- 357- 5796

A French flag flies
at half mast at an
empty beach on
the Promenade des
Anglais in Nice on
July 15, the day after
a terrorist attack in
the French city killed
84 people.

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Jews of Nice not surprised

by terrorist truck attack
AMSTERDAM To the millions of tourists who visit Nice
annually, the city in southeast France is an ultimate holiday destination that offers inviting beaches, luxury casinos, stunning architecture, and world-class museums.
Sandwiched between the Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is Frances largest tourist destination after Paris, with 5 million arrivals each year and the
countrys second largest domestic airport. Nice sees $1.6
billion in annual tourism revenue 40 percent from its
region known locally as Cte dAzur and abroad as the
French Riviera.
But Nice has a dark side, as demonstrated in the terrorist attack of July 14, when a Muslim extremist killed
84 people on the Promenade des Anglais by plowing
his truck through the crowds gathered for a fireworks
show on Frances national holiday, Bastille Day. After the
attack, thousands of tourists checked out hurriedly from
hotels that had not had occupancy issues in years.
The attack came as no surprise to many locals, including many of the citys 20,000 Jews, who for years have
been the targets of anti-Semitic attacks and harassment
by members of a growing minority of fundamentalists
from within the citys large Muslim population.
The only Jews you see walking around with a kippah are the foreign tourists, said Chalom Yaich, 53,
a caretaker at the Michelet Jewish community center
and synagogue. One of Nices dozen-odd shuls, Michelet is located next to a car repair shop at the northern
downtown area, about a mile and a half from the glitzier beachfront.
We locals have stopped wearing it years ago or covered it with a hat for safety, Yaich said.
He was considering immigrating to Israel before the
attack, and he is even more inclined to do so now. Many
have left already because Nice is especially affected by
Frances problem with Islam, Yaich said, noting that its
young Jews are especially prone to leave, either for Paris
or Israel.
We have an aging local population, with an average
age of 50 or 60, he said.
Nice has at least 60,000 Muslims. Thats about 17 percent of the citys population, according to estimates published in Le Monde. Across France, Muslims account for

about 8 percent of the population. Indeed, more than a

third of those killed in the Nice attack were Muslim, the
head of a regional Islamic association told the New York
Times. Other estimates say that 30 to 40 percent of the
citys population is Muslim.
One Jew, Reymonde Mammane, was killed in
the attack.
The attacker, who was shot dead by police while carrying out the rampage, was identified as a Tunisian
immigrant, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. Although Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, was a petty criminal with no known
links to terrorism and little apparent interest in religion,
the Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which French police believe involved
several accomplices.
Local Muslim leaders denounced the attacks and
organized a blood drive for survivors, saying that the
attacker was hardly representative of their community.
Yet several other terrorist cells have emerged from the
community in recent years.
In February, a Muslim man with suspected terrorist
ties stabbed three soldiers outside a Jewish community center in Nice. Like other possible Jewish targets
throughout France, the center has been under armed
guard since January 2015, when four Jews were killed
by an Islamist at a kosher supermarket near Paris. The
following month, Nice police raided several homes of
alleged Islamist terrorists who were in advanced stages
of attack preparation, prosecutors said at the time.
In recent years, Nice was among the five most troubled areas listed in the annual report of the Paris-based
SPCJ, a watchdog group on anti-Semitism, with an average tally of 15 to 20 violent incidents per year.
In relative terms, Jews in Nice are twice as likely to
experience such an attack than their co-religionists
in Marseille, a nearby city with 220,000 Muslims and
80,000 Jews, which sees approximately 25 to 35 physical anti-Semitic attacks annually, according to SPCJ.
The difference is felt on the ground, according to Yves
Kugelmann, the Swiss editor-in-chief of Tachles, a Jewish
weekly. Kugelmann is among hundreds of non-French
Jews who have pieds--terre in and around Nice.
There is more tension and apprehension in Nice than
in Marseille, where even despite all the trouble weve

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Dvar Torah
Pinchas: The meaning of a split letter

hen I was growing up, one

man was a bit unpopular
in synagogue because it
seemed that every time
he was called up to the Torah for an aliyah, he would find a problem in the scroll.
One Shabbes this fellow got an aliyah and
noticed a split letter, which disqualifies the
Torah from use. So the Torah scroll was
returned to the the ark with the cloth belt
wrapped around its velvet cover to signify
that it was not fit for use. Then another
Torah scroll was opened and this one
oddly enough contained the same mistake. The way I heard the story, they took
out a third Torah, and only then did they
realize that the broken letter, the vav of the
word shalom at the beginning of Parshat
Pinchas, is the only letter in the Torah that
is not invalid if it is split. In fact, this letter
must be written with a space between its
top and bottom half.
This broken letter appears in the


seen in recent years, you still also

have cafes with a mixed clientele of
Jews of North African descent and
Muslims from the same place, said
Kugelmann, who was in Nice when the
attack happened.
It didnt fundamentally change
things for the local Jewish population
because, firstly, in France today terrorist attacks are no longer surprising, and secondly because it wasnt
aimed at Jews, he said. Hours after
the attack, Yossef Yitschok Pinson, the
rabbi of Nices Chabad House, said that
synagogue services and community
events would go on as planned.
Amid growing concern about
Islamism, Nice has become a bastion for the French far right, where
Marion Marchal-Le Pen, a niece of
party leader Marine Le Pen, garnered
a whopping 34 percent of the vote in
the second round of voting in the 2015
regional elections, losing by fewer than
10 points to another right-wing candidate, former Mayor Christian Estrosi.
In Nice, the French Jews live among
Arabs in and around the city center,
between the Jean-Medecin neighborhood and Gambetta. And while this
creates more familiarity than in other
French cities with Muslim and Jewish
enclaves, it also generates more friction than in Marseille, where Jews and
Arabs interact but live mostly apart as


