Volume 3, Number 145
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Sunday-Monday, June 28-29, 2009

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


Washington Roundup: Tracking Jewish issues, Jewish public officials
Merkel and Obama tell hopes for peace in the Middle East READ MORE
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs deflects anti-Israel questions READ MORE
Secretary Clinton meets Crown Prince of Bahrain: State Dept. lauds Lebanese P.M. Hariri READ MORE
Rahm Emanuel favorite dunking target at White House picnic READ MORE
Wyden pushes campaign to declassify government papers READ MORE
Polis, Frank offer federal bill prohibiting discrimination on basis of sexual orientation READ MORE

National/ International: Jewish issues and Jewish public officials

Quartet of U.N, U.S, EU and Russia provides its Mideast peace map READ MORE
Ecuador's foreign ministry leaves anti-Semitic grafitti on building READ MORE
Conference underway in Prague on Holocaust restitution READ MORE
Jewish innovators from 29 countries convene in Ramat Gan READ MORE


Obama wrong on Israel's settlements; Carter et al mislabel the position of Arabs in Israeli society ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem

Whose foreign policies will Iran's repression affect the most? ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel READ MORE

International Features
Correspondent Marmur, a Diaspora Jew, tells of the life
journey as pulpit rabbi, Zionist, that led to home in Israel
... by Donald H. Harrison READ MORE

Haganah munitions plant, food, and archaelogical site just some of the attractions San Diegans find on Israel tour ... by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal READ MORE

UC Santa Barbara ends inquiry into professor who compared Israel to Nazis in email to his students ... by Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed READ MORE

Two prayer vigils planned Monday to get the attention of Legislature READ MORE

Poizner says prosecutors need discretion to decide if a crime is
a felony or a misdemeanor READ MORE

Jewish Community creates fund to help those in economic need READ MORE

Cyber-Referral READ MORE

Jews not immune to bigory ... from Garry Fabian in Melbourne, Australia READ MORE
MYD Chai deciphered? ... from Susan Brooks in San Diego READ MORE

Bible in Pop Culture

Trees of the Field, Genesis 2:5 SEE IMAGE

Some color in otherwise dismal arts education picture ... by Sheila Orysiek in San Diego READ MORE

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Book serialization...I'm Still Here by Laura Simon
Dinah, My Stepmother READ MORE


Adventures in San Diego Jewish History

Birdie Stodel to Hold Fashion Show June 8 READ MORE
Calendar—June READ MORE
N.C.J.W. Members Attend workshop In Los Angeles READ MORE
Picnic and Conclave For City of Hope READ MORE
Jewish War Veterans READ MORE
Dedication of Ark and Synagogue Postponed READ MORE
Tifereth Israel Services READ MORE
Deceased {Sarah Gershon} READ MORE


Left 1: Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Robert Gibbs, Hillary Clinton, Sheikh Salman, Rahm Emanuel, Jared Polis
Left 2: Ira Sharkansky, Barry Rubin, Donald H. Harrison, Rabbi Dow Marmur, Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal
Left 3: Steve Poizner, Garry Fabian, Sheila Orysiek, Laura Simon

America's Vacation Center
Balloon Utopia
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Community Foundation
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


Rabbi Dow Marmur who divides his time between Jerusalem and Toronto, and writes from both, penned his memoirs several years ago. In this issue, editor Don Harrison offers an overview.

Each day's issue may be dedicated by readers—or by the publisher—in other people's honor or memory.
Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.

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

Tracking Jewish issues and Jewish public officials

Merkel and Obama tell hopes
for peace in the Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference at the White House on Friday in which they deplored the violence against protestors in Iran, and also summarized other points of their discussion.

Concerning the Arab-Israeli dispute, President Obama said: "We also discussed the broader Middle East and the need for all parties to redouble their efforts to achieve lasting peace, including two states, Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security. And during our recent visit to Buchenwald, Chancellor Merkel spoke eloquently of Germany's everlasting responsibility to the safety and security of Israel. Going forward, Germany will remain a critical partner in our efforts to bring safety and security to Israelis, the Arab states and Palestinians -- who must reject violence and recognize Israel's right to exist."

Merkel said she is desirous "that the peace process in the Middle East gains momentum, that there is progress, visible progress here, because that, too, might send a positive message to those forces in the Middle East who are not ready to be peaceful."

Preceding provided by the White House

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs deflects anti-Israel questions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)—Following are the Middle Eastern excepts of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' regular briefing for the news media on Friday:

Q President Carter was in Gaza recently and said that the people there are treated like animals. Does the President agree with that?

MR. GIBBS: I have not seen President Carter's statement on that. I think the President believes clearly that comprehensive peace can bring security, stability, and opportunity to all people in the Middle East. I think the President has spoken about ensuring that hope and opportunity for Palestinians if both sides will have the courage to come together and seek that long-term peace.

Q I have a follow-up. The President always speaks about the right of the Israelis to exist, but he doesn't speak about Palestinians, who 7 percent of their land is under occupation. Do they have a right to exist?

MR. GIBBS: Absolutely, Helen. I think if you look back at the --

Q Under occupation? How many years --

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, let me not parse the President's words. I think if you look through the speech in Cairo, I think the President is pretty clear in his support for comprehensive peace, as I said, a two-state solution that will bring stability, security, and opportunity to everyone in that troubled region of the world.

Q Well, my only follow-up is that in his public remarks, he only speaks of Israel's rights.

MR. GIBBS: No, I -- we'll pull that Cairo speech and we can have a conversation about different aspects of it. I think if you take a look at that again you'll see that the President is --

Q I'm talking about other times that he talked.

MR. GIBBS: Well, does that time not count?

Q How long does he go on that he never speaks of Palestinians?

MR. GIBBS: I think you can go back and look at his comments, and he's been very clear on this.

Preceding provided by the White House

Secretary Clinton meets Crown Prince of Bahrain: State Dept. lauds Lebanese P.M. Hariri

WASHINGTON, D.C—Following is a transcript of a briefing by Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley conducted at the State Department on Friday:

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon. I’m sorry for the delay, but we thought it was useful not to step on the President of the United States. To begin, a couple of announcements. Secretary Clinton met with His Highness Sheikh Salman, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain, today. They talked about a variety of regional issues, including the situation in Iran, Iraq, and the status of the Middle East peace process. The Secretary then went to the White House where she participated in the bilateral between the President and the chancellor of Germany.
Yesterday, a number of you had interest in the situation in Somalia, so we thought we would bring a senior State Department official down at 4:15 to give you a background briefing on the current situation there.
QUESTION: Why can’t you do it on the record?
MR. CROWLEY: We’re going to do a background briefing. You have your choice: You can choose to attend or not.
QUESTION: I’m just asking why – why --
MR. CROWLEY: We’re going to give you a background briefing. That’s what we’re offering you.
And finally, from Trieste today, Under Secretary Burns had a full day of meetings starting off with the G-8 foreign ministers meeting, followed by a press conference that you might have seen some coverage of, and there is a lengthy chairman’s statement. He attended a working lunch with foreign ministers, including the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Special Representative Holbrooke joined him there. After lunch, he and Special Envoy Mitchell attended a meeting of the Quartet, and obviously, a lengthy Quartet statement on the current situation. And the Quartet welcomed the commitment of both the Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas towards a two-state solution and also encouraged the parties, all parties, to continue to take meaningful steps to support the two-state solution.
With that, I’ll take your questions.
QUESTION: I just want to go to the Quartet and the – one of the most notable aspects of the statement was reiterating the longstanding position that Israel should abide by the Roadmap, and in particular, on settlement activity. And I want to know – I remember well what Secretary Clinton said about this recently, you know, no natural growth, sort of no nothing. But I wonder if the Administration is open to some kind of formula under which you would acknowledge that some construction, for example, where there are contractual obligations that have already been entered into, would have to – would go forward; in other words, they’d finish building x or y or z, because they’ve already broken ground or whatever, and they’ve signed contracts. So it wouldn’t be an absolute immediate, full, total, incontrovertible cessation, but that there would be some kind of wiggle room so that they could finish up certain contracts and then stop, as it were. Or is your view that, whenever the day comes, they should just, you know, put down the pick axes and lay down the bricks and stop full stop?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think that what the Quartet statement reiterated is what the President has said, the Secretary of State has said, and Special Envoy Mitchell have all said recently, which is we believe that all settlements should stop, full stop.
Now, we note that next week, Senator Mitchell will meet with Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, and we’re going to continue this conversation. But I think when George Mitchell was here the other day, he was asked about this kind of buzz regarding a deal, and he said there is a story in the replays, and had called that particular day and said, hey, that’s not where we are. So I think the United States position on this is clear. It’s reflected today in the Quartet.
But obviously, we’re going to continue to talk to both Israel and the other parties. And we are encouraging and strongly suggesting that all parties, not only the Palestinians, not only Israelis, but other countries in the region, all have a significant role to play to get us back to meaningful negotiation that moves us towards a permanent settlement and two-state solution.
QUESTION: That’s a full and total, immediate stop --
MR. CROWLEY: Arshad, I think the President, the Secretary, and Special Envoy Mitchell have all made pretty categorical statements on this, and that’s reflected in the Quartet statement today.
QUESTION: Will you be discussing settlements? Will George Mitchell be discussing settlements with Ehud Barak? And what is there left to discuss?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m certain that that will be one of the issues discussed.
QUESTION: So what is left to discuss then if the U.S. doesn’t have any wiggle room on that?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we have a process that we hope to get restarted. So there are a number of issues; settlements are one of them. And the real question is how you can move in a meaningful way back towards a formal negotiation. So we are about setting the conditions where we think a negotiation can get restarted, and then all parties can begin to take the kinds of actions necessary for us to move towards the two-state solution that everyone believes is the right answer.
QUESTION: Yes, just for clarification, is the meeting on Monday in New York?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not sure that all of the details are squared away, whether it’s Monday, Tuesday. But I think we’ll – there is the meeting early this week. But I just – it’s a question of when the defense minister will actually arrive.
QUESTION: Will you advise us --
MR. CROWLEY: Absolutely.
QUESTION: -- where the meeting is?
MR. CROWLEY: Absolutely.
QUESTION: Thank you.
QUESTION: Just to go back to the settlements (inaudible) resuming negotiation issue. Senate Mitchell, as you well know from the G-8 transcript, said that he hoped that negotiations could resume soon. Do you know what is the basis? He’s a cautious man and careful with his words. Do you know what is the basis for that hope?
MR. CROWLEY: He also said he is an optimistic man. As I seem to recall when he was here with you recently, he said if he wasn’t an optimist, he wouldn’t take this job.
I mean, obviously, you have to have the right conditions that lead to a negotiation. And we are probing all sides in this. And certainly, the Secretary’s conversation with Sheikh Salman is part of this, which is not only do you have the right conditions, do you have the right understandings, do we understand the starting positions that the Israelis would have, the Palestinians would have, to begin a formal negotiation, and are we confident that if

