Volume 3, Number 95
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

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

Israel's security fence comes to my French Hill window ... By Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Among the attractions in my life is a good view. On a clear day, I can stand on my balcony and trace the line of the Jordan River in the Valley ten or so miles to the east, and see the buildings of Amman on the Mountains of Moab 15 miles further to the east. READ MORE

Transplanted Canadian Mitch Shack makes San Diego friends by joining fundraising bike tour for Israel ... by Ulla Hadar in Tiberius, Israel
The Bike Israel 2009 ride officially got under way Wednesday morning with participants departing from Metula on the northern border of Israel.READ MORE

The best Holocaust memorial? Build up the Jewish state! ... by Yarden Frankl in Neve Daniel, Israel
There is nothing like it, nothing even close. This Yom HaShoah, as in every past Yom HaShoah, throughout the State of Israel, a siren was sounded in every city and town, every kibbutz and moshav.

Zookeeper's Wife author salutes the Rightous Gentiles ... by Laurel Corona in San Diego
Diane Ackerman knows a lot about flexibility.  What was to be a longer visit to San Diego in February was condensed into a shorter stay this week, with an Environmental Literature Panel Discussion at San Diego State on Monday evening, followed by a lecture the next morning in the Saville Theatre at San Diego City College. READ MORE

Anti-Defamation League quizzes Napolitano on citizen privacy, immigration, terrorism, and earthquakes ... transcript from Department of Homeland Security

San Diego attorney Rick Barton moderated a Q&A session with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Anti-Defamation League's National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. READ MORE

The Jews Down Under... a roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian in Melbourne

Mis-programming Yom Tov traffic light causes problems READ MORE

Klinger wins top cricket award READ MORE

The River Nile in Egypt READ MORE


Cartoon Torah parsha (Metzorah) for this Shabbat from G-dcast READ MORE

Traveling Haftarah Scroll comes to San Diego for a Shabbat service READ MORE

Environmentalist Ellen Bernstein is Dor Hadash's scholar in residenceREAD MORE

Decade for Rabbi Kornberg already? READ MORE


Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard ... in San Diego

#61 -- Tidbits LYRICS AND MELODY
#151 -- One Time When LYRICS AND MELODY

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January 23, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Deceased (Otto Rosenbaum, Ella Kassoff) READ MORE
Rabbi Cohn To Speak On “Iron Curtain” Trials READ MORE
San Diego Hebrew Home for the Aged READ MORE
JWV Aux. Impressed by Regional Confab READ MORE
Pioneer Women Plan Purim Ball Feb. 22 READ MORE
Historic Ad: Carl Naliboff at Dick Grihalva Buick READ MORE
Historic Ad: Lewis Colonial Mortuary

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Martin Landau as Rollin Hand playing a clown as Barbara Bain plays a cabaret singer in "Mission Impossible" VIEW VIDEO

Michael Landon's laugh helps reconcile a husband and wife in "Little House on the Prairie"VIEW VIDEO

Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane passes for white in "Imitation of Life" with Juanita Moore as her real mother VIEW VIDEO

Yaphet Kotto at Lt. Al Giardello wants the unit to work "more as a team" in "Homicide: Life On the Streets"VIEW VIDEO

This space was created to keep you informed of the news about San Diego Jewish World and its family of contributors. Now, thanks to Gail Umeham, our assistant editor, if you want to read past items, you can pull down the "Features" box below our masthead and then click on Staff Box.


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!




Israel's security fence comes to my French Hill window

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM— Among the attractions in my life is a good view. On a clear day, I can stand on my balcony and trace the line of the Jordan River in the Valley ten or so miles to the east, and see the buildings of Amman on the Mountains of Moab 15 miles further to the east.

In recent days, I’ve seen the construction of Israel’s security barrier about a mile from me. If good fences make good neighbors, this may improve the quality of our life.

Israel has been building a barrier between it and the West Bank for eight years. It currently bends and twists for more than 700 kilometers, about 60 percent completed. Less of its planned route has been finished in the area of Jerusalem.

Construction began in the high-casualty years of 2002 when 457 Israelis were killed by Palestinian suicide bombers and other acts of terror. The barrier’s advocates credit it with helping to reduce the deaths to an annual average of 26 in 2006-08.

The picture above shows a bit of the wall going north from the road to the Jordan Valley. Other sections that we see from our neighborhood are several kilometers in overall length, but include gaps between what has been built.

Some of the delay and gaps reflect legal challenges mounted by Palestinians who protest land being taken for the barrier, or the inconvenience it causes for their travel between areas of the West Bank or into Israel. Much of the barrier is close to the armistice line that prevailed from 1948 to 1967, with variations to include major Jewish settlements close to that line. Lack of completion also reflects ambivalence about the barrier, and the lack of desire to spend huge sums all at once on a project that may not be all that effective.

