Volume 2, Number 30
Volume 2, Number 146
'There's a Jewish story everywhere'

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Today's Postings

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
{Click on a headline to jump to story or scroll leisurely through our report}

Middle East

Hamas will rebuild during the ceasefire by Shoshana Bryen in Washington D.C.

San Diego County

Russert's death prompts walking regimen by Donald H. Harrison in El Cajon, California

San Diego Jewish Trivia: Journalists by Evelyn Kooperman

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

March 20, 1947: UJF Youth Division Organizes

March 20, 1947: Sergeant Inspires Youth Division

March 20, 1947:‘Personality’ Talk Impresses TYL

L'il Noodle, a kid who'll steal your heart by Cynthia Citron in Los Angeles

The Week in Review
This week's stories on San Diego Jewish World:Tuesday, Monday, Sunday, Friday, Thursday

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Hamas will rebuild during the ceasefire

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C—It is hard to begrudge Sderot relief from the rockets and mortars that have plagued, injured and killed its people for the past two years. And we don't. But we are concerned that the respite they will receive under the terms of the upcoming hudna (temporary cessation of hostilities) will only provide time for Hamas to recover from its current difficulties and increase the ultimate cost to the IDF when it (inevitably) has to enter Gaza in force to remove a burgeoning Iranian proxy.

Hamas has been feeling the effects of Israeli targeting of its senior leadership and had real trouble explaining a "work accident" (a premature explosion in a Hamas bomb-making facility) that killed a four-month-old girl. Infighting between Hamas and Fatah forces in Gaza has cost more than 400 Palestinian lives. Hamas hoarding of food and fuel has become obvious to the people of Gaza as well as to the international relief agencies working there. Attempts to "crash" the Israeli border have not succeeded, and Israel killed a major Hamas bomb-maker who moonlighted as headmaster of an UNRWA school. The people are not happy and Hamas needs a "breather."

Enter Egypt. Unable to stop the smuggling through tunnels originating in Egypt, the Egyptians have been negotiating a six-month "truce" to give Hamas respite from Israeli strikes and an easing of the blockade at the border crossings.

Will Israel get respite from rocket attacks? Perhaps, although it not hard to imagine that "rogue" Palestinians will shoot rockets and Hamas will disclaim responsibility. Remember the old Arafat line? "It wasn't me. It was the damned terrorists trying to make me look bad." And then the State Department will caution Israel against retaliation for fear that it would "undermine" the truce.

Will Israel at least get Gilad Shalit back? Not clear. The first reports on the truce, noting that it will begin Thursday, say only that Israel "has demanded progress in talks on the release of Gilad Shalit." What constitutes progress? Shalit has been held for two years in absolute violation of the Geneva Convention; his release should he a minimal condition, but we don't believe Israel will hang its hat on that demand.

So, on Thursday, the clock will begin ticking toward the six-month marker. What the parties do with the time will determine what happens right before Christmas 2008.

Hamas will certainly use its hudna to regroup, rearm and restock supplies. It will improve its perimeter defenses, continue to teach hatred to its children and continue to send terrorists-in-training to Iran. It will retain its commitment to the violent destruction of Israel. It will not accept Fatah leadership, consider a negotiated settlement with Israel or shut down the tunnels.

And Israel will take six months of quiet - punctuated with "rogue" attacks - and use it for... what?

Bryen is special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)

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Russert's death prompts walking regimen

By Donald H. Harrison

EL CAJON, California —Part of the fallout from Tim Russert’s untimely death on June 13 at age 58 is that my wife, Nancy, has become overly concerned about my health.  “Look,” she says, “he was even younger than you are.  He had all that stress as a journalist.   And I’ll bet he was constantly at his computer the way you are.”

Oh, c’mon, I thought.  There’s no way that putting out an online daily Jewish newspaper even begins to compare with the kind of stress Russert must have been under as moderator of
NBC's Meet the Press and guru of national and international politics.  And, from what I could see of Russert, he was constantly on the go, probably getting plenty of exercise.   “So really, Nancy,” I said, “there’s no comparison, and no reason to be any more worried than you were before.”

