Archive for the ‘Switzerland’ Category

Missed a turn in the latest Kafka controversy? Here’s a primer

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

By Kathi Diamant

Kathi Diamant

SAN DIEGO — Franz Kafka has gotten quite a bit of play lately. His photo has accompanied headlines in any number of newspapers, magazines, and network news websites in the past couple of months, most of which include one or more of the following words: treasure, trial, nightmare, snarled, tangled, vaults, masterpieces, secret, lost—and, lest we forget—Kafkaesque.  

In the past few weeks, CBS News, Time Magazine, Salon, The New York Times,  Washington Post, the Guardian, and Haaretz as well as dozens of other news outlets weighed in on the acrimonious fight over Franz Kafka’s papers in the Brod Collection. One of the most thoughtful was by Rodger Kamenetz in the Huffington Post. Coverage on the trial over the Brod Collection in Tel Aviv extends to The National, published daily in Abu Dhabi.  Franz Kafka is the Arab world’s favorite Jewish writer. Who knew?

Most of the news reports have been correct, more or less. The AP story by Aaron Heller stated, “Aside from previously unknown versions of Kafka’s work, the trove could give more insight on Kafka’s personal life, including his relationship with his lover, Dora Diamant. It may include papers that Kafka gave to Diamant but were stolen by the German Gestapo from her Berlin apartment in 1933, later obtained by Brod after World War II.”  

I am sad to report that the papers stolen by the Gestapo were not recovered by Max Brod after World War II.  Since 1996, the Kafka Project at SDSU has led the international search for these papers, 20 notebooks and 35 letters written by Kafka in the last year of his life, which most Kafka experts agree, represent the real missing treasure, not whatever remains in the Brod Collection.  

As the Director of the Kafka Project and someone who has followed the story of the Brod Collection closely since 2001, I am happy to share the straight scoop, with links to the best sources, as well as a quick cast list to the Kafkaesque drama unfolding in Tel Aviv:  

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (whose literary leavings in the Brod collection are trapped in litigation) was a Jewish-Czech writer who died at the age of 40 in 1924, largely unpublished and unknown. After his death in 1924, with the posthumous publication of his novels, letters and diaries, Kafka rose to international fame as a literary genius, one of the founding fathers of magical realism and the modern novel. He is considered the most influential, profoundly misunderstood writers of our time. His most famous works are two unfinished novels, The Trial and The Castle and the short story, The Metamorphosis

Kafka’s strange stories have earned their own adjective, Kafkaesque, to describe a world where mindless bureaucracy destroys the mind and body and numbs the soul. 

Max Brod

Max Brod, Franz Kafka’s boyhood friend who became his literary executor, was also, like Kafka, a Jewish Czech lawyer and writer. Brod famously defied Kafka’s requests to burn his unpublished work, and instead gathered as much of it as he could and arranged for its publication. “As far as my memory and my strength permit, nothing of all this shall be lost,” he vowed shortly after Kafka’s death.

Brod fled Prague in 1939 for Tel Aviv, where he died in 1968. He escaped on the last train as the German army rolled into Czechoslovakia, taking with him two suitcases, one  filled with Kafka’s manuscripts, letters and diaries. During the Six Day War, Brod, concerned for the safety of Kafka’s manuscripts, transferred the most valuable to Switzerland for safekeeping in bank vaults. The Brod Collection is believed to be mostly in ten different safety deposits in Geneva and Tel Aviv, as well as in Ester Hoffe’s humid, cat infested apartment on Spinoza Street.

Without Max Brod, we would know nothing of Franz Kafka.  Brod saved Kafka’s writings for humanity, only to leave what he had so carefully collected and saved not to the centers of Kafka scholarship in England and Germany, where his other manuscripts are scrupulously kept, but to his longtime secretary and (most certain) lover, Ester Hoffe, who hoarded them for forty years after Brod’s death, selling off single pages of letters, diaries and whole manuscripts, at random, to the highest bidder. At one point she accepted a very large sum from a German publisher, and then never sent the manuscripts she contractually promised. She never returned the money.

Ester Hoffe, a Holocaust refugee who died two years ago in Tel Aviv at the age of 101, was generally reviled by Kafka scholars and researchers, her name an anathema. Given Brod’s lifelong dedication to establishing and maintaining Kafka’s legacy, his gift of the Kafka papers to his secretary was an unfortunate choice. When she died in 2008, her two daughters, Eva and Ruth, now in their 70s, inherited the collection and decided to sell it to the German Literature Archive in Marbach, Germany, sight unseen, for one million Euros. Headlines rang out around the world: Secret Kafka Treasure to be Revealed!

Kafka aficionados, academics and researchers were thrilled. Priceless, possibly unpublished writings by Kafka would finally be available to shed new light to understanding this most misinterpreted and beloved writer. But then, in classic Kafka fashion, the plot twisted, with no path made easy. The National Library of Israel stepped in, claiming the Brod Collection as state cultural assets, a national treasure, which should not leave the country. The legal wrangling and academic outcry has been ably covered in dozens of articles by Ofer Aderat for Haaretz, which has a financial interest in the case. (Haaretz and many Kafka copyrights are owned by Schocken Books.)

So, for more than two years, the Brod Collection trial has dragged on in a Tel Aviv family courtroom, with drama aplenty, court-ordered openings of secret bank vaults, tales of theft and deception, a nightmare for Hoffe’s daughters, as if straight from Kafka’s own imagination.

When the Brod Collection first made international headlines in the summer of 2008, I was in Poland, on a six-week Kafka Project research project for the 20 notebooks and 35 love letters confiscated from Kafka’s last love, Dora Diamant, by the Gestapo in 1933. Before I embarked on the 2008 Eastern European Research Project, I wrote an article for San Diego Jewish World, “My Quest to Find a Literary Treasure,” explaining what we are searching for, and why it’s so important.

For almost a decade, I have been waiting to see the contents of the Brod Collection. In 2001, in Germany researching the biography of Dora Diamant, I first learned about the Brod Collection, and within it, the existence of 70 letters Dora Diamant wrote to Max Brod between 1924-1952. This was information vital not only for the book I was writing, but also for the Kafka Project. In one letter, written in Berlin in April 1933, Dora described to Brod the theft of Kafka’s writings by the Gestapo. Among the list of 70 letters, a stunning, four-page letter is catalogued, with the date, the return address, and a few lines describing what was taken. But, besides the Swiss lawyer who catalogued the Brod Collection in the early 1980s, no one else has seen that letter or any of Dora Diamant’s letters, telegrams and postcards written over a twenty-five year period.

I am only one of many who are holding a collective breath. The next headline you see on Kafka’s papers in the Brod Collection might announce a happy resolution. But knowing Kafka’s dark sense of humor, I doubt it.

In the meanwhile, Kafka Project isn’t waiting. Plans are afoot to follow up the 2008 Eastern European research, collaborating with the University of Silesia, Jagiellonian University, the National Library of Silesia, and the Polish National Archives in 2012. The Kafka Project is working not only to recover a lost treasure and open a new chapter in literary history, but to repair at least one of the crimes of the Third Reich. If you want to learn more about Kafka, I am presenting a six-week survey, Kafka in Context, for the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at SDSU, starting Monday, September 13. To register, contact Here’s a link for more information on the SDSU Kafka Project.

