Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, January 21, 1955, Part 3

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Birdie Stodel Women Plan President’s Day
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

Past Presidents met at the home of Mrs. David Schwartz to plan “Past Presidents’ Day” which will be held on Monday, Jan. 24, at the Beth Jacob Center. They will be hostesses at the luncheon to be held at 12:00 o’clock.  All past presidents will participate in the program of the day.

Over 25 members will be initiated on this day. The initiation will be headed by Mrs. Robert Siegel who will act as president, Mrs. Jennie Siner as counselor, Mrs. Harry Schwartz and Mrs. David Schwartz will give responses.  All other past Presidents will form a living Menorah.

This year’s class of initiates will be presented in honor of Past President Mrs. Harry Schwartz and Mrs. James Geller.

Mrs. Marco Ratner is in charge of table decorations.

Past President Mrs. Jeremiah Aronoff, who is in charge of affairs for the day, promises a long, pleasant social afternoon.

Mrs. Morrie Kraus, president, urges all members to attewnd.  Make reservations by calling any past presidents.

Don’t forget our chapter’s 26th anniversary will be celebrated in February.  Details and date to follow.

J.W.V. News

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

Members of San Diego Post 185 listened to a very interesting talk given by Bob Elliott, the newly named Padre manager, at their January 19th meeting. Elliott, who was introduced by his friend, Jerry Krakoff, told of his baseball career and his hopes for 1955.  The 40 and 8 organization of the American Legion were also present as guests of the Jewish War Veterans.

A committee of Past Commanders were appointed to choose a slate of officers to be elected in March.  Bud Samuels, Commander, has assigned the duties of Finance Officer to J. David Brooks until the next election.

Post 185 will march in the military parade to be held January 30 in National City for the purpose of raising funds in the March of Dimes campaign. Stanley Yukon, Post Commander, will be in charge of the JWV contingent.

Council Slates Valentine Ball
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

Final arrangements for the “Valentine Ball” at the Mission Valley Country Club have been completed. The date is Saturday evening, Feb. 12, 1955.

Join your friends in the cocktail lounge at 8 p.m. for a social hour. Buffet supper will be served at 8 p.m. and there will be entertainment and dancing. Decorations will be in the Valentine theme.

Make up your tables (you may have as many as twenty at a table) and call your reservation in to Mrs. Ben Lemson, JU 2-7628; Mrs. Paul Moss, JU-2-1504 or Mrs. Monroe Gardner, JU-2-5940.  Reservations close Feb. 8.

Mrs. Sidney R. Silverman and Mrs. Sidney Smith are Co-chairmen of the event.

Council Women To Have Speaker
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

The next regular luncheon meeting of Council will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1st, at noon, at the House of Hospitality in the Copper Room.

The principal speaker will be Mrs. Joseph Willen of New York City.  Mrs. Willen is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Jewish Women and President of the International Council.  In 1951, Mrs. Willen was chosen as part of a panel of eleven leading American women, and made a four weeks’ tour of Germany under auspices of the State Department.

Mrs. Willen will speak on “Council’s Role Overseas”.   A most interesting and stimulating afternoon is anticipated. Mrs. Harry Blumberg will give a report on Service to the Blind.

(Religious Principle)
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

A big part of any man’s religion consists in getting along with other people.

(San Diego Hebrew Home)

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

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

(Dollars and Sense)
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 5

If the man who is always in debt will keep a record of his expenses he may find it is sense he lacks—not dollars.

Too many dollars in the wrong man’s pocket soon crowds out the sense in his head.

Pioneer Women To Hold Annual Bazaar
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

Pioneer Women’s Annual Bazaar will be held on Sunday, Jan. 30th, at Beth Jacob Center at 10 a.m until midnight.  Delicious foods will be served all day, prepared under the supervision of Goldie Kitaen, so bring your family and friends for a delightful day of fine food and fun.  New merchandise of all kinds will be on display and will be on sale at prices to please you.

Mrs. Rose Brooker and Mrs. Rose Abrams are chairmen and they are asking the support and co-operation of all members and of all who are interested in the important work of Pioneer Women in Israel.

Mark the date, Jan. 30th, on your calendar and be there.

The next meeting of Negba Club will be held on Thursday, Feb. 3rd and an interesting program and fine luncheon at noon is being planned. Plans are being made for welcoming Pioneer Women’s Delegates from Israel.

Couples Club To Visit Globe Theatre
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

The next social of the Couples Club to be held on January 22nd is a planned theatre poarty to the “Old Globe” to see the comedy, “Affairs of State.” The entertainment committee report hevy bookings and regret that no more reservations are now possible for our particular group.

Take away the sculptor’s chisel or the artist’s paint brush and you deprive him of his most important medium of expression, take away a Rabbi’s voice and you bring about the same result. We of the Couples Club are happy indeed that our Rabbi, Monroe Levens, will soon be blessed once more with his most capable “tool of trade.”

Volunteers Needed
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

An urgent appeal for volunteer workers went out today from the headquarters of the San Diego County Heart Association, 1651 Fourth Avenue.

Any man or woman who can spare even an hour a day for helping in the Heart Association offices, folding literature, stuffing or addressing envelopes, etc. is urged to phone the Heart Association at Belmont 4-5102.

Public Speaking Class Now Open
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

Esther I. Siegel announces that registration is now open for her adult class in Public Speaking which meets every Wednesday morning in her studio in the Barcelona Hotel. The course emphasizes practical training in diction, self-confidence, relaxation and vocabulary building. Anyone interested in becoming more effective in business, social and club life is asked to contact Miss Siegel, Barcelona Hotel, Belmont 2-0153.  Tuition for this course is a special rate of $18 for 10 lessons.  Private and class instruction is also available for children in Speech Arts and Dramatics.

Temple Sisterhood Gets Set For Country Fair Feb. 6th
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

There’s a buzz of activity throughout the Temple Beth Israel family as final preparations get under way for the big Country Fair to be held on Feb. 6 from 3:30 to midnight.

The American Legion Hall at 2690 B St. is being transformed into a rural fairground under the able direction of Harriet Dickman.

There will be fun for all – young and old will enjoy the many activities that are being planned.  Betty Karel is in charge of special games for the youngsters and Helen Siner has planned exciting gaming events for their parents.  Enjoy the delicious buffet being served from 5 to 8 p.m.  Homemade specialties prepared by our own expert cooks, under the direction of Louise Hertz, Zelma Goldstein and Charlotte Haas, at the modest prices of only $1.85 for adults and $0.85 for children.

Many workers are still needed, especially for the buffet.

Help make this event a success – call Louise Hertz, CO 4-3021, and volunteer your services.

Finances for the Country Fair are being handled by Ruth Smoller and Ruth Silverman.

New Director For Center Nursery

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

Mrs. James Fry was made permanent Director of the Cooperative Nursery School of the Jewish Community Center this month after serving on a probationary basis for three months.

Mrs. Fry has had ten years of experience in the educational field, ranging from work with a demonstration class of primary age children at Tufts College to a position as Educational Consultant to the Universalist Church of Japan.

Open Forum Has India Speaker

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

The fourth lecture of the S.D. Open Forum will be held on January 30th, at the First Unitarian Cnhurch, 1541 Sixth Ave., at 8 p.m.

Mr. Amiya Chakravarty, U.N. Advisor to the Indian Delegation, Professor of Comparative Oriental Religions and Literature at Boston University will be guest speaker.  His topic –“An Asian looks at the World.”

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 6

Molli Simon, aged 72, on Tuesday, Jan. 18th.  Mrs. Simon resided in San Diego since 1939.  Survivors are sons, Leo, of New York City and Jack of Denver, Colo.; daughters, Sylvia Greenberg of Detroit, Mich; and Rose Kohn of Los Angeles; a sister, Fern Raphael of Chicago, Ill; a brother, Nathan Niederman, of New York; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Mrs. Simon was a member of Temple Beth Israel, Temple Sisterhood, Hadassah, and the Council of Jewish Women.

