Volume 3, Number 113
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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

Predictions for when Mr. Netanyahu goes to Washington ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
There’s no question that the Obama administration is less warm toward Israel than those of Clinton, Reagan, or George W. Bush’s first six years. READ MORE

America's troubles in Afghanistan are Iran's opportunities ... by Jonathan Spyer in Herzliya, Israel
A month ago, US President Barack Obama announced a new strategy to address the current crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Obama's plan to 'disrupt, dismantle and defeat' al-Qaida and the Taliban in 'Afpak' includes deployment of an additional 21,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and an increase in civilian officials to aid in developing the Afghan economy and governmental structures.


International/ Natonal
John Demjanjuk, the Nazi's 'Ivan the Terrible,' extradited to GermanyREAD MORE

Jury convicts five in terrorism plot READ MORE

Jewish Public Office Holders
Susan Davis coauthors bill to keep birth centers eligible for U.S. funds READ MORE

Bonnie Dumanis: Investigation found street gangs
had moved into white collar crime

California/ San Diego County
MEDIA WATCH, aka "Here's the link"READ MORE

'Growing Up Jewish' subject of forum at Tifereth Israel Synagogue READ MORE

1st graders design Islands at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day

LEAD San Diego lists graduates READ MORE


Watch our Bible come together with Biblical names and modern images

"Let there be light.." Genesis 1:3 VIEW PHOTOS

March 20, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

KCBQ Programs Jewish Activities READ MORE
$231,795 Goal Set For San Diego’s Fund Appeal READ MORE
Passover Dinners Assured All Members of Armed Forces READ MORE

Go to top of right column


We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

David Proval plays Tony in "Mean Streets"VIEW VIDEO
Frank Oz (white shirt, yellow patterned tie) in 'World of Jim Henson VIEW VIDEO
Gilda Radner on Barbara Walters and vice versa VIEW VIDEO
Rhea Perlman plays a steady, cheated-upon girlfriend in "Love Comes Lately" VIEW VIDEO


We have two contributors today from the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya--Barry Rubin and Jonathan Spyer. To learn more about the center, visit its website. Here's the link


America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service
Jewish National Fund
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. 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!

To receive San Diego Jewish World's daily or weekly headlines, click the blue box below:


Predictions for when Mr. Netanyahu goes to Washington

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel—There’s no question that the Obama administration is less warm toward Israel than those of Clinton, Reagan, or George W. Bush’s first six years. But is it worse than the late George W. or all the Bush I and Carter administrations? We’re about to find out.

The bottom line is that the basis of the relationship is still secure in no small part because each side wants—and can get—something from the other. Israel says: You want us to cooperate on Palestinians? You cooperate on Iran! The United States says the same thing, albeit in reverse. And each side understands this is what they both want to do.

Many have made big claims to the contrary without much hard evidence, based on Obama’s cool-toward-Israel background and his eagerness to engage radical forces; wishful thinking in anti-Israel media; hatred of Obama in some pro-Israel circles; and misunderstanding Israeli government positions.

Often, the Obama administration is blamed or credited with breaking new ground when it’s simply repeating predecessors’ positions. A U.S. government favoring a two-state solution (it’s a pity the Palestinians don’t also do so), opposing settlements, or proclaiming it will solve the conflict real fast isn’t new. The widespread claim that the administration threatened Israel’s nuclear arsenal is also wrong, based on a general statement that all countries should join the Non-Proliferation Treaty which was actually aimed at justifying a current U.S. nuclear deal with India.

Posturing and pretending is a far bigger factor than real pressure against Israel. U.S. officials supposedly said progress on Iranian nuclear weapons depends on progress in the peace process. This is simply a way to leverage minimal Israeli cooperation on the peace process. After all, will the administration try harder or less hard on Iran depending on whether the peace process advances? Obviously not. And neither Israel nor the Palestinians will give more concessions to each other if Iran’s nuclear program slows down.

The other thing going on here is the administration’s search for easy victories. U.S. officials will say: “That hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to build dozens of settlements while refusing to talk to Palestinians or accept a two-state solution, but we sure showed him how to behave!” When in fact, Netanyahu would have done precisely the same things without any supposed pressure.

Of course, when the administration tries to get the Arab states or Palestinian leadership to do anything, that’s when its problems begin. And nothing whatsoever of great significance will happen in the peace process.

Still, the administration will be able to tell the American public: “We said we’d succeed in making advances and we’ve done so!”

Yes, that’s how politics and diplomacy works.

Basically, the administration wants Netanyahu to act as prime minister about the same as Tsipi Livni or Ehud Barak, leader of the two other main parties, would. Any “pressure” will not be to make big concessions but rather not to raise demands too high.

Netanyahu and his team are not foolish or—as a group—extremist. Their program, though somewhat tougher than that of their predecessor, is not all that different and is certainly something the U.S. government can accept.

There’s been much nonsense about Netanyahu government positions. He’s not going to annex territory or stop

Go to top of right column

negotiating, or condition talks on accepting Israel as a Jewish state or eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons’ program. He won’t attack Iran next week or reject the magical words: “two-state solution.”

What he will do—backed by Defense Minister and Labor party leader Barak—is to assert that Israel will only make concessions if it receives concessions. For example, the Road Map, which Netanyahu endorses and both the administration and EU reveres, puts obligations on the PA which Israel wants to see met.

Contrary to breathless insistence on imminent success, the Obama administration doesn’t believe it’s going to get a comprehensive solution soon. Nor is it going to bash Israel, break completely with historic U.S. policy, or go soft on Hamas.

Does this mean there are no problems regarding Obama administration policy in the Middle East? No and here’s a long list of them:

--U.S. policy toward Iran is too soft and unintentionally encourages Tehran to be more aggressive. Efforts at engagement with the Islamist regime will slow down any application of tougher sanctions and increases the likelihood that one day Israel will have to choose between attacking or watching Iran get nuclear weapons. If Israel were to attack, it could not expect support by the Obama administration (but the same was basically true, though slightly less so, for the Bush administration).

--U.S. policy toward Syria is leading Damascus to believe it can get away with murder, continue sponsoring terrorism at no cost, and extend its power over Lebanon.

--The Obama administration isn’t energetic enough on helping moderates in Lebanon which means that Syria and Iran may well control the government there after the June eletion. If the radicals win in Lebanon, U.S. policy might deal with a government in which Hizballah is a leading member, though administration officials insist this won’t happen.

