Archive for May 10, 2010

Sale of copy of ‘Schindler’s List’ in doubt after heiress files lawsuit

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Marta Rosenberg, an heiress to the widow of Oskar Schindler, has filed a lawsuit against the New York art dealer Gary Zimet in order to stop the US$ 2.2 million sale of a copy of ‘Schindler’s List’, which she alleges is a fake. Zimet announced in March that he was selling the list, allegedly one of four surviving original lists in the United States, on behalf of an anonymous seller. Rosenberg, an Argentinean citizen who wrote a biography of Schindler and his widow Emilie, contends that the will of Emilie Schindler had given her the exclusive rights to anything that belonged to the couple, the ‘New York Daily News’ reports. Her lawyer John Gleason says: “She wants it off the market. She doesn’t want it sold as a trinket for somebody’s bookcase”.

“If Zimet is permitted to offer for sale…what he purports to be the List, when in fact it is not a true copy of the List, such transaction would cause irreparable harm to Rosenberg,” the suit says, according to the ‘New York Daily News’. The paper quotes Zimet as rejecting the allegation. The list “is 100 percent fine,” he reportedly said.

The list in question is dated 18 April 1945, 13 pages long and contains the names of 801 Jewish workers employed by the German industrialist Schindler and saved from deportation to the Nazi death camps. Several copies of the list were drawn up by Schindler and his accountant, Itzak Stern. The four known surviving originals are kept at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the German federal archives in Koblenz and two at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

New rocket attack against Israel from Gaza

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–A Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck near the Israeli city of Ashkelon. The incident on Saturday was the first such attack in a month and came only hours after the executive of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ramallah had given its backing for indirect peace talks with Israel. The rocket landed near a populated area, but no injuries or damage were reported. Ten such attacks occurred in April, and five in March, according to Israeli authorities. 

On Sunday night, Israel’s Air Force struck several tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation. “The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for what goes on in Gaza,” the IDF said in a statement.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Indirect talks between Israel and Palestinians begin

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Israel and the Palestinians on Sunday entered into ‘proximity talks’ mediated by the US Middle East envoy George Mitchell. On Saturday, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) had given its backing for talks at a meeting in Ramallah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision, but said that Israel wanted to move to direct talks as soon as possible. “Peace cannot be made from a distance or by remote control,” he said at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.
According to the US, Israel has given assurances that the controversial plan to build 1,600 housing units in the Jerusalem suburb of Ramot Shlomo – beyond the 1967 Green Line – would not be implemented for another two years. However, on Monday, an Israeli government minister insisted that construction of new homes in other parts of east Jerusalem would not be halted. “It is evident we will continue to build over the next two years in Gilo, Pisgat Zeev, French Hill,” Information Minister Yuli Edelstein told public radio.

The US statement also said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had pledged to work against “incitement of any sort” against Israel.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Lawrence Family JCC to offer 6,000 volumes at used book sale

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

LA JOLLA (Press Release) –Donations of used books are pouring in for the 10th Annual Used Book Sale of the Samuel & Rebecca Astor Judaica Library, which will take place June 3-4 and 6, 2010 at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus, 1426 Executive Drive, La Jolla. 

Early Bird Special buying hours are on June 3 at 9 a.m. to 12 noon, with a $10 admission fee.  For all other dates and times, admission is free.

Approximately 6,000 titles have been collected, which include several large estate donations.  Categories include: 

Major art and folk art collections
Physician/anthropologist books including cross-cultural health and medical treatment, shamanism
Gender studies, folklore, ethnologies
Art from many cultures
Major cookbook collection
Horticultural and gardening collection
Books on aviation, women in aviation
Jews in Spain, Arab-Spanish history
Author-signed books
Judaic and non-Judaic
Fiction and non-fiction
Children’s books
Hardbacks and paperbacks
Foreign language literature and dictionaries
DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, LPs, 45s, books on tape

Rare books and artwork will be included in a silent auction. The bidding will begin Tuesday, June 1 and end Sunday, June 6 at 3 p.m. sharp.

