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2 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


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Page 3
New Jersey Devils choose
Canadian Jew as first pick

ANDRE RINGUETTE/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES


l Even though he’s just 18, Jack Jack told Kay and his sidekicks.
Hughes, is used to making history. Does this mean that you get
And now he’s done it again, becom- to brag at Christmas? they asked
ing the first Jewish player to be Hughes, a 5-10, 170-pound forward.
drafted No. 1 overall by the National “Not just Christmas but the other
Hockey League. 364 days, too,” he responded, not-
The New Jersey Devils picked ing the siblings’ competitiveness. His
Hughes last week as their first draft brother is a defenseman.
choice. Hughes is a Florida native who Hughes broke the U.S. National
grew up in Ontario, Canada, the son of Team Development Program record
a Jewish mother and Catholic father for points with 190 in the recently
— both big-time hockey players back completed season.
in the day — who attended Catholic Hughes and his brothers inherited
high school but had a bar mitzvah. their hockey genes from their par- their top choice.
“We did Passover when we were ents. Mom Ellen Weinberg-Hughes “I think he’s going to change our
younger,” the teen phenom told “The was a member of the U.S. women’s organization,” an executive and a for-
Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio national squad that took silver in the mer star goalie with the club said, ac-
on Monday. 1992 World Championships, while cording to the Breaking Israel News
His older brother, Quinn, was the dad Jim played for Providence Col- website. “He’s a tremendous talent.”
Vancouver Canucks’ No. 7 pick last lege before becoming a coach and Upon confirming Hughes’ Jewish-
year. Both brothers were members working in player development with ness, one of Kay’s sidekicks, Peter
of the U.S. squad in the Men’s World the NHL’s Boston Bruins and the To- Rosenberg, was on board as a fan,
Championship last month in Slova- ronto Maple Leafs. forsaking his former favorite, Pitts-
kia. They have a 15-year-old brother, “It’s in my blood to be an athlete, burgh Penguins’ great Sidney Crosby
Luke, who appears to be following in to be a hockey player,” Hughes said (who’s not Jewish).
their footsteps. on the Kay show. “My parents are
Being chosen No. 1 overall “obvi- having a ball with it.”
“Dude, we’re counting on you,”
Rosenberg told Hughes.
CONTENTS
ously is special … really exciting,” The Devils expect quite a bit from MARC BRODSKY/JTA NOSHES���������������������������������������������������������4
BRIEFLY LOCAL�����������������������������������������12
COVER STORY������������������������������������������� 16
JEWISH WORLD�������������������������������������� 20

Israeli company debuts world’s OPINION������������������������������������������������������24


D’VAR TORAH�������������������������������������������29
THE FRAZZLED HOUSEWIFE������������� 30
first all-electric plane CROSSWORD PUZZLE�������������������������� 30
CALENDAR�������������������������������������������������32
OBITUARIES���������������������������������������������� 34
l An odd-looking Israeli prototype CLASSIFIED ADS��������������������������������������36
aircraft sparked curiosity at the Paris REAL ESTATE���������������������������������������������38
Air Show last week. But it is more than
the plane’s modernist exterior that has
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Candlelighting:
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hay told Channel 12 news. “We planned and designed to received certification by the Federal Aviation Au-
Friday, June 28, 8:14 p.m.
the plane around that.” thority. But Bar-Yohay predicted that once it does, Shabbat ends:
Bar-Yohay said the plane’s sleek, out-of-the-ordinary demand will balloon. Saturday, June 29, 9:22 p.m.
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JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 3


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Noshes “I am a Jewboy from Long Island.


I am not a Catholic priest. I am not
there to extract confession.”
— Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, in response
to the “Lawfare” podcast asking whether his job
on his films about Robert McNamara and Donald
DOCUMENTARY:
Rumsfeld was “to extract regret” over their wars
La-La Land’s in Vietnam or Iraq.
musical echoes
The documenta- Jackson Browne, and defended DeLorean became rich at 8, when
ry “Echo in the Brian Wilson of the on charges of cocaine her mother wed a
Canyon” opened Beach Boys. Inter- trafficking, also is dra- Jewish millionaire,
in several New spersed with the matized. married famous
Jersey theaters interviews are iconic playwright William
(including Montclair) Laurel Canyon songs Saroyan in 1943. It was
last week and probably performed by more Six degrees of a bad marriage. After it
still will be playing this recent music stars, Gloria Vanderbilt ended in 1951, she tried
coming week. It including REGINA Kevin Bacon acting and met WAL-
celebrates the 50th SPEKTOR, 39, and may be connect- TER MATTHAU. They
anniversary of the Jakob Dylan. The film’s ed by six jumps wed in 1959 and were
explosion of new rock director is ANDREW to just about happy until his death in
music that was created SLATER, 50ish, a Jakob Dylan Regina Spektor every actor. But I 2000. Marcus and
by musicians then decades-long friend of believe that Gloria Matthau often social-
either living in or Jakob Dylan and a Vanderbilt, who died ized with Vanderbilt
frequently visiting the former president of last week at 95, and her third husband,
Laurel Canyon in Los Capitol Records. (Make probably was connect- soon-to-be famous
Angeles. Rock musician a mental note to see ed, via her ultra-rich director SIDNEY
JAKOB DYLAN, 48 (the this film if it isn’t in a ancestors or by herself, LUMET (1924-2011).
son of BOB DYLAN, theater near you. to just about every When Gloria married
78), interviews many of Reviews are very good. famous American since him in 1955, she
the still-living musicians 1776. In 1940, she and thought he could help
associated with Laurel Josh Charles fest her pals Oona O’Neill her with her budding
Canyon. One of his first “The Loudest (the daughter of acting career. He
interviews is with Roger Voice” is a playwright Eugene couldn’t. (Gloria wasn’t
McGuinn, the leader of seven-episode O’Neill) and CAROL a good actress.) The
the Byrds, one of the Showtime series MARCUS (1924-2003) marriage broke up in
Andrew Slater Josh Charles
first big Laurel Canyon that premieres on were the toast of New 1963. Even before the
bands. McGuinn helped June 30. It stars took over Ailes’ job services. As you might York café society. These breakup, Marcus felt
invent what came to be Russell Crowe as the only to be ousted the have guessed, the film three friends were Vanderbilt had become
called folk rock when late Roger Ailes, the next year, when several is about John DeLo- beautiful and charming, “too phony,” and their
he took Bob Dylan’s creator and head of lawsuits claimed he rean (1925-2005), the and even though all friendship ended for
acoustic song “Mr. the Fox News and abetted Ailes’ sexual famous auto executive were 15 or 16 in 1940, good when Marcus
Tambourine Man” and television networks. He harassment. Shine who headed up the too young to legally expressed sympathy for
re-orchestrated it as a was ousted from Fox became the White short-lived DeLorean drink, no café owner Lumet during the
hit rock song played in 2016, a year before House communica- car company. There would deny them a breakup. Lumet quickly
with electric guitars. he died, amid a tions director in June are many dramatic cocktail. In 1943, when married Lena Horne’s
The sound he helped cascade of accusations 2018, but lasted only 10 re-enactments in the she was 18, Oona would daughter, and Gloria
create was echoed in that he had sexually months in that job. film. Alec Baldwin elope with Charlie quickly married Wyatt
the music style of many harassed many female The documentary plays DeLorean, and Chaplin and become Cooper, Anderson
others, including Fox employees, “Framing DeLorean” Josh Charles plays Bill the mother of actress Cooper’s father. If you
documentary inter- including former has been playing in just Collins, an engineer Geraldine Chaplin and go six jumps or less
viewees Michelle anchor Gretchen a smattering of the- who designed the grandmother of Oona from just the people
Phillips of “The Mamas Carlson (played by aters nationwide. It’s DeLorean car. Real-life Castile Chaplin (who named above, you
and Papas” (which Naomi Watts). JOSH unlikely to play near attorney HOWARD played Robb Stark’s probably would find a
included the late CASS CHARLES, 47, plays Bill you. But it’s available, WEITZMAN, now wife in “Game of line to every famous
ELLIOT), John Sebas- Shine, Ailes’ longtime now, on most pay- 77, who led the legal Thrones”). Marcus, who American.
tian, Stephen Stills, top aide at Fox. He per-view streaming team that successfully was born poor, and –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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Local
Riding the Tour de Simcha
Local women to cycle 100 miles and benefit Chai Lifeline programs for seriously ill kids
ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN

F
or the last 21 years, Libby
Akerman of Wesley Hills has
volunteered for Chai Lifeline,
a Jewish international sup-
port network for children with serious
illness and their families. She provides
hospital transport and assists at moth-
ers’ retreats.
On July 16, Ms. Akerman will join
more than 200 women in the eighth
annual 100-mile Tour de Simcha, a bike
ride to benefit Chai Lifeline programs,
including its summer camps. The funds
raised since the ride’s inception total
more than $5.3 million; this year, close
to $700,000 has been pledged.
Ms. Akerman is delighted about the
success of Tour de Simcha because it was
her idea in the first place, back in 2011. At
that point, her husband had participated
in the first two annual Bike4Chai 180-
mile men’s rides for Chai Lifeline. That From left, Tour de Simcha riders Idy Judawitz, Chaya Iflah, Jacqueline McClure, Libby Akerman, and Iris Shalam.
route finishes on an emotional high with
a grand entrance at Chai Lifeline’s Camp and told everyone I knew about it. I ride, riffing off the Tour de France. (They with a group of friends. But the knowl-
Simcha boys session in Glen Spey. recruited 40 of my friends,” she said. “I checked and found that there are no legal edge that Tour de Simcha and Bike4Chai
“I wanted a women’s ride,” Ms. Aker- love Chai Lifeline and I love their cause problems in using a similar name.) benefit gravely ill children gives partic-
man says, envisioning a similar grand and I’m close with some of the families “Then I went with Mindy to Queens ipants more than just a good workout.
entrance during Camp Simcha’s session they serve. It was very meaningful and and Long Island and we recruited adven- “They have both become major social
for girls. personal for me.” turous women. Many of the women who events,” Ms. Akerman said. “They are
When she broached the idea to her At a Brooklyn brainstorming session were interested didn’t even have bikes,” really part of people’s identity.”
contacts at Chai Lifeline, they asked, with several friends and with Mindy Ms. Akerman said. That is true on an even deeper level
“Would enough women besides you Tyner, then coordinator of Bike4Chai and The mother of five children, ranging for the family and community of Evan
want to do a long-distance bike ride?” later director of Tour de Simcha, fellow in age from 8 to 24, she is very athletic; Levy, an Englewood child felled by brain
Absolutely, she assured them. Rockland County resident Roz Feinsod she does triathlons and recently com- cancer in 2016, when he was 4 1/2.
“I made a kickoff party in my house came up with the catchy name of the pleted a 100-mile Gran Fondo bike ride SEE TOUR DE SIMCHA PAGE 29

Team Evan members Sari Schiff, Bibi Pavel, and Tova Gerson gear
up for the Tour de Simcha. Libby Akerman grins at the Tour de Simcha finish line.
6 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
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Local

FIRST PERSON

Marking 20 years of working on black/Jewish relations


Michael Cohen

N
ext month marks the 20th anniversary of
the Capitol Hill Black/Jewish Relations Con-
gressional Conference, co-hosted by rep-
resentatives John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Alcee
Hastings (D-Fla.), that I organized out of the office of
Representative Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.).
It is an event that has impacted my life as has no other
and was held just weeks after the nation was horrified
by the events in Sacramento, where vicious anti-Semitic
hate crimes were perpetrated against three synagogues
that were firebombed by white supremacists Benjamin
and Tyler Williams, while a thousand miles away in Jas-
per, Texas, 49-year old James Byrd Jr. was dragged to his
death, tied to the back of a pickup truck by white suprem-
acists. This called for a reinvigoration of the historic
black/Jewish relationship so that we could mount a joint Twenty years ago, the black and Jewish caucus was helped by, from left, Betty Ehrenberg, with the
responsiveness to hate and the hate crimes it provokes. Orthodox Union and now with the World Jewish Congress; Michael Cohen; Rabbi David Saperstein of
The groundbreaking event invited black members the Union for Reform Judaism; and Representatives Alcee Hastings, Edolphus “Ed” Towns, and Jesse
of Congress to meet with the presidents of major Jew- Jackson Jr.
ish organizations with an eye toward establishing seri-
ous relationships. Media was not allowed in the room, was not going to be just another photo op. was difficult to break up after almost double that time.
so that dialogue could occur without reservation, and At the time there were 34 members of the caucus; There were commitments to follow up and continue
so that progress toward re-establishing a foundation 24 of them arrived for the 8 a.m. bagels-and-lox break- what began that morning.
of trust for collective action could be achieved. This fast. The session, scheduled to last an hour and a half, See relations page 15

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Jewish Standard JUNE 28, 2019 7


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Local

Bridging two worlds


Englewood’s Stuart Halpern is tasked with aligning YU’s yeshiva and university
LARRY YUDELSON Rabbi Halpern said that his book follows in the

Y
footsteps of Eric Nelson’s book, “The Hebrew
eshiva University’s motto long has been Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation
“Torah Umadda” — Torah and secular of European Political Thought,” which “shows how
knowledge. But how the two halves of after the Protestant Reformation, many Christians
Yeshiva University fit together has not were interested in going back to the Hebrew Bible.
always been clear to students. Jewish classes are Jewish They realized that its writings have much to say
classes, and secular classes are secular classes, and not about democracy and the rights of many. His book
often did the twain meet. shows how the political philosophy that shaped
That is starting to change. America was in conversation with and inspired by
Rabbi Stuart Halpern of Englewood is the chief Jewish texts.”
adviser to the university’s provost and the head of its The book took seven years to create, Rabbi Halp-
press. His task, he said, is “bridging the Y and the U.” ern said. “As luck would have it, it arrived the week
Rabbi Halpern began working at YU 13 years ago, we read, in the weekly Torah portion Behar, ‘You
starting in its department of student life. In 2010, he should proclaim liberty throughout the land.’ If
had the idea of putting together a collection of essays on that’s not providence, what is?”
the weekly Torah portion from through- Rabbi Halpern has run interdisciplinary pro-
out the university, including “law pro- and God will take care of him. He goes grams on campus and off. He ran an online forum
fessors, high school educators, roshei with his family and wealth. on the future of the book. Taking that show on the
yeshiva” — that is, Talmud instructors — “Ruth is the opposite. She is going on road, he ran a panel called “YU Ideas” at the Frisch
and “psychologists.” her own, with no family, no spouse, on an School in Paramus. “We brought in three YU fac-
“Mitokh Haohel” — the name means Abrahamic journey of her own, with no ulty members — an English professor, a yeshiva pro-
“from the tent” — proved a success. YU reassurances that everything will be okay. fessor, and a computer scientist — to talk about the
Press published a sequel on the haftorah “How radical is that, having an future of the book.”
portions, and three volumes of essays on immigration story that supersedes in He produced a podcast called “Reinventing the
the prayer book. It also got Rabbi Halp- a way our literal founding father? She Self,” which was released last year before the month
ern noticed by YU’s then-president Rich- out-Abrahams Abraham! And the book of Elul and the season of repentance. “It brought
ard Joel, who tasked him with creating gives her the ultimate reward — she gets into conversation an addiction therapist, a profes-
projects that would bring together the to be the great-grandmother of David sor at YU’s Cordozo Law School who changed the
different parts of the university. Rabbi Stuart Halpern and ultimately of the Messiah. This is policy on solitary confinement, and Daniel Rynhold,
This spring, Yeshiva University Press an immigrant story.” a professor of Jewish philosophy who has a chapter
recently published two volumes that exemplify Rabbi “Gleanings” includes essays by YU faculty. “There’s an on repentance in his book ‘Nietzsche, Soloveitchik,
Halpern’s work in bringing the two realms together: incredible chapter by Rabbi Saul Berman, who marched and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy.’”
“Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth,” a collection of essays, in Selma with Martin Luther King, on immigration as a On the academic level, he is looking at ways to cre-
and “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The theme in Genesis and the Book of Ruth.” And it includes ate more formal interdisciplinary programs at YU.
Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook.” essays by scholars outside the university. Writer Ilana “The Straus Center recently got New York State
“Megillat Ruth is a passion of mine,” Rabbi Halpern Kurshan “wrote a beautiful chapter on love in Ruth and approval for a graduate certificate in Jewish political
said. “It’s about so many important topics like conver- Song of Songs,” he said. In keeping with the book’s prom- and social thought,” he said. “The coursework there
sion, immigration law, elder care, and family. ise to demonstrate the benefits of “the synthesis of Torah will be of interest to students in the RIETS rabbinical
“Ruth is a very radical book. People treat Ruth as a Umadda (Torah and general wisdom)” when studying the school, the Cordozo law school, the Revel graduate
simple story, a happy story with little conflict and only biblical text, the essay juxtaposes the biblical stories with school of Jewish studies, and the Azrieli graduate
positive characters. That’s one reading. But there’s also verse by 19th century English poet John Keats. school for education. Coursework will range from a
a radicalness. She comes from Moab, a nation that is a “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land” is an out- course in the biblical ideas of American democracy
sworn enemy of the Jews. She pledges her allegiance growth of YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for to a course in Lincoln and leadership to a course on
to the Jewish people in a very radical way. She says, Torah and Western Thought. “This is the first source art history and Jewish thought.
‘Wherever you go, I will go.’” book that puts the foundational documents of American “We’ve also been exploring many avenues by
That language, Rabbi Halpern said, hearkens back to history, from the Puritans and Founding Fathers through which there can be overlap between our rabbinical
God’s command to Abraham of “lech lecha,” go forth Abraham Lincoln, with the biblical verses that inspired school and our social work school,” he said.
to the land of Israel. them,” Rabbi Halpern said. The verses appear in both the He said he expects to see other interdisciplinary pro-
“Abraham is told by God to go to the Land of Israel original Hebrew and the English King James translation. grams formalized and approved in the coming years.

