SAN DIEGO STEPS UP FOR UKRAINE
JUDAISM AT SD REP IN EVERY GENERATION IS A STUDY OF FAMILY
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
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contents May 2022 • www.lchaimmagazine.com
in this issue... COVER STORY Ali Viterbi’s “In Every Generation” premiers at SD REP........................................................................
1000 WORDS Mia Raskin: A Shomer Shabbat College Basketball Player at Binghamto....................
FOOD Avocado Salad.................................................................................................................................................... FEATURES
14 ALI VITERBI
18 20 22 24 26 27
Humanitarian Services for Ukraine......................................................................................................... National Museum of American Jewish Military History...........................................................
Iron: A Wild, Psychological Thriller..........................................................................................................
The Last of Kin: A Yom Hashoah Story.............................................................................................. Adat Yeshurun's Breath of Fresh Aire Gala ..................................................................................
San Diego Philanthropists at Work ......................................................................................................
Prayers & Passages........................................
Mazel & Mishagoss..................................
PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller
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L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
TORAH l BY RABBI-CANTOR CHERI WEISS
& passages Counting the Omer
he Torah instructs us (in Leviticus 23:15-16) to perform the nightly ritual of counting the Omer, beginning on the second night of Pesach (Passover) and continuing for a total of seven weeks. After completing this seven-week counting of the Omer, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), which this year begins on Saturday evening, June 4. Originally, this counting was meant to mark the bringing of the first grain offering of the barley harvest season to the Temple and ending with the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. The word omer is an ancient unit of measure (i.e., a sheaf). These offerings were meant to express the people’s gratitude to God for providing them with food. They, in turn, provided food to the priests of the Temple. During this counting period, each night we recite the following blessing: Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer. After the blessing, we count the current day of the Omer (and later, count the weeks and days as well). For example, on the 26th day of the Omer, we say: Today is 26 days, which is three weeks and
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
five days of the Omer. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, while the practice of agricultural offerings ceased, the counting of the Omer continued. Although the Torah does not explicitly state that the Torah was given to the Israelites on any specific date, the rabbis deemed it to have occurred on the day we now celebrate Shavuot. Hence, today, our celebration of this holiday is a celebration of our receiving the gift of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Today, we link these two holidays not only on a ritual level but on a spiritual one as well. Pesach is a celebration of our liberation from bondage and slavery in Egypt, while Shavuot is a time to commemorate the acceptance of our formal covenant with God. The counting of the Omer encourages us to relive the journey of our people from slavery to freedom, culminating with our freewill choice to accept the Torah and its commandments. Symbolically, the weeks between Pesach and Shavuot provide us the opportunity to reflect on the nature of these holidays and how they impact our own lives. For example, what has held you captive this year? What thoughts have enslaved you and limited your ability to break free from uncomfortable
situations? Are there dreams that have gone unfulfilled because you cannot see a way to make them a reality? Perhaps the counting of the Omer is the perfect opportunity to recalibrate your thought process and break free of the bonds that limit you. The joyful holiday of Shavuot provides us an opportunity to recommit ourselves as Jews to living an ethical life as taught in our Torah. Just as our ancestors reached out to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai, we have the opportunity to reach out to the infinite possibilities that the universe has to offer. May we all be blessed with new inspiration and insight during these weeks of counting the Omer and approaching the festival of Shavuot. 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.
HUMOR | BY STEPHANIE LEWIS
& mishagoss Will the Real Jewish Mother Please Stand Up?
hat’s the name of a new Mother’s Day gameshow I was on, and one you’ll never watch (If I have anything to say about it!) because trust me, you’re not ready. It’s a simple concept — two mothers, one Jewish and one decidedly NOT Jewish, hold cellphones. Both moms receive identical inflammatory text messages from their offspring. As each mom types her response, they transmit onto a giant screen. The audience then votes which mother is which, because voting is what audiences traditionally do. (You may ask, how did this audience tradition get started? I’ll tell you. I don’t know.) Read on to see the outcome… KID #1 Text: Hola Mom! I’m flying to Mexico and just want to say Adiós! MY Response: Shalom and not so fast, Bubbeleh. Doesn’t anybody give a mother enough notice to cook a going-away dinner anymore? I told you what happened to Bernice’s daughter, when she checked ‘Kosher meal’ on her airline ticket, didn’t I? Portions that couldn’t sustain a bird. And speaking of birds, be sure and sit over the wing, my dahling — the safest part of the jet if it should crash, G-d forbid. And when you land in Mazatlán, don’t drink the water. Actually, don’t drink ANYTHING because they’ll plop in ice-cubes made with the same water. But so you shouldn’t become dehydrated, G-d forbid, mama’s gonna overnight you a case of watermelons. What’s the resort address,
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
sweetheart? Never mind, just sit tight! Your father, bless his heart, earned enough points to fly us there before Fed-Ex, so I’ll pack them along with the mezuzah, which will help the bellboy recognize which room is yours when he wheels up all my suitcases. OTHER MOM: Have fun! Eat lotsa guacamole! KID #2 Text: Hey U! So, my boyfriend is a total saint. That’s right, Peter proposed and we’re getting married! Unmaterialistic … wrapped a dandelion around my ring finger. So refreshing! MY Response: First of all Missy, any other mother reading that salutation would think you’re addressing a female sheep. And very disrespectfully, I might add. However, be it your mazel you have a cool mom who knows “Hey U” actually means, “You’re the best mamala in San Diego!” So I’m gonna let that part slide and move on to Peter, whom you might think is a saint, but I happen to know he’s only named after one. Young lady, when your Grandma Ruthie hears about this, she will absolutely plotz. But she can’t, because she’ll be too busy turning over in her grave. Tell me something. With your shayna punim, how hard is it to fall in love with a Jewish fella, hmm? Here’s what we’re gonna do…. let Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers while you pick a doctor named Irving. Translation: This “simcha” happens…over my dead body.
