Archive for February 8, 2010

Itzhak Perlman delivers a ‘message’ from Beethoven

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

By Eileen Wingard
|SAN DIEGO–Two consecutive Sundays, I heard two great string players. The first, Violinist Itzhak Perlman, renowned, not only for his superb artistry, but for his humanity, performed January 24 at Copley Symphony Hall. The second, Violist David Aaron Carpenter, at the beginning of his concert career, presented a program at the Neuroscience Hall on January 31.
Perlman’s audience at Copley Symphony Hall was packed to the rafters with an additional twenty people on the stage, sitting behind him. Carpenter’s audience at the Neuroscience Hall in La Jolla, drew a more sparse assemblage.
One knew immediately, as Perlman launched into his program, beginning with a Mozart Sonata, that many listeners were not frequent concert-goers. The give away was that they clapped after each movement!
The Neuroscience audience, on the other hand, as La Jolla Music Society’s Christopher Beach noted, were among the most seasoned listeners, choosing to attend the Discovery Series, featuring new talent. There was no clapping between movements in the Neuroscience Hall.
Perlman, at Copley Symphony Hall, under the auspices of the San Diego Symphony Association, opened with a Mozart Sonata, the first two movements performed with elegance, the violinist’s singing tone caressing each phrase. The last movement took on virtuosic flair as the rapid passages virtually flew off his bow. His accompanist, the accomplished Rowan De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, matched Perlman’s expressive fervor, never covering the violinist’s sound.
After retreating backstage for a few moments, Perlman re-emerged, turned to the audience and said, ”While I was backstage, I received an urgent phone call from Beethoven. He asked me to tell you that, as far as he was concerned, it was okay to clap between movements of the Mozart Sonata, but as for HIS sonata, he would appreciate silence between movements so as not to spoil the mood. Remember, I am just the messenger for Beethoven.”
The audience laughed, and Perlman continued. Although there was a smattering of applause after the first movement in the Beethoven—probably people in the balcony who did not hear Beethoven’s messenger, during the rest of the concert, there was no clapping between movements.  Perlman cleverly used a teachable moment.
Perlman and De Silva offered a strong rendition of Beethoven’s Sonata #7, one of the composer’s most dramatic works. Rhythmic precision in their ensemble and Perlman’s glorious golden tone enhanced the expressive music    
The second half of the program included Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne transcribed for violin and piano by Samuel Dushkin, and several encore-type pieces which the master violinist, in what has become his signature recital ending, chose at random. The recital concluded with a suave and sensuous rendition of de Falla’s “Spanish Dance,” transcribed by Fritz Kreisler.
David Carpenter’s program a week later, opened with works by two British composers, York Bowen and Rebecca Clarke. Clarke’s music was especially intriguing, exhibiting a style characteristic of the Jewish-inspired music of Ernest Bloch. Most of all, Carpenter’s deep, gorgeous sound, masterful technique and charming presence made a convincing case for this unfamiliar fare. He was accompanied by Pianist Julian Quintin, a native of France who now resides in Berlin. 

After intermission, the tall, slender 23-year-old violist, looking like a young Pagannini, performed a viola transcription of Prokofief’s Romeo and Juliet Suite. Particularly remarkable was Carpenter’s extensive palette of sound colors and dynamics. His impressive rendition of Paganini’s “La Campenella” was followed by two encores, Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” and Heifetz’s transcription of Dinicu’s “Hora Staccato,” expertly performed with staccatos in one direction. Since hearing Pincus Zukerman on viola (one of Carpenter’s teachers), I have not encountered a more exciting violist than Carpenter.
After leaving San Diego, where he stayed in the home of his long-time family friend, Danny Dabby, Carpenter traveled to Paris to perform in a string quartet with violinist Gidon Kremer and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. David Aaron Carpenter  is certainly an artist on the rise. 

Wingard is a former San Diego Symphony violinist and a freelance writer


‘The Mikveh Monologues’ makes its San Diego debut

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

By Sara Appel-Lennon

LA JOLLA–The Mikveh Monologues, written by Anita Diamant and Janet Buchwald, directed by D. Candis Paule, is a play composed of nine staged readings focusing on various experiences of going to a mikveh. The play was underwritten by Laura Galinson and Jane Fantel.

