Volume 2, Nu

mber 30
Volume 2, Number 220

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Today's Postings

Friday-Saturday , September 12-13, 2008

{Click an underlined headline in this area to jump to the corresponding story. Or, you may scroll leisurely through our report}

Campaign 2008

The choice between Obama and McCain could be this generation's most important
by Howard Wayne

ewish access to Palin in government by Gary Rotto in San Diego

Letters to the Editor

Add Haym Salomon to list of important Jews from Sheila Orysiek in San Diego

Seven years after 9/11, what's Bush's legacy? by Dr. Norman Mann in San Diego

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

—January 13, 1950: “What’s Cookin’” At Troop 99?
—January 13, 1950: Council of Jewish Women
—January 13, 1950: Inside AZA by Leonard Naiman
—January 13, 1950: Jewish Youth Council
—January 13, 1950: Tifereth Israel Young People’s League


Night Sky audience experiences aphasia
by Carol Davis in San Diego


16-year courtship finally reaches chuppah by Norene Schiff-Shenhav in Fallbrook, California

News from Our Advertisers

Adoption Alliance of Jewish Family Service: Upcoming Events

Bronfman Youth Fellowship Awarded to San Diego Jewish Academy’s Jack de Tar

Tifereth Israel Synagogue schedules Selichot showing of Iraq documentary

The Week in Review

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

Upcoming Events

Want to know about exciting upcoming events? San Diego Jewish World now stacks event advertisements in chronological order, below: Sept. 12-14, Sept. 17, Sept. 20, Sept. 23 , Sept. 29-Oct. 9

Each day's issue may be dedicated by readers—or by the publisher—in other people's honor or memory. Here is a link to today's dedication. Previous dedications may be found at the bottom of the index page for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.

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Temple Emanu-El dedication weekend.


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Movie opening Sixty-Six

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The choice between Obama and McCain could be this generation's most important

By Howard Wayne

SAN DIEGO—This year we are facing the most important presidential election in our generation.  The decision we make will not only affect the rest of our lives, but also the lives of our children and their children.  It will affect not only America, but the rest of the world.  So I thank Don Harrison for opening this on-line publication for a discussion of the issues we face in this election.  I only ask him to go farther.  Rather than limiting this to a single exchange of articles I urge him to provide a stage for a written Lincoln-Douglas debate, giving both sides the opportunity to set forth their positions and the chance to rebut what was said by the opponent, much as Lincoln and Douglas did in their famed debates in 1858.

The analogy is particularly apt because, just as in 1858, the issues to be debated set the course for the country for generation.  And like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama is a relatively new figure who took on the established and experienced senator Douglas and showed that Douglas was wrong.  While I believe the outcome of the election will be different from 1858(Lincoln was not elected), and that truth and hope will prevail in the presidential election, I can only do my best in these series of articles to set forth the challenges that face us and the steps we must do to overcome them.

In this article I want to discuss some of the issues we face, and hope that the opponent’s spokesperson will also address them.  In the future we need to debate the environment, war and peace, education, and health care.

Investing in People

This year the United States has steadily lost jobs – more than 320,000 in the first five months of 2008 alone.  Unemployment rates are increasing and the percentage of homes in foreclosure and late mortgage payments is the highest since the Great Depression.  The price of oil has never been higher and the costs of health care, college tuition, and even food have all hit record levels, while family incomes have fallen and the wages of workers have stagnated.

We did not arrive at this economic crisis by some accident of history.  Instead, it was the logical conclusion of a tired and misguided philosophy that has dominated Washington for far too long.  It is the philosophy, unfortunately adopted by John McCain, that says we should give more to those at the top and hope their good fortune trickles down to the hardworking middle class.  Since taking office George Bush has sacrificed investments in health care, education, energy and infrastructure to provide trillions of dollars of tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs.

For all the noise about free markets, the markets have not been free.  Instead, high-priced lobbyists have rigged the rules of the road and riddled the tax codes with special interest favors and corporate loopholes.  Because of special interest driven policies and lax regulation, prosperity has not trickled down to Main Street.  Instead, we have a housing crisis that could leave two million homeowners facing foreclosure and that has shaken confidence in our economy.

Some of the difficulties are the result of globalization, but our country has faced fundamental change before.  Each time we strengthened our economy by making the decision to expand opportunity outward; to grow the middle class; to invest in innovation; and to emphasize the education and well-being of working people.  Prosperity in our economy rises from the bottom up.

 Barack Obama and John McCain have a fundamental difference in the direction they want to take our country.  The centerpiece of Senator McCain’s economic plan is an endorsement of George Bush’s policies.  Senator McCain says we have made “great progress” in our economy over the past seven and one half years.  He calls himself a fiscal conservative, but he has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for big corporations and a permanent occupation of Iraq.  George Bush has taken us from a projected $5.6 trillion surplus in 2000 to nearly four trillion dollars in new debt today.  We cannot continue along that failed path.  It’s time to move our country forward.

