Volume 3, Number 123
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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

Obama's kind rhetoric is trumped by world reality ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Barack Obama gave a carefully staged speech, whose content was appropriate to its setting in the National Archives Museum in Washington D.C. , before a copy of the Constitution. A friendly audience of military and civilian judicial personnel, and representatives of organizations that work in behalf of civil liberties applauded on several occasions. READ MORE

A Chinese trek from Israel to California Center for the Arts ... by Leeshai Lemish in Escondido, California
What’s an Israeli doing in a Chinese show? I’m asked this almost as often as I’m asked, when checking in at the airport alongside a hundred Chinese dancers and musicians – “Are you part of this group?” READ MORE

In Middle East, June may prove to be the 'cruelest month' ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
April, wrote T.S. Elliott, is the cruelest month of all. But for hopes of peace, freedom, and moderation in the Middle East, June will play that role this year.READ MORE

The Jews Down Under ... Roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian
Face Book refuses to ban Holocaust denial sites READ MORE
Controversial play makes impact READ MORE
Minister calls for settlement freeze READ MORE
New South Wales Premier raises his glass to Israel READ MORE
Parliamentary scuffle over Third Reich comparison READ MORE

Journal Serialization
In search of the partisans of Vilna, Part I ... by Laurel Corona A serialization of the journal kept by Laurel Corona as she gathered impressions for the prize winning book, Until Our Last Breath, which she coauthored with Michael Bart READ MORE


Shavuot greetings READ MORE
Tifereth Israel panel will discuss challenges facing Jews by Choice READ MORE
Shavout service at Chabad at La Costa will emphasize children READ MORE
University of Maryland establishes program with University of Haifa READ MORE
ADL rues state Supreme Court decision on gay marriage READ MORE
AIPAC group calls on Filner READ MORE
Media Watch, aka 'Here's the Link'READ MORE
Dr. Bernstein's Kaiser Permanente book wins S.F. Book Festival award


Bible in Pop Culture
Evening, Morning, A Third Day... Genesis 1:13 VIEW IMAGE

Hundreds bid farewell to Hal Wingard in unusual service ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
The memorial service for Hal Wingard on Tuesday afternoon, May 26,  was a matter of some delicacy, Conservative Rabbi Scott Meltzer confided to the several hundred mourners who poured into Ohr Shalom Synagogue to pay tribute to the teacher and songwriter who had died on Monday at 83. READ MORE

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

April 3, 1953, Southwestern Jewish Press

Personals (continued) READ MORE
Classified READ MORE

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Calendar READ MORE
Jewish Chaplain Author of Book READ MORE
City of Hope Jr. READ MORE
Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary READ MORE
Deceased {Mrs. George Novak} READ MORE
Committees Names to “Ditty-Bag” Ball READ MORE
Tifereth Israel News READ MORE


We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Jamie Lee Curtis dances in "Prom Night" VIEW VIDEO
Daniel Day-Lewis as Christie Brown in "My Left Foot" VIEW VIDEO
Fran Drescher plays herself and the Nannie in a promotional piece VIEW VIDEO
Ben Elton does standup riff about dogs VIEW VIDEO


The serialization of Laurel Corona's Vilna journal, beginning today, coupled with the serialization on Mondays of 103-year-old Laura Simon's memoir, I'm Still Here, are indications of San Diego Jewish World's commitment to providing exposure for the works of local Jewish authors. If you have a work you would like us to consider for serialization in the future, please contact editor Don Harrison by email or by phone, 619 265-0808


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

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.

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Obama's kind rhetoric is trumped by world reality

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM--Barack Obama gave a carefully staged speech, whose content was appropriate to its setting in the National Archives Museum in Washington D.C. , before a copy of the Constitution. A friendly audience of military and civilian judicial personnel, and representatives of organizations that work in behalf of civil liberties applauded on several occasions.

The subject was Guantanomo and other offenses to the traditions he has admired as law professor, candidate and president. .

The speech was nuanced. While four-square against torture, the president conceded that not all the prisoners could be released, or tried. Some would not be accepted by other countries. Some indicated they would return to terror. Some must be held as prisoners of war, even though they fought for no recognized army in no war that had been declared. When making difficult decisions, President Obama would insist on the primacy of law, and careful deliberation by representatives of different branches of government. He opposed any system where one individual would determine another's future, without the balance of additional views.

The speech had its moments of elegant balance and a recognition of subtle difficulties. However, it was long and repetitious. Obama used the term "values" 15 times, "Constitution" 10 times, and "rule of law" 8 times.

The speech also included some of the fluff that Obama uses to link himself to high sounding values. Referring to the prized documents of American history that were close to his platform, he said, "My father came to our shores in search of the promise that they offered."


His father also married Ann Dunham without telling her of a wife and children he did not bring to American shores, and then left when Barack was a year old.

Anyone daring to grade such a successful politician might give him an "A" if judged in the context of a seminar on law or ethics, but a lower grade in the context of intelligence gathering and war. The most prominent fault was his emphasis on clean intelligence. The president said experts agreed that waterboarding was not successful in extracting useful information. He did not cover other techniques, perhaps none of them pretty, but arguably less sadistic than those used at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. With training and supervision, carrots as well as sticks, interrogators obtain information from individuals who do not give it willingly.

The president stressed that torture was more likely to help terrorists recruit additional fighters against America than provide useful information. He yearned for the day when people around the globe would no longer hate his country, but again admire the values that he said it promotes. He repeated that torture violated those values, but did not talk about other elements of warfare that also breed hatred, like the bombing of wedding parties and other civilian sites that result from poor intelligence or marksmanship.

Can a war proceed without ugliness? And is it appropriate to rail so strongly about one aspect of violence while ignoring others? Will stopping the practices photographed at Abu Ghraib, closing Guantanamo, and releasing some of the prisoners improve the American image while Americans and their allies continue to kill civilians, even unintentionally? War is not judged like an academic seminar or a judicial proceeding. Collateral damage is unfortunate, but part of the scene. So is death of one's own forces, due to the enemy's efforts, as well as by unintentional friendly fire, and accidents resulting from intense pressure and dangerous equipment. It is not unusual for 30-50 percent of an army's casualties to result from something other than the enemy's actions.

Glaring offenses against humane values should be targeted by policy, as well as by intensive training, dedicated supervision, and oversight by civilians committed to their task. It does not help when poorly educated and motivated individuals turn to the

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military as a last resort, officers waive criteria meant to assure quality recruits under the pressure of increasing their intake, commanders show greater concern for getting along and reaching retirement than enforcing the rules and careful judgment, and politicians charged with oversight avoid controversy.

