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Three big truths need to be understood in ‘flotilla’ affair

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Bruce Kesler

By Bruce Kesler

ENCINITAS, California–Better appreciation of the facts about the Gaza flotilla (a flatuated term for that motley group of ships) are emerging, after the jumping to jaundiced judgment to jeer Israel.  The key one: Turkey hid behind its radical IHH front to instigate violence and got what it wanted.

Why? The obvious answer is to delegitimize Israel.

True, but there are fathoms below that to delve for some bigger truths.

I’ve been stressing diving for one “big truth.”  (here and here) The Obama administration was deep into pressuring Israel, likely contributing to the outcomes favorable to Israel’s enemies. Washington and Jerusalem should have known better.

The Obama administration, as the US State Department spokesman admitted, “through multiple channels many times” before the interdiction urged Israel to “restrain” itself.  Israel acted with restraint, to the point of ineptitude.  Similarly, the Obama administration at Turkey’s demand urged Israel to immediately release all aboard the Gaza blockade running ships, even though about forty were not identified or their links to Turkey and instructions were not discovered, and Israel promptly complied, allowing Turkey to cover up a key part of its nefarious role.

Credible journalists should be investigating these and probably more instances of the Obama administration’s culpabilities in harming Israel and strengthening US and Israeli foes.  For those journalists who have forgotten how, here’s the basics of their craft when competently practiced: Who? What? Where? When? Why?

Some may find this exercise in truth finding not worthwhile because “everyone already knows the Obama administration is comprised of useful tools of US foes”, as one bluntly put it.  But, not everyone knows, just those not of the Left paying attention.  Most liberals are still in denial. This key truth needs to be prominently driven home for all to face and know.  Such a high-profile event as this is the perfect vehicle to verifying what “everyone already knows,” or should know.

There’s a second “big truth” to be brought to the surface.

Since 2002, when Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan came to power in Turkey, he has been inching and jumping to move Turkey away from its past of Western orientation that Kemal Attaturk set it on after WWI, instead toward an Eastern (i.e., Islamist) view. Erdogan has played his cards well, and the stale Kemalists not.  September 12 Turkey is to hold a referendum, supported avidly by Erdogan and his party, though by none else, that would cripple separation of powers by placing the judiciary under tighter control by his executive.

In the usual way of rulers who seek more power, Erdogan purposely picked the perfect “us-them” to rouse the 99%+ of Turks who are Muslim, “them” being Israel.

Erdogon and Turkey’s fingerprints on the Gaza instigation needs to be brought to the surface for all to see, including for those Turks who will be repulsed by Erdogan’s dirty deals with radicals for his own self-aggrandizement. The future of Turkey and of its impact on the West is at stake.

There’s a third “big truth” that needs to be brought to the light of day.  That is the utter dangerous inanity of the Obama et. al. world view.  They have repeatedly demonstrated that their view is useless and counter-productive to Western interests.  Former allies and foes are not fools. They see the weakness, incompetence and ineptness of the Obama administration. They are, thus, encouraged to be bolder in pursuing policies and actions inimical to the US and to regional or world peace. Consistent with the Obama world view that is indifferent to or hostile toward the West is the casting out of Israel as an ally and measures that weaken its survival.

Surfacing the first “big truth” above is key to taking the blinders off for all to starkly see the others, and get more energized in sending those who have shucked American strength and integrity, and the survival of allies, to the bottom.

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Kesler is a freelance writer based in Encinitas.  This article appeared previously on the Maggie’s Farm website.

‘Summer and Smoke’ sizzles at New Village Arts

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Jo Anne Glover and John De Carlo in 'Summer and Smoke'

By Carol Davis

Carol Davis

CARLSBAD, California — There’s a glowing ember just beneath the surface in Tennessee Williams characters, Alma Winemiller and John Buchanan in his Summer And Smoke that sizzles, but never ignites. It’s frustrating as well as intriguing watching the two volley back and forth teasing and retreating, coming close to intimacy, but Williams never allows it to boil over.

Compared to the heat generated in Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (which won Williams his second Pulitzer) the repressed Alma of Summer And Smoke (1948) is mere child’s play in contrast to Maggie the Cat on “Roof” (1955) and Blanche in “Desire”. It doesn’t diminish, however, Alma’s sexually repressed feelings of desire for her childhood nemesis and friend John. The two had been drawn to each other since they were children.

