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Vol. 9 Issue 208

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FEATURES

June 1 , 2012

Next Advertising Deadline June 85, 2012 Circulation June 15, 2012 Media Kit & Pricing 323.965.1544 Email info@communitylinks.info News & Press Releases press@communitylinks.info Virtual Subscription subscribe@communitylinks.info

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Can’t Wait Till Daddy Gets Home

Thinking about the incident that triggered his mother’s response, I’m pretty sure he was misbehaving, but I’m even more certain that what he was doing did not warrant a maternal reaction that would instill such terror. Rabbi Dr. Jerry Lob

What To Do With A Stale Mate

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Jewish tradition teaches that no stone be left unturned to make peace between man and wife. Rabbi Yossy Goldman

THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published biweekly and is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Southern California. THE COMMUNITY LINKS accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisers. All submissions become the property of THE COMMUNITY LINKS and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles published in THE COMMUNITY LINKS express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views of THE COMMUNITY LINKS. No artwork or any part of the magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher.

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Bonding With Your Baby

Ten Ways To Foster Connection And Build Your Baby’s Brain Alexandra Blaker

Why They Hate Us

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While we may forget our holiness and our destiny, the gentile nations are always there to remind us: we are different, we are unique, and our role is unlike that of any nation. R’ Ben Tzion Shafier The Shmuz

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Can’t Wait Till Daddy Gets Home By Rabbi Dr. Jerry Lob

I

grew up in a time when it was not uncommon for a mother, feeling overwhelmed, at the end of her rope with a difficult child, to utter those scary words. The words that would sometimes strike terror in the heart of a child. “Wait till your father gets home,” implying, “boy are you going to get it.” While this was not my personal experience and my mother was more than happy to parent me, and was confident, in responding to my positive behaviors and my less than positive ones, I was still very aware of this, often used, maternal threat. This phrase was everywhere, one read it in books, and heard it on television programs and radio. I remember witnessing friends’ mothers making this pronouncement, and I remember too, the disturbing feelings it evoked in me. Even at the young age of eight, the look on the face of my friend frightened me. Looking back through the years to that image 12

in my mind, I can now identify his facial expression as one of terror. Thinking about the incident that triggered his mother’s response, I’m pretty sure he was misbehaving, but I’m even more certain that what he was doing did not warrant a maternal reaction that would instill such terror. The problem is, this phrase is not just an old fashioned attitude from the ‘60s and ‘70s, there are many parents in our community who still use this approach. Let’s take a moment to analyze this parenting strategy. “Wait till your father gets home.” The first and most obvious inference from this statement is Mom admitting that she is just not strong enough, and incapable of handling this situation alone. This invalidates her authority in her child’s eyes, sending the unmistakable message that she is powerless, and frankly, makes it next to impossible for her to parent effectively the next time Dad is away. It represents an abdication June 1, 2012 • 323-965-1544 • info@communitylinks.info


of parental responsibility, and is damaging communication to the child that he/she is so bad, so difficult, that the “big guns” must be brought in. Perhaps most troubling, is the expectation that Dad will be the enforcer, that Mom will say “hit” and he’ll respond “how hard?” Mommy’s “hit man,” if you will. Those images of my eight year old friend are joined by other images of adults, sitting in my office with sad, tear streaked faces, or furious, bitter ones. For example, the middle aged man, enraged and terrified by memories of a father who meted out punishment, without witnessing the offending incident. His bitter comment: “my father didn’t even ask me about what happened or what I was feeling. I didn’t count, and my feelings didn’t matter.” Sure, it’s important for parents to support each other, and yes, a husband needs to trust his wife. However, it is clearly damaging to the relationship for a parent not present at the event, to rebuke or act punitively to the child. In the same vein it is so hurtful for an out-of-town father, called on the phone by his angry, over-