--Being less warm toward Israel overall the Obama administration will be less forthcoming on some key military equipment and less likely to brief and coordinate with Israeli leaders. (Though this administration which talks so much about multilateralism doesn’t seem to be doing these things with Britain either.)

--When facing a major Middle East crisis which affects Israeli interests directly or indirectly, can the Obama administration be depended on have the understanding, determination, and toughness to handle it well?

--Given the cooler attitude to Israel, there can be all manner of minor pinpricks and frictions which may have no lasting or major impact but will create short-term difficulties.

Despite all these genuine issues, however, in direct terms the supposedly “hardline” Netanyahu and allegedly “Israel-hating” (albeit certainly not Israel-loving) Obama may get along better than predicted.

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.

Please click ad for ticketing information or purchase

Go to top of page



America's troubles in Afghanistan are Iran's opportunities

By Jonathan Spyer

HERZLIYA, Israel--A month ago, US President Barack Obama announced a new strategy to address the current crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Obama's plan to 'disrupt, dismantle and defeat' al-Qaida and the Taliban in 'Afpak' includes
deployment of an additional 21,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and an increase in civilian officials to aid in developing the Afghan economy and governmental structures.

The strategy also contains a diplomatic element. The President said that he intended to bring together all those countries who 'should have a stake in the security of the region.'  Among the countries he named as belonging to this group was Iran.  Seeking Iranian cooperation in dealing with the grave and urgent situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan looks set to form a
cornerstone in the US policy of 'engagement' with Teheran.

The first tentative moves in the diplomatic dance between the US and Iran on this issue have already begun.   Richard Holbrooke, the Administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, recently had an 'unscheduled' encounter with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhondzadeh, at a conference on Afghanistan.

The Administration's approach rests on a crucial assumption: It is considered that since Iran and the Taliban are mortal enemies on the ideological and theological level, and since in the past, Iranians and Taliban have clashed, there ought to be a common Iranian-US interest in defeating or containing the Sunni extremists.  This, however, is deeply questionable.  Closer observation would suggest that, theological and historical matters notwithstanding, Iran has a clear stake in maintaining
the absence of security -  in 'Afpak' and beyond it.

The issue is not simple. In certain, limited areas — on the issue of
drug trafficking, for example - there is a genuine commonality of interest between Iran and the US with regard to Afghanistan.

But in the larger, strategic arena, Iran operates according to the dictum that America's difficulty is Iran's opportunity.  On this basis, in spite of the relations of mutual loathing that pertain between the Shia regime in Teheran and the Sunni, Deobandi extremists of the Taliban, ample evidence points to Iranian covert assistance to the Afghan insurgents engaged in war against NATO forces in the country.

In April, 2007, NATO forces intercepted two convoys carrying Iranian arms to the Taliban. A recent French media report noted the existence of three training camps for Taliban fighters in Iran.  British forces in Afghanistan last year reported evidence that Iran has been supplying Taliban fighters with similar sophisticated roadside bomb making equipment to that given by Teheran to Shia insurgents in southern Iraq.  Both Centcom commander General David Petraeus and NATO spokesman JamesAppathurai recently confirmed reports of Iranian assistance to the Taliban.

Go to the top of right column

Iran's assistance to the Taliban follows the familiar broader pattern of Iranian encouragement of instability across the region.  Iran is in the business of challenging the US-dominated order in the Middle East. Preventing an American achievement in Afghanistan, and keeping NATO forces bogged down in an endless, bloody slogging match in the country represents
a natural expression of this.

This strategy may be seen at work elsewhere.  In Iraq, Iran is maintaining its support for Shia insurgents in the Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) organization. These forces suffered severe disruption at thehands of US troops in 2007 and 2008, with many militants taking refuge in Iran.   Current evidence suggests that their operations are now once again on the increase in Iraq.  The Iranians make little effort to conceal their
links with the Shia insurgents.  Ahl al-Haq militants are armed with Iranian made Fajr-3 missiles and explosive formed projectiles (IEDs) used in roadside bomb attacks.

So while the Iranians will be happy to talk if invited to, the talking will take place simultaneously with continued Iranian assistance to forces engaged in killing US troops in the two conflict zones in which they are currently deployed in the Middle East.  Both the talking and the fighting are part of a unified strategy for building Teheran's influence and power.

A recent report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy quoted a British official who recalled his experiences as a member of the EU's negotiating team on the Iranian nuclear program. The official, Sir John Sawers, noted that the negotiations were taking place at the same time that British soldiers in southern Iraq were under attack from Iranian made
missiles and IEDs, in the hands of Iraqi Shia insurgents.  He recalled that “the Iranians wanted to be able to strike a deal whereby they stopped killing our forces in Iraq in return for them being allowed to carry on with their nuclear program.”

This approach to diplomacy reflects the confident self-assertion of a regime that regards itself as the 'rising sun' striving toward ascendanceacross the region.   The US Administration thinks that Iran 'should'support regional security and stability.  The problem is that the Iranian regime appears to have a different way of calibrating its interests.

In the Iranian approach, support for violence and insurgency brings with it myriad advantages. The western powers, prevented from attaining their objectives, appear weak and helpless. The enemy, bogged down in conflicts elsewhere, has less time and capital to spend on containing Iranian
ambitions.  And finally —as Sir John Sawers' recollections indicate— proxies can always be abandoned at an opportune moment, in order to buy time for projects of truly central importance.
This article previously apeared in the Jerusalem Post.
Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the (GLORIA) Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.

Go to top of page


The Co-Publishers' Mailbox... Notes from advertisers and others
Items for us? Please send them to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

John Demjanjuk, the Nazi's 'Ivan the Terrible,' sent to Germany

WASHINGTON (Press Release)– John Demjanjuk, a former Nazi death camp guard and a resident of Seven Hills, Ohio, has been removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Germany, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and ICE Acting Assistant Secretary John P. Torres announced on Tuesday

Demjanjuk was removed through a court order of removal obtained by the Department of Justice. On March 10, 2009, a German judge issued an order directing that Demjanjuk, 89, be arrested on suspicion of assisting in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews at theSobibor extermination center in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. In additionto serving at Sobibor, Demjanjuk served the SS as an armed guard of civilian prisoners in Germany at the Nazi-operated Flossenbürg Concentration Camp in Germany and at Majdanek concentration camp and the Trawniki training and forced labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

“The removal to Germany of John Demjanjuk is an historic moment in the federal government’s efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “Mr. Demjanjuk, a confirmed former Nazi death camp
guard, denied to thousands the very freedoms he enjoyed for far too long in the United States. Now, finally, Mr. Demjanjuk has been held accountable in one small way for his part in one of the most horrific chapters in history.”

Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker who was born in present-day Ukraine, immigrated to the United States in 1952 by concealing from U.S. immigration authorities his true whereabouts during World War II and his Nazi camp guard service. As a former
Sobibor guard, Demjanjuk is only the second person to be removed from the United States after having served at one of the four Nazi camps constructed solely to murder civilians.

In 2002, the U.S. District Court in Cleveland revoked Demjanjuk’s naturalized U.S. citizenship after a two-week trial prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI). Chief Judge Paul R. Matia found that Demjanjuk participated at the Sobibor extermination center in “the process by which thousands of Jews were murdered by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide” in the camp’s gas chambers. In December 2005, then Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy ordered Demjanjuk removed from the United States to Ukraine, Germany or Poland. In May 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Demjanjuk’s petition for review.

OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated, “John Demjanjuk’s actions helped seal the fate of thousands of innocent people during the Holocaust. He has at last received his summons from history.”

“Millions have sought refuge from persecution in this country under liberty’s mantle. We will not suffer persecutors and mass murderers tarnishing her image by staking such a claim for themselves,” said John P. Torres, ICE Acting Assistant Secretary
of Homeland Security. “The U.S. government is dedicated to preventing the cynical exploitation of our nation's immigration system by the worst of the worst. With John Demjanjuk’s removal, we reaffirm our commitment to protection of the oppressed, not the oppressor.”

Demjanjuk was first tried on allegations of participation in Nazi persecution in a civil denaturalization (citizenship revocation) case decided in 1981. Relying principally on witness testimony, a federal court found at that time that Demjanjuk was a notorious gas chamber operator at the Treblinka extermination center known to prisoners as “Ivan the Terrible.” He was extradited in 1986 to Israel, where he was tried and convicted.

However, after the Israeli Supreme Court found that reasonable doubt existed as to whether Demjanjuk was Ivan the Terrible, he was released and returned to the United States in 1993.

In 1999, the Department of Justice initiated a new denaturalization case against Demjanjuk, relying in large part on captured Nazi documents that came to light following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. In revoking his citizenship in 2002, the district court found that, in addition to serving at Sobibor, where approximately 250,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered, Demjanjuk had served as an armed guard atMajdanek, a concentration camp and extermination center at which at least 170,000victims perished. The court also found that Demjanjuk served at Flossenbürg, where thousands of prisoners, confined solely because of their race, religion, national origin or political opinion, died as a result of the inhumane conditions, or were murdered.

The removal of Demjanjuk to Germany was effected through close cooperation between the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in this matter.

Demjanjuk’s removal is part of OSI’s continuing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against participants in Nazi crimes of persecution who reside in the United
States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 107 individuals who participated in Nazi crimes of persecution. In addition, attempts to enter the United
States by more than 180 individuals implicated in wartime Axis crimes have beenprevented as a result of OSI’s "Watch List" program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

Preceding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice

Jury convicts 5 in terrorism plot

MIAMI, Florida (Press Release)--After a three-month trial, a Miami jury convicted five men of multiple charges that include conspiring to provide material support to the al Qaeda terrorist organization and conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. by discussing and planning attacks on targets in the U.S., including the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building and other federal buildings in Florida. A sixth defendant was acquitted on all counts.

The six men – Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, and Rothschild Augustine – were named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) in June 2006. The indictment charged four counts: conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda (Count 1); conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists (Count 2); conspiracy to maliciously damage and destroy by means of an explosive (Count 3); and conspiring to levy war against the government of the U.S. (Count 4). Narseal Batiste was convicted of all 4 counts; Patrick Abraham was convicted on Counts 1, 2, and 3; Stanley Grant Phanor was convicted on Counts 1 and 2; Burson Augustin was convicted on Counts 1 and 2; Rothschild Augustine was convicted on Counts 1 and 2; and Naudimar Herrera was acquitted on all counts.

According to evidence presented at trial, beginning in November 2005 and continuing to the date of their arrests, Batiste recruited and supervised individuals to organize and train for a mission to wage war against the U.S., including a plot to destroy the Sears Tower by explosives. Batiste and his co-conspirators attempted to obtain the support of al Qaeda to achieve their goals and discussed this desire with an individual cooperating with law enforcement who posed as a member of al Qaeda. Believing they were dealing with that terrorist group, in March 2006, Batiste and other defendants pledged an oath of allegiance to al Qaeda and supported a plan to destroy FBI buildings in the United States by taking photos of the FBI Building in North Miami Beach, Florida, and other federal buildings in Miami-Dade County.

Batiste then took reconnaissance photographs of the FBI Building in North Miami Beach, the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, federal courthouse buildings, the Federal Detention Center and the Miami Police Department. In addition to conducting surveillance, the defendants provided the individual, whom they believed was an al Qaeda member, with a list of materials and equipment needed to wage jihad, including boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios and vehicles. In December 2005, at one of a number of meetings with this person, Batiste spoke of using an army of “soldiers” and explosives to destroy the Sears Tower. In a subsequent meeting, he provided the individual with a list of other materials needed in his plot to take down the Sears Tower, including radios, binoculars, bullet proof vests, firearms, vehicles and $50,000 cash.

According to the evidence, the plot advanced further through meetings with other co-defendants. In one of the meetings on Feb. 19, 2006, Batiste allegedly told the “al Qaeda representative” that he wanted to attend al Qaeda training with five of his soldiers, with a mission to wage a “full ground war” against the United States in order to “kill all the devils we can,” which “will be just as good or greater than 9/11.” Ultimately, all seven of the defendants swore bayat, or an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda. During his first meeting with the undercover FBI informant, Batiste explained that he was in the same position as Jeff Fort, the leader of the El-Rukn gang in Chicago who, in the 1980's, had negotiated with Libya to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. for $2.5 million.

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida stated, “A federal jury today found defendant Batiste, the leader of this organization, guilty on all counts against him. The jury also found four other defendants guilty of multiple counts, and acquitted defendant Herrera. This was a difficult trial, and we thank all the prosecutors and agents involved, whose efforts resulted in today’s successful conclusion.”

