Volume 3, Number 102
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Friday-Saturday, May 1-2, 2009

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

It is Better to Try 'Conspirators' than 'Terrorists' ... by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
Three brothers in the United States illegally - who dropped out of high school, had brushes with the law, used drugs through their teens and early 20s, and then became religious Muslims - were sentenced to life in prison for plotting to kill American soldiers at Ft. Dix, NJ.

The unbearable lightness of wishful thinking ...
by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
HERZLIYA, Israel—Congratulations, the conflict is over! Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't a radical, aggressive Islamist and Holocaust denier but a peacenik! Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is against war and terrorism! How do we know this? They told us? Well, no, they didn't actually tell us.


Chagall Museum a highlight of her 'Nice' vacation ... by Sara Appel-Lennon in Nice, France
This city is considered  the capital city of the C’ote d’Azur  in the south of France along the French Riviera. Nice is a nice city to sightsee on foot, by bus, or train.READ MORE

Here are some question for defining 'Jewish' music ... by David Amos in San Diego
What really is Jewish music? I have given talks on this subject many times, by describing styles and examples of what we perceive as Jewish Music. I am asked this question quite often, and by writing my thoughts In this column, I may present to you a different perspective. READ MORE


Watch our Bible come together with biblical names and modern images

I Samuel 2: 26 READ MORE


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

Two years after death, Jenny Poliakoff still is helping others READ MORE

Dumanis praises Citizens of Courage READ MORE

Oy, did I used to play with a pigskin? READ MORE
StandWithUs explains controversy over UCSB professor's Gaza letter READ MORE

Gathering of racally diverse Jews underway; Obama mishpacha there READ MORE

Heritage Pointe names synagogue K'hilat Horim, Community of Parents READ MORE

February 20, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Leaders Named For Combined Jewish Appeal READ MORE

Hilltop Choir to Appear For Temple Sisterhood Feb. 25READ MORE

City of Hope Aux. READ MORE

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Y.J.C. Club Plan Skating Party READ MORE

News of the Fox READ MORE

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Gene Wilder in the title role of 'Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' READ MORE

Neil Diamond sings "I Am, I Said," in concert READ MORE

Mike and Bernie Winters (about 3 minutes in)-British brothers act READ MORE

Bob Balaban in "Dead Bang" with Don Johnson READ MORE


We received some interesting feedback on our query whether serialized books would be welcomed on this site by our readers. One particularly cogent response was that most people just don't have that kind of time to spend online. Do you agree?


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!




It is Better to Try 'Conspirators' than 'Terrorists'

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Three brothers in the United States illegally - who dropped out of high school, had brushes with the law, used drugs through their teens and early 20s, and then became religious Muslims - were sentenced to life in prison for plotting to kill American soldiers at Ft. Dix, NJ. Two were given an additional 30 years for weapons offenses. Two other Muslim men remain to be sentenced in the plot.

In short, a video store clerk copying tapes for a client noticed that the tapes were "jihadist videos," containing men waving guns and shouting "Allahu Akhbar." One of the men was the client. The clerk alerted the FBI, which sent informants to obtain additional information and ultimately arrested five men.

At the trial, the defense made three points: a) nothing actually happened, b) nothing would have happened, and c) the men were entrapped by the informants. Mohamed Younes, president of the American Muslim Union, was quoted saying, "I don't think they actually meant to do anything. I think they were acting stupid, like they thought the whole thing was a joke."

Noting that the first videos were produced before informants were involved, the jury evidently decided it wasn't a joke and "acting stupid" is not a defense. Acquitted of attempted murder charges, all were convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers.

The defendants and their families appear to believe everything short of shooting should have been considered irrelevant by the FBI and then the court: trips to a jihadist camp in the Pocono Mountains; dozens of statements they made about striking at America; maps they made of Ft. Dix;

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guns they bought; and hundreds of hours of violent jihadist videos they downloaded and played endlessly. In what surely must have been a non sequitur, The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted a defense attorney saying, "When they found their religion they thought and still feel they found the keys to their happiness."

"What was their intention?" asked their father as the family asked for leniency because "nothing happened." Another defense attorney called the sentence "unusually lengthy" in a case where "no one was harmed." "We are saying to them, 'We are going to treat you more harshly than a murderer.' Is that good policy?"

