Archive for June 19, 2010

Can Haredim be governed by Israel’s secular authorities?

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

By Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM–It is appropriate to ponder the significance of one hundred thousand ultra-Orthodox demanding independence from the Israeli judiciary. While the Sephardim suffer discrimination in the ultra-Orthodox communities, only a few of their leaders made that point. It was more common for prominent Sephardi rabbis and politicians to join hands with the Ashkenazim, overlook their plight, and insist on religious freedom from the hostile judges of the secular state.

Only about half of the parents ordered to jail actually arrived there. Most of the women disappeared on route.  The police ordered a search, but prosecutors considered a cancellation of their arrest orders. Appeals were being prepared to free all of the parents. Sabbath intervened. The police would not dare go after ultra-Orthodox mothers on the sacred day of rest.

What does this mean for the nature of Israel? Is there nothing the state can do to impose its orders on some 10 percent of the Jewish population? Due to their weight alongside the chronically balanced secular parties, must we continue to fund schools that discriminate ethnically, and do not teach what people need in order to support themselves in a modern society, all the while numbers creep upward as they cleave to “be fruitful and multiply,” and refuse to participate in the defense of a society beset by hostile others?

It is not easy to govern Israel. Alongside tensions and worse that come from Israeli Arabs, those of surrounding countries and their international supporters are issues more prominent domestically between the secular majority, the ultra-Orthodox minority, and floating “traditional” and “Orthodox” communities that can shift to support the ultra-Orthodox in behalf of Judaism.

The Zion conceived by Theodore Herzl was simpler. He came only gradually to recognize the weight of Eastern European Jewry, more religious than the assimilated Western European Jews with whom he identified. He was even less aware of Jews from North Africa, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran, who have come to be a majority in modern Israel, and have intermarried with Europeans to produce an amalgam as much “Israeli” as “Jewish.”

There is no sign that Herzl thought about Jews of Ethiopia, or that he contemplated the problem of Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox who insist on keeping apart from Sephardi ultra-Orthodox at a time when the larger society has moved beyond the acceptance of ethnic segregation.

Israel adheres to the rules of democracy and the nuances of politics. The results are seldom applauded widely, and often invite criticisms for being “undemocratic.” However, democracy pertains more to rules of the game than the nature of results. We can expect a democratic treatment of this latest hiccup in our national history.

Institutions will recognize the power of communities that can produce 100,000 demonstrators, and keep them orderly on a hot day with nothing more untoward than a few cases of fainting and dehydration.

Cosmetic changes are more predictable than extensive reform in the management and finance of schools. Plans are underway for the government to spend more money to expand the colleges that serve the ultra-Orthodox. The purpose is to induce them into a mode of higher education that will prepare them for work rather than to force them out of the religious academies. The IDF has programs to expand its recruitment of the ultra-Orthodox into units that are useful to the military while also accommodating their special needs.

Demographic projections are notoriously problematic. The ultra-Orthodox may not be impervious to economic constraints. The support they receive from the state has never been more than what allows voluntary poverty. There is always a drift out of the community for personal reasons, as well as a drift into the community by individuals coming from secular Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds.

These fingers will never type in the distant future. We must leave some issues for later generations. The most we can do is to teach them Jewish lessons of coping with constraints, and not giving into the temptation of rushing the Messiah. He/She will come when appropriate. 

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, June 25, 1954, Part 2

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Betrothal Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Mr. and Mrs. Browne Cleveland Hamilton of Glendale have announced the engagement of their niece, Ellen Marie Clark, to Stuart Naliboff, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Naliboff.  The bride-elect is a speech therapist for the San Bernardino City Schools and a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she was affiliated with Kappa Delta Sorority and Phi Beta, women’s professional fraternity.

Stuart is a graduate of San Diego State College and is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

No wedding date has been set.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

From Near and Far – The Fischbeins write from Tel Aviv that they are “having a fabulous time seeing everything in Israel.”  From not so far, the Mac Kaufmans reported last from Portland that the northwest is even more exciting than expected. And from even nearer, the Mickey Fredmans and the Harry Waxes report an exciting weekend in Las Vegas.
Esther Moorsteen has been asked to speak to the combined Sunday School classes of the Pt. Loma Community Church on June 27.  Her subject will be “Modern Palestine and the New State of Israel.”  She will also show 100 colored slides.
Back home from Oregon State College where he is a member of Phi Sigma Kapppa, but not for long, is Nelson Olf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Olf: for Nelson leaves for the east July 1 to visit relatives prior to his sailing from Norfolk on the USS Wisconsin for a midshipman’s cruise.  His first European port will be Bret, France, with a side trip to Paris, naturally. Next they will put in at Glasgow, Scotland. From Glasgow, Nelson hopes to be able to visit London.  His cruise will last about 8 weeks.

A birthday party was held at the Hebrew Home for the Aged on June 19 for Mary Ratner and Miss Susan Hendry,.  Honored also for their gracious help with all the birthday parties were Mrs. Rose Leaf and Mrs. Essie Rubin.