This was not an argument I could come close to winning.  Nancy  reminded me of my high cholesterol.  She pointed out, with what I thought was perhaps a bit too much emphasis, that I am not at my best fighting weight.  In other words, like most middle aged men, I’m overweight.   And she insisted that I really need to get more exercise, that I can’t just go strolling occasionally, that I need to build exercise into my daily regimen.

If Nancy had her druthers, I’d be power walking on a treadmill, getting my heart rate up, burning calories, training for a gold medal in the competition to live longer.  If I had my preference, I’d be standing in a museum, stepping a few feet to this exhibit, then stopping and reading, then taking a few more steps to the next exhibit—what Nancy describes uncharitably, but with accuracy, as no exercise at all. 

There had to be a compromise between exercising only the brain and exercising only the body.  And that’s when the idea hit me.  Maybe what I should do is visit as many college campuses, public parks, municipal squares and other outdoor venues as possible, exercising while walking but also continuing to give expression to my curiosity and to the ongoing quest to find Jewish stories, which are everywhere.

So, that’s how I happened to be walking on Tuesday, June 17, on the campus of Grossmont Community College in El Cajon, which is a relatively short drive from my home in San Diego.  To increase my walking distance—and, I’ll admit, to avoid having to purchase a daily  parking permit—I parked on the public streets several blocks away and then walked to the campus.

With a copy of a campus map, readily available on the campus, I decided to walk in a clockwise direction.  The Hyde Art Gallery was closed for the summer, so I was thwarted from backsliding into my old museum-browsing habit.  I did, however, wander into a nearby building where they teach media communications and noted that one of the journalism instructors there is none other than Michael Grant, who served as a columnist for the San Diego Union back in the days when I was that morning newspaper’s political writer (1972-1980). 

Grant, who talks as slowly as Nancy accuses me of walking, wasn’t in his office.  However, on a hallway wall I found an intriguing poster that made me smile, both because of its content, and because I already had found something Jewish. 

Called “Wisdom of Einstein,” it provided some wonderful quotes from the genius physicist:  “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” he said.  “Knowledge is limited; imagination circles the world.”  Furthermore, Einstein claimed, “I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious.”

Other Einstein quotes on the poster included: “With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon.”  And, “Wisdom is not the product of schooling, but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

Known for being sartorially challenged, Einstein said: “If I were taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self.”  On a similar theme, he proclaimed “I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.”

One of my favorite quotations dealt with relativity, but this wasn’t the E=MC Squared formula for which he is famous.  “An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour.”

As I continued to circumnavigate the campus, I found some newspaper racks containing  both the May 6 and May 20 editions of The Summit, the campus newspaper.  Names are tricky, you can never from them if someone is Jewish or not.  Look at me, I am Jewish, and my surname is Harrison; look at Whoopi, she’s not Jewish, and her surname is Goldberg.  In both instances, original family names were changed, mine several generations back.

Nevertheless, I noted the names of two high achievers at Grossmont Community College whose names suggest further investigation might be warranted.  Both were involved in sports.

In an unrelated story, the newspaper quoted Dana Quittner, associate vice chancellor of the college district. I have known Quittner for many years, dating back to the time that she was president of the local League of Women Voters, and know that she is a member of the Jewish community.   

In front of Grossmont Community College’s Library and Technology Mall is its “Walk of Fame,” on which plaques are embellished with a griffin—the mythological creature from which Grossmont sports teams take their nickname.  The plaques  honor alumni who have achieved a measure of  fame in their careers.  Next to a plaque honoring former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipes is another that was awarded posthumously to Bernard “Buddy Blue” Seigal, a Jewish musician who took classes at Grossmont College between 1977 and 1982 and served as editor of the student newspaper. 

When not performing “jump blues,” under his stage name of Buddy Blue, Seigal was critiquing other acts—sometimes quite harshly—as an occasional pop music critic.  Seigal was even younger than Russert when he died in 2006 of a heart attack—only 48.

