CHANUKAH GIFT GUIDE
ONE TRIBE HELPS ANOTHER: BARONA & KAVOD ELEMENTARY
THE SOUND OF MUSIC GETS AN UPGRADE AT BROADWAY SAN DIEGO
INSIDE BAR MITZVAH
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L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
November 2016 • www.lchaimmagazine.com
in this issue...
1000 WORDS Andy Einhorn’s musical direction gives The Sound of Music an upgrade at Broadway San Diego.............................................................................................
10 14 16 20
Chanukkah Gift Guide 2016 ................................................................................................................
REIMAGINING A CLASSIC
CHANUKKAH Chanukkah Miracle: A miracle cancer recovery for Baruch Nissan Snyder........... BAR MITZVAH Jerusalem’s “Bar Mitzvah King” .......................................................................................................
FOOD Badass Kosher: The Stepchild of Ceviche & Sashimi Tiradito of Escolar with Roasted Beets and Corn................................................................
26 22 24 30 32 34 06 08 37
FEATURES Barona awards Kavod Elementary $5,000 grant................................................................. The work of Louis Kahn at San Diego’s Museum of Art.................................................... The Men’s Event: Bret Stephens speaks..................................................................................
CHANUKAH GIFT GUIDE
Chabad of Oceanside/Vista hosting first women’s fundraiser...................................... How the Interfaith Shelter Network helps................................................................................ COLUMNS Random Rants: My Comic Relief..................................................................................................... Torah: Of the Book...................................................................................................................................
Humor: Mazel & Mishagoss................................................................................................................. COVER PHOTO COURTESY JBRICK.COM
PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alanna Maya
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Find L’Chaim in your local:
RANDOM RANTS l BY SALOMON MAYA
comic relief No Thanks, I’m Full “LIKE THE PUMPKIN PIE AT THE END, SAVE A LITTLE SPACE FOR SOME GRATITUDE TO YOUR FELLOW MAN.”
hanksgiving. A beautiful holiday filled with gluttonous ways of stuffing our faces with tryptophan while watching endless amounts of football all in the name of giving thanks to a group of European settlers landing on a rock. Pass the gravy. From presidential turkey pardons to giant helium-filled balloons slowly floating in the cool autumn New York wind, I must ask: have we lost the meaning of giving thanks? Becoming a first-time father has made me a perennial mush of a Jell-O-like substance parading in a form of pseudo mascualinity. “What do I want to teach my son?” is a constant question in my mind. Thanks, or the act of telling someone else you appreciate them being in your life, has disappeared in a society fueled by social-media. We don’t call to say happy birthday, we “like” someone’s wall when Mark Zuckerberg tells us to. The word friend has also lost some of its wonder. Just the other day I was at dinner with family visiting San Diego for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah (I’ll take the opportunity now to congratulate Gaston Maya on becoming a man – Mazel Tov, kid!) and the topic of friends came up. One of my cousins noticed that I have a low number of Facebook friends, 6
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
which I joyfully acknowledged. She then stated it was odd to see a person like myself and the type of work I do (writer, advertising, actor, etc.) have such a low number of social media friends. I again said, “Oh I’m proud of that fact, most people who ask to be my Facebook friend don’t pass my test.” It’s simple really. Imagine yourself walking down the aisle of a local grocery store prepping for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, your cart filled with a frozen Butterball turkey, canned cranberry sauce and the like. You see a person, let’s call them Aaron, walking toward you in the same aisle with a cart filled with almost the same items. Obviously, Aaron is also purchasing food for the holiday. Now, as Aaron and I walk toward each other one of two things can happen. Aaron can recognize me as being someone he knows, give me a polite nod, possibly even a smile, say “hi, how are you?” and keep walking … or … Aaron can nod, smile, stop, shake my hand and ask a mundane question like, “haven’t seen you in a while, how have you been?” or “I see you’re going for the Butterball on sale as well, you ready for Thanksgiving football? I got my fantasy team set!” Did you spot the difference? That is the
test: if I want to stop and talk to you in a local supermarket aisle, you and I can be friends on social media. You see, I do give thanks to everyone who has affected my life in any way, positively or even negatively. I truly believe that an overall positive attitude toward ourselves will lead to positive outcomes, but like in mathematics, the inverse is also true. If you are negative, you will surround yourself with negativity. So, if you like your Thanksgiving holiday to be about endless eating and football, cool, more power to you. But like the pumpkin pie at the end, save a little space for some gratitude to your fellow man. And thank you, our loyal readers, for enduring my endless rants. It truly has been therapeutic to regurgitate the limitless tangents that populate my cerebrum and to be able to share them with you. It has not only made me a much better writer, but in all honesty, has made me a better person. SALOMON MAYA IS A LOCAL ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @SALOMAYA OR EMAIL HIM AT SALOMONM@ LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM.
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TORAH l BY RABBI DANIEL BORTZ
the book Leadership “IN JEWISH THOUGHT, WHAT DOES THE IDEAL LEADER LOOK LIKE?”
y the time you are reading this, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election may or not have already been decided and announced. We have been inundated for months of non-stop Facebook posts and ads, TV commentators and debates. While many may have had passionate admiration toward one of the candidates, I think many of us may have been thinking: “I wish there was a third option.” This sentiment likely is felt throughout the world in every nation. Every nation deserves a just and wise leader who is strong for his people and has his best interests in mind. We know that, as great as democracy is, it has its faults. As Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” But in Jewish thought, what does the ideal leader look like? Let’s look at some of our greatest leaders, like King David, Solomon, and the great Moses. These human beings led - not accord-
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
ing to what the polls and media demanded of them or money they were receiving, but according to what was right. Talmud Sotah, 49b describes a time in the future when: “The face of the generation will be like the face of a dog.” Our Sages explain that this refers to our leaders today who act based on ratings, like dogs who walk ahead of their masters and seem to be leading them, but in truth are following as they need to look back at where their master wants them to go. The Tanach describes a moment when G-d spoke to King Solomon in a dream, asking him to name any one thing he desired and that it would be granted. He responded: “The wisdom to discern how to judge truthfully.” When looking at perhaps Judaism’s most quintessential leader, Moses, we don’t find an amazing orator, salesman, or power hungry egomaniac. Moses suffered from a severe lisp and is described in the Torah as, “The most humble person who ever lived.” He was chosen to lead after an incident where one of his sheep ran away to a river to drink and
Moses ran after it and hoisted the sheep on his back to return it to the camp. G-d Said to Himself, “You have such compassion for the sheep of a mere human being. You are going to shepherd my sheep, the Jewish People.” (Shemot Rabbah 2:2) As Jews we can’t always rely on our elected officials to keep us safe. We trust in a higher protection that has kept us safe over thousands of years regardless of which leader or tyrant ruled over us. At the same time we support and pray for the safety and success of our leaders. May the United States of America, and all the nations of the world, be led by just and righteous leaders who put their people’s interests first at all times, leading with conviction and courage. RABBI DANIEL BORTZ IS THE DIRECTOR OF JTEEN SAN DIEGO, JTEENSD.COM. FOR INFORMATION ON CLASSES, CONTACT HIM AT DANIELBORTZ@GMAIL.COM.