Auction books are selected based on their rarity.  Opening bids will be very reasonable.  Some of the titles include:  Book of Exodus with Megillath Esther, published in Lemberg in 1868; A. J. Cronin’s The Stars Look Down, with an appraised value of $500; Tail of a Lion, value $187; Seven Little Monsters by Maurice Sendak, value $100; Smith’s Indicator Map of London 1860, value $250; Flowers Postcard portfolio from Taschen.

Proceeds from this event will aid the Astor Judaica Library, which is a central community resource for Judaic information. The library houses approximately 16,000 volumes including a major Holocaust Collection and the Tillie Lawrence Israel Collection. It also is the home for the collections of the Woman’s Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, the Jewish Healing Center and the San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Susan Hagler at 858-362-1150 or

Preceding provided by the Lawrence Family JCC

The four faces of Nina Simone

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By Carol Davis

Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO–Nina Simone had many faces. She also had many titles, the voice of movement (Civil Rights that is), and diva of sound, High Priestess of Soul, Dr. Nina Simone and the voice of the people to name a few. Funny thing she was all of these rolled up into one and on different occasions and times in her lifer she pretty much, used them all up.

So it wasn’t unusual for Calvin Manson of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players, who created and directed the world premiere of  A Portrayal of the Life and Music of Nina Simone to cast four talented women to tell her story through music and conversation: Sarah Roy, Nicole Bradley, Janice Edwards and Ayanna Hobson.

Eugene Kathleen Waymon was born in 1933 in Tyrone, North Carolina. She was one of eight children whose hard working mother and booze-loving father influenced her entire life from the musical prodigy that she was to the international jazz singer and activist that she became.

Through a series of circumstances from her disappointment at not getting the classical musical scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music she worked so hard to attain (because she was black) to attending Juilliard for a year until her money ran out, to the jazz singer, the civil rights activist, the angry daughter, the disillusioned wife and mother and the gifted artist the world praised her for, Waymon was always in the process of reinventing herself.

She hated being pigeonholed as a jazz singer claiming, “I play black classical music.” Her all inclusive repertoire included ‘jazz, pop, blues, spiritual, folk, African song, as well as contemporary’.

Trained as a classical pianist she switched to jazz when it became evident she could not make any money in classical music field. During her lifetime she crossed over to other genres playing in venues like the Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival.  

And when the road she was traveling veered (she traveled through and lived in Switzerland, France, England, Liberia and Barbados) and led to a dead end, she adjusted and opened new ones finally ending up in Europe (she died in France) where she ultimately found complete acceptance and peace as both an African American and as an artist. 

Manson takes the audience on a somewhat well traveled road and then some less traveled  ones as we learn more and more about the talented Nina Simone. As mentioned earlier, from humble beginnings playing piano in her church at the age of four, to turning to jazz to earn money to her actively participating in the Civil Rights Movement, Simone (taken from actress Simone Signoret and Nina meaning little one)) carved a path uniquely hers.

Flanked by a very talented trio of musicians, Anthon Smith (Piano), Doug Walker (Bass), Richard Sellers (Drummer) and introduced by dancers Beyanna Hall, Alize Irby, Maile Lattimore and Bussey Neal representing the diversity of Simone the show begins with the four women singing “Four Women”.

Twenty one songs later combined with a lifetime filled with ups and down’s, highs and lows, Manson along with his singers, dancers and musicians manages to give us an appreciation of the singer and person we know as Nina Simone.  Some of the talent stood out above the others but for the most part, the two-hour show is inclusive and does highlight Simone’s lifetime achievements.

Sarah Roy, an eleventh grader at The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts represents her young life ‘always hopeful for a better future’ as Simone #1. Overall she performed beautifully if not a little unsteady in the beginning with “Beautiful Land” and gathering strength in “To Be Gifted Young and Black” and “Other Women”

Nicole Bradley is Simone #2 ‘the singer on the verge of success’ looking stunning and stately in Joshlyn Turner and Yolanda Franklin’s long evening gowns singing “Balm In Gilead” and “I Love You Porgy” with Sarah Roy and Ayanna Hobson.

Janice Edwards is a standout as the activist, the thirty something Nina when she belts out “Mississippi Goddamn”, “Revolution”, and “Look Of Love” and just as appealing in “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” and is at the prime of her life. I could have listened to her all evening with that spunk and liveliness. 