Skeptics admit that the barrier has added to the problems of Palestinians from some areas to enter Israel. However, a quarter million Palestinians will be on the Israeli side of the barrier in Jerusalem. Recent shootings and rampaging heavy equipment have been the work of Jerusalem’s Arabs.

To the left of the road in the picture is Anata. It is outside the municipality of Jerusalem, and meant to be on the other side of the barrier. To the right of the road is the Arab neighborhood of Isaweea. It is part of Jerusalem, and will be on our side of the barrier. Its residents drive through our neighborhood of French Hill, and some of the boys from Isaweea play soccer in the school yard right alongside these fingers.

Arab friends have advised me not to visit Isaweea. Police observers have photographed the area from the roof of our building. Occasionally we see police check points on the road, and read of violence nipped in the bud, or traced to Isaweea..

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The best explanation of the reduced carnage may be Palestinian fatigue. There are also some 12,000 Palestinians in Israel’s security prisons, most of them seized since the onset of the intifada in 2000, and about 5,000 Palestinians in cemeteries due to the work of Israeli security forces. The Palestinians killed and captured have come disproportionately from the leaders and activists of the violence. There may be no shortage of Palestinians willing to replace them, but the overall quality and intensity of potential terrorists have declined.

Israel has invested heavily in intelligence, and frequently enters the West Bank for a short time in order to seize people wanted for questioning or incarceration. Palestinians still intent on doing us harm must evade that intelligence, even before they set off for one of the gaps in the barrier.

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SUITED UP—Bike Israel 2009 participants from San Diego County take a group shot prior to the first leg of their ride from
Metula to Sha'ar Hanegev to raise money to protect the Sha'ar Hanegev high school from rocket attack.

Transplanted Canadian Mitch Shack makes San Diego friends by joining fundraising bike tour for Israel

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of stories by our bureau chief (and chief bike rider) Ulla Hadar on the BikeIsrael 2009 project created by United Jewish Federation to raise money for the protection of Sha'ar Hanegev students against rocket attack. To contribute to this cause, please click on this link to a webpage of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County.

By Ulla Hadar

TIBERIUS, Israel—The Bike Israel 2009 ride officially got under way Wednesday morning with participants departing from Metula on the northern border of Israel.

The San Diego County group was in high spirits from the beginning, with everyone eager to start the long ride towards the Sha'ar Hanegev region, which has a partnership relationship with the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County.

The ride went through the Golan Heights where a stop was made and the guide, David Mitchell, shared some historic facts about the area that neighbors Syria.

Afterwards the group drove through Katzrin, which serves as the administrative center and is the largest town in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The town offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. To the south is the Sea of Galilee, to the north Mount Hermon, and to the west the hills of the Upper Galilee.
From here on it was 90 kilometers downhill to the Sea of Gallilee--which was a great pleasure to reach.

During the day I had the possibility to talk with one of the participants, Mitch Shack, who is the director of a management consulting company. Married with two grown up sons currently living in Canada, he said that he "moved to San |Diego from Ottawa a year ago where I have found people to be very friendly."

The idea of joining the Bike Israel2009 was prompted by a notice from the UJF publicizing the event.

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"I realized that this could be great possibility for me to meet people, to get into shape and to do something for another community," said Shack (pictured at right). He noted that he also has "been working with a school in Metula, This town being Ottawa's sister sister like Sha'ar Hanegev is San Diego's sister city.

"This way it felt like a good way to complete my transition to San Diego," Shack said. " Together with my new friends in the bike group we are now doing something that will enable the creation of a rocket proof High school in Sha'ar Hanegev."

Shack said that as a "new" guy, "I have to emphasize that the other participants of the bike group have been extremely helpful, chipping in with advice and explanations on how to ride." This advice has given him "a lot of confidence in riding a roadbike. It has given me the opportunity to know people in a different way."

The ride is intended to raise funds to protect Sha'ar Hanegev's High School against the constant rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strp.

"My fundraising has not been easy because I don’t know
a lot of people in San Diego, half of my network is in Canada, where an exchange rate and a tax make it more expensive to donate and the people in Canada really have to care for me a lot to sponsor the ride.

" It has been a challenge just to do the fundraising, and at the same time keep my business going. As the economy has been slowing down I need to put more effort into the business."

The bike rider added: "I firmly believe that we all need to bring more light into the world. One of the ways to enhance my prosperity is to make sure that other people are OK. I feel the importance of having friends and contacts in Israel and this ride really enables me to do this as well. It is all about personal relationships in the end."



Crossing the Yarden

The best Holocaust memorial? Build up the Jewish state!

By Yarden Frankl

NEVE DANIEL, Israel -- There is nothing like it, nothing even close.

This Yom HaShoah, as in every past Yom HaShoah, throughout the State of Israel, a siren was sounded in every city and town, every kibbutz and moshav.

