WASHINGTON, DC (Press Release)- Marc R. Stanley, Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), released the following statement:
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) is proud to congratulate our good friend and an outstanding Jewish Democrat, Governor Jack Markell (D-DE), on being named Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). Markell has worked closely with us over the years and the Democratic governors could not have elected a better individual to lead the DGA into the 2010 elections.
As expected, Markell has wasted no time in launching the DGA’s first project under its new leadership. We fully support the launch of the DGA’s “Accountability Project” and its efforts “to educate the public about policies that didn’t work in the past and would just take us backward.’
NJDC looks forward to working more and more closely with Markell and the DGA in the coming months and years, and we wish him a hearty mazal tov for this high honor.
Preceding provided by National Jewish Democratic Council
NEW YORK (Press Release)—EL AL Israel Airlines held a press conference Wednesday to announce a net profit of $12.3 million in the 3rd quarter (July thru September) despite the ongoing financial crisis, increased competition, reduced revenue generated from ticket sales in all classes of service, tremendous losses in the international aviation industry, as well as the worldwide collapse of the cargo market.
EL AL President Haim Romano pointed out that this financial success is due to an aggressive marketing strategy, a reduction of expenses, and an increase in direct ticket sales which resulted in increased market share and a higher load factor.
At the conference, Romano stated, “These positive results are proof of the power of the EL AL brand and the continued loyalty demonstrated by our customers.” Romano also stated that a central focus of EL AL in these difficult times is to maintain stability while exploiting the airline’s many advantages, such as being flexible to meet the market demand.
Revenues in the third quarter total $496.1 million, a reduction of almost 20 percent as compared to the parallel quarter last year. The gross profit is $95.4 million, almost 29 percent compared to the third quarter in 2008. The overall cargo market into and out of Israel dropped by about 15 percent, yet EL AL cargo experienced a 2 percent market share increase.
Due to increased efficiency, EL AL management and general expenses dropped in this quarter by $3.3 million to $21.1 million. Fuel costs were reduced by $78.7 million for a total expenditure of $136 million this quarter (after considering hedging costs of about $18.6 million this quarter). Cash flow in the third quarter totaled $18.8 million as compared to $11.3 million during the same time period last year.
In this quarter, there was also a 6 percent growth in passenger traffic. And, EL AL maintained a higher load factor out of Ben Gurion Airport than the average of all foreign carriers, even though their capacity increased by approximately 7 percent.
Romano also discussed future plans to expand the fleet. Four new state-of-the-art extended range Boeing 777 aircraft are on order and are expected to join the EL AL fleet in 2012/early 2013 at a cost of approximately $540 million. These 777s will be utilized on the nonstop USA/Israel route. Also on the agenda is to develop partnerships with additional airlines so that Israel becomes more of a global hub.
Preceding provided by El Al
By David Amos
SAN DIEGO—One of the big challenges in the artistic administration of an orchestra, opera company, or chamber music series is making the right choices of what music to present. Many factors come into play. With less classical music education in our schools and less exposure at home, we have the obvious recipe of shrinking and graying audiences for the present and future. Just look around you!
The paying public will attend concerts for two basic reasons: If it likes the music being played, or if there is a superstar performer in the roster. The great, legendary impresario Sol Hurok used to say, “If the people do not want to go to a concert, there is nothing that you can do to stop them!”
So, how do you reach a sensible balance between creating new audiences, keeping the serious listeners you already have, and at the same time not compromise tradition, artistic values, beauty, and the commitment to the continuation of the art form? Not an easy task, but there are some points to keep in mind.
Do you stubbornly program traditional music only, present it the old fashioned way, and expect to keep the orchestral concert and chamber recital alive? Or, do you cater totally to the popular tastes to attract the marginal concertgoer by scheduling a heavy dose of the 1912 Overture, Bolero, and other easy to hear, but overdone classics? The less playful is our choice of music, the more it is labeled heavy or dull; adventurous programming runs the danger of being called superficial, esoteric, and even silly.
Where is the balance?
Most young people are well informed of pop music and culture, but have never been exposed (let’s say “correctly exposed”) to our beloved classical music. Many have never been to a concert, and are uncomfortable with the traditional attire and concert etiquette. This, sadly, also applies to most of the adult population, more and more every year.