Senator Obama says we must invest in our roads and schools and bridges so we can rebuild America.  Instead of handing out giveaways to large corporations, we should provide a hand-up to families trying to pay their medical bills and send their children to college.

First and foremost we have to train and educate our workforce with the skills necessary to compete in a knowledge-based economy.  It means placing greater emphasis on areas like science and technology, and investing in research and innovation needed to create jobs and industries in America.  One place where that investment would make an enormous difference is in renewable energy technology that would end our addition to oil, provide long-term relief from high fuel costs, and build an economy that could create millions of well-paying jobs.

Solving the Housing Crisis

We need to immediately help the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure through no fault of their own.  As of last December John McCain said he’d love to offer a solution but he just didn’t have one.  On his third try he offered a plan that does nothing to help one and a half million homeowners nearing foreclosure.  President Bush said the biggest danger from the housing crisis was the temptation to do something about it.

Almost two years ago Senator Obama proposed to crack down on mortgage fraud.  He wants a Foreclosure Prevention Fund to provide direct relief to the victims of the housing crisis.  We need to help with refinancing mortgages so homeowners can stay in their homes at payments they can afford.

 The Need For Health Care

As the housing crisis spills over into other parts of the economy, we need to help the millions of Americans who are struggling under skyrocketing costs and stagnant wages that are pushing working families into a debt spiral.  Nothing matches the burden working families face from crushing health care costs.  John McCain’s approach mirrors that of George Bush.  His plan takes care of the healthy and the wealthy; it makes it easier for insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

We can’t afford that with 47 million Americans uninsured and many of us with policies that are not nearly as good as we think they are when we are healthy.  Families and businesses are being crushed by the growing burden of health care costs and almost half of personal bankruptcies are cause by medical bills.

Senator Obama’s plan is give every American the chance to get the same kind of health care that members of Congress give themselves.  It will bring down premiums and prevent insurance companies from discriminating against those who need care the most.  It will reduce health care costs by making our health care system more efficient through better technology and with greater emphasis on prevention and management of chronic illnesses.

 Choice is at Risk

 A clear dividing line in this election is preserving a woman's right of choice in reproductive decisions.  Barack Obama is a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and opposes any effort to reverse it.  In contrast, John McCain opposes women's reproductive rights and favors a repeal of Roe v. Wade.  He has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of  the anti-choice John Roberts and Samuel Alito.  Indeed, McCain, despite his maverick claim, has never voted against a Bush nominee to a federal court at any level.

With only one vote on the Supreme Court preventing a return to back alley abortions, a president named McCain would represent a turning back of the clock and an unacceptable risk.

We Need to Change

These are some of the choices we face in November.  You can vote for John McCain and see a continuation of Bush’s economic policies of more tax cuts to the wealthy, more mountains of debt, and little to no relief for families struggling with the rising costs of everything from health care to a college education.

I don’t think that is the future we want.  We face a choice between more of the same policies that have widened inequality, added to our debt, shaken the foundations of the economy. Or we can choose change – change that will restore balance to our economy, that will invest in ingenuity and innovation, and that will fuel a bottom-up prosperity to keep America strong and competitive in the 21st century.

It is not liberal or conservative to say we have tried their way for nearly eight long, hard years, and it has failed.  It is time to try something new.  It is time for change.

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Tifereth Israel Synagogue is proud to present the award-winning documentary Between Iraq and a Hard Place, the eveing of Selichot, Saturday, Sept. 20. The evening will begin with a wine and cheese reception. The film will be shown at 8:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion which will include past and present military personnel. Prior to our Selichot Service at 11:00 p.m., refreshments will be served.

Bronfman Youth Fellowship Awarded to San Diego Jewish Academy’s Jack de Tar
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SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—For the 22nd consecutive year, The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel selected a group of 26 high school students as Bronfman Fellows. The Bronfman Fellows participate in an intensive five-week program of study and travel in Israel designed to develop future community leaders committed to Jewish unity. There are now 547 Bronfman Fellowship alumni, including 7 Rhodes Scholars, 4 current or former Supreme Court clerks, 11 Fulbright Scholars, 20 Wexner Fellows, and 16 Dorot Fellows. 

San Diego Jewish Academy, one of the country’s premier K-12 Jewish day schools, challenges students to achieve their full academic potential and become individuals of strong moral and ethical character, while inspiring them to make Judaism a vital and relevant aspect of their lives.
For information, visit www.sdja.com or contact Gabriela Stratton, Admissions Director, at gstratton@sdja.com or 858-704-3716.


