Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

On Stephen Hawking, genius and music

September 28, 2010 1 comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–Most of us know about Stephen Hawking. He is no less than the greatest mind in physics living today, and has done as much as Albert Einstein in expanding our understanding of the complexities of the universe and theoretical physics. He is 68 years old, and since the age of 21, has suffered from a degenerative motor-neuron disease. 

In spite of his severe handicaps and almost total paralysis, he raised three children in his two marriages, and has written several best selling books on the subjects of time, and the size and nature of the cosmos.

On September 13, Parade Magazine ran an interview with Hawking, asking him interesting questions about space exploration, his abilities to explain deep scientific concepts to the general public, and his personal life.

I have always been intrigued by his genius, and the reading of this article connected me with some of his insights and how they relate to music and the arts. At first, it may appear to be far-fetched, but, read on.

Read more…

Speaking at concerts

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–Recently, I was again involved in a lively debate on the subject of whether a conductor or a soloist should or should not speak to the audience before starting a performance. Opinions have varied from enthusiastic support, to comments such as “Never, a conductor should conduct and not say a word. It is not his place to verbalize what is obvious, and it detracts from what is to follow, namely, the music itself.”

My opinions on the subject:

I have conducted many a concert where I felt that not a word was necessary. Let the music speak and communicate on its own. At other times, however, even when program notes were available in the printed handout, a few well-placed comments were apparently well received. Many times after the conclusion of a concert I have heard from enthusiastic concertgoers who told me that whatever I said from the podium provided them with additional perspectives on the music which followed.

Let’s admit it: we, the lovers of classical music, are in the minority and have become a sort of cult. Yes, a healthy cult; we love what we hear and we hear what we love, but we also tend to assume that most other people appreciate what we love. Or at the very least, the ones present at the concert surely know the standard repertory, the artists involved, concert procedure and etiquette, etc. Not so. It may surprise you to hear me say this, but there are concertgoers who may attend a program announced as a rendition of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and if the orchestra switched the program and did nothing else but Strauss waltzes, they may not know the difference! I do not mean a few lost souls in the audience with a minimum amount of brain cells in action, but far more people than you may suspect. This is not meant as a reflection of peoples’ I.Q.s, but as an assessment of the information, sounds, and traditions which you and I may have accumulated through the years, which we assume that everyone around us also possess.

The classical music world has alienated many potential listeners with attitudes of indifference, snobbishness, and closed minds. Even performing artists and composers for many years presented their music with the unspoken message which conveyed, “Here is my music. Take it or leave it; I really don’t care!” In recent times, more composers, artists, and presenters are “changing their tune”, welcome the public, and are grateful for their attendance. There is a greater effort to promote public concerts, with the continuing and alarming dwindling of audiences. Fewer and fewer relate to our precious classical music. Read more…

Klezmer and Afro-Cuban percussion to mix in Oct. 12 concert

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO  (Press Release)– Klezmer authority Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi will give a jazz concert mixing Yiddish, klezmer, jazz improvization and Afro-Cuban percussion at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12,  in the Saville Theatre on the campus of San Diego City College.

Performers will include Jeff Pekarek on bass, Fred Benedetti on guitar, Tripp Sprague on saxaphone, Lou Fanucchi on accordion, Gene Perry on percussion, Yale Strom on violin and Elizabeth Schwartz providing the vocals.

Tickets are free for Jazz 88 members, an affiliate of Radio KSDS Jazz 88,  and are $10 for non members. 

Preceding based on material provided by Hot Pstromi

More about Oscar Levant

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–In my last column, I shared with you my comments and enthusiasm upon reading a book by Oscar Levant, A Smattering of Ignorance.

Here are some more quotes from the book that I found informative and entertaining:

“In the musical Damsel in Distress, Gershwin wrote a big, robust song called Sing of Spring, which has the circumstance, if not the pomp of Elgar.”

“During an evening at Harpo Marx’s home, composer Erich W. Korngold took his place at the piano to play some music of his own. I remember in particular a waltz which Korngold played so lustily and with such enthusiasm, with a manner truly “Wienerisch”, that the ivory, (somewhat loosened by the Santa Monica sea air) began to peel from the keys. Unperturbed, Korngold brushed them away and continued to play as though it were an everyday occurrence for the ivory to come off the keys when he played.”