Whatever we are doing, we stop and our thoughts go out to the murder of six million Jews. A murder that took place while the world watched.

Powerful as they are, no Holocaust museums or monuments can ever domore than the nation of Israel standing at attention for two minutes.Because when we bow our heads and contemplate, there are not one buttwo thoughts that demand our attention.

The first is the wholesale destruction of human life. Children,families, towns were all burned. Burned by hundreds of thousands of willing followers of a madman who saw the end of Jewish life as acherished goal. Trainload after trainload arrived full at Auschwitz and other camps and left empty. Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.

I was in the center of Jerusalem when the siren was sounded last year. Itwas an unforgettable sight as cars and buses, pedestrians, and cyclist at the busiest intersection in Jerusalem all just stopped in their tracks and listened. People in cafes put down their coffee and stood up. Even the beggars stopped begging and the street musicians were
silent. We all listened and cried. At the time I thought there was nobetter place to experience the might of Yom HaShoah than in the center of Jerusalem.

This year I was home. As the siren sounded, I stepped outside and stood in front of my home and the second thought that accompanies this day here was closely intertwined with my thoughts of the six million.

I live in the Jewish State of Israel. I built a home here and am raising my family here. Many people and nations around the world try to sound righteous and say that we live on “stolen” land, that my “settler” children are morally equivalent to the terrorists who live down the road.

They can go to hell. Where was their compassion while six million ofmy people were slaughtered? Where were they when the kindergartens were emptied out and babies were thrown out of hospital windows? What did they do as the Synagogues burned and my people were enslaved, starved, and then murdered?

Our answer to the Holocaust is much more than a museum or monument. It is much more than a two minute siren one day a year. Our answer is that we continue to build a Jewish nation, respectful of our past but not shackled by it. Jewish schools, shops, buses, food, basketball teams, soldiers, scholars, airlines, diplomats, police officers, criminals, millionaires, beggars, Nobel prize winners, the list goes
on. Jewish life in the State of Israel is now richer and more vibrant than it ever was in Europe.

Hitler, Ahmadinejad, Arafat, your names don’t matter. You existed in the past and you will exist in the future. You are losers. You are chasing a goal you will never achieve because your will to kill us is weaker than our will to survive and prosper.

I stood outside my home and felt both sad and defiant as the siren sounded.

A monument to remember the six million?

Every single Jewish home in Israel is such a monument.

We won’t just continue to mourn, we will continue to build.


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Zookeeper's Wife author salutes the Rightous Gentiles

"In rapidly changing and unforgiving landscapes, the animal with the best chance of survival can detect new experiences, quickly review its options, decide what to do, and learn from its choices. Flexibility was and still is our genius." Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind

By Laurel Corona

SAN DIEGO—Diane Ackerman (pictured at right) knows a lot about flexibility.  What was to be a longer visit to San Diego in February was condensed into a shorter stay this week, with an Environmental Literature Panel Discussion at San Diego State on Monday evening, followed by a lecture the next morning in the Saville Theatre at San Diego City College. A reception at the JCC, and another lecture and discussion in the Garfield Theatre capped off her one full day in San Diego, then a bit of sleep and a pre-dawn pick-up to return home to upstate New York.

Or perhaps “versatility” is a more nuanced word for what was on display throughout Ackerman’s visit. A distinguished poet
, essayist, and naturalist, she is the author of many acclaimed and prize-winning works of nonfiction, including A Natural History of the Senses, Deep Play, An Alchemy of the Mind, A Natural History of Love, The Moon by Whale Light, and On Extended Wings.

She has also published several volumes of poetry, including Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems and Praise My Destroyer, and several children’s book, including a volume of poetry, Animal Sense.

Her training as a scholar (she has a Ph.D. in English from Cornell) her natural curiosity, and her immense talent as a writer all come together in The Zookeeper’s Wife. This work of narrative non-fiction is the current selection for “One Book, One San Diego” an ongoing program coordinated by KPBS, the San Diego Library, The San Diego City College Book Fair, and other sponsors, including the LFJCC. It was also reviewed earlier this year in San Diego Jewish World.

The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the story of a Christian couple, Antonina Zabiniski and her husband Jan, the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo during World War II.  Pre-invasion Luftwaffe attacks destroyed many zoo enclosures, killing many animals and freeing others, to create what Ackerman called “a biblical hallucination,” as they ran loose in the streets and gardens of Warsaw. In the horrific aftermath, Polish soldiers shot all remaining animals that might threaten public safety if they were to escape.

With the zoo gutted and empty, Jan and Antonina decided to use the facility to hide Jews and provide shelter for members of the Warsaw underground, of which Jan was an active part.

