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Volume 2, Number 30
Volume 2, Number 187
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Today's Postings

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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

Sports/ 2008 JCC Maccabi Games

'Why Volleyball?' nets many responses
by Daniela Federman and Danielle Potiker in San Diego

U.S. Jewish athletes ready for Beijing Olympics in four different sports by "SD Pipeline" staff in San Diego

San Diego

Father transforms his grief into helping thousands in the name of his daughter
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego


The Receptionist will soon lure you into office comedy/drama at Cygnet Theatre by Carol Davis in San Diego

Pen: A writing implement, or a prison? by Cynthia Citron in Beverly Hills, California


Two Jewish women win acclaim for their restaurants: Lehn Goetz and Tracy Borkum
by Lynne Thrope in San Diego

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

—October 1949: J.C.R.A

—October 1949:
Jolly 16 Celebrates 35 Years of Service

—October 1949:Senior Pioneer Women

—October 1949: Birdie Stodel Chapter No. 92 B’nai B’rith

The Week in Review

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

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'Why Volleyball?' nets many responses

By Danielle Potiker and Daniela Federman

SAN DIEGO—Many JCC Maccabi volleyball teams have practiced long and hard for the games but the San Diego team is determined to win gold. Coach Fran Shimp is very proud of her team. What motivates her players? "They don’ t need much help in that area, we have some fired up, fun girls." Volleyball has two teams, the white and the blue/gold, and both teams practice together with drills and scrimmages.
The players also have a lot to say about their teams. Tenth-grader Maddie Ross is very excited about this year's JCC Maccabi Games. She has been playing volleyball for three years. When asked about why she joined the team, she says, "I love volleyball and its really fun." Fellow player Gabi Rothman has a lot of inspiration. Her motivation is: "Sofia's gold shiny spandex." Sofia Gross, another volleyball player, said she joined Maccabi because, "...It's the best four days of my life."

The San Diego team is not the only team that is anticipating a win! Sivian Gavish on the New Vegasville volleyball team, is also looking to win the gold for her team. “So far, Maccabi has been a great experience.” The “Double Rachel Duo” from the New Orleans team, are also very excited about the games.

While many vollyeball players are excited about the games, they're also looking forward to the great social events scheduled this week. Florencia Hassos from Palo Alto said that she is “pumped to see Sea World”

The coaches are also very glad to see their athletes socialize and have fun. Denver coach Jessica Slossberg is buzzing with excitement. She hopes to see everyone on time, and happy. Our executive director Jed Margolis is also joyful about the games.
He is very excited to recruit volleyball players, as well as other athletes, to represent states, and go to Israel next summer for Maccabi. To all the Volleyball players, good luck and spike that ball.

Heard around the nets:

“This is my family's first Maccabi experience, and it's awesome!"-Iddo Gavish  
“I love Maccabi so far!”-Michael Manes   
“This is an experience I'm glad my kids can have.”-Steve Cohen.

Federman and Potiker are members of the "Star Reporter Staff" of SD Pipeline, a student
journal created for the 2008 JCC Maccabi Games. Their story is reprinted with permission

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U.S. Jewish athletes ready for Beijing Olympics in four different sports

From SD Pipeline, publication of the 2008 JCC Maccabi Games


Jason Lezak- 2004 Gold Medal in 4 x 100 Medley, 2-Time Olympian
Ben Wildman-Tobriner- 2nd alternate 4x100 medley relay, 1st time Olympian
Garrett Weber-Gale- American Record Holder for 50m Freestyle (Men’s)
Dara Torres- Will be competing in her 5th Olympics, American record holder 50m Freestyle (Women’s


Rami Zur- Will be competing in his 2nd Olympics


Sada Jacobson- 2003 U.S. Fencer of the Year, Will be competing in her 2nd Olympics


Deena Kastor- Won bronze in Athens in 04. Will compete in her 2nd games.

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FOUNDER—Dr. Ken Druck stands outside the offices of the Jenna Druck Foundation which he
founded in memory of his daughter Jenna and in the determination to carry forward the work she was doing to improve young women's self-images. The foundation, which expanded into working with grieving families, now is located on the NTC Promenade at the former Naval Training Center.


Father transforms his grief into helping thousands in the name of his daughter

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—In the wake of the accidental death of his daughter Jenna during a “Semester at Sea” field trip by bus to India’s Taj Mahal, psychologist and author Ken Druck made a “solemn vow” to continue the work that Jenna had started to get teenage and pre-teen girls to treat neither themselves nor others as objects.

