Community Organizations Doing Good

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Doing Good Hebrew Free Loans and more to help our community





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contents November 2020 •

1000 WORDS Karen Parry, Hillel of San Diego's Executive Director..................................................................


COVER STORY Help When You Need It: How Three Organizations are Doing Good........................................

FOOD A Vegan Thanksgiving Feast.....................................................................................................................





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New Initiatives Battle Anti-Semitism on College Campuses..................................................

Video Games for Peace................................................................................................................................ Intro to: Rabbi Yonatan Halevy................................................................................................................ Jerusalem Researcher Participates in Brain-Imaging Research at Cornell.................




Flu Season Tips for Seniors during COVID-19.................................................................................

Business Feature: Josh Gaylis.................................................................................................................




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Random Rants............................................

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

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

PUBLISHERS Diane Benaroya & Laurie Miller

L’CHAIM SAN DIEGO, LLC (858) 776-0550 San Diego, CA 92127





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random rants Class Dismissed


enjamin Franklin once wrote, “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” If asked that question, which class would you belong to? As I write this article, our nation has endured so much this year, which has just culminated in one of the most divisive elections ever seen in American history. Now let me be clear, I am not a historian or a scholar. I will never claim to be. I am just a 40-year-old nobody with a voice. But aren’t we all? (Of course, changing each person’s age.) We currently exist in a world inundated by information from faceless characters on social media who have flooded our brains with opinion masquerading as information. Gone is the next day meetup at the office water cooler and in its place a worldwide ocean of commentary hiding behind aggressive keystrokes. Original thought is now regulated only to the typing heads I choose to follow. Do I think this is a bad thing? No. I don’t think it’s a healthy thing, though. Do I truly need to know what Jim0478332 6


from Idaho thinks about anything? To be honest, I truly don’t know how to feel anymore. Aren’t we all at that point in 2020 now? The thought terrifies me. This year has been incredibly tough for every one of us. If you’ve lost someone close to the virus, my heart is with you and your family. If you’ve lost a source of income again I pray for a quick economic recovery. Even if the only thing you’ve lost is hope and optimism, I know that soon that overwhelming feeling of dread will subside and the sun will shine again. At the beginning of this article I asked you a question. Which class in Franklin’s quote are you? Are you immovable? Are you moved? Or are you the one who moves? Now I’m going to do something which many of you might deem as sacrilege. I’m going to add something to Ben Franklin’s wise words. I will add a fourth class to his original classes. The indifferent. So the immovable, the moved, the mover, and the indifferent. And it’s this last class which I believe is most dangerous. Whether you choose to never fray from your position in 2020 and beyond I at least can honor the fact that you have chosen a side. And

I honor that. If you chose to be a pawn in this world and move where and when it’s most convenient to you or whoever you’ve chosen to be your personal puppet master, then so be it. Let your body move and flow with the figurative waves of this ocean we’re swimming in. And if you have chosen to move the pieces in your favor. I applaud you. But always remember that with this type of power, one should always add a sprinkle of empathy and humbleness to balance the evertilting pulling of the siren song named power and influence. However, to the indifferent. I do not pity you. I do not understand you. I do not choose to be you. The beauty of being human is having an opinion and voicing it. The same beauty of being human is choosing whose opinion I decide to listen to. Whether that be Ben Franklin, someone at the office water cooler or Jim0478332 from Idaho. SALOMON MAYA IS A LOCAL EMMY-WINNER, ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @SALOMAYA OR EMAIL HIM AT SALOMONM@LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM.

MEET YOUR NEW DATING COACH Dating for the marriage minded is no easy feat! Sandy Hershkowitz, a licensed social worker, is a dating coach who is here to help. Sandy was a divorced single parent re-entering the dating world. She admits: “I did not know how difficult it was going to be.” It took her some time but eventually she met and married a wonderful man, and they successfully combined two families. Throughout the years, she helped friends and acquaintances through the dating process, and eventually turned her know- how into a business. Sandy explains: “I tailor my assistance to my client’s needs. A 25-year-old never married person will have very different needs than a 40-year-old divorced person with children re-entering the dating world. Dating can be very intimidating!” Ain’t that the truth! Sandy listens patiently, her prices are very reasonable and affordable and she is easy to chat with. A few of the many topics she covers are: Important topics to discuss, prioritizing qualities and deciding when to move forward and when to move on. Sandy proudly states: “I will give you honest, practical and direct suggestions and feedback.” Sandy can be reached at: 732 485 7865 or

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the book May His Memory Be a Blessing


he Jewish community mourned the passing of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. Passing away during a contentious election and divided country, Rabbi Sacks always had his finger on the pulse of today and tomorrow. He wrote 30 books, his final one recently published was entitled: Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. I’m a big fan of language. Speech is inherently difficult as it’s a poor vehicle for the delivery of the depth and complexity of what’s going on in our inner world of intellect and emotion. I encourage my students to read a lot and improve their vocabulary, because having more words at your disposal allows you to communicate your inner world outwardly. Rabbi Sacks was one of the greatest at doing this. For example, in the age-old debate on the existence of G-d, how can a believer express the transcendent spiritual experience to a pure rationalist? In his book A Letter in the Scroll, Rabbi Sacks attempted to: “Of course it is possible to live a life without God, just as it is possible to live a life without humor, or music, or love; and one can no more prove that God exists than one can prove these



other things exist to those who lack a sense of humor, or to whom Schubert is mere noise, or love a figment of the romantic imagination.” So how did this boy from Lambeth, London grow to become one of the leaders of world Jewry? Rabbi Sacks often pointed to a turning point during his time as a student of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge at the age of 20. In 1968, Rabbi Sacks visited New York and had a private audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. After answering a bunch of his philosophical questions, the Rebbe turned the tables and asked him questions about Jewish life on campus for students at Cambridge. “What are you doing to get students more involved?” Rabbi Sacks began to make an excuse for why he wasn’t very involved: “In the situation in which I find myself…” The Rebbe stopped him midsentence. “Nobody finds themselves in a situation. You put yourself in a situation. And if you put yourself in that situation, you can put yourself in another!” This young British student was being charged by a world leader to make a difference and change the world. That moment changed his life. In the

words of Rabbi Sacks: “A good leader creates followers. A great leader creates leaders.” Rabbi Sacks chose to devote his life to inspiring and educating the Jewish community and the rest of the world. He worried that “the fact that we had been Jewish in the past was no guarantee that our children would stay Jewish in the future.” He understood that part of the reason our diaspora felt detached from our faith was due to the horrific factors of the 20th century. He heeded the Rebbe’s approach that “if the Nazis searched out every Jew in hate, we will search out every Jew in love.” He brought Jewish ethical values to the world, through embodying his love for G-d and the Torah and sharing that with the world: “Non-Jews respect Jews who respect Judaism.” He asked the tough questions, for “Judaism encourages questions. It doesn’t silence them.” Rabbi Sacks looked to bridge the ancient and modern, science and religion, and most importantly to build tolerance between those who believed different from each other. Oh, how we need that today. Let’s pick up the torch Rabbi Sacks lit, building bridges with each other as proud, knowledgeable, and inspired Jews.

