February 2016

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Table of Contents Features

News & Politics

2. Reaching the Readers

22. What’s in a Label?

3. Welcome to Jewish Orange County 4. Humbled by Honor

Orange County 8. Moving Experience

Life & Religion 26. Ultimate Mitzvah

Opinion + More

12. Deliciously Kosher

28. Volunteering for Israel

14. Knowledge for College

29. John Wayne vs. LAX

16. Olam Activities 18. Jewish Events in Orange County

Thank you to our sponsors Olam Montessori at Beth Jacob Ponseggi Photography Saddleback Dental Associates Schneider the Writer Seforim Center Steven’s Pharmacy

Wholesome Treasures

How to Reach Us

Alef Designs Atarem Website Solutions Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine Chabad at UC Irvine Chabad of Irvine Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot

Kosher OC Magazine PO Box 7054 Newport Beach, CA 92658 Email: info@kosheroc.com Web: www.kosheroc.com Shop: shop.kosheroc.com Facebook.com/kosheroc Twitter: @kosheroc YouTube.com/kosheroc


Reaching the Readers Kosher OC Magazine is a combined website, digital publication, and Facebook page designed to cover Jewish news as it occurs in Orange County, Israel, and all over the world. We combine modern technology with dedicated reporting to be timely, accurate, and responsive to global and local happenings. Kosher OC Magazine previews and reviews the key events in the community and profiles the people who make them possible. We provide and share the opinions of people about Jewish news, Jewish customs and observance, and features on food, fashion, literature, music, and sports. With daily postings of news and insight and periodic listings of special events, we keep the community informed about where to worship, where to learn, where to buy, where to socialize, and where to make a difference. We reach all ages and stages of Jewish people living in Orange County. Visit us at kosheroc.com and ask to be put on our mailing list. Like us on Facebook. Then be prepared for a stimulating Jewish journey. Learn more about advertising with Kosher OC Magazine, including media kit download and the latest rates, visit us online at kosheroc. com/advertising Kosher OC Staff


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Hello Readers

Welcome to Jewish Orange County Kosher OC Magazine is here to give the Orange County Jewish community news when it happens, here and around the world. We combine the best of modern media and dedicated journalism to give you timely and interesting stories about the movers and shakers of the community and the great events they hold. We also talk about Jewish trends and trendmakers in Israel and throughout the globe with interesting ideas about celebrating holidays and celebrating each other. Join us for a window into the world of Judaism, and let us have your insight and input. It is our pleasure to serve this wonderful community. Zach Miller

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Humbled by Honor

Beth Jacob pays tribute to three women at annual gala. By Ilene Schneider

With roots in South Africa, North Africa and Northern California, the three honorees at Congregation Beth Jacob of Irvine’s annual gala come from different backgrounds and have made their mark on the 30-year-old congregation in different ways. Still, the common thread in their reaction to the honor is to acknowledge all the other deserving people who might have been chosen. Beth Jacob’s annual gala is Sunday, February 14, at 5:30 p.m. Honorees are Hazel Dyer-Pflaum, Congregant of the Year; Nicole Hassan, Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award; and Ilana Baumgarten, Community Service Award. Hazel Dyer-Pflaum When Hazel Dyer-Pflaum came to Irvine from Cape Town, South Africa, in 1993, she had to leave assets, friends and organizations behind. Traumatic times called for drastic solutions, and she knew then as she does now that the real jewels in her life were the children and grandchildren who lived in the United 4

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States and with whom she sits around the Shabbat table every week. Always involved in charities from the time she went to collect little blue boxes for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) with her mother, Hazel has worked for the Jewish community – as a volunteer, an employee or both – since she arrived with her late husband, Charles. “Being in a Jewish work environment gave me a feeling of belonging,” she explained. Initially, Hazel worked for Tarbut V’Torah as an office administrator and registrar, relating to parents and students as a goodwill ambassador. She shared Irving Gelman’s joy of planning a new school. Then, she did trips and tours for the Jewish Community Center, working in senior programming and membership. One highlight was a trip to Jewish sites in Cuba. Shortly after Charles passed away, she became the administrator and accounting manager at Beth Jacob. She held that position for 12 years and then served on the board at the synagogue. Beth Jacob has become her second home, “a little haven, a real

community,” she said. “Everything happens for a reason,” Hazel said. “It was b’shert that I was working at the shul when Judy Burnett of the JNF came to teach here. She introduced me to Peter (Dr. Peter Pflaum), and we’ve been together ever since. We share a love of Israel, a love of yiddishkeit and a love of travel. We enjoy seeing how Jews in other countries live.” The couple has traveled around the world and funded the building of a synagogue, library and preschool in the religious community of Merchav Am near Beersheva, Israel. When Hazel saw Peter’s emotional response to the children performing a concert there, she knew he was the man for her. Hazel’s children and grandchildren – Jeff and Sandy Bruss and Jared, David and Zach; Gary and Melanie Bruss and Ariel and Dylan; and Carol and Alex Shimoni and Keren, Lior and Talia –– will join in honoring her at the gala. Her “very special adopted children” Barbara and Kevan Orvitz


