Home > Adventures in SD History, Belgium, France, Germany, Holocaust~Shoah, Netherlands, Poland, United States of America > Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, July 9, 1954, Part 1

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, July 9, 1954, Part 1

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

Her First American Doll

First of the five displaced families and individuals slated to come to San Diego in 1954 arrived last week from Sweden.

According to Dr. Walter Ornstein, chairman of San Diego’s Émigré committee, the Zajd family consisting of Josek, Sarie and their five year old daughter Hanna Ida was the first family of those who spent the war years in concentration camps or escaped from Iron Curtain countries to come to San Diego in 1954.  They arrived through the help of the San Diego committee for émigrés, and the United Service for New Americans. They are the first of fifteen families to come here in the next three years under the terms of the Refugee Relief Act, passed by Congress last August.

The new law makes possible  the first and probably the last large scale immigration of aliens in some years. Communities all over the country are making provisions to receive the Jewish group, by accepting quotas of persons assigned to them through the United Service for New Americans.

Chief problem in processing affidavits for the new is finding jobs for them. The Refugee Relief Act requires that a certified assurance of a job be filed with the United States Employment Service before visa is issued. This is in addition to the requirement for certified housing and a guarantee that the immigrant will not become a public charge.  Individuals or firms wishing to underwrite a job for an immigrant are asked to call Mr. Hutler at Belmont 2-5172.

The Employment Committee of the Émigré Committee under the leadership of Zel Camiel, its chairman, is working very closely with the Jewish Social Service Agency in attempting to find jobs and housing for the affidavits.

Long-Awaited Community Study To Begin Soon
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Pages 1,3

Three hundred Jewish homes will be visited during the month of July by volunteer interviewers in the long awaited community survey which will be undertaken this month by the San Diego Federation of Jewish Agencies, according to Carl M. Esenoff, its president.

With the appointment and first meeting of the Technical advisory committee taking place last week, work on this much needed project was under way.  Members of the committee, all experts in statistic surveys and tabulations who are preparing the “”Family Household Questionnaire,” include Dr. Oscar Kaplan, State College Professor and survey director of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce; Tom Davidson, director of the survey division of the Communioty Welfare Council; Ben Ferber, supervisor, Convair Electronic Computing Lab; and Carl M. Esenoff, Accountant and Federation president.

Direction of the survey will be the responsibility of the National Jewish Welfare Board, whose survey department in New York will analyze and tabulate the material gathered in San Diego.  The entire study will be co-ordinated by Albert A.Hutler, Executive Director of the Federation, with the assistance of Sidney Posin, Director of the Jewish Community Center and Abe Friedman, Director of the USO-JWB.  The Jewish Community Center will be directly responsible for furnishing the manpower to carry out most of the work in the sampling process with all organizations being asked to furnish workers and members of the study committee, which will have the job of carrying out the complete project.

The “Three Hundred” to be used as a sample will represent approximately 20 percent of the Jewish population of San Diego.  They will be interviewed to secure information relating to the population and interests of the Jewish community. Information thus secured in this sampling process will indicate to the Federation, the Center, the Jewish Social Service Agency, Hebrew Home for the Aged, the Community Relations Council, and the Synagogues, the need in our community and th gaps that must be filled in our efforts.

It is anticipated that the study will give the community agencies much needed information including the size of the population of the Jewish Community, how and where they live, what their interests are, and what are the needs which must be met by the local agencies in San Diego.

Schedule calls for the steering committee to meet on Tuesday, June 13th, with the overall study committee meeting on Tuesday, July 20th, and an orientation meeting for interviewers on July 21st.  Interviews will be held Monday, July 26th, through Sunday, August 8th, and the entire project should be completed by November 1st.

Anyone wishing to participate may call BElmont 2-5172 to volunteer.

Kaplan To Attend London Conference
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

Dr. Oscar J. Kaplan, State College Professor of psychology and Chamber of Commerce research director, will leave Wednesday for Europe. 

Dr. Kaplan, who has made a long study of the process of ageing, will attend the London Gerontological Congress the week of July 19 and will give a paper on “”Communication of Health Knowledge to the aged Through Radio and Television.”

The San Diego psychologist will visit France, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium.  He said the trip was being financed by a grant from the National Science Foundation.  He plans to return Aug. 10.

Plans for Roosevelt Talk Get Under Way
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

Jack Ritoff, Center director and National City Furniture Executive has been announced as the chairman of the committee planning preparations for the lecture of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt by Edward Breitbard, Center president.

Mrs. Roosevelt will speak in the Russ Auditorium on the evening of November 11, 1954 under the auspices of the Jewish Community Center. Proceeds will be used for both the operation and the building fund of the Center.

Plans are under way to form a patrons and sponsor committee which will honor Mrs. Roosevelt with a reception on the evening of her lecture.

Topic of the address has not as yet been announced.

