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Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, January 7, 1955, Part 2

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staffSouthwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Hoffer-Solomon Vows Exchanged

On Sunday, Jan. 2, at 7:00 p.m., Barbara Solomon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon M. Solomon of San Diego, was wed to Harold Hoffer, son of Mrs. S. Hoffer of New York City.

Rabbi Morton J. Cohn officiated at the services held in the Beth Israel Temple.

The bride wore an original ballerina-length gown of all-over embroidered, shimmery, white satin. The fitted, princess style bodice was accentuated by a full, billowy skirt and a deep V-back  neckline.  The shoulder length veil was caught to a lace crown. Barbara carried a bouquet of white orchids and Roman hyacinth.

Bridesmaids Isabelle Bank and Sandra Schoenkopf wore pastel gowns and carried nosegay bouquets.  Ushers were Jerry Solomon and Dr. Larry Solomon.

Two hundred and twenty-five guests attended  the buffet dinner dance held after the ceremony at the Mission Valley Country Club.  The music for dancing was provided by Pauline Gleason and Orchestra.  The bride’s mother welcomed the guests in a short formal of dusty rose lace.  The groom’s mother wore a grown of midnight blue silk.

Barbara left for her honeymoon, at Big Bear Lodge and Las Vegas, wearing a slate grey suit with winter white accessories.

Out of town guests were Messrs. And Mesdames Max Goodman, Jack Goodman and Mrs. Sonya Ariel, of Tiajuana; Mr and Mrs. Al Burton, of Burbank, Messrs and Mesdames Joe Rosenberg and Al Cassel of Sherman Oaks; Jerry Solomon, Marcia Knight, Mr. and Mrs. Lon Solomon, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Lewis and Miss Bobbi Marks of Los Angeles; Mr and Mrs. Frank Linneen of Hollywood, and Mr. and Mrs. Segall of Glendale.

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Green-Berkun Wedding Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Berkun of 4568 Marlborough Dr. announce the marriage of their daughter, Anita, to Calvin Green, son of Ernest Green of Escondido on December 19th.

Rabbi Monroe Levens officiated at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

The bride wore a gown of white Chantilly lace and tulle with lace-edged veil, and carried white roses. She was given in marriage by her father.

Miss Marilyn Berkun, maid of honor, was gowned in peacock blue tulle. Bridesmaids, dressed in coral tulle, were Misses Miriam Gralnick, Bernice Kaufman and Frances Samuels.

George Green was best man for his brother; ushers were Richard Pick, Jerry Krasne and William Kolender.

A reception and buffet supper for 250 guests was held in the Synagogue Hall following the ceremony. After their return from their honeymoon in Las Vegas the young couple will reside in San Diego, where the bridegroom will continue his studies at State College.

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Wedding Told
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Announcement has been made of the marriage, on December 24th, of Bernice Kagen Berner to Dr. Jack Binderman, Jr.

Dr. Binderman, a dentist, will move his residence and officers from Beckley, West Virginia, to San Diego.

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Personals
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Newcomers to San Diego are Mrs. Lillian Baume, and her daughter, Dorie.  Formerly of New York City, they now reside at  3061 Madison Ave., in San Diego.

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The Al Hutler family, with Mrs. Ossie Ehrlich, have just returned from a motor trip East. They visited New Orleans, took interesting side trips and visited relatives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Welcome visitors to San Diego were Morrie and Flo Ackerman and Linda.  Naturally, their grandchild took up most of their time.

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Happy travelers are Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lamon, who have just completed a two months tour of Spain,  Italy, England and France. The Lamons attended a hotel convention in Rome. Before returning to San Diego they visited relatives in New York.

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Betrothal – It was a double-header for the Robert Berkun family. Daughter Marilyn’s engagement to William (Billy) Kolender of San Diego, was announced at the wedding of their daughter, Anita, on December 19th  Billy is at present in the Navy.  No wedding date hhas been set.

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Among the California doctors who attended the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists in Chicago was Dr. Walter Ornstein of San Diego.

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Mr. Zel Camiel has been elected to the National Council of United HIAS Service, in recognition of his untiring service to our New Americans.

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Small World Dept – The Maxwell Kaufmans went to Los Angeles to spend New Years Eve with an old friend and were right “at home” with the lively group they joined. Among the revelers were Diane Fischer’s sister and brother-in-law, the Harman Ostrens, a former classmate and good friend of the Levenson brothers, David Hoffman (like Morey, he’s a one-man show at the piano) and of all things, a childhood sweetheart of Leo Beck (her name is Ida too.)  ‘Tis indeed a small world.

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Judging by a card received from Miami, Florida, Thelma and Sam Weiss are having a wonderful time on their trip.  They will be home on the 8th.

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Mrs. Jean Spatz wishes to thank her many friends for their kindness and consideration during her recent illness.

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New Subscibers – Dr. Jack Binderman Jr., Maury Gross, Jack Schulman.

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Jean Goldstein Wed in San Francisco

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Young love scored again when Jean Edloe Goldstein, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Goldstein, was married to Ernest Malamud, son of Dr. and Mrs. Nathan Malamud of San Francisco.  The young couple were married on December 31st at 4 p.m. in the Borgia Room of the St Francis Hotel; Rabbi Irving Reichart officiated.  Edith Malamud was Maid of Honor.

Thirty-five intimate members of both families gathered in the beautifully decorated room to witness the ceremony, which was followed by a dinner.

The groom, a graduate of University of California, will return to Cornell, where he is a Teacher’s Assistant, and will continue his studies for the Masters Degree. The bride will also attend Cornell.

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Betrothal Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Mr. and Mrs. David Schissel of San Diego announce the engagement of their daughter, Sandra, to Arthur Levinson, son of MRs. Ethel Levinson, and nephew of Mandel Weiss, of San Diego.

Arthur is a graduate of Stanford University and Sandra attended UCLA.  A June wedding is being planned.

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Cradle
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

A son, Harold Paul, was born to M/Sgt. And Mrs. Morton B. Peskin on Thursday, Dec. 30th, at the Naval Hospital in Corona, California.