Williams struggled with “Smoke” renaming it several times calling it “Chart of Anatomy” in 1948 and later “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale” in 1964 finally settling on the title. It never hit the stride of either “Glass Menagerie” or “Streetcar” for Williams. Be that as it may, all his female characters suffer the same deep-seated sexual repressions and struggle with that balance between mind, soul and body and Alma is no different.

New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad is mounting Summer And Smoke through June 20th well into the summer season, with about as fine a cast as can be assembled. Seldom done, artistic director and founding mother of NVA Kristianne Kurner, mentions in the program notes that she ‘fell in love with  Summer And Smoke as an undergraduate theatre student’ and she wanted to kick off the summer as season well as end season nine with this production.

With Jo Ann Glover in the starring role of Alma showing off her genteel Southern mannerisms and somewhat ‘above it all attitude’, one can compare the message of Williams’ own upbringing with his mother who impressed upon her son that they lived in a town where only status mattered.

Summer And Smoke takes place in Glorious Hill, Mississippi in 1910. Alma and John (John DeCarlo) have been neighbors since childhood. They teased and taunted each other throughout their growing up years. John’s father is the respected town doctor of the same name (Davis Macy-Beckwith) and Alma’s father is the Reverend Winemiller (Jack Missett). Her mother, Mrs. Winemiller (Dana Case) suffered a breakdown long ago and Alma, aside from organizing small clubs, teaching voice to young women with little or no talent and singing at patriotic functions, runs their household.

John has just returned home from finishing medical school much to the excitement of Alma (meaning soul in Spanish) who can barely restrain herself when she sees him. The best she can muster when she does though are a few giggles; admissions to taking too many pills and just being self-conscious acting like a schoolgirl. John, on the other hand has honed in on his skills of gambling, drink, and a reputation for loose women while at school, so much so that his father barely let him come to live in his childhood home again and continue with his practice.

When Alma agrees to go to the edge of town to the Moon Lake Casino with John and he tries to seduce her she turns away, reminding him that primal behaviors are essentially ‘self destructive’. Her goal is to have him change his ways and marry her and his is to open her up to new pleasures. He in turn encourages her to ‘explore her physical nature’.

When that little exercise fails Alma leaves him to his own devices; he opting out to run away with the casino owner’s daughter, Rosa Gonzales (Nadia Guevara) with whom he has already had a tryst and she telling the senior doctor what his son’s intentions are. It pretty much sets the stage for a tragic event that turns John’s life around and leaves Alma more isolated and unhappy than before.

As time passes she rethinks her beliefs and is now willing to be with him both physically and spiritually but he refuses her advances and accepts her mental and spiritual connection as a way of being, confessing that the thought of the two of them together frightens him. She later learns that he is engaged to her former voice student Nellie Ewell (Aimee Burdette). Once again, fate will determine the outcomes of their choices.

With young actors Roma Watkins and Jonah Gerche (artistic director Kristianne Kurner’s son) as the younger Alma and John setting the tone for the conflicts to follow, the two youngsters are perfect as they give us a glimpse into who they will become in their adult lives while running, walking and strutting on and off the stage throughout the evening often bisecting their elders. As they morph into their adult counterparts Glover and DeCarlo strike a balance intended to keep the conflict alive and the flame glittering without fully igniting.

Glover’s prim posture and quirky ways of expressing herself without actually falling head over heels for John while displaying her repressed sexual feelings felt in grim contrast to DeCarlo’s responsiveness yet aloofness in mannerisms and actions. While she croons and sways over her just being around him, DeCarlo’s John seems more remote and detached, at the same time implying to her his intentions. He never convinces, however that what he wants is burning inside him. I wanted to be more persuaded.

Dana Case is perfectly off the wall as Alma’s daft mother and Jack Missett plays the good Reverend with restraint, humiliation and embarrassment. Fine support comes from David Macy-Beckwith as Dr. Buchanan, Nadia Guevera struts her sexiness without reserve and does it well, Aimee Burdette’s Nellie is as high strung as Alma, but unlike Alma throws caution to the wind while hanging all over Johnny and barely holding herself together as she tries to show Alma her shiny engagement ring.

Both Kurner with an assist from Daren Scott manage to move a fairly large cast (at least for NVA) of fifteen very well on the long NVA stage designed by Tim Wallace to show us the Winemiller’s parlor on one side and the Doctors office on the other with a large fountain set in the center of what is the local plaza where John and Alma usually met as did other locals. Mary Larson’s period costume design is right on target; John’s forever white suits and Alma’s high necked dresses say it all. Adam Brick’s sound design gives us the background music and noises depicting times and events and Karin Filijan’s lighting design is perfect.

