The Centre Call g e r m a n t o w n j e wwww.germantownjewishcentre.org ish centre
Volume 24, Issue No. 3
Spreading Our Light By Rabbi Adam Zeff
s we have moved into the winter, we have witnessed our world going through a dark time. Horrific acts of violence have shocked our hearts and minds in Israel, in Paris, in California, and elsewhere. Growing hatred and suspicion of those who have different beliefs or views have unsettled and frightened us here in Philadelphia. Voices of intolerance and distrust have grown louder in politics, drowning out the compassion and reason that guide the best impulses of the human heart. What are we to do? How can we respond? The ancient rabbis teach in the Midrash that when the first human beings saw the world getting dark at the end of their first night on earth, they were frightened beyond measure. They feared that the growing darkness meant that the world was ending just as they were growing to know and love it. They cried out for God to end the darkness and bring back the light. But that is not what God did. Instead, when the next day waned, God taught the humans how to make light. And using that light, they pushed back the darkness themselves. In a time of darkness, we can pray to God for relief, but that in itself is not enough. We must also find the resources within ourselves to kindle light. And we must go a step further: we must hold up that light and spread it as far as we can. Then others will see it and be inspired to kindle their own lights. Then we and they will take
courage and begin to hope. Then we will actually begin to push back the darkness with light. In this community, we have learned a great deal about how to relate to those who have different beliefs and different views from ourselves. We know that we encompass in one community people who pray differently, believe differently, study differently, and act differently. We have learned how to listen compassionately and to cultivate our capacity for tolerance and understanding of those with whom we don’t agree. We have learned how to love and trust each other despite our differences. Our community is not perfect, and we still have conflicts and challenges to face. But we have succeeded in building our own ‘olam m’at – our own little version of the world in which we confront those challenges together. That is a wonderful achievement, but it is a small light in the gathering darkness. We have not done enough to extend its reach. And the world around us is showing us, maybe even shouting to us, that it desperately needs this particular light right now – the light of compassion, the light of tolerance, the light of love, the light of trust. The world needs to learn how to live with its diversity, how to lower the temperature of rhetoric, how to ratchet down the fear, how to reach out across difference. It needs our light. So we need to find ways to spread that light, beyond the walls of GJC, even beyond Mt. Airy, into Philadelphia, into Pennsylvania and beyond. One way we can do this is by ap-
proaching those we meet outside this community with the same spirit of welcome, curiosity, and acceptance with which we greet each other. The more we spread those patterns of behavior, the more the light spreads through us. Another way we can do this is by talking about our experience and explaining how it works to those we encounter in the outside world. People need examples to follow, and ours is a powerful one that can be applied to a wide array of situations, beyond religious communities. Neighborhoods, organizations, cities – all of these need to deal in some way with the diversity within their midst, and we can use our experience to help guide them. Finally, we can spread our light by explaining why we believe that this model of unity in diversity is not just a second-best or alternate plan; it is the plan we prefer and the plan we choose above all others. The Torah’s story of Babel and the ancient rabbinic Midrash continued on page 2
Program Highlights JAM Tot Havdallah: Jan. 9 Women’s Club Frida Kahlo Program & Red Cross Blood Drive: Jan. 10 Hazak Film & Discussion: Jan. 20 Melaveh Malkah: Jan. 23 Women’s Clothing Exchange: Jan. 31 Music Café: Feb. 20 Kid’s Stuff Exchange: Feb. 28 Musical Meditations with Mikael Elsila: Feb. 28
germantown jewish centre • 400 west ellet street • Philadelphia, Pa 19119 • tel 215.844.1507 • fax 215.844.8309
teVet 5776 • janUarY 2016
President’s Message By Mathieu Shapiro, GJC President
he synagogue’s “first lady,” the lovely born-in-Maine Jessica, is responsible for many things in my life. Among them is my allegiance to L.L. Bean. I don’t think I owned many, if any, L.L. Bean products before I met Jessica. Now, I am a semi-regular visitor to the mothership in Freeport, Maine, I have an L.L. Bean credit card, and I have L.L. Bean luggage, a briefcase, backpacks, shoes, sheets, blankets, and clothing. Some days, virtually everything I wear is from L.L. Bean. Some days, virtually everything everyone in my family wears is from L.L. Bean. Why am I now such a devotee of L.L. Bean? That’s easy. L.L. Bean makes high quality goods that last a long time, has excellent customer service, and allows you to return anything, anytime. What could be better? If it doesn’t work, or I’m not happy with it, I know I can take it back. Heck, even if I love it, use it every day, and wear it out – I can take it back. That’s why I continue to buy from L.L. Bean. And I believe most people who buy from L.L. Bean buy for the same reasons: high quality, reasonable prices, legendary customer service, and everything 100% guaranteed. It’s easily explained, and easy to understand. I cannot explain so easily why I choose GJC as my synagogue, let alone explain it in a way I think others would echo – but I wish I could. I wish I could articulate a value proposition for my membership in GJC as easily as I could articulate L.L. Bean’s value proposition. We all recognize Jewish American institutions are changing. We don’t know what those institutions will look like in the future, including, promi2
nently, whether they will remain membership-driven organizations or whether funding through dues is sustainable. It would be beneficial to be able to explain the value proposition that is Germantown Jewish Centre as clearly as L.L. Bean explains the value proposition of its goods. Having such a value proposition would animate everything that we do. It would be a constant reminder of our goals, a driver of membership and retention, and a theme for fundraising. So this is my challenge to the congregation: imagine yourself here, feeling happy and connected. Where are you? You may be at services, in any one of the minyanim, on Shabbat or Kol Zimrah, or any other service. You may be on the lawn, laughing with family and friends. You may be baking Challah with Hazak. You may be in the Little Shop, in the Chapel, in ECP, or in the Israel Garden. Wherever you are, whomever you are with... what is it that works. What is the value proposition that connects you to GJC and compels you to maintain your membership in GJC, that makes you choose GJC as a recipient of your charitable dollars, that makes one of our prayer communities spiritually fulfilling to you? Can you express it in a universal way that speaks to the entire congregation and will speak to prospective members? So that unaffiliated Jews will say “I want to join the Germantown Jewish Centre because the Germantown Jewish Centre is...” So that all of our members will say “I want to give a personally meaningful financial gift to the Germantown Jewish Centre because the Germantown Jewish Centre is...” So that prospective leaders will say “I want to be the President of the Germantown Jewish Centre because the Germantown Jewish Centre is...” I have my own answer – or at least the beginnings of an answer. But I don’t www.germantownjewishcentre.org
want unduly to influence your collective ideas. Rather, I want everyone to email their own ideas to me or to Nina. We will be following up with a survey, or some other more formal way to obtain the congregation’s feedback. We’re going to make this a contest. The winner will receive... attribution, props, and the gratitude of the congregation. We are very lucky. We are a stable congregation in a time when many conservative congregations are shrinking. Our budget balances in a time when many congregations’ budgets do not. And it’s not only conservative synagogues facing these problems, it is all faith-based institutions, across the board. So why are we so stable? What works at GJC? What keeps so many congregants returning to GJC? What keeps so many congregants financially invested in GJC? I believe not only that it is important for us to answer these questions, but also, developing an answer to these questions will help us do a better job at being the best institution we can be. So tell us what you value at GJC.
Rabbi’s Message Continued from page 1
make clear that if God had wanted to create a world in which everyone was the same, that was within God’s power. God chose to make a world filled with unique, precious, diverse human beings because that was the best plan for humanity. We need to honor and raise up that choice. In this time of darkness, may we use the resources within ourselves and the model of our community to spread light. Ken y’hi ratzon – so may this be God’s will.