sentence stating that God gave Pinchas a

brit shalom covenant of peace. This covenant was granted to Pinchas as reward
for his having ended extreme public misbehavior taking place in the Jewish camp
via a fatal act of zealotry. God showed his
approval by giving Pinchas a covenant of
peace. What is the meaning of this split letter in the phrase covenant of peace?
Perhaps the broken letter in the word
peace is a symbolic critique of this particular peace that Pinchas achieved. The crack
in one of the letters of the word peace is
telling us that a peace that is achieved
through violence is a flawed and incomplete peace.
Gods granting Pinchas a covenant of
peace is a postscript to the story of Pinchas. Most of the story takes place in last
weeks Parshat Balak. Only the postscript
of Pinchas reward appears in the parsha
that bears his name. Why does this story
have a unique break between most of the

a result of Jewish migration to the suburbs in recent decades.

Many Jews also live in the affluent
towns around Nice and in pricey villas atop the lush cliffs overlooking
the Nice Cape east of the city, not far
from the borders of the Principality of Monaco, approximately eight
miles from the city. And while they
sometimes will attend services at the
Chabad synagogue or the Ashkenazi
shul, they are not exactly the synagogue crowd, Kugelmann said.
Traditionally a cosmopolitan and
tolerant port city near the Italian border, Nice has had a Jewish presence
since at least the 12th century, according to Leon Alhadeff of Sefarad, a
French organization promoting Sephardic culture. It drew them because
it was a crossroads of cultures, he
wrote on the groups website.
Ironically, perhaps, Nice now is
drawing Islamists for the same reasons, according to Philippe Granarolo,
a writer and historian who wrote
about the truck attack in the French
daily newspaper Le Figaro.
The city was targeted, he wrote,
because Nice, by far the best-known
French destination in the world after
Paris, for over a century has symbolized Frances touristic appeal; Mediterranean culture and openness to
the other banks of the Mediterranean Sea.

they are genuinely acting

story and its ending?
in defense of their values.
Rabbi Moshe of Coucy
This can be applied to many
(as cited by Rabbi Abraham
moral and religious choices
Twerski) explains that a thin
made in youth. The strength
line separates impulsive intolerance from righteous zeal.
of ones conviction is attested
Time clarifies motivation.
to only after a space in time.
The pause between Pinchas
The passing of time often is
action and his reward repreneeded to reveal what is real
sent a period of observation.
and what was just an impulse
After evaluation proved Pinor a rush of adrenaline. This
Chair of the
chas was mature and sincere,
may be the lesson of the
Torah guidance
his behavior was rewarded.
space between Pinchas
department at the
Frisch School in
Many things that we do
action and his divine reward.
Paramus, Orthodox
The break in a letter and
in life are unclear until time
the pause in the story teach
goes by. Teenagers sometimes act in ways that are
us related lessons that have
part of their phase of self-discovery or
an urgency today. May we be blessed with
rebellion. And sometimes they act in a way
peace, in so many arenas, that is as pure
that is true to who they are for the rest of
and unblemished as possible. And may our
their lives. Activists and protesters someactions and choices of the moment look as
times have their own impetuous moticlear and sincere years from now as we claim
vations of the moment. And sometimes
them to be as when we make them today.


Israeli teens unearth remains of 3,700-year-old

Canaanite fortress in an olive grove
A group of teenagers working on an archaeological dig in the village of Ibillin in northern
Israel uncovered a Canaanite-era fortress
dating back 3,700 years.
The youngsters from Moshav Alon
Hagalil and Kibbutz Hanaton and who are
spending their summer vacation working
on an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation unearthed the Canaanite structure,
whose existence was previously unknown,
in the middle of an olive grove between Ibillin and Shfaram.

Archaeologist Nurit Feig, who is overseeing the project for the IAA, said that it could
be that the youth who are working with us
have uncovered a chapter in the history of
the Galilee that we didnt know about. The
wall they found is especially massive, and
could have functioned as a wall that protected some ruler or another. It appears that
the place was active in the Canaanite period,
about 3,700 years ago. This is the first time
that weve found a fortified structure from
that era in this area.

Netanyahu rejects claims that Israeli government

ignored Hamas tunnel threat before offensive
The claim that there was never any discussion about [Hamas terror] tunnels before
Operation Protective Edge is the opposite of
the truth, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, following the publication
of a letter in which Israeli parents who lost
their sons in the 2014 Gaza war demanded
an official state committee investigation into
how the government prepared for and handled the operation itself.
In a meeting with military reporters,
Netanyahu said he directed the Israel
Defense Forces to find operational solutions to locate and destroy enemy tunnels and that the Defense Ministry convened numerous meetings on the subject.

Despite claims to the contrary by some

members of the cabinet, the issue of how
to deal with the terror tunnels was raised
in eight different cabinet meetings that
were held between January 2013 to June
2014. In addition, Netanyahu discussed the
subject with army commanders during his
visits to IDF bases, and directed the military to find a way to detect the tunnels and
remove them.
The letter, signed by the bereaved families of soldiers killed in the Gaza operation,
called for an external and independent
committee to investigate all the events of
the war.


