July - Jewish Federation of Tulsa



July - Jewish Federation of Tulsa
Sivan / Tammuz 5776
July 2016
The Blessings of Being a Parent
Keeping a Promise
Celebrating Israel for 68 Years
july 2016 • sivan / tammuz 5776
volume 87 • number 7
The world is theirs to explore.
T h e a d v e n T u r e b e g i n s aT h o l l a n d h a l l .
4From the Editor
What’s Nu? News Briefs
6The Blessings of Being a Parent by Lillian Hellman
July Community Events
10A New Symbol of How Far We’ve Come by Rabbi Charles P. Sherman
12Passing the Torch by Heather Lewin
Keeping a Promise by Mickel Yantz
16Guilt Free Greek Island Vacationing by Louis Davidson
18Celebrating Israel for 68 Years by Shiri Achiasaf-West
20 Jews in the Russian Military 1827–1917 by Phil Goldfarb
22Temple Israel Welcomes Interim Rabbi Jim Simon by Lesley Bumgarner
Follow the journey on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @HollandHall
What’s Nu? News Briefs from JNS.org
From the Editor
Founded in 1930 by Tulsa Section,
National Council of Jewish Women
(ISSN# 2154-0209)
Tulsa Jewish Review
(USPS 016-928) is published monthly by
jewish federation of tulsa
2021 E. 71st St., Tulsa, OK 74136.
Periodicals postage paid at Tulsa, OK.
Drew Diamond
[email protected] | 918.495.1100
Melissa Schnur
[email protected] | 918.495.1100
Mindy Prescott
[email protected]
Lee Hubby
[email protected]
Marcia Weinstein
[email protected]
Lori M. Frank
Bhadri Verduzco, Verduzco Design
[email protected] | verduzcodesign.com
Postmaster: Send address changes to
Tulsa Jewish Review, 2021 E. 71st St., Tulsa, OK 74136
I had originally planned to devote this
month’s column to thoughts about my
father and patriotism. July after all marks
not only the birthplace of our nation but
was also the month my father was born.
The column was all written and ready for publication. However, all that
changed as I sat in an airport one bright Sunday morning.
The Sunday morning was June 12, and the airport was the Orlando International Airport. After making a last-minute trip to Durham, North Carolina
for the weekend, my options for my flight back to Tulsa took a most circuitous
route—first stopping in Orlando and then Houston before continuing back
home to Tulsa. The first leg of my journey started too early for me, and I was
running short on time before heading to the airport. I barely had enough time
to have my morning coffee and breakfast, which left no time for checking the
latest news online before departure. So, as we all tend to do in this digital age
of instant news, one of the first things that I did after landing was to check
to see what was new in the world via Facebook on my phone. Imagine my
surprise when the first thing that popped up when I opened the app was a
“Safety Check” option. Based on my location, Facebook noticed that I was in
the area affected by the horrific shooting and offered me the option to mark
myself safe. That’s how I found out about the shooting at the LGBT nightclub
in Orlando that has been described as the deadliest mass shooting by a single
gunman in our nation’s history.
At the time of this writing it has only been a few days since it occurred, and
by the time this issue goes to print, even more details will have emerged about
the shooter and his motivations. However, it has already been called domestic
terrorism and a hate crime. Right now my emotions are still in over-drive. I
think of my many friends in the LGBT community, and the fear and sadness
they feel seems immeasurable to me. They know they were targeted because
of who they are and who they love. I am saddened by the loss of life. I am
saddened by the hate that drove the shooter to his actions. I am saddened
that once again, we as a nation are mourning together after more senseless
deaths from gun violence. I wonder how we all move forward to prevent more
tragedies like this in the future. I am not sure that there is one right answer
as to how we can overcome, but I know that I, for one, cannot remain silent
in my sadness anymore. It is time that we all come together and work for a
country where hate does not flourish but tolerance becomes the norm. We
must continue the work of our nation’s forefathers to “… form a more perfect
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to
ourselves and our Posterity …”
The U.S. House of Representatives has
unanimously passed a resolution calling
on Germany to increase restitution
support for Holocaust survivors. The
resolution, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch
(D-Fla.), will “... fulfill its moral responsibility to Holocaust survivors and urgently
provide the financial resources necessary
to ensure that Survivors live in dignity
and comfort in their remaining years,”
according to a description of the resolution, which passed with 363-0. “Today,
the House once again demonstrated its
commitment to achieving justice for all
Holocaust survivors in overwhelmingly
passing the resolution Ted and I introduced, urging Germany to honor its
obligations to Holocaust survivors,” RosLehtinen said after the resolution passed.
Foreign investment in Israeli assets has
tripled since the launch of the Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in 2005, demonstrating that
BDS has not significantly harmed the
Israeli economy, according to new data
published by Bloomberg News. “We don’t
have a problem with foreign investment
in Israel—on the contrary,” said Yoel
Naveh, chief economist at Israel’s Finance
Ministry. In 2015, Israel’s industrial hightech exports grew 13 percent from the
previous year. Israeli start-ups raised
$3.76 billion last year from non-Israeli
investors, according to the IVC Research
Center. This year, Israel’s economic growth
is projected to reach 2.8 percent, higher
than the growth rates in both the U.S. and
the European Union.
“(((echo)))”—to single out Jewish figures
in media and entertainment for harassment
online. “Coincidence Detector” received
the top rating on a five-star scale in the
Google Chrome store, with its description
boasting that it “... can help you detect total
coincidences about who has been involved
in certain political movements and media
empires.” The plugin was removed from
the Chrome store following Mic’s report.
