Volume 3, Number 143
 
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"
 

Today's Postings:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

{Please click on a link to jump to the corresponding story}

INTERNATIONAL

'Paternalism': the latest form of great power meddling ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
"Colonial" is among the dirtiest of words for those who aspire to be politically correct. It refers to the exploitation of the weak by the strong, which no right thinking person should tolerate.READ MORE

Israel’s astonishing but unaccepted success, then and now ... by J. Zel Lurie in Delray Beach, Florida
In the summer of 1947 I was somewhat at loose ends. I had signed a contract with Hadassah to begin the October publication of a revised and rejuvenated Hadassah Newsletter which later morphed into the Hadassah Magazine. What to do until then? READ MORE


Washington Roundup: Jewish issues and Jewish public officials


U.S. to post ambassador to Syria; Mitchell to meet with Barak READ MORE
Poll shows Americans believe Palestinians should acknowledge Israel as 'Jewish state'—ZOA READ MORE
Panel urges Obama to raise human rights at Moscow summit READ MORE
FTC Chairman Leibowitz says billions can be saved by outlawing drug companies' 'pay to delay' READ MORE
NCJW applauds Census Bureau counting same sex marriagesREAD MORE
Battle over anonymous Internet comments in New Hampshire
READ MORE

International Features

The overlooked Beit Avraham of the Ethiopian highlands ... by Amy Cowen in Kachene, Ethiopia
While nearly all Beta Israel have now been accepted and promised eventual access to Israel, there is a yet another Jewish community still hidden in Ethiopia’s highlands: the Beit Avraham or House of Abraham. READ MORE

Movie about Ethiopian immigrant teaches sad lesson ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
Recently Karen Primack’s fine review of Live and Become ran in San Diego Jewish World.  It is the story of an Ethiopian child living in a refugee camp whose Christian mother orders him to get on the airlift to Israel. READ MORE

ARTS

For Lowitt, shtick—writing it, producing it—is a Daily job ... by Max Weiss and Bob Fryer in Largo, Florida
Have you heard the one about the boy who began his Bar Mitzvah by performing standup on the bimah? READ MORE

Thursdays with the Songs of Hal Wingard


#5, Tomorrow READ AND HEAR
#6, Sometime Tomorrow READ AND HEAR
#7, My Love
READ AND HEAR

Tom Dudzick, the 'Catholic Neil Simon,' has humor for all ... by Carol Davis in Solana Beach, Florida
or those of us who survived the ‘50’s there are stories to be told, especially on the cusp of the ever changing ‘60’s. Rock’n Roll, Martin and Lewis, Buddy Holly, The Day The Earth Stood Still, African Queen, green stamps ... READ MORE

SPORTS
Jewish Major Leaguers issues 50-card fifth edition
Art Shamsky’s four consecutive home runs; Moe Berg’s record for consecutive errorless games, Phil Weintraub’s 11-RBI game, and Jake Pitler’s 15 putouts at second base, are just a few of the special achievements honored in the fifth edition of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards, now on sale.READ MORE


JUDAISM

Jews for Judaism 'Be True' Writing Contest
There were some things that fire could not consume ... by Josefa Corpuz in Los Angeles
After the fire, there was nothing left of my family's home but the concrete foundation, some charred wood beams, and mounds of ashes. Everything was gone: my mother's wedding dress, my father's library, the wooden menorah that my great-grandfather, a carpenter, had carved and brought with him from Latvia. All of it had disappeared in the ash that was our home, in the dust clouding the California sun.
READ MORE


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Bible in Pop Culture

God blessed the seventh day...Genesis 2:3 SEE IMAGE


Abraham's Oasis in Iraq (Photos from Talal S. Hilantu) SEE IMAGE


SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Filner backs Shoah education bill READ MORE
Three Chambers of Commerce to hold joint mixer in Solana Beach READ MORE
Andrews Sisters songs to be performed at Tifereth Israel READ MORE


JEWISH HISTORY
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

“At Least Once A Year" {Editorial} READ MORE
Jewish Center News READ MORE
B.B.’s Plan Award For Youth Contribution READ MORE
B.J. Sisterhood Hold Elections READ MORE
Pioneer Women Induct Incoming Officers READ MORE
City of Hope Jr. Aux Installation Dance READ MORE
Officers Named By Young Jewish Couples READ MORE

PHOTO GALLERY
Left 1: Ira Sharkansky, J. Zel Lurie, Donald H. Harrison, Hal Wingard z"l, Carol Davis
Right 1: Tal Hilantu at Abraham's Oasis, oasis
Right 2: Bob Filner


TODAY'S ADVERTISERS
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Ronald Reagan Diaries
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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


INSIDERS SDJW/ STAFF BOX

The story from the Jewish Press of Pinellas County, Florida, about Adam Lowitt, producer for television's Daly Show, is about the son of Bruce Lowitt, whose column "A bissel Jewish sports trivia" appears regularly in San Diego Jewish World. Bruce, who was a longtime sportswriter for the Associated Press and later the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, started at the Associated Press's Los Angeles bureau with SDJW editor Don Harrison in 1967.


DEDICATIONS
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 birthday wishes to
Harry Jacobson-Beyer. Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.


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


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Washington Roundup

Keeping tabs on Jewish issues and Jewish public officials


U.S. to post ambassador to Syria; Mitchell to meet with Barak

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)—Following is an excerpt from the news conference on Wednesday, June 24, of State Department spokesman Ian Kelly:


QUESTION: Can you confirm that you decided to send an ambassador again in Syria and Venezuela?
MR. KELLY: I do have something for you on that. As you know, we’re prepared to move forward with Syria to advance our interests through direct and continuing dialogue. Of course, you know that we continue to have concerns about Syria’s role in this region. And we think one way to address those concerns is to have an ambassador in Damascus. So yesterday, we informed the Syrian charge d'affaires in Washington, and our charge d'affaires in Damascus informed the ministry of foreign affairs in Damascus of the Administration’s decision to return an ambassador to Syria.
And this decision reflects the Administration’s recognition of the important role Syria plays in the region. And of course, we hope that they will continue to play such a constructive role to promote peace and stability in the region.
You know, of course, that Acting Assistant Secretary Feltman and his NSC colleague Shapiro made several trips to Damascus, as did Senator Mitchell. And this is part of a natural evolution of our reengagement with Syria.
QUESTION: You said several trips. There were only two; correct?
MR. KELLY: Two, yeah. I meant two.
QUESTION: Is there any date for the meeting between Senator Mitchell and Prime Minister Netanyahu?
MR. KELLY: That meeting will be rescheduled. As you know, as I said yesterday, it was postponed because we wanted to have a meeting between Senator Mitchell and Defense Minister Barak on Monday here in Washington. But no, it hasn’t been rescheduled yet.