OTHER MOM: Yippy! Now let’s go say “Yes” to a dress! KID #3 Text: My teacher wants your brisket recipe because she’s having a crowd for dinner. MY Response: Over my dead body. Grandma Ruthie’s family secret recipe gets shared with nobody. OTHER MOM: I’m so flattered! 1/4 lb. ground round, milk, 2 cans Campbell’s soup, ketchup, beer,1/2 loaf shredded Wonder white bread, fruitcake, marinate everything in eggnog. Roll flat. Using snowflake cookie cutters, press deeply until shapes appear. Bake at 350. Yields 3 dozen. After the audience unanimously voted me as the Jewish mother, (even though I cleverly disguised myself) my eldest son came out as the show’s creator, producer, director, and host, announcing that in reality, this was a Candid Comedy show and I was just trying out some new material for a column I’m writing. He’s a good boychick, (allowing me to save face like that) so when he marries, his future wife gets my brisket recipe. PS. I’ll be taking applications from nice Jewish girls through July 1! STEPHANIE D. LEWIS (THEQUOTEGAL@YAHOO.COM) WILL INJECT HUMOR INTO ANYTHING YOU HIRE HER TO WRITE.
L’CHAIM | BY HOWARD BLAS | JNS.ORG
Mia Raskin (standing) at a Binghamton University game. Credit: Courtesy. 10
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
MIA RASKIN: A SHOMER SHABBAT COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER AT BINGHAMTON
or Mia Raskin, basketball and Judaism are essential parts of life. Her deep and simultaneous commitment to her favorite sport and religion never came into conflict; at least, until Raskin began considering her college options. For Raskin, observance of Shabbat and kashrut were non-negotiable, so playing college basketball seemed out of the question. That all changed when an unusual opportunity presented itself during her sophomore year at Binghamton University in New York. With creative thinking and fancy moves that would make an NBA or WNBA star proud, Raskin joined the Binghamton women’s basketball team in late December, traveled to 16 road games and continued to be a proudly observant Jew. Raskin grew up in Dallas and moved with her family in 2002 to Potomac, Md., when her father, Adam Raskin became the rabbi of Congregation Har Shalom. Raskin played basketball at every opportunity growing up. “I prioritized basketball almost over everything else,” she says. She played basketball yearround: at the (Orthodox) Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Md., in an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) league and at various summer programs. “My parents bent over backwards. If my AAU game over Shabbat was even four miles away, we stayed in a hotel and walked,” she relates. Raskin praises her parents for their support and understanding of both her commitment to basketball and her religious practice.
“My father is a Conservative rabbi, and is so supportive of me staying observant. My mother, too — she raised us so that we never felt forced or coerced to be observant; it made me strong.” By 10th grade, Raskin began to realize that playing basketball in college was unlikely. “I thought about playing, but also thought it was not possible because of being Shomer Shabbat. Ultimately, there were no college basketball programs flexible enough to accommodate my Shabbat observance, kashrut requirements and Jewish communal needs, so I decided collegiate basketball would not be in the cards for me.” She graduated from Berman, spent a gap year learning at Midreshet Torah V’Avodah in Jerusalem and began attending Binghamton, where she is currently a sophomore majoring in marketing in the Binghamton University School of Management. Raskin serves as an officer in the Alpha Kappa Psi business professional fraternity. She is also actively involved in Jewish life on campus; she is a past student president of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC), is a leader in the BU Zionist Organization, and is very involved at Chabad at Binghamton. Raskin has also served as manager of the women’s basketball team, where she kept track of player statistics; tended to logistical issues of the gym and facilities; and assisted the coaching staff in practices and games. “I could not stay away from the game I loved,” she says. “Being in that position was
rewarding.” During the fall semester, Raskin noticed that a number of players were unable to play due to injuries or coronavirus precautions. At times, there were not enough players available for a 5-on-5 scrimmage. And so, Raskin mentioned her basketball playing background to head women’s basketball coach Bethann Shapiro Ord, who appreciated her offer to help but was not initially able to take her up on it. While home on break, on Friday afternoon, Dec. 31, Ord called to offer Raskin an opportunity to join the team. “You can only imagine my initial reaction to that phone call; I was ecstatic! I finally felt like I would be able to live out my basketball dreams,” says Raskin. Still, she knew that her religious observance would pose issues and require certain accommodations. Raskin’s parents encouraged her to keep the explanations simple — note that kosher food wouldn’t be so difficult, and telling the coach and teammates that she is unable to use her phone or ride on the Sabbath would be sufficient initially. Raskin drove to Binghamton in the snow to join her teammates — admittedly a bit nervous about how she and her religious issues would be received. “My mom was going to come up to visit me,” reports Raskin, noting that her apartment mates and most students were offcampus enjoying their semester break. “But a snowstorm hit, and she couldn’t come. I was pretty alone.” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
Mia Raskin. Credit: Courtesy.
As Raskin got to talking with her teammates in the locker room, the topic of Shabbat and kashrut came up, as did the fact that Raskin had “no one to do Shabbat with.” The teammates immediately replied, “We will come.” Raskin invited her entire team to her apartment for a Shabbat dinner. “I made all of the food — dinner for 15 — all of the classics … cholent, deli rolls, schnitzel, challah. It was really special how interested they were so early on.” She explains that she even prepared a Shabbat dinner “cheat sheet,” explaining Kiddush, hand-washing and hamotzi to her guests. Their interest in and support for Raskin continued to grow. “Everyone asked questions daily to try to understand. It was cool,” says Raskin. But she found ways to make it work, including walking home from the field house, often accompanied by teammates, on Shabbat. In all, she was able to join the team for 16 of 20 road games. “That’s 80 percent! The other four,” she says, “would have required riding on Shabbat.” Raskin acknowledges underestimating how hard it would be finding nutritious 12
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kosher food on the road. “At first, I had lots of protein bars and fruit. Binghamton Chabad was very supportive. They reached out to other Chabads on the road. When Chabad centers at the University of Vermont, University of Albany and University of Hartford found out my story, they came to my support.” And she discovered how time-consuming college sports can be. “We are in the gym a big chunk of the day — three to five hours.” She does feel that it has taken away from some of the Jewish activities she cherishes, such as daily prayer and study. But she notes, “I have a Gemara [Talmud] in my locker in case I have time to learn.” Raskin’s parents, her coach and the Binghamton Chabad community say they are proud of how Mia has been making it all work, in addition to her telling everyone right up front what her needs entailed. “From the first conversation with the coach, she made it clear that Shabbat and kashrut were non-negotiable. But she was also willing to explore how she could make it work within these religious parameters,” say her parents, Rabbi Adam and Sari Raskin. “Along the way, she educated a lot of
people — teammates, coaches, fans — about Judaism.” Her being on the team has also helped drive attendance at Binghamton Bearcats women’s basketball games, which is admittedly small from the campus community. “There is a huge fan base, but it is more from the local community than from the school,” notes Raskin, who is quick to add, “the people who showed up from school were from the Jewish community — about 15 or 20 per game.” In the end, Raskin did not see any playing time. But she’s not upset and has an amazingly positive attitude. “I go to live the dream — to work out with the team, to do free throws and lay ups, and come out when the team warm ups.” She adds that the team “respected that I had to make compromises. There was mutual respect. I loved my time with the girls. They welcomed me with open arms.” The season is now over, and Raskin will consider her options for next season. “I have no expectations of whether they want me to come back.” She smiles, “I did get really cool sweatshirts. At the end of the day, it was worth it.”