Hazel Dyer-Pflaum

and Jenna and Kira; Earl and Gabby Dyer and Jake Dylan and Chloe; and David and Irene Pflaum will be there as well. While Hazel was reluctant to accept the honor, she hopes that the friends she has made in the last 23 years will join her in supporting Beth Jacob. She appreciates the bonding people have done at the synagogue and loves to watch it grow. Hazel believes that “Having Rabbi Ciner at the helm has drawn people closer together, because he’s warm, trustworthy, approachable and charming. I am beaming with pride and optimism as Beth Jacob begins its next 30 years.” Ilana Baumgarten Born in Northern California, Ilana Baumgarten was raised as a Conservative Jew but wanted something more, even at an early age. A trip to Israel at the age of 16 convinced Ilana that she wanted to be more observant, and the rest of her family took a Jewish journey too. “I

Ilana Baumgarten

observed holidays and Shabbat and was proud that I was Jewish,” she said. A member of Beth Jacob for 17 years, Ilana serves as the mashgiach – the person who makes sure the rules of kashrut are followed to the letter. She was trained by her predecessor who moved out of town, learned much on the job and combined all of it with the knowledge she had from keeping a kosher home. “It’s sometimes a challenge to put laws into practice,” she said. Ilana, who began her role as mashgiach in 2009, went to a seminar offered by StarK in Baltimore specifically for women working as mashgihot. The training involved going to hotels and other locations, checking vegetables and other aspects of maintaining a kosher kitchen. “It was nice to go to this with a friend and nice to see that so many women were doing this work,” Ilana said. “After all, who runs the kitchen in your house? Women have started to be more accepted in this field, especially in Israel.”

Nicole Hassan

Ilana works for three different kosher caterers on a part-time basis. She likes the flexibility of walking in on whatever they happen to be doing but rarely finds problems. “When you do a kosher event, everything has to be kosher,” she explained. “You don’t want anything from the outside brought in, because you don’t have control.” Ilana’s award is based on other things she does for Beth Jacob as well. She is a mikvah attendant every other Friday evening, believing that having a mikvah is an important thing for a growing Jewish community. She used to teach at Beth Jacob’s Talmud Torah (religious school). Besides building the mikvah, Ilana cited the creation of the eruv — the ritual enclosure that some Orthodox Jewish communities construct in their neighborhoods as a way to enable Jewish residents or visitors to carry certain objects outside their own homes on the Sabbath and Yom Kippur — as a real highlight in Beth Kosher oc Magazine // February 2016



Jacob’s history. “There were issues with the city, and finally getting it through was amazing,” she said. “Now we’re a real community with a mikvah, an eruv, a school and a preschool. Rabbi Ciner has added strength and warmth, and the youth directors have created programs for all ages.” Ilana is married to Leonard, a retired attorney. Their daughter, Malka Esther, is a kindergartner at the Irvine Hebrew Day School. Ilana’s older daughter, Rivka Chana, is in college pursuing a career in communications. “It’s an honor to feel appreciated,” Ilana said. “It’s important for people to know that the mashgiach is there and that the behind-the-scenes hands make things happen.” Nicole Hassan Born in North Africa and raised in France, Nicole Hassan and her husband, Michel, both Sephardic, joined Beth Jacob as soon as they moved here from France in 1997. While there was no emergency in Europe at the time, they were delighted to come to California for a job offer. “Although there were cultural differences between France and the United States, the Beth Jacob community was welcoming,” Nicole said. “There are a lot of people here from different countries, and we found it warm and welcoming. It’s


