Home > Adventures in SD History, Music, Theatre > Adventures In San Diego Jewish History, August 6, 1954, Part 1

Adventures In San Diego Jewish History, August 6, 1954, Part 1

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Beth Jacob Congregation Gets Help from Mens’ Club
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 1

(Photo Caption)—Larry Kane, president of the Beth Jacob Mens’ Club, hands Morrie Kraus, president of the congregation, a check for $1,000.00 raised by activities of the club  during the past year.

Poppy Day Set by Jewish War Veterans
Southwestern Jewish Press,
August 6, 1954, Page 1

For the fifth consecutive year, Mr. George A. Scott will open the annual Poppy Day Sale sponsored by the San Diego No. 185 Ladies’ Auxiliary Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America.  Mr. Scott purchased poppies for all the employees of Walker Scott Company.  The Poppy Day Sale will be held Friday August 13 and Auxiliary members will sell them downtown, North Park, Hillcrest and throughout the city.

This is the major fund raising event for the local Auxiliary and all funds are used to carry on their many worthy projects. At the California State Convention held at Hotel del Coronado in June, the following figures were recorded by San Diego Auxiliary for the period of June 1953-June 1954:

$2,412.49—U.S. Naval Hospital Tubercular Ward Parties
      764.00—USO, Oneg Shabbat at NTC, Veterans families in distress.
      163.10—Child Welfare parties at Sunshine School.

There were 5035 people taken care of at a cost of $3,339.59. All work done is on a non-sectarian basis.  In addition to the above quoted figures, the Auxiliary of 88 members also takes 25 hospital patients from U.S. Naval Hospital to the Padre “home” games every Thursday and the Football games in Aztec Bowl.  Also they presented a 21’ Television set to the U.S. Naval Hospital Building No 10-2.

Ruth Hecht and Binnie Brooks are co-chairmen. Everyone is urged to cooperate and buy a poppy on Poppy Day so that this fine work can continue.

Labor Committee Holds Picnic and Bazaar
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 1

The Jewish Labor Committee invites the community to attend the Annual Picnic and Bazaar on Sunday, August 15, at Pepper Grove, Balboa Park. To tempt the palate, a variety of delicious home-cooked food will be served starting at 12 noon; and to tempt the purse, a large stock of new merchandise donated by San Diego merchants will be sold at bargain prices.  One especially lucky ticket holder will be awarded a savings bond.

A $1.00 ticket insures a pleasant relaxing day the whole family will enjoy.


Business Men Sign to Help Refugees
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 1

Five San Diego business men have signed affidavits to bring Jewish refugees to San Diego under the Refugee Relief Act in 1954.

Acting jointly as sponsor with the United Jewish Fund were Abraham Sklar, 40 Locker Club; Morris Douglas, Douglas Tire Co.; William B. Schwartz, Golden State Fabrics; Maury B. Novak, Bohemian Baking Co.; and Harry Wax, San Diego Janitor Supply.

This is part of a national project of the United Service for New Americans to bring 15,000 Jewish refugees to America under the Refugee Relief Act. San Diego’s Jewish Community has agreed to take 15 families as its proportionate share.

The entire local program is under the direction of Dr. Walter Ornstein, Chairman of the Fund’s Émigré Committee.

Children’s Hospital Will Be Dedicated
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 1

The Children’s Hospital of the San Diego Society for Crippled Children will be dedicated at 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug.  15, it is announced by Morley H. Golden, president.

The $1,500,000 institution, goal of the Society for many years, is adjacent to the Donald N. Sharp Community Memorial Hospital, located on Highway 395 just north of Linda Vista.  Construction was started in April last year.

Census Group Urges Cooperation From All
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Pages 1,5

All Jewish families in San Diego were urged last week by their Rabbis, their organization presidents and other community leaders to cooperate and participate in the Jewish population census which will get under way next week.

Designating August 16 to 29 as “C.C.”—Community Census—week, the Jewish Community Census Committee headed by Victor Schulman and Milton Fredman announced that over 75 enumerators would begin contacting Jewish families to gather basis material.

With field testing of the questionnaire completed under the direction of Fredman, all enumerators will meet for instruction and assignment on Thursday, August 12 at Beth Israel Center.

The test run which was made on twenty families was carried out by Mesdames Marshall Naiman, Harold Lasher, George Starr, Eugene Tucker, David Schloss and Messrs. Mort Goldberg, Alex Pachman, Maury Gross, Joe Vure and Philip Abrams.

Leaders of the population census committee stress that the study is not being made for the purpose of securing contributions or for creating a list. All families being interviewed are already known to the Jewish community. They also stress the fact that all answers will be held in strict confidence and will be placed on tabulating cards.

Purposes of the census and study as outlined by the committee are to secure the basic facts to make it possible for the San Diego Federation of Jewish Agencies to better serve the basic social needs of the Jewish youth, the older folks and to better build our present and future communal life.  These basic facts include the number of people in different age groups, where they reside principally, their geographic distribution, their ages, their interests, their present and future needs.  Development of these facts will enable the Federation to assist the Synagogues and all other Jewish communal agencies I the furtherance of Jewish life in San Diego.

