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Volume 2, Number 30
Volume 2, Number 170
'There's a Jewish story everywhere'
August 3-8, 2008: The 2008 Maccabi Games Need Help Housing Athletes

In case you haven't heard yet, San Diego will be hosting its very first Maccabi games from August 3rd to August 8th. It's going to be the biggest thing to hit San Diego's Jewish community and we are expecting 1500 teen athletes from around the US, Israel, and Mexico.

Every single athlete needs to be housed with a family. At least one member of the family needs to be Jewish. Hosting responsibilities include: dropping off the athletes in the morning and picking them up in the evening; providing them with a hearty breakfast and hosting them for dinner on Tuesday night. The rest of the time they will be at the JCC or the different venues.  You are welcome to cheer on the athletes at any of their sporting events if you are available and welcome to join us for opening ceremonies.

Each athlete needs his or her own bed—not his or her own room.  If you do not have enough beds, let us know and we will provide you with air mattresses.  We need you to host at least two (2) kids each.  (Athletes will be between the ages of 14 and 16).  As of today, we are short 400 beds!

If you have friends that would like to host, please forward them the link now in your browser to San Diego Jewish World. Have hem contact Linda Carson at Please email or call (858) 274-0259 for registration forms and information.

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Today's Postings

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

{Click on a headline to jump to story or scroll leisurely through our report}

Middle East

Palestinians depend on Israeli economy; yet Fayyed tries to weaken its prospects by Shoshana Bryen

A roundup of stories by Garry Fabian in Melbourne
UN's one-sidedness condemned by Prof. Bayfsky

Year-long saga finally laid to rest

The end of a partnership

Federal opposition shadow minister visits Israel

Rabbi to officiate at first lesbian ceremony

Community pays tribute to Rabbi Groner

Charges imminent against Adelaide rabbi and wife

Businessman launches Orthodox newspaper

Kadimah Marks 10 Years

It's Never too late to celebrate your Barmitzvah

Another Jewish Boy hits the Big League

By weight, rabbi warns of hazards of a kosher diet


Real life with 'Phantom' star Marni Raab by Carol Davis in San Diego


Watching All-Star game with friend Fox
by Donald H. Harrison

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

—July 24, 1947:JCRA

—July 31, 1947:
Flash! {Camp Palomar}

—July 31, 1947: World Affairs Institute Here August 4th to 8th

—July 31, 1947: UJF Quota More Than Half Collected

The Week in Review

This week's stories on San Diego Jewish World: Tuesday, Monday, Sunday, Friday, Thursday, Wednesday

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Palestinians depend on Israeli economy; yet Fayyed tries to weaken its prospects

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C--The visit of Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to Israel earlier this month was interestingly and happily normal, befitting the visit of a good friend. Italy currently commands UNIFIL in southern Lebanon, so the Minister met with IDF officials and traveled to the north to get a clearer picture of the situation.

There were discussions of Iran's nuclear program and Italy's trade relations with the Islamic Republic (civilian only, there is no military-related trade). The announcement of a new Italian-Israeli "strategic dialogue" fulfills the promise of Prime Minister Berlusconi's earlier visit, raising bilateral security relations to a new level. [This week, Israel's Elbit and Italy's Alenia Aeronautica announced they had teamed to market Elbit's HMD LITE helmet-mounted display for pilots flying Alenia's C-27J tactical transport aircraft, recently purchased by the United States Air Force.]

It was a preview of the following week's unanimous decision by the European Union's 27 member nations to upgrade relations with Israel on a range of issues, including commerce, the economy, academic ties and increased diplomatic dialogue. According to Ha'aretz, "Israel will join European agencies and working groups with the aim of bringing the Israeli economy closer to European standards, and help Israeli companies more easily contend with the European commercial market, particularly in the fields of high tech and aviation." In a blow to European academic "boycotters," increased ties may lead to the recognition of Israeli degrees by European universities and institutions.

It should be noted at this point that lobbying vociferously against the upgraded relationship was Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyed. While the United States drones on endlessly about "strengthening Abu Mazen," Abu Mazen's point man was out there trying to drag down Israel's relations with its primary trading partner.

Fayyed - America's darling - asked the EU to demand a freeze on Israeli housing and security fence construction. The EU declined, calling instead for "movement" in Israeli-Palestinian talks. Fayyed also sent a letter to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) protesting its invitation to Israel to open membership talks. OECD is mainly European, but includes the United States, Canada and Japan. Israel was invited along with Chile, Estonia, Russia and Slovenia.

We know the PA lives on extortion and doesn't do economics, but Fayyed was supposed to be better attuned to fiscal realities; he, after all, is the man the United States charged with trying to create transparency and accountability in Palestinian finances, and he is the man who threw in the towel, calling it "virtually impossible." He surely knows that any hope of a productive Palestinian future is contingent on economic advancement, which requires continuing economic advancement for Israel upon which the PA depends.

Instead, it clearly is PA policy to play "dog in the manger," more interested in disrupting Israel's economic and political life than improving the lot of its own people. This should worry the United States and Israel because Fayyed and the PA are pursuing reunification with Hamas in Gaza, and the terms won't favor American interests.

In an unusual moment, the constellation of European countries, with Italy in the lead, is bringing Israel closer to full economic and social membership in the productive orbit of democratic countries, while the United States makes nice to the PA.

Bryen is special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) 

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UN's one-sidedness condemned by Prof. Bayfsky

By Garry Fabian

MELBOURNE—The United Nations, human rights have become a weapon, "not in the hands of the abused, but the abusers," according  to visiting New York-based activist Professor Anne Bayefsky.

Professor Bayefsky delivered this year's B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) Gandel Oration to more than 400 at Mount Scopus College's Besen Centre in Melbourne on Sunday and will speak at a similar function in Sydney.

Professor Bayefsky, who was a delegate at the UN's 2001 racism conference in Durban, South Africa,  said last month that Australia should join Canada, the US and Israel in boycotting next year's Durban review conference in Geneva because there is no chance of reversing anti-Israel resolutions by taking part in the event.

