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MAY 31, 2019

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Unchained at Last
Fraidy Reiss wins Berrie award
for her advocacy against
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2 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
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Page 3
Lebanese nun’s monkey
infiltrates Israel
l The border crossing was more
mischievous than military.
Shortly after a French nun
named Beatrice Maugerin re-
ported that her monkey had gone
missing from her “Ship of Peace”
farm in southern Lebanon, Israelis
in northern Israel reported mul-
tiple monkey sightings.
The farm reportedly is intend-
ed to be a safe place for Muslims, At home in Lebanon.
Jews, and Christians. There are
no indications that it was not a welcoming place for
African primates as well.
Nonetheless, the monkey, who has not been named,
has been spotted in a number of Israeli communities, several miles from the Israeli border.
Lebanese monkey visits Israeli farm. As of this writing, the monkey has yet to be captured. Larry Yudelson

Would Jew-moji be good for the Jews? CONTENTS


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of a Torah scroll to the library the young.”
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of tiny images people put in Making emojis more inclu- dear rabbi zahavy���������������������������32
text messages. sive by including some that d’var torah�������������������������������������������33
Now there’s word of a new look like traditional Jews is a calendar������������������������������������������������ 34
initiative. The Conference of way to make the world more THE FRAZZLED HOUSEWIFE��������������36
European Rabbis has asked inclusive, the letter said. crossword puzzle���������������������������36
the Unicode Consortium for “If it is legitimate to present obituaries�����������������������������������������������37
new emojis that show men in a family consisting of two men classified ads��������������������������������������38
kippahs and women in head or two women, and to present real estate��������������������������������������������40
coverings. for why each one is essential. the traditional attire of the Islamic PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT: (USPS 275-700 ISN 0021-6747)
In addition to its main function “There are emojis of women in religion, we believe that there is is published weekly on Fridays with an additional edition
every October, by the New Jersey Jewish Media Group, 1086
— developing a universal character the hijab and Arab clerics, and the room for presenting Jewish symbols Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666. Periodicals postage paid
encoding scheme allowing people Jews have been forgotten,” the as well,” it also said. “The Jewish at Hackensack, NJ and additional offices. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to New Jersey Jewish Media Group,
around the world to use computers Conference of European Rabbis religion should not be left behind; 1086 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666. Subscription price
in any language — the nonprofit wrote. “The need for equality and it should be brought to the center is $30.00 per year. Out-of-state subscriptions are $45.00,
Foreign countries subscriptions are $75.00.
consortium also selects the emoji non-discrimination begins with the of public discourse and made equal
The appearance of an advertisement in The Jewish Standard
icons used by the world’s smart- small things, which in this case may among the other religions.” does not constitute a kashrut endorsement. The publishing of
phones based on submissions from seem minor but have enormous Jews constitute about 0.2 per- a paid political advertisement does not constitute an endorse-
ment of any candidate political party or political position by
individuals and organizations who significance and long-term effects. cent of the global population. the newspaper or any employees.
present their case with evidence The WhatsApp application is used Marcy Oster/JTA
The Jewish Standard assumes no responsibility to return
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Israelis brew beer from ancient yeast purposes and subject to JEWISH STANDARD’s unrestricted
right to edit and to comment editorially. Nothing may be
reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from
the publisher. © 2019
l Israeli scientists isolated yeast from ancient pottery entists make the beer. The brew was sampled by certi-
used to brew beer and used it to create the same liba- fied tasters from the International Beer Judge Certifi- Candlelighting:
tion that presumably the Egyptian pharaoh, Iron Age cation Program. Friday, May 31, 8:03 p.m.
rulers, and ancient Jewish leaders all drank. The testers determined the brew was high quality
The discovery of the yeast and re-creation of the and safe for consumption. One brew was said to be Shabbat ends:
ancient beer was announced last week by researchers similar in color, aroma, and flavor to one made from a Saturday, June 1, 9:11 p.m.
from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel well-known English ale yeast.
Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, and Bar-Ilan “This ancient yeast allowed us to create beer that
On the cover: Fraidy Reiss speaks at
University. lets us know what ancient Philistine and Egyptian
a chain-in demonstrate in Westfield,
The jars from which the yeast was recovered date beer tasted like,” Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist from
urging state legislators to override
back to the reign of the Pharaoh Narmer, circa 3000 Hebrew University and one of the lead researchers in
Governor Chris Christie’s veto of a
BCE, to the Aramean King Hazael, around 800 BCE, the project, said. “By the way, the beer isn’t bad. Aside
law forbidding child marriages. (He
and the Prophet Nehemiah, about 400 BCE. from the gimmick of drinking beer from the time of
said that it could interfere with reli-
The researchers cleaned and sequenced the full King Pharaoh, this research is extremely important to
gious freedom.) Later, Governor Phil
genome of each yeast specimen and discovered that the field of experimental archaeology — a field that
Murphy signed the bill into law, mak-
they were similar to those used in traditional African seeks to reconstruct the past. Our research offers new
ing New Jersey the second state to
brews — and to modern beer yeast. tools to examine ancient methods, and enables us to
approve that ban.
An Israeli beer expert, Itai Gutman, helped the sci- taste the flavors of the past.” Marcy Oster/JTA
Courtesy Unchained At Last

Jewish Standard may 31, 2019 3


JS-4*

Noshes “The comparison lands somewhere


between absolutely offensive & flat
out idiotic.”
— ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, referring to the comparison
between the demonization of Jews in Nazi Germany and the
demonization of carbon dioxide made by William Happer,
a Trump appointee to the National Security Council.
REBOOT DEPARTMENT:

‘Deadwood’ returns
as does Dr. Ruth
The Western there’s a great article of the continent of virtue of his birth into a
series “Dead- in the May 27 issue of Westeros. The “game” powerful noble family.
wood,” set in the 1870s the New Yorker (it’s in GOT centered on But he never could truly
in the famous South available online) about who would rule the be such an insider be-
Dakota town, ran on how he is coping with kingdom, but thou- cause he was a dwarf.
HBO for three years — the disease. It seems sands of years before This “between two
from 2004 to 2006 that his family is his that game, the Children worlds” existence has
— and got great anchor. His wife, RITA were being slaughtered been, and is, a situation
reviews before it was STERN MILCH, has by Westeros’s first hu- that prominent Jews in
suddenly canceled. (It stood by him through man invaders. To stave the diaspora have faced
also got just so/so his drug addiction off their genocide, they for centuries.
ratings and was and an incredibly bad took a human being For example, even
expensive to produce.) gambling addiction Robin Weigert David Milch and magically turned the very wealthy and
Now, though, since so that wiped them out him into the Night ennobled British Roth-
many TV shows have financially. His daugh- King, a creature who schilds, who have lived
been rebooted ter, OLIVIA MILCH, could revive the dead the model life of the
successfully, a new 24, who co-wrote the and order them to kill British aristocracy (like
two-hour HBO “Dead- recent movie “Ocean’s the living. The Night castles full of the finest
wood” movie will wind 8,” helped her father King is much like the antique furnishings),
up many unresolved with the “Deadwood” mythical figure of the are not quite viewed
plot lines. It will movie script. Golem in many Jew- as “one of us” by the
premiere on May 31. “Ask Dr. Ruth,” a ish tales. The Golem rest of the non-Jewish
Advance reviews are documentary about was a super-powerful aristocracy. But being
good, and all the the famous sex and creature, magically an insider/outsider has
still-living stars from relationship counselor, created by a rabbi, who its pluses. For example,
the original are in it. will premiere on Hulu was meant to protect a huge number of co-
This includes on June 1. Dr. RUTH Olivia Milch Dr. Ruth Westheimer the Jewish communi- medians are American
ROBIN WEIGERT, 49, WESTHEIMER, 90, ty. But in many story Jews or Canadians of
as Calamity Jane (who talks candidly about shines with an infec- these are amazing versions he becomes any background. Both
really lived); Timothy her whole life, including tious joy of life. insights, but I think uncontrollable. The groups know Ameri-
Olyphant as (real) surviving the Holocaust they’re interesting and Children, likewise, could can culture, but they
lawman Seth Bullock; and fighting and get- Is anything I want to relay them not ultimately control are somewhat apart
and John Hawkes as ting wounded in Israel’s in “Game of while the series is still the Night King, and psychically from most
SOL STAR (1840-1917), War of Independence. Thrones” Jewish? fresh in the minds of its he and his minions Americans. They often
the real Deadwood The film got very A friend just multitudes of fans. eventually turned on look at the culture in
Jewish merchant who good reviews when it asked me if there I first thought about everyone, Children and a removed way and
was Bullock’s played many recent were characters or the creation of the humans alike. that removal often
best friend. film festivals, including themes in “Games of Night King and his army I also came to realize fosters a comedic take
“Deadwood” was cre- Sundance. It is full of Thrones” that a of zombie-like wights. that if there were a that would not oc-
ated by DAVID MILCH, interesting details, like reasonable person It’s gradually revealed Jewish character in the cur to most heartland
74; sadly, this movie her original name, Karo- could take to be that the Night King was series it was Tyrion, a Americans. (Now you
marks the end of his la Ruth Siegel, and her Jewish. I thought created by the “Chil- very smart and fun- know why Tyrion was
creative life. In 2015, height (4’7’’). But the about this and came dren of the Forest,” ny man who should funny, and possibly
Milch was diagnosed most interesting thing, up with two answers. I who were the original have been the ultimate why he was smart and
with Alzheimer’s; to me, is how she just don’t maintain that non-human inhabitants high-station insider by empathetic.) –N.B.

Want to read more noshes? Visit facebook.com/jewishstandard California-based Nate Bloom can be reached at
Middleoftheroad1@aol.com

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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 5
5/24/19 12:22 PM
Local

All New Jersey participants in the OU


Women’s Initiative Leadership Summit in
Woodcliff Lake sit together. ZUSH PHOTOGRAPHY

Learning to be leaders
Orthodox Union convenes Women’s Initiative
to further careers, networking, and self-awareness
ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN The participants heard lectures and 365 Meditations on Every Day Leader- a big difference. “One person with the

E
engaged in discussions with about 90 ship” (Simon and Schuster, December right drive, energy, skill, and ambition
sti Coates of Teaneck was not other female lay leaders from 56 commu- 2015) — Ms. Coates took away a new deter- can singlehandedly inspire a community,
sure what to expect at the nities around the United States, Canada, mination “to make sure I nurture myself transform a shul, propel a yeshiva to new
inaugural Leadership Summit Israel, the United Kingdom, and South and don’t just run, run, run.” heights, and drive organizational change
sponsored by the Orthodox Africa. “Erica Brown explained that when you through the formulation of strategy and
Union Women’s Initiative on May 20-21 at “The goals of the program were to nur- say ‘yes’ to something you’re really saying mission,” he said.
the Hilton Woodcliff Lake. ture lay leadership, enhance leadership ‘no’ to something else,” Ms. Coates said.
The ad she had seen for the lay lead- skills, and create a collaborative space,” “That was powerful for me to understand.
ership conference promised a program said Dr. Adina Shmidman, founding direc- I realized that I have to give of my time
“designed to encourage and develop tor of the OU Women’s Initiative. and talents to places where I can really
women serving as lay leaders within their
communities.”
Sessions focused on leadership strat-
egy and communication, public speaking,
make a difference because I can’t say yes
to everything — although I’d like to.”
I really wanted
This intrigued Ms. Coates, who is engaging and retaining volunteers, creat- Among the other presenters at the sum- to learn how
involved in volunteer endeavors and is
the program administrator of a new part-
ing compelling programming, effectively
using social media, honing and growing
mit were several Bergen County residents:
Rachel Cyrulnik, founder of RAISE Non-
to be a better
nership that allows young ultra-Orthodox your personal leadership strengths and profit Advisors; writer-director-producer leader, how to
women from the Sara Schenirer Seminary
in Brooklyn to earn a master’s degree
work-life balance, community spiritual
growth, and board and donor relations.
Allison Josephs, the founder and director
of JewintheCity.com; Suzy Schwartz, an
have a better
from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler Ms. Coates reported that the summit assistant vice president at Yeshiva Uni- balance, and be
School of Social Work.
“I really wanted to learn how to be a
far exceeded her expectations.
“I’ve never been in a space with so
versity; licensed clinical social worker Dr.
Linda Goldmintz; and Tamar Snyder, an
part of a really
better leader, how to have a better bal- many accomplished, diverse, powerful award-winning journalist and marketing strong network
ance, and be part of a really strong net-
work of women I could call upon to
women,” she said. “It was really outstand-
ing. It helped me to step out of my own
and communications director at the Jew-
ish Communal Fund.
of women.
become the best me I can be,” Ms. Coates, thinking and see things from a different The OU’s executive vice president,
the mother of eight, said. perspective.” Allen Fagin, noted that many of the pro-
Ms. Coates was one of nine Bergen From a keynote session led by George fessional women at the summit also vol- Deena Jarashow of Fair Lawn, volun-
County women accepted to the summit; Washington University associate pro- unteer in their local synagogue, school, tary director of the Leah Sokoloff Nursery
the process required an application and fessor Erica Brown — who attended the mikvah, hospital, chevra kadisha (burial School of Congregation Shomrei Torah
a recommendation from a communal Frisch School in Paramus and has written society), or other groups and institutions. for the last 20 years, says she discovered
leader or mentor. books including “Take Your Soul to Work: He emphasized that one person can make at the summit that many issues facing her
6 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
Local

shul community are mirrored every- Women Lead,” and a WhatsApp group
where else. for the participants to keep the conver-
For example, one discussion touched sation going.
on how to keep older movers and shak- The other women from Bergen
ers engaged in synagogue leadership County at the summit were Rachel Krich
roles even as they pass the baton to of Fair Lawn and Becky Katz, Esther
younger members, who may be chart- Friedman, Miriam Gedwiser, Miriam
ing a different direction for the future. Greenspan, Adeena Mayerfeld, and
“It struck me that a lot of these women Naomi Rotblat, all from Teaneck.
were there because they cared about the OU President Moishe Bane was
perpetuation of their communities,” Ms. appreciative to “the lay activists here
Jarashow says. “It was amazing to see today, who, along with Jewish women
the cohesiveness and the power of these throughout history, have committed
women. I felt such vibrancy and a feeling countless hours of their precious time
of togetherness.” and tremendous energy to ensure the
She also is active in Shomrei Torah’s blossoming of Torah Judaism in Amer-
Women’s Institute of Learning and Lead- ica and around the globe, and who
ership —- which received a competitive have been pivotal to the success and
Women’s Initiative Challenge Grant from impact of our most valued institutions
the Orthodox Union last year — and at and programs.”
Yavneh Academy in Paramus and the The OU Women’s Initiative develops
Torah Academy of Bergen County in professional and lay leadership train-
Teaneck, from which her younger son ing for women in the Orthodox Jewish
now is graduating. Deena Jarashow of Fair Lawn and Esti Coates of Teaneck at the OU Women’s community and works with Orthodox
Her main take-home message, from Initiative Leadership Summit in Woodcliff Lake. ZUSH PHOTOGRAPHY communities nationwide to identify
Erica Brown’s talk, is that Orthodox syn- and address spiritual, educational and
agogues have to focus more effort on everyone is greeted when they come accomplished at the summit can con- communal needs of women at all ages
being friendly and open to newcomers. into shul,” Ms. Jarashow said. tinue and grow, the OU Women’s Ini- and phases. For more information, go to
“Our first job should be to make sure To ensure that the networking tiative created a Facebook page, “OU https://www.ou.org/women/.

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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 7


Local

Pursuing justice from the bench


Emanuel’s tikkun layl Shavuot looks at 8 Jewish Supreme Court members
JOANNE PALMER

W
hen most American Jews think of Shavuot
(and to be realistic, outside of the Ortho-
dox and observant Conservative commu-
nities, most American Jews don’t), we
think of all-night study, the tikkun layl Shavuot, that tends
more and more toward the spiritual as the more easily
fatigued or bored go home and the night gets darker and
then eventually the dawn shows up, all pink and gold.
We think of the Israelites gathered at the foot of Mount
Sinai, hearing the lightning and seeing the thunder.
We think of cheesecake. We are fueled by cheesecake.
We are driven forward by visions of cheesecake.
But less frequently we think not only of the law that
was delivered at Mount Sinai than of the long tradition
of law that has followed.
And probably we don’t think very often of Ameri-
can law, of the interplay of Jewish and American his-
tory that has produced many great American Jewish President Lyndon Johnson, left, confers with Abe Fortas, whom he nominated to the Supreme Court
legal minds. We probably don’t often spend tikkun layl and depended upon as an adviser.
Shavuot talking about the Supreme Court. But Rabbi
Joseph Prouser of Temple Emanuel of North Jersey, Here are a few stories about two of “He once said in his private corre-
who is both a Conservative rabbi and a lifelong student the eight justices the panel will look at. spondence that he was a heathen, but
of American history, has made that connection. Mike Fisch of Wayne, a chemist by he actually got his first elected office
He has asked eight of his congregants — some of them day, will talk about the second Jew- because they” — the people charged
lawyers, some academics, all interested and interesting ish justice, Benjamin Cardozo, on the with selecting a nominee — “wanted a
— to prepare a short talk on each of the eight Jewish night of Shavuot. Jew. The first guy they recommended
Supreme Court justices, from Louis Brandeis to Elena Cardozo was born into the Sephar- was into Reform Judaism and Ethical
Kagan. (See box.) dic aristocracy in New York in 1870, Mr. Culture, and they said no. They said
“It is remarkable that on a Supreme Court with nine jus- Fisch said; his father, Albert Cardozo, they needed ‘a real Jew.’’’
tices, three of them are Jewish,” Rabbi Prouser said. “That’s was a New York State Supreme Court Cardozo did not go to school until
something that the founding fathers never foresaw, but that judge, who ran for his office backed by he entered Columbia College at 15;
reflects their general approach to the country’s diversity.” Tammany Hall and one of its founders, like others of his social class, he was
And there’s another reason to focus on the Supreme Fernando Wood. Those were hugely tutored at home. His tutor for Colum-
Court right now. “The country’s attention is increasingly powerful forces in New York City; to be bia’s entrance exams was the author
focused on the court,” he said. “People are looking at it backed by them was a major big deal. Horatio Alger. He went to law school
with hope for balance and reason and a sense of devotion He had a meteoric career until he was Justice Benjamin Cardozo at Columbia; it was a two-year pro-
to the vison of democracy that it is charged to uphold.” caught up in a scandal; the day before gram when he entered, but another
He’ll intersperse teaching talmudic texts about the San- the New York State Assembly was to come out with a report year was added during his time as a student there. In
hedrin, the rabbinic court, between discussions of the naming him and accusing him of corruption, he resigned. high-minded protest (or perhaps in high dudgeon), he
Supreme Court justices, Rabbi Prouser said. “I’ll look at His son was 2 years old; when Benjamin was 15, his father left after two years (and after having earned a master’s
comparisons between the two legal systems — how do they died. “I don’t know, but I suspect that he went into law to degree in philosophy at the same time). When he turned
fill open seats? What’s the significance of a divided system? clear the family name,” Mr. Fisch said. 21, and thus was eligible to take the bar exam, he took it
“I will be teaching about death penalty cases. When His family on his mother’s side was even more illus- and passed it. “He was incredible,” Mr. Fisch said.
there was a death penalty case, a unanimous vote for con- trious. His mother, amazingly named Rebecca Washing- He remained active in Shearith Israel, although he
viction would be written as an acquittal,” he said. “That ton Nathan Cardozo, was a Nathan, and that family was continued his lack of observance. “When he was 25, he
meant that something would be wrong. You could not entwined with the Seixases. His uncle was a founder of argued in the shul against mixed seating, on the grounds
have that. Something must have been flawed if everyone the New York Stock Exchange, and “his great grandfather, that it violated the shul’s constitution,” Mr. Fisch said. “It
could agree that someone needed to die.” his grandfather, and two of his uncles were presidents of was voted down by a large margin, I think something like
Shearith Israel,” also known as the Spanish Portuguese 75 to 7.” He also hired many Jewish law clerks, he added.
Who: Rabbi Joseph Prouser Synagogue. That shul now has a grand, lovely building Cardozo’s grandfather’s brother-in-law, Gershon
What: Will present a tikkun layl Shavuot focusing on Manhattan’s Central Park West, but when it began, in Seixas, was “the first Jewish trustee of Columbia College,”
on the eight Jewish Supreme Court Justices 1654, it was downtown. It is the oldest congregation in the Mr. Fisch said. “He finished his term in 1814. And Colum-
When: On Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. country, and today it flourishes. “He came from a very bia didn’t have another Jewish trustee again until Car-
prominent family,” Mr. Fisch understated. dozo, in 1928.” There’s a lot of Jewish history in his story.
Where: At Temple Emanuel of North Jersey,
558 High Mountain Road, Franklin Lakes Like many of the men in his family, Cardozo was a life- Cardozo sat in the Supreme Court seat previously held
long bachelor. “His mother was one of 15 children, and by Oliver Wendell Holmes, “who was of course a giant,
How much: Free and open to the community
two thirds of her brothers never married,” Mr. Fisch said. but it was said that in Cardozo they had found a proper
And also: A dairy buffet will be open throughout “They were focused on careers.” He lived with his sister, successor,” Mr. Fisch said. His tenure on the court was
the program.
“and he was the only one of the Jewish Supreme Court short — he was confirmed in 1932, and his position was
For more information: Call (201) 560-0200
Justices who had a kosher home as an adult. He was not ended by his death, at 68, in 1938. Still, “he is considered
or to go www.tenjfl.org
observant, but he was very culturally attached. generally as one of the top 10 Supreme Court Justices.”
8 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
Local