Under the best of conditions, soldiers are not likely to be priests or professors, and far from saints. Their training includes more lessons about killing than protecting the innocent. The frenzied activity of an army in action engenders panic more than care. If a leader wants a clean war, it is best to avoid conflict. Especially when sending an army to places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, where clean fighting is not part of the enemy's code, a leader must contend with dirty hands as well as lofty speeches.

Within a week of his speech at the National Archives Museum, President Obama responded to North Korea's latest test of a nuclear device. He said that it was unacceptable, and that North Korea faced increased isolation. The North Korean government has already indicated that it cares little about isolation. Iran also heard Obama's comments. Would his condemnation, and threat of greater condemnation move either North Korea or Iran? He may have more success with Guantanamo.

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

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A Chinese trek from Israel to California Center for the Arts

By Leeshai Lemish

ESCONDIDO, California--What’s an Israeli doing in a Chinese show? I’m asked this almost as often as I’m asked, when checking in at the airport alongside a hundred Chinese dancers and musicians – “Are you part of this group?”

The answer to the latter question is: “No, and yes.” No, I can’t dance – let alone perform the gravity-defying tumbling techniques of classical Chinese dance. I can’t sing. Nor can I respectably play an instrument – Chinese or otherwise. But yes, I am with the group.

Somehow I’ve been bestowed with the fortune of having a nightly free ticket to an amazing show while traveling around the world for now three years. My wonderful job is among the world’s best-kept secrets – I’m an emcee with Shen Yun Performing Arts.

An affable Chinese lady and I briefly introduce each of Shen Yun’s short dance and music numbers to the audience in English and Chinese. We might provide a bit of background for a lively ethnic dance in which tableware are used as props, explain a Chinese legend about the first woman on the moon, or introduce a Chinese instrument played on two strings. Then we leave the real work to the actual artists, who do their jobs exceptionally well.

And this week we are performing in one of my favorite cities – San Diego (well, Escondido, to be precise). Beyond the obvious reasons for loving the area, San Diego is special to me because I have three generations of family here and it’s where I briefly played semi-pro baseball after serving in the Israeli army.

A few questions inevitably come up. The answers are: No, I didn’t grow up in China; I’m not married to a Chinese woman, and I have no Chinese blood – although I do eat a lot of Chinese food, speak Chinese, and am fascinated by Chinese culture.

To clarify, this interest in China is not an interest in skyscrapers, GDP, Olympics, tainted milk, or labor camp China, as we now know it. It’s an interest in Chinese traditions with their extreme depth and diversity- 5,000 years of civilization, much of it continuously documented through a consistent script, and artistic heritage that has amazingly survived to this day.

I say “amazingly,” because much of these traditions have been lost under China’s current authoritarian regime. During the Cultural Revolution and other Chinese Communist Party campaigns, books, ancient artifacts, and temples were destroyed; traditions that had been transmitted from one generation to the next were cut off after thousands of years. Millions were killed.

Outside mainland China, much more of the traditions has survived. A typical example is how seemingly endless Chinese art masterpieces now on display in Taipei’s National Palace Museum are still around only because they were smuggled to Taiwan by the Nationalists who fled there 60 years ago.
Indeed, the New York-based Shen Yun’s mission of breathing life into nearly lost traditions is one of the things I find most inspiring to watch about this undertaking. This is what unites Shen Yun’s choreographers and composers, along with a shared spiritual commitment, and the courage to depict anything on stage. That’s why those of you who will come to the show will also see scenes of, for example, Falun Dafa practitioners resisting persecution – a contemporary issue - portrayed beautifully through dance and the narrative of ancient Chinese traditions.

During my time with Shen Yun, I continue to be impressed by the versatility and depth of classical Chinese dance. It is

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its own comprehensive dance system, complete with its own set of systematized training, postures, and body rhythms that make it so unique. Many of the moves we’ve become used to seeing in gymnastics and acrobatics, in fact, actually originate from classical Chinese dance.

Throw in hundreds of bright costumes, drums, a 3D-like projection, and a live orchestra that combines classical Western and Chinese instruments, and you start to get a feel for why, even as a non-Chinese, I enjoy this so much.

You could say my interest in China began in the Israeli army. As a rookie, I watched how one by one my seniors completed their mandatory terms and went trekking in India, Laos, and Cambodia. They returned for reserve duty with beards and long hair, and I was keen to hear my former officers tell stories of meditating on the Himalayan slopes.

This curiosity migrated from Yoga and India to China and its practices of tai chi, qigong, and Falun Dafa.

As a Pomona College freshman, I decided to take my writing in a new direction: the Chinese up-to-down to complement this left-to-right and the Hebrew right-to-left. In spite of the confusion, I fell in love with the Chinese language right away.

I was surprised to discover how supportive Chinese people generally are of others’ efforts to learn their language. A simple attempt at “ni hao” will get thumbs up from an elderly Chinese at an Asian supermarket, and a “xie xie” at the checkout counter will win a stream of endless compliments. We Israelis could learn a thing or two about encouraging those struggling with the equally challenging Hebrew.

As I wrapped up an Asian Studies degree at Pomona, a friend invited me to emcee a Chinese variety show in Los Angeles, and I later joined Shen Yun at its inception in 2006.
Nine years ago on a pitcher’s mound in Escondido I wouldn’t have imagined that the next time back I would be on stage. I’m discovering there’s a bit of chutzpah to how life’s journey unfolds. 

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In Middle East, June may prove to be the 'cruelest month'

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel--April, wrote T.S. Elliott, is the cruelest month of all. But for hopes of peace, freedom, and moderation in the Middle East, June will play that
role this year.

In Iran, Ahmadinejad backed by the spiritual guide is about to be reelected. In Lebanon, a regime backed by Iran and Syria is about to be installed.

It shouldn't be that way. Remember the famous sign in the Clinton for President Headquarters back in 1992, which said, “It's the economy, stupid,” as the main issue? Well, in the Middle East the equivalent sign would say, “It's the Islamist revolutions, stupid.”

And yet instead we see strategies based on a desire to believe or do anything to avoid confronting this great challenge, this uninvited battle that is sure to take up the rest of our lifetimes and very possibly much of this century's first half.