**
QUESTION: Just to return to Syria if we can?
MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Has the United States been asking the Syrians to use their good offices with Hamas to advance the prospects of a unity government with the Palestinians?
MR. KELLY: James, I’m frankly just not aware that we’ve had those kind of discussions. And even if we have had them, I’m not sure that we’d want to make them public.
QUESTION: And is any thought being given to delisting Syria from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism?
MR. KELLY: No, not that I’m aware of.
QUESTION: Can --
MR. KELLY: Yes.
QUESTION: I have a question on Netanyahu. May I --
MR. KELLY: Back to Netanyahu, okay.
QUESTION: Can – okay.
QUESTION: Yeah. What was the reason, why was it felt that it would be better to have the Barak meeting first? And whose initiative was it, the plan changed?
MR. KELLY: Yeah. I think – Bob, I think I addressed this yesterday. It was a joint decision made by respective staffs, and I think that we just agreed that before we had a meeting with the prime minister, we needed to have a meeting with Mr. Barak.
QUESTION: There must have been a change of thinking, because the original plan was to have the meeting in Paris and --
MR. KELLY: Yeah, I think there was – yeah, obviously, there was a change of thinking and they decided to have a intermediary step before meeting with the prime minister.
QUESTION: For no particular reason, or any particular reason?
MR. KELLY: I’m not sure exactly what the reason would be.
QUESTION: All right. But the announcement came pretty much right after Israel’s – you know, this new settlement activity and --
MR. KELLY: You’re making a linkage.
QUESTION: I am, because, I mean, it’s – you know, it’s a day or two --
MR. KELLY: I’m not prepared to make a linkage.
QUESTION: -- before a meeting, all of a sudden, this announcement comes out and (inaudible) meeting.
MR. KELLY: Yeah. I’m just not – I wouldn’t draw that conclusion necessarily. I mean, it seems natural to me that the Israeli Government would, before we have a meeting with the prime minister, that we would have a meeting with a key member of his cabinet. And I wouldn’t see anything in it beyond that.
QUESTION: If I can go back to Syria. Is the – did the situation in Iran help to take the decision to send somebody back to Damascus (inaudible)?
MR. KELLY: As I said before, I think this is just the natural culmination of an evolution of our reengagement with Syria.
QUESTION: There is no link whatsoever?
MR. KELLY: I’m not aware that there was any influence of the very dramatic situation going on in Iran.
Yeah, you’ve been waiting a long time. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Yes. The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Arab League issued a positive statement today in Cairo committing themselves to be helpful or to cooperate positively with the – Obama’s goal to achieve the comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
MR. KELLY: Yeah.
QUESTION: Are you aware of this statement they issued today?
MR. KELLY: I’m not aware of it. It sounds like something that we should welcome. It sounds like a very positive development. But let me see if I can get you a more formal reaction from the State Department to that.
Yeah.
QUESTION: On Syria, I just wanted to – Syria, just to finish up. If I’m not mistaken, you said that you hope that Syria will continue to play a constructive role?
MR. KELLY: Yeah.
QUESTION: Has it been playing a constructive role so far?
MR. KELLY: Well, without going into too much detail, I think you’ve seen some comments from people like General Odierno. I know that they have played a positive role in addressing some of our very real concerns about foreign fighters crossing from Syria. We’ve had some good discussions with them in those four different visits that we had to Damascus – the two visits, the Feltman/Shapiro delegation, the Mitchell visit, and then you had a CENTCOM visit as well. So yeah, I think that’s a fair assessment.
QUESTION: Was there also a visit by another assistant secretary of state in connection with scouting locations for a new embassy in Damascus?
MR. KELLY: I’m not sure about that.

Preceding transcript provided by the State Department


Poll shows Americans believe Palestinians should acknowledge Israel as 'Jewish state'—ZOA

NEW YORK (Press Release)—A new poll has shown that more than 4 out of 5 Americans – 81 percent – agree with the demand  made by the Netanyahu government believe that that Palestinian leaders should acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, as against 7 percent who think they should not. The poll, conducted by Rasmussen, also showed that only 27 percent of Americans believe it likely that Palestinian leaders will acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, as against 60 percent who regard it as unlikely. Moreover, that 35 percent of Americans believe that Obama is not supportive enough of Israel, whereas only 10 percent believe that he is too supportive of Israel (‘Toplines - Israel & Palestine - June 21-22, 2009,’ Rasmussen National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters Conducted June 21-22, 2009).

These findings are consistent with a June Israel Project poll which found that 44 percent of American voters believe that believe the United States should support Israel, as against 5 percent who believe the United States should support the Palestinians (‘Poll: American voters’ support of Israel drops,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 2009). They are also consistent with a January 2009 Israel project poll that found that 73 percent of Americans believe the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is about ideology and religion, compared to only 19 percent who believe that the conflict is about land (Israel Project poll, January 10-12, 2009, Etgar Lefkowits, ‘Americans still strongly support Israel,’ Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2009)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This poll demonstrates that Americans understand and support the Netanyahu government’s position that the Palestinians must demonstrate in word and deed that they accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state if there is to be any prospect of a genuine peace. Clearly, what is happening now – the promotion of hatred and violence against Jews and the West in all aspects of their culture, from their schools, to their mosques, to their media, to their speeches – is feeding the conflict, not ending it. The results of this poll and the other recent survey cited – especially the Israel Project poll finding in February that nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that the conflict is based on religion, not on land, for which reason Israeli territorial concessions won’t solve it – bear this out this understanding.

“This poll also shows that the Obama Administration’s strong public pressure on Israel to make further concession to an unreconstructed Palestinian Authority does not enjoy the agreement of the American public.”


Panel urges Obama to raise human rights at Moscow summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)— U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), along with Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (Democrat, Florida), Ranking Minority Members Senator Sam Brownback (Republican, Kansas) and Congressman Chris Smith (Repulican, New Jersey) sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday urging him to make the discussion of violations of human rights, including religious and press freedoms, high priorities for his upcoming summit in Moscow.

The leaders of the U.S. Helsinki Commission cited Russia’s violations of religious and press freedoms – including the country’s attacks on Jehovah’s Witnesses and its failure to prosecute those who have murdered journalists.

“Human rights, freedom of the press and freedom of religion are critical issues that need to be raised with Russia at the

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highest levels possible,” said Chairman Cardin. “Silence allows others to wrongly interpret our actions as tacit support. I strongly encourage the Administration to include human rights in a very visible and frank manner.”

The joint letter voices concerns which were highlighted Tuesday in a Commission hearing titled “The Medvedev Thaw: Is it Real? Will it Last?” Commissioners heard from the leader of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia about how members of that religion face official harassment because of their faith; a prominent businessman whose company was stolen by a network of corrupt government officials; and the widow of murdered Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov, who was assassinated five years ago July after reporting on political corruption. Nobody has been held to account for Klebnikov’s murder.

“I hope President Obama will make discussions of freedom a central part of his visit with President Medvedev and show human rights advocates the world over that America’s commitment to reset the Russian relationship should come with a corresponding reset of Russia’s human rights record,” Co-Chairman Hastings said.

The Russian crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the banning of religious literature is an outrageous display of discrimination.

“As an OSCE participating State, Russia should be encouraged to fully respect the rights of all Russians, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, to freely profess and practice their faith without fear or intimidation,” Commissioners wrote in the letter to President Obama.

Preceding provided by U.S. Helsinki Commission



FTC Chairman Leibowitz says billions can be saved by outlawing drug companies' 'pay to delay'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) In a speech Tuesday before the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz (at left) said that an internal FTC analysis projects that stopping collusive “pay-for-delay” settlements between brand and generic pharmaceutical firms would save consumers $3.5 billion a year and also reap significant savings for the federal government, which pays approximately one-third of all prescription drug costs. Chairman Leibowitz urged Congress to pass pending legislation to ban or restrict such anticompetitive patent settlements, in which manufacturers of brand-name drugs pay potential generic competitors to stay out of the market, as a way to control prescription drug costs, restore the benefits of generic competition, and help pay for health care reform.

“From my perspective, . . . the decision about whether to restrict pay-for-delay settlements should be simple,” Chairman Leibowitz said. “On the one hand, you have savings to American consumers of $35 billion or more over ten years – about $12 billion of which would be savings to the federal government – and the prospect of helping to pay for health care reform as well as the ability to set a clear national standard to stop anticompetitive conduct. On the other hand, you have a permissive legal regime that allows competitors to make collusive deals on the backs of consumers.”