Peter Safirstein of Ridgewood is an Henry Fonda played Gideon and Jose


attorney; “I’m a litigator, so the topics
of Supreme Court jurisprudence, of
Ferrer was Abe Fortas.
Fortas “was raised Orthodox in Ten-
Don't Miss Out!
the justices of the Supreme Court, and nessee, but when he grew older, he
of the Jewish justices in particular are became unobservant,” Mr. Safirstein
really interesting to me.” said. “He did not go to synagogue. But I
He’s now in private practice, but think that his abiding sense of social jus-
he’s worked for the SEC and as a fed- tice, of his advocacy for social causes, of
eral prosecutor under President Ron- the rights of defendants, was because he
ald Reagan, with the Southern District was Jewish.” It wasn’t accidental that he
of New York and Florida’s Southern Dis- was appointed to defend Gideon. Those
trict as well. were the kinds of pro bono cases he was
He’ll be talking about Abe Fortas. “I asked to take on. “Fortas is known for
think Fortas is fascinating,” he said; for his jurisprudence, but less for his work
one thing, “He is the answer to an abso- on the Supreme Court than for arguing
lutely fantastic trivia question, which before it,” Mr. Safirstein added.
is ‘Has any Jewish person ever been After he was confirmed as a justice,
nominated to be the chief justice of the “Fortas takes the Jewish seat from Arthur
United States?’ And the answer is yes. Goldberg, and he goes on the Supreme
It’s Abe Fortas.” Court, which is now the famous War- Or Join
Of course there haven’t been any ren court, and he supports Warren and Our Hike
actual as opposed to nominated chief liberal jurisprudence and the rights of
justices; the nomination was the start of criminal defendants,” he said.
the process that ended in his resignation. “And then politics kicks in. It’s 1968,
Abe Fortas, born in 1910, did not and Chief Justice Earl Warren tells John- Use Promo Code JSTAND for
take the typical path to the Supreme son that he is retiring, and Johnson 30% off Registration Fees
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earlier justices, by Fortas’s time it was But politics have changed dramatically.
clear that the way to the Supreme It is a different era.” Johnson is hobbled
Court was through the appellate by the disaster in Vietnam and there-
court, or perhaps a law school. “For- fore vulnerable, and “Republicans
tas came right out of private practice,” think that Nixon will win,” so, for the
Mr. Safirstein said. “His real claims to first time, they have a Senate hearing
fame were that he was a brilliant law- before confirming the nominee, and the

Endless Possibilities
yer, and a very close if not the closest hearing brings out the fact that Fortas
adviser to President Johnson.” (Lyn- continued to advise Johnson. That was
don Baines Johnson, that is.) not acceptable.
“He was not interested in becoming a Fortas withdrew his candidacy,
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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 9
JS-10*

Local

Helping young burn victims move on


Teaneck attorney creates global healing camps and laser centers
Lois Goldrich

E
arly in his career, Teaneck
attorney Sam Davis rep-
resented several seriously
burned children. “We did
fantastically well for them in court,” he
said, but when he ran across their fami-
lies years later, “it was never good news.
It was always the same story. The kids
remained isolated, depressed, almost
frozen in time.” Rather than moving on
with their lives, “it’s as if a pause button
on their development was hit.
“I found it very troubling,” Mr. Davis
said. “Despite all of our high hopes that
with the money put away for treatments
they would now be able to recover and
lead fulfilling lives, and do fun things,”
they didn’t.
The young attorney was so troubled
that he went to meetings of the Amer-
ican Burn Association and

Photos courtesy Sam Davis


began doing research on the
issue. When he learned that
there were 40 burn camps in
the United States, he started
volunteering at one of them
and developed a music pro-
gram, “shipping instruments
and other recreational mate-
rials to the camps.” Sam Davis addresses the Israel Burn Association.
Some 15 years ago, eager
for his former clients to get facility will offer state-of–the-art laser therapy to every
the benefit of such facilities, child in Israel, without regard to his or her ethnicity,
“I took some of the kids to nationality, religion, or ability to pay. Burn Advocates
camp with me,” he said. “The Network is partnering with Sheba on I-PEARLS.
experience was transforma-
tive.” Ultimately, he brought
all of those children to camp.
Indeed, so meaningful are
these camps to Mr. Davis that
his son, Joshua, incorpo-
These kids are going
rated work at a burn camp Sababa campers enjoy activities at the facility founded in 2009 at Kfar through a difficult
into his bar mitzvah project.
Mr. Davis hopes that other
Galim, Israel.
struggle. But upward
b’nai mitzvah students will do the same. the only burn camp in the Middle East,” he said. of 95 percent of our
Also around this time, the director of Camp Susque-
hanna in Millersville, Pennsylvania, asked Mr. Davis if
“Camp is not an international concept. The only
camps that exist in the few countries that offer them
kids have significant
he would be willing to sponsor a pair of Israeli burn are medical camps where surgeries are performed. positive change.
survivors. “That was a fateful sponsorship because I Burn camps like Sababa, Camp Karma in India, and
wound up meeting the head of physical therapy at Camp Samba in Brazil focus on the psychosocial. Mr. Davis said that several years ago, a camper at
Schneiders Children’s Hospital, one of the directors of “These kids are going through a difficult struggle. Camp Sababa told him that she could not get a date
the camp,” he said. “I saw that these kids had a fantas- But upward of 95 percent of our kids have significant because of her scar. Moved by her plea for help,
tic experience and I asked why they didn’t go to camp positive change.” he researched options available to her in Israel. He
in Israel.” It turns out there wasn’t one. Research bears this out. Academic studies have recently had heard a lecture at Massachusetts Gen-
“So I said, let’s organize it. That’s where it started.” shown that burn survivors who participate in burn eral Hospital where the speakers described how they
In 2009, Camp Sababa in Kfar Galim, Israel, was camps experienced decreased isolation, improved were using lasers. And not just any lasers, but Israeli
founded, in cooperation with Schneider’s Children’s self-esteem, and improved social skills. lasers. “I was shocked to learn that lasers were not
Hospital. But that was only the beginning. Today, Mr. Mr. Davis recently addressed the Israel Burn Asso- being used to treat disfiguring scars on children in
Davis is the director of Burn Advocates Network and ciation. Calling his presentation “A Laser Unto the the very country that developed and manufactures
the founding director of burn camps and relief proj- Nations,” he hailed the opening of the Israel Pediatric them,” he said. “I could not understand why Israeli
ects in five countries. Aesthetic and Reconstructive Laser Surgery Center of kids did not have that choice.” He reached out to
“We just finished the 11th session of Camp Sababa, Excellence (I-PEARLS) at Sheba Medical Center. The Sheba, and I-PEARLS was born.
10 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-11*

Local

“Sheba has become our mis- Treating children with burns


sion partner in making laser care is an expensive proposition, Mr.
available to resource-challenged Davis said, and most countries
countries around the world,” he don’t have access to lasers or
said. “It’s a great center of tikkun burn specialists who know how
olam, and it was just named in to use them. Still, “this resource
Newsweek’s list of 10 best medi- should be considered a necessary
cal centers in the world.” part of scar care. Even kids who
Mr. Davis described Kfar Galim get great burn care have diffi-
as “a beautiful nature reserve, cult challenges. Where there are
200 yards from the Mediterra- scarce resources, and the chil-
nean,” which allows surfing to dren lack access to burn camps
become one of the children’s or laser care, their futures can
activities. Campers have a range seem hopeless. Burn camps are
of disabilities, “but one of our an extraordinary way of letting
mantras is that every kid should these kids experience some time
be able to participate in every without being stared at or judged
activity.” In surfing, for example, by their scars. They can also see
that might involve a counselor role models who survived burns
riding along with a child who has and have gone on with their
lost a limb. lives.”
The camp has a nurse and a Mr. Davis said he was influ-
visiting surgeon program allow- enced by his mother, Ruth Davis
ing doctors to enjoy the experi- Sababa campers at the Celebrity Chefs party celebrate the I-PEARLS groundbreaking — who recently turned 100 years
ence of seeing former patients with Yuliana Ethel, head of OT at Schneiders Childrens Hospital, and Mira Tzur. Sam Davis old and was profiled in this paper
enjoying themselves. “They kneels between two campers. — to “give back.
come see the kids whose lives “Mom was active in men-
they saved.” — Camp Karma is India’s first burn camp, and operates tal health outreach and dad was a healer,” he said.
Mr. Davis and the Burn Advocates Network have in cooperation with KEM Hospital — “and four years ago “He was a physician/surgeon who ran army hospitals
been active in other countries as well. we started one in Brazil” — that’s Camp Samba. “Brazil during the Second World War. He practiced medicine
“Seven years ago, we started a camp in Mumbai” has enormous burn problems,” he added. See burn victims page 20

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Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 11


JS-12*

Local

‘Surrendering is not an option’


Political analyst Lisa Daftari comes to Paramus
to discuss anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad
Abigail Klein Leichman

A
ward-winning investigative journalist, polit-
ical analyst, and media commentator Lisa
Daftari is returning to her native borough
Anti-Semitism,
to be the keynote speaker at Paramus Bat- or any kind of
Sheva Hadassah’s annual Jean Lipshitz Memorial Meet-
ing on June 5. (See box.)
bigotry, is never a
Ms. Daftari, who lives in Los Angeles but grew up in partisan issue. If it
Paramus, will speak about “The Rise of Anti-Semitism
Globally and in the U.S.: A Focus on the Media, College
is happening to one
Campuses, and the BDS Movement.” group of Americans, it
“As a staunch supporter of Israel and someone who
has advocated for all moderate actors in the Middle
means it can happen
East as well as all peace-loving citizens of the region, to any other group.
it is increasingly difficult to watch anti-Semitism and
anti-Israel rhetoric become so common whether it be
on campus, in Hollywood, or even on Twitter or Face- so this topic is bound to be of interest to the Paramus
book,” Ms. Daftari said in an interview. Bat-Sheva Hadassah audience. But Ms. Daftari said the
“I do believe this has a lot to do with the mainstream problem does not begin at the higher-education level
media and its false and imbalanced approach to cov- and must be addressed in whatever context it occurs.
ering the Middle East conflict, namely taking a very “The seeking of justice can never be too local or too
non-nuanced approach to reporting the ongoing war minimal in scope,” she said. “Whether your child is
between Hamas and Israel, but even more so the toler- in elementary school or attends a large and influen-
ance that the mainstream media platforms have devel- tial university, if there is something that is said that is
oped and inspired toward dismissing anti-Semitic rhet- Lisa Daftari wrong, action must be taken to correct it. Parents of
oric,” she continued. younger students should approach the administration
She does not believe in taking a passive approach to happening to one group of Americans, it means it can and in the case of college students, parents should
this disturbing trend. happen to any other group.” equip their children with the proper confidence and
“It doesn’t matter if it comes from an anchor, a pun- Accordingly, she says, “It is so important for support- integrity to speak up when they hear or see injustice.
dit, a member of Congress, or a college professor,” she ers of Israel to find partners in the local community on “There is no other way. Surrendering is not
warned. “Unless we begin to call out anti-Semitism both sides of the political divide who are willing to call an option.”
across the board, the situation will only get worse.” out anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric and are will- The annual Jean Lipshitz Memorial Meeting is under-
Ms. Daftari frequently appears on Fox News, CBS, ing to stand up against BDS and call it out as a weapon written by Elan Lipshitz in memory of his wife, Jean, a
NBC, PBS, Voice of America, and SiriusXM commenting that is wrongly used against Israel and against Jews.” past president of the chapter. Hadassah Northern New
on such topics as the Middle East and North Africa, ter- Jersey, Eric Mark, Rabbi Bob Mark, Jewish Lifecycle
rorism, national security, ISIS on the web, global Chris- Events, and Jerry Menter also are sponsored.
tian persecution, human rights, and cybersecurity. Her Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of
exclusive reports have appeared on the Drudge Report, America, is an American Jewish volunteer women’s
Fox News, the Telegraph, Newsweek, CNN, the Huffing- The seeking of organization founded in 1912. Said to be the largest Jew-
ton Post, and the Washington Post.
She also is director and founding editor of the For-
justice can never ish women’s organization in the United States today,
Hadassah focuses on empowering its members to advo-
eign Desk, a newswire service with an emphasis on be too local or too cate for health, wellbeing, and support of Israel. Hadas-
global stories relevant to U.S. foreign policy. She says
that her daily “top 10” email containing articles she minimal in scope. sah’s eponymous hospitals in Jerusalem treat some one
million patients of all ethnicities annually and serve as
chooses as the day’s most vital foreign-affairs stories hubs for groundbreaking medical research.
reaches 250,000 monthly subscribers. As reported in the Jewish Standard, last October Ms.
Because she is the daughter of Iranian immigrants Daftari’s scheduled lecture at Rutgers University on
What: Lisa Daftari discusses “The Rise of
and therefore speaks fluent Farsi as well as Spanish and “Radicalism on College Campuses” was canceled four
Anti-Semitism Globally and in the U.S.: A Focus
Hebrew, Ms. Daftari has provided Iran-related briefings days before it was scheduled, apparently because sev-
on the Media, College Campuses, and the BDS
and expert testimony to government and private enti- eral student groups threatened to disrupt it.
Movement,” for Paramus Bat-Sheva Hadassah’s
ties and has written reports for the Pentagon and other Although the Rutgers administration later offered to
annual Jean Lipshitz Memorial Meeting
government agencies. reschedule her appearance, she declined, saying: “To
Her documentary film about an Iranian underground have a small number of students acting very thuggishly When: Wednesday, June 5. Doors open at 7 p.m.
political movement — produced when she was a grad- triumph over those students who wanted to come hear for dairy refreshments; program at 7:30. A meet
and greet (with $36 donation) follows.
uate student in broadcast journalism at the University me speak — that’s very upsetting. As an Iranian female,
of Southern California — was screened before a Con- I’ve always been proud to live in the United States Where: JCC of Paramus/Congregation Beth
gressional subcommittee in 2006 to draw attention to and have the opportunities I have. That freedom was Tikvah, East 304 Midland Ave., Paramus
human-rights abuses and regime change in Iran. stripped from me. I was not able to exercise my First How much: Free, but registration required; no
In her talk at the Hadassah meeting, Ms. Daftari Amendment freedom.” walk-ins: hadassahgeneralmeeting.eventbrite.com
plans to emphasize the point that “anti-Semitism, or Radicalism on college campuses is an issue of great or ParamusBatShevaHadassah@gmail.com
any kind of bigotry, is never a partisan issue. If it is concern to many Jewish parents and grandparents,
12 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-13

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Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 13


JS-14

Briefly Local

Rockland federation
honors Lisa Green
The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland
County will hold its annual meeting on Monday, June
17, in the Schwartz Family Social Hall at the Jewish
Community Campus, 450 W. Nyack Road in West
Nyack. Lisa Green, outgoing co-vice president, will
be honored for outstanding leadership and volunteer
activism. The teachers of federation’s adult education Lisa Green
program also are being honored. Dinner at 6:30 p.m.;

Courtesy JFNNJ
the program begins at 7:30. The cost is $36; all dietary laws are observed. RSVP
to Jewishrockland.org/annual-meeting or call (845) 362-4200, ext. 121.

Franci Steinberg, left, chair of JFNNJ’s Center for Israel Engagement,


Tal Heinrich, and dinner chairs Leslie and David Smith.
Fair Lawn gala salutes Michael Baer
Michael D. Baer, who just finished a two-year term as president at the Fair Lawn
JFNNJ celebrates partners
Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel, is the honoree at the shul’s annual gala during FedTalk:Israel dinner
on Sunday, June 23, at 4 p.m., in the ballroom. Jewish Federation of Northern New have supported Jewish Federation for
Mr. Baer and his wife, Robin, joined the FLJC/CBI in 2005. Mr. Baer developed Jersey celebrated it Circle of Partners at least 25 years. Ms. Heinrich of i24
curriculum for the religious school and was a Hebrew school teacher and princi- and Dor L’Dor Societ y members News, an international television station
pal. He also sat on the board and executive committee. at a May dinner that preceded the based in Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, and
Mr. Baer, who is a lawyer, is on several nonprofit boards, including Areyvut, FedTalk:Israel program featuring Tal Washington, discussed “International
Breaking the Chain Through Education, and Nechama Comfort. He and his wife Heinrich. Members of both groups Media Bias Against Israel.”
have two children, Julia and Jessica. For more information, call (201) 796-5040.

