Home > Ethiopia, Israel, United Kingdom, United States of America > Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, August 20, 1954, Part 3

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, August 20, 1954, Part 3

Compiled by the San Diego Jewish World staffSouthwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 5

By Adolph Brodman

News of the Fox

Regular meeting of the Samuel I. Fox Lodge was held on Aug.10.  Brother Morrie Kraus made his official visit and was greeted by one of the largest turnouts that the lodge had had this year.

Convention reports were given by Brothers Morrie Kraus, Stanley Yukon and Dave Schloss.  Many interesting highlights about the convention in San Francisco were told and the delegates came home with many new ideas for their lodge.

Pres. Schloss greeted members and guests and welcomed back 2 brothers who were ill, and vacationing.  We welcomed to lodge Vic Rosenberg and Mr. Leopold.  Pres. Schloss introduced Mrs. Kay Kraus, President of the Birdie Stodel Chapter, who came as a guest.

Brother Joe Kaplan, Secretary of the Lasker Lodge, invited the members to attend their next meeting for a special party on Aug. 23 at the Temple Center.

On August 24, 1t 8 p.m., thre will be the social meeting to which all members and friends are invited.  Come and spend and evening with us, and if you are not a B’nai B’rith member now’s the time to join.

Chaim Weitzman Branch, Poale Zion
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 5

Chaver Jacob Katzman, executive secretary of the Labor Zionist Organization of New York, will be guest speaker at a meeting on Tuesday evening, August 31 at Tifereth Israel Center at 8 p.m.  Reports from the San Diego delegates who will have attended the Los Angeles conference will also be given.

The second annual dinner is scheduled for Sunday, September 19, in the Lounge of the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park.  Following the dinner, there will be an address by Dr. Guy Davis, Professor of Religion, at Chapman College and Vice President of the American Christian Palestine Committee of Los Angeles.  He has recently returned from a trip through Israel and the Arab states.

Reservations may be made with Mrs. Rose Brooker, Mrs. Joe Richlin and Mrs. Bernard Veitzer.


Bay City Women
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 5

All members and friends of San Diego Bay City B’nai B’rith Women’s Chapter No. 713 are reminded that Donor Books must be disposed of in time for the Rotisserie-Broil-Quik Drawing Sunday, Oct 10, at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

An entertaining evening is planned with a Children’s Aid to Israel Card Party; Mrs. S. Weening is Chairman.  You’ll be glad you came.

Jewish Holidays

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 5

Rosh Hashanah — Tues and Wed, Sept. 28 and 29, 1 and 2 Tishri

Yom Kippur – Thurs, October 8, 10 Tishri

Succoth – Tues and Wed., Oct 12 and 13, 15 and 16 Tishrei

Shemini Atzereth – Tues, October 19, 22 Tishri

Simcah Torah – Wed., October 20, 23 Tishri

Chanukah –7 and Shemini Atzereth, Oct. 19; Monday, December 20-27, 25 Kislev-2 Tishri. 

Yizkor (Memorial) services are held Yom Kippur, October 7.

A Much Needed Project (Editorial)

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 6

The Jewish Community Study now being conducted under the direction of the Federation of Jewish Agencies is one of the most important tasks ever undertaken in San Diego.  The Jewish Population Census Committee will begin, with the aid of a specially prepared questionnaire, a survey to determine the composition of the Jewish Community, their affiliations and their needs. They will also learn the numbers of Jewish families in this area, their ages, their geographic distribution and their interests.  This is necessary in order to plan intelligently for the future needs of our families, the youth and the aged.

The religious, social and recreational life of our people need such a survey and I no other way can the needs of our people be discovered.  No one should object to the study being made.  Those people who are to be questioned should cooperate fully with the interviewers who have volunteered their services. This survey will be of inestimable worth to our community in the future. The Federation should be congratulated on undertaking this task for the Jewish Community.