The Deputy U.S. Attorney said it was. "These men do not deserve leniency because of the good work of the FBI. They should not receive some benefit because there are not some dead soldiers lying on the ground."

We agree.

There is some space between the intention to commit terrorism and the act itself. The jury got it right by convicting the five for conspiracy, not attempted murder - they hadn't yet attempted it. But the American public - and those who would do our people, civilians or soldiers, harm - should know that law enforcement will do its best to put conspirators out of business before they become terrorists.

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The unbearable lightness of wishful thinking

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel—Congratulations, the conflict is over! Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't a radical, aggressive Islamist and Holocaust denier but a peacenik! Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is against war and terrorism!

How do we know this? They told us?

Well, no, they didn't actually tell us. What happened is that they told us they would go on being radical, aggressive, and terrorism-sponsoring. They just did it in a way that a lot of people engaged in wishful thinking-and who fervently believe that no one could actually be radical or luxuriate in political violence-heard something different.

Case Number 1: Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos of ABC. He knew what he was saying but others want to insist on refusing to understand him.

First the relevant exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Palestinian people negotiate an agreement with Israel and the Palestinian people vote and support that agreement, a two state solution, will Iran support it?

AHMADINEJAD: Nobody should interfere, allow the Palestinian people to decide for themselves. Whatever they decide....

STEPHANOPOULOS: If they choose a two state solution with Israel, that's fine.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, what we are saying is that you and us should not determine the course of things beforehand. Allow the Palestinian people to make their own decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they choose a two state solution, if they choose to recognize Israel's existence, Iran will as well?

AHMADINEJAD; Let me approach this from another perspective. If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll ask them. But I'm asking you if Palestinians accept the existence of Israel, would Iran support that?....

STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Palestinians sign an agreement with Israel, will Iran support it?

AHMADINEJAD: Whatever decision they take is fine with us. We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people, however we fully expect other states to do so as well.

And how did the Israeli online service of Yediot Aharnot newspaper, YNet News, play this? Here's the headline: ""Ahmadinejad 'fine' with two-state solution."

Well, not exactly. He refused to say that. All Ahmadinejad said was that he would support what the Palestinian people decided. What does that mean?

First, he personally believes that they would never accept a two-state solution so there's nothing to worry about in that respect.

Second, of course, he knows that Hamas would never agree to such a thing and Hamas already controls how people vote in the Gaza Strip. One might presume that if a referendum was held there, the vote would be "100 percent" against a two-state solution. In addition, Hamas and others opposing a two-state solution would get between 30 and 70 percent of votes in the West Bank. A lot of Fatah supporters would also vote against it. The exact numbers aren't important because whether the number is the higher or lower figure such a proposition would always be defeated.

Third, any two-state solution would only be made by Fatah. Iran supports Hamas. If Fatah and the Palestinian Authority were to make a deal with Israel, Tehran would still back Hamas in overthrowing that government, using the deal to portray its rival as treasonous. Once Hamas took over the state of Palestine, it would tear up all the agreements and invite in the Iranian military.

So in effect Ahmadinejad just said that he would never accept a two-state solution but why put that in clear words when the dumb Westerners can be left to interpret it as they wish.

But Ahmadinejad also put a little bomb in the interview which no one seems to notice. Let me repeat one of his answers:

AHMADINEJAD; "Let me approach this from another perspective. If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?"

What's he saying here? "All Palestinian lands" might sound like saying the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem to Western ears, but everyone in Iran and among the Palestinians knows this means: all of Israel plus all the territories it captured in 1967.

So here's what the Iranian president is saying: Suppose the Palestinians vote that they want all of Israel, would the United States accept that? The answer, of course, is "no" and so, Ahmadinejad is saying: I'm the one in favor of democracy and you're against it.

(According to him, of course, Israelis have no rights to a state so they don't get to vote.)

Ahmadinejad has built his own career on regarding the West as extremely stupid, cowardly, and easy to fool. Many or most of his colleagues in the Iranian regime agree with him.

