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Canadian Jewish Congress says Ottawa should decline to honor anti-Semitic former mayor

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

OTTAWA (WJC)–The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) has criticized posthumous honors for the first female mayor of Ottawa because of her opposition to taking in Jewish refugees during World War II.

CJC officials, writing in the ‘Ottawa Citizen’, charged that Charlotte Whitton, who served as mayor of Canada’s capital city from 1951 to 1956 and from 1960 to 1964, “never publicly recanted her anti-Semitism and sought no atonement for the dire consequences of her actions. Her poisoning of the well helped close Canada’s door to Jewish refugee orphans, dooming them to their fate in the Holocaust.”

Last year, the Ottawa Committee of the Famous Five Foundation had asked the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to recognize Whitton for her pioneering work as a politician, feminist and social worker. Whitton’s role in blocking non-British refugee children – 80 percent of whom were Jewish – is cited in the 1982 book None is Too Many authored by the historians Irving Abella and Harold Troper.

According to the book, which takes its title from a phrase uttered by a Canadian bureaucrat in response to a query on how many Jews Canada would accept after the war, Whitton was an “influential voice” in the early 1940s, when she served on the Canadian Welfare Council and the Canadian National Committee on Refugees. She “nearly broke up” the inaugural meeting of the committee on refugees “by her insistent opposition and very apparent anti-Semitism,” the book says. The Canadian Jewish Congress, it adds, considered Whitton – who died in 1975 – “an enemy of Jewish immigration.”

Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber told the ‘Jewish Telegraphic Agency’ he was confident that “given [Whitton] acting on her anti-Semitism, it is highly unlikely she will receive honors from any level of government.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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A daughter-in-law’s eulogy for San Diego’s Idell Neumann

August 22, 2010 1 comment

By Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann

Idell Neumann, at approximately age 60

PALO ALTO, California — My husband, George, and I were spending the weekend celebrating the wedding of our friends’ daughter when we learned that Idell Neumann—Baba in our household—had taken a turn for the worse.  Eight days later, a Sunday night, I was officiating at a wedding when she died. 

The intersection of weddings and funerals, in an odd way, is fitting.  It’s fitting Jewishly—as the Song of Songs teaches, “Set me for a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm.  For love is strong as death.  Many waters cannot quench love.” (8:6) It’s fitting personally—Idell came into my life because I married her son.  And it’s fitting for how Idell lived—as we were trying to decide whether to come to San Diego immediately or whether to attend the wedding first, my cousin, herself no stranger to sorrow and more or less a contemporary of Idell’s, said, “You came for a simcha, you deserve a simcha.”  Idell would have said the same thing—in her life, she focused more on simchas than on sadness.

And in this recent period of decline, when people often reveal their essence, Idell was sweet and generous, grateful and affectionate.  She lived with those qualities in evidence for over eight decades.

It must be said, because every one of us here feels it.  This is only the last in a long string of goodbyes to Idell Neumann (b. June 7, 1928; d. Aug 1, 2010).  How painful it has been to see a woman so supremely competent, with so much agency, blessed with such a sense of self and concern for others, lose those qualities of mind and action.  But somehow, she never lost the quality of heart. 

She was aware at the start of the Alzheimer’s Disease how much she was losing.  She told me that she had been so good with numbers and now she couldn’t calculate how much to leave for a tip when the check arrived.  She resisted the recommendations of the social worker from Jewish Family Service.  She thought of Letty Matulac, who even then, was taking exquisite care of her, as her friend, and they were two happy women going out to lunch, or to the market.  She so valued Letty’s companionship, and as we all know, being her companion became more and more challenging as the disease progressed.  What is remarkable is that Letty always treated her with the same respect, the same upbeat attitude, the same expression of joy and delight in her company as she had when Idell was still “herself”.  I don’t think we can thank Letty enough for being the kind, attentive, thoughtful caregiver that she is.  As a fellow clergy person, it is clear to me that the attentive, loving care that Letty lavished on Baba was a ministry.  Letty provided a Divine caress every time she would moisten Baba’s lips or a Holy word, when she would call out to her so sweetly, “Idell?  Idell?  Your family is here to see you.”

George commented that Letty became Idell’s second nervous system, was as connected as if through an umbilical cord, and I think we all marveled at how long she lived past the medical predictions, and we knew it was because of Letty.  Even in the last week, as she lay dying, she remained warm and pink and so well groomed in the warm embrace of Letty and Eddie’s home.  Letty, you affirm the biblical truth that love is stronger than death. 

When the siblings started to reminisce about their mother, the first image they all had was of Idell, the cook.  Making gefilte fish from scratch.  Her inability to make matzah balls that were sinkers, her floaters were so exquisite.  Sidney Neumann’s comment that she had “taam”—you’d take a recipe, give it to someone else or give it to Mom.  In the first case, the recipe came out like individual ingredients.  For Mom, it came out greater than the sum of the parts.  Linda Terriere said Mom and Lynette Terriere Schreiber cooked together—the two of them were in the kitchen and had their special time.  Chana Karlin-Neumann, too, said that her earliest memories were of cooking with Baba and being in the kitchen with her.   She was always my first call when I was trying to cook something new—matzah balls, turkey, her delicious zucchini crepes.  Linda, Benita Neumann and I each treasure some of her recipes.  And I’ve just learned that Lynette has the recipe for her famous, multi-layered mocha chip cake.

Linda described the day when Mom decided she was going to make Grandma Rose Neumann’s rugalach. “We got out a nice big bowl and Grandma said, “It’s not big enough”.  So Mom bought that huge bowl that she made gefilte fish in. The recipe also called for a pinch of this, a pinch of that—we had to figure out how much a pinch is. In that big bowl, she made a gigantic recipe– she used 5 pounds of flour, sugar. But let me tell you how many cookies that was!  So, she adapted the recipe. And Grandma Rose approved—she said they were perfect.”

In thinking about Idell the cook, I couldn’t help but think about how she has adapted her own recipes for life. So as I was listening to the siblings, I typed a note to myself:  Idell’s recipe for life.

And as I typed that in, without my intending to; my fingers managed to make a happy face emoticon—And I don’t actually know how to make an emoticon!  It was as if Idell was directing the keyboard…and I thought, “how appropriate.”  Her recipe for life was unfailingly sunny.  She nurtured orchids and children, friendships and family.  

People could have taken her lot in life as a tale of struggle—one way to tell her story is that she had a husband whose war wounds troubled him throughout his life and many people she loved were fighting illnesses, but that’s not how she chose to see things.  Her recipe for life, like the happy face emoticon, was sunny.

So here are a few of Idell’s recipes for a good life, modeled on the Pesach dinner she prepared so lavishly. 

  1. Eggs:  Celebrate the new and be adventuresome.

She never regretted trying new things—even when she tried to lick the fence in one of those cold Manitoba winters and got her tongue stuck on it and they had to throw hot water on her to get it unstuck.

At 19, she left home and by all accounts a happy childhood with her dog and joined her brothers, to explore a new country, a new future, and ultimately, make a new life for herself in Southern California.

When Linda and George were in school, she went back to graduate school herself, to become a research psychologist.  And then, she became an indispensible contributor to the Naval Personnel Research and Development Center (NPRDC). Her ability to balance her professional responsibilities and her domestic commitments with seeming flawlessness was a source of great inspiration for many of the cousins, particularly the young women in the family who were trying to figure out how to have in their lives both love and a livelihood.