While still at Torrey Pines High School, Jenna Druck and a friend, Pilar, had organized a week-long summer leadership camp for approximately two dozen girls.  “She believed that adolescence was torture for most girls; that they were taught to hate their bodies, to compare themselves disfavorably to the eight super models in the world, to obsess about boys because they were the ‘prize,’ and they would pass over incredible opportunities to discover their talents and their gifts,” Ken Druck recalled.  “Also the girls would spend a lot of time trashing other girls, belittling other girls, beating other girls up emotionally and verbally.  It was a waste of adolescence and she believed that we could change that experience.”

Based on the co-ed “Super Camp” in Vista, Jenna and Pilar built an independent camping curriculum in the Cuyamaca mountains for girls that focused on self-esteem building.   They stressed what Jenna called “strength of heart” – an expression that meant “compassion, courage and fierce determination.”

In Jenna’s college years at the University of Colorado at Boulder, she was elected as president of Pi Beta Phi (nicknamed “Pi Phi”), and she “would invite all the officers back a week early and she would take them into the mountains in Boulder and do a team-building program.,” Druck said.

 “She had learned and cultivated this ability to bring people together and facilitate team building, and planning—she was into these things, she had booklets and she was becoming very organizationally literate, and process- literate.”

Jenna was killed March 27, 1996, after moving to the back of a bus to comfort a young woman who was terrified by the treacherous curves the bus had been navigating.   It was then that the bus flipped, crushing the life out of Jenna and also killing the student whom she had tried to comfort.  While those who were seated near her original seat were injured, they were not killed.

Druck said it was at  Jenna’s shiva that he revealed to some Jewish friends, Phyllis and Dan Epstein, and some non-Jewish friends, Doug and Betsy Manchester, his vow to preserve Jenna’s name by continuing the works that had become so important to her.  The two other men withdrew to another portion of the Druck home in Del Mar to talk it over.  When they returned, Manchester and Epstein told Druck that they wanted to help.

Leadership development for young women might have been enough to fill anyone’s plate, but because Druck, as coauthor with James Simmons of The Secrets Men Keep, previously had become a celebrity by appearing on such national television shows as Oprah and Donohue, his grieving soon became public knowledge.  As other parents lost their children—through accidents, illness, violence, suicide—some contacted him, hoping he might know something that would help them endure the awful pain of loss.

Jenna’s death had not only caused profound grief for her immediate family—mother Karen, father Ken, and sister Stephanie, nicknamed “Stefie,” but also for innumerable friends she had made during the course of her school years and extra-curricular activities.

“There are many differences in the way we grieve,” Druck observed during an interview at the Jenna Druck Foundation offices along the historic NTC Promenade at the former Naval Training Center.  “There are differences in the way that children and adults grieve, and when there is a loss of a child, the way that the parents and the siblings grieve.”  Additionally, he said, there are differences developmentally in the way children grieve at different ages.

“There are many subtle differences, but the one thing threaded through all of it is that taking the high road means that we honor each other’s way of grieving and each other’s timetable,” Druck said.  “Grief has a timetable all its own. It is not a linear progressive thing.  We go two steps forward, one step back, and five steps back, five steps forward.”

Except for those who become self-destructive, each person should be permitted to grieve in his or her own way, said Druck.  However, he cautioned, “there are a small percentage of people who in their anguish and grief self-medicate with over work, or with alcohol and drugs, or with prescription drugs or who become clinically depressed. They just can’t catch themselves.  They fall into a state of depletion, and it is a biochemical depletion as well as spiritual depletion.”

Describing his own grieving, Druck recounted: “When something like this happens, we die. Our life, as we know it, is over.  We are still walking around, going through the motions, but we have died a spiritual death.   A large part of us dies with our child.  So I spent the first couple of years—even though I was going through the motions and I started this foundation—I was amongst the walking dead.  As a matter of fact, over 90 percent of the parents who have come through this program, which is just thousands and thousands, will tell you that they want to die; it would be a relief to die , because to live with this kind of anguish, to have outlived your child, is horrific; it feels like a death sentence in the beginning.

“For a couple of years, you want to die, because you can’t think of any other way to escape the pain, and the pain is overwhelming, and we aren’t built to be able to accommodate that magnitude of pain, so we search for, we gasp for air, we search for faith, we can’t understand how it could have happened on God’s watch.

“As if we needed a spiritual crisis, for most parents there is a spiritual crisis, because for most parents it doesn’t make any sense. Rabbi Harold Kushner has spoken to those issues after the loss of his own son. … Our construct of God is the Puppeteer, Who is watching over everything and has control over everything …  We have to police ourselves for those types of attributions because given that construct, it is right to blame God.  But if God is the force of love and good in the world, then that force or presence wasn’t manifest at that moment (of the child’s death) and there were things that happened that have nothing to do with the force of love and good.  Sometimes bad things happen, and if the bad thing happens to you, or even worse, to your child; that is the way it is. 