I could write at this point that the one exception was when in the mid-1980s the United States was appearing ready to attack Iran unless it ended the Iran-Iraq war. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did so but I think he was misreading American intentions (albeit to the credit of U.S. policymakers in pulling off that bluff).

Still, I'm tempted to say that up to now that the Iranian leaders' assumption has never proven to be wrong.

Unfortunately, as I predicted, Western newspapers like the Daily Telegraph are now reporting that Ahmadinejad is ready to accept a two-state solution.

Here are headlines in Canada for April 27:

Toronto Globe & Mail: "Iran prepared to back Palestinian deal with Israel, Ahmadinejad

National Post: "Iranian president appears to recognize Israel's right to exist for first time"

And Agence France Presse: "Iran 'Ready to Back Mideast Peace Deal'"

Come to think of it, Ahmadinejad refuses to accept two-state solution and is cheered as having done so; Israel's government repeatedly endorses two-state solution and is accused of not doing so!

Case Number 2: Syria

YNet reports that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad:

"says Hamas and Hizbullah will never threaten Israel with his country's help" in an interview in al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.

Is that what the Syrian president said? For here is the precise quote "They both will never attack Israel through Syria under any circumstances."

Not exactly the same thing. Syria never lets terrorist groups attack from its soil--and that's been the policy more than 40 years--because Damascus knows that Israel will retaliate against Syria if that happens. So the simple alternative is: let them attack through Lebanon, which can't defend itself against either terrorists or Israel. If and when Israel retaliates against facilities on Lebanese soil, Syrian leaders don't lose much sleep.

And, of course, when Assad says that Hamas won't attack Israel through Syria, that's because it attacks Israel from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Syria supplies weapons to both Hizballah and Hamas which have been used to attack Israel.

So to say that Syria won't let anyone attack from its own territory is nothing new and is in no way saying it won't help them attack Israel. Syria gives terrorists safe haven, training, bases, equipment, guns, and money to do so, no matter where the terror squads depart from on the morning of their mission.

Now one needs just sit back and wait for the media around the world to report that Syria has promised not to sponsor terrorists attacking Israel and is now a truly peacenik government. Let me know when you see these reports.

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As always, one can only quote Shakespeare, one of the world's greatest political analysts:

"Shall we their fond pageant see?

Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org.

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Chagall Museum a highlight of her 'Nice' vacation

By Sara Appel-Lennon

NICE, France—This city is considered  the capital city of the C’ote d’Azur  in the south of France along the French Riviera. Nice is a nice city to sightsee on foot, by bus, or train.

Sitting on the top of a double decker bus in seventy degree weather was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon seeing the sights with an audiotape guide. My husband and I were able to get on and off the bus. We visited the Matisse Museum, the Russian Cathedral. and the Chagall Museum.

Nice, France

In the Chagall Museum guidebook, Marc Chagall referred to the museum as The House of Brotherhood.

“Perhaps young and old will come to this House in a quest for an ideal of brotherhood and love, such as that expressed in my colors and my images. People of all persuasions will be free to come here and bask in this dream of mine far removed from the frenzy and evil of the modern world. In Art as well as life, anything is possible provided there is Love.”

The Chagall Museum was one of my favorite Nice highlights. It houses the greatest number of Chagall’s paintings in the world, 17 of which were donated by Chagall and his wife, Valentina, in July 1966. In July 1973 The Chagall Museum officially opened its doors.

The vibrancy of his colors spoke to me. One museum patron had a different experience from mine. She complained that her eyes hurt from the brightness of his colors. When I saw his stained glass windows I was struck with awe that I was seeing the original stained glass that Marc Chagall created.  

It was surprising that many of Chagall’s paintings depicted Jesus from the Christian Bible. I thought that Chagall painted only from the Hebrew Bible; however, I discovered that he painted scenes from both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible.

He states: “I have been fascinated by the Bible ever since my earliest childhood. The Bible is a synonym for Nature and that is what I tried to convey.  To my mind these paintings express a
dream that belongs not to a single tribe but to all mankind. Through the particular history of the Jewish people, the chosen people, it is the history of all mankind which is evoked.”

