Archive for June 28, 2010

Adventures In San Diego Jewish History, July 23, 1954, Part 2

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Doris Jean Berman Weds Sydney Green Sunday

Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

The marriage of Doris Jean Berman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Berman to Martin Sydney Green of Beverly Hills, son of MR. and Mrs. David Green of Beverly Hills and Palm Springs, will be solemnized by Rabbi Morton J. Cohn at 2:00 p.m., July 25 at the Manor Hotel. Theodore Nauman will be soloist. The candlelight ceremony will take place under a canopy of daisies and gardenias.

The bride’s original gown is of embroidered white Swiss organdy featuring a three tiered skirt with a slight train and a portrait neckline.  Her elbow length net veil is scalloped to match the gown and trimmed with pearls.  She will carry a bouquet of white roses and stephanotis. Her only jewelry will be her grandmother’s diamond earrings.

The bride’s attendants in gowns similar in design to the bride’s are of yellow Swiss organdy. They will carry baskets of yellow marguerite daisies, pink elf roses, baby’s breath and blue delphinium.

Charlotte Pearl is maid of honor with Mrs. Richard Berman, sister in law of the bride, acting as a matron of honor.  Bridesmaids are Della Rubin and Barbara LaRue Blakley.

Brother of the bride, Ralph Berman, is acting as best man with brother Richard Berman as lead usher.  Other ushers are Frank Parker of Westwood and Nick Linardos of Los Angeles.

A champagne reception for 200 guests will be held in the Terrace Room of the hotel immediately following the ceremony. The wedding table will be decorated with gardenias and maiden fern surrounding a four-tier column wedding cake.  Of particular interest are the candles which will burn in the gold candelabra at each end of the table.  They were used at the wedding of the bride’s parents, 32 years ago.

Mrs. Harry Berman will receive in pink beaded cotton lace and Mrs. David Green will weak aqua Irish linen with aqua and pink accessories.

When the new Mr. and Mrs. Berman leave for a two week wedding trip to an “undisclosed destination,” she will wear a beaded beige cashmere suit with brown lizard accessories and brown orchids.  Upon their return they will make their home at 442-D North Palm Drive, Beverly Hills.

Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

Lincoln Quiz – The Lincoln Quiz article in the last issue was of particular interest to George Grossmayer and its sister. Their father, Nathan Grossmayer, was a close friend of Lincoln.  Original correspondence from General U.S. Grant and other documents showing Mr. Grossmayer’s service to his country were turned over to the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.

We’re happy to welcome to San Diego newcomers including the Harry J. Karkovys and their daughter, formerly of Larchmont, N.Y., the George Swerdlows and their three children, formerly of Columbus, Ohio; and the Al Greasons and their two children of Rochester, N.Y.


Millie and Meyer Snyder have moved into their new home at 5134 Bocaw Place and are anxious to have their friends call.

Milton David (Mickey) Rosenberg, son of MR. and Mrs. Louis Rosenberg, a June graduate of the Boalt School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, has been elected to membership in COIF, the Law Honor Society.  A members of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, Mickey will work as law research this summer on the campus.

Molly and Abe Sackheim wish to thank all their friends for their many kindnesses during Abe’s recent illness.

Travel Topics – Mr. and Mrs. George Wixen flew South this week for an eighteen day tour of Mexico with their daughter, Jackie, and Marcia Ruskin.  They expect to visit all the outstanding and interesting places including Mexico City and Acapulco.

“Our six years in San Diego will be years to remember. We enjoyed our participation in the community’s activities, our social contacts, and our affiliation with the Temple.” Thus did Libby and Albert Krasnow express themselves before they left for their new home at 99 Brewster Road, West Hartford, Conn.  Their San Diego relatives and friends expect the Krasnows to spend many vacations here in the future. Good luck and good health.

Sioux Falls seemed far away to Linda Ackerman as she sang duets with Karen Mallen, one of her close San Diego friends.  Flo Ackerman is staying close to her first grandson, Jeffrey, and stretching out her stay here as long as possible.

Visiting for 10 days from Detroit are Rabbi Morton J. Cohn’s brother and family, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Cohn, their four daughters and a son, and Mrs. Cohn’s father, Mr.  Sam Shapero.  The Cohns motored cross country and are staying at the Manor Hotel.

Estelle and Ben Rottman (Ben is President of the Civic Music Association) are attending the Bach Music Festival in Carmel, California.  While there, they will visit with Julian Karolyi, pianist, who will be one of the guest soloists at the Festival.  Mr. Karolyi is also slated to give a concert in san Diego with the Summer Symphony on July 27th.

Mr. and Mrs. James Lesser and their three daughters have just returned from a visit to New York. Their seventeen year old nephew, Kenneth Kadet, returned with them to spend his summer vacation in San Diego.

The Lessers, who motored East, chose routes which enabled them to visit State Parks and historic locales.  They had a grand reunion with members of both sides of the fmily. While in New York, Mrs. Lesser celebrated her birthday and the 48th Wedding Anniversary of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A, Kadet.

Hadassah Sets Tea For Members Aug. 9
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

Hadassah will launch its 1954-55 Membership Tea on August 9, at the Kona Kai Club from 1:30 to 4:00.  Mrs. Harry Felson, newly elected president, cordially invites all non-Hadassah members to be the organization’s guest on that day.  Present members are also warmly welcome and will receive invitations at a nominal charge of $1.55.

