A Pesach Rhyme, If You've Got the Time

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 2:32pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1617 It started one day, many years ago
when young Jewish boys weren't permitted to grow.
Moses' mother, with high hopes for her boy,
floated him down the Nile to be raised by a goy.

Baby Moses was rescued by Pharaoh’s young wife,
and grew up as royalty, living a palace life.
During his youth, he became suddenly aware
he was not who he thought, the Pharaoh’s young heir.
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How-To Celebrate Pesach 5774/2014 in Tidewater

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 2:13pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1605 The How-To Live Jewishly in Tidewater blog will feature posts throughout the year with information about Jewish life in Tidewater. Articles will discuss topics such as how-to celebrate the holidays in Tidewater, how-to keep kosher in Tidewater, how-to give back in Tidewater, and more! Feel free to contact Rebecca Bickford, Community Concierge, if there is something specific that you would like more information on.

The story of Passover is one that we learn at a very early age. This is the story of our Exodus from the land of Egypt after suffering as Pharaoh’s slaves for generations. Moses, a man who is raised in Pharaoh’s palace as a son, learns he is of Jewish heritage. He looks out over the land of Egypt and sees his people enslaved, beaten, hungry, and suffering. He decides to join them in the mud pits, toiling under the unforgiving sun. Pharaoh attempts to entice Moses back into the comfort of the palace but Moses is steadfast in his decision. Moses implores Pharaoh to let the Jewish slaves go. He warns Pharaoh that God is on his side and he must obey Moses’ request for freedom. Pharaoh ignored Moses and soon the first of ten plagues is set upon the land of Egypt. It is the final plague that brings mighty Pharaoh to his knees - the killing of all Egyptian firstborn. Moses warns to the slaves to smear lambs blood at the threshold of their homes effectively telling the Angel of Death to “Passover” this house and spare the child. When the Angel of Death reaches the son of Pharaoh, he demands the Jews leave his land. With no time to spare, the Jews pack up their meager lives, strap everything to their backs, and begin the long journey toward freedom. Their bread, not given the proper time to rise, bakes flat on their backs under the desert sun. Matzah, the unleaven bread, is an important component during Seder’s as it represents the haste of the Jews, the heat of the desert, the desperation, and the lure of freedom. 
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How-To Celebrate Purim 5774/2014 in Tidewater

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:53am

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1605 The How-To Live Jewishly in Tidewater blog will feature posts throughout the year with information about Jewish life in Tidewater. Articles will discuss topics such as how-to celebrate the holidays in Tidewater, how-to keep kosher in Tidewater, how-to give back in Tidewater, and more! Feel free to contact Rebecca Bickford, Community Concierge, if there is something specific that you would like more information on.

Purim is a very festive holiday that is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar (March 16, 2014) to honor Queen Esther, who saved the Jews from the evil Haman. Communities across the Jewish world are gearing up for the most festive and joyous of all Jewish holidays. During Purim, children and adults dress up in costumes and masks as they enjoy the carnival-like celebrations and delicious feasts. There are a few customs that come with Purim including mishloach manot, the reading of the Megillah, and of course, delicious hamentashen. Mishloach manot or “sending of portions” is the act of sending food and drinks to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and other persons as well as providing gifts to the poor.

The Tidewater Jewish community knows how to throw a party and Purim 2014 is no exception. From Purimshpiels and hamantashen sundae bars, costume parades to Latke vs. Hamantashen debates - there is something for everyone! So, dust off your graggers, make room for never-ending hamantashen, and get ready to let the good times roll!

So, how can you celebrate Purim in Tidewater this year?
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Expanding Kosher Tidewater: BJ’s Wholesale Club

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 9:04am

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1601 Shopping wholesale pays off in dividends for countless families across the nation with clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s offering the average consumer access to food, housewares, and miscellaneous goods without the normal retail mark-up. Some club locations even include gas, propane, tires, optometry services, and more. A trip to one of these stores can be an all-day family affair complete with a snack at the lunch counter or “just a nosh here and there” from the friendly employees offering free samples, a new cell phone plan, and freshly developed photos from the last holiday celebration. As families continue to grow, students return home from college, and grandparents retire in our basements, we can’t help but wonder how we can possibly squeeze more value out of these memberships and what the heck does this have to do with the Tidewater Jewish community? Funny you should ask…

The Vaad Hakashrus of Tidewater has been in contact with Rabbi Moshe Dovid Lebovits of the Kof-K Kosher supervision out of New Jersey in the hopes of adding a kosher bakery to a local BJ’s Wholesale Club here in Tidewater. Rabbi Lebovits and the Kof-K have been instrumental in working with communities across the country, setting up kosher bakeries and working toward stocking more kosher products throughout numerous BJ’s locations.
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Tzipi Zipper: Youth, Zionism, Courage, Tragedy and Triumph

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 8:58am

1598 Nechama 'Tzipi' Zipper is a volunteer at the UJFT funded Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, one of six CILs — operated and supported by JDC's Israel Unlimited program partnership for people with disabilities — that serve as hubs of social, educational, and training programs to connect and empower Israel's disabled population.  At 15, she moved from the United States to Israel, and three years later served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a combat position. Working at a security checkpoint, she was hit by a passenger car and the resulting deteriorating condition led to chronic pain; Tzipi faced a new life in a wheelchair. Alone in Israel, Tzipi found a new family at the CIL. Here, watch a video from Tzipi thanking you, read her account of regaining her confidence – and finishing a race in Tel Aviv!