The heads are very deep in the sand.  For to fit into the mainstream of Western analysis and strategy about the Middle East, you must:

•Pretend that a two-state solution is possible with a mostly radical Palestinian Authority and a far more extreme Hamas running Gaza, neitherhaving done any preparation for real compromise and a lasting peace.

•Pretend that this solution-which isn't going to happen--will solve allother problems, as if personal and state ambition, ethnic conflict, ideological battles, and all sorts of disputes didn't exist in the region which have nothing to do with this. Not to mention that fact that any compromise peace would actually enrage large elements of opinion and galvanize the Islamists into even more violence.

•Pretend that Iran's regime will be talked out of having nuclear weapons by either the charm of Western leaders or relatively limited sanctions when Tehran already knows everything is a big bluff.

•Pretend that Islamists can be moderated when they think they're winning, believe themselves to be following the will of the deity, and see daily proof that their rivals are eager to make concessions.

•Pretend that Syria can be wooed into changing course when it is so dependent on its alliance with the Iranian regime, thinks that it's on the winning side, and tightening its control over Lebanon.

•Pretend that Hizballah and Hamas will settle down into moderation disciplined by the task of governing, the same theory discredited by the behavior of the PLO, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority over the last 16 years.

Ironically, much of the Western left seems to think that empowering the most reactionary forces in the world will somehow contribute to its vision of a better world. Much of the right appears to believe that this strategy will be pushed far enough to lead to a grand sell-out of Israel.

But the West isn't so craven while its enemies aren't so strategically flexible or tactically clever.  After all, both theories expect that the radicals will meet the West part-way. It's reminiscent of the expectations for Yasir Arafat and the PLO. One side thinks they'll make a deal and keep it; the other that they'll make a deal and break it. In fact, they see no need to make a deal at all. They'll do what they want and give not an inch.

It would be a mistake to overestimate the naiveté of Western
governments but it might be an equal mistake to overestimate their resolve.  Consider the words of the two Obama administration appointees to the highest State Department posts focusing completely on Middle East
policy in their confirmation hearings.

Jeffrey Feltman, to be assistant secretary of Near East affairs explained: “When you traveled around the [Middle East] five, six, seven years ago, almost everywhere you went, the first thing that came up was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When you travel around today, what you are going to hear about is Iran.”

But then he added: “We want to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to remove one of the tools that Iran uses to distract the region from what Iran is doing,”

From this, it sounds like, by his own testimony, his policy is seven years out of date. Even he acknowledged the paradox that Iran is a “spoiler” on making progress. So if Iran, along with Syria, the Gaza Strip regime (Hamas), the soon-to-be Lebanon regime (Hizballah), and the main opposition groups seeking power in every Arab country (Islamists) are all spoilers, how are you going to “address” this issue
effectively? Especially if your friends-especially the Saudis, Egyptians, and others-won't do much to help?

Meanwhile, the nominee for assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Robert O. Blake, congratulated the Pakistani government for fighting the Taliban, even while that regime is quite happy to live with them and al-Qaida as long as they stick to the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. “We do think that important progress is being made.”

Yes, it is: by the enemies of freedom, democracy, and Western interests.

Incidentally, Elliot's poem was called which opens with the line about April is entitled, “The Wasteland,” which is what the Middle East is going to become unless Western policies really wake up and smell the coffins.

* 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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fabianThe Jews Down Under ... Roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian

Face Book refuses to ban Holocaust denial sites

SYDNEY - Social-networking site Facebook is facing mounting criticism in Australia and overseas after refusing to ban Holocaust-denial groups from its site.

Despite international pressure calling for the popular website to block Holocaust-denial groups, Facebook said it does not take down groups that "speak out against countries, political entities, or ideas".

The popular site, however, has recently begun to remove Holocaust-denial content in countries such as Israel and Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal.

There are also reports that two other Holocaust-denial pages available in Australia were recently removed.

Facebook's policy has outraged Australian Jewish groups, which argue that denying the Holocaust is racial vilification -­ not legitimate speech -­ and illegal under Australia's current laws.

B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission chairperson Tony Levy said: "Facebook's failure to take action over racism on its site was unacceptable.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Australia. We call on Facebook to remove racist and anti-Semitic material immediately."

Facebook, however, has defended its policies.

"The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the freedom to express their opinions and beliefs -­ even those that are controversial or that we may find repulsive ­ while also ensuring that
individuals and groups of people do not feel threatened or endangered," a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.

The spokeswoman said the popular site draws the
line with groups that are sponsored by "recognised terrorist organisations" or threaten violence.

But social media expert Dr Andre Oboler, who specialises in anti-Semitism online, said Facebook does not have its "balance" right.

In his recently published paper titled The Rise and Fall of a Facebook Hate Group, Dr Oboler examined Facebook's recent inaction over the controversial Facebook page of the group called "Israel is not a Country! Delist it from Facebook as a Country".

Eventually, grassroots-activists, the Jewish Internet Defence Force took control of the site in late July 2008 and began to manually dismantle it from the inside.

"Facebook is looking for excuses not to take action," said Dr Oboler.

"They don't want to get on the bad side of their users and the people reading their content. They just want to sit there and watch the money pile up."

Looking ahead, Dr Oboler said most likely it will take government legislation to block online hate in user-generated content.

"The clock is slowly ticking," Dr Oboler said. "If it doesn't come from within Facebook, it's going to come through government and be taken out of their hands."

Controversial play makes impact

MELBOURNE - The play Seven Jewish Children recently achieved the effect its writer no doubt intended when it provoked passionate and diverse views from a panel of Jews and Palestinians.

Palestinian lawyer and author Randa Abdel-Fatteh described it as remarkable and courageous in exposing "the distorted logic" used to justify the dispossession of the Palestinians.

She also found it beautiful and heart-breaking, yet offering "a cause for hope".

Self-described Zionist and Monash University Jewish scholar Michael Fagenblat said that while he did not find the play anti-Semitic, as some overseas critics had claimed, he referred to "the sentimental psychologising of the play".

The device of a child standing for an expose of the morality of the the Jewish people was "frankly childish," he said.

Jewish actress Miriam Margolyes was one of five actors reading the voices of an Israeli parent and a friend about how much to tell a child about Israel's actions. They delivered such coded lines as: "Tell them we're better haters," "Tell her
dead or alive, her family love her," "Tell her it is the land God gave us."

An exultant Ms Margolyes said after the panel discussion that followed the reading: "It gives you hope that we can talk to each other across these divides."

