Archive for April 13, 2010

Obama, Hu discuss new Iran sanctions

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–US President Barack Obama and his Chinese President Hu Jintao have held a private meeting ahead of the Washington nuclear security summit and discussed the international response to Iran’s nuclear program. Obama and Hu agreed in the meeting that Iran must meet its non-proliferation obligations. The two also said they are instructing their delegations to work on a sanctions resolution. A spokesman for the Chinese delegation said in a statement that the two countries “share the same overall goal on the Iranian nuclear issue”, adding that “China hopes that various parties will continue to step up diplomatic efforts and actively seek effective ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations.”

Although initially reluctant, Beijing has now committed to talks at the United Nations about new Iran sanctions. Appearing on the NBC program ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates both defended the Obama administration policy of seeking a unified international response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “The Iranians have been beating down the doors of every country in the world to try to avoid a new sanctions resolution,” Clinton said on the program.

Meanwhile, Brazil and Turkey – which both hold non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council – are discussing an alternative to Iran sanctions. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said that President Lula da Silva and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had talked about such a plan. Amorim told a news conference that Brazil agreeed with the permanent members of the Security Council in seeking a “diplomatic solution” but that Brasilia had a different perspective on how the issue should be approached.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.


Demjanjuk claims he is innocent and hunted down by Jewish groups

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Ivan (John) Demjanjuk, who is standing trial in Germany for allegedly helping in the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Nazi camp Sobibor during World War II, told the Munich court on Tuesday that he was an “innocent victim.” In a statement read out by his attorney, the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk blamed Jewish groups, namely the World Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for leveling false charges against him.

In his first statement to the court, Demjanjuk, 90, said that he has been erroneously prosecuted for 30 years in the US, Israel and Germany. Prosecutors allege that Demjanjuk worked as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943. “It is an injustice that Germany tries to make me, a prisoner of war, into a war criminal to try to deviate from its own war crimes,” he said in his statement “This trial is torture for me.”

Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker, lived near Cleveland until he was stripped of his US citizenship and extradited to Israel in 1986. He was tried there on charges of having been ‘Ivan the Terrible’ at the Treblinka camp and having tortured Jews while herding them into the gas chambers. His death sentence and conviction in the case were overturned by Israel’s Supreme Court in 1993, saying there was reasonable doubt that Demjanjuk had been at Treblinka.

He returned to the US, regaining his citizenship. In 2002, a court there revoked it again over his alleged role at Sobibor. He was extradited to Germany last year to stand trial in Munich.

Former bishop in Italy alleges “Zionist attack” against Catholic Church

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Giacomo Babini, a retired Catholic bishop in Italy, has reportedly suggested that “Zionists” were behind the current storm of accusations over sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests that is roiling the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Babini, a former bishop of Grossetto in Tuscany, was quoted by the Catholic website ‘’ as saying he believed a “Zionist attack” was behind the criticism of the Pope, given that it was “powerful and refined” in nature.

Babini was quoted as having told the website that Hitler had exploited German anger over the “excesses” of German Jews, who in the 1930s had “throttled” the German economy. However, the former bishop denied he had made any anti-Semitic remarks. He was backed by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), which issued a declaration by the bishop in which he declared: “Statements I have never made about our Jewish brothers have been attributed to me.”

Bruno Volpe, who interviewed Monsignor Babini for ‘Pontifex’, confirmed that the bishop had made the statement, which was reported widely in the Italian press. ‘Pontifex’ threatened to release the audio tape of the interview as proof.

Ten days ago, the Vatican had come under fire after the Pope’s personal preacher, Raniero Cantalamessa, in a Good Friday sermon quoted a “Jewish friend”, who had likened accusations against the Pope in the clergy sex abuse scandals to violence against Jews.

