L'Chaim Magazine High Holidays 2018

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70 Years





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September 2018 • www.lchaimmagazine.com

COVER STORY FIDF Celebrates 70 Years of Israeli Hereos and Hope..............................................................

1000 WORDS Jewish Federation of San Diego County CEO, Michael Jeser..............................................

FOOD A festive Rosh Hashanah table.............................................................................................................

HIGH HOLIDAYS Faith and fasting: A look at the practice ahead of Yom Kippur.........................................

FEATURES Community leaders call for a Jewish response to Human Trafficking........................... Del Mar Dance For Diabetes looks for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes................................... Life is Dynamic with Dr. Rakefet Benderly........................................................................................

COLUMNS Torah: Of the Book..........................................................................................................................................

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20 28 30 34 38



06 41

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

DANCE FOR DIABETES PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO, LLC (858) 776-0550 San Diego, CA 92127 EDITORIAL editor@lchaimmagazine.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alanna Maya CREATIVE DIRECTOR Laurie Miller CONTRIBUTORS Daniel Bortz, Donald H. Harrison, Stephanie Lewis, Salomon Maya, Mimi Pollack, Sharon Rapoport, Eva Trieger, Deborah Vietor, Chana Jenny Weisberg

ADVERTISING & SALES Diane Benaroya (dianeb@lchaimmagazine.com), Sharon Buchsbaum (sharonbux@gmail.com) 4


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the book Finding Happiness


ome of my most satisfying, truly joyful feelings have come after very challenging experiences. We see that happiness doesn’t come through avoiding pain and discomfort; from working out in the gym to childbirth, pain with a meaningful purpose can actually be a joyful experience. Happiness is a byproduct of living a meaningful life, going in the right direction with the feeling that we’re doing what we were fashioned to do. Do you know anything in this world that exists without a purpose? Therefore you of course have one! What meaningful differences have you made and can you make for the world – for those around you who need most what only you can give? Once we decide on a path and set goals, our happiness can’t only be result reliant. We have to enjoy the process. If we do things only as a means to an end: “I will definitely be happy if x, y, & z happens for me,” it will wear off quickly and we will just raise the bar to the next achievement. Anyone with ambition may understandably struggle with this concept. But make sure this desire to achieve isn’t rooted in a lack of self-love; that you need to accomplish something specific to be worthwhile. You are intrinsically worthy of love with a unique Divine spark within



that can’t be measured in its great value. Hustle and put in the requisite work needed for success in the areas that matter to you, but base that on a foundation of trust in Divine providence. Your ultimate success isn’t only up to you. G-d says: “I will bless all the work of your hands” – put in hard work, but the blessing will come from Me. A huge aspect of happiness is awareness and gratitude. It’s a sad fact of the human condition that we take for granted what we’re used to having. Judaism is obsessed with making continual blessings - for our ability to see and walk, to use the bathroom or eat an apple, and praying three times a day – all in order to instill in our psyches a daily awareness and sense of gratitude. Imagine seeing a suicidal man standing on a ledge. You ask him: “Close your eyes. Imagine in addition to all of your struggles, you had been blind your whole life. No color, sights of children playing, no ocean or sunset. Now imagine your vision was restored! Would you still jump? Or would you want to stick around another week to enjoy the sights?” The mind is a muscle, and like a muscle it must be exercised consistently to achieve optimal results. Be intentional each morning that today will be a day of growth, no matter what happens. Events are often neutral; how

we process them decides if they are good or bad. Listen daily to positive resources you like to learn from and emulate. Make personal affirmations. Surround yourself with people that elevate you, not bring you down. The mind is malleable; we can create our mindset anew. But it’s only achieved through consistent work. Nourish your soul and what’s truly valuable as much as you nourish your body. If this weren’t true, shouldn’t an endless stream of physical and material pleasures bring lasting joy? My experience speaking with and listening to those who have tried that course is that it doesn’t. Learn Torah wisdom and spend time in prayer and character refinement, help others and make a lasting impact, deepen your relationships with those you care about, and bring joy and pride to your Creator. Wishing you much success in living a happy life! We’re all in this together.


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n July, the Jewish Federation of San Diego County announced that Michael Jeser would become its new CEO, following the retirement of Michael Sonduck. Jeser previously served as director of financial resource development at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, where he oversaw all aspects of the organization’s annual and supplemental fundraising campaigns for three years and also created its flagship leadership development and mentoring program for young Jewish leaders. For 20 years, Jeser has held roles in and out of the national Federation system, serving in senior management, fundraising and program positions with Jewish Community Centers, Jewish summer camps, and as the executive director of Hillel at the University of Southern California for four years. “I’m especially proud to join a Federation that is demonstrating tremendous commitment to connecting donors with the impact of their philanthropy,” Jeser said prior to starting work in San Diego. “I look forward to continuing Michael Sonduck’s efforts of building partnerships among San Diego’s phenomenal Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues.” L’CHAIM spoke to Jeser following his move to San Diego but before he began his tenure at Federation, about what he hopes this next chapter will mean for his family,

and for the San Diego Jewish community. “Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to be exposed to Jews of all ages and stages; I’m always drawn to the story and values we share as a people,” he said. “In addition to my commitment to creating a strong Jewish future in the U.S., supporting Israel and helping Jews in need provide me enduring inspiration.” L’CHAIM Magazine: So, Michael, why San Diego, and why now (besides our great weather, of course)? Michael Jeser: San Diego is really on the cutting-edge of the Federation system, being one of the first in the country to shift from an umbrella organization, which primarily allocated funds to other Jewish organizations, to a nonprofit that seeks out, and leverages and builds partnerships to address vital needs in the community. This also provides the opportunity for donors to really connect to their philanthropy as opposed to just writing a check and allowing Federation to decide where to allocate those funds. This is a great way to impact the community in a more effective manner, and I was deeply inspired by this bold decision; to focus on developing and supporting services that strengthen the local Jewish community, as well as the risk-taking nature and bold decision-making required of this Federation

“I’m especially proud to join a Federation that is demonstrating tremendous commitment to connecting donors with the impact of their philanthropy,” Jeser said prior to starting work in San Diego. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



to really change the way it does its business made this job a really attractive opportunity. The Federation [here] has really positioned itself to be a flagship example of how to be a philanthropic organization and how to adapt in the 21st Century. L'CHAIM: Tell me about your background. What’s your Jewish story? MJ: I grew up in a very typical (I think) Jewish home. Both my parents were involved in the local Jewish community, and of course, I was very familiar with Federation as an organization growing up. (Jeser’s father was a Federation executive director in Lewiston, Me., and Orlando, Fla.; his mother was a Jewish music teacher and performer for more than 40 years.) I went to the local JCC and attended Jewish camp growing up, and so I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone in my family that I chose to serve the Jewish community as 12


a professional later on. L’CHAIM: You have a 20-month-old daughter. How does being a parent inform your outlook on Jewish life now? MJ: One of the exciting parts about making this move to San Diego has been the great number of opportunities for Jewish families, new parents and really people at all stages of their life to take advantage of this community. As new parents, I think it is very important to me and my wife personally, philosophically, and spiritually; to expose our daughter to our heritage our culture and our traditions. Signing up for classes at the JCC, participating in the community at a local temple, and when she is older, we want to take her to Israel. My parents did everything that they could to expose me to different Jewish backgrounds, and my wife and I want to give our daughter as many Jewish opportunities as we can, and San Diego is a great place to do that.

