Compiled by Gail Umeham
Hi there, you guys and gals!
Maxine Schoenkopf celebrated her 16th birthday with a terrific luncheon at the El Cortez Patio Room. Enjoying the friendly and happy atmosphere were Sharlene Stone, Rockie Goodrich, Joan Breitbard, Adrian Sachnoff, Janet and Susan Solof, Marilyn Smith and many of her school friends. Best of luck and much happiness, Maxine.
“Real cool” agreed the gang who helped to make Marjorie Lowitz’s birthday fun. They danced, went on a scavenger hunt and ate delicious refreshments. Who? There were Sonya Weitzman, Bobby Woolfe, Louise Gelman, Ronnie Goldstein, Evelyn Witz, Ronnie Doctor, Bunny Brisker, Steve Rosensweig, Janice Tappen, Neil Kleinman, Elia Sviet, George Wise, Nella Feldman, Gary Fine, Ruth Friedman, Phul Brenes, Shelley Hafner and Norman Kellner. Happy birthday, Marjorie.
Fun and more fun was the pass word to Rhonda Esenoff’s way of starting a new birthday year. The Jacks and Jills voted it an evening never to be forgotten.
Bye now—don’t forget to call—CY-5-0679.
Jewish Center News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 30, 1954 Page 6
New Staff Member
The Center welcomed a new member, Miss Ethel Mallinger, to the staff as of April 15th. Miss Mallinger, formerly employed at the Cincinnati Jewish Community Center, will work with Junior, Junior High and Teen Age groups.
Ping Pong Tournament
Flex your muscles a bit and enter the ping pong tournament. It is off to a fine start, but you can still enter. Junior High age on Sunday afternoon, Teen Age on Thursday night, and Young Adult on Tuesday night.
Junior High Age Activities
The calendar is full, so come down and have fun.
Sunday, May 2nd, 2:00 p.m.—Movies (an old treat).
Sunday May 8 and 16, 2:00 p.m.—Informal activities.
Sunday, May 23rd, Lag B’Omer Picnic.
The Monday night dance class is still open and Mr. Donald Muloof, our dance instructor is ready to start another beginner’s section.
“Why Do Individuals Join Groups?” This topic will be discussed by Dr. Daniel Harris, psychiatrist, in the first class on Wednesday evening, May 5th, at 7:30 p.m. Register for this series by calling AT-1-7744.
Enjoy your Tuesday mornings beginning at 10:00 a.m. with one hour of rhythmic exercise and one hour of Arts and Crafts. Games, crafts, music and stories will occupy the children during this period.
Mr. Leonard Zlotoff, chairman of Day Camp Jaycee committee urges parents to register their children before June 15th to take advantage of the reduced rates for early paid up registrants. In addition, enrollment will be definitely limited. Camp Jaycee is open to all youngsters, age 5-12 years and will operate 5 days a week for 8 weeks beginning Monday, June 28th and ending Friday, August 20th.
Assisting Mr. Zlotoff on the day camp committee are Mrs. Sam Bennett, co-chairman, Mrs. Jack Fine, Mrs. I. Fogelman, Dr. Stanley Strimling, Mrs. J. Land, Mrs. H. Haimsohn, and Ben Carnot.
Young Adult Activities
A series of films showing the beauty of United States scenic places will be shown on Tuesday evenings beginning May 4th, 8:00 p.m. The usual games ‘schmoos’ and dancing will follow.
Several excellent singers have joined the monotones in our community choral Group meeting on Wednesday evenings, and Cantor Miller is anxious to have altos, baritones, etc., to join the group. In other words we need men, men, men!!!
Members! We need your rummage now!! Rugs, clothes, dishes, furniture, pots and pans, shoes, toys, anything, but we need it now! Call AT-4-2798; JU-2-2741; or the Center, AT-1-7744.
Steinmetz Seeks Post
Southwestern Jewish Press April 30, 1954 Page 6
Dr. Harry C. Steinmetz, ousted San Diego State College professor has taken out nominating papers as a candidate against Roy E. Simpson, state school superintendent.
Steinmetz described himself as a Democrat and teacher when he paid his $300 filing fee at the registrar of voters’ office.
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 regular feature until we run out of history.
By Donald H. Harrison
SAN DIEGO – Thanks to fictionalized accounts of the lives of “lawmen” in the Old West, many people have romanticized notions about what it was like to be the sheriff in a frontier town. Probably a front parlor in a two-story Greek revival home where the children played the piano and recited poetry for visitors doesn’t fit the stereotype.
In Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, one may wonder if one is seeing the “real McCoy” upon stepping into the McCoy House built in 1869 for Sheriff and Mrs. James and Winifred McCoy.
The frontier sheriff is described in a wall-mounted narrative as having been “an influential Irish-born politician of the Democratic party” who built the home as a wedding present for the former Winifred Kearney of Los Angeles.
The house was reconstructed in 2000 to create an interpretive center for the state park. Although the front parlor is furnished with artifacts of the period, none of them was actually McCoy’s. Rather, the furnishings represent best guesses by California historians of what a parlor of an upper middle class family in San Diego in the late 19th century might have contained.
The docent told of a time in old San Diego when to improve the production of pork, farmers decided to import a prize sow, which was named Elizabeth. When the animal finally arrived, “they paraded her up from the harbor and up San Diego Avenue with a big brass band, “ Wolfing said. “They introduced her to a local boar and sure enough they started producing piglets.” The problem was that the piglets started disappearing from their pens.
So, the pens were moved near a home where they could be watched from the window. One night, hearing some person near the pig pen, a guard shot out the window, killing an Indian. As pig-stealing was not considered a capital crime, the person who fired the shot was put on trial for murder. A jury deliberated the evidence, but before members could return to the court, Sheriff McCoy asked them what verdict they had decided. “Guilty—guilty as sin,” Wolfing quoted the foreman as having replied.
According to the docent’s account: “McCoy shakes his head, saying, ‘I think you need to think more about this!’ He came back two other times and he wouldn’t let them out until they came back with a verdict of ‘Not Guilty.’ McCoy just couldn’t see punishing a white man for shooting a pig-stealing Indian!”
My own research for the biography, Louis Rose: San Diego’s First Jewish Settler and Entrepreneur found that McCoy like many San Diegans of the period had speculated in land on the hope that San Diego would become the western terminus of the nation’s southernmost transcontinental railroad. McCoy served on the board of directors of the San Diego and Gila Railroad company, which had no tracks nor rolling stock but nevertheless had acquired rights to vast tracts of land in San Diego to be used as enticement for the Texas and Pacific Railroad to build its line from Marshall, Texas, to San Diego.
When Congress authorized such a route in 1871, private property values skyrocketed, including in Roseville – the bayside town laid out by Louis Rose—on the theory that there was no better location for a railroad than near where ocean-going ships had docked. McCoy purchased several lots in Roseville, but the town’s prospects for a terminus—as well as those for competing areas elsewhere in San Diego—went bust. This was because the railroad company decided the terrain east of San Diego was too rugged, and decided instead upon Los Angeles as the west coast terminus.
The McCoy House is quite close to the Old Town terminal of the San Diego Trolley – a factor in the decision to use it as an interpretive center. It is the first building in the state park that one sees when arriving by trolley.
From the parlor, a visitor is led through a historic maze within the house. The route takes one through exhibits about the Kumeyaay Indians; the Spanish explorers and colonizers; the Californio ranchers and their seafaring Yankee trading partners; and finally to exhibits about the early American times in which McCoy himself participated.
Murals and dioramas depicting different aspects of life in these periods—as well as well-researched wall narratives accompanied by an array of interesting artifacts – makes this walk through San Diego history an interesting and worthwhile experience.
While close to the trolley at the western end of the park, the McCoy House is somewhat removed from the central plaza to which most tourists flock. Consequently its visitor count is lower than at other Old Town San Diego State Park attractions such as the Casa de Estudillo, Mason Street School, Wells Fargo Museum, City Hall and Little Jail. This is unfortunate because if tourists knew to find the McCoy House exhibits, these visitors would benefit from the context these exhibits provide for the other museums and historic commercial venues.
Following are photographs of some of the exhibits:
By Carol Davis
SAN DIEGO—There is something magical about seeing Tovah Feldshuh playing Golda Meir in her one-woman show, Golda’s Balcony by William Gibson now playing at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park through May 30th.
From the moment she walks on to the stage, to the time she takes her last of many curtain calls, every person in the audience on opening night was mesmerized by her performance as the irascible Golda Meir.
Four times Tony nominee, Tovah Feldshuh is an Old Globe associate but from her long absence on our local stage one would hardly know unless one was on that theatre track many moons ago and had the opportunities to see her as an ingénue. That was almost thirty years ago. According to Feldshuh, once you become an associate artist of the Globe, ‘you kind of disappear’. Such a truism! Let’s hope we are able to have Feldshuh back before another thirty years passes us by.
