L'Chaim 1021 Food and Wine Fest

Page 1

OCTOBER 2021

LA JOLLA ART & WINE FESTIVAL

Unique & Extraordinary

Plus:

AN INTERVIEW WITH LIOR RAZ


2

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


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

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

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

Live In Your Dream Home Serving ALL of San Diego County

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

Kris Gelbart

Cal DRE 01345809 858-395-0761 gelbartrealtygroup.com

Kris Gelbart Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

3


contents October 2021 • www.lchaimmagazine.com

COVER STORY La Jolla Art & Wine Festival - Unique & Extraordinary..........................................................................

1000 WORDS Lior Raz on his New Show, Remembering 9/11 and Being Called Sexy............................

FOOD Cabbage, Apple, and Pomegranate Slaw with Cumin Dressing.........................................

FEATURES A Holocaust Memoir......................................................................................................................................

14

Be Kind - Could It Really Be That Simple?....................................................................................... Israeli Avocados in India..............................................................................................................................

06

20 24 26 28 29

08

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

PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller

4

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

ART & WINE

ADVERTISING dianeb@lchaimmagazine.com

ART DEPARTMENT lauriem@lchaimmagazine.com LISTINGS & CALENDAR: calendar@lchaimmagazine.com CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS info@lchaimmagazine.com

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: www.lchaimmagazine.com/shop

CONTRIBUTORS

Diane Benaroya: dianeb@lchaimmagazine.com

14

EDITORIAL editor@lchaimmagazine.com

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Laurie Miller

ADVERTISING & SALES

COLE SLAW

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

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alanna Maya

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

18

18

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

LIOR RAZ

10

Shabbat San Diego......................................................................................................................................... Raising Funds for Alzheimer’s.................................................................................................................

10

Copyright ©2021 L’Chaim San Diego LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator” to: publisher@lchaimmagazine.com Published in San Diego, CA • www.lchaimmagazine.com

lchaimmagazine

 @lchaimmagazine


JEWISH WAR VETS JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE USA OF THE USA

“ThePatriotic Patriotic Voice “The Voice of American Jewry” of American Jewry” location: Post 185 Our San new Diego Chabad of Poway: Invites you to become a member 16934 Chabad Way • Poway, CA • 92064 • Fight anti-Semitism

• Support our military overseas As Jewish War Veterans we ask others to join our Post 185. • Comradeship • Support youth through For more info: scouting & JROTC Allen Milefsky: 619-737-6910 or Sheldon Kleiman: 858-452-5691 Rick Nathanson, Post Commander (916) 995-6916

AGING IN PLACE SIMPLIFIED, ON-DEMAND Connecting Products, Services & Information on one platform, on-demand, to empower seniors to age in place on their own terms. Telemedicine & Care • Medical Equipment & Supplies • Home Modification/Relocation • Home Monitoring; Mortgage, Banking & Investing • Life Insurance • Medicare Information • Aging in Place Checklist • Home Modification Checklist

Jewish War Veterans is a 501c3 nonprofit national organization. Allen Miliefsky, Past State Commander For those interested in donating to Jewish War Veterans of the USA, (619) 737-6910 please submit a donation to P.O. BOX 81171, San Diego CA 92168

THE OLDEST ACTIVE VETERANS ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA

www.Castlemaven.com

A Registered Nurse founded company.

Pacific Lyric Association proudly presents

Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss, Jr.

See the hilarious operetta in person at the CA Center for the Arts Escondido. It’s a celebration of live performance, love, & of course, champagne! Our fully-staged production, complete with a 25-piece orchestra, is our optimistic message to the post-pandemic world.

4 performances only! Friday, October 15th, 7PM • Sunday, October 17th, 3PM Friday, October 22nd, 7PM • Sunday, October 24th, 3PM To purchase tickets: visit artcenter.org/diefledermaus/

Become a Production Sponsor (min. donation $100) & get free tickets, 2 wine glasses with our logo, & your name on our website and programs. www.pacificlyricassociation.org/diefledermaus2021

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

5


TORAH l BY RABBI-CANTOR CHERI WEISS

prayers

& passages Prayer on Musical Wings

I

would like you to read these words aloud: “Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael v’imru Amen.” You may recognize them as the final words of any of the Kaddish prayers, the “Mourners’ Kaddish” being the most well-known. It is also found at the end of our “Amidah” prayer as well as the “Birkat Ha’Mazon” — the blessing after a meal. Translated it means: “May the One who makes peace in the high places make peace for us and all of Israel, and let us say Amen.” I would now like you to select any of the dozens upon dozens of melodies that have been used as a setting for these words and sing them aloud. Can you describe your feelings as you allow the words to soar on musical wings? Imagine this melody accompanied by musical instruments: a guitar, piano, drums and maybe a flute. Perhaps you selected a joyful melody such as one made famous by the trailblazing Debbie Friedman and found yourself bobbing your head from side to side as you clapped along. Or maybe you chose a more somber melody, which led you to a few moments of quiet reflection. Music was an integral part of religious worship in Biblical times. In Exodus, we are told that during the singing of the “Song of the Sea,” Miriam and the women danced with timbrels to celebrate the Israelites’ successful crossing of the Red Sea after escaping the

