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July 13, 2018     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 13, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 13, 2018 PAGE 11A IS By Ben Sales NEW YORK (JTA)--Grow- ing up in Imperial Japan during World War II, Isaac Shapiro's best friend was a member of the Hitler Youth. The friend wore the organi- zation's brown shirt uniform to their international school every day, but not because he wanted to--he was Ger- man and Japan was an ally of the Nazi regime, so he was expected to project support for the Fuehrer. Instead of instilling fear into his classmates, however, the uniform had the opposite effect--his non-German peers gently teased him. "We made fun of him -- ev- erybody at school made fun of him," Shapiro said. "We didn't support the German Reich. "He was obviously not very enthusiastic about being in the Hitlerjugend," Shapiro added, using the German word for Hitler Youth. Countless Jews have har- rowing stories of growing up under the terror of Nazi rule, but Shapiro has a different tale of growing up under the Axis--he was one of the few Jews living in Japan at the time. He was born in 1931, the year Japan invaded Manchuria, and was living there when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. Shapiro, now 87, is the author of "Edokko: Growing Up a Stateless Foreigner in Wartime Japan," a childhood memoir that first came out in 2010 and was republished late last year. The title is a term that refers to someone born and raised in Tokyo. While Shapiro's story con- tains elements of World War II-era totalitarianism--the police state, the pervasive propaganda--it is unique because it's not a tragedy. Shapiro wanted the U.S. to win. He survived American bombings in Japan. He had some idea of what was hap- pening to Europe's Jews. But he also has fond recollections of his Japanese neighbors and his wartime childhood friends. "We didn't feel we were living among the enemy," Shapiro told JTA last week, sitting in the living room of his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. "Our neighbors were pleasant, de- cent people. We got the same food rations the Japanese got. They were very fair." Shapiro's family came to Japan after a whirlwind of international travel. His parents, both Russian Jewish musicians, met and married in Berlin. They sensed danger early, immigrating to what was then Palestine via Paris in 1926 to escape the prospect of Nazi rule. When they found life difficult there, they moved to Harbin, a city in northeast- ern Chinawith a large Russian Jewish immigrant population. In 1931, the year Shapiro was born, his father took a job at a music conservatory in Tokyo. Shapiro was born in Japan but lived back in Japanese- occupied Harbin from 1931 to 1936 because his parents had separated. While there, his family got a traumatic taste of the Japanese police state. One man su Isaac Shapiro, lives in New York. Ben Sales now 87, day in 1933, while he was at home with his brothers, the Japanese military helped a gang kidnap his mother and a family friend, Simon Kaspe. His mother was released in a matter of hours, but Kaspe was killed. The incident was scary enough to prompt his parents to reunite the family in Japan. "The Japanese military were unusually autocratic and difficult," Shapiro said, though he allowed that in general he "didn't feel any oppression or any change because of the Japanese tak- ing over." His lifewas shaken up again by the escalation of World War II and the abolition of any vestiges of democracy in Japan. After the United States and United Kingdom declared war on Japan following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, Shapiro's British school was closed. His family needed to obtain permission whenever they wanted to leave Yoko- hama, the coastal city where they lived and received all their news from a heavily censored English newspaper. "It made us much more conscious of the role of the military," Shapiro said of the start of the war. "Military police were much more vis- ible everywhere. They would call on us every now and then. We felt we were under surveillance." Despite the tight govern- ment control, Shapiro spent the early years of the war in the bubble of an international school. At home, he and his family would talk about their hopes for an American vic- tory and a defeat of Germany, which Shapiro wrote about privately in his diary. His father played a role in helping Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews. When some of those Jews reached Japan in 1941, before Japan and the U.S. were at war, Shapiro's father would translate for them at the American consulate in Yokohama. Those survivors relayed news of the Holocaust to Shapiro's family. The family also managed to maintain some private Jewish practices while living within a Nazi ally. They would eat Shabbat dinners at home on Friday night, and his father wore a kippah at those meals. They avoided pork, and on Passover they imported mat- zah from Harbin. "We knew what has happen- ing to the Jews in Germany and we wanted Germany to lose the war," Shapiro said. "We were very quiet about it and didn't want the Japanese to think we were against them. Privately, we were hopeful that Japan would lose the war." The war came home in 1944, when the Japanese mili- tary evacuated the coastline and sent his family to live in Tokyo, where they endured heavy American bombing. Shapiro's family had to run frequently to air raid shelters and pump water by themselves to put out fires. A Russian immigrant friend of his was killed in a bombing. "Itwas frighteningbecause Tokyo was burning," Shapiro said. "The bombs fell all around us." By 1945, it was cl~ar that Japanwas losing thewar, even though the nation's censored newspaper downplayed the military defeats as temporary setbacks. When the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, Shapiro recalls it being covered as a small item in the paper so as not to scare readers. When the war ended, Sha- piro met an American Army officer who was seeking Eng- lish speakers. He signed on with the Army, at age 14, to be a translator -- but ended up translating for the U.S. Navy in Japan after the war. "I have to go home and get some clothes and tell my par- ents," Shapiro recalled telling the Army officer at the time. But his parents