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TIS THE SEASON FOR THE MACCABEATS page 10


INTERFAITH MENORAH LIGHTING IN TENAFLYpage 14
JEWISH DIVERSITY IN TEANECK page 14
DECEMBER 11, 2015
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Page 3
Taking a spin at the Dreidel House
Chanukah officially may last for

eight days, but for dreidel makers


and collectors, every day is Chanukah.
Eran Grebler, a secondgeneration ceramicist, runs a
Judaica gallery in Tel Avivs
Sarona complex called the
Dreidel House. Hes got some 800
handmade dreidels on display
and encourages visitors to the
gallery to have a spin.
Dreidel is a Yiddish word
derived from drei to turn or
spin. In Hebrew, the toy is called a
sevivon.
Grebler has been crafting
dreidels and other Judaica for
more than 30 years. He likes
to break from tradition when it
comes to the size and shape of
his spinning tops, and you can
find dreidels in his gallery shaped like helicopters, elephant
heads, cats, and mice, as well as Stars of David, circles,

and more. He even has a chess set made of


spinning tops.
Some of the dreidels in the gallery feature
the traditional four Hebrew letters usually
found on dreidels. But Grebler also makes
them with Hebrew
sayings, and even menu
items. (Spin the top
and eat the meal it
lands on.)
Grebler says hes the
only person in the world
who makes a living from
Hanukkah dreidels year
round.
At first I designed all types
of Judaic art, chanukkiyahs, seder
plates and mezuzah covers, he
said. But then I got bitten by the
dreidel bug. It fascinates me until
today. My favorite thing is to come
to the studio early in the morning
and create a new kind of dreidel.
VIVA SARAH PRESS/ISRAEL21C.ORG

Some of Eran Greblers dreidels. Most feature the traditional Hebrew letters, but the one
on the left features vegan foods including quinoa-stuffed artichokes and lentil burgers.

Put a house on it
The medieval Jewish wedding ring tradition
You may have recently learned that

diamonds are only a girls best friend


because De Beers made it so. Sigh
hows a girl to get a betrothal symbol
with a little more meaning?
Look no further than a nearly
forgotten Jewish tradition the
house ring.
Originating in Europe and dating
back to the 14th century, about 400
years after rings began to be used
in Jewish wedding ceremonies,
the house ring is an opulent object
adorned with a miniature model
of a house or synagogue instead
of a gemstone. The house, like
the chuppah, is thought to have
symbolized a couples new home
together.
Because of their ornateness,
these rings were probably not
used for every day wear (imagine
getting bread dough in your ring
attic yuck) but its not clear when
exactly during the betrothal period

Candlelighting: Friday, December 11, 4:10 p.m.


Shabbat ends: Saturday, December 12, 5:14 p.m.

For convenient home delivery,


call 201-837-8818 or bit.ly/jsubscribe
A Jewish wedding ring that dates
to the early 14th century, found in
Alsace, France, in 1863.
or ceremony they were worn. Due
to European rulers nasty habits of
collecting Jewish ritual objects after
theyd expelled the Jews, only a few
real examples of the ring survive.
Can we get a house ring movement
going, De Beers? Maybe its our postrecession practicality, but even on our
fingers, wed rather have a tiny house
than a big rock.
LEAH FALK / THEJEWNIVERSE.COM.

CONTENTS
NOSHES ...............................................................4
OPINION ...........................................................20
COVER STORY ................................................ 28
CROSSWORD PUZZLE ................................54
ARTS & CULTURE .......................................... 47
CALENDAR ......................................................48
GALLERY ........................................................... 51
OBITUARIES .................................................... 53
CLASSIFIEDS ..................................................54
REAL ESTATE.................................................. 56

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The appearance of an advertisement in The Jewish Standard does
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any employees.
The Jewish Standard assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic materials. All rights in letters and unsolicited
editorial, and graphic material will be treated as unconditionally
assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to
JEWISH STANDARDs unrestricted right to edit and to comment
editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without
written permission from the publisher. 2015

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 3

Noshes

The tag of her earlobe that died


By changing the Hebrew letter chet into a taf each time it was to appear in
Chag Chanukah sameach Happy Chanukah in the New York Times, a
very well intentioned but clueless Lord & Taylor ad ended up sounding less
celebratory than surreal.

CHANUKAH SONG:

A guide to Jews
on the video
The new Chanukah
Song by ADAM
SANDLER, 49, is now out
on YouTube, called
Chanukah Song Part 4.
As usual, Sandler doesnt
identify every Jewish
celeb by name so if
you view the video, here
are the toughies: Olaf
refers to the character
Olaf the Snowman in
Frozen, voiced by actor
JOSH GAD, 34; Punky
Brewster is the sit-com
role played by actress
SOLEIL MOON FRYE, 39;
Google founders are
LARRY PAGE and
SERGEY BRIN, both 42;
Harry Potter is DANIEL
RADCLIFFE, 26, and
IDINA MENZEL, 44,
plays Elsa in Frozen.
On Friday, December 11, Netflix premieres
The Ridiculous 6, a
comedy that sort-ofmarries MEL BROOKS
Blazing Saddles to
the Magnificent Seven
(and uses that films
great score by the late
ELMER BERNSTEIN).
Sandler plays an outlaw
called White Knife, who
was raised by Native
Americans and goes on
a mission to rescue his
father. Hes assisted by
his five half brothers, all
of whom have the same
father but are ethnically
very different (black,
Hispanic, and so on).
Co-stars include HARVEY KEITEL, 76, and
ROB SCHNEIDER, 52.

ESPN Films 30
for 30 series is
very good, and on
Saturday, December 12,
at 9:30 p.m. right
after the Heisman
Trophy presentation it
will premiere a new film,
The Four Falls of
Buffalo, which looks at
the Buffalo Bills of the
early 90s. The Bills
made it to four straight
Super Bowls (19901993), only to lose all
four. MARV LEVY, now
90, the teams head
coach, is featured
prominently. Levy was
inducted into the Pro
Football Hall of Fame in
2001.
Another documentary, Very Semi-Serious:
A Partially Thorough
Portrait of New Yorker
Cartoonists, premieres
on HBO on Monday,
December 14, at 9 p.m.
Im not surprised that
the film, which Variety called delightful, was screened by a
number of Jewish film
festivals, including San
Franciscos. A very large
percentage of the New
Yorkers cartoonists
were or are Jewish. The
central character of the
film, BOB MANKOFF, 71,
the New Yorkers cartoon editor since 1997,
often has talked about
how the anxious Jewish experience led to humor as a coping mechanism. The first chapter

Adam Sandler

Harvey Keitel

Lisa Edelstein and Robert Russell


of his 2014 memoir is
subtitled: Im not arguing, Im Jewish. The
New Yorkers chief editor DAVID REMNICK, 57,
who personally reviews
all cartoons, and top
cartoonist ROZ CHAST,
61, also are prominently
featured in the film. By
the way, Remnick was
just profiled by CBS
Sunday Morning. Part
of the profile included a
joint interview with his
wife, former NY Times
reporter ESTHER FEIN.
He strikes me, in the
words of a 2011 GQ

profile, as a likeable
mensch. The text of the
profile can be read here:
http://www.cbsnews.
com/news/inside-thenew-yorker-magazine/
The second season
of a hit Bravo series,
Girlfriends Guide to
Divorce, starring LISA
EDELSTEIN, 49, began
on Tuesday, December
8. Edelstein, who was
raised in Wayne, is in remarkable physical shape
(she could pass for 35).
She told Today that it
is empowering, at her
age, to take her clothes

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Bob Mankoff

Michael Bolton
off for the series many
sex scenes. (There is no
actual nudity.) Edelstein also talked about
her husband, painter
ROBERT RUSSELL, 42,
who was standing just
offstage. (They wed in
2014. It is Edelsteins
first marriage.). She said
they met at a Los Angeles museum, where he
was talking to someone she knew. She then
described her husband
wish list: I was looking for somebody who
already had kids, lived
near me and was will-

ing, if we married, to live


in my house, because I
have a beautiful house,
and wasnt wishy-washy.
He came over to me
we talked he lived
near me, and he had a
specific date idea
and he was Jewish.
(Hes a Russian-born
Jew who anglicized his
last name.)
Russell is a handsome
and really cool-looking
guy. Hes tall and sinewy,
with long hair. Yes, he
has quite a prominent
nose and large teeth.
But somehow these last
two features work for
him, just like they do
for Edelstein they enhance her distinctively
pretty face. I guess it
was bashert.
Singer MICHAEL
BOLTON, 62,
visited Israel for the first
time in October and a
Chabad rabbi recently
revealed that he
stopped Bolton near the
Western Wall and got
him to agree to an
on-the-spot bar mitzvah. This was the first
time that Bolton ever
wore tefillin, the rabbi
said. I know from a good
personal source that
Bolton previously has
avoided talking about
his New Haven Jewish
roots with the media
so his Israel trip perhaps
is sort of a game
changer.
N.B.

California-based Nate Bloom can be reached at


Middleoftheroad1@aol.com

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 5


12/2/2015 5:42:28 PM

Local
Importing warmth
from Israel
Bergen County psychologist brings
ideas from Nahariya to new model
for adolescence in Hackensack
JOANNE PALMER

professional delegations to Israel


police, EMS volunteers, attorneys, physicians, and this year it happens to be mental health workers, Dr. Montello said, by
now familiar with the workings of the
agency to which hed been introduced
only a year ago. They were looking for
someone who could speak about working
with youth and adolescents. Thats how
they found me.
At first, Dr. Montello took some per-

r. Nicholas Montello had


never thought about going
to Israel. It just wasnt on his
wish list.
After all, hes not Jewish, and the country just doesnt loom as hugely in his consciousness as it does in most Jews hearts
and souls.
But a cold call resulted not only in a
trip to Israel, and a
planned exchange of
information, but also
a new initiative that
Dr. Montello, who
lives in Haworth and
is the director of Bergen Countys Division
of Family Guidance, is
about to open, based
on a program he saw
in Nahariya, the Jewish
Federation of Northern
New Jerseys sister city
in Israel.
Susan Greenbaum
Dr. Bernard Hammer
It all started with that
call, an out-of-the-blue
suading. He is 46, married to Kelly, and
invitation to an all-expenses-paid working trip. I heard from Bernie Hammer
the doting father of two daughters, Kaitlyn, 8, and Gillian, 6; he oversees a large
and Susan Greenbaum about a year ago,
organization whose mission is to proDr. Montello said. (Dr. Bernard Hammer
vide the kind of structure, education,
of Teaneck, a retired psychologist, is
and hope that might help the troubled,
neglected, and abused adolescents and
young adults who fall into its purview
to transcend their beginnings and move
toward a better life. He is no Pollyanna
his empire includes a juvenile detention
center and homeless shelters, and he and
his staff see a great deal of heartbreak
but his warmth and obvious passion for
his work make it difficult for him to break
away for an unexpected trip to the other
end of the world.
I met with Susan and Bernie, though,
DR. NICHOLAS MONTELLO
and we chatted for a couple of hours,
Dr. Montello said. He discussed some of
active in leadership positions in a host of
the departments programs, and I talked
Jewish organizations, including the Jewabout family guidance in general, and
ish Family Service of Bergen and North
they said it sounds terrific, and I decided
Hudson, a federation beneficiary agency;
that I would like to go there to hear about
Susan Greenbaum, also of Teaneck, is a
the social services they provide.
social worker and that organizations
So I went there in June this year
executive director.)
and it was a phenomenal trip. I learned
The federation always has sent
so much! About the place, the culture.

I learned so
much! About
the place, the
culture. The
people were
wonderful.

6 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Dr. Nicholas Montello in Jerusalem

The people were wonderful. And so is


the hummus! In fact, he loved the country so much that he extended his five-day
trip there by another three days, which
he spent exploring on his own.
He also was greatly impressed by the
social services that he saw in Nahariya.
I learned so much, he said. I expected
to learn a lot about trauma they know
it well and there was a great wilderness
program. But at some point we went to
see what they called the Warm House
thats a literal translation of its name, Bayit
Cham. It was a house for females and
another one for males, young women and
young men from mid-adolescence up to 25.
We spent time with the girls during the
day and the boys in the evening, and their
stories were striking. One of the young
women said, This program saved my
life.(Everyone spoke English, so language
was not a barrier and Dr. Montello was
able to experience Bayit Cham directly.)

Bayit Cham is a home either a house


or an apartment, not a space in an office
building or other institution that provides a homelike atmosphere and people who genuinely care about the participants, at that place where a job meets
real emotions and real emotions win.
The adolescents and young adults it
serves do not sleep at Bayit Cham. The
house is open most of the day, but when
it closes, late at night, they go back home.
That might be a place where they are
abused or neglected, or where they simply but devastatingly are left entirely
alone, or it might be a communal setting, a refuge from the hell or the hole
at home. Bayit Cham, though, is where
their emotional and physical needs are
met, where a houseparent will ask them
such simple but important questions
as How was that exam? or How was
work? or What did you have for lunch
today? It is a place where social workers

Local
meet regularly with their clients in a setting that encourages trust. It is a place
where people can check in and be seen
and understood.
Both the males and the females
shared a little bit of their struggles with
me, and there was a point at which I
kind of thought that this is something we
should be doing, Dr. Montello said. We
were having a meal together at one point;
I was just there, watching, noticing how
the young women were interacting with
each other. It was like they were sisters.
It was like they were a family.
I was just sitting there, and thinking
that I want to make this happen. And then
the program ended, and I came back.
I spoke to my team about my experiences, and I told them that Id like to try
it. I knew we had a lot of the structure

You could see


him understand
that things are
completely
different from
they way they
look from 6,000
miles away.
SUSAN GREENBAUM

we have 25 programs, the shelter, the


juvenile detention center, a transitional
living program, and a host of mental
health and substance abuse programs,

multi-systemic therapy, case management programs, a 24-hour crisis unit. We


run the gamut. We have a youth resource
center, a drop-in center, art, music,
dance, tai chi programs. These programs
are mainly drop-in; its not court-ordered
but for people who cant afford or dont
have access to other services.
So I have consultants who do all these
programs, and I had a space, a little
apartment on the first floor of a threestory building, with a kitchen and a living
room. I have the space. I have the structure. We had been planning on doing
something with the space, so I said that I
want to do a Warm House. Its therapeutic, but it also creates a home.
Its terrific.
About that name Warm House does
not work that well in English, Dr. Martello

378 MainSt, Wyckoff, NJ

201-891-3111

acknowledged; right now it is being used


more or less as a placeholder. He hopes
to find a better name. Its likely that the
word home will be part of it.
Focus groups he held with young men
and women in the detention center and
the shelter came up with some surprising
findings. Even some of the most apparently hardened among them said that it
was a good idea. They want someone to
care about them, Dr. Montello reported.
They want people to see past how they
might be acting. They said Regardless of
what Im doing, on the inside Im a good
person. And thats exactly what we are
trying to do.
The plan is to open the Warm House
in mid-January, although, as Dr. Montello
acknowledges, that is the sort of schedule
SEE WARM HOUSE PAGE 16

218 Brook Ave, Passaic, NJ


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www.yudinsappliances.com

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www.yudinsappliances.com

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 7

Local

An Orthodox lawyer at a Christian law school


Pepperdines Michael Helfand to speak in Englewood, Teaneck next week
religion fighting a tide of secularism. There are times I
A graduate of Yeshiva Univerfeel I have the opportunity
sitys MTA high school and
to watch another religious
then Yeshiva College, with
community work through
unfinished rabbinic studies
the same kind of issues my
at YUs Rabbi Isaac Elchanan
own Jewish community
Theological Seminary offerworked through, he said.
ing the prospect of ordinaOne of the things Ive
tion if he finds the time on
learned quite a lot about
some future sabbatical, Dr.
is how to think about the
Michael Helfand
Michael Helfand, 36, might
other, how to think about
DEBBI COOPER

seem out of place at Pepperpeople who come to an issue
dine University, a Christian
with a different worldview.
university where a 50-foot crucifix stands
Our Jewish community does a real good
out at the campuss entrance.
job at that, but sometimes we take some
Instead, he said, he sees the California
things for granted. Having the opportunity
institution as the Christian Yeshiva Unito be a little more of an outsider to some
versity. Its extremely familiar. It has a set
of the conversations has really impressed
of values that in many ways mirror my
in me the importance of taking other peoples perspectives seriously.
own, and those I grew up in. It has a very
For many conservative Christians, the
similar mission to that of Yeshiva: to take
June Supreme Court decision in Obergelearning of a wide range and incorporate
fell v. Hodges, which recognized a conthat into religious life. I feel I really understand the institution, and the institution
stitutional right to same-sex marriage,
understands me.
marked a watershed. A Pepperdine professor was among the signers to a StateDr. Helfand holds a doctorate in political theory from Yale, where he also earned
ment Calling for Constitutional Resistance
his law degree. He teaches at Pepperdines
to Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the
law school and heads its Jewish studies
signatories pledged to refuse to accept
department.
Obergefell as binding precedent for all but
A native of Manhattans Upper East Side,
the specific plaintiffs in that case and to
Dr. Helfand is flying in from California to
provide full and mutual legal and political assistance to anyone who refuses to
be a scholar in residence next Shabbat
follow Obergefell for constitutionally proat Englewoods Congregation Ahavath
tected reasons.
Torah, and to speak next Sunday night at
Dr. Helfand believes that Jews have a
Teanecks Congregation Rinat Yisrael on
unique but important role to play in many
Religious Liberty in the Age of Same-Sex
of these debates. On the one hand, were
Marriage.
a religious community, and on the other,
Dr. Helfand even has appeared on lists
weve always been a minority community.
of potential future presidents of Yeshiva
When you have clashes between sameUniversity a prospect that the Yeshiva
sex marriage and religion, we are able to
College valedictorian receives with loud,
really understand both sides. Thats differsustained laughter.
ent than some religious groups that might
I care deeply about the future of
not have had quite the experience we had
Yeshiva University, he finally said. The
with being a religious minority, he said.
future of the modern Orthodox community hinges on its viability. I hope they find
At Yale in 2009, Dr. Helfand wrote his
an amazing person.
dissertation on A Liberalism of Sincerity: Lockean Toleration and the Internal
Pepperdine is an institution that sees
Point of View, which set out to reconitself at the front line in the culture wars,
cile multiculturalisms concern with the
fighting for a besieged Christendom

LARRY YUDELSON

collective and liberalisms focus on individualism and along the way to provide guidance for the American legal
system, offering it a way to take a more
positive view toward religious arbitration
courts, such as the Rabbinic Council of
Americas Beit Din of America, where he
has and continues to work.
It is an attempt to think really carefully about what religion looks like on the
inside, and how the state can accommodate that, he said of his dissertation.
Its an issue that remains timely.
Take the recent Hobby Lobby case,
he said. One of the primary issues in
the case was should for-profit corporations have religious rights. There are
many people who are extremely skeptical of the idea, who think that when
youre engaged in religion, youre not
engaged in profit-making activity, and
when youre making a profit, by definition youre not engaging in religion. The
government took that position.
I think thats a mistake. That mistake
stems from taking a particular view about
how religion works, taking a particular
view of how to render unto Caesar, that
sometimes we engage in commerce, sometimes in religion, and the paths dont cross.
As Jews, we have the Shulchan Aruch,
the Code of Jewish Law, and one quarter
is dedicated to the rules of the commercial sphere. If you ask someone are you
still religious in the commercial sphere,
the answer should be yes. The problem is
when the government takes what religion
looks like to them and assumes it should
look like that to everyone.
There is no question that were in a
period in the world where Christians face
more persecution than they maybe ever
had historically, since the early days in
the Roman empire, he continued. The
experience of being in a religious minority
is something thats becoming increasingly
familiar to many religions. The question
really is, how do we extract and learn a
lesson from all that as we try to figure out
how to build a society that is sensitive to
who people are and to what they believe.
At the center of some of these questions

are strong competing values, people who


really want to live their lives in accordance with whom they are and what they
believe, he said. Its an oddly unfamiliar
way of looking at the clash between gay
marriage proponents and opponents
one that sees the two sides as equals and
one that flows naturally from his lens on
John Lockes 18th century political philosophy of religious toleration.
When he speaks to Jewish groups, as he
will next weekend, Im hoping to bring
that conversation to the Jewish community, and to think how we can do a better job of engaging these conversations,
he said. My fear is that our conversation
about religious liberty will be reduced
to conversations about the challenges of
same-sex marriage or the challenges of
contraception and abortion, the questions
that have come before the Supreme Court
in recent years. As a result, weve forgotten how religious liberty protects smaller
religious groups from being run roughshod over by majorities. I fear that we forget how religious liberty protects the most
vulnerable. It is being seen as a dirty word,
politically toxic.
And as for the particular topic of his
Teaneck talk: Can a synagogue be forced
to rent its space for a same-sex marriage?
Part of me is a little resistant to focus
on the same-sex marriage/religious liberty
debate, he said. It makes it seem thats
the center, when in many ways thats
the periphery. That being said, there are
concerns.
There are ways synagogues need to
think about what they believe, how they
want their social halls to be used. Given a
shuls religious commitment, there might
not be a conflict but there can be issues.
One can imagine shuls that are resistant
to having their building used for certain
kinds of events, and I think there are ways
to address the issues. Shuls will have to
give some thought to being simultaneously
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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 9

Local

The Maccabeats perform their a capella music nationally, and internationally.

Music with a message


Maccabeats combine fun, friendship, and Jewish pride
LOIS GOLDRICH

K. So maybe Tom Lehrer


was first, with Im Spending
Hanukkah in Santa Monica.
And perhaps Peter, Paul, and
Mary, with Light One Candle, had a more
serious message. And, of course, we cannot overlook Adam Sandlers hilarious
The Chanukah Song, now in its fourth
incarnation.
Look up nontraditional Chanukah songs
in Wikipedia, and these are among the first
entries in its list.
Candlelight, written and sung by the
Maccabeats, also is in this catalog. The
Maccabeats, originally an undergraduate
a cappella student group at Yeshiva University, now is a well-known ensemble
performing all over the world. Its newest
album, A Maccabeats Chanukah, continues the proud if relatively new tradition of musical parodies.
Music director Julian Horowitz who
says he lives as close to New Jersey as you
can get, in the section of Manhattans
Washington Heights that he calls Hudson
Heights said that the group began at YU
in 2008. Some three years later, after issuing a series of videos and CDs, it started
touring nationally and internationally,
10 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Josh Jay

Julian Horowitz

going to London, Mexico, Hong Kong, New


Zealand, and Italy, among other places.
We put up a video in 2010 as a nice
holiday card for friends and family, Mr.
Horowitz said. The video was Candlelight. That was Friday of Thanksgiving
weekend. We were shocked on Saturday
night to see that it had 2,000 views. By the
following Shabbat, it had got to a million.
We were totally blown away.
The 13-member ensemble, more or
less the same group of guys who started

out at YU, has a great time, he continued.


Performing at community and synagogue
events as well as at concerts and private
events, every Maccabeat has two fulltime jobs. In addition to weekly practice
and scheduled performances, most are
still going to school, studying to become
doctors, lawyers, and psychologists. Their
average age is about 26, he noted.
A capella continues to be a popular college pastime, Mr. Horowitz said. Founding member Michael Greenberg said we

should have one too. Although the Maccabeats didnt perform in public during its
first year, it produced its first album then,
with help from the university. That was
before Candlelight, which threw them
headlong into the public eye.
We started realizing that we wanted to
continue doing this as long as possible,
Mr. Horowitz said, adding that the group
will perform at the White House during
Chanukah. That will be the groups second such performance President Obama
is a fan. He thanked us in a speech, Mr.
Horowitz said.
While many of the pieces the group
performs are cover/parody music, we
write most of the lyrics ourselves, said
Mr. Horowitz, who composes many of the
arrangements. We get outside help as
well. The a capella community is tight-knit
and super-friendly.
The groups new album is in the proud
tradition of recording artists releasing holiday albums, he added. We got an email
from Billboard that its already charting.
Pointing out that although you can hear
much of the Maccabeats music on YouTube, where they are free, they also are for
sale on iTunes, Amazon, or as CDs.
As for the latter, he said, When were
on an autograph line and people hand us

Local

Free! Open to the Public!

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Uri Westrich

CDs of our music to sign, I realize that I dont own a


device that plays compact disks. I couldnt listen to our
own CDs.
Mr. Horowitz said the power of a live performance,
singing one last encore with 5,000 people as the
group recently did in Johannesburg is a powerful
experience. Were just totally humbled that when we
release a new video, its received so warmly. The Maccabeats have released 10 videos and had more than 1
million hits on YouTube. I love fan mail, comments
on YouTube, and interacting with an amazing community. Its been a wild ride.
Theres a lot of hunger, a thirst for positivity in
music, he continued. Were sending a message about
being proud of who we are. We wear our kippot and
are proud of our traditions. Its music with a positive
message. We make sure everything we do sends that
message.
Maccabeat Josh Jay originally from Paramus, now
living in Englewood and in medical school joined the
group during his second year at YU. When he learned
that there would be open tryouts, I was really excited
about it, and went to the audition, he said. Thankfully I was accepted.
I enjoy it immensely, he added. I love singing and
music. Its really amazing to be in a group and sing with
friends for this long. I feel very lucky that it has lasted
this long.
We started as a small student group that sang for
fun, got more popular, and developed into what we

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 11

Local

Letter from Israel


The miracle continues
ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN

n our dining-room windowsill in Teaneck, we had a


large clear vase filled with
colorful Chanukah dreidels.
When we made aliyah in August 2007,
they somehow disappeared into the
abyss of the countless items we gave
away or sold at yard sales.
Two years ago we hosted an extended
family Chanukah party, and we bought
a few dreidels for the occasion. Last
week, our oldest grandchild, a firstgrader, was doing practice spins with
these new dreidels. He noticed that the
Hebrew letters on the four sides are
nun, gimel, hey, and pey, which stand
for nes gadol haya po, a great miracle
happened here.
Why dont you have one with a
shin? he asked, knowing we come
from far-away America, where everyone
speaks English and dreidels have a shin
instead of a pey. In the diaspora (galut
in Hebrew) dreidels feature the letters
nun, gimel, hay, and shin, which stand
for nes gadol haya sham, a great miracle happened there.
Little Yehuda wanted to see what an
American dreidel looks like. So I posted
a message on our local Facebook group,
Maale Adumim Anglo Community:
Anybody have a galut dreidel I can
borrow or buy? Our grandchildren are
curious to see a letter shin on a dreidel.
Within a short time three neighbors
responded, and by that night I had the
goods.
This trivial episode got me thinking
about other diaspora things my grandchildren have never seen at this time
of year: Santa and his elves at the mall.
Reindeer and sleighs on roofs. Crches
and Christmas trees on the municipal
green.
As a public school pupil, I participated in the schools Christmas concert every year, from first through 12th
grade. There always was a Chanukah
song or two on the program, but these
concerts were all about carols, from
Silent Night and Little Drummer
Boy to Have Yourself a Merry Little
Christmas and Good King Wenceslas.
One year the choir director assigned me
to a caroling group that went around the
neighborhood of Yonkers High School
with mittened hands and rosy cheeks,
singing The Christmas Song (aka
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).
I frankly enjoyed singing these beautiful songs and seeing the beautiful Christmas lights. Coming from a religious but
very open home, I was taught to appreciate and respect this beauty without
12 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

My three
grandchildren
are fully part of
the mainstream.
They live in a
Jewish state
that runs on a
Jewish calendar,
where Saturday
is Shabbat no
matter how
you choose to
observe or not
observe it.