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8 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


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JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 9


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Local

When life imitates art imitates life


A ‘light-hearted’ expose from two women in Jackie Mason’s world
LOIS GOLDRICH

I
t’s complicated, says playwright
Ginger Reiter, whose work, “The
Jackie Mason Musical,” will come
to Glen Rock in July.
And no, she is not bitter. Neither is
her daughter, comic Sheba Mason,
whose birth father — the famous comic,
now 88 — not only denied his pater-
nity but dragged their case through the
courts for a full three years.
“I don’t feel bitter,” Ms. Reiter said. “I
feel grateful that I had the experience,
and even Sheba admires him from afar.”
She doesn’t necessarily want her audi-
ence to see Mr. Mason in a negative light,
she said. “They can see the play and
make up their own minds.”
What she shows audiences, she said,
“is a big trial for Jackie, not only in court
but in life. It’s a hard thing, since peo-
ple admire him. Some will agree, some
won’t. Those who love him will be disap-
pointed. But who’s perfect?”
Complicated indeed. Still, Ms. Reiter
said, the play, describing her 10-year
romantic relationship with Jackie Mason, Sheba Mason, second from left, with the cast of “The Jackie Mason Musical.”  PHOTO BY GEORGE WENTZLER
is “light-hearted.” Mr. Mason attended
its opening night in Florida and was hon- teach high school English, she met Mr. For example, she said, he showed her six years ago.
ored there, she added. The play also has Mason at a delicatessen. She re-creates the difference between the way Jews Ms. Reiter’s husband, Manny Silver,
been launched in New York and Chicago. the scene in her musical. and non-Jews walk into a restaurant. is the cantor at Temple Beth El of Holly-
Ms. Reiter, who calls Mr. Mason both Of the paternity suit, Ms. Reiter said wood in Florida and occasionally plays
brilliant and interesting, wrote the play that Mr. Mason “tried to stop it,” but Mr. Mason’s sidekick when the musical
before Sheba was born in 1986. “I devel- the judge threw out his objections. “He is produced in Florida. The couple live
oped it into a musical because I always never wanted children,” she said. “Ordi- in Boca Raton.
thought he was such an interesting char- narily, a case like that should take three “Jackie is a cantor and I loved when he
acter,” she said. months. But he fought every step of sang cantorial music, especially during
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the way and it took three years. They the holidays,” Ms. Reiter said. “My hus-
between theater and real life. Sheba came up with ridiculous things but they band became a cantor after we met. He
Reiter, now a professional stand-up couldn’t wear me down. I had to go to had a great voice.” He also knew that his
comedian and actress who lives a block court for 55 hearings.” wife loved cantorial music.
from her father in Manhattan, met her Still, she remains philosophical. Ms. Reiter now spends her time man-
father only once. She was raised by her “I look at things not just from this aging her musicals and comedies, includ-
mother and her grandmother, and she lifetime,” she said. “This was a chap- ing “King Solomon & His 700 Wives:
plays her mother in the show. ter. I believe we choose to be born into The Musical” and “Mel Schwartz Sleeps
Ginger Reiter was born in New York, certain situations that we have to work With Mae West.” As the writer of both
and her family later moved to New Jer- out. Sheba and Jackie had issues before the plays and their music, Ms. Reiter
sey, where she attended Fairleigh Dick- this lifetime. She was very hurt, but said that playwright Anais Mitchell, who
inson University, graduating with a bach- now has accepted it. She likes being Ginger Reiter is philosophical about wrote both the book and the music for
elor’s degree in education. In 1977, three an actress and singing,” though profes- her relationship with Jackie Mason. the Broadway musical “Hadestown,” is
days after moving to Miami Beach to sionally she makes her living as a come- her role model.
dian. While she lives a block away from “I learned that Jews never get the right “I’ve been writing songs since I was
Who: Ginger Reiter and Triton Tal- her birth father, “she respects his pri- table,” but non-Jews remain where they a little girl,” she said, citing two songs
ent Productions will present vacy and won’t go to the restaurant he are placed, “and that Jews ask for dog- in the upcoming production, “Ode to
What: “The Jackie Mason Musical” eats at.” Ginger Reiter occasionally sees gie bags.” the Early Bird Special” and “I Never
Mr. Mason on the street. “He smiles,” Ms. Reiter’s mother, another charac- Met This Yenta.” The latter is featured
When: July 11 to July 21
she said. ter in the play, was married to several during a courtroom scene. Ms. Reiter
Where: At Porch Light Studio, Responses to her show have varied, different men, and while she didn’t ultimately won her paternity suit against
Stage & Schools, 555 South Broad she said, noting that one audience mem- attend synagogue, “she dropped her Mr. Mason, who had to pay child sup-
St,, Glen Rock ber said she was “astonished” by the three daughters” — Ginger and her two port for their daughter.
For information and tickets: Call story. Mr. Mason “was an astonishing sisters — “off at a different synagogue As for the upcoming production,
(845) 598-2850 character,” Ms. Reiter said.. “He opened every week. I would learn at all of them. “you don’t have to be Jewish to love it,”
my eyes to everything.” I grew to love it.” Reiter’s mother died she said.
10 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
JS-11

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JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 11


JS-12*

Briefly Local

JTS hosts Elisha Wiesel at annual awards dinner


The Jewish Theological Seminary
celebrated its annual Louis Mar-
shall Award Dinner on June 13,
and welcomed guest speaker Eli-
sha Wiesel, who is Goldman Sach’s
chief information officer and the
son of Holocaust survivor and
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wie-
sel. Dedee and Stephen Lovell were
honored for their dedicated service
to JTS and the Jewish people. The
couple’s long connection to JTS
began in the early 1990s, when
Stephen joined the board of over-
seers of the rabbinical school and
later joined the board of trustees.
Together, the Lovels have been gen-
Elisha Wiesel, CIO of Goldman Sachs; Abby JTS board chair Alan Levine, left, joins Stephen and Dedee Lovell, and
erous supporters and valued mem-
Joseph Cohen, JTS board chair emerita, and Arnold Eisen. ELLEN DUBIN PHOTOGRAPHY
bers of the JTS family.
Arnold Eisen, JTS chancellor.

Norpac hears senator and congressman in Englewood and Teaneck


Last week, the Gontownik family hosted a
Norpac pro-Israel meeting for Senator Mitch
McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate majority leader,
at their Englewood home. The group held a
roundtable discussion with the senator about
the U.S.-Israel relationship and recent aggres-

PHOTOS COURTESY NORPAC


sion by Iran.
Miriam and Allen Pfeiffer welcomed back
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who rep-
resents Chicago’s western and southwestern
suburbs, to their home for a Norpac meeting.
In 2015, Mr. Lipinski was one of two dozen
members in his party to vote against the Iran
deal in the House of Representatives. He Dr. Ben Chouake, left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Miriam and Allen Pfeiffer flank Representative
is a co-sponsor of H.R. 246, a bill opposing McConnell, and Jerry Gontownik. Dan Lipinski.
efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and
fighting the effects of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.
The bill has gained wide support in both parties.
Both Mr. McConnell and Mr. Lipinski are up for re-election in November.

Davenning
al fresco
Clergy and congregants at Temple
PHOTO COURTESY TEMPLE BETH SHOLOM

Beth Sholom in Fair Lawn, from


left, Cantor Andrew Schultz, Ira
Kastrinsky, Eric Memmi, Elliot
Melnick, Rabbi Alberto (Baruch)
Zeilicovich, Howard Shultz, Alan
Lewis, Dr. Charles Knapp, and
Asher Auslin, took part in an out-
door kabbalat Shabbat service.

12 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


JS-13*

Briefly Local

PHOTOS PROVIDED
The extended Gellis family gathers to honor the memory of Harold Gellis.

Teaneck league Yuval Kalmanovich, head of operations for firefighting and rescue at the
Be’er Sheva Regional Station; Helen Levine; Shmulik Friedman, chief of oper-
renamed for ations for Israel Fire and Rescue Authority, and Bob Levine. COURTESY JNF

a key player
Last Sunday, Teaneck’s Bnai Yeshurun
Bob Levine’s 100th Israel trip
Men’s Club Softball League was officially has a bit of a siren song
renamed in memory of league pioneer Bob Levine of Teaneck just completed community, and if they want to con-
Harold Gellis, who was known to pitch his 100th trip to Israel. His wife, Helen, tribute toward making the world a bet-
shutouts and strike out hitters who were accompanied him, as she has dozens of ter place,” Bob Levine said. “Jewish
50 years his junior. Mr. Gellis already times. Recalling his trip to Israel in 1951, National Fund was the vehicle we chose
was planning for the upcoming season Bob said, “We were flying past Arad, and and it has given us the ability to express
when he died suddenly in February. The I remember looking out the window and our appreciation for what we have.” He
league now will be known as the Harold seeing only desert. Over the years, the was surrounded by people who have
Gellis z”l B’nai Yeshurun Men’s Club country has undergone some miracu- benefited from his partnership over the
Softball League. lous changes. It’s all green now. I just years, including Mitzpe Ramon’s Mayor
Mr. Gellis played for more than 30 Rabbi Larry Rothwachs joins can’t believe it.” Roni Marom, Israel Fire Chief Shmulik
years — many of them as captain — and Jonathan Gellis holding the plaque For the Levines, Israel’s ongoing Friedman, dozens of regional firefight-
kept going past his 70th birthday. He commemorating his father. growth and development is personal. ers, and his JNF family.
played for the Bottling Company team, Their lives are intertwined with their The Levines’ investment in Mitzpe
originally comprised of all Beth Aaron Doghouse. role in Jewish National Fund and its Ramon also extends past their philan-
members. This year, on Father’s Day The Gellis family was given a plaque work in creating a better future for the thropic connection and now includes
morning, the team played against the memorializing the league’s name land and people of Israel. In May, the a newborn great-grand-niece, who will
Scrubs. Mr. Gellis’ wife, Gloria, their son change. Rabbi Larry Rothwachs of Con- Levines traveled to Israel on the Pres- grow up in the thriving community.
Jonathan — who wore his father’s old jer- gregation Beth Aaron said, “Harold ident’s Society Mission, a special trip Speaking at the firehouse dedication,
sey — three grandsons, a son-in- law, and was so great at being part of a team, for JNF-USA President’s Society major Mayor Merom echoed Bob’s deep and
a grandson-in-law all were there to watch while being true to himself and what donors, who are committed to the lasting connection to Israel. “The word
the game. Afterward, more than 50 peo- he believed in.” Jonathan Gellis talked ongoing task of investing and building ‘partnership’ is the best way to describe
ple, including captains from other teams, about his dad’s love of his teammates the future of Israel. Bob and Helen pre- our relationship with Bob, Helen, and
former teammates, and family members, as if they were his family, and how he sented their newest contribution to Isra- Jewish National Fund-USA. Mitzpe
attended the renaming ceremony at Ben- shared in their simchas. He mentioned el’s frontier — a brand-new fire truck, Ramon would not be able to move for-
jamin Franklin Junior High School. that his father would greet new mem- to go to the recently renovated Mitzpe ward the way that we have without the
Jonathan Gellis moved to Israel two bers of shul not with “Are you a Kohen Ramon fire station. full support of JNF and our American
years ago but he lived in Teaneck until or a Levi?” but with “Do you play soft- “One has to decide early in life if partners, in terms of community, tour-
then. He was the founding owner of the ball? What position?” they are there for the larger global ism, and business development.”

More than
Temple Emeth shows pride 411,000 likes.
On June 14, the Viewpoints Committee of Temple Emeth in Teaneck
held its annual Pride Shabbat service. Elaine Barrett of PFLAG said Like us
“I’m Good if They’re Happy” — a talk about the joys and challenges of
parenting LGBTQ children. Kol Emeth, the shul’s choir, performed.
on Facebook.
Viewpoints is a Temple Emeth committee formed to celebrate the
BARBARA BALKIN

diversity of the Jewish community.

Viewpoints Committee co-chair Karen Rappaport,


Elaine Barrett of PFLAG, and Rabbi Steven Sirbu. facebook.com/jewishstandard

JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 13


JS-14

Briefly Local

BPY raises
over $127k
at walkathon
The Ben Porat Yosef 18th anni-
versary Scholarship Walkathon,
“Walking on Sunshine,” was held
on June 16 at Winton White Sta-
dium in Englewood. It was the cul-
mination of BPY’s efforts to raise
money for the school’s scholarship
fund. Hundreds of participants
helped raise more than $127,000
for BPY scholarships.
Rabbi Saul Zucker, BPY’s head
of school, said, “The BPY Walk- Ben Porat Yosef’s 18th anniversary scholarship walkathon start and finish line. COURTESY BPY

athon was an outstanding success,


both in terms of support and ruach. It is a joy to see organized by Gabrielle Altman, BPY director of Sammy Bensoussan of Englewood. Top fundrais-
students, parents, faculty, administration, lay lead- development, and Tova Small, associate develop- ers included Inna and Howie Siegel of Fort Lee and
ership, community members, and friends all come ment director. Walkathon committee members Elana and Yossi Cohn of Bergenfield, and fundrais-
together to help ensure that anyone who wants a BPY included Jodi Cohen, Dana Gerschel, Cheryl and ers with the most sponsors were Jodi and Shaul
education is able to receive one. What a beautiful dis- Jeremy Ginsburg, Gila Haray, Renee Klyman, Lau- Cohen of Englewood and the Robinson/Bellino fam-
play of achdut!” reen Rahmani, Cori Robinson, Tamara Solomon, ily of Teaneck.
The walkathon featured a group walk, compet- Daniella Spier, and Ilana Tachauer. BPY corporate sponsors included the Jewish Stan-
itive and relay races, giveaways, activity booths, Prizes were presented to the top adult runner, dard, Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Camp Kef, Grand
sports, crafts, and games. Participants were given Daniel Malka of Englewood, who ran a quarter mile & Essex, Judaica House, Synergy Home Care Bergen
T-shirts, sunglasses, and refreshments. It was in 1:03, and the top student runner, sixth grader County, and the Therapy Gym.

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Local

the moment Georgia’s Representative John Lewis, the Wiesenthal Center worked arduously to repave the
Relations famed civil rights leader, put his hand on my shoulder well-traveled road that would increase the Jewish com-
FROM PAGE 7
when I first approached him about the conference con- munity’s alliances with the national and local black
We stand now, hearing once again about the cept. He said to me, “Son, we might have all gotten here communities, for our collective benefit. From holding
announcement of a black/Jewish caucus in the halls of on different ships but we are all in the same boat.” educational forums on our communities’ activist joint
Congress, as if it were a first. We see the public pro- History often forgets to tell us that he left the organi- history on Dr. Martin Luther King Day with New York
nouncements already; even before the group’s formal zation he created, the Student Non-Violent Coordinat- State Assemblyman Walter Mosley to working with the
launch Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is joining ing Commission, when its next generation of leadership Bergen County NAACP, Bergen County Urban League,
with the likes of Linda Sarsour to call Representative wanted to eradicate Jews from its board. And while he and Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton to bring
Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) a host of provocative names, looking is now a founding member of this new caucus, I will not together black and Jewish students and teach mutual
to sow the seeds of anti-Semitism. forget that he was the first member to agree to co-host understanding, to my incredible colleague creating the
What is inherently even more shameful is the of lack a similar endeavor 20 years ago as well. Space to Talk About Race program in Chicago alongside
of outcry by her colleagues, particularly by those who I chose to focus on the leadership that looks to bring the famed Pastor Mitchell Johnson, to more than six
can be monumentally successful in this endeavor if us together. million people over the last 25 years who have learned
they are seen as honest and sincere about the realities Twenty years ago, the conference was not about cre- about our nation’s civil rights era and leadership
facing them. ating media attention. It was about working collectively through programs such as the Museum of Tolerance
Twenty years ago, the conference understood that to fight radically growing hate crimes against both of in Los Angeles’s annual Black History Month events,
there were issues between the communities. As they our people. I have had enough of unity press confer- the Simon Wiesenthal Center has stood proudly on
met, Jewish leadership held its breath, waiting for ences. If this new caucus is to have credibility, it too the front lines. I find myself so fortunate to be a part
potentially challenging statements — but they never needs to engage in a true assessment of the current hate of these efforts.
came. The importance of the moment was well under- trends aimed specifically against the black and Jewish Let us hope that this new caucus will do the right
stood, the need for us to try to cooperate and stay the communities. And it needs to have the courage to fight thing and inspire another generation of a collective
course. And that’s what happened. The participants back — even, if necessary, against Representative Omar. activism that has the courage, the tenacity, and the
understood that they stood for something more import- Listening to the words spoken at the private confer- sheer determination to boldly stand up to the bigots,
ant than their next social media sound bite, and they ence 20 years ago made me believe in the enormous racists and anti-Semites.
were willing at least to come to the table in a respectful possibilities of such intercommunal human rights alli-
manner. ances, and led me to dedicate my professional life to Michael Cohen represents the Second Ward on the
When I hear anti-Semitic statements from the likes the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is a clear leader Englewood City Council and he is the eastern regional
of Louis Farrakhan, I instead choose to remember in the fight against hate. Over the past few years, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 15


Cover Story

Naftuli Moster, left, and Yaffed attorney


Eric Huang prepare to lobby in Albany, N.Y.