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L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
WORDS NOT YOUR BUBBE’S SOUND OF MUSIC
ndy Einhorn grew up in Houston, Texas, loving music, performing in shows as a child actor and then working professionally in Houston theater. He played piano, but preferred Mozart and Beethoven in the style of Jerry Harmon or Richard Rogers, as he says, “just because.” As music supervisor for The Sound of Music, coming to Broadway San Diego November 15-20, he brings his love of music and theater together once again to a reimagining of an American classic. “In this instance, we had the blessing of the Rogers and Hammerstein organization to sort of create our own version of The Sound of Music, so not saying you’ll suddenly find fifteen songs that nobody has ever heard before but we’ve created an all new production with new transition music and we have a new dance break for ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen,’” Einhorn said. “We had everything from the movie to the original Broadway production to various other productions at our disposal. It was a really nice rehearsal process where we could end up with creating a hybrid version, as it were, for audiences today to come in and be reintroduced to this classic musical we all know and love so much.” L’CHAIM: WHAT ARE SOME OTHER DIFFERENCES FROM THIS PRODUCTION TO THE CLASSIC? ANDY EINHORN: The stage version is very
different than the film that we all know and love. So, that sometimes is a shock to
people who come to see it and recognize that My Favorite Things doesn’t take place in the bedroom when the kids are scared from the thunderstorm, it’s a story between mother Abbess and Maria connecting on a very deeply personal level. And then you have this secondary story of Max and Elsa and Captain and everything political and social going on during the times so the stage piece is a bit richer in terms of the socio-political climate of 1939 in Austria, which the movie tends to gloss over a bit because it was Hollywood at a time when it wasn’t exactly popular to be showing Nazis on screen. We’ve gone back to original text to take the classic and remind people why the story is so powerful, why the music is so powerful, because we can all connect to the love story of Maria and the Captain but we can also understand the triumph of love over deeply political and socially charged themes in the show. What the director, Jack O’Brien has done so beautifully is he’s dusted off the gloss of the piece and has made the piece feel incredibly powerful and resonant. I’ve had many people say to me “oh I know The Sound of Music, I don’t need to go see it again” and I say “No, no go see it” and then they come out and say “wow, that was actually a deeply moving piece.” I think for so many years we just imagined Julie Andrews twirling all over the Alps. Inside of here you have a very powerful story.
L’CHAIM: DID YOU MAKE THE MUSIC YOUR OWN? IS THERE NEW MUSIC, NEW INSTRUMENTS, AND NEW RHYTHM? AE: Pretty much every transition you’re
hearing has been created specifically just for this production. Jack said to me, “Well, the set is doing this and we want to propel from this scene to the next scene, and show this beat into the next scene so what’s the best way we can do this?” Sometimes it’s taking four bars of My Favorite Things and then going into a very soaring theme of The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music. It’s exploring how to move the show forward [musically], the storytelling is in correlation with the music. The really important thing is we really went back to the text, to make sure the actors are being very clear about the lyrics that they’re singing because what starts to happen with shows you know so well is the minute somebody starts singing “Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens”, subliminally you go into your subconscious and sing along with it but our job here was to actually say, “No, we’re going to remind you why this song is really special at this exact moment in the show so you start to listen to the song again,” rather than revert back to the way you know it in your head. L’CHAIM: IS THIS VERSION OF THE PRODUCTION CONSIDERED A REVIVAL? AE: It’s a revival in the best sense of the word
in terms of reviving what is so special about WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
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the show and bringing back a real power and emotion to the story. L’CHAIM: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS REGARDING THE JEWISH THEMES IN THE SHOW? AE: There is a deep question of faith in the
show because a lot of it set in the Abbey and the women caught between religion versus love. I think that’s very interesting hearing that discussion right now in terms of living in a world where people are trying to get as much as they can [out of life], so, I think we are over stimulated in a lot of ways. There’s a deep faith in this piece that applies to anybody of any religion who can understand the power of the belief of a higher being, as well as understanding the power of 12
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
love. With the Nazi element, it’s always present. It’s important to be reminded that there was a time in the world where we had so much hate and such prejudice towards one group of people, so, as a Jew, [the piece] speaks to me a lot in terms of when we were putting the show up. I just always have these moments toward the end of the show when the family is discovered hiding in the Abbey and I’m continuously choked up because it reminds me that there was a time when we weren’t able to live so freely. It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come in terms of acceptance of other religions, too. We still have a way to go, our country is still deeply in political turmoil but there’s nothing like watching the celebration of these people
trumped over – pun intended. It’s watching the celebration of the human spirit over evil and that’s at the core of this piece, watching people triumph and that’s what we can walk away from this show and celebrate it. We can continuously push our society forward and also allow us to never forget what actually happened in history. THE SOUND OF MUSIC RUNS NOVEMBER 15-20 AT BROADWAY SAN DIEGO, 3666 FOURTH AVE., SAN DIEGO, CA 92103. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROADWAYSD.COM OR VIA TICKETMASTER AT (800) 982-2787.
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CHANUKK AH 2016 GIFT GUIDE
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Chanukkah is an opportunity to celebrate with good (fried!) foods and family, and it's also a time for gift giving. But finding just the right gift for your loved ones can be a daunting task. Here, we've picked some of our favorite gifts from local artisans and some special, Jewishthemed gifts that are sure to put a smile on any gift recipient's face. We've even got a few promo codes especially for our L'CHAIM readers, so read on for more!
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS TO CELEBRATE? Looking for more ways to celebrate the festival of lights? Try hosting a menorah or candle-donation drive, and use the items to “light up” the holiday for those in need. Many local synagogues also need help this time of year, so donating your time can be a great way to make a difference.
