July 2015 Tammuz/Av 5775
From Russia with Love Bar Mitzvah Training Spans the Globe JFFS Missions Change the World One Trip at a Time
In the Kitchen with Jamie Geller
T KIDS? GO
The Queen of Kosher
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JLIFE | Tammuz/Av 5775 | JULY 2015
Energy Stored with Age
One Man’s Journey to a New Beginning
From Africa to Israel
On The Lighter Side By Any Other Name
Rachel Goes Rogue
Swipe Right for Rogue
The Lost Europe
Publish Your World
Travel with Your Synagogue Experiencing Jewish sites all over the world.
Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere
“Do you speak Hebrew?”
From Russia with Love
Music to A Jewish Traveler’s Ears
Bar Mitzvah Training Spans the Globe
IN EVERY ISSUE
There’s a group for everyone.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Words from our Readers
First & Foremost
O.C. Jewish Scene
News & Jews
Cooking Jewish With Judy Bart Kancigor
Fitness, Education & More
Out & About A Guide to OC Fun
Book Review: Increasing Wholeness
An Interview with Author Rabbi Elie Spitz
Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 28.
20 On the Cover
The Queen of Kosher In the Kitchen with Jamie Geller 8 JULY 2015 |
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PUBLISHER | MODY GORSKY, LLM, MBA PUBLISHER | MARK EDELSTEIN PUBLISHER | MOTAN, LLC PUBLISHER EMERITUS | DR. MARK MOSS MANAGING EDITOR | TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY EXECUTIVE EDITOR | LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D. EXECUTIVE EDITOR | FLORENCE L DANN GEN Y EDITOR | RACHEL SCHIFF CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | TANYA SCHWIED FOOD EDITOR | JUDY BART KANCIGOR EDITORIAL INTERN | HANNAH SCHOENBAUM CREATIVE DIRECTOR | RACHEL BELLINSKY PHOTOGRAPHER | CHARLES WEINBERG CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARTIN BROWER, MERAV CEREN, ADAM CHESTER, FLORENCE L DANN, ROBIN DAVIS, PH. D., RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE, HARRIETTE ELLIS, JUDY FLORMAN, STEFANEE FREEDMAN, LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D., EVE GUMPEL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, DVORAH LEWIS, CARINE NADEL, PAMELA PRICE, NAOMI RAGEN, MAYRAV SAAR, RACHEL SCHIFF, TANYA SCHWIED, ANDREA SIMANTOV, DALIA TAFT, TEDDY WEINBERGER COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS RACHEL BELLINSKY, ALLEN BEREZOVSKY, PEPE FAINBERG, JANET LAWRENCE ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581 (TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY) OR (949) 734-5074 EDITORJLIFE@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891, MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM, (949) 734-5074 ART ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM JLIFE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
Jlife is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to Jlife, 1 Federation Way, Irvine,CA 92603. Jlife is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to Orange County Jewish Life, LLC become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.
10 JULY 2015 |
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FIRST & FOREMOST
NESIA TOVAH And May You Return Safe and Sound BY LISA J. GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
TRAVELING IS A luxury and respite for many. For others it is an education on what life is like elsewhere. We hope you enjoy this issue of Jlife as our writers take you on journeys that include many experiences and perspectives. Many of the trips covered are educational, others, an opportunity to experience and gain an understanding of life outside of the United States. My trip to Europe in the spring was part of my Bucket List. My companion and I spent a year planning, researching and detailing our two-week trip. Starting out with tulips in the Netherlands, we skirted the North Sea Coast on bicycles, courtesy of Peter at Tulip Cycling Tours. Fields of velvety tulips rolled by: red, yellow, pink, lavenAs Jews traveling der, and white… Leafy green in Europe, the forests enveloped us, dripping past is always a from the constant rain that ful Dutch, our trip was not reminder. accompanied us throughout without the anti-Semitism we our stay in Europe. Yet despite hear about in Europe. Upon the beauty of our trip, the asking for directions to the warm people, and nurturing Anne Frank House, from Muslim cab drivers, food, history was never far from our minds. we were met with the offensive response of, As Jews traveling in Europe the past is always “Haven’t you heard, Anne Frank is no longer a reminder. home.” The comment left a pit in my stomach As we traveled through the Netherlands, and I was shocked at the blatant disrespect. Belgium, and France, my mind often wan- My friend, on the other hand, reminded me dered to a past that was not kind. In Holland that anti-Semitism is not a trend of the past. I thought of the stories I had often heard In Paris we stayed in Le Marais, a historic from Holocaust survivors Flory and Felix Van quarter in Paris that was home to a sizeable Beek. Hidden for five years in Rotterdam Jewish community until World War II. More they escaped the direct hand of the Nazis, recently, since the 1990s, Jews have made a but their lives were tainted by the experi- comeback. This comeback was obvious by ence and it shaped the lives they lived. Our posters touting Jewish art exhibitions, men trip in the Netherlands finished with the in kippot, and the beautiful Musée d’Art et Portuguese Synagogue and a tour of Anne d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Museum of Jewish Frank’s House. Despite the warm and help- Art and History). We did not run across any 12 JULY 2015 |
Model synagogue Tzedakah boxes. The Sarajevo haggadah
demeaning cab drivers, but we were reminded of the potentially vulnerable status of Jews in France when we saw police officers and soldiers, armed with automatic weapons, guarding every Jewish establishment. I believe it is important to travel and understand our Jewish history of the places we travel. For us the visits to Jewish historical sites in Europe were not only a reminder of the historically tenous status of Jews in Europe, but also a reminder that we are a people of resilience and fortitude. Yes, our faith has often made us a target—but it has also allowed us to thrive. A Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.
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JEWISH SUMMER CAMP MEMORIES The memory that stayed with me was from OVFTY (Ohio Valley Federation Temple Youth) camp. Was a warm hushed summer night, Where we were all told to stand outside under the moon, And hold hands and form a circle. After hearing about the status of Israel, And a plea for our generation for peace, We sang. Peace in the World or the World in Pieces. In Hebrew we sang, And into plow shares beat their swords, Nations shall study war no more. There was a hushed silence. It was a very intense moment where we all felt the responsibility and love for our roots.
— Marianne Warsell
A READERSHIP DIVIDED Thank you for publishing the letter from Sonia Silverstein. She has expressed what so many Americans feel. The bias (and possible bigotry) against our
President is not what Jews (or any Americans) should do. It is disrespectful and shameful. Even though America is and always has been a friend of Israel, we must remember we are Americans first and foremost! Personally I do not like Mr. Netanyahu either and I don’t feel that our President must like him... but he should not be insulted because of it. I am sick and tired of reading (especially on Facebook) what a wonderful person and magnificent leader Mr. Netanyahu is as opposed to our President of the U.S. So, I say to those people... pack up and go live in Israel! Our country is called the “UNITED” States of America for a reason… if we are not united we will fall (as in the saying “a house divided”). Jlife owes our President a deep and heartfelt apology.
— Fran Fazzare The Letters to Editor section reflect the opinions of our readers, not the editorial staff. And as the sentiment of this letter expresses–this is the USA. No one should have to apologize for their opinion. —Ed
We welcome your letters! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. 14 JULY 2015 |
PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN
Kvetch & Kvell
Who Knew? Did you know that Drew Barrymore had an incredibly funny sister-in-law? Drew is married to funny gal Jill Kargman’s brother. Kargamn first was made a stir by penning two very funny books. She used material from real life to create the memoirs “Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut” and “Momzillas.” And now, both books have been mined for the new scripted comedy “Odd Mom Out.” The show takes a tonguein-cheek look at the ridiculous habits of Manhattan’s wealthiest. Jill stars as, “Jill Weber” the token Jew in a sea full of WASPs. You will laugh yourself silly at all the inside Jewish jokes. Mrs. Kargman feels her experiences are generally universal—even though not everyone can count Gwyneth Paltrow as a close childhood friend. “I think anywhere you live, from Alaska to the Midwest to the South, the show will be relatable,” said Mrs. Kargman. Check out this fabulous new series on Bravo on Monday nights at 10 p.m.
