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November 29, 2013

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 29, 2013 By BoazArad It's what connected theer--something good that party's two organizers, Reza can bring other people like BERLIN (JTA)--It's 4 a.m. Khani and Roy Siny. us together." at the famous Kater Holzig Khani, 36, is a well-known Thus was born No Beef. cluband hundreds of beautiful figure in Berlin nightlife as the Israeli Guy"Katzele" Kenneth young people are going crazy proprietor of a successful bar and Iranians Namito Khalaj onthedancefloortothesound in the hip Kreuzberg neigh- andAfaghIrandoostwerethe of heavy electronic beats, borhood. Siny, 35,is adoctoral first to join. DJ Asaf Samuel To the casual clubber, it's studentatPotsdamUniversity (Michatronix)washauledover just another ordinary night by day and a popular techno from Tel Aviv to play the first out in Europe's hottest city. DJ by night, party on Aug. 17. A massive But this gathering is far ThetwofirstmetatKhani'squeue of hundreds of people from ordinary. Many of those bar. Siny was having a few stretched 300 feet down the dancingareimmigrantsfrom drinks with his girlfriend block. two countries whose ongoing and ended up playing a spon- "We decided we don't want tensions could explode in taneous set. Few words were any kind of brochures or po- the world's face at any given exchanged, but the pair con- litical talk in our party, just moment, nected again on Facebook, at good music and good vibes," Welcome to the first Irani- thebottomofalongcommentSinysaid."Ihavebeentomany an-Israelitechnoparty orga- thread about the situation in politically themed parties nized by the Iranian-Israeli the Middle East. here in Berlin, and I really collective No Beef. Siny was engaged in a didn't like them. You always It's the kind of thing that heateddiscussionwithradical see the same faces. could only happen in Berlin: German anti-Israel activists. "The German left-wing IraniansandIsraelisclubbing Khani, who was tired of see- scene is very closed and togetherinsideaWorldWar II- ing the argument popping up narrow-minded. It seems like era German soap factory that on his feed, messaged him people there get together not now houses some of the city's privately and told him to take to have fun but because it's best parties, high, happy and it easy. partofsome routine. Nothing sweaty, grinding it like there's "I told him he's wasting his good can come out of that. no tomorrow to tunes spun by energy on people who have We wantedpeople coming to DJs from Tehran and TelAviv. no real understanding of our our party to feel at home and Acoupleofthemsitaround reality," Khani said. "That connect with each other, and a small campfire outside the these guys are only interested I thinkwe succeeded in that." maindancehall, onthebanks in arguing, not in finding After recovering from their of the Spree River, passing solutions.We started talking, firstparty, Siny and Khanisat around sweet-smelling peace and it was very clear we have down to plan a mutual trip to blunts and munching on much more in common than Israel--and another party. If hummusand Persian chicken just our love for music." someone had stumbled into stew prepared by a Persian- It was clear as well that the meeting, if would have Jewish Israeli restaurateur. Siny was different from other been hard to tell who was the The air is filled with small IsraelisKhanihadmet--most Israeli and who was the Ira- talk in Hebrew, Farsi and ev- of whom, he says, are suspi- nian--except for the fact that eryone's common language, cious and assume he must be Siny was wearing a Hapoel German. Nobody talks about an anti-Semite. Tel-Aviv FC T-shirt. Germans politics or nuclear bombs. It's "Roy was on a completely can't really tell them apart. just a bunch of young people different frequency," Khani "We are similar in so many sitting together, enjoying the said. "We talked and talked ways," Khani said. "It's not moment and connecting to and eventually decided we only how we talk or how we eachotherthroughthemusic, must do something togeth- see things that are so alike. Roy Siny, left, and Reza Khani No Beef. Boaz Arad are the founders of the Iranian-Israeli party collective Iranians and Israelis have Berlin, theyparty, theysome- radicalization in Iran. It's gone through a lot of tough times study, they don't really all politics. It has nothing to experiences in their lives and need to work, and they don't do with the real will of the it makes them, in a way, a bit even realize how privileged people." melancholic. It's something they are and always complain Will they ever be able to we don't have in common about the stupidest things, throw the same kind of party with, let's say, Canadians." They've never had to struggle in Tel Aviv or Tehran? Siny said Khani told him to survive like us." Not in the near future, as of his most vivid childhood Both men say their parties far as the two friends can tell. memory--hiding from Iraqi are intended not only to bring Both agree that Berlin, where bombers strafing Iran during togethertwopeopleswhohave thousandsofIranianandIsraeli the eight-year war between much in common, but also immigrants live side by side, is the countries. Siny had the to show the rest of the world the perfect location for them. same memory of running that Iranians and Israelis are "My utopian vision, which to the bomb shelter as Iraqi not enemies--that there is, might sound a little bit like rockets fell on Israel during well, nobeef, a John Lennon song or a the 1991 Gulf War. "The truth is that histori- 12-year-old girl's dream, is a "Young Germans, for ex- cally speaking, Persians and world where race and religion ample, will never be able