Home for the Aged (Editorial)

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 6

The annual meeting of the Home for the Aged this month will no doubt indicate the interest and activity of a large and devoted group of community-minded people. Starting eight years ago they quickly became known as an organization determined to tackle the problem of the aged in our community.

In less than a year they had purchased a building and with the help of the Women’s Auxiliary and the Guardians, fully equipped and staffed the Home. This was no easy task since many people not only did not help but stood by and criticized their work.

The education of the community was a slow and heartbreaking process but very few of the original group ever lost their interest. Many more have joined their ranks and today they are part of the Federation of Jewish Charities.

With ground being broken this year for a new structure which will house some 25 guests in a modern and fully equipped structure, the culmination of their efforts will be at hand. It has taken many years of study and effort to reach this point and they are to be congratulated.  No more important work exists in this community than planning to care for our aged and infirm elder citizens.  In our humble opinion we as a Jewish community would be derelict in our duty if we fail to provide a proper setting for our aged in their final years.

“Cast me not off in mine old age” is not an idle slogan – it is the plea of people to whom we owe a debt. They have come through the turbulent years and now deserve the peace of old age in an atmosphere of dignity and order. We owe them no less than a building of which we shall all be proud.

Jews in American History~300 Years

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 6

By Dr. Philip L. Seman, University of Judaism

The story of Judah Philip Benjamin, one of the five Jewish lawyers of the Common Law referred to by Arthur L. Goodhart, Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, is of particular interest in a series of articles on American Jewish history, for Benjamin made a contribution to the American as well as the English Bar.   He was Secretary of State in the Confederate States of America.  If the Civil War had turned out differently, the name of Judah P. Benjamin would have been one of the great ones of history, as it is, he is remembered today largely by lawyers.

In spite of his heavy law practice, Benjamin decided in 1842 to go into politics, and was elected as a Whig to the Lower House of the State Legislature. In 1852 he entered national politics when he was elected to the United States Senate.  Before he could take his seat, in 1853, President Fillmore nominated him as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the highest honor that had been received by a Jew, but he declined the offer as he preferred a more active political career.

Benjamin was not the first Jewish Senator, as David Levy Yulee of Florida had been elected some years previously, but he was by far the most distinguished one who has ever sat in that body.

In 1861, Benjamin’s career in the Senate came to an end when in 1860, the Southern States made preparations to secede from the Union.  Benjamin in December 1860 delivered a speech in which he justified the doctrine of State rights, and urged tht the parting between the Northern and the Southern States be in peace.

During the Civil War years, Benjamin was President Davis’s closest adviser. When in April 1865 the South lost the war, President Davis, Benjamin and some of the other members of the Cabinet left Richmond, the Confederate capital, and a week later General Lee surrendered to Grant, Benjamin decided that he would never be taken alive and he arrived in England in August 1865.

At age fifty-four it is not easy for a man, who has passed through four years of war to begin a new career under entirely strange conditions in a foreign country.  In 1866 he was called to the English Bar.  To give some idea of the great success he made as a lawyer in England, we are grateful to Prof. Arthur L. Goodhart for the following information:

“In the autumn of 1882 Benjamin who had been injured in an accident, decided to retire from the Bar.  In a speech made by the Lord Chancellor he said that no man in his recollection has possessed greater learning or displayed greater ability or greater zeal for the interests entrusted to him, and he spoke of his ‘highest honour, united with the greatest kindness and generosity.’”

Sir Henry James, the Attorney-General, said of Benjamin: “Who is the man save this one of whom it can be said that he held conspicuous leadership at the Bar of two countries? To this he added “Rivalry with him seemed to create rather than disturb friendship.”  And again when Judah P. Benjamin died in May 1884, the London Times, said in an editorial: “His life was as varied as an Eastern tale, and he carved out for himself by his own unaided exertions, not one but three several histories of great and well earned distinction … No less inherited is that classic resistance to evil fortune which preserved Mr. Benjamin’s ancestors through a succession of exiles and plundering, and reappeared in the Minster of the Confederate cause, together with the same refined apprehension of logical problems which informed the subtleties of the Talmud.”