Summer And Smoke might be considered one of Williams’s stepchildren, but New Village Arts is giving it a first class airing.  It’s worth a try.

See you at the theatre

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Dates: May 27-June 20

Organization: New Village Arts Theatre

Phone: 760-433-3254

Production Type: Drama

Where: 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, California 92008

Ticket Prices:

Web: newvillagearts.org

Venue: New Village Arts Theatre

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Theatre critic Davis is based in San Diego

Principal gave his ‘heart of stone’ to a school

June 5, 2010 7 comments

Ron Stone

 

Heart of Stone,  Documentary;  Director Beth Toni Kruvant; produced by Good Footage, 2009, 84 minutes, $22.00 for home use plus $10.00 shipping. Additional charges for groups and schools

By Gail Feinstein Forman

Gail Feinstein Forman

SAN DIEGO–It was through a great personal coincidence that I became familiar with the documentary, Heart of Stone, a video now making its way through Independent and Jewish film festivals and reviewed quite favorably both in the local and national media.

The narrative centers on the groundbreaking, dedicated work of Ron Stone, Principal of Weequaic High School in Newark, New Jersey from 2003-2007, and his efforts to raise this ghettoized, violent high school – he wears a bullet-proof vest to make his daily rounds-back to its days when it was one of the premier high schools in the country.

Many of Stone’s techniques were controversial, but he successfully enlisted the cooperation and financial support of largely Jewish Weequaic High School Alumni, and under Stone’s watch, a new world of educational opportunities for his high school students began to take shape.

A few weeks ago, my husband forwarded an advertisement for this documentary that had come to him at Mesa College Library for possible purchase for their collection. Because he knew that I had family that graduated Weequaic High, he thought I’d be interested to learn of the video.

Unbeknownst to my husband, immediately before I had read his Email with the advertisement, I had just been meticulously browsing through my mother’s Weequaic High School Yearbook, Class of 1941, something I had never done before.

Taking this coincidence as a “Beshert” that I yet did not understand, I immediately bought the video because of the family connection. In addition to my mother attending the school, her sister, her brother and my two cousins also were alumni, and I had spent almost every weekend of my childhood visiting these relatives in the Weequaic neighborhood.

During the 1930’s through the 1950’s, the Weequaic section of Newark was a heavily Jewish enclave, though it also encompassed a rather diverse ethnic mix, notably Italians and African Americans. At that time, there was little racial tension, and the neighborhood was considered a great place to grow up with top-notch schools, including Weequaic High School.

In that period of time, graduates of Weequaic High School had a reputation for excellence and went on to garner more PhD’s than any other high school in the country.

This was the neighborhood that Philip Roth, Weequaic graduate 1950 grew up in and immortalized in many of his novels. Roth even makes a cameo appearance in the film.

Roth was filmed at a ceremony that designated the house that he grew up in, 385 Leslie Street, an historical Newark landmark. Roth accepted the award graciously and then jokingly refers to the ceremony as “his Stockholm,” in place of his still missing yet hoped for, Nobel Prize

Unfortunately, during the 1960’s, Newark became a smoldering hotbed of racial strife, culminating in the Newark riots of 1967, when the downtown shops, many Jewish owned, were trashed and burned in angry protests.

Jews then moved out to the suburbs and the Weeequaic neighborhood lost its homey veneer.

Weequaic High School also became a victim of this downward turn. Rival gangs, the infamous Crips and Bloods, controlled the immediate streets surrounding the school, resulting in the needless deaths of many teens that attended the school.

Ron Stone was himself a product of the Newark streets. He brought himself out of poverty first, by becoming a sports champion at school and later with education.

He knew the streets, and he knew what had to be done to give the kids what he called “Options.” Stone didn’t just interact with students at school; he went to their homes to try to spur them on.

In one scene, Stone is trying to convince Rayvon, one of his students and gang leaders, to accept a four-year scholarship to Seton Hall University. Because it is so out of Rayvon’s world, it terrifies him, and Stone needed to convince him it was the right thing to do.

The story of Ron Stone as principal is much more than an example of “Tough Love.” In fact, touch love was used when necessary, but also, he just used love, tough or not. He rallied the students to conflict resolution meetings. He respected their ideas and their lives.

