la jolla art & wine fest FEELIN' FINE FOR 11 YEARS
PLUS SENIORS STRENGTHENING ISRAEL ADVOCACY
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
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October 2019 • www.lchaimmagazine.com
COVER STORY La Jolla Art & Wine Festival: Feelin' Fine for 11 Years in the Village.............................................
1000 WORDS Nikki Haley: ‘The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world’.....................................................................................................................
FOOD Fall Into the Flavors of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.........................................................
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SENIORS Profile: Holocaust Survivor Rose Schindler......................................................................................
Who was Martin Gang? Valley Center History............................................................................... Paying it Forward with Rowling Financial......................................................................................... FEATURES High Holiday Challenge for College Kids: Finding their (spiritual) home away from home............................................................................ Theatre: “Intimate Apparel” at New Village Arts.......................................................................... Diplomacy Begin Here: Innovation in Cali Baja Regional Summit.....................................
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My Comic Relief................................................
Torah: Of the Book..........................................
Mazel and Mishagoss............................
PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO, LLC (858) 776-0550 San Diego, CA 92127
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Laurie Miller
ADVERTISING & SALES Diane Benaroya (email@example.com) 4
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
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SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: www.lchaimmagazine.com/shop ON THE COVER: Painting by Krista Schumacher
CONTRIBUTORS Daniel Bortz, Donald H. Harrison, Steve Horn, Stephanie Lewis, Salomon Maya, Terra Paley, Mimi Pollack, Rachel Stern, Eva Trieger, Deborah Vietor, Chana Jenny Weisberg
ART DEPARTMENT firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alanna Maya
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MY COMIC RELIEF l BY SALOMON MAYA
random rants A New Y(ou)ear
ometimes it’s a particular look. The tilting of the head slightly when being informed that there is a new year in September. People just can’t believe it. They question. They perplex. This confusion is normally followed by questions. “How do you celebrate?” “Is there a countdown?” “Do you kiss when the matzo ball drops?” Okay the last one I just made up but I’m pretty sure some of my non-Jewish friends have thought it before. It’s so incredibly difficult for people to think that there are different customs and traditions out there. One would think that living in such a politically-correct, charged society forever linked by social networks, people would have an understanding that New Year’s doesn’t always have to include Ryan Seacrest freezing his butt off in the cold New York night. Heaven forbid that we, as Americans, finally realize that there is a bigger world out there. And we need to realize that, at times, we seem to close our eyes to it. I have always gotten the question, “How is it possible to be Mexican and Jewish?” The answer is so unbelievably simple that when I explain it I feel like I should get the typical “Oh my God, was that it?” but I normally 6
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
just get that look ... that particular look of confusion. The tilting of the head. So I break it down to the almost to an atomic level. My parents were born in, and I let them answer ... MEXICO! My joy is quickly extinguished when I get the follow-up question from a non-Jewish person. “But how are they Jewish?” And here is where I go into a full ripple transition and explain to them that...once upon a time, in a land far far away... ...lived my grandparents, and they were all Jewish. Even though they came from completely different geographic locations (my father’s parents were from Turkey and mothers parents from Lithuania) they remained very much Jews. They practiced Judaism. They lived Judaism. They were even persecuted for their Judaism. All the check marks had been ticked off. All four of my grandparents were in fact ... Jewish. Mazal Tov. At some point in time, my grandparents felt the need to migrate to another country. Unfortunately for them, it was always for the same reason ... the simple fact that they were Jewish. Why they migrated to Mexico City is still up for family debate. On my father’s side,
his parents explained that the fact that they spoke Ladino (An ancient form of Castilian Spanish mixed, somewhat, with Hebrew elements. According to Google: “Ladino originated in Spain and was carried to its present speech areas by the descendants of the Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain after 1492.”) was a deciding factor. As per my maternal grandparents, it was slightly more simple. They were fleeing Nazi Germany. After arriving in Mexico, my grandparents procreated and the rest is history. My parents moved to the States in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s; and had three kids who are all very proud of their Mexican and Jewish heritage. After I explain my historical lineage, I still get some confused glances. I think it’s more the mixture of Mexico, a predominantly Catholic country and Judaism, which continually leads to this confusion. But I just smile and wish them a happy new year when they have theirs in December. They normally return the gesture with a Happy New Year to you, too ... to which I say, Shana Tova. SALOMON MAYA IS A LOCAL ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @SALOMAYA OR EMAIL HIM AT SALOMONM@LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM.
TORAH l BY RABBI DANIEL BORTZ
the book Celebrate the Divine
here are some things that we as Jews make a special effort to be involved in. One of those is attending Yom Kippur services. The fasting and lengthy prayers aren’t easy, but we know it’s the holiest day of the year, a time to exercise our Jewish connection. While I greatly admire our steadfast commitment every year, there’s something that saddens me. Judaism is meant to be joyful and full of celebration. The whole point of being spiritual is to bring that experience afterward into the physical. Infusing the material world with the Divine is the loftiest expression of G-d. To stop our Jewish experience at the end of Yom Kippur would be a shame. The Hebrew name for Yom Kippur, “Yom Hakippurim,” can literally mean “A day like Purim.” The celebratory Purim full of feasting and celebration in some sense is loftier than the fasting of Yom Kippur. We are meant to bring heaven down to earth. During the ancient Temple times in Jerusalem, on Yom Kippur (the holiest day) the Kohen Gadol (holiest person), fasting and dressed in special clothing, would enter the Holy of Holies alone to perform the service
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
and ask forgiveness for all, including the placement of incense. Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of the Chabad movement) teaches that G-d’s Infinite presence rested in the cloud of smoke from his incense. He further teaches that this Divine revelation manifests itself in the schach leaves above every Jew’s Sukkah on the holiday of Sukkot. This means that the most exclusive holy experience on Yom Kippur can be experienced by all of us for eight days together, feasting and rejoicing under the Sukkah, and dancing with the Torah on Simchat Torah. The ultimate purpose of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is to awaken us to infuse our physical activities with an elevated purpose and Divine awareness during the year. G-d desires to be included in our homes and daily way of life, in our joys and celebrations. Not to be thought of only as a Judge and King, that to connect with must be prefaced only by lengthy prayer and fasting. Yom Kippur is still, indeed, the holiest day of the year. It’s powerful that we appreciate it as such and take full advantage of it. But even this day is simply an amazing opportunity for intimate connection with our Maker.
Judaism isn’t a religion; it’s a relationship. It’s a marriage. Yes, every relationship needs at least one day when the two are fully focused on one another and nothing else. But the purpose of that special day is to bring its energy and intention into the other 364 days, through every day little actions of love. There are so many beautiful opportunities throughout the Jewish calendar to connect. May this special month of Tishrei with the high holidays inspire us this year to find joyful opportunities to connect and grow, celebrating Shabbat, the holidays, and our everyday lives with renewed happiness and purpose. DANIEL BORTZ, THE MILLENNIAL RABBI, IS THE FOUNDER OF JTEEN AND SOUL X. CONNECT AT RABBIBORTZ.COM.
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L’CHAIM | BY MIRIAM ADELSON | ISRAEL HAYOM VIA JNS
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. PHOTO BY YOSSI ZELIGER.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
NIKKI HALEY: 'THE BETTER AND STRONGER WE MAKE ISRAEL, THE SAFER WE MAKE THE WORLD'
n a special interview at the “Israel Hayom” Forum for U.S.-Israel Relations, held in Jerusalem recently, Dr. Miriam Adelson sat down with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. During Haley’s time representing the United States at the international forum, she was a staunch defender of Israel and did not hesitate to call out the world body for its entrenched anti-Israel bias. In 2018, Haley declared fearlessly that she would use her high heels to “kick” the enemies of the Jewish state. After introducing Haley as Israel’s real-life “Wonder Woman,” Adelson said, “Throughout her service, Nikki has demonstrated moral clarity and courage. She put the fear of God into a godforsaken place. She stood up to bullies and called out hypocrites.” “Nikki defended Israel, always openly, without hesitation, and often in defiance of other world powers. She did so, I believe, because Israel is good, and she did so because she knows the U.S. is never more credible than when it honors its allies,” Adelson told the forum. DR. MIRIAM ADELSON: FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? HIGH HEELS? I ASK BECAUSE YOU ONCE SAID THAT YOU WORE HEELS TO THE U.N. SO YOU COULD KICK ANYONE YOU SAW DOING THE WRONG THING. SERIOUSLY NOW, LOOKING BACK, DID THAT APPROACH WORK?
