JTNews | July 5, 2013

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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for July 5, 2013.

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<ul><li><p>www . j t n e w s . n e t n j u l y 5 , 2 0 1 3 n 2 7 t a m m u z 5 7 7 3 n v o l u m e 8 9 , n o . 1 4JEWISHthe voice ofJTnews w a s h i n g t o n the jccs rebuild page 12meet the new boss page 6</p><p>It could have been </p><p>worse</p><p>A roundup of this years legislative session on page 7.</p><p>@jew_ish @jewishcal/jtnewsprofessionalwashington.comconnecting our local Jewish community</p></li><li><p>2 israel: to your health JtNews . www.JtNews.Net . friday, July 5, 2013</p><p>CongratulationsTo our New Board MeMBers</p><p>Lori GradingerMoss Patashniksusan edelheit</p><p>THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE.THE POWER OF COMMUNITY.OF GREATER SEATTLE</p><p>When people are made leaders of the community, the experience enriches them.</p><p> Talmud, Yoma</p><p>www.jewishinseattle.org</p><p>Games people play, and other rehabilitation successesJanis siegel JTNews Correspondent</p><p>Two of the latest studies to come out of Israel have given hope to sufferers of neuro-degenerative diseases and stroke victims alike, in two vividly different but success-ful research trials.</p><p>For those who struggle with diseases like Alzheim-ers, Lou Gehrigs, and Par-kinsons, the latest findings by Dr. Iliana Gozes, a Tel Aviv University researcher who developed a new com-pound called Davunetide, or NAP, found that her proprietary peptide compound solution prevented further cell damage in the brain cells of mice and that it also repaired damaged nerve cells. </p><p>In previous studies, NAP also showed positive results when it was tested on the damaged cells of patients with schizo-phrenia. </p><p>In the second study comparing the rehabilitative progress of stroke patients who played video games to that of patients who had traditional physical therapy, TAU occupational therapist Dr. Debbie Rand found that subjects who played video games using Xbox Kinect, Sony PlaySta-tion, and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles benefitted from two times the number of movements per session than those in a conventional physical therapy session. The </p><p>video game group also contin-ued progressing for months beyond the group that under-went conventional physical therapy. </p><p>Cell repair for the brain </p><p>Because nerve cells exist in a microtubule network that not only allows pro-teins to pass from cell to cell, but also enables communi-cation between cells, people impaired by neurodegener-</p><p>ative diseases have networks that do not function properly, which affect a persons motor skills and brain function. </p><p>Gozes injected study subjects with NAP, a compound solution derived from a hormone-regulating powerhouse protein called ADNP. It restored and stabilized the flow of those critical proteins to both com-promised and chronically damaged cells and altered the progression of disease. </p><p>There is no difference, Gozes told JTNews. NAP provides protection by restoring (or protecting) the transport system/scaffold of the nerve cell. </p><p>In a statement to the university, Gozes said that NAP appears to have wide-spread potential in terms of neuro-pro-tection. </p><p>The studys results were published in </p><p>the journal Neurobiology of Disease.Gozes holds a composition of matter </p><p>patent on NAP. She is a co-inventor named on over 15 other patents and patent applications for Allon Therapeutics Inc., in Vancouver, B.C., where she is a co-founder and the chief scientific officer. NAP is the companys premier compound. </p><p>The studyTo test NAP, researchers injected two </p><p>sets of mice with manganese to observe its path as it traveled through the animals brains. </p><p>One grouping included normal mice whose microtubule system was damaged by the administration of compound sub-stance. </p><p>The second group of mice was geneti-cally modified to produce Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrigs Disease) symptoms. Their microtubule systems were chronically damaged. </p><p>Each group of mice was divided into those injected with NAP and the control group, which did not receive the NAP injection. </p><p>In the brains of mice injected with NAP, whether their cells were geneti-cally modified for ALS or impaired by the solution, the nerve pathways were either spared further damage or were returned to a healthy state. In both groups, the mice that did not get the injections continued </p><p>to experience a decline in function and degenerative symptoms. </p><p>Gozes anticipates continuing her research to see how NAP may be applied to humans in a treatment setting and to determine which patients would benefit the most from the therapy. </p><p>Game therapy the studyRand looked at 40 stroke patients who </p><p>had the event between one and seven years prior to the study. At two sessions per week for three months, one group of 20 received traditional physical therapy and the other group of 20 received video game therapy. </p><p>Patients who played video games had a much greater frequency of movement, said Rand. Additionally, because the activ-ity involved strategy, she said, the brain was also engaged to coordinate with the movement. This involvement