Volume 2, Nu

mber 30
Volume 2, Number 217




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Serialization: Reluctant Martyr by Sheila Orysiek




Today's Postings

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

{Click on an underscored headline in this area to jump to story, or scroll leisurely through our report}


How much of a criminal is PM Olmert? by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem

Budgetary caution saves lives in Georgia by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego


Campaign 2008: Palin opposes abortion, evolution, sex ed by J. Zel Lurie in Delray Beach, Florida


Florida rabbi questions why some areas have many synagogues, only one mikvah by Bruce Lowitt in Palm Harbor, Florida

Songs of Our People:
Eylu D'Vorim—Torah study prelude by Cantor Sheldon Merel in San Diego, with link below to his performance.

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

January 13, 1950: 1950 {Editorial}

January 13, 1950: Former Major Israeli Army In San Diego

January 13, 1950: Who's New

January 13, 1950:
Samuel L. Fox Lodge by John L. Kluchin

January 13, 1950: Hadassah


Memphis: Racism and rock n' roll by Carol Davis in La Jolla, California

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How much of a criminal is PM Olmert?

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—For the time being, at least, he is not a criminal at all. The recommendations of the police to charge him with accepting bribes, breach of trust, and fraud do not determine anything by themselves. It is the attorney general who will decide about an indictment. In light of previous cases, it may take several months for this decision. By then, Olmert may not be prime minister. He is not a candidate in the party primary of Kadima, scheduled for next week. If the new party head manages to create a government coalition that wins endorsement of a Knesset majority, she or he will be the new prime minister. That, too, may not happen quickly. We may be heading for a national election, perhaps six or more months away.

That having been said, it is appropriate to weigh the charges against the prime minister, and what we know about the evidence collected by the police.

Even accepting the charges as described, they are not of great weight when judged by international comparison. They are far from what is said about the new president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari. He is called "Mr. ten percent" for the payments he is said to have collected from large contracts when he was the husband of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Prince Berhard of the Netherlands provides a recent European example of much greater corruption than charged about Olmert. Most notable, but not alone, was a million dollar payment from Lockheed to smooth the purchase of the company's military hardware.

What we know about Olmert's actions include some letters he wrote endorsing the business of American fund raiser Morris Talansky. They are said to be a payoff for what may have been $150,000 given to Olmert over the course of 15 years. The money came in cash, carried by Talansky from American donors or from his own funds. Olmert may have garnered another $100,000 by multiple billing of government departments and other organizations for his expenses on overseas trips. He is said to have made improper appointments and awards when serving as minister in several government departments over a long career, and to have bought and sold homes in "sweetheart deals" that were disguised contributions. The findings of the police include the non-payment of taxes, and money laundering.

All of this may be illegal, but no reckoning reaches the sum achieved by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in one of his deals, and is leagues away from what is attributed to President Zardari of Pakistan.

In the nether-world between the conclusions of the police and the decision of the attorney general, politicians are acting in predictable ways. The sound had barely dimmed on the police press conference when opposition Knesset members were calling for the prime minister's immediate resignation. Within 24 hours his supporters were charging the police with having a political agenda and overreaching their authority. Supporters are predicting that there will be no indictment, or no verdict of guilty. "How can you say that?" is the theme of ongoing charges between the prime minister's opponents and supporters.  

The improprieties attributed to Olmert while holding numerous positions over two decades may not in every case have been illegal, or of sufficient severity to bring charges. For those repelled by every violation of law, he has done enough to be forced out of office. For those who adopt George Washington Plunkitt's classic definition of "honest graft," it may be possible to overlook Olmert's actions. ("I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.")

It may take a while for the procedures to reach their conclusion. The judicial process is deliberate in the extreme. There are likely to be several efforts by Olmert's attorneys to delay any reckoning, and to soften the conclusions.

Recent polls show that sizable majorities do not believe the prime minister's claims of innocence, or feel that he should leave office. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that, at the least, he has fallen into the realm of "sleaze," and is a petty criminal. What he has done might not be "terrible" when judged by the actions of other national leaders, but hardly seem admirable, or acceptable in decent company. A country concerned about its reputation deserves better.

Olmert and other ranking officials are involved in negotiations with the Palestinians and Syria. Whatever their outcome, they are likely to provoke intense disputes between those who have already dug in their heels in behalf of accommodation or claims of historic national rights. If there is ever a time that a country needs a leadership untainted by questions of legitimacy, this is it. 

