Volume 3, Number 94
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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

March of the Living leads thousands in memorial at Auschwitz and Birkenau and in protest against Durban 2 ... by Jeremy Wimpfheimer at Auschwitz, Poland
Here at Auschwitz, one clearly sees what the hatred of Ahmadinejad will bring. In the presence of nearly 10,000 people at the site of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, the March of the Living voiced a united declaration of memorial and protest against continued acts of intolerance and hatred. READ MORE

Bikers for Israel reach starting point on Yom HaShoah ... by Ulla Hadar in Metula, Israel
Yom HaZikaron laSho'ah ve-laGvura is known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaSho'ah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is observed as a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. READ MORE

Remember the 614th Commandment of Emil Fackenheim ... by Rabbi Dow Marmur in Jerusalem
Yom Hasho’a, Holocaust Memorial Day, is being marked in many places: movingly in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world; ominously in Geneva at the Durban II conference, where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered himself of a rant and a tirade that painfully confirms the fears of those who believe that the danger Jews faced during the Holocaust is still a reality now. READ MORE

2nd generation Survivor ponders proper rituals for Shoah ... by Judy Lash Balint in Jerusalem
Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed in Israel on Tuesday. When I was growing up, Yom Hashoah was never commemorated in my home. Who needed one day a year for dignitaries, politicians and theologians to solemnly proclaim their solidarity with the murdered and pledge, "Never Again," when many nights were seared with my mother's screams as she revisited in her sleep the guilt of her survival and her helplessness in bringing her parents to safety? READ MORE

Obama calls for 'good faith' gestures by Israel, Arabs ... White House transcript of press conference by President Obama and King Abdullah of Jordan READ MORE

The Jews Down Under ... Roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian in Melburne, Australia

Bielski Jews now in Australia confirm details of DefianceREAD MORE

Toben guilty of contempt READ MORE

Holocaust denier defies court order against publicityREAD MORE

Senator lashes out at claims MP's trips to Israel "sanitised"READ MORE

Australia Boycotted UN Forum READ MORE


Carmel corn takes name from biblical town READ MORE

Black resigns from San Diego Port Commission; she cites family health concerns READ MORE

Beth El will host community Yom HaZikaron observance April 26 READ MORE

Media Watch READ MORE

Chinese University Chorus Performs Schindler's List READ MORE

Running for Israel READ MORE

Doris Roberts comes to La Jolla for Unusual Acts of Devotion


Talk of old times and great expectations ... by Lynne Thrope in San Diego

Zelig Camiel. The mere mention of this moniker to any native Jewish San Diegan invokes a reflexive smile, for Zel was iconic. Ask any Del Mar resident who was there in the ‘60s about the endless shenanigans of this easily recognizable liquor store owner and you will get a stockpot of tales which I did, last week, post Passover, sitting next to me in 4B on my flight to New York City

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January 23, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

News of the Fox READ MORE

Mr. and Mrs. Ltd. To Discuss Israel READ MORE

Fíesta Club Invites Young People to Join READ MORE

Cottage of Israel Seeks New Hostesses READ MORE

Stevenson Ball to Raise Funds For Demos READ MORE

Rabbinical Convention To Be Held in San Diego READ MORE

Historic Ad--Sonja Henie VIEW AD

Historic Ad--Haganah Meats VIEW AD

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie" with Sydney Pollack VIEW VIDEO

Harvey Keitel socks it to him in "Life on Mars"VIEW VIDEO

Sami Frey as Franz in "Bande a Part' (English subtitles) VIEW VIDEO

Walter Koenig as Chekhov is transported to Tombstone, Arizona in "Star Trek" original series VIEW VIDEO

STAFF BOX~Blocking the Pornographers

We had to change all our passwords and access codes because a hacker got into our site and implanted here and there links to pornographic sites. We are advised by authorities that "hijacking" sites such as ours is unfortunately an all-too-common practice of pornographers who don't want the material traced directly to them.

The company that hosts our website, A-Plus Net, ran a program yesterday to help us remove the offending material, but with thousands of pages on our site, there's no guarantee that the program found all of it. If you find any such material, please notify editor@sandiegojewishworld.com immediately about the page it is on and we will remove it. This is the second time this has happened to us; the last time we notified both the police and the FBI but with no results.

A-Plus-Net tells us that whoever got into our site did so through an AT&T server in Texas. We're not sure how we can stop this, but we would appreciate your vigilance and understanding. To anyone who saw the material and was offended, we share in your outrage and are angry that we were chosen by malevolent parties to be the carrier of this material. —Donald H. Harrison, editor and publisher


America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Carol Ann Goldstein
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service
Lawrence Family JCC
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego Jewish Chamber
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.

PLEASE HELP US POLICE THIS SITE: If you see anything on this site that obviously is not in keeping with our mission of providing Jewish news and commentary, please message us at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com, so that we can fix the probem. Unfortunately, large sites like ours can be subjected to tampering by outsiders. Thank you!




March of the Living leads thousands in memorial at Auschwitz and Birkenau and in protest against Durban 2

By Jeremy Wimpfheimer

AUSCHWITZ, Poland—Here at Auschwitz, one clearly sees what the hatred of Ahmadinejad will bring

In the presence of nearly 10,000 people at the site of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, the March of the Living voiced a united declaration of memorial and protest against continued acts of intolerance and hatred. Coinciding with the Durban Review Conference in Geneva where Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad verbally attacked Israel’s right to exist only a day earlier, the march’s themes and messages focused heavily on the increasing dangers posed by the Iranian regime.

Israel’s Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom represented his country in leading the March that departed from the Auschwitz camp under a banner reading “Marching in Remembrance Against Hate”. In his remarks Shalom said “Our presence here today is a symbol of the victory of humanity over evil… Iran represents a threat to the existence of the entire free world, and it is vitally important that we realize this soon…If Iran is not stopped, there will be a very dangerous arms race, which will undermine stability and peace not only in our region but throughout the world.”

The Vice Prime Minister lauded the efforts of the increasing list of nations including the United States, Australia, Canada and Poland who had chosen to boycott participation in the Conference in Geneva, saying “The Durban Review Conference is living proof, a wake-up call for us all – the world has not yet learned the lessons of what happened 64 years ago.”

Canadian Parliament member and leading human rights advocate Professor Irwin Cotler was also in Poland for the March of the Living having come directly from events protesting the Conference in Geneva. “We must act against racism, hate, anti-Semitism, mass atrocity, injustice — against the crime of crimes whose name we should even shudder to mention — genocide — and always, always, against indifference, against being bystanders to injustice; while always, always, pursuing justice,” said Cotler in his remarks at an emotional ceremony that concluded the three kilometer march between the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Birkeanu Death Camp.

The March, which saw representation by students from over 40 nations, was also addressed by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Israel’s former Chief Rabbi and current Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Rabbi Lau, himself a child survivor of the Holocaust, has attended every March of the Living since its inception in 1988.

Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, Chairman of the International March of the Living, said that the event pointed to the fact that despite the passage of nearly six and a half decades since the liberation of Europe, the world had failed to learn the true lessons of the dangers posed by regimes built on policies of hatred. “If we are to ever truly memorialize the millions killed by the Nazis, we must be sure that the international community be united in condemnation of people like the Iranian president. Our March today, just like those we have been leading for the past twenty-one years, should serve as a message that mankind can never again stand silent in the face of these demagogues.”

Wimpfheimer is a public relations agency executive handling the International March for the Living as an account

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MARCH OF LIVING—Nearly 10,000 people, primarily Jewish youths from around the world, demonstrated their rejection of Durban II today in the 2009 March of the Living from the Auschwitz to Birkenau death camps in Poland. In Photo (l-r): MP Irwin Cotler, Canada; US Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe; Jan Borskowski, Polish State Secretary, Foreign Affairs ; Israel Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Yad Vashem Chair; Guma Aguiar, Host of this year’s March of the Living; and Mayor Janusz Marszalek, Oswiecim.   (Photo Credit:Yossi Selinger)

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WATERFALL AT METULA—David Mitchell, and San Diegans Mitch Shack, Rick Kornfeld, Andi Neugarten, Susan and Robert Lapidus pause at the Tanur waterfall at the entrance to Metula, starting point for the Bike for Israel. {Photos by Ulla Hadar}

Bikers for Israel reach starting point on Yom HaShoah

By Ulla Hadar

METULA, Israel, April 21--Yom HaZikaron laSho'ah ve-laGvura is known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaSho'ah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is observed as a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. In Israel, it is a national memorial day that was inaugurated in 1951

As is the custom, at 10:00 a.m. on this day, throughout Israel, air-raid sirens were sounded for two minutes. During this time, people stopped what they were doing and stood at attention; cars stopped, even on the highways; and the whole country came to a standstill as people paid silent tribute to the dead.

SIREN PAUSE—Susan Lapidus stands in silence during two minute memorial siren memorializing victims of the Shoah.

The group of bikers partipating in the BikeIsrael2009 experienced this event in Tel Aviv, just before starting to drive
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to Metula. The sirens went on and everyone got out of the minibus and stood for two minutes in silence.

Metula is the northernmost town in Israel adjacent to the Lebanese border.

The drive to there is quite long, so a stop was made at the archeological and historic site of Beit Shearim. Many burial caves are to be found there as well as the ruins of an old synagogue, city walls and an olive press.

BURIAL CAVE—Leo Spiegel, Jeff Davis, Rick Kornfeld, Mardelle Davis, Allan Goldstein, Andi Neugarten, Mitch Shack, Robert and Susan Lapidus in front Of one of the burial caves in the historic site of Beit Sha'arim

Before entering Metula, David Mitchell, the guide of the trip and also educational dean from the Alexander Moss institute, took us to see the beautiful Tanur waterfalls, which are situated at the entrance of the city of Metula.

After settling in at the hotel a short ride was made along the borderline between Israel and Lebanon to get a feel of the bikes and to be ready for the start of the trip going from Metula to Sha'ar Hanegev.


Remember the 614th Commandment of Emil Fackenheim

By Rabbi Dow Marmur

JERUSALEM--Yom Hasho’a, Holocaust Memorial Day, is being marked in many places: movingly in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world; ominously in Geneva at the Durban II conference, where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered himself of a rant and a tirade that painfully confirms the fears of those who believe that the danger Jews faced during the Holocaust is still a reality now.

It was also Hitler’s 120th birthday. Though the villain has been dead for more than half of that time, he still seems to be alive in another incarnation. The Jewish wish, “May you live to 120 (like Moses)” is being fulfilled with deadly irony.
We on the alleged left of the Jewish political spectrum have often been critical of those who see in contemporary attacks on Israel a revival of the forces that caused the Holocaust. Listening to Ahmadinejad left me with an alarming feeling that he vindicates every alleged Jewish scaremonger I’ve tended to disagree with.
Like in the case of Hitler, it’s never a question of one person, but of many perpetrators and even more bystanders. Television pictures showed delegates applauding ferociously after the speech. Are they real or “only” potential perpetrators?
We also saw 24 delegations demonstratively leaving the hall when Ahmadinejad started to speak. Their protests didn’t quite make the grade of the eight righteous Gentile countries that boycotted the conference altogether, but at least they refused to be fully fledged bystanders. 11 bystander countries did stay and by their presence exposed the immorality of so-called neutrality: countries with human rights records like China!

Significantly, the delegate of “neutral” Switzerland also stayed. Its president received his Iranian counterpart with honors, presumably because his country doesn’t want to take sides. When, in a clear struggle between the machinations of the new anti-Semites and the measured responses by states that had experienced the effect of Jew-hatred, a country chooses to be “neutral” - isn’t it siding with the perpetrators?   

The division between perpetrators, bystanders and righteous Gentiles by which we often try to understand reactions to the Holocaust has thus remained relevant.

As part of the Yom Hasho’a commemoration at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, I spoke about the legacy of Emil Fackenheim, one of the most significant Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. He came into prominence with a famous 614th commandment that urged Jews to survive and not give Hitler his posthumous victory. For many of us his call has remained a guiding principle and painfully relevant. He wrote:
“If the 614th commandment is binding upon the authentic Jew, then we are, first, commanded to survive as Jews, lest the Jewish people perish. We are commanded, second, to remember in our very guts and bones the martyrs of   the Holocaust, lest their memory perish. We are forbidden, thirdly, to deny or despair of God, however much we may have to contend with Him, lest Judaism perish. We are forbidden, finally, to despair of the world as the place which is to become the Kingdom of God, lest we help make it a meaningless place in which God is dead or irrelevant and everything is permitted.”
I can think of no better way of marking this and every Yom Hasho’a than by reaffirming our commitment to Fackenheim’s fourfold charge.

Marmur is rabbi emeritus of the Holy Blossom Congregation in Toronto. He divides his time between Canada and Israel. He may be contacted at marmurd@sandiegojewishworld.com

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2nd generation Survivor ponders proper rituals for Shoah

By Judy Lash Balint

JERUSALEM— Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed in Israel on Tuesday. When I was growing up, Yom Hashoah was never commemorated in my home. Who needed one day a year for dignitaries, politicians and theologians to solemnly proclaim their solidarity with the murdered and pledge, "Never Again," when many nights were seared with my mother's screams as she revisited in her sleep the guilt of her survival and her helplessness in bringing her parents to safety?

Who needed to be reminded of the Nazi killing machine when my father's desk was filled with paperwork documenting his stay in Buchenwald and his parent's death in Treblinka, and we kids accompanied him on his frequent visits to the reparations office of the German Embassy to demand compensation.

Yet here in Israel, with my parents long gone and no known Yahrzeit date for any of my four grandparents murdered in the death camps, I find myself year after year yearning to mark the day in some meaningful way.

