Passover: Engaging Community for Shabbat Seder

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APRIL 2022




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contents April 2022 •

in this issue... COVER STORY Chag Pesach Sameach! and partner to Engage Community this Passover....................................................................................................................

1000 WORDS Going A Capella for the Period of Jewish Mourning................................................................... FOOD



PASSOVER PJ Library offers new family-friendly stories and resources for Passover....................


20 22 24 26 28

Dress to Impress with Linda Waisbord..............................................................................................



Almond Marzipan Cookies...........................................................................................................................


14 16


JFS Heart & Soul Gala................................................................................................................................... Healing Strangers in the Middle of a War Zone........................................................................... Lisa Fishman Brings Jewish Musical Cabaret to Yiddishland San Diego.................... NEWS.....................................................................................................................................................................



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


Mazel & Mishagoss.................................

PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO, LLC (858) 776-0550 P.O. Box 27876, San Diego, CA 92198










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Copyright ©2022 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





& passages Song of Songs and Other Passover Traditions


nce a year in Ashkenazi synagogues, on the Shabbat of Pesach (Passover), we read the book of the Bible known as Shir Ha’Shirim (Song of Songs). It is one of the five megillot (scrolls) read during the year on specific Jewish holidays. The others are Megillat Rut (The Book of Ruth) read on Shavuot, Eicha (Lamentations) read on Tisha B’Av, Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) read on Sukkot, and Megillat Esther (The Book of Esther) read on Purim. Parallels between the onset of Spring and Song of Songs are plentiful. Perhaps this is why it is chanted on Passover, which historically marked the beginning of the Spring grain harvest season. It’s a book about nature, love, longing, and desire, even though the lovers never actually get together. It describes the kind of heady, impulsive love that characterizes the early stages of a passionate and sensual relationship of lovers. As depicted in Song of Songs, romantic love involves all of the senses. “Let me see your face,” “Let me hear your voice.” (2:14) and “Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me.” (2:6). In more orthodox circles, Song of Songs is described as an allegory about the relationship between



God and the Jewish people, although God is never actually mentioned in the Book. The special tune for chanting Song of Songs is melodious and beautiful. In Ashkenazi tradition, this same trope is also used for chanting The Book of Ruth and Ecclesiastes. I make a special point to chant even a small portion of these five scrolls aloud with my congregation for this reason: it’s part of our heritage. Whatever is not preserved from generation to generation will disappear, and I want to do my part to make sure that does not happen. Passover, our feast of freedom, offers us a treasured opportunity to keep our collective and personal traditions alive. From the specific foods we all place on our Seder plates to the familiar melodies we sing, from the retelling of the story of our people’s escape from the bondage of Egypt to the four cups of wine we drink, we remember our past while we celebrate our blessings in the present. These kinds of traditions can comfort us by connecting us to our Jewish heritage and to one another in times of turbulence. It is these traditions that touch our heart and soul when we are unable to physically be with people we love. And if we do our

part to sustain them, our Jewish traditions will continue to nourish and comfort us for generations to come. During Passover, as we retell the biblical story of our people’s liberation from slavery in Egypt, we also acknowledge the need to support other people’s struggles for freedom and security. We are commanded 36 times in the Torah not to oppress the stranger, since we were once oppressed strangers living in Egypt. This mitzvah is poignantly pertinent during these troubled times. As it is also a mitzvah to give tzedakah (charity) to those in need, may we open our hearts at this time to the best of our abilities. Wishing you and your loved ones joy this Passover. 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 TEACHES JUDAIC STUDIES AT THE SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY.





& mishagoss Strike That, Reserve It!


fter our long absence during Covid, most of us are back to running errands, keeping appointments, and visiting public venues. There’s talk of a “New Normal” and that’s just dandy! Allow me to outline how I think things should be done from now on. It involves turning the tables on everything we do. Don’t balk! Now’s the perfect time to start this new precedent since most people have forgotten our old protocols and routines, and thus will be more accepting. Dentists: Send them weekly postcards stating, “Friendly Reminder! It’s been two years since you cleaned my teeth. Why won’t you schedule me? Please call my home — awaiting my next visit with bated breath!” (They’ll give you some mouthwash for that.) After your appointment, as they offer you new dental hygiene accessories in a festive party favor bag, hand them back a ziploc baggie containing your old toothbrush, used dental floss, and a flattened toothpaste tube minus the cap. Gestures of goodwill work both ways! Restaurants: Bring a little rectangular tray and when the server sets the check down, slyly hand her your tray with a wrapped red peppermint candy and a bill that says “SeatWarmer Fee $25. Without my presence at your table, this joint would go under. Gratuity not included. Thank you for your patronage!” Doctor’s Office: Welcome the receptionist, then pressure her to “Please sign” your wedding guestbook. Give the bookkeeper a 8


little cup and insist she leave a sample in the bathroom. Tell a nurse to step on the scale, but don’t allow her to remove her shoes first. Catch the doctor off-guard by knocking three times loudly on his office door, then startle him further by shouting, “Hope you’re decent? Coming in now!” But first make him wait 20 minutes. Upon leaving, force all you’ve met to sign forms protecting their privacy, acknowledging new HIPAA laws.