Ira Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University.  He may be contacted at msira@mscc.huji.ac.il


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Budgetary caution saves lives in Georgia

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Sometimes a simple budget decision astonishingly may mean the difference between life and death, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Ze’ev Bielski, recently told a gathering of community leaders at the United Jewish Federation of San Diego.

Bielski, who was in San Diego on Friday, Sept. 5, explained that in trimming JAFI’s worldwide budget recently, he had considered eliminating the positions of a husband and wife who were working as representatives in a town in Eastern Europe.

His pencil paused over the budget item, ready to strike, in a move to economize.  After a moment’s hesitation, however, he decided against cutting the positions.

Not long afterwards, Russian troops invaded Georgia, and the two JAFI representatives living in Gori were instrumental in saving many Jewish lives, Bielski told the leadership group and reiterated in an interview with San Diego Jewish World.

“There were 200 Jewish people living in Gori and we were helping to evacuate them under fire to Tbilisi,” the Georgian capital, Bielski said.  “Since then close to 100 people have come on aliyah to Israel,  people from all over Georgia, including Gori.  We expect more to come, and they will be resettled in
cities throughout Israel.”

The husband and wife in Gori, whose names Bielski did not provide, not only helped get the refugees out of Gori, but also helped arrange for places for them to stay in Tbilisi,  Michael Rassler, UJF’s chief executive director, noted with admiration after Bielski’s speech. The two men are pictured above, with Bielski on the left.

JAFI's workers subsequently learned that three families, despite urging, had remained in Gori and were in potential danger from the fighting swirling around the city.  The local JAFI representatives went back to Gori, and convinced one family to leave, and persuaded another that if the husband insisted on staying behind to protect his property at least the wife should get to safety.  The third household was occupied only by a woman in her 80’s, who steadfastly refused to leave.  “I’ve lived my whole life here,” she said.  “I will remain.”

Today, with the State of Israel having celebrated its 60th birthday, it’s easy to forget that the Jewish Agency was once the chief authority representing the Jewish people in Mandatory Palestine.  Bielski, in fact, occupies the very same position that David Ben-Gurion held in the eventful years leading to his presiding over ceremonies declaring the Jewish homeland's independence from Great Britain and the establishment of the State of Israel.

I asked Bielski if there were many mementos of Ben- Gurion around his office.  In addition to paintings and sculptures depicting the ‘Old Man,’ there also is a letter book containing copies of letters that Ben-Gurion wrote by hand to contemporaries around the world, Bielski said.

Occupying the position once held by Ben–Gurion, said Bielski, gives him a “sense of pride and humility." He said he would   be pleased to have "some of the vision of Ben-Gurion., some of his modesty and his style of leadership.”

Chief concerns of the Jewish Agency for Israel are encouraging Jews around the world to immigrate to Israel, and providing resettlement opportunities in Israel for those who accept the challenge.

In the latter regard, the Jewish Agency for Israel has a partnership with the United Jewish Federation of San Diego, which for the last decade provided $750,000 per year to help operate Ibim, a village for student immigrants, in the Sha’ar Hanegev area.  Recently UJF voted to extend that commitment for another three years—a decision that Bielski said was one of the reasons he made certain that as part of his swing through the Western United States, he visited San Diego to say thank you.

In addition to its support for Ibim, the United Jewish Federation has thrown its fundraising muscle behind a new high school for Sha’ar Hanegev, which sits along the border of Gaza.  The high school will be built to withstand the firing of Kassam missiles by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.  Moreover, it will incorporate ideas drawn from both the San Diego Jewish Academy and High Tech High School, ideas that Sha’ar Hanegev educators have been gathering during exchange visits to San Diego County.

Bielski said San Diego’s support for Ibim and the Sha’ar Hanegev high school “will serve thousands of children who every day when they go to school will notice that there are people in San Diego who really care about them, and who put lots of effort, tender love and care into this partnership.”

He described San Diego’s relationship to the Sha’ar Hanegev area, which includes Ibim, as a “model for various communities in the United States.”   He said it has had an impact on such relationships as that of Denver with the Ramat Hanegev area, and of New Jersey Metropolitan West with Ofakim in the Negev.

“But this partnership between San Diego and Sha’ar Hanegev is unique, not only in its financial aspect, but also in its people-to-people programs.  I know that Alon Schuster (the mayor of Sha’ar Hanegev) and all his people are so thankful for this unique friendship and partnership.”