L’CHAIM: What do you plan to work on once you begin working at Federation? MJ: My primary focus for the first 30-90 days will really be to just build relationships with our donor base, our community partners and stakeholders and clegy and other stakeholders in the jewsih community. I’m not trying to reinvent anything here, but to really immerse myself in the community, get to know the people here, and learn what it is that motivates them, inspires them, touches them and moves them to get involved as users, leaders and professionals. It is a real intense and in-depth process of learning and listening that I am excited to be a part of. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT JEWISHINSANDIEGO.ORG.

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70 YEARS OF ISRAELI HEROES AND HOPE Friends of the IDF brings together Israeli soldiers, community leaders and special guests IDF Lone Soldiers arrive at the FIDF “Fun Day” for Lone Soldiers in Israel on June 27, 2018. PHOTO BY NIR BUXENBAUM PHOTOGRAPHY




Crowds of IDF Lone Soldiers splash in the Shefayim Water Park outside Tel Aviv during the FIDF “Fun Day” for Lone Soldiers in Israel on June 27, 2018. PHOTO BY NIR BUXENBAUM PHOTOGRAPHY


or Jews the world over, Israel remains central to their very identity, and inspires the hopes and dreams of the Jewish people. Every day, the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) put their lives on the line to protect those hopes and dreams, and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) is in turn devoted to helping these defenders of the Jewish homeland with educational and wellbeing support. The IDF’s central mission is: “To defend the existence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of the state of Israel. To protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily life.” No organization has played such an important role in ensuring that IDF soldiers are cared for while carrying out their crucial tasks quite like FIDF, which since 1981 has been at the forefront of supporting Israel’s brave soldiers as they protect the Jewish homeland. CELEBRATING 70 YEARS OF HEROES AND HOPE

This year, to celebrate Israel’s 70th year of independence, FIDF will honor seven decades of heroes and hope as it brings together the community for the San Diego Annual Gala on Nov. 10 at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego, and

for the Orange County Annual Gala on Nov. 11 at the Hotel Irvine. Local Holocaust survivors are expected to join FIDF supporters, as well as several IDF soldiers. Since the Jewish state’s inception in 1948, the relationship between the United States and Israel has only grown stronger, into the unbreakable bond that binds the two countries today. FIDF, through its support for Lone Soldiers — those who leave their native countries to join the IDF and serve with no immediate family in Israel — lies at the core of that connection. San Diego is home to many families that have sons and daughters that served or are currently serving in the IDF as Lone Soldiers. “When you make Aliyah to serve in the IDF, you have to pick up your whole life and move to a foreign land, try to learn a new language, and be thrown into a completely different culture, all while dealing with the added stress of the army,” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



said Ari Zwiren, a former Lone Soldier from Orange County. “To know that back in America there are people who truly believe in the mission as well and support us in it makes all the difference.” The growing Lone Soldier phenomenon is the most treasured link between Jewish communities in the United States and those in Israel. Each Lone Soldier has their own personal reason for joining the IDF, yet a strong love of Israel and a sense of duty are universal among both soldiers who volunteer to serve and the families they leave behind. “My motivation to join the IDF comes from an early age, when I was told I was named after my father’s best friend who was killed in the first Lebanon war,” said Yaron Abed, a former Lone Soldier from San Diego. “I always loved Israel and always was determined to finish my army service for the both of us.” There are 6,330 Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF today — those who come from abroad to serve in the IDF without any immediate family in Israel, or native Israelis who serve without family support. Fifty-five percent of them serve in combat or combat-support roles. Out of all Lone Soldiers currently serving in the IDF, 53 percent of them are foreign born, coming from 75 countries around the world, including 795 Lone Soldiers from the U.S. FIDF’s support for Lone Soldiers includes housing, mentoring, a 24-hour call center, financial grants, flights to visit their families abroad, Shabbat meals, holiday gift packages, social gatherings, and much more. In 2017, FIDF provided guidance and support to over 3,062 Lone Soldiers and sponsored flights for them to visit their loved ones abroad. Lone Soldiers may be far away from the warmth of home, but FIDF ensures no soldier ever feels alone. “FIDF’s support meant the world to me as a Lone Soldier,” Yaron said. “It showed me that people outside of Israel still support the Jewish state and protecting the ones that serve. FIDF also helped me personally by sending me on Fun Days while I was in my service as well as sending me back to the U.S. to visit my family.” “Being a Lone Soldier is tough. The Israeli army is built on the idea that on their days off, soldiers go home to their parents,” said Jeremy, a current Lone Soldier from Encinitas. “FIDF helps fill in that significant gap for those of us who do not have an Imma or Abba in the country to go home to. I personally stay in a Lone Soldier residence for combat soldiers where we are provided with meals and laundry services. That alone makes a huge difference for me and for the quality of my time off from the army.” STAYING CONNECTED

It’s not only the soldiers who appreciate the assistance and programs provided by FIDF. The parents of Lone Soldiers, themselves feeling a combination of pride and concern regarding their child’s joining the IDF, benefit from FIDF support, too. “As our sons left for Israel, we felt a struggle between pride and happiness, seeing the excitement and determination on their faces, and then great sadness for the realization that they will not be near,” said Peer and Daphne Lavi from San Diego, whose two sons are Lone Soldiers. “Finally, there is an anxiety knowing that you will not be there to protect them as you were able to do since the day that they were born.” Offering advice to other parents of Lone Soldiers, Micha and Dennis Danzig from Encinitas said: “As hard as it may be, try not to stress too much about what your child is doing when you are not 16


U.S. and IDF soldiers at the 2017 FIDF San Diego Annual Gala. PHOTO BY ALON DAVID PHOTOGRAPHY

with them. Make sure you know all of the benefits available to Lone Soldiers both during their army service and after.” Recognizing the importance for Lone Soldiers to remain connected to their parents and their native communities during their IDF service, FIDF sponsors flights for Lone Soldiers to come visit their families and native countries during their limited time off. “FIDF’s support was amazing,” said Lotan from San Diego. “It helped me fly to see my parents during my service and built gyms and other buildings on my bases.” SOME R&R

While Lone Soldiers face multiple challenges when serving in Israel, they also get treated to some R&R, thanks to FIDF. This year, 5,000 Lone Soldiers from all IDF units gathered in June at the Shefayim Water Park just outside of Tel Aviv. For the first time ever, FIDF also hosted an additional “Fun Day,” for 5,000 front-line IDF combat soldiers at the water park. In addition to the park’s many attractions, the “Fun Day” featured a pool party with leading Israeli DJ Eran Barnea, game and fitness areas, an all-day smorgasbord of barbeque and desserts, and a special performance by popular Israeli band Hatikva 6. Front-line IDF combat soldiers enjoyed performances by Israeli rapper Tuna and the musical duo Static and Ben El Tavori the following day. The Lone Soldiers also received essential information about life after their military service, including about the FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program. IDF unit commanders, non-commissioned officers, high-ranking military officials, and FIDF supporters also attended the “Fun Day” festivities to meet and personally thank these brave men and women in uniform for serving despite numerous challenges. The two “Fun Days” kicked off the second annual “IDF Appreciation

Week,” June 27-July 8, which benefited more than 50,000 soldiers. During the weeklong series of events, FIDF sent four ice cream trucks to visit more than 24,000 soldiers on IDF combat bases across the country. A WORTHY MISSION

