Home > Adventures in SD History, Dan Schaffer, Israel, Mexico > Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, June 25, 1954, Part 3

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, June 25, 1954, Part 3

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Kaufman

Thos of us who attended the Israeli Day Celebration at Tifereth Israel Synagogue were very much impressed by the speaker, General Eliahu Ben-Hur and the supporting program.

I wish to express my deepest appreciation to those persons who helped plan and organize the program.  It isn’t necessary to mention names—the list would be too long but those who helped will know that their efforts were greatly appreciated.

It is regrettable that so many people whose help was solicited are so completely indifferent to the progress of Israel and to the work being carried on in this country to help promoted that progress, that they feel annoyed and imposed upon when their help in promoting one Israeli celebration per year is requested.

Indifference to a program is a personal matter and not especially regrettable but indifference to the entire question of aid to Israel is one on which considerable confusion appears to exist.  So many of us who consider ourselves good Jews and identify ourselves with the Jewish community as a whole, yet reject so much that is basic in Jewish life.

Perhaps it is first necessary for each of us to determine the basic reason for our personal identification with Judaism. I strongly suspect the reason is the same for all of us although a great many reasons are expressed by many people.  It seems to me that the reason we Jews cling so tenaciously to Judaism is that it answeres our individual need to belong to a group I which we are wholly accepted and needed.

For so many generations, small Jewish groups have been scattered throughout the world. No matter where they were, they always felt their Judaism was oriented towards Israel.  If we reject this orientation, we reject our affiliations with Judaism as a whole.

Let us hope that in the future we will be able to work together at least in commemorating the one great Jewish achievement of our time, the establishment of the State of Israel.

Fred Yaruss, Chairman
S.D. Zionist Council

{Editor Mac Kaufman replies}
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

In a letter printed elsewhere on this page, the chairman of the Zionist Council bemoans the fact that people are indifferent to celebrations marking the anniversaries of the State of Israel.  He also accuses people of being confused as to their loyalties I Jewish life. In doing so, he makes two amazing statements.

He states, “It seems to me that the reason we Jews cling so tenaciously to our Judaism is that it answers our individual need to belong to a group in which we are wholly accepted and needed.” The chairman obviously has missed the entire point regarding Jewish religious survival for the past 200 years. It didn’t answer any individual need—to be hounded, tortured, burned at the stake, and ostracized.  Jews didn’t decide to belong to any group, there was o questioning they were Jews and lived and died for their religious beliefs.

We again quote, “For so many generations, small Jewish groups have been scattered through the world, no matter where they were, they always felt that their Judaism was oriented toward Israel.  If we reject this orientation, we reject our affiliation with Judaism as a whole.”

Does the chairman of the Zionist Council really mean that Jews living in other lands, who do not look toward Israel as the fountain head of their religion and spiritual life are not Jews?  As far as American Jews are concerned, I suspect that we will survive and continue to expand the influence of Judaism among our people without dropping our interest in Israel as a state.  Of course we are concerned for her welfare. That’s why we contribute so much money.  Of course we will continue to use our influence to defend and help her – but please, Mr. chairman, don’t tell us we are not good Jews if we are not oriented toward Israel. It’s too bad that more Zionists don’t go to Synagogue to see the increased religious sensitivities among Jews of all ages.  It would show them that Judaism need not be centered in any one country or state.


Jews in American History
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

By Dr. Philip L. Seman, University of Judaism

When John Brown set out to free the slaves he was accompanied by three Jews who had come from parts of Europe where the Jews were still suppressed and persecuted in a state comparable to that of the slaves in America. One of these men was Theodore Weiner, who had come from Poland, the second was Jacob Bernstein, born in Bohemia, and the third, August Bondy, came from Vienna.

They had settled in Kansas and it seemed to them the most natural thing I the world that the slaves should be freed and given equal rights. This, however, did not seem so to their neighbors, who proceeded to burn down Weiner’s barn; such incidents happened to many who were actively involved in anti-slavery activities.

These three Jews were amazed and dismayed.  They understood they had let themselves in for a considerable amount of trouble. They had come from countries where they had been less than slaves, to a country where they were considered free and equal citizens.  However, there seemed to be a condition attached to this new status of equality.  The condition was that they should refrain from thinking that everybody else in the country should be free and equal too.  If they continued to have such ideas, they were bound to suffer.

There was still time to back out, but somehow these Jews could not do so, even though they were not at all the fighting type.  They were peaceful citizens, men who wanted to work and live quietly.  They had no desire to go to war, to spend their nights in the field, to ambush their opponents, much less kill them.  They had even less taste for revolt, and they were grateful that they had been taken in. To be sure, they worked hard and took care of themselves, so that they were on burden to their country. But they felt that perhaps, it was not the right thing for men who had so recently become Americans to tell other Americans what to do.  It was, perhaps, tactless—and this was not to speak of the dangers involved, personal, physical dangers in case of a revolt and the danger of their social position in general. They were practical men, they were realists and for a long time they told themselves that the thing to do was to be silent and to do nothing. If the Americans wanted to keep a part of their own people in slavery that was their business.