Proud grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Sandor Goldberger, on the maternal side, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Peskin on the paternal side.

M/Sgt Morton Peskin is stationed at March Field and resides at Arlington, Calif.

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Dating will never be a problem to Lisa Emily, newest member of the family of Dr. and Mrs. Carl Hoffman.  In addition to her own three brothers, Robert, James and Laurence, Lisa has eight cousins – all boys. She was born at Mercy Hospital on Dec. 23rd and weighted 6 lbs, 10 oz.

Maternal grandmother is Mrs. Harry H. Goldstein of Arlington, Va.

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A welcome addition to the Max Sturman family is Joan, who arrived on January 34d at the Scripps Memorial Hospital. She weighed 7 lbs at birth. All ready for their new playmate are brothers Andy, 3, and Neil, 1 year.

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Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Fuss, of Brentwood, L.I; paternal grandfather is Benjamin Sturman of New York City.

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Mr. and Mrs. Zane Feldman announce the birth of a daughter, Lisa Rose on December 31st, weight 6 lbs, 12 ozs.  The Feldmans have another child, Bernard, 2 ½ years.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and MRs. Louis Feldman, maternal grandmother, Mrs. Sophie Law-Zimmer; great-grandparents are Mr. and MRs. Isaac Feldman of Woonsocket, R.I.; great-gbrandmother, Mrs. Bertha Feinberg of San Diego.

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Unveiling
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3
 

The family of Anna Shelley wish to announced that on Sunday, January 23rd, at 2 p.m. at the Home of Peace Cemetery, services will be held at the unveiling of her stone. Rabbi Baruch Stern will officiate.

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Beth Israel To Hold Annual Dinner Meeting
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

The Annual Dinner Meeting of Temple Beth Israel will be held on Thursday, January 30th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Temple Center.  Irving E. Friedman, Chairman urges that members who cannot come to dinner attend the meeting which starts at 8 p.m.  Reservations may be made by calling the Temple Office. (Limited to members only.)

Among the important reports to be given will be that of Rabbi Morton J. Cohn and President Mark Esterson. Dr. Robt. M. Stone, chairman will present the Nominating Committee’s slate for Board of Directors. Nominations are also acceptable from the floor.

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Bay City To Install 33 New Members
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Approximately 33 members will be initiated by the Bay City B’nai B’rith Chapter on Monday, January 10, at Tifereth Israel Center.  Mrs. Harold Garvin, chairman, announced that an original initiation script written by Mrs. Victor Weiss, will be used, augmented by a short membership skit which is being prepared by members of the committee. Special refreshments will be served and an extra special surprise presentation will be made to the initiates. Those assisting Mrs. Garvin are: Mesds. David Cohen, Morris Cahan, Max Felsman, Charles Juster, Wilford Robbins, Abe Hollandersky, Eugene Sacks, Sanford Sacks and David Schloss.

Mrs. Jack Meyers, president, urges all members to attend and extends a cordial invitation to non-members to be guests of the Chapter that evening.

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(Religious Success)
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Success in religion, like any other endeavor, has to be worked at seven days a week.

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Classified
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

Women Wanted—Make extra money. Address, mail postcards, spare time every week, BICO, 133 Belmont, Belmont, Mass.

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

Art Teacher – B.A. desires work in art, nursery or related fields – Tel. AC-3-7394.

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Calendar
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 3

January
8th – Sat, 6;30 p.m.—Jewish Center Dinner – Don Room, El Cortez
9th –Sun, 6:30 p.m. – Lasker Lodge Installation Dinner Dance – Mission Valley Club
10th—Mon, 8:30 p.m. – Bay City B.B. Women’s Initiation –Tifereth Israel Center.
11th –Tuesday “Sport Night” – Men’s Club – Temple Center
13th-Thurs.—Election of Officers –U.J.F. State Ballroom, S.D. Hotel – 6:30 p.m.
19th—Wed., 12 noon – Se Sola Pools – Hadassah Luncheon
26th– Wed. eve. – “Mr. Hadassah Night—Dinner and Fashion Show – Mission Valley Club
30th-Sun – Pioneer Women Annual Bazaar – Beth Jacob Center

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Irving Friedman To Head Clinic

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 4

Irving E. Friedman has been reappointed president and advisory board chairman of Guadalupe Clinic for his 11th term, Rev. Thomas Byrnes, moderator, said.

Nicholas Martin was reappointed vice chairman and Mrs. Clara Brisco secretary. New members named to the board were Dr. Guy E. Magio, medical staff president; John McCarthy, Robert J. Stirnkorb, and M.D. Goodrich.

Reappointed to the board were Dr. Joseph B. Mullen, president of the dental staff, and Mrs. Thomas F. Dunn, Chester Pagni, Louis Ricca, Sam W. Hamill, Emmet McCabe and William Rule.

During 1954 there were 16,000 visits of patients for clinic care.

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Birdie Stodel Women
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 4

Birdie Stodel Chapter No. 92 members are deeply grieved by the passing of Mr. William Schusterman, husband of our beloved member, Goldie Schusterman.

The chapter is postponing its regular meeting which was to have been held on Monday, January 10, because of the death. The next meeting will be held Monday, January 24th.

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Deceased
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 4

Elinor B. Kitaen, beloved wife of Joseph Kitaen, died Sat., January 1st at the age of 37 years.  She is survived by her husband and three children, Darreld, Terry and Susan, and a brother, Jack Ellis, of Los Angeles.

Services were conducted by Rabbi Morton J. Cohn at the Lewis Colonial Mortuary and interment was in the Home of Peace Cemetery.

Mrs. Kitean was a member of the Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood, the Yo-Ma-Co Club and Hadassah.

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Harry Cohn, husband of Rebecca Cohn, passed away on Friday, Dec. 31st, at the age of 59 years.  He is survived by sons, Leroy, Lyman and Irvin, and daughter, Mrs. Barbara Schloss.  Services were held at the Lewis Colonial Mortuary and interment was at the Sholem Mausoleum.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn officiated.

(Hebrew Home for the Aged)

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 7, 1955, Page 4

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

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“Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.  To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box.  