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whelmed wife, to raise his voice angrily and threaten his child long-distance. Long distance intimidation (as is true with all intimidation) is not healthy, builds resentment, and is, in the big picture, counterproductive. When a child hears “wait till your father gets home,” he sees a weak and ineffective mother, and a terrifying, unthinking, uncaring father, thereby harming his/her closeness with both. Fathers should not be “hit men.” Boys and girls need a warm, loving, relationship with each parent. Parents must create the kind of relationship with each child, that the news that, “Daddy will be home soon” will cause a smile to break out, instead of a sweat. And the fact that, “Mommy’s just down the block and will be back momentarily,” will make her feel warm inside, not cold. We need to turn, “wait till your father gets home” into “can’t wait till Daddy gets home.” Dr. Lob is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago, working with adults, adolescents, and families, for many years. He lectures and writes extensively on topics relating to psychology, relationships, parenting, education, and Jewish thought.

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WHAT TO DO WITH A

How much effort do we put into our marriages today? Interestingly, the jealous husband in the Parshah is also chastised should he overreact and run to the kohen unnecessarily.

STALE MATE

Today, I fear, we run to the lawyer much too quickly. Too many young marrieds, after the inevitable first argument, come to the premature conclusion that they must have made a mistake. “We had a fight!” “He shouted at me.” “Let me quit while I’m ahead.” It may well sound ridiculous, but in my own rabbinic experience I have seen it all too often. There is a name for it. It’s called “unrealistic expectations.” We forget that some of the best marriages on earth had rocky beginnings, and that it is normal and natural to take time to settle down and settle into a marriage.

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

PARSHAS NASO “Nothing new under the sun,” wrote King Solomon in Ecclesiastes. And so, we discover in this week’s Torah reading that infidelity and other marital problems aren’t exactly a new societal phenomenon. One of the main features of our Parshah is the story of the sotah, a woman accused of adultery. In the biblical account, the husband would bring his wife to the Temple, where a kohen (priest) would enact the ceremony of the “bitter waters.” The relevant passages from the Torah were written on a scroll and dissolved in the “curse-causing waters.” The name of G‑d appeared in these passages, and therefore every possible alternative was explored first in order to avoid the erasure of the divine name. If, indeed, there was no alternative, then the ceremony would be concluded, and in the process G‑d’s name would, in fact, be erased. If the woman was guilty, the waters would cause her death. If innocent, she would be blessed and her marriage would enjoy a blissful future. Thus, Jewish tradition teaches that no stone be left unturned to make peace between man and wife. Even if it means taking the drastic step of erasing the name of G‑d! To save a marriage, it’s worth it. 18

Why is it that we expect our marriages to cruise along smoothly without the slightest hiccup, when we have no such presumptions about any other area of life? Say a business shows a loss in the first quarter. Do we close up shop? Of course not. We sit down, we strategize, we find new ways of doing things; with time and effort, things turn around. Why, then, do we close down our marriages with such alacrity at the first signs of difficulty?

Then there are those who are married for years, but are locked in loveless marriages. They see no hope for a better future, and are resigned to living out their lives, as Thoreau put it, “in quiet desperation.” I’m here to tell you that it needn’t be that way. Many a marriage has hit rock bottom and then rebounded into a beautiful, sensitive, mature relationship. Here are a few important points to be aware of: 1. Help is available. There are highly qualified counselors in every community. 2. There should be no stigma whatsoever in going for help. If you have the flu, you see the doctor. It’s curable. So is an ailing relationship.

3. It is never too late. I’ve seen people embark on a fresh, new path after 18 or 25 years of marriage, and they’ve never looked back. 4. Fixing your existing relationship is by far the best option available to you. Why is going for help the best option? Ask yourself honestly: is getting divorced and then looking for a new partner better? What makes you think they are lining up to marry divorced people with baggage? And staying single is no fun either. Loneliness is no picnic. And don’t think your