Arts & Culture

At this museum, Isaac Mizrahis
influences more Jewish than he claims

heres something striking about viewing Isaac

Mizrahis colorful mix of
street and couture fashion in the gilded Warburg mansion
on Fifth Avenue, part of Manhattans
Museum Mile.
Gold chain bling and puffy parkas
dont quite align with delicate ceiling molding and the glimpses of Central Park, right outside the windows.
Theres something odd about Isaac
Mizrahi: An Unruly History and its
place at the Jewish Museum this spring
and summer. The exhibition initially
seems as if it might be more at home
in the Mets Costume Institute or the
Museum at FIT.
The other galleries at the museum
walk you through artifacts from Jewish history, beginning with ancient
Mesopotamian stone etchings, and
feature entire rooms dedicated to the
diaspora, anti-Semitism in early modern Europe, the Holocaust, and the
founding of Israel. Scattered between
the collections are works of art that
demonstrate the emotional impact of
each event: paintings by Chagall and
Reuven Rubin, gilded menorahs, furniture shipped from wealthy Jewish families who escaped
war in Eastern Europe. How does a 21st century fashion
designer fit into all this?
In an interview with the Observer, Mizrahi claimed that
his religion plays no part in his artistic sensibility. Im an
artist first and a Jew fifth, he said. Fine. We can add his
name to the long list of agnostic and atheistic Jewish movers and shakers who resist the description of Jewish artist. But the exhibition is at the Jewish Museum, and as you
walk through it, youre tempted to consider each Mizrahi
gown, each costume and fur cape and belt, through the
lens of possible Jewish influence.
You enter the exhibit amid an explosion of color. A wall
welcoming you to the gallery at first appears to be made of
stained glass. Upon closer inspection, you see that its an
amusing mosaic of fabric swatches. You are led to a flock
of bright multi-honed dresses and coats in pink, orange,
and blue. Rich embroidery and embossed textiles are a
consistent treat for the eyes.
Its all beautiful, colorful, fun. Art like this makes you
purely happy. While I took photos of Mizrahis gowns, a
New York Times notification popped up on my phone to
inform me that three police officers had been shot dead
in Baton Rouge. How surreal, admiring thousand-dollar
gowns in a Gothic Revival mansion on the Upper East
Side while violence and tragedy erupt. But perhaps thats
why we need luxury and fashion. Its an irony the Jewish
people are used to, and explains why so many Jews have
flocked to the arts for five millennia.
Escapism is on my mind as I stuff my phone back in my
pocket and walk to the next room. Theater and fantasy

Isaac Mizrahis work in on view at the Jewish Museum through August 7. 

take up their own section of this gallery, in the form of

Mizrahis costumes for various operas and ballets from the
past three decades. Most striking is a green, scaly, webbedfingered gown guarded on either side by two masculine
mannequins in velvet bodysuits and topped with oversized frog masks. I have this fantasy that shes the Margaret Dumont of eighteenth-century swamp creatures,
Mizrahi said of the amphibian character in Plate, the 1745


French opera for which he designed costumes. Mizrahis

1997 interpretation is adorned with the same matronly
gold and pearls worn by the dowager in the Marx Brothers classic movies.
A nearby sign tells me as a boy at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, Mizrahi sketched fashions in his prayer books and
staged elaborate puppet shows for his neighbors. It hangs


Light breakfast. Proceeds
of book and CD sales
will go to Tzahal. 950
Queen Anne Road.
www.bethaaron.org or
(201) 836-6210.


In New York
Torahs adult education
group presents an
encore screening of
When Comedy Went
to School, 7 p.m. The
film is set in the Catskills,
where Jewish immigrants
transformed lush
farmland into the 20th
centurys largest resort
complex. Those hotels
and bungalow colonies
provided the setting for
a remarkable group of
young Jewish-American
comedians to hone
their craft and become
worldwide legends.
30 Hinchman Ave.
(973) 696-2500 or www.


Film in Wayne: Shomrei

The Passaic County Historical Society

presents lyric soprano Annamaria Stefanelli
and tenor Rory Angelicola in An Afternoon
of Italian Opera Plus for the Lambert
Castle Concert Series in Lambert Castle on Sunday,
August 7, at 5 p.m. 3 Valley Road in Paterson. (973) 2470085 or www.lambertcastle.org.


AUG. 1
Golf in Demarest: The
Kaplen JCC on the
Palisades holds its 16th
annual Play Fore! the
Kids golf fundraiser at
the Alpine Country Club.
Registration begins at
10:30 a.m.; shotgun start
is at 11:45. Day includes
$250,000 Shoot Out,
hole-in-one competitions,
prizes, awards, brunch,
refreshments, dinner
reception, online and live
auctions, tennis, bridge,
mah jongg, canasta, and
Rummi-Q. Proceeds help
provide programming
for children with special
needs at the JCC.
Sponsorships available.
(201) 408-1412 or email

AUG. 2

Eitan Kastner

Eitan Kastner, 1 p.m.

Refreshments at 12:30.
The series continues
with The Surprising
World of the Greeks
and the Jews. Kastner
is a history teacher and
department chair at the
Frisch School in Paramus.
Series continues August
9 and 23. 1449 Anderson
Ave. (201) 947-1735.

Alzheimers support:
Alzheimers New Jersey
offers a community
education program,
Alzheimers 101, at
the Englewood Public
Library, 7 p.m. 1 Engle St.
(973) 586-4300 or www.