She even, according to some friends, had a bit of a wild streak.  She got a kick out of men flirting with her in restaurants and once, at a work party, she had some wine, climbed up on the top of a picnic table and danced!

  1. Gefilte Fish:  Know what you are made of.

Idell was just a kid when she met Sidney. He was eleven years older than she was, divorced, already a father and wounded from the war.  But she told Becky Hetter that it took just a few days and she knew he was the one. He had great admiration, even reverence for his mother, and he offered those to her in abundance. But her parents didn’t approve, and her father called her back to Canada.  She obliged him, but before going, on February 8, 1949, she secretly married Sidney, with their friend Jordy Saunders and others as witnesses before a Justice of the Peace.  Then, they got married again with a rabbi in March, when they “did it right.” As much as she respected her parents and honored them, Idell followed her own star. 

George says that his mother had simple needs.  Simple not in sense of unsophisticated; she certainly was sophisticated, well-educated and “with it”—she had a computer before her kids did—in fact, her introductory letter to my parents began, “Forgive me for typing this letter, but I’m committed body and soul to my computer!”; but simple in the sense that there was relatively little that she desired.  And what she did desire, she had—love, a growing and loving family who appreciated her, meaningful work, friends, a garden, Padres games with Jack Neumann, her dogs—the Sabra dynasty and others, Sunday dinners with Marilyn and Arthur Neumann, contentment and travel with Sidney, lunch with her friends, great music, a home she loved, a well-equipped kitchen, philanthropic commitments and appreciation for her contributions, and while she may not have desired this, we all admired it—beautiful white hair!

  1. Matzah ball soup:  The pot is large: live generously

Baba took great pride in finding and offering gifts.  Zev Karlin-Neumann remembers that she never missed a birthday, and invariably picked out something “detective-y” for him.  Chana remembers wonderful boxes of clothes from Nordstroms.  I remember that for their bat and bar mitzvahs, she gave them each a tallit—but she wanted for them to pick it out, so they’d be happy wearing them throughout their lives. 

Jack returned to the family in a somewhat abrupt fashion—he remembers it like it was yesterday.  From 1948-1961 he hadn’t seen his Dad, when he and a couple of friends drove down to Tijuana from UCLA; He had just turned 18 and was deliberating:  Should he call? How would he be received? Well, he looked in the phone book for Sidney Neumann and took a leap.  He called—at the ungodly hour of 6:30 or 7 a.m. and shortly after appeared at the door.  He said that it was a wonderful experience—he was greeted with Mom’s trademark warmth, making him immediately part of the family.

Benita’s experience was somewhat less of a surprise—but no less welcoming.  Her first welcome was in abstentia—when she was Jack’s girlfriend in 1969.  The folks were in Europe, but Baba left a gift—a box of stationary, which to her conveyed, “Please stay in touch.”  And when she returned in 1994 to become part of the family, Baba was most gracious, taking her around to introduce Benita to her friends, sending her beautiful bouquets of flowers on her birthday, with impeccable social graces and generosity.

  1. The main meal: Enjoy what is well prepared, hearty and substantial

The siblings agreed that Mom had this amazing ability to do things so excellently, perfectly—whether it be cooking, gardening, sewing, knitting, embroidery or playing piano and she had a beautiful writing hand.  With her diverse talents, George said she reminded him of the Chinese attribution of “Master of the 5 Excellences”— she was the epitome of femininity and competence. 

The orchids she grew and the attention she gave her garden was legendary.  George said that gardening was her yoga—it renewed her.

There is a reason I choose Pesach as the quintessential meal for Idell’s recipes for life.  She would knock herself out to have the family reunion around that most difficult and challenging culinary event, and she’d do it as if she were expertly commanding a military campaign, planning in advance what needed to be done, labeling every bowl and plate for what should go into it.  Her copious organizational skills were nowhere more apparent on the home-front than during Pesach.

She made gefilte fish from scratch.  I’d never met anyone who did that until I entered the Neumann family. George was legendary among our friends and community for his annual ritual of making gefilte fish from scratch, a ritual, of course, that he learned from and shared with his mother.  For years, she got fish in San Diego, and when her fish market closed, she arranged for us to send her fish from Phil’s Fish Market in Los Angeles.  When we moved away, we arranged our own courier system—preparing it in dry ice and shipping it on the Greyhound Bus from LA to San Diego.  I recently found an email from her—from 2000—when Phil’s closed.  Mind you, we were already living in Northern California for a decade by this point.

Dear Patty,

Ran into a little (!) snag the other day. The wonderful Phil’s Poultry and Fish Market in L.A. seems to be out of business. How could they do that to me after being a loyal customer for 15 years?

With your L.A. contacts do you think someone could find a market that would be willing to prepare and ship an order to San Diego?  If it is possible for you to get me a name and phone number, I will certainly do the rest. Hate to trouble you with such a request, but I really don’t know how else to proceed.” 

Well, we did manage to keep her—and George—in whitefish and pike so the tradition of handmade gefilte fish could continue.  Now that’s commitment!  But it was not only Pesach that she prepared so carefully and with such organizational prowess. 

I used to regard it as excessive that her linen closets were labeled—until Chana and I bought the same blue Jersey sheets—she has a double bed and ours is a queen—and I finally realized that Baba was not obsessive, but smart—all her sheets were white, so it made sense to know which was for a twin and which was for a king!

Becky commented on how principled she was.  She had an unfailing work ethic and was utterly reliable—and prompt—much to the shame of some of her co-workers, who abandoned their old ways out of respect for her virtue.  She worked with utter discipline, civility and discretion.  She was utterly invaluable and trusted implicitly in her work, both at NPRDC and later as a volunteer for the Technion.

5.  Afikomen:  The meal concludes

When Idell retired from NPRDC, she insisted that she didn’t want a big retirement banquet. Rather, she wanted one of the more common pizza lunches with cheap wine at the beach, often held for someone’s birthday.  But everyone wanted to be at Idell’s retirement lunch—the list grew from 60 to 80 to 100 people.  There were so many pizzas, that they wouldn’t fit in a car.  They had to be delivered in a truck!

She didn’t want speeches, didn’t want anything formal.  What she did want, though, was a picture.  There used to be a cartoonist who worked at NPRDC and when people retired, he made wonderful caricatures of people.  The only thing she was disappointed about was that he no longer worked there.  But Idell wasn’t the only crackerjack researcher in the place—Becky put her research skills to work and managed to find the guy.

Now, as you probably know, Idell was NOT a PC.  She was a Mac.  When everyone else went to PCs, she held out.  She didn’t want a PC.  So Becky found a gigantic PC box, and she wrapped the wonderful cartoon of Idell sitting with all the computers done by the artist and put it in the PC box.

