LChaim Magazine Februar 2021 issue

Page 1


UNCOMMON MEDICINE Bastyr University Health





Let us help you move forward. Making critically important family decisions in the aftermath of emotional life changes can be extremely difficult. Our dedicated family law attorneys can help you navigate the complex divorce process with clarity.

Divorce, high conflict child custody, alternative dispute resolution, and more.

Live In Your Dream Home Serving ALL of San Diego County

DEDICATED TO YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS Villa La Jolla Condo. 1 bedroom/1 bath move in ready! Fabulous location. $218,888. Now’s a great time Call or email for details.

to buy a new home! Give me a call.

Call 858-720-8250 or visit for more information. Legal Experts with Humanity

Kris Gelbart

Cal DRE 01345809 858-395-0761

Kris Gelbart Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage DRE #01345809 858-395-0761 •





February 2021 •

1000 WORDS Jimmy Weldon, a Liberator of Buchenwald..........................................................................................

COVER STORY Uncommon Medicine: Bastyr University Offers Alternative Treatments................................

FOOD The Pink Lady Challah....................................................................................................................................







18 20

Sophia Loren Shines in The Life Ahead............................................................................................. My Mom is 106 Years Old............................................................................................................................

FEATURES What the World Can Learn About Immunity from Israel’s Fast Vaccine Rollout...................................................................................................................... Women Juggling it All in Israel................................................................................................................. San Diego International Jewish Film Fest Returns....................................................................

22 26 28





Prayers & Passages................................


Mazel and Mishagoss............................

PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO, LLC (858) 776-0550 San Diego, CA 92127





Barbara Birenbaum, Michael Gardiner, Donald H. Harrison, Steve Horn, Stephanie Lewis, Salomon Maya, Terra Paley, Mimi Pollack, Rachel Stern, Eva Trieger, Deborah Vietor, Chana Jenny Weisberg, Cheri Weiss

Copyright ©2020 L’Chaim San Diego LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator” to:


Published in San Diego, CA •

Diane Benaroya ( 4








 @lchaimmagazine


ACUPUNCTURE FOR EVERYONE. Voted best Acupuncture Physician Group in San Diego.

POWAY 15611 Pomerado Road, Suite 520, Poway, CA 92064 ENCINITAS 317 N El Camino Real, Suite 306, Encinitas, CA 92024

Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Dry Needling, Labs, Lifestyle Suggestions, Axon Therapy, Massage, Chiropractic, Naturopathic Medicine, Hormone Balancing. Nutrition, herbal consult, dry needling, run labs, lifestyle suggestions, axon therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine

(858) 673-4400





& passages Where is G-d in the Book of Esther?


id you know that the name of God does not appear anywhere in the Book of Esther, the Megillah that is chanted on Purim? Despite the dire position in which the Shushan Jews find themselves when Haman puts his evil plan in place to kill them, there is no prostration to God, no begging for God’s salvation and no mention of the Covenant that binds the Jews to God. Despite all of our present-day celebratory grogger waiving, amusing Purim spiels and funny costumes, underneath all the fun and reverie, Purim is a serious story about the potential annihilation of the Jewish people. However, there is no entreaty to God by Mordechai or Esther that the Jews be spared. Before approaching her husband, King Achashverosh, to plead with him to save her people, Queen Esther fasts for three days and asks the Jews to do the same. This would have been the perfect time to beseech God for help, yet there is no mention of prayer to God at all. Esther is fairly bawdy book with its drunken partying and the king’s insistence that the previous Queen Vashti get naked to entertain his friends. This seems to suggest the book is a comedy, a comical farce with exaggerated and archetypal stereotypes: a buffoonish king, beautiful heroine, wise uncle and evil villain. Coincidences, absurd



situations, and misunderstandings. So, it’s possible that the name of God was expunged before Esther was included in the Canon. If we don’t actually see the name of God in Esther, can we feel God’s presence? The vast number of coincidences seems to imply that God is working behind the scenes to save the Jews. If, for example, Mordechai hadn’t convinced Esther to go to Queen Tryouts, if Esther hadn’t been so beautiful, if the King hadn’t fallen in love with her, if evil Haman had succeeded in his revenge plot, if the King hadn’t declared a celebration for Mordechai, if Mordechai hadn’t been in the right place to overhear a plot to overthrow the king… if if if! Yet while we may find the spirit of God in Esther, that still does not explain why God is not specifically mentioned. Perhaps it was the author’s intention to have us look for God ourselves. There is a lesson here: The absence of God’s name may imply that there are times when it is just not obvious that God is with us. In our times of need, we may wait for God’s explicit answer to our prayers yet hear nothing. It is then that we must find the courage and strength with which God has blessed us to keep moving forward. When we feel abandoned, we must rely on our faith and believe that God is with us, which, in

turn, can provide us with the strength that we need to survive. Queen Esther had to act on faith and find her own inner courage, and the reader is encouraged to do the same and believe in God’s Divine presence no matter how challenging that may be. The next time you celebrate the wonderful traditions of Purim: waiving your grogger, admiring the costumes, listening to the beautiful chanting, take a few moments and think about where God is — not only in the Book of Esther but in your own life. The search for God is a dilemma we all face. In that respect, the Book of Esther is and always has been a timeless story about that quest. RABBI-CANTOR CHERI WEISS IS THE FOUNDER AND SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE SAN DIEGO OUTREACH SYNAGOGUE, A POST-DENOMINATIONAL CONGREGATION THAT WELCOMES PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING A UNIQUE MIXTURE OF TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSIC, PRAYER AND LEARNING. SHE IS ALSO THE FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF THE SAN DIEGO JEWISH COMMUNITY CHOIR, WHICH EXPLORES A WIDE VARIETY OF JEWISH MUSIC INCLUDING LITURGICAL PRAYERS, ISRAELI FAVORITES, MUSICAL THEATER AND OTHER POPULAR SONGS BY JEWISH COMPOSERS AND MUCH MORE.