6

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

pursuing Egyptians. To enhance worship services in the Great Temple of Jerusalem, King David instructed the chief of the Levites to “appoint their brethren the singers, with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy.” (I Chronicles 15:16). The “Book of Psalms” is a collection of sacred poems that were intended to be chanted. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the rise of Rabbinic Judaism in exile, the inclusion of musical instruments during Shabbat and holidays was outlawed by the rabbis. In the centuries that followed, however, the importance of vocal music in religious worship flourished. By the late sixth century, the role of the “hazzan” (in English, “cantor”) as singing prayer leader had been established. Eastern European Jews in later centuries perfected the improvisational aspect of “hazzanut.” In Central Europe, nineteenth century emancipated Reform Jews adopted the refined choral musical style they so admired in their church counterparts, adding instrumental accompaniment along the way. Both of these European styles found their way to American shores during the various waves of Jewish immigration. Today both vocal and instrumental music are prominent in many synagogue services, except in Orthodox congregations, which do not permit instruments on Shabbat and holidays. Many Conservative synagogues

allow instruments on Friday nights but not on Shabbat morning or holidays. In Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Humanist and the independent congregations that dot the Jewish congregational landscape, vocal and instrumental music combine to form the foundation of the worship experience in all prayer services. All congregants are encouraged to be actively-engaged participants in the process. Today, composers committed to expanding the Jewish worship musical landscape continue to bless us with unique melodies, infusing our prayers with new life and energy. Music can elevate our prayers and connect us to the Divine in ways that words alone may not achieve. The melody sets the tone and enables us to feel the prayer deep within our heart and soul. May you feel energized and inspired as you sing our sacred prayers, whenever and wherever you pray. RABBI-CANTOR CHERI WEISS IS THE FOUNDER AND SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE SAN DIEGO OUTREACH SYNAGOGUE, A POST-DENOMINATIONAL CONGREGATION THAT WELCOMES PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING A UNIQUE MIXTURE OF TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSIC, PRAYER AND LEARNING. SHE TEACHES JUDAIC STUDIES AT THE SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY.


WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

7


HUMOR | BY STEPHANIE LEWIS

mazel

& mishagoss "I Feel 100% Perfect!" ­— Said No Jew Ever

T

his is long overdue. I’ve finally compiled a list of phrases I never hear Jewish people utter. Note: There is no order to these, so don’t think it’s the frequency in which I never hear them. Enough with the Jewish girls! Where’s that nice shiksa you went to prom with? Please don’t call to inform me your plane landed safely, I’ll be sound asleep. (These two are a tie!) a) I’m too full from dinner to order the chocolate rugelach b) The portions here are much too large. (Another tie!) a) Today’s weather was ideal! b) Leave your sweater at home!

Please leave the soup at our table as it’s precisely the right temperature. The volume of your voice is so low. Could you speak MUCH louder? There’s no crisis. We’ll wait as long as it takes for the doctor to see us. Think carefully about bringing children into this world and making me a grandparent. Look! We’ve arrived early for the wedding. The bride’s still taking photos.

I guess this is just my cross to bear.

I just did a hard workout at the gym so … (Anything could follow this — doesn’t matter.)

Sorry I can’t offer you anything because the cupboards and pantry are completely bare.

My sister-in-law’s brisket is so moist and tasty.

You got into medical school? Think of the shame you’ll bring upon your family!

The woman engaged to my son is too good for him -- he doesn’t deserve her.

What in the world are we gonna do with all these leftovers?

Handyman Shmandyman! My husband can fix everything!

I’d like you to meet my son … the bus driver!

Forget ‘Jacob’ or ‘Sarah.’ If you have a boy, name him after Papa Christopher, and if it’s a girl, honor your great aunt Trinity.

(On a phone.) a) Hi! Grab a loaf of Wonder bread while you’re in the bakery section, b) And don’t embarrass yourself 8

by asking for a discount.

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

My recipe won … I was crowned Miss Baby Back at the annual pork rib festival!

Oy, I’m just a tired, old Bubbie, so please don’t break your neck shlepping over here. You have the rest of your lives to visit me. (Okay, this phrase actually IS spoken by everyone’s grandmother, but it’s meant as reverse psychology for guilt! Ma, why can’t you be more like Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof and take an interest in my love life? (Again a tie!) a) It’s not about getting good grades, it’s about enjoying school sports. b) Relax! Homework can wait. Don’t neglect your iPhone. Tonight my wife stumbled upon thawed chicken and all the ingredients for a kugel in our fridge. Why would she make reservations when she can make dinner?! Wondering how I can be certain Jews never say these things? I’ll tell you. Because I’ve never said this: “I’m not eavesdropping. The hostess just happened to seat me very close to your table!” That’s right, if you see a quirky '80s haired woman leaning toward you in D.Z. Akins, (Or lurking under your kitchen window!) Feel free to suggest topics for the next L’Chaim humor column. Cuz that’ll be me! STEPHANIE D. LEWIS APPEARS IN THE HUFFINGTON POST COMEDY SECTION AND WILL MAKE STUFF FUNNY FOR YOU TOO IF YOU CONTACT HER AT THEQUOTEGAL@YAHOO.COM


THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL The 20th Anniversary San Diego International Film Festival is celebrating film throughout San Diego. In-person festival events and film screenings will take place in some of our city’s most beautiful locations — including Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts and the San Diego Museum of Art, the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay and on board the USS Midway. Patrons can also access over 150 films On Demand in the Festival’s Virtual Village as well as Q&As with Filmmakers from around the world. This year — the Festival features 168 films in Gala, Spotlight, Narrative, Documentary, and Short Selections.

films that explore the issues affecting our world. Join us for films that inspire us to find our shared humanity and make changes in our community like Finding Fellowship, Bernstein’s Wall and The Humans. Enjoy additional highly-anticipated gala films such as C’mon C’mon, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog, Spencer, Belfast, The French Dispatch, Flee, Petitie Maman, The Beta Test, Worst Person In The World and The Novice. THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL RUNS FROM OCTOBER 14-24. WWW.SDFILMFEST.COM

The San Diego International Film Festival is the region’s premier film event and one of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit. The Festival offers a totally unique film experience; including world premieres, never before seen studio releases and the best in independent filmmaking. We believe cinema is a catalyst for positive change. The festival programming is diverse — however everyone has a genre that speaks to their heart — including us. With a passion for social impact topics, we’ve focused the lens on curated independent

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

9


PHOTO COURTESY NETFLIX.