My wife and I are trying to do our part, and I humbly invite you to do something similar: In 2008, we took our seven year old grandson to a concert of the Seattle Symphony, at Benaroya Hall, conducted by Gerard Schwarz. The music way by no means lightweight: Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of A Thousand”. His first live orchestral experience was a symphony orchestra, chorus, children’s chorus, expanded brass section, and soloists, all in a package of 80 uninterrupted minutes, together with 2400 other adults. He survived it just fine, enjoyed the concert, and a year and a half later, we fondly still talk about it with him. We have subsequently taken him to other similar concerts.
This may be an exception, but how can we provide the younger generations a favorable introduction and exposure, and not scare them away with what they would, not surprisingly, regard as a stiff, dull, somber, and expensive exercise? The music itself is not attraction enough when so many other elements of the traditional concert experience are so foreign. We also have to cope with the vast competition from other forms of entertainment, sports, active and passive, the wonderful outdoors, and other activities.
To my opinion, we have to make the concert experience more accessible and attractive, not by pandering to popularity and selling out what in snooty circles is called “bad taste”, but by being more flexible and pliant in the concert procedure and choice of music. Keep in mind that our society rewards and even demands mediocrity. Serious art simply does not sell well, and we have to solve our puzzle within these limitations.
At the same time, we can not ignore that musical organizations have a budget, heavy expenses, and to survive, can not consistently lose money. No rational manager or board would allow the financial demise of its organization, considering all the options available. Add to this the world’s present financial crunch, where all arts organizations have been severely affected.
What to do?
Mix it up. Program serious music in the same evening with tasteful, but lighter fare. Look at the old programs from the beginning of the Twentieth Century when there was a nice blend of tradition, beauty, fun, newness, and excitement. (It is not good programming to have two Bruckner symphonies in the same evening!).
Promote the organization in non-traditional venues. If you wish to attract new subscribers, do not preach to the choir, look outside the usual forms of publicity. Others are doing it, and succeeding in reaching a wider audience of potential concertgoers. Creative thinking is not forbidden.
Relax the traditional concert attire requirements. It is already happening. Also, musicians on stage do not have to be in tails and long gowns all the time, looking like something out of a museum. Brahms sounds just as well if played in blue jeans, although I am not exactly suggesting this. People in the audience can dress tastefully, but not ostentatiously. Avoid the unnecessary fashion show to impress others. What matters in the music, the experience of the moment. Do you wear a coat and tie to listen to a piano concerto in your stereo at home? I don’t think so.
Verbal explanations from the stage before the music is played, either by the conductor or a more eloquent someone else, is not insulting anyone’s intelligence. It is not hokey and improper. We, the more enlightened ones have to be more flexible and understanding if the art form is to be rescued. Besides, you will never know when you learn something new. In general, it helps many people appreciate and enjoy the music, and encourages them to come back. It also relaxes the stuffiness of the air, which many of us don’t even notice. Regular concertgoers are so used to the ritual, that they are not aware how intimidating all of this can be to the uninitiated.
Choose exciting, vibrant music. Bring it to life through well prepared performances. Avoid the stale, academic detached presentations that do nothing to promote our cause. The conductor and musicians have to be aware more than ever that they are communicating something special to the audience in the hall. When energy flows both ways, (and this happens some of the time), it is a wonderful memory for everyone involved.
Arnold Schoenberg said, “Play the classics as if they are new music, and play new music as if they are already classics”.
Pablo Casals said that we, the musicians have to “make divine things human, and human things divine”.
If more of these ideas are practiced, the word will get around.
Amos is the conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra and has been a guest conductor with orchestras around the world.
LA JOLLA, California (Press Release) – The 26th Annual Hanukkah Happening, co-sponsored by the Nierman Preschool – GlickmanGalinson Education Complex and the JCC Youth Department, will take place at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS on Sunday, December 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Hanukkah Happening is San Diego’s largest Hanukkah event for families and is fun for people of all faiths and ages. Price for admission is only $2 for JCC member and $3 for non-members. Children under 2 years old are free.
For the first time ever, on Saturday, December 5 from 7:00-9:00, a “Peek-a-Boo Preview” will give adults an opportunity to enjoy wine, cheese, dessert and live entertainment by Jay B while getting to bid on the-best-of-the-best at our one-of-a-kind silent auction before the big crowd the next day all for only $10.
