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January 26, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 26, 2018 PAGE 5A By Jonathan D. Sarna See the article on page 16A "Pulled Pork Kugel and other transgressive traditions from the ultimate treif banquest." BOSTON (JTA)--In an ar- ticle written for J: The Jewish News of Northern California and republished by JTA, Da- vid A.M. Wilensky describes with gusto the supposedly mouthwatering delicacies, including Peanut Butter Pie with Bacon and Pulled Pork Potato Kugel, consumed this month by "rabbis and food- ies" at the Trefa Banquet 2.0 in San Francisco--complete with a communal blessing and a historical lecture justifying these juicy transgressions on the basis of American Jewish history and Reform Jewish tradition. According to the article, "The original Trefa Ban- quet was an 1883 event at which leaders of the early American Reform move- ment made a bold, antago- nistic statement by serving nonkosher dishes to com- memorate the ordination of the first graduating class of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati." Actually, the historical record tells a different story. The original Trefa Banquet, on July 11, 1883, in Cincin- nati, capped ceremonies aimed, ironically, at unifying American Jews. Earlier in the day, 100 rabbinic and lay leaders, representing 76 congregations from across America, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Union of American Hebrew Congre- gations (today known as the Union for Reform Judaism, but then a much broader union of congregations) as well as the ordination of Hebrew Union College's initial class of four rabbis--the first such ordina- tion ever held on American soil. The broadly inclusive gath- ering in Cincinnati marked the high point of Jewish religious unity in America. It symbolized the longstand- ing goal of HUC's president, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, to lead a broad, ideologically diverse coalition committed to strengthening American Judaism. Unlike this month's re- enactment, the infamous Cin- cinnati banquet prepared for the 100 Jewish leaders served no pork at all. Many Reform Jews of that time believed that abstaining from pork sufficiently distinguished them from their non-Jewish neighbors, especially in a pork-producing city like Cincinnati, popularly known as "porkopolis." So Jews avoided pork products, even if they consumed seafood with impunity. The many non-kosher foods that did appear on the menu of the lavish nine-course ban- quet--clams, crabs, shrimp, frogs' legs and so forth--were not, like Trefa Banquet 2.0, the product of careful planning and prearranged advertis- ing. They resulted instead from carelessness and lack of proper oversight. The well- known Jewish caterer who planned the dinner took no account of the fact that tra- ditionalists had been invited to the celebration and created a banquet like so many other lavish Jewish banquets held in his club--akin to non- Jewish banquets, minus the pork. One of those who attended the banquet, the eminent Reform Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, later Wise's successor as president of Hebrew Union College, admitted in a private letter that the banquet was a "big blunder." It shows, he wrote, "how little judgment laymen have in religious matters." Rabbi Wise also knew the banquet was a blunder. After all, he himself kept a kosher home--his second wife, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi, insisted upon it. But he was not the kind of leader who believed in making apolo- gies. Instead he lashed out against his critics, insisting that the dietary laws had lost all validity, and ridiculed them for advocating "kitchen Judaism." The Trefa Banquet helped pave the way for the creation of a more traditional Jewish rab- binical seminary, New York's Jewish Theological Seminary. Once Wise abandoned the goal of "union" and cast his lot with more radical Reform Jews who repudiated Jewish dietary laws, those favoring a conservative approach to Jewish life moved to establish a more religiously traditional seminary to compete with Hebrew Union College. The Reform movement's Pitts- burgh Platform of 1885, which among other things dismissed the Jewish dietary laws as "entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state," strengthened conservative-minded Jews in their resolve, and the Jewish Theological Seminary opened on Jan. 2, 1887. Why does any of this remain important today? Symboli- cally, the Trefa Banquet-- "transgression as religion" in Wilensky's terms--separated American Jews into two op- posing camps that could no longer even break bread together. The incident antici- pated and stimulated further divisions. Let's hope that Trefa Ban- quet 2.0 will not produce similar results. Jonathan D. Sarna is Uni- versity professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and chiefhistorian of the National Museum of American Jewish History. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--The Oslo Accords? "Killed," the Palestinian Authority presi- dent says, blaming Israel. The Israeli prime minister says the Palestinians are now "unmasked"--but naturally he blames the Palestinians. Notably, the United States is silent. The P.A. president, Mah- moud Abbas, delivered a rambling address of more than two hours this weekend to the Palestine Liberation Or- ganization's Central Council. "Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end," he said. "Israel killed them." Abbas blamed the restric- tions under which his Pales- tinian Authority operates and what he regards as Israel's unrestrained occupation activity. "We are an authority with- out any authority and an oc- cupation without any cost," he said. His remarks drew condem- nation across the Israeli and U.S. Jewish spectrum, includ- ing from groups that have not hesitated to criticize the Israeli government for recal- citrance in the peace process. The groups and the Israeli government were especially outraged that Abbas rejected Jewish connections to the land of Israel and claiming that Zionism was "a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism." President Donald Trump, a target of wrath in the Abbas speech, is typically quick to jab back at insults but said noth- ing. Neither have two others called out in the address: Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the United Nations, nor David Friedman, the ambas- sador to Israel. Also silent are (characteristically) Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, who is charged with reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks, and (uncharacteristically) Jason Greenblatt, the Trump ad- ministration's top Middle East negotiator and avid tweeter. The silence suggests that the Trump administration