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Hazak logoHochmah: Wisdom
Ziknah: Maturity
Kadima: Looking Ahead


Hazak is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s organization that supports programming for folks 55+.At Beth Emeth, HAZAK is a congenial group who want to continue to grow their Jewish and world understanding in a friendly and welcoming environment. Adults of any age are welcome to attend! Be a member, be a guest or bring a guest. Hazak members do not need to be CBE members.

Events are online on Zoom, and some will also be in-person starting with the December, 2021 session. They are generally the third Tuesday of each month, and recently moved to evening times so everyone can participate in Hazak-sponsored events.  

We engage with a wide variety of accomplished speakers and authors, enjoy film discussions and, of course, we nosh and schmooze. See below, and look for schedule updates in the Weekly Announcements. the Shofar, and the online Calendar.

To get on the email list and receive updates with Zoom links, please contact

Join Hazak

Have you renewed your membership? Don't miss out. Dues are only $18.00 for the entire 10 month program. Join in advance or at the door. Checks should be made payable to CBE Hazak. Click here to download and print the membership form.

Questions About Hazak?

Contact Larry at We also welcome ideas for future speakers.

5782/2021-22 Hazak Events

Note: Programs are subject to change if speakers become unavailable. (See also: Calendar)

Date Guest Speaker and Topic

November 16, 2021, 8:00 PM

(Zoom only)

Rabbi Bruce Aft: Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (z"l)

HAZAK is back and it’s for everyone! We have a great program to kick off the new HAZAK year on Tuesday, November 16th. Our own Rabbi Aft will give a talk and lead a discussion on Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ (z”l) final book, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. In Morality, Rabbi Sacks traces today's crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. (Read reviews and/or purchase on Amazon.)

December 14, 2021,
7:30 PM

In-Person and on Zoom

Rabbi Steve Glazer: The Chinese Twins
Adults of any age are welcome to attend!

Rabbi Steve Glazer

In November 2018, the world was shocked to learn that twin baby girls had been born in China with their DNA edited using a technology known as CRISPR. This first instance of “Germ-Line Editing” caused an international outcry which continues to rage and will be discussed/debated for generations. In this session, we shall explore this case of “The Chinese Twins,” and its ramifications for the future use and development of gene-edited embryos. We shall also examine some of the relevant Jewish ethical principles.

Rabbi Steven Glazer, known to the congregation as "Rabbi Steve," was the spiritual leader at Congregation Beth Emeth for 18 years and a pulpit rabbi for 43 years before retiring at the end of June, 2013. At Beth Emeth, he did much more than simply fulfill his role as a rabbi by leading services, teaching classes, and officiating at lifecycle events; he was, and remains, a dear friend to the entire community. He currently holds the title of Rabbi Emeritus. 

For information about Rabbi Steve's current endeavors related to teaching Jewish ethics and consulting around eldercare issues, see our Rabbi Emeritus webpage.

January 11, 2022,
7:30 PM

Zoom Only

Dr. John Withers II: Balm in Gilead: A Story from the War

In May 1945, as World War II ended, an all-Black U.S. Army truck company, including Lieutenant John L. Withers (our speaker's father) of Greensboro, North Carolina, rushed emergency supplies to an unknown German town. Long victims of harsh racial abuse, the soldiers were nonetheless shocked at the horrors they witnessed when the “town” turned out to be the Dachau concentration camp. They were further shocked, days later, when two destitute young Jews, former Dachau inmates, appeared at their encampment and pleaded for help. Housing non-military personnel was strictly forbidden, but the soldiers, with their Lieutenant’s endorsement, sheltered the boys nevertheless.

After the war, as he raised a family and launched a career in government, Withers always remembered the Jewish boys and told of the year they hid out in his unit, working alongside and forging close friendships with his soldiers. He himself became their surrogate parent, guiding them towards understanding that, however horrid the past, the future yet held hope.

A limited number of copies of Dr. Withers' book will be available for purchase, and he has kindly offered to autograph them.

IfNote: due to the current COVID-19 situation, this session will be held on ZOOM ONLY. CBE members and those on the Hazak mailing list will receive the Zoom link in emails about this session; if you would like to attend and don't have the link, please email in advance to request it. Guests are welcome!

Speaker's Autobiographical Information

Born on November 1, 1948 in High Point, North Carolina, I spent much of my childhood abroad when my parents joined the Foreign Service in 1957.  Our assignments included Laos, Thailand, Burma, Korea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and India.  My own career later took me to the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Albania.  Beyond my diplomatic work, I researched in my private time an incident in my father’s World War II service in which he and his African-American quartermaster company rescued two young Jewish Holocaust survivors from the Dachau concentration camp.  I eventually reunited him with one of the men fifty-five years later.  The episode, which is the subject of my book "Balm in Gilead: A Story from the War", gained the attention of television, major newspapers, and humanitarian institutions.  On a separate front, two singular honors were accorded my work as American Ambassador to Albania.  In November 2012, in marking the one hundredth anniversary of the country’s independence, the city of Vlora, the cradle of Albanian liberty, made me an honorary citizen for my strong advocacy of Albanian democracy.  Three years later, Albania’s capital, Tirana, awarded me the key to the city.  I am married to Maryruth Coleman, a Senior Foreign Officer.  I retired from the State Department in 2010.  I am an avid tennis player, an amateur Chinese cook, and an aspiring writer.