It was accessed by 2,473 users before being
we must know more about them, and I’m
convinced we will continue to see many
young Americans making aliyah (immigration to Israel).” The first-of-its-kind
Knesset ceremony was organized by the
Ruderman Family Foundation, which
focuses on strengthening Israel-Diaspora relations. For the last four years, the
foundation has sponsored delegations of
Knesset members on trips to the U.S. to
help them gain a deeper understanding
of American Jewry.
It is “difficult to overstate the importance
of the American Jewish people to the
State of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said at an event in late May
in the Israeli Knesset that honored U.S.
Jewry’s 100 years of contributions to Israel.
“American Jewry’s contribution to the state
has been enormous and it will continue
to be important to the future of the Israeli
people,” said Netanyahu. “We must be
more familiar with American Jewry and
“American Jewry’s
contribution to the state
has been enormous and
it will continue to be
important to the future
of the Israeli people,”
said Netanyahu.
Neo-Nazis and white supremacists have
been using a Google Chrome plugin called
“Coincidence Detector” to compile and
expose the identities of Jews online. While
the users are browsing the Internet through
the Chrome browser, the extension encases
the names of Jewish individuals listed on
websites in three sets of parentheses—
for instance, (((Fleishman)))—the news
website Mic reported. White supremacists
had already been using the three-parentheses construction—which they call
5 “Blessings”
by Lillian Hellman,
Director Mizel Jewish
Community Day School
At Mizel JCDS, we focus much
of our time on educating our
students in both academics
and Jewish values; inspiring
them to become caring,
thoughtful, appreciative
individuals, ready to take on
the challenges of growing up.
Though our teachers are
exceptional, their task of
educating the students is not
a solitary one. Their special
partnership with our parents
helps mold the whole child,
but parents need training and
instruction, too.
The powerful book The
Blessing of a Skinned Knee,
Using Jewish Teachings to
Raise Self-Reliant Children
by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.,
employs a framework of
nine “blessings” to guide
parents as they navigate the
challenges of child rearing.
Dr. Mogel draws from the
wisdom of the Torah, the
Talmud, and important Jewish
teachings to provide parents
with a new set of priorities to
help them raise resourceful,
compassionate, and ethical
Each chapter or “blessing”
is devoted to an aspect of
parenting that is crucial to
raising children:
1 2 3 4
Accept that
your children
are both
unique and
ordinary. We
often expect
them to be like
us (only better,
and more
But if the
pressure to be
special gets
too intense,
children end
up in the
office suffering
from sleep
and eating
and other
Teach them
to honor their
parents and to
respect others.
The Fifth
Commandment, “Honor
your father
and your
is about
not feelings.
Many parents
have an aversion to being
figures. Children are not
our equals,
and they don’t
want to be. A
system in the
home doesn’t
work very well;
it just makes
children feel
Teach them
to be resilient,
and courageous. Unless
your child
ventures forth
into the world,
he won’t get
a chance to
learn how to
master it and
find his place.
Having the
courage not to
pamper and
your child
means that
sometimes he
will be uncomfortable; but
if they don’t
have the
chance to fail,
they can’t
Teach them to
be grateful for
their blessings.
Children who
get most of
their desires
satisfied right
away don’t
have a chance
to form an
“attitude of
Teach your
children to
redirect their
accept “no”
graciously and
appreciate the
blessings they
do have.
5 6 7 8 9 10
Teach them
to make their
table an altar.
They should
food with an
attitude of
Teach them
the preciousness of the
Find time to
connect with
your child—
really listen to
them. Make
sure your
children have
a chance to
get bored, so
they can learn
to entertain
Teach them
the value of
work. Children need two
skills: competence to do
what is good
and motivation—the will
to take on
Doing chores—
looking after
and helping
the family—
are their first
good deeds
and gives
them survival
Teach them to
accept rules
and to exercise
The purpose
of discipline is
to teach both
new attitudes
and new
behaviors. A
good formula
for doing this
is applying
love, onethird law (be
really tough),
and one-third
sitting on your
hands (pick
your battles
For more information,
call the Mizel office:
Teach them
about God.
The word
Yisrael literally means
“person who
struggles with
God.” Abraham
Heschel once
wrote that
Judaism does
not ask its
followers to
take a leap of
faith, it asks
them to take a
leap of action.
You aren’t
to work out
your theology
before you
begin to live
a spiritual
life—“you will
do and you will
If you don’t
want to get
caught up in
the anxiety,
and competition all around
us, you must
choose some
path to walk
on with your
children. You
must name
it, follow it,
and plan the
curriculum for
their spiritual
education as
and intelligently as
you plan their
Mizel is the
perfect partner
in this important journey.
Jewish Federation of Tulsa
Men’s Club • Wed., July 13 • Noon • A delicious lunch will be followed by a
representative from Oklahoma Natural Gas.
The topic will be Energy Efficiency. Cost of
the luncheon is $8. Please RSVP to Falisha at
918.495.1100 or [email protected] by
noon, July 12.
Israeli Scout Caravan • Tues., July 12 •
7 p.m. • The community is invited to this free
evening of family entertainment by the Israeli
Scout Caravan. For more information, call
918.495.1111 or email [email protected]
Dive-in Movie: Goosebumps • Sat., July 16
Dusk • Bring your swimsuit and enjoy a movie by
the pool. No charge for JCC members. Questions?
Call 918.495.1111.
Dive-in Movie: Goosebumps • Sat., July
16 • Dusk • Bring your swimsuit and enjoy a
movie by the pool. No charge for JCC members.
Questions? Call 918.495.1111.
Ladies Who Lunch • Mon., July 18 • Noon • Come enjoy pleasant conversation and great food
at the Warren Duck Club, 6110 S. Yale Ave., located
in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Warren Place.
Each person pays her own check. Please RSVP to
Mindy at 918.935.3662 or [email protected]
org no later than Fri., July 15.