Services were conducted by Rabbi Morton J. Cohn at Merkely Austin Mortuary. Final resting place is Greenwood Memorial Park.

William Schusterman, husband of Goldie Schusterman, died on January 2nd, at the age of 59 years.  He is survived by his wife; son, Arnold; and daughters, Doris Borenstein and Sally Kaplan; two brothers and seven grandchildren.  Rabbi Baruch Stern officiated at services held at the Merkely-Austin Mortuary; interment at Home of Peace Cemetery.  He was a board member of Congregation Beth Jacob and B’nai B’rith Lasker Lodge.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Southwestern Jewish Press, November 26, 1954, Page 8

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

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.

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.

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.

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)

(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.

“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.  

Hand grenade explodes 100 meters from Ahmadinejad car in Hamedan

August 4, 2010 Leave a comment

HAMADAN (WJC)–Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly escaped an assassination attempt in the western Iranian city of Hamadan. Several people were wounded in the blast, said media reports. The Arab news channel ‘al-Arabiya’ said the Iranian presidency had confirmed that Ahmadinejad “escaped an assassination attempt as his procession was targeted by a bomb.” The conservative Iranian website ‘’ said:  “This morning, a hand grenade exploded next to a vehicle carrying reporters accompanying the president in Hamedan. Ahmadinejad’s car was 100 meters away and he was not hurt.”

In his speech, which was broadcast on state television, the hard-line Iranian leader did not mention the attack. He claimed that Iran did not care about the latest US sanctions but warned countries against joining them. On Tuesday, the Treasury Department in Washington had named 21 firms and banned Americans from engaging in business with them. Thirteen of the companies are based in Europe – nine in Germany, two in Belarus, and one each in Luxembourg and Italy.

“You can make resolutions and sanctions against us as much as you want until you get fed up. As far as the Iranian nation is concerned, we do not care at all and will never beg four your goods,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd in Hamadan. The president said all the sanctions in the last four years just made the country more self-sufficient and improved its technological output. He warned all countries against joining the sanctions, saying that they would be excluded from further business with Iran and “be wiped out from Iranian markets.”

Meanwhile, Japan also imposed sanctions against Iran, in line with the recent UN resolution. The government in Tokyo said it planned to announce additional punitive measures later this month.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Jerusalem tourism waxes and wanes with international politics

July 26, 2010 Leave a comment

By Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM–More than two million overseas visitors arrived in Jerusalem during a recent year. The attractions are well maintained places linked to individuals and events featured in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, and a functioning Old City enclosed by walls built in ancient times and last reconstructed in the 16th century. The Old City offers sites and shopping for tourists, and four distinctive neighborhoods that are the homes of 30,000 Jews, Muslims, Armenians and other Christians. Only a short ride away is Bethlehem, equally compelling for those wanting to see the roots of Christianity. Jericho is not much further in another direction. It offers winter visitors a chance to dine comfortably in an outdoor restaurant, while ten miles away in Jerusalem it may be raining and close to freezing.
While the numbers coming to Jerusalem are impressive, and often a nuisance to locals having to cope with crowds and traffic, the city ranks lower than 50 others in the numbers of tourists it attracts. London, New York, Bangkok, Paris, and Rome attract from three to seven times the number of international tourists as Jerusalem. Dublin, Amsterdam, and Prague get twice as many, while even Kiev and Bucharest, plus resorts near Bangkok attract 50 percent more international visitors than Jerusalem.

Jerusalem may have more of a mystic pull than these other places. The “Jerusalem syndrome” is a documented condition whereby some visitors believe themselves to be biblical characters. Jewish and Christian sufferers act as David, Jesus, or some other figure associated with their faith. I am not aware of visitors to London and Paris thinking that they are Henry VIII, Napoleon, or any of the other figures associated with local history.
Why does Jerusalem rank only #51 on a sophisticated ranking of international tourism? 
Distance has something to do with it. Visitors to Western Europe can avail themselves of numerous attractive destinations as part of the same trip from home. There are decent beaches and other features in Tel Aviv and Netanya, but they attract only 60 and 10 percent of the overseas visitors as Jerusalem. Tiberias is on the Sea of Galilee and close to sites important to Christians, but draws only 25 percent of the number of visitors to Jerusalem. 
There are other sites in countries close to Jerusalem, notably Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, but the borders of the Middle East are not as easy to cross as those of Western Europe. For some years now Israeli security personnel have not allowed Israeli Jews to visit Bethlehem or Jericho without special permits, and others have to pass through barriers and inspections meant to protect us.

Politics and tension are more likely to figure in a decision to visit Jerusalem than other cities. The number of overseas tourists to Israel dropped from 2.4 million in 2000, which was mostly prior to the onset of the latest intifada, to a bit over one million in 2003, which was one of the bloodiest years. Numbers increased to 1.9 million by 2005 when the violence had diminished significantly. No other country included in the regions of Europe and the Mediterranean surveyed by the United Nations tourist agency showed comparable variations in the same period. Even on a mundane issue like this, the U.N. is unable to consider Israel part of the Middle East region, which includes all of the countries bordering it and Palestine.

Jerusalem has drawn more tourists that some well-known sites in Europe. It does better than Florence and Venice, and is pretty much tied with Athens. Why less than Kiev and Bucharest? There are mysteries in the world of tourism that may boil down to nothing more than current fashion or a lack of precision in the numbers.

Tourist flows change with politics and economics. Thirty years ago there was virtually no direct travel between Israel, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Now Russian visitors are in second place behind those from the United States; there are sizable numbers from Ukraine and Poland. Thousands come each year from India, Korea, Japan, China, and Nigeria. Indonesia and Morocco receive Israelis and send visitors to Israel, even though there are no formal diplomatic relations. There are even a few hundred visitors annually from Malaysia and Iran, whose officials are usually among our most intense critics .

My latest Jerusalem experience may be part of a multicultural gesture to attract overseas visitors, or it may reflect nothing more than the lack of experience or attention by the person responsible. While I usually pay no attention to the music piped into the exercise room at the university gym, this morning I became alert to something familiar. It was Silent Night, in the English version I was required to sing many years ago at the Highland School. But only in December. Never in July.

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University

Israel’s ‘Lousy PR’ vs. its national defense needs

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

 By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a strange conversation, a journalist called to ask how badly Israel’s image had been damaged by the flotilla incident. Our first thought was, “Not as badly as if the precedent was set for ships to land in Gaza without Israeli inspection, or if the millions of Euros in their pockets had actually reached Hamas.” But that wasn’t what he was asking. He really wanted to know whether countries or people who had previously “liked” Israel “liked” Israel less now, and if Israel would have “done better” if it could have explained itself better. 
It was, in fact, the dreaded “Israel’s lousy PR” question.
In a second strange conversation, an admittedly cynical diplomat told us to disregard the posturing anti-Israel statements at the European Parliament, the UN Human Rights Commission and other international bodies. “People don’t really know anything, they just say things.” But, he added, Israel couldn’t expect to get a fair shake in those places because it doesn’t spend enough time making its case to European diplomats. 
Again, “Israel’s lousy PR,” was the issue, not the reality of the Arab/Islamic threat to Israel or the reality of Israel’s defense.
Our belief is that the flotilla incident actually made people and countries behave more like themselves. 

There are those inclined to dislike Israel for ethnic or religious reasons; or because they see only the limited view of Israel their media-controlling governments want them to see; or because they reflexively support people who look sad. 

There are those, on the other hand, who are inclined to appreciate the difficulties of Israel in the Middle East and find in Israel a like-minded, democratic ally under attack by radical forces that also threaten the West. This group often includes post-Soviet countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and in this case includes Italy and The Netherlands. 

And there is a third type, those who travel in groups or packs – among them the media, Western Europeans, and left-wing Democrats – who don’t necessarily want Israel to disappear; and who do in fact understand the substance of Israel’s difficulties; and who would never think of themselves supporting Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran; but who can’t defend Israel in public because it isn’t fashionable; but won’t condemn it more than absolutely necessary; and will still do business with Israel where they find it useful. Cynical diplomats often find themselves here.