” It was authoritatively reported that all Santa Monica reeled under the impact of his bass, and the seismograph at UCLA registered a major tremor.”

Commenting on the work of a famous producer: “Now I know why he can make those instantaneous decisions; he is never deflected by thought.”

In reference to the group of composers who regularly met with Aaron Copland: “It was the outcome of a little group of which I was a member, whose leitmotif was bad manners.”

On programming modern and American music in concerts: “The public was less than apathetic; it was largely speaking, frankly hostile”.  And, “The greatest quantity of American music  in the beginning of the twentieth century and the experimental styles that followed was so lacking in individuality that I often wondered if the composer himself would recognize a piece of his own if he didn’t know it was going to be played. The complete characterization of the average American “modern” work of that period was pronounced by an unregenerate listener who remarked, after hearing one, It sounds like an accompaniment to something.” Read more…

Merel’s on-line ‘Avinu Malkenu’ pleases reader

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Editor, San Diego Jewish World:


Cantor Sheldon Merel

I wanted to hear the music of the High Holidays and found a site by the current Cantor of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Canada. It took me back to when Cantor {Sheldon} Merel was the Cantor there, and did a search for anything relating to his music.

I’m listening to the online version of ‘Avinu Malkenu’ at your site, and it takes me back over 30 years! There is no better version than his. (And that includes Barbra Streisand’s version)

When I think of the Holidays, I  always think of Cantor Merel’s rendition of ‘Avinu Malkenu’ and all his other music song during his years at Temple. While I’m no longer a member there, I fondly remember him.

Rhonda B Cohen

Editor’s Note: After serving Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Cantor Merel became the cantor at Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego.  He is now retired and living in San Diego.

A smattering of ignorance

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By David Amos 

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–As a writer of this column, I get to go to concerts, hear new recordings, read new books, and share with you insights and personal observations which may shed light on musical subjects. But this time, it is different. For some unexplained brainstorm, I felt the urge to go to my library and pick up an old book that I have owned for decades, but for whatever reason, never got around to reading.

The result was the delightfully witty A Smattering of Ignorance by Oscar Levant. In case you are not familiar with this name, here is a brief summary as to who he was. 

Oscar Levant was born in Pittsburgh in 1906 to Orthodox Jewish Russian immigrants, and became a respected and popular Jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and a relentless promoter of his idol, George Gershwin. What made him such an entertaining personality and a favorite of the press was his outrageous behavior, colorful, witty vocabulary, and hilarious quotes which are in still use today. Levant acted in several films, most notably in An American in Paris, and is recognized as one of the greatest Gershwin interpreters. In the 1950’s he hosted a television talk show from a Los Angeles station (which I remember seeing as a teenager), but his program was discontinued after he made off-color, but clever remarks about other famous stars. He was a frequent guest in NBC’s Tonight Show, which at the time was hosted by Jack Paar.

I have his memorable long-play recording of the Rhapsody in Blue, and the Concerto in F. He was seen in thirteen films, playing the piano and acting, and recorded over 100 albums.

Levant’s first book, A Smattering of Ignorance, was published by Doubleday in 1939, quickly became a national best seller, and was called “brilliant” by Clifton Fadiman of the New York Times. It is a series of essays on Levant’s various life experiences, his early days, his studies (which included years of lessons with none other than Arnold Schoenberg), his encounters with famous musicians and show business personalities, such as Harpo Marx, and above all, his relationship with Gershwin and his family.  

There are a few aspects of this book which I found fascinating. First, were Levant’s explanations on how music was scored for films. He details the relationships between the producers, directors, composers of  film scores, and the roles of the arrangers. In the 1930’s and still today, not all film composers write all the music, all the tunes, and choose which instruments of the orchestra will play the arrangement.  Many times, the latter is the job of the orchestrator, or arranger, who may actually be the person to bring out the greatness of a particular film score. For example, in many of the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit Broadway musicals, the orchestrations were done by a composer who may be remembered as the best ever at what he did, Robert Russell Bennett. Just look at your R&H musicals in albums which you may have at home, and you’ll see Bennett’s name there.