caused the patient to concentrate less on having to perform a required activity and more on completing a fun task. </p><p>Rand also found the interaction between brain and body contributed to brain plasticity, a necessary component in the reconnection of vital brain linkages in the stroke victim. </p><p>The most striking advantage, Rand noted, was that the video game group continued its progress in grip strength for three months after the sessions ended while the other group did not show the same results. </p><p>The study was a collaboration with Sheba Medical Center and funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration grant. </p><p>Study participants also reported that the group activity and interaction was an important part of the fun factor. Rand will continue studying the effects of video gaming on stroke patients by experiment-ing with solitary video game players. </p><p>longtime jtnews correspondent and freelance </p><p>journalist janis Siegel has covered international </p><p>health research for SelF magazine and </p><p>campaigns for Fred Hutchinson Cancer </p><p>Research Center. </p><p>iSRael:to your Health</p><p>freshdaily</p><p>www.jtnews.netSign up! </p><p>The 3 o'clock </p><p>news</p></li><li><p>letters to the editorthe rabbis turn</p><p>friday, july 5, 2013 . www.jtnews.net . jtnews </p><p>3opinion</p><p>I need to learn whats going on. I need to learn what the strengths are and what the areas of improvement will be. Keith Dvorchik, incoming CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, on what he needs to do when he first arrives. The story is on page 6.</p><p>WRite a letteR to tHe eDitoR: We would love to hear from you! you may submit </p><p>your letters to editor@jtnews.net. Please limit your letters to approximately 350 words. </p><p>the deadline for the next issue is july 9. Future deadlines may be found online.</p><p>the opinions of our columnists and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the views of </p><p>jtnews or the jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.</p><p>American JudaismRabbi saRah newmaRk Congregation Beth Hatikvah</p><p>When I tell people Im a Reconstructionist rabbi, I generally get this response: Ive heard of Reconstruc-tionism, but I dont know anything about it. </p><p>Those of us who trained at the Reconstructionist Rab-binical College near Philadel-phia are used to this. In fact, in our first class on Recon-structionist thought in the seminary, we are all assigned to write The Elevator Paper a summary of an entire movement that can presumably be pre-sented to someone during a brief ride in an elevator! Since America celebrated its birthday yesterday, I thought it would be appropriate for me to get in the elevator with everyone who is reading and intro-duce you to Reconstructionism, the only form of Judaism born on American soil.</p><p>The founder of Reconstructionism, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881-1983), did not intend to form a new branch of Juda-ism. His goal, rather, was to introduce a process by which Judaism would be con-tinually re-constructed so successive generations of Jews could find meaning in Judaism in the era and culture in which they lived. He was profoundly influenced by living in America (he immigrated with his family in 1889) and was inspired by the democratic principles upon which the country was founded. </p><p>Kaplans seminal work, Judaism as Civilization: Toward a Reconstruc-tion of American-Jewish Life (1934), put forth this important doctrine: Juda-ism is the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people. Kaplan used the word civilization consciously. He was influenced by the then-new field of soci-ology and argued that Jewish civilization included history and culture, language, lit-erature, art, ethics and values, and beliefs and practices. He insisted that Jews who were not connected religiously to Judaism but who had different ties to it were still part of the civilization. </p><p>But he himself was not a secularist. Kaplans view was that Judaism was the product of the religious experience of the Jews through the history of the Jewish people. </p><p>Kaplan rejected the notion of what he called a super-natural God. He viewed divinity as the coordinating, integrating factor in nature that allows for the actu-alization of justice, truth, and compas-sion. He taught that human beings seek the divine because doing so adds meaning and purpose to their lives. </p><p>Kaplan described the Torah as the earliest diary of the Jewish people. He believed Torah to be the record of our ancestors search for meaning as well as the repository of a societys moral principles, values and laws through which we are encouraged to become fully human. Reconstructionist theology teaches that Torah </p><p>is the Jewish peoples response to Gods presence in the world. </p><p>Kaplan taught that Jews living in dem-ocratic societies could and did live in two civilizations. I bristle when I hear the rather new appellation of Jewish-Ameri-can. Im not a Jewish hyphen American. Im Jewish and Im an American. I take part in American political, social and cul-tural life. American English is my native language. I celebrate Thanksgiving and the 4th of July and other American civic holidays. My father (age 99) is a veteran of World War II and served in the European theater. My husband was a reservist who served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia. How much more American can we get? </p><p>But we are also Jewish, and our per-sonal calendars run according to Jewish rhythms. We are both: Jewish and Amer-ican. Kaplan articulated this concept to Jews struggling with their new Ameri-can identities and the old-world Judaism many had shed when they arrived on our shores.