Hairdressers: Sit in the swivel chair, staring at the mirrored reflection of their hairstyle and ask nosy questions like, “Is that your natural color?” and “How often do you condition those split-ends?”

DMV: Distribute a Scrabble letter tile to all employees and announce through a megaphone, “Now serving Letter R.” Snap their photo with a Polaroid camera while they’re blinking and not anywhere close to smiling. Shame anyone who’s not an organ donor.

Schools: Send the teacher a note saying, “Hi! Glad my child’s in your classroom this year. In recent months our household budget’s been drastically reduced and we’d appreciate you sending the following items home on Back-To-School Night to help our family run smoother during the ssemester: 5 boxes of tissue; 6 printer cartridges, color only please; King size sheet sets, floral pattern in shades of blue; Gain Laundry detergent, 42 oz. size, original scent; Dozen yellow roses, long stem; 3 boxes of Cheerios, Honey Nut flavor.

Theaters: Holding a tiny flashlight, greet the usher to check his ticket and verify he’s in the correct cinema. Showoff the mini concession stand you smuggled in your purse and explain why your tuna on Rye Crisp is healthier than popcorn and candy. Charge him five times what it cost you to buy. Remind him to enjoy the show.

Telemarketers: Answer promptly and say, “Surveys R’ Us! Ready to answer your questions and accept your free vacation to Cancun. My consulting fee for marketing research is $325. My travel fee is triple that and on weekends I require my family accompanies me. Which credit card will you be using today?”

Babysitters: While she puts your kids to bed, go to HER house and eat all her icecream, and only the M&Ms from her trail mix. View an R-rated DVD, then rummage through her nightstand drawer to see which brand of underwear she wears.

God: Instead of asking for help, miracles, or things you want, pray to be of service and for more opportunities to assist those in need. Those are mitzvahs and that’s the Jewish way … and some things should never be changed!

Psychics: Phone the Medium to say you’re canceling because you’re getting a strong message (from the other side) that something very bad will happen if you see her today.


The closeness of family and friends gathered together in thankful celebration. A special feeling. A special warmth.

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Singer Benny Friedman records his latest a capella album “Whispers of the Heart.” Credit: Naftali Marasow 10







hen comedian Mendy Pellin posted on Twitter that “Sefira music is the audio equivalents of Pesach cereal,” he was referring to the recent trend of Orthodox singers to produce albums and singles of a capella music to listen to during the more than a month of mourning between Passover and Shavuot, known as sefirah, when many religious Jews do not listen to instrumental music. In Israel, Chanale Fellig-Harrel, a popular singer who has produced several a capella singles, was not amused. Pellin’s comment was, she said, “stale and tasteless,” adding that “the amount of work and time that goes into a capella music is no joke.” In his office in Brooklyn, N.Y., Pellin, who The New York Times called “Stephen Colbert with a beard and a black hat,” explained that kosher-for-Passover baked goods and cereals, which have been able to imitate the real stuff from potato starch or almond flour, just don’t taste as good. “There are some really good Passover cereals out there that are very good, but you are not going to eat those cereals after the holiday.” He says the same is for the new trend to produce a capella music for sefirah, literally “the counting,” referring to countdown from Passover to Shavuot. “I don’t see any weddings that they suddenly switch to sefirah music during the weddings,” he quipped. Fellig-Harrel did her first try during the

height of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel when everyone was locked down, and her husband was successfully able to smuggle her in front of the Western Wall. “We defied the laws,” she says, and before they could get caught, her husband filmed her singing “The Streets Will Fill” from her first album in 1999, which she says was befitting for the times. “And the city streets will fill,” she belts, as she self-harmonizes to the words instead of the traditional instrument music, “and once more will children play.” She says her fans loved it, and so she recorded another single, “Yom Echad” (“One Day”), that she released recently. FelligHarrel notes that a capella is returning back to soulful music, when during a farbrengen (a Chassidic gathering in Lubavitch tradition), soulful melodies are belted from the heart, “where someone is always off harmony.” For her, Jewish music during the two mourning periods on the Jewish calendar returns to those intimate moments — “it is more like a treat that we get once in a while.” Jewish music producer Doni Gross could not agree more, saying that he wanted to replicate his time in Rayim Camp in Parksville, N.Y., where he headed the choir. During the time that the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is marked, they would perform a capella for the campers. “There was something just pure,” he says about singing without instrumental music, which

“A capella albums have begun to sound more and more like real music over the years. [The] vocal sounds are technologically manipulated to simulate instrumental sounds.” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