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Open letter to Fareed Zakaria concerning the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

August 14, 2010 3 comments

Isaac Yetiv

Dear Mr Zakaria:

 
As an assiduous viewer of your Sunday TV show  (CNN/GPS), which I have always enjoyed for your judicious commentaries, the choice of your experts, and your well-prepared and deeply-probing questions, I have earned the right to express my disappointment.

The case in point is your position on the  controversial decision to build a mosque on Ground Zero in New York (your program of Sunday 8 Aug. 2010.)  I believe that your support for building the mosque was a knee-jerk reaction to ADL’s strong opposition to it, and that if you dig deeper, you might revise your opinion.  ( Already, in your interview with Anderson Cooper a few days later, you seemed less sanguine; I even detected some regretful tone) . The following analysis will hopefully help:

 
First, unless I missed something, you deliberately talk about “a center:” I didn’t hear you say the word “mosque.”  This is, of course, disingenuous and misleading. A “center” without a “mosque” is a less loaded proposition, and would have aroused less resistance and outrage.
 
Second, you call Imam Raouf a “moderate” or “a Bin Laden nightmare” while conveniently occulting from your discourse his own pronouncements such as ” America was the accessory to the crime of 9/11 ”  or “Bin Laden is made in the U.S.” and that he, Rauf,  would like “a Sharia-compliant America” (where , as you know, an adulteress is stoned and an apostate is HALAL to be killed etc.) He also  could not bring himself to admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization (“I am not a politician,”he said, “and terrorism is a complicated problem.”) There are also rumors I can’t ascertain that he has indirect links with terrorist organizations and that his father was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Besides, even if all that is not true, there is no guarantee that he will not be “used” as Imam for a short time, and then replaced with a more radical Islamist  (the type of Al-Awlaki who was Imam in a mosque in Virginia frequented by two of the 19 hijackers of 9/11) who  will use the mosque as a hotbed for radical  Islamists, a center of recruitment, and as a MADRASA  to inculcate the Wahabi extremist religious ideology that has produced 9/11 and other violent eruptions elsewhere, notably in the Muslim world and with mainly Muslim victims.

Rauf refused to say where the money (100 millions !!) will come from. A foreign country? a sponsor of terrorism? the terrorists themselves? It is clear that those who will finance the project will dictate its content and its programs. Recent events clearly demonstrate that an “investment” of such magnitude can only come  from a few oil-rich theocracies that have produced nine-eleven and other terrorist calamities. Is that scenario not plausible?  Do you want to take that risk?

 
The fact that Imam Raouf was (or is being ) sent to the Middle-East by the State Department to “explain” to the Muslims that we, Americans, are nice people, and we love them etc…was used by the proponents to prove that he is, as you said, a “moderate.”
This initiative was already tried by the Bush State Department with Karen Hughes, at great cost, and failed lamentably. It only shows once more the naivete and gross ineptitude of the Arabists who dominate the Agency and who still “don’t get it.” Would that the love of the radical Islamists could be acquired with some logical explanation ! Instead, the fear is that Imam Rauf will enjoy a junket at American taxpayer expense which he will use as a fundraiser for his projected mosque from those same oil-rich potentates.
 
Third, this is absolutely not a case of freedom of religion or first amendment rights, as it was demagogued by the politicians, including ,most recently, the president,after a few weeks of reflection and hesitation . (A better case of violation of the first amendment can be made with what was recently discovered, namely that our taxpayer money has been spent –by Bush and Obama–to build and refurbish mosques in Egypt, Tanzania, and Iraq,  maybe elsewhere too. So much for the separation of church (!) and state .) But not in this case: America is a free country and we cherish all freedoms. There is no “establishment of religion” or preventing “the exercise therof.” There are more than a hundred mosques in New York only, about 3,000 in the US. (How many churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia? Syria?Jordan?)        
                                                                                                                                                It is a case of what I would call ” zoning for reasons of security, sensitivity to the feelings of the victims of 9/11, common decency,and domestic peace.” The onus of proof is on the proponents of building the  mosque precisely at that point and not a few miles away.
 
Many experts believe that a 15-story-100 million dollar mosque (at odds with the beautiful tenet of Islam which is modesty) ,towering above other religions’ houses of worship in the heart of New York ,or even elsewhere, and funded by the most extremist ideologues of the Wahabi doctrine of Islam, is a high-security risk. They ,of course, rely on past performance. A former CIA operative and expert on terrorism sees it as “a magnet for militants,” a training ground for future agents of mischief, and a center for proselytizing.
 
But security is not the only concern for the opponents. Their cry of outrage is fueled by the arrogant insensitivity to the feelings of the families of the victims of 9/11 (including Muslims) and of the majority of Americans (recent poll shows 69 % opposed against 28 % approving.) This project is also fomenting confrontation and threatening domestic peace.
There seems to be an awakening of the masses, as opposed to the lethargy of the leaders, in other places, too. In Temecula, California. in Wisconsin, in Tennessee, we see the same opposition to building mosques, and in Germany, the authorities have just closed a mosque in Hamburg which was frequented by Mohammed Atta and his acolytes.
Many real moderate Muslims spoke out against the project which they see as an unnecessary provocation. One of them, a prominent woman, president of an Islamic organization, Raheel Raza, explained at length on TV why she opposed the project. Another Muslim woman, originally from Iran, Neda Belurchi, published an article in which she lamented the loss of her dear mother as a passenger in one of the planes destroyed  in nine-eleven. She called the proposed mosque “a symbol of victory for militant Islam.”
 
So why, one might ask, the insistence on building the mosque precisely at ground zero? Why did they reject a compromise solution by the Governor of New York who offered them another area that will not stir the enormous controversy? You, Fareed,  may be more familiar with a  view of Islam, that of South East Asia, which is very different from the Middle-East interpretation and implementation . The latter  is stricter and more fundamentalist and ideologist, especially the Wahabi kind. As you surely know, in the study of conflict resolution, we distinguish between “conflicts of interest,” readily amenable to compromise solutions acceptable to both sides, and “conflicts of ideology” that brook no compromise, especially if the ideology is of the religious kind and involves the “word of God,” or if one side demands the destruction of the other “before it can negotiate” as in the case of Hamas and Hizballah toward Israel.
 
