Save the Date! Linda Ott will be Speaking on Tuesday, December 5th.

Please be reminded that Linda Ott from Sustaining Way will be speaking at Temple B’nai Israel on Tuesday, December 5 at 12:00 noon on the topic “Tis a gift to be simple: How to Experience the Winter Celebrations in an Eco-Conscious Manner”. Please see attachments. We hope you will join us for this informative lecture. Lunch will be served as well. RSVP to the temple at 864-582-2001.

Linda comes to the SCIPL (South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light) Director role most recently as a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary with a Masters of Theology in Creation Care. Linda’s vocation life journey included the military, social work, business, and law. Her passion for creation care stems from her time at Drew Theological School, where she completed a Masters of Divinity and discovered her passion for understanding the intersection of faith and the care of creation.

November 29, 1947 – The UN Partition of Palestine – 70th Anniversary

As a people of history it is essential to recall how it is we got from there to here; at times in celebration, at times in consolation. The review by one of my long time colleagues and classmates reviews the partition plan and the little the world hesitatingly gave our people after the Shoah, the Holocaust.


by rabbijohnrosove

Seventy years ago today, November 29, 1947, the newly formed United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish state and one Arab state. The Jewish people led by David Ben Gurion accepted the Partition Plan but it was rejected by all Arab States.

Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, a leading American Reform Rabbi and Zionist from Cleveland, and the Director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, spoke to the United Nations. Among other things he said eloquently the following:
“… it is of course appropriate that it be clear – and I am sorry that messages delivered in recent days by certain representatives may confused what ought to be clear – that when we speak of a Jewish state we do not mean a racist or theocratic state; but a state which will be based upon full equality and full rights for all if its inhabitants, without any discrimination between religions or races, and without a takeover or enslavement …”

Rabbi Silver also spoke about the moral and practical necessity in the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) following the horrors of the Holocaust that had ended only two years before. At the same time, he emphasized the human lesson from those years:
“… We are an ancient people, and even though we frequently experienced disappointment in the long and hard road we’ve traveled, our hearts have never dissolved. We have never lost our belief in the superiority and victory of grand moral principles. In the recent tragic years, when the entire house of Israel turned into one big house of torment, we could not build what we have built if we had not placed our safety in true victory…”

Here, Rabbi Silver speaks about the role of American Jewry in the building of the future Jewish state:
“American Jewry is obligated – to itself and to the entire nation – to completely accept upon itself the burden of scripture and the historic future of Judaism. This grand responsibility will have to gain strength from within itself. It cannot once again depend on the table of the old world… to our satisfaction, American Jewry holds great human material, filled with belief and pride and a sense of responsibility… with which we can strengthen the foundation of the central and necessary institution in Jewish community life – the synagogue, which also a school. It is our duty to strongly emphasize the importance of Hebrew language and literature education. Without the study of the Hebrew language, American Jewry will be destined to spiritual infertility…
If Jewish destiny is placed in the hands of Jews for which Judaism is only a result of persecution, chance or a random gesture of kindness, it will surely sink into ignorance and indifference… if the steering wheel is left in the hands of Jews whose Judaism is an inner necessity, a covenant in their soul, who wish to continue to path of Jewish glory – both people and culture – only then can we be sure that the necessary institutions to enrich our lives, most importantly the synagogue and school – and particularly the school – will be established.

This link includes a speech given by Rabbi Silver before the United Nations on November 29, 19487 beginning at two minutes and thirty seconds to nine minutes and 40 seconds. You can hear, as well, the roll call vote of the nations voting on the Partition plan beginning at 11 minutes and 50 seconds.
The final vote was 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions in favor. The map as determined by the partition plan can be seen here and there is also a link to what countries voted for, against and abstained.

Watch Here:

7 Israelis Who Have Made a Deep Impact on Life in the U.S.

BY GABE FRIEDMAN (JTA) , 11/29/2017

When Natalie Portman was named the 2018 winner of the $1 million Genesis Prize, known as the “Jewish Nobel,” it was in part an acknowledgement of her Israeli roots.

While the Oscar-winning actress mostly grew up in the United States, Portman — née Herschlag — is also Israeli. Her father, Avner Herschlag, grew up in Israel, and her mother married him there. The family moved to the U.S. when she was 3.