L’CHAIM | BY ALAN ZEITLIN | JNS.ORG

10

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


L’CHAIM

1000

WORDS

LIOR RAZ ON NEW SHOW SHOT IN BROOKLYN, REMEMBERING 9/11 AND BEING CALLED SEXY

B

eing an international action star might be enough for some, but not for Lior Raz. Rather than rest on his laurels and three seasons of the groundbreaking Netflix show Fauda, he decided to make a thriller that took him to the streets and side alleys of New York City. Hit & Run, where not everything is as it seems, and great betrayal comes from a host of characters. “I wasn’t nervous,” said the 49-year-old Israeli by phone. “I was curious and excited. It was not in Israel, and it was in English and Hebrew with a new setup, so all of us were very thrilled. At the end of the day, we did our best. People asked me if I had a fear; I said no, you have to let it go and do everything as good as you can.” He said he especially loved to shoot in Brooklyn at night. “For me, as someone who has been watching movies all my life about Manhattan, it was very exciting to be doing the things that I dreamt about,” said the Israeli actor and screenwriter. With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in a field in Pennsylvania, Raz said he will never forget where he was at the time four planes were hijacked and crashed on a picture-perfect September morning. “I was in Israel in a basement for a theater

rehearsal about the 1973 [Yom Kippur] war. I remember I was in the middle of a monologue, and someone came in the basement and told us the horrible story,” he recalled. “And we all went to watch it on TV, and it was a few days of shock for everyone and grief. I was waiting to hear what happened. First, we didn’t understand if it was a mistake; like everyone, we were first confused — and then angry, of course. It was something you will never forget for the rest of your life.” As for his acting work, when asked if he was ever afraid in the fight scenes (including a rough one in a bathroom in Hit & Run) and that he might hurt another actor, it was actually the opposite. “I’m so confident in my abilities of fighting, I’m afraid for the other side that they might hit me [too] strong and not protect me,” he quipped. He said during Hit & Run, he broke his rib, hurt his liver one time, twisted an ankle and tore a muscle in his leg. He explained that this is why there are a lot of rehearsals to try to prevent injuries. Asked if he was aware that with his tough swagger, penetrating eyes and brooding demeanor, for many he is seen as sexy, he was rather humble. “It’s funny,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just a bald, ordinary guy. If I’m sexy, then everybody is sexy.” Raz is married to Israeli actress Meital

“It’s funny ... I’m just a bald, ordinary guy. If I’m sexy, then everybody is sexy.”

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

11


PHOTO COURTESY NETFLIX.

L’CHAIM

Berdah; they live in Ramat Hasharon with their three children. Fauda and Hit & Run were created by Raz and longtime journalist Avi Issacharoff, both of whom tend to match story themes with the times. In fact, one projected plot line involves Afghanistan and the Taliban, which might be covered in the fourth season. “We already wrote the fourth season of Fauda, so the Taliban is not there,” he revealed. “But definitely, this is something to write about. How in a second, all the people’s lives just collapsed.” He said that within the last year, he was in the United Arab Emirates about 15 times, living there for a few months doing the 2019 filming of the Michael Bay-directed movie 6 Underground, where he had an intense conversation on screen with Ryan Reynold’s character, and Raz’s character ordered a mass execution. “For me, it’s a miracle,” he said of the ability to talk freely as an Israeli in the United Arab Emirates. “For any Israeli to meet people from Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Kuwait ... and they all talk about Fauda because they see Israel in a different way, and my characters changed the way people are looking at the Israeli. They didn’t watch Israeli TV and 12

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

[suddenly] understood more of who they are from Fauda and Hit & Run. To be No. 1 in Lebanon, and No. 2 in Kuwait or No. 3 in places in the UAE, I feel we’ve changed some hearts and minds.” “Everywhere in the world, people love me — sometimes, it’s more; sometimes, it’s less,” he said. As for others in the industry, Raz noted that Quentin Tarantino makes films blended with violence and wry humor, and that the award-winning director now lives in the Jewish state with his Israeli wife and child. His work seems a perfect fit for Raz. “If he will call and ask me, I’ll meet him for sure,” Raz said of Tarantino. “I admire him.” Questioned about what it’s like to become famous in his 40s, being stopped at multiple corners and supermarkets, he related the story of when he was a 13-year-old in Jerusalem and hugged a soccer player he really admired. He said that if he can offer 30 percent of how he felt when he hugged that sports star to fans, then that would be great. Where did Raz get his humor from? “I think, as a child that had Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder [ADHD], you have to succeed at something because I didn’t

“To be No. 1 in Lebanon, and No. 2 in Kuwait or No. 3 in places in the UAE, I feel we’ve changed some hearts and minds.” succeed at school. tI was kind of a clown,” he said. “But I had an improv group, and we did a lot of comedy. So, I [almost] had to succeed at acting.” He said the shooting of Hit & Run went well in New York, but due to COVID-19, they had to take an eight-month break in Israel. Raz is fueled by so many things, partly by the fact that his girlfriend, Iris Azulai, was stabbed to death by a terrorist in October 1990. He dedicated the third episode of Fauda to her, and on Hit & Run, his character’s name is Segev Azulai. “I have a tattoo of the date on my hand,” said Raz. “It is always there with me.”


MORE THAN PINK

In 1972 Merrilee Neal and her sisters watched their mother battle breast cancer. In those days there was less known about breast cancer, its diagnosis, treatments, and support. Fast forward to 2012 when Merrilee received a call back after her annual mammogram appointment she found out she had breast cancer too. Merrilee fortunately was able to learn through genetic testing that although her mother had breast cancer and her father was Ashkenazi Jewish, she didn’t carry the BRCA gene, but what did save her life was understanding the importance of getting screened after losing her mom. Merrilee has been involved with Susan G. Komen since 1998. During her tenure as volunteer, fundraiser, and board chair, Merrilee has raised over $300,000 to support breast cancer patients. Susan G. Komen’s new and improved annual More than Pink Walk in San Diego will be held in-person on Sunday, November 7th at Balboa Park, with exciting interactive activities after the walk for all guests and participants. The signature fundraising event will begin with an opening ceremony at 7:30 am, followed by the walk at 8 am. Afterwards, participants are invited to take part in fun and exciting activities, from music to health screenings, food trucks and more for the entire community to enjoy. The event this year will be more interactive. It brings not only a new name, the More than Pink Walk - but a new format as well. Susan G. Komen will focus on bringing together an empowered community for a fresh experience in a new location in Balboa Park. “I am thrilled to celebrate 9 years of survivorship this year. I traditionally kickoff my fundraising campaign on my birthday