Those who want to build the mosque at ground zero, and their financiers in the Middle-East, want to make a point: that a mammoth shrine of Islam towering above all other minuscule houses of worship of other faiths, in the heart of New York, in the heart of America,
with the mellifluous stentorian voice of the MUEZZIN resonating far away and calling the flock to prayers five times a day, with Allahu Akbar exclamations full of symbolism, is a vivid proof of  victory of fundamentalist and militant Islam (just as Belurchi said.)
This act of triumphalism is in keeping with medieval war and lore . It was the norm for the victors (not only Muslims) to erect their own house of worship on the ruins of their defeated enemies’ shrines. We can see many examples in Spain , or in Turkey such as the Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul which was a Byzantine church in Constantinople, or the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem built on the Jewish Temple Mount.

The 9/11 atrocities were seen by the perpetrators and their sponsors (to be sure, a minority, to be distinguished from real moderate Muslims, and certainly from Islam as a respectable religion no less than the others)

as a “victory.” They danced in the streets to celebrate it. For them, what better way to triumph than enshrine the place with the projected mammoth mosque?
Historically, triumphalism uses symbolism to enhance its effect: the selected title to the project, “The Cordoba initiative,” was intended as a reminder of the “Golden Age” in Muslim Spain where different religions lived in peace and harmony (which is true), but in the 11 th century,the Almohades invasion changed all that with its persecutions of Jews and Christians of whom many fled for their life (the most famous were the scholars Maimonides and Averroes.) It was reported , whether true or false, that the organizers of the project planned to inaugurate the mosque …on September 11 of next year “as an act of commemoration for the souls of the victims,” but many see that,if true, as adding insult to injury. A Muslim lady said on TV: “that is sticking it in your face.”
 
One may ask: ” If it is so bad, why have the mayor of New York and some elected officials, all Jews, thrown their hats in the arena  on the side of the promoters? The answer is simple: it is political correctness run amok. The Muslim ladies quoted above called them “bleeding-heart liberal elites.”

I dare to go farther: as an avowed foe of political correctness of any kind– I believe it is our collective enemy number one because it obscures the truth, and afflicts us with willful blindness, and the truth, for me, remains the supreme criterion for any judgment– I say with sadness that the Jewish leaders on the Left, in general, suffer from the Jewish disease of what I call “universalitis.” They can’t take their own side in a dispute, the others are always right. They speak in the abstract, on what should be rather than what is.  To parody a popular adage, they don’t see the log in the eye of the others but they see the straw in their eye.

They indulge in self-deluding pieties on liberty, rights, constitution, and they defend those who reject them violently. In the words of Lenin in another context (speaking of the Communists in the West) they are “useful idiots.” To the point that they even brave the 69 % and growing opponents among their constituents. I believe they will not be re-elected.

I also believe the mosque will not be built on ground zero. As for Obama, safely protected by those Jewish politicians, he has an uncanny ability to do things against the majority of the people’s wishes. And he, too, will pay politically.

 
Conclusion: As documented above, I do not see the controversy as “religious,” akin to the “disputations” in Spain and France during the Inquisition. It is not a matter of theology, on which religion is right. I see it as matter of security even more than sensitivity to the sufferers. Can you, or anyone of the defenders, declare with some degree of certitude, that a mosque of this magnitude in America does not present any danger to our security?  If not, it is irresponsible to let it happen. We should use common sense: “when in doubt, abstain !”  Use caution, be prudent.

Maybe we should prohibit all religions, for the sake of fairness, to limit their houses of worship to no more than  2-3 floors. We should “respect and suspect” everyone,and not endanger the security of all because of political correctness. And if it is difficult to decide, I suggest to use “Le Pari” (the Wager) of Blaise Pascal. He wrote :” Let us wager that God exists. If we are right, we gain eternity; if we are wrong, what did we lose, a few pleasures or sacrifices, nothing.”

  
Applied here, it will be: ” If we build such a mosque, we expose ourselves to a potential huge danger but if we don’t, we avoid such catastrophe even if  we will annoy some group by limiting their “rights.” For me, the choice is clear.
I hope you reconsider your position, and you will have the courage to proclaim it. Thank you for your attention.
Prof. Isaac Yetiv
La Jolla, CA

Book details how Allies fooled Hitler about invasion

July 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Operation Mincemeat, by Ben Macintyre. Bloomsbury,  2010, 402 pages.
By David Strom

David Strom

SAN DIEGO — Two young British brothers fought against the Nazis during WWII. Both, Ewen and Ivor, worked for intelligence agencies. One served in the British secret service while the other, it was reported, may have been a spy for the Soviet Union. Ivor had two main passions. One was his strong belief in the values of Soviet Communism. His other major attraction was table tennis, a new “sport/hobby” that he worked hard at promoting. Ewen worked to defeat the Nazis through his British intelligence work. His courageous work as a spy was instrumental in shortening the European war.
 
On January 26, 1943 Glyndwr Michael was found dead. He presumably died from drinking rat poison. No one seemed to notice or care about his death. There were no inquiries made about the cause or circumstances of his dying. No one in his family came forward to claim his body. He was a forgotten human being-until the British intelligence learned of his death.
 
Two British spy agents, Charles Cholmondeley and Ewen Montagu, had been hatching a plan to foil the Nazi war machine. The game plan, which was initially conceived by Cholmondeley, was unique and highly ingenious. It was put into operation mainly through the office of Ewen and the M16-British Intelligence. The two men worked closely together to get the plan approved by the spy agency and the British government. Prime Minister Churchill even gave the plan his blessing. 
 
Montagu and Cholmondeley were the principal leaders in the plot to drop a body, supposed that of an ill-fated spy, near the coast of southern Spain in April of 1943. These two worked in cramped quarters with nine or ten others, both men and women. All of them played a role in outwitting the Nazis. Getting a body to drop into the coastal waters off Spain was no easy task. What family would donate a loved one to be used as a decoy and floated into enemy or neutral territory without a proper burial? The dead man had relatives and yet, no one in the government tried to locate them or inform the family of the death of Glyndwr Michael. The use of the body and taking it out of the country was illegal according to British law. With the help of an undertaker, with the intelligence agency skirting the intent of the law pertaining to transportation of a corpse out of the country, M16 was able to carry out this very risky war-time adventure.
 