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Shabbat Chai-Lites Beit Midrash Adult Study 9:30-10 AM, Children’s Beit Midrash 9:30 AM-12:30 PM Saturdays in January & February January 1 • Early Kabbalat Shabbat (4:15 PM)January 9 January 9 • Charry Service: Bat Mitzvah of Zoey Zaslow-Lowe, daughter of Rebecca Zaslow & Tristin Lowe • Kol D’Mamah • Parashat ha-Shavua B’Ivrit • JAM Tot Havdallah January 16 • Granger Shabbat & Program January 22 & 23 • Kol Zimrah • Charry Service: Bat Mitzvah of Jemma Mines, daughter of Daniel Mines & Liza Somers • Musical Marching Minyan • Melaveh Malkah January 30 • Dorshei Derekh: Stefan Presser Memorial Shabbat & Program February 5 & 6 • Kol Ha-Lev Service (Voice of the Heart) • Charry Service & Minyan Masorti: Bat Mitzvah of Mei Rosenzweig, daughter of Laurence Rosenzweig & Hideko Secrest • Kol D’mamah February 13 • Charry Service with JAM StorahTelling • Parshat ha-Shavua B’Ivrit February 20 • Musical Marching Minyan February 26 & 27 • Kol Zimrah • Charry Service: 3rd Grade Tanakh Ceremony Kabbalat Shabbat / Kol Zimrah / Kol Ha-Lev Fridays at 6 PM (unless otherwise noted) Shabbat Morning Services at 10 AM (unless otherwise noted) Musical Marching Minyan at 11 AM Parshat ha-Shavua B’Ivrit at 11 AM Shabbat Morning Kids Space - Room 305 Kids are welcome to play Shabbat-friendly games in Room 305 - bring your own and some will be provided. Please respect the space, clean up after yourselves and put all games away after use.
In CeLeBraTIOn… Isaac Becker, son of Chip & Marta Becker, on becoming Bar Mitzvah. Jared Jackson & Rebekah Robinson Jackson on the birth of their son. (November 2015- December 2015) Joanna Charap, daughter of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on becoming Bat Mitzvah. Kenneth J. Weiss on being awarded the 2015 Golden Apple by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law at its annual meet ing in Fort Lauderdale. The award is given to a senior member of the organization who has made significant contributions to forensic psychiatry. Bradley Bridge & Dveera Segal on the birth of their granddaughter, Selah Gigi Bridge, daughter of Rami & Tessa. Jeremy Brochin & Reena Spicehandler on the birth of their grandchild, Ora Batya Brochin-Meyer, child of Ari Brochin & Sarah Meyer. Norman & Leah Schwartz on the birth of their grandson, Meir Moshe Schwartz, son of Joel & Sydney Schwartz, in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. Denise Scott Brown & Robert Venturi on winning the American Institute of Architects 2016 Gold Medal, the institute’s top honor. This marks the first time a woman has won in her lifetime. Tamar & Sam Magdovitz, on the engagement of their son Joe to Mattie. Nina Israel on the marriage of her son, Daniel Israel, to Amanda Ross. Marty Kaplan, on his 86th birthday. Noah Rudick, son of Paul Rudick & Denise Wolf, on becoming Bar Mitzvah. Noah Eisenstein, son of Andrew & Ricki Eisenstein, on becoming Bar Mitzvah. Mazal Tov to Linda Cherkas and Chaim Dworkin on the wedding of their son, Akiva, to Tova Glebocki in Jerusalem.
In MeMOrIaM Marc David Kaplan, son of Marcus & Carol Kaplan Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum Mary Weinstein, a long-time member of GJC Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff Lloyd Schactner, father of Susan Rome Dorothea Zucker-Franklin, mother of Deborah Franklin Harold Barkan, grandfather of Craig Barkan Hans George Hirsch, father of Naomi Hirsch and grandfather of Shira Kamm Alberts
Join us in welcoming new members Susan Swartz William & Akhila Shapiro & family
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Pinat Ha-Hinuch (Education Corner) By Rabbi Alanna Sklover
Looking Ahead to 2016... this fall in pictures!
efore we talk about all of the wonderful things happening with Hazak, we want to express our sadness at the loss of Hilda Minkoff, one of our most active and involved members. Her sudden death was a great loss for us and for all of GJC, and her funeral was a beautiful testament to her rich life. We treasure her memory as we offer condolences to Paul, her children, and her extended family. We will miss Hilda. We have good news - Hazak powers on! On December 6 a small group went to a Sunday matinee performance at the Stagecrafters Theater in Chestnut Hill to see “Of Mice and Men.” Stagecrafters is an easy-to-getto venue, not expensive, and the actors gave an extremely well-done 4
By Helen Feinberg & Coleman Poses
performance of this classic. (Apparently, Of Mice and Men was actually written to be a play; each chapter begins with a scene setting, and then there is all dialogue). Everyone was very pleased they had chosen to attend. On Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (gasp!) we will have a movie night at GJC. We'll be viewing “Rashomon,” the famous Kurosawa film, having something to eat, and then have time to talk about the film. We're starting early, so look for further information around GJC and in the Weekly. Our Book Group continues to draw a lively crowd with lots of opinions to discuss. The group meets the second Wednesday of each month at 10 am, usually in the Charry Lobby. The book for December was Purity by Jonathan www.germantownjewishcentre.org
Franzen. Please call or email Sonia Dishler if you are interested in knowing more, or just show up! • January’s Discussion: Trains of Thought: Paris to Omaha Beach, Memories of a Wartime Youth, by Victor Brombert • February’s Discussion: Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins • March’s Discussion: The Rent Collector, by Camron Wright We would also like to mention that any person interested in attending any HAZAK event, but has questions or transportation needs, can contact either Coleman Poses (215510-1750) or Helen Feinberg (267253-7409).