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a very accepting community where people want to learn more and be inclusive.” The Hassan family has grown since 1997. Now there are five children – Alexander, a graduate student; Jonas, a college student; Etan, a senior at Tarbut V’Torah; Orlane, who also attends Tarbut V’Torah; and Benjamin, who attends Irvine Hebrew Day School. Beth Jacob has grown too, including “very positive things that are assets to bring in new families,” like the Sepahrdic minyan, the NCSY youth group, the mikvah and the eruv. The Hassons enjoy the Sephardic minyan, because the prayers are similar to what they were used to in France. There they have bonded with Israelis, people from North Africa and others. Nicole volunteers whenever she can. At one time she was part of a group that baked five thousand hamantashen for Purim baskets and assembled the baskets. She has also worked on the Beth Jacob calendar, served as a board member and worked on the kiddush luncheons on Shabbat. Nicole, who describes herself as shy, said she had tears in her eyes when she learned that she was the recipient of the Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award. “This is very meaningful, because I knew Adina and thought she was so strong and so amazing,” Nicole said. “We arrived here at the same time and shared Shabbat and

holiday dinners with our families.” She concluded, “I’m excited, honored and proud to be part of the Beth Jacob community. This means so much to me.”  Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine will hold its annual gala on Sunday, February 14, at 5:30 p.m. The shul will honor Hazel Dyer-Pflaum as Congregant of the Year, Nicole Hassan with the Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award and Ilana Baumgarten with the Community Service Award. A kosher dinner will be served at various stations, and live music will be presented. Tickets are $180 per person, and sponsorship opportunities are available. The congregation is located at 3900 Michelson Drive in Irvine. RSVP online at www. bethjacobirvine.org

Orange County

Moving Experience

Irvine Hebrew Day School takes next step in growth. By Robin Silver-Zwiren

Irvine Hebrew Day School was founded two years ago to bring excellence in both Judaic and secular standards to the Jewish community. IHDS is most sincere in its desire to plant Jewish roots, cultivate heritage and grow future leaders. As written in Proverbs 3:18, “She is the tree of life to those who take hold of her,” and every IHDS student is given every opportunity to grasp from that tree of knowledge. Principal Tammy Keces is a dedicated educator with decades of experience and warmth to share. Tammy strongly believes in Positive Discipline, which teaches even the youngest children to take responsibility for their actions — to train even young minds to stop, think and process before acting out.


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This motivates them to learn and teaches them how to be more caring and kind to others. It shapes them to become truly “compassionate and respectful leaders.” Rabbi Amittai Steindler, Jewish Studies Director and Educator, has returned to his Irvine roots. He attended both Morasha and Tarbut v’Torah Community Day Schools. His road was paved with studying in Israel where his love for archaeology, interfaith dialogue and Biblical texts

led him to his next destination. New York gave him the opportunity to acquire an MS in Jewish education and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. He has returned to raise his family in the community where he was, where he can surf before walking through the doors of IHDS, where all happily greet “Rabbi Amittai.” For Rabbi Amittai IHDS is a personal quest. It is the place where he wants his own children educated with a love for Jewish life, Torah learning and the State of Israel. It is where he wants his

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children to have friends who share the same beliefs. All of the IHDS faculty members are proudly shaping the next generation of proud Jews. The Irvine Hebrew Day School model is different from others in Orange County. IHDS follows traditional Judaism whereby secular studies are as important as the Judaic studies program. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to learn exemplary arts and sciences while gaining extensive knowledge of Judaic texts and lifestyle. The combined Jewish and secular studies programs at IHDS view questioning, in-depth learning and rational discussion (not indoctrination) on the road to spirituality and fulfillment. Contemporary Jewish education is one that achieves spiritual growth through literacy, active engagement, personal connection and meaningful discussion. Torah comes alive as children learn stories that are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago, where morals and values are a way of life and Israel is the home of the Jewish people. IHDS classes are not just filled with lessons about

ancient rabbis but formidable women in Jewish history as well as people like Martin Luther King Jr. The Hebrew language program at IHDS will give its students the ability to converse with native speakers. IHDS is committed to inquirybased and experiential learning in all subjects using proven, reputable curricula to achieve these goals. Singapore Mathematics, Full Option Science System (FOSS) created by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Program created at Teacher’s College of Columbia University are just a sampling of programs used. With every new concept students are encouraged to investigate and discover their own

solutions to mathematical, scientific and literary questions and apply them to real life situations. These critical thinking and problem solving skills are critical for success in a wide range of disciplines, including technology, robotics/engineering, creative writing and social-emotional learning. IHDS has become a leader in elementary school arts education fostering creativity and selfexpression. The innovative music program “Tzililim Mesaprim,” supported by a JFFS Impact Grant and a generous private donation, has become a model for blending spiritual exploration and growth with the best practices in music education. IHDS has also designed and implemented the multi-modal arts program

Kosher oc Magazine // February 2016


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“Chagigah Shel Yitzerah,” supported by a Jewish Community Foundation Grant, which explores Jewish themes in a variety of creative art forms. Add all this to the skills of having nurturing, experienced teachers, and each student will become successful and prepared for the future. IHDS claims it is “creating 21st century children” and watching how these young minds process issues, behave and act towards their peers, parents and other adults. The model is proving to be successful.