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Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV
Energy Stored with Age
I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE MY AGE WHO ARE GREAT DANCERS AND/OR ATHLETES. 16 JULY 2015 |
I’VE BEEN WORKING on that anger thing for a long time and for the most part it seems under control. Israel is located in a tense global neighborhood and my part of Jerusalem lies between two infamous Arab villages, best known for perpetrating some of the more heinous attacks in recent years: bulldozers and rogue sedans being the preferred weapons of choice. Still, we shop together, sit in the same medical clinics, pick up packages at the same local post office and drink coffee side-by-side in the corner cafes. Lugging about all of that fear, anger and suspicion is too tiring, and it weighs a lot. Standing at the cusp of my 60th birthday it occurs to me that I’d better conserve some energy as it will probably be needed for the next regional conflict. Which is why I surprised myself with two recent, unbridled outbursts, very much NOT keeping with my new keep-it-cool persona. Episode number one involved someone sending me a short video-clip of a 60-year-old woman ‘killing it’ to the hip hop song “Uptown Funk.” Silver haired, squat and thick in the middle as many younger seniors tend to be, she tore-up the dance floor with a group of her students. Yeah, she was good. But I know a lot of people my age—men and women—who are great dancers and/or athletes. Nevertheless, the posted comments were so blatantly patronizing, congratulating another long-toothed geezer for doing the impossible. Which is what really got my blood boiling; It wasn’t impossible. It was dancing. I felt offended. The next day I sat in a programming meeting to discuss the creation of a Young Professionals division of my organization. Most of the administrative staff are over 50 years old and the actual membership is comprised of senior citizens. Thus, there is an interest in bringing in “young blood.” The newly appointed head of the Young Division used phrases like, “Young people prefer . . . . . “ and “Our crowd would/wouldn’t/doesn’t/always . . . . “, etc. Speaking very slowly and loud, she carefully enunciated her words lest our ear-horns miss the gist of her condescending presentation. My co-workers are fun, proactive and passionate and through the corner of my
DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG
Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.
eye I watched these successful marketers and programming specialists control their tempers while a 30-yearold neophyte patiently explained the steps needed to ensure a successful beer and pretzel pub night. With apologies to the novelist John Irving as I steal the best line from one of his more uncomfortable novels, “My dear boy, please don’t put a label on me— don’t make me a category before you get to know me!” Getting older does not make one a clown or obsolete. Age offers blessed opportunity-after-opportunity to soar in whatever manner one’s health and attitude permits. A New York-born Andrea Simantov is a mother of six who moved to Jerusalem in 1995. She frequently lectures on the complexity and magic of life in Jerusalem and can be contacted at email@example.com.
On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR
By Any Other Name
Does a name define you or vice versa?
YOU CAN NOW IDENTIFY HOW LONG A PERSON HAS KNOWN ME BY HOW THEY PRONOUNCE MY NAME.
RECENTLY, I TEXTED my husband, “I’m not the woman you think I am.” This piqued his interest, so I explained that I had just left the Registrar Recorder’s office where I discovered that my birth certificate lists my name as Mayrev, not Mayrav. I called my mom who blamed the misspelling on her epidural. Then I looked at my official name in print. Mayrev. Mayrev. Mayrev. This should be funny, learning how to spell your official name at 42. But I found it unsettling. Our culture puts a premium on names. All those “begats” in the Torah serve to remind us of our heritage, of the individuals who came before us and all the characteristics that are locked up in their memorialized names. A David is a strong leader, an Ephraim is a good brother and a Delilah should be kept far from scissors. Names are our inheritance, our way of keeping our culture alive for millennia. Rabbi Berel Wein wrote that kabalistic masters tell us to recite a verse containing our names before stepping back after the silent Amidah, in order to help us remember our names in the “hereafter.” “Apparently even there, remembering our name is important. For in our name lies our soul and self,” he wrote. “That is why Jews always placed great emphasis on naming a child, for in that name there lay the history and past of the family and the hopes and blessings for the newborn’s success–Jewish success–in life. I know of nothing that so deeply touches a family’s nerve system as the naming of a child.” This is why I am so bothered by the misspelling. My name is my link to an ancient Jewish narrative and my map to my evolving Jewish identity. Mayrav is who I am. Mayrev is some other person, some Who-vian alternate-universe version of me that I wasn’t supposed to find out about. The ironic thing is that it took several decades before I even started to like my name. In junior high, I hated
the “weirdness” of “Mayrav” so much I made everyone call me “May.” By college, I came to embrace my proper moniker, but years of inexperience in saying my name caused me to mispronounce it at first. You can now identify how long a person has known me by how they pronounce my name. How weird, then, to be Mayrev. After a few hours of trying to concentrate on work and not on the existential angst at the back of my brain, my husband called me. “Your name is Mayrav,” he said. “With two ‘A’s.’ When we got married, you changed your name. You had to put down your first name, too. So your name is now legally Mayrav.” “How funny,” I told him. “I took your name so I could claim my own.” “You’re welcome,” he said. “No,” I said. “I’m Mayrav.” A Mayrav Saar is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.
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Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER
The Lost Europe Taking a vacation from the ordinary.
IF YOU ARE an American, when you think of traveling to Europe, you typically think first of visiting Paris, Rome and London. If you live in Israel, you have the luxury of contemplating a very different kind of European vacation. Sarah and I like to divide our vacations between town and country; i.e., we spend the weekend in a city (where we hope to have some kind of Shabbat experience, usually with help from Chabad), and then we rent a car and travel a few hours to stay in a rural B & B and hike in the area. Cities that we have visited include Turin (Italy), Lubliana (Slovenia), Bratislava (Slovakia), and Budapest (Hungary). Below are some travel notes that I hope you will find useful.
Food: We have friends who feel that part of the travel experience entails partaking in all kinds of local food, and so while they keep a kosher kitchen when they are home, when they are abroad anything goes. At the other end of the spectrum, we have friends who will not eat any cooked or processed food item without being certain that the item is under kosher supervision. Sarah and I take a middle position. We observe all the well known kosher rules but we do not feel that everything we put into our mouths has to be rabbinically supervised.
OUR KIDS MAKE FUN OF US BY SAYING THAT WE TURN EVERY VACATION INTO A “MARCH OF THE LIVING.” 18 JULY 2015 |
Hunting for a world that is no more: Our kids make fun of us by saying that we turn every vacation into a “March of the Living.” We’re not as fixated as all that, but the truth is that you would be surprised (and depressed) at how many times you can pull into a European town that you had never heard of and discover that there is a decent-sized synagogue. If the synagogue has been refurbished, it may now be an art gallery or something more prosaic like a furniture store. When you come to these towns, like Gyongyos, Hungary and Trencin, Slovakia, towns that once had thriving Jewish life but now do not contain a single Jew, you want to ask an elderly local: Don’t you miss the Jews?
Fun: Because a European vacation for an Israeli is not such a weighty proposition as it is for an American, having fun is more permissible. Rowing a boat for a few hours on Lake Bohinj (Slovenia) might be more boating than official European culture, but so what? The scenery is gorgeous and you are having fun and you are on vacation. I guess that’s a key difference. For Americans, Europe often means a list of cities to be ticked off in a methodical, workmanlike way; for Israelis, Europe can just be a vacation. So here’s an idea for you: the next time you visit Israel, why not extend your time abroad with a European stopover. You can then experience Europe as vacation—just don’t dwell too long on the fate of the local Jewish population. A Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is Director of Development for a consulting company called Meaningful. He made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. Teddy and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.
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CONCEPT BY TARA BERGER 路 PHOTO BY RACHEL BELLINSKY
20 JULY 2015 |
The Queen of Kosher In the Kitchen with Jamie Geller BY TANYA SCHWIED
amie Geller is an American-born Israeli food writer, celebrity chef, television producer and businesswoman. She is dominating the kosher market right now— the Miami Herald even called her “The Kosher Rachael Ray.” Jamie is one of the most sought-after Jewish food personalities worldwide. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of NYU, Jamie developed an outstanding media career as an award-winning TV producer and marketing executive at CNN, HBO and The Food Network. She is the founder of the Kosher Media Network (KMN), a media company that is organized into five business segments: publishing, broadcasting, digital, live and e-commerce. In 2010, KMN launched “Joy of Kosher” with Jamie Geller, which has become the #1 Trusted Kosher Content Brand. Additionally, she hosts online cooking shows on her website, www.joyofkosher.com, the first and number one social networking community for the kosher foodie where you can find recipes, menus and blogs! Ever since her first cookbook, “Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing” (Feldheim, 2007) became a Jewish cookbook classic she has been at the helm of a rapidly growing media empire. Rising to international prominence, Jamie toured extensively, and became a favored media personality (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, The New York Times, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, RachaelRay.com and more), projecting a positive and refreshing image of Jewish food and life worldwide.
What I found so fascinating about her is that she did not grow up cooking. She didn’t grow up eating kosher, either. Nearly a decade ago, she married into a very traditional Jewish family. Not only were they kosher, they were caterers and amazing cooks. They dubbed her “The Bride Who Knew Nothing,” which evolved into the title of her first cookbook. I recently had the chance to speak to her while she was in Israel, what a treat!
My first and obvious question is why Kosher? I have to follow that with…do you ever crave bacon? I wasn’t always Kosher so of course every once in a while I will crave a slice of pepperoni pizza and crispy bacon. I became more interested in kosher food when I started to become religious. I was interested in studying my heritage, culture and religion. I became turned on to living a more observant lifestyle. I’d always identified Jewish, but I still didn’t know how to cook.