June 1, 2012 • 323-965-1544 • info@communitylinks.info


miserable ex is going to fall off planet Earth after your divorce. You will still have to engage him or her on family issues, especially if there are children. So you get to keep most of the headaches, with little or no compensation. For too many people, work is a four-letter word, to be avoided at all costs. But if you would invest half the amount of work into your existing relationship that you would need to survive a divorce, you can have a marvelous relationship. A woman I know is now on her third marriage. I tried to counsel her during her first marriage. But she was determined to end it. Today she freely admits that had she known then what she knows now, she would never have divorced husband number one. Because, with all his faults, compared to husbands numbers two and three, he was an angel! Marriage and family life are part and parcel of life. They can bring contentment and happiness to each of us—if we work at it. Our lives can be rich and satisfying in that deep, wonderful way—provided we are big enough to seek help and improve the existing stalemate. If we look at things more objectively, we’ll probably find that we are both somewhat stale mates. Judaism has much to offer to revive tired relationships. Call for an appointment to see your favorite rabbi. He can also direct you to good professional counselors who are committed to making marriages work. The Torah teaches us how sacred marriage is in the eyes of G‑d. Let us show a little more respect for our marriage vows. And perhaps we ought to spare a thought for that “significant other” who does much for us every day, which, sadly, we take for granted. Invest time and effort into your current relationship, and you may be assured that G‑d will bless the work of your hands with success, happiness and nachas. Then, families will be whole and wholesome, and G‑d’s name will be complete. By Rabbi Yossy Goldman. Senior Rabbi of the Sydenham Highlands North Shul since 1986, and president of the South African Rabbinical Association.

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Bonding With Your Baby: Ten Ways To Foster Connection And Build Your Baby’s Brain By Alexandra Blaker

“As water reflects a face to a face, so is a person’s heart reflected back by another.” Mishlei, 27:19. Your baby’s bond with you reflects your heart, mind and actions toward them, and will reverberate throughout their life. Here are some tips for shaping the bond and supporting early development: 1. Slow Down! Your infant’s central nervous system is small and vulnerable. When an adult slows interactions, a young child has a chance to understand, process, and integrate experiences. 2. TALK to your young child. The more you speak to your child using everyday words, the more opportunities she has to learn language. Talk about what you see, what you are doing, and especially what you are doing to her. This includes her in the process, and prepares her to work with you. Even a young infant can participate if you repeat a simple request clearly and wait a moment: “Please hold out your arm so I can put your shirt on.” Wait. At first you might catch a spontaneous movement, but soon the movement will be intentional. Prepare your child for what is about to happen. Before giving care, let your baby know what is going to happen so he won’t be startled: “I see that you are looking at your toy lamb.” (…wait for eye contact). “I am going to pick you up now and change you.” This respects his activity and lets him know his needs are being honored.

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3. Use care-giving as a chance to connect. Put the phone down. Choose to interact during feeding. Make eyecontact, notice and articulate what he is doing. “You seem so hungry right now! And you are holding my finger so tightly.” 4. Respond to cues. Use your intuition. If a cause of crying is unclear you can say something like “I am not sure why you are crying, and I will try to figure it out.” This teaches trust - you will take care of her. Even when you can’t immediately respond, give verbal acknowledgment that you heard and will help. Stay calm. “I will be right there. I hear you.” Know that it is not necessary to stop the crying. Try to understand your child’s perspective and meet her needs, at times simply to express herself and be heard. 5. Exhibit your enjoyment. Let your little one know that you enjoy him. Take the time to smile during care-giving routines. Make eye-contact. Remember that Hashem has blessed you with the opportunity to care for this precious neshama - enjoy every chance to comfort and connect with your child. 6. Massage: After bath, place baby on the changing table or a clean towel. Make eye-contact, and ask permission: “Sarah, can I give you a massage?” Wait, and then use some food-based oil (almond, apricot seed, extra-light olive) to gently stroke and rub the arms, shoulders, hands, legs, knees, feet. Make lots of eye-contact and label each limb as you massage. This helps your child’s awareness of where her June 1, 2012 • 323-965-1544 • info@communitylinks.info