Jewish access to Palin in government

By Gary Rotto

SAN DIEGO—As much as people wonder what a vice-president really does, many wonder if a vice-president candidate influences voter choice on Election Day.  Traditionally, the selection is thought to deliver a crucial state to the presidential nominee.  But it has been many years since any such candidate has had this effect.  Maybe not since LBJ presence on the Democratic ticket assured that the political machinery in Texas would deliver the votes to put Texas in the blue column.

Policies and stances may help to sway votes or turn out otherwise reluctant “true believers” of either extreme in a close election.  Much can be said about the differences between the two vice-presidential candidates on polices.  Certainly, the Jewish community looks to both members of the ticket for comfort on a variety of issues.

But the key to politics is access.  At another time I will tackle the differences between the candidates.  But for now, the question is, what kind of access can the Jewish community expect on the Republican side of the ticket?

While the Governor Sarah Palin literally took the national stage to introduce herself to the American public, the Jewish community in Alaska already knows Governor Palin and is fortunate to share a warm relationship.  “Governor Palin attended my installation at Congregation Beth Shalom,” explains Rabbi Michael Oblath.    Indeed, in October 2007, Governor Palin, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, and Jonathon Ross, President and CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center, joined the 200 families of the congregation in welcoming their new rabbi in three languages – English, Hebrew and Dena'ina, the language of the original inhabitants of the Anchorage region.  “She was very warm and friendly, “noted Rabbi Oblath.

The Rabbi noted that this was not the only time that the Governor visited the congregation.  On June 16, 2008, at the Congregation, Governor Palin signed into law a bill which bans Alaskan drivers from texting or viewing videos while driving.  “The law was named after a couple in our congregation who were killed in a car accident.”  The Anchorage couple Robert and Donna Weiser, past presidents of the congregation, died in 2002. 

It is unclear if Governor Palin has been to Israel, certainly a trip in her official capacity has not occurred during her administration.  But the Governor presented a proclamation celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.  The proclamation notes the role that Alaska Airlines played in “Operation Magic Carpet” – the evacuation of the Yemenite Jewish community to Israel in 1948-49.  “Whereas Alaska shares a special connection to Israel because Alaska Airlines participated in the rescue of 40,000 Yeminite Jews by flying thousands of them from Yemen to Tel Aviv during 1948 and 1949”.  Usually, the proclamation is authored by staff to state legislators with the Governor’s office having little if any input.  But this proclamation is unique and it was presented by Governor Palin herself at a community event.

I asked the Rabbi if he felt that the Jewish community had and would continue to have direct access to the Governor or her top aides?  “Yes – if it was an emergency or the community needed aid, I know that she would respond.”  Politics are very different in Alaska added Rabbi Oblath.  “We refer to her as Sarah not Governor.  It’s a very different environment than in California.”  Politics and politicians are not as formal in Alaska. 

Three times in less than 20 months in office, the Governor visited with this congregation.  That is not insignificant for the Frozen Chosen as the Jewish community of Alaska, including the estimated 3000 people in the Anchorage area,  is nicknamed.  And quite significant for a group that is less than 1.5% of the population of the state. 


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Add Haym Salomon to list of important Jews

Editor, San Diego Jewish World:

I was most interested in David Benkof's article in the Sept. 11, 2008 issue of SDJW:  "Who were 3 most important U.S. Jews?"  Any such list, in my opinion, has to include Haym Salomon without  whom much of what followed in American history might not have taken place.

He is remembered mostly for financing Washington's army which was freezing and starving - and melting away - at Valley Forge.  He did this by raising funds but also by using his own personal funds and ended up bankrupt because of it.  However, he did much more than even that important task.

From Jewish World Review:  While supporting the national cause, Salomon also played a prominent role in the Philadelphia and national Jewish community affairs. He served as a member of he governing council of Philadelphia's Congregation Mikveh Israel. He was treasurer of Philadelphia's society for indigent travelers, and participated in the nation's first known rabbinic court of arbitration. Salomon helped lead the successful fight to repeal the test oath which barred Jews and other non-Christians from holding public office in Pennsylvania.

More can be found here: Haym Salomon: The rest of the story

From the U.S. Department of the Interior's website: The American Revolution: Haym Salomon

He was also a spy for the American Revolution, was captured and condemned to be hung by the British, but he escaped and continued his activities in aid of the Revolution.  Legend has it that in desperation Washington begged him for help on Yom Kippur, and Salomon suspended religious services, asked the congregation at Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia for pledges and only when that was fulfilled did High Holy Day services proceed.  Jewish Heroes in America

Salomon spoke over ten languages and used that capability to urge the Hessian soldiers to defect.  Many did - they left the army, found land for themselves and settled down rather than fight for the British. 

Though it is now over 230 years ago, we can't let the memory of this Hero of the Revolution fade into obscurity.  We are all the beneficiaries of his heroism.

Sheila Orysiek
San Diego

Seven years after 9/11, what's Bush's legacy?