But in spite of such reflections, in spite of all their practical deliberations, their feelings that the slave question was their business grew stronger and stronger within them. Besides, the fact that they themselves had escaped by coming to this country imposed upon them a moral obligation, a definite duty to help others in their fight for liberation. That is why they joined John Brown, a man who was regarded by many as a revolutionary and of a very dubious character.  They joined him even though they were somewhat uncertain of their ability to do actual fighting. They joined him because they could not do otherwise. (To be continued).

As the Psychologist Sees You
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

School’s Out – Perhaps you heard the same hurried footsteps and the shouts of youngsters that I heard the other day. You might have wondered, as I did, what caused the happy and almost frantic running and shouting. A glance at the desk calendar soon gave me the answer. There was a very good reason for the children’s glee.

With the closing of schools for the summer months, new problems confront teachers, parents, and even the children. Most teachers find that they must either take courses during the summer in order to meet credential requirements, to complete preparations for advanced degrees, or to qualify for salary increases, or must find some work during what should be their vacation period in order to supplement an inadequate salary.

Parents, too, are perplexed as to how to handle the situation of having their youngsters literally under their feet for five or six additional hours of the day. Some overcome the problem by sending their children away to camp for weeks at a time or to day camp.  Others find that they can take a few hours a day for their own vacations by spending the time at the beach. Still others use the time to visit relatives, take motor trips as a family unit to places of interest, or stock the car or trailer with needed equipment and go off to some restful area for camping.

Finally, the children have a problem. At last they have an opportunity to sleep late, to stay up a little later before going to bed, to play in the neighborhood as much as they’d like and to go to the movies more often than on Saturday afternoons. But all that is interesting for about a week and then the sudden change has its reactions.  Unless there is a plan of activity, boredom sets in.

Some children find summer school attendance a satisfaction instead of a chore. Although many attend in order to make up for a scholastic deficiency, an equal number go to participate in advanced courses or recreational programs such as arts and crafts or music. Others find the courses conducted by the zoo or museum of great interest. Still others take part in recreational activities conducted by the city recreation department, while some attend day camps sponsored by community centers.

School’s Out may be a problem to teachers, parents and children but they are problems that can be, and are, solved by most.  However, where there is no planning there is little enjoyment of what should be a time for fun, education and relaxation.

From Where I Sit

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

By Mel Goldberg

It seems a shame that the U.S. Government doesn’t take advantage of its best resource for a security checking board. We refer to an examination team that would be made up of nice little old Jewish grandmothers… Let them examine a doubtful witness as they would a chicken—and we guarantee that if the person in question ate Russian dressing on a salad in 1944, they’d detect it quicker than all of McCarthy’s assistants. … Just consider Grandma’s qualifications…. What inquisitions those poor ole chickens had to go through before Grandma tabbed ‘em okeh for human consumption.

The gizzard and liver inspection was a probe more detailed than an autopsy conducted under the personal supervision of the Mayo Brothers … Heaven forbid, the chicken should have had a slight bruise—then the poultry man, “That terrible goniff,” was plotting to poison us by the most heinous of methods … ah, those were the days! …The worst task that could confront a “modern” grandchild was to assist Grandma shopping… To accompany her to a store selling fruit or baked goods was a horrifying experience. Each roll or peach represented an individual challenge. It had to be felt, scrutinized and squeezed thoroughly … This was the original “third degree.”

The dirty looks of the disconcerted storekeeper meant absolutely nothing in Grandma’s eyes… Small merchants were a world apart, and represented a highly organized movement to separate the poor housewife from her money with shoddy merchandise at inflated prices. Grandma didn’t need any such thing as a government price control on commodities… every purchase was followed by the same familiar tune, that ran something like this –“What do you mean you want five dollars for it?  Can’t you take four?  It can buy it by Feinbaum down the street for that.”
The audience at the Wednesday Club recital of Cantor Cysner could not help but marvel; at the agility of the custodian there, 94-year-old John Olson. Mr.Olson tends the grounds, stacks the chairs, etc., and even looks after the trash cans of neighbors in the area. The irony of the story is – when Mr. Olson came to San Diego 21 years ago and applied for a similar club at the Thursday Club, he was turned down because he was “too old!” 