body is in space, increases vocabulary, and feels good. 7. Hold your baby. Baby carriers are convenient for keeping baby close. This is a great time to talk to your baby. Make sure to use safe practices: Use only certified carriers or wraps in good condition that offer ample support, and learn the safety recommendations. Recent studies suggest that outward-facing infants get over-stimulated; look for parent- facing carriers. 8. Your baby is a person: The brain is rapidly growing and developing, even before birth. Your child has ideas, and can understand much of what is going on around her, even before she can say words. 9. RESPECT your little one. He is not a toy or doll. He may laugh reflexively when someone throws him up or tickles him, but he is also disempowered. Remember the feeling of being tickled against your will, or kissed and pinched by an older relative. Proudly protect your baby from being handled by overly-friendly strangers. This fosters body-awareness and safety. 10. LET baby explore. The world is new, and your baby loves exploring and learning about it, and her place in it. Give her a chance to explore and focus on her own. When a toy is shaken or displayed for her, it is an object outside of her influence. When she plays with it on her own, all of her senses are engaged in the experience, and her growing understanding of the object is attached to her growing understanding of herself. Her growing self-awareness builds her capacity to pay attention, learn, and master her environment.

"Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it himself...That which we allow him to discover by himself...will remain with him." Jean Piaget By investing thoughtfully in our young children through respectful interactions, they come to interact thoughtfully with us. Slow down, make eye-contact, and speak in normal language. Children treated with respect grow to treat others with respect as well. That fosters true and authentic Ahavat Yisroel. Alexandra Blaker (Alexandra@infantplayandgrow.com) Early Childhood Educator/Parenting Consultant and Mother. Over 25 years of experience in Early Childhood Education Please join us for Parent-Infant classes (see ad for details) Upcoming Parenting Workshop: June 10th , 4 -5:30 pm at Chabad SOLA. Towards Peaceful Days and Calm Nights - setting limits with your toddler and young children. www.infantplayandgrow.com

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The Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board of Southern California (OJCB) recently honored Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Commander Eric Parra for establishing a protocol for maintaining Tallis and Tefillin in the security booths for inmates to use for their daily prayers. He received a special award from the OJCB for his professionalism, courtesy and sensitivity to the OJCB Chaplains and to the inmates served by them.

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Commander Parra is part of the Commander's Management Task Force.The task force was created by Sheriff Baca to change the custody environment to an environment where Education Based Incarceration, service oriented management and the Force Prevention Policy are guiding principles for deputies assigned to work inside jail facilities. He previously was in charge of counterterrorism and emergency management for the Sheriff's Department. Commander Parra has traveled to Israel several times to meet with counter-terrorism officials and exchange information on best practices in preventing terrorism. During the awards ceremony Parra received commendations from United States Congressman Brad Sherman, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Lee Baca, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz, and the OJCB. The Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board Chaplains visit various L.A. County jail facilities throughout the Southern California region to make sure that Jewish inmates have proper Kosher diets, Siddurim (prayer books), Tallis & Tefillin, Tehillim (Psalms), assorted Jewish reading material and other vital necessities needed during their incarceration.

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To contribute to the OJCB or volunteer to visit inmates write to Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board, P.O. Box 480454, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Photo L-R: OJCB Director/Senior Chaplain Howard Winkler, JCPS Director Gregory Metzger, Commander Parra, OJCB Senior Chaplains Rabbi Gavriel Cohen and Rabbi Israel Hirsch at awards ceremony.

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tism. The Jews have proven to be smarter, more enduring, and more successful than the peoples of the lands into which they were exiled. However, this isn’t the only reason. There are many more. The Scapegoat Theory

