Home > Adventures in SD History > Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, October 1, 1954, Part 3

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, October 1, 1954, Part 3

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Let’s Laugh A Little (Editorial)

Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 5

With the threat of war, the A, B and C of bombs hanging over our heads, juvenile problems, dope, and the massacre on the highways, it’s no wonder that America has lost its sense of humor. We have become a very sober group and we’re not too sure that it’s for the best.

Have you noticed the disappearance from our newspapers and magazines of the special kind of humor and light verse that we used to look forward to each day or week?  Most of us had favorite columnists and versifiers who made us chuckle and laugh. There were actually magazines that were devoted to humor exclusively with cartoons, jokes, light verse and articles.  Do you remember “Judge,” “Life” and “College Humor?”  They are all gone now, and so are the newspaper columnists.

Have our tastes changed so? – or is there nothing so funny anymore about the world we now live in?  We seem to have lost the knack of laughing—even at ourselves. Our children, too, are missing out.  The “comics” are certainly not funny. They are designed to thrill and horrify.  The Sunday “comics” are filled with gangsters, pace ships and “other world” characters we wouldn’t care to meet anywhere.

The daily newspapers are rife with columnists who are “Pundits,” “Seers” and “peep-hole” artists.  No wonder our children seek refuge in “comics,” TV, and the movies.

The movies, too, have lost their great comedians.  Remember Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and the “Our Gang” comedies.  Now you can only see them on television.  Where are the comedians to make the children and grown-ups laugh today?

In all avenues of communication laughter of the kind we used to know is dying. We are in danger of taking ourselves too seriously.  Humor and laughter are necessary to us as medicine.  A people without humor is capable of naziism, communism or fascism. The nations that have succumbed to totalitarianism have taken themselves too seriously. They have forgotten how to laugh. When you laugh it’s hard to hate anyone.  A happy nation is a healthy one.

We Can Do Our Part (Editorial)
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 5

The coming elections, just a month away, remind us of the fact that so few Jews in this community take an active part in politics. As far as we could learn, there are on Jews on the Democratic County Central Committee.  We know of a few who work in several of the districts but none hold leadership posts.

This holds true for the Republican party, too. One serves on the top level finance committee and a few are active. But by and large our people are not playing too active a part in the elections.

Why this is we do not know.  The Jewish Community has been here for almost 100 years and by no stretch of the imagination can it be called “new”. San Diego has always held the Jews of this community in high regard and we have been from tensions for many years.  Crack-pot and hate groups  have not gotten very far in this community.

Then why are so few Jews involved in the political and civic life of San Diego.  We haven’t the answer but maybe there is one that we have missed. Anyway we would like to see a greater degree of Jewish participation in the political and civic affairs of our town.  On our part we would do all within our power to help in encouraging such participation, for only in so doing do we become an integral part of our city. We have a great deal to offer in the way of service – let’s give a little to make our town a better community.

Jews in American History~300 Years
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 5

By Dr. Philip L. Seman, University of Judaism

AT this time we have over 200,000 Jewish men in uniform out of a total of some 4,000,000 in all of the service. With over 100 Rabbis in service, it is of interest to learn something of the beginning of the Chaplains Service in the Army and the Navy. It was  not until July 22nd and August 3, 1861 that Congress legislated for the appointment of Chaplains, the law contained then the sectarian provision that a Chaplain “must be a regular ordained minister of some Christian denomination.”  On March 12, 1862, the Senate passed legislation that abolished the discrimination and it became a law in 1862.  It is recorded that Rabbi Jacob Frankel of Philadelphia was appointed the first Jewish Chaplain.

Here may be the place where we may rehearse some interesting facts regarding Jews and the Civil War. We are grateful to Doctor Bertram W. Korn, Rabbi of Congregation Knesseth Israel of Philadelphia, who made an intensive study resulting in his “American Jewry and the Civil War,” published by the Jewish Publication Society of America in 1951.  The volume of over three hundred pages gives important information regarding Jews in America in 1860: The Rabbis and the Slavery question, the Chaplaincy Controversy, American Judaephobia, the Union version and the Confederate version.  The interest story of Lincoln and the Jews, that in part has already been discussed in this series earlier.  In the appendix of Dr. Korn’s book the reader will find a list of sermons, speeches and prayers dealing with the Civil War.  Correspondence between Lincoln and Abraham Jonas of Illinois, Lincoln’s most intimate Jewish friend, as well as the Correspondence between Lincoln and Dr. Isachar Zacharia, President Lincoln’s Chiropodist and special agent.