The challenge was enormous.  The villa that was the Zabinskis' home was “all windows,” Ackerman told the Garfield Theatre audience, and the German army used the zoo grounds for its own activities. To keep suspicion from arising at the accidental sighting of an unfamiliar face, Antonina hid their “Guests” during the day in secret corners of the house and animal enclosures, and kept an endless stream of legitimate visitors coming through the house.

Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company staged a dramatic reading to open the LFJCC event, evoking the omnipresent fear of discovery. An elderly Jew hiding at the villa was caught in a room with Antonina by one of the household staff.  Keeping his wits about him, the man took Antonina’s pulse and gave her directions for treating the symptoms he had observed in his examination. The confused housekeeper went away believing she has simply somehow managed to miss the arrival of a doctor in the house.

The Zabinskis' menagerie was another way to create the off-putting impression of barely controlled chaos at the villa.  A drunken hamster, a chick that rode on the back of a rabbit, and a badger that taught himself to use the Zabinskis' son Rhys’ training potty were all part of the daily commotion, and a central delight of Ackerman’s book.  As she pointed out to the audience, the times were horrific, but wherever there is life there is also humor, levity, and moments of joy.

In an e-mail exchange I had with Ackerman before the event, I asked her how she had balanced the need to remain true to the facts with the need to tell a compelling story.  She told me that   “Creative nonfiction is a genre I know and love and have written in for years. But because their story was so dramatic, I chose to write The Zookeeper's Wife in a new genre for me-- narrative non-fiction. In this genre, I could use the fictional techniques of telling a story, building a character, setting a scene, and so on, but absolutely everything had to be true. So, whenever someone speaks in Zookeeper, for instance, I'm quoting directly from diaries, interviews, testimonies, etc.”

This adherence to the facts called Ackerman to spend a great deal of time in Poland, and in a “steady stream of small astonishments,” she familiarized herself with the sights, smells, and sounds of zoo life. She also experienced the ambiance of the recreated historic center of Warsaw, the zoo grounds, and the villa itself, to which she was given a key.

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“When I lay down in [Antonina’s] bedroom, peered out her windows, stood on her terrace and leaned against its waist-high wall,” Ackerman said in a recent interview, “ I could notice that salmon-colored tiles collect dew at dawn. I knelt in what had been Antonina’s garden. In many such ways, I could sample the texture of her life.”

Ackerman’s  research took her not just to Warsaw, but to the primeval forests near the border with Belarus, to try to comprehend the massive scale of the Nazis’ plans to resculpt genetics and global ecology to return the world to what they considered its “purer” former state. This they intended to do not just by mass murder of people they considered inferior, but (in their own Jurassic Park-like vision) by genetically engineering current animal and plant species back into earlier paleolithic forms.

“That was what Nazism sought to do,” Ackerman said recently.  “They wanted to alter the world's ecosystems and actually extinguish other countries' native species of plants and animals, including human beings, of course, and plant their own versions.”

It was, as she told the Garfield Theatre audience, “the stuff of Wagnerian opera.” But the heroes of this story are no Siegfried and Brunnhilde.  They are people one would never pick out on the street, people for whom injustice is a sufficient call to action. 

“Courage appears every day on this planet,” Ackerman told the audience during the question and answer session after her talk.  It is seen in the sacrifices and compassion of ordinary people, and their willingness to take risks on behalf of the right of other creatures not just to live, but to live with dignity.  That’s the kind of zoo Jan and Antonina Zabinski kept, the kind of lives they lived, and the kind of heroes they are.

Corona, a professor of humanities at San Diego City College, is the author of The Four Seasons, a novel about Vivaldi, and coauthor with Michael Bart of Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance.

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Anti-Defamation League quizzes Napolitano on citizen privacy, immigration, terrorism, and earthquakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. —San Diego attorney Rick Barton moderated a Q&A session with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Anti-Defamation League's National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Here is a transcript provided Wednesday by the office of Napolitano, who formerly was governor of Arizona. The Secretary covered such issues as combatting terrorism, immigration reform, earthquake preparedness and citizen privacy.

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Take a few questions?


SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Thank you. That was very kind. We're going to do some questions now. You're in charge.

MR. LEWY:  You're in charge, Madam Secretary. 

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Okay. Okay. Yes, sir. 

ADL NATIONAL LEADERSHIP CHAIR RICK BARTON:  What we're going to do—that's why I'm in charge on this. 


MR. BARTON:  We go to the microphone right there.


MR. BARTON:  And we always start to the left at ADL.


SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  But I'm in the middle.


QUESTION:  Hi. My name is Mark Schoendorff. I'm from Los Angeles, Calif. In Los Angeles we have earthquakes, and the last major disastrous earthquake that we've had was in 1994. It's now 2009. Unlike a hurricane or unlike a tornado, they come unexpectedly and they affect a lot of people. Now that FEMA has been incorporated into DHS, what steps if any, hopefully, have been taken to, I guess, respond to an impending natural disaster in Southern California?