All reacted to the flotilla in predictable ways.

Arabs governments, Arab and other media, Turkey and Iran trashed Israel. 

Americans were far more supportive of Israeli actions than Europeans, but President Obama and Congressional Democrats walked a finer line in their support than conservatives. 

And while the EU Parliament – a body responsible to no one for anything – loudly denounced Israel for the raid, the European countries on the UN Human Rights Commission largely abstained from the slander of Israel and the call for a UN-run investigation (Norway always, sadly, excepted).

The actual elected leaders of the G-8 – the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany France, Italy and Russia – people who have a responsibility for policy, put forward a communiqué calling for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks (as Israel has), welcomed Israel’s own investigation (not mentioning the UN or any other international investigation) and Israel’s own decision to change the rules of the embargo, noted that the “legitimate security concerns of Israel that must continue to be safeguarded,” and called for the “immediate release” of Gilad Shalit. 

And, interestingly, while Iran naturally trashed Israel and threatened it with future flotillas, faced with the reality that Israel would not permit future ships to land and would consider blockade busting to be an act of war, the Iranian government called the whole thing off. Ditto the government of Lebanon.

Israel and supporters of Israel have to make the best possible case for Israeli defensive activities with the full understanding that there is a double – and triple – game out there. The requirements for national defense have to trump PR. If Israel (or America, for that matter) allows itself to be undone by the PR ramifications of defense, or if PR becomes the ultimate determinant of rightness or wrongness in security matters, defense will become impossible – for Israel, for the United States and for the West.


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.

San Diego’s historic places: Montgomery Field as recalled by aviation pioneer Bill Gibbs

June 22, 2010 4 comments

Bill Gibbs on June 18, 2010 visits the air field he founded in 1937. Behind him is a T-shaped hangar for small aircraft

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Bill Gibbs has been watching the calendar as closely as he used to monitor the instrument panels of his airplanes.  Come October 6, the San Diego aviation pioneer will turn 100 years old, and Gibbs is counting the days.  He had big celebrations with his aviation buddies on his 80th and 90th birthdays and figures to do the same for his centennial. 

Before Gibbs purchased 25 acres in 1937 for $10 per acre, the Kearny Mesa area, then just outside the San Diego city limits, was “nothing but jackrabbits, coyotes and rattle snakes,”  Gibbs recently recalled.  He paid $50 down and $25 every three months.

The reason he picked that particular stretch of land, he said, was because it was on a mesa, and therefore less likely to be flooded than areas lying at lower elevations.  Water at least two feet high had previously flooded his hangar at the now defunct National City Airport after the Sweetwater River overflowed its banks. 

Among the numerous jobs Gibbs had filled in his early life was working at a service station operated by Carlysle Madson at 14th and National Avenue.  Madson’s real love was teaching flying, and when he would give a lesson, he would leave Gibbs to watch the station, paying the boy 25 cents per hour.   Gibbs didn’t take the aggregated pay in money, he took it in flying lessons.  Eventually, Gibbs became so good piloting Madson’s single engine tandem two-seater plane, that he became a co-owner with Madson of one airplane.

During the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition, Gibbs flew passengers around Balboa Park in a three-seater bi-plane. Flights could be either for seven or 15 minutes.

Although Gibbs thought he’d start his new landing strip with a partner, his excursion into the real estate business ended being a solo affair.  He borrowed $250 from the Bank of Italy—today known as the Bank of America– to purchase $500 Taylor Cub, the rest which he paid off with the proceeds from flying lessons.  By hand, he hacked brush from a pathway that he turned into an 1,100-foot landing strip.  After smacking himself with an axe, he decided that he should get help from professionals, and contracted with George Daley of Daley Construction to carve out two 2,900-foot runways, and one 1,200 feet.  All of them were 100-feet wide.  In what can be appreciated as an act of charity,  Daley charged Gibbs only $675 for the job, and allowed him to pay it off at the rate of $25 per month.

To pay his debts, Gibbs offered seven minute rides for 75 cent and half-hour sightseeing tours of San Diego for $2.  Another income stream was teaching would-be pilots how to fly.  Among his first students were Charlie Faust, who later in life would be the naturalist and architect who designed portions of San Diego’s famous Wild Animal Park, and James Dalby, who after serving as a flight instructor during World War II, then flying DC3’s for China National Airways and other airlines and owning a retail sales business, would go on to become president and general manager of Gibbs Aircraft Service Center.

Like his mentor Madson, Gibbs had another job to support his flying habit.  He worked since 1933 as a janitor for the Aztec Brewery Company in the wee hours of the morning, cleaning floors and greasing machinery.  Afterwards, he would go to his landing strip to wait for customers, catching up on sleep in those hours when none came.

Not long after Daley’s crews had done their work on the field, Gibbs was approached by a chief pilot for  T. Claude Ryan of Ryan School of Aeronautics.  A small auxiliary airport near Mission Bay had flooded, and Ryan needed an auxiliary landing field for a class of 75 Army Air Corps cadets to learn how to fly Ryan-built planes.

The pilot wanted to know what Gibbs would charge.  “Tell you what,” Gibbs said he replied.  “I’ll fix it up so you can drag it – send out a truck with two guys and as you go along, pick up all this brush and stone, and drag the place down, and you can use it for nothing.”

By 1940, Ryan had decided to use both Gibbs Field and the Mission Bay auxiliary field. He asked to rent the facility on a more formal basis.  The company also offered Gibbs a position teaching the cadets how to fly, enabling him to quit the brewery and to devote full time to his aviation career.

That was not the only connection to Ryan Aerospace, Gibbs said. He met his wife, Barbara, who worked as a secretary for  Ryan School of Aeronautics.  Barbara’s father,  Eddie Molloy, also worked for Ryan.  “He was the plant manager for Ryan.  Her father went to work for Ryan in 1940, a self-made aeronautical engineer.  He finally became vice president of Ryan.”  

By the time World War II started, with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, “I think had seven or eight planes,” Gibbs recalled.  Most of them were Luscombes, which “were all-metal airplanes except for the fabric on the wings.  They seated two, side by side.”  

Gibbs said Luscombes required most pilots to adjust the way they were used to flying.  In tandem two seaters—with the passenger sitting in a rear seat directly behind the pilot—the nose of the airplane was positioned directly in front of the pilot.  But when the pilot and passenger sat beside each other, it was located between them.  That required some re-orienting as pilots executed turns in the sky.

Once the war began, civilian flights were forbidden within a certain distance of the coast.  So Ryan, Gibbs and the entire operation moved to an airfield in Tucson, Arizona, for the duration of the war.  

Gibbs returned to his field in 1945, and soon was providing flying lessons to returning veterans seeking new careers in aviation.   As post World War II San Diego expanded, the city decided it wanted to take over Gibbs Field, paying the aviator $100,000 for the land and another $12,000 for the improvements.  The City also gave Gibbs a 20-year-lease with two 10-year-renewal periods.  That guaranteed Gibbs Flying Service would have a home for at least 40 years.

Not all the “$10 land” that Gibbs purchased originally was included in the deal. He combined a portion of that land with more expensive land he had purchased subsequently, and sold 209 acres east of then Highway 395 to the City of San Diego for its airport.  “I got $60,000 for the land and $48,000 for the improvements.”  

Gibbs sold another swath of land to the State of California for Highway 163, but retained approximately 55 acres in the vicinity of present day Convoy Street between Aero Drive and Kearny Mesa Road, some of which  is rented today by a variety of businesses.   What once cost $10 per acre, Gibbs estimated, today is worth approximately $1.5 million for the same acre.

Gibbs recalled that the name “Montgomery Field” was urged by then future Congressman Bob Wilson, who was a heavy hitter in the local Republican party.  Wilson was impressed that John J. Montgomery, the man reputed to have made the first controlled flight had done so in San Diego, way back in 1883.

