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April 4, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 4, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 4, 2014 PAGE 15A Imich ting an audiology team from "This is bringing up a spark Poland, where he was born with a copy of "Tales of the death of the physical body, he Mt. Sinai Hospital to fit him from deep inside him. He's and grew up, but unfortu- Paranormal," edited by Alex- says, inhisbook,"Imaginefora From page 1A for new ones. coming back to life." nately, he said, all the photos ander Imich, Ph.D., the "Do momenthowmuchhumanlife Before visiting, I called the We'd been told that Imich, and documentation were lost. Not Resuscitate" letter hang- would change if this question has outlived all his peers and houseexpectingavolunteerto aftertalkingaboutnotwanting When the Nazis marched into ing on the wall outside the were answered in the positive, most family members, most answerthephoneandconfirm to live anymore, had stopped Poland, theentireJewishworld kitchen, cards commemorat- how much easier it would be of whom perished in Nazi that it was okay for Imich to talking, sat in his chair and was lost. Imich and his wife ing his recent Feb. 4 birthday, to live through the pain and concentration camps. His have visitors. Instead, Imich closedhiseyesindespair.What Wela survived because they two computers that haven't miseryofourexistenceonthis grandniece, Karen Bogen, on himself answered: "Hello? had changed? Did we dare to were deported to a Russian la- been used in a year due to planet, if we were sure these hiswife'ssideofthefamilysays Hello? I'm all alone here. Is think it was our emergency borcampinsteadofAuschwitz. Imich's failing eyesight and were only temporary ills." thatImichdoeshavesomeliv- anybody coming to be with bikurcholimvisit, the cookies, I told him my father's no television set anywhere Update: Two ~Jays after The ing, blood relatives:"He has a me?" tefillin and mezuzah? mother came from Czesto- in sight. JewishPresshitthenewsstands nephew, Jan Imich, who has He couldn't hear anything He let us take many pho- chowa, but she referred to it An 111-year-old blue-eyed withthestoryaboutAlexander childrenandgrandchildren.A I said in reply. This was so tographs. "People are always asChenstokhov."That'sright," man with paper thin skin Imichpublishedwithin, aseem- fewweeksago, Janvisitedwith alarming that I telephoned taking my picture, but they he said, "Chenstokhov."stretched tight across his ing miracle occurred. Imich his son and grandson, so we one of the regular volunteers, never send them to me." We Thoughattentive, interested bones sits on a recliner, his was suddenly given 24-hour hadfourgenerationstogether, who told me that there was a assuredhimwewouldbe back and clearly wanting to engage legs wrapped in a blanket, home attendants to insure his Jan and his extended family two-hour gap between when withcopiesofthephotostaken, withus, Imichwasstrainingto facing a clock hanging on the recovery (whereas before, he live in England." the morning volunteer leaves "Heisscheduledtogetfitted hear and each short exchange wall, nestledtherebetweenthe was left alone for hours at a Alexander Imich's 111th and the afternoon volunteer for new hearing aids tomor- had to be repeated slowly and paintings.Itremindedmeofthe time to fend for himself); his birthday took place on Feb. arrives, row," the volunteer told us. loudly several times. With lyrics in the Jacques Brel song hearing aids were replaced by 4, while he was in Roosevelt A Self Help organization The completed appliances will twinklingeyes, he pointed out, from a long time ago, aboutold Mt. Sinai Hospital's audiology Hospital. A few days later, he volunteerwastherebythetime takesometimetobe delivered, "You imagine that I can con- folks and their clocks: "It tick team (after Roosevelt Hospital returned home to the same Rabbi Mazorov and I arrived she said; maybe two weeks, verse with you like a normal tocks oh so slow. It says yes, it lost them, resulting in his apartment he and Wela had at the Esplanade apartment We had to shout and repeat person?"--a reference to his saysno.ItsaysTllwaitforyou: being sent him home weak rented in 1965--weak, with house. After being told that ourselves in order for Imich to near, but not total deafness. The old, old silver clock that's and nearly deaf) and so many failingeyesightduetomacular Imichwassodistraughthehad hear us, but communication I answered that I didn't hanging on thewail thatwaits people who had read the story degeneration and practically stopped eating altogether, we was possible, know what was normal, but I for us all." began visiting him in the spirit deaf--as the hospital had lost almostcriedtoseehimhappily He asked me, "Do you know would like to come back and Inaspeechhegaveattheageof friendship and kindness-- both of his hearing aids. munching on one of the huge that I amthe oldest man inthe visit again. "Can I come see of 99, Imich said: "In my life, that visiting hours had to be Imich was reportedly in a freshly baked black and white United States and the second youagain?" He smiled slightly I have witnessed the develop- set (from noon till 5 p.m.). stateofdespair, nolongerbeing kosher cookies we brought oldestintheworld?"Itoldhim