Volume 3, Number 118
 
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"
 

Today's Postings:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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

INTERNATIONAL
Obama's great risk: enemies who don't want to 'make nice' ...by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
Regarding the Obama-Netanyahu Meeting, please forgive the following: I... told...you...so... and I'm glad there's good news for once. U.S.-Israel relations are again on a firm footing. On that I was sure. But now here's some speculation.READ MORE

Why do Israelis argue? To show their love, commitment ... by Rabbi Dow Marmur in Toronto, Canada
My late mother was sure that I didn't love her when I stopped arguing with her. Whereas I tried to stay above petty disagreements, she didn't know the difference between confrontation and consensus.READ MORE

EDITOR'S MAILBOX: INTERNATIONAL

Stuart Eizenstat to represent U.S.at Holocaust Assets Conference READ MORE

Holocaust denial up, support for independent Israel down among Arab Israelis, pollster reports READ MORE

U.S. promoting private home ownership in JordanREAD MORE

Maccabi Haifa will face Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel basketball final READ MORE


THE JEWS DOWN UNDER ... A roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian

Jewish Charity rejects Jewish Actor over 'anti-Semitic' play MORE
Jewish Christian Muslim Assn: Statement on Israel and the Palestinians MORE
Protest against Iran, expert urges MORE
Jail for Holocaust denier Toben MORE
Perth man charged over anti-Semitic videos MORE
Anatomy of the Durban II policy MORE


EDITOR'S MAILBOX: NATIONAL
Senators Boxer, Levin pleased by proposed emission standards READ MORE

EDITOR'S MAILBOX: STATE AND LOCAL

Retirement party for Sheriff Kolender will benefit museum READ MORE
Assemblymember Block hosts green economy forum May 21 READ MORE
UJF Annual Meeting will bid goodbye to CEO Michael Rassler READ MORE
Jewish License Plate-Li Chaim READ MORE
Israeli businesses, investors at June 4 conference in Los Angeles READ MORE
Preschool Bike Day at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School READ MORE
Van Cliburn International hopeful will give concert at Beth El READ MORE
Great Day on Eldridge Street and klezmer concert set May 27 READ MORE
UC San Diego librarian Friedman named '2009 Mover & Shaker' READ MORE


JUDAISM
Bible in Pop Culture

God called the firmament "Heaven"
Genesis 1:8 SEE IMAGE

ARTS
Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo profound, memorable ... by Cynthia Citron in Culver City, California
You might not think an Associated Press story about the shooting of a Bengal tiger by an American soldier would stimulate a gifted playwright to create a profound, perverse and philosophical treatise on war, cross-cultural communication, and the nature of men and tigers. READ MORE


ADVENTURES IN SAN DIEGO JEWISH HISTORY
March 20, 1953; Southwestern Jewish Press

Hebrew Home For The Aged READ MORE
Fund Dinner March 25th to Open Fast Moving Campaign READ MORE
Temple Teens by Susan Solof READ MORE

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University of California Offers Extension Courses READ MORE
Guardians Sponsor Annual Dinner Dance READ MORE
Ida Nasatir to Be Honored At Women’s U.J.F. Luncheon READ MORE

JEWISH INTERNET FAVORITES
We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Barbara Streisand sings "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?" in concert VIEW VIDEO
Jeffrey Tambor wanted to tell the secret in "Arrested Development"VIEW VIDEO
Jessica Walter and William Shatner in TV series "For The People"VIEW VIDEO
Zoe Wanamaker as Susan in "My Family," British sitcom VIEW VIDEO

 

STAFF BOX

We thank John E. Finley for his photograph in Westminster, California of the Heavenly Couture store, which we matched with Genesis 1:8 in our continuing Bible in Pop Culture series. Have you spotted a place or thing with a biblically inspired or biblically remiscent name. Please send in a photo and receive a credit line in our online Pop Bible.

TODAY'S ADVERTISERS

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



DEDICATIONS

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.

NOTE
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!



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Obama's great risk: enemies who don't want to 'make nice'

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel—Regarding the Obama-Netanyahu Meeting, please forgive the following: I... told...you...so... and I'm glad there's good news for once. U.S.-Israel relations are again on a firm footing. On that I was sure. But now here's some speculation.

It could be that the Obama administration will be a two-act process on theMiddle East, though I hasten to add I am only talking about this issue and not about domestic or other foreign policy questions.

The first act, which will take up the rest of this year and perhaps theearly part of next year, will see a continuation of the effort atengagement which has had overtones of appeasement. But it will fail.

The heroes in this drama, by forcing Obama to shift in spite of himself, are Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Authority, with supporting roles for Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and a number of Arab regimes.
They won't let Obama's original policy work.

They will ensure that his popularity offensive bears no fruit.

They will be aggressive in Lebanon, showing openly their desire to take over the country and use it as a base for spreading radical Islamism.

Iran will continue going full-speed-ahead developing nuclear weapons, breaking any promises or commitments made to the United States.

Pakistan will not do more than the minimum against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Iran and Syria will continue sponsoring anti-American terrorism, including attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. Obama's plans for a withdrawal might actually increase such violence as Tehran and Damascus wants to make the U.S. departure look like a defeat.

Hamas will continue to be extreme, repressive in the Gaza Strip; eager to attack Israel.

The Palestinian Authority will not be helpful in advancing the peace process. Fatah, the Palestinian Authority's ruler will prefer trying to make peace with Hamas to making peace with Israel.

Syria will prefer its alliance with Iran to any rapprochement with the West.

There are a lot more examples that could be added to this list.

And then what will happen? Will Obama say: "My fellow Americans, we tried but they would not unclench their fists when we offered our hand?" Is this administration capable of reacting to reality and becoming something quite different than how it began?

I don't know the answer to that question but such a turn is starting to seem conceivable.

Remember, you can't just look at Obama's pre-election background, ideology, or even his intentions. You have to look


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at the fact that the enemies who he wants to treat as friends will treat him as an enemy. If they were different--less rigid or more clever--perhaps the Obama administration would turn out to be a disaster.

Of course he can ignore all the warning signs and refuse to learn about the Middle East, or listen to the worst officials he's appointed, to turn his term into a nightmare for the region.

So far, various issues are at a different point in educating this
administration. The course of instruction is most advanced on the inflexibility of Syria right now, moving ahead a bit on Iran, but least developed on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and engaging Islamist movements.

Not only are the radicals unable and unwilling to become moderates who love America and play nice, but the very confidence being generated in them by Obama's apparent retreats and regional events are making them more aggressive and adventurous.

If you think Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hizballah sounds extremist and anti-American now, wait till you hear what they say after they win upcoming elections.

But here's the bottom line: we are right about the forces of extremism, dictatorship, hatred, aggression, and would-be genocide.

And because we are right, perhaps the administration will be capable of learning this lesson as America's enemies make it increasingly obvious.

Even if this does happen, though, a great deal of ground can be lost by the signals it's been sending and the errors it's been making. Lebanon might well be under the control of the Iran-Syria bloc; any hope of stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons--already limited--will be altogether gone.

There is also the really scary question of how this administration would handle a big, dangerous crisis in the region. If such were to take place, especially during the current period of its thinking, the United States could be in serious trouble. Jimmy Carter gave us an Islamist revolution
in Iran and a Marxist one in Nicaragua. These crises were, of course, based on local situations but the terrible outcome was due to a major degree from U.S. policy failings.

Yet, yes, I think there is some hope that the Obama administration might change. Any such process will have loads of zigs and zags. The turning point could be too long delayed or never happen at all due to a lack of courage or flexibility or ideology.