The international legal scholar and human rights monitor runs, a website that analyses abuse of the UN's human rights system.

In her Melbourne address, Professor Bayefsky said countries with abysmal records run the UN's human rights agenda and consistently condemn Israel in its struggle for survival, equating Zionism with Nazism and condemning western democracies, while ignoring abuses in Communist countries and much of the Islamic world.

At the same time, the UN has taken "a few baby steps" in facing up to Iran's nuclear program and the threat it poses to Israel and other countries, she said.

Professor Bayefsky said the UN's voting record on Israel "is a betrayal of the victims of the Holocaust" and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fostered by figures such as Australia's Herbert Evatt.

"What has emerged instead, powered by a global $UN20 billion a year megaphone, is the collective depravity of an immoral majority," she said.

The UN Human Rights Commission, which was abolished in 2006, passed more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country "and adopted nothing ever on serial abusers such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe."

The Human Rights Council, which succeeded the commission, "has directed almost 60 per cent of its decisions condemning ... Israel alone."

"The council has had eight regular sessions which cover human rights in all countries and four special sessions devoted only to human rights violations by Israel,” she said.

“The council... has a limited agenda of less than a dozen subjects. One is reserved only for condemning Israel.

"In the past 15 months, the council has refused to renew or continue investigations on four states with some of the worst records on the planet -- Belarus, Cuba, Iran and Uzbekistan."

China's call for the UN not to meddle in its internal affairs and the Islamic world's use of Islamic law as a shield against scrutiny are taken at face value, she said.

The council investigator on Israel has denied the possibility of finding any human rights violations by any party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but Israel.

"There have been 10 emergency sessions of the UN General Assembly in its history of 50 years. Six have been about Israel ... A million dead in Rwanda and two million dead over two decades in Sudan never prompted one emergency session.

"In UN circles, it is called 'protecting human rights' in reality it is discrimination, anti-Semitism, in which the Jewish state is subjected to different treatment and held to different standards than all other nations.

“Given its reach and impact, the UN is therefore the largest global purveyor of anti-Semitism in the world today."

Professor Bayefsky said the UN falsely claims that Jews see any investigation into Israel's human rights as anti-Semitic, and that western democracies are the enemies of human rights.

Year-long saga finally laid to rest

SYDNEY- It's been more than a year since Victoria Fridland’s husband of 56 years, Victor, passed away -– but up until now, the Sydney pensioner hasn’t been able to grieve properly.

Until its recent resolution, Fridland, 81, from Maroubra, had been locked in a yearlong legal battle with Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park over her husband’s grave and her wish to be buried with him.
Fridland said the couple informed the park in 2005 that they wanted to be buried in the same grave.
They bought a single grave for “a maximum of two adult people” in the Jewish section -– and she had the paperwork to prove it.

Two years later, in May 2007, her husband died and was buried in the plot.

Shortly after, Fridland and her daughter, Tania Novikova, 46, approached the park to organise a headstone and requested that room be left to include Fridland’s name when the time came.
But a problem arose when she discovered it was against Jewish law to bury two people in one grave.
Fridland, originally from Russia, said she was unaware of Jewish law when she purchased the plot, and that the cemetery had failed to inform her.

The park admitted it made a “clerical error” by using the wrong forms and offered to exhume the body and re-inter in a nearby section.

It also said it would reserve the adjacent grave, but stopped short of offering the new grave for free.
Unable to purchase a second grave for $7700, the family initially agreed to the exhumation, selected an alternative gravesite and waited to receive a date to proceed.

However, after failing to hear back from the park, they consulted the Sydney Beth Din and learned that exhumation was also prohibited under Jewish law.

During this time, Novikova said the family was given the “run-around” from the park, and the battle took a hefty toll on her mother.

“The way they behaved was absolutely inhuman,” said Novikova. “[My mother] was crying constantly the whole time ... waiting for an answer the whole year. She couldn’t sleep or mourn her husband. It was heartbreaking.”

Eventually, they sought legal advice from the Kingsford Legal Centre in January.

Teena Balgi, from the legal centre, said written negotiations failed to produce a “fair outcome."

Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park CEO George H Passas said the park recognised it was an “unfortunate error," but that it was not “purely and simply a matter of a consumer issue—it was a matter of complying with Jewish practice. The expectation is that a Jewish family would be aware of the minimal Jewish requirement,” said Passas.

“Since 1959, when the Jewish area was opened, the Jewish community has always been aware of our requirements and the presence of a rabbi at the service ensures that burials are conducted in accordance with community expectations and practices.

“It appears that not all members of the community are informed about these.”

He said the park did “everything it possibly could under the circumstances to accommodate the family."

Eventually, the matter was put before a consumer tribunal, which recently ordered the park to grant Fridland the “right of burial” in the adjacent grave at no cost.

Novikova said the family was pleased with the outcome.

“Many people might be in this situation. Maybe hearing our story may help prevent them from going through what we went through,” she said.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (BOD) president David Knoll said it was “somewhat surprising” that any Jewish family might expect multiple burials in a single grave.

“There is sound sociological as well as religious basis for this practice,” he said.

“To the extent that there may be families who are unfamiliar with the principles, both through [BOD] and the rabbinical associations, education and information is very much available. We are keen to see the community properly informed.”

Meanwhile, the park will shortly open a new Jewish area because “the existing areas are almost full”.

The end of a partnership

MELBOURNE -Zionist youth group Hineni is set to turn a page in its history when it leaves its base at St Kilda Hebrew Congregation.

Hineni and Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC) are currently finalising a deal that would see the youth movement move for the first time in its 12-year history.

Following guarded remarks by a spokesperson of the shule. it is understood that St Kilda Hebrew Congregation is bitterly disappointed with Hineni’s decision to leave, after supporting the group’s establishment and providing years of religious, administrative and financial support.

“Effective July 2008, Hineni youth movement will no longer be located at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation,” a statement from the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation read. “Hineni Victoria was created at St Kilda shul from the ground up.”