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Nice is within close proximity to Italy, and one can also take a bus to tiny Monaco for one euro, equivalent to a dollar fifty. We took a walking tour of the Grand Palace in Monaco, guided by an English audiotape. Certain rooms were off limits to visitors since Prince Albert II still lives in the palace today. The palace is beautifully decorated with furniture dated to Napoleon.

While strolling through the gardens outside the palace, I noticed two eye- catching scenes. One was a tree which has bark with taxol, a medicine used to treat breast cancer. It was donated to the principality of Monaco with the hope of finding a cure for women’s cancers. The other was a memorial for Prince Albert I. The stone reads 1848-1999. That would have made him 150 years old. He actually died in 1922. This was a reminder to me that as humans we make mistakes. The old adage that a decision is not carved in stone, proved to be untrue in this case.

Aside from the museums our trip was especially memorable because of the warmth we received from some of the local merchants who enjoyed speaking French with us. My eyes lit up as I spoke French with ease despite my non-native French accent. One woman thought my accent was British.

When we took the TGV train to Aix-en-Provence, I came to appreciate the European train system which was so fast and relaxing compared to the Amtrak system in the United States. While the train ride was expensive, I liked Aix-en-Provence. It was a small town with many shops and young people.

While my mind and my eyes were taking in the history and sights at the museums, my taste buds were tantalized by the French and Italian cuisine. Since Italy is close to Nice, Italian restaurants were easy to come by as was gelato.

After a week of eating delicious pastry, warm croissants and rich food, I was ready to welcome Passover by taking a break from eating bread. It was a nice vacation in Nice, yet I was glad to come home.

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Here are some question for defining 'Jewish' music

By David Amos

SAN DIEGO--What really is Jewish music?

I have given talks on this subject many times, by describing styles and examples of what we perceive as Jewish Music. I am asked this question quite often, and by writing my thoughts in this column, I may present to you a different perspective. But keep in mind that this subject may pose far more questions than answers.

At the outset, it might be best to eliminate the obvious, the familiar music we call Jewish. This is, of course, synagogue liturgical music, folk music, popular  Jewish music, Israeli tunes, Klezmer, Yiddish and Sephardic songs, and any reference to Fiddler on the Roof. All this is music which we know and love, identify as Jewish, and are generally inspired and entertained by it.

Yes, there are a few musical patterns and melodies which we have come to identify as sounding Jewish, but this is the cookie-cutter concept. It isn’t that it is grossly incorrect, but grossly incomplete. There is so much more to Jewish Music than a few familiar harmonies, tunes, scales, and rhythms emanating from a very small part of Eastern Europe.

But what about serious concert music?  This is a whole different package. (Let’s not mistake the above mentioned styles with serious music; it is as ludicrous as eating lox and bagels, telling Jewish jokes, and claim that with these actions, you are leading a “Jewish life”). Jewish music in the concert hall, which is an art form supposedly destined to be part of our history and culture, is a far more enigmatic area to define.

I have personally talked to serious concertgoers who pretend to be knowledgeable about classical music. When I mention Jewish music as a serious art form in the concert hall, many draw a blank.  Maybe all they can visualize is “ I Have a Little Dreidl” played by a symphony orchestra, and thereby, missing the whole point. After all, how can the chants we hear in synagogue or simple tunes we sing to our children compare to the greatness of Bach, Beethoven, or Brahms? Oy.

Here are some examples of this puzzle:

• Jewish music composed by non-Jewish people, such as Max Bruch’s Kol Nidre, for Cello and Orchestra. Shostakovitch’s Piano Trio No. 2 in e minor which the composer dedicated to a departed Jewish friend, and sounds as Klezmerish and stereotype Jewish as any music you may ever hear. Is this “Jewish Music”?

• Music by Jewish composers that has no connection to Judaism whatsoever. There are hundreds of examples. Copland’s Billy the Kid, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, just to name two. Is it really “Jewish Music”? Tzvi Avni, one of Israel’s foremost composers writes music on Jewish and secular subjects.

• How about secular music composed by Jewish composers who converted out of Judaism? We seem to claim very quickly that Mendelssohn was “one of us”, and point that Mahler was also Jewish, but is there really a connection here?