Perhaps, though, even if based on the most politically motivated selfish interests, the administration will heed to some extent public opinion polls that disagree with its assessments of the Middle East.

And what if he doesn't change? Then Obama might be surprised by what will happen when he runs for reelection after having led the United States through a series of crises, humiliations and defeats.

We must continue criticizing the administration's serious mistakes, especially those trial balloons of bad ideas and the silly or outrageous statements made by specific officials. This effort can at least reduce the damage. In fact, I already believe it has done so.

I plan watch both skeptically and with an open mind every step of the way.

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.

 


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FROM THE SIDELINES

Why do Israelis argue? To show their love, commitment


By Rabbi Dow Marmur

TORONTO, Canada—My late mother was sure that I didn't love her when I stopped arguing with her. Whereas I tried to stay above petty disagreements, she didn't know the difference between confrontation and consensus. She would have been at home in Israel, many of whose founders came from the same Eastern European background but, alas, she never visited it.

I've tried to make up for it and have just returned after yet another winter there. I've been sufficiently shaped by the nonconfrontational Canadian style to have found the Israeli way at first difficult, but I'm discovering that what in our culture appears as aggression is, over there, often evidence of involvement and love.

David Brooks of The New York Times wrote in a column last month that "Israel is a country held together by argument." He regards its ambience as "one long cacophony of criticism" and describes it as "a tough, scrappy country, perpetually fighting for survival." I'm gradually adjusting to it; at times I even participate in it. The emails I send to friends from Israel often astound them because of my perceived cantankerousness.

But when they come to visit, though still askance at the abrasiveness, they admit they feel very much alive in Israel. The "disputatiousness," according to Brooks, "gives the country a special vividness." Most things that happen in Israeli society aren't just "out there" but are of personal concern to each and every one.

Paradoxically, this ambience also makes for a remarkable degree of unity. Brooks writes that "Israel is the most diverse small country imaginable," yet people on both the left and the right have very much in common, including "an intense sense of national mission" and "a hunger for emotionally significant moments."

And again: "Most important, this argumentative culture nurtures a sense of responsibility. The other countries in this region are more gracious, but often there is a communal unwillingness to accept responsibility for national problems. The Israelis, on the other hand, blame themselves for everything and work hard to get the most out of each person. From that wail of criticism things really do change."

That's why, when I'm there, I'm more likely to express critical views about a whole range of issues. I become more timid once back in Canada where I may also be intimidated by people on the left who are blindly hostile to Israel and those on the right who are uncritically supportive of it. The former see Israel in the gutter or want it in the grave, the latter put it on a pedestal and thus keep it out of reach,

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making it vulnerable to be toppled from its exalted position once it clashes with their often unrealistic expectations. Critical insiders, on the other hand, are usually fully committed to Israel, warts and all. I'm one of them.

Though virtually all who read this column in the Star of Toronto aren't Jewish and may never visit Israel, they're still likely to have strong opinions about what's going on there, whether based on prejudice or fact. That's why so many media outlets, including the Star, keep correspondents in Israel. Once you realize that the country is neither a war zone nor an idyllic biblical reserve, but a modern state whose citizens, despite their very different backgrounds, share the hopes and aspirations of people everywhere, you're open to being caught up in its vibrancy, even at a distance.

Israel also made me realize that I should have continued to argue with my mother. It may have helped us to come closer to each other and keep us more alert to the realities of living in the here and now.


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The Editor's Mailbag: International news of Jewish interest


Stuart Eizenstat to represent U.S.
at Holocaust Assets Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)--Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has asked Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, former Treasury Deputy Secretary and former Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, to head the U.S. Delegation to the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, taking place in Prague June 26 – 30, 2009.

Eizenstat also was the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996. He brings extensive experience in negotiating Holocaust claims issues, which he undertook during the administration of President Clinton.

The Prague Conference, hosted by the Czech Republic, is a follow-up to the 1998 Holocaust Era Assets Conference that took place in Washington, D.C. in 1998. At that time, then Under Secretary Eizenstat organized and led the U.S.-hosted conference.

The United States regards the Prague Conference as the most important opportunity of the decade to address the wrongs committed during the Nazi era. Representatives of some 49 countries, most of which were affected by Nazi crimes during World War II, and nearly two dozen NGOs have been invited to attend. The Conference will focus on immovable (real) property, Nazi-looted art, Holocaust education and remembrance, archival access, and the recovery of Judaica. In addition, there will be a session on the social welfare needs of survivors of Nazi persecution, an issue of great importance to the United States.

Ambassador Eizenstat will work in close coordination with Ambassador J. Christian Kennedy, the Department of State’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. Ambassador Kennedy heads the Office of Holocaust Issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Holocaust denial up, support for independent Israel down among Arab Israelis, pollster reports

HAIFA, Israel (Press Release)—Arab attitudes toward Israel and the Jewish majority are becoming more critical and militant over the past several years: only a minority of 41% of Israeli Arabs recognizes Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, compared to 65.6% who recognized this right in 2003.

In 2008, 40.5% claimed that the Holocaust never happened, compared to 28% in 2006. This is revealed in the annual index of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel launched in 2003 by Prof. Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa. The full details of the index were revealed Monday at a conference at the University of Haifa.

The 2008 index draws on face-to-face interviews with a representative national sample of 700 men and women from the Arab population in Israel (including Druze and Bedouins). The index reveals deterioration in Arab views of Israel and Jews. According to Prof. Smooha, Holocaust denial among Israeli Arabs crosses sectors, while 37% of those denying the Holocaust have post-secondary school and higher education.

Additionally, the index shows that 53.7% of Israeli Arabs recognize Israel's right to exist as an independent state, compared to 81.1% in 2003. 56% agree that the right of return of Arab refugees should only be to a future Palestinian state, compared to 72.2% in 2003.

41.4% said that they participated in the past year in protests, compared to 28.7% who did so in 2003, and 12.6% support use of all means, including violence, in the struggle to improve their situation, compared to 5.4% in 2003. 53.8% of Israeli Arabs claimed that they agree that Arabs study in Hebrew schools, a drop from 70.5% in 2003. 47.3% oppose the idea of having a Jewish neighbor, compared to 27.2% who expressed such opposition in 2003.

"This deterioration in Arab views is the outcome of a series of factors, such as the Second Lebanon War, the impasse with the Palestinians, the non-implementation of the Or Commission, the closing down of investigations against police officers who shot to death Arab demonstrators in October 2000, the publication of the Arab future vision documents calling for the transformation of Israel into a bi-national state, and more," Prof. Smooha said. Despite the deterioration in recent years, Prof. Smooha, who began polling Jewish-Arab public opinion in 1976, emphasized that in a perspective of the last 30 years, there has been no major change in the Israeli Arab stance.

"The overall non-escalation of Arab views between 1976 and 2008 refutes the widespread thesis held by the public at large, policy-makers, and academic researchers that Arab civilians are going through a process of radicalization in their views and are on the road to violent confrontation with the Jews and the state. The long-term lack of deterioration shows that the Arabs are actually going through a process of adjustment to the state and Jews, and that they are striving to achieve equal status with the Jews, and peace that is founded on the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. They have no real substitute for their lives as a minority in the State of Israel," Prof. Smooha concluded.



U.S. promoting private home ownership in Jordan

WASHINGTON, D.C (Press Release). – Fifty million dollars in financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will enable a bank in Jordan to expand homeownership for low-income families in the country, OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli announced Monday. The project directly supports the affordable housing goals of Jordan’s National Housing Initiative, established last year by King Abdullah.