(September 12th) a day I celebrate life, health, and happiness! While I may be celebrating, the statistics tell us that 1 woman in San Diego will also lose her life to this insidious disease on that same day! I love the color pink but Komen’s work is more than a color—it’s a promise to continue the work to help those living with breast cancer and to ultimately find cures to end the disease forever!” – Merrilee Neal quote Participants will have several areas of engagement including pre and post walk yoga sessions, multiple food trucks offering a variety of cuisines, Ford display vehicles, exclusive tour and viewing of mammogram screening techniques and procedures, team and individual photo opportunities and backdrops, and immersive art installations. Susan G. Komen’s Hope Village provides current patients, Survivors, and Thrivers (those living with metastatic breast cancer) with special self-care demonstrations, massage services, and free food to honor and celebrate their personal journeys. The Pillars area showcases Komen’s initiatives in research, critical patients care, community programs, and policy and advocacy. In addition, community leaders in breast cancer related fields will provide presentations and demonstrations on topics ranging from Breast Cancer 101 to how families and friends can support patients and survivors on their journey.

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

13


COVER STORY | BY DEBORAH VIETOR

UNIQUE &

EXTRAORDINARY 2021 La Jolla Art & Wine Festival Seascape Artists

Artists Joshua Serafin and Krista Schumacher will showcase their work during the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival.

14

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


COVER STORY

J

oin the fun and festivities at the 13th annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, October 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., live in the beautiful seaside village of La Jolla on Girard Avenue. Enjoy over 160 juried artists, from across the United States and Mexico. Magical color abounds with something for everyone as artists feature painting, sculpture, jewelry design, fine glass, ceramics, woodwork, mixed media, and photography. Enjoy the ever-popular wine & beer garden, food court, live entertainment, a pet adoption center, and silent auction. All profits are donated to three local public elementary schools, the middle school, and the high school. With many fine artists work to choose from, we celebrate two exceptional featured artists for this year’s show, Krista Schumacher and Joshua Serafin, both ocean and nature artists with unique works to offer, reflecting the artist colony La Jolla was originally well noted for. Krista Schumacher was raised in the town of Niceville, Fla., along the stunning Emerald Coast and began her career as an emerging artist at the age of 16. Her mother is also an artist and has been her greatest fan and mentor. They collaborate as mother/daughter palette knife artists. “My mom would say, ‘Paint like you own the paint factory!’” Schumacher said. “Without her, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today.” Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Schumacher was an elementary school art teacher. She wrote and published a book, Lucy Loves Art. Believing every child is

an artist this illustrated book is inspired by her cat Lucy and how Lucy sneaks into her mom’s art studio, encouraging all children to discover their inner artist. “The vistas, cliffs, city lights and mountains [in San Diego are] an artist’s dream. I am not only captivated by the awe-inspiring natural beauty, but also the contemporary design and urban diversity of the region,” Schumacher said. “My work encapsulates the essence of San Diego, a major metropolitan city, interwoven with natural wonders. Though each of my paintings reflect my distinct palette knife style in oils, I vary color in each work to juxtapose the city’s grays and blacks, desert earth tones and iconic ocean landscapes that are unique to the west coast.” She has developed a unique alla prima, palette knife style. As her paintings become more abstract, taking on a multidimensional form, their heavy-texture and bold colors resonate strongly with nature. “La Jolla is an artist’s dream, filled with inspiration at every corner,” she said. “La Jolla’s natural beauty is accompanied by a community that is passionate about the arts.” Schumacher was awarded the Southwest Art magazine’s “Top 21 Under 31.” She was the 2018 Launch Pad Artist for Art San Diego. In 2019 Ferrari of San Diego hosted the first ever mother/ daughter exhibition. “The La Jolla Art & Wine Festival has an unwavering commitment to the La Jolla Community. Being a local La Jolla artist, I cannot thank my community enough for supporting the arts.” Schumacher recently opened a pop-up gallery at 1113 Wall Street in La Jolla,

“La Jolla is an artist’s dream, filled with inspiration at every corner,” Krista Schumacher said. “La Jolla’s natural beauty is accompanied by a community that is passionate about the arts.” Terri Carne

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

15


COVER STORY

hours are Thursday -Monday 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. She is most excited to have her own space and looks forward to new and exciting ventures in art. With a brilliant smile and display of positivity, Schumacher is an enthusiastic swimmer and tries to be in the water daily. Capturing the beautiful coastline, one can feel her positive energy as she engages with nature. Moving further away from realism and focusing on movement, she favors impressionism citing, “The looser the better.” This year for LJAWF, Schumacher is excited to gather, celebrating art and community, believing this is a great time for us to come together. Like Schumacher, Josh Serafin is an artist filled with passion for the ocean

16

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

and the creatures within. A long-time surfer and fisherman, he feels blessed to be exactly where he is meant to be, with the warm sand, glowing sun, and the breaking surf. In 1999, Serafin created Sunset Resolution, chronicling an entire year of daily sunsets through 35mm photography, developing each photograph. His visceral art creates a feeling of peace, reflecting the splendor of the coastline and all the sea offers. His work is displayed in the Serafin Gallery at the Waterfront Hilton in his hometown of Huntington Beach and along the California coastline and Hawaii. His work includes areas of nature dear to him, such as surfing in various locations. He enjoys lake and stream fishing in the High Sierras in addition to exploring different beach in various states and overseas. “I want to share the beauty of what I have with you, for you to see what I see, feel what I feel and know what I know,” he said of his work. Many of his images are reflected in his book capturing the ocean and sea creatures, Art By Serafin. He has been successful as a photographer, painter and bronze sculpturer. Following 20 years as a painter, he culminated a new dimension to his art, as he developed a deep understanding of composition and the 200-year-old technique of reverse painting on glass, during the recession of 2008. Utilizing tempered glass as a canvas, he paints with brushes, his fingers and palette

