Volume 3, Number 86
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Monday, April 13, 2009

{Click on a link to jump to the corresponding story. Or, you may scroll leisurely through our report}

U.S. may come to prefer reprisal raids to occupation ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
The drama of Barack Obama's personality and his campaign of Change have come under assault on several fronts. Reality is at least as tough as rhetoric. READ MORE

Tarbuton founder tells start of Hebrew language academy ... by Jennie Starr in San Diego
Six years ago, when my first child was born, I sought a way to connect myself and my family to Israel and to a Jewish community in San Diego who cherished Israel.  Raised in Chicago, by an Israeli Dad and an American Mom, we spoke English at home but our home was filled with Israeli culture. ... READ MORE

A Jewish peach tree blooms for Passover ... by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego
While we sat around our Pesach Table wearing our holiday clothes, the peach tree stood outside bedecked in its own glorious finery.  It always bloomed at Passover and my mother explained why:  it was a Jewish peach tree.  As a child I believed this READ MORE


Actors mime musicians in Opus, a creative masterpiece ... by Carol Davis in San Diego
Some months ago Temple Emanu-El hosted a Selichot Concert in preparation for the High Holidays. It was an amazing evening with some of the most talented and exceptional musicians in the community.READ MORE


Dog imitates Barbra Streisand VIEW VIDEO-1, VIDEO-2

SDSU, AJE mount Israel symposium READ MORE

Sandi Masori teaches how to make a balloon diva, Part II VIEW VIDEO

January 9, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Editorial Page READ MORE

Community Currents by Albert Hutler READ MORE

Historic Ad-Dave Stotsky Insurance Agency

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Carl Reiner plays straight man to Mel Brooks in a sketch about tax deductions VIEW VIDEO

Don Rickles roasts Ronald Reagan on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts VIEW VIDEO

Doris Roberts tries to get Robby an FBI Job in "Everybody Loves Raymond" VIEW VIDEO

Regina Resnik as "Carmen" on Bell Telephone Hour production VIEW VIDEO

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Gary Rotto forwarded this public-use photo of President Barack Obama's seder at the White House. It is a moment in American Jewish history worth remembering.


America's Vacation Center
Anti-Defamation League
Balloon Utopia
Carol Ann Goldstein
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service
Lawrence Family JCC
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego Jewish Chamber
Seacrest Village Retirement Communities
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Therapy in Motion Inc.
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
United Jewish Federation
XLNC-1 Radio


Each day's issue may be dedicated by readers—or by the publisher—in other people's honor or memory. Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.

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U.S. may come to prefer reprisal raids to occupation

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—The drama of Barack Obama's personality and his campaign of Change have come under assault on several fronts. Reality is at least as tough as rhetoric. The skills that get a politician to office may not be those that enhance government. On the other hand, they might be. The man is smart, and he has good advisers. The test is ongoing. The jury will not decide for a while.

Americans elected Obama, but he must lead the world. On his plate are not only existing commitments to bad wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the pirates of Somalia as well as the lingering issue of conventional trouble making and nuclear weapons in Iran. Closer to home, the stock market has shown some promise that it may be coming back from its bottom, but there are other signs that the economic crisis has a way to go.

Afghanistan strikes me as the most worrying issue on the president's agenda. It is a sink hole that cost the British dearly in the 19th century, and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire in the 20th century. Its problems reflect a place that is not really a country governed by the people who claim to be in charge, and Islamic extremism that produces hatred of the West as well as the cruel repression of freedom. There is also a neighboring area of Pakistan not controlled by any government that shares the cultures of Afghanistan and serves as a staging ground and refuge for its fighters. Afghanistan is world class in its production of opium and all that means for financing the bad stuff. A recent article in the New York Times provides ample stories of the corruption in high and low places almost certain to frustrate American efforts to do good.

What to do?

Alas, it is far easier to criticize Obama's decision to increase America's military presence in Afghanistan than to propose something better.

Yet from my parochial perspective, it appears that there are some lessons in what Israel has learned the hard way.

It may not be easy for American officials to see the lessons, or admit that they are useful. It might be especially difficult for a Democratic administration to follow the road of a country accused of war crimes, but here goes

Notice what Israel has done in recent years with respect to Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. It does not occupy, but goes in after specific targets, stays a short time (often only hours) and then leaves.