‘Circle of Light Vigil’ will mark


Gun Violence Awareness Month
A coalition of grassroots commu- for allies who recognize the particu-
nity groups is planning the “Circle of lar pain people of faith feel when the
Light Walking Vigil” to commemorate sanctity of houses of worship is shat-
Gun Violence Awareness Month. tered by gun violence. As we mourn

Courtesy Milton Ohring


The vigil, set for Sunday, June 2, at those who have died by gun violence
7 p.m., is in response to the recent while at prayer, we are compelled to
uptick in terrorism in houses of wor- join in the call for common sense gun
ship around the world, including policies and practices that will make
Charleston, New Zealand, Pittsburgh, our congregations — and our commu-
and Poway, California. nities — safer.”
Rabbi Jennifer Schlosberg of the After listening to speakers who
Glen Rock Jewish Center said, “We include New Jersey State Attorney
read, in the book of Leviticus (19:16),
‘Do not stand idly by as your neigh-
General Gurbir Grewal and rep-
resentatives from Moms Demand
Local artist donates Holocaust
bor’s blood is shed.’ It is a sad reality Action and Students Demand Action, candelabrum for display at SAR
that there is a need to organize a vigil the vigil will begin at the Glen Rock Milton Ohring of Teaneck, an artist and were forced to wear. The first post is in
for this reason, but co-sponsoring as Gurudwara parking lot, 541 Prospect the grandfather of an SAR graduate, the shape of the electrified posts that
houses of worship around issues of St. The group will walk down Rock donated a Holocaust candelabrum he ringed concentration camps; the sec-
gun violence sends the message that Road to Harristown Road, and back created to the Riverdale, N.Y., school ond represents a crematorium, with two
gun safety is a religious and moral to the Gurudwara for a candlelight to use in its annual Yom HaShoah pro- furnace doors at the bottom. The third
issue that transcends politics.” ceremony led by local religious lead- gram. A few years ago, when Mr. Ohring post is shaped like a gallow; the fourth, a
The vigil is a collaborative effort ers. Along the way, the vigil will pass was invited to the school to discuss his lightning bolt, is one half of the two-bolt
among many community groups and many houses of worship, creating a Holocaust-themed sculptures, a teacher insignia SS members wore. A Christian
a continuation of earlier vigils hosted “circle of light” in its path. asked if the school could borrow the can- cross is cut out of the fifth post, repre-
by the religious communities of To help participants be pro-active in delabrum for its Yom HaShoah program. senting the long history of Jewish suffer-
Glen Rock, including the Glen Rock their advocacy efforts, representatives It now is on permanent display there. ing in Christian Europe and commemo-
Jewish Center, which held a com- from Moms Demand Action will pro- (SAR’s Yom HaShoah program, including rating the heroic righteous gentiles who
munity-wide vigil after the attack in vide information on actions everyone the candelabrum, is on YouTube; find it risked their own lives to save Jews. The
Pittsburgh in October. Other groups can take to prevent senseless gun vio- with SAR HS Yom HaShoah 2019.) sixth post is an arm raised in defiance;
include Glen Rock After the March, lence. They also will distribute orange The candelabrum is 17 inches high it’s marked with all but one of the digits
Moms Demand Action, and Students ribbon pins; vigil participants are and made of stainless steel; candlehold- that the Nazis tattooed on Elie Wiesel.
Demand Action. encouraged to wear orange. ers on top are brass. Six posts, for the six Milton Ohring and his parents left
According to Rev. Mark R. Collins, Registration is encouraged at million victims, are welded to the base, Poland at the end of 1938. For more
president of the Religious Communi- walkingvigil.eventbrite.com. All are which is a Jewish star evoking the stars information about Mr.Ohring and his art,
ties of Glen Rock, “We are so grateful welcome. on the armbands the Jews of Warsaw go to ohringart.com.
14 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-15

Briefly Local

RCA gala draws 800, 2 YU grads from Passaic


and honors Zygi Wilf named valedictorians

Photos courtesy YU
The Rabbinical College of America held its annual gala On May 30, hundreds of students from Yeshiva University’s
at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark as 800 supporters undergraduate schools received their degrees at YU’s 88th com-
celebrated the RCA’s past and shared its future vision. mencement exercises at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
“The growth of the RCA programs is exciting. All of Nine students were named valedictorians for their outstanding
our academic programs are oversubscribed and we academic achievements. Among them were Rochel Hirsch of
are ready to take the next quantum leap forward with the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies and Aryeh-Leib
a campus expansion project,” Rabbi Mendy Herson, Deutsch of the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program. Rochel Hirsch Aryeh-Leib Deutsch
the college’s associate dean, said.
Distinguished honoree Zygi Wilf, the owner of the
Minnesota Vikings and the principal of Garden Homes,
said that “‘L’dor v’dor,’ Hebrew for ‘from generation to
generation,’ is the core Jewish value of ensuring that we
properly transmit one generation’s values to the next,
and that is my personal commitment.”
Rabbi Herson said, “The friendship of the Wilf fam-
ily for close to 50 years has been something special
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Israel, and for society.”
Tammy Snyder Murphy, New Jersey’s first lady and
distinguished honoree, shared her deep personal con-
nection with the Jewish community and the special
significance of receiving an honorary degree from the
Rabbinical College of America. “This is an award I do
not take lightly and will forever cherish,” she said. “My Eden M.
late father was Jewish and would be very proud.” Touro MSW ‘20
Erwin Fisch, a Holocaust survivor, the chair of the Career goal: working
RCA board, and Zygi Wilf’s uncle, led a tribute called with the elderly
“A Story of Jewish Triumph.” “After enduring the
unspeakable horror of the Holocaust, Harry and Joe
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Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 15
Cover Story
Unchained at Last
New Jersey group fighting child and forced marriages
wins top prize in Mahwah from Berrie Foundation
Joanne Palmer that some people, many people, will be It was the work toward which her scenario you’d be 22 and still single.

M
tested in that terrible way — but it is easy entire life has directed her. Some of the people I knew married as
aybe it’s possible to know to know that you are in the presence of Ms. Reiss, 44, was born into “an early as 14.
how a baby will react to a fighter. You can see it. You can feel it. ultra-Orthodox community in Kensing- “It was horrific. In high school” — the
adversity as she grows up. The presence of the will to justice can ton, in Brooklyn, right outside Borough Yeshiva of Brooklyn — “in tenth grade,
Maybe there’s some way fill a room. Park, where the families that can’t afford at 15, girls could get engaged and they’d
to know who will give in, who will give Fraidy Reiss is such a person. Borough Park live,” she said. Her family drop out, and we’d have a big party for
up, who will adjust, who will stop car- She is the founder and director of was extremely poor. And it was mixed — them.”
ing, who will be able to make incremen- Unchained at Last, a New Jersey-based her father’s family was Litvish and her In her world, young women would be
tal changes. nonprofit that helps people — mainly mother’s were Karliner chasidim. (And introduced to their potential husbands
Or who will fight back, who will but not exclusively girls and women, as yes, that was a little dark joke.) and had very little choice but to accept
escape, who will be impassioned and she will explain — escape from forced And her father was unstable and phys- them, although that of course varied by
enraged by injustice and will fight for marriages. The groups also advocate the ically abusive. And that was not at all a family and by the family’s situation and
others as she did for herself. And black abolishment of child marriage, a fight joke. prospects. “I came from a very poor
humor might also be part of that fight, that must be pursued on the state level. The community’s not at all mono- family. My parents were divorced” —
and it might surface in surprising ways. Earlier this month, Ms. Reiss won the lithic, she said, but in her part of it, eventually her father’s abuse was too
It’s hard to know who will turn out in 2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference “everyone’s marriage was arranged in much, and her mother took her children
what way — and hard to accept the fact award for her work. their teens or early 20s; in the worst-case back to her own parents’ house — “and
16 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-17

Cover Story

In Massachusetts, at left, and in Westfield, above, women dress in bridal gowns at chain-ins as they advocate for an end to child marriage. Last June, Governor
Phil Murphy signed a bill outlawing it in New Jersey; it’s still legal in Massachusetts.

that was very unusual. There was a girl


at school whose parents wouldn’t let her
talk to me because of it.”
So although other young women had at I was not a
least some choice, “it was ‘You marry this
guy or be single for the rest of your life.’” catch at all.
But first the guy had to be found.
“I was not a catch at all. Your marriage
Your marriage
prospects are contingent on your family. prospects are
You want parents who are married, and
ideally no one in your family should have
contingent on
cancer or mental illness or have died in a your family.
car accident.” What? A car accident isn’t
genetic or inheritable, so even by that And her sister-in-law did marry
sad logic, why? “Because God is pun- her brother, who like Ms. Reiss was
ishing your family,” Ms. Reiss explained. from a poor family with divorced
“Any tragedy is a mark against you. parents. Being a catch is relative.
“So I could marry only into a family There wasn’t much hope for Ms.
with its own problems.” Reiss, though. “I was a loudmouth,”
There are some ways around that she said. It was not a desirable trait.
problem, she added. “My older brother Ms. Reiss was matched to a young
married a girl from a very poor fam- man she did not know, they had a
ily but she graduated at the top of her few dates, always in public, and of
class at the Yeshiva of Brooklyn, and she course she agreed to the proposal.
also was an excellent cook and baker There were little danger signals — he
and seamstress, so it was likely that got into fistfights with strangers in At Ramapo College in Mahwah a few weeks ago, Fraidy Reiss, the founder and
she would make a really good wife and the street — but nothing that put her director of Unchained at Last, holds the Russ Berrie Making a Difference award.
mother. She was a little more of a catch off. He never hit her, then or later. She’s flanked by Ramapo’s president, Peter P. Mercer, and Angelica Berrie, presi-
than I was.” He would punch walls, he would dent of the Russell Berrie Foundation.
Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 17
JS-18

Cover Story

drive erratically and dangerously, he rebelled,” Ms. Reiss said. She asked
would threaten, he would demean and her gynecologist for birth control,
belittle and insult and terrorize, but he and got it. “My husband dragged
never hit her. me to the rabbi, and he said ‘You
Two months after she was married — can’t do that.’ I had never heard the
and a week after her husband punched terms reproductive rights or bodily
his fist through a wall and she realized autonomy, but I said to him ‘This is
that she’d made a very big mistake — she my body, not yours.’ And the rabbi
was pregnant. “It was a hellish preg- said that I could use birth control
nancy,” she said. “I was 20, and I had for a year. And I said that I would
morning sickness, but it wasn’t just morn- use it for a year and then another
ing. It was all the time. year and then after that.
“My doctor tried everything. At a certain “I have no idea what gave me the
point I had to be hospitalized for dehydra- courage to do that.”
tion. When I got out, the discharge papers Still, three years later she had
showed that I weighed 82 pounds. I could another baby. “When my older
barely walk, and I just kept vomiting. I daughter was two I sent her to a
couldn’t get to the bathroom, so when play group,” Ms. Reiss said. “There
my husband would leave to go to work I were about 15 or 20 2-year-olds in
would vomit over the side of the bed. If we the group, and she was the only
wanted to get out of the house, he would Ms. Reiss speaks in Union Square in Manhattan.  SUSAN LANDMANN one without a younger sibling. I
have to carry me to the car.” was on tehillim lists. People were
Clearly this was no one’s fault. It had nothing to do kidney,” the specialist told her. “Right away.” She was praying for me. There was a lot of pressure. So I caved.”
with the community she lived in, or her relationship to galvanized into going for a second opinion, and the sec- At least one thing was better, though, she said. “The
it. But it taught her something vital. ond doctor told her that her kidney was fine, although pregnancy was a lot easier.”
Her OB/GYN — “the same one who did my virginity there was a great deal of fluid in it. She’d be fine. The Looking back, she said, “I know that I grew up
test,” she said — did a regular fetal ultrasound, discov- baby was fine. without any reproductive rights, I was forced to have
ered that Ms. Reiss’s kidney had swollen hugely, and In fact, her daughter was fine. She was born at 8.5 a child, I was told I couldn’t use birth control, I had
sent her to a specialist. “We’ll have to remove your ounces. But “because the pregnancy was so hellish, I to fight for my own rights.” She does not want that to

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Jewish Standard
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1-1-2019.indd 1 1/7/2019 11:59:34 AM
JS-19

Cover Story

happen to anyone else. one but is free to make her own choices. them,” she said. “And there also are people who are traf-
So there she was, trapped in a loveless marriage “We do both direct services and advocacy,” Ms. Reiss ficked here to be married.” Unchained at Last works with
to an abusive husband and with every expectation said. “Our biggest focus is for ending forced marriage those people.
that she would continue to bear his children. And at any age. We help women and girls and others escape Although forced marriage harms more people than
to make it worse, “I had no financial rights,” Ms. from forced marriages, whether it is a marriage that is child marriage does, it is easier to come up with a legis-
Reiss said. “I would be allowed to get a job only if being planned or if it’s already happened. We provide lative fix to that problem, so Unchained at Last has been
my husband approved it, and I could have my own social services and emotional support to help people get working on it. “In the United States, 248,000 children
money and bank account only if he allowed it. And out of traumatic situations and to start their lives.” were legally married between 2000 and 2010,” she said;
the third part of this trifecta from hell is the limited These services include not only psychological support she’s defining those marriages as having “one or both par-
rights to divorce.” (According to Jewish law, only but physical things, objects, even funding, as well. What- ties under the age of 18.
men can give divorces. Women cannot do that. ever forced marriage survivors need to start new lives, “You don’t become a legal adult in any state before you
They are at their husbands’ mercy.) Unchained at Last gives them. turn 18, and that’s important because you can’t initiate
(It also seems important to say here that despite All the services that Unchained at Last provides are a divorce or run away from home, because if the police
the circumstances of their birth, Ms. Reiss and her free, Ms. Reiss added. She’s developed skills not only as a catch you they will take you back home. Domestic vio-
daughters love each other and respect each other. reporter and then as an investigator — a useful skill given lence shelters can’t take you, so they will send you away
Loveless marriages do not necessarily produce her field — she’s also become an extraordinary fundraiser. or they will call the police and the police will take you
unloved children. Here, it clearly did not.) Some of the people to whom Unchained at Last’s ser- back home.
Ms. Reiss felt trapped. “There was no way out, vices are given might be surprising, until you think it “You can’t marry legally before you are 18,” she con-
no way for me to feed myself and my kids. The through carefully. Although by far most of the people tinued. Either a parent or the judge must consent to
best I could hope for was to become an agunah,” forced to marry are girls and women, sometimes LGBT it; in many states, if a parents wants to have the child
a chained woman, someone tied to a man whom people also are forced into marriage, most often by their get married, “the parental consent form can be signed
she does not want and who does not want her. “A parents. “That turns it into a trauma for generations of even if the child is crying. The clerk has no choice.”
pariah,” she said. people whose lives have been torn apart,” she said. Sometimes consent must come from the judge, who
“I constantly hoped to die,” she said. “I thought Her group’s work focuses on the United States, “but meets with the child, generally in the presence of the
that I was trapped there forever. And I was so sometimes parents take their children overseas to marry adult, and asks if the child wants to be married. “In every
young.”
And then things changed.
No, to be accurate, and then Ms. Reiss made
things change.
She, her husband, and their children had moved
from Brooklyn to Lakewood in 2001. “At 27, I finally
decided to get the hell out, before he killed me or
my daughters,” she said.
She did it incrementally.
The thing that helped her, the rope, the life-
line, the engine, the heart, the soul, the exit that
gave her a new life, was education, she said. She
started at community college and then, at 32, she
graduated from Rutgers. It was during that time
that she left her marriage formally, and she also left
the community she grew up in. In fact, she left the
entire Jewish community. She stopped wearing a
sheitel, stopped keeping kosher, stopped talking to
her family. (Really, they stopped talking to her.)
She majored in journalism and got a job at the
Asbury Park Press. “I didn’t get much of a salary,
but I had enough so that I could change the locks on
the house and get a divorce,” she said. “That’s why
they’re so afraid to let women get an education.”
She and her husband had never been rich, but
her husband worked in construction, and they’d
become more comfortable than she’d been as a
child. They owned a house. “So I was able to sell
the house, and I bought my own tiny little house, a
little Cape Cod. I call it the Palais de Triumphe, the
world’s smallest palace.
“I was the first woman in my family to buy her
own house.”
The memory of her own struggles and her fierce
desire to protect other people from the pain she had
endured led Ms. Reiss to create Unchained at Last in
2011. Even its name reflects Ms. Reiss’s background;
understanding that forced marriages and child mar-
riages happen in a wide range of cultures and sub-
cultures, often but not always in insular religious
communities, Unchained at Last gladly worked with
everyone. Ms. Reiss has learned a lot about other
cultures. But the word unchained comes directly
from the Jewish tradition. An unchained woman is
no longer an agunah; she is bound helplessly to no
Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 19
JS-20

Cover Story

single case I’ve heard of, the child has lied to the judge,”
Ms. Reiss said. “Because they’re thinking about what
would happen to them when they got back home.
“Children are completely disempowered throughout
this whole thing.”
Only two states do not allow anyone under 18 to get
married. The first of those states is Delaware, and the
other — ta da! — is New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy
signed that into law last June, after a lot of hard work
from Fraidy Reiss and Unchained at Last. She takes
many approaches — she lobbies and studies and pro-
poses legal changes. She also leads rallies and demon-
strations. The chain-ins she’s organized feature women,
often in wedding gowns, some with their mouths taped;
the symbolism of those groups of women is startling.
As Ms. Reiss’s organization started to become more
visible — she’s been the subject of stories in the New
York Times, NPR, and the BBC, among many other
outlets — she’s started to get attention from founda-
tions and their donors as well. She’s built a board for
Unchained, and its members are philanthropic and
know other philanthropists. Fraidy Reiss and other protestors tape their mouths and bind their hands in solidarity with the chained
That’s how she came to the attention of the board of women who are rendered voiceless. Here they demonstrate in Newark.
the Russ Berrie Making a Difference award.
Angelica Berrie of Englewood is a philanthropist; the her issue,” Ms. Berrie said. “The award is about mak- And it’s a surprising one. “We haven’t had anybody
Making a Difference award is given in the name of her ing a difference based on your personal motivation. in that field, working on that issue, in the 23 years that
late husband, Russ Berrie. (He was and she still is active Who you are, what you are, how you give all are tied we’ve been giving that award.”
in the local Jewish community.) together. Everyone comes from a different place. She focused on ending child marriages. “There are
“Fraidy’s personal story is key to how we talk about “Hers is a unique point of view.” 48 states where it’s legal!” she said. “We think of that