Harrison, our editor and publisher, may be contacted at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

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L'il Noodle, a kid who'll steal your heart

By Cynthia Citron 

LOS ANGELES - A Chinese housekeeper leaves her 6-year old son (BaoQi Chen) with her Israeli employer, Miri (Mili Avital), for “just one hour” while she rushes off to attend to some urgent errand.  By the next day she has still not returned.

Miri is a twice-widowed flight attendant for El Al.    Sharing her apartment is her sister Gila (Anat Waxman), who is squatting there with her teenaged daughter while she contemplates divorcing her husband.  What they don’t need is a little boy with an unpronounceable name who speaks not a word of Hebrew.  In fact, he speaks no word at all in his anguish at having been abandoned by his mother.  

The little boy is a Chinese Charlie Brown: big round head and woeful eyes, and the sisters cannot bring themselves to abandon him a second time.  Thus begins their strange odyssey of trying to find the mother, trying to communicate with the boy, trying to get a translation of the message his mother has scrawled in Mandarin on a wall of their squalid home, and finally, trying to figure out how to get the boy to Beijing, once they learn that that’s where his mother has been deported.  (She was picked up by Immigration officers shortly after she left Miri’s apartment.)

Because she entered Israel illegally, she is not registered in the country.  Nor is her son, even though he was born there.  So, in legal terms, neither of them exists.  To prove that he was born, that he exists, and that he is his mother’s son, involves voluminous paperwork in both Israel and China, DNA tests, notarized affidavits, official documents and processes that will take, the sisters estimate, at least a year to complete.

Meanwhile, the boy, whom they call Noodle, after his favorite food, has begun to loosen up in their care.  Easily the most adorable and lovable child actor since Shirley Temple, he is playful and mischievous and imaginative and bright.  And while he grows to love the sisters and they him, they are aware that they will have to return him to his mother.  How they do that involves a plan so elaborate that it might have been concocted by Inspector Clouseau.

Noodle is a delightful film:  warm, funny, and emotionally satisfying on all counts.  Written by Shemi Zarhin and Ayelet Menahem and directed by Ayelet Menahem, it won the Special Grand Prize of the Jury at the Montreal World Film Festival last year and the Best Supporting Actress Award of the Israel Film Academy for Anat Waxman, as well as nine other nominations.

Although the film was released in Israel in 2007, it has only been seen in this country in the 2008 film festivals in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, and now as part of the 23rd Israel Film Festival, currently screening at the Laemmle Theaters (the Royal in Los Angeles, the Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, and the Fallbrook 7 in West Hills), running from June 12-26.  From here the festival goes to New York November 5-20, and to Miami December 10-18. 

Citron, our Los Angeles bureau chief, may be contacted at citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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San Diego County Jewish Trivia Journalism

Adapted from San Diego Trivia (1989) and San Diego Trivia 2 (1993)

{Editor’s Note: Retired librarian Evelyn Kooperman, a friend to the Jewish community, enjoys playing the cello and collecting trivia about her native city of San Diego.  This column excerpts Jewish communal items from her two books, San Diego Trivia (1989) and San Diego Trivia 2 (1993).  Readers should note that the information has not been updated since the books were published.  Kooperman still has a limited supply of the two books, which cover the general San Diego community in all its aspects.  Either of the two volumes sells for $5 and may be obtained by telephoning the author at (619) 461-6095.}

By Evelyn Kooperman

Q1: Bernard Lansky who graduated from San Diego High school in 1943 created what nationally syndicated column?  

Q2: In 1987 what Tribune journalist won the Pulitzer prize for a series on immigration reform?

Q3: The hair of what local tv personality was auctioned off for $25 at a 1974 fundraiser?

Hint: It was the first fundraising aution of KPBS. Architect  Homer Delawie auctioned the coat off his back.  Then a woman from Coronado offered $25 for this tv personality's braid. As she had been planning to change hair style anyway, the on-air personality agreed.

Please click here for answers

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Editor's Note: 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.

