Volume 3, Number 51
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND AT KIBBUTZ RUHAMA—Students of the Bnei Akiva Movement from Australia and South Africa plant
a tree at the Zionist Youth Forest at Kibbutz Ruhama; at right, plaque is unveiled by Hagai Merom and Alon Schuster (front
row, right) as other officials watch.
FROM THE GATES OF THE NEGEV
Forest created for Zionist youth from around the world
KIBBUTZ RUHAMA, Israel--"The one that worries about the next year sows wheat (MASA); The one that worries about the coming years plants trees (JNF); The one that worries about the coming generations educates(World Zionist Youth movements)"
UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION
Humor and science joined in fight against global warming
Editor's Note: There are not many Jews on the island of Taiwan, so whenever our correspondent Dan Bloom is feeling in need of some Yiddishkeit, he surfs the Internet. When he finds a story he likes, he conducts long-distance email and phone interviews. We call this indefatigable researcher "the Jewish cybersurfer"
TAIPEI, Taiwan- For one creative Jewish couple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fighting climate change and global warming is a serious issue. But Steven and Rusti Moffic like to add a dollop of humor into their public presentations, as seen in the photo to the right.
The Moffics formed Ye Merrye Eco Players last year to present short public performances ttled "Going Green in Pscyh and Song!"
"It's really a multimedia presentation, Dr. Moffic, a professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin, says. "We discuss the
Dr Moffic was once dubbed Mental Health Hero" in a September 2002 issue of Northshore Lifestyle magazine in Wisconsin in an article that
"Maybe now with our new work on climate change, the media should say 'Local Mental Health Hero Goes Green!'," he added, noting that he is
Rusti Moffic is a singer and an actress, and she leads musical selections about going green during the show, which has already been presented as several venues in the Midwest. Both Steven and Rusti are passionate about the topic of climate change and feel raising public awareness of the issues is very important now.
During their entertaining musical shows, they also host an ethical "game show" with prizes called "Let's Make An Eco Deal," Moffic told
"Our production can be tailored to most any group, including general healthcare, mental healthcare, businesses, political, and religious
"In our show 'Going Green in Psych and Song', I dress more formally, but all in green, also," he said. "I think colors have a psychological
And that's how the Moffics do their shows. Dr Moffic is very concerned about climate change, and the couple, with three grandchildren in
"Dear Editor," Dr. Moffic wrote in his letter. "'How fearsome must the headlines be about tomorrow before people change their ways today?'
"Perhaps we should use the term global boiling, like the proverbial experiment in which a frog stays in a gradually warming pot of water and eventually dies. Maybe we all need to visualize the destruction to make us feel a sense of immediate danger."
From Time magazine to the public shows he performs with his wife, Steven Moffic believes that personal actions are important in the global fight against climate change.
The teacher and the shoe—just a coincidence?
Each day I carried my dance bag and tape player up on deck, used the ship’s rail as my barre while the wood deck made a perfect floor. The lack of privacy never bothered me. Some people would ignore me, some would stop to watch and comment in a pleasant manner, but there always seemed to be one or two old, silly men who needed to make fun of what I was doing. I smiled at the first two groups and ignored the third. One day the captain happened by and after watching a while he asked if I would perform for the passengers. Against all my better judgement I said “yes.” And, that’s how my problem began.
After speaking to the activities director the date for the performance was set for the following week which gave me about seven days to prepare. I had with me a tape to which I had choreographed a solo and lots of pointe shoes. I also had a swirly black skirt and a very attractive black leotard with a red silk rose for my hair. However, I soon discovered the marble ballroom floor in the ship’s theater was exceptionally slippery and my pink satin pointe shoes were impossible to use. Capezio does make a felt tipped shoe, called Durotoe, which is not as slippery but is generally used only by beginners. I had never used them.