OPIC will provide $50 million for a loan facility with Cairo Amman Bank. The facility will enable the bank to introduce 25-year, fixed-rate, local currency mortgages to lower-

income households in Jordan, qualified pursuant to guidelines issued by the nation’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) according to the housing initiative.

CHF International will serve as U.S. sponsor for the Project. The sponsor will provide technical oversight for the project, working with the bank to conduct a due diligence review of the bank’s origination and servicing procedures, and monitoring ongoing mortgage loan performance.

“This project will mobilize significant loan capital to finance the expansion of homeownership in Jordan, which in turn will increase the wealth-building capacity of lower income families in Jordan,” Dr. Spinelli said. “Ultimately, it will serve as a catalyst to attract future investment capital to the region by demonstrating the possibility of profitable mortgage lending to underserved markets. OPIC is pleased to support a project with so many positive developmental benefits.”

Dr. Spinelli added that the banking sector in Jordan is characterized by good asset quality, sound capitalization, high liquidity, increasing competition, and improving regulation. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), banks in Jordan are well capitalized, non-performing loan ratios are low, and strict loan classification and provisioning rules require banks to maintain adequate loan loss provisions.

King Abdullah of Jordan proclaimed 2008 the year of affordable housing in Jordan and led the development of the National Housing Initiative, under which potential homeowners can apply to the HUDC for approval to qualify for the program. The program goals are to construct 20,000 residences per year for the next five years with the first homes due for completion in 2009.

CHF is a US-based, not-for-profit international development and humanitarian assistance organization founded in 1952 as the Cooperative Housing Foundation. CHF’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for long-lasting, positive change in low- and moderate-income communities and has worked in over 100 countries worldwide.

OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971. It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers.

OPIC’s political risk insurance and financing help U.S. businesses of all sizes invest in more than 150 emerging markets and developing nations worldwide. Over the agency's 38-year history, OPIC has supported $188 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over 830,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $72 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 273,000 American jobs.

Preceding provided by Overseas Private Investment Corporation



Maccabi Haifa will face Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel basketball final


TEL AVIV, Israel (Press Release)— The Maccabi Haifa Heat won a historic semi-final game against the second seed Hapoel Jerusalem, 98-93, in overtime on Tuesday at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv to advance to the Finals.

The Haifa Heat led for the first three quarters with strong defense and great three-point shooting by Haifa’s role players Moshe Mizrahi and Gur Porat. However, in the fourth quarter Hapoel Jerusalem went on a stunning 23-0 run to take an 8-point lead, 74-68, with 4:19 left in regulation.

The Haifa Heat battled back by playing relentless defense and hitting clutch free throws down the stretch. Haifa trailed, 84-82, before Haifa’s Malik Dixon hit a tough layup to tie the score at 84-84 with 10.3 seconds left in the game. Haifa had a chance to win the game when Haifa’s All-Premier League First Team Guard, Doron Perkins, stole the ball from Jerusalem’s Timmy Bowers, but missed a last second layup forcing overtime.

Haifa had the momentum in overtime as they maintained the lead the entire quarter, earning a thrilling 98-93 victory. The Haifa Heat’s Davon Jefferson, who starred at USC last season, scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Perkins, who played at Santa Clara University, nearly had a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

Haifa will face the 47-time League Champions Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Finals at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv on Thursday, May 21st. The first seed Maccabi Tel Aviv won its semi-final game in close fashion, 72-70, against Galil Gilboa in the later game on Tuesday. The Finals will be broadcast live online on Triangleinternet.tv at 1:50 PM ET. Maccabi Haifa was one of the original eight teams to form the Premier League in 1954 and is still vying for its first national championship in the club's history.

The Haifa Heat were purchased by Triangle Sports Chairman and New Jersey native, Jeffrey Rosen, in July of 2007. Under second-year owner Mr. Rosen, the team earned a promotion to the Premier League (Israel’s top division) this season and is now competing for a national championship.

Preceding provided by Marty Appel Public Relations


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


Jewish Charity rejects Jewish Actor over 'anti-Semitic' play

MELBOURNE-A prominent Jewish actor has been dropped from a fundraiser run by a Jewish welfare organisation because she is in a controversial play about Israel.

British actor Miriam Margolyes was due to appear at a fundraiser last week at an elderly people's home in Caulfield run by Jewish Care.

But her appearance was cancelled at the last moment because of her involvement in a performance next week of the play Seven Jewish Children, according to one of the play's
organisers, the lobby group Australians for Palestine.

Moammar Mashni, spokesman for Australians For Palestine, said Margolyes was told by Jewish Care that it was cancelling her invitation because the play "could cause pain to Holocaust survivors who are residents at the home."

Seven Jewish Children, an eight-minute play by English writer Caryl Churchill and also featuring Max Gillies, will be performed in Melbourne next Monday. It has been condemned by some critics as anti-Semitic.

But Margolyes, who lives in Sydney and is now appearing in the Melbourne Theatre Company play Realism, last night said in a statement issued by Australians for Palestine: "I think they're quite wrong, I would never get involved with anything
which was either anti-Semitic or critical of Holocaust survivors.

"I feel they're making a terrible mistake and I am very sad because I was truly looking forward to appearing there."

She added: "I support Jewish Care in the UK both
in appearances and with donations. And I will continue to do so."

Jewish Care did not have a spokesman immediately available.

When performed in Britain, the play was condemned by The Spectator magazine as "an open vilification of the Jewish people", but drew praise from other critics.

Jeremy Jones, of the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, said he had not read the play, but said: "Most of the people who you would take seriously on the question of racial vilification have labelled it anti-Semitic."

The play consists of seven short movements about crucial stages in the history of Israel: the Holocaust, the aftermath of war, the settlement of Israel in 1948, the displacement of the Arabs, the Six-Day War, the Intifada and the war in Gaza, which began in December 2008.

The play uses the device of adults debating how to tell a child about the world. A typical exchange: "Tell her they want to drive us into the sea/Tell her they don't/Tell her they want to
drive us into the sea./Tell her we kill far more of them/Don't tell her that."

Margolyes said previously about taking part in the play: "I think it's very important that Jewish people who think as I do . should say, 'Look, we're Jews, and we want Israel to survive,
but not like this, not by killing other people.' "

*
There are a number of positive initiatives in the community to promote harmony between Jews, Christians and Moslems in the face of growing conflicts. Below is an example of one of these.


Jewish Christian Muslim Assn.

Statement on Israel and the Palestinians

We, the signatories to this Statement, are members of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia, an association formed in 2003 and supported by the Victorian peak bodies of the three Abrahamic faiths. We have come together, following the recent hostilities in Gaza and in recognition of the need for all to maintain dialogue with each other. We believe that we share a common humanity and a common set of values about the sanctity of human life. We
are deeply distressed by the events in Gaza earlier this year.

We fervently pray, as Jews, Christians and Muslims, for an end to the conflict between the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples. We seek a just and lasting peace; we desire that the people
of the region should live with renewed hope for the future, free of fear, in decent living conditions and in economic security. We affirm our commitment to continue to engage in honest dialogue with each other.

Statement

* We acknowledge and express our sympathy for the deep pain suffered by the victims of the conflict and by the families of the many innocent civilians, Palestinian and Israeli, who have died as a result. We grieve for the loss of innocent lives on both sides.

* We call upon all parties to the conflict to recognise the aspirations of the other for their peoples to live in peace, security and prosperity with all the freedoms and human rights granted by our common Creator.