Stay tuned for the next headline!  

Diamant is director of SDSU’s Kafka Project,  a journalist, and author.


For further reading on this case, here are a few of the best articles covering the Brod Collection’s many twists and turns:

Huffington Post: “Kafka Manuscripts: The Fight Over Kafka”

Time Magazine: “Were Lost Kafka Masterpices Stuffed in a Swiss Bank Vault?

Washington Post: “In Israel, a tangled battle over the papers of Franz Kafka

CBS: “Lost Kafka Papers Resurface, Trapped in Trial” CBS News (AP)

Ha’aretz: story on safety boxes being opened, another on estate executor receiving boxes.

The Guardian: “Lawyers Open Cache of Unpublished Manuscripts”;   “The Kafka Legacy: Who owns Jewish Culture?”


Conference of Presidents seeks walkout from Ahmadinejad U.N. speech

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK (Press Release)–It is anticipated that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will once again seek the platform of the United Nations to spew his hateful rhetoric, threats and bigotry as he has done on several occasions, including at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and the UN Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

Alan Solow, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations have called upon UN member states to walk out of the UN General Assembly should Ahmadinejad be given the opportunity to address the international body.

“It is imperative for nations to cherish the values of freedom and mutual respect and absent themselves or walk out if President Ahmadinejad speaks before the UN General Assembly. We are issuing the call well in advance of the UNGA opening session so that nations have a chance to deliberate and ample time to make a decision. President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has only become more extreme as have the violations of human rights under his government.

“Optimally, we would like to see Mr. Ahmadinejad denied the opportunity to speak at the UN as he violates its charter by threatening and calling for the elimination of another member state. Failing that, we believe that the disapproval and rejection of his incitement, support for terrorism and gross violations of human rights by walking out of his speech is a critical message for member states who value democracy and freedom to send,” said Solow and Hoenlein.

Preceding provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

New Zealand stays restrictions on kosher slaughtering

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (WJC)–Jews in New Zealand have won a temporary exemption from a new legal requirement  that animals must first be stunned before being slaughtered. Representatives of the Jewish community last week filed legal proceedings against Agriculture Minister David Carter and on Monday said said a Wellington court had ordered a temporary exemption until the case is decided next year.

Carter had announced in May that he was requiring pre-slaughter stunning for all commercial killing of livestock. About 300 lambs and 2000 chickens were commercially slaughtered according to ‘shechita’ last year. The minister later apologized to the Jewish community for any offense caused when he told veterinarians: “We may have upset a relatively small religious minority, and I do appreciate their strong feelings for this issue, but frankly I don’t think any animal should suffer in the slaughter process.”

More than half New Zealand’s sheep are killed by halal slaughtermen for the Islamic market, by cutting the throats of electrically stunned animals. However, shechita slaughter requires the trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries and jugular veins to be cut using a sharp blade to allow the blood to drain out. The animal cannot be stunned or unconscious.

The New Zealand National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee first recommended a dispensation for the kosher slaughter in 2001, but most recently said it would prefer there were no exemptions from the requirement that all animals slaughtered commercially were first stunned. It said there was evidence calves which simply had their throats cut experienced pain, and it had the “strongly held” view that the cattle, sheep, goats and possibly poultry would experience similar pain.

Wellington Jewish Council Chairman David Zwartz predicted the case would be argued on the grounds that the Bill of Rights allowed for freedom of religious practice, and the requirement for stunning was an infringement of the right of Jews to observe their religion.

Other countries to ban shechita include Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, and the European Parliament earlier this year voted in favor of a new regulation which could lead to kosher meat being labeled as “meat from slaughter without stunning”.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Commentary: Anti-Semites becoming ever more creative

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment
By Alex Liff 

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Looking across the spectrum of recent news one can’t help but be amazed at the creative ways that in the words of Dennis Miller, “adjacent Jew haters” i.e so called Palestinians and their beloved friends are finding to express their unbridled anti-Semitism.  The last month or so has brought a literal treasure trove of events to illustrate that point.


On a visit to Turkey, the recently minted PM of Britain, David Cameron unequivocally stated that “Gaza can not and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp”.   He also characterized Israel’s interception of the Turkish flotilla as “completely unacceptable”.  Where have you gone Gordie Brown, we miss you already.  It’s nice to see that it hasn’t taken your supposedly conservative successor, long to see which way the British foreign policy wind is blowing.  In fact Cameron showed himself to be a remarkable quick study with comments that were sure to delight both the domestic audience as well as the Turkish hosts.  Of all the issues that are pertinent to Turks, Brits or the rest of Europe, of course the central one had to be the Gaza situation.  I wonder if the Brits mint these anti-Semites in boarding schools or it’s in the genes.  What sweet music this must have been to the unrepentant Islamist’s ears of PM Erdogan who quickly and delightfully jumped on the Zionist (i.e Jewish) bashing band wagon, once again demanding deepest Israeli apology, reparations, and a shipment of additional Drones he can use to exterminate more Kurds across the border.   (Someone should have whispered in his ear that Israeli apology is coming as soon as he sends his own bit of an apology to the Armenians for cleansing 1.5 mil of their brethren not so historically long ago and provides oh say 20 billion in reparations). 


Perhaps PM Cameron was biased in his view by the recently released British report funded by the “Medical Aid for Palestinians” group.  This apparently completely unbiased and scientific research was carried out by the apparently prestigious university of Birzeit in the West Bank.  The findings?   Well some of you may be shocked to hear that apparently a whopping eighty-five percent of respondents reported moderate or high levels of insecurities, fears and threats, and 49 percent said they had moderate or high levels of distress.  So is the global financial crisis getting to the “we just can’t catch a break” Gazans?  Well apparently, not quite.  To quote the study, “ Asked to say what had been the biggest causes of suffering in Gaza, the respondents named, in order of magnitude, the Israeli siege of Gaza; the previous Israeli occupation of Gaza; the Israeli attack; and internal Palestinian fighting.” So there you have it, despite leaving Gaza 5 years ago, the big bad Zionists are continuing to stress out those impressionable and frail souls in Gaza.  Unfortunately, the study did not specify exactly when the stress levels were at their highest.  For example was it before or after a Gazan would fire an indiscriminate Qasam rocket into Israeli women and children and then run for cover trying to escape the fury of the Zionist drones. Perhaps the interviews were taken during the tunnel smuggling operations, the ones used to bring in vast amounts of weapons to enable the peace loving Gazans to kill as many of the Zionists as possible during the sneak attacks across the border.  Finally, the authors did nor precise if Gilad Shalit’s captors were interviewed and if they also exhibited higher levels of distress and anxiety having to be on the constant lookout for those bad Zionist spies, looking to free a kidnapped soldier illegally held now for 4 years.  So as you can see, the details were a bit murky but of course the all important conclusions were quite clear and well covered in the British press. 