“Somehow you figure out how to go on; but you will find that some are so shattered they don’t even want to or care, and so my journey back to life and back to wanting to be alive on some level had a lot to do with honoring my daughter.  I made a sacred vow at the very beginning—I felt like I was the keeper of my daughter’s legacy—that I was privileged to know the most beautiful young woman in the world, and that I would honor her each day for the rest of my life by doing good things in her name. “

Druck describes Jenna as the “CAO” – Chief Angelic Officer – of the Jenna Druck Foundation, and likes to tell people that he has two daughters, “my angel daughter, and my earth daughter.”  His favorite photo, from left to right, shows Jenna, him, and Stefi, seated together in 1995, a year before the accident.

Jenna was 20 at the time of the accident, and Stefie was 18.   Today, as a grown woman, Stefie participates in the Jenna Druck Foundation’s programming, especially counseling sessions for siblings.

“She has helped with our sibling program throughout, she is always available, gives of her time generously, to the sibilings, the brothers and sisters who have lost a sister,” says her father.  Furthermore, Stefie “is an unbelievably wise counselor—she always has been and she provides that generously to kids.  To this day I will just call her up, or I will see a family and a wonderful man or young woman and they are in anguish: the one person whom they had all their history with, whom they counted on growing old with, who shared their history with their parents and their family, is gone.  I often think of Stefie – and they have a conversation with her and they stay in contact endlessly.”

Jenna’s mother Karen has served on the Jenna Druck Foundation board, and, although they are divorced, Druck says their relationship has returned to that of being the best friends they were before their marriage.  Druck said it is mythology that the stress of losing a child in most cases is ruinous for a marriage, estimating that it is a factor in no more than 20 percent of the break-ups.  In their own case, he said, he and Karen already had separated prior to Jenna’s death.

With the help of the American Academy of Bereavement, which certifies lay people to become grief counselors, the Jenna Druck Foundation has families helping families.  It is an interesting process because those who do the counseling are themselves being helped through their grief by the very act of counseling.  Likewise, those who receive the counseling find that they are not alone, that the sense of being overwhelmed has been experienced by others, and so has the emptiness they feel inside their souls.

The approach brought the Jenna Druck Foundation to the attention of people around the country who had experienced sudden and violent loss: the 9-11 families, families whose children were killed in school violence, the families of the space shuttle explosion, and  families sundered in natural catastrophes.

On an individual basis, families may call the Jenna Druck Foundation because they want advice about where they might find financial help for a devastatingly unanticipated funeral.  “Some families call us because they are worried about the siblings, who observed the death,” Druck said. “Sometimes somebody has become clinically depressed and they need a referral to a psychologist or therapist in town.  Or they cannot sleep and they are extremely agitated or anxious. There is a strong anxiety and panic response…so people often want to have a psychiatric evaluation.”

Death elicits from the survivors a varied and long list of responses and needs.  “Sometimes people will call because they are worried that the child has to go back to school; or the parent has to go back to work.  We have a program called ‘The Compassionate Classroom.'  We also have a program called ‘The Compassionate Workplace’ where we do a 90-minute lunch program for all the employees to help ease that person back to work: ‘What does support look like? What do you do? What don’t you do?’ The same thing in the classroom, educating teachers and principals; we have a pamphlet that we give to schools that is a bereavement crisis response. We have two letters that we give them electronically.  They don’t have to write a letter to the school community, we already have done that for them.  They can download it off our website. … We have developed a whole protocol.”

Druck said the non-profit Foundation, which does not charge any fee for its services, also facilitates meetings between families of transplant recipients and transplant donors, when both families so desire.  Additionally, the Foundation compiles and publishes a bereavement resource directory so that families, thrown suddenly into grief, don’t have to engage in already available research.

The Foundation’s founder says he now is moving into a new chapter of his life: allowing the Foundation to be run by professionals and limiting his involvement to that of a board member and volunteer.  It is not an unusual situation in various organizations to see “the founder who stays around too long, and they take up too much space, draw too much attention to themselves, and  the kind of engagement that  is necessary to take place for an organization to be successful does not.

“I have been extremely mindful of that. The last couple of years I have turned the mantle over to people who are professional administrators, who can do this better 100 times than I can do.   I will always be involved, always be on the board, still run support groups—but I am a volunteer now.”

The executive director of the Jenna Druck Foundation is Wanda Lee Bailey, with R. Scott Foresman, former president of Hobie Cat, serving as chairman of the board.  Dr. Lori Rappaport, who has her own private practice volunteers as the staff psychologist.