With corpse “in hand,” Cholmondeley and Montagu’s plan moved forward. They created a fictitious person. They gave that person a name-William Martin as well as a made-up family, including a fiancé-Pam. They created a backdrop of an historically grounded human being born into royalty and wealth which gave credibility to their fictional spy.
 
Montagu delighted in his creation of William Martin of the Royal Marines. In Montagu’s small cramped space, the war office assigned a very beautiful and single Jean Leslie. She became the poster child for Pam, William Martin’s fiancé. Jean, single and beautiful, and Ewen, a lonely married man whose wife and family were in the United States at the time, became “involved.” The two took on the created personalities of their fictionalized spy and his lover in their real life adventure to deceive the Nazis. (When the body of William Martin was placed in the cold water off of Spain, the real life adventures of Ewen and Jean came to an end.)
 
Early in April 30, 1943, a young American Navy captain took the frozen corpse from its container and dropped it into the water about 1600 yards off the city of Huelva on the Atlantic coast of southern Spain. Not long afterwards a fisherman retrieved the body, took it ashore and called the local Spanish authorities.
 
Attached to the badly decomposed British-uniformed body were love letters from Pam, a locked briefcase, and important messages to high-ranking personnel about the pending Allied invasion of Europe. All of this material was surveyed and inspected by Spanish authorities and then quickly given over to the Abwehr (Nazi military intelligence) in Madrid. The Abwehr examined the letters and learned that the allied forces that were massing in North Africa were preparing to attack Sardinia and the Greek Peloponnesus. According to the letter found on the corpse, Sicily was to be used as a decoy for the planned landing area. Finally, after the Nazi secret service was done copying the information, the material was handed over to the British consulate. The British hoped the Nazis took seriously what was in the notes taken from the corpse of William Martin. They needed to divert the attention of the Nazi military from the intended landing in Sicily;
 
The British consul quickly arranged a proper burial service & buried William Martin’s body, even placing a headstone to deter anyone from digging up and examining the body, yet again.
 
Of course, the Abwehr sent all of the made-up espionage and battle strategies information to Berlin, believing it to be important to the outcome of the war. There, the German general staff discussed the plausibility of the information. Some accepted it as legitimate while others were more skeptical. But the key actor in this drama and the most important in the decision-making equation was Hitler. He believed the doctored information discovered on the dead British officer that washed upon the Spanish coastal waters. That was enough.

Hitler quickly gave the order to dispatch a military division. General Rommel and the Nazi troops were dispatched to reinforce the Greek peninsula against an attack that never materialized. At the time that Hitler ordered the troops to Greece, his armies had suffered major defeats in North Africa and Stalingrad. They were currently fighting a major battle with the Soviets and might have won an important victory against Soviets, but the diverted division to Greece, against his generals’ recommendations, may have cost the Nazis an important victory that could have, possibly, stopped the Soviet Armies advances into western Europe.  
 
The allies invaded Sicily and opened a second front against the Nazis in Europe. The ingenious plan of Cholmondeley and Montagu had worked. They saved thousands of lives and, possibly, shortened the war. All of this is refreshingly told by Ben Macintyre in Operation Mincemeat: The True Story That Changed the Course of World War II. This spy story was made into the monetarily successful movie The Man Who Never Was.
 
It wasn’t until 1997 that the British government finally changed the cemetery tombstone in Huelva, Spain and added this sentence to its base: “Glyndwr Michael, served as Major William Martin, RM.”

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Strom is professor emeritus of education at San Diego State University

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, October 29, 1954, Part 3

July 30, 2010 1 comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Barbara Taylor-Peter Haas Wed In Afternoon Ceremony
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 6

The marriage of Barbara Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Laycock of Germany, to Peter Haas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Haas, was solemnized at an afternoon ceremony Sunday, October 24, at Tifereth Israel Synagogue with Rabbi Monroe Levens performing the rites.

The bride’s traditional white gown was ballerina length and featured a jewel-collared jacket.  Her short veil was held by a tiny crown of net flowers and she carried a bouquet of orchids, mums and stephanotis.

Manon Haas sister of the groom, and the bride’s attendant was gowned in aqua featuring a ruffled skirt with matching hat and gloves. Rolf Haas was his brother’s best man and Eddie Davis and Jake Borushek acted as ushers.

A reception for 100 guests was held in La Sala Room of the House of Hospitality immediately following the ceremony.

Out of town guests were the bride’s grandmother, Mrs. Charles Thomas of Victoria, B.C. and Mr. Herbert Rona of Salt Lake City.

The young couple will make teir home at 3928 ½ Mississippi Street.

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Personals
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 6

Miss Amy Slater of Hollywood is the subject of a four-page feature article in the November issue of Living For Young Homemakers magazine.  Miss Slater is the daughter of Betty and Leonard Slater of Hollywood and the granddaughter of Esther and Lou Moorsteen of San Diego.

The article is titled, “The First Four Weeks of the Life of a Baby” …. Miss Slater is seven months old.

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New residents of the increasingly popular College area are Annabelle and Ted Mintz, who have moved into their newly build home at 4930 Gary Street.

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Mr and Mrs. Joe Lamon are flying to New York on Nov. 3 to attend the Hotel Convention there.  But that is just a prelude to a two month’s tour of Europe, for the leave Nov. 12 on the luxury liner, The United States and will visit England, France, Italy and Spain. The Hotel Convention takes on an international flavor with its continuance in Rome, Italy.

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A trifle belated, but nonetheless gala, was the 35th Anniversary Dinner given to Paul and Frieda Nestor by the Jolly 16.  A long, rose-decked table was set in the lanai of the beautiful home of host and hostess, Nate and Sally Ratner.  The menu was planned to please the honored guests.  After dinner there was time out for reminiscence and good wishes.