So while the Brits were busy bashing the Zionists on their side of the Atlantic, Boney M, an iconic 1970’s disco group, got a chance to entertain the oppressed inhabitants of  Ramallah, Samaria, (West Bank).  The concert goers had a chance to enjoy many of the old favorites with one notable exception.  The Palestinian Authority, expressly forbid the group from performing its best known hit, Rivers of Babylon, deeming it “inappropriate”.  So the question naturally arises, what so offended the peace seeking, harmony loving Palestinians in the well known international hit song?  Well, the answer is that the song’s chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people’s yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.  The exact wording is in fact as follows:  “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.  Yeah, we wept when we remembered Zion. When the wicked carried us away in captivity.”  The Palestinian powers that be, did not want the impressionable young Palestinian minds to be confused by any deviation of the official line stating that Jews simply descended from Europe to usurp the Arab land and have not historical connection to Israel whatsoever.   In other words, more of the same triple D offense they have engaged in for years now, demonizing, denying, and destroying anything remotely resembling facts and the truth. 


Now, on the way to the concert, many of the attendees undoubtedly had a chance to stop by and enjoy the newly opened Mughrabi square in the adjoining town of El-Bireh.  In fact as is documented by Arlene Kushner of the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, the square was recently named after Dalal Mughrabi, a 19 year old female terrorist who led the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history – the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978.  Mughrabi and her squad of terrorists came down from Lebanon via the Mediterranean by raft; they landed on the beach south of Haifa. First they killed American nature photographer Gail Rubin, and then they hijacked a bus.  Ultimately, they killed, in cold blood, 38 innocent Israeli civilians, including, I repeat including, 13 children, before Mughrabi herself was shot by IDF.  The large scale of the carnage, the devastation and of course the fact that young Israelis were killed during this glorious operation have made Dalal a beloved figure among the Palestinians.   It should be noted that during the inauguration ceremony, a large banner was held aloft, which read: “On the anniversary of the Coastal Road Operation we renew our commitment and our oath that we uphold the charge and that we will not stray from the path of the shahids.”     

In fact, according to Palestinian Media watch organization’s recently released report,  Contrary to the PA’s moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to delegitimize Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence”.


While all of that was going on, the great moderate, PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas found time to put on a bit of a charm offensive in a meeting with the so called Jewish leaders in U.S.   A bit unusual you may say but hey give credit where credit is due.  I mean the man is no fool. After seeing 79% of the Jews vote for the Israel bashing Hussein Obama  and with fine pro-Palestinian organizations like J street springing up left and right, Abbas figured why not to also try to impress the malleable American Jewish minds and maybe even raise a couple of bucks for the Swiss bank coffers while he’s at it.


Abbas tried to charm the audience by stating that “Nobody denies the Jewish history in the Middle East. A third of our holy Koran talks about the Jews in the Middle East, in this area. Nobody from our side at least denies that the Jews were in Palestine.” Abbas conveniently forgot to add that while Koran does mention the Jews it does so comparing them to monkeys and pigs or to call for their extermination.  Also, the budding historian, Abbas,  did not explain exactly what this entity called Palestine was, as all attempts to find that nation in numerous historical publications were unsuccessful. 

To their credit, the so called Jewish leadership, unlike the world press, did not immediately fall for the slickster’s nicely combed hair and a well pressed suit but actually threw a few questions of substance at the great moderate.   According to the meeting notes, at the dinner Abbas was  pressed repeatedly on the issue of incitement among Palestinians.

“I accept your accusations,” Abbas said, referring to charges of incitement on PA-run TV, according to the transcript. “I will say, OK, let us say there is incitement. How can we deal with this? Shall I talk about Israeli incitement?” Ah yes, least one forget, offense is the best defense. 

Furthermore, one participant, described it as “a polite but pointed exchange over a series of questions that were asked again and again, because Abbas avoided the questions each time they were asked.” He pointed particularly to questions about what Abbas was doing to condition his people for peace. Abbas instead spoke of the recent interview he did with Israel’s Channel 10, concluding, “I asked Netanyahu to appear on our TV. He refused.”  Ah yes, spoken like a true visionary representative of the peace loving, peace seeking nation, indeed. 

Given Abbas’ previous track record and his non-answers to even a semblance of tough questions I think most rational, sane minds would look at the above and agree that the man is a fraud, emptier than a water reservoir in Sahara.  Not so for  the leader of the J Street organization, Jeremy Ben-Ami,  who summed up Abbas’s basic message as one that recalled past Israeli characterizations of the Palestinians as never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. “He basically said, ‘Now it’s your turn. Don’t mess this up.” Ben-Ami added, “Israel will never have a better partner than Mahmoud Abbas.” 

So what’s one to make of all of these seemingly disconnected events?  Let’s connect the dots shall we.  The bottom line is that when it comes to the Palestinians, there is no partner for peace, there never has been and given their clearly documented approach there never will be.  To the world at large that fact is irrelevant.  And so the David Camerons of this world will continue to use the Palestinian issue as a kind of modern day stick with which to perpetrate the politically correct pogrom on the Zionists whom the world loves to hate.  Some call it madness but in reality it’s all quite rational you see.  It’s pure unadulterated anti-Semitism of the highest degree, and it needs no reason.  For Israel and its supporters world wide, it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.  So let’s do, and state unequivocally to Abbas, Cameron, Erdogan and anyone else who questions our resolve, the weeping is over, we never forgot Zion, we came back and we’ll do whatever it takes to stay.

Liff is a freelance writer based in San Diego

New Iran sanctions will make it more difficult for Iran to obtain missiles, other weapons

June 22, 2010 1 comment

 WASHINGTON D.C. (Press Release) — William Burns, the U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, made the following statement on Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on U.S. policy towards Iran and the rest of the Middle East:

Chairman Kerry, Senator Lugar, Members of the Committee: Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today.

The passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 two weeks ago establishes the most comprehensive international sanctions that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has ever faced. It reinforces the determination not only of the United States, but of the rest of the international community, to hold Iran to its international obligations, and to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. At this critical moment, as we vigorously implement resolution 1929 and use it as a platform on which to build further measures by the European Union and other partners, it’s important to take stock of what’s at stake and where we go from here.

Let me start with the obvious: a nuclear-armed Iran would severely threaten the security and stability of a part of the world crucial to our interests and to the health of the global economy. It would seriously undermine the credibility of the United Nations and other international institutions, and seriously undercut the nuclear non-proliferation regime at precisely the moment we are seeking to strengthen it. These risks are only reinforced by the wider actions of the Iranian leadership, particularly its longstanding support for terrorist groups; its opposition to Middle East peace; its repugnant rhetoric about Israel, the Holocaust, and so much else; and its brutal repression of its own citizens.

In the face of those challenges, American policy is straightforward. We must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We must counter its other destabilizing actions in the region and beyond. And we must continue to do all we can to advance our broader interests in democracy, human rights and development across the Middle East. President Obama has made clear repeatedly, including in his statement on the adoption of resolution 1929, that we will stand up for those rights that should be universal to all human beings, and stand with those brave Iranians who seek only to express themselves freely and peacefully.

We will also continue to call on Iran to release immediately Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal, and all other unjustly detained American citizens. And we continue to call upon Iran to determine the whereabouts and ensure the safe return of Robert Levinson.

