Volume 3, Number 115
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

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

Suppose Israel agreed to demands of the Economist... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
There is an article in the most recent Economist that defines the problem of Israel and Palestine. Almost all of it is there in brief form, but not in a reasonable formulation

Middle East/ Related International
Berman sponsors bill to hire more foreign service officers READ MORE

Levin says U.S. Defense Department budget places more emphasis on counter-insurgencyREAD MORE

Abu Khalaf designated a terrorist by U.S. Treasury Department READ MORE

National Council of Churches calls on Congress to classify Armenian murders in 1915 as 'genocide' READ MORE

U.S. Export-Import Bank approves $912.8 million in loans for Saudi Arabia to purchase generators READ MORE

Harman explains foreign benefits of supplemental appropriations act READ MORE

Federal Elections Commission fines Lieberman's campaign committee, clears Aish Ha Torah READ MORE

RJC denounces state senator who called Schumer 'that Jew' READ MORE

Jewish public officials
Cardin presses Russia for progress in case of murdered American journalist READ MORE

Feinstein offers bill for legalizing immigration status of farmworkers READ MORE

Kohl moves bill increasing Food for Peace funding READ MORE

Lautenberg pushes for comprehensive surface transportation plan for the United States READ MORE

Schwartz cosponsors legislation for mandatory 'coverage facts' on health plans READ MORE

Waxman introduces bill to create millions of clean energy jobs READ MORE


StandWithUs circulates petition regarding Obama and Netanyahu READ MORE

JFS announces establishment of Rubenstein Family Scholarship READ MORE

Israel at 60 can now be downloaded free from WebREAD MORE

JFS presents Pulitzer prize winning mental health reporter READ MORE

Hedge funds manager Ruderman accused of $44 million fraud READ MORE

MEDIA WATCH, aka "Here's the link" READ MORE


The Bible in Pop Culture

Evening and Morning, One Day: Genesis 1:5 SEE PHOTOS

Reconciling our beliefs with Bible's slavery passages ... by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal in San Diego
During Thursday's morning minyan Norm Katz commented that some of this week's Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai, made him very uncomfortable.

When is it ethical to keep things found on the ground? ... by Rabbi Baruch Lederman and
his son, Yechiel Michel Lederman, in San Diego
This week was the Bar Mitzvah of my son Yechiel Michel Lederman. He researched and wrote the following drasha. No one wrote this for him or with him. He did this all on his own.

Two new volumes on alternative forms of Judaism ... by Fred Reiss in Winchester, California
Alternative forms of Judaism have competed with each other since at least the Second Temple period, when pharisaic Judaism (today known as rabbinic Judaism) competed with the Sadducees and Essenes for the hearts and minds of the Jewish people. READ MORE


The revival of The Fantasticks is, well, fantastic!... by Cynthia Citron in Los Angeles.
Sometimes a corny, old-fashioned, totally out-of-date musical can charm you right out of your boots and remind you, once again, why the theater, for you at least, has always been such a magical place. READ MORE

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U.S. junior soccer players who'll compete in Maccabiah connected by Internet but distances prevent practices ... by Noam Baltinester in San Diego
The 2009 Israel Maccabia games will be the 18th Maccabia in the world. Jews from all over the world will gather to compete for the same things, to represent their country, and come home with the gold medal. READ MORE

A bissel Jewish sports trivia by Bruce Lowitt ... in Oldsmar, Florida
Q: Who had the first .400 season batting average in the minor-league Southern Association’s history and, on June 30, 1938, had the last hit in Philadelphia's crumbling Baker Bowl?READ MORE


March 20, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Personals READ MORE
Classified READ MORE
Calendar READ MORE
Pardon My Sneeze READ MORE
Tifereth Israel Sisterhood READ MORE
Untitled Item{Wolf, Hutler} READ MORE
Passover Seder At Tifereth Israel READ MORE
City of Hope Jr. Aux. READ MORE
News of the Fox READ MORE

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Gary Shandling does a standup routine on his grandmother's shaking dog for Comic Relief VIEW VIDEO

Peter Riegert in "Crossing Delancey" with Amy Irving VIEW VIDEO

Saul Rubinek dips into death in "Death Ship"VIEW VIDEO

Wallace Shawn debates which wine is poisoned in "The Princess Bride" VIEW VIDEO


We were delighted to receive Noam Baltinester's lookahead to the 18th Maccabiah in Israel, for which he has been chosen as a member of the American junior soccer team. Other student contributions on Jewish subjects also are welcome. Please submit them to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com


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 Arts Festival
San Diego Jewish Chamber
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Therapy in Motion Inc.
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
United Jewish Federation
XLNC-1 Radio


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Suppose Israel agreed to demands of the Economist...

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—There is an article in the most recent Economist that defines the problem of Israel and Palestine. Almost all of it is there in brief form, but not in a reasonable formulation.

The theme in most of the article is that President Obama must not just scold Prime Minister Netanyahu for his ill advised remarks, but pressure him to do what most countries (and the Economist) feel is necessary to make peace in the Middle East. That includes pursuing the development of a Palestinian State, halting the expansion of Jewish settlements, stop pressing the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state," recognizing that Israel must eventually withdraw from the Golan Heights, and comply with these wishes without a precondition of the United States frustrating Iran's development of nuclear weapons.

That is the shopping list of governments and individuals that consider themselves on the right side of history.

Then comes the kicker, that defines the problem of all those decent people, and Israel.

"Who would govern the Palestinian state the world wants . . . in the West Bank and Gaza?"

The article concedes that Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party are too weak, Hamas has not done what is necessary to be included in the list of the enlightened. The Economist admits a further problem. "The snag is that the two halves of the Palestinian movement are at daggers’ drawn and have fluffed repeated opportunities to reconcile."

The appropriate analogy for what the magazine and others want is a "Hail Mary pass." That comes in the final moments of a football game, when the team with the ball is behind, and far from the goal line. The only possibility is a long pass, and the hope that a member of one's own team catches it.

The Economist puts is this way: The Americans must make the Israelis "more amenable to giving the Palestinians the fair deal—in essence, a proper state of their own—that might bring peace to the two peoples and to the wider region of the Middle East."

The core of the problem is what I've underlined. Why should an Israeli government give the Palestinians what they want, on the chance that it "might bring peace"? When Israel offered the Palestinians a great deal of what they said they wanted, in 2000, there came several years of violence that cost 1,100 Israeli lives, most of them civilians. There is not the trust among Israelis, inside and outside of the present government, to produce what is wanted by the Economist, not even if the American president wraps it in all the good words of assurance for Israel's safety.

Yet another element in the problem is the unwillingness or inability of the Palestinians to play a more complex role in negotiations than making demands. If compromise is part of the process that helps each side sell a bargain to its constituents, the Palestinians have not been playing by the rules. Neither the borders of 1967 nor the return of refugees are sellable to Israeli authorities or the public.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu might not be the best emissary to the Obama White House. His words, facial expressions, and body language often express arrogance. He has acquired a reputation of being unreliable, and even slippery. He has been condemned by ranking Americans in language seldom heard from one country's officials about those of another country.

Hopefully, national interest will prevail over personality, so that the American president and Israeli prime minister can conclude their meeting without rancor.

If there was an obvious solution to the problems standing in the way of a Middle East accord, it would not have taken so long to have moved so little. Before reasonable people can ask Israel to do what might help, they must also expect the Palestinians to do some of the things that might help. Those using a formulation like the Economist should recognize that they are putting the accent on the wrong syllable, and are missing an important part of the puzzle..

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

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Lieberman's campaign committee fined, Aish Ha Torah cleared; RJC denounces GOP state senator for anti-Semitic comments

Editor's Note: We are trying out a service that provides news releases to us from federal government agencies as well as from members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Utilizing this service, we intend to track issues affecting the Middle East, domestic and foreign Jewish communities, and also keep abreast of legislation being pursued by Jewish members of Congress. We solicit reader input to this feature. Email editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

Middle East

Berman sponsors bill to hire
more foreign service officers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)— Congressman Howard Berman (CA-28), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Thursday introduced wide-ranging legislation to improve and support U.S. foreign policy efforts, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (H.R. 2410).

“Defense, diplomacy and development are the three pillars of our national security,” Berman said.  “But in recent years, diplomacy and development have been short-changed.  In order to meet the aims of American foreign policy today, we need to rebuild capacity in these critical areas.”