At first, I would attend the official ceremonies at Yad Vashem. In those years, sitting in the cold, early spring Jerusalem evening surrounded by hundreds of survivors and their families, dwarfed by the dark symbolic sculptures and the flickering eternal memorial flame, I found it hard to evoke much emotion. What did rise up from my soul as I listened to the poems and the familiar poignant songs at the commemoration was the feeling of gratitude and wonderment that a little more than half a century after my grandparents were killed, I had somehow merited to live and breathe and pay taxes in the Jewish state.

These days, I no longer go to the official ceremonies. Fewer and fewer survivors are there too, since not many have the stamina to endure the lengthy security procedures, the wait for the president and prime minister to arrive and the hour-long ceremony itself. Besides, how many times can we listen to the pronouncements of the politicians and watch the endless laying of wreaths ?

This Yom Hashoah, as dusk descended and the somber memorial day unfolded, I found myself at the Israeli premiere of a powerful play by Bernard Weinraub called The Accomplices, that dealt with the failure of the US government and the organized Jewish community to intervene in the Holocaust.

On the way home, it's easy to sense the heaviness that descends on the city. Flags fly at half mast; all cafes and places of entertainment are closed; only somber music plays on the radio.

On the morning of Yom Hashoah, the country comes to a standstill at precisely 10 a.m as the sirens wail marking the only ritualistic aspect of the day. I'm standing on Rachel Imeynu Street during the two minute call to attention. It's a moment of solidarity and comfort as the nation joins together in remembrance and resolve. In Musrara, on Jerusalem's seam between the eastern and western parts of the city, Israel's schizophrenia is exhibited for all to see. My son who lives in that neighborhood reports that the Arab commercial area doesn't miss a beat even as the Jews bring traffic to a halt just a few yards away.

My teacher and mentor, Rabbi Avi Weiss, has written extensively about the need for ritual in assuring Holocaust memory. "I am concerned about how the Shoah will be remembered. Survivors are growing older. Neither can Shoah memory be entrusted to the museums. While they are of importance for memory, there are those controlled by universalists who take their orders from non-Jewish institutions. We dare not allow the Shoah to be politicized. Nor will the camps where the horror took place tell the story. Too many have already been Christianized and the emphasis on financial restitution has raised other serious challenges. No doubt assets should be recovered. Still, our community should be concerned that as this effort continues, the Holocaust will be remembered for stolen money rather than for stolen souls.

The only way to ensure the Shoah will be remembered is through Jewish ritual; by speaking and re-enacting what our people endured sixty years ago, much in the same way as we do for yetziat Mitzraim (the Exodus from Egypt)." Rabbi Weiss goes on to suggest various meaningful rituals that would go a long way to effectively preserve memory.

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Here in Israel, along with the need to appropriately memorialize the Shoah, there's a rising awareness of the urgent need to take care of the remaining survivors. It's estimated that more than 80,000 of the 240,000 survivors in Israel live in dire poverty. The meager monthly compensation allowance from the Finance Ministry stands at 1,040NIS (about $250), but even this is only paid to those who arrived before 1953. Recent Knesset legislation has provided more assistance, but to date only 2,000 out of 8,000 survivors eligible have actually received any payments. As one radio talk show noted in his Yom Hashoah morning broadcast, "When Yom Hashoah is over, almost all our politicians will go back to their petty squabbles and fights over their own pensions and their budgets that pay for phones and newspapers for life."

All afternoon, despite the bright sunshine outside, I can't help but stay glued to the TV, watching documentary after documentary of almost unfathomable tales of every facet of the human experience that took place during and after the Shoah. I long ago found it impossible to read any more Holocaust memoirs, but there's something compelling about hearing the incredible stories of those who survived and made it to Israel; seeing on film how second generation Israelis are trying to unearth the truth about their parent's experiences.

At the end of the day, as the memorial candle on my window-sill burns down, after all the talk and ceremony, there are, of course, no new answers to the greatest tragedy to befall the Jewish people in the modern era. What remains is a sense of protracted shiva. We get up and resume our lives, internalizing our collective memories.

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Obama calls for 'good faith' gestures by Israel, Arabs

MIDDLE EAST DISCUSSION—U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah chatted at the White House on Tuesday about the Middle East peace process, then met the news media. A transcript of that meeting is below. White House photo.

Remarks by President Obama and King Abdullah in Oval Office

WASHINGTON (Press Release)--Here is a transcript of a press conference by U.S. President Barack Obama and King Abdullah of Jordan following their meeting Tuesday at the White House:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. Take your time, guys. We're going to answer a few questions.

First of all, I just want to welcome His Majesty King Abdullah to the White House. This is a first visit by a leader of another state; in part, it's reciprocity for the extraordinary hospitality that the King and Queen showed me when I visited Jordan prior to the election -- in which the King had personally drove me to the airport. And I won't tell you how fast he was going. (Laughter.)

But more importantly, it's representative of his excellent leadership internationally, as well as a unmatched friendship with the United States upon a whole range of issues. I think that King Abdullah represents a modern approach to foreign policy-making in the Middle East, a approach that is able to see many different sides of an issue, that is obviously constantly mindful of Jordanian interests, but also seeks to resolve issues and conflicts in a peaceful and respectful fashion.

We are very pleased to have been able to work so closely with his government for many years. It is a great friendship between two great countries and two great peoples. And I am confident that that friendship will only be strengthened.

Very briefly, we spoke obviously about a Middle East peace process, my commitment as well as his to moving that process forward with some sense of urgency. We spoke about the broader hope on a range of issues related to Iran and Afghanistan; the issues of terrorism in the region. We spoke about the impact that the economic crisis may be having on both our countries and the need to promote effective international cooperation around those issues. And I'm confident that in the months and years to come our partnership and our friendship will continue to grow.

So I'm grateful to him for having visited and look forward to seeing him back in his own country sometime soon.

KING ABDULLAH: Thank you. Mr. President, again, thank you very much for this very kind welcome. We had a wonderful meeting just recently and I believe it was a meeting of the minds. We are both committed to bringing peace and stability to our part of the world. The President again reaffirming the need for a two-state solution and to move both parties to good negotiations as quickly as possible. He has the full support of my country and the Arab League on this issue. We believe that it is important for all of us to keep our eyes on the prize, and the prize is peace and stability finally for all the people of our region.

I'd also like to extend a warm thanks on behalf of many Arabs and Muslims who really had an outstanding response to the President's outreach to the Muslim Arab world. It has gone on extremely well and really begins I believe a new page of mutual respect and mutual understanding between cultures. And I will -- I continue to commit Jordan and myself to working with you, Mr. President. You have given us hope for a bright future for all of us. And America can't be left by itself to do all the heavy lifting, so a group of countries, including Jordan, will do all we can to support you, Mr. President, in your endeavors. And hopefully under your tremendous leadership we will find some peace and stability in our region.


Q Mr. President, you've raised a lot of positive signals and interest in your commitment to peace and to a two-state solution. What other actions will you be taking to bring about peace, and when do you expect that action to happen? And how does the Arab Peace Initiative feature in such a plan?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, we have gone out of our way to complement the efforts of those Arab states that were involved in formulating the Arab Peace Initiative as a very constructive start. And obviously King Abdullah has taken great steps to ensure that that sustains itself, in terms of Arab support, even while we have seen a breakdown in negotiations. And that's a significant achievement for which King Abdullah and others deserve credit. So we want to continue to encourage a commitment on the part of the Arab states to the peace process.