When it was time to present the gift, Becky said.  “I know you have been fighting against getting a PC for years.  But you shouldn’t be behind the times.  So we got this for you.  She could tell that Idell hated it.  But, as always, she was gracious and polite.  She said, “Well I don’t know, you shouldn’t have….”  And, then she opened the box.  When she saw that what was in it was not a computer, but her picture, she laughed and laughed.  “This is the thing I wanted…”

I love the image of Idell laughing at a joke on herself.  She was never “behind the times.”  She was always ahead, and now she is ahead of us all in saying goodbye, in gathering together the people she loved, and feeding them—pizza or Fairouz’s middle eastern food or Pesach dinner.  But every delicious meal comes to an end, replete with the aroma of good food and the memories of delicious tastes and animated conversation.  Now we are to find the afikomen, the symbol of the end of the meal.  Rabbi David Zeller, a teacher of mine who also left us too soon, taught, “At the end of the Pesach meal, children look for the hidden afikoman and return the afikomen to us because children return the lost parts of ourselves to us.  Baba loved the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that she was blessed with.  And in their lives, we see the vitality, the love, the brilliance, the organization, the heart that Idell  offered to all of us in such abundance.  Because of them, and all of us gathered here today, the taste of the afikoman—and the recipes of Idell’s life, will always be with us.  Zecher tzodeket l’bracha.  May the memory of this righteous woman always be for us, a blessing.  B’teavon—hearty appetite!

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Graveside funeral services were held on Aug 3, 2010 at Home of Peace Cemetery (3668 Imperial Ave, S.D.) by Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Sr. Assoc. Dean for religious Life at Stanford University, and daughter-in-law to Idell.

The Jews Down Under~News of the Jews of Australia and New Zealand

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Garry Fabian

By Garry Fabian

New Zealand Jewish Community goes to court

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 10 August– The following announcement was released by the  New Zealand Jewish Community:

As we informed the community last week, we filed  legal proceedings against the Minister of
Agriculture, seeking a restoration of the right  to practise shechitain New Zealand.  We are  pleased to report that an interim agreement has
now been reached with the Minister, which will  enable the continued practice of shechita in the  period up to trial (which is likely to take place during 2011).

Court orders were made by consent in the  Wellington High Court this morning, giving legal effect to that agreement. Every effort is being
made to get chicken and local lamb”back on the table”as soon as possible.

The community would like to acknowledge the  tremendous contribution the legal team at Russell McVeagh have made in putting together our
case to achieve this positive outcome in such a short period.

The memorandum was signed by Jewish community leaders Garth Cohen, Michael Stiassny and Geoff Levy.

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Church resolution reveals failure of interfaith

MELBOURNE, 13 August -The National Council of  Churches of Australia’s resolution encouraging a  boycott of Israel is absolutely indefensible, and  makes a mockery of both mutual tolerance and  “interfaith” dialogue. It is abundantly clear in  the case of Israel, as in countless instances in Jewish history, an exception has been made of Jews.

If the churches were fair  about their  human rights concerns they would have boycotted  Sudan, Saudi Arabia and so many other Islamic
countries for their real human rights abuses and  treatment and discrimination of non-Muslim minorities.

No mainstream church group has ever openly sided  with Jews, publicly criticising Iran’s President  Amadinajad over his promotion of Holocaust denial and anti Semitic rhetoric or criticising Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism. There are so many other examples of the church’s hypocrisy in singling out the Jewish state as their ‘pet’ cause. Even some Christians who have seen the NCAA statement find it incomprehensible that it
does not mention Palestinian/Hamas discrimination of Christians in Gaza.

Jewish interfaith advocates should start  insisting on some reciprocity and public support for the Jewish narrative in the Israel/
Palestinian, Arab Muslim conflict otherwise they are wasting their time

*

Contemporary Antisemitism: What We Can Do

Contemporary antisemitism turns Israel into a collective Jew among the nations, demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state. Irwin Cotler
defines its expression in the genocidal antisemitism of Ahmadinejad’s Iran; the political antisemitism  that denies Jews the right to national selfdetermination; the racialised antisemitism that defines Zionism as racism; the legalized antisemitism that makes a mockery of the UN Human  Rights procedures, and the “new protocols of the elders of Zion”, which blames Israel for  everything from 9/11 to swine flu.

But, Cotler argues, we can act. We have  opportunities through Holocaust memory and education, through pressuring for the implementation of the  legal procedures of the Genocide Convention,
through reforming the UN, through government  initiatives and through working to reframe the narrative that blames Israel and Jews for all
Middle East conflict and ignores human rights abuses in other parts of the world..

The Hon. Professor Irwin Cotler MP is an eminent  human rights lawyer and Canadian statesman. A former Canadian Attorney-General and sitting  member of the Canadian Parliament, he has been outspoken on issues of human rights in the  former Soviet Union, South Africa and Rwanda.

The ADC was honoured to host him recently as our ADC Gandel Orator. This special report is an edited transcript of his Oration.

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Australian Foreign Minister charts positive Israel course

CANBERRA,  13 August – The diplomatic relationship  between Australia and Israel has resumed on its normal course, less than three months after Stephen Smith expelled an Israeli diplomat from Canberra.

And despite a frosty few months, the two  countries – which both share a desire to see Iran’s nuclear weapons program halted immediately
– never ceased to share intelligence on the rogue state.

In a wide-ranging interview during a campaign  stop in Melbourne, Smith spoke about the resumption of that relationship. He made no
pledges about the foreign policy direction a  future Gillard government would take, but spoke in depth about some of the decisions made over the past almost three years.

“I am now very confident that things are now back to business as usual,” he said of the diplomatic ties between Australia and Israel.

“Often when you have a difficult issue that you’ve got to manage, your capacity to manage that and then to move reasonably quickly off it,
reflects the strength of the relationship.

“Yes it was a difficult time and I obviously  thought very carefully about all of the issues and came to the decision that, as I said
publicly, we could not turn a blind eye to what had occurred.

“I’m very confident now that in terms of agency-to-agency relationship,
government-to-government, nation-to-nation, it is business as usual.”

He added that at no time during the diplomatic impasse, did the two countries stop cooperating to quash the rogue Iranian regime.

“One area [of the Australia-Israel relationship] we did not want to see disturbed was the ongoing cooperation and exchange of information on Iran,” he said.

Asked whether he thought the forthcoming direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians means that the time for peace is right, Smith showed some trademark diplomacy.

“I think your attitude has got to be that it is always right,” he said. “You always have to try and take the opportunity and often when things
appear to be at their worst is often a time when you can move forward.”

“We’re very supportive of President [Barack] Obama’s efforts, we’re very supportive of  Ambassador [George] Mitchell’s efforts and we
make the point to all of the players in the Middle East that it is absolutely essential that we get long-term enduring peace.

“The issues are complex, complicated and there are strong views respectively on both sides, but we can’t give up because solving these Middle East issues is very important to peace and security, peace and stability throughout the entire world,” he said.

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Jewish Music Festival hits Sydney

SYDNEY, 16 August – SHIR Madness, Sydney’s first  large-scale Jewish music festival, brought Bondi Beach to life with more than 40 performers from Australia and around the world, eclectic food stalls, kids activities and an art exhibition centred around Bondi Pavilion on Sunday, August 15.

The festival is the brainchild of Gary Holzman, who has dreamed of staging a music festival for many years.

“I’ve always felt there would be somebody better  equipped to put it on than myself, but as it never eventuated, I finally decided to do
something about it,” says Holzman, who is the festival director.

The festival will feature four stages, with musical styles covering klezmer, choral, Latino, Chassidic, Israeli, jazz, cabaret, folk, blues, pop, rock, funk, reggae and rap.

Among the local performers are Deborah Conway, Monsieur Camem­bert, The Mark Ginsburg Band,  Alana Bruce, Joanna Weinberg, the Emanuel choirs and the Sydney Jewish Choral Society.