She said she believed Israel had lost its way, but to rousing applause added: "I'm not a politician, I'm just a really good actress."

It was also a triumph for lobby group Australians For Palestine, the Melbourne organisers of the controversial work by British playwright Caryl Churchill, that the reading went ahead.

Margolyes, whose participation had brought a backlash from a Jewish welfare organisation, said that the State Library was to be applauded for taking the booking. "People tried to stop it," she said.

An hour before the doors opened last night, another effort was made to derail the performance when about 35 members of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students demonstrated outside.

They held a heated exchange with Palestinian supporters, who yelled "Free Palestine" and "Down, Down, Israel" and tried to rush the blocked door of the theatre.

Union president Stefan Oberman said: "We believe
there is a need for informed debate."

But he said he would not want to take part in the debate inside the theatre as "it is so blatantly one-sided".

A long queue gathered for the performance, with many people turned away.

Minister calls for
settlement freeze

CANBERRA - Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has echoed American calls and encouraged Israel to freeze all settlement activity in the Palestinian Territories.

A day after US President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that settlement construction must stop for the peace process to move forward, Smith reiterated the point.

"Both sides must honour the agreements they have entered into," Smith said.

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"This means that the Palestinians must continue to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and to halt violence and incitement. Equally, Israel needs to freeze settlement activity."

Smith made the comments at an Executive Council of Australian Jewry lunch in Melbourne.

He used the opportunity to emphasise the Government's desire to see a two-state solution to the decades old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The status quo, with all its ongoing uncertainties, insecurity and tragedies, is not acceptable," Smith said. "The status quo is not in the interests of Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East region or the broader international community."

Smith welcomed the "energy and commitment" the
Obama Administration had brought to discussions
and said he had discussed the region with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US diplomat Dennis Ross during his trip to Washington in April.

However, Smith refused to be drawn on Netanyahu's
insistence that Israel be recognised as a Jewish State.

He commented that Israel was understood to be the "heart and soul of the Jewish community throughout the globe" and said the most important thing for the Australian Government was "Israel's right to exist as a state, as a nation-state, and
the solution is predicated on a two-state solution".

Smith explained to the audience that his personal connection to the Jewish community went back to when he worked for Joe Berinson, a Jewish front-bencher in the Whitlam government.

Smith has been the member for Perth since 1993, an electorate that is home of much of that city's Jewish community.

New South Wales Premier
raises his glass to Israel

SYDNEY - In his first address to the Jewish community, NSW Premier Nathan Rees declared his support and admiration for Israel as part of Yom Ha'aztmaut celebrations.

Speaking at a NSW Jewish Board of Deputies event honouring Israel's 61st anniversary on May 7, Rees said he celebrated the bonds between Australia and Israel and rejoiced in the country's "unique story of success, resilience and survival."

"I salute the free and democratic State of Israel," he told the 400-strong crowd gathered at the Amora Jamison Hotel's ballroom.

Rees, who visited Israel as the water utilities minister in 2007, also hailed Israel's water technology and commended the Jewish community's reputation "as benefactors in the fields of education and the arts, and as generous contributors to social causes, disaster relief and humanitarian aid."

He said the state Government supported a bipartisan approach in diplomatic efforts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We must unite behind [Israel's] efforts to secure a lasting peace and security for the future," he said.

Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem also addressed the
audience and spoke about the rise of anti-Israel sentiment around the world.

Without naming him, he condemned Iran's President
Mahmaud Ahmadinejad and his recent appearance at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva.

He also made special mention of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive by Hamas since 2006.

"The challenges we face are real," he said. "They will not be met easily or in a short span of time, but Israel will address them."

Among other dignitaries in attendance were NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell, NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal and Roads Minister Michael Daley.

Parliamentary scuffle over
Third Reich comparison

CANBERRA- A Jewish MP has defended his decision
not to condemn a colleague who said shadow minister Tony Abbott showed "all the compassion of the Third Reich."

Neither Mark Dreyfus nor Michael Danby voted for a motion to condemn the Member for Bendigo, Steve Gibbons, for his remarks.

However, Dreyfus said it had more to do with procedural matters, than with Gibbons' sentiments.

On May 13, Gibbons delivered a speech in parliament about pensions. In it, he compared Abbott's comments on the aged pension to the attitudes of the Nazi regime.

The following morning, Opposition front bencher
Christopher Pyne read a motion condemning Gibbons' comments.

Pyne said Gibbons had failed to "understand the difference" between Nazi Germany and Australia in 2009, and displayed a "total lack of regard for the sensibilities of Jewish Australians ... who were persecuted in both Germany and other conquered territories".

The motion was defeated by the Government, including the two Jewish MPs, both who voted not to condemn Gibbons' comments.

Dreyfus, whose great-grandparents were murdered in the Holocaust, defended his decision, saying Pyne's motion was "political point-scoring."

"Of course I was a bit startled, but you've got to look at the timing," he said.

Rather than raising it as the first matter on the same day as the Budget reply speech, Dreyfus said a more appropriate course of action for Pyne would have been to discuss it with Anthony Albanese, the manager of government business,
with the Speaker, or with Gibbons himself.

Gibbons issued an apology later on May 14, saying
he regretted any offence that may have been caused.

Dreyfus, who recently wrote about the importance of remembering the Holocaust in the press, said he had spokeN to Gibbons personally and told him that using Holocaust symbols as a point of comparison was "almost never appropriate".

"It was very much just some ill-chosen words by Gibbons and he will never use them again," Dreyfus said.

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In Search of The Partisans of Vilna, Part I

In June 2004, Laurel Corona, an occasional writer for San Diego Jewish World, traveled to Vilna, Lithuania to research what would become a highly acclaimed book, Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance (St. Martin’s Press 2008).  Also on the trip were Michael Bart, son of local Holocaust survivors Leo and Zenia Bart, and Michael’s wife Bonnie.  “Michael’s parents’ wartime lives were central to the book, but we were on the trip for different reasons,” Corona recalled.  “Michael had been researching his parents’ story for a number of years, and he wanted to see for himself the places they had lived and meet people who knew them.”  Bart’s family on his mother’s side had deep roots in Vilna, and though his father had been in Vilna only a few months at the time of the Nazi invasion, Bart had been able to determine where both of them  lived before and during the war and had identified a number of survivors to interview.