Burn victims of the problem is psychological,” he said. Even with


from page 11 the physical handicaps that must be overcome, the
unconstrained by what managed care has brought psychological component is pivotal. “How do you
about. My older brother was an orthopedic surgeon. get burn victims to reintegrate, accept their physical
I was surrounded by medicine as I grew up in a home condition, and not buy into what everyone is saying —
attached to my dad’s office. ‘You’re a burned, scarred kid. We’ll stare at you, bully
“One of the more curious coincidences is that as a you, make you miserable.’”
child, Dad was on the medical staff of Holy Name Hos- Parents also may be part of the problem, overpro-
pital,” a position he held for 40 years. “I spent a lot of tecting and sheltering their children, which isolates
time in the doctor’s waiting room and other places at them even further. Mr. Davis addresses parents before
Holy Name. It was a great feeling when I joined forces every camp session; during Camp Sababa’s 10th anni-
with Holy Name to help burn survivors in Haiti.” versary, he had them come to camp. “I would love
Mr. Davis has worked closely with the hospital in to have a day for family members,” he said. “They
the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. While Holy would be ecstatic to see how different their children
Name continues to send doctors there, “we were able are at camp.”
to deliver 50 tons of medical supplies because of our In an average year, Mr. Davis visits Israel two or
working alliance with Royal Caribbean. The cruise three times, Haiti once or twice, Brazil once, and
ships were a flotilla of medical supplies.” India once. As more I-PEARLS satellites are added,
He said that while the earthquake ruptured gas lines he said, he will have to travel more. He has taken his
and took down electrical wires, and therefore caused children to many of the locations he visits; when she
fires, even more pediatric casualties were the result was 18, his daughter Alana, now studying for her mas-
of the traditional cooking devices called “rechauds,” ter’s of public health at Columbia University, helped
which badly scalded hundreds of kids with boiling oil Visiting burn surgeons Jeremy Goverman of Mass him get things organized in Haiti.
or water. Rechauds are charcoal-fired hibachis that General/Shriners and Josef Haik, director of the Over the last 10 years, Burn Advocates also has
sit on stilts about two to three feet high. “The trem- National Burn Center at Sheba, examine a camper sponsored seven burn surgeons, “mostly post-grads
ors launched their cauldrons into the air, burning who hopes to get laser treatment. or those in their first year out of surgical residency, to
children within a perimeter of several meters around attend American Burn Association meetings and visit
them,” he said. The burn center in Port Au Prince was an I-PEARLS satellite in that country. Holy Name is burn centers to shadow the doctors there,” Mr. Davis
out of commission, so people traveled north to the returning the courtesy by shipping the lasers. said. “These enlightened residents will play a major
city of Milot, to Sacre Coeur Hospital, which had set How has one person managed to accomplish all role in running the laser centers we hope to open this
up many tents to act as surgical facilities to accom- that Mr. Davis has created? “The doors just kept year in Haiti.
modate this medical migration. That hospital — which opening,” he said. “Opportunities to relieve chil- “Our message is simple: Burn camps elevate the
Davis describes as one of the best run in Haiti — is a dren’s suffering just fell into place. Our partners spirit, lasers heal the scars. There are many more
project overseen and supported by Holy Name. like Sheba and volunteers from Schneiders are very countries whose suffering children we can help.”
Mr. Davis arranged for the shipment of the first committed to rescuing children in distress.” Burn Advocates Network is funded through private
oxygen generator to North Haiti, which was essential Still, he noted that most nations have not come donations and fundraising events. For more informa-
for surgery. He has begun the process of establishing to grips with the truth about burns. “Eighty percent tion, go to burnadvocates.org or ipearls.org.
20 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-21

Cover Story
Sandi M. Malkin, LL C
as happening in Arab countries, where children are
betrothed. We think of Jerry Lee Lewis, marrying his
Interior Designer
13-year-old cousin. It’s not something that you think
of as happening here.
(former interior designer of model
“Now that we have an awareness of the issue, we rooms for NY’s #1 Dept. Store)
have to do whatever we can in those 48 states. It’s a
great compelling need, and awareness is the first step.
“The Bible says that we have to take care of the For a totally new look using
most vulnerable among us, the widows and the
orphans,” she added. “These girls and women are your furniture or starting anew.
among the most vulnerable. And we think that we’re
so civilized!”
The Making a Difference award is presented at
Staging also available
Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah. The board
gave 10 awards this year. They come with money,
973-535-9192
because the winners all are people doing hard and
important work. The awards are meant to honor
them, and also to enable them to continue their work

S U M M E R
with even greater vigor.
Of the 10 awards given at Ramapo this year, seven
came with a gift of $7,500, two with $25,000, and the
last with $50,000.
Fraidy Reiss had no idea which award she’d be get-
ting. “They let you know that you won, but until you
show up, you don’t know what you’ve won.
“The morning of the awards I had just come back
from a trip to Nevada. We are working on legislation
there. I had a layover in Dallas, and I ate something
there that was not good for me. I was violently ill. But
I had this award.
“My assumption was that I had won one of the
$7,500 prizes, so would anyone notice if I weren’t
there? But I thought about it, and I realized that it’s
not right to do that.
“So I went, and I put on a red dress because I
thought that it would give me some color, and it was
a really big crowd, and I am like ‘I hope that they call
my name soon.’ I really didn’t feel good. And they got
through the first seven people, the $7,500 awards,
and they don’t call me.
“And then they don’t call me for the first $25,000,
and they start calling the second name, and I push
my chair back, getting ready to get up for it, and then
they call someone else.
“And I look at my friend, and and I say ‘Was this a
mistake, or did I just win $50,000?’ I thought it was
a mistake. But I go on stage, and they show a video
they shot — and even their shooting the video didn’t
tip me off — so I go on stage, and someone says ‘Why
don’t you stand next to me?’ And I say, ‘If you don’t Now, the finest Italian suits, sport jackets, pants, shirts, polos,
mind, I will sit.
“And by the way, if anyone is listening, don’t eat ties, accessories & shoes can be purchased at tremendous savings!
the Oriental chicken salad at the airport in Dallas. But
if you’re going to do it, try to go to an awards cere- Visit the
mony the next day and win a lot of money.”
Ms. Reiss knows that she and Unchained at Last
Boy’s Store
won’t waste that money. at Emporio
Angelica Berrie knows that too. She also knows
that Fraidy Reiss’s power comes in part from her
story, and that being able to tell it liberates and pro-
pels her, and that she can use it for good.
“Being a woman means having to fight for your
rights every single step of the way,” Ms. Berrie said.
“That’s why these stories are important.
“Fierce, fearless girls who become politically
involved, who grow into leaders, who defend what
is fair — those are the coming-of-age stories we need.
From childhood and adolescence, we need stories BORO PARK: 5020 13TH AVENUE, 718.972.4665 | FLATBUSH: 1505 CONEY ISLAND AVE. 718.676.7706 | LONG ISLAND: 467 CENTRAL AVENUE, 516.295.5006
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us take our power back.”
Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 21
Jewish World

This British university provides


an island of tolerance for Jewish
students amid rising anti-Semitism
CNAAN LIPHSHIZ two-thirds said they had been targeted on campus
because of their faith. “It was a worrying time for Jew-
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND — Before arriving at this ish students across the country. I was certainly wor-
British city’s university, James Harris thought that he ried,” Harris said of 2017.
probably was in store for some anti-Semitic abuse Then Harris visited the University of Birmingham,
during his academic studies. an institution whose vibrant Jewish community has
A Zionist from a traditional Jewish home in Lon- swelled in recent years to about 1,500 members,
don, Harris said his university hunt in 2017 was his many of whom jokingly call it a “Jewniversity.”
first foray outside the Jewish education system. And it With campuses in London, Oxford, and beyond
happened to be in a year when campus anti-Semitism becoming increasingly inhospitable to Jews, Birming-
climbed to unprecedented heights in the United King- ham’s university has seen its Jewish population soar so
dom, according to observers. dramatically over the past decade that the Jewish stu-
Amid anti-Semitism scandals in Labour — a party dent body now outnumbers the centuries-old Jewish
with a 68 percent approval rating on British campuses community in the United Kingdom’s second largest city.
— that year kicked off with an ardent anti-Zionist, “I’d say many Jews come here because the Jewish
Malia Bouattia, presiding over the United Kingdom’s scene is so active and because it’s a less politicized uni-
National Union of Students. versity than some of the ones in London,” Harris, the
Her remarks about “Zionist-led media” and “Zion- former president of the Jewish Society of Birmingham
ist strongholds” in British academia spurred Jewish University, said of the institution. “It tends to draw
groups for the first time to leave the organization in more Jews in.”
protest of what they termed anti-Semitic hate speech. Around campus, Harris and others often wear
In a 2017 survey of 485 Jewish students in England, a sweatshirt of their Jewish society, called JSOC in

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22 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019


Jewish World

EDUCATION IMAGES/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES


You
Deserve
an
Unforgettable
The library and grounds of the University of Birmingham, England.

campus jargon and pronounced “jay in the United Kingdom. The others
sock.” It’s emblazoned with a Star of
David — often an invitation for abuse
on campuses throughout the U.K.
have closed down, one after the other,
in recent years, in what some com-
munity leaders fear reflects growing
Ketubah
Sipping a latte at the busy univer- assimilation.
sity branch of Starbucks, Harris said Birmingham University’s Hillel cen-
he has never encountered anti-Semitic ter is by far the largest in Britain, with
abuse wearing the shirt in his three about 40 residents year round. Situ-
years studying political science at Bir- ated fairly far off a road, the red-brick
mingham U. To Harris, this safety is building’s facade is partially covered by
partly rooted, paradoxically perhaps, climbing plants. On misty days it looks
in the high visibility of Jews on cam- like an old English estate.
pus. Elsewhere in Europe and beyond, Inside, a ping-pong table in the main
some Jewish students try to keep a low hall, prayer books, and empty vodka
profile to stay safe. The problem with bottles that serve as candlesticks for
doing that is that “eventually people Shabbat attest to a slightly less formal
don’t recognize you as a force to be code of conduct than those of a 19th
reckoned with,” Harris said. century manor. The place is particularly Rich Traditions for The Modern Era
Jewish life at the University of Bir- famous for its loud and alcohol-rich
mingham is not low profile. Purim parties, which go on till morning
Birmingham JSOC, the largest in Brit- and attract a non-Jewish following.
At Timeless Ketubah, we create unique
ain, holds weekly Friday night dinners, The Hillel House isn’t the only option sculptural and wood engraved ketubah designs,
or FNDs, that often attract more than for observant Jewish students. The with text customized to your preferences.
200 people. There are three student-fo- university offers first-year students
cused rabbis on campus as well as sev- so-called kosher flats — essentially
Each personalized ketubah is hand-crafted
eral rabbis who work in the city. housing for those who want to live with by artist David Master.
The local Hillel House is one of only a Jews. Many of the students who sign
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Rabbi Fishel Cohen stands with Jewish students at a Chanukah candle-
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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 23
Jewish World

973-435-0747
swapping their campus-provided accom- Josh Halima, a 19-year-old law student. He campus. “There is just so much Jewish In Birmingham, by contrast, Regev’s
modation for a property they rent on the met most of his current Jewish flatmates community life here that it covers the address before Harris’ Jewish Society
affordably priced housing market. — four women and four men — at a kosher full range of life,” Halima said, noting was attended by a pro-Israel vice chan-
It’s why “there are hundreds of Jews apartment. Most students live in Selly the Hillel and Maccabbi sports clubs cellor of the university, Robin Mason
within a 5-minute radius of here,” said Oak, a slightly seedy neighborhood near and a kosher shop with fresh meat in — a rare show of legitimacy in British
the Central Synagogue of Birmingham academia for the Jewish state. “The
— quite the rare amenity for students message it sent is that Jewish and Zion-
outside Manchester and London. ist students should not need to fear or
And Birmingham has other advan- hide on campus,” Harris said.
Our truck-mounted cleaning systems deep clean your carpets tages over the capital, Halima added. Bouattia, the former president of
and upholstery to remove embedded dirt and stains. Your “There are clear examples of anti-Sem- the National Union of Students, also
carpet will look bright and new. Most importantly, we remove itism constantly happening in London has taken note of the differences at
hidden pollutants, allergens and bacteria from your carpet, and its campuses. The anti-Israel scene the University of Birmingham. “The
improving the air you and your family breathe. is disgusting. I wouldn’t feel comfort- University of Birmingham is some-
able there,” he said. thing of a Zionist outpost in British
Then there’s the fact that housing Higher Education,” she wrote in an
in Birmingham costs about half what op-ed in 2011. “It also has the largest
FREE it does in London, and other expenses JSOC in the country whose leadership

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That year, she noted, the Students’
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cleaning, if scheduled by Jewish and Zionist students, Harris ham adopted the European Union’s
June 30, 2019! said. That’s in stark contrast to other “ominous” definition of anti-Semi-
campuses, where the arrival of Israeli tism, as she termed it.
or pro-Israel speakers is made impos- When pro-Israel speakers are
sible. City University London allegedly allowed to speak on U.K. campuses,
G&D torpedoed a plan by Jewish students to they are blocked sometimes from

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Jewish World

Hen Mazzig, an Israeli activist for the of subsidizing many fertilization pro- Still, even outside Birmingham, Birmingham, which used to be one of
rights of Jews who fled Arab countries, cedures for all its citizens is “primarily “broadly speaking, the vast majority of the country’s largest but now has about
tried and failed to deliver a lecture. At aimed to serve the reproductive rights of Jewish students are having a positive 1,000 members. (At the local Jewish
Oxford University in 2010, a student its Jewish population at the expense of experience at university,” Harris said, school, about 80 percent of the students
shouted “slaughter the Jews” during an the indigenous Palestinian population.” despite the occurrence of incidents. are non-Jews, most of them from Muslim
address by Israel’s then deputy foreign At the University of Leeds, in March “There has been a massive increase in families.)
minister, Danny Ayalon. the student government voted against the number of Jews coming to study here The students help with assembling a
Last year, the Chabad Student Centre a motion calling on the British institu- over the past decade, five years even,” minyan. “Getting it sometimes is a strug-
at Oxford was targeted twice by van- tion to adopt the International Holo- said Rabbi Fishel Cohen, a Chabad rabbi gle,” said Sybil Prais, 56, who often orga-
dals who left threatening notes, started caust Remembrance Alliance definition who has worked as a chaplain at the Uni- nizes Shabbat meals for students and
a fire outside, and doused it with white of anti-Semitism. In February, a student versity of Birmingham for more than 30 other congregants at Central Synagogue,
powder. government association at Oxford’s years. That has been a welcome devel- one of Birmingham’s four Jewish houses
In addition to heckling and vandalism, Somerville College passed a nonbinding opment for the Jewish community in the of worship.
in recent years Jews say they have been motion to effectively ban all halal and city of Birmingham — a graying congre- But beyond that, the students “are
made to feel institutionally unwelcome kosher meat. gation that is one of Europe’s friendliest. more or less the only young people in
on some British campuses. Bouattia was not re-elected as presi- (“If you’re a stranger and you come to the congregation,” said Prais, whose two
Last year, the University of Warwick dent of the National Union of Students, our shul, you will be approached and daughters live in London and Leeds.
hosted a public lecture; several Jews and her single term ended in 2017. But invited to lunch,” David Benson, 68, said “The students bring their enthusiasm,
allegedly were screened and barred anti-Semitic abuse has continued and about his Central Synagogue.) there’s always chatting at shul. It’s just
from entry. A King’s College London arguable worsened on British campuses This outreach has paid off for the much livelier with them.”
researcher argued that Israel’s policy and beyond. dwindling Jewish communit y of JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY

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26 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
Jewish World One stop for all your
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Alabama Jews confront Devorah T. Schatz
restrictive abortion law Pediatric Speech & Language Pathologist
Certified Reading Instructor
Speaking • Understanding • Reading
JOSEFIN DOLSTEN signed the bill into law last week, is a Speech & Language Delays
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Early on Friday mornings, Diane Weil tist Church. She invoked her religious
leaves her house in Montgomery, Ala- beliefs in explaining her decision to Call Today!
bama, with an umbrella. The 64-year- sign the legislation. She called it a 201-657-2648 • schatzsllc@gmail.com
old registered nurse doesn’t need it to “powerful testament to Alabamians’
shield her from the rain. Instead she deeply held belief that every life is pre-
uses it to block patients from protesters cious and that every life is a sacred gift
who come to the health clinic where from God.”
she has been volunteering every week A number of national Jewish orga-
since September. nizations, including the Jewish Coun-
Reproductive Health Services is the cil for Public Affairs, the Conservative
only clinic in the city, and one of only movement’s Rabbinical Assembly,
three in the state, that performs abor- the Reform movement’s Central Con-
tions. Weil escorts patients who come ference of American Rabbis, Jewish
from around Alabama and nearby Women International, Hadassah, the
states on Fridays, the day when pro- National Council of Jewish Women,
cedures are done. She and a group of and the Jewish Democratic Council
about 10 volunteers use the umbrellas of America have condemned the law.
and play music to shield the women The Anti-Defamation League criti-
from 10 or so protesters who show up cized the bill before it was passed for
every week to yell at the women. Pro- language comparing abortion to the
testers also set up a van near the clinic Holocaust.
offering ultrasounds, trying to dissuade A. Eric Johnston, an attorney who
women from ending their pregnancies. heads the state’s Pro-Life Coalition
“They’re hateful,” Weil said. “One of and wrote the bills, defended the
the things that I remember, the first Fri- comparison. “Nobody has a corner
day after January 1st, I was there and on being offended just because their
they were screaming, ‘Don’t be the first
one to murder your baby this year.’”
people were killed,” Johnston told CBS
News. “It’s offensive to say that [this
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Last week, Alabama’s governor bill] is offensive.”
signed a near-total ban on abortion Alabama’s largest synagogue, Temple
into law. The law, which goes into Emanu-El, is in Birmingham, where the
effect in six months, bans abortion majority of the state’s approximately
in all cases except to prevent serious 10,000 Jews live. The synagogue counts
health risk to the mother. It sets up around 600 families and most are pro-
a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 gressive, especially on social issues,
landmark case that guarantees a wom- according to Cantor Jessica Roskin.
an’s right to an abortion until the end “We as Reform Jews believe very
of the second trimester. (Because of strongly in the concept of social jus-
the federal legislation, the Alabama tice,” Roskin said. “I think what people
law — along with stringent abortion get so confused about is this really to us
laws recently enacted in other states — isn’t a political issue, it’s a human issue.
almost surely will be held up in court.) This is about human beings and their
Weil, who works at an HIV clinic, said bodies and their privacy.”
her reaction to the new law was one of Weil, too, cited her Reform Jewish
“horror and disgust. It’s so disappoint- identity in explaining why the issue ••Farm
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horrified that people want to control that Reform Judaism has tremendously International
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It’s none of their business,” she said. lot of things, but definitely social justice
Like many Jews in the state, Weil is issues and things like right to abortion,”
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teered for the campaign of Represen- On Friday, she again will head to the
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Thursdays
Open
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Every
EveryThursday
Thursday
Thursday
June
June
June4th
4th
4thto
to
toOctober
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narrowly won a Senate election over volunteers, but last week there were June through October
From
From
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Republican Roy Moore. Her rabbi, Scott several new people, she said. The new Noon
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Permitting
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Looper, who leads Temple Beth Or in law, she said, “has woken people up.” Located
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140-family strong Reform congregation gives her “immediate gratification.” Tune
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inin
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listen Follow
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usus
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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 27


Editorial
E pluribus unum
KEEPING THE FAITH

Celebrate Shavuot,
I then proclaim liberty
spent Memor i al Day veterans of World War II, Korea,
in Metuchen, a small, Vietnam, and everything else that

throughout the land


improbably idyllic Central followed.
Jersey town. And it was everyone.
It’s a walkable town with There were babies pulled