Bette and Marshall Zucker with two sons, Robert and Wayne, left for the old home town of Chicago, Tuesday, to visit with parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abe Zucker. They hope to see as many old friends as possible before their return home on July 8.

Mrs. Abraham Sklar has just returned from Cleveland after a delightful month-long visit with her three grandchildren and her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arnson.

A trip to Los Angeles including “The King and I” was the high spot of Susie Hutler’s 16th birthday.

Bon Voyage – The airport was the scene of great activity last Sunday, when a group of friends were on hand to say Bon Voyage to Barbara Solomon and Isabelle Bank. The two girls embarked on the first leg of their journey which takes them to New York for ten days and two months abroad. They will visit France, England, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Mr. and Mrs. Hy Glaser announce the birth of a daughter Debbie on June 14, weighing 6 ½ pounds.  Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Levy of San Francisco and Mr. and Mrs. Simon Glaser of San Diego.

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Bloom (Barbara Ackerman) have announced the birth of their first child, a 7 lb, 4 oz son, Jeffey Laurance, on June 16.  Running neck and neck for the title of Proudest Grandparent are Mr. and Mrs. Morrie Ackerman and Mr. and Mrs. Sol Bloom.
Morrie and Flo arrived from Sioux Falls about three weeks ago, and while Flo promises to stay all summer, Morrie will have to head back soon. From the looks of things, her friend may have difficulty in persuading grandma Flo to leave young Jeff’s side for even a short time.

Mr. and Mrs. Erich Francl announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, Sylvia Joan, on June 19.  Off to a healthy start, the young newcomer weighed 9 pounds. 

Formerly of Vienna, the Francis have made San Diego their home since 1951.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Woman for Receptionist and General Office Work. Typing and some knowledge of bookkeeping necessary  Jewish Social Service Agency, 333 Plaza St.

Mature Woman wanted as baby sitter in College area. References.  JU-2-5364.

Companionship and home for elderly lady.  HO-9-7358.

For Sale – Paisley shawl, lace, antique gold jewelry, fine china.  Phone BE-9-7340.


Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

26th –Y.J.C. Installation—Admiral Kidd Club
27th—J.C.C. ‘Lucky Nite’ – Beth Jacob Center – 6:30 p.m.
27th—Yo-Ma-Co Picnic—Balboa Park
29th—J.W.V. Aux. Membership Tea -4565 Norma Dr. – 1:30 p.m.

4th—Y.J.C. –Picnic – Presidio Park
18th—City of Hope Aux. Annual Picnic – Pepper Grove.

To See or not to See
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

‘Merchant’ Director—I was gratified to hear in Philip Hanson’s own words that he realizes how difficult and easily misunderstood can be the characterization of Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice.”  “The M of V” with “Othello” and “Twelfth Night” will be presented in repertory by the Globe Theatre during their National Shakespeare Festival, July 23 through Sept. 3

During an interview with Mr. Hanson, who has been chosen to direct “The M of V,” I found him sincerely anxious to present the controversial play with, as he put it, “Antonio as the real villain.” This personable, Bard-informed young man has come to the Globe from the Ashland Shakepearean Festival and more recently from an appointment at Washington State College. This early Shakespeare play has been done many times at the Ashland Festival so Hanson is thoroughly acquainted with the problems involved.

According to Mr. Hanson, when the play reached its zenith of popularity in the 18th century, it was known as “The Jew of Venice” and the character of Shylock was played sympathetically.  It was only later that the money lender was shown as conniving, hateful, spitefully wanting his pound of flesh.

Mr. Hanson avers that the main character and real villain of the piece is Antonio and that the emphasis must be on him who thinks he is a Christian but is not.  Shylock should be respected and played with dignity,. He does not hate Antonio who is a braggart, knows nothing of mercy himself and is far more despicable than Shylock.

Among the scholarship winners cast in “The Merchant of Venice” are Joe Hearn as Shylock; Dorothy Chase from Yale as Portia; Ron Fineberg of Stanford; Gerald Charlebois, and Roxanne Haug of UCLA.

Sophocles This Week – The newly formed University Players have chosen Sophocles “Electra” as their first major production. As a community project plus an activity of California Western University, the group has the magnificent Pt. Loma Greek Theatre at its disposal so its choice of plays is understandable.  The performances will be given June 26 and 27 at 2;00 p.m.

The group hopes to present a Greek play annually in the Greek Theatre on the campus, said to be the first built in the United States. Other plans for the University Players include a summer workshop devoted to the reading of Greek drama and thee study of Greek theatrical history.

Cast in “Electra” are Wilanne Belden, Gilbert Frietas, Jean Leighton, Edith Schwartz, George Weaver, James Leighton, Starr Wilson, and a chorus of fifteen.

Drama head of the University and director of “Electra,” Dr. Russell W. Lembke says, “It seems most logical that we should provide here (in the Greek Theatre) an annual event celebrating the beginnings of drama in the western world.” …”I hope that we can succeed in recapturing some small part of the powerful impact which these plays had on Athenians when many thousands attended a single festival performance as a ritual of art, as a part of democratic duty.”