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Yes. In fact, I was just in—I've been in Southern California twice in the last four weeks, once in the San Diego area, and once in—I was in L.A., actually, last Monday. And the answer is we're working very closely with California, its state emergency management division, and others. And you are right. That is a key difference between an earthquake and a hurricane. 

With a hurricane you have a hundred hours ahead of time. You can pretty much know or have a pretty good estimate where it's going to land. An earthquake, it's 2 a.m. and boom, you know, something happens. And so we are doing planning for that and we are planning—I don't have the exact date, but I want to say it's within the next 12 to 18 months—a major national exercise focused on earthquakes.

Now, that one will be along the major fault that's in the Midwest that hasn't erupted in a while and the seismologists believe that it will. So we're doing a major multi-state exercise there, but we are doing similar types of things in California. 


QUESTION:  Thank you. Stuart Scher, Boulder, Colo. There's been a lot of discussion here at this conference and in the past about the balance between fighting terrorism and protecting civil rights. And one measure or the only measure I've really heard is have we been attacked again? By that measure, the last administration did a very good job, and so far, so has this administration. How do we measure the effectiveness of our efforts so we can decide whether certain, you know, infringements, perhaps, on civil liberties might be worthwhile?

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  It is impossible to measure a negative, in a way. It is easy to say what you caught, and it's difficult to say what you prevented, in part because you don't want to give lessons to others or set examples for others on what to do and what investigatory techniques were used. 

I think what I can say is that this administration has a strong commitment to making sure that as we do everything in our power to prevent terrorist acts from occurring, that that is done rigidly within the Constitution and the rights provided in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights And I think you have to just express that sensitivity and then design your investigations and your work accordingly. How you measure that in terms of—well, if we went ahead and did this kind of surveillance or infiltration, would we prevent something? I think we have to ultimately say there are some things we just won't do. 

QUESTION:  (Inaudible)

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  I just took Florida's emergency management director [W. Craig Fugate] to be the head of FEMA, so they may be a little surly right now. His confirmation hearing is tomorrow, so he is—assuming that he is confirmed. Just speak loudly, and I'll repeat the question.

QUESTION:  We had 90 meetings this morning on the Hill about immigration reform, which is a huge issue. And I just—in this group my question is: are there baby steps that are being taken that might be out of the spotlight where something is happening? Because we keep hearing, it's huge. It's huge. It will happen. Is there stuff happening now that might not be out there in the news that is going on with the immigration reform?

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Yes. And that was what I was referring to when I said that that was one of the major initiatives of our department: smart, effective immigration enforcement. And, you know, that is really looking at our own internal processes, how we handle things administratively, making sure. For example, one area of concern has been the condition of ICE detention facilities. 

ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It's the agency that picks up or holds illegal entrants once they are apprehended. And so I have actually—when I came to work, I found that that was way down on the org chart, buried somewhere, and wasn't really getting the attention that it merits. And I brought in somebody that I have great confidence in who really understands detention facilities, contract management of facilities, how to staff them appropriately, how to have the right medical care, that sort of thing, and really elevated that issue. I didn't need comprehensive immigration reform to do that. I just know that it needed to be done and we did it.

There are other issues. The change in focus in workplace enforcement, for example, did not require comprehensive

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immigration reform. It was a change in focus that we are getting ready to get out to our own—within our own agency about what
we want to concentrate on on the immigration side at the Department of Homeland Security. 

They're kind of looking at the paperwork trail that one goes through when one becomes naturalized to see if there are ways to facilitate that. And, then I just signed in Mexico several weeks ago a number of repatriation agreements about what will happen and the different states that we will return illegal entrants in to Mexico. So all of that work is ongoing even though we don't have comprehensive immigration reform. 

You bet. Back to the center.

  Dave Coleman from McLean, Va. After the Holocaust, many survivors were very wary of any kind of government documents or identifying papers. Many Jews were even scared to circumcise their children for fear that the government could too easily identify them. How do we balance our need to identify people to protect our security with the kind of American feeling that they have a right to privacy and you have a right to not have to identify yourself to the government, and you should be able to just live anonymously about the government knowing too much about who you are or what you do every day?

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  It's tough, because we do have a sense, and really, a need for privacy. But on the other hand,  you've got to have a Social Security number. You've got to pay your taxes. There are responsibilities that go along with being a citizen of the United States.  There's a contract, in a way, between individuals and the United States.

So how do you have that contract and have it be a vital part of existence without undue infringement on privacy? One issue that has come up on is an issue called REAL ID, which was a bill passed by Congress several years ago, but they never put any money behind it. And the states, Democrat and Republican governors alike, resisted it because they didn't want to pay for it, quite frankly.

