Volume 3, Number 106
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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

Growing Jewish-Catholic theological divisions may be downplayed during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel ... by Rabbi Dow Marmur in Jerusalem
In the course of his visit to the Holy Land this month, the Pope will go to Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, to express empathy for the suffering of the Jewish people and repeat his sharp denunciation of Holocaust deniers. READ STORY

The nuanced relationships among Israeli Arabs and Jews ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Several readers have commented on my references to Arab students and acquaintances. While some have accused me of paternalism and compared me to anti-Semites who say, "some of my best friends are Jews," others have expressed surprise about personal relationships between Jews and Arabs.READ STORY

Jack Kemp was a true and unwavering friend of Israel ...
by Shoshana Bryen in Washington D.C.
The Officers and Board of JINSA note sadly the passing of the Hon. Jack Kemp, a longtime member of the JINSA Board of Advisors, a great friend and a great supporter of Israel and America's democratic allies around the world. Mr. Kemp received JINSA's Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award in 1985.READ STORY

Australia's decision to boycott Durban II vindicated
... by Greg Sheridan in Canberra, Australia
The decision for Australia to boycott the UN Durban Review Conference on racism recently concluded in Geneva was taken by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith in consultation with Kevin Rudd. READ STORY

The Jews Down Under ... A roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian
A 'who's who' at Pratt funeral READ MORE
Yom Hazikoron marked in Melbourne READ MORE
Marcus Einfeld stripped of Order of Australia award READ MORE
In his father's footsteps READ MORE
First full time executive director for Maccabi READ MORE
Melbourne Jewish Community celebrates Israel's 61st birthdayREAD MORE
Recognition for volunteers READ MORE


Netanyahu proposes new triple-track Mideast peace approach READ MORE

ZOA calls on UCI chancellor to denounce anti-Semitism READ MORE

University of California at Irvine spokesperson responds to ZOA READ MORE

Jewish community members excel in San Diego Book Awards contest READ MORE

First Graders write reports at Soille Hebrew Day READ MORE


For those who might wonder why we live in San Diego ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Among the reasons I am delighted that Ulla Hadar is our bureau chief in Sha’ar Hanegev, Israel, is that she portrays in her stories the Israel that she, as a Dane, fell in love with and made her home.  She normally doesn’t write about politics or warfare,  not unless the situation compels her to.  Instead she writes about life on Kibbutz Ruhama—when the wild flowers bloom, when a new farm machine arrives, when rain makes the first puddles in the fields. READ MORE

Music by Holocaust victims preserved and presented ... by Eileen Wingard in La Jolla, California
"Ostracized Music- From Germany to San Diego" showcased works by nine Jewish composers whose music was banned by the Nazis and whose lives were deeply disturbed, or, in the cases of Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein and Leo Smit, totally wiped out at Nazi death camps. READ MORE

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Watch our Bible come together with Biblical names and modern images

Noah sends out a dove, Genesis 8:8 VIEW IMAGE


February 20 & March 6, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Tifereth Israel Sisterhood READ MORE
Cecil Brown Here Sunday READ MORE
Fund Campaign Opens April 1 READ MORE
Women’s Division Set Luncheon For March 17th READ MORE
Historic Ad: Lewis Solomon Construction READ MORE

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Bonnie Franklin in "One Day At A Time"VIEW VIDEO

Harrison Ford, son of Dora Nidelman and Christopher Ford VIEW VIDEO

Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky of Starsky & Hutch) in first part of video with his leading ladies VIEW VIDEO

Victor Garber plays the senior partner in Eli Stone TV series VIEW VIDEO


We are delighted that Rabbi Dow Marmur and Greg Sheridan respectively had stories in The Star of Toronto and the Australian that we were able to reprint on San Diego Jewish World. Our aim is to expose our readers to Jewish commentary from throughout the world. At the same time, we hope our readers will familiarize themselves on the web with the fine publications from which these stories were taken.


America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service
Lawrence Family JCC
Math Is Easy
Ohr Shalom Synagogue
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego Jewish Chamber
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Therapy in Motion Inc.
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
United Jewish Federation
XLNC-1 Radio


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

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



Growing Jewish-Catholic theological divisions may be downplayed during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel

By Rabbi Dow Marmur

JERUSALEM—In the course of his visit to the Holy Land this month, the Pope will go to Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, to express empathy for the suffering of the Jewish people and repeat his sharp denunciation of Holocaust deniers. The Polish Pope John Paul II had been there before and now his successor, the German Benedict XVI, will do the same, albeit with less charisma and reputedly with less conviction.

Doubts about Benedict's commitment to Catholic-Jewish relations have been expressed in many quarters in light of the aborted attempt by the Vatican to readmit Bishop Richard Williamson, a notorious Holocaust denier. Though some obstacles in the relationship have since been covered over or removed, new bumps on the road to better interfaith understanding are expected.

In an incisive article in the Catholic journal Commonweal, American Jesuit theologian John Donahue lists areas of potential conflict.

First, there's the pending reinstatement of those who distanced themselves from the decisions of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II). In 1965, the Vatican issued a document, Nostra Aetate, which promised to revolutionize Catholic-Jewish relations. The group to be reaccepted, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), wants the church to annul Vatican II, which would mute the intention to make amends for centuries of anti-Semitism.

Second, the restoration of the so-called Tridentine Good Friday liturgy, which prays for the removal of the "veil" from the hearts of the Jews and refers to their "blindness" in not accepting Christ, reflects the present Pope's conservative theology and is a serious impediment to good Catholic-Jewish relations.

Vatican II urged adherents to include the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) in Catholic theological discourse and thus acknowledge its importance for Christians. Donahue regrets that "in effect, the Tridentine world view embodied in the language of those rites, one with a problematic attitude toward Judaism, has been welcomed back into the church."

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Third, in a speech to a Jewish community in Germany in 1989, John Paul II stated categorically that God's covenant with the Jewish people is central to contemporary Catholic theology. He spoke of "our faith in the One God, who chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and made with them a covenant of eternal love, which was never revoked."

Donahue believes that a serious retrograde step in Catholic teachings is unfolding: "With the granting of widespread permission to use the Tridentine rite and the possible reinstatement of over 500 SSPX priests celebrating public liturgies, an increasing number of Catholics will be deprived of the rich treasury of the inspired texts that Jews and Christians together cherish as God's word. That shared biblical language is indispensable for any serious dialogue with our Jewish brothers and sisters."

It's unlikely that any of this will be on the agenda during the Pope's encounters with Israeli officials. For the sake of good manners and prudent politics, explicit references to underlying differences will no doubt be avoided. But as Judaism doesn't really distinguish between the people and the faith of Israel, even ostensibly secular encounters often have religious overtones.

Neither the history of Jews under centuries of Christian domination nor the present halting efforts to foster interfaith dialogue can be ignored by today's religious and political leaders. The Vatican's struggle to adapt itself to demands for tolerance and mutual respect is bound to have consequences in Western countries with religious minorities, including, of course, the growing number of Muslims in their midst.

Marmur divides his time between Toronto, where he is rabbi emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, and Jerusalem, where he is a freelance writer and commentator. This article appeared earlier this month in The Star of Toronto. Rabbi Marmur's email is marmurd@sandiegojewishworld.com


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The nuanced relationships among Israeli Arabs and Jews

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM— Several readers have commented on my references to Arab students and acquaintances. While some have accused me of paternalism and compared me to anti-Semites who say, "some of my best friends are Jews," others have expressed surprise about personal relationships between Jews and Arabs.