Nikki Haley: It was the only approach we could use. You had a situation where there was this organization of 193 countries
that were anti-American and anti-Israel, continuing to give us a hard time, but had their hand out for aid. I didn’t want to just be another ambassador. I felt the American people deserved that. MA: WOULD DIFFERENTLY?
NH: I would not. The truth needed to be said, without any apology. MA: THIS IS A BUSY TIME FOR U.S. DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. JUST THIS WEEK, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HELD A CONFERENCE IN BAHRAIN THAT WAS MEANT TO HELP THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY, AS PART OF THE U.S. PEACE PLAN. THE PALESTINIANS DID NOT GO TO BAHRAIN. THEY HAVE ALREADY REJECTED THE PEACE PLAN, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NOT SEEN IT. AND THEY ARE NOT EVEN TALKING TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS? IS IT ALL A WASTE OF TIME?
NH: Working toward peace is never a waste of time. We should all want peace, should all want a peace plan to be successful. I’ve seen the plan, it’s well-thought-out, detailed, doable. It does things that would improve the lives of the Palestinians, but would not compromise the security of Israel. The Trump administration has been courageous. We’re not going to beg the Palestinians to come to the peace table, but it says a lot about the P.A. that they wouldn’t want better for their own people. The Palestinians deserve better. Israel is the one bright spot in a really rough neighborhood.
The truth is always worth fighting for. Israel is the one bright spot in a really rough neighborhood. The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world. I think Arab community will see over time that they can’t continue to babysit the Palestinians. MA: IF THE PALESTINIANS INSIST ON REJECTING THE PEACE DEAL, WHAT SHOULD ISRAEL DO? SHOULD IT DECLARE THAT JUDEA AND SAMARIA ARE ITS SOVEREIGN TERRITORY, LIKE JERUSALEM AND THE GOLAN HEIGHTS?
NH: I think we should see how the peace plan plays out. We should be open-minded. Jerusalem was stating a fact. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. No matter what Arab countries were telling their citizens, it’s the WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
truth. The Trump administration said we have all our embassies in capitals. Jerusalem is capital, why would we not have our embassy there? Now we have to see where the Palestinians are; this is a moment of truth for them. Do they want to continue living they way they are living, or see what opportunity could look like? MA: WHY IS ISRAEL MISTREATED AND SINGLED OUT AT THE U.N.? WHY DOES THE U.N. TYPICALLY CONDEMN ISRAEL’S RESPONSE TO AN ATTACK, RATHER THAN THE ATTACK ITSELF? WHO ARE THE RINGLEADERS, AND WHY DO SO MANY COUNTRIES GO ALONG?
NH: We won’t allow this to happen anymore; there are too many issues in the Middle East we need to talk about. Over time, you saw other ambassadors start to do that. Arab countries realized after 1967, they’d never defeat Israel. They did all they could, which was to go after Israel in the U.N. Because of their wealth, the oil, they went to all the little countries and said you need to vote with us. Why should the United States be more responsible for the Palestinians than the Arab world? Behind closed doors, a lot of those ambassadors respect Israel. There are so many that respect the strength and intelligence of Israel. We allowed them to stand up and not be alone. My friend and partner, [Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations] Danny Danon was such an amazing ambassador at the U.N. MA: HOW CAN WE FIGHT BACK?
NH: We call them out every time. The truth is always worth fighting for. Israel is the one bright spot in a really rough neighborhood. The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world. MA: ONE OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AT THE U.N. WAS TO EXPOSE THE LIE BEHIND THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEE NARRATIVE— THAT THE PALESTINIANS COUNT AS “REFUGEES” ANYONE WHOSE PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS OR EVEN GREAT12
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
GRANDPARENTS WERE DISPLACED IN THE 1948 WAR. JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR: WHAT IS THE TRUE NUMBER OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES, AS FAR AS THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED?
NH: The number of actual Palestinian refugees is classified. There are multiple people working to get it unclassified. I think we should because it speaks to the truth of that scenario. I looked into UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and the Palestinian refugees. I wanted to find out what they did. What I found was an agency that didn’t want to be told what to do. The way they count refugees is to say any Palestinian anywhere in the world is a refugee. They want to give it [refugee status] for generations going forward. The U.S. has given the Palestinians $6 billion. We’ve done our part. But when we went to UNRWA and said you should reform, they refused. When they wouldn’t make the reforms we demanded, the president was courageous to say we wouldn’t give any more. Why should we be more responsible for the Palestinians than the Arab world? MA: WILL THERE BE WAR WITH IRAN?
NH: We don’t want war. The president doesn’t want war. Iran is the No. 1 threat we are facing. The Obama administration did not help. They went in thinking they could bring peace, but all they did after bringing in a plane full of money was spread war. Look at Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan. Iran’s tentacles started going everywhere. The [nuclear] deal didn’t work. The president was right to pull out; the Iranians were still testing ballistic missiles, still selling weapons, still supporting terrorism, and we were giving them money to do it. Defunding them slowed down the nuclear process, but it did not slow down their culture of hate. They’re still saying “Death to Israel,” “Death to America.” MA: YOU’RE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, BUT WE HOPE NOT FOR LONG. IS THERE ANY CHANCE THAT YOU WILL ANNOUNCE,
HERE AND NOW, THAT YOU PLAN TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2024?
NH: I think the air in Jerusalem brings clarity. I can say with great clarity that I know I’m too young to stop fighting. But I’m also very much enjoying private life. I will continue to be loud and proud about all the things that are important. 2024 is a long way away, and a year in politics is a lifetime. But I can say with clarity I will never stop fighting. MA: YOU ALWAYS PROTECTED ISRAEL.
NH: A lot of the strength the U.S. is showing for Israel, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson played a very big part in. MA: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVES SAY AND DO PUBLICLY, AND WHAT THEY SAID TO YOU PRIVATELY, BEHIND THE SCENES?
NH: A couple of things. When the president issued the strikes on Syria following the chemical weapons attacks, ambassadors reached out and said, “It’s so good to see the U.S. lead again.” I think the air in Jerusalem brings clarity. I think we’re starting to see a shift, that countries are realizing we are blessed to have Israel in the Middle East, and even the Arab countries are starting to realize that. You can’t destroy what God has blessed, and Israel is blessed. MA: ONE OF THE ICONIC IMAGES OF YOUR TIME AT THE U.N. IS THE PHOTO OF YOU HOLDING UP YOUR HAND FIRMLY AS YOU VOTED ‘NO,’ AND THEREBY VETOED A U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL DRAFT RESOLUTION THAT WOULD HAVE CONDEMNED AMERICA FOR MOVING ITS EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM. WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE? WHY WAS THE FIGHT TO MOVE THE EMBASSY SO DIFFICULT AT THE U.N.?
NH: It was one of my proudest moments, that I could issue the veto. They were trying to veto our sovereign right. We had the right to put the embassy wherever we wanted. They were trying to humiliate the United States, and Israel, and in the end we both came out stronger.
