Community events draw large crowds

Vol. 37, No. 6 n February 2015 / 5775
Community events draw large crowds
ommunity Breakfast
This year’s Community Breakfast, held on Sunday, December
14, was a huge success with a sold-out
crowd. Everyone enjoyed the delightful documentary The Sturgeon Queens,
about the well-known fish emporium
on the Lower East Side of New York
called Russ and Daughters. It brought
back a lot of memories for people who
“One Book Southwest Florida”
Community Read
The first community read partnership
between the Lee County Library System and the Jewish Federation of Lee
and Charlotte Counties was a great
success. A sold-out crowd came to hear
Michael Stolowitzky at Lakes Regional Library on Tuesday evening, January 6. Michael’s story was told in the
community read book Gertruda’s Oath
by Ram Oren. Michael, now a man in
his 70s, was a very charming and engaging speaker. As Michael mentioned
in his talk, he chose not to let his past
define him, choosing instead to make
the most of what life had to offer.
grew up going to Russ and Daughters,
as well as for those who enjoyed reminiscing about Jewish life years ago.
Besides the delicious brunch prepared
by the Gulf Harbour Yacht and County
Club, attendees also got to sample the
twelve pounds of whitefish salad that
came from Russ and Daughters via
Sara and Brian Krivisky, who brought
it back from New York.
Barbara Siegel, Federation co-President, introduces the film The Sturgeon Queens at the Community Breakfast
Michael Stolowitzky addresses the audience
at Lakes Regional Library
Do a mitzvah and help us pack and/or deliver our Pesach bags to
Do aJewish
and help
pack and/or assisted
deliver our
bags to
in independent,
and nursing
facilities living
in Fortin
and Cape Coral.
The living
in Fort Myers
only the contents
of the and
gift bags,
visited by
the community
only the of
of the gift
love being visited by the
THIS ISofA the
DO Awill
be packed
on Wednesday,
on Sunday, March
29. 25.
on Wednesday,
Volunteers should come to the Federation office between
11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to pick up the bags to deliver.
Bags will be delivered on Sunday, March 29.
Volunteers should come to the Federation office between
(Other pick-up and delivery times can be arranged, if needed.)
11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to pick up the bags to deliver.
This is an opportunity for all family members to get involved.
and delivery
times can
if needed.)
love having
young children
From babies
- this is a mitzvah
family canto
is an opportunity
for allthe
Seniors love having young children come visit. From babies to
RSVP: [email protected] or 239.481.4449 x3
bubbes - this is a mitzvah the whole family can do together.
[email protected]
or 239.481.4449
x3 ORG
9701 Commerce
Center Court
Fort Myers, Florida 33908
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
In this issue:
Our Community
Jewish Interest
Israel & the Jewish World
From the Bimah
Focus on Youth
Community Directory
Temple News
Community Calendar
Program notes
alling all Queen Esthers, Mordecais, Hamans
and King Ahasueruses. It’s time to choose
your costume for our community-wide celebration, “A Jewish Affair with a Purim Flair,” scheduled for Sunday, March 1. We decided to “shake our
groggers” up a bit this year
and instead of the usual Israel
Fest, we’ll celebrate Jewish life
in Lee and Charlotte counties
with fun and frivolity at a Purim Fest.
The event will be held
from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the
Heights Center at 15570 Hagie
Dr. in Fort Myers. The campus
 Leni Sack
has great indoor and outdoor
facilities and we plan on using both. A costume parade, carnival games and prizes, balloon making,
arts and crafts, pony rides and more are planned for
children. Great entertainment, including outstanding Jewish music and some Purim spiels, wine tasting, community booths, delicious food and more are
planned for adults. There may even be some other
tricks up our sleeves.
This community event is for all ages. The weather should be great, not too hot and not too cold. Enjoy
an afternoon filled with Jewish laughter and fun—see
old friends and make new friends. Show your support
for Jewish life in Southwest Florida and mark your
calendars now to attend.
To help ensure the success of our Purim fest, volunteers are needed for a variety of activities that day.
Please call or email me to indicate your availability
to help.
It’s not too late to make a reservation to attend our
author event with Iris Krasnow on Sunday, February
1 at 7:00 p.m. Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday, which
makes the event even more appealing to those who
aren’t football fans. Come hear Iris share the insights
she learned in researching her book Sex After...Women
Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes. Enjoy
some desserts, coffee and wine while listening to this
dynamic and entertaining speaker.
And, of course, our film festival continues with
more great films scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday
evenings through February 10. Don’t forget the family film on Sunday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bell
Tower Regal Cinema. The film, Igor and the Cranes’
Journey, is a delightful film for all ages – but it does
have subtitles, so it is probably best for children ages
9 and older.
All families with children ages 5-8 are invited
to join us for a Tu B’Shevat PJ Library Program on
Sunday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m. to noon. The
program will be held at Temple Beth El (16225 Winkler Rd. in Fort Myers) and is open to everyone in
the community. Arts and crafts activities, stories and
songs, as well as Tu B’Shevat treats are all planned
for the morning. RSVP to me by Wednesday, February 4 at [email protected] or 239.481.4449 x3.
So plan to shake those groggers, watch those
movies, learn about sex (just making sure you are
paying attention), and love those trees at our upcoming events!
to the following sponsors of the Jewish author
event, with Iris Krasnow. Iris will be at the Jewish
Federation on Sunday, February 1 at 7:00 p.m.
to talk about her new book,
Jewish news published monthly by
Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties
9701 Commerce Center Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 481-4449 • Fax: (239) 481-0139
Online at
February 2015 • Volume 37, Number 6
Co-Presidents: Barbara Siegel & Rozzi Osterman
Board: Judi Davis • Larry Eisenfeld • Martin Freling
Herb Fried • Carolyn Gora • Andi Horowitz
Charles Idelson • Marsha Kistler • Sara Krivisky
Michele Laboda • JoAnn Lewin • Sylvia Simko
Jerry Snyderman • Ken Weiner • Paul Weinstein
Guy Whitesman • Sherri Zucker
Executive Director: Alan Isaacs
Program Director: Leni Sack
Executive Assistant: Lori Ramos
Jewish Family Services: Lisa Bendetowicz, M.S.W.
Editor/Designer: Ted Epstein (239) 249-0699
Advertising: Jim Lewin (239) 634-6923
L’CHAYIM invites correspondence on subjects of interest to
Jewish people. Partisan political opinions will not be published,
but opinions on subjects affecting the Jewish community are
welcome. All inquiries regarding copy for L’CHAYIM should be
directed to the editor. All news material must be very clearly
printed or typed (not in all-capital letters) and double-spaced.
Electronic submissions encouraged. The editor reserves the
right to edit for space and content.
Photographs should be clear, black-and-white or color
prints. If you wish a photograph returned, include a stamped,
self-addressed envelope of appropriate size.
The Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties disclaims
responsibility or endorsement of the views expressed by the
writers and claims by advertisers.
Thursday, February 5
“Sex After...Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes”
Principal Sponsors:
Lott & Gaylor, Inc.
February 21:
Major Gifts Reception
March 18:
DATES Lion of Judah Luncheon
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Now on display at the Museum – a new original
exhibit: Dearest Pauline – A WWII Healer Writes Home
By Amy Snyder, Executive Director, Holocaust Museum & Education Center of SWFL
hile the Holocaust is one of
the most analyzed events in
history, one of the associated stories not widely known is that of
the U.S. Army European Civil Affairs
Division (ECAD)
and its Medical
O ff i c e r s , w h o
treated newly
liberated concentration camp inmates, and whose
four Regiments
helped restore or Amy
der to chaos in the
closing days of
World War II and the post-war period.
The Holocaust Museum has been working with the family of Dr. Price Duff,
an ECAD Medical Officer, to chronicle
this story. They have graciously lent
their time, memories and memorabilia
to bring this story to life.
The Medical Officers of the ECAD
were charged with stabilizing and restor-
ing the health of the civilian population.
Initially, it appeared to be a “cushy”
assignment for the small team of physicians, dentists and pharmacists sent to
Yale University at the end of 1943 to be
trained for the task. However, what they
encountered by the end of the war was
incomprehensible, even to this select
group of seasoned professional medical
Dearest Pauline is a firsthand account told by Dr. Price Duff. A young
family man, Dr. Duff had been working
as a Tennessee State Health Department
doctor in a rural, poverty stricken area
of the Cumberland Plateau before the
Army called him to serve as an ECAD
Medical Officer during the liberation
of Europe.
Using the letters he sent home to
his wife, Pauline, the Dearest Pauline
exhibit chronicles Dr. Duff’s Army
career, from the time he received his
initial orders through his training at
various Army posts and specialized
Dr. Price Duff
Dr. Duff in French town
Don and Nancy –
Just wanted to tell you how
much we love Cypress Cove!
Join us anytime for a swim,
bird-watching, cocktails and
dinner or a game of bocce!
Love Where You Live
Jean and Ted
10200 Cypress Cove Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
training at Yale University. We then
follow his journey from the States to
Europe, crossing the Atlantic on the
USS Argentina to work initially in
England, as both a doctor and an Army
censor, until his crossing of the English
Channel in September 1944. From here,
we witness his journey through France,
Luxembourg and Belgium, finally crossing the Rhine River into Germany where
he encounters the inconceivable horrors
of the concentration camps.
While in Germany, the young doctor
is overwhelmed with bringing humanitarian aid to a war-ravaged population
in crisis. But nothing could have prepared him for the horror stories he and
his fellow officers encountered as they
entered such camps as Buchenwald and
Nordhausen. Dr. Duff worked
steadfastly and courageously –
changing lives in the process,
including his own.
Through his meticulously
and beautifully written personal
letters, his official Army orders,
records, photographs, memorabilia and family interviews,
we relive this personal story
of a healer who was not just
a witness to one of history’s
defining moments, but an active
The Dearest Pauline exhibit is on display at the Holocaust
Museum & Education Center of
SWFL through May 3. Our annual Triumph fundraising event
on Sunday, March 29, will carry
through on the Dearest Pauline
theme, with music of the ’30s
and ’40s, as well as a dramatic
performance highlighting some
of Dr. Duff’s letters.
Hand-painted photo of Pauline
Duff (at left in both photos) with other officers
Because this is the way retirement should be, and the only thing
missing is you.
Fitness that energizes. Neighbors who become lifelong friends. The assurance
that comes from not worrying about the future. The security friends and family
feel about you having a plan. How can we be certain you’ll love Cypress Cove?
What’s not to love about peace of mind, great value, scenic beauty, delicious food
and a community of caring friends?
Call 239-481-6605 or visit us online at
Visit us to see all there is to love!
Cypress Cove is a non-profit organization, sponsored by Lee Healthcare Resources; a support organization to Lee Memorial
Health System, one of Southwest Florida’s most well-respected healthcare providers. Cypress Cove was first in the state of
Florida to achieve Person Centered Accreditation in its healthcare areas.
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
APMSS WELCOMES U.S. Veterans as patients!
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(239) 437-8000
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Subject of “One Book Southwest Florida”
draws huge crowds
By Jeff Margolis
ichael Stolowitzky owes his
life to his governess. There
is no other way that he could
have survived the Holocaust. The truth
is that because of his devoted and saintly
Catholic nanny, Gertruda Babilinska,
Michael survived the separation from
his father, the untimely death of his
mother, and the relentless pursuit of
Nazis against European Jewry.
Michael’s story, as told in Ram
Oren’s bestselling book, Gertruda’s
Oath, is a compelling love story of
Gertruda, Michael’s governess and
teacher, and her three-year-old charge
as they face the odyssey from being the
wealthiest family in pre-war Warsaw to
having to scavenge and use their wiles
to survive the war.
Before rapt audiences totaling 1,000
attendees at three events in Fort Myers
and Naples, Mr. Stolowitzky recounted
vignettes of their travails as Gertruda
unwaveringly fulfills a vow made to
Michael’s dying mother to protect and
raise Michael as her own son and see
that he safely arrives in Palestine at the
end of the war.
Gertruda’s Oath was the first selection in the newly created “One Book
Southwest Florida” program that was
developed by a collaboration of GenShoah Southwest Florida Chair Ida
Margolis, GenShoah Program Chair
Steve Brazina, along with Amy Snyder, Executive Director of the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of
Southwest Florida, and Pat DeGroot,
Administrative Supervisor of the Collier
County Public Library.
Naples Mayor John Sorrey issued a
proclamation declaring January 7 and 8
as “One Book Southwest Florida Days.”
Throughout the fall, book discussion groups got together in Collier and
Lee counties to review the book – which
is now available in eleven languages –
and to prepare questions for Michael’s
visit. Interestingly, most groups were
curious about the vast fortune that
Michael’s father, industrialist Jacob
Stolowitzky, had amassed prior to the
outbreak of the Second World War. According to Michael’s calculations, his
family’s fortune was estimated to be
about $300 million in 1938, with a value
Center for Judaic, Holocaust,
and Genocide Studies
Dedicated to educating all sectors of society about
Jewish civilization, the Holocaust, and genocide through:
• scholarship
• outreach
• inquiry
• sharing knowledge
• preserving the record
• helping teachers
• encouraging students
Dr. Paul Bartrop, Director
This month’s
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Craig R. Hersch, Attorney...........9
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Michael Stolowitzky (center) with the “One Book Southwest Florida” Committee:
Ida Margolis, Steve Brazina, Amy Snyder and Pat DeGroot
today being in the billions. Stolowitzky
has been in negotiations with Swiss
banks for many years in an effort to
resolve this issue.
At great personal risk and peril,
Gertruda fulfilled her oath and arrived
in Palestine with Michael in 1947. There
she took odd jobs and continued to raise
Michael and see to his education. Gertruda is honored as a Righteous Among
the Nations in Yad Vashem in Israel.
Stolowitzky now lives in New York
City and also maintains a residence in
Miami. In his remarks, he said, “With
the life that I had, I can make a choice
to continue to live the past or take a path
to live a full life in the future and to be
grateful for everything I have.”
With the great success of the inaugural “One Book Southwest Florida,”
many of the participants are already
asking about next year’s book. Stay
The next meeting of the Jewish Genealogy SIG (Shared Interest Group)
at the Jewish Federation of Collier County offices
(2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 2201, Naples)
is on Tuesday, February 10 at 10:00 a.m.
Seating is limited. RSVP to [email protected]
You will receive an acknowledgement that you have a reservation.
Bring a notebook and pen with you to the meeting.
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Collier/Lee Hadassah presents
Shana and Shlomo’s Wedding
By Iris Shur
edding bells are ringing for
Shana and Shlomo, and you
are invited. The wedding
is the annual major fundraiser of the
Collier/Lee Chapter of Hadassah. The
parents of the bride and groom are not
entirely thrilled, and you will have
to attend to find out why on Sunday,
March 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vanderbilt
Country Club.
You might cringe a bit, laugh a lot
and be thankful you didn’t have such
a wedding. These families are a little
off the wall so we don’t know what
will happen. You will shout “Mazel
Tov” as Shlomo breaks the glass –
if it gets that far.
This is a wedding you don’t want
to miss. “Rabbi” Bernie Lashinsky will
attempt to officiate, and Aunt Iris will
try to get the families to allow her granddaughter to participate, just to give you
a little taste of the drama of the evening.
Aside from a few Hadassah member
participants, Improv Anonymous of the
Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs
will be performing professionally
throughout the evening, bringing the
wedding to life and providing hilarity.
Cantorial Soloist Douglas Renfroe from
Sanibel Island will also be there to help
Shana and Shlomo tie the knot.
Just so we don’t have big fights over
the table seating like they do at most
weddings, when you RSVP, why don’t
you decide who you want to sit with and
let us know. And no fights either about
who gets invited. You and your friends
are ALL invited. You don’t have to be
a Hadassah family member to attend.
Shana and Shlomo’s families have
spared no expense (of yours) on this
wedding. There will be a pre-wedding
reception with cocktails and passed hors
d’oeuvres, followed by the wedding,
a sit-down dinner, and dancing to the
tunes we love, spun by DJ Mike Cole
from Black Tie Entertainment.
Oh yes, the gift registry. Shana and
Shlomo are registered with Hadassah
and you know what that means! They
ask for no wedding gifts but that you
donate to Hadassah and the wonderful
work it does.
So pull out your tux and gown, or
dress country club casual (just no shorts
or jeans), and plan to have a fun, funny,
exciting evening as you become part of
Shana and Shlomo’s wedding.
Please call the “wedding planner,”
Lynn Weiner, at 239.598.1009 or email
her at [email protected] with any
questions or for an invitation.
Temple Beth El Events open to the community
Wednesday, February 11 - Mah Jongg
Tournament: Registration and breakfast start at 8:15 a.m., and play begins at 9:00 a.m. sharp. Your $35 fee
includes a continental breakfast, allday beverage service, registration fee,
prizes and a sumptuous lunch. For
more information, please call Sheila
Duerden at 239.481.8011. For reservations, email Sheila at [email protected]
com by February 9. The tournament
takes place at Temple Beth El, 16225
Winkler Road, Fort Myers.
Wednesday, February 18, 12:30
p.m., Lunch and Learn at Sasse’s:
Enjoy lunch at Sasse’s (3651 Evans
Ave., Fort Myers) while Rabbi Jeremy Barras presents a Jewish topic
for discussion. The cost of $15 includes a healthy lunch entree, beverage and tip. RSVP by February 16 to
[email protected]
or 239.433.0018 x101. CASH OR
Monday, February 2, 7:30 p.m.,
Gerald Ziedenberg lecture series
on The Trials and Tribulations of
the Jewish People: The topic is The
Rescue of the Teheran Children. Over
a thousand Polish Jewish orphans are
rescued from the Holocaust and find
their way from the depths of Russia to
Teheran and finally to safety in Palestine.
Monday, February 9, 7:30 p.m.:
Gerald Ziedenberg completes his lecture
series with Moe Berg, the great Jewish
baseball player who became a spy and
scholar. No admission fee. The lectures
take place at Temple Beth El, 16225
Winkler Road, Fort Myers.