Men’s Club • Wed., July 27 • Noon • A
delicious lunch will be followed by socializing.
Cost of the luncheon is $8. Please RSVP to Falisha
at 918.495.1100 or [email protected] by
noon, July 26.
Enjoy the Rosh Hashanah Tradition
of Dipping Apples in Honey • Order
deadline July 29 • Send your friends and family
a gift of pure, certified Kosher honey to support
programming at the Charles Schusterman JCC.
Just $11 for an 8 oz. jar with gift card (in the U.S.)
To order contact Mindy Prescott at 918.935.3662
or [email protected]
End of Summer Pool Party/Farewell to
Summer Shlichim • Sat., Aug. 6 • 6 p.m. •
Join us as we say farewell to Dor and Michal, and
celebrate the end of Camp Shalom. This familyfriendly night features music by Something Steel
and a feast of foods by Chef Dan. Members: No
charge. Non-Members: $25/per family. RSVP by
Aug. 3 to 918.495.1111.
The Sherwin Miller Museum
of Jewish Art
Exhibit: 12 Tribes • Now-Summer • This
exhibit showcases paintings by Ft. Gibson artist
Carla Weston who painted them after living
on two different kibbutzim in Israel where she
studied Hebrew, taught high school English
during the Yom Kippur War, and survived a
terrorist attack shortly after the war. Each painting
uses Hebrew and symbolism juxtaposed for a
unique modern effect.
Exhibit: Yaacov Agam • Now-Nov. 16 • We are happy to showcase the SMMJA permanent
collection of Israeli sculptor and experimental
artist Yaacov Agam. Best known for his
contributions to optical and kinetic art, the
museum has a variety of samples from various
donors of Agam’s work that splash color and
visual stimuli throughout the Sanditen Gallery.
Exhibit: Besa-Muslims Who Saved Jews
in World War II • Now–Sept. 25 • Besa
is a code of honor deeply rooted in Albanian
culture and incorporated in the faith of Albanian
Muslims. It dictates a moral behavior so absolute
that nonadherence brings shame and dishonor
to one’s self and one’s family. This exhibition
showcases photographs in Albania and Kosovo
where Muslims sheltered, at grave risk to
themselves and their families, not only the Jews
of their cities and villages, but thousands of Jews
fleeing the Nazis from other European countries.
Exhibit: Fluid Expression: The Prints of
Helen Frankenthaler • July 7–Sept. 18 •
Opening Reception: Thurs., July 7 • 5 p.m. • An influential figure in American art of the late
1950s and early 1960s, Helen Frankenthaler is a
leading abstract expressionist painter, sculptor,
and printmaker. One of the early abstract
expressionists, she was also a pioneer in the
development of color-field painting.
Save the Date: Golden Gala • Sun.,
Oct. 30 • Catered by James Shrader of the
Palace Café, this year’s event is honoring the past,
celebrating the present and building the future.
More information will be available soon. For
patron information, please contact Tracey HerstWoods, Director of Development and Programs at
Congregation B’nai Emunah
Erev Shabbat: Aufruf Edition • Fri.,
July 8 • 7 p.m. Celebration/8 p.m. Reception • A prelude moment of blessing for Nina
Fitzerman-Blue and Daniel Sterba, who will
soon celebrate their wedding. A musical Shabbat
celebration will begin in the Sanctuary with an
abundance of sweets and good things to drink
following the service. Please call the Synagogue
at 918.935.3373 to let us know that you will be
present, or find your way to the reservations page
at the Synagogue website (tulsagogue.com). Your
presence is your gift. No other gesture is necessary.
Seventeenth Street Delicatessen • Sun.,
July 17 • 6 p.m. • A destination for summer
dining, our Jewish Deli opens its doors to any
eager to experience the smells and tastes of Jewish
culture. It’s a magnificent meal and in the style of
the Altamont Bakery, we’re providing meaningful
employment to some of Tulsa’s neediest
population. You can make your reservations
by visiting www.tulsadeli.org or calling the
Synagogue office. Don’t forget, our Blend Family
Market and Bakery is always ready to sell you a
fresh rye bread, a pound of pastrami or a bucket
of pickles in the days following each month’s
Are You
BiBi-DiBi: Babies + Blessings + Dinner
+ Bedtime • Fri., July 22 • 6 p.m. • Once a
month, babies and their families gather in the
Synagogue atrium for a delightful, intimate,
Shabbat experience. Parachutes, rattles and toys sit
at the center of our circle while parents and kids
share in the blessings of a peaceful Shabbat. It’s
in this circle that we build relationships that will
last a lifetime. A delicious, kid-friendly Shabbat
dinner accompanies this program. RSVP by
contacting the Synagogue office.
For Time?
We pickup and
deliver the very best
dry cleaning service
to your door.
Faces: Portrait of a Congregation • Sun., July 31 • 7 p.m. • The next event on our
unfolding Centennial Calendar will feature a
reading from The Rabbis, a group of essays by
Danny Kraft on the history of rabbinic leadership
at the Synagogue. The essays are the product of
Danny’s research over the past several months. A
champagne reception will follow, along with a
preliminary look at the pictorial archive of the
congregation. No reservations are necessary and
all are welcome.
Temple Israel
Shabbat Morning at TI • Sat., July 9 •
10:30 a.m. • Participatory Shabbat morning
worship for all and Torah study followed by a
potluck lunch. If possible, bring a dish to share.
This Month’s Advertisers
This publication is brought to you each month thanks
to the support of our advertisers. Please be sure to
use their products and services and mention that
you found them in the Tulsa Jewish Review.