And of tremendous importance, in this underfunded ghetto school, Stone rallied the alumni to help him change the school back from disaster to high achievement.

The alumni heard the call and they delivered. Hal Braff, the father of Zach Braff, the film actor, was a Weequaic alumnus and played a pivotal role in establishing the Weequaic High School Alumni Association.

The film shows meetings of the mostly Jewish alumni association talking about their own years at Weequaic High School, the lasting relationships they made, and at times, dealing with anti-Semitism “on the street.” Their conversations lent insight into daily life in the Weequaic neighborhood, one woman commenting that it was so safe she could go outside and get a paper while still in her pajamas.

But the mission at hand for the alumni association was to help foster Weequaic High students towards a successful graduation, often mentioning the responsibility they had of “Tikun Olam,” repairing the world.

The alumni provided scholarships, ran fund-raising events, sent groups of students on tour to Paris and US cities for enrichment.

And it worked.

Nearly every member of the beginning high school class that attended when Ron Stone became principal in 2003 graduated in 2007.

At the graduation ceremony, gang leaders who never imagined they’d live to see the day they would or even could graduate, waved their hands, danced up to the podium and wept openly with joy.

It was Ron Stone’s finest hour-one that, you’d think would go on forever.

But after the main film ends triumphantly in 2007, a black screen appears with written text that was added in 2008. It’s a quiet moment and a shocker to read—one that will pierce even the toughest viewer’s armor.

We learn that Ron Stone died suddenly of a heart attack nine months after the famous graduation. One can’t help thinking that he gave his heart for all these kids, thus the title, Heart of Stone.

 His life and work remain his legacy.

This inspirational documentary has garnered many awards such as Best Feature Film at the Philadelphia Film Festival, The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award, and Best Documentary Film at the New Jersey Film Festival, and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Learn more by visiting the film’s website.

 
Forman is a freelance writer based in San Diego

San Diego’s Historic Places: Admiral Baker Field, Part 1

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Admiral Baker Field, San Diego

Donald H. Harrison

By Donald H. Harrison
SAN DIEGO—At Admiral Baker Field, home to two side-by-side golf courses, one anticipates an occasional “birdie” or an “eagle.” However, here you will also encounter herons, egrets, coots and other birds. The golf courses featuring a pair of artificial lakes created from the San Diego River also are frequented by deer, fox, coyote, bobcat and, very rarely, mountain lion.

 

Admiral Baker Field is operated by the Navy Region Southwest, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) for the benefit of active duty and retired military personnel. Civilians are welcome as their guests.

Lying down the San Diego River from the Mission Trails Regional Park, Admiral Baker Field has won commendation from the Audubon Society as a wildlife sanctuary and as an eco-friendly golfing environment. In particular, the two par-72 courses are considered excellent nesting places for the California Gnatcatcher and the Least Bell’s Vireo, two endangered species.

Among more than 700 golf courses around the country cooperating with the Audubon Society, Admiral Baker Field has installed at various tees plaques and story boards explaining the conservation program and also alerting golfers to some unusual “hazards.”

For example, if just as they start to tee-off, they suddenly hear “mewing” from the bushes, it’s not a lost kitten that broke their concentration, but a California Gnatcatcher, whose call is amazingly kitten-like.

Education is one component of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, according to the society’s program manager Joellen Lampman of Albany, New York.

To win certification, golf courses must show that they have an environmental planning program, including documentation about wildlife inventories and water quality sampling, said Lampman in a telephone interview.

There should be programs for wildlife habitat management in the out-of-play areas; reduction of chemical use and safe practices; a maintenance facility with proper storage of chemicals; a water conservation program, and water quality management.

Lampman said there are approximately 16,000 golf courses in the country, with 935 in California. At the end of 2009, Lampman said, Admiral Baker Field was one of 52 facilities in the cooperative Audubon program.

One of the regular golfers at Admiral Baker Field is a retired enlisted man who prefers to be identified as “K.C.” A pair of Ferruginous Hawks that make their homes between the tenth and eleventh holes of the North Course have kept K.C. entertained as he is trudging toward his ball.

According to K.C., three years ago the hawks were nestlings who would be left on their own by their parents. In the second year, these same hawks would chase and play with each other, occasionally trying to mate. In this, the third year, the hawks clearly have romance on their minds.