TIME TO YIDDISHIZE YOUR WINTER! The Yiddish Arts and Academics Assn. of N. America (YAAANA) opened registration for its Not Your Usual Intensive Winter Yiddish Language and Culture Program. The first such program in the San Diego area, it will run from December 6-20, 2020 virtually over Zoom. It includes language and conversation courses, as well as a cultural program, consisting of four different song workshops, a Yiddish yoga session, and a special event by Yale Strom. The language courses will welcome students for four levels: beginner 1 (for those who do not yet know the Yiddish alphabet), beginner 2 (for those who know a bisele Yiddish), intermediate, and advanced. For more information on registration and course descriptions, visit the classes section of, email, or call 619-719-1776.

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Karen Parry 10







arlier this year, Hillel of San Diego, which oversees programming for nearly 2,000 Jewish college students at SDSU, UC San Diego, CSU San Marcos and the University of San Diego, welcomed Karen Parry to be the organization’s new Executive Director. A San Diego native, Parry attended UCSD for her undergraduate studies before heading to New York University to complete her Master’s. Prior to accepting the position with Hillel of San Diego, she was the Development Director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Her latest position brings her back to San Diego, where she previously worked for both Temple Adat Shalom in Poway, and the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. During a virtual meet and greet event during Sukkot earlier this year (her second day in this new role), she spoke to community members and stakeholders. “The holiday of Sukkot lends itself to a discussion about hospitality and gathering,” she said. “At Hillel, we strive to practice radical hospitality. I like to think about the story of Avraham and how the Torah goes into specific detail about how he greets and cares for his guests. He rushed to greet his visitors. He made sure that they were comfortable and satiated. And then he walked them out, away from his tent, to make sure that they found their way. The Torah doesn’t waste words. It provides all these details because they matter. Creating a welcoming environment is about attention to details, with the most important detail being how comfortable your guest feels. “Here at Hillel, we are all about the power of these moments to shape and fortify the Jewish identities of the next generation. We know that if a student has a meaningful experience at a Hillel event, it could change the trajectory of their Jewish life. It’s something we hold sacred. Holy work.”

L’CHAIM Magazine spoke with Parry about what it’s like to come “home,” and her vision for the future at Hillel of San Diego. L’CHAIM Magazine: Welcome home! What is it like to be back in San Diego and working with Hillel? Karen Parry: The Hillel staff is remarkable. One of the biggest reasons I took this job was because I knew I’d be working with such talented and passionate Jewish professionals. My Jewishness definitely informed how I treated people, how I viewed the world as a place that I needed to help repair, and how I knew I could find community anywhere because I was a part of this tribe. During my undergraduate studies at UCSD, Hillel instantly felt like home. Hillel made me feel like being Jewish and doing Jewish was safe and fun, and that I was connected to something bigger. It really served as an anchor for me when I was trying to figure out who I was. L’CHAIM: How will the ongoing COVID-19 crisis impact how Hillel operates this school year, especially with so many students studying from their own homes? KP: In such an unprecedented time, students are craving social connection. They are hungry for it. We have and will continue to work on shifting programming in order to accommodate our students during this time. One really interesting outcome of this situation has been the development of quaranteams, which are small groups of students that have been built to connect students to new friends who share their same interests. Watching the formation of these groups has really been amazing and rewarding; because it shows that we can overcome any obstacles together, as one Jewish community. It’s also all about relationships. Hillel staff is still meeting one on one with students to

support their Jewish journey and give them what they need during this time when it is easy to feel isolated. Eventually, we will be back to hosting inperson events to bring our students together, but we will not do so until it is safe and until we can guarantee that no one is at risk. L’CHAIM: What role do you see Hillel playing in the future of Jewish student’s lives? KP: One of the main purposes of Hillel is to inspire students to be ethically engaged global citizens who use their Jewish values to improve the world. If we are to connect effectively with students now, we have to acknowledge that there is injustice and inequality happening in the world around them and our Jewish community and our Jewish students can be a force for good. We can do this a lot of ways. One of the best ways to do this is to allow students to deeply immerse in Jewish learning that awakens the spirit of tikkun olam. And also, Students need to feel their values in action by actually doing the work with their hands. It’s a big reason why we offer alternative spring breaks. And now a big way to do tikkun olam is through partnerships with local organizations like JFS. The more we can collaborate and work together, the better. Let’s give our students the opportunity to flex their Jewish values in real time to help solve real problems and let’s have them do it with Hillel supporting that growth. Hillel is literally impacting the strength of Jewish life today but also far into the future. What we do has a ripple effect. Each student who connects to Jewish life and to another Jewish friend is more likely to continue to participate in Jewish community as an adult and stake in the future of Israel. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WORK OF HILLEL OF SAN DIEGO, VISIT WWW.HILLELSD.ORG.





THE COMMUNITY Three local organizations take on the work of Tikkun Olam 12



e’ve all spent the last few months washing our hands and avoiding large gatherings. But in addition to taking all the steps to follow crucial safety guidelines, some San Diego organizations are helping the individuals and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has created new needs while putting enormous financial pressure on all non-profits, even if they aren’t directly responding to the crisis. The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic may cause many donors to dial back. Many charitable organizations are also having to cancel many of their usual programs and fundraising events out of concern for public safety. Today, these organizations have limited financial reserves to carry them through the lean times ahead, putting them in a difficult spot. To make a difference, if you are in a financial position to do so, consider donating money or time to your favorite charity, to directly help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. L'CHAIM explored several non-profit organizations worthy of dedicating your time to today, including Hebrew Free Loan Society of San Diego. Read on for more from the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and USO San Diego, including how you can help the community by donating to these great organizations in a time where your support means more than ever before.