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The Israel ride: Jerusalem to eilat and So Much More By Joyce Videlock (Israel Ride 2011, 2013, 2015)
f you think you’ve seen Israel, think again! This past November, nine members of our GJC community, along with 160 other riders, had the experience of a lifetime as we explored the beauty and breathtaking landscape of Israel from the seat of a bike. As participants on the 2015 Israel Ride, we traveled from Jerusalem to Eilat, and, depending on the route we chose, covered anywhere from 150 to 350 miles
CONNECT In advance of GJC Celebrates Hanukah, we had a “pop-up shop” in Manayunk. The Manayunk Business Association gave us the space for free, and we gave out dreidels and chocolate Hanukah gelt, cider and donuts, had a craft activity for the children, and talked to a number of adults who signed up to learn more about GJC and who expressed interest in attending our event on the 9th. We now have a “feather” banner to announce our presence and to invite people to check us out. Calling all Introverts (and everyone else) “You’re a total introvert. What are you doing heading up Membership? Isn’t that completely outside of your comfort zone?” Reaching out and welcoming people became the easiest thing that I as an introvert could do. Years ago, I was asked to be a greeter for High Holidays. My first reaction was to want to run in the opposite direction. At that time, to me, being a greeter meant putting my social awkwardness on the line and making small talk with strangers. That was the last thing I wanted to do. But I didn’t feel it
on this journey. Having participated in this ride three times, I can attest that the Israel Ride is a unique experience. Yes, it is a bike trip, but much, much more than a ride. It is difficult to put into words why I, and so many others, come back to re-live this incredible experience. Each time, as I have become immersed in the landscape and in the community of fellow riders, I have felt renewed and energized. It has been easy to detach from my electronic tethers and focus on the experience, the surroundings and my riding companions. The majority of the ridership and
other aspects of the ride change from year to year. Yet, within the group, the emotional experience is always there: a deep sense of community and optimism. I think this is what keeps riders coming back and what draws new riders to it. Over the course of the ride we learn about the ride’s two supporting agencies, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon. The Arava Institute is the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East, preparing continued on next page
Outreach & Welcoming by Naomi Klayman would be right to decline, and I made one of the biggest discoveries of my life. Reaching out and welcoming people became the easiest thing that I as an introvert could do. I had an official role and an official “spiel.” It was no longer about me and how I felt, but what I had to offer as a representative of the community – both to visitors and to members. My official role meant that I didn’t have to make small talk; I just had to do my job. And that changed everything. To be experienced as a welcoming community, takes all of us. I’m still very much an introvert, and I still hate being at social gatherings where I only know a few people. But when I am at kiddush with no one to talk to, I look around the room to find other people standing alone and start welcoming them. As a result, I feel empowered and I feel more like a vital member of the community rather than someone on the margins. I’ve also made some new friends. “Hi! I don’t think I’ve met you before. I’m Naomi Klayman; who are you?” As Rabbi Adam suggested one Kol Zimrah, that’s all it takes to make someone feel welcome – whether they are a visitor or a longtime member. And if I, an introvert, can do that, anyone can do it. To be perceived as a welcoming community takes all of us. www.germantownjewishcentre.org
We are meeting people who are new to the community and are looking for a synagogue, but we are also meeting longtime residents who have an outdated image of who we are or who may not have heard of us. We are meeting people who are new to the community and looking for a synagogue, and we are also meeting longtime residents who have an outdated image of who GJC is or may not have ever heard of us! Through these events, we are creating a stronger presence in our community and helping to build and maintain our membership. But we need your help – whether you are an introvert or not. Please join us as we let our neighborhood know what a diverse and welcoming community we are.
GJC would like to thank Naomi Klayman & Adina Abramowitz for generously sponsoring our eye-catching new banner! 5
teVet 5776 • janUarY 2016 The Israel Ride Continued from page 5
future Arab and Jewish leaders to solve the region’s environmental challenges through collaboration and mutual understanding. Through its activities, the Arava Institute encourages, fosters, and supports the advancement of environmental cooperation between Israel and its neighbors. Current students and alumni participate as ride leaders and support crew. They are eager to share their experiences and aspirations to put what they have learned into action. Hazon works to create healthier and more sustainable communities for all. Through a series of retreats, food educational programs, and a growing network of like-minded organizations, Hazon provides transformative experiences and innovative educational programming within the Jewish community and beyond. The ride offers something for everyone– for those new to Israel or seasoned travelers, for those coming on their own, with families, or part of
local teams, and for riders of all ages and abilities. There is even a daily itinerary for non-riders. The ride organizers’ careful planning and attention to detail is obvious at every turn. All arrangements are made including bike storage and delivery (for those with our own bikes), transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and luggage transfers. There are contingencies for any changes in the weather or road conditions. Nothing is left to chance! There is incredible support Nancy Barag, Howard Treatman, Jeremy Treatman, Joel along each daily route, with Sweet, Steve Masters and Joyce Videlock. Not pictured: Stuart Bogom, Randall Miller and Erick Videlock. experienced lead riders, mechanics and rest stops stocked with Ride, I return home with new and replenty of local foods. We are never hun- newed personal connections and a gry! Along some of the more challenging deeper understanding of the region, it’s stretches, ride crew cheer and encourage ecological challenges and how coopus with singing, tambourines and drums. eration and mutual understanding can Tired riders have the option to ride in a lead to solutions that will benefit Israel, bus. Riders can also opt out of challeng- its neighbors, and, quite possibly, the ing climbs or steep downhills according world community. The 2016 Israel Ride will be from to their comfort level. On Shabbat in the town of Mitzpah November 8 to November 15 with a Ramon there are options for worship, route from Jerusalem to Eilat. Explore rest, socializing, exploration and inter- the website at www.israelride.org for acting with ride crew. All of us marvel at ride details, an inspiring video, dates the stunning view from the edge of for future rides, dates and locations for Israel’s largest mahktesh (like a crater, ride information sessions and registraonly it’s not) where a joyful Havdalah tion for 2016, NOW OPEN. I invite you to contact me personservice is held. When we reach Eilat, a beach party with refreshments is all set ally at [email protected]
or 215219-6327 if you would like to hear to go! Each time I have completed the Israel more about this amazing ride.
Tutoring for Reading and Language Arts Wilson Reading System Certified
Tel: 610 668 9865 Cel: 267 971 7970 e-mail: [email protected]
Germantown Jewish Centre would like to extend thanks and gratitude to the Wolfe Family Foundation for generously supporting and making our programming possible.
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Women’s Club news By Marcy Fish and Yona Diamond Dansky, Co-Presidents
s was shared at the High Holidays, Women’s Club is embarking on the process of replacing the Torah mantles in the Centre as our Building Beautiful project. The beloved woven ones being used currently have served the community for many, many years. Unfortunately, despite attempts at repair, some have become threadbare and beyond restoration. The project has two components: 1.) display and honor the value and significance of the current mantles, and 2.) replace the current everyday mantles in a way that continues GJC aesthetics and traditions. After much research, we have located several highly talented and skilled textile artists who can produce beautiful and long-lasting new mantles for us. Very shortly, one of these artists will begin working with us to create designs that will evoke all the beauty that exists in the Torahs they will cover, matching the physical spaces in the Charry Sanctuary and Magil Chapel, and meeting the expectations of the congregants who will use them for many years to come. While we continue to work out the details, please consider ded-
Repairs were completed; this is what some of our Torah mantles looked like before being restored.
icating a mantle or other piece of this project to honor, or in memory of, someone special to you. Those details have not yet been finalized, as we have not yet entered into a contract with the chosen artist at the time of writing this article. We appreciate your patience as we make certain to get all the details right. We hope to present options very soon. A huge thank-you to all who have already made a donation to this very important Building Beautiful project, providing a significant base. Be part of Sharing our Stories, Sharing our Lives, An Intergenerational Gathering of the Women of GJC. Our next intergenerational gathering
Hand embroidered dedications like this one are in most of our older mantles.
is January 17th, 10 AM - Noon. The topic is: Hillel said: “Do not separate yourself from the community.” Come and share how you create, contribute to, feel part of and receive from the community. RSVP to Sue Sussman to get location details: [email protected]
SAVE THE DATE!
Entertainment at Women’s Club and Men’s Club Paid Up Membership Brunch on October 18.