AUG. 4
Dairy recipes at
ShopRite: Christina
Kamilaris, the registered
dietitian at ShopRite of
Paramus, offers a kosher
event featuring 9 Day
Recipes, noon-3 p.m., in
the kosher department.
The event is under OU
kosher supervision
and with the stores
mashgiach. 224 Route 4
East and Forest Avenue.
(201) 638-8514.

History in Fort Lee:

The JCC of Fort Lee/
Gesher Shalom and
its CSI Scholar Fund
present visiting scholar

AUG. 6

Benjamin Eckman
Legal topics for seniors:
Lawyer Benjamin
Eckman discusses
Important Legal Topics
for Seniors at CareOne
at Teaneck, 7 p.m. Topics
include asset protection/
preservation, wills
and trusts, disability/
planning, probate/estate
administration, power of
attorneys, long-term care
insurance, elder abuse,
and grandparents rights.
544 Teaneck Road.
(201) 862-3300.

AUG. 5
Shabbat in Emerson:
Congregation Bnai
Israel offers Shabbat
Under the Stars, with
a discussion, Judaism
and Peace, 7 p.m.
Homemade refreshments
at Oneg Shabbat.
53 Palisade Ave. If it
rains, services inside.
(201) 265-2272 or www.

Film in Leonia: Women

Art Revolution, a
documentary by
Lynn Hershman
Leeson, is screened
at Congregation Adas
Emuno, 7:30 p.m. The
films delves into the
feminist art movemnet
fusing free speech and
politics. Mature content,
parental discretion
advised. Refreshments.
254 Broad Ave.
(201) 592-1712 or www.

AUG. 7

Rose Robinson
in Golem
Fable derived from
Jewish folklore: An
acclaimed production
of The Golem by
Londons award-winning
performance company,
1927, plays at Lincoln
Center Festival at the
Gerald W. Lynch Theater
at John Jay College,
West 59th Street
between 10th & 11th
avenues. Performances
through July 31. Tickets,
org, at the David
Geffen Hall or Alice
Tully Hall box offices,
or CenterCharge,
(212) 721-6500.

AUG. 7
Seniors meet in West
Nyack: Singles 65+
meets for a social
get-together with
refreshments, at the JCC
Rockland, 11 a.m. All are
welcome, particularly
from Hudson, Passaic,
Bergen, or Rockland
counties. 450 West
Nyack Road. Gene,
(845) 356-5525.

AUG. 17
Seniors meet in
Montvale: Singles 65+ at
the JCC Rockland meets
for dinner at Daveys
Locker, 6 p.m. Individual
checks. 5 Park St. Gene,
(845) 356-5525.

AUG. 18
Widows and widowers
meet in Glen Rock:
Movin On, a monthly
luncheon group for
widows and widowers,
meets at the Glen Rock
Jewish Center, 12:30 p.m.
682 Harristown Road. $5
for lunch. (201) 652-6624
or email Binny, arbgr@

Lunch and cards

with ORT group
ORT Americas Englewood & Cliffs chapter will hold its
annual luncheon and card party on Tuesday, August 9.
The event at the River Palm Restaurant in Edgewater
begins at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch will followed by games of cards, mah jonng,
Scrabble, dominoes, and Rummikub, conversation,
and the Talking Group. It costs $36. Send checks
payable to ORT America, c/o Marilyn Saposh, 1530
Palisade Ave., Apt 6A, Fort Lee, NJ 07024.

Uniting with Tzahal:

Rabbi Shalom Hammer,
a contributing editor
to the Jerusalem Post,
speaker for the IDF,
founder of Makom
Meshutaf, and author of
four books, discusses
A Time to Unite with
Tzahal: The Challenges
of Ideology in the IDF
Today Purification
and Preservation, at
Congregation Beth
Aaron in Teaneck, 10 a.m.

Announce your events

We welcome announcements of upcoming events. Announcements are free. Accompanying photos must be high resolution, jpg files. Send announcements 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
Not every release will be published. Include a daytime
telephone number and send to:
pr@jewishmediagroup.com 201-837-8818 x 110





Ferne Pearlstein and Mel Brooks

and Chris Rock; newly discovered footage from Jerry Lewiss never-released
Holocaust comedy, The Day the Clown
Cried, and rare footage of cabarets
inside concentration camps.
Richard Trank, an executive director
at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said of
the film: I am privy to many films that
are released about the Holocaust.
I cannot think of one project that has
taken the approach of [this film]. The
Last Laugh dispels the notion that there
is nothing new to say or to reveal on the
subject because this aspect of survival is
one that very few have explored in print,
and no one that I know of has examined
in a feature documentary.
A panel discussion will follow the film.
Details will be available on the TIFF website, www.teaneckfilmfestival.org, at the
beginning of October.


