Archive for April 14, 2010

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

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by Gail Umeham

First Lady Likes Jolly 16 Cook Book
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

The following letter was received by the Jolly 16.  Mrs. Eisenhower’s own Treasured Recipe is on Page 11 of the Cook Book.

“Mrs. Eisenhower has asked me to thank you for your kindness in sending her a copy of “Treasured Recipes,” compiled by the members of the Jolly Sixteen.  The recipes sound so delicious—and I know the First Lady will be anxious to try many of them.

Please express Mrs. Eisenhower’s appreciation to your ladies for this very sweet and friendly thought of her.
With kindest wishes.  Sincerely, Mary Jane McCaffree, Secretary.”

If you wish a copy of the cook book phone Mary Kantor, BE-4-5318 or any member of the J-16.

Camp Sets April 25 As Get-Together Day
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

Camp Whispering Pines has set Sunday, April 25 for a camper’s get-together at the camp in Julian.  Campers are urged to come early and bring their own lunch.  A program of games, sports, and singing will highlight the day’s activities.  Parents are invited too.

This will be an opportunity for former campers and new campers to meet their counselors.  Mr. Wayne Fry, camp director, has announced the following staff for the eight week period.  Bill Murphy, former Y leader and youth director, now teaching at the Euclid School; Leah Crawford, teacher at Alice Birney School; Ivor Petersen, athletic coach at Vocational School and former baseball star and horseman.  Back this year also will be Mike Soule, nature and science counselor; and Harvey Goodfriend, “the camper’s friend.” Grace Brooks and Mrs. Mary Dorn are Registered Nurses with the City Schools and will serve in that capacity.  An outstanding cook and assistant has been obtained to provide excellent meals.  Of course, Al Hutler and Mack Kaufman will be up there, as usual.

Don’t forget the date for the Camp Reunion on Sunday, April 25.  See you there!

Lasker Lodge News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18
By Lou Levitt

Thanks to Harry Zall and his committee of Bob Breitbard, Ralph Feldman, Jack Lowenbein and Lou Levitt, the outcome of the annual Father and Childs night was a big success.  James J. McNamara was very liberal with his excellent talent line-up and the members enjoyed the show as well as the kids.

A step in the right direction is being taken at the April 26th meeting of the lodge.  An all BB Bowling League is being formed that night, and all interested bowlers are urged to be there.  Any paid-up B’nai B’rith bowler regardless of the lodge he belongs to is eligible to bowl in this league.

Jewish Center News
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

Community Choral Group
Wanted!  One good monotone!  You’ve got a voice (maybe not a Caruso or Pons).  Join the Community Choral Group and sing your way to a pleasant Wednesday evening.  Time is 8:00 p.m.  Other informal activities are bridge, pool, ping pong and kibitzing.

Ping Pong and Chess Tournament
O.K., you ping pong enthusiasts and Chess wizards, here is your chance!  Bit tournament starting Tuesday night, April 29.  Fun for all, prizes for winners.  The tournament will be each night by age group.

Junior High Activities
The ball room dancing class for Junior High age has room for more.  Come down on Monday evening, April 19th.
Junior high school age?  The Center is open for you on Sunday afternoon, from 2:00 to 5:00.  Dancing, ping pong, games.

Day Camp
Parents, register early for the day camp, and take advantage of the discount.  All registrants should sign up before June 15th.

Leadership Training
What, when and how does a leader help the group accomplish the things it wishes to do.  Attend the leadership classes starting Wednesday evening, May 5th and learn the answers to these and other pertinent questions.

Point Loma Extension
Open House, Friday, April 23, 2:30 p.m. at the Portuguese Hall, 2818 Addison.  All participants are invited, and bring friends.  The ballet dance class and arts and crafts class are open for additional enrollment.

Community Invited To Third Seder
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 18

The community is cordially invited to attend and participate in the Second annual third Seder sponsored by the Ben Zvi Young Adult Branch, LZOA.  Planned for Sunday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m., the Seder will be held at Beth Jacob Synagogue.

