Home > Adventures in SD History, Israel, Romania > Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, July 9, 1954, Part 3

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, July 9, 1954, Part 3

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Post Primary Reflections
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, page 5

On reflection, the Primaries, while proving that the Democrats are still alive and kicking, held many disappointments for us. For one thing, the defeat of fluoridation was quite a shock. Even though all the newspapers in the city campaigned for it, we still feel that the fact that you had to vote “no” instead of “yes” to retain it was confusing.  It seems that all you have to do to hoodwink the people – confuse them. There is o other logical explanation.  Backed by all the dentists, medical societies and facts from other cities that have fluoridation, yet San Diego rejected it.

Then there was the sewage bond deal. What shortsightedness!  Could anything have been made plainer that we were a growing city and that we were polluting our bay?  We heard the talk about increase in taxes and the fear of Point Lomans on the choice of the site. But experts were hired, studies made and reports issued to explain the need.  Yet the Bond Issue was defeated.

The last blow was the defeat of the salary increase for the Mayor. Didn’t the people know that the “Honorable” job pays only $5,000 per year?  Can you get a public official for a city of almost 750,000 to act as Mayor for that kind of money?  You can’t hire a good salesman for that figure no less a man of professional training and education.  It is surely no surprise to hear rumors that Mayor Butler will not run again.

Food For Thought

Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, page 5

In another part of the paper you will read a report on our (Mac & Julia Kaufman’s) recent trip to the Northwest. We covered close to 3,500 miles and saw quite a bit of country on our trip to British Columbia.

It is a good experience to get away once in a while, see other cities and towns, and meet their people. It was also an escape from the telephone, newspapers, radio and television. To shut out the troubles of the world for just two weeks was a relief and a change.

America on wheels is an impressive sight.  While on the road, everything to be seen or bought is geared to the automobile.  The cities and towns displaying the most imagination in appealing to motorists attracted the most visitors. Whether a city thrives is not a matter of luck. IT reflects the leadership and civic pride of those who inhabit it. Most of our small towns are a sorry sight of hodgepodge building and indifferent planning.  Like Topsy, they just “growed.”  Only the greatest need would make one stop.

Having passed over mountains and snow; through deserts and heat; we were happy that we lived in San Diego where you can enjoy the sun instead of escaping from it. Our fine beaches are a natural attraction for the landlocked inhabitants who live away from the coast.  Certainly we can be proud of Balboa Park; our world famous zoo; the development of Mission Bay as a recreational area; the Shakespearean Festival; the Star-Light Opera; the Symphonies Under the Stars; the House of Pacific Relations, which is found only in San Diego and historic landmarks too numerous to mention.

But we are in desperate need of a large Convention Hall and a Playhouse, which would attract many more conventions and tourists, at the same time adding a great deal to our cultural life.  If we do not wish to become a smog-filled industrial city, we must concentrate o our natural advantages.

This is not the duty and responsibility of just a handful of citizens bu8t the job of every citizen of San Diego.  Our city can become a world famous attraction all year ‘round if everybody does his share.

From Where I Sit
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, page 5

By Mel Goldberg

Now that summer is really here, assortments of unmarried female relatives are arriving daily from all states of the union to visit local residents. It appears at this time that something should be done to promote better understanding between the summer immigrants and the San Diegans who are courteous enough to accept “blind dates” with them

To begin: there is usually some well meaning person who acts as a central clearing bureau or fixer-upper. You people who have mishpucah that you are trying to marry off—be honest with the fixer. If the niece looks like the back end of a 1922 Stutz Bearcat don’t try to palm her off as a Cadillac El Dorado. This confuses everybody, makes all unhappy, and is the type of thing that leads to long time feuds. Tell the truth, because there are guys who look prehistoric too, and they might be happy to have a date with your Miss Burlap from the West Bronx.

It is no saving grace to book the girl as coming from a “very wealthy family.”  Despite the financial assets of her father, custom decrees that a man pay the tab on at least the first date, so all her popa’s money doesn’t mean one hoot unless you plan to meet the date at the door and slyly slip him two or three ten-spots to cover the evening’s expenses.