UJF Youth Division Organizes
From Southwestern Jewish Press, March 20, 1947, page 7

“One percent or $3,599 of the San Diego quota is to be raised by our Youth Division of the United Jewish Fund,” Rene Perlmutter, co-chairman of the Youth Division, announced at the workers dinner held for the group at the New Palace Hotel last Sunday.

“Already $912.00 of this quota has been met through gifts from thirteen of the young people of the community,” she said. 

Under the guidance of Al Hutler, executive director of the fund, plans were made for conducting the fund-raising campaign among young members of the community.  Mr. Hutler emphasized the responsibility of each young person to make a sacrifice gift this year and pointed out that all contributions over ten dollars could be made by installments over the period of a year.

It was determined by the group to seek pledges at regular meetings of the various youth organizations and Sunday schools.

Group captains for the Youth Division drive were selected, as follows: Joe Wertheim, Jules Raleigh, Estelle Addleson, Stanford Brust, Gerry Platt, Sylvia Horowitz, Mitzi Schiller and Yale Naliboff.

The committee to plan a youth rally for the fund which will be held sometime in April will consist of Eva Garber as chairman, Estelle Addleson, Ben Siegel, Hadarah Domnitz and Ned Weiss.

Highlighting of the dinner was an address by Master Sergeant Leo Molow, and the presentation of the movie, “Time to Build” showing the work of the Joint Distribution Committee with the French Boy Scots.

Co-chairmen of the Youth Division are Rene Perlmutter and Sallie Stone, while Joan Jacobsen and Stanford Brust handled arrangements for the dinner.

Sergeant Inspires Youth Division
From Southwestern Jewish Press, March 20, 1947, page 7

Speaking before thirty young workers of the Youth division of the United Jewish Fund last Sunday, Master Sergeant Leo Molow now stationed in San Francisco told of the solemn pledge he made himself while overseas. Deeply affected by the scenes of Jewish grief he had witnessed Sergeant Malow said, “I pledged myself to go among my people over here and to tell them of the suffering and sorrow I had seen over there.

“Where Hitler previously held the decision of life and death over European Jews, said Sergeant Molow, “now it is we, American Jewry, who hold that decision.  It is our supreme task to accept the responsibility for the survival of a whole people.”

“Today all Europe is a gas chamber,” he continued, “with thousands of Jews trying to get out.  Their success in escaping European terror will depend upon the success of the United Jewish Fund.”

Master Sergeant Molow, who spent much of his army career in the German theatre during and after the war, holds a Distinguished Service citation for valor shown in action against the Siegfried line.

‘Personality’ Talk Impresses TYL
From Southwestern Jewish Press, March 20, 1947, page 7

By Myron Shelley

Last Sunday, March 16, 1947, the members of the Temple Youth League enjoyed a talk by the Reverend Alec Nichols of the Asbury Methodist Church.  The Reverend Mr. Nichols spoke on “Personality” and defined it as consisting of eight points: Vitality, Dress, Makeup, Emotionality, Mentality, Individuality, Sincerity and Spirituality.  One of the most sought after speakers in san Diego, Reverend Nichols came through with some frank talk seasoned with clever humor.

We were particularly impressed with some things the Reverend said when on the topic of Emotionality. “…a smile begets a smile, hatred begets hatred, love begets love…read good books to give yourself better conception of your present and future life and read the newspapers and magazines for your own enjoyment…but above all, for good personality, be yourself.”

In closing, Reverend Nichols expressed the hope that he had not spoken too long and to illustrate his point told the story about the Yale alumnus who was addressing the graduating class.  “Now I want to talk for twenty minutes on the Y, twenty minutes on the A, twenty minutes on the L, and twenty minutes on the E,” and he proceeded to do so.  When he finished, he asked, “Now are there any questions or remarks?  From the rear row of the auditorium came a voice, “Thank God we’re not graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

The Temple Youth League wishes to extend its thanks to Reverend Nichols for making last Sunday afternoon such an enjoyable one.