NEW CLASSES: SHABBAT SERVICES & DINNER FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15 (Shabbat San Diego)
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 5:45-8 PM University City Location Location provided upon registration at:
INTRO TO JUDAISM Cantor Cheri Weiss 7-month class begins Tuesday, October 29 JEWISH PHILOSOPHY & MYSTICISM Dr. Ronit Klemens 6-Week class begins Monday, November 4 Classes to be held in the Carmel Valley & UC areas Both classes meet weekly. Info & Registration at: www.sdo-synagogue.org (858) 280-6331
Led by Cantor Cheri Weiss & The Outreach Band WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
COVER STORY l BY DEBORAH VIETOR
LA JOLLA ART & WINE FESTIVAL FEELIN' FINE FOR 11 YEARS IN THE VILLAGE
Krista Schumacher is one of the Art & Wine Festival's featured artists.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
or a cornucopia of aesthetic and epicurean delights, experience the 11th annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free to the public, this spectacular annual two-day juried art event features works from over 160 local and international artists in a multitude of categories. Back to back artists line Girard Avenue from Torrey Pines Road to Prospect, each with their own unique appeal. Not limited to the art connoisseur, the festival boasts an array of exquisite creations, yet there is truly something for everyone. Music fills the air, with sounds comprised of talented musicians. Experience a unique destination uniting foodies, with gourmet options as well. The iconic wine and beer garden highlights over 40 international wineries, local craft breweries, and craft distilleries. Geppetto’s Family Art Center on Wall Street offers multiple activities for families and young artists, allowing them to explore their creativity and imagination. Exhibitions such as chalk art displays, synergistic murals, roving entertainment, face painting and interactive art are available, with more activities added each year, enhancing community involvement. Ample parking is available throughout the festival. The valet is located on Kline and Girard and a free parking structure is located on Kline and Fay Avenue. “The La Jolla Art and Wine Festival has something to offer people of all ages: 165 fine artists, a silent auction, great food, a wine, beer and spirit garden and a street dedicated to families and great entertainment, all in support of the local public schools. This is what is special to me,” said Sherry Ahern. Ahern founded the festival 11 years ago and is still chairing the event today. She credits the success of the event to dozens of talented volunteers and the attendees that continue to come each year. “The La Jolla Art and Wine festival is a wonderful example of the spirit of La Jolla and all that this community has to offer! I am so happy to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to keeping art and creativity alive in the public-school system,” Brenda Chand, Executive and Artistic Director of the LJAWF said. L’CHAIM sat down with a few artists showcasing their work at the event this year to talk about their art and why the festival holds a special place in their hearts. CAROLYN JOHNSON Involved in the festival since 2014, surfboard artist Carolyn Johnson, at booths #351/352, will be offering one of her surfboards at the silent auction, as her art resonates with the coastal community. Her high gloss technique makes her unique blend of acrylics and metallics dance in the light. Johnson shared that “La Jolla Daydream” is a real surfboard saved from landfill. Made specifically for this show, this surfboard illustrates deep blues
The La Jolla Art and Wine Festival has something to offer people of all ages: 165 fine artists, a silent auction, great food, a wine, beer and spirit garden and a street dedicated to families and great entertainment, all in support of the local public schools."
Carolyn Johnson's surfboard art will be featured in the Festival's silent auction. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
with gold. “The white water bubbles look real – like you could step right into the surf,” said Johnson. Johnson shared that the LJAWF is one of her favorite art shows as it “feels like a vacation.” She loves the location of the show, walking the beautiful ocean path at night and all the great La Jolla restaurants. L’CHAIM MAGAZINE: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARTIST? JOHNSON: I was inspired and encouraged early. My second grade
teacher told me I had a “good eye for art” and my mom and dad helped me to “see” shapes and sketch them. L’CHAIM: PLEASE SHARE WHERE YOUR WORK IS SHOWN AND THE AWARDS YOU HAVE WON. JOHNSON: My art and surfboards are shown at Artist Eye Gallery
and Cottage Furnishings in Laguna Beach. Since 2013, I have participated in over 50 shows. This year, the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival asked me to be their featured artist and this means a lot to me. In addition to being showcased as the Featured Artist at many other show in California, I have won the AIA “Special Citation” for my surfboard art, “Best of Show,” from KUDO’s magazine at Balboa Island Artwalk, “Commemorative Poster Artist,” at Indian Wells Art Festival and ribbon recognition for several art pieces. L’CHAIM: HOW DO YOU FEEL THE LJAWF INSPIRES YOUNG ARTISTS? JOHNSON: Seeing what can be done by other artists paves the way for
ideas, experimentation and determination. Through the LJAWF, they will see normal people who have developed their talent, benefitting from the art programs and hands on art events. The more time applied evolves your art to new levels. Be aware of what doesn’t work and believe in yourself as you develop your talent.” Learn more about Johnson on her website at www. CarolynJohnsonGallery.com.
IAN ELY Renowned landscape photographer Ian Ely, owner of the Ian Ely Gallery located at 1141 Prospect in La Jolla will be at booths #415/416, about a block off Prospect Street visible from both sides of Girard, displaying many of his new masterpieces. L’CHAIM: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER? ELY: As a boy I was drawn to nature. As a man I am fascinated by it.
As a photographer, I am compelled to capture those perfect moments in time nature presents to me, through the craft that has become my calling. Landscape photography is my passion, my purpose, my journey and my job – but, above all it is the defining joy of my life.
L’CHAIM: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING AND REWARDING EXPERIENCES OF BEING A LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER? ELY: Through my photography I’ve found a way to share that feeling
of freedom and closeness to nature with others. With every click of the shutter, my goal is to go beyond simply the recording of a scene. I strive to capture not just the image I see through my lens, but also the very essence of that time, place, moment and perfection. I want the viewer to feel the same connection I did, as if they were right there on the beach at sunrise with the gentle waves rolling in, or standing beneath a majestic tumbling waterfall, damp from its spray, or resting their hands on timeless, weatherworn rocks in the desert, listening for ghosts of the past. It’s both my challenge, my motivation and it’s absolutely what I live for. Throughout my many years on the road, I’ve discovered the beauty of this magnificent country which knows no limits. So, for my part, I’ve vowed to place no limits on my willingness to explore it, and to venture into the landscape with an open heart, to receive whatever Mother Nature chooses to reveal. I’ve found my home behind the lens, wherever that may be, from the mighty frontier wilderness of Alaska’s ice passages to the serenity of the lakes and aspen-covered slopes of the majestic Rocky Mountains. These are the places that make my soul sing. Many people hold nature at arm’s length, stepping back to enjoy its beauty, but not seeking to achieve a spiritual connection. All my life, I’ve been striving to get closer, to walk towards nature rather than away from it. As I explore those magical places, my job is to “get the shot,” to capture that moment and take it back with me through the lens of my camera. L’CHAIM: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE THE LJAWF OFFERS TO YOUNG ARTISTS AND HOW DO YOU SUPPORT THE FESTIVAL? ELY: I have participated in this event for many years, even before
opening my gallery down the street on Prospect 3 years ago. I feel proud, to be a part of the list of sponsors and artist who help the local community and schools with many after hour programs, especially art, knowing that art is very important for the kids. Learn more about Ely on his website at www.ianely.com
Landscape photographer Ian Ely, owner of the Ian Ely Gallery, will be at booths #415/416 at the LJAWF.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
KRISTA SCHUMACHER Krista Schumacher is a young palette knife oil painter and will be in booths #274/276. Capturing nature in a unique and spectacular way, Krista has won awards such as the Southwest Art Magazine’s “Top 21 Under 31” and the 2018 Launchpad Artist for Art San Diego. She has gained numerous collectors both nationally and internationally. Her mother, Kathy, is also a palette knife oil painter, and they will both display their work at the festival. This will be their first motherdaughter exhibition on the West Coast. Krista was a corps member in Teach For America, taught art full-time and attended graduate school for a Masters in Art Education. She has cultivated partnerships with Ligne Roset La Jolla and Ferrari of San Diego.
L’CHAIM: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT LJAWF AND HOW IT PROVIDES FUNDING FOR THE LA JOLLA SCHOOLS? KERCKHOFFS: Meeting the festival visitors and explaining in person
love the rich pigment of the oil paint. I am often inspired by nature, especially the unique landscapes of the West Coast and sometimes the ideas are the offspring of my imagination. As a palette artist, it is extremely rewarding to take an idea and see the idea unfold onto a canvas.” When people see my work in person, they always comment on the vivid colors, texture, and movement. When someone collects my work, it makes me proud. Not only are they captivated by the beauty of the art, but they believe in me as an artist.
The La Jolla Art and Wine Festival Foundation is a non-profit, with a purpose to fund vital programs in La Jolla public schools. All profits raised during the festival benefit underfunded programs, including art, music, and science at all 5 La Jolla public schools.