Eli Marcus. Credit: Levi Teitelbaum

he says was more like cantata without the instrument. “It was very meaningful; it put you in the zone,” he describes. Since 2011 when he started pioneering sefirah music, he has produced five “Kumzitz in the Rain” albums. He says that he wanted to be able to capture the emotions from camp “to do in on a global level.” The producer, who just released a second a capella album — “Whispers of the Heart” with singer Benny Friedman — says that this is his favorite Jewish music is a capella. Chassidic singer Eli Marcus could not disagree more with the sentiment of FelligHarrel and Gross. “Singing a capella is not geshmak for me,” he says using the Yiddish word “enjoyable.” He adds that “it seems weird to me, it never appealed to me. It’s like pork made in a lab.” Marcus, whose first performance was at his third birthday, recalls “I got a Fisher-Price tape recorder with a microphone” and never stopped since, saying at this time period, there is another plus for him and for many other Orthodox singers. During sefirah with no Jewish weddings or concerts, he explains, it’s a good time for his voice to rest. “It is a forced vacation,” he says. “The 12


brain is much clearer, and I will be home in the evenings to spend quality time with my children.” While Fellig-Harrel and Gross have produced soulful a capella, others have produced more Jewish pop music, with voices replacing instruments. “A capella albums have begun to sound more and more like real music over the years,” writes Rochel Weber, who writes a column on Jewish music for Mishpacha magazine, saying the “vocal sounds are technologically manipulated to simulate instrumental sounds.” This is the reason that Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, a prominent rabbi in the Borough Park neighborhood in Brooklyn, says that any a capella music is not okay. On the flip side, there are rabbis who say that any recorded music is not like listening to live instrumental music. Most Orthodox rabbinical authorities rule that recorded music is like listening to live instrumental music, though many will rule that it’s fine if someone just wants to listen in the background and not for enjoyment, like they do all year round. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, the rabbinic administrator of the Star K Kosher supervision, says that

deciding Jewish law does not depend on the feelings of people and one should not listen to any instrumental music, even recorded. “Even bananas could give you simcha,” he says, using the Hebrew word for joy. “Or even learning Torah could give you simcha.” However, he notes that once you say that if you enjoy something that Jewish law never said is prohibited, “then you don’t know where you are going, and it could never end,” and thus a capella, even if it sounds like real instruments, is permitted. Gross says that even if it is permitted, he would not produce such music for these days. When he makes music for this time of Jewish mourning, he does it with a purpose “to set the tone, to put you in a certain mindset, to feel the days. When you are inspired, there is a lot you can accomplish.”




CHAG PESACH SAMEACH! & partner, providing vehicles for young adult oriented Passover and Shabbat





liza Kline is the Co-Founder and CEO of OneTable, a national organization that engages tens of thousands of Jewish young adults through peer-led Shabbat dinners. This year, OneTable is again partnering with to make this engagement model part of Passover Seders. is the largest online resource for Passover, providing thousands of options for blessings, artwork, translations, songs, activities, and more. L’CHAIM met with Kline as she passionately referred to the first live Passover since 2020, following a shutdown during the pandemic. This left many Jewish people in their 20s and 30s, in addition to others, feeling isolated and disenfranchised. The partnership between OneTable and will facilitate new Jewish experiences for Jewish young adults. “Just as we are putting our toes back into the water, Seders offer us a chance to rebuild relationships and strengthen community all while cultivating Jewish practices,” Kline says. Kline shared how OneTable is adapting and powering technology for other organizations, leveraging their expertise with who are experts in DIY Jewish ritual. OneTable makes it easy for people to utilize technology to organize gatherings — like Seders — ­ while integrating personalized content. Its curated resources include a Seder Shabbat Guide, recipes, playlists, and hosting tips. Haggadot. com’s resources enable people to create their customized, dream Haggadah. It serves more than half a million Jews annually with its diverse library of Passover resources. In particular, Kline is excited about supporting young adults so they can create their own deeply personalized Jewish experiences. OneTable provides the scaffolding for them to create meaningful Jewish gatherings — by supporting volunteer hosts — who bring their own experience and creativity to the platform. Kline emphasized how Seders are one of the most personalized, home-based Jewish rituals, with a vast number of Jews participating, including many non-Jews at the table, sharing and offering a contemporary perspective as each generation tells the story differently. “Jewish rituals like Shabbat and Seder have helped people during these difficult times,” she says. “Shabbat dinners hosted by and for young adults on OneTable increased dramatically. For context, at the end of 2019, we had 9,000 annual dinners. By