Harrison may be contacted at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com



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Palin opposes abortion, evolution, sex ed

{Editor's Note: San Diego Jewish World welcomes commentary from Democrats, Republicans and independents exploring all sides of how the presidential and vice presidential candidates would impact issues of Jewish community concern. Submissions may be sent to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com}

By J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida—Could any President be worse than  George W. Bush, who, five years ago,  led us into a nonsensical war to destroy non-existent weapons of mass destruction from which we are just beginning to emerge after 4500 of our courageous soldiers were killed along with thousands of Iraqis?

Worse would be to elect John McCain who has chosen as a running mate, Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen from a redneck town in Alaska.

McCain is 72 years old. He is hale and hearty, his doctors say, but he has had four deadly melanomas removed in recent years. If the McCain/Palin ticket wins, Sarah Palin will be a heartbeat from the presidency. That scares the hell out of me and as a supporter of Hillary Clinton I’m insulted by McCain's obvious thought that I might support Sarah Palin.

I’m not saying that Sarah Palin is not a good woman. She’s young, 44. She is pretty. She won second place in a Miss Alaska contest. She beat the corrupt Republican machine in Alaska, awash with oil money, and was elected governor two years ago. She is a hunter, a member of the IRA and her husband races snowmobiles and works in the oil fields.

But her ideas on important issues.  Wow!

Like all Christian Fundamentalists, she thinks the only sex education that high school students need is abstinence. Of course, if her 17-year-old daughter Bristol had had the benefits of a decent sex education she might not be in her fifth month. Bristol will keep the baby, of course. Bristol, like her mother, Sarah, is opposed to abortion. That is their personal right. But it is not a government  mandate . The government should keep out of the sex lives of teenagers and adults.

According to the New York Times, McCain wanted to nominate his pal, Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew and former Democrat, to his ticket. But Joe believes in choice. Women, and only women, have control of their bodies. The Evangelicals, who are the core of the Republican Party, vetoed Joe, so McCain nominated an Evangelical woman.

Sarah Palin has been baptized twice. As a baby she was baptized into the Catholic faith of her parents. But when she was 13, her parents joined a Pentecostal church and she was baptized again. She is now a born-again Christian.
Like many Evangelicals, Sarah Palin doesn’t mind messing with the bright young minds of American high schoolers. She is opposed to intelligent sex education, which might have prevented her daughter’s pregnancy, but she would like Intelligent Design to be taught alongside  evolution.

Evolution is just a theory, isn’t it? Not factual, they say.  No! Evolution is a theory based on provable facts such as fossils.

I have just returned from my summer vacation at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. The final week marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species.

We heard Edward Larson, a Pulitzer-prize winning historian who has written extensively on the Scopes trial of 1925. Eighty years ago, those who believed that the earth was created by God five or ten thousand years ago, lobbied state governments to abolish evolution from the schools.

The first to do so was Tennessee, related Larson. Teaching evolution was a misdemeanor, subject to a hundred dollar fine. The school board of the small town of Dayton,Tennessee, saw an opportunity to put their town on the map. They induced the football coach and biology teacher, John Scopes, to submit to arrest believing, quite rightly that his trial would receive international publicity, said Larson.

With William Jennings Bryan aiding the prosecution and Clarence Darrow heading the defense, the trial was an international sensation, It inspired the award winning movie Inherit the Wind.

Larson traced the rise of Creationism to be taught in American high schools as a science and not a religion. Sarah Palin supports this demand. But the Supreme Court ruled that it was a religion and not a science and therefore could not be taught in our schools.

So the Evangelicals switched to Intelligent Design. Another speaker at Chautauqua, Kenneth Miller of Brown University, the author of 40 percent of biology textbooks used in American high schools, proved that Intelligent Design was just another name for the outlawed Creationism.

The anti-evolutionists on the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania, decided to paste a sticker in each of Miller’s textbooks stating that evolution was just a theory and not factual and should be carefully considered by the student with an open mind.

Parents brought suit against the sticker and Ken Miller was a star witness at the trial.  He showed that the material for Intelligent Design was identical with that for the outlawed Creationism.

As for the sticker, he would just change a few words. Evolution is a theory that explained facts and should be considered with an open mind.

Evolution can also predict facts, he said. Fossils covering a period of about 30 million years, 350 million years ago, showed how fish living in shallow waters developed legs and climbed onto the land. But there was a missing link. A creature with scales and fin-like legs. So an expedition went to Northwest Canada and in the fourth year of digging they found the missing link, Miller said.