For more information: http://www.lfjcc.org/preschool/hanukkahhappening.aspx
By Rabbi Philip Graubart
LA JOLLA, California –Last month I saw the Coen Brothers new movie A Serious Man. I was curious because I’d heard both Coens’ claim that the movie was their take on the biblical story of Job – and I, I must admit, am a Job fanatic – a follower of all things Job.
And there is some resemblance between Job and A Serious Man. Both stories concern a series of misfortunes that afflict an innocent person. Job – “blameless,” righteous – loses his wealth, health and family all in one very bad day. Larry, the main character in the film, loses his wife to an extra-marital affair; struggles with sudden health issues; suffers from job insecurity; and wrestles with a series of comically depressing family issues, from a wacky, self-destructive brother, to a sullen, un-loving teenage daughter, to a rebellious, obnoxious bar-mitzvah boy son. Both stories feature ambiguous endings. Job concludes with God’s mysterious appearance “out of the whirlwind,” which resolves none of the spiritual issues – suggesting that yes, God is responsible for evil, but that we can never really know why. A Serious Man concludes with a tornado which may or may not destroy the town; a serious diagnosis that may or may not be deadly; and a sense that supernatural forces may be responsible for our suffering, but then again, maybe not – maybe it’s all blind fate.
On the other hand, there are significant differences between the stories. The character Job really is blameless – even Satan admits it. But Larry’s a neglectful husband and a clueless dad, so he brings on at least some of his misfortunes (one critic re-titled the movie “When Annoying Things Happen to Annoying People.”).
Also, the endings do diverge greatly. While the Coen Brothers message of “who knows?” is, in fact, a serious approach to an unfathomable problem, and I admire their attempt to grapple with metaphysical issues (though, it must be said, much of the movies seems to be their cruel, frankly unfunny attempts to get back at some boring Hebrew School teachers), from a spiritual perspective, the movie leaves us cold. Job also teaches “who knows?” but at the same time offers a glimpse of transcendent possibilities. We finish Job not understanding why God does what God does, but still feeling the power of God’s infinitely complex word. We finish watching A Serious Man without the slightest hint that there’s anything significant out there at all beyond our petty lives, and annoying concerns. A Serious Man is really more Sartre than Job – but not even a particularly interesting exploration of Sartre.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I actually caught another movie which does a much better job at recreating Job, but in a fully comic vein: Bruce Almighty,starring Jim Carrey. The set-up is similar: a simple guy – Bruce, a newscaster – suddenly afflicted with serious problems. But, like Job – and unlike Larry – Bruce explicitly complains to God. And, as in Job, God shows up to defend Himself (God’s a He in the film – Morgan Freeman). And here the resemblance to Job is so remarkable, I have to imagine that the writers at least thought about the biblical story, though they didn’t brag about it to the press. Because God’s defense in the film is that He’s very, very busy. You trying being God, Morgan Freeman demands of Jim Carrey. Which is very similar to God’s challenge to Job at the end of the biblical book: “Where were you when I created the world?”
But the best part of Bruce Almighty is the message that comes at the end. After numerous madcap scenes of a comically overwhelmed Jim Carrey, dealing with billions of prayers, petty and grand, God reappears and gives away the true moral of the film, and still the best response to suffering. “I’ve given you world,” Morgan Freeman intones, with a wry twinkle in his eye, “it’s your responsibility to make the best of it.” And while this line has the creaky sound of a Hollywood cliché, it’s not so far from the actual message of the Book of Job.
The key to understanding this strange book, it seems to me, is realizing that God never answers Job’s questions, or responds to his challenges. Instead God, like Morgan Freeman at the end of the movie, changes the subject. You ask about suffering, God says, and you wonder why I allow it, but I prefer to discuss this grand world I created, with stars and planets; wondrous wildlife, like eagles and lions; and truly terrifying, supernatural creatures like Behemoth and The Sea Monster. You, God says, direct my attention to your suffering, but I direct your attention to the broad and terrifying Universe, too gigantic for the human mind to comprehend. Ultimately what we learn is that there’s more to the world then we can imagine, and therefore more power within us that we previously thought. Job wants answers, but God gives him what he really needs: a glimpse of infinity, and therefore the possibility of transcendence. And with that possibility, we can respond to suffering – either our own, or to others – with concrete actions, courage and generosity. As Morgan Freeman’s God might say, I gave you a world with infinite possibilities. It’s your job to dig down deep and find something to relieve the suffering.