The purpose of the event at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center was to inform the audience of the plans for building a mikveh in San Diego, California, which will be at the base of Cowles Mountain  near Tifereth Israel Synagogue. The San Diego mikveh will be modeled after the Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh in Newton, Massachusetts. 

 The play served to raise awareness of these plans and promote funding by showing why building a community mikveh is a worthy cause.

The Mikveh Monologues educates the Jewish community about the purpose of a mikveh and when it is used. A mikveh can be used by men and women, young and old. There are specific prayers and rituals depending upon the reason for the ceremonial immersion.

It is common among the world religions to treat water as holy. This is not surprising when one considers that the human body is primarily composed of water–anywhere from 55% to 78%. In ancient times, a mikveh had such great importance that in order to finance the building of a community mikveh, a synagogue was permitted to be sold.

The event began with a showing of the film, Immersed, directed by Mark Lyon. This film portrayed women sharing their mikveh experiences. Although Anita Diamant could not be at the event in San Diego, she appeared in the film and spoke of the importance of a community mikveh.

After the showing of the film, volunteers distributed potpourri to the last person in each row for a Havdalah ceremony. We wrapped our arms around one another warmly as we sang Jewish songs, accompanied by Jewish musicians and cantorial soloists.

The musicians included: Alan Alpert, Arlene Bernstein, Myrna Cohen, Bracha Crayk, Lori Wilinsky Frank, Heidi Gantwerk, Beth Faber-Jacobs, Lori Kornit, Andy Mayer, Craig Parks,  Jeff Wayne, and Myla Wingard.

Rabbi Marty Lawson of Temple Emanu-El, represented the San Diego Rabbinical Association. He made opening remarks about working toward building a community mikveh in San Diego. He mentioned the required mikveh immersion for those becoming a Jew by Choice. As he had not been immersed in a mikveh he decided it was time to try it and “schlepped up to Los Angeles to the nearest mikveh.” He said it was a life changing event for him.

Dr. Lisa Braun-Glazer, the catalyst for the Waters of Eden, came to the stage. With tears in her eyes and a heart full of gratitude, she called her Board of Directors to share the glory as they recited a Shehechianu blessing for the momentous occasion.

Glazer proudly announced that donations in the amount of $1,500, 000 had already been pledged to the $5,000,000 project. Tifereth Israel offered to lease the land to Waters of Eden, San Diego Community Mikveh and Education Center for merely one dollar per year.

The evening progressed as The Mikveh Monologues portrayed nine different characters who all came to the mikveh for different reasons. Mara Jacobs played the part of a Bat Mitzvah girl preparing to become a daughter of the Commandment.

Matt Thompson portrayed a young father coming to the mikveh with his son before Sabbath. It was a weekly ritual he and his son enjoyed and cherished. Thompson’s gestures of spinning his son in the water evoked emotion because his role seemed believable.

Sarah Price-Keating represented a young bride from Generation X. The bride talked about “getting it over with and doing lunch with her friends.” Instead, she asked the mikveh guide to bring her mother. The bride cried and thanked her mother for all she had done.

Jill Drexler played the role of mikveh guide. She talked about an intensive interview and background check. Although the character said the clients thank her, she is the one who feels enormous gratitude to the clients for allowing her to be part of their lives in this way.

Barbara Cole played the role of a breast cancer survivor. The character went in to the mikveh as a symbol of her cancer treatments ending. She was ready to start a new chapter of her life with her head held high.

The other actors included Charlie Rideau in a piece about saying farewell. Deanna Driscoll acted in a scene about adoptions. Phil Johnson was in a skit about replacing the mikveh body-care products with those from his hair salon. Wendy Waddell acted in a scene about Niddah-entering the mikveh after her menstrual cycle before resuming sexual relations with her husband. The actors showed professionalism and their stage credits were impressive.
After hearing the readings, I realized going into the mikveh symbolized letting go of the past and immersing oneself in a new life chapter with holiness. Immersing oneself is a way to connect to God.

The words “immerse, emerge, renew” painted on the Waters of Eden bookmarks left a calming impression at the Mikveh Monologues event. These words explain the benefits of building a community mikveh.

Resilliency, renewal and hope came to mind when I reflected upon the Mikveh Monologues and what they expressed. My hope is that all who would like to participate in the mikveh experience will be able to do so regardless of their financial circumstances.