The business continued to grow, with Gibbs eventually not only operating a flying school, but also providing 180 tie-downs spots on the apron and 80 “T” hangars for private planes.  The hangars are described by the alphabet letter because two shallow side compartments are built for the airplane’s wings, while the main part of the hangar houses the fuselage.   Contructing metal hangars in this fashion, Gibbs explained, enables the nesting of airplanes, with the fuselage of one backing up to the wing of another.  Gibbs also provided fueling, maintenance and repairs for private airplanes that landed at Montgomery Field. 

It was not unusual for former students to drop in on Gibbs years later, and to tell him their stories.  One fellow, who had been piloting a B-24 Liberator during World War II, told of his plane being shot up pretty bad, with some crew members wounded and various other problems creating panic.   The man told him that he remembered advice that Gibbs had given him about what to do in an emergency: “Just fly the plane,” and that’s what he concentrated on, despite the pandemonium all around him.  Keeping calm in that situation may well have saved the lives of everyone aboard, he said. “Stay focused” was Gibbs’ maxim.

Gibbs and his pilots flew a daily service for the Bank of America, picking up checks and inter-brsnch mail  at bank branches in more than 20 cities and bringing them to central West Coast computer centers for processing.  He used 16 twin-engines airplanes in the operation.

At this point in the interview, Gibbs withdrew a Bank of America credit card from his wallet and pointed to where it identified him as a customer since …. 1933.   He laughed, saying that when Bank of America employees meet someone who has been a customer for 67 years, they often express astonishment.  That’s one of the perks of being just a few months shy of a century old.

Gibbs Flying Service also developed an expertise in flying to Baja California and the West Coast of mainland Mexico  flying tourists, prospectors and geologists to their chosen destinations, and sometimes delivering supplies and conducting mercy flights.

Gibbs recalled that a company called National Bulk Carriers chartered one of his planes for what was intended to be a three-day visit to examine salt flats near Guerrero Negro and staying nights at Bahia de Los Angeles.   A chabasco—a tropical storm that came inland from the Pacific Ocean—formed two thunder clouds around the plane, and the downdraft from those thunder clouds pushed it down to the ground.  The plane hit the ground, spun around 135 degrees, moved backwards 35 feet from the force ofthe wind, and then started to burn.  Pilot Pete Larson and three passengrs might have survived if the airplane had ot caught fire, Gibbs speculated.  It took an aerial search party, which at times consisted of 27 airplanes, twelve days to find the wreckage and what remained of the four men’s bodies.

Flying up to Long Beach, where National Bulk Carriers’ president was visiting a ship’s chandler, Gibbs reported what had happened.  The owner  said that a friend in the oil industry had a heart attack, and that he had purchased his airplane among other assets of the business. The airplane was stored in a hangar in Texas.  Gibbs followed up, obtained the aircraft,  and an ongoing relationship with National Bulk Carriers was established. 

As the company’s crews continued to survey the salt flats in Baja California, they occasionally needed to purchase such supplies as a 15-foot boat in the United States.  Because National Bulk Carriers was not known in San Diego, local vendors declined to sell the boat unless cash was paid at the time of purchase.  Gibbs asked if they would be willing to send an invoice to the company if Gibbs, himself, guaranteed the payment.  Yes, the vendors said, because they had been doing business with Gibbs for a long time.

When the invoice reached National Bulk Carriers, it created quite a commotion.  Who was this fellow out on the West Coast guaranteeing invoices for them?  Didn’t the people in San Diego have any idea that the man who owned National Bulk Carriers paid his own way?  The owner’s name was D.K. Ludwig.  He owned a fleet of ships, a large Japanese shipyard, and other businesses.  At the time, he was one of the wealthiest men in the world.  When Ludwig’s comptroller called Gibbs to inquire about the strange turn of affairs in which the small business owner was guaranteeing the credit of a multi-millionaire industrialist, Gibbs apologetically explained that the San Diego vendors meant no disrespect, they just hadn’t heard of Ludwig’s company. 

Although Ludwig’s pride may have been wounded, he ultimately took it in good grace, sending bigger and bigger cash advances to Gibbs to act as his agent.  Eventually, Gibbs said,  it was not uncommon for Ludwig to send him $50,000 cash advances from which to draw expenses.

Bill Gibbs, seated, and son Buzz Gibbs examine photo display on Montgomer Field's history

Years later, Gibbs got out of the aircraft operations business, selling all 51 airplanes,  preferring instead to rent space to airplanes that needed homes on the ground.  His son, Buzz Gibbs, who now heads the business, related that the 1960s through the 1980s were a golden time for the general aviation business.  “There were three major manufacturers; Cessna, Beech and Piper,” the son recalled.  “Cessna was the biggest: in 1978, they made $10,000 airplanes.  In 1985, they quit making piston airplanes.  That was like General Motors not making cars, and so it has been in a general decline since then.  So the small airplane business is decreasing.  The corporate jet business started in the early 70’s with the Cessna Citation, the Beachcraft King Air … and so the business is flip-flopping going from lots of individual airplanes with individual owners to now, when the majority of the aviation business is in the corporate market.  And they’ve gone from making 18,000 airplanes in 1977 or 1978, and I think last year they made 700.”

Palomar Airport has become the center for corporate jet aircraft in the county, Gibbs said, although new generations of corporate jets, able to land on shorter runways have since been developed.

Two horrible occurrences shall always remained burned in the corporate memory of Gibbs Flying Service.  The first was the midair collision over San Diego of one of its small planes with a Pacific Southwest Airlines jet that overtook it on the approach to Lindbergh Field, resulting in the worst air accident in the United States up to that time.  The second was Montgomery Field’s brief connection to two of the 9/11 terrorists.

The senior Gibbs said that in the case of the midair collision, on September 25, 1978, the student (David Boswell) in a Cessna  “was a commercial pilot, getting his instrument rating.  And the instructor (a Gibbs employee, Martin Kazy) was rated to instruct on the instruments.”

Gibbs said that the PSA crew “made what was called a ‘cowboy approach,’ where you come in and put the wheels down and the  flaps down in a real steep descending turn, and then come down in a very short approach to the runway….”  The plane leveled out in airspace in which the much slower private plane was in front of it, but not easily seen.  “They were warned about it, from the radar control, and they said ‘no, we think we just passed him’ and there was a conflict alert that went off, and then about 17 seconds before they hit.”

Gibbs said one of the two was thrown from the private plane, hitting a building on the east side of Interstate 805, and the small airplane came down (with the other passenger) along the freeway.   The commercial plane took out a row of homes, killing their occupants, as well as the 135 persons aboard.  In total there were 144 persons killed in what to that date was the worst disaster in U.S. aviation history.

The NTSB report focused on mistakes made both by the PSA crew and air traffic controllers.  Gibbs said he had $5 million in insurance, which his insurance company wanted to contribute toward a settlement fund.  Because his people had not been at fault, Gibbs said he first refused.  After two weeks, the insurance company came back and said Pacific Southwest Airlines’ insurance company was willing to indemnify Gibbs if he would contribute $3 million to the settlement package.  He continued to resist, but the insurance company said defending against a class action suit likely would prove more expensive than $3 million, so they were better to be indemnified and out of it.  Gibbs said he agreed only after the insurance company promised not to raise his rates.

The two terrorists included in the 9/11 plot who had done some of their pilot training at Montgomery Field were subsequently identified as Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two Saudi Arabians who were among the five hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 which was crashed into the Pentagon. 

Gibbs said although the two men had been trained by one of the flying clubs at Montgomery Field, and not by Gibbs Flying Service, he had encountered the two usually taciturn men on several occasions, but never had a conversation of any length with them.  He said their cover story was that they were learning to fly so that they could become pilots for members of the Saudi royal family.   He said he recalls they went to Florida after leaving San Diego. 

Several years ago, with Gibbs Flying Service’s latest extension on his lease coming to an end,  a manager in the city’s airport division seemed intent on finding new tenants, prompting quite a bit of protest from Gibbs’ many friends in the aviation industry.  Numerous  letters were written to the City Council in the company’s support, with the result that Gibbs Flying Service is still there.  The company’s 75th anniversary operating on that field comes in 2012.   However, Gibbs Flying Service is on a month-to-month lease, and said Gibbs, if for any reason, the lease is terminated, he expects the family would close the business down.  

