Volume 3, Number 101
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

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


Death penalty for Palestinian who sold land to Jews ...
by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reports that a military court has imposed a sentence of death by hanging on 59 year old Anor Baririt, of a village near Hebron. He was convicted by unanimous vote of the judges for the crime of selling land to Jews. READ MORE

Bike Israel 2009 concludes with a lap to Gaza border ...
by Ulla Hadar in Kibbutz Mefalsim, Israel
In celebration of Israel's 61st Independence Day, bike riders from throughout Sha'ar Hanegev municipality joined the San Diegans of BikeIsrael2009 on a celebratory lap through some of the front-line kibbutzim on Israel's border with Gaza.READ MORE

Israelis' confidence shown in the country's rising birthrate ... by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
At the birth of Israel in 1948, the population was 806,000, 35% native born and the rest immigrants. Tel Aviv was the only city in Israel with more than 100,000 residents. READ MORE

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

Trecking Mt Everest Kosher-style READ MORE
Documentary maker seeks Jewish Aussie anecdotes READ MORE
Taste of Tel Aviv in Sydney READ MORE
Jewish Refugee Advocates call for compassionREAD MORE


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

#68 -- Salesmanship READ AND HEAR
#119 -- Making Love READ AND HEAR
#133 -- Ripe Love READ AND HEAR

Williams' family experience reflected in 'Glass Menagerie' ... by Car0l Davis in Coronado, California
The last words that Tom Wingfeld, narrator and character in Tennessee William’s memory play The Glass Menagerie speaks: “Blow out your candles, Laura, - and so goodbye” break your heart.READ MORE

Novel tells of secret a mother tried to bury in the Holocaust ... by David Strom in San Diego
Those Who Save Us is a novel by a young half-Jewish gifted writer.  When you start to read this book you are immediately captured and involved in the unfolding drama.READ MORE 

Watch our Bible come together with biblical names and modern images

I Samuel 2: 21 READ MORE


3-D Commentary: Don's dots & dashes ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
-Israel missing from Obama's 100th-day news conference READ MORE

-Fox Network snubs Obama news conference READ MORE

-Tech Muscleman Pechman at Poway Library today READ MORE

-See what Twitter can bring?READ MORE

-Acharei (G-dcast) VIEW VIDEO


ADL hails House passage of anti-hate crime act, urges Senate action READ MORE

Threes Learn All About Rocks at Soille Hebrew Day READ MORE

JCF Tikkun Olam Camp taking applications for one-week camp READ MORE

Over 30 Israeli documentaries, films to screen at L.A. festival

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February 20, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Pioneer Women Pick Queen at Purim Ball This SundayREAD MORE

Mobilization Rally READ MORE

Spring Fete Plans Near CompletionREAD MORE

Jewish Center Day Sunday READ MORE

B’nai B’rith Auxiliary To Present Winners Of Essay Contest READ MORE

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Al Waxman in title role of "The King of Kensington"VIEW VIDEO

Chaim Topol as Tevye sings "Do You Love Me" with Norma Crane as Golde VIEW VIDEO

Elizabeth Taylor in the title role of "Cleopatra" (trailer) VIEW VIDEO

Janet Suzman as the mother in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" with Alan Bates VIEW VIDEO


COMING ATTRACTIONS—Many of our writers and correspondents have authored books. We're currently considering serializing some of these books in San Diego Jewish World. We're also considering posting a feature matching our writers with the books that they have authored and providing readers with information about where they can obtain these books. If anyone--staff or readers--have thoughts about these plans, please write us at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com


America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Community Foundation
Jewish Family Service
Lawrence Family JCC
Math Is Easy
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. To see today's dedication, please click here. 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!




Death penalty for Palestinian who sold land to Jews

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM--The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reports that a military court has imposed a sentence of death by hanging on 59 year old Anor Baririt, of a village near Hebron. He was convicted by unanimous vote of the judges for the crime of selling land to Jews.

There are several other cases under investigation.

According to the newspaper al Halig, published in the Persian Gulf, authorities released three Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, also accused of selling land to Jews. Their release came when Israel threatened to impose a military blockade on the Palestinian capital of Ramallah if they continued to be held.

Palestinian authorities said it was necessary to publicize the names of those involved, in order to dissuade others from this kind of crime.

Individuals accused of cooperating with Israel have been seized by their neighbors, judged and executed in the street, all within minutes, before a cheering crowd.

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Will Israeli authorities act to prevent such an occurrence?

Not if they heed those worthies who accuse them of taking Palestinian land, and interfering in the internal affairs of Palestine.

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His email is msira@mscc.huji.ac.il

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RIDERS UP—The BikeIsrael2009 team was joined by Mayor Alon Schuster (in orange jersey) prior to a celebratory ride around
Sha'ar Hanegev for the Yom Ha'Atzmaut holiday. From left, riders are Allan Goldstein, Leo Spiegel, Mardelle and Jeff Davis, Mitch
Shack, Andi Neugarten, Ulla Hadar, Gary Kornfeld, Susanand Robert Lapidus, Rick Kornfeld and Alon Schuster.