Mrs. Edward Kitaen, membership chairman, assisted by Mrs. Manuel Hafner, co-chairman, will preside at the Tea at which time a fashion show will be presented based on a “Holiday in Hawaii.”

Assisting Mrs. Kitaen in planning the unusual event will be Mmes. Elmer Wohl, Rod Horrow, Howard Hoffman, Archie Bushnell, George Wixen, Robert W. Smith, Earl Brody, Arthur Gardner, Sig Stein, Louis Steinman and Manuel Hafner.

Admittance to the Tea will be by invitation only and should be made with Mrs. Edward Kitaen, HO-9-1389, and Mrs. Manuel Hafner, AC-2-3876.

(Future Past)

The more tasks we leave for tomorrow the quicker the future becomes the past.
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

Judy Sharon, aged three, has a live baby doll now that brother Lawrence Marc has joined the Jerome Schwartz family.  Lawrence was born July 9 and weighted 7 lbs, 11 oz.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David Schwartz; maternal grandmother, Mrs. Ethel Schlossberg.  Great grandmother is Mrs. Betsy Solomon.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn officiated at the brith on Sunday, July 18.

Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Sackheim (JoAnne Rosenfeld) welcomed their first child, a daughter, Janet Lynn on July 15.

The 7 lb. 1 oz young miss is the second grandchild for Mr. and Mrs. Ted Rosenfeld and the third for Mr. and Ms. Abe Sackheim.

Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

Room for Rent – Gentleman or lady; quiet, light, clean, airy room; kitchen privileges; garage and use of telephone.  Near Bus No. 2.  Phone BE-4-5624 evenings.

Room for Rent for lady, in very nice private ho9me. Cooking privileges, ½ block from bus. Call before 11:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. AT-4-6586.

For Sale, House, Loma Portal, 3 bedrooms.  Priced to sell with excellent terms.  AC-3-0635.


Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 3

25th—Yo-Ma-Co Picnic –Alpine Park
25th—Tifereth Israel Mens’ Club Boat Ride – 5:30 p.m.
31st—Young Jewish Couples Club Beach Picnic – Pacific Beach –8:30 p.m.

1st—Pioneer Women, Negba Picnic –Pepper Grove.
4th—Beth Israel Sisterhood “Summer Tea” – 4290 Altamirano Way.
9th-Hadassah Membership Tea –1:30 p.m
13th—Jewish War Veterans Aux. Poppy Sale.
15th – Jewish Labor Committee—Pepper Grove – 12 Noon.

They Never Learn—{Editorial}
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 4

Jew-baiting has already moved into the Oregon political campaign—although election day is still more than three months away.  The intended victim was Richard L. Neuberger, whose byline is nationally known to magazine readers.  Neuberger is one of the best known writers on the Northwest.  He is also a member of the Oregon Senate and his wife Maurine serves in the state’s House of Representatives, a unique family distinction.

Neuberger is a Jew.  He is one of the strongest vote-getters in the state. The Democrats have nominated him to run against Guy Cordon, who is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. The Sherman County Journals (published by State Senator Giles French) considered this “ a bad decision”  It ran an editorial that began:

“Up until last week Richard Neuberger had been wise enough to remain primarily a writer and to dabble in politics as a recreation or to provide grist for writing mill. The well-known wisdom of his race in financial matters has been uppermost in this policy.”

The Cordon-for-Senator Committee promptly circulated this item throughout the state with the intention that it be reprinted in other papers. Instead, those editors who did comment, decried the unwholesome smear.  Senator Cordon’s campaign manager denied any knowledge of the incident, blaming it on a publicity man whom he has since removed from the campaign. But he agreed that the wholesale circulation of the editorial was an effort to use religious prejudice.

Medals and Arms
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 4

The Legion of Merit Award, given by our State Dept., to an Arab General who fought on the side of the Nazis and later against Israel, is in line with the recent decisions of our government to arm Iraq.  Iraq has done more than any other Arab nation to aid the Nazis, to persecute its Jewish inhabitants, to introduce anti-Jewish propaganda into the United States and to avoid an armistice with Israel.

Yet, this Arab State was selected by Secretary of State Dulles as the first to receive free arms.  The Arab general, who joined the Nazis when the Allies seemed on the brink of defeat, has been chosen as the first Arab League officer to be decorated with a U.S. medal. This gesture was made with the approval of the White House “in line with the defense of the vital resources of the free world.” (Oil?)

Hundreds of Jews are still in Iraqi concentration camps. About 125,000 Iraq Jews escaped into Israel since 1949.  The State Department views Iraq as a “bastion of democracy,” although the Iraqi government openly admitted it wants U.S. arms to kill Jews rather than any Soviet invaders.  Israel has applications for similar arms aid but it has been ignored for two years.

Our State Department is playing directly into Communist hands by honoring and backing an unreliable and Nazi-minded Arab State. America can never be sure of the Arabs, who have twice proved to be untrustworthy. 

Consideration of Israel’s requests would help build and sustain a truly “democratic minded” nation, that is oriented toward the free world, and whose people fought on the side of the Allies during the last war. Our State Department could do worse than pin a medal on an Israeli general and send arms to Israel.