Emmanuel Mayer, a former San Diegan, who now resides near Guadelajara, Mexico, is spending a few months here.  According to him, the weather in that section of Mexico makes our local climate look pretty foul. Until we talked with Mayer, we had felt sorry for the people who live in the rest of the U.S.  He’s sorry for us so we don’t know who’s sorry for who now!

Joe Weiss heard about a sword swallower who choked to death.  He wasn’t “fixed for blades.” … Julius Monteer’s definition of an optimist:  A man who is 85 years of age contemplates marriage and insists upon looking for an apartment near a public school… Wonder how Jack Tenney can twist this around: Two prominent members of the Los Angeles Jewish community—Arthur A. Dresser, an attorney, and Harold B. Garfield, a  member of the California State Board of Pharmacy – have presented a 100-acre campus site, secured by them at a cost of $400,000 to the proposed new Baptist University of San Fernando Valley.

One of the alleged problems in San Diego is the social life of the young single Jewish adult. Frankly, we can’t see any great problems involved with the young adults … When we say young—we mean just that—and not our good friends, who like the writer, clutch to the creeping years and prefer to forget the last six, eight, and in some cases, ten birthdays… Many women in this older age group face a terrific problem in locating a suitable Jewish social group with which to affiliate…. Frequently limited finances prevent their aligning themselves with a religious organization’s clubs – and those who must work for a living, as most of these folks do, cannot link themselves with the luncheon meeting, mah-jong playing type of group. This is a problem that could be alleviated by some concerted planning during the summer months.

As  to the social problems of the young single adult: If the guys would stop thinking that they are Heaven’s gift to women available in human form, and if the girls would realize that they are not Marilyn Monroesteins in any shape—for certain, or manner, and if in addition to this both sexes would “do” a little “doing” in the existent organizations, the bored ones would have a lot less to grouse about … We’re fixin’ to hear a lot of criticism on our philosophy and we’ll be happy to discuss the subject at greater length.

Institute to be Held by Hospital Council

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 4

The Hospital Council of San Diego County and the California Hospital Association will co-sponsor a Hospital Public Relations Institute in San Diego on Friday, July 9, 1954.  Louis Peelyon, President of the Hospital Council and Administrator of Grossmont Hospital, announced.

The Institute is one of a series to be held throughout the State and is conducted under the auspices of the Council of Public Education, California Hospital Association.

Double Talk

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 5

By Janet and Susan Solof.

Hi All!

Quite a number of our gals and guys received honors and scholarships at the recent graduations of the different high schools. Some of these include Elaine Burdman and Eileen Rivers receiving the student faculty scholarship, Elana Barach with a scholarship to Milwaukee Donner College, Judy Yukon a scholarship to University of California, Gloria Abrahamson, B’nai B’rith Youth of the year award, Sigmond Ohrback, outstanding grades, Ed Ruskin received the honor of Boys highest scholastic grades, Lawrence Schiller, a scholarship to Pepperdine College and Dan Schaffer a scholarship to Harvard University. Congrats to you all for your outstanding work.

Heading Wilson Jr. High School’s student government for next year is Phil Brenes who was recently elected President of the school. Gold luck, Phil.

Vacationing in L.A. for fun and business were Janet Solof and Luanne Blumberg who was sent as representatives to the Red Cross Convention as officers of the Jr. Red Cross.

On her way to Girl’s State is Sherry Newman and from there to the University of Denver for the summer.

Lenny Weiss, Larry Cahan, Myron Shapiro and Steve Kirchtel motored to New York for the summer and Gary Chenkin is leaving for Mexico City.

Ellen Goldstein is spending the entire summer touring Europe. Also Henrietta and Bobby Faguet.

“Sharing the fun of being sweet sixteen is not half so great as experiencing it yourself.”  My sister Janet quoted these words after a lovely dinner given at the San Diego Club for the Sweet Sixteen birthday. Many of her friends shared the thrill with her. She was honored at a surprise beach party given by her school friends.

Sixteenth birthdays seem to be in style and a pretty good style at that. Adrienne Sachnoff as she celebrated her sixteenth birthday in real style with a lovely luncheon at Town and Country Club with a group of her many friends. Best wishes, Adrienne.

“That’s what I call fun” were the remarks made after Morton Cohn’s terrific party. A bar-b-que and dancing made the party complete.

Leani Leichtag entertained her friends with a beautiful party. The gang swam, ate and danced and had fun.

Among those who invaded our fair city, returning from college are Esther Lustig, Gary Breitbard, Burt Sharp, Linda Solof, Larry Solomon, Roslyn Burdman, Sam Sosna, Jean Goldstein.

Have a wonderful vacation and phone your news to CY-5-0679.

Money Still Talks
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, Page 5

An angry man should count to ten before he speaks – if his wife is angry he should count out ten and let them speak for him.
“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. 


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