knives, creating multiple layers on glass to form unique ocean life images. Standard pieces have grown from 30” by 40” to 30” by 80.” From canvas to wood to glass, he uses oil paints and various mediums including gold and silver leafing, creating texture with brilliant color and shimmering reflective light. Sculpting in clay, he released a limited-edition collection of bronze art named Serafin’s Sea Creatures in 2018. Serafin created his first underwater glass fish painting in 2009. A New Place illustrates the free movement of a jellyfish, creating the illusion of water, utilizing sparkling metallic copper as it gives life to the art. His pieces come alive as in nature, eliciting awe and wonder. Serafin believes, “Everyone experiences ocean and sea life differently, so each person should create their own masterpiece.” To this end, Serafin has created a limitededition mixed media gallery series by combining bronze reliefs to the front of his acrylic face mounts. These are exclusive to galleries. Serafin created an app, allowing individuals to create their own masterpiece with over 35 amazing sea creatures to drag and drop onto a bronze seaweed canvas. Of his advice to young artists, he says, “Show the world why you matter through your artwork. Don’t be intimidated by what people might think. Go with your instincts, stay true to your craft. Eventually you and others will connect with your art. Remember, not everyone will connect with what you create, but that’s ok because you made it happen and they didn’t.” To view Krista Schumacher’s art, visit www.kristaschumacherart.com. To view Josh Serafin’s art, visit www.artbyserafin.com. FOR INFORMATION ON THE LA JOLLA ART & WINE FESTIVAL, VISIT WWW.LJAWF.COM.


WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

17


Recipe by Adeena Sussman from Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen, published by Avery books 2019. PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN PEREZ. 18

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


FOOD

CABBAGE, APPLE & POMEGRANATE SLAW WITH CUMIN DRESSING BY ADEENA SUSSMAN (@ADEENASUSSMAN)

T

he joy of a tricked-out falafel stand is the unlimited supply of goodies you can stuff into your pita. It used to be you’d stand in front of the miznon (bar) and use tongs to refill your pita as many times as humanly possible. These days, in a development I’ve got mixed feelings about, more and more places give you tiny plastic receptacles to fill and take back to your table. This recipe is a fresher, more colorful version of the wilted cabbage salad you’ll find on every self-serve falafel or shawarma bar. Tart apples and pomegranate seeds, loads of fresh herbs, two kinds of crunchy cabbage, and pumpkin seeds come together in a cuminlaced dressing that evokes the flavor profile of falafel itself. Stuff it into the sandwich of your choice or use it as a more conventional side salad with meat or fish. Cabbage, Apple, and Pomegranate Slaw with Cumin Dressing Serves 8 to 10 INGREDIENTS 1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 4 cups shredded green cabbage 4 cups shredded red cabbage 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, shredded 2 scallions (green and white parts), very thinly sliced 2 medium radishes, very thinly sliced 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 1/2 cup lightly toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large salad bowl, toss the apples with 1 teaspoon of the vinegar, then add the green and red cabbage, onion, carrot, and scallions and toss. 2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, remaining vinegar, honey, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper and shake until creamy. 3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to coat, and let the slaw sit for at least 15 minutes (30 minutes will really mellow the acidity of the vinegar), then toss again with the pomegranate seeds, cilantro, mint, and pumpkin seeds before serving. Note: Sussman and her sister, Sharon Wieder, RDN, will make mouthwatering side dishes and share food swaps to make your meals healthier when they lead the next free, national Sharsheret in the Kitchen webinar “Simply Sensational Sides” on Monday, October 18 at 11 a.m. PDT. Also, learn about Sharsheret’s Pies for Prevention Thanksgiving sale, which was launched in 2008 by Adeena and Sharon in memory of their mother and grandmother. This program is part of the “Sharsheret in the Kitchen” series, which brings nutritious kosher meal options to help empower all of us at risk for breast and ovarian cancer to make healthy diet choices. SHARSHERET, A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, IS THE JEWISH BREAST CANCER AND OVARIAN CANCER COMMUNITY. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAS BEEN IMPACTED BY BREAST OR OVARIAN CANCER, OR HAS ELEVATED GENETIC RISK, CONTACT SHARSHERET FOR FREE SUPPORT AND RESOURCES. FOR MORE INFO, VISIT SHARSHERET.ORG OR CALL (866) 474-2774.

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

19


FEATURE STORY

TRAVEL

ENGLAND SAVED MY LIFE A HOLOCAUST MEMOIR

20

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


FEATURE STORY

“For all these many years we have never stopped appreciating the gift of life which we were given while so many Note: Irene Kneeter's mother, Lotti, was a longtime member of temple Adat Shalom. This is her story, shared with L'CHAIM Magazine by her daughter.

Y

om HaShoah, the Holocaust Day of Remembrance, is always a very emotional time for the survivors. I am a survivor in the sense that I was able to escape before the Final Solution and I did not have to suffer the horrors of the concentration camps. I do not need Yom HaShoah commemorations to remember the many members of my family who perished in the Holocaust, nor have I forgotten my school friends and teachers who had no chance to leave Germany. The Talmud says, “whoever saves one life saves the world.” Great Britain did not save the world but gave haven to 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. I was one of those 10,000 permitted to enter Britain. I grew up in Hamburg, a city which had a very vibrant Jewish population of about 60,000. At the time I started school, I could have gone to any public school in the city but

from the beginning I attended a school for Jewish girls, belonged to the Ear Kochba, a sports club, and in general, life was good. Although Nazism had reared its ugly head, there seemed to be hope among the Jewish community that matters could not possibly get worse, and optimists predicted that Hitler would not be in power much longer. How very wrong they were. I often heard the word “Antisemitism” but did not really comprehend its meaning. I could not understand why suddenly everyone hated the Jews and called us terrible names on the street. Why could we not go to the public places which we had always enjoyed, and why were we treated as outcasts? In 1938, about 50,000 Jews of Polish origin lived In Germany. A large number of Jews residing in Hamburg were born in Poland and had settled there over the last few decades. On October 28, 1938, a policeman knocked on our door very early in the morning with orders that my grandmother who was born in Poland and was a Polish subject, report to the Police Station that night in order to be returned to Poland. Since the Nazis decided to rid Germany of all Jewish

of our people perished.”