According to the statement, the shul decided to appoint a youth leader to act as a “conduit” between the congregation and Hineni, following shaliach Ori Werdiger’s departure in 2007.

Now the appointment will “focus purely on youth and young families of the St Kilda shul members."
Hineni’s Sydney-based shaliach, Chagay Meyer, stated that there were no hard feelings towards St Kilda on the part of Hineni.

Instead, the move was for logistical reasons, to be closer to Melbourne’s Jewish youth and to attract more of them to the movement.

“Hineni is at a stage where it is looking to grow and create a different vibe,” Meyer said, and “as a youth movement we should be on the move and see where we can be most active."

He conceded that Hineni would not have reached the heights that it had in Melbourne without the support of St Kilda shul.

“We know that without St Kilda, Hineni today would not exist ... we have no complaints about St Kilda and we would love to have participation with St Kilda in the future.”

He said that Hineni approached CHC because “we felt, that more than other shuls, Hineni would feel comfortable there."

“This move will give Hineni a lot of ability to try new things and to have a greater involvement with the community,” Meyer said.

CHC treasurer Gary Frydman said the move was not yet definite, but the board was seriously considering it. He said CHC has the space to accommodate Hineni on its premises.

Hineni was established at Central Synagogue in Sydney in 1975 as a modern Orthodox, Zionist youth movement. Hineni Melbourne was set up at St Kilda shul in 1996, and participant numbers are growing. The movement says it has 20 per cent increase in patronage than for the same time last year.

Federal opposition shadow minister visits Israel

CANBERRA—Andrew Robb is due to visit Israel during Parliament’s winter recess.
Robb, the shadow minister for foreign affairs and the Member for Goldstein – which is home to around 8,000 Jewish voters – will depart on Thursday July 10 on a six-day tour of the Jewish homeland organised by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

“Since my teenage years, I could never reconcile the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish people against the persecution and discrimination they have historically faced,” said Robb.

“This tour will provide me with a valuable opportunity to further increase my knowledge of Israel, meet with its leaders and strengthen the bond between our two countries.”

Robb plans to visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. He has scheduled talks with Knesset members and tours of Yad Vashem and the newly opened Park of the Australian Soldier in Be’er Sheva.

According to his office, the purpose of his visit is to explore the realities of Israeli political and social life and consider the prospects of reviving a genuine peace process in the region.
Before his departure, Robb – who is rising in prominence on the Opposition frontbench – praised the local Jewish community in his electorate, which takes in Brighton East, Bentleigh, Bentleigh East and McKinnon.

“I have always admired the ability of the Jewish community to so steadfastly hold onto the essential elements of their Jewish culture, while simultaneously integrating and contributing substantially to so many facets of the wider community,” he said.

“The Jewish community is a very important part of the Goldstein community. I proudly supported a motion in Parliament early this year celebrating the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel and I am very much looking forward to visiting there.”

The Electorate of Goldstein was named after Vida Goldstein, the first woman who unsuccesfully stood for a Parliamentary election  in 1908. While there is belief that she had Jewish ancestry, this has never been verified.

Rabbi to officiate at first lesbian ceremony

SYDNEY - Two former students of Sydney’s Moriah College plan to become the first lesbian couple to make a commitment to each other in a Jewish ceremony officiated by a rabbi.

Nicky Glover and Michelle Sanders, both 40, celebrated a secular commitment ceremony last month under a chuppah, at an outdoor venue in Byron Shire.

The event was attended by more than 100 friends and family.

The couple has planned a second commitment ceremony at Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney, towards the end of the year.

“People ask if our wedding is legal, but that is not the most important thing to us. Our marriage was witnessed by the people we love,” said Sanders, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

“The kosher ceremony will be at Emanuel after our child is born. At that one there will be three of us.”

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, senior rabbi of Emanuel Synagogue, confirmed that the couple and baby would be recognised as a family.

If this happens, the child will be the first Australian Jew whose homosexual parents are formally united by a synagogue.

“We wanted to get married to publicly declare our love for each other and to give our child a solid family structure,” said Glover, who operates an internet marketing consultancy.

The couple decided to participate in a commitment ceremony when the Union for Progressive Judaism officially approved same-gender commitment ceremonies in June last year.

Rabbi Kamins said the Torah’s overriding principles of justice and loving kindness compelled Emanuel Synagogue to officiate at lesbian and gay commitment ceremonies.

“The Torah teaches that each human being is a precious universe,” he said.

“We understand the prohibitions on same-sex relationships to be related to the cultural context of 2000 years ago, which included the practice of polygamy and man’s authority over woman.”
Sanders said the synagogue’s policy had changed her attitude to non-Orthodox Jewish groups.
“I grew up ignorant about Progressive Judaism,” she said. “Now I have so much respect for it. It is sad the Orthodox synagogues can’t come to the party.”

Glover appeared optimistic about both branches of Judaism.

“There is room for everyone, Progressive and Orthodox,” she said.

“Everyone who knows me from the Orthodox community has been incredibly supportive.”

Community pays tribute to Rabbi Groner

A thousand people attended a service in Melbourne prior to Rabbi Groner's body being flown to Israel for burial. Tributes flowed from both Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders.

Sam Afra, Chairperson, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, said Groner's passing "draws the curtain on a life of extraordinary vitality and dedication to one’s faith, although it will likely be the Rabbi’s towering role in Jewish education that will be his enduring legacy among Victoria’s tight-knit Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish community."

Ted Baillieu, Victorian Opposition Leader, described the rabbi as "one of the leading lights of the Melbourne Jewish community" adding that "nder his leadership, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement flourished, building numerous schools and synagogues. "

Kim Beazley, former ALP leader andformer deputy prime minister, said that Groner " was the most deeply spiritual man I knew. You sensed with him that prayer would work. All Australians were uplifted by his life and we are diminished by his passing."

Anton Block, President, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, credited Groner with having "changed not only the face but more importantly the spirit, of the Victorian Jewish community.
As leader of its Chabad movement, Rabbi Groner’s personal dedication, unflagging energy and manifest love of Hashem and Torah/mitzvot and his Ahavat Yisrael enriched our community."

