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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘song’

Summer Safety

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

While for many of us summer is synonymous with vacation, relaxation and a time for a well deserved break from the rigors of the daily grind, the dog days of summer bring with them the need for an extra dose of vigilance as we head for the pool, fire up the barbeque or just spend our days enjoying the great outdoors.

If you are lucky enough to have your own pool, make sure to take proper precautions as, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drowning is the number one cause of injury and death among children ages one to four. Children under age five represent nearly seventy five percent of child drowning fatalities, with eighty five percent of those fatalities taking place in residential pools – so while there is no question that pools equal fun, never forget that especially for small children, pools can be deadly. Be sure to install a fence at least four feet high with self-opening and closing latches as well as a lockable safety cover on the pool. Supervise kids very closely around water and be prepared for emergencies: know CPR, basic lifesaving skills and always take a phone to the pool area in case of an emergency. Be sure to keep children away from pool drains and check with your pool service provider to make sure that drains are compliant with all regulations. Finally, if you notice that you can’t find one of your kids, be sure to check the pool first, because once a child is in the water, a delay of even a few seconds can literally mean the difference between life and death.

If it is the smell of a freshly grilled steak that really screams summer to you, then by all means, enjoy the protein-fest, but do it safely. Never grill indoors, which can create carbon monoxide, and before barbequing, check air-tubes and hoses for holes or blockages. Situate your grill on a level surface, away from buildings, dry leaves and other combustibles. Use long handed utensils to avoid burns and splatters and skip the loose fitting clothes when you are manning the grill. Keep a fire extinguisher, water or a bucket of sand nearby for emergencies and use baking soda if needed to control a grease fire. With recent news stories of several cases of metal bristles breaking off grill brushes and becoming embedded in food creating major health hazards to those who unwittingly ingested them, toss your metal grill brush and clean your grill either with a grill stone or even a piece of crumpled up aluminum foil.

Keep germs at bay by marinating food in the refrigerator and then discarding the marinades once they have been used for raw meat, fish or poultry. Cook food thoroughly and never use the same utensils or platters for raw and cooked foods. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold: consider keeping cold food chilled by serving on platters placed on a bed of ice and keep hot food at or above 140 degrees. Discard food that has been kept outside for more than two hours and if the temperature is over ninety degrees, toss any food that has been out longer than one hour.

Thinking about a road trip? Be sure to tune up your car, get an oil change and check your wipers, headlights, turn signal, fluid levels as well as tire pressure. (Don’t forget to check the pressure on your spare tire as well!) Make sure your car is stocked with a first aid kit, vehicle owner’s manual, flashlight, tire pressure gauge, an extra set of keys, water and emergency tire inflator and sealant. Plan your route in advance and don’t even consider leaving your house without maps or a GPS. If you don’t have a GPS, try borrowing one from a friend or check your local newspaper to find out if there is a GPS gamach in your area. Especially during peak weekends, try to travel late at night or in the early morning and no matter when you travel, check the traffic websites, such as trafficland.com, to see road conditions. If you have a smartphone, there are great apps that will give you both a GPS and traffic conditions, so do your homework and find one that works for you.

Sandy Eller

Fan-tastic!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Ah, the lazy, hazy days of summer. Long afternoons sitting in a lounge chair, sipping a tall glass of iced lemonade as you enjoy the latest novel, a gentle breeze caressing your face…is there anything like it?

No, there most certainly is not.

Because while you may be fantasizing about the perfect summer day, it’s time for a reality check. More often than not, summer temperatures tend towards sweltering and unless we are of the blessed few who has a pool (or better yet, has a close friend or family member with a pool), we generally spend a significant portion of our summer holed up inside enjoying the air conditioning because it is so beastly hot outside. And while running the air conditioning may be a great way to beat the heat, one fine day the mailman is going to bring that dreaded electric bill, and you may find yourself totally losing your cool when you discover how much it costs to keep your home at a pleasant temperature.

Fear not. I am not going to suggest you set your thermostat at a balmy 80 degrees, avoid turning on your oven and keep a fan blowing on a bowl of ice cubes to save money and stay cool. But I am going to clue you in to possibly the best home improvement we have ever made in our humble abode: installing a whole house fan.