polish citizens, thousands of unfortunate people found themselves being rounded up for deportation that night. My grandmother, a wonderful little lady, so very dear to my heart and really my best friend, remained in Poland and perished there. A young man by the name of Hershel Grynspan, who lived in Paris, found out that his parents were among those who had been sent back to Poland. He entered the German Embassy intending to shoot the ambassador but instead shot a minor official who later died. This incident so enraged the Nazis who were already planning the Final Solution, that the next day, November 9, saw most of the Synagogues in Germany go up in flames. Thousands of Jewish men were arrested and sent to Concentration Camps. My Father, who on that day was on a business trip in WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

21


FEATURE STORY

TRAVEL

Duesseldorf, was badly beaten up by the Nazis but he was released because he was a Czechoslovak citizen. Many men were released later from the camps on the condition that they would leave Germany within a short period of time. However, so many obstacles were put in their way regarding passports, visas and other documents and since most countries were not interested in helping Jews, they eventually perished anyway. One country where emigration was possible was China and thus over 20,000 Jews ended up in Shanghai. Kristallnacht (night of shattered glass) finally shattered the indifference of individuals as well as governments and as a result Great Britain declared itself willing to allow 10,000 children to enter the country. However, there were many rules to be followed. Children from 6 to 16 were eligible and had to be certified healthy. A guarantee of 50 pounds per child had to be paid. The Quakers played an important role in this enormous undertaking. They helped to find private guarantor’s and foster parents for some of the children, while others found guarantors through a fund which had been established. Many organizations, Jewish as well as Christian, as well as private citizens collected funds and goods for the children and prepared places for them to stay. Early in December, my parents informed me that I had been accepted to travel to England on one of the Kìndertransports that would leave Hamburg on December 15, 1938. On that day my father took me to the railroad station. I was extremely apprehensive, wishing that I had had an older brother or sister to join me, but I was an only child, 13 years old and had no idea as to what would happen to me. I remember huge swastika flags that decorated the station and many policemen and men in uniforms walking about the platform. The children and parents were waiting to say goodbye, and many did not know it, but at that time they were saying goodbye to their parents for the last time. I remember, in one hand I had a suitcase that I could manage to carry, and my other hand held a small child whom someone had entrusted to me since I was a ‘big’ girl. A tag with a number was hanging around my neck. 22

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

Lotti Blumenthal and her daughters: Carol, Vivian and Irene

Very quickly we boarded the train that would take us to Holland. The Nazis permitted few adults to escort the trains so that the older children had to tend to the younger ones. Many SS men in their black uniforms and black boots patrolled the train and all the children were very frightened. On our arrival at the border, we had to open our suitcases so that the Germans could make quite sure that none of the children were taking valuables out of the country. After all of us struggled to get our belongings back into our suitcases, we heaved a sigh of relief that we were finally leaving Germany, and the train continued into Holland. At one stop, to our surprise there were many people, Jewish and Christian, who had come especially to greet us and pass out candy and

fruits. When the train finally ended its journey at the Hook of Holland, children who had arrived from other parts of Germany, joined our group. We boarded a ferry that would take us to Harwich, England. It was nighttime and I remember little except that the ship was very small and crowded with children. The next morning, we arrived in Harwich. At that time, I began to wonder where I would end up, who would take care of me and what would become of my parents who at that time had no hope of leaving Germany. On our arrival we were loaded onto buses and driven to a summer camp nearby. We lived in small huts without any heat. A huge Quonset hut served as a meeting point for


FEATURE STORY

TRAVEL

about 600 children who gathered there each day, huddled around stoves to keep warm. We were taken care of by a group of friendly English people who did everything in their power to make us comfortable. Communication was quite difficult as most of the children did not speak English. Every day prospective foster parents came to the camp in order to take children into their homes. Unfortunately, some of the people providing foster Care were not Jewish so that in some cases, very young children lost their Jewish identities. One day two men from The Grand Order Sons of Jacob, came to the camp and told us that they had a convalescent home in the south of England, not far from London, and they invited 50 girls to come and live there in a specially constructed building. I did not know it at the time but by deciding to go there, I had made sure that I would be well taken care of and would continue to live in a totally Jewish atmosphere. Wyberlye Convalescent Home was a beautiful estate-like manor which housed the elderly relatives of members of the Lodge. We lived in the back of the Manor and were made as comfortable as possible. The younger girls attended school and slowly everyone learned to speak English. We had certain chores like washing dishes, peeling potatoes and making beds. The girls who had come from big cities as well as small villages made friends and although life for us was far from normal, we settled into a routine. The Matron in charge, an elderly spinster, had no idea how to handle children and here she had to contend with 50 girls from diverse backgrounds and different needs. She ruled with an iron hard to keep everyone under control. Saturday mornings we had services conducted by a Rabbi who came down from London each week. We looked forward to his visit. He listened to all of us who were so homesick and concerned for our families. He gave us hope and tried to help us adjust to our new surroundings. All of us looked forward eagerly each day when the mail was distributed, and we received news from our families. It was a very difficult time for all the girls as none of us knew what the future held in store for us. We knew that war was imminent, and we worried about our families who had been left behind. I was lucky, my parents managed to leave Germany and arrived in England just before the war broke out on September 3, 1939. Most of my friends never heard from their families again. Due to heavy German bombardments, the home was closed in 1940 and the girls were sent to various refugee hostels. I joined my parents in London arid although we lived in severe poverty, we were together and by some miracle, we survived the years of bombings in London. I wish to thank Rabbi Prinz for inviting me to tell my story. I think that I can speak for all the survivors in saying that for all these many years we have never stopped appreciating the gift of life which we were given while so many of our people perished.