The legislation authorizes hiring 1500 additional Foreign Service Officers over the next two years and contains provisions on recruitment and training of officers to improve the Foreign Service’s ability to respond to modern challenges.  It requires the State Department to conduct a quadrennial review of its policies and programs that defines objectives, budget requirements and how these programs fit into the President’s national security strategy. 

Among other significant measures in the bill are provisions that:

  • ensure that the United States will meet its financial commitments to the United Nations (U.N.) and other international organizations;

  • allow financing the refurbishment of helicopters for U.N. peacekeeping missions in Darfur, the Republic of Congo and Chad;

  • establish the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation as a new executive branch corporation to expand dramatically the number and economic diversity of U.S. students studying overseas;

  • end the long-standing practice of excluding the committed partners of Foreign Service officers from the benefits routinely provided to the spouses and children of officers serving abroad;

  • support the Administration’s plan to double the size of the Peace Corps, and authorize a plan to use short-term volunteers to respond to humanitarian and development needs worldwide;

  • broaden the Merida anti-drug trafficking initiative to include the Caribbean, and improve monitoring and evaluation of Merida programs; and

  • increase resources and training for enforcement of intellectual property rights, especially in countries identified by the U.S. government as lax in enforcing those rights.

Preceding provided by Congressman Berman

Levin says U.S. Defense Department budget
places more emphasis on counter-insurgency

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)--The following is excerpted from a transcript of Senator Carl Levin's opening remarks on the Defense Department's budget proposals. Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee:

The Department's fiscal year 2010 budget request is, in Secretary Gates' words, a "reform" budget. In its broadest sense this budget would shift funds away from programs and technologies that the Secretary has determined have been mismanaged or are designed to address far less likely, distant risks, and therefore less useful to the counterinsurgency fight of today. Instead, this budget would provide more funds to increase the capabilities needed for the wars we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and what the Administration feels are the threats we are more likely to face in the future.

The Department faces no more immediate challenge than implementing the President’s new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Key to the Administration’s new strategy will be growing the Afghan National Security Forces so that Afghanistan can more quickly take responsibility for providing for its own security. The FY2010 budget request includes significant funding for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund to grow the Afghan Army to 134,000 and the Afghan police to 82,000 by 2011. When Committee members met recently with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his ministers, we heard directly from President Karzai, his Minister of Defense and his Interior Minister that they have the manpower available to significantly expand both the Army and the Police beyond those numbers, and are in a “hurry” to do so. With the cost of adding one more U.S. soldier in Afghanistan equal to the cost of adding 60 or more Afghan soldiers, it makes sense to invest in growing the Afghan security forces faster and I hope the witnesses will address the possibility and wisdom of doing so.

Reflecting another major component of the Administration’s new strategy in the region, the FY2010 budget includes significant funding for Pakistan. This includes authorization for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Contingency Fund, to train and equip the Pakistan Frontier Corps and to build the capacity of the Pakistan Army to conduct counterinsurgency operations. I raised directly with Pakistan President Zardari last week my concern that unless Pakistan’s leaders commit in deeds and words their country's armed forces and security personnel to eliminating the threat from militant extremists, and make clear they are doing so for the sake of their own country's future, then no amount of assistance will be effective. I sincerely hope that Pakistan’s recent military operations in the North West Frontier Province reflect their long overdue realization that the extremists pose the single greatest threat to Pakistan’s survival. If Pakistan makes the fight against those extremists their own fight, then the United States should be willing to help Pakistan achieve a more stable and secure future. But we can't buy their support for our cause, or appear to do so, since that would play into the hands of their and our enemy. We can and should support their cause assuming it is aligned with ours and if they make their case openly and clearly to their public.

Even as our focus shifts to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the stability situation in Iraq remains a source of concern and significant effort. This June, pursuant to the U.S.—Iraqi SOFA, U.S. combat forces are supposed to be withdrawn from Iraqi urban areas, turning over the security of cities and major towns to Iraqi Security Forces. The agreement also sets a December 2011 deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq. President Obama has called for an end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq by August 2010. I hope that the drawdown of forces in Iraq can be maintained while preserving our hard-fought gains, and while continuing to build Iraqi capacity to provide for their own security. The failure of Iraqi leaders to complete the political steps they promised to take long ago puts at risk the reaching of those goals.

One of Secretary Gates’ principles for building the FY2010 budget has been taking care of our men and women in uniform and their families, and caring for our wounded warriors. Close collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs is critically important to crafting and implementing policies and processes to ensure seamless care and transition for our wounded warriors and their families.

A top priority for the Department of Defense and the Congress in the months ahead must be reform of the process for overseeing the acquisition each year of hundreds of billions of dollars of products and services. Last week the Senate approved the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009. The House approved similar legislation this week. This legislation is an important step in getting control over the acquisition process, and hopefully Congress will promptly work out our differences and have a bill for the President soon.

There is great interest in DOD plans for the Air Force's F-22 fighter, C-17 cargo aircraft, combat search and rescue helicopter program, and the next generation tanker; the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, DDG-1000, and DDG-51; the Army’s Future Combat System; and missile defense and satellite acquisition programs. They require tough choices by the Congress and require a clear explanation of how weapons systems changes are derived from the new strategy.

While the Department's significant program changes focus almost entirely on major weapon systems, much of the defense budget’s growth can be attributed to significant increases in the personnel and operation and maintenance accounts. Are there any changes that should be considered in these areas?

The Air Force and the Navy have in recent years reduced the size of their active-duty end strengths, in part to pay for equipment. This budget request halts the decline for both services. The Department must work with Congress to determine the appropriate active and reserve end strengths for all the military services as measured against current and future missions and requirements. I expect the Department to comprehensively address end strength levels in the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review.

Typical of the first budget of a new administration, the fiscal year 2010 defense budget request does not include the future years' defense program, or spending projections for the next 5 years for the Department's procurement and research accounts. As the Secretary has indicated, the Department's longer range programmatic decisions and plans will be shaped by this year's Quadrennial Defense and Nuclear Posture Reviews.

Abu Khalaf designated a terrorist
by U.S. Treasury Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) —The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Thursday targeted the support network of al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) by designating Syria-based Sa'ad Uwayyid 'Ubayd Mu'jil al Shammari (aka Abu Khalaf) under Executive Order 13224.  E.O. 13224 targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  AQI is a Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

"We will continue to aggressively implement the international obligation to target al-Qa'ida-linked terrorists, like Abu Khalaf, who threaten the safety of Coalition Forces and the stability of Iraq," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Abu Khalaf acts for or on behalf of AQI by serving as a senior leader of AQI's Syria-based facilitation network.  As of early January 2009, Abu Khalaf was in charge of the foreign fighter facilitation network formerly headed by Badran Turki Hishan Al-Mazidih (aka Abu Ghadiyah).  Treasury designated Abu Ghadiyah in February 2008 for running a Syria-based AQI facilitation network that controlled the flow of money, weapons, terrorists and other resources through Syria to AQI.  Previously, Abu Khalaf was reportedly second in charge of the Islamic State of Iraq in Syria, a group formed by AQI that has claimed responsibility for mass kidnappings and a series of major attacks.

As of fall 2008, Abu Khalaf and an AQI member involved with foreign fighter facilitation transported terrorists from Syria to Iraq.  In one instance,   Abu Khalaf directed an AQI facilitator to recruit young North Africans for AQI.  The facilitator recruited a few suicide bombers, who attempted to travel to Iraq.  Abu Khalaf was also likely involved in facilitating the travel of a number of suicide operatives to the Levant region from Gulf-based extremist networks.  Separately, Abu Khalaf facilitated the transfer of equipment from Abu Ghadiyah to Iraq-based AQI networks.

Under Executive Order. 13224, any assets in which this individual has an interest are frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

Preceding from the U.S. Treasury Department

National Council of Churches calls on Congress to classify Armenian murders in 1915 as 'genocide'

NEW YORK (Press Release)—The U.S. government's reluctance to classify the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenians as "genocide" leaves the matter festering in historical limbo, and the staff head of the National Council of Churches has urged the U.S. House of Representatives to set the matter straight.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary, has written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) to  recommend passage of House Resolution 252,The bill, introduced by Rep. Adam B. Shiff (Democrat, California.) calls upon President Obama "to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes."

The legislation has 120 co-sponsors in the House.