IHDS is more affordable than other area day school options. The IHDS board and faculty firmly believe that every child deserves to have a Jewish day school experience. California — high taxes and all — is not known for quality public school education. According to one Huffington Post article, California is #39, whereas another survey landed the state in the 43rd slot. Give your child the best with an Irvine Hebrew Day School education. Add your tiny leaf to the IHDS tree. Irvine Hebrew Day School stated, “Please consider joining us as we sprout to the next level of growth and possibility. This is a critical step to ensure the future of our community. Together, we are rolling up our sleeves, placing our hands in the soil and planting the seeds for the next generation.” Irvine Hebrew Day School is thrilled to announce that it is expanding and relocating to the newly renovated Temple Beth Sholom Campus for the 2016-17 school year. TBS is at 2625 N. Tustin Avenue in Santa Ana. The 5-acre campus includes playgrounds, open fields for meditation and an

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organic, edible garden. The stateof-the-art campus will give students the ability to explore the outdoors as well as the opportunity to learn in spacious, bright classrooms. Safety is, of course, a top priority, and the TBS Campus has a brand-new advanced security system. IHDS will also have its own private entrance. Transportation will be available to/ from the Samson Family Campus. IHDS looks forward to continuing its relationship with other area preschools and synagogues throughout Orange County. Please join IHDS to hear more about the limitless opportunities for your young child. The mission of Irvine Hebrew Day School is to cultivate active and creative minds, foster a community of joyful learning, create compassionate and respectful citizens and nurture a thoughtful, spiritual and personal relationship with Jewish life, Torah learning and the state of Israel.  Open House Sunday February 21 @ 10 AM Samson Family Campus, 3880 Michelson, Irvine For more information contact: Tel: 949-478-6818 www.irvinehebrewday.org

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Deliciously Kosher

Luisa Chocolatiere offers Jewish-themed and other treats at south county chocolate shop. By Sara Gold

Luisa Cuevas’ Mexican heritage and French culinary training come together in Laguna Hills – at Luisa Chocolatiere on Cabot Road. The chocolate shop sells only kosher chocolate, with options ranging from peanut clusters and almond toffee to caramels and hot chocolate fudge. For serious chocoholics, Luisa packages assorted chocolates inside a box that’s also made out of chocolate – a popular Valentine’s Day gift. In addition to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other secular holidays, Luisa sells special-made chocolate treats themed for Passover, Chanukah and many more Jewish


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celebrations. She is also known for catering weddings, synagogue events and Bar and Bat mitzvahs. Even without a special occasion, you can walk into the shop and buy chocolates off the display. If there’s not enough of what you want, Luisa will make more in her kitchen. “We’re not like See’s, where everything is mass produced,” she said. “I cater to customers – that’s why I’ve been in business for 22 years.” Luisa and her husband originally opened their chocolate shop in 1994 in Laguna Niguel. Four years later, they moved the shop to its current Laguna Hills location and opened a restaurant, called Luisa’s Café, next door. They sold Luisa’s Café in 2011, so they could focus on the chocolate

shop, which is Luisa’s true passion. “I was brought up with chocolate as a child in Mexico,” Luisa said. “My mom and grandma pureed cocoa beans to make their own chocolate, so I drank chocolate every day.” Luisa has always loved to eat chocolate, but she didn’t realize her passion for making chocolate until she attended a Parisian cooking school in the 1980s. She and her husband had moved to France from California, because her husband wanted to attend cooking school. “I had been an accountant my whole life,” Luisa said. “When my husband was about to start cooking school, he suggested I do the same. I didn’t think I had a clue about cooking, but I gave it a try, and the experience ended up being one of the best in my life.” During her culinary training, Luisa

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interned at a Parisian chocolate shop, where she learned how to make chocolate by hand under the mentorship of an award-winning chocolate artist. “He had the passion for making chocolate, and he transferred it to me,” Luisa said. “After that, I knew I had to make chocolates for a living.” Upon returning to the U.S. after cooking school, Luisa worked at a candy shop part-time until she and her husband saved enough money to open Luisa Chocolatiere. From the beginning, Luisa has ordered all of her chocolate from Guittard, a kosher chocolate factory. She says that she chose Guittard, because the quality and purity of its chocolate matched that of the chocolate she was trained to work with in France. The kosher certification was not a

main consideration. In fact, when she first started out, Luisa did not even know that kosher was a selling point. Soon after opening her shop, Luisa met Flori Rosenthal, an Orthodox Jew, while exhibiting at a bridal show. The women started talking, and Flori told Luisa about the significance of the kosher certification.