The issue is complex, with nuances that do not lend themselves to casual generalization. What follows are my own experiences. They reflect conditions in and close to a university, which one of my students described as an island of comity in a larger context of suspicion and separation, and a neighborhood close to the university with Jewish and Arab residents.

I think of students as clients who deserve the best service I can provide. A physician treats patients without reference to their attitudes about politics. Insofar as my work involves politics and public policy, the comparison is not all that simple. Discussions inevitably get to what the government is doing, what it can be expected to do, and what it should be doing.

Arabs as well as Jews have different perspectives. Arab students have criticized politicians who claim to lead Palestine with as much sarcasm as Jews criticize politicians who claim to lead Israel. The Hebrew University attracts a number of non-Jews and non-Arabs from throughout the world, who also come with predispositions.

Occasionally the organization of Arab students mounts a demonstration against Israel, or against something it finds amiss in the university. Predictably there will be Jews who join their demonstration, as well as a counter demonstration by right-wing students. University security personnel and the police maintain a distance between the shouters and placard wavers. Most students try to avoid the commotion on their way to class.

Not all students of political science are politically active or motivated. Some just want a degree, and they have chosen

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political science. Some are fascinated with politics as a subject of analysis, and do not identify closely with a party or
political perspective. I am more concerned to understand than to express preferences, and my preferences are not all that strong. Years of examining politics have brought me to the posture that what happens? and why? are more interesting questions than what should happen?

This is not to say that I am above the fray. I always decide to vote one way or another. I identify closely with Israel, its struggles, and efforts at accommodation. However, in a well institutionalized democracy like Israel, party platforms and election promises have limited importance. The realities of coping with economics and international politics render leading politicians flexible and pragmatic. Bibi may come to decide differently than Tzipi, but no one can predict what each would do from what has been said in the campaign. Either will be influenced greatly by what comes to the country from outside, as well as the analyses of ranking bureaucrats, other experts, and coalition partners.

One can write a similar sentence about McCain, Bush, and Obama. The styles and some of the outcomes may differ, but Congress, experts, and the world dim the differences.

No doubt that the larger picture I see on a daily basis is one of Jewish and Arab antagonisms reflecting different ways of viewing what happened years ago, and recently.

Within that, however, are numerous relationships of accommodation and friendship. It is apparent in the classroom, in the gym that serves students, faculty, and university graduates, and in the neighborhood where Jews and Arabs meet on the street. At times it seems that conversations avoid the most sensitive issues of the moment. Cynicism and humor allow us to diffuse tensions and remain civil.

I am not describing a paradise without politics. There are expressions of loyalty to one's own narrative. Occasionally there is emotion. The people I encounter are well educated, and have chosen to interact with one another. Most know how to separate the greater issues from friendships, or maintain relations that are appropriate between students and teachers.

Others are inclined to shout at one another, or even seek to kill, but we get along.

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University. Email: msira@mscc.huji.ac.il

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Jack Kemp was a true and unwavering friend of Israel

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C—The Officers and Board of JINSA note sadly the passing of the Hon. Jack Kemp, a longtime member of the JINSA Board of Advisors, a great friend and a great supporter of Israel and America's democratic allies around the world. Mr. Kemp received JINSA's Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award in 1985.

Everyone in Washington has a favorite Jack Kemp story - we are no different.

For JINSA, it was an evening in early June 1982 at the beginning of Israel's Operation Peace for Galilee - a response to months of Katyusha shelling by the PLO of Kiryat Shemona and the northern Galilee. At the beginning of OPG, there was a news "greyout" which the PLO filled by announcing 10,000 civilian casualties and Israeli "war crimes" against the Palestinians and the people of Lebanon. The New York Times called the IDF movement toward Beirut a "blitzkrieg," inveighing against Israel for the first time, but not the last, with images of Nazi brutality.

JINSA held a meeting with Jack as the featured speaker. The room was crowded and the crowd was nervous and unhappy. "What if all the bad press was true?," people asked each other in hushed tones. "What if Israel had overreacted?"

The first thing Jack Kemp did was admonish us in no uncertain terms. "How can you say this; how can you think this? You can't possibly believe that Israel has abandoned its moral and democratic foundation. This is the IDF we're talking about. Where is your faith in the Israel you know?"

Jack Kemp never lost faith in the Israel he knew, and he was shortly proven right.

Much was made of a purported meeting during the term of President Bush (41) in which a certain cabinet secretary was said to have denigrated the American Jewish community in language best described here as "salty." Jack was then secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) [where he coined the term "bleeding heart conservative," a forerunner of the "compassionate conservatism" of President Bush (43).]

Shortly after that meeing, two members of JINSA's professional staff paid a call on Jack in his HUD office. There, prominently displayed on a banquette was the large, swooping, porcelain eagle JINSA had presented to him in 1985. We were pleased to see it, and more pleased when he a) affirmed the content of the meeting while b) assuring us that he was there and the cabinet secretary did not go unanswered.

Reviewing this piece for publication, JINSA's Executive Director Tom Neumann was unhappy. "It lacks the love Jack deserves," he said. We share Tom's thoughts:

While many gave ideas to conservatism, Jack also sought to give character to conservatism. He was as much a defender of minority rights and equality, and had as much compassion and

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as much concern for justice as any liberal. He was a peer to even Jesse Jackson as a defender of civil liberties. His commitment to Israel was born out of his passion for justice. At the same time he was an advocate of fiscal and personal responsibility, a champion of entrepreneurship and of capitalism.

He was American - first, last and always - and he understood better than most what made America great. He will be missed because there are no more Jack Kemps to be seen on the contemporary stage.

Liberal and conservative, we are all poorer for having lost him.

We, in JINSA, will miss him.

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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Netanyahu proposes new triple-track Mideast peace approach

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Here is the transcript of the speech Benjamin Netanyahu delivered by televised hookup to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee convention on May 4, 2009:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: It's very good to be with all of you, and I want to thank all of you. I want to thank first the members of Congress who are assembled here, the leaders of
AIPAC, you, David, Howard Friedman, Lee Rosenberg, and Howard Kohr; all the delegates of AIPAC and the hundreds of students that are in the room; all the friends of Israel.

I want to thank all of you for your unwavering support for Israel and for strengthening the great friendship between Israel and the United States. As you said, I have met President Obama. I respect him, and I look forward to seeing him in Washington in a couple of weeks. We plan to continue our common quest for security, for prosperity, and for peace.

Friends, there is something significant that is happening today in the Middle East. And I can say that for the first time in my lifetime -- I believe that for the first time in a century -- that Arabs and Jews see a common danger. This wasn't always the case. In the '30s and '40s, many of the Arab world supported another country, believing that that was their hope. In the '60s and '70s, '80s, they supported another country that was at odds with the Jewish state. But this is no longer the case.

There is a great challenge afoot; but that challenge also presents great opportunities. The common danger is echoed by Arab leaders throughout the Middle East; it's echoed by Israel
repeatedly. It's echoed by Europeans, by many responsible governments around the world. And if I had to sum it in one sentence, it is this: Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear
weapons. If I had to sum up the opportunity in one word, it would be cooperation -- cooperation between Israel and the Arab world, and cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.

Next week I'll be visiting Egypt with President Mubarak, and I plan to discuss both values with him. We seek expanded relations with the Arab world. We want normalization of economic ties
and diplomatic ties. We want peace with the Arab world. But we also want peace with the Palestinians. That peace has eluded us for more than 13 years. Six successive prime ministers and two American presidents have not succeeded in achieving this final peace settlement. I believe it's possible to achieve it. But I think it requires a fresh approach. And the fresh approach that I suggest is pursuing a triple-track towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians; a political track, a security track, and an economic track.