In an April 24 statement on Armenian Remembrance Day, the President distressed Armenian Americans and their friends by avoiding the word "genocide" to describe the events of 1915. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, NCC President, said he was deeply disappointed by the omission.

"I speak on this issue as a person who lost 50 percent of my family to the Armenian genocide in Turkey," Aykazian said in a letter to Kinnamon and the NCC Governing Board.

"I do not hate Turks, and I don't hate others who have committed similar atrocities, but what we, the Armenians, have always asked for is a simple acknowledgement by the American government of a historical fact ... A simple acknowledgement by the U.S. Government is paramount to appease the souls of the more than 1.5 million people who perished under the Ottoman Empire and the millions more left orphaned and maimed.

Preceding provided by National Council of Churches

U.S. Export-Import Bank approves $912.8 million in loans for Saudi Arabia to purchase generators

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a move to support U.S. jobs, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) on Friday approved $912.8 million in direct loans to finance the export of 23 GE gas turbine generator sets for three Saudi power plants.

The GE 7FA series gas turbine generator sets contain pollution control equipment to reduce NOx emissions.

The General Electric Company (GE), Fairfield, Conn., is exporting the 7FA gas turbine generator sets and related equipment and services to Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) for three projects:

The Faras power station, located in eastern Saudi Arabia near Al Hofuf -- an Ex-Im Bank direct loan of $150.7 million will support the sale of four generator sets to expand the plant's capacity by 500 megawatts

Power Plant #8 (PP8) in Western Ryadh -- an Ex-Im Bank direct loan of $151.1 million will support the sale of four generator sets to expand the plant's capacity by 492 megawatts

A new power station to be located near an existing plant at Al Qurayyah -- an Ex-Im Bank direct loan of $611.1 million will support the sale of 15 generator sets, resulting in a total installed capacity of 1,890 megawatts

"This transaction is good for both countries," said Bijan Kian, a member of Ex-Im Bank's board of directors. "It will help maintain jobs at GE and its U.S. suppliers throughout the country, while helping SEC meet Saudi Arabia's power needs through the use of low-NOx-emission equipment. Saudi Arabia is turning to export credit agencies (ECAs) such as Ex-Im Bank during the current credit crisis that commercial banks are facing. This transaction, by helping the development of Saudi Arabia's power infrastructure, creates enormous potential for follow-on business between our two countries."

The Ex-Im Bank direct loans will be disbursed through the funding bank, Calyon.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans.

Preceding provided by Export-Import Bank

Harman explains foreign benefits of
supplemental appropriations act

WASHINGTON, D.C (Press Release)-- Rep. Jane Harman (Democrat, California) delivered the following statement today on the House floor during rule debate on the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009:

I am keenly aware of the economic hardship faced by people in my district and all over the country, and the heart-felt questions being raised about the cost and policies involved in this bill.

After careful review, I believe the bill is needed and the policies it funds reflect a change in direction from failed Bush strategies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the West Bank -- all locations I have visited in this past year.

We are ending the combat mission in Iraq -- a policy I strongly support. We are also embracing a strategy for Afghanistan which makes governance and not projection of military force the top priority.

Mission success there will only come from efforts to eliminate corruption and help the central and local governments provide essential services to the Afghan people. Otherwise, that country will revert to a failed state and safe haven for terrorists intent on attacking the United States and our allies.

Pakistan is even more dangerous because of its huge population, a military larger than ours and its nuclear arsenal. This bill funds non-military aid and counter-insurgency training to enable Pakistani forces to defeat the growing Taliban threat inside their borders.

A promising security program in the West Bank is also supported -- a key building block to a viable and independent Palestinian state. The bill makes explicit that no Palestinian funding will go to Hamas, which continues to rearm and threaten Israel. For the future, funding for our troops in harm’s way and missions like this will be on budget -- and fully debated through the regular process in Congress.

This is yet another good course correction by the Obama Administration and one I have long advocated. Vote aye on the rule and the underlying bill.

Preceding provided by Congresswoman Harman

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Federal Elections Commission fines Lieberman's
campaign committee, clears Aish Ha Torah

WASHINGTON D.C. (Press Release)--The Federal Election Commission announced on Friday that it had fined a campaign committee for U.S. Senator Joseph LIeberman (Independent, Connecticut) $50,000 and, in a separate case, had found
no justification for a complaint by the Council on American-Islamic Relations concerning the actions of Clarion Fund or Aish HaTorah. The commission released these details for both matters under review (MUR):

MUR 5862

Respondents—Friends of Joe Lieberman and Lynn Fusco as Treasurer

Complainant—Thomas Swan

Subject—The complaint alleged that Friends of Joe Lieberman and Fusco, in her official capacity as treasurer, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), by spending more than $387,000 in cash payments that each exceeded the $100 limit allowed for petty cash disbursements. The complaint also alleged that the Committee and treasurer failed to disclose disbursements among these payments that were greater than $200. The complaint alleged further that the Committee and treasurer failed to maintain a written record detailing all disbursements made through this fund.

Outcome—The Commission found reason to believe the respondents violated the Act. In a conciliation agreement, Friends of Joe Lieberman agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 and amend its campaign finance reports.

MUR 6080

Respondents—Clarion Fund, Inc.; Aish HaTorah International

Complainant-- Council on American-Islamic Relations

Subject--The complaint alleged that the Clarion Fund, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, made contributions and expenditures in connection with a federal election by distributing DVDs designed to benefit then-Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. The complaint further alleged Clarion Fund, Inc., may have used prohibited foreign contributions from Aish HaTorah International, an Israeli-based non-profit corporation, in connection with a federal election.

Outcome—The Commission found no reason to believe Respondents violated the Act, because the DVD failed to identify a federal candidate, lacked express advocacy, and there was no evidence the DVD was distributed in connection with a federal election.

RJC denounces state senator
who called Schumer 'that Jew'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) -- Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks said Friday:
The Republican Jewish Coalition condemns in the strongest terms the remark by Arkansas State Sen. Kim Hendren, who reportedly referred to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer as "that Jew" at a Pulaski County GOP meeting last week. Sen. Hendren has since apologized for that comment, and rightly so.

That kind of language, which identifies an individual solely by their religion, their race, or another characteristic, has no place in politics.

The RJC has a long record of denouncing such comments, from Republicans or Democrats. We spoke out against Pat Buchanan as well as Howard Dean, and against Ramsey Clark as well as Bob Parker (once the Republican candidate for mayor of Indianapolis), after they used divisive language that reinforced negative stereotypes or played on prejudices about Jews, Christians, or others.

The Republican Party represents Americans from every religious and ethnic group. The GOP has welcomed the participation of Jewish Republicans. Rep. Hendren's remarks were notable as an exception to the GOP's tradition of inclusiveness, which stretches from President Lincoln, through leaders like Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan, right to the present day.

WASHINGTON, D.C. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee Hastings marked World Press Freedom Day this month by calling on the Russian government to step up its investigation and prosecution of those who have murdered journalists.

“We are approaching the fifth anniversary of the slaying of American journalist Paul Klebnikov in Moscow. I call upon the Russian authorities to bring justice to all of those responsible in any way for his murder” Cardin said.

After writing numerous articles and books exposing corruption, Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov was shot and killed as he left his Moscow office in July 2004.

Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Chairman of the Helsinki Commission cited several nations that have restricted and utterly controlled their news outlets.

“Freedom of the press is only a cherished dream for many today in the OSCE region. Vibrant independent media are an essential element of any democracy. Leaders the world over who are determined to remain in office by any means necessary understand perfectly the power of the press. That is precisely why they and their associates strive so vigorously to control the media,” Hastings said.

As Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, Cardin met Tuesday, May 12, with Miklos Haraszti, the Representative for Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Cardin called Haraszti a tireless advocate for freedom of expression. Press freedom will receive additional attention at the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland this fall.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today re-introduced legislation to provide much-needed relief to the nation’s ongoing agriculture labor shortage.

The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS) would reform the broken H-2A seasonal worker program, provide farmers with the stable, legal workforce they deserve, and offer a pathway to citizenship for hard-working, law-abiding immigrants already employed on American farms.

“Today across the United States, there are not enough agricultural workers to pick, prune, pack or harvest our country’s crops. With an inadequate supply of workers, farmers from Maine to California, and from Washington State to Georgia, have watched their produce rot and their farms lay fallow over the years,” Senator Feinstein said.