We have pursued our broad policy goals over the past 18 months through a combination of tough-minded diplomacy – including both engagement and pressure – and active security cooperation with our partners in the Gulf and elsewhere. We have sought to sharpen the choices before the Iranian leadership. We have sought to demonstrate what’s possible if Iran meets its international obligations and adheres to the same responsibilities that apply to other nations. And we have sought to intensify the costs of continued defiance, and to show Iran that pursuit of a nuclear weapons program will make it less secure, not more secure.

Last year, we embarked on an unprecedented effort at engagement with Iran. We did so without illusions about whom we were dealing with, or the scope of our differences over the past thirty years. Engagement has been both a test of Iranian intentions, and an investment in partnership with a growing coalition of countries deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We sought to create early opportunities for Iran to build confidence in its intentions. In Geneva last October, we supported — along with Russia and France — a creative proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide fuel for the production of medical isotopes at the Tehran Research Reactor. Unfortunately, what appeared to be a constructive beginning in Geneva was later spurned by the Iranian leadership. Instead, Iran pursued a clandestine enrichment facility near Qom; announced plans for ten new enrichment facilities; flatly refused to continue discussions with the P5+1 about international concerns about its nuclear program; provocatively expanded enrichment to 20%, in further violation of UN Security Council resolutions; and drew new rebukes from the IAEA in the Director General’s most recent report a few weeks ago.

Iran’s intransigence left us no choice but to employ a second tool of diplomacy, economic and political pressure. Passage of resolution 1929 is the essential first step in that effort. The provisions of 1929 go well beyond previous sanctions resolutions. For the first time, it bans significant transfers of conventional weapons to Iran. For the first time, 1929 bans all Iranian activities related to ballistic missiles that could deliver a nuclear weapon. For the first time, it imposes a tough framework of cargo inspections to detect and stop Iran’s smuggling and acquisition of nuclear materials or other illicit items. It prohibits Iran from investing abroad in sensitive nuclear activities, such as uranium mining. It creates important new tools to help block Iran’s use of the international financial system to fund and facilitate nuclear proliferation. For the first time, it highlights formally potential links between Iran’s energy sector and its nuclear ambitions. And it targets directly the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran’s proliferation efforts, adding fifteen specific IRGC entities to the list of designations for asset freezes.

Resolution 1929 provides a valuable new platform, and valuable new tools. Now we need to make maximum use of them. My colleague, Bob Einhorn, will lead this effort for the State Department. He’ll work closely with Under Secretary Levey, whose own leadership on these issues for a number of years has been extraordinarily effective. Already, the European Union has acted strongly to follow up 1929. Its leaders decided last Thursday to take a series of significant steps, including a prohibition of new investment in the energy sector and bans on the transfer of key technology, and tough measures against Iranian banks and correspondent banking relationships. Australia has indicated similar resolve, and other partners will follow suit shortly. Meanwhile, as Stuart will discuss in more detail, we continue to have success in persuading a whole variety of foreign companies that the risks of further involvement in Iran far outweigh the benefits. As you know, the Administration has been working closely with the Congress to help shape pending legislation so that it maximizes the impact of the wider international sanctions that we are putting in place.

The net result of this combination of economic pressures is hard to predict. It will certainly not change the calculations of the Iranian leadership overnight, nor is it a panacea. But it is a mark of their potential effect that Iran has worked so hard in recent months to avert action in the Security Council, and tried so hard to deflect or divert the steps that are now underway. Iran is not ten feet tall, and its economy is badly mismanaged. Beneath all their bluster and defiant rhetoric, its leaders understand that both the practical impact of resolution 1929 and its broader message of isolation create real problems for them.

That is particularly true at a moment when the Iranian leadership has ruthlessly suppressed, but not eliminated, the simmering discontent that bubbled over so dramatically last summer. Millions of Iranians went to the streets last June, and in smaller numbers over the course of the ensuing months, with a simple but powerful demand of their leaders: that their government respect the rights enshrined within its own constitution, rights that are the entitlement of all people – to voice their opinions, to select their leaders, to assemble without fear, to live in security and peace. A government that does not respect the rights of its own people will find it increasingly difficult to win the respect that it professes to seek in the international community.

Sanctions and pressure are not an end in themselves. They are a complement, not a substitute, for the diplomatic solution to which we and our partners are still committed. We continue to acknowledge Iran’s right to pursue civilian nuclear power. But with that right comes a profound responsibility to reassure the rest of the international community about the exclusively peaceful nature of its intentions. Facts are stubborn things, and it is a striking fact that Iran is the only NPT signatory in the world today that cannot convince the IAEA that its nuclear program is intended for purely peaceful purposes.

The Foreign Ministers of the P5+1 countries made clear in the statement they issued on passage of resolution 1929 that we remain ready to engage with Iran to address these concerns. EU High Representative Ashton has written to her Iranian counterpart to convey this readiness directly. We have joined Russia and France in expressing to IAEA Director General Amano a number of concerns about Iran’s latest proposals on the Tehran Research Reactor, and the TRR remains a potential opportunity in the context of the broader P5+1 efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program. The door is open to serious negotiation, if Iran is prepared to walk through it.

The road ahead will not be easy, and the problems before us posed by Iran’s behavior are urgent. But there is growing international pressure on Iran to live up to its obligations – and growing international isolation for Iran if it does not. Resolution 1929 helps significantly to sharpen that choice. We will work very hard to implement and build upon it. We are absolutely determined to ensure that Iran adheres to the same responsibilities that apply to other nations. Too much is at stake to accept anything less.

Thank you.

Preceding provided by the U.S. State Department

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, June 25, 1954, Part 2

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Betrothal Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Mr. and Mrs. Browne Cleveland Hamilton of Glendale have announced the engagement of their niece, Ellen Marie Clark, to Stuart Naliboff, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Naliboff.  The bride-elect is a speech therapist for the San Bernardino City Schools and a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she was affiliated with Kappa Delta Sorority and Phi Beta, women’s professional fraternity.

Stuart is a graduate of San Diego State College and is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

No wedding date has been set.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

From Near and Far – The Fischbeins write from Tel Aviv that they are “having a fabulous time seeing everything in Israel.”  From not so far, the Mac Kaufmans reported last from Portland that the northwest is even more exciting than expected. And from even nearer, the Mickey Fredmans and the Harry Waxes report an exciting weekend in Las Vegas.
Esther Moorsteen has been asked to speak to the combined Sunday School classes of the Pt. Loma Community Church on June 27.  Her subject will be “Modern Palestine and the New State of Israel.”  She will also show 100 colored slides.
Back home from Oregon State College where he is a member of Phi Sigma Kapppa, but not for long, is Nelson Olf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Olf: for Nelson leaves for the east July 1 to visit relatives prior to his sailing from Norfolk on the USS Wisconsin for a midshipman’s cruise.  His first European port will be Bret, France, with a side trip to Paris, naturally. Next they will put in at Glasgow, Scotland. From Glasgow, Nelson hopes to be able to visit London.  His cruise will last about 8 weeks.