The judgment in Dover, Pennsylvania, was against the school board. It will never be appealed, Miller said, because the Dover voters threw the board out.

The same fate awaits the McCain/Palin ticket in November.

J. Zel Lurie's column also appears in the Jewish Journal of South Florida. He may be contacted at ZelJL@aol.com


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Eylu D'Vorim: Torah study prelude

{Editor's note: to hear Cantor Merel performing Eylu D'Vorim, click on title in headline above}

By Cantor Sheldon Merel

SAN DIEGO—I invite you to listen to a  recording of Eylu D'vorim,  from a concert I appeared in several years ago in San Diego’s Sherwood Auditorium, accompanied at the piano by the late Kenneth Fall, former organist at Congregation Beth Israel.

The text of Eylu D’varim is recited daily in the morning service, and is from the Talmud (Sabbath 127a), which is an encyclopedic collection of commentaries and guides that covers every phase of human life: religious and secular. The Talmud was written in the languages of ancient Palestine and Babylonia: Hebrew and Aramaic, and as you can read below, its lessons are as appropriate today as when they first appeared centuries ago. 

For generations, Talmudic students have studied and memorized these texts by chanting and repeating phrases over and over.  Consequently, this repetitive singsong style is categorized as the Jewish Study Melody, or Mode.  The vocal and piano arrangement for Eylu D’varim  was written by my very dear friend, Cantor Emeritus William Sharlin of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, when we were classmates at the School of Sacred Music in New York.  Through his keen understanding of the text and style, I believe Cantor Sharlin not only skillfully preserved the spirit of the Study Mode, but elevated it to a stunning religious experience.

"These are the commandments, which have no fixed measure: the corners of the field, the first fruits, the offering brought on appearing before the Lord at the three festivals, the practice of charity, and the study of the Torah.  Man enjoys the fruit of these things in this world, while the stock remains for him in the world to come:

Honoring father and mother,
     practicing deeds of loving kindness,

Timely attendance at the house of study,
     showing hospitality to wayfarers,

Visiting the sick,
     dowering the bride,

Attending the dead to the grave,
     devotion in prayer,

And, making peace between man and his fellow;

*BUT the study of the Torah is equal to them all." (Talmud, Mishna Peah 1.1 )

*Note: While the text of  Eylu D'vorim ends with, "…the study of Torah is equal to them all,"  other Rabbinic commentators added these words to that sentence, and broadened the lesson immeasurably, saying, "Study is equal to them all, only because it leads to doing them all !”

Sheldon Merel is cantor emeritus at Congregation Beth Israel of La Jolla, California. He may be contacted at merels@sandiegojewishworld.com



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Florida rabbi questions why some areas
have many synagogues, only one mikvah

By Bruce Lowitt

PALM HARBOR, Florida—"There's a misconception,” Rabbi Shalom Adler of Young Israel-Chabad of Pinellas County was saying, “that a mikvah is not that important, and that you can have one mikvah to cover a wide variety of areas."

“The fact is, the mikvah is actually more important than a synagogue for a community.”

And women of Pinellas County who have had to travel to Tampa’s Carrollwood section or in Sarasota to use a mikvah will soon have one to call their own.

“It has taken 5,768 years to have a mikvah built here,” Rabbi Levi Hodakov, Young Israel-Chabad’s youth and program director, said with a smile, “and I think it’s going to have a very positive influence on the entire Jewish community.

“Our doors will be open not just to people affiliated with us but members of Ahavat Shalom, Beth Shalom, B'nai Israel, and people who are members of no synagogue.”

A Sept. 14 grand opening is scheduled for Young Israel-Chabad of  Pinellas County’s Mei Menachem Community Mikvah at 3696 Fisher Rd. in Palm Harbor.

It will welcome Jewish women from anywhere – locals, visitors, tourists  –  seeking spiritual purity through total immersion. It will be available only on evenings and only by appointment.

 “Nobody questions the need for multiple synagogues in an area but they do question the need for mikvahs,” Rabbi Adler said. “Really, the question should be the other way around, because the mikvah is the foundation of the Jewish family and everything flows from the family, not from the synagogue. That's more on a philosophical level.

“On a practical level, the more convenient a mitzvah is for people to observe, the more likely they are to do so,” he said. “It's like having kosher food in an area; the more kosher food stores and restaurants, the more likely people are to observe that mitzvah.”

 The 600-square-foot, $200,000 Mei Menachem Community Mikvah will be similar in scale to an upscale en-suite bathroom in a house with dual immersion pools, preparation areas where women will be able to bathe and shower.