On Tuesday, the Vatican’s second-highest official after the Pope, Cardinal Bertone, said that the child rape scandal was linked to homosexuality and not to the celibacy demanded from Catholic priests. “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and paedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and paedophilia. That is true. That is the problem,” Bertone was quoted as saying by the British newspaper ‘The Times’. He reportedly also said that the church had never impeded investigations into alleged abuses by priests.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, April 16, 1954, Part IV

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by Gail Umeham

B’nai B’rith Groups Plan Youth Award
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 17

Mrs. Ted Brav and Mrs. Harold Garvin, ADL chairmen of the Birdie Stodel Chapter and Bay City Chapter respectively, announce a joint meeting of the ADL committees at which time the incoming chairmen and their committees will be honored.  This event will be held Thursday, April 22nd at 12:00 noon at the home of Mrs. Max Felsman.

Starting with lunch, the plans include a buzz session with open discussion to follow.   Details of the forthcoming “Youth of the Year Award”(in which all 4 units of B’nai B’rith participate)will also be outlined.

For the second consecutive year B’nai B’rith will make an award to a senior boy and girl of each public high school and parochial school in San Diego.  These awards are based on outstanding service either to the school or the community with the selection of the pupils made to the faculty of the participating school.

Presentation will be made at the Award Assembly of the respective schools prior to graduation.  Working with Mrs. Brav and Mrs. Garvin on this project are Milton Fredman, San Diego Lasker Lodge, and Charles Juster, Samuel  I. Fox Lodge.

Military Personnel To Attend Seders
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 17

All Jewish military personnel stationed in the San Diego area will be afforded the opportunity to attend a Passover Seder, Saturday, April 17, it was announced today by Henry Weinberger chairman of the San Diego Armed Services Committee of the National Jewish Welfare Board.

Temple Beth Israel, through its Sisterhood, is providing for a minimum of 50 servicemen and their dependents.  At Congregation Tifereth Israel the Men’s Club will accommodate a like number, while Congregation Beth Jacob has indicate that they will accommodate as many as come.

Through the efforts of Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, auxiliary chaplain and Abraham A. Friedman, USO Jewish Welfare Board Area Director, recruits at Naval Training Center and Marine Corps Recruit Depot have been granted special liberty and transportation to and from their respective posts.

At Oceanside, the North County Jewish Community Center has invited military personnel to its community Seder, which will be held in the Odd Fellows Hall in that community.

The First Seder Night falling on a weekend, the servicemen planning to go to Los Angeles will be accommodated for Sedorim at the USO Jewish Welfare Board, located in that city at 590 N Vermont Ave.

In keeping with the memorandum of the Secretary of the Navy, which provides special Passover leave to all military personnel, many servicemen will depart for their homes to spend Passover with their families.

Oceanside Forms New Sisterhood
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 17

A new Sisterhood affiliated with the Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, was formed as part of the North County Jewish Community Center on March 31 at Oceanside, Calif.  The following officers were elected:  Mrs. Jerry Freeman, Pres.; Mrs. Saul Callen, V.P.; Mrs. Howard Gladstone, Rec. Sec.; Mrs. Emanuel Zaken, Corres. Sec.; Mrs. Harold Simons, Treas.

Mrs. Morton J. Cohn, comely wife of Rabbi Morton J. Cohn, helped to organize the fledgling group.

Double Talk
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18
by Janet & Susan Solof

What’s on the calendar for this week?
What is that thing we all do seek?
It’s Passover holiday with lots of fun for you
With deliciouys dinners, Seders, schmaltz and matzos too.

“It’s good seeing you again,” were the key words at the open house given for Cecile Oglesby when she returned home for Easter vacation from Colorado University.  Among those welcoming Cecile were Norman Panish, Sherry Newman, Jerry Schultz, Faggie Krasner, Don Kobernick, Janet Solof, Steve Kerschtel, Lucy Recht, Dan Weinberg, Eileen Rivers, Lenny Weiss, Lawrence Schiller, Dorothy Hess, Mike Witte, Susan Solof, Joe Winicki, Sharlene Stone, Herb Wenig, Bev Kitaen, Bernie Sosna, Phylis Molick, Harvey Levitt, Stan Camiel, Arline Malin, Judy Cohen, Estelle Berwin, Manon Haas.  A lovely dinner and a very entertaining good time was had.