I have assigned a Special Envoy, George Mitchell, who is, you know, I think as good of a negotiator as there is, and somebody who through assiduous work was able to accomplish or help achieve peace in Northern Ireland. We want that same perseverance and sustained effort on this issue, and we're going to be actively engaged.

We have obviously seen the Israeli government just form recently. Prime Minster Netanyahu will be visiting the United States. I expect to have meetings with him. I've had discussions with Palestinian counterparts as well as other Arab states around this issue.

My hope would be that over the next several months, that you start seeing gestures of good faith on all sides. I don't want to get into the details of what those gestures might be, but I think that the parties in the region probably have a pretty good recognition of what intermediate steps could be taken as confidence-building measures. And we will be doing everything we can to encourage those confidence-building measures to take place.

Q Can I follow up on this one, please?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Okay, I actually have a list, guys, I'm sorry. (Laughter.) We've got to be fair. Jennifer, you always get a question, so you're not getting one.

Steve Collinson, AFP. Go ahead, Steve.

Q What are your -- what is your comment on the rhetoric yesterday from the Iranian President directed towards Israel? And given that kind of talk and the recent imprisonment of the U.S.-Iranian journalist, do you think that will make it more difficult for you to push forward your diplomatic outreach to Iran?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, sadly, the rhetoric is not new. This is the kind of rhetoric that we've come to expect from President Ahmadinejad. When I said, during the course of the campaign and repeated after the election, that we were serious about engagement with Iran, it was with no illusions. I was very clear that I found many of the statements that President Ahmadinejad made, particularly those direct with -- directed at Israel, to be appalling and objectionable.

As I've also said before, Iran is a very complicated country with a lot of different power centers. The Supreme Leader Khamenei is the person who exercises the most direct control over the policies of the Islamic Republic, and we will continue to pursue the possibility of improved relations and a resolution to some of the critical issues in which there have been differences, particularly around the nuclear issue.

But there's no doubt that the kind of rhetoric you saw from Ahmadinejad is not helpful; in fact, it is harmful -- but not just with respect to the possibility of U.S.-Iranian relations, but I think it actually undermines Iranians' position in the world as a whole. We weren't at the conference, and what you saw was a whole host of other countries walking out and that language being condoned by people who may be more sympathetic to the long-term aspirations of the Iranian people. So I think it actually hurts Iran's position in the world.

But we are going to continue to take an approach that -- tough, direct diplomacy has to be pursued without taking a whole host of other options off the table.

Q I just want to follow on the previous question. You sent Senator Mitchell to the region to listen. Is he done with the listening now and -- because all the signals we have from the Israeli government basically that they are not in favor of the two-state solution. The opposition is strongly advocating that.

So I wanted to ask also His Majesty, President Obama said that there is positive elements within the Arab Peace Initiative, but he didn't say what he disagree about. Can you tell us if you have noticed any tangible results, what the disagreement with that, and can the Arab Peace Initiative be the base now for a peace process in the Middle East?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think it is very important to recognize that the Israelis now have had a government for a few weeks and it was a very complicated process for them to put a coalition together. So I think more listening needs to be done. They are going to have to formulate and I think solidify their position. So George Mitchell will continue to listen both to Arab partners, to the Palestinians, as well as the Israelis.

But I agree that we can't talk forever; that at some point, steps have to be taken so that people can see progress on the ground. And that will be something that we will expect to take place in the coming months and we will help hopefully to drive a process where each side is willing to build confidence.

I am a strong supporter of a two-state solution. I have articulated that publically and I will articulate that privately. And I think that there are a lot of Israelis who also believe in a two-state solution. Unfortunately, right now what we've seen not just in Israel but within the Palestinian Territories, among the Arab states, worldwide, is a profound cynicism about the possibility of any progress being made whatsoever.


What we want to do is to step back from the abyss; to say, as hard as it is, as difficult as it may be, the prospect of peace still exists -- but it's going to require some hard choices, it's going to require resolution on the part of all the actors involved, and it's going to require that we -- we create some concrete steps that all parties can take that are evidence of that resolution. And the United States is going to deeply engage in this process to see if we can make progress.

Now, ultimately, neither Jordan nor the United States can do this for the Israelis and the Palestinians. What we can do is create the conditions and the atmosphere and provide the help and assistance that facilitates an agreement. Ultimately they've got to make the decision that it is not in the interests of either the Palestinian people or the Israelis to perpetuate the kind of conflict that we've seen for decades now, in which generations of Palestinian and Israeli children are growing up insecure, in an atmosphere of hate.

And my hope is, is that -- that the opportunity will be seized, but it's going to take some more work and we are committed to doing that work.

KING ABDULLAH: I couldn't have said it better myself, Mr. President. I think we're looking now at the -- at the positives and not the negatives and seeing how we can sequence events over the next couple of months that allows Israelis and Palestinians and Israelis and Arabs to sit around the table and move this process forward.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Now, did I already -- are one of you Nadia?

Q That was me.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: That was you. Okay. Nadia, I was going to call on you anyway. The --

Q Mr. President --

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Jake, you always get questions, so I'm going to try some --

Q Mr. President --

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'd better give an American -- since, you know, so that we're going back and forth. And Sheryl, you always get in, so --

Q I do not always -- (laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm just trying to see if there's anybody -- all right, you know what, I'll go back to Jennifer, since she had her hand up before Sheryl or Jake.

Q I appreciate it. I want to ask you about the interrogation memos that you released last week; two questions. You were clear about not wanting to prosecute those who carried out the instructions under this legal advice. Can you be that clear about those who devised the policy? And then quickly on a second matter, how do you feel about investigations, whether special -- a special commission or something of that nature on the Hill to go back and really look at the issue?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the -- look, as I said before, this has been a difficult chapter in our history, and one of the tougher decisions that I've had to make as President. On the one hand, we have very real enemies out there. And we rely on some very courageous people, not just in our military but also in the Central Intelligence Agency, to help protect the American people. And they have to make some very difficult decisions because, as I mentioned yesterday, they are confronted with an enemy that doesn't have scruples, that isn't constrained by constitutions, aren't constrained by legal niceties.

Having said that, the OLC memos that were released reflected, in my view, us losing our moral bearings. That's why I've discontinued those enhanced interrogation programs.

For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted.

With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the Attorney General within the parameters of various laws, and I don't want to prejudge that. I think that there are a host of very complicated issues involved there.

As a general deal, I think that we should be looking forward and not backwards. I do worry about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively, and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations.

And so if and when there needs to be a further accounting of what took place during this period, I think for Congress to examine ways that it can be done in a bipartisan fashion, outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down and break it entirely along party lines, to the extent that there are independent participants who are above reproach and have credibility, that would probably be a more sensible approach to take.