In honor of Gerald & Shelia Laboda
from Arlene Kallen
The Board of Directors and staff of the Jewish Federation
of Lee and Charlotte Counties send condolences to:
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Friday April
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May 23,
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The family and friends of Shirley Robbins,
who passed away in Orlando in December
Lori Frantz and family on the passing of
Lori’s father Martin Lazarus in January
James Rubenstein and family on the passing of
James’ father Stanley Rubenstein in January
The Federation thanks the following
for their generous donations to the
Federation Food Pantry:
Anonymous Angels
Lila Williamson
Mellow Mah Jongg Ladies
Temple Beth El
Temple Beth El Sisterhood
Stan Zell
Sheila Duerden
Bonnie Kasdan
Louis & Ruth Klein
The Rosman Family
Robert & Bette Batson
Arlene Kallen
Ira & Paula Zlatkin
Joseph & Sheila Cramer
Paul & Linda Phillips
Robbie Mitnick
Joy Angel
Sheila Sklar
Don & Sandy Komito
Robin Baum
Dorothy & Robert Ruberto
Judy & Marty Freling
Sol & Shirley Soloway
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
An unlikely Holocaust hero
By Paul R. Bartrop, PhD
n February 25, 1942, an Austrian soldier serving in the
Wehrmacht, Sergeant Anton
Schmid, was summarily court-martialed
for high treason. Soon after that, he was
executed by firing
Who was this
man, and why was
he shot 73 years ago
this month? Anton
Schmid was born in
Vienna in 1900, mar Dr. Paul
ried Stefi, and had a
daughter. An electrician by trade, by the time he reached
early middle age he owned a radio shop
and lived a comfortable life in Vienna.
Having been drafted into the German army after the Anschluss (union)
with Austria, he was mobilized upon
the outbreak of war in September 1939.
He was sent first to Poland and, after
the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union
in June 1941, was transferred to Nazioccupied Lithuania. By the autumn of
1941 the now-Sergeant Schmid was
stationed near Vilna (Vilnius).
Witnessing the creation of the Vilna
ghetto (in reality, two ghettos were es-
tablished) in September 1941, Schmid
soon learned what the fate of the Jews
was to be. Mass killings had already
been taking place since July 1941,
and continued throughout the summer
and fall. By the end of the year, about
21,700 Jews had been murdered by
Einstatzgruppen units (and their Lithuanian allies) in the Ponary Forest near
Vilna. Schmid was appalled, particularly
as he saw children being beaten in front
of him. From his perspective, it was
unthinkable not to try to find a way to
go to the Jews’ aid.
Schmid’s assignment, which saw
him based at the Vilna train station, was
to command a unit responsible for reassigning soldiers who had been separated
from their detachments. From here, he
saw a great deal of the malicious treatment meted out to Jews, and he lost no
opportunity to use his position to alleviate their condition. He would take
them off the trains and employ them
as workers; he arranged for some to be
released from prison; he organized new
papers for others; and even – at immense
personal risk – sheltered Jews in his office and personal quarters.
Among those he hid were Herman
The Holocaust: How Could
It Have Happened?
International Holocaust Remembrance Day event at FGCU
o commemorate United Nathe day by incorporating both rememtions International Holocaust
brance and education.
Remembrance Day this year, a
The forum will take place on
panel of students at Florida Gulf Coast
Tuesday, February 3 in the Cohen
Center, room 247, from 1:00
University will have the
opportunity to explore the
to 2:30 p.m.
question “The Holocaust:
All FGCU students, faculty
How Could It Have Hapand staff are welcome to attend.
pened?” with Professor
Outside guests are also invited to attend, to join with the
Alex Alvarez, an internationally-renowned and
FGCU community in helping
to contribute to our understandaward-winning Holocaust
and Genocide scholar
ing of how the Holocaust could
have happened. Please note
from Northern Arizona
Dr. Alex Alvarez
that those coming from outside
The event will be moderated by
should obtain a parking permit from
the Information Booth at the university
Professor Paul Bartrop, Director of
entrance off Ben Hill Griffin Parkway.
FGCU’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust,
FGCU is located at 10501 FGCU Blvd.
and Genocide Studies.
By scheduling the forum on the
S., Fort Myers.
FGCU campus during the teaching day,
For more information, email Dr.
Paul Bartrop at [email protected]
we will be fulfilling the UN mandate of
Adler and his wife, Anita, both members
of Vilna’s prewar Zionist movement.
Through this link, Schmid was placed
in contact with one of the leaders of the
nascent Jewish resistance movement in
the ghetto, Mordechaj Tenenbaum. The
result saw Schmid developing a relationship with the resistance in which he
started smuggling Jews away from Vilna
to other Jewish cities such as Bialystok
– places where it was thought the Jews
could have a better chance of survival.
The association with Schmid also enabled the various resistance groups to
establish contact with each other.
Ultimately, Schmid’s actions in
hiding Jews, supplying them with false
papers and arranging their escape, managed to save the lives of up to 250 Jewish men, women and children. Within resistance circles, news of his activities on
behalf of Jews spread. Inevitably, owing
to informers, he began to be watched
more closely by Nazi authorities. It
was obvious that he knew this, but the
knowledge that he could be found out
only emboldened him to work on behalf
of Jews with greater determination and
Eventually, given the military and
police state environment in which he
was operating, Schmid was found out.
He was arrested in the second half of
January 1942, and on February 25 he
was summarily court-martialed for high
treason. The death penalty was the only
possible outcome of such a trial, and on
April 13, 1942 he was duly executed by
firing squad.
Anton Schmid was an extremely
brave human being. He clearly knew
that he was placing himself in danger
through his actions, and that, if caught,
his fate could have only one possible
For all that, however, he did not see
anything particularly special in what he
did. In his last letter to his wife, Stefi,
written from his prison cell prior to
his execution, he wrote: “I only acted
as a human being and did not want to
hurt anyone.” Sadly, his actions had an
unfortunate outcome for Stefi, besides
the obvious one of depriving her of her
husband, his income, pension and a
war hero’s death. When word got back
to Vienna, her neighbors shunned her,
referring to her husband as a traitor, and
socially ostracizing her. At one point,
her windows were smashed.
The life-saving deeds of Anton
Schmid had another outcome, however,
when, on May 16, 1967, Yad Vashem
in Jerusalem recognized his actions
through naming him one of the Righteous Among the Nations. Stefi received
the award personally, having been flown
to Jerusalem for the occasion.
Then, on May 8, 2000, the German
government named a military barracks in Schmid’s honor in Rendsburg,
northern Germany, as the “FeldwebelSchmid-Kaserne.” At the naming ceremony, Germany’s Defense Minister,
Rudolf Scharping, said: “We are not
free to choose our history, but we can
choose the examples we take from
that history. Too many bowed to the
threats and temptations of the dictator, and too few found the strength to
resist. But Sergeant Anton Schmid did
A man who refuses to acquiesce to
darkness, when all those around him
are silent, is a man from who we can
take inspiration. Anton Schmid was one
such man.
Dr. Paul Bartrop is Professor of History
and the Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies
at Florida Gulf Coast University. He can
be reached at [email protected]
For a continuously updated calendar of events,
A community-wide celebration
of Purim and Jewish life in
Lee & Charlotte Counties.
Activities for all ages, Purim carnival, costume
parade, entertainment, great food and more —
bring your groggers and come ready to party!
Heights Center
15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers
Volunteers needed. Contact Leni Sack at
239.481.4449 x3 or [email protected]
Hung Liu, Yang, 2008, 74 x 74", Jacquard Tapestry
From the Collection of the Brody/Brinberg Family ©Hung Liu
Selected Works From Florida Jewish Art Collectors
On view through 3.8.15
This groundbreaking exhibition showcases prominent works chosen from a
cadre of Florida’s preeminent Jewish art collectors with world-renowned art
from internationally acclaimed artists such as George Segal, Louise Nevelson
and Alexander Calder to name a few!
Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, Museo Vault, Biscayne Bank, Kenneth & Barbara Bloom and Elliot Stone & Bonnie Sockel-Stone.
On view through 3.22.15:
From a Coin Toss into Politics: The Life of a Senator
2-for-1 admission with this ad
301 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305.672.5044 •
[email protected]
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am - 5pm Except Holidays
The Museum is supported by individual contributions, foundations, memberships and grants from the State of Florida, Department
of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development
Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and
Board of County Commissioners and the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council.
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
How to appreciate wine like a pro
By The Wine Whisperer
ots of people enjoy wine, and
that’s wonderful. However, enjoyment and appreciation are
two different things. The way I look
at it, enjoying wine is liking it. Appreciating wine
is knowing why
you like it.
It’s sort of
like the way I
watch football.
I know nothing
about it, and to
me it’s a bunch
 Jerry of guys running
around, getting
hit, and falling down. But when I watch
a game with my cousin David, and he
says, “See the way he ran the buttonhook to the down and out on the left
side,” the intricacies begin to emerge,
and the enjoyment turns to appreciation. Same with music, wine or almost
any other interest.
There are several ways to take your
enjoyment of wine to the next level
and derive more out of the sampling
experience. The first is what I call
the Three Gs. That’s the Grape, the
Ground, and the Guy or Gal. If you
know what the grape is, where it comes
from, and who makes it, you have a
much better chance of guessing what’s
in the bottle and making a wise choice
from the bewildering selection in the
store or on the wine list.
First, the Grape. In a way, wine
grapes are like apples. You have Red
Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith and
many others, each of which has its own
set of distinctive flavors. Same with
grapes. Wines made from Cabernet
Sauvignon grapes have characteristic
flavors of black fruit, currant and so
on. Wines made from Sauvignon Blanc
grapes will generally give you grapefruit, pineapple, citrus and other tropical fruits.
Next is the Ground. Different countries and cultures make wines in different ways, and follow a wide range of
traditions. Wines from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and other New
World countries are “fruit forward,”
meaning that the first thing you’ll sense
on the nose and palate are pronounced
fruit flavors. On the other hand, wines
from France, Spain, Italy and the Old
World will offer the aromas and flavors of the places where they’re made:
earth, forest, smoke, tar and other vegetal sensations. Also, grapes grown in
cooler climates will provide one set of
fruit flavors, while grapes from warmer
southern climes will be more tropical.
The difference between red cherries
and black cherries, for example, or pear
and peach. The difference between a
Syrah from Washington State and one
from Sonoma or Napa in California.
And finally, we have to think about
the winemaker: the Guy or Gal. Each
one is faced with a bewildering range
of choices in the winemaking process. What grapes to grow, and where.
When to harvest. How long to ferment.
Whether to ferment and age the juice in
stainless steel or oak, or a combination
of both. How long to leave the wine
in the barrel before bottling. They’re
like chefs, using available seasonings
in different, personal and characteristic
For the beginning wine enthusiast,
knowing the vintner can be extremely
important. There are hundreds of (for
example) Sauvignon Blancs from New
Zealand on the shelves. If you find
certain brands and producers you like,
stick with them, but continue to sample
and discover other winemakers and varietals. That’s where the fun is.
Just like anything else, the more
you know about a topic or a thing, the
more pleasure and interest you’ll derive from it. Wine give us back what
we bring to it, so we may as well bring
as much as we can. That’s where the
“Five S” approach comes in. It’s the
process that we use to evaluate, understand and, yes, appreciate that liquid
we just paid $50 for.
In order, the “Five S” approach includes See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Swallow. Each of the steps gives us more information and understanding about the
wine. We’ll delve
into that next month.
here are some recent
discoveries I hope
you’ll enjoy.
C h a t e a u
Labrande Cahors
– The Cahors region of France is the
Chateau Labrande
home of the Malbec
grape. Most of the Malbecs on the
shelf these days come from Argentina,
but this brand is a true Old World style.
Bargain priced, too.
Romanelli Montefalco Rosso
2010 – I referred to Montefalco wines
in a previous column, but just discovered this producer. From Perugia in
central Italy, this wine is a blend of the
Montefalco Village Square
native Sagrantino grape with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
It offers a nice earthy nose and fresh
berries and cherry on the palate.
Sono Montenidoli Vernaccia Tradizionale 2011 – You may not find
this white varietal everywhere, but it’s
worth seeking out. It’s a straightforward wine for everyday drinking that
treats you to nice acidity and citrus
flavors. Great with shellfish and other
Sample widely. Email me.
Jerry Greenfield is The Wine Whisperer. He is Creative Director of Greenfield Advertising Group and former
Wine Director of the Southwest Florida
Wine & Food Festival. His new book,
Secrets of the Wine Whisperer, is now
available through his website or on
Amazon. Read his other writings at
Chicken schnitzel – recipe by Dalia Hemed
hicken Schnitzel is a popular
and tasty treat served throughout Israel. Schnitzel is Austrian
in origin; it was traditionally made
with veal (known as Wiener Schnitzel)
or pork. The dish later found its way
to Israel with European Jewish immigrants. Like many Jewish foods, immigrants adapted this regional dish to suit
their unique dietary kosher laws. In the
case of schnitzel, pork (thrifty but not
kosher) and veal (which was expensive
and difficult to obtain) was replaced by
chicken and turkey. The result is a tasty
treat that can be found in nearly every
restaurant in Israel.
Schnitzel is a simple, budgetfriendly dish to prepare. It is often
served with French fries, but I prefer
to serve it with a fresh Israeli salad
(see last month’s recipe). This easy
recipe is sure to become a mainstay in
your kitchen. I make it once or twice a
month because it’s so simple and tasty.
Kids love it, too.
The traditional way to serve schnitzel is with fresh lemon juice. A squeeze
of lemon juice really suits schnitzel,
but funny enough, the origin of this
pairing is less than appetizing. Before
refrigeration was invented, lemon juice
was used to mask the flavor of meat
that had gone bad. The tradition of
lemon juice stuck, and we still serve
schnitzel with lemon slices to this
While I do love lemon juice on my
schnitzel, I also like to get creative and
dip it in spicy mustard or hot sauce.
In an effort to support our local community,
Perkins Restaurant and Bakery is proud to work
with organizations on their fundraising efforts.
Please present this ad to the cashier
during the month of February 2015
and Perkins will donate 10% of your total bill to
Receive a 10% discount on your next visit
(excluding Bakery To-Go) at any local Perkins
after completing a short survey. See your bill.
Coupon expires February 28, 2015.
Valid at Perkins on Six Mile Cypress and U. S. 41, Fort Myers, Florida.
Additional coupons will be available in Temple Judea’s lobby.
• 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken
breasts (4 large breasts)
• 1 cup flour for dredging
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup breadcrumbs, matzo meal or
• 2 tbsp paprika
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
• Salt and pepper
• Oil for frying
• Fresh lemon wedges for garnish
You will also need:
• Plastic wrap, mallet, skillet,
paper towels
XX Lay down a 2-foot-long strip of
plastic wrap on your kitchen countertop. Place chicken breasts on
the plastic, leaving a 2-inch space
between each breast. Cover the
breasts with another strip of plastic
so the meat is sandwiched between
two layers of plastic. Use a mallet
to pound the breasts until they are a
little less than ¼ inch thick.
XX Set up three wide, shallow bowls
and a large plate on your countertop. In your first bowl, put the
flour. In the second bowl, beat
the eggs. In the third, stir together
the breadcrumbs, paprika, 1 tsp
salt and sesame seeds (optional)
till well blended. Leave an empty
plate nearby where you will place
your coated schnitzels.
XX Pour oil into a skillet until it’s deep
enough for frying (about ½ inch).
Heat the oil slowly over medium.
While the oil is heating, dip each
breast one by one into your breading bowls – first coat with flour,
then with egg, then with breadcrumb mixture.
Personal Chef Dalia Hemed can
be reached at 239.887.1986
or [email protected]
XX The ideal temperature to fry schnitzel is around 375 degrees F. When
the oil is hot (but not smoking or
splattering), fry the coated breasts
in single-layer batches until they
are golden brown on both sides. If
your oil is at the right temperature,
it should take about 3-4 minutes
per side. Don’t fry more than two
breasts at a time in a regular sized
skillet, or the oil temperature will
drop and the schnitzels will become greasy.
XX After frying, set the schnitzels on
a paper towel and pat them dry to
soak off excess oil.
XX Sprinkle the schnitzels with salt
to taste. Serve hot garnished with
lemon wedges and your favorite
L’CHAYIM delivers!
Introduce your business to a POWERFUL
demographic and reach 5,000 readers
each month for pennies per reader!
For ad rates and deadlines,
contact Jim Lewin at 239.634.6923
or [email protected]
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Two complementary views
of Jewish strength and vulnerability
,By Philip K. Jason, Special to L’CHAYIM
tion from attack. Anything Israel did in
Making David into Goliath: How the
retaliation was immediately labeled as
World Turned Against Israel,
s by Joshua Muravchik. Encounter
National and international Socialist
- Books, 296 pages, Hardcover $25.99.
redefined Zionism as both racist
Weighing evidence was
e Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish
rarely an issue. The once-sympathetic
Adaptability, by Gidi Grinstein.
political Left moved inevitably to the
Gidi Grinstein. 318 pages.
other side throughout Europe, and that
Trade paperback $15.00.
transition became apparent in the United
ach in its own way, these two
States as well.
recent books consider the interEdward Said. Need I say more? The
locking destinies of the Israeli
moral corruption of academic institustate and the Jewish People.
tions whose faculties were brainwashed
by a smooth charlatan did enormous
At once impassioned and clearheaded, Muravchik’s abundantly redamage to Israel’s standing.
searched discussion of Israel’s decline
Yes, as Muravchik admits, Israel’s
in world public
own leaders and political parties made
opinion is necesa number of poor decisions. He details
sary reading for
several key instances and their conseall who care about
quences. Just as much of a problem is
this highly vulnerthe culture of dissent that has weakened
able country. How
Israel from within.
is it that an innovaThis author sees a severely impers
tive, democratic,
iled Israel whose enemies might sucr
peace-seeking naceed. “The result,” he insists, “would
tion keeps losing
be a second Holocaust.” This timely
 Phi l
the propaganda
study, puncturing illusions and facing
J a s on
war? Muravchik shows us how in a
hard facts, is must reading.
rinstein’s Flexigidity is truly
series of well-crafted chapters.
a most remarkable, original
The author begins by reminding
and inspirational book. While
readers of the high esteem with which
aimed at building a body of knowledge
Israel was generally regarded in the first
and skills for a new leadership of the
decades following its declaration of nan
Jewish People in individual communitionhood. To some measure, that esteem
ties and worldwide, it deserves a readgrew out of how the tiny new nation had
ership among all Jews and, indeed, all
overcome seemingly insurmountable
students of the Jewish journey through
odds – and continued to do so.
history. It is nothing less than a map
Over time, however, various forces
for the Jewish future based upon a keen
dimmed the luster of the glorious David.
understanding of the Jewish past and the
The chapter titles outline the story well.
challenges of the present situation – a
One example: “The Arab Cause Bemixture of prosperity and power on the
comes Palestinian (and ‘Progressive’)”
one hand, vulnerability on the other.
explores the psychological warfare
Get past the gimmicky title: the
in Arab/Muslim politics that slowly
jamming together of the counterpoint
repositioned David and Goliath. Israel
traits of flexibility and rigidity that
was positioned not as threatened by the
Grinstein sees as the essential characMuslim masses, but as the demonical
ter of Jewish experience. Get past the
usurper of Palestinian rights. Losing
unconventional but highly functional
underdog status in world opinion was
design, an extended outline form laced
a major blow.
with text boxes and boldface passTerrorist assaults on Israel did one
ages that announce the most important
kind of damage, constantly diverting
concepts. Forgive what seems like a
resources. Assaults on Jewish institutechnical report or systems analysis
tions in Europe weakened the moral
approach. This book is nothing but good
fiber of European nations and also resense writ large.
leased latent Anti-Semitism. On top of
Although the author takes us
this, Arab countries were able to use
through almost all of Jewish history to
the petroleum weapon to make Europe
make his points about the processes of
cower. The message was clear: if you
Jewish survival, he pays particular atwant oil, detach yourself from Israel
tention to the last 130 years “of radical
in every possible way.
and fundamental transformations” reThe takeover of the UN by so-called
nnonaligned nations rendered Israel a
sulting “from the compounded effect of
rpariah, constantly charged and found
repetitive disasters in Europe, as well as
sguilty of crimes against humanity rather
from the dramatic successes of Zionism
ythan responsibly defending its populaand Americanism.” Grinstein urges the
6:30 P.M.