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that negotiation started is there going to be adequate support within the region to help get the kind of progress that we’re anticipating.

So we do reflect a sense of urgency here. We want to get this process restarted. But we obviously have recognized that we have to make sure that the conditions are right so that the negotiation can both get restarted and show the kind of progress that is necessary.

Did her conversation with the Crown Prince today specifically address that point of seeking explicit Arab support in the region for resuming negotiations? And secondly, any gestures from those Arab countries that do not have peace agreements with Israel to begin to make the steps toward normalization?
I was not at that bilateral, so I don’t have a real sense of the texture. But I think that we have a recognition that the Israelis, the Palestinians, all parties in this process have a significant role to play. It’s one of the reasons earlier this week we announced a resumption of – replacing an ambassador in Damascus, because we recognize that there are a variety of countries here that will have roles to play. We want to make sure that we have the right conditions in the region so that this negotiation can be restarted.
But even if you don’t the texture of the meeting, do you know – and you weren’t in it, do you know if those two issues were raised: seeking Arab support and seeking steps toward normalization with Arab states?
Let’s see if we – I’ll see – if I have anything else I can tell you, I will.

There are two Palestinian American boys in Gaza who are trying to get their passports renewed. Apparently, they can’t leave Gaza to go to Israel to renew that because there are no U.S. consular services in Gaza. I was curious to see what the – if you had any statement on either their case or on the case generally of Palestinian Americans who are trying to leave that territory.
MR. CROWLEY: I do not. We’ll take the question.
QUESTION: Yes. What’s the purpose of the visit of the Crown Prince of Bahrain? He is here with a large delegation, and he met today with Secretary of Defense. Are you conducting the strategic dialogue with Bahrain?
MR. CROWLEY: I mean, Bahrain is a very important partner within the Middle East. We have had long and successful workings with Bahrain. Obviously, they host one of our more important military commands in the region. We believe going forward – we’ve gone through consultations at a variety of levels with all of the countries in the Gulf to help understand how they see the situation in Iraq, Iran, other issues in the region, and it’s very beneficial.

QUESTION: Change of subject? Lebanon? The son of Rafiq Hariri, Saad Hariri has been chosen to be the next prime minister. Is it good news?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, there was a recent and very successful election process in Lebanon. Obviously, it stands in remarkable contrast to what has occurred in Iran. By every indication, it was a free and fair election. And this is the – it represents the logical outcome of that effort. So I think we congratulate him for being named as prime minister. We look forward to working with him and his government, and we’re happy to see the political process yield a stable government in Lebanon and we look forward to working with him.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) government. I’m not suggesting it’s unstable, but governments in Lebanon in recent years have had considerable internal tensions between the March 8th and the March 14th –
MR. CROWLEY: Sure. And obviously, there is by definition a history. But this appears to be a process that has worked effectively. It was a peaceful outcome. It appears that the result here represents the will of the people and a successful outcome of an election. Obviously, I’m not trying to minimize the challenges that Lebanon faces. But obviously, you had a successful political process that has yielded in a short term the emergence of a new government, and we look forward to working with him.

Preceding provided by the U.S. State Department

Rahm Emanuel favorite dunking target at White House picnic

WASHINGTON, D.C. --White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was a favorite target in the dunking booth at the congressional picnic Thursday on the White House lawn. Emanuel's former congressional colleagues and even President Obama took turns hitting a target, which dunked Emanuel into a vat of water. The White House provided this video:

Preceding provided by the White House

Wyden pushes campaign to declassify government papers

WASHINGTON, D.C (Press Release)- In a letter laying out a series of principles and policy recommendations drawn from his years of challenging excessive government secrecy, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) commended the White House for initiating a landmark review of the nation’s classification system. In his letter, Wyden states that protecting the nation from foreign threats often requires the U.S. government to operate in secret, but said that in too many cases “the natural bureaucratic tendency to avoid being second-guessed has triumphed over the public’s right to know.”

“I believe it would...be helpful to give officials with original classification authority more training and more specific guidelines about when and how information should be classified,” wrote Wyden. “A 2006 audit by the Information Security Oversight Office found that only 64 percent of sampled records had clearly been properly classified, and this strikes me as an obvious indication that the officials doing the classifying could use more guidance and instruction.”

In his three page letter, Wyden praises the President for his consideration of a National Declassification Center, a principal recommendation of the Public Interest Declassification Board, which Wyden worked to establish as part of the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004. “One of the primary problems with the declassification system as it exists today is that declassification is a secondary or tertiary responsibility for every agency involved… Creating an entity – even a small one – whose primary mission is assessing and improving the performance of the declassification system would greatly improve this situation.”

Preceding provided by Senator Wyden

Polis, Frank offer federal bill prohibiting discrimination on
basis of sexual orientation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)—U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (Democrat, Colorado) along with Reps. Barney Frank (Demcorat, Massachuseets) and Tammy Baldwin (Democrat, Wisconsin) held a press conference Wednesday, June 24, to announce the introduction of the 2009 Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

“Every day, hard-working Americans are fired, denied employment, or harassed in the workplace because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Polis. “Passing an all-inclusive ENDA is an important step in the equality agenda. This bill states loud and clear that there is no room for discrimination in the American workplace, and will bring much-needed federal protection to LGBT workers in the many areas of the country lacking protection. With Democrats firmly represented in both chambers of Congress and the White House, we must not waste this historic opportunity to pass meaningful equality legislation and improve the workforce conditions for all Americans.”

Although some states have passed laws to prevent such discrimination, it is legal in 30 states to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and legal in 38 states to discriminate on the basis of gender identity. According to research by the Williams Institute, there is an ongoing pattern of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide.

The legislation would extend federal employment laws, which currently prevent job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability, to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill covers both the public and private sectors.

Contrary to assertions by some organizations that have opposed ENDA, the legislation does not afford “special rights” to any group. Moreover, it specifically prohibits preferential treatment based on quotas; it specifically exempts members of the Armed Services, veterans’ service groups, and religious organizations; and it does not require employers to provide benefits to domestic partners.

“Our businesses need to be able to tap into a diverse workforce to compete in a global environment,” said Polis. “Discriminating against people on the basis of race, or gender, or physical disability, or sexual orientation and gender identity, is simply inefficient and puts American businesses at a disadvantage in today’s economy. By passing ENDA, we can ensure that our businesses hire the very best and brightest the American workforce has to offer.”

The bill has drawn impressive support in the House of Representatives. The legislation has 118 original cosponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans. Among those represented are some of the most powerful and influential members of the House, including Democratic Representatives. George Miller of California, Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, . John Conyers, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Henry Waxman of California, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Howard Berman of California, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Bob Filner of California, Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Rep. Robert Brady, Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, Rep. Louise Slaughter, Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, and more than 30 House subcommittee chairman and ranking members. Also supporting the bill is Michael Quigley (Democrat, Illinois), the newest member of Congress.

Congressman Robert E. Andrews (Democrat, New Jersey), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions of the Education and Labor Committee, plans to hold hearings on ENDA in July.

In 2007, the House passed a version of the current legislation which protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but did not include a provision on gender identity. It is expected that the present bill, including gender identity, will pass the House this year.

Preceding provided by Congressman Polis

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National, International Jewish news roundup

Quartet of U.N, U.S, EU and Russia provides its Mideast peace map

TRIESTE, Italy—The following statement was issued today by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, and the United States), which met here on Friday:

The Quartet - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, U.S Under Secretary of State William Burns, and U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell - met in Trieste on June 26, 2009. They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The Quartet affirmed its determination to actively and vigorously seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515, 1850, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, and the agreements previously reached between the parties. The Quartet underscored that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfils the aspirations of both parties for independent homelands through two states for two peoples, Israel and an independent, contiguous, and viable state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Quartet welcomed the commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas to the two-state solution, and reiterated that lasting peace throughout the region can only be based on an enduring commitment to mutual recognition, freedom from violence, incitement, and terror; and the two-state solution, building upon previous agreements and obligations. The Quartet underscored the importance of fostering peaceful coexistence throughout the region through the conclusion of peace agreements between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon, in a manner that is mutually reinforcing with efforts to establish the state of Palestine, and through the full normalization of relations between all states based on the Arab Peace Initiative.