“If two people are going at the same time, neither will know about the other,” Rabbi Adler said.

It also will have a complete security system and “elegantly appointed waiting rooms with absolute privacy, which is very important.” And soothing music will be piped into all rooms “to make this an emotionally uplifting experience as well as a spiritually uplifting one,” the rabbi added.

For generations, there has been a myth that the purpose of a mikvah is for physical cleanliness. In fact, a woman must be absolutely physically clean - every speck of dirt, even nail polish and bandages, removed - before immersion. She may spend an hour or more bathing at home or at the mikvah in preparation.

“We tend to think of purity and impurity as being synonymous with cleanliness and lack of cleanliness,” Rabbi Adler said, “and that immersing in water will clean us. That's not what's it’s about.”

“Purity in the Hebrew term of Tahor refers to a state of oneness with God, of the life-giving force of God within us. When that life-giving force departs, we are no longer in a state of purity. Water, as we all know, is the source of all life, so immersing in the water is bringing back the life. That's really the significance of the mikvah.”

For centuries, the monthly visit mikvah was considered - and, to some degree, still is – a ritual almost exclusively performed by all Orthodox and some Conservative Jews. Increasingly, though, its use is spreading, Rabbi Adler said.

 And although only women are required by Jewish law to immerse after menstruation in order to resume sexual relations, some men also use the mikvah – it is purely customary – once a year before Yom Kippur.

According to mishpacha.org, a Jewish family Web site, the ritual takes place in a gathering of mayim hayim (living waters), a natural body of water like the ocean, a stream, or a cistern of rainwater.

The modern mikvah, however, usually combines living water with ordinary well or tap water in a manner specified by rabbis.

Mikvah laws are so complex and detailed that rabbis specialize in the subject, consulting with architects, engineers and contractors and conducting inspections to make sure a mikvah is built exactly to specifiations.

One such specialist, Rabbi Gershon Grossbaum of St. Paul, Minn., twice visited the Mei Menachem Community Mikvah during construction. For information, call (727) 789-0408 or visit http://www.yichabad.com .


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SHOCKING KISS—From left, Jill Morrison, Megan Yelaney, Montego Glover (as Felicia),
Chad Kimball (as Huey) and J. Bernard Calloway (as Delray) perform in Memphis at La Jolla
Playhouse. Photo by Kevin Berne


Memphis: Racism and rock n' roll

By Carol Davis

LA JOLLA, California—In 1959 my husband Gerry and I started our journey west to the Golden State. We were newly married and still wet behind the ears. We packed our car with all the ‘stuff’ we didn’t send by van and headed south to pick up the now infamous Route 66.  One of the stops we made en route was, among our other southern stops, Memphis, Tenn.

We were young, white and yes, green regarding matters of race. Coming from Massachusetts and being subjected to (only) anti Semitism via the Gentleman’s Agreement on housing, we were appalled at the White Only signs posted everywhere.

As fate would have it, out brand new car needed service and since our trip was only one fourth complete and we had miles and mountains to go, we stopped at a dealership to have the work done. It’s difficult to describe the feelings we had as we made our way across the state hitting Kingsport, Knoxville, Nashville and finally, Memphis.

We touched parts of Virginia and came close to Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama (that was very scary) before we hit Arkansas (another uncomfortable time) and on to Oklahoma. Being white and from the north during a time of racial unrest was probably not the best time in the world for us to have taken the ‘southern route’, but we did.

That was my southern exposure. Since, I have not visited those states again.

Dewey Phillips was born on my birthday, May 13th in 1926 (a bit older than I) in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1949 long before the Civil Rights movement of 1955, which the American Jewish community actively supported “more than any other white group in America,”  he was the city’s ‘leading radio personality’ (along with Alan Freed). Dewey was the “King of Memphis radio…with his Red, Hot & Blue broadcast, WHBQ the number one show with a bi racial audience”. 

Under the deft direction of Artistic Director Christopher Ashley of The La Jolla Playhouse, (the cycle is complete with him at the helm) and with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan based on a concept by George W. George, Memphis, the rock ‘n roll musical based loosely on Dewey’s life, burst onto the Mandell Weiss Stage of the Playhouse opening its 2009 season. There was more energy and drive, talent and guts, glitter and dazzle shown here than seen in some time. My friend and I left the theatre breathing a huge WOW! Rock ‘N Roll musicals are on the move again and this one is a keeper.