A political track means that we're prepared to resume peace negotiations without any delay and without any preconditions; the sooner, the better.

The security track means that we want to continue the cooperation with the program led by General Dayton in cooperation with the Jordanians and with the Palestinian Authority to strengthen the security apparatus of the Palestinians. This is something we believe in, and something that I think we can advance in a joint effort.

The economic track means that we are prepared to work together to remove as many obstacles as we can, to the advancement of the Palestinian economy. We want to work with the Palestinian
Authority on this track, not as a substitute for political negotiations, but as a boost to them. I want to see Palestinian youngsters knowing that they have a future. I want them not to be hostageto a cult of death and despair and hate. I want them to have jobs. I want them to have career paths. I want them to know that they can provide for their families. This means that we can give
them a future of hope; a future that means that there is prosperity for all, and this has proved to be successful in advancing a political peace in many parts of the world.

I believe that this triple track towards peace is the realistic path to peace. And I believe that with the cooperation of President Obama and President Abbas, we can defy the skeptics; we can surprise the world.

But there are two provisos that I think have to be said at this point. First, peace will not come without security. If we abandon security, we'll have never security nor peace. So I want to be very clear. We shall never compromise on Israel's security. Second, for a final peace settlement to be achieved, the Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish state. They must recognizeIsrael as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

A few hours ago I spoke at the Knesset. We mark the birthday of Theodore Herzl, the founding father of Zionism. Herzl revolutionized the history of the Jewish people; a people that were
scattered and defenseless throughout the nations. He revolutionized Jewish history when he published a slim pamphlet called The Jewish State. This was our salvation, and this is our
foundation; the foundation of our future and the foundation of peace.

Good night from Jerusalem. God bless America. God bless Israel. Thank you all.

ZOA calls on UCI chancellor to denounce anti-Semitism

{For response, see item below}

NEW YORK (Press Release)—The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) calls on Dr. Michael Drake, the Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine (UCI), to finally end his silence and publicly condemn the anti-Semitism that routinely occurs on his campus, as well as the group that is promoting it. 

Every year at this time, the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a registered student group at UCI, sponsors a week-long event on campus that vilifies and demonizes Israel, with speakers and programs that cross the line into anti-Semitism.  This year’s event, now underway, will span two full weeks and has the disgraceful and grotesquely false title, “Israel: The Politics of Genocide.” 

Based on the title of the event, the speakers that will be featured, and the programs that are scheduled to occur, there is no doubt that the MSU will once again be promoting vicious falsehoods about Israel that will promote hatred of Israel and Jews, as well as violence against them. 

Despite the fact that the MSU has sponsored vicious Israel-bashing events on a regular basis at UCI which have crossed the line into anti-Semitism, and despite the fact these events violate UCI’s own “Principles of Community,” Chancellor Drake has never once condemned the events as anti-Semitic, or denounced the MSU for perpetrating bigotry.  In the past, the Chancellor has justified his silence by relying on the First Amendment and his need to remain so-called “content neutral.”  Would the Chancellor dare to remain silent and “content neutral” if programs vilifying gays, African Americans, Hispanics, or women were sponsored on his campus?

The Chancellor has his own First Amendment rights and he should be exercising those rights to denounce speech that is hateful and anti-Semitic.  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent bipartisan federal agency that studies discrimination and civil rights issues and reports its findings and recommendations to the President and Congress, has specifically recommended that university leadership condemn anti-Semitic and other hate speech. 

This is also the position of the American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union.  Last year, when the MSU was holding its Israel-bashing event, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) wrote to the Chancellor to express his concern.  The Congressman could not have been clearer in his call to the Chancellor:  “As an American, you have a right to speak out.  As Chancellor, it is your duty to condemn anti-Semitism, especially when it occurs at the UCI campus.”

But the Chancellor has maintained his silence, going so far as to deny that anti-Semitism is even a problem at UCI.  When asked in May 2007, by the local Daily Pilot, whether he believed that there is intolerance on the campus, he had the temerity to say:  “I don’t think it is a problem at all.  I have no evidence that it’s different or worse than anyplace else.  In fact, I think we have a very tolerant community.”

Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, called on the Chancellor to exercise his moral leadership:  “It’s time for the Chancellor to finally speak honestly and directly about a problem that has been plaguing his campus for years.  The MSU brings hateful anti-Israel speakers and programs to campus year after year, causing many Jewish students to feel harassed, intimidated and even physically unsafe – to the point that a few years ago, at least two students left UCI and enrolled elsewhere to complete their studies.  The public should be told who is funding these programs.  

“The Chancellor’s failure to recognize that anti-Semitic bigotry is being promoted on campus, and his failure to condemn those who are behind it, sends the wrong message to the victims and the perpetrators:  That anti-Semitism is tolerable and acceptable, when it is not.  He would never dare to ignore campus programs that demonized or promoted hateful lies about gays, African Americans, Hispanics or women.

“It was UCI’s failure to address the longstanding problem of campus anti-Semitism that led the ZOA to file a student-supported complaint against the university with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  UCI bears the shameful distinction of being the only university in the country, to our knowledge, that has been under federal investigation for failing to respond to claims of anti-Semitic harassment under Title VI.  A second investigation into UCI’s response to campus anti-Semitism is still pending.  It’s time for the Chancellor to acknowledge the problem and make it crystal clear that he and his administration will no longer tolerate it.

“There is an online petition calling on the Chancellor to speak out against the anti-Semitism at UCI.  (Go to http://www.PetitionOnline.com/msu509/petition.html).  We urge concerned individuals to sign it, as hundreds already have, and let the Chancellor know that his silence is wrong, and that anti-Semitism has no place on a college campus or anyplace else.”

Preceding was submitted by the Zionist Organization of America

University of California at Irvine spokesperson responds to ZOA

Asked yesterday afternoon for comment on the press releasee above issued by the Zionist Organization of America, Cathy Lawhon, UCI media relations director, responded by email:

"The Chancellor is on a plane at the moment. Here is his latest comment on the issue. For the full context in which this was presented, go to (this link):

"Our university community embraces active political discussion. We reject anti-Semitism. We reject anti-Islamic rhetoric. We reject de-humanizing stereotypes. We embrace dialogue and mutual understanding. We live an increasingly close-knit world, and as members of this academic community, we can all make a positive difference by exemplifying democratic participation. At the very least, we can remember our campus values: respect, intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitment, empathy, appreciation and fun. We can remember, we can remind each other, and we can keep the campus as it’s always been: a safe, vibrant and diversely engaged community."

On another occasion, Lawhon said, Chancellor Drake responded to inquiries on the same subject by Congressman Brad Sherman (Democrat, Van Nuys). Drake said he had spoken out several times on the subject, including in June 2007 when he was the keynote speaker at an American Jewish Committee's Person of the Year Awards Dinner.

At that time, the chancellor said: “Anti-Semitism, like any form of racism, can never be justified. It must be denounced. Silence has never been the answer. I have issued more than a dozen public messages on this subject: On our Web site, on television and in speeches by now attended by more than 5,000 people. I will repeat it here tonight: Hate speech is destructive, pitiful and dangerous. Anti-Semitism has been one of the post perniciously undermining forces in western history.”

San Diego Media Watch

R.J. Ignelzi had a heart-warming interview yesterday in the San Diego Union-Tribune with Joyce Camiel about her experiences communicating with her husband, Shimon, during the course of his Alzheimer's Disease. Here is a link. The Camiels are well-known, highly regarded members of the San Diego Jewish community.