L’CHAIM: WHAT DO LIKE ABOUT WORKING IN OILS AND WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS? SCHUMACHER: Working with oils is second nature to me. I absolutely
what I do. It is a very good thing that this show supports underfunded programs, including art and science at La Jolla public schools. We all know that education is the key in one’s development.
L’CHAIM: HOW DO YOU LIKE THE LOCATION OF LJAWF AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR? KERCKHOFFS: The location of the show is perfect. Right in the
center of downtown La Jolla, with it’s shops, restaurants and close to the ocean. This is one of the shows I love to do because it is well organized, well visited and with an easy set-up and break-down. I’m looking forward to presenting some new work, including my photos on canvas, colored with oil paints and the use of new substrates.” Learn more about Kerchoffs on his website www.roykart.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LA JOLLA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL, VISIT WWW.LJAWF.COM OR CALL MCFARLANE PROMOTIONS, INC. AT (619) 233-5008.
L’CHAIM: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ELEMENTS YOU ENJOY ABOUT THE LA JOLLA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL? SCHUMAKER: La Jolla is an artist’s dream, filled with inspiration
at every corner. The LJAWF has an unwavering commitment to contribute to the La Jolla community. Being a local La Jolla artist, I cannot thank my community enough for supporting the arts. Learn more about Shumaker on her website at www.kristaschumakerart.com. ROY KERCKHOFFS Roy Kerckhoffs has participated in LJAWF for years as a celebrated hand coloring photographer. Roy can be found at booths #243/#244. He has produced a coffee table book of beach and historical scenes, “The Unique Art of Roy Kerckhoffs.” L’CHAIM: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER? KERCKHOFFS: Going out there and obtaining more shots. I create
other parts of my work including printing, stretching canvas, framing, hand coloring. I also enjoy experimenting with the hand coloring of paint on my black and white photographs. Since I have started coloring my images, I’ve used photo oils, coloring my photos on photo paper. A couple of years ago, I colored my photos on canvas, finding that the Marshall’s photo oils didn’t work well on canvas, so I turned to acrylics. After some experimenting, I used oils for canvas, including glazes made from regular oil paint to color and opaque oil paint to paint in skies.
Roy Kerckhoffs has produced a coffee table book of beach and historical scenes, “The Unique Art of Roy Kerckhoffs.”
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FALL INTO THE FLAVOR OF THE HIGH HOLIDAYS Make it a easier on yourself. Remember: The freezer is your friend. BY ETHEL G HOFMAN | JNS.org
ith the High Holidays falling later in the calendar this year, and since summer seems long-gone and families are knee-deep in activities already, make it a little easier on yourself. Make the freezer your friend. With the time ahead of the holidays, whip up a few dishes, slip them into the freezer and forget about them until that Sunday morning. Besides the ubiquitous brisket and chicken, soups and casseroles galore may be cooked, cooled, sealed and frozen. Just don’t forget to label each one, adding key codes such as pareve, meat or dairy. It’s no big deal to cut up salads the night before (remember, the clocks start to go back, and there will be time after Shabbat for thawing and finalizing the menu). Chunks of tomato, cucumber and shredded basil stay just fine overnight. Toss with a little olive oil, some lemon or lime, and salt and fresh pepper just before serving. Cream soups, however, do not freeze well. The soup will separate, and the texture will become grainy; those are best prepared fresh or make the night before and refrigerate. For thawed soups, the seasonings may need to be adjusted as flavors are reduced by the cold. And what’s a Jewish holiday without the ubiquitous honey cake? Try a seasonal variation: Pumpkin Honey Cake, which is moist, dark and delicious. OPHRA’S MUSHROOM SOUP (DAIRY, VEGETARIAN, GLUTEN-FREE) Serves 6; recipe may be doubled. Longtime home cook Ophra Kimberg generously shared this recipe with me. Cook’s Tips: • Cauliflower is the soup thickener. • Chopped onions are available fresh or frozen. • Buy canned mushrooms, pieces and stems. • Cauliflower should be soft before adding to onions and mushrooms. • When doubling the recipe, freeze in two
batches. For a pareve dish, substitute olive oil for butter. • For a dairy dish, top with a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt. Ingredients • 1 cup cauliflower florets • 3 tablespoons butter • 1/2 cup diced onions • 1 can (14 oz.), plus 1 (7 oz.) can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained • 2 teaspoons bottled chopped garlic • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme • 2 teaspoons pareve bouillon powder • 3 cups vegetarian broth • White pepper and salt to taste Directions 1. Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish with 1 to 2 tablespoons water. 2. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave 4 minutes or until very soft. Drain. Set aside. 3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and bouillon powder. 4. Cook over medium heat until onion is transparent. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool slightly before transferring to food processor. 5. Add the broth and process until slightly grainy (longer if a smoother mixture is preferred). 6. Season to taste with white pepper and salt. 7. Cool before pouring into a container. Cover tightly, label and freeze. •
PUMPKIN HONEY CAKE (PAREVE) Makes 1 loaf (9x5x3-inch dish) and 1 extra miniloaf (not individual, but mini-size), or 4 miniloaves. Cook’s Tips: • Substitute 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg for pumpkin-pie spice.
Substitute ¾ cup candied citron peel instead of raisins. • For full-proof nonstick effect, line bottom of loaf pan with waxed paper and spray with nonstick vegetable spray. Ingredients: • 4 eggs • 1 cup dark-brown sugar • 1/2 cup water • 1 cup vegetable oil • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkinpie) mix • 3/4 cup molasses • 1/2 cup honey, warmed • 2 cups whole-wheat flour • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking soda • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice • 1 1/4 cups dark or golden raisins Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Spray loaf pan and extra mini-loaf pan (or 4 mini-loaf pans) with nonstick vegetable spray with flour. 3. Beat eggs and sugar until blended. Add the water, vegetable oil, pumpkin, molasses and honey. Mix well. 4. Stir in the flours, about ½ cup at a time, mixing to blend between each addition. 5. Stir in the baking soda, spice and 1 cup raisins. Spoon into prepared pan(s). Scatter remaining raisins on top. 6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake mini-loaves 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. 7. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen edges by running a round bladed knife around. Turn out onto a wire tray. Cool completely. Wrap and freeze.
FEATURE STORY A ROSE WHO
By Steve Schindler
PHOTO CREDIT – PAUL BOWERS
t’s impossible to know how much of Rose Schindler’s energy and drive comes from her commitment to tell her story. Thin, fit and full of pep and vigor, barely five feet tall and just shy of 90 years old, she remains a force of nature. You may know her as a Holocaust survivor. But she also identifies as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her beloved husband of 66 years, Max Schindler (z”l), also a Holocaust survivor, passed away in January 2017. A word that accurately describes Rose is “devoted.” If you haven’t met Rose, it’s hard to conjure an image of her strength. As her middle son and child number three in the pecking order of four, I have had a ringside view of her power and vitality. She was an expert at spinning plates early on, raising a family of four in a busy, oftentimes chaotic household while concurrently running a fabric store. Like other people driven by higher purpose, she moves so quickly that she rarely slows for introspection or pause. Rose has a story to tell and an experience to share. Responsibility was thrust upon her as an innocent and wide-eyed 14-year old. It was on day two after arriving to the chaos and horror of Auschwitz Birkenau that she heard a voice calling her name. Amidst a confusing landscape of smoke, stench, human anguish and death,
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
YOU MAY KNOW HER AS A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. BUT ROSH SCHINDLER ALSO IDENTIFIES AS A WIFE, MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER AND GREATGRANDMOTHER.