Planning for the eleventh annual

Teaneck International Film Festival is
under way. The Last Laugh, a documentary, will be among the films featured at the festival, which will run
November 36 at Teaneck Cinemas,
the Puffin Cultural Forum, and Temple Emeth.
Created by the award-winning team of
Ferne Pearlstein, Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell, Robert Edwards, and Jan Warner,
The Last Laugh starts with the premise that the Holocaust should be strictly
off-limits for comedy, but then asks, Is
it? History shows that many Nazi concentration camp victims used humor as
a means of survival and resistance. Still,
any use of comedy in connection with
this horror risks diminishing the suffering of millions. Where is the line? If
the Holocaust is off limits, what are the
implications for other controversial subjects, such as AIDS, racism, or 9/11, in a
society that prizes freedom of speech?
The Last Laugh weaves together an
intimate cinema verit portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone alongside interviews with influential comedians, authors, and thinkers, ranging
from Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and
Gilbert Gottfried to Etgar Keret, Shalom
Auslander, and Abraham Foxman of the
Anti-Defamation League. It also includes
archival material from The Producers
and Curb Your Enthusiasm; clips of
comics including Louis C.K., Joan Rivers,


Film fest to screen Last Laugh

Chicago will play Englewood

The Bergen Performing Arts Center in
Englewood presents Chicago on Tuesday, August 30, at 8 p.m.
Chicago was inducted into the 2016
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The groups
lifetime achievements include a Grammy
award, many American Music awards, a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,
and a Chicago street dedicated in its
honor. Record sales top the 100 million
mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles,
5 consecutive Number One albums, 11
Number One singles, and 5 gold singles.
Twenty-five of their 36 albums were certified platinum, and the band has a total

of 47 gold and platinum awards.

The line-up includes original band
members Robert Lamm on keyboards and
vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and
vocals, James Pankow on trombone, Walt
Parazaider on woodwinds, Jason Scheff on
bass and vocals, Tris Imboden on drums,
Keith Howland on guitar and vocals, Lou
Pardini on keyboards and vocals, and Walfredo Reyes, Jr. on percussion.
The center is at 30 North Van Brunt
St. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or www.bergenpac.org or
through the box office at (201) 227-1030.
There is limited availability for this show.

1. Lauder of note
6. Game played by some Jews against Moses
11. Begot
16. No kosher animal grows one
17. Jewish agricultural group, with 31-Down
18. Love, to Luigi Luzzatti
19. Movie about Moses relationship with Pharaoh?
21. Citron cousins
22. What Stan Lees Daredevil cant do
23. Fanning in Abrams Super 8
25. A schlemiel lacks it
26. Unlike Eilat roads, ever
29. Country with the least 33-Across, according
to the ADL
32. Rocky where Mickey Goldmill dies
33. ___-Semitism
34. Movie about Hebrew slaves becoming the
Children of Israel?
38. Dreidel, e.g.
39. Author R.L.
40. Like products of 1-Across in the rain
41. Some competitions for Dudi Sela
43. Colorado NHL team Colby Cohen played for,
to fans
44. Girl with an ironic name in Crystals Monsters
45. Movie about the Jews by the Red Sea?
51. Letters that connect many Jews
52. ___ Maamin
53. The tribes of Reuben and Gad, on a map
55. Like many Jewish men in Crown Heights
59. Feverish states that might bring one to a
61. Teen-___ (NFTY member)
62. Movie about what the Jews might have said
while G-d fed and protected them in the
65. How many feel on Purim
66. Try to win over a shiduch date
67. She, at the Great Roman Synagogue
68. One of Remembrance or Atonement
69. David may have played one
70. Some Maccabi players the day after a game,
72. ___ Ezra
74. Witch locale in Samuel
76. Movie about what happened on the 15th of
82. Made like Rachel (regarding her fathers idols)
83. Josephs is in Shechem
84. Yitzchaks dad, once
85. Broke in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo residents
86. ___ Chayil
87. Disney princess who sang Randy Newman

The solution to last weeks puzzle is

on page 39.

1. IDT is seven hours ahead of it
2. Shecket
3. End of Shabbat?
4. Animals that chew their cud and have split
hooves...and antlers
5. Repeated Hannah Senesh work
6. Major music publisher that once controlled
Maroon 5s copyrights
7. She makes a giant when shes in the middle of
8. Bancroft married to Mel Brooks
9. 60, to Moses
10. Clarke who has a much bigger Game of
Thrones role than Ania Bukstein
11. Abe (Vigoda) in The Godfather
12. Make like David as Sanders
13. Where Elie Wiesel was born
14. King Solomon, e.g.
15. Bashert, e.g.
20. Draws nigh, as to the Holy of Holies
24. Infinity idea, in Kabbalah
26. Let ___ (Hit for Idina Menzel)
27. Drug lord interviewed by Sean Penn (with El)
28. Arab country home to less than 100 Jews
30. Canadian city whose first Jewish settler was
Moses Bilsky
31. See 17-Across
35. Like a lulav that forms a 90 degree angle
36. Where Arthur Millers works are performed
37. Jewish scholar in 300 CE
42. Kate of the Spewacks Kiss Me, Kate
44. Kramers preferred undergarments
46. Provides with funds, as to Stern or Touro
47. Harden, as in Golani training (Var.)
48. Birthstone for Groucho Marx
49. Bygone Jewish title
50. Non-kosher Banquet that partially led to the
split between Reform and Conservative
54. Anastasio who plays with Mike Gordon and
Jon Fishman
55. Mount Hermon is Israels ___ point
56. Setting of Driving Miss Daisy
57. Autocracy known for pogroms
58. Second Plague participant, at first
59. Those who absolutely love their rabbis
60. Famous Fishbein
63. Nag
64. Teva Pharmaceutical test subject
71. Valley where David fought Goliath
73. Yonah or Yoel
75. Like a notable cow
77. ___ Gotta Be Me (Sammy Davis Jr. song)
78. Many an El Al pilot is one, for short
79. Org. for which Charlton Heston was once royalty, of sorts
80. Osem container
81. Jewish mother (Var.)