Trying to sneak in a summer tan before the summer on a very relaxing vacation are Sandy Ratner, Joan Breitbard, Joan Borenstein, Seymour Pomeranz, Larry Cantor.  Enjopying San Francisco’s excitement are Henrietta and Bobby Faguet, Lois Liff, Rocky Goodrich and Dona Godes.  Elaine Burdman chose Los Angeles for her vacation.

“Good play—good acting” were the comments about Hoover’s Senior Play.  Included in the cast were David Levens, Moe Barancik, and Bob Meyers.

A happy Pesach from yours truly—CY-5-0679.

Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

Joseph N. Solov, 63, passed away April 7 in Naval Hospital.  He was a World War I veteran and a member of DeWitt C. Mitchell Post 185, Jewish War Veterans.  Services were conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens on April 13 in the Greenwood Mortuary and were followed by burial in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Survivors include his wife Esther; a daughter, Amelia Jacob; three brothers, a sister, and one grandchild.

Hadassah Will Surprise Those Who Come April 21st
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

Mrs. Robert S. Strauss, President, announces that Hadassah’s Vocational Education Project will be highlighted during the month of April.  On April 21 the Chapter will present a hilarious and entertaining program of sketches under the direction of that master of show business Blanche “Flo Ziegfeld” Stein and produced by that wizard of grease paint, Cele “Billy Rose” Podoloff.  Everything about the program is a deep dark secret.  Even the cast is being kept undercover.

It has been reported by a responsible cast member that rehearsals were so secretive that they had to be held inside hall closets, under the back stairs and inside the family clothes dryer.

Reservations are necessary says Becky Addleon, Luncheon Coordinator, and should be made with Mrs. Walter Parker at JU2-7941.


“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.

Jewish Community Foundation holds 7th Book of Life signing

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment
JCF donors sign Book of Life in sancturary of Congregation Beth El

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–On the Sunday before Passover, the Jewish Community Foundation honored a group of new signers to inscribe their names in the Book of Life. Individuals and families are eligible to sign the Book of Life by promising to establish a current endowment or legacy gift of any size to one or more Jewish organizations or synagogues. Eleven new families’ personal statements and photographs are now included in this philanthropic archive.

“Signers come from all backgrounds and have many different interests,” noted Marjory Kaplan, JCF president and chief executive officer and holder of the Miriam and Jerome Katzin Presidential Chair. “They are brought together by their commitment to keep the Jewish community strong for generations to come.”

Since 2001 when the program was launched, more than 165 people have signed the Book of Life, expressing their commitment to Jewish values and heritage and to ensuring that the Jewish people will survive and flourish. Drawing upon family traditions, Jewish values and life experiences, signers share their hopes and dreams for the future.

“The ability to give back and contribute –time, talent, and financial capacity – is a motivating force for me,” said Book of Life signer Joe Cohen. “I am inspired to help others and understand their charitable capacity for doing good in the world. In the mode of living through giving we enhance our true happiness.”

If you are interested in signing the Book of Life or for more information, please contact Jamie Zander by e-mail at or at 858-279-2740.

Since 1967, the Jewish Community Foundation has partnered with individuals, families and community organizations to help them achieve their philanthropic goals and to increase current and future support for a vibrant and secure Jewish community in San Diego, Israel and around the world. 

During fiscal year 2008-09, the Foundation awarded and facilitated $62 million in 4,700 grants to more than 1,000 Jewish and general organizations in San Diego, the United States and Israel. Visit the Jewish Community Foundation at or call 858-279-2740.

Preceding provided by the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego

Write Out Loud production to include Bernard Levin’s humorous look at gardening

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–“From My Hammock,” a tongue-in-cheek essay about gardening by the late Jewish writer Bernard Levin will be among the short pieces read at Write Out Loud’s presentation of “Rhapsody in Bloom,” a collection of stories about the garden, at 7 p.m., Monday, April 19 at Old Town Theatre. 