This is not only a more inspirational message than A Serious Man’s,it’s also truer to life. The film ends (spoiler alert!) with a cancer diagnosis. But as any cancer survivor knows, in the real world, the diagnosis is just the beginning of the story. The rest contains pain and suffering, but also caring, intelligent doctors, generous friends, loving families, brilliant scientists searching for cures, moments of bliss and ease, communities offering prayers, unexpected acts of lovingkindness. More good, and more power, in other words, than we ever knew existed, no matter what the outcome. The Coen Brothers void actually strikes me as more fictitious, less believable, than Morgan Freeman’s promise, or Job’s transcendent glimpse. Something is out there for sure, Job reminds us, strong and great, even if it’s only our striving, imperfect generosity, and the love of those around us.
Rabbi Graubart is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El. His ongoing column will explore God’s role in our lives and in our world.
LOS ANGELES (Press Release)–Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Wednesday announced at the Museum of Tolerance that insurance companies licensed to do business in California have admitted to holding $12 billion in investments in companies that do business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries.
“I launched this effort six months ago to ensure insurance industry compliance with a new state law that prohibits California insurance companies from investing in countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism,” said Commissioner Poizner, “I also wanted to determine the amount of insurance premium dollars, if any, paid by California consumers that end up invested in companies that do business with the energy, nuclear, banking and defense sectors of the Iranian economy.
“As a result of this probe, insurance companies have reported $12 billion in investments in companies that do businesses with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries. Independent of the data call, at least $6 billion of insurer investments has been verified by my staff. With this new information, I call upon the insurance industry to do what’s right and divest themselves of these investments. If they do not do it voluntarily, I will use every tool at my disposal to force divestment.”
Specifically, the Department of Insurance (CDI) will soon provide a list of companies that are doing business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries to insurance companies licensed to do business in California. Many of these companies are based in South America, China, Russia and Europe. They include such companies as Siemens, Statoil, Petroleo Brasileiro and Total SA. The list will be created using information from the data call and input from outside consultants and other experts.
At that point, insurance companies will be given 30 days to notify CDI in writing that they will comply with the divestment request and disclose the value of the identified investments. Insurers will be given 90 days to eliminate those holdings from their portfolios.
For companies that do not voluntarily agree to divest, CDI will make public a list of these companies and provide the name and value of their Iran-related investments. Commissioner Poizner will also subpoena high-ranking executives of these insurance companies to testify under oath and ask them why they believe it is in the interest of California policyholders for their premium dollars to be invested in companies propping up Iran’s energy, nuclear, defense and banking sectors.
If after this hearing an insurer still refuses to divest, Commissioner Poizner will take all legal action available to him to effectuate divestment.
“The government of Iran continues its oppressive crackdown against its own people, and thumbs its nose at the international community over its expanding nuclear program,” said Commissioner Poizner. “Iran’s ambition to dominate the region under a nuclear umbrella is a very serious threat to this country and to people all over the world. It’s just wrong for consumers here in California to find out that their hard-earned money that they pay in insurance premiums are propping up the regime in Iran. We need to do whatever it takes to put maximum pressure on Iran to change its behavior.”
Non-Responding Insurance Companies
Out of 1,327 insurance companies licensed in California and required to respond to the probe, 1,111 have complied, but 216 did not respond at all. Commissioner Poizner will subpoena a representative sample of 10 of the non-responders to explain why they ignored this critical data call. That hearing will be held on January 12 in Los Angeles.
The 10 companies facing a subpoena are Travelers Indemnity Co., PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Farmington Casualty Company, Old Republic General Insurance Corporation, American Home Assurance Company, Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company, Insurance Company of the West, Medical Insurance Exchange of California and Sequoia Insurance Company. The Commissioner will pursue additional actions to ensure that the remaining 206 companies respond to the data call.
Terror Financing Probe – By the Numbers
- Total Indirect Investments Reported by Insurance Companies: $12 billion
- Breakdown by Sector:
Banking $6,150 million
Defense $40 million
Energy $3,994 million
Nuclear $147 million
Unclassified $1,803 million
Total $12 Billion
- Number of Companies Required to Respond to Data Call: 1,327
- Number of Companies Yet to Respond: 216
- Total Reported Direct Investments in Iran: $0
- The California Department of Insurance has so far independently verified $6 billion in indirect investments, according to 2008 filings made by insurance companies.