The foundation’s two major programs—teaching self-esteem to girls and helping families cope with grief—are maintained by donations, grants, and proceeds from mega-events, including “The Best Year Ever,” a day-long seminar bringing together some of the world’s best known authors and motivational speakers to help people harness the forces in their lives.  Earlier this year, the event was a sell-out at the San Diego Sports Arena.  This coming January 17, said Druck, “we will have more phenomenal speakers.”

Harrison may be contacted at

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RECEPTIONIST—Melinda Gilb (center) is in disbelief as she listens to the conversation
between Jo Anne Glover and Sean Cox in The Receptionist at Cygnet Theatre.
Photo by Randy Rovang


The Receptionist will soon lure you into office comedy/drama at Cygnet Theatre

SAN DIEGO—Will the last person out of  ‘Northeast Office’, please turn off the lights. This is not a question. This is a demand said in the nicest, low-keyed way, thank you.

Adam Bock’s The Receptionist is a page right out of the Bush White House Central Casting files, it’s that scary yet that funny. In an excellent West Coast Premiere production, at the Cygnet Theatre of Bock’s 2007 Outer Circle Awards nominated play, Bock’s comedy/ sci-fi made its world premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Cygnet Theatre, under the deft direction of artistic director Sean Murray,made a bold move in opening its sixth season with this, the third in a series of Bock’s workplace-set plays that also include The Typographer’s Dream and The Thugs.

While workplace plays are not new territory for playwrights (I think of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glenn Ross and  Oleanna and to some extent Edward Albee’s, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), Bock relies on his own experience as a "temp. receptionist at a temp. office for his ‘office insights.'" 

I quote from an interview: “Adam Bock was once a receptionist, which is one reason he is a playwright. Or is it the other way around?”  As someone who does answer phones in her own business, believe me when I tell you, “There is a voluminous amount of material out there from which to write a truckload of plays," most just don’t do it.

Bock, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. He is an alumnus of the Jerusalem Fellowship MBA Hi-Tech Mission, a leadership program that not only connects the business environment in the States with the business environment in Israel, it also opens new connections and perspectives in the way the participants think of their own ‘Jewishness’.  

Although he was born in Canada, Bock studied playwriting with Paula Vogel and Mac Wellman in San Francisco and was artistic associate with the Shotgun Players before moving to New York where he now resides. No question, Bock is a young man on the move.

Bock’s The Receptionist is a one-act play that will have you laughing out loud until you’re gasping out loud, “WHOA!!!!” Melinda Gilb is Beverly, ‘the receptionist’ who not only answers the phones but also gives advice to her lovelorn friends. She’s in the ‘Northeast Office’ of what we know not. She’s cheerful (this is a piece of cake for Gilb, who is perfect for the role. She has that expert comic timing so needed for this role that by looking at her you would think she actually does this for a living) and knows everything about office goings and comings… or does she?

She knows how to transfer calls to the boss, Mr. Raymond (Dale Morris) and to Lorraine, his "assistant" (Jo Anne Glover). She dutifully makes coffee, fills the candy jar, waters the plants and keeps tabs on all the pens that come into and mysteriously disappear from the front desk. Loraine is the worst offender. She does not return pens.

The desk is a stylish semi circular one faced with dark wood with a black granite-like top. There are file cabinets and office accoutrement in back of it. It sits in the center of the stage and is the focal point of all the comings and goings.

Her high leather desk chair, not to her liking but it was left by the last person in that job, swivels and on one side of the office is a glass table covered with magazines and with a chair for waiting. In back of the table are handsome floor to ceiling dark wood storage cabinets and on the other side of the desk are double glass doors leading to the outside halls of whatever building they occupy. All this is the work of set designer Sean Fanning  who masterfully deigned an office fit for a queen (bee).

Eric Lotze’s lighting design is perfectly placed on a dropped soffit that lights the desk area. Other office light switches are placed in appropriate walls leading to and from both Lorraine’s office and Mr. Raymond’s office.

Beverly has a daughter, Jayne, who’s a bit of a problem. She and hubby have trouble making ends meet. She once had two people working under her and she and her husband collect teacups. We know this because in direct and in phone conversations with some of the above, she tells us. Life in the office of the Northeast Branch is pretty mundane, somewhat mysterious, and funny with the usual office gossip and problem solving as the main source of chatter. Sometimes the look on Gilb’s face makes you wonder if she has time, between answering those bothersome calls, to solve her friend Cheryl Lynne’s problems along with those of the oft- time sobbing Lorraine.

Glover’s Lorraine is a bit more complicated character. What we do know about her is that she is notoriously late for work, is fragile and has a habit of hooking up with men who are narcissistic. This topic gives us many laughs as Beverly tries to talk her off the ledge from making the same mistakes over and over. 

