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.

Getting to Know Gil: Gil Troy, Israel Today Forum Speaker, on Zionism, Past and Present

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 9:21am

The CRC and community partners present Gil Troy, Wednesday, January 29, at 7 p.m , speaking about Zionism as part of the Israel Today Forum. Free and open to the community at the Sandler Family Campus. RSVP here.


1581 From the desk of Robin Mancoll, Director, CRC:

I caught up with Gil recently to discover what we can expect to hear and learn during his visit to Tidewater.

First, though, a little background—Gil is an engaging speaker, an invaluable teacher and a widely published author. His most recent bestseller is Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism, which explores the previously untold story of the 1975 United Nations resolution that called Zionism a form of racism. Gil examines events that led to the drafting of the resolution, America’s fight—led by legendary statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan—to prevent its passage, and the effects it had, and continues to have, on the UN, U.S.-Israel relations, and world opinion.
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What Community Looks Like to Me

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 9:31am

Part 1 of a series of reflections, memories, observations and images shared by members of the Tidewater Jewish community. Super Sunday 2014—and beyond. On Super Sunday, January 26, 9 am – 1 pm, be extraordinary. Take the call. Make a gift. Volunteer your time.

1564 Members of the 2014 Super Sunday Steering Committee share their definitions of community:

Guy Berkowitz, 36
Community to me is a feeling of belonging between its members that comes with a strong bond to support and help each other and keep our traditions. As an Israeli leaving abroad, I appreciate the importance of our community life here in Hampton Roads. I see Super Sunday as more than a fund raiser, it's actually an acknowledgement and support from community members to the important initiatives and activities that the UJFT is taking -  not only by giving back to our community but also by supporting others in need, locally and worldwide.
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An Israeli Bedouin: an unusual story of an unusual man!

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 3:54pm

1544 Ishmael Khaldi
Diversity in Israel Today
Thursday, December 12th at 7:00pm
Sandler Family Campus
Free and open to the community with RSVP.

Here's a fact: I am a Bedouin and proud Israeli citizen.

I was born the third of eleven brothers and sisters, in Khawalid, a small Bedouin village nestled on the hills of the western Galilee, in northern Israel. My mind straddles east and west, with bridges made from fibers of time. I live in two worlds – more than two worlds, actually – east and west, Muslim and Jewish, traditional and modern, secular and religious, conservative and liberal.
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…God used the descendants of Ishmael to save the Jewish nation

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 10:18am

1538 Could one person be a Muslim, a Bedouin, and an Israeli diplomat? Some would say it’s impossible; some would say it’s a miracle.  For Ishmael Khaldi, it’s just his life.  Readers of the great American novel, Moby Dick, will recall that the narrator and protagonist of  that 1851 novel is named Ishmael and it is through his eyes that the reader experiences the story of the ship, Pequod. The Bible declares that Ishmael will be the savior of the Jewish Nation.

Ishmael Khaldi is the narrator and protagonist of this slim memoir. While not about Israeli politics, not about war and conflict, and not about economy and culture, this memoir manages to roll all of the above into the wonderful story of Ishmael’s journey from tending his family’s sheep in a small Bedouin village in northern Israel along the winding path that brought him to where he is today.
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L’Dor V’Dor, and Pass the Turkey!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 8:49am

1517 Next week American Jews will celebrate the infamous hybrid holiday, Thanksgivukkah. My husband, Eliot, and I, along with the rest of my immediate family, will be altering our Thanksgiving plans this year. Next week we will traverse the overcrowded airports during the most frenzied travel week of the year; we will fly to Florida, to gather with over 50 of my family members.  Every few years my mom and her many first cousins gather all of the children and grandchildren together for a Thanksgiving/family reunion weekend. This year we are doing just that—but this year we have even more to celebrate, and even more to be thankful for.  The family reunion is spurred by the 90th birthday of my great-aunt Rene, who is an Auschwitz survivor, and the only remaining family member of my grandparent’s generation. As a giant, raucous, crazy family, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, light the Chanukah menorah, and light the candles on Aunt Rene’s (surprise) birthday cake. Thanksgivukkah 5774 will be special, indeed.
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