Leading the line-up of international performers are Israeli singer Ido Lederman, Alex Jacobowitz from New York and the Jew Brothers Band from New Zealand.

Lederman began his music career as lead singer of Israeli rock band Amstaf, and was bass player for the reggae group Hatikvah 6. He will also perform in Melbourne on August 21.

Holzman says: “It’s just going to be an amazing atmosphere and an absolute smorgasbord – what I would call a ‘mixed salad’ of musical delight.

“People should come to appreciate the amazing variety of musical talent within the Jewish community, both from Sydney and from other places as well.

“With the incredible variety of music on offer, a food court full of tempting delights, market stalls, kids entertainment and an exhibition of
Jewish art, this is going to be a fantastic festival for the whole family to come and enjoy.”

Holzman hopes the festival will be an annual event.

“We certainly want to make sure that it’s not going to be a one-off, but will become a highlight of the Sydney cultural calendar.”

One of the international performers from upstate New York is  Jacobowitz, a master of the marimba who has plied his trade across the world, most notably in Germany. An Orthodox Jew, he focuses
on the traditional klezmer music of his ancestors.

“My music is spiritual, natural, totally  unexpected and riveting,” he says. “It brings European music, African sound and Jewish geist together.”

Jacobowitz says his Jewish identity is an integral part of his music.

“Judaism is my spirit, and my spirit energises and breathes life into my music. Whether I’m playing Bach, flamenco or klezmer, my music is 100 per cent kosher.”

Jacobowitz is thrilled to be in Australia and taking part in Shir Madness.

“To be part of the first Jewish music festival in Sydney makes me proud and humble at the same time, and I hope that the music finds a special echo there.”

For AJN Ghetto Blasterz competition winner Shannon Gaitz, Shir Madness is the highlight of her fledgling music career so far.

“I’m extremely excited, especially to be able to get my name and my songs out there,” says Gaitz, 17, from Bondi, who describes her music as country pop.

“It’s very honest – it’s all based on personal experience and very emotional.”
Gaitz is grabbing the opportunity to perform at Shir Madness with both hands.

“It’s just a huge opportunity of being able to get performance experience, especially with my original songs, and I’m going to be playing with
Philip Foxman, he’s my mentor and that’s also a really big honour.”

Gaitz will also spend a day recording tracks at  the Green Sound Music studios in Sydney’s Castle Cove as part of her prize.Sydney band The Naked Parade has been causing quite a stir with its  infectious brand of alternative pop-rock.

Singer Talya Rabinovitz explains with a laugh: “We’ve been told that we are the love child of Jeff Buckley and No Doubt if they went travelling
though Eastern Europe and South America.”

“We definitely have a Middle Eastern vibe to our music, with the violin, melodies and the drumbeats.”

Rabinovitz is excited to be performing at Shir Madness.

“It just looks like an amazing music festival,” she says. “This will be a different age group for us as well –

I know that a lot of my family like my aunts and uncles are coming and they don’t usually come to our gigs. I’m excited to see their reaction and put on a show.”

Local singer Natan Kuchar has spent the past four years plying his trade in the United States.

Kuchar has performed solo at Carnegie Hall, but the humble performer speaks more enthusiastically about his recent album release at a small Surry Hills venue in Sydney.

“It made me feel like people really dig what I have and were really interested in me,” he says. “It was a really great confidence booster and it
helped propel me to apply for Shir Madness.”

Kuchar describes his music as “a really raw sound, merging pop music and soul music.”

“I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from people like Stevie Wonder and Regina Spektor for their  melodies and for their storytelling within their music,” he says.

“I really love to subtly add melodies from synagogue services or from High Holy Days or just lyrics that are found in certain religious texts
that help to support some other kind of contemporary story that I’m trying to tell in my songs.”

*
Fabian is Australia bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, December 24, 1954, Part 1

August 13, 2010 1 comment
Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Morton Thaler Assumes Beth Jacob Presidency
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

Morton Thaler

Beth Jacob Congregation has elected Morton Thaler as its new president for 1955.  Mr. Thaler, long active in synagogue and community activities, will be installed in an impressive ceremony to be conducted by Morris W. Douglas, prominent civic leader  this Sunday evening at Beth Jacob Synagogue at 7 p.m.  Elected to serve with the new President are the following: Vice Presidents, Dr. Walter Ornstein, Alvin Garber, Phillip Mollick; Financial Secretary, Max Leopold; Corresponding Secretary, Paul Schraer; Treasurer, Simon Glaser; Guardian, Sidney Ulansky; Gabbai, Israel Lebb. Board members include William Penn, Bernard Arenson, Zel Camiel, Norman Gelman, Tom Garber, Louis Thomas, Jerry Weiman, Julius Penn, Thomas Vetter, Dr. Harry Brookler, Morris Penn, Harry Evans, William Schusterman, Allan Lame, Max Popik, Joseph Kaplan, Ed Herman, Max Okum, Jack Brisker, David Schissell, David Hurwitz, Kurt Sax.  Past President on the board include Chas. Press and Morrie Kraus.  Honorary President for the Congregation is Abe Abramson.

A very delightful installation banquet will be served to guests, with a cocktail hour preceding the festivities at 6 p.m.

David Schissell, General Chairman, has issued a cordial invitation to the entire community to attend this event and reservations may be made with Mrs. Schissell at Juniper 2-0161 or Mr. Thaler, Atwater 1-3275.  Charge for the dinner and cocktail party will be kept to $3,00 per person. 

In celebration of the closing of Chanukah holiday a musical program will be offered.

*
United Jewish Fund to Elect Officers
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

Election of officers for the United Jewish Fund will be held on Thursday, Jan 13, 1955, San Diego Hotel State Ballroom, according to Louis Moorsteen, president of the fund.

The present officers are Moorsteen; Morris Douglas; Milton Roberts and Al Steinbaum, vice presidents; Harry Snyder, treasurer; Manuel S. Fisher, secretary; Members of the Executive Committee for 1954 are Mrs. Gabriel Berg, David Block, Mack Esterson, Carl Esenoff, Rodin Horrow, Sol Price, Harry Wax.

Newly elected members of the Board of Directors of the United Jewish Fund elected an the annual meeting are Mrs.Ted Brav, Mrs. Dora Friedman, Irving Friedman, Arthur Goodman, Ben Harris, Maury Novak, Mrs. Abe Ratner, David Sapp, and Harry Sugarman.

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Jewish Center Sets Jan. 8 For Big Dinner
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

The “Make A Dream Come True” dinner on Saturday, Jan. 8 will open the Jewish Community Center Building drive to the entire community, Rodin Horrow, chairman of the dinner committee announced this week.

To be held at the Don Room of the El Cortez the meeting at 6:30 p.m. will give San Diego Jewry an opportunity to participate in erecting a glorious monument to Judaism in our community.

Edward Breitbard, president of the center in joining Horrow in the announcement said, “The community is now convinced that the directors of the Jewish Community Center mean business and want to see a community building erected in the next year or so for our children, ourselves and our neighbors.”

“51 individuals,” he continued, “have contributed close to $80,000.  These are board members. Now we are asking all to voluntarily participate by attending the dinner.”

Mr. Robert Levison, San Francisco Insurance executive, and National Vice President of the Jewish Welfare Board, will be the principal speaker.  He is well qualified to speak on the center movement and the need for centers, having been president of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, and at the present time is vice-president of the Jewish Welfare Board.