B’nai B’rith 91st Annual Convention in San Francisco
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Pages 1, 8

David A. Chertkow, attorney, Vancouver, B.C., was unanimously elected as the Grand President District Grand Lodge No. 4, B’nai B’rith at the order’s 91st annual convention held in San Francisco, California.

Elected to serve with Mr. Chertkow for the ensuing year were the following: Moe Kudler, Los Angeles, 1st vice president; Jacob Shemano, San Francisco, 2nd vice president; Sam Tarshis, Seattle, Washington, 3rd vice president; Edward A. Zeisler, San Francisco, Grand Secretary, and Jefferson E. Peyser, San Francisco, Grand Treasurer.

Elected to the District Executive Board were George Aftergood, Jack L. Bilkiss, Hyman O. Danoff, Averill Pasarow, Julius Samson and Jack Spitzer, all of Los Angeles, California, and Morrie Kraus of San Diego.

Over three hundred men delegates to the district convention of B’nai B’rith pledged themselves to redouble aid to youth, students, their communities and members of the armed services and veterans.

The delegates, representing 21,000 members of the Jewish service organization’s District Grand Lodge No. 4 (eight Western states and British Columbia) held their 91st annual convention at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco.

They heard Eward A. Breitbard, of San Diego, chairman of the District Standing Committee on Service to the Armed Forces and Veteras, promise the “greatest service to the greatest number possible” of American servicemen “of all races, all creeds, all color.”

Philadelphia Lawyer to Speak Here
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 1

Mr. David L. Ullman, noted Philadelphia attorney, will be the guest speaker for the Jewish Community Relations Council today, August 6, at noon in the Riviera Room of the Grant Hotel.

Recognized as an outstanding community leader, Mr. Ullman is also a leader in the field of community relations.  Honorary President of Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council, he now serves as vice president of the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission.

Mr. Ullman has served the United States in such important posts as a member of the American Commission to negotiate Peace, and as former counsel to the Comptroller of the Currency.

He is a former chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board of Pennsylvania; a past president of the Council of Reformed Congregations, and of University Lodge of B’nai B’rith. HE is also a charter member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Mrs. Gertrude Ullman, who is accompanying her husband on this trip, is also a leader in communal and organizational life. She is immediate past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women; Secretary of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind; and a member of the Board of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council.

To See or not To See

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 2

By Berenice Soule

Culture Sugar Coated – There’s no doubt that two Shakespeare plays read as required reading at the unenlightened age of 13 and one read in college freshman English does not equip one as a Shakespeare critic. So any resemblance between this and a qualified drama critic’s report is purely in the reader’s mind.  Judged as entertainment, the Shakespeare Festival presented at the Old Globe this summer is unexpectedly thrilling.  The gaily decorated Green with its colorful pennants, lighted torches, delightful old world sweetmeat booths and the pageantry of Queen Elizabeth and her court with the light hearted dancing on the Green makes an island of romance for the spectator.  There can’t possibly be another community theatre in the country with the natural beauty of the Globe surroundings.

One of the most gratifying reactions to viewing Shakespeare is often the feeling of personal discovery, a very private, intimate emotion that Shakespeare is writing just for YOU; you find truths in his words that never existed until you unlocked their meanings; and all the years you’ve been a little afraid you weren’t culturally equipped to understand him and thus chary of boredom, you’ve missed a lot of plain, good entertainment.

Shakespeare never meant to be taken as a “long-hair”; he wrote for popular consumption as do movie and television writers today. In his plays are the same ingredients—comedy and drama, love and romance, and even intrigue and sex. Modern playwrights write form inspiration or for money or most often because they have something they want to say. Shakespeare wrote for the same reasons. Admittedly, there is one conspicuous difference—Shakespeare says it BETTER!

As was natural, the production awaited with most interest and trepidation was “The Merchant of Venice.”  If I were sure everyone would see it I would say nothing so that the full force of the most pleasurable Globe experience of the year could come as a surprise. Most welcome is the interpretation given this oft-time objectionable play.  However, this would be grossly unfair to the director, Philip Hanson, who, faced with the problem of handling an ancient prejudice in a modern light, lost none of the drama of Shakespeare in seeing Shylock as a man of worth whose fate is of utmost concern to the audience.  He deserves printed praise.

University of Texas student Joe H. Hearne plays Shylock with a dignity and force  and a sympathetic understanding hardly believable in one so young. Particularly pleasurable has been the audience reaction to Hearne’s portrayal which has earned him innumerable “hands.” 

Suggestion Department: The award committee for the Atlas award ceremonies could well name Hanson and Hearne as Heroes of the 1954 Shakespeare Festival.

Hardly less impressive is “Othello” directed by Frank McMullen with an admirable cast headed by Gerald Charlebois in the title role (he also plays the title role in “Merchant”). Especially noteworthy are Donna Wegner as a beautiful, gentle Desdemona, Dorothy Chace as Emilia (she plays Portia in “Merchant”), and Jack Sowards as Iago.

