HAZAK Links: Join · Contact · Need a Ride? · Upcoming Events

Hazak is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s (USCJ’s) organization that supports programming for adults for people 55+.  More specifically at Beth Emeth, HAZAK is a congenial group for all interested adults of an uncertain age who want to continue to grow their Jewish and World understanding in a friendly and welcoming environment.  HAZAK members do not need to be CBE members.

We meet in the Social Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 on the third Tuesday of each month. We listen to a wide variety of excellent speakers, often discussing their latest books, and, of course, we nosh and schmooze.  We celebrate holidays and take trips.  HAZAK programming generally runs September through June.  Please Join us!

Need a Ride? 

Do you need a ride to come to CBE services and events (including Hazak)? Can you help provide rides? As a congregation, we want to make sure that all congregants wishing to participate in any CBE event can do so even if they cannot drive themselves. So, as of July 1 we started a new Mitzvah Brigade Ride Board to match members who need a ride with those who can help. We are primarily using an online signup at www.tinyurl.com/CBE-Rides. You can also request a ride by phoning the office at 703-860-4515 ext 101.

Join Hazak

Have you joined? Have you renewed your membership? Don't miss out. Dues are $18.00; checks payable to CBE Hazak. Click here to download and print the membership form.

The name Hazak means "Strong," and is also made up of the first Hebrew letters of the words:

Hazak logo

Hochmah: Wisdom
Ziknah: Maturity
Kadima: Looking Ahead


Questions About Hazak?

Contact Ted Benjamin, [email protected]. Ted also welcomes ideas for future speakers.

5779/2018-19 Hazak Events

This year we have lined up an impressive roster of experts on timely topics, most with some Jewish connection. Many of our speakers share their knowledge along with their own unique and fascinating personal stories. Note: All of these programs are subject to change if speakers become unavailable. (See also: HAZAK Events on Interactive Calendar)

DateGuest Speaker and Topic

October 16, 2018

Professor Stephen Ruth: Government Policies in Biblical Times

Dr. Ruth will discuss civil rights, gender equity, inheritance rights, limits of governmental authority, and other societal issues in Biblical times with respect to topics that are in today’s news.

Dr. Stephen Ruth is Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and director of the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology (ICASIT). As director of ICASIT, Professor Ruth has received nearly thirty grant and contract awards and has also served as Associate Director of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s $2 million Internet Technology Innovation Center project, which linked Virginia’s university research centers to the high tech businesses in the state. His international IT projects cover over twenty sites in Africa, Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Ruth was a Distinguished Lecturer for the Association for Computing Machinery for ten years and was selected for two senior Fulbright lectureships, both in Argentina. He has received a Distinguished Professor award at George Mason University, and was a Virginia Outstanding Professor honoree.

Dr. Ruth received his BS from the U.S. Naval Academy and MS from the Navy Postgraduate School, and served twenty-three years in the Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain. His PhD is from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is author or co-author of over one hundred published articles and four books.

November 20, 2018

Bennett Gold: Japan-A Safe Haven for Jews in World War II

Shortly prior to and during World War II, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were resettled in the Japanese Empire. But wasn’t Japan an ally of Nazi Germany? Didn’t Hitler want the Japanese to round up their Jewish population? Why did the Japanese refuse? And why was Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the empire of Japan in Lithuania, officially recognized by Israel and given the honor of being named “Righteous Among Nations?”

Bennett Gold holds a BA in political science from Stanford and an MS in computer science. After a distinguished 22-year career in the US Navy as a surface warfare officer, Ben served in executive positions within the information technology industry. For the past 14 years, he has served as a docent at the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a very popular lecturer for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and he regularly lectures on cruise ships where he discusses famous trials and maritime subjects.

December 18, 2018

Dr. David Hatch: Kosher Cryptology

One of the secret aspects of victory against the Axis in World War II was the widespread codebreaking by American and British experts. In the United States, many key figures in this codebreaking were Jewish, and many Jewish experts remained important in this work after the war. The curtain of secrecy has been lifted on this activity, and Dr. David Hatch will discuss the important contribution of these Jewish experts to winning the war.

Dr. David Hatch is a Historian at National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History. Dr. Hatch joined the NSA in 1973 and served in analytic, supervisory, and staff positions. In 1990, he joined NSA's newly formed Center for Cryptologic History, and was appointed the Agency Historian in 1993. He is the author of numerous classified and unclassified articles about the history of cryptology and the NSA, and is seen occasionally as a talking head on programs on the History Channel.

Thursday, January 31, 2019, noon with lunch (Special date and time)

Mordechai Rosenstein: Special Event with CBE’s Artist-in-Residence 

The normal 3rd Tuesday meeting date has been changed to Thursday Jan 31 at noon for this special event with CBE’s Artist-in-Resident: Mordechai Rosenstein. We will also be serving lunch.

Mordechai will join us for lunch and discuss his journey as an artist. He will share examples of his art through the decades along with some surprising stories of who owns some of his paintings. Mordechai’s “CBE Studio” will also be available in the lobby before and after the event.

Since 1979, Mordechai Rosenstein has been creating Jewish Art and showcasing his creations in people’s homes, synagogues, and agencies throughout the world.  He has visited many different organizations to ensure that the walls of office buildings are covered with Jewish Art.  From his studio in his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Mordechai creates myriad of pieces utilizing vibrant colors and flowing lines that transform the art of Hebrew calligraphy into a modern day feast for the eyes.

February 20, 2019

Susan Barocas: Tasting Memories from Brisket to Borekas

Can you close your eyes and still smell your mother’s chicken soup or the Shabbat challah baking?Were kreplach and knishes some of your favorite foods growing up? Or maybe it was borekas and bumuelos? What were special holiday foods in your home? What are your earliest memories of Jewish food? What Jewish foods from your childhood and family did you make for your family?