Chocolate and
and Wine
Wine -- Need
Need we
we say
say more?
Join us
us for
for the
the second
second part
part of
of the
the Women’s
Women’s Philanthropy
series —
a deliciously
deliciously elegant
elegant night
night of
of chocolate
chocolate and
wine pairings
pairings hosted
hosted by
to Leni
Leni Sack
Sack at
at 239.481.4449
239.481.4449 x3
x3 or
[email protected]
[email protected] Cost:
Cost: $75.
$75. Space
Space is
is limited.
necessity of a productive respect among
Zionists and Israelis for a healthy and
growing Jewish diaspora and a powerful understanding in the diaspora about
the essentiality of Israel for the Jewish
He worries, as others have done,
about the concentration of the Jewish
population in so few places, while recognizing that there are benefits to that
concentration as well.
Hebrew literacy, based on the
historical transmission of Judaism’s
sacred texts and the Zionist insistence on
(re)building a Hebrew-speaking nation,
is one necessity for which the future
might have to find more flexibility in
that rigidity. Nonetheless, Grinstein
values such literacy as usefully bonding
and differentiating.
The author ably demonstrates the
existing and necessary interconnectedness of all factions of the Jewish People.
His thesis, analysis and synthesis ably
and stridently portray “flexigidity” – the
framing design of a People who are “a
network of small units – communities
and their institutions – as the most important foundation of Jewish longevity.”
I highly recommend this book as a
long course – or series of short courses
– for leaders and aspiring leaders of
Jewish communities and institutions
These two reviews appear in the
Fall 2014 (Grinstein) and Winter 2014
(Muravchik) issues of Jewish Book
World (Vol. 32 Nos. 3 & 4). They are
reprinted by permission of the Jewish
Book Council.
Philip K. Jason is Professor Emeritus
of English from the United States Naval Academy. He reviews regularly for
Florida Weekly, Jewish Book World,
Southern Literary Review, and other
publications. Please visit Phil’s website
Everyone is welcome to join the book club
for the following book discussions:
Sunday, February 1 at 7:00 p.m. - RSVP required
Sex After…Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes by Iris Krasnow
Join us for the first in a 3-part Women’s Series - wine & refreshments will be served
Wednesday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
To get more information about the book club or to RSVP for the events above,
contact Leni Sack at 239.481.4449 x3 or [email protected]
Florida Residency
and Estate Planning
Receive a
FR EE Florida
Estate Planning
Presented by:
Craig R. Hersch
“Will Power” Columnist, Author
Michael B. Hill
Florida Bar Board Certified | Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorneys
You will learn:
• If your will and trust from up North are still valid
• What you need to know about Florida homestead laws
• If you can save taxes by declaring Florida residency
• Why your Durable Power of Attorney needs updating
• Why you need to update your legal documents to Florida law
• How to avoid probate
• How to keep your legal documents up-to-date
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015
2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
Sanibel Community House
2173 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel 33957
Temple Beth El
16225 Winkler Rd.
Fort Myers 33908
Complimentary Written Trust Analysis:
Bring your current documents to the workshop one-half hour early
Reservations: 239-425-9379
9100 College Pointe Ct., Fort Myers, FL 33919
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Jerusalem Post Crossword Puzzle
Unthemed by Martin Ashwood-Smith
Difficulty level: medium
Will Shortz praises
upgraded Jerusalem Post B
Crossword Puzzle
level of difficulty, rising each weekJ
ew York Times crossword
during a given month from Easy tot
editor Will Shortz, the dean of
Manageable to Medium to ChalAmerican puzzledom, recently
lenging. Then, four times a year, a
applauded the newly upgraded weekly
17x17 puzzle will be published. The
Jerusalem Post Crossword Puzzles,
Easy puzzles should be accessible
calling it a “great product” with puzzles
to people with little Judaic backthat are “well-constructed.” Further, he
ground and crossword experience,
added, “the high Jewish content in the
and the Challenging puzzles
clues is very impressive.”
should be a match for the
The Jerusalem Post
wits of solvers with strong
Crossword Puzzle currently
backgrounds in both.
appears in nearly 20 Jewish
‹‹ David Benkof, who has
publications worldwide, inconstructed the crosswords
cluding the Washington Jewfor the past six years, now
ish Week, the Atlanta Jewish
serves as editor, working with
Times, the New Jersey Jewish
puzzles created by some of
Standard, the Connecticut
the top names in the crossJewish Ledger, and the JewDavid Benkof
word world.
ish Tribune of Canada.
As before, each puzzle’s clues are
Southern California solver Chloe
100 percent Jewish-related, which is
Ross said the puzzle is “the first thing
a nearly unheard-of feat for themed
I look at when I open the Jewish Jourpuzzles.
nal.” And Ellen Futterman, the editor of
The puzzle clues continue to use
the St. Louis Jewish Light, praised the
lots of puns and wordplay, such as:
puzzles for being “both challenging for
• The Hebrew one has a nun in it
veteran puzzlers and also within range
(8 letters) ALPHABET
for those who are novices.”
• It takes guts to cook them KISHKES
Some changes to the puzzle for
• It had a major part in “The Ten
2015 include:
Commandments” REDSEA
‹‹ Most puzzles have themes. January
• That’s life? CHAIM
themes include “Noshing Ventured”
The new, improved puzzles will beand “Amblin’ Actors.” In addition,
gin appearing in newspapers throughout
some puzzles include twists like the
the world the first week in January.
January 2 puzzle, “Inner Sanctum,”
Questions can be addressed to Dawhich has circled letters in some
vid Benkof at 314.201.1552 or David
answers, spelling out the names of
[email protected]
items found in a synagogue.
‹‹ Each 15x15 puzzle is assigned a
Editor: David Benkof, [email protected]
1. They’re buried together in Hebron
16. Provides leniency in Jewish law
17. Israel became a member in 1949
18. Start of some Jewish names
ending with -berg, -blum, and -feld
19. Temple offering, sometimes
20. Mother tongue of many Beverly
Hills Jews
23. Tsuris
24. Qassam rocket’s path
27. Attended a 38-Across
28. The Shayetet is the equivalent of
this Navy operations force
32. Brownish-yellow color of Lee
Krasner’s early 1960s paintings
34. Some Donna Karan products
36. “Demi-___,” the musical revue in
which Gershwin’s “Swanee” had
its debut
37. 9/11 plotter Mohamed
38. Annual White House event since
40. These critters, and not the Jews,
spread the Black Death
41. Prepared a child’s costume for
43. Israeli flyer Danny Shapira, for one
45. Give a bubbe nachas
46. The Kinneret, ___ of Galilee
47. St. whose Jewish Museum was the
first in the Pacific Northwest
48. Farm home for a chazer
49. Studio where “The Longest Yard”
director Robert Aldrich got his start
51. Appointed as rabbi, perhaps
53. Nazi Dassler whose name was
shortened to dub the shoe
company he founded
54. Food with a schmear on top
57. Term that has been used for Emma
Goldman and Saul Alinsky
64. Madeleine Albright was running it
when she learned much of her
family died in the Holocaust
65. Area under the Temple Mount
1. It’s the largest country in the Arab
world (abbr.)
2. Insect in Jerry Seinfeld’s 2007
animated film
3. Tried to join the Knesset
4. Swears on the Holy Bible
5. Trait of Bar Kochba or Yoni
6. Jehoshaphat’s father and namesakes
Solution on page 18
7. First sex in Genesis?
8. “The Case for Israel” author
9. 1948 and 613, e.g.
10. Gave two tablets, perhaps
11. Spread anti-Semitic vitriol, maybe
12. “Oy vey!”
13. Director Reiner (“Stand By Me”)
14. The whole megillah
15. Fifth Hebrew letter
20. Some temples have Moorish ones
21. How to hang your mezuzah
22. Shabbat
23. Evaluate the quality, as an etrog
24. Biblical character whose name,
doubled, is a Faulkner title
25. Jews hope to do it regarding the
Temple in Jerusalem
26. Like the shield of the Rothschilds
29. Techies who can earn a certificate
but not a degree from Brandeis U.
30. Comeback from Kyle on the South
Park playground
31. “The Peacemaker” director Mimi
33. One of Anouk Aimée’s quatre
35. Feminist Orthodox activist Rivka
39. El Al path (abbr.)
42. U.S. diplomats in Israel get one for
their expenses
44. Obama Defense Secretary who
said “all options” were on the table
to stop Iran
50. Boychik
52. “ ... like ___ that is led to the
53. “Merchant of Venice” quote: “___
thy friends - for when did
friendship take a breed for barren
metal of his friend?”
54. 1997 Martin Landau/Halle Berry
flop that played with stereotypes
about Jewish women
55. Near Eastern VIPs
56. Tightened (his loins)
57. Arthur Goldberg’s WWII
intelligence agency
58. Some Mormons believe
___ -Aztecan languages are related
to Hebrew
59. Radio show hosted by Ira Glass,
60. Poet’s erev
61. Literally, “Man-made mound”
62. Number of wives for Isaac
63. Abraham Joshua Heschel was
concerned about civil ones (abbr.)
Stay connected at
Bar / Bat Mitzvah Specialist
Choosing the right photographer is an important decision.
Michael Shapiro has more than 30 years experience in media
and journalism. He is able to capture images that are unique,
unexpected and spontaneous.
Mellow Mah Jongg
Each Tuesday afternoon, an open session of
Mah Jongg is held at the Jewish Federation.
Players must be at least advanced beginners,
as no lessons are given.
DAY: Tuesdays, 12:30 – 3:30 P.M.
FEE: $1 per week
For more information,
call Rona Strausberg
at 239.949.9003
Other Services: Weddings / Family Portraits / Events
[email protected]
Stars of David
By Nate Bloom, Contributing Columnist
Editor’s note: Persons in BOLD CAPS are deemed by Nate Bloom to
be Jewish for the purpose of the column. Persons identified as Jewish
have at least one Jewish parent and were not raised in a faith other than
Judaism – and don’t identify with a faith other than Judaism as an adult. Converts
to Judaism, of course, are also identified as Jewish.
Sadly, press deadlines mean I have to
submit this month’s column in advance
of the Oscar nominations and, of course,
the ceremony itself (held this year on
Sunday, February 22). However, here
is a list of some likely Jewish nominees based on the fact that they have
already been honored with other award
nominations, like the Golden Globe or
SAG award. Best Actor: JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 34, Nightcrawler; and
Vice; Best Actress (supporting or lead):
Best Film Screenplay: GRAHAM
MOORE, 32, for The Imitation Game,
which is about British computer expert
and WWII codebreaker Alan Turing
and features, as an important character,
fellow codebreaker PETER HILTON
(a British Jew). Moore, a self-described
“Jewish kid from Chicago,” is the son of
Michelle Obama’s chief-of-staff from
2009 to 2011. Also: DAN FUTTERMAN, 47, co-writer of the Foxcatcher
screenplay. The film was directed by
BENNETT MILLER, 47. The film
may also get a best-picture nomination.
Best Original Score: HANS ZIMMER, 57, Interstellar. One of the most
honored film composers of our time,
Zimmer was born and raised in Germany, the son of a non-Jewish father and
a German Jewish mother who escaped
to England in 1939 and returned after
the war. He “outed” himself as Jewish
on German TV in 1999, but this fact
was not widely known until he talked
to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
last May. He told them, “The Jews are
my people.”
Best Original Film Song: “Mercy
Is” (Noah), Patti Smith and LENNY
KAYE, 67; and “Opportunity” (Annie), GREG KURSTIN, 45, Sia Furler,
and WILL GLUCK, 42. Gluck also
directed Annie and co-wrote the screenplay.
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida
(Denmark/Poland). Plot: During the
1960s, Anna, a novice nun, finds out
from a relative that her parents were
Jewish and died in the Holocaust. She
sets out to learn more. Ida was directed
and co-written by Pawel Pawlikowski,
a Pole who learned as an adult that his
paternal grandmother was Jewish and
that she died in the camps. Also in this
category: Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel). In the words of Variety:
“This expertly written, brilliantly acted
film documents the painful five-year
process for one [Israeli] woman attempting to obtain a divorce [in Israel].” The
film was co-written and co-directed
by RONIT ELKABETZ, 50, and her
brother, SHLOMI ELKABETZ, 46.
They are Israelis of Moroccan Jewish
Koenig Heads-Up
SARAH KOENIG, 45, produces and
sometimes hosts the NPR show, This
American Life. But since October, the
buzz around her is her podcast show, Serial. Over five million people followed
the show’s first season, which focused
on a (real) 1999 Baltimore murder over
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Interested in Your
Family’s History?
Ten years of doing a Jewish celebrities column has turned Nate Bloom (see
column above) into something of an expert on finding basic family history
records and articles mentioning a “searched-for” person. During these 10
years, he has put together a small team of “mavens” who aid his research.
Most professional family history experts charge at least $1,000 for a full
family tree. However, many people just want to get “started” by tracing one
particular family branch.
So here’s the deal:
Email Nate at [email protected],
tell him you saw this ad in L’CHAYIM,
and include your phone number (area code, too).
Nate will then contact you about doing a
“limited” family history for you at a modest cost
(no more than $100). No upfront payment.
12 episodes. The last episode aired on
December 18, but you can still listen
to the series (free) while online, or
download the episodes (free) to many
devices. Log on to:
Koenig’s husband, BEN SCHREIER,
44, is a professor of English and Jewish
studies at Penn State.
New TV Shows
In December, Bravo premiered its
first “scripted” series, Girlfriend’s
Guide to Divorce, co-starring LISA
EDELSTEIN, 48 (House), and PAUL
ADELSTEIN, 45, as a long-married
couple with two kids, whose marriage
is breaking up. This comedy/drama is,
in the words of almost all critics, surprisingly very good and I completely
agree. By the way, the divorcing couple
is supposed to be Jewish – despite their
non-Jewish last name. The first 13-episode season concludes this month. Try
and catch up online or through encore
Starting Thursday, February 19 is
a new version of The Odd Couple, the
famous 1965 stage show authored by
NEIL SIMON, 87. The ABC series
stars Matthew Perry (Friends) as Oscar,
a slovenly sports writer, and Thomas
Lennon as Felix, a neat-freak photographer. As you probably know, they are
old friends and when Felix’s wife leaves
him, he moves into the apartment of
Oscar, who is long-divorced. LINDSAY
SLOANE, 37, who has been appearing
as a TV guest or series regular (Sabrina)
since she was a teen, plays Emily, a resident of Oscar’s building who attracts the
romantic attention of the guys. While I
haven’t seen the pilot, I have no doubt
that one of Simon’s most famous lines
will be used in an early episode – Oscar:
“Stop leaving me notes on my pillow,
Felix. It took me weeks to figure out that
‘F.U.’ at the end of the note means Felix
Unger.” Simon, by the way, denies that
he named the character Felix Unger just
to make this joke work.
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Arab-Jewish art museum opens window on a new world
By Viva Sarah Press, ISRAEL21c,, December 1, 2014
n a country already boasting the
honor of having the most museums
per capita in the world, the opening
of the Arab Museum of Contemporary
Art and Heritage (AMOCAH) in the
Galilee is nonetheless eliciting great
The new museum – set to open its
doors on December 13 – will showcase “original works of contemporary
art alongside items of Palestinian
heritage” and host artistic cooperation
and collaboration between Jews and
“Every museum has its uniqueness.
Museums today are not just about safeguarding art; there has to be an agenda
to the museum. This museum is an opportunity for Jews and Arabs to meet,
for their cultures to meet,” Israeli artist
Avital Bar-Shay, one of the founders of
AMOCAH, tells ISRAEL21c.
Bar-Shay and Belu-Simion Fainaru,
a Romanian artist who lives in Haifa
part of the year, came up with the idea
for AMOCAH. The Sakhnin municipality and its mayor, Mazin G’Nayem,
jumped aboard the project and helped
allot the museum’s new home in Sakhnin’s Old City.
The museum has more than 2,000
objects related to Palestinian Arab
heritage and some 200 contemporary
Fainaru and Bar-Shay envisioned
the museum after curating and running
the Mediterranean Biennale in Sakhnin
in 2013. They plan to run future biennales under the auspices of AMOCAH.
The museum is also launching a
residency program with artist Johannes
Vogel as its first participant. He will
come live in Sakhnin, give workshops
and create artworks based on his experiences there.
Though this past summer’s Gaza
McKenzie Millis
& Vivian Ciulla
war, Operation Protective Edge, stirred
up trouble between the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel and tensions
continue to simmer, Fainaru and BarShay decided not to delay the opening
of the museum. They wanted to offer
something positive to counter the tense
“Through art, [we] will bridge the
conflicts with an emphasis on multidisciplinary arts, self-respect, and a
vision of a better future,” reads a press
statement announcing the museum’s
Window to a world you don’t know
There are a number of levels of purpose
Images by Bashir Borlakov of Turkey
will be exhibited in AMOCAH
to the museum, Bar-Shay says. The most
obvious is to create the opportunity for
Jews and Arabs (Christian, Muslim,
Druze, Bedouin) to meet, cooperate
and talk.
“It’s a stage for coexistence and
dialogue,” she says. “If you come to the
museum, you already open a window to
a world you don’t know.”
The museum also answers the call
for art in the periphery. Bar-Shay says
most of the top art museums in Israel
are in the center of the country.
“It’s not just art on display; it’s good
art of local and international caliber.
This is wanting in the periphery. In the
Arab communities, they’re longing for
a place like this,” she tells ISRAEL21c.
The museum’s first exhibition is
called “Hiwar,” the Arabic word for
It will present contemporary works
by Jewish and Arab artists including
Marina Abramović, Larry Abramson,
Jannis Kounellis, Abeer Atalla, Christian Boltansky, Mohammad Said Kalash, Johannes Vogel, Raed Bwayeh,
Hermann Nitsch, Hoda Jamal, Mounir
Fatmi, Mahmoud Badarneh, Buthaina
Abu Melhem, Micha Ullman, Asad Azi,
Dani Karavan, Nidal Jabarin, Tamir
Lichtenberg, Meirav Heiman, Zuhdi Qadri, Rani Zahrawi and David Wachstein.