And so we've been, over the last weeks, meeting with governors of both parties to look at a way to repeal REAL ID and substitute something else that pivots off of the driver's license but accomplishes some of the same goals. And we hope to be able to announce something on that fairly soon. So, you know, that is a balance. But nobody really lives in the United States in a complete bubble. Right? There is a relationship there. The question is: how do you have that relationship in such a fashion that people's privacy rights are not violated?

QUESTION:  Hi. I'm Bill Mowat from Seattle, Wash. I just have a question around—we were talking yesterday. There's a debate currently in the press and all over the place about the role of torture and whether it was effective or non-effective in, you know, getting information that led to, you know, good things, people not being killed, et cetera, et cetera.

And I know this is very controversial. But the question I have is: do you think the administration in general, even privately and maybe not releasing much information, will investigate to see if there was any effectiveness and kind of resolve that debate, even if it is just internal, so that—I don't know—there's something going forward?

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Well, I think the President has been very clear that he wants to move forward, that he is not interested too much in focusing on what was done in the prior administration. And, I think he said very clearly, and kind of what I said in answer to a previous question, there are some things we are just not going to do, that we are the United States. We believe we stand for certain things, and one of the things we stand for is that we don't torture. And, so, in a way, the kind of cost/benefit analysis is not that helpful. 

That being said—that being said—you have to have ways to interrogate. You have to have ways to find information. You have to have ways to work with other countries to prevent terrorist attacks because there are people in this world who seek to do us harm. And let's be blunt about it. And so the challenge to us is to do that and to work to keep the American people safe in a world where we can never be risk-free—there can never be guarantees—and to do it in a way consistent with our fundamental values as Americans. And that is the message the President has sent to his cabinet, and that is how we will conduct ourselves.


MR. LEWY:  That's it. No further questions.

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:  Thank you all very much.


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

Mis-programming Yom Tov traffic light causes problems

MELBOURNE - A communications bungle over automatic traffic lights had children's lives endangered on local roads over Pesach.

A list, which the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) said it had sent to VicRoads some time ago, has the dates and times of yom tov which had the dates and times on which traffic light were to be in automatic mode, but apparently went missing.

The problems surfaced over Pesach, which was the first major Jewish holiday since the automation scheme was extended to include new intersections.

VicRoads regional office stated that the authority is currently in discussion with the JCCV regarding additional sites for automatic traffic lights, and is close to an agreement to fully automate these additional sites during specified times on Jewish holidays.

Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) president Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, who was involved in the drive to expand the automation of intersections, said he "was very concerned to hear traffic lights were not working" over Pesach.

The RCV took part in talks late last year, also involving the JCCV and police, to find a solution after two incidents of observant Jews being fined for crossing streets against red lights during a Jewish holiday period. Not wanting to turn on or off electricity during the yom tov, they had no way to stop traffic at the pedestrian crossing.

Klinger wins top cricket award

ADELAIDE - Michael Klinger has been named South
Australia's best cricketer for the 2008/09 season, taking out the Neil Dansie Medal at the Redback's awards night.

In his first season at the club, Klinger scooped the pool, taking out the awards for best Sheffield Shield player and best Ford Ranger Cup player as well.

Klinger was also named State Player of the Year at the Alan Border Medal in February.

In addition, Klinger has been given his biggest indication yet that an Aussie berth may be around the corner, with Australian selector and South Australian high performance coach Jamie Cox telling Klinger he is ready to play at the highest level.

"He basically said 'from what I've seen you're ready for international cricket, it's just a matter of whether things fall your way or not'," Klinger said.

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"But there are quite a few players in contention. I'd love to be involved, but obviously it's hard to know how close you actually are."

But it's not all good news, with Klinger having his hopes of playing county cricket in England dashed under new, stricter work permit laws, designed to protect the development of players in the UK.

On the precipice of selection in the Australian team after a stellar season for South Australia in all forms, Klinger was hoping to boost his chances of winning selection for the Ashes tour in June, by playing in English conditions in the lead-up.

But to play in the county system, Klinger would have needed an Australian contract and one Test match in the past 24 months, or a combined total of 15 One Day Internationals or Twenty20s in the past 24 months to be considered.

Alternatively, any player in the most recent Australian touring squad is also eligible.

Klinger will resume training next month in Adelaide in an effort to be ready should he get the tap for Australia's tour of England or Australia A's series against Pakistan in North Queensland, also in June.


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The Bible in Pop Culture: The River Nile in Egypt

Photo taken in San Diego in Little Italy area by Shahar Masori on April 22, 2009

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Genesis 41:1

It happened at the end of two years to the day: Pharaoh was dreaming that behold!--he was standing over the River {Nile}

Although Bible doesn't use the word "Nile," it is clear from the context that it is Egypt's (and Pharaoh's) major river about which it speaks. In San Diego, numerous taxicabs are leased to drivers, who may name them as they please. Many drivers pick place names indicating their own origins.