Broken Arrow Eyesight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 74 3 . 9 9 1 8
The Burger Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 2 3 1 . 6 7 5 5
Charles Pest Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 5 8 4 . 3 3 2 3
Chinowth & Cohen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 3 9 2 . 9 9 0 0
Circle Cinema. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 5 9 2 . 3 4 5 6
Fitzgerald’s Funeral Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 5 8 5 . 1 1 5 1
Holland Hall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 4 8 1 . 1 1 1 1
Kitchen Concepts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 .7 7 9 . 4 4 8 0
La Mode Cleaners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 6 2 2 . 5 2 5 5
Why PickUp & Delivery?
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One Standard: Quality
TI Goes to the Drillers Game • Sat., July 9 •
7:05 p.m. • Come join your Temple Israel family
as we cheer on the Tulsa Drillers! Tickets are $13
each. Checks can be made out to Temple Israel
Brotherhood. Email Peter Rao at [email protected]
sbcglobal.net to let him know how many tickets
you would like to reserve by July 1. All are
Papa Ganouj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 .7 9 4 . 8 4 1 3
Dr. Bernard Robinowitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 4 9 2 . 8 9 8 0
Saffa Compounding Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 4 9 2 . 4 2 4 2
Shohat Heating & Air. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 9 5 1 . 1 6 1 8
Tulsa Bone & Joint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 3 9 2 . 1 4 0 0
The Wild Fork. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1 8 . 74 2 . 0 7 1 2
Welcome for Rabbi Simon • Fri., July 22 •
7:30 p.m. • We are pleased to welcome Rabbi
Simon to Temple Israel. Celebrate Shabbat with
your Temple Israel family, and join us for a
special Oneg as we extend a warm welcome to our
Interim Rabbi.
Shabbat Summer Series: Be Happy, It’s
Shabbat! • Fri., July 29 • 7:30 p.m. • After
bringing in Shabbat together, we will enjoy an
Oneg Musical Performance by Cantor Faith
Steinsnyder, TI Cantor in Residence. Stay
following the service as she continues to share her
talent and love of Shabbat music. Come listen and
sing along!
A Restaurant
Like No Other
Come Discover
Please note that the telephone number listed in the 2014 Tulsa Jewish
Community Directory is incorrect. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The correct number for Fitzgerald Funeral Service is 918-585-1151.
In Utica Square • For Reservations: 918.742.0712 • wildfork.com
9 Pope John Paul II dramatized these
teachings through his 1986 visit to the
Great Synagogue of Rome, repeating the
basic message of Nostra Aetate. He said
there that the Catholic Church was against
anti-Semitism created by anyone, in any
place, at any time.
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Pope Francis
blesses a sculpture
commissioned by the
Institute for JewishCatholic Relations at
St. Joseph’s University
in Philadelphia.
A New Symbol of
How Far We’ve Come
by Rabbi Charles P. Sherman
hen pope john XXIII convoked the Second
Vatican Council in 1959, it was not simply to
bring about an updating of the Church’s relations with the world. It was also to come to
terms with the Catholic teaching of contempt for the Jewish
people, which was in part responsible for the eventual destruction
of European Jewry. The Pope wanted to face up to the Holocaust.
Nostra Aetate (in our time) issued at the end of 1965 was
indeed a revolution, particularly with reference to Jews and
Judaism. First, it moved from a theology of a dead, outdated, and
superseded Judaism to a theology of a living Judaism. Second, it
rejected the idea that all forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism
could in any way be founded on Christian or scriptural teaching.
Third, and most importantly, the Church came to understand
that God’s covenant with the Jewish people is irrevocable and
that Jews continue to be “the chosen people.”
Twenty years later, Pope John Paul II, addressing representatives of the Jewish community of Venezuela, stated, “Nostra Aetate
... remains always for us, for the Catholic Church ... and for the
Pope, a teaching which must be followed—a teaching which it is
necessary to accept not merely as something fitting, but much
more as an expression of the faith, as an inspiration of the Holy
Spirit, as a word of the Divine Wisdom.”
If one picture is worth
a thousand words,
then what about a
prominent sculpture?
Last September during
his visit to the United
States, Pope Francis
made a surprise
change of schedule on
his final day here to
further convey his own
message of respect for
the Jewish people.
Now we have Pope Francis. While
still a Cardinal he wrote a book with
his Buenos Aires friend Rabbi Abraham
Skorka, which clearly dealt with the
Shoah, claiming that, “Every Jew who was
killed was a slap against the living God
in the name of Idols.” He has declared as
Pope that no good Catholic could be an
If one picture is worth a thousand
words, then what about a prominent
sculpture? Last September during his
visit to the United States, Pope Francis
made a surprise change of schedule on
his final day here to further convey his
own message of respect for the Jewish
people. In an unannounced event, the
Pontiff stopped to bless a sculpture
commissioned by the Institute for
Jewish-Catholic Relations at St. Joseph’s
University in Philadelphia. At his side
was Rabbi Abraham Skorka who had
flown in from Buenos Aires to be the
keynote speaker at the dedication of the
work two days earlier. That the Pontiff
would bless the sculpture with holy water
was another example of both their friendship and their shared commitment to
bridging their distinct religious beliefs.
Titled Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our
Time, the sculpture is of two women seated
next to each other—much like two sisters.
One holds a book, the other a scroll, and
they are looking at each other’s sacred
texts in mutual respect.
The work was designed to counter a
medieval motif depicting the triumph
of Christianity over Judaism. In ancient
sculptures found in churches all over
Europe, the Christian “Ecclesia” stands
proudly wearing a crown, while the
defeated “Synagoga” is blindfolded by a
serpent, her staff broken, and her tablets
slipping from her hand.