A birthday party was held at the Hebrew Home for the Aged on June 19 for Mary Ratner and Miss Susan Hendry,.  Honored also for their gracious help with all the birthday parties were Mrs. Rose Leaf and Mrs. Essie Rubin.

Bette and Marshall Zucker with two sons, Robert and Wayne, left for the old home town of Chicago, Tuesday, to visit with parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abe Zucker. They hope to see as many old friends as possible before their return home on July 8.

Mrs. Abraham Sklar has just returned from Cleveland after a delightful month-long visit with her three grandchildren and her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arnson.

A trip to Los Angeles including “The King and I” was the high spot of Susie Hutler’s 16th birthday.

Bon Voyage – The airport was the scene of great activity last Sunday, when a group of friends were on hand to say Bon Voyage to Barbara Solomon and Isabelle Bank. The two girls embarked on the first leg of their journey which takes them to New York for ten days and two months abroad. They will visit France, England, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Mr. and Mrs. Hy Glaser announce the birth of a daughter Debbie on June 14, weighing 6 ½ pounds.  Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Levy of San Francisco and Mr. and Mrs. Simon Glaser of San Diego.

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Bloom (Barbara Ackerman) have announced the birth of their first child, a 7 lb, 4 oz son, Jeffey Laurance, on June 16.  Running neck and neck for the title of Proudest Grandparent are Mr. and Mrs. Morrie Ackerman and Mr. and Mrs. Sol Bloom.
Morrie and Flo arrived from Sioux Falls about three weeks ago, and while Flo promises to stay all summer, Morrie will have to head back soon. From the looks of things, her friend may have difficulty in persuading grandma Flo to leave young Jeff’s side for even a short time.

Mr. and Mrs. Erich Francl announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, Sylvia Joan, on June 19.  Off to a healthy start, the young newcomer weighed 9 pounds. 

Formerly of Vienna, the Francis have made San Diego their home since 1951.

Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

Woman for Receptionist and General Office Work. Typing and some knowledge of bookkeeping necessary  Jewish Social Service Agency, 333 Plaza St.

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

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

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


Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 2

26th –Y.J.C. Installation—Admiral Kidd Club
27th—J.C.C. ‘Lucky Nite’ – Beth Jacob Center – 6:30 p.m.
27th—Yo-Ma-Co Picnic—Balboa Park
29th—J.W.V. Aux. Membership Tea -4565 Norma Dr. – 1:30 p.m.

4th—Y.J.C. –Picnic – Presidio Park
18th—City of Hope Aux. Annual Picnic – Pepper Grove.

To See or not to See
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

‘Merchant’ Director—I was gratified to hear in Philip Hanson’s own words that he realizes how difficult and easily misunderstood can be the characterization of Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice.”  “The M of V” with “Othello” and “Twelfth Night” will be presented in repertory by the Globe Theatre during their National Shakespeare Festival, July 23 through Sept. 3

During an interview with Mr. Hanson, who has been chosen to direct “The M of V,” I found him sincerely anxious to present the controversial play with, as he put it, “Antonio as the real villain.” This personable, Bard-informed young man has come to the Globe from the Ashland Shakepearean Festival and more recently from an appointment at Washington State College. This early Shakespeare play has been done many times at the Ashland Festival so Hanson is thoroughly acquainted with the problems involved.

According to Mr. Hanson, when the play reached its zenith of popularity in the 18th century, it was known as “The Jew of Venice” and the character of Shylock was played sympathetically.  It was only later that the money lender was shown as conniving, hateful, spitefully wanting his pound of flesh.

Mr. Hanson avers that the main character and real villain of the piece is Antonio and that the emphasis must be on him who thinks he is a Christian but is not.  Shylock should be respected and played with dignity,. He does not hate Antonio who is a braggart, knows nothing of mercy himself and is far more despicable than Shylock.

Among the scholarship winners cast in “The Merchant of Venice” are Joe Hearn as Shylock; Dorothy Chase from Yale as Portia; Ron Fineberg of Stanford; Gerald Charlebois, and Roxanne Haug of UCLA.

Sophocles This Week – The newly formed University Players have chosen Sophocles “Electra” as their first major production. As a community project plus an activity of California Western University, the group has the magnificent Pt. Loma Greek Theatre at its disposal so its choice of plays is understandable.  The performances will be given June 26 and 27 at 2;00 p.m.

The group hopes to present a Greek play annually in the Greek Theatre on the campus, said to be the first built in the United States. Other plans for the University Players include a summer workshop devoted to the reading of Greek drama and thee study of Greek theatrical history.

Cast in “Electra” are Wilanne Belden, Gilbert Frietas, Jean Leighton, Edith Schwartz, George Weaver, James Leighton, Starr Wilson, and a chorus of fifteen.

Drama head of the University and director of “Electra,” Dr. Russell W. Lembke says, “It seems most logical that we should provide here (in the Greek Theatre) an annual event celebrating the beginnings of drama in the western world.” …”I hope that we can succeed in recapturing some small part of the powerful impact which these plays had on Athenians when many thousands attended a single festival performance as a ritual of art, as a part of democratic duty.”

Double Bill Features Shaw, Fry Comedies
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

To close its regular season, the Globe has chosen two short plays: “The Great Catherine” by George Bernard Shaw, billed as “an historical farce,”  and “A Phoenix Too Frequent,” a comedy by Christopher Fry. The double bill will run for three weeks and will be followed by the Shakespeare Festival.

Nell Rankin played Catherine with a satisfying mixture of sex and majesty, always commanding the center of the stage. In his first Globe role, Larry Knechtel obviously enjoyed romping through the broad comedy and played the drunken clown with relish. Elizabeth Roney looked tempting and spicy in the first scene and with Bruce Torbet, Kenneth Frederick, Madge See, Shaun Blondin, T. Michael Garvey, Don Rowe, Floss Hanratty, and Conchita Padilla, rounded out the cast.

Leon Anderson proved herself an able comedienne in “A Phoenix Too Frequent” in the role of Doto, the handmaiden who enjoys her little nip. Capable Gwen McCants and Jackson Woolley complete the cast.

The surprise of Fry’s clever lines is increased by the setting for this short play; an audience very selcom expects wit and sophistication against the background of a tomb.

The clever and attractive sets are by Max Stormes and the beautiful costumes are under the supervision of Bob Abel. Both plays are smoothly directed by Craig Noel.  –B.E.S.  (Berenice E. Soule)

Ninth Star-Light Season Opens With ‘Oklahoma’
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, pages 3,7

“Oklahoma” which opens the ninth summer season of out-door musicals in Balboa Park, is the most ambijtious production yet attempted by Star-Light Opera.  The all-star cast includes: Tina Otero and Gene Clark in the romantic leads; Martha Gene and Charles Cannon as Ado Annie and Ali Hakim; John Powell will play the “heavy” role of Jud Fry; Ruby Kisman has been drafted for the lovable Aunt Eller; Bobby Finch, and his rubber legs, will be seen as Will Parker; Dix Brow plays Old Man Cairnes.

The singing and dancing company of 75 will be seen in six new settings designed and painted for this production, which will utilize every foot of the huge 60-foot stage in the park.  Julius Leib will preside over an augmented orchestra of picked musicians. Charles Newman is directing, with choreography by Marguerite Ellicott.