COVER STORY | BY DEBORAH VIETOR
IN EVERY GENERATION Ali Viterbi's Passion for Family and Judaism Plays Out on Stage 14
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ou are invited to take a magic carpet ride through the ages and into the future with In Every Generation. Celebrate Passover with the Levi-Katz family, exploring their ever-changing dynamic in 1416 BCE, 1954, 2019, and as if in a time capsule we move to a dystopian 2050. in this brilliantly written play by Ali Viterbi, experience these multi layered characters as they shine through her insightful writing. Although traditions are honored, questions of race, religion and inter-generational issues surface. Several languages are spoken, including Hebrew, Italian and English. As the family reenacts the exodus from Egypt, generations redefine themselves as the family wonders, “Will we ever be free?” and “Must we define ourselves through trauma?” Viterbi expressed how ideas about ourselves have provided the foundation for truth, leading the journey from oppression to freedom. She described how the sisters in the play exemplify freedom both metaphorically and physically. Often through fighting, tension and arguing with strong language, this dynamic resonates heavily with many of us. Over centuries, our culture has faced many daunting choices. In Every Generation focuses on several elements, highlighting how we can learn from the past, incorporating Jewish traditions, accepting and embracing change as we continue to evolve as Jews in a world which at times appears overwhelming and confusing. How did Viterbi cultivate such depth, creativity, perception and curiosity about Judaism, while realizing her dream as a playwright, television writer and educator? Her response was eloquent and heartwarming, as she related how important multi generational relationships are such a vital part of her life. From a young age, her parents and grandparents encouraged her to create and live her dreams. A strong belief in family and caring for older family members was instilled early on. Her family is both Ashkenazi and Sephardic, speaking Italian and Hebrew, with a mixture of traditions and cuisine from both cultures. Many generations ago, Viterbi’s great, great, great grandfather traveled from Lithuania to Ireland and became the first Irish Rabbi! Attending the San Diego Jewish Academy, K through 12, she learned how important it was to stand up proudly as a Jew and to see the world through a Jewish prism. How did Viterbi arrive at the concept for In Every Generation and what was her intent, we asked? As Viterbi attended a family Passover, a few years ago, topics such as the Exodus, anti-Semitism and the Charlottesville March, created a strong impact encouraging her to cultivate this multi-generational story of challenges, oppression and freedom. In Every Generation, Viterbi shared how one is obligated to see oneself, as though one has personally left Egypt. She related how
a radical empathy line was formed with ritual from our past to the future, including a mystical element. Due to the pandemic our world has been shut down for nearly two years, another form of oppression and finally we are opening again, a blessing. In her Artistic Statement, Viterbi eloquently describes how storytelling can foster community. She utilizes the concept of a minyan, in Judaism a quorum of 10 people required for public worship, teaching us we cannot rise to our greatest spiritual potential alone. “Like the minyan, theater fights unreservedly against loneliness, demanding that the audience actively engage in compassion to seek meaning. As a playwright, I want audiences to feel part of a minyan — a community actively resisting the loneliness of being alive. This idea extends to my firm belief in a theater of compassion, one that constantly drives towards empathy and understanding. I seek to create theater that speaks to the generosity of the human spirit. My plays celebrate the present and the future. Whether depicting Jewish refugees or sorority girls, my plays give voices to everyday, human stories that have hitherto been silenced or stereotyped. They mine and explore the daily triumphs and tragedies of the uniquely feminine American experience. I also seek to redefine and sculpt the contemporary Jewish narrative, using Jewish history and spirituality to transform our preconceptions of “Jewish theater.” “How is this night different from all other nights?” Viterbi allows the audience to explore this concept from many viewpoints, often utilizing time as a vehicle. Each of us is left to decide not only how this night is different, but how to form and shape all other nights from a Jewish and humanitarian perspective. In Every Generation is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. It has already premiered at Victory Gardens Theater and will soon run at the San Diego REP and Olney Theatre Center. Viterbi’s plays include Period Sisters, Shame Spiral, The World to Come. Ali has developed projects in TV and was a member of the 2020/2021 Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room. She is also the associate artistic director of the annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. Ali’s work has been developed and/or commissioned by Geffen Playhouse. The Kennedy Center/NNPN, La Jolla Playhouse, Round House Theatre, San Diego REP, HERE Arts Center, The Barrow Group and North Coast Repertory Theatre, among others. TODD SALOVEY AND EMILY MOLER DIRECT THIS COMPELLING PLAY AT THE SAN DIEGO REP; MAY 26–JUNE 19 IN THE LYCEUM SPACE. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.SDREP.ORG.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • MAY 2022
AVOCADO LAYER SALAD BY JENNIFER TEMPEL, @THECUBANRUEBEN
Los Angeles native, Jennifer Stempel is a St. Louis-based storyteller, whose work has been featured by Woman’s Day, Rachael Ray Everyday, POPSUGAR, NBC Latino, PJ Library, The Nosher, MyJewishLearning.com, Be’chol Lashon, Jewish Daily Forward, and Relativity Media’s COIN. As the weather starts to heat up, this avocado-lovers salad is a great weeknight addition, or impressive for a potluck! Visit jenniferstempel.com for more delicious recipes. INGREDIENTS
2 cups baby arugula 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced 1-2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced 1 Tbs. seasoned rice wine vinegar, or to taste 2 Tbs. Olive Oil, or to taste Kosher Salt Freshly ground black pepper INSTRUCTIONS
1. On a large, flat platter, spread the arugula to lightly cover the surface. 2. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado in individual layers. 3. Drizzle with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste. 4. Serve immediately. Join Sharsheret in the Kitchen’s “Cooking
This avocado-lover's salad is a great weeknight addition.