Fainaru and Bar-Shay chose the artists, while Amin Abu Raya of Sakhnin
is curating the exhibit.
Connection to culture
The Arab Museum of Contemporary Art and Heritage will exhibit all
disciplines of art including painting,
drawing, sculpture, digital and multimedia.
The emphasis is on Middle Eastern art, says Bar-Shay, but notes that
“we’re not just showing Israeli Arab
and Jewish art.” Exhibits will also include works by artists from Morocco,
Turkey and other Middle Eastern
countries, she says.
“As artists, it’s important for us that
we show original and quality art. To
show how art can grow from a place.
It’s important that there’s a connection
to the local culture,” Bar-Shay tells
Fainaru also talks about the importance of helping the city’s residents
engage with the art.
“In Sakhnin, the museum will be
located inside the neighborhood. People
live near it. The intention is that the
This piece by Afghani-German artist
Jeanno Gaussi will be featured
community will have access to it, that
art will exist together with the residents
and not just for its own sake,” Fainaru
told the Israeli daily Haaretz.
“So it is also important to choose
works that will not offend the residents’
sensibilities, since this is a very sensitive and volatile place. We don’t want
to create opposition; we want to create
success and attraction.”
Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has
extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast
fields. Her work has been published by
international media outlets including
Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The
Jerusalem Post and Time Out.
For daily news stories related
to Israel & the Jewish world,
visit the Federation’s website at
Meet Our Assisted Living Experts
(of course, when we say “our” we really mean “your”)
Navigating the myriad decisions in determining if
Assisted Living is right for you or your loved one is
just plain difficult. Levels of care. Different facilities.
Quality. Affordability. All factors in ensuring an
optimized quality of life.
If you’ve got a question — or a whole list of them — meet with our
assisted living experts, McKenzie or Vivian, today. With the well being
of the individual as their highest priority, they’ll give you answers that
can assist you in making the most informed decisions possible.
When you do, we also invite you to tour Shell Point’s newest
assisted living facility, The Springs. With beautiful surroundings and
Shell Point’s proven reputation, The Springs offers an affordable
option on a month-to-month basis.
Meet with our experts and visit The Springs today!
Appointments and tours can be
arranged by calling (239) 454-2077
13901 Shell Point Plaza • Fort Myers, Florida 33908 •
The Springs Assisted Living is part of Shell Point’s Integrated Healthcare System. Shell Point is a non-profit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. ©2014 Shell Point. All rights reserved. SPG-199-14
Think 2014 was a bad year
for Israel? Think again!
Source: American Jewish Committee,, December 15, 2014
f you care about Israel, 2014 might
feel like a year you’d like to forget.
There was the slow collapse of U.S.sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, accompanied by the ill-conceived
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. In June we witnessed the abduction
and murder of teenagers Eyal Yifrach,
Gilad She’ar and Naftali Frenkel by
Hamas terrorists, and the retribution
killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu
Khdeir by Jewish extremists. A continuous stream of Hamas and Islamic
Jihad rockets from Gaza eventually
triggered an Israeli response – Operation
Protective Edge – which uncovered a
vast tunnel network which was to have
been used to infiltrate Israel and kill its
civilians. Talks over the Iranian nuclear
program did not yield a deal but only
a new deadline set for next year. The
governing coalition in the Knesset fell
apart after less than two years. All-in-all,
not a good year.
Or was it? While the situation appeared grim, there was also a lot of good
news out of Israel. Let’s take a look:
Iron Dome
As Hamas launched volley after volley of rockets from Gaza this summer,
rather than rushing into battle, Israel was
able to respond with a measured escalation. This was because although Israeli
civilians had to endure the psychological trauma of needing to constantly run
for shelter, very few were dying. The
game-changer was Iron Dome. This
state-of-the-art missile defense system,
developed in Israel with U.S. funding,
had a success rate of around 90%, affording Israeli civilians a new measure
of safety. Iron Dome saved untold lives
this summer, and with peace unfortunately nowhere in sight, it will likely
be called upon to protect Israelis again
in the future.
Support from Congress
Iron Dome would never have happened
without support from the United States.
And then, over the summer, Congress
acted quickly to ensure that Israel would
have all the replacement parts and
rockets it needed to beat back Hamas’s
assault. The Senate unanimously passed
a bill granting an additional $225 million for Iron Dome spending, and the
House approved it by 395-8. At a time
when unfounded criticism of Israel was
spiking worldwide, the American people
and their elected representatives had
Israel’s back.
Natural Gas
Prime Minister Golda Meir’s joke held
true for half a century: “Let me tell you
something that we Israelis have against
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
For All Your Southwest Florida
Real Estate Needs
Moses. He took us 40 years through the
desert in order to bring us to the one
spot in the Middle East that has no oil!”
This year, though, upon the completion
of exploratory drilling in the Leviathan
natural gas field off the coast of Haifa,
Israel signed agreements to sell gas to
Egypt and Jordan, with further deals
likely to come soon. This natural gas
discovery, coupled with significant investment in alternative energy like the
solar farms in the Negev, sets the stage
for Israel, for the first time in its history,
to become not just self-sustaining, but
an energy exporter.
Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi
The new Indian Prime Minister made
his first international appearance at the
opening of the United Nations General
Assembly. In addition to his rock-star
tour of New York City, featuring speeches in Madison Square Garden and Central Park, Modi (with an able assist from
AJC) found the time to meet with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It
is no secret that Israel is attempting an
economic pivot from Europe to Asia,
and India, with its 1.2 billion people,
is a major element of that plan. Soon
after that meeting, news broke that India
would sign a defense deal with an Israeli
company, spurning a competing offer
from the U.S. Total trade between India
and Israel topped $4 billion this year.
Israel’s economic growth has long been
a source of pride for the country, and all
steps to develop new markets are very
good news indeed.
High-Tech Investment
The story is bigger than just the IsraelIndia relationship. Since Dan Senor and
Saul Singer’s 2009 book Start-up Nation, Israel has become known around
the world as a high-tech powerhouse. In
September, Intel committed $6 billion
to upgrade its chip-production facility in Kiryat Gat, leading insiders to
speculate that Intel will almost certainly
be producing its next-level processors,
suitable for the coming surge of wearable technology, in Israel. And in the
first half of 2014 alone, 335 Israeli
high-tech companies raised a record
$1.6 billion in capital, 81% more than
in the first half of 2013. As a small but
noisy group of Israel-hating activists
lobby for countries to divest from Israel,
it is heartening to see billions of dollars
of investment pouring into the Jewish
2014 certainly had its downs, but it
had terrific ups as well. Here’s to even
better things to come!
Susan Glasser, Realtor®
Royal Shell Real Estate, Inc.
1870 Clayton Court
Fort Myers, FL 33907
[email protected]
Mobile: (239) 281-3105
Office: (239) 689-7653
Lee County resident
for more than 20 years
4:00 p.m.
On the following Sundays,
February 8*, 15, 22
in the Jewish Federation Community Room
All ages (10 to 96) are welcome to join us.
All levels of dance experience are welcome.
Wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle
*The first class of each month will begin at 3:30 for
beginners or anyone wanting to review dances.
RSVP necessary each week to Marsha Kistler
Proudly Serving the
Jewish Community
Kays Ponger & Uselton Funeral Homes is committed to
serving the Jewish community. Through the knowledge of
your most sacred beliefs, the service you receive will be truly
reflective of the life it represents. For more information on
our services and your options, call us today.
Port Charlotte
Punta Gorda
(941) 625-4113 (941) 639-1133
Englewood (941) 474-5575
(941) 493-4900
Glenn Pomerantz
Jewish Funeral Director
Englewood (941) 474-2413
“every life has a story”
at [email protected]
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
AT END OF 2014
At the end of 2014, Israel’s population was 8,296,000 residents, including 6,218,000 Jews (75%), 1,719,000
Arabs (21%) and 359,000 “others,” the
Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday, December 29.
Some 23,000 new immigrants arrived in 2014. (Yaron Druckman, Ynet
On December 30, the Saudi daily AlWatan reported that Saudi authorities
are now allowing people of all faiths,
including Jews, to work in the kingdom.
Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee member Sadaqa bin
Yahya Fadhel said: “We are permitted
to have a connection with Jews, and
importing a Jewish worker is exactly
the same as importing [a worker] of
another faith...So long as we have no
relationship whatsoever with Israelis,
then there is no problem with this.”
Saudi Arabia is the only Gulf state
that still bans the establishment of
houses of worship for religions other
than Islam. (MEMRI)
Some 50,000 French Jews asked the
Jewish Agency for information about
immigrating to Israel in 2014, agency
Rubinstein, Holz & King, P.A.
Family Law Attorneys
Alan J. Rubinstein
Board Certified – Marital & Family Law
Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
1375 Jackson St., Ste. 304
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 332-3400
Fax (239) 332-5078
chairman Natan Sharansky said recently.
“They have a choice, to stay in
France, where there is the biggest welfare basket ever, to travel to other EU
nations, or to immigrate to Montreal,
where there are few cultural adjustments to make and which was until
recently their primary destination,” he
“The overwhelming majority” of
Jewish emigres from France, possibly up to 70%, choose to go to Israel.
“For the first time...there is a massive
exodus from a community in the free
world, which has all the doors open to
them, and they are choosing Israel.”
(Sam Sokol and Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post)
The Israel Navy is integrating a new
fleet of unmanned surface vessels
(USVs) into its operational force structure. By mid-2015, the Navy hopes
to conclude operational certification
of three locally-built Protector USVs.
Built by Rafael Ltd., the twin-engine
Protectors feature a remote weapon
station and intelligence, surveillance,
target acquisition and reconnaissance
Two Protectors are now operational and the third is undergoing “its
last months of sea trials,” said Rear
Adm. Dror Friedman, vice chief na-
val officer. “In the end, we’ll see them
incorporated into our force for coastal
defense and also for the subject of offshore energy sites. Their added value
is the ability to remain at sea for prolonged periods and to go to places that
are particularly dangerous.” (Barbara
Opall-Rome, Defense News)
A fragment from a glass bracelet inscribed with a seven-branched menorah from the Second Temple period
was discovered during Hanukkah at
an excavation in the Mount Carmel
National Park, the Israel Antiquities
Authority announced recently.
The excavation’s co-directors, Limor Talmi and Dan Kirzne, said in a
statement that on “the bracelet, which
is made of turquoise-colored glass...
stamped impressions of two menorahs
survived on the small fragment that was
found – one a plain seven-branched
menorah, of which only the surface of
the menorah is visible, and the other
one consisting of a seven-branched
menorah with flames depicted above
its branches.” (Daniel K. Eisenbud,
Jerusalem Post)
Magda Haroun, 62, is the youngest of
nine Egyptian Jewish women, most in
their eighties, who are all that remains
of a community that numbered 64,000
in 1947 and was one of the most prosperous in the Middle East.
Families like Mosseiri, Quatawi,
Rolo and Sawares started the first
Egyptian banks (Egyptian Immobile
Bank, Egyptian National Bank and
Egyptian Commercial Bank).
Moreover, Jews were a fundamental pillar of the cinema industry and
they contributed to the prosperity of
cultural life in Egypt in the beginning
of the 20th century. (Dina Darwish, AlAhram - Egypt)
Sunday, February 1 at 7:00 p.m.
will discuss1
at new
“Sex After”… Women
Share will
as Life Changes”
Iris Krasnow
her Changes
new book:
15 atChanges
6:30 p.m.
“Sex After”…
After”… Women
Share How
as Life
Life Changes”
Chocolate and wine
with Norman
p.m. speaks for itself.
p.m. speaks
Chocolate and
and wine
with Norman
speaks for
for itself.
A “chick flick”
a Jewish
at 7:00
Sack with
for more
A “chick
a Jewish
x3 or for
[email protected]
Leni Sack
more information
information at
The Israeli legal group Shurat HaDinIsrael Law Center filed lawsuits on
Monday, January 5 at the International
Criminal Court against PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, top official Jibril Rajoub, and PA intelligence chief
Majed Faraj, all from Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, for war crimes, terrorism and human rights offenses. The
NGO filed cases against Abbas last
November and Hamas leader Khaled
Mashal in September 2014.
“Fatah openly boasted in Facebook
pages and other media channels that it
launched projectiles that caused the injury and death of Israeli civilians – a
war crime under international law,” the
NGO said. The case against Faraj and
Hamdallah details widespread torture
and killings of Palestinian residents
in areas under PA control. (Avi Lewis,
Times of Israel)
The distance between Europe and the
Muslim world is becoming increasingly shorter. There are already large cities
in Europe which will have a Muslim
majority within five to seven years.
In Marseilles, the second largest
city in France, Muslims already make
up 30-40% of the population. In 2016,
continued on next page
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
continued from previous page
the city will inaugurate a huge mosque
with a 25-meter minaret and a prayer
hall for 14,000 worshippers. The percentage of Muslims in France is already 13%.
In Barcelona, Spain, 30% of residents are Muslim. In smaller Spanish
towns like Salt, 40% are Muslim.
In Brussels, Belgium, the capital of
the EU, 25-30% are Muslim.
In Malmo, Sweden, 25-30% are
Muslim, while in the capital of Stockholm, 20% are Muslim.
In Rotterdam and Amsterdam in
The Netherlands, 25% are Muslim.
(Guy Bechor, Ynet News)
Intel has promised to spend at least
$550 million in Israel in the next five
years, part of a commitment by the
company to spend $6 billion to upgrade
its Kiryat Gat plant for the manufacture
of new advanced chips for its next generation devices, Intel and the Economy
Ministry announced recently.
While Israel is providing the company with grants of $600 million over
the next five years as well as a major
tax break through 2023, Intel committed to hiring at least 1,000 new employees.
“This arrangement will have a very
positive effect on hundreds of small
businesses and suppliers,” said Ziva
Eiger, director of investments at the
ministry’s Industrial Cooperation Authority. “As a result of this agreement,
Israelis can look forward to thousands
of more jobs being available.”
Intel Israel CEO Mooly Eden said,
“Last year, Intel Israel was responsible
for more than 9% of Israel’s tech exports.”
Intel already employs 10,000
workers in Israel, with over 30,000 Israelis working at companies that provide products and services to Intel.
(Times of Israel)
The latest figures from Israel’s Central
Bureau of Statistics – covering the first
10 months of 2014 – show bilateral
trade at a record 3.16 billion pounds,
with exports from Israel to the UK up
14% and Israeli imports from Britain
up 13%. Previous figures for the period
showed trade worth 2.5 billion pounds.
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said: “The idea that there
is some sort of effective boycott going
on isn’t borne out by the facts. Ditto on
the academic side.”
“There’s a long list of British companies now in partnership with Israeli
technology,” he added. (Sandy Rashty,
Jewish Chronicle - UK)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
on Thursday, December 25, confirmed
that Israel had acquired four new corvettes from Germany, reportedly to
help protect offshore gas facilities.
Israel Channel 2 TV reported that the
deal was signed in Germany and that
the ships would arrive in Israel in two
“I want to thank German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the constant
commitment and help for our security,”
Netanyahu said. Germany subsidizes
defense projects for Israel as part of
its post-Holocaust commitment to help
ensure the country’s security. (Ilan Ben
Zion, Times of Israel)
Some of the most exciting up-andcoming Israeli start-ups were at a
conference in December organized
by OurCrowd, the Jerusalem-based
crowd-investing platform.
VocalZoom has a technology that
filters out background noise so that
when you talk on your cellphone in a
loud public place, the call will sound
crystal clear.
Cimagine allows shoppers to place
a 3D picture of a piece of furniture
from any website into an “augmented
reality” version of their own living
room to show how it would look.
Beacons are little plastic devices
that broadcast where they are so you
can track your luggage, phone, keys or
kids. Pixie adds “distance” and “direction” to beacons – you won’t just know
your car is nearby, but by using the accompanying cellphone software, you’ll
be directed right to it. Up-n-Ride is a
wheelchair that rises up into a vertical position so the disabled person can
participate more normally in everyday
Consumer Physics is a molecular
scanner that fits in the palm of your
hand. Aim it at the pasta on your plate,
and it can tell you the ingredients and
number of calories. It can be used to
sense anything other than metals.
(Brian Blum, Jerusalem Post)
Harel added. (Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post)
Israeli companies are assisting states in
the Gulf through security consulting,
training of local military forces, and
the sale of weapons and sophisticated
systems and technologies. At the same
time, senior officials from both sides
are conducting ongoing meetings in
and outside the region.
Reports indicate that Israel has
softened its policy on weapons exports
to states in the Gulf as well as its attempts to restrict sales by the U.S. of
advanced weapons to the Gulf countries, in part as a signal that it sees a
potential for partnership more than
it sees a possible threat. In addition,
Israel is enjoying a certain amount of
access to markets in the Gulf, as long
as the products do not have Israeli labels. (Yoel Guzansky, Ynet News)
An increasing number of Israel’s Arabs
are finding work in the country’s burgeoning tech economy.
Arabs are represented at Israel’s
top universities in numbers commensurate with their percentage of the
The 10% of Israel’s Arabs who
are Christian actually perform better
academically than any other Israeli
demographic and are comparatively
prevalent among the country’s Arab
software engineers and entrepreneurs.
(Drake Bennett, Business Week)
There is a state-of-the-art milking parlor, equipped with the latest Israeli
dairy technologies and monitoring systems, near Ho Chi Minh City (formerly
Saigon) in Vietnam. The Dairy Demonstration and Experimental Farm was
officially launched in August 2013 to
increase local milking efficiency and
Gonen Harel, the farm’s manager,
said recently that cows in Vietnam are
only producing 3,500 liters of milk per
year, as opposed to the Israeli average
of 13,000 liters per year. At the demonstration farm, where cows were producing only 10 liters of milk daily two
years ago, the animals are now supplying 23 liters per day, Harel said.
Rather than simply “copying and
pasting what we are doing in Israel,”
it remains important to provide the
Vietnamese farmers with the necessary tools to develop their dairy parlors
in accordance with local conditions,
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Top 10 non-Jews positively influencing
the Jewish future, 2014
By Dovid Efune, Editor-in-Chief, The Algemeiner, January 1, 2015
This article was originally published
by The Algemeiner. Please visit www.
ive years have now passed since
I first published my annual list
of non-Jews who are worthy of
recognition for their positive impact on
Jewish lives and the Jewish state.
Looking back, it is fascinating to
see how the list has evolved, with some
personalities fading from prominence
and others emerging to take their place.
Some have remained constant throughout the years.
As I have pointed out in the past, my
choices are by no means scientific and
are primarily intended to prompt interest in this unique group of individuals.
Hailing from various countries, ethnic
backgrounds and religious groups, the
list includes heads of state, business tycoons and spiritual and political leaders.