Chairman Leibowitz stated that “eliminating these [pay-for-delay] deals is one of the Federal Trade Commission’s highest priorities.” In these agreements, a brand-name company settles its patent law suit by paying the generic firm to delay entering the market. Such deals can cost consumers billions of dollars because generic drugs are typically priced significantly less than their branded counterparts.

More than two decades ago, Congress passed the Hatch-Waxman Act, which was designed to make it easier for generic drugs to enter the market, while giving brand-name manufacturers the patent protection they need to encourage lifesaving research, the Chairman explained. While the legislation initially worked as intended, resulting in significantly lower prices for consumers through generic drugs, drug companies eventually found they could delay generic entry by settling patent litigation using pay-for-delay tactics.

Leibowitz remarked that while the FTC successfully stopped such illegal payments earlier this decade, recent appellate court decisions, beginning in 2005, have blessed these anticompetitive settlements. These decisions have “opened a Pandora’s box of settlements” with generic firms competing to be the first to get paid off to stay out of the market instead of competing to be the first to come to market.

A new agency analysis of available economic data provides useful information about the potential savings from banning pay-for-delay settlements. The analysis projects that eliminating such settlements could save consumers $3.5 billion each year, totaling $35 billion over a decade. The FTC data analysis, he said, provides further evidence of “the cost of failing to eliminate pay-for-delay patent settlements.”

In addition, because the federal government currently pays about one-third of the nation’s $235 billion prescription drug bill, prohibiting such anticompetitive settlements could save the government roughly $1.2 billion a year, or $12 billion over 10 years.

Leibowitz pointed out that recently there have been some encouraging signs for consumers in the Administration, in the courts, and in Congress. First, the new Administration “has created momentum for a national solution to stop [pay-for-delay] settlements,” with both the President and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine Varney stating their opposition to such deals. Second, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has questioned its own precedent, set in the Tamoxifen case, by asking the Department of Justice to weigh in on a pending case raising similar competitive issues. Third, “support is building in Congress for a solution,” the Chairman said, with a House subcommittee this month voting in favor of a bill that would prohibit these settlements, H.R. 1706, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2009.

Preceding provided by Federal Trade Commission


NCJW applauds Census Bureau counting same sex marriages

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)— The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today applauded the US Census Bureau for its decision to count same sex couples in the 2010 census. NCJW President Nancy Ratzan released the following statement:

"Last year NCJW joined the campaign to urge the Census Bureau to count same-sex couples as such in the 2010 census. The Bureau had declared that it would not report the number of same-sex couples who identified themselves as married, and that data collected from these couples would be altered to instead list their status as 'unmarried partners.'

"NCJW said then that the Bureau's decision was a blatant politicization of the census and threatened the accuracy of this important exercise. The census results not only determine apportionment for voting purposes, but are key to the provision of a wide variety of social programs and federal spending. So we are very pleased that last week the Bureau reversed course and vowed to make the necessary changes to data collection to accurately record the existence of same-sex marriages. Acknowledging individuals for who they are and how they classify themselves is basic to human dignity and civil rights. We are gratified that our government has taken one more essential step toward treating each of us with the basic rights we all deserve."

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Preceding provided by National Council of Jewish Women


Battle over anonymous Internet comments in New Hampshire


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)- An Internet forum that follows the "imploding" banking and housing markets should not be required to identify a person who posted critical comments about a Plaistow, N.H., mortgage company, Public Citizen said in a brief filed today in the case.

Federal law immunizes the operators of bulletin boards and blogs from being sued for information posted by others, Public Citizen said in an amicus brief filed with the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In this case, the lower court erred by telling the Web site operator, Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, that it had to provide Mortgage Specialists Inc. the identity of the anonymous critic, as well as remove two comments he or she left on the site’s forum.

"The right to engage in anonymous speech is fundamental to a free society," said Paul Alan Levy, the Public Citizen attorney who filed the brief, with local counsel Jon Meyer of Manchester, N.H. "Courts have recognized that the right to remain anonymous should not be taken away without compelling reasons."

Not only did the lower court ignore federal law, it failed to recognize the First Amendment rights of the anonymous critic, the brief said. The lower court should not have granted Mortgage Specialists’ subpoena without first making the company attempt to notify the anonymous critic about the pending court action.

There is also strong precedent from other courts in other states that the court should require Mortgage Specialists to show a valid reason - such as evidence of falsity - before it takes away someone’s right to speak anonymously, the brief said.

Preceding provided b y the Public Citizen

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'Paternalism': the latest form of great power meddling

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—"Colonial" is among the dirtiest of words for those who aspire to be politically correct. It refers to the exploitation of the weak by the strong, which no right thinking person should tolerate. No matter that colonial power claimed they were protecting and uplifting the weak. No matter that there is a debate as to whether colonial powers profited from their role, or spent more than they reaped. No matter that in several instances the colonial power left behind physical infrastructure and training that helped the newly independent states. Slavery and blatant exploitation in the Belgian Congo, and its lack of preparation for independence set the standard for judging other places.

The former colonies that became the United States were among the best treated. That is not what I learned from Anglophobic teachers in Fall River, but that is the message of recent histories. Such a judgment overlooks slavery and the treatment of Native Americans. The contrast between what I was taught, and what I now read is useful in recognizing the politics involved in judging colonialism.

Britain and France were the colonial big leaguers. Spain lost out by the end of the 19th century; Germany as the result of World War I; Holland ended its play with the Japanese occupation of what became Indonesia; and Portugal petered out along with Britain and France in the 1960s. The Soviet Union claimed to be the primary anti-colonialist, but kept at something that looked like colonialism until its empire collapsed. One can argue if Russia remains a colonial power with respect to areas in the Caucasus, or if the United States has a colonial relationship with Puerto Rico.

Allegations about "neo-colonialism" are also ugly. They concern the influence of powerful states and corporations over the weak. Again, reality is more complex than the image. Poor states have become heavily indebted due to the corruption of native leaders who signed contracts in exchange for large payments into their bank accounts, while buying goods and services that were not worth the price. Much of the responsibility should rest with the corporations making the deals. How much blame should we assign to the home countries of the enterprises, and how much to the countries ruled by corruption?

The nasty images of colonialism and neo-colonialism may have served in recent years to limit their most obvious and harmful manifestations, at least in places where people restrain corruption.

What has taken their place is another form of great power meddling in the affairs of lesser powers. The best term I can think of is "paternalism."

Like colonialism, paternalism is wrapped in lofty sentiments. The patron may work with other powerful countries in behalf of collective good intentions, sometimes through the United Nations. What can be more disinterested?

The United States is the primary paternalist. We can distinguish what might be called "dry paternalism," which operates here, and whose greatest success turned a war-torn Europe into the European Community. "Wet paternalism"

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comes along with armed force, as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, off and on in Latin America.

It is not easy to assess the balance of benefits and costs of American paternalism in this one small country. The history from 1967 includes military supplies and financial assistance that helped Israel greatly during periods of extreme stress. Political agreements with Egypt in 1974 and 1978-79 came with American inducements and pressure. Some Israelis argue that those agreements were not worth the concessions required. However, peace has held for 30 years on what had been a bloody front for the previous 30 years.

Every American president since George H. W. Bush has tried to broker an agreement between Israel and Palestine. None have induced the Palestinians to be flexible enough for an agreement.

