Volume 2, Nu

mber 30
Volume 2, Number 229

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Today's Postings

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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


Sarah and George compared, contrasted by J. Zel Lurie in Delray Beach, Florida

What Israelis learn from U.S. elections by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem


Ahmadinejad protest planned in NYC on Thursday by a coalition of Jewish groups
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.


A standing O for the 'girls' in the office by Cynthia Citron in Los Angeles

Song 'Meeskite' is opposite of its name
by Cantor Sheldon Merel in San Diego, with accompanying music.


—February 10, 1950: Dr. T.R. Jackman To Speak
—February 10, 1950: Fund To Borrow $75,000 for Critical UJA Position
—February 10, 1950: Mrs. Steinman Elected To Nat’l Board of U.S.N.A.
—February 10, 1950: Overseas News and Views by Maxwell Kaufman

COMMUNITY WATCH (Click here for index of advertisers news)

Agency for Jewish Education: AJE to offer immersion classes in Hebrew beginning next month

Lawrence Family JCC: 2008 San Diego Jewish Book Fair to feature celebrity authors Henry Winkler, Jonathan Safran Foer, Martin Fletcher, Evan Handler and 40 other writers

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School: Soille Hebrew Day second graders learn about the mitzvah of tzedakah


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


Want to know about exciting upcoming events? As a service to readers, San Diego Jewish World flags most event advertisements by date. Sept. 22-24, Sept. 23, Sept. 26-Oct 5, 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. Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index page for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.


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AJE to offer immersion classes in Hebrew beginning next month



Sarah and George compared, contrasted

By J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida—Sarah Palin does not have a magic wand that will wave the Palin-What’shisname ticket to victory on November 4.

Sarah introduced herself to the nation at the Republican convention with a rousing speech, beautifully delivered.   Since she was the brand new kid on the block her address attracted a huge curious audience.  She has been going downhill very gradually ever since.

An Associated Press report from the convention highlighted the numerous lies and distortions in her well-received speech.  She welcomed and did not oppose as she claimed the “bridge to nowhere.”  She welcomed and did not oppose as she claimed Congressional earmarks for her town totaling $27 million.  She claimed she vetoed wasteful spending but in her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in federal spending, by far the largest per capita request in the nation. Likewise her attacks on Obama’s congressional record and his tax proposals were all wrong and the AP reporter gave the facts. This was an unusual AP news dispatch, bordering on an  AP editorial and I hope the reporter still has his job.

After the convention Sarah fended off all media requests for interviews. She hid in Alaska for three days with a coterie of advisers preparing for a two-day interview by one chosen person, the ABC anchor, Charlie Gibson.

Charlie tried his best to get straight answers instead of the evasions of a practiced politician. A British columnist commented:

“Her combination of  little knowledge,  no curiosity and an unduly decisive temperament is very dangerous.”

This comment called to mind George W. Bush.  George has “an unduly decisive temperament.” That, plus his firm belief that God was on his side, is what got us into a disastrous war of choice in Iraq.

woolseyThe similarities between George and Sarah are striking as are the differences. First  the differences.

George was the wastrel son of one of the most prominent establishment families in the Northeast. Sarah was the daughter of a poor redneck family in far off Alaska, who, according to her father, subsisted on hunted moose for many years.

George went on the wagon and found God in his middle years. Sarah was born to her fundamentalist beliefs.

Now, let’s examine the similarities. They are legion: Both look upon the media as the enemy. Both operate with all possible secrecy. Both appoint cronies and classmates to high-paying positions regardless of their credentials and efficiency. Both refuse to listen to those who disagree with them and surround themselves with sycophants. Both make decisions according to their gut instinct instead of thoughtful consideration of the pros and cons,

We have had eight years of George. His war in Iraq continues. The war in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border is getting worse. The economy is in shambles. The shame of Guantanamo Bay endures.

Enough. Enough!  Do we need a female George for another eight years?

Fortunately, the glamorous Sarah Palin does not actually head the ticket. John McCain does. He was a maverick eight years ago when he lost to the Republican establishment’s George Bush. This year the Republican establishment is tolerating him as a sacrifice to the Obama whirlwind.

Sarah Palin was a pleasant surprise to the Republican moguls. They smell a chance of victory. They will play her for all she’s worth.

