Volume 3, Number 138
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Wednesday-Thursday, June 17-18, 2009

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

Our columnists offer their assessments of the Middle East

Obama's hopes are encountering Islamist realities ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
-In the Middle East the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry because reality steps in. READ MORE

Critics often hear what they fear, not what was said ...by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Comments by Israelis and overseas Jews about Barack Obama's Cairo speech range to those so extreme as to provoke wonder. The most outlandish begin with the claim that it is possible to read between the lines, or to scratch the surface in order to find sentiments that side with the Arabs and threaten Israel.

Obama's speech generally well accepted, except...by J. Zel Lurie in Delray Beach, Florida
As he enthralled the American public with his beautiful address to the 2004 Democratic convention; as he inspired the Europeans with has 2008 Berlin speech; so he impressed a billion-odd Muslims on June 4 with a masterful. comprehensive, historic address from Cairo.READ MORE

Deal with West not on Iran's post-election agenda ... by Shoshana Bryen in Washington, D.C.
Vice President Biden made a reasonable point in his post-Iranian election comment. "Our interests are the same before the election as after the election, and that is we want them to cease and desist from seeking a nuclear weapon and having one in its possession and, secondly, to stop supporting terror." READ MORE

Israeli grandchildren think I'm a sweet, but naive American ... by Carol Davis in San Diego
Just got off the plane from visiting my family in Israel, my brain is spinning and my heart is torn between two loves, the US of A and Israel. READ MORE

JEWS DOWN UNDER ... roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian
Israel inspires Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai READ MORE
Welcome move on hate crimes READ MORE
Tussle over Gillard's trip to Israel READ MORE
A l'chaim for Israel READ MORE
Anti-Semitism at New Matilda READ MORE

A visit with actress Diane Cilento at Karnak Playhouse ... by Cynthia Citron in Mossman, Australia
In Far Northern Queensland, at the top of Australia, a whimsical actress lives in a charming timbered castle in the rainforest. Nearby she has built a 500-seat amphitheatre, the Karnak Playhouse, and a small café to nourish her visitors, body and soul, as they enjoy a little freshly baked zucchini bread along with their Shakespeare. READ MORE

International and national news of Jewish interest
Obama says Iran's disputed elections won't deter dialogue READ MORE
Cardin, Hastings express dismay over Iranian election flaws READ MORE
Lieberman denounces election in Iran as mockery of democracy READ MORE
Iran wavering on allowing a recount of disputed vote READ MORE
Cyber-Referrals READ MORE
A kosher search engine: 'Koogle' READ MORE
Aliyah from North America increases by 15 percent READ MORE
Marshall Lewis named to APA's government relations council READ MORE

Jews for Judaism 'Be True' Writing Contest
Gas Station Bar-Mitzvah ... by Aviel Golbai in Beverly Hills, California
While filling his car with gas, Rabbi Weiss saw a truck driver looking at a map and asked him if he needed help. The truck driver explained that he had a shipment that had to get to the University of Judaism right away READ MORE

In Search of The Partisans of Vilna, Part IV ... by Laurel Corona in Vilna, Lithuania
Our guide, Regina Kapilovich, picks us up at nine and we walk in the direction of the HKP labor camp, where Zenia’s mother and brother were sent just before the ghetto was destroyed. READ MORE

levymoskowitzA stellar voice in a city named for its pleasant view ... by Joel and Arlene Moskowitz in Chula Vista, California
In a town with a name meaning “Pleasant View,” on a street named Madrona, a building sits with a menorah on the chimney.   In this small city south of San Diego, where place names reflect the city's proximity to Mexico, sits Temple Beth Sholom, a small Conservative congregation with a stellar cantorial soprano, Judith Levy READ MORE

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Thursdays with the songs of Hal Wingard, z"l READ

#272 -- Madame PresidentREAD AND HEAR
#273 -- Miracle 2 READ AND HEAR
#319 -- Why me?


Community promptly responds to appeal to help Shoah survivors READ MORE
Tifereth Israel excitedly accepts The Proposal for a movie date READ MORE
Undersheriff Bill Gore succeeds Bill Kolender as SD County Sheriff READ MORE
Fourteen Soille Hebrew Day 8th graders are now graduates READ MORE

Bible in Pop Culture

Herbage bearing seeds, Genesis 1:29 SEE IMAGE

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
May 15, 1953, Southwestern Jewish Press
B.I. Sisterhood Installs Officers READ MORE
Picnic Planned for Beth Israel READ MORE
Mothers’ Day Program for B. J. Sisterhood READ MORE
Krasner-Tepper Marriage Told READ MORE
Betrothal Announced READ MORE
{Personal} READ MORE
Weill-Mansbacher READ MORE

America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service; Car Mitzvah
Lawrence Family JCC
Math Is Easy
Ronald Reagan Diaries
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego County Library
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

Welcome back to two play reviewers, Cynthia Citron of Los Angeles, and Carol Davis of San Diego. Both these ladies took vacation at the same time--Cynthia to Australia and Carol to Israel. In today's edition, we have reportage and commentary from their trips.

Each day's issue may be dedicated by readers—or by the publisher—in other people's honor or memory. Today's issue is dedicated with June 18 happy birthday wishes to
Dr. Joel Moskowitz, who coincidentally shares an article in today's edition with his wife Arlene abut cantorial soloist Judith Levy. Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.

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

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Obama's hopes are encountering Islamist realities

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel--In the Middle East the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry because reality steps in.

President Barack Obama based his policy of engaging with Iran on the idea that while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a wild man, Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei was a closet moderate, or at least a pragmatist.

Now all can see that Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are wedded, together at last. Khamenei is so set on Ahmadinejad’s character and policy that he risked the regime’s internal and external credibility and stability in order to reassure his reelection.

Pro-Ahmadinejad forces are now talking about this event as a “third revolution,” following on the 1979 Islamist takeover and then seizure of the U.S. embassy and the holding of hostages. In other words, this is an even more radical rebirth of the movement, but this time with nuclear weapons.
Reality: 1, Obama policy: 0

Then comes the Palestinian reaction to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech which accepts immediate negotiations and a Palestinian state at the end of the process, if an agreement can be made.

What did Obama say in Cairo? First, he said that the Palestinians, have “suffered in pursuit of a homeland” for more than 60 years. Second, he insisted that “the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.”

As I pointed out at the time, the first statement was a misrepresentation of history, the second a false picture of the present.

Now if Obama was right, the Palestinians should be eager for a state. So if Netanyahu calls on them to recognize Israel as a Jewish state—what do they care if they are accepting to live alongside it permanently?—and have their own state. Yes, that state would be “demilitarized,” I prefer the word “unmilitarized,” but all that means is that they would have the same security forces that they do now. And in proportional terms, the Palestinian Authority (PA) already has more men in uniform compared to the overall population, than any state on the planet.

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So here’s Obama’s solution: an independent Palestinian state, Muslim and Arab, according to the PA’s constitution for that country, next to a Jewish state.

But how does the PA’s leader—who is always referred to as “moderate” in the Western media and is more moderate than any other Palestinian leader (it’s all relative)—react?

Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for PA leader Abbas, said Netanyahu’s speech "torpedoes all peace initiatives in the region." Another top PA leader, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said that recognizing Israel's Jewish character would force Palestinians "to become part of the global Zionist movement".

Think carefully about what Rabbo said. Very carefully. The Zionist movement advocates a Jewish state, Israel, exists. But the PA leadership—the top “official” leadership, the most moderate people in the Palestinian movement—are still not reconciled to Israel’s existence.

Sure, there might be a country there but not a Jewish state, in their thinking. But if it isn’t a Jewish state, why call it Israel? They have another name for the future state they have in mind for Israel to become: Palestine.

How does even the BBC, famous for its anti-Israel bias, explain this? “The Palestinians say they and their millions of descendants have the right to return to Israel - which would mean an end to its Jewish majority - but Israel has consistently rebuffed that demand.”

And Abbas is well-known as a fervent advocate of this “right of return.” So Netanyahu is right: the core of the issue is the refusal to accept Israel’s existence as Israel, not a Palestinian “pursuit of a homeland” or “intolerable situation.”

Ladies and gentleman, the facts are before you.

Iran’s regime is irreconcilable. It seeks to become the main regional power. It doesn’t want conciliation with America, it wants America’s defeat.

The Palestinian movement as presently constituted is irreconcilable. It wants to destroy Israel, not live alongside it. The movement prefers to sustain the conflict for decades rather than make a stable peace.

President Obama and everyone else, take heed and act accordingly. You already have two strikes against you and we're just getting started.

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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Critics often hear what they fear, not what was said

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—Comments by Israelis and overseas Jews about Barack Obama's Cairo speech range to those so extreme as to provoke wonder. The most outlandish begin with the claim that it is possible to read between the lines, or to scratch the surface in order to find sentiments that side with the Arabs and threaten Israel. Reading between the lines and scratching the surface are standard ways of finding what one imagines or fears in what someone else has said or written. The unbounded critics of the president have asked, How dare he speak of Palestinian suffering immediately after the Holocaust? He is reducing the status of the Holocaust below the height of human suffering. How can he speak about a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel, after more than six decades of Arab terror?