We see her at the file cabinets off to the side, but know little more. Glover, an amazing actor does so much with her less defined role as her mood swings fit perfectly into those of a flirt, a rejected suitor, someone who seems to get a lot of calls but is mostly not emotionally available. She seems to get along well with Beverly and from the outside looking in both women appear to be pretty average. What we don’t know is what she knows or doesn’t know, or what she does.

While all this humdrum office drama is going on, a young man, Martin Dart (Sean Cox), from ‘the main office’ drops in to see Mr. Raymond. Not one to keep to the business of answering phones her primary concern, Beverly opens up to the guy, lets him know what a great boss Mr. Raymond is and doesn’t really know when he’ll be returning to the office, except it will be sooner rather than later.  She never once questions who he is.

Cox is perfect as the secretive visitor and foil as he flirts back with Lorraine, gets a sweet treat for Beverly and confides to Beverly a tidbit about his young son who likes to eat glue in nursery school. Cox is as sly as a fox, Mr. Cool, charming in a slimy sort of way but there does comes a point when the tide appears to take a turn and suddenly, you don’t like him any more. He diligently waits for Mr. Raymond to return, but he never says what he’s waiting for.

When Mr. Raymond (Dale Morris gives a fine emotional performance here) finally does return from a longer that usual absence and meets up with Dart, all the ‘you know what’ hits the fan. And that’s as far as this reviewer will say. This is a twister you must see for yourself.

The Receptionist continues through Aug. 31 on their Rolando stage at 7202 College Blvd. 92115.

See you at the theatre.

Critic Davis may be contacted at 

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Pen: A writing implement, or a prison?

By Cynthia Citron

BEVERLY HILLS, California—The mother is in a wheelchair, her emotions and spirit as withered as her legs.  The victim of her unceasing abuse is her son, a bewildered, eager-to-please young man who will soon be going to college—but not to the movies, as his mother perversely refuses him the use of her car.  “Seeing a movie by yourself is embarrassing!” she tells him.  The father, not surprisingly,  has already left the family.

The relationships among this angry and dysfunctional threesome form the plot line for David Marshall Grant’s play, Pen, now having its west coast premiere at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, under the superb direction of Jeff G. Rack.  The setting is New York City in the last months of 1969, a time whose turbulent events and distinctive music are established as the play begins with sound bites from radio and television broadcasts of the period.

As the play opens, the mother, Helen, played with bitter passion by Jill Remez, is nagging her son, obsessing over the loss of a special NASA-designed, zero-gravity pen that allows her to write while lying down.  Her son Matt (excellently played by 17-year-old Dennis Bendersky) yoyos between sympathetic concern and passive-aggressive rebellion: when he finds the pen, he stealthily pockets it and allows her to go on obsessing.

One of the bones of contention between this mother and son is that she is insisting that he apply to a university on Long Island, so that he will remain close by.  His father, on the other hand, is pressuring him to apply to USC, his own alma mater, and is not very subtly bribing him with the promise of a brand new car.  The father, Jerry, (Robert Mackenzie) is a different kind of nag: jovial and seemingly affable, he can squeeze his tormented son as effectively as Helen can.  (In a minor aside, he ruminates on his reaction to being Jewish: “I feel nothing, but I feel guilty about it,” he says.  While Helen angrily notes, “We were never Jewish in this family!”)

Matt eventually holds his own, however, in a scene where he finally erupts in a shouting match with his mother, (“You make everything seem impossible,” he roars), and the major theme of the play is then explored more thoroughly.  Namely, how do our connections with the people we love affect us, both emotionally and physically?  Can we become so close to our loved ones that we absorb their negative energy?  And how do we break those bonds so that we can get on with our own life?

In the end, though, playwright Grant supplies metaphysical answers which, to some extent, beg the questions and derail the play.  Further, the subsequent 180° change in Helen’s character is inexplicable, unlikely, and unconvincing.  So in the end we are left disappointed and dissatisfied because the playwright has supplied resolutions that just don’t ring true.

Pen will continue at Theatre 40, alternating in repertory with Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 8, through August 31.  Theatre 40 is located in The Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 S. Moreno Drive, in Beverly Hills.  Call (310) 364-0535 for the performance schedule and reservations. 

Los Angeles bureau chief Citron may be contacted at

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Two Jewish women win acclaim for their restaurants: Lehn Goetz and Tracy Borkum

By Lynne Thrope

SAN DIEGO—I, for one, am impressed with awards. Whether it’s a Newberry, Caldecott, Pulitzer, or Academy Award, I want to know why so-and-so won it. In pursuit of learning the answer, I research the award winner’s life, which usually culminates in the buying of the book or the ordering of the DVD on Netflix. As I come to the place of understanding why this person was chosen to win, I then shape my opinion into one that might resemble that of a familiar critic (not that anyone is listening or cares, but, after all, don’t we play the role of critic about something sometime?).