In the case of Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2009 it created considerable destruction, but did not remain to occupy. It does not aspire to reform those places, but only to warn them of the costs associated with violence against Israel.

The Lebanon operation was widely considered to have been too long. It lasted two months. Most of the damage was done early, and many of the Israeli casualties came later without further accomplishments. The Gaza operation lasted only three weeks, and had very few Israeli casualties.

The policy does not produce victory, but it imposes a severe cost that may leave a lasting lesson. Its advantage is that it greatly reduces one's own casualties.

It is clearly easier for Israel, being right up against the relatively small Lebanon and even smaller Gaza. Afghanistan and Iraq are much larger, and much further from the United States. However, the United States has bases, as well as an enormous logistic capability that allows prolonged attack from some distance.

No less troublesome are those primitive pirates of Somalia.

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Again the Israeli model offers some suggestions. The pirates have a naval infrastructure that allows them to operate hundreds of miles from shore, and they have built what some call palatial homes in their villages.

What the politically correct see as appropriate venues for negotiations, others see as targets.

It may take awhile for Americans and others to make the switch. It took Israel eight years to respond forcefully to the rockets coming out of Gaza.

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Tarbuton founder tells start of Hebrew language academy

By Jennie Starr

SAN DIEGO--Six years ago, when my first child was born, I sought a way to connect myself and my family to Israel and to a Jewish community in San Diego who cherished Israel.  Raised in Chicago, by an Israeli Dad and an American Mom, we spoke English at home but our home was filled with Israeli culture. Israeli music blasted through the intercom mornings to wake us up and an Israeli salad was on the table at every meal. We visited Israel whenever we could. 

The Israeli connection continued when I married Stuart, an American who lived in Israel for seven years after high school, working on a Kibbutz, earning a degree from Bar-Ilan University, and working in Tel-Aviv.  We met at Israeli dancing in Chicago and visit Israel to see family and friends with our children as often as we can. 

Since neither of us learned to speak Hebrew well as kids, Stuart and I wanted our children to learn Hebrew when they were young, and when language acquisition came easier.  When we could not find a Hebrew speaking Gan (pre-school) for our daughter, I enlisted help from a friend, found a teacher, put the word out among friends and started an after school class in January 06. 

The Tarbuton™ - Hebrew, Israel, Culture and Community

Three years later, the Tarbuton™ as it is now called, has 3 locations, fifty children (ages 3-12) enrolled in week day classes, and a Keitana (summer camp).   The Tarbuton™ offers Hebrew conversational, reading and writing classes, and enrichment programs in Hebrew such as Playball and Karate.  Hundreds of adults participate in Tarbuton™ monthly programs in evenings out and Café v’Ivrit which brings adults together to practice their Hebrew and socialize.

I volunteer my time to manage the Tarbuton™.  We have 4 professional, credentialed, teachers and a solid curriculum.  A Tarbuton™ meets at Congregation Beth El, Temple Solel and also at the Ken Jewish Community.  These organizations understand and support our mission.  Without their generous help, it would not be possible to offer the program close to people’s homes.

Hebrew & Israel

The Tarbuton™ is designed to support Hebrew language development through cultural programs and a connection to Israel.  Hebrew is taught in Hebrew (Ivrit b’Ivrit) with a critical element of social activity and community.  Classes/programs are fun and it is our goal to ignite and maintain a passion for Hebrew and Israel in our community.

Research and experience tells us that learning a language in a vacuum; a solitary class here or there, does not generally result in fluency.  The notion of an “ethnic enclave” in which children and adults use the language, see others using it, and enjoy fun activities together can be key to achieving fluent language skills.  With that in mind, Tarbuton™ instructional programs are nestled among social and language maintenance programs conducted in Hebrew.  Programs such as Karate, Playball and Cooking are offered in Hebrew to give students the opportunity to maintain and use their language skills.  A summer Keitana (summer camp conducted in Hebrew) further supports that idea. 

Adults are also benefiting by attending “Café v’Ivrit” which meets in a coffee shop at Noon once a week.  At Café V’Ivrit, American adults who have a foundation in Hebrew from Ulpan or a year living in Israel, or classes as children, come together to practice their Hebrew at their own pace. Israelis drop in from time to time to socialize as well. 