“As a result, billions of dollars are being drained out of our already struggling economy. This legislation would help to ensure a consistent, reliable agriculture work force to ensure that farmers and growers never again lose their crops because of a lack of workers.”

Sixteen senators have signed on as co-sponsors: Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.); Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.);  Robert Casey (D-Pa.); Chris Dodd (D-Conn.); Russ Feingold (D-Wis.); Ted Kauffman (D-Del.); Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.); John Kerry (D-Mass.); Herb Kohl (D-Wis.); Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); Carl Levin (D-Mich.); Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.); Patty Murray (D-Wash.); and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

"California’s farmers and growers are still waiting for a solution to the persistent labor shortages that each year cost our state’s agricultural economy billions of dollars,” said Senator Boxer (D-Calif.)  “The AgJobs bill will provide our agricultural community with a stable and reliable workforce, and I look forward to working with Senator Feinstein and my colleagues to see that this bill finally becomes law.”

The AgJOBS bill is a two-part bill. The first part would create a five-year pilot program to identify undocumented agricultural workers and legalize the immigration status for those who have been working in the United States for the past two years or more. The second part would reform the H-2A visa system to provide farmers and growers with a legal path to bring guest workers to the United States to harvest their crops.

The labor needs of the nation’s agriculture industry remain consistent. Across the country, farmers are reporting that they do not have enough labor to plant, tend and harvest their crops. There are not enough workers to milk cows. As a result, farmers have been forced to decrease the size of their farms and switch to less labor intensive and less profitable crops. Efforts have been made for years to get Americans to do the work, but they simply won’t do it.

Preceding provided by Senator Feinstein

Kohl moves bill increasing
Food for Peace funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)--The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved Sen. Herb Kohl’s proposal to increase funding for the “Food for Peace” program by $400 million to meet acute and growing hunger needs around the world.  Kohl included the funding in the FY09 Supplemental Appropriations bill, bringing the total for “Food for Peace,” or PL480, to $700 million.  Last month, Kohl met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to assess the additional demands anticipated for food relief this year.  Kohl also raised the issue with Secretary Clinton at an Appropriations Committee hearing on April 30th, at which time the Secretary acknowledged that food crises around the world have worsened.

“America has long been a world leader in its commitment to providing food aid to those who suffer from starvation, and American agriculture can play a central role in the solution to global food security,” Kohl said.  “From all accounts, this funding is necessary to stave off food shortages that have been worsened by civil unrest and climate challenges.”

Kohl is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations panel with jurisdiction over the country’s two major international food relief programs, PL480 and the McGovern-Dole program for child nutrition.   

Kohl is working toward a coordinated, government-wide application of public and private resources to combat global hunger in a sustainable way and in a manner that promotes the U.S. national security agenda.   He continues to emphasize that U.S. agriculture and USDA programs can make contributions to this effort through long-standing relationships with the nation's land grant university network and other partners. 

Preceding provided by Senator Kohl

Lautenberg pushes for comprehensive surface
transportation plan for the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)-- Senator Frank Lautenberg (Democrat, New Jersey), teamed with Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat, West Virginia) on Thursday to introduce The Federal Surface Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009.   Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Lautenberg chairs the subcommittee on surface transportation.

The two senators said the  legislation ”establishes a comprehensive and unifying mission for the nation’s surface transportation system. “

“The United States’ population is projected to rise to 420 million people by 2050, a 50 percent increase from the year 2000.  This growth will only exacerbate the congestion and mobility challenges that plague our national surface transportation system today.  We need to establish a blueprint for a 21st century surface transportation system,” said Chairman Rockefeller.  “This bill does just that. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this blueprint as we move forward on reauthorizing and reforming the surface transportation programs.”  

“A national surface transportation policy for our country is long overdue,” Senator Lautenberg said.  “We need a transportation policy that reestablishes our leadership throughout the world when it comes to transportation – and meets our country’s transportation demands for generations to come. This legislation will establish a national policy that improves safety, reduces congestion, creates jobs, and protects our environment.”

Major Goals of The Federal Surface Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009
•     Reduce national per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis;
•     Reduce national motor vehicle-related fatalities by 50 percent by 2030;
•     Reduce national surface transportation-generated carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent by
•     Reduce national surface transportation delays per capita on an annual basis;
•     Increase the percentage of system-critical surface transportation assets that are in a state   
      of good repair by 20 percent by 2030;
•     Increase the total usage of public transportation, intercity passenger rail services, and non-
      motorized transportation on an annual basis;
•     Increase the proportion of national freight transportation provided by non-highway or
      multimodal services by 10 percent by 2020; and
•     Reduce passenger and freight transportation delays and congestion at international points
      of entry on an annual basis.

Waxman introduces bill to create
millions of clean energy jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) — Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Edward J. Markey on Friday introduced “H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act.” The Energy and Commerce Committee will begin markup of the bill on Monday, May 18, at 1:00 p.m., and will complete consideration before the Memorial Day recess.

“The legislation will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, promote America’s energy independence and security, and cut global warming pollution,” said Chairman Waxman. “In support of these goals, this legislation ensures that consumers and industries in all regions of the country are protected. I look forward to working with all members of the Committee to approve this legislation to make America the world leader in new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.”

“This bill marks the dawn of the clean energy age,” said Subcommittee Chairman Markey. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revive our economy and create millions of good-paying clean energy jobs. After months of hearings and discussions with my colleagues, I am pleased that we have produced a bill that has widespread support from all regions of the country.” The bill text is available online .

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Items for us? Please send them to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

StandWithUs circulates petition regarding Obama and Netanyahu

LOS ANGELES—StandWithUs, the Israel advocacy group, is concerned that President Barack Obama will pressure Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to make unwarranted concessions to the Palestininans, when the two leaders have their first White House meeting on Monday.

Accordingly, the group is circulating an Internet petition urging President Obama to refrain from such pressure. Here's the link.

Information for preceding provided by StandWithUs

JFS announces establishment of Rubenstein Family Scholarship

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)--Jewish Family Service reports that "a generous member of our community, Dr. Robert Rubenstein, hasestablished a scholarship program for residents of the San Diego Jewish community who plan to attend college, graduate school or a
vocational school.

Fern Siegel, chair of the scholarship programs, says interested parties should download the policy statement, which
includes eligibility criteria and required documentation, and the application form by clicking here.

Please note that the completed packet must be received at
Jewish Family Service no later than June 15, 2009. To read more and to download the application, please click here.

Preceding provided by Jewish Family Service

Israel at 60 can now be
downloaded free from Web

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' commemorative publication: Israel at 60: From Modest Beginnings to a Vibrant State 1948-2008 is now available. This site contains not only the complete hard copy publication in PDF format with live links to all listed articles and web sites; but also includes articles that did not appear in the print version due to space considerations.

The web site also features additional Web Extras that enhance and complement the original text including new articles on solar power, Internet technology and wind generated energy to cite just a few examples.

Below is the book's foreword, penned by President Shimon Peres of Israel:

Dear Friends,
As Israel celebrates the 60th Anniversary of its Independence,
it is but only appropriate to first and foremost voice our
appreciation and gratitude to the American administrations
and peoples, who have stood by our side and supported the
State of Israel for the past 60 years.

We are certainly at a crossroad, at which we may reflect
upon our achievements over the past six decades, while
considering both the challenges and opportunities which
lie ahead.

Whilst having won several wars, we continue to
face imminent threats and to pray for the safe return of our
remaining kidnapped and missing sons to their homes.
Indeed- these are sensitive times, and a spirit of partnership
and cooperation, as was and continues to be evident
between Israel and the U.SA., is essential if the issues we
shall face tomorrow- both domestic and global- are to be
successfully addressed and resolved.

The leadership role that the U.S.A plays in the international
arena serves as an inspiration to all those who value the
virtue of freedom and democracy.

We, in Israel, are keen to pursue and realize the vision we
share with the U.S.A. - a vision of a peaceful and secure
future for the peoples of the region as well as for the
citizens of the world.

Israel has already made peace with Egypt and Jordan, and
is keen to complete the peace process with the Palestinians
and reach peace accords with its other neighbors. In
addition to the future of its own people, Israel desires to
contribute to the global tomorrow by putting its advances
in fields such as medicine, agriculture, science and
technology at the service of societies around the globe.