When I learned that Lehn (pronounced Lane) Goetz, owner of Old Town’s award-winning Café Coyote, was voted San Diego’s Restaurateur of the Year, I set myself in motion to learn all that I could about her. Was she deserving of the acclaim? Was her restaurant worthy of being voted Best Mexican in 2005, 2006, and 2008? Ask her mom, retired Senator Dede Alpert or her great aunt and uncle, Arthur and Estelle Alpert (members of my Temple Emanu-El), or her peers in the restaurant industry. Undoubtedly, you’ll be met with a hearty, “Of course! Look at who she is and all that she has accomplished.” So look I did.

Meeting Lehn (shown at right) at her bustling Café Coyote in the heart of Old Town confirmed my suspicion: this talented, gracious, vivacious woman is a native San Diego superstar. She glitters all over with the success she has achieved creating this popular, 20 year old restaurant that is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. A myriad of them can be seen mixing on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 10pm when Mario Marquez, Len’s tequila ambassador, teaches about the 116 varieties available in the restaurant.

Besides the amazing tequilas and margaritas, the food at Café Coyote is as authentic as the Mexican décor, including Lehn herself. She sees to it that the guacamole is made fresh before serving it. And the salsa, the same and coincidentally, the way I like it, not too hot or too mild. Everything Lehn Goetz serves up is travelogue perfect! Don’t wait for the relatives to visit Old Town’s Café Coyote. Go because it’s a San Diego jewel.

Meet Lehn Goetz and experience Café Coyote “where San Diego goes to howl” located at 2461 San Diego Avenue. Call for large party reservations at 619.291.HOWL (4695). Visit to preview the menu and learn about upcoming events.


In 2007, I attended the awards banquet of the California Restaurant Association. There, I briefly chatted with Tracy Borkum, the CRA’s choice for Restaurateur of the Year. Fast forward a year later…what was supposed to be another chat (for the purpose of writing this piece) parlayed into a two-hour verbal exchange with a veritable soul sister. It turns out that Tracy and I shared similar backgrounds, including our Bat Mitzvah experiences; hers in London, mine on Cape Cod, for both, the beginning of a time when women were first “allowed” to participate in this life cycle event.

Owner of the sophisticated Laurel, Kensington Grill, Chive, and Urban Kitchen, Tracy’s catering business, this entrepreneur (shown at left) is all about taste. She has it in her menus, her restaurants’ decorating, and in her personal style. She knows what people want in good food and wine, fine dining with relaxed ambiance, and attentive service. Laurel is, indeed, the place to go before the theatre (a 10-minute leisurely walk to The Globe and Starlight in Balboa Park or take Laurel’s courtesy shuttle) to enjoy their 3-course pre-theatre menu. Laurel’s “Seven before 7” – a nightly happy hour from 5p – 7p offers 7 selected drinks and 7 small plates each for $7. Sinful Sunday is the day that two-dozen award-winning wines are offered at a 50% discount! Tapas Tuesday is when you can be entertained as Laurel’s team of chefs prepare behind the bar scrumptious small plates.

Since 1995, Tracy’s Kensington Grill has been voted several times San Diego’s neighborhood gem. Located on Adams Avenue in the heart of Kensington, this cozy eatery has attracted a wide range of gastronomers who seek flavorful food at affordable prices. Kensington Grill is always a Best Bet. Its consistency is the reason for is popularity.

With her many years in the restaurant biz, Tracy’s catering business is very much in vogue, too. Urban Kitchen ( is for the stylish and unaffected alike. Offering kosher sensitive items, Tracy works personally with each client to create the perfect menu for any occasion.

Meet Tracy Borkum at any of her fabulous San Diego restaurants:
Laurel @505 Laurel Street – 619.239.2222
Kensington Grill @4055 Adams Avenue – 619.281.4014
Chive @558 Fourth Avenue – 619.232.4483

Have a restaurant you'd like to see reviewed? Lynne Thrope may be contacted at


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Lawrence Family JCC

Editor's Note: To create a permanent and accessible archive, 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, October 1949, page 5

By Anna R. Brooks

A “Get A Member” luncheon and Card Party is being sponsored by the Jewish Consumptive Releif Association on Tuesday, October 18, at Temple Center at 12 noon.  “The new member will act as the ticket of admission,” declared Mrs. Esther Schwartz, Auxiliary president.