Bike Israel 2009 concludes with a lap to Gaza border

Editor's Note: This is the eighth and final installment 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

KIBBUTZ MEFALSIM, Israel—In celebration of Israel's 61st Independence Day, bike riders from throughout Sha'ar Hanegev municipality joined the San Diegans of BikeIsrael2009 on a celebratory lap through some of the front-line kibbutzim on Israel's border with Gaza.

At eight o'clock Wednesday morning, a crowd of people gathered with their bikes in Kibbutz Dorot, and rode in a long snake-lie file to Kibbutz Or Haner. The speed was slow, it was a challenge for experienced riders to match the pace.

On the way, riders from San Diego and Sha'ar Hanegev leisurely chatted about the experiences BikeIsrael2009 participants had on their 6-day trek (with a rest over Shabbat) from Metula in the far north of Israel to Sha'ar Hanegev, which includes 10 kibbutzim and 1 moshav at the gateway of the Negev Desert.

At Or Haner a small group of bikers joined the proession and more still joined at the stop near Kibbutz Nir Am.

The route went through the outskirts of Kibbutz Nir Am to an
overlook point at the Gaza border, and from there followed a short distance along the borderline before ending up at the Black Arrow paratrooper memorial site, where refreshments awaited all the participants.

(My husband Rafi charted the route using Garmin software, and I attach a link to the interactive map that his efforts produced.)

As the day drew to an end and the group of bikers prepared to other parts of Israel and back home to San Diego, I joined Rick Kornfeld, Andi Neugarten and Jeff Davis, the three organizers of the bike ride, in the backyard of the Kibbutz Mefalsim home of Aharale Rothstein, principal of Sha'ar Hanegev High School.

During the Rothstein's Yom Ha'Atzma'ut party, I had a chance to ask these participants how they would sum up their feelings about the BikeIsrael2009 experience.

Rick Kornfeld noted that "our most important purpose of this trip has been and still is to raise money for the new high school in Sha'ar Hanegev. We will all go back as and act like ambassadors for this worthy cause.

" I was not quite aware of the buzz we were making both in San Diego and here in Sha'ar Hanegev," Kornfeld added. "When we arrived yesterday at the junction ten kilometers from the school, Alon (Schuster, mayor of Sha'ar Hanegev) and Aharale met us with such affection and excitement— much more than my expectations had been— and that really touched me.”

Agreeing, Jeff Davis, principal of San Diego Jewish Academy's Upper School, commented: "This has been an amazing trip throughout Israel. The atmosphere of camaraderie between the riders has been very special. Taking into consideration also that four of our riders are completely new to this sport everything went smoothly. Mostly because every rider has taken responsibility not only for himself but also for his fellow rider. I finish this trip having gained ten very good friends on whom I relate to as my extended family from now on."

Said Andi Neugarten: "One of the most important factors for me has been that we got through this ride with no injuries and damages to any of participants. In a ride like this there are so many things that can go wrong and we have been blessed and must thank Hashem. I totally agree with Rick and Jeff in their feelings and will only add that I have never had a trip like this.

You experience the country of Israel in another way when you pass it in a slower speed and pace.

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"Moreover, I have been able to develop relationships on a very personal basis,something that is impossible to do via email. My hope is that this project will grow and continue in the future."

As for this writer, I know that all good things--even BikeIsrael2009--must come to an end. It has been an enjoyable venture in a way that is difficult to explain to anyone. As a dedicated mountain biker, my first ride on a road bike was two weeks ago. I want to send out my thanks to the entire group from San Diego--Andi, Rick, Susan, Robert, Allan, Mitch, Jeff, Mardi, Leo and Gary-- for their support and encouragement throughout the entire ride from Metula to Sha'ar Hanegev.

I learned a lot about road biking— many details I had no clue about. More importantly, I gained a whole new group of people as personal friends.

It will be difficult for me on Thursday morning to get up in my home in Kibbutz Ruhama,and to not have 10 enthusiastic bikers with whom to go on another 50-60 mile leg of a ride that not only meant personal adventure but served a good cause--helping to rocket proof Sha'ar Hanegev High School.

My thoughts will be with the San Diego team members at 1:30 p.m. Sunday San Diego time when they ride as a group onto the San Diego Jewish Academy campus to join San Diego's community celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut.

Hadar's email: hadaru@sandiegojewishworld.com

REST STOP--Jeff Davis, principal of San Diego Jewish Academy's upper school, and Mayor Alon Schuster (orange jersey) take a rest break on drive through Sha'ar Hanegev.

TRAVELING CORRESPONDENT--Ulla Hadar cycles along the highway at end of the BikeIsrael2009 Metula-Sha'ar Hanegev trek. Israeli flags in background commemorate Israel's 61st anniversary as an independent nation.

AT THE GAZA BORDER—San Diego biekrs Leo Spiegel and Mitch Shack congratulate each other at the end of a biking adventure. Gaza borderline is behind the water reservoir.

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Israelis' confidence shown in the country's rising birthrate

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the birth of Israel in 1948, the population was 806,000, 35% native born and the rest immigrants. Tel Aviv was the only city in Israel with more than 100,000 residents.