Jews In American History—300 Years
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, page 4

By Dr. Philip L. Seaman, University of Judaism

In previous chapters reference has already been made to Solomon Nunes Carvalho, an artist who accompanied John Charles Fremont on his last and ill fated expedition to the far west in 1853.  This reference was made when we discussed the pioneer Jews of Utah.  However there are instances in the life and service of Carvalho that should be given additional attention.  These facts we also learn from Schappes Documentary History of the United States and other sources.

Carvalho was one of a family of rabbis, teachers, writers and merchants of Spanish-Portuguese descent.  He was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1815 and died in New York City in 1894.  We learn from Dr. Walters’ story of the Pioneer Jews of Utah in the Studies in American Jewish History published by the American Jewish Historical Society that at the age of twenty, he had already achieved a considerable reputation as a portrait painter. Among his best known portraits are those of Thomas Hunter, the founder of Hunter College in New York City and of the Reverend Isaac Lesser of Philadelphia, and that two of his paintings were hung in the interior of the old synagogue in Charleston.

Two of Carvalho’s sons attained distinction in other fields. David Nunes Carvalho was a celebrated handwriting expert whose book Forty Centuries of Ink is a recognized and authoritative work on the detection of forgeries.  His disclosures, Dr. Walters tells us, of the falsity of the documents employed in the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus in France are said to have materially aided in Dreyfus final vindication.

Solomon Nunes Carvalho, when in Utah, was supplied with painting materials and painted the portraits of a number of Mormon dignitaries. He received a good deal of attention from Brigham Young, the Mormon Governor.  He tells us in his journal that he went to a meeting where Apostle Benson preached a sermon on the restoration of Israel to Jerusalem “which would have done honor to a speaker of Hebrew persuasion.”

An interesting observation is made by Anita Libman Lebson in her Pilgrim People when she tells the story of Carvalho.  “There was little what escape the artist’s eye… He found possibilities for industrial development and for colonization.  From San Bernardino to Los Angeles the road lay over one continuous field of wild mustard, covering the whole breath of the valley.  Not a bad idea, he suggested to build a mustard mill.”

In Carvalho’s diary he notes the manners and customs of the Mormons, discusses their vagaries and shows the manifest unfairness of their system to women.  The crudeness of the new communities in California, the lack of morals, the abandonment of all customary restraints, etc.  The San Francisco area was the cesspool of California immorality.  “Alas! For the morals of the people at large… almost every night while I was there, one murder at least was committed.”  In Los Angeles he found opportunity to put his organization ability to work.  He promoted a Hebrew Philanthropic Society.

Carvalho, who made a ‘long journey cross the continent that led to unravelling its mysteries finally returned to his wife and his children in Baltimore and Philadelphia, where he and his wife were active in communal life. (To be continued).

From Where I Sit
Southwestern Jewish News, July 23, 1954, pages 4, 8

By Mel Goldberg

Startling fashion news: … Paris and New York papers please note! … At a recent San Diego wedding, a gay female turned up as a guest during the ceremony in the House of Worship, adorned in what can best be described as a strapless candy-striped T.-shirt. We later conducted a survey at a local department store and were duly informed that the proper nomenclature of the item is an elasticized sun-top.

A hasty interrogation of a store clerk revealed this particular piece of ladies apparel is considered most becoming at a beach or in a patio…. When this reporter asked the saleslady if it might be considered an appropriate item to wear when attending a wedding, she responded with complete dismay—“are you kidding?”

We might add that the lady who wore this  dramatic piece of apparel, further added to the display by criticizing in a stage whisper—(throughout the ceremony)—the outfits worn by the more staid and sensible other lady guests present! … If this keeps up we shall attend all summer weddings in a pair of cool, comfortable B.V.Ds.

The Mexico Travel Service buzzed us last week about the non-stop DC-6 flight from Tijuana to Mexico City … We took a quick gander at this luxury 5-hour flight plane and it was really something. … On the flight, you get cold beer, card games, sandwiches, canapes, refreshments, hot meals, newspapers, coffee and magazines … One wonders how it is possible to use up all the free services in five hours.

As we inspected the plane, we kept thinking of the differences between heading for a vacation in transportation like this as against the limousine service from New York to the Catskill Mountains. … Boy oh boy, those old limousines were something … You’d either leave at 6 a/m. or in the middle of the afternoon heat. … The cars were built to carry 7 passengers, but the driver always managed to squeeze in a couple of extra fares and enough luggage for 2 weeks.  This trip was always referred to as “going to the mountains by machine.” … (As a matter of fact, we recall any number of older folks who never referred to an automobile in any other way than “by machine.” … It was a case of “the children are motoring to Miami by machine,”  or “My son, the doctor, has a big practice, he has two machines.” …) On the limousine trip, the passenger always carried vast assortments of food.

Twenty minutes enroute and the grub parcels were opened… hard boiled eggs made an appearance … who’d think of taking a trip without hard boiled eggs? … Next a chicken polkie .. this was the “fight” signal for the younger passengers … To them, there were no edible parts of a chicken other than the legs … and what a howl they’d put up if they didn’t get to nosh on one of them. … The whole two or three hour ride was a continuous pattern of eating, feeling nauseous, and making countless “rest” stops.

Soneone once heard of a driver who started out with a car full of passengers on the hottest day of summer… Because of the cleaners’ strike, the chauffeur was wearing his only available suit, a heavy wool, itchy tweed number … On that particular day, one of the passengers spilled a bottle of herring in sour cream over the entire back seat, a seven-year-old boy, while eating a half-melted Hershey bar, broke the cranks off the rear windows so that they could not be opened – another passenger was suffering from an attack of intestinal flu combined with a champagne hangover, one small child had the colic, but why go on?….