with The Cuban Reuben” for a free Cuban made healthy virtual cooking demo with Jennifer Stempel, The Cuban Reuben, on Wednesday, May 11 at 5pm PDT. Jennifer will be demonstrating healthy recipes featuring rich Cuban flavors you won’t want to miss! **Special gift of the spice Sazon Tropical will be sent to the first 100 registrants. Register at https://link. sharsheret.org/SITKTheCubanReuben. 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 generous support from Cedars-Sinai, and The Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
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 INFORMATION, VISIT SHARSHERET.ORG OR CALL (866) 4742774.
** Shipping to US Residents Only. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
HUMANITARIAN SERVICES FOR UKRAINE SAN DIEGO STEPS UP
BY DONALD H. HARRISON
ewish San Diegans have been involved in providing humanitarian services to Ukrainian refugees almost every step of their frightened journeys. They have helped Ukrainians get to safety across the border of their war-torn country. They have made sure that the refugees and their pets were healthy enough to continue their journeys after exiting Ukraine. And, they have assisted Ukrainians and disaffected Russians who crossed into the United States from Mexico to find temporary shelter in San Diego en route to their ultimate American destinations. Additionally, such organizations as the Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the Jewish Community Foundation are sending money onto international partners to help pay for food, supplies, and other necessities for some of the millions of people who have been displaced by the war launched against Ukraine by 18
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the Russian government of Vladimir Putin. As of mid-April the Jewish Community Foundation had directed $3.1 million in grants to 55 different organizations supporting the Ukrainian relief effort, according to Ollie Benn, the Foundation’s philanthropy director. On April 25, the Jewish Federation of San Diego County reported it had raised $528,400 in support of Ukraine relief efforts. There appeared to be nearly universal sympathy in the Jewish community for the Ukrainian people led by their Jewish president Volodomyr Zelensky. Getting Ukrainians under attack to safety across the border has been one of the priorities of the Leichtag Foundation since war seemed inevitable. Charlene Seidle, Leichtag’s executive vice president, told a reporter for eJewish Philanthropy, that the Encinitasbased Jewish philanthropy has donated hundreds of thousands of
dollars for relief efforts in the Ukraine, “getting people fed, getting supplies in, getting people out.” The funds finance an informal, ad hoc network of community organizers and relief workers in Ukraine and neighboring pro-western Eastern European countries. Although the network is informal, Seidle said, she knows the contributions are being put to good use because they are going to people that Leichtag Foundation employees either know personally or who have been otherwise vouched for. When “you know 50 people are evacuated because of a bus you paid for, and they have been saved, that is very, very meaningful and rewarding,” Seidle added in the eJewish Philanthropy interview. “At the end of the day, we’re in a disaster situation. Everyone has to make decisions in a split second, and you do the best you can in a limited amount of time. … We take calculated risks.” Once Ukrainians get across the Polish border, they find a network of medical and humanitarian organizations ready to assist to their many needs. Ten Hadassah groups in San Diego County and southern Riverside County help to support the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Humanitarian Mission which sends medical personnel in yellow vests to refugee centers, hostels, and private homes in Poland to assess the conditions of Ukrainian refugees and to provide medical care when needed. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society, flew to Przemsysl, Poland, on the Ukrainian border, where he helped staff a tent operated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) where the pets brought across the border by Ukrainian refugees were examined and tended to. “My family, generations ago, were from the Ukraine,” Weitzman said. During a stay of nearly a week, the Jewish veterinarian examined “probably a few hundred pets. They didn’t all need medical care. It was really to check on them and reassure people that they were okay, and then to make sure that people had supplies for them,” Weitzman told L’Chaim Magazine. “We were as much a vet clinic as a free pet store, which is important because we don’t want people to lose animals when they have lost everything else in their lives.” Weitzman said his primary goals were to assess the animal welfare situation and to determine what level of help his organization could render in the future, either along the border or within Ukraine proper. “We are hoping and praying that this will end successfully for Ukraine and if that happens and things are normalized a little bit then that country is going to need so much support on every level for every category. We hope to be able to support financially the shelters that are in Ukraine and the veterinarians there who have lost everything.” After reaching Poland, many refugees travel by bus or train to Warsaw where they make international airline connections to cities around the world. Some fly to Mexico City and thence to Tijuana, where they join the flow of displaced persons from countries in Central America, Africa, and Asia who are hoping to find refuge in the United States. Persons fleeing war may be legally admitted to the United States by applying in third countries at American consulates and embassies
for official refugee status. Or they may present themselves at the U.S. border as candidates for asylum. They may be accepted as one-year temporary residents on humanitarian grounds. Under a policy to expedite admission of Ukrainian refugees announced April 21 by President Joe Biden, they may fly to any airport in the United States after temporary two-year sponsorships have been arranged. That was good news for some Ukrainian refugees, but bad news for those who had made their way to Tijuana, Mexico, in the hope that they, like some of their countrymen before them, could quickly cross into San Diego and proceed to ultimate destinations in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security announced that as a result of President Biden’s new policy, Ukrainian refugees would be treated like the thousands of refugees from other countries who are required to “remain in Mexico” at least until May 23. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has been turning away asylum seekers who otherwise could be admitted to the country pending a determination of their status by federal courts. The provision of the law enabling the Department of Homeland Security temporarily to turn them aways (“Title 42”) is due to no longer be enforced as of May 23. Although President Biden said in March that the U.S. would accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, the procedures for designating refugees still were being worked out in April. Meanwhile the Rapid Response Network’s Migrant Shelter Services, operated by Jewish Family Service, was assisting those persons from a variety of countries whom the Department of Homeland Security had admitted into the country. When migrants arrive in San Diego, the Rapid Response Network provides medical checkups, hotel rooms for them to rest, and travel assistance to help the migrants reach their next destination in the U.S. Transit through San Diego typically last two or three days. “All guests released into JFS’s care by the Department of Homeland Security are going through the legal process of seeking asylum in the U.S.,” commented Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Service. The Rapid Response Network “provides case management, travel and financial assistance and legal support as needed. Asylum seekers and immigrants receive COVID-19 testing and health screenings, following public health guidelines. Guests also have the option to receive a vaccine.” During the week ending April 17th, the Rapid Response Network assisted 814 guests through its shelter services. Of these 264 were children. The three countries from which the largest number of migrants originated were Ukraine, Russia, and Cuba. During the same week 804 migrants left San Diego for destinations outside California, while 74 headed for in-state destinations. On any given day during that week, there were an average of 417 migrants receiving shelter services. Since October 2018, the Rapid Response Network had assisted 63,637 migrants on their journeys to new lives. DONALD H. HARRISON IS EDITOR EMERITUS OF SAN DIEGO JEWISH WORLD. HE MAY BE CONTACTED AT DONALD.HARRISON@SDJEWISHWORLD.COM. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
HONOR FOR HEROS NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH MILITARY HISTORY
BY SHELDON KLEINMAN
emorial Day is dedicated to commemorating the loss of all lives of our military in the service of our nation. The National Museum of Jewish Military History [NMAJMH] was established to honor all Jews of our military, past and present and those who have given their lives protecting and preserving our USA. This past Veterans Day, Lt Colonel Allen Miliefsky, US Airforce, retired, accompanied me, Sheldon Kleiman, MD, Lt Cdr USNR to Washington, D.C., to a reunion with the Marine Corps Battalion I served with in Vietnam as a Battalion Surgeon under combat conditions. It was an amazing experience to see and visit with past combat experienced veterans from our battalion — an emotional reunion of a brotherhood created by war. Allen was also a veteran of the Vietnam war having served at the same time and location as I did — “I” Corps — directly south of the supposed Demilitarized Zone between North Vietnam and the Republic of South Vietnam. Because of his brave air support in defending and saving the lives of marines under attack, he was most warmly received by the Marines at my reunion and joined our visit to our previously placed Memorial on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia. This memorial honors all who had served with the Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, 1965-1971. After visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall and in silence individually commemorating the loss of our fellow veterans, Allen and I toured the NMAJMH which is dedicated to documenting and preserving the contributions of Jewish Americans who have served in the US military. Founded by Jewish War Veterans [JWV] of the USA and established in 1896, it is the oldest continuously active veterans organization in America, chartered by Congress and which consists of 250 JWV
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posts throughout the United States with approximately 7500 active members. Allen is Commander of our San Diego JWV Post 185. Established in 1958 to immortalize the patriotism of Jewish American men and women, the museum also educates the public with outreach programs about the valor, heroism and sacrifice made by Jewish Americans. The museum displays unique collections of artifacts and exhibits, preserving the history of Jews who have served or have supported our military dating as far back as 1654 when Asher Levy petitioned for the right of Jews to help defend the New Amsterdam colony, now the southern tip of Manhattan. In fact, Jews have served in all American wars from the time of the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, WW I, WW II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and continue to serve. The museum has documented that approximately 250,000 Jews served in WW I and 550,000 Jews served in WW II. Jews have continued to serve in numbers greater than their proportion to the general population up to the Vietnam war as far as can be documented by the museum. Additionally, the museum has records of Jews who have received our highest military award for bravery and heroism far beyond the call of duty at the risk of their own lives in the service of our nation — The Congressional Medal of Honor. The NMAJMH also actively works to combat anti-Semitism. The month of May is unusual since it not only commemorates and honors the fallen military of the United States but also commemorates the Memorial day of Israel, Yom Hazikaron — a day in recognition of our fellow Jews who have given their lives for the land of Israel. May all veterans never be forgotten.
JWV POST 385 - NORTH COUNTY
“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
619-764-6156 11964 Bernardo Plaza Drive email@example.com WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
Rosina Reynolds and Kate Rose Reynolds
IRON A DEEPLY MOVING PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA BY RONA MUNRO BY DEBORAH VIETOR
mprisonment can mean many things, not only in the physical sense, yet emotionally and metaphorically as well. Iron focuses on a fractured family, criminal justice and the mother/daughter bond. Audiences remained stunned and transfixed as Fay, serving 25 years in prison for a savage murder has not received a single visitor. Fay’s daughter Josie, visits one day and with no memory of the murder, has more questions than answers as she was only 10 when her mother brutally killed her father. Josie’s questions surround a profound tragedy Fay would rather forget. The mother/daughter actors are real mother and daughter team Rosina Reynolds and Kate Rose Reynolds. Director Jacole Kitchen, who for years was a top theater talent agent in Los Angeles and now the Director for Arts Engagement and In-House Casting Director for the La Jolla Playhouse works closely with our military and veteran communities, leading a Veterans Playwriting Workshop, available for veterans, active-duty military and military spouses with an interest in writing plays. She produces workshops and site-specific productions for and with the military/ veteran community. Directing credits include the Playhouse’s Performance Outreach Program, (POP) Tour production of Light Years Away, Cardboard Piano (Diversionary Theatre), An Iliad (New Village Arts), among others. Also an acting coach and producer, Kitchen’s enthusiasm is 22
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refreshing and contagious regarding the arts and life in general. She expressed how she enjoys wearing many hats and some of her most rewarding experiences are in the rehearsal room. She experiences “Breathing life into the balloon which becomes the play.” As a director she believes it is vital to “keep your eye on everything.” She has found Iron to be very emotional as the entire piece takes place in prison. Kitchen relates how Josie getting to know her mother in prison is “heart wrenching, heartwarming and heart breaking.” Discoveries are made relating to the power balance of mother daughter relationships, involving even the prison guard. She considers the arts “A beautiful intersection of connection.” She loves sitting in the audience, hearing the gasps and the laughter, referring to her position with the cast and others pure collaboration. FIRST PERFORMED AT THE TRAVERSE THEATRE, EDINBURGH, THEN EXTENDED INTO A SELL-OUT RUN AT THE ROYAL COURT IN LONDON, IRON WILL RUN JUNE 5-JUNE 25 AT THE ROUSTABOUTS THEATRE, 6663 EL CAJON BLVD, SUITE N, SAN DIEGO 92115. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.THEROUSTABOUTS.ORG.