Barack Obama is breathing life into paternalism with his claims of a new beginning. So far he has not done well with North Korea. Commotion in Iran makes it unwise to assess the future of that country. The president's comments about Israel and Palestine have caused their own commotion, and it is too early to predict the results.

The most recent action is a dictate from the State Department that there be no construction in the post-1967 neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

The administration may be aiming high in order to stop construction in Har Homa. This is the newest of the neighborhoods built within the boundaries that Israel declared for Jerusalem soon after the 1967 war. Har Homa has been controversial due to its proximity to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, and claims that it hinders transportation between the northern and southern areas of the West Bank.

Even a freeze applied only to Har Homa would be a severe challenge for the Israeli government. The Israeli foreign minister has said "leave us alone" almost as clearly as Obama has said that he wants to help us. Words from the State Department apply to neighborhoods that account for more than a third of Jerusalem's Jewish population. Will my Arab neighbors in French Hill be able to renovate their apartments while the Sharkanskys and other Jews are denied the opportunity?

Varda did not respond well when I said that the State Department would not want her to buy new curtains for the dining room.

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


Clicking the ad above will take you to the website of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which operates his presidential library in Simi Valley, California



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BEIT AVRAHAM TREKKERS—After returning from a walk through the Ethiopian countryside to some remote Beit Avraham
villages, Amy Cowen and some Beit Avraham men lift their aching feet. Bottom right: LITTLE AMY—In 2004, when Tutu, a member of the Beit Avraham, was pregnant, she became quite friendly with writer Amy Cowen who is an advocate for Ethiopians and Sudanese refugees in Israel. The baby was named after Cowen, who met her namesake for the first time in 2006 (pictured) when she returned to Ethiopia. Not pictured is Mesfin, husband and father.


KULANU

The overlooked Beit Avraham of the Ethiopian highlands

By Amy Cowen

KACHENE, Ethiopia—While nearly all Beta Israel have now been accepted and promised eventual access to Israel, there is a yet another Jewish community still hidden in Ethiopia’s highlands: the Beit Avraham or House of Abraham. Extending from the northern Shewa region south to the capital city of Addis Ababa, the largest enclave of Beit Avraham is located in an area known as Kachene, numbering roughly 50,000.

Although nearly analogous in terms of their history to the remaining Beta Israel, or Falash Mura, this community has been overlooked by Israel and the rest of the Jewish world.

They have no known relatives in Israel at this time and have not taken significant steps to disclose their identity. The success of other Beta Israel at throwing off the fetters that have silenced them for years has given a small number of Beit Avraham the confidence to defiantly speak the truth.

“My one desire is to make my people known to everyone around the world,” said Aselef Teketel, artist and advocate for his community. Yet, the vast majority of the Beit Avraham remain silent, hidden, and even slowly losing their Jewish heritage.

Silenced by fear, discrimination, and persecution, the Beit Avahram’s ancient past has remained a mystery and closed to outsiders, sometimes even the younger community members themselves. Similar to the Falash Mura, in an act of survival, the Beit Avraham hid their Jewish identity under a shroud of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity for centuries.

Rather than completely forfeiting their Jewish identity, the Beit Avraham outwardly appeared Christian, while continuing to secretly practice their forefathers’ faith and Jewish traditions.

Writer and actor Feleka Abebe says, “My grandmother used to always tell me we’re Jewish; it’s who we are, our heritage.”

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Yet, for others, it remained a mystery. “We were so confused [as children],” said one young man. Community members shared stories of their parents attending church one minute and in the next going off to the countryside to practice some secret religion. Continually haunted by the question, “Who am I?” many began to seek out their true identity, and as a result discovered this “secret religion” was Judaism.

Cowen is a Visual Anthropologist who has done extensive research and documentary photography of Ethiopian Jews both in Ethiopia and in Israel. She made Aliyah in 2006.


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Movie about Ethiopian immigrant teaches sad lesson

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO--Recently Karen Primack’s fine review of Live and Become ran in San Diego Jewish World.  It is the story of an Ethiopian child living in a refugee camp whose Christian mother orders him to get on the airlift to Israel.  A woman who lost her child accepts him, gives him an identity, but dies not long after her arrival in Israel.  He is alone and masquerading as a Jew, desperately missing his mother.  A French-Israeli family adopts him, and we watch him grow into manhood.

I watched the video of this movie with my grandson Shor, 8, who could relate to the little boy moving to Israel.  Shor has visited his father Shahar’s family in Israel many times.  This movie marked the first time Shor had to read subtitles to follow the story, and I wondered if it would hold his interest.  It did indeed. 

For him, the most shocking aspect of the tale was the bigotry that Schlomo, the Ethiopian lad, encountered from white Israelis.  Parents threatened to withdraw their children from class unless Schlomo were transferred—they said they didn’t want the classroom standards to be lowered.  When he went to the birthday party of a schoolmate, her father closed the door in his face after warning him never to come back.  When years later, he and that girl were married, the father and the rest of the family tore their garments and declared her dead.  Rabbis meanwhile taught that Black people were the descendants of the biblical Ham, and that they carried Ham’s curse.

“Would they treat John Finley like that?” Shor demanded indignantly.

Shor was referring to a man who he thinks of as an uncle, a man who has been a friend of Shor’s mother Sandi since the time they were both students at UC Santa Barbara,  a man who frequently drives down from Los Angeles to grace our family celebrations.  

“Perhaps,” I said.

“It’s not right!”

The saddest part of this conversation was the knowledge that the people who were committing these wrongs were our fellow Jews.

My wife Nancy told Shor that the United States has its own bitter history of discrimination against Black people, and that was one of the reasons why the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was such a momentous occasion.

But discrimination against Blacks, and against other peoples, continues, she pointed out.

Shor’s life has been fairly insular. He relates to African-Americans primarily through knowing John Finley and being a student at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School of Physical Education teacher Christina Dawson and her cheerful family members who help her run various activities.  Currently, Shor attends summer camp at the school under their supervision.

Of Africans, Shor has some knowledge—the husband of Gail Umeham, the assistant editor of San Diego Jewish World, being Okoronkwo Umeham, a Nigerian who has shared with us the culture of Arochukwu, his village in Eastern Nigeria.

So, Live and Become was a teaching moment.  We should always strive to do right by other people, and not prejudge them by their race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual preference.  We all are fellow human beings, no matter what our packaging. 

Within our own community, there are people who do not follow this rule—the rule set forth by Hillel as “what is hateful to you do not do to others” and repackaged by Jesus as “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”  We must do better.


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I felt good about Shor seeing Live and Become and the important message it helped teach.

At the same time, I felt terrible.  I was sorry that the world could be so disillusioning for an 8-year-old boy.

Live and Become may be purchased online from Menemsha Films.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. Email: editor@sandiegojewishworld.com





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Israel’s astonishing but unaccepted success, then and now

By J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida --In the summer of 1947 I was somewhat at loose ends. I had signed a contract with Hadassah to begin the October publication of a revised and rejuvenated Hadassah Newsletter which later morphed into the Hadassah Magazine. What to do until then?

I had covered the United nations Special Assembly on Palestine, for the Palestine Post and had received a congratulatory message from the editor, Gershon Agronsky. UNSCOP, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, was touring the Displaced Persons camps in Europe. Their report recommending that Palestine be partitioned into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947, which signaled the beginning of the War of Independence.

The Haganah had been active through phony but legal commercial companies buying ships and supplying crews for Aliya B. But its purchases of arms and bullet making machines were entirely illegal.

Among my volunteer jobs. I helped Haganah chiefs in New York , Shlomo Shamir and his successor Teddy Kolleck, in their delicate public relations efforts, fighting the flamboyant Irgun outfits, led by Peter Bergson.