* We call upon Hamas and others to cease missile and other attacks upon Israel and its citizens and for Israel to cease all military operations in Gaza. As described in international
law, we acknowledge that both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to protect their citizens. However, we are deeply disturbed by any violent action that results in the loss of
civilian lives and destruction of non-military infrastructure and we call upon all parties to employ diplomatic strategies that avoid such losses.

* We express our support for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel and believe that it has the
right to exist and prosper in the Middle East within secure, mutually recognised and internationally guaranteed borders.

* We believe that the state of Israel has the right to exist and prosper in the Middle East within secure, mutually recognised and internationally guaranteed borders.

* We reject the policy of Hamas, enshrined in its Covenant, which denies the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state; we further reject its desire to bring about Israel's destruction and
call upon Hamas to amend its Covenant so that it recognises Israel's right to exist.

* We call upon Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to exercise the primary obligation to pursue a peaceful and prosperous life for the Palestinians in coexistence with their neighbours.

* We call upon the Government of Israel to pursue policies which support a peaceful and prosperous life for the Palestinians in coexistence with their neighbours.

* We are thankful that a ceasefire, albeit imperfect and temporary, has been announced, and pray that the recent hostilities, and the violent actions that preceded it, come to a complete end.

* We acknowledge with gratitude those people of all faiths and none, Israelis, Palestinians and others from around the world who are working on the ground to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to work for peace and reconciliation, to
protect the innocent, and to care for the injured, bereaved and displaced, often at considerable risk to themselves.

* We believe that the conflict cannot be resolved through violence and that ultimately the only way forward is for the parties to the conflict to meet in order to find mutually agreed
ways to bring the conflict to a peaceful end. We are deeply saddened by the use of violence, which often results in more violence, hatred and retaliation.

* We call upon Israel, the Palestinians, their neighbours committed to a peaceful solution, and the international aid community, to find practical ways to provide immediate and
substantial humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, so that the aid reaches those who need it and to ensure that the smuggling of arms into Gaza is stopped.

* We consider it unacceptable that decades after the wars that the people of Gaza have experienced, many are still living in squalid refugee camps, with inferior conditions of housing, education and medical services. We ask that a respected international agency, mutually agreed by both sides to the conflict, be invited to establish an Economic Commission to recommend ways of improving the Gazan economy and the
living standards of the people of Gaza, so that their hopes for the future may be restored.

* We note that silence at critical times can also be damaging to community relationships. We call on community leaders to speak out, using language designed to foster understanding, compassion and respect.

* We are concerned about the increase in anti-Jewish incidents, anti-Israel incidents and anti-Muslim incidents, both here and in many parts of the world, and denounce any attempt to incite hatred against any of our faith communities in Australia.

* We are committed, despite differences in our religious traditions, our political positions and our personal understandings of the complex history of the long-standing conflict, to continue to engage with one another and to
encourage others in our faith communities to become involved in dialogue, here in Australia and globally.

May the God who created us all help us to become imbued with justice and compassion so that ways may be found in these troubled times to bring about peace and reconciliation between peoples in conflict.

Signatories:
Maureen Postma (Chair) and Philip Newman (Secretary) of the JCMA Board
Tony Levy and Paul Gardner AM
Riad Galil and Mark Pedersen
Jewish Christian Muslim Association


Protest against Iran, expert urges

MELBOURNE - An anti-Semitism expert has called on the world to protest Iran's human-rights abuses in the same way it called for the rights of Soviet Refuseniks and an end to apartheid in South Africa.

Dr Charles Small -- this year's Gandel orator -- said last Sunday that Jewish people, especially students, should raise awareness of human rights abuses in Iran and President Ahmadinejad's attempts to incite genocide.

They ought to protest visibly, encourage governments to impose stricter sanctions and boycott companies that do business with Iran, he said.

"Israel is on the front line," Dr Small said. "We need to confront this issue. I believe when someone says they are going to kill over and over ... I think we need to respect them and take them very seriously."

Dr Small also addressed the increasing problem of anti-Semitism around the globe.

He said that historically there had been three types of anti-Semitism: a theological phase, when Jews were seen as the wrong religion; an ethnic phase, when Jews were seen as "problematic" to the White race and a nationalist phase, when Jews were considered strangers in a land they had lived in for generations.

New anti-Semitism combined all three types, he said, and in addition Israel is seen as a "focal point" or pariah."

"Israel becomes the garbage bin or trash can of all insults possible," he added.

Anti-Semitic material no longer acceptable in the West, such as "horrible caricatures and images of Jews" and copies of The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, are also appearing in the Middle East.

And the economic crisis could also cause some people to look for a Jewish scapegoat for their problems.

"These are the conditions that are ripe for the re-emergence of hatred," Dr Small said, and added that people should read the Hamas Charter, the writings of the Ayatollah Khomeni and understand fatwas, or Islamic rulings, so they could find
out for themselves what radical Islamists think of Jews.

"There is power in education, if we want to understand a situation we have to understand our enemies," he said.

Dr Small, the founder and director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism in the United States, visited Australia as a guest of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission.

He spoke in Melbourne, visited Canberra to meet federal politicians and will delivered the Gandel Oration in Sydney before returning to America

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Jail for Holocaust denier Toben

ADELAIDE- Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben received a three-month jail term for contempt of court on Wednesday (May 13).

He was found guilty in the Federal Court of continuing to publish material denying the Holocaust happened on the website of his Adelaide Institute.

Judge Bruce Lander ordered Toben be jailed for three months and he ordered him to pay court costs of almost $230,000.

But the 65-year-old Toben has won a 14-day reprieve to file appeal papers and remains out of police custody.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) president Robert Goot said that he was "satisfied" with the judge's decision to impose a jail sentence.

"The ECAJ didn't propose any particular punishment, but it is gratified that the court saw the contempt as so serious that it warrants a term of imprisonment."

The Federal Court found Toben guilty of 24 charges of contempt for publishing the material in defiance of a 2002 Federal Court order to cease the activities.

The court order resulted from a civil action taken by former ECAJ president Jeremy Jones under the federal Racial Discrimination Act.

Toben has been quoted as saying he does not regret his actions and reportedly stated earlier that he would prefer imprisonment over a fine.

Justice Lander said Toben continued to breach the orders, including publishing a document on the morning of the penalty hearing, scandalising the court.

"Evidence showed a continuing public defiance of the authority of the court," he said.

Toben's lawyer David Perkins argued his client should be able to serve the custodial sentence in home detention and requested time to appeal.

Despite noting that Toben's reasons for seeking an appeal "were a very late invention," Justice Lander stayed the jail sentence to enable Mr Perkins to submit the necessary paperwork.

"The world is my prison; where can I run to?" Toben told reporters outside court. "I am under legal advice, but I am quite prepared to sacrifice my physical comforts for the sake of free expression."

Adelaide Institute acting director Peter Hartung said the website would continue to operate should Toben be absent. "Dr Toben has shown himself to be a man of great integrity who will not bend . Even prison will not make him recant his views," he said.


Perth man charged over
anti-Semitic videos

PERTH-- A Western Australian man has been charged under racial vilification laws for allegedly circulating anti-Semitic videos on the internet.

The Security Investigation Group of the Western Australian Police took Brendon O'Connell, 38, into custody on May 13 and charged him with conduct intended to incite racial animosity or racist harassment.

The videos, feature a man in Perth's CBD vilifying Jewish people. The police allege the video targets Judaism and Jewish people.