The point of the story is: the driver arrived at the resort, with a crazed look in his eyes and with just one quiet little passenger… When the circumstances surrounding the case were explained to the court, the jury refused to convict….

The resorts, according to the advertisements, were sensational … The copy-writers stretched their imagination to the breaking point … “Catering to the Discriminating,” “The Last Word in Summer Vaation Luxury,” “Another World,” “Exquisite Cuisine.” … They certainly could toss the adjectives around … We recall one which for purpose of identification, we’ll call Shapiro’s Hawaiian Hacienda.  What a dump! …

The “ad” emphasized recreational facilities … the golf course was 18 miles down the road … the tennis court would have  been terrific if it had a net and if the toadstools growing all over the serving line didn’t trip you up … the rates were always different than what the reservation stated. … This joint featured Broadway entertainment… It was Broadway entertainment all right! .. Broadway in Weekawken, New Jersey… Shapiro was quite a guy… Because of him, we now have labor laws.

He used to recruit college students in the spring-time and lure them with the opportunity of a “vacation with a chance to make some spending money” … What a vacation!  … Work in the kitchen from 5:30 to 7:00 ayem, then wait on tables for breakfast till 11.  Take a half hour vacation! Back to work from noon till 3, waiting on the lunch trade. Take fifteen minute vacation! 3:15 to 5:30 serve the tea and cocktail customers  5:30 to 9:30 wait on the dinner customers.  Help clean up the kitchen and dining room, then play in the orchestra, or dance with the customers and keep ‘em happy till one in the morning.  Pretty good deal.  Besides all this, you get paid $20.00 a month.  … The customers that the college boys had to dance with could have been entered in a race at Caliente—Real dolls—better looking heads you could find on cabbage.

The only way you could beat Shapiro at his own game was to rent a room on the American plan and eat like a horse … One guest checked in and had a midnight snack of three chicken sandwiches and two bottles of ginger ale … For breakfast he ordered tomato and orange juice six eggs, some salami, oatmeal, three bagels and two cups of coffee.  When the waiter asked him if that was his entire order, he said, “Of course not, that for mine large intestine.  Now for me, bring some pancakes and a strawberry waffle and a pitcher of grapefruit juice.”

At noon time, this same chap ate 14 potato blintzes, 9 cheese blintzes, 3 large Idaho baked potatoes, 2 bowls of cottage cheese with chopped vegetables and sour cream.  He topped this off with two bowls of chicken soup and a bowl of borscht… At two in the afternoon, while having a mid-afternoon snack of sturgeon sandwiches, he suffered an attack of acute indigestion and passed out … Shapiro and a few well meaning guests hovered over him with a glass of cold spring water, trying to revive him…. At he came to, he spotted Shapiro with the glass of water and commented: “Shapiro: What is this nonsense with the water! Bring me two malted milks!” …

“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. 

Berlusconi fuels speculation about Israeli military strike against Iran

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly said that he and fellow world leaders “believe absolutely” that Israel may decide to take military action against Iran to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. “Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively,” Berlusconi was quoted by ‘Haaretz’ as telling reporters following talks with other G-8 leaders near Toronto, Canada, on Saturday.

The leaders of Britain, Canada France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States devoted much of their two-day session to discuss the contentious nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran. They afterwards issued a joint communiqué calling on the regime in Iran to “respect the rule of law” and to “hold a “transparent dialogue” over its nuclear ambitions. “We are profoundly concerned by Iran’s continued lack of transparency regarding its nuclear activities and its stated intention to continue and expand enriching uranium, including to nearly 20 percent,” the statement said.

“Our goal is to persuade Iran’s leaders to engage in a transparent dialogue about its nuclear activities and to meet Iran’s international obligations,” the leaders declared, urging the Islamic Republic “to implement relevant resolutions to restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Meanwhile, CIA Director Leon Panetta has said that Tehran now probably had enough low-enriched uranium to build two nuclear weapons, although it would likely take two years to build them. Panetta also expressed doubts that recent UN sanctions against Iran will put an end to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Panetta told the ABC show ‘This Week’ that there was “some debate” as to whether Iran would proceed with building a bomb. Asked about a possible Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Panetta said Israel was giving the United States enough room on the diplomatic and political fronts.

Russian President Dmitry called the CIA report “worrying”. He said: “This information has to be checked, but such information is always worrying – and all the more so because the international community does not recognize the Iranian nuclear program as transparent.”

Iran rejected Panetta’s comments, saying they amounted to “psychological war.” A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Tehran declared: “What Iran is pursuing is only in the framework of the rights that its membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency entitles it to. The real concern is disarmament and non-proliferation.”


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

‘Surf Report’In: Caution, dangerous rip currents

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Linda Gehringer and Gregory Harrison in 'Surf Report' (photo Craig Schwartz)


By Carol Davis

Carol Davis

LA JOLLA, California–In Annie Weisman’s world premiere Surf Report now playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in the Mandel Weiss Forum, the waves have yet to break, the water’s flat, the surf is receding and the rip currents are enough to drag you down. Yup, all that and the characters are as boring as hell, and as superficial and shallow as you can imagine. 