Philip Chester, President, Zionist Federation of Australia, declared that the rabbi's "influence extended far beyond the Yeshivah Centre, which he was instrumental in building, to many facets of our community."

Michael Danby, Member for Melbourne Ports, declared: "No spiritual leader of the Australian Jewish community has had a bigger effect on the generations since the World War II, both in terms of the enormous reach of Chabad in communal/synagogue life and in the educational institutions in which he rightfully took such great pride."

Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick, President, Organisations of Rabbis of Australia, said Rabbi Groner
"was a rabbi to rabbis as well as to the simplest Jew, always concerned with the physical as well as spiritual wellbeing of all he came in contact with." He added: "We acknowledge his invaluable contribution to the spiritual and educational growth of Australian Jewry during the past 50 years.  He served with immense passion and dedication".

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, President, Rabbinical Council of Victoria, suggested that "larger than life, Rabbi Groner was a man who one could believe would live forever. Rabbi, scholar, leader, educator, friend, colleague, confidant and so much more to so, so many."

Dr Danny Lamm, President of the State Zionist Council of Victoria, described Groner as "the outstanding rabbinical figure in Melbourne over the last 50 years -– orator, teacher, builder, friend.
He didn’t wait to provide pastoral care he offered it to anyone who needed support. Committed to Israel and the Jewish people, he truly observed the dictum 'Kol Israel Arevim Ze L’Ze.'

Isi Leibler, a Jewish community figure, said the rabbi's "charismatic presence at all communal levels played a major role in transforming Australian Jewry into one of the finest communities in the Diaspora..."

"Despite his towering presence and erudition, HaRav Groner was a modest man who spurned materialism and inspired a love and respect by all sections of the community, non-observant as well as religious," Leibler added. "His life represents a role model of spiritual leadership."

Mark Leibler, Chairman, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council chairman, said Rabbi Groner was "a man of great integrity and humility who led and inspired by example, a man who was universally respected, admired and loved by the whole community. One of his greatest gifts was the ability to synthesize his absolute devotion to Hashem and the Torah with an understanding of human nature and a practical approach which inevitably brought all with whom he came into contact closer to Yiddishkeit and respect for Jewish tradition."

Brendan Nelson, Leader of the Opposition, said " known as the people's rabbi, he made an enormous contribution not only to the Australian Jewish community, but beyond that to the spiritual life of our nation."
Helen Shardey, Member for Caulfield, recalled that Groner "was the first rabbi I visited when I was standing for the seat of Caulfield nearly 13 years ago. On my first visit we discussed the importance of the introduction of government funding for non-government schools, the needs of Jewish day schools and my support for schools in the non-government sector to continue to receive government assistance.... While I had come into his tiny study with feelings of great trepidation, I left with his blessing, knowing he was someone who I could always rely on to give wise council.  
So this was to be the first of many visits and meetings with Rabbi Groner over the years."

Alav hashalom.

Charges imminent against Adelaide rabbi and wife

ADELAIDE - Adelaide's Rabbi Yossi Engel and his wife Rebbetzin Chana Engel should know in less than a week whether they will be charged with fraud.

South Australian Police this week sent files relating to the Engels to be assessed by prosecutors.
The couple is expected to be charged in relation to signatures that appeared on applications for around $50,000 in funds from South Australia's Ethnic Schools Board on behalf of the Spirit of David Adelaide Hebrew School, which has since been deregistered.

Police have recommended that Rabbi Engel be charged with 17 counts of fraud, including nine of false pretences and eight of deception, and that Rebbetzin Engel be charged with 12 counts of fraud, including four counts of false pretences and eight of deception.

Prosecutors are now adjudicating transcripts from a 10-month police investigation, which gathered around seven hours of interviews with more than 50 members of Adelaide's Jewish community relating to the applications for money.

A police source said that the files which were handed to prosecutors a few days ago, "could take between a few days and a week" to be assessed after which the prosecutors will make their recommendations.

With charges to be almost certain to be laid against both the Engels, the options would be that they were processed either by the South Australian Police Criminal Justice Section or by the Director of Public Prosecution.

Once the charges are laid, a court date will be announced and the Engels would most like have their cases heard either in Adelaide Magistrates' Court or in South Australia's District Court.

Businessman launches Orthodox newspaper

MELBOURNE- After almost five decades of having only one Jewish newspaper - The Australian Jewish News, - which is published both in Melbourne and Sydney - a new Jewish weekly newspaper has hit the streets.

Local business figure Ave Kimmelmann has launched an Australian edition of Hamodia, which bills itself as "the newspaper of Torah Jewry."

The weekly publication, which was launched in an expanded version of a newsletter the Kimmelmann, a Melbourne manufacturer, had been circulating for two years among Melbourne's Chassidic community.

It is an offshoot of Hamodia, Hebrew for "the announcer," which was founded in Israel in 1950 by Rabbi Leibel Levin, who modeled it on an enterprise that began in postwar Poland.

Daily and weekly editions - which are backed by millions of dollars from the Charedi community - are published in Israel and New York, and there are British and French editions. The newspaper has offices in Jerusalem, New York, Antwerp and London.

Featuring world news and opinions from Israeli and US publications and occasional Australian mainstream news, Kimmelmann said he would like to expand coverage of the local Orthodox Jewish community and has the financial resources to do so.

The newspaper is published from his office, with "two or three employees" but will be moved later to a confectionery factory he owns in an outer suburb.

 Hamodia is sold by subscription and is also available from stands at retailers in Jewish areas of Melbourne and Sydney, and limited  free copies are to be found in Synagogue foyers in its initial stages, in order to attract subscribers.

Early editions carried extensive advertising from Jewish businesses, and it will be interesting to see if it cuts into the existing Jewish papers advertising revenues.  

Kadimah Marks 10 Years

NEW SOUTH WALES CENTRAL COAST- Kadimah Jewish Congregation on the Central Coast of New South Wales celebrated its 210th anniversary last month.