With an eye to the future, therefore, the first Presidential
Conference on the theme of “Facing Tomorrow” was held
in Jerusalem in May, within the framework of events that
marked Israel’s 60th Independence Day. The deliberations
focused on the three tomorrows: the Jewish Tomorrow,
Israel’s Tomorrow and the Global Tomorrow.

Israel’s special relations with the U.S.A. and the warm
ties of friendship that link our two nations and peoples
have been and shall continue to be meaningful to Israelis.
As we continue to celebrate our 60th anniversary, we look
forward to building on these steadfast foundations and to
working together to create a more innovative and better
future for our children.

JFS presents Pulitzer prize winning mental health reporter

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)-- The Mental Health Committee of Jewish Family Service is continuing to accept reservations for the May 21 luncheon featuring Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Michael Winerip.

Individual ticekts are $38 to attend the luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley and to hear Winerip tell of his three decades covering social issues, including te plight of the mentally ill. He will also relate some background to his book, 9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill>

For more information or to register online for this luncheon, please click here.

Preceding provided by Jewish Family Service

Hedge funds manager Ruderman accused of $44 million fraud

LOS ANGELES (Press Release)—The founder and manager of two Beverly Hills hedge funds was taken into custody Friday when he surrendered to federal agents after being charged in federal court with bilking investors out of approximately $44 million.

Bradley L. Ruderman, 46, who has quoted as a financial expert in national media outlets, surrendered to special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ruderman surrendered after was named yesterday in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles that charges him with wire fraud.

The criminal complaint alleges that Ruderman raised $44.3 million over the past eight years from 22 investors with claims of annual returns as high as 60 percent. Many of the victim-investors were family members who received a letter last month informing them that Ruderman’s hedge funds were nearly worthless.

Ruderman used false and misleading statements to persuade family members, friends and others to invest in his two hedge funds, Ruderman Capital Partners and Ruderman Capital Partners A, according to the affidavit in support of the complaint. During the scheme, which started in 2002 and collapsed this year, Ruderman lied about profits made by the funds, repeatedly sent false account statements to investors, and reported that he had $206 million in funds under management, when in fact he lost more than $3 million in 2008, beginning 2009 with a net value of only $588,246.

The FBI investigation revealed that Ruderman spent at least $8.7 million of investor money on personal expenses, which included a summer rental on Malibu's Carbon Beach and two Porsches. During a recent interview with the FBI, Ruderman admitted that he lost $5.2 million of investor money in clandestine poker games held on a regular basis in a suite at a luxury Beverly Hills hotel.

Preceding provided by U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California

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MEDIA WATCH, aka "Here's the link"

JWeekly, based in the San Francisco area, has a story about actor Jeffrey Tambor growing up wanting to be a cantor. Although he didn't achieve his objective, San Francisco State is giving him an honorary degree anyway. Here's the link.

The North County Times, in a Jennifer Kabbany article discussing how people decide to become religious leaders, includes Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort of Chabad of La Costa. Here's the link.

San Diego News Network last Wednesday carried Pat Launer's review of Fireflies, a play about life in Terezin, produced by J*Company, the performing arts arm of the Lawrence Family JCC. Launer also reviewed Old Wicked Songs which deals with anti-Semitism. Here's the link.

The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday carried an Associated Press story on the appointment of Dr. Thomas Frieden as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here's the link. For background on the controversy between Frieden and the haredi community over the practice of 'metzitzah b'peh' during a 'brit milah' and the possibility that the mohel might thereby spread the herpes virus, we refer you to a Jewish Ledger article from 2006. Here's the link ... The Union-Tribune ran a short on Pope Benedict XVI ending his visit to Israel with a denunciation of the Holocaust and denial of the Holocaust. Here's the link

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Bible in Pop Culture: evening and morning, one day

Genesis 1:5

God called to the light "Day" and to the darkness He called: "Night" And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

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

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Reconciling our beliefs with Bible's slavery passages

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

SAN DIEGO—During Thursday's morning minyan Norm Katz commented that some of this week's Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai, made him very uncomfortable. This week's Torah portion discusses and sanctions the institution of slavery. While an Eved Ivri, an Israelite slave was more an indentured servant than the chattel of his master and had to be freed after working for a specified number of years, non-Israelite slaves were the property of their owners in perpetuity.

In our time slavery is considered an unspeakable evil and we may well be horrified by the Torah's sanctioning of it. However, we must remember that while the Torah is divinely

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inspired, its composition is human and reflects the mores of its time. In the days the Torah was written slavery was considered not only lawful, but moral. However, that was well over 2,000 years ago. Our thoughts about slavery have changed since than.

When reflecting on Judaism's attitude towards slavery we would do well to keep in mind that in 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote in the United States Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Yet despite these words, slavery was permitted in the new American nation and Jefferson himself owned slaves. Slavery was only abolished in 1865 with the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Slavery was still legal in the United States less than 150 years ago. We have all grown since then.

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When is it ethical to keep things found on the ground?

Editor's Note: The following story was edited by San Diego Jewish World for typographical errors in English, but not in the Hebrew transliteration.

By Rabbi Baruch Lederman

SAN DIEGO--This week was the Bar Mitzvah of my son Yechiel Michel Lederman. He researched and wrote the following drasha. No one wrote this for him or with him. He did this all on his own.

His drasha is being featured this week as the ShulWeek Dvar Torah.

By Yechiel Michel Lederman

The first mishna of perek Ailu Metzios in maseches Bava Metzia, daf chaf alef amud alef, says ailu metzios she'lo, v'ailu chayav l'hachriz. These objects, if the owner loses and you find, you may keep, and these objects you must return. Ailu metzios she'lo. the following objects you may keep: Matza peiros m'phuzarin, ma'os m'phuzaros. If you find fruit or money spread out on the ground. Crichos b'r'shus ha'rabim, bundles in a public area. V'eegulai d'vailah, wheels of figs. Kikaros shel nachtome, bread which was baked by a professional baker. Machruzos shel dagim, strings of fish. V'chatichos shel basar, cuts of meat. V'geezei tzemer halkuchin mimdinassan, wool which was sheared in the standard way for that area. V'aneetzei phishtan, combed flax. Ul'shonos shel argaman, and tongues of wool. Ha'rei ailu she'lo, divrei Rabi Meir. These objects you may keep, according to Rabi Meir.

As you can see, this mishna is talking about finding objects which are standard and unidentifiable. Therefore, you may keep them.

The gemara asks a question. Matza peiros m'phuzarin, V'camah? When the mishna says that if you find fruit spread out on the ground you may keep it, how much fruit is it talking
about? Amar Rav Yitzchak, kab b'arbah amos. Rav Yitzchak says, the maximum is one kab of fruit spread out over four amos. Now the gemara has kasha. Heichee dummy.

Whats going on here? Why does it matter how much fruit there is? That's not what the mishna's talking about!
Ee derech n'feilah, afilu tuvah nami! V'ee derech heenuach, afilu batzir
mi'hachi nami lo!
If it looks like the fruit fell there by accident, and the owner lost it, even if it's more than one kab over four amos you should be allowed to keep it! But if it looks like
the fruit was placed there, and the owner is going to come back and take it, even if it's less than a kab over four amos you should have to return it.

Amar Rav Oukvah bar Chamah, b'machnahshta d'bay dari askinan. Rav Oukvah bar Chamah says, here's the case. A farmer takes his grain to a threshing mill, some of the grain
gets left there, and the owner knows about it. So the mishna isn't talking about finding fruit on the ground, it's talking about finding grain spread out on the ground by a threshing mill.
Now the gemara's question makes sense.

Kab b'arbah amos, d'nafish turchaihu, lo tarach eenush v'lo hadar asi v'shakeel l'hu, afkurei mafkir l'hu. If it's a maximum of one kab over four amos, it would be a big shlep to pick
it up, he won't want to do it, and he'll make it hefker. Batzir mi'hachi tarach v'hadar asi v'shakil l'hu, v'lo mafkir l'hu. But if it's less than one kab over four amos, it won't be as much of
a shlep, and he won't make hefker.

But wait a minute, this doesn't make sense. First the gemara says if the amount of grain is one kab or less over four amos, it would be a big shlep and he won't pick it up. But right
after that, the gemara says the exact opposite. If it's less than one kab over amos, he will pick it up.