somehow miraculously he found her. In a ragged uniform and cleanly shaven, Rose barely recognized her father Solomon, an orthodox Jew and accomplished tailor who always sported a beard, hat, jacket and tie. They embraced and cried, acknowledging the tragedy that befell her mother and four younger siblings the day before. She told him that she was there with Helen and Judy, her two older sisters. He told her that he and her older brother, Philip were selected to be taken to a slave labor camp. Right then and there, he implored Rose to “stay together, survive and tell the world what they’re doing to us.” She and her two sisters survived; Rose never saw her father or Philip again. Her father’s words have made an indelible mark on how she shows up in the world. After the war Rose left Czechoslovakia for rehabilitation in the United Kingdom and two years later met her future husband Max in a hostel of orphaned survivors. After experiencing unimaginable pain and loss in their youth, my parents were a happy and active couple in adulthood, living in the present and always focused on the future. For years before I was born and after my childhood they would join their New Life Club (Holocaust Survivor) friends at lifeaffirming exuberant parties. They all shared an unmistakable zest for living. The passing of my father and most of their friends is a visible sadness that lies behind my mother’s eyes. And yet she remains strong and quick with a smile, warm and approachable and enjoys entertaining neighbors, friends and family. But like many seniors and widowers, her once busy life is often too quiet for comfort. Rose exercises daily, regularly meets friends for Mahjong or to play cards, participates on Holocaust-related committees with San Diego Jewish agencies, attends synagogue and has roughly 50 school and community speaking engagements annually. The memoir of Rose and Max Schindler, Two Who Survived Keeping Hope Alive While Surviving the Holocaust, was published earlier this year. A dream of Rose’s for years, she rests a little easier knowing that her story will be shared long after she’s gone. But instead of taking a break, Rose knows that as a child-survivor, she will be among the few capable of providing a first-hand account of the horror of the Holocaust as the years pass. She remains steadfast
The memoir of Rose and Max Schindler, Two Who Survived - Keeping Hope Alive While Surviving the Holocaust, was published earlier this year. A dream of Rose’s for years, she rests a little easier knowing that her story will be shared long after she’s gone. and determined to offer schoolchildren and others the incomparable opportunity to meet a survivor. This is her purpose in life and I for one think we’re all the better for it. For information and to order the memoir of Rose and Max Schindler, visit twowhosurvived.com. STEVEN SCHINDLER IS THE CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GENERATIONE, AN EMPATHY EDUCATION NONPROFIT THAT USES LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND MORAL VALUES IN TODAY’S GENERATION OF SCHOOLCHILDREN. HE CAN BE REACHED AT STEVEN@GENERATIONE.ORG.
FEATURE STORY l BY ROBERT LERNER, HISTORIAN
feature story WHO WAS
An Ecumenical Mystery Solved
hy did a prominent Valley Center resident who was Jewish underwrite the cost of a stainedglass memorial window at a local Christian church? It is a question that has been asked repeatedly over several decades, but the answer was recently uncovered in a vintage file at the Valley Center History Museum. The church was Valley Center Community Church, an interdenominational meetinghouse which traces its roots to 1885. Since its founding, it had been meeting in rented spaces until 1947 when the church acquired a permanent home. The former Marine Base Chapel at Camp Elliott San Diego was decommissioned, taken apart, and moved to Valley Center as new home of the church. When a call went out to fund the cost of nine stained-glass memorial windows, Martin Gang, often described as a pillar of the Jewish community and the leader of several major national Jewish organizations, was among those who came forward with funding. So, who was Martin Gang and why did he, a man who became prominent in Jewish affairs, sponsor a Christian icon in a house of worship that was not of his faith. Gang and his wife Josephine came to Valley Center about 1930 after he graduated from Harvard Law School at age 29. He established what would become a well-known and successful dairy farm called Gang Ranch which also grew olives and oranges. He raised four children: Adele, Adrian, Frank and Mark. But farming, it turns out, was an avocation for Gang. His true profession was the practice of law, and he is generally acknowledged as a pioneer in the field on entertainment law. 24
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
His client roster would grow to 20 celebrities, among them Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Grouch Marx and Jack Benny. Many would visit his Valley Center farm, recalled daughter Adele. During the ensuing years, Gang would take on a prominent role in several major Jewish organizations, but he also became the first Jew to become chairman of the board at a Catholic school and established a human relations institute at a Jesuit school. He also aided in restoration of Pala Mission. In a recently found vintage interview with the Valley Center Historical Society, his daughter said her father supported many religious causes, Jewish and non-Jewish. “We were raised in a philanthropic environment where it was the cause that mattered,” she recalled. While living in Valley Center, she remembered her father rescuing members of his extended family from the Nazi Holocaust, and later sponsoring other children, some of whom would live in the family home on 35 acres at Cole Grade and Fruitvale roads. The onetime adobe home built by Gang was razed in 1979 and the property was acquired by the local school district for use as an agricultural farm and playing field. Gang’s name is remembered today by a sign on the property reading, “Martin Gang Agricultural
Learning Center” and the gates leading to the former home are still in place with the name GANG inscribed in the concrete, reportedly engraved by one of his children. Along with mementos of the Gang family on view at the Valley Center History Museum, a grove of mature olive trees planted by the ontime farmer continues to thrive, and a stained-glass window recalls his memory at the local Community Church. THE VALLEY CENTER HISTORY MUSEUM AT 29200 COLE GRADE ROAD IS OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FROM NOON TO 4 P.M. ADMISSION IS FREE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT VCHISTORY.ORG OR CALL (760) 749-2993.
CAMP MOUNTAIN CHAI WOMENâ€™S WEEKEND It's bat mitzvah time for Women's Weekend, so the 13th annual event this October will be even more spectacular and meaningful than ever because, well, bat mitzvah party! Activities at Camp Mountain Chai include camp-style Shabbat services and Torah discussion featuring Rabbi Lenore Bohm. Cantor Cheri Weiss will be leading music and prayer, mindfulness with Julie Potiker, Israeli dancing, inspirational and fun workshops, Zumba, ropes course, archery, nature walks, games and campfire. The Women's Weekend has become beloved not just for the activities and the beautiful setting (San Bernardino National Forest), but also for the haimische, joyful, welcoming ambiance created by sister campers and the CMC staff. The weekend is Friday Oct. 25-Sunday morning Oct. 27, and welcomes women 21 and up. Early bird cost, before Sept. 1: $245 non JCC members â€˘ $220 JCC members $199 women under 40 and Jewish professionals (prices rise between $40 and $50 after that)
THE FUN STARTS ON THE BUS RIDE FROM POWAY! Registration: www.campmountainchai.com/ww13 WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
feature story PAYING IT
How grandparents can help pay for their grandchildren's college
PHOTO BY A. DEBUS FROM PIXABAY
any grandparents want to help their grandkids pay for college. If this is one of your goals, the best way to achieve it is by opening a 529 plan in your name with your grandchild as the beneficiary. 529 plans offer unique benefits for grandparents, including flexibility to not impact the grandchild’s financial aid awards, being able to retain control of the assets throughout the life of the account, and ease of management. One of the most common mistakes grandparents make is they give their kids cash and say, “This is for the grandkid’s 529 plan. Please deposit into their account.” A lot of parents have set up a 529 plan for their young children, so it might make sense to keep all the college savings consolidated into one account when you don’t know all the rules. Actually though, this hurts the child’s ability to qualify for financial aid after they get accepted into college. A parent-owned 529 plan counts against a child’s financial aid awards at a rate of 5.64% per year. Assume a parent-owned 529 plan has a $30,000 balance. 5.64% of $30,000 is $1,692. A student qualifying for $8,000 of financial aid will have it reduced to $6,308 for that college year. A grandparent-owned 529 plan does not count against a grandchild’s financial aid awards. If grandparents have saved up $20,000 (or even $100,000) in a 529 plan for their grandchild, this doesn’t reduce the grandchild’s financial aid
MANY GRANDPARENTS WANT TO HELP THEIR GRANDCHILDREN PAY FOR COLLEGE. L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
award by even one penny! There is a dark side to this though. Whenever money from the grandparentowned 529 plan is used, it counts as “student income” for the grandchild. Financial aid calculations assume 50% of any student income will be for education costs and reduce their financial aid by this amount. So, for example, if grandparents use $5,000 from their 529 plan to help pay for college, their grandkid will lose $2,500 of financial aid. Luckily, smart financial advisors have come up with a strategy for this. Financial aid calculations use income from two years prior when applying for financial aid. Grandparents should wait until their grandchild is a junior or senior in college before using any of their 529 plan money. This way, the withdrawals never reduce their grandchild’s financial aid awards. Another helpful aspect of a 529 plan is that it doesn’t just need to be used for a four-year university. This money can be put towards any post-secondary education, including trade schools, community colleges, and grad schools. And if one grandchild doesn’t use all of the 529 plan (or any of it), it can still be used for another relative. You can do this
by simply changing the beneficiary on the account. So, by opening a 529 plan in your name, you actually have the potential to help more than just one grandchild. HOW TO OPEN AND FUND A 529 PLAN
529 plan contributions are not deductible at the Federal level, but over 30 states offer a tax deduction or credit for contributions. If your state offers this, then look first to open a 529 plan in your state. It doesn’t matter where your grandchild lives or where they will go to college. If you live in a state that doesn’t offer a tax deduction or credit, then you can open a 529 plan in any state. A great place to begin your search is at www.savingforcollege.com. This website can guide you through the process of selecting the right plan for you. It compares costs, investment options, and service levels. Once you have chosen your 529 plan and have it opened, fund it with after-tax money. Don’t withdraw money from an IRA or 401(k) to fund a 529 plan unless you are in the 12% tax bracket. You will owe taxes on the IRA withdrawal so it would cost more to help pay for your grandchild’s college. In 2019, each grandparent can deposit $15,000 into each grandchild’s 529 plan.