After more than 20 years, they’re no longer just customers, but friends.”  For more information, contact: Luisa Cuevas, Luisa Chocolatiere. 26941 Cabot Rd., St. 106, Laguna Hills, CA 92653. www.luisachocolatiere. com. (949) 582-5867 or (949) 495-3822 luisa@ luisachocolatiere.com

Flori guided Luisa through the process of getting the shop koshercertified and introduced her to the Jewish holidays. Now Luisa Chocolatiere is well-connected in the local Jewish community, catering for congregations such as Temple Beth El in Aliso Viejo and Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot in Irvine. “It is thanks to Flori that I started making Jewish chocolates,” Luisa said. “Although I sell chocolates to all people for all occasions, my Jewish clients are very close to my heart.

Kosher oc Magazine // February 2016


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Knowledge for College

Program helps high school students to prepare for Jewish life on college campuses. By Ilene Schneider

A concerned parent, Robin Steinmetz was horrified at the news she began to hear about anti-Israel activities at various colleges. She wondered how her daughter, now a senior in high school, would cope with these daunting campus challenges. Deciding that Jewish students needed “knowledge for advocacy and understanding the issues,” Steinmetz approached Rabbi Elie Spitz at Congregation B’nai Israel in Tustin. While he was discussing these concepts with his own students, he thought it would be a good idea to spread the word all over Orange County in a collaborative program. He approached CBI’s education director, Rabbi Robin (Hoffman) Foonberg, who obtained a $5,000 grant from the Orange County Jewish Community Foundation to develop a multiple-session program to educate high school juniors and seniors about preparing for Jewish life on college campuses. The program, Knowledge for College, which will be held on four Sundays


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(February 28, 5 p.m. at University Synagogue (dinner included); March 6, 6 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel; March 13, 6 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel; and March 20, 6 p.m. at University Synagogue) “will make the kids feel empowered to handle the challenges of being a Jewish student on campus,” Rabbi Foonberg explained. “Young people are at the crux of the situation and being targeted. We want to help them to go to college armed with the tools they need.” Knowledge for College will help students to understand and deal with anti–Semitism, the BDS movement, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and biased media reporting. With films, speakers and discussions, the program will engage with these topics to enable teens to respond to the issues and participate in the dialogue. Guest speakers include: Lisa Armony, director of OC Hillel and The Rose Project; UCI Professor Mohammed Wattad, Rabbi Evan Goodman of UC Santa Barbara Hillel; and Lauren Kerner, UCI student and advocate.

Knowledge for College is targeting to reach 50 to 75 teens from Orange County synagogues, but others are welcome. The cost is $20 per student to cover the cost of food. A kickoff session for parents in November featured speakers from the Jerusalem U “Step Up for Israel” program and a 30-minute movie called Crossing the Line 2, as well as a UCI student advocate and a Hillel director known for dealing with BDS issues on campus. The program was well attended and got good feedback, Steinmetz said. “The first student session, which is designed to be engaging, informative and interactive, will include dinner, the showing of a documentary and then breaking into small groups,” Steinmetz said. Prof. Mohammed Wattad from UCI will be on hand, and topics will include anti-Zionism vs. anti-Semitism, BDS and the notion of Israel as an apartheid state. The documentary will explain some of the terminology, and the facilitators will

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help the students to understand why problems are happening on college campuses. Rabbi Foonberg added that the second session is a history lesson, providing narratives. The third and fourth sessions will address campus life directly and provide a directory of Jewish organizations on campus. Lisa Armony, who served as a consultant for the program, said, “Knowledge for College is a timely and important service being provided to college-bound OC students, and I am delighted that the Rose Project has had the opportunity to partner with local congregations and to share our expertise with the community. The unfortunate reality on today’s college campuses is that students are likely to encounter some form of anti-Israel activity, and possibly anti-Semitism.” Armony added, “Knowledge is power, and Knowledge for College empowers students by giving them information and knowledge before they get to campus. Our program will demystify

anti-Israel activity, giving students an understanding of what it is, how anti-Israel groups operate, and when criticism of Israeli policy becomes anti-Semitic or delegitimizing. We will share with them different ways to become engaged if they choose to do so, and where to seek support if they need or want it. Importantly, students will also learn about the many opportunities to engage in Jewish life on various campuses.”

resources. The key is collaboration – to work together and create a unified Jewish community. We need to support one another and create learning opportunities. That’s what a community should be.”  For more information, contact Rabbi Robin Foonberg at (714) 730-5161 or rhoffman@cbi18. org.