THE LAST OF KIN BY LYNN FELDMAN
n Mount Herzl in Israel, a monument which looks a bit like a broken home commemorates 167 Holocaust survivors who died fighting for Israel’s right to exist. These men and women had lost everything. With no family left, they fought for Israel’s independence knowing that if they themselves did not survive this fight, there would no longer be a living trace of their families. They are called the Last of Kin. On a warm spring day, I am leading a tour that starts in the Valley of the Communities at Yad Vashem. In this 2.5 acre monument dug out of the natural bedrock, the Jewish communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust are commemorated. The Holocaust changed not only the face of Europe, it changed forever the Jewish world. We will be walking from here to the Monument to the Last of Kin on Mount Herzl. This path represents the length and breadth of Israeli memory. Leaving the Valley of Communities, we leave behind the Jewish communities of Europe. As we climb up the Mount of Remembrance, we pass a cattle car on a train track to nowhere. The car pierces through the Jerusalem mountains, coming to its final resting place in this quiet spot after carrying countless Jews to their death or forced labor. We continue to Uprising Square and Natan Rappaport’s Warsaw Ghetto Uprising monument. It is nearly identical to the one in Warsaw, except that this monument has two images side by side. A sculpture depicting the hardship of the ghetto is connected to the uprising sculpture with the words of the prophet Ezekiel: “In thy blood, live.”
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Adam Halperin was born in Warsaw Poland. As a boy, he joined the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Beitar. When the Nazis invade Poland, Adam was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. In the ghetto, Adam was one of the founders of Żydowski Związek Wojskowy or ZZW, the Revisionist underground movement. On April 20, 1943, the second day of the uprising, Adam took a post in Marovska Street. Within hours, he was captured by the Germans and sent to Treblinka in a cattle car just like the one we passed earlier. Adam jumped off the train and escaped into a forest where he joined a group of Jewish Partisans. But this is not the end of Adam’s story. We will meet Adam again on this tour. As we leave the Uprising Square, heading towards the great iron gates of Yad Vashem, we transition from Europe to Israel, walking through the gate and turning towards the path that will lead us up to Mount Herzl. The path we are going to walk was constructed by hand by members of Israeli Youth movements, connecting the two parts of the Remembrance Mountain: Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust, and Mount Herzl, the memorial to Israel’s defenders. Along the path, we pass panels that describe the events in “Yeshuv” (Israel) during the war years. Photos and text depict snapshots of the main events of the struggle to end British rule, including the bombing of the Allenby bridge and the building of new towns. We climb up the mountain, walking the path of Israeli history. While Europe was at war, in the Yeshuv a new chapter was beginning. Three Jewish organizations - Hagana, Etzel and Lechi - struggled against British rule. One of the main avenues of resistance was a
campaign of illegal immigration, “Ha’apala.” This campaign of bringing as many Jews to the Holy Land and away from burning Europe continued until after the state was founded in 1949. The first large monument that we see on the path is for the ship Salvador. The monument is a stone shaped a bit like the side of a boat, engraved with the names of the people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach the Holy Land. Salvador left the coast of Varna, Bulgaria in 1940 with 352 Jews escaping the war. The old ship made it to the port of Istanbul. After five days in port, the ship went out to sea again, only to be hit by a storm. Salvador fell apart and 238 Jews drowned. The survivors managed to swim back to safety. Eighty of the survivors returned to Bulgaria and managed to come to Israel in 1941, just before Bulgaria was overtaken by the Nazis and Jews could no longer leave. The remaining survivors stayed in Turkey. At the same time, the Jews in Mandatory Palestine were training 110 volunteers assigned to parachute into Europe to collect and extract intelligence as well assist Allied air forces on the ground in Europe. In 1944, 37 Jews parachuted into Europe. Seven of them were captured by the Germans and executed. Their remains were returned to Israel only after the state was founded. Continuing up the mountain, we pass their burial site, seven graves positioned to represent a parachute. On May 8, 1945, the war ended. Europe was filled with refugees. Many of the liberated Jews tried to find any possible way to get to the land of Israel. Our friend Adam Halperin was a member of one of the groups helping Jewish refugees leave Europe. He himself came to Israel before the state was founded. Benny Berla was one of the refugees trying to leave Europe. He tried to come to Israel on a boat, illegally. British Officers stopped the boat from entering the shores of Israel. All the Jewish refugees were sent to a detention camp in Cyprus. Benny, who was born in Poland, survived the horrors of the Holocaust, survived ghettos, labor camps,
and concentration camps. After all these horrors, he was alone in the detention camp in Cyprus. None of his family survived. In 1948, during Israel’s War for Independence, the detention camps in Cyprus were liberated. The camp’s inhabitants finally entered Israel. Benny immediately joined the war. Benny and his military unit fought bravely trying to open the roads to Jerusalem. In April 1948, Benny’s unit was instructed to take the Monastery of St. Simon in Jerusalem. The fighting over the monastery was hard, but after three days, on May 1st, the monastery was in Israeli hands. On that day, Benny Berla died fighting for the independence of the state of Israel. He was 25. He was the last of his kin. On the path, between Yad Vashem and Mount Herzl in Israel, there is a small round rock commemorating the Last of Kin. Hebrew letters engraved on the rock read, “The house that was - is gone. The house that could be built here - will not. They were the last kin and they are gone.” It is a preview of the monument we have come to see. As we arrive on Mount Herzl, at the end of our tour, we stand before the stone in the shape of a broken home that lists the names of the 167 Last of Kin. They came to Israel as the last surviving member of their family and fought for Israel’s right to exist. They knew that with their death, their family’s legacy would be an independent Israel. Their sacrifice is part of the legacy and history and fabric of Israel. As we walk among their graves in the cemetery on Mount Herzl, we are reminded of all that the Jewish people lost in the Holocust and during the fight for independence, and of all that we gained through the hard work and sacrifice of many. LYNNE FELDMAN IS AN MA STUDENT AND PHD CANDIDATE IN HOLOCAUST RESEARCH AT HAIFA UNIVERSITY ISRAEL. SHE IS A TEACHER, A YAD VASHEM-TRAINED EDUCATIONAL GUIDE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COORDINATOR AT TEACH THE SHOAH. TEACH THE SHOAH IS AN INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING COOPERATIVE DEDICATED TO ENSURING THAT THE STORY OF THE HOLOCAUST LIVES BEYOND THE SURVIVORS. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
FEATURE STORY The Horn Family.