While some of their contributions came
through effort and sacrifice, for others
they seemed like second nature, but all
are surely worthy of our recognition. As
such, I present my fifth annual list of the
“Top 10 non-Jews positively influencing
the Jewish future.”
The biggest milestone over the past
year was Israel’s summer war against
Hamas in Gaza, which saw lines drawn
between those that supported Israel’s
defensive campaign and those that
called for the Jewish state to end its operations. The meteoric rise of renewed
anti-Semitic expression during the war
should have prompted world leaders to
rise up and defend their Jewish populations. Few took sufficient steps, but
some of the efforts were notable and are
reflected on the list.
Also worth noting is that this year
saw the publication of a book about
philosemitism by one of the list’s alumni. In an article for the UK’s Telegraph,
famed British writer Julie Burchill announced that she decided to write Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite
after discovering herself on the list.
At the time Burchill wrote of the
revelation: “I all but hugged my substantial bulk with glee. Gone was the bitter
experience of being recently routed
from the synagogue. I was officially a
friend of the Jews once more!”
10. Anett Haskia
Haskia, a Muslim-Arab Zionist hairdresser from the Israeli city of Acre
made a name for herself during the summer’s Operation Protective Edge when
she regularly appeared on television to
defend Israel’s army.
A mother of three, her children
serve in the IDF and she maintains an
active social media presence. Recently
she announced her candidacy to run
for parliament in Israel’s Jewish Home
political party and could serve as a
significant positive inspiration to other
members of Israel’s substantial MuslimArab population who traditionally side
with the Palestinian narrative.
9. Eric Pickles
Britain’s Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Pickles
unveiled new laws this week to combat
the country’s rise in anti-Semitism.
The measures include funding for
extra security at Jewish schools, and
tough punishments for online hate crime
as well as teaching schoolchildren about
the Holocaust.
The Conservative politician is also
a backer of Israeli-British trade and is
supportive of the Conservative Friends
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of Israel group.
8. Manuel Valls
France’s Prime Minister Valls, the country’s former interior minister, has been
a leader in the struggle against rampant
violence facing Europe’s largest Jewish
Openly recognizing the twinning of
anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment, in
July Valls condemned “an anti-Semite
who hides his hatred of the Jew behind
an appearance of anti-Zionism and the
hatred of Israel.”
In 2002, while mayor of the Paris
suburb of Evry, Valls joined the weekly
synagogue walk after the local Jewish
community faced violent attacks, signaling to the perpetrators that the Jews
had a powerful ally, The Jerusalem Post
“To many French Jews, Valls is
something of a hero for his unusually
robust defense of Israel and the French
Jewish community,” the Post said.
“His elevation is seen as a reassuring
sign amid one of French Jewry’s most
troublesome periods.”
7. John Hagee
Pastor Hagee’s Christian’s United for
Israel has emerged as the world’s largest pro-Israel grassroots membership
group. With over 1.2 million members
CUFI has made it clear to the leaders
of the U.S., Israel’s greatest ally, that
support for Israel is far more widespread
than just the Jewish community.
Outspoken, and criticized for his
1999 assertion that the Holocaust
was allowed by God to compel Jews
to move to Israel, Hagee later voiced
genuine regret and has made contributions to the Jewish people so significant
that any past insensitivities can be
In the early days of Operation
Protective Edge, Hagee’s group gathered in Washington, D.C., some 5,000
strong where the pastor told his flock,
“We’ve come to Washington to ask
our government to stop demanding for
Israel to show restraint.”
6. Rupert Murdoch
Many of the titles and channels owned
by Murdoch’s News Corporation and
Twenty-First Century Fox, have, for
the most part, covered stories relating
to Jews and Israel in a balanced and
fair manner, and Murdoch himself has
described himself as an ardent Zionist
and philosemite.
Murdoch has been recognized by a
number of major Jewish organizations,
including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and
the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
At a dinner late last year for an Israeli charity, Murdoch told the audience,
“You know as I do that as Israel goes,
so goes [...] our morality and our very
existence as freedom loving citizens of
the world.”
5. Tony Abbott
The government of Australia’s Prime
Minister Abbott has been the most
pro-Israel in recent memory. In June it
resolved to stop referring to East Jerusalem as “occupied” territory and to adopt
additional similar steps.
During the failed United Nations
Security Council vote this week to force
an Israeli withdrawal from the West
Bank, Abbott’s Australia was the only
country to join the U.S. in opposing
the move.
During Protective Edge the prime
minister was firm in his defense of
Israeli actions saying, “The problem
in the Middle East is that in the end so
many people are not prepared to accept
Israel’s right to exist.”
Abbot has earned strong support
from the country’s Jewish community.
4. Stephen Harper
As Prime Minister of Canada, Harper
has consistently led those members of
the international community who have
risen to the defense of the Jewish state.
In support of Israel’s Gaza campaign, Harper was forthright.
“Canada is unequivocally behind
Israel,” Harper said. “We support its
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Top 10...continued from previous page
right to defend itself, by itself, against
these terror attacks, and urge Hamas to
immediately cease their indiscriminate
attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.”
In 2012, Harper ensured that his
government was among the few that
opposed the Palestinian Authority’s
unilateral move for acceptance at the
United Nations.
At a meeting in New York in 2013,
Harper said, “There is nothing more
shortsighted in Western capitals in our
time than the softening support for
Israel,” according to a Wall Street Journal report. Israel, he said, “is the one
strong stable democratic western ally
that we have” in the Middle East.
3. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Perhaps an unexpected inclusion on the
list, El-Sisi actually topped last year’s
list for his unrelenting war against
Hamas terrorists in Gaza, albeit likely
for his own purposes.
El-Sisi has effectively stunted the
flow of deadly weapons to the coastal
enclave through shutting down hundreds of smuggling tunnels, and, in
2014, creating a substantial buffer zone
between Sinai and the Strip.
Despite his heavy handed, autocratic rule, Israeli officials have praised
the impact El-Sisi has had, specifically
as Hamas has proven to be the single
group responsible for the most Jewish
deaths over the past two decades.
During the summer’s war, El-Sisi
all but forced Hamas to accept Israel’s
ceasefire terms. Later, he reportedly
went so far as to offer a segment of the
Sinai Peninsula as land for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
2. Mitch McConnell
As the incoming Senate majority leader,
McConnell’s commitment to the U.S.Israel relationship has become more
significant than ever.
Now spearheading domestic opposition to President Obama’s widely
criticized foreign policy, McConnell
and his Republicans may serve as the
only obstacle to the Administration’s
reckless and irresponsible pandering to
the Iranian mullahs.
Additionally, he could lead the
drive to cut funding from the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations in
the event that unilateral moves towards
Palestinian statehood and demonizing
Israel continue apace.
During Protective Edge, McConnell ensured that domestic politics
wouldn’t interfere in U.S. funding for
Israel’s lifesaving Iron Dome missile
defense system by introducing an aid
package that was independent of a
controversial immigration bill.
1. Narendra Modi
Since his sweeping ascension to India’s
top job, Modi has used almost every
opportunity to promote Israel-India ties.
In November, Bloomberg News
reported that “Modi is openly boosting
ties with Israel, strengthening a relationship that has largely grown outside of
the public spotlight over the past two
The moves, which began with a
meeting between Modi and Israeli
Prime Minister Netanayhu, include
billions in defense deals, and speculation that India is reconsidering its proPalestinian stance at the United Nations.
In November, the two allies successfully tested an advanced missile
system, which was hailed by an adviser
to the Indian defense minister as “an
important milestone in the cooperation
between India and Israel,” The Times of
Israel reported.
In December, Modi tweeted a Chanukah greeting in Hebrew which wished
his “Jewish friends a happy Chanukah!
May this Festival of Lights and the
festive season ring in peace, hope and
well-being for all.”
What do you think?
L’CHAYIM wants to know!
Send your letters and comments to
Ted Epstein, L’CHAYIM Editor, at [email protected]
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Good guys wear white kippot
By Gene Sipe, VP, ZOA Southwest Florida Chapter
n the front page of a recent
issue of an Israeli newspaper
were two photographs almost
side by side. One photo had the smiling
faces of a group of cleanly shaved Israeli
soldiers. The other photo was of a group
of masked Hamas fighters. The article’s
story lines on this day were unrelated.
However, the visual images portrayed
an undeniable contrast.
Growing up in America just after
the forming of the State of Israel instilled a belief in the western spirit of
integrity – that an honorable man was
proud to stand up for what he believed
in. If his cause was just, there was no
reason to hide his face from the public.
The train and bank robbers of the old
westerns were the “bad guys” who
covered their faces with bandanas.
So now, almost 70 years later,
the incongruity of criminal investigations into the IDF’s actions on a field
of battle is no less disturbing than the
contrast of those photos. The absurdity
of Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the
Palestinian Authority (PA), to submit
an application to join the International
Criminal Court (ICC) in order to bring
charges against the State of Israel is
equally as incongruous. He, along with
the other leaders of his party, has partnered the Palestine Liberation Organization (PL) terror wing with Hamas, the
very terrorists hiding behind black bandanas. Together they are already facing
criminal charges levied against them in
the U.S. court system for terror attacks
committed during the early 2000s.
Has the “good guy” in the white
hat been replaced by the “terrorist” behind a black balaclava? Let’s see. One
current terrorist watch list includes, in
Israel alone, Hamas, PL, Hezbollah,
Force 17, Comite’ de Bienfaisance et
de Solidarite’ avec la Palestine, Holy
Land Foundation, Palestine al-Muslima
and Tanzim. The total list includes 163
separate organizations actively in operation worldwide. Of these, less than ten
are not radical Islamists organizations.
The commonality of all of the various radical Islamist’s agenda is implementation of universal law, Sharia, a
legal system based on the teachings of
the Qur’an, the Sunna and the Hadith of
Mohammed. Westerners, however, are
generally naive in regard to Sharia and
the threat of terror and jihad. The penalty for leaving Islam in all schools of
Sharia, whether Sunni or Shiite, is death.
Muslims critical of Sharia are
intimidated, threatened or killed for
expressing independent views. “Fatwas
of Death” are commonly issued against
anyone who deviates from the religious
dictates. The radicalism in devotion to
Sharia law causes things like vigilantes to behead a convert from Islam to
Christianity, or for women to be legally
stoned to death for committing adultery.
Because Islam promises heavenly
rewards to those who take the law into
their own hands, individual Muslims
are encouraged to become enforcers.
When very few are arrested or punished
for personally enforcing Sharia crimes,
brutality becomes the commonplace
under a Sharia governed society. It is understandable that people are often more
afraid of their neighbors and family than
of the police, and hide their faces from
public view.
Should radical Islamic terrorists
be granted membership, the ICC will
be rendered unable to differentiate between human rights abuses and Sharia
honor killings. This can hardly be a fair
and just organization to determine war
crimes violations. The Criminal Courts
can only be just when they represent
a society where, when a cause is truly
just, its supporters are not afraid for the
world to see their true face.
Letter to the Editor
randon Marlon’s article (January 2015 edition) presented
a compelling, powerful and
much-needed re-evaluation of the current security needs of Israel. In theory,
I heartily agree with everything he proposes, followed by “if only.” Israel has
continually taken great pains to limit its
responses against its enemies, particularly in the latest Gaza war. Its reward
was worldwide condemnation, in spite
of its carefully calculated countermeasures. So what! Israel recently treated
the PA’s mother-in-law in its hospital.
So what! Did Abbas respond with anything but more vicious rhetoric? Of
course not. Thus, one can safely conclude that nothing Israel does will even
remotely mollify world opinion.
Yet, if Israel were to invoke the
first four measures suggested by Mr.
Marlon, (which are in the realm of possibility), can anyone imagine the extent
of world outrage? Global connections
with the rest of the world cannot be
ignored, nor would it be possible for
Israel to survive by itself. All the advantages lie with the Arabs and their
worldwide supporters, as well as the
incessant and influential anti-”Zionist”
bias of the international press.
Most unrealistic and also impossible to achieve is Mr. Marlon’s proposal to destroy Hamas, Islamic Jihad,
Hezbollah and the like. He is correct
in criticizing “Band-Aid operations”
which only serve to allow the enemies
of Israel to regroup and gain greater
strength for the next battle. In addition,
terrorists are clever enough to commit
numerous but “small” acts of violence,
which receive little attention. However, destroying these massive terror
entities is virtually impossible, both
militarily and politically. 1.5 billion
Muslims and 53 Muslim nations are a
formidable foe.
Finally, one must also consider
the historical fragmentation of Jews.
Many American Jews, for example, in
order to maintain their assimilated status and economic well-being as well as
wishing to deflect any accusations of
dual-loyalty, are often Israel’s harshest
critics. They seem to believe that the
solution is to “just give the Palestinians
their state and end all these uncomfortable reactions.” Their delusions and
desires for this problem to go away
makes everything more intense. Israel
can only continue to struggle to survive
while maintaining the status quo. Paper solutions are virtually impossible
to achieve.
– Samuel Frazer, Fort Myers
Jerusalem Post
Crossword Puzzle
Solution to puzzle on page 10
Opinions and letters printed in L’CHAYIM do not necessarily
reflect those of the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte
Counties, its Board of Directors or staff, or its advertisers.
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Anti-Israel forces losing ground
By Moshe Phillips, President, Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia, January 4, 2015
ritics of Israel periodically issue doomsday warnings about
how the Jewish state will face
international isolation if it does not
quickly give in to Palestinian demands.
Last week’s United Nations Security
Council vote shows, once again, how
wrong they are.
Earlier this year, Secretary of
State John Kerry warned that Israel’s
reluctance to make more unilateral
concessions will bring down upon it
“an increasing delegitimization campaign.” New York Times columnist
Thomas Friedman and other pundits
likewise declared that Israel is increasingly “isolated” and is being treated as
a “pariah” state.
But when Palestinian advocates
last week presented the UN Security
Council with a resolution demanding an
Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria
and much of Jerusalem, they couldn’t
muster enough supporting votes – in a
forum which, in the past, was notorious
as the scene of international gangingup on Israel.
The Third World bloc, which is
thought of as being uniformly antiIsrael, suddenly cracked. Two African
nations, Nigeria and Rwanda, defied
the Palestinians and abstained. Further
shifts in Third World attitudes toward
Israel could be in the offing. According to recent media reports from
India, the New Delhi government is
seriously considering adopting a more
pro-Israel position at the United Nations. As the founder of the Third World
/ Non-Aligned bloc, India’s possible
new orientation would signal that the
underdeveloped nations are no longer
in the Arab League’s pocket.
Important Western countries likewise took a stand at the UN last week.
Australia voted against the resolution
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– despite recent Islamic extremist attacks and threats that might easily have
intimidated other governments. Great
Britain abstained – despite the recent
vote by the British parliament supporting recognition of “Palestine.”
At the time of that British parliamentary vote, there was much handwringing in the Jewish world. The vote
seemed to lend credence to claims by the
doomsday crowd that Israel’s reluctance
to make more one-sided concessions
was leading “all of Europe” to turn
against it. More sober-minded observers pointed out at the time that symbolic
resolutions in parliaments are not the
final word. Sure enough, when it came
to making an actual policy decision, the
British government refused to go along
with the UN resolution.
Much the same is true with regard
to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The movement’s few successes have
generated a lot of attention but do not
necessarily indicate some new trend
in public opinion towards Israel. Recall that when the American Studies
Association voted last year to boycott Israel, it received enormous international
media attention. Not many people are
aware that the ASA’s action was condemned by the American Association of
Universities, the American Association
of University Professors, and the American Council on Education (representing
1,800 educational institutions), not to
mention the 92 university presidents
– including the presidents of Harvard,
Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell and
Johns Hopkins – who issued a statement
denouncing the ASA’s boycott.
The American public at large likewise remains firmly in Israel’s camp.
This year’s Gallup annual World Affairs survey found fully 72 percent of
Americans have a “very favorable”
or “mostly favorable” view of Israel.
Compare that to the number who have
a favorable view of the other countries
in Israel’s neighborhood: Egypt - 45%;
Saudi Arabia - 35%; Libya - 19%; Palestinian Authority - 19%; Iraq - 16%;
Syria - 13%; Iran - 12%.
And this is despite decades of unfriendly news media coverage of Israel.
The gloom-and-doom crowd has an
agenda. They want to force Israel to retreat. So they promulgate self-fulfilling
prophecies about Israel being isolated,
in the hope of browbeating the Jewish
state and its friends into giving up. They
never win at the ballot box, so they look
for alternative ways to bring about Israeli concessions. Demoralization is a
tactic. Generating despair is their goal.
Israel and its supporters understandably worry about how the Jewish
state is viewed by the rest of the world.
But last week’s events at the UN, and
other recent trends, show that skilled
diplomacy, reasonable arguments and,
ultimately, a just cause, can go a long
way towards blunting the international
campaign against Israel.
Read the current and recent issues
of L’CHAYIM online at
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Looking “behind the curtain”
n the Torah story of Moses at the
Burning Bush, when Moses asks
God what God actually is, God
rebuffs him by saying “eheyeh asher eheyeh,” which
means “I will be that
which I will be.” Often you find that mistranslated as “I am
what I am,” but there
is no way to express
the present tense of
the verb “to be” in
 Rabbi
Hebrew. “I am what
am” works for PopDiamond
eye, but not for the
Jewish idea of God.
The writer uses the imperfect (future) form of that verb to suggest that
the true and absolute knowledge of
what God actually is to be unattainable. It’s always “out there” beyond
us. Traditionally, we Jews were able
to live with this perpetual theological
uncertainty because we were sure the
Torah was from God, who gave it to
Moses. That meant that while we could
never actually know God, we could
still know what God expected of us,
and that was “dayenu,” enough.
Of course, there were those in our
religion, and in our daughter monotheistic religion Islam, who speculated about the actual nature of the
divine “essence.” We have our Qabbalists, and the Moslems their Sufis and
Mutakallimun, but, by in large, they
were discouraged and often vigorously
suppressed by normative religious authorities.
“Do not look behind the curtain”
(“al tabeyt meahoray laparvad”), an
admonition by our early Sages against
speculation about God, became the
norm for Jewish religion. They even
offered cautionary tales about great
thinkers who were injured or killed by
entering the labyrinth of the “Pardes,”
the realm of divine contemplation.
Things are not that uncomplicated
for many of us contemporary Jews
who are quite certain that God did not
Vayeishev – commentary
ews have always believed in the
healing powers of chicken soup.
So it was no surprise to hear that
there was a multi-cultural contest looking for the best chicken soup wisdom.
In this particular contest, the Jewish chicken soup
won because of the
cook’s unique perception that chicken
soup is “good for
you but bad for the
Doesn’t that re Rabbi
sult epitomize the
Jewish way of thinkBuchen
ing? The operation
was a success but the patient died.