Comments are no less jarring after Benyamin Netanyahu's speech in response to Obama's. Right wing Israelis declare him a traitor to his supporters by virtue of supporting the principal of a Palestinian state, despite the severe conditions he would attach to it. How could he declare a freeze on settlement expansion? He is talking about the Land of Israel! Any removal of existing settlements, no matter how small and questionable their creation, is an expulsion of Jews, and a step on the slippery slope to greater horrors.

Such language hurts my tender ears, educated to the political values of moderation and understatement rather than overstatement. As my blood pressure rises, however, I remind myself that I am living in the midst of a Jewish population, the vast majority of which has not had the experience of an Anglo-Saxon education. Many of my neighbors express great sorrow, at least annually, over what the Babylonians did to this city 2,600 years ago.

It is easy to understand Jews who bristle at what they consider improper comments associated with the Holocaust. Most Israelis with European roots have had a Holocaust experience, either directly or via the stories of parents and grandparents. They have shares in Auschwitz. But destruction and exile at the hands of the Babylonians? History is filled with conquests and slaughter no less severe, from the time of the ancient empires to the Balkans and Africa in recent decades.

For Jews who take the faith seriously, the destruction and exile to Babylon are real enough to have occurred within their lifetime. The events are central to Jeremiah and Lamentations, and are prominent in synagogue rituals. In Jewish memory they join the Exodus from Egypt, celebrated as the central theme of Passover; the battle against the Greeks, at the focus of Hanukah, and disastrous rebellions against the Romans of 66 and 132 CE.

The blossoming of Holocaust memorials demonstrate that it is not only ancient history that is important to the Jews. Rabbis have composed prayers in celebration of Israel's Independence and Memorial Day that fit the mold of what Jews have been chanting about other occasions for centuries.

Classic questions affect Jews' reading of history. Ultra-Orthodox rabbis have asked what could have caused God to allow the Holocaust, and have borrowed from Jeremiah the answer that it must be punishment for His people's sins. What sins could justify such punishment? The development of Reform Judaism in Germany.

A key to understanding all of this lies in the concept of God's Chosen People, and the ethnicity that links individual Jews to

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the community. Conversion is possible, but for the overwhelming majority belief is not as important as birth. Central to Judaism is the celebration of national history. On account of sacred texts, it is easy for Jews to think of their national experience as central to world history. The Torah, as well as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, the Prophets, Daniel, and Esther tell about Jewish experiences among other nations. Secular Jews and members of Reform and Conservative congregations do not give the emphasis to Choseness that one hears from the Orthodox. However, many of them express pride in Jewish culture, norms, and historical survival, if not all the details of ancient texts.

Jews' pride at being God's Chosen People may have something to do with their being a "stiff necked people." God himself described His people in that fashion (Exodus 32:9). Being Chosen, and at the center of world history, contributes to one's self-confidence and certainty at being right, even if nearby Jews reach contrasting views and are equally confident of being right.

Being Chosen and stiff necked also figure in the stereotypes of anti-Semites.

Even those not infected by hatred of the Jews may admit that it is difficult to deal with them. If Barack Obama has not absorbed that lesson, he may do so in the process of pressuring Israelis to be more accommodating toward the Palestinians. He will have to deal not only with Benyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and their colleagues farther to the right in the Israeli government, but with American Jews who will say that they did not vote and contribute in order that he press so hard against the Jewish state.

All will depend on how Barack Obama presses the Palestinians and other Muslims to do what he demanded of them with respect to Israel, and how he will press the Israelis to do what he demanded of them. Sooner or later, he is likely to hear about Babylon, as well as the Greeks and Romans, along with the Egyptians and Germans.

Palestinians and other Arabs will help the Jews, with their own insistence on demands that are extreme and non-negotiable. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, widely viewed as moderate and beholden to the West, has responded to Netanyahu's speech by saying that no Palestinian or Arab government can accept Israel's denying the right of return to Palestinian refugees. With that demand still on the table, all those hopeful of pushing Israelis and Palestinians to an agreement should spend their time on something else.

As always, I welcome comments on this, and any other of my columns.

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

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Obama's speech generally well accepted, except...

By J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida—As he enthralled the American public with his beautiful address to the 2004 Democratic convention; as he inspired the Europeans with has 2008 Berlin speech; so he impressed a billion-odd Muslims on June 4 with a masterful. comprehensive, historic address from Cairo.

He said that Muslim extremists were “a small but potent minority” of Muslims. “ But since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued violence of these extremists against civilians has led some Americans to believe that “Islam is inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries but also to human rights.”

He called for an end to suspicion and discords and a new beginning of friendship between the United States and the Moslem world. “based on mutual interest and mutual respect and one based on the truth that American and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.”

Then he told his personal story unveiling his middle name, Hussein, which was in deep freeze throughout the campaign. Hussein is a Moslem name given to him by his Kenyan father who disappeared from his life at an early age. He was brought up as a Christian by his maternal American family.

He said that many have expressed astonishment that an African-American named Barack Hussein Obama could be elected president of the United states. But the dream of opportunity exists for all people and that includes the millions of Muslims “who have come to our shores.”

He went on to talk about the sources of tension: Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and the Palestine-Israeli conflict. He said the latter can only be resolved by meeting the aspirations of the two peoples with two states, “where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.”

Advocating two states for two peoples was once a crime in Israel but polls show that a majority of Israelis now favor it. But the Netanyahu government still rejects it. So it took the government of Israel four hours to welcome Obama’s Cairo speech, It expressed the hope that Obama’s important speech will lead to better relations between srael and the Arab world. The statement by the Prime Minister’s office said:

“We share Obama’s hope that American efforts will signal the opening of a new era that will bring about an end to the conflict and pan-Arab recognition of Israel as the Jewish state living in peace and security in the Middle East. Israel is obligated to peace…while taking into consideration its national interests. The foremost of which is security.”

Several years since the League of Arab States “signaled the opening of a new era” of pan-Arab recognition of the State of Israel in 78 percent of Palestine/Eretz Israel if Israel would permit a State of Palestine to rise on the remaining 22 percent. Israel ignored the offer.

According to the Ma’an news agency the President of the Palestine Authority, Mohammed Abbas welcomed the Cairo speech as “a new and different beginning and a new message to Israelis” while even Hamas found the speech contained a number of good points.

But Khaled Meshel, the political leader of Hamas, who sits in Damascus, wants to see changes on the ground. He said:

“We want to see practical steps by the United States such as ending settlement activity, putting an end to the confiscation

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of Palestinian land and an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes and the removal of the 600 checkpoints that are stifling normal life on the West Bank.”

Has the arch-terrorist head of Hamas followed the example of the pre-State Jewish terrorists and turned into a statesman? I doubt it but the daily news since Obama’s speech underlines the necessity for Washington to pay attention.

On June 8 two American members of the Christian Peacemakers Team living in Hebron arrived on the road between the settlements of Kiryat Arba and Kharsina. Both of these settlements were built on confiscated Palestinian land. A strip of land between them is still worked by he Palestinian owners, but Kiryat Arba covets it.

The two American peacemakers found a line up of heavy equipment, protected by Israeli soldiers and police, ready to go to work. They proceeded to destroy six cisterns filled with rainwater for irrigation of crops. They dug up and hauled away many feet of irrigation pipe. The work ended about 3 o’clock. Some Palestinian protesters were injured.

On the same day, ten apartments in Beit Hanina were handed demolition orders by the Jerusalem Municipality, Beit Hanina is a former West Bank village north of Jerusalem which was annexed to Jerusalem in 1967.

On June 9, an Arab resident of the Old City of Jerusalem was ordered to destroy his home or he would be fined one hundred thousand shekels. He complied with the order. The Palestine Authority vowed to rebuild it.

So it goes day after day. How can Obama’s beautiful words signal a new era?

Now a word from those Jews who hated Obama’s speech.

Naomi Ragen. American-born Israeli journalist, novelist and playwright says that Obama’s speech “should make every Jew shake with fear.”

She prefaced her diatribe with a quote from Neville Chamberlain’s address to the House of Commons on October 3, 1938 on his return from appeasing Hitler at Munich with a piece of Czechoslovakia.

Ragen is an Orthodox feminist who has taken on the Rabbinical establishment on several occasions. Her play based on a rue incident in which the Rabbis cooperated with a vengeful husband in persecuting his wife played here last month But she is way off base in comparing Chamberlain and Hitler to Obama and Iran.

Hitler had a large well-armed Army backed by an efficient industrial base. He was ready to conquer the world and he almost succeeded.

The strongest army in the Middle East backed by an efficient industrial base is in Israel not Iran. Even if Iran gets some nuclear power. Obama’s plan is to see to it that the nuclear power does not lead to a bomb. But Ragen see it other wise. She writes:

“For shame to those who allow Iran to get an atom bomb, and who abandon Israel allowing her to stand like Czechoslovakia, the sacrificial lamb led to the slaughter to appease the unappeasable beast of Islamic fundamentalism…For shame to those with no sense of history. For shame, for shame, for shame.”