Editor, San Diego Jewish World:

I am saddened to say that I don’t believe the President when he says today that we are safer and have not been attacked for 2557 days on our soil. We are about as safe in our homeland as we were the day before 9/11. Do not forget that Bush was the president for many months with the responsibility of protecting us and he failed completely. He was the “Decider” from the day he took office.

It has been almost seven long years since he sent Gen. Tommy Franks into battle in Afghanistan to find and kill Osama bin Laden, to eliminate the Taliban and seven years later the death toll of US troops is increasing and the Taliban is stronger than ever and Osama still leads his forces against the US.  At the moment the strategy of the “Decider” has been a complete failure. We have been attacked here at home and any fool can see that the notion that there must be physical damage with injuries and deaths from planes or bombs we must recognize the reality of our national losses wherever and however they occur. So far the count of American deaths is close to 5000 killed plus 3000 in World Trade Towers and about 40,000 seriously physically wounded with an untold number of thousands mentally damaged from fighting a losing battle.

The losses for Americans really started after the President brazenly declared on the deck of a carrier that the Mission was accomplished and the “war” is growing more and more desperate today. The fact that there  hasn’ been a 9/11 type attack mustn’t cloud our thinking that our nation hasn't suffered from other damage. Let’s name a few liabilities we face, brought about by the “Decider’s” failures. On the home front our country is in shambles, we are beholden to the Chinese Communists for financing the Bush war and our souls has been sold to the sheiks of the desert for their oil. On the international front we are forging behind the dangers from Iran and North Korean nuclear weapons proliferation, NATO has no stomach for full participation in finding Osama nor can the might and sophistication of the US military find bin Laden. The mantra of Bush that there shall be no sanctuary for him is hollow threat since Pakistan is the number one sanctuary for terrorists. We have no strong European allies; in fact they, along with Russia and China, relish seeing the US floundering in its inability to protect itself.

The supreme “Decider” is leaving office with a legacy of worsening problems for the US. Although he saved the American citizenry from a necessary draft and taxes to pay for conflict and any and all responsibility in fighting the war against terror. The “Decider’s”  legacy includes a monstrous debt to be paid by our future generations, infrastructure in shambles, housing and banking institutions going under, growing unemployment, schools which are neglecting our future leaders, rampant graft and corruption, unprotected borders, oil dependency, 21,000,000 illegal residents and many millions without proper medical care.

Americans have been turned into a six-pack generation with hedonistic lifestyles. The rich are getting richer and the mainstream middle class population is falling further back economically.... We are losing the battle for our survival and we just can’t see it because Bush has put blinders over our eyes and our bipartisan  Senate and House have gone along with him because their only goal is getting reelected. And so it goes.

Dr. Norman Mann
San Diego


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Night Sky audience experiences aphasia

By Carol Davis

LA JOLLA, California—When Susan Yankowitz was 12 she won a writing competition in a weekly Jewish news publication in her hometown of Newark, N.J. The article that talked about prejudice won her a $10.00 note. She still has it pasted in a scrapbook as a reminder. Yankowitz is a well-known playwright, lyricist and novelist who graduated Sarah Lawrence College and Yale School of Drama. As a member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre Group she authored Night Sky which was first produced in 1991 and directed by Chaikin. It has been produced all over the world and translated into five languages including Hebrew.  (Lehigh U. Story)

Four years ago Seema Sueko formed Mo’Olelo (it means story) Performing Arts Company. Seema, whose talents embrace acting, directing, producing, writing as well as co founding the company that is now mounting Yankowitz’s play, Night Sky directed by Siobhan Sullivan. It is at the La Jolla Playhouse in the inaugural season of the Playhouses Resident Theatre Company Program in The Studio Theatre (a little black box space in back of the Mandell Weiss Forum) and is one force to be reckoned with.

Seema’s company’s mission is to ‘create new theatrical works based on research within various communities… to broaden the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by producing professional, socially conscious theatre and innovative arts education programs that provide greater representation of diverse voices, aesthetics and issues on stage…Past productions include A Piece of my Heart and The Adoption Project: Triad

When artistic director, Chris Ashley, of the La Jolla Playhouse launched this new initiative of providing a temporary home to theatre companies without permanent homes, Mo’Olelo’s mission and past productions were a perfect fit for it to be the first company to be chosen for the job. Her company was one of nine applicants from local groups who had applied for this opportunity. It’s a good match and the year’s residency will benefit both theatres.

In many productions, Seema makes her audiences think, feel and get involved. Night Sky is no exception. Dedicated to board member Elaine Hiel’s late husband Joe, who suffered from a stroke in his forties and loved words and the theatre, Night Sky is a perfect vehicle to force audiences to see how fragile the brain is and to understand that just because someone can’t articulate doesn’t mean they are stupid.  