The story of Joseph occupies the
last four parashiyot of Genesis. It is the
longest single narrative in the book.
It is the story of a young man blessed
with a special grace, so that whatever
misfortunes befall him, he is able to
surmount them. Although there was an
effort to do harm, all ended with triumph. However, this so-called triumph
set the stage for the Israelites descent
into slavery. It would appear that there
was a predestined plan.
Psychologists warn parents to
avoid showing too much preference to
one child over the other. In our family,
Irv has always referred to each of our
sons as the number one son. (Charlie
Chan was famous for introducing this
phrase.) An effort toward making each
son feel special.
Sukkot 5575 reflects the intimacy
between Jacob and Joseph by always
following Jacob’s name with that of Joseph. A midrash gives meaning to the
two names. What happened to Jacob is
about to happen to Joseph, something
that did not happen with any other son.
The midrash goes on to say that both
were born circumcised; their mothers,
Rebecca and Rachel, had difficulty
conceiving and giving birth; both were
their mother’s first born; both were
hated by their brothers who wanted to
kill them.
The midrash also deals with the
pattern of sibling rivalry that exhibits itself in three generations of Abraham’s descendants. Isaac and Ishmael
do not grow up together and are indeed
estranged and antagonistic toward each
other. Jacob and Esau do grow up together but a threat of violence is always
ever present. Jacob deceives Isaac and
therefore takes Esau’s rightful blessing,
splintering the whole family. However,
Jacob also has preferred one child over
the other, therefore unleashing a rivalry
between the two.
A no-kvetch year
s the old (secular) year came
to an end, so did our weekly
Torah portions from the Book
of Genesis. In the next-to-last Shabbat Torah portion, Vayiggash, the Joseph story comes to
blessed resolution.
Unlike at the beginning of the story, the
brothers – Judah in
particular – this time
“do the right thing.”
Joseph forgives them
all. Jacob learns that
 Rabbi
Joseph is alive and
flourishing. And the
whole family leaves the famine in Canaan and comes to live in the choicest
area of Egypt. And in Genesis 47.8-9,
Joseph formally presents his father to
In that scene, Pharaoh asks Jacob
how old he is. And Jacob can’t seem to
help but “kvetch” a little in response.
In the text he says, “The years of my
sojourn are one hundred and thirty.
Few and hard have been the years of
my life, nor do they come up to the
lifespans of my fathers during their sojourns.” To put that in modern Jewish
vernacular, Jacob says, “I’m 130 years
old and – Oy vey! – you should only
know the troubles I’ve seen!”
So, here’s a bit of text trivia. The
two verses, where Pharaoh asks and
Jacob answers about his age, contain
33 Hebrew words. Jacob, it turns out,
lived to be 147, which was 33 years
fewer than his father, Isaac. 33 Hebrew
words of kvetching. 33 years fewer of
Jacob’s lifespan. It would seem that for
every word of his complaint, Jacob lost
a year of life.
Sometimes it seems that we Jews
have raised kvetching to an art form.
It’s almost like we do it automatically.
Perhaps Jacob is our patriarchal model
of such unfortunate inclination. And so
this midrashic lesson that such kvetching shortened his life.
We are a month into this new year
of 2015. Secular New Year’s resolutions have been made, tax filings begun, and new calendars hang on the
wall. How about we commit, as well,
to a kvetch-free year? There’s no guarantee that doing so will add years to
our lives. But it certainly will make
the days of our years a whole lot more
pleasant for us and, no doubt, for all
whom we encounter.
In any case, it seems worth a try!
Rabbi Myra Soifer serves at Bat Yam
Temple of the Islands on Sanibel Island.
compose the Torah and give it to Moses
over 3,000 years ago. We understand
that it was composed, compiled and
redacted more than once by our ancestral scholars over several centuries, and
represents certain early stages in our
religion that have continued to evolve
over the millennia. But now what?
Of course our Orthodox coreligionists still hold fast to their conviction that God dictated the Torah to
Moses, so their religious life is not
bogged down by the theological questioning that is the lot of so many of us
who struggle to hold on to our religion
without dogmatic certainty.
Some modern Jews, notably Reconstructionists and Jewish Humanists,
have cut the Gordian Knot by claiming
that the Jewish religion has nothing to
do with the actual existence of God;
for the former, God is merely a Jewish
cultural artifact, and for the latter, an
unnecessary aberration.
That’s just not enough for me. For
me that most important aspect of life
is that is affords me the opportunity to
try to grab a peek “behind the curtain.”
The quest for God is an act of existential heroism since it is Sisiphysian
– doomed to failure from the outset
since, by definition, God in monotheism is unknowable. But that’s what I
am doing with my life anyway.
The life of mitzvah, my “the commanded life,” provides me with a
stable, oriented platform from which
I can continue this search without intellectual restraints, since, frankly, the
Jewish religion doesn’t care what you
think, only how you act. Like the surveyor’s mark, it is my fixed point from
which I start my quest as well as where
I’ll end up.
My Jewish way of life provides me
with the “How, When and Where” of
living. It’s left to me and to every modern Jew to figure out the “Why.”
Rabbi Bruce Diamond serves at the
Community Free Synagogue in Fort
The temptation to read these stories through the eyes of our modern
beliefs about dysfunctional families
is very appealing. However, I would
like to take this thesis one step further.
Could it be that these beginnings produced the tragedy of a fractured and
dysfunctional nation? The descendants
of our patriarchs became a deeply divided nation.
I would also like to put forth that
the story of Hanukkah may well be a
story of religious persecution that actually began with civil war. (The problems of dissention that plagued our
beginnings continued throughout our
We have the traditional story of
Hanukkah, but it does not fully compute with what was happening in the
Hellenistic civilization at that time.
Originally, there was no evidence of
religious oppression, even by King
Antiochus. Rather, history conveys
that the wealthy Jews, so very eager to
become a part of the Hellenistic world
which Alexander the Great had brought
to the Middle East, decided to make
peace with the so-called heathens and
began practicing heathen rites. They
built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to heathen customs.
This is related to us in the First
Book of Maccabees. The Second Book
of Maccabees adds that Antiochus
was always in need of money and was
ready to sell the high priesthood to
the highest bidder. Two Jews stepped
forward for the honor, Jason (4:7) and
later Menelaus (4:23-24). The pietists
and the family of Mattathias resisted,
and so Antiochus was persuaded to
squelch the rebellion. Many victims
of the wrath of Judah Maccabee were
Jews who had lined up with the priests
of the heathens.
What is my point in commenting on these somber episodes? Jewish
history shows a continuous pattern of
struggle. A pattern of fracturing within
the family seems to continue. We live
in a world of fragmentation that makes
us long for unification and a sense of
wholeness. This is probably one of the
reasons that Kabbalah is so popular
today. The key to celebrate life’s paradoxes is to find healing.
We are separate and unique individuals, yet we are all connected. All
one people under God. However, in order to maintain our sense as Jews we
must be together. Jews need Jews to be
Jews. The synagogue offers sanctuary
wherever we are. The disagreements
will never cease but we are a majority
in the house of worship. We come together as one people, individuals with
strong opinions, but intent on making a
success of our small congregation as a
haven for all.
Maybe, in a strange way, being
exiles so often through our history has
made us experts, and disagreements
have given us an edge. Maybe, in the
final analysis, this will bring us closer
to the goal of national unity and continued strength, and the growth of our
beautiful congregation.
Rabbi Devora Buchen serves at Temple
Beth Shalom in Cape Coral.
How deep are your roots?
n the Talmud it is recorded that the
great rabbis of old used to utilize
the outdoors. Rohann taught in a
vineyard, Rabbi Eliezer used to sit on a
rock with his students gathered around
him, and Rabbi Akiba liked to lecture in
the shade of a broadleaved fig tree.
Once a young
student came to
Rabbi Akiba and
said, “Teach me
 Rabbi
about faith.” Rabbi
Akiba showed him a
tiny sprout and said,
“Pull it up.” The young man did so
quite easily with his fingers. Then the
sage showed him a young sapling and
said, “Pull that one up.” The lad did it
with just a little more effort. Then he
showed him a small shrub and asked
him to remove it from the earth. With
both hands and a little more strength,
the young man tore it out of the soil.
Finally, the Rabbi showed him a fullgrown tree and he requested, “Uproot
it!” The student put his hands around
the tree and pulled with all his might
but he could not even shake a leaf. And
Rabbi Akiba said, “Just so, my son, it is
with faith. If our roots are deep, if our
religion is grown and mature, no one
can uproot it. Remember this – your
faith will always be as strong and as
powerful as are you roots.”
And what is it that roots require?
Roots demand cultivation and nurturing. They must continually be refreshed and cared for. Faith, in a similar manner, requires constant concern
and nourishment. It requires our constant tending through steady thought
and periodic recommitment. Roots in
trees and in faith must not be neglected. They connect us with the nourishing earth and keep us growing ever
Rabbi Solomon Agin serves at Temple
Shalom in Port Charlotte.
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
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L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Time really flies when
you are having fun and,
of course, eating “high
quality” chocolates!
On Sunday, February 1, grades 3
and up will be going to see the movie
Igor and the Cranes’ Journey at the
Bell Tower in Fort Myers. This wonderful opportunity is brought to us by
Leni Sack and the Jewish Federation of
Lee and Charlotte Counties. After the
movie, we will be meeting at Grimaldi’s for pizza and socializing. Please
stay tuned for further details.
On Sunday, February 8, from
11:00 a.m. to noon, we will be having a
special program, also brought to us by
the Jewish Federation. Grades K-2 will
be learning about Tu B’Shevat through
the PJ Library. A special educational
program will be most worthwhile for
our students and their families.
Our next Junior Congregation
will be held on Saturday, February 21.
Please note that this is a mandatory
part of our curriculum for students in
grades 4-7, and a wonderful way to be
introduced to the Saturday morning
Fort Myers
Religious School news
Dale M. Cohen, R.J.E., MA, Educ.,
Religious School Director
We are off and running into the year
2015. The time always continues to go
by so quickly. As I am writing this article, we are in anticipation of a cold
front. This is my favorite time of the
year as we experience some cooler
temperatures in this tropical climate.
I know that it is hard to believe,
but one of our biggest fundraisers of
the year will be coming to you soon.
The Barton’s Passover Candy Sale is a
great opportunity for our PTO to subsidize all of the wonderful programming for the children in the Religious
School. The profits from this fundraiser are used only for the Religious
School students. Please support this
endeavor, as you will also enjoy the
delectable and Kosher Passover goodies. I have been working with Barton’s
(Miss Chocolate) for fifteen years!
Celebrate the birthday of the trees, with stories, songs, crafts
and some special snacks. If you aren’t already receiving free monthly
Jewish books for your children, this is a good opportunity to sign up.
If you are already signed up, you know how great PJ Library is.
The event takes place at Temple Beth El, 16225 Winkler Rd., Fort Myers
Our February B’nai Mitzvah who
will be called to the Torah are:
• Zachary Goldstein – February 7
• Ben Schoenfeld – February 14
• Aidan Taschner – February 21
We wish their families much mazel
and naches on one of the most meaningful days of their lives.
Please note: There will not be
any Religious School on Sunday,
February 15 in honor of President’s
The Learning Tree
Jesyca Russell Virnig, M.A.Ed.,
In February I always pause to review a
compilation of our previous six months
of classroom work. This is a very powerful experience – the children’s blossoming development and the teachers’
passion for creative planning is always
inspiring. Our teachers have achieved Interrater Reliability Certification through
the nationally-renowned curriculum
developer Teaching Strategies. This
means that each teacher has formally
demonstrated the ability to best identify and plan for each child’s current
level of development. While the parents and teachers enjoy a great daily
relationship and communication, the
special use of parent-teacher conferences provides an important time to
celebrate this journey together. Each
child has a developmental portfolio
that follows him/her from classroom
to classroom highlighting their current
milestones and the next to come. This
becomes a keepsake item from the preschool years, and many of the children
refer to it as their “special book.”
What? Can you hear the laughter
already? It may sound like it’s too soon
but summer camp is just around the
corner. The Learning Tree will begin
summer camp registration on February
27. Each week of summer camp is designed to delight our youngest learners,
ages 2-6, with indoor bounce houses
for COOL jumping, pony rides, a real
ice cream truck, a special story time tea
with a princess, science experiments,
petting zoo, and so much more! Last
year, a new addition was our Mitzvah
Week, a meaningful time for the children to participate in service projects
geared specifically to their young age.
Please see our website for more information.
Cape Coral
Adrian, Gabriel, Ian, Sam, Max, Jonah, art teacher Gail Velasquez,
Ellis, Chloe, Jordan, David and Gregg ready to get to work
The children of Temple
Beth Shalom Religious
School met on a Thursday before Hanukkah
and decorated their own
personal menorahs. Gail
Velasquez, of “Paint Escape”
in Cape Coral, brought all the
menorahs and supplies, and
taught the kids how to paint
on unfired clay.
First, the students made
individual designs, and with
Gail’s assistance they painted
their menorahs. Then Gail
took all the pottery back to
her store and fired the pieces,
creating a lasting and unique
hanukkiah for years to come.
The children light their menorahs as Rabbi Devora Buchen looks on
Earn CAS Credits
The Jewish Federation of Lee
and Charlotte Counties is
interested in hearing from
teenagers in high school who
might like to earn CAS credits
though various work in the
Jewish community.
If you are interested, please
send the following information
to [email protected]:
Phone #
Preferred volunteer hours
(e.g. 2 - 5P.M. Sundays)
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
April 23: “The Nude
in Art from Ancient to
Modern: Modern Period”
Gulf Beaches Chapter
To RSVP, send your
(239) 649-4000
check (payable to ORT
Desserts and other morsels will be
America) to Marebe Crouse, 3200
on the menu on February 26
Gulf Shore Blvd. N., #109, Naples,
Helene Dorfman Fuchs
FL 34103. All proceeds benefit ORT
The ancient Greeks knew the differschools in Israel.
ence between “naked” and “nude” acThe “Just Desserts” series began
cording to art historian Dottie Magen,
in December with a slide show-lecture
and they used that knowledge to make
on “Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas,”
amazing sculptures of athletes and
and elicited such comments as “I hope
gods. Dottie, a teacher and lecturer as
you enjoyed it as much as I did” and
well as a docent at the Baker Art Mu“I didn’t know that Mary and Edgar
seum, will elaborate on that theme at
knew each other.” Additional “I didn’t
the first “Nude in Art from Ancient to
knows” responded to a few unsettling
Modern” program on Thursday, Februbehind-the-scenes morsels that only
ary 26 in the Jewish Federation of Colsomeone as knowledgeable as Dotlier County’s Community Room.
tie Magen could identify: that Edgar
The program is part of ORT’s “Just
Degas was an anti-Semite; that CasDesserts” series, which features lussatt and Degas argued over the Dreyfus
cious, irresistible desserts at 1:00 p.m.
followed by a slide show-lecture at
To fill in your knowledge of “the
2:00 p.m. The cost is $60 for the three
nude in art,” to learn revealing tidbits
remaining programs, or $20 each:
about the art and artists, and to help
February 26: “The Nude in Art
ORT schools in their effort to educate,
from Ancient to Modern: Ancient Pecounsel and enrich the lives of children
worldwide, plan to attend this informaMarch 26: “The Nude in Art from
tive series.
Ancient to Modern: Renaissance Pe***
ORT provided safe havens for chil-
16225 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Rabbi Jeremy Barras
E-mail: [email protected]
Temple educator: Dale Cohen, Ma.Ed., R.J.E
Preschool director: Jesyca Virnig
Cantor: Victor Geigner
President: Harriet Lipschutz
Phone: 433-0018 • Fax: 433-3235
Web site:
Shabbat services: 7:30 p.m. Friday; Torah study
9:00 a.m. Saturday; B’nai Mitzah 10:30 a.m. Saturday
Religious School: 9:30 a.m.-noon Sunday
Confirmation class: 6 p.m. Wednesday
Hebrew School: Wednesday 5:30 p.m.
Affiliated: Union for Reform Judaism
702 S.E. 24th Ave., Cape Coral, FL 33990
Rabbi Devora Buchen
President: Arnie Schwartz
Phone: 772-4555 • Fax: 772-4625
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Religious School: Thursday 4:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Torah study with Rabbi Buchen: Shabbat 10:30 a.m.
Organizations: Brotherhood, Sisterhood,
Family Service (1st Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m.)
Meets at Sanibel Congregational Church
2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island
Rabbi Myra Soifer
President: Martin Pokedoff
Music Director: Douglas Renfroe
Phone: 395-2544
Web site:
Services: 8:00 p.m. Friday
Adult Education: Saturday, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (Nov. - Apr.)
Jewish Current Events: Saturday, 11:15 a.m. to noon
Write: P.O. Box 84, Sanibel, FL 33957
Affiliated: Union for Reform Judaism (formerly UAHC)
23190 Utica Ave., P.O. Box 494675
Port Charlotte, FL 33949-4675
Rabbi Solomon Agin
President: Carol Roark
Phone: (941) 625-2116
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Religious school: Sunday 10 a.m.
Beginning Hebrew: Tuesday 4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Advanced Hebrew: Thursday 4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Organizations: Sisterhood
Affiliated: Union for Reform Judaism
dren and families during the IsraeliHamas war in a myriad of ways. ORT
activated its science enrichment programs in Southern Israel in a special
format adapted to the security situation, often taking place in shelters and
other safe places in cities such as Kiryat
Gat and Dimona. Several hundred children took part each day in science and
engineering courses, including veterinary science, architecture, astronomy
and chemistry. Activities also included
sports, theater and robotics.
Other ways in which ORT helped:
ORT provided practical supplies –
flashlights and tactic bags, for example
– for soldiers in combat; respite for
children of the south with alternative
educational structures and activities
in a secure environment; coaching and
trauma counseling for children (ages
6-18) from the area bombarded by
rockets; “return-to-normalcy” workshops for teachers, school counselors
and parents; and a day of relaxation
and enrichment for 450 teachers at the
four Kadima Mada (Science Journey)
schools in Southern Israel.
ORT works and you know it! And
your individual involvement helps
ORT achieve its goals.
ORT America (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training)
Did you know:
‹‹ ORT supports 300,000 students annually in 56 countries by providing
technical education that emphasizes employable skills?
‹‹ ORT’s most famous (and least publicized) mission was to educate Holocaust victims in DP camps so they were able to move on with their lives?
‹‹ ORT America has four college campuses in the U.S., including two in New
York and one each in Chicago and Los Angeles, that serve the most vulnerable communities?
‹‹ ORT America is active in Southwest Florida? Please attend Gulf Beaches
Chapter events and support ORT’s educational mission.