Also Levant details how film composers relied on familiar sounds already created by famous classical composers. You want a “French” sound? Imitate Debussy. You want the open prairie for a Western? What could be better than the familiar sound of Copland? Many other examples are given, together with entertaining and at times amazing anecdotes.  He called these musical scores “generic” or “derivative”, probably differentiating between imitation of other styles, and open-faced stealth of musical material. He also credits truly original material.  

He spoke of the famous producer, Daryll Zanuck, whom he described as “a man who knows, unfortunately, what he wants”. He wrote about the Russian born composer Sam Pokrass who struggled to be understood: “His mother tongue was broken English!”  His detailed descriptions of being a guest  many, many evenings at the home of Harpo Marx are also revealing. During the 1930’s Hollywood and Los Angeles became the home of many great creative minds, in music and other disciplines. This was in part driven by the many refugees from Nazi Germany who sought refuge and work in the U.S., the emergence of Hollywood as the film capital, and the changing opportunities in the New York area. The nicer weather helped too.

Just imagine the cccollection of great musicians which sought refuge and work opportunities in the West Coast: Arnold Schoenberg, Miklós Rósza, Erich W. Korngold, Otto Klemperer, Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, Artur Rubinstein, Gershwin, Bronislaw Kaper, Max Steiner, and many, many others, to say nothing of other artists, authors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and actors. The list is endless. All of the above met socially, played tennis and ping-pong, exchanged ideas and opinions, artistic and political, worked with each other, and enjoyed each others’ company. They also received frequent visits from Easterners, Copland, Morton Gould, publishers, and impresarios. All of this is vividly explained in the book.  

It’s hard for me to visualize an encounter between Fanny Bryce and Schoenberg, possibly the most austere and misunderstood of the great composers. But, at the death of Gershwin, Schoenberg delivered this eulogy in a broadcast: “George Gershwin was one of this rare kind of musicians to whom music is not a matter of more or less ability. Music to him was the air he breathed, the food which nourished him, the drink that refreshed him. Music was what made him feel, and music was the feeling he expressed. Directness of this kind is given only to great men, and there is no doubt that he was a great composer. What he achieved was not only to the benefit of a national American music, but also a contribution to the music of the whole world.” These words ring true even more today.  

Oscar Levant was married twice, first in the 1930’s, a marriage that as expected, lasted less than seven months, and then to June Gale, with whom, in spite of their highly publicized spats, he remained married until his death in 1972, . He was notorious for speaking about his prescription drug addictions, neuroses, mental hospital treatments, and hypochondria. They had three daughters.  Levant is credited with so many quotes and quips that are worth recalling. I will share some of them with you in the next issue of San Diego Jewish World. Meanwhile, all the best for the New Year, Shana Tova, and Tizku L’Shanim Rabot. 


Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in San Diego and has guest conducted numerous professional orchestras around the world.







When the conductor is, er, mis-conducted

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–I wrote in a recent column about a personal family trip. But, as part of my musical career, I have had the privilege and pleasure to visit interesting places, countries in a state of social transition and major political and economic changes. Some of these places were most pleasant, and provided a reasonable amount of creature comforts. Others made me homesick almost instantly.

But in every instance, it was a revealing, educational experience. I saw places that most tourists will never visit, and had the opportunity to talk to many people whose voices had been suppressed for decades; some, for their entire lives. The stories were fascinating. At times, I witnessed history taking place, as was the case in countries where the Soviets were about to depart, or had recently left.

Just saying the word “Israel”, for my musical visits there, can bring to memory dozens of unusual and memorable encounters.

These travels have been for conducting live concerts and recording sessions, lecturing, attending specific musical happenings, auditioning musicians, visiting music schools, or judging in international music competitions.

These were experiences that were priceless, and in most cases, very positive. This, however, I can not say for the travels to and from my musical destinations. No one is exempt from horror travel stories.

Once in a while, after telling someone of an upcoming trip, I am told (you have heard this line many times yourselves!), “Oh, how glamorous! Can I come along and carry your suitcases?”  Don’t even think about it.

Take, for instance, a trip that took me to Trapani, in Sicily, in 1999 to be part of an international jury for the city’s annual Chamber Music Competition. Trapani is a fishing town in West Sicily, and East of Palermo. The eight days in Trapani were terrific. Nothing but good things. After all, how can you beat hearing lots of chamber music every day, hobnobbing with brilliant and distinguished musical minds, and eating Italian and Sicilian food?