Honored guest, and leading the Seder will be Rabbi Yosef Miller, regional director of LZOA.  Consisting of a traditional Seder, with musical entertainment, group singing and dancing, the cultural ties between Israel and American Jewry will be stressed.  Traditional foods and refreshments will be served.  For reservations, call M. Richlin at AT-4-3028, or V. Weissman, CY-6-0583.  The donation at the door will be used in enlarging the activities of the group.

Bay City B’nai B’rith Holds Installation
Southwestern Jewish Press April 16, 1954 Page 19

Installation of the new officers for the Bay City B’nai B’rith Women will take place Sunday, April 25, at 8:00 p.m. at the El Morocco, Euclid and Federal Sts.  A no-host dinner preceding the installation ceremonies will be served at 6:00 o’clock.

Mrs. Max Felsman, general chairman, announces that Mrs. Adolf Kadesh, Past Grand President of District No. 4 will be the installing officer assisted by Mrs. Harold Garvin.
Participating in the evening’s program are Harry Wax, San Diego Lasker Lodge, David Schloss, Samuel I. Fox Lodge and Mrs. Sam Weiss, birdie Stodel Chapter.

Officers to be installed are as follows:  Mrs. Jack Meyers, pres.; Mrs. Max Felsman, 1st v.p.; Mrs. Abe Hollandersky, 2nd v.p.; Mrs. Ralph Schwartz, 3rd v.p.; Mrs. Marco Thorne, rec. sec.; Mrs. Wilfred Robbins, corr. Sec.; Mrs. Ted Schiller, fin. sec.; Mrs. David Cohen, treas., Mrs. Eugene Sacks, guardian; Msds. David Schloss, Harold Garvin, Samuel Weening, Jack Norr, David Sugerman, Sam Cohen, Charles Juster,trustees; and Mrs. Sanford Sack, Counselor.
Immediately following the installation there will be dancing to the music of the Melody Aces and a most cordial invitation is extended to all to 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 regular feature until we run out of history.


Tehran under pressure as decision on new UN sanctions looms

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that Iran would not have the capacity to build a nuclear bomb for at least another year, if not longer. “I think that most estimates that I have seen have not changed since the last time we talked about it, which is probably at least a year, maybe more,” Gates said at the start of a visit to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Iran was ignoring questions from the international community about its nuclear program, using “small phrases” to make “small suggestions.” At a summit on nuclear security in Washington DC, Medvedev said he did not support crippling sanctions that would hurt the people of Iran, “but if nothing happens, we will have to use sanctions.”

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner expressed hope that UN sanctions on Iran would be passed before the end of this month. On Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the nuclear security summit in Washington that he wanted the United Nations to impose fresh sanctions no later than May. “Will it happen before the end of the month? We all hope so, but it’s not certain,” Kouchner said on ‘Europe 1’ radio, after he and Sarkozy returned from the 47-nation summit.

China said it was ready to discuss “new ideas” on Iran. Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Beijing still favored continued talks in a bid to resolve the dispute over Iran’s suspect nuclear program, but was open to discussion. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was hopeful China would eventually throw its support behind a fourth round of UN sanctions against a defiant Tehran.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he had told President Obama that “we do not favor Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions…[but] “on the issue of sanctions I said to him as far as we are concerned we don’t think sanctions really achieve their objective…Very often the poor in the affected country suffer more,” Singh told reporters in Washington, adding: “As far as the ruling establishment is concerned, they are not really affected by these sanctions in any meaningful way.”

Last week, Iran had announced the successful testing of third generation centrifuges capable of enriching uranium six times faster than those currently in operation at its enrichment facility in Natanz.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran’s “nuclear rights and path are untouchable and irrevocable,” regardless of Western pressure. “I believe that the ballyhoo over the nuclear issue is just an excuse by the US to weaken Iran and get domination over the Middle East,” Ahmadinejad said in a live interview with state television.