Ayanna Hobson who also portrayed Sarah Vaughn in another of Manson’s productions represents the exiled, the forty plus Nina, the wise one and the jaded one. Hers are the most diverse of the selections from “Backlash Blues” to “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” to “Trouble in Mind and “Strange Fruit” and they are wonderfully done and performed to perfection.

All in all, with the combination of the four women singing both solo and accompanying each other, the dancers and the live musicians Manson has pieced together an evening of entertainment with a partial cross section of Nina Simon’s body of works while examining her turbulent journey.

A personal note in the program by her brother Dr. Carroll Waymon fills in a little more of the history of his sister and to some extent what she thought of both her public and private persona. He also tells of how the two performed together in their early years, “ traveling all over the place, she on the piano and he a concert singer at age 14 …just having a good time”.

Enjoy the journey and the music.

 See you at the theatre.

 Dates: April 30-May 23rd

Organization: Ira Aldridge Repertory Players

Phone: 619-283-4574

Production Type: Musical Biography

Where: 3911 Kansas St. San Diego, 92104

Ticket Prices: $45.00 dinner and show; $25.00 show only


Venue: Sunset Temple

Theatre critic Davis is based in San Diego

College Avenue Older Adult Center tells June programs

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Jewish Family Service’s College Avenue Senior Center at 4855 College Avenue has announced its schedule of events for June 2010:

Mondays: Classes and Activities offered: Aerobics with Kara Anderson (8:30 – 10 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Feeling Fit with Kara Anderson (10 – 11:15 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Meditation with Jeff Zlotnik (11:15 am – 12 pm); Bridge – 12:45 pm; Movie Group (1 – 3 pm, new releases shown each Monday), no charge for members, $1 for non-members; Musical Comedy Group with Polly Columbo (1 pm – 3 pm). For more information on any of the classes or activities, call (619) 583-3300.
: Classes and Activities offered: Walking Group (9 – 10 am); Tai Chi with Leslie Johnson-Leech (9 – 10:30 am); Book Club (1st Tuesday of the month at 9:30 am); Arthritis Exercise (10:30 – 11:45 am); Film Class with Judith Levine 1 pm; Ballroom Dancing (2 – 4 pm); Trivia Tuesday (2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 12:15 pm). For more information on any of the classes or activities, call (619) 583-3300.
Wednesdays: Classes and Activities offered: Drawing class with Marsha Austin Rogers (8:30 am); Aerobics with Kara Anderson (8:30 – 10 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Feeling Fit with Kara Anderson (10 – 11:15 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Painting with Marsha Austin Rogers (12:30 – 3 pm); Writing class with Marsha Kay Seff (1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 12:45 pm); Bingo (12:45 pm); Music Experience with Danny Camacho (1 – 2:30 pm), $1 for members, $3 for non-members; Line Dancing with Luis Samaya (2:30 – 3:30 pm), $3 member per class, $5 non-member per class. For more information on any of the classes or activities, call (619) 583-3300.

Thursdays: Classes and Activities offered: Painting with Marsha Austin Rogers (9 am – 12 pm); Mah Jongg (9:15 am); Laughter Yoga with Michael Coleman (10:30 am); Blood Pressure Check (2nd and 4th Thursdays at 10 am); Arthritis Group exercise class (10 am); Beginning Mah Jongg (12:30 pm); Special Weekly Lectures (12:45 pm, Please call for topic information); Meditation with Jeff Zlotnik (11:15 am – 12 pm). For more information on any of the classes or activities, call (619) 583-3300.

Fridays: Classes and Activities offered: Aerobics with Kara Anderson (8:30 – 10 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Feeling Fit with Kara Anderson (10 – 11:15 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Yoga with Shashi Pottathil (10:45 am), $5 for members, $7 for non-members; (11:15 am); History Today! – Weekly history series; Special Musical Programs (12:30 pm, Please call for music program information).