We are grateful to Morris U. Shappes who edited A Documentary History of Jews in the United States that your columnist has already referred to from time to time, as well as the publications of the Jewish Historical Society.

When Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers meeting with but slow response, special efforts were undertaken and among these was the project of the Jews of Chicago to recruit a Jewish infantry company  of 100 men. For the first time since the organization of the Jewish community of Chicago in 1847, the Jews gathered as Jews to plan a secular action – the Jewish population in Chicago was then only about 1,000 yet within two days 96 men had enrolled in the Concordia Guards and $11,000 had been raised in order to provide each enlisted man with a bonus of $100 and the Jewish women had made the regimental flag.  In the next chapter we will continue with the General Grant Order No. 11.

Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 5

The struggle of our times is the struggle to preserve the integrity and creativity of the free mind – Adlai Stevenson.

From Civil War to Cold War ~The Saga of Jewish Military Morale Services in the U.S.
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 5

By George Perry

When a hard-headed businessman and deeply-principled Jew by the name of Asser Levy, one of the band of 23 Jews who settled in New Amsterdam in 1654, won for his fellow Jews the right to serve in the colony’s defense establishment – and later wrung from the Dutch authorities the complete burgher right – he wrote the first chapter in the 300-year-story of American Jewry’s participation in all the wars of the United States, both as soldiers and builders of military morale.  More than two centuries later, in the spirit of Asser Levy, American Jews again struck a blow for first class citizenship by establishing during the Civil War the right of rabbis to serve as military chaplains.

Jews, then, have served in the fighting forces of America since Colonial days; Jewish chaplains have ministered to the religious needs of soldiers since the Civil War and the civilian Jewish community ahs served with distinction on the home front in every national emergency. As American Jewry, marking the tercentenary of Jewish settlement on these shores, pridefully recalls the achievements of Jewish fighting men, it may also salute the unique record of the civilian Jewish community which traes military personnel to local endeavors in the north and the south during the Civil War.

American Jewry’s principal morale effort in the civil war had a non-sectarian character for it was confined largely to participation in the program of the Sanitary Commission, a kind of precursor of the USO of World War II. Dr. Bertram Korn, whose fascinating book, “American Jewry in the Civil War” is the authoritative source for most of our information on this era, told of Jewish women’s societies in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New York, Pittsburgh, Mobile, Charlotte and elsewhere that raised thousands of dollars for the Commission and shipped tons of food, medical and sanitary supplies and clothing to the soldiers on all fighting fronts. The annual report of the Ladies Hebrew Association for the Relief of the Sick and Wounded of Philadelphia, for example, revealed that the doughty women had shipped during 1864 ten crates of supplies, including soap, pens, towels, pillowcases, stationery, a wide variety of edibles, among them jars of pickles.

Purim balls and other Jewish holiday parties raised large sums for the Sanitary Commission. Rabbis used the pulpit to appeal for funds for soldier relief. One of the highpoints of this non-sectarian effort was the voluntary conversion of several wards of the Jews’ Hospital in New York (now Mount Sinai ) to war service.  Some 136 individuals and ten Jewish organizations were mobilized for morale work for wounded soldiers. Volunteers tended the wounded and young hostesses (whose granddaughters served on JWB committees during World War II) read to the patients.  Lectures in the wards and carriage rides in Central Park for ambulatory patients were other morale boosters sponsored by Jews’ Hospital. The hospital’s menu included things like wine, beer, chicken, eggs and canned fruits, scarce items in military hospitals even in the north.

Strange to say, the Jewish community undertook little or nothing on behalf of Jewish soldiers as such.  Whether it was fear of anti-Semitism or sensitiveness to charges of segregation, the Jewish community’s efforts on behalf of the specifically Jewish needs of Jewish troops were insignificant.  Feeble, as they were, these scattered efforts revealed the inchoate outlines of the world-wide Jewish morale and religious program that American Jewry developed in both World Wars.  Early in the Civil War, the Jewish Press echoed with demands for the establishment of a “Jewish Sanitary Commission” and the opening of a Jewish military hospital in Washington, D.C. Some local Jewish organizations set up organized home hospitality for Jewish soldiers and even shipped kosher food parcels to southern Jews held in Union prisons.

The damyankee Jew occasionally found a Jewish welcome down south, as this incident told by Dr. Korn indicates. It was close to Rosh Hashanah when Henry Frank and Isaac Lowenberg, two soldierts with the invading Union army, dropped in at John Mayer’s store in Vicksburg, Miss., to inquire about services. They had come to the right place for Mayer was president of Vicksburg’s Congregation Ansche Chesed.  Lacking its own synagogue and unable to hold {To Be Continued}


Double Talk
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

By Janet & Susan Solof

A very Happy New Year and all good wishes, too
To hope this year and the years ahead are happy ones for you.