But, let me tell you of my return trip on Sunday, November 28, 1999. Due to short lead times and details given to me a few weeks before, my trajectory to return home included no less than four flights, all in the same day. It later turned out to be five flights. I awakened from the Trapani hotel at 4:00 a.m., after a late night of the closing ceremonies, and was on my way to the Palermo airport by private taxi an hour later. This car ride takes about an hour. On our way there, we ran into a violent thunderstorm. When we reached the Palermo airport, I discovered that there was no power in the building, due to the storm. They were operating with emergency lights, which were illuminating only a little more than eight modest Hannukah candles.

Even though Alitalia had several flights leaving at 7:00 a.m., there was only one window open to register all the passengers, and what seemed like a thousand people, not forming any discernible cues or lines, were pushing to present their tickets and luggage all at the same time, to a single, distraught employee. Chaos personified, and of course, everything in Sicilian, which is not quite Italian.

You can imagine my frustration those forty minutes after my plane was supposed to depart; I was still cueing in line, with no one around for me to plead my case. I ran to the gate to find it totally empty, only to find out that my plane not only had not departed, but had not yet arrived from Rome.

We finally departed from Rome. Upon landing, I had to call on my limited athletic skills to again run to the next gate. No time for breakfast, but I made it.

Landing in Paris’ Orly airport can be real fun. One is led through interminable shuttles, corridors, and security and passport checkpoints, all through connecting terminals, while being pushed and shoved by a million other harassed passengers. I believe that the terminal where I was must have been a quarter of a mile long. While standing by gate # 2, it was indicated that my gate was to be # 33 for my New York flight. But hurry! Your flight has finished boarding, and they are about to close the doors. Again, I desperately ran to gate 33, only to find out that due to gate changes, my plane was parked at gate # 3, where I was a few breathless minutes before. Run again. When boarding, I was advised by an attendant that due to my inexcusable tardiness, there would be no meal for me, since a final count was already taken. I took my seat for the eight hour flight, sweaty, but relieved. Somehow, I did receive a meal.

Upon landing at JFK in New York, I found out that my suitcases did not make the connection, but I was informed of this after waiting for 40 minutes at baggage claim. Fill out a missing luggage report, and board the airport shuttle to the American Airlines terminal for my flight to San Diego. The shuttle took 45 minutes to take me there (after all, this was the Thanksgiving weekend), and as you might have expected it, my connections luck finally ran out, and I totally missed my flight to San Diego.

Hoping not to lose a night and stay in New Your without my suitcases, I insisted in some form of alternate route home. For this, I was put on a “waiting list”, which is only a notch or two above the handling of cattle. I called home to notify my wife of the situation. There was a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth. I was given the last seat available, in the very rear, with practically the engine on my lap.

In Dallas, another marathon walk in a short time, another waiting list, and the tension of uncertainty. I was given a seat for my flight to San Diego, next to a very drunk and troubled woman. After over 24 hours from hotel in Sicily to landing at Lindbergh Field, I arrived late, hungry, exhausted, and happy to be home. My suitcases, after being subjected to a magical mystery tour of their own, arrived three days later. I have given you only the main highlights of that day; there were other incidents and encounters.

Now, we know that this harrowing experience is not typical of every trip; but potentially, any of these mishaps can happen, and many times do. Do you still want to carry my suitcases?

Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in San Diego and has guest conducted numerous professional orchestras around the world.

New CD captures cello and piano performance true to Beethoven’s genius

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

By Eileen Wingard

Eileen Wingard

SAN DIEGO–Bridge Records, a new  label, has produced some adventurous recordings. In 2007, the company introduced a collection of songs by Sefan Wolpe (1902-1972), an unheralded genius whose lyrics were in German, Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

There followed other Wolpe albums such as a children’s puppet show tale, Lazy Andy Ant.  Additional Bridge recordings include the live 1947 Carnegie Hall recital of Nadia Reisenberg
the brilliant Israeli pianist.

A recent release is the complete music for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven performed by Laurence Lesser, cello and Haesun Paik, piano.

Lesser, a protege of the great Gregor Piatigorsky, currently heads the Cello Department of the New England Conservatory and has had a formidable career as a solo and chamber music performer as well as being a distinguished educator.