Ongoing:  Private Computer Lessons: (Mon -Fri.) by appointment only. Please call to schedule.
                 Blood Pressure Checks: 10:00 am, 4th Thursday of every month
                 Poker Group: 10 am, every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
                 Craft Class: 9:30 am, 2nd and 4th Friday of every month
                 Book Discussion Group: 9:30 am, 3rd Tuesday of every month
Special Events, Lectures and Presentations:

History Today! with Troy Jordan;  Fridays, June 4, 11, 18 & 25 2010 @ 11:15

June 4 – The History and Lore of Tomatoes: In this class we’ll learn about the history, myths, legends and more (along with some great recipes) of the world’s most popular garden plant.

June 11 – Native American and Pioneer Medicine: A fun and fascinating class of native and home remedies from prehistoric  time through the Spanish, Mexican and early American eras.

June 18 – Romance 101 for Men: Listen and learn simple, inexpensive and creative ways to make you a truly romantic man.

June 25 – San Diego’s First Permanent Jewish Resident, Louis Rose: The butcher, tanner, zoo keeper,
copper miner seaweed mattress maker, civic leader and more. Learn about this fascinating man and the contributions he made to the planning, development and growth of San Diego.

David Amos presents . . . .Mozart: Part 1 Thursday June 10 at 12:45

David Amos, Conductor for the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) and contributor to XLNC Radio, will present a program on one of Classical Music’s most recognizable and beloved composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Father’s Day Celebration Friday, June 18;  11:15 a.m – Romance 101 for Men

Listen and learn simple, inexpensive and creative ways to make you a truly romantic man.
12:45 p.m. – The CAOAC welcomes, The King of Rock N Roll! San Diego’s very own Elvis Presley, impersonator will be here to entertain and delight as he sings some of Elvis’ most popular tunes. Bring your camera for a picture with “Elvis.”

Hula Lessons Tuesdays @ 10:30 am – Starting June 22
Shake and shimmy with our free Hula lessons, every Tuesday at 10:30 am, starting on June 22nd. Rachel Lynn, part of the dance troupe, Pride of Polynesia will be conducting the lessons. Come learn several actual hula dances which will be performed at our annual Luau on August 13.

Troy Jordan presents: Island of Hope, Island of Tears; Tuesday, June 22 @ 1 pm
Watch this fascinating documentary, narrated by Gene Hackman, with lecture and discussion. Join history professor, Troy Jordan, as he presents a video lecture on the story of Ellis Island, a symbol of the gateway to freedom and hopes. Today nearly half of all Americans can trace their ancestry back to Ellis Island

Officer Jenny Hall, San Diego Police Department;   Tuesday, June 29 @ 12:45. Officer Jenny Hall, of the San Diego Police Department will discuss ways to stay safe inside and outside of your home. There will be a Q&A session following.

RSVP- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Jewish Family Service Volunteer Services present: “The Joys and Benefits of Volunteering” Thursday, June 24 at 12:45. My Linh Tran, Assistant Manager of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for the County of San Diego, will present stories about volunteering and how it can improve your life and the lives of others in the community. In addition, Jewish Family Service Volunteer Services will be in attendance to offer ideas about volunteer opportunities within the agency.

Blood Pressure Checks  June 24, 2010 from 10 – 11 am, Free blood pressure screenings

Preceding provided by College Avenue Older Adult Center

San Diego’s Historic Places: San Diego House, Old Town

May 10, 2010 1 comment

San Diego House, Old Town

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—The exterior of the San Diego House adobe in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is unremarkable, but historians will tell you that the building had a way of attracting to its ownership over the last century and a half the kind of people of whom legends were made.

Henry Fitch, Allen Light and good, good, Leroy Brown are among the San Diegans who have been proprietors here .   We call the latter ‘good, good’  because so many people in San Diego know Jim Croce’s song about that ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” obviously inspired by someone else.  Croce’s wife, Ingrid, operates a restaurant and bar in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, so among San Diegans, it may be  important to clarify that the Leroy Brown who owns the packaged coffee and tea shop inside San Diego House spent most of his life as a grocer, not as a diamond-wearing, El Dorado-driving gambler. 