On behalf of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, stated, " We commend the agents and prosecutors who worked tirelessly on this case as well as all members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. Working side-by-side with our law enforcement partners, we identified and disrupted a terrorist threat and as a result our community and nation are a much safer place.”

Sentencing is scheduled for July 26, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. . At sentencing, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 15 years each in prison on the charges of conspiracy to provide material support or resources, and a maximum of 20 years in prison each on the charges of conspiracy to destroy by use of explosives and conspiracy to levy war against the United States.

This prosecution was the result of an investigation led by the FBI’s South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Miami. The JTTF is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose primary work is to identify and disrupt terrorist cells before they commit acts of terror. Members of the JTTF include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida; the FBI; U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Prisons; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Miami Dade Police Department; City of Miami Police Department; Broward Sheriff’s Office; Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office; Ft. Lauderdale Police Department; Hollywood Police Department; and the Miramar Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacqueline Arango and Richard Gregorie.

Davis coauthors bill to keep
birth centers' U.S. funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)– Birth centers are part of a vital safety net for many pregnant women across the country. However, over the past few years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun disallowing federal matching funds for state Medicaid payments for freestanding birth center facility fees.

U.S. Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) have introduced the Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act to ensure Medicaid birth center facility fee payments to states.

“So many women and their newborns rely on these birth centers for the health care services,” said Davis. “This bill would ensure continued access for women for whom, in many cases, this is their only access to these health care services.”

"Birth centers offer vital health care alternatives for mothers across the country, particularly in my home state of Florida,” said Bilirakis. “This bill will ensure that birth centers remain open and continue to provide access to quality pregnancy services.”

Birth centers have been recognized by CMS (and earlier, by HCFA) as a Medicaid provider type in State Medicaid Plans since 1987. Recently, however, CMS has disallowed such payment by several state Medicaid Agencies, including Alaska, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington State, claiming that it lacks clear statutory authority and direction to allow these payments. CMS has therefore directed its regional offices to stop federal payments to any state for birth center services, even though these payments have in many cases been part of the reimbursement structure for years.

A recent decision by a federal administrative judge ruled against birth centers in a Texas Medicaid case, stating that CMS is not required to pay any state their federal match for birth center facility fees. Without payment of the birth center facility fees, birth centers in all states could be pushed to the brink of closure.

Preceding provided by Congresswoman Susan Davis

'Asteroid Invasion' developer Plasencia awarded for SDCC
class project for Larry Forman

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—San Diego City College student Oscar Plasencia is the top gun of interactive multimedia among California’s 110 community colleges. At the April 2009 Media Arts Award Competition, the statewide winners in media arts for 2008 achievements were awarded $40,000 in prizes. Plasencia won best entry in the game/multimedia category for his computer game, “Asteroid Invasion."

Simulcast from Anaheim and Santa Clara, CA, John Avakian, Director of the Multimedia and Entertainment Initiative, and Jim Kiggens, Director of the Serious Game Design Institute at Santa Barbara City College, presented Plasencia with his award and prizes.

Plasencia’s award-winning entry was a project he completed during the fall 2008 semester in the City College Computer and Information Sciences 220 course on Game Programming with Professor Larry Forman. Forman noted that Plasencia took the classic video game of Asteroids to a “higher level, integrating vibrant graphics, exciting sound effects, chilling game-play and complex multiplayer features”. According to Forman, “With creative flair, tenacity and sophisticated programming prowess, Oscar produced a game that would make a compelling entry in the professional gaming community.”

In 2008, the computer and video game industry topped $22 billion in total sales; more than double that of the movie industry. To help prepare students for entry into one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy, City College recently started offering a series of courses with a focus on game programming. Forman’s courses in Java, C++, Principles of Information Systems, as well as in Game Programming, provide students with the tools, training and techniques to help enter an industry projected to support over 250,000 jobs this year. Notably, over 40% of the total employment opportunities are expected to occur in California, the largest employer of computer and video game personnel in the nation.

Plasencia’s achievement is all the more remarkable because the fall 2008 semester was the first time City had offered the Game Programming course. In the Media Arts competition, Plasencia was vying with students from colleges across the state that had more established gaming courses and programs – yet, he came out on top. Forman attributes this to Plasencia’s determined efforts and also the caliber of students attracted to the courses at City. Professor Forman was also awarded a certificate of recognition for his curriculum development efforts in computer game programming at City College.

The 10th annual showcase of the top talents in the media arts is sponsored by the Multimedia and Entertainment Initiative of the California Community Colleges’ Economic and Workforce Development Program. The Initiative is a statewide network of Community College educators working in strategic partnerships with industry and community organizations to identify and meet California's workforce and economic development needs.

The Initiative is committed to creating environments in which students can achieve artistic excellence and develop technological expertise for careers in the communications, entertainment and interactive learning industries. Designed to advance California's economic growth and global competitiveness through high quality education and services, the CCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Program focuses on continuous workforce improvement, technology deployment, and business development, consistent with the current needs of the state's regional economies.

Preceding provided by San Diego Community College District

Investigation found street gangs
had moved into white collar crime

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)--San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis, along with federal, state and local officials, announced today the break-up of a large bank fraud scheme run by street gang members. “Operation Bank Gig” was an unprecedented multi-agency operation involving the U.S. Secret Service; the San Diego Regional Fraud Task Force; San Diego Police Department Gang Detectives; San Diego District Attorney Investigators; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Navy Federal Credit Union; and the California Attorney General’s Office, which is jointly-prosecuting the case.

This is the first time a violent street gang has been targeted for its involvement in complex bank fraud in California. In what is believed to be the largest case of its kind in state history, 60 defendants have been charged with 347 felony counts, including conspiracy; grand theft; money laundering; forgery and burglary.

More than 100 law enforcement officers fanned out across San Diego in the pre-dawn hours of May 12 to take the defendants into custody. The arrest sweep culminated a ten-month investigation. More than a dozen of those arrested are members of San Diego’s Lincoln Park street gang. A few of the defendants are active duty military.

“The size, scope and sophistication of this operation show us that criminal street gangs in San Diego are expanding their criminal enterprise into white collar crime,” DA Dumanis said. “As gangs move from street corner drug dealing and pimping to complex fraud, it’s more important than ever that law enforcement from all levels continue to work together.”