I've always been strong for my size. That's what allowed me to serve as a Combat Commander for 3 years, and then to work in high-profile security as a heavily-armed guard in checkpoints around East Jerusalem and the West Bank. But long before that, I was a kid who loved sports – the more extreme the better. So, you can imagine that being hit by a car several years ago, and finding myself in a wheelchair more challenging than I ever could have expected. I started mourning the loss of the things I loved to do most. It seemed as if a part of who I was had died or gone missing. So when the JDC's Center for Independent Living introduced sports back into my life, I was overwhelmed with happiness.
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Doing Good in Our Neighborhood

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 9:04am

Posted in: Community Relations Council

By: Rabbi Arnowitz

Our rabbis taught: We sustain the Non-Jewish poor with the Jewish poor, visit the non-Jewish sick with the Jewish sick and bury the non-Jewish dead with the Jewish dead, for the sake of peace.

 -Babylonian Talmud, tractate Gittin 61a

1595 There are many different ways I could describe Judaism, but reading the above Talmudic teaching, the terms complex and nuanced spring to mind.  On full display in this teaching is the difficulty of defining Judaism either fully as a nationality/ethnicity on the one hand or as a religion on the other.  The very need for this teaching shows that as Jews, there is an inclination to protect and provide for ourselves and our own.  That side of the teaching represents Judaism as an ethnicity.  It emphasizes the idea that Kol Yisrael Arevim Zel la-Zeh, All the people Israel are responsible for one another.  It is an important principle and one that can be found in many rabbinic teachings.

But this teaching de-emphasizes the ethnic identity in favor of the principle of tikkun olam, Repairing the World, the whole world and everyone in it.  It reminds us that while Jewish unity is a priority, creating peace in the world is also a priority, and we do that by treating our neighbors as well as we treat our kin.  It is in that spirit that we have created the Tzedek-Justice Rally to End Homelessness on Sunday afternoon February 16th at Congregation Beth El.
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The birth of the Israel Philharmonic

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 10:36am

Posted in: Community Relations Council

1594 Join the Community Relations Council and the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater in partnership with the Simon Family JCC’s Celebrate Israel series for a screening of Orchestra of Exiles on February 25th at 7:00pm at the Sandler Family Campus. This FREE and open to the community documentary film screening will be followed by a discussion with Director, Writer, Producer Josh Aronson. 

Bronislaw Huberman was a man who performed a unique and extraordinary feat of sustained heroism between 1933 and 1936 – an action that ultimately saved 1,000 Jews and re-defined the cultural world forever. And yet, when his story was told to me four years ago by the daughter of one of the men he saved, I had never heard of Huberman or his powerful journey. I was instantly intrigued and soon learned that little had been written about this great man and a film had never been made of this story. I never looked back and spent the next 3 years making Orchestra of Exiles.

The research necessitated the translation of thousands of letters, interviews and articles in libraries from Berlin to Tel Aviv. That process would take two years and in reviewing the material and writing the script I came to realize that the film would be structurally complex and would touch on many themes. But at root it was clear the film must present the story of a man with burning moral fiber who saw intolerance and, with his response, truly changed the world.
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Fri, 01/31/2014 - 1:37pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1592 Have you noticed something missing in the Cardo? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know something’s different?

In late 2013, the Survivors’ Talmud display was moved to the Brody Jewish Center at the University of Virginia. TJF plans to move the display to the Rosenberg Hillel Center at Virginia Tech in May 2014.

Find out about the Talmud here.

Read about the display as posted in The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA) on January 26, 2014:
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TJF grant recipient Hillel at Virginia Tech: Hillel’s Kitchen

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 10:59am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1591 In September of 2013 the Tidewater Jewish Foundation awarded a grant to Hillel Virginia Tech for their kitchen. When Hillel at Virginia Tech moved into their new building, the Malcolm Rosenberg Hillel Center, they were finally able to supply kosher food made in their kitchen for Shabbat meals. Programming with food, education about kashrut laws, cultural foods, celebrations with traditional meals and catering kosher food on the Virginia Tech campus can now all take place. Hillel has a plan for innovative and fun programming to deepen their relationship to food and each other.

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation recently received the outcomes report for this initiative. We invite you to read the delightful letter provided by the Executive Director at Hillel at Virginia Tech, Sue Kurtz. Click here.

TJF’s CFO, Randy Parrish, Named Super CPA by Virginia Business

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:09pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1582 View the article and full list of Super CPAs here

About Randy…

Randy Parrish has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) since early 2009.  Randy comes to TJF with more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, non-profit financial management, and municipal government. Most recently the Vice President of Finance/CFO for a non-profit retirement/healthcare facility, he had previously served as CFO for several operating units of a diversified multi-state healthcare operation and held senior management positions in municipal finance.

Randy has managed finance, human resources, information technology, and facility management functions including oversight of operating and capital budget functions, financial planning and debt management, human services administration, systems development and implementation, local tax administration, and grants management. 

Randy currently serves on the Board of PrimePlus, the Norfolk Senior Center and as their President, and he is the past Treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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