Throughout the video, the man, believed to be O'Connell, variously speaks of the "Jewish, Zionist criminal network" and Jews as "racist, homicidal maniacs".

He blames the Holocaust on "Jewish Zionist bankers" and attributes responsibility for 40 million Russian deaths to Jewish people.

He also engages a Jewish youngster in an argument, screaming at him "You slaughter Palestinians as if they were ducks ... you rape and kill their little children".

Dr Keith Shilkin, president of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia, condemned the video in the strongest terms.

"The video itself is the most evil and disgusting level of anti-Semitism that we hear about short of physical anti-Semitism," Dr Shilkin said. "It is filled with hateful diatribes."

He said the video had upset people who had seen it, most of whom were very surprised that such an incident could take place in their city.

"Of all the cities, Perth has not had this sort of thing for a long time this was overt, on the web and disseminated."

Dr Shilkin said students at Perth's only Jewish school, Carmel School, had been spoken to about the video. There were reassured they were safe and warned not to engage in public protests in case they came to harm.

He added that O'Connell had been known to some members of the Jewish community as a member of Friends of Palestine, but more importantly, as a "serial pest."


Anatomy of the Durban II policy

MELBOURNE -Critics like to call it a mighty beast with money and influence, but an investigation by a Jewish community body into what many call the "Jewish lobby" has discovered a small, passionate collection of individuals and groups, who utilise their right to promote their views to elected members of parliament.

Granted, many of those individuals hold elected community positions, but they carry out the same entitlement to lobby that is exercised every day of the year by other individuals and groups, including environmentalists, the alcohol
industry, aged-care advocates and Christian groups.

The UN conference, also known as Durban II, first appeared on the community's horizon about 18 months ago, when a delegation from the National Council of Jewish Women Australia (NCJWA) expressed concern about what was likely to happen.

Dr Geulah Solomon, who attended Durban I in 2001, gave a harrowing account of the event and the NCJWA visit to Canberra kicked off an unusually united effort by the community.

In July 2008, the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) brought Professor Anne Bayefsky to Australia. Prof Bayefsky -- possibly the most vocal opponent of the Durban Review Conference -- recommended that Australia withdraw.

Mark Dreyfus QC, a new federal MP and a Jew with a strong sense of justice, heard Prof Bayefsky and decided to advocate from within government for Australia's withdrawal from the conference. Dreyfus' electorate in Melbourne's south has very few Jewish residents.

At the same time, the ADC and the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) prepared briefing notes, which were circulated to community leaders, including Robert Goot, who is president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

Over the next six months, Goot and Philip Chester, the president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, led the way, arguing for Australia's withdrawal from the conference.

They were assisted by roof body organisations in other states. Jewish community representatives met both with government ministers and backbenchers from both sides of parliament.

They succeeded in holding candid discussions with many MPs and senators. They also succeeded in gaining wider attention for the issue, when parliamentarians agreed to raise the Durban Review Conference in Senate Estimates and Question Time.

Professor Douglas Kirsner, public affairs chair for the ADC and one of the people attending Canberra meetings, described it as "pushing an open door".

Senior members of government reiterated this point, emphasising that they were happy to listen to what the Jewish community had to say.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith during a recent interview said "The Australian Jewish community is a very important part of our community and I always listen carefully to its views."

He rejected outright the idea that he was beholden to the demands of the Jewish community.

"If I were to have followed the views expressed by the Jewish community representatives, then Australia would have withdrawn a considerable time ago. It has been the argument of the Australian Jewish community for some time that
Australia should withdraw and I've said to the community that I want to give the process every opportunity."

Last month, Labor Senator Michael Forshaw, chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, also rejected the idea that there was a Jewish lobby that hijacked Australia's foreign ­policy.

"Why shouldn't they come and lobby us?" Senator Forshaw asked. "That's the right of any group ... it's a great, healthy sign of our ­democracy."

ADC research director Deborah Stone, who was involved in preparing much of the ADC's material on the Durban Review Conference, agreed.

"Lobbying is not an insidious secret power, it's democracy at work," she said. "Representative government is based on the assumption that government listens and understands the issues of its constituents. As members of Australia's
complex multicultural society, we have not only the right, but also the responsibility to make sure government knows our issues of concern and makes informed choices."

Goot agreed. "I think lobbies are a fundamental part of the democratic process."

He even went so far as to call the ECAJ a lobby group, but said it did not necessarily push Israel's barrow.

"We looked at it [the Durban Review Conference] in terms of Australia's best interests," Goot said. "We were trying to convey that it was in Australia's interests to stay away."

Dr Colin Rubenstein is possibly Australia's best-known Jewish lobbyist. He has been AIJAC's executive director for 25 years.

AIJAC differs from other Jewish community organisations, in that it is privately funded. It also differs in that it is better funded.

Unlike Goot, Dr Rubenstein is reluctant to refer to AIJAC as a lobby group. Instead, he describes it as an organisation that engages in advocacy and promotes values, interests and policy objectives.

Dr Rubenstein said AIJAC was involved in the community effort to expose the Durban Review Conference as a potential "ground zero" for anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing.

He said the effort was a "repeat of a lesson we know." That lesson, he said, was to consult widely on issues, to form a consensus and to act in the interests of the community.

He pointed to the Rambam program -- an AIJAC-funded project that sends opinion-makers, including politicians, on all-expenses paid trips to Israel -- as an example of the organisation's good work.

The idea behind Rambam, he said, is that "we want them, as Australian opinion-makers, to have a better grasp and understanding of the conflict in the Middle East".

The program has been highly successful. Over time, politicians have praised Rambam and said their understanding of the Middle East was more nuanced after witnessing it firsthand.

There is no evidence that professional Jewish groups collude to lobby the Government to work in favour of the Jewish community or Israel.

According to Professor Kirsner, the Australian Jewish community does not collaborate or band together to lobby elected politicians. "I don't think the community is united enough to have a Jewish lobby, even if it were a good idea."

Australian Bureau chief Fabian may be contacted at fabiang@sandiegojewishworld.com

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WASHINGTON ROUNDUP

Editor's Mailbag: National news of Jewish interest




Senators Boxer, Levin pleased by
proposed emission standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Proposed new emission standards promulgated by the Obama Administration prompted comments from a pair of Jewish public officials on Monday. Among them were:

Senator Barbara Boxer, (Democrat, California): "I am very pleased by the reports that the Obama Administration has brought together the federal government, the State of California, and the auto industry behind new national automobile emissions standards that follow California's lead. This is good news for all of us who have fought long and hard to reduce global warming pollution, create clean energy jobs, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil."

Senator Carl Levin, (Democrat, Michigan): “The Administration’s anticipated announcement for joint EPA-DOT regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy contains two important elements that I have been fighting for over many years. First, it will establish a single national standard that will provide predictability and certainty for the auto companies in meeting regulations, which the industry apparently believes it can achieve over a realistic timeframe.

Second, it will ensure that these regulations are based upon size and other vehicle attributes and not based on the outdated fleet average system that is highly discriminatory against American manufacturers. We were able to achieve that new approach in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and it has since been implemented by the Department of Transportation for model year 2011. It is the only fair way to regulate fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.

“It should also be noted that the EPA authorities to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, which will be relied on at this time, are based on provisions of the Clean Air Act that direct the agency to regulate if it determines that greenhouse gas emissions can ‘reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare’ and not on other parts of the Clean Air Act.”