M
houses of different sizes, dating in wagons, and babies sitting
from different periods, of dif- on what must have been their emorial Day is behind us and July This preoccupation carried through to this
ferent colors and shapes, with great-grandparents’ laps as 4th arrives in less than five weeks. nation’s Founding Fathers, many of whom were
well — but not intimidatingly well they stared out at us with those Both owe their meaning to the proficient in Hebrew, including James Madison,
— maintained gardens, huge old little-kid stares. There were Torah, the giving of which we cel- our fourth president and “the father of the Con-
leafy trees that distort the slate white people and black peo- ebrate on Shavuot, beginning Saturday night. stitution.” As Dr. John Woodland Welch, writing
sidewalks that only sort of cover ple, Christians and Muslims and The three are inextricably linked, but the link in the Brigham Young University Law Review,
them (some homeowners have Jews, Southeast Asians and Indi- between the two secular observances and the noted: The Torah’s laws were “nothing short
given up and replaced the slate ans, men and women, girls and Torah is being eroded. of the underlying fabric upon which American
with cement, but that bulges boys. The teenagers in the ROTC That such a link exists is visibly displayed society was founded…. [T]he profound influ-
too), bright flowerbeds, and a groups were particularly strik- on that enduring symbol of this nation’s birth, ence of biblical law on early American colonial
small, interesting downtown with ing. We had time to look at them the Liberty Bell, on which are law is obvious to those who have
only local stores and no empty as they did their drill routines, engraved words taken straight studied seventeenth century law
storefronts. and we saw that they both rep- out of last week’s Torah portion, in America…. This utilization
It’s got a colonial-era cemetery resented everyone and melded Parashat B’har: “Proclaim liberty of biblical law was not a passing
right on Main Street, with very entirely into one unit. throughout the land, unto all the fancy in colonial America.”
old graves, some of them no lon- There were the reminders of inhabitants thereof.” That words taken from last
ger legible, others a fascinating September 11 that reduced many On Memorial Day, we recalled week’s parashah are engraved on
look into relationships both with of us to tears — but then I already (or should have recalled) the the Liberty Bell, therefore, is no
people and with objects. We see was a puddle from the emotion, 1.3 million people who died in accident.
the relationships, the tragedies and from the earnestness, and service to this country — and to And yet, do we still hold true
of small children struck down from the vast diversity in this one those words — from 1776 until this Shammai here in this country to those val-
and the miracles of unexpectedly small town. year. To borrow a phrase from Engelmayer ues and to that promise? The
long lives. We see how many of To look at these hopeful faces Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg evidence suggests that we do
the men buried there were Rev- — old and young faces, with fea- Address, they gave their “last full not. What follows are some of
olutionary War veterans. And tures from all over — was to measure of devotion” to defend what this nation the divergences; unfortunately, there are many
we see how precious stone and remember what it was that has was created to promote: freedom, liberty, and more.
workmanship must have been made America what it is, and to equality for all people. We will begin with immigration. On the Mon-
— all of the stones have carefully hope that some day we will over- This nation was founded on concepts virtu- day, May 20, for example, a 16-year-old boy
engraved lettering, and the let- come the mania that is affecting ally all of which came from the Torah and the named Carlos Hernandez Vásquez died while
ters all seem to be the same size, and dividing and enraging us now rest of the Bible, the Tanach. This is beyond dis- being held in U.S. custody because he sought to
but words break oddly. “Beloved and remember e pluribus unum. pute. As the philosopher and historian Hartley come here in search of the very freedoms we
Mo” on one line, and “ther and Out of many, one. Burr Alexander observed regarding the Puritans enjoy. He was the sixth child to die in custody in
wife” on the next, as if the mate- It’s easy to believe in that in his essay, “The Hebrew Contribution to the the last eight months. Until eight months ago, no
rial and the time were too pre- as you stand on Main Street in Americanism of the Future,” the Tanach, and would-be immigrant child held by U.S. authori-
cious to waste. Metuchen, in a postcard-perfect especially the Torah, “formed their minds and ties had died in more than a decade, and never
It’s a really old cemetery and a street on a postcard-perfect day. dominated their characters; its conceptions have so many died in so short a period of time.
really old town. But Main Street in Metuchen is were their conceptions.” Others who died include a 16-month-old child, a
On Memorial Day, Metuchen not Disney World. It’s not perfect, The Torah especially “colored all their activi- 2-year-old, a 7-year-old, and an 8-year-old. There
put on a parade, and we joined of course, and it doesn’t pretend ties,” according to the late NYU Professor Abra- may be even more, because we only learned of
the crowd to watch. to be — but it is real. ham Katsh. They “accepted biblical precepts the sixth death later that week. That sixth death,
The marchers were delegations So can the hope of a happier, and commandments literally and applied them of a 10-year-old girl, actually was the first; it went
of police officers and firefighters, kinder future be real. We just vigorously,” he wrote. unreported for eight months.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, ROTC have to work toward it. —JP
groups, local librarians, teachers, Shammai Engelmayer is rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel of the Palisades, now in Fort Lee.

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thejewishstandard.com Israeli Representative

28 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019


Opinion

So many of us in this country are


here because either we, or our par-
respect the privacy of others (see
Deuteronomy 24:11). It insists that Lo levad (you are not alone)
ents, or our grandparents, or our
great-grandparents came here hop-
we must take care of the poor (see,
for example, Deuteronomy 15:11) is easier said than done

W
ing to share in its promise of liberty, and the elderly (see, for exam-
equality, and freedom. The more ple, Leviticus 19:32), and see to hen I think about my dad at well-being and happiness — keystones to nur-
than 1.3 million people who died in the good health of everyone (see, home through all the years of turing and sustaining good mental health.
the service of our nation since 1776 for example, Leviticus 13:2-4 and my growing up, I think of him Through meditative prayer, singing, text study,
died for that promise and those succeeding texts, and Leviticus as alone. And when I think and guided building of relationships, we prac-
values. Yet today, it seems, we not Rabbah 16:8.) The Torah insists about my mom through those same years, I ticed experiences that promote resilience.
only seek to deny that promise to that justice be truly blind, and that think of her as lonely. For example, we walked in silent meditation
others, but we are treating them in it be equally meted out. (See, for My dad, who was living with bipolar disor- from the daily chapel to the bima in the sanctu-
ways none of us would ever care to example, Leviticus 19:15.) Yet our der, spent months at a time inside our house, ary to receive Torah, a powerful re-enactment
be treated, and we are seeing chil- government seeks to water down often in his bed, almost always alone. My mom of Mount Sinai. Tradition tells us that everyone
dren die because of that treatment. privacy rights, eliminate programs went to work every day, and my brother and I received Torah in his or her own way. God does
The Torah tells us more than that aid the poor, and maintain a went to school. When we got home, there he not see anyone as broken, because everyone
50 times, for example, to treat justice system that is far from was, on the couch, watching television. is created in God’s image. And so we walked
the strangers in our midst as being even-handed — with limited I was a kid. It never occurred to me to won- together as a community, from the 4-year-old
we would want to be treated — objections from “we, the people.” der about how alone he was. He was my dad twins skipping to the 90-year-old couple walk-
that is way far more times than The Torah, beginning at the very — funny, smart, devoted to his family. Most of ing carefully, using their canes.
for any other law in the Torah. beginning (see Genesis 2:15), insists the time, he was also bitter, angry, and dark. Being together in a community where every-
(Laws relating to Shabbat obser- that we must protect our environ- Then would come the weeks of mania, when one is accepted as “just fine,” just the way they
vance, for example, appear only ment and our ecology. It insists, he was full of ideas, excitement, are, is a most powerful sustainer
nine times.) Four weeks ago, in very explicitly in so many ways, and risky behavior. of mental wellness. Everyone
Parashat K’doshim, not only that we must respect and care for In the 1950s and 1960s, no who was in our synagogue that
were we told to “love your fellow our animals as well. (See, for exam- one understood my father’s day felt this crucial teaching in
as yourself,” we also were told to ple, Exodus 20:10, 23:5 and 23:12, mood swings. My parents’ our very souls. But I wondered
“love [the stranger] as yourself.” Deuteronomy 22:4, 6-7, and 10.) Try friends wondered and perhaps about all of those people who
Regarding racial equality, the telling that to Congress, or to most pitied, but mostly they stayed needed such a Shabbat and
Torah makes no distinction voters on the right (on, not in). away. Those friends who tried could not be there.
between one person and another. On Memorial Day, we were sup- to help often were pushed away Over three Thursday eve-
All people are descended from posed to take a moment at 3 p.m. by my dad’s anger. My dad’s nings, Rabbi Craig Scheff taught
Adam’s son Seth. (See Genesis to remember those 1.3 million parents fretted that they had Rabbi Paula Torah and rabbinic texts that
5:3.) All people are equal in its martyrs to the cause of freedom, done something wrong to cause Mack Drill address Judaism’s understand-
eyes, and it wants all people to be equality, and liberty. But we also such brokenness. My mother’s ing of mental illness and well-
equal in our eyes. This is an even must do other things that are far parents urged her to leave my ness. One text that touched me
“greater principle of the Torah” more meaningful than standing for dad, and bring my brother and me to live in deeply is a discussion about Proverbs 12:25
than “love your neighbor,” accord- a moment of silence one day out their house. Instead, my mother stood by my that says: “If there is care in a man’s heart, let
ing to the sage Shimon Ben Azzai. of every year. First, on Shavuot, father, the love of her life. him quash it [yashhena].” In a talmudic debate,
(See the Jerusalem Talmud Trac- we need to study Torah, to see for She held him and us together. There were no Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi disagree about the
tate Nedarim 9:4.) This, too, is not ourselves what it says about life, support groups for her, synagogue was not a intention of that verse in Proverbs, based on
a value that resonates with a large liberty, and equality. safe place, and her friends were not equipped different pronunciations of the verb “quash.”
segment of our citizenry. Then, even before July 4th to understand. I wonder who possibly could “One said: He should forcefully push it out of
In another area, the Torah in so arrives, we need to shout out loud, have listened to her without judgment, even if his mind. And one said: It means he should tell
many ways seeks a level playing “Proclaim liberty throughout she could have articulated her sorrow and her others his concerns.” (Yoma 75a). Both rabbis’
field between men and women, the land, to ALL the inhabitants rage. She must have been very lonely. opinions can be interpreted as therapeutic in
but we still do not have a level thereof,” and then we must — all I thought a great deal about my parents their understanding of the destructive power
playing field, certainly not in of us must — work to make those throughout the month of May as we observed of dysfunctional, circular thinking. One rabbi
American life (and, sadly, not even words mean what they say. (This Mental Health Awareness Month. In syna- prescribes banishing the thoughts — I imagine
in Jewish life). We are still far away includes voting on Primary Day gogues and community centers throughout him using behavioral interventions to help his
from equal pay for equal work, for — this Tuesday — and on Election Rockland and Bergen counties, we experienced client stop the harmful loop — while the other
equal opportunities for men and Day.) For if we do not make those a wealth of opportunities to open our hearts, to rabbi prescribes talk therapy to lower the per-
women. The glass ceiling still is words mean what they say, July educate ourselves toward deep understanding, son’s anxiety. Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi have
pretty much intact. 4th will have lost its meaning, and and to empower us to be advocates. different methodologies, but they agree that
Then there are the various those 1.3 million martyrs whose At my synagogue, Orangetown Jewish Cen- the person suffering from disruptive thoughts
issues involving education. The memories we recalled on Monday ter, we dedicated a Shabbat to mental health. must deal with the matter.
Torah insists that all the people will have died for nothing. Our mental health committee (ojccares4U@ Everyone who participated in these study
— all men, all women, and all chil- To quote Lincoln again, “the gmail.com) planned a special day of prayer sessions came to understand that our tradi-
dren, and even to the strangers great task remaining before us [is] and learning designed to create feelings of tion has named and understood mental illness
within our gates — be taught what that from these honored dead we from ancient times. Rabbi Scheff’s teaching
it says. (See especially Deuteron- take increased devotion to that Paula Mack Drill is a rabbi at the Orangetown made clear that the wisdom of Judaism pro-
omy 31:11-12.) In other words, it is cause for which they gave the last Jewish Center in Orangeburg. She also has vides authority to combat the stigma of men-
the community’s job to see to it full measure of devotion — that we been a social worker at Daughters of Israel tal illness and a salve for its associated pain.
that everyone has an education, here highly resolve that these dead Geriatric Center and Golda Och Academy, But I wondered about all of those people who
and that the education be an shall not have died in vain — that both in West Orange, and the assistant director needed these classes and could not be there.
equal one for all. That, too, is not this nation, under God, shall have of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack. SEE LO LEVAD PAGE 33
something we seem to value here, a new birth of freedom, and that
at least not any more (assuming government of the people, by the The opinions expressed here are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the newspaper’s editors, publishers,
we ever did). people, for the people, shall not or other staffers.We welcome letters to the editor. Send them to jstandardletters@gmail.com.
The Torah insists that we must perish from the earth.”
JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 29
Opinion

Safety from gun violence should not be partisan

M
y 6-year-old daughter type of gun I preferred, and suggested experienced traumatic safety laws that are not
overheard me talking that I wear earmuffs to protect my ears. violence in their own lives. even being carried out.
about putting up orange I walked into the range, which was set If you fall into any of these But I am not interested
ribbons on the trees on up like a bowling alley, and shared a lane categories, I can appre- in having this debate.
our property. Orange is the color associ- with a friend. I did my best to aim at the ciate your desire to have Because, let’s be honest, we
ated with advocacy against gun violence. target, and although I can’t remember your Second Amendment need to fix all the above. We
“Why will you put up orange ribbons, how well I did, I do remember that firing rights protected. I am not need to radically organize,
Mommy?” the bullets made my arm ricochet back going after those rights. together. We need to think
My heart sank. towards my face. But I also hope that if out of the box. We need to
Shouldn’t my conversations with my I remember exactly what it felt like to you fall into that category Rabbi be determined. We need to
young children focus on sharing or using shoot that gun. Absolutely thrilling. of people, you will join Jennifer not accept the status quo.
manners or something elementary like And then I left the range. After I us at the table to protect Schlosberg The “we” is important,
that? How would I explain gun violence walked out the door, I realized that no your children and mine though. People of all faiths
to my young children without making one checked my identification, nor that from gun violence. That’s and creeds, races and pol-
them feel frightened? of my friends. I also realized that anyone because gun violence should not be a itics should unite around this issue to
“Orange is a color that we use to let in the range could have opened fire on partisan issue. protect our children. I would expect that
people know that we want a safe world,” any of us, since the guns were handed to We cannot debate the facts. According Jews, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and
I told her. “Some people do things that us without question. If I was in an unsafe to a study done by the Center for Disease Buddhists, people of all races and sexual
aren’t safe to others. Don’t you want a mental state, I could have caused harm Control and Prevention, nearly 40,000 orientations, and Democrats and Repub-
safe world, sweetie?” to others or to myself. As I drove home people in America died in 2018 from licans would be outraged when an act of
“Mommy, of course safety is import- from the range, I still had that thrilling gun violence. That is a record high. Our gun violence takes place and to mobilize
ant… So what’s for dinner?” feeling of firing a gun, but it combined country has not seen numbers like that to ensure that we, together, do something
Protection from gun violence is a with something else now. I felt unsafe. since 1968, more than 50 years ago. This to end gun violence. Please, for the safety
basic human right that even my children I suspect that is exactly what connects statistic does not even include the inju- of your children and mine, regardless of
understand, and certainly one that they me with my friends, family, and fellow ries. I will not wait until my child is one who you will vote for at the polls, come
deserve. Americans who own guns. I understand of those statistics, God forbid, and you together to figure out a plan to make our
Gun violence should not be a partisan that feeling of wanting to be protected should not wait either. I ask you to join country a safer place to live.
issue. — reasons why we might carry guns. I me at the table. I am proud that I live and serve as rabbi
I remember when I first fired a gun. I understand that thrilling feeling that We can debate the reasons behind in a town where there has been grass-
was in college and I went to a shooting comes along with firing a gun for rec- gun violence. We can blame the under- roots organizing around this issue. With
range with friends. As I approached the reational or gaming purposes. I even lying root of the cause, perhaps mental the support of my fellowship experience
checkout counter, the cashier asked me understand that carrying guns gives illness or some sort of hate crime. We with JOIN for Justice and our partnership
how many rounds I wanted and what someone a sense of control after they can point fingers at our existing gun with faith-based organizers at New Jersey

Josh Gottheimer: Bipartisanship in action

J osh Gottheimer is my representa-


tive in Congress. He is my friend.
He is a loving son, doting father,
loyal husband, and valued ally. He
is smart, kind, and indefatigable when it
and around the country.
We have seen this movie before. We
know that to make a different and better
ending, we must stand strong, together,
against haters, wherever they are, on either
though he is in only his sec-
ond term in Congress. He
works tirelessly for the
people of New Jersey’s 5th
District.
health care, fix our infra-
structure, and stand by our
veterans, seniors, and first
responders.
Josh always has an arm
comes to working for his constituents and side of the political spectrum. Let’s start with protect- outstretched across the aisle
their shared future. I believe that facts matter, especially in ing his constituents. Under to coordinate and collabo-
Sadly, Congressman Gottheimer has the face of propaganda and unsubstanti- Gottheimer’s influence, rate with fellow members
found himself in the crosshairs of extrem- ated claims. We are compelled to use our protection for all places of of Congress, regardless of
ists on both sides of the aisle. Like many voices to stand up against the oppressed worship has increased from Rabbi David- affiliation. Josh co-chairs the
others before him, he is being attacked for and the innocent, just as our Torah teaches. $500,000 to $1.75 million. Seth Kirshner bipartisan Problem Solver
his strong support for the historic U.S.-Is- Thus, allow me to share some unchal- Josh has held many town Caucus, which is founded
rael relationship — our alliance with the lenged facts about my congressional repre- hall meetings and sessions on sharing common denom-
only true democracy in the region, and sentative, Josh Gottheimer. with faith-based leaders to solicit their inators and working together to further our
one that is vital to America’s interests and Josh is first and foremost a family per- opinions and share the pulse of their com- country regardless of political affiliation.
national security. son. Nothing comes before his wife of 12 munity with Washington. Because of his leadership, Gottheimer was
Deploying age-old anti-Semitic tropes, years, Marla, and their two children. Josh Josh is a leader and rising star among ranked the eighth most bipartisan mem-
these new detractors are questioning holds two near-perfect attendance records, his fellow Democrats, who offer respect ber of the Congress. Eighth out of 435 is an
Gottheimer’s loyalty to our country and one for voting in Congress and the other for his tireless approach and bipartisan, impressive showing.
flogging him for his work against BDS and for dance recitals and little league games. results-oriented style. While proud of his Josh is proud of his heritage. Congress-
with AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups. Shabbat and holiday dinners with his fam- party, he will not hesitate to buck the lead- man Gottheimer always has embraced
They’ve even used anti-Semitic radical ily are sacrosanct. He models — both for his ership if he believes it is in the best inter- his Judaism. He has never run away from
publications to fabricate character-assas- loved ones and for his district — that family est of his constituents and the country. it. He and Ted Deutsch, co-sponsored
sinations about him for having the temer- always comes first, and there is no substi- Josh’s outspokenness on the Iran deal is and spearheaded the charge against
ity to stand up to those espousing anti-Se- tute for love, support, and presence. but one of a few critical examples — there anti-Semitism raising its nasty head in
mitic statements and views in Congress Josh has set the bar incredibly high, even is also his work to lower taxes, improve our Congress. He has spoken in a loud and
30 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
Opinion

Together, I personally led a group


from my congregation to petition
Communities of Glen Rock, an inter-
faith group of clergy and laity from Kaddish for Tim Conway