One day I was taken to a warehouse in the Bronx to photograph bullet-making machinery. They would be taken apart and shipped to Haifa as textile machines. “Don’t you have blueprints?” I asked the engineer in charge. “Of course we have.” he replied in a strong Polish accent. “But we want those who will put it together to be able to see photos of what it is supposed to look like.”

Not all this precious machinery made it through the British blockade of Haifa. A crate fell down and broke apart in the American port. To this day I believe that the “accident” was arranged by the F.B.I. Their counter-intelligence experts identified the machinery and traced it to the Bronx warehouse. But by the time they raced to the Bronx, the warehouse was empty.

American counter-intelligence to this day is not friendly to Israel, contrary to the Administration and Congress. CI is keeping the Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, in jail despite presidential willingness to pardon him. But that is another story.

In the summer of 1947 I could fit in another part time job. And one turned up.

I was called to the office of Abraham Feinberg, the Haganah’s banker. Abe explained that the Haganah needed a public front. I was to open an office of a new organization, the American Friends of the Haganah.

Then he went to his safe and extracted $5,000 in cash for me to open a bank account for the new organization. It was hot, steamy July day in New York. I had no brief case. It was before the days of air conditioning. All I was wearing was a short sleeve shirt. I placed the large bundle of bills inside the shirt next to my skin. I had never previously handled more than few hundred dollars. I gave no receipt.

I opened an office in an East Side townhouse belonging to a doctor who was working for the Haganah in the D.P. camps in Europe. Our desks were interspersed with cloth-draped medical machinery.

By summers end, we had hired a permanent executive director and I moved my office to Hadassah.

I tell my brief fragmented story to illustrate the vast difference between then and now. Then the Haganah was preparing to fight the invading armies of six Arab nations. Vastly outnumbered, but better trained and better led, the Jewish men and women won almost every important battle.

The brave fighters of the Yishuv, who lost six thousand young men and women, one percent of the population, were assisted by foreign volunteers, who had been discharged from Allied armies. The Jewish lad taking the subway uptown, with $5000 pressed against his skin, saw the beginning of this operation.

NOW the State of Israel has an army, air force, and navy stronger than all of the six Arab states put together,

In addition, although it has never been acknowledged publicly, Israel reportedly has nuclear bombs and the submarines to carry and fire them if Israel is attacked by a nuclear bomb. Israel has nothing to fear from Iran, but that too is another story.

NOW Israel has peace treaties, including the exchange of ambassadors with two of its closest neighbors, Egypt and Jordan.

NOW Israel has had on the table for seven long years a proposal by all of the Arab states and scores of Moslem states including Iran for full peace, including exchanges of ambassadors, on the 78 percent of Palestine/Eretz Israel which was won in the war that we prepared for in ‘47.

Israel says the proposal is interesting and worth discussing while continuing to expand Jewish settlements in the remaining 22 percent of Palestine/Eretz Israel, not to mention continuing to demolish Palestinian homes, and to construct an apartheid road system for Israelis only

NOW the current Israeli prime minister has finally uttered the words a “demilitarized Palestine state.’ This is a wee tiny step on the long road to peace. He still refuses to freeze settlement construction. Acceptance of a freeze would be a major step towards peace and would save he Israel taxpayer a half billion shekels ($125 million). This is the sum allocated to “housing construction” in West Bank settlements in the 2010 budget now before the Knesset.

NOW Hamas while refusing to recognize Israel in words has accepted Israel by deed. It has offered Israel a long term truce, up to fifty years, which would become a de facto peace. Israel has officially ignored the offer.

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Hamas resembles the the Palestine Liberation Organization in its early days. The charter of the PLO called for the destruction of Israel. It took Yassir Arafat five years after he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn to succumb to President Bill Clinton’s pressure and publicly declare that the PLO charter was null and void. He promised a new charter in six months.

The new charter never appeared but Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas derives his authority over the Palestinians in the West Bank and theoretically Gaza and the Palestinian Diaspora as Chairman of the PLO.

NOW in the words of Daniel Gavron, a British journalist who emigrated to Israel in 1961, Israel is an “astonishing success’” In an op-ed piece in the New York Times on February 11, 2008, he wrote “we are repudiating our astonishing success.”

If in 1948 or even 1957, Gavron continued, “if somebody had said that one day virtually the entire world, including all the Arab nations, would accept the existence of the State of Israel in 78 percent of the land of Israel, he would have been regarded as idiotically optimistic or clinically insane. That, however, is where we are today. We have won but we reuse to accept the result.”

NOW, that refusal, engineered by the minority of West Bank settlers, has continued while President George Bush dilly-dallied.

NOW the new Obama/Clinton era has begun. Their first demand is that Israel abides by the Road Map issued by George Bush six years ago and freezes all settlement construction.

The Road Map, which was sponsored by a Quarttet (the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) also calls on Israel to dismantle the settlements, called outposts, which are illegal under Israeli law although they are supported by the government and the Army. This demand has been ignored for the time being.

NOW all polls show a solid majority of Israelis and Palestinians support the Obama/Clinton program.


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Guest Column

For Lowitt, shtick—writing it, producing it—is a Daily job

By Max Weiss and Bob Fryer
Jewish Press of Pinellas County, Florida 

LARGO, Florida—Have you heard the one about the boy who began his Bar Mitzvah by performing standup on the bimah?
 
From a young age, Adam Lowitt (photo at right) had a flair for the comedic, even to the pleasant surprise of Rabbi Gary Klein during his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor.

Sporting a pair of earmuffs while taking the microphone on the bimah, he jokingly complained in his best Yiddish voice about the air conditioning being too cold, before starting the service.

Lowitt, son of Bruce and Arlene Lowitt of Oldsmar, grew up in Clearwater and graduated from the University of Florida in 2002. He is now a supervising producer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and also performs standup comedy.

Returning to his alma mater, Lowitt performed standup along with fellow rising comedian and Comedy Central regular Demetri Martin. 

The show took place on April 14 and filled 6,000 seats at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the UF campus, with both comedians giving students a much-needed night of entertainment before finals week.

Lowitt performed his style of observational comedy on a variety of topics, ranging from his time in Gainesville and the college social scene, to his friends’ quirks and current life in New York City.

Both Lowitt’s and Martin’s material rang well with the college crowd, earning roars of laughter.

The event was put on by the student-run ACCENT Speakers Bureau, which brings in a variety of speakers to UF students, including past presidents, politicians, comedians, authors, and public figures. Lowitt’s and Martin’s performance was one of ACCENT’s most highly attended, and certainly brought smiles to the faces of his proud parents in attendance.

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Asked to e-mail some information on himself, Lowitt’s sense of humor shines through: “I went to Countryside High School, and was voted ‘most likely to appear in a Jewish Press article.’”

“My first job was at Boston Market but that was back when it was Boston Chicken and still had some street cred.”

Lowitt, 29, was a UF telecommunications major, studying TV and radio.

“I was always interested in comedy, but college is where I started to pursue it. I did a little bit of standup early on, but got really into long form improv.”

Lowitt says he does not do much improv these days, but that the training really helps his standup and writing skills. During his senior year at UF, he interned at The Daily Show and started working there a month after graduation.

“I’m a supervising producer now. It took several years of hard work, long days,” Lowitt says, adding with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “and correctly folding Mr. Stewart’s laundry.’’