2020, there were 17,000 dinners, and at the end of 2021, there were 25,000 dinners!” These numbers are impressive and unprecedented, setting the stage for more positivity, including Jewish young adults to come. Kline attributes these numbers to the sense of being grounded by Shabbat at a time when so many felt unmoored. As the first night of Passover this year coincides with Shabbat, OneTable sees an opportunity to empower young adults. Kline refers to Passover and Shabbat falling on the same days this year as a “2-fer,” a two for one experience in hosting and participating in a live Shabbat and Seder dinner. This is such a Mitzvah, as we know many Jewish young adults need this extra support and this removes deterrents to hosting and attending Passover Seders. Young adults can apply to become hosts at, post information about Seders, invite friends, and find seats at open dinners. OneTable will elevate their Seder with resources, providing “Nourishing,” (Subsidizing) for first and second Seders on April 15-16, offering up to $10 per guest, up to $100 per Seder if hosts agree to include up to 10 different guests the second night. Eileen Levinson, Founder and Executive Director of states, “The Seder can focus on freedom, social justice, oppression, antisemitism, LGBTQ+ experiences, and more. Whether informed by events in our world today or by something in one’s life, this DIY dinner party can be deeply powerful. Young adults are searching for experiences that add value and enrich their lives — that give them space to ask some big questions and ponder possible answers.” As freedom from oppression in all forms has been the Passover theme for Jews internationally, we have experienced freedom in many ways. Freedom from war, from the confines of power, hatred and greed, from the limitations created by fear in our minds, hearts and souls and from discrimination in all forms. Passover reminds us we have the ability through courage, creativity, connection and faith, how we can create freedom every day. FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING HOSTING OR ATTENDING SEDERS AND SHABBAT DINNERS OR DONATING TO ONETABLE, VISIT WWW.ONETABLE.ORG/PASSOVER. FOR INFORMATION REGARDING CREATING YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED HAGGADAH, OR TO DONATE A HAGGADAH, VISIT WWW.HAGGADOT.COM.







he Sephardic Spice Girls, Sharon Gomperts and Rachel Emquies Sheff, have been friends since high school. They are passionate about healthy food and happy living. Their goal is to preserve Sephardic and Mizrahi recipes and the Moroccan and Iraqi recipes of their mothers and grandmothers. In their weekly food column in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal they share recipes, personal anecdotes and Jewish history. The Sephardic Spice Girls project has grown from collaboration on events for the Sephardic Educational Center in Jerusalem. They run community cooking classes and challah bakes. Follow them on Instagram, @sephardicspicegirls and on Facebook at Sephardic Spice SEC Food. You can find all their recipes on their website at This macaroon recipe from the Iraqi kitchen is perfect for Passover and all year round. Made with almond flour, egg whites and coconut sugar and subtly spiced with cardamom and cinnamon, these are the perfect sweet treat. Based on Tikva Iny’s recipe, these are naturally gluten free. Almond Marzipan Cookies Ingredients 3 eggs, separated (egg whites only) 1 cup coconut sugar 3 cups almond flour 1 teaspoon cardamom 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon rose water or 2 tablespoons almond extract

This macaroon recipe from the Iraqi kitchen is perfect for Passover and all year round. Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl 3. Using a fork, beat the egg whites until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat by hand until the sugar has dissolved. 4. Add the almond flour, cardamom and cinnamon and mix well. Add the rose water or almond extract and mix well. 5. Make walnut size balls and place on

parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving space between each ball.

6. Place a whole peeled almond on top of each macaroon and press down. 7. Bake until the macaroons turn golden, about 10 minutes.

Join Sharsheret in the Kitchen on Monday, April 4 at 11 a.m. PDT as the Sephardic Spice Girls serve up some simple, flavorful, perfect for Passover recipes. This program is part of the “Sharsheret in the Kitchen” series, bringing nutritious and delicious kosher ideas to empower all of us at risk for breast and ovarian cancer to make healthier diet choices thanks to a generous grant by CedarsSinai. Register at SITKSephardicSpiceGirls. Sharsheret, a non-profit organization, is the Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer community. If you or someone you love has been impacted by breast or ovarian cancer, or has elevated genetic risk, contact Sharsheret for free support and resources. For more info, visit or call (866) 474-2774.




PJ Library New family-friendly stories and resources for Passover BY JNS STAFF


n the United States alone, more than 240,000 children are receiving age-appropriate books related to Passover, courtesy of PJ Library. New this year, families will also receive an illustrated “Matzah Mania” fold-out that includes recipes for homemade matzah, matzah trail mix and matzah pizza lasagna, along with ideas for serving a Passover seder grazing board. The keepsake includes culturally inclusive information about seder traditions and the “Four Questions,” which are printed in English and Hebrew. Passover begins on the night of April 15 and lasts until the evening of April 23. “PJ Library books help families around the world celebrate Jewish holidays, traditions and values,” says Alex Zablotsky, managing director of PJ Library. “We’ve created supporting materials and resources, including the Haggadah and a podcast, to help families celebrate Passover and other holidays in an inclusive, family-friendly way.” Families across the country will also find PJ Library co-branded Yehuda Matzos boxes on their supermarket shelves. Each package will include information about how families may sign up to receive free books for children from birth through age 8. For kids ages 9 and through 12, PJ Our Way allows kids to select and review books on their own each month. This month, two Passover-themed episodes of the PJ Library