It is not the fault of excellent director Patrick Wymark that the chore of directing the least interesting of the Shakespeare Festival trilogy, “Twelfth Night” was his lot.  I’ve never enjoyed it, think it’s silly, its characters are dull, it contains no memorable lines, and I’d like to pretend Shakespeare didn’t write it.  So follows Suggestion Dept. No. 2: Let’s just ignore this one, bring Wymark back next year and give him something better to do.

Many of the actors appear in all three plays,l and among those besides the above-mentioned who gave excellent portrayals are Eugene Price, Abe Polsky, Miller Bushway, Shirlee Johnson, Robert ONeal, Bob Halverson, Dennis Hopper, William Francis, and Ann Barlow.

3 Performances More 3 –“Sabrina Fair,” romantic comedy currently running at La Jolla Playhouse and starring Joseph Cotton can be seen through this Sunday. This “Cinderella among the rich” story is by Samuel Taylor.

In the cast besides Cotton are Arleen Whelan, Robert Warwick, Rose Hobart, Louise Lorimer, Maurice Marsac, George Chandler, Lamont Johnson, and Margaret Wells.  The delightful set by Robert Corrigan is almost the duplicate of the one used on Broadway.

“Modern” French Canadian—Drury Lane is having a ball with the set for their next show, “The Happy Time.”  Architect Russell Forrester, who designed the windows for La Jolla Playhouse production’s “The Winslow Boy” and “Sabrina Fair” is letting himself go on a “suggestive” stage setting. Hear tell the player piano will be orange.

Teen-Age Production – “Babes in Toyland” to be presented in Balboa Park Bowl on August 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. as a Cerebral Palsy Foundation benefit, stars the outstanding teenage talent in San Diego County and is produced by the City Park and Recreation Department under the supervision of Maria Fielding. Choral director is Carl Dewse, dramatics director, Chas. Jeffers, and musical director Walter Peterson. The production will feature a cast of 31 actors, the Junior Civic Ballet of 50 members, a Junior Civic Chorus of 70 and the 80-member San Diego Youth Symphony.


Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 2

Liberace Returns to San Diego

Starting August 12 on KFMB-TV, Channel 8 at 8:00 p.m. and every Thursday thereafter, Liberace, handsome and versatile entertainer will be seen weekly as the star of a new television series.  Liberace was one of only two entertainers in the television world to receive dual awards in the 1952 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences “sweepstakes.”  Lucille Ball, star of the “I Love Lucy” series was the other to receive this signal honor.

Clark Jordan Gets Post at New Theatre
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 2

Clark Jordan, veteran theatre manager, assumes new post at Burton Jones’ modern Capri Theatre, located at Park and University.  Mr. Jordan has operated theatres on the east coast for several large circuits over a 22-year span. He was recently connected with the Linda Theatre here in San Diego. MR. Jordan is married and resides in Pacific Beach.

Summer Program Continues at Bowl
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 2

A triple piano concerto, with three of the nation’s top pianists at the keyboards, will highlight next Tuesday’s Summer Symphonies in Balboa Park Bowl.

Lyell Barbour of Escondido; John Wustman, New York, and Howard Wells, Pasadena, will present Bach’s Triple Piano Concerto in D Minor as one of four musical masterpieces which will be heard on the program, the fifth of the current series conducted by the incomparable Robert Shaw.

Barbour also will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.  The program will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Sharing the spotlight with the pianists will be Howard Bruebeck, San Diego musician, who was commiss(ion)ed by the Symphony Association to compose the opening number, entitled “Overture to the Devil’s Disciple” which will raise the curtain at 8:30 p.m.

Final concert in the series of Chamber Music programs is scheduled for next Friday, August 13, at Hoover High School beginning at 8:30 p.m.  Bach’s “Passion According to St. John,” one of the composer’s most memorable works, will be presented with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera in starring roles.

The 1954 summer symphony season will wind up Augut 17 at Boalboa Park Bowl with the masterful “Creation” by Haydn, Shaw’s most ambitious undertaking during the series.

‘Seven Year Itch’ Next at La Jolla
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 6, 1954, Page 2

“The Seven Year Itch,” the riotous comedy which has been playing on Broadway since November 1952, is scheduled next at La Jolla Playhouse with Don Taylor, Kathleen Hughes and Willard “The Great Gildersleeves” Waterman in the starring roles.  Under the direction of Norman Lloyd, “The Seven Year Itch” will begin its two week run Tuesday, August 10.

The presentation of “The Seven Year Itch” makes three current Broadway hits in a row to be produced at La Jolla Playhouse.

Don Taylor appeared twice at La Jolla Playhouse last summer. First, co-starring with Dorothy McGuire in “I Am a Camera” and second with Jean Parker in a new version of “The Postman Always Rings Twice.”  Since then he has completed two films, “Robin Hood” and “Johnny Dark” and had made several TV appearances.

Miss Hughes, who is under contract to Universal International Studios, will soon be seen in the motion picture, “Dawn at Socorro.”

Featured in the cast are Catherine McLeod and George Neise.


“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 “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.  To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box.


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