Lowitt says standup is “a totally different beast than The Daily Show and I’ve been doing it for about five years. It’s just you and the microphone out there to do whatever you want for however much time you have. The number of sets I do in a week varies from none to seven but it’s usually somewhere in the middle. My job limits the amount of stage time I can get, but that’s a good problem to have.’’ 

 Lowitt says a side benefit of his job, though, is “I’ve had amazing opportunities to perform with insanely talented people because of the friends I’ve made over the years at my job.”

The size of the crowd he performs for is not as important to Lowitt as the attitudes of people in the audience. “I’ve done midnight shows for four people that have gone better than shows at 8 [p.m.] with 50.’’

“I want to be involved in comedy in some capacity for the rest of my life, but I  don’t think I could do standup fulltime. I like going to work every day, being around a bunch of funny people and putting together a show.”

Reprinted from the Jewish Press of Pinellas C0unty, Florida


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BASEBALL CARDS

Jewish Major Leaguers issues 50-card fifth edition

Newton, Massachusetts (Press Release)– Art Shamsky’s four consecutive home runs; Moe Berg’s record for consecutive errorless games, Phil Weintraub’s 11-RBI game, and Jake Pitler’s 15 putouts at second base, are just a few of the special achievements honored in the fifth edition of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards, now on sale.

The most heralded “niche” baseball card set of recent years also includes all Jewish players in the big leagues in 2008, noting Ryan Braun’s dramatic home run at the end of the regular season that thrust the Milwaukee Brewers into the playoffs, and Scott Schoeneweis moving to the top of the “games pitched” leaders among all Jewish players.

The 2008 season saw 13 Jewish players in the game including rookies Brian Horwitz and Josh Whitsell, along with Schoeneweis, Braun, Brad Ausmus, Jason Marquis, Gabe Kapler, Kevin Youkilis, John Grabow, Scott Feldman, Ian Kinsler, Jason Hirsh, and Craig Breslow.  Youkilis, Braun and Kinsler were all named to the All-Star team, tying a record for the most Jews in the All-Star Game in one season.  One-hundred fifty nine players of Jewish heritage have played in the Major Leagues according to the latest available research.

A newly-discovered player from the past – Bill Hurst of the 1996 Florida Marlins – receives his first card, and appears on the all-time roster of Jewish players, which is included along with career leaders.

The 50-card set also honors long-time Topps executive Sy Berger, the “Father of the Modern Baseball Card,” and the late Jerome Holtzman, a Hall of Fame sportswriter who created the “save” statistic.

A card honors three Jewish team owners of the past – Andrew Freedman of the New York Giants (1895-1902), Julius Fleischman of the Cincinnati Reds (1902-1925) and Judge Emil Fuchs of the Boston Braves (1923-1935). 

With creative research, the cards also pay tribute to such oddities as Guy Zinn, who was the first batter in Fenway Park in 1912, and to Lou Limmer, who hit the last Philadelphia Athletics home run in 1954.  Buddy Myer, the all-time Jewish stolen base champion, is cited for being the only Jewish batting champion in baseball history.

Kevin Youkilis, who nearly won the American League’s MVP award, did win the Jewish Major Leaguer’s MVP award for his spectacular 2008 campaign, and is thusly honored with an additional card.

The hugely popular master set of Jewish Major Leaguer baseball cards was issued in 2003, presenting a card for


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every player known to be of Jewish origin to that time.  A Cooperstown seminar at the Hall of Fame on that theme was presented the following year, and a seminar last year honored Hank Greenberg’s career.  Martin Abramowitz created the concept of this card set and continues to produce the followup editions.

The 2009 edition is available for $36 plus $3 shipping and handling, and orders should be sent to Jewish Major Leaguers, 104 Greenlawn Avenue, Newton, MA 02459.  Checks should be made payable to JML.  (www.Jewishmajorleaguers.org).  Orders received prior to March 31 are just $30 plus $3 shipping and handling.

This year’s edition is printed by Upper Deck Company, and is limited to 3,000 sets, each sold in a clear plastic case suitable for display.  





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JEWS FOR JUDAISM WRITING CONTEST

There were some things that fire could not consume

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. This is the concluding article

By Josefa Corpuz
4th year student, UCLA, Los Angeles
1st place winner, college division

LOS ANGELES--After the fire, there was nothing left of my family's home but the concrete foundation, some charred wood beams, and mounds of ashes. Everything was gone: my mother's wedding dress, my father's library, the wooden menorah that my great-grandfather, a carpenter, had carved and brought with him from Latvia. All of it had disappeared in the ash that was our home, in the dust clouding the California sun.

When we saw there was nothing left to salvage, my mother scooped some of the ashes into a plastic bag. She said she wanted to keep it and remember what we had lost. She made me wonder, "What did we really lose?"

Say the word, "Judaism," and what I think of first are things. A challah board, dusty with flour. A tallit, neatly folded. My great-grandfather's menorah. And books upon books upon books. I don't know what we would be without these.

And I know our religion, perhaps more than others, is based on tangibles. So many mitzvot are nothing more than reminders.

Touching a mezuzah before we walk through a door, burning a little bit of bread, tying strings and lighting candles in a certain way. "Remember," these things say. As humans with only five senses to understand the world, this is how we must connect with God. We touch the sacred, we hear it, we taste it and see it. As humans, there's no other way.

This is why we pause to remember so many other fires that ravaged our history. Nothing can be the same after these unique reminders are lost. And increasingly, it seems everything we do is one long fight against forgetfulness. I see my Jewish friends, my cousins, my classmates, losing the battle and choosing to forget. I worry that years from now I'll be the only one of all of them who still calls myself Jewish, rather than "agnostic" or "atheist" or "spiritual, but notreligious." Dry tinder waiting to be consumed.

But what has been saved?

In many, many ways we are lucky. No one in my family was hurt by the fire. And stepping through the rubble and charred wood of our home, I realized: I am the ashes. I am what remains of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, my mother and father.

Everywhere I go, they will go with me. When I pray, when I learn, when I light the Shabbat candles alone in my apartment, I am using



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the gifts they gave me. Nothing is needed to remind me. I
myself am the reminder.

There is a fire inside of me that will never go out. I will remember and guard it the rest of my life.



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Bible in Pop Culture: God blessed the seventh day...

Genesis 2:3

God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His work which God created to make.


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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Abraham's Oasis in Iraq
oasis1

GREETINGS FROM ABRAHAM'S OASIS—Talal "Tony" S. Hilantu is a member of the Chaldean community of San Diego County, who recently visited "Abraham's Oasis" near Al Asad Base in Al Baghdadi city west of Baghdad, Iraq. Writing to San Diego Jewish World editor Don Harrison that he recently read his 2002 story online about San Diego's Chaldean community, he added: "I figured I have to send you these pictures of our father Abraham’s Oasis. I hope you like them, please, remember us in your prayers. God
bless." Local tradiiton is that on his journey to the land God would show him (Canaan), Abraham stopped here to water his
animals. The site is close to the Euphrates River. Thank you, Talal! We're delighted to share the photos with our readers.


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San Diego County Jewish news and publicity


Filner backs Shoah education bill

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) — Congressman Bob Filner on Wednesday announced his support of the Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Act, H.R. 2089, to combat hate and violence through education about the Holocaust.

“As the generations who survived the Holocaust pass away, we must make sure their stories live on forever so those who would deny the Holocaust never have the ability to re-write history,” said Congressman Filner.

The Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Act is named after the renowned survivor of the Nazi death camps who dedicated his life to documenting the crimes of the Holocaust.  The bill will provide federal grants to educational organizations to teach students about the Holocaust.