With your new religious lifestyle I’m sure you quickly figured out that keeping Kosher and cooking just comes with the territory. Food in general comes with the territory of being Jewish. Holidays, traditions, and Shabbat specifically have a lot to do with cooking. It’s not only about the food but entertaining, hosting… a lifestyle really! People tend to think of kosher food as a lot of rules and a lot of “no’s or not this,” in some of
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Jamie’s recipe for Chicken and Pasta can be found at joyofkosher.com.
are constantly juggling and trying to get the timing just right. Also my marketing skillset and background certainly contributed to building my brand.
When you are cooking for the holidays or Shabbat, what are some helpful tips you could give our readers? Entertaining is much
my contracts they had to make sure “everything was kosherized in the kitchen.” For me it’s not so much about the food or rules—it’s the idea of sitting down with your family and friends to a meal that is wholesome with a seal of approval. It evokes a sense of family and warmth, culture, tradition, and new memories. That’s what it means to me.
It’s very “hip” these days to have organic, farm to table, wild, hormone-free food. Keeping Kosher seems like it fits right in with the trend now. I like to think we started the trend! The idea of an extra set of eyes on our food, that it’s legitimate and coming from a trusted source- that’s important to me. Also the tradition of observing Shabbat is so timely right now because we are pulled in one hundred different directions every day and it’s important to stay centered. The Sabbath is the ultimate time to be with family.
Had you had any training on how to cook? I had on the job training. There was a lot of trial and error. When you are a spouse and a parent your family are the critics, I wanted to make food that my family liked. I wanted to de-mystify the idea that cooking is hard and that a busy, working mom can’t do it. My whole agenda is just to 22 JULY 2015 |
make people’s lives simpler and happier. That’s why it is called “Joy of Kosher.” Yes, the food happens to be kosher, and I happen to have a Jewish family, but I feel like we’re a lot more alike than different. It is almost like I shouldn’t have put kosher in the title, but it is how I cook. I work overtime. I run a marketing company and we have the kids, the magazines, TV shows and books. I’m not just hanging out cooking all day. I need fast solutions. Food should be simple.
more than just the recipe. You want to be available and around for your own party… and enjoy it yourself! Don’t stress out and wait until the last minute. Plan “Yes, the food ahead and roll with the punches. If a meal isn’t necessarily happens to hot after all the conversations and prayers, that is OK; try to be kosher, make the best of it.
and I happen to have a Jewish family, but I feel like we’re a lot more alike than different.”
Before “Joy of Kosher,” you worked as a TV producer and marketing executive for HBO. Tell me a little bit how that influenced your work in the kitchen and your brand? I did the promotions for all the shows: Sex and the City, The Wire, and The Sopranos. As a producer I was in charge of managing several things each day—everything from budget content, kraft services, actors, writing and distribution. I had to wear many different hats. It’s very similar to cooking and preparing a meal. We
It’s 5:30PM in Israel right now, what did you make your family for dinner tonight?
Chicken and pasta. The recipe is on my website—it’s chicken with a peach marinade, a little olive oil, garlic and Dijon with just a side of pasta. Quick and easy and the kids love it!
What’s next for you?
We are getting very excited about the launch in August of our online courses that go into much more detail about preparing and cooking meals, even DIY (“do it yourself ”which is very popular right now) crafts such as hostess gifts for Rosh Hashanah. We give you the ideas and allow you the creative and personal licensing in the home and kitchen. We hope to inspire and give you the taking off points. For entertaining tips, Jamie’s blog or to search more than 5,000 kosher recipes, please visit www.joyofkosher.com. A
Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
| JULY 2015 23
F E AT U R E S
TRAVEL WITH YOUR SYNAGOGUE Experiencing Jewish sites all over the world. BY FLORENCE L. DANN
Synagogue Santa Maria la Blanca in Toledo, Spain 24 JULY 2015 |
F E AT U R E S
TRAVELING ON AN organized synagogue trip can be a wonder- of the Yitchak Rabin Center. The Center is dedicated to the history of ful experience! Congregants who participate not only become more society and democracy in Israel. The group had a private conversation connected with Jewish history, but also become more connected to with Ms. Dalia Rabin, Chairwoman of the Rabin Center and daughter their fellow congregants as well. When Israel is the destination, for of the late Prime Minister on the topic: “The Challenge of Leadership many, it becomes more of a pilgrimage than a vacation. It provides in Israel.” the opportunity to not only increase their personal connection to the “Most memorable for me,” said Norman Witkin, “was the visit to Jewish people and their heritage, but to increase their own personal the Western Wall where history was made when a young woman was spirituality as well as understand the geopolitical nature of what’s going able to complete her bat-mitzvah reading from a smuggled-in Torah.” on in the Middle East. This had been organized by The Women of the Wall, or Nashot This past October, thirty people embarked on a unique trip to Israel Hakotel, a group of Jewish women from around the world who strive organized by the Community Scholar Program, Congregation B’nai to achieve the right, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Israel of Tustin and Temple Beth El of South Orange Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall County in co-sponsorship with Jewish Foundation & in Jerusalem. Family Services of Orange County. The trip was led At the Tel Aviv Museum, the group enjoyed a by Arie Katz, Rabbi Elie Spitz and Rabbi Peter Levi. special program, “Israeli Art at the Cutting Edge” The purpose is echoed in its name “Touching the which included dialogues with artists and curators Spirit and the Soul of Israel.” Its goal was to see Israel The primary such as Adi Ness who re-creates Biblical scenes and in a different way. It was not meant for first timers, stages snapshots from within Israeli society to create goal of all of but for those who had been to Israel and wanted to a biblical commentary. these trips is to go to deeper. “We developed an itinerary not just to “We did not view ourselves as tourists or visitors,” find common visit significant places,” said Arie Katz,” but to meet commented Janice and Harris Shultz. “Rather, this themes and people who are the movers and shakers in cultural, trip deepened our connection to the Jewish people political and religious arenas.” challenges. of generations and centuries past and to our present“This was my ninth trip to Israel,” said Johanna day Jewish identity. “ Rose. “The programming on this trip allowed us to While for many a trip to Israel is what comes experience Israel in a way that we never had before. to mind when they think “synagogue trip” there are so many other We met with leaders who are shaping the culture and visited sites that places where Jews have lived and contributed to the culture of a I never had before in all my previous visits.” country, that more and more, congregants are visiting other places The ten-day trip was filled with visits, meetings, tours and tastings! around the world. From visiting new exciting congregations that are striving to bring a Shir Ma-A lot is not only planning a ten-day family trip to Israel different approach to tradition to dinners in the dark and an explora- in the summer of 2016, but an adults-only trip to Spain in February. tion of the fascinating food markets. Two highlights were a visit to the Kotel (Western Wall) and a tour Continued on page 27
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F E AT U R E S Continued from page 25
Enjoying delicacies while on Tel Aviv Food Safari. Photo by Arie Katz
University Synagogue too will be traveling to Spain this summer. Over the years there have been many tours to Israel; but the congregation has also traveled to Eastern Europe and Ukraine, Jordan and Turkey, Spain and Morocco, Argentina and Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany and France. “Our tour to Spain and Portugal is going to be a wonderful trip,” said Rabbi Arnold Rachlis. “A big part of this trip will be to visit ‘Juderias,’ to learn about crypto-Jews who stayed. We will meet their descendants and visit the earliest synagogues and yeshivot of Europe.” The primary goal of all of these trips is to find common themes and challenges, and to examine them through the eyes of different generations and our own. “Most importantly” said Rachlis,”people discover just how much being Jewish matters to them and how much more there is to learn.” Florence L. Dann, a fourth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.
Women at the Wall. Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images
UPCOMING As a result of the trip to Israel, the Community Scholar Program has arranged for three upcoming programs based on the Israel trip experience: • Havdalah with Nava Tehila (beautiful praise)- is an emerging prayer and study group in Jerusalem that welcomes people of diverse backgrounds who wish to experience various expressions of spiritual life with a Jewish flavor. • Night with the Ma’aleh Film School is one of the leading film schools in Israel. Three films will be shown, hosted by the director, writer and actor of one of the shorts. • An evening discussion with Ali Abu Awaad and Hanan Schlesinger of the Roots Project will discuss programs conducted between Israelis and Palestinians living in the area.
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| JULY 2015 27
F E AT U R E S
PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG
Three generations of Bergers: (l to r) Oleg, Mark, David and Igor.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Bar Mitzvah Training Spans the Globe BY FLORENCE L. DANN
OLEG BERGER IMMIGRATED to the U.S. in 1975, with his parents and brother. The family gave up a comfortable life for the freedom that the U.S. offered. However, after living and being educated here for 20 years, Berger decided to repatriate to Russia. “This was a time when Gorbachev’s reforms had taken hold,” said Berger, “and Russia appeared to be on verge of integrating itself into the global community of developed, civilized nations. Those were very exciting times,” continued Berger. “I was a young successful lawyer, working with the Moscow branch of a New York law firm. “ During those years, Berger and his wife 28 JULY 2015 |
Olga raised four children—all of whom are U.S. citizens. In 2005, they purchased a home in Laguna Beach with the intention of immigrating back to the U.S. “So when it came time for our eldest son to become a Bar Mitzvah,” said Berger, “we contacted a local synagogue.” They were told two years of study were required, but to accommodate their request, the rabbi contacted Rabbi Larry Seidman, a trans-denominational rabbi, who was delighted to prepare Mark for his bar mitzvah. Now, for the past several months he has been tutoring Mark’s younger brother David for his bar mitzvah which will take place on Thursday, August 6. “At least once a week we study via skype,” said Seidman.