• Ernest Bloch is universally considered as the foremost composer of serious Jewish Music, with great works from his “Jewish Cycle”, such as Schelomo, Hebraic Suite, Sacred Service, Israel Symphony, and other works. But do his secular works bear his “Jewish stamp”, as some people claim? I conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in a recording of Bloch’s Helvetia Rhapsody, a symphonic poem about Switzerland, its mountains and its people. Is this Jewish? I certainly don’t think so, but many others may argue and suggest that everything that Bloch composed sounds Jewish. This is nonsense, because in his early life as a composer, he was hardly aware of his Jewish heritage. Even later in life, his works were not on Jewish subjects; take the case of Helvetia.

Does Jewish Music have to “sound” Jewish (something which is open to infinite interpretations and stereotypes),

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or it can be simply music based on Jewish subjects, ideas, history, concepts, ceremonies, personalities, or events, such as the Holocaust? I have made it one of my life’s goals to encourage composers to write such musical works, and to make a strong statement in contemporary music with this type of concert music.

We sometimes force ourselves to be convinced by traditions, whether they are based on fact or wishful fantasy. I heard a young violinist in New York a few years ago. After the recital, an older man came to him and politely asked from where he was. He answered Chicago. And his father? Well, he was born in New York. The questions continued. How about your grandfather? He came from Odessa. “Aha! This is why your playing sounds Jewish!”

Now we get into the subject of Jewish performers, and this deserves to be addressed at another time.

But the fact remains that there are hundreds, if not thousands of compositions for the concert hall which are serious, artistic, deep, and worthy of performance by our finest orchestras, ensembles, choruses, and soloists. It is a shame that so few people, even many music directors and administrators of prestigious musical organizations, even the Jewish ones, are unfamiliar with most of this repertory. It is there, waiting to be discovered, performed, promoted, and recorded. We have all been at concerts celebrating Jewish Music which were so badly planned, that they became an embarrassing travesty. I can name you a few that stick in my mind.

Some organizations, based in New York and Los Angeles and other places, are working diligently to document some of this music. But the choices are so vast and the budgets so limited, that only a fraction of the literature can be covered. Most of them sadly remain hidden.

There are many, many Jewish composers in the world today, composing music that is in some cases  truly memorable and magnificent. Only a small part of these creations will receive a second performance, or be heard outside the composer’s home town. And this is a shame, because unlike books, films, and written literature, where a permanent document remains for future generations, live music in a concert hall is heard once, is possibly well received and enjoyed, and usually never heard from again.

The only answer is to record this music, make it available to the general public, have it form part of a central archive, and thereby, become part of history, culture and tradition.

We can go a step further: Many of the world’s composers, Jewish or Gentile, should be commissioned to write music on Jewish subjects. They need to be approached and encouraged to draw musical inspiration from our rich heritage. The solution to enhance our lives and that of future generations is clearly and easily in our hands to implement. There must be a trigger, an enlightened visionary initiative. All we need to do is take action.

Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in San Diego. He has guest conducted around the world. Email: amosd@sandiegojewishworld.com


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The Bible in Pop Culture: Samuel's reputation grows

I SAMUEL 2: 26

But the boy Samuel kept growing and improving, both with Hashem and with people.

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

Two years after death, Jenny
Poliakoff still is helping others

It has been two years since freshman Jenny Poliakoff died in her bed following a party at San Diego State University, but the volunteer work that she did for children with special needs continues to benefit from her legacy. On Sunday, her sorority Alpha Phi and the San Diego Friendship Circle will sponsor a fundraising walk. Here is a link to a story by Kevin McCormack, assistant city editor of the Daily Aztec.

Dumanis praises Citizens of Courage

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis presided over a ceremony honoring six local residents as "Citizens of Courage." Capsule descriptions of their deeds show one thing they had in common: they were willing to "get involved," even at risk to themselves.

Kelsey Hamlett: An 11-year-old who watched as her mother was fatally stabbed more than 30 times during a domestic violence attack, then called 911 and testified against the defendant.

Eric Lotter: A developmentally disabled man who was tortured, then displayed great courage on the witness stand by facing his attacker in court

Olivia Rodriguez: Kidnapped at gunpoint by three gang members, sexually assaulted and robbed, then helped convict them after they were captured five years later

Jennifer Grosso: Attempted to break up the fatal beating of her boyfriend, while he was being attacked by a beach-area gang known as the Bird Rock Bandits.