I am reminded of the Father of Zionism, Theodore Herzel, who said:  “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Waters of Eden Community Mikveh is expected to open in late 2012 or early 2013. It will be the first community mikveh built in San Diego in the 21st century. For more information see or call (619)-206-3959

Appel-Lennon is a freelance writer based in San Diego. She may be reached at

Paso Robles Winemakers Converge on San Diego

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. – Ecclesiastes 9:7.

By Lynne Thrope

SAN DIEGO–Life is full of coincidences. Just this past Shabbat, I was chatting during the oneg with a fellow congregant about the wine tour he had taken recently to Paso Robles. Usually droll and indifferent about places his wife shleps him, this guy was quite animated about the vineyards he toured and the wines he tasted in this invigorating wine country.

Anglim, J Lohr, and Sextant Vineyards were the top three favorites that he quickly rattled off in answer to my question. I shared that I have, coincidentally, several bottles of the Anglim Rhone-type varietals including their Pinot Noir and Cabernet Savignon as this family-owned, quaint winery is also one my favorites in this Central California Coast region off the 101. Paso Robles is the fastest growing wine region encompassing nearly 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 180 wineries within a 40-mile territory.

The nearby and ever popular J Lohr Vineyard is one that I prefer to patronize because their wines don’t finish with the taste of too much oak or tannins and because the family has an earth-conscious farming philosophy.  “For many years,” offers Jeffrey Lohr, “we have been working to establish a comprehensive, sustainable approach to farming our vineyards and producing wines that are good for our environment, our employees and our communities.” Amen to that.

When Sextant Winery was introduced to me a few years ago, a love affair began between their superior grapes and me. If you were to read the wine notes about the 2007 Sextant Central Coast Zinfandel, you would learn that it “has an intense garnet hue which is a visual precursor to its aroma and flavor. The enticing nose possesses a sharpness of tart wild strawberries, the sweetness of grape jelly and the complexity of baking spice. Ripe cherry, pomegranate & luscious blueberry flavors fill the mouth. Soft pliable tannins balance the abundance of fruit & complete this wine with a nice long finish. This Zinfandel is bold, unmitigated, and simply audacious.”

These three wineries are but a dot on the magnificent landscape of California’s “newest Napa Valley” located between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now, we San Diegans have the unique opportunity to meet 40 premier winemakers from Paso Robles’s Wine Country and to sample their varietals at The Grand Tasting Tour February 23-25. Nine wine and culinary events are scheduled at various times and locations in San Diego. 

For specific event information and to purchase tickets, visit 




Lynne Thrope can be contacted at

Anti-apartheid activist Harry Schwarz dies

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

JOPHANNESBURG, South Africa (WJC)–Harry Schwarz, a South African lawyer, politician and Jewish leader who defended Nelson Mandela during the apartheid regime, has died at the age of 86. Schwarz was born in Germany in 1924. In 1936, he escaped the Nazis and emigrated to South Africa. He served as a navigator in the South African Air Force during World War II.

As an opposition member of Parliament from 1974 to 1989, he was among the most vociferous campaigners against apartheid, the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies said. Schwarz forcefully denounced the government’s racial policies and spoke out strongly against anti-Semitism. From 1990 to 1994 Schwarz served as South Africa’s ambassador to the United States.

As an attorney, he served on the defense team of Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists during the 1963-64 Rivonia Trial, in which ten leaders of the African National Congress were accused of overthrowing the apartheid system. Schwarz was also active in Jewish communal affairs, serving from 1983 to 2000 on the National Executive, Management Committee and Gauteng Council of the Jewish Board of Deputies.

“Harry Schwarz will be remembered for his signal contribution to the development of our democracy,” Helen Ziller, the leader of the Democratic Alliance, of which Schwarz was a co-founder, said in a statement. “He had strong leadership qualities and could inspire people to great achievements. He was an outstanding debater, both inside and outside Parliament.”

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, April 2, 1954, Part III

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by Gail Umeham

Lasker Lodge
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 4
by Lou Levitt

April 12—Father, Child Night
Harry Zell, general chairman of the Father and Child Night to be held April 12, promises emphasis on the kids and Big Things.   Famous names will entertain and there will be gifts, prizes, and goodies galore.

Gerry Freedman has announced that April 26 has been set aside for a special bowler’s meeting.  All bowlers, prospective bowlers, and potential members interested in bowling should be there.