Arts & Culture


across from another Mizrahi theater costume, this one a

gigantic pink and red ostrich that reminds me a bit of my
bat mitzvah dress.
There are subtle touches that nod to Mizrahis background: notably, a black jumpsuit that boasts a thick
leather belt with an enormous Jewish star buckle. He said
once about the outfit, If crosses are everywhere, why
not make the Star of David ubiquitous too? Then there
are the touches that make you wonder: Is this Jewish? For
instance, every other mannequin in the exhibition wears
a white headscarf, reminiscent of a babushka.
In general, Mizrahis gowns awe me, except for a few
ethically questionable pieces, like the dress made of CocaCola cans collected by homeless New Yorkers and shipped
to Paris to be made into sequins, then sent to India to be
embroidered onto silk. Bizarre when you consider that
the Indian people who made the dress probably enjoyed
a lower standard of living than the homeless New Yorkers,
but its an interesting insight into Mizrahis unique brand
of global tikkun olam. It certainly makes a few statements.
Then theres a Navajo-style embroidered jacket from
1991 that is borderline cultural appropriation and would
catch flak from Native American activist groups today. The
curators excuse it as a product of one of the many cultures
that influenced Mizrahi during his upbringing by a modern Orthodox family in melting-pot Flatbush.
Otherwise, most of the designs showcase the designers
artistry and incredible imagination. There is a gown made
of elevator padding. Another gown red lush silk has
a baby carrier attached to the front, suggesting that
mothers can be part of high fashion.
Mizrahis efforts to create couture for the middle
class also are commendable. Its easy to appreciate
his democratization of fashion through his Target
collection, a five-year collaboration. He partners
with QVC and regularly appears on the retailers
television station. No doubt his decade-long work
to bring fashion into the living rooms of Americans
everywhere is not only a smart business move, but
also a great tactic for the designers personal brand.
By comparison, its hard to imagine Karl Lagerfeld
appearing on daytime cable, though the two make
equally beautiful clothes.
In the last room, a three-paneled film reel gushes
over highlights from Mizrahis fashion shows, clips
from I Love Lucy and other inspirations, reels
from the artists stunts on Jeopardy and Project
Runway, and even his dramatic roles alongside
Woody Allen and Kenneth Branagh. The designers
claim that fashion is a form of entertainment fully
sinks in here. After walking through this exhibition,
its hard not to agree.
The curators of An Unruly History do a great
job of bringing you into the artists world. Youre
engrossed in his pop culture influences and you witness the miniature cult of his personal celebrity. You
see the final product in his designs: a purely American aesthetic, of course, that bares little resemblance
to French or Italian high fashion. But its hard to deny
theres a certain New York eccentricity to Mizrahis
clothes, and more than a hint of a manic, ironic zeitgeist that arguably only a Jewish artist can capture.
On my way out, Im struck by one last Mizrahi
quote on the wall by the exit. As I shift into the middle of my career and as my neurosis about my work
deepens, so do the pleasures I take in it. Fashion or
not, that sounds like a Jewish intellect to me.
Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History runs through
August 7.


The work is often outrageous,

flamboyant, colorful, funny,
fun and deeply Jewish.


Melvin Freund

Melvin Freund of Delray Beach, Fla. and Paramus,

died July 24.
A U.S. Navy World War II veteran, he was corporate
president of MHW Distributing Corp. before retiring.
He was a past president of the JCC of Paramus.
He is survived by his wife, Judith, ne Epstein, children, Laurie Schwartz (Leonard), and Richard (Dr.
Lisa Duddy), and grandchildren Dina Gluck (Michael)
and David Schwartz.
Arrangements were by Gutterman and Musicant
Jewish Funeral Directors, Hackensack.

Obituaries are prepared with

information provided by funeral homes.
Correcting errors is the responsibility
of the funeral home.

Katharine Frost
Marketing Director
Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck
Our heartfelt condolences go out
to her family and co-workers.

Seymour Glick

Seymour M. Glick, 86, of Del Ray Beach, Fla., died

July 24.
Born in Brooklyn, he was a retired computer
His wife, Libby, children, Andrew of South Carolina, and Deborah Huelsebusch of Hoboken, and a
sister, Gladys Goldstein of Florida, survive him.
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.

Gustave Malat

Gustave G. Malat, 93, of Freehold died July 24.

Born in New York City, he was the retired owner of
Malat Trucking in Jersey City and the Bronx.
Predeceased by his wife Rita, he is survived by
children, Annelle Schweber of Manalapan, Alan
of Fords, and Clifford of New City, N.Y.; a brother,
Irving of Florida; nine grandchildren, and nine
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.

Mark Salitan

Mark, A. Salitan, 87, of Florida died July 20.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Adele, ne
Wechsler, children, Michael (David Kulick), Laurie
Salitan (Marc Kushner), James (Martine Davis), and
Diane Egleston (Michael), and six grandchildren.
Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.


Hamas ramps up recruitment of

female terrorists, trains girls as
young as 15
Hamas is reportedly trying to recruit more women into
its ranks and is now offering weapons training for teenage girls as young as 15, Israel Hayom reported Monday.
Before 2014s Operation Protective Edge, the Gaza
Strips ruler allowed women to join the terrorist organization only as support staff, but after the conflict
ended, Hamas apparently also began recruiting women
for active duty.
Hamas is reportedly actively recruiting girls and
women between the ages of 15 and 25, and teaching
them how to fire handguns and rifles. Women who join
the organization are reportedly also offered hand-tohand combat training, as well as field skills training such
as learning how to scale walls and learning how to avoid
obstacles like burning tires.