Rashi answers, saying eem huyuh phizuran b'pachos mi'cane. The grain is spread over a lesser area. So the first time the gemara used the word 'batzir', they meant less grain. This time, they mean less area. So when the gemara said "batzir mi'hachi hadar asi v'shakil l'hu", they meant if one kab of grain is spread out over an area less than four amos. Since it's a smaller area, the owner will take it, and he will not make it hefker.

Now the gemara is going to go over a few different cases. Ba'ee Rav Yirmiyah, Rav Yirmiyah asks. Chetzee kab b'shtei amos ma'hu? If you find half a kab of grain spread out over two amos, are you allowed to keep it? Kab b'arbah amos, taimah mai. It depends on the reason the owner won't pick up one kab over four amos. Meeshum d'nafish turchaihu, chetzee kab b'shtei amos, cayvun d'lo nafish turchaihu, lo mafkir l'hu.

If the reason is because it's a big shlep for the owner to go around four amos picking up grain, then since two amos is much smaller it won't be as much of a shlep, and he won't
make it hefker.

Oh dilma, meeshum d'lo chashivi, v'chetzee kab b'shtei amos, cayvun d'lo chashivi, mafkir l'hu. Or perhaps, the reason is

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because one kab isn't valueable enough to him, and
since half a kab is less valueable, he won't pick it up, and he'll make it hefker.

Tosfos now has a kasha. Chetzee kab b'shtei amos ma'hu: If you find half a kab over two amos are you allowed to keep it: Tayma! Wait a minute! Ha'lo kab b'arbah amos ha'vei
nami chetzee kab b'shtei amos! U'mai k'mi'ba'ee lay!
One kab over four amos is half a kab over two amos! So why does the gemara even bring this case?! We already established that if there is one kab over four amos, the owner won't pick it up, and one over four is the same ratio as half over two. So we already know that the owner won't pick it up.

Now Tosfos brings two answers. V'yeish lomar, there is to say. Cayvun d'laycka ella chetzee kab yilkote, cayvun she'ain lo torayach ligmore, aval kab b'arbah amos, yeish lo
torayach lilkote ha'cul, v'ain milkat clal.
Since, even though it's the same ratio, two amos is still smaller. Therefore, he won't mind doing it since it's only two amos. But four amos is
big, and he won't want to do the whole thing, so he won't do it at all, because once he starts, human nature will kick in, and he'll want to finish.

Now Tosfos will bring the second answer. Ee nami, alternatively. Kab B'arbah amos m'ru'ba'in ha'vay. One kab over four amos, is four amos by four amos, which is 16 square feet. Chetzee kab b'shtei amos rocheiv, v'arbah amos oraych. Half a kab over two amos, is two amos wide, and four amos long, which is eight square amos. If (emphasis on the "if")
that were the case, then they would be the same ratio. But that's not what the gemara's talking about.

V'hacha, ba'ee chetzee kab b'beis amos al beis amos! But in this case, the gemara's asking about half a kab over two amos by two amos! Which is a quarter, not half, of four amos by four amos. So now, the first answer is irrelevant, and it makes sense for the gemara to bring this case of half a kab over two amos, because the two cases are not the same.

The gemara now continues with the next case. Kabayyim b'shmoneh amos ma'hu? If you find two kabayyim of grain spread out over eight amos, are you allowed to keep it? Kab
b'arbah amos taimah mai. It depends on the reason the owner won't pick up one kab over four amos.

Meeshum d'nafish turchaihu, v'cul she'cain kabayyim b'shmoneh amos, cayvun d'nafishah turchaihu t'fay, mafkir l'hu. If the reason is because it's a big shlep to go around four
amos picking up grain, then since eight amos is much bigger, he certainly won't do it, and he'll make it hefker.

Oh dilmah, meeshum d'lo chashivi, v'kabayyim b'shmoneh amos, cayvun d'chashivi, lo mafkir l'hu. Or perhaps, the reason is because one kab isn't valuable enough to him, and
since two kabayyim is more valuable, he will pick it up, and he will not make it hefker.

Kab shumsh'min b'arbah amos, ma'hu? If you find one kab of sesame spread out over four amos, are you allowed to keep it? Kab b'arbah amos taimah mai. It depends on the
reason the owner won't pick up a kab of grain.

Meeshum d'lo chashivi, v'shumsh'min, cayvun d'chashivi, lo mafkir l'hu. If the reason is because a kab of grain isn't valuable enough to him, then since sesame is more valuable than grain, he will pick it up, and he won't make it hefker.

Oh dilmah, meeshum d'nafish turchaihu, v'cul she'cain shumsh'min d'nafish turchaihu t'fay, mafkir l'hu. Or perhaps, the reason is because it would be a big shlep to go around four
amos picking up grain, and since sesame is smaller than grain, he certainly won't pick it up, and he'll make it hefker.

Kab t'mari b'arbah amos, v'kab rimoni b'arbah amos, ma'hu? If you find a kab of dates spread out over four amos, or a kab of pomegranates over four amos, are you allowed to keep it? Kab b'arbah amos taimah mai? It depends on the reason the owner won't pick up a kab of grain.

Meeshum d'lo chashivi, kab t'mari b'arbah amos kab rimoni b'arbah amos nami cayvun d'lo chashivi, mafkir l'hu. If the reason is because a kab of grain isn't valuable enough,
then since dates and pomegranites are less valuable than grain, he won't pick it up, and he will make it hefker.

Oh dilmah, meeshum d'nafisha turchaihu, v'kab t'mari b'arbah amos v'kab rimoni b'arbah amos, cayvun d'lo nafish turchaihu, lo mafkir l'hu. Or perhaps, the reason is because it
would be a big shlep to go around four amos picking up grain, and since dates and pomegranates are bigger than grain, it would be less of a shlep, he will pick it up, and he will not
make it hefker.

Mai? What's the din in all these cases? Tishbi yaaneh kushos v'she'ailos. For now we don't have an answer, but when mashiach comes, Eliyahu Hanavi will answer all of our

Dedicated by Rabbi & Mrs. Baruch Lederman in memory of their fathers Irving I Lederman and Martin Ambrose.

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Two new volumes on alternative forms of Judaism

By Dr. Fred Reiss, Ed.D

WINCHESTER, California--Alternative forms of Judaism have competed with each other since at least the Second Temple period, when pharisaic Judaism (today known as rabbinic Judaism) competed with the Sadducees and Essenes for the hearts and minds of the Jewish people.

During the middle ages, the Karaites resurrected much of the beliefs of the Sadducees. Today, their remnants are quite small, estimated by some to be no more than about 35,000. During the eighteenth century, traditional Judaism fought against the Sabbateans and Frankists. Sabbateans, the followers of Shabbatai Tzvi, a discredited Jewish messiah, are no longer considered Jewish. The Frankists, followers of the Polish Jew, Jacob Frank, continued to believe in Shabbatai Tzvi even after his conversion to Islam, and are also no longer considered Jewish. The nineteenth century secular Enlightenment Movement, known in Hebrew as the Haskala, engendered denominational Judaism: orthodox, conservative, reform, and reconstructionist Judaism.

Today, alternative, or non-denominational forms of Judaism are generally considered to be those that fall outside the beliefs of these institutionalized forms. Some forms of alternative Judaism, such as Humanistic Judaism, claim the core of Judaism to be their inspiration, while others, such as the Jewish Buddhists, do not. Sociologists refer to those who perceive themselves Jewish, but unaligned with any existing denomination as post-denominational or trans-denominational Jews.

On the front cover of Secrets of Jewish Spiritual Living, author Jody Allen Gorran informs his readers that the book is based on the writings of Rabbi Alfred G. Moses. Rabbi Moses graduated from the Hebrew Union College, a seminary that prepares individuals to serve as spiritual leaders in reform Jewish temples, in 1901. Moses conceived of an alternative form of Judaism, known as Jewish Science, in response to the ideas being promulgated at that time, such as Christian Science and the New Thought Movement. Traditional Judaism perceives God as a personal God. Jewish Science says that God is a force that pervades the universe and is the source of reality. Christian Science avows that Jesus will heal the sick now, as he did during his lifetime. Jewish Science believes that the God of the Old Testament is the sole source of healing. Jeremiah wrote (17:14), “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed.”