Tom Miller, golf operations manager, said that the North Course is the longer of the two parallel courses, running 6,900 yards along fairly broad fairways. The South Course is 700 yards shorter, but it becomes a little more difficult because the fairways are narrower. Golf shots are therefore more likely to land in the rough.

Although it’s possible that Sam Snead may have played Admiral Baker Field “when he worked at the Sail-Ho” Course – another MWR operated golf course in the San Diego area – not too many golf professionals have been spotted at Admiral Baker’s. Owing to the proximity of Qualcomm Stadium farther downriver, one was more likely to encounter professional athletes in other sports – for example Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, or Vincent Jackson, a receiver for the San Diego Chargers. However, now that the Padres have moved from Qualcomm Stadium to Petco Park in downtown San Diego, fewer baseball players seem to happen by, according to Miller.

As star-struck as one might become in the presence of nationally admired athletes, there’s a fellow by name of Dave Riddell, who usually plays at MWR’s China Lake facility, who can draw a crowd of admirers. He holds Admiral Baker’s course record—a seven-under-par 65—shot on the North Course.

Miller, who is more likely to shoot an even-par 72 on the course, says the Number 3 hole with its water hazard by the lake and its nice green is one of his favorite holes. On the other hand, he considers the par-4 North #8 with its long uphill climb and a dog-left to the left the toughest.

On an average day, he said, between 350 and 400 golfers will play at Admiral Baker Field, but there have been days when as many as 600 golfers – 150 foursomes—have teed off an average of seven minutes apart.

The lakes were created by diverting water from the San Diego River. Pumping the water from the lakes to the fairways saves MWR lots of money in irrigation costs and utilizes a water supply that would otherwise flow into the Pacific Ocean. But this system is not without its problems. The San Diego River water has a high saline content, resulting in tons of salt being deposited on the course that must be leached with fresh water from other sources.

To manage the situation, the golf course is installing a city water line to bring the fresh water directly to the greens. Planned renovations of the greens is expected to close the North Course for a period of eight months in 2011, with the South Course remaining open for business.

Admiral Baker Field was named for a Vice Admiral who served in World War II in the Pacific Fleet and who was in theatre in time for Japan’s unconditional surrender. In the early 1950s, Admiral Baker was assigned as commandant of the 11th Naval District which includes San Diego.

It seems almost ordained that a golf course named for Admiral Baker would become recognized as a sanctuary for birds and other indigenous animals. The admiral’s first name was Wilder.

Admiral Baker Field is just off Santo Road, near the junction of Mission Gorge and Friars Road in the Grantville neighborhood of San Diego. Besides the two golf courses, Admiral Baker Field offers breakfast, lunch and catered events at its Mission-style clubhouse. It also maintains an RV park, picnic area, swimming pool with elaborate water slides, children’s playground and ball fields. More information may be obtained from Rosella L. Connors, clubhouse facility manager, at (619) 487-0090, or Tom Miller, golf operations manager, at (619) 556-5520.

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

The Rachel Corrie arrives in Ashdod without serious incident, but trouble looms on horizon

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Ira Sharkansky

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM–The IDF brought the Rachel Corrie to Ashdod without the violence that marked the capture of the Mavi Marmara. The Irish government urged the blockade breakers to comply with Israeli demands, while Turkish leaders continue their charges of murder against those who dealt with the fighters on their ship. 

A commentary in the Wall Street Journal links the Turkish regime with anti-Semitic and anti-American campaigns including blood libels that both countries have been harvesting organs from Iraqis killed in the violence that they provoked.  

It is too early to see any peace on Israel’s Gaza front. Nine deaths have added to the picture that the country is out of control. Operations in its defense are less costly in terms of human rights than how the Turks treat the Kurds, or the collateral damage associated with American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such comparisons are essential to any moral judgement, but there is no indication that people of note have done the arithmetic. Israel has a near monopoly of evil on the campuses of prestige universities and in the street demonstrations of major cities.

A good deal of Israel’s problem derives from the Palestinians’ possession of the David image: small and weak, fighting a more powerful enemy, while asserting the popular demand for a country of their own. Jewish pragmatists must make an effort to realize that big and powerful Goliaths are more likely to prevail.

Perhaps most of the people demonstrating against Israel have no awareness, or no concern for the actual record of vicious actions against Israeli citizens, and the sworn intention of many Palestinians to destroy Israel on their way to claiming their own country. 

Does the widespread antipathy portend serious danger?