The 2016 GJC Young Families Retreat will be held the afternoon of May 6 through the afternoon of May 8. The retreat is a wonderful way for families with young children (infants through tweens) to connect, celebrate Shabbat, and have a lot of fun. Registration will begin in February. Please keep an eye out; the retreat fills up quickly! Contact Maria Pulzetti with any questions: [email protected]
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Member Spotlight By Linda Kriger
Denise Wolf & Paul Rudick
enise Wolf and Paul Rudick have tons of energy for their marriage, their three children and their challenging work, as well as the Germantown Jewish Centre. Denise, as well as being a federal prosecutor, is a member of the GJC Executive Committee. Denise, 45, didn’t take a direct route to GJC. Raised in Bergen County, NJ, she attended a Folkshul, a secular humanist form of Judaism. During her senior year of college, she decided to study for and have a bat mitzvah. She discovered her Judaism during those years, but in a roundabout way. A political science major, she brought the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to campus in 1989 before graduating in 1992. She wrote her senior thesis on the Palestinian Intifada. Her advisor was Dr. Ian Lustick, whose left-wing Middle East politics have made him a controversial figure for the mainstream Jewish community. After graduating from college, she lived among Palestinians in Arab villages in Israel and in the West Bank. “I was really drawn to Israel but also to Arab culture,” she explained. At the end of the summer, she was admitted to law school, but told her parents that she would defer. Instead, she decided to “see my thesis with my own eyes” and embarked on an experience in the Middle East. “I was conversant in Arabic, but not Hebrew,” she said. During a previous summer, she had worked on a kibbutz near Haifa and studied at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. At times, when exploring the West Bank, Cairo
and Jordan, she wore a hijab, which let her walk around “so no one knew who I was.” “I lived in Tira, a village that was part of the Arab Triangle located an hour north of Tel Aviv. I met the mayor and proposed teaching English to the children of the village. I lived with an Arab family for two months.” While there and making her future plans, she concluded that fear is relative. My American Christian friends said, ‘How can you go to Israel? It’s so dangerous.’ In Israel, my Jewish friends said, ‘Don’t live with the Arabs, it’s dangerous.’ The Arabs in Tira said, ‘Don’t visit the West Bank. You will get hurt.’” Ironically, the Palestinians in Nablus (West Bank) where she also lived thought the United States was a dangerous place to live. Denise openly identified herself as a Jew in the Israeli Arab village of Tira. “Nobody had a problem,” she recalled. However, she never told anyone she was Jewish while living in the West Bank due to safety concerns. “Still, in Nablus, which was traditionally a hotbed for Palestinian nationalism, I felt safer than in West Philadelphia,” she said. In Nablus, she was hired to teach English at the British Consulate and lived in Nablus for one year. “The Intifada was still active,” she recalled. “I saw rock throwing, tire burning, strikes, curfews. I visited refugee camps, dozens of Palestinian villages and the homes of wealthy educated Palestinians. I biked through military checkpoints, hitchhiked, and shopped in the suk/shuk. I sipped mint tea with everybody.” An incident ended her first living situation. Denise spoke with local Palestinian youths she knew had thrown rocks at Israeli jeeps and were chased by soldiers. She approached them and asked if they were okay. “A couple of days later,” she recalled, “I was asked to move. They liked me, but as a foreigner, I should not have talked openly about incidents like this.” Someone had gone www.germantownjewishcentre.org
to the family she was living with and said ‘Denise needs to leave the neighborhood. “I had a friend in the PLO whom I went to for advice. I asked ‘Am I in trouble? He said, ‘Just move to another part of the city.’” So she did. She moved in with three girls who were studying at AnNajah University in Nablus. At the same time, Denise spent Shabbat in Jerusalem with her Israeli boyfriend and his family as well as with American friends attending the Pardes Institute of Jewish studies. “I sometimes felt schizophrenic leading a double life. It was intensely exciting.” For the eid marking the end of Ramadan, she wore a hijab and attended prayer on the Temple Mount. In one week, she stayed with a family in a refugee camp outside of Nablus and partied at a discotheque in Tel Aviv. Only once, one of her American Jewish friends visited her in Nablus, Fred Dobb, (now the rabbi at Adat Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Bethesda, MD.) She told Fred, “You can’t tell them you’re Jewish and you can’t tell them I’m Jewish.” Unexpectedly, “My Jewish identity grew stronger when I was there,” said Denise. “In Israel, I saw boys my own age who were soldiers. I was concerned for them. I felt connected to them. While most Palestinians with whom I conversed yearned for peace with Israel, I often found myself defending Israel’s right to exist as well as correcting falsehoods about Jewish people.” She instructed her Palestinian students to write a letter to President Clinton about obtaining peace. “I taught them songs from ‘Free to Be You and Me.’ I’m teaching all this feminist stuff. We held mock elections where female students ran for mayor of Nablus. When I think about it now, I was trying to rub my culture off on continued on next page 9
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them. I immersed myself in their culture but I also shared my beliefs. I recall one time when I lectured about animal rights. One student raised her hand and said, ‘We don’t have human rights. Why should we care about animal rights?’” In 1993, Denise returned to the U.S. and began studying law at American University at night, while she worked for the Jewish Peace Lobby in Washington during the day. She was among the crowd at the White House to witness the Oslo agreements in 1995. Her life took a sharp turn when she met Paul, a second year Wharton student, during her second year of law school. They married three years later in 1998. “I was utterly mesmerized by her,” Paul said, beaming a smile at his wife. “It was love at first sight.” They visited the West Bank on their twomonth honeymoon to Israel, Nepal and Thailand where they trekked and backpacked everywhere. Now 47, Paul, who was born in Potomac, MD, was an entrepreneur from his earliest days. He started a ski business at age 12, in which he polished and fixed skis for the neighborhood kids before the school ski trips. “As the bus came, I’d deliver the skis for $5 a pair.” Business was all he ever wanted to do. “I was always trying to solve problems in an entrepreneurial way,” he said. At Cornell, Paul was, naturally, on the ski team and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He worked for two years in a training program for AT&T, which offered to pay for his Wharton MBA in exchange for working for AT&T after graduation. “Three weeks into it, I gave the money back. I always intended to start my own business. I’d already started a company, the Washington Entrepreneurial Group. It was the beginnings of a venture capital firm. Of course, I had no funding, but I was going to advise my 10
friends and start these crazy businesses. A woman went to Bali and started importing Batik clothing, and I owned 25% of her business. Another guy was a bike mechanic. I didn’t know how to spell failure.” Graduating Wharton in 1995, Paul joined a global consulting firm, A.T. Kearney. “We were putting together the business processes that would ultimately create a wireless telephone network,” he said. He worked with Fed Ex designing their system and worked with a big publishing company. “When you’re traveling you can work until midnight. It was exhilarating,” he said. “The problems were intricate and difficult.” He worked at Kearney for three years. But he became restless and left to become an entrepreneur again. He met up with three Wharton alums at a party in Philadelphia who had started a company called Foster Chamberlain. “The business was to take ideas that companies had turned down and to turn them into businesses,” Paul said. “They asked companies what they had on the back shelf. We’ll take an equity stake and develop them for you. I did a lot of telecomm. We had a lot of interesting projects and a pretty nice business. We had everything but venture capital to invest.” After three years, Paul decided to go with an established venture capital firm. “I worked for two firms for four or five years. I did 15 different investments. That ran its course. Our company didn’t so much as bust as fizzle.” He joined Wyeth – now Pfizer - in 2002. “I just wanted a job at that point. I was done with the entrepreneurial thing.” After 14 years with the company, his job at Pfizer is to design new drugs and advance the immunology pipeline. He works with scientists and clinicians to tease out the elements of a new drug that will excite the scientific community and works on advancing it from discovery through phase three clinical trials (on human beings), until it’s ready to be commercialized. Part of his decision to take on a corwww.germantownjewishcentre.org
porate job was having a family to support. Denise and Paul have three sons, Caleb, 14; Noah, 13; and Levi, 10 all of whom attend Germantown Friends School. They went to GJC’s Early Childhood Program and religious school, and the two older boys are part of the Teen program. Caleb is a madrich, or leader, in the religious school. Levi goes to Camp Galil during the summers and Noah goes to Camp Ramah. Caleb does bike trips during the summers. After law school, Denise joined a large law firm, but left because she wasn’t getting into the courtroom. She then joined the city solicitor’s office, where she had over ten federal jury trials in less than two years. She became a federal prosecutor in 2003. She has had some high profile cases, including prosecuting numerous Philadelphia Traffic Court judges. She also handles white-collar corruption, and child exploitation matters. “I love my job,” she said. “I enjoy working with the FBI and Secret Service and DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). They are dedicated and talented civil servants. It’s never a dull moment.” Their home is full of Paul’s strong artistic aesthetic. He designed their living room with soaring wooden beams. “He was in charge of registering us for our wedding,’” Denise said. “He picked out our pottery and our furniture.” Paul added, “I could have been an architect like my dad. I go about my work as a designer. I pull in all the disparate pieces, create a master plan in an architectural way.” The living room took on an added meaning and symbolism. “My dad was dying. We were going to design it together. He was diagnosed cancer and died quickly. It became more than a room for me.” Paul found the beams, designed the timber-frame structure, and loves art and pottery. A soft painting of Jerusalem and a sculpture created by his grandmother decorates their dincontinued on next page
The Centre Call germantown jewish centre Member Spotlight Continued from page 9
ing room. “I have very deep passions that exist inside me. I’m really into sailing in the Chesapeake Bay and into skiing.” When Paul has time one day, he wants to take art classes, or stained glass making or woodworking. Paul grew up in the Reform movement. “Judaism is a work in progress for me,” he said. “ I’m mystified by how much work it’s going to take for me to understand Judaism to the level that I want one day to understand it, from the repetitive prayers I don’t know to the customs and traditions. I can’t yet get to the point I want to get with it, and I’m so busy with other things. We took our whole family to Israel in 2013. We’ve both been to Israel several times. I’d like to think we have some success in creating Jewish identities.”