On Israel attacking Iran, Sarah Palin had a scripted reply to Gibson’s query. She said:

“We are friends with Israel and I don’t think we should second-guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.”

Gibson followed up her reply with two more questions trying to get her to okay an Israeli strike against Iran. But she simply repeated her scripted reply “we can’t second-guess Israel.”

To my mind the script is dangerous enough. Taken together with the recent sale to Israel of bunker-busting bombs it arouses the feeling that George Bush is conspiring with the Israeli right-wingers for an Israeli air strike against Iran’s widely scattered nuclear facilities.

That is a fearful thought. Almost as fearful as a McCain-Palin victory.

Contrast Sarah’s glib reply with Barak Obama’s reasoned, thoughtful position as outlined by Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer at a recent seminar.  Obama was a primary sponsor of the “Iran Sanctions Enabling Act.”  He is absolutely committed to containing Iran, Kurtzer said.

Kurtzer quoted Obama’s speech to AIPAC:  “We will use all the elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That starts with aggressive principled diplomacy without self-defeating preconditions…”

McCain would continue Bush’s policy of refusing to talk to Iran while egging Israel to attack. The repercussions of an Israeli attack would be beyond belief. Scares the hell out of me.

Vote the Obama-Biden ticket for peace in the Middle East.

J. Zel Lurie's column also appears in the Jewish Journal of South Florida

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What Israelis learn from U.S. elections

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—Two weeks in the United States during election season reminds me of some things I learned long ago, and teaches me a bit that is new.
We have spent considerable time watching television, but have seen very little of what the candidates are saying. Mostly we have seen assessments about what they are saying, and selected snippets of their speeches and comments. We have heard so much of that as to blot out what may be happening elsewhere in the United States or in the larger world.
sdjaWhat I have heard from friends and relatives, and my own reaction to the reports about the candidates reminds me that campaigns are likely to reinforce existing postures. Much of what I am hearing in conversations relates to what I heard about the candidates some time ago. The Reverend Jeremy Wright is still a problem for Barack Obama. Sarah Palin is either a problem or a great boost for John McCain. Joe Biden either suffers or gains from something he has said over the course of a long career. McCain may be too old and sick to begin a presidential career. Obama does not have the experience to convince people who worry about what the government is going to do with respect to the economy or Iraq. Obama is black. McCain is a war hero. What else is new?
If the electorate is waiting for a defining moment, it did not seem to emerge from the recent wildness in the economy. The government let Lehman Brothers sink; insured what was said to be the world's largest insurer; then announced a proposal to help all those lenders and their minions who screwed the rest of us (throughout much of the world) while putting in their own bank accounts unbelievable salaries, bonuses, and options.
The early signs are that the various rescues have wide support. The stock market had some of the biggest drops and gains and I can recall. If there is such wide agreement and some hope for a respite until the next bad news, this does not seem to be a defining moment that will push large numbers of voters in one direction or another.
Currently the polls are showing that the race is too close to call. I have encountered more persons than I remember from previous elections who do not like any of the candidates or their vice presidential choices. As good citizens, most of my friends and relatives are not inclined to avoid voting, not even out of protest. More than a few times I have heard the expression, "lesser of two evils."
If experience is any guide about the upcoming debates, the candidates are most likely to reinforce voters' reasons to support or oppose. By then we should be on an airplane, and wondering what has happened in that other place where the political future is undecided.
Ehud Olmert, who my grandson David terms the Crime Minister, has tendered his resignation. But it will not take effect until there is a new prime minister, approved by the Knesset. Tzipi Livni is leading the country's leading party, and is working to gain enough support from other parties to become the prime minister without a national election. Negotiating is not easy. It bears some resemblance to what occurs in the shops of the Old City. It is not over until it is over.
Meanwhile, Olmert as head of a caretaker government has some protections from being ousted by a Knesset vote of no confidence. He cannot give the country away without considerable support from his ministerial colleagues and the larger Knesset, but he may be tempted to make an historic deal. Palestinian insistence on something even more grandiose than he offers is likely to save us from worry. Or there may be an indictment from the Attorney General that ends Olmert's career quickly.
I am confident that both countries will survive this season of uncertainty. The United States is stronger than any of the candidates seeking to lead it. Sooner or later Tzipi Livni seems likely to get an opportunity to show what she can do. She does not describe herself in heroic terms, and has not been associated with the kinds of shady appointments or business deals associated with her predecessors and opponents. A bit of clean boredom may be just what we need in the Holy Land.