Meanwhile, Iran has sent a letter of complaint to the United Nations over recent comments by US President Barack Obama that it considers to be “nuclear blackmail,” the state-run IRNA news agency reports. Tehran claims Obama’s new nuclear strategy contains threats of a nuclear attack against the Islamic Republic. “UN members should not tolerate or ignore such nuclear blackmail in the 21st century,” states the letter, adding: “The United States, in an illegitimate manner, has identified a non-nuclear country as a target of its atomic weapons and is drawing its military plans on this basis.” Last week Obama unveiled a review of nuclear policy which limits its use of the American atomic weapons arsenal but excludes Iran and North Korea for flouting UN Security Council resolutions.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Israel urges its citizens to leave Sinai immediately

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–In an unusually strong warning, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau has urged Israeli citizens currently on the Sinai peninsula to immediately return to Israel, citing “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai.” The statement also urged families of Israelis visiting the Sinai to establish contact with them. Brigadier-General Nitzan Nuriel, the commander of the bureau, which is attached to the Office of the Prime Minister, acknowledged that there had been rumors that Israelis have been kidnapped in the Sinai. “We don’t work according to rumors. We work according to firm intelligence,” he said on Israeli television. “It is very possible that at this moment, there is a terror cell that has the intention and has a plan in operation to kidnap an Israeli and bring him to Gaza,” he warned.

Nuriel said the kidnappers were likely to strike along the Red Sea coast, a favorite vacation spot for Israelis. “Sinai is a big place,” he said, “and it is not impossible to kidnap an Israeli from one of the beaches in the present circumstances.” Nuriel told another TV station that about 1,200 Israelis were believed to be in the Sinai right now.

Egyptian police have so far not been informed of any missing Israelis, according to AP.

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau has a standing travel advisory telling Israelis to stay out of the Sinai desert because of the threat of terror attacks. However, many Israelis routinely ignore the warning and vacation in the desert as well as in the resorts along its Red Sea coast.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Peres: Syria is arming Hezbollah with Scud missiles

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Israel’s President Shimon Peres has publicly accused the Syrian government of having transferred long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon and of having trained Hezbollah fighters how to use them. Syria and Hezbollah have both denied the charges. The Scud missiles – which were used by Saddam Hussein against Israel during the Gulf War in 1991 – are believed to have a range of more than 435 miles, placing Israel within range of Hezbollah’s forces. During the 2006 Lebanon war, Hezbollah used shorter-range rockets.

“Syria claims it wants peace while at the same time it delivers Scuds to Hezbollah, whose only goal is to threaten the State of Israel. When I speak, I am in favor of peace. They [the Syrians] are in favor of war,” Peres said in a radio interview. Israeli officials called Scud missiles “game-changing” armaments that marked a new escalation in the Mideast conflict. They alleged that Syrian President Assad was linking Syria’s military command with those of Hezbollah and Iran.

According to the ‘Wall Street Journal’, senior US officials familiar with the matter said the missiles given to Hezbollah were built with either North Korean or Russian technology.

Congressional leaders in the United States have threatened to block the appointment of a new American ambassador to Syria unless the Obama administration puts heavy pressure on Damascus to stop backing Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

WJC President urges Obama to change stance on Israel

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment


(WJC)–In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), today writes that Jews around the world are concerned about “the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel” in recent months. Lauder emphasizes that Israel has made unprecedented concessions, including the most far-reaching settlement moratorium in its history, and declared its support for a two-state solution. The WJC president asks: “Why does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks? After all, it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.”

Lauder also queries President Obama on America’s wider strategy for the Middle East: “The Administration’s desire to improve relations with the Muslim world is well known. But is friction with Israel part of this new strategy? Is it assumed worsening relations with Israel can improve relations with Muslims? History is clear on the matter: appeasement does not work. It can achieve the opposite of what is intended.”

He asks: “What is the Administration’s position on Israel’s borders in any final status agreement? Ambiguity on this matter has provoked a wave of rumors and anxiety. Can it be true that America is no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible borders for Israel? Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?”