Deputy Mayor of Gosford City Council Trevor Drake joined 66 guests for an afternoon of entertainment, which featured country-rock entertainer Roland Storm, French vocalist Renee Chenovre and Newcastle Synagogue president and vocalist David Gubbay.

After listening to a history of the congregation and a poem composed by the evangelical sisters of St.Mary at Camden, the crowD enjoyed Israeli dancing and after noon tea.

The New South Wales South Coast is located approximately 100 from Sydney

It's Never too late to celebrate your Barmitzvah

Melbourne - While Barmitzvah's are a regular occurance in most synagogues on a Shabbat morning, a very special event was celebrated last Shabbat at Melbourne's St.Kilda Hebrew Congregation. It was a delayed Barmitzvah, in fact it was delayed by 84 years before 97 year old Mark Nathan finally celebrated his special day.

Born in London in 1911, to well off, middle class traditional Jewish family  who were fishmongers, he lived a comfortable life for his first twelve years. In 1923, economic disaster struck, that saw the family lose their business, their home and most of their possessions. The rule at the synagogue the family attended, was that you had to pay two shillings and six pence to become Barmitzvah'd.
As Mark did not have the two shillings and six pence, a considerable sum at that time, he was told no 2/6, no Barmitzvah. 

He went to work aged 12, as was the norm of the day, and never got around to remedy the situation. Later he emigrated to Australia, and settling into a new country and a growing family were priorities. He always regretted that he missed out, even after he became well established, working and rising through the ranks at a leading Melbourne department store, where was employed for nearly 50 years.

With an extended family, many who have been members of St.Kilda Shule all their lives, the discussion occasionally turned to Mark's "missed Barmitzvah", on occasions when sons, grandsons and nephews celebrated theirs.

Finally, after much persuasion, Mark decided to finally become a Barmitzvah "boy."

While the Rabbi read the Parshat  as Mark is a little frail, in fact he is wheelchair bound these days, Mark gave a very moving speech on the day, saying how much this day meant to him, and how delighted he was to finally celebrate that day he had missed out on so many years ago.

Another nice touch was when the Rabbi said, that as a rule Barmitzvah boys are called upon to come up to his seat to receive a blessing and the traditional presentation of a suitably inscribed Siddur, it was most appropriate that he, the Rabbi, would go to Mark's seat in the Shule to make the presentation.

So this day proved, it is never too late, now matter how many decades have passed, for every "boy" to have his day in Shule and celebrate that important day that marks the traditional transition from boyhood to manhood in Jewish life.

Another Jewish Boy hits the Big League

MELBOURNE- Todd Goldstein will become the ninth Jewish player to play senior Australian Football League (AFL) football on Saturday night when he makes his debut for North Melbourne against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

He was named in the ruck for the Kangaroos, who need a win against the Power in order to keep their finals hopes alive.

Goldstein, who turned 20 earlier this month, was selected by North Melbourne with the 37th selection at the 2006 AFL draft, just two years after he swapped basketball for football.

An athletic tap ruckman who measures 201cm, Goldstein has spent the last season and a half playing for North Melbourne's development teams, in the Victorian Football League, Tasmania and Werribee.

His hopes of senior selection this year increased after the club's no. 1 ruckman, Hamish McIntosh, suffered a season-ending knee injury last month.

North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley was full of praise for Goldstein and said his development in recent months had been impressive.

"He's come a long way and it's a credit to our development staff and the way he's gone about it at Werribee," Laidley told reporters.

"We've had (David) Hale and (Drew) Petrie doing the ruckwork and trying to play forward, so it's going to allow one of them to play a little bit more forward.

"We expect him to probably play 10-12 minutes a quarter and feel his way. He's come from a long way back but his ruckwork against some pretty good opposition in the Victorian Football League (VFL) over the last month has been outstanding, so we're really pleased with that."

Laidley said 20-year-old Goldstein's basketball background provided a point of difference.
"It's pleasing to be able to play another first gamer."

Goldstein, who is not a product of the AJAX Football Club, went to school at Trinity Grammar in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The other Jews to have played league football are Ian Synman (St Kilda), Keith Baskin (South Melbourne), Henry Ritterman (Melbourne), Michael Zemski (Hawthorn), Mordy Bromberg (St Kilda), Trevor Korn (Melbourne), Julian Kirzner (Essendon/North Melbourne) and Ezra Poyas (Richmond).

Poyas played the last of his nine games for the Tigers in 2002.

By weight, rabbi warns of hazards of a kosher diet

SYDNEY - A kosher diet can stack on the kilos, so a rabbi has launched a diet challenge to Australia's Jewish community: lose 1000 kilograms in 12 weeks.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel is launching an online diet program later this month, giving kosher recipes, a personalised menu and exercise plans, a kosher conversion guide, and weight-setting and weight-tracking tools.

"bagels. chopped liver, matzoh balls.schmaltz herrings - there are things in a kosher diet that make us put on weight" Rabbi Kastel said. "Rather than  white bagel, try a wholemeal one."

Rabbi Kastel, as head of the NSW Rabbinical Council, has got his message out to rabbis across Australia to challenge their communities.

He is also director of crisis housing agency The Jewish House, which will get a dollar from corporate sponsors for every kilo lost.

"We aim to lose about a kilo a week. So we're looking for 100 people to lose 10 kilos each. And the more the better", he said.

He said he did not know if members of the Jewish community were fatter than other Australians, but they needed to be aware of the importance of eating right, drinking only moderately and exercising.
Rabbi Kastel has been road-testing the program for five weeks and has shed six kilos. "Just 20 kilos to go" he said.

Fabian, our Australia bureau chief and chairman of B'nai B'rith Victoria, may be contacted at

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MENTORS NEEDED—Jewish BIGPals urgently needs male volunteers to be matched with the 14 boys waiting patiently for a Big Pal. A Big Pal is an adult role model and friend, ages 19 and up. Little Pals are children 6-16 years old from single parent or non-traditional families and in need of an additional adult role model. Big and Little Pals meet two times each month to participate in recreational, educational, or community activities they both enjoy. All interested volunteers are invited to attend a Jewish BIGPals Information Night on Thursday, August 28, 2008 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Jewish Family Service Turk Family Center located at 8804 Balboa Ave, San Diego, 92123. For more information contact (858) 637-3090.