Portman’s facility with Hebrew was on display when she directed and starred in the Hebrew-language film “Tale of Love and Darkness,” based on the book by Israeli writer Amos Oz.

She earned the Genesis Prize for “her commitment to social causes and her deep connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots,” said Stan Polovets, the Genesis Prize Foundation chairman.

Portman is far from the only Israeli-in-America success story. Israelis have made significant contributions to just about every industry and facet of American life, from academics to pop music. Here are some of those who have had the biggest impact in American society while living 5,000 miles away from their first home.

Daniel Kahneman, economist, psychologist, and author

Human beings are not robots — sometimes they make irrational decisions, and they are always complex.

That idea might sound like common sense, but before economist and psychologist Daniel Kahneman started his Nobel Prize-winning work in the 1970s, economics plugged people into equations just as they would other sets of numbers. Kahneman’s work with his Israeli research partner Amos Tversky (he died from cancer in 1996) on concepts such as cognitive biases and prospect theory helped change that and effectively launched the field of behavioral economics — which in turn has influenced several other fields. His 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which summarized much of his research, has sold more than a million copies around the world.

Few have had such an outsized impact on multiple fields of knowledge as Kahneman, 83, a Tel Aviv native who grew up in France during the Holocaust and returned to Israel for college. He became a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before moving to Canada in the late ’70s and eventually settling at Princeton University in 1993. In 2002, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for “having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science.”

Adam Neumann, co-founder and CEO of WeWork

The concept of the office space has changed thanks in part to this Israeli-American entrepreneur. WeWork, co-founded by Neumann in 2010, offers an upgrade over the local cafe to freelancers, small startups and others who don’t work in an office. A WeWork space usually looks like a startup’s pipe dream, often complete with colorful couches, spacious café areas and air-hockey tables.

Neumann and his business partner, Miguel McKelvey, clearly tapped into a big market: Today the company has locations in 23 U.S. cities, as well as spots in over a dozen countries, and is worth nearly $20 billion. The shared workspace model seems here to stay.

Neumann, 36, actually spent his first two years in Indianapolis before his mother relocated to a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip. After growing up there and serving in the Israeli Navy for five years, he moved to New York to attend Baruch College. He dropped out with four credits left to graduate but finished his degree earlier this year.

Gal Gadot, actress and model

There are film roles, and then there is Wonder Woman.

In male-dominated Hollywood, female superheroes are few and far between. Playing this iconic DC Comics character comes with myriad responsibilities and pressures: be a role model to women and girls, toe the line between confidence and sexiness, help the film succeed and spawn sequels.

Gadot, a former Miss Israel who had previously had small roles in a few Fast and Furious movies, pulled it off, turning Wonder Woman into a blockbuster while inspiring woman around the world. Off screen, she has earned praise for refusing to work with a producer accused of sexual misconduct.

Gadot, now 32, grew up near Tel Aviv, served in the Israeli army and only recently moved to Los Angeles. Guest-hosting Saturday Night Live, she spoke briefly in Hebrew to her family back in Israel — no small gesture in an era of anti-Israel boycotts.

Haim Saban, media mogul, producer, and philanthropist

How did a guy who wrote music for cartoons become one of the most powerful media moguls, political donors and pro-Israel forces in the U.S.? The answer begins with Power Rangers.

Saban, who was born in Egypt but grew up in Tel Aviv, joined a band after serving in the Israel Defense Forces. He then became a concert promoter and eventually immigrated to the U.S. in 1983, where he lived a comfortable life as a cartoon music composer. He discovered the Power Rangers, which was first a show in Japan, in a hotel room during a business trip and instantly fell in love with the campy teenage superheroes.

He immediately bought the rights to the show, but shopped the idea around to American executives for years before one, Margaret Loesch at Fox, bought it. Since the show’s debut in 1993, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” has netted billions of dollars in TV profits and merchandise. Saban grew his fortune by investing in other media ventures and became one of Los Angeles’ most generous philanthropists (among other things, a research clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles bears his name).