Daniel Pipes, Charles Krautheimer, and some Republican congressmen may have a better sense of history, but not much better.

Krautheimer claimed in the Washington Post that stopping construction in settlements, such as the cities of Maale Adumim and Kiryat Arba, will strangulate them and they will be no more. . That is just as absurd and ignorant of reality as the fulminations of the passionate Naomi Ragen.

Lurie's column appears in the Jewish Journal of South Florida

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Deal with West not on Iran's post-election agenda

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Vice President Biden made a reasonable point in his post-Iranian election comment. "Our interests are the same before the election as after the election, and that is we want them to cease and desist from seeking a nuclear weapon and having one in its possession and, secondly, to stop supporting terror."

But, if our interests are the same, our problems are the same as well. Yes, the votes in Iran appear to have been counted fraudulently, if they were counted at all (it seems totals were announced before many of the ballot boxes were opened), but even if they had been counted fairly it wouldn't matter much. The election itself was a fraud. Candidates vetted and chosen by religious authorities - reformers and conservatives relative only to each other - faced off in a vote without a free press, secret ballots or neutral observers.

Mir Hosein Musavi announced himself as a domestic reformer, but he was part of the Supreme National Security Council that restarted Iran's nuclear program in 2005 and calls nuclear development "Iran's right." He said denying the Holocaust had harmed Iran in the public eye, but Holocaust revisionism isn't one of Mr. Biden's declared American interests. [If it was, we would have to stop talking to Abu Mazen, whose thesis, "Relations between Zionism and Nazism, 1933 - 1945," was later published as a book.] As a candidate, Musavi said he opposes corruption and he called for greater "personal freedoms," but those are not part of America's declared interests either.

President Obama knew all of that when he made his overture to Iran and agreed that the United States would accept the Iranian election at face value.

Because, as Mr. Biden said, we have interests that we need to pursue, and our interests are not governed by the President of Iran, but by the unelected Mullahs who hold the real power. They have run the nuclear program since the Revolution, and Iran's support for terrorist organizations appears to be national, not presidential, policy. It is the Mullahs who have to "cease and desist," in Mr. Biden's words; neither Ahmadinejad nor Musavi have, or would ever have the power.

The Iranian people, who clearly came out in great numbers to express their opinion, were probably cheated last Friday, but they were cheated long before.

The problem the Iranian election fraud poses to the United States is that we actually do stand for something - at least we should. Dictators have long been framing their "elections" to

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get the results they desire, and our government has often put stability over the sometimes-messy outcome of free elections. But watching thousands of Iranian citizens being beaten for demanding that their votes be counted is like watching Tiananmen Square 20 years ago. Sad, but by itself probably not going to overthrow or undermine a regime with wide repressive powers.

And the voter rebellion will be by itself; there is neither ability nor will abroad to do otherwise. The administration and the Europeans will tut-tut, and then will pursue their interests. And so will the Iranian government.

Bryen is special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. (JINSA). Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member

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Israeli grandchildren think I'm a sweet, but naive American

By Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO—Just got off the plane from visiting my family in Israel, my brain is spinning and my heart is torn between two loves, the US of A and Israel.  Needless to say, it was a great vacation being with my two (now adult) grandsons and their parents. Yesterday I would have said, “It was great visiting with my family in Israel” which it was, but yesterday is gone and they, the boys, now are pretty well of their own minds, opinions and thoughts. They must be thought of and treated now as not just young kids in a family, but of two young adults whose opinions must be heard and weighed. And well they were.

My two American born grandsons, now eighteen and seventeen and their parents, Israeli born Dad who holds dual citizenship, (he became a citizen twelve or so years ago while living here) and my American-born daughter (who is also of dual citizenship just by right of return) have lived in Israel for the past eleven years. The boys are now well aware, politically, of their country’s peril. And my daughter, who was politically uninvolved as a young adult in the States, now has a son in the Israeli Navy.  She has some very strong political opinions. Join the club. I didn’t meet anyone there who was neutral on the subject of Obama.

My oldest grandson will be reporting to the Navy for his three-year military service requirement in July and the Army has already contacted his brother, who is seventeen. Wow, that was too fast! To most educators, the formative years, the early developmental years are from birth to about two years. Social skills, emotional behavior, cognitive and language skills, movement and hand finger skills are all milestones in place by two years, pretty much.

It is my contention that while their childhood developmental years all went according to Hoyle here in the States, their formative ones took place in Israel, where politics is integral co-mingles with social and societal values.. It is a rite of passage for all youngsters graduating from high school to serve in the Army. College waits! There is pride in that passage. These youngsters are thrown into the political fray at an early age and have a strong sense of national duty.

One cannot ignore, no matter what the age, the suicide bombings, rocket firing or constant threat to life and limb when it is in your own backyard. They live in Beer Sheva and we stopped at one location along their walking/running route a short distance from their house and were shown where one rocket landed and smashed into the ground severing some metal structure holding up wires. They are one half hour's drive from Sha'ar Hanegev, the partnership region of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego.

And talk of air raid shelters (even while I was there we had a practice shelter run) and listening to sonic booms still are preoccupations long after the operation into Gaza is over. In United Nations' debates, for some reason the constant daily rocket barrages into Israel don't seem to be part of the conversation at least to my knowledge.

The whole family talked of their experiences with rockets landing in Beer Sheva. My one grandson was walking on his way home from a friend's, when he had to take cover in someone’s back yard as a warning siren sounded. Hoping to find someone at home, but to no avail, he took shelter behind their house. Memories not easily erased. So when the topic of Obama and his policies was raised, having not lived through this anxiety and, I confess, really putting it out of my mind, yours truly dove in with the same bombastic force of support for Obama that I had and still have before, during and after the elections.

Interestingly enough, they all had the presence of mind to preface any questions they had about Mr. Obama with, “We know he is good for America, but...” Agreeing, I felt I should tread cautiously since the mood of the country about Obama did not match mine. I am certain our president will not let Israel down, I chanted and I went forward with that premise.

My son-in-law and I had reached an agreement long ago (during the first Intifada I was there on a visit as well), that as long as I was willing to see both sides and give a little his way, he was OK with it, to a degree.

As fate would have it, while I was there this visit, President Obama made his major address on his Middle East vision of what needs to be done in order to achieve a two-state solution. That it was done from a podium in Cairo with nary a brief stopover in Israel was enough to exacerbate their already built up anxiety. The speech was televised on every channel in both English, Hebrew and any other language the station happened to be catering to. We all sat together and listened.

I must back up now, however. Several days before his stopover in Cairo, the voices were already raised to a high pitch against whatever it was that he would have to say. I understand the jabber. I still see it, read about it and listen to it when we in this country need to debate an issue. But what really boiled my blood and made me even more fired up was the same rhetoric and hate mongering I heard here before the elections only there, there were pictures of Obama wearing the traditional headdress (keffiyeh) of the Palestinians in some publications as well as on TV.

Some Israelis were calling him, in TV interviews, Barack Hussein Obama (we get the implication) every time his name was mentioned. It was like a mantra. Enough! I cried to the television. I was politely reminded that that was his name, after all. Really, I thought. Some people never change they just live in different countries.

While watching the speech I have to admit, my heart was racing. I wanted my president to reassure the citizens of Israel and myself that he would do the right thing, whatever that was, to ensure the safety of the State of Israel while outlining concessions both parties must make in order to live side by side in peace. He did criticize Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s for his Holocaust denial. He quoted the Talmud as well as the Koran and asked Hamas to recognize Israel and abandon violence. I was pleased about that, but he’s his own public relations firm.

I heard a lot about how the Palestinians had suffered and how things had to change. I can’t say that played well with my crowd. They live every day with rockets dropping in their back yards. I can’t even imagine what that feels like.

And I listened once again about the rhetoric of the removal of the settlements. It was like listening to wha–wha, wha-wha sounds of Charlie Brown’s adult world. Some of the settlements in the West Bank are as big as cities. The question of what will happen to the residents was never addressed. It’s as unrealistic, in my opinion, to expect the Israeli government to upend those settlements, just as it was inappropriate to speak of the Holocaust as the reason for Israel’s right to exist. He lost everyone on those points.

That said should the rogue settlements be stopped? Of course. And they will be. Most of my crowd agreed about the small settlements. They also believe that they act as buffers to keep a distance between them and the Palestinians. So yes on one hand, caution on the other. Yet even Mr. Netanyahu acknowledges that the last batch of outposts need to be broken up and taken down. He would be committing political suicide if he didn’t recognize the seriousness of the President’s position. And it’s the right thing to do amid the talks of concessions.

There’s more to peace than settlements though and everyone there knows it. I wanted my President to be candid. For starters, I wanted to hear him say that all the other parties in the negotiations must recognize Israel as a legitimate state. Territories cannot and should not be pushed back to pre 1967 borders. And if all the territories, especially in the West Bank

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were given back what would happen if there were another take over by a hostile government like in Gaza? These are real fears.