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CHANUKKAH l BY MAAYAN JAFFE | jns.org
A miracle cancer recovery for Baruch Nissan Snyder 16
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
illiam (Baruch Nissan) Snyder is a vibrant 12-year-old boy. He loves baseball, football, swimming, riding his bike, and playing video games. He laughs heartily, his gigantic sense of humor shining through — with one hand on his special dog, Asha. But like his Hebrew name, William is a blessed miracle. Each day of his last 10 and a half years has been a miracle. Father Ron Snyder recalls that when William was around 7 months old, he and wife Lori felt “something didn’t seem right” with their firstborn son, who was experiencing twitching, severe night sweats, and
seizures. The Baltimore family brought him to one doctor who ran some minor tests and signed him off as fine. They brought him to a hospital, where the boy was turned away. But by age 1, when William showed no interest in walking, the parents tried again. “Several doctors told us he would be fine; our parental instincts told us otherwise,” says Snyder. On Labor Day 2004, at the age of 15 months, William was diagnosed by a Jewish doctor at Sinai Hospital in northwest Baltimore with a tumor that was “big and in a bad spot.” The tumor was so large that it pressed against his brain stem. “We felt helpless, confused, devastated, and scared that we were going to lose William long before his life had really begun,” says Snyder. “They gave him less than a 10 percent chance to live. At one point a doctor said, ‘Take lots of pictures. At least you’ll have the memories.’” William was emergency-transported to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he underwent a 12-and-a-half-hour surgery to remove the tumor. While 90 percent of the tumor was removed successfully, the surgery caused his frail body to suffer from a stroke, which threw him into a weeklong coma. An infection delayed chemotherapy and that delay led to the cancer’s return, this time not only in his brain, but down through his spine. “It looked like someone had poured salt and sugar all over — you could see cancer specs all over,” Snyder says. “We were debating whether to do treatment. Finally, the doctors agreed to do one round of chemo. They said that if nothing happens, then they would have to make tough decisions about sending him to hospice. No one was hopeful.” Snyder recounts that when his son went in for the chemo treatment, he went down to the hospital’s sanctuary and prayed —
and prayed and prayed. When he came up, William opened his eyes, had a little color back, and moved his mouth a little. The doctors ran another MRI, likely to show the parents that the treatment was ineffective, explains Snyder. While the family waited for the results, Snyder again returned to the sanctuary. “I just went there and prayed some more,” says Snyder. “There was nothing else to do.” When he returned to meet with the doctor, the children’s ward was frantic. All the doctors were running around, as Snyder describes it. “The cancer is gone,” one said. “The cancer is gone!” “All the spots on William’s spine were gone,” Snyder says. “One round of chemo and it was gone. There was a little spot left on the left side of the brain and second surgery removed it. He has been clean ever since. He has been clean for almost 11 years.” Snyder adds, “It was a miracle.” William still experienced more than 12 months of additional treatments to ensure he stayed cancer-free, including numerous blood and platelet transfusions as well as severe skin burns from the additional chemo. The child’s only adventure for the year was taking a ride around the hospital floor in a wagon with an IV pole attached. But he pulled through. William is deaf in one ear, hard of hearing in the other, and nearly blind, and he suffers from several learning disabilities. “Still, we know what a miracle it is for him to be alive today,” says Snyder. “Many of William’s friends at the hospital did not make it. … He is a true warrior.” According to Chabad.org, many miracles, great and small, are celebrated and commemorated on Chanukkah. But there is one particular miracle that is the sum and substance of the holiday: the miracle of the small cruse of pure oil that burned for eight days. It is the miracle of a tiny pitcher that
brought so much light. Snyder says William is the family’s little miracle. Even if William had undergone radiation, as would have been the normative protocol for such a diagnosis, he would have likely been a vegetable today — unable to walk, eat, or even breathe on his own. Instead, he is a quirky pre-teen that teases his 9-year-old twin sisters and pets his special dog with an infectious giggle. To this day, every time William does a brain scan — about every four to six months — Snyder goes down to the hospital sanctuary and prays. Snyder says he is not “observant” in the traditional sense of the word, not attending synagogue regularly nor wearing a yarmulke. “Yet I daven (pray) right before he scans; I believe it. … Of course there was medical science. I believe in science, too. But I don’t believe William could have pulled out without faith — without God’s hand,” says Snyder. In a recent piece about Chanukah, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former British chief rabbi, asks why the Maccabees searched for the cruse of oil when there was no reason to believe that anything would have survived the Temple’s desecration by the Greeks. He says it is because the Jews “had faith that from the worst tragedy something would survive. … There are times when any other people would have given up in despair…but somehow the Jewish people did not sit and weep…they lit a light like no other in history, a light that tells us and the world of the power of the human spirit to overcome every tragedy and refuse to accept defeat.” Snyder echoes, “We gave William the name Baruch Nissan, ‘Blessed Miracle,’ before he was sick. It’s ironic, but it’s like we knew before we knew. Like God knew we would have faith.”
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The “Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah King,” Rabbi Jay Karzen (left), with a bar mitzvah boy at the Western Wall.
BAR MITZVAH KING JERUSALEM SHARES TALES OF LAUGHS AND INSPIRATION
abbi Jay Karzen, coined the “Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah King” by The Jerusalem Post in 1997, has stories to make you laugh out loud or cry tears of joy. Karzen, 81, has performed thousands of bar and bat mitzvahs (an average of 100 per year) over the last 30 years. He was among the first rabbis to offer formal bar/bat mitzvah services at the Kotel (Western Wall) for families coming from abroad to celebrate their special day. From his posh Jerusalem home, Karzen says that when he made aliyah from Chicago 30 years ago, he needed a job. A then-prominent rabbi at the now-defunct Maine Township Jewish Congregation in Des Plaines, Ill., he had performed many Jewish lifecycle celebrations and figured a bar mitzvah business would be a good avenue to explore. “Families would come and bring their groups to the Kotel, and I saw the ceremonies were sometimes unmeaningful. It was chaos. I figured I could upgrade the bar mitzvah experience,” says Karzen, who acknowledges that he started a trend that now has some steep competition. Karzen’s philosophy is “to turn kids on, to inspire them.” He does this by explaining the importance of a relationship with God to his clients, who often do not lead a religiously observant lifestyle. 20
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
PHOTO COURTESY RABBI JAY KARZEN
“I tell them that to be a Jew means to love God. To love God, you have to follow the Torah, which He gave us. I tell them it is fun to be a Jew,” Karzen says. “There’s a lot of singing.” Some of the inspiration comes simply from being at the Kotel. “Israel is the holy land. Jerusalem is the holy city. The Kotel is the holiest spot in the holiest city in the holy land. It’s a beautiful thing,” he says. “When you go to the Kotel and see thousands of people around you davening (praying) — Sephardim, Ashkenazim, Hassidim — all worshipping God, it cannot help but have an impact on the child.” Karzen also performs bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies at Robinson’s Arch, Masada, and other sites around Israel. He was once asked to perform a bar mitzvah on the beach in Tel Aviv, but he turned down that request. Ultimately, he wrote a book about his experiences, Off the Wall, which was published in 1999. Karzen was pleased to share a number of his best tales, such as the time a family asked if they could rent the entire Kotel because they were expecting several guests and wanted a private party. “A South African family was among the first to book me for their bar mitzvah. In the process of printing invitations for their