Filner continued, “Many students across the country have not learned about the Holocaust because their schools do not have the necessary funds or tools to teach about this horrific event in humanity’s history.  It is important that students learn about the consequences of intolerance and hate so that we can truly say, never again!”

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Three Chambers of Commerce to hold joint mixer in Solana Beach

SOLANA BEACH, California—The San Diego Jewish Chamber of Commerce will join the Great Women Chamber of Commerce and the local Philippine Chamber of Commerce in a joint mixer from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 15, at Shampoo Too Hair Salon, 406 No. Cedros, Solana Beach.

The catered function will include "mingling, networking, raffle prizes and giveaways, not to mention increasing your business contacts," according to organizers


Andrews Sisters songs to be performed at Tifereth Israel

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Tifereth Israel's Friendship Club--a luncheon group for senior members—at 11 a.m. today (Thursday) will be treated to a nostalgic afternoon of Andrews Sisteers songs performed by Marla Worm and April Wilkolm.

While members eat their sack lunches, such songs as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" will be performed.

Further information may be obtained from the synagogue at (619) 697-6001.


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Thursdays with the songs of Hal Wingard, z"l

SAN DIEGO—We have been putting up the late Hal Wingard's songs thematically, meaning that we have been skipping around the body of his numbered works. Today, in contrast, we will fill in missing numbers.

#5 Tomorrow
#6 Sometime tomorrow
#7 My love



#5, Tomorrow

Oh, lady of shadows and fears,
How weakly you fight back your tears;
But you needn't worry, for out of the flurry
I'll rise up in garlands and cheers.

Today there's no cause for alarm.
El toro can do me no harm.
There'll be no disaster, for I am the master
Of toro and all of your charm.

Tomorrow in loving we'll lie.
The fear of today will be by;
And you will discover, tomorrow I'm lover..
If toro is dead and not I.

Oh, lady of shadows and fears,
How weakly you fight back your tears;
But you needn't worry, for out of the flurry
I'll rise up in garlands and cheers.

Tomorrow in loving we'll lie.
The fear of today will be by;
And you will discover, tomorrow I'm lover..
If toro is dead and not I.

(c) 2009 Estate of Hal Wingard; January 15, 1977; to Myla.


#6, Sometime Tomorrow

Grind, grind: keep the mill turning.
Stir, stir: keep the pot churning.
    Wait 'til sometime tomorrow,
    Sometime tomorrow,
    To be happy.

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Reap, reap: keep the scythe mowing.
Stitch, stitch: keep the thread sewing.
    Wait 'til sometime tomorrow,
    Sometime tomorrow,
    To be happy.

Dig, dig: keep the hoe weeding.
Squeeze, squeeze: keep the dough kneading.
    Wait 'til sometime tomorrow,
    Sometime tomorrow,
    To be happy.

Fan, fan: keep the fire burning.
Plough, plough: keep the soil turning.
    Wait 'til sometime tomorrow,
    Sometime tomorrow,
    To be happy.

Pound, pound: keep the nail driving.
Work, work: never stop striving.
    Wait 'til sometime tomorrow,
    Sometime tomorrow,
    To be happy.

(c) 2009 Estate of Hal Wingard; January 20, 1977



#7, My Love
Who is my love? Will I know her?
Who is the love for me?
How can I be
Happy and free?
Who is my love? Will I know her?

Where is my love? Will I find her?
Where is the love for me?
How can I be
Happy and free?
Where is my love? Will I find her?

You are my love. I have found you.
You are the love for me.
Now I can be
Happy and fee.
You are my love. I have found you.

(c) 2009 Estate of Hal Wingard; March 18, 1977; to Eileen.





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Tom Dudzick, the 'Catholic Neil Simon,' has humor for all

By Carol Davis

SOLANA BEACH, California—For those of us who survived the ‘50’s there are stories to be told, especially on the cusp of the ever changing ‘60’s. Rock’n Roll, Martin and Lewis, Buddy Holly, The Day The Earth Stood Still, African Queen, green stamps, drive in movies, dairy queen, Mc Donald’s, The Ed Sullivan Show and Elvis are now in the history books and in the hearts and minds of those of us who lived through them. Recreating them takes careful planning and someone who was either born into the fifties, lived their early childhood or even teen years through them and has fond memories of them.

Playwright Tom Dudzick, known as the Catholic Neil Simon, has written his own trilogy: semi autobiographical/fictional comedies Over The Tavern, Hail Mary! and Last Mass at Saint Casmir’s that have been successful in box offices and among audiences wherever they play. Dudzick was born over a tavern in 1950 in Buffalo, New York. Both Simon and Dudzick have their trilogies and their memories. Simon is more of my generation. Both capture the imagination of the times, one with a strong Catholic upbringing and the other with Jewish roots. Both level their string of zingers, fast and furious, yet both playwrights capture the essence of their particular ethnic backgrounds.

The North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach is mounting Over The Tavern, and it is a winner! David Ellenstein, artistic director who also directed this play got it so right with his excellent cast of age appropriate actors, Marty Burnett’s spot on set design, Lynne Griffin’s period costumes and Chris Luessmann’s sound especially recordings from the Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan shows.

Bonnie Durben’s prop and set dressings round out the picture of middle class family that indeed lives above a tavern and whose moderate station is as natural as, well the bunk beds the two middle boys share or the tension that exists between a family just making ends meet and groping for the right answers to satisfy their three teen aged children’s curiosity about sex, among other things. Remember Alfred E. Newman and Action Comic Books?  Posters of them were hanging on the wall of the boy’s bedroom.

The play opens with Rudy (Ian Brinistool) the thirteen year old being reprimanded by Sister Clarissa (Lynne Griffin) for not knowing his catechism or questioning the rules set down by the Church. “You’ll never be confirmed this way." She’s standing over him with a ruler and one wrong answer by him and it’s a swat in the head. Poor kid is also in trouble for imitating Ed Sullivan (he does a great impression, by the way) and making the other kids in his class laugh. But his problems are exacerbated by his inquisitiveness about things like being a good soldier for Christ, and why aren’t his prayers answered and ‘why can’t kids just do what kids are supposed to do?’

Dad, Chet Pazinski, (Matt Thompson) is too preoccupied with his own mishigas to really be present for his four kids. His own alcoholic father whose Tavern Chet runs while keeping Dad out of the faces of the customers, is time consuming and exhausting. Mom, Ellen Pazinski, (Courtney Corey) is busy looking after the household and keeping thing in order at home while being a buffer between the kids and Dad, a common pastime in those days as I remember.

But Over The Tavern is not a downer, it is a nostalgic slice of reality that takes pace in 1959 ‘Americana’ over the course of a week (Friday to Friday) in the Pazinski family with all the drama of a soap opera and the humor of a loving family who cares for each other, the Church and family values. It is brought to the fore with excellence and tender loving care.

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OVER THE TAVERN—Shown from left are actors Thor Sigurdsson, James Patterson, Courtney Corey, Matt Thompson, Ian Brininstool, Abbey Howe in production at North Coast Repertory Theatre. Photo Credit: Aaron Rumley

On opening night the entire cast was on target and from the laughter that could be heard especially from audience members who must have lived through those Catholic School ‘horrors’ of being whacked on the head with a ruler and being made to confess to sins of the flesh, etc., I found myself equally involved in the mirth, mostly because of the great and credible acting of the entire cast.

As mentioned earlier, Brininstool is a standout. His natural comedic timing is perfect just as are the questions he poses to  ‘No Sass’ Sister Clarissa, like why aren’t his prayers being answered to showing up at one of Sister Clarissa’s sessions with a Mickey Mouse hat sans ears to look like a skull cap. That one brought the house down.