- Number of Companies holding the $6 billion in Indirect Iranian Investments based on 2008 filings: 341
Reactions to Poizner’s Iran initiative
Leaders in different communities have immediately offered their support for the initiative, including:
“United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauds California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner for his effort to encourage insurance companies in California to divest from holdings in international corporations that support Iran’s petroleum, nuclear, defense, and banking sectors. UANI calls on all companies to cease doing business in Iran and supports divestment of corporations that persist in their dealings with Iran. In launching this initiative Commissioner Poizner not only demonstrates his understanding of the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, but also takes meaningful action to address the problem in a way that can bring about a change in Iran’s behavior. We commend Commissioner Poizner for his decision to implement this divestment initiative and call on all public leaders to use their good offices to apply financial pressure toward Iran.”
- Mark D. Wallace, President, United Against Nuclear Iran
“Today the California Department of Insurance issued a press release highlighting their state’s efforts to determine the extent to which insurers transacting business in California hold investments in companies that conduct business in Iran. We applaud the leadership of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on this sensitive and important issue, and we look forward to working with the Commissioner on a national level… Commissioner Steve Poizner and the California Department of Insurance have taken this principle to the next level – to determine if the insurance industry investing in companies with operations in Iran, including investments in securities denominated in Iranian currency (the Rial). The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is currently reviewing California’s methodology with an eye toward creating a complete and thorough analysis of compliance with state and national laws. “
December 2, 2009
- Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty
“We ought to do it through the states, but in a coordinated fashion…It ought to be a top priority for all Americans, including the insurance industry. If none of the forms of deterrence that we’re using change Iran’s plans, then you have to say let them have nuclear weapons or we’re looking at a military strike.”
- Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario
“Short of military action, the only hope of stopping the Iranian regimes in-your-face nuclearization is through concerted international efforts to hurt the regime economically. As the United States and other world powers push for tougher economic sanctions, we commend Commissioner Poizner’s efforts in California.”
- Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner
March of Dimes Opens Campaign
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 6
The month of January has been set aside by Gov. Goodwin Knight as March of Dimes Month. The campaign opened January 2 and will continue until Feb. 2. No goal has been set but the local chapter has expended more than $160,000 last year in patients’ aid.
San Diego has just seen one of the worst polio years in decades. The National Infantile Paralysis Foundation will be forced to help the local chapter with funds in ’54.
The new vaccine testing program will cost $26,000,000 this year. The dreaded scourge might see its end if in the next few years support is given this voluntary campaign.
Mrs. Saul Chenkin, chairman of the theatre group has the following on her committee for collection at the movie houses; Spreckels Theatre, Robt. Strauss; Mission, Sidney Wieder; Fox, Ernest Sturm.
Pictorial History of The Jewish People, by Nathan Ausubel
(Crown Publishers, Inc. $5.00)
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 6
Here for the first time, is the full-scale picture-story of the Jews from Biblical times to now. It clearly presents the exciting events of Jewish history, the essence of Jewish ideas and the names and facts about notable Jews of all ages, from all countries of the world. (More than 1,000 illustrations.)
A lifetime of study and years of research went into the preparation of the text and commentaries; Mr. Ausubel has employed the same happy blend of sound scholarship and clear narrative power that proved so effective and popular in ”A Treasury of Jewish Folklore.”
“Who really are the Jews?” Many definitions have been offered—some of the most frequently heard are: that they are a nation, that they are a people, that they are a religious group, that they are a race, that they are a language-culture group, that they are an historic phenomenon which cannot properly be labeled or described.
The Jewish identity may appear a little less involved and baffling as the reader pursues the course of Jewish life and destiny through the ages in “Pictorial History of the Jewish People.” …A book for young and old.
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 6
All members and friends are invited to attend Pioneer Women’s Tu B’Shvat Arbor Day celebration on Jan. 14th, Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m. at Beth Jacob Center. Vicky Strier, a recent visitor to Israel, will tell of her experiences there. A fine musical program will be presented by Cantor Cysner and Sonia Weitzman. Rose Domnitz, Rose Weitzman and P. Press will be hostesses for the evening.