Not to be confused with an attic fan, which does nothing, more than pull hot air out of your attic, a whole house fan can be a gift from heaven if you know how to use it and when. Generally installed in the attic, a whole house fan is an exhaust system that pulls the hot air out of the house, drawing it into the attic and completely out of your house by way of an attic vent, while at the same time bringing the outside air into the house through open windows. It is the perfect solution for beating the heat when the days are hot but the mornings and nights are cool and pleasant. It will cool off an entire house quickly, and considerably more economically than an air conditioner by replacing the air in your house with the cooler outsider air. If your house is well insulated, keep your windows closed during the heat of the day and run your whole house fan in the cooler hours of morning, late evening and nighttime, giving you the ability to beat the heat for just a fraction of the price of running your air conditioner.

There are a few things to remember about a whole house fan. For starters, if it is humid out, running your whole house fan is a very bad idea. After all, do you really want to fill your house with uncomfortably moist, humid air? Also, make sure you have screens on any windows that are open while the fan is running or every bug in a two block radius is likely to get sucked into your house by the fan’s powerful motor. Closing windows in unused rooms will give you even better airflow in rooms that you really want to cool, but most importantly, make sure that you never, ever, turn on a whole house fan with all of your windows closed or the backdraft created by the fan can blow out any pilot lights you might have in your house (think gas hot water heater, dryer or oven), creating potentially dangerous carbon monoxide situations.

The most common place to mount a whole house fan is in a hallway ceiling. Ceiling mounted whole house fans fall into two different categories: those with direct drive motors, where the fan blades are attached directly to the shaft of the fan motor, and those with belt driven motors which are larger diameter fans with four or more blades. Because direct drive motors operate at higher speeds than their belt driven counterparts, they tend to be noisier and while the noise level is one of the negatives associated with whole house fans, in recent years, and with proper installation, fans have become considerably quieter and, thankfully, no longer sound like a jetliner taking off in the middle of your hallway. Ducted whole house fans, which are mounted in the attic, away from the actual living space of the house, are the new kids on the block and operate at much lower noise levels that ceiling mounted fans. With flexible ductwork running from the attic to individual rooms, ducted whole house fans vent the air directly out of the house instead of through attic vents and tend to be more expensive than ceiling mounted units.

Sandy Eller

Nose King of Miami Gives in to ASPS, Cancels Controversial Music Video Contest

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Responding to what had to have been a devastating letter from the attorneys of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, leading Miami Plastic Surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer at Bal Harbour Plastic Surgery Associates, announced Monday that he was canceling his music video contest, based on “Jewcan Sam, A Nose Job Love Song.” the song about nose jobs by the punk-rock band, The Groggers. Originally, Salzhauer called on contestants to create their own video for the song, and the best video would win an all-expenses paid trip to Miami.

According to Salzhauer, The ASPS requested that the song be taken off YouTube altogether, but due to the overwhelming response from The Groggers and their fans, the video will remain online. But the contest is officially cancelled until Dr. Salzhauer can work out the details of a new contest that the ASPS would agree with.

“I have been amazed at the media attention this has created. I was just having a bit of fun creating a parody video and song. I do understand the ASPS’s point of view, though my intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but to have a little fun. We are currently working with the ASPS to determine acceptable details and create a new contest. We hope to have more info on this next week,” Dr. Michael Salzhauer emailed the Jewish Press. “I do want to stress that some people stated they felt this video was anti-Semitic, and that couldn’t be further than the truth – I am Jewish as are all people involved with the video. If we can’t poke fun at ourselves, then this world has become much too serious.”

Jewcan Sam (A Nose Job Love Song) puts a whole new spin on Rhinoplasty. Dr. Michael Salzhauer commissioned the Jewish punk rock band, The Groggers, to write the song and make the original music video featuring the nose job love song. The lead singer of the Groggers, LE “Doug” Staiman had a nose job by Dr. Salzhauer during the filming of the video. Viewers can see the before and after transformation the lead singer makes with his new nose.

The email from the nose king, whom the Jewish Press had dubbed “a tzadik” for his offer to help young women who could use a nose job to find a husband, added these important cv:

Board Certified Miami Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Salzhauer M.D., FACS is an internationally recognized plastic surgeon and author. He is known as “The Nose King of Miami” and is the most desired surgeon for Rhinoplasty in South Florida. Educated at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and was trained in the latest plastic surgery techniques while serving on the staff of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, The University of Miami Medical Center and the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Yori Yanover

Double Bris In The Amazon

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Against all odds, the spark of Judaism continues to burn brightly in the Amazon as two members of the Brazilian city of Porto Velho underwent a bris milah performed by a renowned Argentian mohel just days after Rosh Chodesh Adar.