All committee’s will be appointed in the near future according to Rittoff. He asks that anyone who wishes to serve on a committee for Mrs. Roosevelt call Belmont 2-5172.


Del Mar Track To Open July 27
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

DEL MAR, Calif., June 10—An imposing total of 87 swift 2-year-olds have been kept eligible for the seventh running of the $25,000 added Del Mar Futurity, highlight of the summer meeting “where the turf meets the surf,” it was announced today by General Manager Clive H. Becker.  Del Mar’s season begins July 27.

The Futurity, famed as one of the nation’s outstanding classics for juveniles, will be presented on Del Mar’s closing day, Sept. 11, and is expected to have a gross value close to $50,000.

Probation Chief Speaks for B.B.
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

Charles T. G. Rogers, Chief Probation Officer of San Diego County will be the guest speaker at the regular meeting of B’nai B’rith Lasker Lodge, Monday, July 12, at the Temple Center.

Mr. Rogers attended Wagner University and New York University. He was head of delinquency control for the New York City schools prior to coming to San Diego. He will speak on “Probation and the Community.”

Local Residents Welcome New Americans; Famed Resistance Leader Finds Haven Here
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 1

Ajzyk Bialek, one of the organizers of the underground movement in france during the German occupation in World War II, recently came to the U.S. on an immigration visa and will make his home in San Diego.  Upon his arrival in New York, he was reunited with a sister, MRs. Tola Blumstein of Syracuse, whom he had not seen for 27 years.

The Bialek’s were brought to American through the efforts of their cousin, George Neumann, of San Diego.

The Bialek’s have a son, Sol, who graduated from San Diego State College as an engineer, and a married daughter who is living in Los Angeles with her American Navy husband.  The younger Bialek’s were brought to San Diego some five years ago by Mr. and Mrs. George Neumann.

Natives of Poland, the Bialeks came here from Belgium where they have lived intermittently for 13 years.  During the war the family fled to Oradour S/Vayres, Limoges, in France where they hid with about 100 other Jewish families.  Mr. Bialek, an ex-lieutenant in the Polish army, put his military experience to good use by active participation in the newly formed French underground movement. As  a group leader in the Resistance, he conducted sabotage operations, hit and run raids on German installations, and general harassing maneuvers directed against German Occupation troops.

He became well klnown to the Germans who tried desperately to capture him. Mr. Bialek had several narrow escapes, once hiding on a rooftop while the Germans ripped the house apart searching for him.

Mrs. Bialek and the two children were eventually rounded up by the Nazis along with a number of other families hidden in Oradour S/Vayres.  Fortunately she was released due to an administrative error on the part of the Germans who assumed that she was the wife of a legionnaire. She and the children made their way back to Limoges where they were secreted by a Christian family. Shortly thereafter Mr. Bialek found them.

To See or not To See
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Pages 2,7

By Berenice Soule

First prize for life’s darkest moments must be awarded to that last eve before a columnist’s deadline—even a once-every-two-weeks columnist.  In columnist credo, it is simply not cricket to prepare a column well in advance.  Even with that horrible last moment fast approaching, the time consuming routine must be observed. First all the notes taken during the previous two weeks must be gathered. They can be found on the backs of envelopes, between the pages of last month’s Theatre Arts, scattered throughout purses, and tucked under the toaster tray next to the typewriter. Those are the easy ones.  Somehow the best notes are always in the pocket of the coat that went to the cleaners yesterday.

I always become most feminine and weak at this moment, too, so Alan has to be called in from spading around his tomato plants to carry the typewriter onto the dining room table for me. It follows naturally that this is just the right moment for a second cup of Sunday morning coffee and a chat about the proper placement of an acacia that should have been transplanted last April and will probably die, anyway.

Alan eventually goes back to his gardening and I’m really stuck. But I don’t give in easily; I can still look for the typewriter eraser (just my luck, I find it), round up my cigarettes and an ash tray, choose just the right pillow to sit on because the bench at the  dining room table is too low, and lower the radio to the point where it gives out the amount of decibels necessary to soothe but not interfere with my concentrative powers. 

There is nothing left now but to write, so here I go…

Star-Light Has a Hit – The ever-lasting, indestructible , glorious “Oklahoma” opened the Star-Light season in Balboa Bowl last week with an effective and sprightly cast.

John Powell, about whom I grew ecstatic last year, is outstanding in the role of Jud Fry.  He has an exceptionally pleasing baritone and can “sell” a song, he has a magnetic personality, is a convincing actor, and surprised the audience by dancing too. In the Dream Ballet sequence he is the only member of the cast who plays himself. While he doesn’t gallop through a pas de deux or leap like a Nijinksy, he moves well and possesses a masculine grace.

(Just learned that poor John Powell fell during a performance last week and badly sprained his wrist—no more dancing for our hero.)