The Jewish Spiritual Living practitioner obtains health, success, and wealth through positive or right thinking. The mind controls matter. The conscience mind, as the link between the body and reality, accepts and interprets sensory Go to top of right column

inputs. The subconscious mind converts the inputs into actions. Gorran tells us that, “Faith-healing can be easily

explained in light of the Subconscious (sic) mind. All cures whether by medical or psychic means are affected by this mind alone.” The third of the tri-parted mind, the super-conscience mind, intuits the divine and the infinite. The super-conscience mind produces the energy, which Gorran calls faith that allows the mind to control the body.

Spiritual Jewish Living teaches that by correctly understanding how the mind works, disease can be gradually cured, and like Christian Science, does not forbid the use of modern medicine and exercising. Yet, building up the mind through concentration or meditation is the key to good health. “The physician, as long as he confines himself to human knowledge and skill will always be limited. The Divine Spirit is the only limitless source of help and healing.”

Gorran tells us that the spoken word moves the mind. Therefore, affirmations and silence between the words prepare the mind for right thinking. Throughout Secrets of Jewish Spiritual Living, Gorran offers exercises in both Hebrew and English to help the initiate concentrate and attune one’s mind to right thinking.

Jewish Mediation Practices for Everyday Life
by Rabbi Jeff Roth blends the ideas of Buddhism and Judaism. His goal is to teach the reader how to alter the mind from its normal condition of chaos to a state of calmness and clarity, as well as to learn how to live from moment to moment. The method for achieving this is meditation, which comes in two forms concentration and awareness.

Roth, like Garran, is concerned about the nature of the mind. He argues that we are not our senses, but we are our thoughts and memories. He links mental formations—the knowledge of the sensation, the valence of the sensation, the perception of the object, and the creation of thoughts and feelings—to the four Jewish mystical worlds. Roth instructs the reader how to obtain clarity of mind through Jewish anecdotes and Hebrew expressions, which are drawn from both normative Judaism and Jewish mysticism.

By learning to perceive the mind from outside the body, the mind becomes just another controllable organ. The power of words is as important to Roth as it is to Gorran. Thus, the focus of Jewish meditation is God, and prayers drawn from the daily Jewish liturgy become meditation mantras.

It is unclear whether the message in these books is intended to supplement or supplant rabbinic Judaism. Although traditional Judaism has withstood the test of time, until the twentieth century Judaism never had to survive in a democracy. Also, traditional Judaism values community over the individual. These forms of non-traditional Judaism appear to value the individual over the community. We will only know looking back through a long view of history if such things as meditation and right thinking can keep unaffiliated and disaffected Jews strongly bound to the faith, if not the traditional laws.

Dr. Fred Reiss is a retired public and Hebrew school teacher and administrator. He is the author of The Standard Guide to the Jewish and Civil Calendars and Ancient Secrets of Creation: Sepher Yetzira, the Book that Started Kabbalah, Revealed. His latest book, Reclaiming the Messiah was published in December 2008. He can be reached through his web site, www.fredreissbooks.com



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The revival of The Fantasticks is, well, fantastic!

By Cynthia Citron 

LOS ANGELES- Sometimes a corny, old-fashioned, totally out-of-date musical can charm you right out of your boots and remind you, once again, why the theater, for you at least, has always been such a magical place. You never know what wizardry is going to come at you from across the footlights.

Such a musical is The Fantasticks, that old chestnut that played non-stop off-Broadway from 1960 to 2002 and has recently been given a sparkling new revival at UCLA’s Freud Theater as the last Reprise production of their 2009 season. This production, directed by Reprise Theatre Company’s new artistic director, Jason Alexander, stars Eric McCormack (best known as Will of TV’s Will & Grace) as the swashbuckling El Gallo. McCormack, who has an extraordinarily fine voice, cuts a dashing figure with his neatly trimmed moustache and beard and his skin-tight leather pants. Who knew he was such a hunk?

Like the Stage Manager in Our Town, El Gallo’s role is to explain to the audience what is going on, in addition to imparting to the two young lovers his cynical view of the world. He starts off, however, singing his beautiful tribute to youth and young love,
"Try to Remember," and urges those who remember those halcyon days to follow him into the real world to experience the inevitable vicissitudes of life.

The enchanted young lovers, Matt (Lucas Grabeel) and Luisa (Alison Woods) have grown up living next door to each other and have fallen in love despite the fact that their families have been feuding forever and have even constructed a wall between their properties to preclude all contact between them. Here Tom Jones, who wrote the book and lyrics, and Harvey Schmidt, who wrote the music, have borrowed from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as well as from Edmond Rostand’s The Romancers. (Rostand, you will remember, is also the author of the better-known “Cyrano de Bergerac.”)

In the case of The Fantasticks, however, the “family feud” is a sham concocted by the fathers to motivate their children to fall in love, on the assumption that children will always do what their parents have forbidden them to do. In this Reprise version, Luisa’s father is played by a sprightly Harry Groener, but Matt’s father has been transmogrified into his mother, a frumpy, no-nonsense Eileen T’Kaye. Together they perform two show-stopping numbers: Never Say No and later, with El Gallo, as they plot an unlikely abduction scenario, It Depends on What You Pay.

By the second act, disenchantment has set in and the two young lovers have begun to doubt their feelings. Matt is
feeling hemmed in and deprived of the adventures he had wanted to seek. Moreover, he recognizes Luisa for the “spoiled little princess” that she is. She, on the other hand, is regretting having made a commitment at such a young age. Both of them need a little maturing and ripening, and so they separate to pursue their dreams.

It’s a foregone conclusion, of course, that it will all turn out well in the end (no spoiler alert here!), but first each of

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Eric McCormack in The Fantasticks

the young lovers goes through a period of darkness and despair, guided by El Gallo and his two wacky accomplices. Those two (Barry Dennen and Hap Lawrence) are itinerant actors: the former a rag-tag Shakespearean malapropper, the latter a man whose sole talent is dramatic death scenes. (In fact, he is listed in the program as “The Man Who Dies.”)

Rounding out this assortment of fantasy characters is Kimberly Mikesell as The Mute, a speechless sprite who flits around the stage silently introducing and enhancing the action. Mikesell is a lovely ballerina, and her delicate dances are like whispered poetry.

The Fantasticks at the Freud Theatre, like the original version that played for 42 uninterrupted years at New York’s Sullivan Theatre, takes place on a small stage with a minimum of props. In the current production the set is designed by Bradley Kaye, augmented by expressive lighting designed by Driscoll Otto and droll costuming by Kate Bergh. All in all, a thoroughly delightful production.

As a P.S., I would remind you that the man who first played El Gallo, back in 1960 was a terrific Broadway song-and-dance man named Jerry Orbach. His long career as an actor, however, is probably best remembered for his 12 years as the tough-talking detective Lennie Briscoe on TV’s Law and Order.

He died in 2004, but during a 2007 revival of The Fantasticks a small off-Broadway theater in the Times Square neighborhood was named for him.

A fitting tribute to a much-loved actor and the wonderful musical he introduced. And, here from YouTube, is Ohrbach singing Try to Remember at a White House reception.

Bureau chief Citron's email: citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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U.S. junior soccer players who'll compete in Maccabiah
connected by Internet but distances prevent practices

By Noam Baltinester

SAN DIEGO--The 2009 Israel Maccabia games will be the 18th Maccabia in the world. Jews from all over the world will gather to compete for the same things, to represent their country, and come home with the gold medal. Over 9,000 athletes will be in Israel at the same time competing, but don’t be fooled, these games are not only competitions, like other world events such as the Olympics, but there will also be days of traveling around Israel, going to concerts, making a bonfire. It is a social time, just as much as it is a competitive environment.

After the Junior USA Boy’s Soccer try-outs, I was one out of twenty kids chosen to play on this team. Only twenty kids were able to make the roster out of the 60+ that had attended the tryouts. When I got the letter in the mail, I just could not control myself. Being overwhelmed with excitement, all I could think of doing was to go upstairs to my room, and start telling everyone I knew (or lots of people I knew).

Besides the fact of playing in the Israel Maccabia games, knowing that I was one of the better Jewish soccer players of my age (those born in 1993 and 1994) around the country was just an extraordinary feeling. But that’s not the thing I am happy about today.

In just a month and a half (June 28th), I will be on my way to Israel getting ready to compete in the 18th Israel Maccabia games. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there is nothing to stop me now from taking full advantage of it. About 2 weeks of training (and trips) then about another week of games. All of my teammates and I are much excited and cannot wait for it all to just start. We all think that our Junior USA Boy’s team has the caliber to win gold and come home happy, but we also know that every game will be a hard game, and that there will be no room for mistakes. Seeing that opposition
teams are from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Israel, Mexico, Russia, and

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South Africa, we will most likely be the underdogs in most if not all of the games.