“David is doing exceedingly well though when I began working with him, he did not have much of a literal Jewish background.” This is not uncommon among Russian Jewish families. For most Russian Jews, Jewishness is less about religious practices and more about ethnic and social relations. That doesn’t mean that Russian Jews are lacking in the realm of Jewish identity. They actually score significantly higher on many other measures of Jewish identity, particularly those related to peoplehood and attachment to Israel. But for the Bergers that too seems to be changing. “Several years ago a young charismatic Chabad rabbi asked my wife if she would do one thing: observe Shabbat,” recalls Berger. “Since then, we have celebrated the Sabbath, every week. What surprised me most was the kids’ reaction to it. They thought it was great and wanted to do it every week. Now Mark wants to study Hebrew, and David appears to have a very similar attitude.” Mark currently lives with his grandparents and attends high school in Laguna Beach; David will also be a freshman this fall. Both brothers are excited to be reunited. Later the rest of the family will be returning while Oleg commutes between Laguna Beach and Moscow. “What is most satisfying,” said Berger, “is the connection the boys have to our Jewish tradition and their desire to learn more. For that we have our good friend Rabbi Seidman to thank for making Judaism so vibrant and accessible.” A Florence L. Dann, a fourth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.
F E AT U R E S
Your own JFFS Mission is just waiting for you!
MISSION(S) ACCOMPLISHED There’s a group for everyone. BY TANYA SCHWIED
JFFS MISSIONS ARE travel experiences with a truly unique sense of purpose-— guaranteeing a heightened appreciation and connection to Jewish identity. The missions aren’t passive experiences—they’re active adventures, engaging the mind, heart and soul. A chance to visit local communities and learn about their histories while traveling by Jeep, boat, plane, and foot to make up-close and personal contact with the many miracles of Jewish existence. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the impact the Jewish people have had on the world. Depending on your interests, you can choose to travel with Jews from across the community—JFFS has put together Solomon Society, Leadership, All-Women’s, Interfaith Missions and more! Most people tend to go with the type of group that will make the mission the most meaningful (and fun!)
There is a wide range of activities and attractions designed to immerse you in the Jewish community—from religious landmarks like the Western Wall to hiking Masada at sunrise and dipping in the Dead Sea covered in mud. You have the chance to witness lectures and discussions with leading analysts, spiritual thinkers, scientists and military figures. The most experienced guides in the country and renowned scholars are your traveling companions. Nearly anything can happen on a mission: dancing with Ethiopian Israelis in Tel Aviv; discussing priorities with legislative leaders at the GA in Washington; or helping to paint a wall at a Jewish school. You will see firsthand how JFFS unites and cares for Jews in Israel and around the world. I recently asked past participants what these mission experiences mean to them and what they learned. Here is what they had to say…
Sam Wyman, currently on the board of JFFS and Community Foundation, and former board member (and Board President) of TVT said, “I have gone on multiple JFFS missions, both on my own and with my family. Traveling on a JFFS mission is a truly unique and extraordinary way to see the Jewish world. We expect JFFS to put together exceptional trips in Israel (which it absolutely does), but it has also put on amazing missions to eastern Europe, Cuba, and London, Spain and Morocco! Every place we go offers a different and insightful view of the Jewish world beyond our borders.” Frank Ellis, Board member—“Director at Large”, JFFS, “These trips provide the opportunity to create an incredibly bonding experience with a group of like-minded leaders in our community who experience the emotional aspects of everything from Yad Vashem to the Chanukah celebration in Aleh Negev—which only creates a higher degree of connection with many of the guys. Taking in the political discussions, group dinners, experiencing things you wouldn’t get to do—living large! We had six helicopters in a row flying over Israel landing in the city of Caesarea on the Israeli coastline—where we attended a huge party with local leadership which culminated with a fireworks display just for us!” I don’t know about you but my bags are packed. For more information about JFFS Missions please contact Marci Weiss, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
| JULY 2015 29
CROSSWORD BY: DAVID BENKOF } EDITOR: DAVIDBENKOF@GMAIL.COM } DIFFICULTY LEVEL: CHALLENGING
The Courage of Their Convictions
HINT: 47 ACROSS
3 Bereishit trio
ACROSS 1 She played Alice in “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” 5 Prussian city where Heinrich Graetz earned his doctorate 9 Relish at the deli? 14 “___ Nagila” (a New Jersey synagogue’s regular coffee klatch) 15 A challah’s outline, more or less 16 You might have a Pesach set of it 17 Adelson’s kind of machines in Macau
54 They were convicted on September 10, 1924
32 Nail the bagrut
62 Akamol alternative
33 Carrie’s royal role
63 7th of ___ (date of Moses’s birth and death)
34 In Ancient Israel, one talent measured 30 37 Israel: po :: Diaspora: __ 39 What Jews do for Jerusalem from their captivity, per Yehuda HaLevi 42 Ginsburg garment 43 Parts in the cantata “My Name is Anne Frank” 45 Raw material for alchemist Mordecai Modena
18 Word to start making something chosen 19 Sports under the chuppah? 20 She was convicted on March 29, 1951 23 Course where you can let your sins function? 24 ___-balls (product the Hostess company says contains “pork-sourced” gelatin)
30 JULY 2015 |
25 He was convicted on March 12, 2009
47 “Stay, ___” (translation of the Hindi word Gokul - the name of St. Louis’s kosher vegetarian restaurant) 48 He was convicted on November 21, 1990 52 “___ Hayom” (song to end the camp day) 53 Alum of 2-Down
64 Like a set of kosher silverware that can be used for both meat and milk 66 “___ the harsh-tongued, melancholy bell”: Emma Lazarus 67 Onetime Tel Aviv mayor Roni 68 Lake ___ Monsters (Colby Cohen’s first pro hockey team) 69 Disraeli and others 70 It might help close a kittel 71 Gets some schach from a tree
4 Joan of grub
41 Go from Alecia Beth Moore to Pink?
5 Original “Wicked” Wizard
44 Ruth and Esther, but not Daniel
6 Yeshiva of Shem and ___
46 Kosher ___ Spears
7 Kind of particle discovered at Hebrew U. that’s shaped like a Star of David
49 Prince of the stage
8 Model Miller who dated Jake Gyllenhaal
51 “Oom-Pah-Pah” composerlyricist Bart
54 Tiberias or Tahoe
10 King who rebuilt Jericho
55 Fierstein character Turnblad
11 Jaws of note
56 Pass ___ (eschew)
12 ___ off (how electricity shouldn’t be turned once Shabbat begins)
13 Used a pelephone
59 Lioness who was in love with Matthew Broderick’s character
21 It once used the slogan “Tasti fantasti” 22 Well-done part of the brisket 25 Kenny Aaronson played it with the Rolling Stones 26 Heschel’s “Israel: An ___ of Eternity” 27 Ahasuerus’s ranged from India to Ethiopia
50 Jane of the settlement house movement
58 Talmudist who’s about to score in tennis?
60 It got you four shekels in 2001, six shekels in 2007, and four shekels in 2015 61 A U-boat on a radar screen, perhaps 65 Moonves who greenlighted “Friends”
28 Important article in Yiddish 29 ___ Adumim (settlement in Samaria) 30 Cedar alternative 31 “Your teeth are like a ___ of ewes that came up from the washing”: Song of Songs
1 They may play at bar mitzvah parties
35 Mitch Miller took it up as a teen
2 Hebrew was a required freshman course there in the 18th century
38 Piggy question?
36 Darned 40 Part of HUC-JIR: Abbr.
| JULY 2015 31
PHOTO BY BEN FINK
32 JULY 2015 |
Einat Admony’s Falafel
David Greco’s Mike’s Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana
PHOTO BY BEN FINK
Winning or losing is honestly not important to me.
