Volume 2, Nu

mber 30
Volume , Nu
Volume 2, Number 265

"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

is a publication
of The Harrison
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by Donald and
Nancy Harrison

Editor: Donald H. Harrison
Ass't Editor: Gail Umeham

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Recent contributors:

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Gerry Greber

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Donald H. Harrison

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Dorothea Shefer-

David Strom

Lynne Thrope

Gail Umeham

Howard Wayne

Eileen Wingard

Hal Wingard

Complete list of writers

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

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





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Thursdays With The Songs Of Hal Wingard:

#24 Persistent Perseverance

#73 Let The Racers Pass By

#21 By My Singing You Will Know Me


—April 14, 1950:
Beth Jacob Congregation

—April 14, 1950:
Men’s Club Formed Beth Jacob

—April 14, 1950: Beth Jacob Ladies Auxiliary


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


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By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—Barack Obama's election is a magnificent personal accomplishment, and a dramatic statement about race in the United States.

It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that the history of the United States is the history of race.

The framers of the Constitution endorsed slavery in their compromise between North and South to count three-fifths of the slaves in each state when determining representation in the nation. From then until the Civil War, southern politicians were concerned above all to protect and extend their peculiar institution. The War ended slavery, but Reconstruction failed to make anything close to equal citizens of the slaves and their descendants. Jim Crow ruled the South from the late 19th century until the 1960s.

Currently the central issues in national politics are economics and international relations. Yet people of my age matured when the issue was desegregation, and opportunities for African Americans to obtain decent housing and jobs.

When I began as an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia in 1966, a black colonel in the United States Army had been murdered because he entered a white restaurant, and the all-white jury returned a verdict of not-guilty for his killers. By the time I left in 1968, the local schools and the university had begun to integrate. During our ride north to the University of Wisconsin, a white man killed Martin Luther King and blacks rioted.

Barack and Michelle Obama are products of opportunities since then, as well as whites who could vote with enthusiasm for an African American candidate, perhaps many of them without thinking about his color.

Yet race continues to be the most prominent factor that distinguishes Americans. It is the prevailing explanation in studies of income, health, illegitimacy, education, longevity, crime, and punishment.

President Obama will come to office with many aspirations. Wherever on his agenda is a concern for the underclass of blacks and other Americans, it will have to compete with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and something between economic fragility and disaster. Who knows what crises will come to his desk after the celebrations of the inaugural.

A preoccupation of Israeli commentators (What does it mean for us?) is nothing in comparison to the larger story. Yet a bit of local news took a few moments from all-night reports about the American votes. For the first time in months, troops and aircraft attacked targets in Gaza. We can wonder if the IDF timed its operation for the world's preoccupation with something else. The official line is that these were limited operations against specific threats, and should not end the cease fire. Hamas has begun firing rockets and mortars, and is saying that the retaliation should not end the cease fire. 

It may not be that simple.

Welcome to the day after, Mr. President-elect.

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


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Fabulously Observant

Can gays be "cured" after all?

By David Benkof

NEW YORK —A prominent opponent of "change ministries," Wayne Besen, calls them "the only effective form of ex-gay therapy." At least one gay man says they have been helpful in curbing his appetite for gay sex. Is this a miracle cure for homosexuality?

Not exactly.

One measure that so far has not really been a part of the "cure-for-homosexuality" debate is injections to reduce the libido - the same treatment administered to some serial rapists and child molesters. I know a fellow Orthodox gay Jew who like me who is interested in following Jewish law about sexuality and asked a doctor to prescribe the injections to help prevent him from pursuing gay sex - and they've been successful. So I asked several rabbis, therapists, and others what they think about this plan for Orthodox gay Jews having a hard time following Jewish sexual laws on their own. The reactions were decidedly mixed.

One of the world's leading experts at medicine and halacha is Talmudist-biologist Rabbi Moshe Tendler, professor of medical ethics at Yeshiva University. He said he would need to know more about the pharmacology of the treatment, but that if it could be used "safely and intelligently," then "by all means surely that should be looked upon as the will of God."

Rabbi Tendler said that if a person was seriously tempted to commit a grave sin such as gay sex, "in such a circumstance, it would be permissible to take an injection in order to prevent it." It would not be obligatory, however.

Still, he said, if you "feel you're losing control and this is a method that would give you control, by all means it should be done."