My regular shoe size was a 6 ½ E and always had to be specially ordered as the stores in San Diego only carried up to D sizes. So there was no hope of finding a 6-½ E Capezio Durotoe shoe in the small islands of the Caribbean. But, I also had another problem. Just as the Rabbi says no one should study Torah alone, every dancer needs a teacher and especially for performance, a coach; someone to critique rehearsal and class. Good ballet teachers are rare gems, difficult to find even in a large city.
The next day as I was again at the ship’s rail giving myself a class an elderly pudgy blonde lady approached me and said she was a ballet teacher from Florida and she would like to work with me. Her name told me she was Jewish, her slight Yiddish accent did, too. Though I chatted and smiled at her, inwardly I was very skeptical. What were the chances she was really knowledgeable? I was a professional, not a beginner and there are few teachers even in large cities at that level. However, I thought having someone critique me would be better than having no one at all and I couldn’t think of a polite way to say “no.”
As per agreement we met the next day for class and rehearsal. She was marvelous. I learned a great deal from her from the first moment. I was struck by how fortunate it was that she should happen to be a passenger on this ship and willing and able to help me. The problem of the shoes, however, remained insurmountable. Neither she nor I could think of a solution. I made up my mind that I would wait till the day before the performance and if no solution presented itself I would have to turn down the captain’s invitation to perform.
The day before the performance the ship docked at Curacao. It’s a small Dutch island and was the cleanest of all the islands we had visited. The highlight of the stop at Curacao was visiting the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere: Mikveh Israel Emanuel built by Sephardic Jews who had fled Spain after the Edict of Expulsion, went to Holland and then sailed to islands colonized by that country. The Bima in that synagogue is in the center, surrounded by a sand floor (reminder of the desert of Sinai), and is still an active congregation.
After walking around for a while we bought some soft drinks from a wagon and sought shade from a very hot sun in the doorway of a yardage store. I had really taken no notice of the yards of cloth; I was not shopping for such goods. But as I stood there and sipped my soda, I saw a gleam of pink tucked in the very back corner of the store’s display window. A pair of pointe shoes!! I looked more closely at them and almost gasped when I saw they were tipped with felt; they were without doubt Capezio Durotoes.
I ran into the store and asked a sales clerk to show me the ballet shoes in the window. She looked at me in disbelief. “This is a yardage shop,” she carefully explained. I could see she thought I was a crazy woman from that crazy place called America. I had a difficult time convincing her to come with me to the window. She was amazed to see pointe shoes in amongst the rolls of yardage. Finding these shoes was a miracle, but they would do me no good unless they were my size, the size I always had to special order. With trembling hands I looked inside and there stamped on the inner lining was 6 ½ E.
No one in the store knew where the shoes had come from. No one knew the price. They told me there was no ballet school of which they were aware on the island. The owner and I arrived at a mutually agreed price and she contributed some satin ribbon and elastics. I carried my magic shoes back to the ship and the special lady who had volunteered to coach me. When she saw the shoes she was as amazed as I.
The next night I danced and people said it was wonderful. But, I knew it wasn’t me, it was the wonderful teacher and the magic shoes. That combination couldn’t miss. Who says G-D doesn’t provide?
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE
SAN DIEGO (Press Release) —In Hebrew Day’s fourth grade secular studies class, the students write, write and write some more! It always seems like they're working on writing and creating a multi-media book report on a long chapter book; plus they are deep into their year-long "California Report" project. Therefore the students were so excited when their teacher, Mrs Adams, asked them to choose a Caldecott Medal award winning book to read, write a report AND create a pop-up book that captured the essence of the illustrations. The students were excited because Caldecott books are short picture books awarded for their distinguished illustrations; for example books like "Where the Wild Things Are.” The students really demonstrated their incredible creativity in their 3-dimensional art pop-up book reports.
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School serves children from infants through eighth grade and offers generous financial aid grants to families to make a Jewish day school education affordable to all. For more information on the school, visit the web site at http://www.hebrewday.org/ or contact Audrey Jacobs, Director of School Advancement at 858-279-3300 ext. 106 or email@example.com
CAROL ANN GOLDSTEIN