THROWDOWN! A competition of experts is a win-win for viewers. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR Comedian Jackie Mason says when gentiles return from a trip, they will mention the scenery and the sites, but returning Jews are still drooling over that piece of cake they ate in Austria. Kidding aside, there’s no doubt that enjoying the cuisine in whatever land you’re visiting is a big part of the vacation experience, but for those of us staycationing this summer, dining on foreign cuisine is as easy as heading out to your favorite ethnic restaurant, of which Orange County is blessed with many. And with the plethora of cookbooks, cooking TV shows and internet recipe sites available today, cooking Italian, Chinese, Indian, French, German, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Thai, Mediterranean, and yes, even Israeli, itself a multi-cultural mash-up, has transformed ethnic cooking into the great mosaic we think of as American cuisine. According to Food Network’s cooking sensation and esteemed restaurateur Bobby Flay, Tel Aviv native Einat Admony, chef-owner of New York’s Taïm Falafel
and Smoothie Bar restaurant, is the queen of falafel. And he should know. He was once her boss at his Spanishstyled restaurant Bolo. In fact, Admony’s crunchy fried chickpea street food once won New York magazine’s coveted “Best Falafel” title. So when Flay decided to challenge Admony to a throwdown on his Food Network show of the same name, he knew he was in for some serious competition. The story of this battle of the falafel is memorialized in “Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!” (Clarkson Potter, $27.50), which offers more than 100 recipes from the winners and losers with their back-stories. For falafel advice Flay consulted chef Muhammed Rahman of Kwik Meal, a famed street cart in New York City, who advised him to soak the chickpeas overnight rather than cooking them and then to grind them with the spices. “Form and deep-fry—check. It sounded easy enough,” he writes, “Right? Wrong!” In the test kitchen Flay found grinding the soaked chickpeas in a meat grinder
produced fluffier falafel than with a food processor. He seasoned with garlic, serrano chiles, mint, cilantro, coriander and cumin and added a little baking powder, a trick he thought of as cheating, to increase the fluffiness. And drawing from his success with French fries, he double-fried the falafels. For dips and sauces, he presented a piquillo pepper-smoked paprika yogurt sauce as well as a creamy white bean hummus, tomato-mint relish and a feta and roasted red pepper dip. When Flay and Admony met for the throwdown, he asked her for her honest opinion of his. “She liked the flavor, but not the texture,” recalled Flay. “The problem, she told me, was that I formed my falafel by hand, which automatically made them on the dense side. She had a special instrument to mold her falafel, making them as light as a feather.” Flay was shocked when the judges preferred his version. “It’s not that we didn’t think our falafel was good,” he said, “but we knew it wasn’t great, and Einat’s was.” So Flay did something he had never done on the show before or since—he awarded Admony the win. “Winning or losing is honestly not important to me on “Throwdown!” The show is more about showcasing the great food of my competitors and sometimes stepping outside of my comfort zone to learn new dishes.” David Greco of Mike’s Deli in the Bronx had a tough fight against Flay when “Throwdown!” pitted the two for an eggplant Parmesan battle. According to Flay, Greco’s version of the dish is the pride of the Bronx’s Little Italy. He uses homemade mozzarella from his grandmother’s cherished recipe, and the legendary dish is even served at Yankee Stadium. Flay had his work cut out for him. Jlife
| JULY 2015 33
Tradition, love and family—that is what David’s dish is all about.
“There are three major components to think about when making great eggplant Parmesan,” Flay reflected, “the cheese, the tomato sauce—which has to have good flavor yet not be overpowering— and, of course, the eggplant, which can be bland, bitter and chewy if not cooked right.” Flay boosted his sauce with roasted red peppers and used a blend of cheeses: fontina, two mozzarellas and Romano. He decided to cut the eggplant thick and leave the skin on, which Greco called a “big no-no in Italian cooking.” When Flay tasted the competition he was smitten. “I adored his thin layers of eggplant, his savory sauce, and especially his creamy homemade mozzarella. It was obvious that this man had been making this dish for years.” The judging was close, but in the end Greco won the match. “It was pretty scary taking my eggplant Parmesan up to Arthur Avenue, because not only was I going up against David, I was going up against years and years of Italian tradition. That is where good food comes from: tradition, love and family— and that is what David’s dish is all about.”
Einat Admony’s Falafel Yield: 38 Serve falafels in pita with chopped cucumber and tomato, fresh parsley and yogurt. 2 cups dried chickpeas 1 small onion, coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander Vegetable oil, for deep drying
1 Put chickpeas in large bowl, add
water to cover by about 2 inches, and refrigerate overnight.
2 The next morning, drain chickpeas
and toss with onion and garlic. Run mixture through medium blade of meat grinder. Toss chickpea mixture with parsley, cilantro, mint, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander and run through grinder again.
3 Heat 4 inches oil to 350˚F in large pot
over medium heat. Using a tablespoon, shape falafel mixture into balls and fry, adjusting heat as necessary, until browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
David Greco’s Mike’s Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana Serves 6-8 6 large eggs 1 heaping cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
34 JULY 2015 |
1/3 cup olive oil 4 cups Arthur Avenue Italian Deli Marinara (available online) or your favorite tomato sauce 1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 2 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups Italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 Preheat over to 350˚F. 2 Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon Pecorino
and the parsley in large bowl or baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Put flour in another baking dish and breadcrumbs in a third. Coat both sides of eggplant slices with flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs.
3 Heat vegetable and olive oils in 1 or
2 large straight-sided skillets over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer. Fry eggplant, in batches, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to papertowel-lined plate or wire rack to drain.
4 Spread a little marinara sauce in
bottom of 10x15-inch baking dish. Add layer of eggplant, 1/3 remaining sauce, 1/3 mozzarella, 1/3 remaining Pecorino. Repeat layers up to top of dish. Top off with sauce, mozzarella and Pecorino—a little heavier than preceding layers. Bake on rimmed baking sheet until top is lightly crisp, 25-30 minutes. Rest 10 minutes before serving.
Source: “Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!” by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron Jlife food Editor Judy Bart Kancigor is the author of “Cooking Jewish” (Workman) and “The Perfect Passover Cookbook” (an e-book short from Workman), a columnist and feature writer for the Orange County Register and other publications and can be found on the web at www.cookingjewish.com.
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| JULY 2015 35
out&about EASTON CORBIN Easton Corbin will be playing the Grove of Anaheim on July 30 at 8 p.m. With two No. 1 singles, and multiple awards and nominations, Corbin is on tour supporting his current top 10 and rising single “Baby Be My Love Song” from his upcoming release About to Get Real. When Corbin broke on the scene in 2009 with not one, but two, No. 1 singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” and a Top 15 hit, “I Can’t Love You Back,” he became the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1.
SPANDAU BALLET See this classic 1980’s band on Wednesday, July 29 at the Pacific Amphitheater. In the 1980s, British band Spandau Ballet offered electrifying music that had new wave fans dancing around the world. After a 20-year hiatus, the band has reconnecting to offer fans a trip back in time with their classic hits including “True”, “Round and Round” and “I’ll Fly For You.”
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES July kicks off the Pacific Amphitheatre’s Summer Concert Series at the Orange County Fair Grounds running from July 16 through August 16. Throughout the month of July catch acts like America, Steve Miller Band, Capital Cities, The Band Perry, The Offspring and many more. For more information check out the venue’s website at www.pacamp.com/pa/.
ARTIST EXHIBITION Selections: Robert Rauschenberg Exhibition will be on display at The Orange County Museum of Art from June 28 - October 11, 2015. The Orange County Museum of Art is fortunate to own several works by Rauschenberg and as the second installment of the series Selections—nine works dating from 1971 to 1985 will be on view. The selection includes collages, prints, and light boxes by Rauschenberg.
FOOTLOOSE “Footloose” the play will be showing at the Laguna Beach Playhouse from July 8 to Aug. 9. Co-writers Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie adapted this stage production from the movie based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. So… kick off your Sunday shoes at one of the most explosive movie musicals to hit the stage about a big-city boy who finds himself living in a small town where dancing is forbidden.
ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE | July 2015
Cayucas Jewish twin brothers hailing from Santa Monica, CA are a new breed of Indie rock music slowly climbing up the charts and will be playing a night in Santa Ana at the Observatory July 15 in the venue’s intimate Constellation Room. Fronted by Zach and Ben Yudin, Zach sings and plays guitar while brother Ben backs him up on bass. In 2012, Zach expanded from a solo project to a band and he officially changed the group’s name from
Oregon Bike Trails to Cayucas. Cayucas signed with indie record label Secretly Canadian in October 2012, and soon after released a single, “Swimsuit” and announced a tour with Ra Ra Riot for February 2013. Zach’s project became known as Cayucas, pronounced “ky-yookus,” taken from a coastal town of the same name in California’s San Luis Obispo County. Zach attended college in San Luis Obispo (studying Music Theory/Production and Japanese), and became enamored with the quaint surf-town
that’s located half an hour away. In many respects, the underlying mood of Zach’s work is a testament to the quest for hazy, endless summers with its surf pop, lo-fi sound. In February 2013, Cayucas announced a handful of European tour dates. In March, the band performed in a Secretly Canadian showcase at South by Southwest. Their debut full-length album Bigfoot, was released on April 30, 2013 by their Secretly Canadian label. Cayucas worked with producer Richard Swift on their 2013 release
Bigfoot. Swift is also on the Secretly Canadian label and a current member of the Indie group The Shins. His production skills are seen on other famous Indie albums for bands like The Mynabirds, Foxygen, Jessie Baylin, Wake Owl and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab. Their recently released single “Moony Eyed Walrus” hit the download channels on April 29 as a taste of the upcoming sophomore album entitled Dancing at the Blue Lagoon, set to be out on June 23.