Members who will present the dues of a new member unable to attend the luncheon will also be the guest of the Auxiliary.  Any member not accompanied by a new member will be her own hostess.

J.C.R.A., one of many such Auxiliaries in the country, is organized to support the City of Hope at Duarte, a non-profit, non-sectarian medical center and sanatorium for research and treatment of diseases of the chest and accompanying physical disorders which tend to retard a patient’s recovery.

The “open door” policy and the welcome mat are out t all visitors who wish to visit the City of Hope.  One important phase of the rehabilitation program is the preparation of patients for retraining in other trades where their former occupations are detrimental to their continued well-being.

Mrs. Jennie Braun, luncheon chairman, will be assisted by Mrs. Jennie Schwartz.  Officers who will serve on committees are Mesdames Anna Shelley, Bessye Siegel, Goldie Schusterman, Mary Schwartz, Ruth Bloom, Jeanne Camiel, Sophie Himmel, Betty Schwartz, Anna Epstein, Beckie Bard, Sylvia Adler, Frieda Marks, Anna B. Brooks Anna Lazarowitz and Anna Bobrof.

Jolly 16 Celebrates 35 Years of Service
From Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1949, page 6

Rose Neumann, President of the Jolly Sixteen, is proud to announce that on November 6th, the organization will celebrate their 35 anniversary, with a banquet and dance at the El Cortez Hotel.

Mary Kantor and Rose Gordon are Co-Chairmen in charge of the evening’s activities and have planned many surprises.  Ida Nasatir, known and beloved by the community, will act as Historian and Toastmistress for the celebration.  Each lady present will receive a beautiful gift as a memento of the occasion.

The Jolly Sixteen was formed in 1914 with the sole purpose of lending a helping hand where needed. It has never deviated from this path and thirty-five years of organized ctivity has only whetted the will of this group to rise to the needs of the Community. Their achievements are many and their activities include assistance to scholars, support of orphans, active participation in organizations such as the United Jewish Fund, Red Cross, Community Chest, U.S.O., Braille Club, Hebrew Home for the Aged, Jewish Welfare Society, Infantile Paralysis, Cancer Fund, Visiting Nurses and other worthy local organizations.

Jolly Sixteen is comprise of Rose Neumann, President; Eva Chenkin, Vice-President; Julia Klaskin, Secretary; Bernice Esenoff, Treasurer; Frieda Nestor, Social Secretary.  Other Jolly Sixteeners include Lucille Rubel, Sadie Berenson, Bess Breitbard, Ida Lipinsky, Mary Kantor, Rose Gordon, Julia Steinman, Julia Neumann, Glicka Brenner, Rose Glickman, Sylvia Cooper and Julia Kaufman.

For information regarding invitations to the Anniversary celebration contact Sadie Berenson, Jackson 0386, or any of the Jolly Sixteen members.

Senior Pioneer Women
From Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1949, page 6

At a recent Board meeting of the Senior Pioneer Women held at the home of newly installed President, Mrs. Ira S. Gordon, the coming year’s activities were outlined.

Of prime importance will the Blue Box Day, the day when collection of the Blue Boxes will be made. This will be on Tuesday, October 25th, starting with a luncheon at Beth Jacob Center, 3206 Myrtle Street. Chairman Jeanette Abrams urged all members to turn out with their boxes that day.

The Pioneer Women’s Succoth Festival will be held Sunday, October 9th, at Beth Jacob Center, starting at 7:00 p.m.  Guest speaker for the evening will be Albert A. Hutler, executive director of the United Jewish Fund. The Masada Group will entertain with Israeli songs and dances.

Another feature of the evening will be a “Succoth Quiz Show” under the direction of Harold Steckel.

Traditional Succoth refreshments will be served. General chairman for the evening is Mrs. Florence Barach.

Birdie Stodel Chapter No. 92 B’nai B’rith
From Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1949, page 6

At the membership luncheon given by the Birdie Stodel chapter No. 92 B’nai B’rith Women on Monday, October 10th at Temple Center, Mrs. Ben Rosenthal, Past Grand President of district No. 4 and now a vice-president of the Women’s Supreme Council, will be the guest speaker. This luncheon for all paidup and incoming members will be served at 12:00 noon.  The hostesses for this ffair are the officers of the Chapter.

The next event for this group will be the Card Party scheduled for November 6th at 8:00 p.m. in Temple Center, 34d and Laurel Sts., for which Mrs. Anna Shelley is chairman with Mrs. Goldie Winicki, co-chairman.  Proceeds from this Card Party go to aid B’nai B’rith’s work in Israel.

B’nai B’rith Women’s goal this year in Israel is the building of a $100,000.00 Home for maladjusted children. A cordial invitation is extended by President Mrs. Bess Schissell and the committee to attend this function and help further this worthy cause.