Why They Hate US

Parshas Ba’Halosecha

R’ Ben Tzion Shafier-The Shmuz

“When the Holy Ark would travel, Moshe would say, `Arise HASHEM, and let Your foes be scattered. Let those that hate You flee from before You.’” — Bamidbar 10:35 In this posuk, Moshe Rabbeinu is equating hatred of the Jews with hatred of HASHEM. “Let those that hate You flee from before You.” Rashi is bothered by the comparison. Why does Moshe’s call the enemies of the Jews, “enemies ?” Maybe they are just enemies of the Jewish people? Rashi answers, “Anyone who hates Yisroel hates HASHEM.” It seems clear that Rashi assumes that the root cause of anti-Semitism is hatred of G-d. This concept of attributing hatred of Jews to hatred of HASHEM seems difficult to understand. After all, if we study history, we see many reasons that Jews were hated – and they had nothing to do with hating HASHEM. The Jealousy Theory One reason that has been commonly cited for anti-Semitism is simply jealousy. Historically, it was the Jew who brought his economic wisdom and acumen to the various countries he inhabited; it was the Jew who became the adviser and confidante to kings and governors. The Jewish contribution to the cultural, scientific, and technological evolution of civilization is nothing short of astounding. Whether in academics, politics, the media, or the professions — from curing polio to discovering atomic energy, from Hollywood to Wall Street — Jews have had an extraordinary influence on human progress. It seems that in business, politics, art, theatre, science, and social movements, the Jews are at the head. With contributions as diverse as those made by Freud, Spinoza, Trotsky, Kafka, Jerry Seinfeld, and Albert Einstein, the Jew excels. From 1901 till 1990, over 22% of Nobel prizewinners worldwide were Jewish, even though Jews constitute less than ¼ of 1% of the world’s population. This alone would seem like a logical reason for anti-Semi30

Another cause held responsible for anti-Semitism is the scapegoat theory. To gain power or distract the population from their suffering, a monarch would look for a place to put the blame. What better a place than the eternally despised Jew? By arousing the masses to Jew-hatred, an individual seeking power could use this energy as a galvanizing force to bring together masses of unaffiliated individuals. We certainly have seen many instances of this during the past 2,000 years. The “We Killed Their God” Theory But there are other reasons that sound plausible. One is deicide – we killed their god. The average person would agree that is a sound reason to hate a people. After all, it certainly doesn’t sound very friendly, charitable, and kindly to kill god. The Chosen Nation Theory Finally, one of the most oft-quoted reasons to hate the Jews is that we make no secret of the fact that we are the Chosen People. As clearly written in the Torah, the Jewish people have been given a unique role to play amongst the nations: to be a light, a guide, and HASHEM’s most beloved nation. Is it any wonder that throughout the millennium we have been hated? But these aren’t the only reasons. There are many, many reasons presented to hate the Jews. How does Rashi explain that anyone who hates Jews, hates HASHEM? Maybe it is simply one of the reasons above. The answer – there is no answer The answer to this question seems to come from the very question itself: why is it that the one constant throughout history is that everyone always hates the Jews? It seems that all things change. Movements come and go; ideologies pass with time; systems of governments evolve. The only thing that doesn’t change is that everyone hates the Jews. Rich or poor, powerful or weak, dominant or oppressed, the Jew is hated – and then blamed for causing that very hatred. Beginning with Avraham Avinu almost 4,000 years ago, there has been an endless stream of reasons to hate the Jew. And that itself is a most curious phenomenon. In whatever country the Jews found themselves, they were loyal and industrious citizens, yet they were always hated and always for different reasons.

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Despised in one county for being too powerful, then trampled in another land for being too weak. . . Segregated into ghettos, then accused of being separatists. . . Accused by capitalists of being communist, hounded by communists because they were “all” capitalists. . . Hated for killing a religion’s god, yet equally despised in civilizations that don’t worship that god. . . Called “children of the devil” and the devil himself. . . Blamed for the Bubonic Plague and typhus, for poisoning wells and using sacrificial blood for baking matzahs. . . With such varied and assorted rationales, it seems that there is no shortage of creativity when it comes to hating the Jew. The only consistency in reasoning is: we hate the Jews. Why we hate them doesn’t matter. The cause of the hatred doesn’t matter. The only thing that really matters is that we truly, truly hate them. What Rashi is teaching us is that there is no plausible reason for anti-Semitism. It can’t be explained because it makes no sense. When you look into every cause, not only doesn’t it answer the question as to why, you quickly find another circumstance where that cause wasn’t present, yet the hatred was still there – as powerful and pervasive as ever. The Jew represents HASHEM The pattern that emerges is that there is no logical reason for anti-Semitism until you focus on the real cause – that the Jew represents HASHEM. We are HASHEM’s people. When the gentile looks at a Jew, he sees HASHEM, and that image is not always attractive to him. This concept carries a huge lesson for us. While we may forget our holiness and our destiny, the gentile nations are always there to remind us: we are different, we are unique, and our role is unlike that of any nation. As is quoted in the name of Rav Chaim Volozhin, “If the Jew doesn’t make kiddush, the goy will make havdalah.” If we recognize our greatness and live up to our title of the Chosen People, we are then exalted, revered and respected. When we fail to recognize our unique destiny and absorb the cultures of the times, then we are sent reminder after reminder of our unique role amongst the nations – HASHEM’s Chosen People.