Join chef, teacher and writer Susan Barocas for a journey through our memories of Jewish food and the role it played in our lives growing up and still today.  We’ll enjoy a talk about some of the history of Jewish food in the US and then a lively discussion sharing our tastiest memories.

Susan Barocas is a writer, cook, teacher and speaker. In 2018, she co-chaired the 13th annual Hazon Food Conference, also serving as a keynote speaker and presenting several sessions. She coordinated the 2017 international conference at American University focused on “Israeli Cuisine as a Reflection of Israeli Society.” She was honored to serve as the guest chef for White House Passover Seders hosted by the Obamas in 2014-16. Susan has made numerous speaking and broadcast appearances and has written for the Washington Post, Lilith, Moment and Huffington Post among others. The founding director of the Jewish Food Experience and its award-winning website, she is a member of the international culinary society Les Dame d’Escoffier. When not in the kitchen, Susan writes and produces documentary films and consults with film festivals, having served as director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival and Women in Film International Festival.

Susan Barocas was at CBE in March of 2018 for a Sisterhood Education event and was a hit! A press interview after the event can be found online.

March 19, 2019

Michael Willner: The Life of Eddie Willner – A Survival Story

Eddie Willner was Michael's father. He was a German Jew who survived two and a half years of hard labor under brutal conditions at sub-camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, including one sub-camp in which the average prisoner survived six weeks. Eddie passed away in 2008, and the number of concentration camp survivors who can still tell their stories diminishes every year, but it is very important that those individual and family stories continue to be shared. We as Jews must be well informed about this defining moment in our history, and must never forget those who courageously endured and those who perished. There are also lessons to be learned for all Americans, and in fact all of humanity, that those who are intolerant of groups of people are a serious threat to everyone, and must be exposed and challenged at every opportunity. 

Michael Willner is a senior level official with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He has worked in various assignments in the US national security and Intelligence Communities (IC) for the past 18 years with the majority of his career spent in counterterrorism at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the ODNI’s National Counterterrorism Center. His current assignment is in the ODNI’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, where he works to ensure diversity and inclusion in the IC. Mr. Willner received a BA from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and completed the postgraduate program at the U.S. Government’s National Intelligence University. Over the past 15 years he has done extensive research on his father’s experiences in sub-camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald and has presented his findings at professional and community organizations.

April 16, 2019

Tzachi Levy: Israel and Diaspora – History, Present and Future

The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

 It was only 70 years ago that David Ben Gurion declared the above at the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. Seventy years of strong relationship between Israel and diaspora Jews.  But as any relationship, we knew ups and downs… and it seems that lately, mainly the past few years, Israel and US Jewry are in a much more complex relationship than in the past. In order to have a better understanding of the present, we need to take a look at the past so our future will be secured.

You are invited for conversation about our relationship so we can have a better understanding of this new reality.

Tzachi Levy is The Jewish Agency’s Senior Shaliach (Israeli emissary) to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Prior shlichut opportunities have allowed Tzachi to serve as an emissary to Pittsburgh and to South Africa. As a 13th-generation Israeli, Tzachi’s strong family roots and Zionist youth movement education serve as his motivation and energy for working at Federation and in the Jewish world. Previously, he served as Director for The Jewish Agency’s Shinshinim Shlichut Program. Tzachi has a B.A. from Beit Berl College in Informal Education and History, and a M.A. in Public Administration from Sapir College.

May 21, 2019

Kay and Cameron Menchel: Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge: The Poetry of Bob Dylan

We will take a look at Bob Dylan’s literary influences. Dylan, America's most recent Nobel laureate in literature and a controversial one, renovated the idiom of popular music in songs such as "Desolation Row," and “Shelter from The Storm” (to name just two) by drawing upon influences as diverse as the Bible, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, and the American folk tradition. We will assess Dylan's poetry as an individual literary achievement and look at how this man (troubadour, plagiarist, protestor and fabulist) has left a sizable aesthetic imprint of his own.

Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason University. She teaches at OLLI at GMU, where she enjoys sharing her passion for literature.

Cameron Menchel is the son of Kay Menchel. He attended the College of William & Mary, from which he received a BA in English and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He also received honors in his major for a thesis on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. He will be pursuing graduate study next year and is delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the meantime.

June 18, 2019

Film: Yiddish Theater: A Love Story

Yiddish Theater: A Love Story is a powerful, funny, moving and important film that follows the legendary Yiddish diva Zypora Spaisman, who is considered by many the woman who has kept Yiddish Theater alive in the US. The film includes the last filmed interview with Yiddish superstar Seymour Rechzeit, as well as rare footage of the Second Avenue deli and its owner. The film also has amazing footage of the Hebrew actors union, just before all the rare archival footage was discovered and moved out of the rotting basement. This is a masterpiece documentary with scenes that will make anyone both laugh and cry. 

Trailer is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzJynjw_4dw.

As this the last meeting of the season, we will again be having some extra special and delicious desserts!


From Generation to Generation

L'dor vador—from generation to generation—
I pass to you
Not the giddy joy of success,
But the lump in the throat the signals
The wisdom to speak softly in a fragile world.
Through these finger tips
Pass sensual gifts—
The feel of sand between the toes,
The eye that captures
The flight of the gull at sunset,
Take them, child of my child—
The ability to grow inside the mind,
To change, to forgive, to love.
Take them,
And when you grow old,
Bequeath them l'dor vador,
For these are the things that remain worthwhile,
That make life worth living.

Poem by S. Anne Sostrom