At 61, Israel's population is 7,411,000 - an increase of 125,000 over this time last year.  There were 154,000 babies and more than 12,000 immigrants last year, creating a growth rate of 1.8%. Native-born Israelis account for 70% of the Jewish population with at least half being second generation Israelis. About 75% of Israel's population is Jewish, 20% Arab and about 5% "other." There are 14 cities with populations greater than 100,000 - and five with more than 200,000.

Israel has accomplishments galore - its democratic system, free press, independent judiciary, and high tech industry are the envy of much of the world. Its tremendous agricultural and medical innovations are shared around the world. Israel's ranks among the highest in literacy rates, computer ownership, book purchasing, college degrees and symphony subscriptions. Israel boasts a mighty military that has retained its humanity despite facing a decades long terror war. Underpinning all these achievement is an almost unprecedented willingness and capacity for self-examination and self-criticism.  

But population figures have their own compelling logic.

In the last part of the 20th Century, overpopulation was an idée fixe among social scientists. Fear of running out of resources - food, fuel, water - led to predictions of famine and led China and India to adopt radical population policies.

In the first part of the 21st Century, declining and aging populations have become the norm. AIDS has decimated large swaths of Africa; Japan and the Western European countries face declining and aging populations as people have one child - or none. The birthrate line in the Muslim world is downward - including in the West Bank and Gaza.  

Demographer Nicholas Eberstadt drew a devastating picture of the current and future decline of the Russian population, owing to disease, drink and abortion. China's one-child policy coupled with the availability of abortion has led to a dramatic imbalance in the male and female populations that

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will have a major societal impact when they reach adulthood. In the United States, it is not uncommon to hear couples talk about children as a strain on the ecology.

During the large Russian immigration of the early 1990s, an Israeli parliamentarian was asked if Israel would prefer that there be fewer immigrants to ease the social and financial strain on the country. "Give me another million," he said. "More people working, thinking, building and creating." They fueled the high-tech boom.

Even more than immigration, it takes a certain general optimism and faith in one's country to have a baby.  

Over the past two years, Israel has seen a happy spike in the numbers of births per thousand as well as a spike in immigration. It is a testament to Israel and its people that, under relentless threat (and some cheap shots from those who should be its allies), Israelis are growing their country.

Happy Birthday, Israel and many more.

Bryen is special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. (JINSA). Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member


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


Trecking Mt Everest Kosher-style

MELBOURNE - Seven Melbourne men are about to embark on a trip to Mount Everest with a difference: the entire trip will be undertaken in Jewish style.

All food on the trip will be kosher and supervised by an on-site mashgiach, and despite being on the world’s highest mountain range, the group intends to observe Shabbat.

Surgeon Michael Gordon, who will be accompanied on the trip by six men from the Mizrachi and Chabad communities, has been organising the trip for 10 months.

“We’ve got 25 Sherpas going and yaks as well, which makes it quite a kashrut problem,” Dr Gordon said on Monday. “You’ve got to feed the Sherpas and you’ve got to feed us.”

So what has he done? Dr Gordon has organised two lots of food to be carried and two cooks to accompany the group on its journey.

“We negotiated with Chabad of Katmandu and they are giving us one of the bochrim, as a mashgiach, to come with us,” he said.

The group will be gone for three weeks and in that time expect to trek to Everest Base Camp, which is almost 5500 metres above sea level.

Dr Gordon, who has been training in the gym and doing long walks with a heavy pack, said he looked into climbing all the way to the top, but the danger was just too great.

“There is a significant mortality [rate] and I thought it wasn’t worth that risk,” he said. “There is a risk of frostbite too, so you can lose fingers and toes and, as a surgeon, I just couldn’t afford to do that.”

Documentary maker seeks
Jewish Aussie anecdotes

SYDNEY -A researcher is seeking out postwar arrivals to the Australian Jewish community for a documentary due to air on the ABC next year.

Sarah Gilbert is keen to interview Holocaust survivors and other Jewish immigrants who made a new life in Australia, for her show The Making of Modern Australia.

She is also asking for contributors to a website that will record family histories and anecdotes.

The Making of Modern Australia, to be produced by Essential Media, will feature the anecdotes of people from a rainbow of religious and ethnic communities that make up the nation.

It will include four themes -– faith and religion, parenting and childhood, romance and relationships, and the Australian home and a sense of place -– which are now being researched by Gilbert and her co-researcher, Elissa McKeand.

“The people who came after the Holocaust were one of the first big non-Christian groups to come, all in one bunch, and that was controversial at the time and now these people have become integrated and a very important part of the community,” Gilbert said.

Those interested in participating can leave an outline of their story on a website, which Gilbert described as “a permanent active history resource for Australians”.

Stories will be showcased online as a lasting record and all material posted to the website will be considered for inclusion in the four-part documentary.

Gilbert is hoping people will interview elderly family members and write down “the stories that would otherwise die with them.”

Gilbert said the show’s scope is from 1945 to the present.

Taste of Tel Aviv in Sydney

SYDNEY - Musicians busk along Tel Aviv’s famous Dizengoff Street, while actors perform live sketches in front of bikini-clad passers-by in the nearby square, and artisans sell their silverware in makeshift stalls.