If your charge is visiting from one of those sophisticated eastern cities, take her aside before date time and give her a thorough orientation about local conditions. Explain that we do have some of the amenities of civilization here, and if some guy is going to take her to a show or to dinner, don’t let her go bursting out for the evening’s activities in pedal-pushers and sandals.

Seems fantastic but we know of a case that actually happened two weeks ago in that vein. The poor guy told the girl on the phone that they would go dancing and tht he had high hopes of taking her over to the Hotel del Coronado.  He arrived at her relatives’ house, shmoosed with the folks about the usual non-entities for the fifteen minutes while the dame was getting ready. When the little gem made her debut in the living room, she was set to pace a lively mambo donned in Levi’s, a halter, loafers, a rhinestone bracelet and a cocktail watch.  A quick dark drive-in movie made up the agenda that evening.

Also highlight her on the difference between a beach party and a lawn party. We know of another case where a girl from Chicago showed up at a beach party at Old Mission Beach resplendent in a picture hat, organdy dress and five-inch spike heels… Her escort wore a pair of floral pattern swimming trunks by Catalina of California.

Mention to her that she need not fear Indian attacks.  It has been over 105 years since we have had any serious insurgent uprisings locally… She should also be made to understand that it is possible to spend an entire evening at one of the better bistros and not see a movie star… Give her a geography lesson. … If she is from New York, it might help her to understand that a local Don Juan can be as ill-informed about San Francisco as she is about Buffalo or Pittsburg.

If she’s from Chicago tell her to keep quiet about it … If she’s not from either of the above two cities, the coaching you may have to give her may not be so involved. … Girls from Chicago ande New York (and the men from these two concrete and steel monstrosities) are guilty of more social faux-poas’ than are the citizens of any other U.S. community…

In conclusion, impress the words “tolerance of San Diego and San Diegans” upon her. After all, some of us DO like it here, and while we admittedly bow to other cities as being way ahead of us in certain phases of culture, we find enough pleasant about San Diego to be content here and call it home sweet home. It does not make us happy to hear three week refugees from the asphalt jungles cast disparaging remarks on our town… If they really don’t like it here, we hasten to point out that airline and train departure service is most excellent…

One of the most interesting gift shops in town is located at Balboa Park’s Museum of Man. Among their most successful items are the beautiful handcrafts imported from Israel …. Sam Cohen rented an apartment to a musician who practiced on his trumpet till wee hours of the morning. Sam paid him a visit and asked, “Do you know there’s a sick little lady in the next apartment?”  The trumpeting tenant responded with, “No I don’t but hum a few bars, maybe I can pick it up!”….

The cigarette scare may be a good thing.  We even herd of one doctor who was told by HIS doctor to cut down on his cigarette testing … Rose Winnick tells about the perfect Texan—he had a herd of 10,000 cows that gave oil!  Wonder if delicatessens still have “character” customers?  Abe Friedman brought to our attention two of the old stand-bys. The woman who would tell the storekeeper she wanted some corned beef. He’d start to slice and at the same time inquire “how much?”  This lady minced no words. She’d answer “cut!”  The same question and answer would go along till he’d sliced down to about the middle of the eight pound beef.  Then she’d look him coldly in the eye and say, “Awright, give me a quarter pound from the middle.”

Another type was the lady who was the herring barrel inventory taker. She’d make the delicatessen man pull out every herring in the barrel.  After he’d rolled his sleeves up to the shoulder and reached way down to the bottom to search out the one she wanted, she would give it a two minute appraisal, remark “It’s rotten, I don’t want it” and then storm out of the shop.

Jews in American History—300 Years
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 5

By Dr. Philip L. Seaman, University of Judaism

Continuing our story of John Brown and the three Jews who joined him in his anti-slavery efforts; it is noted that suddenly they found themselves in Battle Blackjack, a real battle with bullets whistling dangerously near their heads.  They were somewhat bewildered by the enormity of the adventure into which they had thrown themselves.  During the height of the battle a strangely detached and unheroic conversation, half in Yiddish and half in English, took place between Bondi and Weiner.  “Well, what do you say now?”  “Well, what can I say?  We are up against it. We better not make the ‘old man’ angry.  Let’s finish the job.”  The story goes on that they did finish the job. A little later all three of them, Theodore Weiner, the Polish Jew, Jacob Bernstein, the Bohemian Jew, and August Bondi, the Jew from Vienna, were fighting for the Northern Army together with 8,000 other Jews for the liberation of the slaves.