Sharkansky is a professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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Ahmadinejad protest planned in NYC on Thursday by a coalition of Jewish groups

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C—Disinviting Gov. Palin from an anti-Ahmadinejad rally in front of the UN was an abdication of righteous principle to political machinations. Really political.

J Street, which claims to be the "pro-Israel, pro-peace" Jewish lobby, trumpeted on its website: "We Won. We collected over 20,000 signatures in 24 hours asking Iran Unity rally organizer Malcolm Hoenlein to take Sarah Palin off the schedule for Monday's rally... Victories like these don't come easily - or often. But when they do, we should savor them." Rumor has it J Street threatened the Conference's tax status for holding a "partisan political" rally after Sen. Clinton withdrew upon finding out that Gov. Palin was speaking. But it was Sen. Clinton who made the rally partisan refusing to share the platform with a Republican - even in the name of protesting a man who denies the Holocaust and has called for genocide against Israel.

The shonda is that J Street divided the Jewish community when it should have been united in front of the Iranian President.

But keeping the focus where it belongs, JINSA's New York members have an opportunity to do a good deed. Thursday at 6:00 pm, Ahmadinejad is invited to an Iftar dinner by The American Friends Service Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker UN Office, Religions for Peace, and World Council of Churches - UN Liaison Office. Planned honored guest is Miguel d'Escoto Brockman, President of the UN General Assembly - a former Sandinista radical, now UN envoy.*

Women International and the Jewish Action Alliance (a coalition of approximately two dozen groups) have obtained a permit to demonstrate and hold a press conference beginning at 5:30 p.m. across the street from the Hyatt Hotel at 109 East 42nd Street.  The Catholic League sent a broadside to its membership, saying in part: "Catholics need to stand with their Jewish brothers and sisters in protesting... Ahmadinejad is a menace to freedom-loving people the world over, and the sight of religious groups embracing him is nauseating. The Catholic League is proud to take part in this rally and we encourage people of all religious groups to have a contingent represent them on Thursday evening."

It's nice to know that when the Jews come apart at the seams, our Catholic League brothers and sisters can put their finger on the larger issue on our behalf.

Join them, join us and join others Thursday after work to protest not only Ahmadinejad, but also those who would fete him at our expense.

*In an interesting irony, a Washington newspaper headlined today that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is "tired" of UN-bashing.

Bryen is director of special projects for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, a longtime supporter and national board member of JINSA.



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Song 'Meeskite' is opposite of its name

By Cantor Sheldon Merel

SAN DIEGO—Cabaret received The Tony Award for best musical on  Broadway in 1967. The story is set in Berlin at the beginning of the Third Reich, and follows the romance of an English Cabaret singer and an American writer. During the course of this wonderful musical, some of the tragic changes that took place in Germany with the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party are made quite clear.

The original Broadway performance included this charming song, "Meeskite," which in Yiddish means, "homely”.  When the Cabaret stage show was made into a movie, "Meeskite" was omitted, and consequently did not appear on any of its recordings.

It has a touching message in its lyrics, that anyone responsible for loveliness large or small is not a Meeskite at all!

This version of "Meeskite" is on my CD, Standing Ovation, and was recorded live in concert at Sherwood Auditorium of the La Jolla Museum of Modern Art with Ken Fall at the piano.

Merel is cantor emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego. He may be contacted at merels@saniegojewishworld.com. To hear "Meskite," click here.


Soille Hebrew Day second graders learn about the mitzvah of tzedakah

By Cynthia Citron

LOS ANGELES -The Ahmanson Theatre was filled to the rafters, so you can imagine the energy generated by some 2,000 delighted theatergoers applauding and cheering after every single number.  But their enthusiasm was as nothing compared to the exuberance of the 30 cast members cavorting onstage in one of the liveliest shows to open in L.A. since the long-ago heyday of great musical extravaganzas.