R
local municipalities to sign onto the houses of worship in town. Despite
“Do Not Stand Idly By” campaign, differences in politics of members in abbi Broka of Choza was a He subsequently teamed up with Flynn
a nonpartisan, nonlegislative effort this group, I am pleased to say that talmudic sage and mystic to for joint comedic efforts, and feted Bor-
to bring gun manufacturers into the after very respectful dialogue, it was a whom, it is said, Elijah the gnine at his 90th birthday celebration.
conversation as well. This campaign near-unanimous decision to officially Prophet appeared in the mar- Tim Conway is less remembered for the
is named after the verse in Leviti- serve as co-sponsors for this event. ketplace of Beit Lefet (see Taanit 22A). short-lived “Tim Conway Show,” which was
cus (19:16), “Do not stand idly by the These are two examples of efforts — Taking advantage of this unearthly canceled after 13 weeks in 1970. In a typi-
blood of your neighbor.” I also stood on a local and on a statewide level encounter to inquire into divine secrets, cally self-effacing response to this disap-
with fellow clergy members across — that involved people of all faiths, Broka asked: “Is there anyone in this mar- pointing setback, Conway ordered a license
New Jersey as we petitioned for, and races, and sexual orientations. Most ketplace who is destined for Olam Ha-Ba plate for his car, which read “13 WKS.”
then watched, Governor Phil Murphy significantly, however, is the fact that — eternal life and reward in the World to Conway later enjoyed a fruitful part-
sign on this past March. both efforts involved people who vote Come?” In the course of their conversa- nership with fellow comic Don Knotts
I am also proud that the orange rib- blue and people who vote red. tion, Elijah pointed out two men, indi- in the Apple Dumpling Gang movie
bons that adorn my trees are there As a rabbi, I am supposed to tell cating that they were assured of divine series, he appeared in a number of Dis-
because of the talented organizing you to send “thoughts and prayers” reward in the hereafter. An intrigued ney films, and he provided the voice for
efforts of a group in my town, Glen to those affected after a tragedy. Rabbi Broka approached the pair and some 40 characters in animated films,
Rock After the March. In honor of And while that is nice, the truth is asked, “What work do you do? What is TV episodes, and video games. He
Gun Violence Awareness Month, that prayers don’t seem to be solv- your profession?” The two responded: played Grandad in a Hallmark movie in
the group has organized a “Circle of ing this problem. “We are jokers. We bring happiness to 2015 and promoted the “Carol Burnett
Light” walking vigil. The vigil, which Just as carrying a weapon is a those who are sad. Additionally, if we find Show” and other classic TV series as
will take place on June 2 at 7 p.m., right protected by the Constitution, people divided by strife or recently as last year.
will begin at Glen Rock’s Sikh Gurud- protection from gun violence must conflict, we expend every C o n w ay ’s c h o i c e o f
wara with some prayers, speeches, be considered a basic human right. effort to reconcile them.” title for his autobiogra-
and songs. Then participants will Gun violence exponentially targets (Rashi adds: “through the phy, “What’s So Funny?
walk around town, passing houses of our public spaces, houses of worship medium of humor”). My Hilarious Life,” was no
worship, creating a circle of light and and our schools. Therefore, politi- If jokers and jesters are idle boast, but represented
inspiring hope for change. I am hon- cians at all levels, local community uniquely worthy of eternal a balanced and healthy
ored to speak at the closing ceremony members, students and teachers, reward, it seems only proper self-awareness.
of this gathering, which will also end and members of houses of worship to pay tribute to consum- The comedian also is
at the gurudwara. (All are welcomed, need to organize around protecting mate comedian Tim Conway properly remembered as
but RSVPs are appreciated at walk- this basic human right. (1933-2019), who died on Rabbi Joseph the father of seven, and for
ingvigil.eventbrite.com). May 14 at the age of 85. He H. Prouser his quiet philanthropy.
It is significant to me that this event Jennifer Schlosberg is the rabbi of the perhaps is most celebrated I found myself react-
is co-sponsored by the Religious Glen Rock Jewish Center. for his work on the “Carol ing to news of Tim Con-
Burnett Show,” where he brought to life way’s death with sincere and heartfelt
such characters as the Oldest Man and grief, startling for its depth. That wave
the businessman Mr. Tudball. As Mr. Tud- of grief was in response not only to the
ball, he employed a signature Romanian hours of joy, entertainment, and laugh-
accent (often mistaken for Swedish), mod- ter the comedian had brought me over
full-throated voice condemning all What I respect most about Josh eled after his immigrant mother’s. Memo- the years, for which I remain grateful.
forms of hate speech. Josh has a Gottheimer is that he does not rably, he would address his secretary, Mrs. My personal bereavement was to a great
zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semi- come to Washington with a per- Wiggins, played by Burnett, with a distinc- extent a function of the impact Tim Con-
tism and anti-Zionism, while allowing sonal agenda. He supports, defends, tive pronunciation: “Mrs. AH-WHIggins.” way had on my brother, Bob, who was 10
criticism of Israel and its leadership promotes, and fights for the rights As Mr. Tudball, and in a wide variety of 1/2 years my senior. Bob died last year,
when appropriate. Josh has been pas- of the people of his district and all sketches, Conway had the uncanny abil- and his first yahrzeit, a sad family mile-
sionately opposed to BDS, a stalwart Americans. He infuses his wisdom, ity to keep a straight face while forcing his stone, is approaching.
of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the thoughtfulness, deference, curi- co-stars (in particular, Harvey Korman) to Bob modeled a great deal of his own
economic interests that union shares, osity, and loyalty to every bill he break character and dissolve in laughter. humor and personality on the comedy
and has been a frequent visitor to the sponsors and every issue he takes My own long history as a Tim Con- of Tim Conway. He repeated his jokes
State of Israel. While other of Got- on. Josh knows that when his con- way devotee predates the “Carol Burnett and retold his most memorable routines.
theimer’s freshman colleagues are stituents are represented properly, Show.” It was firmly established by Con- More significantly, he adopted many
praising the likes of Hamas, (branded our future is bright. If you were to way’s role as the sweet and wholesome of his mannerisms, and to a degree his
a terrorist organization by the United spend even a small amount of time if bumbling and hapless Ensign Charles physical carriage, his way of speaking,
States and like-minded countries), with Josh in any of his natural hab- Beaumont “Chuck” Parker on McHale’s and his modest, self-deprecating humor.
Josh has been at the forefront of insur- itats, you will be captured by these Navy, which was filmed in black and As a young child, I emulated my cool
ing Israel can defend herself with characteristics, and many more. white. The show first ran from 1962-1967 older brother, thus embracing elements
continued funding for Iron Dome, If those seeking to do Congress- — and ever since in syndication. Ensign of the Conway legacy before even recog-
David Sling, and Arrow, all defensive man Josh Gottheimer harm by name Parker was second in command of PT-73, nizing the source.
armaments to protect Israel from the calling and finger wagging would get deployed in the Pacific Theater of World News of Tim Conway’s death brought
multitude of foreign enemies on her to know him and work together, per- War II. Conway played opposite the leg- my personal grief at Bob’s untimely pass-
border. While some turn a blind eye haps the change our country yearns endary Ernest Borgnine (as Lieutenant ing — which I had thought long since
to terror, Josh takes it on at its core. for would be closer to realization. Commander Quinton McHale) and Joe duly processed and emotionally man-
He has sought to defund Palestinian Flynn (as Captain Wallace “Old Leadbot- aged — very much back to the surface, in
Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and other ter- David-Seth Kirshner is senior rabbi of tom” Binghamton). Conway was a loyal all its raw and painful immediacy. Other
rorist entities that claim at its char- Temple Emanu-El of Closter, immediate friend and colleague to these shipmates. members of my family, including Bob’s
ter genocidal ambitions. Josh has his past president of the New York Board of own sons, reported similar reactions. We
coordinates finely calibrated towards Rabbis, and the president of the North Joseph H. Prouser is the rabbi of Temple found it impossible to respond to Tim
good against evil. Jersey Board of Rabbis. Emanuel of North Jersey in Franklin Lakes. SEE TIM CONWAY PAGE 37
JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 31
Dear Rabbi Zahavy

Your talmudic advice column


Dear Rabbi Zahavy, Zionist thinkers who repre- seems to be giving rise to essence of classical Zionism. But that
I visited Israel recently, and from what Isented the major expressions increasingly vocal con- would be an attempt at humor, not an
saw I admired the continued growth of the of Zionist ideology. He repre- servative nationalism. analysis of the current culmination of
sented political Zionism with
country. But at the same time, I felt a deep Has the essence of Zionist life and thought.
apprehension about the manifold internal entries from the pens of The- Political Zionism been I have reflected long and hard about
and external dangers that it faces. I am odor Herzl and Max Nordau. f u l f i l l e d ? T r u e , we my own way to find Zionist meanings
He presented cultural Zion-
worried that Israel has lost its way and is have a democracy that in my numerous visits to Israel and my
ist thought with writings by
no longer serving to fulfill its Zionist mis- functions, but it is also long stays in the country, and in con-
sions. How can I regain my confidence in Ahad Ha-Am (Asher Zvi sadly true that there is suming much of its news and culture
the present vitality and the future pros- Ginsberg) and Hayyim Nah- Rabbi Tzvee still anti-Semitism and and TV and films and books and so
pects of the State of Israel? man Bialik and others. He Zahavy enemy rockets do rain much more. I know my Zionism is strong
Fearful in Fair Lawn included writings by Zionist down on southern Israel. and runs through the fiber of my being
Dear Fearful, Marxist and utopian social- It’s plain to see that the like high-voltage electrical current. But
I too have spent a lot of time in Israel of
ists like Ber Borochov and Nahman Syr- political reality of the modern state it is not right for me to characterize it as
late and I do share your concerns. It’s a kin. He gave examples of religious Zionist is far from the perfected vision of the socialist, political, cultural, or even reli-
complex country of more than nine mil- expressions through the works of Rabbi founding fathers and mothers of mod- gious fulfillment that I see and feel in my
lion inhabitants. It faces many internal Abraham Isaac Kook and Martin Buber ern Israel. relationship to Israel.
conflicting points of view and differing and other voices. He represented activ- Cultural Zionism: The richness of What then can I say about the nature
aspirations. And yes, it is beset by the ist Zionism through the likes of Vladimir Hebrew expression in literature and of my Zionism? Here’s my try at an
external challenges of hostile foes who Jabotinsky and Chaim Weizmann. the arts is beyond debate, and so the answer. I’ve concluded of late that I am
seek to damage or even destroy the state. In each of these categories he chose cultural Zionists rightfully would take an Existentialist Zionist. And I mean that
But my take on the situations it faces voices that expressed clearly the essen- pride in the accomplishments of Israeli in two senses of the term. Here’s how.
is positive and confident, and not sim- tial messages and purposes of the expressions, even in its popular forms For a person who is an existential-
ply by virtue of any of the classical defi-
respective forms of Zionism. And you for trendy music and predictable dra- ist, existence takes precedence over
nitions of Zionism. I have a personal and can see in the history and reality of the matic TV shows. But so much of contem- essence. That’s how I feel when I am in
original take on the matter. modern State of Israel the impacts of porary Israeli culture is clearly grounded Israel. It’s also how my father felt when
Let me explain first a bit about the his-
these influences. in Western popular modes of expression he first went to Israel in 1959. I recall
torical context of past Zionist visions and But which one represents the real and entertainment translated into the how the very fact of being in the country
then tell you how I now formulate my essence of Zionism? language of Israel. was a fulfilment of his Zionism.
own conception of Zionism for the mod- Of course, in its early stages in the As diverse and extensive as it seems The roads he was driving on when he
ern State of Israel. 1950s, Israel by necessity relied on to be, can we say with confidence that was on his way up to Jerusalem for the
The great historians of Zionism tell socialist forms of economic and social today’s cultural expressions are the first time were not just paved thorough-
us about its major forms: political Zion- organization. But by the 1980s, as the essences of what the founders envisioned fares to him. They were the roads of the
ism, socialist Zionism, cultural Zion- pools of capital started forming within for the future state? Has the essence of Jewish State, his roads, the roads of his
ism, and religious Zionism. I respect Israel, the standards of living improved, Cultural Zionism been fulfilled? No doubt ancestors, the roads of all Jews in the
and venerate all the past great Zionist the economy strengthened, and the in language, literature, and the arts mod- world, past, present, and future. He was
thinkers and activists. To some degree necessity of the reliance on socialist ern Israel has a defined and distinct cul- never part of a mundane car ride or bus
the modern state is the successful mechanisms began to fade. Today Israel ture. But in many ways, it has achieved ride or just a walk in a street in the state
expression of the four classical forms is known more for its brash capitalist normalization of indistinct cultural con- of Israel. He was a dramatic actor in the
of Zionism. And to some extent it rep- venture start-ups than for its earlier his- tinuity with the rest of the world. spectacle of Jewish existence.
resents a failed or incomplete imple- tory of collective kibbutzim. Religious Zionism: Last, the religious His first home movies of Israel, which
mentation of each of them. Socialist Zionism: Has the essence of life of Jews in the state of Israel is deep he proudly showed us in 1959 when he
In his great anthology, “The Zionist Socialist Zionism been fulfilled? In med- and flourishing — yet the divide is wide came home from his trip, were a few
Idea,” in 1959, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, icine and education Israel is strongly and growing between the large numbers minutes of film of his car rides on the
who lived in Englewood, assembled socialist. But now it is mainly a strikingly of separationist charedim and the secu- roads of the modern state, taken from
excerpts from the illustrious classical successful start-up nation, a capitalist lar Jews, and even other religious Jews. the window, as much as they were of
country with all the problems of such It’s seems the divisions between religious holy sites. And I recall how he brought
Tzvee Zahavy has worked as professor a state. It’s simple to argue that now camps and the secular population are us, his small children, the little paper
of Jewish studies, religious studies, Socialist Zionism cannot be judged as deepening and the chasms are widening. bus receipts that they gave the passen-
advanced Talmud, halacha, Jewish law the true essence of current day Zionism. Can anyone honestly argue that the gers, so proudly pointing out that they
codes, and Jewish liturgy at major U.S. Political Zionism: The political vision- essence of Zionism now is fulfilled in such were printed in Hebrew.
research universities and seminaries. aries founded a representative form of dissonances? Has the essence of Religious We were young and puzzled. Hello
He has published numerous articles government that took shape in the body Zionism been fulfilled? Judaism is prac- daddy, that’s not the present we
and books about Judaism and Jewish of the Knesset and other major institu- ticed freely and proudly as the state reli- expected. What’s in your other hand?
life. He received his Ph.D. from Brown tions. Today critics lament the ineffec- gion, but many elements of the promised And what is so special about driving on
University and his rabbinic ordination tiveness of the Israeli electorate’s pro- redemption of the people of Israel are not a road? But nothing could be more dra-
from Yeshiva University. For details go portional representation system, which now to be realized. Israel is a democracy, matic to him than these mundane items,
to www.tzvee.com. can lead to legislative gridlock and not a theocracy, and the Temple has not for he was a true existentialist Zionist.
been rebuilt and the biblical form of a The existentialist Zionist is not a
The Dear Rabbi Zahavy column offers mindful advice based on talmudic messianic age has not dawned. viewer of somebody else’s show. He is
analysis and wisdom. It aspires to be open and meaningful to all the A satirist might stand up and say a player on the world’s stage in the big-
varieties and denominations of Judaism. You can find it in the Jewish “Hello, the neurotic beginnings of Zion- gest theater. And with just a bit of imag-
Standard, usually but not always on the first Friday of the month. Please ist thought are truly being fulfilled in ination he could believe he is not a bit
mail your questions to the Jewish Standard office or email them directly to the present-day eccentricities and dis- actor or an extra. He too is sure that he
zahavy@gmail.com sonances of the modern state.” And is a star in the show of the ages, the main
that is sort of a strange fulfillment of the SEE DEAR RABBI PAGE 39
32 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
D’var Torah
Bechukotai: A note to self-proclaimed ‘bad Jews’

I
often hear, “I am a bad Jew, rabbi.” and the other represents observing the is only one part of the Jewish equation. The other part
What does this mean? mitzvot. Torah study and observing the involves being a “God-fearing,” ethical person, treating
It usually means, “I’m sorry that mitzvot — according to this verse — com- others with respect, doing the right thing, living the “off-
I don’t come to shul more often” or bine to bring goodness into this world. hours” with honor and sanctity.
“Please forgive me that I ate something not Alternatively, one can look at these two Some of us could do better at keeping specific rit-
kosher” or “I don’t volunteer for the syna- mitzvot sequentially and argue that Torah ual mitzvot.
gogue as much as I should.” study leads to action. And some of us could build more sanctity into our
Essentially, I feel like it is a form of But I have a different explanation. daily interactions and whereabouts.
self-judgment or a declaration of embar- The second phrase, “if you faithfully I don’t judge you or think you are a “bad Jew” if you
rassment. Some may call it “Jewish guilt.” Rabbi observe My commandments,” uses the are not following the ritual commandments. And — I
In either case, how should I respond to Jennifer Hebrew words “mitzvot” (commandments) don’t judge you if you lose your cool with your kids or act
these self-proclaimed “bad Jews”? and “lishmor” (“to observe”). This outlines unwisely out of stress or speak out of turn.
Schlosberg
We begin this week’s parasha, Bechuko- Glen Rock
an obligation to follow the command-
tai, with the following verse: “If you follow Jewish Center, ments, such as observing Shabbat, keeping
My laws and faithfully observe My com- Conservative kosher, or praying. When someone says to
mandments, I will give your rains in their me, “Rabbi, I am a bad Jew,” these are the
season, so that the earth shall yield its pro- ritual commandments they are skipping. I don’t judge you or
duce and the trees of the field their fruit” (Leviticus 26:3).
I’ve always found this passage difficult to read. Why?
Some would call these mitzvot “ben adam la’Makom,”
commandments that are between an individual and God.
think you are a “bad
Because it essentially says “do good, and good will come In contrast, the first phrase “if you will follow my Jew” if you are not
to you” and then — later in the parasha — “do bad, and laws” uses the Hebrew root for “la’lachet” or to “go,” or
bad will come to you.” “walk.” This is the same root that comprises the word following the ritual
But we all know life does not always work out that way.
We all know people who are faithful to God’s com-
“halacha,” Jewish law, as it teaches us how to walk, live,
eat and breathe in a sacred way in the world around us.
commandments.
mandments and yet, tragic things happen to them. On I believe that this phrase represents how we lead our
the flip side, we also know people who do not follow the daily lives outside of the ritual mitzvot: how we treat So to those of you who feel like “bad Jews,” please
commandments or we know people who are unethical the cashier in the grocery store or a waiter in a restau- remember:
and yet, somehow, things just easily fall into their lap. rant or how we speak to our family members behind Halacha is not limited to ritual matters. Halacha,
This challenge of theodicy (“why bad things happen to closed doors. Some would call these mitzvot “ben adam Jewish law, is also how we live our lives in the “in-be-
good people”) is one of life’s essential questions for which la’chavero,” commandments that are between an indi- tween.” The Torah teaches us that both forms of holi-
we really have no answers. But, dare I say, should that vidual and other people. But I believe this category also ness combine to bring goodness into the world.
change how we live our lives? includes how we make ethical decisions when no one is Perhaps when the Torah says our observance of
Regarding the verse above, rabbis have long asked why watching us or how we take the high-road — even when the commandments will provide us with rich crops
we need two phrases that essentially say the same thing. it involves a great sacrifice or risk. and fruits or produce, what it really means is “live
In other words, not only does this verse say, “if you fol- Why are both phrases necessary? your life with goodness as if your life depended
low my laws,” but it also says “if you faithfully observe Because there are the ritual mitzvot and then there is on it.” So while our actions might not be able to
my commandments.” Are both necessary? Isn’t that everything else. reverse the course of a terminal illness or prevent
redundant? We can keep Shabbat and study Torah and daven a natural disaster, we can at least celebrate the var-
According to various commentators, both phrases every single day. We can light holiday candles and keep a ious ways we can live as “good Jews” in our daily
are needed because one phrase represents Torah study kosher home and observe the laws of modesty, but that pursuit of holiness.