Saban, 73, has also poured millions into Democratic politics over the years — notably he gave Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign $15 million. As a staunch Israel backer, he supports and hosts the annual Saban Forum on Israel, which brings together political leaders from the U.S. and Israel to debate topics related to the Jewish state.

Saban also was a key supporter of what became the Israeli-American Council, which aims to boost the Israeli and Jewish identity — and political clout — of Israelis living here.

Itzhak Perlman, virtuoso violinist, educator, disability rights advocate

Perlman’s introduction to the international spotlight came in 1958, when the prodigy performed on The Ed Sullivan Show at the age of 13. But he had already been playing the violin for about a decade — and had been living with paralyzed legs from a bout of polio for nearly the same amount of time.

Fast forward several decades, and the New York-via-Tel Aviv native has earned 16 Grammy Awards, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and the title of “world’s greatest living violinist.” As a performer, Perlman is not only known for his smooth tone and effortless finger speed — his energy and love of playing, usually communicated through a signature wide grin, has helped make him an international music icon. He also fosters young musicians through the Perlman Music Program, which he founded with his wife in 1994.

Outside of music, Perlman has passionately advocated for rights for people with disabilities. After being awarded the Genesis Prize in 2015, he pledged his winnings toward improving the integration of people with disabilities into Israeli and American society — with a specific focus on his adopted hometown of New York.

Einat Admony, chef and restaurateur

Falafel is one of the most popular foods in Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Can it take the U.S. by storm the way hummus has? If it does, Einat Admony will be one of the big reasons why.

Admony, 46, is an Israeli chef who has revolutionized the Israeli food scene in New York and plans on expanding her brand across America and the world. She is in talks to open outposts based on her popular falafel joint Taim, which puts a hip spin on the Israeli staple, in Los Angeles, Chicago, Australia and Japan.

But Admony, who moved to New York from Israel in the ’90s and worked at a slew of restaurants before opening her own, is not merely a falafel expert. Her other New York eateries, Balaboosta and Bar Bolonat, have made her one of the foremost ambassadors of Israeli cuisine in the U.S., along with fellow Israeli-Americans Michael Solomonov and Alon Shaya. Admony also plans to open a restaurant dedicated to couscous in New York named Kish-Kash.

Lyor Cohen, music executive

Run-DMC, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West. Those are just a few of the many rap artists Lyor Cohen helped usher into the mainstream through his many prominent roles over three-plus decades in the industry, including a tenure as the head of Def Jam Records and as chairman of the Warner Music Group.

It has been argued that Cohen, 58, was an integral part in rap’s takeover of the mainstream pop music universe. In the ’80s, just as hip-hop began its ascent to the top of the charts, Cohen worked as a manager and talent scout for Russell Simmons’ Rush Artist Management. He worked out Run-DMC’s landmark endorsement deal with adidas, one of the first commercial pacts for a rap group, and has been seen as a trailblazer ever since.

Cohen left Warner Music in 2012 to start his own label, and last year became the head of music at YouTube, where he plans to make the service compete in the streaming realm against giants like Spotify and Apple Music.

The son of Israelis, Cohen was born in New York but spent five years as a child on a farm outside Tel Aviv before moving with his parents to Los Angeles. He has shifted between American coasts ever since.

Gabe Friedman is the editorial assistant at JTA.

View all posts by Gabe Friedman
Source: JTA
Published: 11/29/2017

Wofford College Lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah, November 28th!

Tonight is the Winter Lighting program in Leonard Auditorium which starts at 6:30. After the indoor festivities, the audience will move outside to watch the lighting of Wofford’s 6-foot menorah in front of Old Main. That menorah lighting typically occurs between 7:20-7:30 depending on when the indoor program ends. The menorah lighting is a quick ceremony to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Please join the Rabbi tonight at Wofford College for the lighting.

How #GivingTuesday Helps Us Fulfill a Jewish Obligation

BY RIVA SILVERMAN , 11/28/2017

I love Thanksgiving. Maybe because I grew up in Canada, and as a child, never had the experience of participating in this uniquely American holiday. But this year was the 31st Thanksgiving I spent with my husband’s family (since my family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it is the one holiday we never had to share between our two families) and the joy and sense of awe I feel as we all gather around the table has not diminished in all those years.