didn't mind. "They were in such a state of shock about the end of the war and occupation," he said. "They were very tolerant of my deviant behavior." A Marine officer anchis wife took in Shapiro and, h 1946, with the encouragenent of his parents, moved wth him to Hawaii and actedas his guardians. Shapiro atended high school there, thcl went on to college and lawschool at Columbia Universiy, and a long career at the la'~ firms of Milbank Tweed an~ Skad- den Arps. In 1952, he served inhe Ko- rean War, sweeping fomines and interrogating Kor.ans in Japanese. In the late1970s, he and his wife got tclive in Japan during peacetirn, help- ing establish Milbank ~eed's Tokyo office. "There were lots of Ameri- cans by that time," Shapiro said of Tokyo. "It was com- pletely different. Wten we went down to Hiroshma, it was unrecognizable." To Publish Legal Notices For Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, Call Heritage Florida Jewish News at 407-834-8787 or email Orlando Weekday Morning Minyan (Conservative/Egalitarian), services Monday- Friday 7:45 a.m. (9 a.m.--national holidays); 2nd floor Chapel--Jewish Academy of Orlando; 851 N. Maitland Ave Maitland. For information call 407-298-4650. Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), services and holiday schedules shown at www.; 407-566-9792. Chabad Lubaviteh of North Orlando (O), 1701 Markham Woods Road, Longwood, 407-636-5994,; services: Friday 7:00 p.m.; Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Chabad of Altamonte Springs (O), 414 Spring Valley Lane, Altamonte Springs, 407- 280-0535; Chabad of South Orlando (O), 7347 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 407-354-3660; www.; Shabbat services: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. and 10 minutes before sunset; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, 8:15 a.m. Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts (O), 1190 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach, 321-777-2770. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd Maitland, 407-644- 2500;; services: Sunday, 9 a.m.; Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.; Shabbat services: Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Family service, 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 181 E. Mitchell Hammock, Oviedo, 407-830-7211; www.; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, 407-862-3505; www.; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Congregation Beth El (C), 2185 Meadowlane Ave West Melbourne, 321-779-0740; Shabbat services, 1st & 3rd Friday, 8 p.m.; 2nd & 4th Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407-222-6393; Shabbat service: monthly, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Israel (Rec), Collins Resource Center, Suite 303, 9401 S.R. 200, Ocala, 352-237-8277;; Shabbat service, second Friday of the month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom (R-C), 315 North 13th St Leesburg, 352-326-3692; www.; schedule of services on website. Congregation Beth Shalom (Progressive Conservative), Orange City congregation holds services at 1308 E. Normandy Blvd Deltona; 386-804-8283; www.mybethshalom. corn; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation B'nai Torah (C), 403 N. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1174;; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (O), 1079 W. Granada Blvd Ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation of Reform Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr Orlando, 407-645-0444; Shabbat services, 7 p.m. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Fridays; 6 p.m 4th and 5th Fridays; Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321-768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland, 407-298- 4650;; Shabbat service, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd Kissimmee, 407-935- 0064;; Shabbat service, 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month, 8 p.m. Congregation Shomer Ysraei (C), 5382 Hoffner Ave Orlando, 407-227-1258, call for services and holiday schedules. Congregation Sinai (C/R), 303?, N. S.R. 27, Minneola; 352-243-5353; congregation-; services: every Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Shabbat Service evert Saturday, 10 a.m. Orlando Torah Center (O), 8591 Banyan Bird, Orlando; 347-456-6485; Shacharis- Shabbos 9 a.m.; Mon.--Thurs. 6:45 a.m.; Sun. and Legal Holidays 8 a.m.; Mincha/Maariv Please call for times. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka- Vineland Rd Orlando, 407-239-5444; Shabbat service, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813-324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386-445-3006; Shabbat service, Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254-6333; www.; Shabbat services: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Minyan, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. Temple Beth Shalom (R), 1109 N.E. 8th Ave Ocala, 352-629-3587; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m.; Torah study: Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49 Banyan Coursel Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 50 S. Moss Rd Winter Springs, 407-647-3055;; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday 9:00 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Temple Israel (C), 579 N. Nova Road, Ormond Beach, 386-252-3097; Shabbat service, Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday: 10:30 a.m. Temple Israel of DeLand (R), 1001 E. New York Ave DeLand, 386-736-1646; www.; Friday Shabbat service, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. followed by Torah study. Temple Shalom (formerly New Jewish Congregation) (R), 13563 Country Road 101, Oxford, 352-748-1800;; Shabbat services: Friday, 7 p.m.; last Saturday of the month, 9:30 a.m. Temple Shalom of Deltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd Deltona, 386-789-2202; www.; Shabbat service; Saturday: 10 a.m. Temple Shir Shalom (R) Services held at Temple Israel, 50 S. Moss Rd Winter Springs, 407-366-3556,; Shabbat services: three Fridays each month, 7:30 p.m. Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora (T) Mount Dora, 352-735-4774; www.; Shabbat services: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. sharp. (R) Reform (C) Conservative (0) Orthodox (Rec) Reconstructionist (T) Mehitsa