One could not ask for a more capable pianist for Beethoven’s music than the South Korean native, HaeSun Paik.   Not only were the runs articulated like  strings of pearls, but  her carefully calibrated dynamics shaped the phrases into beautifully expressive entities. Since earlier works were titled  for “piano and cello,” where Beethoven himself would perform the piano part, it is essential that these sonatas have the service of fine solo-ability pianists.
Lesser played his 1622 Amati cello with  noble sound and beautiful musicality. The opening Twelve Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Oratorio Judas Maccabeus displayed Lesser’s fine lyrical qualities.

In the Sonatas in A Major, C Major and D Major, he demonstrated  dramatic passion. Particularly impressive was the final fugue of the D major sonata, performed with exultant mastery by both musicians. These cello sonatas by Beethoven helped elevate the cello to its current importance as a solo instrument.
This complete collection of Beethoven’s cello works is a “must have” for all lovers of string music.

Wingard, a former violinist with the San Diego Symphony, is a freelance music reviewer based in San Diego.

Remembering composer Alan Hovhaness

August 25, 2010 1 comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–Alan Hovhaness is not a household name. You may never have heard of him. When he died in the year 2000 at the age of 89, our local paper did not carry his obituary. Nevertheless, Hovhaness was one of the most important and influential composers of the Twentieth Century.

Born in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1911 of Armenian and Scottish descent, Alan Hovhaness Chakmakjian was a most prolific composer. He composed well over 40 symphonies, plus many orchestral, solo piano, choral, band, and vocal works. All his music bears the stamp of his very original style, which was a mix of orientalism and mysticism; because of his heritage and training, we see titles with the spirit of Armenia, India, the Near East and the Far East. Due to all these cultural influences, his music is very spiritual, and in no way did he follow the popular or scholarly trends of his contemporary fellow composers.

I was privileged and pleased to work directly with him for a few years, and conducted ten of his compositions in recordings. Invariably, this was music that gave satisfaction to the listener. On the whole, his music was not technically difficult to perform, but it made demands of the interpreters to dig deeply into the spiritual meaning behind the notes. This was always a challenge, as any work demands of its performer, but it was also very gratifying.

Although his early musical training was very traditional (He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music), in the early 1940’s he destroyed all his compositions up to that time and started afresh with the style for which he is so well recognized today. At first, he trained an amateur ensemble to play his music, but soon after that, as his reputation became better known, many major orchestras started to program his compositions. There are two legendary recordings that were made in the 1950’s, conducted by Andre Kostelanetz and Fritz Reiner.

During the years when I was recording his music, I had the opportunity to visit him at his home in the Seattle area. My memories of that visit are twofold: Stacks and stacks of sheet music everywhere, and more important, his calm, spiritual nature, and positive, healthy attitude about music-making. During our conversation, I asked him as to which of his works might I plan for future recordings. He humbly suggested his symphonies number 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42!

I recorded Hovhaness’ music with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic in Tel-Aviv, where we did his Horn Concerto with the late Meir Rimon as soloist, and several of his works for strings. I can still hear in my mind the vibrant sounds of the strings of the IPO as we rehearsed and recorded this music. (The concertmaster of that orchestra, Uri Pianka, will be visiting us in San Diego in March of 2011 to perform Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, together with the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra).

In London, there were two distinct highlights. One, was the recording of “And G-d Created Great Whales”, a work for large orchestra, superimposed with the actual recorded sounds of Humpback, Bowhead, and Killer whales. This was done in a cavernous London cathedral, with wonderfully warm acoustics, and reverberation time ((echo) that seemed to last forever. This piece, along with four others, form part of a compact disc album that is still the no.1 seller in the catalog of the prestigious Crystal Records label.

The other, recorded under more controlled studio conditions, was The Shepherd of Israel, for tenor and orchestra. Hovhaness composed this work in 1952, in honor of the founding of the State of Israel. The vocal lines were in the spirit of cantorial cantillation, and for this, what better than to have a real cantor do it? This came to be, as I was able to fuse to this work my association with our own Cantor Sheldon Merel, who has since retired from his position at San Diego’s Temple Beth Israel. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Alan Hovhaness left us a vast legacy of rich harmonies, flowing melodies, and the feeling that time stands still when we hear his music. Look for it and listen to it whenever you can, and be prepared to be transported.

Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra and has guest conducted professional orchestras around the world

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, January 21, 1955, Part 2

August 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Linda Solof Betrothed to Bruce O. Witte
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Linda Solof

Mr. and Mrs. A. Louis Solof announce the engagement of their daughter Linda Harriet to Bruce O. Witte, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry O. Witte.

Linda, a student at U.C.L.A. passed the traditional box of candy at the Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. She is a native San Diegan and a graduate of San Diego High School. For five years Linda was a columnist for the Jewish Press, keeping the community up-to-date on teenage activities. (“Linda’s Lookout”.)

Bruce, a graduate of S.D. State College, was one of the organizers and first President of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity on the college campus.  He was also graduated from Hoover High School. Bruce served I the Air Force and is now a Lt. in the Reserve.

An early Spring wedding has been planned.

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

In celebration of his Bar Mitzvah on January 14th, Michael Bennett will entertain friends Saturday evening at a Dinner-Dance, to be held at the San Diego Hotel.

Mrs. Ann Peckarsky is busy these days showing off San Diego to her sister, Mrs. Pearl Ginsberg of Milwaukee.  Mrs. Ginsberg will be a house guest at the home of her niece and nephew Ruth and Bill Colt.

The Press received a friendly letter from Miss Kay Sylvia Bergman, renewing her subscription for two years. She sends her regards to all her San Diego friends and would like to hear from some of them.  Her present address is 5815 S. Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles 19.

Pearl and George Martin left, via train, to attend the Convention of the National Association of Home Builers in Chicago. They went East last Thursday and plan to be away at least ten days.

The family of Harry Cohn wish to thank their many friends for the thoughtfulness shown to them during their recent bereavement.

The Sam Cohens and the Irving Kahns have promised to make another attempt to go East in the near future. The Press is sorry that bad weather prevented their making the trip we sent them in a recent edition.
Sid Fleischman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fleischman, has been legally adopted by Hollywood.  He has just signed a seven year contract with the producing company of Bat-Jac and at the present time he is working on the script of “Goodbye My Lady”, starring Lauren Bacall. Sid an his family will make their new home in Santa Monica.

Today Dr. and Mrs. David Miller will also leave for a Convention.  They will attend the American College of Surgeons’ Convention, to be held in Palm Springs, on January 22nd.  By the way, we hope you didn’t miss Dr. Miller when he appeared on TV as one of the Board of experts.

Dr. and Mrs. Werner Lehmann entertained friends at a cocktail party held on January 14th, at the Admiral Kidd Officers Club.
Burton Nestor, who is recuperating from a recent appendectomy, wishes to thank his friends for their good wishes.

Returning to make their home in San Diego are Dr. and Mrs. Albert Klug (Shirley Berenson) and their young son.

Dr. Klug has opened offices for the practice of medicine in San Diego.


Mr. and Mrs. Sol Stone wish to thank their many friends for the kindness shown them during Mrs. Stone’s recent illness.

Arthur Neumann Wedding Announced
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Al and Rose Neumann announce the marriage of their son, Arthur, to Marilyn Fladdel, daughter of MR. and Mrs. Jack Fladdel, of Brooklyn. The wedding was held on December 25 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The young couple will make their home in San Diego. Arthur will continue his studies at State College.

Starr-Fern Wedding
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Announcement has been made of the wedding of Rachel Fern, daughter of Mr and Mrs. Jos. Fern of Elizabeth, N.J., to Marshall Starr, son of the late Isadore Starr and Mrs. I. Starr of San Diego. The weding will be held on January 23rd, at 7 p.m. in the Avon Mansion, in Newark, N.J. Rabbi Abraham Zigelman will officiate.

Attendants will be Helen Josen, maid of honor and Phyllis Fern, bridesmaid.  Ushers will be Bob and Hyman Grossman, Robert and Michael Hecht, Irving Ditchik and William Fern.

Marshall Starr attended San Diego State College and is now in business for himself. The couple will reside in San Diego.

San Diegans who will attend the wedding in New Jersey are Mrs. Isidore Starr and Mrs. Jos. Silverman.

Richard Miller Bar Mitzvah
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Dr. and Mrs. David Miller announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Richard Elihu, on Saturday, January 29th, 9:30 a.m., at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.  Kiddush will follow the service.  Members of the family extend an invitation to friends to join them on this happy occasion. (Invitations are not being mailed.)