The main character in Yankowitz’s play, Anna, (Seema) also suffered severe brain injuries due to an automobile accident, and became aphasic. She too was very verbal in her own work, spoke with brilliance and clarity and understood to the nth degree the order of the universe.

Yankowitz’s play reaches out not only to adults who suffered from strokes but anyone suffering from damage to the brain from head injuries, complications at birth and especially to the hundreds of young soldiers and their families who have and will be returning home with serious brain injuries.

How we deal with that and exactly what it looks like, is tackled in Night Sky and while scenes and images get tangled, crossed and mix, one has an idea of what Anna’s mind and thought process might be going through at the same time.

No easy task, this, but Night Sky is an important piece that needs to be seen, flaws and all. The play opens with Anna (Sueko) a brilliant astronomy professor who delights in her lectures and is not shy about sharing her knowledge to her college students. There is no question she is revered in her community and by her colleagues. She is preparing an important paper for an upcoming astronomy seminar at which she plans to attend present her thesis.

At home however, things aren’t as rosy. Her long time live in, Daniel, (Tom Andrew) is an opera singer down on his luck and her teenage daughter Jennifer (Bibi Valderrama) is well, a teenager with all the baggage that goes along with being a teenager. When Anna returns home from her regular class session all appears well, happy, lovey-dovey, but the cracks begin to show early on and in a fit of temper, Anna rushes out of the house to escape the discordant (unlike her universe) and noisy atmosphere at home.

Headlights glaring! Darkness! And then we hear the horrific crash (Paul Peterson, sound design and Jason Bieber, lighting)) of an automobile.

Life as Anna and her family knew it would never be the same. When Anna wakes in the hospital and begins her slow recovery, she finds that words, her most precious asset come out of her mouth in a mumbo jumbo disorganized stream of consciousness quite different from the astrological and neat world of her own center. While the words are there, they have trouble organizing into a cohesive collection.

Anna is suffering from damage to the brain clinically referred to as aphasia. (a-pha-sia n the partial or total inability to produce and understand speech as a result of brain damage caused by injury or disease).

Anna’s life and those around her go from order to disorder as fast as a shooting star descends the heavens. In the scenes that follow the audience is taken through all the phases of whatever recovery Anna may make. Those include not only her pain and agony of watching her family come to grips with the fact that the center of their world is now spinning out of control, but struggling to face her own limitations as well. 

It also means that the two most important people, the two whose spheres revolved around her in the past are now her life support. Her window to the outside depends on their recovery and understanding as well.  To say that that puts enormous strain on an already fragile family is an understatement.

Outstanding in his portrayal of Daniel, Anna’s true love, Tom Andrew gives a most compelling performance going from brow beaten loser of a breadwinner to outrage. He finds himself unable to cope with the job of being Anna’s words as well as her cheerleader and healer. While I’m no expert on this subject, Andrew’s role proved to be most telling about the frustrations and agony family members must go through; keeping a stiff upper lip while feeling inadequate in coming to grips with the magnitude of the situation. He does that with a free range of emotions most believable in all situations put to him. 

Bibi Valderrama as Anna’s daughter Jennifer, comes on strong as the spoiled teenager while still showing vulnerability as she copes with both her mother’s disability and her coming of age, first dates and how to act at a school dance she doesn’t really want to attend. She’s too young (11) for the part, but does show signs of that teenage attitude so many of us have lived through without having to deal with aphasia!

As Anna, Seema walks a fine line between coming on as too loud and overbearing She is a powerful woman astronomer, head of household and center of her own universe who clearly doesn’t have enough time in her life to sincerely give a damn about anyone else’s life but her own, to being able to finally agree to getting help from the strength and backbone of her family.

This is something she would never consider in the past and is a monumental breakthrough for everyone. Now she has all the time, after her therapy treatments to actually listen and learn from Daniel and Jennifer in a way she never had before the accident.

It’s a touching revelation that softens Anna (Seema) and makes her more real. As a talented and committed actor Seema slowly discloses the other side of Anna. She also convinces that underneath all the bravado of a brilliant career woman is the vulnerability and strength of a woman who, even though she cannot communicate as she once had, has the willingness and determination to learn all over again. It’s a touching and compelling moment.

Excellent support comes from Nicole Gabriella Scipione as the therapist and other women. It is through her explanations, as a medical expert, to the audience in describing what happens to the injured brain that we learn about aphasia. Brian Makey is another aphasic patient in the learning process of reading again and Justin Snavely is Bill, Anna’s colleague who might know a lot about astronomy but doesn’t get Anna’s illness.

Both the Playhouse and Mo’Olelo are to be congratulated for this joint effort.

Night Sky will continue through Sept. 21st. See you at the theatre.

UNDER THE CHUPPAH—Harriet Wingard and Danny Koch are married after living together
for years. The ceremony was performed by Harriet's brother Dan Wingard, who served
as a temporary San Diego County Clerk.