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Other stories of specific San Diego Jewish community interest yesterday included a look by the online Voice of San Diego at the financial troubles of the Salk Institute, founded by polio vaccine discoverer Dr. Jonas Salk, and a San Diego Union-Tribune story about Alan Bersin, who has been entrusted by U.S. President Barack Obama with authority for dealing with problems along the U.S.-Mexico border. The North County Times also gave Bersin extensive coverage.

Meanwhile, the online San Diego News Network has a feature by Alison DaRosa on Jewish community member Deborah Szekely, well known as the co-founder of the Golden Door Spas and Rancho La Puerta. Szekely is also the founder of the New Americans Museum in the Point Loma area. Here's the link.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is conducting a survey entitled San Diego's Best in 2009. Among the categories is Best Retirement Home, and we think that our own Jewish community's Seacrest Village Retirement Communities should be given very serious consideration. But it is up to the readers of the Union-Tribune. If you'd like to vote on this and other "best" categories, here is a link.

Jewish community members excel
in San Diego Book Awards contest

SAN DIEGO—Author Laurel Corona, who writes occasionally for San Diego Jewish World, has been selected as a finalist for two categories in the San Diego Book Awards.  Winners will be announced at a banquet on Saturday evening, May 16, at the AMN Healthcare Building, 12400 High Bluff Drive, in San Diego.

Corona is one of three finalists in the “Historical Fiction” category for her novel The Four Seasons, dealing with composer Antonio Vivaldi’s work with an all female orchestra in Venice.   As a co-author with Michael Bart, Corona also is one of three finalists for Until Our Last Breath, detailing Bart’s parents’ participation in a resistance movement against the Nazis.  That work recently won a Christopher Award.

Bradley Steffens, president of the San Diego Book Awards Association, commented that in being nominated in two categories in the same year, “Laurel Corona has already accomplished something few ever have.”

Until Our Last Breath previously was reviewed in San Diego Jewish World; here is a link.

Other finalists  whose works  have been reviewed by this publication are Yale Strom, in the Picture Book category, for his The Wedding that Saved a Town, and the team of David M. Caterino and Seth Mallios, for their photographic work, Cemeteries of San Diego County.

Larry Zeiger, who contributed several columns on the arts to San Diego Jewish World, is among the finalists in the “Unpublished Works” category.

For our readers’ potential reading pleasure, here are the categories and the finalists:

Unpublished Short Story—Laurie Alloway,  Jasmine’s Moonstone Beach;  Diana Wallis Taylor, Phipps and the Jay; and  Larry Zeigler, Music Makes the Man.

Unpublished Poetry Chapbook— Claire Hsu Accomando, Evaporation; Robert T. Lundy, Ten Holidays that Shook the World; Elizabeth Yahn Williams, Seasonal Reflections

Unpublished Memoir—Sue Diaz, Minefields of the Heart;
Virg Erwin, Cat Lo; Michaela Renee Jacques, Teetering on Disaster

Unpublished Young Adult Novel—Gigi Orlowski, Luck Garden Cake; Gary Winters, The Deer Dancer; Cathy Worthington, Moskovsky Station

Unpublished Novel
—Cathy Lubenski, Trashy Chic; Caroline L. McCullagh, Twenty-Six Eskimo Words for Love; Reina Lisa Menasche, The Legacy of Tomato Hill; Frank Primiano, Life of a Salesman
Published Books
Picture Book— Sherri Chessen, Gorp's Secret; Steven Gregory, Chieko and the Pine, A Japanese Folk Tale; Yale Strom, The Wedding that Saved a Town

General Fiction —Susan Meisner, The Shape of Mercy; Patricia Santana, Ghosts of El Grullo; Bobbe Tatreau, Unexpected Gifts

Historical Fiction —Laurel Corona, The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice; Ken Kuhlken, Vagabond Virgins; Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischief

Mystery/Thriller— Ralph L. Cates, Black October; Chet Cunningham, The Mystery of Hamlin Springs; Ona Russell, The Natural Selection
Poetry—Neda Miranda Blazevic-Krietzman, Diocletian's Palace;Nancy Cary, Hunger and Thirst, Food Literature; Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña, Roses of Crimson Fire

Business— Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing, Dogs at Work; Lee Silber and Andrew Chapman, Rock to Riches; Robert H. Thompson, The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable; E.S. Wibbeke, Global Business Leadership

General Nonfiction— Paul L. Diamond, Fishing's Greatest Misadventures; Liz Palika, The Ultimate Pet Food Guide;
Deborah M. Schneider and Deborah Szekely, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerto
Health & Wellness—Karen Ronney, Proud Parents' Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced Kids; Chantal Sicile-Kira, Autism Life Skills

History & Biography—Laurel Corona and Michael Bart, Until Our Last Breath; Marlene Wagman-Geller, Once Again to Zelda

Local Interest, General—Richard Carrico, Strangers in a Stolen Land; Richard Halsey, Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California ; David Lewis, Last Known Address

Local Interest, Photographic—David M. Caterino and Seth Mallios, Cemeteries of San Diego County; Ernie Cowan, Anza-Borrego: A Photographic Journey; Susan Lankford Madden, Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time

Memoir, General Interest—Robert Frimtzis, From Tajikistan to the Moon; Bob Hamer, The Last Undercover; Peter Kaye, Contrarian

Memoir, Local Interest—Graham Mackintosh, Marooned with Very Little Beer; Chi Varnado, A Canyon Trilogy: Life Before, During and After the Cedar Fire; Victor Villaseñor, Crazy Loco Love

Self-Help & Inspirational— Jill Badonsky, The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder; Terry Lamb, Astrology's Magical Blends;Gabriel S. Weiss, M.D., The Healing Power of Meditation

First Graders write reports
at Soille Hebrew Day

soilleSAN DIEGO (Press Release) — First graders in Mrs. McCullough’s class at Soille Hebrew Day are beginning a three week unit on report writing. They are learning research skills, note taking, paragraph writing, and presentation skills.  Each student has chosen an animal to write a report about and project on.  This exciting assignment is a culmination of a unit about different animal groups.  Reports and projects will be displayed outside the first grade classroom.

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 was provided by Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School

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Australia's decision to boycott Durban II vindicated

By Greg Sheridan

CANBERRA, Australia—The decision for Australia to boycott the UN Durban Review Conference on racism recently concludedin Geneva was taken by Foreign Minister Stephen
Smith in consultation with Kevin Rudd.

It is probably the finest moment in foreign policy for the Rudd Government so far. It represents a template for how Rudd foreign policy should operate and vindicates faith in the
soundness and decency of the judgments of Rudd and Smith. It demonstrates a desire to be deeply involved in multilateral processes, but to make an independent decision at the end of those processes.

Why is it so important?

The first conference was held in Durban nearly eight years ago. It degenerated into a vile and hateful anti-Semtitic jamboree. The original idea of the conference was to set down some basic markers against racism that the entire civilised
world could endorse, not a bad idea at all. But a number of Arab and African dictatorships, and their non-governmental organisation supporters in the West, hijacked the conference and devoted it to denouncing Israel. No other nation was singled out for criticism.

Israel was demonised not just for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories but uniquely as a racist state. The very idea of Zionism - a Jewish state in the Middle East - was denounced as racist. There were frequent anti-Semitic harangues and much violence, with Jewish speakers prevented from taking the microphone.

The UN set up a follow-up conference this year. There were two threshhold questions for governments on whether to be involved. First, was the draft resolution worth supporting, and
second, would the conference degenerate into another anti-Semitic hate fest? Two countries, Israel and Canada, made an in-principle decision months ago that they would not attend under any circumstances. This was a perfectly reasonable
judgment and the hate-filled, almost insane, anti-Semitic rant by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the first day of the conference's amply justified this decision.