It does not help that the Obama administration has staked out a posture of engagement with its adversaries, including working through international organizations that have exhibited automatic “don’t bother me with the facts” condemnations of Israel, far out of proportion to its actions in comparison with those of other countries. 

Most disappointing is the American failure to produce anything serious against the Iranian nuclear threat, or Syrian-Iranian funneling of offensive weapons to Hizbollah. If the Americans’ obsession with the Israel-Palestinian peace process has appeared naive, efforts to persuade Iran and Syria appears closer to madness.

It does help that Israel has friends. American public opinion has failed to show any clear shift in the direction of hostility, and highly placed individuals in European governments have shown an understanding of the threats that Israel faces. 

President Obama and his advisors do not ignore Israel’s concerns. One can quarrel with the lack of trust toward Obama and his administration expressed by many Israeli Jews, but it is one of the elements affecting any assessment of the near future. 

Also in the mix is the strident style of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the even more fervent comments from his Foreign Minister and Minister of the Interior, both of whom have operational responsibilities for issues of importance to Europe and the United States. Netanyahu and his colleagues have concerned themselves with settling Jews in hostile Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, no matter what that might do to the willingness of others to help on the more vital topic of Iran.  

It has not been a cheerful week. Speculation that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan may board a warship and lead an assault on the blockade of Gaza raises the prospect that the near future will be worse. 

 On this, we can hope for assistance from countries not wanting a naval battle in this part of the Mediterranean.

We continue on edge, but that has been the Jewish fate for as long as we have written about our history. In those 2,500 years or so, there have been many weeks worse than the one just experienced.

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 Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University.

Turning around one’s life in the worst of times

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

By Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D.

Natasha Josefowitz

LA JOLLA, California–“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” So starts the Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities. That was 1859.

This is 2010, and it is the worst of times. We’re talking foreclosures and unemployment reaching double digits in California. We’re talking corrupt politicians and oil spills.

Besides the hard economic realities, there are psychological issues to be considered. There was a time many people lived to work as opposed to working to live. Those are the people who kept working beyond the retirement years even though there was enough wealth accumulated for several life times. Because so much of human identity is tied to the job, the role, the position, they are at a loss of what to do with their time. Loss of position frequently also means loss of colleagueship, loss of perks, loss of status. Controlling resources and people is heady, while time on one’s hands sitting at home, can lead to depression, especially for those who have been out of the house all of their adult lives.

And there are also the people who need to work in order to support their families—they work to live. This is not a matter of choice but of livelihood. Being fulfilled by your job is not a priority, making enough money is.

For some men, masculinity is tied to success; and for many, success means bringing home the bacon. The situation becomes even more difficult for some men if they cannot get work, and their wives become the main wage-earners. On the one hand, it is lifesaving to still have one earner in the family. On the other, it can be felt as demeaning or just bewildering for some men to become stay-at-home dads even if that is the best solution for the family.

And now, all of a sudden, the economy is dictating who will work and who is let go, who is looking for a job and who has given up.

So what is the solution? For the person who still was living to work and who was laid off but has the means to retire, finding volunteer opportunities in order to get involved with projects is the solution. It can be an opportunity to re-invent yourself, to change direction. For the person who had to work to make ends meet and who lost their job, there are several possibilities. One is retraining for another occupation—researching the job market , where people are still being hired. It could mean a longer commute or even moving to a different location. Chances are that you will make less money and will have to seriously cut expenses.

The devastation felt due to intense financial stress cannot be overestimated. Watching what was thought of as a secure future disappear has led to increased depression and even suicides. To make matters even worse, Bill Gallo, a research scientist at Yale University, has shown that older laid-off workers are twice as likely as those who still work to suffer strokes and heart attacks. Many don’t yet qualify for Medicare and cannot afford health insurance.

It’s indeed difficult to maintain a positive attitude while sitting in an unemployment office with no available work and going from a managerial position to a blue-collar job may not seem doable, but it is often the only opportunity that will be available with the new government push for infrastructure: rebuilding our roads, bridges, and schools.

Although the tendency is to withdraw from accustomed social interactions, it is important to maintain one’s friendships and to partake in activities that don’t cost—such as walking, or meeting friends at a park—or to find entertainment at a discount.

It is the people who don’t give up that find a way out. As hard as it is to keep a positive attitude in these dire circumstances, we must remember that we are a nation of immigrants and our ancestors crossed stormy seas and faced bleak futures in unknown and often hostile environments to learn new ways, work at jobs with no experience, and make it. If they could, so can we—after all, we have their genes.