Starting out the high school year with a bang was the bit city Carnival.  Every high school took part in it and almost all the teenage kids either participated in the pageantry or in the cheering section.  The Football Carnival is something to look forward to each year.

It was a tremendous Saturday night when Shirley Kaufman gave a big dinner dance for her 16th birthday. Larry Cantor ‘n Andy Leeds, Ernie Addleson ‘n Nat Veitzer, Janet Solof ‘n Sheldon Golden, Maxine Schoenkopf ‘n Bruce Fisher, Susan Solof ‘n Sonny Stern, Lelani Leitchtag ‘n Bert Eptstein, Ethel Gardner ‘n Harry Ratner, Elaine Shapery ‘n Larry Prager, Jan Klaskin ‘n Gary Cantor, Zena Feurzieg ‘n Sandy Ratner, Linda Zuckerman ‘n Stan Breitbard, Sue Hutler ‘n Phil Kaplan, Diane Fogelman ‘n Alan Friedman, Lucy Recht ‘n Irwin Schotzman, Judy Aved ‘n Mo Barancik, Barbara Silverman ‘n Buddy Kader, Bob Meyers—Shirley’s date, Larry Kaufman ‘n ?, and Jimmy Kaufman ‘n ? loved every minute of it.

Scoop!  Say that was a snazzy outfit Mackie Schoenkopf had on at the Football Carnival. Wasn’t that Rocky Goodrich, screaming her head off for S.D. Hi? —well, natch. We wish we could tell you all thoe we saw holding hands at the carnival – was it you?  What was at Harvey Levitt’s house – hmmmmm. 

Bye and “Good Yontiff.”

Scott Plans Lemon Grove Shop Center
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

A multimillion-dollar shopping center consisting of 30 to 40 stores is planned for the Lemon Grove area by George A. Scott, president and general manager of the Walker-Scott Company.

Scott has acquired a 62-acre site for the center at the corner of College Ave and Federal Blvd on Broadway at a price said to approach $250,000.

Plans include a major department store of approximately 125,000 square feet of floor space and other shopping facilities totaling 30 to 40 stores.

Off-street parking space for 1,500 vehicles is a feature of the plan.

(Hebrew Home)
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

Application for admission to the Hebrew Home for the Aged may be made through the Jewish Social Service Age3ncy, 333 Plaza, BE 2-5172.

Birdie Stodel Plans Aid to Israel Night
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

San Diego Birdie Stodel Chapter No. 92, B’nai B’rith Women will hold its annual Aid to Israel Night on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m.

Notice – the meeting place of the Aid-to-Israel Night has been  changed ot Beth Jacob Center, 4473 30th St.

The affair is chaired by Elva Breitbard and co-chaired by Bertha Rassin and Goldie Winicki. Proceeds of the event will go towards the Children’s Hospital in Jerusalem  and will aid in the rehab ilitation of unfortunate youngsters.

This is the annual event at which the Donors Prize, a silver service set for 12 is awarded. All Donor books must be turned in this night in order to be eligible for the drawing. For your enjoyment there will be bingo, cards and delicious refreshments will b e served. Don’t forget the date, your Donor books and the change of the meeting place.


Center Survey Committees Meet
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

The following committees and their chairmen have been established in order to study plans for the future development of the Jewish Community Center movement in san Diego. Pre-school, MRs. Milton Schwartz, chairman; elementary school, Ben Carnot, chairman; Junior High, Mrs. Ted Brav, chairman; High School, Leo Beck, chairman; Young Adult, Mrs. Sanford Sack, Chairman; Adults Maury Novak, Older Adults, Henry Price; Health and Phy-Ed, Harry Mallen.

These program committee sill meet under the supervision of Mr. Myron Blanchard of the National Jewish Welfare Board beginning October 17. There will be two meetings during the latter two weeks of October and anyone interested in serving on any committee are invited to call the Center office, AT-1-7744.

Yo-Ma-Cos Hold Annual Yom Kippur Dance
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

The Fifth Annual Yom Kippur Night Dance, sponsored by the Yo-Ma-Co Club, will be held at El Cortez Hotel, Thursday, Oct. 7. This annual affair has proved one of the most outstanding events of the club and social season.