This William Dean production rates high up there among Star-Light musicals due, in part, ot its pleasing cast. Tina Otero and Gene Clarke in the romantic leads, Ruby Kisman as Aunt Eller, Bobby Finch, who reports on an “up to date” Kansas City and Claribel Fisher among the dancers, deserve praise.

“Widow Returns” – Recalled by popular demand, Star-Light will present “The Merry Widow,” opening July 15.  Maribel Millard, Bernard Lamb and Winfred Fipp of the original cast are appearing in the musical as well as a new comedy team of Kelman Aiken and August Ghio.

La Jolla Opener – Edward Ashley has taken over the role of Sir Robert Morton from Vincent Price, opposite Dorothy McGuire in “The Winslow Boy” at La Jolla Playhouse.  Price had to leave to play in “The W.B.” in Laconia, N.H.

Supporting the leads are Eduard Franz, Sean McClory, Hilda Plowright, Richard Lupino, Christopher Cook, Margaret Brewster, Pitt Herbert, Clare Justice and Daniel Levin.

Franz is effective in the most exacting role and Margaret Brewster earned applause after a moving second act scene. 

Robert Corrigan , making his debut in La Jolla but well remembered for his work with the Globe and Star-Light is responsible for this attractive set.

“The Winslow Boy” runs through Saturday, July 10.

“Suds” is Back—The three beer guzzling females are back in Coronado again much to the delight of summer audiences. “Suds In Your Eye” opened at the Playhouse on the Strand last night with Gwen Challacombe, Henrietta Atkins and Lucille Parsons playing the leads for the fourth consecutive summer.  More about this never-say-die comedy in our next issue, since the opening was too late to make that above mentioned deadline.

New Media for Sid – Sid Fleischman, who picked up a goodly number of local fans as one of the founders and contributor to Point Newsweekly, has made the Hollywood grade. His latest book, “Blood Alley,” has been purchased by the John Wayne Productions and will have the famous William Wellman as director.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are being sought to play the leads.

Sid  has evidently been too busy writing popular novels and building a new home on the Monterey Peninsula to be hep to Hollywood big names. After Wellman read the manuscripts he called Sid from Hollywood, gave his name and said he liked the story.  Sid gave back with a questioning “Yes?”  Evidently slightly taken aback, Wellman replied, “Don’t you know who I am?” … Sid’s answer was an honest “No.”  Happy ending – they bought it anyway and Sid is writing the screenplay.

Wins Again! – Young Mike Williams (Michael Schwartz) was Gold Cup winner at the County Fair Talent Show, June 29.

Well Liked – John Carter, young American tenor, who will appear in concert in the Greek Theatre on the campus of California Western University on July 11, at 3:00 p.m. was recently hailed by music critic , Albert Goldberg, as possessing “a voice of polished tenor gold.”  130,000 heard him sing in Chicago’s Grant Park and so great was the demand he was held over for a second concert the following night. That must set some sort of record for a reengagement.

‘Anniversary Waltz’ Next at La Jolla
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 2

Howard Duff and Marjorie Lord, both well known to radio, TV and screen fans, have been signed to co-star in the first off-Broadway production of New York’s current comedy hit “Anniversary Waltz” at La Jolla Playhouse, beginning a two week run July 13. Willard Waterman will head the supporting cast and Norman Lloyd will direct.

Both Duff and Miss Lord have appeared on the La Jolla stage before, Duff with Nancy Kelly in “Season in the Sun” and Miss Lord with Eve Arden in “Here Today.”

A rip roaring farce, “Anniversary Waltz” is concerned with a family and the differing attitudes of its three generations toward TV and sex.  It has been playing to packed houses in New York since its opening last winter. La Jolla Playhouse is the first theatre outside New York allowed to produce it.


Summer Symphonies To Begin Tues., July 13
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 2

Robert Shaw, whose concerts last summer packed Balboa Park Bowl, will assume the baton Tuesday night (July 13) for the season of six Tuesday evening Summer Symphonies in Balboa Park Bowl.

Scheduled for performances are Pucell’s delightful “Fantasia on One Note,” Beethoven’s symphonic masterpiece, “The Eroica,” and Gershwin’s vivacious “An American in Paris.”

Highlighting the evening will be the first local appearance of one of the best modern dance companies in America, The Lester Horton Dancers, whose entire company will be seen in a brilliant new choreography to Milhaud’s great jazz work, “Creation du Mond.”  This new ballet was commissioned by the San Diego Symphony for this engagement.

Spoecial sections in the bowl have been reserved for students and service personnel with tickets available for 540 cents. All concert tickets are available at Palmer Box Office, 640 Broadway.

To give those in the audience Tuesday night an opportunity to meet Shaw and orchestra members, the San Diego Symphony is sponsoring an open recewption in Balboa Park Club, immediately following the concert.

(Unmarried star)

Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 2

A motion picture star who had reached her thirties without marriage was asked by a reporter what she looked for most in a husband… brains, wealth or appearance.  She snapped back: “Appaerance, and the sooner, the better!”

“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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