It is an indisputable fact that San Diego is a safe and beautiful city, rich in culture and entertainment with weather that is usually warm and sunny year-round. Every resident should have the right to enjoy living in this beautiful area of the United States. Yet studies show that poverty touches about 20 percent of the approximately 50,000 Jewish households in San Diego County. No doubt this has been further exacerbated this year by further financial hardships related to COVID-19. Dealing with poverty is a situation not unique to Jewish households only in San Diego — it is an issue that has been addressed in many other cities throughout the country with the establishment of organizations known as Hebrew Free Loan Societies. Hebrew Free Loan Societies are based on the biblical commandment to provide financially strained Jewish individuals with interest-free loans. The great Jewish Philosopher Maimonides considered the interest-free loan among the highest forms of “tzedakah” — the religious obligation to do what is right — because it respects the dignity of the borrower, provides him or her with a means of self-sufficiency, and does not saddle the borrower with unmanageable debt repayments. The objective is to provide interest-free loans to members

of the Jewish Community to address the financial challenges of those who lack access to traditional lending sources. With the impact of COVID 19 at no time has this need been more apparent. Yet San Diego is one of the very few major cities in the US that does not have an active Hebrew Free Loan Society — until now that is. “I am pleased to announce the formation of the Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego whose mission will be to aid and empower members of the San Diego Jewish community to help themselves by providing interest free loans in accordance with core Jewish values of dignity, respect, compassion and confidentiality,” announced Selwyn Isakow, founding president. “Loans are interest-free and don’t require collateral, only someone to guarantee they’ll pay if the borrower can’t,” he added. The loans will support those who are facing serious financial challenges or realizing life dreams. Fundamental to the process is that as loans are repaid the funds are then relent to others who need assistance. Historically, Hebrew Free Loan Societies have proven the success of this model with a repayment rate of over 99 percent. Isakow states that the objective will be to become a perpetual source of funding for members of the San Diego Jewish Community to meet financial challenges, pursue their dreams, and become or remain self-sufficient. Loans will be made prudently, with guarantors, ensuring the recycling of funds and continuity of community assistance. Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego plans to make several different loan programs available for clients, including loans for Jewish Continuity, Fertility and Life Cycle events, Personal and Special Needs, Debt Consolidation, Education, Healthcare, Women & Children in Crisis, Small Business, Emergency and for the recently unemployed. The individual loan amounts will vary based on the specific loan program, have a term of one to four years, and will be repaid in monthly, interest free installments that meet the borrower’s ability to repay. Loan criteria will include meeting a genuine need, ability to repay, having co-signers, and the integrity of the client. Funded by the generosity of foundations and individual donors, Isakow expects to have the Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego operational by November. A worthy objective for an organization that will impact members of the Jewish community for generations to come. Donations are tax deductible and donor funds will recycle as loans are repaid and new loans made for generations to come. “This will allow us to fulfill our mission of creating a perpetual source of funds to meet the financial challenges and opportunities of the Jewish residents of San Diego County who lack access to traditional lending sources,” concludes Isakow.




For more information about Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego, including online loan applications, visit JACOBS & CUSHMAN SAN DIEGO FOOD BANK’S SUPER PANTRY PROGRAM

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and its North County Food Bank chapter launched the regional hunger-relief nonprofit’s new “Super Pantry Program” over the summer in response to skyrocketing demand for food assistance from families and seniors facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Bank’s Super Pantry Program is comprised of 35 high-volume food distribution centers strategically located in communities throughout San Diego County from Fallbrook in the north to San Ysidro in the south and rural communities in East County. Since the program’s launch, the Food Bank’s new Super Pantries have significantly reduced food lines, and the amount of time families need to wait for food assistance. Each Super Pantry is distributing food a minimum of three days a week to prevent long lines experienced at mass food distributions at the start of the crisis. With longer service hours on multiple days every week, the Food Bank is serving more households, more safely, more efficiently and more quickly. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, the San Diego Food Bank and its North County Food Bank chapter have distributed more than 34 million pounds of food to struggling families and seniors in communities throughout San Diego County thanks to generous support from local donors and an army of volunteers working at its two warehouse facilities. The Food Bank supplies food to San Diego County’s charitable food network through a hub and spoke model. Through this model, 500 nonprofits receive food from the San Diego Food Bank’s 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Miramar and the North County Food Bank’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Vista. The Food Banks’ member nonprofits include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, low-income day care centers and senior centers. Currently, the Food Bank supplies food for 200 scheduled food distributions every month throughout the county. James A. Floros, President & CEO of the San Diego Food Bank and its North County Food Bank chapter said, “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have increased the amount of food we distribute by 60%, and we are currently feeding nearly 600,000 people every month, up from 350,000 per month prior to the start of the crisis.” “Our Super Food Pantry Program has greatly increased the capacity of our existing food distribution network partners. With record unemployment and COVID-19’s devastating impact on our economy, the need for enhanced food distribution centers will remain for the foreseeable future. Our Super Food Pantries will enable the Food Bank to distribute more food more safely, quickly and efficiently to families in need while the pandemic maintains its grip our region.”



The Food Bank has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the county’s charitable food network to ensure that tens of thousands of families affected by the crisis receive food assistance. The Food Bank is committed to serving San Diego County throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, visit USO SAN DIEGO

USO San Diego’s mission is to strengthen America’s Military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country throughout their time in service. COVID-19 may have shifted traditional service delivery for USO San Diego, but our mission has remained strong throughout this pandemic. USO has over 250 locations worldwide. The organization’s global support to the military around the world has been instrumental for almost 80 years as the USO has been providing direct support services within our centers, airport locations and of course in deployed areas around the world providing morale support. In San Diego, the USO has remained open during this pandemic. With five locations around the San Diego county, active duty, reservist, national guard, and military families are served 365 days a year while following all county health guidelines. At the Neil Ash Airport Center, USO provides services to essential personnel on official military orders, such as recruits who continue to make their way into the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD). At Liberty Station a virtual, pick up and drivethrough service is available for military families, providing high quality programming and support. Programs include STEM and reading programs for military kids and teens, professional skill set building for our military spouses, food distributions and essential product distributions for our military families. COVID-19 has created an additional layer of challenges for San Diego’s local military and their families; from quarantined service members returning from deployment, to those prepping for deployment. The USO in San Diego/Camp Pendleton team remains ready to react where needed, providing toiletries, food, and resources immediately upon request. The USO in San Diego and on-board Camp Pendleton can connect local military families to quality resources through virtual or drive-through programming, showing the entire San Diego community around them truly cares. USO San Diego / Camp Pendleton will continue to strengthen the military, keeping members connected to family, home and country, throughout their time in service, through a pandemic and through the generosity of our San Diego community. For more information on USO programs and services, contact Executive Director, Ashley Camac at or visit www.sandiego. Join the “Live from the USO” virtual event on November 19th by visiting, and “TROT for Troops” this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday at


“ThePatriotic Patriotic Voice “The Voice of American Jewry” of American Jewry” This Veterans Day

PostPost 185 San Diego 185 San

Mark S. Stern, MD

Certified by the American Board of Neurosurgery 705 East Ohio Avenue • Escondido, CA 760-489-9490 •


Invites you to become a member

wishes to acknowledge and thank all veterans • Fight anti-Semitism of our armedour services all active duty personnel • Support militaryand overseas for their courage and sacrifice dedicated to defend and • Comradeship preserve freedom • Supportthe youth through of our country, the United States of America. scouting & JROTC IfRick youNathanson, are a Jewish and want to join the post, PostVeteran Commander (916) 995-6916 call Allen Miliefsky, Commander (619) 737-6910 or call Sheldon Kleiman, Commander (858) 452-5691 Allen Miliefsky, Past StateVice Commander