According to Breitbard, San Diego, a community of over 6,000 Jews, is one of the only cities in the U.S. which does not have a Jewish Community building or a center for its people.

*
Jewish Federation Plans 1st Annual Dinner Jan. 19
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

Carl Esenoff

San Diego’s Jewish Welfare Agencies will meet in a joint annual meeting under the auspices of the Federation of Jewish Agencies on Wed., Jan 19, 1955, according to Carl Esenoff, Pres.

The dinner meeting in the State Ballroom of the San Diego Hotel at 6:00 p.m. will mark the first annual event of the Federation and the first joint meeting of all the agencies, which include the Jewish Social Service Agency, the Hebrew Home for the Aged, the Community Relations Council, the Jewish Community Center and the United Jewish Fund.

The theme of the meeting as announced by Harry Mallen, chairman of the annual meeting committee will be “Total Community Planning.”  Julius Bisno, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Community Council and Executive Secretary of the Jewish Welfare Fund of Los Angeles, will be the principal speaker.

Several of the agencies, according to Mallen will elect their Board of Directors that evening. Each agency will display its work to the community.

Members of the Jewish community and board members of the various agencies are urged to place the date Wednesday, Jan 19 on their calendar and to make every effort to be present. Reservations may be made at the Federations office BE 2-5172.

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Please Take Note
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

Attention to all members of the United Jewish Fund is called to the fact that in order to get income tax deductions for charitable contributions, payments of pledges must be made on or before Dec. 31, 1954.

In making this announcement Harry Snyder, treasure of the United Jewish Fund also urged that payments be made now since the fund needs cash in order to meet commitments made during the year 1954.

Payments should be sent to the office of the United Jewish Fund, 333 Plaza, San Diego 1, California.

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New Subscribers
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 1

Urban League of S.D.
Max Zemen
Nicholas Elbogen
Mrs. H.M. Horn
Samuel N. Hecsh

*

Iris Leeds Wed Charles Strauss in Double-Ring Rites

Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

Iris Lynn Leeds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred S. Leeds, was wed to Matthew Charles Strauss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Strauss, in a double-ring ceremony at Temple Beth Israel on December 19, at 5:30 p.m.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn performed the marriage rites with music by Cantor Julian Miller.

The bride’s candelight satin period gown featured alencon lace set into diamonds on the skirt from which pleated nylon tulle fell into a sweeping train. The portrait neckline and the pointed bodice were edged in lace. Her elongated fingertip illusion veil fell from a hand jeweled tiara.  She carried a prayer book to which was attached a giant white orchid, white roses and stephanotis.

Maid of honor, Andrea Leeds, and matron of honor, Norma Dreifuss, were gowned in pale pink tulle with wine velvet hats, shrugs, and mitts. Bridesmaids Arlene Mihlman, Margie Goodman and Eileen Rivers wore aqua tulle with turquoise velvet hats mitts and shrugs.  Marsha Starr, in aqua velvet, was junior bridesmaid.

Werner Dreifuss was best man and ushers were Ira Shames, Dan Weinberg and Lawrence Strauss.

A dinner dance for 250 guests was held immediately following the ceremony at the Mission Valley Country Club.  Mrs. Leeds received in sequin embroidered satin with full skirted overdress of toast colored Chantilly lace. Mrs. Strauss, the groom’s mother, wore pink poie de sole.

After a week’s honeymoon in Palm Springs and Las Vegas, the young couple will make their home in San Diego.

Out of town guests were Mr. and MRs. Milton Leeds of Highland Park, Ill., aunt and uncle of the bride and Mr. and Mrs. Sid Stackler of Highland Park, aunt and uncle of the groom.

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Personals
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

We hope the new Jewish Center will build good handball courts. We have a championship team all ready.  Bill and Dave Starr just copped the doubles crown at the S.D. Rowing Club.

*
Did you catch the item about our swimming champs, too?  Mission Valley Country Club has good prospects in Linda Press, Larry Cantor and Andy Beck.

*
In honor of Barbara Shames forthcoming marriage to Manny Barney of Los Angeles, Mrs. Jerry Krakoff (Brodman) entertained Barbara with a miscellaneous shower on December 11.

*
Flying to New York for the holidays are Sam and Bea Cohen and Irwin and Eleanor Kahn. They will spend two weeks in the east seeing the sights and shows in New York and visit with relatives.

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Mr. and Mrs. Paul Belkin celebrated Chanukah with an Open House for friends on Sunday, Dec. 19th. For those unable to attend, they are extending an invitation to visit them anytime during the holidays.

*
Lawrence Schiller, Pepperdine freshman, was announced winner of the 1954 U.S. Camera Photo Contest last week.  He was ranked, for the second year, as the number one photographer in the United States under 25 years of age and 187 in the world against all photographers.

Lawrence is attending Pepperdine on a four-year full-tuition scholarship earned throughhis photographic work.  He became a professional at the age of sixteen and has been a consistent top honor winner in national and international contests ever since.
*
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lawrence Cohen, of Coronado, have recently returned home from a two and one-half months trip to 16 nations on four continents.  Like all returning travelers they are full of their recent experiences and ready to share them. Mrs. Cohen says that “There is no place like Southern California.” The Cohens were particularly impressed with Israel. They heartily recommend the deluxe Mediterranean cruise which gave them so much pleasure.

*

Dick and Jane Lustig got off to a flying start with their family on December 24th, when they headed East. They will join a large family group at Wooster, Mass., in celebration of the 75th birthday of Jane’s father.

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Venis-Rimland Vows Told
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Rimland of San Deigo announce the marriage, on November 25th, of their daughter, Rose, to Matin Allen Venis, son of MRs. Edith Venis and the late Meyer Venis of Toronto, Canada.

The wedding took place at the Synagogue Mogen David in L.A. with Rabbi Abram Maron officiating.

Rose is an honor graduate of S.D. State College and has a M.A. degree in business education.  Martin is stationed with the Air Force in San Diego.  The young couple will reside here.

On December 19th an Open House was held at the Rimland home in honor of the newlyweds.

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Council Sets Valentine Ball
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

National Council of Jewish Women has scheduled its Valentine Ball for Saturday evening, February 12, at the Mission Valley Country Club.  Tickets will be available after the first of the year.

*

Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

8 little candles sitting in a row
Telling the story of the Macabees’ woe
Then wishing a happy Chanukah to you.
Especially from yours truly, Janet and Sue.

“It was a wonderful party,” said Adrian Sachnoff, Sandy Ratner, Jan Klaskin, Joan Breitbard, Ed Ruskin, Andy Leeds, Gordon Levitt, Susan Solof, Gary Cantor, Sharlene Stone, Herb Wenig, Sigmund Urbach, Janet Sheldon Golden, Zena Feurseig, Bob Myers, Robert Wylogue, Stan Breitbard, Judy Aved, Roger Brenes, Debbie Strauss, Linda Douglas, Seymour Pomeranz, and Larry Ratner, of the affair given by Harry Ratner at the San Diego Club with dinner and dancing and a fabulous evening.

All bedecked with corsages, the girls sat around the beautifully decorated table waiting anxiously for the arrival of Henrietta Faguet who was a mighty surprised girl. The scene was the Mission Valley Country Club and the hostesses were Jan Klaskin and Barbara Silverman.