According to Israeli dreidels, a great miracle happened here.

Great miracles
continue to
happen here
daily, as we
thrive, innovate,
and make the
desert bloom
despite constant
existential threats.
feeling threatened by it. I understood
that we were a small Jewish minority in
an overwhelmingly Christian country,
and that even while holding fast and
proud to our different beliefs, holidays,
and dietary laws, we were somehow

ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN

both apart from and also a part of this


American mainstream.
We sent our own children to Jewish
day schools, where they never sang
carols or decorated construction-paper
Christmas trees. They didnt need notes
from home for the teacher to explain
absences on Jewish holidays. They
didnt have to bring their own kosher
food to parties or feel self-conscious
wearing kippot on their heads. They
were steeped in their own beautiful heritage in school and at home.
They were taught to appreciate and
respect their Christian neighbors and
the beauty of their Christmas customs.
They understood they were on a Jewish
island in a gentile sea, apart from the
mainstream.
In stark contrast, my three grandchildren are fully part of the mainstream.
They live in a Jewish state that runs on
a Jewish calendar, where Saturday is

Shabbat no matter how you choose to


observe or not observe it, where Yom
Kippur is the holiest day of the year, and
where the average Jewish citizen has
at least some semblance of a Passover
seder, a Purim costume, a sukkah, and
a Lag BOmer bonfire. Even the buses
flash the traditional New Year greeting
at Rosh Hashanah, and even the most
secular kibbutz kids decorate harvest
baskets on Shavuot.
My grandchildren are aware of Israeli
citizens of other faiths. They are familiar with the muezzins five-times-a-day
call to prayer. They know there is a holiday called Christmas, when the Jerusalem municipality gives out free trees
to Christian residents. But it is Judaism
that defines and permeates the unique
land in which they live, the land so central and intrinsic to our way of life.
And all of this is simply and completely symbolized by the letters on a
Chanukah toy.
A great miracle happened here, when
a small band of Jews prevailed, at great
cost of life, over the Syrian-Greeks in 164
B.C.E. A great miracle happened here in
1948, when after another terrible war
we finally could come home to a sovereign Jewish state. Great miracles continue to happen here daily, as we thrive,
innovate, and make the desert bloom
despite constant existential threats.
It is a great miracle that Jewish children in Israel are spinning dreidels
imprinted with the letter pey, because
it is here that the miracle happened and
it is here that the miracle continues.
Happy Chanukah from three generations of the Leichman family in Israel!

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 13

Local

Flame of hope
Tenafly menorah draws Christians, Muslims, Jews
Larry Yudelson

t seemed like a good idea when it began a few years


ago and it turned into an annual tradition: On the
Friday night of Chanukah, Temple Sinai of Bergen
County in Tenafly invites Christian and Muslim leaders from the towns interfaith community to join in lighting the large electric menorah on its front lawn.
This year, the lighting feels positively urgent.
In light of whats going on in the world, I thought this
is really a special thing, said Rabbi Jordan Millstein of the
7:15 p.m. ceremony, where Christian ministers and the
towns mayor, Peter Rustin, who is Jewish, will press the
buttons that will light up the menorah.
The outdoor menorah was donated to the shul by Howard and Judy Simon. Each night, a different group in the
synagogue lights it. The Tenafly Interfaith Associations
involvement probably began several years ago, after one
of the groups annual Thanksgiving services brushed
against Chanukah planning, a close encounter created by
the Jewish calendars eccentricities.
The Interfaith Association is clergy plus, Rabbi Millstein explained. There are a number of ministers, the
deacon from the Catholic church is involved, and a Muslim couple who have been involved for years. Those two
are Dr. Shaikh Sultan Ahmed, a cardiologist, and Shaheen
Ahmed, a social worker, both originally from Pakistan,
who have lived in Tenafly for 45 years. Ms. Ahmed said
that the Interfaith Association has met for about 15 years.
Its been a good experience, she said. Ive enjoyed getting together with all of them.

Over the years, she said, the association has tried a variety of activities, from book readings to picnics where you
just talk around tables and share food and get to know
each other to joint fundraising for disaster victims to
speakers.
Anything and everything that helps give a better understanding of each other, each others religion, she said.
What are the differences, what are the commonalities.
In past years, she has attended the menorah lighting
and even stayed for the service afterward. This year, she
is hosting a family dinner and sending her husband out
for just the 15-minute lighting ceremony. Given his family
responsibilities, he will not be able to wait around for the
synagogues Rock Shabbat service.
These are trying times, Ms. Ahmed said. Theyre
difficult. But I think we will get through them as weve
gotten through times before, if saner minds and thinking
prevails. Theres a lot that is happening in the name of
all religions that has not to do with any religion. I dont
believe any religion teaches what some people espouse.
People can be bad, people can be evil, religions are not
evil. Sometimes religion and politics gets mingled and that
I think is just unfortunate. The horrendous incident in San
Bernardino came at a time when the hype of politics and
election fever is very much there.
Religion is something so close to people that other people of power can manipulate them through religion, she
continued. But I think well get through this hopefully,
God willing, and one has to maintain sanity while this all
is happening.
Rabbi Millstein said that Dr. Ahmeds presence at the

At Temple Sinais interfaith menorah lighting in


2010, Rabbi Jordan Millstein, the Rev. Lynne Bleich
Weber of the Church of the Atonement, the Rev.
Dr. Eileen W. Lindner of the Presbyterian Church at
Tenafly, Shaheen S. Ahmed (representing the Muslim
community), Howard Simon, past president of Temple Sinai, who donated the menorah, and Tenaflys
Mayor Peter Rustin.

menorah lighting will be very meaningful. Tenafly is obviously a heavily Jewish community. (By contrast, Ms. Ahmed
can think of only half a dozen Muslim families in the town.)

Stop being so Ashkenormative!


Performer Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita, to perform in Teaneck
Larry Yudelson

oody Allen had it easy.


A Jewish mother, a slice
of herring, a dab of gefilte
fish jelly, a shmear of Martin Buber, and a put-down of mayonnaise
on white bread for a punch line. Everyone
knew what the Jewish menu and the Jewish joke looked like, 50 years ago.
It was never that simple, of course. New
York mythology aside, not all Jews left
Russia between 1880 and 1923. And not
all Jews spoke Yiddish. But ask around in
Syrian communities in New York City and
youll hear stories of grandparents from
Damascus and Aleppo whose Jewishness
met with stares of disbelief. How could
you be Jewish if you dont speak Jewish?
that is, Yiddish, they were asked by their
Ashkenazic neighbors.
That was then. Now you can dismiss
your Litvak zeidies ignorant arrogance
with a high-falutin put-down: Oh, hes
being Ashkenormative again. A lot of consciousness has been raised in the past
decade and half on how much the Jewish community constricted itself with
14 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

unspoken, unquestioned assumptions


about Jews looking a certain way, acting
a certain way, eating a certain away. In a
multicultural age, it began to make sense
that there are lots of Jewish cultures.
And at the forefront of that consciousness raising, holding the mic and posting
spoken-word videos to YouTube, was Vanessa Hidary, the self-styled Hebrew Mamita, who will perform at Temple Emeth in
Teaneck this Shabbat afternoon.
Ms. Hidary grew up in a Jewishly diverse
family her mother from Syrian stock,
her father Ashkenazic. Her grandmother
had come from Aleppo, where she never
would have heard the term gefilte fish
which, after all, is simply how you say
stuffed fish in Yiddish.
She grew up not in the Lower East Side,
or in Jewish Brooklyn, but in Manhattans
Upper West Side, at 88th and Columbus.
Shes a bit vague about exactly when, but
has described it as during the hip-hop
era. She went to a local public school and
her best friend was a Puerto Rican whose
parents owned the corner bodega. Ms.
Hidary discovered what it was like to be
seen sometimes as Jewish and sometimes

as not. She didnt always like what she


heard people say about Jews when they
thought she wasnt one.
She graduated from the LaGuardia High
School of the Arts, studied at Hunter College, and earned an M.F.A. in acting.
When it was time to put on a performing persona, to venture to the East Village
performance spaces and even the famed
Nuyorican Poets Cafe, she dubbed herself
the Hebrew Mamita because, she said, I
wanted to represent my neighborhood
and how I grew up. I grew up with a very
strong Latino culture around me. Mamita
is a term of endearment.
The performance she will bring to
Teaneck centers on modern Jewish identity and race relations, my experience
growing up plus a q-and-a afterward.
Who: Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew
Mamita
What: Performance of What does a
Jew look like to you?
Where: Temple Emeth, 1600 Windsor
Rd., Teaneck
When: Saturday, December 12, 3 p.m.
Admission: Free

Her career has taken her well past New


Jersey; she has performed from Alabama
to Jerusalem.
I do sessions that deal with the basics
of what does Jewish look like to you. I talk
about Jewish living outside the box, she
said.
When I was growing up, people didnt
know that much about Sephardic Jews,
about Jews of different cultures and races.
I think the Internet has changed that a lot.
Theyre starting to have a bigger presence,
and the Jewish community is changing.
The community is becoming more open
to having different faces.
She cant quite believe that it has been
15 years since she first worked with Bechol
Lashon, Hebrew for in every tongue
a then-brand-new organization in San
Francisco, which imagines a new global
Judaism that transcends differences in
geography, ethnicity, class, race, ritual
practice, and beliefs. One of Bechol
Lashons premiere activities is an overnight summer camp for racially and ethnically diverse Jewish children.
Locally, Bechol Lashons mission is
echoed by Temple Emeths Viewpoints

Local
Its important for us to have this message out
there that the Jewish community is not hostile to
Muslims, that the Jewish community at its best is
open minded, Rabbi Millstein said. Of course were
threatened by terror like anyone else and have particular concern as Jews about that, but we dont look
at Muslims as suspect in any kind of way.
The statements being made by politicians now
are offensive and bad for Jews and Muslims, because
we know what it is like to be kept out of countries, to
be discriminated against, to be seen as a threat. This
is an opportunity to say to our Muslim neighbors, we
recognize you and we are embracing you as friends,
he said.
Part of the whole purpose of this is to communicate to the community as a whole that the message
of Chanukah is really a message for all of us. While
theres a specific Jewish message for Chanukah of
our survival as a people and the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek oppressors, its also a
message about religious freedom, and the light of the
menorah is also the light that inspires all of us to connect with God. It inspires all of us to worship freely
as the Maccabees sought to worship freely so many
centuries ago.
He pointed to the message of the haftorah of Shabbat Chanukah, the prophet Zechariahs vision that
Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit.
Rabbi Millstein said, It is a message of peace and
the hope of peace. Were still holding out the sense
that people of different faiths can come together
despite the current situation of terrorism, which
is frankly quite scary. I dont want to minimize it.
But its davka, precisely, at this time that we need to
come together with the Christian and Muslim members of our community and say that were not going
to let this tear us apart.

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committee, which is sponsoring Ms. Hidary. The


committee was formed to celebrate the diversity
of the Jewish community and includes programs
that highlight the interfaith, interracial, and LGBT
communities.
Ms. Hidary promises that her performance will
bring a lot of humor mixed into poignant things to
think about.
Her latest project has placed her in the directors
chair. Its a show called Kaleidoscope. She brought
together a group of a dozen ethnically diverse Jews,
Jews of color, Sephardic Jews, and had them write
their experiences growing up.
Kaleidoscopes creation and some performances
were underwritten by grants from New Yorks UJAFederation and the 14th Street Y. Now Ms. Hidary is
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and attach a curriculum to that.

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Local
Warm house
FROM PAGE 7

that generally does not hold. Februarys


a distinct possibility. The apartment will
be only for girls usually programs tend
to be for boys, Dr. Montello said, and the
need for something for girls is great. If
the program works, a boys house will
open next.
Participants will be asked to sign up
for one day a week, when they will be
part of a group discussion and meet with
a social worker. They will be welcome to
drop in on any other day they choose,
and to stay for as long as they want. They
can do homework, surf the internet,
watch television, eat, or just generally
hang out. Its going to be just like home;
you might not spend a long time talking
to your family, but they know who you
are, Dr. Montello said.
The trip to Israel was arranged
through the federations Partnership
2000, and Dr. Montello was the only
non-Jew in the group. Ms. Greenbaum
was moved by Dr. Montellos reaction to
Israel. It was just amazing to see Israel
through his lens, she said. With all of
the different layers of intricacy. Nahariya is about five seconds from the Lebanese border, and his discovery of that
and what that meant, and his being able
to see the understanding of the fabric
of the Jewish people from a completely
other perspective you could see him
understand that things are completely
different from they way they look from
6,000 miles away, particularly when the
press coverage is not clear.
And he is so amazing! Being there
with him made the whole mission more
valuable.
Beyond that general fact and the
additional fact that Dr. Montellos
warmth, openness, curiosity, and compassion made him an invaluable traveling companion, Ms. Greenbaum said
his adoption of Bayit Cham is an unexpected gift.
When they invited Dr. Montello to go
to Israel, the idea was to have him teach
the staff at Bayit Cham about the techniques he uses in Bergen County, Dr.
Hammer said. Dr. Hammers involvement with the house is longstanding;
adolescents at risk always have been one
of the populations that have concerned
him most. Bayit Cham opened about five
years ago, and he has watched it grow
into something that is very meaningful in terms of dealing with the girls
needs, and now the boys as well, he
said. Among Dr. Hammers long resume
as a volunteer is his stint on the federations board, and his connections there
are deep. I was able to help Bayit Cham
get an allocation of about $42,000 from
the federations general allocation fund,
he said.

Still, Bayit Cham was not where it


could be and one day will be, he said.
To use a baseball analogy, it was a farm
team, and to get to the big leagues maybe
they needed some better models for professionals and programs. So I talked to
the director, and I tried to identity what
were the actual main underlying issues.
We came up with three sexual abuse,
addiction, and domestic violence. I
started looking around, and said, Who
do I know?
Dr. Hammer had the good idea of
asking one of his nephews, Dr. Daniel
Bialik, a school psychologist in Fort Lee,
to help him find the right psychologist,
and Dr. Bialik pointed him toward Bergen Countys family guidance program.
Thats how he discovered Dr. Montello,
Dr. Hammer said; because they both

In February,
a group of
Israelis from
Bayit Cham will
visit northern
New Jersey.
grew up in the Bronx, where the entire
world was either Jewish or Italian, they
immediately felt comfortable with each
other. Soon, Dr. Montello was talked into
the trip to Israel.
It so much wasnt on his radar that
when we first met him, he was still spelling it wrong, Dr. Hammer said. He was
spelling it Isreal.
But the group really jelled, and the
Israelis loved him. I have been there with
many groups, and the social workers are
the warmest. They like each other and
they like what theyre doing. Its not
true of some of the other professions.
Teachers are political, and doctors have
a pecking order.
The idea was to have him teach, and
have the staff at Bayit Cham learn from
him.
That did happen but the learning
went in both directions.
In February, a group of Israelis from
Bayit Cham will visit northern New Jersey, and they will pay a visit to Bergen
Countys Warm House.
And, Dr. Hammer said, people know
that Israelis are great with technology
after all, it is Start-Up Nation and
with such grim but essential medical
specialties as trauma. But this is a positive addition to dealing with teenagers
at risk, and it will be wonderful for nonJews to be able to say that as amazing as
Waze the Israeli GPS system that has
revolutionized that field is, thats not
all we get from Israel.

RCBC

Local
Maccabeats
FROM PAGE 11

are now, Mr. Jay said. We produce


music videos, travel all over the world,
bring music to different communities,
and spread a message about Jewish values and Jewish ideas, as well as physically conveying the concept of happiness
through music. Its been an amazing
experience.
Still, he said, he tries to maintain a
balance between his twin aspirations
finishing medical school and remaining
involved with the Maccabeats. Its not
easy, he said.
Pointing out that he has forged many
strong friendships with fellow band
members over the years, Mr. Jay said it is
not surprising, in a group of 13 individuals, that everyone has his own approach
and ideas for the next project and the
direction we should take. There are a lot
of different opinions and ideas on how
we should go forward. But we can talk it
out and come to a consensus.
He noted that only one Maccabeat
Julian Horowitz works full time. We
pay him to be musical director and hes
also a regular member. It takes up all his
time.
Reflecting on the success of the group,
Mr. Jay said that the whole experience
has been a surprise.
Were so well received, and there are
communities interested enough to bring
us in and watch our videos. Its surprising in the best way.
We all love singing, and we would do
it for its own sake. But we really like the
idea of reaching people and spreading
Jewish ideas through our music and making Judaism more accessible through our
music and videos. Some teenager in the
mid-U.S. who was the only Jewish kid
in public school wrote and told us that
she was ashamed [of being Jewish] but
now she sees its kind of cool. Shes more
proud and open.
Fair Lawn Maccabeat Ari Lewis joined
the group in 2008. While I wasnt a
founding member, I was among the
original members singing on CDs and
videos, he said. I was familiar with a
capella all my life. I went to yeshiva in
Israel and found like-minded men interested in singing and harmonizing. I was
about to enter YU and had a dream that
I could continue this hobby in a more
structured format .
We have a great time we love it, Mr.
Lewis said. He is marketing director of
the YMHA in Washington Heights as well
as a Maccabeat, so, he said, he has two
full-time jobs. Were a family, theres no
other way to put it. Were friends outside
of the group, and our families are friends
with each other. Every new opportunity
is like the first day. We get so excited.
None of us could have predicted that it
would last so long.
Mr. Lewis said that his favorite part of

Maccabeat life is traveling, and I have


tons of stories from the road. I have a
great time traveling with friends, performing, meeting new people, seeing
new communities, and learning how
Jews live across the world.
I like to think were getting our message across, to connect to Judaism in any
way you can, whether through music or
funny videos. If we can inspire just one
person to be proud of their Jewish identity, were doing our job.
Favorite place? My mother will kill
me if I dont say her hometown, Richmond, Va. It is special to go back to your
roots. The group has performed there,
showing the community what they produced, he said. Still, he added, Italy is
a close second.
While most Maccabeats hail from New
York and New Jersey, one is from Houston, though he now lives in Los Angeles.
He participates as much as he can, Mr.
Lewis said. He will fly in for video filming, and we can meet him on the road.
College a capella groups are flourishing, he added, because increasing numbers of young adults have been inspired
by Glee and Pitch Perfect. The Jewish groups are getting on board.
Uri Westrich of Teaneck, who now
lives in Washington Heights, began working with the group in its early days, and
produced its first video, One Day, six
months before Candlelight.
I was friendly with some of the guys
in the group, he said. When he was
approached by a member to produce
a video, I was about to go to medical
school, but I dropped out to do film
production.
The Maccabeats are just one of his clients. He has also done promotional videos for musicians Yitzhak Perlman and
Joshua Bell.
Mr. Westrich, who has sung with the
group several times, doesnt usually
travel with them because the trips are
paid for by people who are bringing
them in to sing. Still, he joked, it means
he doesnt have to go to practice.
Calling the Maccabeats a fun group,
Mr. Westrich said that hes friends with
all of them. On the shoot its a fun atmosphere. There are usually a lot of takes
because people are laughing. Videos
also provide a nice creative opportunity. We have done 14 or 15 videos and I
dont think we repeated ourselves.
It combines a lot that is meaningful
the opportunity to express myself creatively through music and a positive Jewish context.
The Maccabeats are now at work on
their next production, which Mr. Horowitz said may be their biggest project
yet.
Keep your eyes peeled, Mr. Jay
added.
For more information, go to www.
maccabeats.com.

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www.thejewishstandard.com
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 17

Local

Emunah honorees included Chanie Greif, Sheryl Schainker, Muttie and Mindy
Stein, Fran Hirmes, and Karen Spitalnick.
Courtesy Emunah
Volunteers at a Safely@Home project.

Courtesy Safely@Home

Volunteers needed on Sunday


Safely@Home, formerly Bonim Builders,
needs volunteers, 12 and older, on Sunday, December 13, to help move contents
of tool shed from the Jewish Federation
of Northern New Jersey in Paramus to
the Jewish Home at Rockleigh.
Safely@Home, a project of the Jewish Home at Home, a member of the
Jewish Home Family, uses volunteers
to perform various projects, including
repairs and renovations for low-income
homeowners, the elderly, the disabled,
and the chronically ill.
The group will meet in the back of 50
Eisenhower Drive in Paramus at 10 a.m.
The days work will include emptying the
contents of the shed, packing loose items

in boxes, and loading a maintenance van


with tools and supplies. Then the group
will be driven to 10 Link Drive in Rockleigh, where it will unload the contents of
the van and organize tools and supplies
into a garage.
Teenagers from 12 to 15 must be
accompanied by a participating adult;
there must be one adult for each child.
Cold water and kosher snacks will be
provided. Bring a cardboard box and
dress for a mess, with closed-toed shoes
and clothing you do not mind getting
dirty.
To register, email Stacey Orden at SOrden@jewishhomefamily.org, or call (201)
518-1175.

Emunah gathers in support of Israel


at benefit dinner
Friends and supporters of Emunah of
America gathered last month at the Sheraton New York for the groups Circle of Life
benefit dinner. The dinner recognized
the accomplishments of the organization
on behalf of people in Israel, and lauded
outstanding volunteers who have had an
impact on the lives of the children and
families who benefit from Emunahs services. Funds raised benefit those who rely
on Emunah in Israel and will fund projects
it operates during the year.
Mindy and Muttie Stein of Teaneck were
the Presidential Leadership awardees;
Sarah Struhl from Boca Raton, Fla., and
New York, formerly of Englewood, was

the Young Leadership awardee; Maureen


and Larry Eisenberg of Los Angeles were
the Bonei Yerushalayim awardees, and Eva
Palgon Traub from Brooklyn received the
Aishet Chayil award.
The Steins come from families who have a
history of involvement with Emunah. Sarah
Struhl, a student at Stern College, spent the
last five summers working with children
who live at Bet Elazraki Childrens Home.
The dinner chairs were Chanie Greif
and Sheryl Schainker of Teaneck. Karen
Spitalnick is Emunahs national president.
Emunah maintains 250 social welfare and
educational projects in Israel. Find more
information at emunah.org.

Stephanie Z.
Bonder, president
of Hadassah of
Northern New
Jersey, presents
Chief Justice Stuart
Rabner of the New
Jersey Supreme
Court with the
Myrtle Wreath
award.
Courtesy Hadassah

Hadassah Myrtle Wreath brunch


More than 200 people came to Hadassah of Northern New Jerseys annual
Myrtle Wreath brunch, held at Congregation Bnai Shalom in West Orange.
The Myrtle Wreath is presented to a
member of the community who has
demonstrated strong support for the
Jewish community and the State of
Israel, and has made a difference in
the lives of people in the community.
New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner
received the award this year.
Regional Women of Valor awardees

included Joan Rimbarg Goldfarb of the


Fair Lawn chapter, Martha Shemin of
the Paramus-Bat Sheva chapter, Judy
Schoenfeld of the Pascack Valley/Northern Valley chapter, and Stacey Salkin
Ackerman of the River Dell chapter. The
award is given to the outstanding volunteer at each Hadassah chapter. The
honoree exemplifies Hadassahs advocacy for healthcare and equal rights for
women locally, in Israel, and around the
world.

18 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

Port Captain Alan Siperstein, third from left, led the Chanukah candlelighting at
the ferry terminal in Weehawken before celebrating with latkes.

Courtesy Alan Siperstin

upcoming at

Kaplen

JCC on the Palisades

professional cHildrens tHeater series

A Magical Journey for Chanukah


Get ready for some laughter, smiles and applause!
Yeladudes Theater presents a magical tale for the
magical holiday of Chanukah. An exciting bi-lingual
show about two children who magically travel to
Israel and go far and wide visiting amazing historical
characters. Q&A with actors, candle lighting and
Chanukah songs follow the performance.
Sun, Dec 13, 2 pm
$12 advance sale, $17 day-of

Member Registration Opens


December 14th!
Learn, grow and explore at the JCC! Dont miss out
on the great classes and programs we have lined up
for kids of all ages including classes in art, science,
cooking, swim, sports, dance, drama, music and
more. Classes begin January 24th. Sign up early
to make sure you get the classes you want!
Visit jccotp.org/children for a full list of programs.

Mish Mash

witH JonatHan geffner, ventriloquist

Bring your family to see Mish Mash! a madcap


show of meshugeneh puppets led by renowned
ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner. Be forewarned fantastic fun awaits you as Jonathan and his
wacky, whimsical wooden sidekicks perform this
hilarious show.
Fri, Dec 25, 11 am-12 pm, $10/$12

FiLM

kids

top films you may Have missed

Leviathan

This Cannes film festival winner is a daring


critique of Vladimir Putins Russia set in a
beautiful town in the Barents Sea. A crooked
mayor tries to take over land belonging to
a well-meaning young mechanic. But his
old friend, now a slick Moscow lawyer, finds
documents that incriminate the mayor. Film
followed by optional discussion. Coffee and
snacks included.

Chopped for Kids

FiLM

Beneath the Helmet:

grades 3-5

from HigH scHool to tHe Home front

Sign up your children for this fun opportunity


to cook some great food and learn from Eitan
Bernath, a kid chef who was featured on Food
Networks Chopped. Children will observe
a demo from the young chef as well as
participate in a friendly competition judged
by the pro himself!

A coming-of-age film about five Israeli high school


graduates who are drafted into the army to defend
their country. These young men and women come
to discover that they are not only defending their
homes, but learning the tremendous values of
peace, democracy, religious tolerance and womens
rights.

Sat, Dec 19, 7:30-9:30 pm, $25/$30

Thur, Dec 17, 7:30-9 pm, $10/12

Mon, Dec 21, 7:30 pm, $5/$8


to register or for more info, visit

jccotp.org or call 201.569.7900.


Kaplen

JCC on the Palisades taub campus | 411 e clinton ave, tenafly, nJ 07670 | 201.569.7900 | jccotp.org
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 19

Editorial
TRUTH REGARDLESS OF CONSEQUENCES

Stabbing Jews
has no justification
and no rationale

Inspired by her neighbors elaborate holiday lights, Shoshana Razel Gordon strung lights shed
bought for a sukkah on her house in Newton, Mass.