The U.S. briefed the Quartet on its intensive, ongoing discussions with all parties in the region to create the conditions for the prompt resumption and early conclusion of negotiations to resolve all permanent status issues, without preconditions. The Quartet affirmed that these negotiations must result in an end to all claims. It agreed that Arab-Israeli peace and the establishment of a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza in which the Palestinian people can determine their own destiny is in the fundamental interests of the international community. The Quartet called on all parties concerned to take meaningful steps to support this objective.

In that context, the Quartet called on Israel and the Palestinians to implement their obligations under the Roadmap and affirmed that unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community. The Quartet urged the government of Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth; to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001; and to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including home demolition and evictions. The Quartet acknowledged progress made by the Palestinian Authority to reform the Palestinian security sector and called on the Palestinian Authority to continue to make every effort to improve law and order and to fight violent extremism. It encouraged further Israeli cooperation for the success of Palestinian security reform. It also urged the Palestinian government to enhance its efforts to build the institutions of the future Palestinian state. Both sides have to stop incitement and violence against civilians. Taking note of the June 24 meeting of the Arab League ministers and underscoring its commitment to comprehensive peace on all tracks, the Quartet expressed support for dialogue among all states in the region in the spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative and called on Arab states to take steps to recognize Israel’s rightful place in the region; to affirm that violence cannot achieve regional peace and security; and to assist the Palestinian people in building their future state through consistent support for the Palestinian Authority.

Noting the detrimental effect of Palestinian divisions and underscoring its desire for these divisions to be overcome, the Quartet called on all Palestinians to commit themselves to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations. Restoring Palestinian unity based on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) commitments would be an important factor in this process, while facilitating reconstruction of Gaza and the organisation of elections. The Quartet expressed support, on this basis, for the ongoing mediation efforts of Egypt and the Arab League for Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas and appealed to all states in the region to play a constructive role in supporting the reconciliation process.

The Quartet discussed Gaza and agreed that the current situation is unsustainable and not in the interests of any of those concerned. The Quartet expressed serious concern at the humanitarian and human rights situation of the civilian population. It reiterated the urgency of reaching a durable solution through the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860. The Quartet called for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel, and medical treatment. The Quartet called for a complete halt to all violence, as well as an intensification of efforts to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition into Gaza and for a sustained reopening of all crossings points to ensure regular flow of people and humanitarian and commercial goods. The Quartet offered its support in this regard for the proposals of the United Nations to resume early recovery construction activities in Gaza. The Quartet called on those holding the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him without delay.

The Quartet welcomed plans by the government of Israel to promote Palestinian economic development. The Quartet declared its readiness to work closely with Israel, the Palestinian government and international donors in order to achieve sustainable economic development on the basis of the full implementation of the Agreement on Access and Movement of 2005 and in the broader perspective of the two-state solution. Recalling the recent meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the Quartet called for robust and sustained financial support for the Palestinian Authority. The Quartet welcomed recent steps by Israel, which if expanded and sustained, can have a significant impact on Palestinian freedom of movement. The Quartet recognizes that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded, and believes efforts to maintain security while enabling movement and access for Palestinian people and goods are critical. Noting that delivering transformative change on the ground should form an integral and essential part of the agenda for peace, the Quartet encouraged cooperation of the parties with the Quartet Representative in order to deliver such change and in particular to improve the movement of goods and people in the West Bank and Gaza, concurrently with security and broader rule of law efforts.

The Quartet expressed its determination to support the parties and regional and international partners to successfully pursue negotiations and to implement agreements, on all tracks of the process. The Quartet tasked the envoys to meet regularly and actively follow-up with the parties to promote implementation of Quartet positions and formulate recommendations for Quartet action.

The Quartet re-affirmed its previous statements and supports, in consultation with the parties, an international conference in Moscow in 2009.

Preceding provided by the U.S. State Department

Ecuador's foreign ministry leaves
anti-Semitic grafitti on building

QUITO, Ecuador (WJC) —Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on the wall outside the Foreign Ministry in the Ecuadorian capital

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Quito has not been removed after nearly two weeks despite repeated requests. Photos of the wall outside the building in Quito obtained by JTA include graffiti equating the Star of David with a swastika and the phrase "Israel Genocida" accompanied by a swastika.

A source with knowledge of the situation said a number of requests have been made of the Ministry to clean up the anti-Semitic slogans, including by the Israeli Embassy in the country and other Jewish community members, but "despite promises it hasn't been done."

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Conference underway in Prague
on Holocaust restitution

PRAGUE (WJC)—A five-day international conference on the restitution of property seized during the Holocaust opened Friday in the Czech Republic. Organized by the Czech government which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, the forum will be held in Prague and Terezin, the site of the former Nazi death camp Theresienstadt. It will be attended by participants from 49 countries.

Tomas Kraus, secretary of the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities and vice-president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), said the conference planned to adopt a declaration with non-binding recommendations for how to cope with the open restitution issues related to the Holocaust. "The conference should show again that there are still certain matters in the world that are yet to be settled," Kraus told the news agency CTK. Guest speakers include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and EJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

A conference similar to Prague's took place in Washington in 1998, and the gathering in Prague will assess the development and progress the world has made since in terms of the return of stolen property of cultural, historical and religious value, and of other property restitution and financial compensation.

Meanwhile, 25 US lawmakers have urged Lithuania and Poland in letters to enact laws this year to address restituting property the Nazis stolen during the Holocaust. Congressman Robert Wexler and 24 colleagues wrote to prime ministers Donald Tusk of Poland and Andrius Kubilius of Lithuania to push for action on the legislation during a conference on Holocaust-era assets to be held in Prague. "We believe that the Prague Conference may represent the last and best opportunity to resolve outstanding Holocaust-era issues during the lifetime of Holocaust survivors," wrote Wexler. The Florida lawmaker, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is part of the US delegation to the conference. It will be led by former US undersecretary of state, Stuart Eizenstat.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Jewish innovators from 29 countries convene in Ramat Gan

RAMAT GAN, Israel (Press Release)—Young Jewish leaders from 29 countries will gather in Israel today for the fourth annual ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators. The Summit, which runs through July 2, is an innovative project of the Center for Leadership Initiatives (CLI), in partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel. CLI was founded by American
Jewish philanthropist Lynn Schusterman. ROI is a standard abbreviation for Return on Investment

In celebration of Tel Aviv's 100th birthday, this year's summit will be held in nearby Ramat Gan, at Kfar Maccabiah, Israel's Olympic village.

Competition for the coveted 120 slots was fierce; CLI received nearly 600 applications from all over the world. This year's outstanding innovators were chosen as 120 who are engaged in projects with the potential to change the face of the Jewish world. Lynn Schusterman, herself an innovator and the founder of the Summit, explains its importance: "The participants at this conference work in a wide variety of areas, yet each of them is an innovator in his or her field. The link between them is that they are all seeking to change the world and to contribute to a dynamic future for the Jewish people."

The program is divided into eight themed tracks, designed to allow for individuals to share best practices within the track that is most appropriate for their work: Service/Tikkun Olam; Arts and Culture, Visions of Israel, Environment, New Media, Jewish Education, Bridge-Building and Networks of Purpose.

In addition to networking and collaborative project development, the summit will feature special skills training for participants. The 18 Professional Workshops -including classes in social entrepreneurship, technology, fundraising and
more — are being presented by professional trainers, four of them alumni from the ROI Community network. The 17 Peer-Led Skill Sessions were all proposed and will be conducted by members of the 2009 ROI Summit cohort, and include grassroots organization-building and fundraising; technology; public speaking; moderating dialogue groups; and more.

According to Yonatan Gordis, Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Initiatives, "The purpose of the gathering is to advance innovation in Jewish fields by enhancing and improving the management skills of ROI participants and to foster connections and collaborations among them. These young people are deeply connected to their local communities, but
also care deeply about the land of Israel. Their fresh perspectives,their innovation and their enthusiasm all point to a vibrant future for the Jewish people."

The participants hail from the following 29 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay,and Venezuela.

Represented projects include:

*A Jewish summer camp focusing on environmentalism and social justice.

*The Jewish Salons International project, with representatives hailing from Vienna, Amsterdam and Mexico City

* Music incorporating Zionism and Jewish values into their music — ranging from pop to rap to hip-hop to rock.

* An eco-conscious film production company.

* Comedy and documentary film projects about Israeli
society .

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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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Obama wrong on Israel's settlements; Carter et al
mislabel the position of Arabs in Israeli society

Editor's Note: We combine Ira Sharkansky's two most recent columns

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—Allow me to ride my horse somewhat further along the path of criticizing the Obama administration's campaign to stop all construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including some neighborhoods that have been part of Jerusalem for 40 years.

Recall that I do not claim that Barack Obama is a Muslim, some other kind of demon, or beholden to the Palestinians and other Arabs.

However, I wonder at an American president who says that he wants to engage with Iran, Palestine, and other Arab authorities, and is dictating the small details of policy that he insists that Israel adopt.

The absurdity is stark in the presence of Israel's democracy, with a high level of education and political interest among its citizens along with an active and critical media, in contrast with authoritarian governments, controlled media, and low levels of education in Muslim countries.

Obama is dictating to the democrats and engaging with dictators and religious fanatics.

Israelis know their country's problems at least as well as Americans. They are more familiar with their country's problems of security than Americans are familiar with their own problems of security, and infinitely better informed about Israel's problems of security than are Americans. Jewish education in security begins with concerns inherited along with family memories of persecution, along with the present realities of living in a small country that has been at war at least five times in its 60 year history, and maybe eight times, depending on what one counts as a war. Most Israeli adults have served in the military, with numerous men active in the reserves for 30 years. Their parents served, and much of the population over the age of 50 has children in the military.