COMMUNAL GROWTH LA JOLLA'S ADAT YESHURUN'S "BREATH OF FRESH AIRE" GALA
BY JACOB KAMARAS
merging from the COVID-19 pandemic with renewed energy, Congregation Adat Yeshurun of La Jolla this month will host “Breath of Fresh Aire,” the synagogue’s first in-person gala event since 2019. Long known for its welcoming atmosphere of caring and spiritual growth, one of San Diego’s premier Orthodox communities stands poised to accommodate the needs of new members. This includes offering new resources for young families such as enhanced play areas for children and the forthcoming addition of a couple who will lead youth programming. Last year, Adat Yeshurun held the official installation of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Daniel and Brooke Reich, cementing the milestone of the synagogue’s first rabbinic transition in its 35-year history. Now, Adat is prepared “to ensure our distinguished place in San Diego’s Jewish community and to continue our growth as an inspiring, guiding, and joyful beacon of Torah,” said the congregation’s president, Brian Marcus. On Sunday, May 22, at 11 a.m. at The Seabird Resort in Oceanside, the gala includes brunch, music, and other entertainment. Additionally, from May 20-21, a pre-gala Shabbat celebration will feature several lectures from scholar-in-residence Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg, a rising star in the rabbinic world who serves as mashpia (a person who inspires and encourages others to grow spiritually) at Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, N.J., and a faculty member at Yeshiva University’s Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program. In fact, Rabbi Weinberg is the latest in a series of scholars-inresidence who have visited Adat in the early months of 2022,
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underscoring the community’s resumption of vibrant in-person programming. “Shabbat services at Adat Yeshurun are once again buzzing with regular members, new faces, and a lineup of strollers — and above all, inspiring scholars-in-residence,” Marcus said. For this year’s gala, Adat is honoring Todd and Diane Salovey as well as Gavin and Cheryl Horn. As the congregation’s gabbaim, Todd and Gavin fill key leadership roles in the realm of the community’s religious and spiritual life. “Week after week, they lift up our spirits. Let us honor them by lifting them up at this special event,” Marcus said of Todd and Gavin. The gala weekend’s keynote speaker, Rabbi Weinberg, has worked as Jewish educator for the past 15 years. He previously taught at Torah Academy of Bergen County and the Moriah School of Englewood, before joining the Yeshiva University faculty six years ago. More than 1,200 of his recorded shiurim (lectures) appear on yutorah.org. Marcus described Rabbi Weinberg as “one of the inspiring new voices in the Torah world,” and emphasized that Adat Yeshurun’s weekend-long festivities will contribute to “breathing a breath of fresh air into our beautiful kehilla to energize us all for the bright future ahead.” CONGREGATION ADAT YESHURUN’S “BREATH OF FRESH AIRE” IS CHAIRED BY JEREMY AND HILDA COHEN, ADAM AND MARINA SRAGOVICZ, AND STEVEN AND ALYSA KAPLAN. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENT, INCLUDING REGISTRATION AND DONATION OPPORTUNITIES, PLEASE VISIT: WIZEVENTS.COM/ADATYESHURUN2022
FEATURE STORY Robert Ganz, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Myra Chack Fleischer. PHOTO BY MELISSA JACOBS
VIBRANT JEWISH FUTURE SAN DIEGO PHILANTHROPISTS AT WORK
ver 100 philanthropists in San Diego joined Jewish National Fund-USA at its Legacy Society Luncheon at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on March 15, 2022, to hear from worldrenowned American diplomat, Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event also served as an opportunity to thank those who have committed to, or who are considering, leaving a lasting legacy gift through flexible gift planning during life or through their estate plan to Jewish National Fund — ensuring a strong, secure, and prosperous future for the land and people of Israel. Ambassador Ross provided a unique and historical perspective on the war in Ukraine and what motivated Russia’s President to invade the country and adopt policies that are effectively turning Ukrainian cities into rubble. He commented on Israel’s involvement in the earlier attempts at negotiation with Putin. Ambassador Ross then demonstrated how we are living in a truly global environment with his discussion on Iran and Russia’s relationship and interactions, as compared to the developing relationships and continuing common interests among Israel and a growing cohort of Arab countries. San Diego Planned Giving Co-Chairs, Myra Chack Fleischer and Robert Ganz, joined Cynthia Hizami, Esq., JNF-USA’s Planned Giving Director, West Coast, to kick off the luncheon with remarks about the organization’s critical projects in Israel’s Negev and Galilee regions that will impact the global Jewish community, as well as the various types of legacy gifts helping to build a nation for present and future generations. Hizami spoke about the varied options available to JNF-USA’s partners (donors) in terms of helping themselves and helping the land and people of Israel. Hizami mentioned, “It is possible to make a gift, receive a fixed income for life as high as 9%, get an income tax deduction, and ultimately help ensure the strength and
perseverance of Israel.” She indicated with JNF’s Donor Advised Fund program, you can easily create your own family charitable account, streamlining your philanthropy with very little cost to you and your family. Hizami also discussed JNF-USA’s partnership with Jewish Future Pledge, which calls on all Jews to pledge that half or more of any charitable giving in their will or trust go toward supporting the Jewish people and/or Israel. The audience of philanthropists also got a deeper look into Jewish National Fund-USA’s innovative Zionist education and advocacy efforts as the largest provider of Israel education programs in the U.S. One of JNF-USA’s key Zionist education initiatives is its Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The one-of-a-kind study abroad program has transformed the lives of 35,000 high school students. “Due to record demand, we have outgrown our current campus and plans are underway to create our World Zionist Village in Be’er Sheva, which will increase global student enrollment from 1,500 per year to 5,000 per year, and will provide gap year programming for students between high school and college,” said Jewish National Fund-USA President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “Additionally, it will include a technology internship program with Fortune 500 companies in the area. This Village will be a game-changer for Zionist and Jewish educational engagement.” The luncheon also highlighted various opportunities to travel to Israel with JNF-USA, including its upcoming Sunshine Tour for active adults 55+. QUESTIONS? CONTACT CYNTHIA HIZAMI, ESQ., JNF-USA’S PLANNED GIVING DIRECTOR, WEST COAST AT 888-563-2008 OR CHIZAMI@JNF.ORG. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON GIFT PLANNING PLEASE VISIT JNFLEGACY.ORG. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