Overhead, the scent of marinated meat roasting on a spit in a local shwarma cafe wafts through the air.

These scenes, taken from everyday life in Tel Aviv, came to Sydney on Tuesday, Apri, 28, when the NSW State Zionist Council (SZC) held its annual Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, honouring the historic beachside city with the theme “100 years of the first Hebrew city”.

For Israel’s 61st anniversary, the organisation is converting Royal Randwick Racecourse into a virtual Tel Aviv street fair, incorporating the city’s trademark sights -– street theatre, busking, poetry readings and Israeli dancing -– into the festivities.

Craft and food stalls, along with live music, were also offered at the event.

Jewish Refugee Advocates
call for compassion

CANBERRA - Jewish refugee advocates have called for compassion in the wake of this month’s boat explosion off the North West coast of Australia.

A boat carrying Afghan asylum seekers exploded in Ashmore Reef en route from Indonesia.

Five people died, while other passengers were flown to Broome, Perth and Darwin with serious burns.

The incident renewed debate in Australia about people smuggling and Australia’s border protection policies.

David Manne, coordinator of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, called on the Government to protect the asylum seekers.

“Australia has a proud tradition in responding to the needs of refugees and we need to return to that in a bipartisan way,” he said.

He criticised members of the Liberal Party, who have called for the re-introduction of temporary protection visas (TPV), arguing that they were not affective deterrents.

“There is no link between refugee policy reform and boats arriving,” he said.

But Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull disagreed. He told the ABC that reinstating TPVs should be “high on the agenda” because when the TPVs were in place, fewer boats arrived.

“The fact of the matter is, since the TPVs were abolished by the Rudd Government, there has been a dramatic increase,” Turnbull said.

Michael Danby, chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, accused the Opposition -– in calling for changes to border security policies -– of responding “in a hysterical fashion”.

“The Liberals are not engaging in public policy debate on this issue, they are just fear mongering.”

George Newhouse, a solicitor who has acted in high-profile migration cases, added that public opinion toward refugees had mellowed over the past decade.

“The public don’t seem to be fooled by fear campaigns anymore, probably because this federal Government has taken a level-headed approach to the issue,” Newhouse said.

Author Arnold Zable, whose empathy for refugees is well known, said people should remember the story of the St Louis, a ship that left Germany in 1939, with 900 Jewish refugees bound for Cuba.

The ship was turned back in Havana, and more than 250 passengers on board were subsequently murdered during the Holocaust.

Sylvie Leber, a former member of the defunct Jews for Refugees, reminded the community not to jump to conclusions about people smugglers.

“There are all sorts of people smugglers,” she said, explaining that some of them are good-natured, others evil.

Leber said she could identify with the asylum seekers because her mother was smuggled from Nazi-occupied France.

“I’m disheartened that [this issue] has become a political football again.”

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Thursdays with the songs of Hal Wingard

With the lights down low,
Watch the candle glow.
You will surely know
If It's time to go.

Sip the Dubonnet.
Let the record play.
You can always say
You must go away.

Let your thoughts flow free
In your fantasy.
Think of what may be
If you stay with me.

Let your feelings fly.
Give your heart a try.
Why should you and I
Let the spell pass by?

With the lights down low,
Watch the candle glow.
You will surely know
It's no time. . .
. . .no time to go

(c) 2009 Hal Wingard; October 5, 1979

#119, Making Love

...Making love, like baking bread,
...Requires a daily doing.
...To knead the dough takes lots of time,
...And so it is with wooing.

...Making love, like raking leaves,
Requires a constant tending.
With leaves descending ev'ry day,
The task is never ending.

...Making love, like taking care
...Of any other pleasure,
...Requires the time and loving pain
...You give to all you treasure.

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..Making love, like baking bread,
Requires a daily doing.
To knead the dough takes lots of time,
And so it is with wooing.

(c) 2009 Hal Wingard; January 12, 1981. Words completed May 7, 1980, on train to Prien, Germany

#133, Ripe Love

My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe for you. (bis)

Pluck the plum that's in its prime,
That's juicy, soft, and sweet.
If you don't, it sours fast,
Becomes unfit to eat.

Consume the ripened camembert
Before it grows too old.
Camembert, when left too long,
Becomes a mushy mold.

My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe for you. (bis)

Now my love is ripe for you,
It shouldn't be forgotten.
If a love grows overripe,
It starts becoming rotten.

Take my love while it is fresh
And full of satisfaction.
Who the hell would want a love
That's close to putrefaction?

My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe for you. (bis)

Take my love, yes, take it now,
While love is in its prime.
If you let the moment pass,
There'll be no other time.

Later, when my love is spoiled,
(For love will never keep)
The only place you'll find my love
Is in the garbage heap.

My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe...
My love's so ripe for you. (bis)



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GLASS MENAGERIE—Sarah Zimmerman as Laura with Sean Cox as her brother Tom in The Glass Menagerie, now being
presented by Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado. Photo by J.T. MacMillan.