This limit can increase each year, so keep an eye on these limits. Grandparents can prefund up to 5 years’ worth of funding into a 529 plan. So, if the plan was opened in 2019, they could fund $75,000 per person, or $150,000 per couple. One thing to be aware of is the taxes and penalties that can be applied to portions of a 529 plan. While the contribution portion of a 529 plan can’t be taxed so long as it was funded with after-tax money, the earnings portion of a 529 plan can be subject to income tax and a 10% withdrawal penalty if used as a non-qualified distribution. A non-qualified distribution is any portion of a withdrawal from a 529 plan used for anything other than qualified education expenses. Examples of qualified education expenses include tuition, books, and room and board (in some instances). This may make you nervous, but there’s no need to worry! As long as your 529 plan is used for the purpose of your grandkid’s education, you will be just fine. And remember, if one grandkid doesn’t use it all, the leftover funds can still be applied to another relative. LEARN MORE BY CONTACTING ROWLING AND ASSOCIATES AT WWW.ROWLING.COM.
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THE 7TH ANNUAL SUKKOT HARVEST FESTIVAL AT COASTAL ROOTS FARM OCTOBER 20 The Sukkot Harvest Festival is the Farm’s biggest event of the year, inspired by the Jewish tradition of gathering community outdoors to celebrate the end of an abundant summer harvest and welcome in the fall season and all it brings. Meet us under the sukkah (temporary shelter) for a day filled with live music, food, and activities for all ages. This year’s Festival theme is “Sukkat Shalom” which means sukkah of peace.
To learn more www.lchaimmagazine.com/chaifiveprojects
FE AT URE STO RY
HIGH HOLIDAY CHALLENGE FOR COLLEGE KIDS COLLEGES OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS TO CELEBRATE TOGETHER BY DEBORAH FINEBLUM | JNS.ORG
pending the High Holidays away from home can be a lonely experience. And, sadly, without the family around, many a Jewish college student simply ignores the call of the shofar — even the apples and honey — and attends class as usual. But for countless others, the pull of these special days, fueled by memories of childhood Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holiday services and festive meals, is too strong to ignore. Even when they can’t get home to celebrate, they take a break from schoolwork long enough to celebrate in new ways with their campus “family.” “I loved the holidays with my family, and I was pretty active at my temple,” says Melissa Denish, who left Philadelphia behind to attend Elon University in North Carolina. “But it’s too far to go home just for a couple of days, so I stay at school.”
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
Fortunately, for Denish and other Jewish college students, most schools offer opportunities for these young adults to be, if not exactly home for the holidays, at least able to celebrate these days together and, when it works, begin to find a spiritual home of their own. And those who provide these services tend not to take the responsibility lightly. At a time when other Jews are getting a break from their jobs, Rabbi Zalman Deitsch says what he does during the holidays, including the 600 meals that he and his wife Sarah serve, may be the most important moments of his entire year. “Much is at stake here,” says the rabbi, now in his 23rd year of leading High Holidays for Chabad at Ohio State University in the state’s capital of Columbus. “It’s an opportunity to reach our students with a deep experience of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to create a
home away from home for the holidays.” As he relates, “When they’re away from their families and on their own for the first time, they ask themselves, ‘Who am I?’ If they have the right experience, they can take this into themselves for the rest of their lives, so it’s an amazing opportunity and also an awesome responsibility.” “Each one of them who stays here on campus for the chagim [‘holidays’] is precious to us,” says Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer. “For those who don’t go home, we know it’s a time of year when they need to feel part of something, a sense of community, and when we can help students feel empowered to take the reins of their Jewish lives.” But the competition is stiff. Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where Glazer is in her fourth year as chaplain for the Jewish community and a Hillel advisor, is “a very demanding school where missing
PHOTO COURTESY ELON UNIVERSITY HILLEL
A student at Elon University in North Carolina blows the shofar.
F E ATUR E S TO RY
even one class can be a problem, so even though university policy insists the professors be willing to make accommodations, I’m hearing more and more students who genuinely want to observe the holidays, but are concerned that missing material will affect their grades.” “We’re at a stage in our lives when we’re no longer forced to come, so we need another reason—to see it as an opportunity to really learn about ourselves and our community, about different traditions than what we may have grown up with.” The result: Many come only to evening meals and services. “But whenever they come,” she notes, “we work at making it a welcoming, special and nurturing experience for them.” Tobin Gevelber would certainly understand how the students at Bucknell feel about missing class. His engineering curriculum at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is also demanding. “But there’s no way I’m not going to go to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services,” he says. “That’s not really an option for me.” One difference Gevelber notices from the holidays back at home in Boston: “There everyone you see is pretty much doing the holiday, too, but on campus for most people it’s just another day, and that feels kind of strange.” Still, there is an advantage in being cast adrift from the comforts of home, he points out. “There it’s a more straightforward way of celebrating the holidays; there’s no question as to exactly what you’re doing, whereas at school it’s actually fun to make these decisions, to have that new independence in this area, to navigate the holidays yourself with a new awareness.” Involving the students is key to the way Betsy Polk at Elon University in North Carolina constructs the services for those among the school’s 600 Jewish students who opt to stay on campus for the holidays. “We have a fairly small population,” says Polk, who directs the Hillel for the university. “So we need to make sure our
services are pluralistic and inclusive for our Reform, Conservative, unaffiliated and more observant students. Our challenge is creating a High Holiday experience where everybody feels comfortable.” One approach Polk has found successful in her two years-plus on the job: “They need to know it’s going to be different from being at home, but when they say, ‘That’s not the melody we use,’ I answer, ‘Great. Let’s hear your melody. Maybe we can sing it together.’“ Unlike smaller schools where Jewish students attending services on campus need
At school it’s actually fun to make these decisions, to have that new independence in this area, to navigate the holidays yourself with a new awareness.
to find common ground, the larger ones can afford to offer more choices. Over at the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life at Columbia/ Barnard Hillel, Lavine Family executive director Brian Cohen says students can select which service they feel comfortable with (“And if one doesn’t feel right to them, they can try the next one,” he adds). “My primary goal is to provide our Jewish students with a meaningful High Holiday experience,
including services, meals, etc.” To build momentum, Cohen’s team presents holiday programming not only in the Hillel building, but in dorms and other campus locales. “We want to reach the Jewish students, of course, but we also want the broader campus community to be aware that this is an important time for Jewish students and professors.” A key ingredient: food. They serve hundreds of meals over these 10 days, including nearly 500 bagels at Yom Kippur break-fast. Nor does he think that the presence of antiIsrael forces on his campus puts a damper on holiday celebration. “I think they feel safe expressing their Jewishness,” he adds. “It’s a beautiful sight, hundreds of students walking up to the Kraft Center at sundown on Rosh Hashanah.” In fact, says OSU Chabad’s Rabbi Deitsch, “holidays away from home in a community that feels like family can give students an opportunity they never had before: to be open to the experience and bring themselves to the table, to begin to decide the kind of person they want to be beginning right now at the beginning of this new year.” Now the religious and educational chair at the Elon Hillel, Denish is already reaching out to her fellow students to lead a prayer or a song or a reading from the Torah. “We’re at a stage in our lives when we’re no longer forced to come, so we need another reason — to see it as an opportunity to really learn about ourselves and our community, about different traditions than what we may have grown up with.” When everyone comes willing to ask and answer questions, she adds, “the holidays can be a powerful learning experience and can have more of an impact than they did at home.” “With no tickets or dress code required, we want our students to feel completely welcome,” says Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Cohen. “Even the students who never got it or who were turned off as kids, we’re hoping they give it another shot.”