Fighting for
student rights
Naftuli Moster of Rockland pressures state
to enforce English literacy education laws

I
JOANNE PALMER his parents might be foreign. chasidim; he was born in Brooklyn and for Fair Education, works toward that
His manner is friendly, polite, correct, educated there and in Israel. Although end.
f you’d first met Naftuli Moster businesslike. Appropriate. he is loath to say so himself — “What This week, he’s in Israel; he’s one of
of Rockland County without Ask him questions, though, and his does it really mean to be chasidic?” he the 2019 Charles and Lynn Schusterman
knowing anything about him, answers stop you. asks when he is asked about his affilia- Foundation’s ROI Summit participants.
he’d seem appealing — a young “Where in your family’s birth order tion — he appears no longer part of that The program, now in its 13th year, gath-
(he’s only 33 but if anything are you?,” you ask. world, and he has devoted his life to ers 150 young Jewish activists from
looks younger), thin, attractive “I’m exactly in the middle,” he ensuring that the children and teenagers around the world in Jerusalem to inspire
guy, blonde hair and well-trimmed short answers. who remain there are given the secular and challenge each other.
beard, dressed in a standard business You ask the logical next question. education to which both New York and Being named a participant is an
casual black-and-white way designed not “Out of how many?” New Jersey law entitle them, and which honor; for a participant to have come
to attract much attention. He’s maybe “I’m the ninth.” will allow them to live in the outside from the chasidic world is exceedingly
got a slightly noticeable intonation, not “As in, your parents had 17 kids?” world should they decide to do so. rare. But then, Mr. Moster is used to
an accent, not nearly an accent, but “That’s right.” He’s created an organization called being in that position — of accomplish-
enough to make you wonder if maybe Naftuli Moster’s parents are Belzer Yaffed, as its full name, Young Advocates ing feats no one expected of him. With
16 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
Cover Story

Naftuli Moster leads a demonstration in Albany for better enforcement of education laws to help chasidic students attending yeshivas.

the work he’s doing now, he is trying to “but this was before the chasidic com- each other in English.” education all day long, and for a few
make it easier for other chasidic kids to munity was as established as it is now,” His mother didn’t learn Yiddish until years, from maybe about third grade
do what he did. and there were fewer yeshivas, and less she married his father; “She would say to seventh grade, four days a week we
Mr. Moster grew up in Borough choice among them. “He had to go to a that she learned Yiddish on the job,” had about 90 minutes of secular edu-
Park, Brooklyn, into a world of sharply Lavish yeshiva,” Mr. Moster said, and he he said. “She had seven sons in a row. cation, basic English and arithmetic,”
defined roles and expectations. His story too spoke English. Those were her first seven children.” he said. “It was just a zoo. The teachers
is easier to understand when you realize Their sons did not. The gender of her children is relevant, were unqualified, and they didn’t have
that the chasidic world is not all of one “My parents would never speak he said, because daughters are allowed the school’s backing if they tried to disci-
piece; the various groups that make it English to us,” Mr. Moster said. In a to speak some English. pline us. If students behaved during the
up might look pretty much the same to rest of the day the way they did then,
an outsider, but their differences can be they’d be kicked out.
important. “In high school, secular studies van-
Three of his grandparents were Holo- ished entirely.”
caust survivors, and both of his parents
grew up in a Brooklyn that still was
It was just a zoo. The teachers The day started early, he said; before
dawn, each boy would go to the mikvah.
adjusting to the growth of the chasidic were unqualified, and they Then “the school day started at 6:30 or
community. It was less insular at first
than it soon became; at first, there were
didn’t have the school’s backing 7, and would go to 8 or 8:30.
“You have young high school kids
not enough of them to allow for that if they tried to discipline us. spending basically every waking hour
insularity. in a yeshiva, in an environment where
Mr. Moster’s mother “grew up a mod- reversal of the classic American Jewish (Readers should note that Mr. Moster’s they see only people like themselves,”
ern Lubavitcher, in Midwood,” Brook- situation, where parents would speak parents’ names are not given here he said. The gender divide was severe,
lyn, he said. “They had TV their entire Yiddish to each other in front of the chil- because, out of deference to them, Mr. so “people like themselves” meant only
lives.” They all spoke English. Televi- dren so the children could not under- Moster prefers not to supply them, just chasidic boys and men. “Being seen with
sion was forbidden to Belzers; “That’s stand them, and where the punchlines as he prefers not to specify where in your sister was frowned upon,” he said.
why we were discouraged from having to jokes told in English would be deliv- Rockland County he lives.) “It wasn’t tzniusdik.” It was immodest.
a relationship with my mother’s fam- ered in Yiddish because the joy of sto- Mr. Moster and his siblings all went “Even for married couples,” he added.
ily,” he said. “My mother shifted to the ry-telling would propel speakers to their to schools that he feels strongly offered “It wasn’t uncommon to have a kiddush
right on her own,” and she married his mamaloschen, their native tongue, his an inadequate education. “In elemen- after Shabbes, or a shalom zachor,” a
father. He came from a Belzer family, parents “would just finish sentences to tary school — cheder — we had Judaic gathering to welcome the birth of a baby
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 17
Cover Story

boy. “If my parents would go together, they would walk


on different sides of the street.” There are signs man-
dating such separations in New Square, in Rockland, he
said; in Brooklyn there were no signs, but there was an
understanding.
“Literally all day long we’d be in this environment, so
we could come home and go to sleep and wake up and
do it again,” he said.
After yeshiva, as was the custom, Mr. Moster went to
Israel; the Belzers had a yeshiva ketana — a high school —
in Brooklyn, but its next level of education, starting the
last year of high school and extending through the gap
year and then through a third year, the yeshiva gedolah,
is only in Israel. “Usually boys tend to go for at least
three years, and they usually get engaged and married
before their second year,” he said. “When a boy needs
to get engaged, the parents see to it. It is all arranged;
the girls’ parents would send someone to look at the
boy, or look at him when he’s home for Pesach.
“By the time the boy and girl meet, it’s pretty much a
done deal.” Those young chasidic couples you might see
in hotel lobbies in Jerusalem, or maybe in the ferry ter-
minal in New Jersey? They’re not Belzer, Mr. Moster said.
Such a marriage was set up for him, and he was mar-
ried; it didn’t work, and the memory makes him visibly
unhappy. He does not talk about it. Chasidic students at the Belz yeshiva in Jerusalem.
He came home from Israel, at 20, with another idea in
mind. “I had this strange idea,” he said. “The idea of pur- didn’t compile transcripts. “So either I could pursue a my education had been really poor, but still I didn’t
suing a degree.” An academic degree. “Even though I’m GED, which would be hard because I was so crippled edu- realize how bad it was. I had no comparison. And
not sure that I even knew what I meant.” cationally. Or I could take a placement exam; that way when I asked questions, for clarification, I got a lot
But he persisted. you bypass having to get a diploma or a GED, but you of heads turned. People turned to look at me.”
He wanted to become a psychologist. “I saw a lot of have to frontload certain courses that serve essentially as Still, he persisted. How? “There was something
mental illness around me, going undiagnosed,” he said. high school courses. You have to take an exam, and write pushing me,” he said. He couldn’t define that force,
He didn’t yet know what it meant, or even what it was an essay, and take a math quiz. but he felt it. “But clearly I didn’t know what I was
called, but “I saw that it went unaddressed. There was “The problem was that I didn’t know how to write an in for,” he said. “Years later, when I finally got my
a lot of stigma toward people with mental illness.” He essay, or even what an essay was. They tried teaching me bachelor’s degree, I thought now I have to get a
wanted to help. on the spot. They graded their own exams.” Ph.D. I didn’t realize that I would have to take the
He found “a branch of Touro College that they call When he took the test, “I remember that one of the GREs — and that they are timed exams. But then,
Machon l’Parnasa,” he said. Its full name is Machon essay prompts was about Yetziat Mitzrayim” — the exo- me speaking English involved me thinking in Yid-
L’Parnasa/Institute for Professional Studies, and it was in dus from Egypt — “but the prompt said Exodus, and I dish and then translating that into English. It was a
Brooklyn. “It is for Orthodox Jews,” he said; it was gen- didn’t know what that meant. The other one was why I delayed process.” So he decided that it made more
der-segregated, and used the Orthodox worldview and was or was not a vegetarian. So I wrote two paragraphs— sense to earn a master’s degree in social work.
vocabulary. But still, he wasn’t ready for it. “They were one about why I was a vegetarian, and the other about That was later, though. How did he manage to
looking for people who at least knew what a high school why I was not.” pay for Touro? “I hoped to get financial aid,” he
diploma was,” he said. He didn’t. And “I spoke only bro- Despite his lack of education — and quite possibly said. He was still living at home, although rela-
ken English.” because of his overwhelming drive and evident curiosity tions had become a bit strained. “My father was
Administrators at Machon L’Parnasa asked him “if I and brain power — “they did squeeze me in. I had to take not thrilled,” Mr. Moster said. “He did not supply
had a diploma, and I didn’t. I was able to get a letter from quite a few remedial courses, and then I got started. That me with his documents,” which are necessary for
the yeshiva, but there was no transcript.” The school was the first time when I really had to face the reality that financial aid forms. “After talking to different peo-
ple and different organizations, though, I learned
about a concept called dependency override. In
unusual circumstances, if parents offer no sup-
port, even if the kid is living under the parents’

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As he moved ahead with his education — after
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Island, which is a CUNY school, and then to Hunter
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Mr. Moster thought back on his childhood, and all
no obligation or other the things he was not taught.
“I had delayed taking hard science until the end,
purchase necessary!* until my senior year,” he said. “So I took Bio 101,
GREAT and it was a review of high school science. For me,
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heard about the concept of child abuse and child
18 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
Cover Story

neglect. Why doesn’t education fall clear. He said, ‘Organize a meeting. sanction this behavior,” Mr. Moster said. “People understand that a lack of sec-
under that category? I thought that Bring me 20 different yeshiva gradu- The problems with the schools “is as ular education doesn’t translate only into
this was a new, interesting concept to ates from different schools.’ I did; they prevalent in Rockland as it is in the city,” a poorer population but also one with a
tell people about. were all from different schools, and he continued. “To some extent, the effects lack of understanding of American history
“I did some research, and I found the story was basically the same from are felt in Rockland even more acutely. — slavery, women’s rights, civil rights. You
that New York State has laws for pri- all of them. There is a scarcity of resources on the know nothing.
vate schools, and I found the prior “And after that event he said, ‘You county and then the school district level. “Chasidic boys also learn less about the
guidelines, that are still in effect. should form an organization.’ So I did. And you have people who know nothing Holocaust than public school kids do,”
“It was so astonishing. There was a At first I thought it would be a quick about the environment, so you see reck- Mr. Moster said. “We don’t have lessons
q & a about what nonpublic schools thing, but it ended up consuming me.” less development, and it is felt much more planned about it. On one day a year — the
must teach, and there were lists, bro- day when that school’s rebbe was rescued
ken down into detail. And these sub- — they convene us in the lunchroom, and
jects, that were so clearly required — we are told a little bit of that rebbe’s his-
and they were not remotely touched tory, and then a survivor comes and sings
on in my education.
“So I began to reach out to elected
To some extent, the effects are a song. There is no history lesson about
it. No history about what Nazism was, or
officials.” felt in Rockland even more about who Hitler was, or about what hap-
It took some time before Mr. Moster
felt comfortable enough to pursue
acutely. There is a scarcity of pened during the war, or after it.”
Now, “my work is mainly awareness
his vision forcefully. He had to spend resources on the county and raising, advocacy, and grassroots organiz-
some time in the outside world first.
“And then, several years ago, I mus-
then the school district level. ing,” Mr. Moster said. “They all overlap.
We are making an active push to get the
tered up the courage to start doing broader Jewish community more involved.
this more effectively,” he said. “At that Now Yaffed has “two full-time strongly in Rockland. In the city you have To be involved, he suggests “attending
point, I began reaching out to lawyers, employees sitting right here” — the such extreme wealth that several thousand press conferences. Attending hearings.
and asking them to look at it, but I had nonprofit agency has space in another, more people on the dole don’t make much Publishing op eds. Sending letters to the
no concept, still, that there were dif- larger foundation’s offices in midtown difference. In the city, when you talk about editor. There is so much that people can
ferent kinds of lawyers. I was reaching Manhattan — “and another one, a lob- poverty, you don’t think about chasidim.” do if they think of it as a priority. There are
out randomly.” byist, in Albany. That’s two hires in But in the chasidic community “there is so many ways to make a difference.”
He was torn. less than six months.” Mr. Sussman a lot of dependence on government assis- And, he added, people who live in New
This work, the effort to ensure is on the board, and Mr. Moster is the tance,” he said. “And in Rockland, the Jersey shouldn’t think of this as just New
that all children, including chasidic executive director. issue of secular education is a topic. There York’s issue. “The issue also is exploding
children, got the education to which There is some pushback to his are primaries for the election for DA com- in Lakewood,” he said.
the state believed they were entitled, work, Mr. Moster said. Some of it, of ing up, and the question of enforcement Mr. Moster summed up Yaffed’s posi-
“was a distraction that I didn’t want,” course, comes from within the com- in education has come up.” (That primary tion. “If there is a school that doesn’t
Mr. Moster said. “I was working full munity; this is the way the schools was set for June 25.) “Even people who teach, in my opinion it is not a school. It is
time” — in a warehouse in Newark, always have worked, and they work, aren’t running for positions where they just a building where educational neglect
doing heavy physical labor; because and mind your own business. That is can make changes have made this a topic. is happening.”
some of his co-workers couldn’t pro- to be expected. “But I find it frustrat-
nounce Naftuli, “I said call me Nick,” ing — maybe it’s my pet peeve — that
he said. “I was going to school on the larger Jewish community basically
evenings and weekends, and when says that it is not their problem. And I
I had some spare time, I would do say, why not? Why isn’t it?” JFCS Is Here, When You Need Us
the research, and I would call peo- He is trying to talk to rabbis and
ple, from the warehouse, with heavy lay leaders to confront the issue, “but
boxes on my shoulder. a surprising number of them also
“I thought that maybe I could just have said, ‘It’s not my problem,’” Mr.
let this go, just go on with my life, and Moster said. “Even worse are those
then I imagined what it would have who believe that we all are entitled to
been like if someone three years ago live our lives as we wish. And you can
or 30 years ago or 300 years ago had and should according to your values,
thought about doing something and your culture, and your tradition, but
had not said no, let’s go on with my your freedom to exercise your religion
life. My life would have been different.” ends when it affects other people. We
Since then, his quest has taken over have laws for a reason, to protect chil-
his professional life. dren, so that your choices now don’t
“This happened around the time completely cripple or handicap them
when there was a major incident when they become adults.
in New Square. A guy prayed in the “It should be a given that every Jew-
wrong synagogue, and there was an ish person should be concerned about
arson attack.” (The man who was dav- it, and should speak up, should stop
ening in the wrong shul and whose apologizing for them or excusing them.
house was set alight in response is “We need more Jews and non-Jews,
Aron Rottenberg; the incident was anyone who has a conscience, who
Mental Health Counseling
in 2011.) “The family retained a civil cares about children’s rights, educa- Call JFCS
rights lawyer. I reached out to that tional rights, and fighting poverty.”
Senior Care
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attorney.” That was Michael Sussman. Jews also tend to support chasidic Food Pantries
www.jfcsnnj.org
“I don’t think that he believed me schools because they think those Career Counseling
when I described the extent of the schools are authentic in a way their Afterschool Programs
issue. How could he? The law is so own practices are not. “But you cannot
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 19
Jewish World