“Various Jewish organizations are contacting students,” Rabbi Foonberg said. “We want out kids to be more knowledgeable, so they can make choices. There are many different organizations who want basically the same thing, and we need to work together. Palestinian organizations have been around on campus for 10 years, and Jewish students need to find a place for themselves too.” She concluded, “Some educators have discussed campus challenges for Jewish students in their own programs, but the grant is helpful in bringing together people and

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Olam Activities

Preschool holds Siyyum and Farmer’s Market brachot Fair. By Kosher OC Staff

The Olam Montessori at Beth Jacob had a busy January. On January 5 the preschool celebrated the reading of the end of the book of Genseis with a Siyyum led by Rabbi Yisroel Ciner. Children and their parents participated in the ceremony. “At the end of each book of the Torah, we say ‘chazak, chazak, venit chazek,’ which means ‘be strong and get even stronger,’” the rabbi explained. “There’s always more to understand about the Torah, so on Simchat Torah,


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we finish it, dance with it and then start all over again.”

smoothies and ralk about the school’s hydroponic garden.

He also explained that the Torah is so holy that people do not turn their backs on the Ark. The same is true of the Kotel, the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The students began planting the garden last year. They have learned how to cultivate a garden, what kinds of fruits and vegetables there are and what brachot to say over them. 

On January 24 Olam celebrated Tu B’Shvat with a Farmer’s Market Brachot Fair. Children and their families got to make their own fruit kabobs, make their own salads, drink

Orange County

Unique creations.

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Jewish Events in OC February 2016

Plan your month with our February 2016 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite picks. Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine Sunday, February 14, 5:30 p.m. Annual Gala Honoring Hazel Dyer-Pflaum as Congregant of the Year, Nicole Hassan with the Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award and Ilana Baumgarten with the Community Service Award

More: http://www.bethjacobirvine.org Friendship Circle Sunday, February 7, 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friendship Circle Basketball Buddies Misty May-Treanor Sport Center (MMTSC) 14522 Myford Road, Irvine Basketball Buddies is a way that the volunteers and kids can be with each other while playing a sport that they love. This program allows for the kids to be part of a team. They learn the fundamentals of Basketball and get to play a scrimmage game each time. Sunday, February 7, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friendship Circle Sunday Circle Bonita Creek Park 3010 La Vida, Newport Beach Sunday Circle is a monthly event wherein the children, volunteers and staff of The Friendship Circle come together for a wide array of entertaining, recreational and enriching activities. As they drop their children off in capable hands, moms and dads watch with pride as their children gleefully race toward the surprises that await them inside, allowing the parents to then go off and enjoy some well-needed time for themselves. Sunday, February 7, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friendship Circle Young Adult Circle Center for Jewish Life 2240 University Drive, Newport Beach The Friendship Circle designed to integrate special needs secondary school students with life skills they can use on a daily basis. Everyday life skills and social skills, which include entertainment, would be tailored to the individual’s special and unique needs. Such activities would involve learning to cook and shop, nights out with the group and various other activities and skills which will simultaneously incorporate laughter, fun and friendships to make memories that will last a lifetime. Monday, February 22, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Friendship Circle Support Group When you combine the stresses of kids, work and friends, the job of a mother of a child with special needs today can at times seem overwhelming. That’s why The Friendship Circle has devised a program just for the Moms. Giving the dedicated, noble moms a chance to unwind and relax.

More: http://www.friendshipcircleoc.org RSVP: info@friendshipcircleoc.org / (949) 721-9800 18

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Chabad of Newport Tuesday, Febuary 2 The Cleves’ Get: An 18th-Century Saga On August 14, 1766, Isaac, son of Eliezer Neiberg of Mannheim, married Leah, daughter of Jacob Guenzhausen of Bonn. Days later, the bridegroom took 94 gold crowns of the dowry and disappeared. This troubling episode began a stormy debate between the great rabbis of the time. Tuesday, February 9 The Sun and the Moon: Understanding the Jewish Calendar Our calendar is unique — not quite lunar, not quite solar. What is the rationale behind it? Why is it such a central part of our faith, and what lessons can we learn from it? This class takes an in-depth look at this fascinating aspect of Judaism. Thursday, February 11 Jewish Women’s Circle: Torah and Tea with Loaves of Love Add a dash of insight, a heaping spoonful of inspiration, and a generous sprinkling of fun and laughter. Top off with a taste of various challah recipes and toppings and enjoy with dips. Tuesday, February 16 The Women Who Cried Wolf: A Jew Is a Jew The story of Miriam Bat Bilgah is a tragic one. She abandoned her faith and married a Greek minister, before brazenly entering the Holy Temple and attacking the Holy Ark. How do we approach someone who has sunk so low? Tuesday, February 23 When Moses Was Missing: Understanding True Leadership From the time Moses enters the story, he is the central character of our nation. But this week, his name is absent from the Torah portion. Why? To answer this question is to understand who Moses really was, and what leadership skills we can learn from him.