Because of the tremendous demand for good seats for the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit, which is playing to Star-Light’s usual low prices, the management has announced three extra showings – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 5, 6 and 7, which will give “Oklahoma” 11 consecutive performances instead of the customary eight.

To avoid parking congestion, patrons are urged to use the special buses from the Plaza at 8:00 each night, or to leave home in ample time to get parked and in their seats before the 8:30 curtain if they want to hear “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’” which opens the show.


County Fair Opens Today for 11-Day Run
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3

DEL MAR—The Southern California Exposition and the San Diego County Fair, the first and one of the largest of California’s mid-summer attractions, opens for an 11-day run here today (June 25).

“Dancing Waters,” an unusual and colorful combination of water, lights, music, engineering and showmanship, will make its second Southern California appearance at the exposition.  Since its debut in Europe in 1952, “Dancing Waters” has played to more than 10 million people.

An atomic energy museum which includes 25 separate displays of how the atom affects agriculture, industry, medicine and other activities, will make its Pacific Coast debut at the exposition.

Other entertainment included in the 85 cewnt admission price for adults and 25 cent charge for children under 12 will consist in part of a preview of progress, hoarse show, gem show, hobby show, tropical fish exhibit, flower show, livestock show, junior fair, art show, armed forces exhibits, home economics show and commercial exhibits.

The schedule of special events includes a diaper derby, mutt show and talent show.  Children will be admitted free on June 28.  Legislators from seven Southern California counties will visit the exposition June 29. 

The Sauter-Finegan orchestra leads a parade of the nation’s top musicians to the exposition bandstand.  Other bands are Les Brown, Spade Cooley, Lawrence Welk, Smokey Rogers and Benny Lagasse. Vaudeville performers also will entertain daily.

Festive Opening in La Jolla Planned for ‘Winslow Boy’
Southwestern Jewish Press, June 25, 1954, page 3  

A gala opening with Hollywood stars, TV cameras, radio commentators, drama critics, newspaper columnists and popping flash bulbs is set for La Jolla Playhouse next Tuesday night.

The occasion is the opening of the world famous theatre’s 8th summer season with Dorothy McGuire and Vincent Price starring in Terence Rattigan’s timely, witty and exciting play, “The Winslow Boy.”

Supporting these two motion picture stars is a cast of seasoned professionals whose faces are familiar to movie and TV fans. They include Sean McClory, Richard Lupino, Eduard Franz, Hilda Plowright, Christoper Cooke, Margaret Brewer and Clare Justice. 

Direction is by Norman Lloyd who this past season directed the current Broadway hit “The Golden Apple,” winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Award as the best musical of the year.

The setting has been designed by Robert Corrigan, making his debut at La Jolla Playhouse following several years of success, first at San Diego’s Starlight Opera and Globe Theatre, and more lately with NBC television.

“The Winslow Boy” will run through July 10, to be followed by four more plays, each scheduled for a two week run. Included on the summer schedule are two current New York hits, “Anniversary Waltz” and “Sabrina Fair.”
“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, 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 28, 1954, Part 4

June 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 6

Tifereth Israel Sisterhood installation ceremonies and brunch will take place June 1 at 12:00 noon in the Tifereth Israel Center.  A wonderful program, “Color Through the Years,” has been planned, with Mrs. Victor Weiss in charge. Ann Schloss is circle captain.

The following officers and board members have been elected for next year: Pres., Mrs. Harry Wax; Ways and Means Vice-Pres., Mrs. Louis Feller;  Cultural Vice-Pres., Mrs. Arthur Gardner; Membership Vice-Pres, Mrs. Ben Gordon; Program Vice Pres., Mrs. Daniel Orlansky; Rec. Sec., Mrs. Paul Belkin; Corr. Sec., Ross Ann Feldstein; Fin. Sec., Mrs. Sam Lennett; Treas., Mrs. Edward Baranov; and auditor, Mrs. Sarah Bystrom.  New Board members are: Mrs. Lewis Solomon, Marie Richards, Molly Prager, Mrs. Frank Pomeranz, Mrs. Joseph Kader, Lillian Berwin, Mrs. Joe Spatz, and Mrs. G. Winicki.

Rabbi Monroe Levens will be installing officer.  Please make your  reservations early so that we may plan accordingly.  Call Jean Schreibman, Atwater 4-3351; Sarah Krasnow, Juniper 2-2583, or Rosalie Sonnabaum, Atwater 2-0173.

Council Women Hold Installation June 2
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 7

The National Council of Jewish Women, San Diego Section, will hold its annual installation luncheon on Wednesday, June 2, 12:00 noon at Town and Country off Mission Valley Freeway.

The theme “Council Cinemascope” will depict the organization’s accomplishments during the past year.  The room will be decorated as a motion picture theatre with screen, lights and cameras.  The program will be highlighted by the appearance of Loretta Jewell, popular actress and San Diego personality.  She will give intimate glimpses of Hollywood and stories of the stars.

Installations will be conducted by Dr. William J. Rust, President of California Western University.  Guests of honor include Mr. Edgar Brown of the Community Welfare Council; Mr. Al Hutler, United Jewish Fund.  Members of the press will also attend. Chairman of this affair is Mrs. Irving Alexander assisted by Mrs. Milton Effron, Mrs. Morris Sims, Mrs. Marvin Jacobs, Mrs. Joseph Kwint, Mrs. David Jaffe, Mrs. Milton Fredman, Mrs. Robert Speigel, Mrs. Robert Drexler and Mrs. Morton Kantor.

All persons desiring transportation contact phone chairman: AT 4-1609; AGT 1-0120, JU 2-4933.


Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 7

Welcome Home – Rose and Lee Greenbaum changed their South American cruise plans in mid-ocean and sailed only as far as Buenos Aires.  Having had enough of the open sea by that time, they changed transportation methods and flew the rest of their holiday time visiting Santiago, Chile, Lima, Peru; Panama and Florida.

After their return to San Diego, Rose and Leo had as their houseguests last week, Ida and Dan Polesky, former San Diegans, now of Los Angeles.

Returns Home – After a wonderful month long visit with her family in Denver, Mrs. Sam Tepper has returned home.

Bride Honored – Mrs. Ben Halpern and Mrs. Paul Vereshagin were hostesses at a bridal shower honoring Esther Weitzman on May 8th at the Beth Jacob Center.  Forty guests attended.  Miss Weitzman will wed Andrew Segal on July 11.

Student Awards—Daniel Schaffer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Schaffer, has received a four-year scholarship to Harvard University.  Daniel will be graduated from Kearny High School next month and upon completing his 4-year course at Harvard expects to study law. 

A scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley was awarded to Judy Yukon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Yukon.  Judy is a member of Ecivres, the honor organization at Hoover High School and will graduate this June.