exhausted or fearful of stigma to come out and join us We can continue to speak out. We can become really
Lo levad in community? Where many of us see a sanctuary, they good listeners. We must work hard so that people feel
FROM PAGE 29
might see an unbearable barrier to entry. safe in our sanctuary spaces. If you are struggling with
This week, music director Amichai Margolis and I led How can we begin to change this reality for Jewish mental health issues and you feel alone, reach out to your
a service of healing and harmony at the OJC. This gath- people and their families who feel isolated due to mental rabbi or local Jewish Family Service or one of the mental
ering for prayer, meditation, and music was planned to illness? health agencies in your area.
create a safe space for all who attend, a place to think Merle Feld’s poem “Dreaming of Home” reads as a clar- Reach out in any way that you feel able, so that some-
about their own mental health and those of their loved ion call to all homes of worship to be places where people one who cares can meet you halfway. Even if you can only
ones. The message that life brings struggles and we can are safe and known. reach out a very short distance, I hope that an empathic,
turn toward God for support and strength is the keystone caring person will meet you the rest of the way.
of this service. And I will wonder about all of those peo- “We want so much to be in that place If you are lonely because you are a caregiver to some-
ple who would benefit from a healing service and could where we are respected and cherished, one struggling with mental health issues, I hope you find
not be there. protected, acknowledged, nurtured, encouraged, heard. a friend, family member, or professional to listen, share,
Thank goodness for the month of May, for the pro- And seen, seen and allow you to strengthen yourself.
gramming and education and focus on mental illness. But in all our loveliness, You might feel alone and you might feel lonely. The
what about everyone who is not able to be in synagogue in all our fragile strength. goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to provide a
with us? What about the people who struggle with men- And safe, safe in all our trembling community of support for those who struggle not just in
tal illness in their homes or in facilities and cannot leave, vulnerability. Where we are known the month of May, but in all the months that follow.
who are trapped there, unable to enter into a commu- and safe, safe and known — I pray for all of us for a refuah shlayma, a complete
nity of faith? What about those people’s caregivers, too is it possible?” healing, a healing of body and healing of spirit.
JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 33
Calendar
Myrna and Alan Cohen Torah in Englewood
Spring Concert at offers a pre-Shavuot
the Jewish Home at lunch and learn
Rockleigh, 2:30 p.m. with Rabbi Mordy
Refreshments. 10 Link Kuessous, assistant
Drive. (201) 750-4231. rabbi, Ahavath Torah’s
Benaroya Sephardic
Monday  Center and Moriah
School Sephardic
JUNE 3 cultural program
director. Lunch
Golf/tennis/cards in features a Sephardic
Alpine: The Jewish menu. 240 Broad Ave.
Home Foundation Reservations, Eileen,
hosts its 25th annual (201) 568-1315 or
outing, with golf, dorldor@ahavathtorah.
tennis, and cards, at org.
the Montammy Golf
Club, rain or shine. It’s
in honor of Howard
Wednesday 
Chernin. mshulman@ JUNE 5
jewishhomefamily.org.

JUNE The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s “One


Book One Community” focus on this year’s book
6 selection, “Among the Living,” ends with a program
featuring author Jonathan Rabb at Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Joshua Rabbi Mordechai
Becher
in Fair Lawn, 7 p.m. Dessert reception and book signing. 40-25 Fair Finkelstein
sLawn Ave. (201) 820-3900 or jfnnj.org/onebook. ASHLEY WALDVOGEL Lunch and learn: Talking about Israel:
Rabbi Joshua In commemoration
Finkelstein explores of the yahrzeit of
services at 6:30. opening ceremony Jewish texts at the Rabbi Isaac L. Swift,
Friday  411 South Little Tor
Road, off Exit 10
Sunday  and walk, 1:30, then a
Friendship Fair with
Montebello Jewish Mordechai Becher
of the Gateways
Center, 11:30 a.m. 34
MAY 31 of the Palisades JUNE 2 inflatables, rides, train, Montebello Road, Organization and
Parkway, New City, games, crafts, food, Montebello, N.Y. Yeshiva University will
Shabbat in N.Y. (845) 708-9181 or and entertainment. (845) 357-2430 or discuss “Moving Mount
Orangeburg: Pride nanuethc.org. 145 College Road. montebellojc.org. Sinai: Revelation,
Month kicks off at the (845) 368-1889. Synagogues, and
Orangetown Jewish Shabbat in Closter: Shukeling” at
Center with Pride Rabbi David S. Tuesday  Congregation Ahavath
Shabbat services, Widzer and Cantor JUNE 4 Torah in Englewood,
7 p.m., and again Elizabeth Goldmann after Mincha at 8 p.m.
Shabbat morning at lead services with It is co-sponsored by
9 a.m. 8 Independence the Unplugged Band the shul with the Rabbi
Ave., Orangeburg, and offer a blessing Isaac L. Swift Chair of
N.Y. (845) 359-5920, for all high school Friendship walk/ Judaic Studies at the
ojcpride@gmail.com, seniors, 7:30 p.m., 221 family fun day Kaplen JCC on the
or theojc.org. Schraalenburgh Road. in Suffern: The Palisades. 240 Broad
(201) 768-5112 or tbenv. Friendship Circle Ave. (201) 568-1315.
Shabbat in New org. of Rockland’s JEWISH HOME FAMILY
City: The Nanuet Friendship 1K walk is
Hebrew Center hosts Concert in Rockleigh:
at the Eugene Levy The David Glukh
a meet-and-mingle Fieldhouse at Rockland Rabbi Mordy Kuessous
open house with Klezmer Ensemble
Community College in presents an afternoon COURTESY AHAVATH TORAH
Tot Shabbat, 5 p.m.; Suffern. Registration
barbecue with music of klezmer, Yiddish,
and tee-shirt pick- and international music Lunch and learn: The
by NHC’s Temple up, 12:30 p.m.; Hoop Dor L’Dor group at
Dudes, 5:30; and for the 17th annual
Wizard show, 1; Congregation Ahavath

34 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019


Calendar

Thursday  Moon blessing: The


Montebello Jewish In New York Kaplen JCC, Englewood Health
JUNE 6 Center holds a Kiddush team up for wellness program
Levanah, an outdoor
celebration of the new
Tuesday  The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades of Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.
moon, the new month, JUNE 11 Tenafly and Englewood Health have The class will be tailored to the par-
and life, 7:30 p.m. started a new session of the Wellness ticipants’ individual needs.
34 Montebello Road, Museum mile festival: and Longevity Heart Health Program, The time commitment is 60 min-
Montebello, N.Y. The Jewish Museum aimed at people with heart disease or utes twice a week for five weeks,
(845) 357-2430 or participates in the 41st
montebellojc.org. annual “Museum Mile who have risk factors for heart dis- for 10 sessions in total. Participants
Festival,” 6-9 p.m. The ease, including diabetes, high blood will have access to the JCC gym at no
Friday  opening ceremony at
5:45 is at El Museo del
pressure, and a family history. It is additional charge. Fitness staff will be
also for people who are overweight available to help with personal work-
Deborah Lipstadt JUNE 7 Barrio, Fifth Avenue
at 104th Street. or have completed a formal cardiac outs at the JCC, and participants will
Deborah Lipstadt in Shabbat in Closter: Rain or shine. Free rehab program. The structured five- receive a free JCC membership for
Nanuet: The Holocaust Temple Emanu-El museum admissions week program, led by medical and fit- one month.
Museum & Center hosts “Blue Jeans and outdoor art ness experts, aims to lead participants A final wrap-up session will be
for Tolerance and & BBQ”; dinner at activities for children;
into a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. held on Thursday, July 11, from 6 to
Education in Rockland 6 p.m., services at live music and art-
welcomes Professor 7. 180 Piermont making workshops Physician clearance is required. 7 p.m., at the Graf Center for Integra-
Deborah Lipstadt, who Road. Reservations, on Fifth Avenue at The first group fitness class at the tive Medicine at Englewood Health.
will discuss her book, (201) 750-9997. selected museums. Kaplen JCC on the Palisades will be Baselines will be taken if requested.
“Antisemitism Here and (212) 606-2296 or on Monday, June 3, at 6 p.m., and The cost for the program is
Now,” at DoubleTree Shabbat in Closter: MuseumMileFestival.
by Hilton Hotel. Temple Beth El offers org. doctor clearance forms must be sub- $100. For more information or to
Wine bar, 6:30 p.m.; confirmation services mitted. Classes will be led by certified register, call (201) 608-2377 or go to
lecture, 7; dessert and led by Rabbi David S. trainers at the JCC’s fitness center on EnglewoodHealth.org/HHP.
pictures with Deborah
Lipstadt, 8. Unsigned
Widzer and Cantor
Elizabeth Goldmann, Singles
books will be available with the class of
for sale. 425 East
Route 59, Nanuet.
5779, 7:30 p.m. 221
Schraalenburgh Road.
Sunday 
(845) 574-4099 or (201) 768-5112 or tbenv. JUNE 2
HolocaustStudies.org. org.
Singles meet in Healing after heartache
Caldwell: New Jersey
Saturday  Jewish Singles 45+ The Glen Rock Jewish Center offers a widowers aims to enhance coping as
JUNE 8 meets at Congregation six-session bereavement group with you share experiences with others and
Agudath Israel with
a surprise performer, Jewish Family and Children’s Services gain support and strategies. Checks
Shavuot in Teaneck:
Temple Emeth offers 2:30 p.m. Program from Wednesday, June 5, through July are payable to JFCS. For more infor-
erev Shavuot services includes a sing-along, 10, 2 to 3:30 p.m., at the shul. mation, call (201) 652-6624 or email
and confirmation joke telling, food, The support group for widows and office@grjc.org.
with participation by fun, mingling, and
children who have a dessert buffet. 20
completed their Academy Road. Sue,
requirements, 7:45 p.m. (973) 226-3600,
1666 Windsor Road. ext. 145, or singles@
Rockland golf event aids hospice
COURTESY NHC
(201) 833-1322 or agudath.org.
Israeli Scouts in New emeth.org.
City: The Nanuet
Hebrew Center hosts
Wednesday  United Hospice of Rockland’s 19th Andrew Fisher. There are still a few
a concert by the JUNE 19 annual Golf Classic is Monday, June foursomes left. For information, call
Israel Scouts Caravan, 17, at the Paramount Country Club Joe Cain at (845) 634-4974 or email
Seniors meet: Singles
7 p.m. Refreshments in New City. Participants will have a jcain@hospiceofrockland.org.
available. 411 South 65+ of the JCC
Rockland meets for day of golf, lunch, and dinner. This To register or become a sponsor go
Little Tor Road, off
Exit 10 of the Palisades dinner at Rocco’s year’s event, “Remembering Raselle,” to birdeasepro.com/uhrgolf.
Parkway, New City, Family Restaurant, is presented by Dr. Edward Scott and
N.Y. (845) 708-9181 or 6 p.m. 170 S. Main St.
nanuethc.org. New City, NY. Individual
checks. Reservations,
Gene, (845) 356-5525.

Senior activities are scheduled


Crown Heights Shabbaton at Washington Township shul
The JCC of Northern New Jersey’s topic. Both are at 11 a.m.; and “Judah
Tzach Lubavitch of Crown Heights, a project of LYO, the Lubavitch Youth Active Adult program that meets at P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confeder-
Organization, has an all-inclusive Shabbaton for singles and couples, today through Temple Beth Or offers seniors ways ate,” will be discussed on June 20
Sunday in Brooklyn. Speakers at the “Pegisha” (encounter) with Chabad include to get engaged, learn, and explore. and 27 at 11. Programs are funded in
Rabbi Yisroel Bernath of Rohr Chabad NDG (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce) in Montreal, Dr. Israeli dancing is on June 4, at 11:30 part through the Jewish Federation
Binyomin Abrams, an award-winning speaker and teacher, and Miriam Yerushalmi, a.m.; A discussion, “Marc Chagall: of Northern New Jersey. The shul is
a marriage and family counselor. Love, War and Exile,” will be on June at 56 Ridgewood Road. Kosher lunch
The Shabbaton includes hospitality, food, matchmaking events, and comedy. For 6. On June 13, “Dale Chihuly: Life, is available with reservations. Email
more information, go to shabbaton.org. Glass Works, and Instillation,” is the Ruth, RuthB@JCCNNJ.org.

JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 35


Kosher Crossword The Frazzled Housewife
“LET’S GET PHYSICAL”
BY YONI GLATT, KOSHERCROSSWORDS@GMAIL.COM
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM

Someone save me
I
love when a column writes please don’t be for me,” I am thinking
itself…. and saying out loud. And it was for me.
Here on Hastings Street we get I run outside to say, “It was a stupid
very nervous when we see a fire housewife mistake. Everything is fine.”
truck. Almost 11 years ago, we lost our And I proceed to tell the cute firemen
neighbor to a gas explosion, and the what happened. They informed me
anxiety has lingered all of this time. that they still have to come in and
(Well, at least for some check that everything is
of us, can’t speak for OK. We reminisce about
everyone on the block.). the unfortunate house
So the scene I will set for explosion, how this call
you is this: was not their first “stu-
It is early Friday morn- pid housewife” call of the
ing and the world’s best day, checking that all of
mom decides to make the windows were open
some cookies for the wel- and that there was little
coming of the Sabbath smile left.
queen. She preheats the Banji I told the main guy
oven (well, the world’s Ganchrow how 19 years ago I had
best mom does, I have spilled a bottle of baby
yet to meet the actual oil under the oven and
Sabbath queen) and waits for the beep the guys had moved the oven and
beep beep to begin filling the house cleaned up the mess for me because I
with smells of brown sugar and marga- was holding two crying, but adorable,
rine. The world’s best mom heads over babies. Good times.
to other parts of the house to clean up So my house gets the all-clear. I
Across Down and vacuum (as the world’s best mom receive a lesson in NOT resetting the
1. Moses wore one for the last third of 1. Queens Mr. does not have cleaning help…). alarm until the fire department comes,
his life 2. Pulls off All of a sudden, a loud alarm goes off. because if the alarm goes off again, and
5. Meshuggah 3. Parve dessert option “What is that?” she wonders out loud. It it is an actual emergency, they won’t
10. Police-alert letters 4. Laker often referenced by his first is really wailing, that alarm, and a voice know about it. A few more minutes of
13. Mahktesh bounce-back name
is repeating, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” Umm, small talk and he was on his way. God
14. Sarai’s husband 5. Move one’s tail, as a dog
15. Sea eggs 6. Superior of Maria in “The Sound of
what? She realizes that there is smoke bless those firemen. They really are
16. Sodom’s destruction, to one lis- Music” everywhere. As she runs to the keypad heroes, putting out real fires and having
tening? 7. Most 5-Across to turn of the alarm, she is thinking that, to meet all of these nutty women (OK,
18. “Flags of ___ Fathers” 8. Charles Foster and Erica perhaps, “The Most Heavenly Broccoli maybe I am just nutty).
19. Burns up 9. “Heavens!” to a texter Kugel,” that she made from her new The whole time I am thinking of
20. Sleep-___ (night-time tablet) 10. Near by
cookbook, might have leaked over the son #3, who is upstairs and proba-
21. Bean for Creed on “The Office” 11. Spring upon
22. Black History Mo. 12. MP Luciana who resigned from the
sides, forming a puddle of grease on the bly really freaked out with all of the
23. What the Bielski brothers were Labour Party in protest of Jeremy bottom of the stove, causing the stove to smoke and noise and voices, so I run
known for? Corbin smoke when she preheated it this morn- upstairs to tell him that everything is
26. Many Monopoly props. 17. Land of Acre: Abbr. ing. Stupid kugel — it better be really, OK. Up the stairs I go again, yelling as
28. Monogram of 1948 Nobel winner 21. Tom ___ Riddle really heavenly. I go, “It’s all good, don’t worry, every-
for literature 22. Like Eglon, in Judges She runs upstairs to check on son #3, thing is fine.” I open the door and,
29. Word with tall or short 24. Director Cohen, and others
who is sleeping. She is thinking that she yes, he is still fast asleep.
30. ___ gedola (separated produce) 25. Some bags
32. Show that launched the careers of 27. Levi or Levy, e.g. better get up there fast so he doesn’t Come on, really???? How deeply
Moranis and Ramis 31. ___ Boys Choir worry about his precious mother. She can an 18-year-old sleep? And then I go
34. Tzitzit speculation? 33. Grand Canyon, for one opens the door, about to say, “Mommy from greatest mom in the whole world
38. Former soccer org. 35. The world over is OK, don’t worry!” but son #3 is fast to scary mom. “Well, this is all your
39. Like Choni HaMa’agel for 70 years 36. Not inert asleep. Fast. Asleep. OK, at least the fault because you are one who got me
41. Bad Boko 37. Party founded by Yair Lapid
alarm didn’t wake him up, she thought. the cookbook in the first place!” And he
44. Takes too much, for short 40. Org. in education
46. Brewer’s device 41. Belonging to the husband of The phone rings and it is the alarm continued to sleep. Oh well.
47. Hoffman’s “Ishtar” or Spielberg’s Zeresh company. “Everything is OK,” I tell Now I just have to remember to clean
“The BFG”, e.g.? 42. Observes Yom Kippur, perhaps them as I tell the woman who really the oven before I turn it on again. Good
50. “Ching” preceder 43. Many a movie rating, nowadays doesn’t care a quick synopsis of my luck with that.
51. Particle of dust 45. Give a little tzedakah morning, including the security code.
52. “And Esau ___ to meet him” 48. Carl ___ aka Absorbing Man (Lee/
She informs me that she will call the Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is hoping her
(Genesis 33:4) Kirby creation)
53. Spy Hari 49. Dietitian’s stat fire department to call of the alarm. Friday night company enjoyed the Most
55. Unwelcomed Sukkah guest 54. Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov Thirty seconds later, I hear the sound Heavenly Broccoli Kugel. Stay tuned. It’s
56. Physics aspect pertaining to the 56. They go from town to town: Abbr. of a fire truck. “Please don’t be for me, a real nail biter.
mishpacha? 57. Oozy stuff
59. Formerly known as 58. RBs pick them up
60. Force of note
61. “Metamorphoses” writer
62. Fig. in identity theft www.thejewishstandard.com
63. More like Stallone? The solution to last week’s puzzle
64. Mosby and Striker is on page 39.
36 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019
Edgar B. Wolf
Obituaries/Opinion Edgar B. Wolf, 88, a long time resident of Woodcliff
Lake passed away on May 18, 2019.
Beloved husband of Beatrice (née Slapack) who he
was devoted to for 62 years and loving father to Sarah
Kay Bindell Andy Wiesenfeld Wolf and her husband Richard Gordon (Media, PA)
Kay Bindell, 80, of Wayne died May 24. Andy Wiesenfeld, 54, of Oradell, formerly of Fair and Dr. Barry Wolf and his wife Dr. Sarah Jacobson
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Lawn, died May 22. (Palo Alto, CA). Loving grandfather to Joshua
Lawrence, daughters, Bonnie and Hilari Gould He graduated from the Wharton School of Gordon, Hannah Wolf, and Abby Wolf.
(Douglass), and two grandchildren. Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Ed was a resident
Donations can be made to Friends of Wayne earned a master’s from Columbia Business School. of Woodcliff Lake for the last 45 years. He was a
Animals, Wayne. Arrangements were by Louis He was a Certified Public Accountant and a chemical engineer and project manager and travelled
Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn. Certified Fraud Examiner. all around the world for his career living in Australia,
He is survived by his parents, Sandy and Philip the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, and Wyoming to name
Roslyn Gersten Wiesenfeld of Fair Lawn, wife Leslie, children, a few. Ed was also a veteran of the Korean Conflict.
Roslyn Gersten, 86, of Fort Lee and Boca Raton, Fla., Nicole and Josh; a sister, Lori Wiesenfeld; brother- Ed will be remembered for his love of always
formerly of Scarsdale, N.Y., died May 23. She founded in-law Mark Earnshaw, and a niece. seeking knowledge and in his community was an avid
RG Domestic Employment Agency. Services were at Temple Avodat Shalom, River bridge player and his happiest times were with his
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Gerald, Edge. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban loving wife, children, and grandchildren.
children, Barry (Merryl), Shari Gersten (David Chapel, Fair Lawn. — Paid Obituary —
Rosenblatt), and Lisa Gersten (David Gerwin), and
seven grandchildren.
Donations can be sent to the Cholangiocarcinoma
Foundation, American Friends of Magen David Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Inc
Jewish Funeral Directors
Adom or Jewish War Veterans, Washington, D.C.
Family Owned & managed
Arrangements were by Robert Schoem’s Menorah
Generations of Lasting Service to the Jewish Community
Chapel, Paramus. • Serving NJ, NY, FL & • Our Facilities Will Accommodate
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Michael Rock Obituaries are prepared with
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Michael Rock, 83, died May 21. information provided by funeral homes. Gary Schoem – Manager - NJ Lic. 3811
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sandy, Jordan E. Schoem – Funeral Director - NJ Lic. 5146
Correcting errors is the responsibility
children, Linda and Gregg, and three grandsons, Conveniently Located
Will, Jake, and Dylan. of the funeral home. W-150 Route 4 East • Paramus, NJ 07652
201.843.9090 1.800.426.5869
Donations can be made to the Greater NJ Chapter
of the Alzheimer’s Association or the Crohn’s and
Colitis Foundations. Arrangements were by Robert
Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Paramus.

