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November 9, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 9, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 9, 2012 By Maxine Dovere JNS .org EAST HAMPTON, N.Y.-- Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski is the scion of the Chemobyl Hasidic dynasty, a Torah scholar, and a world-renowned psychia- trist and educator specializing in the treatment of substance abuse. Of all his possible sources of inspiration, comics are not the first that comes to mind. Yet duringaspeakihg engage- ment this summer at the East Hampton Jewish Center, Chadie Brown and friends peeked out from under the rabbi's hoary beard on a bright red necktie. Indeed, Twerski was paying homage to cartoonist Charles Schulz and his comic strip, Peanuts. Schulz was "one of the most intuitive psychologists in the United States' Twerski--who knows athing ortwo about that field--told "(Schulz) had tremendous insights... (Peanuts character) Linus, he says, is clearly an addict--symbolized by his Psychology, Judaism and Charlie Brown: The layers of An raham Twerski ever-present blanket," Twerski said, noting that he had col- laboratedwith Schulz on several books exploring relationships and spirituality and considered him an astute commentator on American society. In 1972, when few would ad- mit that problems of addiction actually existed in the Jewish community, Twerski founded the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh. Forbes magazine has named the facil- ity one of the nation's top 12 rehabilitation programs. Gateway specializes in the treatment of alcohol and other drug dependencies; Twerski specializes in the treatment of people. The program he devel- opedincorporateswide-ranging and innovative methodologies, integrating Jewish ethics and morality, concepts of the Al- coholics Anonymous (AA) "12 Step" program, traditional clini- calpsychology, andbiochemical treatment. He remains the institution's guiding spirit as its medical director emeritus. At age 82, he splits his time be- tween America and Jerusalem, where he founded the Shaar Hatikvah Rehabilitation Center for Prisoners in Israel. The rabbi has written or co-authored 60 books. In the gentle glow of a late morning in the Hamptons, the octogenarian rabbi appeared alfnost ethereal. Dressed in a for- mal suit at the informal break- fast under the East Hampton Jewish Center's backyard tent, the rabbi exuded an aura of re- spect and dignity. The reverence with which he was approached as he exchanged greetings and shared brief conversations was palpable. Twerski spoke about very dark topics in the sun-drenched sanctuary. His discussion of the depth of the problems of addic- tion in the Jewish community-- from alcohol to substance abuse to the Internet--appeared to shock many in the audience. "We are living in unbelievably difficult times...a difficult time to raise adolescent children," he said. The program created by er- ski in the treatment of chemi- cal dependency incorporates methodologies developed by AA, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon techniques, programs often perceived as having a "Christian" orientation. 3verski says synagogues "are finally opening their doors to 12 Step meetings." With wry humor, he noted, "Even ifa synagogue has an AA program, going is seen as a shandeh (disgrace). Jews are more likely to attend a meeting in a church where no one will recognize them." 3verski expressed his hope that as more synagogues and Jewish institutions are open to AA, that may change. Rabbi Sheldon Zimmer-. man, senior rabbi of the East Hampton Jewish Center, was the rabbi of Central Synagogue of New York City from 1970- 1985. Under his leadership, the first AA group to ever meet in a synagogue was invited to the major New York congregation. His outreach to Jewish alcohol- ics and integration within the healing community was a first for a congregational rabbi. Twerski says AA program concepts are not "alien to Jewishness" and have grat "compatibility" with Jewish theology. His interpretation of the "12 Steps" is an inhereritly Jewish one. Acknowledgement of a greater power that can restore health and welibeing is a fundamental Talmudic belief. Recovery, according to Twerski, requires responsibility, and divine help will be forthcoming only when one does his share of the work. "The Talmud says there is good and evil inclination in every person... The evil inclina- tion seeks absolute freedom, not to be restrained," he said. Twerski warned that we are living ina"culture that demands instant gratification." "Kids can't tolerate theieast bit of frustration," he said. Contemporary culture doesn't pay attention to consequences, but rather allows an "if it feels good, do it" attitude, according to %verski. "Thepursuitofhappinesshas PAGE 13A become the pursuit of pleasure" he said. Asked if at least part of the addiction problems arising in young-adult patients might stem from the rampant use of medication in the treatment of children, verski told JNS. org that he is a proponent of discipline, cautioning that the addicted person--child or adult - must feel that self-control is for his or her good, and accept responsibility for actions. As a physician, Twerski also looks at the biochemistry of addiction. ',s long as the brain is af- fected by chemicals, doctors can do nothing," he said. Twerski stressed in his lec- ture that it is important for the Jewish community as a whole, especially spiritual and com- munal leaders, to learn more about alcoholism and chemical dependency. He believes the treasury of Jewish tradition and learning has much to offer and that AA-style programs can be an invaluable ally for recovering Jews everywhere. Seeking Kin: Honoring those ,no assured Nazi loot's return By Hillel Kuttler While the Monuments Men 10 Of his 13 months with the BALTIMORE (JTA)--Like many immigrant s from Ger- many who fought in the U.S. military during World War II, Harry Ettlinger served his adopted country by translating captured materials and inter- preting during interrogations of enemy prisoners. But within that population of soldiers, Ettlinger played a unique role. He was assigned to a little-known department of the Allied forces that located and returned important docu- ments and