It’s hard for me to remember at what point in the production I was actually blown away. I recall early on when the Company showcased the opening song and dance number, “Underground” in the underground digs (David Gallo and Howell Brinkley, set and lighting) of Delray’s (J. Bernard Callaway) Beal Street Club, an exclusively Black hangout.

That was at least until Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball) made his way down the stairs and convinced the hostile crowd that, in essence, he was one of them when he took the mike and pleaded his case with “The Music of My Soul.” I think I was hooked from that moment on, as were those in the club.

The story follows the two tracks of Huey’s (a composite of Dewey, Alan Freed and Dick Clark who came after) life, as his rise in the radio industry was as much a struggle as was his love affair with Felicia (Montego Glover) Delray’s sister, much to Delray’s chagrin.

Huey’s life and career made history. At a time when the status quo post civil war ideas were being slightly nudged he shoved. At a time when Rock ‘N Roll was just coming on the horizon, he stood at the edge. 

At a time when White America owned the airwaves, as much as it controlled society’s mores,  and when it was as impossible for any “jungle music,” as they called it, to be put on a turnstile,  he broke down the barriers. At a time when it was taboo for a Black woman to be seen with a White man he ignored it (to her detriment). 

Huey Calhoun was no one to mess with. As much as he lacked in education and good judgment, he made up for in perseverance and seat-of-the-pants decisions.  The two exceptions were how much he could get out of his interracial relationship with the girl of his dreams and how much he could push his White bosses. The two biggies in his life.

It was a tough climn to the top of the charts, especially when you piss off half of the people you do business with, but he did it! But the bumps on the way down stung more as they all passed him off as a nut cake and turned on him after he pushed once too often.

While Huey never stopped struggling for his dreams, others were rushing in to take his place and the bubble and reputation he formed around himself shattered into a million pieces.  Fifteen years later, he was back where he started. To his credit, however, Huey accepted it all and went about business as usual.

But the journey is what this tale is about and the Playhouse has made it an exciting, visually eye popping one with Shawn Sagady and David Gallo’s projections and Sergio Trujillos choreography along with an extremely and evenly talented cast.

DiPietro’s book puts a face on the characters of an era many don’t know or recall.  The story is compelling. Bryan’s score under the musical direction of Kenny Seymour and his nine-piece band (on the stage most of the time) drives the story as much as Huey’s character. Both music and lyrics are story-fitting and beautifully highlighted. 

Chad Kimball is intense, eccentric and quirky as they come in depicting his character of Huey. His interpretation of a peculiar and eccentric kind of a guy is right on target. Sometimes it was a bit difficult watching him as he squirmed about, rattling on and on finally shouting out his mantra “Hockadoo!” but his character was pretty well defined and for that we have him to thank.  And can he belt out a song! This guy is so talented that if the show goes to Broadway, he has got to be there.

Montero Glover’s Felicia is point on. She sings beautifully, dances, convinces and knows the difference between black and white, something that her white, colorblind boyfriend had forgotten. That gets them in to a mess of trouble. (She was also a star of The Color Purple.) 

As Delray her brother, J. Bernard Calloway is amazing. His is another face on the reality issues of black and white plus he sings, dances and is a stalwart of strength to Felicia as she deals with the interracial troubles inflicted on her.

An extremely gifted company of no less than 26 dressed to the nines of the period (Paul Tazewell), well with the exception of Huey, (his get-ups are as eccentric as his character, but that’s what makes him, him) strut, sing, dance, impersonate and bring the time and attitudes of the ‘50’s to the fore with soul.

Some songs from the show include: “I Can Shake The Blues”, “I Don’t Make the Rules”, “Everybody Wants to Be Black On Saturday Night”, “Rock Shop Theme”, “Memphis Lives in Me” and “Big Love”.

My prediction…it goes to Broadway.

“Memphis” continues at the La Jolla Playhouse through Sunday Sept. 28. For more info visit, www.lajollaplayhouse.org.

See you at the theatre.



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.

1950 {Editorial}
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 2

We were very much impressed last week on reading the Half-Century report published in Time and Life. We came to the conclusion that more has happened to change the world in the last fifty years than in any other period in history. The accomplishments have been memorable—but where do we stand at this point?

Looking back over our shoulder at the progress of Man in the fields of Science, Industry and Technological advancement we tend to forget that most of this so-called progress has been used injudiciously—to say the least.