‘The Shrink Next Door’: revelations


about the Jewiest, screwiest podcast
DEBRA NUSSBAUM COHEN

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — This is one of the strangest stories


you’ll ever read, about one of the strangest stories ever told
in a podcast.
“The Shrink Next Door,” rated No. 1 for three weeks
straight on Apple’s Podcast charts, is about a Manhattan
psychiatrist, Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, known for treat-
ing — and name-dropping — an array of celebrity patients
while becoming well known in Jewish and literary philan-
thropic circles.
The podcast, written and hosted by Bloomberg colum-
nist Joe Nocera, is mostly about Martin Markowitz, a long-
time patient of Dr. Herschkopf, who says he spent most
of his life — more than 30 years — under Dr. Herschkopf’s
sway. In seven episodes, Mr. Nocera describes how the psy-
chiatrist isolated Markowitz from his friends and family and
encouraged him not to pursue potential marriage partners.
There’s more: “Shrink” describes how Dr. Herschkopf
became president of Mr. Markowitz’s theatrical fabrics busi-
ness, created a charitable foundation almost entirely with Martin Markowitz, showing off his apiary in the backyard of his Southampton home, said he is back
Mr. Markowitz’s money, and got the foundation and his wife on track after years under the sway of a psychiatrist he says took over his life and business.
named in Mr. Markowitz’s will after his patient removed  PHOTO BY DEBRA NUSSBAUM COHEN
his sister and her children at the psychiatrist’s suggestion.
In the meantime, Dr. Herschkopf collected more than $3 the compound. reported and fact checked to a fare-thee-well by me
million in fees from Mr. Markowitz over three decades, Mr. Dr. Herschkopf has claimed that Mr. Markowitz was and the people at Wondery and Bloomberg,” which
Markowitz said last week in an interview at his estate here. a willing partner in everything, and Mr. Nocera’s wife jointly produced the podcast.
It’s the same wooded, bucolic property that figures speaks for many listeners when she says at one point, The podcast has created a stir in Manhattan’s tight-
prominently in the podcast: Mr. Nocera lives next door, and “It takes two to tango.” Mr. Markowitz admits he was knit philanthropic and Modern Orthodox Jewish cir-
while it belongs to Mr. Markowitz, Dr. Herschkopf managed vulnerable and willingly followed his psychiatrist’s cles. Dr. Herschkopf famously hosted summer parties
to commandeer it and present it as his own for 26 years — instructions. Nevertheless, the podcast explores the in the Hamptons that brought between 70 and 170
relegating Mr. Markowitz to guest quarters at the back of professional ethics of a psychiatrist insinuating him- people on buses — chartered by Mr. Markowitz — to
self into the personal, family, and financial life of a the house whose mailbox bore the name of “Dr. Isaac
patient to the degree that Dr. Herschkopf did. Stevens,” Dr. Herschkopf’s alias. Dr. Herschkopf had

ZUMBAWITH US
Since the podcast debuted last month, Dr. Hersc- Mr. Markowitz prepare the compound for each party
hkopf has faced professional consequences. and stand at the barbecue roasting kosher fare and
H recently disappeared from the New York Uni- serving guests.
ON TEANECK’S CEDAR LANE versity Medical School’s website. He resigned volun- Although patients would often be invited to the
tarily, Dr. Herschkopf said in a telephone interview. parties and mingle with the other guests, guests say
FREE ZUMBA LESSONS Dr. Herschkopf also resigned from FASPE, the Fel- they had no idea that Mr. Markowitz was Dr. Hersc-
Thursdays in July - 7:00-7:45pm lowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional
Ethics, on whose board of directors he sat, according
hkopf ’s patient. They believed — from the way Mr.
Markowitz was dressed to the roles he served at the
Instructor: Darlene Fulton Marshall to the board chair, David Goldman. parties — that he was hired help.
Cedar Lane Pedestrian Plaza at Chestnut Avenue “We accepted his resignation. Please note that The parties drew celebrities, actors and writers,
Weather Permitting - All Skill/Age Levels Welcome we did not do any independent investigation of and the creme de la creme of Manhattan’s Modern
Bring a Towel and a the reporting contained within the podcast,” Gold- Orthodox world. Gwyneth Paltrow, who was Dr. Her-
Water Bottle man said. schkopf’s patient for a time, was among the guests,
In response to a message, Dr. Herschkopf called Mr. Markowitz says.
July 11 back three times. For years Dr. Herschkopf wrote columns published
“I resigned [from NYU and FASPE] to spare them in The Jewish Week, most recently in September.
the adverse publicity Nocera was going to visit upon One was about being beaten by his father, an Aus-
July 18 them,” Dr. Herschkopf said in one of the calls. chwitz survivor.
He called later to question Mr. Nocera’s motivation The writer Shalom Auslander wrote a thinly veiled
for the podcast, noting the journalist plays tennis on account of his time with his celebrity-obsessed shrink
July 25 Mr. Markowitz’s court. for The New York Times in 2006. Perhaps he was sim-
“One would presume that would compromise his ply repaying the favor: Dr. Herschkopf wrote a letter
neutrality,” the psychiatrist said. to Esquire magazine in 2001 identifying himself as
Dr. Herschkopf also said that “90 percent of the Isaac Steven Hersch, Auslander’s psychiatrist.
podcast is untrue or out of context,” and that Mr. Mr. Auslander did not respond to several attempts
Sponsored by Nocera “has had a vendetta against me for 10 years,” to reach him.
Cedar Lane Management Group dating back to when the reporter began investigating Another famous writer, who asked that her name
Mr. Markowitz’s claims. not be included in this article, said she never went
www.cedarlane.net • 201-907-0493 Mr. Nocera replied that the podcast was “rigorously to the Southampton parties, though she attended a
20 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
Jewish World

Passover seder with Dr. Herschkopf should have his medical license taken
and his family once at their Manhat- away. He used whatever talent he has
tan apartment. to manipulate people. The damage he
“Does this come as a great shock did to Marty … and it besmirches all
to me? No,” she said. “There is some- of psychiatry.”
thing about him, his obsession with
famous people, and he always seemed “Pouring salt into
to be sidling up to famous literary peo- my open wounds”
ple. I personally would never recom- I visited Mr. Markowitz in the Hamp-
mend him to anyone.” tons on a breezy June Saturday and he
Major Modern Orthodox rab- showed me around the sumptuous,
bis and communal leaders were sun-dappled property. There is a large
also invited to the summer parties: pool complete with slide, full-size bas-
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of the Ramaz ketball court, the tennis court, hot
School and Congregation Kehilath
Jeshurun; Rabbi Arthur Schneier of
Park East Synagogue; his son Rabbi
tub, and modern sculptures. That’s in
addition to multiple koi-stocked ponds
and a professionally designed 18-hole
Sandi M. Malkin, LL C
Marc Schneier of The Hampton Syn-
agogue; and Rabbi Joseph Telushkin,
miniature golf course — one of only
five installed at private homes in the
Interior Designer
the author of many books on Jewish country at the time, Mr. Markowitz (former interior designer of model
literacy and Jewish ethics. said. It was all installed at Dr. Hersc- rooms for NY’s #1 Dept. Store)
In “Code of Jewish Ethics Volume hkopf ’s direction and paid for by Mr.
2: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself,” Markowitz, he said.
Dr. Herschkopf is the first person Mr. Markowitz looks a decade For a totally new look using
among dozens Telushkin thanks in younger than his 77 years, and is your furniture or starting anew.
his acknowledgments. Telushkin also delighted to show me the apiary where
cites the psychiatrist several times he recently began keeping honeybees, Staging also available
throughout its pages. Telushkin did behind which he plans to soon add a
not respond to email and voice- chicken coop. He is witty and calm, 973-535-9192
mail messages. and dispassionate as he recounts the
Psychiatrist Samuel Klagsbrun and facts of his relationship with Dr. Her-
his wife, writer Francine Klagsbrun, schkopf. He seems content. RCBC
were invited to the parties. But it wasn’t always that way. In
“We may have gone. I don’t know June 1981 Mr. Markowitz, then 39, had
him particularly well,” said Samuel recently lost both his parents and was

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Martin Markowitz and his sister, Phyllis Shapiro, reconciled after 27


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years — a break, they both say, that was engineered by psychiatrist Isaac facebook.com/jewishstandard
Herschkopf.

JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 21


Jewish World

Shrink
FROM PAGE 21
a prenuptial agreement. It was a stress-
ful and painful time.
He turned to his rabbi, Shlomo Riskin,
at the time Lincoln Square Synagogue’s
leader, who had brought Mr. Markowitz
closer to Judaism. Rabbi Riskin referred
Mr. Markowitz to Dr. Herschkopf, then
a young psychiatrist in his late 20s.
Through his assistant, Rabbi Riskin
— who has lived in Israel since 1983 —
said he “cannot offer any recollections,
reflections, or insights on the matter.”
Mr. Markowitz began seeing Dr. Hersc-
hkopf three times a week.
“Very quietly, over about an 18-month
period, Ike started pouring salt into all
of my open wounds,” Mr. Markowitz
said. “He got my sister and her children
and all of my blood relatives and close
friends out of my life.
“A constant mantra from Ike was he’d
say ‘you can’t handle the truth. You’re
passive aggressive, you can’t handle con-
frontation, you’re going to screw up the
business and lose customers,’” Mr. Mar- Dr. Isaac Herschkopf, shown at left in a photo with Henry Kissinger, tasked his patient Martin Markowitz with curating
kowitz recalled. the pictures he appeared in with celebrities.
As he eroded what remained of Mr.
Markowitz’s fragile confidence, Dr. Her- 11-year-old daughter. put my feelings down. If my sister con- which a psychiatrist has been accused of
schkopf gradually began insinuating After guiding Mr. Markowitz to cut tacted me, if she left a message or sent manipulating a patient and creating fam-
himself into management decisions at off all those relationships, “Ike said, me a birthday or New Year’s card, he ily rifts and estrangements. The heiress
Associated Fabrics. ‘you don’t have a family? Don’t worry. instructed [me] to ‘bring all those things Gloria Vanderbilt, who died recently,
Phyllis Shapiro, Mr. Markowitz’s My family will be your family, my kids into me.’ We would listen to it together experienced something similar with her
younger sister by three years, then like your nieces and nephews and we’re and he would interpret it.” psychiatrist, Dr. Christ Zois. Vanderbilt
worked at the fabric company. In early going to make a social life for you,’” Mr. eventually sued Zois and won a $1.5 mil-
1983, Dr. Herschkopf “instructed me to Markowitz recounted. ‘I was choking to death’ lion judgment against him and an attor-
serially lower Phyllis’s pay by $5,000, In February 1984, Dr. Herschkopf At the time, Mr. Markowitz owned only ney who she accused of “preying on her
which I did several times.” Mr. Markow- “instructed me to create the Yaron Foun- the Southampton property that is now wealth and emotional fragility.” It took
itz said. dation,” Mr. Markowitz wrote on his the guest house. In September 1986, many more years for her to reconcile
The psychiatrist told Mr. Markow- timeline. “Dr. Ike, Rebecca (his wife) and Mr. Markowitz said, Dr. Herschkopf with her estranged son Stan Stokowski.
itz to have a second bar mitzvah in I are the officers and directors. Simulta- instructed him to buy the adjoining Mr. Markowitz began feeling stirrings
May 1983, and not to invite his sister or neously he convinces me to execute a property. The properties were con- of discontent with his psychiatrist when
her children. will leaving my entire estate to the Yaron nected, and the first of what would the doctor insisted that he keep the busi-
Afterward, Shapiro flew to Switzer- Foundation. Dr. Ike is the sole executor become the legendary summer parties ness in Manhattan, in space he could no
land, according to the podcast, and of the will.” was held in June 1987 at the property longer afford.
removed money inherited from their That year Mr. Markowitz and his sis- Dr. Herschkopf began presenting as “I was choking to death,” he said. “We
parents from a bank account held ter were at terrible odds. They agreed his own. were four or five months away from
jointly with her brother, removed gold to let Rabbi Riskin settle their con- Framed photos of Dr. Herschkopf bankruptcy,” both because of the rent
coins from a jointly owned safe deposit flict and, after a beit din, or rabbinical with celebrities covered every inte- and the fees he was paying his psychia-
box, and took bonds from Mr. Markow- court, to which both siblings brought rior wall of the house. Dr. Herschkopf trist straight out of the business.
itz’s apartment. lawyers, Riskin issued a ruling dividing would instruct Mr. Markowitz to have Mr. Markowitz said that in 1995,
“At Dr. Ike’s insistence I fired Phyllis the assets between them, which they them framed at his patient’s expense. he also lost over $1.5 million he had
from Associated Fabrics,” Mr. Markowitz both accepted. He also had Mr. Markowitz type up invested, at Dr. Herschkopf ’s recom-
wrote on a timeline of events he shared After that, “I didn’t see my sister for 27 every manuscript of the 12 books mendation, in the Bennett Funding
with me in Southampton. years,” Mr. Markowitz said. he wrote, most of which have not Group, which filed for bankruptcy after
Mr. Markowitz wrote a letter he said “I had a ring in my nose and he was been published. the SEC brought fraud charges. At the
Dr. Herschkopf drafted stating that “no leading me around,” he said of Dr. To the parties, “each invitation came time it was the largest Ponzi scheme in
one in the family would ever inherit any Herschkopf. from Dr. Ike and his family, with no men- U.S. history.
of my money.” At the psychiatrist’s insis- Asked if he felt any internal resistance tion of me,” Mr. Markowitz wrote on Mr. Markowitz said he broke away
tence he hired a messenger to deliver to the demands his psychiatrist was his timeline. from Dr. Herschkopf in 2010 after Mr.
the letter, who left it with Shapiro’s then making, Mr. Markowitz said, “I had to To be sure, this isn’t the only case in Markowitz had a hernia operation and

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22 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
Jewish World

Dr. Herschkopf didn’t check in with his patient and


supposed friend of almost 40 years.
“I was devastated,” Mr. Markowitz said. “I began
to question the whole basis of our relationship.”
Using lessons learned from Dr. Herschkopf, Mr. Mr. Markowitz’s
Markowitz wrote a letter saying he wanted to take a Southampton house
break. The doctor wrote back warning that Mr. Mar- was the scene of
kowitz was making a terrible mistake and would elaborate summer
lose his business to manipulative employees. parties hosted by
In December, Mr. Markowitz reached out to his his psychiatrist and
sister, Phyllis. When she answered the phone, featuring celebrities
she told him, “I’ve been waiting for this call for and members of
27 years.” New York’s Modern
Though it took some of her children a while to Orthodox community.
trust him again, they are now closer than ever.
In the years since 2010, brother and sister
have biked together through Italy and traveled to
China. Ms. Shapiro spends lots of time now at the
Southampton estate, where she takes daily ten-
nis lessons and plays competitively. The day I vis-
ited, neighbors dropped by — including Joe Noc-
era, who lives next door. The two first met years
ago, when Dr. Herschkopf invited him to one of
the summer parties and Mr. Nocera, like every-
one else, thought Mr. Markowitz was the psychia-
trist’s employee.

Seeking justice
Things have turned around for Mr. Markowitz.
“Once I started running the company totally by
myself I got my mojo back,” Mr. Markowitz said.
“I’m a graduate of the Wharton School and NYU
Law — I’ve got some serious CV going on!”
The business is smaller, but it’s turning a profit
for the first time in many years.
“I’m the happiest I’ve been for many, many
years,” Mr. Markowitz said.
According to Mr. Markowitz, two more of Dr.
Herschkopf’s patients, with similar stories of being
manipulated, also have stepped forward, though
neither he nor Mr. Nocera would divulge their
names or agree to contact them for this report.
Mr. Markowitz’s one remaining goal is to make
sure Dr. Herschkopf is professionally disciplined for
his ethical breaches. Complaints he filed with the
New York State Department of Health in 2012 have
gone nowhere. And Dr. Herschkopf resigned from
the American Psychiatric Association, Mr. Mar-
kowitz said, after being notified that it was going to
commence an investigation into his conduct.
A Department of Health spokeswoman, Erin
Silk, said, “Consistent with Public Health Law, the
Department cannot confirm or deny the receipt of
any complaint or the existence of an Office of Pro-
fessional Medical Conduct (OPMC) investigation of
a licensee unless charges have been posted on the
DOH website or the Board for Professional Medical
Conduct has taken a public action.”
In the podcast, Mr. Markowitz describes a con-
versation with an OPMC employee who informs
him that the complaint is in process but offers noth-
ing more.
A search of Dr. Herschkopf’s name on the OPMC
section of the DOH website turned up nothing.
“I want justice to be served and to me, him losing
his [medical] license is justice,” Mr. Markowitz said.
“I just don’t want him to do this to anyone else.”
 JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY

JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 23


Editorial
On Jewish journalism
KEEPING THE FAITH

The Kashuv controversy:


W Post haste can make waste
e’re told that newspa-
pers are dying, at least

T
as physical objects,
even if they might he Kyle Kashuv story is an import- He recently resigned that position.
live on as pixels, divorced from their ant cautionary tale, and all of us, Kashuv described his political activities in
corporeal space-occupying presence. our children especially, must take his admission essay to Harvard College. In
That we won’t have to keep bring- note of it. March, the picture he painted of himself in
ing those thick rectangles, with their Kashuv, 18, is Jewish. He is the son of Uzi that essay, coupled with a grade point aver-
unmistakable feel (have you ever and Vered Adam-Kashuv, émigrés from Israel. age of 5.4 and an overall score of 1,550 on his
noticed how newsprint, the oddly He also is a survivor of the mass shooting at SAT exams, won him acceptance to Harvard.