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
Now playing at New Village Arts | BY ALEX GOODMAN
PHOTO BY DARREN SCOTT.
Tamara McMillan (Esther) and Tom Steward (Mr. Marks) take the stage in Intimate Apparel this month.
sther Mills is the protagonist of Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed play, Intimate Apparel, now playing at New Village Arts in Carlsbad through October 20. Inspired by the life of the playwright’s great-grandmother, Esther is a 35-year-old seamstress in 1905 Manhattan who can do anything with actual fabric but little with the fabric of her life. Throughout the play, Esther corresponds with, and eventually agrees to marry a Caribbean laborer named George Armstrong. Esther is illiterate, and we come to find that George is too, so both have others pen their letters on their behalf, reminiscent of Cyrano de Bergerac. George writes from Panama where he’s one of the thousands of men
building the canal. Encouraged by her rich client Mrs. Van Buren and her friend Mayme, Esther is soon won over by his poetic love letters. At the same time, she doesn’t realize her attraction to Mr. Marks, the orthodox Jew from whom she regularly buys fabric. “What sort of things do you like to do?” Mrs. Van Buren asks of Esther. Esther replies, “I… I go to church every Sunday, well practically, but I don’t really listen to the sermons. I just like the company and the singing of course… “And on Tuesdays… I take the trolley down to Orchard Street, and I climb five flights, in darkness, to this tiny apartment. And, when I open the door my eyes are met…” The lights come up on Mr. Marks, A
Romanian Jewish fabric seller, in his shop. He is relatively young and likely immigrated to the U.S. sometime in the last few years. Mr. Marks is a bright and passionate man; he loves beautiful fabrics and the stories he learns about them. He knows that Esther shares this passion, and he’s often able to sell her fabric that she insists she doesn’t need by sharing the stories with her. An observant Orthodox Jew, Mr. Marks is dedicated to upholding the rules of his religion and often explains these rules to Esther. He cannot wear colors aside from black and cannot touch women who aren’t his wife or family members. He also has a fiancée at home in Romania, whom he’s never met — but whom he will, in theory, send for when his shop is doing well enough to support a family. The cultural differences pose problems for Esther and Mr. Marks, as the two are attracted to each other but can never be together. Intimate Apparel won the 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and the Outer Critics Circle Best Play Award. Ms. Nottage has received a MacArthur Genius Grant (2007), two NAACP Theatre Awards for performance and is the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama (Ruined in 2009 and Sweat in 2017) NEW VILLAGE ARTS THEATRE IS LOCATED AT 2787 STATE STREET, CARLSBAD. INTIMATE APPAREL RUNS THROUGH OCTOBER 20. TICKET PRICING IS $18-$36, FOR SHOWS RUNNING THURSDAYS AT 7:30 P.M., FRIDAYS AT 8 P.M., SATURDAYS AT 3 AND 8 P.M., AND SUNDAYS AT 2 P.M. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.NEWVILLAGEARTS.ORG.
DIPLOMACY Begins Here
PHOTO COURTESY MEGAN MORELLO/SAN DIEGO DIPLOMACY COUNCIL.
Innovation in the California Baja Region and Beyond | BY RACHEL STERN
ecently, L’CHAIM magazine was invited to the San Diego Diplomacy Council to learn about the ways this exclusive organization works. The summit took place over a course of three days. The San Diego Diplomacy Council is a unique and informative organization, with one goal in mind: Educating people about various topics at a global level. Executive Director Fabienne Perlov explained that by having such organizations exist, it “helps promote a mutual understanding of challenges and solutions.” The organization prides itself in partnering up with the U.S. Department of State by implementing the IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program), “which brings over 5,000 foreign nationals from across the globe each year to the United States to meet and confer with their professional counterparts” for three weeks. The “Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit: Innovation in the Cali Baja 34
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Region and Beyond” summit celebrated the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s 40th anniversary by promoting diplomacy at a global level. Attending this summit gave people a “unique opportunity to learn about innovative solutions taking place between San Diego and Tijuana, by listening to local regional experts.” Ambassadors, senators and philanthropists all addressed shared issues, while former ambassadors taught different ways how to solve local issues and struggles. Furthermore, there were tours across the area, so those attending the summit could see firsthand what the situations actually looked like. The organization is nonprofit and nonpartisan and encouraged high school students to attend the summit as well, so they would consider participating in student exchange programs. Perlov said: “We have academic partnerships with some schools that allows us to engage youth through visits, joint community services and events.”
This gives students a chance to directly learn from several international leaders and have engaging conversations. “This is the best way to learn about authentic Americans,” attendee Yen Tu said. Tu herself was hosted in the past, as she said this is the best way to make “people to people connections.” Another attendee named Rachel Paris-Lambert, who is the director of international affairs in Seattle, said: “It is great to see how counterparts do their work.” In addition, the council brings experts from Israel regularly. Government officials and academic experts come from different nations and try building bridges in the Middle East. Perlov said that they “provide exchange services to come to San Diego and engage in the San Diego community as well as the Jewish community.” The organization puts together events during the year, such as dinner parties to build networks and discuss global affairs. In 2018, 136 countries participated in the summit, and 862 current as well as evolving leaders attended. In the last five years the organization experienced a 50% growth in those who have been joining the annual event. “We are thrilled to invite friends and colleagues …to help us mark this milestone in engaging important and enlightening conversations about innovative solutions,” Perlov stated. Perlov has a lot of experience with foreign affairs; both Israelis and Palestinians taught her how important it is to create bridges between different cultures, in order for them to understand one another. She has dedicated her entire profession to transnational matters. TO LEARN MORE, VISIT SANDIEGODIPLOMACY.ORG.
BY CHANA JENNY WEISBERG l FAMILY
mom.com The Skeptic Who Went to the Rabbi for a Blessing
his past Shabbat, my husband was out of town, and he was hosted by a lovely family, a couple with 2 sons ages 7 and 13. During the meal, the host mentioned that he has two other children, two daughters who are a decade older than his sons. And then he shared the following incredible story: Fourteen years ago my wife and I had 2 wonderful daughters, but for 10 years we hadn’t been able to have more children. We yearned to have more children and tried many different treatments but nothing had worked out as we had hoped. Around that time my father was the landlord of a restaurant owner who was a big chassid of Rabbi David Abuhatsera of Nahariya, the grandson of the Baba Sali. Every week he would visit Rabbi Abuhatsera, and every week he would try to convince me to join me. He would say, “Why don’t you come with me to get a blessing for more children? What do you have to lose?” The truth was, on principle, I had reservations about going to a rabbi to get a blessing. I didn’t think that a rabbi was the address for providing our personal needs. At that time I was even working on my master’s thesis, which was a criticism of the practice of going to rabbis for blessings and advice. You want to go to a rabbi? No problem! Go to a rabbi to get guidance on how to serve Hashem. But don’t go to a rabbi to
fix your car or because you want more children! That’s what I felt. At the time. But one day my father’s tenant came up to me and said “Look I’m driving right now to the Rabbi, back and forth. What do you care? Why not come with me?” So, I thought, why not? It definitely won’t do any harm. And maybe it could even help? I wasn’t going to ask how. The restaurant owner just smiled. So we drove up to Nahariya, and I was ushered into the Rabbi’s office. “Honored Rabbi,” I said, “I have two wonderful daughters, thank G-d, but for 10 years we haven’t had any other children. Please give us a blessing.” And Rabbi Abuhatsera stated, simply: “You will have 2 more sons.” And then I left. I assumed that the Rabbi had just been trying to console me. And I completely forgot about the blessing altogether. But a few months later my wife did, in fact, get pregnant. My wife gave birth to a son, who just celebrated his bar mitzvah. And 5 years later, she gave birth to another son, who is turning 8 this week. After our second son was born, my mother came up to me one day and said, “You remember? How the rabbi promised that you would have 2 sons?” Believe it or not, I had completely forgotten, until my mother reminded me.