Kelly Anderson: Shot while coming to the aid of her friend, who was murdered by a gang member, then testified in court despite threats to her personal safety.

Elex Noble: Testified against a boyhood friend in a gang murder case despite numerous threats to his life.

Dumanis, a member of our Jewish community, made the presentations at a ceremony also featuring San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders as part of the National Crime Victims Rights Week. The honorees received proclamations from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Sanders and the San Diego County Board of Superviors.

Oy, did I used to play with a pigskin?

Now comes news from Coral Gables, Florida, that former offensive lineman Alan Veingrad, who played for both the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys--and who played for Dallas in Super Bowl XXVII--has become a frum member of the Chabad congregation. He changed his football helmet for a kippah. Here's a video clip:


StandWithUs explains controversy over UCSB professor's Gaza letter

SANTA BARBARA, California (Press Release)--StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy organization, has issued the following press release:

On Martin Luther King Day, January 19, 2009, UC Santa Barbara sociology professor William Robinson e-mailed his Globalization class students an inflammatory anti-Israel article by Judith Stone along with 42 "horrific, parallel" photos of Nazi atrocities and Israel's purported atrocities in its war against Hamas in December and January. His introductory comments claimed that Martin Luther King would denounce Israel, equated Israel's military operations in Gaza with Nazi atrocities, asserted that Israel was committing genocide and that the state was "founded on the negation of a people." (To see Professor Robinson's e-mail, the article and pictures, click here.) When one surprised student emailed asking whether this was an assigned reading, Professor Robinson admitted it had nothing to do with the course, but "was just for your interest I should have clarified."

Two students promptly dropped the class. They later filed grievances, claiming that Professor Robinson had violated the Faculty Code of Conduct: that there should not be "significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course" (II A, 1, b); that faculty members should not use their "positions of power to coerce judgment or conscience of a student" ((II, A, 4); and that faculty should not use "University resources for personal, commercial, political, or religious purposes" (II, C, 3)).

StandWithUs wrote a letter to Vice Chancellor Lucas on March 16 urging that the case be investigated. (Click here to see the letter.)

The charges officer at UCSB determined that the case merited investigation.

Anti-Israel faculty and students mobilized to defend Robinson. They created a Web site, Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB ( http://sb4af.wordpress.com), created a template letter to send to the UCSB administration, and set up a petition demanding that the charges be dropped in the name of academic freedom. On April 27, the petition had 1,229 signatures from the U.S. and abroad. Their letter inverted and distorted the facts of the case. StandWithUs has written footnoted refutations of their claims. (See them here.)

We applaud the UCSB administration's decision to investigate whether Robinson abused the Faculty Code of Conduct guidelines. This investigation is critical for stemming the politicization of academia and the rising academic support for anti-Israel propaganda.

The administration will be under intense political pressure from

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those who oppose the investigation. Let the administration know that there is also strong public support for their decision.

Remember that the grievances against Professor Robinson are a plea for academic freedom. The Faculty Code of Conduct guidelines that Professor Robinson is charged with violating were intended to protect academic freedom and to prevent the politicization of academia. They prevent professors from using their positions of authority to promote only one extreme view, thereby stifling students' ability to debate, critically examine hot-button issues, and form their own opinions.

Gathering of racally diverse Jews underway; Obama mishpacha there

SAN FRANCISCO— Jewish leaders from Uganda, South
Africa, Zimbabwe,Portugal, India, the United States, and elsewhere will meet in San Francisco May 1-4. The conference is organized by Be'chol Lashon, which means "in every
tongue"in Hebrew.

About 50 people will meet to discuss the role of diverse Jews in shaping Jewish life around the world. Among the participants are:

· Rabbi Capers Funnye, an African American rabbi from Chicago who isassociate director of Be'chol Lashon, and cousin to First Lady Michelle Obama.

· Rabbi Alyssa Stanton, who will become the first African American woman rabbi in the world on June 6, 2009.

· Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, the first black rabbi from sub-Saharan Africa to be ordained from an American rabbinic school.