It has been used to improve our standard of living but—we are paying a terrible price for it, in our lack of security. It has given us greater freedom and leisure time but—have we employed that time to become better people?

Medical knowledge has lengthened our lives and freed us from plagues but—we have killed millions by war more efficiently than any disease.

Has all this progress given us Peace, Brotherly Love, Security and a more cultured and intelligent way of life?  That is highly debatable.

Have we learned to live with our neighbor and respect is opinions?  We question that too.

Have we cared what happened in India?—China?—Israel?—Greece?  Maybe—but not too much.

The point to this gloomy picture is that it’s not too late!  The century which started with such promise is only half over.  The next fifty years may prove to be the landmark in the history of Man and his struggle for survival.

Those of us who have reached the half-way mark in our lives and have seen two World Wars can only hope that we will be allowed to live out our lives in Peace and Happiness. But for the young who are looking forward to the last fifty years of this 20th Century we pray that they will see the light of the world shine over all Mankind.

Former Major Israeli Army In San Diego
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 3

Mr. George Baker, a non-Jew, served as a civilian technical engineer and held the rank of Major, during seven months service with the Israeli Air Force.  He left Israel in May of 1949.

Mr. Baker is associated with Walt Bloodgood who runs an appliance shop at 3841 California St.

Who’s New?
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 4

We welcome to our community Miss Therese Bloch recently of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the niece of Dr. Isaac M. Wise of Cincinnati, and is now residing at the Barcelona Hotel.

Samuel L. Fox Lodge
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 4

By John Kluchin

The Samuel I. Fox Lodge will hold installation ceremonies at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue, 30th and Howard Sts. On January 24th,  at 8:00 p.m.

After the installation there will be refreshments, entertaining and dancing.  There is no charge and members and friends in the San Diego community are invited.

If you wish to see something unusual in an installation do not fail to attend.

From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 6

The San Diego Chapter of Hadassah met Wednesday, January 11 at 1:00 p.m. in the Temple Center. Featured speaker for the afternoon was Mrs. Irwin A. Reiss of Los Angeles, President of the Southern Pacific Coast Region of Hadassah.  Mrs. Reiss spoke on the subject, Youth Aliyah, one of the main projects of Hadassah.

Alson honoring Youth Aliyah, a musical interlude of Jewish and Hebrew songs was song by ten-year-old Sonia Weitzman, daughter of Mrs. Rose Weitzman, a Hadassah member.

Recognition of minyans and their fine work in Youth Aliyah was made by the introduction of captains.

Evening Group—The evening section of Hadassah will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, January 17, at 8:00 in the home of Mrs. Morris Niaman, 5819 Vale way.

According to Lenore Klug, program chairman, a very interesting program is being planned. All young Jewish women are invited to attend the meeting.

Don’t forget to see “Tomorrow is a Wonderful Day.”

“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg.  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, September 8, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 216)

Israeli professor worries over course his native United States is taking in world
by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Non-practicing vegetarian chooses to make a kosher compromise by Rabbi Dow Marmur in Toronto, Canada
Undeterred by vandals, Ner Tamid leaders predict bright future for the congregation by Donald H. Harrison in Poway, California
A new daughter embraces the Covenant by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
Sharing a meal at Chabad of La Costa by Gerry Greber in Carlsbad, California
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—January 13, 1950: Fund Ends Year With Over $207,000
—January 13, 1950:
Institute to Feature Course in Mental Hygiene
—January 13, 1950:
Youth Aliyah To Present Film
—January 13, 1950:
here’s Room For You {Editorial}

Picking right shows for teenage grandkids
by Carol Davis in San Diego
Messages from Advertisers & Our Publisher
Please actively support San Diego Jewish World
Upcoming events of the Jewish American Chamber of Commerce

Sunday, September 7, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 215)

Are olim more prone to child-murder? by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Israelis trust IDF and the media more than they trust their politicians
by Dorothea Shefer-Vanson in Mevasseret Zion, Israel
Campaign 2008: Obama worries some Israel supporters
by Michael Goldblatt in Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania
Christian saints and Jewish tzaddikim: what is the meaning of graveside prayers? by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
Does medical treatment interfere with G-d's will? Akiva had the answer for that one
by Rabbi Baruch Lederman in San Diego
Zipping into learning at Beth Israel by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
San Diego County
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
January 13, 1950: Late Flash
January 13, 1950: Hutler and Levenson to Attend Conference
January 13, 1950 Rabbinical Assembly To Meet Here
January 13, 1950: Israel Representative Talks on Investments
A bissel sports trivia with Bruce Lowitt in Oldsmar, Florida
Messages from Advertisers and Our Publisher
Gotthelf Art Gallery opens exhibition of emerging Jewish artists
October activities offered at College Avenue Senior Center
Please actively support San Diego Jewish World