Help ORT raise funds to save lives through education. To join/renew/transfer, contact ORT America Gulf Beaches Chapter President Marina Berkovich at 239.566.1771, or Membership Chair Marebe Crouse at 239.263.4959.
Please visit for a virtual ORT experience.
The Jewish Federation thanks all our advertisers for
their continued support! Without them we would
be unable to provide our readers with L’CHAYIM. We
invite other businesses in our community to explore
this valuable advertising opportunity.
For ad rates and deadlines, contact Jim Lewin at
239.634.6923 or [email protected]
10868 Metro Parkway, South Fort Myers (The Southwest
Florida Masonic Center)
P.O. Box 07144, Fort Myers, FL 33919
Rabbi Bruce Diamond ([email protected])
Coordinator: Natalie Fulton ([email protected])
Music director: Diane Coffman
Phone: (239) 274-7485
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Community Sabbath eve dinner each Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Sabbath eve worship every Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Light breakfast and Torah study with the rabbi every
Saturday morning from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
14486 A&W Bulb Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Rabbi Marc Sack
E-mail: [email protected]
Co-Presidents: Brian Simon and Robert Thomas
Preschool Director: Joann Goldman
[email protected]
Phone: 433-0201 • Fax: 433-3371
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: 6:15 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday
Minyan: 9:00 a.m. Monday
Religious school: Sun. 9:30 a.m.-noon; Wed. 4:30-6 p.m.
Early childhood education:
Preschool, M-F, ages 18 months-5 years;
“Mommy & Me,” 12 months-2 years
Affiliated: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
24850 Old 41 Road, Suite 20 (in the Bernwood Centre)
Bonita Springs, FL 34135-7024
Rabbi Mendy Greenberg
Phone: 949-6900
Web site:
Services: Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a kiddush
204 E Mckenzie St Unit B, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Phone: (941) 833-3381
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by a kiddush
Torah study: Wednesday at 8 p.m.
5620 Winkler Road
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz
Phone: 433-7708 • Fax: 481-9109
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: Friday 5:15 p.m.; Saturday Kabbalah class
9 a.m.; Shacharit 10 a.m.; Kiddush at noon
Minyan: Monday & Thursday 7:00 a.m.
1716 Cape Coral Pkwy. W., Cape Coral, FL 33914
Rabbi Yossi Labkowski
Phone: 541-1777 • Fax: 465-4942
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
Services: Friday at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 9:30 a.m.,
followed by Kiddush luncheon; Sunday at 8:00 a.m.;
Monday - Friday at 7:00 a.m.
Weekly Torah study: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Chassidic Farbrengen: Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Hebrew school: Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Mini Chefs: Wednesday 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
CTeens: Wednesday 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
• AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee):
Jacki Waksman — (954) 653-9053
• AJC (American Jewish Committee):
Brian Lipton — (941) 365-4955
• Anti-Defamation League: (561) 988-2900
• B’Nai B’rith International: (941) 302-4500
• Chevra Kadisha:
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz — 433-7708
• Generations of the Shoah SWFL: 963-9347
• Hadassah - Collier/Lee Chapter:
Lynn Weiner — 598-1009
• Hadassah - Sharon Chapter (Charlotte County):
Odette Port — (941) 505-1409
• Hazak 55+ Chapter:
Joyce Rosinger — 437-1566
• Humanistic Jewish Havurah:
Paula Creed — 495-8484
• Israel Bonds: Regional Headquarters: (800) 622-8017
• Jewish Community Services: 481-4449
• Jewish National Fund
Memorial Tree Planting in Israel — (727) 536-5263
• Jewish War Veterans:
Post 400: Commander Harvey Charter — 561-6535
• Mikvah Bashka of Southwest Florida:
Nechamie Minkowicz — 822-2784
• Naples Jewish Social Club:
Arnold Bresnick — 566-1126
• ORT - Gulf Beaches Chapter
Marina Berkovich — 566-1771
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
want to build a convent
in Auschwitz. Temple
Shalom in Naples is
co-sponsoring this film
along with Catholic-Jewish Dialogue of Collier County.
On Sunday, February 15 at
5:00 p.m., Beth Tikvah Naples will be
hosting popular speaker Dr. Phil Jason,
co-editor of Don’t Wave Goodbye: The
Children’s Flight from Nazi Persecution to American Freedom. The book,
which was co-edited by Dr. Jason with
Iris Posner, tells the triumphant and
tragic story of 1,000 children brought
to the U.S. between 1934 and 1945.
It demonstrates what a small group
of determined people can do, as these
rescues were funded and carried out
by private citizens, organizations and
Author of the recently published
I Was a War Child: WW II Memoir of
a Little French Catholic Girl, Helene
Gaillet de Neergaard will be the featured speaker on Sunday, March 15 at
5:00 p.m. at the Holocaust Museum &
Education Center of Southwest Florida. Prior to Ms. de Neergaard’s talk,
local March of the Living participant,
Zoe Van Slyke, will talk briefly about
her experience.
Space is limited and reservations
are required for all events. Donations
so that GenShoah can continue to present exceptional programming will be
requested and are appreciated. To RSVP,
email [email protected]
In addition to public events, GenShoah holds meetings that are open
not only to children of Holocaust survivors (the Second Generation), but to
all those who are interested in the mission of GenShoah which is: Promotion
of Holocaust education, preservation
of memories of the Holocaust, connection of members of the Second Generation to one another, and support of
the Holocaust Museum. There will be
brief meetings at 4:30 p.m. prior to the
programs on Sundays, February 15 and
March 15.
If you are interested in attending
any events or meetings, or would like
more information about GenShoah,
contact me at [email protected]
com or 239.963.9347.
and spent her childhood
in Egypt and Gaza before
immigrating to America
Southwest Florida Chapter
in 1978. Her father died
(239) 597-0855
when she was eight years
old, while leading covert attacks on
ZOA Southwest Florida Chapter
Israel. He was a high-ranking Egypevent update
tian military officer stationed with his
Gene Sipe, VP, ZOA
family in Gaza. After he died, he was
Southwest Florida Chapter
considered a “shahid,” a martyr for jiThe February ZOA SWFL chapter
had. His posthumous status earned her
meeting hosts an extremely informafamily an elevated position in Muslim
tive presentation by renowned human
society. At an early age she developed
rights activist, author and lecturer Noni
a skeptical eye and questioned her own
Muslim culture. Then, after hearing a
Ms. Darwish was born in Cairo
Christian preacher on television, she
converted to Christianity. She has written three critically acclaimed books:
Now They Call Me Infidel, Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and
the War on Terror and Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
This program will be offered on
Tuesday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the
Chabad Jewish Center of Naples, and
is open to the public at $20 per person.
RSVP by email to [email protected] or
reserve your seats by prepaying with
checks payable to ZOA SWFL, 7550
Mission Hills Drive, Ste. 306, Box 90,
Naples, FL 34119-9607. For additional
information, call 914.329.1024.
The March program will feature a
lecture by Robert Spencer.
Please visit for
more information on any of our programs or to read commentaries by local supporters of Zionism, and to check
the top headlines of the day with links
directly to The Jerusalem Post. The
site is interactive and you are invited
to register and participate with your
thoughts and comments.
when a sounder of a
hundred or so wild pigs,
large and small, crossed
the road right in front of
my car in the wee hour
fog rising from the swampland. The
pigs kept popping out at night for a
year or so on their old beaten trails, but
the airport squeezed them out, just as it
squeezed out the cows last year, due to
the new exit ramp being built off I-75.
Everything moves so quickly
in the ever-escalating whirlwind of
Southwest Florida’s progress, that often history can be neglected, forgotten,
misplaced, rewritten or distorted, because people are simply too busy with
progress itself to take time for contemporaneous historical preservation.
Lucky for our future generations,
this will not happen in Southwest Florida.
The foundation, so wonderfully
forged on Monday, January 12 between The Jewish Historical Society of
Southwest Florida, the Jewish Federation of Collier County, the Jewish pop-
ulation and the “snowbird” community
of Southwest Florida, will serve as an
excellent start.
In a letter written by Jules Freedman to Rabbi Bloom in the early
21st century, which Helen Weinfeld,
Temple Shalom of Naples first historian, preserved and shared with us, Mr.
Freedman writes: “Perhaps never in
U.S. history (even in New York in the
late 19th century) have so few Jews provided to the development of an area devoid of Jewish life, as these few Jews
in Southwest Florida, who built such a
major bastion of Jewish life.”
As initially suspected by me, every community has a historian or two
and many would be historians who will
join in the effort as the goals and objectives crystallize.
The work continues and the community grows, but to keep clear focus
on our mission, The Society wants you
to help us in the following ways as
soon as possible:
• Identifying Jewish residents of
Southwest Florida who lived here
in 1972 and prior, their descendants and/or friends, who can document their story for our testimony
• Sharing photographs, event announcements, newspaper clippings
or publications for The Society’s
historical archives of Jewish contribution in Southwest Florida development.
your support of this initiative.
The only membership requirement
is to pay annual dues.
Members will receive newsletters,
information about upcoming events
and programs, and special alerts.
For membership information, call
239.566.1771, email [email protected]
or visit
The Jewish Historical Society of
Southwest Florida, Inc. is a Section
501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law.
Court decision. This decision states that pursuant
to the Religious Freedom
of Southwest Florida
Restoration Act (RFRA),
(239) 398-3935
owners of a closely held
Humanistic Jewish Havurah to disfor-profit corporation have religious
cuss U.S. Supreme Court decisions:
rights that permit them to refuse to
Town of Greece and Hobby Lobby
provide some contraceptive insurance
Paula Creed
coverage to employees.
Two recent United States Supreme
If you are curious to learn more
Court decisions that deal with the sepaabout these Supreme Court cases, Dena
ration of Church and State will be the
Sklaroff will accept your reservation to
topic on Sunday, February 15, when
attend this event at [email protected]
the Humanistic Jewish Havurah of
or 239.591.0101.
Southwest Florida meets at 2:00 p.m.
In October 2013, our national orin the Community Room of the Jewganization, the Society for Humanistic
ish Federation of Collier County. The
Judaism (SHJ), joined the American
public is invited.
Humanist Association, Americans for
Our distinguished speaker will be
Religious Liberty and others in filing
Douglas L. Wilson. A graduate of the
a friend-of-the court (amicus) brief in
Law School of University of Arkansas,
the Town of Greece matter. SimultaneMr. Wilson was admitted to the Arously, a press release was issued statkansas bar in 1970 and to the Florida
ing in part, “This case centers on the
bar in 1992. He has argued civil rights
constitutionality of official prayers
and employment issues before the U.S.
in local government settings, such as
Court of Appeals, and has appealed to
invocations at city council or school
the U.S. Supreme Court.
board meetings. This practice goes to
In Town of Greece v. Galloway
the heart of our core interests in the
the Court found the town’s practice
separation of Church and State. The
of beginning legislative sessions with
Society is concerned with protecting
prayers does not violate the Establishreligious freedom for all, including
ment Clause of the First Amendment.
those who do not espouse a traditional
The ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
religious belief, and for ensuring that
is considered a landmark Supreme
our members will not be discriminated
against by government favoring of theistic religion.”
In May 2014, following the announcement of the Court’s decision in
Town of Greece, the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, who represented the plaintiffs,
said, “We are extremely disappointed that the Court chose to ignore the
very blatant burden sectarian prayer
imposes on the conscience of citizens
with diverse religious beliefs and those
without religious beliefs. Our founders went to great lengths to ensure
that no American would be disenfranchised from civic participation due to
their personal religious beliefs or lack
thereof. This ruling violates the founding secular principles our country was
built on.”
Shortly thereafter, in June 2014, the
Supreme Court issued its opinion in the
case popularly known as Hobby Lobby.
On that occasion SHJ issued another
press release expressing its disappointment and stating, in part, “As Humanistic Jews, we recognize that all people
have a fundamental right to determine
the course of their own lives. Contraceptive choice is only one of the many
components of this personal freedom.
A woman’s ability to access contraception shouldn’t depend on where she
works or on the beliefs of her boss or
the company’s owners.”
In addition, the SHJ joined more
than 40 fellow member organizations
of the Coalition for Liberty and Justice
in a statement denouncing discrimination and supporting real religious liberty for all. The groups wrote, “We are
united in our belief that public policies
should both respect religious liberty
and protect against the use of religious
beliefs to discriminate or undermine
(239) 963-9347
GenShoah invites the community
to its numerous events
Ida Margolis
The docudrama The Jewish Cardinal will be presented by GenShoah
Southwest Florida at Temple Shalom
on Wednesday, February 11 at 7:00
p.m. Steve Brazina, GenShoah Program Chair, will present this highlyacclaimed award-winning film. The
Jewish Cardinal is the true story of
Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants to France who
found himself as a mediator when nuns
(239) 566-1771
Focus on the future
Marina Berkovich
What do Sanibel, Cape Coral and Port
Charlotte have in common?
You guessed it! They were started
or developed by Jews in the mid 20th
century. So recent is the origin of
Jewish history for most of Southwest
Florida, that witnesses are still able to
relate stories of the initial settling and
share some early settlers’ anecdotes
about the inconvenience of travel, the
absence of shopping variety or medical
I am, in relative terms, new to
Southwest Florida. My family moved
here only ten years ago. But on the
other hand, that was pre-Mercato, preWhole Foods, pre-Trader Joe’s and
even pre-Southwest Florida’s spectacular new airport. I remember my first
trip there to meet a 12:05 a.m. flight,
for publication
5 p.m. on the 5th of each month for all
articles and photos. If the 5th falls on
a weekend or holiday, the deadline is
the following business day.
600 words for temples and organizations providing materials for their
respective sections. Those exceeding
these limits will be edited to fit.
Email: [email protected]
Articles should be sent as text files,
Word files, or Rich Text Format files.
Receipt will be acknowledged if
requested. Photos may be submitted
electronically; high-resolution JPG or
TIF formats preferred.
Collier/Lee Chapter
(239) 598-1009
Lynn Weiner
Exciting news! Hadassah was just
named by the Charity Navigator as
#3 of the top 10 charities with a 4-star
rating! The Charity Navigator rates
charitable organizations and publishes
a list periodically. We are honored to
be named as one of the top charities in
the country.
Recently, a new drug technology
developed at the Hadassah Medical
Organization to treat fatty liver disease
– a condition with no approved effective drug treatment – was given the go
ahead by the United States Food and
Drug Administration for a Phase II
multi-center clinical trial in the U.S.
Current estimates reveal that at least
five percent of the Western world’s
population suffers from the disease.
The new technology was developed by
Prof. Yaron Ilan, Director, Department
of Internal Medicine and former president of the Israel Liver Association,
and his team in Hadassah’s Liver Unit.
“The new drug is based on a novel
discovery that bacteria in our gut are
(239) 433-0201
Fort Myers
(239) 433-0201
lWe have a BIG combination event as
mFebruary begins.
The Storyteller Teaching Training
founder, Jennifer Zunikoff,
ncomes to Temple Judea the weekend
-of February 6-8. This Scholar-in-Restidence program will take place Friday
night, Shabbat morning and Sunday
afternoon. Please join us for three entertaining and educational programs
you won’t want to miss.
Join our Chaverot! The women
of Temple Judea have formed this
new, energetic organization which has
Goldblatt. Please contact Donna at
239.597.3441 or [email protected]
to RSVP or if you know someone who
might be interested in attending. On
Thursday, February 19 at 7:00 p.m.
at Beth Tikvah, Hadassah and Beth
Tikvah will co-sponsor a cooking and
book signing event with Arlene Levin,
author of My Cooking Journey: Arlene’s Simple to Lavish. RSVP to Beth
Tikvah at [email protected]
Hadassah Shabbat will be on
Friday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. at
Temple Shalom. Everyone is invited.
Home-made baked goods are needed.
To RSVP, contact me at 239.598.1009
or [email protected]
We will have another of our
Knowledge & Nosh @ Noon series on
Wednesday, February 25 at 11:30 a.m.
at Bonita Bay. Our guest speaker will be
Judy Belmont, psychotherapist and author, who will offer tips on how to stay
positive and manage stress effectively
no matter what comes your way. Contact Elyse Morande at 239.498.0623 or
[email protected]
Mark your calendars for Hadassah’s Annual Fundraising Event
on Sunday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. at
Vanderbilt Country Club. You are all
invited to Shana and Shlomo’s Wed-
ding, a comedy spoof. There will be a
reception, wedding, dinner, dancing,
laughter and fun as you become a participant in the wedding event! Donations will benefit Hadassah and Hadassah Medical Organization. For more
information or to receive an invitation,
please contact me. See the article on
page 6 for more details.
How would you like to win dining experiences at many of the fine
restaurants in this area? That’s exactly
what you can do if you buy the winning tickets for the Second Epicurean
Adventure. The winning ticket holders will receive complimentary meals
that they can savor as they go on their
very own epicurean adventure! To buy
tickets, contact Rhonda Brazina at
239.325.8694 or Barbara Kronenfeld
at 662.304.5240.
We also have the Daytime Study
Group, Evening Activity Group, Hike
for Health Group and Hadassah Book
Clubs. Contact me to find out more
about these activities.
To join Hadassah or become a Life
Member or Associate (male affiliate of
Hadassah), contact Donna Goldblatt at
239.597.3441 or [email protected]
ing: Rabbi’s panel featuring Rabbis Jeremy
Barras from Temple Beth
El, Yitzchok Minkowicz from Chabad and
Marc Sack from Temple Judea. The
moderator will be local attorney Keith
Grossman. The topic is “Fostering Allegiance to Israel by Younger Jews.”
Any monetary donation to the Federation Food Pantry would be appreciated.
Because seating is limited, an RSVP
is requested to George Rosinger at
For future HAZAK programs, read
L’CHAYIM, or see Temple Judea’s
Scroll available at Temple Judea’s
(14486 A&W Bulb Rd.) or the Jewish
Federation building.
Our programs are always open to
the community. If you are interested
in joining our HAZAK 55+ group and
would like more information, please
call Richard Hymes, President, at
239.936.0980, Joyce or George Rosinger at 239.437.1566, or Temple Judea at 239.433.0201.
Temple News
scheduled exciting programs for the upcoming
year. Our February activity will be held Sunday, February 22, and is
a Catered Dinner with
the Guys, and entertainment by The Calendar Girls. To join
our Chaverot, be added to our mailing
list, or just get more information, email
[email protected] or call
the temple office at 239.433.0201.
Save the date of Wednesday, March
11 for a Catered Luncheon with the
Chaverot, when Rabbi Danielle Upbin
of Clearwater will present “A history
of Israel through its popular music.”
Temple Judea will hold its monthly Torah brown bag study group
on Thursday, February 5. Call the office
if you would like to attend this group
of inquiring minds for very stimulating
conversation and thought. The study
group meets the first Thursday of each
month at noon. BIG thanks to Myers,
Brettholtz & Co. (12671 Whitehall Dr.,
Fort Myers) for providing its offices
for this monthly event.