forthcoming event in Jerusalem, they faced me with a simple question: ‘What’s the address of the Kotel?’” Karzen recalls. He assured the family that no address was really necessary, and that “Kotel” or “Western Wall” would suffice. But the family would not accept his answer. Karzen called various government offices from Jerusalem City Hall to the Ministry of Religion, all of which enjoyed a chuckle at his expense. Though they couldn’t give him an answer (because the Kotel indeed has no address), Karzen knew he could not get back to the family without a street number. “So I composed an address: The Western Wall: 1 Kotel Plaza. Believe me, that is exactly what the invitation read,” he says with a laugh. Then there was the boy who came with his tzitzit snipped from his tallit because his mother “didn’t want all those extra strings hanging down.” One family asked the rabbi if they could order tefillin in a different color, maybe blue, because “black is so somber.” An American mixed-marriage family contacted Karzen for a Thanksgiving day bar mitzvah. In their first correspondence, the mother proudly let the rabbi know that she had haredi family members in Israel who would be attending the ceremony. As such, they hired a top bar mitzvah tutor in the U.S. to prepare her son. “During my meeting with them the night before the service, I discovered that the celebrant had learned the wrong Torah portion. That Thursday was Rosh Chodesh, the new Hebrew month. There is a special monthly reading on such days.…What was I to do?” says Karzen, who “told the family there would be two Torah readings that day — the regular weekly portion that the bar mitzvah bochur (lad) had learned, as well as a special reading in honor of the new Hebrew month.” He called a member of the haredi family and explained the situation, asking him to pass the message to his relatives. The bar mitzvah boy never knew about the error, according to Karzen. “Crazy things happen,” Karzen says. And even crazier emails. A sampling of messages that have graced Karzen’s inbox: “Since we aren’t a very religious family, is it possible to have a ‘non-religious bar mitzvah?’” “I will be bringing my son to Israel next month with an organized tour program. We do not wish to miss anything from this comprehensive itinerary. I would like my son to have a symbolic bar mitzvah. If we come very early to the wall, can we back at the hotel to meet our tour group by 8 a.m.? P.S. My son does not know very much and cannot read Hebrew, so the service will have to be very short and simple. What do you charge for this type of abbreviated service?” “We have many important participants coming to our son’s bar mitzvah. … We know that traditionally only three [aliyot to the Torah] are distributed on a weekday. We are requesting an exception to this rule. … I am sure that God will overlook these minor variations and bless you for your understanding in accommodating us.” But Karzen says his successes make it all worth it. One time, a grandfather made arrangements for a bar mitzvah at the Kotel for his grandson, informing Karzen that while the father would be there, he was anti-religion and “hostile.” The ceremony started off with the father behaving just as described. Karzen couldn’t leave the father on the sidelines, so he tried to engage him in the ceremony. At the end of the event, the father stood up and told attendees how when he was 13, he was supposed to celebrate his bar mitzvah, but his grandfather died the night before his big day and the event was cancelled. He then learned a second Torah portion, only to have his grandmother die just before he was supposed to recite that one. The father had figured this was God’s way of telling him he didn’t need to have anything to do with Judaism. Yet after witnessing his son’s ceremony, the father was in tears and had changed his mind. “He said that after seeing his son’s bar mitzvah, he realized how much he missed Judaism and how beautiful it is,” recalls Karzen. “He said he just wanted to hug me and thank me for reintroducing him to religion.”
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FEATURE STORY l BY SHARON RAPOPORT
KAVOD AWARDED KAVOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AWARDED $5,000 BY BARONA EDUCATION GRANT 22
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
ast month, the Barona Band of Mission Indians awarded students and teachers at Kavod Elementary School a $5,000 Barona Education Grant. Before the grant award ceremony, t team got an opportunity to tour Kavod´s facilities, located on Marathon Drive (the school is actively seeking a new campus). Kavod is unique in that it is a public charter school in which modern Hebrew is taught. We walked through the classrooms, each bearing the name of a city in Israel: TelAviv, Dimona, and so on. The thought of an American public school in which the classrooms are decorated with signs in Hebrew, was mind-blowing in a great way. Hebrew teachers are native speakers, and it was moving to see little kids of all backgrounds shaking it to the tune of Yadaim Lemalá al Harosh (the Hebrew equivalent of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”). Ellen Mann, the volunteer parent who gave us the tour, said: “I’ve never seen teachers and staff more dedicated to a higher standard of educational excellence. It is a school where students learn a second language, which makes it even more valuable, since in today’s world a global perspective is essential, and we also know the benefits of second language acquisition for the brain.” “Kavod serves an extraordinary function it normalizes Israel and the Hebrew language for a large group of diverse people in San Diego. Students here, and by extension their
families and communities, learn that Israel is a democratic country of great diversity, accomplishment, and beauty. It is not just a headline on the news”, Mann added. Afterward, at the grant award ceremony attended by the students and teachers, the national anthems of both the U.S. and Israel were sung. Then, Barona Tribal Vice Chairman Ray Welch presented the $5,000 check to Senator Marty Block, the grant’s sponsor, and Alexa Greenland, the school´s Principal. “Once again, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has demonstrated its commitment to the community and education,” said Senator Marty Block. “Kavod Elementary’s mission to promote a modern HebrewEnglish program offers a unique multilingual learning opportunity for San Diego families. I commend and thank the Barona Band for its generosity and commitment to education.” Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, added: “As a relatively new charter school, Kavod Elementary has a need for basic classroom materials. We are proud to award the school this Barona Education Grant to provide teachers with more tools to instill academic excellence within each student.” Kavod Elementary will use the grant money to purchase literacy learning centers, math manipulatives, hundreds of library books and auditory aids to assist the diverse needs of students.
Kavod is a small charter school founded in 2012 with approximately 136 students enrolled in this current school year. The school’s mission is to provide an excellent academic program while teaching modernday Hebrew and developing socially responsible, respectful, global citizens. The 590 library books, 60 individual slate chalkboard, literacy and math manipulative materials and literacy listening centers purchased with the Barona Education Grant will be used within each classroom to bolster instruction, solidify abstract concepts and support students who need extra assistance including English as a Second Language and those with special needs. The Barona Education Grant program is the first of its kind in California created and administered by a Tribal Government. The goal of the program is to create strong educational opportunities for the children of California building upon the success of the Barona Indian Charter School, which operates under a continuous improvement model. Schools throughout California can apply for educational grants from Barona to purchase much-needed supplies and materials that promote academic improvement. Each grant awarded by the Barona Education Grant Program is $5,000. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KAVOD ELEMENTARY, VISIT KAVODELEMENTARY. ORG. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
SD MUSEUM OF ART HONORS LOUIS KAHN FIRST RETROSPECTIVE IN 20 YEARS WILL HONOR LATE ARCHITECT’S WORK
ouis Kahn (1901–74) was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. With complex spatial compositions and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. His work impacted many of his contemporaries and still serves today as a model and measure among architects, especially those of the younger generation. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, opened November 5 at The San Diego Museum of Art and is the first retrospective of Louis Kahn’s work in two decades, presenting over 200 objects related to his selected buildings and projects in the form of architectural models, plans, original drawings, photographs, films, and more. Dignified, beautiful, and imbued with a powerful universal symbolism, Kahn’s designs remain a testament to his belief that architecture should be monumental and spiritually inspiring. Among his most famous works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla; the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth, Texas; and, most recently, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Born to a Jewish family in Estonia, Kahn and his family emigrated to the United States when he was a child. Studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Kahn opened his own firm in 1935. Kahn’s eventual acclaim is based on a small number of buildings that were erected over a short period of just 25 years. While his early work focused on housing and urban planning in his home city of Philadelphia, he started to gain a worldwide reputation toward the end of the 1950s as an architect of public edifices. Kahn designed museums, laboratories, schools, churches, and synagogues. For a long time he was exclusively active in the United States, yet his later work took on an increasingly global dimension. Consequently, two of his most important projects were executed in India and Bangladesh — the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (1962–74) and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka (1962–83). The exhibition presents Kahn’s work within the framework of six central themes, which also demonstrate the chronological development of his oeuvre: from his pioneering role in the exploration of science and engineering to his reinterpretation of architectural history; from his designs for houses in Pennsylvania to his inclusion of nature and landscape as fundamental elements of architecture; and from his beginnings as an urban planner in Philadelphia to his interest in the public role and social responsibility of architecture, which culminated in Dhaka. Kahn regarded himself as part of a tradition that understood architecture not only as a means of satisfying utilitarian needs, but as an instrument of artistic speculation and a way of contemplating
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
The Salk Institute in La Jolla.