Rabbi J. David Bleich, who teaches Talmud, law, and ethics at Yeshiva University, said the injections approach "sounds reasonable" and is "absolutely permissible" if administered by a medically responsible physician - ideally with the person's rabbi and doctor working together.

On the other hand, he said, "I don't think this is the ideal way of dealing with this but it may be the way that works, particularly in the short term." He suggested therapy as the best way of dealing halachically with same-sex desires.

But in my experience from talking to dozens of gay Jewish men who have tried, therapy is not very successful in making a gay man straight. However, it can help someone (as it helped me) bring his behavior in line with his values.

I spoke to a few experts at psychotherapy, including Dr. Nachum Klafter, the director of psychotherapy training at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine. Of the injections, he said, "I personally don't feel that's how I want to help people; that's not the type of treatment I provide. In general, I see my role as helping a person attain a greater level of bechirah (freedom) over their lives. To simply turn off someone's sex drive from my way of thinking is not a form of treatment."

Adam Jessel, a therapist in Jerusalem who often works with men struggling with unwanted attractions and runs groups in Jerusalem for men who are "struggling with homosexual attractions and related issues," said he hadn't heard of this particular use for injections to slow the libido. He objected to the idea of the injections, because he said "it's like saying there's no way to increase your attraction to women or reduce your unwanted attraction to men," although he was sympathetic to the idea of using the pharmacological approach in order to give "a breather to give time for therapeutic interventions to work."

Besen is the executive director of a group called Truth Wins Out, which responds to the claims of people like Jessel. He said that the injections show "how unnatural it is for people to give up sex and why it is psychologically unhealthy.... However, it is the only effective form of ex-gay therapy, as the traditional Christian version does not have a good track record." He did, however, say that he thinks "fully informed individuals should be able to make this choice for themselves."

I agree with Besen's comments about individual choice. But I fear that if this solution spreads within the Orthodox community, people will lose autonomy if they feel pressure from parents, rabbis, and teachers to have the injections. I think people's ability and right to make halachically acceptable decisions about their own bodies is important, and it would be wrong to urge someone to undergo a medical procedure because of their same-sex attractions. Still, for someone who is having a hard time keeping his pants on, I think the injections should be an option, as long as the decision is made fully in consultation with both doctors and rabbis.

David Benkof writes the "Fabulously Observant" column, which runs Thursdays in the Jerusalem Post. He can be reached at DavidBenkof@aol.com.


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Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard

Editor's Note: We continue our presentation of the songs of Hal Wingard, movingthis week to a collection of songs dedicated to his daugter Tamara on her birthday. Here is a link to an index of Wingard's songs published by San Diego Jewish World. To hear Hal performing the song, click on its title.


Per. . .per. . .persistent perseverance,
Perhaps you've come to know--
A trait that I am sticking to,
And I'm not letting go.

Oh. . .I'm. . .the tide that never stops
     Reaching for the shore--
The draft that always sneaks on through
     The crack in every door.

Per. . .per. . .persistent perseverance,
Perhaps you've come to know--
A trait that I am sticking to,
And I'm not letting go.

Oh. . .I'm. . .the weed that always grows
     Within each flower bed--
The worm that finds the apple home
     That's painted brightest red.

Per. . .per. . .persistent perseverance,
Perhaps you've come to know--
A trait that I am sticking to,
And I'm not letting go.

Oh. . .I'm. . .the drop that clings inside
     A bottle when it's done--
The tune that stays within your heart
     And makes you sing for fun.

Per. . .per. . .persistent perseverance,
Perhaps you've come to know--
A trait that I am sticking to,
And I'm not letting go.

(c) 2008, Hal Wingard. To Tami, whose perseverance is persistent.
December 8, 1977    


     No way of knowin’
     Just where you’re goin’
Before you reach your life’s end.
     So why the hurry,
     The need to scurry?
You’ve only one life to spend.

     Avoid the freeway
     That leaves no leeway
For things that you want to do.
     Escape the highway;
     Go find a byway;
Then stop and savor the view.

     Just take life easy,
     Relaxed and breezy;
Float like a cloud in the sky.
     Enjoy each pleasure
     In fullest measure,
And let the racers pass by;
And let the racers pass by.

(c) 2008, Hal Wingard. To Tami November 6, 1979


My singing tells you who I am,
Reveals the mood I'm in.
My songs explain my sometimes thought,
And what I've sometimes been--
     And what I've sometimes been.

You'll never know by what I say,
Nor what I may have done;
For action's but a playful game,
And talk is just for fun--
     And talk is just for fun..