Forty-one-year-old Isaac Portelo and 16-year-old Saatchel Benesby are two of just 16 Jewish residents of Porto Velho, which is the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondonia in the upper Amazon River basin and over five hundred miles from Manaus, home of the nearest Chabad center. According to Rabbi Arieh Raichman, the Chabad shliach to Manaus, it was on a visit to Porto Velho last May that he first discussed the idea of circumcision with the pair.

“When I arrived in Porto Velho and visited the local community, they were all very excited to greet me,” said Rabbi Raichman. “Some cried with emotion while others were ecstatic with joy as I was the first rabbi to visit them.”

While Portelo told Rabbi Raichman that he was eager to have a bris at the first possible opportunity, it wasn’t until 10 months later that Benesby decided he was ready to proceed as well.

“Saatchel had just spent Shabbos at a Shabbaton organized by Keren Nehor Menachem in Sao Paolo, where he met other Jewish youths from all around Brazil,” explained Rabbi Raichman. “I believe what touched him was that they gave him a bar mitzvah and celebrated this momentous event in his life. When they asked for his Jewish name, Saatchel said he didn’t have one but was going to have a brit milah with me.”

Both Portelo and Benesby flew to Manaus to meet with David Katche, an expert adult mohel who has performed over 11,000 brissos in South America and was in Manaus to perform a bris for any community members who wanted to be circumcised. Benesby received the name Moshe Chaim at his bris on February 27th and Portelo, who cancelled all his meeting in order for his bris to take place exactly one day later, was given the name Isaac Yoel. Both were performed at the Hospital Adriano Jorge, where director Dr. Raymison Monteiro gave the men access to one of the public hospital’s operating rooms at no charge.

“It was a great honor and inspiration to see two adults decide that there is something missing in their lives,” said Rabbi Raichman. “Every day, baruch Hashem, people take on new mitzvot and leave behind their old ways. However, this mitzvah has both a physical and spiritual imprint that lasts forever. Seeing them being circumcised, while being conscious, was an incredible demonstration of self sacrifice and it served as an encouragement for me and others to give more of ourselves in serving Hashem.”

Benesby’s mother accompanied him to Manaus for his bris and was inordinately proud of her son.

“It is an obligation for every Jewish male to be circumcised and I am very happy that my son did it. When he was born I went around to doctors in Porto Velho to have him circumcised but nobody wanted to do it. Now he did it and he did it with a mohel.”

Rabbi Raichman hopes to make future visits both to Porto Velho and other neighboring cities and says that there are currently almost 20 men in Manaus and four men in Porto Velho who have not yet had a bris. Portelo plans to learn Hebrew and would like to visit Israel. He continues to serve as a surrogate rabbi in his community, educating other Jews about Yiddishkeit and hosting Porto Velho’s Jews in his home on Friday night and on Jewish holidays. Benesby hopes to make a trip to Israel this summer along with his 26-year-old sister Suhellen and is very interested in learning more about his Jewish heritage.

Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full-scale productions. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.

Sandy Eller

Reaching Overseas To Aid Victims Of Domestic Violence

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Bat Melech, Israel’s most comprehensive network of social service for victims of domestic violence, has reached across the Atlantic for assistance, hoping to create a funding base in America in order to be able to help even more women in crisis.

Newly hired executive director of American Friends of Bat Melech, Danielle Berkowitz, has been working in the field of non-profit management for fifteen years, specializing in fundraising, grant writing, leadership development and project management, and recently relocated from Beit Shemesh to Highland Park, New Jersey with her husband and three children.

“When Bat Melech reached out to me, I knew I had to join with them and use my expertise to help victims of domestic violence,” explained Danielle. “Not only is it a cause that is near and dear to my heart, as it is based in my former home of Beit Shemesh, but last year alone Bat Melech had to turn away fifty four women, not to mention their children, due to a lack of funds. The Israeli government will pay some of the costs of assisting abused women, but they will only pay for the woman herself not her children. And most of these women have at least four kids. There is a stark need that has to be met and we are hoping to get people in the United States on board for this very important cause.”

While Danielle knew there were many organizations that would be able to make use of her expertise, the pull of working with Bat Melech was too strong to resist.

“There are, unfortunately, so many people in need, so many worthy causes that work with varied client groups, but what struck me about Bat Melech is that when it comes to domestic abuse, so many are quick to blame the victim. No one blames a child for being handicapped, no one blames a widow for her husband’s death, but so many people blame a woman in an abusive marriage. She gets blamed if she stays, blamed if she leaves, blamed for being in the situation in the first place. Wherever these women turn, they are faced with blame.”