</p><p>Reconstructionism teaches that the past has a vote but not a veto. Like Reform Judaism, it is a post-halachic movement. Reconstructionists study Jewish texts to discern answers to todays questions. Jewish tradition is the starting point for Reconstructionists, but it may not be the ending point. Teachings at odds with contemporary values may be rejected or transvalued given new meaning to match the sensibilities of contempo-rary life. </p><p>Many American Jews of different denominations or of no denomination actually think about their Jewish lives much in the way Kaplan suggested with-out calling it Reconstructionism.</p><p>It has been quite a long elevator ride, and Ive barely scratched the sur-face of Reconstructionist Judaism. I am a member of the third generation of Reconstructionist rabbis (the seminary was founded in 1968) and am one of about 335 Reconstructionist rabbis in the world. I wonder what Kaplan would have thought of our discussions of his theology </p><p>at the seminary. Many of us are not Kap-lanians; Reconstructionist prayer services would no doubt seem foreign to him. But Kaplan would probably be happy to see that Reconstructionist Judaism has con-tinued to evolve. </p><p>After all, he shocked the world, includ-</p><p>ing his own congregation, when his daughter Judith was called to the Torah to become the first Bat Mitzvah in 1922. America is the land of innovation, and Reconstructionist Judaism has found fer-tile soil here for its first 45 years.</p><p>seeking leadership</p><p>The Rabbis Turn on May 22 (What were all about) featured Rabbi Seth Goldstein of </p><p>Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia. While he provided interesting facts about the history of TBH </p><p>and Olympias local Jewish community, he does a great disservice to those of us in Olympia </p><p>who see that the very active and growing BDS movement and strong and well-organized </p><p>groups of Israel demonizers have caused harm and promote anti-Semitism here in Olympia </p><p>and beyond. </p><p>If the rhetoric against Israel supposedly in support of the suffering Palestinians could </p><p>have been curbed, or at least moderated, through some of our local Jewish leaders coming </p><p>forward to counter the false claims and outright lies that have been spewed by the Evergreen </p><p>State College professors and others, our community would not have been allowed to get so </p><p>poisoned with these biased and false anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments and propaganda. </p><p>Our family has never joined the TBH congregation because we couldnt comfortably align </p><p>ourselves with a rabbi and other Jewish leaders who wouldnt lead. Their peace-at-any-price </p><p>attitudes and concessions to local Israel haters have led to the strengthening of the BDS </p><p>movement at Evergreen and now South Puget Sound Community College and elsewhere in </p><p>Olympia. </p><p>Some openly Jewish and Israel-supportive students at these local public colleges have </p><p>been harassed, shoved, intimidated, and threatened by Israel demonizers. The silence of most </p><p>of our Jewish leaders has contributed greatly to the divisiveness, stress, and vitriol that most </p><p>of us experience here.</p><p>How can Rabbi Goldstein claim that we dont have a problem with the vocal minority in </p><p>Olympia who hate Israel? I am actually offended that he has made this claim. Far too many </p><p>of us have been affected! </p><p>Some of us cant even comfortably express our support of Israel in our community at large </p><p>without being shunned or attacked or intimidated. We have to constantly listen to the lies </p><p>and hatred against Israel and fellow Jews that take place through professors, guest speakers, </p><p>biased documentaries, and other events within our community. </p><p>At a major intersection in Olympia, a large, in-your-face mural showing solidarity </p><p>between Olympia and Rafah was painted by those who hate Israel. The anti-Israel organiza-</p><p>tion, The Rachel Corrie Foundation, headquartered in Olympia, sponsors ongoing events that </p><p>demonize Israel and its Jews. </p><p>Longtime friends in Olympia no longer talk to each other because they have differing opin-</p><p>ions on the merits of Israel and the Jewish people. What happened to a community that once </p><p>prided itself on its diversity, tolerance, and acceptance? </p><p>Is Rabbi Goldstein blind to what weve been forced to endure for all these years, including </p><p>the Olympia Food Co-op boards unilateral decision, with BDS pressure, in July 2010, to boy-</p><p>cott Israel and Israeli goods without input from members on this contentious issue? </p><p>The anti-Israel proselytizing will take place, again, in September at Evergreen and SPSCC </p><p>to another group of young, impressionable, and unsuspecting students, with no counterbal-</p><p>ancing by Ra...</p></li></ul>