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Editor's Mailbag: Local and state news of Jewish Interest
Items for us? Please send them to editor@sandiegojewishworld.com


Jewish public officials


Retirement party for Sheriff Kolender will benefit museum

SAN DIEGO--Friends are honoring retiring Sheriff Bill Kolender (at right) for his 50 years in law enforcement on June 27 at the Hacienda Hotel in Old Town, close to the Sheriff's Museum at 2384 San Diego Avenue, which will be renamed in honor of the Jewish law enforcement official as the "William B. Kolender San Diego County Sheriff's Museum and Educational Center."

Tickets for the charitable event are $30 per person, with various levels of sponsorship ranging from $500 to $5,000. Proceeds will benefit the Sheriff's Museum.

According to an invitation, "The museum holds a special place of honor for Sheriff Kolender as it was under his encouragement that the HDSA (Honorary Deputy Sheriff's Association) purchased the commercial building in Old Town and began the remodeling projects to transform the space into a museum for the Sheriff's Department.

"Kolender partnered with Mary Walsh, a prime mover in the founding and development of the Sheriff's Museum and chief of Staff to the Sheriff, to encourage the efforts of HDSA omake the dream of a permanent Sheriff's Museum a reality. The core museum artifacts were collected, preserved and maintained by Retired Sheriff Deputy Don VAn Hooser, the official Department historian, until they were finally moved to their now permanent home at the museum. The museum was originally dedicated on November 17, 2001."

Kolender, who had served as San Diego's police chief before becoming sheriff, "has brought to the citizens an open and honest code of conduct, community oriented policing and through his actions built a solid core of public trust," the invitation said. "Kolender became the County's Sheriff on January 2, 1995, serving with distinction for fourteen years of challenging evens for the Department and for the County of San Diego."

The sheriff officially retires on July 2. More information about the event at (619) 260-1850.

Preceding based on material from Sheriff's Museum


Assemblymember Block hosts green economy forum May 21

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)--Assemblymember Marty Block (Democrat, San Diego) will hold a forum on the blossoming "green economy and new jobs from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2009, at the Tubman Chavez Multicultural Center, 415 N. Euclid Avenue.

Joining him will be panelists Julian McQueen of Green for All and Else Barboza of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE).

This forum is designed to provide community members
with the opportunity to learn about upcoming economic, employment andenvironmental justice trends for San Diego-especially the developing "green jobs" sector of the economy.

For additional information on the forum or to RSVP please
contact the District Office of Assemblymember Marty Block at (619) 462-7878.


Jewish community organizations


UJF Annual Meeting will bid goodbye to CEO Michael Rassler

SAN DIEGO--The United Jewish Federation of San Diego County will bid farewell to Michael Rassler, its chief executive officer, and will install new board members at its annual meeting at noon Thursday, June 11, at UJF headquarters at 4950 Murphy Canyon Road.

Nominated as officers and board members in the 2009-2010 fiscal year are: Andra Oster, board chair; Kenneth D. Polin, immediate past board chair; David Geffen, Theresa Dupuis, Terri Bignell and Jan Tuttleman, vice presidents with various portfolios; Gary Kornfeld, treasurer-secretary; Laura Tauber, Women's Divison Campaign chair; Micahel Flaster, Jewish Community Relations Council Chair; Murray Galinson, Jewish Community Foundation Chair; Danielle Schulman, Young Adult Division Co-Chair; and Betty Brynes, Richard Effress, Claire Ellman, Robert Fink, Marty Klitzner, Brian Miller, Tammy Moch, Gary Shekhter, Brian Tauber and Kevin Wechter, directors at large.

Reservations for the kosher luncheon may be made with Tamekia at (858) 737-7152 or tamekia@ujfsd.org
.

Preceding based on information provided by the United Jewish Federation



TO LIFE—Melanie Rubin, super sleuth of Jewish license plates, found this variation on L'chaim, to life.

Israeli businesses, investors at June 4 conference in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES --The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles is sponsoring a colloquium with Israeli investors and companies and American companies already doing business with Israel or interested n doing so.

Consul General Jacob Dayan described the Israel Conference as a “unique opportunity to meet with top minds and venture investors ranging from Intel and Sequoia to Canaan Partners and Pitango.” 

Among presentations will be “The Secret Sauceof Israeli Creativity” by Yossi Vardi; “Media in Motion” by Erel Maralit; “Innovation and Amazing Companies” by Eric Benhamou, and “Israel’s Economic Outlook” by a representative of the Milken Institute.

Various sessions at the June 4 conference at the Luxe Hotel will cover such topics as high tech, clean tech, medical devices, and entertainment media industry.   

Individuals signing up on line at www.theisraeconference.org and utilizing the discount code “Israel-1830” will be eligible to save $30 on the registration cost.  More information may be obtained at (310) 445-5388.

Preceding from information provided by the Israeli Consulate General



Preschool Bike Day at Soille
San Diego Hebrew Day School

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) — The preschoolers of Soille Hebrew Day enjoyed bringing their own bikes to school and riding them to the near-by park On Monday, May 11. The children had fun on the play structure, swings, slides, playing in the sand, doing bubbles and other wonderful activities the teachers had planned for them.

Thank you to the parents who were able to join us for the morning to help keep the children safe. Thank you to the PTA for providing a Hot Dog lunch that was devoured by all children and adults.

On Tuesday, May 12, the preschool teachers lit a bonfire outside. The children enjoyed sitting around the fire singing songs and roasting marshmallows!

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

Preceding provided by Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School

Jewish Cultural Programming


Van Cliburn International hopeful
will give concert at Beth El

LA JOLLA, California --Israeli pianist Victor Stanislavsky, who is one of 29 competitors in this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas May 22-June 7, will come to Congregation Beth El just two days after the conclusion of that event, for a recital at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 9.

Stanislavsky has been performing around the world, with one of his most recent appearances being with the China Symphony Orchestra in Beijing where he played Rachmaninoff's First Concerto before an audience of 2,000.

He also has soloed with the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra, with New York's Summit Music Festival, Milan's "I Pomeriggi Musicali" Symphony Orchestra and with various orchestras in Israel.

Local concert tickets are $20. More information at (858) 452-1734 or at www.congregationbethel.org

Preceding based on information provided by Congregation Beth El



Great Day on Eldridge Street and klezmer concert set May 27

LA JOLLA, California--Homegrown San Diego klezmer musician Yale Strom will premiere the short film A Great Day on Eldridge Street at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 27 at Congregation Beth El as part of the 16th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.

The documentary focuses on the gathering in October 2008 of over 100 klezmer musicians and Yiddish singers, including Theo Bickel and John Zorn, at the Eldridge Street Synagogue for a day of fun and celebration of klezmer music.

The film will be followed by a concert in the Beth El sanctuary by Strom and his klezmer band, Hot P'STromi, featuring Strom's wife, vocalist Elizabeth Schwartz, and Mark Dresser and Peter Stan.

Tickets for the film and concert are $20 through the Lyceum Box office at www.sdrep.org or via (619) 544-1000. The concert alone costs $15.


Preceding based on material provided by Hot P'Stromi



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Around the Town


UC San Diego librarian Friedman named '2009 Mover & Shaker'

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Lia Friedman (at left), head of public services at the UC San Diego Arts Library, has been named a "2009 Mover & Shaker" by the Library Journal for her
advocacy of "causes both artful and activist," and for "fighting injustice all the way down to the details."

Friedman was one of only 51 librarians in the U.S. recognized by the Library Journal for their achievements in transforming libraries across the nation. At UC San Diego, Friedman is the fourth librarian to be honored with the coveted "Mover & Shaker" nomination since the awards
program was launched in 2002. Last year, Jim Cheng, head librarian for the University's International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS) Library was named a "Mover & Shaker" for his efforts in developing an unprecedented Asian film collection and festival and symposium series.