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This column appeared previously in La Jolla Village Voice

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, May 14, 1954, Part 5

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Witty Ghosts Amuse Globe First-Nighters
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

The ghosts on the stage of the Globe Theatre this week and probably for weeks to come are the gayest ectoplasmic visitors in history.  This extremely funny comedy resulted in an opening night audience that was equally high spirited and one that continued applauding long after the house lights went on.

The haunters of John Patrick’s “Lo and Behold” move uninvited into a mansion owned by a fellow ghost, a sour, dour fellow who disapproves of marriage for men–“Marriage can furnish you nothing tht can’t be obtained in the open market.”  his unwelcome fellow spirits are much more romantic as they attempt to aid a budding romance between two very alive young people.  As is normal in a comedy, the dyspeptic old eccentric is forced to change his mind about the marital couple because “she’ll bring to marriage that loveliest of all gifts–an empty mind.”

Craig Noel has assembled a truly superior cast. Eleanor Rose as the dead Inidan maid who has been weaving a basket for 50 years in which to collect buffalo dung is hilariously funny, as is Jan Gardner as a caricature of all southern belles.  Joan Minos is in my opinion the best ingenue ever to grace the Globe stage.

As the mind-over-heart author and cause of the ghostly activities, Josh Mosher displays his vast experience to good advantage; and Bob Kuykendall in the role of a crooked bookie is truly villainous.  Gordon Cleator, who with Betty Winston decorated the attractive set, and T. Michael Garvey add thier good preformances for a completely enjoyable evening’s theatre. — B.E.S. (Berenice E. Soule)

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La Jolla Playhouse Tells Plans for Season
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Exciting theatre entertainment for less cost was the principal topic of discussion between John Swope, Executive Producer of  La Jolla Playhouse and members of the local sponsoring committees.

Swope detailed the Playhouse’s new policy changes which call for only five productions this summer, each to run two weeks, tickets at reduced prices.

Season tickets go on public sale next Monday, Swope added.

“This year, for the first time, w are offering a financial advantage to season ticket subscribers by giving them a ten percent across-the-board discout,” he said.  “Season tikcets will be on sale for one month only, so now is the time to save money and get the seats you want for each of the five plays.”

The season begins Tuesday, June 29th, and will run through September 5th.

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Opens Piano Studio
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Raymond and Della Grayson have opened a piano studio in conjunction with the P.L. Davidson piano store at 4065 El Cajon Blvd.  Both teachers studied at the St. Louis Institute of Music under the internationally (known) Leo Sirota.

Mr. Grayson also studied under Chieko Hara, Japan’s outstanding concert pianist.  Mrs. Grayson has been featured in piano recitals on both radio and TV in Dallas, Texas, and in St. Louis. They will offer courses of instruction in both classical and popular music to students of all age groups.

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Civic Music Assn. Offers Best Bargain
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Saturday, May 15th, will be the last day to take advantage of the best bargain in San Diego, the Civic Music Association’s Consert Series.

Those who were fortunate enough to be members and attend last year’s series will agree that any two of the six concerts they attened more than made up for the nominal price of $6.00 covering the entire series.  Outstanding artists who appeared were Isaac Stern, Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre, Glana Baschauer, Jerome Hines, Julian Karolyn and Clara May Turner.

In addiition to Victoria de Los Angeles, who has recently received rave notices, the Association is lining up equally talented artsits for a diversified and entertaining program.

For membership contact the Musicians Club, BE 4-8581 or Palmer Pox Office, BE 4-2294.  Remember-no single tickets are sold for this series.

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As the Psychologist Ses You
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

“Destructiveness in Children,” the topic of today’s discussion, is one which parents face with despair, especially because they view it as being unnecessary, wasteful and often costly.  Unlike so many of the other activities of children, this usually is present with every youngster and usually is not a result of some emotional or intellectual difficulty.

Children who destroy may be divied into two main groups, those who do it innocently or unintentionally, and those who do it deliberately with malice.  Fortunately, the former is much more common. For these children, the desire to taste, feel and examine are important and the many “no’s” or slaps on the hand have little effect. They are resorting to their method of learning and unless they have some toys which provide this learning opportunity, they will seek out whatever in the home is available.