 Weisman, who grew up in Southern California, Del Mar to be specific, seems to have a keen eye tuned in to the hubris churned out by the locals (not all) which some might call conversation. She has written about their behavior, their attitudes and their way of thinking in this work and in her play Be Aggressive (seen at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad this year and which premiered at the Playhouse in 2001.) She can be funny, biting and scores points perhaps by some as an equal opportunity offender.

Having lived in San Diego for over fifty years and not being of a beach mindset sets me apart from her way of thinking, yet not completely incubated from the shallow nothingness of Weisman’s peeps.

Weisman’s characters, Hal (Matthew Arkin), Bethany (Zoë Chao), Judith (Linda Gehringer), Bruce (Gregory Harrison) and Jena  (Liv Rooth) are connected either by work, family or school. Their little circle isn’t very expansive with the exception of Bethany’s because she moved from the beach community of Del Mar?, La Jolla? to Brooklyn, NY. At least she thinks she pretty cosmopolitan. And as for the Jena, she’s all the Valley Gals rolled up into one voice. (David Zinn’s costumes capture her perfectly)

Judith is Bruce’s girl Friday/work planner/ glorified secretary/ housemother. She is married to Hal who is somewhat of a nebbish kind of a guy, unemployed with a few secrets of his own and Bethany is their daughter who can’t stand her mother.

Bruce is a venture capitalist that struck it rich making shrewd investments in others ideas and now can surf any beach in the world he chooses (depending on the surf reports, of course). He’s a lucky, self centered and selfish SOB who uses Judith up and tosses her in the trash like a used surfboard. Jena is an old school friend of Bethany’s who by chance or fate or the playwrights need to have her in this story, hooks up with Bethany when she is summoned home by Judith.

The play opens (Rachel Hauck’s minimalist set is rich in blue hues lit to perfection by Ben Stanton) in Bruce’s two level beachfront pad with Bruce scanning the waves waiting for Judith to tell him what the surf report says. She’s flustered and fussy as she sets up his office getting ready to give him the day’s report, plans and schedules for future meetings. The two, having worked together for seventeen years, seem on opposite oceanfronts.

Underneath all the pleasant talk a nervous Judith tries to set time aside to pitch an idea to Bruce who has about a million other things on his mind (surfing for one) other than listening to another sales pitch, especially from Judith. He gives in when she suggests they ride up the coast together so he can get one of his favorite steak tar tare dishes made just the way he likes it.

The two take off north to Santa Barbara even though Judith’s husband is counting on her to accompany him to the doctors while he undergoes some testing for a latent cancer that has shown up again. She calls Bethany in New York to come and be with her dad because Judith thinks her pitch is more important than being with her husband. Bethany has some important plans to visit a photo gallery since photography is her passion. The lure of money that she so desperately needs, however, is enough for her to change her mind to come home (just for the weekend). 

With a less than engaging story line to attract one’s interest, director Lisa Peterson has her work cut out for her. But for the fact that Gregory Harrison is one cute dude to look at strutting his stuff in his surfing shorts, flexing his pecs, and an angry outburst from his character Bruce about his being Jewish, the energy level overall is as flat as low tide.

That said there is plenty room for improvement in this world premiere play and my guess is that if some of the mess floating just beneath the surface makes it to the top, gets clarified and really feels personal we might be able to care more about these folks.

Linda Gehringer is one fine actress. She was wonderful in South Coast Repertory’s production of Piano Teacher, Weisman’s Be Aggressive and Hold Please. These are but a few of her many accomplishments. I’m not convinced this is her finest hour, however. The chemistry is wrong and so is she for this role. She huffs and puffs frowns and looks agonized and out of place. It just doesn’t work.

Matthew Arkin’s Hal has yet to be developed. Every time he appeared on stage you hoped for some energy, enthusiasm, reason to like him to know him better but that doesn’t happen. It’s even difficult to muster up sympathy for his character knowing he is the underdog, most neglected member of the family and suffering from an almost incurable disease. The dynamics don’t ring true.

As a feisty Bethany Zoë Chao looks the part well.  She pouts, harrumphs shows a bit of anger and petulance and even gets annoyed with Jena.  She’s also one spiteful little girl. When she meets up with Bruce however, they both have an “I like you moment”. And it seems life goes on. The question begs though, will it go on with Bruce and Bethany just as it did with Bruce and Judith?

Let’s hope she’s smarter than her mother, but hope springs eternal. From the body language seen on Bruce and Bethany as they leave his digs, it’s doubtful anything will change. But then again, who cares?

Valley Girl Jenna is the most animated, truthful and wisest of the whole lot with seemingly few axes to grind. Liv Rooth is perfect as the coastal hipster weather vein of this entire project. Telling it like it is from her own experience and point of view (which happens to be more real than imagined), taking care of her own ailing mother and giving some sage advice to Bethany is a turn about as fair play. 

Thankfully Jenna, the least of all the characters you would expect to light a flame under this piece is the one voice (still in sing/song and Valley) who adds needed color and breathes some energy into “Surf Report”. There is hope that future surf reports will show more hope as the tides ebb and flow into the  La Jolla shores.  

See you at the theatre.