Gin Tourney Winner
At the last meeting Jack Lowenbein did a terrific job with the Gin Tournament.  Everyone enjoyed it.  Morris Wolff, the winner, didn’t have a chance, however, Jack slapped a membership application in his hand along with the winnings, and we now have a new member.

AZA Installation
The installation of AZA officers was most impressive with the Breitbards dominating the scene.  Gary Breitbard, past Aleph Gedol, very much like his dad, presented the gavel to his younger brother, Stanley, newly elected Aleph Gedol, under the watchful proud eyes of the installing officer, Ed Breitbard.

Ed Herman wants chess enthusiasts to get in touch with him to play after the meetings.

S.F. Conventon
Delegates elected to go to San Francisco for the convention were Ed Breitbard, Joe Kaplan, Harry Wax, and Jerry Aronoff.

Jewish War Vets Install Officers
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 4

The Jewish War Veterans Post 185 and Auxiliary extend an invitation to the community to attend their Installation on Monday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m. in the War Memorial Building, Balboa Park.

Officers to be installed are Louis (Buddy) Samuels, Commander; Martin Starr, Sr., Vice-Cdr.; Jerry Krakoff, Jr., Vice-Cdr.; LeRoy Seckler, Adjutant; Paul Miller, Quartermaster; Joe Spatz, Officer of the Day; Charles Juster, Surgeon; and Adolph Brodman, meeting Chaplain.  Retiring Commander, Stanley Yukon, will be Judge Advocate; Dr. Milton Millman was again appointed Post Medical Officer, and Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, Chaplain.  Trustees are Wm. Mintz, Leroy Seckler, and Ben Snyder.

Auxiliary officers to be installed are Msds. Morton Furst, Pres.; Charles Hecht, Sr., Vice Pres.; Isadore Silberman, Jr., Vice Pres.; Laul Landau, Treas.; Myra Schoenthal, Conductress; Henrietta cohen, Chaplainb; Jos., Krone, Hist.; Roy Kern, Rec. Sec.; Arthur Price, Corres. Sec.; and Miss Pearl Herzig, Guard.

Trustees will be Msds. Abe Hollandersky, Dave Schloss, and Charles Juster.  Outgoing president is Mrs. Stanley Yukon.

Outgoing Commander Yukon will present the Americanism and Patriotism award to Joe Spatz for his work at the Naval Training Center, Serviceman’s Athletic Program, and his many other efforts for the benefit of his Post and the community.

Zionists Help Drive
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 4

The San Diego Zionist Council is urging all of its members to work and give to the limit of their abilities during the 1954 Combined Jewish Appeal of the United Jewish Fund in a letter sent to all organizations of the Council by Fred Yaruss, Chairman of the Coordinating Group.

Local organizations, which are members of the Council include:  Hadassah, Madada, Pioneer Women, Pioneer Women Juniors, Poale Zion and the San Diego Section of the Zionist Organization of America.

Fox Lodge News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 4
by John Kluchin

The March 23rd meeting of the Samuel  I. Fox B’nai B’rith Lodge was a tremendously successful one.  Charles T. Rodgers of the San Diego Probation Dept. spoke on Juvenile Delinquency and the Rat Pack Gangs.  The Questions and Answer period that followed was well participated in by the audience.

Audrey Sack, President of S.D. Bay City Women’s B’nai B’rith and Lillian Yukon, President S.D. Post 185 JWV Auxiliary were in attendance with many other wives of the membership.

New prospective members at the meeting were Jerry Krakoff and Larry Karman.

Refreshments for the evening were capably handled by Ralph Cohen.  Our next regular meeting is on April 13 at Beth Jacob synagogue.  Visitors are welcome.  Be seeing you there.

Beth Jacob News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 5

Mrs. Shelley Memorial
Mr. I. Polin will present an oil painting of the late Mrs. Anna Shelley to the Beth Jacob Ladies’ Auxiliary at their regular luncheon meeting on April 6.

The portrait will be hung in the lounge as a memorial to San Diego’s great lady.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Model Seder
On April 10 all children of the Beth Jacob Sunday School will participate in conducting a model Seder.  Refreshments will be served by the Educational Committee.  Parents and friends are invited to attend.