The record of the Jews in the Civil War was excellent. The record shows some were promoted to generals; seven received the Congressional Medal of Honor; 416 were wounded, 320 were killed, 530 were taken as prisoners of war by the Southern forces. Much of this story came from the Autobiography of August Bondi published by his Sons and Daughters in Galesburg, Ill., in 1910.

Morris U. Schappes in his Documentary History of the Jews in the United States in document 117, page 352, says that August Bondi’s autobiographical account of his participation in the cause of anti-slavery while it may not be fully accurate in some details which undoubtedly became blurred in twenty-five years that passed before he set them down, still conveys the tension, the spirit, the methods and the purposes of the observation of negro slaves on a plantation near New Orleans when he arrived in the United States in 1848 and by instances of the brutal treatment that he witnessed in Galveston, Texas in 1851.  AT the age of seventy, Bondi wrote, “I do not regret a single step or instance of my long life to further and to assist the realization of my devout wishes that tyranny and despotism may perish, and bigotry and fanaticism may be wiped from the face of the earth. Never orthodox but a consistent Jew nevertheless; I believed in the continuance and upholding of all the ceremonial laws.”  (To be Continued)

As the Psychologist Sees You
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 6

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

Mental Retardation – It is not often that I pinpoint my remarks in these columns to specific issues and conditions pertaining to one particular place, but this time I shall do so.  Not that the condition does not exist in other parts of the country, for it does, but the conditions as they exist in San Diego can serve as an example of what is present in other areas.

The term “Forgotten Children” has been given to those youngsters whose intellectual level is not on a par with what we consider “normal.”  They are members of a group of more than two million children who are known as the mentally retarded. That this number is so large may surprise many but statistics show that between one and two percent of our population fall in this category.,  Unfortunately, only a small number of them are provided with facilities open to normal children for welfare, training and  recreation.

In the City of San Diego there are special classes in many of the schools for the less severely retarded but only a single school which has facilities to care for only 48 of the more severely retarded for the entire city.  In Chula Vista there is a school that cares for 12 children and a new class is being established for another small group in the La Mesa-Grossmont district. Throughout the county there are only 60 beds for the care of the severely retarded in private boarding homes

It can be seen, therefore, that the great majority are either in state operated hospitals for the retarded, where there is a waiting list of almost two years for admission, or in their own homes, under the care of parents. Naturally, the largest number, by far, will be found in their own homes.  While it is always more advisable to have the latter situation, not always is it possible because of existing family conditions.

The San Diego Association or Retarded Children, a member of the California Council for Retarded Children and the National Association for Retarded Children, has been trying to promote the welfare of these Forgotten Children by assisting in the expansion of the educational and recreational facilities. During the summer they promote, with the assistance of the Board of Education, a school for about 20 children.  They have been trying to get a day care center and nursery school for the retarded, because other facilities do not accept them, and have petitioned the County Board of Supervisors for the use of some of the recently vacated space near Anthony Home.  Here, too, would be found a training program
in simple crafts for the young adult mentally retarded. Another project calls for a Home advisor who will advise on methods for understanding the special needs of this group.

When we realize that mental retardation strikes more than one child in a hundred; that it can happen in any family, whether from the rich or poor, illiterate or highly intelligent parents, we should consider how each of us has a stake in the welfare of these Forgotten Children.

Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 6

John Landesco, aged 63, on June 24. Mr. Landesco was born in Roumania and came to the United States in 1900.  He was head of crime research at the University of Chicago and the author of “Organized Crime,” the result of the Chicago survey.  He was a World War I veteran and was with UNRRA in the Mediterranean and Israel. Mr. Landesco was a life member of the Independence Lodge No. 80 of Milwaukee, San Diego Scottish Rite, Lemon Grove Kiwanis Club, Helix Hi-12, Lemon Grove Men’s Club.