Save the Date!
Food & Drink! Purim Spiel! 50/50 Raffle & DJ Michael Lazar! Restaurant Auction & Five Star Live Auction! It’s never too early to get your tickets today! Patrons $180 • Sponsors $140 • Attendees $45 • Young Members $36 Reserve a table! 10 friends $40 each [email protected]
teVet 5776 • janUarY 2016
early Childhood Program (eCP)
CP’s Hanukiah was a collaborative effort by the ECP Teachers. It started with the idea that we wanted to make a huge Hanukiah that we could “light” every day, saying the blessings, and singing Hanukah songs. We wanted each class to contribute one or two candles. We wanted it to reflect the mitzvah, “t’zar b’alay chayim,” kindness to animals. The Hanukiah itself is constructed with foam, and decorated with cloth. The candles are cardboard tubes, and each class decorated them with a different animal. The children exclaim, “I made that!” as they pass by it in the morning. Hanukah-all-week-long was a huge treat!
Everyone can support our GJC Community through Women’s Club! In 3 easy steps
Once you register with Amazon smile it will link your Amazon account to Smile Amazon and .5% of every purchase will go to GJC Women’s Club. No additional cost to your purchase or limits to purchases. Here’s how 1. Go to Smile.Amazon.com 2. Search for Germantown Jewish Centre 3. Select charity: Germantown Jewish Centre
Kenny Kunz making sufganiyot (jelly donuts) with the Gan Katan class.
Shopping the New Year Sales? About to hit that on-line check-out button?
Ready to shop: Go tosmile.amazon.com…shop away! ALL DONE! Every purchase you make on smile.amazon.com is now linked to GJC .5% will go to Women’s Club, who will continue to do wonderful things for all our GJC community.
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Annual Women’s Clothing Exchange to Benefit Refugees The Women’s Clothing Exchange at Germantown Jewish Centre is an annual community and charitable event that serves many functions. This year it will be held on Sunday, January 31 from 11am till 1pm. Some participants have said that this event is a win-win-win! Every year women in the community are asked to donate any clothing and accessories that are in good condition, but which they no longer use. These donations are collected at GJC during the week before the event. (This year that will be January 24-January 29) A large group of volunteers then sorts all these donations into categories, including: Shoes, Sweaters, Coats, Jeans , Dresses, Skirts, Blouses, Jewelry & accessories, Pajamas and lingerie and Bathing suits & exercise clothing After the room is all set up like a giant bazaar, women from all over the city come and pay $20 to “shop” through all these things and take home whatever they like. All enjoy the festive atmosphere that is created with music, friends and a private place for trying on clothes. The event typically raises thousands of dollars to donate to different important social justice work. This year the proceeds will be divided between HIAS and the GJC Women’s Club. HIAS Pennsylvania provides resettlement, citizenship, and supportive services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. When the event is over, all the leftover items are then donated to Whosoever Gospel Mission in Germantown. This program supports people who have been homeless and struggled with addictions in getting the help they need to get clean, sober and vocational training. It is a win! win! win! For more information on the event or volunteering, please contact Genie Ravital at [email protected]
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The Centre Call germantown jewish centre
nedivot Lev (Offerings of the Heart) ex. 25:1-2 ~ adonai spoke to Moses saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for me from every person whose heart so moves him To build the sacred space of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, each of the Israelites brought an offering of their heart. each issue, we will highlight how members of our community are bringing their offerings of the heart to build and enrich the sacred space of our community.
ookie decorating? Check. Puppetry? Check. Dancing? Check. Learning about Judaism while having tons of fun? Check. Teaching Jewish beliefs and values to the youngest members of the community at Germantown Jewish Centre is an exciting process, involving not only the child’s parents, but the rabbis, the religious school teachers, and the electrifying programs offered through the synagogue. Thanks to the generous support of the Harold and Renee Berger Family Engagement Endowment Fund, GJC is able to bring the Jewish Arts and Movement program series – JAM – to the community. JAM combines art, theater, music, and movement as tools for teaching about Jewish tradition, culture and values. Children have long been a strong value to Judge Harold Berger and his late wife, Renee, which led to the creation of the JAM program series in 2014. Renee’s interest in providing programming for children stretches back many years, when she would lead a Passover Seder with all of the school children at GJC. She had a steadfast interest in attracting young families to the synagogue. Judge Berger says, “I thought if GJC had a program that would benefit young families with children, it would help with membership at the hottest synagogue in town.”