Dates: June 15th-July 11th

Organization: La Jolla Playhouse

Phone: 858-550-1010

Production Type: Comedy

Where: 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, California

Ticket Prices: $31.00- $66.00


Venue: Mandell Weiss Forum

Davis is a San Diego based theatre critic

Hamas leader warns Israel of ‘wave of new flotillas’ to Gaza

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–In an interview with the British newspaper ‘The Independent’, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar, 65, has warned that new ships would soon try to make their way to Gaza to break the Israeli sea blockade. Al-Zahar said that there would be more flotillas “than in your imagination.” After the soccer World Cup in South Africa, at least eight ships would come from the Gulf,” he said. When asked whether Iranian vessels will be involved al-Zahar responded, “Why not?”

Referring to the possibility that Egypt could prevent a flotilla chartered by the Iranian Red Crescent aid organization from passing through the Suez Canal, al-Zahar said; “They have the right in international law to go, as the Israelis go. Egypt will never be able to stop such a campaign.” The newspaper quotes the Hamas co-founder and former Palestinian foreign minister addressing the possibility that Iran may sponsor new Gaza-bound vessels: “Where is your morality if Iran is going to give food and drugs? What justifies preventing that?”

Al-Zahar also accused the Israeli government of reneging on a prisoner swap agreement which he insisted could have led to the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit. “Up to this moment, the Israeli intention is not to have an agreement,” he claimed. The Hamas leader said those in Hamas’ military wing who hold Shalit were refusing to allow a visit by the Red Cross or another international humanitarian organization.


Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Looking back over 1,000 reports

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Editor’s Note:  JINSA Reports referred to below are published as columns by Shoshana Bryen in San Diego Jewish World

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. –To mark the occasion of 1,000 JINSA Reports beginning in 1995, we have finished reformatting and posting them on our website –  Please take a look and let us know which JINSA Reports resonated most with you, which were your favorite, which you disagreed with, and which piqued your interest to learn more or to sound off. We looked back as well.  
#49 in 1997 reminded us how long the West has been trying to limit Iran’s ability to sow terror and destruction in the Middle East. We pointed to a $2 billion French natural gas deal with the Iranian government, for which France expected – and received – no Western sanction. 
#85 in 1998 reminded us that at one time the Palestinians had an airport in Gaza and passage between the Gaza and the West Bank. It is worth pondering how Israel – with Egypt – came to enforce a blockade against the Palestinians in Gaza, and it is worth understanding how both Hamas and Fatah used the world’s money and political support not to create a functional Palestinian state, but to create terrorist operations that have killed thousands of Israelis and thousands of their own people by their own hand (see #203 and #204 on “targeted killings”). 
We chronicled the so-called “peace process,” its demise in the “second intifada,” (#753) and Operation Defensive Shield that proved that terrorism can be controlled by controlling territory – a lesson that American troops learned years later in Iraq. We called out the Europeans for paying PLO salaries while Palestinians were blowing up cafes and pizza parlors (#164) and the CIA for building the Palestinian “security forces” (#165). We worry a lot about a Palestinian army being built by Americans (#504, #561, #616, #664, #687, #756, #900, #948 and #993, among others), and about the U.S. training and equipping other militaries that may not share our strategic outlook (most recently #984 and #987).
September 11, 2001 was a turning point of sorts, applying the understanding that there are two kinds of people in the world – us and them – and understanding that Israel’s war against terrorists and the states that harbor and support them was our war as well (#347 is representative).
We took a stand against the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” (#574 in 2006) as if a democratic country that is fully integrated into the global economy, a participant in dozens of multilateral initiatives, and a provider of aid and assistance to victims of natural disasters across the globe had to justify continuing to breathe. We published the text of the declassified State Department memo acknowledging in 1973 that Yasser Arafat had ordered the killings of American Ambassador Cleo Noel, Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid (#630) – how long the State Department knew and how little they cared as they continued to treat Arafat like a fellow-diplomat was sickening.
We followed the run up to the Iraq war, the war, the surge, the elections and the tentative emergence of political reconstruction. We believed – and still believe – the ouster of Saddam was a blow to terrorism in the region and have been impressed by the number of Iraqis who braved the maelstrom to form political parties, publish free newspapers and vote. Last month (#979) we encouraged the Obama Administration to work closely with the Iraqis to help them form a government that will respect the results of the most recent election.
JINSA Reports have been a vehicle for our appreciation for our country and our troops, including raising money for the Fran O’Brien’s dinners (#448, #512, #564, #569, #619, #720, #757 and #991). You, our readers, have been responsible for tens of thousands of dollars going into the dinners for wounded troops recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital, and you were responsible for the National Medal of Honor Society selecting Hal Koster of Fran O’Brien’s as an honoree in their “Above and Beyond” effort to recognize outstanding Americans. (You can still write a check to JINSA for Fran O’Brien’s and every nickel will go to the fund.)

We’ll stop now, but hope you will revisit the anthology of JINSA Reports online as a reminder of where JINSA has been, where our country has been, where Israel has been, and where you – our readers – have been over 1,000 Reports.

Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

The Jews Down Under~Roundup of Australian Jewish news

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Garry Fabian

Compiled by Garry Fabian

Student Ambassadors

JERUSALEM, 23 June – More than 250 Australian  students were trained in the art of Israel  advocacy during a three-day conference held in Jerusalem this week.

The seminar, run by StandWithUs International  (SWU) ­ a not-for-profit education organisation  aiming to ensure Israel’s side of the story is  told around the globe ­ in partnership with the  Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), featured  lectures from senior Israeli officials. These  included spokesperson for the Prime Minister Mark Regev, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor,  Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs  Yuli Edelstein and chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky.