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

23


FEATURE STORY

TRAVEL

SHABBAT SAN DIEGO TOGETHER - WHOEVER - WHATEVER - WHEREVER

W

hoever you are, whatever you are able to do, wherever you are, you are not alone. That is the message of Shabbat San Diego. Join Jews from around the world for this one special unique Shabbat Experience. The event kicsk off on Thursday October 21, with popular challah baking programs and will end with a Jewish day of learning on Sunday. On Thursday October 21, there are two options for in person events in both South and North County. The number of participants will be limited, so early registration is recommended. A virtual option allows attendees to join in live from anywhere in the county. On Friday, call and wish your friends and community a special Shabbat Shalom and invite those you are comfortable with seeing over for a meal. 24

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

On Saturday, celebrate shabbat and enjoy your day of rest until you have to say goodbye to Shabbat. Tapestry, a Jewish Day of Learning will begin with a beautiful Havdalah ceremony at the conclusion of Shabbat. Tapestry will have a limited capacity, but Havdalah will also be shared virtually so make sure to register ahead of time. On Sunday, the Jewish Day of Learning, Tapestry will be held virtually so that participants can join in from the comfort of their own home. TO LEARN MORE, VISIT SHABBATSANDIEGO. ORG AND/OR REACH OUT TO SIMONE (SIMONE@SHABBATSD.ORG). REGISTER SEPARATELY FOR TAPESTRY AT WWW.LFJCC.ORG/CJC/TAPESTRY.ASPX


JWV POST 385 - NORTH COUNTY

“Boldest Post in the West” • Fight anti-semitism • Support our military overseas • Comradeship • Support Naval Hospital San Diego & Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and much more... CDR Marc Poland, USN Ret (858) 232-1645

The Voice of Jewish San Diego.

The Voice of Jewish San Diego.

DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR OR YOUR INBOX Don’t miss out on what’s going on with your local community. Discover original recipes, reconnect spiritually and kick back with some comic relief. 
 We are a magazine FOR the people BY the people.

Meet 2nd Sunday of the month 11am Veterans Association North County (VANC) 1617 Missions Ave, Oceanside, CA 92058 JWV is the oldest congressionally commissioned veterans organization in America

Delivered to your door or your inbox. SUBSCRIBE

ONLINE

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE www.LchaimMagazine.com www.LchaimMagazine.com

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

25


FEATURE STORY

RAISING FUNDS FOR ALZHEIMER’S JOIN THE CAUSE | BY BARBARA BIRENBAUM

T

he largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s San Diego, a local nonprofit organization, will be held this month. Walk4ALZ 2021 is Saturday, October 16. It is completely free to register and is a family-friendly and dog-friendly event with a beautiful 2.75 mile route around Balboa Park. It is the only walk where every dollar stays in San Diego County to support people

26 26 L’CHAIM L’CHAIMSAN SANDIEGO DIEGOMAGAZINE MAGAZINE• •OCTOBER OCTOBER2021 2021

living with dementia, their caregivers, and research to find a cure.” L’CHAIM spoke with two passionate walk team leaders who enthusiastically shared the stories of their engagement with Alzheimer’s San Diego and the folks for whom they walk. Herb Liberman has been an active member of the organization since he moved to San Diego four years ago. His parents

had been living in Florida where his father was the primary caregiver for his mother. Connecting across the country with calls several times a week and periodic visits, Herb recognized the strain this responsibility was taking on his father, primarily exhaustion and depression and that’s when he became involved in the Northern California Alzheimer’s Association. He needed and then


FEATURE STORY

In addition to support groups for caregivers, Alzheimer’s San Diego offers outstanding online education and training, consultations with Dementia experts, weekly check-ins by volunteers, and more. led a support group for families struggling with Alzheimer’s caregiving. Such affirming support groups are a shining feature available through the local organization too. After his father passed, he moved his mother out to Northern California to be near his family where she lived in a memory care facility until she passed. He later moved south and joined Alzheimer’s San Diego. With appreciation for the organization’s in-home respite support and educational seminars, Herb later joined the board and continues to volunteer on the finance committee. Your support to his team is greatly appreciated as he walks for his mother, z”l, as well as his wife, who is showing early signs of the disease. Gratefully, she is involved in a research study with a new medication, and they are hopeful it will have positive effects on people with Alzheimer’s. You can help his walk team reach or exceed their goal by donating through their page Army4ALZ or you can reach out to Herb via email at heliberman@comcast.net . Of course, you can also donate directly to Alzheimer’s San Diego as a generous supporter did recently, with a bequeath.

Dr. Lisa Heikoff has been involved since Alzheimers San Diego ventured away from the national organization six years ago. Her passion for this group and for the people suffering due to the disease began professionally as she worked with the population most commonly affected and witnessed its effects. Then it became personal when her brother-in-law, z”l, was diagnosed with young onset at age 57. While his diagnosis was devastating for the family, there was a remarkable silver lining she highlights and keeps close to her heart. Shortly after the diagnosis, having been involved in their Jewish family life but not born into the faith, he decided to begin the pathway toward conversion. With the added challenges he now faced and the encouragement of family and friends, his accomplishment was an extremely joyous event that continues to inspire her. She is most impressed with the education and outreach programs Alzheimer’s San Diego utilizes to support local people in need. Their ongoing work honors a delicate humanness and authenticity and demonstrates a remarkable level of caring for those most

vulnerable. Lisa highlights the organization’s efforts encouraging opportunities for growth and appreciation for one’s life today, making meaningful contributions that translate into real care and real service. Consider donating to her team’s fundraising goal through their page KP Continuing Care Services (with Kaiser) or reach out to her directly via email at heikoff@aol.com. In addition to support groups for caregivers, Alzheimer’s San Diego offers outstanding online education and training, consultations with Dementia experts, weekly check-ins by volunteers, social activities and outings, companion visits offering caregivers a muchneeded break, and volunteer tech support with Zoom and other platforms encouraging connections with loved ones. Alzheimer’s San Diego is there for San Diegans and your support helps change lives. Whether or not your life has been directly affected by this debilitating disease, your help is needed and valued. TO LEARN MORE OR TO REGISTER, VISIT ALZSD.RALLYBOUND.ORG/WALK4ALZ.

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

27


FEATURE STORY

TRAVEL

BE KIND COULD IT REALLY BE THAT SIMPLE?