PHOTO BY CARRIE MILLS


limp paper newspapers are printed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in In a letter dated June 3, however, Har-
on, doesn’t feel like anything else?), Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, in which 17 vard rescinded that acceptance — not
ability to clutter the most pristine people were killed and another 17 injured. because of Kashuv’s conservative activism,
room almost immediately, and must Kashuv hid in a closet during the massacre. as some, including Kashuv at times, claim,
be recycled before tottering piles of Two months after that shooting, however, he but because of what he wrote two years ear-
them take over our kitchen tables posted a video on Twitter showing him prac- lier in a Google Docs study guide chat with
entirely, into our homes. ticing shooting with an AR-15 rifle, the same other students. Among other comments he
We don’t believe that. hulking remains on the way out to type of weapon that killed some of his school- made then were “[expletive] the Jews” and
Nor do we believe that Jewish jour- Long Island). mates. The posting was so upsetting to many “kill the “[expletive] Jews,” which is bizarre
nalism — niche journalism for a niche It’s set in acres of lush green of his schoolmates that Park- considering that he is Jewish,
market, also community-building meadow (the weather’s been spec- land police questioned him and, as he says, his family lost
journalism for a distinctly defined if tacular here, but it’s rained for about his motives. relatives in the Holocaust. At
often restive community — is anything weeks, so the improbable lushness Kashuv became a politically one point in that chat, he used
other than necessary. Urgently neces- is stunning), and it shows silver conservative activist after the the “N” word 11 times in a row,
sary. We provide a place for the var- against the blue of the sky, reaching massacre. Unlike most of his then joked about how he was
ious voices inside the community to up the way the first astronauts did, fellow schoolmates, however, practicing his typing (“like
talk to us and to each other; the more at just about the same time. his activism was geared to im really good at typing,” he
you talk, the more you can hope. Then you go into the arch. You staunchly opposing restric- wrote, adding that “practice
So we are here in St. Louis for the wait on line, walk deep underground, tive gun control legislation. In makes…perfect”). Kashuv
annual conference of the American climb stairs and stand on lines and March 2018, he appeared on Shammai also alluded to a violent com-
Jewish Press Associaton. wait and shuffle up and down stairs the CBS program “Face the Engelmayer puter shooting game, “Count-
When you drive into downtown and stand in front of doors, and then Nation.” This past April, he er-Strike: Global Offensive,”
St. Louis, you cannot avoid seeing you walk into tiny little cabs, packed was one of the speakers at the and said he would “[expletive]
the huge arch that displays itself in tightly, and then you are moved up annual “leadership forum” hosted by the lob- make a CSGO map of Douglas and practice.”
over the city. and up and up as the gears creak and bying arm of the National Rifle Association. Kashuv reportedly used other racist slurs
At first you think McDonald’s. You you see stairs and cables and gears In 2018, Kashuv lobbied Congress in favor at other times, as well.
can’t help it. It’s silver, not yellow, and at one point something that looks of the STOP School Violence Act, which Harvard’s decision was prompted by pro-
but it’s the same unmistakable shape. like a kitchen sink as you are labori- anti-gun activists describe as mere “window tests from some of his former schoolmates
And you (or at least I) think eeewwww. ously pulled up to the top of the arch. dressing” when it comes to stemming gun after a video was posted online in May by one
But then you look at it more closely. And then you get out and you see the violence in schools. His efforts even brought of them, Ariana Ali, which contained screen-
Yesterday, we went to the arch. The Mississippi River, and you’re looking him to the White House in March of that year, shots of the offensive Google Docs chat.
more you look at it the more you for- out over American history, and it is where he met with First Lady Melania Trump, The issue, of course, is whether Harvard
get the ridiculous associations with just so very beautiful. and even spent a brief time with her husband acted correctly in rescinding its acceptance
lousy fast food and the more you see And then you creak down again in the Oval Office. She tweeted afterward that of Kashuv. Jewish law has much to say on the
its gleaming beauty. It was built in the (frighteningly enough, we’re told that his “message of unity is one we should all matter. While Kashuv subsequently admitted
early 1960s, at the same time as the it takes four minutes to get up and share.” Kashuv later became the high school writing the offensive material “two years ago,”
1964 Worlds Fair in Flushing Meadow only three to get down), and you walk outreach director for Turning Point USA, “a he also insists that was then and this is now.
Park, and you can see the same soar- out of the silver glittering arch feeling conservative group with ties to the Trump “What I said two years ago isn’t indicative of
ing, gleaming, gravity-defying hope in better about just about everything. family,” according to the Washington Post. who I am,” he told the New York Times.
it that you see in pictures of the fair Including the future of Jewish
(and you don’t see as you drive by its journalism. —JP Shammai Engelmayer is rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel of the Palisades, now in Fort Lee.

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24 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


Opinion

He was thoughtless and immature asked, referring to Kashuv’s stated


then, he says, but has matured a lot regrets. “You certainly sound heartfelt,
since then. but you want to get something — you
In a letter to Harvard, Kashuv apol- want to get into Harvard or get into
ogized “unequivocally” for his com- another school. And how do we know
ments, adding that his “intent was that you’re not just saying ‘Oh, I didn’t
never to hurt anyone.” In a follow-up mean it?’”
letter, however, Harvard’s dean of Kashuv at first repeated that what
admissions, William R. Fitzsimmons, he did was immature and unthinking.
said the decision to rescind stands. It was all part of a game he was play-
Maimonides, the Rambam, sums ing, trying to be more outrageous than
up Jewish law on the subject in his the others involved in that chat. A few
volume on repentance (t’shuvah). He moments later, however, he said this: Uncle Moshe, left, and
begins with this introductory com- “Harvard was founded in 1636 by slave Uncle Chaim
ment: “A sinner should repent from owners and has a long history of rac- I’VE BEEN THINKING
his sin before God and confess. This
[is a] mitzvah and [one of] the funda-
ism, sexism, and misogyny.” (He made
similar comments in an interview with Heroes close to home ...

I
mental principles [of faith]….” Time magazine, arguing that Harvard
He elaborates on this in the next had a “checkered past.”) ’ve been thinking about D-Day a more, this time to one particular name on
paragraph, Mishneh Torah, Repen- During the televised interview, lot recently. And with 75th anni- those walls: Murray A. Gross, Seaman Sec-
tance 1:1. Henry soon called him on that versary commemoration programs ond Class, U.S. Navy, who was lost at sea
“If a person…repents, and returns remark. “You’re mentioning that they flooding our screens, newspapers, off the Normandy coast on June 12, 1944.
from his sin, he must confess before had slave owners in the 1600s,” he and social media, it’s pretty clear I’m not My Uncle Moshe.
God, blessed be, He as [Numbers said. “You using the N-word was…a alone in my thoughts I never knew my mother’s brother, who
5:6-7, which we read two weeks ago little more recent. I go back to my As I watched and listened to some of that died just a bit less than three years before I
on Shabbat] states: ‘When a man or first question: How do we know that programming — seeing 20-year old heroes in was born. My main memory of him is of a cor-
woman commits any wrong toward you’ve really changed? What specif- 90-year old bodies; being amazed as some ner in the living rooms of my maternal grand-
a fellow man…, and that person real- ically…has changed in you the past of them described their incredible deeds in parents’ apartments, first in the Bronx and
izes his guilt, he shall confess the two years where you would no longer “shucks, we just did what had to be done” then in Far Rockaway. Both rooms had a table
wrong that he has done.’ This refers write the N-word or say the N-word?” tones; hearing our president, for the first with a framed picture of a handsome sailor,
to a verbal confession. This confes- “It’s because I matured tremen- time in my memory, speak as the leader of beneath which lay his Purple Heart and cer-
sion is a positive command.” dously…,” Kashuv replied. “ It’s the the entire American people and not just tificate. I was told that like my grandfather,
While Rambam, however, says that fact that I have condemned racism as the head of his base (to Uncle Moshe had a wonderful
it “is very praiseworthy for a person in every opportunity that I can in this which latter style he unfor- voice and often would serve in
who repents to confess in public and to public life that I didn’t really ask for.” tunately but not surprisingly liturgical choirs, including my
make his sins known to others,” he also It is proper to question Kashuv’s quickly reverted); observ- grandfather’s when he offici-
adds this: “Anyone who, out of pride, sincerity, but is it also proper to give ing the leaders of the Allied ated at High Holiday services.
conceals his sins and does not reveal him the benefit of the doubt? Ram- and Axis nations gather once But I know little more of that
them will not achieve complete repen- bam, it seems, adopts a wait-and-see more on those blood-stained dashing young man with a
tance….” (See MT Repentance 2:5.) attitude. “[Who has reached] com- shores, though this time as fashionable Clark Gable mous-
Kashuv forcefully states his regret plete t’shuvah?” he asks rhetorically in friends in peace and remem- tache. How little I knew.
for the things he wrote when he was MT T’shuvah 2:1. “A person who con- brance and not as enemies in I do know more about my
16, and insists that he is “no longer fronts the same situation in which he war and death — I was deeply Joseph C. father’s brother, Abraham
the same person.” Rambam, in MT sinned when he has the potential to moved by the ideals of service Kaplan Kaplan, who also served over-
Repentance 7:8, says “it is an utter commit [the sin again], and, neverthe- and honor and courage and seas in the European Theater
sin” to hold a repentant sinner’s mis- less, abstains and does not commit it self-sacrifice that permeated of World War II, then returned
deeds against him. This would suggest because of his t’shuvah alone and not the proceedings. home safely, married, had a family, was a
that he should be forgiven for what he because of fear or a lack of strength.” My thoughts then slowly turned from the pharmacist, and lived a long, good, moral life
did and Harvard should reconsider Time will tell. For now, Harvard’s heroes and pageantry I could see to those until he left us at age 87. And I knew a little
its decision. His confession, however, decision appears to be the correct one. champions who weren’t on the stage or something about his service in the ETO only
came only after his former school- As for the cautionary tale, it is about in the audience, to those brave men who because I once found a picture in my parents’
mate posted the video exposing those consequences. It used to be said that never made it off the beaches or never even house of a soldier in a forest. When I asked
heinous remarks. It is fair to wonder, a person should not write down any- made it on to them, to the more than 9,000 my mother, she said it was Uncle Chaim, and
then, how sincere were his confession thing he or she does not want to Americans lying beneath the rows of gleam- it was taken while he was fighting in the Bat-
and his stated regrets. After all, he had appear later in a headline. That is ing white marble crosses and Stars of David tle of the Bulge. Battle of the Bulge? My sweet
two years to “repent,” but did so only exponentially true today. Parents need and the 1,557 missing in action who, unable Uncle Chaim was in one of the fiercest battles
when his “sin” became public. He did to tell Kashuv’s story to their children, to be buried, had their names inscribed on in a fierce war? How little I knew.
not “make his sins known to others,” and then they need to forcefully bring the cemetery’s Walls of the Missing. It turned out, though, that I knew even
as Rambam put it, but confessed only home the message that what you write And then my thoughts turned once less than I thought. When I paid a shiva call
after others made his sins known. in a letter, an essay, an email, or post on my Aunt Lillian and my cousins after
One test of a repentant sinner’s sin- on social media today, or what photo- Joseph C. Kaplan, a regular columnist, is Uncle Chaim died, I saw a small case sitting
cerity is his demeanor, says Rambam. graphs are posted on the internet, may a long-time resident of Teaneck. His work on a window sill. Looking inside, I found a
“The manner of a repented person is come back to haunt you for ever more. also has appeared in various publications Bronze Star awarded to Abraham H. Kaplan.
to be very humble and modest…,” he All of us need to tell ourselves that, including Sh’ma magazine, the New York I asked my cousins if they knew any of the
notes. (Rambam, ibid.) as well. Electronic postings are per- Jewish Week, the Baltimore Jewish Times, and, details behind that medal but they were as
An answer Kashuv gave to a Fox manent, and negative or question- as letters to the editor, the New York Times. SEE YEARS OF AGES PAGE 28
News interviewer, Ed Henry, seems, able content will come back to haunt
at least, to have lacked either trait. It us, just as Kashuv’s objectionable The opinions expressed here are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the newspaper’s editors, publishers,
also raises questions about his sincer- chats and tweets will follow him for or other staffers.We welcome letters to the editor. Send them to jstandardletters@gmail.com.
ity. “How do we know that?,” Henry years to come.
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 25
Opinion

To have a mood disorder ... in their own words

A
s of late, we’ve made great strides in the Jew- mean by it is that mood disorders affect not “And let’s not forget that depression
ish community and in the world at large as only mood, but thought as well. Although or anxiety and the like can rear their
we campaign against the stigma that sur- depression and bipolar disorder are not by heads and require professional interven-
rounds mental illness and substance use dis- definition “thought disorders,” they cer- tion, such as with a counselor or thera-
orders. We’ve been starting to acknowledge them as real tainly affect a person’s thinking — which, pist. I like to think that everyone, even
and concrete health issues. We’ve been spreading aware- in turn, affects mood, which then affects those who aren’t suffering from a men-
ness about their existence and how to spot them. Some thoughts, and there it continues in its mer- tal disorder, are like a spool of thread
personal war stories are being shared publicly. Support ry-go-round of emotions until the ride is that has been unraveled, and that time
networks are spreading. stopped or runs its course. and dedication, either solitarily or with
We have a long way to go in terms of medical insur- What does it feel like? What does it think Dena Croog professionals, will help wind the spool
ance, but some effort has been made toward more eas- like? What’s the experience? of thread taut. However, this is quite
ily, equally, and financially accessible health coverage Rather than going on and on with my time consuming, frustrating, and (again,
(see the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act own response to these questions (and believe you me, there’s that key word) draining, as you go in circles and
[MHPAEA] and the Mental Health Parity Compliance Act I certainly have the capacity to do so), I’d like to share cycles of issues like childhood, fulfillment, satisfaction,
of 2019). Hey, it’s a start. Let’s not talk about life insurance with you the views of other people with mood disor- relationships, and a host of other concerns, all in an
yet, though. We’ve gone pretty much nowhere with that, ders. I believe that it’s important for you to understand effort to gather up your strings and threads and wind
and it’s a topic in its own right. this, as much as you might, in the words of those who them whole again.”
But as a society, we’re moving forward in recogniz- experience and manage these disorders every single Regarding peer support, another person explains:
ing that mental illness and substance use disorders are minute of every single day. And to those of you who “I once tweeted, ‘The best part about being in a fan-
serious public health issues that affect both people who experience a similar reality — know that you are not dom is that when trying to explain something totally
have them as well as the family and friends who care alone in your triumphs and struggles. random, all you have to say is, “It’s like that time KIRK
about and for them. In their own words: told VADER that GANDALF chose HARRY to operate the
Along this journey toward public awareness, I think “Mental health issues are draining; that’s the short of it. TARDIS and even SHERLOCK was surprised.” And the
that it’s helpful, if not crucial, to understand for what and Sometimes you feel like there’s a band of pressure around other person knows exactly what you mean.’
for whom exactly we are fighting. We talk about stomp- your chest, keeping you from taking in much-needed, “Having a mood disorder is like being in a fandom.
ing out stigma and creating support groups and working calming, filling air. You can’t calm yourself with deep The difference is most people join fandoms because
toward better mental healthcare quality and coverage, breaths as your chest is locked and barred and closed they like the thing, not because their brains are chem-
among other efforts—about which I am thrilled. That’s all for business. It’s not even hyperventilating, more like a ically set up for it. Life with a mood disorder is like
on the outside, though. In a way, even spreading educa- heavy anchor lying on you, dragging you down with shal- being a fan before finding your fandom; trying to
tion about symptoms (which, again, is crucial), also, still, low malfunctioning intakes. explain something you are passionate about to people
only cracks the surface. “Then there’s the various medications you keep track who have no idea what you are talking about. Every-
I want to know what it’s like on the inside. I can speak of, which might not play nicely with other vital yet ener- one looks at you like you are strange and they start to
here only of mood disorders, which include depression vating drugs, and both may contain side effects you’d avoid you, so you become Eleanor Rigby; ‘wearing a
and bipolar disorder. I have my own understanding as rather do away with altogether. I once took an antidepres- face that you keep in a jar by the door.’ You hide, and
someone with a mood disorder, but each individual’s sant that caused an overindulgence of sleep, which made put on a façade, a mask, and pretend like you don’t
experience is different. What I want to know and what I it hard to function during the day. The solution? Remove spend hours watching your favorite episodes frame
want you to know is the following: the drug from my rotation, and suffer interrupted sleep by frame. You bite your tongue to correct a misquote
How does it feel to have a mood disorder? And how as well as tearfulness. This was a recent decision, so time and you don’t mention the obscure trivia you know.
does it think to have a mood disorder? will tell whether these side effects go away or are yet Because that’s just not done in polite society. And you
This second question may be oddly phrased, but what I more issues I have to combat indefinitely. live alone and in silence.