works of art that the Nazis had taken from public and private collections. The 350-member departmentoper- ated in small groups attached to military units in Western Europe at the end of World War II and in its aftermath. Ettlinger, 86, of Rockaway, N.J., is one of six surviving Monuments Men--the male and female members of the Al- lies' Monuments, FineArts and Archives Department--and received an award from the American Jewish Historical Society at its Nov. 1 dinner in Manhattan. Col. Seymour Pomrenze was honored posthumously at the event for having sent to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research thousands of docu- ments and other items that the Nazis had looted from Vilna's Strashun library of Jewish works. Pomrenze also returned Judaica to communi- ties or their former residents, and when that wasn't possible the treasures, including Torah scrolls and crowns, were given to Jewish museums. All told, the Monuments Men restored more lthan 5 million cultural objects to their rightful owners, and they are the model for contemporary restitution efforts relating to Nazi-plundered art, according totheAmericanJewish Histori- cal Society's executive director, Jonathan Karp. And their story is about to become much more well known: George Clooney is in Europe directing a movie titled "The Monuments Men" that is due out late next year. helped return items that the Nazis "stole indiscriminately from all sources," Jews had owned "a disproportionate amount" of the looted art, Karp said. The department's mission stemmed from the position taken by the Roosevelt admin- istration's Roberts Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monu- ments in War Areas, which Karp summarized as "To the victors do not go the spoils." It was "a unique decision in the history of warfare," he said. Helping the cause was that many of the Monuments Men were scholars and museum officials themselves, enabling them to identify what the Na- zis had stolen from public and private collections. They also were aided by non-Nazi German museum officials. Ettlinger, however, was not an art expert. Shortly after be- ing shipped to Europe with his U.S. Army unit, he was tapped for duty as an interpreter be- cause hewas fluentin German. A native of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany, he had moved to the United States with his parents and two younger brothers in late 1938. The Et- tlingers spent several months living in upper Manhattan, where the teenage Harry often ascended to the roof of the family's apartment building to watch Columbia University football games being played at Baker Field below. The family soon moved to nearby Newark, N.J. His work with Monuments Men began shortly after Et- tlinger reached the 7th Army's headquarters in Munich in 1945. He accompanied an American officer to the jail cell of Heinrich Hoffmann, Adolf Hitler's personal photographer. Ettlinger interpreted during the prisoner's interrogation. In atelephone interview Oct. 22, he recalled that the inter- rogation centered on Hoffman's knowledge of the whereabouts ofartworks looted by the Nazis. Ettlinger, a retired mechani- cal engineer, estimated that Monuments Men were spent in the salt mines in Heilbronn- Kochendorf, not far from his hometown. The vast mines, which the Germans had booby trapped, contained 40,000 crates of looted art, books and other cultural treasures. Each box was marked with numbers and initials corresponding to its museum, library or collection of origin. "They'd tell me, 'Harry, get box so-and-so from this art mu- seum and open it up here, and make sure ithas this particular painting," Ettlinger said. The retrieved item or box was then forwarded to a collection point in Wiesbaden or Munich, and on to its rightful home. Ettlinger was not personally involved with the repatriation of stolen Judaica, most of which the Nazis stored in Offenbach. But one painting he found has a personal connection to his fam- ily: a Rembrandt self-portrait at the Heilbronn-Kochendorf mines that the department would soon return to its owner, the Karlsruhe Art Museum, whichwasjust a few blocks from Ettlinger's childhood home. The Nazis had hidden the Rembrandt and other major works to protect them from possible Allied bombings, ac- cording to Tessa Rosebrock, an art historian and provenance researcher at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe mu- seum. Praising Ettlinger, Rose- brock said he "did his job in helping his original country, Germany, get better after the war" and in "making a new start." Her research indicated that an agent of Karoline Luise, the duchess of the Baden region, had purchased the Rembrandt at a Paris auction in 1761. Itwas displayed with other pieces in the duchess's Karlsruhe Castle, forming the basis of the city's future art museum. Meanwhile, in 1920, Et- tlinger's grandfather, Otto Oppenheimer, had bought an etching of the Rembrandt. When Oppenheimer and his wife, Emma, fled Germany, National Archives and Records Administration Harry gttlinger (r) and Dale Ford, U.S. soldiers who served in the Monuments Men, are shown in 1945 or 1946 inspecting a Rembrandt self-portrait in a salt mine where the Nazis stored stolen and hidden art. their possessions remained behind in a warehouse in Bruchsal, the town north of Karlsruhe where they lived. After completing his military service in 1946, Ettlinger retrieved his grandparents' possessions and shipped them to America. Four years ago, Ettlinger was looking through some boxes in search of art. This time the boxes were his, and he smiled broadly upon locating his grandfather's Rembrandt etching. The etching now hangs in Ettlinger's living room. His three children and four grandchildren see it whenever they visit. The "Seeking Kin" column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. Please email Hillel Kuttler at seek- if you would like "Seeking Kin" to write about your search for long- lost relatives and friends. Please include the principal facts and your contact in- formation in a brief email. "Seeking Kin" is sponsored by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and family in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shu- chat, a lifelong uniter of the Jewish people. 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