A

new digital series celebrates older jewish role models who continue to practice activism and social justice well into their later years. Silver Screen Studios, the award-winning production company that captures the diverse stories of older adults, recently premiered their new short form digital series Sign of the Times. Created by founder and CEO Tiffany Woolf in collaboration with Noam Dromi, studio director for the Jewish arts and culture nonprofit Reboot, the program showcases inspiring older Jewish role models who advocate for human rights and challenge the status quo well into their later years. The premiere episode of the series, entitled Hear O’Israel, features Rabbi Douglas Goldhamer, founder of Congregation Bene Shalom and The Hebrew Seminary in Chicago, the only full-service synagogue in the nation serving the Deaf. Goldhamer lays out the underlying thesis of his life’s work in the final moments of the 8-minute episode. “Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind,” he says aloud and in American Sign Language. “To me that’s the most important activity we can do, ‘Be Kind’ If we can learn this and practice that, whoa, that’s powerful!” Montreal born Goldhamer, who is 76 years old, has dedicated his life and spiritual calling to advocating for the deaf community and honoring diversity, equity and inclusion in the Jewish Faith. 28

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021

And his calling is deeply personal. At only 30 days old, Goldhamer suffered a botched radiation treatment for a skin ailment (a disturbingly common practice back in 1946) leaving half his body, and most notably his hand, burned and discolored. Growing up, he was often teased because of this, which, at a very young age, set him on a path of immense empathy and compassion for marginalized communities and those deemed different. Because he could relate to feeling ostracized from the community, Goldhamer decided to do something about it. He founded Congregation Bene Shalom in 1973 in Skokie, Ill., the first of its kind in the nation to serve the Jewish deaf community. Bene Shalom is now the only fullservice synagogue in the nation for the deaf and hard of hearing. What started out with 11 families, now serves hundreds of families as part of a thriving community. He even officiated the Bat Mitzvah for Academy Awardwinner Marlee Matlin. But starting the only congregation for the deaf wasn’t enough for Goldhamer. He wanted to do more. In 1992, he expanded his vision and founded the Hebrew Seminary, training hearing and Deaf rabbis to work with the Deaf community and be fluent in ASL (American Sign Language). To date, the seminary has graduated 20 rabbis. To witness one of Goldhamer’s services is to experience joy. All of the services are

professionally interpreted in ASL, a visually engaging and inspiring experience with clapping, dancing, and singing. But just being around Rabbi Goldhamer is an uplifting experience. His compassion shines through to anyone that crosses this path. As viewers will discover in Sign of the Times, Goldhamer’s life and work embody a number of important lessons, most notably that one of the ironies of life is how the adversity we face can oftentimes be one of our greatest blessings. Rabbi Goldhamer’s burned hand, which ostracized him throughout his life, had become a tool for spiritual connection, community and creativity through his mastery of sign language coupled with an understanding of marginalized communities he might not have related to if it wasn’t for the trauma he faced as a child. And kindness is not just a virtue, but a verb, an “action” for Goldhamer. “Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind.” Could it really be that simple? According to the Rabbi, it is.

SIGN OF THE TIMES IS A NEW DIGITAL SERIES FROM SILVER SCREEN STUDIOS AND REBOOT. THE PREMIERE EPISODE "HEAR O'ISRAEL" FEATURING RABBI DOUGLAS GOLDHAMER CAN BE FOUND AT WWW. SILVERSCREENSTUDIOS.ORG.


FEATURE STORY

INDO-ISRAEL AVOCADOS THE FIRST INDIAN COMMERCIAL AVOCADO ORCHARDS BY ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN, ISRAEL21C VIA JNS.ORG

I

n 2016, undergraduate business student Harshit Godha ran across an article that inspired a dream: establishing one of India’s first commercial avocado orchards. Wanting to learn from Israeli experts how to do this in his hometown of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, whose climate is similar to Israel’s, Godha contacted Benny Wisse at Kibbutz Ma’agan on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. “I emailed Benny [to ask] if he could teach me about avocado farming. He was kind enough to invite me to visit his farm in Kibbutz Ma’agan and learn from him. I was thrilled and excited,” said Godha, now 26. “I saw Benny for the first time at the BenGurion Airport when I arrived in Israel. I don’t know why, but I had a gut feeling that it would work out just fine. Had I told my family that I never even had a face-to-face video call with Benny before going to Israel, they would have never approved,” he added. Wisse took Godha to the fields and taught him about different avocado varieties. He introduced him to industry experts including Oren Wallach of Oren Nursery. “I was aware that Israel was a technologically advanced country, especially

in the field of agriculture. Israelis question traditional knowledge and innovate without compromising quality,” said Godha. “Greenhouse technology, drip irrigation, high-density orchards and optimal pruning techniques all came from Israel. Witnessing it firsthand changed my views about agriculture,” he added. “It was an inspiration, and I wish to have similar practices in my avocado business. Israel also has a high-trust culture — people set expectations that they can meet,” said Godha. After returning to India, he read research papers, books and websites about avocados. He often called Wisse and Wallach with questions. “I consider Benny and Oren as my mentors, and this project is my apprenticeship,” he said. Although Godha launched Indo Israel Avocado at the end of 2019, he didn’t get his hands on the plants until this summer. The project was beset with delays. First, building the greenhouse (with drip-irrigation technology from Israel’s Netafim) took longer than expected. Then it took half a year to secure the

necessary permits to import hundreds of heat-resistant avocado plants from Oren Nursery in Israel. By that time the season for planting was passing by. Reluctantly, Godha canceled his initial order and waited until the following growing season. The new order was due to arrive in April 2020. Of course, by April 2020 the entire world was mired in a pandemic, and that consignment couldn’t be shipped either. Finally, the long-awaited 1,800 avocado plants arrived in Bhopal via temperaturecontrolled cargo container this summer. Godha shared this video showing how each plant was removed from the shipping boxes, unwrapped and transplanted tenderly in the greenhouse he and his crew had prepared long ago. Godha has documented his experience through his website, Instagram, and a vlog. He also offers a free e-book to help other Indian farmers learn the Israeli way of avocado farming.

WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

29


30

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2021


WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM

31



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.