Williams' family experience reflected in 'Glass Menagerie'

By Carol Davis                       

CORONADO, California—The last words that Tom Wingfeld, narrator and character in Tennessee William’s memory play The Glass Menagerie speaks: “Blow out your candles, Laura, - and so goodbye” break your heart.   Menagerie was Williams’ first successful professional play and his most autobiographical. Laura or Rose, his sister, (as was her given name), who was thought to be mentally ill because of her instability, underwent a frontal lobotomy that just about sent her brother over the edge. Some even suggesting that it was the cause of his heavy drinking.  

Every time I hear Tom’s closing words, I’m convinced he is referring to this very tragic event in their lives.

The Glass Menagerie opened in Chicago in 1944 and subsequently moved to The Playhouse Theatre in New York in 1945. It went on to win the New York Drama Critics Awards. It is currently in a sobering, yet oft times superficially funny, yet sadly true production, under the direction of Robert Smyth, at The Lamb’s Players Theatre on Coronado.

The world was changing. The Second World War ended in 1945 with the emergence of the two super powers, which would be followed by The Cold War into the early ‘90’s.  The Allies formed the United Nations, which was officially born on Oct. 24, 1945. Socially and culturally, literary responses took shape with fictional accounts of both the war and its aftermath, with Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and Irwin Shaw’s The Young Lions (one of my favorites). Jewish writers Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Grace Paley and Isaac Beshevis Singer appeared on the horizon with their own fiction addressing questions of Jewish identity.

While Jewish authors were leaving their mark, Black writers like James Baldwin were writing about their minority and the American experience was springing up with the likes of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, with a form of expressionism, a less realistic and more contrived setting with exaggerated emotions.

Williams utilized this literary form as he showed us in his Menagerie with matriarch Amanda and her mood swings, her almost hysterical yearnings for her lost youth, her daughter’s inability to cope and her son’s threat of leaving them high and dry to fend for themselves. He was, after all, the primary breadwinner in the family but Oh! so much like his absent father. 

The play is set in the St. Louis apartment (Mike Buckley) of Amanda Wingfield (Deborah Gilmour Smyth) and her two adult children, Laura (Sarah Zimmerman) and Tom (Sean Cox). The time is 1937 and the country was in the middle of the depression. Tom works in a shoe factory (Williams sold shoes for a time) and Amanda sells magazine subscriptions from her home, much beneath her status as a genteel Southern belle when a young girl. 

Money is tight but hope springs eternal for Amanda, the faded yet once popular belle, as she glides around their bare bones apartment recalling her glory days as a teen growing up in the South repeating and reliving her past encounters with her own ‘gentlemen callers.’ sharing that she and entertained several all in one afternoon.

She doesn’t comprehend why none comes to call on Laura, her emotionally fragile daughter whose noticeable limp has her cut off from reality and plunges her into a make believable world of a glass animal collection, her favorite being the unicorn a solitary and mysterious creature, much like Laura is to her mother.  Later on in Act II a gentleman caller Jim O’Connor (Jason Heil) finally does arrive and the delicate yet common thread that seems to hold the family together will endure yet another tug.

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Lamb’s Players Theatre, noted for its high quality of the ensemble, doesn’t disappoint. Each actor in his own turn gives equal importance to the very characters they portray, blending and spinning a tale of life as it might have been in the Williams' household as remembered by Tom.

As Amanda Wingfield, Deborah Gilmour Smyth puts a different spin on the overly loquacious, over bearing mother than others I’ve seen. Hers is a bit more hysterical, high-pitched and oft times sadly funny in a resigned way. Always moving and keeping busy she criticizes and chatters on an on about Tom’s eating habits, his writing, his disappearing at night and the fear he might some day abandon the family just as his father did. An amazing actor in her own right, her energy as Amanda is inexhaustible. 

Sarah Zimmerman’s Laura is withdrawn and almost mouse like. A physical and emotional cripple she personifies all the good, compassionate and one absent of selfishness, something sadly lacking in the rest of the family. Zimmerman evokes just the right chords and in turn, the audience roots for her success (hopeless as it is) all the way.

Jason Heil’s Jim is as a breath of fresh air. Not only is a big guy, but also his mere presence in the Wingfield’ s home casts an unusually broad shadow bringing with it a sense of hope and optimism even though his own dreams have been shattered. A popular athlete in high school and someone Laura once had a crush on and now a shipping clerk at the same shoe factory as Tom, his invitation to dine with the Wingfield’s brings a ray of hope for Amanda.

His repartee with Laura is sincere, convincing and winning and one that many hoped would have turned out differently for Laura. Heil fills the bill perfectly as Jim. Unfortunately for Amanda who had high hopes for Jim, it began and ended in one evening. This is a tragedy of Greek proportions after all.

Sean Cox, narrator outside the confines of the play and character in the play is likewise as effective in both roles. As Tom, Amanda’s son, he would rather be anywhere than at his mother’s house. He longed for adventure, action and escape. He’s annoyed at her nagging, her interfering and her antics. Everything he does, the drinking, writing and disappearing he does to annoy her, or so it seems. But the one thing he can’t ignore is his affection for his sister. At the end though, he does leave them behind, just as his father did before him.