"It's really an honor to be recognized for things that I feel passionate about, like promoting arts education, information literacy, and access to information for everyone," said Friedman. "I love our Library and am privileged to be part of this powerhouse of a team.

Friedman calls herself an "accidental librarian." She's directed film festivals, hosted a radio show, and ran a radio station. She's also produced records and promoted indie rock bands. While this may not sound like the perfect resumé for a budding librarian, this quirky blend of experience has endowed Friedman with a unique and innovative perspective
as an arts outreach librarian.

As the head of public services and instruction and outreach librarian for UC San Diego's Arts Library,Friedman teaches students and manages and coordinates popular Arts Library
events like the annual Toy Piano Festival and Home Movie Day. She also oversees daily operations of the Library's public services and serves as Web editor for the Library's blog, as well as its public Web pages.

Although Friedman never expected to be teaching students about media and information literacy, she has found it both inspiring and fulfilling.

"I swore I would never be a teacher. I had been in too many classrooms where the students were sick with boredom and the teachers were frustrated and ineffectual. Quite frankly, it looked very hard," said Friedman.

"But now, as an instructor, I absolutely love the possibility that I might have an impact on my students and the way they seek out information. It's just terrific to have students seek me out or stay after class to ask more questions or thank me."

In addition to her duties at the UCSD Arts Library, Friedman is involved in a collaboration called Radical Reference, which was created to support activism in the library world and break down barriers to information for all users, both onsite and virtual. Friedman is also currently working with Char Booth, a colleague at UC Berkeley, on an audio project called
bibliovox, which will serve as a collaborative, user-built online forum for sharing stories about why libraries matter. The Web site, which is still under development , will explore what makes librarians want to belibrarians, uncover the memories we have of libraries from our past, and
examine what attracts patrons to libraries in the first place.

Eventually, Friedman and Booth hope to establish an online archive ofpodcasts of opinions, reactions, memories, and predictions. The site will share simple recording strategies using free software and inexpensive equipment.

Friedman joined the UCSD Arts Library in 2006 after a 1-year stint as a research and music librarian for MSNBC/Universal, where she conductedresearch to support a variety of news and entertainment shows, including "Today," "Nightly News," and "Saturday Night Live." She also worked on a digitization project for the New Yorker magazine and was festival director
for the Olympia Film Society. Friedman served as associate producer andweb developer for a film production company, Wovie Studios, and worked asprogram director of KAOS Radio in Olympia, WA.

Friedman received her Master's in Library and Information Science fromPratt Institute in 2005, and her BA degree from the Evergreen StateCollege in 2000. She is the coauthor (with Melissa Morrone) of "The Sidewalk Is Our Reference Desk: When Librarians Take To The Streets," which appeared in Refer and has been accepted for publication in IFLA
Journal. She also wrote (with Char Booth), "Finding Your Inner Moxie,"published in Library Journal in May 2008.

The UC San Diego Arts Library, which supports award-winning facultyresearch and teaching in Music, Theatre and Dance, Visual Arts, andLiterature, has been a leader and early adopter in the development anddelivery of digital reserves for image, audio, and moving image. As thefirst major contributor to ARTstor, a digital library developed to support
scholarship in the arts and other disciplines, the Arts Library was the first academic library in the nation to digitize their entire slide collection. The Arts Library is also known for its outstandingcontemporary music collections, especially its holdings in experimental and 20th century music, and its lively and novel arts events, includingtoy piano concerts and not-so-silent film festivals.

The UC San Diego Libraries, ranked among the top 25 public academicresearch libraries in the nation, play an integral role in advancing andsupporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and publicservice missions. The nine libraries that comprise the UCSD Library system
provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals,and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars,students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 people stream through one of the university's nine libraries. The Libraries' vast
resources and services are accessed more than 87,500 times each day via the UCSD Libraries' Web site.

Preceding provided by UCSD. Mazal tov to Friedman, who is a member of our local Jewish community


MEDIA WATCH, aka "Here's the link"

The North County Times carried a story that the accused killer of a Jewish student at Wesleyan University owned a copy of the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Here's the link.

San Diego News Network carried a guessing game feature trying to decide whether American Idol finalist Adam Lambert is gay or straight. Here's the link

The San Diego Union-Tribune
carried a Washington Post story on the talks at the White House on Monday between President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Here's the link. ... San Diego fans of Adam Lambert rallied in his support before the American Idol finale last night. Here's the link ... U.S. Intelligence briefings no longer carry quotes from the Book of Psalms and Christian Scriptures, as they did during President George W. Bush's tenure. Here's the link.


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Bible in Pop Culture: God called the firmament "Heaven"

Genesis 1:8

God called to the firmament: "Heaven." And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

John Finley photographed Heavenly Couture May 15, 2009 at the Westminster Mall in Westminster, California

Please share your photo showing a biblical reference in pop culture Please send your jpg photo for posting to editor@sandiegojewishheritage.com. If possible, please send it at 72dpi resolution and 400 pixels wide. Please include the name of the photographer, the date and place the photo was taken, and any other relevant caption information.

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L.A. BEAT


Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo profound, memorable


By Cynthia Citron

CULVER CITY, California—You might not think an Associated Press story about the shooting of a Bengal tiger by an American soldier would stimulate a gifted playwright to create a profound, perverse and philosophical treatise on war, cross-cultural communication, and the nature of men and tigers.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is all of that, and more. A gripping, horrifying, infinitely interesting, and intermittently darkly funny take on a particularly irresponsible war, “Tiger” can take its place among some of the most compelling war stories ever written. In my view, it does for the Iraqi war what All Quiet on the Western Front did for World War I.

In Rajiv Joseph’s intense play, now having its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, the tiger, a morose Kevin Tighe, continues to haunt the soldier who shot him. That soldier, a foul-mouthed ignoramus played by a perfectly attuned Brad Fleischer, is transformed into an Arabic-speaking savant just before he goes completely mad.

His buddy Tom (a commanding Glenn Davis), who lost his hand to the ravaging tiger, is obsessed with a gold-plated gun that belonged to Saddam Hussein’s dead son, Uday. Hrach Titizian plays the amoral Uday with a swagger and a leer. Titizian is an incredibly fine actor who makes the monstrous Uday appear nearly understandable and almost human.

The tiger, meanwhile, wanders the stage ruminating on his fate. “Tigers are atheists,” he says, “so why am I still here? Why aren’t I gone?” He speculates that he has “some serious reevaluating to do,” and notes that his circumstances are “not normal, even for war.”

Another dramatic subplot deals with the GIs’ Arabic interpreter (vividly portrayed by Arian Moayed), who calls himself Habib to disguise the fact that he is actually Musa, the skilled gardener who once tended Saddam Hussein’s elaborate gardens. The huge topiary animals he sculpted in the gardens provide an ironic counterpoint to the once-living animals that perished at the zoo, while Musa, comparing his former work for Saddam and his current work for the U.S. military, laments, “I always serve the tyrants.”

Playing a double role, Sheila Vand is Musa’s hapless sister Hadia, as well as a teenage prostitute enlisted to service the incapacitated soldier, Tom. The incredibly beautiful Necar Zadegan also plays two roles: the first a distraught Iraqi woman and the second a leper with some of the most horrific and realistic makeup since Phantom of the Opera.