NEED HELP NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE PROCESS? Prep4CollegeNow works with high school and community college students to: • Conduct scholarship and grant searches • Generate a list of “BEST FIT” colleges • Oversee the application process • Edit essays • Ensure timeline adherence

Andrea (Andi) K. Frimmer, M. Ed. The “Get Your Kid into College” Lady • 760.877.7200










immy Weldon, 97, is a voice actor and ventriloquist known for portraying Yakky Doodle and other HannaBarbera characters on The Yogi Bear Show. He was also once a soldier. Serving with the combat engineers under U.S. Gen. George S. Patton in World War II, his squad liberated the Buchenwald death camp. He used to publically speak about the experience and talked to about his long life, including how he has been handling the pandemic. Weldon, who is not Jewish, lives in Burbank, Calif. Q: Mr. Weldon — Jimmy — I understand you were a liberator of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Can you describe the experience? What do you think is important for people to know? I couldn’t believe it. Here’s what is locked in my mind: going in the door and seeing people laying on slabs of wood. The distance was just enough to lie side by side, them reaching out and saying “thank you.” Hundreds of bodies thrown into cubicles nude like animals. I thought, “How is it possible?” It is indelibly engraved in my mind, the inhumanity. I couldn’t imagine. We [soldiers] really were overwhelmed. Q: I understand that you’ve been very involved with Jewish War Veterans. How has the organization helped you? It has a food delivery program here [in Southern California]. That’s great, but I already am involved with “Meals on Wheels,” so I have all the food in the world. Dov

"Nothing will lift you up higher and hold you up longer than the faith and confidence you have in yourself and your abilities." Cohen, the rabbi, brought me some Jewish food, but I can’t take both; it’s not fair. How much food does one old guy need?

I was acting so we would appreciate being homebodies together. You’re making me think of good memories.

Q: Were you married, and do you have children and grandchildren? I was married for 30-and-a-half years and then my wife Muriel left me. She died. We didn’t have children. She was a dancer, I was an actor, and we didn’t really want children because we were interested in careers. She was on stage in England when we met. Then she would often go back to see her parents. I figured if we had children, they’d be asking “Where is Mommy?” a lot, so it worked out. I brought Muriel’s parents here several times, too, and they always said, “Jimmy, you kept your promise. You didn’t take Muriel away.”

Q; You’ve done a lot of public speaking about your experiences as a liberator. Tell me about that. I talked to a group of kids about being in the combat engineers that liberated Buchenwald, and one said, “That never happened.” I said, “Never say that! I was there.” My friend Dennis Daily was a top writer for United Press International and I said, “Dennis, what can we do?” He said you can start a nonprofit and talk to kids. So, I set up the Center for Youth Patriotism to instill civic pride. First school I went to, I had them hold hands in prayer and [the administration] said, “You can’t do that.” I said, “Yes, I can.” It was an ecumenical prayer; I didn’t talk about Jesus, just “God bless America and all of us.” They never stopped me after that.

Q: Sounds like you understood each other. Oh, yes. When we were young, we would watch TV in the evenings. Other people wanted to “go out,” but she was a dancer and




JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE U.S. The oldest veterans organization in America

Q: I understand you were the voice of some of the characters on The Yogi Bear Show. I remember Yakky Doodle! Can tell me about your career? I was a voiceover actor — the last living voice in The Yogi Bear Show. Yakky Doodle was a little duck. I also was the big bulldog Chopper. Yogi Bear is still on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang. I also wrote a motivational book called Go Get ‘Em Tiger. Q: How has the pandemic affected your day-to-day life? Are you able to see family? My brothers are gone, but my niece and nephew are around, and I see them. We are trying to be careful and safe. I hope they get the vaccine out soon. It’ll take weeks before they can get around to guys my age. They say they are fast-tracking it, and I hope so. As soon as the vaccine comes out, I’ll go back to schools. You can’t go on forever, but in whatever time I have left ... I love speaking in schools. Daily routine is just going one day to next to live best you can every day. Last night, I sat up and watched a movie, Audie Murphy’s To Hell and Back. It was great. Q: What advice do you have for young people? Nothing will lift you up higher and hold 10


you up longer than the faith and confidence you have in yourself and your abilities. Two of the greatest things you can say are, “Thank you” and “I love you.” And if you tell a woman, “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” or “Thank you for making dinner,” she won’t say, “I’m sick of it, stop it!” Q: It’s clear that to get to your age, you are living well. Do you have any advice specifically about health and longevity? Including how to deal with the pandemic? I’m a hypochondriac. I always think this or that is wrong with me. Q: Really? I hear that people who live a long time have some kind of perfect attitude. It seems like a lot of pressure, though. But the secret is attitude. You can’t control every thought in your head, but don’t let anyone step on your attitude. Think of how quickly you can feel so good, and then someone says the wrong thing and instantly your attitude changes. You just have to say “I’m sorry you feel that way” and move on quickly to something good. You have to fight it. Note: This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Beginning several years ago, and presently, at this time of the year, a volunteer organization called Wreaths Across America, places wreaths on the graves of all deceased veterans interned at VA cemeteries. Due to several complaints from relatives regarding laying of Christmas wreaths on Jewish graves, Wreaths Across America agreed to the ancient Jewish custom of leaving a stone at each Jewish grave. Hence, they contacted Jewish War Veterans, Post 185 of San Diego. On Monday, Dec. 14th, Jewish War Veterans of Post 185, as well as family and friends met at Miramar National Cemetery to honor over 400 Jewish veterans’ gravesites. The Jewish tradition of placing a small stone on each Jewish tombstone acts as a sign of a recent visit in remembrance of the departed. The name of an interned Jewish veteran is spoken as a stone is placed on their tombstone and then a prayer or comment is made for each interned veteran. On December 14th There were about 10 volunteers for this venerable Jewish tradition. It was a very moving experience. A senior representative from the cemetery told us that Miramar National Cemetery was the only VA cemetery that this Jewish tradition had ever been held and hoped this act of Jewish recognition will now occur nationally at all VA cemeteries. Post 185 wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Brenda Kaesler and Ted Tomaszewicz of the Wreaths Across America and Ollie Wardenaaro of SoCal Patriot Guard Riders.




Fill your pockets with GREEN! While helping the community get their word out.