All of the USA teams that are competing in team sports such as soccer, or basketball, or volleyball, have a big disadvantage compared to other countries. While there are more people to choose from in the US, and the possibility of a better team, there is no way to have the team fly out somewhere every week in order to train with their team. In other countries, most of the Jewish population will be settled in one general location, so the possibility of having practices before they reach Israel is a lot more likely than it is for the American teams.

Seeing that the Junior USA Boy’s soccer team is already much connected through the internet, I do not believe that the team chemistry will be a problem. Most of the players have already gotten to know each other, and have formed friendships. The two-week training camp in Israel will help us get to know each
other as soccer players, and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That way it will be easier to play, and predict where the other is going to go in order to deliver a good pass. Team chemistry is one of the most important things a team needs.

Meeting the other players from around the world will be a sensational feeling. I hope that I will be able to befriend many of the other international kids, and stay connected for the next couple years, if not for life.

The next time I will be able to play in the Israel Maccabia games will be in the summer of 2013. That is a long way to go and anything can happen in that time. Right now my mind needs to be on this summer’s Israel Maccabia games. Keeping my eye on the prize will be the only way through, but having that to balance with having fun and meeting new people will be a hard task.

I hope it all goes well, and may the Junior USA Boy’s Soccer Team have a great time (as well as everyone else), but lets come home knowing that we represent the Jewish community of the United States of America!!!

Baltinester is a 9th grader at San Diego Jewish Academy. We thank his teacher, Lisa Bodziner, for recommending that he send it to us.

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A Bissel Jewish Sports trivia with Bruce Lowitt

OLDSMAR, Florida—Q: Who had the first .400 season batting average in the minor-league Southern Association’s history and, on June 30, 1938, had the last hit in Philadelphia's crumbling Baker Bowl?

(a) Harry Rosenberg

(b) Lou Rosenberg

(c) Steve Rosenberg

(d) Phil Weintraub

Background: He was a .295 lifetime batting average playing for the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies in seven seasons from 1933-45. On April 20, 1944, he had 11 runs batted in, tied for second all-time, with a home run, a triple and two doubles as the Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodger 26-8.

Please click here for answer


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

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 6

Good friends of Mrs. Sue Gruenberg gathered at a luncheon party in her honor last Saturday, at Valles, prior to her trip East.  Mrs. Gruenberg will be in New York in time for the National Sisterhood Convention.  She will also visit New Orleans and Dallas where she will spend some time with her daughter Shirley Alweis.

It was a double celebration at the Admiral Kidd Club last Saturday for the Slayens.  Al was celebrating his birthday and Mr. and Mrs. Morris Slayen their eleventh wedding anniversary.
Among those attending the S. D. Philharmonic Society Luncheon last week were Rabbi and Mrs. Morton J. Cohn, Mmes. Henry Weinberger, Joseph Krone, Charles Silverman, Elliott Benedict, Joseph Kwint, Louis Steinman, Arthur Guyer, Maxwell Kaufman, Ossie Ehrlich, and Bruno Ussher.  Seated at the speakers’ table were Louis Rinds of Vista, Dr. Bruno Ussher, and Maxwell Kaufman.

Mrs. Jennie Drogin is leaving Sunday for an extended visit in the East.  She will visit friends and relatives in New York City, Brookline, Mass., and New Orleans.

The Jolly Sixteen Club gave a house warming party for the Milo Berensons in their beautiful new Presidio home.

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 6

I will share lovely home with 1 or 2 people, ½ block to El Cajon, 4328 46th.


Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 6

20th—3rd Annual Music Festival—Tifereth Israel—8:15 p.m.
24th—Lasker Lodge “Father and Child Nite”—Temple Center, 8 p.m.
 29th—City of Hope Jr. Aux. Anniversary Card Party—North Park Lions Club—Eve.
30th—Tifereth Israel Seder.

2nd—Hillel Night—Temple Center—7:30 p.m.
12th—Guardians Annual Dinner Dance—Tops Restaurant.
14th—U.J.A. Women’s Division Luncheon—El Cortez Hotel.

Pardon My Sneeze
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 6

Written by Dr. Milton Millman of San Diego, a new book dealing with the problem of allergies, has just been published.  It is the story of allergy told in a humorous fashion.  Its pages, sprinkled with illustrations, explain the causes of allergies so that the average person can understand them.  Those people who have had some experience with allergies will be grateful for the forty-four pages of valuable recipes. 

Published locally the book is available at all book stores and sells for $3.50 (paper backs, $2.00).

Tifereth Israel Sisterhood
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 9

The April meeting of Tifereth Israel Sisterhood will be held on Tuesday, April 21st instead of the usual second Tuesday in the month.  The meeting will be called to order by president, Mrs. Alex J. Newman in the Synagogue, immediately following the luncheon which will be served at 12 noon.  The change from the regular meeting date of sisterhood is made so that members can attend the luncheon and meeting scheduled on April 14th by the Women’s Division of the United Jewish Fund.

Mrs. Harold Keen and Mrs. Victor Weiss, entertainment co-chairmen, have in store an unusually different program for the afternoon and they cordially invite the entire memberships’ attendance at the meeting.

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The current fund-raising project of Tifereth Israel Sisterhood, The Freezer Project, is progressing nicely.  The monies raised through this project will be used to furnish the kitchen in the new building which is nearing completion.  Members who need more tickets are asked to contact Chairman Räy Solomon—F-0105 or co-chairman Mary Gordon—B.2-2362.

Remember the Change in the April meeting date!  Meeting will be on Tuesday, April 21st at 12 Noon in the Synagogue.

Untitled Item{Wolf, Hutler}

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 9

Our subscribers in print—Dr. Ernest M. Wolf, had an article on “Martin Buber and German Jewry,” published in the October issue of Judaism ….Al Hutler has his report on the resettlement of displaced Persons in San Diego reprinted in the President’s Commission Report on Immigration and Naturalization—it goes into the Library of Congress, no less.

Passover Seder At Tifereth Israel
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 9

The Festival of Passover will begin Monday evening, March 30th, at which time Jews everywhere will celebrate the First Seder.

As in the past, Tifereth Israel Synagogue will have a public community Seder, with reservations limited to a comfortable capacity of the Social Hall.

A delicious and royal banquet with all the traditional foods, together with all you can drink, will be served in accordance with our accepted customs.  As always, a festive atmosphere of happiness and joy will prevail.  A number of service men will be special guests.

Please make reservations immediately ($5.00 for adults; $2.50 for children) by mailing your check, made out to Tifereth Israel Synagogue, to the office.

City of Hope Jr. Aux.
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 9

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  This is a call to all card players!  The City of Hope Junior Auxiliary is staging a mammoth anniversary Card Party at the North Park Lions club, 3927 Utah, Sunday evening, March 29.

Guests will be treated to luscious refreshments, prizes, plus an unforgettably good time, of course.  Players are requested to bring their own cards and mah-jong sets.  Donations will be only one dollar.

“Bring your card clubs, your friends over to the Lions Club, March 29,”suggests Selma Lindenfeld, chairman, and help the City of Hope Medical Center while you are helping yourself to an enjoyable evening!”

News of the Fox
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 10

The entire community is invited to our next meeting on March 24th at 8:30 p.m. at the Berth Jacob Synagogue.  We will be privileged to hear Rev. Peter Samson and Rabbi Monroe Levens on the timely subject of Brotherhood and have selected the theme “Why Can’t We Have Brotherhood Week Twelve Months of the Year.”

Rev. Samson and Rabbi Levens are well versed on this subject and will conduct a question and answer period at the conclusion of their talk.  Bring your friends and neighbors and enjoy a very interesting discussion.

Be sure to mark this date—March 24 at 8:30 p.m

“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our indexed "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" series
will be a daily feature until we run out of history.

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

Gary Shandling does a standup routine on his grandmother's shaking dog for Comic Relief

Wallace Shawn debates which wine is poisoned in "The Princess Bride"

Peter Riegert in "Crossing Delancey" with Amy Irving

Saul Rubinek dips into death in "Death Ship"

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

ISSUE DEDICATION: Today's issue is dedicated with happy birthday wishes to David Gmach


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

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