Read more about the book Balm in Gilead and about Dr. Withers on his website

February 10, 7:30 PM

Zoom Only

Hayvi Bouzo: Are we Witnessing the Rise of a New era in the Middle East? 

Hayvi Bouzo, who is of Kurdish descent, is a dynamic media personality and broadcast journalist. She will join us to discuss her personal and spiritual journey, and becoming an advocate for Arab and Muslim peace with Israel. Hayvi’s experiences covering the news in Syria are captivating; her flight from Syria shortly after the revolution was chilling. She will offer her observations on the United Nations General Assembly and its importance to the Middle East, as well as the political climate and realities in the Middle East, both historically and today. Hayvi examines the role Arab language media played in promoting hate, anti-Semitism, and extremism, emphasizing media as the most powerful tool to promote coexistence and peace between people and countries in the region. She understands the importance of “soft power” to promote necessary changes among the peoples in the region, including the Abraham Accords’ countries and beyond. She will discuss the importance of supporting pro-Abraham Accords efforts. 
Hayvi Bouzo is a Syrian-born American broadcast journalist with over 12 years of experience as a Bureau Chief for Orient News, TV host, blogger, and commentator. She is known for hosting The Axis, a critically-acclaimed political TV show focusing on Middle East and U.S. foreign policy. The Axis, broadcast in over 60 countries, was viewed by millions across the globe. Recently, Hayvi started her own live streaming show, “Middle East Rise,” focusing on education and promoting dialogue about issues such as: countering hate, anti-Semitism, and violence while promoting peace and coexistence in the Middle East and North African region and beyond.

March 8, 7:30 PM

Zoom only

Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Crypto-Jews of the Southwest

The Crypto Jews of the Southwestern United States and Mexico are a group of Spanish Jews, who were believed to have hidden their Jewish identity at the time of Spanish inquisition. They traveled with early Spanish settlers to the United States and Mexico, where some continued their Jewish customs, such as lighting Shabbat Candles and dietary laws.  As research has shown the identity of these people, some have embraced their Judaism, while others have denied it. 

Rabbi Leila Gal Berner was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She has lived in Israel, where she worked in a Kibbutz and as a tour guide. She has served communities in Pennsylvania, Georgia, D.C., and Virginia. She has done extensive research on the Jews of the Southwestern United States. 

April 26, 7:30 PM

In-person and Zoom

Rabbi Steve Glazer: Abortion through a Jewish Lens
Adults of any age are welcome to attend!

Rabbi Steve GlazerAbortion is one of the most contentious issues in America, with passionate individuals holding many differing views. Do you know what Judaism’s views on abortion are?  In this presentation, Rabbi Steve explores those views, some of which will undoubtedly be surprising (and, indeed, shocking!) to some attendees. Whatever your personal views, your knowledge base will be expanded.

Rabbi Steven Glazer, known to the congregation as "Rabbi Steve," was the spiritual leader at Congregation Beth Emeth for 18 years and a pulpit rabbi for 43 years before retiring at the end of June, 2013. At Beth Emeth, he did much more than simply fulfill his role as a rabbi by leading services, teaching classes, and officiating at lifecycle events; he was, and remains, a dear friend to the entire community. He currently holds the title of Rabbi Emeritus. 

For information about Rabbi Steve's current endeavors related to teaching Jewish ethics and consulting around eldercare issues, see our Rabbi Emeritus webpage.

May 10, 7:30 PM

In-person and Zoom

Bennet Gold: The Dreyfus Affair
Adults of any age are welcome to attend!

The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal that rocked France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. French army captain Alfred Dreyfus was falsely convicted of treason for selling military secrets to Germany. The accusations and subsequent trial deeply divided France, with one camp believing that Dreyfus, who was Jewish, had been wrongly convicted, and the other camp supporting the conviction. The split extended beyond the fate of Dreyfus, into elements of anti-Semitism, advanced by the press and public opinion. It remains a study of a miscarriage of justice when national security is at stake. 

Ben Gold holds a B.A. in political science from Stanford University and an M.S. in Computer Science. After a distinguished 22-year career in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer, he served in executive positions within the information technology industry. For the past 16 years, Mr. Gold has served as a U.S. Supreme Court docent. He is a popular lecturer for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) where he regularly teaches classes on a variety of subjects.

June 14, 7:30 PM

Zoom only

Stephanie Goldberg-Glazer: Around the Jewish World: Unexpected travel destinations with a Jewish Twist

We will talk about Jewish sites around the world, and explore some of the famous as well as less known ones. We will talk about why it is important to visit and support these places. I would love for participants to share their own stories of traveling to places important to Jews around the world. Additionally, we will leave time for questions and answers, so bring all your travel questions!

Stephanie was literally born into hospitality: she was born at what is now Johnson and Wales University, and by the age of 5 she was pulling bingo numbers and operating the switchboard at her grandfather’s South Beach hotel.

Stephanie started Live Well, Travel Often in 2006. It is now a full-service travel agency. Her clients travel to all seven continents, on trips customized to their needs. Stephanie is an accredited Elite Cruise Counselor with CLIA, the highest level of certification from the Cruise Lines Industry Association. She is an expert in group travel and coordination. She works tirelessly to get her clients the best possible vacation experiences at exceptional prices. Possibly her biggest claim to fame is that she is Rabbi Steve’s daughter-in-law.


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 z"l

Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782