Participants also visited the security barrier,  heard from two IDF soldiers, and met Sudanese  refugees who have sought asylum in Israel.

The aim of the conference, the first of its kind for students on one-year programs in Israel, was  to prepare the participants for the challenges  they may face when they return to Australia,  turning them into ambassadors equipped to articulate the Jewish State’s case on campus.

To assist in that process, director of SWU Israel  Michael Dickson said they also took part in
workshops  covering the “three Ds” of anti-Israel  rhetoric ­ demonisation, double standards and delegitimisation.

“They can confront the biggest accusations, the  biggest allegations that are thrown at Israel on  campus right now. They deconstruct them and have  a ready response,” Dickson said.

“These guys can say that I’ve been there and know  the issues, and therefore they’ll have more credibility.”

Executive director of the ZFA Robbie Franco, who  was one of the instigators of the program, said:  “We hope that this will serve as a model for  other communities and that in the future, every  one of the 8000 overseas participants on one-year  programs will be afforded the opportunity  of  becoming a young ­ambassador for Israel.

“We believe this to be one of the most exciting  new projects that we are undertaking ­ one that  can dramatically assist in improving Israel’s standing around the world.”

Reflecting on the experience, participant Ashley Osie from Sydney said: “The past three days have been really intense. We have heard from an incredibly diverse range of speakers, who have each presented us with a plethora of facts, opinions and information, and have taught us invaluable skills and techniques for advocating for and actively supporting Israel.”

Dean Leveton from Sydney concurred. “The seminar ensured I can confidently embrace university  life, both as a Zionist and a Jew. To all university colleagues, challenge me. I dare you,” he said.

All charges dropped against rabbi and wife

ADELAIDE, 24 June –  All charges against an Adelaide rabbi and his wife relating to alleged
fraud over a Jewish school for which $50,000 in  South Australian Government grants were sought, have been dropped.

Rabbi Yossi Engel and his wife Chana had each been charged on 39 counts of dishonestly dealing with documents, but the charges were dismissed in  the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday this  week, after police tended no evidence, citing no  reasonable prospect of conviction.

After the ruling, Rabbi Engel told media outside  the court: “My name is now clear. I’m extremely  grateful to God”, and announced plans he would remain in Adelaide “to serve the people of South Australia and the Jewish community here”.

Rabbi Engel is the director of Chabad in South Australia and the spiritual leader of the Jewish Learning Centre of Adelaide.

The Engels’ lawyer Ron Bellman issued a statement saying: “When called upon by the court, the South Australian police, who prosecuted the cases, did  not lead any evidence against either the rabbi or  his wife.  At all times, Rabbi and Mrs Engel had  vigorously maintained their innocence and  remained committed to defending the charges.”

The Engels were charged in June last year after a  three-year investigation headed by Detective  Senior Constable Stan Tsoulos of the Adelaide Criminal Investigation Branch, which has interviewed more than 50 people.

Police told The AJN at that time that the  allegations “relate to the filling out of forms
and applications submitted to the Ethnic Schools  Board in order to receive funding” for the Spirit of David School.

Rabbi Engel first came to Australia from the  United States as a Chabad shaliach in the 1980s and worked in Sydney’s Chabad community before returning home.

He returned to Australia to take up a position at  The Adelaide Hebrew Congregations as rabbi in 1998.

Local Jewish newspaper launches campaign

MELBOURNE & SYDNEY, 24 June – As Gilad Shalit begins his fifth year in captivity on Friday, the  Australian Jewish Newspaper (Australian Jewish News – AJN) has launched a new campaign on behalf  of Australian Jewry to show the world the young  soldier has not been forgotten and to help bring him home.

Seized by Palestinian terrorists on June 25,  2006, the 23-year-old has been held hostage in
Gaza ever since. In the four years since he was  kidnapped, Gilad has been denied contact with his family and, in violation of international law,  the Hamas regime has refused the International Red Cross access to him.

This week, in an initiative that has received  backing from Gilad’s family and garnered support  from senior communal leaders, The AJN has published a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, urging him to step up his efforts to secure Gilad’s release.

The letter, printed on page 13 for readers to cut  out, sign and send back to us – and also
downloadable from our website – details the despair felt at the soldier’s continued
captivity. It concludes: “I implore you to use all your influence as Secretary-General of the
United Nations to bring this young man home.

The United Nations must demand his immediate  release and, pending that outcome, it must exert  all necessary pressure to ensure that Hamas affords him his basic human rights in accordance  with international law. For the sake of Gilad  Shalit, for the sake of his family, and for the  advancement of a just peace in the Middle East, it is incumbent on you and the institution you head to take a public stand on this issue and proactively pursue all paths that will lead to his freedom.”

To give each one of us the chance to add our voice to the chorus calling for his freedom, we
will be forwarding all the signed letters we receive to Ban Ki-Moon. Informed of the campaign, Gilad’s father Noam said: “We support it. All people, Jewish and  non-Jewish, whoever cares about human rights, should demand that Gilad be freed.”