Her performance of Golda Meir is a blockbuster of a show and a must see. As the quintessential Meir, Feldshuh who was honored by a Drama Desk Award for solo performance, is transformed into one of the most powerful leaders of the free world with the help of a wig, prosthetic nose, a fat suit and stubby legs, one with varicose veins. (Scott Schwartz is credited as Production Consultant and Nell Balaban as assistant director) In fact in one scene she shares, as Meir, that her grandson wanted to know “why one of her legs was fatter that the other?”
However, it’s not the nose, the wig (Paul Huntley) the fat suit and the legs that make her character so real. That’s window dressing for the senses. It’s the way Feldshuh exemplifies the essence of the young fiery Zionist, the teenager in love, the daughter, the wife the mother, the schoolteacher, the chalutznick (pioneer), the kibbutznick, the fundraiser, the diplomat and the leader of the tiny state of Israel in 1969 during the War of Attrition through 1973 and the Yom Kippur war. She was 71. She finally stepped down at 75.
The play opens to the sounds of bombs and bullets. (Alex Hawthorn)It is a memory play of sorts. Meir is now 75, retired and dying of cancer but her spirit reflects her life as she goes back and forth in Gibson’s play of the immigrant girl from Russia to Milwaukee and ultimately on the road to being the fourth prime minister of the State Israel and one of the most powerful world leaders.
As Meir, Feldshuh is chatty, angry, passionate, unforgiving and unrelenting in her quest to save Israel from destruction at any cost and that might include using nuclear weapons. In fact the way she went about saving the country was exactly the way she led her life, barely compromising. In a series of revealing moments she details her relationship with her husband Morris who, according to her was gentle, mild and more at peace with himself than she could ever be.
He was a sign painter who later did bookkeeping to earn a meager living. He was completely detached from her world but understood her passion and eventually let go. He hated the kibbutz life style of raising chickens. He loved music, particularly Bach, poetry and literature. After he took ill, he persuaded her to move to Tel Aviv with him, which she hated, and then later to Jerusalem where she found work. By that time she was already involved in politics and the two drifted when she became immersed in Zionist political activities. Their two children were born in Jerusalem.
But most of the dialogue reveals her dealing with the tactics, strategies and lack of preparedness and equipment surrounding the Yom Kippur War. Her relationships with the powerful men surrounding her, Moshe Dyan, (whom she confesses an affair; one of the many she confesses to) David Ben Gurion, (BG), Simcha Dinitz and David “Dado” Elazar all of whom she relied on heavily, much to her chagrin later on, put her in a league no woman before had forged.
She spoke of other powerful men she influenced or who influenced her. Henry Kissinger, with whom she exchanged many angry, anxious, pleading and compelling phone calls, King Abdullah with whom she appealed to for peace, he in exchange asked her to move more slowly and wait another year, (“We will have peace with the Arabs, when they love their children more than they love war.” GM), and with Pope Paul VI who “chastised her for her country’s fierceness”.
In a humorous exchange she recalled how she had to be covered from head to toe and smuggled into Abdullah’s country so no one would recognize her. But being who she was, she couldn’t contain her cover and had to look at him face to face.
Watching Feldshuh perform as Meir is like watching Meir herself (an I’m old enough to remember). Her mannerisms and her change of speech patterns as she goes back and fourth to the characters of her parents, Kissinger, her personal secretary, Lou Kaddar, King Abdullah, and Moshe Dyan and back to her facing her own demons and dilemmas is seamless. Her body movements, her humor and her ability to suck you in to her drama are the trademarks of the great lady herself as she shares her personal as well as her public persona throughout the evening.
The play is ninety minutes long (give or take a few) and packed with facts, personalities and history. It is an inside look at what a struggling nation, one built from the ashes of the concentration camps, six million of them (and the anti Semitism stirred up in both the United States and Germany), and its leaders had to deal with to form a safe haven for those souls and those struggling to survive the nightmare.
In what was to be her final bow, (standing ovation only) Ms. Feldshuh was genuinely moved to say a few words to her adoring audience. After thanking everyone at the Globe from Executive Producer Louis Spisto to the late Craig Noel, she shared a personal note, one she tells her own children. “I lived to see integration in the South, the Wall come down in Berlin and the breakup of Communism in Russia. I hope I live to see the day when there is peace in the Middle East”.
And as for her balcony? Well that would be in Dimona, so far underground that it never sees the light of day.
“The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.” Golda Meir.
“We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon – no alternative.” GM
If you miss this show, you are missing a world class act.
See you at the theatre.
Dates: May 1st - 30th
Organization: Old Globe Theatre
Production Type: One woman Show
Where: Balboa Park, 1363 Old Globe Way
Ticket Prices: $29-$77.00
Davis is a San Diego-based theatre critic