· Rebecca Walker, renowned author of Black, White, and Jewish:
Autobiography of a Shifting Self

Funnye: We look Jewish

"We represent the face of Judaism as it has always been", said Rabbi Funnye, "people of many colors, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities. We have a special role in building bridges to people over all the world "

The conference will tackle tough issues, including how race plays a role in defining how Jews are perceived and how they see themselves. "We want to move beyond racial stereotypes ", said Diane Tobin, director of Be'chol Lashon. " Embracing
and growing the diversity of the Jewish people around the globe strengthens us from within and helps combat the charges of racism hurled at us from bigots like the president of

One of the key topics of the conference is how to help people to convert to Judaism who want to do so. Rabbi Sizomu from Uganda recently convened a rabbinic court (beit din) in Uganda that supervised the conversion of over 250 Africans from
Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The 2008 Be'chol Lashon Media Awards will be announced on Sunday, May 3, honoring excellence in coverage of
Jewish ethnic and racial diversity in the mainstream print media,
broadcast/film, and new/emerging media. The contest drew entries from around the world. Subjects included explorations of African, African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Arab Jewry.

Preceding submitted by B'Chol Lashon

Heritage Pointe names synagogue
K'hilat Horim, Community of Parents

MISSION VIEJO, California (Press Release)—The synagogue at Heritage Pointe, a senior assisted living facility in Mission Viejo, has officially been given the honor of becoming a “named congregation.”

The congregation, appropriately named K’hilat Horim or Community of Parents, was originally suggested by Heritage Pointe Board member, David Zarnow, and facilitated by Cantor Susan Deutsch along with help from the residents’ religious committee. The congregation gives its members as well as residents of Heritage Pointe a sense of pride as evidenced by the new sign at the entrance to the synagogue. It gives the space an “even more Holy feeling and everyone is very proud,” according to Cantor Deutsch, who is also the Rabbi for the congregation.

Although the synagogue is located within Heritage Pointe, it is its own entity and all members of the local community are welcome to join the services held at the Community of Parents. For further information on services contact Heritage Pointe at (949) 364-9685.




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

Carl Esenoff, Ida Nasatir, Milton Roberts

Leaders Named For
Combined Jewish Appeal

Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 1

Carl M. Esenoff, Milton Roberts and Mrs. A. P. Nasatir have accepted the top leadership in the 1953 United Jewish Fund Campaign, according to M. D. Goodrich, President of the Fund.

Appointment of Mr. Esenoff, to the General Campaign Chairmanship, Mr. Roberts as Vice-Chairman, and Mrs. Nasatir to the Women’s Division leadership, was made unanimously at the Board of Directors meeting held last week.

Mr. Esenoff, well known civic and professional leader in San Diego is the senior member of a leading San Diego Accounting Firm.  He has served as president of the Community Welfare Council, the Jewish community affairs, and has been a leader in the organizational life of San Diego Jewry.

Newly appointed Vice-Chairman Roberts, a leading San Diego businessman, has been active in the Fund for many years.  As a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee on the Fund, Mr. Roberts has played a prominent part in several previous campaigns.

Women’s Division chairman, Mrs. Nasatir, is also no stranger to United Jewish Fund and community activities.  One of the leading women in San Diego, she is well known for her services to all organizations, and her leadership in every worthwhile cause.  Mrs. Nasatir is one of America’s outstanding women speakers and has traveled far and wide throughout the country speaking on behalf of the cause of the United Jewish Appeal.

In accepting the chairmanship of the campaign and speaking for his aides, Mr. Esenoff said that they did so knowing full well the responsibility which was placed upon them and “that at the same time they were cognizant of the fact that because of the ominous clouds hanging over Jews living behind the Iron Curtain; the needs of Jews in Israel; in the United States; and right here in San Diego, every good citizen of the community would work and contribute to this greatest Jewish philanthropic effort.”

In his statement Mr. Esenoff said, “We must realize that this is again a year in which we must do more than ever before.  This year’s campaign,” continued the newly appointed chairman, “must succeed because today’s headlines and today’s threats spell tragedy to two and a half million Jews behind the Iron Curtain.  We must not under any circumstances permit 1953 to be another 1933.”