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Watching All-Star game with friend Fox

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Our friend, Fox, invited us to the Tuesday evening All-Star baseball game, promising seats as comfortable as the ones in our television room.  Fox let it be known that we could see some pretty intense competition—and Fox, brightening with the thougt of profits, didn’t mean only the contest between the American and National Leagues, although that proved formidable. 

Oh no, our friend had other competitions in mind—like those between fast food chains, car and truck manufacturers,  cellular phone providers, vendors of prescription medicine, movies soon to be shown in theatres, and DVDs coming to outlet stores.  The only competition Fox didn’t want us to see was that between television networks, Fox reserved all the television show promotions as an exclusive.

Fox, of course, is the network that showed the 79th Annual All-Star game which tied a record with the previous longest All-Star game ever at 15 innings, lasting 4 hours and 50 minutes, before the American League finally won it, 4-3   The game was getting really old, when suddenly there was Young—Michael Young of the Texas Rangers whose bases-loaded fly ball scored Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins from third base.  

Boston Red Sox  batter J.D. Drew, who earlier hit a two-run homer for the American League, was honored  as the Most Valuable Player of the game, which couldn’t have very much pleased all the Yankee fans at the last All-Star game that will ever be played at the old Yankee Stadium.  Next season the Yankees will have a new and larger stadium next door.  Given the intense rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees—with some Red Sox players even being booed as they were announced at the beginning of the game, despite the fact that they were playing for the same American League team—Boston fans may have considered Drew’s selection to be poetic justice, a lesson those New Yorkers may not soon forget.

As the game entered the 15th inning, with both teams running out of players for use as substitutions, there was some talk that Commissioner Bud Selig might stop the game and call it a draw, as he did in 2002.  There was no draw, but of course there was a Drew.   And along with the good, there was the Uggla—second baseman Dan Uggla, who after hitting into a disappointing double play, committed two errors the following inning and yet another error the inning after that—truly one of the most miserable days this otherwise talented player probably had perhaps since initial outings in T-ball or Little League.

Tipped off by Bruce Lowitt’s article that ran earlier this month on San Diego Jewish World, I knew that three Jews would play on the field in the All-Star game (as opposed to Selig, a prominent Jewish baseballer who watched from the stands)  and I was anxious to see how they would do.   For the American League, they were first baseman Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox and second baseman Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers, and for the National League it was left fielder Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, whose nickname is the “Hebrew Hammer.”

The way things worked out, starters Youkilis and Braun played fewer innings than reserve player Kinsler—that’s how long the game went.  None of the Jewish players will be particularly remembered for their performances in this game, but on the other hand none played all that badly either.  Youkilis made several unassisted put outs at first base, and always was in proper position to handle the throws from other fielders.  In other words, he did everything he was supposed to do defensively.

Offensively,  he didn’t do nearly so well: he struck out in the second inning,  flied out in the fifth inning and was replaced by Morneau in the sixth inning.

Braun struck out in the second, grounded out in the fifth inning, and struck out again in the seventh inning.  He was replaced when the National League took the field in the bottom of the seven by Ryan Ludwick of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kinsler  made his first appearance in the fifth inning as a pinch runner for Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, who had gotten to first base after singling off the glove of Arizona Diamondback pitcher Dan Haren.  It proved a good choice as Kinsler was able to steal second under a deadly accurate peg to second from Los Angeles Dodger catcher Russell Martin.  But the next two batters couldn’t advance Kinsler any farther than second.

In the seventh, the first time he batted for himself, Kinsler grounded out to short.    He  struck out in the ninth, singled to center in the eleventh and subsequently got  called out stealing second base. Videotape showed the umpire was wrong, that Kinsler had slid in under the tag, but that’s baseball: sometimes stolen bases get stolen by the umpire from the stealer.  Oh well, did his mother raise him to be a goniff anyway?   In the 12th, Kinsler grounded out, killing a two-man-on rally.  In his late plate appearance in the 15th inning—ten innings after he was put in as a pinch runner—he lined out to left field.   For the evening, he had one hit in five at bats—hardly memorable.

Watching and note-taking during the game was made more enjoyable—and almost like being at Yankee Stadium itself—by the fact that my wife Nancy served up Hebrew National kosher hotdogs –always a baseball game pleaser—and Bush’s vegetarian beans, which I’m not sure are in the same category.  They are kosher though.

Harrison, our editor and publisher, may be contacted at

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PHANTOM AND CHRISTINE— Richard Todd Adams and Marni Raab have the coveted parts
in the touring production of Phantom of the Opera, now at San Diego's Civic Theatre. Joan Marcus photo.


Real life with 'Phantom' star Marni Raab

By Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO— Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera returns to San Diego tonight (July 16) and will be playing at the Civic Theatre downtown through August 10.

The plum role of Christine Daaé is being played by Marni Raab, who has performed in the production on Broadway and around the world. She also has performed in a variety of operatic and light operatic roles around the world.

Raab holds a Bachelors degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She recently answered some questions for San Diego Jewish World in an exchange of emails.

Q: Can you tell the readers of San Diego Jewish World something about your Jewish background and upbringing? Did you attend Hebrew School; have a Bat Mitzvah, confirmation?

A: I grew up in a suburban community in NJ with a large Jewish population. I went to public school and our family belonged to a Reform Jewish temple a couple of towns over where I went to Hebrew school and had my Bat Mitzvah.

Q: You read to schoolchildren in your down time. How did that come about?
A: That was through a terrific program associated with the Screen Actors Guild called BookPALS. It promotes literacy by organizing ways for performing artists to reach out to elementary school kids and try to instill in them a love of storytelling and books. A few years ago I read to a group of first graders once a week in their classroom. It was a great experience. BookPALS has a website,

Q: You have extensive credits in the opera, operetta and theatre world. Can you tell us about your professional training? -How did you draw the line where you concentrated more on musical theatre than opera?