While the IDF protects Jews in Israel and around the world, FIDF changes the lives of IDF soldiers through its mission: “To offer cultural, recreational, and social services programs and facilities that provide hope, purpose, and life changing support for the soldiers who protect Israel and Jews worldwide.” FIDF focuses on initiating and supporting educational programs for soldiers during, and also after, their military service. One of its flagship programs is the IMPACT! Scholarship Program, which grants full, four-year academic scholarships to IDF combat veterans of modest means. For the 2017-2018 academic year, FIDF granted 4,365 IMPACT! scholarships to IDF combat veterans who could not afford the cost of higher education, sponsoring students at over 80 institutions throughout Israel. Through this program, FIDF helps to guarantee that Israel’s soldiers continue to grow as educated citizens and leaders. Each IMPACT! student volunteers in the community for a total of 130 hours each year of their studies, ensuring these veterans pay it forward by helping at 20 different nonprofit organizations. Since the inception of the FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program in 2002, IMPACT! students have volunteered over 5 million hours of community service, making it the top scholarship program in providing community service in Israel. More than 8,000 IMPACT! graduates have entered the Israeli workforce to date. The FIDF LEGACY program is another way FIDF offers support to the families of IDF heroes — by helping over 6,500 widows, orphans, siblings, and other family members of fallen IDF soldiers through a variety of life-cycle celebrations, including trips to the U.S. for Bar/ Bat Mitzvah children, R&R weeks in Israel, recreational activities, financial support, and special family days. Investing in construction projects, FIDF builds, refurbishes, and maintains facilities for the well-being of IDF soldiers — including sports centers, culture halls, synagogues, memorial rooms, swimming pools, and soldiers’ homes throughout Israel. FIDF’s newest series of projects is the wellbeing and education centers at the IDF Training Campus in the Negev, where FIDF funded the construction of 12 facilities at a cost of $43 million. In addition, in 2017, FIDF helped 2,394 soldiers wounded in battle to rebuild their lives through financial aid, mentoring, recreational activities, employment assistance, and athletic prostheses for amputees injured during military service through the FIDF Strides Program; granted financial aid, basic appliances and furniture, food vouchers, special grants, and holiday gift vouchers to over 8,000 soldiers inneed; funded 41 weeks of crucial rest and recuperation to combat soldiers; and FIDF supporters formed unbreakable bonds with the soldiers of 9 brigades and 69 battalions, squadrons, and flotillas.

happy to have chosen to serve, was when I visited the Holocaust memorial and listened to the stories of survivors. I knew then, that with my help and my sacrifice, I am doing my share to ensure that we will never be put in camps again.” Like so many of his IDF brothers and sisters, Yaron is a hero. And this November 10, FIDF will proudly honor all IDF heroes at its annual San Diego Gala. The gala event, co-chaired by Esther and Carlos Michan, will be held at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego at 6:45 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to honor the IDF’s worldwide humanitarian efforts and support the well-being of Israel’s soldiers. “As they did 70 years ago, the brave men and women of the IDF still put their lives on the line every day to protect Israel and Jews around the world,” said FIDF Executive Director in San Diego, Orange County, and Arizona Oz Laniado. “This evening will give our community a chance to meet and personally thank the heroes who risk it all to defend the Jewish homeland, and our supporters will hear firsthand about the incredible impact FIDF’s well-being programs have on these soldiers’ lives.” FOR TICKETS OR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT FIDF.ORG, EMAIL SANDIEGO@FIDF.ORG, OR CALL (858) 926-3210.


For Yaron, a key point in his IDF service came when he visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum. “My proudest moment, or as I say the time it ‘clicked’ that I’m WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM


September 1st 6:15pm











t started with a chance remark after a Shabbat dinner. “What a feast! You must have cooked for hours!” I didn’t answer immediately. Working in my home office, I haven’t the time or the inclination to spend hours in the kitchen anymore. And neither do busy parents, young couples or working professionals. While everyone wants a traditional High Holiday meal, no one wants to spend a week shopping, chopping, boiling, baking and freezing dish after dish. And these days, there’s really no need for it. Today, with literally thousands of kosher convenience-food items available in markets, it’s easy to create sensational meals with minimum effort. So while you really can’t avoid the shopping, you can skip the other lengthy processes with just a bit of pre-planning and a dollop of shortcuts. Also, the emphasis in contemporary kitchens is on healthier eating patterns. We include more fresh produce in our meals. We’re cooking fish and chicken, rather than red meat — the latter which takes much longer to cook (think of braising a brisket for three to four hours). And consider this: The Jewish New Year falls early in the season — Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 9 and lasts through the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 11. Meaning, the weather on both U.S. coasts will be warm. Instead of matzah-ball soup, serve a gazpacho, redolent with fresh shredded basil. Include wedges of crisp Bosc or Asian pear along with apples to dip in honey. Gussie up already-roasted chicken with your own marinade, and end the meal with an apple cobbler mixed, baked and served in one dish. Magic! To avoid taking out, setting up and washing china plates and crystal glassware, arrange attractive paper goods and plastic ware on a tray and eat picnic-style. (The kids will love it!) And while wine should be available (Jewish holidays require it), many guests prefer non-alcoholic beverages in what will actually still be late summer as the Jewish calendar changes. Israelis use fresh herbs abundantly. Before filling a water pitcher, insert four to five stems of fresh mint. To top off the entire production, take a seedless watermelon, slice in wedges and arrange on a pretty platter. Or heap clementine oranges in a bowl with mint or rosemary sprigs tucked in. It’s a fresh, sweet and a perfect finale to a simple, yet sensational festive meal. At that Shabbat dinner, I promised to share my “secrets” and recipes with my millennial guests. In return for it, I challenged them to get together and make a Rosh Hashanah dinner. The suggestion was met with downright alarm. Silence snuffed

out all conversation. Thankfully — there’s one in every crowd — Cousin George’s face lit up. He turned to May, his wife, and said: “This could be fun.” And so it began . . . a wildly successful Rosh Hashanah dinner to continue for the years ahead hosted by a new generation. So don’t hold back. Check out these recipes. Make all for a complete Rosh Hashanah dinner or bring just one of them to the host of the meal that you’ll be attending. You can also add a round challah, the tradition shape used for the Jewish New Year. SECRETS FOR A FUSS-FREE HOLIDAY DINNER

Substitutions and Tips No self-rising flour? Use 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and a pinch salt. Fresh herbs: Use any mixture in any quantity. Just trim the tough stems on parsley, mint, dill and basil. Use leaves and stems for best flavor. Depending on size, one bunch, loosely packed, is about 3 to 4 cups. Lemons should be at room temperature. When squeezed, these yield more juice than ones fresh from the fridge. There’s no substitute for the flavor of fresh lemon juice. Refrigerate in covered jar for use within 3 days. Or pour into ice-cube trays and freeze. Pop out a cube to use as needed. Cinnamon-sugar keeps well in a tightly covered container in a cool dry place. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar to 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and add a pinch of nutmeg (optional). Serve sprinkled on breakfast toast, over fresh fruit or on baked desserts. Some items, such as balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, canned tomatoes, canned chickpeas and pumpkin seeds, on the “what to buy” list are good additions to keep on hand. Nuts and seeds may be placed in plastic bags and frozen. Hosting a crowd? No shame in using paper and plastic. Paper plates are pretty and durable, and plastic knives and forks (especially the silver ones) look like the real thing. Flatware can be easily washed for later re-use. For a more formal look, set the dinner table one or two days beforehand and cover loosely with a cloth. Or try trays (you can purchase disposable ones at a party store) and eat picnic-style. Don’t hesitate: Pick up pre-cooked roast or rotisserie chickens, then make it “your own” with a pomegranate sauce (recipe below). It saves time and labor — and you’re assured of perfectly cooked chicken. Choose pre-cut veggies and fruit from the market, canned tomatoes and anything that

will make life easier. Remember, pre-cut produce, especially if it’s organic, should be refrigerated and used within 2 days. Items you may have on hand: flour, sugar, baking powder, bread, honey, olive oil, pareve margarine, cinnamon. AUTUMN GAZPACHO (PAREVE)