(619) 737-6910

Jewish War Veterans is a 501c3 nonprofit national organization. For those interested in donating to Jewish War Veterans of the USA, please submit aACTIVE donation toVETERANS P.O. BOX 81171, San Diego CA 92168 THE OLDEST



Joshua Gaylis 858.361.8285


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his year, why not try to make vegetables the star of your Thanksgiving table? These recipes, reprinted with permission from, are sure to please your holiday crowd, vegetarian or not. Pair the portobello mushroom steaks with rosemary ptolenta with some zesty roasted carrots or sweet potatoes, kale salad and a glass of wine for a delicious dinner. For a vegan spin on a classic, try the cornbread stuffing, reprinted with permission from Gayle Squires of Bake up a fresh skillet of cornbread, crumble it and dry it overnight or in a low oven for 20 minutes, or use store bought. When added to onions, celery and mushrooms cooked down with thyme, no one will miss the dairy in this dish. Portobello Mushroom Steaks with Cheesy Rosemary Polenta Serves 4 Ingredients portobello mushrooms (suggested 2-3 mushrooms per person) sea salt or smoked salt for a grilled flavor, (to taste) black pepper (to taste) coconut oil (enough to thinly cover the pan, unless grilling outside) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar per mushroom 2 cups corn grits (pre-soaked for at least an hour is best) 6 cups water 4 tablespoons Earth Balance “butter” sprig of rosemary (do not chop)

2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast balsamic reduction for garnish (such as Trader Joe’s Trader Giotto Balsamic Glaze) rosemary sprigs for garnish Instructions 1. In a pot, add 6 cups of water and the cornmeal/grits. Leave to soak for 1-4 hours for texture (optional). 2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, then add a sprig of rosemary. Stir every few minutes to prevent burning on the bottom. 3. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked in. 4. Heat the grill, stovetop grill or skillet till the oil sizzles, then add the seasoned portobello mushrooms. 5. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on each mushroom and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. 6. Flip the Portobellos, drizzle more balsamic and cook until desired (rare, med, well-done). 7. Remove from stovetop and slice at an angle for presentation. 8. On each plate, smash the polenta into a flat circle shape and then cover with the steaks. Cornbread Stuffing Serves 10 Ingredients 6 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for greasing pan) 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 medium onions)

1 1⁄2 cup celery (4–5 stalks) 3 cloves garlic (minced) 3⁄4 pounds white button mushrooms 3⁄4 pounds cremini mushrooms 3⁄4 teaspoons fresh thyme salt and pepper to taste 1⁄2 cup chopped parsley 8 cups crumbled, stale cornbread 3 cups vegetable stock Instructions 1. Prepare the cornbread and then crumble and spread out on two sheet pans, allowing to dry overnight or longer or for at least 20 minutes in a 150˚F oven. 2. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch or similarly sized (12-cup) shallow baking pan. 3. In a large, deep skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Sauté, stirring for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add mushrooms and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the mushrooms release their liquid (about 5 minutes) and then resorb it (another 10 minutes). Taste for salt and pepper. 4. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, parsley and cornbread. Mix in the stock to moisten the cornbread. 5. Transfer to greased baking pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is lightly browned, another 15 minutes. Serve hot.




A panel of experts from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) discuss anti-Semitism in the media, campus, and public life. PHOTO BY KINERET RIFKIND.






he Academic Engagement Network (AEN) and Hillel International recently launched separate initiatives to address anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on college campuses. AEN’s Improving the Campus Climate Initiative (ICCI) and Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative (CCI) will engage intensively with senior campus officials about the multifaceted nature of contemporary anti-Semitism to help ensure that students feel comfortable expressing their identity on campus. The two organizations have decided to collaborate on their initiatives. Raeefa Shams, AEN’s senior associate for communications, sat down with Mark Yudof, chair of AEN’s Advisory Board, and Mark Rotenberg, vice president of University Initiatives & Legal Affairs at Hillel International, to discuss their views about the concerns and challenges for Jewish students on American campuses; the importance of improving the campus climate for Jewish, Zionist and all students; and why they see engaging and training diversity officials as central to addressing the issue. Q: What are the goals of AEN’s ‘Improving the Campus Climate Initiative’ and Hillel International’s ‘Campus Climate Initiative’? Mark Yudof: The goals for this partnership and collaboration are quite bold. Both of our organizations respond when there are crises, whether at San Francisco State or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or Columbia University, but we also believe that being proactive is very important. What that means is reaching out to decisionmakers and allowing them access to educational materials that will help them to better understand issues like Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, how even constitutionally protected speech can be hurtful, how to demonstrate moral leadership, etc. We hope that our organizations can work together on select campuses to make this happen, in particular with mid-level administrators in student affairs, equity and inclusion since we already have a history of bringing faculty, students and Hillel professionals together to

address the issues. We anticipate that AEN and Hillel will be working in tandem on some campuses and independently on others. Mark Rotenberg: The goal of our initiative is to work collaboratively with local Hillel professionals, higher education partners and AEN to create a more positive campus climate for Jewish and all students. To achieve our goal, we will work with selected colleges and universities to provide training that helps administrators and staff to recognize the threats of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and to take affirmative steps to address them. In addition to our individual campus work, we hope to improve the adoption of best practice policies and procedures that universities can customize to their specific campus environment. Q: Why is it important to focus on senior officials in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion? Mark Rotenberg: EDI officials are at the forefront of the racial-justice imperative that has swept over this country, especially since the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. While the impetus to identify and rectify racist, and specifically anti-black racism, is first and foremost on their agenda, it is important to appreciate that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism directed at Jewish students must also be part of the agenda. Those officials are a core part of our target audience. Mark Yudof: In the last decades, equity and inclusion offices and deans of students have focused on racism, homophobia, antiHispanic bigotry, etc. We also want to familiarize them with the history of antiSemitism and anti-Zionism, and familiarize them with the needs and aspirations of Jewish students and faculty. I don’t think many of these professionals are hostile to Jewish students and faculty, but they don’t necessarily have the knowledge that they need to begin to address issues that occur on campus. There is a tendency to focus on the legal mechanisms, but it is more a question of ameliorating imbalances of knowledge— about the history of the Jewish people, but also the challenges that they face on campus.