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

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Answers to San Diego Trivia Questions 1) Seventeen; 2) Jonathan Freedman; 3) Gloria Penner

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 145)

United States of America
Jews are Obama’s base, not his problem by J. Zel Lurie in Delray Beach, Florida
San Diego
Orthodoxy and sports juxtaposed at gala by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Obituary: Isadore Horne, Holocaust survivor, 92 by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
The Arts
The Jewish history of the Incredible Hulk by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein in New York
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—March 20, 1947: Pioneer Women
—March 20, 1947:Appeal for Seder Home Hospitality for Servicemen
—March 20, 1947:B’nai B’rith Presents Wheel Chairs to Hospital
—March 20, 1947:Carl Esenoff to Head Jewish Welfare Society

Monday, June 16, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 144)

Acceptance of the Jews in Denmark has alternated over the centuries by Ulla Hadar in Silkeborg, Denmark
My interfaith journey, or what's a nice Lutheran girl doing raising Jewish kids? by Sabine Heilmann-Stern
The chasm bridged by a book by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
The pets that came for Shavuot by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
A day at a retirement community by Natasha Josefowitz in La Jolla, California
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
—March 20, 1947: That's What I Think by Ray Solomon
—March 20, 1947: We Were There by Albert Hutler
—March 20, 1947: Social Highlight of Season

Sunday, June 15, 2008 (Vol. 2, No. 143

Middle East
The political math of a Gaza invasion by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Q&A with readers on a Gaza invasion by Shoshana Bryen in Washington D.C.
It's not the devil's fault, but our own by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
The tragedy of the repentant book burner by Rabbi Baruch Lederman in San Diego
San Diego
The Israel of Mt. Israel wasn't Jewish by Donald H. Harrison in Mt. Israel, California
Stories from SDJA Student Quarterly
JCC Maccabi games head for San Diego by Alexa Katz
Fagan shatters 46-year-old strike-out record by Eitan Frysh
Powder-puff football review by Michelle Rizzi
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
March 20, 1947: Progress Satisfies UJF Chairmen
March 20, 1947: 27 Years Is A Long Time
March 20, 1947: Relative Sought
The Arts
'Chopin' returns to The Old Globe Theater by Gail Feinstein Forman in San Diego
The Secrets of the Israel Film Festival by Cynthia Citron in Los Angeles

Friday-Saturday, June 13-14 (Vol. 2, No. 142)

Latino, African-American students learn about Holocaust at new L.A. museum by Michael Brau in Los Angeles
San Diego
San Diego Jewish World seeking to expand its staff locally and globally by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Stories from SDJA Student Quarterly:
3 Generations Later, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Harry Doshay
Comedy features SNL stars by Alexa Katz
Award-winning Davka exhibit to be honored at Yad Vashem by Gaby Maio
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
March 13, 1947: 400 Attend Youth Rally
March 13, 1947:Hadassah
March 20, 1947: $350,000 Campaign to Open Wed. March 26
March 20, 1947: An Open Letter to the San Diego Jewish Community
The Arts
Chapter Twelve of Reluctant Martyr, a serialized novel by Sheila Orysiek of San Diego

Thursday, June 12 (Vol. 2, No. 141)

Middle East
Constraints on Israel deciding to retaliate in Gaza range from the legal to the strategic by Eran Lerman in Jerusalem
Has Israel forgotten defensive principles of short wars on other countries' territories? by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
San Diego
Not everyone loves big-hearted volunteers by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
Stories from SDJA Student Quarterly:
Mind over matter: The Alesha Thomas story by Alexa Katz
Maestro and the Diva at JCC by Charly Jaffe
SDJA role in Afula concert by Eitan Frysh
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
March 13, 1947: Jewish Labor Committee
March 13, 1947:Young Actors Win Laurels in Play
March 13, 1947:Drama, Prizes and Noisemakers at Party
March 13, 1947:Temple Beth Israel Purim Play-Party

The Arts
Redundant to say, The Hit is a hit by Carol Davis in Coronado, California
Thursdays With The Songs of Hal Wingard:
#9, Getting Rich
#26, Gypsy
#33 You've Taken What I Had

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