NOW WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
Beverly Hills, CA on April 5. Ferris, a career servant to the aging American population began her work at Seacrest in 1989, and has helped countless seniors navigate the world of aging services. She became the President and CEO in 2000 and has led the organization since then through many challenges including wildfires and, most recently, the COVID-19 outbreak. Her daily efforts to bring peace and comfort to residents and families is awe-inspiring. “I am deeply honored to be chosen by so many of my respected peers for this position,” said Ms. Ferris. “The work that AJAS does for our Jewish communities is remarkable.” Steven Ratner, the Seacrest Village Retirement Communities board president said of Ms. Ferris “We are blessed to have Pam leading Seacrest, and proud that her impact will reach other communities through her work with AJAS.” LINEUP FOR 29TH ANNUAL LIPINSKY FAMILY SAN DIEGO JEWISH ARTS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCED
THE JEWISH PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE OF CALIFORNIA HOSTS ADVOCACY DAY IN SACRAMENTO
On May 9-10, 2022, nearly 200 Jewish community leaders will be gathering in Sacramento for JPAC Advocacy Day to lobby the legislature on behalf of the Jewish community’s concerns, representing the interests of California’s 1.2 million Jews. Advocacy Day — JPAC’s premier annual policy conference and advocacy effort — is returning in-person for the first time in three years and will honor JPAC’s historic 50th year. In addition to addressing the Jewish community’s core safety concerns: urging the Ca Legislature to enact an Anti-Hate Agenda in light of rising anti-Semitism, JPAC advocates for critical social services for those in need. The full list of JPAC’s 2022 Legislative Priorities can be found at jpac-cal.org/our-work/2022-legislative-agenda. Register for Advocacy Day at www.jpac-cal.org. SEACREST VILLAGE PRESIDENT/CEO ELECTED TO LEAD BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH AGING SERVICES (AJAS)
Pam Ferris, President and CEO of the San Diego Hebrew Homes (d.b.a Seacrest Village Retirement Communities) has been named by Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) as their new Board Chair. Her installation took place at the 2022 AJAS Annual Conference in 28 28 L’CHAIM L’CHAIMSAN SANDIEGO DIEGOMAGAZINE MAGAZINE• •MAY MAY2022 2022
San Diego Repertory Theatre announces the lineup for the 29th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (JFest), which brings another fantastic year of Jewish music, theatre, art and ideas to the community. This year’s festival will last from May 23– July 19, 2022, and features a slate of 14 virtual and live performances celebrating San Diego’s diverse performing arts community. The festival features the inimitable hip hop artist Nissim Black in a concert overlooking the ocean, songstress Niki Jacobs performing the world’s most gorgeous Yiddish music and the renowned Hershey Felder with two unmissable events. The 21st Klezmer Summit, a festival favorite, is a celebration of hope and a tribute to Ukraine. Renowned opera, theatre and cabaret performer, Angelina Reaux performs the music of Kurt Weill, and choreographer Yehuda Hyman shares his solo show. This year also celebrates the 13th Annual Women of Valor with music, stories and images of six women who have made a significant impact in San Diego. A special highlight of the festival is Broadway icon Joel Grey who will share his favorite plays with festival Artistic Director, Todd Salovey. Another highlight is a discussion with Actor Michael Aloni and co-creator and writer Ori Elon on their award-winning Israeli series Shtisel on Netflix. JFEST will also feature the return of The Whole Megillah, a festival of new Jewish plays. This new play festival highlights unproduced and unapologetically Jewish work for the American Theatre. Throughout June, four brand new works from four powerhouse female writers will be presented as staged readings. Each distinct work explores different facets of the contemporary Jewish experience, and is coupled with panel discussions featuring renowned Jewish artists and speakers.
NORTH COAST REPERTORY THEATRE PRESENTS NEW LOOK SPOTLIGHT GALA Jeanette Stevens, Hal and Pam Fuson. PHOTO BY SONNY PORTACIO.
In a continued focus on our next generation of artists, the festival will feature the 4th Annual The Room Where It Happens with San Diego Jewish Academy. The festival also showcases plays that have progressed onto stages around the world. A cornerstone of this years’ festival is the highly-anticipated world premiere of Ali Viterbi’s enthralling and touching family saga, In Every Generation (May 26Jun 19.) The Blessing of a Broken Heart, written by Todd Salovey was performed in Jerusalem in May 2022 and captured on film. The film will also stream at this year’s festival. All events are available for reservations at www.sdrep.org/jfest or (619) 544-1000.
The New Look Spotlight Gala will celebrate 40 years and benefit the North Coast Repertory Theatre at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Sunday June 5. Join Honorary Chair Jaime Carr and San Diego Champions For the Arts Jeanette Stevens and Pam and Hal Fuson. Gala Chairs are Laura Applegate and Sarah King. Cocktails and silent auction begin at 5 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. with a seated, plated dinner served in the ballroom. The volunteer Gala committee is preparing a shimmering, festive evening with fun to be had by all. Enjoy fine food and wine, special entertainment, add a live auction presented by auctioneer Clint Bell with a fund-a-need segment. Through the generosity of patrons, auction bidders, and event sponsors, North Coast Rep raises more than a third of the total annual budget for donated income at this event. For more information, contact Denise Young at denise@ northcoastrep.org or call (858) 481-2155 x 210.
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