Q: Why do you both feel that these initiatives are necessary right now? Mark Yudof: We put a great deal of energy into crises—boycott resolutions, a Jewish student government official being harassed for her identity, etc.—and these are all important. But look at it like a forest fire. We want to fight the fires but also prevent them. We need to be more proactive, and both of our organizations are good at this. Students are sometimes subjected to a barrage about Israel being complicit in everything wrong in the world, from COVID-19 to racial injustice in the United States, and someone needs to speak up for the truth. Mark Rotenberg: Anti-Semitic incidents on campus are at an all-time high even with months of campuses being physically closed due to COVID-19, and this dangerous trend has been surging for several years. It’s also clear that recent efforts to delegitimize Israel on campus have taken on more pernicious forms recently. We are witnessing more explicit anti-Semitic expressions of antiZionism that are focused on demeaning and isolating students who wish to express their Jewish identity and their support for Israel. Many university leaders lack an understanding of these threats and how they affect our students. We need to make it clear to them that this trend has accelerated and is impacting too many Jewish and proIsrael students on campus, and they need to vigorously address it. AEN’s and Hillel’s leadership agree that this moment requires a focus on this particular problem and requires us to step up and make university leadership aware of how serious it is. Q: AEN and Hillel will be working together to share best practices, policy recommendations and training materials from their respective programs. What particular strengths will each organization contribute to this partnership? Mark Yudof: The two organizations have considerable strengths. AEN has more than 750 faculty members on 250plus campuses across the country, many of whom have expertise on anti-Semitism and WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



anti-Zionism. The faculty is really our core strength. We also have close relationships with senior administrators. We don’t want to helicopter into a campus; we need a good relationship with the administration to be effective. We have those contacts. We have the presence on campus on the faculty level to get the job done. They’re their own political force on campus, and we need to recognize that. We want to make sure that faculty, Hillel professionals and students are working together effectively and pragmatically. Mark Rotenberg: The strength that Hillel will bring to this collaborative effort is its longstanding presence on campus. We have both the brick-and-mortar and the full-time professionals on hundreds of campuses across the United States. We complement AEN’s faculty strength by being the Jewish student community’s physical presence on campus—twin assets that are vital to the initiative. Concretely, we’ll offer sophisticated measurement tools that will allow officials to better understand the campus climate for Jewish students using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. We’ll also offer tools for professional development and access to experts to help them see the needs and experiences of Jewish students, and we can conduct analyses using internal and external experts (including faculty) who can help evaluate the campus policies, procedures and practices that impact the Jewish student experience. Q: What do you hope your respective initiatives will have achieved in the first year of operations? Mark Rotenberg: Campus climate is an elusive term, and the underlying reality is difficult to affect in the short term. No realistic person can expect that the campus climate for Jewish and pro-Israel students can be revolutionized in a matter of months. What we hope to accomplish in this first year is to pilot our initiative on 10 to 15 campuses, to make headway on those campuses with the administration in partnership with AEN, and to create a situation where the leadership on those campuses appreciates the importance of addressing the climate in a robust way. Mark Yudof: That would be a very good year! My theory of change in higher education is that innovation frequently comes from emulation. Things take hold in higher education not necessarily through a top-down process, but an understanding that other institutions have done it successfully. My aspiration is that the initial 10 to 15 campuses can serve as a model for many more in terms of thinking about anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and Jewish identity. Note: This article originally appeared on

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“Salaam” is an empathy video game created by 2020 CNN Champion for Change Lual Mayen, a South-Sudanese refugee who now works to build peace through video games. COURTESY JUNUB GAMES.



ccording to a growing group of researchers, diplomats and video game developers, as well as the United Nations, video games — if done right — may just be the future of diplomacy and a peacemaking tool that effectively builds empathy, understanding and bridges between global communities. The San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Fall Signature Event – Global Game On: How Video Games Promote World Peace & Diplomacy – on Friday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. PST serves as the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser and will focus on how digital diplomacy and video games help close divisive gaps around the world. In the Zoom event, co-hosted with San Diego chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), attendees will be transported from war to peace: Panelists include Lual Mayen, who fled wartorn South-Sudan and spent 22 years in a refugee camp. As founder of Junub games, Mayen now creates video games that build peace. He will be joined by Rami Ismail, a Dutch-Egyptian independent games and tool developer with over 20 titles, who advocates for the creation of a fairer and more equal industry for developers anywhere through his work at; and Dr. Constance Steinkuehler, an American professor of 21


informatics at the University of California, Irvine, currently researches the cognitive and social aspects of video games and gaming, and previously advised on policy matters about video games and learning in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House Executive Office. The event will feature welcome remarks from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce. Then, in partnership with the North American Scholastic Esports Foundation, attendees can witness the concept in action, as high school students in the U.S and Mexico participate in the empathy video game “Among Us,” to promote global dialogue and collaboration. A Q&A with some of the students will follow. “Our goal at San Diego Diplomacy Council is to connect, inform and empower people and organizations — locally and globally — driving positive changes in themselves, their community and the world. While we can’t have as many in-person meet ups and international visitors and visits right now, we’re seeing the critical need for digital diplomacy for international connectivity and understanding – including through video games,” said Executive Director Fabienne Perlov. “We encourage citizen diplomats, grandparents, parents, high school students

and more to attend in order to help promote peace and play video games together!” “Video games create a safe space for people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to connect, while having fun,” added IGDA San Diego Vice Chair Karen Morrison. “As IGDA believes, and this event demonstrates, gaming provides a platform for authentic communication and a place for global collaboration.” Event registration includes free access to a surprise video game. Attendees will also be entered to win a Recipe Exchange Book with recipes from the Diplomacy Council’s international visitors. During the event, local attendees have the option to enjoy dinners showcasing San Diego’s diverse cultural background and refugee community made by International Rescue Committee MAKE, available via local pickup. Tickets are $15 for San Diego Diplomacy Council members and $25 for non-members. Additional add-ons include a private virtual cocktail room for up to six guests for $20, plus a multi-course authentic Sudanese dinner available for pick-up or delivery, which ranges from $45-$73. FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS, VISIT BIT.LY/SDDCGAMING.







abbi Yonatan Halevy has certainly made headlines in the local community as well as the country. Walking home with his father during the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the rabbi was attacked by a local teenager who spewed racial slurs and physically attacked the Rabbi. While Rabbi Halevy and his father are both fine, the way they view security has changed. Called Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim, the synagogue is small yet mighty. The shul started in May of 2015 and is a subdivision of Rabbi Halevy’s nonprofit organization, Shiviti. The rabbi and Rabbanit Devorah his wife, are very active in their community: They give lectures and teach about Judaism daily and on Shabbat have multiple lectures throughout the day. Rabbi Halevy explained: “We are not a traditional synagogue, ‘Bet Knesset;’ we are primarily a learning center, or ‘Bet Midrash.’ The praying aspect [here] is secondary while learning is the first.” Halevy admits that this is not for everyone but the members who regularly attend are very happy with this 22


module. The shul itself has a sister “Bet Midrash” in Los Angeles as well as a virtual Bet Midrash that was recently formulated in the U.K. In addition, they have a program called GLiTS, which stands for Girls Leadership Training Seminar. Girls from other states spend the summer here in San Diego, and do outdoor activities and sleep in tents, all while learning about Judaism. Rabbi Halevy who was born and raised in San Diego to Israeli parents, hails from Yemenite and Moroccan heritage. His father who is also a rabbi has a doctorate from UCSB and decided to move to San Diego before Rabbi Yonatan was born. His father, Rabbi Dr. Shalom Halevy, is a scientist currently working in the field of data mining and signal processing, and in the past used to work with rockets and missiles with NASA. His mother is a retired teacher and teaches some of the classes offered at the synagogue. Rabbi Halevy attended Soille Hebrew Day School and then attended the Ner Israel Rabbinical College Yeshiva in Baltimore.