General aviation is not what it used to be, and, besides, the family has done quite well on its real estate investments, Gibbs said. 

Gibbs had retired from flying about 20 years ago, explaining that he felt it was neither fair to his passengers nor to people on the ground if something should happen to him while he was piloting an airplane.  He continued to come into the office from time to time, but gradually he did so less and less, leaving the business completely to his son Buzz. 

Gibbs said that he misses flying and confided that being around the airport for too long makes him feel withdrawal pains.

“Bill is part of the legacy of aviation in our San Diego region,” James Kidrick, president and CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum said.  He noted that Gibbs has been a consistent supporter of the museum’s scholarship preogram, which encourages excellence in science, technology and mathematics.

Among others, Gibbs has devoted his philanthropy to such organizations as the Salvation Army, including its Joan Kroc Center, and the San Diego Zoo.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World


Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, June 11, 1954, Part 2

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

As the Psychologist Sees You
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 121, 1954, page 2

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

“Escapes from Reality”

I believe everyone looks at himself in the mirror at least once a day and views the environment about him from his home or office several times a day. Each time he forms an opinion, often not expressed aloud to others. Sometimes, these opinions are brushed from our thoughts without further consideration; at other times they represent emotional responses which are quite disturbing.

Reality is like every one of those views and every attempt to escape reality is our way of finding displeasure I what we see. Mental hygiene requires that we face reality and not hide from it; we must not only learn to accept ourselves as we are but must accept the conditions of the external world as they exist. True, it may be difficult but if we struggle to escape reality we court a mental breakdown.

Realism allows a person to operate on a level of aspiration that will be a reasonable one for him. He will seek attainment within his capacity; the discrepancy between ability and level of aspiration will be minute or non-existent.  If unrealistic, constant failures will create havoc and lead to a disrupting effect upon emotions.

Escapes from reality, like everything else, may be of different degrees.  The extreme condition, where detachment from reality is complete, is seen in psychotic patients. In a less severe condition, we see the person of dull intelligence attempting to complete or even enter college; the person with an average salary trying to “keep up with the Jones’s,”; or the young man with little athletic ability fighting against the lack instead of accepting it.

Persons with physical handicaps soon must learn that they are limited in their particular condition and adopt a form of compensation which will give them satisfaction. The person who is blind resorts to sound to help him get around; the person who is deaf depends upon sight.

Often one’s interests are out of line with one’s aptitudes and we frequently see someone wanting to engage in an activity for which he is not suited. But, as long as we keep our goals within our reach, we have a chance for success.  Too often we try to emulate someone else, forgetting that no two persons, except identical twins, are ever exactly alike.

In the same way, we must see our fellow human beings as they are and not as we would like them to be. This applies to our parents, our children, our friends, our political leaders, and our neighbors in other countries.

From Where I Sit
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 2

By Mel Goldberg

The Town and Country Club requires that applicants for admission list their religion… Why?… Tempers are flaring over the “confidential list” sent out by the Community Chest to business “chief executives.”  It lists business firms, the number of their employees and amounts of contributions. It also lists those who did not give.  The procedure may or not be okeh, but someone certainly slipped up on cross-checking. In more than one case, people who own several business and gave their contribution through one, were listed as non-givers in the other business. This creates an erroneous impression. Fund-raisers who make up “black-lists” for public consumption, should exercise more care, before releasing them.

Bobby Beck tells about a bopster cannibal, who ate three “squares” a day… David Weissman saw a headline, “Jewish People Seldom are Problem Drinkers.”  Maybe they just can’t mix a problem drink properly.  Or, perhaps, the Jewish problem is stiff enough a potion for them without alcohol. … Many World War II veterans have tossed some vitriolic remarks at the Red Cross because the organization charged for services rendered at clubs overseas. Never publicized, however, was the true story. The Red Cross was compelled to charge because of a directive issued by the U.S. Secretary of War.  Our government took this stand as a “diplomatic measure” to keep certain foreign allies happy, because their troops were being paid much less than ours, and it was felt that this measure would keep other troops from feeling too resentful about the better amenities supplied to the U.S. forces.

Al Perper heard of a fellow who told a faith-healer that his brother was very ill. “Bosh,” said the faith healer, “he only thinks that he is ill.”  A few days later the two met again and the faith healer inquired about the “ill” brother.  “Oh, he’s worse,” said the brother, “now he thinks he’s dead”. … Report from a teacher of the 2nd grade in suburban San Diego school. Session began last September with 34 students, present enrollment is 35. … There are 58 student names on her full year registration and only 6 students present in attendance were registered last September.  How’s that for turnover. … Maybe it helps explain why some children have trouble spelling “cat.” … Mike Soule passes the story along concerning the hen who was gazing at a dish of scrambled eggs and muttering, “Man, dig my poor crazy mixed up kids.”

A local social service agency suggested that one of their unemployed clients, take advantage of his idle time while looking for work, by attending night school. This seemed to be a worthwhile project, since the man in question would probably have had a better chance to secure a job, with some educational background… On his next trip to the unemployment office, h mentioned that he was now attending night school, and they cut off his financial assistance because as they put it—“he was unavailable for work.”

Strange but true: there was a mezuzah on the door at the F St. Rossi headquarters … Pre-viewed the new library… It contains many new innovations in library construction and despite its simplicity and lower than anticipated cost—is definitely a showplace.  Sig Stein mentioned to the chef at the 4-A Roundup that Lawrence Welk was in the dining room enjoying the prime ribs.  In acknowledgment, the chef, a veteran of the kitchens asked, “Yeah, who does he cook for?”

The Navy’s withholding commissions on five Annapolis graduates, needs plenty of explaining. Since when are we responsible for acts committed by relatives. If the actions of a grandfather or an uncle, etc., are to be used as a basis of an individuals character assessment or loyalty background, then we’d better start floating a big bond issue to build bigger and better jails, ‘cause the present pokeys aren’t going to hold all the relations of unfavorable characters… We’d also like to know how it’s possible for a buy to go through 4 years in a service academy, and then suddenly, they find on his graduation, that he is a security risk.

Art Leitch, the East San Diego real estate man, has opened a new office at 6300 El Cajon Blvd….It was refreshing (in the midst of all the political harassing) to note that one of Art’s competitors took it upon himself to insert a welcome salute to Art in the daily paper…That’s real praise!  We might add that we have had occasion to deal with Art for some time now, and only wish that all our business relationships could be as pleasant… He’s the kind of guy, we enjoy seeing successful.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Mr. and Mrs. Nate Ratner and their sons, Harry and Larry, are leaving for a tour of Europe on June 25, on the S.S. United States. They will be gone approximately three months. The Ratners have been feted by many of their friends wishing them Godspeed.

Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Alex J. Newman, MRs. Ben Gordon, Jolly 16 and Mr. and Mrs. Milo Berenson Jr., Charity League, MR. and Mrs. David Frank, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Drogin, Mr. and Mrs. George Martin, MR. and Mrs. Murray Goodrich, Mr. and Mrs. Abe Ratner, Mrs. Martco Ratner; Mrs. R.M. Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Newman, Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Smith, and Mesdames Sam Smith, Abe Smith, Ray Smith, Isadore Shapiro, and David Horowitz.

Nixie and Roy Kern celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by spending, according to Nixie, “five glorious days” at Big Bear Lake.

Mrs. Jennie Drogin and the Bill Warners left Wednesday on a motor trip to the north. They plan to spend several weeks seeing Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Showered—Bride –elect Esther Weitzman was complimented with a miscellaneous shower biven by Mesdames Charles Press, Morton Thaler, Nathan PRager and I Domnitz on June 3. Fifty five guests attended.