I wanted to hear him say that Jerusalem should not be divided. Never. Lest we forget what happened to Jerusalem under Jordanian rule many years ago that left all the Jewish sacred places in carnage. I wanted him to acknowledge that the right
of return is unrealistic. As of now some of these so called negotiating points on the roadmap to peace have been left unspoken on the sidelines for speculation and distraction like an abscess tooth that needs pulling.

Finally, (although I know it isn’t the end) I wanted to hear some straight talk about what all the other Arab nations must to do to insure that all parties co exist in peace. I wanted him to insist that monies given by us and yes, by the Emirates for humanitarian purposes are used for just that. Schools should be built and aid provided for industries and infrastructure. Areas from which Israel withdrew should be used for re-settlement of Palesitnians, not for target practice into Israel.  And yes, perhaps the wall will come down when the bombings stop and peace is in place.

But really I wanted President Obama to reassure my family and all the families across the State of Israel that he will not just talk the talk of peace and security but walk the walk. So far, all the talk I hear is about what Israel has to do to get the process started. Am I missing something here?

He didn’t convince me of anything in his speech and I found myself in an uncomfortable position of defending my president and reassuring all of us listening that he will do the right thing by the Israelis. After all, I countered, Israel is the only working democracy in the Middle East and one of our strongest allies.

The conversation I had with my grandsons, who are still waiting to see what else Mr. Obama has to say and what he plans to do, was pretty much an open-ended debate. They listened politely and patiently while I spoke my views. They expressed theirs, which were quite different than mine. Theirs were about borders and bombs; mine naively were about what’s fair. They even asked me if I understood where they were coming from. I did. 

 Everyone I spoke with within the circle of family and friends I met up with there had the same reservations as my boys, who by the way are very articulate in their opinions about the safety of Israel. “Let’s wait and see. In the meantime, be prepared.” That was the best idea we could agree upon.

And OH! There is legitimate concern about Iran as well. On that one, I was stumped. I think talk is good, (not them) but after the talk, then what?

Along the way, both my other daughter (who was visiting also) and I tried to convince the others that Mr. Obama is a different type of personality and president from his predecessor. He’s young and willing to try new avenues. We both are of the strong conviction that new isn’t all bad especially if it hasn't been tried. It sounded right.

In the meantime we didn’t convince anyone that while our President is good for our country he would do right by Israel. They are still not swayed, settlements down or not. Then again, it’s a little difficult trying to debate an opinion when doubting it yourself. On that note, I must agree with their philosophy of wait and see. . 

By the way, politics was not the only topic on the agenda lest you thought it was. We did our fair share of helping the economy in restaurants, clothing and gift shops as well as coffee houses. We spent time with lots of family and while the language sometimes got in the way we managed, as we always do to make our way through the tangled mess of ideas and thoughts. Hugs and kisses are our universal language of love and we did a lot of hugging and kissing. I love that these two big strong young men still love to be hugged. What else are grandmas for?

Three weeks of unconditional love on all sides, some lovely guitar playing, a high school graduation, shared interests in music, politics and history, undivided attention by all, a great read (My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Saber) and scrumptious ethnic food (my son in law's mom makes the best Persian food) is always well worth the trip but not the flight. OK, one can’t happen without the other. Some day I hope someone will invent a jet pack or a "Jeannie blink" that can get us from here to there in a few hours. Wishful thinking never hurt anyone.

It’s good to be back.

Theatre critic Davis's email: davisc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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The Jews Down Under ... A Roundup of Australian Jewish NewS by Garry Fabian

Israel inspires Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai

MELBOURNE - The ability of "tree power" to reach across cultures brought Kenyan environmentalist and biologist Dr Wangari Maathai to Melbourne where she addressed the annual Jewish National Fund (JNF) gala dinner this week.

Dr Maathai, the keynote speaker, told about 800 guests at the Crown Palladium on Sunday night that her Green Belt movement, which has planted more than 30,000 trees in Kenya, was inspired by Israel's extensive forestation programs.

She first saw Israel's tree-planting initiatives when she was in the country 35 years ago at a science conference and saw trees planted in the most inhospitable of environments.

"After that, I said no-one will ever tell me it can't be done," she explained.

Inspired by Israel's forests, Dr Maathai initiated an environmental program in Kenya, which saw thousands of trees planted on large tracts of land and provided incomes for
poverty-ravaged women employed as planters.

The Green Belt movement later moved on to campaign to liberalise Kenya's legal system. "The movement became a democratic campaign," she said.

Dr Maathai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, noted that many of Africa's conflicts had arisen from tensions over scarce resources, and she said that was a global lesson. "There are close ties between governance, resources and peace."

Yael Dayan, who chairs the Tel Aviv municipality, also spoke at the event. She spoke of her city, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Reflecting on Israel's six decades, Dayan, daughter of the late general and Israel Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, said that in the state's 61st year, Israelis "are not talking merely about survival, but about the quality of the survival" and about "justice, values, education".

"We have water problems ... and few natural resources. We need to compensate for these resources with human resources such as education", she said, adding that a challenge in Israel was to make education multicultural.

JNF federal president-elect Grahame Leonard, who will succeed Ron Ferster, paid tribute to the evening's special guest, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.

On stage, the 100-year-old was honoured by JNF for her contributions to philanthropy and the environment and she accepted the symbolic gift of 120 trees planted in her honour in Israel.

To a standing ovation, Dame Elisabeth told guests that despite the conflicts in the region, Israel has a rich artistic and cultural life.

"I'm so happy there's a wider understanding of Israel in the world," she said.

Welcome move on hate crimes

MELBOURNE - After a horrific wave of assaults against Melbourne's Indian community, the move of the Victorian Government's decision to throw the full weight of the law at those found to have committed racist crimes, has been welcomed by the Jewish community

Concern over hate-motivated assaults against minorities has increased after a spate of violent attacks on people of Indian background.

In solidarity with the Indian community, Jewish students attended a rally by the Federation of Indian Students of Australia on Sunday.

These attacks echo experiences in our own community, particularly against those visibly identifiable as Jews.

The most high-profile anti-Jewish incident in recent years was the 2006 attack on Menachem Vorchheimer by intoxicated footballers, which was resolved after three of the men faced criminal charges and penalties were imposed.

As well as other comments, one of the men admitted yelling "Go Nazis" at Vorchheimer. It was the first time in Victoria that anybody was convicted over an anti-Semitic incident.

But last year, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's annual report on anti-Semitism showed a record 652 anti-Semitic incidents in the 12 months to October 2008, almost twice the average of the past 18 years.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle has suggested to the Victorian Government that the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act be reviewed.

The first step was taken this week, when Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls announced a plan that would require magistrates and judges to take "hatred for or a prejudice against a particular group of people" into account when sentencing criminals.

The next step is convincing the police what the Victorian Government now clearly knows -­ that these are not "opportunistic" crimes. They are hate crimes.

Jewish community relations with police leadership are strong, and the community was encouraged by news last year that Victoria Police would establish an intelligence desk to investigate violent crime against Jews, even though police
emphasised it was not a hate-crimes unit.

But Jewish and other ethnic leaders have rightly renewed their call for a hate-crimes outfit.

Attacks on the Indian community demonstrate that hate crimes are an issue of alarm right across our multicultural society and should be recognised by our police and courts.

The ADC is planning a strong Jewish community response to recent attacks on Indian students. It hopes the community will turn out in force to participate in the Harmony Walk.

Participants meet at 12.30pm on 12 July in Carlton Gardens for the walk to Federation Square. The Premier Mr John Brumby announced he would lead the walk to "celebrate and reaffirm our state's tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism."

The walk is part of the government response to violent racist attacks on Indian students. "We want to see everyone come together for the inaugural Harmony Walk," Mr Brumby said. ADC Research Director Deborah Stone said as a more established minority community it was particularly incumbent upon the Jewish community to speak out.

Tussle over Gillard's
trip to Israel

SYDNEY - A petition is circulating through the pro-Palestinian community protesting Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard's upcoming trip to Israel.

Gillard is leading the Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) delegation to Israel for the first G'day Shalom Salaam showcase later this month.

The petition, which 150 academics and advocates are reported to have signed, is being circulated by Ned Curthoys, the Jewish head of the Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism.

However, AICE founder and chairman Albert Dadon is nonplussed by the petition.

"Criticism is the legitimate right of people living in a democracy," Dadon said in response.

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"It is also the legitimate right of Julia Gillard, and others in our group, to visit Israel."

He rejected the claim that the petition had turned what is a cultural and leadership tour into a political football.

"Two complaints don't make a political football," he said.

The petition reads: "We consider this trip a dreadful affront to the many Palestinians left maimed, wounded, traumatised and homeless by Israel's devastating assault on the Gaza Strip
... We remind all those contemplating such a
trip, that Israeli (sic) is not a truly democratic society, even when it comes to the Palestinian citizens of Israel."