Scoop: Hanukah vacation is a time for us “Kosher Kids” to make some green “lettuce.”  Those filling their pockets are : Rocky Goodrich, Sharlene Stone, LuAnn Blumbereg, Dan Weinberg, Bob Beck, Donn Kobernick, Sheldon Golden, Janet and Susan Solof, Jane Cohn and Sherry Newman.

Bye now.

*
(Departure time)
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

No man goes before his time – unless the boss has left early.

*

Calendar

Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

December

Sun., 26th Poale Zion Chanukah Party – Tifereth Israel Center – 8:00 p.m.

Sun., 26th – Beth Jacob Installation, 7 p.m.

*
January

Weds, 5th – Israeli Delegate, Speaker at S.D. Chapter, A.A. U.N., 8 p.m., Florence School

Sat, 8th –“Make A Dream Come True” Dinner, J.C.C., Don Room, El Cortez, 6:30 p.m.

Sun, 9th – Lasker Lodge Installation, Dinner-Dance, Mission Valley Country Club.

Thurs, 13th – Election of Officers – United Jewish Fund, State Ballroom, S.D. Hotel, 6:30 p.m.

Wed., 19th – Annual Meeting S.D. Jewish Welfare Agencies, 6:00 p.m., State Ballroom, San Diego Hotel

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Classified
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

Women Wanted – Make extra money. Address, mail postcards, spare time every week.  BICO, 143 Belmont, Belmont, Mass.

Man Available – For gardening…Trucking Service … Pick-Up and Delivery… Call after 5 p.m. BE -9-2780

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Nursery School
Southwestern Jewish Press, December 24, 1954, Page 2

Jean Fry, Director of the Cooperative Nursery School of the Jewish Community, will conduct an orientation meeting Monday, Dec. 27, at 8:00 p.m. at the home of Mrs. Seymour Gates of 2440 Meade Street.

The dynamics and techniques of child care will be discussed.  A typical nursery school day schedule will be examined for the purpose of understanding the aims of each activity, and knowing the role each mother is expect to play.

After the question and answer period, refreshments will be served.

*
“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.  




 

Commentary: A conciliatory Gazan voice emerges

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM — Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish appeared on a prime time Israeli news program, speaking in fluent Hebrew, representing the possibility that there might, after all, be a Palestinian Nelson Mandela. 

Abuelaish (or Abu al-Aish) is the physician who held appointments in both Gazan and Israeli hospitals, and lost three of his eight children during the IDF onslaught at the beginning of 2009.

The topic of his interview was a new book, I Shall Not Hate (Random House), which also represents the theme of numerous public appearances. He told of relocating to the University of Toronto, where he says that he has found peace for himself and his remaining children. His wife died of leukemia during 2008, prior to the Gaza invasion.

Abuelaish represents both the hope and frustration of Palestinians and Israelis. He is by no means the only individual to have separated himself from the insular and hateful culture that is all too prevalent among his people. There are several anti-Islamic Arabs expressing admiration for Israel on clips circulating through the internet, as well as commentators from throughout the Middle East whose work is translated on Memri . My own circle of friends, colleagues, and students includes individuals who prefer to remain below the radar of public scrutiny while they work as Arabs in the Jewish sector, in East Jerusalem, or the West Bank.

Abuelaish stands out due to his work as a physician with Israeli and Gazans, personal tragedy, and appealing demeanor. He also appears to be apolitical, and has removed himself from the Middle East.

Reference to Mandela is not meant to legitimize a comparison between Israel and South Africa. That is the stuff of the mad and ignorant, or crafty activists desperate for a slogan. Mandela’s relevance is a symbol of moderation and accommodation. There are plenty of those among Israeli Jews, with a capacity to recruit a substantial majority of the population if conditions ever become appropriate, and to deal with those who would say No in Hebrew. There are at least a few among Palestinians, but one of the crucial differences between their setting and South Africa is the Muslim mass, a religion with a component that is hateful of others, plus the infrastructure of politics, wealth, and theology stretching out from Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia across the region from Morocco to Indonesia.

One can argue if the story of Abuelaish is one of optimism or pessimism, or is anything more than an indication of one human face in a region usually reduced to one-liners.

One of Thomas Friedman’s latest columns deals with other human faces: a Gazan infant treated in an Israeli hospital, publicized by one of the Israeli television personalities who used to travel throughout Gaza until kept from there by the IDF and his own good sense. The light in this story is the success of the treatment and the full payment received from an Israeli Jew whose son had been killed during military service. The sadness is what the child’s mother told the Israeli journalist. She described being criticized in Gaza for having her son treated in Israel, and hoped that he would grow up to be a suicide bomber. “From the smallest infant, even smaller than Mohammed, to the oldest person, we will all sacrifice ourselves.”

Friedman goes from the personal stories to his own record as a critic of Israel. Then he warns about   “. . . something foul in the air. It is a trend . . . to delegitimize Israel — to turn it into a pariah state . . . If you just landed from Mars, you might think that Israel is the only country that has killed civilians in war — never Hamas, never Hezbollah, never Turkey, never Iran, never Syria, never America. . . .Destructive criticism closes Israeli ears. . . Destructive critics dismiss Gaza as an Israeli prison, without ever mentioning that had Hamas decided — after Israel unilaterally left Gaza — to turn it into Dubai rather than Tehran, Israel would have behaved differently, too. Destructive criticism only empowers the most destructive elements in Israel to argue that nothing Israel does matters, so why change? . . . if you still want to be a critic (as I do), be a constructive one. A lot more Israelis and Palestinians will listen to you.”

If there is anything positive in all of this, it may take a long time to emerge from what is negative. There is plenty of the latter in the Middle East, and among the Know Nothings of Western Leftists. Insofar as many of the Leftists may have drawn their inspiration from Friedman’s own self-righteous harping against his favorite target (Israeli settlements), he may be as much a part of the problem as a remedy.

My own assessment is that it is a time for well-intentioned hyper-actives in the White House and elsewhere to redirect themselves toward another mission for the next few years or decades. I will never say never, but it appears to me that now is not the time to engineer a breakthrough for the sake of the Holy Land.

*
Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University

Resolution on U.S. money for UNRWA makes way through House

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment
By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In January 2010, the Canadian government announced that its aid would be redirected from UNRWA to “specific projects in the Palestinian Authority that will ensure accountability and foster democracy in the PA.”  The total amount of money was the same, but the president of Canada’s Treasury Board said, “It is now being redirected in accordance with Canadian values.” 
 
In the U.S., House Resolution 5065, known as the UNRWA Humanitarian Accountability Act, was introduced in Congress in April 2010 (it has 26 co-sponsors) to help ensure that the $267 million American tax dollars spent on UNRWA is spent in accordance with American values.  The bill requires that funds go to UNRWA only if the following is certified:

  • No official, employee, consultant, contractor, subcontractor, representative, or affiliate of UNRWA  is a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization; has propagated, disseminated, or incited anti-American anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric or propaganda; or has used any UNRWA resources, including publications or Web sites, to propagate or disseminate political materials, including political rhetoric regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  • No UNRWA school, hospital, clinic, other facility, or other infrastructure or resource is being used by a Foreign Terrorist Organization for operations, planning, training, recruitment, fundraising, indoctrination, communications, sanctuary, storage of weapons or other materials, or any other purposes;
  • UNRWA is subject to comprehensive financial audits by an internationally recognized third party independent auditing firm and has implemented an effective system of vetting and oversight to prevent the use, receipt, or diversion of any UNRWA resources by any foreign terrorist organization or members thereof;
  • No UNRWA-funded school or educational institution uses textbooks or other educational materials that propagate or disseminate anti-American, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric, propaganda or incitement;
  • No recipient of UNRWA funds or loans is a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization; and
  • UNRWA holds no accounts or other affiliations with financial institutions that the United States deems or believes to be complicit in money laundering and terror financing.