SALES EXECUTIVES Email with your resume and ideas. 11


$ $ $



SENIOR PATIENTS Why Choose Bastyr University for Your Health Care




ver felt that frustrating feeling after you wait months or weeks for an appointment with your primary or a specialist and you get 10 minutes of their time at the most? You are often left with unanswered questions and possibly even more concerns? Maybe you are looking for a more natural solution for a medical condition. Maybe you have an allergy to or side effect to a prescribed medication. That is why I back up all of my regular medical appointments with a visit to Bastyr University Clinic in Sorrento Valley. It is a small yet very professional teaching clinic with a friendly knowledgeable staff who have your best interest at heart. I have been a long term patient at Bastyr in San Diego. Let me count the ways and reasons I appreciate that. It is a teaching environment, they can be your primary Naturopathic primary care doctor in California or as in my case, they work in tandem with my primary care physician. The team experience is like no


other. You are seen by two students who take your history, your really complete history (almost exhaustive) and dig a bit deeper than just symptomatology. They are attuned to the clues you give and are alert for that one scintilla of information that can make a difference in your health. I have experienced that first hand by remarking about something and my attending students figured out what my real problem was ... not the one I was presenting. The students perform a physical exam along with the extensive interview and then leave to confer with the supervising Naturopathic doctor. The three of them return with suggestions, solutions and if needed, prescription. What differentiates this from any other similar experience is that they listen. After they proffer their ideas, they ask you what you think. It really is a healing circle approach that centers on your needs. There’s a whole lot of “you” in visits to Bastyr that provides you with a confident feeling. They answer your questions, talk over your fears, clearly delineate your prognosis and provide suggestions. I have also had them do extensive WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



further research on a long term condition. Due to COVID restrictions, I had a long and very interesting phone interview with Dr. Tim Schwaiger, ND, MA, Chief Medical Officer at Bastyr University Clinic. He is also a associate clinical professor in the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University California and you may well see him as the supervising doctor. It was clear in speaking with him of his dedication to naturopathic studies, the caliber of the students and the overall health of the community at large. Although they don’t have a formal program for seniors, one third of their clients are seniors. Seniors have specific needs and he is implementing even more courses and actions to meet these needs. His clinical interests dovetail with the offerings at the clinic. They include primary care medicine, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, endocrinology disorders such as hypothyroidism, neurological disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s, sleep disorders, pain management, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, sleep disorders, hormone replacement therapy, low dose naltrexone (LDN), and much more. He has 21 years of experience in injection therapy for pain management including prolotherapy and trigger point therapy. He is a certified HeartMath coach used in stress reduction. He also has an interest in integrative cancer therapy. He brings all this to the table while mentoring and guiding the Bastyr students. Dr. Schwaiger and Bastyr have a strong belief in shared decision making, actively engaging the patient in the healing process as



noted above. They focus on personalized medicine noting the importance of tailoring the therapeutic program directly to the individual using evidence based medicine and proven therapies, some that have worked for centuries. Naturopathic doctors can help individuals with nonpharmaceutical approaches to blood pressure, depression, anxiety and insomnia. In addition to being a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Schwaiger, also has a deep background in sleep research and therapies and is able to bring this experience into the teaching clinics at Bastyr. As seniors, we are acutely aware that sleep is the foundation of our health. Sleep and nutrition are very important queries in any Bastyr visit. The clinic offers affordable team care appointments described above as well as resident and private practice appointments. They are just beginning to add more physical appointments and many of their clients are choosing telehealth. Telehealth is really interesting because they can see you in your environment and you don’t have to brave the traffic. They have found great success doing this even in physical health appointments. These appointments will still be popular post-COVID. At the moment, they are not able to accept Medicare but they can act as Ordering, Referring and Prescribing (ORP) providers under Medi-Cal. First appointments are $65.00 and are 6090 minutes long, follow ups are $35.00 and are 35-45 minutes. When you call for an appointment, you may go through an intense phone screening so that they can route you to the perfect team. I referred a friend, she became agitated (too much time at home) at



the initial process and couldn’t stop raving about how perfect her appointment was. When Bastyr says personalized, they mean it. In San Diego, Bastyr offers naturopathic Primary Care, Physical Medicine (can be offered on telehealth shifts), Homeopathy, Nutrition Counseling (offered on naturopathic care shifts), Mental Health Counseling (only offered during spring and summer quarters. Please contact the clinic to be added to the waitlist.), Biofeedback and stress management support, Hydrotherapy (inperson only), and IV Therapy (in-person only). WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?

As Defined by the American Association for Naturopathic Medical Colleges: “Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained as primary care providers who diagnose, treat and manage patients with acute and chronic conditions, while addressing disease and dysfunction at the level of body, mind and spirit.

Naturopathic Doctors concentrate on whole patient wellness through health promotion and disease prevention, while addressing the underlying cause of the patient’s condition. NDs are clinicians, authors, scholars, researchers and entrepreneurs, and are increasingly in demand across numerous industries. They provide individualized, evidence-informed therapies that balance the least harmful and most effective approaches in order to help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Naturopathic doctors are experts in natural medicine, and naturopathic medical education is the most efficient and direct way to train as a primary care doctor who specializes in natural medicine.” More about the students at Bastyr: In San Diego, the average age is around thirty. Many come from the healing modalities and choose naturopathic medicine as their next career path. I personally encountered students with degrees in physical therapy, acupuncture, counseling, body working and musical theory. With a slightly older student, many bring their years of experience with them and add their expertise to the healing process. If you are not wanting a teaching situation, many of the doctors see patients privately. Those fees are similar to what you would pay outside of a teaching environment. Bastyr also has a beautiful state of the art test kitchen and lab where they conduct world class research (one of the only labs worldwide specializing in natural me. In non-COIVD times, the kitchen offers fabulous cooking and health classes. There is one class scheduled for February. It is said that your health is your wealth. Bastyr offers strong support for your health. Though we have spoken of seniors, they see everyone from infants to seniors. It is an opportunity to be heard and maybe unlock a health mystery or find a way to handle a long-term condition. I think you will be as pleased as I am. BASTYR UNIVERSITY IS LOCATED AT 4110 SORRENTO VALLEY BLVD., SAN DIEGO, CA 92121 THE CLINIC IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, 8:30 A.M. TO 9 P.M., AND FRIDAY FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 5 P.M. SATURDAY ARE RESERVED FOR TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS ONLY, 9 A.M.-1 P.M. THE CLINIC IS CLOSED SUNDAYS. TO LEARN MORE, VISIT BASTYRCLINIC.ORG OR CALL (858) 246-9730.