Presents podcast network will launch, bringing Jewish traditions, culture, holidays and values to life through audio storytelling. “Kiddo Learns About Passover” will be the latest Afternoons with Mimi audio story; and “Humpty Dumpty and the Passover Feast” will be the newest tale in the Beyond the Bookcase series. Families may listen to the 2022 NAPPA Award-winning podcasts on major streaming sources. PJ Library has also become one of the leading sources for familyfriendly Haggadahs across the United States and beyond with In Every Generation: A PJ Library Family Haggadah. Since 2018, the organization has shipped more than 675,000 individual Haggadahs to some 110,000 PJ Library families at no cost (for non-subscribers, the printed Haggadah is available via Amazon). More than 45,000 of those families have indicated that this is their first Haggadah. A digital version can be downloaded in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and French. This Haggadah is filled with songs, blessings and explanations, and is available as a free printable PDF. This year, PJ Library is updating its Passover hub with new book lists and dozens of fresh ideas and resources for families, including stories and songs, games and recipes. To learn more, visit








ight years ago, Linda Waisbord dolled herself up — as only she can do — ­ and walked into the Fashion Valley Nordstrom. She asked for the head of the Personal Styling Department. This was not only a bold move to ask for a job; this was full-force Linda. During the impromptu interview, she stated: “You will not find anyone willing to work harder or more passionately than me.” Linda was hired on the spot. Today, after a seven-year stint at Nordstrom, Linda has a one-of-akind collaboration with the famed department store, hosts a fashion segment at a TV station in Mexico, and creates curated luxury experiences for her customers. Her love of fashion is key to her unique way of viewing the world and making strides on it: “How you dress can change everything. It can change your productivity, relationship with yourself, and everything you believe is possible for you. It’s all



about loving yourself and permitting yourself to be seen, heard, and valued.” As it turns out, this vision has allowed Linda to live the life she always wanted. As a Co-founder of the MY PIPL platform, Linda introduces upand-coming Mexican fashion and jewelry designers to Nordstrom for a chance to set up on-site pop-of-shops. This has allowed MY PIPL to showcase the work of designers such as Daniel Espinosa, Shula Atri, and Sofia Elias at the stores in Fashion Valley, Costa Mesa, and New York City. For the artists, this is an invaluable opportunity to achieve media exposure, access the department store giant, and, more importantly, the US market. MY PIPL is the brainchild of Linda and partners Catherine Bachelier, an event planner, and Diva Lomas, founder of a fashion industry hub in Mexico City. It was ideated as a fashion platform to



promote Latin talent in the United States. “We wanted to create a fashion bridge to connect Mexican designers to the US and provide them with support in marketing, public and commercial relations,” said Linda. Linda, who defines herself as an Image and Luxury Consultant, has also branched out to organizing experiences through the CL Experience platform. These include event planning, fashion consultancy and organizing unique trips to such places as India and Tanzania. On the excursions, she procures special access to local artisans, food, and curated luxury activities, creating a positive impact in the communities the group visits. Linda and Catherine are also the current Fashion and Style correspondents for Televisa Tijuana Channel 12 and hosts of the television segment, “Tu Moda Tu Estilo,” which airs weekly on the morning magazine show of Que Buen Día. Their message is clear: “Fashion is fun!” With helpful tips and a fresh view of fashion, they empower and inspire everyone to become the best version of themselves every day. “We know this is supposed to be about fashion, but it’s so much more: finding yourself, knowing yourself, then showing it off to the world.” It is impossible not to comment on Linda’s success, a Jewish girl raised in Tijuana and moved to San Diego at the age of five. Though Linda’s fondest memories of childhood involved lunching with her mom at the Nordstrom Café — “Nordstrom was my happy place,” she says- it was not only after a personal insight that her career took off. “As corny as it sounds, the turnaround came when I started believing I deserved it,” said Linda. “I wrote down what I envisioned myself doing: making my living off fashion and travel and being surrounded by talent; and slowly worked toward it, with the firm conviction that I was worth it.” These achievements have not been without personal sacrifice or hard work. On the contrary, Linda describes giving up some opportunities to be with her family while her kids were growing up. But today, Linda’s phone rings off the hook every day, with designers asking to work with her. Other Nordstrom stores across the country have reached out to be included on the MY PIPL pop-up shop schedule. And more significantly, she has been able to share some unique experiences with her now-grown children. The future looks bright for Linda, who parts with me with a word of encouragement for everyone: “if I can make it, anyone can.” PASSOVER FASHION TIPS AND INSPIRATION

This may very well be the first Seder you attend in two years of pandemic. You may be asking yourself if that coat you bought in 2019 is still in fashion. Maybe your pre-pandemic clothes just don’t fit the same. “The clothing you wear is an extension of who you are” says Linda. “It should strengthen your image and be an expression of your true self, so don’t force it.” These are Linda’s fashion truisms: 1. Be YOU 2. Fashion and comfort are NOT mutually exclusive 3. Look for inspiration and adapt it to your personal style 4. Asses what you already have BEFORE YOU SHOP 5. Experiment, explore and HAVE FUN!

“I wrote down what I envisioned myself doing: making my living off fashion and travel and being surrounded by talent; and slowly worked toward it, with the firm conviction that I was worth it.” SPRING TRENDS

These are the season’s hottest trends, according to Linda: - Romantic meets glam. Florals, puff sleeves, beading and rhinestones … that’s enough to get you in the mood to DRESS UP. - Color. Spring means color. Colorful shoes, handbags, and accessories provide an easy way to brighten to any outfit. - Oversize! Shirts, coats, and other tailored pieces work add a touch of sophistication.