On January 28th, Richard will conduct the Friday evening service. His parents will hostess the Oneg Shabbot.

Grandparents Dr. and Mrs. Louis Victor and Mr. and Mrs. M. Miller of Boston, are planning to attend the Bar Mitzvah.



Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Friends who phoned the Irving Stones on Sunday, Jan. 9th, to congratulate them on their Wedding Anniversary, learned that the family was celebrating the “Happy Birthday” of Leonard Paul, who had arrived at 2:33 p.m. that day.

Red haired, blue eyed, Lenny tipped the scales at 8 lbs, 10 ozs.  His teen-age sisters, Joan and Martha, are eager baby sitters.

Maternal grandmother is MRs. Martha M. Taylor of San Diego, paternal grandmother is Mrs. G. Stone of New York City.

The Bris was held on Sunday, Jan. 1`6th, with Rabbi Morton J. Cohn officiating.

Bar Mitzvah
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Mr. and MRs. Reuben Aved are proud to announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Donald, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22nd, at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.  Chaplain E.H. Rickel will officiate.

Kiddush and a reception will follow the services. All their friends are cordially invited to attend.

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

Secretary Wanted – Knowledge of Bookkeeping, Interesting Position.  Apply Jewish Social Service Ageny, 333 Plaza. BE 2-5172.

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

Man Available—For gardening… trucking service…Pick up and Delivery… Call after 5 p.m.  BE 9-5788.

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

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

23rd—Sun.,m “Monte Carlo Nite,” Tifereth Israel Center.  Starts at 2 p.m.
24th—Mon, 7:15 p.m.  Boys Club presents Al Kaye, sportscaster, Community Center.
24th—Mon, 6:00 p.m. AZA Dinner, S.D. Hotel
25th—Tues, 8 p.m., Fox Lodge installation, Beth Jacob Center.
26th—Wed. eve., “Mr. Hadassah” Night.  Dinner and Fashion Show, Mission Valley Club.
30th—Sun., Pioneer Women Annual Bazaar. Beth Jacob Center

4th—Fri, 7:30 p.m., Temple Beth Israel Dedication Services
6th—Sun, from 3:30 p.m. to midnight – “Country Fair.” Beth Israel Sisterhood—American Legion Hall.

A.Z.A. To Hold Installation Jan 24

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 2

On Monday, Jan. 24th, at 6 p.m. at the San Diego Hotel, the A.Z.A. boys will hold a pre-Installation Dinner for their incoming officers. Later that evening, 8:30 p.m., at the regular meeting of Lasker Lodge at Temple Center, they will hold their formal installation.

Those to be installed are Pres., Steve Goldfab; Vice Pres – Alvin Cohen; Recording Secy’y, Allan Friedman; Corresponding Sec’y, Jack Sharpe; Treasurer, Ronnie Doctor; Reporter, Pete Colt, Sgt. At Arms, Mark Ulansky;  Asst Sgt at Arms, Stan Ornstein; Pledge Master, Eddie Naiman; Chaplain, Stan Breitbard.

The public is cordially invited to attend.

Bloch’s “Shelomo” To Be Played By Piatigorsky
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 3

A performance by Gregor Piatigorsky of Ernest Bloch’s best known work, the “Schelomo” Rhapsody for cello and orchestra, will highlight the program when the world famed cellist appears as guest soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Sunday evening, at 8:30 in Russ Auditorium.

Piatigorsky’s local engagement is one of his first since his return to the concert stage following an extensive European tour.  During this tour, when he boarded a plane to leave Israel, the entire Israel Philharmonic Orchestra went to the airport to bid him farewell.  The cellist had played 17 concerts in Israel including several with the orchestra, and he turned all of his fees into the pension fund for the orchestra. As a gesture of gratitude the musicians filled the airplane cabin with flowers.

Wallenstein, who will be on the podium Sunday night, has also programmed Barber’s “Overture To The School for Scandal,” Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dancers” from “Prionce Igor,” Berlioz’ “Symphanie Fantastique” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7.”