More: http://www.jewishnewport.com RSVP: info@jewishnewport.com / (949) 721-9800 Temple Beth Sholom Thursday, February 4, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bio-Medical Ethics--Facing Medical Dilemmas Wednesday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. Coffehouse Discussion of Current Events Thursday February 11 and 25, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Special Adult Education Program: The Jews of Poland

More: http://www.tbsoc.com RSVP: (714) 628-4600

Temple Beth David Sunday, February 7, 8:00 a.m. Blood Drive Sunday, February 7, 9:30 a.m. Sisterhood Social Action Sunday, February 21, 10:30 a.m. Bortherhood Brunch On the Edge of Two Worlds by retired Lt Col. Maury Rosenberg

More: http://www.templebethdavid.org RSVP: (714) 892-6623 Laguna Hills-Saddleback Group of Hadassah Monday, February 22, 11:00 a.m. Annual Fashion show Luncheon Mission Viejo Country Club 26200 Country Club Drive, Mission Viejo Presented by J. Jill, Shops at Mission Viejo Mall

RSVP: (949) 661-1605 / (949) 586-3226 Community Scholar Program Friday, February 19, Noon to 1:15 p.m. Three Narratives of the Arab-Israeli Conflic Samueli Jewish Campus

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News & Politics

What’s in a Label?

What are the implications of labeling products made in the West Bank? By Ilene Schneider

It escaped the notice of much of the mainstream media that the US is now requiring the separate labeling of Israeli products made outside of its pre-1967 borders. The new requirements were published by the US Customs and Border Protection Service, part of the US Department of Homeland Security, during the last week of January. The move follows closely on the heels of the European Union mandate to not label products made in the West Bank and the Golan as “made in Israel.” The move, which was cited by Western Journalism as “a dramatic change in US policy,” was criticized by everyone from the Israeli government to various political candidates in the US. Described by Breitbart as “a step toward joining the Israeli boycott,” the policy certainly deserves our concern. Why is it necessary for the Obama administration to issue this policy? Many pundits cite Obama’s concern with his legacy. As his tenure as President draws to a close, he knows he cannot bring about a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian 22

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conflict. What he can do is ally himself with the UN and the EU in their condemnation of Israel in a socalled attempt to not take sides with Israel or the Palestinians. Early in his administration, Obama said he wanted to give the Palestinians a seat at the bargaining table on an equal footing with the Israelis. If he was doing it to bring the Palestinians to the table at all, if they bought into his logic and cooperated and if they were — at minimum — to recognize Israel, it might have been a good strategy. Seven years later, when the strategy has not worked, when Palestinians are carrying out seemingly random acts of terror on a regular basis, when too many people in the world have bought into the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) strategy, when Israel is being wiped off of the map in supposedly mainstream textbooks, how can an American President abandon what should be America’s most important ally in the most volatile part of the world? To require the labeling is to join the boycott. To

put Israel in this position is appalling. Let’s tell the President how we feel. And let’s make sure we scrutinize the pro-Israel bona fides of our next President. 

News & Politics

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Life & Religion

Ultimate Mitzvah

Student on Birthright trip helps friend have Bat Mitzvah in Israel. By Ilene Schneider

given 24 hours. People on the trip volunteered, and the Israelis did the rest. The counselors helped a lot, and we got compliments.” After the Bat Mitzvah, Kayla said she found herself looking at signs and reading Hebrew at every opportunity. “Now I want to learn conversational Hebrew,” she said.

Kayla Ghodsi reads from Torah to help someone else have a Bat Mitzvah, during her recent Birthright Israel trip.

Kayla Ghodsi can be proud of herself. During her recent Birthright Israel trip, she read Torah to help someone else have a Bat Mitzvah. Her friend was called up to the Torah to recite the bracha (blessing), and Kayla did the reading of the parsha in Hebrew. “It was an amazing feeling,” she said. “I don’t read Hebrew all the time, but I practiced a lot,” she added. “We were 26

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Kayla, 19, a student at Cypress College who wants to be a doctor or researcher, also went on a trip to Israel with the Bureau of Jewish Education when she was in high school. She wants to go back again and do more. “The Israelis were with us the whole time and made life in the country more real,” Kayla said. “They told us what life is like for people our age, including stories about people our age who have gone to war. It was also an amazing feeling to be at the wall. There’s nothing like it in the world.” She concluded, “I appreciate Birthright. It builds connections, is eye opening and gives people a new appreciation for Israel.”