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

Cartoon Torah parsha (Metzorah) for this Shabbat from G-dcast

Parshat Metzorah from G-dcast.com. More Torah cartoons at www.g-dcast.com

Traveling Haftarah Scroll comes to San Diego for a Shabbat service

SAN DIEGO—The Men's Club of Tifereth Israel Synagogue will have a special traveling Haftarah scroll available for viewing during and after 9:15 a.m. Shabbat services this Saturday, April 24.

The special Haftarah Scroll includes all the Haftarot that are read throughout the year, with each notated with Hebrew vowels.

The Scroll is sponsored by the International Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. Tifereth Israel Synagogue is at 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd in the San Carlos neighborhood of San Diego

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Environmentalist Ellen Bernstein
is Dor Hadash's scholar in residence

SAN DIEGO—Environmentalist Ellen Bernstein, author of Ecology and the Jewish Spirit and The Splendor of Creation, will serve as scholar in residence at Congregation Dor Hadash April 24-25. Founder of Shomrei Adamah in 1988, Bernstein has been described as the "mother of the Jewish enviornmental movement."

She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Shabbat services Friday, April 24in the Reconstructionist congregation'
s sanctuary at 4858 Ronson Court, and again from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Bernstein also will be the featured speaker at a luncheon at the congregation. More information may be obtained from the synagogue's administrator, Mark Newman, at (858) 268-3674.

Decade for Rabbi Kornberg already?

SAN DIEGO—Congregation Beth Am in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Rabbi David Kornberg joining them as a spiritual leader. There will be a dinner dance gala and auction beginning at 6 p.m., Sunday, May 17. Tickets start at $118. More information at www.betham.com.

please visit


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

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 7

Otto Rosenbaum, 61, a clothing merchant.  Services were conducted by Rabbi Baruch Stern on January 19 at the Merkley-Austin Mortuary. Internment was at the Home of Peace Cemetery.  Formerly of Baltimore, Mr. Rosenbaum had lived here for seven years.  Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Sarah Rosenbaum, a daughter, Mrs. Ruth Atkin of Cleveland, a son, Dr. Victor Rosenbaum of Louisville; and 3 grandchildren.

Mrs. Ella Kassoff, 62, formerly of New Jersey, had lived here for 10 years.  Services were conducted on January 19 by Rabbi Baruch Stern at the Merkley-Austin Mortuary.  Internment was at the Home of Peace Cemetery.  Survivors include three daughters Mrs. Ruth Zweibel, Mrs. Clara Weiss, Mrs. Jean Abelson, and 4 grandchildren.  Mrs. Kassoff was a resident of the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

Rabbi Cohn To Speak On
“Iron Curtain” Trials

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 7

At Sabbath Eve services this Friday evening in Temple Beth Israel, Third and Laurel, Rabbi Cohn will preach on the subject “We Inaugurate a President.”  He will deal with such questions as, what is the deeper significance of the change of administration, and what potentials does it hold for our country and the world?

On Friday evening, January 30th, the subject of Rabbi Cohn’s pulpit message will be “What’s behind the Prague and Moscow Trials?” No other events since the end of the Hitler terror have so aroused American and world Jewry as the trials of Jewish “terrorists” and “traitors” in lands behind the Iron curtain.  What appears to be the real portent and meaning of these trials?  Is Communist Russia turning to anti-Semitism as an instrument of national policy?  These and other questions will be discussed in the sermon.

Sabbath morning services are held in the Temple every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.  Rabbi Cohn’s Saturday sermons deal with the Torah portion of the week.

The Temple Forum—Every Sunday morning the Temple Forum of Congregation Beth Israel meets in the Temple Center at 9:45 for coffee and 10:15 for discussion.
On Sunday, January 25th, the forum will discuss “What Is The Relationship Between the synagogue and the Jewish Community Center?” The discussion will be led by Mr. Sidney Posin, Director of the Jewish Community Center.

“What Is The Future of Our Temple?”will be discussed by the forum on Sunday, February 1st.  Discussion will be led by several officers and directors of the Congregation.  All interested adults are cordially invited to attend and participate in the Temple Forum.

San Diego Hebrew
Home for the Aged

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 7

An open house and tea are planned for Thursday, January 29, from two to four at 2740 4th Ave.  Be one of those people helping to bring cheer to the family at the home and learn about the many activities going on there.  Chairman for this lovely affair is the able Mr. Sidney Goldstein assisted by Mrs. Joseph Cysner who is hospitality chairman. 

Delicious homemade pastries donated by Mrs. David Greenberg in hon0r of her 42nd wedding anniversary will be served.  Other hard workers are Mrs. N. Schiller, Mrs. Wm. Richartz, Mrs. Sidney Newman and the artistic touch done by Mrs. Zel Greenberg.  Pouring will be Mrs. Wm. Richartz and Mrs. Wm. B. Schwartz.