A slice of multigrain bread gives this a gentle, nutty texture. If preferred, substitute challah. Ingredients: 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 1½-2 cups bottled Bloody Mary mix* Juice of ½lemon ½ cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks 1 medium tomato, cut into 6 chunks 1 slice multigrain bread, torn in chunks 2 teaspoons honey Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste ¼ cup basil leaves packed Directions: 1. Unpeeled cucumber slices for garnish (optional). 2. In blender or food processor, place all ingredients except salt, pepper and basil. Whirl 15 to 20 seconds at high for a desired texture. Pour into a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the basil with scissors and stir in. Refrigerate overnight. 3. To serve: Pour into small glasses. Float 2 thin slices of cucumber on top (optional). *May substitute 1½ cups vegetable juice with ½ teaspoon each dried basil, dried oregano and fresh ground pepper stirred in. MARINATED TRICOLOR TOMATOES (PAREVE)


*Double the dressing ingredients. Refrigerate extra to use later as salad dressing or to drizzle over cooked veggies. Ingredients: ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 2 pints tricolor cherry tomatoes, halved 1 rib celery with leaves, thinly sliced 1 cup basil leaves, finely shredded Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper ½ cup pumpkin seeds Directions: 1. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake oil, vinegar and mustard to combine. Set aside. 2. Place the green onions, tomatoes, celery and basil in a large serving bowl. Pour mustard dressing over and toss lightly to mix. 3. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter pumpkin seeds over top. Serve chilled. May make a day ahead.




Ingredients: 1 bunch parsley 1 bunch basil ½ bunch dill 1 (14 ½ ounce) can chickpeas, drained 1 cucumber, unpeeled and coarsely diced ¾ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon cumin Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Directions: 1. Trim parsley stems. Pull leaves off basil and discard stems. Dill may be used without trimming. Rinse well in cold water. Spin dry all herbs in salad spinner. 2. Place in food processor. Pulse to chop coarsely. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and remaining ingredients. Toss gently to mix. Serve at room temperature. Note: May be made the day beforehand; cover and refrigerate. POMEGRANATE CHICKEN (MEAT)

No one will guess this starts with roasted chicken from the kosher section of your market. Ingredients: ½ cup pomegranate juice or juice from 1 large pomegranate ½ cup apricot preserves 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 2 roasted chickens, quartered Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Place pomegranate juice, apricot preserves, lemon juice, ginger, salt and pepper in small microwave bowl. Heat on “High” for 18 seconds, or until preserves are melted. Check after 10 seconds. Stir to mix. Cool slightly. 3. Arrange chicken in one layer in a baking dish. Pierce each piece 2 times with a fork. 4. Pour the pomegranate mixture over top. Cover tightly with foil. Heat through in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes. Chicken will steam and absorb flavors. 5. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds (optional) ZA’ATAR SALMON IN A POUCH (PAREVE)

Ingredients: 8 pieces aluminum foil, each 15×18 inches 16 thin asparagus spears, each cut in half 1 large sweet onion, cut in 8 slices 8 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces each) 1 tablespoon za’atar spice* 8 tablespoons peach-mango salsa** 22

8 sprigs dill 8 lemon wedges Directions: 1. Spray aluminum foil with nonstick vegetable spray. 2. To assemble: On center of 1 sheet of foil, place 1 asparagus spear (2 pieces). 3. Top with a slice of onion, then a salmon fillet. Sprinkle lightly with za’atar. Drizzle a tablespoon of salsa over and then top with a sprig of dill. 4. Bring the long edges of foil up and over the salmon to meet at center. Fold over loosely to create a tight seal. Then fold edges at each side to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. May be refrigerated 4 to 6 hours before cooking. 5. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon fillet. A 1-inch fillet will need closer to 20 minutes. *A lively Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, sesame and sumac. Also add to olive oil for dipping. It’s now available in many supermarkets, especially in the kosher section. **May substitute a tomato/vegetable salsa. MOROCCAN COUSCOUS WITH CURRANTS AND CARROTS (PAREVE)

Couscous is not a grain. It’s a pasta made from semolina flour, which is extremely high in gluten. Ingredients: 2 packages (approximately 5.7 ounce each) Near East couscous ½ cup currants 16-ounce package baby carrots, peeled ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon cumin or turmeric ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ½ cup finely snipped mint, divided Directions: 1. Prepare couscous according to package direction. Stir in currants. Cover and set aside to keep warm. 2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin or turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir in ¼ cup mint. Set aside. 3. In a large saucepan, cover carrots with boiling water. Bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain well. Transfer to a serving bowl. 4. Pour olive-oil mixture over and stir gently to mix. Spoon the carrots over the couscous. Sprinkle remaining mint over to garnish. Serve warm. *May be prepared a few hours ahead of time. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Reheat in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warm. Sprinkle mint over just before serving.



From my late husband’s grandmother’s kitchen. She used fresh blueberries, but in September, I use frozen or little blue Italian plums, stones removed and quartered. Ingredients: 1 package (12 ounces) medium egg noodles ⅓ cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 cups blueberries 2 tablespoons margarine 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar Directions: 1. In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook noodles until tender but still firm (5 to 7 minutes). Drain in a colander. 2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, lemon juice, blueberries and 3 tablespoons water. Stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes. 3. In a large serving bowl, toss the noodles with the margarine and cinnamon-sugar. Pour the blueberry mixture over top and serve hot. Note: Blueberry sauce may be made ahead of time and heated when needed. APPLE-WALNUT COBBLER (PAREVE)

Prepare, bake and serve in a single dish. No bowls to wash. Ingredients: 6 medium apples 1 stick (4 ounces) margarine, cut in 4 pieces 1 cup self-rising flour 1 cup sugar ½ cup nondairy creamer ½ cup cold water ¾ teaspoon orange extract 10-12 walnut halves 1-2 tablespoons honey to drizzle Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core and quarter apples. Do not peel. Cut into wedges about one-quarter-inch thick. Set aside. 2. In an ovenproof dish, 11×7 inches, place margarine. Set in microwave to melt, 30 to 40 seconds, depending on microwave wattage. To the melted margarine add flour, sugar, nondairy creamer, water and orange extract. Stir to blend. 3. Scatter apple wedges and walnuts over top, making sure to cover the batter. Do not stir. 4. Drizzle with honey. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until nicely browned and bubbly at edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.








The Sukkot Harvest Festival


o you remember the first time you planted a seed and watched it grow? Did you grow a garden of marigolds with your kindergarten class, watch cherry tomatoes grow wild on your first apartment balcony, or plant lettuce in your yard for fresh dinner salads? Can you recall the sheer joy you experienced when witnessing that first beautiful flower, fruit, or vegetable emerge from the land? There are few things more satisfying than seeing a seed we plant turn in to something that blooms. It is a blessing to rejoice when our efforts come to fruition, when our plans are realized, and when our intentions match our impact. The holiday of Sukkot is known as the time of rejoicing. (This Festival of Joy arrives just four days after Yom Kippur, when many are in a sad and self-critical space. This abrupt shift from sad to happy is familiar to the Jewish people, felt also in the transition from Tisha B’av to Tu B’av and Yom HaZikaron to Yom HaAtzmaut. They remind that all things are temporary and permit us time to cry, laugh, mourn, and dance.) Sukkot is an outburst of life, during which we celebrate the abundant harvest from the seeds we planted and we are literally commanded to eat, drink, and delight in this joy. Coastal Roots Farm hosts an annual Sukkot Harvest Festival inviting community members of all faiths to honor this Jewish tradition and join in the celebration of changing seasons. This year’s festival theme is “Renew and Reroot,” marking a pivotal time in the farm’s history and strategic plan as they welcome their first-ever executive director, Javier Guerrero, as well as other farm leaders that will breathe new life in to an already remarkable organization.