has not entirely written off the Kushner-led effort to re- vive Israeli-Palestinian talks. Greenblatt was headed to Israel this week and would re- main through Vice President Mike Pence's visit next week. A spokesman for Kushner and Greenblatt did not return a JTA request for comment on the Abbas remarks. So what did Abbas say and what did he do? How is Israel responding? And is the peace process dead? What Abbas said In addition to discounting the legitimacy of a Jewish state in the region, Abbas counted out a role for the Trump administration in restarting the talks. "Any future negotiations will take place only within the context of the interna- tional community, by an international committee created in the framework of an international conference," he said. "Allow me to be clear: We will not accept American leadership of a political pro- cess involving negotiations." Abbas is furious with Trump for his recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and for his threats to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority. (On Tuesday, the Trump administration froze more than half of its fund- ing for the United Nations agency that administers aid to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, but a spokes- woman said it was because Trump wants other countries to increase their assistance to UNRWA, nottopunishAbbas.) What does Abbas' speech mean? Not a lot. Abbas has not been this blunt about declar- ing Oslo dead, nor has he been as adamant about decentral- izing the traditional U.S. role as mediator. But none of this is new: When the peace process Kampeas on page 15A By Lisa Eisen (JTA)--#MeToo. #GamAni. The stories are numerous and painful. They span decades and reach every corner of the Jewish community. Enough is enough. The time is now for us to finally and fully address sexual harassment in Jewish institutional life. When it comes to sexual ha- rassment, Jewish teachings are unequivocal: We are obligated to put an end to the behavior for the sake of the victim, the per- petrator and the community as a whole. Despite our moral code, however, sexual miscon- duct in the Jewish community too often goes unaddressed.As Hollywood, mediaand govern- ment offices grapple with their ethical challenges, it is clearwe need a reckoning of our own. When the Good Peo- ple Fund surveyed Jewish pro- fessionals in 2017, it found that sexual harassment is perceived by respondents to be tolerated in Jewish organizations. Fe- male CEOs, fundraisers and rabbis frequently report prob- lems in their interactions with donors and lay leaders. Female employees report feeling some level of harassment is inevi- table, and most believe--and some have left the field as a re- suit--that their organizations are ineffective at preventing or addressing it. Indeed, the recent Leading Edge study found that only two- thirds of employees of Jewish organizations report that they are aware of their organization's sexual harassment policies, and only about one-third know what to do orwhere to go if they experience harassment. The time is now for us to commit to acting individu- ally and collectively to build safer, more respectful and equitable places to work. We must come together across political, denominational and gender lines to address the power dynamics and structural inequalities that allow harassment and abuse to take root. To succeed, we need to ad- vance cultural and practical change. We at the Schuster- man Foundation are joining with other foundations and organizations to explore how we can help create systemic change in Jewish communal life on both fronts. Here are five crucial areas in which we can and must act: Ensure accountability To eliminate harassment in our community, all of us-- funders, nonprofit profession- als and lay leaders--must hold ourselves and our organiza- tions accountable. I envision a pledge, akin to the Child Safety Pledge, committing us to uphold safety and respect in and around the Jewish work- place as an important step forward. A common pledge, backed by tangible resources and collective action, could ensure that organizations walk their talk and actively pursue today's best practices for preventing and responding to sexual harassment. Exhibit leadership Committed, engaged orga- nizational and philanthropic leaders are critical to chang- ing the status quo. Thanks to the outstandingwork of Com- missioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic, who led the U.S. Equal Employment Op- portunity Commission Select Task Force on the Study of Ha- rassment in the Workplace, we know that "the cornerstone of a successful harassment prevention strategy is the consistent and demonstrated commitment of senior lead- ers to create and maintain a culture in which harassment is not tolerated." Those in leadership posi- tions must start by refrain- ing from and putting an end to adverse behavior. Jewish leaders need to show they will not stand for or accept sexual harassment and take proactive steps to promote a safe, respectful Jewish orga- nizational culture. Refresh policies and procedures In the wake of #MeToo, every Jewish organization must have in place the modern infrastructure of a safe work- place, including transparent policies, consistent train- ing and protected reporting methods. The EEOC recom- mendations are clear on this front as well. Healthy work environments need "strong and comprehensive harass- ment policies; trusted and accessible complaint proce- dures; and regular, interactive training tailored to the audi- ence and the organization." Train staff and boards Annual, ideally in-person training ofstaffandboardsare vital and can be customized to the fields and organizations they serve. They can transcend the harasser-victim dichotomy and focus on more effective methods, such as empowering bystanders and helping em- ployees understand how they can advocate for one another. For models, we can look to the Respect in the Workplace training currently offered by the Jewish Women's Founda- tion of New York or to those Keshet provides on tolerance and inclusion. Facilitate reporting Every employee in the Jewish sector should know and trust their organization's reporting structure. One of the most common refrains is that employees do not know who to turn to if they experience or witness harassment. This is equally true at foundations and all other kinds of nonprofits. It is incumbent upon us as Jews that our reporting structures allow for fair con- sideration and due process for both the accuser and the accused. To that end, it is worth considering external reporting structures like Eisen on page 15A Dry Bones MEET THE PRESS: A PORJLA2 ARABIC'-LAN AGE NEW5PAPE2 HAS THREATENEO CH215TIAN5 IN M020CCO WITH THE MESSA : THE "KO2AN REQUIRES THE KILLING OF AP TATES.