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Dear LA

"We've got a community like no one's got" Were living in a time that we are always hearing "all the things we do wrong" well here's to one that " we do right"Words surely do an injustice in thanking the people of LA for their hospitality, warmth and tireless helping hands during our recent Simcha . The achdus and friendliness of the community was duly noted by over 130 of the guests who came from far and wide. It is known worldwide that LA's Hachnosa Orchim is legendary !!! We are truly indebted to the many people in the community who went beyond the call of the regular, in giving of their time, efforts and spaces to accommodate our family and guests in making them feel royally comfortable.

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We only hope to reciprocate with the same incredible chessed by many more of your simchas in the LA community. May the spirit of "Ke'ish echod be'leiv echod" continue. Mendel and C.Rochel Duchman

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Slice the roast into 2 pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and sear the meat on both sides over medium heat. Place in Crockpot. Sauté onion in the same skillet for 3 minutes, picking up browned bits as you go. Top meat with onions. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, whiskey, garlic, onion, thyme and stock. Pour around the meat. Try to keep the onions from being washed off. Pour the BBQ sauce on the meat. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Remove meat from Crockpot. Shred by pulling in opposite directions with 2 forks. Pour the sauce into a pot. add the cornstarch and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour gravy over pulled meat. Pile onto crusty rolls and serve with coleslaw.

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DoubleTake

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WORKSHOPS/CLASSES

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June 1, 2012 • 323-965-1544 • info@communitylinks.info


Our goal at MasterMind LA is for every child to feel happy, confident, and successful. With this aim in mind our Teacher Development Workshops challenge participants to teach Judaic subjects using multisensory learning techniques to enhance their ability to engage every student in the classroom.

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Recommends The Following Candidates for the June 5, 2012 Primary Election:

Community Research And Information Center

The “Top Two” candidates that get the most votes move on to the General Election.

The “Top Two” primary gives voters the ability to vote for any candidate regardless of party preference.

Not all candidates listed below will appear on your ballot.

Community Research & Information Center’s Directors congratulate candidates as they are endorsed by the Jewish Community PAC. (L-R): Stanley Treitel, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dr. Morry Waksberg, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, L. A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich & L.A. County Commissioner Howard Winkler.

We are a California State PAC. We CAN NOT endorse candidates for President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House.

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY 46th DISTRICT : ANDREW B. LACHMAN

50th DISTRICT: BETSY BUTLER

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE # 3: Sean D. Coen

OFFICE # 10: Sanjay T. Kumar

OFFICE # 65: Andrea C. Thompson

OFFICE # 38: Douglas W. Weitzman

OFFICE #78: Kenneth R. Hughey

OFFICE # 114: Berj Parseghian

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

ALAN JACKSON MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 2: MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS

DISTRICT 4: DON KNABE

STATE MEASURES PROPOSITION 28 - NO

DISTRICT 5: MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

COUNTY MEASURES

PROPOSITION 29 - NO

MEASURE H - YES

MEASURE L - YES

A Bipartisan Political Action Committee Serving the Jewish Community of Southern California Since 1986.

Our endorsements are independent and are not paid for by candidates or ballot measure sponsors. Community Research and Information Center—Post Office Box 480454, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Directors: Stanley Treitel, Dr. Morry Waksberg & Howard Winkler —California State ID # 882293

Please Vote !!! Our Community depends on each and every member to vote responsibly.


Community Links issue 208