and said yes "but bring the mentofflight, the automobile, However long Imich may live, abletohearandcommunicate him. yes. And again, louder, "Yes!" pictures!" electrification of nations, the we thank G-d he is no longer with others, expressing some- Imich, who is reportedly I asked him if he had aWe rose to leave and the telephone, the radio and televi- mired inanguisheddepression thing he had never said in all "not religious,"seemedtolight bar mitzvah. A what? "Bar rabbi said, "Good Shabbos[" sion, atomic energy, the won- and wishing to die. his 111years--thathewanted up even further when Rabbi mitzvah!" which was answered in kind, ders of bioscientific medicine, Editor'snote:Forthecurious to die, already. And then he Marozov helped him put on Weoriginallythoughtwhenwith an explanation. "I don't computer technology, great minds who would also like to stopped eating, tefillin and then affixed a me- the rabbi visited him in the know Yiddish," he said, "but I advances in our knowledge of know the answer to life after Nevertheless, we planned a zuzahtohisdoorpost.Wewere hospitaland helped him toput remember from my parents." the cosmos, men walking on physical death, Imich's book is bikurcholimvisittolmich.At surprised and touched to the ontefillin, thatitwasafirstin Thememorybreakingthrough the moon--the list could go fora thetime, we had no idea that core when Imich, inastrong his life experience--in es- was nearly l00 years old. onandon." whopping$2,321.21(andthatis Bogen, who lives in Rhode clear voice, recited the Shema sence, a bar mitzvah. We were Ilookedbackatthecluttered However, on answering the paperback), has Island, wasworkingongetting prayer, which he apparently mistaken. Imich remembered apartment--the walls com- question (to the satisfaction of itfor$3,133,howeverthebook's the hospital to make good on knew by heart, his bar mitzvah in one of the pletely covered with his late modern scientists) onwhether publisher, Bramble Books, has the lost hearing aids and get- "Lookatthis,'saidtherabbi. synagogues in Czestochowa, wife's paintings, the bookshelf consciousness survives the it for $14.95 + shipping. NEXT From page 2A ful discussions about it. I also Israel alumni. Additionally, "There are nearly 250,000 build vibrant communities, tunities for Birthrighters and wanted to make the story rel- NEXT's flagship initiative, Birthright alumni in the It'sincrediblyinspiringtoour their peers. NEXT routinely added, "I have never found a evant to modern-day life and NEXT Shabbat, has helped U.S.--itisourmissiontohelp team, andremindsuswhyweshares information about Haggadah that I was truly relate it to some of the social more than 7,600 Birthright them explore deeper Jewish do this holy work." national young adult en- satisfied with so I decided to justice work I do." Israel alumni host more than living and learning," Levin Along with offering DIYgagement trends, and trains write my own and test-drive it NEXT's other do-it-yourself 17,800 Shabbat meals for adds. "During holidays, we opportunities, NEXT consults engagers--the professionals with my friends. I envisioned (DIY) offerings, including its their friends, creating Jewish especially see their passion with Jewish communitieswho interact directly with a Seder where my peers felt High Holidays Initiative, aim experiences that have drawn and sense of ingenuity that and leaders throughout the young Jewishadults--to suc- engaged enough in thestory to make Jewish experiences a total attendance of tens of breathes new life into Jew- country to create a vibrant cessfully reach young adults of Passover to have meaning- more accessible to Birthright thousands of young adults, ish experiences and helps to ecosystem of Jewish oppor- in their communities. Healing From page 3A a pipe" or a "pipe dream." is a go-getter. He was born in AudiencememberLaurence Connecticut, spent five years scoliosis and other complex Morrellaskedthedoctorsifthe in Israel and the rest in Phila- spinal deformity cases. BDS movement is affectingthe delphia. He has the accent and Dr. Klafter explained that Israelimedicaluniversities.Dr. fasttalkofaPhillyboytoprove 50 percent of all technologists Klafterrepliedthatheseesthat it. His momwas born in Israel have some sort of government organization more as a "BS" and he has lots of family there support through what he group and that those who still. His dad is Jay Hoffman, called "meritocracy." Israel would boycott these schools a former NFL player for the has the most technological and all the valuable informa- Eagles and Jets, and had a startups in the world and the tion they impart, are only bit role in "Delta Force" with fastest growing economy. Most hurting themselves. Chuck Norris. To see his father people know that it was Israel Thesecondsessionattended is to see Aft--they look very who developed drip irrigation by this reporter was with Ari much alike and have the same and made the desert bloom-- Hoffman, a UCF senior. This love and passion for Israel. thatideawasn'tjust"aholein brilliant, energeticyoungman Hoffman loves football, but when he met Rabbi Chaim Lipskier of Chabad, he became turned on to Israel. Seeing what will be coming down the road in terms of anti- Semitism at UCF, he started the Knights for Israel, an organiza- tion that