There was an intense debate within the Obama administration over whether to attend. The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, was generally more sympathetic to attending; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others less so. There was a
similar debate in many European nations, as there was in Australia.

Many iterations of the draft text contained offensive statements about Israel. It is worth reflecting for a moment how bizarre this is. A document that is meant to enshrine universal principles against racism, and which singles out
no other country, becomes obsessed with the alleged sins of the only democracy in the Middle East. A Russian, Yuri Boychenko, chaired the overall preparatory effort and laboured mightily to clean up the text. He got most offensive
things out, except the first paragraph's ringing declaration that DurbanII reaffirmed DurbanI. Thus, although there were no obnoxious references to Israel in the final text, the reaffirmation of DurbanI meant that its positions were
re-endorsed. Boychenko could not get this out because the Organisation of the Islamic Conference said it would boycott the conference if it was removed. The failure to mention the
reaffirmation of DurbanI in the text of DurbanII has been an important failure of professionalism in much ABC and BBC coverage of this issue.

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Meanwhile, the Dutch put in a heroic effort to substitute a shorter, better text that did not contain the reaffirmation.

On March 12, Smith spoke without notes on DurbanII in parliament and said Australia would not be attending unless the text was fundamentally changed and Canberra was convinced the conference would not be misused as an
anti-Semitic hate fest in the way the first conference was.

In the following few weeks, the Dutch asked Smith not to make a final decision until their efforts on the text were exhausted. Having an important group of countries, including Australia, still up for grabs, as it were, gave the Dutch extra
leverage in their ultimately unsuccessful efforts
to fix the DurbanII declaration and make the conference workable.

Smith co-ordinated his actions with the Dutch Foreign Minister, with Clinton, and with a number of his other counterparts. When it was clear the text was irredeemable, a cascade of nations pulled out. First there was Italy, then the US, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany
and Poland. During Ahmadinejad's bizarre and disturbing rant, most European delegates walked out of the chamber, but the Czechs formally withdrew from the conference altogether. This is very good company for Australia to be keeping,
and as an Australian I am proud of our actions.

Probably this episode has cost Australia votes in its effort to be elected to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2013. The Government thinks not, because for an
Israel-related issue at the UN, it's in a bigger minority than usual.

Nonetheless, Canberra has clearly set itself against the moral intimidation of the dictatorships of the Arab and African worlds. Unfortunately, those dictatorships have a lot of votes at the UN.

But this is why the episode is so very encouraging for those who care about good Australian foreign policy. The Rudd Government made a complete and good faith commitment to the multilateral process. But when that nonetheless produced a thoroughly rotten outcome, it had the guts to make its own decision on the merits of the issue. This is the only way multilateralism can work. This decision goes a long way to
establishing that the pursuit of the UN Security Council seat will not come at the expense of our values or good policy more generally.

Two other important reflections. This is not a decision that would come from routine Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice. DFAT, a bit like the British Foreign Office, has a natural Arabist bias among its Middle East professionals.
Diplomats tend to take on something of the views and prejudices of the countries to which they are posted, and there are a lot of Arab postings and only one Israel. Moreover, diplomats have a tendency to want to minimise friction and any opposition to Australia inside the UN system. Quite rightly, Rudd and Smith made the decision on the question of values and policy for Australia.

Second, while no one is more strongly in favour of close political relations with Asian nations than I am, it is disturbing that of all the other nations that took the action we did, the only one from our region was New Zealand. (The new
Government in Wellington deserves special congratulations for taking the action it did, because it was opposed domestically by Labour and the Greens.) We need to talk more to our Asian friends about these issues. But certainly we did the right thing.

Sheridan's article is reprinted from The Australian.

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

A 'who's who' at Pratt funeral

KEW, Australia--Long before 11 a.m on Thursday April 30, on a crisp  autumn morning, it became clear that Kew Hebrew Congregation was about to see its biggest event in many years - a funeral service preceding  Richard Pratt's burial at  Lyndhurst Chevra Kadisha Cemetery.

Police on motorbikes and on foot patrolled surrounding streets in Kew, police helicopters circled overhead and the Community Security Group was on hand.

A media scrum began assembling on Walpole Street  across from the shul, as Kew locals and arriving mourners filled the roadway.

Ushers, with baskets of kippahs for loan - a fixture at Jewish VIP occasions - stood vigil in the synagogue's foyer, as guests signed a register on the portico outside.

Among some 1000 worshippers were former prime  ministers John Howard and Bob Hawke, federal Government frontbencher Simon Crean, Victorian  Premier John Brumby, ex- premiers Steve Bracks, Jeff Kennett and Bob Carr, entertainers Daryl  Somers and Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire, and  Carlton players who had come to farewell their late president.

While some latecomers had to contend with  watching the service on TV screens outside, a who's who gathered inside - Howard, just back from overseas, later told media Pratt symbolised "the very positive elements of the immigrant success story".

Brumby had left early from a Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart to attend the service, and state Liberal leader Ted Baillieu was there.

Organisers hurriedly moved a contingent of males  from the ground-level women's section, and the perennial worshipper without a kippah donned one at the last minute.

The service began promptly, even before some arrivals - among them trucking magnate Lindsay Fox and former federal treasurer Peter Costello - filed in.

Rabbi Levi Wolf of Sydney's Central Synagogue, a close friend of Pratt's, opened the service with a tribute in which he recalled first meeting the businessman, and introducing himself as a rabbi from Sydney, to which Pratt had introduced himself as "rabbi  of the congregation, Carlton Blues."

Pratt lived up to the notion that a person's worth is measured in what he gave to others, said the rabbi.

Son Anthony Pratt spoke of Pratt's compassionate helping hand "giving cardboard a second chance [recycling] but more importantly giving people a second chance".

Anthony recalled his father's philosophy that "family comes first, but work comes second, not third or fourth" and that his Visy company now employs some 6000 Australians.

Heloise Waislitz  said her father always had the spirit to tough out enormous challenges. "We both knew how tough it can get," said  Waislitz, who like her father, suffered from cancer.

Delivering the eulogy, Pratt Foundation chief executive Sam Lipski struggled with emotion as he invoked Isaiah's "nachanu ami [comfort my people]".

He portrayed Pratt as "a great man, yet an Everyman— a grateful Australian."

Lipski said Pratt died on Tuesday evening exactly one year to the day after he was at the dedication of one of his greatest projects, the Anzac Park at Be'er Sheva in Israel, commemorating the World War I Australian Light Horse charge that changed the course of Middle Eastern history.

Speaking about Pratt's early role as an actor, Lipski broached the controversy over Pratt's criminal prosecution, declaring "Richard was cast in a play which should never have been produced".

He expressed his confidence that history would "vindicate" him.

Pratt was a high-profile member of Melbourne's arts and football communities. A champion footballer in his youth, he became president of the Carlton Football Club in 2007 and was chiefly responsible for reviving the fortunes of the downtrodden club.

He was once publisher of The Australian Jewish News and the Jerusalem Report, as well as a major supporter of educational institutions such as Melbourne, Monash and Swinburne universities in Victoria and the Hebrew and Ben-Gurion universities in Israel.

His death came just one day after prosecutors dropped a charge against him of misleading the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). He had earlier been fined $36 million over the case.

Pratt is survived by Jeanne and their children Anthony, Fiona and Heloise. Another daughter, Paula, lives in Sydney.

Yom Hazikoron
marked in Melbourne

MELBOURNE - About 1200 people gathered in respect and solidarity at Monash University's Robert Blackwood Hall in Melbourne on a rain-swept Monday night (April 27) for the Yom Hazikaron Commemoration for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror.