Want to know what's happening in your community? Have something you want to share? We at L'CHAIM want to help you strengthen your ties to your community by publishing your lifecycle events in our magazine AT NO CHARGE. As a community, we share in each other's joys and sorrows and are always here to support one another. This service is brought to you by Chai Five Projects. Please submit your lifecycle events to info@lchaimmagazine.com Visit lchaimmagazine.com/chai5projects for more info. 26




Renew and Reroot


Join in the farm team’s joy by dancing to live music; learning at educational workshops on the holiday, agriculture, and food justice; tasting food from local food vendors; sampling local libations, including wine from the farm’s own vineyard; fermenting vegetables at a DIY station; joining a behind-the-scenes farm tour; and connecting with your inner (or actual!) child at the Kids Zone, featuring a petting zoo and crafts. The farm’s three focus areas include: 1) providing produce to those in need, 2) educating the community about sustainable farming, and 3) providing Jewish education and building community. The Sukkot Harvest Festival is one of many seeds planted with the intention contributing toward a blossoming community. The Sukkot Harvest Festival will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ticket prices are suggested donations and are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis. For more information and to register, visit coastalrootsfarm.org/events.







asting is the most commonly known Yom Kippur ritual. According to a 2016 Pew survey, 40 percent of American Jews and 60 percent of Israeli Jews fast on the Day of Atonement. Of course, fasting is not exclusive to Judaism. It is an ancient practice whose purpose and benefit span across the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Fasting is mentioned in the Bible and the Koran, and although its practices differ across these religions, they each use food restriction and/or abstinence as a means of 28


growing closer to God through repentance, increased gratitude, mourning and study. Fasting is broadly defined as the partial or total abstinence from food. In Judaism, one refrains entirely from eating or drinking on major fast days (Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av) and on the four minor fast days (the Fast of Gedaliah, the Fast of the 10th of Tevet, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz and the Fast of Esther, right before Purim). Aliza Bulow, a Colorado-based Jewish educator, and the author and founder of WICK (Women in Chizuk and Kiruv),

said that fasting in Judaism generally centers around atonement for previous wrongdoings, mourning or gratitude, in that by abstaining from food, one realizes his/her dependence on God and appreciates the sustenance God provides. “Fasting that is not on Yom Kippur is so we will feel a sense of lacking,” she explained. “The lacking of food will lead us to feel we are lacking a closeness to Hashem, and we want to get it back.” She said that the Jewish people see the physical as “a gateway to the spiritual.”


“On Shabbat, we wear pretty clothes, clean the house, enjoy delicious food ... because we want to create a physical environment that helps shift our spiritual perceptions,” she said. “Fasting is no different.” Except on Yom Kippur. This 25-hour fast from sunset to nightfall is solemn, humbling and repentant, but also happy in that repentance brings redemption, said Bulow. On Yom Kippur, which is spent mostly in prayer, fasting aims to elevate Jewish souls to the exalted level of mal’achay hasharait, or “ministering angels.” “Yom Kippur is our aesthetic day,” said Bulow. “On Yom Kippur, we suffer physically to achieve a spiritual height.” FASTING IN ISLAM

Islam’s Ramadan, though 30 days, is akin to Yom Kippur, according to Khalil Albaz, the imam of Tel Sheva in southern Israel. Ramadan is mandatory for every Muslim man and woman above the age of puberty. Albaz added that if a person is sick, elderly, pregnant or nursing, he or she can have permission not to fast, but will need to make it up later by fasting an equal number of days or by giving charity to those in need. This “sacred month” commemorates the first revelation of the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad. It’s a time when Muslims work on their discipline and moral character, and increase their almsgiving. “God places much emphasis on being good during Ramadan,” said Albaz. “People give charity for each person in their home, plus an additional 2 percent [or so] for every major asset, including sheep and camels.” He said that like the month of Elul — during which Jews work to make amends with man and God — throughout the month of Ramadan, all good deeds and charitable donations are considered doubled in God’s eyes. “You want to do as much good as possible so at the end of the month, when God does an accounting to see how many good deeds you did versus bad deeds, you will skew positive,” said Albaz. By Eid Al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, it is expected that Muslims have become improved versions of themselves.

In addition to Ramadan, Muslims also fast on Monday and Thursdays, as well as 13th, 14th and 15th of each lunar month. Other voluntary fasting days include the Day of Ashura (10th day of Muharram); Day of Arafat (ninth day of Dhu al-Hijja, the month of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca); and six days during the month of Shawwal, which follows Ramadan. FASTING IN CHRISTIANITY

Fasting in Christianity varies much more than in Islam and Judaism. Roman Catholics, for instance, define fasting as the reduction of food intake for one full meal and two small meals with solid food intake prohibited between meals. They have two obligatory fast days: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, though voluntary fasting is encouraged and practiced. The late American evangelist Bill Bright, who is considered a major catalyst for the modern-day resurgence of the discipline of fasting in the Christian church, said fasting is “a way to align our hearts.” “I am convinced that when God’s people fast with a proper biblical motive — seeking God’s face, not His hand — with a broken, repentant and contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven,” Bright wrote in his guide to fasting and prayer. “He will heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world.” In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, fasting is an important discipline to protect oneself from gluttony, and is generally defined as avoiding meat, dairy products, oil and alcoholic beverages. It is accompanied by almsgiving and prayers; without such acts, it is considered worthless. Both Catholics and Orthodox Christians observe the Lenten season, which lasts 40 days, starting on Ash Wednesday and ending about six weeks later before Easter Sunday. Lent remembers the fasting of Jesus in the wilderness, and involves atoning in preparation for his death and resurrection at Easter. In the past, Protestants frowned on fasting, but now it is acknowledged and encouraged as an important spiritual experience among Protestant churches, according to Richard

Bloomer, director of the School of Health Studies at the University of Memphis and coauthor of The Daniel Cure, a restricted 21day vegan diet based on a fast in the biblical book of Daniel. He said that in Christianity, the purpose of fasting is to achieve mastery of spirit over body. Today, many churches are integrating it into their worship, especially in January, to begin the new year through fasting and prayer. The “Daniel Fast” involves dietary modifications like a purified vegan diet — eating unlimited fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and oil while eliminating refined foods, white flour, preservatives, additives, sweeteners, flavorings, caffeine and alcohol. It is derived from the biblical story of Daniel (1:8-14) in which he resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and requested permission to consume nothing but vegetables and water for 10 days. Later in the book (10:2-3), Daniel again observed a 21-day period of fasting, during which time he had no meat or wine. “Because individuals traditionally follow the ‘Daniel Fast’ for strict religious purposes to become closer to God during a time of extended prayer, findings have indicated excellent compliance,” said Bloomer. Bloomer believes that while fasting is often a time of spiritual growth, it can also improve one’s physical health. He said investigations examining the health-related effects of religiously motivated fasts have found favorable health outcomes, including weight and body fat loss, reductions in blood pressure and improvement of fasting blood sugar and insulin levels, which are important for metabolic health. The author said it remains unclear whether the people of the Bible knew of the health benefits of fasting, but that in the book of Daniel, it is noted that those who did not eat the food from the king’s table performed and looked better, and were healthier. “Fasting, first and foremost, it should be about spiritual growth and not necessarily about health,” he said. “But getting in great physical condition ... is a wonderful side effect.” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM





Community Leaders call for a Jewish Response to Human Trafficking


abbi Alyson Solomon of Beth Israel of San Diego stated that “according to Rabbi Isaac Luria, in the process of the world becoming, G-d withdrew, pulled back and thereby created space for humanity. In that process of withdrawal called tzimtzum, “sparks” of the Divine shattered and spread throughout the world. As Jews, the process of tikkun olam involves seeking out the hidden sparks and bringing them back together. The horrors of human trafficking reflect these shattered sparks. In our learning and acting to prevent such webs of human subjugation we partner with G-d in bringing more healing, more justice, to our world.” This is one piece of a very real and tragic 30

story. Read on for more details about the extent of this horrific phenomenon, and how we can begin to remedy such egregious atrocities. Tikkun olam is not a practice reserved for the pious. Each of us can perform these acts daily and we must. “Something is broken in San Diego. Modern slavery is alive and well here, and most of us are not paying attention,” Dr. Jamie Gates, director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation (the Center) at Point Loma Nazarene University said. Sex trafficking is more common in San Diego than most people realize. In January, law enforcement arrested 29 men during a sex


buyer sting called “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” In March the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force arrested 12 sex buyers on a similar sting. “The demand for buying sex in San Diego is high. Our tourist and convention economy delivers us a high percentage of anonymous men away from home with extra cash,” Gates added. “Most survivors that we’ve interviewed speak of their military clients, and you don’t have to look far to notice San Diego’s large, mostly male military presence. A high percentage of the men caught in local stings [are] dads, uncles and brothers. Sex buyers often assume that the one they are buying sex from is a consenting adult,


and that she (or he, or the LGBTQ person) wouldn’t be doing this if s/he didn’t want to. Additionally, the success of a sex purchase is often dependent on the seller morphing to the fantasy the buyer has constructed. “Most often when men are buying sex, it is quite likely that they are participating in sex trafficking, a form of modern day slavery,” Gates said. “Analysis of the Center’s data from over 700 first time arrestees for prostitution, just over 50 percent of adults (97 percent women) arrested for prostitution actually met the federal definition for classification as victims of human trafficking; either the ones bought were minors when the commercial sex began, or they were involved by way of some force, fraud or coercion.” The average age for people who are trafficked is 16.1 years old. Estimates suggest that on any given day there over 5,000 victims of sex trafficking in San Diego County. The committee has focus groups in 20 area high schools, and sex trafficking was found in every corner of San Diego County, including North County, East County, the City of San Diego and the South Bay. In the majority of cases, the victim is simply being re-victimized by her buyer. Human trafficking is not a new crime, but it is on the rise, and has garnered the attention of District Attorney Summer Stephan who has passed legislation to punish offenders, as well as created committees to aid victims, and educate the public. “Sex buying is big business,” Gates said. “[It is] so lucrative that organized crime is involved; we found 110 different gangs in the county making money via sex trafficking. This makes commercial sex the second most lucrative illicit activity in our region, next to the illegal drug industry.” Some religious institutions have already incorporated programs to combat sex trafficking; synagogues have been slow to do so. If, as a community, we truly are committed to tikkun olam, the time to act is now. A watchdog program must be implemented by area synagogues to educate our youth and congregations on this heinous

crime and create firm barriers to entry. One group spearheading change is Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. Hadassah brings women together to effect change and advocate on critical issues. With 330,000 members, associates, and supporters found in every Congressional district in the country — Hadassah in the unique position to educate U.S. legislators and the American public and to advocate for lawmakers and officials to enact significant policy change, according to Audrey Levine, San Diego Area Co-President of Hadassah. The issue of human trafficking is one of Hadassah’s top domestic advocacy priorities. This issue demands greater public attention, and the group is committed to mobilizing its members and communities, raising awareness, and taking action. Hadassah works vigorously to increase funding for anti-trafficking programs and to write new legislation to provide services to victims. In Southern California, Hadassah women are truly making their voices heard, and having a significant impact. This chapter of Hadassah has actively influenced law makers, with one of the Southern California volunteers making her mark by helping to write antihuman trafficking legislation that was passed into law in Sacramento (AB 1227), reports Levine. The establishment of the Hadassah Human Trafficking Awareness Task Force attests to this group’s determination to make a real change in the statistics by bringing education awareness programs into local synagogues and other venues. In order to quell this blight, the San Diego community must employ a three-pronged approach. Not only are the scars of trafficking emotional and social, as young girls are traumatized and stigmatized, but there are legal ramifications that haunt them as well. To this end, an organization called Free to Thrive provides volunteer attorneys who help to clear the criminal records of these victims so that they can become productive,

functioning members of society, by attending school and getting jobs. The problem of trafficking is gargantuan. It is an $800 million industry in San Diego alone! Southern California is a major hub for human trafficking, in part because we are a port city and we are close to the border. Yet, the majority of children who are trafficked are not immigrants, but American children. Teenagers are recruited at shopping malls, sporting events, and concerts. Social media provides easy access to unsuspecting teenagers. Traffickers have become quite sophisticated at determining who is vulnerable, and they exploit their targets, luring them with gifts, lavishing them with attention, and introducing them to drugs, all in exchange for sex. The educational piece instructs parents, teachers and adolescents of the warning signs and telltale symptoms. Many victims come from single parent homes and feel isolated or lacking in social connections and self-love. They may turn to social media for a sense of belonging or affirmation of self-worth. This makes them easy prey for a trafficker. Parents and educators are urged to be alert to warning signs. These red flags include a change in appearance, often revealing or skimpy clothing, or expensive jewelry, purses, etc. These targeted adolescents often begin skipping school or may display a negative, apathetic attitude towards studies and activities that they previously enjoyed. Tragically, these victims are often manipulated by older, controlling boyfriends, who introduce them to drugs. Perhaps by working together: law enforcement, neighborhood watch groups, schools and synagogues, we can collect these sparks and return them to their original state of being intact and whole. In this way, we can work toward tikkun olam and rebuild a humanity that honors and reveres all of G-d’s creations and thereby elevate ourselves to partner with the Divine.










Del Mar Dance for Diabetes hosted by the Diabetes Research Connection

From L to R: Sherry Ahern, Chair of the Party Committee, David Winkler, Co-founder and chair of the Board, Christina Kalberg, Executive Director and Alberto Hayek, M.D., Co-founder and President.


eel the ocean breeze as you enjoy an open bar, delectable food and dancing under the stars to live music from Encore Event Entertainment at the first Del Mar Dance for Diabetes. Hosted by the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), the Del Mar Dance for Diabetes will be held on Saturday, September 29, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Del Mar Plaza. Guests will find a unique opportunity to connect with others in a spectacular environment while participating in a worthwhile cause, helping over 1.3 million individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the U.S. alone.