Visitors—Mr. and Mrs. Harry Kaplan of Norfolk, Va., have been visiting children, Dr. and MRs. Robert Kaplan (Joan Steinman) of Los Angeles. Chances are that the main attraction for them is grandson, Matthew. The Kaplans, en masse, visited in San Diego with the Louis Steinmans for a week prior to the Steinman’s departure for a month long trip.  Julia and Lou will see relatives in Tucson and St. Louis and will attend the graduation of their niece from Stephens College… (rest of article torn in archive copy}

Mrs. David Levy an her brothers, Judge Jacob Weinberger and Maurice Weinberger, are leaving Saturday to viit their sisters and brothers in Denver for a few weeks.

Anniversaries Noted – Among the many “happy marrieds” celebrating the occasion in various ways this week are the George Matins, the Bob Gordons and the Carl Esenoffs.

We’re glad to note that Mrs. Ida Lipinsky is back home again after her sudden illness and hospitalization in Los Angeles.

Mrs. Esther Solov and daughter wish to thank their many friends for their kindnesses during their recent bereavement.

Birthday Party – Frank Berman was toasted at a birthday party in his honor given by Mrs. Berman on his 69th birthday on Sunday, May 16.  Guests were children, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Berman, MR. and Mrs. Sidney Berman, and grandchildren, Elaine, Sandy and Jeff.  Out-of-town guests were Mrs. Krupp and Mary and Jack Rose of Los Angeles.

Honored – Dr. Benjamin B. Faguet, well known psychiatrist, will represent the American Psychiatric Association at the International Conference of Psychotherapy in Zurich, Switzerland this summer.  He has accepted the appointment of Professor of Medical Psychology at the new University of San Diego.

Visitors Daughters—Mrs. Anna Peckarsky left this week for her annual summer sojourn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   {Rest of article missing in archive copy.}

Z.B.T. Mothers Club – The Mother’s Club of Zeta Beta Tau, Jewish National Fraternity at State College is having its Second Annual Card Party on Saturday, June 12th at 8 p.m. in the Beth Israel Temple Center. Donation $1.00.  An additional attraction will be entertainment by members of the fraternity. Refreshments will be served.

Pi Alpha Lambda At State College
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 7

The Mother’s Club of Pi Alpha Lambda Sorority will hold a luncheon and card party Thursday, June 3, at noon at the home of Mrs. Fred Leeds, 4273 Ridgeway Drive. The proceeds will go toward the obtaining of a sorority house near San Diego State College.

Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 7

Woman will share modern cozy apartment with working woman. Everything is furnished.  Near bus lines 1 and 2.  AT-1-2102, AT-1-7869.

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

Room for Rent.  Nice home, ½ block to El Cajon and 50th bus. Call before noon or after 6:00 p.m. after June 1l1, AT-4-6586.

Sholom Mausoleum Dedicated Sunday
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 8

On May 30, the entire community is cordially invited by Tifereth Israel Synagogue and Greenwood Memorial Park to be present at the official dedication of the Sholom Mausoleum.

Rabbi Monroe Levens and Cantor Joseph Cysner will officiate at the Service, which will include a memorial for our departed ones lying at rest in Sholom; as well as a dedication of a memorial plaque, in memory of the six million Jews who lost their lives during the Second World War.

Outstanding features of Sholom are its Jewish motifs and designs incorporating rich symbolism in an atmosphere of beauty and dignity.

Sholom Mausoleum is not merely a corridor in a general mausoleum open to the general public. It is a completely separate building erected exclusively for Jewish use.

The ready acceptance of Sholom Mausoleum by the Jewish community is evidenced by the fact that it will soon be completely reserved, and plans for another addition, doubling its present capacity, are under way.

Tifereth Israel Synagogue has been designated by Greenwood Memorial Park to be in full charge of the operation, planning, design and all matters pertaining to Sholom Mausoleum.

Beth Jacob News
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 8

Temple Beth Israel will usher in the Shavuoth Holidays with Consecration Services Friday evening, June 4, at 8:00 p[.m.  Members of the Confirmation Class will participate in the Sabbath Services. Alan Friedman and Sandra Byrock will do the Kiddush. A class barbecue lunch will be held at the home of Alan Friedman on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and a class party including dinner, dancing and swimming will take place at the home of Preston Martin, Saturday afternoon and evening.

Confirmation Services will take place on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. for the 11 members in the Confirmation class.  Rabbi Morton J. Cohn will be honored at the Friday evening services for his 20 years of service to the rabbinate. Hosts and hostesses for the Oneg Shabbat will be board members and their wives.

Beth Jacob Set for ‘Golden Nugget’ Nite
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 8

Plans are nearing completion for the Beth Jacob Men’s Club “Golden Nugget” Nite, Sunday, June 13, at 6 p.m. in the Center, according to Dave Schissel and Julius Penn, co-chairmen.

Never before has so much been offered at an event never to be forgotten. Besides the drawing for the 5-day Las Vegas all expense vacation for two, including free air transportation, there will be a bond as a door prize.  Winner of the trip need not be present and tickets for it are available from any club member.

The finest honest-to-goodness Jewish meal, with all the dishes your mother used to make, will be available for only $1.50 per person, including all you can eat. 

There will also be other prizes including electrical appliances, home furnishings, etc., plus all kinds of games and diversions, bingo, and many other attractions to help spend an enjoyable profitable evening.  As a special feature, for all who are present, there will be lucky draws every 30 minutes.

There will be plenty to eat, plenty to drink , and plenty to do. Get up a party for this tremendous affair, the proceeds of which will go towards reducing the building loan.  Mark the date, June 13, and keep it open for the best time of your life!

Beth Jacob News
Southwestern Jewish Press, May 28, 1954, page 8

Shavuoth services of Beth Jacob Congregation this year will be as follows:

Sunday, June 6 – 7:00 p.m.; Monday, June 7—9:00 a.m.; Tuesay, June 8—9:00 a.m.  Yizkor will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 8.

The Beth Jacob Religious School will hold its closing exercises on Sun., June 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the center. Classes will participate in appropriate prayers and a short program.


“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.



The four faces of Nina Simone

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By Carol Davis

Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO–Nina Simone had many faces. She also had many titles, the voice of movement (Civil Rights that is), and diva of sound, High Priestess of Soul, Dr. Nina Simone and the voice of the people to name a few. Funny thing she was all of these rolled up into one and on different occasions and times in her lifer she pretty much, used them all up.

So it wasn’t unusual for Calvin Manson of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players, who created and directed the world premiere of  A Portrayal of the Life and Music of Nina Simone to cast four talented women to tell her story through music and conversation: Sarah Roy, Nicole Bradley, Janice Edwards and Ayanna Hobson.

Eugene Kathleen Waymon was born in 1933 in Tyrone, North Carolina. She was one of eight children whose hard working mother and booze-loving father influenced her entire life from the musical prodigy that she was to the international jazz singer and activist that she became.

Through a series of circumstances from her disappointment at not getting the classical musical scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music she worked so hard to attain (because she was black) to attending Juilliard for a year until her money ran out, to the jazz singer, the civil rights activist, the angry daughter, the disillusioned wife and mother and the gifted artist the world praised her for, Waymon was always in the process of reinventing herself.

She hated being pigeonholed as a jazz singer claiming, “I play black classical music.” Her all inclusive repertoire included ‘jazz, pop, blues, spiritual, folk, African song, as well as contemporary’.