The staff of The Jewish Standard

mourns the passing
of our dear friend

May her memory be a blessing.

Frances Y. cohen
Frances Y. Cohen, 83, of Wayne, NJ, died July
11, 2016. Beloved mother of Elyce Berenzweig
(Evan), Harlan (Lori), Shauna Richman
(Fred), and Jared (Randi); grandmother
of Addison (Jasmine), Zachary and Ethan
Berenzweig, Simeon (Ariel), Gabe and Sophia
Cohen, Cooper and Lyle Richman, Ari and
Kaila Fleisig, and Avi and Eitan Cohen.
Devoted aunt and most loyal friend. Fran
embodied the word matriarch. She was the
queen, the central force in a family devoted
to her. Part of her legacy is that each member
of the family is also devoted to every other
member because of the core values she instilled
in them. Her husband, devoted partner of 61
years and comic foil, Bernie, predeceased her 7
months ago. She was beautiful, elegant, worldly
as only a Brooklynite can be, intellectual,
dynamic, charismatic and opinionated. Her
passions were many and great, ranging from
making perfect flanken soup to duplicate
bridge (having become a life master in 1983,
playing at bridge tables all over the world),
to the future of the Jewish community. Her
most important and greatest joy was being a
vital presence in the lives of her children and
grandchildren. Her keen understanding of the
unique qualities of each member of her family,
her ability to share her understanding with
them, her ability to teach them all the most
important values and life lessons including
but not limited to the importance of caring
for others and being able to overcome lifes
obstacles, and to live, enjoy and cherish life
to its fullest. Anyone who knew Fran knows
that she enjoyed her life and certainly, lived it
to the fullest. Contributions can be made to
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.

Robert Schoems Menorah Chapel, Inc

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knowing that caring people
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ALAN L. MUSICANT, Mgr., N.J. LIC. NO. 2890
Advance Planning Conferences Conveniently Arranged
at Our Funeral Home or in Your Own Home



Houses For Sale

Cemetery Plots For Sale

466 Cumberland Steet
Englewood, New Jersey
Prestigious East Hill Location
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Houses For Sale


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Over millennia halacha has, within fixed hermeneutic

principles, evolved in many ways, as social mores and economic realities have changed. The Torah allowed slavery
and stoning people to death, and it prohibited Jews from
charging interest to their fellow Jews. It mandated execution for a disobedient son, and trial by ordeal for a wife suspected of adultery. All of this has been modified, within the
bounds of halacha. An enlightened civilizations realization
that large numbers of men and women cannot achieve true
intimacy and love without partners of their own gender

cries out for attention, within the realm of halacha.

One wonders if Rabbi Levenstein and his hundreds of rabbinic supporters have ever spent time with gay Jews, have
ever heard their stories of rejection, their thoughts of suicide, the pain of their families, and their feeling that they
are condemned by the religion they love to a life of disgrace
and loneliness. Calling Jews who happen to be LGBT perverts is thus not only cruel, and a reflection of profound
ignorance of what it means to be LGBT, but it is utterly contrary to Hillels dictum in the second Chapter of Pirkei Avot,
The Ethics of the Fathers, where he says: do not condemn
your fellow man until you have stood in his place.

APL Plumbing & Heating LLC

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Call us.
Were waiting
for your
classified ad!


Extend an Invitation

to Jewish Standard families

looking for a synagogue to call home
with your ad


in a special section showcasing the many warm, friendly

and welcoming congregations in this area.

Deadline September 2

Send us a 200 word write-up about your synagogue.

Well publish it FREE with your ad!


Real Estate & Business

August events at the Teaneck Farmers Market
The Teaneck Farmers
Market is open Thursdays from noon to 5
p.m. through October,
at the Garrison Avenue
parking lot.
August 4 will be the
markets Al Fresco
Food Tasting Event,
which offers a free buffet of samples from
farmers and vendors.
The event is co-sponsored by The Cedar
L a n e M a n a ge m e n t
Children at NJ Bees
Group and P ickle Licious. Food sampling
will be from 1:45-2:15 p.m.
August 18 will be another butterfly festival featuring Lauren Hooker and friends. Its a wonderful way to
bring your children, and engage them in experiencing a

Heritage Pointe
of Teaneck is now
Arbor Terrace;
is being remodeled
Heritage Pointe of Teaneck, the senior independent
living rental community, has changed its name to
Arbor Terrace of Teaneck. The new name reflects the
communitys new relationship with the Arbor Company, an Atlanta-based operator of nearly 30 senior
living communities in 11 states.
The facility is in the midst of a $1 million renovation, to be completed by mid-August, that includes the
remodeling of the lobby, hallways, dining hall, activity
rooms, health club, and apartments.
Our staff and residents are very excited about the
changes to our physical structure, said Elizabeth
Andropoli, the communitys executive director. In
addition to taking advantage of our full array of activities, services and amenities, residents moving into our
community will get to live in freshly remodeled apartments with brand new appliances.
The community was recently named Teanecks Business of the Year. Located on Frank W. Burr Boulevard,
adjacent to the pristine 46-acre Teaneck Creek Conservancy, the community features 141 one- and twobedroom apartments ranging from the intimate in size
to the more spacious. The Arbor Company operates
senior independent, assisted living and memory care
communities. The Teaneck location marks the companys fourth New Jersey facility, with others in Tinton
Falls, Middletown, and Morris Plains.