News&Jews OC JEWISH SCENE | JULY 2015
CBI Presents: Painful Hope
CSP Celebrates Memorial Day and Shavuot The CSP Memorial Day Retreat held at Brandeis-Bardin in the Simi Valley also celebrated Shabbat and Shavuot, with wonderful programming and the required delicious dairy food to honor Shavuot. In addition, a brother and sister celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah with over 200 people attending, including guests and those attending the retreat. Held at the Brandeis Bardin campus of the American Jewish University, it was only 90 miles from Orange County, but a world onto itself, a Jewish kibbutz-like feeling with all the amenities, including a pool, equestrian program, fabulous dining hall, comfortable cabins, and a fabulous background for the content of the retreat including “Prayer Song” by Cantorial Soloist Amy Katz and presentations by past Community Scholar one-month scholars Marc Michael Epstein and Hartley Lachter.
Congregation B’nai Israel’s Israel Connection Committee in partnership with the Community Scholar Program presented “A Very Special Evening of Dialogue on Differing NarrativesJewish and Palestinian-and Our Ability to Live Together.” Guests were Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestiian activist, pacifist, and founder of Al Tariq (The Way) and Hanan Schlesinger, Director of Memnosyne Israel, an organization promoting interfaith, and bridge building projects between Israeli settlers and local Palestinians. Schlesinger is also a Community Rabbinic Scholar that teaches adult education in North Texas.
Irvine Hebrew Day School Promotes Kindergarten Class
Ali Abu Awwad and Hanan Schlesinger
On Friday, June 19th lHDS officially promoted students to First Grade. The school honored the students with a Kindergarten Promotion on Friday and an Honor Graduate Ceremony at Beth Jacob Irvine during Shabbat services. Mazel Tov to the school’s first class!
Graduation of Class 2015 Forty-six students graduated from Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Nineteen of those students have been at the school since kindergarten. TVT class of 2015 graduates will attend colleges and universities around the United States. In addition, two graduates will be enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and a third will be enrolling at a university in Israel this fall. 40 JULY 2015 |
News&Jews United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Presents Battleground for Truth More than 200 guests joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s presentation of “Battleground for Truth: Confronting Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial” at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles on May 5. A conversation was held on the rising threat of antisemitism in Europe, the Arab world, and on U.S. college campuses. Guests learned how the Museum uses its powerful collections, educational resources and its network of scholars to combat distortion and denial of the Holocaust and offers direct access to evidence of Nazi crimes and atrocities. The Museum is in the midst of a $540 million national campaign Never Again: What You Do Matters, to make critical investments to keep Holocaust memory alive as a relevant force for change. (Ryan Miller for U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
From left Mina Abdelmalak, Aleisa Fishman, Jane H. Jelenko and Dan Shur.
Donation Stolen From War Veterans Two Valley War Veterans, Jerry Geisler and Harvey Krasner were collecting donations on Memorial Day outside a local grocery store when their donation jar was stolen! Jewish Federation of the Desert, headquartered in Rancho Mirage, found out about this, and presented these gentlemen with a check in the amount of $ 500 at the organization’s office. The men, who have been collecting donations on Memorial and Veterans Days for about 15 years as part of the Jewish War Veterans of Palm Springs, Post 750, estimated that about $500 was stolen. “Upon hearing about this story, I thought it was unconscionable that two dedicated war veterans were victimized while collecting donations on Memorial Day!” stated Bruce Landgarten, CEO of Jewish Federation of the Desert. Contributions from the Jewish War Veterans of Palm Springs go to veterans organizations such as the Palm Springs USO and Loma Linda VA Hospital.
U.S.-Israel Friendship Commemorated Consul General of Israel, David Siegel, spoke about opportunities and challenges at the birthplace and boyhood home of the first American President to visit Israel, Richard Nixon. Siegel spoke during a public forum at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on May 12 before a large audience in the Library’s East Room. In addition, Siegel participated in a discussion with syndicated radio talk show commentator and columnist Larry Elder, touching upon shared U.S. and Israeli values, as well as the common threats each nation faces from radical Islamism and Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Jlife
| JULY 2015 41
FROM AFRICA TO ISRAEL One Man’s Journey to a New Beginning BY ADAM CHESTER
Jean Luc with Family Philanthropy Member Sam Wyman
IT WAS AN overcast day and I was at my favorite lunch spot, Chipotle, but found myself less focused on the creamy guacamole (I know it’s extra), GMO-free sour cream (whatever that means), and cage-free bell peppers (it tastes great, stop asking questions) and instead, couldn’t keep my eyes off the man sitting across from me. I’d never met anybody whose life experiences differed so drastically from my own. I’m white, he’s black. I’m Jewish and study Torah, he’s Muslim and reads the Koran. I see my parents weekly and give flowers to my mother on birthdays. He heard the gunshots from rebel fighters that killed both of his parents 42 JULY 2015 |
and newborn brother. He had to hide under the bed of his home in Guinea to avoid capture when he was 12-years-old. This prompted him to jump out the window with his then 4-yearold sister and sprint to a nearby forest until he could later return to a village that no longer rang of gunfire. His name is Jean Luc, and he changed the way I view the world. I met Jean the same morning we ate Chipotle, during his visit at Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). Jean shared his story with my colleagues and I, explaining what followed his return from the forest that fateful day.
Discovering that the senseless murder of his immediate family was a reality, Jean took his sister to his grandmother’s village. While living there briefly, he craved education, something his father had insisted he pursue. Jean left his sister behind, and trekked to the capital hoping to find an opportunity to study. Soon learning that only wealthy children could access education, Jean lived in abandoned buildings with other refugees. It was during this time that he met a man in Senegal who promised him a trip to Europe where he could attend school. Skeptical, yet driven for change, Jean accepted the man’s offer. That morning Jean believed he was headed for Europe, but the Jeep he was picked up in was headed elsewhere. “I kept asking about the airport,” said Jean, “until they pulled out their guns.” At that moment, Jean realized he was not only a refugee and an orphan of genocide, but a victim of human trafficking. He was driven from Guinea to Egypt over a 6-month period. During that time, he experienced helplessness, fear, anger, resentment and blame. “I was in a situation where I wanted to die,” said Luc. “I’d say to the smugglers, ‘Just kill me, here, take me.’” Fearing capture by Israeli border patrols, the smugglers fled, abandoning Jean Luc in the middle of the desert. Jean entered Israel at age 15. Homeless, with no identifying paperwork, he was arrested and brought before a magistrate. As fortune would have it, the judge was a graduate of Yemin Orde Youth Village, a safe haven in Northern Israel for youth with traumatic backgrounds. Compassionately, the judge contacted Chaim Peri, the Youth Village’s director. Jean ultimately found solace in Yemin Orde, growing up under the guidance of Peri and his staff of talented educators and therapists. “Coming into Yemin Orde, I was disturbed, and knew nothing about Israel. I was scared and had lost everything,” said Luc. “Then, I started school and was surrounded by people who cared about me. The rigid schedule involving Beit Knesset (synagogue), meals, school, counselors, and sports always kept me occupied, stimulating my mind and providing a sense of purpose and responsibility. Everything I have now, my knowledge, spirituality, courage, and hope have come from Yemin Orde. It’s where I
found my new family.” Considering his traumatic past, I asked Jean how he moves forward. “I believe in the law of attraction. Whatever you think about, you bring into your life,” Jean replied. “So I stay positive. When I hear the difficulties of others, I consider the good things in life, thinking, ‘Wow, thank G-d I don’t have what he has.’ Although my past was difficult, I have everything I need now and am thankful. I don’t need to be like Bill Gates, I just want to be emotionally, physically and economically secure. I understand there are things I’m able to change, and things that if I can’t, I’m sure G-d will do something about.” Shortly after his placement at Yemin Orde, a JFFS Family Mission to Israel visited the Youth Village where they met Jean, and lasting friendships formed. Through JFFS’ Connect2Israel program, several OC families have provided Yemin Orde with significant support for its scholarship fund, assisting greatly in Jean’s college education. Having recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Israel, Jean’s now preparing for graduate school to earn his MBA. “I hope to leverage my knowledge of Israeli and African cultures and languages, creating a positive change for others,” said Jean. For much of his nine years in Israel, Jean had no legal status and constantly feared deportation. He recently received his Israeli student visa and re-entry visa, allowing him to visit America to share his story with JFFS and the OC community which aided in his journey. As Jews, we understand tragedy. Because of the atrocities of our past, the duty to help others is deeply engrained in us. “I want to help anybody I can, because we’re all human beings, and helping others should be a part of life,” said Jean. “When I was in need, I received help from people that didn’t even know me. The Jewish people didn’t look at me and care that I’m Muslim or African. They simply saw somebody who needed help and did something about it, changing my life as a result.” A Adam Chester graduated from UCSD with a degree in Clinical Psychology and is the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at JFFS.