Mrs. Henry Bernstein, Mother of Mrs. Ratner, and her brother, Louis Bernstein of San Francisco, were also guests at the dinner.

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If you see someone going by on a cloud, it is Ann Levin, who hasn’t come down to earth after her recent trip to Hawaii with husband Jules. There was plenty of champagne and good company aboard the Lurline Steamship to help celebrate their 20th Wedding Anniversary. With memories of the view from their room at the Royal Hawaiian, sailing with Lana Turner and a conversation with Madame Pandit, is it any wonder the Levins find it hard to settle down to the old routine.

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Mr. and Mrs. Sigmund Blumenfeld are hoping our weather won’t get “unusual”, at least while their houseguests, Mr. and Mrs. Mathew Eskow, of Miami Beach, are in San Diego.  Mrs. Eskow is a sister of Mrs. Blumenfeld and an old friend of the Abe Sklars.

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Back in town and looking “fit as a fiddle” is Saul Chenkin.  Eve and Saul who usually have experiences such as sinking ships and grounded planes on their trips, came back from this vacation with othing more exciting than a nightmare of Eve’s. Saul had a rude awakening one night when Eve sleepwalking, shook him and told him to put on his life belt, because the “ship was on fire!” Saul who wasn’t sharing the nightmare and knew he was in a hotel room had to gently awaken Eve. Some people just can’t stand a quiet vacation.

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Clara and Mike Zaks with children Robert and Sherry are now in their new home at 5047 Lyon Street.

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Cradle
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 6

Mr. and Mrs. Morris Frankston anounce the birth of their second child, Janet, born Oct. 8, weight 5 lbs, 14 oz.  This event was eagerly awaited by sister Susan, aged 3.

Materan grandpraents are Mr. and Mrs. Marcel Brust and paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Harold Frankston, all of San Diego.

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Mr. and Mr. Theodore Colton of Sunland, Calif., announce the birth of a daughter, Laurie Ann, on Oct. 9, at 9:02 p.m. in the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles.  Big brother, Michael Alan, at 20 months, is delighted with his new playmate.

Grandparents are Mrs. Beatrice Blumer of San Diego and Mr. Alvin Colton of Los Angeles.  Great grandmother is Mrs. Fannie Schoenkopf.

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Mr. and Mrs. Roberts Downing Hudson, Jr., announce the birth of their first child, a son, Steven Craig, weighting 8 lbs, 2 oz., on Oct. 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Grandparents are Mrs. Lee Cole of San Diego, Ben Cole of Miami, Fla, and Mr. and Mrs. Roberts Downing Hudson of Selah, “Wash.  Great grandmother, Mrs. Sam Brachman, resides in San Francisco.

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Classified
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 6

Room For Rent – Private bedroom in fine home near transp.  North Park.  Male only.  Call AT 2-6274, JU 2-094.

Room, with kitchen privileges for 1 or 2.  $35-$45 mo. La Mesa, near buses, HO 9-4673.

Wanted—woman to hare large home.  Private room & bath, separate entrances, kitchen privileges.  Near Kensington bus.  AT 2-8179.

Room – with kitchen privileges for woman.  3930 Meade Ave. Call AT 2-6109.

Home & Furniture Repair.  Small or large.  Call BE 9-1798

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(Hebrew Home)
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 6

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

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The Jewish Center Drive (Editorial)
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

This issue of the Jewish Press is devoted to the Jewish Community Center. There are some political overtones on several of the pages but mainly we are concerned with telling San Diego about the Jewish Center.

More than nine years ago some leaders thought they were ready to begin talking about a “Jewish YMCA.”  Now they are past the talking stage and doing something about it. The pictures and story spread on our pages tell in a graphic way some of the “Center Story”—but the real story will be told by the Community Survey which is just being completed.

Out of a total population of more than 6000, less than half are members of Synagogues. The Jewish Community Center will play a large part in eventually bringing these people under Synagogue and Temple influence.

91% of those questioned felt that recreational and leisure time activity should be provided by the Jewish Community and 81% stated that if the Jewish Community center was built on 54th Street and University Avenue, they and their families would use it. In addition, 89% pledged to support this Center if it were built.

The job of raising the capital funds needed for the erection of the Jewish Community Center has been entrusted to community-minded men who have done a great deal in the past for other organizations and institutions.  They need your help, now!

The goal of $269,000 can be reached only if everyone gives. This is an opportunity to give for yourself, your family, and your children. This is your chance to assure the future of San Diego as a mature community willing and able to take care of its own needs. This is your chance to do something for us, not for someone else. This drive is for us, the Jewish Community in San Diego.

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Jolly 16 Club Set for Ruby Ball
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

Arrangements have been completed for the 40th Anniversary Dinner-Dance of the Jolly 16 to be held on Sunday, November 21 at the El Cortez Hotel.  Mrs. Carl Esenoff, chairman for the occasion will be assisted by Mrs. Theodore Brenner. Decorations Chairman;  Mrs. Milo Berenson, Ticket Chairman, and Mrs. Phil Kantor in charge of tables.

El Cortez’s new ballroom will be ready for this special event. Make sure you reserve a table for yourself and your friends. The hospitality mat will be out for newcomers to San Diego, as well as old friends.

For further information or reservations phone any member of the Club or Mrs. Carl Esenoff, at AT 4-7527.

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City of Hope Aux
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

The City of Hope Junior Auxiliary have named the week of November 1-8 as their 3rd annual Fund and Fun Raising week.  All monies raised will go to help support the new leukemia wing for children at the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, Calif.  Anyone interested in planning an affair for Fund and Fun Raising is asked to call Mrs. Mort Lieberman, CO 4-0972 for futher information.

Mrs. Seymour Okmin has promised an interesting program for the next meeting to be held on Nov. 9 at 8:15 p.m. at the new meeting place, Tifereth Israel Center. Friends are invited.

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Council Presents Unusual Program
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

National Council of Jewish Women will hold its next regular noon luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Temple Beth Israel.  