“Writers thrive on sensory details, “Corona added, “and though some things can be imagined from photos, maps, and other documents, it’s always better when I can explore the locations I’m writing about first hand. I’m never sure exactly what I’ll find--sometimes it’s a shift in my mental map of a place, or a correction of an error of fact, but most of the time it’s colors, sounds, textures, smells. As a means of honoring the memory of Vilna’s Jews, I wanted to write the best book of which I was capable, and this meant not only writing down facts but making them come alive in a vivid and absorbing story.”

To make sure that none of the intensity of her on-site research was lost, Corona kept a journal of her experiences.  That journal, “In Search of the Partisans of Vilna,” will be serialized in San Diego Jewish World every Wednesday over eight installments, starting today.

Until Our Last Breath recently won both a Christopher Medal and a San Diego Book Award for its powerful account of the Partisans of Vilna and Jewish resistance in the Holocaust. 

Here is the first of eight installments of her journal:

By Laurel Corona

Tuesday June 8, 2004

Stockholm airport.  I am standing in line with fifty other people, mostly Lithuanians, to board a flight to the city they know as Vilnius. I make a mental calculation of the ages of two elderly men in front of me.  How old were they when the Jews were being murdered?  I decide they must have been ten or younger, but my mind will not let it go.  Did they have older brothers? What about their parents?  Did enthusiastic relatives bring them along for the show when the Jews were herded into the ghetto? Did their fathers kidnap Jews on the streets, or volunteer for the firing squads in the Ponary forest?

The line has already formed, even though boarding has not yet been announced.  The Jews stood like this, sometimes for several days, I think to myselfWhen the Vilna ghetto was destroyed, women and children stood all night in a pouring rain before being “selected” either for the gas chambers of Majdanek or a slim chance to live out the war in Kaiserwald, a labor camp in Latvia.I have had a big hotel breakfast, constantly whine about
the five pounds I can’t seem to lose, and made a choice from a bulging suitcase about what I would wear this morning.  I make a silent vow to be a little more grateful.

Michael Bart stands behind me with his wife Bonnie.  I wonder if my face looks as ashen as theirs. We don’t know what we are

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getting ourselves into emotionally with this trip, and we are deep in our own thoughts. I ask Bonnie if her stomach is in knots.  She nods and looks away.  Michael says, “If someone told me a year ago I’d be boarding a plane to Vilna, I would have told you they were—.”

 I know what he is thinking.  Meshugga.  Then he finishes his sentence.  “Mental.”

I tell him I know what he meant. “Some words are for other places,” he says. Even today, the thought has crossed our minds that in the world we are entering it might still be better to keep our Jewishness a secret.

A family has boarded the plane ahead of us.  The father is speaking Lithuanian to his children as he gets them settled in.  He looks to be about thirty--slim, blue eyed, and well muscled. He looks up. Snatcher, I think. The Snatchers were young Lithuanian men who kidnapped Jews off the streets at the time of the German invasion.  Many of them formed the first firing squads in the forests of Ponary, secretly murdering Jews with what could only be described as pent-up enthusiasm, even before the Germans set their own killing machine in motion.  He reaches down to fasten his child’s safety belt. Snatchers loved their children too. Tucked them in before they went off to murder other people’s.

Stop. I remind myself that all of us are entitled to be judged only by our own hearts and actions, and I try to put these thoughts aside.

The plane pulls away from the gate.  I am a little over an hour away from what to me is the belly of the Nazi beast.  Vilna, among the first to fall when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, was the place Hitler designated for an early tryout of the Final Solution. I am a little over an hour away from where Leizer and Zenia Bart lived, walked, and breathed. I am a little over an hour away from the site of the Vilna Ghetto, where one of the great stories of Jewish resistance against the Nazis took place.

The plane lifts off.  I check the date and see that it is two days after the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day. Sixty years ago, the wartime story of Leizer and Zenia Bart was drawing to a close.  They were living in partisan huts deep in the Rudnicki forest outside Vilna, continuing their acts of sabotage against the Nazis, while preparing to join the Soviet Army to assist in the liberation of the city. 

Below me the Swedish forests and lakes, punctuated by farms with red barns and tidy farmhouses, seem the perfect image of peace.  Train tracks and telephone lines bisect the patchwork of green, and I think about the severed phone lines, blown up tracks, and derailed trains that were the handiwork of the partisans. Here in neutral Sweden there were no such wartime events, but the train tracks and telephone lines I will see as we descend have a different history.  Sweden slowly fades in the haze. The plane disappears into the clouds, a passageway to another world.

Corona is an author and professor of humanities at San Diego City College. Her website is www.laurelcorona.com

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Editor's Mailbox: miscellanany from here, there, everywhere

Shavuot greetings

The Hydrotherapy Center in Sha'ar Hanegev, Israel, sent this
card to wish all its friends overseas a happy Shavuot.

Tifereth Israel panel will discuss
challenges facing Jews by Choice

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)-The face of synagogues has altered through the years. Today, our congregations are filled with increasing numbers of converts and intermarried families with supportive non-Jewish spouses. Very often it is the convert or even the non-Jewish spouse who demonstrates more interest and commitment to the synagogue and Judaism than those who were born and raised as Jews.

Shavuot commemorates the Israelites receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai forty-nine days after the Israelites left Egypt. On Shavuot eve, it is customary to stay up all night studying to commemorate the Israelites staying up all night in anticipation of receiving the Torah. During Shavuot morning services we read the Book of Ruth. Following the deaths of their husbands, Ruth, a Moabite, clings to her mother-in-law Naomi and refuses to abandon her. It is then that Ruth utters the words that have made her the model Jew by Choice.

This year’s Tikun Leil Shavuot at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, 6660 Cowles Mountain Boulevard, will be dedicated to hearing the stories of some of our congregational family Jews by Choice and supportive non-Jewish spouses.

We are honored to have John Fionda, Cristal Ghitman, Laurie Gore, Phil Johnson, Cheryl Katz, Thomas Morris, David Reed, and David Williams participate. They will share their thoughts about Judaism and the Jewish community, the challenges they have faced, and how they perceive they have been accepted into our community. In addition those who have just completed their conversions will be honored on this evening.

We will also provide an opportunity for discussion. Our famous Shavuot cheesecake buffet will follow the two panels. The evening will conclude with a study of classical Jewish texts, led by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal, about Judaism’s historical attitude towards those who wish to join our community.