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Gracious cedar shakes colonial nestled on an East Hill acre, 6 bedrooms, 5 baths,
2 powder rooms, extensive moldings. open floor plan, ultimate kitchen w/island
& chef-grade appliances, 3 fireplaces, park-like property,
circular driveway, Gunite pool, bluestone patios.



Lauren Hooker

charming, original tale. Lauren will be doing two shows

that day, at 2 and 3:30 p.m.
For more updates: www.cedarlane.net or call: (201)

Orna Jackson, Sales Associate 201-376-1389



894-1234 871-0800



Wayne Y offers
other places to swim
The Wayne YMCAs pool will be closed to members
from Monday, August 22, through Monday, September
5, for annual maintenance. At that time the ceiling will
be painted and a new lighting system installed.
During this time, members can use the pools at the
Sussex County YMCA, open from August 22 through
August 30, or the West Essex YMCA, open from August
22 through August 29. Other area YMCA pools include
the Montclair YMCA, the Wyckoff Family YMCA,
and the Ridgewood YMCA, all open from August 22
through August 27.

Wellness Challenge
proves popular

Great Loc/Near Cedar Ln. Updated Prof Ofc Spc. 19 Offsite Pkg
Spcs. Recep Rm + 5/6 Offcs, Lunch Rm, 2 Conf Rms. Sep HVAC.
1st Flr @ $3,500/mo. & Lower Lev @ $3,000/mo. BUILDING FOR
SALE @ $1,199,000, 4,200 sq ft.
Stunning Contemp Col. 5 BRs, 4.5 Baths. Granite Flr Form Din
Rm, Sunken Fam Rm/Custom Built-ins, Gorgeous Eat In Kit/Atrium
Windows. Fin Recroom Bsmt. Deck, C/A/C, + MORE! $750s


The 2016 Bergen County Wellness Challenge has

attracted 1,310 participants. The challenge was offered
to all Bergen County municipalities and sponsored by
the Community Health Improvement Partnerships
Nutrition and Physical Activity Task Force and local
health officers.
The challenge included weekly weigh-ins, organized walks and hikes, wellness seminars, free fitness
classes, and prize incentives. Overall, an estimated 728
completed the challenge with a final weigh-in or walk.
For further information and to join the 2017
challenge, please contact Marla Klein at mklein@


Just Listed. Fabulous Location. Overlooking the Park. Contemp

Townhome on Quiet Cul-De-Sac. Tile Hall, LR/Sldg Drs to Deck,
FDR, New, Sleek Mod Eat In Kit. Master Suite/Bath,/Laund, 2 more
Lg BRs + Bath (2.5 Tot). C/A/C, 2 Zone H/W Heat. Gar. 55' x 160'
Prop. $350s


For Our Full Inventory & Directions 2015
Visit our Website

(201) 837-8800

Visit www.thejewishstandard.com and click on






Real Estate & Business


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spots on the Best International Airport

list since the poll began.
Asian hubs, in general, have dominated the list, reads a Travel+Leisure
report. These airports have a history
of incorporating smart tech to make the
lives of travelers easier, as well as staggering architecture that helps the airport
seem like a destination in its own right.
Singapore Changi Airport scored
90.93 and first place on the survey.
B en- Gur ion International Airport scored 78 points and a sixth
place ranking.

Ben-Gurion International Airport is the

worlds sixth best global air hub, according to a recent Travel+Leisure readers poll.
Ben-Gurion (TLV) is primarily known
for being one of the worlds most secure

airports. It has won awards for best airport in the Middle East
over the years.
E v e r y y e a r, t h e
Travel+Leisure travel
magazine asks readers to weigh in on its
Worlds Best Awards
survey of travel experiences. For the past
three years, readers
have been asked to
choose their favorite airports.
This fountain is a central feature of the airports
Asian air hubs have
Terminal 3. 
taken the winning


Rates as low as


NVE. Our mortgage team knows

their way around the neighborhood.

Rates valid on Loan Amounts

Up To $1,000,000

At NVE, we know the local market inside and out. In addition to offering a full
range of flexible mortgage products, our Mortgage Specialist works closely with
you every step of the way to ensure a smooth process and speedy closing.
Call today at 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, or apply online at nvebank.com

1 BR 1.5 Baths. Renovated. Sunset view. $119,000

1 BR 2 Baths. Updated. Mountain view. $149,900
2 BR 2.5 Baths. Spectacular views. $310,000
2 BR 2.5 Baths. Total renovation with laundry. Redesigned.
Full river view. $325,000
Corner 3 BR 3.5 Baths. Total renovation with laundry.
Spectacular in size and layout. Must see! $695,000
Serving Bergen County since 1985.
Thank you for your trust in me.

NMLS #733094
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. APR is accurate as of 7/1/16 and may vary based on loan amounts. Loans are
for 1-4 family New Jersey owner-occupied properties only. Rates and terms are subject to change without
notice. As an example, the 7-year loan at the stated APR would have 84 monthly payments of $12.99 per
thousand borrowed based on a 20% down payment or equity for loan amounts up to $500,000. Payments
do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums, if applicable. The actual payment obligation will
be greater. Property insurance is required. Other rates and terms are available. Subject to credit approval.
Bergenfield I Closter I Cresskill I Englewood I Hillsdale I Leonia I New Milford I Teaneck I Tenafly


Allan Dorfman


201-461-6764 Eve
201-970-4118 Cell
201-585-8080 Office

The Art of Real Estate

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Ruth Miron-Schleider




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