He moved to Israel where he obtained his Rabbinical certificate at the Midrash Sephardi - Shehebar Sephardic Center and met his wife there. They then moved back to San Diego and started Shiviti while growing their family. They have two boys and twin girls. “A hate crime, even of a young person, is not a personal attack, but rather an attack against the whole Jewish people,” the rabbi said. He recently taught a class entitled “Healing Hatred of the Heart,” which was attended by both Jews and non-Jews alike. He believes that the community can heal by learning how to communicate in a respectable and healthy fashion. Today, the rabbi invites anyone interested, to stop by and get a taste of the unique wisdom and teachings that Sephardic Judaism has to offer at Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.KSHSD.ORG.





Experimenting on zebrafish is a steppingstone to understanding the human brain. CREDIT: PIXBAY.



sraeli researcher and Jerusalem College of Technology professor Dr. David Sinefeld and a group of interdisciplinary scientists at Cornell University have made a new breakthrough in brain imaging thanks to its mapping of a zebrafish’s brain. The team, working in the university’s labs, used advanced microscopy methods to image the fine structure and activity of an adult zebrafish brain, which resulted in opening a new horizon of neurological research. “This is a problem that everyone dreams of solving,” said Sinefeld, referring to the difficulty in successfully examining thick brain tissue, especially through adult fish scales. Experimenting on zebrafish is a useful steppingstone to understanding the human brain because all vertebrate brains are similar in nature. Although scientists usually use mice and monkeys as models for the human brain, zebrafish are another viable option. “All vertebrate brains are, to a first approximation, the same, with nearly all brain regions [present] in nearly every vertebrate,” said Joseph Fetcho, professor of neurobiology and behavior and director of 23


Cornell Neurotech in the College of Arts and Sciences told the Cornell Chronicle. “This is not surprising because they all, even the simplest ones, have to do the same things to survive and reproduce.” “In order to solve this problem, we used a novel microscopy method which was invented in Professor Chris Xu’s lab [at Cornell]. In this method, we use special lasers with extremely short pulses that interact with the molecules in the brain in a way that allows separation between this interaction and the scattered light from other tissue layers. This means that we can shine a laser beam through fish scales and still see the neurons behind them, allowing us to image specific neurons deep in the brain with very high resolution,” said Sinefeld, who spent five years working as a postdoctoral researcher Mong Fellow at Cornell Neurotech Center. The innovative, precise method delivers 1,300 nm wavelength photons to a certain point in the brain, activating a specific fluorescent protein. The laser then repeatedly scans a certain section of the brain, garnering a 3-D image of its structure. To date, all other methods of looking inside the brain, like an

MRI, don’t yield the resolution needed to see the neurons and structure inside. “This method opens a new horizon for animal brain research. We can now see better how the brain works,” said Sinefeld. “This research allows us to monitor a full zebrafish brain over time. For instance, after applying this tool to fish engineered to have certain brain disorders the images can then decipher how the brain changes as the fish mature. Likewise, the images can then also see how the fish respond to treatment over time and can lead to dramatic implications in how we understand brain functions and their disorders.” Sinefeld hopes to continue his efforts in the field of microscopy at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT). He is in the process of applying for grants and funding to build a new lab dedicated to this discipline at the school. “This could be a game-changer in the field of neuroscience,” he said. “I am excited for the opportunity to establish these novel methods In Israel, and specifically, in JCT.” Note: This article originally appeared on WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM





he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that both the novel coronavirus and flu viruses will spread significantly this fall and winter, which could overwhelm health care facilities. Seniors are already at higher risk of serious health problems from COVID-19, and this year’s flu season will likely compound those worries for older adults and those who care for them. However, if you keep these four simple tips in mind, you and your loved ones have a better chance of staying healthy - and keeping your friends and neighbors safe as well. Get a flu shot. According to the CDC, getting a flu shot lowers your risk of serious illness, even if you do pick up one of the many strains of flu that will likely spread this fall and winter. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu infection, hospitalization, and death for both you and those around you—and this year they will save hospital resources for patients with COVID-19. If you are caring for an aging loved one, it’s particularly important that both of you get one. … and keep taking COVID-19 precautions. The flu shot does NOT protect 24


anyone from COVID-19. However, many of the same COVID-19 precautions we have all grown accustomed to over the past nine months (washing your hands, keeping at least six feet apart from people outside your household, wearing masks in public places, and not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth), are also pretty good at preventing the spread of flu viruses. Make sure both you and anyone you are caring for follow all these precautions. Although we are hoping for a milder flu season due to the precautions we are taking with COVID-19, we still strongly encourage people to get their flu vaccines since the outcome of dealing with both infections at once can be devastating. Time your flu shot properly. If you haven’t already, get your flu shot now, so it won’t wear off in February or early March while we’re still in flu season. … and then encourage everyone in your life to get a flu shot, no matter how old they are. It’s not just seniors who are at risk during flu season – babies and young children are particularly vulnerable as well. In fact, patients of all ages can suffer serious complications from the flu, and even die. Flu shots protect pregnant women, are an

important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes and can be lifesaving for children. Children are also at risk of severe illness as well and can spread disease to others. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated. Despite all these benefits, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine. Per the CDC, the solution is simple: “many more people could be protected from the flu if more people got vaccinated.” The more people get vaccinated against the flu, the fewer people will get seriously ill - and that’s something we can all work toward together as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic into the new year. JYOTU SANDHU, MD, IS A FAMILY MEDICINE AND SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR WITH SHARP REES-STEALY MEDICAL GROUP. SIMONA VALANCIUTE IS THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAN DIEGO OASIS, AN AWARD-WINNING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION SERVING PEOPLE AGE 50 PLUS.