The pedestal of the new sculpture bears
a quote from Pope Francis, “There exists a
rich complementarity between the church
and the Jewish people that allows us to
help one another mine the riches of God’s
Catholic-Jewish relations have dramatically changed for the better in the last
half-century, and it is important for us
Jews to understand and appreciate this
Featuring James Shrader of the Palace Café
Matthew Ozment, O.D., Dipl ABO
2500 W New Orleans
Broken Arrow, OK 74011
(918) 893-3769
3338 East 51st Street
Tulsa, OK 74135
(918) 743-9918
11 Butterflies
Passing the Torch
Honoring Donors
to the Tulsa Jewish
Retirement &
Health Center
by Heather Lewin, Director of Community Development
people gathered at the
Federation’s 2016 Annual Meeting.
Community members joined together
on June 1 to mark the passing of the
torch from one Board President to the next and to
welcome a special guest, Israel’s Ambassador to the
U.S., Ron Dermer.
Thanking outgoing president Dr. Myron Katz for
his service and dedication, newly-elected president
Lori Frank spoke from the heart about her memory
of the campus we see today having been simply a
sketch on a napkin on her parents’ coffee table. She
challenged the current group of leaders—and those
up and coming—to join her in a vision of involvement, ownership, and progress for the Federation’s
ore than 130
Newly-elected president
Lori Frank thanking outgoing
president Mickey Katz for his
service and dedication.
Ambassador Dermer
engaged the crowd,
sharing his perspective
on today’s Israel.
Each year, 30% of our Annual
$450,000—goes to our
work in Israel and overseas
through our national
organization, JFNA.
Ambassador Dermer engaged the crowd, sharing
his perspective on today’s Israel, while drawing upon
the history of the Jewish people to highlight the
nation’s challenges and modern accomplishments.
Dermer’s message culminated in a reminder of
what he called the greatest gift Israel has given us:
in today’s world, Jews can defend themselves.
Our community continues its tradition of strong
support for Israel. Each year, 30% of our Annual
Campaign—approximately $450,000—goes to our
work in Israel and overseas through our national
organization, JFNA.
Your gift to the Tulsa Jewish United Fund Annual
Campaign makes possible events like this, and the
fulfillment of our commitment to help those in
need in Israel and 70 countries around the world.
If you have not yet made your 2016 pledge, please
contact Heather Lewin at 918.495.1100 or [email protected]
jewishtulsa.org. You may also make a contribution
online at jewishtulsa.org, now made even simpler
with a mobile-friendly view on your tablet or
Bernard Robinowitz, M.D.
We’ve moved !!
9245 S. Mingo Road  Tulsa, OK 74133
Phone 918.492.8980  Fax 918.495.0607
General Fund
Linda & Andy Bart
Vellie Paula Bloch
Joan & Curtis Green
Frieda Grossbard
Sue & David Halpern
Kate Logan
Shirley & Norman Levin
Debbie O’Hearn
Carol Olson
Bessie Speyer
Speedy Recovery
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Bea Newman
50th Wedding Anniversary
Vicki & David Hurewitz
David Bernstein
Sylvia Oberstein
Irene Berneice Tillman
Wellness Fund
Rodney & Jane Strain
Miller Hospice Fund
Nancy C. Phillips
Glenn A. Wright
13 Keeping a Promise
by Mickel Yantz, SMMJA Director of Collections and Exhibitions
esa is an Albanian code of
honor that holds a person’s
oath as sacred. This ancient
code requires an Albanian to
endanger his own life, if necessary, to
save the life of anyone seeking asylum.
The code is uniquely Albanian and is
cited as the main reason that Albanians
opened their borders and their homes
during World War II to displaced Jews
when many others in Europe turned them
away. The code is fueled in part by the
tenets of Islam under which saving a life is
BESA: Albanian
Muslim Rescuers
During the Holocaust,
Photographs by
Norman Gershman
is the new exhibit at
The Sherwin Miller
Museum of Jewish
Art this month.
Haxhi Dede
by Norman
a blessed act. The word besa traces back to
a collection of laws which regulate Albanian social, economic and religious lives,
together with traditional customs and
cultural practices of the Albanian society
from 1400 through today.
BESA: Albanian Muslim Rescuers
During the Holocaust, Photographs by
Norman Gershman is the new exhibit at
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
this month. This previously untold story
of the men and women of Albania, almost
all of them Muslims, who faced the Nazi
army only with their traditional honor
code of besa and saved the lives of nearly
2,000 Jews, was nearly lost forever in the
communist decades that followed World
War II. This incredible exhibit showcases
31 black and white photographs that
document the men and woman who put
their lives on the line to protect complete
Norman Gershman, a Jewish American photographer for over 30 years,
discovered this unique story of Albanian
bravery during WWII while researching a
by unknown
Haxhi Dede
by Norman
photo essay on righteous gentiles in 2002.
The next year, he traveled to Albania and
Kosovo to chronicle the tales of the righteous Albanians and their devotion to besa.
By 2004, Gershman had discovered close
to 150 Muslim families who had rescued
Jews. With its thoroughly researched
history and its profoundly emotional
images, this exhibit challenges some of
the most fundamental assumptions about
the presumed enmity between Islam and
Judaism and eloquently reminds us of the
power of good people to transform the
way we view our world.
In Gershman’s meetings with righteous
Albanians, each photo subject referenced
his or her besadash (faith and honor) as
the source of personal courage in rescuing
Jewish people during the Holocaust. The
photographs serve as representations of
the character of each individual depicted,
as well as historical documentation of the
Albanian Resistance. The portraits, which
often illuminate the presence of artifacts,
are accompanied by personal statements
of the individuals’ honorable acts.
When post-World War II Europe was
devastated by the loss of its Jewish population, Albania was the only country to
boast a larger number of Jewish people
than it had prior to the Holocaust. Over
2,000 Jews from Albania, Greece, Austria,
and Italy were hidden in the homes of
Albanian Muslim families throughout
the War.