And yet, it always feels a little odd that there is no ritual to begin the meal. On all of the other holidays where we gather around the festive table – Rosh HaShanah or Passover or even a special Friday night Shabbat dinner – we begin with Kiddush, blessing the wine, and marking the specialness, even holiness, of the day.

So when the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in New York inaugurated #GivingTuesday in 2012, I finally found my way of infusing Thanksgiving with some holiness. For what could be more sacred than ensuring that tzedakah, giving to further the work of world-repair, be tied to the holiday?

On the most basic level, the connection of giving to others while we enjoy a great feast has been part of Jewish life and law for centuries. Maimonides, in his legal treatise, the Mishneh Torah, discusses what it is to celebrate on a holiday:

And when the members of the household eat and drink, they are obligated to feed strangers, orphans and widows as well as all other poor people. However, if they lock their doors and eat and drink with their family and do not feed the poor and others going through hard times, this is not the joy which was commanded, but merely satisfying their stomachs.

We cannot truly celebrate a holiday, according to Maimonides, if we limit our celebration and feasting to ourselves alone. Rather, we must tend to the needs of others in our community.

But I believe our tradition has even more to teach us about giving.

The Hebrew word tzedakah, which is usually translated as charity, philanthropy, or giving, has a much more profound meaning. It comes from the same root as the word tzedek, justice, and implies that giving charity alone is not nearly enough. Jewish tradition demands that, particularly at a moment when we are enjoying our own material blessings, we must do all we can to ensure that our society is built on the pillars of economic and social justice.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in an essay titled Tzedakah: The Untranslatable Virtue, writes:

Tzedakah cannot be translated because it joins together two concepts that in other languages are opposites, namely charity and justice. It is the idea that no one should be without the basic requirements of existence, and that those who have more than they need must share some of that surplus with those who have less. This is fundamental to the kind of society the Israelites were charged with creating, namely one in which everyone has a basic right to a dignified life and equal worth as citizens in the community.

In the midst of the post-Thanksgiving glow, and the pre-holiday season excitement, we should use #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to live out one of the most fundamental teachings of our tradition. Whether we choose to support a local food pantry or an international humanitarian relief agency, civil rights organizations in North America, or those fighting for religious pluralism in Israel, we must all do our part to strengthen social and economic justice in the world.

#GivingTuesday may be a new idea, but let us seize this moment, and commit ourselves to an ancient value, true tzedakah.

Support the Union for Reform Judaism, which upholds the principle of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by strengthening communities across North America and creating a world in which all Jewish people can participate and be proud.


Life as a Banquet: A Thanksgiving Prayer

BY ALDEN SOLOVY , 11/22/2017

Montage of fall folliage, leaves,pine cones, and small gourds
God of sacred time,
Source of sacred space,
Creator of holiness,
Divine light of wonder and awe,
My vision is clouded,
My sight limited,
The horizon of this world binds my perceptions.
What I see and what I know are tied to my awareness.

Heavenly hand of wisdom,
Guardian of realms above and realms below,
You who give understanding and insight,
Grant me the grace to live my life as a banquet,
A river of abundance and blessing
That yields food and clothing and shelter,
That I accept with humility and thanksgiving.
Give me the strength and compassion
To share these gifts with those in need,
To become an instrument of Divine bounty.

You who provide gifts beyond measure,
Guide me with Your love,
Teach me with Your holiness,
Show me the path to charity and service,
So that I live a life of dignity and honor,
With reverence for Your creation.

Blessed are You, God of time and space,
Providing bounty to be shared.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Recipe of the Month

Apple, Squash and Brussels Sprout Salad

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons avocado, sunflower or safflower oil, divided
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
1 red apple, unpeeled, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Place the prepared Brussels sprouts on one side of a jelly roll or roasting pan and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the butternut squash cubes on the other side of the pan and toss with 2 teaspoons oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Let vegetables cool.

Place the roasted vegetables into a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the maple syrup, garlic, rice vinegar, allspice, cinnamon and water. Pour over the vegetables and toss well. Add the apple pieces and toss again. Add salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from Paula Shoyer
Published in Hadassah Magazine