On June 19, Mrs. William Schwartz will entertain in her garden with a luncheon and personal shower for Esther. About 40 of Esther’s young friends are expected.
Pre-theatre Cocktails

Several gay cocktail parties were held preceding the J.C.C. Co-operative Nursery School Globe Theatre  Party on June 1q.  Dr. and MRs. Melvin Karzen entertained Messrs and Mesdames Harold Reisman, Mort Lieberman, Sidney Berman, Abe Malkoff, Arthur Rubin and Dr. and Ms. Seymour Okmin.

Mr. and Mrs. Murry Luftig had as guests for cocktails in their home Messrs and Mesdames Frank L. Gegaz, George Lykos, Lester Friedman, and W. D. Smell.

Foreign Note – Writing from Paris, Edie Press Greenberg and her husband, Dean, thank all the people in San Diego for their good wishes and wedding gifts received.  Mr. and Mrs. Zel Greenberg are in Paris spending some time with them. A San Diego get-together was held when Sam and Roanne Krasner visited them from Germany.
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Veitzer are understandably delighted at the news that their son, Leonard, will be home from Japan the first part of July.  Leonard will be receiving his Army discharge soon and plans to return to the University of California at Berkeley and his studies in Architecture.
The San Diego contingent in Las Vegas over Memorial Day included the Jack Wyners and Al Teppers; the Harry Spatz’ and Jack Spatz’; and the Ted Naumans and Harry Sugarmans.
Bar Mitzvah -0- Raphael Levens, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Monroe Levewns, was Bar Mitzvah at services at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue Saturday, June 5. Raphael conducted the Sabbath morning services and delivered an address.  A Kiddush and luncheon followed the service.

Jay Lawrence Sugarman, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Sugarman, will become bar mitzvah tonight (June 11) at Temple Beth Israel with Rabbi Morton J. Cohn officiating. A reception will follow the services.
Young Prexy—Congratulations to Phil Brenes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Brenes, who has been elected president of Woodrow Wilson Junior High for the 1954-55 term.

Flies to Wedding—Mrs. Betty Cohan is flying to the wedding of her granddaughter, Susan Jane, daughter of  Harold Cohan. The wedding will performed on June 26.

Hostesses at a farewell party in Mrs. Cohan’s home were Mesdames Hyman Rabinowitz, Arthur Block, L. Schlesinger, Edith Segal.

European Jaunt – Ira Fischbein and his parents, MR. and Mrs. David Fischbein, flew to New York June 7 and then by K.L.M Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam, Holland. They will then tour through Israel, Italy, Switzerland and England. They plan to return in about 6 weeks on the S.S. United States.

New Appointment – Irving M. Stone has been appointed to lecture at the College for Men of the University of San Diego. He will teach the courses in Psychology and Education in the fall.
Art Note—Suzanne Hutler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Al Hutler, was chosen to hang her picture in the Fine Arts Gallery as a member of the San Diego Art Guild. Susie’s work can be viewed this week.

Birdie Stodel to Hold Membership Luncheon
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Birdie Stodel Chapter 92 of B’nai B’rith Women, will hold a paid up membership luncheon on Monday, June 14, at 12:00 o’clock at the Temple Center.  Lunch will be served free to all members whose dues are paid up for the year.

The following members were elected as delegates to the District Convention to be held in San Francisco: Mrs. Morris Kraus, Mrs. Jeremiah Aronoff, Mrs. Ted Brav, and Mrs. Berwin.

‘Nite at Ball Park’
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Morrie Douglas and Alvin Cushman won season baseball passes at “A NIte at the Ball Park,” sponsored by Temple Beth Israel Men’s Club and Sisterhood on June 2. 

Awards donated by Morrie Douglas, William Erichsen, Milton Roberts and Bill Starr were won by top ticket salesmen: Lillian Rosenbaum, Rose Weinberger, Sid Posin, Sam Sussman, Dick Silberman, Sam Berger and Al Brooks.

Z.B.T. Mothers’ Invite
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Zeta Beta Tau Mothers’ Club Card Party is Saturday, June 12 at 8 the Beth Israel Temple Center.  In addition to cards, they will be entertained by the fraternity members; there will be door prizes and refreshments will be served. Donation is $1.00 per person and a good time is assured all who attend.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Cantor and Mrs. Joseph Cysner announce the birth of a daughter, Pamela Rochelle, born May 29 in the Quintard Hospital and weighing 6 lbs, 4 oz.  Big sister, 5 year old Charlotte Susan, is delighted with the new arrival.

Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David Nagler of London, England, and Mrs. Chaja Cysner of San Diego.

In honor of naming the baby, a Kiddush is being served after Sabbath morning services, June 12, at Tifereth Israel Synagogue. The community is most cordially invited.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Schonfeld and 18 month old daughter, Rochelle Anne of Pomona are happy to announce to all their San Diego friends, the birth of Benjamin Allen, on May 19. The husky young man weighed 7 lbs 7 oz.

San Diego grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David Hurwitz and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Schonfeld.

A bris was held in the Schonfeld Pomona home on May 26 with MR. and Mrs. Seymour Saltzman acting as godparents.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

Companionship and home for elderly lady.  HO-9-7358.

Mature woman wanted as baby sitter in College area. References.  JU 2-5364.

Room for Rent in a very nice home. Cooking privileges.  ½ block from bus.  Call before 11:00 a.m. or after 65:00 p.m.  AT-4-6586.

For Sale – Paisley shawl, lace, antique, gold jewelry, fine china.  Phone BE 9-7340.

Woman Will share modern cozy apartment with working woman. Everything furnished.  Near bus lines 1 and 2. AT1-2102; AT-1-7869 after 6 p.m.

Driving to N.Y. about June 20.  New Chev. Will take 1 or 2 riders to share driving aned exp.  JU2-6429 after 5:30 p.m.


Southwestern Jewish Press, June 11, 1954, page 3

12th—ZBT Mothers’ Club Card Party-Temple Center -8:00 p.m.
13th—Beth Jcob Men’s Club “Golden Nugget” Nite – B.J. Center – 6:00 p.m.
13th – Tifisra Men’s Club June Dinner—6:30 p.m.
14th –Birdie Stodel Luncheon – Temple Center -12 noon
14th –Lasker Lodge –Variety Show-Temple Center – 8:00 p.m.
17th—Bay City B.B. – Garden Luncheon Paryt –4525 48th St –12 noon
19th—Fox Lodge Card Party – Beth Jacob Center – 8:00 p.m.
20th—Pioneer Negba Cloub Donor Dinneer—6:00 p.m
26th—Y.J.C. Installation-Admiral Kidd Club
27th—J.C.C. “Lucky Nite”—Beth Jacob Center – 6:30 p.m.
29th – J.W. V. Aux. Membership Tea—4565 Norma Dr. – 1:30 p.m.
30th—City of Hope Aux. –Anna Shelley Memorial Luncheon.

4th – Y.J.C. Picnic—Presidio Park


“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our indexed “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, May 14, 1954, Part 5

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Witty Ghosts Amuse Globe First-Nighters
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

The ghosts on the stage of the Globe Theatre this week and probably for weeks to come are the gayest ectoplasmic visitors in history.  This extremely funny comedy resulted in an opening night audience that was equally high spirited and one that continued applauding long after the house lights went on.

The haunters of John Patrick’s “Lo and Behold” move uninvited into a mansion owned by a fellow ghost, a sour, dour fellow who disapproves of marriage for men–“Marriage can furnish you nothing tht can’t be obtained in the open market.”  his unwelcome fellow spirits are much more romantic as they attempt to aid a budding romance between two very alive young people.  As is normal in a comedy, the dyspeptic old eccentric is forced to change his mind about the marital couple because “she’ll bring to marriage that loveliest of all gifts–an empty mind.”

Craig Noel has assembled a truly superior cast. Eleanor Rose as the dead Inidan maid who has been weaving a basket for 50 years in which to collect buffalo dung is hilariously funny, as is Jan Gardner as a caricature of all southern belles.  Joan Minos is in my opinion the best ingenue ever to grace the Globe stage.