The exhibition comes from the Hebrew
Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York City. The
SMMJA will host this exhibition through
September 25, 2016.
5936 S. Lewis Ave I Tulsa, OK 74105 I 918-779-4480 I kitchenconceptstulsa.com
15 by Louis Davidson
lanning your vacation to the
Greek Islands? Of course you’re
looking forward to visiting the
sun-drenched beaches, picturesque villages, and eating scrumptious
Greek cuisine laced with olives, lemons
and feta cheese all washed down with
copious quantities of Retsina. When not
indulging in those sybaritic pleasures,
you might want to partake in some
Jewish tourism as a guilt-reducing cultural component to your travels. There are
marvelous historic synagogues to visit on
the islands of Delos, Rhodes, and Corfu.
The ancient city of Delos is the site of
the oldest synagogue in the Diaspora. It
is a magnificent archeological ruin on
Delos Island, only two kilometers from
Mykonos, the popular tourist destination.
Nowadays there is neither Jewish population nor any permanent population on
the island because it lacks potable water.
The existence of a Jewish community on
Delos was mentioned in the New Testament and confirmed by five inscriptions
from the late 2nd and early 1st century
B.C.E. found in the island’s synagogue.
The synagogue is not difficult to find.
Dock your boat at the waterfront and
stroll about a half-mile through the ruins
of the old city. Remembering to take
plenty of drinking water and sunscreen,
follow the main path out of the city for
another half mile until it dead ends on
the opposite side of the island. There, only
a stone’s throw from the sparkling azure
Aegean Sea, you’ll find the remnants of
the ancient two-room synagogue. Was
this Juderia (Jewish neighborhood) set
at a distance from the main city as an
early form of discrimination in housing
or, even then, did Jews prefer beautiful
seaside sites? Regardless of the reason for
the spectacular location, there are benches
lining the western wall of the synagogue’s
northernmost room and a fine arch still
stands above the mikvah. Feet tired?
Have a seat on the Throne of Moses, a
throne and footstool crafted from the
same marble as the synagogue’s columns
and walls. The crumbling synagogue, its
incredible picture postcard setting, and
the whole experience of the boat ride and
hike across the island of Delos is an unforgettable outing.
For more than a thousand years
the island of Corfu had a small Jewish
community. It ballooned in size during
the Inquisition when approximately 6,000
Jews fled Spain to settle in Corfu. The
community thrived, establishing Jewish
schools, kosher markets, and synagogues.
In the 16th century, two synagogues were
built: one Italian and one Romaniote.
The Italian Synagogue was destroyed by
bombs during World War II while the
Romaniote Greca Synagogue still serves
the small Jewish community. The customs
of Romaniote Jews are distinct from those
of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, more
similar to those of Italian Jews. A possibility is that Romaniote Jews used the
Jerusalem Talmud instead of the Babylonian Talmud and spoke Greek, not
Hebrew or Yiddish.
Over the years, many of Corfu’s Jews
moved to larger cities in Europe and
America. By the time of the Holocaust,
there were about 2,000 Jews remaining
on Corfu. The Nazis shipped most of them
off to Auschwitz where only 180 survived.
Under the heroic protection of the Bishop
of Zakynthos and Corfu’s mayor, 125 Jews
survived on the island. After the war, more
than half made Aliyah to Israel. Today
there are only about 60 Jews left on Corfu.
The island of Rhodes was once home
to about 4,500 Jews which in the 1920s
were one-third of the island’s total population. The 16th-century Kahal Shalom
Synagogue is the only remaining synagogue used for services on Rhodes and is
the oldest functioning synagogue in all of
Greece. The Jews of Rhodes are primarily
Sephardic, descendants of Jews who fled
Spain and Portugal during those countries’
inquisitions. With that heritage, it’s not
surprising that the synagogue was built
in the traditional Sephardic style with the
teva (pulpit) in the center of the sanctuary
facing Jerusalem. What is surprising is
that on both sides of the synagogue’s
central entrance door there is an Ehal, a
marble niche, where the Torahs are kept.
This unusual dual Ehal arrangement was
to accommodate simultaneous worship
by two groups who could not agree on the
minhag (traditions) or nusach (order and
form of rite). Like oil and water, the two
groups coexisted in the same container
but didn’t mix. Imagine the tzimmes when
opposing rabbis collided at the teva at the
same moment. Oy vey!
For more than a
thousand years
the island of Corfu
had a small Jewish
community. It
ballooned in size
during the Inquisition
when approximately
6,000 Jews fled Spain
to settle in Corfu.
Tzimmes aside, Kahal Shalom’s sanctuary is a lovely, airy space spanned with
graceful arches, decorated with crystal
chandeliers and religious paintings on the
walls. Its floor is embellished with intricate black and white mosaic stone patterns
employing distinctive design motifs used
throughout the Old City of Rhodes.
During the Ottoman Empire, the Jews
of Rhodes spoke mainly their own JudeoSpanish language. It was a combination
of Castilian dialect and Hebrew, as well
as Turkish and Greek words and phrases.
Known as Ladino, the language has been
kept alive by Sephardic minorities in more
than 30 countries, although it has no official status in any country.
Sit on the Throne of Moses, be lulled
by the mellifluous Ladino language, regale
in Romaniote rite, enjoy the scenery and
sun, food and fun. It doesn’t get better
than this.
17 Celebrating Israel for 68 Years
by Shiri Achiasaf-West, Shlicha
or the past few years for our
Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations,
the Jewish Federation of Tulsa’s
Israel Committee has sponsored
a cultural exchange with our Partnership2Gether Region, Sovev Kinneret. To
celebrate Israel’s birthday, we have brought
musicians, artists, poets, and more from
our culturally-rich partners in Israel. This
year we were proud to have the Synopsis
Dance Group, Tiberias’s official dance
company, at our celebration.