Israelis know the pressures and the imperfections of national defense. Endless discussions on radio, television and in the press keep them abreast of political maneuverings by officials of Israel and neighboring countries. Neither the perspectives of the military nor the government are anything close to monolithic. Israel's Jews debate military and political options, and are better equipped than anyone else to decide what is best for them.

The men and women who make policy for Israel have not sprung overnight or even in a few years from business, the universities, or local government. The story of Benyamin Netanyahu is not unusual among those at the pinnacle of government. He began his government career in 1982, was Ambassador to the United Nations 1984-88, elected to the Knesset in 1988, served as head of several ministries and an earlier term as prime minister. One does not have to admire his style of speaking or his body language to recognize that he has considerable experience, and currently has assembled a government supported by a substantial majority of the population. One can be suspicious about claims of a political mandate to follow one policy or another, insofar as voters choose their candidates or party for a variety of reasons. Yet it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Israeli electorate supports a government that is reluctant to move toward recognizing a Palestinian state or stop all construction in the settlements or Jerusalem's neighborhoods. Among the elements producing those postures are the intifada that began in 2000, seven years of rocket attacks from Gaza, and the widely perceived weakness, stubbornness, and unreliability of the Palestinians responsible for the West Bank.

Against this, Barack Obama's commitment to engage personally in the Middle East, and his pressuring Israel to halt all construction over the 1967 borders, appears naive in the extreme. He may be brilliant, but there is much that he does not appear to know, or to recognize. Likewise for his military and political advisers. Some of them may have learned Arabic and spent time in the Middle East, but they cannot compete with the street smarts of Israelis who have lived all their lives close to their neighbors, and who hear the comments of Arab leaders on a daily basis.

We can disagree about what is best for Israel. Israelis themselves disagree. My point is that Israelis are well enough informed to ponder the alternatives and decide for themselves how to deal with their challenges.

Among those challenges are the demands coming from American and European governments. (Those from other regions do not count for much.) No matter how ill informed and mistaken those demands appear to be, Israeli officials are careful not to ignore them.

Long ago the Jews learned how to deal with powerful others. Lesson #1 is not to annoy them.

What we hear in public are the efforts of Israel's prime

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minister and foreign minister to dissuade Americans and Europeans from demanding a total freeze on construction. So far the undiplomatic language from the Secretary of State and her spokespersons indicate that the message is not getting through.

Whether Israel or the United States wins this tussle, the greater test is how the Obama policy of engagement will work with the Palestinians, as well as with Iranians, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis. Others have tried before him. Humility is not widely recognized as a trait of Americans who think themselves capable of deciding what it best for others.

Past performance does not encourage optimism.

* * *

It is common to hear that Israel treats its Arab minority poorly, and treats the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza worse. Jimmy Carter limited his description of "apartheid" to the West Bank and Gaza, but others have applied it to Israel. Jewish leftists from Israel and elsewhere are leading some of the tunes, and joining others as a chorus.

Reality is different.

The dirty word "apartheid" does not belong. The barriers between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza reflect violence against Israeli civilians, and not racism. Within Israel, there are too many Arabs studying in Israeli universities and living alongside Jews to justify the term apartheid other than as an anti-Semitic screed.

There are gaps in opportunity between Jews and Arabs in Israel, but they are largely the responsibility of the Arabs themselves. And the problems of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza likewise reflect Arab more than Jewish activity.

The common problem of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza is a failure to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, and to participate with it. Rather than cooperating politically for mutual benefits, both groups of Arabs persist in extreme rejection. Palestinians hold onto keys to doors that no longer exist, and demand the return to conditions before 1948. They and Israeli Arabs deny any responsibility for the fate that befell them, and cling to a sense of having a monopoly of justice. Instead of accepting a decent offer, or its sweetening in the summer and fall of 2000, Palestinians embarked on an intifada. Rather than accept as a partial success the withdrawal of settlements from Gaza, they persisted in rocket attacks. These responses have earned them the deepened distrust of Israelis, and helped produce a government that is not inclined to offer the same deals as its predecessors.

Israeli Arabs have not learned the lesson of American minorities, i.e., to play within the system and exchange political support for material benefits. Most of the Arabs elected to the Knesset persist in harsh criticism from outside the major parties, rather than deals negotiated from inside. The Palestinians of Jerusalem refuse even to participate in local elections. They give up the opportunity to select a third of the local council and be a deciding factor in the mayor's election. As a result, they live in neighborhoods with substandard facilities.

When asked why they do not cooperate with the Israeli establishment, the Arab mantra is that cooperation is bound to fail due to Israeli racism.

No one should claim that it will be easy to overcome Jewish suspicion associated decades of Arab incitement and violence. Nevertheless, one can find encouraging instances of reward for cooperation. My best personal story is about an MA student who stopped writing his thesis in order to accept a position as Israel's scientific attacheי in Germany. He had the help of an uncle who was a Labor Party member of Knesset and Deputy Minister of Health. If there was a bit of patronage in the selection, the man deserved the appointment. He was a scientist who spoke German. His PhD in biology came from Heidelberg University, and he was working as a scientist in the Agriculture Ministry when he began studying for an MA in public policy.

I've noted in previous letters that Israeli Arabs live better than American minorities. On measures of health they do better than the American white majority.

This does not keep Israeli Arabs from feeling out of the mainstream. I have traded stories of having to say the Lord's Prayer as a child in an American public school with a faculty friend who says that he feels good whenever he sees a street sign in Arabic.

The status of American Jews is nothing like it was 60 or even 30 years ago. Jews are presidents of universities that had Jewish quotas, and are at the top of corporations and government departments that would have excluded them completely or limited their opportunities.

If Israeli Arabs or Palestinians are to have similar experiences as Jews in the United States, they will have to shed their backward looking leaders. This will be difficult insofar as politicians and media throughout the Middle East continue to convey their stories of Israeli evil. Repressive regimes invest heavily in preserving Palestinian misery as a way of making themselves look good to their own people. It will not be easy for Israeli Arabs and Palestinians to stop languishing in their tales of suffering, and pursue benefits. The shift may elude yet additional generations. Until it happens, Jews as well as Arabs will suffer.

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

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Whose foreign policies will Iran's repression affect the most?

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel—The Iranian crisis is being fought out on three fronts.

The first, and the one properly receiving the most attention, is inside Iran itself. Commentators have now found the perfect phrase for describing the outcome there: As a result of the stolen election, demonstrations, and repression, Iran will be changed forever.

OK. But changed how? If the regime puts down the demonstrations, it will be ruling lots of deeply dissatisfied citizens. Yet overall, not much will change within the country. Presumably, there will periodically be other such upheavals until the day the regime is overthrown altogether. But how long will that take? None can say.

More can be said about the other two fronts. The one changing the least is the regional aspect. Events in Iran will not change minds in the Middle East.

On one side are the radical Islamists. These include pro-Iranian forces--Hamas and Hizballah; the Syrian regime, and many in Iraq--won’t have their minds changed by the post-election upheaval. They will go on being radical Islamists and believe that these demonstrations are creations of American intelligence (whether President Obama praises them or not will have no effect) and that the marches represent only a tiny minority of malcontents.

The same conclusion, however, will be reached by the anti-Iran Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, and the much smaller base of al-Qaida. They and their supporters will go on seeking Islamist regimes in their countries, notably Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia. They won't be affected either.

But there is another factor regarding the Islamist side. In thirty years I have literally never heard an Islamist say—in contrast to how Communists used to speak about the USSR, or China, or Cuba—that they want an Islamist state modeled on Iran. Obviously, Sunni Islamists (including Hamas) want to downplay any such desire to clone Iran because its Shia republic is alien to their traditions.

And while Hizballah may be the closest of all followers for the Tehran regime, it also does not say that it's dreaming of an (Islamist) green Lebanon, just like the Islamist regime they know in Tehran.

For many years—20, even—Islamists in the Arab world have known that Iran is not a utopian society and that its institutions or practices don't appeal to the Arab masses. They have long learned to dissociate themselves from the social, economic, and cultural policies of Iran—which are already alien by being both Persian and Shia.

So proving that Iran is repressive will not weaken support for Islamism among Arabs. No Islamist in the Middle East is going to say: “Wow, that Iran is a terrible place! I better become a liberal democrat right away!”

Why then do people in the Middle East either follow Iran or have a similar ideological approach to the problems of their societies and states?

Simple: Power. The Iranian regime is strong. It fears no one and projects power. It defies the West and apologizes to no one. It swears allegiance only to Islam—at least in its own interpretation. It rewards its friends and kills its enemies (I'm tempted--but won't--joke that the West does the exact opposite.) And soon it will have nuclear weapons, too.

Now, how will such people interpret the regime’s no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, tough-guy approach to internal dissent?

Will they say, as Westerners do—or at least should do—This is terrible! They are beating and repressing people?

Or, will they say: Awesome! Are these guys tough, or what?

Successful repression, like a successful terrorist attack with maximum civilian casualties, brings admiration, not horror in these circles.

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But what about all those in the Middle East who hate Islamism and fear Iran? Well, they already feel that way, don’t they? The Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi governments, for example, may not

be thrilled with the idea of mass street protests against another government, but they aren’t going to dislike Iran more than they already do. They are hardly surprised by that regime’s behavior. And so is the small minority of Arab liberals. No minds or policies changed here either.

Oh, but there is one aspect of the crisis that might affect their thinking:

Wow, those Westerners sure are afraid of criticizing Iran.