Danielle finds that while the topic of abused women is one that people of any religion or demographic can relate to, it is particularly difficult for women in the Orthodox Jewish community. Not only are people hesitant to take in an abused woman and her children, for fear of ruining a prospective shidduch or otherwise sullying the family name, once an abused woman makes the decision to leave her community she is ostracized and will never be able to return to her former home. Additionally, children of an abused mother typically find that they are no longer welcome in school, as they are viewed as “problem children” and very often find themselves in shelters all day, every day, for months on end.

“I am hoping to spread the word on this issue throughout the United States so that people know about Bat Melech and know what we are doing for women who can’t ask for themselves,” said Danielle. “The problem of abused women transcends both geography and religion. People everywhere understand the concept of a women and children whose lives are placed in jeopardy by an abusive father.”

Danielle hopes to bring her message not only to adults but to children as well.

“Kids gravitate towards ‘mitzvah projects’ and we need to let them know that they have the ability to help other children who don’t have the privilege of going to school. It can be twinning programs, Bar and Bat Mitzvah programs. These kids aren’t supposed to have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs?”

While Danielle and her family hope to return to Israel at some point in the future, for now her sights are set firmly on using her time in America as wisely as possible.

“I hope to move forward and continue to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Danielle. “Sadly, there are so many victims of domestic abuse in Israel and it is up to us to help them get through this traumatic period of their lives.”

Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full-scale productions. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.

Sandy Eller

Pesach Without Pressure

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I hate to tell you this, but Pesach without pressure is a myth. No matter what anyone tells you (and it’s usually men who tell you that Pesach preparations can be tension free), it just doesn’t exist. To be fair, I don’t know that there is any major holiday or occasion that doesn’t involve some kind of pressure. Eliminating the stress entirely is not a realistic goal. But minimizing it is.

Whether you are home for Pesach or packing up and moving out, it is a major event and, like anything else, requires planning. For those of you who are going to a hotel, I have no advice. Have a great vacation and think of me while you are sitting by the pool on Erev Pesach doing your nails because I promise you, I won’t have polish worthy nails by then. For those of you spending your Yom Tov with relatives, hatzlacha rabbah. I hope everyone gets along well and that the sleeping accommodations are okay. For those of us who are staying home for Pesach, listen up. It’s time to get to work.

Fear not. I am not one of those super efficient people who is ready to kasher her kitchen on Shushan Purim. But I am one of those compulsive people who likes to plan ahead in order to minimize the work, and equally important, the cost of making Pesach, so that both are less intimidating. And believe it or not, the time to get started is now.

I don’t have to tell you just how overwhelming your credit card statement can become Pesach-time. Between making sure that everyone has proper clothing and stockpiling food items, the numbers add up fast, which is why I like to start stocking up on Pesach items now. My first stop for Pesach shopping? My own pantry. You may be surprised to find out how many items you already own that are in sealed containers and have Kosher L’Pesach certification all year round. Check the labels and look for the “P” next to the hechsher. A quick trip through my pantry (know your minhagim) unearthed quite a few products including: assorted coffees and teas, sugar, cocoa, kosher salt, honey, duck sauce, balsamic vinegar and assorted canned goods packed by heimishe companies including sliced mushrooms, hearts of palm, pineapple, sour cherries, Israeli pickles, olives and mandarin oranges. Be sure to check out your freezer as well. Empire raw chicken products are Kosher L’Pesach 365 days a year. So just wipe off your newly acquired Pesach stash, set it aside and you are already one step closer to making Pesach. Make a list of everything you are putting away so that when the time to shop in earnest arrives you will know which items you already own.

Take the time to check out the OU’s Pesach guide (discuss now what your family uses) when it comes out, available both from the OU, in many local kosher stores and online at www.ou.org. Aside from the directory listing items that are supervised for Pesach by the Orthodox Union, the grey pages hold a treasure trove of information telling you which items can be used on Pesach without special supervision. Stock up on those items now as well to help minimize expenses as you get closer to Pesach. No matter when you do your shopping, now or closer to Pesach, take the time to double check every item you put in your cart and make sure it is Pesachdik. You never know when someone will have put an item down in the Pesach area by mistake and trust me when I tell you it is really very disturbing to notice on Pesach that you are holding food that doesn’t say Kosher L’Pesach on it.