Committee chairmen, Leon Solomon and Al Nadler, promise an excellent orchestra led by Pete Newburg.  Adding to the evening’s festivities will be a diversified floor show including Etti Mallinger and her eleven impersonations.

For a gala evening and a fitting finale to the holiday season don’t forget the Yo-Ma-Co Annual Yom Kippur Dance at El Cortez Hotel, Thursday, Oct. 7, at 8:30 p.m  Dancing until 1:00 a.m.  For tickets and reservations call Mrs. Al Nadler, HO-6-2446.


Birdie Stodel Sets Donor Lunch Oct. 25

Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

Birdie Stodel B’nai B’rith Women will hold its annual Donor Luncheon, Monday, Oct 25, noon, at the new Mission Valley Country Club, announcement was made by Kay Kraus, president.

Top-flight Hollywood talent has been lined up for entertainment, according to Doris Borenstein, chairman. Besides a well-known movie personality, members and friends will be treated to a great show headlined by Marty Drake, famous stage and radio star.

He has recently completed a two year tour of the country as star of the Broadway show “Bagels and Lox”, and was last seen at the Biltmore Theatre in Los Angeles. For the time of your life, remember the S.D. Birdie Stodel Donor Luncheon – Oct. 25.

Members are urged to be sure to turn in their donor books at the Aid-to-Israel Night on Oct. 9th in order to be eligible for the drawing.

Senator Kraft Asks Re-Election on Record
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

State Senator Fred Kraft of San Diego County, a candidate for re-election, has issued a summary of his platform and accomplishments.

Kraft, a resident of this County since 1919, is a druggist in Ocean Beach and has been in business 35 years.  HE was elected to the Assembly in 1942, and after serving two terms there was elected to the State Senate in 1946, reelected four years later.

After citing his efforts in holding the line on State Taxes and his accomplishments as chairman of the committees which first reported the fraud and extravagance in the department of Employment, an exposure which has led to substantial administrative changes and great savings, and his work in handling all major legislation for San Diego County, Kraft declared, “If re=elected I will continue to do my level best to take care of the problems of this area always keeping in mind the best interests and welfare of the greatest number of our people.”

Jewish War Veterans
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

Post 185 assisted in the Lox and Bagel breakfast sponsored by the Jewish Welfare Board under the direction of Abe Friedman, which was served this past Sunday morning at the Naval Training Center.

The business meeting of Oct. 6 has been cancelled, and the Post will again meet Oct. 20 when Robert B. James, Chief Clerk of San Diego County will explain the functions o the court house.  Mr. James is a well known figure to our members and has met with us many times in the past, during Brotherhood Week and in veterans conferences.  He is a Past Commander of Fighting Bob Post 264 of the American Legion, and Past Commander of the County Council of the American Legion. The community is cordially invited, and refreshments will be served.

Chaim Weizman Branch Poale Zion
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

The following members have been elected to serve as officers for 1954-55: President, Joseph Olsher; 1st V.P., I.L Domnitz; 2nd V.P. and Rec. Sec., Philip Abrams; Fin. Sec., Bertha Veitzer; Treas., Jos. Richlin.  Members elected to the board of directors are M.S. Berlin, Florence Barach, Rose Brooker, Max Leopold, Sam Slayen, Bernard Veitzer, Dina Weissman, Dora Richlin and Ruben Umansky.

Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

The man who puts confidence in everyone else builds up his own.

Jewish Center News
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 1, 1954, page 6

Teen-Age Holiday Dance – The Center Teen-Agers are sponsoring a post- Yom Kippur Holiday Dance on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 8 to 11:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center.  Admission is $1.00 per couple. Sport dress is the suggested attire.  Program will include dancing and refreshments. All Teen-Agers who are members of the Center are welcome to attend. For further information, call the Center.

Point Loma Program – Ballet and Creative Dance Classes as well as an Arts and Crafts program is now being offered every Friday at the Portuguese Assembly Hall, 2818 Addison St., Pt. Loma. This program is specifically designed to meet the needs of Center members who reside in the Pt. Loma and beach areas. All youngsters between the ages from 6 to 12 are invited to attend. The sizes of the classes will be limited and it is suggested you register your youngster immediately,  /the fees are $10.00 for ten sessions for Center members and $15.00 for non-members.

Rhythmic Exercise Class—The Rhythmic Exercise Class will resume meetings at the Center on Tuesday, October 26.

Junior High School – Beginners Ballroom Dance Class will meet on Wednesday evenings October 13 and 20 at the Jewish Community Center.  This is an excellent opportunity for the younger set to learn to dance. All junior high youngsters interested are welcome to attend.


“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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