Parenting during Pride Month

A
s Pride Month comes to a close, I have been last two and a half decades. I was a student 1. As an ally to the LGBTQ+ commu-
thinking a lot about how to engage our chil- in the undergraduate program at the Jewish nity, the first thing I want to do is to lis-
dren and students to build a world with Theological Seminary when the teshuvot ten and learn. In Rockland County we
greater acceptance, love, and inclusion of about more fully welcoming LGBTQ+ peo- have a close relationship with the Rock-
the LGBTQ+ community within Jewish life beyond the ple was accepted. land County Pride Center, and we take
month of June. That was a huge moment for the Conser- our cues from them. We often approach
We learn in the Jewish tradition that all humans are vative movement. I remember the buzz in human rights with the best of intentions,
created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. We also the residential halls. This was 2006. I am and our vision becomes clearer when we
learn the concept of kavod habriyot — our sacred com- so proud of how far we have come — but I understand the needs more fully. I have
mitment to respect human dignity. These ideas inform know that still the work is not done. As a Rabbi Ariel learned that showing up and partnering
and guide our Jewish obligation to be welcoming to parent of young children and an educator in Russo with the LGBTQ+ community is extremely
everyone who wishes to become part of our synagogue the synagogue, I want our children to grow important. We model inclusion by work-
community at CSI Nyack. up with a greater love and awareness of how ing together as partners.
Pride is a worthy celebration but also a time to the Jewish community and the LGBTQ+ community can 2. Books can be powerful tools in helping to teach
acknowledge both the progress we’ve made as a Jewish and needs to work together and to support one another. our children. Two books that have Jewish stories and
community and that we have a long way to go. I’m proud Here are some ideas for how we can continue to show acknowledge LGBTQ+ families are “The Flower Girl
of the Conservative movement’s commitment to Jewish and teach that Judaism values every person, including Wore Celery” by Meryl G. Gordon and “The Purim
law, but I also acknowledge its long internal struggle to members of the LGBTQ+ community, who have not Superhero” by Elisabeth Kushner. “The Flower Girl
move beyond a set of don’t-ask-don’t-tell policies over the always been welcome within Jewish spaces. Wore Celery” tells the story of a Jewish lesbian wedding.
26 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
Opinion

“It’s a hard life. One you did not choose and never It puts words to internal experiences and sensations that pain-points — and they’re using them against you in the
wanted. One you cannot enjoy. But unlike a fandom, had endlessly perplexed and devastated you and others. most sadistic ways possible.”
where you can quit at any time, you cannot quit your The very label can be a pressure release valve. Personally, I view a mood disorder as an actual “It” —
mood disorder. It will forever be a part of you. To never My particular mood disorder feels like the volume a thing, a being, an interloper that hijacks the brain and
explain it, never talk about, creates a pain that makes life being turned up on life. My therapist described it that pretends to actually be that person. An “It” that in itself
heavy. Too much to bear on your own. way and it immediately resonated. The highs are high thinks and feels in a cognitively destructive manner —
“One thing that can help make it easier is finding some- and the lows are low. Everything is heightened. Frus- whether in a depressed or manic or agitated state — but
one who will listen to you go on about your fandom, even trations are extra frustrating. Joy is overly joyful. Sad- makes a person think that It is the actual person. And
if they haven’t experienced it. But they try to learn, even ness is total doom. Nervousness over one particular It doesn’t only affect a person’s inner reality. The inner
a little, so that when you need to tell them about the next morning or even one moment can lead to days of agi- world affects how a person acts on the outside, in the
big plot point, they have even a vague idea of the story. tation and fear. physical world.
“That is called Support. Support is a lifesaver, because Moods, when you have a mood disorder, feel like It’s difficult — and understandably so — for others in
it tells you, ‘You are not alone in this. I am also here.’ And unyielding and disorienting external structures built that outside world to see that it’s the “It” at work, caus-
when you’ve found your tribe, who understand, or try to around you by some unseen force that you have to ing chaos on the inside. So that the repercussions for
understand what you are talking about, the burden you live within, rather than a transient and rationalizable the person’s behavior and the reactions of others take
carry becomes a little lighter.” series of feelings that come from and are controllable place in the physical world. What’s going on mentally
Another view on staying well is that it begins with a by some sort of ‘me.’ A mood disorder feels like feeling is beside the point.
person accepting the mental illness in a compassionate, some ‘thing’ in a situation with a person or people or In a nutshell, a mood disorder manifests both inter-
non-judging way. As one person reflects: a place and becoming 100 percent fixated on all of the nally as well as externally. It’s a challenge to live with and
“Acceptance is key to staying well and staying focused possible reasons for that feeling and ways that feeling it can take a whole lot of work to stay stabilized. And it
on what works — medication, psychotherapy, and a connects with all feelings and all situations and all com- often makes a person feel lonely. But there are things that
healthy lifestyle. Living with mental illness (I have heard munities and all universes and the implications of all of help, small gestures by others that can make the differ-
people speak that living with mental illness is less stig- that. Having a mood disorder can feel like being very ence between isolation and feeling heard.
matizing than struggling with mental illness or suffering proud of all of the interconnections you make and feel, “How are you doing today?” We can all start with that.
from mental illness) doesn’t mean that you can’t have a as well as the level of depth you experience, and then As we follow the course of reducing stigma, working
‘normal’ life — marriage, children, work.” also hating yourself for thinking that highly of yourself toward better services, creating networks to help, and
Shares the same person about mania: and thinking for that long about all of that stuff. You just all the important efforts that are currently underway,
“Unfortunately, due to the media, people often have ride it all out!” we need to remember that we’re talking about individ-
a romanticized view of mania. But mania doesn’t always This self-criticism is a common theme among those uals. We’re talking about individuals with experiences
result in some great poem or painting; it can result in with whom I’ve spoken. Says one person: that are challenging, each in their own unique way.
enormous trauma for you and your family. Mania isn’t “I usually liken depression to being in a hole, trying Individuals who, just like any of us, want to be under-
always about feeling super human, but it can drive you to claw my way up and out. Medication takes away the stood. Individuals whose lives can be enriched were
to believe that the world is a horrifying place. Mania can persistent feeling of dread that accompanies it. Depres- you only to notice them.
result in forced hospitalizations and treatment trauma.” sion, for me, is a state of dysphoria. There’s hopelessness Reading their words helps. Reaching out is even better.
One person vividly described the feelings and thoughts mixed with guilt that I’m like this.”
associated with being manic or depressed: Yet one more description, to which I particularly Dena Croog is a writer and editor in Teaneck and the
“I will start by saying that the part of having a mood relate: founder of Refa’enu, a nonprofit organization dedicated
disorder that involves actually calling it a mood disorder, “Sometimes depression can feel like your worst to mood disorder awareness and support. Learn about the
exemplified in an opportunity such as this one when I can enemy has gained control of your brain. They now con- organization and its support groups at www.refaenu.org,
write about having a mood disorder, can be a huge relief. trol your thought patterns, your nerve-endings, your or email dena@refaenu.org with questions or comments.

“The Purim Superhero” is a fun Purim story that cen- we praise boys for taking care of the home and talk about nourish young people who are on their own sacred jour-
ters around a family with two dads. These books nor- women professionals who serve in traditionally male neys of self-discovery. It is a gift and an opportunity to be
malize families with same-sex parents within a Jewish roles, we help to change the story of socialized gender an unwavering supporter of our children as they figure
context. When working with young children, these roles. We open up the possibilities. Since I was an ado- out who they are becoming.
books are powerful resources. lescent at Camp Ramah, I have worn a kippah, tallit, and There is a rabbinic dictum, “Words that originate from
3. Bring your children to rallies, Pride Shabbatot, tefillin during weekday morning services. Many of the the heart enter the heart.” When we model that all love is
Drag Queen story hour, and other programs or events female students at my synagogue have adopted the prac- sacred, our students and children internalize that. Pride
as an opening to talk about acceptance in your homes. tice of wearing a kippah while in the synagogue. We took often is a time both of celebration, and for the recognition
Our children are always listening. Our actions and our a traditionally male tradition and invited all of our Torah that there is a struggle for full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people
language instill values in our children. We all learn learners to participate. I cannot adequately describe the within all Jewish spaces.
through experiences. When we show up and bring our joy I feel when I look at the array of kippot that our chil- When we open our hearts, listen to the LGBTQ+ com-
children we are creating opportunities for teachable dren wear on the bimah each Saturday. munity, and proactively show our support and love, we
moments and reflection. 5. As educators and parents, accepting our children are fulfilling Jewish values.
4. We can be more aware of gender norms and how and students for who they are and meeting them on their
they might stifle children and students. My toddler terms is so important. We are role models for them, and Ariel Russo, the rabbi of CSI Nyack, was educated
son told me that his sister could not have his sippy cup our acceptance can be life-affirming. By signaling to our by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and
because she gets the pink one. I share this example children that we love them regardless of their gender inspired by Camp Ramah. In her spare time she
because it is so easy for us to perpetuate gender norms in identity or sexual orientation, we give them an opening wrangles her kids into car seats and explores the lower
ways that could be unhelpful or even destructive. When to confide in us. We have a responsibility to nurture and Hudson region with her husband.
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 27
Opinion

A VIEW FROM THE PEW Years of ages


Who’s in and who’s out: FROM PAGE 25
perplexed as I; Uncle Chaim had never said a

Numbers don’t always add up word about it to any of them.


And here’s the lawyer in me coming out.

W
As stated in 32 CFR §578.16(a), a Bronze Star
ho do we count in and who do we count out? the stumbling block in forming a new Israeli government and Medal is awarded to a person who “distin-
Our Torah reading cycle has us in the the precipitant to new elections that will held in September. guished himself or herself by heroic or mer-
middle of the book that is called Bamidbar Pinchas Peli z”l, a great modern Israeli biblical scholar, itorious achievement or service . . . in con-
in Hebrew. That word, translated accu- taught, in his commentary on the book of Bamidbar/Num- nection with military operations against an
rately into English, means “in the wilderness.” In English, bers, that he saw Chapter One as the creation of the world’s armed enemy.” Quiet, modest, shy, dear Uncle
however, the book, the fourth of the Five Books of Moses, first “people’s army.” Peli was a religious Jew who served in Chaim? How little I knew.
is called Numbers. the IDF and was critical of Orthodox Jews who sought reli- And how little I still know. I spent a few hours
Hebrew names for each of the books come from its first sig- gious exemptions. When David Ben-Gurion acceded to the doing some online research to see if I could find
nificant word, while the English names, derived from Greek request of religious political parties, made in the early years out any details relating to his medal, all to no
or Latin, are more descriptive about the book’s content. The of statehood, that yeshiva students not be drafted, there were avail. (If any readers know how I can find addi-
Hebrew and English names for the Torah’s first book, B’reshit not many such students, and he felt that the political compro- tional information — I have his Army serial num-
and Genesis, both connote beginnings, but after that, the other mise was worth the moral inequity. Today there are hundreds ver. if that’s any help — please leave a comment
four pairs of names seem to me to describe different aspects of thousands of yeshiva students, and the split it is creating on my Times of Israel blog or Facebook pages.)
of the same book. In the case of Bamidbar/ Num- in Israeli society is great. Moreover, some of The people who did know — my grandpar-
bers, the book not only begins with a census of the Israelis who are conscripted to serve in ents, parents, aunts, and uncles — are no longer
the Israelites — it’s about numbers — but also the Israeli Army are not counted as Jews by with us (with the exception of one aunt, may
some of its later sections touch on who is to be the same religious authorities who demand she live a long life) for me to ask. And when
counted in, and who counted out, of the commu- that their own children not serve in the army. they were here, I was too engrossed with what
nity, and especially its leadership. The setting of These Israeli military veterans cannot be mar- I foolishly thought were more important things
the entire book is Bamidbar —the wilderness of ried in Israel, nor even be buried in cemeteries to ask about these heroes in my family. And so,
Sinai. It chronicles the 40 years of wandering and that are controlled by the state’s rabbinate. in this age of too much information about so
the people’s internal struggles both with faith in The question of who is counted in and who much unimportant nonsense, I have too little
God and the question of communal leadership. is counted out is not a question just in Israel. In information about what’s truly important.
Most of the Book of Numbers/ Bamidbar is the last quarter of the 20th century, post-Viet-
Rabbi Neal I was emailing with my siblings as I was
read in the summer months, when many Amer- nam War America moved away from conscrip-
Borovitz thinking about this column, seeking some data
ican Jews take a vacation from synagogue. Thus, tion to an all-volunteer army. Many of my gen-
on family history, and ended that email as fol-
the stories of the multiple rebellions against eration who supported this position thought
lows: “But, again, I stupidly never asked. Were
Moses’ leadership, as well as the issue of a cen- it would lead to fewer discretionary wars. In
either of you smarter than me?” My brilliant
sus for the purpose of both military conscription and commu- fact, that has not been the case. Rather, our American military
professor brother began his response (with a
nity service with which the book begins, are less familiar to forces are predominately comprised of poor people, people of
smile I’m sure): “Dear Fellow Stupid Sibling.”
many of us than the dramas of Genesis and Exodus. color, and immigrants. Some of those veterans of recent wars
You can imagine the rest. How little we know.
For both modern Americans and Israelis, the idea of taking in fact are illegal immigrants who came to America as children,
My Uncle Moshe is memorialized on the
a census is commonplace, and until recently it was rather non- and whose legal status upon their return from war is in ques-
Walls of the Missing in Normandy, on my
controversial. It may come as a surprise, therefore, to know tion. If the 2020 census includes a citizenship question that
grandfather’s matzevah (headstone) in Har
that for most of human history, including Jewish history, there was removed from the census after World War II, will non-citi-
HaMenuchot in Jerusalem, and in the name of
often was an abhorrence to the idea of counting people. zen residents, including both legal and illegal immigrants, fear
Yeshiva Zichron Moshe, formerly of the Bronx
In the ancient and medieval worlds, knowing a person’s being counted? Will the result be a decade of under-represen-
and now of South Fallsburg, which my grand-
number was equivalent to knowing that person’s essence and tation in Congress and un-equal allocation of tax dollars?
parents and Rav Yeruchem Gorelick founded
thereby having a power over him or her. A biblical example For me as an American and as a Jew, this book of Numbers
of the danger of a census is described in II Samuel 24, where poses some very relevant and salient questions. in his memory. And my Uncle Chaim is memo-
David’s call for a census is questioned. Yet in the opening of 1. In both America and Israel, who do we count in? What rialized by his wonderful children, grandchil-
Numbers it is God who is heard directing Moses to call for an are the rights and responsibilities of those who by law are dren, and great-grandchildren, who do his
even broader census than David’s, for the very same purpose considered equal citizens in a democratic society? memory proud.
— to raise an army. Why was King David condemned for doing 2. For both America and Israel, the question of how we But we don’t have their stories. The tales of
what Moses had been commanded to do? Moreover, what do treat members of religious and ethnic minorities has both their youth, the heroism they demonstrated,
these two stories have to say to both Americans and Israelis moral and political implications. the valor by which they lived and fought and
about the issue of how we compose our military forces today? 3. What are the long-term implications for Israel and world died, are not part of our family lore, are not
Is an all-volunteer army fair? How universal should conscrip- Jewry stemming from who counts themselves in as a Jew and etched in our collective memories. And they
tion be? What are valid reasons for exemptions? who the Jewish state does or does not count? should be. So if you’re lucky enough to still
My answers to these questions are both simple and com- 4. Are there lessons we can learn from the bitter internal have someone to ask, do so without delay.
plex. Rabbinic literature explains the condemnation of battles described in the book of Bamidbar for 21st-century Understand, though, as my therapist
David in II Samuel because David wanted to raise an army Jewry about the price we pay when we allow what the rabbis daughter pointed out to me, people who’ve
for a war that was discretionary rather than commanded. later called “sinat chinam” — the baseless hatred of one group gone through such experiences might not
Rabbinic tradition teaches us that except for the conquest of Jews for another — to color our intergroup relations? want to burden those who haven’t, and thus
under Joshua, the only commanded war is one of communal “Bamidbar: In the Wilderness” is a true description of how I might not want to talk about it. But you won’t
defense. Moreover, Jewish commentaries on the stories of often feel as both an American and a Jew these days. Yet while know unless you ask. And, as I pointed out to
conflicts in Numbers teach us that it was everybody’s respon- I feel that the challenges facing my children’s and grandchil- my daughter, as time passes, some of those
sibility to defend the community. dren’s generation of Americans and Jews are awesome, while who didn’t want to talk change their minds.
I believe that these same principals hold true today. Until anti-Semitism, assimilation, and arrogance remain plagues on And you won’t know that unless you ask
the realization of the vision of Micah and Isaiah — a world our community, I nonetheless find hope that caring and cre- again, as appropriate.
where nations will “beat their swords into plowshares” — ative new generations of Jews will wrestle together and find a “Remember the days of old. Consider the
shouldn’t everyone have an equal responsibility to partici- path out of today’s amoral political wilderness. years of ages past. Ask your father, he will
pate in national defense? inform you. Your elders, they will tell you.”
This obviously is the number one item on Israel’s political Neal Borovitz is rabbi emeritus of Temple Avodat Shalom of (Deuteronomy 32:7). It’s good advice. Follow
agenda this summer. The issue of religious exemptions was River Edge. it and ask.
28 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
D’var Torah
Shelach Lecha: Seeing is believing … or is it?