In the 1970s, Brown purchased the 54th Street branch of the Big Bear Market chain and renamed it Brown’s Town & County Market, thereby gaining a reputation as one of the city’s successful black entrepreneurs.  Around 1995, he leased the San Diego House, which he turned into a shop where one could buy coffees and teas from all over the world and also learn about the lives of two predecessor African-American entrepreneurs in San Diego, Allen Light and Richard Freeman.

Andre Leroy Brown and Dick Miller at San Diego House

Behind the counter of the family-owned store today, you might meet  Leroy’s son, Andre, or his grandson Andre Leroy Brown, who was on duty and visiting with costumed Old Town docent Dick Miller—a former state park ranger—the day I happened in.

Teas and coffees draw tourists from all parts of the world, many of them curious to see whether the Lights have on stock those beans or leaves that come from their own countries.  South Africans look for red teas, Japanese green teas, and the British what they call “a proper cup of tea,” laughs Andre Leroy Brown.  “It has to be steeped three minutes, and only afterwards do you put in the milk.”

Some of the customers are just as fussy about coffees—with Brazilians saying beans picked in their country are superior to those from anywhere else, and Americans not caring so much where the beans come from, so long as they can be made into lattes, notes Brown.

Allen B. Light came to California in the mid 1830s aboard the trading brig Pilgrim, known to historians because it also carried Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast.  Born a slave, Light had purchased his freedom and worked his way to California as a steward – thus his nickname ‘Black Steward.’   After he jumped ship in California and started hunting coastal game, the world learned that Light also was an incredibly good marksman.   Historians say he  could bounce on the waves in a kayak or canoe and shoot a ball into the skull an otter, without damaging its valuable pelt.

This activity brought him into conflict with Mexican authorities, who forbade foreigners to hunt in California without a license from the governor, according to research by the historical society in Santa Barbara, where Light’s marksmanship was legend.

Light got around this problem by accepting employment from  Captain George Nidever, who had the requisite license.   Eventually, the Mexican government decided that it needed such a talent as Light’s patrolling the California coastline.  The government appointed Light as a  game warden in charge of protecting the otter.

There were many people to protect the mammals from. American traders hired indigenous hunters,  not only from California but from places as far removed as the Hawaiian and Aleutian Islands, to seek the otter.  The hunters knew  that the skins of the animals fetched unimaginably high prices in China.

Light’s reputation as a marksman usually stood him in good stead, except with one opponent he encountered in a cave in Central California.  It was an angry California Grizzly Bear, who slashed Light with his claws, ripping pieces from the hunter.  Somehow, Light was able to kill the bear with his knife, adding to his reputation as a formidable fighting man.

In addition to holding public office as a game warden, Light decided to become an entrepreneur and, along with Richard Freeman, purchased the saloon operated inside the San Diego House.  The seller, Henry Fitch, was another of its famous entrepreneurs.

Around 1850, Light headed north again to Gold Rush Country, and what he did, and what happened to him, are mysteries.   Little is known about his business partner Freeman, except that he worked for the San Diego Sheriff and died in 1851, a year after California because the 31st state of the United States.

The man from whom Light and Freeman had purchased the saloon – Henry Fitch—was known more for his spirit than for the spirits vended by his saloon.  The former sea captain had fallen in love with Josefa Carrillo, daughter of one of the prominent families in San Diego, and in accordance with Mexican law, converted from his Protestant faith to Catholicism to become eligible to marry her.   Although Josefa’s family had approved the marriage, Gov. Jose Maria Echeandia had not, so on the very day of the ceremony issued a decree prohibiting it.  

According to the oft-told story, the broken hearted Josefa whispered the suggestion to Henry (Enrique), “Why don’t you carry me away?” and by the next night he had arranged to do just that.   With the help of Pio Pico, who later in his life would become California’s last Mexican governor, Josefa was brought on horseback to San Diego Bay, where Fitch awaited her aboard a ship.  They sailed away to Chile, where they were married by a priest in Valparaiso.

Notwithstanding the fact that the ceremony had been performed by a church official, the couple’s elopement was considered an offense against the provincial Mexican government in California.  Knowing that, the couple didn’t return until Josefa had a child in arms.  As they suspected, the Carrillos melted, but Fitch was briefly imprisoned and forced to pay a hefty fine.   It was after their return that Fitch became a San Diego merchant.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World