Friday, September 5, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 214)

Tales of squill, wagtails and sunsets by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel
A lightning tour through South Italy's numerous Jewish historical sites by Karen Primack in Trani, Italy

'Prayer isn't boring... You are' by David Benkof in New York
San Diego County
In tribute to Marie Berg and other community leaders who came before us
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History:
December 30, 1949: Episcopalian Rector Invites Cantor To Participate in Midnight Mass
December 30, 1949: S.D. Lasker Lodge Bnai Brith Installation Set For January 8
December 30, 1949: Congregation Tifereth Israel

Thursday, September 4, 2008 (Vol. 2. No. 213)
Unlike Americans, Israeli families of politicians usually stay out of limelight by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Rabbi overcomes odds in Italy’s south by Karen Primack in Serrastretta, Italy
San Diego/Tijuana
American Reform group grows in Mexico by Gerry Greber in Tijuana, Mexico
Please actively support San Diego Jewish World~
ways you can help
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—December 30, 1949: Tifereth Israel Junior League
—December 30, 1949: Council Nominates Officers for 1950:
—December 30, 1949 Memorial Altar Fund Drive Progressing
—December 30, 1949: Rabbi Cohn To Review ‘Why Jesus Died’
All is Vanities at Pasadena Playhouse by Cynthia Citron in Pasadena, California
Thursdays With the Songs of Hal Wingard
American Dream
Golden Shore
The Two Dollar Diamond

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 212)
Children try to persuade parents to make aliyah from war-torn Georgia by Idan Peysahovich
Special Report: Internet AntiSemitism
by Debora Stone in Canberra, Australia
The Jews Down Under, a roundup of Australian Jewish news
by Garry Fabian in Melbourne:
Year-long Israel odyssey inspires teacher
NSW Premier announces security funding boost
ECAJ President named to Claims Conference
MP petitions Deputy Prime Minister to ban blog
ADC calls for action against broadcasts
—Western Australian Jewish Community expands

Central Synagogue feted with a grand concert
Local lobby group apologizes
San Diego County
Neo-Nazi graffiti again plagues Ner Tamid by Donald H. Harrison in Poway, California
San Diego Jewish History
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History:
—December 30, 1949: J.C.R.A. by Anna Brooks
—December 30, 1949:Congregation Beth Jacob
—December 30, 1949:Beth Jacob Ladies Auxiliary
—December 30, 1949: Tifereth Israel Sisterhood
The Actors’ Gang brings the dead to life
by Cynthia Citron in Culver City, California

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 211)
Problems in U.S., Israel known; likely responses of leading candidates aren't
by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Unusual ceremonies scheduled for Ramadan in Jerusalem and lifesaving at the Dead Sea
by Judy Lash Balint in Jerusalem
San Diego County
Congregation Beth Am picnics on the green
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
One of Jewish San Diego's favorite columnists walks—and writes!—again
It's Gert Thaler in San Diego
San Diego Jewish History
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History:
— December 30, 1949:Jewish War Veterans of the United States
by Binnie Brooks
— December 30, 1949:San Diego Birdie Stodel B’nai Brith Chapter No. 92 by Bess Borushek
— December 30, 1949:Senior Pioneer (Negba) Club
— December 30, 1949: Hadassah
Music of Our People,
a collection of Jewish songs performed by Cantor Sheldon Merel of San Diego, debuts today on San Diego Jewish World with Adon Olam

Monday, September 1, 2008 (Vol. 2,No. 210)
Interfaith dialogue best at grassroots level
Rabbi Dow Marmur in Toronto, Canada
Souvenirs not from U.S., Israel, but China by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Eco-activists rob U.S. of 'can-do' spirit by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
Arrival of family from Israel prompts the brit debate: who should do it and where? by Carol Davis in San Diego
Nike's 'Human Race' went well for red-shirted 10k runners in Tel Aviv
by Ulla Hadar in Tel Aviv
San Diego Jewish History

—December 30, 1949: Life Begins for Rabbi Cohn
—December 39, 1949: Community Center Soccer Team
—December 30, 1949: Chaim Weizmann Labor Zionist Organization
—December 30, 1949:
San Diego Hebrew Home Auxiliary

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