The public is invited to join us all evening or for any part. Here is the schedule:

Preceding provided by Tifereth Israel Synagogue

Shavout service at Chabad at La Costa will emphasize children

CARLSBAD, California--Chabad of La Costa plans a Shavuot service at 10 a.m. Friday, with the reading of the Ten Commandments timed for 11 a.m. A dairy meal therafter will be followed by an ice cream extravaganza. Here is a link to a Chabad cartoon on the Torah.

Preceding from information provided by Chabad at La Costa

University of Maryland establishes
program with University of Haifa

HAIFA, Israel (Press Release)—The University of Maryland has expanded its study abroad programs by establishing a semester-long, faculty-led program based at the International School of the University of Haifa. The University of Maryland runs seven programs of this kind in various locations worldwide, including Alcala, Berlin, London, Nice, Rome, Shanghai - and now also in Haifa. The first cohort will arrive in Israel in the spring of 2010.

During the past two summers, the University of Maryland has run a three-week summer program for students to study Intercultural Communications and Religious Conflicts in the Middle East by touring in Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority; however, the new Maryland-in-Haifa program will be the University’s first long-term establishment in the region of the Middle East.

Students in the Maryland-in-Haifa program will enroll in a three-credit Maryland course designed and taught by Dr. Edward (Edy) Kaufman, a former Director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Development and Conflict Management and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In addition to the core course, students will study Hebrew and Arabic languages and elective courses offered in the International School of the University of Haifa. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for guided fieldwork and internships to help broaden their social and cultural interactions while studying abroad in Israel.

The International School of the University of Haifa hosts close to 700 international students in its summer, semester and year-long programs annually. The Maryland-in-Haifa program is one of many new initiatives to increase this number of international students studying at the University of Haifa.

Preceding provided by the University of Haifa

ADL rues state Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

LOS ANGELES (Press Release) -- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed its profound disappointment with the California Supreme Court’s 6-1 decision to uphold the passage of Proposition 8, which eliminates the right of same-sex couples to civil marriage.

Last year, the same Court correctly ruled that prohibiting such access violated the State Constitution. In its amicus brief, ADL argued that Proposition 8 represents a revision to the State s

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Constitution, rather than an amendment, and as such requires approval by the Legislature. Though we are relieved that the Court upheld the validity of the 18,000 same-sex civil marriageperformed before Proposition 8 passed, this does not compensate for allowing a bare majority of voters to deny a fundamental right to their fellow Californians.

ADL issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed by the court’s determination that the passage of Proposition 8 represents an amendment rather than a revision to the California Constitution. The Court’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent. As we argued in our amicus brief, ‘If the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians can be stripped away by a mere 52% majority, then future amendments will enable Californians to strip away fundamental rights from other disfavored groups.’

ADL remains committed to ensuring that same-sex couples have equal access to civil marriage, including the dignity and panoply of rights that accompany it. We look forward to the day when California will re-join the ranks of states that are safeguarding this fundamental right.”

ADL has five California offices located in Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Francisco. ADL joined a coalition amicus curiae brief, authored by the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP, and available on the League’s website.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, fights anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. For more information visit its website.

Preceding provided by Anti-Defamation League

AIPAC group calls on Filner

MEETS AIPAC REPRESENTATIVES—Congressman Bob Filner, middle, was recently visited by members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). From left they are Leslie and Shlomo Caspi, Frank Carroll and Jim Lewis. Photo provided by Congressman Filner's office

Media Watch, aka 'Here's the Link'

San Diego News Network's Tom Blair reports that over 950 persons turned out for San Diego's first Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast.

San Diego Union-Tribune carried a New York Times news service obituary of Israeli author Amos Elon. Here's the link.

bernstein courage
Dr. Paul Bernstein of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego won honorable mention at the San Francisco Book Festival

Dr. Bernstein's Kaiser Permanente book wins S.F. Book Festival award

EL CAJON, California (Press Release)The 2009 San Francisco Book Festival earlier this month awarded Paul Bernstein, MD, an Honorable Mention in the “Biography/Autobiography” genre for his fact-based novel Courage to Heal (Sunbelt Publications 2007). The book was previously lauded by the San Diego Book Awards and London Book Festival.
Set in a world of iron lungs, the Great Depression, and a World War, Courage to Heal is based on the true story of a young surgeon who, along with the twentieth century’s boldest industrialist, changed the face of American medicine forever. At the height of the Great Depression, Dr. Sidney Garfield saw the thousands of men involved in building the Los Angeles Aqueduct as an opportunity to provide affordable, quality healthcare. He built Contractors General Hospital: a 12-bed hospital in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and began treating workers.

At the start of WWII, Garfield teamed up with industrialist Henry Kaiser, and created the first true healthcare system in the Richmond shipyards, and opened a hospital in Oakland, which remains the headquarters for what is now Kaiser Permanente. Courage to Heal follows Garfield’s private war with the AMA, as well as his journey towards providing affordable healthcare.
With healthcare such a hot topic today, it’s no wonder the San Francisco Book Festival has recognized Courage to Heal (which reveals the history of the largest HMO in the U.S., Kaiser Permanente) in its annual competition!

Preceding provided by Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon

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Hundreds bid farewell to Hal Wingard in unusual service

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO-- The memorial service for Hal Wingard on Tuesday afternoon, May 26,  was a matter of some delicacy, Conservative Rabbi Scott Meltzer confided to the several hundred mourners who poured into Ohr Shalom Synagogue to pay tribute to the educator and songwriter who had died on Monday at 83. 

Here they were about to participate in a Jewish religious service for a man, who although Jewish by birth, was an atheist by firm belief.  So Wingard’s coffin was not in front of the sanctuary of the historic  synagogue at Third and Laurel Streets; neither would it be taken to a Jewish cemetery for burial.  Pursuant to his beliefs, Wingard had donated his body to science, for use by the UCSD Schoool of Medicine.

On the other hand, Wingard long ago had decided to accommodate his beliefs to those of his wife, Eileen, and his four children, Myla, Dan, Tamara and Harriet.  Typical were the family’s Passover seders, for  which the family utilized their own Haggadah.  God was exalted in the Hebrew portions of the Haggadah, which were Eileen’s portions, but was not mentioned in the English portions, which were Hal’s domain.  In the English passages, the Haggadah took on a decidedly  humanistic flavor.

There were other family compromises as well.  Though Hal was not enamored with the theology of Judaism, he was attached to its traditions and to its rituals.  He considered himself very much a member of the Jewish people, even if he didn’t subscribe to many of that people’s religious beliefs. 