But singing comes from deep within,
With feeling surging strong.
To know the person that I am,
Just listen to my song--
     Just listen to my song.

(c) 2008, Hal Wingard.
To Tami, November 29, 1977   


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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.

Beth Jacob Congregation
Southwestern Jewish Press, April 14, 1950,
page 9

The new building of Beth Jacob which will house the Synagogue and Center for which ground was broken on March 26th is progressing by leaps and bounds. The form of the new building is in evidence by now and a new impetus is being experienced by members of Beth Jacob.

At the last regular meeting held Tuesday evening, April 4th, President A. Abramson introduced Albert A. Hutler, Executive Director of the United Jewish Federation, who spoke on the 1950 Fund campaign.

Volunteers as campaign workers were asked for and members responded well.

Morrie Kraus, Building Fund Chairman, gave a financial report.  Mr. Kraus also reported on the groundbreaking ceremony and told the audience about the progress being made on the building.  It is hoped that the new Synagogue and center will be ready for occupancy by the end of August and that High Holy Days Services will be conducted there.  Plans for the dedication of the new building tentatively set for August 20, are being formulated. 

The well attended meeting adjourned for a social hour.
A new feature has been introduced at the Beth Jacob daily services which is the study of Mishnah.  A daily lecture on this subject is given by Rabbi Baruch Stern, spiritual leader of the congregation, from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

The recent Passover holidays saw a complete attendance at the services which began at sundown on April 1.  The educational and impressive sermons delivered by Rabbi Stern did much to make congregation members and those who attended more cognizant of the meaning of this holiday.

Men’s Club Formed Beth Jacob
Southwestern Jewish Press, April 14, 1950, page 9

At a meeting held on Thursday evening, March 23, 1950, a nucleus of some fifty men spearheaded by Morrie Kraus formed the Beth Jacob Men’s Club.

In an atmosphere permeated by good fellowship this group of young men laid plans for an active program of sociability and benefit both to themselves and Beth Jacob Congregation.

Temporary officers elected to serve are Arthur Gordon as chairman; Dr. Joseph A. Kwint as secretary, and Sidney Weiss as treasurer.

Charter membership in this fine new organization will be open until June 1, it was announced by Chairman Arthur Gordon. A cordial invitation is extended to all young men of the community to join this group which is scheduling monthly meetings for an exchange of ideas to promote good fellowship and a better understanding of current problems in their daily life.

Beth Jacob Ladies Auxiliary
Southwestern Jewish Press, April 14, 1950, page 9

The Building Fund of Beth Jacob Congregation continues to grow successfully through the plans and efforts of the Beth Jacob Ladies Auxiliary.

Their latest venture, the highly successful Card Party held last Wednesday evening will add materially to that Fund.  Mesdames Charles Press and Jerry Aronoff, the hostesses for this affair wish to thank everyone who attended and those who helped with their contributions to insure the success of the Party.

This gala affair is one of a series being planned by members of the Auxiliary and the next such Card Party which will benefit the Building Fund will have as Hostesses Mesdames Thomas Garber, Sandor Goldberger and Rose Miroff.

At a Board meeting held Tuesday evening, plans were laid for a Lag B’Omer Party to be held at Beth Jacob Center Thursday evening, May 4that which time the drawing will be held for the $25,00 Gift Certificate presented by Mr. George A. Scott of Walker’s store.

Complete details for this dinner and the proper Lag B’Omer entertainment will be announced in the next issue.

A cordial invitation is extended to everyone by Mrs. Charles Press 1st Vice-President of Beth Jacob Auxiliary and its members to attend this fine Lag B’Omer Party.

“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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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama election is an advance by America toward its highest ideals by Donald H. Harrison in Kfar Hayarok, Israel

Tel Aviv savors San Diegans’ financial support for environment, schools by Donald H. Harrison in Tel Aviv

The Jews Down Under, a roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian in Melbourne
—Lord's Prayer debate crops up again
—AIJAC testifies on academic freedom enquiry
Jewish deputy mayor throws hat in the ring
Prominent Jewish community figure honoured
Ten million dollar commitment to Palestinians
—Home-grown terrorist attack just as likely
—Community alarmed over fascist visit
—Award winning Jewish author dies
—Shule input requested to solve traffic signal problems
—German prosecutors to appeal Toben's release
—Intercultural visit to synagogue
—Jews and Moslems cook for peace

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—April 14, 1950: Pioneer Women
—April 14, 1950: Cottage of Israel Joins In Israeli Independence Celebration
—April 14, 1950: Council of Jewish Women
—April 14, 1950: Histadrut Council

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 263)

The U.S. President and the Middle East... by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.