(makes 2 loaves) INGREDIENTS For the cranberry challah dough: 1 cup 100 percent cranberry juice (not cocktail) 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup canola oil 2 teaspoons table salt 4 1/4 cup bread flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoons instant bread machine yeast For the cranberry candied pink lady apple filling: 2 tablespoons margarine (canola oil may be used too) 4 medium pink lady apples, peeled and diced into Âź inch cubes 2/3 cup cranberry juice 2-4 tablespoons sugar 1 pinch of salt For the topping: 1 egg yolk 1 1/2 teaspoons water Turbinado sugar (optional) INSTRUCTIONS Be sure your dough is the proper consistency as consistency can vary from day to day due to a variety of factors, including the brand of juice used. To reach desired consistency: if sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time; if dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. 1. Add dry and wet ingredients to a bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. If not using a bread machine, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, turn out on to a floured board and knead well for 5-7 minutes by hand or with the dough hook of a stand mixer until smooth. Allow to rise in a large bowl in a dark place, covered with a towel for 1 1/2 hours. 2. While dough is rising, prepare the apple filling by melting the margarine in a pan over medium heat. 3. Once melted add the apples and cook for 3-5 minutes. Pour in

the cranberry juice, sugar, and salt and let cook until most of the juice is absorbed by the apples. Remove the apples from the pan and lay on a paper towel. Cool and dry completely. 4. When the dough cycle is complete, remove dough from the bread machine and divide into 6 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll three portions into long ropes, and using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a rectangle approximately 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. 5. Spread 1/6 of the filling on each rectangle being sure to leave around 1/2 an inch of space all around the edge. From the long edge of the dough, gently bring both sides of the dough over the filling, being sure to keep the edge dry, and pinch together. 6. Repeat for all 3 rectangles. Carefully braid each of the rolls together, then place on a greased loaf pan or greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. 7. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes in a draft-free place. 8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 9. Beat egg yolk and mix to prepare the egg wash. Brush over each challah. 10. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. 11. Bake challahs for approximately 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Best served slightly warm.

12. 13. This recipe was printed with permission from Sharsheret, the

Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer community. If you or someone you love has been impacted by breast or ovarian cancer, or have elevated genetic risk, contact Sharsheret for free support and resources. For more information, visit or call 866-474-2774.

Note: This recipe was printed with permission from Sharsheret, the Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer community. If you or someone you love has been impacted by breast or ovarian cancer, or have elevated genetic risk, contact Sharsheret for free support and resources. For more information, visit or call 866-474-2774.





in The Life Ahead

Sophia Loren and Iosif Diego Pirvu star in a multi-cultural emotional film BY DEBORAH VIETOR

Sophia Loren and Iosif Diego Pirvu star in The Life Ahead. Photo by Regine De Lazzaris AKA Greta - ©2020 – Netflix.


isceral and at times raw and surreal, The Life Ahead manages to remain quite grounded in modern day Italy. Bringing many cultures together, whether Romanian, Senegalese, Italian, Jewish or Islam, the film is a wonderful, multi-cultural emotional experience for people of all ages. Several actors, including Momo are foreign, new to the screen, offering exceptional performances. 18


The film is a combination of innocence mixed with the harshness life can bring. This is a beautiful illustration of how a society can exist where we can support one another, living in harmony. A parallel can certainly be made in today’s world of how our culture struggles to work towards this unity in a time of pandemic. The third screen adaptation of the novel. The Life Before Us, written by the French

author, Romain Gary, The Life Ahead, is a vital film. Sophia Loren captivates the audience as Madame Rosa, an ageing Jewish Italian woman who continues to care for the children of sex workers in the seaside town of Bari, Italy. After she is robbed of her candlesticks while perusing the open market, her friend and physician, Dr. Coen shows up with the thief, a 12-year-old Senegalese boy, imploring


her to take him in. Momo, short for Mohamed, illuminates the screen, giving us a glimpse of the transition between darkness and the light with his raw and emotional appeal. Dr. Coen emphasizes Momo’s need for a strong maternal figure. Moved by his tragic circumstances, she finally relents, knowing he is trouble. Alternately tough and compassionate, we have a glimpse of the complexities which embody the spirituality of Madame Rosa, who continues to embrace her Jewish faith. Through their shared pain, anger, loneliness and fragility, Momo and Madame Rosa find a connection. Her close friend Lola, a former boxer with an open heart, is a transgender sex worker with a small son named Babu who Madame Rosa also cares for. This further exemplifies that she knows no boundaries when connecting and caring for others. It is poetic watching them dance together as Momo reminisces about dancing with his own mother. She cares for losif, A Romanian Jewish boy whose mother has been absent for months. She teaches him Hebrew in preparation for a Bar Mitzvah he does not want. Initially he and Momo compete and fight, ultimately becoming like brothers. Madame Rosa visits a local Islamic shopkeeper and rug maker Mr. Hamil, imploring him to hire Momo a few days a week. Reluctant at first, he agrees as she tells him he is the most honorable man she knows. Momo stocks shelves, learning how to repair and create intricately woven rugs, while Hamil educates him about the rich history of the Muslim faith with references to the Qur’an, including as the lion rug they restore. “The lion is a symbol of power, patience and faith. You have faith, right? Faith is like love.” Ironically, Momo has conjured a fictitious, CGI lioness appearing as his friend and protectress. Momo wants Hamil to connect with Madame Rosa on a romantic level, yet Hamil

The film is a combination of innocence mixed with the harshness that life can bring.