16-year courtship finally reaches chuppah

By Norene Schiff-Shenhav

FALLBROOK, California—“Finally”...”finally”...and I do mean finally, I am able to write after this overwhelming experience...the day of commitment between Harriet Wingard and Danny Koch on their August 17 wedding. It has taken me so long to attempt this reflection on that day because it had such a powerful pull at my heartstrings. I know the occasion touched everyone on so many levels and in as many ways as it did me. There was an intensity and anticipation mixed with elation and anxiety as I sat waiting for this “finally” event to begin. It had taken sixteen years for Harriet and Danny to get to the chuppah.

As I looked around the back yard of the Kochs’ next door neighbor in Solana Beach where the wedding progressed, I saw a beautiful group of somewhat older folks with a small sprinkling of young family relatives in the wedding. I saw a lot of middle aged and seniors, couples, holding hands and tearing up throughout the ceremony as they listened to Harriet's brother Dan Wingard, conduct the ceremony in a manner beyond the clergy.

The bride is Jewish, the groom Christian, the service, non-denominational. The couple had returned to their native San Diego County from their home in Oregon to begin their official wedded life together. We held our breath. With officiant Dan Wingard’s loving comments and sense of humor and style, I began to feel at ease and soften my hold on my precious husband's hand.

To the groom, he said: “It almost seems incumbent upon brothers-in-law-to-be  to caution the groom in ways that often seem to involve veiled threats. ‘You’d better take good care of my sister,’ guys will say ‘or else.’…But I don’t have to say anything like that at all…because you’ve been taking good care of my sister for years…”  And to his sister, the bride, Dan said: “You are possessed of a keen intelligence, a perceptive mind, a creative spirit, and above all a loving heart.  You have within you the best of humanity: humor and music and joie de vivire…”

There was an actual relief I felt, and at the same time a spiritual awareness that I was experiencing something more...much more. So much has happened in the past 16 years. So many moments of remembering surfaced and more emotions would arise. How many were still here with us to revel in this joy and how many were only in blessed memory...I remembered and wondered...dear, dear Rose Schiff, Harriet's grandmother, how she was missed.

The music was...yes heavenly whether it was the sounds of the bold bellowing of the bagpipes played by Chip Hatch , the gentle dulcimer of Katie Riggs, or the violin of Myla Wingard , the bride's sister, who swept us away with her virtuosity. We were moved by the beautiful voice of Francesca Pomerantz, a friend of Harriet’s from Amherst College days. The sounds soothed our souls. When all was quiet, there still were the sounds of the trees, their leaves gently swaying and touching one another. I heard birds singing and echoing this heavenly feeling...I know I wasn't alone. Oh! There was laughter too! Moments of deep down tummy tingling laughter I heard all around me...simply real and that 'down home folk' kind so rarely heard these days. I laughed until I cried...again!

I looked at Harriet, radiant and beautiful as she peered deeply into her handsome Danny's eyes and saw her love for him. Danny and Harriet shared their thoughts about each other, their many years of learning and longing and how truly lucky they were to have accepted each other and why they are committing now.

Said Danny: "I stand before you today full of confidence, strength and pure joy because it is here, in this place where I grew up and inthe presence of family and friends that I say these words full of the meaning that they hold for me: Harriet, Husband and Wife, Commitment, Love, The Shoosh, L'Chaim, To Life, Yes."

Harriet, after telling how even before they met each other they both had liked to walk in Fletcher Cove in the company of friends,added: "While it took more years to encounter you face-to-face, and still more to make this commitment to you, I have always felt the tug of our hearts toward each other. I knew the first time I met you, you were adorable; I knew the second time I met you, you were hugely empathetic and optimistic; and I knew the third time I met you--and you greeted me in your arms--that I was home..."

I was thankful to see the couple’s parents, Eileen and Hal Wingard and Paula and Roger Koch, also lovingly holding hands with the looks of pure happiness, all smiles and sometimes  with flowing tears of joy. It really was difficult not to shed some tears with them and everyone else...it seemed contagious and I caught it.

The bride's father—whose songs are presented in San Diego Jewish World in its "Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard" column--wrote another, "Oh, Oh Love" for the occasion. It's first stanza said:

We understand the burden they were... carrying
Postponing wedding plans by simply...tarrying.
They'd commit when they were sure.
When they felt they were mature,
But not 'til time was right for happy ... marrying.

Every aspect of the wedding had significance from the hand-made chuppah which the groom built with special wood, to the poems read, to an incredible Homily by Gertrud Mueller Nelson. She held our attention with her in depth and insightful gestalt of the world of marriage and its moments of delight and seriousness. She was spell binding in her depictions and too, her marvelous sense of humor and understanding of our human nature. She exuded hope, pure love with tremendous compassion for all who enter marriage sacredly.