The solemn evening, hosted by the Zionist Federation of Victoria and sponsored by many community organisations, featured music, poetry and a sampling of personal stories of fallen Israeli soldiers and terror victims.

The soldier's stories, which alternated in English, with Hebrew translation, and vice versa, faithfully covered Israel's wars and conflicts, from the 1948 War of Independence to Operation Cast Lead this year.

Each story was movingly punctuated by Australian friends and family of the mourned appearing on stage and lighting a candle in memory of their loved ones.

Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem delivered a heartfelt and nuanced address in eloquent Hebrew.

The evening concluded with a performance of bittersweet songs traditionally played in Israel on this somber day.

Marcus Einfeld stripped of
Order of Australia award

CANBERRA- Jailed former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld has been removed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Einfeld was given the honour 12 years ago for his promotion of human rights and services to international affairs.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce cancelled his membership of the AO last Friday.

In March, Einfeld began a minimum two-year prison sentence for perjury in relation to a speeding ticket.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot, who has known Einfeld since the 1960s, this week said he was not surprised by the removal of Einfeld's AO.

"The decision by the Governor-General to strip Marcus Einfeld of his award as an Officer of the Order of Australia is appropriate and unsurprising in the circumstances of his
conviction for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice," said.

The widely anticipated removal of Einfeld's AO follows the loss of his title as a Queen's Counsel.

The NSW Bar Association has applied to have him struck off the roll in a matter that will return to the state's Supreme Court on May 7.

There is also much discussion about Einfeld's
$200,000 a year pension, which he is likely to keep.

Einfeld is not the first person to have lost his title. Businessmen Rodney Adler, Alan Bond, Steve Vizard and Richard Pratt, as well as former politician Brian Burke, all had their honours removed. (Richard Pratt returned his award
voluntarily, and now there is a move by his supporters to have it re-awarded post humumostly)

While some were stripped, others handed back the
title after finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

In his father's footsteps

SYDNEY--The son of one of four Australians killed in the 1997 Maccabiah bridge disaster will continue his father's legacy at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

When Josh Small steps onto the tenpin bowling alley in Israel in July, he will not just be competing, he will be continuing the legacy of his father.

Greg Small never competed at the Maccabiah in 1997. He was with the Australian team on that fateful bridge over the Yarkon River just before the opening ceremony when it buckled and then broke, plunging scores of Aussies into the polluted waters.

Greg Small, Yetty  Bennett, Warren Zines and Elizabeth Sawicki died in the bridge disaster, and scores more were injured.  Greg Small's son Josh, who was just seven at the time, was staying at his cousin's house in Queensland with his
sister when the tragedy happened on 14 July 1997.

Twelve years on, the 19-year old Sydneysider received a phone call late last year confirming he had been selected for

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the Australian Maccabiah team.  "I had mixed emotions at the time. I was happy and sad" he said. "Through my performances I thought to myself I had a good chance, but
until I got the phone call I was unsure."

It will be Josh Small's first time at the Maccabiah. Although he says it will be a big thrill to compete, he understands it will also to be an emotional rollercoaster.

"I want to continue what my father did. My dad did not actually compete when he was there. I'd like to go there, compete and finish what he started".  Small says he was virtually born in a bowling alley, growing up watching his father bowl every weekend.

His mother Suzanne started a youth league at Maccabi NSW when Josh was still a toddler and his interest grew from there.
"After the '97 Maccabiah I started taking my bowling more seriously."  Now, when he bowls in tournaments, he wears his dad's uniform from those fateful games. The shirt has the name "Greg" on the left side of the chest and the
surname "Small" emblazoned on the back, although
Josh will have to wear the official Maccabiah 2009 shirt when he competes in July.

The Small family was at an emotional memorial service in Israel at the 2005 Games, and with Josh competing at this Maccabiah, his mother and sister intend to travel there to support him. "I am feeling pretty excited. I've got mixed
emotions. I'll be happy to go; it'll be sad but a good thing to do. don't have any expectations right now, I just want to go and compete and have fun. Winning a medal would be a bonus, but I'd just rather go and compete," Josh said.

First full time executive
director for Maccabi

MELBOURNE- Maccabi Australia Inc (MAI) has appointed a full-time executive director for the first time in its 85-year history.

Robert Weisz, a 34-year-old sports marketing expert, has set up offce in Melbourne with plans to take Maccabi to the next level.

"My initial goals are to realise the organisation's full potential and to increase and improve its profile within the Jewish community Australia-wide," Weisz said.

Following a two-year stint in marketing at BP in Melbourne, Weisz moved to London for two years to broaden his experience, before returning to a job with AXA.

In 2003, he set up a web-based sports publishing business, ghost writing articles for AFL identities and producing videocast interviews with high-profile players.

A self-confessed sports tragic, Weisz played junior tennis for Northern Maccabi in Melbourne and Australian Rules Football for AJAX.

"I am sporting-mad and I have been a community person for as long as I can remember. This is an opportunity to marry my two passions."

Weisz has spent time helping the United Israel Appeal and the Montefiore Homes for the Aged, as well as running the Comic Relief Charity for Seven Network.

A huge fan of AFL side Carlton, Weisz also follows the fortunes of the A-League's Melbourne Victory, saying there is a lot to learn from the way the round-ball game has been promoted in Australia.

"I truly admire the marketing behind the A-League
and have every respect for Frank Lowy and what he has done for that game.

"Now it's up to me to see what can be done about marketing Maccabi. I am passionate about strengthening the Jewish community through sport and want to use my skills and experience to lead and enhance Maccabi Australia."

MAI is the roof body for the individual state organisations, which have a total membership of around 9000.

President Harry Procel said Weisz would be a valuable addition to the organisation.

"Robert brings youth and enthusiasm ... and, with his background and experience, I look forward to seeing Maccabi take its rightful place as a major constituent body within the Australian Jewish community."

Melbourne Jewish Community celebrates Israel's 61st birthday

MELBOURNE—The local Jewish community showcased its
immense talent at the annual Yom Ha'atzmaut concert on April 28.

With organisers, the Zionist Council of Victoria, opting for an all-Australian cast, the audience for Israel's 61st anniversary of independence was not left disappointed.

Experienced performers Deborah Conway, Karen Feldman, Sagit Lourie and Brett Kaye were joined by plenty of up-and-coming talent, including Shaun Cartoon, Ari Wenig and Alma Zygier.

Two numbers in particular brought the house down. A beach scene was recreated on the Hamer Hall stage, complete with beach balls thrown into the crowd, for Hagalshan, sung by Brett Joffe.

Conway, Cartoon and Bram Presser engaged in an enthralling repartee for Rosa.

Sticking to the theme "Israeliana", the concert was opened and closed with a stirring combination of didgeridoo, played by John Tye, and shofar, played by Presser.

Recognition for volunteers

MELBOURNE - Jewish Community Council President
John Searle has praised the outstanding dedication displayed by the Victorian Jewish Community's numerous volunteers.

"National Volunteer Week which commences on 11 May provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers and to thank the many so-called everyday people who make an extraordinary contribution to our community."

It is estimated that more than 5 million Australian volunteers contribute some 700 million hours of community service every year to so many areas of society, including community health care, heritage and arts, environment conservation, emergency services, education, social justice and sports.

The Victorian Jewish community is particularly blessed with such people without whose support its many organisations would struggle to survive.

Volunteering takes many different forms: it includes the people who sit on committees; the children from our day schools who visit the sick and elderly; the mums and dads who coach junior sport teams; those who undertake hasbara for
Israel; and the envelope stuffers and phone canvassers who raise funds for numerous worthy causes. Visit the Beth Weizmann Jewish community centre any day and you will see these helpers, young and old, in abundance.