The benefits of regular use of your Hebrew language skills, towards becoming more fluent, can not be overstated.  My own Hebrew has improved from participating in these programs on a regular basis.  Thank goodness for my friends.  They are kind enough to correct me mid-sentence without missing a beat and supportive to no end when I get frustrated.  This was precisely the kind of environment I wanted to create with the Tarbuton™ for the community. 

Tarbuton™ programs are designed to share a love for Israel, a connection to Israelis and to provide us with the opportunity on a weekly basis to celebrate Israel together.  The idea is to make Israel a part of your life even when you’re not there.  Programs are deliberately upbeat, positive and non-political.


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Culture & Community

Tarbuton™ programs are not religious but cultural.  Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews all participate as do people from all backgrounds and cultures.   We see participation from people who have lived in Israel, have family in Israel, who want to live in Israel and those who love Israel but have never been.  We bring together Israelis and Americans.  The community is a vibrant, multi-cultural, multi-lingual community.  We bring together adults and families who belong to different Synagogues or may not belong to a Synagogue at all, live in different parts of San Diego and may otherwise not have known each other were it not for their shared passion for Israel.   Week-end activities and open houses at holiday time provide opportunities for the participants to come together as well.  

The Tarbuton™ grows organically based on the needs and passions from within the community.  Nearly all of the existing programs originated as suggestions from friends.  A Mommy and Me Hebrew speaking playgroup, “Kishkushim”, grew out of coffees at home with friends, “the Tarbuton™ Keitana” was a suggestion from two friends, as was “Hebrew practice time” which became “Café v’Ivrit”.  It is my hope that we’ll continue to grow and change in the years to come and I warmly invite you to come join us.  Email jennie@Tarbuton.org to join the mailing list for upcoming events/activities.  

Anyone interested in providing facility space and/or support for the Tarbuton™ can reach me at jennie@Tarbuton.org  or 858-245-9375.  Donations are tax deductible.  Anyone interested in our programs can find more information, videos and pictures on our web site: http://www.Tarbuton.org

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A Jewish peach tree blooms for Passover

By Sheila Orysiek

SAN DIEGO--While we sat around our Pesach Table wearing our holiday clothes, the peach tree stood outside bedecked in its own glorious finery.  It always bloomed at Passover and my mother explained why:  it was a Jewish peach tree.  As a child I believed this.  The delicate pink blossoms lit up a neighborhood of immigrants; some who had fled from a European hell and others from the old crowded neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

During WWII, Philadelphia had a housing crisis.  The city’s industries needed the workers coming from other states and when the war ended the housing crisis worsened as the soldiers returned, married and sought homes.  A Housing Commission gave veterans a preference for any new houses.  Since my father was not a veteran my parents were fortunate to be permitted to purchase a new home in the suburbs. 

The suburbs! Fresh air!  The sky a brighter blue! This new suburb was actually still within the city’s boundaries so while the definition “suburb” was not technically correct, such nuances were unimportant details. The important thing was that the old narrow streets would be left far behind, well, not too far – only about three urbanized miles.  This closeness was explained as being “convenient.” 

The new houses were planted in perfect rows, holding one another up: forty on one side facing forty others across the street, block after block.  My mother and I boarded a bus and traveled the three miles to check on the construction of our house.  Even at five years old I could see it didn’t resemble at all the completely finished and beautifully furnished model house which had precipitated the purchase. 

It was a hole in the ground (ours was the fifth hole from the corner) which would eventually become a basement. A basement should not be confused with a cellar – it is on an entirely different social scale. A basement potentially can be finished off to a livable room; while a cellar remained forever a dark dank place for a pile of coal and a furnace. Our new house would have a basement – and no pile of coal.  The latest thing was gas heat.

A week later after walking up the hill from the bus stop (my mother loved that hill – she thought it elevated the neighborhood) we were thrilled to see two courses of red bricks – the birthing of the walls. Subsequently, we went each week, ice, snow and rain included, until we moved in one year later. The neighborhood was overwhelmingly Jewish with many households bringing Bubby and Zeyda - all seeking the joys of suburban life.  Most European immigrants (like my mother) and children of immigrants (like my father) had never lived in a new house, never had a lawn, and had never enjoyed the pleasures of home ownership (albeit deferred by thirty year mortgages).  Their American dream had come true.