L-R: JFS Heart & Soul Gala Chairs Dr. Robert Rubenstein, Marie Raftery, and Scott Schindler.



ewish Family Service’s annual Heart & Soul Gala returns to the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine on Saturday, April 30. This benefit gala highlights JFS’s efforts to provide resources and support to San Diegans of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds, and will also celebrate the contributions of the 2022 Mitzvah Honorees: Marcia Hazan, and Danielle and Brian Miller. Marcia Hazan served on the JFS Board of Directors for 18 years, generously investing her time into addressing the urgent needs of her fellow San Diegans. She was instrumental in expanding JFS programs for Jewish single parents and low-income older adults. She worked to support and address behavioral health awareness, envisioned new possibilities as part of the Strategic Planning Committee, and has recently joined the Center for Jewish Care task force. A strong proponent of social justice, Hazan played an important role in shaping many new JFS initiatives that have created lasting change in the San Diego community. As owners of award-winning toy store Geppetto’s, Danielle and Brian Miller’s passion for helping children thrive has strengthened the community and provided vulnerable families with the tools, resources, and support they need to transform their lives through several JFS programs. From supporting organizations that benefit childhood development to fundraising for local schools, the Millers are dedicated to creating a San Diego where everyone has the opportunity 22


to thrive. The Millers’ commitment to empowering families and kids remains true to JFS’s core value of Kehillah (community). “Over the past few years, San Diego’s nonprofits have been sorely tested as we continue to respond and adapt to the ever-shifting nature of COVID-19,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “Through it all, JFS has remained collaborative and nimble, providing critical assistance to those in crisis – whether they require basic needs like food to feed their families, starting new lives in the U.S., or looking for a safe place to sleep. We could not do this work without generous support from community members like Marcia Hazan and Brian and Danielle Miller.” Partnering with Honorary Chairs Evelyn and Ernest Rady, Gala Chairs Marie Raftery and Dr. Robert Rubenstein, Scott Schindler, and Auction Chair Jeremy Ross will host an evening of dinner, dancing, and a silent auction to encourage awareness and philanthropy throughout the year. Proceeds from the event benefit JFS’s ongoing efforts to help people in crisis move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen the San Diego community. FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY REASONS, THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL HAVE LIMITED IN-PERSON CAPACITY. TO JOIN THE WAITLIST FOR IN-PERSON TICKETS OR TO REGISTER TO ATTEND VIRTUALLY, VISIT JFSSD.ORG/GALA.



FEATURE STORY Sheba Medical Center Director Dr. Yitshak Kreiss with a Ukrainian mother and child at the Shining Star Field Hospital in Ukraine. PHOTO BY NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL.



or a moment, Yoel Har-Even was distracted. He was speaking via Zoom from Israel’s “Shining Star” field hospital in western Ukraine, and a siren had begun to wail outside. “Usually when we hear a siren, we need to run to the shelter in a school for about 15 minutes,” said Har-Even, who is in charge of the remarkable 66 — bed hospital in Mostyska. The lateness of the hour, however, meant that the 70 Israeli volunteers manning the facility were already safe inside the building, so he stayed on the line. “Mostly they [the Russian military] are attacking military and not civilian targets,” he said, adding that he hadn’t heard any explosions. “The Russians asked us to mark the tents in a way that pilots flying overhead can see it is a medical facility,” explained Har-Even, who has served in Israel Defense Forces field hospitals in Rwanda and the Balkans. “But we cannot count on the Russians, so we brought some security from Israel. We have evacuation vehicles waiting outside the gate, ready to go with helmets and bulletproof gear.” It is a necessary precaution. The World Health Organization reported 31 Russian attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine between February 24 and March 13. Israel opened the Shining Star field hospital just one week ago, and since then the hospital—which is operated by Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s Health Ministry and Clalit HMO—has treated hundreds. Within the first five days, the hospital treated more than 730 locals and refugees from other parts of Ukraine and performed 16,000 lab



tests. Their ailments and injuries were mainly unrelated to the war. “The people are coming nonstop. The first day we had 40, the second day 160 and on Shabbat we saw 170 patients from eight in the morning till 8 at night,” said Har-Even. One patient is a girl who had surgery in Israel two years ago for a kidney problem and recently developed another medical complication. “When her family heard the Israelis had a hospital here in Ukraine, they drove her 48 hours to see us because they trust the Israeli medical system. They are staying with us until she is better,” said Har-Even. The hospital—which is equipped with over 100 tons of medical supplies flown in from Israel—is staffed by Jewish, Muslim and Christian personnel from Israeli hospitals, health maintenance organizations and Magen David Adom. Despite the very obvious risks of coming to Ukraine, which has been under constant bombardment since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, Har-Even, the director of Sheba Medical Center’s International Division, had no difficulty gathering volunteers for the Shining Star mission. “Many of the team came from here or has family here, but even those who don’t were eager to participate,” he said. “We had to turn some away. The response was heartwarming.” Dr. Adam Lee Goldstein, head of trauma surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, said he volunteered for the mission “to represent Israel and show we want to help, and we care.” The Washington, D.C., native said the team is working closely