Members are invited to an Oneg Shabat at the home of Mrs. B. Segal, 4714 49th St. on Sat. 9th. The week of Jan 25th is being designated as “Pioneer Women’s Week” in many cities as well as San Diego, and special programs emphasizing the worthy projects of this organization will mark the occasion.
Entire Community Mourns Passing of Anna Shelley
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 7
Mrs. Anna Shellley, 70, of 3367 Dale St., a resident here of 42 years, died last week. Anna Shelley was a founder of the City of Hope Chapter in San Diego and for many years was devoted to its cause. She became president of the local group and for more than 16 years raised funds for the non-sectarian hospital in Duarte, Calif.
She was a founder of the B’nai B’rith Girls and charter president of Birdie Stodel B. B. She was long active in Tifereth Israel Synagogue and was the first president of the Daughters of Israel. She became active in Beth Jacob Congregation and helped organize the Beth Jacob Auxiliary and was an honorary member of its Sisterhood.
She served as president of the Pioneer Women and was a long-time member of the Jewish Labor Committee. Her work and devotion to the United Jewish Fund led to her being named as a Key Woman.
Her long devotion to charitable and organization work and the religious life of the community had endeared her to the many who labored with her.
She is survived by her son, Harry Kisskin; four daughters, Mrs. Lee Douglas, Mrs. Claire Kaplan, Mrs. Gertrude Thaler, and Mrs. Jeanne Camiel; and two sisters, Mrs. Milton Rawdin of San Diego, and Mrs. Julius Reisman of Houston, Texas; and ten grandchildren.
Services were conducted by Rabbi Baruch Stern in the Merkley-Austin Mortuary, Monday, January 4, and burial was in the home of Peace Cemetery.
Rabbi Stern’s eulogy echoed in the hearts of all those who could find room in the capacity filled chapel. An overflow crowd of mourners, representing a cross-section of the entire community came to pay tribute to a beloved woman.
Deceased (Morris Niederman)
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 7
Morris Niederman, 69, a long-time resident of San Diego, died Dec. 26. He resided at 1961 Titus St. An ardent community worker, Mr. Niederman, was a director of Temple Beth Israel and a member of Lasker Lodge B’nai B’rith. He was active in Masonic groups and a supporter of many other organizations.
Services were conducted by Rabbi Morton J. Cohn and entombment was in “Cypress View Mausoleum.
He is survived by his widow, Jennette; two sons, Jerome, of San Diego, and Howard, of Pasadena; a sister, Mrs. Molly Simon, of San Diego; and a brother Jack, of New York; and five grandchildren.
Western States Rabbis Hold Conference Here
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 7
Temple Beth Israel and San Diego were hosts to more than 35 Rabbis attending the 9th Annual Conference of the Western Association of Reform Rabbis at the Hotel Del Coronado, Jan. 4 through Jan. 7. Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, in charge of arrangements, greeted the delegates.
The Rabbis represented Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon, and Utah. President of the Rabbinical Organization is Rabbi Adolph H. Fink, spiritual leader of Salt Lake City, Utah Cong. The four day session covered such topics as “Religious Concern for Civil Liberties,” “Recent Developments in Israel,” “Should There Be Uniformity of Practice in Mixed Marriage?” and “Meaningful Prayer in the Modern World.”
Special emphasis was devoted to the Jewish Youth Conference Report of the camping program at Saratoga, Calif.
The Rabbis praised the climate of San Diego and Mrs. Morton J. Cohn arranged sight-seeing tour for the Rabbis’ wives.
Tifereth Israel Sisterhood Birthday Party
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 7
“Happy Birthday Especially for You” will be the theme of the Tifereth Israel Sisterhood regular monthly luncheon meeting to be held at the Synagogue on Tuesday, January 12 at 12 noon. All Sisterhood members (and their friends) whose birthdays fall during the month of January will be honored with special “birthday” activities.
In Keeping with the birthday program, Mrs. Bonnie Scoles, head of the Home Economics Dept. of the San Diego Gas and Electric Co., assisted by Mrs. Mary Burton, will present an interesting demonstration of unusual party menus, favors, and decorations for all occasions.
