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April 10, 1998     Jewish News
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April 10, 1998

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pril   ...... News -- ..... =' Southeastern Virginia Jewish Azalea Festival community luncheon , On Thursday, April 23, the Azalea Festival IgRAL Community Luncheon will honor the nation of L Denmark for rescuing its Jewish citizens during ........ World War II. Bent Melchior, the Chief Rabbi of Denmark, will be the featured speaker. Also attending as an honored guest will be Israel Bornstein, Rabbi Emeritus of B'nai Israel. Rabbi Bornstein, originally from Denmark, was one of those rescued by his fellow Danes. The kosher Danish luncheon, $25/person. will be held at the Omni Waterside Hotel, Norfolk, at noon. The event, sponsored by the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, is open to members of the community. For ticket information, contact Charlotte Herndon at 628-2054. _Eyewitness CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 are aggressive and creative. JFS and Beth Sholom Home have become specially accredited. Many of our agencies have entered into public and private sector partnerships. However, our most effective tool, is the standard we set for ourselves. Services delivered by JFS, JCC, and the Beth Sholom Home are consistently ranked high for their quality and effectiveness: if you compare, you will find these agencies incomparable to their "competition." Services delivered by JFS, JCC, and the Beth Sholom Home are consistently ranked high for their quality and effectiveness; if you compare, you will find these agencies incomparable to their "competition. Resettlement of New Americans? In Tidewater, we boast a near 100% employment rate at four months, compared to a national average of less than 50%. Young Leadership? Check out the Federation's program stressing both community involvement and Jewish enrichment. Just last week, nearly 40 young leaders from Tidewater participated in the UJA Washington Conference, others participated in special seminars on "raising Jewish children." At a time when supplemental Jewish education (e.g. Hebrew School) is s.truggling in many cities, in Tidewater we have seen a dramatic strengthening of the program. United Hebrew School has seen a rise in student performance on standardized testing, absenteeism is on the decline, and student participation at extra- curricular retreats (Shabbatonim) and programs is on the rise. Sure, everything is not perfect in Southeastern Virginia. We desperately need to raise more money. Despite our success, we are not keeping up with inflation. We must conclude our facility planning process; our communal agencies are in dire need for physical space in which their programming can occur. And the list can.go on. But we cannot loose sight of who we are and how much we have accomplished as a community. So while you might not notice it, you should know: we are a great Jewish community. I am off to a family wedding in Nashville. Invariably, there will be guests from all over the country. Being the only Jewish communal executive in my extended family, the conversation at the receptions and dinners will certainly float to Jewish community issues and comparisons. It will be another opportunity for me to "learn" more about our great Jewish community. Kol HaKavod Tidewater. Generation after Generation Loves Pizazz] Pizazz owner Gloria Siege/with granddaughter Hannah and daughter Valerie Dieh/ photographed by Ramone Photography Fobulous & fun jewelry for ALL oges,., ALL occosions., ALL UNDER $39H J. E.W.E.L.R.Y Mon SaL !0 6 Closed Sundays op North 422-1201 Loehmann's Plaza 431-0700 Crash course in Basic Judaism begins April 20 By Rabbi Yosef Friedman B'nai Israel Congregation Have you ever experienced the following uncomfortable situa- tion: You are at your office, and a co-worker or colleague comes up to you and says, "Hey, ummm... excuse me but.., you're Jewish, aren't you?" In a split second, a thousand thoughts whip through your mind. "Why is he asking me that ques- tion? Did I do or say something strange, something out of the ordi- nary? Did he notice I wasn't here on Yom Kippur? How does he know, why does he care? And what will he say if 1 say yes?" Your heart beats a little faster. Your palms start to sweat. You choke on your reply. Clearing your throat, you cautiously answer, "Yes... why do you ask.'?" Hoping the response to your inquiry will be something as innocuous as, "Oh, so am 1," or "Oh, I was just curious," you hold your breath. "Well," he rejoins, "I have a question to ask you." Red Alert! Red Alert! You have just become the resident rabbi. You feel as though the reputation of Judaism, Israel and Jews the world over is about to revolve around your ability to adequately answer the question, whatever it is. You look for a way out. "Should I field it or avoid it?" you think to yourself. You figure that a simple "I'm a little busy right now, could we discuss it another time," might work well.., unless of course you were cornered while taking a coffee break, pouring over the style section of the news- paper. In that case, you are trapped. But, maybe it'll be an easy one. You went to Hebrew school, you had a Bat Mitzvah... Making peace with yourself, assuring yourself that you know a lot about Judaism, you brace yourself for the challenge "Sure," you say, "go ahead." "I was just wondering, what is the Jewish approach to God?" You smile, you pause, and inside your brain you are doing a com- puterized word search... God, Almighty, Divine... you even try George Burns. No success. To stall, you offer a decoy: "Well, you know, it's very complicated. There are different opinions on the subject." Your colleague continues to anxiously await your response.., meanwhile, your inter- nal data base comes up with a bold "WORD NOT FOUND" message. Could it be that you had graduated Hebrew school, had a Bat Mitzvah, and you have no idea how to explain the Jewish approach to belief in God? If this has ever happened to you, then don't feel badly, don't be disheartened.., you're in good company. A lot of Jews can't answer that question, or a whole bunch of others for that matter. And, frankly, it's probably not because you're forgetting things in your "old age." It's just that a lot of times Hebrew schools, even day schools, might not have addressed the basics. But it doesn't have to be that way. It's never too late to get the answers. The National Jewish Outreach Program's Crash Course in Basic Judaism begins on Mon- day, April 20. The five-session crash course addresses the basics, but it does so from the perspective of being a "grown-up." It shares rare insights which make it very clear that Judaism is not just for kids. Five sessions, five topics, five evenings to change your whole perspective on being Jew- ish. The Crash Course in Basic Judaism meets on five consecutive Monday evenings, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., at B'nai Israel Congregation, 420 Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk. The course is free and open to the public. Those wishing further details may call 627-7358. ,:i CALLING ALL GOLDEN GIVERS! In honor of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater wants to honor its Golden Givers. What is a Golden Giver? You may have heard about Silver Circle whose members have made donations to UJA Federation Annual Campaigns each year for 25 years or more. A Golden Giver is an individual who has made a gift of any amount, to any Federation or UJA Campaign every year for the past 50 years. How Many Golden Givers m there in Tidewater? You can help us determine that. ff you are a member of this community who has continuously contributed to the UJA Federation Annual Campaign for the past 50 years, please let us know. Why do we want to find you? We want to recognize you and to thank you for five decades of dedicatiou to us and to Israel. It is because of givers like you that Israel was able to rise from the desert to become the great nation that it is teday. Your shining, golden example is an inspiration to us all. How can you contact us? Please complete the attached reply form and send it to: Philip Rovner at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation or Marlene Rossen at the United Jewish Federation at: 5029 Corporate Wtxxts Drive Suite 225 Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Or you may call either Philip or Marlene at 671-1600. YES, I/we have given to the UJA Federation campaigns for 50 years and are part of the Golden Givers. Ham, (S) Address city Home Phone Year of first gift to the UJFT or another Federation (if know.) Comments?