Max J. Kohler, in the American Jewish Historical Society Publications in 1904, says of Judah P. Benjamin that he was the most distinguished statesman, orator and lawyer that American Jewry has produced.

From Where I Sit
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 6

By Mel Goldberg

There was a patient in a local hospital recently, named Sexauer .. The nurse on the main desk called surgery over the loud speaker system and inquired, “Do you have a Sexauer up there? … “Sex hour,” some witty medico answered, “why we’re so busy up here we haven’t even had time for a coffee break.”  … And that is a true story! …Dave Vogel says that the difference between amnesia and magnesia is: the guy with amnesia doesn’t know where he is going! …

In our little travels, we heard tell of a certain business man who makes it a habit to check his store’s advertising very carefully.  He frequently has been known to tear an “ad” completely apart two hours before deadline of the next day’s paper … One day, his ad agency man was extremely put out, because the merchant tore a full page advertisement into pieces … “You’re not a copywriter or an artist, Mr. So and So,” the advertising man protested, “and you’ve never laid out an ad in your entire life.”  … “That’s right,” said the man who paid the bills.  “I never laid an egg either.  But I’m a better judge of omelettes than any hen in the state of California.”

Can’t pick up a daily paper these days, without reading of some dim-wit who has shot someone with a gun that “wasn’t loaded.” …We ask, how come so many guns hanging around anyway? … The police as we see it, give adequate protection, and we still can’t figure out what kind of hunting is ever in season within the city … For 2-legged quail, you certainly don’t need a gun! ….

 Those little plastic catsup dispensers at the B & L Buffet are treacherous buggers. We sat at the little Lindy’s the other pm, minding our own business when boom—one of the bottles “popped” and a great big gob of catsup sprayed a five foot area … Host Lipton viewed the matter with some satisfaction, however, since it solved a mystery.  A few days ere, a patron was barraged with catsup and he had accused his lunch partner of trying to pull a trick that “wasn’t funny.” …The other chap pleaded innocent and vindicate words like “liar” were hurled across the table … We can now report that a freak vacuum-pressure in the sprayette-type container was the cause of it all… poof …

The Jewish Population Census, now underway, will factuate many things, heretofore assumed… Most enumerators are finding people most cooperative… No reason not to be since the questionnaire was custom-designed for San Diego—and the usual questions of a personal nature that appear on surveys of this sype have been eliminated… In fact, we saw a recent beer survey that was far more personal … Anybody every notice the little café on Washington Street near Mission Hills, where the diners line up to get in for dinner at night. … The place only has about 12 or 14 seats, and we’ve seen people sweating out a chow line there for 45 minutes … What’s the secret of their success?

It was a pleasure to see the movie at the Capri Theatre … Even if the picture had been lousy, we could have enjoyed sleeping in the comfortable seats the management has provided… The theatre owner should find some satisfaction in our critique because we paid the high admission price demanded—and yet, came away –well satisfied with the value received for the money expended … For us, that’s something!  Short hands and deep pockets, you know!

Thoughts while driving: Wonder if the mystery of the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia will ever be solved. Those isolated dark-skinned folks had lost contact with the outside world until about 70 years ago and yet, had retained a fairly pure Orthodox-Judeo culture.  Some theorists believe them to be the Lost Tribe, others say that they are from a group who failed to get across the Red Sea with Moses. Another theory has it that the Falashas are the direct descendents of the union between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. … They have intrigued scientists because in many centuries that they have resided in Africa they have assimilated little of the folkways and mores of their neighboring Africans …

Despite their isolation, Falasha Jews are adept at handicrafts, especially silver and gold working … Side note: Most of the Falashas are first rate jewelry craftsmen—which does not place them very highly with East African society.  For some reason too detailed to go into at this time, all native tribes in the East African countries place the jeweler (goldsmith and silversmith) on the lowest category on the social scale… In many cases they occupy a position not unlike the “untouchables” in the Hindu caste system.

“Adventures in San Diego 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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