And that brings us to the Western front. Here is the one where change might be most significant.

Will people in western Europe and North America conclude from this that the Iranian regime is mad, bad, and its dangerous if Iran's rulers know how to make nuclear weapons? Are they going to perceive in the adventurous, risk-taking, brutal, and ideologically dizzied regime a true danger to themselves and their countries’ interests? Is the fact that it is a, to coin a phrase, “Tehranical” regime going to translate into an understanding of its foreign policy.

Surely, some of this has got to be sinking in, right?

But quick: how many massive street demonstrations are there in these countries condemning the trampling of the Iranian people’s rights and violent repression in tha tcountry? One-half of the reaction among students, elites, and supposed human rights' supporters to false accusations against Israel? One-fourth? One-eighth? Keep going into even smaller fractions.

And yet, it is here that the biggest and most important effect of the events in Iran might be felt. It isn’t too late to oppose Iran’s ambitions and nuclear weapons’ drive. Are people in democratic states going to wake up about the Iranian regime's threat?

The great danger is that one will be able to say regarding the effect of Iran’s current crisis:

All quiet on the Western front.

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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Correspondent Marmur, a Diaspora Jew, tells of the life
journey as pulpit rabbi, Zionist, that led to home in Israel

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—If we adopt our correspondent Rabbi Dow Marmur’s terms of reference, he is now once again engaged in his fifth life, but when winter comes to Toronto, Canada, he will return to his sixth in Jerusalem.

Marmur’s memoir, Six Lives, speaks of each country where he has spent a significant portion of his existence, as one of his lives.  He was born in Poland, and during World War II he was deported to the Soviet Union with his family.  That accounted for his first two lives.  In the post-war, the family moved to Sweden, where Marmur was schooled and where he married Fredzia, a Polish Holocaust survivor.  Life number three.

Next the Marmurs went to Great Britain, where he became a pulpit rabbi and author, and they became parents of Vivica, Elizabeth and Michael   Life four.  Marmur developed sufficient   gravitas in Great Britain, for example as chairman of the Council of Reform and Liberal Rabbis, that he was recruited as senior rabbi by one of the major congregations in Canada, Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.  Life four morphed into life five.

Anyone who has served on a synagogue board or staff will recognize some of the situations and power alignments within that congregation with which Marmur had to cope after arriving in 1983 —or depending on your point of view, with which he made others cope for the next 17 years.

He was one of those rabbis who some in Reform think of as right-wing because he wore a tallit and liked the idea of c congregants wearing kippot, among other changes in the accepted way of doing things. He was unenthusiastic about Reform's decision to recognize patrilineal descent, concerned it would drive a bigger wedge among the various Jewish movements.   He became quite active in the Reform movement’s Zionistic movement—the Association of Reform Zionists in America (ARZA)—but in those quarters, he was considered left-wing because of his sympathy for Palestinians. 

Next he moved to Jerusalem, serving in an interim capacity as  executive director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and eventually settling into a frenetic form of retirement, the situation in which readers of San Diego Jewish World have come to know him as a columnist.  While in Jerusalem—where his son Michael is now dean of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Marmur writes a column called “From the Sidelines” in which he comments on the latest political goings-on in Israel.  

He  can perhaps be described as a member of the loyal opposition.  Whereas some of his columns have been quite critical of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his predecessor Ehud Olmert, his obvious affection for Israel permeates the body of his work.  He may disagree on this or that strategy of some of Israel’s leadership, but clearly Marmur desires a healthy , prosperous state living in peace with its Arab neighbors. 

In a final chapter of his book, Marmur pondered the difference between the fear he felt as a child of German invaders bringing their Nazism to the Soviet Union, and of Soviet authorities often acting like Nazis. When he moved to Sweden, he wrote, his fear of identifiable external threats was transformed into anxiety--not about a specific threat, but as a condition of his existence.

"Anxiety is doesn't require an object, one s anxious first and then finds something to be anxious about," he wrote. "It's therefore harder to bear than fear, perhaps because outer circumstances, viewed objectively give little cause of it."

In Israel, he added, "my anxiety has reverted to fear: I know what to fear and whom to fear. I know that my Israeli grandchildren and their parents need physical protection from identifiable enemies. Even though I'm not in a position to provide for their security, I still find fear much esier to bear than nameless anxiety."

In Israel fear has an escape valve: Older Ashkenazic Israelis can talk to each other about what they had to endure during the Holocaust, and there are people who understand. In contrast, in the Diaspora, neighbors often have no real frame of reference. Similarly, in Israel one can discuss existential threats to the Jewish state, or hear them analyzed endlessly in the public media. In the Diaspora, such knowing analysis may be lacking.

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An interesting component of Marmur's book is his self-searching. He is a fairly tough critic on himself, dismissing his accomplishments as efforts to avoid failure, rather than as positive achievements. Reciting his al chets, he finds certain character flaws, among them, giving the impression of haughtiness to others--a negative character trait he diagnoses as an effort to hide his deep insecurities.

Marmur's columns, which I've been reading attentively ever since he agreed to have them carred in San Diego Jewish World, focus on his ideas about Israel, and are rarely concerned with his personal life. For those of our readers who have become as addicted to his writings as I am, this 2004 memoir published by Key Porter Books Ltd of Toronto is most welcome. It fleshes out the man behind those ideas.

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

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Haganah munitions plant, food, and archaelogical site just some of the attractions San Diegans find on Israel tour

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

TEL AVIV—Although my home in San Diego has lovely views they do not compare to looking out the window and seeing the beaches of Tel Aviv kissing the Mediterranean Ocean! Breathing the fresh sea air was a wonderful way to begin our second full day in Israel.

Our group of 29 travelers arrived late Wednesday afternoon. We had just enough time to freshen up before walking to Maganda, one of my favorite restaurants. Maganda is owned by a Yemenite Jew whose great-grandfather many years ago opened a small kiosk in the same neighborhood to serve the needs of early immigrants. As in many traditional Mizrachi (Middle Eastern) restaurants, the feast began with never ending plates of salads followed by Moroccan "cigars" (meat stuffed tubular pastries), felafel, kabob, grilled pieces of chicken on skewers, watermelon, baklava, and mint tea. No one left hungry.

On Thursday we visited the "Ayalon Institute." Anticipating the upcoming war of Independence, the leaders of the Haganah (the precursor to today's Israel Defense Force) had sufficient weapons but little ammunition. They secretly imported vintage bullet manufacturing equipment from Poland and built an underground munitions factory on a kibbutz right under the nose of the British. They disguised the opening to the underground factory by placing it under a huge commercial washing machine that slid aside to reveal the entrance.

Manufacturing ammunition was extremely dangerous work. Not only was the process inherently dangerous but so was the potential for discovery by the British. Nevertheless, in the three years before the 1948 War of Independence this small factory managed to turn out two and one half million bullets.

Switching gears and going back centuries, we continued to Tel Maresha at Beit Guvrin. A tel is a hill that was constructed by new civilizations building on top of older ones. Tel Maresha is an active archeological site in which amateurs are invited to participate. We climbed down to hollowed out caves which were used as storage shelters by the inhabitants above. We dug into the soft dirt to expose pottery shards, animal bones, and other remains.

These "finds," which go back to the time of the Maccabees, will later be cleaned, recorded, and catalogued by professional archeologists who are attempting to learn more above the history and culture of Tel Maresha's former inhabitants.

Today (Friday) we woke up early to visit the Palmach Museum, Kikar Rabin, to say a prayer for the fallen prime minister, and the home of Yossi Lugasi, a unique self trained mosaic artist. We ended our formal day of touring at Nachalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv's famous outdoor arts and crafts market. On Fridays the area known as Nachalat Binyamin is sealed off to vehicular traffic and turned into a giant market place.


Hundreds of vendors line the street and sell everything from jewelry to pottery to stained glass. Religious and nonreligious themes are equally represented and the street is filled with people buying their last minute gifts before Shabbat arrives.

This evening we will have our own version of "Pray at the Beach" as we walk across the street to hold informal Kabbalat Shabbat services on the shore of the Mediterranean. We will join for kiddush, motzi, and a festive Shabbat meal before entering a much needed day of rest.

Rabbi Rosenthal is spiritual leader of Tifereth Israel Synagogue (Conservative) in San Diego

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UC Santa Barbara ends inquiry into professor who compared Israel to Nazis in email to his students

Editor's Note: The following article was distributed by StandWithUs, an Israeli advocacy group, which is quoted within, but which is not affiliated with the public interest newsletter, Inside Higher Ed, for which it was originally written. Here is a link to the Inside Higher Ed website.

By Scott Jaschik

Inside Higher Ed

SANTA BARBARA, California—In a limited sense, the case of William I. Robinson is over.

On Wednesday, he was notified that a faculty committee had found no "probable cause" to undertake a full investigation of complaints filed against him related to e-mail messages he sent to his students in which he compared Israelis and Nazis. Further, he was notified that the administration at the University of California at Santa Barbara had accepted the faculty members' analysis, and that the case was over -- without his ever having faced formal charges before a disciplinary committee.

Supporters of Robinson, a tenured professor of sociology, agreed with those findings. But they said that grievances filed over e-mail messages sent in January should have been seen immediately as baseless, and that allowing the case to linger for months endangered the academic freedom of Robinson and others.

"We're pleased, but this decision is too late," said Yousef K. Baker, a graduate student and one of the organizers of the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB. "I don't think it is enough for the university just to say that this case is terminated. The university needs to be held accountable for the chilling effect that their tardiness in doing what they have done now has created."