comic a critical element of the eternal life that so


Tim Conway intrigued Rabbi Broka. This cheerful realization miti- Funeral Planning Simplified
FROM PAGE 31
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L ’ Shana
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and doleful experience. The comedian’s ability to shape brought me in life, he now also has taught me Torah, by

L ’ Shana
the lives, attitudes, mannerisms, humor, and personal
style of countless fans and admirers — Bob Prouser
bringing into vivid relief the substance of Rabbi Broka’s
object lesson in eternity.
We continue to be Jewish family managed,
knowing that caring people provide caring service.

Tovah!
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GUTTERMAN AND MUSICANT
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38 JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019


Classified/Dear Rabbi

Senior Care
Dear rabbi Existentialists in general are said to be racked by
FROM PAGE 32 angst — anguish, torment, anxiety, worry, fear — about
production of eternity. the fragility and turbulence of existence. Oh yes, I
As I see it, David Ben-Gurion was the epitome of an have all of that while in Israel — while on the stage as
existentialist Zionist. He was a completely secular per- a member of the dramatic cast. I am frightened and
son, an openly avowed atheist. Yet he was a resolute tormented. And I bring that all back with me too.
student of the Tanach — the Hebrew Bible that others Enemies outside, internal strife, corruption, racism,
believed was inspired by God. What was that contra- cynicism, hubris. I can go on and on about my exis-
diction all about? tential Zionist angst. And yes, it is there, and there is
Ben-Gurion walked around the land of Israel carry- nothing more to say about it.
ing his Tanach because that was the roadmap to his So, to answer your question, Zionism is alive and
existential fulfillment. It was his physical script as he vibrant. It is strong and can flow through your body
acted out the age-old dramas of Jewish existence in the and soul — if you let it — if you let yourself be an exis-
modern time and place of his living. It did not matter tentialist Zionist.
to him that he denied the metaphysical. He was expe- That’s all you need know. That’s all you need to do
riencing an existential reality, and nothing could be — just be it.
more potent and meaningful than that. In the anthem “Hatikvah” we sing of our hope in
Home Repairs When I come back to New Jersey after a stay in one short simple critical verse, “To be a free people
Israel, people ask me, how was your trip? I find myself in our own land…”
without hesitation saying something like, “It’s amazing To be — to exist — that for certain has been ful-
how much new infrastructure and building is going on filled and is renewed every day in modern Israel with
there in Israel.” greater vitality.
Shouldn’t I be saying that I was bowled over by the I see it when I look out at the streets, highways,
religious uplift of my prayers, or by the depths of the stores, buildings, parks, museums, schools, yeshivas,
cultural experiences, or by the myriad of political universities, synagogues, malls, theaters, beaches,
accomplishments, or by the fabric of complexity of the hills, fields, buses, taxis, tanks, trucks, children going
society? Well of course, yes, I am witness to all of that to school, Jews, Arabs, Christians, tourists, natives, old
and judge it all significant, even amazing. and young.
But my answer inevitably is, “How marvelous are The manifold existence of these real assets takes
the highways in Israel.” That’s the overt symptom of utter precedence over any imagined and unfulfilled
my core existentialist Zionism. The bedrock of exis- essences from the conceits of the past.
tence takes precedence for me over any of my pos- And what about your worries? Existentialists call their
Entertainment sible reactions to the many profound essences that the worries angst. Anyone who looks hard and seriously at
State of Israel represents. existence is overwhelmed eventually by the doubt in its
And lest we forget, I said there was a second aspect permanence. It is normal — but should not be norma-
of existentialism that characterizes my Zionism. Yes, tive. Angst is a feeling — it can be noticed — but then it
it is the angst. The same angst that you, dear reader, must be dismissed as a passing concern of a miraculous
seem to feel. vibrant life force generated in the State of Israel.

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JEWISH STANDARD MAY 31, 2019 39


JS-40*

Real Estate & Business


HERE’S HOW

Add a second staircase … very precisely


OPEN HOUSE SUN, JUNE 2, 1-3 PM
944 E. Lawn Teaneck JAMES DULLEY
New price! Attractive,
inviting 3 BR, 2BTH
home, great for
Dear James: I am totally remodeling an older house I
entertaining with open just purchased. I want to add a second staircase from
flow in prime Country the kitchen to the bedrooms for the children to use.
Club area near NYC bus Can I purchase do-it-yourself kits for this? - Barb L.
and Houses of Worship.
You’ll love the spacious
family room, master bedroom suite, C/A/C and more! Priced Dear Barb: Installing a second staircase to the sec-
now at $449K. Terrific Value! ond floor is becoming more common in new construc-
WENDY WINEBURGH DESSANTI tion and when remodeling older homes. It will con-
Broker/Sales Associate sume quite a bit of floor space, particularly on the first
Top Office Producer 2016-2018
floor, so make sure the resulting room sizes will still be
Circle of Excellence-Silver 2018
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201 310-2255 (pref)/201 569-7888 It is possible to build the staircase from scratch or higher or lower than the rest of them, someone will
Wendydess@aol.com there are staircase and handrail kits available. Which surely stumble. Also, if the staircase is not adequately
2018 Realtor of the Year (EBCBOR) option you select will depend upon your carpentry solid, there will always be a squeaky step or two.
skills, your financial budget, and your time constraints. You should be able to order preassembled stair-
Building any project from scratch is most satisfying, case kits at your home center. If you cannot find
but installing a preassembled staircase kit is the option any, contact the following companies: AJ Stairways,
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SUNDAY, JUNE 2 • 1–3PM Installing a staircase is a unique project in that the
workmanship must be nearly perfect. The height and
These companies will make the staircase kit
to your height and width specifications, with the
õTEANECKö
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high each step must be. They will select the number

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of stairs to determine the most common stair height
to which you will quickly become accustomed.
High-Return Investment Opportunities It is best to wait until you have the final flooring
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subsequent second-floor projects, precisely deter-
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25 Broadway, Elmwood Park, NJ this to the height measurement.
In an older house, the walls and floors may have
Martin H. Basner, Realtor Associate
settled and are likely no longer true. In order to
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õBERGENFIELDö
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ALL CLOSE TO NY BUS / HOUSES OF WORSHIP /
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40 Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019
JS-41

Real Estate & Business


HOUSE CALLS
Money for what matters.
Banks keep the appraisals
EDITH LANK the right to sell it? Your ownership is
only as good as his was. That’s some-
Dear Edith: When we applied for a thing else that should have been legally
mortgage, the bank charged us for an checked out before you handed over
appraisal. They said it was so they’d the money.
know how much it was safe to lend us. You can take the problem to a lawyer
As the new owners of the house, we now, but I think you’d better pay those
would like to see that appraisal. They taxes promptly to protect your own
say we can’t. But we paid for it. Do we interests.
have the right to see it?  - L.R.
To pool or not to pool
Answer: When you apply for a loan, you Dear Edith: Is a semi-in-the-ground
pay for an appraisal and also for a credit pool an asset in selling our house, or
check on yourself. Both of those are for should we get rid of it first? We are
the lending institution’s use. I expect you thinking of selling within the next year,
agreed somewhere that even though you and we are 60 years of age.  - P.V.
paid for the documents, they belonged
to your lender. In the same fashion, bor- Answer: That largely depends on your
rowers often pay for a bank’s attorney, location. Among other things, what are
who represents the bank’s best interest your summers like? What shape is the
rather than the borrowers’. pool in? How many bedrooms does
Most institutions feel that releas- your house have? What’s the neigh-
ing appraisal and credit documents borhood price range? How large is the
to interested parties — buyers, sell- yard? Those are just a few of the factors
ers, borrowers — is just asking for to be considered.
trouble. Someone is sure to object to You need advice from an agent famil-
something. Nevertheless, one banker iar with sales in the area. Look for lawn
tells me that “if the buyer kicked and signs within a few blocks and call the
screamed and made enough fuss, we’d companies handling the house sales.
probably break down and send him a Most brokers are happy to discuss such
copy of the appraisal.” matters at no obligation to you.
So maybe you should try just asking.
Buying a smaller home
‘As is’ can be trouble Dear Edith: If a person is ready to sell
Don’t settle for your mortgage. Get the terms you
Dear Edith: We bought a house a year a large paid-for home and purchase a deserve from Visions. With the No Closing Cost
ago. The owner died, and her son came smaller home at the same time, how
from another state to take care of the is it done? I anticipate going through a Mortgage from Visions, you get a low interest
funeral, etc. Wanting to get back home real estate office.
fast, he offered us the house, and we How is the money handled in the
rate – and no closing costs* means you save
bought it. We have been paying the selling and the buying? Do they both thousands right from the start. Learn more and
bills, taxes, and remodeling costs and happen at the same time? It seems as
living there. if the money would be in limbo tempo- apply now at visionsfcu.org/noclosingcosts
Now, we’ve received a notice that last rarily. Does a bank hold it meanwhile,
year’s taxes were never paid. We sent a or the real estate agent? Should the
letter to him but got no response. The smaller home be ready for purchase
city says we owe taxes and penalties. prior to selling the larger home?
What do we do now? I now regret To me, this is a somewhat tricky situ-
that we did not go through a lawyer for ation.  - I.B.
the closing. It was a cash deal, “as is.”
 - R.W. Answer: Relax. Real estate brokers and
lawyers arrange transactions like yours
Answer: If it turned out the furnace
didn’t work, you couldn’t expect the
all the time, and they’ll know how to
write the contracts and set things up so
visionsfcu.org
previous owner to pay for the repair. that everything dovetails. That’s what
You bought the place “as is.” That you hire them for.
means you promised to take the real By the way, if you sell the larger *Credit union membership required with a $25 minimum deposit – certain restrictions apply. Check with a Visions Federal Credit Union
representative for membership eligibility details. Promotion valid on the 10/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) product only. Applications
estate along with any problems it had. home first, the money isn’t in limbo; it are subject to standard credit criteria. New purchase or refinance. One- to four-family, owner-occupied, primary residence only. Maximum
Those unpaid taxes, whether you belongs to you, though sometimes, you mortgage dollar amount funded is based on region and property value. Estimated savings of closing costs, which varies by geographic market
and property, would be at least $3,370, including, but not limited to, the following costs: appraisal, flood determination, application fee,
knew about them or not, were one of may let your closing agent hold it. credit report, lender attorney fees, recording fee, title insurance, and mortgage tax. Borrowers are responsible for initial escrow setup, interim
interest, owner’s title insurance, tax service fee, borrower’s attorney fees, survey, and private mortgage insurance, if applicable. Property
the problems. Creators.com
insurance is required. Flood insurance may be required. This promotion is subject to change without notice (including the rate). Other
You’re lucky if that’s the only prob- restrictions apply. Rates are variable and can increase by up to 2% annually beginning in the 11th year, up to a lifetime rate adjustment of 5%.
Rate increases are based on the index at the adjustment time plus the margin. Please speak with a representative for current rate information
lem you bought. Without a legal search Contact Edith Lank at www.askedith. or visit visionsfcu.org/mortgage-rates. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or offer. Submit applications by Dec. 31, 2019.
of title, how do you know for sure that com, at edithlank@aol.com or at 240
the son really owned the place and had Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620.

Jewish Standard MAY 31, 2019 41


JS-42*

Real Estate & Business

Honor the gift of the Torah with honorable wines


GABRIEL GELLER still not as predictable and consistent as it
is in California or in Israel. Bordeaux how-
Shavuot is not an eight-day long holiday ever has been blessed with good to great
like Sukkot or Passover, yet it is no less conditions from 2014 through 2018, each
important. Indeed, as we celebrate the of these vintages having produced excel-
gift of the Torah, we also have special hol- lent wines.
iday meals which means special wines are Top-shelf red Bordeaux wines are typi-
in order. While the custom in many com- cally aged for 12 to 24 months in oak bar-
munities is to eat a dairy meal, whether it rels, followed by at least one more year
is followed by a meat one or not, let’s for at the winery once bottled. Therefore
once this coming Shavuot not exclusively the current vintage on the market now
focus on white or rosé wines. is 2016. For those of you who are really
The wines from Bordeaux in France familiar with these wines, you certainly The aforementioned Bordeaux 2018 is yet another success for this
have a special aura which is looked up have noticed the Château Giscours 2016 wines will grace the yom tov table as excellent producer in the Galilee.
to by winemakers all over the world. For from Margaux. It is arguably their best the perfect wines to best celebrate the While its compatibility with roasted
now close to a thousand years, the wines wine so far, and considering the previous gift of the Torah. The weather has also chicken is undeniable, it would shine
from Bordeaux have been representing vintages that’s quite the statement. There warmed up quite a bit, and therefore best when paired with soft cheeses
the best of the best in terms of quality, is also the second kosher release of Châ- here are some excellent white and rosé and fresh sourdough bread. Light to
knowledge, tradition, and craftsmanship. teau Lascombes which is truly impressive. wines to pair with your appetizers, medium-bodied, with notes of ripe
Thank God, some of the best wines from And then there is Château Montviel, amaz- dairy meals, fish and perhaps even lemon, kiwi and freshly cut grass. It
Bordeaux have been regularly produced ing wine from Pomerol, aka the kingdom more important, to refresh yourselves. is downright delicious and amazingly
in a kosher version for the past 30 years of Merlot. The novelty this year is Château Take for instance the Elvi Vina refreshing also on its own.
or so, and the selection grows almost on a du Tertre, a fifth Growth Margaux. It is a Encina Rosado 2018. Made from Tem- The Domaine Bailly Pouilly Fumé
yearly basis. Despite the obvious global cli- supremely elegant wine, already showing pranillo grapes, this Spanish Rosé has 2018 is also a Sauvignon Blanc but its
mate changes that we have been noticing its promise and which should age wonder- a beautiful intense pink color, as well aromatic profile is very different than
in recent years, the weather in Bordeaux is fully for many years to come. as a great aromas and flavors of straw- the Tabor. The style of the wines from
berries, raspberries and watermelon. Loire Valley’s Pouilly Fumé appellation
It would accompany some light snacks in France are more floral and mineral
such as olives and pickles, but also a than the fruit-forward character of Sau-
goat cheese salad with cranberries and vignon Blanc from Israel or California.
sun dried tomatoes. Medium-bodied with complex notes of
OPEN Pacifica Winery in Washington State lime, spring flowers, grapefruit, and
HOUSE makes an impressive off-dry Riesling flint with a core acidity that should
JUNE 2 2017, it is simply gorgeous, very much allow this wine to age for a few years.
1-4 affordable under $20, and a crowd Last but not least, dessert. The Her-
pleaser, liked by sophisticated and zog Late Harvest Orange Muscat 2018
casual drinkers alike. I love Riesling is simply perfect to sip alongside a
Wesley because of its versatility with food. piece of cheesecake. It is light and del-
Hills With its great acidity, mineral/earthy icately sweet with aromas of ripe apri-
notes, subtle sweetness, as well as with cot, orange blossom, and quince jam
its apple and Meyer lemon aromas, it with excellent acidity which is just per-
can be sublime with a full-flavored fect to cut through the creaminess of
cheese such as an aged, pecorino as the cake. The thought of this combina-
much as it can cut through the savory tion alone is mouth-watering.
flavors of a veal risotto. Chag Sameach! L’chaim!
“Location Location Location! This The Tabor Adama Sauvignon Blanc ROYAL WINE
custom built center hall colonial is
ideal for an extended family! This
meticulously maintained 5 bedrm
4 Bth RARE FIND is sitting pretty on

Jimmy J
J
1.51 private acres, set back in a cul-
de-sac w/ privacy areas surrounding
the home! A beautiful In-law suite w/
cathedral ceilings in the living/kitchen area, full master bedrm, lndry w/ a separate entrance!
Main house offers formal living rm, family rm off the formal dining rm, powder rm, Lg custom

the Junk Man


kitchen w/ everyday dining area featuring new SS appliances, granite & quartz counter-tops &
custom cabinetry! Sliders to a freshly painted, over-sized deck (accessed from in law suite too).
Family rm w/ high ceilings, skylights & a gas fireplace! A large master bedrm en-suite w/ walk
in closets a sitting/dressing area & full bathroom w/jetted tub! A large sep space perfect for
nursery/office hobby area! 3 large addtnl bedrms & a full bath! Exceptionally large unfinished
RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL
walk out basement w/ endless possibilities!” WE CLEAN OUT:
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Erin Connolly-Frontino Construction Debris • Hoarding Specialists
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WE RECYCLE
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Broker/Owner · Blue Line Broker
HUD BROKER; ABR SFR MRP Foreclosure Specialist;
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE
201-66•1845-600-5941
- 4940
Distressed Property Angel
11 West Ramapo Rd · Garnerville, NY 10923
845-947-HOME · 845-721-2058
www.artisanrealtyinc.com
201-661-4940
We do not transport solid or hazardous waste
2
We d

42 Jewish standard MaY 31, 2019


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