When I first came across these
amazing dancers from Tiberias, it was at
the beginning of my time in Tulsa. I was
previously unaware of Synopsis and their
immense talent. The group calls City Stage
of the Tiberias Center of Excellence for
Performing Arts for Dance and Theater
their home, and has grown to include
approximately 300 dancers and actors
who make up their eight dance groups
and two breakdance groups which are
divided according to age.
The company takes part in various
events, representing Tiberias locally,
nationally, and internationally in many
festivals, competitions, and performances.
Their repertoire is diverse and includes
dances and movements suited for any
event. Their performances incorporate
unique musical arrangements, impressive
costumes, and stage props that create a
special cultural experience for the audience. Synopsis has formulated its own
movement language, combining past
and present, tradition and modernity. The
themes of the dances play in between these
axes while dealing with Israeli, Jewish, and
International narratives. They are led by
their choreographer Doron Gueta.
During their time in Tulsa, they
made many stops. Their first event after
arriving in Tulsa was the Annual Interfaith Holocaust Commemoration. Next
on the schedule were performances at
Thoreau Demonstration Academy and
our sister-school Carver Middle School.
Synopsis also performed at Guthrie Green
in downtown Tulsa, as well as a performance in Oklahoma City. The group also
held a master class for Tulsa Ballet and
attended their school’s recital. In addition
to their many dance performances, we
were honored to have one of the dancers
sing at the Federation’s Yom Ha’Zikaron
ceremony for Israel’s Memorial Day. The
time in Oklahoma culminated with their
spectacular performance to celebrate
Israel’s 68th birthday.
They say, “It takes a village,” and many
people were involved with helping the
group during their time as our guests.
Tulsans (Jewish and non-Jewish alike)
welcomed them with open arms, and the
village came together to drive them to their
performances, host them for meals, and
open their homes to our Israeli guests. It
was truly a community experience, and the
dancers had an unforgettable time here.
19 Jews in the Russian
Military 1827–1917
by Phil Goldfarb
ugust 26, 1827, was a pivotal
date: Czar Nicholas I issued his
Statute on Conscription Duty
making Jews in Russia liable
for personal army service. He held that
Jews should be made soldiers: in the military they would learn not only Russian but
also useful skills and crafts, and eventually
they would become his loyal subjects.
This 1827 Statute was seemingly for
the equal distribution of military burdens
amongst all Russian citizens, but the
government was also motivated by the
desire to detach a large number of Jews
from Jewish society; transport them elsewhere on Russian soil as to deprive them
of Jewish influence; and where practical,
baptize them. According to these rules,
Jews were to provide as many conscripts
as required from the Russian tax-paying
estate to which they belonged—usually
four conscripts from each thousand
All recruits, including Jews, had to
serve 25 years in the army, and, if they
married, their offspring—as children of
Russian soldiers—became the “property” of the military and were destined
to attend schools for soldiers’ children
called cantonists’ institutions. Jews were
legally entitled to religious freedom,
including the right to celebrate most of
the important religious holidays, if their
observances did not interfere with their
training schedules. Yet some differences
between Jews and non-Jews applied:
most significantly, Jews were required to
provide conscripts between the ages of
12 and 25, whereas other conscripts were
between 18 and 35.
The first 1827 draft involved some 1,800
Jewish conscripts, half of whom, upon
the decision of the kahal, were children.
With the exception of the Crimean War
period, the figure of 2,000 to 3,000 Jewish
conscripts per draft remained unchanged
for the pre-reform Russian army but figure
that grew five to six times toward the end
of the 19th century.
After 1827, communal leaders found
themselves authorized to compose the
draft lists and select conscripts. Seeking
to protect the economic, social, and moral
integrity of Jewish society, communal
elders first interceded with the military
authorities and the tsar to make sure that
the privilege for Jewish soldiers to practice Judaism was enforced, especially for
minors. Second, they did their best to
include “non-useful Jews” in the draft lists
so that the heads of tax-paying, middleclass families were predominantly exempt
from conscription, whereas single Jews,
as well as heretics, beggars, outcasts, and
orphaned children were drafted. Third,
they used their power to suppress protests
and intimidate potential informers who
sought to expose the arbitrariness of the
kahal to the Russian government. In some
cases, communal elders had the most
threatening informers murdered.
By the late 1840s and early 1850s,
with the quota doubled for Russians and
quadrupled for Jews, and especially during
the Crimean War of 1854–1855, Jewish
communal leaders had long exhausted
their pool of non-useful subjects. In order
to fill the ever-growing quota, kahal elders
resorted to the help of khapers (Yiddish
meaning catchers)—Jews who caught
their brethren of any age and of any status
and handed them to conscription centers.
In 1843, after the extension of the
conscription system to the Kingdom of
Poland, some 1,500–2,000 adult Polish
Jews per draft joined other Jewish soldiers
from the Pale of Settlement. Jews who were
18 years of age and older were distributed
to navy and army regiments, while children at the age of 8 to 13 years old were
sent to some 25 cantonist schools. For all
cantonists, the 25-year term of service
began after the soldiers reached age 18 and
were distributed into the army. Military
Between 1874 and
1914, there were more
Jews in the Russian
army than non-Jews
in proportion to the
general population.
authorities rejected the pleas of children’s
relatives and denied Jewish cantonists the
privilege of separate kosher cuisine and, in
many cases, of practicing Judaism.
Separated from their families and
communities, Jewish lower ranks, especially those who served beyond the
Pale, were neither fully observant Jews
nor fully assimilated into the Russian
Orthodox. Most Jewish soldiers kept
together, helping one another preserve
traces of communal identity. This partially
explains the low level of baptisms among
them (a maximum of 2% in any given year
between 1827 and 1874).