Trained as a classical pianist she switched to jazz when it became evident she could not make any money in classical music field. During her lifetime she crossed over to other genres playing in venues like the Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival.  

And when the road she was traveling veered (she traveled through and lived in Switzerland, France, England, Liberia and Barbados) and led to a dead end, she adjusted and opened new ones finally ending up in Europe (she died in France) where she ultimately found complete acceptance and peace as both an African American and as an artist. 

Manson takes the audience on a somewhat well traveled road and then some less traveled  ones as we learn more and more about the talented Nina Simone. As mentioned earlier, from humble beginnings playing piano in her church at the age of four, to turning to jazz to earn money to her actively participating in the Civil Rights Movement, Simone (taken from actress Simone Signoret and Nina meaning little one)) carved a path uniquely hers.

Flanked by a very talented trio of musicians, Anthon Smith (Piano), Doug Walker (Bass), Richard Sellers (Drummer) and introduced by dancers Beyanna Hall, Alize Irby, Maile Lattimore and Bussey Neal representing the diversity of Simone the show begins with the four women singing “Four Women”.

Twenty one songs later combined with a lifetime filled with ups and down’s, highs and lows, Manson along with his singers, dancers and musicians manages to give us an appreciation of the singer and person we know as Nina Simone.  Some of the talent stood out above the others but for the most part, the two-hour show is inclusive and does highlight Simone’s lifetime achievements.

Sarah Roy, an eleventh grader at The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts represents her young life ‘always hopeful for a better future’ as Simone #1. Overall she performed beautifully if not a little unsteady in the beginning with “Beautiful Land” and gathering strength in “To Be Gifted Young and Black” and “Other Women”

Nicole Bradley is Simone #2 ‘the singer on the verge of success’ looking stunning and stately in Joshlyn Turner and Yolanda Franklin’s long evening gowns singing “Balm In Gilead” and “I Love You Porgy” with Sarah Roy and Ayanna Hobson.

Janice Edwards is a standout as the activist, the thirty something Nina when she belts out “Mississippi Goddamn”, “Revolution”, and “Look Of Love” and just as appealing in “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” and is at the prime of her life. I could have listened to her all evening with that spunk and liveliness. 

Ayanna Hobson who also portrayed Sarah Vaughn in another of Manson’s productions represents the exiled, the forty plus Nina, the wise one and the jaded one. Hers are the most diverse of the selections from “Backlash Blues” to “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” to “Trouble in Mind and “Strange Fruit” and they are wonderfully done and performed to perfection.

All in all, with the combination of the four women singing both solo and accompanying each other, the dancers and the live musicians Manson has pieced together an evening of entertainment with a partial cross section of Nina Simon’s body of works while examining her turbulent journey.

A personal note in the program by her brother Dr. Carroll Waymon fills in a little more of the history of his sister and to some extent what she thought of both her public and private persona. He also tells of how the two performed together in their early years, “ traveling all over the place, she on the piano and he a concert singer at age 14 …just having a good time”.

Enjoy the journey and the music.

 See you at the theatre.

 Dates: April 30-May 23rd

Organization: Ira Aldridge Repertory Players

Phone: 619-283-4574

Production Type: Musical Biography

Where: 3911 Kansas St. San Diego, 92104

Ticket Prices: $45.00 dinner and show; $25.00 show only


Venue: Sunset Temple

Theatre critic Davis is based in San Diego

Curtsies, tips of the hat and other lost gestures

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

By Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D.

LA JOLLA, California–There are gestures belonging to another time that we don’t use anymore. There were ways of functioning on a daily basis that would seem foreign today. We relied on objects now obsolete. We all have our lists of nostalgia.

I remember those wire baskets for the washed lettuce. We stood on back porches and swung them in large arm circles to get the water out centrifugally. To flush a toilet we had to pull on a chain, and I remember the day I grew tall enough to reach it by myself.

All men wore hats and tipped them to salute a woman in the street or kissed an extended hand. Ladies wore gloves, and girls curtsied.

There were no readymade clothes in Paris in the twenties, or anyway, none that my mother would buy, so there was always a seamstress living in a garret who would sew clothes we would pick from photos of runways, and I had to endure what seemed like endless fittings. Hats too, were made to order. And as for shoes, I remember the minutes we stood under the x-ray machines in every shoe store and watched our toes wiggle, no one suspecting that we were getting an unhealthy dose of radiation. Homework was mostly hours practicing good penmanship and every night our shoes were placed outside our bedroom doors to be found shined by morning.

We got a bath once a week, but bidets were used daily. Hair was washed once a month, rinsed with carefully accumulated rainwater and chamomile tea—to give hair a shine—with endless minutes of brushing, a ritual followed by sitting with wet hair on the balcony to dry in the sun.

Our sewing machine had a treadle worked by foot, and I liked to sit under it as a child and move the treadle up and down while my mother sewed. Our maid did the laundry using a corrugated washboard, then put the wet clothes through a ringer and ended up drying them on a line strung from wall to wall in the kitchen or outdoors when we were in our summer home. She also used to hang the rugs on the balcony and beat the dust out of them. Apparently the carpet sweeper did not do a proper job. We also used to air our clothes after they came out of mothballs. Springtime meant bright cotton slipcovers to go over the satin and brocade chairs and sofas. And whenever we went away for the summer months, mother draped the furniture in sheets.

We went either to the beach in Brittany or to the mountains in Switzerland. Husbands came on weekends and also took the month of August off when the whole of Paris shut down. We always went away with family and friends, so there were babysitters available when the rest of the family went on excursions too arduous for the children.

Cars and taxis had running boards for easier entry. I could use one now especially when getting into SUVs. Buses had a cord near the ceiling that we pulled whenever we wanted to get off. The cord activated a bell that rang by the driver. This was very efficient; the bus kept going until someone was ready to leave. Cobblestone streets were everywhere, and I remember when the first asphalt road was built to circle the city. How amazed we all were at the smooth ride.

We had an ice man that brought a large block of ice (to place in the correctly named “ice box”) that lasted all week, dripping slowly into a pan that was changed daily. We also had a coal man who threw coal down a chute under the building. His face was black with coal dust. We left empty glass milk bottles outside the kitchen door, and every morning there were eggs, butter, and milk with its heavy layer of yellow cream at the top.

Sundays, we took our dominical walk, Mother and Father ahead (the governess had her day off) and the children running behind with hoops, roller skates, and scooters. We always stopped for tea, a croissant with a bit of chocolate inside for my brother and me. We were also treated to one-penny black licorice rolled in a pinwheel with a little red sugar candy in the middle.

I don’t miss any particular thing, but I miss some of the forgotten gestures–the genteelness of the time. I miss the little girl with the long red braids tied with a large bow, the innocent age, the time between the two world wars.

I was six years old when Mother gave birth to my brother in 1933. I remember her saying that it was not a good idea to bring a child into the world at that time, as there were already ominous rumblings in Germany. Six years later, we were refugees in America, trying out new gestures, new behaviors, getting into new routines that our grandchildren will also remember with nostalgia.

Josefowitz is a La Jolla based freelance writer. This article previously appeared in La Jolla Village Voice.