nature, history, and human community. In today’s world, where the act of building is increasingly subordinate to marketing strategies and financial speculation, Kahn reminds us of the age-old significance of architecture as the universal conscience of humanity. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture will be accompanied by an exhibition of architectural photography from students of the Woodbury University School of Architecture. The Museum will also present a symposium on Saturday, Nov.5, 2016, featuring Ariel Plotek, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, The San Diego Museum of Art; Wendy Lesser, editor of The Threepenny Review and author of the forthcoming biography, You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn (due in spring 2017); and William Whitaker, Curator and Collections Manager, Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Whitaker oversees the Louis Kahn archives at the University of Pennsylvania and served as curatorial consultant for the development of the exhibition. The Museum will also screen the film My Architect, A Son’s Journey, presented by the director and Kahn’s son, Nathaniel Kahn, on January 13. VISIT SDMART.ORG FOR ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING AND WORKSHOPS THAT ACCOMPANY THIS EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION.
BADASS KOSHER l BY MICHAEL GARDINER
THE STEPCHILD OF CEVICHE & SASHIMI
might not have put Peruvian cuisine on my short list of the world’s great cuisines; at least not until I looked at the closest thing there is to on official list of such things: The San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Three of The World’s 50 Best are in Lima: Central (4), Maido (13) and Astrid y Gastón (30). To put that in perspective, there are only five on the entire list in all of America. It is, it seems, Peru’s time to shine on the world culinary stage. Peruvian cuisine is diverse in just about every way. The foundation of the cuisine is the bounty of Peru’s land and sea ranging from the coast to the Andes highlands and Amazonian jungle. The Inca used this bounty to develop a sophisticated cuisine. European immigrants brought their flavors and 26
techniques but West African immigrants did too and the stamp of Asia (especially Japan) on Peru’s culinary culture is particularly evident. Peru’s national dish is ceviche: raw fish (or par-boiled seafood) cut into bite-sized pieces and marinated in citrus to the point of being “cooked.” Indeed, the Peruvians claim to have invented the dish though so do the Ecuadorians. But in Peru, with that pronounced Japanese influence, ceviche ran up against a distant cousin: sashimi. The result was glorious. Filtering ceviche through the lens of Japan’s influence yields tiradito. Instead of chunks of fish marinated in lime, sashimi-cut thin slices of fish are sauced at the last minute with an emulsion featuring aji amarilla chiles, lime and
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
TIRADITO OF ESCOLAR WITH ROASTED BEET AND CORN
aromatics. Aji amarillas are Peruvian chiles with serrano-level heat but a profound fruitiness. The color says “sweet” but the sauce means serious business. The resulting dish has the big flavors of ceviche but the form and purity of sashimi. For my version I used Escolar, a fish that is often called (more accurate miscalled or mislabeled) “Butterfish,” “Oilfish,” “White Tuna” or “Super White Tuna.” It is an absolutely delicious fish with a deep, savory flavor, meaty texture and gorgeous, pearlywhite flesh. There is one drawback. While never labeled so, some call the fish “ex-lax fish.” Escolar cannot metabolize the wax esters naturally found in its diet. As a result, when full portions of escolar are consumed, these wax esters cause gastrointestinal symptoms. There is a solution, though. Never eat more than six ounces of the fish at a meal. That makes it perfect for the sort of appetizer portion here. If you don’t want to get even that close to taking a risk, though, yellowtail (Hamachi) is an excellent substitute. I chose the garnishes for my version with the big flavors of and gorgeous color of escolar and the aji amarillos in mind. Roasted beet is sweet and meaty but also has a color that would play off the sauce and the fish. Charred corn, a reference to the way Peruvians serve ceviche gives the dish a bit of texture. Restaurants like Central, Maido and Astrid y Gastón have put Peru’s cuisine in the world spotlight. This dish will give you a glimpse of its elegance and big flavors. It gives you at least a taste of the culinary DNA with which those restaurants are working. TIRADITO OF ESCOLAR WITH ROASTED BEET AND CORN SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS For the Roasted Beet Garnish 1-2 large beets 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Roasted Corn Garnish 1 ear of corn, husks and silks removed For the Tiradito 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed Kosher salt 1 tablespoon aji Amarillo purée (see Note, below) 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 5 tablespoons chicken stock 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 – 1 ½ pounds of Escolar (or Hamachi) loin, skinned and filleted Kosher salt to taste For the Garnish Microgreens (cilantro, beet, arugula, basil or other) or fresh cilantro leaves 1. ROAST THE BEETS. Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Coat the beets lightly with oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, place them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the beets from the oven, unwrap and place them in the refrigerator to cool. When they are cool, peel the beets. The skins should slip right off with little effort. 2. COOK THE CORN. Meanwhile, if using the microwave/blowtorch method, place the ear of corn in a microwave oven and cook on high for two minutes then turn ears over and microwave another 2 minutes. When cooked, use a blowtorch to scorch the corn’s surface, turning the ears to make sure all sides are charred. Alternatively, if blowtorches just aren’t your thing, skip both of the above steps and char the corn directly on the flame of your gas stove, turning frequently. If you don’t have gas burners you can achieve the same results on a grill.