As the mind-over-heart author and cause of the ghostly activities, Josh Mosher displays his vast experience to good advantage; and Bob Kuykendall in the role of a crooked bookie is truly villainous.  Gordon Cleator, who with Betty Winston decorated the attractive set, and T. Michael Garvey add thier good preformances for a completely enjoyable evening’s theatre. — B.E.S. (Berenice E. Soule)

La Jolla Playhouse Tells Plans for Season
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Exciting theatre entertainment for less cost was the principal topic of discussion between John Swope, Executive Producer of  La Jolla Playhouse and members of the local sponsoring committees.

Swope detailed the Playhouse’s new policy changes which call for only five productions this summer, each to run two weeks, tickets at reduced prices.

Season tickets go on public sale next Monday, Swope added.

“This year, for the first time, w are offering a financial advantage to season ticket subscribers by giving them a ten percent across-the-board discout,” he said.  “Season tikcets will be on sale for one month only, so now is the time to save money and get the seats you want for each of the five plays.”

The season begins Tuesday, June 29th, and will run through September 5th.

Opens Piano Studio
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Raymond and Della Grayson have opened a piano studio in conjunction with the P.L. Davidson piano store at 4065 El Cajon Blvd.  Both teachers studied at the St. Louis Institute of Music under the internationally (known) Leo Sirota.

Mr. Grayson also studied under Chieko Hara, Japan’s outstanding concert pianist.  Mrs. Grayson has been featured in piano recitals on both radio and TV in Dallas, Texas, and in St. Louis. They will offer courses of instruction in both classical and popular music to students of all age groups.

Civic Music Assn. Offers Best Bargain
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 4

Saturday, May 15th, will be the last day to take advantage of the best bargain in San Diego, the Civic Music Association’s Consert Series.

Those who were fortunate enough to be members and attend last year’s series will agree that any two of the six concerts they attened more than made up for the nominal price of $6.00 covering the entire series.  Outstanding artists who appeared were Isaac Stern, Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre, Glana Baschauer, Jerome Hines, Julian Karolyn and Clara May Turner.

In addiition to Victoria de Los Angeles, who has recently received rave notices, the Association is lining up equally talented artsits for a diversified and entertaining program.

For membership contact the Musicians Club, BE 4-8581 or Palmer Pox Office, BE 4-2294.  Remember-no single tickets are sold for this series.

As the Psychologist Ses You
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

“Destructiveness in Children,” the topic of today’s discussion, is one which parents face with despair, especially because they view it as being unnecessary, wasteful and often costly.  Unlike so many of the other activities of children, this usually is present with every youngster and usually is not a result of some emotional or intellectual difficulty.

Children who destroy may be divied into two main groups, those who do it innocently or unintentionally, and those who do it deliberately with malice.  Fortunately, the former is much more common. For these children, the desire to taste, feel and examine are important and the many “no’s” or slaps on the hand have little effect. They are resorting to their method of learning and unless they have some toys which provide this learning opportunity, they will seek out whatever in the home is available.

Older and more orderly youngsters will dismantle a watch, unscrew door knobs, tear papers into shreds, and later try to reassemble the bits and pieces. They should be helped to fix what they damaged but without scolding.  Giving them old watches or borken objects may provide the opportunity they need to satisfy their inquisitiveness without their causing too much damage.

Some children are clumsy and break whatever they touch. Others bump into things causeing them to be demolished.  Here again, they need the help of parents. The first thing to be done is to have a physician check their coordination, signht, and hearing. Sometimes the only difference is that their development has been slow and the child still has not learned the knack of handling things. Often, itis because the child does not know his own strength and must be shown methods of care in moving about, jumping, or handling things that are not his. He may need to be reminded in a calm but firm manner, without shouting, scolding or derision.

In the relatively infrequent times that destructiveness is deliberate, greater sgtudy must be made of the causes.  Gang destruction of homes, schools or business establishments are seen.  High spirits, boredom, or the desire to attain status in the group are some of the reasons found in studying the problem.  When this happens parents must study the recreational facilities available to see whether there are socially acceptable activities to fill the children’s spare time.  in some cases deliberate destruction takes place in the lone-wolf type and the underlying motives may not be determined, just as with gang destructiveness, except by the professional help of psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.

Because it is easier to be destructive than constructive, to be messy, careless and clumsy rather than neat, careful and controlled, it is no wonder that children developthe habit of destructiveness.  it requires the patience and willingness of parents to recognize the reason for the destructiveness and how best to handle the situation.


JWV Auxiliary Post New Meeting Date 
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The egular montly ward parties, sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish War Veterans, in the U.S. Naval Hospital have been changed to the third (3rd) Tuesday of each month.  Therefore the May party will be held Tuesday, May 18th, at 7 p.m.  All members are urged to attend and to participate in this project.

Members please note! Meeting date is now the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting will be a social one on Wednesday, May 19th at the Veterans’ War Memorial Bldg., 8 p.m.

A Membership Tea is being planned by Sophie Silberman, membership chairman. The date is Tuesday, June 29th. Watch the Jewish Preess for further details.

Ratners Get Send-Off By Jr. Charity League
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The Junior Charity League postponed its regular May meeting, to hold instead a farewell party for one of their members, Mrs. Nathan Ratner, who with her husband and two sons, is leaving soon for a touur of Europe.  Luncheon was served at the San Diego Club for the Club’s 20 members on May 10th and a gift presented the honoree.  Mrs. Goldhammer and Mrs. Goldman will be hostesses to the club in June, instead of May.

Birdie Stodel News
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

Mrs. Morrie Kraus announces that the first meeting of this fiscal year will be held Monday May 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Center.

Members will nominate and elect delegates and alternates to the District Convention which will be held this summer in San Francisco.  An interesting program is planned. Social hour will follow.

Past President, Mrs. Jeremiah Aronoff, has been named recording secretary elect for the Southern California Conference.  This is the first time that San Diego has been so honored.  The installation will be Thursday, June 10 at the sportsman’s Lodge in Los Angeles. For transportation and information regarding the installation, please contact Mrs. Aronoff at Cyprus 6-3225.

Mrs. Ted Brav, Anti-Defamation League Chairman, wishes to remind members of the Second Annual Anti-Defamation League Week-end Seminar. It is to be held at the Wilton Hotel in Long Beach for the weekend of Friday, May 21 (4;00 p.m) through Sunday, May 23rd at noon. For registration or information please contact Mrs. Ted Brav immediately at AT-4-3434.

Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood Installation
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 14, 1954, page 5

The newly elected officers and board members of Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood will be installed at an impressive ceremony at the Manor Hotel on Wednesday, May 26th.  After the luncheon in the Terrace Room, the following will be installed in office for the year 1954-1955.

Pres, Mrs. Mack Esterson; 1st VP, Mrs. Richard Lustig, 2nd V.P., Mrs. Herbert Eber; 3rd V.P., Mrs. Louis Bickman; 4th V.P, Mrs. Mortimer Rosenbaum; Rec. Sec. Mrs. Robert Miller; Fin. Sec., Mrs. Charles Silverman; Corr. Sec., Mrs. Harold Rosenbaum; Treas., Mrs. Nathan Smollar.

Board of Directors: Mesdames Alfred Brooks, Sol Brown, Alex Cohen, Ossie Ehrlich, Sydney C. Goldstein, J. H. Gruenberg, Irving Hertz, Rodin Horrow, George Katz, Joseph Krone, Donald Pogrell and Alex Wise.

Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our indexed “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.


Roll call on Gaza flotilla portrays the values of international community

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Israel was victimized twice this week, first by terrorists hiding yet again among the civilian population (one Turkish-sponsored jihadi boat traveling with five more-or-less civilian boats) and second by a world all too ready to blame Israel for the violence engendered by those who sought a bloody death for themselves and any Jews they could take along. By the end of the week, things began to look more normal-those who are already against remained against; those who try to split the difference split it (consider the “abstain” list below); and a few stood honorably above the rest.   