Lights in the dark

hen my daughter was in middle school,


she knew what she wanted to be when
she grew up.
I want to be a Christmas light
designer, she said.
And why was that? I know that I cant ever have
Christmas lights, and I dont want to have them, but I love
looking at them, she explained. And I want to fix them.
There were too many vaguely threateningly inflated Santas and ugly reindeer, taking up too much space, she
said, and forget the stiff lines of bulbs that couldnt move
in the wind. Shed concentrate on white fairy lights, the
tiny ones that made the houses look magic.
Even before that, years before that, in 1982, I remember watching Diner, a movie by the director Barry
Levinson, set in Baltimore. The camera tracked down
the street, past house after house, each one with windows outlined in Christmas lights, eventually stopping in
front of a house without Christmas lights and entering it.
Thats where our hero lived. He and his family were Jewish. There was no value placed on having or not having
lights, although there was a clear value to Christians and
Jews living on the same block.
Thats the thing. We live in a fabulously multicultural
society. At this time of year, when there is so little light
and so much dark (and of course at this time in our

Jewish
Standard
1086 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 837-8818
Fax 201-833-4959
Publisher
James L. Janoff
Associate Publisher Emerita
Marcia Garfinkle

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

jstandard.com
20 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

history, when there is so little light and so much dark,


but enough with the gloomy metaphors already!), it is so
good to see lights. To see light.
Of course, we Jews do have the chance to string our
own holiday bulbs. We often put them in our sukkot, in
the fall, and often, when the weather is balmy as it often
is at that changeable time of year, we can sit outside for
hours in their dim mysterious light. And, less Jewishly and
more melting-pot-edly, it seems that Jews who wouldnt
be caught dead with Christmas lights go all out on Halloween, making their houses glow a lurid, unappealing
orange.
For the eight days of Chanukah, its always fun to walk
or drive through neighborhoods and see whos proudly
Jewish, who uses only real candles which are authentic
and burn out quickly (and also can pose a real fire hazard,
which absolutely is no joke) and who uses an electric
menorah, a fake way to display real pride.
Then Chanukah ends, but these last weeks of December give us our annual opportunity to revel in the beauty
of the lights that flicker and glow in the crisp cold darkness. The glory of this country is that we need not give
up who we are to enjoy the beauty of other peoples
heritages.
I plan on wandering wide-eyed through as many decorated streets as I can find, and on looking at the tree
in Rockefeller Center, and the skaters in front of it, and
drinking in the beauty that is not mine but that I am
JP
invited to share.

Correspondents
Warren Boroson
Lois Goldrich
Abigail K. Leichman
Miriam Rinn
Dr. Miryam Z. Wahrman
Advertising Director
Natalie D. Jay
Classified Director
Janice Rosen

just returned from Israel where, in the short time we


were there, about six Jews were stabbed by terrorists. It
was a near daily affair.
On Saturday, November 14, our organization, the
World Values Network, took out a full-page ad in the New York
Times that highlighted Secretary of State John Kerrys amoral
and unfair statements regarding Israel and terror.
Kerry has unfortunately shown a pattern of blaming the
victim and ignoring the most glaringly obvious facts when
it comes to Israels basic security. He has all too often made
moral equivalences between Israeli victims and Palestinian
terrorists. He has held Israel to double standards that he holds
no other nation on earth to, and has shown a soft bigotry
towards the Palestinian leadership and people by not holding them accountable for past actions nor requiring them
to take substantial actions to work toward peace. He simultaneously has applied all types of
pressures and threats to Israel as
though it is the sole party responsible for bringing about an end to
the conflict.
Our ad highlighted in particular
Kerrys recent incendiary statements that gave justification to
Israelis being murdered by Palestinians. He stated, And theres
been a massive increase in settleRabbi
ments over the course of the last
Shmuley
years. Now you have this violence
Boteach
because theres a frustration that is
growing, and a frustration among
Israelis who dont see any movement.
Putting aside the fact that there has absolutely been no massive increase in settlements, Kerrys statements lent legitimacy
to Palestinian murders of Israelis. He seemingly forgot to ever
publicly condemn the fact that both the PA and Hamas have
repeatedly called for the murder of Jews and have glorified
violence and martyrs by naming dozens of schools, public
squares, and streets after these killers. Abbas incitement that
he welcomed every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem met
with deafening silence from Kerry.
Kerrys off-the-cuff remarks regarding the Paris attacks and
Charlie Hebdo massacre only added fuel to the fire. He said,
There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a
legitimacy in terms of not a legitimacy, but a rationale that
you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, theyre
really angry because of this and that. Once again, Kerry seemed
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the author of 30 books. He will
shortly publish The Israel Warriors Handbook.

Advertising Coordinator
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Fax: 02-6249240
Israeli Representative

Production Manager
Jerry Szubin
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Ruth Hirsch

Founder
Morris J. Janoff (19111987)
Editor Emeritus
Meyer Pesin (19011989)
City Editor
Mort Cornin (19151984)
Editorial Consultant
Max Milians (1908-2005)
Secretary
Ceil Wolf (1914-2008)
Editor Emerita
Rebecca Kaplan Boroson

y
-

r
-

y
r

t
t

Op-Ed
to be giving a justification to the radical Islamic attacks
perpetrated against completely innocent human beings.
Could there be any excuse or legitimacy behind the killing of 17 people, all because a newspaper was edgy and
offensive? Ive heard these types of justifications from
extremists on the farthest ends of the political spectrum.
But I never thought I would hear these words uttered by
our secretary of state.
That is why I was so pleasantly surprised when Secretary Kerry, on his most recent trip to Israel, said, No
people anywhere should live with daily violence, with
attacks in the streets, with knives, with scissors, cars.
He added that his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would entail how to push
back against terrorism, to push back against senseless
violence, and to find a way forward to restore calm
and begin to provide opportunities.
These unequivocal, unqualified statements from
Kerry condemning the barbaric violence that Israelis
have had to endure has been a sharp departure from
his past statements. I welcome his reversal and thank
him for his support of Israel and his defense of innocent human life.
While no one can claim to know John Kerrys motivations, it is arguably more than just a coincidence
that these statements declaring Israels right to fight
back against terrorism and stating clearly in no
uncertain terms that there is no moral justification
for terror attacks against Israel happened soon after
our ad was published for the 1.3 million readers of
the New York Times.
I often receive phenomenal pushback against our ads
and widespread attacks from Israels critics around the
world. I am currently in the UK where Ive been defending Israel in media interviews that could make ones hair
stand. Today a presenter asked me outright how I could
support Israels Nazi policies. Yesterday, no less than a
former head of the American Jewish Committee wrote
in The Nation comparing me to Joseph Goebbels for the
Kerry ad. Yes, taking out an ad defending Israels Jews
from being stabbed in the stomach makes you a genocidal Nazi. It remains to be seen whether the American
Jewish Committee will condemn the unhinged remarks
of its disturbed former head.
I personally have always been guided by the teachings and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who
marched, agitated, and did everything possible to
bring an end to racial oppression. Dr. King taught us,
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Well, the daily stabbings and shooting of Jews, in the
backdrop of daily threats to annihilate all Jews, is a
threat to civilized people everywhere, and that is
why I felt compelled to speak out, and to do it as
loudly as possible.
Fortunately, Kerrys 180 degree turn shows how much
public officials are listening. I believe in speaking truth
to power and calling out our elected officials. They are
elected for one purpose only, and that is to serve and
protect the people. Kerrys change in tone and words
has demonstrated the power of our national advertising
campaigns, and there have been other strong examples
as well, like our ads against Israel-hater and former UN
Gaza Commission head William Schabas.
Not because our ads are particularly persuasive,
although I believe they are powerfully so. But because of
the power of moral arguments can never be suppressed.
But whatever his reasoning, we welcome and
applaud Secretary Kerrys unconditional condemnation of terrorism against Israeli Jews and all humanity.
Only by stating clearly that there is never justification
for murdering innocent people will we finally stop the
brutal scourge of terrorism.

Heresy, R.I.P.

s Orthodox Judaism orthodox?


In its strict, etymological sense, orthodoxy refers
to straight opinions rather than accepted practices. To restate the question: Do traditionally
observant Jews profess a uniform set of theological doctrines? Must they?
Some of the confusion around this question arises from
terminology. Orthodox Judaism is an unfortunate yet
persistent misnomer. As a label for the religious community it describes, it is inadequate and misleading.
Jews who call themselves Orthodox observe halachah,
which is defined by practice rather than theology. A
creed of some kind may be important perhaps critical
to members of a religious community. But dogma need
not be a religions defining feature. Beyond a few basics
what exactly these are is debatable leading Jewish
thinkers over the centuries have taken radically divergent
positions on some of the most fundamental theological
questions. Doctrinal conformity never was our strong suit.
And the Thirteen Principles of Faith of Maimonides?
They were, indeed, an attempt by our greatest philosopher-halachist to define the dogmas of Judaism. However,
the Principles the idea of a theological credo and some
of their specific content were a
significant departure from biblical and Talmudic Judaism, and
have been roundly contested
by equally great halachists ever
since they appeared.
If practice defines halachic
Judaism, there were junctures
in Jewish history typically
at times of communal crisis
David S.
where dogma received inordiZinberg
nate attention. When a community is threatened by competing
ideologies, it naturally will draw
its red lines this was a major factor in the formulation of
the Thirteen Principles. With an explicit formulation of fundamentals, orthodoxy stakes out its ideological boundaries.
That which remains outside the border is heresy.
In modern Jewish history, heresy largely was the preoccupation of traditionalists who believe that they are
engaged in a desperate struggle with destructive modern
ideas. But history has been unkind to the heresy hunters. At some point, after all, heliocentrism, the Enlightenment, Zionism, evolution, and modern biblical scholarship each were branded heretical by rabbinic authorities.
Yet every one of these once-revolutionary ideas endures.
And while nearly all remain anathema to some few rational people of any stripe still promote geocentrism each
has been integrated in some form into the Modern Orthodox worldview.
A relic of another age, heresy has become an unlikely
current issue.
Take, for example, the question of ordaining women as
Orthodox rabbis, an effort associated with some Orthodox institutions and a movement now known as Open
Orthodoxy.
Detractors have advanced essentially three objections,
argued in three stages.
The first response maintains that ordaining women is
forbidden halachically. But sensing the weakness of that
approach, other rejectionists invoke the fuzzier concept
of mesorah (tradition), claiming that the appointment of
female rabbis would violate a sacred, if unwritten, code of
values passed down through the centuries.
The third and most fundamental argument against the
ordination of women seeks to undermine the entire project

Maimonides wrote The Thirteen Principles of Faith


as a response to troubled times.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

as heresy. From the start, in this complaint, the endeavor is


incompatible with the supposed orthodoxy in Orthodox
Judaism. And this strategy takes one of two forms: Either
the very idea of gender equality is heresy, or, for completely
unrelated reasons, the bid to ordain women is represented
by heretics and therefore illegitimate.
Among his other objections to ordaining women, Rabbi
Herschel Schachter of Yeshiva University is a proponent
of the feminism-is-heresy thesis. He considers Orthodox
feminism a heretical movement that channels the schisms
of the Sadducees and early Christians. Those ancient heresies, Rabbi Schachter contends, also rebelled against
rabbinic Judaism for its perceived discrimination against
women.
In contrast, Rabbi Aharon Feldman, a member of Agudath Israels Council of Torah Sages, believes the supporters of ordaining women to be guilty of much more serious
theological crimes. As Rabbi Feldman argued in a recent
interview:
The RCA recently released a statement against Open
Orthodoxys ordination of women. That is totally missing
the point. The problem of Open Orthodoxy does not come
down to whether women should or should not be Rabbanim (rabbis); it is the fact that they deny the most basic
fundamentals of belief in Torah.
This is in line with the Councils earlier declaration that
leaders of Open Orthodoxy reject the basic tenets of our
faith.
Charges of heresy by clerical authorities once may
have been effective at suppressing dissent. But today, the
means are obsolete and the end is unattainable. Inquisitions, excommunication, and book banning have no place
in a modern society, even a deeply religious one.
An appetite for heresy hunting may lead us down a
dark, slippery path. Imagine a world in the not-too-distant
future one familiar to George Orwell and Joseph McCarthy in which a Committee on Un-Orthodox Activities
investigates suspected heretics, subpoenas witnesses to
testify about their alleged thought crimes, and pressures
them to name associates. The suspects are blacklisted.
We ought to consider carefully if that is the dystopia we
want to leave our children.
David S. Zinberg lives in Teaneck with his wife and three
sons. He works in financial services.
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 21

Opinion

Agunot, recalcitrant husbands, and their many accomplices

amar Epstein
Forward) an as-yet-to-be-identified Orthodox rabbi in Philadelbecame an agunah
phia. I wish Ms. Epstein and her
a woman tragically
bridegroom, Adam Fleischer,
chained to a defunct
much happiness and mazal tov
marriage when her husband,
and I wish to express profound
Aharon Friedman, unscrupulously and vindictively refused to
admiration and support for my
grant her a get, a Jewish religious
anonymous Philadelphia colleague. As the Almighty promdivorce.
ised His covenant partner, AbraThe case similar to a scanRabbi
dalously large number of similar
ham: Your reward will be very
Joseph H.
situations involving chained
great (Genesis 15:1).
Prouser
women and recalcitrant husSadly, many in the Jewish combands received intense public
munity will disagree.
scrutiny in part because Mr. Friedman was a
In its recent article, the Forward quoted
staff aide to a member of the U.S. House of RepRabbi Aharon Feldman of Baltimores Ner
resentatives. Rabbinic suasion and public excoIsrael Yeshiva as calling for the former aguriation nevertheless failed to move this particunah (whose original marriage, and therefore
lar recalcitrant to fulfill his religious obligation
whose status as an agunah, he deems to remain
and terminate his marriage in accordance with
intact) to leave her new husband. Rabbi Feldman declares any future children born to the
Jewish law and morality. The couples marriage
Fleischers to be mamzerim bastards
had already been dissolved in civil court.
themselves forever debarred from marriage
Ms. Epstein recently has entered upon a
to legitimate Jews. Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn
new marriage in a ceremony solemnized by a
similarly is quoted as describing the dissoluprominent Orthodox rabbi. Her marriage to
tion of Ms. Epsteins first marriage as a sad
Friedman was annulled or, more accurately,
joke based on a clear corruption and misuse of
declared to have been invalid ab initio by (as
halachic principles, and declaring Ms. Epstein
of the publication of an article on the case in the

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22 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

an adulteress. An organized effort (likely


to exceed in volume and vitriol even the
considerable campaign to persuade Mr.
Friedman to grant a get in the first place) is
underway to reject the Philadelphia-based
annulment, to discourage like-minded rabbis from similar findings of law, and to deny
the legitimacy of any such rabbinic actions
that might be taken in the future.
Aharon Friedman bears responsibility as
the perpetrator in this tragic situation. Not
his former wife, not her new husband, not
the rabbi who performed their wedding,
nor the rabbi who issued the annulment
that made it possible. Men who willfully
create agunot out of spite or anger or hate
or humiliation or base cruelty, or simply to
assert continued control or to cause pain
to the women they once loved, are villains.
They are perpetrators of evil.
They are the wrong-doers.
They have many accomplices.
Rabbis and rabbinic courts legitimately
may conclude that a woman was led to
enter into a marriage under false pretenses,
or as a result of deception, or because of
the willful concealment of a bridegrooms
flaws. In such a case, they are duty-bound
to render a finding of mekach taut,
declaring that the marriage never achieved
the honest meeting of minds required to
establish matrimony. In such cases, the
marital state never was entered. Certainly,
there was no kiddushin no sanctified
and binding marriage. Although, out of
an abundance of caution and theological
humility, it always is preferable to terminate even such a putative marriage with a
get, no woman, upon such a finding, is rendered an agunah by a recalcitrant husband.
Where mekach taut is documented,
no marriage ever existed, and no divorce
is required. This is a well-established
if scandalously neglected principle of
Jewish law. Rabbis who have the religious
training, scholarly credentials, and moral
authority to annul marriages but do not do
so are complicit in creating agunot. They
abet recalcitrant husbands in chaining their
wives.
When rabbis do find halachic grounds
to release an agunah from her chains so
she may remarry, they are attacked and
rejected, marginalized and demonized by
the rabbinic and religious establishment.
This dynamic animated a telling statement
75 years ago by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Isaac
Ha-Levi Herzog, father of the late Israeli
president Chaim Herzog and grandfather of
his namesake, the Israeli opposition leader
M.K. Isaac Herzog. Rabbi Herzog ruled that
a get be written for a woman in World War
II-era Germany, though there was only minimal evidence of her husbands authorizing
the divorce. The husband was unavailable,
as he was behind enemy lines in Vichy
France. Herzog instructed that the rabbis,
scribe, and witnesses involved in issuing
the get keep the matter as quiet and private

as possible:
For two reasons: There are those who
just love to savage each other in halachic
debate. Lnageach bhalachah literally, to gore each other with Jewish law.
If word gets out, they will start discussing
and analyzing this weighty matter in all the
institutions of sacred learning, and we will
not come out of this incident in one piece!
Secondly, we must be concerned about
those zealots of the well-known type, those
grandstanding narcissists who love to find
fault just to demonstrate their own erudition, with no concern for the plight of a
suffering Jewish woman. Then there are
those whose intentions are for the sake of
Heaven, but who are unaccustomed to the
implications of ruling in real-life situations,
or to whom stringency and prohibition is
always the preferred course.
Those who second-guess legitimate
permissive rulings by recognized halachic
authorities in matters of family and marital
law have failed to heed the counsel of the
late chief rabbi. Those of the well-known
type who attack and reject, marginalize
and demonize. Those who strive to intimidate colleagues who do act on behalf of
suffering Jewish women are complicit in
creating agunot.
They abet recalcitrant husbands in
chaining their wives.
In addition to the principle of mekach
taut, the Talmud also asserts the far more
controversial power of the rabbis to annul
marriage (with cause) as an exercise of
sheer authority. This extraordinary power
is based on the premise that every Jewish
marriage is contracted on rabbinic authority, and that the rabbis retain the concomitant prerogative to undo the marital bond
unilaterally. The Forward quotes an anonymous Orthodox source as stating that this
rabbinic power has never been used in
modern times. This is untrue.
While the exercise of such sweeping rabbinic authority should be used rarely, only
as a last resort, and with the utmost discretion, the Joint Bet Din of the Conservative
movement does just that. Rabbinic authorities who not only delegitimize this mechanism of marital dissolution but who reject
those who rightfully and courageously
wield this power, on the basis of partisan
religious politics alone, are complicit in
creating agunot. They abet recalcitrant husbands in chaining their wives.
As a Conservative rabbi, it pains me to
say it, but the efforts of the Joint Bet Din to
free more agunot are impeded not only by
the partisan attacks of our detractors, but
by the religious laxity of some among our
supporters and constituents. There are
traditional, knowledgeable, pious Jewish
women including some affiliated with
Orthodoxy who would come to Conservative rabbis for relief from their status as
agunot. They are dissuaded from doing so,
however, by the fact that those authorities

Opinion
serve a constituency often lacking a fundamental commitment to Jewish law and observance. This leads observant agunot to neglect an invaluable (perhaps exclusive)
resource for legitimate halachic relief. Conservative Jews
who champion egalitarianism and pay lip service to the
religious enfranchisement of Jewish women yet whose
personal halachic disengagement undermines the stature
of their rabbis as religious decisors thus are complicit in
creating agunot. They abet recalcitrant husbands in chaining their wives.
Rank-and-file Conservative Jews best serve the cause of
agunot by rededicating themselves to Torah and mitzvot,
by renewed devotion to the discipline and details of daily
religious observance. Indignation and protests as, too,
editorials are far less effective!
Conservative rabbis and rabbinic bodies themselves
are not without complicity in the creation of agunot. Too
many individual Conservative rabbis value gratuitous
innovation and their independence as mara datra (the
uncontested religious authority for their own local communities) over halachic authenticity. They, too, contribute to an atmosphere inhospitable to those agunot who
are in the most desperate need of precisely the principled
halachic approach that characterizes the Joint Bet Dins
handling of Jewish family law, divorce, and annulment.
When Conservative movement leaders, policy makers,
and halachic decisors subvert fundamental principles
of normative Jewish law, when they routinely legislate
sweeping change in Jewish ritual and Jewish moral principles, when they dramatically impact matters with direct
bearing on personal status and Jewish identity, they make
it all but impossible for many committed members of the
Jewish community to take us seriously enough to entrust
their marital status, their spiritual well-being, and the
future of their families to our halachic care. The actions
of such rabbinic authorities frequently are intended to
serve the cause of Jewish women, or more fully to include
those whom they perceive to have been marginalized in
Jewish life.
In fact, they do so at the expense of those women who
have been left most vulnerable by the halachic system.
Conservative rabbis and rabbinic bodies who pursue a
program of unchecked halachic legislation and radical
innovation thus are complicit in creating agunot. They
abet recalcitrant husbands in chaining their wives.
Ultimately, recalcitrant husbands themselves are
responsible for the suffering of the agunot they willfully
and cruelly create. Though every avenue of moral suasion, public excoriation, and communal sanctions should
be exploited in order to impel such men to do the right
thing, some will never change their selfish ways, or their
poisoned hearts, or their self-absorbed minds. This tragic
fact makes it all the more critical that those who are (so
often unwittingly) complicit in creating agunot selflessly
alter their own course. This includes those who out
of fear of marginalization and savage attack by rabbinic
colleagues fail to act on behalf of agunot. This includes
those rabbis who wield halachic prohibition indiscriminately, without concern for human consequences. This
includes those who however pure their motives second-guess, critique, and undermine principled rabbis
who act decisively on behalf of agunot, creating a toxic
atmosphere of judgmental religious divisiveness and contested personal status. This includes those whose negligence in the realm of personal religious observance, as
a wholly unintended consequence, undercuts those rabbinic bodies prepared to wield the rabbinic power of
annulment. This includes those rabbis and rabbinic bodies who, in keeping with their sincere, progressive vision
for the Jewish people, pursue a sustained pattern of significant departures from the historic, normative path of

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 23

Letters

A view from the pew


Oh Chanukah, celebrate diversity, not division

n the 21st century, Chanukah has become one of the most


celebrated weeks on the Jewish calendar, both in Israel
and in the United States.
This is truly a miraculous status for a holiday that the
rabbis of 2,000 years ago did their utmost to suppress. The
four Books of the Maccabees, detailing the story of the familys

ascent to power, actually were suppressed by the Jewish leaders


of the first century of the Christian era because of the zealotry
they inspired.
The word Chanukah means re-dedication. As we all know,
the festival of Chanukah commemorates the Maccabees revolt
against their Syrian overlords and the subsequent re-occupation

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and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Jews


of that time. The Chanukah
narrative of 165 B.C.E. marks
the re-establishment of an
independent Jewish state
after centuries of occupation
by the Babylonians, the Persians, and the Greeks. The
Rabbi Neal
Maccabean era was also a
Borovitz
time when there was a prosperous, well-established
Jewish diaspora community
living in Athens, Rome, and Alexandria, as well as in the
capitals of Syria, Babylonia, and Persia. The Maccabees
challenges therefore were twofold: to rebuild a vibrant
Jewish community in the land of Israel and to maintain
and support a Jewish diaspora community.
Historians tell us that bridging the gap was not easy.
There were conflicts between the Jews in Judea and the
diaspora. Jewish historians who study the early Christian
era look to those conflicts as contributing to the end of
the Maccabean era and the fall of the Second Temple in
70 C.E.
As we celebrate Chanukah 5776, we Jews of the 21st century are engaged in an ongoing struggle to recognize that
the survival of Judaism requires us to see the Jewish world
as bipolar. A strong secure Israel and a vibrant diaspora,
both dedicated to the service of God and the continuity
of Judaism, are essential for our personal and communal
survival. Jewish history from the Maccabees to modernity
teaches us the necessity to take responsibility for our own
destiny.
This responsibility to be active rather than passive participants in history does not negate the need to reach out
to others and build effective coalitions. The early Maccabees did not seek to wipe out the Syrians. Their goal was
to live in peace with them. With the passing of Antiochus,
a peace treaty was brokered between the Syrians and the
Jews with the assistance of the superpower of the ancient
world, the Roman Empire, and the willing participation of
leaders on both sides. Judea reached great heights under
the successors to these revolutionaries, known as the Hasmoneans. However, within a couple of generations the
intra-Jewish battles over religious practice and the breakdown in the relationships between the Jewish diaspora
and the Jewish state led to destruction and dispersion.
The rabbis of the Talmud attribute the destruction of the
Second Temple to the communal sin of sinat chinam, the
hatred of Jews for one another.
This Chanukah, 120 years after the publication of Theodore Herzls The Jewish State, Israel, like the Judea of
the Chanukah story, faces serious threats from the chaotic
political strife in Syria, Babylonia ( known since the end
of World War I as Iraq), and Persia ( now called Iran). The
Jewish world recently also has faced serious divisions over
both political and religious issues that have the potential
to weaken the body and soul of the Jewish people. Jewish
history, from the Chanukah story to today, proves over
and over again that Jewish divisiveness, as distinguished
from Jewish diversity, impairs our communal ability to
battle the twin threats to Jewish survival, assimilation and
anti-Semitism.
Today, as we face increased anti-Semitism worldwide,
I am reminded of two teachings of Eli Wiesel. First, to
be a Jew requires one to be an optimist. And second, to
be a Jew is to have every reason to hate, but nonetheless
to obey the command Love your neighbor as yourself.
Judaism teaches us that teshuva repentance and
return is possible. Life can change when people change.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate,
SEE A VIEW PAGE 27

24 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Letters
Terrorists evil inclination

There are still those who blame successful terrorist


recruitment on lack of jobs, political oppression,
etc. But by now it is well known that many, if not most
of the militants have been and are middle and upper
class, with good educations and opportunities.
More realistically, the traditional rabbinic duality of
yetzer ha-ra and yetzer ha-tov points out that every
human is born with an evil inclination and a good inclination. The evil inclination, yetzer ha-ra, is predominant until a child is molded into a decent human being.
What we are seeing are people who have plugged into
an ideology that justifies and even celebrates their evil
inclination. Although especially vicious in a significantly
powerful segment of Islam, that ideology not unique to
Islam. The same process permeated various societies
throughout history. Naziism was the most dangerous
international plague during the last century. But, like
Nazism, the manifestation cannot be combated and
defeated with politically correct platitudes.
Arthur Rabin, Wynnewood, PA

He attributes views to me to which I do not subscribe and


accuses me of criticizing Israeli settlers for labeling settlers as
extremists because they defend their families and communities from attack. My book said no such thing, nor do I hold
such views. To the contrary, Our Promised Land argues that
Jewish theology, halachic writings, and contemporary rabbinic
response support settlement in the whole of the biblical Land
of Israel. Moreover, the thesis of the book is that after centuries
of living as a defenseless pariah people, the rise of the state of
Israel made it possible for Jews to assert their rights to their biblical homeland and rightfully engage in religiously sanctioned
wars (milchemet mitzvah) to protect themselves and secure

their ancient homeland, eretz Israel.