Clark and Marguerita Allen, well-known performers of folk songs of many lands will present a program of songs and dances.  Allen, perhaps better known locally as an artist, will have a group of his paintings on display.,

Honored guests will be Dr. W. W. Stadel, Superintendent of County Hospital.  Mrs. Alva Lowe, Superintendent of Nurses of the Pediatric Ward; and Mrs. Pearl H. Miller, Director of Medical Social Service. Dr. Stadel will speak on the part the Council of Women play in the Pediatrics Ward of County Hospital.

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Knight Ignores U.N. Plea from Ike Graves Charges
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

Los Angeles, October 23—Richard Graves, Democratic nominee for Governor, charged today that “The refusal of Governor Goodwin Knight to observe an official request of the president of the United States and declare October 24th as United Nations Day is a graphic example of the divisive thinking characteristic of my opponent when he is away from his publicity agent.”

“Once again,” said Graves, who has been hospitalized here with a mild case of pneumonia, “my opponent has refused to take a stand on a broad question of public policy in order not to alienate his host of right-wing supporters.  Just as Goodwin Knight has never stood  up to be counted on the question of McCarthyism, now he has failed to state his position regarding approve of the country’s support of the United Nations.

“It appears that the only possible conflict of dates confronting Knight involved a request made by him by a group headed by Marwin K. Hart, hate-peddling associate of Gerald L.K. Smith,” Graves went on, “and my opponent personally made the decision not to program United Nations Day on the basis of pressures from this group.  Apparently,” said Graves, “Knight values the request of Marwin K. Hart a apostle of hatred, as highly as that of the President of the United States.

“Knight’s action was particularly ill-timed,” Graves said, “in view of California’s hope to have the United Nations General Assembly meet in San Francisco on its 10th anniversary.”

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Masquerade Party To Be Held by Birdie Stodel B’nai B’rith Women At Luncheon
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

Birdie Stodel, B.B. Women have a pleasant and entertaining afternoon planned for their next meeting on Monday, Nov. 8, at Beth Jacob Center at 12:00 noon.

Mrs. Milton Fredman, program chairman for this meeting, promises that the Masquerade Party, similar to the “Masquerade Party” on TV, will be very exciting.

The panel of experts are Mrs. Elias Berwin, President of the City of Hope; Mrs. Jack Meyers, President of the Bay City Chapter, B’nai B’rith Women, Mrs. Milton Roberts, President of Hadassah, and Mr. Edward Breitbard, President of the Jewish Community Center.  Mrs. Morton Thaler will act as moderator.

A delightful luncheon is being prepared by luncheon chairman Marie Richards.  In keeping with the theme, waitresses will be in costume. Table decorations are being made by Dorothy Penn, aned Miriam Chadwick is costume designer.

May Dean has been appointed as the Americanism Civic Affairs Chairman and has been to Los Angeles and participated in a workshop.

For those interested in working with the BBG’s please contact BBYO Chairman, Jennie Penn, or their advisor Rose Aved. There is lots of room for more girls in this group, ages 14 to 18.

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Women’s League Aid Local Activities
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

The Women’s League is taking an active part in the arrangements for the Eleanor Roosevelt lecture, sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. Sylvia Rose, president, and Thelma Selten are heading this committee. The B’nai B’rith Girls will usher at the evening lecture at the Russ Auditorium on Nov. 11.

Members will also help with the Jewish Welfare Board Conference to be held Nov. 12, 14 & 14.  Any woman who is a member of the Jewish Community Center is eligible to join this active group. Membership chairman Dorris Lipinsky, will be glad to give you any information.  Call her at AT 4-2332.

Ways and Means chairman, Ida Beck, and her committee are hard at work on an affair to be sponsored by the Women’s League, to be given Nov. 18.  Watch for further details in the next issue of this paper.

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“Maisel Day” Slated for Nov. Third For Hebrew Home Group
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

The Women’s Auxiliary of the Hebrew Home for the Aged has announced that their second “Maisel Day” will be highlighted by a luncheon on Nov. 3 at the Mission Valley Country Club. MR. Max Maisel, through Frances Moss, president of the Auxiliary, extends an invitation to all to be his guest for lunch in celebration of the start of construction of the new Home for Aged.

Transportation from University and 8th Aves. Has been arranged for bus passengers. Cars will be stationed there from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be plainly marked.

Mrs. Alex Newman, general chairman, has promised an interesting program with exciting door prizes.  Assisting her are Mrs. Paul Cudney, program chairman; Mrs. Morris Fried, membership chairman, and Mrs. Alex Cohen, decorations.

Reservations can be made by calling CO 4-8539, AT 2-6335.

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Stands on Record, Says Senator Kraft

Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

State Sen. Fred H. Kraft said this week that he stands on his record of performance in seeking re-election.  He gave this summary in a final statement to voters:

“Economy: Opposed to unnecessary additional taxes.  Has worked vigorously to balance budget while serving on Revenue and Taxation Committee so that California will live within its income.

“Water: Actively supporting study of proposed Feather River Project a potential future source of water for San Deigo Couty.

“Highways: Presently serving on interim committee on Highways, Streets and Bridges developing program and to assure San Diego County adequate road construction and improvement.

“Legislation: Author and co-author of important legislation furthering growth of San Diego County and its communities.

“Juvenile Delinquency: Chairman of Senate Public Health and Safety Committee which drafted strict laws covering narcotics and drug smuggling … now used as models throughout nation.”

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Jewish Couples Club Prepare Social
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

The Jewish Couples Club will hold their next meeting and social November 20 at Tifereth Israel synagogue. The affair is not closed, and all invited and promised a stimulating evening. Details will be in the next edition of this newspaper.

The Halloween Costume Party Judges voted the Grand Prize to the Abe Sandlers for the most outstanding costume.  The Sandy Alters took the “most original prize, and the Hersch Segals “the simplest”, and the Bob Grossmans the “most humorous.”

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James M. Edmunds Criticizes Opponent
Southwestern Jewish Press, October 29, 1954, Page 7

James M. Edmunds, Democratic nominee for State Senator, criticized the Legislature in Sacrament for its lack of accomplishment.  Pointing to the description of the 1953 Legislature as a “do-nothing session” by Fortnight magazine, Edmonds sated, “we must have a well-planned program to meet our growing needs.  We should elect legislators who have the energy and desire to provide us with good government and a prosperous economy.”