1) Italy, Netherlands and the United States voted against resolution A/HRC/14/L.1, “Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy” in the UN “Human Rights” Council. It is of note that the major Italian newspapers supported Israel editorially as well. In the United States, public opinion ran strongly in Israel’s favor, as usual. 
After a nasty and public denunciation of Israel by President Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Kouchner, France abstained, probably reminded that in 1985 French commandos sunk a Greenpeace ship in what was called Opération Satanique. (You know what a threat those satanic environmentalists pose to Paris.) France was joined by Belgium, Burkina Faso, Hungary, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Ukraine and UK.
Voting in favor of the commission whose conclusion is in its title were Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, and Uruguay. 
2) President Obama: He almost got it right in a TV interview, but missed the essential point. “You’ve got a situation in which Israel has legitimate security concerns when they’ve got missiles raining down on cities along the Israel-Gaza border. I’ve been to those towns and seen the holes that were made by missiles coming through people’s bedrooms. Israel has a legitimate concern there.  On the other hand, you’ve got a blockage up that is preventing people in Palestinian Gaza from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in trade and have opportunity for the future.”
The President doesn’t know, or didn’t say, that Hamas is responsible both for the attacks on Israel and for the misery of the Palestinians in Gaza. Instead, he wanted to “work with all parties concerned-the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others-and I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we’ve worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together…”
Aside from the fact that Turkey is fully complicit in the incident and thus should forfeit any seat at any future table, the Palestinian Authority has not represented Gaza Palestinians since Hamas evicted it in a bloody putsch in 2007. Instead of hoping to “bring everybody together…” the President should be working to evict Hamas from Gaza, for the sake of the Palestinians as much as anyone else.
3) The Czech Republic: Small countries that know what it means to disappear when others find them inconvenient stick together and we are grateful that they do. The President of the Czech Senate, Dr. Přemysl Sobotka, told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, “As a doctor, I certainly regret any loss of life, but there is no doubt that this was a planned provocation designed to drag Israel into a trap… Many in the European community feel as I do, but they are afraid to speak out publicly… I support the position that views Hamas as a terrorist organization… It is too bad that European countries present an unbalanced position on this matter. Unfortunately, the positions of the international community are not always to my taste, particularly in Europe.”
We are reminded that 18 months ago, the Czech foreign minister issued this statement: “I consider it unacceptable that villages in which civilians live have been shelled. Therefore, Israel has an inalienable right to defend itself against such attacks. The shelling from the Hamas side makes it impossible to consider this organization as a partner for negotiations and to lead any political dialogue with it.”
And finally…
4) Mesheberach: During the Jewish Sabbath service, there is a prayer is for those who are ill or injured.   The “Mesheberach” includes the name of the person for whom the prayer is offered and, in an unusual practice, the name of the person’s mother rather than his or her father. Whether in the synagogue or not, we hope readers will remember the six soldiers injured while protecting the people of Israel:

Dean Ben (son of) Svetlana
Roee Ben (son of) Shulamit
Daniel Lazar Ben (son of) Tina Leah
Yotam Ben (son of) Dorit
Ido Ben (son of) Ilana
Boris Ben (son of) Eelaina

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.

San Diego’s Historic Places: Mingei International Museum

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment


Nakashima table at Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO–Outside the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park stand two large, fanciful sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle, an internationally celebrated sculptor who lived in La Jolla in the final
years of her life. One created in 1998 from glass, stones, mirrors and polyester, called “Poet and
Muse,” depicts a male poet with a female muse on his shoulders, his arms transforming into her legs.

The other, playfully called a “Nikigator,” is an elongated, exagerrated alligator made from similar materials and sitting on playground foam, a delightful magnet for preschoolers who can scamper through the Nikigator’s innards.

“Poet and Muse” is a tribute to the creative process that drives the folk artists and craftspeople whose works are on exhibit at the Mingei,whereas the “Niki-gator” matches the museum’s theme, which is celebration of artisans who turn everyday objects into works of art through their care and talent. Playground equipment could simply be functional, but not in Saint Phalle’s world. This piece, intended to be touched, caressed and climbed upon by tykes, is a stimulus for the young imagination.

Saint Phalle’s works are exhibited throughout the world, and especially in San Diego County. “Coming Together” is a large circular piece outside the downtown San Diego Convention Center; “Queen Califia’s Magic Circle” is in Kit Carson Park in Escondido, and” Sun God” is a prominent feature on the UCSD campus. Saint-Phalle also has an entire menagerie of imaginative, fanciful animals on permanent exhibit at the Jerusalem Zoo.

Inside Balboa Park’s re-created House of Charm, built in its original incarnation for the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition, the Mingei held a major restrospective of Saint Phalle’s work.  Following her death in 2002, what had been a planned as another exhibit for her at the Mingei’s smaller facility in Escondido, was transformed into a tribute to her life and works.

Saint-Phalle and the museum’s founder, Martha Longenecker, were close friends. Saint Phalle not only was represented in the museum’s collection, she became one of its important financial benefactors. One day, according to Martha Ehringer, the museum’s public relations director, Saint Phalle told Longenecker she wanted to purchase for the museum any piece it wanted. Thrilled, Longenecker suggested a grand piano. But Saint Phalle decided anyone with sufficient funds could make such a gift, she wanted something much finer, much more memorable. So she commissioned a long table suitable for board meetings to be made by Mira Nakashima at the Nakashima Woodshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and purchased 18 chairs fashioned by Mira’s father, the late master woodworker George Nakashima– two chairs to be placed at each end of the table, and seven along each side.

Doug Smalheer, a docent who taught U.S. history for 40 years, a majority of that time at San Diego’s Mesa College, is enamored of the table and chairs, and tells the story of Nakashima’s life and works with all the zest of one describing Washington crossing the Delaware, or Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation.

Nakashima grew up in Seattle, Washington, and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He went overseas to France, Japan, and India after graduation, becoming an admirer of Eastern thought and religion. Not long after he returned to the United States, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and as a Japanese-American he was resettled in a camp in Idaho, where he practiced carpentry before being permitted to relocate to the arts colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania, where his family still lives.

Smalheer explained that Nakashima believed that a tree was intended to be a tree — and that therefore artisans who must transform it to other uses should to the greatest extent possible honor the tree’s original purpose. If one follows the edge of the table from one end to the other, it is not in a straight line, but instead maintains the original contour of the tree. It flares at one end, where its roots might have begun, and it bulges slightly at the other, where its branches might have originated.

After being felled, the tree had been sliced lengthwise, but not entirely severed, so that its front and back could be laid side by side while still connected. These halves were reinforced by Nakashima in several places by wood patches described variously as “bow ties” or “butterflies.” Although he was not the first to use the technique, they were a trademark of Nakashima’s. Smalheer tells a story about a collector who ordered a table like Nakashima’s. The artisan emphasized its grain and its natural contours, but the patron was dissatisfied. He wouldn’t finalize the purchase until the artisan put in the butterfly patches.

The Nakashima conference table and chairs are found upstairs amid the museum’s permanent collection. Ehringer said the museum has collected many more works than it ever can display at one time, even with two museum locations–and this is especially true because exhibits from around the world are continually being rotated in and out of the museum.

Another exhibit from the permanent collection displays 56 Chinese hat boxes in what Ehringer describes as a Xanadu type setting. Uniforms were required of officials serving the Qing Dynasty — the last dynasty to rule China — and these uniforms included hats. Depending on the office, the hats were of different shapes, with all being adorned with badges of office.

Families saved the hats in their boxes through the rise of Sun Yat Sen, and Chiang Kai Shek. But after the Communists took control of the mainland–and especially during the Cultural Revolution — being proud that family members served the Imperial Household could bring suspicion, even censure, upon the owners of these hats. So the hats either were destroyed or hidden. But the boxes were kept, because they still had utilitarian purposes — things could be stored in them. And it was these boxes that were collected by exhibition designer Peter Cohen, and eventually donated to the Mingei.

Tables, chairs, hat boxes — these are every day objects, and yet those at the Mingei Museum are exquisite in their beauty. For a visit to the Mingei to be properly enjoyed, one should schedule enough time to survey the objects and savor their stories.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World.  This article appeared previously on