It is expected that by the time of the Mobilization Meeting on Sunday, March 8, at which Cecil Brown will be the principle speaker, the entire campaign organization will have been completed and announced.

Hilltop Choir to Appear For
Temple Sisterhood Feb. 25

Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 2

The regular luncheon monthly meeting for Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood will be held Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 11:45 a.m. in the Temple Center with Mrs. Samuel Friedman presiding. 

A musical concert, featuring songs of all nations, will be presented in dedication to Brotherhood Month.  Participating will be the well-known Hilltop Choir, chorus of 108, mixed voices from San Diego High School under the direction of Mr. E. Maxwell.  Program co-chairmen for the Sisterhood are Mrs. Morton Cohn and Mrs. M. D. Goodrich.  The program is to be in the Temple proper. 

Luncheon captains are:  Mesdames Mack Esterson, Louis Bickman, Robert Stone. Guests honored for this affair will be new Americans to the community.  The nominations slate for new officers will be presented by the nominations committee
headed by Mrs. Henry Weinberger.  Assisting on this committee are Mesdames J. H. Gruenberg, Carl Esenoff, L. Solof, Leo Greenbaum, John Ruskin.

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The January meeting of the Sisterhood featured the 40th birthday celebration of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods.  A huge birthday cake was ceremoniously cut during a candlelight program.  A quartet from San Diego High School under the direction of E. Maxwell entertained with a musical offering titled “Singing Chefs."

City of Hope Aux.
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 2

The City of Hope Senior Auxiliary meets every third Tuesday of the month, 12 noon, for a delicious lunch and a quick business meeting, followed by a social afternoon.

Please keep this day open and attend the meetings to learn what your City of Hope means and does.

JWB Prepares For
Passover at Bases

Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 2

At the request of the USO-JWB Armed Services Committee headed by Henry Weinberger, the Board of Directors of the United Jewish Fund allocated $200 for food for Passover Seders held on the various bases in the San Diego area for men who cannot leave their base to attend community or other Seders.

Harry Snyder, Treasurer of the Fund, stated that the Fund Board of Directors unanimously approved the allocation when they heard that the Jewish Welfare Board would not be able to finance the Passover food for servicemen on bases in this area.

Abe Friedman, Director of USO-JWB for San Diego, advised the Board that Seder Dinners will be held on Posts at the Naval Training Center, and at Camp Pendleton, because of the fact that the United Jewish Fund has made this allocation.

Activities of the Jewish Welfare Board with servicemen are supported by the campaign of the United Jewish Fund through its allocation of $2,000 to the National Jewish Welfare Board.

Y.J.C. Club Plan Skating Party
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 2

Friday evening, March 6, is your night to make a special effort to get to Shul, Y.J.C. Club members, for then the Club will sponsor and help conduct Friday night services at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

Because of the wonderful success of the Club’s previous roller-skating party, Sunday, March 1, has been set aside for a repeat performance.  All ardent skaters are asked to be on hand at the Palisade Gardens, 2838 University Avenue, armed with their post cards announcing the party and prepared to have a spilling good time.

News of the Fox
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 2

Regular meeting held on Feb. 10, 1953, was well attended and plans for the future of the lodge were outlined by Pres. Sol Randall.

Fred Andersen and Irving Small were presented with Menorah pins as new members of the lodge and were well received by all the members.

Past Pres. Stanley Yukon extended an invitation to the brothers to attend a Lox and Bagle (cq) breakfast at the Naval Training Station on Feb. 15, 1953, at 9:30 a.m.  This party was to be held in cooperation with the Jewish War Veterans and Brother Yukon was to be the principal speaker and talk on B’nai B’rith activities.  The lodge voted $10 for the Crusade of Freedom.

All members are urged to attend religious services on Feb. 20, 1953, qat5 the Beth Israel Temple, Third and Laurel St.  All the Lodges and Chapters will participate in this annual affair.  Be sure to attend and bring a friend

“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

Gene Wilder in the title role of 'Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'

Mike and Bernie Winters (about 3 minutes in)-British brothers act

Neil Diamond sings "I Am, I Said," in concert

Bob Balaban in "Dead Bang" with Don Johnson

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

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