A: Since I grew up in NJ, we were close enough to make the trip into “the city” to see Broadway shows. I fell in love with them when I was very young. I went to camp at Stagedoor Manor during the summers when I was a teenager and tried to participate in as many shows and acting classes as I could. I worked on classical music in my voice lessons and decided that I would continue that route in college.

After college I found that I was working in both opera and musical theater. I gravitated more towards the musical theater jobs partly because that’s where I was getting hired more often, and partly because I like that the rehearsal process is usually longer. During the rehearsal process the actors can take their concept of the role and continue to develop it based on the director’s guidance and the interaction between the other actors onstage. That part of the creative process is fascinating to me and to shorten it probably means there will be less nuance in the final product. I continue to study and to learn an incredible amount from watching my talented colleagues’ work.

Q: Who are the Jewish heroines you admire most and why?
A: Golda Meir is sort of an automatic one for me. I admire her strength and her decisiveness in incredibly challenging times.

I also have a lot of respect for how my husband’s mother incorporates her Jewish faith in her life. In addition to running her own business, she is active in her congregation, was president of her UJA chapter and recently was honored for her work with the Anti-Defamation League.

Q: What’s next for Marni Raab?
You can never be sure what will happen in this business but I plan on staying in the Phantom family for awhile longer!

Davis, San Diego theatre critic, may be contacted at

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Editor's Note: We are reprinting news articles that appeared in back issues of various San Diego Jewish newspapers. You may access an index of the headlines of those articles by clicking here. You may also use the Google search program on our home page or on the headline index page to search for keywords or names.

From Southwestern Jewish Press, July 24, 1947, page 6

Fun and more fun.  In fact, fun for young and old alike will be the order of the day on Sunday, August 3rd, at the J.C.R.A. Indoor Picnic, Bazaar and Card Party which will be held this year at the Mission Beach Community House on Santa Clara Avenue on the Bay Side of Mission Beach.  A hot home cooked turkey dinner will be served at 12:30 p.m., under the supervision of Frieda Marks, who will be assisted by Fannie Addleson and general committees.  For the benefit of those who wish to spend the day on the beach, supper will be served at 5:00 p.m., according to a statement made by President, Anna Shelley.

Sylvia Adler, assisted by Anna Goldstein and Edith Naiman, will be in charge of the Birdie Stodel B’nai B’rith Merchandise and Cake Booth.  All proceeds will be given to the J.C.R.A. treasury.

Donations of all kinds will be appreciated this year more than ever. The Duarte Sanitorium, which is non-profit, and non-sectarian needs funds to further the expansion of its new National Medical Center for the treatment and care and cure of tuberculosis and all other illness that plague the human race.  The new undertaking will embody a 700-bed hospital, staffed with prominent diagnosticians, physicians, and surgeons.  There will be research laboratories, a medical college, a post graduate study and later an undergraduate school. There will also be a nurses training school for men and women on a non-prejudiced, non-sectarian and non-discriminatory basis.

Flash! {Camp Palomar}
From Southwestern Jewish Press, July 31, 1947, page 1

It took more than a forest fire to destroy the  plans of the Community Center Planning Committee to have the children of the Day-Camp enjoy a week at Camp Palomar. The forest rangers gave the go-sign Tuesday morning and the children and their counselors left early Wednesday morning.  A welcome addition to the group were Mr. and Mrs. Nevin Wiley (Mr. Wiley is Executive Secretary of Family Servie Association) who will assist in the well-planned activities.

World Affairs Institute Here August 4th to 8th
From Southwestern Jewish Press, July 31, 1947, page 1

The fifth annual Institute of World Affairs will be held in San Diego from August 4th to August 8th, announced Dr. A.P. Nasatir, Professor of History at San Diego State College.

These forum-discussions which will take place at two sessions each day, the afternoon one at 2:30 p.m., the evening one at 7:45 p.m., will be held in the main auditorium of the First Methodist Church on Ninth Avenue and C Street.”

Of particular interest will be the institute speaker on Tuesday evening, August 5th, when Hugh Weston, prominent journalist, world traveler and radio commentator will speak on “The Middle East ad World Politics Today.”  Mr. Weston has recently returned from a special assignment in Europe and the Middle East and is well qualified to discuss his chosen topic.

On Thursday evening, August 7th, the Institute will be addressed by Mr. Carey McWilliams, a writer of note. An authority of Racial Minorities, Mr. McWilliams, who has devoted much time for many years to studies in this field, will speak on “Race Relations in the Post War World.”

All of the sessions promise to be held highly educational and interesting and the public is invited to attend and take part in them.  There is no admission charge.

Leading off Monday afternoon will be Ramon Lavalle, noted diplomat and lecturer, whose subject will be “New World Fascism, Whither Argentina.”  In the evening, on Monday, Mr. Lavalle will speak on “New Hope in Asia.”

Lal Chand Mehra, author and lecturer, is a native son of India.  A lecturer under the auspices of the University of California Extension Division for over ten years.  Lal Chand Mehra will lead the Institute Tuesday afternoon; the subject of his lecture being “India’s Place in the New Asia.” Tuesday evening Mr. Weston will speak.

Wednesday’s sessions promise much information with Dr. Antaole Mazour, Professor of History at Stanford University discussing Russia and the Near East” in the afternoon and giving a lecture on “What Does Russia Want?” in the evening.

Dr. Walter P. Hepner, president of San Diego State College, will be the speaker at the Thursday afternoon session.  A distinguished educator, Dr. Hepner has just returned from a three months sojourn in Germany.  He is well prepared to give authentic information on happenings in Germany today.  His subject is “The Future of Germany.”  Mr. Carey McWilliams will be Thursday evening’s speaker.

The last day, Friday, August 8h, George E. Outland, former member of Congress and professor at San Francisco State College, will answer the questions.  In the afternoon, he will speak on “Effective Democracy Through Government “and in the evening, his topic is ‘Current Trends of American Foreign Policy.”