3. MAKE THE SAUCE FOR THE TIRADITO. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the yellow bell pepper and boil for fifteen (15) minutes. Remove the pepper from the pot and let it cool before slipping its skin off. Place the pepper and the salt in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process until smooth. Add the aji Amarillo puree, garlic, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, chicken stock, soy sauce and pulse until combined. Once the ingredients are combined you can take it to a smooth purée if you like. I, for one, like. Set the sauce aside. 4. CUT THE FISH. Trim your Escolar loin as you like so that you can ultimately cut three very thin even, uniform slices per serving. Exactly how you go about doing that varies depending on the shape of the piece of fish you acquire. The goal is to have sashimithin pieces of about 1 ½ inches by ¾ inch. Using a very sharp and long knife, slice the fish on a slight bias toward the narrow end and lay the slices on a plate, sprinkling the fish lightly with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 5. PREPARE THE GARNISHES. Trim the ball-like round roasted and cooled beet into a big cube. Cut the beet into ½ inch dice. Cut the charred corn off the ear. 6. PLATE THE DISH. Spoon some of the sauce in the bottom of appetizer plates. Place three pieces of fish in a line on each plate. Place one beet cube on each piece of fish, arrange several kernels of charred corn right next to it and top with several sprigs of microgreens or cilantro leaves. Note: In San Diego, you can get aji Amarillo chiles as a purée (as called for here) or in frozen form at Andrés Latin Market, 1249 Morena Boulevard in the Morena District.
ENGAGING STEM EDUCATION AT SOILLE New $50,000 STEM lab dedicated at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education
oille San Diego Hebrew Day School is introducing a groundbrea k ing new middle school program this year as well as a $50,000 f u l ly- equ ipped, STEM lab provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education to engage and ignite student’s interests in STEM education and careers. The new CIJE STEM lab is fully equipped and features a flexible design so that the room can be arranged for small group or large experiments. Soille teacher Matt Bessler, who was named “Science Teacher of the Year” by the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair will oversee the lab and the CIJE program. The CIJE-Tech Middle School Program is part of an integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum for K-12 Jewish day schools
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
across the denominational spectrum in more than 180 schools nationwide. The CIJE-Tech Middle School Program was launched in 2015 to enhance interest and skills in STEM, and to provide an initial exposure to engineering. It introduces students to the fundamentals of engineering and the design process needed to gain STEM skills, coupled with experiential learning in teamwork, innovative thinking, and problem solving. The program includes activities that improve student and teacher content knowledge, and teacher pedagogical skills. Innovative strategies are employed, including small group collaborative work and the use of hands-on activities and experiments to promote inquiry and projectbased thinking, and curiosity. Learning is connected to the real world through an emphasis on the application of STEM subjects to everyday life, employment, and the surrounding environment. “Soille Hebrew Day prepares its students
for every aspect of successful 21st Century living,” says Head of School Rabbi Simcha Weiser. “America needs scientists and engineers, just as it needs young men and women inspired by Jewish values and ideals. Our new CIJE STEM lab and CIJETech Middle School Program attracts new students to Hebrew day school, connecting them and their families to our San Diego Jewish community.” “We’re preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even comprehend yet,” says Jason Cury,” CIJE president. “CIJE programs greatly exceed what students are getting in typical public middle and high schools and it shows in the caliber of top-tier universities our graduates are attending.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, HEBREWDAY.ORG.
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THE MEN’S EVENT Hundreds gather at San Diego Jewish Academy for annual programming by Sharon Rapoport
“Israel today is thriving, it is less ostracized than it has ever been, opening missions and diplomatic relations with countries that just a couple years ago would have never had dreamed of having relations with Israel,” keynote speaker Bret Stephens said.
here are events, and then there are EVENTS. Organized by the Jewish Federation of San Diego, the Men’s Event was one such capital letters happening. A beautiful location, gourmet BBQ buffet, craft beer and a renowned speaker were key to the excitement that permeated the air. Moreover, the sense of brotherhood and purpose infused by the Federation gave the night a heady feeling. But let’s start from the top. On September 29, more than 1,000 men (and a couple of gals, including our L’CHAIM team!), gathered at San Diego Jewish Academy´s football field. Bret Stephens was the appointed keynote speaker. This was before the elections, and everyone was waiting for his unique perspective. Stephens is the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who writes The Wall Street Journal´s foreign-affairs column. He was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post and has interviewed every Israeli Prime Minister since Shimon Peres. Stephens is also an influential Republican voice, who in previous months he had reiterated that Donald Trump would be 30
destructive to the United States: “Hillary Clinton, as awful as I find her, is a survivable event.” This opinion contradicted the view he had previously expressed in his book America in Retreat (2014), where he stated that a Hillary regime would be disastrous for the U.S. THE SCOOP Upon arrival at the event, our team found out that every major local news outlet had requested an interview with Stephens, which he had denied. It was unlikely that he would grant us one, we were told. What to do? The obvious choice was to waltz into the VIP reception to grab a cup of wine. That´s where we almost bumped into Stephens. Michel Cohen, one of the event’s chairs, gracefully introduced us: L’CHAIM: “MR. STEPHENS, HI! WE WERE SUPPOSED TO INTERVIEW YOU!” BRET STEPHENS: “So? Why aren’t you
interviewing me?” That’s how we got our scoop. In person, Stephens is surprisingly young. He possesses a sharp, lucid mind. Here’s an excerpt from our talk:
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
I swore over a bunch of Bibles I would not make a partisan speech. So what I am going to discuss (in this interview) is how the next president, whoever she may be, is going to conduct Mideast policy. STEPHENS:
L’CHAIM: YOU’VE KNOWN CLINTON POLICY FOR A LONG TIME. DO YOU THINK SHE´S GOING TO SUPPORT ISRAEL? STEPHENS: It depends on how you define
L’CHAIM: … SUPPORT NETANYAHU? STEPHENS: Probably not. Israel today
is thriving, it is less ostracized than it has ever been, opening missions and diplomatic relations with countries that just a couple years ago would have never had dreamed of having relations with Israel, whether it’s in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, East African Countries; improving relations with important countries Japan, India, even countries that used to be traditionally hostile, like Greece. L’CHAIM: DO YOU THINK IT IS BECAUSE OF ISRAEL´S LEADERSHIP IN THE FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY? STEPHENS: It varies. In some cases, it’s
PHOTO BY SOLANGE
because Israel can provide countries that are threatened by terrorism, especially Nigeria or Ethiopia, with low-cost technologies that are instrumental in fighting terror. I think in the case of Greece it has a lot to do with Israel’s natural gas; in the case of China it has to do with Chinese interest in Israeli high-tech; for India, it’s Israeli weapons. I think the Prime Minister of Japan admires the StartUp Nation culture. When it comes to Saudi Arab or Egypt, it’s a shared perception that Iran is on the rise, and Israel is a foothold of stability that works in their interest; not an enemy that they should mistreat. All of that goes to show that for all of the predictions of doom, the country is striving, and for all of the friction with Obama, it hasn’t fundamentally changed the core of the relationship. L’CHAIM: DO YOU THINK THE DEATH OF SHIMON PERES IS GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE MIDDLE EAST? STEPHENS: Well, I was quite moved because