Rabbi Meltzer had grown up a neighbor of the Wingards, and was a contemporary of their children. He said that he always had felt that while Hal might disagree with him on a given issue, that disagreement never carried over into personal animosity.  He said that Hal respected people even though they might have other views.

The Wingard family at one time or another has been involved with four synagogues in town.  Eileen’s mother, Rose Schiff, had been a stalwart member of Tifereth Israel Synagogue until her death last year, and Eileen regularly accompanied her to Shabbat morning services.

Their other affiliations were attested to by the fact that the current cantor and the cantor emeritus of  the reform Congregation Beth Israel -- Cantors Sheldon Merel and Arlene Bernstein --were at the service for Wingard, as was Rabbi Philip Graubart, the Conservative spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El.

The service proceeded almost as one of the Wingards’ celebrated seders had.  Recorded violin music of Hal's sister-in-law, Zina Schiff, preceded the ceremonial “meal,” which in this case consisted of a brief recitation by his son Dan of the major events in Hal’s life, followed by commentaries and the reading of the lyrics of some of his songs by other members of his family, including cousins, nieces, grandchildren, children, his wife, and as a finale, by Hal himself through the medium of his recorded song.

Dan Wingard said that his father had been an infantry officer during World War II, and might have been shipped out with his tent mates who were killed in the Battle of the Bulge, but for the fact that he had a facility for teaching others and so was ordered to stay behind.

After the war, he went to UCLA, and was one of the speakers at his graduation—a ceremony at which Eileen was a fellow graduate.  The two subsequently met at a summer program at UCLA, and they began their teaching careers at the same time—Hal in languages, Eileen in music.  Before Eileen would consent to marry him, she insisted that he attend a session at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in the Simi Valley.   Their marriage was destined to last 56 years.

As an educator, Hal had excelled in creating new ways to  teach languages—he was an advocate of students learning to converse rather than focusing on vocabulary words and grammar. After successes in Los Angeles, including creating a a TV series "Of Course we speak Spanish," Hal went to Germany on a Fulbright exchange program and remained in Europe for a secondyear, teaching social studies and music at the U.S. Army Dependent School in Toul, France. After returning, helped pioneer language immersion schools. 

After retiring from San Diego City schools, said Dan, his father
continued as a dominant force in foreign language education, becoming executive director of the California Language
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Teachers Association and serving on the California State Curriculum Commission.

Hal’s educational career required him to fly to meetings throughout the state, and while waiting for his planes—or while riding on them—he used to pass the time writing songs on a multiplicity of subjects.  Readers of the San Diego Jewish World are quite familiar with Hal’s songs because this publication has been running them three at a time in a feature called “Thursdays With The Songs of Hal Wingard.”  The family has given permission for the feature to continue posthumously.

Recently, Hal had participated in a poet’s night in the Astor Library of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and was quite pleased that his audience seemed to enjoy his lyrics even without musical accompaniment – as simple poems, in other words. 

And so members of his family took turns reading his poems or talking about Hal’s legacy.  First up were his nieces Avlana and Cherina Eisenberg who read a poem about “cycles”—reflecting his non-theistic view of the universe.

Cycles into cycles
Universe I know
Cycles into cycles
Endless ebb and flow

Next came Peter Lemish, an Israeli educator who specializes in media studies, and his son Leeshai, who is currently at the California Center for the Arts emceeing a Chinese dance program, about which he writes in an accompanying article in this issue of San Diego Jewish World.  The elder Lemish said that he admired Hal’s “strong unconventional views,”  his “healthy cynicism and skepticism,” the fact that “although he critiqued society, he didn’t withdraw from it,” and Hal’s “driving menschness. – He spoke in a prophetic tradition.  He was ethical, engaged and concerned.”

More of Hal’s poems were read by his grandson Eitan Frysh, and granddaughters Hannah and Sara Schiff, and next came his sons-in-law,  Dr. Lou Rosen, Scott Schiff and Daniel Koch, each with a remembrance of how they came to love Hal as they would their own fathers. Another granddaughter, Adira Rosen, recited HaMotzi prior to the serving of the consolation meal at Eileen's home following the service.

At the synagogue, Hal's daughter Myla accompanied herself on guitar singing her father’s version of Psalm 137, in which exiles would rather their right arm wither than to forget Jerusalem.  “I’m going to need your help Dad to sing your song,” she said, and although her voice wavered with emotion at first, she came through with a strong rendition.  She looked up heavenward and said, “Thanks” after singing, leaving no doubt on which side of the family’s theological divide she had placed herself.

In the last years of Hal’s life, ailments including the cancer from which he died greatly restricted him from partaking in some of his favorite activities, such as teaching, music, travel, visiting Germany, participating in the arts, and going to San Francisco.

But there were many pleasures he took pride in, his son Dan said.  He took pride in the career that Dan was building for himself as an actor on stage; in Myla’s master’s degree from Harvard and marriage to Lou Rosen; in Tamara’s doctorate and in Harriet following in his footsteps as a teacher.

Daughters Harriet and Tami followed, reading together Hal’s own word that “when my body’s in the grave… the heart of what I really am lives on” in his family and his ideas.

And, finally, to the surprise of many Eileen also got up and spoke of their 56 years together.  Some of the songs that Hal wrote were love songs, she remembered, telling of a love that “will remain with me and our devoted children and grandchildren the rest of our lives.”

Rabbi Meltzer, expressing hope that Hal was now somewhere that he might be inclined to agree with Meltzer's religious view of the world,  introduced Cantor Bernstein for the traditional singing of El Moleh Rachamim, and had Hal’s family lead the congregation in the recitation of the kaddish. 

But, as was often the case, it was Hal who had the last word.   Before the service ended, his family and friends heard his voice again, singing Epitaph #1, which he dedicated to himself.  When Hal’s voice went still once more, Rabbi Meltzer had the congregants crowd to the front of the sanctuary so they could form a human chain of concern for Hal’s family. Those in front reached out to the Wingard clan; those behind touched the shoulder of the person in front of them, so that there was a human chain of loving comfort.

Harrison's email: editor@sandiegojewishworld.com


Bible in Pop Culture: Evening and morning, a third day

Genesis 1:13

And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Although the phrase "Third Day," first appears in Genesis 1:13, it also takes on religious significance in Christian Scriptures. "Third Day" is a name used by many Christian-oriented businesses and a
Christian band because of their belief that Jesus was resurrected on the Third Day. As the imaginative logo at the left appears non-denominational, we chose it to illustrate how biblical phrases find their way into popular culture.

