On December 25, 2014, Lyova, beloved husband of the late Gitlya Rabin; loving father of Larisa (Ilyavu) Gavrielova and Semyon (Yana Teller) Vernik; devoted brother of Anatoly Breizman; adored grandfather of Svetlana (Vadim) Bakaev, Alla (Andrew) Goldberg, Natella Gavrielova and Dmitry Vernik; loving great-grandfather of six. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Friday, December 26 at 12 p.m. Interment Arlington Cemetery, Chizuk Amuno Congregation N. Rogers Ave. Please omit flowers. In mourning at 3 Cobblestone Court Apt. 1A, Baltimore, MD 21215.

A Celebration for Everyone

For families with children of differing abilities, creating meaning in Jewish holidays can take on a lot of different forms.

That’s why Canton resident Sharon Clark set out to create a new experience for her daughter, Sarah, 3, who is deaf, and other Jewish families with deaf children.

Through the Schusterman Family Foundation, Clark won a $1,000 Make it Happen grant, which allowed her to put together the Downtown Baltimore Chanukah Festival on Sunday, which was sponsored by B’nai Israel Congregation, Jewish Advocates for Deaf Education and the Ruderman Family Foundation. The festival brought deaf and hard-of-hearing Baltimore Jews together for latkes, jelly doughnuts,
dreidel games, gelt, and oil pressing.

“I want this to be the beginning of a lot of work in the Jewish community in this population because I think there is an interest in it, and I think there is a real need for it,” Clark said.

The event also served as a kickoff for a new organization that is yet to be named that will bring deaf and hearing Jews together.

Although there are no deaf Hebrew schools in the Baltimore area, Clark hopes to give her daughter a complete Jewish education that includes having deaf Jewish role models.

“Though her celebration of the holidays and of all things Jewish are different than it was for me growing up, it does have a lot of meaning,” she said. “Her Jewish education is going to look different than mine did.”


12 chocolate kisses
8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate
12 marshmallows
12 thin pretzel sticks
2 ounces melted white chocolate (or any white icing)

Dip bottom of chocolate kiss in melted semisweet chocolate. Press onto marshmallow; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 12 dreidels. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Cut a small slit in bottom of each marshmallow; insert 1 thin pretzel stick. Dip dreidels in chocolate and return to baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Fill a sealable plastic bag with melted white chocolate or icing; cut a tiny opening in a corner, and pipe Hebrew letters onto 3 sides of each dreidel. Refrigerate at least 5 minutes or up to 8 hours before serving


1 large jar (48 ounces) sweetened chunky-style applesauce
1 tablespoon (or more to taste) red Cinnamon Imperials candies (found with the cake decorations)

Place applesauce in a pot with the cinnamon candies. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to melt candies. I sometimes add a little plain white sugar if not sweet enough, while cooking. Makes about 6 cups.


5-6 lb. veal roast, tied and unseasoned
1 Vidalia onion, sliced garlic salt
coarse black pepper
1 bag dried apricots
1 can regular Coca Cola
1 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash roast and pat dry with paper towel. Line a roasting pan with onion slices. Place roast on top. Sprinkle roast with garlic salt, paprika and pepper, but do not over-season. Place apricots all over roast and on top of onion bed. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and carefully coat roast with ketchup. Pour 3⁄4 of the can of Coke over the roast. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Be sure that the liquid is sufficient, adding remaining Coke only if liquid is needed. Baste every 20 minutes. Check for tenderness. Do not overcook roast or it will fall apart. Twenty minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb. Cover tightly and cool outside of oven. Slice when cool and reheat as needed. Do not reheat veal unless you plan to use it at that time. Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. Serves 6-8.


2 tablespoon pine nuts
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
scant half teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly blended. Makes 2⁄3 cup. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.

Baltimore Bids Farewell to Iconic Shops

Inside the 2,500-square foot shop that runs all the way back to Lovegrove Street, surrounded by racks of furs and antique furniture, sits David G. Tarlow, owner of Tarlow Furs Ltd., a Charles Street mainstay since 1939.

At 84 years old and with a debilitating back problem that requires surgery, Tarlow can no longer keep up with demand.

“Retirement is going to be difficult,” he said. “My life is on Charles Street.”

Tarlow’s parents, Benjamin Tarlow, an immigrant from Lithuania, and Fannye T. Tarlow, dubbed the “Lady of Charles Street” for her meticulously kept appearance and demeanor, began Tarlow Furs in the early 20th century.

Along with Morstein’s Jewelers, the iconic store will close by New Year’s.