Edmunds’ a World War II Navy veteran and resident of Chula Vista, cited as some of the things he will  for: an expanded industrial base; development of new water sources; more effect, anti-subversive legislation, improved narcotics control, and adequate liquor reforms.

Edmunds pointed out that “we are now seeing concrete evidence of how deep corruption has gone in the liquor license scandals.  My opponent has a record of being absent or voting against the proposed liquor reform measures.

“One of the big jobs facing the new session will be passage of sound liquor legislation. We must put an end to laws that invite bribery and corruption.

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“Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.  To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box.  

Netanyahu, Lieberman jockey as direct talks with Palestinians loom

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

JERUSALEM (WJC)–Israel has no plans to extend the ten-month building freeze in Israeli settlements in the West Bank after September, the country’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday.

He rejected any link between the moratorium and the start of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Lieberman told a joint news conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos that there was no room for linkage between such talks and a settlement construction freeze. “We must start direct talks, but there is no place for a moratorium after September 25,” he said.

Foreign ministers of Arab League member states are to meet on Thursday and will consider whether to back direct talks between the Palestinians and Israel. The Palestinian Authority usually follows the advice of the Arab League.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to advance peace, security and prosperity in the region, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. There had been no prior announcement that the meeting would take place.

“The two leaders discussed the need to ensure direct, serious and effective negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that would address all final-status issues and create a solution of two states for two peoples in which Israelis and Palestinians will live in lasting and secure peace,” said a statement issued by Netanyahu’s office. 

“The prime minister said that King Abdullah’s leadership was important for advancing peace and stability in the region, and that he looked forward to strengthening the relations between Israel and Jordan,” the statement added.

Jordan’s Islamist-led labor unions strongly condemned Netanyahu’s visit to Amman, describing him as a “criminal.” The head of the Unions’ Council Ahmad Armuti said in a statement: “At a time when the Zionist enemy is killing our people in Palestine and destroying their homes, as well as planning schemes against Jordan’s security, officials receive Netanyahu the criminal in Amman. The trade unions completely reject this visit and hold the government responsible for its political and public responsibilities, in line with the constitution.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Gaza Flotilla sailors file suit against Israel in Spanish court

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

MADRID (WJC)–Three Spanish activists – two of which were aboard the controversial Gaza-bound aid flotilla raided by the Israeli Navy at the end of May – have filed a lawsuit in a Madrid court against Israel for alleged crimes against humanity.

The 83-page document takes aim at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, six senior Cabinet ministers and the chief of the Israel Navy, whose commandos stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on 31 May. Nine activists were killed when they attacked Israeli soldiers with knives and clubs.

The Spanish activists told a newspaper that Israel had arrested them illegally and deported them by force, after subjecting them to hardships during the raid. In their suit, they allege that “the entire operation was well planned by the Israeli army in order to kill as many activists as possible, while they were only trying to help Gaza’s residents.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in response that the lawsuit was “a continuation of the provocation in other means.” In a statement, it declared: “Israel’s actions are legal and in accordance with international law. Just like the flotilla organizers did not have humanitarian aid in mind, but only used it as an excuse for provocation and violence, the people filing the lawsuit are not really interested in law and justice, but are using them as a tool against Israel.”

IDF Major-General Giora Eiland, who headed a military commission charged with conducting an internal investigation of the flotilla raid, said it would have been possible to prevent the deaths by political means. In an interview, he said: “Three months before the flotilla there were many courses of action which could have prevented it.” Eiland suggested that Israel “could have opened the Gaza crossings in advance, before the Turkish flotilla.

Meanwhile, Israel has urged Lebanon and the international community to prevent two ships from sailing to the Gaza Strip from a Lebanese port, warning that efforts to break the sea blockade of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory would be stopped. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, accused organizers of the aid ships Junia and Julia of “seeking to incite a confrontation and raise tensions in our region.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Justice sought for victims of AMIA bombing

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

BUENOS AIRES (WJC)–several hundred people have commemorated the 16th anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center, in which 85 people died and hundreds were injured. Speakers at the ceremony, which was organized by the group ‘Memoria Activa’ and attended by former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner, called for justice and highlighted the fact that nobody has yet been brought to trial over the worst terrorist attack in the history of South America.

Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón laid a wreath in honor of the victims and addressed the gathering outside the reconstructed AMIA building, which on 18 July 1994 was hit by a massive blast from a car bomb. According to the prosecutor in the case, Alberto Nisman, the attack was masterminded by senior figures in the Iranian regime and carried out by Hezbollah operatives. Garzón criticized the slowness of the Argentine justice system and said: “Belated justice is no justice”. He added: “When will we finally understand that the fight against impunity is the responsibility of all of us?” Garzón, who as a Spanish judge investigated former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, called on the United States to provide “real support” so Iranian officials accused of involvement in the AMIA bombing stand trial.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the attack, the president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, in a statement urged the international community to do more to bring about justice for the victims. Lauder said it was “blatantly obvious” that Iranian and Hezbollah officials had masterminded the bombing. He said: “On this sad anniversary, we express our solidarity with the survivors, the families of the victims, and with the Argentine people. We applaud the remarkable efforts undertaken by the Argentine authorities and Prosecutor Alberto Nisman in recent years, to determine who committed this atrocity. However, yet another year has passed, and justice still hasn’t been done. This is because the regime in Iran – a sponsor of terrorism world-wide – is refusing to cooperate. No wonder: one of the main suspects, wanted by Interpol, is none other than Ahmadinejad’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi…!”

The WJC president urged the United Nations and other international bodies to do more against state-sponsored terrorism. “It is not just Jewish communities world-wide that are affected by terrorism, but Jews are often the first to suffer attacks. Governments that aid, finance or protect terrorists must be named and shamed,” Lauder declared.

Meanwhile, the Latin American Jewish Congress, the regional branch of the WJC, held a conference on fighting terrorism which was attended by parliamentarians, officials and Jewish leaders from across Latin America.

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Preceding provided by the World Jewish Congress