Melissa Livney, a “JAMbassador” from the beginning, works to ensure everyone, children and adults alike, feels invited and included. She noticed that when she and her family came to the synagogue, they “were really aware of a very strong community of young families that [they] weren’t really hooked in to.” She believes “JAM’s intentional outreach to all families creates such a warm and welcoming experience.” Melissa describes her own young children as having “grown more comfortable with the arts and movement activities and are much more likely to jump in” after attending several JAM events meeting new friends there. Maya Peskin, a four-year-old JAM regular, likes “to see [her] friends and their mommies and daddies. JAM feels fun because we’re celebrating together.” Though the focus is on children, there is something for everyone. As Melissa says, “sitting around a kitchen table, drinking tea and discussing the programming has helped me to foster some of my own grown-up friendships and connections.” Which is just what Judge Berger envisioned with JAM: bringing families to the GJC community through children’s programs. For Rabbi Adam Zeff, the great value of JAM is that “it allows us to welcome people in of all backgrounds and helps them to engage with each other, and that’s what helps us to build a vibrant community for the future.” Rabbi Annie
Lewis sees JAM as a group of families and children “thinking intentionally about creating community and being a welcoming presence” to newcomers. JAM features guest artists such as ZoomDance! and music-educator Chana Rothman, collaborating with the Germantown Jewish Centre rabbis to lead Shabbat services and programs to engage children and their families. Rabbi Lewis works with the guest artists to integrate JAM’s programs into GJC’s community as a whole. As just one of the communities within a community at GJC, JAM has served as a cornerstone for other groups at the synagogue. Synagogue president Mathieu Shapiro praises the JAM series for giving GJC “a great model for all our sub-community groups to follow, and kick-started on-going conversations at many levels of the shul about how we can be a more effusively welcoming community.” Mathieu strongly believes GJC flourishes because the congregants, lay leaders, and staff are willing to volunteer their time and energy for the shul, to “constantly and collectively strive to make our community stronger. We thank Judge Berger very much for making this possible.” If you’re interested in volunteering as a JAMbassador, or would like more information about the program series, please contact Melissa Livney at [email protected]
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Social action Update GJC Workshop Gives Skills to Fight Racism
By Rabbi Tamara Cohen
oon after I came to GJC in search of a family friendly place to daven, I began to hear about the legacy of Rabbi Elias Charry. The pride that GJC took in that legacy of keeping Mt. Airy a racially and religiously diverse neighborhood was clearly very strong but what did it mean today? What was so exciting about the recent series of workshops I participated in with twenty-one other members of GJC, “Understanding & Confronting Racism”, was the active commitment I felt of this group to asking this question in a real and personal way. Participants, who included members of each of the minyanim of GJC, each expressed in their own way a desire to ensure that the history of GJC in Mt. Airy as a place that resisted racist practices and overcame fears with resolve and a vision of a different way of living with difference was not just a thing of the past. For six hours, with the guidance of skilled facilitator Sarah Halley, we sat together and we learned and we shared and we challenged ourselves and each other. We talked as white Jews about our privilege, about microagressions, about systemic racism, about the ways to move from collusion in a racist system to active resistance to that system. We practiced interrupting racism in role plays
and we brainstormed together priorities for making GJC a synagogue truly committed to being a spiritual community for Jews of color and white Jews and truly committed to being part of city wide and nationwide struggles for racial justice. I made connections with members of the synagogue I have said hello to at a kiddush but never before had the chance to dive deep into real and difficult conversation. I left the workshops inspired and excited by the many ideas and plans for the coming activities and goals of the GJC Understanding and Confronting Racism group. I also left more committed and engaged and more grateful for GJC as a spiritual community where I can not only sing and pray with others in various ways, but also where I can connect to others as partners in the very personal and also political ongoing struggle for racial justice both within the Jewish community and beyond it. Even more specifically I felt grateful to connect with others in this community who are taking challenging but valuable steps towards understanding our roles and responsibilities as anti-racist white Jews. It was a strong beginning but it was just a beginning. I look forward to being part of the next steps of this work at GJC. There is room in that work for you. Join us.
November’s “Understanding and Confronting Racism” workshop offered GJC members the opportunity for an indepth exploration of racism and its impact on our community and ourselves. The workshop was part of a series of programs the GJC social action committee is organizing, sparked in part by the call to member congregations of the POWER interfaith network to expand our awareness of and work to oppose racism. While this workshop was focused on giving white members of the congregation an opportunity to recognize and understand racism through the lens of white privilege and learning new skills in order to be better allies to people of color, we actively welcome all members of GJC in planning and participating in upcoming programs, and look forward to engaging white Jews, Jews of color and Jews of various heritages and backgrounds. Among the goals of this work for GJC members is to strengthen our relationships and increase our effectiveness in the Tikkun Olam work we do both within GJC and in the larger community. To get involved, contact Andrea Moselle ([email protected]
) or David Mosenkis ([email protected]
Volunteer Opportunities to help Immigrants and Refugees Resettling in Philadelphia
uring High Holiday services this fall, synagogues across our area voiced an out-flowing of concern about the growing global refugee crisis. The GJC Social Acton Committee turned to HIAS Pennsylvania—the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society—for guidance in how to get involved. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society—HIAS—was originally founded in 1881 to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. A group of American Jews organized to provide
much-needed comfort and aid to thousands of Jews fleeing waves of anti-Semitic riots. They set up a storefront on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A group of distinguished members of Philadelphia's Jewish community, led by Louis Levy, formed the Association for the Protection of Jewish Immigrant – Today, known as HIAS Pennsylvania. After WW II, HIAS was instrumental in evacuating the displaced persons camps in Europe and aiding in the resettlement of some 150,000 people to 330 www.germantownjewishcentre.org
communities in the U.S., as well as Canada, Australia, and South America. Today, HIAS Pennsylvania is a Jewish identified organization that is deeply committed to diversity, and is working with diverse refugee and immigrant populations. On Oct. 21, the GJC Social Action Committee invited guest speakers Carrie Fox-Kline, MSW, HIAS Director of Refugee Programming & Planning, and Justin Mixon, HIAS Staff Attorney to continued on next page 17
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speak at our meeting. We were amazed as they delineated the many volunteer opportunities to help families with the many daily hurdles of resettling in a new country. Most new immigrant families will live in apartments. They will need assistance in navigating the logistics of daily life in the U.S., such as shopping at a store, enrolling children in school, using, the bus etc. As volunteers, we can greatly assist and increase the work that staff at HIAS PA can accomplish, as they serve refugees, asylees, and local immigrant communities in the Philadelphia area. Carry Fox-Kline prepared a list of the multiplicity of volunteer opportunities that would make a tremendous difference in the lives of immigrant and refugee families. On Monday November 30, SAC met again and sifted through the list of vol-
unteer opportunities that HIAS had prepared for us! Take a look! There is something for everyone! Home Set-Up. Help set up new apartment for new refugees! If you like organizing and making things nice, this is for you! Heavy lifting, and/or lighter work such as organizing kitchens, making beds, etc. Appointment Accompaniment. Go with new refugees to a doctor, dentist or other appointment to help it go more smoothly. If you like helping people work through systems or making people comfortable, our refugees need you! You will be accompanying refugees on public transportation to appointments. American Friend. Work directly with one newly arrived family. Whatever you put into this orientation effort, you will get back tenfold! This mitzvah requires a 4-hour orientation and training is required. HIAS is now accepting applications for a training opportunity in late January.
Administrative/office tasks at the HIAS office, Federation Building, 2100 Arch Street, Center City. Get to know HIAS Pennsylvania “in-house”! Computer knowledge essential. Opportunities for attorneys, mental health professionals, ESL teachers, translators/interpreters, etc. Use your professional skills to help immigrants and refugees in areas where they need guidance. Public Relations. Experienced in professional writing? social media? Help get the HIAS Pennsylvania story out! Opportunities for teens including Bar/Bat Mitzvah. After-School Program in the Northeast. Get to know the kids who have come to Philadelphia! Gilbert Spruance Elementary School, where HIAS Pennsylvania has programs (3-5 pm/M-Th, choose one two-hour slot). Contact Maxine Margolies [email protected]
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teVet 5776 • janUarY 2016 The fastest way for your contribution to be processed is for you to fill out a Contribution Form (available in the office or on our website) and return it to the office along with a check. Or just send in a check with a note.
Contributions For the period of October, 2015 through November, 2015 Todah Rabbah!