I was at Soledad Mountain here in San Diego and the flag was at half mast, and lots of
people were asking the guy who showed me there why was is in half-mast… and when he said it was because of Shimon Peres, who was a President of Israel, died, they all said: “Oh. Ok. Good. Good”, as in “it’s a good thing they are offering that respect” I knew Shimon Peres fairly well, and I think the lesson of Peres´s life is, it´s better to be an optimist. I sat next to Peres on a 9-hour flight from Johannesburg to Tel-Aviv, and what struck me about him was that he was always talking about the future. He was 79 years old at the time, but he was not discussing the past. L’CHAIM: THAT WAS HIS PHILOSOPHY… STEPHENS: I would argue that he made
some major mistakes, but on the other hand, when you think of what he did for the State, his legacy is unique. There are very few people who can lay claim to his combination of legacies, in saving Israel´s economy from hyperinflation, starting military industries, Dimona, the Entebbe rescue, one thing after another, it´s quite extraordinary. The time was up, and Stephens was called back into the reception. We went out to the
field, where the event was starting. On the stage, San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir was giving a delightful rendition of traditional Jewish melodies. THE JEWISH FEDERATION´S EXCEPTIONAL RATING Once again, the Jewish Federation of San Diego County had succeeded in its goal of serving the Jewish community in San Diego, in Israel, and around the world. On October 1st, it was awarded a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. San Diego County apart and demonstrates trustworthiness to the public.” He continued, “Only a quarter of rated charities have achieved this distinction!” “The 4-star rating from Charity Navigator reinforces our donor’s sense of confidence in us,” said Federation CEO, Michael Sonduck. “It shows donors their gifts are well managed and we use those resources to the best of our ability to accomplish our mission. We are meticulous, thoughtful, and transparent with every dollar raised.” WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
FEATURE STORYl BY JESSICA SORIA KORSUNSKY
WOMEN MAKING A
DIFFERENCE LOCAL WOMEN FUNDRAISE FOR JEWISH PRESCHOOL AND COMMUNITY CENTER IN THE OCEANSIDE/ VISTA AREA
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
once vibrant home for Jewish life, the Jewish Community in the northernmost part of San Diego has been recently revived. Rabbi Baruch and Nechama Greenberg came to Oceanside 12 years ago when Jewish life was all but extinct. The couple built a community from the ground up, hosting weekly Shabbat services, meals, and family programs out of their home. With the help of generous philanthropists, the couple opened a center on Sunset Drive three years ago and more recently a preschool, now in its second year. “In the last ten years the community has grown tremendously. With young families flocking to the Oceanside/Vista area, the need for a Jewish preschool was apparent” says Rabbi Greenberg. Welcoming children from all walks of life, The Garden Preschool fosters children’s intellectual, social, and emotional development as they are encouraged to explore their environment and express themselves through words, movement, drawing, painting, playing and other natural modes of expression. Judaism is seamlessly and naturally woven into the curriculum so that all children and families, regardless of familiarity with Judaism, are comfortable. The founder of The Garden, Nechama Greenberg is herself a mother of six, with over twenty years of early childhood education experience. She started the school with the belief that, “while Jewish children are a minority in the Oceanside/ Vista area schools, our program develops Jewish students with a strong pride for being Jewish, love for Israel, and desire to make
the world a better place.” (Contact director@ thegardenpreschool.org to schedule a visit and see for yourself.) On December 11, Chabad of Oceanside/ Vista is hosting its first annual women’s fundraiser, chaired by Joyce Gerber: Women Make a Difference: Pre-Chanukah Luncheon and Silent Auction. The women of Chabad are honoring Sandra Fichter, a local army veteran and a true woman of valor, for giving endlessly to the community by helping newcomers find jobs and for keeping our local government officials in touch with the Jewish community. Fichter is a human resources consultant and tireless volunteer who founded the Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program (VetCTAP). The event will feature a fashion show of handmade accessories and a talk and demonstration by a local artist and community member, Tami Zohar. Zohar creates one of a kind shawls handmade out of silk, silk fiber, and merino wool. Her shawls are in galleries and museum gift shops across the country. Shawls will be available for purchase on December 11. Dozens of silent auction prizes will include luxury beauty products and beauty services as well as other great Chanukah gift ideas. Proceeds from the event will be used to support The Garden Preschool and to purchase additional prayer books for the growing community center. Women of all backgrounds are welcome, registration is $36 at jewishoceanside.com/Dec11RSVP.
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Interfaith Shelter Network provides emergency shelter and meals for more than 250 individuals and families each winter.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
here is a curious air of expectancy in the big, empty room as a cheery middle-aged man in casual clothes bustles around setting out plates, silverware, and plastic cups on several long tables. Soon, people start to drift in, stopping to enter their names on a sign-in sheet. Several people hurry in with large trays of hot food, and the room slowly fills. Soon, dinner is pronounced ready and more than a dozen people gather around the tables, exchanging relaxed greetings. Thus begins another night at the Temple Solel emergency homeless shelter, one of more than 60 temporary shelter sites in the Interfaith Shelter Network’s Rotational Shelter Program. Interfaith Shelter Network – or simply ISN – provides emergency shelter and meals for more than 250 individuals and families each winter. ISN’s shelters are located throughout the county, allowing people to be sheltered within the areas they call home. It is one of the few emergency shelter programs to take families with children. Adults work with case managers to access services, find jobs and affordable housing. Children attend their regular schools while their families are in the program. The ‘Network’ in ISN includes more than 200 local congregations of all faiths, who provide support and services for ISN’s programs. For the Rotational Shelter Program, congregations participate by providing a shelter site for 2-4 weeks or contributing food and other support services to the hosting congregation. Hundreds of volunteers share the effort of running the shelters every year. Each shelter has a coordinator who oversees all services and activities, and two volunteers who stay overnight with the guests to provide a presence should something happen that needs immediate attention. “You could say that ISN is community activism at its best,” says ISN executive director Trisha Brereton. “Our mission is
to provide organizational support for the community to help some of its most needy members.” ISN is a network of people of many diverse beliefs, but all of its volunteers are unified by one common attribute: they believe that giving back is a human responsibility. Currently, there are three temples involved in the program, Temple Solel, Adat Shalom, and Congregation Beth El. “We’ve been involved in the program for twenty-five years now,” says Judy Bricker, Temple Solel administrator. “Our goal is to create a warm and welcoming place for people who are out in the cold due to loss of their homes. We have chosen the darkest time of the year for our rotation – the last two weeks of December – to bring light into the lives of those most in need of uplifting.” Several years ago, as part of his preparations for his Bar Mitzvah, Ryan Zickwolff chose to spend one night with his family as shelter hosts during Temple Solel’s rotation. The experience was so enriching that the family has volunteered each year since, and plans to return during the 2016 rotation, as well. “We need to be appreciative for what we have because it can be gone in the blink of an eye,” Ryan told the crowd of 200 attending his Bar Mitzvah. By getting to know the shelter guests that night, Ryan learned many things – that we are not so different, that anyone can be down on their luck and that they deserve a second chance to heal their lives. As a reformed temple, Temple Solel takes seriously the principle of tikkun olam (literally, world repair). The principle of tikkum olam states that only by participating in righting the wrongs of their world through tzedakah (justice and righteousness) and g’milut hasadim (acts of loving kindness) will the world be cleaned of injustice and evil. “Our involvement in the shelter program was so important to us that when the congregation relocated in 2006 to new facilities, we made sure to build showers