The much-acclaimed Moises Kaufman, who has won awards for both his directing and his playwriting, steers his first-rate cast powerfully to life, even in the scenes where their reality is in all respects an eery fantasy. And Derek McLane’s multi-tiered set design serves all the action well. Set changes are maneuvered quickly and unobtrusively in the dark while lighting designer David Landers focuses his spotlight on action elsewhere on the stage. And the action is augmented by Kathryn Bostic’s music, Cricket S. Myers’ war zone sound design, and the appropriate Iraqi and military costumes worn in Baghdad in 2003, put together by designer David Zinn.

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BUDDIES--Kevin Tighe at left is a tiger who was shot at the Baghdad Zoo and toting the gun is Glenn Davis as Tom in production of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Also on impressive display is the Arabic language which, at one time or another, is spoken by nearly everyone onstage. Sometimes translated and sometimes not. But even without translation, the speeches leave no doubt as to what anguish is being addressed.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is a total blockbuster of a play. It will continue at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8, and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 through June 7th. Call (213) 628-2772 for tickets.

Critic Citron's email: citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com



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


Hebrew Home For The Aged

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 15

A lovely Passover dinner is planned at the Home for the first Seder and all the Rabbis and the Cantors and their wives are invited.

The next meeting for the Home will be April 1st at 1 p.m.  There will be election of officers and the new slate will be read.

The new guests for this month at the home are Mr. Staits and Mr. Grossmayer, both in their nineties.

Happy birthday to Mrs. Blinstein, Mrs. Cysner and Mrs. Kaplan, who celebrated their birthdays this month.


Fund Dinner March 25th to Open Fast Moving Campaign
Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 15

As preparations moved into high gear this week for the opening of the United Jewish Fúnd’s 1953 campaign, interest was centering on the Advance Gifts Kick-off Dinner set for Wednesday evening, March 25, at the San Diego Hotel, with Ida Nasatir, Women’s Division Chairman, and Joseph D. Shayne, of Los Angeles, California chairman for U.J.A. as principal speakers.

Meanwhile, Carl M. Esenoff, General Campaign Chairman and Co-Chairman Milton Y. Roberts announced that the drive would officially open on April 1.  However, for the first time in Fund Drive history, a “C” (Campaign) week, between Monday, April 13 and Sunday April 19, will attempt to intensity the campaign in such a way that a closing in early May may be reached.

In announcing “C” Week, the chairmen pointed out the need for an accelerated pace for all Campaign workers.

“There will be no time for procrastination or indifference on the part of either campaign workers or contributors,” they declared.  Actually this will be a speeded up drive of little more than six weeks.  Every hour, every minute will have to be put to work.  This is a crucial time, and I call on every worker to prepare for an all-out effort.”

The Advance Gifts Dinner, next Wednesday at the San Diego Hotel, under the chairmanship of Max Maisel and Albert Steinbaum will be the bell-ringer for the entire campaign.  They ask everyone invited to send their reservations at once to the office of the Fund, 333 Plaza, phone Main 5172.


Temple Teens
Southwestern Jewish Press, March 20, 1953, page 17

By Susan Solof

What now?  Why a “Sweater and Skirt Hop” of course.  Lots of fun for all of you so don’t miss “Sweater and Skirt Hop” March 21—7:30-10:30 at the Temple Center.

Come one, come all to the Temple Teens terrific Talent show and Cabaret.  April 4 is the night and 25 cents is the admission.  This small fee goes to the Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood Kitchen Fund.  Bring your parents and friends for a real treat and a fun packed evening.


University of California
Offers Extension Courses

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 17

More than 1200 students are expected to enroll in spring semester classes of the University of California Extension Division, according to Kenneth S. Imel, Director of Extension Education  The classes, which meet once each week, range from Advertising Principles to the Making of the Modern Mind.  Most of the courses give college credit.

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Additional information regarding any of the sixty spring semester classes of the University of California Extension “Division may be secured by phoning F.9-9221 or by visiting the local office 1015 Seventh Avenue, San Diego.


Guardians Sponsor
Annual Dinner Dance

Southwestern Jewish Press March 20, 1953, page 18

The Guardians, male arm of the S. D. Hebrew Home for the Aged, are holding their 2nd Annual Dinner Dance Sunday, April 12 at Tops Restaurant on Pacific Highway.

Features for the evening will be free orchids for the ladies, a steak dinner, dancing, and a floor show.  All this and heaven, too, for the price of $13.00 per couple.

Reservations are limited and are for members only and their out of town guests.  Of course, you can become a member of this worthy organization by paying your annual dues of $6.00.  All the money raised at this affair will go to the Home.

Call Dave Stotsky, F-7416, and get a good table for yourself and friends.  Make up your tables now!



Ida Nasatir to Be Honored
At Women’s U.J.F. Luncheon

Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 1

Cynics say that good deeds are not repaid in a person’s life time.
This statement will be disproved when the Women’s Division of the United Jewish Fund holds its Testimonial Luncheon for its chairman Ida Nasatir, on April 14 in the Don Room of the El Cortz Hotel.

It is expected that well over 300 San Diego Jewish women will pay their respects and show their gratitude for the many things that Ida Nasatir has done for individuals and organizations in San Diego.

Beloved by all who know her for her spiritual qualities, her patience, her understanding and sympathy, the testimonial luncheon will be a small token of appreciation to one of the Pacific Coast’s outstanding women.

Along with the hundreds of women who will on April 14 be showing their respect and love for Mrs. Nasatir, Lloyd Nolan, the hard guy of screen, stage, television and radio, will be in San Diego for the affair to pay his respects to Ida Nasatir.

The “Testimonial Luncheon” will mark the second affair of the Women’s Division..  Everyone attending will be expected to contribute to the United Jewish fund, from $24.99 to $249.99.  Though each gift will be counted as an individual contribution to the 1953 campaign, the total raised at the luncheon will be given in honor of Mrs. Nasatir.

Fifty of San Diego’s leading women are acting as hosts for the luncheon.  They are Mrs. Abe Abramson, Mrs. Leo Beck, Mrs. M. S. Berlin, Mrs. Edward Bland, Mrs. David Block, Mrs. Fritz Bobrof, Mrs. Anna Borenstein, Mrs. Ted Brav, Mrs. Zel Camiel, Mrs. Saul Chenkin, Mrs. I.L. Domnitz, Mrs. Morris Douglas, Mrs. Harold Elden, Mrs. Carl Esenoff, Mrs. Max Gardner, Mrs. Sol Goodman, Mrs. Sol Gotkin, Mrs. Ben Harris, Mrs. David Horowitz, Mrs. Rodin Horrow, Mrs. Eddie Kitaen, Mrs. Goldie Kitaen, Mrs. Albert Krasnow, Mrs. Clark Moore, Mrs. Louis Moorsteen, Mrs. William Moss, Mrs. Al Neumann, Mrs. Walter Ornstein, Mrs. S. H. Perlmutter, Mrs. Raymond Platt, Mrs. Charles Press, Mrs. Sol Price, Mrs. Max Rabinowitz, Mrs. Abe Ratner, Mrs. Nathaniel Ratner, Mrs. Milton Roberts, Mrs. Abe Sackheim, Mrs. David Schloss, Mrs. Joseph Schwam, Mrs. Charles Silverman, Mrs. R. W. Smith, Mrs. Sam Sosna, Mrs. Harry Snyder, Mrs. Louis Steinman, Mrs. Milton Stone, Mrs. Robert Strauss, Mrs. Harry Wax, Mrs. Henry Weinberger, and Mrs. Sarah R. Weiss

“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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