James Patterson is Rudy’s older brother Eddie, who has his own set of worries, like being found out for reading girlie magazines and stomping out of the house indignantly threatening to make it on his own is wonderful as the fifteen year old ready for his own manhood. And sister Annie (Abby Howe) has skipped school to see a forbidden foreign film, which puts ideas into her head, ideas Mom is not quite ready to deal with. That and the secret Twinkie eating personify the plight of teenagers of any generation. Remember the slogan; “Tell your troubles to a Twinkie?”

Added to this mix they all deal with the youngest son’s disability (he’s slightly retarded and has picked up the word ‘shit’ from one of his siblings and shouts it out at some of the most inappropriate times) but for the most part he’s pretty much in the background of things. Thor Sigurdsson plays Georgie with just the right amount of quirkiness to be believed.

Both Thompson and Corey bring credibility to their roles of caring and tough loving Mom and distracted Dad doing what his family before him and thinking it was enough for his family. Lynne Griffin is perfect as the strict and demanding Sister Clarissa. Griffin has long been a San Diego actor who has also performed and taught all over the world. We’re thrilled to have her back in San Diego. She is also responsible for coaching the Buffalo dialect and designing the ‘50’s style clothing.
 
While sitting through Tavern, I found myself comparing the kids in Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs to the kids in Tavern. It’s not much different. That said someone with no knowledge of what goes on in the world of Orthodox Judaism some might find Chaim Potok’s The Chosen (another play mounted successfully at the NC) to be as alien to their religious upbringing as were my Jewish friends in the audience who might have found the teachings of the Church to be.  But fear not, that will not stop you from laughing out loud at the antics of the playwright’s family. It’s good clean fun and I highly recommend seeing it.

ENJOY! See you at the theatre.

 

 


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nancy.harrison@americasvacationcenter.com



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


“At Least Once A Year" {Editorial}
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953,  Page 2

A number of parents have spoken to me regarding the yearly picnic of the Sunday School children.  For the past two years the annual picnic has been a joint affair by all three Synagogues.  This year each of the religious schools went their own way and had separate events.

The question that the parents asked was, “Why?” what, they wanted to know was happening.  Well, we had no ready answer but in thinking it over we spotted a trend that bodes no good for the Jewish Community.  It is a tendency which the adults in this community have been indulging in for the past 5 years.  That is, a separatism in religious affairs.  It has spread so that people are being FORCED to take a stand in regard to the Congregation to which they belong; sometimes to the detriment of other organizations to which they belong.

But why visit this sort of thing on our children?  Why can’t they at least get together once a year?  Who is responsible for this attempt to divide the Jewish Community? Do we have no hope of ever presenting a united front on communal problems?  Is it a matter of personalities?  Do the boards of directors of each of the Congregations REALLY want to spread this separation beyond the religious spheres?  It will happen if nothing is done to stop it.

It is not too late to call a joint meeting of the leaders of the three Congregations during the summer and thrash this problem out.  We would be glad to do all in our power to promote such a meeting in order not to “visit the sins of the parents on the children.”

Jewish Center News
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953, Page 2

Softball for Softies—Unaffiliated men (over 17) who want to play softball every Sunday morning are asked to be at Wilson Junior High School playground on Sunday morning, June 7th, 10:30 a.m.  The Jewish community Center is sponsoring a softball league for Jewish groups and teams will be organized of interested ball players—Alpha Phi Pi, Lasker Lodge B’nai B’rith, B’nai B’rith Young Adults, A.Z.A. are organizing teams and all are looking forward to copping the championship.

Happy Old Timers—The next meeting of the Happy Old Timers will be held Thursday, 2:00 p.m., June 4th, at the Jewish Community Center, 3227 El Cajon Blvd.  Besides the usual lounge activities the film, “So You Want to See Israel,” will be shown.  All men and women past 50 years of age are invited to attend and join the fun.  The Hebrew Home for the Aged Auxiliary sponsoring the Happy Old Timers, will arrange for hostesses and refreshments.  Co-chairladies of this activity are Mmes. David Greenberg and Morris Freed.  Volunteers are needed to assist several of the participants in transportation to and from their homes.  Please call T.1-7744 if you’re available to help.

B.B.’s Plan Award For
Youth Contribution

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 2

The Birdie Stodel Chapter, Bay City Chapter, Samuel I. Fox, and Lasker Lodge of B’nai B’rith, are sponsoring a project entitled “The Youth of the Year Award.”  An award will be presented to an outstanding boy and girl, of each of the public high schools and parochial high schools of San Diego, for their participation in Community Affairs, or any contribution for the welfare of the community.

The awards will be presented to these outstanding students on June 24 at the Roosevelt Jr. High School.  Several prominent people will be present and prepared to speak on Youth.

B.J. Sisterhood Hold Elections
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 2

At the meeting of Beth Jacob Sisterhood held Tuesday, May 26th, Election of Officers was held, and the following ladies were unanimously elected:  Ruth Bobrof, Pres.; Muriel Strauss,

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Dorothy Penn, Esther Brisker, V.-Pres.; Frances Strauss, Treas.; Jennie Penn, Fin. Sec.; Mitzi Ornstein, Rec. Sec.; Ceil Schwartz, Corr. Sec.; Bess Schissel, Parl.; Bess Siegel, Historian.
Plans are being made for an Installation of these incoming officers by Ruth Brav, Chairman of Installation Program, assisted by Jean Camiel and Esther Brisker.



Pioneer Women Induct
Incoming Officers

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 2

Installation of Officers of Pioneer Women will take place on Thursday, June 4th at Beth Jacob Center.  Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon, followed by installation program with a guest from the Los Angeles Council as installing officer.  Pauline Press will turn over the President’s gavel to Jeanette Abrams.  Business will be deferred at this meeting and a fine program is planned.

The Annual donor dinner will be held on Sunday, June 21st at Manor Hotel.  Florence Barach, Chairman, is planning an outstanding program for this most important event of the year.


City of Hope Jr. Aux
Installation Dance

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 2

Last minute details for the glamorous City of Hope Junior Auxiliary dinner-Dance and Installation at the El Morocco Saturday evening, June 6, are being worked out by Ruth Axelrod, Installation Chairman and Leah Hoggard, incoming President.

Arrangements have been made for an appealing chicken or fish dinner to be served at 8:00 p.m. and to be enjoyed while listening to soft music by Stan Morton and his orchestra.  A short installation ceremony will be next on the agenda to be followed by dancing, intermingled with the top-notch entertainment that is customarily supplied by the City of Hope Medical Center at Duarte whenever its Auxiliaries request.

Donations will be $3.00 per person.  For reservations call Ruth Axelrod, T-2333 or Leah Hoggard, R-8140.


Officers Named By
Young Jewish Couples

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 2

Taking their bow at the next meeting of the Young Jewish Couples Club Sunday, June 7, at 8:00 p.m., at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue, will be the newly elected officers of the group.  Elected May 17 were Mmes and Messrs:  Sandy Alter, President; Joe Singer, Vice-Pres.; Sumner Alpert, Rec. Sec.; Sonny  Demberg, Corr. Sec.; Joe Finkelman, Treas.; Lew Anfanger, Herman Hornstein, Abe Sandler, and Al Rosen, Board of Directors.

This meet5ing, of course, will usher in a new Y.J.C. Club year.  It is most appropriate; therefore, that Rabbi Monroe Levens should take this opportunity to summarize again for the young couples the goals and ideals which prompted the forming of this group.  He will speak on “Directing Our Course.”


“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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