explains that he cannot do this as she is Jewish, with Momo responding that she is no longer Jewish, just old. Hamil is acutely aware of Momo’s drug dealing as he knows the local dealer, sharing where he will ultimately end up in life. The dealer’s recruitment of Momo combined with his insidious personality are reminiscent of Shylock. Due to the continuity of kindness, patience and strength of Madame Rosa and Hamil, Momo chooses the high road, leaving the drug world behind. Madame Rosa and Momo helplessly watch as police separate children from their prostitute mothers who are taken to jail. This resonates strongly as within our current culture, there is often a sense of uncertainty and isolation which at times can feel violent. Their two spirits unite throughout the movie, intertwined in an interesting way as we feel the pain they have each survived, forming a strong bond in the process. Touching on the horrors of the holocaust, with subtle references to her experiences in Auschwitz, included is the tattoo Momo notices a souvenir she received on her wrist from the camp. Iosif believes she is a spy and the numbers tattooed on her arm allow her entrance to the basement where her counterintelligence work continues. The boys are unaware of the holocaust and the atrocities which have been committed. As the film progresses, Dr. Coen exclaims

she is deteriorating, with a heart condition and dementia, as memories surface of her wore torn life, tormenting her. She seeks refuge in her basement, a place of solace and a way to process her experiences. She begs Momo never to allow them to take her to the hospital, as in Auschwitz, this is where terrible things happened. Momo is overwhelmed as he sees the ambulance taking Madame Rosa to the hospital. A heartbreaking scene ensues where she does not recognize him and he sneaks her out in a wheelchair, fulfilling her wish spend her final hours in the basement. Although Momo exudes an overwhelming amount of sadness as he is her protector, even in death, we know in the end he will survive, emerging from his life on the streets, a testimonial to how loving families can emerge in many forms. The Life Ahead is distributed and well received in 37 countries, peaking Netflix’s top 10, currently considered for an Oscar. Edoardo Ponti’s directorial talents are superb as he is able to extract precisely only the most extraordinary acting elements from Loren. He exclaimed in an interview that he would rather direct her than any other actress in the world, lauding her performances and exemplary quality as a human being. We learned that Momo had no experience as an actor and the entire cast lived together during filming, creating a familial bond.





is 106 years old BY JONATHAN ROSENBERG


et that sink in for a moment. Eve Rosenberg reads the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal. Yes, she’s a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker. Born in Detroit, my mom and her family moved to The Bronx in the middle of the Depression. There, they ran a few small candy stores, though they were out of that business by the time I was born. Being that I was a chubby (I’m being generous) child, that’s probably a good thing. My mom is one of the most intelligent people I know. Add to that a phenomenal memory



and you have a person who can carry on a literate conversation with anyone. She reads books by the bushelful, usually fiction. And she walks a mile every day. Every day! A resident of Seacrest Encinitas for a decade, mom is looked upon as “royalty.” Everybody knows Eve and Eve knows everybody… by name! And their spouses. And their children. How does she do it? Here’s one of her secrets: each night she will not allow herself to fall asleep until she spells a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet from A to Z. The words have to be 8 letters or more. Only then

will she close her eyes. Flaws? Well, yes. Technology passed my mom by after the invention of the television. The cell phone (which she calls “the clicker”) is always “broken” until it magically fixes itself and, on our weekly Zoom calls, I constantly have to remind her to sit back so that we can see her whole face instead of her eye ball. Mom gave me many gifts. She has a wicked sense of humor and a laugh that sings. Dragging us to Broadway shows and museums has given me an appreciation for the arts that I otherwise wouldn’t have. There’s nary a conversation that goes by without my mom singing to me. She is also determined to live. To read that next book, taste that next meal (the woman loves her bacon!), and blow out the candles, with family and friends around her, for her 107th. Mom raised 2 boys, has 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She’ll lament that she doesn’t hear from them enough, that they’re not interested in, or have time for her. I see her point. But that lack of connection shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of love. She’s treasured by her family and her “adopted family” of relations and friends, both young and old, who seek her advice, conversation and connection. When people tell me how “nice” it is that I visit my mom, I tell them that I see her, not because I have to, but because I want to. Yes, I get roundly criticized (bad posture, losing my hair, facial wrinkles, etc) but the rewards far outweigh (usually) the tonguelashings. I want my mom to live forever. That’s not selfish, is it? She’s the most remarkable person that I know.


BY LIORA REZ rom the East Coast to West, American colleges and universities have become toxic environments for Jewish students. Our campuses are infested with antisemitism stemming from student groups advocating for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). At the same time, radicalized faculty members contribute to the spread of Jew-hatred. And university administrators are reluctant to take action to hold these antisemites accountable. Just last month, exposed that University of California Merced Engineering Professor Abbas Ghassemi posted horrific antisemitic and anti-American content on social media. Initially the University brushed off the complaints, citing free speech. But after outrage continued to grow, the University announced an investigation into Ghassemi, subsequently cancelling his spring classes. Earlier last year, the City University of New York (CUNY) found itself in a similar situation after one of its law students, Nerdeen Kiswani, posted a horrific antisemitic video of her threatening to set a black man on fire for wearing an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) sweatshirt. Rather than condemning Kiswani, CUNY Law School Dean Mary Lu Bilek defended her bigoted and dangerous actions as being covered by the First Amendment. Even when one of Kiswani’s former classmates was forced out of CUNY due to Kiswani’s ongoing antisemitic harassment, the school did nothing to help the student. Following CUNY’s inaction and failure to protect its Jewish students, an official Title VI complaint alleging systemic antisemitism at the school was filed with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.


This wasn’t the first time a student was bullied for being Jewish while the University stood by without taking any action. In August 2020, University of Southern California (USC) student Senator Rose Rich was forced to resign from her position after a vile antisemitic campaign was launched against her by SJP because she proudly stated she was a Zionist. The harassment and bullying Rich was subjected to left her no choice but to step down. Rich criticized the University’s administration for not standing in solidarity with Jewish students after a watered-down condemnation statement was issued by USC President Carol Folt. No further actions were taken by USC, essentially greenlighting future antisemitic incidents on campus. These incidents are not isolated events. They are part of an increasingly growing phenomenon of antisemitism on American campuses. While radical student groups and professors freely and openly promote Jew hatred, universities are reluctant to take action to stop them. Jewish students are being forced to disavow their Jewish identities or denounce their support of the State of Israel to avoid harsh consequences. If they don’t, they often find themselves bullied, harassed, and ostracized. In order to fight antisemitism, we must properly define it. is at the forefront of calling on universities to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Officially adopting the IHRA working definition is a proactive way to protect Jewish students on American campuses and ensure their safety and success. To support our work and stay up to date, contact us at: Liora@ WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM




A vial containing Pfizer’s BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine, at a vaccination center in Modi’in on Jan. 12, 2021. PHOTO BY YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90.