T
here is a famous Primo Levi story that tells reality reflecting mirror or the mirror that who they truly are and believe in them-
the story of Timoteo, a man who was a mir- reflects your image as perceived by your selves. In truth, as the Israelite narrative
ror maker like his father and grandfather nearest companion? goes on, we learn that other nations are
before him. By day, he made regular, ordi- In our parashah this week, parashat intimidated by the Israelites and perceive
nary mirrors — those that reflect the truthful image of Shelach Lecha, the spies choose the met- them as a strong, mighty, unconquerable
the world. And by night, he made all different types of amir, and chaos ensues as a result. As the people.
mirrors that distorted what was reflected back. Among Israelites are preparing for the final leg of We, like the spies, get caught up in
the cadre of mirrors that he developed was the met- their journey toward the Promised Land, moments of anxiety and fear, and see
amir, the most interesting and most ambitious mirror of twelve spies are sent to “scout out” the ourselves as we think others see us. We
his collection. This mirror reproduces the image as it is land. The spies had specific questions Rabbi Loren take out the proverbial metamir, and
seen by the person who stands before you. they were to answer upon their return: Monosov imagine how those in our company see
Testing out the mirror, Timoteo first stood next to a Are the people who dwell there strong Temple Emanuel of us — and focus on the imperfections we
wall. As he looked into the mirror, he saw an already or weak? Few or many? Is the country in the Pascack Valley, imagine they see and allow our insecuri-
Woodcliff Lake,
balding thirty-year-old with a witty, dreamy, slightly which they dwell good or bad? Are the ties to take root.
Conservative
neglected air. Next, he brought the mirror to a woman towns they live in open or fortified? and so What if the spies had seen themselves
whom he had been pursuing. He looked into the mirror, forth (Bamidbar 13: 18-20). Yet, the report for who they were — members of a great
in her presence, and saw he was bald, his lips hung half that ten of the twelve spies delivered went and mighty nation, a nation that was
open in a foolish smirk that revealed his rotten teeth and beyond what they were asked and included how the armed with God’s promise of a successful end to the
his expression was the opposite of dreamy. He continued spies perceived themselves amid the inhabitants of the journey? What if they saw the others before them as
testing out the mirror, including with his mother. And land. The spies cry out “we saw the Nephilim there grasshoppers and themselves as giants? They might not
again, in her presence, a completely different image was … and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and have missed out on the beauty and wonder of entering
reflected back to Timoteo than he had seen before. Each so we must have looked to them.” (Bamidbar 13:33). into the Promised Land.
time he brought the mirror to someone else, the image Upon hearing this news, chaos broke out in the camp. What do we miss out on, when we get stuck looking
changed, based on how they saw him. There was pandemonium as the Israelites declared that through the metamir and forget to see ourselves for who
What an incredible opportunity this mirror provided! they would have been better off returning to Egypt than we truly are? What might happen if we stop worrying
One could see oneself according to how others see him. going forward to conquer the land. about how others see us and we focus on how we see
And yet, no one wanted to buy this mirror. The story And yet, what caused such an outcry? Not any state- ourselves ... and work on seeing ourselves even better?
ends with Timoteo unable to sell his innovative mirror, ment on behalf of the inhabitants of the land, but rather Perhaps that is why the metamir never took root …
and thus returning to the pursuit of creating mirrors the spies’ perception of how they were seen by others. but mirrors will never go out of style. Take a look in
that reflected the truthful image of the world. And thus reveals the greatest downfall of the ten spies; the mirror; it might just give you the push you need to
Which mirror would you choose: the ordinary a failure to look in the mirror and see themselves for reach your dreams and enter your own Promised Land.

Emily Lichtman, will be participating in the ride a new appreciation of what women can accomplish
Tour de Simcha on July 16. That’s two days before Evan would have together. The difference between one rider and one
FROM PAGE 6
turned 8. hundred is phenomenal.”
From the time he was diagnosed 18 months earlier, “Tova Gerson had asked us before, but we weren’t Ms. Tyner, the director of Tour de Simcha, agreed.
Chai Lifeline provided hospital visits to Evan and was emotionally ready,” Ms. Lichtman said. “This year, my “It’s so empowering to see how strong these women
there for his parents, Andrew and Margaret, and his sister was ready, so I would have done it whether I are,” she said. “They are making a big impact on the
siblings, Max and Zoey. After Evan’s death, Mr. and was ready or not. And I’m very excited. It’s the first organization.”
Mrs. Levy established the Evan Levy Fund at Chai time I’ve been on a bike in about 20 years.” The local contingent in Tour de Simcha includes
Lifeline to provide financial assistance for families in Ms. Lichtman, mother of a 9-year-old daughter, a 10 riders from Teaneck, two from Bergenfield, three
medical crisis. 6-year-old son, and a 22-month-old son, said that she from Englewood, one from Tenafly, and 17 from Rock-
Tova Gerson of Bergenfield, Evan’s preschool and Ms. Levy bought bikes and gear, raised $90,000 in land County.
teacher at Lubavitch on the Palisades in Tenafly, pledges in just two weeks, and started training together. Riding in the July heat is never easy.
signed up for Tour de Simcha in 2015, the year Evan “The first two times we rode three or four miles,” she “You pray for overcast but not rainy weather,” Ms.
was diagnosed. said. “We’re up to 32 miles now. I am happy to ride by Gerson said. “Last year, the heat was off the charts
“The first year I did it was really motivated by my sister’s side, raising money for this organization that and pushed a lot of people off the road. The last five-
Evan,” she said. “Chai Lifeline is so huge that it’s hard provides critical support to families in need.” mile stretch is very exposed, and the concrete is very
to see the everyday picture of how it helps people. The sisters, who live just half a mile from each dark so it absorbs heat. You can feel it rising up to
You want to know that your tzedakah dollars are other, also signed up for the 50-mile Wheels-for-Meals your waist.”
going to help people. Seeing how they helped the Ride to Fight Hunger on June 23 to benefit the Jewish But she made it the whole distance, as she’s done
Levys, I felt I had to be part of it.” Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jer- each year. Her secret weapon: “I made sure to drink
Ms. Gerson, the mother of four children, from 8 sey’s nutrition program. a ton and at every rest stop filled my jersey with ice.”
to 16 years old, went on to form Team Evan on Tour “It’s for a good cause and we can get some training As they enter camp, the cyclists are greeted by
de Simcha. This year, the six-member team is the top in,” Ms. Lichtman said. “The riding is exhausting, but campers, many using wheelchairs or respirators; as
fundraiser both in the total dollar amount raised (more it’s a bonding experience for us, and it’s exhilarating.” well as hundreds of cheering staff members.
than $122,000 as of June 20) and in the average dollar Ms. Gerson said that before her first ride she wasn’t Supporters can contribute to Tour de Simcha at
amount raised per team member (more than $17,000). sure she would finish. “But I felt like you don’t know www.tourdesimcha.org. All donations are 100 per-
For the first time, Evan’s mother and his aunt, what you can do until you try,” she said. “It gave me cent tax-deductible.
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 29
Kosher Crossword The Frazzled Housewife
“DASTARDLY DUOS”
BY: YONI GLATT, KOSHERCROSSWORDS@GMAIL.COM
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: CHALLENGING

Packing the trunk


BANJI GANCHROW underwear. What formula do they use

I
for that? Does the camp director leave his
was walking the other day and child home alone for a few weeks, come
someone stopped me and asked back, see how many pairs of socks and
what I was going to write about underwear are in the laundry, I mean
now that son #3 has graduated on the floor, and then multiply it by 20?
high school. Truth is, now that he is Some people say that there are enough of
off to Israel, I won’t have the steady each to make it through two weeks with-
stream of boys coming in and out of my out doing laundry. Is that because they
house, the endless linens that need to only do laundry every two weeks?
be changed, the replenishing of water And labeling everything. I still remem-
bottles and various snack foods. ber asking my sister-in-law where to get
I won’t have any more stories about iron-on labels for the clothes. It came in
the adventure of only having boys. Wait, a roll of like five thousand Ganchrows.
there will still be adventures, but they That first year I was ironing them on
won’t be as ridiculous. Like the time everything I could get my hands on,
when one of my sons, who will remain because my boys weren’t going to lose
nameless for shidduch reasons, let his one item of clothing. (They actually
friend’s girlfriend sleep at our house did not lose one item, they lost sev-
even though I told him that she couldn’t eral.) When I went to sleep-away camp,
stay over. (The friend also and I still shudder at the
will remain nameless for thought of that very hor-
shidduch reasons.) rible month in August of
Bright and early the 1984, my mother sewed
next morning, I come labels on everything. I
downstairs to start pre- guess iron-on technology
paring breakfast for my was not yet available.
Across Down
1. Pen pal? 1. Tabs on key rings houseguests, and out of So every year, around
6. Mezuzah parchment 2. Actress Falco the corner of my eye, I the same time, I would
10. See 13-Down 3. Opera-house section see a girl run out of the go down to the laundry
14. Scent, to Brits 4. Chabad work room. I quickly go into the Banji room and find the mesh
15. “General Hospital” Emmy winner
Sofer
5. Influential lobby group
6. Its release is jokingly called for, at
family room and I see her Ganchrow bags, one for socks and
dart into the living room… one for boxers. I would
16. This-and-that mixture times
17. Would be assassins 7. Horne of the blues Needless to say, I totally find all the pillowcases,
20. Future examiner 8. Murray who won gold in London lost it, and his friends were so scared all the sheets, the three comforters, a
21. “Fine” 9. It’s OK on the Atkins diet of me that they brought me flowers to sleeping bag, pillows, shower caddy,
22. Baseball’s Al, nicknamed “the 10. Gloom-filled try to make it better. (I might have just etc. etc. etc. As the summers went on,
Hebrew Hammer” 11. Samuel Adams outputs combined two stories, but it has been a one son went to Israel, one son was a
23. The Emerald Isle, to natives 12. Get up
long week.) counselor, then a division head, then
25. Washington ___ (NYC neighbor- 13. Jewish 1991 Grammy winner, with
hood) 10-Across Anyway, I am still very grateful and some of them were no longer going to
26. Wicked rulers 18. “Neither a borrower, ___ lender be” surprised that people read and enjoy camp, and now we are at the summer
33. Lewis Carroll heroine 19. Eagle Zach my column, so I will try to keep up of 2019.
34. Suffix with front or cloth 24. “Should ___...”, pondering words the stories, the observations, and the Is it different sending only one son to
35. “L’___ del Cairo” (Mozart opera) to a career counselor chuckles. camp as a counselor? Yes. Why? Well,
36. Wilderness rebels 25. Juno’s Greek equivalent
Here we go. gone is the roll of iron-on labels. (I actu-
41. Wheel of Fortune buy 26. Honey Boo Boo’s real name
42. Ofakim to Hebron dir. 27. What to do where it hurts? Packing for camp. ally have no idea where it is.) if he wants
43. Make ___ for 28. Had supper I look back to the first summer when something labeled, I take a sharpie and
44. Genocide plotters 29. Bartlet or Clampett of TV the boys went to sleep-away camp. The write the letter “G” on it. Most of the
49. Stick in the water 30. Major baseball agent list of items comes in the mail a good mesh bags have disappeared, so under-
50. Early name for Nisan 31. Bitcoins and such three weeks before the departure date wear and boxers will go into one bag (I
51. Shabbat that falls before or on Tu 32. Not very cool
and it becomes the most looked-at hope #3 can tell the difference between
B’Shvat 33. A wife of Esau
54. Gershon of “Red Oaks” 37. In the neighborhood piece of paper in the house. Inevitably, socks and boxers), and quite honestly
56. Ancient Dead Sea kingdom 38. “Barbara” of song it gets misplaced, and you end up call- and most important of all, I have abso-
60. Alternative title for this puzzle 39. Leader into cose and able ing someone for a copy, but I digress. lutely no idea where the actual trunks
63. He thrice directed Marlon 40. They sound like cold Jews I always questioned some items, both are. It is quite possible that I will be send-
64. Exodus locale 45. Arterial ducts the quantity and the actual item itself. ing all of his items up in garbage bags.
65. Seymour Skinner’s mother 46. Tandoori bread
Who packs actual rain boots for camp? It is also quite possible that I will pack
66. Word with pit or pool 47. Comparatively kooky
67. One represented a brother of 48. “Israel Through My Eyes” author I could see a girl bringing them — you myself into one of those garbage bags,
Joseph, in his dream 51. An article may be written on it know, cute ones, with hearts or polka because I am not ready to let him go.
68. Winter Palace rulers 52. Fit and healthy dots on them. A total fashion statement. But that is for another column.
53. Light regulator The boots probably complement the
54. Fortitude coat, but boys? Rain boots? Seriously? Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is now sitting
55. She married Sacha
I would consider myself lucky if I knew in traffic, coming home from a beautiful
57. Simeon and Levi avenged her
58. Hebrew unit of measure that my boys definitely would wear a simcha in Long Island. She is secretly
The solution to last week’s rain coat in inclement weather. Rain hoping that her car will turn into Chitty
puzzle is on page 36. 59. “Don’t ___!”
61. U.S. Navy officer boots are an entirely different animal. Chitty Bang Bang and fly the rest of the
62. Tabby or tom And the quantity of socks and way home.
30 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019
The Russell Berrie Foundation mourns the passing of our dear Trustee Emeritus,
Norman Seiden, z”l

It was our great honor to share in the important work that Norman so clearly
valued and cherished, both here in Northern New Jersey and in Israel

We extend our sympathies to the entire Seiden family

Angelica Berrie
Scott Berrie
Ilan Kaufthal
David Rosenblatt
Myron Rosner
Stephen Seiden

Ruth Salzman Binny Shalev


Susan Coke Naomi Shank
Naomi Feiner Kaarin Varon
Idana Goldberg Joann Tortorici
Amit Granek Marianne Viaud
Adam Hirsch Cheryl Wilbur
Susana Saitta Ady Yariv

JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 31


Calendar
coffee. 194 Ratzer
Friday  The Valley JUNE Road. (973) 694-6274
or Jewishwayne.com.
JUNE 28 Chabad
Shabbat in Mahwah:
Temple Beth Haverim
Academy
of Jewish 28-29 Singles
Shir Shalom holds its Studies marks the 25th
second annual Pride
Shabbat service,
yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Sunday 
“Sanctuary For All,” Mendel Shneerson z”l with a JUNE 30
dedicated to the Shabbaton at Valley Chabad
LGBTQ+ community, in Woodcliff Lake, led by Dr. Dance in Clifton:
7:30 p.m. Oneg North Jersey Jewish
Shabbat follows. Binyomin Abrams, Boston Singles 40s-60s, a
280 Ramapo Valley University’s newly appointed group sponsored by
Road. (201) 512-1983 or
bethhaverimshirshalom.
director of general chemistry. the Clifton Jewish
Center, hosts a dance
org. His humorous and thought- with DJ entertainment,
provoking talks blend Torah refreshments, and
Sunday  concepts with modern a short lesson on
Israeli folk dancing,
JUNE 30 scientific principles. On Friday 6:30- 9:30 p.m. 18

COURTESY BOSTON UNIVERSITY


night, Dr. Abrams will discuss Delaware St. Martine,
Garage sale in New being raised in a non-observant (973) 772-3131 or
City: The Nanuet meetup.com.
Hebrew Center has family and what led him to
a multifamily garage become a Torah-observant Jew Sunday 
sale, rain or shine,
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Rent a
in a professional setting. On JULY 7
space for $25; rent Saturday morning, he will talk
a table for $5. Also about the journey of scientific Seniors meet in West
July 28 and August Nyack: Singles 65+
18. 411 South Little Tor
and Torah exploration that Dr. Binyomin Abrams meets for a social
Road, off Palisades bridged the gap between two bagels and lox brunch
Interstate Parkway, conflicting worlds, dealing with fundamental questions of science and at the JCC Rockland,
exit 10, New City, N.Y. 11 a.m. All are welcome,
(845) 708-9181 or
faith. Valleychabad.org or (201) 476-0157. particularly from
nanuethc.org. Hudson, Passaic,
Bergen, or Rockland
Broadway in New ohel (gravesite). counties. 450 West
City: The New Tuesday  Buses leave from
LOTP, 11 Harold St.,
Friday  Wednesday  Nyack Road. Gene, by
City Jewish Center July 4, (845) 356-5525.
presents “Broadway
JULY 2 6 p.m. Reservations, JULY 5 JULY 10
Sings America,” a (201) 871-1152 or
performance by Chabadlubavitch.org. Shabbat in Tenafly: Book discussion
congregant Nancy Lubavitch on the in New City: The
Feldman and the
Wednesday 
Palisades in Tenafly
commemorates the
Nanuet Hebrew
Center sisterhood
Announce
award-winning Bergen
County Players, a JULY 3 25th yahrzeit of the meets to discuss your
Lubavitcher rebbe, “The Blue Zone”
repertory company
based in Oradell, Reducing stress and Rabbi Menachem by Andrew Gross, events
2 p.m.; doors open at anxiety in West Mendel Schneerson, 12:30 p.m. 411 South We welcome announce-
1:30. It’s a celebration Nyack: Rockland (Gimmel Tammuz), Little Tor Road, off ments of upcoming events.
of Independence Day Jewish Family Service with a service, Exit 10 of the Palisades Announcements are free.
and includes classics offers mindfulness 6:30 p.m., dinner, Parkway, New City, Accompanying photos
Rabbi Menachem 7:30, and 10-minute N.Y. (845) 708-9181 or must be high resolution,
from the American and meditation and
Mendel Shneerson z”l inspirational talks nanuethc.org. jpg files. Send announce-
musical theater other techniques that
songbook. Dessert work to reduce stress by rabbis-in- ments 2 to 3 weeks in ad-
Ohel trip: Lubavitch residence. Children’s Film in Wayne: The vance. Not every release
reception follows. on the Palisades in and anxiety, led by
program during the Chabad Center of will be published. Include
47 Old Schoolhouse Tenafly commemorates Carol King, on the first
lecture. 11 Harold Passaic County screens a daytime telephone
Road, New City, N.Y. the 25th yahrzeit Wednesday of the
St. Reservations, the Israeli drama number and send to:
(845) 638-9600 or of the Lubavitcher month at the Jewish
(201) 871-1152 or “Shelter,” produced by
NewCityJC.org. rebbe, Rabbi Community Campus, beth@
Chabadlubavitch.org/ Eran Riklis and starring
Menachem Mendel 11 a.m. 450 West Nyack jewishmediagroup.com
shabbaton. Neta Riskin of the
Schneerson, with a Road, West Nyack, N.Y. 201-837-8818 ext. 110
Netflix series “Shtisel,”
trip to the rebbe’s (845) 354-2121, ext.142.
7:30 p.m. Dessert and

32 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


Calendar

Two sites feature


summer learning
Beginning Tuesday, July 9, at 2
p.m., Congregation Sons of
Israel in Nyack will hold three
free summer lecture programs.
The “Yiddish Culture Club”
series meets on Tuesdays; “What
Being Jewish Means to Me” meets
on Wednesdays; “Jewish Roots of Esther Cember
Early Christianity” meets Thurs-
days. The three series, led by education coordinator
Esther Cember, continue through August 30. For
more information call Helaine Ripps at (845) 358-3767
or email csi@optonline.net.