Mrs. Lester Tokars, Captain of Circle 5, and her group are preparing a delectable Birthday luncheon. Make your reservations early by calling Mr. Tokars at J-2-1633 or Mrs. Newman, W-8-1685 or the Synagogue office, T-1-5529. Mrs. Warren Ogelsby, President, will preside.
Mrs. Elias Berwin, chairman of the Family Dinner Party to be give by Sisterhood on Sunday, January 31 at the Synagogue will report on final plans. A delicious menu has been planned and arrangements are being made so that card games may be played after dinner. Special arrangements are being made to cater to children so plan to make this a real “Family Night.”
Make reservations early by calling Mrs. Berwin or the Synagogue office.
Anna Shelley—A Tribute
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 8
By Adek F. Firestone
Anna Shelley is gone, Yes, her extraordinary personality and the amazing influence she wielded in our community remains as enigmatic as ever. One is tempted to ask “What was her source of power?”
She was not an orator. Yet few spell-binders have succeeded in swaying the hearts and minds of their fellows to the extent that Mrs. Shelley has. I have watched her in action at committee meetings; she did not just dominate, she hypnotized. I have known her to bend individuals, by no means lacking in strength of character themselves, to her will and purpose like a magnet drawing steel. She was not an academician. Yet I have heard university trained professionals; men of talent and general ability, submit to her wishes as clay in the hands of a potter. The future historian who will seek to analyze the motivating factors which were primarily responsible for the course taken by our community in its internal development will, I am convinced, attribute to Mrs. Shelley a directing and formative influence of vaster importance than even her intimate friends may realize today.
She never sought “Kavod” (honor). Consistently, she evinced an almost pathological antipathy towards any attempt to show her honor. On the one occasion when a few misguided friends dared to organize a presentation to her, I believe—the contributions had to be returned to the donors.
Her association—to cite but a few instances—with the City of Hope, with the Beth Jacob Congregation, with the National Council of Jewish Women, with the Council of Israeli Institutions, with the Jewish Labor Committee and above all with the United Jewish Fund has been of immeasurable benefit to these institutions. To our New Americans she has rendered yeoman service. The debt of gratitude which the community owes Mrs. Shelley in the sphere of newcomers to San Diego is particularly heavy. She was known for her traditional hospitality and sympathy with the needs of those less fortunate co-religionists seeking sanctuary in our city of peace and friendship.
Her conception of Zionism was never limited to the material rebuilding of the State of Israel. Her Jewish ideology was ever broad based; she constantly realized with a profound understanding, that man does not live by bread alone.
What was the riddle of Mrs. Shelley’s personality? Even if we were to list the full sum of her services—and we never shall, for so much that she did is intangible, though of incalculable value—the total would still not explain the secret for herself in our communal life. Others too, have given of their best, though hardly commensurate, services, but have never become, as it were, legendary figures in their lifetime.
To me it seems that it is not Shelley the indefatigable collector of funds, the tireless social worker, the public-spirited communal servant that cast a spell over the community and won the admiration even of those who differ from her views. It is Anna the dreamer, the simple realist, the woman of absolute integrity, whose every word and deed could be weighed in the scale of truth and not be found wanting.
Thus Anna Shelley carved out for herself the well-deserved title of being the Jewish Mother of San Diego and achieved a reputation which many can strive to follow but few emulate. To those of us admirers and friends of Anna Shelley, who had been privileged to be associated with her at close quarters she served as a continuous inspiration and spur to greater effort. Now her passing has left a void in the community. She will be sorely missed.
Birdie Stodel B.B.
Southwestern Jewish Press January 8, 1954 Page 8
Mrs. Sam Weiss, Pres. Of the S.D. Birdie Stodel Chapter of Women’s B’nai B’rith announces most cordial invitation to all to the next Birdie Stodel meeting to be held Jan 11 at 8 p.m. at Tifereth Israel Center. Adele Denton, 3rd vice-president of Women’s Division of B.nai B’rith District No. 4 will bring an important message, and address Bay City and S. D. Birdie Stodel Chapters. Birdie Stodel Chapter is the guest of Bay City Chapter for that evening.
At a recent Board meeting plans were formulated to a Silver Jubilee 25th Anniversary Dinner Dance to be held Sunday evening, February 14th at Tops Restaurant. Mrs. Mel Steffel, chairman and her committee are planning a wonderful evening for all who attend.
“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.