Birthright Israel registration opens on February 1, and most Jewish people 18 to 26 are eligible to register for a free 10-day trip to Israel. The OC Way Birthright Trip from June 29 to July 10 is coordinated and funded by Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). It departs from LAX, and is filled with participants from Orange County ages 21 to 26. For the younger 18 to 22 age demographic, OC Hillel coordinates a trip for OC college students.  For more information visit www.JewishOC.org/ BirthrightIsrael. Adam Chester, NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, (949) 435-3484, ext. 338, or Adam@JFFS.org

Opinon + More

Volunteering for Israel My time in Israel that I will never forget. By Ronald Mangel

All of us for the better part contribute to Jewish organizations and Israel in particular. We send our checks in and take our deduction at the end of the year. And that is the extent of it. Sometimes we remember which organizations we send to and sometimes we remember how much. Last year I gave in another way. My wife, Sheila, and daughter Jaquelin and I had scheduled a trip to Israel to volunteer for three weeks. We were scheduled to go and the war with Gaza broke out. The question to go or not. We felt that if they needed volunteers, it was now. So off we went. This was my first stint, my daughter’s third and my wife’s second. We were on an army base with about 30 other men and women of all ages. The ages ranged from early 20’s to eighty plus a few years. I was 76 at the time. We worked from Sunday mid- day to Thursday mid day and at that point, we were escorted to a bus station to travel where ever we wanted for the weekend with the proviso that we be back at the bus station early Sunday morning to return to the base 28

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where we were working. During the week we packed 59 pound field medical back packs. The items put in the packs allowed the medics not only to administer to slight injuries, but also to perform minor surgery in the field. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. We were all supervised by one of the regulars because the work had to be exact. As an example, the packs had to be organized in a specific way so that the soldier in the field would know exactly where each item was and did not have to look, for example, a syringe once he opened the pack. We slept in army barracks, the men on one side of the road and the women on the other, we were divided pretty much 50/50. I need to tell you that the mattresses were army supplied and not up to Hotel 6 standard. There were 6 of us in my barrack. Some of us have remained friends through the year. There were group meetings in the evening with the IDF soldiers who were there to guide and help us but for the most part we made our own

entertainment at night. I was lucky and there were two yeshiva boys there and I spent some time learning Talmud with them. To those who want a rewarding experience, not instead of donating money but in addition, give your time. It is rewarding and self satisfying experience. You will need to pay your own way over but once you are there the weeks on the base are taken care of. A place to sleep and 3 meals a day. This is a time you will never forget and will talk to your children and grandchildren about. I now volunteers my time here in California as an Ambassador for VFI, Volunteers for Israel. For more information please visit their website at vfi-usa.org and also feel free to call or email me at rmangel66@gmail.com or call at 609-992-4975. 

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John Wayne vs. LAX

Choosing an airport right for you in your Israeli voyage. By Ronald Mangel

Going to Israel? Awesome—bring me back some salt from the Dead Sea… I’m weird like that. Oh, which airport are you taking? When going to Israel form Southern California, your two main options are John Wayne airport in Orange County or Los Angeles international airport LAX. Although Israel is a one of a kind destination, luckily choosing your destination is quite routine. Choosing which airport is right for you in your Israeli voyage really just comes down to convenience. LAX is known for being very crowded, which might stress out your already anxious self. So, coming to LAX demands of you to come very early. Also, because of how busy LAX is as an airport, delays or worse are much more common. John Wayne, on the other hand, can be more convenient, but also much less. Here’s the thing, because John Wayne airport is smaller, there are less-frequent delays and smaller crowds to deal with. However, there

are no real direct routes from John Wayne Airport to Israel. That may be fine if you want to stop over in New York for a Kosher Delight pastrami sandwich, but if you want a direct flight—this ain’t the place. All in all, it depends which is more important—a direct flight with more variables that could complicate things, or an indirect flight with almost no other variables to mess with you. If you are not familiar with Israeli culture, do be aware that when it comes to security there is less than a casual attitude. So, come early, and come prepared. Otherwise, you’re just holding up the line, making yourself look needlessly suspicious… all that stressful before a relaxing vacation. 

Kosher oc Magazine // February 2016


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