This is not to say that all violence is justified. What I did
write is that many settler rabbis and leaders object to vigilante
violence and killing innocent people. Jews are so new to political power and military defense that at times some Jews seek
to deny the need for a robust militant defense, seeking escape
into pacifist fantasies for solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, while others mistakenly believe that vigilante violence and murder will bring peace.
Charles Selengut, Ph.D., Teaneck
SEE LETTERS PAGE 46

Conservative representatives
complaint

Uriel Heilman of JTA gets the facts right (mostly), but


the story wrong when writing about Conservative Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
in Amid Identity Crisis, Conservative Judaism Pays for
Rebranding (November 27).
While the article is ostensibly about our recent convention, Shape the Center, it focused instead on a separate project a branding initiative and a rehashing
of the Pew data. In fact, the convention was marked by
interactive workshops offering practical solutions to
many of todays most pressing issues, including LGBTQ
and special needs inclusion, leadership development,
millennial engagement, interfaith families, financial stability, and more.
The article references the analysis of Steven M. Cohen
to demonstrate a decline in the number of self-identified
Conservative Jews, but this research also showed, as CEO
Rabbi Steven Wernick spoke about in his opening session
speech, that while the quantity of Conservative Jews has
diminished, the quality of Jewish involvement of those
continuing to engage has stayed relatively strong.
Engagement was actually the theme of Rabbi Wernicks speech, contrary to what was reported in the
article (Moving Beyond Crisis was presented by Linda
Sussman, Kehilla Relationship Manager of the Metropolitan New York (METNY) District, and explored best
practices that relate to crisis management in a kehilla).
Rabbi Wernick shared some of Mr. Cohens statistics and
then identified teenage engagement as a keystone habit
of thriving congregations. He followed this up with a call
to action for kehillot to reach more than 50 percent of
teens and for the movement to collectively raise substantial funds to support this goal.
USCJ has recently begun a branding initiative in order
to sharpen our focus and expand our reach, effectiveness and influence, but this certainly was not the predominant story of the convention. Twelve hundred
Jews gathering over five days to influence the future of
Conservative Judaism was, and its unfortunate that JTA
instead relied on a click bait headline and a tired narrative of decline.
Alissa Pinck, Director of Marketing and Communications,
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Manhattan

Settlement stance

Dr. Scott David Lippes comments on my book, Our


Promised Land: Faith and Militant Zionism in Israeli Settlements (Letters, December 4), are entirely inaccurate.

STRAIGHT
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ABOUT YOUR CHILDS


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Hear from Rabbi Menachem Penner, Dean of the
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Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and
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Recent alumni will be in attendance to discuss
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Wednesday | December 23 | 7 p.m.


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The evening is tailored to parents of high school
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For information about Yeshiva University, visit www.yu.edu/admissions or call 212.960.5277

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 25

Opinion
Maayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls invites you to our

Day of Big Ideas


Friday, December 25, 2015 9:30 AM12:30 PM
Keynote Speaker, former Rhodes Scholar

Dr. Jeremy Dauber

Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture &


Director, Institute of Israel and Jewish Studies, Columbia University

Frightening Jews: What Makes a Jewish Horror Story?


With additional lectures by members of our distinguished faculty, including:
Mrs. Tamar Appel The Menorah Society: Illuminating American Jewish Identity
Mrs. Randy Bernstein The Statistics of Polling
Mrs. Enid Goldberg Sophocles' Antigone: Lessons for Our Time
Dr. Julie Goldstein Chrismahanukwanzakah: Hellenism Yesterday & Today
Mrs. Esther Slomnicki Boys will be Boys (and Girls will be Girls): Genes and Gender Determination
Mrs. Yael Weil Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel and.......the Jews?!

This event is generously sponsored by the Brodsky family in loving memory of


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26 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Responding to hatred
with IsrAction

was telling a friend this week that


This is exactly the mindset fostered by
of all the topics I write about, the
totalitarian regimes.
global campaign against Israels very
Ironically and here we come to my secexistence is the one that just wont
ond example dehumanizing is exactly
go away, no matter how much I might wish
what anti-Zionists like Levine accuse Israel
otherwise.
of doing to the Palestinians. On the website
After all, its an issue thats consumed a
of the London School of Economics (my
good deal of my attention for more than
alma mater, incidentally) theres an article
a decade now. Anyone who writes about
by Sandra Nasr constructed entirely from
a particular subject for that length of time
a conversation she had with a young Palesfaces the prospect of becoming inured to
tinian in Ramallah, who asked her, Why...
it, not to mention bored. (Take it from me;
does the world think Im not human?
anti-Zionists are, on top of everything else,
Far from challenging this ludicrous
deeply boring folks who repeat the same
assumption, Nasr indulged it by providing
discredited tropes over and over again.)
the following answer. Zionism, the ideoBut give credit where its due. There are
logical project to secure a Jewish homesome anti-Zionists appalling enough in
land, relies upon notions of separateness,
their statements and actions to persuade
superiority and entitlement.... The narme that I havent seen everything quite yet.
ratives present in the Torahand, indeed
Here are two egregious
throughout the Tanakh
examples of what I mean,
(Torah, Prophets, and Writboth of which I encountered
ings)not only raise the
within a few days of each
Israelites to special status
other.
(a people apart above all
The first concerned Dr.
other peoples of the Earth),
Marsha Levine, a former
but legitimizes and even
Cambridge University acarequires the ethnic cleansdemic whose discipline is
ing of non-Israelites from the
archaeoloy and whose area
land of Canaan.... Notions of
Ben Cohen
of expertise concerns the
racial superiority are conbreeding and use of horses
tained in Jewish scriptures
by human beings in antiqand Rabbinical pronounceuity. Dr. Levine received an email from a
ments have the effect of relegating the
13-year-old girl in Israel, Shachar Rabinoother to a standard which is sub-human.
vitch, asking for advice with a school projAnd so on and so forth and so on. If this
ect. I know you are a very important perhalf-baked garbage sounds familiar to older
son and Ive read your article about horses
readers, its probably because the Soviets
(Domestication, Breed Diversification
were putting out much the same tropes
and Early History of the Horse) and I love
from the late 1960s onwards, publishing
horses very much, Shachar wrote endearendless pamphlets that depicted Judaingly. It will be an honor if you will answer
ism as a faith based on racial supremacy,
my question.
with Zionism as its political expression.
Dr. Levines answer was shocking. Ill
The Soviets did all this to justify the odious
answer your questions when there is peace
persecution of their Jewish minority. Now
and justice for Palestinians in Palestine,
these same themes are being recycled by
she wrote back. I am a member of Jews
a university that prides itself on academic
for Justice for Palestinians. I support Boyexcellence, and no one seems to realize
cott, Divestment, Sanctions. You might be
their provenance, or care about it.
a child, but if you are old enough to write
So whats my point here? Yes, you can
to me, you are old enough to learn about
get angry, and rightly so: not content with
Israeli history and how it has impacted on
attacking Israel, these people are now
the lives of Palestinian people. Maybe your
attacking Judaism itself. And yes, you can
family has the same views as I do, but I
point out the sickening hypocrisy of calldoubt it.
ing the Palestinians dehumanized in a
It was shocking not because of the lack
region where jihadis blow up churches
of emotional intelligence on display here.
and mosques and take minorities like the
There was something more profound
Yazidis as their slaves. A region where
involved. Dr. Levines response was an
Iran treats its Bahai minority much as the
utter violation of the values of a liberal and
Nazis did the Jews during the period of the
free society. In such a society, we dont
Nuremburg Laws. A region where Western
hold children accountable for the political
allies like Qatar are given free license to use
misdeeds of their elderswhether real or
slave labor to build glittering skyscrapers
imaginedfor any reason. Nor do we dehuand World Cup soccer stadiums.
manize entire groups: Levine replied not to
But I said earlier, this is the conversation
Shachar as a person, but to the nation of
Ive been having for more than a decade.
which she is a citizen, thereby stripping her
Im sure the same applies to many of you.
of her individuality.
Thats why it gives me great pleasure to

Opinion
close this weeks column with a
shout-out to IsrAction Day, which
falls on December 13 this year.
What is IsrAction Day? You can
find out more by visiting their page
on Facebook, but in essence, its a
day that combines action against the
boycott with social activism. This
being the season of goodwill, what
you should do on December 13 is
this: buy some Israeli food products,
take them to a local homeless shelter
or soup kitchen, drop them off with
a message of support, snap a photo,
and email it to the good people running IsrAction Day.
Launched in Britain last year, this
year IsrAction Day is going global,
with activists in France, South Africa,
Canada, New Zealand, and other
countries participating. As my friend
Winston Pickett, who runs communications for IsrAction Day, pointed
out to me, the beauty of this initiative
is that you dont have to belong to an
organization or pay membership fees
to get involved. Simply do what I outlined above, and youre a part of it.
We do have to carry on combating the lies of people like Marsha
Levine and Sandra Nasr. But that
shouldnt be the sole purpose of

Donate
to Jewish
National
Fund and
build a
stronger,
healthier,
more secure
Israel.

Accomplices
FROM PAGE 23

A poster for IsrAction Day



FACEBOOK

Israel advocacy. IsrAction Day is an


opportunity to celebrate Israel and
the Jewish tradition of social justice
and tzedakah (charity) on our own
terms. A welcome relief, I hope you
will agree, from the bigotry that
defames the Jewish state as the root
of all the evil in the world. 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.

Jewish law and tradition, thereby squandering


their standing as halachic decisors and squandering, collaterally, the standing of those who
might otherwise be in a position to offer legitimate halachic relief to agunot.
Recalcitrant husbands have many accomplices.
If those complicit parties cannot summon the will
to change their ways, then they, too, are rendered
agunot. Despite readily available remedies, they
remain tragically and scandalously chained to an

A View
FROM PAGE 24

a revolutionary document from the Roman


Catholic church that opened the door to JewishChristian dialogue, cooperation, and mutual
respect. Chanukah and Christmas both are
responses to an ancient Roman pagan holiday
that occurred at the winter solstice and that was
meant to appease the gods so they would allow
daylight to return. Both these festivals have
become times of joyful celebration, personal
rededication, and thanksgiving to God.
The original Chanukah was a delayed celebration of Sukkot, the biblical festival of thanksgiving,
as well as a celebration of the rededication of the
Temple. In a time when ISIS battles for an intolerant
religious hegemony in the Middle East and beyond,
this week we celebrate the rabbinic understanding

unproductive and disappointing past, powerless to


act, debarred from building the happy and sanctified future to which we are all entitled, a future that
they have denied to others who sought their understanding, and who deserved all the wisdom and
moral fortitude the Torah and its authentic interpretation have to offer in such abundance.
Joseph H. Prouser, the rabbi of Temple Emanuel of
North Jersey in Franklin Lakes, is a mesader gittin
a certified scribe and adjudicator of religious
divorce and a member of the Joint Bet Din of the
Conservative movement.
of Chanukah. We see it as a fight for, rather than
against, religious freedom and human liberty.
As our personal chanukiyot burn bright, filled
with individual lights, let us all see them as a symbol that the light of God burns within each of us.
Let us also see them as a challenge to recognize that
the light of the divine is not only in every Jew, of
every religious stream, but in every human being
of every faith.
To paraphrase Peter Yarrow s Chanukah song,
Light One Candle for the Maccabee Children, may
each of us work to bring the light of refuge and the
light of freedom to all Gods children.
Neal Borovitz, rabbi emeritus of Temple Avodat
Shalom in River Edge, is the immediate past chair
of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.

MAKE A
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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 27

Cover Story

Leaving the bubble


Moving from Tenafly
to the IDF, lone soldier
talks about path
toward maturity

Harrison Adler
speaks at a recent
Friends of the Israel
Defense Forces
dinner in Parsippany.

28 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Cover Story

JOANNE PALMER
ineteen days after he
graduated from high
school, 18-year-old Harrison Adler of Tenafly was
en route to Israel.
Two months after that,
he was a lone soldier in the Israel Defense
Forces.
Its not that he has decided not to go
to college Mr. Adler, now 19, has been
accepted at the university of his choice and

he will matriculate there, an uncommonly


mature freshman, in the fall of 2016. But
his path to college now includes a detour,
one that he had planned for some time.
Mr. Adler, who went first to public
school in Tenafly and then to DwightEnglewood, a secular private school, in
Englewood, was back in New Jersey for a
brief visit. His time back home included
a talk at the annual New Jersey Friends
of the IDF dinner in Parsippany in late
November. (The dinner attracted more
than 450 people and raised more than $1

million, which will be used for programming for IDF members.)


Later, he described his choices, the
worldview that led up to his decision, and
the changes it has made in him.
There were two dovetailed reasons for
his joining the IDF, Mr. Adler said. First,
there was my desire to help the world.
There are a few places where that comes
from. My parents are very charitable, so I
was exposed to the mindset that we need
to give to other people very early. And that
was combined with a second feeling of

Zionism, and of Jewish identity.


When you combine those things, you
end up at the place where I ended up, he
said.
It certainly is true that the Adler family
set a formidable example when it comes to
charity. Harrisons parents, Jim and Dana
Post Adler, are active philanthropists; his
mother is vice president and co-chair of
the Jewish Federation of Northern New
Jerseys Womens Philanthropy and sits
on the boards of the Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey, National Womens
Philanthropy, and the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, among many others.
And it is not coincidental that the aphasia centers name includes Adler. Harrisons grandparents, Myron and Elaine
Scenes from the Tekes Kumta
in Jerusalem where members of
Harrisons brigade, now finished
with training, got their berets.
At left, his mother, Dana, hugs hims.
YEHOSHUA HALEVI

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 29

Cover Story

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Harrison hugs his grandmother, Elaine Adler, at the


FIDF dinner.

Adler, created the center in response to Myron Adlers

stroke, which left him aphasic; when Myron (or Mike, as


3493212-01
napoli
everyone called him) died on September 15 this year, the
3493212-01
5/17/13
outpouring of grief in response made clear that the love
napoli
subite
5/17/13
he evoked was not pro forma gratitude to a benefactor
canali/singer
subite

but a genuine response to real loss.


canali/singer
All this is part of Harrison Adlers inheritance. And
carrol/BB
then theres the part he did himself.
carrol/BB
This ad is copyrighted by North
Jersey Although
Media Group and may
not had been to Israel on a family vacation
he
be reproduced in any form, or
This ad is in
copyrighted
by North
replicated
a similar version,
justapproval
once
before
he moved there to become a lone solJersey Media
Group
and
may not
without
from
North
be reproduced
in any form, or
Jersey
Media Group.
dier,
started
replicated
in I
a similar
version, thinking about it maybe four or five years
without approval from North
Jersey
Mediaand
Group. then over time, I thought about it more, he
ago,
said. And then, maybe six or seven months before I finished high school, it clicked, and I knew what I would
do.
Mr. Adler did not make aliyah, he said; instead, he
plans to come back to the United States to live once his
tour of duty is over. I am a volunteer in the army, he
said. The two months between his landing at Ben-Gurion
Airport and his IDF induction were busy, because as

a foreign soldier, you have to do a lot of bureaucratic


work, paperwork, going from place to place filling out
stuff. And then, about a month before the army, I did a
pre-army program with other lone soldiers. His Hebrew
had not been particularly good before he went to Israel,
he said, but that program included some language
classes, and it was augmented by a two-month Army
ulpan program after induction. And then, I drafted into
combat after that, in August 2014, he said.
There is no unit exclusively for lone soldiers, he continued; he is in a unit with a few other lone soldiers,
because we just happened to be placed together. By
now, he shifts effortlessly between Hebrew and English,
and uses both in his unit.
We were in training for eight months, and then we
go to guard a border, he continued. It just so happens
that the border my battalion was assigned to is the one
with Lebanon.
Close to Syria, he added.
We do border patrols, guard duty mission, Mr. Adler
said. Im sorry, but I cant tell any stories about it. And
it is necessary to add that Mr. Adler was entirely straightforward about what his boundaries were, and he stayed
well inside them. The questions that he could answer, he
did answer; the questions that he could not answer, he
immediately declined.
Mr. Adler feels strongly that he made the right decision. This is the greatest choice I have ever made in
my entire life, he said. It gives you an education you
cant get from going to school, or from doing anything
else. It gives you perspective on life, it gives you mental and physical strength, it teaches you the way to deal
with issues and problems that you wouldnt have if you
hadnt gone through it. Thats the biggest gift of all the
idea that when your service is over, even 10, 14, 20, 25
years afterward, the lessons you were taught then will
help you in every situation.
Whats an example? Heres one, he said. Time
management.
Say that youre working for some company, and they
give you a project to do. Or say that youre in school, and
you have a paper to do. You have both the perspective
and the discipline to know that whatever it takes to do
it, you just have to do it. You do it until its done, and
you do it no matter what the quote unquote pain might
be during the process of doing it, because the only thing

Cover Story
that matters is the completion of the task.
Serving in the IDF also has helped shatter stereotypes of Israel. I serve with people who are Christians, Muslims, Druze,
Orthodox, and atheists, Mr. Adler said.
They come from many sociological, economic, and racial backgrounds. And all we
care about is getting the job done and
doing it together.
Friendship is another benefit of army
service, he added. Its different than it
was in high school. This really is a brotherhood, in the farthest extent that you can
use the word. We are brothers. We are a
fraternity. It was true throughout training,
and it is especially true now, when we are
on a very dangerous border. All the commanders and the structure itself has tried
to impart a sense of you guys are all in this
together, but they never had to hammer it
in, because we did it ourselves.
When he is asked whether his return
home after his pending February 2015 discharge is likely to seem anti-climactic, Mr.
Adlers hard-won practicality surfaced once
again. I think that I am 19 years old, so anything I predict about the quote unquote

real world isnt going to hold any way.


I grew up in a bubble, he continued. I
was living in north Jersey not the poorest area in the world. The army shattered
that bubble, and thats one of its most
important aspects. It breaks all sense of
coddled-ness.
But if you look at it from another angle,
the army itself is a certain kind of bubble,
he said. You certainly have your work cut
out for you, and its incredibly challenging
stuff, and people get hurt, and sometimes
people pay the ultimate price, but at the
end of the day its not very open-ended.
When I get home and try to start a business and a family, that will be one of the
most opened-ended experiences you can
possibly have. You have no one guiding
you, nothing except your own experiences, and even those dont necessarily
prepare you.
His army training has prepared him
very specifically for a certain set of circumstances, Mr. Adler said. If there is a war, if
I go into war, then I and everyone else
has to hope that our training has prepared
us well enough so that we can snap into it

This is the
greatest choice I
have ever made
in my entire life.
It gives you an
education you
cant get from
going to school,
or from doing
anything else.
and we know what to do to save our lives
and everyone elses lives. And I also believe
that everything that I have learned and will
learn in the past, in school, in the army, in
college, in life all those things will coalesce
into something resembling action.
When he gets to college, Mr. Adler
said, he will be more prepared to take on

anti-Israel bias than he would have been


right after high school.
If somebody turns on the news, they
can see things that to put it mildly are
not exactly true about Israel. Israel does
not engage in aggressive acts. That is antithetical to everything that Israel stands for.
The countrys paramount goal is to provide
safety for its citizens, and by extension to
the citizens of surrounding countries, and
by extension the rest of the world. Every
action Israel takes has been measured up
against the idea of its being attacked. So
anytime someone sees something in the
news about an aggressive action taken by
Israel, it needs to be understood that its
not reporting why it is taking that action.
This is something that I know not from
the army but from being in Israel. Someone doesnt have to be in the army to learn
the truth about what is happening. All they
have to do is take off their blinders, block
out whatever outside bias might be coming in, and to look at the facts. To look at
events as they actually happen.
I believe that the most important thing
anyone can do to support Israel is to be

Singing with the band


IDFs North District Band to sing
in Englewood Saturday night
JOANNE PALMER
An army, as is well known, might travel
on its stomach and certainly its
vitally important to provision armed
forces right but once its members
are well-fed, its further well-being depends on its ears too.
Military bands, which were formed
at least in part to rally soldiers during the chaos and din of battle, also
provide a way for soldiers to relax, to
bond with each other, to leave their
surroundings for someplace else a
place in their heads, or perhaps in
their hearts for at least a short time.
Theyre also a way for budding musicians to jumpstart their careers. Perhaps because such a large percentage of Israelis go through the Israel
Defense Forces, and because it has
so many small ensembles and larger
Who: The IDFs North District Band
What: Will appear in concert
Where: At Congregation Ahavath
Torah, 240 Broad Avenue, Englewood
When: On Saturday, December 12, at
7:30 p.m.
How much: $36 and up; $18 for
children and students. The concert
will benefit the FIDFs programs for
members of the IDF.
For tickets or more information: Go
to and click on IDF Musical Ensemble In Concert.

bands in fact, Israel now has about


30 of them many major Israeli pop
stars and other successful musicians
can trace their careers back to those
ensembles.
On Saturday night, December 12,
Englewood will host one of those
foursomes the North District Band
will sing in Bridgewater on December
8 and in Livingston on December 9
before it comes north to Congregation Ahavath Torah, in a performance
arranged by the Friends of the Israel
Defense Forces and sponsored by a
raft of local Jewish schools and shuls.
The three New Jersey gigs are
among about ten that the band will
perform in JCCs and synagogues
around the New York metropolitan
area.
Sergeant Daphna of Ramat HaSharon who like the other troupe
members uses only her first name
publicly is a serious singer. The
group is made up of two men and
two women; because womens terms
of IDF service are shorter than mens,
the two women who have been in
the group for two years, are about to
leave the IDF. This trip, in fact, is their
swan song with the ensemble; when
they return to Israel they will begin
their post-service lives. The men have
another year each to serve; they will
be joined by another two women, who
will remain in the group for a year after the men leave.
That way, the ensemble always has
a mix of experience and freshness.
Ive been singing all my life, Daph-

A few years ago, another IDF band performed.


na said. I went to Elon, which, she
said, is one of the most well-known
music schools in the country. Once
she was drafted into the IDF, she was
recruited for the band.
We sing songs mainly Israeli pop
songs that every Israeli loves, since
we go to cheer up the soldiers, she
said. On this tour, we will sing all the
Jewish songs that everyone knows,
and then some English songs, like
Leonard Cohens Hallelujah.
Its gonna be awesome.
This wont be Daphnas first tour
abroad. In middle school, we went
to Germany to sing, she said. It was
very different, though a project to
bring together Christians, Muslims,
and Jews through music. This time, we
will be performing in uniform, singing to Jewish communities. Its very
exciting.
Daphnas own musical preference is

for jazz. I have a band in my free time,


and we sing a lot of jazz and r&b, she
said. Rhythm and blues. Its the kind
of music that she hopes to continue
to play. I am also an American citizen,
and I want to go and study music in
New York, she said. I really want to
continue in music.
Despite her plans to move to this
country, at least for a while, to further her education and opportunities,
Daphna is a proud Israeli.
Its a privilege to be able to do
this kind of service in the army, she
said. Its not something that you can
take for granted. There are not many
people who have this opportunity.
We are the messengers for the
whole Israeli army in Israel, and here
we represent ourselves and the whole
state of Israel.
It is an honor, and we are really
proud to do it, Daphna said.

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 31

Cover Story
informed. When I am in college, I intend to find a soapbox,
and to project from said soapbox what the truth really is.
It is so important that people hear the truth and understand it.
Mr. Adler does not know exactly what he wants to do after
college he knows hes interested in hi-tech, and will work
toward a double major or dual degree in physics and electrical engineering. Beyond that, hell figure it out, he said.
Whatever he does, he will model himself after his grandfather Mike, he said. He was one of my role models. He
was 17, and the guy volunteers to serve in the tank corps

under Patton. This, of course, was during General George


Pattons European campaign during World War II. He fights
in France and Belgium, comes back, starts a business with
my grandmother, they grow it immensely, and they start an
incredible family.
If I can accomplish a fraction of what those two people
did, I will consider my life a success, Mr. Adler said.
Mr. Adlers parents, meanwhile, are both fiercely proud
of Harrison and terrified, his mother, Dana Adler, said. Or
should I say terrified first but also fiercely proud?
We have lived such Jewish lives, we have always been so

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pro-Israel, so Zionist, and its a bit mind-boggling to


me how many people come up to me and say How
can you let him do this? she continued. This is
something that he talked about for a long time, so it
wasnt a huge surprise. And as long as he comes home
in one piece, God willing, it will be the best thing he
ever could have done for himself.
It made him into a man.
Hes more focused, more disciplined, he looks
great, and he has a kind of quiet confidence about him
that he never had before.
I always knew that this man was underneath the
boy, so the whole transformation isnt as amazing to
me as it was to other people, she said. I remember
that when he was in middle school at Dwight Englewood, the principal there, who is incredible, was talking about that odd transition from childhood into adolescence. And she gave the best advice.
Always remember what these kids were like when
they were very little, she said, quoting the principal.
Thats how theyll be in the end. Thats when they
show their true selves, when theyre very little.
Harrison was always such an inquisitive, happy, fit
little boy. Now hes a man, and he still has that quiet
innocence that he had then, but now theres a confidence behind it.
All American kids should go through some sort of
community service, Ms. Adler concluded. Military
service, community service, for at least a year. One
of the many ways in which teenagers could grow from
that experience, she suggested, was because their parents would be held at somewhat of a remove. Oftentimes these kids do better without us, she said.
Jim and Dana Adler and their children Harrison
and his two younger sisters, Caroline and Eliana
belong to Temple Emanu-El in Closter, where they are
a constant presence.
Harrison is a great kid, interesting, bright, and
quirky, its rabbi, David-Seth Kirshner, said. He gets
this inheritance from both sides of his family. His mom
is a super Zionist; the idea of his dedicating this time
of his life toward Israel is not surprising and it is quite
inspiring.
Quirky how? In a very good way, Rabbi Kirshner
said. I remember that even when he was 12 or 13, he
felt really comfortable coming into my office most
people, even adults, would think that my office would
be made of kryptonite to ask me questions about
Judaism. He would plop himself down in a chair and
say, Explain this to me. Most of the time they were
deep philosophical questions. That made him different from most kids.
He is a deep thinker.
Emanu-El right now has three lone soldiers the
other two are the children of Israeli-born parents
and the community is very proud of each one of them,
Rabbi Kirshner said. He leads a trip to Israel at least
twice a year, and the groups make a point of having
Shabbat dinner with lone soldiers either its own or
young people from other diaspora communities on
every trip. Whenever possible, for the last year and
a half, Harrison Adler has been among those lone
soldiers.
As much as Mr. Adler gives to the IDF, he also is getting, Rabbi Kirshner said. It has not only matured
Harrison, it has given him a layer of introspection and
insight, so when he comes back for college, he will be
at a different grade of maturity and readiness.
Or, as his mother says, quoting something she heard
but cant attribute, Many folks spend their entire lives
searching for their hero.
I raised mine.