I'm not suggesting that that should be done, but I'm saying, if you've got a choice, I think it's very important for the American people to feel as if this is not being dealt with to provide one side or another political advantage but rather is being done in order to learn some lessons so that we move forward in an effective way.

And the last point I just want to emphasize, as I said yesterday at the CIA when I visited, what makes America special in my view is not just our wealth and the dynamism of our economy and our extraordinary history and diversity. It's that we are willing to uphold our ideals even when they're hard. And sometimes we make mistakes because that's the nature of human enterprise. But when we do make mistakes, then we are willing to go back and correct those mistakes and keep our eye on those ideals and values that have been passed on generation to generation.

And that is what has to continue to guide us as we move forward. And I'm confident that we will be able to move forward, protect the American people effectively, and live up to our values and ideals. And that's not a matter of being naive about how dangerous this world is. As I said yesterday to some of the CIA officials that I met with, I wake up every day thinking about how to keep the American people safe. And I go to bed every night worrying about keeping the American people safe.

I've got a lot of other things on my plate. I've got a big banking crisis, and I've got unemployment numbers that are very high, and we've got an auto industry that needs work. There are a whole things -- range of things that during the day occupy me, but the thing that I consider my most profound obligation is keeping the American people safe.

So I do not take these things lightly, and I am not in any way under illusion about how difficult the task is for those people who are on the front lines every day protecting the American people.

So I wanted to communicate a message yesterday to all those who overwhelmingly do so in a lawful, dedicated fashion that I have their back.

All right? Thank you, everybody.


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The Jews Down Under ... Roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian

Bielski Jews now in Australia confirm details of Defiance

MELBOURNE - It's a Friday afternoon in the quiet Melbourne suburb of Caulfield and sitting at a kitchen table is a kindly 93-year-old Jewish man with a boyish charm and a European accent by the name of Velvel Borowski.

He is telling the inspirational story of his survival during the Holocaust.He was a tailor in a Jewish village in Belorussia, he explains.Asked if it was before the war?" he answers .
"No," he gently corrects -- "it was during the height of the Holocaust".

The story of Mr Borowski's survival, along with his wife Judy and many of their family -- as well as that of Fruma and her brother Oscar Borecki of Sydney, and Zelda Belski of Melbourne, - is so unbelievable it sounds like something out of a movie.

It is, as it happens, a movie, with the apt title Defiance, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber as Tuvia and Zus Bielski respectively.

The Bielskis, along with their brother Asael (Jamie Bell) and other family members, led a clan of partisans that actively saved as many Jews in their area as possible.

Without diminishing the work of Schindler, Bielski's Jews -- over 1200 strong -- were more numerous than those found on his famous list.

That roving encampment of Jewish refugees under
Tuvia Bielski's watch was the largest group of Jewish survivors owing their lives to a fellow Jew during the Holocaust.

Perhaps it is not surprising then, that the Israel Defence Forces insisted on honouring Tuvia after his death in New York, with a reinterment in Jerusalem befitting a war hero.

The Bielski partisans lived in the forest. There they built for themselves a community that has often been described as a "Jerusalem in the woods".

It included a synagogue, bathhouse, theatre, hospital, and school. There were also shelters dug into the forest floor sufficient to hold everyone and survive the harsh winters.

The Bielski partisans fought the Nazis with any resources they had available -- often requiring the use of brute force in the night to acquire them.

They blew up trains, Mr Borowski explains, and emphasises that it was a tricky business because blowing up trains was not simply triggering the bomb as the train arrived, but rather getting it to delay a few seconds until they could really give it a good blast to the middle.

And here at his kitchen table, 65 years later, Mr Borowski recalls the details of an ambush the Bielski partisans set up on the outskirts of a small town, where they completely wiped out a Nazi road convoy.

"I wasn't a fighter," he explains. "The others told me about the ambush when they came back to the camp." Mr Borowski served the Bielskis as a tailor. His services were useful for work inside the camp, as well as helping other partisan groups in a barter system for food and other supplies.

However, the fact that Mr Borowski could live securely among the partisans as a tailor is what makes the story of the Bielski partisans so unique.Russian partisans in the area would refuse to take in people that were not able-bodied
fighters. Food was scarce, and partisans were looking for a fight, not more mouths to feed.

Tuvia Bielski was driven by a different code. In particular, he actively encouraged Jews to flee the Novardok Ghetto, situated closest to the forest, and live under the protection of the fighting force, united in their cause: women, children and elderly included.While the primary goal of other partisans was to fight, the Bielskis' was Jewish survival.
Fighting was mainly employed as a means to survive.

Fruma and her brother Oscar Borecki were also not fighters with the partisans, but volunteered in food-gathering missions, message deliveries, as well as reconnaissance activities, often at great risk to themselves.

Sydney-based Eric Borecki, son of Oscar, has grown up listening to his father and Auntie Fruma's miraculous story of survival -- something he feels forever indebted to the Bielski brothers for.

"The fact that Tuvia Bielski, despite incredible
odds, saved 1230 Jews without ever turning anyone
away is difficult to comprehend in the circumstances. Tuvia is an almost unknown Jewish hero.

How he saved and fed so many Jews, dealt with internal coups, hostile Russian partisans and Belarussian villagers and also attacked the Germans, is a truly incredible story," he says earnestly.

Eric hopes the film will not only be a tribute to the courageous partisan fighters, but will also ignite interest in further documenting and understanding of Jewish resistance.

"The truth of the story should be properly recognised by Jewish museums and schools to teach how the Jews were not always victims, but saved lives and also fought back. The story of Jewish resistance is an especially important story for the younger generations."

So, is the movie, directed by Edward Zwick, an accurate portrayal of their fight in the forests in German-occupied Poland, now western Belarus?

"The movie is good," Mr Borowski says, "but there was even more that happened that they didn't show".

Eric says he believes the film's telling of events is "fundamentally correct".

Mr Borowski's daughter, Melbourne-based Annette Goldberg, says: "A lot of people who see the movie assume it is exaggerated. But essentially, it's not. The fact is that they made a big effort to get even the small details right."

For instance, Goldberg notes, in the movie, Tuvia Bielski is seen riding around on a white horse -- blatant poetic licence, right? Wrong.

"My mother told me many times about how she would see Tuvia riding on that white horse," she explains.

Film critics, including American reviewer Roger Ebert, have been skeptical of several scenes, including questioning the accuracy of a German tank being at the scene.

But Mr Borowski explains that the Nazis knewapproximately where the partisans were and, during the two years the Bielski partisans spent in the woods, they sent aeroplanes, soldiers, and even tanks to try and root them out. Yet Tuvia outsmarted them.

"They had trouble mounting a successful attack on us through the swamps," Mr Borowski says.

The life of a partisan was not easy and required acts that might have appeared unduly harsh.

Mr Borowski acknowledges that, in order to survive, Jewish partisans had to intimidate local peasants to obtain food and supplies, and ensure that Jews looking to escape from the ghetto to the woods would have safe passage without being betrayed to the Nazis.

Survival also required taking sides among other partisan groups they had to depend upon to trade for weapons, ammunition, food and other supplies.