Sincere thanks and appreciation to those who remember to honor their friends and loved ones through their generous contributions. FUND Adult Education Fund
Beck Scholar-in-Residence Fund Bess Schick Memorial Fund
BY Sonya Ciancutti Evelyn Eskin & David Major Mitchell Hirsch Arthur Nissen & Jill Nissen Norma Walton Chava Weissler Ellen & Andrew Mermelstein Sondra Bressler Ruth & Stan Cohen Janet & Lew Klein Harold & Jerri Labush Edward & Dena Lake
Camp Scholarships Fund
Ethel & Jerry Melamut Joan Nerenberg Marcia & Ted Wasserman Hershel Richman Elizabeth Richman Hideko Secrest Berel & Susan Sternthal
Chesed Fund Dorshei Derekh Early Childhood Program Fund
Harry & Fredi Cooper Arthur & Lynne Ellis Billie Schnall Edward & Dena Lake Yale & Eve Pinkenson Sonia Voynow Diane Ajl & Neil Kitrosser Bonnie Buyum Louise Leibowitz Henrietta & Henry Rosenberg Hideko Secrest
George & Ruthanne Singal Lou Walinsky & Nina Gordon Floral Fund General Fund
Richard Rosenbaum Bev & Ira Somerson Ellen Wolin Kathy & Saul Axelrod Saul & Kathy Axelrod Vincent Barba Albert & Peninah Berdugo Samuel & Helene Feinberg Howard & Sharon Gary Tom & Anna Gerrity Tara Goldman Steve & Laurie Goldstein James A. Goodman Bambi Granovsky Mike Gross & Peninah Kelberg Seymour Harris & Family Phyllis Kauffman Neil Kitrosser & Diane Ajl Judah Labovitz & Ellen Ufberg Pesha Leichter
OCCASION in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in honor of Kathy Donner, on her special birthday in memory of Robert Hirsch, father in memory of Joseph Hoffman, father-in-law & grandfather in memory of Henry M. Walton, husband in memory of Pearl Weissler, mother in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Joanna in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Eva Lamar, aunt in memory of Margaret Krafchik, mother of Frank Krafchik in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Abraham Richman, father in memory of Jerome Rosner, father in honor of Ameet & Genie Ravital, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Micah in honor of Ellen Ufberg & Judah Labovitz, on the marriage of their daughter, Julie Ufberg, to Chris Webb in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Charles Schnall, father in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Adele Ajl, mother in memory of Benjamin Kaufman, grandfather in memory of Ethel Leibowitz, mother in honor of Brieon Levin and her assistant, Aliza, teachers of Nolan Bradley in honor of Charles & Marta Becker, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Isaac in honor of Josh Barash & Devorah Lissek, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Eitan in honor of Mathieu, Jessica, Jake & Alex Shapiro in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Louis Wolin, father in honor of Richard Menin, brother of Kathy Menin Axelrod in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Monty Herbert Specker, father of Ellyn Charap in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in honor of Sarah & Bob Goodman, family of James Goodman in honor of Judy Schwartz, sister of Bambi Granovsky in memory of Neely Snyder, wife of Josh Snyder in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Esther Reitman Tatarsky, mother in honor of Will & Akhila Shapiro, on the birth of their son Rashi in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in honor of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Joanna
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Contributions Continued General Fund
Judd Levingston & Hillary Kruger
James & Sandy Meyer Linda Millison Harry & Jane Mison Allan Oster & Izhar Naveh Hideko Secrest
Harriet Segal Patricia Segal Mitchell Berk & Beth Stearman
Interfaith Hospitality Network
Israel Affairs Fund
Jonathan Stein Jill Steinberg Seymour & Mollie Tinkleman Eli & Irma Yehuda Samuel & Helene Feinberg Cherie Goren James & Sandy Meyer Berel & Susan Sternthal Lucille & Aaron Weber Sarah Sandra Cohen GJC Israeli Dancers Ann & Martin Itzkowitz Cecile Merion Daniel Piser Frieda Sanders Hyman Zelkowitz Seymour Harris Ann & Martin Itzkowitz Myra & Isador Kranzel Linda Kugler Edward & Dena Lake Stephen & Christine Levin Ethel & Jerry Melamut Jeffrey & Linda Needleman Hideko Secrest Margaret Shapiro & Howard Bilofsky Joan W. Stern
Israel Garden Fund Kiddush Fund
Berel & Susan Sternthal Sylvia Lifschitz Charlotte Peitzman Seymour & Mollie Tinkleman Beth Rosenbaum & Noel Eisenstat Rev. Deforest & Bonnie Hillyer Linda Kugler
in memory of Lee Reese, mother of Ellen Reese in honor of Linda Kriger, on the publication of her new book, Gut Feelings in memory of Margaret Krafchik, mother of Frank Krafchik in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in honor of Jake & Linda Kriger, on the birth of their grandson, Maayan Kriger Corso in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in honor of Richard Menin, on his 70th birthday in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in honor of Helen Feinberg, on her special birthday in memory of Fredric Raichlen, brother in honor of Ivan, Rebecca, Reena, Avi Lev, & Lilyan Wolnek in honor of Adina Abramowitz & Naomi Klayman, friends in honor of Mathieu & Jessica Shapiro, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Alex in honor of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Joanna in honor of Scott & Leona Goldshaw, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Maya in honor of Daniel Moscow & Sharon Strauss, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Juniper in memory of David Segal, father in memory of Caryl Bateman, mother in memory of Irving Stearman, grandfather in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Eleanor Blumberg, mother of Lois Robbins in memory of Frank Rosenberg, father in memory of Judith Fleischman, mother in memory of Mark Fields, brother in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Gerald Cohen, husband in memory of Harry Shulman, father of Grant Shulman in honor of Milton Cohen in memory of Deena Brockman, sister in memory of Louis Piser, father in memory of Anna Sanders, mother-in-law in memory of Jeanette Goldenberg, sister in memory of Tillie Zelkowitz, mother in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Alex Naveh, father of Izhar Naveh in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Eleanor Blumberg, mother of Lois Robbins in honor of Peter Maas & Lesley Carson, on the marriage of their son in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Joseph Lifschitz, father in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Becca Hillyer in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff
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Contributions Continued Kiddush Fund
Men’s Club Fund Music Fund
Playground Fund Prayerbook & Ritual Items Fund Program Fund Rabbi Lewis’s Discretionary Fund
Rebecca Ladenheim & Judith Rossman Rebecca Ladenheim Richard & Barbara Menin Barbara Menin Richard Menin Richard & Barbara Menin Paul & Hilda Minkoff Ronni Myers Susan Rothschild Hideko Secrest Joan Silver Marta Sivitz Joan W. Stern Bonnie Buyum Ramy Djerassi Charles & Martha Schleifer Charles Schleifer Martha Schleifer Charles Schleifer Margaret Shapiro William Moody Samuel & Helene Feinberg Lizanne Berger Ellen Marcus; Andy & Talia Sfekas Nancy Barag Lizanne Berger
Jonathan & Cheryl Frank Anna Goldberg Martin Itzkowitz Peter Kuriloff Peter & Peshe Kuriloff Barbara Lissy Paul & Deborah Mendelson
Rabbi Zeff’s Discretionary Fund
Cecile Merion Ronni Myers Jeffrey & Linda Needleman Joyce Norden Gloria Salmansohn Brigitte Thalheimer Sherman Aronson & Joyce Lieberman Nancy Barag Nan Daniels Howard & Yona Dansky Naomi Druckman Sheila Erlbaum Rochelle Fellman Paula Kaufman Sherman Aronson & Joyce Lieberman Geof Margo Cecile Merion Martin Millison Ellen, Jerry, & Alissa Platz Richard Rosenbaum Gloria Salmansohn Bev & Ira Somerson Michael Steinlauf Joan N. Stern