Older and more orderly youngsters will dismantle a watch, unscrew door knobs, tear papers into shreds, and later try to reassemble the bits and pieces. They should be helped to fix what they damaged but without scolding.  Giving them old watches or borken objects may provide the opportunity they need to satisfy their inquisitiveness without their causing too much damage.

Some children are clumsy and break whatever they touch. Others bump into things causeing them to be demolished.  Here again, they need the help of parents. The first thing to be done is to have a physician check their coordination, signht, and hearing. Sometimes the only difference is that their development has been slow and the child still has not learned the knack of handling things. Often, itis because the child does not know his own strength and must be shown methods of care in moving about, jumping, or handling things that are not his. He may need to be reminded in a calm but firm manner, without shouting, scolding or derision.

In the relatively infrequent times that destructiveness is deliberate, greater sgtudy must be made of the causes.  Gang destruction of homes, schools or business establishments are seen.  High spirits, boredom, or the desire to attain status in the group are some of the reasons found in studying the problem.  When this happens parents must study the recreational facilities available to see whether there are socially acceptable activities to fill the children’s spare time.  in some cases deliberate destruction takes place in the lone-wolf type and the underlying motives may not be determined, just as with gang destructiveness, except by the professional help of psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.

Because it is easier to be destructive than constructive, to be messy, careless and clumsy rather than neat, careful and controlled, it is no wonder that children developthe habit of destructiveness.  it requires the patience and willingness of parents to recognize the reason for the destructiveness and how best to handle the situation.

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JWV Auxiliary Post New Meeting Date 
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The egular montly ward parties, sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish War Veterans, in the U.S. Naval Hospital have been changed to the third (3rd) Tuesday of each month.  Therefore the May party will be held Tuesday, May 18th, at 7 p.m.  All members are urged to attend and to participate in this project.

Members please note! Meeting date is now the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting will be a social one on Wednesday, May 19th at the Veterans’ War Memorial Bldg., 8 p.m.

A Membership Tea is being planned by Sophie Silberman, membership chairman. The date is Tuesday, June 29th. Watch the Jewish Preess for further details.

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Ratners Get Send-Off By Jr. Charity League
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The Junior Charity League postponed its regular May meeting, to hold instead a farewell party for one of their members, Mrs. Nathan Ratner, who with her husband and two sons, is leaving soon for a touur of Europe.  Luncheon was served at the San Diego Club for the Club’s 20 members on May 10th and a gift presented the honoree.  Mrs. Goldhammer and Mrs. Goldman will be hostesses to the club in June, instead of May.

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Birdie Stodel News
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

Mrs. Morrie Kraus announces that the first meeting of this fiscal year will be held Monday May 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Center.

Members will nominate and elect delegates and alternates to the District Convention which will be held this summer in San Francisco.  An interesting program is planned. Social hour will follow.

Past President, Mrs. Jeremiah Aronoff, has been named recording secretary elect for the Southern California Conference.  This is the first time that San Diego has been so honored.  The installation will be Thursday, June 10 at the sportsman’s Lodge in Los Angeles. For transportation and information regarding the installation, please contact Mrs. Aronoff at Cyprus 6-3225.

Mrs. Ted Brav, Anti-Defamation League Chairman, wishes to remind members of the Second Annual Anti-Defamation League Week-end Seminar. It is to be held at the Wilton Hotel in Long Beach for the weekend of Friday, May 21 (4;00 p.m) through Sunday, May 23rd at noon. For registration or information please contact Mrs. Ted Brav immediately at AT-4-3434.

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Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood Installation
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The newly elected officers and board members of Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood will be installed at an impressive ceremony at the Manor Hotel on Wednesday, May 26th.  After the luncheon in the Terrace Room, the following will be installed in office for the year 1954-1955.

Pres, Mrs. Mack Esterson; 1st VP, Mrs. Richard Lustig, 2nd V.P., Mrs. Herbert Eber; 3rd V.P., Mrs. Louis Bickman; 4th V.P, Mrs. Mortimer Rosenbaum; Rec. Sec. Mrs. Robert Miller; Fin. Sec., Mrs. Charles Silverman; Corr. Sec., Mrs. Harold Rosenbaum; Treas., Mrs. Nathan Smollar.

Board of Directors: Mesdames Alfred Brooks, Sol Brown, Alex Cohen, Ossie Ehrlich, Sydney C. Goldstein, J. H. Gruenberg, Irving Hertz, Rodin Horrow, George Katz, Joseph Krone, Donald Pogrell and Alex Wise.

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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.