In a statement, Robinson said that he is waiting for "a public apology from the university as a first step in clearing my name after it has smeared my reputation and undermined my professional integrity." He added that he plans to file a grievance over how he was treated in the case.

The case has attracted attention far beyond Santa Barbara, with the American Association of University Professors last month calling on the university to "pause" its inquiries because of the academic freedom issues involved. Cary Nelson, national president of the AAUP, said Wednesday night that "although I am pleased that the Robinson case has been closed, I am also concerned that unnecessary investigations of faculty exercising their academic freedom are having a serious chilling effect on our more vulnerable or less courageous colleagues."

The dispute dates to an e-mail message that Robinson sent to the approximately 80 students in January in a course about sociology and globalization. The e-mail contained an article criticizing the Israeli military's actions in Gaza. Part of the e-mail was an assemblage of photos from Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews and from Israel's actions in Gaza. Students were invited to look at the "parallel images." A message from Robinson argued that Gaza would be like "Israel's Warsaw."

In February, the Anti-Defamation League's Santa Barbara office wrote to Robinson to protest the e-mail and to urge him to repudiate it. "While your writings are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, we rely upon our rights to say that your comparisons of Nazis and Israelis were offensive, ahistorical and have crossed the line well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel," the letter said. It went on to say that the "tone and extreme views" in his e-mail were "intimidating to students," and that using his university e-mail to send "material that appears unrelated to" his course violated university standards for faculty members.

Following that letter, two students in the course dropped the class and filed complaints against Robinson. One student wrote that she felt "nauseous" upon reading the e-mail, and felt it was inappropriate. A second student complaint accusing Robinson of being unprofessional -- also from a student who dropped the course after receiving the e-mail -- said that Robinson has "clearly stated his anti-Semitic political views in this e-mail."

Under Santa Barbara's faculty governance system, such complaints go to a "charges officer" and then -- if they are serious -- a committee may be formed, somewhat like a grand jury, to determine whether formal charges should be brought against the professor. Robinson and his supporters have maintained that the e-mail was so clearly covered by academic freedom that the faculty charges officer should have dropped the matter. Instead, a committee was formed to determine whether the charges merited consideration by the standing committee that considers such allegations and can recommend sanctions against a professor. It was that non- standing committee that determined that there was no need to bring charges for a full investigation. Under the university's rules, no official statement is released about why charges were not brought. But earlier memos suggested that the two rules Robinson was accused of violating were measures that bar faculty members from "significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course" and "use of the position or powers of a faculty member to coerce the judgment or conscience of a student or to cause harm to a student for arbitrary or personal reasons." (Many of the

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documents related to the student complaints and various university communications about the situation may be found on the Web site of the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB.)

The position of Robinson and his supporters has been that Israel's conduct in Gaza was in every way appropriate as a topic for discussion in a class on global issues, and that the complaints filed against him were a simple case of students (and some pro- Israel groups) disagreeing with Robinson's analysis. Robinson could not be reached Wednesday, but last month he told Inside Higher Ed that the charges against him were "absolutely absurd." He noted that he is Jewish and said that he abhors anti-Semitism, and that his academic freedom is being violated by the university taking seriously charges that link his e- mail criticisms of Israel's government with anti- Semitism. "This is all because I have criticized the policies of the State of Israel."

Stand With Us, a pro-Israel group that has been organizing petition drives to back the idea of a full investigation of Robinson, issued a statement Wednesday night questioning the university's decision. "We are surprised and disappointed that UCSB chose not to uphold their standards for professional conduct, and that it has blurred the lines between responsible education and the peddling of propaganda. It is unfortunate that students will continue to be victims of partisan indoctrination and misinformation," said the statement, from Roz Rothstein, international director of the organization.

The Stand With Us Web site features analysis on why the group does not feel Robinson's e-mail should be protected by academic freedom. "We applaud the UCSB administration's decision to investigate whether Robinson abused the Faculty Code of Conduct guidelines. This investigation is critical for stemming the politicization of academia and the rising academic support for anti-Israel propaganda," says the Web site (in a posting that does not reflect Wednesday's news that the investigation is over). "The administration will be under intense political pressure from those who oppose the investigation. Let the administration know that there is also strong public support for their decision."

The Academic Senate at the university has passed a resolution to study how this investigation was handled -- and many faculty members have questioned whether the process used was appropriate, with many critics noting that pro-Israel groups have encouraged criticism of Robinson.

Paul Desruisseaux, associate vice chancellor for public affairs at Santa Barbara, said that because this case is a personnel matter, the university would have no comment on the case. He said that it was important to note that the university "places great importance on the defense of academic freedom," but that academic freedom "does not exempt a faculty member from the provisions of the faculty Code of Conduct," or limit the ability of people inside or outside the university to file grievances.

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, blogged in support of the university's decision Wednesday. "Stripped of the jargon of sociology and the politicization of the issue by both sides, the question becomes whether or not the professor in what essentially amounts to a global politics class can give his opinions about global politics," he said. "While many of his critics would prefer to see the Professor Robinsons of the world denied this right, in the end, we all benefit from classroom and academic discussions in which the exchange of ideas is as free as possible."

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San Diego County and California Jewish news and publicity

Two prayer vigils planned Monday
to get the attention of Legislature

SAN DIEGO -- Two interfaith prayer vigils will be conducted at noon Monday to urge the Legislature to give buget priority to programs that serve children, the disabled and the unemployed, according to Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice in San Diego County.

Coskey said those participating in the prayer vigils also will fast during the day to further emphasize to the Legislature "the hardships state budget cuts will inflict on patients, clinics and other community members on the margins of society."

One vigil will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Comprehensive Health Center, 286 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114. The other will be conducted simultaneously at Vista Community Clinic, 1000 Vale Terrace, Vista, CA 92084.

Under California's state Constitution, the Legislature is supposed to have a budget adopted before by June 30--the end of the fiscal year.

Preceding provided by the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice in San Diego County

Poizner says prosecutors need discretion to decide if a crime is
a felony or a misdemeanor

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)—Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Thurssay warned Sacramento policymakers that their proposal to eliminate the discretion that prosecutors currently have to classify dozens of crimes – including types of insurance fraud – as either a felony or a misdemeanor and instead make them all misdemeanors would have the unintended consequence of severely eroding the state’s efforts to fight insurance fraud and convict criminals.

“Fighting insurance fraud is a complex and time-consuming task,” said Commissioner Poizner. “Luckily, we have hundreds of the most dedicated sworn police officers at the Department of Insurance who fight insurance fraud every day. This proposal would severely limit their ability to go after career criminals, making simple and complex illegal enterprises much harder to prosecute -- and in the process let criminals off the hook.”

This change in the classification of crimes will have at least three unintended consequences related to fighting insurance fraud, including:

Search warrants can only be served in felony cases. If types of insurance fraud are deemed a misdemeanor, search warrants cannot be issued and executed.

The statute of limitations is much shorter for misdemeanors. For a felony, the statute of limitations is at least three years from the date the crime was discovered. For a misdemeanor, the statute of limitation is one year from the date of the crime – in many cases the crime is not uncovered until years after the act occurred, rendering prosecution impossible.

There are a number of recent, high-profile cases that could not have been prosecuted under the new proposal.

“The costs of insurance fraud are ultimately paid for by consumers,” said Commissioner Poizner. “I hope the policymakers carefully consider the unintended consequences of this action and ultimately remove this provision from the budget proposal. California should not send criminals the message that they have a free pass for illegal activity because of the state’s budget woes.”


Jews not immune from bigotry

Editor, San Diego Jewish World:

I have read your (Donald H. Harrison's) piece on "Live and Become" with interest. I have also seen the film, and agree with your sentiments.  We Jews are not insulated from being bigots.

In fact I can add to the tale, from what I saw with my own eyes,
when during the war in the ghetto/concentration camp, with everyone being in the same mess, German Jews looked down on Polish Jews, who in turn looked down on those from Latvia and Lithuania.

When Jews from Europe arrived in Australia in the late 1930's the
local Anglo-Jewish establishment looked down on them and treated them with condescension at best or with contempt in most instances

Yes, while we often pride ourselves as being "People of the
Book," unfortunately much too often we fail to read the message in
the Book and act accordingly towards our fellow Jews.

Garry Fabian
Melbourne, Australia

MYD CHAI deciphered?

Editor, San Diego Jewish World:

I'm pretty sure MYD CHAI means mid life.  I enjoy your paper very much, especially the San Diego Jewish History section.  It's fun to read about the people I knew as a child.

Susan Brooks
San Diego

Jewish Community creates fund
to help those in economic need

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—The San Diego Jewish Community Economic Recovery Fund was established in the spring of 2009 by the Jewish Community Foundation and United Jewish Federation in response to extensive and profound needs related to the economic downturn, acknowledged by Jewish community leaders from a broad spectrum of Jewish institutions in San Diego County.

The Fund Goals are as follows:

To reduce the effect of the economic crisis on individuals and families in the San Diego Jewish Community through critical assistance that will help stabilize personal and family situations.

To strengthen San Diego Jewish organizations, synagogues and schools and enhance their ability to respond to the economic crisis.

To promote a caring, inclusive, and embracing Jewish community.

For more information about the San Diego Jewish Community Economic Recovery Fund, please call 858.571.3444.

Preceding provided by United Jewish Federation


Larry Gorfine spotted this story in the sports section of the San Diego Union-Tribune about a rabbi who is also a professional boxer. If he serves a congregation, his board just might be hesitant to criticize him!

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Bible in Pop Culture: Trees of the Field

Genesis 2:5

Now all the trees of the field were not yet on the earth and all the herb of the field had not yet sprouted for Hashem God had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to work the soil.