ore than 1.3 million Israelis have already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer BioNTech. The extraordinarily fast and organized vaccination campaign in Israel is unmatched per capita anywhere in the world. By design, this fast rollout is providing Pfizer — and the rest of us — with the first critical real-world data on brand new mRNA vaccines. This type of vaccine instructs cells to make a “spike” protein that triggers the immune system to produce antibodies against the matching spike protein on the surface of the SARS CoV 2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. “Pfizer knows the data they will get from Israel is good and accurate. They see our rate of vaccination is very efficient so they can report post marketing data to the FDA quickly,” says microbiology expert Dr. Natan Keller, vice chairman of Sheba Medical Center’s Institutional Review Board 22


Committee and past president of the Israeli Society of Infectious Diseases. FDA emergency use approval for the Pfizer vaccine was based on a study of 24,000 vaccine recipients and 24,000 placebo recipients, says Keller. Israel now has data from more than 2.7 million who got at least one dose and the number increases by about 100,000 per day. ISRAEL21c gathered information from local experts and national health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on what Israel has learned about the vaccine and its efficient distribution. WHAT WE KNOW

Pfizer BioNTech’s studies showed the mRNA vaccines to be about 95 percent effective within a certain amount of time after the second dose. “We know Pfizer’s data was quite accurate,” says Keller. “Effectiveness is in the high 90s after the second dose — Pfizer says eight days, but I recommend 14 days for full immunity.”

Studies from the Clalit and Maccabi HMOs support Keller’s recommendation. Even so, Maccabi saw a 60 percent drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations among members aged 60 and over as little as two days after the second dose. “Based on our data, we know most people infected after the first dose were infected within the first two weeks of vaccination,” says Keller. “We also know that statistically, the disease is less severe in the vaccinated [even one dose] than in the non vaccinated.” Indeed, Maccabi reported that although 20 members got infected with COVID-19 after the second dose — out of 128,600 in total — they experienced only mild symptoms and recovered at home. Also encouraging was a Sheba study that found that employees who received both doses had more antibodies against the novel coronavirus than did recovered COVID-19 patients.



“For now, nobody knows how long the vaccine protects,” says Keller. “We may need updated vaccines every year or two.” Dr. Gili Regev Yochay, director of Sheba’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, and her staff will follow up for more than a year with vaccinated volunteers to continue studying the interaction between the virus and the vaccine. Regev Yochay said it is unlikely that vaccinated people can still spread the SARS CoV 2 virus to others, but that’s not yet proven. Nor is there scientific data supporting some countries’ decision to delay administration of the second dose due to high morbidity and vaccine shortages. “Waiting longer might be better, the same, or it could be worse,” says Ella Sklan, Ph.D., of Tel Aviv University medical school’s department of clinical immunology and microbiology. “Since 21 days between doses in the Pfizer trials and 28 days in the Moderna trials were the only conditions tested and proved efficient, any deviation from these schedules is an experiment,” Sklan says. “That’s why most health agencies do not recommend delaying the second dose. However, for other vaccines, though with different mechanisms of action, you can give the second dose half a year later and they work fine.” SIDE EFFECTS

“Israel’s public health system has special software developed years ago for very efficient vaccination logistics and follow up on side effects,” says Keller. “In general, vaccine side effects are extremely rare. With the COVID vaccine, people have mostly been reporting minor side effects from the first dose when they come for the second dose,” he says. These effects are mainly soreness or pain

“Israel’s public health system has special software developed years ago for very efficient vaccination logistics and follow up on side effects.” at the injection site in the arm, which passes after a day or so. “This comprehensive data is from medical staff or people above age 60, so we know most of the real side effects and it seems quite safe including minor side effects,” concludes Keller. VACCINE VS. MUTATIONS

“Right now, the virus has infected almost 100 million people in the world, and that creates a lot of chances for mutations to emerge,” says Sklan. However, she adds, “We see only one to two mutations in the SARS CoV 2 virus genome per month, which is not a lot compared to other viruses. Most mutations don’t cause any recognizable change in the virus and some actually harm the virus. It’s rare that a mutation gives a virus an advantage.” She and Keller agree with experts who assume that the existing vaccines will be effective against most new variants. “The mRNA vaccines [from Pfizer and Moderna] contain the sequence coding the spike protein — a large protein made up of 1,273 amino acids in a 3-dimensional structure,” explains Sklan.

“The antibody response generated by the vaccine is against multiple areas on the spike protein. Thus, if there are mutations, for example in 10 amino acids, we assume that it will have some impact on the effectiveness but will not completely block the ability of the antibodies to neutralize the virus. In addition, aside from antibodies, we have other immune components that can attack the virus as well.” HERD IMMUNITY

Achieving herd immunity — indirect protection that occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has immunity — depends on the number of infections in a community and other factors, says Sklan. “But it will be difficult to stop infections if a large proportion of the population, such as children, are not vaccinated,” she adds. Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for ages 16 and over; Israel has started vaccinating 16 to 18 year olds. The pharma company is now doing trials on 12 to 16 year olds. Israel may be the first country to consider vaccinating children under 16 who are at high risk if they get infected. For now, Sklan says, no vaccine developer is testing in children under 12. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



“The only thing we can do until the vaccine is approved for younger age groups is to get as many people as possible vaccinated in the age group that can get it, because that will lower the number of infections in the general population, the number of severe COVID-19 patients and the probability of the emergence of new variants.” Israel’s Health Ministry is now advising pregnant women to vaccinated, citing several severe COVID-19 cases in pregnant women and “no evidence of harm resulting from vaccination during the entire pregnancy.” Dr. Ran Balicer, epidemiologist and chief innovation officer for Clalit Health Services, and an adviser to the World Health Organization, recently tweeted, “If we can reach 60 percent [vaccination] coverage 24


by March, viral transmission will likely be heavily disrupted and transmission dynamics considerably changed for the better.” VACCINATION LOGISTICS

SYN RG Ai Integrative Solutions used its expertise in crisis management to help Israeli government agencies accomplish a swift and efficient rollout of the COVID vaccines. “Israel’s vaccine campaign was so successful because the Israeli government used the dayto-day apparatus of our HMO system that touches every citizen,” says Col. (Ret.) Avi Cohen, cofounder of SYN RG Ai. “Great logistics won’t help if people don’t come,” he says. “In Israel, there are few who do not want to take the vaccine, compared to 40 percent in some European countries.”

