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December 18, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 18, 2009

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PAGE 22A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 By Stacey Palevsky writer and member of Congre- motherandfather, bothstricken One thing Richter and Ande j. the Jewish news weekly gation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. by the disease, were afraid of pointout:thatadonationofonly of Northern California "Children get left behind being seen at an HIV clinic. $25willbuyachildauniformso because they're not in people's Their shame prevented them they can go to school. SAN FRANCISCO--In the consciousness," she added, from seeking help early in the "It doesn't take that much to 1980s,journalistRuthannRich- Apropos of its title, "Face to disease's progression, and they help," Ande said. ter spent countless hours in San Face"introducesreaderstochil- ended up dead. Ande, a physical therapist Francisco hospital rooms inter- dren orphaned by AIDS--with Mama Darlene's Childrenwho lives in San Francisco, viewing AIDS patients during detailednarrativesandarresting Centeralsorunsagoatprogram. began photographing children the early days of the epidemic, photographs. Similar to Heifer International, orphaned by parents who died But even those often unset- The bookshows ageneration it provides poor families with a of AIDS in 2000. tling encounters could not pre- of children who end up living dairy goat that generates both Sheandherhusbandinitially pareherforwhatshe'dseeyears onthe streets, inan orphanage food and income, traveledtoKenyaonanenviron- later in African orphanages, or, if they're lucky, with their Three years ago, Richter and mental science expedition, but "The number of people who grandparents, her congregation, Kol Emeth, on their third trip, they ended continuetodieinAfricabecause As depressingas that sounds, raised $10,000 for the goat proj- up at an orphanage. drugsarenotavailableorafford- the book also contains some ecLAndeengagedherMethodist "I was totally captivated by able is staggering," said Richter, cause for optimism. A number church in similar activism and these children," Ande said. a Palo Alto resident, of nonprofits have sprung up fundraising. More than that, she became "Here [in the United States], to address the needs of these "To this day people ask me distraught when she heard we have the medication to save children, and "Face to Face" how the goats are doing," their stories--"how some lives. It's infuriating to see a documentsseveralorphanages, Richter said. wandered the streets, looking woman [with AIDS in Africa] schools and pharmacies that Richter also arranged for a for their mothers, very upset. and know she will die a need- reachouttoandempowerthese Kenyan priest, Father Kiriti, to And then someone would find less deathand leavebehind four young victims, visit Kol Emeth and deliver a the mother in a pile of bodies children." For instance, in a small d'var torah to the congregation at the morgue." That's the tragic axis around Kenyan town 35 miles east of on Shabbat in 2007 and again Whenshereturnedhomeand which Richter's new book Nairobi, a community school in 2008. began to process her film, Ande spins. "Face to Face: Children at Mama Darlene's Children He spoke about his village, watched as the photos of the of the AIDS Crisis in Africa" Centre has been providing an Naivasha, and the challenges orphans' faces developed in the was published this month in education to vulnerable, poor AIDS has created for the com- darkroom. Moreover, she knew collaboration with her college ordisabled children since 1996. munity. In"Face to Face," he is immediatelythatshehadtotake friend, photographer Karen RuthannRichterinKibera, a quoted as saying that "a week action--by raising money, by Ande.Thebookisasadyethope- Nairobi slum. Mama Darlene's withoutafuneralisagoodweek." taking more photographs and ful photographic tour of how alsoprovidesHIVcounseling-- "It'snotoftenthatanAfrican by taking her friend, Richter, Kenya has dealt with children amuch-neededcommodityina priest speaks at a shul," Richter on her next trip whoseparentshavediedofAIDS, country where people are often said."Itwasthefirsttimehehad "Itcangetkindofdepressing, It's a subject that "there is afraidtoseekassistancebecause beeninasynagogue, andhetold butifyoustayinadisempowered astonishingly little information AIDS still is widely stigmatized, me hewas quite impressed. The place, you'll never make any dif- about" in the United States, said For example, Richter and Ande congregationalsoseemedquite ference," Ande said. "So I had to Richter, a longtime medical met one young orphan whose taken with him." get beyond my emotional reac- Mary (left) with her sister, Home in Gilgil, Kenya. Karen Ande Caroline, at Saidia Children's tion, becauseitwouldn'thelpthe is moved by how her congrega- kids one bit if I'd stayed there." tion has mobilized to help, and Both women were motivated, how her teenage daughter has in part, by their anger--they also taken up the cause. have watched HIV become a "My daughter has come to manageablediseaseintheUnited realize that there is another States, and yet in most of Africa, world beyond her own--a very, drugsareeithertooexpensiveor very different world--and that otherwise inaccessible,she can do something that will Because she works as the have an impact," Richter said. director of media relations at "I think it's important to plant the Stanford University School that seed at a young age." of Medicine, Richter said it was "Face toFace: Children ofthe especially difficult for her to deal AIDS Crisis inAfrica" by Karen with the fact that a mother could AndeandRuthannRichter(121 die simply because she didn't pages, Hope Publishing House, have access to medication. She $39.95) called it "infuriating." Reprinted with permission Yet collaborating with Ande from j. the Jewish news weekly on "Face to Face" has been of Northern California, www. encouraging, she said. Richter History From page 1A newspaper and public radio Rabbi Shoni Labowitz iscould live here. Marcia Jo reporter in Massachusetts, the firstwomaninher family Zerivitz, the museum's found- Desilets has designed night- New York, New Jersey and of along lineage of rabbinic ing executive