“We started on the 3500 block of Park Heights. It was an all Jewish area back then,” said Tarlow. “We closed on Friday nights and Saturdays. We were open on Sundays, even though it was against the blue laws.”

Tarlow learned the ins and outs of sewing and remodeling coats from his father and forged ahead with his own improvements in buying for the Baltimore market. Even as retirement approaches, he keeps a sharp eye on trends — reversibles are in — and knows exactly what high-end furs are hanging in the double black-door vault.

The phone rings off the hook with customers requesting fox tails, coyote coats and last-minute remodeling work.

“I’ve got a wonderful clientele. You can’t believe the cards I get,” he said. “I’m going to be missed because I’m the only one who does my own work. I never had to send work to New York.”

His friends — other retailers and lawyers — are planning a retirement party for Tarlow at Mick O’Shea’s bar across the street.

Tarlow expects to be out by the first week in January, after which he will schedule his spinal surgery and spend more time with his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, and their three children, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, all of whom live locally.

After 116 years and three generations, Morstein’s Jewelers, the oldest continuously operating downtown full-service jewelry store, likewise will be closing its doors by the end of the season.

Owner Jules “Sonny” Morstein is approaching his 70th birthday and wants to step down while he is still in good enough health to enjoy biking, playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Randi.

Closing the doors of the shop started in 1898 by his grandfather, William Morstein, was a difficult decision. The shop first opened in East Baltimore before moving to Federal Hill in 1919. His father and uncle worked in the business — at one point there were two stores, Morstein’s Jewelers and Jules for Jewelry on the corner near where the recreation center stands now. Uncle Dave’s shop was 188 feet long, the longest jewelry store in the city, and when it opened in 1939, offered air conditioning, a rare treat in that era, says Morstein. The brothers hustled and catered to their customers in what was then a lively retail center.

“From Thanksgiving to Christmas the sidewalks were filled,” says Morstein. “Stores were open 9 to 9 and busy all the time. We’d sell jewelry with one hand, eat with the other. At Christmas time, we had someone at the door to let one in when one came out.”

Morstein took over the family trade 50 years ago and has built his own legacy, serving as the president of the South Baltimore Business Association and of the RBDL Umbrella, Inc., and sitting on the Advisory Committee of the South Baltimore Learning Center, where he plans to spend time volunteering in his retirement.

He is proud of the battles he won on behalf of the shops in Federal Hill. When department store anchors such as Epstein’s and Princess Shops closed, he stayed put and worked to fill the vacancies. When the stadiums came in and parking was restricted, he fought for the building of the West Street parking garage.

Though his family store survived and is busy even now, these days, Morstein relates, it is hard for an independent retailer to gain traction. Restaurants and bars seem to be the go-to for downtown entrepreneurs.

Standing in front of the two long rows of jewelry cases filled with engagement rings, watches, cuff links and pendants, Morstein talks about the customers he calls friends, who are upset at his closing to the extent that one female customer attempted to pull down the “everything must go” signs. His longtime employees, including Shirley Wagner, who started working for Morstein’s Uncle Dave 70 years ago, will be missed.

“I love what I do, but I recognize it’s a good time to leave,” says Morstein. “I’m in good health, and I want to enjoy it.”

Dolph Schayes and the Rise of Professional Basketball

120514_mishmash_bookBaseball Hall-of-Famers Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax are household names in the pantheon of Jewish professional athletes. But why has basketball Hall-of-Famer Dolph Schayes not achieved similar name recognition?

Noted sports historian Dolph Grundman blames demographics and technology.

“I think Dolph is not better known because he played in a small city before televised sport became so pervasive,” he said. Only after the “domination of the Boston Celtics in the late 1950s and the 1960s” did the popularity of basketball expand across the nation.

Though he may fly under the radar, Schayes occupies a special place in basketball history. Named to the NBA All-Star team 12 times, he was known for his high-arcing jump shot (named “Sputnik” by opposing players) and lifted the Syracuse Nationals (who later became the Philadelphia 76ers) to the 1954-55 championship while leading the league in minutes per game,
rebounds and points per game. He was also the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 1966 (76ers) and coached the U.S. team to a gold medal in Israel’s 1977 Maccabiah Games, an event for which Schayes raised attention and money. His NBA career even extended to officiating, as he supervised the league’s referees from 1966 to 1970.

Despite his varied and accomplished basketball resume, Schayes’ story has not been significantly documented — until now. Grundman’s book details the life and career of a son of Romanian Jewish immigrants whom the author would watch on television as a teenager.

From Russia With Love

When she plays music, Janna Friedman says she enters “a different world,” and as a devoted teacher, she has invited hundreds of young music students to experience that world with her.