Passover Seder
The traditional annual Passover Seder will be held at Beth Jacob Center on Saturday, April 17 at 6:30 .m.  Cost to members will be $3.50 per plaqte, $1.75 for children under 12.  Cost to non-members will be $5.00 per plate, $2.00 for children under 12.

Reservations must be made before April 9 at AT-2-2676.  Accommodations are limited and no one will be seated without a reservation.

Servicemen will be guests of the Congregation.  Anyone wishing to sponsor a serviceman is asked to contact the Beth Jacob office.

Young Couples Club Put On Varied Program
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 5

Dr. Daniel H. Harris, an expert in child psychology, who received his Ph.D. from Columbia University will be the guest speaker at the Young Jewish Couples Club meeting to be held at the Tifereth Israel Center, Saturday, April 10th at 8:15 p.m.  His address entitled “Problem Children or Problem Parents” will be followed by a question and answer period.

On the same program, following the guest speaker the Y.J.C. will hold the final of its series of square dancing sessions.  Mr. Dan Delaney will be the conductor and caller.  Refreshments and a social half hour will terminate the evening’s events.  The Y.J.C. warmly welcomes all visitors for an enjoyable and inexpensive evening.

Pi Alpha Lambda Sings
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 5

Pi Alpha Lambda, new Jewish sorority on the State College Campus, will be a contestant for the first time in this year’s Spring Sing.

The group will enter the Women’s division with “They Say It’s Wonderful” and “The Guy That I Marry.” Directing the girls is President Iris Leeds.

Purim Dinner Liked By All Service Men
Southwestern Jewish Press April 2, 1954 Page 5

The annual Jolly Sixteen Purim Dinner, sponsored primarily for military personnel in the area was most successful, from every viewpoint, it was announced by Mrs. Louis Steinman, president.

Some fifty boys, Jew and Gentile alike, were most lavish in their praise and appreciation of the excellent home-cooked Purim dinner in traditional style.

Guests of honor were Rear Admiral Thornton C. Miller, Senior Chaplain of the 11th Naval District, and Mrs. Miller; Commander Donald F. Kelly, Senior Catholic Chaplain of the District; Lt. Commander Allan I. Irwin, representing the Senior Chaplain of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Mrs. Irwin; Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, Jewish Auxiliary Chaplain for the District, and Mrs. Cohn; Henry Weinberger, USO-JWB chairman and Mrs. Weinberger, Julie Abraham,  USO-JWB  Senior Sponsors chairman; and Abraham A. Friedman, USO-JWB Area Director.

A program of Purim songs highlighted by snappy lyrics and lusty singing was led by Cantor Joseph Cysner of Congregation Tifereth Israel.  All in all, Jolly Sixteen did themselves proud and left their military guest beaming in the true Purim spirit.


“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.

Hamas official meets with Russia’s foreign minister

February 8, 2010 2 comments

MOSCOW (Press Release)–Khaled Meshaal, the exiled political leader of Islamist group Hamas, has met for talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. “We met to pursue our discussions, and our principal goal is to build on efforts brokered by Egypt to secure Palestinian unity,” Lavrov told reporters at the start of the meeting.  Meshaal, praised Russia for seeking a “reconciliation” between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah of Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper ‘Vremya Novostei’, Meshaal accused the United States of attempting to sabotage reconciliation efforts.

“We know that the US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has recently put pressure on Mahmud Abbas and Egyptian officials,” he was quoted as saying, adding that if “Abbas reconciles with us than the United States will halt aid to the Palestinian administration.”

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, but Russia has maintained ties with it in recent years.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Iran arrests seven, accuses two of being U.S. spies

February 8, 2010 2 comments

TEHRAN (WJC) — Iran has arrested seven people linked to US-funded ‘Radio Farda’ and has accused two of them of working as spies for the CIA. The Iranian news agency IRNA reports that the seven are accused of provoking protesters during the violent anti-government protests in December last year.

The arrested “had a major role in collecting information, transferring it abroad and provoking protesters. They aimed to fuel more protests on 11 February [the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution] before leaving the country for the US,” a government statement reportedly said. The protesters were not identified.

The semi-official ILNA news agency said the seven had ties “with counter-revolutionary satellite networks and Zionist media and agents of sedition.”

‘Radio Farda’ is a Farsi-language broadcast service based in Prague, Czech Republic, and funded by the US government. It is affiliated with ‘Radio Free Europe’. Iran is gearing up to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution next Thursday.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress