Archive for February 10, 2010

U.S. should encourage Iran’s counter-revolution

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–It is tempting in the midst of “snowmageddon” here in Washington, to hunker down and forget that anyone is out beyond our immediate very white sphere, but Thursday, Feb. 11,  is the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. It has been 30 years of Shiite triumphalism, impoverishing and brutalizing the people at home and supporting anti-Western, anti-Semitic, intolerant, misogynistic and homophobic allies abroad. The United States has, for those 30 years, tried overtly and covertly to find a way to deal with the regime (both “moderates” and “hard liners,” although the difference is not clear) and stabilize the region. 
Iran’s continued pursuit of missiles and nuclear technology, coupled with frank threats to destroy a UN member country and rattle a number of others, finally pushed President Obama to consider withdrawing that open hand he proffered upon his inauguration. Even The New York Times has had enough. Opining that although even after the revelation of a second enrichment facility, the President had been right to seek to engage the regime, now, “Iran needs to understand that its nuclear ambition comes with a very high cost.” 
Both The Times and the administration are considering new sanctions, but recognize that they will be slow to emerge from among the allies and that Russia and China may not be allies at all. Maybe we need something faster.
For years, observers have called Iran a race between the bomb and the second Iranian revolution. Could Thursday be the denouement? Ahmadinejad is clearly organizing massively to put down the planned anti-government demonstrations without mercy.  Some have called it the “Tiananmen option.” (Brave Iranians contemplating being in the streets should give a small prayer of thanks that Charles Freeman, who thought the Chinese mistake was not putting down the demonstrations hard enough and fast enough, never made it to be President Obama’s NIC Chairman.)
The Administration should use the 30th anniversary to openly support the people of Iran in their discontent and remind the Iranian government that there will be consequences for brutality-and we have to mean it. Without waiting for allies to sign on, the United States could increase our broadcasting into Iran as a way to let Iranians hear the truth about what is happening in their country. And not only what is happening, but what we believe.
It is said that the biggest snowfall ever in the Washington area was in 1772. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington noted in their diaries as much as three feet. Perhaps Jefferson is on our minds, then, as we watch today’s snowfall coming close to that unofficial record. 
But we cannot imagine the Iranians would not understand the import of the President of the United States taking to the airways to read the Declaration of Independence on the anniversary of their revolution…. “When in the course of human events… unalienable Rights… Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… Governments… deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” 
Or hearing John Lennon’s 1971, “Power to the People.”


Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member

Old Globe extends ‘Lost in Yonkers’ one week

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO —Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, the critically acclaimed inaugural production of the Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, has been extended for one week due to popular demand.  Originally set to close on Feb. 28, the production will now run through Sunday, March 7.  Lost in Yonkers stars Tony Award winner Judy Kaye and is directed by Scott Schwartz.

Neil Simon’s most critically acclaimed work, Lost in Yonkers received both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play.  Set in the summer of 1942, two young brothers, Arty and Jay, are left to live with their grandmother by their financially strapped father.  The boys must contend with the dominating Grandma Kurnitz who runs the family-owned candy store, their mentally-challenged Aunt Bella and her secret romance, and Uncle Louie, a small-time hood.  A mix of both comedy and drama, Lost in Yonkers was hailed by the New York Post as “The best play Simon ever wrote.”

In addition to Kaye, the cast also features Jeffrey Bender (Louie), Steven Kaplan (Jay), Austyn Myers (Arty), Amanda Naughton (Gert), Jennifer Regan (Bella) and Spencer Rowe (Eddie).  The Lost in Yonkers creative team includes Ralph Funicello (Scenic Design), Alejo Vietti (Costume Design), Matthew McCarthy (Lighting Design), Paul Peterson (Sound Design) and Diana Moser (Stage Manager).

Preceding provided by the Old Globe Theatre

Farmers from Gaza and West Bank meet with Israeli counterparts at Peres Center

February 10, 2010 1 comment

JAFFA, Israel (Press Release)–Two recent agricultural training workshops marked the first time Gaza farmers have taken part in Peres Center programs in over a year.
In the first workshop, as part of the Peres Center’s “Strawberry Fields for Peace” project, Palestinian farmers from Gaza and the West Bank and Gaza Strip focused on strawberry post-harvest care. They gathered at the Peres Peace House in Jaffa to learn about proper handling methods and best packaging practices for strawberries, and subsequently visited the Hasharon packing house in Tel Mond, an advanced Israeli produce packaging facility.
Strawberry Fields for Peace provides capacity building support and advanced training to Palestinian and Israeli agriculturalists in order to enhance local strawberry production and international export. The project is supported by the Flemish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the second workshop, 60 Palestinian farmers from the West Bank and Gaza Strip attended the 19th annual Arava Agricultural Exhibition in the Negev, as part of the Peres Center’s Agriculture, Water, and Environment Department’s extension, training and capacity building program.

The exhibition, which took place at the Yair Research and Development Station, included explanations of new agricultural technologies and best practice methods for crop yield in a desert climate.

Preceding provided by the Peres Center for Peace

‘On the Go’ announces events for which it will provide senior transportation

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–The ‘On the Go’ program of Jewish Family Service  is more than a ride—it’s independence, community connection, mobility, and dignity for individuals 60 and older in the following zip codes: 92037, 92064, 92111, 92115, 92117, 92119, 92120, 92121, 92122, 92126, 92127, 92128, 92129, 92131, 91941, 91942. 

On the Go provides individual rides to doctor appointments and many other destinations, as well as shuttles to shopping areas and taxi scrip at discounted prices.

Additionally, On the Go Excursions offers group transportation to diverse activities. Fees range from $6 and up, depending on the destination and admittance fees.  Meet buses at central locations; home pickups are available. 

Following is a schedule of upcoming events: All times listed are approximate 
I Do! I Do! at the Welk Theater ♦ Sunday, March 7 ♦ Bus leaves at 11:45am* ♦ Pay by February 17 ♦ Return at approximately 5:00pm* ♦ $44

Dan Franklin Smith, Pianist, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido ♦ Monday, March 8 ♦ Bus leaves at 6:00pm* ♦ Pay by February 24 ♦ Return at approximately 10:00pm* ♦ $21

The Sound of Music at the JCC, La Jolla ♦ Sunday, March 14 ♦ Bus leaves at 12:00pm* ♦ Pay by March 3 ♦ Return at approximately 4:00pm* ♦ $17

All new Comedy Night with refreshments and dessert at Temple Adat Shalom, Poway ♦ Saturday, March 20 ♦ Bus leaves at 7:00pm* ♦ Pay by March 16 ♦ Return at approximately 10:00pm* ♦ $30

Tribute to the Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby at the Carlsbad Community Church ♦ Sunday, March 21 ♦ Bus leaves at 12:45pm* ♦ Pay by March 17 ♦ Return at approximately 5:00pm* ♦ $18

Pirates of Penzance at the Lyric Opera ♦ Wednesday, March 24 ♦ Bus leaves at 6:00pm* ♦ Pay by March 17 ♦ Return at approximately 9:30pm* ♦ $14

The Yiddische Mamas of North County Inland at the NCI Older Adult Center, Poway ♦ Sunday, March 28 ♦ Bus leaves at 1:15pm* ♦ Pay by March 23 ♦ Return at approximately 4:30pm*  ♦ $16

On the Go toll-free number:  1-877-63-GO-JFS   (1-877-634-6537).

Preceding provided by Jewish Family Service

Ali Viterbi to star in J’Company production of ‘The Sound of Music’

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

LA JOLLA, California (Press Release) – The award-winning J*Company Youth Theatre, a program of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus, will present The Sound of Music March 4-21 at the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre.  

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, the final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical.  When a postulant proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain.  She gradually captures the hearts of both children and father. The family’s narrow escape from the Nazis over the mountains to Switzerland provides one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in the theatre.  The musical includes some of the greatest musical theatre pieces ever created such as “Climb Every Mountain,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and “Edelweiss.”  Just like brown paper packages tied up with string, this J*Company 50th Anniversary production will prove to be one of your favorite things.

“J*Company is alive with The Sound of Music. I can’t believe that we have been in existence for 17 years and have never previously brought this show to life,” said Joey Landwehr, J*Company Artistic Director. “After record breaking attendance at auditions for this show (over 200 young people), I am proud to say that we have collected one of the largest and finest casts of The Sound of Music ever assembled, consisting of 98 young artists, with choreography by Deven P. Brawley.”

“We have also topped ourselves with the largest orchestra to ever be assembled on the J*Company stage,” said Landwehr.  “Tim McKnight will conduct an orchestra of 23 fine young musicians.” 

Landwehr is directing The Sound of Music.  He has worked extensively as an actor and director in New York City, both on and off Broadway, as well as in national tours and regional theatre.    

Heading the cast of The Sound of Music , with their parts, ages, and schools are:

 Ali Viterbi                     Maria                           17        San Diego Jewish Academy

Scott Peterson              Captain von Trapp        14        San Diego High – School of the Arts

Mother Abbess            Naomi McPherson       16        High Tech High International

Darien Sepulveda         Max Detweiler  16        High Tech High International

Danielle Smotrich          Baroness Schrader       17        High Tech High International

Maddie Houts              Liesl                             15        Canyon Crest  Academy

Zachary Herzog            Rolf                              16        Westview High School

Josh Shtein                   Friedrich                       13        Standley Middle School

Celia Tedde                  Louisa                          12        San Diego Cooperative Charter School

Jesse Carpentier           Brigitta             16        Julian Charter School

Myles Collinson            Kurt                             14        The Bishop School

Brooke Posnock          Marta                           11        La Jolla Country Day

Sierra Lieb                   Gretl                             9          Sage Canyon Elementary

Show Dates and Times:

Thursday, March 4, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 5, 10:00 a.m. (School Show)

Saturday, March 6, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 7, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

Friday, March 12, 10:00 a.m. (School Show)

Saturday, March 13, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 14, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 18, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 20, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 21, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC Movie Musical Sing-A-Long

 JoinJ*Company for a magical movie experience and bring the entire family!   Watch The Sound of Music  (the movie) on the big screen at the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, as you sing-a-long, clap-a-long and following the bouncing ball to lyrics.  First 50 attendees receive a special goodie bag on that night! 

Dress up as your favorite character from The Sound of Music and sing along with the film.  A prize will be awarded for best costume. Admission price is $8.00/JCC members and $10.00/Non-members with half off for season subscribers; Season Subscriptions available until December 13, 2009. 

The Sound of Music Movie Musical Sing-A-Long will be held on Thursday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $13 for children and $17 for adults and are available online at or by calling the JCC Box Office at 858-362-1348.  The David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre is located at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus  at 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla.

Preceding provided by San Diego Center for Jewish Culture

ADL lauds Nancy Brinker for anti-discrimination efforts

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment
NEW YORK (Press Release)–Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, was honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) during a ceremony at its National Executive Committee meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.

Amb. Brinker received the ADL Americanism Award, which recognizes individuals or institutions for embracing American’s democratic values and fundamental commitment to equality and fair treatment for all.

“Nancy has a long and distinguished history of service to our nation and to the Jewish community,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in presenting the award. “When she sets her sights on an issue her determination, creativity, expertise and leadership come into play. Problems get solved. Success is achieved.”

Foxman praised Brinker and the Komen Foundation for taking the initiative to correct an incident in which Israeli doctors were barred from attending a breast cancer conference in Egypt.

In accepting the award, Brinker spoke of the shared values of ADL and the Komen Foundation and of the importance of countering prejudice.
“Discrimination of any kind — be it religious, political, gender or economic — must not be tolerated,” she said. “We cannot be indifferent to discrimination, and we can not be indifferent to human suffering. Forever more will ADL and Susan G. Komen share those basic values.”

Regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement, Brinker broke the silence around breast cancer when she founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in 1982, named after her sister who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Brinker’s creativity and pioneering efforts in raising awareness led to programs that were revolutionary at that time. Her determination to create a world without breast cancer is matched by her passion for enlisting every segment of society – from leaders to citizens – to participate in the battle.

Since its inception, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has funded $2 million to research and support programs in Israel. Its first international research grant went to an Israeli institution in 1994, and in 2010 Komen will hold its first Race for the Cure® in Jerusalem.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Six-figure sum raised at Seacrest Village gala

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

ENCINITAS, California (Press Release) – The Women’s Auxiliary of Seacrest Village Retirement Communities held its 32nd Annual Gala, “Cirque du Seacrest Masquerade Ball,” on Saturday, February 6, at the beautiful Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.

The night was a wonderful success raising well into the six figures for residents at Seacrest Village. The evening began with a cocktail reception where nearly 300 guests entered a world of whimsical fun, greeted by characters on stilts and juggling jesters. Guests sipped on the “Seacrest Seabreeze,” donned their vibrant masks and listened to the sounds of a jazz trio as they waited to enter Cirque du Seacrest.

“It could not have been lovelier,” said Honorary Chair Esther Fischer who joined Underwriting Chair Lee Goldberg and Women’s Auxiliary President Mary Epsten at Saturday’s festivities. The program began with Seacrest Village’s CEO, Pam Ferris, and President of the Board of Trustees, Robert Haimsohn, welcoming guests and recognizing the Poway & Encinitas Fire Departments with a trophy from Seacrest and a certificate from each city’s mayor.

The evening continued with a live auction that included exclusive dinners at Fire Stations from both cities, a couture gown by Jordan and custom necklace from Reena Horowitz, a diamond ring from Diamond Boutique, a theater package and a week-long getaway to Rancho La Puerta. The auction concluded with a very special Fund-A-Need, during which donors gave straight from the heart for the residents of Seacrest, many of whom were in attendance as guests of sponsors for the event.

Following the program, guests dined on a gourmet meal of beef filet and sea bass by the Hilton’s culinary team. Shortly after dinner Cirque du Seacrest was underway with the amazing sounds of Taiko drums and a body balancing act by two acrobats. Next came a chair stacking and balancing routine, followed by an aerial chiffon act. A brief comical interlude gave way to the stunning aerial ring performance by two performers costumed as mermaids – a true tribute to Seacrest Village. Choreographed and staged by Tony Caligagan of Heatwave Productions, the cirque show was a definite crowd pleaser.

Society Beat of San Diego got the crowd on their feet as guests danced the night away, visited the delectable candy buffet and enjoyed the savory gourmet coffee cart.

Each year Seacrest Village Retirement Communities serves almost four hundred seniors between the Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo campuses.  For over forty years, the Women’s Auxiliary has aided Seacrest Village in its ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality of care in a warm and dignified environment for older adults in our community, regardless of their ability to pay.

Preceding provided by Seacrest Village Retirement Communities

Campbell describes himself as a supporter of Israel

February 10, 2010 3 comments

By Bruce Kesler

ENCINITAS, California – In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell is being accused of being anti-Israel by his Republican opponents, who cite his votes in the House of Representatives to reduce aid to Israel and his early advocacy of a Palestinian state. 

In a direct email exchange with this writer, Campbell answered a series of questions intended to probe his overall views on the Middle East.

1. Would Campbell have voted for, against, or abstained in the Senate vote on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (S. 2799)?

Yes, I would have voted in favor. Note that I’m already on record to support Israeli military action, if it comes to that, directed at destroying Iran’s nuclear capability. This Act is an attempt to increase the pressure so that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. It’s worth trying, but my patience has already run out with all forms of sanctions.

2. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the vote on the full $3-billion security assistance aid to Israel in President Obama’s proposed budget?

I have always voted for the military aid portion of assistance to Israel. Like the Netanyahu government, in the past and now, I favor lowering the amount of American economic assistance to countries more able to take care of themselves, so that US foreign economic assistance can go to the neediest countries.

3. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the repeated votes in favor of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US Embassy there?

I always favored the United States paying Israel the respect we pay other nations, of recognizing the capital city of their own choosing, and placing our embassy there.

4.A. Would Campbell require an act of Congress under the War Powers Act in order to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked?

The War Powers Act is triggered only by the presence of US troops in “hostilities.” Nothing in sending arms and supplies to Israel would trigger the Act. So, no, I would not require an act of congress to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked.

4.B. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in his vote for such an act of Congress?

I would vote in favor. My vote in favor of going to war when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait was as much a vote to defend Israel as to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All three nations were attacked.

5. Does Campbell support, criticize, or have no public position about the Goldstone Report?

I have not read the Goldstone Report, and would need to do so before offering an informed opinion.

6. Does Campbell believe, not believe, or stand undecided on whether the “Israel lobby” has excess influence on US foreign policy?

 All Americans have the right to petition Congress and the President, and those Americans who wish to do so on behalf of a stronger American-Israeli relationship should  not be criticized for doing so. The influence of those Americans is not “excess influence.”


Okay, politicians are politicians, and often say what they think the electorate wants to hear.  Campbell’s record of speaking his mind, however, has not followed that tacky pattern.  One may agree with him, or not.  It is most important  to remove Senator Barbara Boxer. 

Carly Fiorina, Campbell’s well-self-funded primary opponent, can directly speak to current issues and differences without selectively tossing mud-covered rocks.  That is jackelish. That only aids Boxer, and does not further Republicans or Fiorina, or Israel.

Kesler is a freelance writer based in Encinitas, California

Bees become addicted to caffeine and nicotine, study shows

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

HAIFA (Press Release)–Bees prefer nectar with small amounts of nicotine and caffeine over nectar that does not contain these substances at all, a study from the University of Haifa reveals. “This could be an evolutionary development intended, as in humans, to make the bee addicted,” states Prof. Ido Izhaki, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

Flower nectar is primarily comprised of sugars, which provide energy for the potential pollinators. But the floral nectar of some plant species also includes small quantities of substances known to be toxic, such as caffeine and nicotine. The present study, carried out by researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science Education at the University of Haifa-Oranim, headed by Prof. Ido Izhaki along with Prof. Gidi Ne’eman, Prof. Moshe Inbar and Dr. Natarajan Singaravelan, examined whether these substances are intended to “entice” the bees or whether they are byproducts that are not necessarily linked to any such objective.

Nicotine is found naturally in floral nectar at a concentration of up to 2.5 milligrams per liter, primarily in various types of tobacco tree (Nicotiana glauca). Caffeine is found at concentration levels of 11-17.5 milligrams per liter, mostly in citrus flowers. In the nectar of grapefruit flowers, however, caffeine is present in much higher concentrations, reaching 94.2 milligrams per liter. In order to examine whether bees prefer the nectar containing caffeine and nicotine, the researchers offered artificial nectar that comprised various natural sugar levels and various levels of caffeine and nicotine, alongside “clean” nectar that comprised sugar alone. The caffeine and nicotine concentrations ranged from the natural levels in floral nectar up to much higher concentrations than found in nature.

The results showed that bees clearly prefer nectar containing nicotine and caffeine over the “clean” nectar. The preferred nicotine concentration was 1 milligram per liter, similar to that found in nature. Given a choice of higher levels of nicotine versus “clean” nectar, the bees preferred the latter.

According to the researchers, it is difficult to determine for sure whether the addictive substances in the nectar became present in an evolutionary process in order to make pollination more efficient. It can be assumed, however, based on the results of the study, that the plants that survived natural selection are those that developed “correct” levels of these addictive substances, enabling them to attract and not repel bees, thereby giving them a significant advantage over other plants. The researchers emphasized that this study has proved a preference, not addiction, and they are currently examining whether the bees do indeed become addicted to nicotine and caffeine.

Preceding provided by University of Haifa

Cantor Kathy Robbins to be guest at Temple Etz Rimon on Feb. 12

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

CARLSBAD, California (Press Release) —  Rabbi Karen Sherman and Guest Cantor Kathy Robbins will lead services this Friday night (February 12) to services at Temple Etz Rimon.

Cantor Robbins has served as Cantor and Music Director for Temple Solel since 1984.  In 1988 she premiered Larry Zimmerman’s “Windsongs” (Transcontinental Music), which was written for her in observance of Yom HaShoah. 

Cantor Robbins’ creative contributions include a repetoire of original liturgical compositions in the contemporary and ethnic-fusion genres, a Meditation Minyan, Freilich Friday Shabbat Eve Services and Sermons-in-Song with her seven-piece band, annual Jazzfest concert and Adult Education Wellness Wheel, providing alternative and holistic paths to wholeness, within the context of Jewish spirituality.
Preceding provided by Temple Etz Rimon