The show is 9 to 5 written by Patricia Resnick, based on her original screenplay for the 1980 Fox film, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, whose staging is akin to Bob Fosse or Michael Bennett in their prime.  And Joe Mantello, who has won every directing award imaginable, does his usual magic in this show as well.

A radiant Allison Janney, a timid Stephanie J. Block, and a misunderstood, tush-swinging Megan Hilty are the three office “girls” who foment a rebellion against their obnoxious, overbearing boss, played by Marc Kudisch.  Or, as he was known in the original film: “the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”  You get the picture.

The initial opening of this production was delayed for a couple of weeks, which usually hints at some massive glitches in the script or a feud among the actors.  Not so in this case, and you’ll understand the delay when you see Scott Pask’s spectacular and complex set design.  The scenery changes minute by minute, whirling around, disappearing beneath the stage, moving up and down and sideways, springing into new venues, and performing feats of sheer magic: like the huge Xerox machine that behaves so hilariously that it deserves an acting credit of its own.  The technical manipulations involved must have taken a crew the size of the Hungarian Army to get it all moving in unison.

The three leading ladies sparkle throughout.  What’s more, they and the rest of the huge ensemble cast appear to be having one helluva good time.  Especially in a delightful dream sequence in which each woman reveals her own inner reality, a surprising alter ego, in which, for example, the brusque, business-like Janney turns up in a Snow White costume, complete with a bow in her hair, to spread sweetness and light among her co-workers.

Marc Kudisch as the “villain” boss has an exceptionally fine voice, as does Megan Hilty in the part played by Dolly Parton in the film.  But most delightful is Allison Janney, who became a household name for her dramatic presence in TV’s “West Wing”.  Who knew she could also sing and dance with the best of them?

William Ivey Long’s costumes, lighting by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, and sound by John H. Shivers are integral and satisfying elements of the production, as is the musical direction by Stephen Oremus.  And, of course, the music and lyrics by the incomparable Dolly Parton are sweet, and clever, and full of bright melody.  There is, in fact, an inherent sweetness and charm to this whole production that sincerely warrants the standing ovation it inevitably receives here at its world premiere, and undoubtedly will continue to receive when it opens on Broadway in February 2009.

9 to 5 will continue at the Ahmanson Theatre Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6:30, with matinees Saturdays at 2 and Sundays at 1 through October 19th.  The Ahmanson Theatre is part of the Music Center complex located at 135 N. Grand Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles.  Call (213) 628-2772 for tickets.

Bureau chief Citron may be contacted at citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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2008 San Diego Jewish Book Fair to feature celebrity authors Henry Winkler, Jonathan Safran Foer, Martin Fletcher, Evan Handler and 40 other writers

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)– The 14th Annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair, sponsored by The Private Bank of Bank of America, and presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS, will run October 31 and November 6-13, 2008. 

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ISSUE DEDICATION: Today's issue is dedicated with happy birthday wishes to Sue Braun,
former board member of the San Diego Unified School District as well as an active member of Tifereth Israel Synagogue.




Monday, September 22, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 228)

Down Syndrome: Advice for Sarah Palin by Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith in Jerusalem
Obama strongly supports Israel by Howard Wayne in San Diego


Ariel University Center's U.S. fundraising chief had had colorful career path
by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Impressions of an Ethiopian American tourist on his first trip to Israel
by Kassahun Teffera in Rockville, Maryland

Why and how I observe the Shabbat
by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego

—January 27, 1950: Temple Beth Israel
—January 27, 1950: Tifereth Israel Synagogue
—January 27, 1950: Beth Jacob

Sunday, September 21,2008 (Vol. 2, No. 227)

U.S. politicians should unite against Iran
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.

Blessings of the city and the country
by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
The Chasid's mistake maybe wasn't one by Rabbi Baruch Lederman in San Diego

—January 27, 1950: Inside A.Z.A. by Leonard Naiman
—January 27, 1950: San Diego Bay City Bnai Brith
—January 27, 1950: Junior Matrons
—January 27, 1950: Judy Yukon Joins Quiz Kids
—January 27, 1950: Swing Your Partner

—Thalheimer flip flopped; Hillel threatens neighborhood from Alice Goldfarb Marquis, Ph.D, in La Jolla
—Thalheimer article informative; will help voters
from Gail Forman in San Diego