The event will raise necessary funds to support DRC’s mission. Established in 2012 as a nonprofit organization by David Winkler and Dr. Alberto Hayek, its mission is to connect donors with early-career scientists enabling them to perform peerreviewed, novel research designed to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes (T1D), minimize its complications and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. Dr. Hayek is a world-renowned pediatric endocrinologist and diabetes expert. Dr. Hayek has played a critical role in the science and development of pancreatic islet cell replacement therapies for T1D . His research


has contributed to an extensive body of work relating to pancreatic beta replication and preservation published over several decades. Dr. Hayek is the Scientific Director at Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at UCSD. For many years, Dr. Hayek has asked pediatric patients, “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?” The answer was always the same, “A cure for T1D.” Consequently, Dr. Hayek has dedicated his life to T1D research . He finds it particularly rewarding and inspiring to mentor junior investigators in T1D as they take their


first steps toward independent thinking in research and care. Both Doctor Hayek and Winkler believe it takes a community to connect for a cure, which is why they choose to crowdsource funding for new T1D research projects. DRC is the only research organization using crowd and traditional funding focused on next generation scientists. The community chooses which project(s) to support and 100 percent of donations made will go directly to the scientist's lab. Tours are offered in a clinical setting and can be organized by Christina Kalberg, Executive Director of DRC, so that interested parties and donors will have a more in depth understanding of research and how their contributions will be directed to researchers’ laboratories. Over $600,000 has been raised to date for innovative diabetes research projects. Since November 2014, 12 research projects have been funded, and 10 new research projects are expected to be funded annually, raising a total of $500,000 to support earlycareer scientists. Once the review process of the initial grant application is completed by DRC’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC), the scientist submits a 3-page grant application to a specialized group of reviewers. The SRC is comprised of over 80 of the top T1D researchers in the U.S. and Canada. Once the project is approved, DRC grants up to $50,000 supporting each project. WHY CROWDFUNDING?

DRC utilizes this mechanism to connect scientists beginning research directly to the crowd of people seeking solutions to T1D. The seed money that supporters provide through DRC’s website helps to ensure innovative ideas can be pursued. Without the source of funding, the number of researchers in diabetes is certain to decline. DRC researchers develop preliminary data and begin to show proof of principle to enable them to obtain larger grants. One researcher received $1.3 million based on a project funded first by DRC. The mission of DRC is personal to David Winkler, Co-founder and Chair of the Board

of Directors. “At the age of six, I knew something wasn’t quite right,” he said. “I didn’t have the same energy as all the other kids did that I played with. My mom took me to the doctor and after running a few tests, the doctor said to my mom and me, ‘David has T1D and won’t live past the age of 30.’ “We were devasted. Trying to comprehend and make sense of what my diagnosis actually meant at age 6 was impossible. There were no support systems in place back then. Not for me and not for my family. It was 1960 and the management of T1D was in the Stone Age. I remember having to sharpen my own needles at home with a grinding stone, so I could inject myself with animal insulin that gave me horrible welts, it was extremely painful. To monitor my blood sugar, my mom would drive me to the hospital once a quarter to test through a urine sample. “Today, my blood is tested 288 times a day through a monitor. Those needles that I had to sharpen myself, have been replaced with an insulin pen. And, I proved those doctors wrong; I’m now in my 60s. While recalling my journey with this disease, I realized that the time lapse between then and now is 50 years — an entire generation.” Sherry Berman Ahern, Event Chair, serves on the Board of DRC and has a compelling reason for her involvement with the program as well. Her son Brendan was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 10. Brendan, who is now in his 20’s, recently received an MBA from the University of California, San Diego Rady School of Management and works in the family business, Ahern Agribusiness, Inc. Along with her husband Kevin, they have been involved with DRC since its inception. “This program will be a fun party, with dancing outside under the stars overlooking the waves in Del Mar,” Ahern said. “[Guests will] enjoy delicious gourmet food, delectable desserts and an open bar. Come early and bid on our silent auction deals, and help us fund the cure.” “While researchers have not found a cure yet, in their search for one, they have found ways to improve the lives of those of us living

“Imagine if today, the 1.3 million people affected by this disease were still having to inject themselves with animal insulin," Dr. Alberto Hayek said. "This is why funding research is so important and why I founded the Diabetes Research Connection: To offer hope and advancements, and one day, a cure.” with this extremely difficult disease and I for one, am forever grateful,” Hayek said. “Imagine if today, the 1.3 million people affected by this disease were still having to inject themselves with animal insulin. This is why funding research is so important and why I founded the Diabetes Research Connection: To offer hope and advancements, and one day, a cure.” FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION, DIABETESRESEARCHCONNECTION.ORG/ DANCEFORDIABETES OR CALL (844) 484-3372. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM




t was two weeks filled with emotion and reflection, as Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) brought three Israelis on an 11 city tour across the United States to put their voices to the headlines and share their personal stories of living along the Gaza border, a region where hundreds of incendiary kites, balloons, and rockets have steadily rained down on them for months. The trio, a mother, a young pioneer, and a farmer, are residents of Gaza border communities. They shared their personal stories of living under attack. Since March 2018, terrorists from Gaza have traumatized the people living in neighboring communities along the border with the Gaza Strip, forcing young children and families to seek safety in shelters. These four months have threated both their mental wellbeing and their livelihood. Nearly 10,000 acres of farmland have been scorched, decimating the region’s agricultural economy, and there has been a massive increase in the number of individuals experiencing and being treated for PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a member of Jewish National Fund-USA’s Gaza Envelope Task Force, Lauren Lizerbram knows full well the needs of the people living in that region. “For us, balloons symbolize happy occasions. For the people living in the Gaza Envelope they mean fires, explosions, loss of years of agricultural cultivation, financial hardship, thousands of burnt trees, loss of livestock, bees and the horrible smell of burnt tires,” said Lizerbram. “The devastation to the land and its people will last for generations.” The Israelis who spoke of their personal experiences included Michal Uziyahu. The mother of three is director of community centers for the Eshkol Region, which shares some 30 miles of border with Gaza. She



has witnessed firsthand the effects of trauma stemming from rocket fire and terrorism on young children. After speaking about the balloons and playing the horrifying sound of the red alert that sounds when rockets are dispatched from Gaza towards Israel, Uziyahu spoke of hope and gratitude. “It’s with the generous support of Jewish National Fund that PTSD services are available,” said Uziyahu. “The JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, which is a huge playground and bomb shelter, has been open extra hours for us to use. JNF has delivered new firefighting wagons, special activities for our children, and so much more. There is a brand new resilience center in Eshkol that Jewish National Fund recently funded and two more are being built in the area.” Sarit Khanoukaev was the second Israeli to take the stage. She is a 21-year-old student from Sderot, a city located less than a mile from Gaza. Khanoukaev grew up in Sderot experiencing trauma and suffering from PTSD as a child. Today she today works with MAKOM, an organization that helps grow communities throughout Israel. Through MAKOM she is involved with at-risk youth and young children impacted by PTSD. “In addition to the human impact, the environmental devastation has been extreme,” said JNF National Board Member Bernice Friedman, emphasizing the environmental impact of the fires. “Ten thousand acres of crops and forests have burned. JNF will surely replant and replace! But let me tell you what’s not easy to replace. It’s not easy to replace a year of lost wages, a livelihood. It’s not easy to feed a family when you have no income. And it’s certainly not easy to replace species of animals that have vanished due to the fires.” Yedidya Harush is a farmer and represents the Halutza communities and the entire Gaza Envelope region. He was born and raised in the community of Atzmona in Gush Katif. His family relocated to Halutza after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. While sharing a story about his farmer friend who lost everything he had during the recent attacks, Harush also took the time to focus on the positive. He expressed how fortunate he and his family see themselves to be living in a beautiful community with friends from Jewish National Fund who always have their backs and support them in good times and in bad. “I am proud to say JNF-USA is on the ground each and every day, not just in times of crisis,” added Lizerbram. “It is through the outstanding generosity of our donors that we are able to respond to the critical needs every day. I thank you for you continued support for the land and the people of Israel.” To learn about future Jewish National Fund events or to get involved, contact James Kimmey, JNF San Diego Director, at 858-824-9178 x988 or jkimmey@jnf.org.