When Liev Schreiber was interviewed about his role in Defiance, he said he felt it was this moral complexity that actually gives greater substance to the heroism of the Bielskis.

Mr Borowski recalls that Tuvia held his fighters to a high moral standard. His orders to his fighters were to do only what was required to sustain the group, and no more.

"He said, go in [to the villages] and get the food that you need and then get out. Don't use unnecessary violence, and don't you dare touch a peasant woman."

"Live and survive" was Tuvia's directive to all his partisans, Mr Borowski recalls.

In mid-July 1944, after the Germans had been
routed by the Russian army, the Bielski partisans
disbanded and the survivors went their separate ways.

Oscar and Fruma made their way back to their home
in Novardok to find they were the only survivors from their entire family.They were devastated. The shtetl was decimated.

Oscar would relate to his son Eric that he and his sister felt like "ghosts" in their hometown.

Sometime after the war, the Boreckis and the Borowskis settled in Australia separately. Over the years, they did eventually get back in touch with one another.

Oscar's sister Fruma and Mrs Borowski passed away only recently.

Zelda Belski, who spent her life caring for others, is now cared for at Montefiore Home in Melbourne, where her daughters come to spend time with her.

Mr Borowski shows the photographs of his beloved wife along with his beaming children and grandchildren that adorn his walls.

"Live and survive," Mr Borowski says again, this time smiling.

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Toben guilty of contempt

ADELADE - Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben was found guilty of contempt in the Federal Court on Thursday for continuing to publish material denying the Shoah on the website of his Adelaide Institute.

Judge Bruce Lander ruled that Toben of Adelaide was guilty on 24 out of 28 charges of contempt he faced, after continuing to publish the material in defiance of a 2002 Federal Court order to cease these activities.

The finding relates to a civil action by former Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Jeremy Jones under the federal Racial Discrimination Act, which resulted in the 2002 court order on Toben.

A hearing to determine Toben's penalty will be held on April 28 and he has given an undertaking not to leave the jurisdiction of the court before then.

Holocaust denier defies
court order against publicity

ADELAIDE—Revisionist historian Fredrick Toben does not
regret defying a court order to stop insulting Jewish people, saying "freedom of speech demands sacrifice." Federal Justice Bruce Lander, in finding Toben guilty of 24 counts
of contempt of court, ruled Toben acted "wilfully and contumaciously" by uploading, to his website, articles implying Jews offended by Holocaust denial were of "limited intelligence".

Other articles claimed the Auschwitz concentration camp had no gas chambers, and that some Jewish people "exaggerated" the Holocaust "for improper motives." Toben now faces a fine, jail time or both - under Australian law, the
severity of those penalities are at the court's discretion.

Senator lashes out at claims MP's trips to Israel "sanitised"

CANBERRA - A Senator who travelled to Israel free of charge on a Jewish-sponsored study program has lashed out against claims by a former Australian Ambassador to Israel, who said that such trips for federal MP's offered a"sanitised" view of the conflict and possibly tainted Australia's foreign policy in favour of Israel.

West Australian Senator Glenn Sterle, who visited
Israel in March 2007 as part of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Rambam fellowship program, said he took personal offence at the comments made by former Australian ambassador to Israel Ross Burns earlier this week.

"We're not absolute idiots. We're mature enough to make our own decisions," Sterle said.Although he did not visit the Palestinian towns of Ramallah or Bethlehem on the trip. Sterle contended the mission's itinerary wasn't heavily biased towards Israel. "I met Palestinian journalists and we heard their side of the story. It was balanced. There's no doubt about that."

Burns - who served as ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2003 - was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald recently as saying that the issue of subsidised travel was "particularly tortuous" in regard to Israel, where "a disproportionate
number of visits, including back bench MP's, Opposition front benchers and serving ministers, were not funded by the Australian Government of Parliament, but by Israeli lobby groups."

Calling on the Government to review the scheme, Burns said "The heavy reliance on subsidised visits to Israel has taken its toll in terms of Australia's wider interests."

"Most MP's and ministers, who visited until recently, followed programs that gave a heavily sanitised view of the Israel/Palestine situation. Missing, for example, was any exposure to the heavy burden that Israel's occupation of most of the lands of Palestine had imposed on both societies."

AIJAC, which paid for 13 MP's to visit Israel since November 2007, also slammed Burns' remarks. "Ross Burns is an Arabist former diplomat who has a history of strident and prejudicial statements on Israel," AIJAC executive director Dr.Colin Rubenstein said.

Burns' complaints about AIJAC's program and other
similat sponsored trips to Israel - such as the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) Journalist Mission - include several "factual errors" he added.

Among them was the claim that these groups are "Israeli lobby groups. AIJAC and other groups - are solely Australian" Dr Rubestein said.

He added that AIJAC "never sends serving ministers." "As for Burns' argument that the views presented are somewhat sanitised, I simply refer him and anyone who doubts the range and diversity of the program to the participants
themselves. From talking to them, it should be clear that Rambam is an intense, broad-ranging and informative programme with excellent results for Australia and Australians in terms of creating genuine understanding and appreciation of the complexities of this important region" Dr Rubenstein added.

The Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) also sends delegations to Israel, including politicians. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd travelled to Israel as part of an AICE delegation in 2005, when he was shadow foreign minister.

Australia Boycotted UN Forum

CANBERRA - Australia boycotted the United Nations forum on racism in Geneva over fears that the meeting could be used as a
platform to air anti-Semitic views.

After weeks of negotiation on the wording of a draft text to be presented at the conference, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia had decided "with regret" to pull out of the meeting.

The Obama Administration had announced a few hours earlier that the United States would not be attending the forum ­ also using the phrase "with regret".

The lead-up to the meeting has been dogged by claims that some countries planned to use the summit to criticise Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and mount anti-Semitic tirades--a claim that was translated to reality when Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech prompted a walkout by Western nations.

The Netherlands, Canada, Israel and Italy also boycotted
the Geneva meeting.

The first World Conference Against Racism in South Africa in 2001 was also tarnished by angry scenes over alleged anti-Semitism, and Israel has urged countries to boycott the talks.

Australia's late withdrawal drew fire from Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop, who said the Government had shown a lack of "moral leadership" by pulling out on the eve of the conference.

"It's a pity the Rudd Government was so reluctant
and had to be dragged to this position," Ms Bishop said.

She said there was a view that Australia had compromised its principles in foreign affairs by not earlier withdrawing from the proceedings.

But human rights groups were disappointed by Australia's decision to pull out.

The National director of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, David Cooper, said that while he deplored racism of any kind, Australia stood to gain from the forum.

"It's a great disappointment that countries like Australia, the US and Canada that have got significant indigenous populations are not going to be participating," he said, adding that the
forum offered the first chance to discuss the international declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The president of the United Nations Association of Australia, John Langmore, said Australia's failure to attend the racism forum was inconsistent with its support for the indigenous
rights declaration, signed earlier this month.

"The majority of countries will judge us as acquiescing too readily to a US decision and accepting an ill-judged Israeli campaign," Professor Langmore said.

But Colin Rubenstein of the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council said Australia had made a "principled decision" not to attend the summit.

Fabian may be contacted at fabiang@sandiegojewishworld.com

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The Bible in Pop Culture: The biblical town of Carmel

John Finley and Mary Kate Land strike a pose in front of the Carmel Corn store at Westfield (Parkway Plaza) Shopping Center.

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Joshua 15:55 : Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah,

The town that was among the inheritances of the children of the tribe of Judah (according to the Book of Joshua) gives its name to modern day carmel corn. This photo was taken April 19, 2009, by Donald H. Harrison at the Westfield (Parkway Plaza) Shopping Center in El Cajon, California.

Please send your jpg photo for posting to
editor@sandiegojewishheritage.com. If possible, please send it at 72dpi resolution and 400 pixels wide. Please include the name of the photographer, the date and place the photo was taken, and any other relevant caption information.

For our growing "Pop Bible" collection please see Jewish Pop Culture Bible index

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

Black resigns from San Diego Port Commission; she cites family health concerns

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Laurie Black, a San Diego Port Commissioner and advocate for environmental conservation and public access to the tidelands, has resigned from the Board of Port Commissioners.

Commissioner Black, who is leaving the Port Commission for personal reasons, was appointed to the Board nearly two years ago by Mayor Jerry Sanders. She informed the mayor of her decision last week, along with San Diego Unified Port District President/CEO Charlie Wurster and Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Stephen Cushman.

"It is with a heavy heart that I am submitting my resignation from the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, effective immediately," Black wrote in a letter to Mayor Sanders. "Unfortunately, my family is facing agonizing health issues and challenges that need all of my attention."

After informing Port executives of her decision, Black said she was resigning from the greatest job she's ever had.

"It breaks my heart," she said.

Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Stephen Cushman, after learning of Black's resignation, praised his colleague.

"Laurie served this Board and the Port with distinction and passion," Cushman said. "Laurie has been a valued colleague and friend. I am sorry she is leaving us. But, family comes first; she has made the right decision."

A consultant and past president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, Black was sworn in as a commissioner in June 2007.

Black is well known for her political and civic involvement. On the Board of Port Commissioners, she was a passionate advocate for protecting the environment through air and water conversation. She also pushed for LEED certification of major Port projects, including the proposed Broadway Cruise Ship Terminal and the Lane Field development, which includes a 525-room hotel and a 275-room hotel. Over the years, she also has been a champion for women's rights, gay rights and the homeless.

Before joining the Board, Black was the chief of staff to former Congresswoman Lynn Schenk in the 1990s and she worked on John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. She also owned a business focusing on political fundraising, issue development, press relations and campaign strategies.

Black has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the San Diego City Library Commission and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

While on the Board of Port Commissioners, Black also served as a Chair of the Port's Marketing-PR Advisory Committee as well as a member of the Environmental Advisory Committee.

She also has served on the Board of Overseers of the University of California San Diego and is a member of the LEAD San Diego Leadership Trust. Commissioner Black was also a member of the Budget, Finance and Nominating Committees of the San Diego Opera and is a past member of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center.

A graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, Commissioner Black has received numerous civic honors including the 2004 Women Who Mean Business Award sponsored by the San Diego Business Journal. She was named one of the 10 Women of Dedication by the Salvation Army in 2002. In 2001, she was awarded an Alonzo Award for her vision in creating the Downtown San Diego Partnership's Clean & Safe Program. The YWCA selected her for the TWIN Award for Women in Industry in 1999 and she was also named one of San Diego Magazine's 50 People to Watch that same year.

The City of San Diego will appoint a replacement for Black, whose term expires in January 2013.

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Beth El will host community Yom HaZikaron observance April 26

SAN DIEGO – Join us for Israel’s Day of Remembrance (Yom HaZikaron), sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s Israel Center. The event will take place on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at Congregation Beth El, 8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

This event is marked during the 24 hours preceding Israel’s Independence Day. Originally Yom Hazikaron was designated to commemorate the loss of those men and women who fought and were killed in the IDF, Israel’s armed forces. The commemoration now brings together families and friends in official recognition of all those who lost their lives under any form of attack, including acts of terror. 

Natan Galkowicz, the father of Dana Galkow, will be the special guest speaker at this year’s ceremony. Natan, 57, has been living in Kibbutz Bror Hayil since 1983. He made Aliyah to Israel at age 27 from Brazil in order to finish his master’s degree from the Technion in Haifa. On July 14, 2005, Natan’s daughter, Dana, was killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip.

At the ceremony, Natan will share his thoughts about the loss of his daughter, and explain how Dana’s death drove him to take action about the most important ideals he believes in.

Open to the public. For more information, visit www.jewishinsandiego.org or contact the Israel Center at 858.571.3444.

Media Watch
Rabbi Phillip Graubart of Congregation Beth El in La Jolla, California, had a column on Yom HaShoah in yesterday's SDNN edition.

Chinese University Chorus
Performs Schindler's List
Cantor Sheldon Merel of San Diego found this You Tube video of the student chorus of Chinese University performing Schindler's List:

Running for Israel

Michael Rosen, a local leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition, has dedicated to Israel his run--and any charitable contributions he may receive--in this Sunday's half-marathon in La Jolla. Here's a link to his site.

Doris Roberts comes to La Jolla
for Unusual Acts of Devotion

Doris Roberts, recently featured in San Diego Jewish World's YouTube salute to Jewish entertainers for her role as the mother in the television comedy series, "Everyone Loves Raymond," will portray Mrs. Darnell in the La Jolla Playhouse production of Unusual Acts of Devotion, June 2-28.

please visit

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Talk of old times and great expectations

By Lynne Thrope

SAN DIEGO--Zelig Camiel. The mere mention of this moniker to any native Jewish San Diegan invokes a reflexive smile, for Zel was iconic. Ask any Del Mar resident who was there in the ‘60s about the endless shenanigans of this easily recognizable liquor store owner and you will get a stockpot of tales which I did, last week, post Passover, sitting next to me in 4B on my flight to New York City.

At 24, Sam Borgese was given the good fortune of managing Zel’s liquor store while Zel and family traveled to Israel. During that time away, young Sam, who learned Yiddish from his rascally mentor, now had the opportunity to shmooze with the best of them and do what Zel had taught him – charm consumers into buying product through the telling of his tall tales.

What my flying companion shared with me that day was his odyssey from that of being Zel’s underling (he was given Zel’s walking cane before he passed in 1987) to recently being appointed president and chief executive officer of CB Holding Corp, the parent company of Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House, The Office Beer Bar and Grill, and the Jolly Trolley Bar and Grill.

When the first of many East coast Charlie Brown’s opened in 1966, Sam Borgese was studying architecture at Temple University. Little did Sam know at that time that he would someday be responsible for one of the largest and most popular steakhouses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

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Since food is core to my being, I quizzed him about the menu. (Would it be worthy of my friends I was visiting…and me?) With much animation and a killer smile, Sam Borgese (at right) rattled off the menu’s appetizers, salads, sauces, condiments, fish, meat, chicken, and desserts. What I remembered from the lavish list was a single 20oz. Certified Angus Porterhouse
offered at the bargain basement price of $25. This I had to have!

And lucky for me, one of my New York friends later confessed the need for Charlie Brown’s gluten-free menu offerings otherwise so hard to come by. Long story short, I got my behemoth Porterhouse along with a salad from the Farmer’s Market Salad Bar (nice touch). No room for the Sugar-free Marble Cheesecake, so we took it home. Breakfast never tasted so yummy!

I wish my flight back to San Diego was as engaging as was the flight to New York. I had relished in 4B’s tale telling of time spent in the retail business, real estate, software development, and his eventual rise to chief executive of Coco’s and Carrow’s before accepting his new position. Sam Borgese is a visionary who will charter his restaurants into waters never before navigated; of this I am sure. I am also sure that I will once again enjoy a 20oz. Porterhouse for $25. I hope it is in San Diego. B’tayavon….

Lynne Thrope can be contacted at lynnesworld@mac.com

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

News of the Fox
Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 6

By John Kluchin

January 25th, Sunday, at 8:00 p.m., will be Installation Day for the 1953 new slate of Officers of Samuel J. Fox Lodge, B’nai B’rith No. 1747.

This gala event should not be missed by anyone who has heard of or attended last years Grand Installation at which all in attendance had a wonderful time.

The place is in the Main Hall of the Beth Jacob Synagogue where at the conclusion of the Installation ceremonies you can dance and greet the new officers.

A pre-Installation Dinner, home-cooked, 7-course dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m.  Please phone for reservations; D. Sugarman, H 9-3378, J. David Brooks or Joseph Gelman, F-8511; and Stanley Yukon, R-5362 or M-1325.  Be seeing you there for a grand time and a chance to give the New Officers a wonderful send-off for a good year.

Mr. and Mrs. Ltd.
To Discuss Israel

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 6

Mr. and Mrs. Ltd., the young married couples’ group of Congregation Beth Israel, will hold its semi-monthly meeting this Sunday evening, Jan. 25th, at 8 p.m. at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Oscar Kaplan, 5831 Hardy Ave., just off the campus of San Diego State College.

Dr. Kaplan will lead the group in a discussion of the intriguing subject “Israel and American Jewry.”

Mr. and Mrs. Ltd. Meets at the homes of members on the second Friday evening (after Temple services) and the fourth Sunday evening of each month, according to Mr. Charles Salk, pres., and Mr. Milton Fredman, vice-president.

Fíesta Club Invites
Young People to Join

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 6

As a result of an election meeting held on December 14, the following members now hold office:

Pres., Marvin Poverny; Vice-Pres., Jerry Schecter; Rec. Sec., Rhoda Jaffe; Treas., Pauline Frankel; Corr. Sec., Reine Linsky; Del.-at-Large, Millie Berman.

This Sunday, January 25th, a jam session will be held in a private home, which has not yet been selected as we go to press.

The schedule thus far for Fiesta club activities is as follows:  Bingo Party, Sunday, Feb. 1st, 8:00 p.m. at the new Jewish Community Center, 3327 El Cajon Blvd.; Open Meeting,

Sunday, Feb. 8th, 8:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, no charge to members, 50 cents to non-members;

Valentine Party, Feb. 15th, to be held in a private home, yet to be decided upon.  For information call Adele Cheron, W. 5-8528.

The Fiesta Club is open to all single people of the Jewish faith.  The age limit is eighteen years or over for the girls and 21 years or more for the fellows.  It offers a chance for participating in group activity and making new friends.  If you have not already attended any of our meetings, may we see you at the next one?  Mitzi Kohn will be happy to answer qyestions pertaining to the Club.  Just call her at M. 8-2934.

Cottage of Israel
Seeks New Hostesses

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 6

Mrs. Anna Peckarsky, hostess chairman of the Cottage is developing plans for the acquisition of a permanent hostess committee to be recruited from members of various organizations.  This is being done to improve the caliber of refreshment serving at our weekly Open House held every Sunday afternoon.

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Mrs. Peckarsky, assisted by Bess Borushek is giving a Tea on Saturday afternoon, January 31 at the Cottage of Israel to which a selected group of women have been invited. She will acquaint these women of the importance of our hostess committee in meeting and serving the large number of
visitors who stream through the Cottages in the House of Pacific Relations.  Any woman interested in joining our hostess committee is invited to contact Mrs. Peckarsky at B. 2-2365 for further information.

With completion of new displays and decorations being promised by the committees in charge by the end of February, plans are being made for a special Open House on March 1st to which members of the community will be invited.

Stevenson Ball to Raise
Funds For Demos

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 6

In what may well be the first fund-raising effort of any local organization in the nation to help pay off the deficit in the National Democratic Committee, San Diego’s Young Democrats today announced a “Stevenson Birthday Ball” for this purpose.

To be held on Friday, Feb. 6, at Craftsman’s Hall, 3909 Centre St., San Diego, the dance will begin at 8:30 p.m.  New campaign donations of $1.50 or more will entitle the donor to a ticket of admission.

Dr. Joseph Farber, president of the Young Democrats, explained the urgency of liquidating the deficit.

Rabbinical Convention To
Be Held in San Diego

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 7

Once again, San Diego will be honored by the presence of the Rabbis of the Pacific southwest Region of the Rabbinical Assembly of America.

About 25 Rabbis, serving mostly in southern California, will meet in San Diego, with Tifereth Israel Synagogue acting as hosts, on January 26th, 27th and 28th.  At the first session, on Monday, Jan. 26th, at 2:00 p.m., the “Effectiveness of Synagogue Services, and the Work of the Rabbi” will be evaluated.  Rabbi Aaron Wise of the Valley Jewish Community Center will serve as Chairman.  At the second session, Tuesday, January 27th, at 10:00 a.m., the subject to be considered will be "Evaluating Our Educational Program.” The third session, that afternoon, will be chaired by Rabbi Max Vorspan and will be a business session.

The public is cordially invited to the fourth session, Tuesday, January 27th at 8:00 p.m.  A panel of Rabbis will speak on “The Synagogue as the Center of Jewish Life.”Rabbi Monroe Levens will act as Chairman.  The concluding session will be on Wednesday, January 28th, at 9:00 a.m., at which time “The Influence of the Conservative Movement in the General Community” will be discussed.
The Daughters of Israel and the Sisterhood will act as hostesses at the luncheons and dinners to be served to the visiting Rabbis.

Historic Ad--Haganah Meats

“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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Jewish Internet Favorites ...
featuring notable Jewish community members*
Visit our Jewish Internet Favorites index to find links to other videos

*Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie" with Sydney Pollack

Harvey Keitel socks it to him in "Life on Mars"

*Sami Frey as Franz in "Bande a Part' (English subtitles)

*Walter Koenig as Chekhov is transported to Tombstone, Arizona in "Star Trek" original series

We include those with at least one Jewish parent and those who have converted to Judaism as Jewish community members,

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