in memory of William R. Ladenheim, father in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Ronald Lance, father in memory of Elinor Menin, mother in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Sidney J. Stein, a long-time member of GJC in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in honor of Mark Lipshutz & Nan Myers in memory of Moritz Heimann, father in memory of Margaret Krafchik, mother of Frank Krafchik in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Clemens Brand, father in memory of Meyer Winderman, grandfather in memory of Sam Buyum, grandfather in memory of Isaac Djerassi, father in memory of Klara Furman, mother in memory of Philip N. Schleifer, father in memory of John M. Furman, father in memory of Elaine Ives-Cameron, sister in memory of Bart Axelrod, father of David Axelrod in memory of Violet West, mother in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Joan Marcus Berger, mother in appreciation of community services & Tot Shabbat in memory of Marc Barag, husband in memory of Joan Marcus Berger, mother in memory of Eric Berger, brother in memory of Mildred Marcus, grandmother in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Myer B. Marcus, grandfather in appreciation Rabbi Anne Lewis in honor of Rabbi Anne Lewis, on her birthday in memory of Anne Itzkowitz, mother in memory of Arthur Kuriloff, father in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hannah Shaines, mother in honor of Rabbi Anne Lewis, cousin of Paul & Deborah Mendelson in memory of Nechama Naomi Kapstein Rosenbach, sister in honor of Mark Lipshutz & Nan Myers in memory of Nathan Needleman, father in memory of Myrtle Manheimer, mother in memory of Herman Salmansohn, father-in-law in memory of Arie Saadoun, brother in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Marc Barag, husband in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of David Shapiro, father of Nan Daniels in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Leon Druckman, husband in honor of Rabbi Adam Zeff in memory of Esther Abrams, mother in memory of Mary Weinstein, mother in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Anne Margo, mother. in memory of Samuel Merion, husband in memory of Carl Millison, brother in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Lena Salmansohn, mother-in-law refuah shleimah to Phyllis Kauffman, friend. in memory of Doris Wald Steinlauf, mother in memory of Miriam Leah Gafni, sister
The Centre Call germantown jewish centre
Contributions Continued Rabbi Zeff’s Discretionary Fund Religious School Fund
Susan Sternthal Kenneth & Susan Weiss Susan & Ken Weiss Neil Actor & Jacqueline Engel Mindy Brown Judd Levingston & Hillary Kruger
Social Action Fund
Special Education Fund Torah Restoration Fund
Mark Lipshutz & Nan Myers Robert & Sherry Pomerantz Jonathan & Cheryl Frank Ann & Martin Itzkowitz Hideko Secrest Margaret Shapiro & Howard Bilofsky Rivkah Walton Susan Sternthal Kathy & George Amrom Eve Pinkenson Yale & Eve Pinkenson Susan Rothschild Judy Schwartz & Mr. Jay Seitchik Mindy Shapiro & Alan Mendelsohn
Youth Activities Fund
Joan Silver Lynne & Art Ellis Reena & Aryeh Friedman Phyllis Kauffman Mitchell Berk & Beth Stearman Lynne & Art Ellis GJC Israeli Dancers Samuel & Tamar Magdovitz Curtis & Leslie Pontz
in memory of Samuel Gross, father in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Liz Bloch-Smith & Mark Smith, new grandparents in honor of Ellen Reese, friend of Nini Engel in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hinda Brown, mother in honor of Denise Wolf & Paul Rudick, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Noah in honor of Charles & Marta Becker, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Isaac in honor of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Joanna in memory of Miriam Erlbaum, mother of Sheila Erlbaum in memory of Monty Herbert Specker, father of Ellyn Charap refuah shleimah to Mitchell Berk, friend in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Matthew & Yoel Solis, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Erica in honor of David & Nahariayah Mosenkis, on the birth of their grandchild in memory of Henry M. Walton, husband of Norma Walton in memory of Faye Weiss, mother in memory of Rabbi Seymour Friedman, father of Aryeh Friedman in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Abraham Blumenthal, grandfather in memory of Jane Blumenthal, mother in memory of Joseph Pinkenson, father in memory of Kay Strauss, sister in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Howard & Ronit Treatman, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Hannah in honor of Linda Cherkas & Chaim Dworkin, on the birth of their grandson, Noah Joseph Dworkin in memory of Steve Asher, husband of Louie Asher in memory of Bart Axelrod, father of David Axelrod in memory of Regina Brunner Holmes, mother of Eric Brunner refuah shleimah to Phyllis Kauffman, friend. in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in honor of Lawrence & Ellyn Charap, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Joanna in honor of Sharon Strauss & Daniel Moscow, on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Juniper in honor of Charles & Marta Becker, on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Issac in memory of Lloyd Schachtner, father of Susan Rome in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan in memory of Ezekiel Levinson, father in memory of Hilda Minkoff, wife of Paul Minkoff in memory of Marc David Kaplan, son of Carol & Marcus Kaplan
Sundays (Sept.-June) & Wednesdays (July-Aug.) January-February 2016 at 10:00 AM (excluding Jan. 3) Taught by our wonderful, experienced dance teacher, Grant Shulman, GJC’s Israeli dance group welcomes dancers of all ages and levels. We begin each session with 45 minutes of beginner dances, followed by instruction, review, open dancing and requests with increasing levels of difficulty. GJC’s dance group is proud to be friendly and inclusive.
For more information, contact Tamar Magdovitz at [email protected]
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PA I D
400 West Ellet Street Philadelphia, PA 19119
Ft. Washington, PA Permit No. 7944
Inside Centre Call
Rabbi’s Message................................page 1 President’s Message..........................page 2 Shabbat Chai Lites............................page 3 What’s New in the Mishpoche.........page 3 New Members..................................page 3 Religious School...............................page 4 News from Hazak............................page 4 Outreach & Welcoming...................page 5 The Israel Ride..................................page 5 People of the Book...........................page 6 Women’s Club News.......................page 7 Granger Shabbat & Mitzvah of the Month................page 8 Member Spotlight............................page 9 Adult Ed...........................................page 11 Early Childhood Program.................page 12 Lots for Tots......................................page 12 Nedivot Lev (Offerings of the Heart)..................page 15 Social Action Update......................page 17 Contributions...................................page 20
Please submit all articles via email to [email protected]
Deadline for the March issue is February 1st. (215) 844-1507 fax: (215) 844-8309 Web: www.GermantownJewishCentre.org Mathieu J. Shapiro PRESIDENT
Adam Zeff RABBI
Annie Lewis A S S I S TA N T R A B B I
Nina Peskin ExECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Alanna Sklover R A B B I E D U C AT O R
Gloria Geissler FINANCE DIRECTOR
Jodi Gordon E A R LY C H I L D H O O D D I R E C T O R
Kate Lawn PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Leonard D. Gordon RABBI EMERITUS
David Fish MEN’S CLUB PRESIDENT
Yona Diamond Dansky & Marcy Fish WOMEN’S CLUB CO-PRESIDENTS
affiliated with the United synagogue of conservative judaism
Save the Date January
Save the Date February
JAM Tot Havdallah January 9 Women’s Club Frida Kahlo Program January 10
Refuat HaNefesh Healing Service February 10
Refuat HaNefesh Healing Service January 13
Music Cafe February 20
Dedication of the Portrait of Rabbi Sanford Hahn z”l & Granger Shabbat January 16
Women’s Club Cake Decorating February 28
Hazak Film & Discussion January 20 Melaveh Malkah (Concert) January 23 Women’s Clothing Giveaway January 31
Musical Meditations February 28 Kids Stuff Exchange February 28