Directly across the road from our suburban dream were other modes of existence to marvel at – from a distance.  While the physical distance was minimal the difference in style, taste, experience and history was cosmic.  City Line Avenue which marked the end of our neighborhood was also the border with this “other” lifestyle.  There dwelt the citadel of old wealth, lineage and tradition, completely insulated from the world we inhabited. This was the home of Philadelphia’s aristocracy – the blue bloods.  William Penn’s founding Quakers of 1692 were new blood to them, – they were older (circa 1638) – they were the descendents of the Dutch Patroons and Swedish colonists.  Large bank accounts didn’t automatically buy entrée – only lineage would do. 

The massive houses built into high stone walls, palaces to us, were in fact merely the homes of the squires’ gatekeepers.  The actual residence of the various “Lords of the Manor” was behind acres of trees and gardens completely invisible to the general run of citizenry. However, we saw intriguing glimpses.  My mother, who after two trips around the aisles in the supermarket (one trip to put things into her shopping cart and the second trip to put things back on the shelf) often found herself standing in the checkout line behind a butler, chef, housemaid and housekeeper each in the full crisp uniformed regalia of those that served the “others.”  A limousine and chauffeur waited at the curb.

Watching the chauffeur put the groceries into the huge car trunk as the chef and butler supervised while the housemaid and housekeeper sat in the back seat was the stuff of mega Hollywood movie make believe.  This, however, was real.  As we rode home we watched the limousine turn right from City Line Avenue and disappear through the huge iron gates held open by the gatekeeper – while we turned left to our own “suburbs.”

To compensate we had a lawn.  Each row house had a lawn approximately twenty paces in length and a bit less in width plus five small evergreen bushes.  As new suburbanites we eagerly bought lawnmowers - a heretofore unnecessary accessory.  The astute salesman convinced us that for survival in the suburbs we also needed rakes to gather up leaves.  No one seemed to notice that while we had a lawn and some evergreen bushes, we had no trees. Most had been urban Jews; the ancestral experience blighted by centuries of living in old cities, often ghettos, and all too frequently not allowed to own land, trees or even bushes.

We discovered the joys of planting flowers and the little flower shop nearby was a popular place.  With happy pride we bought pots of flowers, packets of seeds and trowels with which to plant them.  However, selling us “planting soil” was not as successful.  Thrifty Jews couldn’t see a reason to buy “soil” when we already owned the soil beneath the lawn.  Just remove the grass – and there you are!  Understanding the difference between “annuals” and “perennials” was another mystery and many were disappointed when the flowers died within the year.  They felt cheated by the flower shop owner.

But, still no trees – until my parents came home one day with a peach tree. It was most unimpressive: a bare stick twelve inches tall with three tiny twigs. After planting they surrounded it with string to keep a running child from knocking it down.  No special soil, no fertilizer, no knowledge of what a peach tree needed – but lots of beginner’s luck.  The tree fell in love with its environs and prospered. 

The first year it had three flowers which quickly wilted and then it went to sleep.  But the next year it burst forth, flowered, grew, greened and gloried. If we didn’t know what we were doing, the tree did – it grew like the giant’s bean stalk. 

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JUST PEACHY.... (c) 2009 Sheila Orysiek

Springtime meant masses of stunning pink flowers that brought smiles of delight to everyone who lived in those forty houses which faced forty more across the street.  Everyone, except the neighbor next door who hated that tree; suburbs notwithstanding.

Never mind.  The flowers turned into luscious glowing fruit.  We couldn’t eat it fast enough.  My mother generously gave it away including the cranky neighbor hoping to change her mind about the tree.  After all, the tree wasn’t noisy, didn’t intrude on her privacy, property or activities, wasn’t large like a maple or oak and didn’t block her view (such as it was) - even the fallen leaves stayed on our side.

After seven years, my parents sold the house and moved across the city.  Before actually leaving I was already mourning the loss of the house and the peach tree.  What would Passover be like sitting at the table and not being able to see the bowers of pink flowers?  The thought of someone else beneath its shade on a humid hot day dreaming the dreams of a 13 year old girl was unthinkable.  My parents assured me they had met with the new owners and carefully delineated the virtues and glories of the peach tree.  I was not reassured; I knew no one could treasure that tree as I did.