Full research and clinical data from Pfizer and Moderna were provided to primary care physicians in the HMOs. These physicians were the first to get vaccinated as an example to their patients. Logistics were adjusted for each place. For example, in towns with inadequate transportation options, minibusses were available to take people to the nearest city to get vaccinated. SYN RG Ai is advising several foreign governments and hopes to bring the Israeli model to other major cities, states and nations. Cohen advises every country to put vaccination logistics into the hands of trusted organizations that work closely with citizens day to day, such as community volunteer


“Israel’s vaccine campaign was so successful because the Israeli government used the day-to-day apparatus of our HMO system that touches every citizen.”

Mark S. Stern, MD

Certified by the American Board of Neurosurgery 705 East Ohio Avenue • Escondido, CA 760-489-9490 •

groups. “If you operate through the strongest and most trusted such group in each area, it works,” Cohen says. LOOKING AHEAD

Even as more data comes in on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, Sheba’s Keller says preventive measures of masks, social distancing and handwashing remain essential. “Because there are always some people who will not get vaccinated — or who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons, including that they are under 16 or in chemotherapy or immune deficient — it is very important not to stop taking precautions for many months,” he says. “We have a responsibility to protect them, too.” Clalit’s Balicer adds that precautions also are necessary because no COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective. “There is no complete protection,” he says. Note: This article was first published by Israel21c.





MilkStrip is a biotech and wellness company that provides real-time breast-milk decision support at home, informing new mothers about the freshness and nutrition of human milk.




astercard’s Index of Women Entrepreneurs announced last month that Israel is ranked as the best country for female entrepreneurs in 2020, rising from fourth place in 2019, with the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand trailing the Jewish state. According to Mastercard, Israel jumped to first place this year due to its increase in support for small- and medium-sized businesses. The company also noted that women have been disproportionality impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with 87 percent of female business owners saying that they have been negatively affected. Drs. Avital Beck and Hadas Shatz-Azouly — scientists, mothers, entrepreneurs and founders of an Israeli startup — understand firsthand the challenges of owning a business while raising six and five children, respectively, and further stress the importance of their product given the unusual demands placed on women during this time. Their company, MilkStrip, is a biotech 26


and wellness company that provides realtime breast-milk decision support at home, informing new mothers about the freshness and nutrition of human milk. As fellow doctors and mothers, they saw the need for immediate breast-milk results firsthand themselves and among their friends, and so they developed their expiration and Vitamin C diagnostic kits to “bring decision support to mothers in a time of great uncertainty.” They note that modern mothers are empowered with vast general knowledge at their fingertips. However, when it comes to science and their baby’s health, there are many unanswered questions — for example, doubts about their breast milk that could not be answered by existing kits that needed to be sent to a lab, with results only after 10 days. “You can test the water of your aquarium, but until now, issues that concern mothers are not always addressed,” Shatz-Azouly told JNS. “We still live in a world that addresses men, so we established this company to give answers to women that they cannot get

elsewhere.” “When you have a crying baby, you want your answers now, not in 10 days,” Beck told JNS. “Because we can detect anything today, the idea is to empower women. Because of lifestyles changes, women pump more, and there are ways to optimize breast milk, induce immunity, cause better sleep and higher cognition,” she said. The aim of MilkStrip’s diagnostic kits and reports is to help ensure that children are getting optimal sustenance and nutrition, in addition to empowering mothers with the results from the reports. For women who pump and store their milk, Shatz-Azouly maintained, the kit determines whether the milk has expired or whether it can be safely given to a child, which “can be a big confusion and doubt for those giving milk to a baby, whether it is a mother, father, nanny, etc.” “Almost half of all women have doubted their breast milk at times, and 60 percent have thrown away pumped breast milk,” she


added. In just three minutes, the app analyzes the Vitamin C content of milk, which is crucial for the immune development of babies. “People are especially worried about this during the coronavirus,” she related. If Vitamin C is low, the kit will offer suggestions, such as adding certain supplements or eating certain fruits or vegetables before pumping or breastfeeding. During the pandemic, she emphasized, “people are staying at home more and make milk stashes that they will have waiting in their freezer for longer. Before, they would pump and then go to work, and use the milk later. But now, they give the milk in two to three weeks because they go out less, so the question is even more important.” “We thought that fewer people would use breast pumps during coronavirus, but the purchase of breast pumps went up because you don’t want a baby attached to you all the time, and many women are also busy with other kids,” said Beck, who noted that their web traffic has significantly increased recently. MilkStrip officially launched in the United Kingdom and the United States a monthand-a-half ago, with clinical trials beginning in Israel, where the entrepreneurs noted that birth rates are especially high. “Israel is unique; our population is highly educated with a huge percentage earning multiple degrees compared to other countries. On the other hand, while most of the Western world is decreasing in the number of children per family, Israel shows the opposite trend — even in the general population, not including religious Muslims and Jews. So while women have many children, they are also educated and have careers,” said Shatz-Azouly. Beck, who came from a family of four, recalled her mother being asked the funny question by a non-Israeli, about whether she cooks or she works. “We laughed because we know in Israel that women juggle it all, and because of that, there is a certain tolerance within Israel for families — and that juggling also inspires technology and new innovations

MilkStrip officially launched in the United Kingdom and United States a month-and-a-half ago, with clinical trials beginning in Israel, where the entrepreneurs noted that birth rates are especially high. CREDIT: COURTESY

that can enrich our lives.” Though it is less common to see female entrepreneurs with large families, Beck and Shatz-Azouly expressed pride in being role models for Israeli society. “It’s not easy. It’s a matter of being efficient with your time,” maintained Beck. Despite Israel being “female-friendly” and many mothers having careers, agreed Shatz-Azouly, “it is still very hard for female entrepreneurs and it is a daily struggle, but we are part of the solution. Being [in the entrepreneurial space] makes business community address us. We are paving a path for our daughters, showing them that what they can do.” “On a personal note,” she continued,