to Jews were never enemies," play no importance and ev- understand that," Siny said. Khani said. "What's happen- erybody lives together in har- "They lead very comfortable ing now is a result of Israeli mony and peace," Khani said. lives. They don't know what policy in the occupied ter- "Until that happens, Berlin is war is. Many ofthem come to ritories and of the Islamic the closest thing there is." Tova Kinderlehrer and her husband, Micah Simmons, are hoping to draw 10 Jewish families to their farm in rural Pennsylvania. By Talia Lavin ville, Pa., they named Farm "We never wanted to settle Schmarm. Along with their there, but felt like we had no NEW YORK (JTA)--For three children, theycare for other option." most of the seven years Tova 16 hens, five turkeys and four Intentional communities Kinderlehrer lived with her roosters. Eventually they are residential collectives young family in Pittsburgh, hopeto use the land to raise designedtoincorporateahigh she wished she were some- kosher meat. level ofsocialinterconnected- where else. But the price of life in the ness, often organized around Her son wasn't doing well countryhasbeenthe loss of an a particular cause or spiritual in school, her husband's con- observantJewishcommunity, orientation. A number of Jew- struction career had stalled Sothe Kinderlehrers are hop- ish versions have sprung up and Kinderlehrer, though ing to create their own, build- across the country in recent part of a "massive" urban ing the infrastructure they years--including AVODAH, community, felt isolated. She hope will eventually support an anti-poverty nonprofit dreamed of escape, anintentional community of whose participants live in In 2011, Kinderlehrer atleast 10 Jewish families, communal apartments in four and her husband, Micah "Right now it's impossible cities, andtheAdamahfellow- Simmons, bought a 38- to be a frum Jew outside the ship in Connecticut, where acre property in Conneaut- city," Kinderlehrer told JTA. fellows learn sustainable ag- riculture andshare housing at The far-flung participants ian way of living," Welzer told the Isabella Freedman Jewish in the nascent Jewish inten- JTA."With like-minded other Retreat Center. tional community movement people, they have a real sense But those communities embrace diverse approaches of commonality and corn- generally are temporary and to community life. Some are munity. I think that's what aimed at younger people, hopingtobringcommunitar- peoplearelackinginourworld For families and individuals ian principles to urban set- today, and it all comes back to looking to live in such a com- tings, but manyaim to pursue roots, community and sense munitylongterm, theoptions intentional lifestyles in rural, of place." are few and far between, agrarian environments. Though diverse, the models "There are many young "I feel there's an agricul- ofintentionalcommunitybe- Jewish families, baby boom- tural aspect to Judaism that ing explored throughout the ers and people of all different feels like it hasn't been cele- countryarebroadlyunitedina backgrounds who are really bratedfullyhereinAmerica," viewthatsomethingessential ignited by a vision of more said Stacey Oshkello, who is absent from conventional than just small, short-term with her husband, Craig, are expressions of Judaism in opportunities, that this is planning a community inAmerica. Conference organiz- actually a whole way of life," rural Vermont called Living ers hope to harness a trans- Jakir Manela, executive direc- Tree Alliance. formational impulse toward tor of the Pearlstone Center, The Oskhellos already live more spiritually informed told JTA. "People of all differ- in an intentional community, and ecologically sensitive ent Jewish backgrounds are Cold Pond Community Land living taking root across the inspired by that vision." Trust, in Acworth, N.H. But United States. In an effort to make that while Oshkello says she has "Jewsusedtoprayforrain," vision a reality, Pearlstone gained much from the expe- Kinderlehrer said. "Now they haspartneredwiththeJewish rience, she feels a persistent just go to the supermarket." environmental group Hazon lack of Jewish experience in For Kinderlehrer, agrarian and Isabella Freedman to her current living situation. Judaism resonates with her organize the inaugural Jew- The community they hopespiritual orientation. She ish Intentional Communities tobuildwilljoinanecological marvels that contemporary Conference, which was held agenda that includes animal- Orthodox Jewish communi- last week at the Pearlstone powered farming and herbal tieseatShabbatmealsoffSty- retreat center in suburban medicineswithintensiveJew- rofoamplatesandsupplement Baltimore. Organizers hope ish life--"intertwined," their theirdietswithmargarineand the conferencewillencourage website says,"like the strands marshmallows. Shelongs fora the formation of a network of of a challah." Judaism that exists in concert individuals already living in a Steve Welzer and Delanewith the land. Jewish intentional commu- Lipka, who are building an "It's hard to connect to nity or hoping to create one. intentional community called Hashem in a paved world," "Our hope is that this MountEdenEcovillageon180 she said. "But we want to live conference will bring many acres in Warren County, N.J., in harmony with the land and of these people together, and already are in contact with let parents bring that idea to that by doing so we'll really five young Jewish families their children. Because the kindle that spark," said Ni- considering a move there, foundation of being human gel Savage, the founder and "Thesefamiliesarelooking is being part of something executive director of Hazon. to get back to a communitar- larger than yourself."