Illustration at left is of the "trees of the Field (Guide)" :-)

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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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Some color in otherwise dismal arts education picture

By Sheila Orysiek

SAN DIEGO—“Your tax dollars at work” is a familiar sign alongside various highway construction projects – but seldom do we see the results in a gratifying way such as the smiles of accomplishment on the faces of children.  Our tax dollars work best when married to the initiative of the private sector and the passion of people who love what they are doing and want to share and pass that blessing on.

Steven Wistrich, Artistic Director of City Ballet of San Diego, is committed to spreading the joy which the performing arts impart to those who partake as well as those who observe.  Too often in dismal economic circumstances the first to feel the axe of budget constraint are the arts in both sustaining performing companies and education.  But the need for art is intrinsic in the human spirit – whether as drawings on ancient cave walls or in the hallowed proscenium theater.  I don’t think it is an accident that in my fairly extensive travels one of the poorest places I visited – Port au Prince, Haiti – was also the richest in art; down on the street art – but still beautiful art. 

Each year City Ballet has a series of guest teachers giving a series of “summer intensive” ballet classes which culminates with a student performance. Three years ago when they performed at Hamilton Elementary School, a resource teacher at the school and the principal, Lillie K. McMillan, saw an opportunity for their students.  An ardent advocate for arts education, McMillan approached Wistrich and proposed a joint venture.  Using a grant from the California Arts Council, Wistrich teamed up with Hamilton’s own PTO.  The school dedicated a room for ballet classes and raised funds to provide ballet slippers.  City Ballet provided the teachers and portable barres.  Hamilton is in the City Heights area of San Diego which is economically challenged with a widely diverse population.

A one hour weekly ballet class, for a total of 29 weeks, was given to the entire second grade.  This age group was chosen because the children are mature enough to comply with group instruction but have not as yet solidified any particular bias about performing arts which might inhibit their full attention.  Understanding the need for both genders to be represented, the dance room was decorated with posters of male and female ballet dancers and male and female teachers were selected to conduct the classes.  

The children of the second grade took this class not as an extra-curricular activity, or on a volunteer basis, but as a fully integrated segment of their general education.  School principal McMillan wisely knew that this would give it the importance it deserved as well as fulfill the state mandated requirement for arts education in the school curriculum.  This is the second year of this program and whether it continues is contingent upon further grants being obtained by City Ballet.

In a telephone conversation McMillan told me that this is often the only way for many children in this economic demographic to see and or participate in an art form such as ballet – and for the parents to have the opportunity to see their children learn and appreciate the arts.  The school has also raised funds for buses to transport the student body to various arts functions including ballet performances in a

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theater, trips to museums, etc.  This also ultimately educates the adults – teachers and families – as they begin to experience an art form close at hand.

McMillan also expressed to me her thanks to City Ballet for taking on this responsibility and opening up doors which might otherwise remain closed.  Other arts activity at the school include:  theater, music and creative dance.

The culmination for this year’s ballet study was presented in two performances on June 25, 2009 in the multi-use room of the Hamilton School to the applause of the entire student body as well as parents and friends.  They used Mary O’Neill’s delightful poem “Hailstones and Halibut Bones” wonderfully read by John Nettles, who not only taught the ballet classes with Ellen Davis, but also composed the original music played by the young and talented musicians of the Bunnell Strings. 

With girls in pink slippers and boys in white, each group of approximately twenty children (five groups in all) wore color coordinated t-shirts.  The program’s theme of “Adventures in Color” - yellow, blue, orange, green and red – were danced and mimed to the words of the poem.  The choreography was by necessity – given the technical level to be expected after only 29 one hour lessons – kept simple, but was clear and well defined using basic ballet concepts of tendu (stretching out and returning the foot) and plié in first position and then moving into a small jump, skipping and chassé (sliding step) en diagonal.

The port de bras (movement of the arms) was well thought out and nicely done.  Everything was well coordinated, everyone knew what to do, where to be – and most of all looked comfortable and happy with the experience.
Having run a program for ten years such as this in the Spring Valley School District (also an economically challenged area) I am very much aware of the difficulties encountered and the tremendous amount of care, time and effort it takes to move so many children through even the simplest dance design. 

City Ballet also has a program at the City Heights Public Library where those children who wish to pursue dance study can enroll for a nominal registration fee.  Class size is limited to fifteen (which is optimal for ballet) and there is a waiting list.  Should a child wish to further study he/she is filtered into the ballet classes at City Ballet’s studios.  This provides a means for a child to enter a world in which art is the watchword no matter the wallet.

The program at the Hamilton Elementary School this is team effort and needs support and cooperation on every level; faculty, staff, administration, parents and community.  In the end, everyone participating benefits as does society as a whole.  McMillan informed me that the school is already in the process of raising funds to buy ballet slippers for next year’s second grade.


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Book Serialization

I'm still here ... Memoirs of Laura Simon, 103

Editor's Note: Today San Diego Jewish World continues the-weekly serialization of I'm Still Here by Laura Simon, a San Diego resident who is still going strong at 103. She wrote this book to mark her 100th birthday.

We will maintain a list of links to the installments of her story on Laura Simon's archive page, which can be accessed any day of the week through the "authors" pulldown tab below our masthead. Laura, who once painted canvases in vivid colors, today is legally blind, so she is unable to read e-mail. However, she says anyone who wishes to contact her may do so through the e-mail of her son, New York playwright Mayo Simon at mayosimon@aol.com The book may be purchased via its publisher's website, www.montezumapublishing.com or via Amazon or Barnes & Noble's websites.

Dinah, My Stepmother

On Potomac Avenue, my father is at our door again. He’s giving my mother the five dollars; a different man -- white shirt, bow tie, his dark penetrating eyes shining with joy, his black hair combed to a side, smoking his cigar -- a rich man suddenly, proud of all that smoke he is creating in the air while telling my mother that she is now a free woman. She can go and marry someone else as he has done, a prayer with a closed hand to his chest, grateful for his new wife, the prize of the
Northwest side. And she sings like a bird. Comes from a doctor family -- that will be good for Laura.

“So I want her to come and stay with us for a while.”

“Just for a few days maybe,” my mother said, already back in the house rushing around for clothes for me to take along, to get the bubbe dress ready, ironed to put over me, tied this time with a ribbon so that it doesn’t look that big gathered at the waist. Before turning me and the satchel over to my father waiting at the bottom of the steps, she looked again at her hair, comparing it to the photograph on the wall, taken when her hair was still shiny and black. Her step was light as if she
were going along, away from the forever fishy smell, the smell of horse dung, the peddlers, the crowing chickens, the crowds.

“You’ll have streudel and wedding songs,” a good-bye kiss. “You’ll have a good time.”

The door closed behind her.

We’re going on a streetcar. I’m going someplace with a satchel, someplace away from medicine and cod liver oil. I was going with my father into his new life. As a monkey does, I did too,
a closed hand to my chest, to my father’s God.

I had a torn feeling that I had left my mother in that washed-out house dress, saying over and over again, “When the Meshiach comes,” as if my father was there listening “while I’m on my hands and knees with paper and wood for the stove in middle winter in the dark so you can be warm when
you talk to God. And just call me Ida or Chaya and never mind the Esther, Queen. When the Meshiach comes.”

Finally off the streetcar.

“And you’ll have a dog to play with,” my father said as we walked up the stairs into his flat of riches to a splendor I had never seen before, green-blue velour drapes tied to a side with a gold cordand tassels, green-blue, the color of my mother’s eyes, green-blue, as though she had followed us so she could be with me; maybe to remind my father’s prize to give me that tablespoon of cod-liver oil.

She came prancing to the door to welcome us, “Oh, so you brought her, Gott sei dank, Eddie.” Her hands pressed closely to her. Was she praying too? Looking at my father’s narrowing eyes, a twitch of a smile through anger.

“She belongs in America too,” he said.

She patted me on the head giving her approval. “Sit down. Make yourself to home.”

Surprising me when quickly stepping over to my father where he sat on green-blue plush with pillows that she made sure were plumped up, leaning him back. “There. Comfortable? God forgiveyou shouldn't be comfortable.” Going behind him to kiss the back of his collar. Swinging around and giving her hand that he kissed happily. “Liebe.”

“Of course, I have for you love, too, and for you Laura, my sweetheart,” prancing over to me,

“I’m your new mother,” a hard pat to my head with a whiff of rose perfume like my mother brought from the dime store when she worked part-time sometimes; her hands smelling of freshly killed chickens when she touched my face, then to smooth her hair all the way down her back swinging
with a quick jerk like a horse’s tail, stopping at an ornate mirror to count her teeth; then disappearinginto the kitchen, my father calling out, “Liebe? It’s roasting?”

“Sure,” she called out loudly, “day and night, sure, just for you,” letting out a “Laura” that sounded just like my Aunt Bessie when she let go:

“Jelly bread and jelly all day long for you kids!”

My new mother was calling, taking me away from Aunt Bessie, “Laura, Eddie, it’s ready so put away the cigar for a change,” a pot banging on the stove, “the stink in here is terrible.” And like an old pitiful horse, over-worked, over-tired, ready to collapse from spooning some scrambled eggs on our plates, klopping her spoon on the table, “So eat.”

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My father’s sharp eyes held me quiet. Was I showing signs of the fighting at our table about us having more on our plates than his, considering that he was a slave worker in the shop for her, paying twelve cents for bread when the eleven cent one was just as good. Satisfied with my empty stare he stood up and said a prayer over the bread. Dinah, pleased by the prayerful sounds, looked at him tenderly. I looked down at the slice of bread and wondered if it cost too much to eat. Could she be that interested in me?