Go to top of right column

“Street thugs, operating like white collar criminals, devised an ingenious scam to bilk the Navy Federal Credit Union out of $500,000,” California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said. “They recruited and paid off willing credit union members and manipulated financial rules to feed their criminal enterprise.”

“Because of partnerships like the San Diego Regional Fraud Task Force, sponsored by the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement can focus its resources on preventing and investigating criminal activity,” said San Diego Field Office Special Agent in Charge Gregory Meyer. “Combining the efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement allows us to address evolving criminal methods and complex investigations such as this one more effectively.”

The scheme worked by having gang members recruit acquaintances who had existing accounts at Navy Federal Credit Union and offering them a portion of the ill-gotten gains. The recruiters obtained the bank card and personal identification number from the account holder, deposited counterfeit checks into the account, then withdraw the cash before the credit union determined the checks were counterfeit. The account holder was then instructed to report the card stolen when approached by credit union investigators. Most of the transactions took place at the Barona Casino. Point-of-sale ATMs were used, which allow for larger withdrawals.

“This collaborative operation is another great example of the strong impact law enforcement can have in shutting down criminal activity in our county,” San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne said.

Navy Federal Credit Union investigators began noticing suspicious activity in 2005 and reported it to the U.S. Secret Service. San Diego Police gang detectives were brought in to help identify and interview the suspects. The San Diego Regional Fraud Task Force, District Attorney’s Office and Attorney General’s Office became involved due to their experience handling complex fraud.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service helped with arrest warrants and interviewing suspects. The US Postal Inspection Service helped locate suspects, investigated the counterfeit checks and took part in the arrest sweep. The Barona Tribal Government fully cooperated with the investigation and the surveillance evidence they provided was crucial for the prosecution.

“The Barona Tribal Council and Barona Gaming Commission are proud to have assisted law enforcement agencies, including the District Attorney’s Office, in the successful investigation of this crime against Navy Federal Credit Union,” said Edwin “Thorpe” Romero, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. “The fact that we have a highly sophisticated security and surveillance system on our property was instrumental in bringing the investigation to a successful conclusion.”

The total loss is estimated at more than a half-million dollars, which investigators believe was used to help fund illegal gang activities and pay for a lavish street gang lifestyle.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court Dept. 11 on May 14 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (220 W. Broadway). Some of the defendants could face up to 13 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

MEDIA WATCH, aka "Here's the link"

The North County Times has an item on the County of San Diego's application process for a replacement for retiring Sheriff Bill Kolender. Here's the link.

The San Diego Union-Tribune on Wednesday used the report of Ethan Bonner of the New York Times News Service on the Pope's visit to Israel, focusing on the Pontiff's comments about Christianity's decline in the Holy Land. Here's the link. .. It reported that John Demjanjuk was silent as charges were read against him in Germany. Here's the link. {San Diego Jewish World carries today an earlier report from U.S. Justice Department on Demjanjuk's extradition} . .. It also kept abreast of local contestant Adam Lambert's progress on American Idol. Here's the link. FYI, Lambert and Kris Allen on last night's show advanced to the finals... About $6.1 billion in lawsuits have been brought against Bernie Madoff. Here's the link.

The online San Francisco Sentinel has an extensive story by Ki Mae Heussner on Facebook's refusal to remove several Holocaust denial groups from its site. Here's the link.

'Growing Up Jewish' subject of
forum at Tifereth Israel Synagogue

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)--The Men's Club of Tifereth Israel Synagogue will host a discussion on "Growing up Jewish in a Christian World" following presentation of the film, 'The Tribe," at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 20, at the synagogue, 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences.  A dessert reception will follow. More information: (619) 697-6001, or click on this link.

Preceding provided by Tifereth Israel Synagogue

1st graders design Islands at
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) — Imagine designing your own island. After reading the stories Angelina’s Island and Jenny’s Journey, the first graders in Mrs. Kaplan’s class at Soille Hebrew Day painted original islands with watercolors, followed by writing letters describing their exciting adventures at their faraway places. The students all enjoyed creating their imaginary getaways.

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

LEAD San Diego lists graduates

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) – LEAD San Diego, a non-profit organization devoted to developing community leadership and vision among leaders in all sectors of San Diego’s economy, has announced its 2009 Graduating Class, which will be presented to the community June 12 at the Sea World Nautilus Pavilion.   Class members are:
*Bertha Aviles, Administrator, Kaiser Permanente
*Risa Baron, Energy Programs Supervisor, San Diego Gas & Electric
*Bob Benson, Director, Service & Civic Leadership,UCSD Extension
*Jessica Berlin, Senior Account Executive, Katz & Associates
*Steve Bernstein, SVP, Regional Business Banking Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
*David Blake, Associate Vice President Human Resources,National University
*Stephen Bonker, Branch Manager,Union Bank of California
*Karen Bucey, City Planning & Community Investment,City of San Diego
*Matthew Carlson, Associate Director, Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
*Casey Castillo, Director of Administration and Finance,San Diego Food Bank
*Melissa Chaty, Project Specialist, Alzheimer's Association
*Kevin Crawford, Fire Chief, Carlsbad Fire Department
*Jolene Davidson, SVP & Market Manager Premier, Banking & Investments, Bank Of America
*Tyree Dillingham, Deputy Director, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
*Scott Drury, Director, Supply Management, San Diego Gas & Electric
*Bertram Edelstein, Owner, The Edelstein Group
*Margaret Egler, Immediate Past President, Junior League of San Diego, Inc.
*Brian Finch,VP, Government Relations Manager, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
*Joseph Foss, Attorney, Luce, Forward, et al.
*John Grohs, Corporate Environmental,Health & Safety Supervisor, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
*Shaina Gross, Community Impact Manager, United Way of San Diego County
*Christie Haigh (no affiliation listed)
*Ryan Hall, Airport Planner II, San Diego Airport Authority
*Chanelle Hawken, Policy Analyst, City of San Diego, (Former) Council President Scott Peters
*Jennifer Henry, Executive Director, Econ. Development Foundation, San Diego Regiona lEconomic Development Corporation
*Kara Hertzog, Business Development Manager, Innovative Employee Solutions
*Shannon Jaccard, Communications Director, N.A.M.I. San Diego
*Patricia Jacobson, VP, Human Resources, Walden Family Services
*Lauri Keller, Director of Business Development, TechAmerica San Diego
*Gary Kloehn, Principal Emeritus, Barney & Barney LLC
*Oscar Laffaye, Assistant Director of Housing Programs, San Diego Housing Commission
*Tom Leddo, Vice President of Operations,Md7, LLC
*Corinne Lloyd, Architect, Associate, Carrier Johnson Architects
*Joni Low, President/CEO, Asian Business Association
*Denise Luna, Owner/Operator,  Luna Enterprises
*Vanessa Mapula, Project Manager, Ledford Enterprises, Inc.
*Jeremy Meredith, Assistant Development Director, OliverMcMillan
*Elizabeth Meyer, Director of Online Learning, UC San Diego Extension
*Jill Monroe,Chairwoman’s Assistant,County Supervisor Dianne Jacob
*Tim Monroe, Principal Engineer, Winzler & Kelly
*Will Morse,Vice President of New Markets, AMN Healthcare, Inc.
*Beryl Rayford, Equal Opportunity Contracting Program Manager,City of San Diego
*Janelle Riella, Director of Government Affairs, San Diego Association of Realtors
*Donna Marie Robinson, Vice President,San Diego National Bank
*Antoinette Sanchez, Marketing Director, Southern California Soil & Testing Inc.
*Michael Simonsen, Director of Public Affairs, Rural/Metro
*Mona Sonnenshein, Chief Operating Officer, UCSD Medical Center
*Laura Stein, Assistant Director, Inst. for Nonprofit Edu. & Research,University of San Diego
*Claudette Steinhauer, Membership Manager,Girl Scouts San Diego Imperial Council
*Scott Suckow, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health America of San Diego County
*Francesca Sweet, Business Planner,Sony Electronics, Inc.
*Sosha Thomas, Sr. Department Human Resources,  Officer, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
*Steven Travers,Court Operations Manager, San Diego Superior Court
*Jori Tulkki, Associate Director Government & Corporate Affairs, Gen-Probe Incorporated
*Tim Walsh, Partner, Public Affairs, Elevate, LLC
*Michelle Wegner, System Integration Manager, San Diego City Employees' Retirement System
*Tracey Williams, Senior Tax Advisor, Sempra Energy