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JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

5 questions to ask
after San Bernardino
URIEL HEILMAN
Since last weeks mass shooting in San
Bernardino, California, U.S. authorities have been piecing together what
might have led Syed Farook and his
wife, Tafsheen Malik, to gun down
14 of Farooks colleagues at a holiday
party for county health department
employees.
The attack raises a host of questions.
Here are five to consider.
1. In Israel, armed civilians stop terrorist attacks. Should that be a model
for America?
Opponents of gun regulation argue
that attacks like the one in San Bernardino, the November 27 Planned
Parenthood clinic shooting in Colo-

Israeli civilians
who do carry
weapons tend to
be well trained,
and most have
years of army
experience.
rado, and even the 2012 massacre at
the Sandy Hook elementary school in
Newtown, Connecticut, demonstrate
the need to have an armed citizenry
that could use force to stop gun-toting
assailants quickly. Some look to Israel
as a model, noting that armed civilians
have played a major role in halting the
recent lone-wolf attacks by Palestinians.
There are, however, some key differences between the attacks in Israels ongoing terror wave and the mass

shootings typical of America. In Israel,


the Palestinian assailants usually are
armed with less sophisticated weapons, such as knives, and the lone-wolf
attacks have been poorly planned, making them much easier to disrupt. Israel
also has strict gun controls: Gun owners
are limited to a single pistol, may buy
only 50 rounds of ammunition per year,
cannot own assault rifles, and must
undergo extensive mental and physical tests to receive a weapon. Moreover,
Israeli civilians who do carry weapons
tend to be well trained, and most have
years of army experience.
In America, the assailants have been
armed with military-style automatic
weapons, usually bought legally, and
they often have prepared methodically
for their attacks. (One of the San Bernardino shooters went to target practice
twice in the days before the attack, and
the couple had bomb-making materials
in their home.) Second, though guns
already are readily available in America,
not one single mass shooting has been
stopped by an armed civilian, according to an article in Mother Jones. Finally,
statistics show that Americans who own
guns are far more likely to die by gunshot whether by homicide, suicide,
or accident than are Americans who
dont own guns.
2. How will the stepped-up bombing
of ISIS affect the likelihood of terrorist
attacks in America?
Much of President Barack Obamas
speech following the San Bernardino
attack was about the fight against the
Islamic State, and Republican candidates for president have criticized
Obama for being too timid in Americas
fight against ISIS. But what impact can
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SEE SAN BERNARDINO PAGE 35

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 33

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34 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Jewish World
FROM PAGE 33

San Bernardino assailants?


By all accounts so far, the San Bernardino shooters acted on their own
volition, without coordination or help
from ISIS. Even if America were to carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion, as Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, suggested over the weekend,
that wouldnt stop Islamic fundamentalists like Farook and Malik from buying
guns in America and perpetrating a San
Bernardino-style attack in this country.
More likely, one thing has very little
bearing on the other: Islamic terrorists will be motivated to hate and attack
America regardless of what America
does or doesnt do in the Middle East.
In the fight against terrorism, good
defense at home matters more than
good offense abroad.
3. Why did the San Bernardino shooters terrorize people they knew?
Most terrorist attacks are perpetrated
by strangers against strangers. Not so in
San Bernardino, where Farook chose to
kill co-workers at the Inland Regional
Center of the San Bernardino County
Department of Public Health. The perpetrators choice of target leaves more
questions than answers, but it does suggest that attacks may be motivated by
an interplay of factors: not just religious
radicalism, but also personal animosities. Farook reportedly got into a heated
argument the morning of the attack
with Nicholas Thalasinos, a pro-Israel
Messianic Christian whose wife said he
was anti-Muslim.
4. Does calling it a terrorist attack
make any difference?
There is some ambiguity when
it comes to the language we use to
describe mass shootings. All provoke
terror among victims, in the community but not all fit the dictionary definition of terrorism. That, according to
Websters, is when people use violent
acts to frighten the people in an area as a
way of trying to achieve a political goal.
By this definition, the Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado
Springs, which left three dead, appears
to have been a terrorist attack; the perpetrator, Robert Lewis Dear Jr., holds
extreme-right views, particularly in his
opposition to abortion. The 2012 shooting in Newtown that left 26 victims
dead, including 20 first-graders, would
not be considered terrorism by this definition, since the shooter, Adam Lanza,
was more deranged than motivated by
politics.
But does it make a difference? Yes

and no. Yes, because if we understand


the motive, authorities may focus their
monitoring on those who harbor similar
motivations (political extremists, Islamic
radicals). No, because only an infinitesimal proportion of those who hold
extremist views take violent actions as
a result; there are legal limits to monitoring; assault weapons are easily available to almost anyone who wants them
in America, and most mass shootings in
America do not qualify as terrorism.
5. Is Donald Trump Americas Marine
Le Pen?
America doesnt have the dark history with hate-fueled nationalism
that Europe has. But Donald Trump,
who has dominated most Republican
presidential polls since the summer, is
sounding more and more like a European far-right nationalist. His latest

In the fight
against terrorism,
good defense at
home matters
more than good
offense abroad.

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proposal, to bar all Muslims from entering America, would introduce a kind of
religious discrimination into America
that never before has been seen in this
country.
With some fellow Republican candidates reticent about condemning
Trumps rhetoric for fear of alienating
the right-wing voter base, is Americas
right wing adopting the sort of xenophobic nationalism that long has haunted
European politics? Hair color may not
be the only thing Trump shares with
Marine Le Pen, the leader of Frances
far-right National Front, who just led
her party to a first-place showing in the
countrys regional elections.
The Jewish groups who would be
obvious candidates for condemning
Trumps Muslim ban have done so the
Anti-Defamation League, the American
Jewish Committee, the Religious Action
Center for Reform Judaism, among others. But others, like the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations, have not (as of press
time). And an Orthodox Union spokesman said that the organization has no
response to Trumps declamation.
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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 35

Jewish World

Soldiers with autism take on key roles in IDF


BEN SALES
TEL AVIV Sitting in front of a computer
at the center of Israels largest army base,
a soldier stares at the screen, moving pixel
by pixel over a satellite photograph, picking out details and finding patterns.
A few years ago N.S., who has autism,
thought the Israel Defense Forces wouldnt
take him. N.S., who like other soldiers
could not give his name due to IDF protocol, spent his childhood in mainstream
classroom settings, where he had focused
on studying film and Arabic. Still, he
expected to miss out on being drafted a
mandatory rite of passage for most Israeli
18-year-olds.
Now, more than a year into his army
service, N.S. is a colonel who spends eight
hours a day doing what few other soldiers
can: using his exceptional attention to
detail and intense focus to analyze visual
data before missions. Soldiers with autism
can excel at this work because they often
are adept at detecting patterns and maintaining focus for long periods of time.
It gave me the opportunity to go into
the army in a significant position where I
feel that Im contributing, N.S. said. Im
really swamped. Im a perfectionist. I want
everything to be perfect.
N.S. is among some 50 soldiers and
trainees in Roim Rachok, Hebrew for Seeing Far, a program aimed at drafting the
one in 100 Israeli children diagnosed with
autism, according to statistics from the
Israeli Society for Autistic Children. Based
in the IDFs Intelligence Unit 9900, which
maps and analyzes visual data, the soldiers
of Roim Rachok decipher aerial reconnaissance photos to provide information to
soldiers ahead of combat missions. Other
tracks train candidates to be army electricians, who deal with devices like night
vision goggles, or optics technicians, who
work with binoculars.
Theres an agenda to show people on
the spectrum have abilities and can do
things, said T.V., a former Defense Ministry official who co-founded Roim Rachok
in 2012. A big part is to notice changes
and a certain routine repetition.
Autism diagnoses are rising in Israel.
According to the Israeli Society for Autistic Children, about 10 times more Israeli
children than adults have autism. In the
past, T.V. said, these children would enter
the IDF at 18 and be given menial, frustrating jobs.
Participants in Roim Rachok attend a
three-month course at the Ono Academic

Roim Rachok helps people with autism integrate into the Israeli military
and enables them to serve in key
positions. At right, a soldier in Roim
Rachok Hebrew for Seeing Far an
Israeli army program aimed at drafting
people with autism.
COURTESY OF THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES

College near Tel Aviv, where they receive


training for their army service and an
introduction to army life. Along with
photo analysis or optics, trainees learn
about following orders, staying on schedule, and working with a team.
Revital is the mother of a Roim Rachok
soldier who is an American Civil War buff.
Hes a kid with really extraordinary
intelligence and abilities, but social understanding and obeying social rules have
always been harder, she said. Hes come
a long way. This fits him like a glove.
After three additional months of training on base, participants are drafted and
placed within Unit 9900 sometimes as
the only soldier on the team with autism.
Before they arrive, their fellow soldiers
and commanders receive training on
working with people with autism, and
every team meets weekly with a counselor
to discuss the group dynamic.
N.C., another soldier with autism, said
he goes out to eat regularly with his fellow

soldiers. D., a second lieutenant who commands another Roim Rachok soldier, said
her team usually works smoothly. But
when D. first replaced the teams previous
commander, the change challenged that
soldier and caused his work to decline.
He was very close to his previous commander, D. said. It was very hard for
him, so he regressed. I had stressed him
out, so he was less concentrated, not sure
who to take commands from.
After their discharge, Roim Rachok soldiers will face new challenges in finding jobs
that suit their abilities. But army service will
have given soldiers with autism experience
in overcoming obstacles like coping with
a changing environment or strategizing to

complete a complex assignment.


The soft skills people learn in their
service are no less important than the
profession itself, said Benjamin Hazmi,
academic director at Beit Issie Shapiro,
an Israeli disability activism organization.
The army is peoples first encounter with
authority, with a schedule.
N.S., the soldier from Roim Rachok, says
he wants to be a film editor after the army.
In the meantime, he said he feels privileged to be a part of what most Israelis his
age consider an obligation.
The day I enlisted, I got very excited,
N.S. said. I was really like, Im an inseparable part of Israeli society.

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 37

Jewish World
At start of Chanukah, Palestinian
attacks hit Hebron and Jerusalem

BRIEFS

71% of Israeli Jews say peace deal


would not end Palestinian terror
Seventy-one percent of Israeli Jews said
that signing an Israeli-Palestinian peace
deal would not bring an end to Palestinian terrorism against Jews, according
to the latest Peace Index poll from the
Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv
University.
Israeli Arab respondents exhibited the
diametrically opposite view, with 72 percent saying a peace deal would in fact halt
terror. Sixty-one percent of Israeli Jews,
meanwhile, believe the current wave of

terror emerged with the planning and


guidance of Palestinian leaders.
Less than half (45 percent) of Israeli Jews
believe that the Western and Arab forces
fighting Islamic State have a high chance of
destroying the terror group. A majority of
Israeli Jews (59 percent) said most Muslims
do not support Islamic State, 58 percent
said Israeli Arabs do not support the terror
group, and 10 percent said they are sure
Israeli Arabs do support Islamic State.


JNS.ORG

Netanyahu taps top security


adviser as new Mossad chief

in
o
J

had been shot dead.


Three Israelis were lightly wounded
in a car-ramming and stabbing attack
in Jerusalem on Sunday. The terrorist,
Amar Yasser Skapi, drove his car on the
sidewalk into two men, stopped the car,
got out, and began waving his knife. An
Israeli police volunteer was stabbed in
the hand after Skapi approached his car.
As Skapi ran away, a soldier chased and
shot him.


JNS.ORG

Greece will not follow EU labels


on Israeli products from the West Bank

Security Council, which operates under


the Prime Ministers Office.
Yossi Cohen has 30 years of experience
in operational, intelligence, and executive
positions. His service with the Mossad has
seen him acquire extensive knowledge in
the workings of complex systems and the
international theater, and he has a wealth
of experience working with the defense
establishment, the prime ministers office
JNS.ORG
said. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


named Israeli National Security Adviser
Yossi Cohen as the new director of the
countrys Mossad spy agency. Cohen will
replace outgoing Mossad chief Tamir
Pardo, who retires in January after five
years in office.
Formerly the Mossads deputy director, Cohen was named national security
adviser in 2013, becoming the fourth intelligence agency official to head the National

A 40-year-old Israeli man was stabbed


and critically wounded near the Tomb
of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Monday,
the first day of Chanukah. Police shot
and killed the attacker.
ZAKA emergency volunteer David
Edrai said, We received notification of a
terror attack near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. I arrived at the scene
with two other ZAKA volunteers. There
we saw a seriously wounded Israeli who
was evacuated to hospital. The terrorist

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias


informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Greece will not
follow recently implemented European
Union guidelines to label Israeli products
from the West Bank, the Golan Heights,
and eastern Jerusalem.
Israel and Greece agreed on extensive bilateral cooperation in economic

matters, technology, science, education,


trade, energy, and agriculture following
last months meeting between Kotzias
and Netanyahu. Greece joins Hungary
in its defiance of the EUs directive to
remove Made in Israel labels from
Israeli products originating beyond the
1967 lines.


JNS.ORG

The Conversation Project: LIVE

January 6, 2016 | 12-2 pm (lunch)

January 20, 2016 | 12-2pm (lunch)

Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older

Spiritual and Practical Legacies

Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman

Part I: Jewish Ethical Wills

A pioneer in reinventing and re-valuing aging,


Rabbi Friedman offers guidance for meeting the
opportunities and challenges of later life.

Rabbi Debra Orenstein

January 13, 2016 | 12-2pm (lunch) or 7-9pm

Leading a Life of Impact & Meaning


Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Cohen will provide a framework for reigniting a
life journey of deeper fulfillment and impact through an
interactive and inspirational seminar. Seminar offered
twice on the same day.

Rabbi Orenstein delves into our Torah and presents how


our ancestors dealt with inheritance. She will discuss
Jewish values, and what you want to leave to future
generations.

Part II: Inventory Your Life


Carol Kaufman, CEO, Carebinders
Carol Kaufman will tell her story how she found out
she was a successor to her parents Donor Advised Fund at
Federation after thinking she finally had settled their estate.
This led Carol to develop Carebinders.

All programs will be at Jewish Federation


50 Eisenhower Drive | Paramus

Please register at

www.jfnnj.org/LetsTalk

Call Laurie Siegel201-820-3956 | Lauries@jfnnj.org


No Couvert | Dietary laws observed

38 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

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JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 39

Jewish World

Republican presidential hopefuls


make their pitch to GOP Jews
SARAH WILDMAN
WASHINGTON In carefully tailored stump
speeches that ranged in tone from apocalyptic to chummy, all but one of the Republican
presidential candidates showed up in an
attempt to woo Jewish voters.
Many of the speeches at the Republican
Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates
Forum, held December 3 at the Ronald Reagan Building downtown, focused on the
threat of radical Islamic terror, emphasized
their disapproval for the recently negotiated
nuclear deal with Iran, and took direct aim at
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary
Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama,
and Secretary of State John Kerry.
For decades, the Republican Jewish Coalition has had as its mission bridging the divide
between a conservative party and a moderate
constituency, U.S. Jews. Since the late 1990s,
when casino magnate Sheldon Adelson
became the groups most generous funder,
it has taken on his passions for instance,
embracing a hawkish pro-Israel stance.
The daylong forum began with a moment
of silence for the victims of the shooting that
killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, the day before, along with prayers for the
survivors and those who had lost loved ones.
The killings are thought to have been carried
out by a husband-and-wife pair inspired by
the so-called Islamic State.
The massacre underscores we are at a
time of war, said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas,
the first candidate to address the crowd.
This nation needs a wartime president to
defend it.
When it came time for Donald Trump to
speak, the real estate mogul turned Republican front-runner, who has traded in conspiracy theories about Obama for a long time,
told the crowd: We have a president who
refuses to use the term referring to radical Islamic terrorism. Trump then added,

Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington on December 3.

PHOTOS BY ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES

Theres something about him we dont


know about.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said, This
president and his former secretary of state
cannot call it what it is: Islamic terrorism,
referencing Clinton, who preceded Kerry
as Americas top diplomat. [Islamic terrorists] have declared war on us and we need to
declare war on them.
Among the candidates to take the stage,
only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a

Ben Carson, above, and Ted Cruz, at right, address the Jewish Republicans.

point of distinguishing between mainstream


Muslim-Americans and radical jihadists,
noting his own pushback when one of his
appointed judges was falsely accused of practicing traditional Islamic religious, or shariah,
law.
At times throughout the day, the candidates seemed to be competing over who was
closest to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and who had spent more time in
Israel. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,

for example, said he had visited the Jewish


state dozens of times since 1973.
Many pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to
Jerusalem on day one of their presidency.
Trump, however, balked in response to a
question about Jerusalem united in Israeli
hands or divided between Israelis and Palestinians saying he would wait to decide
until he spoke with Netanyahu. The crowd
booed its disapproval. He then tried to win
back the audience by telling them about
how he made a commercial for Netanyahus re-election campaign. (Trump also
made a point of reminding the room that
his daughter Ivanka is Jewish; she converted
before marrying real estate developer Jared
Kushner.)
But Trump also seemed to acknowledge
that he wasnt likely to be popular among
Jewish Republicans, telling the crowd, You
arent going to support me even though you
know Im the best thing that will ever happen for Israel. You arent going to support
me because I dont want your money.
One common refrain during the event
was the rejection of the deal that the Obama
administration, together with other world
powers, struck with Iran over its nuclear
program.
Trump, for one, said he would send everyone back to the negotiating table, assuring
the room that inking a better deal would be
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 40

Jewish World
so easy. Bush said he would reinstitute sanctions against
Iran lifted as part of the deal. And Cruz declared, We
need to nominate a candidate who has the clarity to
stand up and say: If you vote for Hillary Clinton, you are
voting for the Ayatollah Khamenei to have nuclear weapons, referring to Irans supreme leader. U.S. Sen. Marco
Rubio of Florida vowed to shred the agreement.
And there was also a near-universal declaration of
revulsion for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
movement targeting Israel. Cruz indicated that as president, his administration would strip federal funding
from universities that divest from companies that do
business with Israel. Rubio blasted the new European
Union resolution to label products made in the West
Bank settlements, saying that the policy was tantamount
to anti-Semitism. He also promised to call on university
and religious leaders to speak out with clarity and force
on this issue the same way they speak out against racism and bigotry.
The room generally received the candidates warmly,
but might not have many votes to offer: Jewish voters
consistently skew Democratic. Obama won the 2012
presidential election with about 70 percent of the Jewish vote, and Jews overwhelmingly support social issues
that fall in the progressive column, including gay marriage and abortion rights.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012
Republican candidate, made some headway over the
2008 GOP choice, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). Romney garnered about 30 percent of the Jewish vote to
McCains 22 to 24 percent, corresponding to sagging
enthusiasm among voters generally for Obama. Additionally, McCains vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov.
Sarah Palin, is believed to have turned off many Jewish
voters because of her stridency on social issues.
On a call with the media the day before the forum,
National Jewish Democratic Council Chairman Greg
Rosenbaum said, [W]hen we look at the candidates
this party is putting forward, were amazed by how out
of sync they are with the priorities of Jewish-Americans.
The RJC attempts to drive a wedge between the parties
on Israel, using Israel as a partisan issue, because it is
all theyve got.
Only Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tried to
address that lag, noting a successful Republican candidate had to rethink immigration policy, reach out to
Latinos, and allow for exceptions on rape and incest
with regard to abortion.
Each of the speeches had moments of direct Jewish
appeal, sometimes to mixed effect.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore warmed up
the crowd by noting that just the night before he
had watched the Oscar-winning Holocaust feature
Schindlers List. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he always
followed his mothers advice.
She said, Johnny, if you want to look for a really good
friend, get someone who is Jewish, Kasich recalled.
You know why she said that? Your Jewish friend will
stick by your side and stand by your side.
Trump was introduced as a mensch with
chutzpah.
This room negotiates deals, perhaps more than any
room Ive ever spoken to, he said.
Not all of the effort was well received: Ben Carson,
a neurosurgeon running for the nomination, spent his
time on stage woodenly reading from Ally, a book written by Israels former ambassador to the United States,
Michael Oren. Then, in the same monotone, he read his
own prepared remarks, several times mispronouncing
Hamas it sounded more like hummus.
Other candidates to speak were former New York
Gov. George Pataki, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick

Santorum, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul missed the forum, citing
Senate votes.
As raucous as the crowd was at times, it may not be
about votes at all but about dollars.
I am a fiscal conservative, said Richard Fox, a venture
capitalist from Haddonfield, New Jersey, who listed Israel
as a top voting priority. Oddly I thought that Cruz lit the
crowd up on fire. But Rubio was a little flatter today. I
havent decided.
The real money will come from another reportedly
undecided voter: Adelson, who was traveling overseas
and not in attendance. He is rumored still to be considering which candidate to support in 2016.
Adelson, the RJCs main bankroller, helped sustain the
2012 campaign of former U.S. House of Representatives
Speaker Newt Gingrich. The mogul now believes that his
support for Gingrich wounded Romney in the general
JTA WIRE SERVICE
election.

New Jerseys Chris Christie also speaks at the D.C. forum.

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 41

Jewish World

Why are Israelis protesting plan for natural gas fields?


BEN SALES
TEL AVIV When Israel discovered two
massive natural gas fields off its coast five
years ago, it was billed as a goldmine that
would shift the balance of energy exports
in the Middle East and fill Israels coffers.
Five years later, drilling in the biggest
field, known as Leviathan, is being delayed
by street protests and government critics
who allege the plan for its development
amounts to an undemocratic power grab
that hands over a vital natural resource to
private corporations. Thousands of Israelis
have taken to the streets in protest.
Still, the plan almost definitely will
advance. Israels Cabinet and Knesset
approved it over the summer, and Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cleared
the final hurdle before its approval.
Heres what Israels natural gas controversy is all about.
Gas fields could supply Israels needs for
more than a century.
The Tamar field, discovered in 2009, is
believed to hold roughly 10 trillion cubic
feet of natural gas. Leviathan, discovered
one year later, is thought to be more than
twice as big, at 22 trillion cubic feet. They
are two of the biggest fields in the Mediterranean Sea and could meet Israels
natural gas needs until the middle of the
next century.
They also have the potential to transform Israel, long considered energy poor
in a region teeming with oil, into a net
energy exporter. Preliminary export deals
already have been signed with Egypt and
Jordan.
Under the governments plan, two partner companies would develop Leviathan.
Two companies, Noble Energy and
Delek Group, control most of Tamar, Leviathan, and two smaller natural gas fields. In
2012, Israels Antitrust Authority declared
the Noble-Delek partnership a monopoly
and required that it operate under close
government monitoring. But a year ago,
Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo warned
that he was considering breaking up the
partnership. Noble responded by freezing
development of Leviathan.
In an effort to move the project forward,
Netanyahu has proposed the Gas Outline,
which would permit Noble-Delek to retain
majority control of Leviathan for 10 years
after the gas begins flowing in exchange
for reducing its holdings in Tamar and two
of the smaller fields.
Opponents say the plan gives away too
much to corporations.
In recent months, protesters have gathered weekly, sometimes by the thousands,
to urge Israel to nationalize the fields. The
protesters argue that while the government has set a price ceiling on natural
gas, the monopoly could keep costs high
even if the global price of natural gas
drops. They also fear that Noble-Delek
42 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

In June, demonstrators in Tel Aviv


protested the Israeli governments
support of a deal that would give
two energy companies control over
the development of most of Israels
offshore gas deposits. BEN KELMER/FLASH90

An oil rig in the Tamar natural gas field off the Israeli coast.

may export much of the gas in the decade


before it breaks up, leaving Israel with
scant reserves and only minimal profits
from the drilling.
They told us stories about strategic
assets, about how in just a moment there
will be a new Middle East of economic
peace from gas, said Orly Bar Lev, a protest organizer. We saw in the economics
committee that its all wishes, perhaps
opportunities.
The plan also has faced opposition from
within the government. Israels antitrust
commissioner resigned earlier this year
in protest of the plan, while several Cabinet ministers have broken with Netanyahu
over the issue.
The conduct of the government and its

MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90

branches regarding natural gas was deficient and uncoordinated, and for various
reasons, some of which the government
contributed, a monopoly was created in
this area, the state comptroller wrote in
a July report.
Though the plan was approved by
the Knesset over the summer, if it is to
take effect the economy minister must
invoke clause 52 of Israels antitrust law,
which allows the government to approve
a monopoly if its a matter of national
security. Economy Minister Aryeh Deri
refused, arguing that it was unwarranted,
and resigned.
Netanyahu is accused of enacting the
plan undemocratically.
After Deris resignation, Netanyahu

took over his position. Critics say the affair


smacks of a power grab by the prime minister, who now holds the titles of foreign
minister, communications minister, and
economy minister, and is pushing ahead
with the plan over the fierce objections of
key government figures.
Who do our public representatives
serve? asked Yochai Binyamin, a descendant of political Zionism founder Theodor
Herzl and one of the protest organizers. It
goes from one scandal to another.
Netanyahu says the plan is a matter of
national security and has defended his
use of clause 52, maintaining that natural
gas extraction lightens the load on Israels
existing power plants, which were targeted by missiles during last summers
war with Hamas. He also says the revenues
from the gas fields will offset the costs of a
possible boycott of Israeli goods.
Speaking to a Knesset committee on
Tuesday, Netanyahu said rejecting the plan
means risking further delays in extracting
one of Israels most valuable assets.
The natural gas gives Israel a much
stronger basis for withstanding international pressure, he said. If we dont
accept the outline, well be left without
competition, without gas fields, without
energy security and without the ability to
JTA WIRE SERVICE
export.

Jewish World
Jewish Book Council journal now available as digital archive
A treasure trove of American Jewish literary news and opinion spanning the second half of the 20th century is now
available as a free digital archive.
Launched in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Jewish Book Council, the searchable archive of the Jewish
Book Annual is the culmination of a multiyear partnership between the council and the Center for Jewish History, which provided the technological resources to digitize the 56 issues of the journal through its Gruss Lipper
Digital Laboratory.
Published by the Jewish Book Council, or JBC, from
1942 through 1999, for many decades the Jewish Book
Annual was a trilingual journal, with distinct sections in
English, Hebrew, and Yiddish that included a review of
the previous year in Jewish literature, a complete bibliography in fiction, nonfiction, and childrens books, and
essays on important figures and events on the Jewish
literary scene.
Find it online at jba.cjh.org.
The inaugural issue emerged against the tragic backdrop of the Nazis mass extermination of European
Jewry, including its influential writers, artists, and scholars, who were the source of a vibrant world of Jewish literature and culture. The editors and contributors called
on American Jews to take on the mantle of Jewish literature, not just as writers but as engaged readers as well.
An age of creative readers makes for literature which
is immortal, wrote Louis Finkelstein, who then was the

president of the Jewish Theological


Seminary.
The journal evolved over time to
become an English-only publication
and was succeeded by Jewish Book
World, the JBCs quarterly magazine
of book reviews, author interviews,
and editorials.
The questions and concerns that
writers grappled with in the mid-20th
century are relevant today, according to Naomi Firestone-Teeter, JBCs
executive director. She was struck by
an article from the 1940s that worried
about American Jews becoming too
Americanized.
It made me laugh. We are talking
about the same questions, she said.
By digitizing its complete collection in
partnership with the Center for Jewish
History, JBC ensures that this important piece of American Jewish history will not be lost and now will be accessible to scholars and new generations of readers, Ms.
Firestone-Teeter said.
With essays written for lay readers, often constructed
around a theme or trend, the journal presents a portrait of American Judaism through a literary lens of the
period.