And my mother said, “I remember how you came back from the Rabbi looking so sullen. But I’ve remembered the rabbi’s promise, and kept it within my heart all these years.” My wife and I still very much hope to have more children. But over the years I’ve gone back to the Rabbi on several occasions and asked for a blessing for more children. And I’ve reminded him of what happened after he blessed us 14 years ago. But since then, he has only given me general blessings, for good news, but never again has he assured me that we would have more children. But we still hope. And maybe now, that so many Jewish mothers will be hearing this story? Maybe they will bless us and our prayers will, once again, be answered? CHANA JENNY WEISBERG, THE CREATOR OF JEWISHMOM.COM, IS A STAY-HOME MOTHER OF 8 CHILDREN LIVING IN JERUSALEM WITH HER HUSBAND, RABBI JOSHUA WEISBERG. ORIGINALLY FROM BALTIMORE, CHANA JENNY HAS DEVOTED HER NON-MOM TIME OVER THE PAST DECADE TO PROVIDING INSPIRATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OTHER JEWISH MOMS THROUGH HER POPULAR BOOKS EXPECTING MIRACLES AND ONE BABY STEP AT A TIME.
USA HOSTS LARGEST EVER NATIONAL CONFERENCE
ver 1,300 leaders, philanthropists, college and high school students from across the U.S. and Israel gathered in our nation’s capital for Jewish National Fund’s (JNF-USA) annual National Conference. This year’s line-up of speakers emphasized JNF-USA’s critical work in Israel, highlighted great accomplishments from the past year and unveiled ground-breaking plans for the near future. Speakers included: Ambassador Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, who spoke about the important work being undertaken to develop infrastructure in Israel’s south, and how cities like Be’er Sheva are becoming global centers for cyber security. Elan Carr, U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism, who discussed his tireless efforts and the unapologetic role he plays in combatting anti-Semitism throughout the world. Lucy Aharish, the first Muslim Israeli-Arab news anchor, reporter, and TV host, who expressed her love for Israel and her desire to continue to be an outspoken voice for tolerance and bridgebuilding. Larry Hogan, Governor of the State of Maryland, reaffirmed his unwavering support for America’s Jewish community and support for the State of Israel along with his work to combat BDS and antiSemitism. Matti Friedman, award-winning author and New York Times contributor, who felt it was important for journalists to provide greater scope and context with respect to their reporting on Israel. “Never before have we seen such a passionate and diverse group of JNF-USA partners and affiliates come together to celebrate our achievements and plan for our future,” said National Conference CoChairs Jayne Klein and Gary Kushner. “The atmosphere at this year’s conference was absolutely electric and the sense of ru’ach (spirit), especially from our 480 students and young professional participants, was simply incredible.” Over 350 high school and college students—the largest ever delegation—as well as 130 JNFuture members (Jewish National Fund’s young professionals’ division) attended the conference to celebrate their connection to Israel and strategize ways to get others involved and engaged. “More than any time in recent history, the destiny of Israel and the Jewish people is in our own hands,” said JNF-USA President Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “Thanks to JNF-USA’s bold One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, we are leading efforts to support greater resiliency in Israel’s north and south. This year’s National Conference was the 36
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greatest validation yet of the support our plan has and the impact we are having on the lives of everyday Israelis. People often wonder why our donors are so enthusiastic, and I tell them that when you are changing the narrative of a country and the story of an entire people for the better, what’s not to be enthusiastic about?” Next year’s National Conference will take place in Israel, where participants will gather at iconic sites throughout the country to drive the organization’s activities and experience firsthand the impact of their critical work. “For some time now, we have been thinking about how we can bring Israel to the JNF-USA family. How can we emulate the incomparable feeling of being in Jerusalem, the cosmopolitan buzz of Tel Aviv, or the awe-inspiring experience of being on the site of one of the fiercest battles of the Six Day War, Ammunition Hill?” said National Conference 2020 Co-Chairs Dr. Sol Lizerbram and Jeffrey E. Levine. “Then, it dawned on us – let’s do something truly bold and audacious. Let’s bring the JNF-USA family to Israel.” Next year’s conference will be on a scale never seen before. Rather than host the conference in one location, Jewish National Fund will be holding conference events and meetings at JNF-USA sites and locations across Israel. “We are doing something that has never been done before, and we encourage our supporters to take advantage of the discounted registration rate currently on offer,” said Lizerbram and Levine. JNF-USA’s 2020 National Conference will take place in Israel October 25-29, 2020. For more information and to register, please visit jnf.org/nc2020.
HUMOR | BY STEPHANIE LEWIS
& mishagoss Advice from the New Maven in San Diego!
Dear Yente, I am planning a small, casual, intimate wedding and my fiancé and I don’t eat meat and prefer to serve our twelve guests a healthy vegetarian style dinner. Do we need to state this on the invitation? Signed, Never Eats Beef Bride In South Hampton Dear N.E.B.B.I.S.H, Intimate, Shmintimate! You call it a proper simcha with just a dozen people in attendance, barely a whisper as they sing, “Siman Tov uMazel Tov?” What kind of a skinny, sickly hora do you think you’ll have on the dance floor? And I’ve just come from visiting your poor mother who is brokenhearted that not only will her mahjong group not be included, but your Uncle Leo (with his bad back) will have no choice but to hold one of the chair legs to lift up your intended, who is not a lightweight boychick. So it’s settled — you’ll invite a minimum of 125 people and serve filet mignon and be happy. True? Of course true. Dear Yente, I’m lonely when Friday night arrives and the other non-Jews in my dormitory go off together for weekend getaways in the mountains. They sleep in tents, cook over fires,
and have fun. I don’t mean to complain, but why am I excluded? Signed, Kept Vexed, Eager To Camp Happily Dear K.V.E.T.C.H, Oy, this is urgent! Hillel awaits your presence at their Shabbos table. Of course I’ll be there to make proper introductions to Miss Sarah Weiss, a nice Jewish girl I already have in mind for you. And remember — Jews can’t camp. If there’s no kitchen and it isn’t air-conditioned, we don’t do cold or damp. Berries, seeds, beef jerky’s not our diet, so we stick to the Hilton and the Hyatt. Gentiles think waking up with the birds is a riot, but we Jews prefer peace and quiet! And you can tell ‘em Yente said so in rhyme! PS. Sarah has perfect childbearing hips — you’ll thank me at the bris. Amen. Dear Yente, I have my eye on the Rabbi’s son. We only have one Rabbi, and he only has one son. Why shouldn’t I want the best? Signed, Hodel Dear Hodel, Because you’re a girl from a poor family, with no dowry — so whatever Yente brings, you’ll take, right? Of course right! PS. Tell that older sister of yours, Tzeitel, to stop that haughty
copycat act she does of me. Imitation is not the highest form of flattery, and my new sonin-law is a big shot attorney. Dear Yente, I’m not sure what’s going on? I took just a small break to rest my weary hands from the keyboard and suddenly I find you’ve taken my place, dispensing all the advice I used to give — only with a sassy attitude thrown in. What’s happening? Signed, Abby Dear Abby, This is what happens sweetheart — you snooze, you lose. My matchmaking job went down the tubes once Jdate came on the scene and so I moved straight into your newspaper column industry. You want my advice? Brush up on bedroom intimacy and quickly jump into that juicy field, as soon as Dr. Ruth Westheimer happens to look away from her computer screen to eat a rugelach. And this isn’t just “a sassy attitude” thrown in girlfriend — this is chutzpah! STEPHANIE D. LEWIS (NOW AKA YENTE!) WRITES FOR HUFFINGTON POST COMEDY AS WELL AS ONCEUPONYOURPRIME.COM