"While the JCCV honours our community's volunteers at its annual Awards Night in November, we think of you much more often," Searle said. "All of you make a immeasurable contribution to the wellbeing of our community. I thank each and every one of you. We could not continue without your help."


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SUBMARINE BASE—As seen from the Cabrillo National Monument, the submarine base was the locale for the movie The Hunt
for Red October
. Structure in center of photograph is a floating drydock, available for submarine repair.

For those who might wonder why we live in San Diego ...

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Among the reasons I am delighted that Ulla Hadar is our bureau chief in Sha’ar Hanegev, Israel, is that she portrays in her stories the Israel that she, as a Dane, fell in love with and made her home.  She normally doesn’t write about politics or warfare,  not unless the situation compels her to.  Instead she writes about life on Kibbutz Ruhama—when the wild flowers bloom, when a new farm machine arrives, when rain makes the first puddles in the fields.  And she writes about her travels on a bicycle, or as a runner, testing her stamina while seeing and appreciating the byways and nature of Israel.  She takes us into her life and lets us live it with her.

I wonder if the Israelis and other people around the world who read San Diego Jewish World –there is a growing number, statistics indicate—have a sense of what life is like here, and why San Diegans think that they received an extra dollop of good fortune to live where they do.

Yesterday morning, when I picked up my hiking buddy Dan Schaffer at his Mission Hills home, I told him that I was hoping we might go on an excursion to any of three places—he could pick whichever one appealed to him.   One might be a walk down Adams Avenue, home to numerous used book stores.  Another might be a hike through Torrey Pines State Park between La Jolla and Del Mar, where a unique type of conifer grows on bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Or, the third might be the Cabrillo National Monument, at the end of the high palisades that divide San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean. 

Dan quickly chose Cabrillo National Monument, a destination that required us to travel past Navy electronic and submarine installations and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.   The quiet roadway afforded commanding views of ships, jet aircraft from nearby North Island Naval Air Station, the downtown San Diego skyline, the arching San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, the famous Hotel del Coronado, and in the far distance, the buildings and hills of Tijuana, Mexico.

We decided to walk around the perimeter of the monument both for the exercise and for a review of its attractions.   From the parking lot, we descended  a path overlooking the submarine base where such movies as The Hunt for Red October were filmed, and I took a photograph of a view that many thousands of tourists also have recorded. There are no restrictions on photography here; you can see the base, you just can't touch it -- at least not without authorization. Look beyond the drydock and you will see a defensive barricade to prevent watercraft from entering the base from the bay.

Next we ascended to the visitors center overlook where illustrated signage helps visitors to differentiate ships and planes in the moving tableau that pass through the waters beneath you and the skies above you. 

On we walked to a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese sailor who claimed California for Spain in 1542—only 50 years after Christopher Columbus made his voyage of discovery.  Nobody actually knows what Cabrillo looks like, or for that matter, much about his life before he came to the New World to fight in Mexico under Hernan Cortes, the conquistador.

From the statue, we made our way up to the lighthouse that was in use through much of the latter half of the 19th century, situated so high up on the palisades that often, from the ocean below, it was shrouded in fog, and therefore useless. Under such circumstances, the lightkeeper Robert Israel—no, he wasn’t Jewish—had to blow a horn, or ring a bell, or make whatever sound he could to alert sea captains that  they were coming close to dangerous land. Eventually they moved the lighthouse to the bottom of the cliff, where a Coast Guard station is today.

WHALE OF A VIEW—Dan Schaffer examines a sculpture of a California Grey Whale. Behind him is the Point Loma Lighthouse

Onward we went to an overlook where there is a sculpture of a California grey whale. During winters these whales can be seen migrating south towards Scammon’s Lagoon in Baja California,

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Mexico, where they have their calves.  In other parts of the year, the overlook provides a fine vantage point for sail boat regattas along the course which once challenged yachtsmen fighting for the America’s Cup.

Below us was a bunker from which artillery during World War II defended the San Diego coastline against attacks that never came.  The big guns never were fired in anger. 

COASTAL ARTILLERY—Overlooking the Pacific, the big guns in this hilltop bunker never needed to be fired defensively during World War II. Modern-day U.S. Coast Guard station is below 

We followed a walkway along the cliff bordering the Pacific Ocean to a small museum depicting the lives of the military men who scanned the sea day in and day out for enemy ships.   Completing the circuit, we returned to my car.

We decided to make another stop on the Peninsula—at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery just a few hundred yards from the Cabrillo National Monument.  

We went to the administration building, on the Pacific Ocean side of the road, and were directed to a nearby structure where on a computer one could type in the name of someone buried at the cemetery  and get a print out of a map locating precisely where the grave was. 

Dan’s cousin, Max “Manny” Vickstein had been killed at age 22 in France about six weeks after D-Day.  His body remained in a temporary grave there until a decade or so after the war, when it was brought back to be buried in America.  Dan was a boy at the time, and he remembers the flag-draped coffin but little else about the funeral for his cousin.

Visiting Manny’s grave, we both felt good about performing a mitzvah that never could be repaid, remembering and honoring one whose life had ended abruptly in what the military calls a “friendly fire” incident.   Manny had been killed, in other words, in a situation similar to when American shells fall short of their intended target, and hit U.S. soldiers in forward positions. When the family heard the news, "it was the only time I ever saw my dad cry,” Dan remembered.

On Pvt. Vickstein’s gravestone was a Jewish star.  It is just one of more than 30 authorized emblems one might find on a military grave.  There are different style crosses designated as Christian, Presybterian, Russian Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopal, United Methodist, Aaronic Order,  Christian Reformed, Christian and Missionary Alliance; Serbian and Greek.  There is a Buddhist wheel, a Unitarian flaming chalice, the Mormons’ Angel Moroni; a Native American dwelling; the Bahai 9-point star; an Atheist’s 'A' circled by a pattern of electrons; the Muslim crescent and star; and various other designs representing such religious affiliations as Hindu, Konko-Kyo, Community of Christ, Sufism Reoriented, Tenrikyo, Seicho-No-Ie; World Messianity (Izunome); Religious Science; United Moravian Church, Eckankar, and others as well.

I am one who talks in friendly fashion to the dead at their places of eternal rest.  I told Manny my name, and that I was a friend of his cousin’s.  Without people like Manny, who fought the Nazis on the beaches and in the towns of Europe, the Holocaust might have spread to America.  Neither Dan nor I might have been standing there, enjoying sunshine and the pleasant breezes that played along the cliffs.

Afterwards we drove down the hillside to the Point Loma community lying alongside San Diego Bay.  We found the “Living Room,” an eatery in a late 19th century historic home, where they served eggplant sandwiches on multigrain bread and a generous glass of lemonade.

San Diegans say it so often, it’s a cliché –“Just another rotten day in Paradise.” 

Harrison's email: editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

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Music by Holocaust victims preserved and presented

By Eileen Wingard

LA JOLLA, California--" Ostracized Music- From Germany to San Diego" showcased works by nine Jewish composers whose music was banned by the Nazis and whose lives were deeply disturbed, or, in the cases of Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein and Leo Smit, totally wiped out at Nazi death camps.

The April 23 Ostracized Music was performed in the Garfield Theatre of the Lawrence Family JCC under the auspices of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture.

Ullmann and Klein were outstanding composers at Terezin, thus, this program was part of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s Terezin focus which includes the J Company’s performances of Fireflies (May 8-17) a play
about Friedel Dicker-Brandeis, the art teacher of Terezin, and includes Hans Krasa’s children’s opera, Brundibar. In addition, the concert related to the exhibit in the Art gallery featuring works by Holocaust survivors.