simply for this program. Before that, we had to take our guests to another location to shower, because our old facility didn’t have showers,” Bricker relates. Many of ISN’s guests have expressed their gratitude for the relaxed atmosphere and easy acceptance they feel from shelter volunteers. “They sat down to dinner with us familystyle. I didn’t feel like they looked down on me for being homeless. I started to get a little hopeful,” says shelter guest Sara H. The majority of people who go through the Rotational Shelter Program leave with more stable housing, increased incomes and improved prospects. Better yet, they have experienced the caring support of many dedicated volunteers. Some even return to volunteer - to pay-it-forward - to others who are where they once were. MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM
ISN’s Rotational Shelter Program divides the County into 7 geographic areas. Each area has several congregations that donate space for a two or four-week period, to provide shelter for up to 12 homeless people at a time. The program not only provides a place to sleep, showers and laundry facilities, it also provides a family-style dinner each night prepared and served by volunteers from contributing churches and synagogues. Each congregation raises money to meet their expenses. Food is donated by the volunteers who prepare and serve meals. Shelter guests agree to strict rules. No drugs, alcohol or weapons are permitted. Each guest is responsible for his own equipment, and they all share responsibility for keeping the facility clean. They must be out of the shelter not later than 7 a.m., and return at 5 p.m. weekdays. Most spend their day working or looking for jobs. ISN provides bus passes or gasoline money to aid in the job search and take children to school. ISN ALWAYS ACCEPTS INDIVIDUALS THAT WANT TO VOLUNTEER- SO CALL (619) 702-5399 AND VOLUNTEER TODAY! WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
n May 2017, Jewish National Fund (JNF) will lead a once-ina-lifetime, 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s Reunification, multitrack mission to Israel. It will offer four unique program options catering to different ages and interests. Each track has its own separate itinerary but all join together at various points, including at a special Commemoration Ceremony at Ammunition Hill on Yom Yerushalayim to mark the holy city’s 50th anniversary as Israel’s unified capital. San Diego will certainly be well represented on this trip, which is a chance for San Diegans to take advantage of JNF’s extraordinary access to historic places and leaders. “This is a great opportunity for the San Diego community to be a part of history,” said Sharon Freedman, JNF’s National Campaign Director who will be traveling with the group. “This mission is packed with incredible experiences, exploring new places, and seeing how JNF truly makes a difference in all of Israel – from the Negev to the Galilee. You haven’t seen Israel until you’ve traveled with JNF!” This special trip will provide a unique experience for participants with an opportunity to have the “hands on” ability to actually see the impact of our meaningful work. A highlight of the trip is the chance to spend Jerusalem Day at the site where the battle for Jerusalem was won, Ammunition Hill, culminating in the reunification of the eastern and western portions of the city. There are many lessons to be learned from that powerful piece of history. Some of the lessons are
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
obvious but others, such as the respect between the Jordanian and Israeli fighters, are found deeper in the story. Mission participants will be honored guests at the ceremony at Ammunition Hill. In addition, visitors will benefit from a special tour through the building of the historic museum on dedicated to remembering the city’s past and present, the Israelis who serve their country, and a special wall that honors all Jews in the Diaspora who have served in military uniform. An empowering component during the mission will take place at the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, a JNF signature project that has provided a much-needed sense of normalcy and fun to local residents and children living in the hard hit town of Sderot – located less than one mile from Gaza. This secure playground was strategically built so that play areas double as bomb shelters, ensuring that all occupants can quickly reach safety in the case of a rocket attack. Mission participants will witness a special dedication ceremony of the C. Hugh Friedman Music program, which was established by the late La Jolla resident to enrich the lives of the children of Sderot by teaching them how to play instruments and cultivating an ongoing appreciation of music. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MISSION’S ITINERARY AND TO JOIN THIS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE, PLEASE CONTACT JNF SAN DIEGO DIRECTOR JAMES KIMMEY AT JKIMMEY@JNF.ORG OR 858.824.9178 EXT.988.
HUMOR l BY STEPHANIE LEWIS
& mishagoss Jewish Mother Hacks Into Daughter’s Dating Profile
y all time favorite quote belongs to Yenta from Fiddler on the Roof, when she interferingly picks up Perchik’s letter from the post-office and justifies, “So…it happened to be open?!” That’s exactly what I’ll say when my daughter asks me how I managed to hack into her Jdate profile and make changes. First you should know that my adult single children have banned me from creating original profiles for them. But nobody forbade me from clarifying things if their existing profiles were a bit vague. Take the case of my single daughter, who uses lots of run-on sentences. I should allow her chances to be ruined marrying an English professor just in case (for some mashugana reason) she gets passed over by physicians, lawyers, and accountants? I don’t think so. Okay, okay maybe I did a little more than just correct punctuation and grammar, so sue me! (There’s a huge chance I’ll have a new brilliant attorney future son-in-law to represent me in court!) The following is my darling Shayna’s original profile with my few, inconsequential alterations included: Shalom and Hello! It’s so nice to meet
you! I am a Shayna Maidela -- a universitY graduate student, studying several dozen different subjects because I have a photographic Memory but haven’t decided On a major yet due to my Many diverse, enormous talents and skills which could get me hired tomorrow at the top engineering firm in the country unless I should happen to get snapped up first in the movie business because of my sparkling smile which would captivate any Hollywood casting agent (as well it should after the expensive orthodontia my Wonderful paRents splurged On me with!) buT my fondEst desire is to put my lovely childbearing hips to good use and raise a Jewish family because there’s no ambiTion as Honorable as expandIng your miShpucha, along with your waistline. My interests include ice-skating, (Michelle Kwan eat your heart out!) singing, (the voice of an angel) east-coast swing, (Dancing with the stars!) live theater, (especially Fiddler on the Roof and Yentl) and though I don’t cook gourmet Kosher yet, I’d be willing to learn from the best, my balabusta mother, who has dedicated her life to bringing me up to be a female mensch. You’ll love my beautiful mom!
You get the idea; I basically just polished a little bit here and there. Next I thought I would do her another favor -- field some of her responses. Immediately this came in: “The jig is up, Ma. Check my profile again. The red letters spell out a secret message to my future dates.” This was an outrage! How did she ever break into her own account to caution potential suitors about me? Especially after I changed her password? I demanded an answer. “Because you’re a sloppy snoop, Ma. And also – So… it happened to be open?!” I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. And she can even quote Yenta verbatim. STEPHANIE D. LEWIS WRITES REGULARLY FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST COMEDY SECTION. SHE PENS A HUMOR WEBSITE AT WWW.ONCEUPONYOURPRIME.COM AND YOU CAN FOLLOW HER @MISSMENOPAUSE.
L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER 2016
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