The bill includes a sense of the Congress section, stating:

  • The President and Secretary of State should take the lead in holding UNRWA to account, but should involve other donor nations;
  • UNRWA’s definition of a ‘Palestine refugee’ should be changed to that used for a refugee by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and
  • Responsibility for those refugees should be fully transferred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

When your representative holds his/her Town Hall meeting this Congressional recess, please go and ask whether he/she is willing to be a co-sponsor. 
 
Let us know what you find out.
*
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.

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, November 26, 1954, Part 4

August 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Beth Jacob News
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

The Oneg Shabbat Service which takes place every Friday evening at 8:15 discusses great Jewish personalities and their works.  Each session is devoted to a different author – his work and times.  No former knowledge is required since each Friday session deals with a different subject.

The following subjects shall be discussed: The Talmud, “Rashi’s Commentaries,” “Sulchan Arcuch” and “Ahad Ha-Ams’ Essays.”

There will be no Friday evening session on November 26th since our members are urged to participate in the Tercentenary Sabbath designated by the Synagogue Council of America, which will be held at Temple Beth Israel.

Annual Meeting – At the annual meeting of the Congregation the nominating committee proposed a new slate of officers for 1955.  There have also been nominations from the floor. The election of officers will take place November 30th.

Auxiliary Dinner – The Ladies Auxiliary of Beth Jacob are having a delicious Roast Beef Dinner Sunday, December 5th – 6:00 p.m. at Beth Jacob Center.  All are welcome to come – you may be the lucky winner of a Wristwatch. Donation will be $1.75.  For reservations call AT 2-2676.

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City of Hope Pleads for Blood Donors
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Blood is urgently needed for the Children’s Leukemia Wing – the Red Cross has been providing this service to the City of Hope free, but the increased requirements and the shortage in the Red Cross Blood Bank will force them to charge $25.00 per pint on future needs.  Unless the blood already used is replaced and a Blood Bank set up with the Red Cross, City of Hope will have to pay approximately $50,000.00 a year for this vital lifesaving blood.  Members, relatives and friends who give blood will also be setting up a personal reserve of blood when the need of a transfusion arises here besides giving the City of Hope credit for blood donated locally. If you can give blood please contact Muriel Strauss, JU 2-0788, or Jeanne Camiel, CY 5-2566 and BE 4-9595.

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U.N. Study Groups
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Mrs. D. Lee Worcester has begun her new study group this past Tuesday.  Next meeting: her home Tuesday at 8 p.m., 4027 Brant Street in Mission Hills, 1 short block off No. 3 bus.  It is hoped those who enroll will continue the entire 12 weeks since preparation of the course requires much time and effort.  Mrs. Worcester’s vast and up-to-date U.N. knowledge, plus her natural enthusiasm, makes her study courses most valuable.

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Hebrew Home Aux. To Show Recent Films
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Pictures of the recent groundbreaking ceremonies will be shown at the next regular meeting of the Hebrew Home for Aged Women’s Auxiliary on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m.  Additional movies will be shown and refreshments served, as announced by Mrs. Paul Cudney, program chairman.

Mrs. Rodin Horrow, chairman, with co-chairman, Mrs. Edward Addleson, has planned an interesting program and the distribution of gifts for the 4th Annual Chanukah Party on Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m.  The community is invited with a special invitation to the older members of the community.

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Birdie Stodel Women Plan Open Tea December 11th
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Birdie Stodel B’nai B’rith Women have invited women’s organizations throughout the city to an Oneg-Shabbat-Tea on Dec. 11 at the Alice Birney School, 4295 Campus at 1:00 p.m. Traditional Chanukah delicacies will be served.

Mrs. Ben Rosenthal of Los Angeles, immediate Past President of the Supreme Lodge of B.B. Women, will be guest speaker.  She has recently returned from a tour of Germany under the sponsorship of the American Heritage Foundation and will relate her experiences. The human relatios film, “Your Neighbor Celebrates” will also be shown.

The community is invited.

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Telephone Company Explains Request For Rate Hike
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Pacific Telephone today filed a supplemental application with the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco for additional revenue to meet the costs of higher wages recently granted.

Ben Gilmer, vice president of Pacific Telephone’s California Operations, said:

“This request covers only the cost of wage increases recently made effective following union wage settlements. These wage settlements were being negotiated at the time the July 6 order was issued, and their cost was not provided for in the order.  Since payroll costs make up more than half of our operating expenses, wage increases have a heavy impact on our earnings.

“Under the stringent regulation of the California Commission there is no room for absorption of such cost increases. The additional revenue the company seeks at this time will merely restore the company’s earnings to the level authorized by the commission’s decision on July 6 this year.  This is necessary if the company is to be in a financial position to provide for the full telephone needs of its service areas in California.”

The effect of the requested increase amounting to $4,980,000 annually would be relatively small when it is considered in relation to the over 4,000,000 Pacific telephones in California.

*
(“Wolf”)
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

The boy who cried wolf has probably grown up to be the wolf who cries “Boy!”

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Deceased
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

Mrs. Bella Lucow, on Nov. 15 at the age of 67.  Mrs. Lucow lived most of her life in Canada, but resided in San Diego the last six years. Services were conducted by Rabbi Monroe Levens and Cantor Joseph Cysner at Greenwood Mortuary on November 17.  Interment was in Home of Peace Cemetery.

She is survived by four daughters, Mrs. Edith Wernick and Mrs. Diana Phomin of San Diego; Mrs. Frances Berger of Los Angeles and Mrs. Goldie Nelson, New York; and four sons, Dr. William Lucow and Martin Lucow, Winnipeg; Sam Lucow, Vancouver, and Benjamin Lucow, a University of California instruct assigned to the armed forces in Japan.

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The Jewish Center Goal (Editorial)
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

The goal of $269,000 for the new Center Building was set by the Federation and the Board of the Center after careful deliberation. It was known at the time that the sum would not be sufficient to build the kind of plant which San Diego deserves and needs.

The leaders of this movement were actually fearful of setting a realistic figure to cover the cost of a completely equipped Jewish Community Center. They did not know or couldn’t guess the response their appeal would make. The Jewish Press knew all along the $269,000 would not build even a minimum Cenjter, no less a facility that Jews of this community could be proud of for years to come.

When you invest this kind of money, it is not for a few years but for a great many years to come.

1.  It’s got to be big enough, for one thing. (Ask L.A. about their newly completed Center—built for 7500 members, now with 8200—6 months old and it’s already outmoded.)

2. Best advice obtainable is to build now – not to add on later.  Costs keep going up – not down!  And you lose good money when you tear down to build up!

3.   Now is the time to do it right – not to be sorry you did “too little and too late!”

The realistic goal for a real Jewish Community Center should be $500,000!  Why?  Because that’s the least you need to build a center with decent facilities and equipment. We don’t blame the board members who were timid, they really didn’t know that 31 board members would pledge almost $70,000 in none night. But they are taking heart at this demonstration of faith and raising their sights to $500,000.