This Institute is under the Auspices of San Diego State College with Professor A.P. Nasatir, Professor of History the Director of the Institute.

UJF Quota More Than Half Collected
From Southwestern Jewish Press, July 31, 1947, page 1

Eli Levenson, President of the United Jewish Fund announced that $110,000 in cash has been collected on the over $200,000 in pledges, which is ahead of the collections by comparison to 1946.  However, he stated that the national organizations have been bombarding the office with requests for cash since the conclusion of UNRRA activities in Europe. The United Jewish Fund of Greater San Diego has already forwarded $79,000 to the United Jewish Appeal.

According to Max Rabinowitz and Louis Steinman, Chairman of the 1947 campaign, there are still many prospective contributors who have not subscribed to the United Jewish Fund and the chairmen promise that an effort will be made in September to reopen the campaign for a period of time so that every individual can do his share to relieve the distress and suffering overseas.

Our indexed "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" series will be a daily feature until we run out of history.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 169)

Middle East
San Diego's UJF Mission arrives in Sha'ar Hanegev; where else to go for Latin food?
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Or Haner
Sarkozy sacrifices Franch honor to Syria
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.

Involving neo-Nazi youths in research led to turnaround in their attitudes by Rabbi Dow Marmur in Toronto
Jewish love for those great sailing ships
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego

When a community works in concert
from David Amos in San Diego
G.I. Joe and biblical translation
from Dan Schaffer in San Diego
Our growing arts and culture district
from Alan Ziter in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

July 24, 1947: Birdie Stodel B.B.
July 24, 1947: Yo-Ma-Co
July 24, 1947: Pioneer Women
July 24, 1947: Temple Sisterhood Project Off To Fine Start

Monday, July 14, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 168)

Middle East
Israel's national guessing game: Can Olmert last? If not, who will succeed him?
by Ira Sharkansy in Jerusalem
Sha'ar Hanegev bureau chief campaigns to dispose of litter at Kibbutz Ruhama
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel
Seeks memoirs from North Americans who volunteered during Israel's Six-Day War
from Michael Zimmerman in Chicago
Yesawich, Rhodes make aliyah from San Diego
from Dena Wimpfheimer in New York City
Article on Merchant Marine wins plaudits
from Cantor Sheldon Merel in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

July 24, 1947: Week At Camp In Palomar Mountain
July 24, 1947: Day Camp Proves Successful in S.D.
July 24, 1947: USO-JWB Enjoys ‘Brunch’
July 24, 1947: Lasker Lodge B.B.

TICO concert brings community together by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Jean Isaacs: Generous spirit opens doors by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego

Sunday, July 13, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 167)

Middle East
Iran's bad week: gas deal with French Total sours, missile test lacks credibility
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
Shaliach tells fellow kibbutzniks about his goodwill assignment in Tulsa, Oklahoma
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel
G. I. Joe’s choices reshape the battlefield
by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
San Diego and the Nation
World War II-era Merchant Mariners seek compensation for lost G.I. Bill privileges
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
July 17, 1947: Lasker Lodge B.B.
July 17, 1947: Jewish Labor Com.
July 17, 1947: Birdie Stodel B.B.
July 17, 1947: Pioneer Women
The wily machinations of the yetzer hara
by Rabbi Baruch Lederman in San Diego

A bissel sports trivia with Bruce Lowitt in Clearwater, Florida

Friday, July 11, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 166)

We can judge a leader by his followers
by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
San Diego
Danny and Clyde... They lived a lot, and stayed friends since their school days by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

—July 10, 1947: J.C.R.A
—July 10, 1947: Birdie Stodel B.B.
—July 10, 1947: U.S.O.-J.W.B. Activities
—July 17, 1947: Palomar Camp Plans Completed
Falstaff a great fall guy in 'Merry Wives'
by Carol Davis in San Diego
Famed director Sydney Pollack laughingly agreed to take direction from an amateur
by George Falkowitz in Oceanside, California
Chapter 16 of Reluctant Martyr,
a serialized novel by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego

Thursday, July 10 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 165)

Middle East
Negev mayors protest Olmert decision against fortifications along Gaza border
by Ulla Hadar in Sderot, Israel
U.S.-Iraq withdrawal negotiations prompt posturing for both countries' electorates
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington D.C.
San Diego

San Diego had his dream job and great weather, but Israel had his heart
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
San Diego Jewish Trivia: Places by Evelyn Kooperman in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
July 10, 1947: Fund Total Must Be Raised
July 10, 1947: Registration Opened for Camp Palomar
July 10, 1947: 'Campers' to Visit Training Center
July 10, 1947: Lasker Lodge B.B.
Globe's Romeo and Juliet needs polish
by Carol Davis in San Diego
Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard
of San Diego
#51, Waiting for Anne Marie
#42, Magdalena
#184, Anne

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 164)

Middle East
'Gabriel's Revelation' may alter Jewish, Christian concepts of interrelationships
by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
A Roundup of Jewish news in Australia by Garry Fabian in Melbourne
My grandson's bar mitzvah—and mine
—Shtetl of Zhetl inspires prize-winning essay
—Rabbi Yitzchok Groner dies aged 83

Jewish groups avoid Diaspora study
—Rabbis oppose euthanasia bill
—Community looks closely at Jewish education cost
—Foreign Affairs Dept. investigates tourist's fate

Bug's scientific name honors Australian Jew
Australians to lead at Yad Vashem conference
Achiever off to Prague
JLC gets a new home
—Maccabi's winning run continues
—Police called after spiteful football game
San Diego
Scholarly, easy-to-read work tells of San Diego places people are dying to get into
by Donald H. Harrison
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

—July 3, 1947: Jewish Labor Com
—July 3, 1947: Birdie Stodel B.B.
—July 3, 1947: Yo-Ma-Co
—July 3, 1947: Pioneer Women
All that ends well still can be a problem
by Carol Davis in San Diego
Two Jews in starting All-Star Game lineup
by Bruce Lowitt in Clearwater, Florida

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