“My cousin-doctor is coming to take a look at you. He’s an expert.” No sooner said he’s walking in, my father yelling at Dinah, “I’m not a millionaire.” The doctor glanced over at Dinah, holding his black case close under his arm.

“The kitchen is no place to examine this child. I have an office.” Turned and walked out.

Dinah to show her anger threw an empty cup at the wall saying, “I married you for differentreasons. I thought you were a big sport.” My father quickly jumped up to dance around her.

“Liebe yourself. You want her to stay here? And I should be the cook? And her mother is on a vacation? Your Queen Esther? Out to find herself another king? She can take Laura with her.

Didn’t you ever see how a chimpanzee acts when they take the monkey away from her? Weren't you ever at a zoo?”

She suddenly stopped to wonder about the yelping dog in the yard. Running out and down the few stairs. “Enough. Enough. Stop that barking.” My father and I already on the porch leaning over the railing watching her struggle with the dog.

“You bad boy. You bad boy you.” The dog stops and crouches down, has a changed mind and jumps up and gives a good loud answer. She’ll fix the both of them. She leaves him and his temper, heads for the basement door.

“You’re opening the store now?” he asked.

“Yes. I’m sending you home with a present for her -- the bottom fertel. If you think good you do good. That’s me.”

Hanging over the porch, he says, “You got so smart all of a sudden.”“You shmendrick! You shnorrer!”

“Me or the dog?”

“You! You nothing hiding the schnaps in the shisel of feathers to make the chickens crazy.”

“I knew I would have trouble. Everything left what I had to come here to walk into your beautiful view -- trees, flowers, and grass and a picture of Buckington Palace, short of money.”
The dog growling at him.

“High class. You drank the good stuff and put water in the bottle.”

Jumping from Dinah’s hand at the collar to growl closer to us. Dinah holding him back with great effort.

“Sweetheart,” she pleaded, quieting her beloved who listened to her whimpering, “Never married I didn’t stay smart,” patting the head, “and now no children to bless me,” kissing the dog all over. “No you don’t,” as he tries to get into the store with her. “Marrying you! Come down and help here. All I got from you was broken English.”

“All I know are Slavicks and Russian Jews!” my father yelled back at her, the dog going wild inbarking, not knowing who to chew up first.

“Quiet,” she says to the dog. Chickens wake up and the dog is down there to get them. “No, you don’t,” pushing the dog away. He backs off, comes at her. He smells chicken, too.
“No, you can’t go in there! No, you bad boy.”

My father cries out, “God of the Universe.”

“Ask Him for a lawyer for a divorce. You’re experienced.” The dog taking a nip at her leg.

“You hound, look what you did.” He growls. “What do you want me to do? Master of the Universe. It’s your dog.”

Kids running into the yard yelling. “The dog catchers are coming. Look, she’s foaming at the mouth,” scrambling away in every direction.

“You meshuggener.”

I’m wondering -- to my father or the dog who doesn’t understand Yiddish.

“Enough! Enough!” To quiet the wild barking. “Go back to Potomac Avenue to your greeners. To the wife who misses you.”

The dog catchers with a net on a long handle. The dog goes wild. He’s going to eat them up. Isaw a horse jumping up wild once and I ran and hid.

“We got him!”

“My poodle. My poor poodle.” Crying. “Don’t take him. I have for him love.”

“And we’re taking her too,” one of the men said. “Taking her to the doctor.”


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

Birdie Stodel to Hold
Fashion Show June 8

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 3

The next regular meeting will be a Luncheon and Fashion Show to be held Monday, June 8th, at 12 noon at Temple Center.  Be sure to attend, to see the chic and moderately priced clothes to be shown.  Program Chairman Thelma Weiss promises an entertaining afternoon.

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 3

3rd—Hadassah Donor Luncheon—El Cortez Hoel—12 noon.
4th—Pioneer Women Installation—Beth Jacob Center—12 noon.
6th—City of Hope Jr. Aux. Installation, Dinner-Dance—El Morocco—9:00 p.m.
6th—Beth Jacob P.T.A. Card Party—Beth Jacob Center—8:30 p.m.
7th—Jewish Labor Com. Program Celebration, Warsaw Ghetto—Beth Jacob.
9th—Tifereth Israel Sisterhood Installation—11:30 a.m.
11th—N.C.J.W. Installation and Luncheon—Manor Hotel—12 noon.
12th, 13th, 14th—Calif. J.W.V. and Aux. Convention—Hotel Del Coronado.
20th—B’nai B’rith “Cotton Ball”—Beth Jacob Center.
21st—Pioneer Women Donor Dinner—Manor Hotel.
24th—B’nai B’rith “Youth of Year” Presentation—Roosevelt Jr. Hi.
31st—Beth Jacob Picnic—Pepper Grove—10:30 a.m.

N.C.J.W. Members Attend workshop In Los Angeles
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 4

Several members to the new board of the National Council of Jewish Women, San Diego section, attended a Council workshop in Los Angeles Thursday, May 21 at which Council’s purposes and program for the coming year were discussed.
San Diegans present were:  Mrs. Milton Roberts, newly elected president for the local section; and Mesdames David Doctor, Robert Speigel, George Uris, Harry Haimsohn, William Schwartz, Sidney Smith.

Plans are being made for this group’s formal installation to be held Thursday, June 11 at a noon luncheon in the Manor Hotel.  Mrs. Samuel Friedman will be installing officer; Chaplain Murray Blackman from Camp Pendleton will give the opening prayer.

The theme for the event will be “Council Futurama” and Council’s program will be explained through the slogan “Council’s Future Is Human Welfare the World Over.”

Picnic and Conclave
For City of Hope

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 4

Due to ill health Sophie Himmel has resigned as first Vice President, and we are happy to announce that Ethel Berwin has been elected to complete the term.  Delegates elected to the coming Convention of City of Hope, to be held the 4th of July weekend at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, are Ruth Aronoff, Pres., Charter Delegate, Ethel Berwin, Ruth  Douglas, and Fanny Addleson, Jean Camiel is going as Honorary Guest of the Sanitorium, as founder of the Jr. Auxiliary during her term.

Plans are under way for the Annual Picnic, which again will be held at the Beth Jacob Center.  Anyone wishing to volunteer, call Mrs. L. Addleson, T.1-1748 in charge of contributions; Mrs. Anne Shelley, W. 5-2566, in charge of Foods; and Mrs. Sam Rassin, in charge of Door Prizes and Raffle Tickets.  Be sure to mark Sunday, July 12, on your calendar for this wonderful Indoor Picnic and enjoy yourself from 12 noon to 12 midnite.  There will be good times, good food, and good values, for your pleasure.

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Jewish War Veterans
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 4

Jewish War Veterans Post 185 and Auxiliary will hold their regular business meeting Monday, June 1st at 8:30 p.m. at War Memorial Bldg., Balboa Park.

As Memorial Day falls on Saturday the Post will hold Memorial Services on Sunday May 31st at 11 a.m. at Home of Peace Cemetery.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, Post Chaplain will officiate.

The Department of California Jewish War Veterans Posts and Auxiliaries 1953 Convention will be held June 12, 13 and 14th at Hotel Del Coronado.  Memorial Services will be conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens, Friday evening, 8 p.m., June 12th at Hotel Del Coronado.  The public is invited to attend this service.

No social meeting will be held in June by San Diego Post 185 and Auxiliary due to the Convention.

Dedication of Ark and
Synagogue Postponed

Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 5

At the last meeting of the Beth Jacob Board of Directors it was resolved to postpone dedication ceremonies of the Synagogue and its newly completed Holy Ark, originally set for July 26, to Chanukkah, Sunday December 6, 1953.  A Special Committee consisting of representatives of all Beth Jacob affiliates has been appointed.  Dr. A. P. Nasatir and his charming wife, Ida, have agreed to be chairmen for the Dedication, which promises to be an outstanding and memorable event in the annals of the fabulous growth of the Beth Jacob Synagogue.

Beth Jacob Picnic, Bazaar Sunday, May 31— A combined picnic and bazaar of the congregation and its Sunday School will be held on Sunday, May 31st in Pepper Grove, Balboa Park, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  The Committee plans to approach members and friends of the Synagogue for merchandise to be auctioned at the bazaar.

For further information please contact Ann Shelley.

Beth Jacob P.T.A. Card Party Saturday, June 6
Beth Jacob P.T.A. will hold a card party Saturday night, June 6 at 8:30 p.m. at the Beth Jacob Center.  Proceeds to be used exclusively for our Religious School.  Spend an enjoyable evening with us, and help our school to expand.

Tifereth Israel Services
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 5

Through the Summer months, Sabbath Services at Tifereth Israel will be held according to the following schedule:

Friday Evenings at 8:00 p.m.—A brief Worship Service only.

Saturday Mornings at 8:30 a.m. —Regular Saturday Morning worship.

Saturday Evenings one hour before Sunset—Minha Service.

The daily Minyan meets for Morning Worship, Sundays at 8:00 a.m. and weekdays at 7:30 a.m.—Evening Service by arrangement.

{Sarah Gershon}
Southwestern Jewish Press May 29, 1953 Page 5

Mrs. Sarah Gershon, 75, passed away on May 19th.  She had been a resident of San Diego since 1914.  Services were conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens on May 21st in the Lewis colonial Mortuary.  Burial was at the Home of peace Cemetery.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Mary Kantor and Mrs. Harry B. Sugarman, and a son, Phil, all of San Diego, and a daughter, Mrs. Lester Scott, and a son, Dan, both of Los Angeles.

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

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