As narrator, Tom is Williams’ alter ego, recalling the story from memory and most likely a more accurate account of happenings in his home when speaking directly to the audience, yet showing the contradictions between reality and romanticism. Cox is convincing on both accounts, charming as the narrator yet more indifferent, brutish and cruel as Laura’s brother, Amanda’s son. And while he did finally leave the family to fend for themselves, he never did get over leaving Laura. “Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be.”

Mike Buckley’s set is period appropriate (I especially loved seeing the old wind up Victrolla) as are Jeanne Reith’s costumes along with Nathan Pierson’s lighting design, which has a noir look about it.  While the Lamb’s wide stage has its drawbacks taking away any signs of intimacy and claustrophobia, as felt by Tom, one bright star did shine is in the form of Rick Ogden who played both the clarinet, clarinet bass and saxophone. Set off in the upper lofts of the Playhouse just above the stage, Ogden could be seen through the curtains playing his soulful (“Dear one, The world is waiting for the Sunrise”) Jazz. Deborah Gilmour Smyth wrote some of the original music played by Ogden, which lends itself perfectly to the heartbreak of the Wingfields.

The Glass Menagerie will be playing through May 24 at the Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave, Coronado. It’s worth another look.

See you at the theatre.

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Novel tells of secret a mother tried to bury in the Holocaust

Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum. Harcourt, 496 pages

By David Strom

SAN DIEGO—Those Who Save Us is a novel by a young half-Jewish gifted writer.  When you start to read this book you are immediately captured and involved in the unfolding drama.  The main character in the novel, Trudy, is a professor of German at a local university.  She is divorced, childless, living an emotional and sexless “hum-drum” life and searching for some peaceful accommodation with her mother.
Anna, Trudy’s mother, was silent about her past all the time she lived in the United States.  Trudy was born during the war in Germany, Nazi Germany.  When she asked her mother about her birth father, Anna always changed the subject or not answer at all.  Over the many years, Trudy stopped asking, but not wondering about her birth father.
Trudy’s stepfather, the GI who rescued her mother and her from devastated Germany, brought his newly created family to live on a farm in Minnesota.  It was in this small community that Trudy was educated, grew into an adult and

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couldn’t wait to leave the stifling life of small town America. 
After her father’s death and her own divorce, Trudy’s mother continued to live alone in the empty farmhouse, while Trudy lived and worked about an hour-and-a-half away in an urban environment. Anna was content that Trudy visited with her periodically.  As she aged, Anna eventually moved in with Trudy.  For Anna this was a good arrangement, but for Trudy it brought back the old unanswered question, Who is my father?  Why doesn’t my mother tell me about her past?  Is she ashamed of how she lived her life under Hitler?  Who is the SS officer in the picture in the locket her mother keeps hidden?

From the picture in the locket and the few others of her mother as a young woman in the United States, Trudy realized her mother had been quite beautiful.  Did her beauty have anything to do with her mother’s survival?  Did the SS officer help them survive?  What happened to him?  She had so many questions and so few answers.
         One of Trudy’s colleagues asked her if she wanted to participate in a research project interviewing and videotaping Holocaust survivors.  Initially she said no but eventually, she agreed. This project changed forever her view of her mother!  She thought to herself, I now know why my mother hasn’t talked about her past to anyone since the end of the war.
         Jenna Blum’s first novel keeps the reader fully involved in the engrossing story.   It is a story of war, a mother-daughter drama, an exploration of the legacy of guilt and shame, and a nuanced look at our own lives today.

Strom is professor emeritus of education at San Diego State University. Email: stromd@sandiegojewishworld.com

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The Bible in Pop Culture: Samuel gets some siblings

I Samuel 2:21

For Hashem had remembered Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up with Hashem.

Please share your photo showing a biblical reference in pop culture 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
Items for us? Please send them to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

3-D Commentary
Don's dots & dashes
.-.-.- by Donald H. Harrison

Israel missing from Obama's
100th-day news conference

Although we in the Jewish community are obsessed by day-to-day developments in Israel, apparently neither President Barack Obama nor the media consider relations between Israelis and the Palestinians at the summit of issues the President must deal with.

In yesterday's hour-long conference the media asked no questions about the Mideast peace process, nor did President Obama mention it in giving a litany of issues that currently are occupying his attention including the swine flu, the U.S. economy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and challenges in North Korea and Iran,

In fact, the only question that could in any way be considered "Jewish" dealt with the President's perception of the effect that Senator Arlen Specter's defection from the Republican to the Democratic party might have on his Democratic administration.

The President responded that he did not believe that Specter's switch to his party would mean that the Pennsylvanian would suddenly fall into lock step with his administration.

He said Specter always has been an independent senator and that he expects he will remain so. He noted that the Executive and the Congress are co-equal branches of government, and that differences in approach are to be expected. .-.-.-.

Fox Network snubs Obama news conference

Talk about cynicism. Fox Network decided not to broadcast President Obama's live news conference yesterday. And what did it run instead? An episode of "Lie to Me" .-.-.

Tech Muscleman Pechman at Poway Library today

Bruce Pechman, who combines body-building and geek-like knowledge of high tech products into a television personna as the "Muscleman of Technology" on KUSI, will demonstrate gadgets for better living at a senior health fare at 9:30 a.m. this morning at the Poway County Library, 13137 Poway Road, Poway 92064. Nu, so how did this nice Jewish boy from New York get into physical fitness? He
says he realized he needed to start working out to build up strength for shlepping newspapers .-.-.-

See what Twitter can bring?