Community leaders also threw their support behind  the letter. “I commend The AJN for this  initiative, said president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry Robert Goot. “It is well past time for respected middle powers, like  Australia, to focus international attention on  the dire plight of Gilad Shalit and his family,  who have been deprived of all contact with one another for four years. ”

The sentiment was echoed by president of the  Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) John Searle, who said: “The JCCV fully supports The AJN’s call to Ban Ki-Moon to call for Gilad’s immediate release. Often, in situations like  this, we feel powerless to make a difference.

“By signing this letter .  we are making a  statement; we are exerting pressure and hopefully
we will be making a difference.”

President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies  Robin Margo concurred, adding:”It is horrifying to think what that young person and his family are enduring.

“The silence of most of Israel’s critics about his fate in Gaza is a telling mark of their lack
of genuine humanitarian concern.”

Zionist Federation of Australia president Philip Chester met with Noam Shalit in Israel this week. “The Shalits are aware of our campaign in Australia and they asked that we do not waiver in our support for their cause,” he said.

“On the fourth anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s cruel incarceration, it is absolutely critical
that the world exerts such pressure as is necessary on Hamas and its sponsors to return him to his family.”

Australia’s new PM – a proven friend of Israel
Posted by Isi Leibler

The ousting of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by his deputy Julia Gillard was a dramatic  event.  A year ago Rudd was still highly popular  but his abrupt policy reversal on global climate  and the environment began a decline, which  climaxed when he stunned the business world by  abruptly imposing a tax on mining companies engaged in mineral and energy sales to China and  India. The Australian Labor Party, which holds the reins of government, was undoubtedly strongly  motivated by Rudd’s plummeting standing in the
polls which if sustained would probably result in  a resounding defeat at the elections scheduled for next year.

The 120,000-strong Jewish community, which other than Israel has the highest proportion of Shoa survivors in the world, is recognized as one of the most Zionist communities in the Diaspora.

Jewish leaders have established a long tradition of strong public advocacy on behalf of Israel, and they can take much of the credit for the fact that successive governments have maintained a strong bi partisan support for Israel, with only one exception.

Rudd’s predecessor, John Howard, who was Prime Minister for over 10 years, was regarded as one of Israel’s greatest friends on the global scene and highly appreciated by the Jewish community.

The Rudd government initially maintained its support for Israel, but over recent months there were growing concerns that it was tilting the scales against Israel.  The votes at the UN tended to increasingly identify with the Europeans, prompting the former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to suggest that Rudd was distancing Australia from Israel in order to solicit Arab votes at the UN to support Australia’s candidacy for the Security Council.

More recently, the expulsion of an Israeli  diplomat in the wake of the passport imbroglio,
distressed the Jewish community. On the other  hand, if Israel was involved in this issue, many found it difficult to comprehend why they used Australian passports and ignored understandings previously made, thus embarrassing one of their best friends.

Only a few weeks ago Rudd met with the Australian Jewish leadership, who left reasonably satisfied that the relationship seemed to be back on track.

The Jewish community will certainly welcome the fact that that Julia Gillard will now be leading the country.

She is a long standing proven friend of Israel, having visited the country in 2005 and again last year in May. She headed a high level, 40 strong delegation of Australians who participated in an Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange mission, which took place at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

During the Gaza war in January 2009, when she was Acting Prime Minister, she strongly supported Israel’s position, frequently making reference to Sderot which she had visited and stressed Israel’s right to defend its civilian population from missile attacks.

The Jewish community will certainly welcome the fact that that she will now be leading the
country, and will also be reassured that the long standing bi-partisan policy to Israel will be *maintained.
  Isi Leibler, now resident in Jerusalem, is a veteran Diaspora Jewish leader and prolific
commentator on Jewish and Israeli affairs.

Fabian is Australia bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World

Andrew Hoffman wins All-Star award for work with Hand Up

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–Major League Baseball, PEOPLE and the San Diego Padres have announced Andrew Hoffman as the Padres’ “All-Star” of the “All-Stars Among Us” campaign, which debuted in 2009 and recognizes individuals who are serving their communities in extraordinary ways.

Out of the three “All-Star” finalists representing the Padres, Andrew was selected by fans across the nation for his community service through the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at Jewish Family Service. Andrew, plus the other 29 “All-Stars Among Us,” one representing each MLB Club, will attend and be honored during the pre-game ceremony of the 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 13 on FOX beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Fans across the nation cast 1.7 million votes – more than double the amount of votes from the previous year – at to select the 30 “All-Stars Among Us” winners out of the pool of 90 finalists who are serving as leaders within their communities. 

Andrew works tirelessly for the “Hand Up” Youth Food Pantry in San Diego, distributing free groceries to hundreds of families in need. With the assistance of local teens, Andrew distributes more than 1,500 bags of food per month. Last year alone, “Hand Up” distributed more than 22,000 bags of groceries, helping to alleviate hunger in the community.

One in seven San Diegans face hunger. Andrew Hoffman works tirelessly for the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry in San Diego, distributing free groceries to hundreds of families in need. Two Sundays each month, Andrew Hoffman leads community volunteers to distribute food and hygiene items to hundreds of military families. Andrew, an everyday hero, oversees these distributions, and creates a family-friendly environment for the courageous military heroes that depend on him to make ends meet each month. As one military mom said, “This distribution is a blessing. Last week I had to choose between diapers and groceries. Now I don’t have to.” With the assistance of San Diego teens, Andrew distributes over 1,500 food bags per month. Last year alone, Hand Up distributed over 22,000 bags of groceries.

Preceding provided by Jewish Family Service