Preceding provided by LEAD San Diego

North Park Theatre's 80th coincides with Lyric's 20th, Natker's 80th

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria will mark an important triple anniversary at Lyric Opera San Diego's annual fundraiser, "Fashion Hits a High Note," today (Thursday) at the Birch North Park Theatre. This event marks the 80th anniversary of the beautifully restored theatre, the 30th anniversary of Lyric Opera San Diego, and the 20th anniversary of General Director Leon Natker's affiliation with the company.

The Birch North Park Theatre, owned and operated by Lyric Opera, which oversaw its restoration beginning in 2003, is at the heart of a major revitalization of the community of North Park, in Councilmember Gloria's District 3.

"Fashion Hits a High Note" is a theatrical fashion show of men's and women's runway fashions, showcasing local designers and boutiques, co-produced by Lyric Opera and local fashion guru Leonard Simpson. It features 40 professional models, musical performances by Lyric Opera artists, theatrical design and effects, live dogs, body builders, and lots of other surprises.

Preceding provided by Lyric Opera

Please click the ad above

Please click the ad above

Please click the ad above


Please click on this ad

Please click on this ad

Please click the ad above
Please click the ad above


Return to top


Bible in Pop Culture: 'Let there be light'

Genesis 1:3

God said , 'Let there be light,' and there was light.

In our continuing quest to show how biblical phrases permeate our modern popular culture, where they are sometimes given entirely new contexts, we offer two examples found on the Internet on May 13, 2009 by Don Harrison

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
Bible in pop culture index

Return to top of page


Thursdays with the songs of Hal Wingard

SAN DIEGO—In this selection, Hal sings of la belle France, but with a bit of the irony of a seasoned world traveler. To hear these songs, please click on the title above the lyrics.

#99— Paree

#196— French Lesson

#100 -- Paris, Eternal Coquette

#99, Paree

Paree, Paree, Paree--
     Oh, what you mean   to   me.
Paree, Paree, Paree--
     You're all I would want you to be.

Crumbling hotels with beds like canoes...
Cobblestone walks that wear out your shoes...
Horn-tooting taxis that rage in the streets...
Sidewalk cafes with no empty seats.


Maps of the Metro too torn up to read...
Toilettes that cost you when you have the need...
Late-hour rev'lers who wake you at night...
Pidgeons whose droppings paint monuments white.


Subways, so packed that no one can move...
Tourists who blindly march through the Louvre...
Drunken clochards  who beg for their dinner...
Streetwalking strutters in search of a sinner.


But these are no faults, let me be clear.
These are the charms that make you so dear.
There's no city like you;  I've looked long and far.
Paris, I love you, just as you are!

Paree, Paree, Paree--
     Oh, what you mean   to   me.
Paree, Paree, Paree--
     You're all I would want you to be.

(c) Hal Wingard; June 24, 1980. Words completed June 9, 1980 on Delta Flight #925, Atlanta to San Diego.

#196, French Lesson

If France is where you're going,
     Some facts you ought to know;
For if you stay unknowing,
     It may be hard to go.
So let's be quite explicit;
     Let's not be coy at all.
Let's say that on your visit
     You are caught by nature's call.

     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette à pied.

The call, if left unheeded,
     Can make you weak and wan.
One thing, just one, is needed:
     A bathroom with a john.
But you're a tongue-tied person.
     Your French is for the birds.
And things can only worsen
     When you lack the proper words.

     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette à pied.

So now's the time for starting
     Your basic guide to France.
What's learned before departing
     Can give success a chance.
Before you start conveying
     The need that must be met,
Begin by s'il vous plait-ing,
     Then où sont des bonnes toilettes?

     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette

They'll comprehend your question,
     Then talk and point a lot.
Since pointing gives direction,
     Let pointing guide your trot.
You'll reach your destination
     At a sign marked "W.C."
But that's no indication
     Of the kind of john there'll be.

Go to top of right column

Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette à pied.

In France some johns are normal
     You sit 'til duty's done.
But some are so informal,
     Their use is less than fun.
Such johns are like a foot rinse,
     Completely void of seat,
Just islands shaped like footprints
     As a place to put your feet.

     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette à pied.