In his letter, Ronald S. Lauder also urges the US president to stay focused on Iran, which he calls “the single biggest threat that confronts the world today.” Lauder goes on to write: “Israel is not only America’s closest ally in the Middle East, it is the one most committed to this Administration’s declared aim of ensuring Iran does not get nuclear weapons.” Ending his letter, the WJC president stresses: “Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of western democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people…It is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

San Diego’s historic places: Cabrillo National Monument

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Cabrillo Statue by Alvaro de Bree

By Donald H. Harrison


Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—No one knows for sure how he spelled his name—was it Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho or Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo? No one knows for certain his nationality. Was he Portuguese or a Spaniard? Where he was born is a mystery. So is where he died. And the name he gave to this city when he claimed it for Spain on September 28, 1542 is known to historians and to only a relative handful of other people. He called this place “San Miguel.” The name was changed 60 years after his discovery to “San Diego” by the explorer Sebastian Vizcaino, who followed his route.

Despite the many historical uncertainties about him, certain conventions were adopted. The explorer is known by the name Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, using the Spanish spelling of his name. It is taught that he was Portuguese and that he sailed in the service of Spain. Although what he looked like is unknown, what has come to suffice is the image of him created for a 1939 exposition in San Francisco by Portuguese sculptor Alvaro de Bree and later transported to a promontory overlooking the entrance to San Diego Bay. Eroded by winds and salt spray, the statue was replicated in Portugal and brought to San Diego in 1988.

Although Cabrillo’s birthplace still remains an official mystery; his death place is said to be one of the Channel Islands off the California coast near Santa Barbara. Which one is anyone’s guess. Some records hint that it might be the one today called San Miguel. However, some 350 years after his death, a stone with a cross and the initials J.R. was found on nearby Santa Rosa Island—perhaps it marked Cabrillo’s grave, or perhaps it was simply a coincidence. Spanish sailors typically buried their dead at sea.

Cabrillo was the captain-general of a three-ship expedition that sailed from Navidad, New Spain (today a port in Mexico) to Alta California. In his logs, he described the Pacific coastline and told of the ports and landings along his way that he claimed for Spain. All in all, he was an important figure in the history of North America. The national monument bearing his name overlooks the area of San Diego Bay where his flag ship San Salvador and the companion ships San Miguel and Victoria anchored for six days while his crew members made the first European contacts with the indigenous Kumeyaay people.

There are a few facts that one can plug into the story of Cabrillo. He participated in the reconquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, serving both as a shipbuilder and as a crossbowman under the command of the conquistador Hernan Cortes. Tenochtitlan, today known as Mexico City, was surrounded by a lake that has long since been drained, filled in and incorporated into the city limits. To attack the Aztec capital, Cortes’ soldiers, aided by Tlaxcala Indians, built small vessels and invaded the city by sea. Part of the reason the Spaniards were successful was that the Aztec warriors had been decimated by the smallpox they had contracted from the Europeans in their earlier meetings.

A man of action, Cabrillo decided to continue on the Spanish path of conquest. He served under Francisco Orozco in the capture of the city of Oaxaca and later under Pedro de Alvarado in the conquest of Guatemala in a bloody war against the Mayan Indians.

In Guatemala, Cabrillo was listed on the first roll of citizens. He had children by an Indian common law wife, but later formally married Beatriz Sanchez de Ortega, the sister of a Spanish colleague. Cabrillo had farming and mining interests and operated a shipyard where he built the San Salvador, originally intended to be the flagship for Alvarado himself. However, Alvarado was killed by Mixton Indians during a revolt in Jalisco in 1541, and the Viceroy of New Spain Antonio de Mendoza appointed Cabrillo as captain general in his place.

The visitors center and a nearby exhibition hall contains several representations of the San Salvador, along with displays on the type of clothing its sailors and soldiers wore and the types of food that they ate. An interactive display, allowing visitors to press buttons to illumine lights on a representation of the ship, help people in the 21st century imagine the conditions of sailing in the 16th century.