osh Gaylis is a name to look out for in the real estate world. From his charismatic charm to million-dollar smile, he is sure to make it far in this business. Gaylis graduated from the San Diego Jewish Academy and then attended the University of Arizona before he pursued his passion in real estate. Earlier this year, he moved his business from Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty to Compass. Since the beginning of the year up until October, he has completed over $15 million in sales volume. As Gaylis said, “I started 2020 off with a bang!” Why is Josh Gaylis so successful? Gaylis explained: “I’m available, I didn’t let the pandemic stop me. I always follow CDC guidelines and precautions during showings.” Being home during this time helped him focus more on his database and nurture the leads he had worked so hard to establish. He was also able to enhance his social media presence and begin branding his name. This resulted in an influx of referrals from past and active clients. He took time

to reconnect with old friends who are now business professionals who are in the market to buy, sell and refer. Gaylis has learned over the years that, “the best form of marketing is word of mouth” Gaylis puts in the work and sees consistent results. He is very proud of the fact that he closed more transactions over the last 10 months than he did in the past three years. Some of the other factors that have played into his success include low interest rates, low inventory and high demand and an influx of tech buyers who due to the pandemic can work remotely and live anywhere. San Diego is a place where they want to be, and it is more affordable than other inflated cities like San Francisco. Why not live in a beachfront property, letting the waves lull you to sleep while watching the beautiful nature surround you for the same price as a twobedroom condo in Northern California? The high demand and low supply have created a bidding frenzy which is to the advantage of sellers and ultimately real estate agents.

Staying at home during the pandemic has also made people realize the value of owning property and living in a place that you love and can call your own. During this unique time, Gaylis cautions buyers to be prepared to have more competition than usual. He suggests clients write a letter to the seller along with a photo of their family or pet. This builds emotional connections with the seller. He also suggests hiring a well-versed agent when buying who is used to engaging in multiple bidding wars in a market like the present. Sellers should declutter and touch up their homes before listing. The smallest changes make the biggest difference. Gaylis’s ultimate goal is to grow his own team. This objective is what keeps him going and he looks forward to this continued momentum that he has created for himself in real estate. TO CONTACT JOSH GAYLIS BY PHONE CALL OR TEXT (858) 361 8285 OR EMAIL JOSHUA.GAYLIS@COMPASS.COM. WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM



jewish I've Lost Control Over My Kids' Screen Time


re-corona, screen time wasn’t even an issue for us Weisbergs. My kids left for school in the early morning and came home mid-afternoon/evening, leaving precious few hours to play, eat, and fight until their pre-bedtime video time followed by (yahoo!) bedtime. But now, under lockdown, screen time is THE issue for us Weisbergs. From the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night, I’m in a constant battle against screen time. And the screens are winning, hands down! A few days ago, I got an e-mail from my son’s school that Rabbi Yoni Lavi would be leading a zoom conference with us parents about “The Parenting Challenge of the Corona Era.” I understood from the e-mail that Rabbi Yoni would be talking about the evils of screen time. So instead of marking it down in my calendar like a good Eema, I davka scheduled something else at the time of the conference. There’s no need for even MORE negativity these days, right? It’s bad enough, I thought, that I’m drowning in kids and homework and zooms. Why add disempowering guilt over my kids’ out-of-control screen time into the mix? But when I vented to one of my grown-up daughters, she suggested that maybe the conference wouldn’t be disempowering at all. In fact, maybe it would be extremely empowering! So, I cancelled what I’d scheduled. And I listened to the zoom conference while I sorted a mountain of laundry. And Rabbi Yoni reminded me why too much screen time isn’t good for kids. And why this is definitely a battle worth fighting. And I decided as a first step I’m going to set up, as Rabbi Yoni suggested, 26


“From the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night, I’m in a constant battle against screen time.” “Screen-Free Time.” When I announced this new initiative, no screens between (I decided) 3-6 p.m., one child turned pink-faced indignant and shouted, ”But then WHAT WILL I DO??!” One child cried when I tore the computer from her clutches at 3 p.m., whining, “But the movie ends in only 12 minutes!!”). She’s been sulking ever since. It is now 4:17, which means we are a full hour and 17minutes into the Weisberg screen-freeze. I pray I (and my kids) are going to win this round, not the screens! Wish me luck! REBECCA MASINTER IS THE CREATOR OF TORAS IMECHA, A DAILY 2-3 MINUTE PODCAST WITH INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS ON THE PARSHA AND JEWISH MOTHERHOOD.









Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the United States of America is the oldest active national veterans’ service organization in the USA founded in 1896. In 2021, JWV will celebrate 125 year of service to all veterans supporting the needs of Jewish and Non-Jewish veterans alike. At present, there are approximately 250 JWV posts in in USA with about 7500 active members. In World War I, 250,000 Jews and in World War II, 550,000 Jews served in our armed services in numbers well above the general population. Many thousands more have served and are presently servicing our nation. Jewish War Veterans of San Diego, Post 185 wishes to honor and remember all American veterans for their service to our country. We wish to thank all veterans for their courage and sacrifice in defense of the United States of America. On September 2, 1958, Congress granted a charter creating The National Museum of American Jewish Military History (NMAJMH) located in Washington D.C. This museum documents and preserves the contributions of Jewish Americans to the peace and freedom of the United States. Through its exhibitions, archives, and programs, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History documents the long history of honorable and distinguished service of Jews in the American military from the Revolutionary War to the present. Jewish War Veterans’ posts throughout the United States and The National Museum of American Jewish Military History are dedicated to acknowledging the courage, heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in our armed forces. Jewish War Veterans is a tax deductible, 501c3 nonprofit national organization. For those interested in donating to Jewish War Veterans of the USA, please submit a donation to P.O. BOX 81171, San Diego CA 92168-1171. If you are a Jewish Veteran and wish to join Jewish War Veteran Post 185 of San Diego, please call Allen Miliefsky, Commander at (619) 737-6910 or Sheldon Kleiman, Vice Commander at (858) 452-5691.



Guns N’ Moses is a Jewish shooting club that was started in 2015 to bring armed Jews together to practice and advance their firearms training. The main goal was to learn new things about armed selfdefense as well as Jewish law on this subject. But what started as a club for affirmed shooters, developed into a resource for the San Diego Jewish community for training and everything related to armed selfdefense. Since 2018, the Club has been run by Alex Dovgalevsky. “Considering our history, we should be the most armed and best trained ethnic group in the world,” he said. However, growth in the club has not been based on Jewish history but based on reaction to current events. “We doubled in size after the murder of Jews in Pittsburg, we grew again after the shooting in Poway, but our biggest growth occurred after the COVID lockdown and the street violence that followed.” The club, now too big to keep meeting as one, has been divided into advanced, intermediate, and beginner groups. Long-time “Mosite”, Dan, says “I love Guns N’ Moses. I have been a shooter a long time, but I find it very rewarding to be in a shooting club run by Jews for Jews. Being part of the Advanced training class really focused me from being just a recreational shooter to understanding realities of being in a firefight.” The beginner group has experienced the biggest growth. The roster now has over 150 names of people who are first-time shooters or need a refresher course in firearm safety and fundamentals. “To accommodate everyone, we partnered with San Diego County Gun Owners – a local Second Amendment PAC. SDCGO members have been amazing mentors and instructors to our Beginner Group.” The club has no membership fees. Guns N’ Moses hopes to remain a trusted resource for the armed Jewish community and is happy to help with training, purchasing firearms, and applying for CCW (Concealed Carry Permits). To join or get more information, email