Fundamentally, the publication was about the American Jewish community and its members, said Nat
Bernstein, JBCs manager of digital content and media.
Writers had their fingers on the pulse on the Jewish
community and found ways to reflect that in a literary
journal.
This was not an ivory tower, Bernstein added. This
JTA WIRE SERVICE
was for American Jewish readers.

JSWintBreak-121415.qxp_Layout 1 12/8/15 5:01 PM Page 1

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Jewish World

Ayman Odeh brings his message of shared history


and destiny to America
RON KAMPEAS
WASHINGTON Ayman Odeh travels the
land of his heroes, Martin Luther King Jr.
and Malcolm X, but prefers to deliver paeans to their inspiration not in their native
English, but in Hebrew and Arabic.
Meeting me here last week in the cafeteria of the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill,
where he has just completed a meeting
with another civil rights-era hero, Rep. John
Lewis (D-Ga.), Odeh ventures gingerly into
an interview in English until my pronunciation of an Israeli term gives me away.
You speak Hebrew? he asks. His eyes
light up, and Hebrew guides us into the
familiar zone all strangers seek in this
case, between a Jewish-Israeli and an ArabIsraeli, or as he prefers, an Arab citizen of
Israel.
Odeh, 40, is more than just a citizen: He
is the first Arab-Israeli to unite four parties
into a single list, and his Joint List won 13
seats in the March elections, making it the
third largest faction in the Knesset. Foreign
Policy magazine named him one of this
years top 100 global thinkers.
His message, like his affect, his embrace
of Hebrew and Arabic, is one of outreach.
Odeh wants to bring Arabs and Jews
together, and he is enervated by those who
would divide them Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, and although he is
careful in how he frames it, the movement
to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel.
The boycott must be against the occupation in the clearest way, Odeh tells me,
saying he prefers the narrower boycott of
products from Israeli settlements. With a
clear agenda, which the end is the end of
the occupation.
Thats a pronounced distinction from
the BDS movements stated goals, which
embrace the right of return for the
descendants of Palestinian refugees to
Israel, a path Israelis believe leads not to
two states, which Odeh favors, but a single
bi-national one. (Odeh does favor a right of
return to their ancestral villages for internally displaced Arab-Israelis.)
But before he gets to policy, Odeh wants
to get to know his countrymen, wherever
they are. In the bustling, buzzy basement
of a Capitol Hill office building in Washington, D.C., perhaps the most significant
Arab-Israeli politician of this generation
sets about making me feel like a landsman.
Where are you from? Where is your family?
How do you get away with not wearing a tie?
Its the quintessential question for an
Israeli man greeting another Israeli man
while traveling abroad. His staffers some
of them Jewish-Americans who immigrated to Israel roll their eyes.
Hes a journalist, one says. Not a visiting parliamentarian. Odeh adjusts his
tasteful burgundy tie and grimaces.
44 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

The schmoozing is replicated, multifold, an hour


or so later, as he heads into
the Palestine Center across
town.
My people are from
Haifa, where Odeh was
born and still lives, a shy
young woman tells him,
and he hugs her. Odeh
started his political career
right after he earned a law
degree in Romania, at 23,
by running for the Haifa
municipal council. He is
married to a physician and
has three children.
He delivers his talk in
Arabic. Allowing for slight
changes in emphasis, it
is essentially the same
pitch he delivered to me
in Hebrew an hour or so
earlier.
Ayman Odeh, carrying one of his three children, casts his vote in Nazareth on March 17.
Odeh quotes extensively

BASAL AWIDAT/FLASH90
from his American inspirations and embraces the
identity that he wishes his interlocutors
Jerusalem that would celebrate the value
anger of the Palestinians, citing Malcolm
would understand is more nuanced and
of citizenship, and hopes to launch an
X. But he believes the best path to equality is through working together with Jews,
complex.
annual conference on the topic in Haifa.
referencing King.
We are not just a national minority, we
Odeh is not sensing a love of civil society from the current Israeli leadership,
In this setting at the Palestine Center, an
are also natives, and the country that we
noting Netanyahus now notorious appeal
advocacy group for the Palestinian cause,
are citizens of is occupying the people we
to Likud voters on Election Day scaring up
he is slightly more deferential to the BDS
belong to nationally, he tells me, repeating see the complexity of the issue.
an image of hordes of Arabs heading to
movement, but gets to the same point:
He does not like the name the Joint
the polls. Scooting past the U.S. Supreme
Narrow the scope to the occupation.
Arab List, the term sometimes used to
Court in a cab, he mutters huh, no earth
Id like to salute the people who are
describe his faction in the Israeli media.
movers, and then explains his reference
working on BDS because it puts Israel on
The party he leads, Hadash, the one-time
to Moti Yogev, the Jewish Home member of
the spot in world public opinion, he says,
Communist list, historically has had Jewish
Knesset who recently joked that hed like
answering a question from an activist for
and Arab members.
to upend the Israeli High Court of Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace, a non-Zionist group
To me and at the Palestine Center, Odeh
with bulldozer-like machines.
that backs BDS. This effort, the more it is
praises the late Israeli Prime Minister
He does not spare the Zionist left, decryfocused on the central issue of occupation,
ing its talk of the necessity of preserving
Yitzhak Rabin, quoting Rabins assassin,
then it is going in the right direction.
Notably, he had to be reminded to answer
a Jewish majority. If I am part of the
Yigal Amir, as saying that the primary reason he killed Rabin was because the prime
the question on his BDS position, which
demographic problem, when will my turn
minister relied on the votes of Arab Kneswas included among several proffered to
come? Odeh says at the Palestine Center.
set members.
him at once, and when he gets around to
In his week here, Odeh meets with Congress members, including Lewis and Rep.
The strength of Rabin is that he saw in
it he speaks of BDC, not BDS, until a hosts
Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim
citizenship such a value, he allowed himwhisper corrects him. Pressed further by
self to rely on Arab voters, Odeh tells me,
elected to Congress, with senior Obama
the audience, Odeh finally betrays a flash of
and he repeats something close to it later.
administration officials at the White House
anger, wondering at outsiders who would
Rabin started taking them out of the cycle
and State Department, and with Jewish
prescribe his politics.
I tell people who try to tell us to boycott
of marginalization.
officials, although his staff wont tell me
other things, I say, We understand our sitIts telling: With an Israeli Jew, its safe
which Jewish leaders apparently his
uation well, he says.
to assume a shared affection for Rabin.
interlocutors are sensitive about the meeting. There were also meetings here and in
My questioning earlier about the particThats not the case among pro-Palestinian
ulars of the movement similarly seems to
New York with Arab-American groups and
advocates.
annoy him. I tell him its likely to be on the
leaders of progressive think tanks.
Its an expression of shared citizenship
agenda when he meets leaders of U.S. JewWhats his message for American Jews?
and history he wishes were reciprocated
ish groups in New York, but he waves away
Odeh hearkens back to the era of King and
among Jewish-Israeli leaders. He rattles
the questions, saying he is unfamiliar with
Malcolm X.
off annual Israeli confabs that focus on
the instances of BDS movement targeting
I call on them the way they stood on
security, on Jewish identity, on economic
I mention, including SodaStream seltzer
the right side in the 1960s, to stand with
equality, and he identifies one lacking: a
machines and Sabra hummus.
us now, he says. It will be added value
conference that would advance a civil society that embraces all of Israels citizens. He
Odeh does not deemphasize his Palesfor everyone.
tinian identity, but wraps it into a broader

JTA WIRE SERVICE
plans a march next year from Nazareth to

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 45

Letters

Crossword
HOSTS BY YONI GLATT
Letters

Knives and guns

FROM PAGE 25

Gold and Simon are at it again, with their rabid


left-wing Orwellian distortions (Strength and
consciousness together can combat terror,
December 4). They say the Palestinian Arab
walks into his kitchen overcome with anger
and frustration and grabs a knife, justified
by his hurt feelings. What justification do the
Arabs of Gaza have to rain rockets on Jews, as
they are now ruled by their own? What frustration did the Arabs have when they massacred Jews in Hebron in 1929? That a significant
number of the recent Arab murderers were
privileged middle class dispels the notion of
poverty and desperation as a cause. Furthermore, truly oppressed people have not waged
war on women and children. The Tibetans
burn only themselves; the Rohingya Muslims
rot in peaceful squalor; Coptic Christians are
oppressed second class citizens and do not
stab people. Justifying Arab inhumanity infantilizes them, disrespects them, and removes
their responsibility for their behavior.
Gold and Simon then go on to criticize that

Israelis shoot first and ask questions later.


This obscene belittling of the mortal danger
of knife-wielding murderers is the same stupidity that the world uses with their proportionate responses criticism against Jewish
self-defense. As any law enforcement member will tell you, a knife is as dangerous as a
gun at close range. In a normal world, if you
attack someone with a deadly weapon, you
can expect to be killed in defense. Only in
Israel is this right to be circumscribed, as if the
Arabs are badly behaved children rather than
rabid child-murderers and cowards who stab
people in the back. These leftist, anti-Israel
double standards are dangerous, and support the enemies of the Jewish people. Only
the potential victim has the right to decide
his fate, and this cannot be dictated by effete,
arm-chair leftists in American Jewish newspaper columns. Suicide, personal or national, is
not a Jewish concept in these circumstances.
Attack a Jew and surrender your life is the
only normal Jewish response acceptable. That
is truly Jewish strength and consciousness.
Whose side are these guys on?
Scott David Lippe MD, Fair Lawn

KOSHERCROSSWORDS@GMAIL.COM
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: EASY

Across
1. And I will ___ a morsel of bread...
Genesis 18:5
6. Dances yeshivas dont have
11. Dead Sea ___
14. Major Amora
15. Indian coin worth less than a shekel
16. Dan, Gad, and Levi
17. Artist who won Israels Wolf Prize in
1981
19. Preposition for Lazarus
20. Israeli singer Golan
21. ___ HaTorah, yeshiva that overlooks
the Kotel
22. Andean animal with only one sign of
kashrut
24. Follower of Juda (and others)
26. Snider of Twisted Sister
27. Best Director winner for
Casablanca
33. Israel, once
34. What Stark calls Stane in Favreaus
Iron Man
35. Leviathan ___ Field
37. How Joaquin Phoenix once notably
behaved on Letterman
38. 17, 27, 44, and 60- cross, or an alternative title to this puzzle
39. Like Howard Stern
41. Historic Yom Kippur event
42. El Al complies with it: Abbr.
43. Performed like Simon without
Garfunkel
44. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner in
2001
48. Indiana Jones wears one
49. ___-tat, sound made by Tommy
Ramone
50. Notable agricultural seven
53. Made like Jacobs sons after they
sold Joseph
55. RC or Mayim Chaim drink
59. Casspi often shoots behind it
60. Winner of a trip to Alcatraz in
1961
63. Some degrees from YU
64. One
65. ___ you a little short for a stormtrooper? (Carrie Fisher line)
66. Start of a 1999 Oliver Stone football
movie
67. Fosters, like Abram to Lot
68. Gartels, basically

The solution to last weeks puzzle


is on page 55.

46 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Down
1. Scarlett Johansson has it
2. Where you might buy used Passover
or Chanukah items
3. Plantation in Selznicks 1939 classic
4. Like shmita
5. ___ Ramsey, Richard Boone title
character
6. Hallel, e.g.
7. Jason Alexander has worn them for
roles
8. Fish also known as Jerusalem haddock
9. Legend Brooks
10. One (temporarily) getting rid of chametz
11. Billy Joels Last Play locale
12. Do in many 80s bat mitzvah pics
13. On the Mediterranean
18. Wicked descendant of Agag
23. Give a heter (as a Rabbi might do)
25. Actress Mitchell on I. Marlene Kings
Pretty Little Liars
26. Driving after a farbrengen might
lead to one: Abbr.
27. ___ Secretary (Madeleine
Albrights memoir)
28. Kind of lemur voiced by Sacha
Baron Cohen in Madagascar
29. Some train stops through
Williamsburg
30. Mike Wallaces network
31. Impossible home in Eilat
32. Metushelach, e.g.
33. Sacrificial animal
36. Hoff who wrote and illustrated
Danny and the Dinosaur
38. West of Hollywood
39. How a Torah must be written (3
words)
40. Chicken of the Sea chicken
42. Potato kugel often has a lot of it
43. Like a shyster
45. Jerry Reinsdorfs teams, on the
scoreboard
46. Maccabee, literally
47. Different sects of Judaism, e.g.
50. Cass, for one
51. Backer of al-Assad
52. Teen kiruv org.
53. Start of a shabbat song
54. ___ vtafel (law for brachot)
56. Site often visited by Lubavitchers
57. Advanced funds, what many a Jew
would do in the Middle Ages
58. Woody Allens kind in a 1998 film
61. Schnapps rocks
62. Mercedes in Israel, often

Arts & Culture


Lapsed Presbyterian author
studies Jewish achievement
SEAN SAVAGE

espite the horrors of the Holocaust, the 20th century arguably was one of the most successful centuries ever for the
Jewish people. Thats particularly true for
American Jews, who played a pivotal role
in the United States becoming the worlds
only superpower.
Comprising only about 0.2 percent of
the global population, the Jewish people
have been disproportionately high achievers in such areas as science, medicine,
business, and politics, among many others. From Albert Einstein and Jonas Salk
to the Rothschild family, Jews have made
a significant impact on the world. In fact,
Jews have won more than 20 percent of all
Nobel Prizes to date.
Author Steven L. Pease, a self-described
lapsed Presbyterian born and raised in
Spokane, Wash., seems an unlikely person to find himself an expert on Jewish
achievement. But throughout his career
as a CEO specializing in turnarounds, as
well as a venture capitalist and community activist, Pease has had the opportunity to meet many successful Jewish businesspeople and leaders, and they have
influenced his career. This led Pease to
write two books on the subject, 2009s
The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement,
which chronicles Jews disproportionate
achievements, and The Debate Over Jewish Achievement this year. The new book
explores the why behind the what of
disproportionate Jewish achievements.
JNS asked Steven Pease some questions
about his work.
JNS: Given that youre not Jewish,
what explains your interest in the Jewish
people?
Pease: Given my long history of Jewish
friends and acquaintances since kindergarten, my initial interest was to explore
whether or not my hunch, that Jews are
disproportionately high achievers, was
true. What I found is simply astonishing,
and it led to the first book.
So the question is, what has driven the
performance? And can we all learn from
it? Can we encourage more of us, Jews
and non-Jews alike, to be high achievers
and contribute in similar ways? I think we
can, but first I had to explore it. That is the
reason for the second book. More of us
need to understand and emulate the values I believe drive the performance. That
is how we make the world a better place
for all of us.
JNS: Much has been written about

Ashkenazi Jews and their


genetics. Based on your
assessment, what is the driving factor behind Jewish success, nature or nurture? Or both?
Pease: As with other high achieving
groups, there probably are elements of
both nature and nurture involved in the
performance, but I believe it is much more
nurture (culture) than nature (genetics).
In the Jewish case, perhaps the best
argument for nature is higher reported
Ashkenazi IQs than the average IQs of
white Americans and Europeans. However, the reported IQs of Sephardic Jews
are essentially the same as all whites. Yet it
was the Sephardic Jews who were the disproportionate high achievers during the
Spanish Golden Age. It is highly unlikely
that genetics can change quickly enough
to cause a 10-point IQ drop in the years
since.
As explored by academics Maristella
Botticini and Zvi Eckstein in their early
papers and later book, The Chosen Few,
mandatory education for Jews has been
a critical cultural Jewish value for 2,000
years. It was the Roman conquest and
destruction of the Second Temple that
ended the Sadducees dominance of Judaism and resulted in rabbinic Judaism taking over as the dominant Jewish denomination. Rabbinic Judaism then made
education mandatory for all Jews after 70
AD. This, and at the same time the diaspora began to disperse Jews and they ultimately became tiny minority populations
living in small enclaves throughout much
of the world. Education was to make them
valuable wherever they lived.
In the end, culture was far more
important in driving the achievements
chronicled in The Golden Age of Jewish

Achievement. Nature matters, but culture


matters more.
JNS: What are some unique things about
the Jewish people that you have found
make them so successful?
Pease: For starters, consider the premium placed on education for 2,000
years. Add the sense that it is what you do
in this life that matters, the belief in the
importance of free will,
choice, and accountability; the premium placed
on rationality; tolerance
for competing views (as
reflected in the Talmud);
assertiveness, and verbal
skills.
In addition, the values
of deferred gratification;
the importance of family,
a healthy diet and moderation in alcohol and
drugs; a premium placed
on skills, autonomy, and independence;
tenacity; willingness to be different, and
tikkun olam (repairing the world).
JNS: Are there any other ethnic or religious groups that share these values?
Pease: Interestingly, the same values
important to Jews are shared by most of
the other high-achieving groups, such as
Mormons, Basques, Sikhs, many other
Asian populations, Ismaili Muslims, as well
as American groups of Iranian-, Cuban-,
Lebanese-, Indian-, and other hyphenated
immigrant Americans, and others.
JNS: Do you feel that Jewish culture is
superior to other cultures? What can other
ethnic or religious groups learn from Jewish success?
Pease: No, I dont, but the mix has
helped drive their performance in the
same way that Confucian culture helps
drive Asians and similar values drive other
groups of high achievers. What all of us
can do is learn about these values, think
about their importance, and encourage
ever more people to respect and emulate
such values.
JNS: What role has anti-Semitism played
in Jewish achievement and what role does
it continue to play?
Pease: I think it has played a big part.
I associate it with my belief that we learn
more from our hardships and mistakes
than we do from our successes and good
times. Perhaps the role of anti-Semitism
was best described by the late and muchhonored British historian Eric Hobsbawm,
who was Jewish. He said, Given equal
rights at least in theory, a certain degree
of unease in relations between Jews and

gentiles proved historically useful. He


meant it drove Jews to stand out, to strive
and perform. Discrimination appears to
have driven Jews to be more autonomous,
to develop and rely on their own skills,
to not depend on others who might turn
against them at some point.
JNS: What has been the reaction among
the Jewish community to your books?
Have some been afraid that your work may
actually cause more anti-Semitism?
Pease: There are a range of opinions.
Many feel fearful or threatened because
they are afraid my efforts will unleash
envy and provoke heightened levels of
anti-Semitism. For what it is worth, to my
knowledge, my books have never stimulated anti-Semitism of any kind. If anything, the reverse has been true. Non-Jews
have become more respectful of the positive contributions of high-achieving Jews.
In more than 25 book presentations,
and radio and television interviews, I have
never had a negative question or reaction.
When I have spoken before Jewish audiences, they have been uniformly gracious
and friendly. I think they also learned I
was not trying to take advantage of Jews
by writing about them.
JNS: With rising levels of intermarriage
and assimilation, do you think that Jews
will be able to continue their unique success in the 21st century?
Pease: I am worried about this.
I am not too worried about the growth
in the numbers of secular Jews. As long as
they retain their Jewish cultural values, a
disproportionate number of them will continue to achieve greatness. And I am not
particularly worried about intermarriage
as long as the families retain the values I
describe above and they pass those values
down.
On the other side of the equation, I
have other worries. That is, to the extent
the charedi Jewish population is growing
quickly, before long it may become the
worlds dominant Jewish group. If so, I
see a decline in disproportionate Jewish
achievement. My concern arises from their
inclination to shut themselves off from the
secular world and from secular education
as well as their seeming disregard for the
Enlightenment and the Jewish Enlightenment. There is a huge disparity in college
graduation rates between charedi Jews (25
percent) and those of the modern Orthodox (65 percent), Conservative (59 percent), Reform (65 percent), and secular
Jews. There are also major differences in
rates of poverty and in aspirations toward
JNS.ORG
secular achievements.
JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 47

Calendar
Friday
december 11
Shabbat in Wayne:
Temple Beth Tikvah
offers a Chanukah
potluck dinner for
families, couples, and
singles, with crafts
for kids and student
performances, after
6 p.m. services. Bring
a ready-to-eat main
or hearty side dish to
serve 8-10 people. No
dairy. 950 Preakness
Ave. Reservations,
(973) 595-6565 or www.
templebethtikvahnj.org.

Shabbat in Jersey City:


Congregation Bnai
Jacob holds its annual
Shabbat Chanukah
Friday Night Live!,
69 p.m., with a brief
service, catered dinner,
games, prizes, toys for
kids, music, chocolate
gelt, jelly donuts,
dreidels, songs, and
Israeli dancing. 176 West
Side Ave. (201) 435-5725,
email Ljb1025@verizon.
net, or bnaijacobjc.org.

Shabbat in Closter:
Temple Beth El invites
the community to 101
Menorahs, a familyfriendly Shabbat/
Chanukah service led
by Rabbi David S.
Widzer and Cantor
Rica Timman, 6:30 p.m.
Bring a menorah and
seven candles. Latkes
after the service. 221
Schraalenburgh Road.
(201) 768-5112 or www.
tbenv.org.

Chanukah in Fort
Lee: JCC of Fort Lee/
Congregation Gesher
Shalom hosts the
community Chanukah
candle lighting and
Havdalah, 5:45 p.m.,
at the Triangle, Main
Street and Lemoine
Avenue. Followed by
raffle and food at the
shul, 1449 Anderson
Ave. Reservations,
(201) 947-1735.

Chanukah in Leonia:
Congregation Adas
Emuno hosts a
community lighting,
Havdalah, and party
beginning at 7 p.m.
Latkes and donuts. 254
Broad Ave. (201) 592-1712
or www.adasemuno.org.

Battle of the bands:


The Kaplen JCC on the
Palisades in Tenafly
hosts Battle of the
Bands, 7-11 p.m. Hosted
by Justin Sohn and
Sophia Kolodzinski.
All proceeds go to the
Water Project to raise
money to build dams
and wells in Africa. The
program is part of the
JCCs Commit Fellowship
and in partnership with
the Jewish Federation
of Northern NJ and the
Heller Foundation. 411
E. Clinton Ave. Cara,
(201) 408-1470 or
cfutterweit@jccotp.org.

An Americas Got Talent finalist, master illusionist Oz


Pearlman, performs at Congregation Gesher Shalom/JCC of
Fort Lee on Saturday, December 19, at 8 p.m., along with the
synagogues cantor, Paul Zim. Limited tickets. 1449 Anderson
Ave., Fort Lee. (201) 947-1735 or go to geshershalom.org/oz.

DEC.

19

Fund. 411 E. Clinton Ave.


(201) 408-1465.

Saturday
december 12
Shabbaton: Temple
Emeth of Teaneck s
Viewpoints Committee
offers a Shabbaton with
a discussion, What does
a Jew look like to you?
by Vanessa Hidary from
BeChol Leshon (In Every
Voice), 3 p.m. Viewpoints
is a committee that
celebrates the diversity
of the Jewish community.
1666 Windsor Road.
(201) 833-1322.

show Kosher Soul,


9:30 a.m. 1666 Windsor
Road. (201) 833-1322.

Play group in River


Edge: Shalom Baby of

Shabbat in Teaneck:
After dinner at 6 p.m.,
Temple Emeth holds
its annual family
Shabbat Chanukah
service with Kol Emeth,
the shuls adult choir,
8 p.m. Bring menorahs,
candles, and friends,
and non-perishable
food to donate to the
Center for Food Action.
1666 Windsor Road.
(201) 833-1322 or www.
emeth.org.

Schraalenburgh Road.
(201) 768-5112, www.
tbenv.org, or www.
buildingblocksworkshops.
com .

Thomas Sauer
Steven Riskind

Alan Kay

Matt Dine

Folk songs in Tenafly:


The Kaplen JCC on the
Palisades goes Around
the World in 80 Minutes
with folk songs and
traditional melodies
from France, Hungary,
and Tibet, and American
klezmer. Musicians are
artistic director Sharon
Roffman, violin; Alan Kay,
clarinet; and Thomas
Sauer, piano. 7 p.m.
Admission includes
post-concert reception.
Series made possible
by Eva Holzer and the
Konikow Chamber Music

48 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

Julie Budd
Singer in Mahwah:
Singer Julie Budd, winner
of the Emma Lazarus
Award for Jewish Women
in the Performing
Arts, performs at
the Berrie Center at
Ramapo College of
New Jersey, 8 p.m.
505 Ramapo Valley
Road. (201) 684-7844
or www.ramapo.edu/
berriecenter.

Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey
offers play time, music,
story-time, snacks, and
crafts for new moms/
dads/caregivers with
babies and toddlers,
to connect with each
other and the Jewish
community, at Temple
Avodat Shalom,
9:30 a.m. 385 Howland
Ave. (201) 820-3917,
www.jfnnj.org/
shalombaby or JessicaK@
jfnnj.org..

Sunday
december 13
Chanukah in Closter:
Stephen Schwartz
attempts to build
the worlds tallest
Lego menorah with
participants at Temple
Beth El, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
He will bring 70,000
Legos to the shul.
Also singing, food,
and lighting the
Lego menorah. 221

Chanukah in Paramus:

Family program in
New Milford: Solomon
Schechter Day School
of Bergen County offers
Sundays at Schechter,
a community-wide
Jewish interactive family
series for 2- to 10-yearolds, 10 a.m. Storytelling
and puppetry and
presentation by Karen
Rostoker-Gruber and
Rabbi Ron Isaacs,
authors of with a
Farmer Kobis Hanukkah
Match. 295 McKinley
Ave. (201) 262-9898, or
www.ssdsbergen.org/
schechter-rocks.

Latke eating contest:


Rabbi Steven Sirbu
Reality show
discussion: Temple
Emeth of Teaneck s
Viewpoints Committee
offers a discussion with
Rabbi Steven Sirbu after
watching an episode
of the television reality

Maadan Caterers in
Teaneck holds its annual
latke eating contest,
11 a.m. 446 Cedar
Lane. Ask for Stuart,
(201) 692-0192 or
Maadan.com.

Shlock Rock entertains


for Chanukah at Ben
Porat Yosef, 11 a.m. East
243 Frisch Court. Tickets
online at www.eventbrite.
com or email pto@
benporatyosef.org.

Comedy jugglers: The


Gizmo Guys, comedy
jugglers Allan Jacobs and
Barrett Felker, perform at
the Wayne YMCAs Rosen
PAC, 1 p.m., followed by
a workshop at 2. From
2-3:30, the Y will host
its annual Chanukah
Festival, sponsored by
Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey.

Calendar
Face painting, crafts with
Congregation Shomrei
Torah and Temple Beth
Tikvah of Wayne, latkes
and donuts, a magic
show, a Chanukah story
and a holiday gift drive
with Flames of Giving,
and a Scholastic book
fair. The Metro YMCAs of
the Oranges is a partner
of the YM-YWHA of
North Jersey. 1 Pike Drive.
(973) 595-0100.