Services were conducted at Bonham Brothers’ Mortuary on June 29 by the Lemon Grove Masonic Lodge, U.D., F.A. & A.M.  The services at Fort Rosecrans where he received full military interment, were conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2082.

Survivors include his wife, Mary G.; 3 sisters, Mrs. Annie Peckarsky of San Diego and Milwaukee, Mrs. Bertha Kaufman of Santa Monica, and Mr. Pearl Ginsburg of Milwaukee; and a borther, A.A. Landesco of Milwaukee.

Mrs. Mildred L. Grossman, 41, passed away on June 26  She had lived in San Diego for 14 years. Services were conducted by Rabbi Morton J. Cohn at Merkley-Austin Mortuary on June 28.  Interment was in the Home of Peace Cemetery.

Survivors are her husband, Sidney, and two sons, Garry and Jeffrey.

City of Hope Aux.
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 6

The  City of Hope Auxiliary is holding its Annual Picnic on Sunday, July 18, at Pepper Grove in Balboa Park.

Delicious home-cooked food will be served from 12 noon. Mrs. Jennie Bloomfield, chairman, and Mrs. Bertha Friedman, co-chairman, will be assisted by Ethel Berwin, Ruth Douglas, Rose Tepper, Gladys Tappan, Fanny Addleson, Anna Lazarowitz, Rose Barr, Esther Schwartz, Jennie Siner, Becky Bard, Marian Resnick, Helen Sparber, Ruth Aronoff, Esther Cole, Edith Belenzon, Liz Gotkin, Rose Miroff, Goldie Kitaen, Lena Penn, Goldie Schusterman, and Jeanne Camiel.

Birdie Stodel B’nai B’rith Women, with Sylvia Adler in charge, is sponsoring the “Sweet Table.”

Proceeds go to the City of Hope Medical Center at Duarte, California, where on Sunday, July 11th, the Dedication of of the new 32-bed Leukemia Wing for Children, will take place. Ethel Berwin, President, will attend with a number of the officers of the local Auxiliary.

Jewish War Veterans
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 6

Bud Samuels, Commander, announced that during July and August the second meeting of the month will be cancelled.

Past Commander Allan Lame has been named chairman to review the projects now carried on by the Post.  Paul Miller will head the ways and means committee.

Yo-Ma-Co News
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 9, 1954, Page 6

Election of officers took place at the last meeting and the following members were elected: Pres., Paul Miller; Vice Pres., Lenny Pearl; Rec. Sec., Evelyn Herman; Corr. Sec., Rae Novak; Treas., Macy Abrams; Sgt-at-Arms, Hy Kitaen; Membership Sec., Binnie Brooks; Auditor, David Brooks.  “Great Expectations” are awaited from this new slate of officers.

By unanimous vote, it was agreed upon by Yo-Ma-Co members to furnish a month’s scholarship to some child to the Jewish Community Summer Camp.

Plans are all set for our Installation Dinner Dance, July 11, at the Don Room of the El Cortez. A program is being arranged and dance music will be furnished by the Forrest Gantz Novelty Orchestra.  Public is invited. For reservations call AT 1-7266.

Yo-Ma-Co picnic is scheduled for July 25th, at Alpine Park.

“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. 

“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. 

  1. June 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    “Fluoridation opposition is science-based and growing,” says Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director, who has co-authored the upcoming book, “The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics that Keep it There.” Co-authors are James Beck, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of medical physics at the University of Alberta in Calgary; and Spedding Micklem, DPhil, professor emeritus at Edinburgh University.

    “We have spent many years investigating water fluoridation and the toxicity of fluoride and we are dismayed that commentators are willing to repeat, without verification, pro-fluoridation statements that disparage scientists and citizens who oppose the practice,” says Connett.

    “FAN’s website http://www.FluorideAlert.org has a wealth of scientific information indicating that water fluoridation is neither safe nor effective,” says Connett. “In fact, mounting evidence shows that it is harmful to large segments of the population and has helped to create an epidemic of dental fluorosis in children.” On April 12, 2010, Time magazine listed fluoride as one of the “Top Ten Common Household Toxins” and described fluoride as both “neurotoxic and potentially tumorigenic if swallowed.”

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