Community Briefs: Zagafen Regains Cholov Yisroel Designation

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Local Cemetery Company Quoted Heinrich Himmler in Calendar
National cemetery operator StoneMor, Inc., which is located in Trevose, issued — and then recalled — a 2020 calendar that included a quote from Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

StoneMor spokesman Keith Trost said the calendar was produced by a vendor and that the mistake was made out of ignorance instead of hate; the theme of the calendar was “honor.” The quote for November was Himmler’s “My honor is my loyalty” — which referenced loyalty to Adolf Hitler.

The company said it printed 38,000 copies of the calendar, which it sent to funeral homes in late 2019 as part of its annual reporting campaign.


In a statement to the Inquirer, StoneMor CEO Joe Redling said the company’s marketing team was able to recall and destroy most of the calendars. He said the vendor was fired, as were the employees who didn’t notice the phrase. He said policies were put in place to prevent it from happening again.

Redling said the company has no tolerance for anti-Semitism and informed the Anti-Defamation League Philadelphia office about what happened.

StoneMor operates 321 cemeteries and 90 funeral homes, most of them east of the Mississippi River, according to its website. That includes the Jewish Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and 13 sites for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Zagafen Regains Cholov Yisroel Designation
Zagafen restaurant in Merion Station once again is serving food under a cholov Yisroel designation.

When the dairy restaurant first opened last fall, it touted that it had both the cholov stam designation, as well as the more stringent cholov Yisroel designation. The latter requires a separate kitchen, a second mashgiach, time-consuming extra silverware cleaning and additional training for servers.

But in a January Exponent article, owner David Magerman said the community that the cholov Yisroel designation was created to serve did not seem to be interested in Zagafen.

“It was an experiment, and it didn’t work out,” Magerman said then.
He has since reconsidered.

“The bottom line is we made a mistake,” he wrote in an email. “We thought restricting ourselves to Cholov Yisroel ingredients would hold us back from a culinary perspective, but we were wrong. We thought the market wouldn’t be impacted significantly by not being Cholov Yisroel, but we were wrong.”

Zagafen’s website is touting a new menu.

“We now know that we can create a great product at a reasonable price point using exclusively Cholov Yisroel ingredients, and that will allow us to serve a larger part of the local and transient kosher market, and so that’s what we are going to do,” Magerman wrote.

Longtime Philadelphia, Cheltenham Educator Leonard B. Finkelstein Dies at 91
Leonard B. Finkelstein, 91, a former School District of Philadelphia district superintendent and former Cheltenham School District superintendent, died Sept. 21, according to his family. He was 91.

Finkelstein worked for Philadelphia schools for more than 27 years as a teacher, principal, program director and district superintendent. He was the first director of the district’s Parkway Program and created and directed the Alternative Programs Office before serving as the District Six Area Superintendent (West Oak Lane, Mt. Airy and Germantown).

He then served as superintendent of the Cheltenham district, holding the position for more than 10 years.

He later worked with Aramark at the Pan American Games, and set up new school systems and trained teachers in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including multiple trips to China and Thailand. Locally, he helped create the Science Leadership Academy and was involved in the experiential design of The National Constitution Center. He was on the advisory board and a U.S. delegate of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children.
In his 80s, Finkelstein and his wife, Leila, founded Global Youth United, a youth led nonprofit organization.

Finkelstein is survived by his wife, Leila; four children Larry (Donna), Lisa, Lee (Rita) and Lon (Holly); and nine grandchildren.

Synagogue to Sell Pandemic-Inspired Cookbook
Congregation M’kor Shalom of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, announced it will soon be selling a cookbook entitled “Pots and Pandemic – Cooking in Quarantine.”

The book will contain more than 200 recipes submitted by congregants and community members from across the country. The book is divided into sections for appetizers; soups, salads, sides and sauces; main dishes; baked goods; and desserts.

Many contributors share anecdotes about the motivations and experience that brought them into the kitchen during the pandemic.

The $20 book will be available for distribution after Thanksgiving, with a portion of the profits donated to the Betsy and Peter Fischer Food Pantry of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey.

The book may be ordered by calling 856-424-4220 or visiting mkorshalom.org/potspandemicsale.

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