San Diego Jewish World has an account on Twitter, on which we capsulize some of our daily offerings and also search for leads to stories or features. Through this service, we became acquainted with G-dcast.com, which provides animated explanations of the upcoming weekly Torah portions, such as the one on Acharei here embedded. .-.-.

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


ADL hails House passage of anti-hate crime act, urges Senate action

NEW YORK (Press Release) —Calling it an “essential and necessary step forward in the national effort to counter hate crimes,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday hailed the approval of long delayed legislation to update and expand federal hate crimes laws by the U.S. House of Representatives, and urged the Senate to follow suit.

The measure, H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, was approved by a vote of 249-175. Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

"We welcome House approval of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an essential and necessary step forward in the national effort to counter hate crimes.

"Hate crimes tear at the fabric of our society and fragment communities. It is crucial that mechanisms are in place for law enforcement to respond effectively when they occur, and for federal authorities to provide assistance when appropriate.

"With the House vote, and the continued strong support of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, we have our best chance ever to secure enactment in this Congress. We urge the Senate to promptly follow the House in approving this bill.

"For more than 10 years, ADL has led a broad coalition of civil rights, religious, educational, law enforcement and civic organizations working in support of the legislation.

"The bill would permit the Justice Department to assist local hate crime prosecutions and, where appropriate, to investigate and prosecute hate crimes in which the victim is targeted because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

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"State and local authorities investigate and prosecute the overwhelming majority of hate crime cases. But this legislation will provide a necessary backstop – by permitting federal authorities to provide assistance in these hate crime investigations and by allowing federal prosecutions when state and local authorities are unable or unwilling to act.

"Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have passed hate crime statutes, many based on model legislation drafted by ADL. The League has been a pioneer in drafting and promoting tough and effective hate crimes laws across the country. More information is available at this website

Threes Learn All About
Rocks at Soille Hebrew Day

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) —
Have you ever wondered why some rocks are heavy and some rocks are light? Why some are smooth and some are rough?  Or why rocks come in all different colors?  Last week the Preschool 3’s class at Soille Hebrew Day learned that rocks are made in many different ways.  With the class magnifying glass center, the children investigated different types of rocks.  They learned that rocks can be made inside and outside the earth; that rocks have many uses (countertops, floors, decorations, statues, etc.), and that some rocks are even made out of ancient seashells! 

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School serves children from infants through eighth grade and offers generous financial aid grants to families to make a Jewish day school education affordable to all.  For more information on the school, visit the web site at http://www.hebrewday.org/ or contact Audrey Jacobs, Director of School Advancement at 858-279-3300 ext. 106 or ajacobs@hebrewday.org

Preceding provided by Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School

JCF Tikkun Olam Camp taking applications for one-week camp

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—The Jewish Community Foundation's Tikkun Olam Camp provides a special one-week opportunity for high school students (ages 14 to 18) to learn about needs in both the Jewish and general communities while earning service hours and building friendships. Teens explore Jewish values related to giving, identify charitable priorities and interests, and conduct site visits to local nonprofits to evaluate the organizations' effectiveness. The students also participate in multiple community service activities and interact with community leaders and philanthropists throughout the week.

The camp culminates with the exciting, and often heart wrenching, collaborative allocation of thousands of dollars to the community programs and organizations believed by the students to be the most deserving. These dollars are contributed by camp participants and matched by Foundation donors.

The camp will be based out of the Jewish Community Foundation's office in Kearny Mesa but travel all over the County. The hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Registration is now open. Space is limited so apply early. For more information about Tikkun Olam Camp, visit our Web site, e-mail Marissa Garfield or call 858-279-2740.

Over 30 Israeli documentaries, films to screen at L.A. festival

LOS ANGELES (Press Release)—The 24th Israel Film Festival will kick off with an Opening Night Gala at the renowned Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on June 3, 2009. It will then continue its run through June 18 at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills and Laemmle Fallbrook 7 in the San Fernando Valley. 

The festival celebrates Israel and Israeli cinema with the largest showcase of Israeli films in the U.S. More than 30 new Israeli feature films, thought-provoking documentaries, award-winning television dramas, and innovative student shorts will screen. 

For further information regarding the 24th Israel Film Festival, including ticket and/or sponsorship information, call -877-966-5566 or visit www.israelfilmfestival.com .

Preceding submitted by Israel Film Festival




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

Pioneer Women Pick Queen at Purim Ball This Sunday
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 1

A buffet style hot supper is being planned for Pioneer women’s Purim Ball this Sunday evening, Feb. 22nd at Beth Jacob Center from 6:00 to 12:00 o’clock.

Draper’s Orchestra will play for dancing and for the grand march at which time a “Queen Esther”of the Ball will be chosen by popular acclaim.  Among those competing for Queen are Mrs. Louis P. Anfanger, representing Young Jewish Couples club of Tifereth Israel; Phyllis Mollick, representing Beth Jacob Sisterhood; Leah Hoggard, City of Hope Senior Auxiliary; Marian Chadwick, B’nai B’rith Birdie Stodel Chapter; Edith Fuchsman, B’nai B’rith Youth Group; Cecile Oglesby, B. B. Girls; Edith Kitaen, Hadassah.  Other entries are expected also from invited organizations.