Gillard is not the only politician travelling in the AICE delegation. Others, including former treasurer Peter Costello, shadow education minister Christopher Pyne and Jewish MP Mark Dreyfus, will join her.

The petition urges all parliamentarians to "think seriously about the moral implications of Australia normalising relations with a state that is still under investigation for war crimes."

The AICE trip sees Australian achievers from the music, arts and culinary world travel to Israel to promote ties between the two countries.

It will also see a leadership forum, where Australian and Israeli politicians will have the opportunity to hold dialogue on shared challenges.

Meanwhile, Gillard has spoken of her excitement at visiting Israel later this month when she leads the Australian delegation at the inaugural Australia Israel Leadership Forum.

Speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch in Sydney on Thursday, Gillard said that a "just and lasting peace" depended on a two-state solution.

"I intend to reaffirm Australia's ongoing support for Israel's right to live in peace and security within defined borders," she said.

"I plan to visit Ramallah, on the West Bank and to meet leaders of the Palestinian Authority there.

"The Australian Government supports reform and
institution-building in the Palestinian Territories, which is in the interests of Israel and the Palestinians."

Gillard, who will be visiting Israel for the second time, said she believed the recent Cairo address by United States President Barack Obama had renewed the world's belief that an agreement could be reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

"President Obama's Cairo speech was an important and positive intervention. He reminded us that we share a responsibility across the world to strive for peace and for mutual respect between nations and cultures," she said.

"A new American leadership, a new Israeli Government and a new period of cooperation in international affairs provide us with a fresh opportunity to seek peace and shared prosperity in our time.

"That is an opportunity that I am sure all of us wish to take."

The Australian delegation will feature people from the political, business and cultural spheres and Gillard said she was looking forward to lively and engaging debate.

"I know from my previous visit the intensity and diversity of Israel's people, how their situation encourages innovation, commitment and lively democratic discussion of the issues facing the country and the world," she said.

"Israel is a country with much to teach us on issues such as scientific innovation and education and with much that we can share in addressing challenges like climate change and water security."

A l'chaim for Israel

MELBOURNE - Victorian Premier John Brumby raised
his glass to Israel and to the local Jewish community at a cocktail party on June 9, which served as a delayed Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration.

Brumby commended the Jewish community both for its strong advocacy to stop hate crime and its support earlier in the year for the victims of Victoria's bushfires.

The event was jointly organised by the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.

ZCV president Dr Danny Lamm spoke about the challenging times in Israel since last year's Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations.

He also emphasised some real positives to come out of the Jewish State, including innovation in harvesting water that could be used in Victoria.

JCCV president John Searle also addressed the function.

Anti-Semitism at New Matilda

MELBOURNE - The news website newmatilda is regularly
allowing antisemitic comments to be posted on its blogs with no attempt to block or remove them.

This is despite a stated policy which reserves the right to delete or censor comments that are abusive or promote hate of any kind. A study of newmatilda by the ADC over the first three months of 2008 found broad slabs of hate towards Israel and Jews were common. The themes of troubling
comments included Holocaust denial, claims that Jews have no right or historical attachment to Israel, claims that there is no such thing as antisemitism and that Jews are paranoid, claims that Jews are a threat to the world, would infect
the whole world with plague and that Israel is supported by "blood money."

The comments are typically posted in response to newmatilda reporting on Israel, which is also heavily partisan. Of the 18 articles on the subject run by newmatilda in the first quarter of this year, 17 presented the Palestinian
narrative, characterizing Israel as an oppressor and not acknowledging its victims or security concerns. Only one article characterized Hamas as a terrorist organization. Only one article acknowledged the existence of competing
narratives and it argued for the validity of the Palestinian narrative.

Newmatilda editor Marni Cordell told the ADC she believed the site's coverage of the issues was fair and the site was providing readers with "valuable alternative viewpoints."

Fabian is Australia bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World. Email: fabiang@sandiegojewishworld.com

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International and national news of Jewish interest

Obama says Iran's disputed elections won't deter dialogue

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)-- Just before 6:00 Monday evening, President Obama emerged from his meeting with Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy, and they fielded questions from the press together. They discussed the strong alliance between the two countries, demonstrated in their meeting by the Prime Minister's agreement to accept three Guanatanamo prisoners in Italy. The first question that was asked, not surprisingly, concerned Iran though:

Q Mr. President, on Iran, does the disputed election results affect -- there's been violence in the street -- in any way change your willingness to meet with Mr. Ahmadinejad without preconditions? And also, do you have anything to say, any message to send to people who are on the streets protesting, who believe their votes were stolen and who are being attacked violently?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Obviously all of us have been watching the news from Iran. And I want to start off by being very clear that it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be; that we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran, which sometimes the United States can be a handy political football -- or discussions with the United States.

Having said all that, I am deeply troubled by the violence that I've been seeing on television. I think that the democratic process -- free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent -- all those are universal values and need to be respected. And whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting, and whenever the American people see that, I think they're, rightfully, troubled.

My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place. We weren’t on the ground, we did not have observers there, we did not have international observers on hand, so I can't state definitively one way or another what happened with respect to the election. But what I can say is that there appears to be a sense on the part of people who were so hopeful and so engaged and so committed to democracy who now feel betrayed. And I think it's important that, moving forward, whatever investigations take place are done in a way that is not resulting in bloodshed and is not resulting in people being stifled in expressing their views.

Now, with respect to the United States and our interactions with Iran, I've always believed that as odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad's statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues, that the use of tough, hard-headed diplomacy -- diplomacy with no illusions about Iran and the nature of the differences between our two countries -- is critical when it comes to pursuing a core set of our national security interests, specifically, making sure that we are not seeing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East triggered by Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon; making sure that Iran is not exporting terrorist activity. Those are core interests not just to the United States but I think to a peaceful world in general.

We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we'll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we've seen on the television over the last few days. And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.

And particularly to the youth of Iran, I want them to know that we in the United States do not want to make any decisions for the Iranians, but we do believe that the Iranian people and their voices should be heard and respected.

Cardin, Hastings express dismay
over Iranian election flaws

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) —Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), on Sunday released the following statements upon reports of results in the Iran Presidential election.

“I am deeply dismayed by reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been declared the winner of the Iran Presidential election. It is apparent that the deep flaws in this so-called election began well before the Iranian people began voting,” Chairman Cardin said. “For Ahmadinejad and the ruling powers in Iran, it is clear that an ‘end justifies the means mentality’ prevails. There is no doubt whatsoever as to his unfitness as a leader. Regardless of the limited official scope of his duties, Ahmadinejad’s consistent pattern of noxious remarks and his belligerent attitude inject understandable tension around the Middle East and beyond. The fact that his apparent re-election has come through such an undemocratic election process underscores the danger the Iranian regime poses to the region and beyond."

“President Ahmadinejad may have been re-elected but Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his supporters remain the real ruling power in Tehran. And the cost of keeping this regime in place is seen every day in the lack of freedom and opportunity the Iranian people so desperately deserve,” Co-Chairman Hastings said. “We must keep faith with those Iranian people who want to see a demonstrable change – in their economic opportunity and in their international image. It is time for Iran to turn the page on the past and respond positively to the call to reengage with the international community.”

WASHINGTON, DC -- Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (Independent, Connecticut) on Sunday issued the following statement concerning the elections in Iran:

“Over the last six months, we have witnessed free and fair elections in Iraq and Lebanon, in which millions of people peacefully went to the polls, and in both cases, the Iranian-backed forces of extremism were decisively rejected at the ballot box.

“Unfortunately, on Friday, the Iranian people were denied this right, enjoyed by Iraqis and Lebanese and so many other peoples throughout the world, to determine the future of their country for themselves. Instead, through intimidation, violence, manipulation, and outright fraud, the Iranian regime has once again made a mockery of democracy, and confirmed its repressive and dictatorial character.

“We as Americans have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with people when they are denied their rights by repressive regimes. When elections are stolen, our government should protest. When peaceful demonstrators are beaten and silenced, we have a duty to raise our voices on their behalf. We must tell the Iranian people that we are on their side.

“For this reason, I would hope that President Obama and members of both parties in Congress will speak out, loudly and clearly, about what is happening in Iran right now, and unambiguously express their solidarity with the brave

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Our kind readers continue to pass on to us links to stories they have found elsewhere that they think our readers would be interested in. We are delighted to pass these materials on.

Amnon Ben-Yehuda of San Diego passed on this short clip of Rabbi David Hartman discussing Judaism fresh application to each generation. Ben Yehuda commented: "This is the best brief statement I've heard on being a Jew."

Gail Feinstein Forman of San Diego was intrigued by a story in the Jewish Chronicle of London about Spain

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honoring some former British volunteers in the International Brigade who fought against Franco's fascism during the Spanish Civil War. The men are nonagenarians today. Here's the link.
Iranians who went to the polls in the hope of change and who are now looking to the outside world for strength and support.”

Iran wavering on allowing a recount of disputed vote

TEHERAN (WJC)--Iran's Guardian Council has said it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll. In a complete reversal of policy the Council said the votes could be recounted in areas contested by the losing candidates which could effectively allow challenges to all the votes.

Moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has contested President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, alleging widespread fraud sparking 3 days of mass protests. Monday's protest involved hundreds of thousands of people and was one of the largest since the Iranian revolution 30 years ago and at least seven people were killed. Dozens of opposition activists have been arrested since the protests began. New demonstrations have been called by supporters of both President Ahmadinejad and Mr Mousavi and are due to take place in Vali Asr Square in central Tehran.

Meanwhile several foreign news organizations have complained that Iranian authorities were blocking their reporters from covering the protests. German public television channels ZDF and ARD said their reporters were not allowed to broadcast their reports, while the BBC said the signals of its Persian services were being jammed from Iran. The Dubai-based Arab news channel Al-Arabiya in Tehran was forbidden from working for a week and Dutch broadcaster Nederland 2 said its journalist and cameraman were arrested and ordered to leave the country.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

A kosher search engine: 'Koogle'

JERUSALEM (WJC) —A new 'kosher' internet search engine has been launched aimed at religiously devout Jews. The site, 'Koogle', omits religiously objectionable material, such as most photographs of women which Orthodox rabbis view as immodest, Altman said. The site, in Hebrew with an English mirror site, also links to news and shopping sites that filter out items prohibited by rigorously Orthodox rabbis, including television sets.

Site manager Yossi Altman said Koogle, a play on the names of a Jewish noodle pudding and the ubiquitous Google, appears to meet the standards of Orthodox rabbis, who restrict use of the Web to ensure followers avoid viewing sexually explicit material.The site was developed in part at the encouragement of rabbis who sought a solution to the needs of ultra-Orthodox Jews to browse the Web particularly for vital services, he said. Nothing can be posted on the Jewish Sabbath, when religious law bans all types of work and business, Altman said. "If you try to buy something on the Sabbath, it gets stuck and won't let you."

Aliyah from North America increases by 15 percent

NEW YORK (Press Release)— The Jewish Agency for Israel hosted Aliyah farewell receptions in New York, Washington DC, Boston, and San Francisco for members of the community who will be immigrating to Israel this summer; farewell receptions will be held in July in Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto.

The Jewish Agency estimates that 2009 will see an increase of 15% in the number of North Americans immigrating to Israel. A 12% increase has already been documented for the first third of 2009 (January through April) compared with the same period in 2008. The summer months generally see the largest numbers of olim.

Across the country, Jewish Agency Aliyah Shlichim are hosting farewell receptions, in partnership with Nefesh B’Nefesh, local community Federations and the Israeli consulates to honor those who will be moving to Israel this summer as new immigrants.

At the event in New York, attended by over 200 olim Sunday (June 14), several participants spoke of their personal journey which brought them to the decision that now was the time to move. In San Francisco, the soon-to-be new immigrants were individually recognized at the annual Israel in the Garden festival for northern California. In Washington DC, an event with nearly 100 was held at the Embassy of Israel.

The economic situation was a factor for many in the timing of aliyah, contributing to the rise this year in the number of olim, according to Liran Avisar, head of the Jewish Agency Aliyah delegation to North America. “These are people who always had the dream of making aliyah, and if they have to start now from the beginning, they want build their lives in Israel.”

Preceding provided by the Jewish Agency for Israel

Marshall Lewis named to APA's
government relations council

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)-Dr. Marshall Lewis, Clinical Director for the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Behavioral Health Services division, has been appointed to the American Psychiatric Association's (APA_ Council on Advocacy and Government Relations.

“I am happy to be able to make a contribution to my national professional organization, in support of efforts to address the often unmet medical needs of those with behavioral illness,” said Lewis, M.D., D.F.A.P.A. “I intend to lobby for programs that address the needs of San Diego County residents, and also share some of our own innovative approaches with colleagues nationally.”

Prior to coming to San Diego County 18 months ago, Dr. Lewis served as the Medical Director of Stanislaus Behavioral Health Center for 11 years. His research interests include chemical addictions, integrated health care, chronic disease management and the role of peer and family recovery specialists in clinical settings.

Dr. Lewis has been practicing in the field of psychiatry for more than 30 years. A graduate of Yale University and Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Dr. Lewis trained at Harvard medical school, where he remained on faculty for a number of years. His broad professional experience includes private practice, work in the for-profit arena, and service in the public sector.

Founded in 1844, the American Psychiatric Association is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the globe. Its members share a common interest in the continuing study of psychiatry and the search for more effective ways to combat mental illnesses.

In San Diego, Lewis serves on the Professional Advisory Council to the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

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A man who found great benefit in getting directions

Editor's Note: Jews for Judaism, based in Los Angeles, recently sponsored a nationwide Be-True writing contest in three divisions: middle school, high school and college, in which contestants were asked to write about their pride in being Jewish. Jews for Judaism, headed by Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, was formed in 1985 to combat efforts on campuses by representatives of other religions to proselytize Jewish students. In this nine-part series, we will bring the top three winners in each division, courtesy of Jews for Judaism.

Gas Station Bar-Mitzvah

By Aviel Golbai
6th grade, Hillel Hebrew Academym Beverly Hills, CA
1st place winner, Middle School Division

BEVERLY HILLS, California--While filling his car with gas, Rabbi Weiss saw a truck driver looking at a map and asked him if he needed help. The truck driver explained that he had a shipment that had to get to the University of Judaism right away. The Rabbi explained that the University was a few exits away and gave him directions. As Rabbi Weiss was leaving the station he passed the truck driver getting into his truck. The driver waved to him and yelled out, Halevie Gezunt which are two Yiddish words.

Rabbi Weiss was surprised, so he stopped and asked him how he knew those words. The truck driver said he had learned them from his mother. Rabbi Weiss asked the truck driver if his mother was Jewish. The driver explained that his mother was a survivor of the

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Holocaust and had married a soldier that had liberated her. His father made her promise not to tell anyone she was Jewish,
but after his father passed away his mother told him her secret and that he was a Jew.

The Rabbi was very moved by the story and said that it proved that good will ultimately win over evil and that no matter what our enemies do to us, G-d will always make sure that the Jewish people survive. The truck driver told the rabbi that he had gone to a synagogue a few times and had witnessed a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. He was sorry that he never had one. The Rabbi explained that being that he was over the age of 13 he was automatically a Bar Mitzvah. The Rabbi gave him a kippa and together they said the Shema. When they finished the truck driver started crying. The Rabbi patted him on the shoulder and said, “Mazal Tov! You are a Bar Mitzvah!”

They exchanged contact information and the truck driver took off the kippa to give it back to the Rabbi. The Rabbi said to keep it as a Bar Mitzvah present. The truck Driver asked if he could wear it all of the time like the Rabbi did. The Rabbi said it is a symbol of Jewish pride and that he could wear it wherever and whenever he wished. The Rabbi and the truck driver both got into their vehicles and pulled out of the gas station. As the Rabbi pulled into the left lane he glanced up at the truck driver who was in the next lane waiting for the light to turn green. The truck driver was lookingat himself in the rearview mirror, adjusting his kippa on his head, with a big proud smile on his face.

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In Search of The Partisans of Vilna, Part IV

This is the fourth of eight installments of a journal by author Laurel Corona describing her 2004 research trip to Vilna in connection with the award-winning book Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance (St. Martin’s Press, 2008). While writing the book, Corona traveled to Lithuania with coauthor Michael Bart to gather information about his parents, whose activities in the Jewish resistance form a major element in the book. 

By Laurel Corona

VILNA, Lithuania, June 9, 2004--Our guide, Regina Kapilovich, picks us up at nine and we walk in the direction of the HKP labor camp, where Zenia’s mother and brother were sent just before the ghetto was destroyed.   Along the way we stop at Rossa Square, where the last Jews in the ghetto stood in the rain all night before being sent either to an Estonian labor camp in Estonia, to the death camp at Majdanek, or to the pits in the secluded Ponary forest, where they would be immediately shot.

We walk along Suboch Street, which leaves Vilna’s center and continues along a ridge overlooking the city.  Towers of medieval castles and church spires poke out above groves of trees as the land slopes downward toward the Vilnele River. Along the roadside, Queen Anne’s lace, entangled among tall green grasses, waves in the brisk wind.  I realize I am walking at nearly the same time of year along the road Leizer and Zenia would have traveled in their rush to HKP  to see if her mother and brother were still alive.  I sort through my own experiences to try to evoke the emotions she must have been feeling, and I realize that nothing in my life can match the range of possibilities Zenia was imagining.  She must have almost been able to feel her mother’s arms around her, her brother’s tears wetting her shoulders, but at that moment it would have been wise not to hope too wildly. 

Regina turns between two tall, narrow buildings and walks up a rise.  “We are standing in HKP,” she says, gesturing toward a square patch of weeds and grass bordered by rows of brick. “There is where the last bodies were found.”  This is where Zenia learned there would be no tearful reunion that day.