Tickets for the one-night only event are $12, with a discount for seniors and active military.  Reservations may be made by phoning (619) 297-8953, or via the email

Chip Persons will be the reader for “From My Hammock” and will join Walter Ritter in reading “The Lily” by H.E. Bates.  Ritter also will read “Stay, Corydon, Thou Swain” by Sylvia Townsend Warner.

Other performers will include Annie Hinton who will read “A Poem by Susan Platt” as well as “The Occasional Gardener” by H. H. Munro; and Veronica Murphy, who will read “Happiness” by Mary Lavin.

Preceding provided by Write Out Loud

San Diego historic places: A native plant garden at Grossmont College

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment


California Native Garden at Grossmont College

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

EL CAJON, California — If it appears during fall that it has been snowing in the California Native Plants Garden at Grossmont College, don’t bother checking the thermometer or calling the Guiness Book of Records. The white precipitate isn’t snow at all, but in fact is a great volume of seeds produced by the prodigious female plant of the Chapparal Broom, also known as the Desert Broom.

Take a Blackberry on a walk through this garden between Buildings 30 and 31 and Google the plant species identified by markers along the path.  The exercise can introduce you to a variety of plants with interesting characteristics.

For example, like an animal marking its territory, the California Sagebrush is said to secrete a chemical into the ground that keeps other plants from growing there. Small birds like the endangered, meowing California gnatcatcher, on the other hand, like the California Sagebrush just fine. When suffering with menstrual cramps, some Native American women would brew the leaves of the California Sagebruch into a medicinal tea.

The drought-tolerant Flattop Buckwheat, also known as California Buckwheat, attracts butterflies as effectively as picnics attract ants.

The Monkey Flower, so-named because some people believe it looks like a monkey’s face, was used by native Americans as an antiseptic for treating cuts and bruises. Typically Monkey Flowers are orange in color, but hybrids have been produced in various colors and shades.

The oil of the flowers of the chamise is flammable, but even if it causes the habitat to burn, the chamise will sprout after the flames are out. The plant also was used for arrows made by the Luiseno people.

The Black Sage attracts not only butterflies but hummingbirds and quail. Glandular hairs on the plant are the source of its favorable smell.

No arresting qualities can be cited for the Sawtooth Golden Bush, except for the fact that it received its scientific name of Hazardia squarrosa in honor of California botanist Barclay Hazard, whose wife Alida G. Blake was an anti-sufragette. If she could cast a ballot it would have been against being able to do so.

The spiny red berry was another popular folk medicine; its bark was used to cure constipation. But don’t go chewing it, experts warn. The bark requires extensive pre-treatment.

Another species in the garden is the Toyon Berry, or Christmas Berry, which when cooked tastes something like cherries but when eaten uncooked can be poisonous. Brewed into a tea, the berry was used to cure stomach aches.

The laurel sumac is known by scientists as the Malosma laurina. Malosma is a word derived from the Latin word for “apple” and the plant is said by some to have an aroma resembling that of an apple. Others have compared its aroma to that of a bitter almond.

White Sage can start arguments. Conservationists wish people would leave it alone and let it thrive. But there is a market for White Sage among New Age devotees who like to participate in “smudging” ceremonies in which the aromatic sage is burned and its ashes are rubbed for purification purposes over a person’s body. Other Native American medicinal uses for the plant were as a deoderant, a salve, a snuff, an asringent, and a decongestant.

You can imagine what the Lemonade Berry is used for, although juice squeezed from the berries should be carefully strained. But additionally the plant is a good source of an oil like substance, which can be collected and made into candles.

Oh yes, California Native Plants can be decorative too. The drought-resistant Chalk Dudleya looks good in any succulent garden, and the San Diego Sunflower, when in bloom, can be a source of brightness and cheer.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. This article appeared previously on