Charity solidarity
concert in River Edge:
We Stand With Israel,
a concert in solidarity
with Israel, is at Temple
Avodat Shalom in River
Edge, 2 p.m. Performers
include a piano duo with
Anna Katznelson and
Rebecca Altshul, Vladimir
Zaslavskys jazz trio with
pianist Karina Bruk, and
a chamber choir, under
the direction of Rebecca
Altshul, that will perform
a Fiddler on the Roof
medley. All proceeds
will benefit New Jersey
Support Israel, Inc.,
whose main mission is
to address and provide
relief to needy victims of
terror and their families in
Israel. 385 Howland Ave.
Call (201) 342-1616 for
English, (201) 773-3788
for Russian/English, or
email iarolovich@gmail.
com.

Chanukah in
Ridgewood:
Reconstructionist
Congregation Beth
Israel holds its annual
family-friendly Chanukah
celebration, 4:30 p.m.
Bring menorahs and
candles, eat potato
latkes, pizza, and
sweets. Chanukah
songs led by Rabbi
Jacob Lieberman. 475
Grove St. Reservations,
(201) 444-9320 or www.
synagogue.org..

Cantor Joseph Malovany


Cantorial concert in
North Brunswick:
Cantor Joseph Malovany
performs in concert
at Congregation Bnai
Tikvah with the shuls
cantor, Bruce Rockman,
and the Sons of Tikvah
Band, 3 p.m. Malovany is
an Israeli-born American
tenor soloist and worldfamous cantor; he has
been the cantor of New
Yorks Fifth Avenue
Synagogue since 1973.
1001 Finnegans Lane.
(732) 297-0696 or
bnaitikvah.org.

Tuesday

Friday

december 15

december 18
Shabbat in Woodcliff
Lake: Temple Emanuel

Sally Pillay
Immigration rights: Sally
Pillay, an immigration
rights activist, will
talk about the way
immigrants are detained
in New Jersey and
nationally at a lunch and
learn for the Bergen
County section of the
National Council of
Jewish Women at Temple
Emeth in Teaneck, noon.
Ms. Pillay is director of
First Friends of NJ &
NY. 1666 Windsor Road.
(201) 385-4847 or www.
ncjwbcs.org.

of the Pascack Valleys


cantor emeritus Mark
Biddelman, on guitar,
hosts Shabbat Yachad,
Hebrew prayers set to
easy-to-sing melodies,
accompanied by
keyboardist Jonathan
Hanser, bassist Brian
Glassman, and drummer
Gal Gershovsky, 8 p.m.
Free copy of CD at the
shul. 87 Overlook Drive.
(201) 391-0801 or www.
tepv.org.

Saturday
december 19
Chop with Eitan
Bernath: Teen chef
Eitan Bernath leads
and judges a friendly
cooking demonstration
and competition for
third to fifth graders
at the Kaplen JCC on
the Palisades in Tenafly,
7:30 p.m. (201) 408-1467
or www.jccotp.org.

High exposure climbing


in Tenafly: The Kaplen

Mike Kelly

JCC on the Palisades


offers climbing at
different heights,
8-10:30 p.m. (201) 408-1470
or cfutterweit@jccotp.
org.

Sunday

An Introduction to
Baseball History, speaks
at a mens club breakfast
at Temple Beth Sholom,
10 a.m. 40-25 Fair Lawn
Ave. (201) 797-9321.

Author in Teaneck: New


York Times reporter
and columnist Joseph
Berger discusses his
recent book, The Pious
OnesThe World of
Chasidism and Their
Battles with America, at
Temple Emeths Byachad
breakfast, 10:30 a.m.
1666 Windsor Road.
Breakfast reservations,
(201) 833-1322 or www.
emeth.org.

Religious Liberty in
the Age of Same-Sex
Marriage for the adult
education committee
of Congregation Rinat
Yisrael in Teaneck, 8 p.m.
389 West Englewood
Ave. (201) 837-2795,
www.rinat.org.

In New York
Sunday
december 13

Film in Scotch Plains:


Temple Sholom screens
Above and Beyond,
produced by Nancy
Spielberg. The film
chronicles the history
of the Israeli Air Force,
7 p.m. 1925 Lake Ave.
(908) 889-4900 or go to
www.sholomnj.org.

Religious liberty and


same-sex marriage:
Professor Michael Avi
Helfand of Pepperdine
Law School discusses

Singles
Sunday
december 13
Seniors meet in West
Nyack: Singles 65+

Film in Paramus:
The JCC of Paramus/
Congregation Beth
Tikvah screens Black
or White starring
Kevin Costner, 3 p.m.
Deli dinner follows
with reservations.
East 304 Midland Ave.
(201) 262-7691.

Claudia Gould, and Host


Committee members
Sharon Coplan Hurowitz
and Doreen Remen
will interview attendees
about their wardrobe,
their personalities, and
their favorite things
about Chanukah. 1109
Fifth Avenue at 92nd
Street. (212) 423-3337 or
TheJewishMuseum.org.

DJ Alden of CirKiz
Chanukah in NYC: The
Jewish Museum hosts
Dress Up, Dreidel
Down Hanukkah Disco
Party, its annual family
Chanukah fundraiser,
3-5 p.m. Party features a
DJ set by 9-year-old DJ
Alden, an opportunity
to walk the red carpet
as paparazzi snap
photos at the entrance
to the museums
Scheuer Auditorium, and
reporters the Jewish
Museums Director,

meets for a social bagels


and lox brunch at the
JCC Rockland, 11 a.m. All
are welcome, particularly
if you are from Hudson,
Passaic, Bergen, or
Rockland counties. 450
West Nyack Road. $8
with reservations, $10
at door. Gene Arkin,
(845) 356-5525.

Sunday
december 20
Seniors meet in Suffern:
Singles 65+ of the JCC
Rockland meets for
lunch at Sutters Mill of
Suffern, 1 p.m. 214 Route
59, Suffern, N.Y. Individual
checks. RSVP by Dec. 17
to Gene, (845) 356-5525.

december 20
Childrens program:

Author in Woodcliff
Lake: Mike Kelly, an
award-winning columnist
for the Record, will
discuss his book, The
Bus on Jaffa Road,
for the sisterhood of
Temple Emanuel of the
Pascack Valley, 8:15 p.m.
(201) 391-8089 or www.
tepv.org.

Wednesday
december 16
Life care planning:
Jewish Family Service
of North Jersey and
Jewish-Association
for Developmental
Disabilities offer part
two of a collaborative
program on
comprehensive life
planning at the JCC
Paramus/Congregation
Beth Tikvah, 7 p.m.
E. 304 Midland Ave.
Register, (201) 457-0058,
(201) 796-5151, info@
jfsnorthjersey.org, or
www.j-add.org.

The JCC of Paramus/


Congregation Beth
Tikvah continues its
Sunday Specials series
with Indoor Fun in the
Winter Time for 4- to
7-year-olds. 9:30 a.m.
Monthly activities include
songs, crafts, bouncy
castle, science, and
cooking. Nut-free snacks.
East 304 Midland Ave.
(201) 262-7733 or
edudirector@jccparamus.
org.

Author in Fair Lawn:


Jewish Federation
of Northern New
Jerseys One Book, One
Community 2015 author,
Margie Gelbwasser,
discusses her book,
Inconvenient, at a
sisterhood meeting at the
Fair Lawn Jewish Center/
CBI, 10 a.m. Books
available in the shul office
for $10. All welcome,
including teens and their
friends. 10-10 Norma Ave.
(201) 796-5040.

Young baseball blogger


in Fair Lawn: Matt
Nadel, 16, the youngest
blogger on MLB.com
and author of Amazing
Aaron to Zero Zippers:

Childrens bilingual Chanukah show


Yeladudes Theater presents A Magical
Journey for Chanukah at the Kaplen
JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m.
The bilingual show is a magical tale
for Chanukah. It tells the story of two
children who arrive in Israel by magic
and travel across the country, visiting
amazing historical characters. Candle
lighting and Chanukah songs follow the
performance. For information, call (201)
408-1493 or go to www.jccotp.org.

Wayne shul offers health screenings


Temple Beth Tikvah offers a preventive
health day on Monday, December 14. It
will begin at 9 a.m. with Life Line Screening, a provider of community-based preventive health screenings.
Five affordable, non-invasive, painless
health screenings that scan for potential
health problems related to blocked arteries (a leading cause of stroke); abdominal
aortic aneurysms (which can lead to a
ruptured aorta); hardening of the arteries in the legs (a strong predictor of heart

disease); atrial fibrillation or irregular


heart beat (closely tied to stroke risk);
and a bone density screening, (to assess
the risk of osteoporosis) are available.
To register and receive a $10 discount
off any package priced above $129, call
(888) 653-6441 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com/community-partners.
For information on Temple Beth Tikvah,
call (973) 595-6565 or go to www.templebethtikvahnj.org.

Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015 49

Calendar

Julie Budd

Remembering Mr. Sinatra


Saturday, Dec. 12, Sharp Theater, 8 P.M.
Tickets: $40/36/30; Children under 17: $20
Box Office (201) 684-7844
www.ramapo.edu/berriecenter/event/julie-budd/

Winner of the Broadway World Award for Best Show - "They Wrote The Songs"
Star of TV, Film, stage and symphony, Julie has co-starred with Marvin Hamlisch,
Frank Sinatra, Liberace and Carol Burnett. Awarded and inducted into the
Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame.

Everything Everly

From Beneath the Helmet

The Guthrie Brothers Sing


The Best of the Everly Brothers

Tenafly JCC to screen Israeli film


about coming of age in the IDF

Saturday, Jan. 30, Sharp Theater, 8 P.M.

Tickets: $35/32/27; Children under 17: $20

505 Ramapo Valley Road


Mahwah, NJ 07430
ramapo.edu/berriecenter
Box Office (201) 684-7844

Delicious! Distinctly Original and


Powerfully Poignant. Great Comedy!
IVE HAD
THREE GREAT
OPENING ACTS
IN MY LIFETIME:

BILLY CRYSTAL,
GARRY SHANDLING,
AND

BRAD
ZIMMERMAN.
Joan Rivers

A J EW I SH T R AG E DY

Written By & Starring BRAD ZIMMERMAN

11TH SMASH
MONTH!

LIKE BILLY CRYSTALS 700 SUNDAYS!


Jewish Week

EASILY THE FUNNIEST SHOW TO HIT OFF-BROADWAY!


The Forward

LAUGH YOUR TUCHAS OFF!


Huffington Post

Mon 7pm, Fri 7pm, Sat 7pm, Sun 2pm $45 Mezzanine $60 & $65 Orchestra
$99 VIP TWO DRINK MINIMUM (Drinks start at $6 per)

Stage 72 - Triad Theatre


158 West 72nd St., New York City

Box Office: 212-868-4444 Groups (12+): 212-400-6800

MySonTheWaiter.com

Courtesy JCCOTP

The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades


screens Beneath the Helmet: From
High School to the Home Front, the
journey of five Israeli high school graduates, who like all their peers are drafted
into the army at 18. The film, from the

creators of the PBS-featured documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation


Makes a Big Difference, will be shown
on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
For information, go to www.jccotp.org
or call (201) 408-1418.

Holiday stories at Newark Museum


The Newark Museum Second Sunday program features lectures, performances, artist-led tours, art and science
demonstrations and workshops, music,
and a special brunch menu. The program runs from noon to 5 p.m., and all
events are free with admission.
A program set for December 13 will celebrate the December holidays. Highlights

include A Season of Miracles, featuring


the Pushcart Players, at 1:30; it is a collection of holiday stories from different cultures. Set to music by Tony-Award winner
Larry Hochman, scenes within the play
include a Chelm story, The Chanukah
Miracle. For information, go to www.
newarkmuseum.org.

Vodka and latke Chanukah soiree


The Jewish Museums third annual Chanukah party is set for Monday, December 21, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The party for young professionals offers
open galleries and exhibition tours combined with opportunities to mix and mingle. This festive evening features a DJ set
by Xavier Auza; an open vodka and wine
bar; latkes, sweet treats, and noshes all
night, and guided tours of the museums
current exhibition, Unorthodox. It is

presented by the Jewish Museums Young


Patrons in partnership with the Hillel
Young Alumni Network and co-sponsored
by Columbia/Barnard Hillels Emerging
Leaders Alumni Association, Cornell University Hillel, Elis Mishpacha, Yales Jewish Alumni Group, Harvard Hillel, Penn
Hillels Penn Jewish Alumni Network, and
Hillel at Princeton University. For information, call (212) 423-3268.

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50 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

J e r S e y

r O C K L A N D

Gallery
1

n 1 Participants in Valley Chabad CTeen group will celebrate Chanukah and collect gifts for Valley Hospital pediatric patients on
Sunday, December 13, at 6 p.m., in Woodcliff Lake. Next, they
will deliver the gifts to the hospital. Pictured are teens from
an earlier Woodcliff Lake gift drive. VALLEYCHABAD.ORG

n 2 The Barnert Temple Preschool Fantastic Fours visited their on-site


forest and collected sticks and leaves as part of their nature exploration.
The children used the items to create a class menorah. COURTESY BARNERT
n 3 Rabbi Randall Mark discussed Tefillin with kindergarteners and first- and second-graders at the religious school
at Shomrei Torah in Wayne. COURTESY SHOMREI TORAH
n 4 Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley Early Childhood Program
participants celebrated Thanksgiving by eating dishes prepared by each
class. The ECP families also collected food for the hungry. COURTESY TEPV
n 5 Participants in the Gallen Adult Day Health Care Centers
spent a week preparing for Thanksgiving. Participants in Culinary Club made pumpkin chiffon pie, pictured. A Giving Tree was
set up in the reception area, with participants creating leaves to
write what they were thankful for. COURTESY JEWISH HOME FAMILY
n 6 Mothers Against Drunk Driving awarded Senator Cory Booker with
its Legislator of the Year award for championing MADDs mission to
eliminate drunk driving. Attorney Steven Benvenisti of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C., who was almost killed by a drunk driver when
he was in college and now represents the victims of drunk drivers, is
the vice-chair of the MADD national board of directors. He presented
the award to Senator Booker at his Newark office. COURTESY MADD

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 51

Jewish World

Seinfelds
opening
act
Jerry loves Israel
MAAYAN JAFFE
In an episode from Jerry Seinfelds latest
creation, a Web series called Comedians
in Cars Getting Coffee, Mel Brooks is eating pastrami in Carl Reiners living room
and retelling old jokes: Guy gets hit by a
car, little Jewish man, his friend says: Get a
pillow! Do something! Put it under his head!
All right. Are you comfortable? And the guy
says: I make a living.
Laugh out loud because that is what
you do whenever Seinfeld opens his witty,
61-year-old mouth. Israelis soon will have a
chance to experience the legendary comedian and television personality firsthand in
four Tel Aviv shows, running from 5 p.m. on
Television and comedy icon Jerry Seinfeld was at the Los
Angeles Red Star Ball of American Friends of Magen David
Adom on October 22.
MICHELLE MIVZARI

Everything we
do is about fun.
We want you
to laugh, have
a good time.
Understand: it is
all comedy.

Comedian Mark
Schiff will open
for Jerry Seinfeld
at four shows in
Israel this month.
COURTESY MARK SCHIFF

MARK SCHIFF

Saturday, December 19, to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 20. Though Seinfeld has visited Israel in the past and even volunteered
in Kibbutz Saar when he was 15 years old,
he never has performed in Israel before.
Seinfeld is coming to the Jewish state
with his friend of 37 years, fellow comedian
Mark Schiff. They will arrive in a private jet
that will land just minutes before Shabbat,
according to Schiff.
Schiff, who has been a stand-up comedian and playwright for more than three
decades he and Seinfeld both got their
starts at New York City comedy club Comic
Strip Live will open for Seinfeld at all four
performances.
It wont be Schiff s first time before a
rowdy Israeli audience. All three of his children became bar mitzvah at the Western
Wall, and he calls his wife, Nancy, very
Zionistic. He has headlined Israeli comedic
events at the Koby Mandell Foundations
Comedy for Koby.
Israel is the best, Schiff said, adding that
Jerry loves Israel, too that is for sure.
(In fact, in October, Seinfeld performed at
52 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

the Los Angeles Red Star Ball of American


Friends of Magen David Adom the U.S.based support arm for Israels national
ambulance, blood services, and disasterrelief organization.)
Though Seinfeld hit it bigger than Schiff
with his sitcom, Seinfeld, which ran for
nine seasons until 1998, the friends have
much in common, including a propensity
for working clean.
On keeping his act sex- and swear-free,
Seinfeld said in 2014 that it is part of an
athletic challenge, since it denies him the
easiest laughs.
A person who can defend themselves
with a gun is just not very interesting. But
a person who defends themselves through
aikido or tai chi? Very interesting, Seinfeld
told The Guardian.
Schiff says he, too, never curses not
even heck or damn.
I am in a business where I can do and say
whatever I want, he said. But you know,
you talk about a fence around the Torah I
learned to put a fence around my work. I
dont let anything in, because once you let

it in the whole thing can become infected.


Schiff admits he may have lost some work
as a result of his clean comedy, but the
types of jobs I could get, I dont want. When
you work clean, you can work anywhere
a business club, hotels, night clubs. He
recalls how in the 1960s, everyone was
clean, and bemoans how today, the whole
world works dirty.
Can we expect a Jewified version of
the Seinfeld international show in Tel Aviv?
Not likely, said Kevin Dochtermann, who
has been Seinfelds tour promoter and
producer for more than 25 years. Dochtermann said that Seinfeld may change his
show slightly for the Israeli audience, but
likely not too much.
The show continues to evolve, Dochtermann said. As opposed to most artists that
will perform for three or four months on a
tour, turn that into an HBO special, retire
the material and move on, Seinfelds shows
continue to evolve as he tours.
Seinfeld is an incredible artist. He is
committed to his art form like none other.
Schiff and Dochtermann both describe

Seinfeld as funny all the time even in


real life; there is no off switch, but also as a
great family man, a terrific father and husband, and a straight shooter.
He is a totally honest guy, Schiff said.
Dochtermann recalls a time when he
and Seinfeld were traveling in Europe and
had a couple of extra days to kill. Seinfeld
decided they should spend those days in
Majorca, Spain.
We rented jet skis, Dochtermann said.
And there we were, off the coastline, the
powder blue sky. At one point, we turned
off the jet skis and Jerry turns to me and
says, And were working. The point here,
the whole idea you cannot beat this as
a life. Look what we are doing, and were
working.
Everything we do is about fun, he
continued. We want you to laugh, have
a good time. Understand: it is all comedy.
Schiff said that he and Seinfeld are
proud to be going to Israel and supporting
the country during this time of heightened
terror. Dochtermann said that Seinfeld is
not nervous. His security is well under
control, and we hope everything goes
according to plan.
Trust me, many people are nagging Jerry
and me about going there now, Schiff said.
I think it is important when high-visibility
people, people like Jerry Seinfeld, go to
Israel. It shows the world that it is the right
thing to do. Its incredible!
My love for Israel and the Jewish people
is second to none. If you dont hear from
us every day, just know we love you guys!
JNS.ORG

Obituaries
Robert Schoems Menorah Chapel, Inc
Jewish Funeral Directors

Family Owned & managed


Generations of Lasting Service to the Jewish Community
Serving NJ, NY, FL &
Throughout USA
Prepaid & Preneed Planning
Graveside Services

O
ur Facilities Will Accommodate
Your Familys Needs
H
andicap Accessibility From Large
Parking Area

Gary Schoem Manager - NJ Lic. 3811


Conveniently Located
W-150 Route 4 East Paramus, NJ 07652

201.843.9090

Hilde Goldberg

Hilde Goldberg, 90, of


Teaneck, died December 3.
She was a Holocaust
survivor and a member of
the Resistance. As newlyweds, Hilde, a nurse, and
her husband, a doctor,
fought as medical officers
in the Israeli War of Independence and came to the
U.S. in 1950.
She founded and was
the director of the Childrens Aid and Adoption
Societys Day Care Center
in Paramus and helped
develop New Jersey day
care standards. In retirement she volunteered
with the Bergen Family
Center and the Volunteer
Center of Bergen County.
Predeceased by her
husband of 67 years,
Max, she is survived by
her daughters Rita (Oliver), Susie (Edward) and
Dorothy (David); seven
grandchildren, and five
great-grandchildren.
Contributions can be
sent to National Council of
Jewish Women; Childrens
Aid and Family Services;
Volunteer Center of Bergen County; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum;
or the Small Things.
Arrangements were by
Eden Memorial Chapels,
Fort Lee.

1.800.426.5869

The Christopher Family


serving the Jewish community
since 1900

Paterson Monument Co.


MAIN
Paterson, NJ 07502
317 Totowa Ave.
973-942-0727 Fax 973-942-2537

BRANCH
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
681 Rt. 23 S.
973-835-0394 Fax 973-835-0395

TOLL FREE 800-675-0727


www.patersonmonument.com

Correcting errors is
the responsibility of
the funeral home.

Exclusive Jewish Funeral Chapel

Sensitive to Needs of the Jewish Community for Over 50 Years


Serving NJ, NY, FL & Israel
Graveside services at all NJ & NY cemeteries
Prepaid funerals and all medicaid funeral benefits honored
Always within a familys financial means

13-01 Broadway (Route 4 West) Fair Lawn, NJ


Richard Louis - Manager
George Louis - Founder
NJ Lic. No. 3088
1924-1996

Barry Wien - NJ Lic. No. 2885


Frank Patti, Jr. - NJ Lic. No. 4169
Arthur Musicant - NJ Lic. No. 2544
Frank Patti, Sr. Director - NJ Lic. No. 2693
327 Main St, Fort Lee, NJ

201-947-3336 888-700-EDEN
www.edenmemorial.com

The Family of

Edward Epstein
extends profound thanks

Veterans are Honored Here


We are committed to celebrating the significance of lives that
have been lived, which is why we have always made service
to veterans and their families a priority.

The Jewish Home at Rockleigh,

We assure that all deceased veterans have an American


Flag and a Jewish War Veteran Medallion flagholder placed
at their graves at the time of interment. Our Advanced
Planning service has enabled us to expedite military
honors, when requested, because the need for the
documentation is immediate and it is part of the pre-need
protocol. And if requested, an American Flag may drape the
casket at a funeral service.

The Jewish Federation of Northern NJ

We have also established an Honor Wall of veterans names,


and it is a part of our Annual Veterans Memorial Service.

to their many friends and associates,


The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades,

and Temple Emanu-el.


The outpouring of love and kindness
in tribute to our patriarch, loving husband,

GUTTERMAN AND MUSICANT


JEWISH FUNERAL DIRECTORS

800-522-0588

WIEN & WIEN, INC.


MEMORIAL CHAPELS

800-322-0533

402 PARK STREET, HACKENSACK, NJ 07601

Obituaries are

by funeral homes.

LOUIS SUBURBAN CHAPEL, INC.

Pre-Planning Specialists
Graveside and Chapel Services

has sustained us through this trying time.


information provided

800-525-3834

A Traditional Jewish Experience

father, grandfather and great grandfather

prepared with

201-791-0015

Eleanor Epstein
Mark and Jodi Epstein
Larry and Nancy Epstein
Andrew and Laurel Epstein
Steven and Robin Epstein

ALAN L. MUSICANT, Mgr., N.J. LIC. NO. 2890


MARTIN D. KASDAN, N.J. LIC. NO. 4482
IRVING KLEINBERG, N.J. LIC. NO. 2517
Advance Planning Conferences Conveniently Arranged
at Our Funeral Home or in Your Own Home
GuttermanMusicantWien.com

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 53

Classified

(201) 837-8818

Florida Condo For Sale

Antiques

Antiques Wanted
WE BUY
Oil Paintings

Silver

Bronzes

Porcelain

Oriental Rugs

Furniture

Marble Sculpture

Jewelry

Tiffany Items

Chandeliers

Chinese Art

Bric-A-Brac

Tyler Antiques
Established by Bubbe in 1940!

CORAL LAKES COACH HOUSE

Beautiful! Private Elevator


2 Bdrm, plus Den
Active Clubhouse
Marilyn Tako
Signature Intl R.E.
561-901-1138

Wanted: Apartment To Share


ROOM RENTAL NEEDED
Very responsible, Kosher, college female, freshman in need
of a furnished or unfurnished
room w/bath to rent in Teaneck
or Bergenfield, near bus. In private home or carriage house,
fine. Please call or text:
201-233-1119 or 201-250-6230

Cemetery Plots For Sale


BETH EL/CEDAR PARK, Paramus, N.J. Memorial Park Section,
8 graves, lot #691, Block 29.
Moved out of State, priced to sell
quickly. 215-444-9055
CEDAR PARK, Paramus, N.J., 8
plots, block #1, Lot S/4, 22-23.
Sold in entirety. Total cost $10,000.
Call 561-292-3738

tylerantiquesny@aol.com

FOUR Cemetery Plots. They are


all together. Cedar Park, Paramus,
NJ. Reasonably priced! 770-8273318 or irisjmorrison@gmail.com

201-894-4770

MT MORIAH, Fairview, N. J., Temple Beth Abraham section, 1 plot,


#1, row 19. Call 201-868-4552

Shomer Shabbos

Help Wanted
SALES ASSOCIATE
wanted for

Womens High End Boutique.


Must have sales experience.
Englewood location.
E-mail:
workresumes79@gmail.com

TEACHERS WANTED PASSAIC


Boys School seeking
4th & 5th Grade Teacher
1:30 -4:45,
no Fridays
At least 1 year teaching

Email: bhykop@gmail.com
or Fax: 973-778-5697
VETERAN/COLLEGE graduate
seeks employment in telephone
sales. 25 years experience in purchasing and marketing of diverse
products. Proven success in generating new business through
building strong relationships, senior
buyer of toys, hobbies, hard goods
and bulk toys. Honest, hard worker. email:yendisid@optonline.net

Situations Wanted
EXPERIENCED CHHA looking for
a night position to care for you or
your loved one. Drives/own car.
Speaks English. 201-663-1486
CHHA Certified Nurses Aide/Long
time care - 15 years experience
caring for the elderly with Alzheimers/dementia. Knowledge of
kosher food preparation, will shop,
clean, administer medication and
drive client to MD appointments.
References upon request. 201310-3149

NICHOL AS A NTIQUE S
ESTATES BOUGHT & SOLD

T Fine Furniture Antiques Accessories U


Cash Paid

201-920-8875

We pay cash for


Antique Furniture
Used Furniture
Oil Paintings
Bronzes Silver
Porcelain China
Modern Art

Top Dollar For Any Kind of Jewelry &


Chinese Porcelain & Ivory

ANS A

Over 25 years courteous service to tri-state area

We come to you Free Appraisals

Call Us!