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It is so sudden.  This is the grandmother Michael has heard about all his life, and the uncle after whom he was named—neither of whom he ever met because of what happened here. I don’t look at him out of respect for his privacy, and I find my own eyes welling with tears.  I gaze down between the buildings and imagine Zenia and Leizer running toward where I am standing.  I picture them finding what is harder to endure than a winter in the forest, harder than two years in the ghetto. Her mother and brother survived the last mass extermination at HKP, only to be discovered and dragged from a hiding place and shot in the last hours before the Germans left the camp. 

Regina has gone down to the area in front of a memorial plaque to the victims and is using a piece of trash to pick up two piles of dog excrement.  I cannot imagine anyone allowing their dogs to defile such a place, and once again I wonder if it is deliberate.  Regina moves a few yards away and stands stiffly with her hands clasped and her eyes straight ahead, as if she is praying. We go to meet her. She does not look at us for a few seconds, but when she turns to us her face lights up again.

“Look there,” she says, pointing to the far side of one of the HKP buildings.  “This is where Hashomer Hatsa’ir trained to go to Palestine.”  Michael’s father had been a member of this Zionist youth movement, which focused on escaping anti-Semitism in Europe by immigrating to Palestine.  Members spent their days in Vilna building their physical capacity for the hard labor they would undertake there, and learning agricultural and other skills. One of my questions has just been answered: where did Leizer live before the war?  I can now fill in another blank in my manuscript, but more importantly I realize that when he came to Vilna he must have had had little interest in the city itself  because he wasn’t planning to stay.  He and the others lived a brisk fifteen-minute walk outside of town and probably spent little of their time there until they were all marched to the ghetto.

Regina says that before the war these buildings had been a hostel for immigrants, known locally as the “Cheap Houses.”  There was a time, I realize, when these two structures had been a beacon of comfort, a place to rest and grow strong after long journeys such as the one Leizer had made from a Hachsharah in Poland, one step ahead of the Nazi invasion.  The memorial to the HKP victims a few yards away is mute testimony to how only in a few years these buildings had turned into a symbol of the opposite human impulse--from ingathering to expulsion, from tolerance to despisal.

As we leave, a caretaker is weed-whacking a patch of grass near the entrance.  Grass flies and stains the sidewalk with wet, green clumps. As he hits a particularly tall patch, the woody stalks give way with a crackle that sounds like gunfire.  My head turns instinctively for a moment toward the site of the executions, before we continue down Suboch Street in silence.


Cantorial soloist Judith Levy

A stellar voice in a city named for its pleasant view

Temple Beth Sholom is located at 208 Madrona St Chula Vista, CA 91910 - (619) 420-6040.

More information about the congregation can be provided by Judith Levy, who can reached at (858) 458 9789 or at (858) 945 3073.

The Moskowitzes, who themselves perform in choral groups, are particularly attuned to Jewish religious music.

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Thursdays with the songs of Hal Wingard, z"l

wingardEditor's Note: This grouping of songs relates to Hal's daughter, Myla, her husband, Dr. Lou Rosen, and her daughter, Adira. Today is Adira's 10th birthday.

Clearly, Hal was quite proud of Myla, Lou and Adira and, as we know them all, we can say without hesitation, he was well justified in that pride.

#272 -- Madame President
#273 -- Miracle 2
#319 -- Why me?

#272, Madame President

Welcome, Madame President.
Lah dee dah dee dah.
Welcome to the world!
The band is playing “Hail the Chief.”
The flags are all unfurled.

The happy, proud, electorate,
With brother, mom, and dad
Make you the fittest president
This country’s ever had.

You’re blessed with all the qualities
Lah dee dah dee dah.
A president should show:
A keen, perceptive intellect
With charm and inner glow.

Your voice reflects authority,
As if you wore a crown.
We always feel you smile at us,
Even when you frown.

So, welcome, Madame President.
Lah dee dah dee dah.
Let’s celebrate for sure.
May you enjoy your new-found job!
May long your term endure!

We’ve never had a president
So strong, yet sweet and mild.
So we will keep you President
Although you’re still a child.

Welcome, Madame President.
Lah dee dah dee dah.
Welcome to the world!

To Adira, in commemoration of her entry into office. June 19-20, 1999 (272) Completed at home.


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#273, Miracle 2

The miracle of Myla
Repeats itself anew.
This time it’s with her partner,
Her wondrous, loving Lou.

No need to tell the story
Of how their love began,
How Miracle of Myla
Joined up with Wonder Man.

Just know that they together,
As consequence of love,
Have fashioned now the daughter,
They’ve long been dreaming of.

And now we have Adira.
A miracle is she,
Exactly as her mother
From birth turned out to be.

A miracle of beauty,
Intelligence and grace;
A miracle of talent
Beyond the commonplace.

The message of this story
We all can comprehend.
It leads us to acknowledge
That miracles don’t end.

To Adira in commemoration of Miracle 2, June 20, 1999
Completed at home.

#319, Why Me?

No, I don’t cry, “Why me?”
When living causes pain.
I know that life brings good and bad,
So why should I complain?

For life’s a game of blackjack
Whose deal is never mine.
I play my hand as best I can
Content with life’s design.

So sometimes I am lucky,
And other times I lose,
For cards of life are dealt by chance.
I have no chance to choose.

No, I don’t cry, “Why me?”
But turn to nature’s law.
Where rules of chance alone foretell
The kind of cards I draw,
Where rules of chance alone foretell
The good and bad I draw.
No, I don’t cry, “Why me?”

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San Diego County Jewish news and publicity

A donor promised to contribute $20,000 to the program if JFS could indepently raise $30,000 by the end of June. "We were short of this goal by $6,614 and our Serving Older Holocaust Survivors program was at risk of not being able to provide vital services to low-income Jewish Holocaust survivors here in San Diego.... In less then two weeks time, the community responded with such a sharing spirit that we were able to reach our goal.

"The age of our low-income Holocaust Survivor clients’ ranges from 73 to 95 years and they depend on our care management services, homecare services and financial assistance," Spitzer added.

"They struggle with all of the physical and mental challenges as other older adults while carrying the pain of their tragic pasts. Many of our clients would be isolated at home in unsafe and unhealthy situations without the community's support."

Tifereth Israel excitedly accepts The Proposal for a movie date

LA MESA, California--Members of Tifereth Israel Synagogue are heading for a dinner at BJ's Restaurant followed by the movie, "The Proposal" starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The outing begins at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 23rd, in the Grossmont Shopping Center.

Although the congregants have socialized by attending "Chick Flick" movies together in the past, this one is generating more-than-usual excitement, owing to the fact that Rebecca Windsor, daughter of longtime members Jerry and Susan Hermes, was a production assistant on the movie.

The comedy deals with a seemingly mismatched boss and her male assistant who decide they need to get married to avoid her being deported from the United STates to Canada.

Windsor's own husband Damian went through U.S. immigration procedures, so she was able to provide some input to screenwriter Pete Chiarelli about the process.

Additionally, Windsor participated in arranging various meetings attendant to the filming. Although the story is set in Alaska, she confides, much of the shooting was done in Massachusetts, which has tax incentives to attract production companies.

Windsor will discuss more of the inside story of "The Proposal" following the showing at Reading Cinemas.

Tickets are $33 per person. For more information contact Beth Klareich at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, (619) 697-6001, Ext 108

Preceding based on materials from Tifereth Israel Synagogue

Undersheriff Bill Gore succeeds
Bill Kolender as SD County Sheriff

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed Undersheriff Bill Gore Sheriff to serve the remaining term of retiring Sheriff Bill Kolender. The appointment is effective July 3, 2009.

As second-in-command of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Bill Gore is responsible for day-to-day operations of one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation. His field deputies patrol a jurisdiction of over 4,000 square miles. He oversees a jail system with an average daily inmate population of 5,100 inmates at seven different detention facilities. He is responsible for a staff of 4,000 with an annual budget of over $500 million.
“I am honored and humbled by the confidence the Board of Supervisors has placed in me with this appointment,” said Undersheriff Bill Gore. “We are facing tough economic times, however, I am certain with the fine men and women of the Sheriff’s Department, we will continue to provide the highest level of law enforcement for the citizens of San Diego County.”

As Undersheriff, Bill Gore has steered the department through some of the most fiscally challenging times in decades by focusing resources on its core public mission: to patrol neighborhoods and respond to calls for service; to

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house inmates safely and humanely; and to investigate and prevent crime, preserve life and protect the public.

“I am delighted by the Board’s decision today,” commented Sheriff Bill Kolender. “There is no question in my mind that Bill Gore will make an excellent Sheriff. I have all the trust and confidence in his abilities to lead this department and serve the fine citizens of San Diego County.”

In 2003, after 32 years of service to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bill Gore left the FBI and was appointed by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as Special Advisor and Chief of Investigations. In 2004, Gore was appointed by San Diego Sheriff Bill Kolender to serve as Assistant Sheriff overseeing the Law Enforcement Services Bureau, responsible for all patrol and investigation operations, as well as the Communications Center and the Crime Laboratory.

In 2005, he was promoted to Undersheriff. In that position, he has pushed significant changes, creating a Cold Case Forensic Team and a Sex Crimes Investigation Unit, commissioning an external audit on the use of force, and creating an Office of Inspectional Services to create public accountability and encourage the highest level of professionalism.

Preceding provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's office

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School's Class of 2009

Fourteen Soille Hebrew Day
8th graders are now graduates

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)— On Thursday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m., 14 young men and women walked on to the stage for the last time as Hebrew Day  students.  They would become Hebrew Day alumni by the time they walked off the same stage, after receiving their diplomas of successful completion of their studies at Hebrew Day.

The highlight of the graduation was listening as the graduates spoke for themselves.  Many of the students used quotes from the Torah as a springboard for their messages. The students spoke from their hearts as they shared memories of their time at Hebrew Day.  Memories and special moments on trips, in classrooms with a teacher, special activities, the friendships they developed, as well as the overall strong secular and Judaic education they received. Parents and   families were thanked for their choosing to send their child to Hebrew Day and giving them, “An education and experience of a lifetime.”

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

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Bible in Pop Culture: Herbage yielding seeds

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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A visit with actress Diane Cilento at Karnak Playhouse

hours, and even days, and visiting whirling dervishes and the tombs of mystics. Many of her most powerful epiphanies, she says, have invaded her thoughts unbidden and led her intuitively to the paths she has taken and the people who have guided her spiritually. She claims as her mentor Ibn Arabi, a dead mystic who appears from time to time as a vision to his Sufi disciples.

Although her life seems never to have been routine, she has taken the time to produce two children: a daughter, Giovanna, with her first husband, a handsome Italian named Andrea Volpe, and a son, actor Jason Connery, with husband Sean. In 1985 she married the celebrated British playwright Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, The Wicker Man, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, among others). Anthony was the twin brother of playwright Peter Shaffer, author of Equus, Amadeus and Lettice and Lovidge.

Her relationship with Anthony Shaffer actually began more than a decade earlier, however, when she joined the cast of The Wicker Man, which was shot in Scotland in seven frantic weeks. By the end of the shoot the two were in love, and they commenced living together through all the long years when his second wife would not give him a divorce.

The brothers, Tony and Peter, were Jewish. As Cilento recalls in her book, on one of their early meetings Peter wore “a funny little skull cap and advised his brother on quotes from the Old Testament.” She also records that the family sat Shiva, which she likened to “a Jewish wake,” following Tony’s death in 2001.

Her own spiritual education continues, she says, as she takes those “evolutionary steps toward being your own guide,” and she describes the ecstasy she experienced in her observance of the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca.

But even with her spiritual studies and her ongoing commitment to the playhouse at Karnak, Diane Cilento can still find time to be a working actress. Next year she will be returning to the stage in a one-woman play called Woman in the Glass, a portrayal of Peggy Guggenheim, the famous art collector and friend and patron to practically every artist and writer in the first half of the 20th century. The play, she anticipates, will go from Australia to London to New York to Los Angeles---places where she has already made her mark, and to which she is always happy to return. As ever, she’s the consummate leading lady: self-absorbed and assertive, and eager to share the truth as she sees it. Providing an enlightening and entertaining experience all around.

Citron is Los Angeles bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World. Her email: citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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

B.I. Sisterhood Installs Officers
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

An extremely active Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood winds up one of the busiest of years with a reminder for everyone to attend the Installation Service for new officers to be held Friday night, May 22 in the Temple proper.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn will install new officers, including:  Pres. Mrs. Mack Esterson; 1st V. Pres., Mrs. Richard Lustig; 2nd V. Pres., Mrs. Joseph Schwartz; 3rd V. Pres., Mrs. Louis Bickman; Treas., Mrs. R. Horrow; Rec. Sec., Mrs. P. Leener; Soc. Sec., Mrs. Henry Weinberger,

Retiring president, Mrs. Samuel Friedman, will give the message.  Following services, the Sisterhood will hostess a reception, honoring the new slate in the Temple Center.

“Pacific Holiday” Theme of Last Meeting— The last regular monthly meeting of the Sisterhood will be held the evening of May 26 at the Temple Center.  Program co-chairmen, Mrs. Morton J. Cohn and Mrs. M. D. Goodrich hacve arranged an unusual, entertaining supper review following a nautical theme entitled “Pacific Holiday Show.”

The supper, starting at 6:30 p.m. will feature variety talent with membership participating as models, in dancing and music.  Captains for the affair are Mrs. Abe Sklar and Mrs. R. Horrow.  An invitation has been extended for husbands to attend with their wives.  Free door prizes.  For reservations phone Mrs. John Ruskin and Mrs. J. Alweis.

Picnic Planned for Beth Israel
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

Sunday, May 24, is scheduled to be a big day for the Temple Beth Israel Family.

At 10 a.m. the closing exercises for the Religious School will take place in the Temple Center.  At 11 a.m., all the Temple Family will gather in Balboa Park on 6th Ave., between Maple and Olive Sts., for an afternoon of fun.

For the very young, games and stories will be provided by the teachers of the primary department of the Religious School.  Mr. David Anfanger will be in charge of the competitive games for the older children, assisted by Mrs. Belle Demsey, Mr. S. Kerper and Mr. L. Scherr.

All picnickers will provide their own lunch.  Children of the Religious School and their young guests will receive tickets useable at the Canteen.  Adults will be able to purchase ice cream and soft drinks.

Mothers’ Day Program
for B. J. Sisterhood

Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

Mrs. Bernard Godes, President, asks members and friends to attend the next regular meeting of Beth Jacob Sisterhood to be held Tuesday, May 26, 12 noon, at Beth Jacob Center.  We are informed by our Program Chairman, Mrs. Marvin Bobroff, that something new is being added for that afternoon, a Buffet Luncheon and Mother’s Day program.  You are promised an entertaining and stimulating afternoon, so be sure to make every effort to come and enjoy the day.

Krasner-Tepper Marriage Told
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 4

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Tepper announce the marriage of their daughter, Roann, to Samuel K. Krasner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Irving Krasner, which was solemnized on April 30th.  The ceremony was conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens in the Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

The bride’s gown was of white satin with boat neck and long sleeves.  A crown of pearls held her veil, and she carried a white Bible with white orchids and stephanotis.

Shirley Krasner was maiud of honor and Mrs. Albert Tepper served as matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Edith Press, Barbara Shames, and Florence Krasner.

The maid of honor and bridesmaids wore iridescent blue paper taffeta and carried nosegays of pink carnations.  Mrs. Arlene Tepper wore shocking pink and carried talisman carnations.
Zane Feldman was best man with Howard Panish, Albert Tepper, David Tobias, Robert Waller, Bernard Sosna, and Ronald Greenberg serving as ushers.

A reception followed the ceremony with Joyce Addleson in charge of the guest book.

Out-of-town guests included Mrs. Ida Sandler, Mrs. Harry Perlov, Ben Goldman, Miss Bobbie Perlov, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Tepper, all of Denver; and Mr. and Mrs. Simon Goldman of Albuquerque.

The young couple honeymooned in Palm Springs.  Mr. Krasner, serving with the Army, has left for Germany.

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Betrothal Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 4

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Rosenfeld announce the engagement of their daughter, Joanne Lois to Sheldon Sackheim, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abe Sackheim.

On May 4th Joanne passed chocolates to her Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sisters atr U.C.L.A. where she is a junior.  Sheldon attended State college and was affiliated with Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.  He is now in business with his father.

Joanne came down from Los Angeles to spend last weekend with her parents.

No wedding date has been set.

Southwestern Jewish Press, May 15, 2009, page 4

Mr and Mrs. William Solof had as their guests last weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Skepner and son, Bob, of Beverly Hills.


Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 4

On May 24 at 2:30 p.m. the marriage of Hannah Mansbacher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Mansbacher, to Jose M. Weill, son of Mrs. Elaine Lyon of Miami Beach, Florida and Mr. Henry Weill of Bern, Switzerland, will be solemnized.  Rabbi Baruch Stern will perform the ceremony in the Beth Jacob Synagogue.  Music will be provided by Ted Nauman and Pauline Gleason.

The bride’s ballerina length gown has a lace bodice and net over satin skirt.  She will carry a white prayer book.

Mrs. Miriam Byrd, sister of the groom, will be matron of honor and the groom’s brother-in-law, Bill Byrd, will serve as best man.  Bridesmaids are Alice Aufricht and Irene Heller.

A small family dinner and reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

After a honeymoon in the east the young couple will be in Colorado Springs, Colo. where Mr. Weill is stationed with the Air Force.

Among the parties given for the bride-elect was a shower in her honor given by the Beth Jacob Auxiliary.


Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 4

Mr. and Mrs. William Solof announce the engagement of their daughter, Nancy Lee to Robert B. Skepner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Skepner of Beverly Hills.

The bride elect was graduated from Herbert Hoover High School and attended the University of Southern California joining Sigma Theta Pi, a national philanthropic sorority.
Mr. Skepner spent two years in the Navy and attended U.S.C. and U.C.L.A.

“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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