San Diego Jewish World

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Especially in tight times, Tel Aviv history holds hope for fundraisers for the arts by Donald H. Harrison in Tel Aviv

David and Goliath's epic battle in music by Cantor Sheldon Merel with audio of the cantor's performance of "David and Goliath."

—April 14, 1950: News of the Fox
—April 14, 1950: Jewish War Veterans Post No. 185 and Auxiliary
—April 14, 1950: Labor Zionist Organization of San Diego
—April 14, 1950: Junior Matrons

Monday, November 3, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 263)

Two opposing viewpoints:
Why I voted for Barack Obama...by Donald H. Harrison in Kfar Hayarok, Israel
Why I am voting for John McCain.... by Isaac Yetiv in La Jolla, California

Monotheism is not mono-political...by Sheila Oryseik in San Diego

San Diego Jewish World endorsements

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Bergen Belsen bar mitzvah witness sought... from Alex Grobman

Juber Jubilee in Santa Monica, San Diego by Cynthia Citron in Santa Monica, California

A touch of class at San Diego State by Norman Greene in San Diego

—April 14, 1950: Second Anniversary of Israeli Independence To Be Celebrated
—April 14, 1950: Young People’s Division Plans Series of Events; April 22 Dinner Dance
—April 14, 1950: S.D. Hebrew Home for the Aged
—April 14, 1950: Cottage of Israel

Sunday, November 2, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 261)

Israeli elections on simmer as the world awaits the results of the American one by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem

San Diego Jewish World endorsements

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—April 14, 1950: The Center Side
—April 14, 1950: Overseas News and Views
—April 14, 1950: Fund Borrows On Good Name
—April 14, 1950: Letters to the Editor

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2008

SDSU's Weber expresses admiration for Peres Peace Center, Hillel Foundation by Donald H. Harrison in Tel Aviv

Sweetness of desert rains by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Ruhama, Israel

Multicultural candidate Todd Gloria found his mentors in the S.D. Jewish community by Gary Rotto in San Diego

San Diego Jewish World endorsements

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"Don't dress for dinner" by Carol Davis in Solana Beach, California

—April 14, 1950: Hadassah
—April 14, 1950: Jr. Pioneer Women
—April 14, 1950: You Name It
—April 14, 1950: What’s Cookin’ At Troop 99

Thursday, October 30, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 259)

Syria makes troubles for its neighbors by Shoshana Bryen in Washington DC.

Peace project funder pleased with where Fred J. Hansen's money goes in Mideast by Donald H. Harrison in Tel Aviv

Israel: the land of abiding controversy by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem

In political defense of the haredim by David Benkof in New York

Thursdays With The Songs Of Hal Wingard:

—#69 Epitaph
—#96 So Many Ways of Dying
—#306 Never Say Die

San Diego Jewish World endorsements

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— April 14, 1950: ‘Magic Carpet’ In Sight Soon
— April 14, 1950: Christian Committee Opens United Jewish Fund Campaign
— April 14, 1950: Women’s Division of U.J.F. Begins Drives for Funds—Plan Luncheons

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 258)

SDSU group gets a VIP tour of Ramallah by Donald H. Harrison in Ramallah, Palestine Authority

Kristallnacht 70 years later by David Harris in New York

The Jews Down Under, a roundup of Jewish news of Australia by Garry Fabian in Melbourne:
— Council gives green light to Chanukah in the Park
— A policy for the whole community
— B'nai B'rith International President Moishe Smith visits Australia/New Zealand
— Living community memories
— Pressure grows for automatic traffic controls
— Israel programs affected by plummeting Australian dollar
— Jewish attendance at Muslim festival
— Tips and tales from genealogist
— Jewish delegates may join Australia's Durban II team
— Russia Holds key to Iran
— Australian Foreign Minister Smith to visit Israel

Election is a joke: Daily Show Democrats by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein in New York

San Diego Jewish World endorsements

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— March 28, 1950: What’s Cookin’ At Troop 99
— March 28, 1950:You Name It
— April 14, 1950: 1950 Fund Drive Begins Jewish Community Will Meet Obligations; Campaign Off to Good Start!

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