Jackie G’mach, JCC Director of Programming, heard about the Osracized Music program from Neal Brastoff of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. This is the second year that the directors of the Schwerin Conservatory, Friederike Haufe and Voker Ahmels, have brought competition winners from their Ostracized Music Festival to the US to perform this repertoire.

The directors invite students from Europe and Israel to participate in the Schwerin Festival. They also invite Holocaust survivor musicians to share with the students insight into the music and knowledge of the composer’s lives.

Performing at the JCC were sopranos Claudia Roick and Sonja Bisgiel, baritone Albrecht v. Stackelberg, solo pianists Daniel Beider and Johann Blanchard, and accompanying pianists Justus Barleben, Sefuri Sumi, and Lea Fink. Pauline Reguig was the violinist. The program concluded with the directors themselves performing four hands duos by Alexandre Tansman and Darius Milhaud. Voker Ahmels introduced each selection.

All the student participants displayed a high level of talent and skill. Memorable was 16 year-old Daniel Beider’s rendition of Ullmann’s dramatic first movement from his Piano Sonata Nr. 6 composed in Terezin. Leo Blech’s whimsical songs sung by Sonja Bisgiel, were charming, and Belgium-born Leo Smit’s Divertimento for four hands, performed with excellent artistry by Haufe and Ahmels, proved to be a most beautiful and engaging work.

Violinist Pauline Reguig’s performed Schonberg’s difficult Fantasy for Violin and Piano. The jarring, disjunct notes seemed to be a musical metaphor for the horrors of the Holocaust.

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The directors are to be commended for introducing the next generation to the music of ostracized composers, and for teaching, through music, the lessons of the Holocaust. This program was underwritten by the German Consulate.



The Bible in Pop Culture: Noah sends out a dove

Genesis 8:8

Then he sent out the dove from him to see whether the waters had subsided from the face of the ground.

Don Harrison photographed on May 5, 2009, this sculpture of a dove at the intersection of Washington and Dove in the Mission Hills section of San Diego.

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.

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

Tifereth Israel Sisterhood
Southwestern Jewish Press February 20, 1953, page 7

With the Annex approaching completion, the Sisterhood is working diligently to sell tickets for their current project, the Freezer Project.

Members are being contacted individually to participate in this project and urged to dispose of their tickets immediately so that their goal of 3,000 (cq) can be attained.

Members who could not be reached, are asked to lease contact Ray Solomon, W. 5-7241 or F-9105 or Mary Gordon, B.2-2362 or their committee.

On March 10th a 5th anniversary party will be held in connection with the regular meeting honoring the past presidents of the Sisterhood.  Following a short business meeting, an impressive program will be presented to honor past presidents Mesdames Its Penter; Sidney Newman; Eddie Cantor.  Lunch will be served at 12 noon.

Cecil Brown Here Sunday
Southwestern Jewish Press March 6, 1953, page 1

San Diego’s efforts to help in raising the national United Jewish Appeal goal of $145,000,000 for the relief of distressed Jews throughout the world will be given impetus by Cecil Brown, noted radio commentator, news analyst, and author, at the “Mobilization Rally” on this coming Sunday, March 8, at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel.

It is anticipated, according to Milton Roberts, Co-chairman of the Campaign and chairman of the Brown meeting, that over 400 people will attend this “No Solicitation Mobilization Rally” to hear Brown discuss the plight of the Jews behind the Iron Curtain.

Cecil Brown, heard every morning over the Mutual Broadcasting System, has extensively traveled through Europe, the Near East, and Israel in the past year, and is well able to report dramatically what he has seen.

The “Mobilization Rally” will point up the developing political crises throughout the world, which are creating increased dangers to Jews in Europe and in Near East , and outline these developments which now are threatening Jews in almost every area of the globe.

1953 Campaign leaders in all divisions will be announced and introduced to the community at the meeting.  Another portion of the program will see the presentation of a scroll from the United Jewish Appeal to the Jews of San Diego for their work in 1952 in saving lives.

General campaign Chairman Carl Esenoff said that there will be absolutely no solicitation of funds at the Cecil Brown meeting.  Everyone is invited to bring their friends.

Fund Campaign Opens April 1
Southwestern Jewish Press, March 6,, 1953, page 1

Spurred by Soviet persecution of Jews behind the Iron Curtain, Fund Leadership is moving rapidly to finish top organization for the coming campaign.

Scheduled to open April 1, with a pre-campaign mobilization rally to be held at Temple Beth Israel this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. with Cecil Brown as the principal speaker, the 20th Annual Combined Jewish Appeal is rapidly completing all organization phases.

With the acceptance of several San Diego Business and Professional men of top leadership, plus the complete

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organization of the Womens Division, Carl Esenoff, General Campaign Chairman and Milton Roberts his co-chairman, expressed themselves as satisfied with the progress being made.

Esenoff and Roberts have been joined by three Vice-Chairmen, who will assume responsibility for various divisions in the campaign.  The Major Gifts division will be headed by Max Maisel, who has given a quarter of a century to Jewish life in San Diego, both through the Hebrew Home for the Aged and the Temple, as well as many other activities.

Harry Wax, prominent business executive and President of San Diego Lasker Lodge B’nair B’rith will be in charge of the Commerce and Profession Division.

Ida Nasatir, Womens Division Chairman, announced the appointment of her vice-chairmen all of whom are leaders in women’s activities in San Diego.  These are Mrs. Louis Moorsteen, Mrs. David Block, Mrs. Harry Wax, and Mrs. Zel Camiel.  Women Cabinet Members who will act as advisors are all past chairmen of Womens Division Campaigns.

The United Jewish Appeal which this year begins its 15th year of operation, has been very encouraged from reports of the initial fund raising meetings which already have been held in different parts of the country.

Women’s Division Set
Luncheon For March 17th

Southwestern Jewish Press March 6, 1953, page 1

Launching its phase of the 1953 Combined Jewish Appeal the Women’s Division has sent over 85 invitations for the 5th Annual Women’s Big Gifts Luncheon to be held Tuesday, March 17, at 12:00 noon in El Cortez’s Franciscan Room.

Honored guest will be Mrs. Selma Getz Moore who instituted the “Big Gifts Womens Luncheon” and hosted them for the past 5 years.  Mrs. Moore’s name has become almost a synonym for the Women’s division.

Speaker for the occasion will be Chaplain Chinitz, young Air Force Veteran who has just returned from Korea.

The Women’s “Big Gift” luncheon which each year sparks the entire campaign will be hosted by former Campaign Chairmen Msdms. Jack Gross, Estelle Levi, Gabriel Berg, Victor Schulman, Murray D. Goodrich, and George Neumann.

Chairman of the Women’s Division for 1953 is Mrs. A. P. Nasatir, who has been active in the local Women’s Division since its inception as a Co-chairman.  Mrs. Nasatir is well known in the Southwest as a speaker for the United Jewish Appeal.

She has as her Co-chairmen Msdms. David Block, Louis Moorsteen, Zel Camiel and Harry Wax.

In 1952 the women’s division raised $37, 761 and are being asked to raise 20 percent more in 1953.

“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.

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

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Copyright 2007-2009 - San Diego Jewish World, San Diego, California. All rights reserved.


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

Harrison Ford, son of Dora Nidelman and Christopher Ford

Bonnie Franklin in "One Day At A Time"

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Victor Garber plays the senior partner in Eli Stone TV series

Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky of Starsky & Hutch) in first part of video with his leading ladies

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

Copyright 2007-2009 - San Diego Jewish World, San Diego, California. All rights reserved.