Doctors at the Israeli field hospital in Ukraine evaluate MRI images, March 2022. PHOTO BY NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL.

with doctors at the local hospital. “We can use their operating rooms and we can learn from each other. We are giving trauma courses and basic life support courses—anything they want.” The field hospital is capable of accommodating 150 patients simultaneously, and includes a triage area, an ER ward, men’s, women’s and children’s wards, labor and delivery facilities, imaging and telehealth technologies, mental health services, a lab, a pharmacy and an outpatient clinic. “The Ukrainians are overwhelmed to see what we have put up here,” said professor Elhanan Bar-On, director of the Sheba’s Israel Center for Humanitarian Emergency and Disaster Medicine. “Our aims were high, and I think we achieved even higher. The lab we have here is unprecedented in the history of field hospitals in the world. It’s really an amazing place. This is a landmark in the history of Israeli aid overseas,” he said. The field hospital is intended to operate at least a month, but BarOn—who arrived in Mostyska on March 7 to assess needs before the Israeli team arrived—will soon be heading to Haiti to treat burn victims. For many Israelis, the desire to help the Ukrainians is deeply personal because so many have roots in Ukraine and Russia, but there is a larger and more bitter history at work here too. In 1943, most of Mostyska’s 4,000 Jewish residents were murdered by the Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators. “When I told my mom I was going to lead this mission, her first reaction was, ‘I’m not letting you go,’” admitted Har-Even, a father of four. “I told her, ‘I’m going to be 51 in two weeks. You can’t stop me.’” Har-Even went on to explain that his mother and grandmother had both been born not far from the site of the hospital. “Most of my family comes from this area in Ukraine,” he said. “She said, ‘I never stopped you from going on missions around the globe. You went to Africa, to India, to Nepal, to Kosovo. I’m asking you, please don’t go. If Grandma was alive, she would beg you not to go.’ “I told her that I’m going there … because of her and because

of Grandma and because of what our family went through in the Holocaust,” he said. “If I can change, even a little bit, the lives of the people—like nobody did for my parents and grandparents when they were here 75 years ago—I need to do it,” he added. “These people [the Israeli volunteers] came in the name of the State of Israel and also as human beings and health providers who do not forget what happened here 77 years ago but understand that we have a different role in this world,” said Har-Even, who on arrival in Ukraine went with the Israeli delegation and the mayor of Mostyska to the Jewish cemetery to say Kaddish, the mourners’ prayer. “The story is the spirit of the Jewish people and the spirit of Israel. The story is that only one country, as a country, extended a hand and sent more than 70 [healthcare workers] from across Israel’s hospitals, HMOs and MDA.” For future missions, Har-Even said that the Shining Star field hospital will be renamed The Jewish People Field Hospital. “It will be a worldwide facility that can be sent anywhere by the Jewish people, coordinated by Sheba,” he said. “With very limited resources, we can do so much good for so many people. We can give them dignity, humanity and warmth,” he added. Parallel to the mission in Ukraine, Sheba Beyond continues to treat Ukrainian refugees in Moldova, using telemedicine innovations that allow Sheba physicians in Ramat Gan to diagnose and treat patients remotely. In addition, a team of paramedics, EMTs and physicians from Magen David Adom (MDA) and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have established a field clinic in Moldova for Ukrainian refugees, at the request of the Kishinev Jewish community. Israeli voluntary first — response network United Hatzalah has flown more than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees to Israel aboard planes staffed by trained personnel to provide medical aid mid — flight. Note: This article was first published by Israel21c.






inger, actor, musician and songwriter, Lisa Fishman will be coming to Yiddishland California in La Jolla to present a ‘Jewish Musical Cabaret’ on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m., featuring songs in Yiddish, English and Ladino. Lisa most recently played Bobe Tsaytl (aka: “Grandma Tzeitl”) - as well as understudied Golde, Yente and Sheyndl — in the Off Broadway hit, “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish, directed by Academy Award winner, Joel Grey. Lisa’s ‘Jewish Musical Cabaret’ is an eclectic mix from the World of Jewish Song that takes the audience on a journey from upbeat, Klezmer-style tunes, Yiddish Theater hits, comic ditties and Mickey Katz-inspired parodies to heartfelt ballads, romantic love songs, new Yiddish translations of well-known hits and Lisa’s own original reimaginings of old classics. Lisa includes new, original English lyrics for many of her songs, and interprets old Standards in her own unique way with influences in jazz, blues, rock, folk and World music. Lisa has a deep passion for Jewish music and loves being able to share it with others. This entertaining musical and theatrical concert is open to all ages and all backgrounds, and the show will be available to attend in person or via Zoom around the World! Originally from Chicago and having lived in Los Angeles and New York City for the past two decades, Lisa has had a diverse career that has taken her from Klezmer bands to Musical Theater to Yiddish Theater – as well as work in Rock, Pop, Jazz and Folk Music, Children’s