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

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Monday, August 4, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 186)

Let the 2008 JCC Maccabi Games begin! by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego, with photos also by Nancy E. Harrison and Gary Rotto
Kibbutz kids experience life 'on our own'
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel
Did Hitler's Jewish mentalist prophesize that someday Nazis would murder him?
by Joel A. Moskowitz, M.D.
Gelsey Kirkland, prima ballerina, teaches special session at City Ballet of San Diego
by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

October 1949: New Year’s Message to Members of Tifereth Israel Synagogue
October 1949: Father and Sons Nite Planned for Temple Men’s Club Oct. 18th
October 1949: Zionists Sponsor Israeli Lecturer Thursday, Oct. 28
October 1949: San Diego Lasker Lodge B’nai B’rith

Sunday, August 3, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 185)

Bush hopes to salvage Mideast success unrealistic with decline in Olmert's power by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Decisions continue with or without Olmert
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
Leaving matters on a positive note
by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
JCC Maccabi Games: Co-ed flag footballers are "two-a-dayers" by Gary Rotto in San Diego
A bissel sports trivia with Bruce Lowitt in Clearwater, Florida
Lombrozo's 'Air Filter' reflects skyline, role of 'urban tree' as waterfront show launched by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

October 1949: Kaufman Appointed New Managing Editor Of The Jewish Press
October 1949: Notice {Publication Date Change}
October 1949:New Federation Plans Survey
October 1949: Editorial Page… Policy
October 1949: Overseas News and Views by Maxwell Kaufman

Friday-Saturday, August 1-2, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 184)

Abramson is helping to preserve the earth one diatom and polar bear at a time
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego

Yank! A New Musical explores the travails of gays in the military during WWII by Carol Davis in San Diego
Assassins:Creepy subject, yet good musical by Cynthia Citron in Hollywood
Chapter 19 of Reluctant Martyr,
a serialized novel by Sheila Orysiek
Backroom hums as Maccabi Games near by Gary Rotto in La Jolla, California
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

September 1949: San Diego Lasker Lodge B’nai B’rith News by Morrie Kraus
September 1949: Samuel I. Fox Lodge No. 1747, B’nai B’rith
September 1949: Kaufmans Return From Two Year European JDC Work
September 1949: Esther Weitzman Given Signal Honor

Thursday, July 31, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 183)

Peace negotiations produce little news
by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Temple Solel travelers inspect soldiers' quarters as part of 'Project Kibbutz'
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel
How kosher was the U-T's meat coverage?
by Gary Rotto in San Diego

Thursdays with The Songs of Hal Wingard
#37, Growing Old
—#293, As People Grow Old
—#303, Home for the Aged
A literary giant emerges from self-exile by David Strom in San Diego
Basic Jewish concepts to our children—and perhaps to Chinese workers too by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

September 1949: Make Fall Plans For Community Center
—September 1949: Closing Program Climaxes Day Camp
September 1949: Jacobson to Be Honored at N.Y. Presentation
September 1949: Men’s Club of Temple Beth Israel Holds Election of Officers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 182)

Average Americans more resolute than Congress in responding to gasoline crisis by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
Amid such beauty, once was such horror by Ulla Hadar in Meina, Italy
Germans paying compensation to survivors who worked in ghettos run by the Nazis
by Donald H. Harrison in La Jolla, California
The Jews Down Under,
a roundup of news in the Southern Hemisphere by Garry Fabian:
Jewish delegation greets Pope Benedict XVI in Australia during World Youth Day fete
—Warm feelings flow from World Youth Day
—Pope entertained by Jewish singers
—Community move against bogus collectors
—Educator honoured by former teacher
—Early immigration records now on line
—National Rabbinic Conference held
—Youth Movements Unite in South Australia
—The Jewish and Kosher Community of Fiji (News from 'halfway down under')
San Diego teen athletes ready to host and to compete in JCC Maccabi games next week
by Gary Rotto in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

August 1949: Nu by Red Borscht
August 1949: Beta Tau
August 1949:Hear About Brandeis by Sid Stokes
August 1949: Solomon Attends Youth Conference

Hanging conservative in a liberal closet by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
Chance meeting leads to one-day, one-woman show for Israeli-born Shosh Ernst by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

August 1949: San Diego B’nai B’rith Women
August 1949: Birdie Stodel Chapter B’nai B’rith by Jeanne Camiel
August 1949: J.W.V. Auxiliary by Binnie Brooks
August 1949: J.C.R.A. by Anna B. Brooks
August 1949: Yo-Ma-Co News by Alice Solomon

Link to previous editions


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