"We have gathered here at another crossing over time--at sunset, when day ends and the night begins," she said. "But in the Judeo Christian tradition sunset is the beginning of the next day--so the end is the beginning and the new day is no ordinary day. For it is the first day of beginnings, the day of creation, a day of new life, forgiveness and hope..."

I came away with a renewed feeling of commitment.—a stronger more relaxed commitment to my marriage and more so to living a more compassionate life of listening...to others. Not only listening but actually hearing what they are saying through words and movement...the unspoken language as well. We are often very hard on others and ourselves as well. We tend to look at faults and wrongs and make judgments causing suffering and disillusionment and ultimately pain. Harriet and Danny took their time. They allowed compassion to persevere...so their love for each other could grow and mature with the strengthening of their characters . Through their slow and yet active process they learned the simple and kind approach to listening to each other with compassion. They heard each other...finally...and finally they took this ultimate step called commitment, publicly, through this loving expression of marriage that they had planned together with exquisite detail. It was ,well, both overwhelming and grounding for me at the same time.

There were sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, relatives and friends involved in this “finally” moment...and it was all worth the wait. There is no end to this narrative, this story, for any of us who experienced this event, because they are, as we are,  always in the process. Marriage is a process of commitment through compassionate love, everyday renewed...over and over again. There is no getting it right... there is only, getting it! I believe Harriet and Danny Koch get it. Mazel Tov!


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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.

“What’s Cookin’” At Troop 99?
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950

Question: What is a Boy Scout?

Answer: A Boy Scout is a fellow who has fun and adventure.  He hikes over unexplored trails, his pack on his back and his friends beside him, with new adventures beckoning. When night comes, he sets up his tent, or makes a shack out of branches and grass, he builds a fire to cook his meal or to keep him warm.

High mountains, the open prairie or deep woods—a Boy Scout can figure from his compass how to get to any of them.  He can follow a map or make one for himself.  He can read tracks in the soft ground, scratches on the bark of trees.  He recognizes birds from their call, trees by their bark and leaves.

“Be Prepared” is the Scout motto, and a Scout is the fellow people turn to when they need help.  He understands first aid and if someone is injured, he knows what to do.  He helps other people at all times.

A Boy Scout is a good citizen and serves his home and his community. He obeys the Scout Oath and Law.  He stands out among others because of his character and knowledge. He is reverent toward God, faithful in his religious duties and respects others’ convictions.

Wouldn’t you parents like your son to be this kind of a boy, to grow up to be a real he-man?  Why not attend our next troop meeting and talk it over with the leaders of the troop.

Our meetings are held each Wednesday night at 7:30 in the social room at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, 30th and Howard Streets.  We need more boys, and your son is eligible for membership when he becomes 11 years old. He is welcome to attend meetings before his eleventh birthday, so why not come down and talk it over with us.

Council of Jewish Women
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 6

A regular meeting of the San Diego Section, Council of Jewish Women, will be held on Monday, January 16, at the Temple Center, 3rd and Laurel.  Mrs. Louis Steinman, President, will preside.

The Board will be host at a membership luncheon on Monday, February 6, 12:00 at the Temple Beth Israel. Chairmen for the luncheon will be Mrs. David Doctor and Mrs. Harris Rubel.  They will be assisted by Mesdames M. Pomeranz, H Haimsohn, G. Solomon, D. Lowenthal and F. Weitzen.  Members are invited to bring a guest to this free luncheon, the purpose of which is to acquaint new members with the work of the Council.

One of the outstanding projects of the Council is the care and maintenance of the Council House for New Americans where more than fourteen people are now living temporarily until permanent housing can be found for them.  It is expected that twelve new families will arrive by the end of June and Council House is making plans to receive them.

Thirft Shop—Another project of the Council, the Thrift Shop on Logan Ave., is still in need of volunteers and more items to sell.  Co-chairmen of the project, Mrs. Frances Berenson and Mrs. D. Horowitz, may be contacted by any interested volunteers.  Please call the United Jewish Fund Office, F-0171, if you have any items to donate for sale, and they will be glad to pick up whatever you have.

Money raised from sales of Thrift Shop items is used in the maintenance of Council House. Another purpose of the Thrift Shop is to supply the New Americans with household items and clothing when they leave Council House and move into their own quarters.

Mrs. Frances Berenson would like to thank all those who have donated items for sale and the many volunteers who have given of their time towards this project.

In addition to a delightful luncheon, an interesting program has been planned for the membership luncheon, February 6, at the Temple Beth Israel at 12:00.

Inside AZA
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 7

By Leonard Naiman

The most important news of the chapter concerns the results of the recent election. We feel confident about our choices of officers, and we believe that our chapter is going to continue going places.  We are sure that our officers are capable enough to fulfill the tasks set out before them in their ensuing term, and  we pledge our utmost cooperation and support to them. 