Fearing capture by Israeli border patrols, the smugglers fled, abandoning Jean Luc in the middle of the desert. Jlife
| JULY 2015 43
so By fa J e w is h M ille n nial.
Swipe Right for Rogue Dating can be hard. Just ask anyone who’s single. However, braving the 405 and adding bumper-to-bumper traffic to the mix can make it down right annoying. And unfortunately, it has become a necessary evil Orange County folks must endure when dating a Jew from LA. So how can we make our mothers and grandmothers happy without risking a case of “road rage?” Well there is a way… JSwipe. JSwipe is an application that makes it possible to find single Jews (that are geographically desirable) for free. JSwipe is an application (app) for your phone that allows you to upload your best “selfies” and a few tidbits about yourself. Once the app is downloaded to your phone, you can start creating your own profile. From there, the app identifies where you are and finds others within a particular radius (about a mile). Yes, this does allow connections from OC to LA, as well as connections from OC to San Diego. Men and women can search for whatever sexual preference they 44 JULY 2015 |
e o s G l R o e g h
these free and more accessible apps. In addition, how will this change Jewish dating in the future? With more access will the novelty wear off? Will Jewish singles lose excitement when they are so easily able to connect with one another? I am concerned that over time we will diminish our value in connecting with other Jewish singles. And more so, will this access create greater challenges for those looking for a serious relationship? Serial dating has become accessible in secular dating applications. This concern, although some may think this concern is far fetched, may not be too far away. Communicating with single Jews is at your fingertips. No longer do we wait for emails or conduct ourselves in formalities. Just a quick mutual swipe to the right and we are allowing ourselves to communicate with the Jewish hottie just a few miles, minutes or blocks away. Finding the “right” person still may be hard, but finding SOMEONE has become so much easier. A short profile and a few photos are the new Jewish gateway to filling up your social and romantic calendars. So when you meet your mate on JSwipe, remember “you’re welcome” from the rogue Jewish writer. Unless it IS me, then swipe right and I’ll say “thank you” myself.
Just a quick mutual swipe to the right and we are allowing ourselves to communicate with the Jewish hottie just a few miles, minutes or blocks away.
have in a Jewish specific forum. I had no idea I’d find a 31-yearold, bearded, Jewish man who happened to live just four blocks from my home. Upon further communication with another “JSwiper,” I found an Israeli single like myself (and just down Jamboree Road) that was also looking for someone to date. From what I’ve seen, these untapped singles are not using JDate or showing up to community events. No, I did not ask why (shame on me I know), but they ARE looking for a Jewish mate. Apps like JSwipe are growing in popularity. Recently, I have found JCrush and JZoog (this app has a few quirks that need to be smoothed out). It makes me question if major companies (with fee-based subscriptions) will lose money over time to
Rachel Schiff is an English teacher who graduated from Cal State Fullerton. She was president of Hillel, a representative of World Union of Jewish Students and a YLD intern. She is a master’s degree student in American Studies with emphasis on Jews in America.
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As a rabbi it must have been important to weave Torah and Tanach into the book. How were you able to do this? Yes, as a rabbi and as someone who finds depth in Jewish tradition, it was natural to draw on our community’s sages. I do so by drawing on body, heart, mind and spirit. This is an insight of our Jewish mystical tradition that refers to creation as composed of four worlds: Asiyah, Yetzirah, Beriah, Atzilut (doing, forming, creating, and illumination). As a modern person I find depth in being a serious student of the Jewish tradition, and at the same time drawing from an array of traditions of world religious leaders.
INCREASING WHOLENESS An Interview with Author Rabbi Elie Spitz BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
IN THE LAST decade or so, meditation and psychology have discovered a peaceful co-existence. Psychologists like Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and psychiatrist Daniel Siegel have presented mindfulness and vipassana meditation in a way that satisfies the spiritually and scientifically minded. Additionally, research has shown that meditation creates an actual “shift”—a restructuring of the brain. One particular Harvard study found increased gray matter concentration within brain regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation, sense of self and perspective taking. Meditation is also linked to Judaism according to community rabbi and author Elie Kaplan Spitz, and technology makes it even more accessible by allowing readers to be participants. Whether you read the hard copy and download 46 JULY 2015 |
the QR code or read it on your iPad and have a direct link— you will have an entirely new experience with his book. What was the impetus for the book? My seeking for inner calm and peace, and as a congregational rabbi, the conversations I have had with congregants and their own search for inner peace and calm. Part of the foundation [for the book] is my harvesting experiences and teachers who have given me awareness of inner life and tools to gain inner awareness.
What would you like our Jewish community to know? The book is available. And that the goal of our Jewish tradition is to become more fully alive, more fully human, more fully connected to the world around us. This is an essential path to cultivate inner balance. Cultivating the mindful pause is at the core of Judaism and religious practice. It is my hope that with the aid of this book the participant will be better prepared to pause to both appreciate and to act with thoughtful purpose. You can find “Increasing Wholeness: Jewish Wisdom & Guided Meditations to Strengthen & Calm Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit” at Jewish Lites Publishing or on Amazon.com. The book is also available electronically on kindle, nook, iBook, and kobo. Download a QR reader app to activate codes in the book; click on “Try this” to see on Youtube! A Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.
To read an extended version of this article, go to www.jlifeoc.com.
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Moptwo co-founders Charles Haspel (l) and Josh Namm (r).
MOPTWO Publish Your World BY TANYA SCHWIED
MANY PEOPLE STILL think of social media as being for “the kids.” Believe it or not, social media has already been around for a decade! As its audience matures, the needs and preferences of that audience that is also maturing. That’s why we’ve chosen none other than the co-founders of Moptwo, Josh Namm (one of Jlife magazine’s very own editors) and Charles Haspel for the business profile this month. I recently had the fortune of speaking with them while they took a short break from taking the technology world by storm! Even though his family later moved to Los Angeles, Josh has fond memories of living and going to temple in Orange County as a child. “I have very happy memories of living here. I still get that warm fuzzy feeling when I am in Newport Beach or Irvine.” Josh and Charles met while attending Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences. Far from the drama of “The Social Network,” 48 JULY 2015 |
these two have been friends since they were kids and have an easy-going partnership that many would admire. What is “Moptwo”? According to Josh, as a politically minded person, he realized that emailing articles back and forth between friends all day long may not be the best way to share news. Around the same time, Charles was getting frustrated that there was no good way to post stories on social media about the apps he had in the App Store without them getting lost in a “feed.” Josh told Jlife “One day it dawned on me that Facebook was really good at three things: updating your status, uploading photos and posting articles. Twitter isolated the status update portion of that into an entire site. Later on, others started doing something similar with photos and graphics. Nobody had done it for articles and we knew we had something. Fortunately, my best friend is a programmer.”