Though the military failed to abide by
its obligation to dispatch rabbis to regiments with more than 300 Jewish soldiers,
local regimental authorities routinely
allotted Jews room for prayer groups,
to conduct services on the Sabbath and
the festivals, and even to raise money
for the purchase of Torah scrolls of their
own. Jews who served in regiments
billeted in the Pale were individually and
collectively allowed to stay in touch with
nearby Jewish communities. Those who
spent army service beyond the Pale were
allowed to settle there permanently upon
their transfer into the reserve and to establish Jewish communities of their own.
Despite the extraordinary missionary
efforts and arbitrariness of some battalion
commanders aimed at baptizing Jewish
cantonists, the most optimistic reports
showed significant resistance to Christianization. With the ascent of Alexander
II and the Russian entitlement transformation of the institutions of cantonists
into military schools, hundreds of Jewish
cantonists who had been baptized under
duress, publicly rejected their baptism,
reclaimed their Jewish names and identity, and organized collective protests that
scandalized the Russian military.
Alexander II’s reforms and the 1874
statute on universal military duty radically modified Nicholas’s conscription,
establishing a six-year term of service,
extending military duty to all estates,
and introducing a relatively transparent
system of exemptions.
Between 1874 and 1914, there were
more Jews in the Russian army than
non-Jews in proportion to the general
population. For example, in 1907, Jewish
soldiers constituted almost 5 percent of
the entire military but only 4 percent of
the population of the empire.
According to the 1874 regulations,
Jews were allowed to serve in regiments
stationed near their permanent places of
residence. Most Jews in the armed forces,
about 90%, served in combat positions:
75% in infantry regiments, between
7–20% in artillery, and 2–4% in cavalry.
There were 300,000 Jews who served
in the Russian army during World War I.
Despite a vehement anti-alien campaign
that blamed Russian military failures on
Jews in general and on the Jewish population, Jewish soldiers shared patriotic
enthusiasm with their Russian parallels.
After the February Revolution of 1917,
the provisional government canceled all
anti-Jewish regulations in the military,
allowing upper mobility to the Jews and
opening the doors of officers’ schools to
Phil Goldfarb is President of the Jewish
Genealogical Society of Tulsa: [email protected]
21 Yes—and it’s FREE!
Perhaps you didn’t know that Saffa Compounding Pharmacy not
only offers full service compounding, but is also a retail pharmacy that delivers free within the Tulsa metro area. And …
 Saffa has a large inventory of medical supplies/equipment.
 Saffa fills prescriptions for the family as well as your pets!
 Saffa works in partnership with your physicians.
 Saffa provides personalized service and consultations.
 Saffa offers price matching on most local prescriptions.
Don’t deprive yourself.
The best drug store in town is just a call away!
Mon-Fri 9am-6pm  Sat 9am-1pm / www.saffarx.com
Listen to us LIVE on Sundays @ 9am!
8002 S Sheridan  Tulsa, OK 74133
It’s a honey of a deal!
Interim Rabbi Jim Simon
Temple Israel Welcomes
Interim Rabbi Jim Simon
by Lesley Bumgarner,
Temple Israel President
s we bid farewell to Rabbis
Karen and Micah Citrin and
wish them every blessing in
their new congregation, we
also welcome Rabbi Jim Simon to Temple
Israel as Interim Rabbi. Rabbi Simon
comes to Tulsa from Miami, Florida. In his
33 years as a rabbi, he has served congregations in Miami, Florida, North Miami
Beach, Florida and Worcester, Massachusetts. During that time, Rabbi Simon
also served as the Regional Director of the
Mid-West Council for the UAHC (now
URJ-Union for Reform Judaism) from
1986–2002. His region encompassed nine
states and 70 congregations.
In 2009–2010, Rabbi Simon became
part of the first cohort of Reform Rabbis
to be trained as Interim Rabbis by the
Interim Ministry Network (IMN) and the
Central Conference of American Rabbis
(CCAR). Interim Rabbis are ordained
rabbis who also receive additional training
in order to serve congregations undergoing significant change and to provide
help and expertise during times of transition. Rabbi Simon has served as an
Interim Rabbi in Sanibel Island, Florida,
Closter, New Jersey, and most recently
Park City, Utah. To strengthen his skills
as an Interim Rabbi, Rabbi Simon received
additional training as a certified mediator
in family law. Prior to his decision to enter
the Rabbinate, Rabbi Simon practiced law
in California for two years in the 1970s.
Rabbi Simon and his wife, Rebecca,
have three grown children. Rebecca works
as a nurse at Doctors’ Hospital in Coral
Gables, Florida. Their oldest child, Jaclyn,
lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her
family and works as a first grade teacher.
Their daughter, Deborah, works as a nanny
in New York. Their youngest child, Daniel,
works for HBO in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Simon is a warm and engaging
man who will provide a wealth of experience and expertise to help guide Temple
Israel through a time of continued transition. He begins his work with us on July 1.
The community is invited to Shabbat
Services at Temple Israel to officially
welcome Rabbi Simon to Tulsa on Friday
evening, July 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Send your friends and family
a gift of pure, certified Kosher honey
to support programming at the
Charles Schusterman JCC.
Just $11 for an 8 oz. jar with
gift card (in the U.S.)
to wish them a sweet new year!
Located in the Pearl District, Papa Ganouj features
classic Lebanese favorites made from the heart.
Regional wine, beer, and spirits as well.
Open Tuesday through Saturday:
Lunch: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Dinner: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
For reservations: 918-794-8413
Please contact
Mindy Prescott at
918.935.3662 or
[email protected]
to place your order by July 29.
1328 East 6th Street, Tulsa / Pearl District

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