& mishagoss An Interview with the Author


inahpets: Thank you for agreeing to let us get to know you a little better, Stephanie. How did you first get started with writing? Stephanie: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from the 5th grade on. It had Snoopy (fittingly!) from the Peanuts comic strip on the front cover and this tiny silver key. I always assumed that because I was a nosy person, (who’d never pass up the opportunity to check out someone else’s diary) that other people would read mine. So, I’d make up these really entertaining fictional anecdotes and weave them into my daily journal entries. It turns out my entire family respected my right to privacy and my words just withered away on the pages. I swore after that, my stories would always have an audience. Einahpets: Fascinating! My next question – how do you manage to combine Judaism with humor but not offend anyone? Stephanie: I run my writing past local synagogue clergy before I submit it for publication. In all my years doing this, they’ve only found one article displeasing. It was a hilarious piece contrasting the differences between a Rabbi and a Rabbit. It’s not just about the letter “t” at the end, you know. For instance, nobody ever carried a lucky Rabbi’s 28


foot on a keychain in the 70’s. And no Rabbi had a movie called, “Who Framed Roger Rabbi?” Some other key distinctions are . . . Einahpets: That’s fine! Let’s switch to the subject of family. Is it true you have six children? And are they okay with you writing about them? Stephanie: I am the mother of half a dozen kids, that’s correct. I never mention them in this column because I’m always extremely discreet. I have a daughter who doesn’t want anyone to know she’s painfully shy, and twin sons who are both working on two top-secret inventions. One designed an umbrella for dogs, which fastens onto the end of a leash. And the other conceived of a sleeping bag with built-in sleeves and pants for your arms and legs. My other children don’t really do anything worth mentioning. But they would never want that publicly disclosed, so shhhh. Einahpets: Again, new topic! I’m sure you get asked this a lot – but if you weren’t a funny columnist in a magazine, what other kind of job would you have? Stephanie: I would definitely be an annoying interviewer who asks funny columnists lots of lame and intrusive questions.

Einahpets: Well! There’s no need to get nasty. Stephanie: Oh, c’mon now. Aren’t we both getting nasty? Don’t you think it’s about time to let readers in on the truth? You’re really me. In other words, I’m just asking myself all these questions. Because I’m not important enough for a professional to actually conduct an official interview. We’re big enough to admit that now, aren’t we? Einahpets: Now you listen here… you’re not going to turn this thing around and put me on the spot answering your ridiculous questions. Awkward! Stephanie: It’s even more awkward when you think about the fact that everyone figured out that ‘Einahpets’ is just ‘Stephanie’ backwards. So, the jig is up! Hello? Are you there? STEPHANIE D. LEWIS CAN BE FOUND IN THE COMEDY SECTION OF THE HUFFINGTON POST AND AT HER HUMOR SITE ONCEUPONYOURPRIME.COM



ewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) San Diego leadership are pleased to announce the organization has surpassed its annual fundraising target, contributing a record $2 million towards a total of $100 million in funds raised nationally as the campaign prepares for an even bigger 2021. “This year has tested us all, yet it has also strengthened our resolve to support the land and people of Israel,” said Immediate Past President of the JNF-USA San Diego Board, Shari Schenk, whose two-year presidential term ended with record-breaking success on September 30, 2020. “Every day, JNF-USA is on the ground in Israel ensuring that Israelis in the Negev and Galilee have what they need not only to survive, but to thrive. During these challenging times, what has become clearer than ever is that the people of Israel are here for us and we in San Diego are here for them. Thanks to our local San Diego community, we can do even more to help Israelis with disabilities, young families in need of affordable housing, critical environmental research & development, and so much more.” News of JNF-USA’s record fundraising year follows a previous announcement that it had surpassed the $704 million mark of its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade Initiative – a figure that now stands at over $722 million. JNF-USA continues to develop Israel’s Negev Desert and Galilee with dozens of major projects underway including:

equipment and Rapid Action Fire Vehicles to Israel’s volunteer firefighters, enabling them to protect lives and property more effectively than ever before. Debbie Kornberg, JNF-USA San Diego board president who began her presidency on October 1 added: “I am honored to be assuming the role of Board President here in San Diego, a region that has seen unprecedented growth in philanthropic support for Israel over the past years. More and more San Diegans understand that when you give to JNF-USA, you’re not just making a donation, rather, you’re playing an active role in ensuring a bright future for Israel. People from all walks of life are drawn to support JNF-USA because they want to be part of the work to build the modern State of Israel. I am excited to capitalize on the success of our 2020 campaign year and take the 2021 campaign to new heights here in America’s Finest City.” San Diego-based JNF-USA National President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram remarked: “When people give to JNF-USA, they are contributing to a comprehensive vision for Israel, and raising their hand to say: ‘I want to be part of the greatest philanthropic movement in the history of the Jewish People.” JNF-USA has supported the people of Israel throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic. Just days after the first cases were recorded in Israel, JNF-USA was already working with its affiliates to address their immediate needs. Examples of support included: • Providing laptops to children with disabilities so they could continue to receive therapy online at home • Food and medicine for elderly residents and Holocaust Survivors who were unable to travel to local supermarkets and pharmacies • Supporting out-of-work Israeli tour guides through a virtual tours initiative ( • Helping small businesses that relied on tourist traffic in the Negev and Galilee by establishing an Online Mitzvah Market Place, enabling American consumers to purchase Israeli products (

$300 million JNF Israel Education and Technology Campus – A narrative-changing initiative that will revolutionize global Jewish education; place Israel at the center of Jewish learning; and inspire a new generation to engage with their Jewish and Zionist past, present, and future connection to Israel and the Jewish people. $20 million Galilee Culinary Institute by JNF – With the Rosenfield School of Culinary Arts on the Marvin Sukonik Campus, GCI by JNF will become the number one culinary school in the world, leveraging Israel’s 80+ unique cultures to create a truly world class institution 1,700 housing development sites – Enabling thousands of families to pursue the Zionist dream in the Negev and Galilee To support JNF-USA’s work in Israel, contact JNF-USA Director, San by creating the infrastructure needed to enable new housing Diego, Monica Edelman at or call 858.824.9178 development x988. Donations can also be made at Supporting Israel’s firefighters – Providing critical firefighting WWW.LCHAIMMAGAZINE.COM