Application for admission to the Hebrew Home for the Aged may be made through the Jewish Welfare Society, 333 Plaza Bldg., F-1803.

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JWV Aux. Impressed
by Regional Confab

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 8

Eight members of the Auxiliary, consisting of President Binnie Brooks, Sr. Vice-Pres.; Lillian Yukon, Jr. Vice-Pres.; Tess Furst; Jennie Turner; Nixie Kern; Henrietta Cohen; Myra Schoenthal and Sophie Silberman, attended the Department Donor Luncheon at Ciros, in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 17th, and they are of the unanimous opinion that this years affair excelled in every way,
all previous Donor Luncheons.

Big Doings on Sunday, March 15th at the Beth Jacob Center—hold the date open—The Post, in conjunction with the Auxiliary will run an old fashioned Bingo Party—there will be prizes galore—watch the next edition of the Press for further details.  All proceeds derived from the party are to be used to further our ever expanding Veterans Projects.
Members are urged to attend the next regular meeting on Monday, February 1st, at 8 p.m. in the War Memorial Building, Balboa Park—2nd nomination of officers.

Pioneer Women Plan
Purim Ball Feb. 22

Southwestern Jewish Press January 23, 1953, page 8

About 1800 pounds of almost new clothing and linens were packed and shipped immediately to Israel at the close of Pioneer Women’s drive on Jan. 15th.

A delicious Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings and a fine musical program is promised members and friends who attend our Arbor Day celebration at Beth Jacob Center on Sunday, Feb. 1st at 6:30 p.m. by the following hostesses; Pauline Press, Florence Lebb, Rose Garber, Rose Kaplan, Doris Brisker and Gertrude Rawdin.  Please phone in your reservations to W. 5-2566 or W-2020.

Tickets are selling fast for our Queen Esther Purim Ball on Feb. 22 under the chairmanship of Florence Lebb.  A buffet supper including traditional Purim delicacies is planned.  Dancing including Israeli dances, and the Queen Esther contest with entries from various organizations in San Diego and Mexico will be features of the Ball this year.

“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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Thursdays With The Songs of Hal Wingard

SAN DIEGO—In this week's selection, songwriter Hal Wingard testifies to the fleetingness of time, and to the fragmentary nature of human experience. The library of his songs thus far published and recorded may be accessed via this link.

#61 -- Tidbits
#142 -- Now
#151 -- One Time When

#61, Tidbits

Life is an uncharted cosmos,
So complex that none understand.
All of us fumble like blind men
Fooled by the touch of our hand.
So, I simply sing of life's tidbits--
Pieces I see and I feel--
Patches, each ripped from life's fabric--
The fragments of truth they reveal.

I sing of my friends and my neighbors,
Events of my ev'ryday life:
The fall of a leaf in the autumn,
The love that I share with my wife.
I celebrate life in its goodness
As well as its evil and wrong.
The caring or hurting I witness
Are tidbits of life for my song.

(c) 2009 Hal Wingard. July 17, 1979

#142, Now

We live for the moment; we live for the now,
Seeking what pleasure the moments allow.
The past is a graveyard of deeds that are dead.
The future's too blurry to see what's ahead.

We live for the moment; the moment is real.
It's only the now that we really can feel;
For feelings gone by are covered in dust
With contours so lost there's no form to trust.

We live for the moment; it's now that is true.
It's now that we feel whatever we do.
Tomorrow's a dream, a dim fantasy.
No way to feel now what never may be.

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The past is a graveyard of deeds that are dead.
The future's too blurry to see what's ahead.
We live for the moment; we live for the now,
Seeking what pleasure the moments allow.

#151, One Time When...

If only I were young again,
Young as I was one time when. . .

On Carousel

I raced a spunky painted horse,
Knowing on the circling course,
Once I let the race begin,
There was no way my horse could win.

If only I were young again,
Young as I was one time when. . .

Beside the Shore

I built a moat and wall of sand,
Proud of what I'd made by hand.
But when the tide washed all away,
I laughed to see the tide at play.

If only I were young again,
Young as I was one time when. . .

In the Park

By string I held a blue balloon,
Pretending I had caught the moon.
Then tired of play I gave it flight
And planned to see two moons that night.

If only I were young again,
Young as I was one time when. . .

At Daily Work

I fight to win each foolish race,
Defend my castle's bit of space. . .
I wish that I could hold the moon!
I've lost my youth, so soon, so soon!

If only I were young again,
Young as I was one time when. . .

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

Martin Landau as Rollin Hand playing a clown as Barbara Bain plays a cabaret singer in "Mission Impossible"

Michael Landon's laugh helps reconcile a husband and wife in "Little House on the Prairie"

Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane passes for white in "Imitation of Life" with Juanita Moore as her real mother

Yaphet Kotto at Lt. Al Giardello wants the unit to work "more as a team" in "Homicide: Life On the Streets"

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

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