Shortly after moving, unable to contain my yearning for the home and tree that had populated my childhood, I took two buses and a subway/el across the city, walked up the long steep hill – just to stand in front of the house. The house was unchanged, the lawn was mowed, some flowers planted, but the emptiness where the tree had been screamed out its pain to me.  There was a stump – slashed across like a beheading; empty space where grace, beauty and fruitfulness had been.  The immigrants and children of immigrants, urban Jews with centuries of living in ghettos, had not yet learned to treasure a tree – even one that fed them.   

I think about this when I see peaches at the supermarket – each a beautiful glowing color, but hard as a baseball, the color a fraud.  It has never known the warming sun, it lacks the sweet flavor and scent of time spent ripening on the tree, no chin wiping juice – and therefore lifeless.  If one has never eaten a tree ripened peach, warm from the sun, one has never experienced eating fruit as G-D intended; and Pesach without pink flowers.

Orysiek's email: orysieks@sandiegojewishworld.com

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Actors mime musicians in Opus, a creative masterpiece

By Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO— Some months ago Temple Emanu-El hosted a Selichot Concert in preparation for the High Holidays. It was an amazing evening with some of the most talented and exceptional musicians in the community. Both Eileen Wingard and her daughter Myla Wingard, Dorothy Zeavan and her sister Marcia Bookstein and Mary Barranger were all in one place.

All five have credits to long to mention here except to say that Mary has been the pianist for the San Diego Symphony since 1976, Dorothy who plays the viola has been a member of the SD Symphony since 1982, Marcia is acting co-principal cellist of the SD Symphony section of the SD Opera, Eileen was a member of the SD Symphony and Opera Orchestra (among her many other endeavors) and Myla, who received her masters at Harvard, performs regularly as the violinist of Congregation Beth Israel’s Chai Band (among other things).

The evening’s program included “Three Pieces for String Quartet," “Two High Holiday melodies for two violins," and “Violins and Prophesies for Piano." There were about seven selections in all. Words cannot express the feelings articulated through the music and the performances of these five professionals. Not only that, yours truly could only imagine the hours of rehearsing and planning that must have gone into this one evening. (Could be why I flunked out of violin 101 when I was in grammar school). That said I am still in awe of listening to the string section of any orchestra.

Recently The Old Globe Theatre mounted playwright Michael Hollinger’s Opus playing through April 26th at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. It’s a delightful, engrossing and beautiful piece performed by five very talented actors who are not musicians, but it doesn’t matter. Director Kyle Donnelly (who is Head of the Professional Actor Training at UC San Diego) trained her actors well in the use of body language to imitate the art of playing in a professional Quartet.

Because as we learn, the word Opus means work or composition, playwright Hollinger has his work cut out for him based on the composition of the group whose main connection is the fact that these musicians are compulsive about their art and the sounds they make.

They will be performing for the President of The United States, at the White House and it will be televised. The stakes, needless to say, are high. The play is as much about the drama created outside their musical prowess by and with these five highly gifted musicians as it is about the music they make and the musical mistakes they don’t make as opposed to the personal ones they do.

The drama starts at the opening gate when we first learn that two of the musicians, Elliot and Dorian (Jim Abele and Mark H. Dold) are in a committed relationship that’s about ready to sink into muck and mire. Dorian is a genius but unpredictable at every turn when not on his meds. Elliot convinced the group to kick him out because of his irrational behavior, not because of his musical brilliance. It’s about democracy Elliot style. One vote is all they need. He’s somewhat of a dictator. 

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They put out a call for a replacement and lo and behold a brilliant young woman from the conservatory, Grace, (Katie Sigismund) fits the bill as she braves Beethoven and Bach without even having practiced the piece the Quartet has been rehearsing for some time. Although there are other complications to having a gal in as a member, they all agree she is the best of the best even as she considers her other options. After weighing the ins and outs and the problems it might potentially create if she stays with the Lazara String Quartet (the fictional name of the group) she is somewhat bamboozled into staying.