The following incoming officers will serve for the next six months.  They are:

Dan Abramson, President; Jerry Schissell, Vice President; Al Davidson, Secretary; Matt Strauss, Treasurer; Al Gardener, Sergeant At Arms; Leonard Naiman, Assistant Sergeant At Arms; and Bob Waller, Chaplain.

Congratulations boys, both outgoing and incoming officers.

Representing the fundamentals of AZA—The Five Fold and Full Program, several committee chairmen were appointed.  The boys who will head the committees are:

Burton Sharpe, Social; Ronald Greenberg, Athletic; Allan Goodman, Religious; Frank Goldberg, Culturak; Al Gardener, Community Service.

Our pledge-master is Frank Goldberg, and the reporter is yours truly, Leonard Naiman.

Honoring both outgoing and incoming officers, a dinner will be held at the Brass rail prior to the installation on Tuesday, January 17 at Tifereth Israel at 8 p.m.  The public is cordially invited to attend this installation. Refreshments and dancing will follow.

Congratulations again to the officers and general membership.  Through the election of good officers we are nearing the goal of having San Diego AZA No. 122 regarded as one of the finest chapters in Southern California.

Jewish Youth Council
From Southwestern Jewish Press, January 13, 1950, page 7

The Jewish Youth Council met in the united Jewish Fund office on Thursday, January 5th.

A committee was appointed to plan the Western states Regional National Jewish Youth Conference which will be held during the 4th of July weekend at Camp Cuyamaca.

The following new officers were elected: Ronnie Greenberg, President; Bob Waller, Vice President; Norman Holtzman, Secretary-Treasurer.

Tifereth Israel Young People’s League

From Southwestern Jewish Press, June 12, 1950, page 7

One of the most important installations of the young People’s League history will take place Friday, January 13th at the Tifereth Israel. Recently elected officers are Matt Strauss, President; Edith Press, Vice President; Jack Pearl, Corresponding Secretary; Shirley Krasner, Recording Secretary; and Roanne Tepper, Treasurer.

The installation of officers will be held after the regularly scheduled Friday night services, which will be conducted by members of the Young People’s League.

The community is invited to attend with a special invitation extended to fellows and girls of high school and college age. Refreshments and dancing will follow the installation ceremony.

Won’t you attend?

“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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Dedications of Today's Issue

Today's issue is dedicated with happy birthday wishes to Yiftach Levy, an active volunteer in San Diego's Jewish community.



Thursday, September 11, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 219)

Remembering 9/11/2001
Does government need 'back door' authority to break encryption codes? by Martin Charles Golumbic in Haifa, Israel.
'Ordinary' citizens demonstrated grace in an extraordinary disaster by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego

Who were 3 most important U.S. Jews? by David Benkof in New York

Campaign 2008—Letters to the Editor
—Matthew Brooks column draws rebuke from Carol Davis in San Diego
— Obama didn't protest Wright for 20 years; how would he act towards bombastic leaders of anti-U.S. nations? from Donald A. Moskowitz in Londonderry, New Hampshire

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—January 13, 1950: San Diego Jr. Pioneer Women
—January 13, 1950: Labor Zionists
—January 13, 1950: Junior Charity League

Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard.
—#243, Mary Had a Little Lamb
—#244, The Itsy Bitsy Spider
—#246, The Little Star

News from Our Advertisers
—Mental Illness: Coping Strategies, Current Treatments, & Paths to Wellness from Jewish Family Service
—San Diego Jewish Academy focuses on academics, athletics and arts

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 218)

Don't trivialize the Shoah by making light of it, or using it for partisan ends by Dvir Abramovich in Melbourne, Australia
The Jews Down Under, a roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian in Melbourne:
—World No Safer after 9/11—Juval Aviv
—Tough opening game for peace team
—Submission highlight campus bias
—Community Security Group first public appeal
—A remarkable musical milestone
Jewish Community welcomes new Premier
Outrage over Arab leader's remarks
A grave situation in Brest, Belarus
Something in lighter vein - The Jewish Car

Campaign 2008: Democrats' attacks on Palin lack merit by Matthew Brooks in Washington D.C.
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—January 13, 1950: Senior Pioneer (Negba) Club
—January 13, 1950:Yo-Ma-Co News
—January 13, 1950:Guardians
—January 13, 1950: J.C.R.A.

It’s a Hit! It’s the Housewives! by Cynthia Citron in Sherman Oaks, California

Will Spitz legend survive Phelps? Book review by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego

News from Our Advertisers
Musical Selichot at Congregation Beth Am
San Diego Jewish Academy Unveils New Gymnasium & Sports Complex

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 217)

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

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

Message from Our Publisher
—Please actively support San Diego Jewish World

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: There’s Room For You {Editorial}

Picking right shows for teenage grandkids by Carol Davis in San Diego

News 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

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