Do you have a photo that you think illustrates how a biblical verse has worked its way into pop culture. Please send it to us for possible publication in this series, "The Bible in Pop Culture."

You may send your jpg photo for posting online to us at San Diego Jewish World, emailing it 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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Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
With thanks to Gail Umeham for the transcription

Personals (continued)
Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 4

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Stitzel had as their house guests for several weeks Mrs. Stitzel’s sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Harris of New York City.  So as not to play favorites, the Harrises (cq) have now moved their bags to the Leo Mintz’s to visit Mrs. Harris’ other sister.

Another visitor from New York City is Mrs. Fannie Goldstein, who has been spending a vacation from the eastern cold with Mrs. Minnie Harris.

Among recent visitors at the Lake Elsinore Hotel in Elsinore have been Mr. and Mrs. M. S. Berlin and Mrs. Martha Hollander.

The Lake Elsinore Hotel in Elsinore will be featured on the “Open Road” program on April 16 at 8:00 p.m. over KTTV, Channel 11.


Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 4

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard L. Shark announce the birth of their second child, a daughter, Mary Helene, born March 14 and weighing 6 lbs. 1 oz.  If the young lady had waited one more day, she and five year old brother, Bill, would have celebrated the same birthday.

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Jacobs (Joan Jacobson) of Baytown, Texas, announce the birth of their second boy, Kenneth J. born March 29 and weighing 8 lbs., 9 oz.  Happy over the arrival of a new playmate, is three year old Gary.

Pleased grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Jacobson of this city and Mr. and Mrs. Gus Jacobs of Houston, Texas.

Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 4

Room to Rent in lovely home.  Cooking privileges. ½ block to bus.  Call R-6586 before noon or after 6 p.m.

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

Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 4

5th—Cottage of Israel Anniversary Program.
5th—Y.J.C. Club Passover Celebration—Tifereth Israel—8:00 p.m.
8th—Federation Boards Dinner Meeting—Park Manor Hotel—7:00 p.m.
12th—Guardians Annual Dinner Dance—tops Restaurant.
13th—UNICEF Luncheon—Hotel San Diego—11:30 a.m.
14th—UJF Testimonial Luncheon—El Cortez Hotel
19th—Cottage of Israel—Anniversary Program
20th—JWV Installation—Aux. and Post—War Memorial Bldg.—8:30 p.m.

Jewish Chaplain Author of Book

Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 5

Camp Roberts, Calif.—Col. Henry Tavel, division chaplain, 7th Armored Division, here, is the author of an article soon to appear in the national Fisheries Institute magazine.

Title of the article is “Fish as Food and Symbol in Jewish Custom and Teaching.”

Chaplain Tavel is the highest ranking Jewish Rabbi in the United States Army.  Prior to his assignments to Camp Roberts in November 1952, he was post chaplain at the Headquarters European Command in Heidelburg, Germany for three years.

City of Hope Jr.
Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 6

Nominations and elections of officers for the City of Hope Junior Auxiliary will be held at the next meeting of the group, Tuesday, April 14 at 8:15 p.m. at the Landis Street Center.

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Ruth Axelrod and her nominating committee have prepared a slate to be presented at that time.  Nominations from the floor will be accepted before elections will take place.

This election is particularly important since this is the first time that men members may be voted into office.  All members are urged to be present.

Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary
Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 6

The Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary and Post have cancelled their April 6th meeting, due to the Passover Holidays.

The next date to remember is Monday, April 20th at 8:30 p.m. in the War Memorial Building Balboa Park, at which time the newly elected officers will be installed.  All members are urged to attend, and all friends are cordially invited.

Deceased {Mrs. George Novak}
Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 6

Mrs. George J. Novak, 40, on March 30.  Mrs. Novak had lived here for 12 years and was a member of Tifereth Israel Synagogue and Hadassah.  Services were conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens at the Lewis colonial Mortuary on April 1.  Interment was at the Home of Peace Cemetery.  Survivors include her husband, George J. Novak; a daughter Elaine C.; a brother in Los Angeles; and two brothers and two sisters from out-of-state.

Committees Names
to “Ditty-Bag” Ball

Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 6

Plans are going full steam ahead for the Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood “Ditty Bag” Ball which will be held in the Don Room of the El Cortez Hotel on Saturday May 9th at 9 p.m.  Mrs. Sam Siraton, head of the Emergency Service Committee of the Sisterhood announces that she and her co-chairmen:  Mesdames Charles Salik, Richard Levi, and Arthur Bloom have appointed full committees for this outstanding benefit which is being given to raise funds for filling ditty-bags to send to servicemen overseas.

Tickets:  Mrs. Richard Lustig, chairman, assisted by Mesdames Arthur Bloom, Sylvan Baranov, George Bürnett, Harley Babitz, Saul Brown, Philip Gerson, Charles Salik, Burton Ross, Abe Siner, and R. Sackoff.  Decorations:  Mrs. M. Esterson, Chairman, assisted by Mesdames A. I. Dickman, Milton Fredman, Sol Schultz, Robert  Speigel, Dave Stotsky, Robert Epsten, and Max Nelson, Jack Goodman.  Publicity:  Mrs. Davide Jaffe, Chairman, assisted by Mrs. Stanley Striling and Mrs. Ben Ferber.  Treasurer:  Mrs. J. Schwartz, assisted by Mrs. Richard Levi.  Secretary is Mrs. Harley Babbitz.

Many pre-ball cocktail and dinner parties are being planned for this event.  Rabbi Cohn will be M.C. for the eve.

Tifereth Israel News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 3, 1953, page 7

At the Sabbath Passover Services on Friday, April 3, at 8:15 p.m. Rabbi Levens will speak on the subject, “Freedom’s Wondrous Story.” An Oneg Shabbat will follow the Service.  All are cordially welcome.

The concluding days of the Passover Festival will be observed at Tifereth Israel beginning with the Evening Service on Sunday, April 5th, at 6:00 p.m.

The service continues on Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m. with the Yizkor (Memorial) Service at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Minha and Evening Services will be at 5:45 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.


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

Jamie Lee Curtis dances in "Prom Night"

Fran Drescher plays herself and the Nannie in a promotional piece

Daniel Day-Lewis as Christie Brown in "My Left Foot"

Ben Elton does standup riff about dogs

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

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