San Salvador was a full-rigged galleon measuring 80 feet long and 22 feet across the beam, according to the posted information. “When full it carried about 100 crewmen which included four officers, 30 seamen, three apprentices, 25 soldiers, a priest, and perhaps a lay brother or two, servants, slaves, and maybe a few merchants and their goods.”

Cabrillo’s cabin was “about the size of a modern bathroom” yet was the “largest and most comfortable on the ship,” the display informs. “There were no cabins for the crew. They slept on deck and wherever there was space. Everyone suffered from sea sickness, even experienced sailors.”

People used lanterns at night to make their way around the ship, the possibility of starting a fire an ever present worry. There were chickens and some cows aboard the ship, with the fresh meat and eggs reserved for the senior officers as well as for the sick.

For the most part, food aboard the ship was far less appealing. The “typical supply of biscuit, beans, (and) salt meat washed down with a mug of wine was supplemented by fish” caught along the California coastline. Meat typically picked in salt water was cooked in olive oil that had been stored in large jars. There was practically no ventilation in the ship’s galley, causing it to be perpetually smoky. “Everyone on board was allowed only one liter of water and wine each day,” the narrative continued. “They stopped wherever possible to refill water barrels.”

Toilets consisted of seats hanging from the deck over the sea. The Spanish sailors jocularly called these primitive accommodations ‘jardines,’ meaning gardens. Even more foul smelling was the bilge of the ship, where water trapped between the hull and the keel became stagnant and odiferous. Other causes for concern were rats, which sometimes could number in the thousands aboard galleons, and insects that made their way into the food provisions.

Cabrillo’s voyage of discovery was no pleasure cruise, to be sure.

Sailors and soldiers had a strict division of duties – the former tended to the ship and did not become involved in the fighting, unless they had to defend themselves or joined a shore party. The soldiers, as a condition of employment, had to provide their own armor, but few could afford a full suit of armor which “was like buying a Ferrari today.” Instead of metal plate or chainmail armor, the soldiers typically preferred quilted cotton and leather to protect them against native weapons. They usually protected their heads and torsos but left their legs and arms unprotected—both because they felt less restricted in their movements and because of the expense. The sailors were required to bring on board a helmet, weapon and shield, but their work knives did not qualify as weapons. Like the soldiers, they tended to purchase the cheapest weapons that they could.

An account of Cabrillo’s journey said “they travelled six leagues (approximately 200 miles) to the north northwest coast and discovered an enclosed harbor which was very good. They named it San Miguel.”

The date was September 28, 1542, and the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel was the next day.

Some soldiers who went ashore for provisions were attacked by Iipay and Tipay branches of Kumeyaay Indians, but Cabrillo wisely decided against having his men return fire. Instead he sent out another group of soldiers with gifts for exchange, resulting in a peaceful six-day stopover in the good enclosed harbor.

Nowadays, each September 28, as part of the Cabrillo Festival, a celebrant dressed up as the explorer wades ashore from a rowboat and reenacts his claiming this area for Spain.

However impressive the original ceremony might have been, there was plenty of time for the Kumeyaay to forget it. They would not see Spaniards again for 60 years when Vizcaino came by and renamed this area as San Diego. Cabrillo did not have time to linger: his mission was to try to find gold, and a route east from the Pacific back to the Atlantic Ocean, and he accomplished none of these objectives.

He continued to sail along the California coastline, reaching northern California before deciding to turn back to wait out the winter on the Channel Islands. There, in a skirmish with local Indians, Cabrillo injured himself breaking one of his limbs. (In yet another uncertainty about him, there is a dispute whether it was his arm or his leg). The injury worsened, perhaps developing gangrene. Cabrillo died January 3, 1543. His lieutenant, Bartolome de Ferrer, assumed command of the voyage and again headed north. Eventually, however they turned around and abandoning the voyage returned to Navidad on April 14, 1543.

Is there a San Diego County  historic place you would like Don Harrison to write about? Please contact him with the details at

Is Obama backing way from his Middle Eastern initiative?