A Jew's admiration for a Catholic songwriter produced superb show
by Carol Davis in Solana Beach, California


A Bissel Sports Trivia With Bruce Lowitt in Oldsmar, Florida


Lawrence Family JCC: An invitation to 'meet' Pocohantas at the Lawrence Family JCC

San Diego Jewish Academy: SDJA's Ali Tradonsky semifinalist in U.S. Middle School Science competition

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School:
Children’s author Ian Cameron reads at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School

Friday, September 19, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 226)

Chance meeting in San Diego topic of amazement in Kibbutz Kfar Aza
by Ulla Hadar in Kfar Aza, Israel

Jewish advocate for Mt. Soledad Cross seeks community votes in council race
by Donald H. Harrison

Archeologists debate Tanakh's accuracy
by Fred Reiss in Winchester, California

January 27, 1950: Jewish Labor Committee
January 27, 1950: Birdie Stodel Bnai Brith. Chapt. No. 92
January 27, 1950: Jewish War Veterans San Diego Post 185 Auxiliary
January 27, 1950: Hadassah

Temple of Dreams poem wins praise, from Susan D. Rhea in San Diego
White Privilege' essay delights Obama supporter, from Fran Sesti in Carlsbad, California

Jewish Community Center: JCC Holiday Hours Reminder
Jewish Community Foundation: Ways that you may contribute for the relief of Hurricane Ike victims

Thursday, September 18, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 225)

‘White Privilege’ in the United States
by Tim Wise in Topeka, Kansas

The Akedah and my gay life decision
by David Benkof in New York

Children begin tiling Seacrest's Viterbi Wall at intergenerational barbecue by Gerry Greber in Encinitas, California

Dreamgirls soars in S.D. Musical Theatre Co. production at the San Diego Rep by Carol Davis in San Diego

Thursdays With the Songs of Hal Wingard:
—#19, Young Hawks
—#227, Love Can Grow
—#325, Oh, oh, Love

—January 27, 1950: Jewish War Veterans
—January 27, 1950: S.D. Hebrew Home For the Aged
—January 27, 1950: Cottage of Israel
—January 27, 1950: Paole Zion

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 (Vol. 2, No 224)

JAFI is revitalizing the Zionist Dream
by Zeev Bielski in Jerusalem
The Jews Down Under,
a roundup of Australian Jewish News by Garry Fabian in Melbourne:
—Roozendaal sworn in as NSW Treasurer
—Younger Australians have less favoured view of Israel
—Australian Jewish News wins national award
—Jewish Business Tribunal comes closer to reality
—National community survey launched
—The Tax Man at the Shabbat Table
—Adelaide congregation marks 160th anniversary
Jewish Farewell for Governor-General
—Calling all Genealogists
—Appeal for Assault Victim
—A Guiding Light in Beijing
—Something in a Lighter Vein

Why I won't vote for Barack Obama
, commentary by Isaac Yetiv in La Jolla, California

Students, celebrities decorate ceramic butterflies for SDJA's Holocaust project by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego

—January 27, 1950: Who’s New? (Maybe They Came From Your Home Town)
— January 27, 1950: Morgenthau To Make ‘Report to Nation’ On Coast to Coast Telephone Hookup, Jan. 31st
— January 27, 1950: Jewish Community Center by Lou Mogy
—January27, 1950:  Pioneer Women (Negba) Club

Reserve Now for Seacrest Village Retirement Community Anniversary Gala

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 (Vol. 2, No 223)

A conversation with Andrew Viterbi, National Medal of Science laureate
by Donald H. Harrison in La Jolla, California

Parents urge "No on 8 Vote" to protect same-gender marriages in Californi
a from Carl & Marilyn Hansen in San Diego


Temple of Dreams, a poem by Sara Appel-Lennon inspired by last Sunday's dedication of Temple Emanu-El
Rescue of Yemenite Jews recounted in "The Prophecy of Elijah" by Cantor Sheldon Merel in San Diego
Vagina Monologues playwright looks up to stomachs in The Good Body, now at Rep by Carol Davis in San Diego

—January 27, 1950: Have You Had Your Chest X-Rayed
—January 27, 1950: Letters to the Editor
—January 27, 1950: Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood
—January 27, 1950: J.C.R.A.

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