Some examples: Allentown, Pa, 3000 Jew — $1,000,000 –building going up now!  Scranton, PA, 6,000 Jews (same as our community) –$1,000,000—building just completed.  Oakland, Calif., 7500 Jews –$600,000-plant going up soon!  We could cite many other communities but we are sure you get the idea.

Let’s not be sorry we could not think big.  Let’s do it and do it right!  Get behind the drive and put up a structure we will be proud of for many years to come. The board cannot do it alone.  They have shown the way – now we must follow and put over the campaign for $500,000.

*
German Sovereignty (Editorial)
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

Several years ago the American Government made the restoration of full sovereignty to a reamed Western Germany, within the framework of the Western alliance, one of the keystones of its foreign policy.  Since then there was little doubt that it was but a matter of time until this goal of American diplomacy would be achieved. The path, however, was strewn with obstacles, and the jubilation in American circles over the signing of the agreement a few weeks ago undoubtedly reflected a deep-felt satisfaction over the final attainment of an arduously sought objective.  But Jews through the world are likely to feel little jubilation over what has occurred. And it might have been better, too, if some of the statesmen involved, particularly from the Unite States, had tempered their own jubilation with some reservations and misgivings.

That is not to say that the argument for the restoration of ‘German sovereignty is without a strong logic of its own. Then strength of that logic ultimately brought even France to support the final scheme.  Whatever one’s views about coexistence with communism, there is general agreement that democratic strength is an important deterrent to communist aggression. The West German contribution to the military strength of the West world can be considerable and even decisive.  Hence the importance of bringing the West German Republic into the Western Alliance. But whatever the logic, Jews everywhere have and will continue to have an instinctive fear of a rearmed Germany.  And that instinct is rooted in some very real and ineradicable memories of people and places—of parents and children and friends, of Belsen and Auschwitz and Buchenwald.  Those memories cannot coexist with jubilation over the prospect of the emergence of another German Wehrmacht – by whatever name.

*
Letters to the Editor
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

Dear Mac:

With unbelief and dismay, I read the following in the “To See or not To See” column of your Nov. 2 issue (referring to an evening of one-act plays in Balboa Park): “If only one evening’s attendance is possible, may I suggest Friday…”

While the sanctities of our religion and the spiritual significance of the Sabbath may have little or no meaning for some individuals of Jewish affiliation, it is inexcusable for a publication serving all elements of the Jewish community to permits its columns to advocate activities which are an obvious desecration of the Sabbath.

The Synagogues have no desire to act in a totalitarian manner and impose their will on any indifferent Jew.  How the individual uses or abuses the Sabbath eve hours is his own concern (although I deplore his absence from worship).  But it becomes a matter of concern and indignation on the part of the synagogues when a publication ostensibly dedicated to Jewish values permits those values to be flouted by such indiscretions in its columns.

It is hoped that henceforth “if only one evening’s attendance is possible” at plays or concerts, the Jewish Press will recommend some evening other than Friday.  Let all Jews ask themselves the all-important question, “Are you consecrating the Sabbath – or desecrating it?”

Sincerely yours,
Rabbi Morton J. Cohn

Editor’s Note:  The Jewish Press has no desire to advise people to “desecrate” the Sabbath, if that is what happens when you don’t go to shule and go to a play, instead.  But we are willing to take the good grey Rabbi’s word for it.  The Jewish Press wishes to go on record as advising all Jews to attend to the Sabbath by going to the Synagogue of their choice – no matter what they read in the paper.

For the record, though, we must report that only two Jews were present at the plays in question last Friday and that one was in them and the other reviewed them for the Evening Tribune.

*
“Heart Clubs” Help Overweight Reduce

Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

San Diego overweight adults are losing weight by the ton!  Enthusiasm for the San Diego Heart Association’s free and voluntary weight-reducing “Heart Clubs” is running high and members of the first five charter clubs have already pledged themselves to lose over 2,000 pounds on the advice of their physicians.

The Heart Association cordially invites any adult 15 or more pounds overweight to get together a group of their own overweight friends or neighbors and form their own “Heart Club.”

Based on the idea of “group dieting”, these Heart Clubs have had excellent success in other cities and states in helping overweight adults lose weight through weekly meetings, weekly check-up on their weight loss, and association with members of a group having the same weight problems. There are on dues or fees.

Complete details may be obtained from the San Diego County Heart Association, 1651 4th Avenue, San Diego 1.

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Christmas Seal Drive Opened Monday
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

San Diego County’s 1954 Christmas Seal drive opened Monday, with more than 180,000 local families receiving personal envelopes of the colorful anti-tuberculosis seals in their mail boxes.

“Tuberculosis strikes on American every five minutes,” Mrs. Anderson said.  “Christmas Seals offer every resident an opportunity to strike back at the disease that is the nation’s number one killer among contagious disease.”

*
(Death Rate Cut)
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

The death rate from lung cancer could be cut in half if all men over 45 years of age had chest x-rays twice a year, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Chapter 47: More About Three Hundred Years in America: Jewish Contributions To American History
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

By Dr. Philip L. Seman, University of Judaism

There is no such word as charity in the Jewish Code.  Charity is not something left to the individual will or whim. It is not a matter of patronage, but rather of duty.  One may search the whole credo of Biblical or rabbinical regulations providing for the relief of every condition of want, from the cradle to the grave, and the word charity in the usual interpretation, or as it is commonly accepted can not be found. That which is exemplified as the highest virtue in Jewish life is not called charity, but rather justice and righteousness.

The Hebrew word Tzadokah means justice, and when the Jew speaks of doing a service to his lest fortunate fellowman, in any form he speaks of it as a Tzadokah. The word indicates the true attitude toward helpfulness. Tzadokah is help given because it is right, just, fair, kind and merciful. All of these motives are blended into this one word.

In the obligations of human relations, one principle is fundamental and paramount – it is voiced in the outburst of the Psalmist: “Blessed are they that consider the poor.”

Consideration or the last fortunate is the key to the Jewish Social Service: The poor must never be put to shame. All emphasis was put, not on the gift, but on the spirit in which it was given. Thus an astute and exceedingly interesting description of the eight classes or types of givers was offered by Maimonides, the Jewish sage, whose Eight Hundredth Anniversary was celebrated eighteen years ago, the world over.

Not for the rabbis or scholars is the following of Maimondies who spoke of these eight classes presented, but rather for those who are not acquainted with these principles that the best in Jewish as well as non-Jewish social service servants, have looked with great conviction that these principles are ideal in the fullest sense, even if to some extent impractical, nonetheless a goal to strive for. Indeed the story to be told of Jewish social service is this and a number of future chapters of this series will indicate how and two what extent Jewish social service has made a real contribution to American history, particularly during the last sixty years, though there are indications of these ideals in the history of the Jews in America over three hundred years. Maimonides speaks off these eight classes referred to in the following manner.

“The meanest type of giving is that of the one who gives relief, but does so with bad grace, i.e., in a reluctant manner, and with a sour countenance. His gift is thereby wanting in the true spirit, and is deemed next to worthless. A little better is the next type, the one who gives very graciously, but yet very sparingly.  (To be continued)

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(Jewish Canadians)
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 9

Of 85,765 immigrants who entered Canada in the first month of 1954, only 786 were Jewish.

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“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.