provides Israel advo- cacy and education. He didn't waste any time, either. Just this school year, Knights for Israel has had three big events with guest speakers: Dr. Anat Berko, an author who spoke about the abuse of women and children in a martyrdom culture; Professor Richard Bass, who lectured on Israel's right to exist based on the Jews' historical connection to the land. Hoffman has been so influ- ential, that the Judaica Studies programwill use Bass' 75-hour curriculum in its program next fail. The third speaker was Sgt. Benjamin Anthony who shared withthe more than250students in attendance what it is like to be in the Israel Defense Force. As the "icing on the cake," Hoffman helped to put to- gether "Declare Your Free- dom," a celebration of Israel's independence. This event will be held April 6 at the Memorial Mall on campus. It is free and open to the public. Zionista member Eva Ritt is hopeful that the "You Are Israel" program will become an annual event. With all the technical startup companies popping up all over Israel, there will have to be more of these programs to keep up with all the progress going on in the Israeli universities. Diploma From page 7A although Cohen says she and prestate Israel on a ship that her siblings were Salonika evaded the British blockade. after the Jan. 25 rite, but natives. Dora andSamuelsoonjoined says holding the original In fact, the family's roots her there. Esther was cared papers will transport her proved a liability in 1940, forinAthensbytheAmerican back to her youth, when when Italy attacked Greece Jewish Joint Distribution she and siblings Mordechai from neighboring Albania. Committee, thenat 15 moved (nicknamed Marco), Samuel, (Umberto closed abruptly on to Canada, where she was Dora and Esther lived with the day of the attack, never adopted by Israel and Molly their parents, Isaaco and to reopen.) Isaaco, Marcoand Edell of Toronto. The three Hanna, in Salonika. Their Samuel were imprisoned as siblings eventually joined three-bedroom home in a enemy residents. The women Estherin Canada. neighborhood knownasArea of the family subsisted with On visits to Salonika in 151,thenfiiledwithWorldWar relatives' help and in 1943 1972 and 1987, Cohen and I army barracks on the site of relocated to Athens. her late husband, Abraham, anoldJewishghetto, featured With the Nazi occupation stopped at the Umberto alargegardenwithafishpond of Greece, Cohen's brothers, building but did not enter. along with the apricot and fig parents and grandparents She retains fond memories treestypicalofSalonikayards, were deported to Auschwitz; of school friends and of such "There were lots of roses, only Samuel survived. Sara teachers as the Fischietti My father loved roses," Cohen and Dora hid with Christian brothers, who taught music said of Isaaco, who worked as families and survived, as did andhorticulture.Sherecently a pharmacist in the Jewish Esther, who had escapedtracked down a classmate, communal clinic, deportation because she was Rosetta Modiano Miller, now Isaaco and Hanna were hospitalized when the Ger- livingin Florida. immigrants from Livorno, mans entered Athens. Confronting her Salonika Italy, and their children were After the war, a nearlyyouth since the column's registered as born there, too, 17-year-old Cohen reached publicationhasbeendifficult. "I've been having lots of bad dreams the last few nights be- cause of the article--dreams of running and hiding from the Germans," Cohen said. "I wake up sweating and crying. Maybe it's brought up all these memories. But it will pass. "When I remember the school, I remember all the friends, activities and fun we Ritz From page 8A product line of bacon-flavored mayonnaise and salt that bear the O.U. symbol. "There seems to be awhole industry of kosher-certified bacon flavors," Yoskowitz said. ButYoskowitz says he won't be sampling the new crackers. "This is a particular type of American item I don't want to be a part of, specifically had. I wonder about all those people--the classmates and teachers--and what hap- pened to them." Please email Hiilel Kuttler at if you know the whereabouts of any others whose names appeared on the Salonika list or their relatives. If you would like "Seeking Kin" to write about because of the artificial flavor- ing," he said. "I'd rather have beef bacon or lamb bacon on a cracker." He also has a specifically Jewish objection. "To see a Jew eating kosher bacon-flavored crackers is just as confusing as a Jew walking into a non-kosher restaurant," Yoskowitz said. Elefant acknowledged that some Jews will feel uncom- fortable with the product. your search for long-lost relatives and friends, please include the principal facts and your contact information in a brief email. "Seeking Kin" is sponsored by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and fam- ily in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shuchat, a lifelong uniter of the Jewish people. "I'm not saying I wouldn't eat it," he said, "but I could understand someone not eating it." Still, the rabbi sees no prob- lem with issuing certification in this instance. "Kosher law is kosher law," he said. "If proper law, supervision and certification are followed, the law is the law; no law that says you can't have artificial-flavored bacon."