“when I finished my Ph.D., I had a choice — to work for a pharmaceutical company or establish this firm, and it was not an easy choice. It has a price on my time, family and stress. But the reason we did it is because Avital and I felt we can make a difference and bring change.” “When you have this entrepreneurial bug, you can’t get rid of it,” agreed Beck. “You go full force — think about it all the time — and it has advantages and disadvantages. You make change from an idea, make an idea into a product and wear many hats. It’s like a roller coaster, with ups and downs and in the long run. It’s fun, inspiring and makes you feel satisfied, like you’ve broken a [glass] ceiling.” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM






ast February, the San Diego International Jewish Film Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary, bringing thousands of people together across San Diego. Over the three decades since its inception, the festival greatly grew and changed, but one constant each and every year was that people congregated together at theatres across San Diego to watch films in a communal setting. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that can no longer be done safely. So does that mean there will be no 31st consecutive year? Fortunately, the answer is not only will the 31st anniversary occur, but it will include a full slate of films over the planned duration of ten days, and has the potential to bring in the largest number of people ever by employing technology that could not ever have been imagined back when the first film festival began in the JCC gym with a rented projector. Ryan Isaac, the JCC’s Cultural Arts



Director, explains, “Back in March, we were just coming off the buzz of a very successful 30th anniversary when we realized that COVID was a threat to the next festival, but we were hopeful that quarantining would be short-lived and normal life would be back soon enough. And, while we were being optimistic, we also were contingency planning. We were really lucky to have completed our festival just a few weeks before quarantining began and thus had nearly a year to plan for this new world, where other film festivals were really scrambling. Leveraging our relationships with other festivals who were able to pivot to online festivals with varying success, we learned so much that we now feel comfortable about being able to offer an experience that our patrons will appreciate. We knew the key was to make it easy, convenient, and still provide the kind of quality our filmgoers have come to expect. Chris Fink, San Diego International Jewish

Film Festival chair added that it was critical that the platform would allow us to meet our top priority: bringing the community together. “I have long said that community building starts in line. This year, my new motto is community starts online.” We have all worked so hard not only to bring an incredible lineup of films but also to include as much interactivity as possible to really make it a meaningful communal experience. For example, we chose a technology platform that allows us to continue key elements of our festival such as audience voting and the opportunity for Q & A with filmmakers. And beyond that, we continue to look for opportunities for our community to share the experience.” Chris, the entire Film Selection Committee, and the JCC staff are excited for you to join them at the 31st annual SDIJFF, and as we always say: LET THE FESTING BEGIN!



& mishagoss Judaism... You Can't Fake it Til You Make It!


s a writer, I have a naturally curious personality. Okay, alright, so I’m a nosy eavesdropper. Are you happy now? Last week I logged into a Zoom call for women applying to write Jewish greeting cards for “Hallmark-owitz.” (Yes, I just made that company name up!) Because I’m shy, I kept my video off. Because I’m sneaky, I kept my audio off. Get the picture? I was a Jewish fly on the wall overhearing these two women schmoozing. But I wanted to make sure I aced them out of the position. Lady #1 -- I’m nervous. I shouldn’t have said I was Jewish on my resume, but I really need this job so figured I’d fake it. Give me some pointers before the publisher comes online? Or do you think I’m just mezuzah? That’s how Jews say ‘crazy’ in Yiddish, yes? Lady #2 – I wouldn’t know. I’m Catholic. I pretend to be Jewish so my husband’s mother won’t flip out. Let’s help each other. I’ve overheard a lot of terminology. Lady #1 – Wow, Murphy’s Law we’re both ‘gentles!’ Maybe Murphy’s Jewish? No worries. I have ideas for greeting cards from watching Fiddler on the Roof. For an engagement, it can say, “You gave each other a pledge? Unheard of! Unthinkable!” And a “Get-Well” card for someone coughing can say, “As the good book says, when you spit in the air it lands in your face!” For someone who’s recently taken up sewing – “Even a

poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!” But oddly, Jews celebrate New Years in Sept. Lady #2 – Oh? That must be why they call it Rush Hashanah. In a hurry to get the old year over with. Well I have an idea for their other holiday, Passover. You know the one where they have to go hungry and ‘PassOver” all that good food to atone for their sins? Lady #1 – Silly you! The one where they starve is called Yom Kippur. First word pronounced “Yum” to torture them about fasting. Second word pronounced “Keeper” to remind them to ‘Keep’ their famine going for 24 hours. Everybody knows that! Lady #2 – (Slaps forehead) That’s right, I forgot. Passover is the one honoring the dearly departed who’ve “passed over” to the other side. Right? They light one of those short fat candles I’ve seen in the supermarket – called a “Yard Side” candle. How they keep it burning in their side yard for eight days and nights with a breeze blowing is amazing! Lady #1 – Exactly! It’s some miracle oil, I hear. Hence, “The Festival of Light.” Lady #2 – Yes! And don’t forget Purim. So generous, those Jewish people are!

Lady #2 -- Purim is where the wealthy people, or “The Richim” donate money to “The Poorim.” THAT’S why that one Fiddler on the Roof song is so popular! “If I Were a Richim Man” is traditionally sung on Purim. C’mon, get with it, will ya? And there’s another holiday my mother-in-law talks about that sounds like skewered meat. Know it? Lady #1 -- (Mutters into phone) What’s a Jewish holiday that rhymes with Shish Kebab? Aha! It came right up…“Tisha B’av!” We’ve so got this, girlfriend. I’m feeling much better about everything. I’ll start composing cute rhymes for that holiday they eat bitter herbs. “With the smell of horseradish permeating your noses, have fun reenacting the days of Wine and Moses!” Not only will we get hired, we’ll get immediate raises! At that point I couldn’t resist turning on my volume, introducing myself. And yes, I also corrected their mistakes, showing off how much I knew. And if you think they called me a “Maven,” you’re close. They called me a “Raven.” And then we all three got hired. Oy! STEPHANIE D. LEWIS WRITES FOR THE COMEDY SECTION ON HUFFINGTON POST AND AT ONCEUPONYOURPRIME.COM

Lady #1 – How do you mean? Explain to me. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM


Subscribe to San Diego’s newest Jewish publication NOW and enjoy local news, fresh ideas, hear what your neighbors are saying and get on the pulse of Jewish San Diego.



SUBSCRIBE ONLINE! & start receiving your copy in the mail today! 30


NOW $18