It’s like bringing a new coworker into the workplace or a new family member into the fold who’s not familiar with all the players. Personal and professional relations parallel each other as the group struggles to become cohesive musically while the drama of their personal lives play out on stage as well. After all what would a good old boys drama look like with the feminine touch?
The ensemble works well together as their personalities knit into a somewhat fragile bond. Jeffrey M. Bender’ s Alan, second violinist is perfect as the once divorced, furthest removed member from the tribulations of Elliot and Dorian but knows his stuff and is willing to go out on a limb to get the best sounds he knows how. Katie Sigismond’s Grace is on target as the new member who stirs the rest to perfection and adds a little romance into the mix.

Mark H. Dold’s Dorian is a spitfire as the unleashed boy genius. Corey Brill’s Carl, the Quintet’s cellist is the family man whose even disposition is a welcome relief amid the tempers of brilliance and Jim Abele’s first violinist Elliot is the catalyst in keeping the tension at high levels.  

For ninety minutes we, the audience, are treated to some stunning pieces including Beethoven’s C-sharp minor Opus 131 for string Quartet No. 14 which is the piece the Quartet or Elliot has chosen to perform at the White House over the Presidents choice ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ that Elliot rejects as not suitable for their Quartet. They do however, play “Hail To The Chief”.

Over the course of the evening we listen to recorded quartet music (Lindsay Jones designed the sound) complements of The Vertigo String Quartet, which was recorded by Jorge Cousineau for the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia where Opus had its premiere. While we know the actors on stage are not actually playing their instruments but, as mentioned earlier, nothing is taken away from the drama and beauty of the piece.

And the proverbial beat went on leaving us with a better understanding of what it takes to keep a group like this functioning and with sounds many of us may not be familiar with or might not hum on the way out (however there was an Opus Glossary for those of us in need of a tutorial). As in the selichot service, we were richer for having heard them.

It’s worth a try. See you at the theatre.

Davis's email: davisc@sandiegojewishworld.com Photo by Craig Schwartz showing Katie Sigismund as Grace, Jeffrey Bender as Alan and Jim Abele as Elliot.

please visit nancy.harrison@americasvacationcenter.com


The Co-Publishers' Mailbox... Notes from advertisers and others
Send us your e-items at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

To be conducted in SDSU's Exercise and Nutritional Sciences Building (ENS) Room 280, the overall program is entitled "Israel in the 21st Century: New Hopes, New Challenges."

Ticket prices are as follows: Pre-Registration: $36 for all three sessions; $14 for individual sessions; $10 seniors for all three sessions (55+); free students & faculty (with ID); $8 light dinner (optional)

Walk-In Registration: $42 walk-in for all three sessions,$14 walk-in seniors, $10 walk-in light dinner (optional)

Pre-registration is available on line by clicking here.

Session #1: Israeli Society in the 21st Century

Dr. Gad Barzilai - "Democracy and Law in Israel"

Dr. Gabi Weiman - "Israel and the Media"

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Dr. Adriana Kemp - "Strangers in the Holyland: New
Immigration in Israel"

Session #2: Israel in the Global Era

Dr. Guy Ben-Porat - "Secularizing the Holyland? Globalization
and Religion in Israel"

Dr. Michael Keren - "Israeli Culture 2009: Between
Globalization and Tribalism"

Dr. Joel Migdal - "A Changed Middle East in the 21st Century"

Session #3: Peace and War

Dr. Yael Warshel - "Growing Up Palestinian- Growing Up Israeli"

Dr. Uri Ben-Eliezer - "Israel and the Global War on Terror"

Dr. Gershon Shafir - "Binationalism & the Palestinian Conflict"

How to make a balloon diva, Part II

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) —Here is a link to Part I of this video by Sandi Masori of Balloon Utopia. Part I ran last week.

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Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
With thanks to Gail Umeham for the transcription

Editorial Page
Southwestern Jewish Press January 9, 1953, page 2

While we hate making resolutions which we won’t keep and we have no desire to look back on the old year, it would be of some value to look ahead and see where we are going.

The Jewish community is growing at an even pace with new people coming in and a few leaving.  We are not as ingrown as before the last war and our viewpoint has been widened. Our institutions and Synagogues have been strengthened and Jewish education (especially for our children) has been extended to a large group.  We can look forward to adding more facilitiesd for general community use and improvement of those we now have.