If France is where you're going,
     But you don't want to squat,
Then travel fully knowing
     That you need a Porto-Pot.

     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette à pied.
     Alouette, alouette, alouette à pied.

(c) 2009 Hal Wingard. To Tami and Harriet, in anticipation of our forthcoming travel together in France, January 21, 1990 Words completed January 18, 1990, in my 'cell' at Mercy Center.

#100, Paris Eternal Coquette

Paris, eternal coquette,
I’ve loved you since first time we met.
     You and I share
     A loving affair
That no other love can upset.

Paris, I know that it's true:
Others take favors from you.
     But I cannot care
     As long as you're there
To give me the love that you do.

Paris, I have no regret
That you are eternal coquette.
     Your tempting appeal
     Just strengthens my zeal
To take all your love I can get.

Paris, eternal coquette,
I’ve loved you since first time we met.
     You and I share
     A loving affair
That no other love can upset.

(c) 2009 Hal Wingard; July 8, 1980. Words completed June 7, 1980, in the air en route from Chicago to San Diego

Please click the ad above

Please click the ad above





Return to top


LESSON—Robert Grossman and Tom Zohar perform in Old Wicked Songs at the North Coast Rep
Play's old, wicked anti-Semitism is there to make a point

By Carol Davis

SOLANA BEACH, California—In 2000 The Old Globe Theatre mounted Jon Marans' Old Wicked Songs. At that time, it was considered part of the Seventh Annual San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.

It’s being shown again at The North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach through May 31st. As I was in line waiting for the house to open, some friends who also happen to be colleagues reminded me of how much I had disliked the show when I saw it back in 2000. If truth be known, they had better memories than I. I had no idea what they were talking about. I guess one might call that a mental block.

After they jogged my memory, I could have kicked myself for agreeing to put myself through Marans’ play once again as there were other plays I chose not to attend that same night.  As my memory tape went on replay, I remembered how appalled I was at the blatant anti Semitism that stunned me so throughout the play. My friend, who came with me, agreed to leave if I so decided. I mentioned we could slip out during intermission if I felt sick to my stomach.

Old Wicked Songs is a two-person play about the relationship between a young American piano prodigy, twenty five year old Stephen Hoffman (Tom Zohar), who suffers from burn out and hasn’t played or performed in a year and the feisty Austrian music professor Josef Mashkan (Robert Grossman) who is just getting back on the teaching circuit.  Stephen thought he would be studying accompaniment under the renowned Professor Schiller. Much to his chagrin, he was told the professor was on vacation. Mashkan, in the meantime, would be working with Stephen studying singing for three months, or at least until the professor returned from holiday.

The political climate in Germany in 1986 revolved around the fact that Nazi sympathizer and war crime participant Kurt Waldheim might win the national elections and become president of Austria. In a runoff election he in fact, did gain victory much to the opposition of the Word Jewish Congress. During his presidency he was put on the US Nazi watchlist. In a brief conversation about the election shortly after the two met in Mashkan’s rehearsal studio, Mashkan pooh-poohed any concern about Walheim and the Nazis.. It was time to let it go.

Right from the get go though, Mashkan started to sling racial slurs at Stephen, (especially when Stephen told him he was Protestant) inferring that Schiller a Jew, would never renege on a promise because when a Jew makes a deal they always keep their promises (remember the Merchant of Venice?) and Schiller promised Mashkan two weeks with Stephen.  Since Stephen wanted to speak first hand to Schiller about this new turn of events, Mashkan’s defenses got up and he played the anti-Semitic card.  But it gets worse (and that’s where the playwright lost me the first time around) before it got better.

Marans began working on Old Wicked Songs in 1990. He had spent time in Vienna during his own musical education. At that time he studied Schumann’s Dichterliebe gaining an appreciation for and responding to “ young man’s anger and passion.” He was himself, angry and passionate. He used the song cycle as a device to explore how music can influence communications and relationships between the teacher and student characters in his play.

Morans was a 1996 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama and winner of New York Drama League and L.A. Drama League Award, among others. The play opened at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 1955 and later moved to the New York’s Jewish Repertory Theatre where it then received an off Broadway run.

Go to top of right column

But it’s about this production under the deft direction of David Ellenstein (himself a Jew) and the two wonderful actors, Tom Zohar (an Israeli by birth) and Robert Grossman who had played this same character at the Phoenix at Arizona Jewish Theatre under the direction of Ellenstein that struck me, slurs et. al. It was different, more palatable, if that’s possible and struck some light notes that the other was lacking. Both actors made that happen, Grossman being a pro at it and never losing his accent.

As the story unfolds around the music (there are sixteen verses in which the last makes mention of the old wicked songs), the two spar with each other on just about everything. One is past his prime, the other at the height of his. One is harboring a deep dark secret; the other is hiding behind an arrogance and lack of imagination that hampers his creativity. Mashkan is passionate and spontaneous; Stephen is self-conscious and lacks spontaneity, and that’s just for starters.

“Art consists of knowing the basic rules and realizing when it is time to deviate from them," Mashkan chides as he tries to warm Stephen up for the lessons ahead.

The play begins in the spring of 1986 and continues through to summer, as does the poem’s first verse as does the unraveling of these two polar opposites. Ellenstein, along with Zohar and Grossman, weave through the maize of metaphors and music with an ease, comfort and credibility that almost make the diatribes worth wading through to see where the playwright is going. And we learn much along the way.

Stephen had promised his father that he would visit Dachau while he was in Vienna over the objections of Mashkan (“Jews weren’t the only ones who suffered in the camps”). It was another lesson for Stephen who, by this time had a deep seeded dislike and distrust for Mashkan only later to learn of his three-year interment in one of the camps. But that doesn’t come until Act II and by then, my pressure is off the charts.

It’s then that we learn that Mashkan uses the anti Semetic ploy as a survival mechanism to be the first to throw it out there so no one else beats him to it. It made sense after the second time around. We also learn that Stephen is also Jewish and said he wasn’t just to see what Mashkan’s reaction would be when he talked about Waldheim. Ah, the games people play!

Both actors are able to pull off both the singing and piano music with ease and confidence having played in enough musicals to be confident, at ease, proficient and good.  Grossman was recently seen in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well at NCR and Zohar in The History Boys at The Theatre in Old Town for Cygnet.