Born into a musical family, Friedman began to play piano as a toddler; as a teen, she studied at a conservatory with world-class musicians in her native Kiev, the only Jewish student allowed each year due to quota restrictions.

Her success as a concert pianist grew, and she performed with many famous conductors, but in 1979, also due to restrictions for Jewish citizens, she left Kiev with her husband, Simon, and their two children.

Friedman carried her passion for music to the U.S. and when she arrived in Baltimore she landed at the Conservatory of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she taught for 14 years. But she always dreamed of owning her own school.

In 1994, she founded the Baltimore Music School, now the Janna Friedman School of Music, and many of her Peabody students followed her there, she said. One of her first instructors was Alexandra Suhoy, also an accomplished pianist, who sought out Friedman when she immigrated to Baltimore in 1992 through a mutual friend.

“She was my [music] student in Kiev, I’ve known her since she was seven years old,” Friedman said.

Before she left Ukraine, Suhoy spent several years touring Europe, where she didn’t know many languages but connected and communicated with the audiences through music.

“Music is an international language,” she said about the experience and counts that among the benefits of a musical education. She added that the drill of learning and memorizing complex sequences of sounds develops patience and ear training and said, citing research on math and science performance, music also helps prepare children for other tasks and subjects.

“It’s the best present parents can give to their children,” she asserted.

Depending upon the semester and the classes offered, the Janna Friedman School of Music, with locations in Owings Mills and Pikesville, fluctuates between 10 to 12 teachers and 40 to 100 students, ranging in age from 4 to 18.

“Music really helps me with everything; it helps me be a more well-rounded person” said David Guzman, 15, who has studied with instructor Olga Chala for about eight years and is an acting student at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology. “Playing piano takes a lot of patience and practice. … If something doesn’t work, you have to be patient and keep practicing.”

Chala said Guzman “always practices with pleasure, and he has something [special] inside with music.” She added that Guzman and several other students from the school compete in, and some have won, the Music-Fest Rising Talents and the American Fine Arts Festival competitions, which include performances at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the winners.

Both Friedman and Suhoy attribute the “perfect triangle between teacher, parent and student” as a large part of the success in a child’s musical education.

“If everybody supports the practice, then it will happen,” said Suhoy, who is also a senior project manager and grants manager for the state of Maryland. “Teachers only see students once a week, so for that time we discuss what we play, we learn, and the homework is given. The rest depends on the child and parent.”

Adequate space to practice in, securing an instrument and the ability to allow for an atmosphere at home to concentrate are crucial commitments from the parents, she added.

Students are taught basics such as how to read music, correct posture and the positioning of an instrument, but they also learn about the lives of the composers and are taught the differences in performance depending upon genre.

There is “classical, early classical, it’s a special way how to play,” explained Suhoy. “When it’s contemporary, like Disney songs, it’s a completely different way to play. So students need to know how … [and they] will enjoy playing.”

Friedman and Suhoy both experienced “very serious and strict” music instructors in Ukraine, a style that was not adopted at the school. While teaching and practice are taken very seriously, the rapport developed between teacher and student is of utmost importance.

“[It’s] more like a friendly relationship. … My teachers in Russia, we were afraid of them,” recalled Suhoy. “We talked to them only about music. Here, they can talk to teachers about other things on their mind, and the teacher is like a mentor who supports them not just in music but in everything they do.”

“The goal in being a good teacher is not only to teach, you also have to be a good person,” added Friedman. “The instructor must be a person who communicates correctly with students, because if a student likes the teacher, they will prepare what the teacher asks. The strict and the kind must work together as one.”

Janna Friedman School of Music winter recital
Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

Beth El Congregation
8101 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore
For information, call 410-781-8011

• For more information about classes, visit or contact 410-781-8011 or .


112114_food1⁄2 cup craisins, raisins or dried cherries, moistened in hot water a few minutes, then drained
1⁄2 cup Amaretto or your favorite liqueur
11⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1⁄2 cup regular sour cream or
dairy free
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 cup cooked sweet potato (from one small sweet potato)
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
1⁄2 cup chopped pecans, plus more for garnish

4 ounces regular or dairy free cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 to 3 tablespoons regular or dairy-free milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-by-12-inch Bundt pan with oil or butter and set aside. Combine the craisins or cherries with the amaretto and marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Then mix in sweet potato. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix until most lumps are gone. Stir in carrots, nuts and soaked craisins. Gradually add the flour mixture, until just combined. Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until light golden brown, testing with a toothpick. Cool completely before removing from pan. Glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with electric mixer. Add in milk until a runny but thick glaze consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake and garnish with more chopped nuts, if desired. 16 servings.