Jammies & Jeans will hold its next
service on Friday, February 13. This
early evening, casual, warm and kidfriendly Shabbat service is filled with
singing, storytelling and lots of fun,
followed by dinner. These are held the
2nd Friday of every month at 5:30 p.m.
Make your reservations by emailing
[email protected]
Are you connected? Give the temple office a call or email [email protected]
com and request to be added to the
email blasts. Think you are on our list
but not getting those emails? Please,
give us a call with an update and we
will be sure to update our records.
We are on Facebook. Log on and
become a fan of Temple Judea happenings. Visit our website at www.tjswfl.
Regularly scheduled events
at Temple Judea include:
• Erev Shabbat services at 6:15 p.m.
• Shabbat services begin at 9:30 a.m.
All are welcome to a light Kiddush
• Jammies & Jeans on the 2nd Friday
of the month begins at 5:30 p.m.
• Torah brown bag study group on
the 1st Thursday of each month at
noon at Myers, Brettholtz & Co.
• Morning minyan is held Mondays
9:00 a.m.
ous bass-baritone Music
Director, will perform
music from opera and
Broadway at Chapel by
the Sea in Fort Myers
Beach on Sunday, February 8 at 2:00 p.m.
Doug will co-teach a course entitled “Songs of the Heart: Spirituals
and Folk Music in Jewish and Christian Traditions” with Reverend John
Danner of the Sanibel Congregational
Church. Classes will be held at the
church on Wednesdays, February 4,
11 and 25 at 10:00 a.m. with an identical class at 7:00 p.m. These classes are
On Sunday, February 1, Rabbi
Soifer will preach at the Congregational Church services at 9:00 a.m. and
11:00 a.m. as part of the annual pulpit
exchange between the two congregations. The subject of her sermon will be
“The Pieces of the Tablets, The Pieces
of Our Lives.” (Exodus 32:15-20) Reverend Danner is scheduled to speak
during Shabbat services on Friday,
January 30.
Bat Yam congregants are involved
in the Sanibel community, following
Judaism’s teaching of tikkun olam,
healing the world. Bat Yam and Rabbi
Soifer hope to repeat last year’s mitzvah
of participating in the Sanibel-Captiva
Heart Walk, which will take place on
Sunday, February 15, starting at 2:00
p.m. at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road
and Island Inn Road. Warm-up exercises, health information, socializing
and snacks will start at 1:00 p.m. Bat
Yam has paid for its team’s entry, but
additional individual contributions are
welcome, all to support the research of
the American Heart Association.
Rabbi James Rudin’s class in January on the American Civil War at the
BIG ARTS Winter Academy on Sanibel, discussed, not only the historical
significance of the war, but also the
unresolved issues of states’ rights, sectionalism and racism which still plague
society today.
Dr. Judith Rubin, Certified Art
Therapist and Assistant Professor of
Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, directed a film which she will
present at BIG ARTS on Saturday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. The film concerns
“What Mr. Rogers (of TV fame) Was
REALLY Teaching.” This children’s
program helped youngsters learn social
skills and how to meet the vicissitudes
of life.
Frank Siegel volunteers on Sanibel
at FISH, which helps low income and
infirm individuals by delivering meals
and medical equipment, and providing
rides to medical facilities.
Bat Yam mourns the passing of
beloved, longtime contributing member, Sue Richard, whose enthusiasm
and optimism will be sorely missed.
Bat Yam extends deepest sympathies
to Skip and family.
With deep sorrow, Bat Yam announces the passing of Erica Amsterdam. A message of sympathy has been
sent to her family.
Condolences to Bat Yam member
Elaine Congress and family on the
passing of Robert T. Snyder.
Get well wishes to Shirley and
Mel Bleiberg, David Crown, Marge
and Herb Kallman, Hartley Kleinberg,
Howard Pachman, June and Hal Patinkin, Esther Pokedoff, Bill Schlackman, Barbara Schwartz and Dr. Kathy
(239) 395-2544
Rabbi Myra Soifer’s Saturday morning
Adult Education classes have increased
in size as more congregants come
out to discover “What Judaism Says
About” society’s contemporary issues.
Rabbi Soifer has presented issues dealing with death and dying, end-of-life
choices, suicide, physician-assisted
suicide, etc. The discussions have been
quite spirited, with participants adding
much from their own experiences.
Individual lay presentations dealing with the chosen topic, “Lost and
Found People and Events in Jewish
History” for this month include:
• Feb. 7 - “Three Cardinals”
- Rabbi Jim Rudin
• Feb. 14 - “Anna” - Mike Derechin
• Feb. 21 - “In the Shadow of
Majdanek” - Irene Skolnick
• Feb. 28 - “Jews in Entertainment”
- Edina Lessack
Doug Renfroe, Bat Yam’s marvel-
relevant for the induction
of inflammation in our
body, which is associated
with liver disease, diabetes and obesity,” said
Prof. Ilan. “The new therapy is safe
and has no side effects, and we hope
the results of the Phase II trial will enable us to move forward with its development as a treatment for diabetes
and fatty liver disease.” Hadasit, Hadassah’s technology transfer arm, and
Immuron, an Australian biopharmaceutical company, worked together to
develop the product. The multi-center
clinical trial will involve 120 patients
in several leading medical centers in
the U.S. and Australia. Clinical trials
were already conducted at Hadassah,
which confirmed the safety and efficacy of the treatment. This new product
is a prime example of the wonderful
work of Hadassah that benefits people
around the world.
Upcoming events
February is going to be a very busy
month for Hadassah! We start with
our Mahj and Card Party on Monday,
February 2 that is sold out with a wait
list. Our New and Prospective Member
Brunch will be on Sunday, February
8 at 11:00 a.m. at the home of Donna
at Temple Judea
-Joyce Rosinger
yJoin us at the following program:
Monday, March 9 from 7:00 to 9:00
-p.m. at the Jewish Federation builds
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
deliver its fifth truckload
filled with cases of food
to the Jewish FederaFort Myers
tion’s Food Pantry. The
(239) 274-7485
congregation tithes its
income, giving 10% to
Rabbi Diamond’s six-week course,
Space is filling up for the May 28 “Pathways Through Jewish Law and
June 9 C.F.S. Pilgrimage to Israel. This
Custom,” continues each Thursday in
deeply moving tour, led by elite Israeli
February from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Using
guide Nadav Ben-Gal along with RabShlomo Ganzfried’s Kitzur Shulhan
bi Bruce Diamond, costs only $2,500
Arukh (Abbreviated Code of Jewish
(excluding airfare) and takes you “off
Law), the classes present an overview
the beaten trail” to sacred spaces and
on a wide range of Jewish practices surancient sites you’re not likely to experounding charitable giving, synagogue
rience on off-the-shelf pre-packaged
life, visiting the sick, laws of mourning,
tours. Couples will also have an opand family law. The classes are free.
portunity to renew their vows under a
Plan to join us on Sunday, Februhuppa in Jerusalem. For more informaary 1 at 1:00 p.m. as we celebrate Tu
tion and registration forms, please visit
Bshvat by planting an Etrog and a
Myrtle Tree in our Biblical Garden.
Last month, C.F.S. was pleased to
Eventually, their produce will be used
to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot each
Download your free copy of the
new Community Free Synagogue
prayerbook by clicking on “Free Jewish Stuff” on C.F.S.’s website, where
you’ll also find the free downloadable
C.F.S. ketubah and Passover Haggadah.
You will not want to miss the joyous C.F.S. Megillah reading and Purim
Sing-Along starting at 7:00 p.m. on
Wednesday, March 4. Come in costume or we’ll put you in one. Homemade hummentaschen to follow.
Each Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.,
The Community Free Synagogue
serves a traditional Sabbath dinner. It
is free and reservations are never required. At 7:30 p.m., the Sabbath is
welcomed with prayer and music offered by the renowned Shirat Hayam
Musical Ensemble. A coffee hour follows worship.
Every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., C.F.S.
offers a light breakfast followed by a
lively discussion of the week’s Torah
portion until 11:30 a.m. The Rabbi’s
Torah Study gatherings have become a
mainstay of Jewish adult education in
our area over 17 years!
Now in its 10th year, the synagogue
does not sell memberships or engage in
fundraising, relying solely on the voluntary donations of its participants. All
of its events and offerings are free and
open to all, and take place at the synagogue’s meeting place, the Southwest
Masonic Center, 10868 Metro Parkway
in South Fort Myers. For more information, visit the synagogue’s website,, or call
its 24-hour voice message number at
Club. It was so nice to get
together and raise money
for our temple. We had
Fort Myers
fun, lots of laughter and,
(239) 433-0018
of course, Jackpot Prizes.
If you missed it, join us
Tuesday, February 17 for
our next Bingo. Bingo is open to the
Sisterhood news
public, so come early. The doors open
Sisterhood began 2015 with a Bingo
at 6:15 p.m. and Bingo starts promptly
Fundraiser co-sponsored with Men’s
at 7:00 p.m.
As of press time, on Thursday, January 22 we plan on visiting the Broadway Palm Theatre to see the play, First
Date after enjoying lunch at Christof’s
Restaurant. It is always fun to get together with our sisters for a casual day
Reserve your seat now for Tuesday, March 10. We have Rusty Brown
returning to Temple Beth El. Her new
one woman show is America’s First
Greeter about Emma Lazarus. We will
have a New York theme for the luncheon. This is sure to be a sellout, so
call Dottie at 239.482.2552 or email
Leslie at [email protected] to reserve
your seat.
the evening, dessert was
homemade apple pie by
our own Nancy Swanson.
Cape Coral
The most important thing
(239) 772-4555
was that everyone had a
good time.
On Tuesday, January
Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood held
6, 21 members of Temple Beth Shaits annual Hanukkah gift exchange and
lom headed in caravan to the Baker
dinner on Monday, December 8. SisArt Museum in Naples. A guided tour
terhood members and guests enjoyed
was arranged by social activities ditheir Chinese dinner catered by China
rector Maxine Morris, who had just
Palace, while anticipating the selecfinished a bang-up job with the (partion of a Hanukkah gift. Each person
don the expression) Annual Christmas
who brought a gift selected a number
Day Chinese Buffet and movies party.
which corresponded to their opportuThis time, Maxine arranged for Ronity to select a wrapped gift. As each
berto Montalbano, a docent, to lead
number was called, a wrapped gift was
a love-and-learn tour of the museum
thoughtfully selected, opened and disand some of its masterpieces. Only 21
played to the group. The next person
people are allowed to follow a single
then selected a gift, opened and disdocent around the gallery. After the
played it. This person could swap that
tour the group descended on the Stage
gift with a person’s gift which had been
62 Delicatessen for lunch. The deli is
opened before theirs. Much discusa branch of a famous deli in Birmingsion and laughter erupted as gifts were
ham, Michigan, which every Jew in
‘stolen’ again and again. To finish off
Michigan must have been to at one
time or another.
Sisterhood’s first Bingo & Spaghetti Dinner was Saturday, January
10. At press time more than 70 participants had signed up. A report will follow next month on the big winners.
Scheduled for Saturday, January
24 is the 20th-something annual Honoree Banquet at Palmetto-Pine Country
Club. This year’s honorees – Janice Albion, Ruth Belkin and Mark Horowitz
– are three of the greatest contributors
to the success of Temple Beth Shalom
in the past year (and many more years
than that). Coverage of this event will
await next month’s issue.
Temple Beth Shalom is beginning
its 42nd year as the only Reform Jewish synagogue in Cape Coral. Members come from the Cape, Pine Island,
North Fort Myers and the Greater
Fort Myers area. Kabbalat Shabbat
services, including a Torah reading,
are held every Friday night beginning
at 7:30 p.m., and the first Friday of the
month is a Family Service. This once-
a-month service is geared to the children of the congregation and includes
Rabbi Devora Buchen finding parts of
the service for every willing child to
participate in. Kids also get the rabbi’s “special sermon” while up on the
The temple has a Brotherhood and
Sisterhood that help support activities, fundraising and the well-being of
the congregation. Children’s religious
school meets Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.
Many committees and individuals
make up a family team that keeps the
wheels turning and the family atmosphere glowing. Newcomers are always welcome to visit and experience
the warmth and friendship that always
greets strangers the first time they visit.
The second visit they become friends.
And after that they become family.
Come and visit any Friday. Also, look
up your interests and find a place in the
family on our website at www.temple
p.m. and concluding at
2:00 p.m. Registration is
Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands a must as the program is
limited to 15 people. Call
(941) 625-2116
941.625.2116 to reserve your spot.
New Member ShabTemple Shalom continues to provide
bat will be on Friday, February 6. New
programs for its membership and the
members of the temple will be called to
the bimah and formally welcomed by
On Tuesday, February 3, there
Rabbi Solomon Agin and President Dr.
will be a “Lunch & Learn with the
Carol Roark. A Certificate of MemberForward” starting with lunch at 12:30
ship and the book On the Doorposts of
Thy House are presented to each new
member. Services start at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 7 brings the
Temple Shalom Gala Art Auction at
the Kingsway Country Club, starting at
6:00 p.m. with a preview and cocktail
party. Donation: $36 per person or $55
per couple.
On Monday, February 9, join us
for the Sisterhood Annual Card Party/
Game Day. This annual event is one of
Sisterhood’s major fundraising events
to benefit the temple. Kindly call
Naomi Alexander at 941.629.4448 for
additional information.
On Friday, February 20, Shabbat services will feature guest speaker
Rabbi A. James Rudin, former director of the American Jewish Committee. Rabbi Rudin will talk about “The
Three Cardinals in this Life.” Services
start at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on these and
other programs, call the temple office
at 941.625.2116.
on issues surrounding
spirituality, the human
psyche, love and relationCharlotte County
ships. Every experience
(941) 833-3381
offers meaningful and timely lessons – from the
most timeless of texts.
You will walk away surprised, inspired,
At Chabad, we know that the richness
and knowing more about who we are as
of our tradition and the wisdom it ofJews, and who you are as an individual.
fers can be exciting, even thrilling. Our
Join us on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Torah Studies program, developed by
at 204 E Mckenzie St., Unit B, Punta
the world-renowned Jewish Learning
Gorda. For more information, call
Institute, brings you the tradition of
classical Jewish learning in a series of
Are you looking for a warm, lovinspiring and engaging weekly classes.
ing, educational and fun environment,
Our lessons probe the depths of conwhere your child can learn about his/
temporary Torah thought, with a focus
her Judaism? Chabad is the place for
you. Chabad of Charlotte County Hebrew School is open every Sunday
from 10:00 a.m. to noon for boys and
girls ages 6-12.
Chabad First Step Program is open
every other Sunday from 10:30 to noon
for boys and girls ages 3-5. For more
information or to enroll your child, call
Sheina at 941.833.3381.
Chabad of Charlotte County will
be celebrating 10 years of service to
the community with a Gala Fundraising Dinner on Sunday, February 8 at
the Punta Gorda Yacht Club. For more
information, visit www.chabadofchar or call 941.258.0177.
The Jewish Women’s Circle will
meet on Tuesday, February 17 at 7:30
p.m. at the Chabad Jewish Center for
its 4th annual Kosher Cooking. Call
Sheina to reserve your spot.
The Chabad Purim Celebration
will take place on Thursday, March 5 at
5:30 p.m. at the Chabad Jewish Center.
Enjoy a complete Purim feast of kosher
deli, Megillah reading and slideshow,
crafts for the kids, L’Chaim and hamentashen. Come dressed in your favorite Purim costume! Entertainment
for the entire family. Suggested donation: adult $12, child $8, sponsor $180.
RSVP by March 2 to 941.833.3381 or
[email protected]
L’CHAYIM is a monthly nonprofit newspaper supported by generous readers,
committed advertisers and the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties.
February 2015 / 5775
10:00 a.m.
Jewish Film Festival
Family Film
7:00 p.m. Author event
with Iris Krasnow
11:00 a.m. PJ Library
Tu B’Shevat event
3:30 p.m. Israeli Dancing
4:00 p.m. Israeli Dancing
9:30 a.m. JWV meeting
4:00 p.m. Israeli Dancing
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
9:30 a.m. L’CHAYIM mailing
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
7:15 p.m.
Jewish Film Festival
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
7:00 p.m. Federation
Board meeting
7:15 p.m.
Jewish Film Festival
7:15 p.m.
Jewish Film Festival
8:15 a.m. Temple Beth El
Mah Jongg Tournament
Candle lighting:
6:05 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
Candle lighting:
5:56 p.m.
Candle lighting:
6:01 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
Major Gifts Reception
Candle lighting:
6:10 p.m.
6:00 p.m. Book Club
For more information about events featured on the community calendar, please contact
the sponsoring organization (see the Directory on page 23) or the Jewish Federation.
March 2015 / 5775
12:30 p.m. Purim Fest
3:30 p.m. Israeli Dancing
For a continuously updated
community calendar of events,
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
7:00 p.m. HAZAK Rabbi
Panel Discussion
9:30 a.m. JWV meeting
4:00 p.m. Israeli Dancing
Deliver Passover Senior
Visit Gift Bags
4:00 p.m. Israeli Dancing
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
6:30 p.m. SAT Class
7:00 p.m. Federation
Board meeting
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
4:00 p.m. Israeli Dancing
5 Purim
9:30 a.m. L’CHAYIM mailing
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
Candle lighting:
6:14 p.m.
8:15 a.m. Temple Beth El
Mah Jongg Tournament
11:00 a.m. Pack Passover
Senior Visit Gift Bags
6:00 p.m. Book Club
Candle lighting:
7:17 p.m.
Candle lighting:
7:21 p.m.
11:30 a.m. Lion of Judah
Candle lighting:
7:24 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg
To submit your organization’s or temple’s event,
send an email to [email protected]
L' C H AY I M F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 5
Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
Tickets from $42, 4-Concert Pops Subscriptions from $168
Feb 8
Classic song and dance, including routines of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Feb 22 GLORY OF GERSHWIN ( at 6pm )
Piano Concerto in F performed by Di Wu, and other favorites with
Broadway star Melissa Errico
Hits from Phantom of the Opera, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Cats & more
World-class acrobats, aerial flyers, contortionists and strongmen
perform with the Symphony
Tickets from $22
With Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers; Jennifer Holbrook, soprano;
Claudia Chapa, mezzo soprano; William Davenport, tenor; Branch Fields, bass
Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 4 with Susan Starr, Symphony No. 7
Box Office: 239.481.4849
For more information visit or call 239.277.1700
All performances at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Concerts begin at 7pm unless noted otherwise.
2 0 D AY S
To celebrate our 20 years of bringing the community together through music, from January 25 through
March 1 we will be presenting more than 20 free events throughout Lee County!
For a complete calendar visit, follow us on Facebook,
Twitter or Instagram: #20DaysofMusic #GCS20