The orchestra’s Sunday concert is the second in its current series. Tickets are available at Palmer Box Office, 640 Broadway.
Solomon To Play At Russ Jan. 28
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 3

Although he first visited America in 1926, the eminent British pianist, Solomon, who returns to San Diego for the first time in two years on Friday evening, January 28th, in Russ Auditorium, was not introduced to California concert-goers until 1951 when he was brought to Los Angeles by Moss and Hayman.

Enthusiastic response was immediate and Solomon returned to California, playing to sold-out houses in 1952 and again in 1953. The key to the deep enjoyment he gives his audiences may be found in the statement of one reviewer. “He plays with the ecstasy of a man who hugely loves what he is doing.”

Solomon’s 1955 concert tour in California is again under the Moss and Hayman management.

Tickets are on sale at the Palmer Box Office, 640 Broadway.  Phone Belmont 9-4700.

First Auto Show Set For S.D. Feb. 2-6
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 3

The first Auto Show in 22 years will open in San Diego at the Electric Bldg on Feb. 2-6, according to the Motor Car Dealers’ Association.

The International Show will have more than 100 cars including many experimental models coasting as high as $25,000.  Entertainment will be provided from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly. 

Tickets will be available at the Electric Building, Balboa Park.

Palmer Box Office
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 3

Palmer Box Office has opened auxiliary box offices at Taylors, 1146 Orange Ave., Coronado, HE 4-5361, and Coles, 7871 Ivanhoe Ave., La Jolla, GL 4-4766.  Main office is still at 640 Broadway.

Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 3

Prejudice has always been the greatest obstacle to progress.

Worth Reading
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 4

“In our tradition, it is neither ruler nor politician, neither soldier nor merchant who represents the ideal. The ideal is represented by the teacher – that is to say, the person who is able through his work and his employ, to reach the intellectual, moral and artistic life of his people.

“This involves a definite renunciation of what is commonly called materialism. The idea is that human beings can attain a worthy and harmonious life only if they are able to rid themselves, within the limits of human nature, of the striving for wish-fulfillments of the material kind.  The goal is to raise the spiritual level of society.” – Albert Einstein

Hadassah To Hold Rummage Sale
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 4

Mrs. Alfred Solomon, Rummage Sale Chairman, has an active committee composed of Hadassah members serving as her Co-Chairman for the gigantic Rummage Sale to be held on February 1st through 4th at 2870 National Avenue with working hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Co-Chairmen include Mmes. Leonard Pearl, Jack Brisker, Sydney Segal and Leon Solomon.

Do you have rummage?  If so, call Mrs. Solomon at Academy 3-8512 or Mrs. Pearl at Atwater 1-3289 and a fast delivery car will pick it up for you. Clean out your attic!  Clean out your garage. There’s money in them thar discards for Hadassah.

Attention! Blue Jean and Pinafore Set
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 4

Superman—George Reeves – motion picture and T.V. Star has taken over National Sponsorshnip of the Children’s Crusade for the Leukemia Wing at the City of Hope.

Superman urges all of you children who would like to become members of his club to have your parents and grandparents send donations of $1.00 or more to:

City of Hope
Duarte, California

You will then receive a special Superman Button to wear and a membership card signed by Superman.

Jewish Community Center Use Increased
Southwestern Jewish Press, January 21, 1955, Page 4

Mr. Edward A. Breitbard, president of the Jewish Community Center noted the increased Center activities during the past year of 1954 in his annual report given to the Center membership. 

1.  In 1954 an average of 54 different activity groups per month used the Center as compared to 34 in 1953, an increase of more than 50 percent. The number of sessions jumped to 1582 in 1954 from 952 in 1953.  The attendance was raised to 36,507 from 28,701 of 1953.

2.  232 campers participated in 5300 camper days during the summer day Camp Jaycee. It may be noted that 27 youngsters received a total of 595 free camper days.

3. An original musical play was put on by the teen-agers, the young married couples organized a very successful Community Center Couples Club and the women organized a Center Women’s League which sparked outstanding social, cultural and fund-raising Center activities.

4.  More than 100 volunteers participated in a Center self-study which highlighted the need for adequate Center facilities and indicated that 90 percent of the Jewish population were ready to assist in the Center development.

5. $105,000 was raised in two building fund dinner meetings.

6.  In concluding, Mr. Breitbard thanked all who helped improve the center program and indicated with such team work, an adequate Center facility with an outstanding program could be developed within a short period of time.

“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.