Television, Voice Over and more. Most recently, she starred as Bobe Tsaytl (aka: “Grandma Tzeitl”) in the Off Broadway hit, “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish, directed by Academy Award winner, Joel Grey. Lisa is known for being one of the lead singers of Chicago’s renowned Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, as well as the Jazz-inspired Modern Klezmer Quartet. Lisa has starred in numerous Off-Broadway and Regional musical theater productions – including playing Nancy in “Oliver” and Sally Bowles in “Cabaret”, and she has been featured in many productions with NYC’s acclaimed National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene. Lisa has performed music around the world, appeared on recordings and television, shared the stage with many luminaries from the world of Theater and Jewish Music, and recently provided the voice for a new dancing plush toy called “My Yiddishe Bubbie” that can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond and FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE, THIS SHOW WILL BE BOTH IN-PERSON IN LA JOLLA AND LIVE ON ZOOM. FOR MORE INFO AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS, VISIT HTTPS://YIDDISHLANDCALIFORNIA.ORG/JEWISH-MUSICALCABARET-WITH-LISA-FISHMAN. TICKET PRICES FOR THE INPERSON EVENT ARE $36 PER TICKET BEFORE APRIL 16 OR $40 THEREAFTER. LIVE ON ZOOM, TICKETS ARE $10 PER TICKET PER TICKET BEFORE APRIL 16 OR $18 THEREAFTER.







It’s time to celebrate! The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will reopen its La Jolla flagship building to the public on April 9, 2022, following a major four-year renovation by Selldorf Architects. Since the Museum’s founding in 1941, MCASD has evolved into a leading visual arts organization with two distinct locations, situated in the coastal community of La Jolla and in the heart of downtown San Diego. After a four year-long renovation, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is ready to invite the public in to celebrate! Experience the new collection galleries, the special exhibition Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s, enjoy architectural tours of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Building designed by Selldorf Architects, picnic in the oceanview Art Park, peruse the new event spaces and outdoor terraces, and celebrate the future of contemporary art in our community. Live music and entertainment will be ongoing in the Art Park, a free community space accessed from Prospect Street. The Museum’s revamped cafe, The Kitchen @MCASD (opening in July), will offer grill plates for purchase, for guests to enjoy while partaking in the other activations in the Art Park A selection of wine and beer will be available to purchase and to enjoy while taking in the seaside view. Self-guided tours and other experiences will also be offered, allowing visitors to interact with the newly expanded MCASD in a way that suits their needs and interests. JEWISH FEDERATION OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY RAISING AWARENESS, DEVELOPING NEW SOLUTIONS TO FIGHT POVERTY IN THE SAN DIEGO JEWISH COMMUNITY

Jewish Federation of San Diego County (Federation), which works to mobilize community resources, leaders, and organizations to address the community’s most critical needs, is working on urgent efforts to 28 28 L’CHAIM L’CHAIMSAN SANDIEGO DIEGOMAGAZINE MAGAZINE• •APRIL APRIL2022 2022

respond to poverty in the San Diego Jewish Community. “With 16-20 percent of Jewish households earning less than $30,000 annually, many Jewish families struggle to make ends meet but often are unaware of government resources that can lift them up,” says Darren Schwartz, Chief Planning & Strategy Officer for Jewish Federation of San Diego County. “We can help families access support that makes a significant difference in their lives.” Through a monthly Working Group on Jewish Poverty & Sustainability, community partners are coming together to both identify the challenges facing Jewish families and ways to overcome them. Along with Federation, the Working Group includes Hebrew Free Loan, Impact Cubed, Jewish Community Foundation San Diego, Jewish Family Service, the Kindness Initiative and Seacrest at Home. These organizations are using their network to educate those who could benefit from the earned income tax credit and assistance provided by 2-1-1 San Diego and the San Diego EITC Coalition. The Working Group encourages all San Diegans to help share important information about accessing this credit within the community. “One barrier to accessing this financial support is lack of information; other barriers revolve around filing taxes and having other necessary documents,” adds Schwartz. “The good news is that there is free assistance available to complete taxes and other forms to access this tax credit. Any household earning less than $60,000 annually is eligible. We ask everyone to share this information via email, social media, in-person, and any other way you can.”


Hillel of San Diego is proud to partner with BFree Studio for “A Conversation with Barbara Rabkin” on Sunday, April 24, 2022 from 10 a.m. until noon at BFree Studio, 7857 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037. A lively and inspiring conversation with artist Barbara Rabkin, who will discuss her artistic process and various influences that sparked her original approach will be held. The event, which features a talk with the artist and coffee and mimosas, is free to attend. Please register at https://hillelsd.wufoo. com/forms/r2ro7ud1i6p7n2. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Barbara Rabkin’s art shown at BFree Studio will be donated to Hillel of San Diego.


“Boldest Post in the West” • Fight anti-semitism • Support our military overseas • Comradeship • Support Naval Hospital San Diego & Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and much more... CDR Marc Poland, USN Ret (858) 232-1645 Meet 2nd Sunday of the month 11am Veterans Association North County (VANC) 1617 Missions Ave, Oceanside, CA 92058 JWV is the oldest congressionally commissioned veterans organization in America







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