Marty Burnett’s set is perfectly fussy as the rehearsal studio with a huge grand piano taking up at least one quarter of the stage, opera posters on the walls, selected area rugs on the hardwood floors, a wall clock locked in time and the obligatory Beethoven bust on the desk, which Mashkan toasted whenever in need of quick schnapps fix.

Jemima Dutra’s costumes are a lesson in contrasts as Stephen learns to dress down from tie, sport jacket and dress pants to jeans and over sized sweater opposed to Mashkan’s ever increasing dapper looking clothes. Jeff Mockus’ original sound design included everything from the sounds coming from the piano to the thunder (Matt Novotny’s lighting design) and rain of the storm that rocked the theatre.

It’s worth a try and a second look.

See you at the theatre.

Return to top


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

KCBQ Programs Jewish Activities
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 3

Starting Sunday, March 23, over KCBQ, from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. the United Jewish Fund through the generosity of the Station Management, will sponsor “The Theatre of Life,” an eight week program depicting the work of Jewish philanthropic agencies overseas, in the United States, and right here in San Diego.

The story of the United Jewish Appeal, Community Relations, Family Service, Care of the Aged, Jewish Education, and Community-Armed Services Program will be dramatized by leading actors and actresses.

The final program on Sunday, March 22, will star Conrad Nagel in the “Three Miracles” a story of Israel.

It will be followed on March 29 by “The Window” with Kim Hunter as the star.  This is the story of the work of the Jewish Social Service Agency.

The programs are provided through a cooperative arrangement with 35 other communities and the Council of Jewish Welfare Fund and Federations.

$231,795 Goal Set For
San Diego’s Fund Appeal

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 4

As San Diego civic, business and professional leaders accepted key positions in the United Jewish Fund Campaign, the campaign committee announced the minimum amount that must be raised in 1953 as a 20 percent increase over 1952.

Spurred by increasing anti-Jewish tension in Iron Curtain Countries , the UJF has announced its minimum needs at $231,795 for the 42 organizations serving the needs of Jews overseas, in Israel, in America, and right here in San Diego, which are beneficiaries.

Accepting top spots inm the campaign organization and joining Chairmen Carl Esenoff and Milton Roberts were Max Maisel, Albert Steinbaum, Harry Wax and Henry Price as Vice-Chairmen.

Maisel and Steinbaum, local hotel operator will jointly head the Major Gifts division.  Commerce and professions will be led by Wax, a business executive.  County areas will be chaired by Henry Price, insurance executive.

Other local business and professional leaders who will assume responsible positions in the campaign include Sam Addleson, heading the downtown division, assisted by the following team captains:  David Stotsky, Robert Strauss, Philip Goldman, William Colt, Alex Newman, Abe Bronstone, Richard Levi, Zel Camiel, Jack Spatz and Marshalll Naiman.

Louis Jacobs, Hillcrest business man, will be in charge of that area, while William Schwartz will head the East San Diego contingent.

Military solicitation will be headed by Milton Fredman, attorney.  Nathan Schiller will head the aircraft industry.
The professional division will have as its leaders Dr. Joshua Rittoff and David Block.

The local campaign cooperating with the United Jewish Appeal will raise money to “prepare for what possibly may come in 1953 behind the Iron Curtain, and for 42 overseas, national and local organizations.”

“Proceeds from the community drive,” Mr. Esenoff said, “will be made available to the nation-wide United Jewish Appeal in order

Go to top of right column

 Meet the urgent needs of Jewish escapees from Communist-controlled countries of Eastern Europe, and speed their resettlement in Israel and other havens.

2. Provide vital welfare, settlement and rehabilitation aid to 500,000 other dependent Jews, 300,000 in Israel and the rest in Western Europe and tension-ridden Moslem lands.

3. Strengthen Israel by helping the young democracy to speed the absorption of 240,000 recent newcomers and to increase food production through the establishment of new farm settlements and the expansion of irrigation.

4. Furnish adjustment and settlement assistance to refugees coming to the United States, 5,000 of whom are expected this year.”

Passover Dinners Assured All Members of Armed Forces

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 4

Every Jewish serviceman and woman stationed in the San Diego area is assured a Passover Seder, it was announced by Henry Weinberger, Chairman of the USO-National Jewish Welfare Board Armed Services Committee.

“Our committee has mobilized the entire Jewish community to provide Sedorim for all Jewish military personnel,” he said.  The United Jewish Fund, all three houses of worship, eleven women’s organizations and countless individual families have joined hands in the effort to make San Diego truly ä home away from home.”

Widespread community coverage has been effected through invitations by twos to private home Sedorim, invitations by Temple Beth Israel, Cong. Beth Jacob and Cong. Tifereth Israel to their respective community Sedorim, and by a special military Seder for boots and recruits from Naval Training Center and Marine Corps Recruit Depot, who are not permitted off post.

Mrs. Rose Neumann, veteran USSO-JWB volunteer in San Diego, and chairman of the Sr. Hostess sub-committee of the Armed Services Committee, is in charge of preparations for the “Boot Seder,” at the Waves’ Mess Hall at Naval Training Center. 

Chaplain Daniel J. Silver, soon to leave for duty in Japan, will conduct the Seder services assisted by his replacement, Chaplain Mark Fraenkel, newly-arrived at the 11th Naval District.

Guests of honor at this Seder will include Rear Admiral and Mrs. John W. Roper, Major General and Mrs. John T. Walker, Rear Admiral Thornton Miller, Captain and Mrs. Frank Monroe Jr., Commander and Mrs. Harrison C. Symmes Jr., Chaplain and Mrs. Harris W. Howe and Chaplain and Mrs. James E. Reaves.

Serving alongside Mrs. Neumann are Mesdames David Arden, Irving Cohen, Paul Cudney, Max Felsman, Thomas Carger, Bernard Godes, Jerome Greben, Minnie Harris, Abe Hollandersky, Joseph Krone, Louis Lazarowitz, Bella Price, Sïmon Roisman, Sanford Sack, Joseph Schloss, Anna Schelly, Samuel Tepper, Charles A. Townes, Tom Turner and Bertha Weitzer.

“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.

Return to top


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

David Proval plays Tony in "Mean Streets"

Frank Oz (white shirt, yellow patterned tie) in 'World of Jim Henson'

Gilda Radner on Barbara Walters and vice versa

Rhea Perlman plays a steady, cheated-upon girlfriend in "Love Comes Lately"

*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.