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

By Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM–He ain’t stupid. Stubborn is not all that bad. Neither is pressure.

The subject is Barack Obama. Signs are that he is backing off from saying that he expects early compliance with his demands on Israel and Palestine.

“. . . even if we apply all our political capital to that issue, the Israeli people through their government and the Palestinian people through the Palestinian Authority as well as other Arab states may say to themselves, we are not prepared to resolve these issues no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear. . . We can’t want it more than they do.”

This came as the summit on nuclear weapons was ending. The President responded to a question asking if he was hypocritical for not demanding of  Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, insofar as there is a widespread belief that it has an undeclared nuclear arsenal. 

No Zionist should protest his response.

“ . . . as far as Israel goes, I’m not going to comment on their program, but what I’m going to point to is the fact that consistently we have urged all countries to become members of the NPT.”

What explains this turnaround? 

No one outside the President’s mind can be sure. Among the options, however, is the man’s intelligence. He proposed and pushed, but recognized that he came up against firm opposition from the targets of his pressure. Israel, Palestinians, and other Arabs cited strong domestic opposition to the details of American proposals, and could not move without someone else moving first. 

The President says that he intends to continue with his mission, but that may be no more than standard political rhetoric. 

Whose fault?

There is room for endless accusation. The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Israel is ensnared in the grip of religious and nationalist extremists, certain that they have God’s endorsement for controlling what they view as the Land of Israel. Arab governments are always on the verge of violent upheaval, and cannot challenge what they have created by 60 years incitement against the Jews. Obama went too far. He challenged Arab pride by calling publicly for concessions, and made an insulting demand of Israel to prevent Jews from living where they would in Jerusalem.  

The President is good intentioned and smart. The proposals he made to Israel, Palestinians, and Arab governments would have gotten an A in any course on policy innovation. It offered something to everyone, as well as demanding concessions from everyone.  However, he is no magician. He pushed too many hot buttons. 

Was he naive? Of course, but no less than advisors and analysts in government offices, think tanks and elsewhere who claim expertise,  contributed details, and joined his chorus. 

Outsiders have a great deal of trouble manipulating someone else’s politics. It has long been a curse of those who would manage empires, even if –like Americans–they shun the label of imperialist. 

The urge to rule, or to shape, that comes out of the American capital has done more harm in Iraq and Afghanistan than in Israel or Palestine. It is easiest to call the 2003 invasion of Iraq an American folly, insofar as there is little indication that the Iraqi regime was a threat against the United States.  Afghans were neck deep in 9-11, but that does not explain Washington’s persistence beyond its first wave of destruction. The continued occupation of two Islamic countries appears to have made things worse, by spreading religious extremism beyond where it already thrived. 

Iran is the blackest mark on the President’s overseas aspirations. It is here where criticism, and even ridicule of his rhetoric appears to be most appropriate. Stopping Iran may always have been beyond the capacity of the United States. Could it have begun another war, when military and financial resources were already strained to the breaking point by previous commitments? The lack of international support for serious sanctions has long been apparent. 

We should not expect quiet from the White House, and certainly not from the ranks of others who have been pressing one gimmick or another as the key to reforming the Middle East. Muslims of the region seem destined for more years of religious and political incitement, shabby education and other social services, as well as repressive rulers. The Jews of Israel will continue coping with restive neighbors and those of their own who aspire to moral perfection. 

President Obama has done well in his aspirations for health reform in his own country, and may still be able to tinker with some of the patchwork to bring it closer to what Europeans and Israelis enjoy. 

The world is even more complex than the United States Congress. 

It is tempting to paraphrase a line from Fiddler on the Roof.  May God bless and keep the President… far away from us. 

No doubt the American White House has been better for the Jews that Tevye’s Tsar. Yet some of its good intentions have been too much. 

No one should not expect an uptick in the modesty prevailing in the White House and elsewhere in the United States, but a resident of Jerusalem should never discount the possibility of miracles. 

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University.