Award-winning comedian and actress Rita Rudner and Laguna Beach’s resident rock star, Cantor Jason Feddy join together for the premiere of the world's first unromantic comedy at Laguna Playhouse for a limited time only! They say opposites attract. They haven’t met Tom and Wendy. Forced together by a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations. Will they get to know each other well enough to reveal the real reasons behind their travel? Will they agree on sleeping arrangements? Will room service ever arrive? Written by Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman, who directs this production, Two’s A Crowd pairs Rita with Phantom of the Opera's Davis Gaines in this brand new musical comedy. Music and lyrics are by Jason Feddy, who also serves as musical director and will be playing live on stage as part of a live 4-piece band. A house-filling favorite in Las Vegas, Rita Rudner is known for her epigrammatic one-liners. She started off on Broadway and film before becoming Las Vegas’s Comedian of the Year nine years in a row. Her 2008 Rita Rudner: Live From Las Vegas was PBS’s first ever stand-up comedy special. Rita is also a bestselling author, having written five books. She is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of 30 years, Martin Bergman. This is their first time teaming up with musician Jason Feddy, whose career has seen him open for artists such as Neil Young, Tears For Fears, The Cranberries. Jason has produced 6 solo albums of original songs, and has developed “Shakespeare’s Fool” with songs based on the plays of William Shakespeare. Currently, Jason is the Cantorial Soloist at Temple Isaiah of Newport Beach and a regular music contributor for the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.






Dr. Rakefet Benderly


r. Rakefet Benderly earned her bachelors degree from the University of Hawaii and her combined masters and doctoral degrees from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. During her educational years, she gained extensive training and experience working in San Diego community mental health clinics and in 1997, she established her private practice in Carlsbad. She is fluent in English and Hebrew. She is fortunate to genuinely love what she does, and said “It is incredibly fulfilling to partner with someone as they build a healthier, happier life.” Her training and expertise focuses on psychodynamic psychotherapy. She mainly specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, relationships and grief. She helps clients develop their personal growth, gain understanding of their emotional “blind-spots,” and improve their personal relationships. “My goal is not only for clients to resolve current issues, but also that they leave our


sessions with new skills and coping strategies that they will utilize throughout their lives,” she said. “Each client and session is unique, and I appreciate that therapy is tailored to each client’s individual needs. While I treat adults only, I often provide parents with the tools they need to understand child development and family dynamics.” “Unfortunately, loss is inevitable and it can often leave us feeling isolated, vulnerable and alone. Not only do we need to cope with processing a wide range of emotions, but we are also compelled to manage changes in our lives that result from the loss,” she said. DR. BENDERLY SHARED A FEW THOUGHTS ON GRIEF WITH L'CHAIM READERS:

1. There is no correct way to grieve. We all have various temperaments, individual life experiences, and diverse personal relationships- therefore; we are all going to have distinctive reactions to loss. 2. Be kind to yourself. You will likely experience a wide range of emotions


- depression, anxiety, exhaustion and loneliness are common. Some people may also experience denial, anger and frustration. Whatever emotions you experience, do not be critical of yourself. 3. We all grieve on our own time. I often receive calls from people who say six months or a year have passed and they are still grieving. There is no standard amount of time that we all grieve. It is an individual process. 4. Grief is Love. By spending time contemplating and mourning a loved one, you maintain a personal, private connection with that person. 5. Find a support system. It is important to give yourself thoughtful, contemplative time while also remaining connected to a solid support system. This is the time to reach out to friends, family and community. “After being a psychologist for 20 years, I have learned that life is dynamic. Circumstances change and people are resilient. Be open to challenging some of your perceptions and behaviors and looking at your life through a different lens. “ What is true today and feels overwhelming today can change tomorrow, but you need to be willing to do the work on yourself. Resist your limiting thoughts and feelings. Empower yourself to create your best life and be your best self.” When thinking about the new year, Dr. Benderly said, “Live your life with meaning and purpose. Consider what is adding and contributing to your life and what is not, and start with one change at a time. There is always hope for positive change. Know what brings you joy and peace of mind and do more of it! Surround yourself with people who love you for being you. Most importantly, express gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in your life, of which we all have many.” For more information, visit Rakefetbenderly. com or call (760) 930-0886. L’CHAIM readers can get a free 20-minute consultation.




uvhkt ihbn THE ELIJAH MINYAN our 27th year

uvhkt ihbn

our 27th year



RABBI WAYNE DOSICK & in the auditorium of CANTOR KATHY ROBBINS The Redeemer Presbyterian Church

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joyous singing and chanting, authentic kabbalistic meditation, Rabbi Dosick’s inspiring teachings and sermons, and the magnificent voice and music of Cantor Robbins, combining traditional davening, with powerful English prayer, with Kol Eli’ahu, The Elijah Minyan Choir, joyous in singing and chanting, authentic kabbalistic meditation, a warm, heimesh atmosphere of festive celebration.

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& mishagoss Sukkot Words to Use to Impress other Jews


Sukkah Crooka – Noun. Any individual who makes a living selling Build-It-Yourself sukkah kits when everyone knows you really CAN build it yourself … without their expensive kit! Sukkah Sucker – Adjective. One who buys the above kit.

I Lulav You! Exclamation. 1. Endearing pun Jewish mothers make when tucking children into bed at night during this festival 2. Many rip-off tee-shirt imprinters have inadvertently stolen this clever phrase, conveniently mistaking the copyright symbol for a Star of David.

A Sukkah Cookah Bookah — Noun. Tried and true recipes for eating outdoors under your … you guessed it!

Waiver/Waver — Verb. The act of signing a legal release of responsibility for any injury that may ensue from waving the lulav a bit too enthusiastically in synagogue.

Sukkatash — Noun. My bad idea to include in the above recipe book! It’s the name for a dish we could serve that would symbolize transitioning from the period of casting away our sins (hence the ending syllable “Tash” from Tashlich) on through Sukkot. (Alright, alright, I said it was a BAD idea. Sheesh, “suffering succotash” ok?)

Gobble Gobblygook! — Exclamation. Something Jews say to gentiles when they ask “So, where’s your turkey??” Because this holiday is supposedly our version of Thanksgiving. This alliterative expression can be effectively spoken under your breath as an alternative to simply calling the gentile a turkey.

SkipToMyLulav — Verb. Giggles abound as every Jewish preschool successfully implements this cute parody of that old familiar childhood song around this time of year – while every parent has no luck singing it at home.

Direction Dissection Dejection. — Noun. An embarrassing emotion which all reformed Jews feel when sheepishly inquiring of their Rabbi, “What’s the correct way to wave and shake this thing?” (But seriously, is it north, south, east, or west?)

Etrog-ade Stands — Noun. Enterprising Jewish kids set this little booth up in front of synagogues (instead of plain old lemonade stands) on hot and thirsty days.

Yenta Renta Tenta — Proper Noun. Any woman giving unsolicited advice to her husband on the correct way to build a sukkah, causing him to think of leasing one instead.

Dwelling Kvelling — Verb. Boasting about your awesome looking sukkah to your unsuspecting neighbors who didn’t even know there was a competition this time of year. Hut Butt — Adjective. What happens to your aching bottom after sleeping overnight on the ground in a sukkah. Debatable Inflatable — Verb. The act of two Rabbis quarrelling over whether the blow-up version of a sukkah is considered kosher. The Elvis Etrog — Proper Noun. The name of a famous dance, which accompanies Presley’s well-known song, “All Shook Up.” (Alright I confess, it’s not famous. Just another bad idea from Yours Truly. So, sue me!) Etrog Estrogen — Noun. Cheap hormonal supplements prescribed during Sukkot that some menopausal women really regret taking. STEPHANIE D. LEWIS CONTINUES TO WRITE COMEDY FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST AS WELL AS PENNING HER OWN HUMOR BLOG AT ONCEUPONYOURPRIME.COM



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