Shommer
Shabbas

201-861-7770 201-951-6224
www.ansantiques.com
54 JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015

Help Wanted
. Private Elementary School in Bergen County, N.J. seeks certified General Studies Teacher wih masters degree for upper
elementary classes for immediate hire. High achieving students and stimulating work environment with professional and
collaborative colleagues. Competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. PM hours only.
Send resume to resumes@rynj.org

CONGREGATION Bnai Jacob of Jersey City is seeking a


full-time/part-time Rabbi to serve as the religious, spiritual and
educational leader to our congregation. This person will partner closely with a dedicated Board of Directors to reinvent and
modernize the Synagogue. The person should be innovative,
inspiring and energetic. Primary responsibiliy is Religious
Services, Synagogue Development and Community Building.
Years of experience are flexible.
Recent graduates of Rabbinical School are welcomed to apply as well as seasoned
Rabbis.
email: Dean.brody@am.jll.com

Antiques

Situations Wanted

DAUGHTER
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Assist w/shopping,
errands, Drs, etc.
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paperwork,
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Resolve medical
insurance claims
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201-214-1777

www.daughterforaday.com
Established 2001
CERTIFIED, caring, reliable lady
looking for employment to care for
elderly through night. $10.00
hr/nightly. I drive. Have 20 years
experience. 201-741-3042
CHHA certified in CPR is looking
for position as Caregiver/Companion. Live in/out, day/overnight.
Experienced/Reliable/Drives/
Speaks English. Reasonable Rates
Knowledge of Kashruth! 917-9817406
CHHA with many years experience
will care for elderly. Live-in 5 days/
live-out 7 days. Reliable, speaks
English, drives/own car. 314-4847344
COMPANION: Experienced, kind,
trustworthy person seeking part
time work. Weekends OK. Meal
preparation, laundry, housekeeping. Will drive for doctors appointments; occasional sleepovers. 973519-4911

EXPERIENCED
BABYSITTER
for Teaneck area.
Please call Jenna

SEEKING CONSIGNMENT AND OUT RIGHT PURCHASES

201-660-2085

TOP CASH PRICES PAID


201-768-1140 www.antiquenj.com
sterlingauction@optonline.net
70 Herbert Avenue, Closter, N.J. 07642

FREE APPRAISALS TUESDAYS FROM 12-2


IN OUR GALLERY. CALL FOR APPOINTMENT.

A Team of
Polish Women
Clean

Apartments
Homes Offices

Experienced References

201-679-5081

DO you need House Cleaning/


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If
so, give me a call at 201-893-2502.
Experience! References! Own
transportation.

GILS CLEANING SERVICE


Home Apt Condo Office
Efficient Reliable
Affordable
References Available
Free Estimate
201-640-1708

Announcement
DO NOT MISS CHANCE
TO ATTEND
JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
TEANCK RECEPTION
MONDAY,
DECEMBER 14,

7 PM

Call now for more information:


email: jinglis@jnf.org
tele: 973-593-0095, x823

RITA FINE

Sterling Associates Auctions


Sculpture Paintings Porcelain Silver
Jewelry Furniture Etc.

Cleaning Service

HOME Health Aide who is easy to


get along with is seeking job to
care for elderly. Live-In/Out. Experienced! References! Speaks English. 201-779-9798
NURSES AIDE /CARETAKER
available to care for your loved
ones. Over 17 years experience.
Top of the line references. Very
competent. 201-406-8309

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the Junk Man

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Handyman

Home improvements

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Home Improvements & Handyman

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BH

Home Repair Service

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Painting
Carpentry
Kitchens
Decks
Electrical
Locks/Doors
Paving/Masonry
Basements
Drains/Pumps
Bathrooms
Plumbing
Maintenence
Tiles/Grout
Hardwood Floors
General Repairs

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Lic. & Ins. NJ Lic. #13VH05023300
www.yourneighborwithtoolshandyman.com

plumBing
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MAZON IS ending hunger making a difference tikkun olam


keeping kids healthy nutrition for seniors sustenance
tzedakah fostering responsibility raising awareness soup
kitchens food banks food pantries social justice selfempowerment partnering for change advocating for people in
need building a robust emergency food network encouraging
public policy reform a legacy of giving promoting health and
well-being tribute cards fulfilling a jewish tradition making
an impact optimism nourishment pursuing justice working
to end food insecurity meeting basic human needs nutrition
and health education initiatives a strong safety net providing
assistance and support concern for others a voice for people
who are hungry enhancing quality of life jewish values in action
THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
WORKING TOGETHER TO END HUNGER

PARTY
PLANNER
Jewish Music with an Edge
Ari Greene 201-837-6158
AGreene@BaRockorchestra.com
www.BaRockOrchestra.com

Solution to last weeks puzzle. This weeks puzzle is


on page 46.

Tel 310.442.0020 | 800.813.0557 | mazon.org


10495 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 100, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Call us.
We are waiting for
your classified ad!
201-837-8818

JEWISH STANDARD DECEMBER 11, 2015 55

Real Estate & Business

Will Seven Species dish win Taste of Waldorf contest?


Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
is chosen to compete
in global culinary
competition
Abigail Klein Leichman
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalems executive
chef, Itzik Barak, calls his entry in the
annual Taste of Waldorf Astoria chef competition Seven Species, in homage to the
signature fruits and grains of Israel.
Technically, the dish includes only four
of the traditional seven species listed in
the Bible (wheat, pomegranates, olives,
and dates; it is missing figs, grapes, and
barley).
But by using modern Israels freshest
fish and produce, Seven Species provides
a sublime and authentic taste of the Holy
Land.
Is it good enough to win a place on the
worldwide Waldorf Astoria menu? That
will be up to the judges in New York on
February 24, when they sample the dishes
created by Waldorf executive chefs in
Israel, New Orleans, Orlando, Beijing,

The salad part of Seven Species under


construction in the Waldorf kitchen.

Photo by Abigail Klein Leichman

and Amsterdam with visiting chefs handpicked by the James Beard Foundation,
the United States foremost culinary arts
organization.
Barak worked with Chef Joseph JJ
Johnson of the Cecil in New York City
to create Seven Species sea bream
encrusted with sourdough bread and
smoked eggplant, served with a salad of

raw bulgur, date, pomegranate, pumpkin,


ginger, and herbs dressed in extra-virgin
olive oil, accompanied by creamy tahini
and garnished with micro sprouts and
paper-thin twirls of colorful vegetables.
This is the second year that the Waldorf
Astoria Jerusalem was chosen from among
the brands 25 worldwide properties to
participate in the global culinary contest
sponsored by Waldorf Astoria Hotels &
Resorts.
The Waldorf New York is responsible for
such timeless masterpieces as Eggs Benedict, Red Velvet Cake, and the Waldorf
Salad. Some of those dishes were served as
appetizers to the Seven Species at a press
tasting on December 3.
All of them were accompanied by a
choice of white or red wines from Flam
Winery in the Judean Hills.
Barak and Johnson had spent the previous week getting inspiration from local
restaurants and markets, especially Jerusalems Machane Yehuda, where vendors sell
some of Israels freshest produce.
Johnson said he had previously cooked
in Ghana and found similarities to Jerusalems bold, authentic spice market.

It was some of the best produce Ive


ever seen, said Johnson, who was featured on Forbes magazines list of most
promising chefs under the age of 30.
Even San Francisco cant compare.
Johnson had never worked in a kosher
kitchen and was eager to learn how
Baraks staff cooks dishes without mixing
dairy and meat products. (The hotel has
dairy and meat restaurants on either side
of the grand lobby.)
The two chefs started out with the idea
of a traditional Mediterranean ratatouille
and went through several iterations until
settling on Seven Species.
Barak arrived at the Waldorf three
months after it opened in July 2014. I am
always receptive to menu, ingredient and
recipe requests from guests, he said.
Master Chef Itzik Barak brings a wealth
of culinary talent and expertise to the
competition, said John Vanderslice, the
global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and
Resorts.
Participating dishes will be judged
according to level of innovation, simplicity of preparation, taste, and presentation.
Israel21c.org


MORE listings. MORE experience. MORE sales.


TEANECK

TEANECK

TEANECK

NEW CONSTRUCTION

BERGENFIELD

UNDER CONTRACT

SOLD

750 Winthrop Road

693 Downing Street

327 Maitland Avenue

84 Sussex Road

TEANECK

TEANECK

FORT LEE

FORT LEE

$1,159,000 PRICE CHANGE 80 FT FRONTAGE

$1,899,000 7 BEDROOM 5.5 BATH

SOLD

735A Rutland Avenue

735B Rutland Avenue

80x120 PROPERTY

vera-nechama.com
56 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

80x120 PROPERTY

2000 Linwood Ave, Unit 4Y

201.692.3700

1530 Palisade Ave, 23E


$142,000 1 BEDROOM, 1.5 BATH

VERA AND NECHAMA REALTY 1401 Palisade Avenue Teaneck, New Jersey
facebook.com/VeraNechamaRealty

info@vera-nechama.com

Real Estate & Business


Roundtrip air
and six night hotel stay
in Israel for $1,099
EL AL Israel Airlines and Leonardo by Fattal Hotels
in Israel are offering a six night Milk & Honey vacation package featuring roundtrip economy class air on
nonstop flights and a six night stay at select Leonardo
by Fattal Hotels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tiberias, and
Bat Yam with daily Israeli breakfast. EL AL passengers
have the option to combine their stay in more than
one hotel.
This special air/hotel package is available for departures January 10 through March 24. Prices are: $999
from Boston, $1,099 from New York ( JFK/Newark) and
$1,249 from Los Angeles. All fares include taxes and
carrier imposed surcharges. Fattal Hotels are centrally
located in all major cities throughout Israel.
For additional details and to purchase the EL AL/
Leonardo by Fattal Hotels package, call EL AL at (800)
EL AL SUN (800-352-5786) or contact any travel agent.

Dessanti appointed
to Realtor board

open houses

sunday, december 13

Wendy Wineburgh Dessanti, a broker/sales associate


with Weichert RealtorsTenafly, is being re-installed as
a board director for the Eastern Bergen County Board
of Realtors. A successful realtor for over 20 years, Dessanti is involved as a volunteer in the local community. She is member of the Teaneck Community Relations Advisory Board and a past president of Temple
Emeth. She spearheaded her office to sponsor United
Ways Bergen County Very Special Homes Project in
Tenafly, which provides housing for developmentallychallenged adults. Dessanti is also a five-time recipient
of New Jersey Monthlys Five Star Award.
Dessanti may be contacted at cell (201) 310-2255,
office (201) 541-1449 x192, or via her website zillow.
com/wendydessanti/profile

teaneck

TM

1505 Jefferson st.

$599,000

1-3 pm

245 elm ave.

$479,000

1-3 pm

1104 belle ave.

$369,000

1-3 pm

34 minell pl.

$364,900

1-3 pm

584 kent ave.

$349,900

1-3 pm

163 larch ave.

$349,000

1-3 pm

Prime W Eglwd Area. Perfect for Entertain & Extended Fam. Oversized LR/Fplc + DR, Mod Kit/Bkfst Rm open to Fam Rm + Den. 1st
Flr Brm + Bath. 2nd Flr: Skylit Master Brm + Bath + 2 more Brms
& Bath.
Charm Victorian Col. Deep 150' Prop. Lemonade Front Porch, LR
open to Lg Form DR, Lib/Den. Updated Isle Kit. 2nd Flr: 4 Brms
+ Bonus Rm or WI Closet. 3rd Flr: Media/Fam Rm. New H/W Flrs.
Huge Trex Deck. Gar.

NOW SELLING
VALENCIA BAY

Just Listed! W Eglwd Area. EZ to NYC Buses. Brick/Alum Colonial.


Oak Flrs. Liv Rm/ Stone Fplc, Din Rm, Den, 3 BRs, 1.5 Baths. Fin
Bsmt. Gar.

Advantage Plus
FORMER NJ
RESIDENTS
SERVING BOCA RATON,
DELRAY AND BOYNTON BEACH
AND SURROUNDING AREAS

601 S. Federal Hwy


Boca Raton, FL 33432

Elly & Ed Lepselter


(561) 302-9374

COME TO FLORIDA
IN THE NEW YEAR!
TEANECK LISTINGS
Spacious, mint colonial on large property in
Country Club area $469K
New listing! Charming home in great W. Eng
location. $359K
Affordable home w/potential near FDU and
Houses of Worship $289K
Call me for an In-depth report on todays market.

Wishing you a very Happy Chanukah!


WENDY WINEBURGH DESSANTI
Broker/Sales Associate

Top Office Listing Agent for 2014


FIVESTAR AWARD 2015 for 5 years!
BEST OF TRULIA & ZILLOW Top Agent

DEMAREST

STUNNING

$2,699,000

Gorgeous new colonial on beautiful street, chefs kitchen w/2 islands & designer
appliances, banquet dining room w/wet bar, 2-story great room w/fireplace,
master suite w/fireplace, 2 walk-in closets & elegant bath,
3 family bedrooms w/baths, lower level w/theater & gym.

ALPINE/CLOSTER
TENAFLY
RIVER VALE ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS TENAFLY

894-1234
768-6868

CRESSKILL
Orna Jackson, Sales Associate 201-376-1389

666-0777

568-1818

894-1234 871-0800

Let Us Finance Your


House Purchase
Direct lender
2 to 3 day approval
Closings within 30 days
Northern NJ Appraisers
FHA loans w/55% debt ratio
Credit scores as low as 580

201-310-2255 201-541-1449 x192


wendydess@aol.com

Charm Col. Ent Foyer, LR/Fplc, Form DR, Kit/Lov Encl Porch, .5 Bath.
2nd Flr: 3 BRs/Dual Ent Full Bath. Att Gar.
Mostly Brick Cape. Oak Flrs. LR/Fplc, DR, Encl Porch, Fam Size
Country Kit. 4 Brms, 2.5 Baths. Fin Bsmt. Gar. Close to Cedar Ln.

Renovated Col. Spacious, 4 Brms 2 Baths. C/A/C. Granite peninsula


Kit/SS App. Inlaid H/W Flrs. Fplc. Fin Bsmt. Huge 175 ft. deep yard.
Det Gar.

bergenfield

121 melrose ave.

$399,999

1-3 pm

Just Listed! Totally Updated Ranch. Easy One Floor Living. Polished
Oak Flrs. Liv Rm/Fplc. Raised Din Rm. Granite Kit. 3 Brms, New Full
Bath. Encl Porch. C/A/C, Gar. Room to Expand.

by appointment

pretty dutch col. Univ Area. Open Front Porch. LR/Fplc, Form DR,
EIK + Den. 3 BRs, 2.5 Baths/Skylites. $290s
beautifully updated. 5 Brm, 3 Bath S/L. C Club Area. Mod Eat
In Kit/Granite Counters, LR/Fplc, Fam Rm/Acoustically Designed
Theatre, Intercom System/Child Monitor. Gar, C/A/C, Oak, H/W Flrs.
Deck/Built-in Grill, U/G Sprinks. $580s

all close to ny bus / houses of Worship /


highWays / shopping / schools & ny bus
For Our Full Inventory & Directions 2015
Visit our Website
READERS
CHOICE
www.RussoRealEstate.com
FIRST PLACE

More than 300,000 likes.

Like us
on Facebook.
facebook.com/jewishstandard

Larry DeNike
President

MLO #58058
ladclassic@aol.com

Daniel M. Shlufman
Managing Director

(201) 837-8800

MLO #6706
dshlufman@classicllc.com

Classic Mortgage, LLC


Serving NY, NJ & CT

25 E. Spring Valley Ave., Ste 100, Maywood, NJ

201-368-3140

www.classicmortgagellc.com

thejewishstandard.com

MLS
#31149

Jewish standard deCeMBer 11, 2015 57

Real Estate & Business

SELLING YOUR HOME?

Top awards for startups BwareIT,


AseptoRay, Credithood
Abigail Klein Leichman

Call Susan Laskin Today


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

Cell: 201-615-5353

2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.

Three Israeli startups recently won


major awards that will help them make
their way to the market.
AseptoRay won first place in the
Cleantech Open Global Ideas program
on November 24 in Redwood City, California, for its proprietary technology to
deactivate bacteria in all liquids. This
next-gen solution increases energy efficiency in pasteurization, the most common and energy-consuming step in beverage manufacturing. The company is
headquartered in Maalot.
BwareIT won a $50,000 first-place
prize in the Unilever Innovation
Foundry Ideas for Life competition in
London on November 27.
The companys cofounder and CEO,
Konstantin Berezin, accepted the award
in London.
Based in Jerusalem and incubated
in the European Commissions IoT
accelerator, BwareIT is developing the
SmartH2O home water meter, which
attaches to a sink, shower, or garden

hose and sends data to a smartphone


app to illustrate exactly how much water
your household is using, how long the
water is running, and at what temperature, and how much its costing you.
The app also alerts you to leakage and
shows you how your water usage compares with the average in your region or
country.
Credithood received $25,000 on
November 30 as the top winner in the
2015 Israeli Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) & MasterCard Israel Technology Innovation awards. It was honored
for its crowdfunding and customer loyalty platform, and its ability to deliver
loans to small businesses.
The Tel Aviv-based Credithood now
has a chance to enroll in the fourth
round of Citis Tel Aviv Accelerator and
in the MasterCard Start Path startup program, and it will receive one year of free
access to the R&D, marketing, financial
services, and venture capital members
of IATI, Israels largest umbrella organization representing the high tech and
life science industries.
Israel21c.org

Wishing the Entire Community a Happy Chanukah


LE

LE

OR

SA

OR

204 Maple Street, Englewood

Ayelet
Hurvitz
Exceptional
Service,
Exceptional
Results

Alpine/Closter Office:
201-767-0550 x 235
ahurvitz12@yahoo.com
www.ayelethurvitz.com

58 Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015

152 Piermont, Norwood

LE

FO

SA

185 E Palisade C6A, Englewood

Recipient of the NJAR Circle of Excellence Sales Award 2012-2014


Sterling Society Award Winner 2014

Direct: 201-294-1844

SA

LD

SO

356 Broad Avenue, Englewood

SE

A
LE

81 Franklin Street, Englewood

The Art of Real Estate


NJ:
NY:

Jeffrey Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NY

201.266.8555
T: 212.888.6250
T:

201.906.6024
M: 917.576.0776

Ruth Miron-Schleider
Broker/Owner
Miron Properties NJ

M:

ENGLEWOOD

ENGLEWOOD

ENGLEWOOD

Open floor plan. Sutton Place Townhouse.

6 BR/5.5 BTH Colonial. Every amenity. $1,600,000

Spectacular Beacon Hill home. $1,695,000

Exquisite 8 BR/7 BTH Colonial. $2,200,000

TEANECK

TEANECK

TENAFLY

TENAFLY

CO UN
NT DE
RA R
CT
!

J
SO UST
LD
!

EX
CO TRA
NS OR
TR DI
UC NA
TIO RY
N!

S
CO PAC
LO IO
NI US
AL
!

LIS JUS
TE T
D!

SO

ENGLEWOOD

OF ST
-T AT
HE E-A
RT
!

SO

LD

LD

4 BR/2 BTH Tudor Colonial with curb appeal.

6 BR/3 BTH Center Hall. 110x110 lot. $799,000

Old Smith Village Center Hall Colonial.

One-of-a-kind updated split-level.

FORT LEE

FORT LEE

FORT LEE

FORT LEE

LIS JUS
TE T
D!

SO

LD

LIS JUS
TE T
D!

CO UN
NT DE
RA R
CT
!

1 BR/1.5 BTH w/office & terrace. $205,000

Beautiful 2 BR/2.5 BTH with skyline views.

Oversized & renovated 1 BR/1.5 BTH. $138,000

Magnificent 2 BR/2.5 BTH corner unit.

CROWN HEIGHTS

BEDFORD STUYVESANT

LOWER EAST SIDE

GREENPOINT

J
SO UST
LD
!

CO UN
NT DE
RA R
CT
!

N
FE O
E!

2 BR/1 BTH w/3rd BR/loft. Approx. 1,384 sq. ft. Modern 1,200 sq. ft. loft w/city views & balcony. 2 BR/2 BTH, convertible to 3 BR. $4,995 gross.

LOWER EAST SIDE

N
FE O
E!

Boutique rental. 3 BR. $3,995/month.

WILLIAMSBURG
SO

Brick building. 3 extra large apartments.

MIDTOWN EAST

UPPER WEST SIDE

Sleek 3 BR/3.5 BTH penthouse. $8,290,000

Magnificent 4 BR/3.5 BTH corner unit. $6,995,000

AV PAR
PL EN K
AC UE
E!

LD

Stylish luxury bldg. Heart of Brooklyn.

J
SO UST
LD
!

LIS JUS
TE T
D!

Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!

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

Jewish Standard DECEMBER 11, 2015 59

STORE HOURS

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666

SUN.-TUES. 7AM-9PM
WED. 7AM-10PM
THURS. 7AM-11PM
FRI. 7AM-1 HOURS
BEFORE SUNDOWN
SAT. CLOSED

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

Sign Up For Your


Loyalty
Card
In Store

Sale Effective
12/13/15 -12/18/15

Grape Tomatoes
or Stem
Tomatoes

Sunday Super Savers!

California
Navel
Oranges

YOUR
CHOICE

LB.

MEAT DEPARTMENT
Butterfly

Chicken
Cutlets

99

On the Frame

3 5
FOR

Save On!

General Mills
Corn
Chex

2 $6
12 OZ.

FOR

Original Only

Kedem
Tea
Biscuits

2 $1
4.2 OZ.

FOR

DAIRY

Assorted

Minute Maid
Orange Juice

2 $6
59 OZ.

FOR

Doubles

Breakstones
Cottage Cheese

89
3.9 OZ.

Assorted

Reddi Wip
Topping

2 5
6.5 OZ.

FOR

Pineapples

27
$

LB.

FOR

CEDAR MARKET

Hot House
Cucumbers

2 10 2 3
$

FOR

Fresh

American Black Angus Beef

FOR

Loyalty
Program

SUSHI

MARKET

DELI SAVINGS

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666


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

FISH
`

Shor Habor
Hard
Salami

Cooked
Tuna Roll

$ 25ea.
$

Aarons
Mexican
Turkey

11

95
ea.

$ 25

Lb.

Check Out Our New


Upgraded Salad Bar

ea.

Lb

Save On!

4 5

15 OZ.

FOR

Save On!

Paskesz
Dunkees

4 $5
FOR

Save On!

No Yolks
Fine
Noodles
12 OZ.

2 $4
FOR

Save On!

Califia
Iced Coffee

48 OZ.

$ 99

Assorted

Fage
Greek Yogurt

99
5.3-7 OZ.

Assorted

Taamti
Pickles & Olives

2 7
22 OZ.

FOR

Lb

Nestl
Hot Chocolate
Mix

89

$ 99

4 $5

99

Split Pea or
Minestrone

Goodmans
Rice With
Vermicelli

Save On!

Glicks
Mushrooms
Stems & Pieces

8 OZ.

FOR

Manischewitz
Soup Mix

99
6 OZ.

Assorted

FOR

FROZEN

$ 99

Falafel
Balls

12 OZ.

Shelled Only

Shtark
Shredded Cheese

Seapoint
Edamame

$ 99

2 LB.

Assorted

Breakstones
Sour Cream

16 OZ.

$ 79

2 $5
40 OZ.

12 OZ.

2 4

FOR
Vanilla,Chocolate ,Strawberry

Merrick
Whip
Topping

2 5
16 OZ.

FOR

Birds Eye
Stir Fry Pepper

2 $4
14.4 OZ.

FOR

Mini

Birds Eye
Corn on the Cob

2 7
12 PACK

FOR

Cheese or

Taamti
Potato Bourekas

28 OZ.

99

15.25 OZ.

4 $5
FOR

Flat Out
5 Grain
Fold It

La Choy
Teriyaki
Sauce

2 $5
9 OZ.

10 OZ.

$ 79

FOR

Assorted

Save On!

American
Farmer
Popcorn

Aluminum
Cookie Sheet
Pans

2 $1 2 $1
1 OZ.

FOR

Sugar Snap or

EA.

Save On!

Save On!

99

Mikee
Sweet & Sour
Duck Sauce

Homeade
Egg Salad

$ 99

Cedar
Pizza

16 OZ.

Save On!

10 Inch

Lb

$ 79

Shwartz
Chulent
Mix

2 $3

FREE

Save On!

Save On!

8 OZ.

HOMEMADE DAIRY
Original
BUY 2 GET 1

ReaLemon Green Giant


Juice Whole Kernel
Corn
15 OZ.

FOR

Save On!

$ 99
Assorted

4 $5

2.9-3.1 OZ.

Amnons

LB.

Check Out Our New Line


of Cooked Fish

$ 99

Lb

14.5 OZ.

Liebers
Rice
Cakes

999

Lb

Boneless
Cholent Meat

Hunts
Diced
Tomatoes

3 LB.

Salmon

American Black Angus Beef

Original Only

Assorted

Skim Plus
Milk
64 OZ.

Lb

$ 99

Lb

Carolina
Rice

$ 99

$ 99

Extra Long Grain

Save On!

6 PACK

LB.

Breaded
Chicken Fingers

$ 99

$ 99

Shoulder $999
London Broil Scottish

Ready To Cook

Stuffed
Lamb Breast

Ground Lamb
Kebabs

GROCERY

Family Pack

Ready To Cook

Ready To Grill

Lb

FISH

Salmon
American Black Angus Beef With Seafood

Boneless Fillet
Steak

$ 99

$ 99

Lb.

1099

Sweet Potato
Roll

1699

Ocean
Roll

American Black Angus Beef

Silver Tip
Roast

Dark Meat

Manischewitz Asian Harvest


Whole Baby
Chicken
Corn
Broth

10 3

Ground Turkey

Lb

32 OZ.

Gift Box

Clementines

Sweet

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

$ 49
Save On!

LB.

LB.

Lb

Chicken Breast

FOR

Fuyu
Persimmons

$ 99

Fresh

5 5
$

ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC

LB.

FOR

Family Pack

59

69

10 3

Blackberries

Loyalty
Program

Fresh Picked

Black Beauty
Eggplants

Kirby
Cucumbers

Farm Fresh
Sweet Corn

49

Farm Fresh

Fresh

at:
Visit Our Website om
et.c
www.thecedarmark

646 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666


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

MARKET

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

CEDAR MARKET

ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC

PRODUCE
Sunday Super Savers!

Fine Foods
Great Savings

FOR

FOR

BAKERY

Save On!

Macabee
Macababies

Dairy
Cheese
Buns

2 $ 5 $799
9 PK.

FOR

16 OZ.

Save On!

International
Chopped Liver

12 OZ.

$ 99
Breaded

Bgan
Cauliflower

6
2 LB.

$ 99

PROVISIONS
Assorted

Tirat Zvi
Turkey

Hod Lavan
Turkey Bacon
Aarons
Beef
Franks

4
$ 99
4
$ 99
5

$ 99
9.5 OZ.

8 OZ.

13.5 OZ.

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