Temple Emanuel of the


Pascack Valley will begin
its new program, “Study in
the Summer,” with beginning
Women Dine for a Cause in Rockland Hebrew reading for adults taught
to support special camp for kids and young adults by Rabbi Shelley Kniaz, the shul’s
director of congregational learn-
Join Women Dine for a Cause on July 10, from 6 to 8 a successful summer camp experience. ing. The program is for anyone Rabbi Shelley
p.m., at a private home in Nyack for a potluck dinner Women Dine for a Cause, celebrating its fifth anni- who has never learned to read Kniaz
to support the community. The evening will benefit versary in September, harnesses the power of female Hebrew or feels it would be
Camp Kipanga, a unique summer camp for children, connection and community to support struggling good to have a refresher course. It meets on Mondays
teenagers, and young adults, from 5 to 21 years old, women, children, and families in Rockland County. through August 26, at 5 p.m., at the Woodcliff Lake
who struggle with peer relationships, impulse con- So far, the group has donated more than $75,000 to shul. Students must buy the textbook; it can be down-
trol, fitting in with others, coping with emotions, and 28 vital nonprofit agencies. For more information, go loaded and printed. Registration is required; email
related difficulties. The camp offers children with to womendine.net. rabbikniaz@tepv.org.
social challenges the extra support they need to have

Program aims to ‘Stop the Bleed’


The Jewish Federation response plans.
of Northern New Jer- “Federation’s rela-
sey will offer “Stop the tionship with the Ber-
Bleed,” a free training gen County prosecu-
session on basic emer- tor’s office and law
gency response, on enforcement officials is
Wednesday, July 10, very strong,” Mr. Dargan
at 6:30 p.m., at JFNNJ said. “We have a true
Paramus headquarters. partnership. The Stop
“Stop the Bleed” is the Bleed program will
a national awareness provide average citizens AD TK
campaign to encourage Gerard “Jerry” Dargan with the necessary skills
bystanders to become to help before the help
trained, equipped, and empowered to arrives. Obviously, we hope no one
help in a bleeding emergency before ever has to use the skills they learn at
professional help arrives. A bystander this training, but being prepared in an
can save a life by learning how to stop emergency can mean the difference
bleeding in a crisis. between life and death.”
With anti-Semitism on the rise and Debbie Gottlieb, JFNNJ’s manager
incidents of hate and bias increasing, of community purchasing, added,
safety and security has become a top “Training on how to respond during a
priority for individuals, organizations, crisis is one of the most effective tools
and synagogues. The Jewish Federa- to mitigate an incident. At federation,
tion of Northern New Jersey has made we will be offering training programs
security and security training a top to the community throughout the year More than 411,000 likes.
priority and recently hired Gerard to help ensure the safety and security
Dargan as its director of Jewish com-
munity security. Mr. Dargan works
of our community.”
Participants in the “Stop the Bleed” Like us on
with law enforcement, synagogues,
and other organizations to help with
security operations and programs,
program must be over 16. For more
information, go to JFNNJ.org/StopThe-
Bleed, email GerardD@JFNNJ.org or
Facebook
facebook.com/jewishstandard
including emergency and disaster call (201) 820-3978.
JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 33
Obituaries
The Christopher Family Jay Kinder Hanan Rotman
Jay Kinder, 72, of Wayne died June 24. Hanan Rotman, 72, of Old Tappan, formerly of Israel,
serving the Jewish community A high school wrestling coach, he was founder died June 19.
since 1900 and president of Strong Man Safety Products. Born in Romania, he was a vice president of

Paterson Monument Co.


MAIN BRANCH
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Elaine,
children, Gabriel (Fidelma), Jeremy (Landa), and
Leah, and three grandchildren.
marketing in the imaging business.
He is survived by his wife, Batia, née Eliyahu, and
daughters, Sarit of River Vale and Lisette of Nyack, N.Y.
Paterson, NJ 07502 Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
317 Totowa Ave. 681 Rt. 23 S.
Donations can be sent to Memorial Sloan Arrangements were by Eden Memorial Chapels,
973-942-0727 Fax 973-942-2537 973-835-0394 Fax 973-835-0395 Kettering Cancer Center. Services were at Temple Fort Lee.
TOLL FREE 800-675-0727 Beth Tikvah, Wayne.
www.patersonmonument.com
Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Dr. Marvin Wisch
Fair Lawn. Dr. Marvin Wisch, 96, died June 23.
201-791-0015 800-525-3834 He graduated New York University, Tufts University
LOUIS SUBURBAN CHAPEL, INC. Edward Kleinman School of Veterinary Medicine, and University of Califor-
Exclusive Jewish Funeral Chapel Edward Kleinman, 68, of Bergenfield died June 19. nia Irvine School of Medicine. A family practictioner in
Sensitive to Needs of the Jewish Community for Over 50 Years He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, children, Fair Lawn, he served as chief of family medicine at the
• Serving NJ, NY, FL & Israel Robert, Richard, and David; daughters-in-law, Valley Hospital, president of the NJ Chapter of General
• Graveside services at all NJ & NY cemeteries Debbie and Helaine; five grandchildren, and a Practitioners, and was honored by many organizations.
• Prepaid funerals and all medicaid funeral benefits honored great-granddaughter. Predeceased by his wives, Sylvia and Jo-Ann,
“Always within a family’s financial means” Arrangements were by Gutterman and Musicant he is survived by five children, a brother, eight
13-01 Broadway (Route 4 West) · Fair Lawn, NJ Funeral Home, Hackensack. grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Richard Louis - Manager George Louis - Founder Donations can be sent to the Valley Hospital, Ridge-
NJ Lic. No. 3088 1924-1996 Adell Lang wood. Services were at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/CBI.
Adell Lang, née Epstein, 89, of Fair Lawn, formerly Arrangements were by Robert Schoem’s Menorah
of Elmwood Park and New York City, died June 21. Chapel, Paramus.
Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Inc Predeceased by her husband, Dr. Gerhard, she
Jewish Funeral Directors
is survived by children, Kenneth (Paula), and Dr.
Family Owned & managed
Judith Knutsen (Kirk); a brother, Robert Epstein
Generations of Lasting Service to the Jewish Community Obituaries are prepared with
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George Rosenkranz, inventor of the birth control pill, dies at 102
MARCY OSTER Rosenkranz studied organic chemistry in Switzerland,
earning his doctorate in 1940 before immigrating to Cuba.
George Rosenkranz, a chemist who synthesized the key After World War II he became the research director of the
ingredient in the birth control pill, has died. Syntex Corp., a pharmaceutical lab in Mexico. He became

L ’ Shana
Rosenkranz, a Hungary native who immigrated to Cuba a Mexican citizen in 1949.

L ’ Shana
Funeral Planning Simplified to escape the Nazis, died Sunday at his home in Atherton, He wrote hundreds of articles and scientific papers and
BergenJewishChapel.com California, at the age of 102. was named in 150 patents.

Tovah!
He and two Jewish chemists, Carl Djerassi, a refugee Rosenkranz was a world-class bridge player and won a
from Austria, and Luis Miramontes, synthesized the pro- dozen North American championships. He contributed to

Tovah!
201.261.2900 | 789 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
gesterone that was to be used in one of the first two com- bidding theory and invented the Rosenkranz double and
Owner/Manager Daniel W. Leber, NJ Lic. No3186 bined oral contraceptive pills. Rosenkranz redouble. He also wrote 15 books on bridge.
Norethindrone, which the three chemists developed in In July 1984, Rosenkranz’s wife, Edith, one of Mexico’s
1951, at first was used as a fertility treatment, only demon- top players, was kidnapped at gunpoint at the summer
We continue to be Jewish family managed, strating its effectiveness for birth control after five years of North American Bridge Championships in Washington,
knowing that caring people provide caring service. trials. Rosenkranz’s team also achieved the first practical D.C., and ransomed for $1 million. The FBI captured the
synthesis of cortisone, in 1951. Wishing you a sweetyou
Wishing newa sweet
year. new year.kidnappers and the money was returned. JTA
GUTTERMAN AND MUSICANT Jamie and Steven Dranow • Larry A. Model • Harvey Schwartz
JEWISH FUNERAL DIRECTORS Gregg Brunwasser Jamie and Steven
• Michael Dranow •General
L. Rosenthal, Larry A.Manager
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34 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019

BVK • SCI • #9a • JobBVK • SCI • #9a


No 025012 • JobHashanah
• Rosh No 025012
ad••Rosh
5” x Hashanah ad •• 5”
5” • 8/18/05 V2x•5”
ir • 8/18/05 • V2 • ir
The Officers, Board, and Staff of

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey


mourn the passing of

Norman Seiden
Norman Seiden was a devoted friend, extraordinary leader, and longtime supporter of
the Jewish people.

Here in northern New Jersey, Norman was a pillar of our Jewish community, whose visionary
thinking, generous philanthropy, and modest demeanor exemplified the best qualities of
leadership. He was the quintessential community and institution builder. Norman was a
critical leader in revitalizing the Kaplen Jewish Community Center on the Palisades. Norman
served as a trustee of Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and on the Endowment
Foundation Investment Committee. His involvement extended beyond northern New Jersey,
with numerous board positions including the American Technion Society, The Norman and
Barbara Seiden Foundation, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, and the Russell Berrie Foundation.

Throughout his adult life, his community-minded spirit and big thinking made him an
inspiration for others. His leadership extended to many other local institutions of Jewish
life and in the general community, making him a role model that others will emulate for
generations to come.

We extend our sincere condolences to Norman’s children Pearl, Stephen (Sharon), and Mark
(Diane), his eleven grandchildren, and his 22 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his
beloved wife, Barbara in 2014.

Roberta Abrams Jason M. Shames


President Chief Executive Officer

50 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ 07652 | 201-820-3900 | www.jfnnj.org

JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019 35


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EDITH LANK Tree Problem
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Hello, Edith: I am contacting you
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Dear Edith: What do you think of with regard to an issue I currently
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gle, and I have excellent credit. I’ve
been looking for an apartment, and
landlords seem to really jack up the
my insurance company to get advice
and sent my neighbor a certified
notice, for which she refused to sign.
We do not transport solid or hazardous waste We do not tran
prices, at lease this time of year. I pay We then sent it priority mail, and
$1,100 a month, so I think I can afford we have proof from USPS that it was
ENGLEWOOD EAST HILL a mortgage. Thanks for your thoughts. delivered.
 - M. We have tried to talk to her and got-
ten no response. We have even offered
Answer: I know nothing about your to pay to take the tree down, and we
finances or where you’re looking, so just got silence. Our village recognizes
I can’t give you advice on that score. it will hit our house — and maybe us,
But being older is no reason why you too, if we’re in the wrong place at the
shouldn’t become a homeowner. I’m wrong time — but refuses to assist
old enough to be your mother, and I even though it is a civil matter.
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Great opportunity at $825,000. how old you are. Her house is currently in disrepair. I
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38 JEWISH STANDARD JUNE 28, 2019


Real Estate & Business
Israel’s LawGeex wins first Burton Award for law-tech
Israeli legal-tech company LawGeex was the first- the 500 attendees were Supreme Court Chief Justice John
ever recipient of the Technolo�y Advancement in Law Roberts and representatives of all the top 20 American
I am desperate to get this resolved. Do you Award, a new category in the prestigious Burton Awards law firms and Ivy League law schools.
have any advice? - A. S. co-hosted by the Library of Congress and co-sponsored Appreciating the growing importance of technolo�y,
by the American Bar Association. the Burton Awards decided to recognize products which
Answer: I’m afraid it’s thanks for nothing. The 20-year-old Burton Awards, dedicated to recogniz- advance the practice of law, produce material time-cost
You’ve reported the problem to your home- ing excellence in law, lauded LawGeex for its revolution- savings, and have a demonstrated impact,” according to
owners insurance company and tried to contact ary Contract Review Automation platform, said to save a press release.
your neighbors’. You’ve discussed this with the lawyers 50 percent to 80 percent of contract-review time LawGeex was one of 18 Israeli companies named to Red
village and communicated with the neighbor as and cost, and ensuring consistent application of com- Herring’s 2019 Top 100 list and one of 10 Tel Aviv-based
much as you could. The next thing is to consult pany policies. companies named to Wired’s 2018 list of 100 Hottest Start-
your attorney. The 2019 Burton Awards ceremony was held in May ups in Europe. Its software has been proven more efficient
at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Among than human lawyers at contract review. Israel21c.org
Selling the Farm
Dear Edith: I shared ownership of a farm with
a relative who has since passed. The farmland
is still tillable. But the house needs all new elec- FORT LEE BANK-OWNED PROPERTIES
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not in good shape.
njhomeinfo.com
How do I go about selling this farm? Do I
advertise it as is or list it as a fixer-upper? I don’t
want to sell off parcels of land or sell the house
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How do I put restrictions on it? Martin H. Basner, Realtor Associate
This farm has been in the family since the Northbridge Park… 3 bedroom 2 bath. Updated with (Office) 201-794-7050 · (Cell) 201-819-2623
‘30s. I have not contacted a realtor yet. - A. M. hardwood floors. Lower floor. Available fully furnished.
Building amenities include health club, tennis courts, lounge,
outdoor pool with upper level. Park-like setting. $289,900
Answer: Selling off lots would be a complex HAPPY
time-consuming undertaking with extensive legal Happy Fourth of July!
work. I can understand your desire for just one
sale. But local real estate agents who are active in
Allan Dorfman
Broker/Associate
≠ ≠
201-461-6764 Eve
the vicinity of the farm will have much better advice
OPEN HOUSES
201-970-4118 Cell
for you than I can give from a distance. 201-585-8080 Office
Call real estate brokerages in several nearby
towns. Ask whether they have someone who
Realtorallan@yahoo.com
SUNDAY, JUNE 30 • 1–3PM
specializes in farms. If you live near the farm,
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ask them to send someone to meet you there.
If you’re not nearby, perhaps a phone or Skype
SERVING ALL OF
conference would do. Interview at least three SOUTHEAST FLORIDA
agents. This won’t cost anything, and you’ll get
professional advice.
Now Selling Valencia Sound
You can write restrictions into the deed when
you turn ownership over to your buyer. As long
as the restrictions are legal, they can limit what
could be done with the land. Trying to control
the farm in the future with these restrictions will
make it much harder to sell, though. It would
take longer to find a buyer, and you wouldn’t be
CALL 971 Wilson Ave. $599,900
TODAY Spacious Custom S/L. Open Flr Plan. 5 BRs, 2.5 Baths. LR/Fplc, FDR, MEIK, Fam Rm,
likely to receive full market value. Plyrm Bsmt. Overlooking the Park.
Is the condition of the farmhouse so bad that
BUY • SELL • RENT 571 Sunderland Rd. $609,000
buyers would have trouble getting a mortgage in active adult, country club, and beachside in
Prime W. Eglwd. Custom Tri-Lev. 4 BRs (one on 1st Flr), 3.5 Baths. LR, FDR, Mod Kit/
loan? Potential buyers’ problems are, to some BOCA RATON, DELRAY BEACH, BOYNTON BEACH
and the surrounding communities Corian Peninsula+Bkfst Rm. Huge Recrm Bsmt. H/W Floors, C/A/C. Gar.
extent, your problems. A good agent may know
the answer or offer to look into the matter and Advantage Plus
601 S. Federal Hwy • Boca Raton, FL 33432
BY APPOINTMENT
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report back to you. CREATORS.COM
Elly & Ed Lepselter
(561) 302-9374 W. Englwd Area. 75’ x 100’ Prop. LR/Fplc open to FDR, Lg Fam Rm, Granite Kit/
Nook, Lov 3 Season Porch. C/A/C, 2 Car Gar. For Rent $2,650/mo and For Sale
$419,900
Beaut Nat Woodwork. High Ceilings. Ent Foyer. LR/Stone Fplc, Den, Lg Granite
More than 411000 likes. Fam Size Kit. 3 Generous BRs, 2.5 Baths. Fin 3rd Flr. Fin Bsmt. Hosp Area. $459,900

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