General Chairmen are Mrs. Eleanore Gordon, Mrs. Zena Frommer and Mrs. Goldie Kitaen.  Decorations are in charge of Mrs. Henrieitta   King.  Mrs. Lee Turner, Mrs. Edith Gates and Mrs. Evelyn Hermann.  Publicity  Chairmen are Mrs. Phylis Weisenberg and Mrs. Dora Berner.  Ticket Chairmen are Mrs. Jeanette Abrams, Mrs. Florence Lebb and Mrs. Rose Brooker.  Social Committee is composed of Mrs. Anna Shelley (chairman) and Mrs. Rose Abrams, Mrs. Pauline Press, Mrs. Florence Barach, Mrs. Fanny Garber, Mrs. Norma Schaffer, Mrs. Bessie Fink, Mrs. Rose Garber, Mrs. Rose Domnitz, and Mrs. Lillie Gordon.   Mr. Fred Yarus will be Master of Ceremonies.  A fine program is being arranged so that the whole family will have an enjoyable evening.   Servicemen are being invited as guest of Pioneer Women.

Mobilization Rally

Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 1

A Mobilization Rally on Sunday, March 8, at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel will mark an early move in active preparation for the coming campaign of the United Jewish Fund, according to Carl N. Esenoff, General Chairman.

Planned to tell the story of overseas needs in the light of recent events, the highlight of the evening will be an address by Cecil Brown, noted radio and television commentator and news analyst, who is acquainted at first hand with the situation in Israel, in the Near East, and in Europe.

The meeting will mark the first important event in preparation in this year’s Fund Campaign.  Chairmen for the various divisions for the campaign will be announced and introduced at the Rally.

There will be no solicitation of funds at the Mobilization Rally, according to Esenoff, but everyone will be urged to become a worker and to sign a workers card indicating that they will give of their time and energy during the campaign period, which officially opens on April 1.

Spring Fete Plans
Near Completion

Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 1

Beth Jacob Sisterhood presents its 3rd Annual Spring Festival on Sunday, March 1 at the Beth Jacob Center at 2 p.m.  As in the past, the early afternoon’s festivities will feature attractions for the younger set and at 4 p.m. dinner will be served with entertainment for young and old alike.

Mrs. William Penn, General Chairman, promises “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Assisting her in gaily decorated booths will be Mesdames Robert Siegal and David Schwartz, Bakery Booth; Ben Ornstein and Mack Freedman, White Elephant; Jack Brisker, Children’s Games; Alfred Bobrof and

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Myer Snyder, Apron; Ben Elvove, Hyman Weiner and Zel Camiel, Groceries; Marvin Bobrof, Candy; B. Godes, Donuts; and Mr. Ed Breitbard, Movies; and Mr. Julius Penn will be in charge of Adult Games.

Culinary artists Mmes. M. Penn, Jennie Bloomfield, J. Schwartz, Harry Penn, and A. Friedman will be in charge of a varied dinner menu and Mrs. Julius Penn is busy “hiring” Sisterhood members as efficient waitresses.

Members and friends are invited to attend the Sisterhood luncheon to be held Tuesday, noon, Feb. 24th at the Center.  Mrs. Godes informs us that no business is to be discussed and that many surprises will be in store for those attending.

B’nai B’rith Auxiliary To Present Winners  Of  Essay Contest
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 1

The Birdie Stodel and Bay City B’nai B’rith Auxiliaries are culminating their Third Annual Essay Contest in 10 of the elementary schools of the city.  There were over 1000 essays submitted and 3 were chosen by the judges, O. W. Campbell, City manager; Mrs. H. Hartley, President, PTA Ninth District; Mrs. M. McIntosh, Acting Assistant Supervisor in charge of the elementary schools; Sidney Posin, Director of the Jewish Community Center, and A. J. Sutherland, President of the Security Trust and Savings Bank.

Bird Rock School had the winning essay with Euclid, second, and Jefferson, third.  The presentation of prizes will be made at Bird Rock at a school assembly on February 20 by Albert A. Hutler.

The perpetual trophy will also be presented to the Bird Rock School for having the winning essay.  Mrs. Sam Bennett and Mrs. David Sugarman are co-chairmen.  Mrs. Eugene Rosen is secretary.

A Joint Brotherhood meeting of the two chapters will be held Monday, Feb. 23 at 8:30 p.m. at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.  At that time the winners will be presented to the members, a film will be shown, the essays will be read and a talk by Mr. Hutler. The judges, school officials, parents, and guests are invited.

Mrs. David Schriebman will open and close the program with musical selections.

“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

Elizabeth Taylor in the title role of "Cleopatra" (trailer)

Janet Suzman as the mother in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" with Alan Bates

Chaim Topol as Tevye sings "Do You Love Me" with Norma Crane as Golde

Al Waxman in title role of "The King of Kensington"

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

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