With the gradual lessening of the economic strain in Israel and the tightening of immigration here we will be able to concentrate more and more on our own needs.  That is not to say that assistance to our troubled brethren in all parts of the world will not be forthcoming.  We will still have our annual drive and send a large part of it to the U.J.A.  It must continue to be our one major community effort.

Other causes will also need our attention and no doubt we will do our share as we have in the past.  As our community grows and prospers we will face new problems.

The year 1953 will see many changes.  A new Party and a new President will certainly have a new approach to some of our old problems.  On the other hand, we can’t sit back and let “George” take over all the responsibilities.  We will have to work as a team to make sure that our voice does not become the “Voice of the Turtle.”

We are completely optimistic about the coming year except for two things—the new immigration act and the ware in Korea.  Let’s hope that both these problems will be eased during the coming year.

Community Currents
Southwestern Jewish Press January 9, 1953, page 2

By Albert Hutler, Director, United Jewish Fund

Good Will Toward All—As of Christmas, December 25, 1952, American Citizens were divided into two distinct categories for the first time in the history of the United States as a result of entering into effect of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act which introduces legal distinctions between native-born and naturalized Americans.

Putting to an end the glorious chapter of Jewish Immigration to the United States, while opening the doors wide to former Nazis, the new law makes admission to the country practically impossible for Jews and others born in countries which have a small immigration quota.  The immigration quotas of some of these countries such as Poland and other Eastern European countries have been mortgaged for as many as fifty and sixty years, to make up for the 300,000 D.P.’s admitted to the United States.

The new immigration law which has been described as America’s first Nuremberg law” would make second-class citizens out of America’s 8,000,000 naturalized residents and jeopardizes the 3,500,000 aliens in this country.  Measures in the Act have been described as a ‘security safe-guard” but critics have likened it to the type of security practiced by the Soviet Union.

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It is interesting to note that during the Congressional debate on the Act, notorious Anti-Semites took a vigorous part fighting for the passage of the Act.  Special consideration for the admission of Nazis to America was included in the Act.  Congress accepted McCarran’s views that extreme rightwing groups do not constitute any threat to this nation.  Rank and file members who voluntary joined Nazi and other Facist movements are considered acceptable immigrants.  Communists are originally barred but vital differences between liberals and fellow-travelers are not clearly defined.  The new law will give an opportunity to immigrate to the United States the 4,000 Germans whose records as Nazis were so bad they were previously refused admission.

Million Dollar Center for L.A.
—While I was up in Los Angeles I spent a few minutes with Meyer (Micky) Fischman, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Centers Association of Los Angeles.  He showed me the plans and pictures of the contemplated new Center on Olympic Blvd., next to the price playgrounds which the Center operates.  It is going to be one of the most gorgeous Community Centers in the United States and will be built at an expense of over one million dollars, not counting the equipment.  It is being financed through a mortgage with one of the insurance companies, guaranteed by the Jewish Welfare Fund of Los Angeles, which will amortize the loan over a priod of years by payment out of each campaign for the next ten years.  Los Angeles is a farsighted community and knows the value of a Community Center, not only for its own people but as a matter of good public relations.  It is not afraid to invest in the future.

A Rabbi Speaks On Center—While thinking about a Center and the progress that has been made in San Diego in the last sixty days, I ran across an article that would be of interest to many of those who for one reason or another, have an objection to a Center.  And especially to those who feel that a Center is in competition and conflict with a Synagogue.

Rabbi Philip F. Bernstein, former president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, told the 37th Annual Conference of the New York State Section of the National Jewish Welfare Board that “the synagogue and the Jewish Community Center are complementary institutions upon which there is neither dichotomy nor conflict.”

He said, Ï happen to be a product of the Center movement.  I was brought up Jewishly as well as socially and athletically here in the Center and in the old building.  The leaders of the Center influenced me as a boy.”

He continued in his statement to the delegates “we need to strengthen the Jewish Community Center, just as I feel the need for strengthening all branches of Jewish community.  I believe that anything that is good for the total Jewish community, is good for any branch of it.  And anything that is good for any branch is going to be good for the total Jewish community.

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“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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