Aside from all the cleaning and buying involved for the holiday that is ironically named “z’man chayrusaynu”, the time of our freedom, a major part of your holiday preparations involves food. Before you start googling Pesach cookbooks and recipes, take the time to go through your regular recipes – you may be surprised how many things you make during the year are one hundred percent chometz free. Time is at a premium, so why start experimenting with unfamiliar recipes when so many of your family’s favorites, including soups, main dishes and salads are already Pesach friendly?

Sandy Eller

Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation: Women Bettering The World For Other Women

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

According to the Rambam, the highest form of tzeddakah is enabling someone to find a means of becoming self-sufficient. It is clear that the founders of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation (TOWF) had this precept in mind when they founded the first ever Jewish women’s foundation dedicated to funding programs that bring about social change for women and girls.

TOWF was founded in 2004 when two women, Liza Levy and Robin Hettelman Weinberg, realized that there was no Jewish grant-making organization in the Washington DC area dedicated exclusively to bettering the lives of women and girls. With assistance provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the United Jewish Endowment Fund and the Vivian Rabineau Endowment fund, the two set about creating a vehicle that would not only support women’s causes, but would give women the opportunity to exercise their philanthropic muscles by having them fund and run the foundation. By providing women with the opportunity to use their leadership skills and financial resources in a charitable venue, it enables them to use both their talents and their assets to transform their communities, addressing the social issues and concerns they think are most relevant and timely.

The Rockville, Maryland based foundation lives up to its name. Tikkun Olam means “bettering the world” and TOWF strives to do exactly that by preventing social issues before they occur, attacking problems at their roots instead of just dealing with their manifestations.

“Our goal is not to provide social services,” said Sara Gorfinkel, Director of Tikkun Olam and its only full time employee. “We focus on social change, so that women don’t get to the point where they require social services. We don’t want to fund programs that deal with victims of domestic abuse. We want to prevent domestic abuse before it ever happens.”

Currently, TOWF has approximately sixty members, known as trustees, ranging in age from twenty-five to eighty plus. Membership requires a monetary gift to the foundation, payable over a five-year period. A five-year membership to Tikkun Olam requires a donation of $15,000. Lifetime memberships are available for $45,000, but with a $100,000 financial commitment, it is upgraded to an inter-generational membership that can be shared with daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters. Women under the age of thirty-five have the option of joining the foundation for three years with a $4,500 associate membership.

“While we do have women who prefer to just make a donation to the foundation, for many of our trustees, becoming part of Tikkun Olam is exactly the opposite of just writing out a check,” explained Gorfinkel. “TOWF gives women the opportunity to be hands on in their philanthropy, reviewing requests from organizations and researching them. It is empowering to see women taking on different leadership roles and responsibilities and getting involved in different committees. Yet every woman, no matter what her financial commitment, comes to the table with the same voice and the same vote, irrespective of how much she is donating.”

Sara Gorfinkel

Tikkun Olam’s grant cycle runs from July to June, with grants awarded during the summer. TOWF’s first grants were distributed in 2006 and the foundation is currently in its seventh grant cycle. The foundation distributed a record $100,000 in 2011 with grants awarded to nine different organizations that strive to bring about social change for women and girls – both locally and in Israel. Among last year’s grant recipients were Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, which received TOWF’s first ever multi-year grant to fund a teen-dating awareness and violence prevention program; Jewish Council for the Aging, to provide training, mentoring and support for women over fifty five who face age and gender discrimination in their job search, and the Israel based Mavoi Satum, to ensure the operation of private rabbinical courts which would protect women’s rights during both marriage and divorce. Other grant recipients included Jews United for Justice, Economic Empowerment for Women, Eretz Acheret and Mahut Center. Two Washington DC based charities, CASA de Maryland and Empowered Women International, which serve local immigrant women, were also awarded grants as TOWF trustees felt that as Jews living in America, we understand all too well the plight of those who have recently come to these shores in search of a better life.

While Tikkun Olam takes great pride in its own work, it is also part of a larger network, the Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund, which is working to put together a joint grant that will distribute funds in Israel.

“We found that many of the Jewish women’s funds were overlapping in grants they were making to organizations in Israel,” said Gorfinkel. “We decided to pool our resources in order to produce more effective donations to those organizations.”

Sandy Eller

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/tikkun-olam-womens-foundation-women-bettering-the-world-for-other-women/2012/02/22/

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