director and clubs and restaurants, while Pennsylvania. scholars to become a rabbi, chief curator, worked closely building her Morris Lapidus WeinsteinwillspeakaboutIn 1992 she and her husband with legislators to translate Collection. Syd Hoff, who was born in co-foundedTempleAdathOrthe museum's mission into Desilets will discuss the 1912 in the Bronx, NewYork. in Fort Lauderdale. She has a statewide observance. It FloridaJewishaspectsofthe While Hoff was still in high inspired others through her seemed appropriate to honor artworks of Morris Lapidus school, MiltGross, apopular books and an artistic prayer Jewish contributions to the and Jewish American artist, 1930scartoonist, toldhimat book, Torah classes, radio state, as about 16 percent of musician, filmmakerandoc- an assembly, "Kid, someday program, and Living Waters theAmericanJewishcommu- casional actor, Larry Rivers. you'llbe a great cartoonist!" spiritual health spa. She is nity lives in Florida.Butwhile He was known as the "Godfa- At 16 he dropped out of high pursuing her lifelong dream Florida hosts the nation's ther" and "Grand Father"of school and enrolled at the as a full time artist, often thirdlargest Jewish commu- Pop art, because he was one NationalAcademyofDesignusing Kabbalistic concepts, nity, it is perceived to have a of the first artists to really in New York City. At 18, he Neitzah Benbenishti is an "new" Florida Jewish history merge non-objective, non- sold his first cartoon to The artist and art teacher from starting after World War II. narrative art with narrative New Yorker, and would sell South Africa, who now lives In reality, Jews and any and objective abstraction, a total of 571 of them to on Miami Beach. She will people other than Catholics In 1995, Rivers began his the publication from 1931 speakaboutthehowmagicalhave been allowed to live in trips to Miami Beach, where to 1975. He drew two long- depths of Torah and Chassi- the stateonlysince1763when he had an art studio, and running syndicated comic dus are the true inspiration Florida was taken from the continued until his death strips: "Tuffy," which ran and guidance for her work. Spanish and turned over to in 2002. Desilets gained from 1932 to 1957 and Laugh Benbenishti says, "Spiritual- the British in the Treaty of a particular appreciation It Off which ran from 1958 ity is involved in the process Paris following the French for the joys and sorrows of to 1978. Hoffwroteandillus- of any creation, specifically andIndianWar.ThefirstJews the Jewish psyche at work trated over 60volumes in the art, aswell as having the abil- settled in Pensacola that year in creativity. For the first HarperCollins "I Can Read" ity to paint, thereby trans- andbought property to begin time, Desilets is ready to series for beginning readers, forming mundane material businesses.DavidLevyYulee, talk about the ideas and the most notably "Sammy theobjects into meaningful and a Jew, brought Florida into men, and their Jewish legacy Seal" in 1959 and the popular sacred matter." statehood in 1845, served as in the arts. "Danny and the Dinosaur" The concept for Floridaits first U.S. senator and was DinaWeinstein is a Coral in 1958, which has sold 10 Jewish History Month began the first person of Jewish Gables, Florida-based free- million copies andhas been at the Jewish Museum ofancestry to serve in the U.S. lance journalist. She moved translated into a dozen lan- Florida, which collects, pre- Congress. to Florida from Chicago, guages. He was also the host serves and interprets the Jew- "Florida's greatest asset where she wrote columns of a television show, "Tales ish experience in Florida that is its people," Zerivitz said. for the Hyde Park Herald of Hoff," in which he drew is documented since 1763. "Among the myriad ethnic newspaper and commentar- andtoldstories.Hofflivedin For 250 years after Ponce de groups that have passed ies for Chicago Public Radio. Miami Beach since the1950s Leon'sdiscoveryofFloridafor throughourStatesince1513, She has worked as a daily until his death in 2004. Spain in 1513, only Catholics Jewsarenotableforremaining here and retaining their iden- tity. Like other groups, Jews have actively participated in shaping the destiny of Florida. January of each year is a time to reflect on the significant contributions Floridian Jews have made." Educational materials for Florida Jewish History Month and a speech that can be de- livered by anyone for an orga- nization, congregation, school or civic group can be found on the museum's Web site, www. Images courtesy of the Jewish Mu- seum of Florida Syd Hoff, who wrote and il- lustrated the famous "Danny and the Dinosaur" and some 60 other books, will be an- other of the subjects in the Jewish Museum's discussion. A portrait of Moses, by Morris Lapidus. Rabbi Shoni Labowitz, who created the sculpture here, is one of the featured speakers at the Jewish Mu- seum event. Schafer From page 1A American and Jewish an obligation to do some- cultures, thing different on this She has recorded six origi- With the new edition one: to combine the posi- nal pop songs on this CD of Johnny Demarkis on tive spiritual message that of 14 tracks, which offers drums, the music takes I've always tried to convey a subtle and optimisticon rock arrangements through my music, withthe intermingling of spiritual that show off the depthpracticalities of everyday themes with modern day and diversity of her band. life and the music that we travails. The album also "Everybody is grooving and all hear everyday." offers an uplifting cover singing like never before-- Since its special release, of Leonard Cohen's "Hal- undoubtedly the track "Prayer of the lelujah," and two original invested in the overallWorkin' Man" has placed reggae tunes drawn fromsound of the album," said in the 2009 Indie Interna- Native Schafer. "I felt like I had tional Song Competition. One of the judges said that the song stands up "with the best that is coming out of Nashville. [Schafer] has learned her craft." Other songs are currently com- peting in national song contests and have already become favorites at her live shows. Beth Schafer's entire cat- alog is available on Amazon. com, iTunes and all major download services. Beth Schafer's new CD, "Raise It Up Bring It Down" is available on her Web site and at other online music venues.