Double Bill Features Shaw, Fry Comedies
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

To close its regular season, the Globe has chosen two short plays: “The Great Catherine” by George Bernard Shaw, billed as “an historical farce,”  and “A Phoenix Too Frequent,” a comedy by Christopher Fry. The double bill will run for three weeks and will be followed by the Shakespeare Festival.

Nell Rankin played Catherine with a satisfying mixture of sex and majesty, always commanding the center of the stage. In his first Globe role, Larry Knechtel obviously enjoyed romping through the broad comedy and played the drunken clown with relish. Elizabeth Roney looked tempting and spicy in the first scene and with Bruce Torbet, Kenneth Frederick, Madge See, Shaun Blondin, T. Michael Garvey, Don Rowe, Floss Hanratty, and Conchita Padilla, rounded out the cast.

Leon Anderson proved herself an able comedienne in “A Phoenix Too Frequent” in the role of Doto, the handmaiden who enjoys her little nip. Capable Gwen McCants and Jackson Woolley complete the cast.

The surprise of Fry’s clever lines is increased by the setting for this short play; an audience very selcom expects wit and sophistication against the background of a tomb.

The clever and attractive sets are by Max Stormes and the beautiful costumes are under the supervision of Bob Abel. Both plays are smoothly directed by Craig Noel.  –B.E.S.  (Berenice E. Soule)

Ninth Star-Light Season Opens With ‘Oklahoma’
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, pages 3,7

“Oklahoma” which opens the ninth summer season of out-door musicals in Balboa Park, is the most ambijtious production yet attempted by Star-Light Opera.  The all-star cast includes: Tina Otero and Gene Clark in the romantic leads; Martha Gene and Charles Cannon as Ado Annie and Ali Hakim; John Powell will play the “heavy” role of Jud Fry; Ruby Kisman has been drafted for the lovable Aunt Eller; Bobby Finch, and his rubber legs, will be seen as Will Parker; Dix Brow plays Old Man Cairnes.

The singing and dancing company of 75 will be seen in six new settings designed and painted for this production, which will utilize every foot of the huge 60-foot stage in the park.  Julius Leib will preside over an augmented orchestra of picked musicians. Charles Newman is directing, with choreography by Marguerite Ellicott.

Because of the tremendous demand for good seats for the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit, which is playing to Star-Light’s usual low prices, the management has announced three extra showings – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 5, 6 and 7, which will give “Oklahoma” 11 consecutive performances instead of the customary eight.

To avoid parking congestion, patrons are urged to use the special buses from the Plaza at 8:00 each night, or to leave home in ample time to get parked and in their seats before the 8:30 curtain if they want to hear “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’” which opens the show.


County Fair Opens Today for 11-Day Run
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

DEL MAR—The Southern California Exposition and the San Diego County Fair, the first and one of the largest of California’s mid-summer attractions, opens for an 11-day run here today (June 25).

“Dancing Waters,” an unusual and colorful combination of water, lights, music, engineering and showmanship, will make its second Southern California appearance at the exposition.  Since its debut in Europe in 1952, “Dancing Waters” has played to more than 10 million people.

An atomic energy museum which includes 25 separate displays of how the atom affects agriculture, industry, medicine and other activities, will make its Pacific Coast debut at the exposition.

Other entertainment included in the 85 cewnt admission price for adults and 25 cent charge for children under 12 will consist in part of a preview of progress, hoarse show, gem show, hobby show, tropical fish exhibit, flower show, livestock show, junior fair, art show, armed forces exhibits, home economics show and commercial exhibits.

The schedule of special events includes a diaper derby, mutt show and talent show.  Children will be admitted free on June 28.  Legislators from seven Southern California counties will visit the exposition June 29. 

The Sauter-Finegan orchestra leads a parade of the nation’s top musicians to the exposition bandstand.  Other bands are Les Brown, Spade Cooley, Lawrence Welk, Smokey Rogers and Benny Lagasse. Vaudeville performers also will entertain daily.

Festive Opening in La Jolla Planned for ‘Winslow Boy’
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3  

A gala opening with Hollywood stars, TV cameras, radio commentators, drama critics, newspaper columnists and popping flash bulbs is set for La Jolla Playhouse next Tuesday night.

The occasion is the opening of the world famous theatre’s 8th summer season with Dorothy McGuire and Vincent Price starring in Terence Rattigan’s timely, witty and exciting play, “The Winslow Boy.”

Supporting these two motion picture stars is a cast of seasoned professionals whose faces are familiar to movie and TV fans. They include Sean McClory, Richard Lupino, Eduard Franz, Hilda Plowright, Christoper Cooke, Margaret Brewer and Clare Justice. 

Direction is by Norman Lloyd who this past season directed the current Broadway hit “The Golden Apple,” winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Award as the best musical of the year.

The setting has been designed by Robert Corrigan, making his debut at La Jolla Playhouse following several years of success, first at San Diego’s Starlight Opera and Globe Theatre, and more lately with NBC television.

“The Winslow Boy” will run through July 10, to be followed by four more plays, each scheduled for a two week run. Included on the summer schedule are two current New York hits, “Anniversary Waltz” and “Sabrina Fair.”
“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.