Moptwo is a more intellectual form of social media because instead of posting small snippets of personal activity or uploading photos, it is about one thing: articles. Each user gets a page, then they create categories on the page to post relevant articles they find on the web: kind of like a personal online newspaper. When asked about this, Josh said “Absolutely. We are the first site that really democratizes news. Your page is about articles on any subject that matters to you and your followers. Charles added that “sites like Pinterest are aspirational whereas Moptwo is informational.” If you aren’t a member already, go to www. moptwo.com to join! It is free (like all social sites) and takes about a minute. They sincerely want your experience on the site to be fun, entertaining and informative. So if you have any questions, email them at support@moptwo. com. They promise to get back to you quickly! In fact, they will literally come to your house and walk you through it—that’s how much they care. The name “Moptwo”? That was the name of Josh’s childhood dog when he lived in Newport Beach (“the best dog in the world” he still insists decades later). I would like to note that they are looking for financial support; Josh adds “we are very proud of what we have done with just two people. We’ve created a great framework with an outstanding concept and now we need funding to excel.” I’m talking to you smart investors out there, strike while the iron is hot! You can find Moptwo at www.moptwo.com. To visit Jlife on Moptwo, go to www.moptwo. com/OCJlife (join and subscribe to our page to read all of the great articles relevant to the OC Jewish community)! A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
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| JULY 2015 49
THURSDAYS 9:30 AM Keeping Fit/ Mel Grossman Ezra AAFC 10:30 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC
CALENDAR J U LY 2 0 1 5
MONDAYS 9:00 AM Gentle Yogalates & Meditation Merage JCC 10:00 AM News & Views Merage JCC 10:00 – 11:00 AM What’s Up Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra AAFC
10:00 AM Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein Ezra AAFC 10:15 AM Stretching/Al Talberg Ezra AAFC 11:00 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC
50 JULY 2015 |
11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC
7:00 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC TUESDAYS 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM Bridge: Intermediate Supervised Play of the Hand Merage JCC 10:30 AM The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM & 10:00 AM Gentle Yoga Merage JCC
FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC TUESDAYS, JULY 7 – AUG. 11 10:00 AM – NOON 6 classes Beginner Supervised Bridge Play Merage JCC TUESDAYS, JULY 7 – AUG. 11 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 6 classes Intermediate Supervised Bridge Play Merage JCC SUNDAY, JULY 19 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Poker League 2015 July – November Merage JCC MONDAY, JULY 6 – AUGUST 17 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Gentle Core Exercises, Yoga & Meditation Merage JCC FRIDAY JULY 10 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM The Getty Center Trip Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS, MAY 13 – JUNE 3 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Refresher Mah Jongg Merage JCC
TUESDAYS, JULY 21 – AUG. 21 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM iPhone Tips & Secrets Part 1 4 Sessions Merage JCC SUNDAY, MAY 17 1:30 – 3:30 PM Exploring the Family Search Website Temple Bat Yahm MONDAY MAY 18 7:00 – 8:15 PM Jewish Communities Around the World1st Master Lecture Series Merage JCC TUESDAY, JULY 28 10:00 AM Books & Bagels ”Visible City” by Tova Mivris Merage JCC TUESDAY, JULY 19 7:00 PM Men’s Wine Tasting Merage JCC The Merage Jewish Community Center is located at 1 Federation Way Suite 200, Irvine, (949) 4353400 x 303. For reservations please contact Geri Dorman, Prime Time Adult Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Ezra Center is located at Temple Beth Emet on Monday & Thursday 1770 W. Cerritos, Anaheim, (714) 776-1103 and Temple Beth Tikvah on Wednesday 1600 N. Acacia, (714) 871-3535. Temple Bat Yahm is located at 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach. For reservations please contact Michelle Sandler at: (714) 891-0788
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ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY Queen Gertrude BY DALIA TAFT
Los Angeles Herald, July 20, 1909
Gertrude Asher, “one of the most popular young women” of Santa Ana, was selected to be queen of the 1909 Santa Ana Carnival of Products, an early version of the Orange County Fair. Born in 1889 in Orange County, where she grew up, she was the daughter of Jewish German immigrants Isadore and Ida Asher. Her father co-owned Asher & Falkenstein Mercantile, located at 105 W. Center Street (now Lincoln Ave.), and her mother was one of 11 children from the Harris family, a prominent Southern Californian Jewish family. Gertrude attended the Los Angeles State Normal School (which later became UCLA) where she received her teaching degree. She taught at Garvanza Elementary School in LA before getting married to Joseph Spitzer in 1919, and she continued her career once the family, including sons Irwin and Carlton, moved to San Bernardino. A Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society - a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishorangecounty.org. You can also contact Dalia at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167. 52 JULY 2015 |
BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!
THE JEWISH TRAVEL BLOG Your ultimate guide to Jewish and Kosher travel. thejewishtravelblog.blogspot.com
TOTALLY JEWISH TRAVEL This site is a great online guide to Jewish and Kosher vacation travel, with over 300 travel companies using the site to promote and advertise their international programs. www.totallyjewishtravel.com
ZEN COLLEGE LIFE This is a great resource for many, many European travel blogs. www.zencollegelife.com/50best-european-travel-blogs
Common ground can be found if you keep an open mind.
DO YOU SPEAK HEBREW? Music to A Jewish Traveler’s Ears BY MERAV CEREN
I WANDERED DOWNHILL from Istanbul’s Galata Tower. Moving towards the Bosporus, I meandered into and out of kitsch shops leisurely, enjoying the sights and sounds of the colorful, friendly city, tired from a week of classes in the morning and sightseeing all afternoon and night. As I perused the pins in a junk shop, I grabbed the attention of my travel friend. “Look! There’s a pin of a crossed Turkish and Israeli flag!” I whispered excitedly. We’d been avoiding mentioning we
were Israeli because we were warned of rising anti-Semitism in the country, but here, in this shop in the middle of town, there seemed to be an idication that Turkey and Israel could get along. The shopkeeper saw us looking and asked in English, “Oh, you are Jewish?” As two travelers eager to avoid such conversations, all we came up with in response to such a straightforward question was “uhhh...” And then he asked, “atem medabrim ivrit?!”
Hebrew for “you speak Hebrew?” The smiles that immediately broke out on our faces must have been answer enough. We’d just met Moshe, a Turkish Israeli whose parents had moved to Israel, raised him until his teenage years, and brought the family back due to the normal struggles of immigrants—homesickness and a lack of social integration into the community they’d tried to adopt. In slightly broken, but wonderfully accented Hebrew, Moshe told us about his parents’ struggles with anti-Semitism which drove them to the Promised Land, their unhappiness in a place much smaller than bustling Istanbul, and his modern frustrations with a country he said was growing less welcoming of its Jewish population. He was the first Jewish person we’d met and he told us that, as a kid, he didn’t worry much about walking to school, but he didn’t feel comfortable mentioning his Judaism to his fellow shop owners today. I was in Istanbul for a semester of coursework for my masters and I had trouble finding ways to connect to Istanbulite Jews. Insular and protective of itself, the Jewish community asks visitors to submit copies of their passports in order to visit synagogues. I never heard back after submitting my application. That summer, while the Muslim world celebrated Ramadan, anti-Israel rhetoric spiked as Israel went to war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. President Erdogan accused Israel of “Hitlerlike fascism” and of perpetrating a “systemic genocide” against Palestinians. But in the street, I felt none of the anger I read in the newspapers. I felt comfortable walking around alone at all hours of the night. Istanbulites themselves were very welcoming. A Merav Ceren holds a BA in International Relations from UCI, where she led the reestablishment of Anteaters for Israel, and is pursuing her Masters in International Relations from Syracuse University.
| JULY 2015 53
51 Allan Silverman
47 Dr. Ivar Roth
10 Laguna Cliffs Marriott
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31 Art of Moulding
23 Friends of Yad Sarah
19 Outcome Genii
13 Blue Mountain Realty
55 Geffen Playhouse (Bad Jews)
26 Pageant of the Masters
51 State Farm (Jason Starkman)
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51 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 27 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP
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45 Gourmet Detective
11 Storybook Mini Gardens
11 Jason Novak Realtor 38 Jewish Federation and Family Services
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31 Klein Financial
13 Sherri Primes 3 Silvergan 19 Soul Mates Unlimited 35 South Coast Repertory Theater
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2 Tustin Ranch 23 VITAS 19 W.R. Willis 49 Zounds Audio
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Barbeque Bonanza! Kick Off Your Summer JULY 2015
G IN LL W LL RO O FA EN NOR F PRESCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AGES 26 Olam Programs • Ages 2-6 years old • Choice of two, three or five day classes • Half-day program: 8:30 to 12:00 • Full-day program: 8:30 to 2:30 • Full-day Plus: 8:30 to 5:30 • Early Care: 7:30-8:30 am
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a peek inside july 2015
WHEN LEARNING IS FUN
Visit your local establishments to make math a treat to enjoy!
Give the neighborhood something to look forward to with a fabulous summertime party.
also inside! Editorâ€™s Note 05 Super Shabbos 06 Expanding Horizons 07
For July Calendar Events please visit: www.ocjewishlife.com
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Check out this great local event that brings people together for a wonderful cause.
This camp is on the cutting edge of cool. Come check it out this summer!
PUBLISHER ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE EDITOR IN CHIEF TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY, MBA CREATIVE DIRECTOR RACHEL BELLINSKY COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AUDRA MARTIN, LISA MONETTE, SUE PENN, M. ED., HANNAH SCHOENBAUM ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581
ey, hey, hey” summer is here. That’s my homage to the good old Kool Aid ads we remember as kids. You know… the ones where the pitcher breaks through the wall
and saves the day with a refreshing drink. Well, you too can make that kind of entrance and/or splash on the party scene and you don’t need to bust through drywall to do so. Just think outside of the box and you’re sure to create a barbeque to remember. These types of gatherings not only foster family bonding, they can also provide an excellent opportunity to get to know your neighbors as well. In this day and age, getting your kids off their cell phones and engaged in the world
TARMSTRONG24@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891
ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND KIDDISH IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
around them is a feat in itself. Do something they can’t help, but pay attention to: throw a party! You’ll definitely get to know your neighbors a little better. And, having kids nearby for your children to play with can make a good summer great. So take this time and run with it. Throw a party, take a trip, but above all have some FUN!
— Tracey Armstrong Gorsky, Editor in Chief
Editor Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is the managing editor for JLife and former editor and writer for Making Waves, Pet Product News, Veterinary Practice News and Surfing Magazine. She brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to Kiddish magazine and holds a Masters in Business Administration.
OCJL is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to OCJL, 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste. 204, San Diego, CA 92121. Orange County Jewish Life is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. OCJL is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to OCJL become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.
ACROSS 2. ( ברך23:20) 4. ( קצה22:41) 6. ( עפר23:10) 8. ( שוב22:34) DOWN 1. ( שלש22:28) 3. ( נא22:6) 5. ( טוב24:1) 7. ( אהל25:6)
CANDLELIGHTING IN JERUSALEM: 7:08 P.M.
• Opening up a folding chair. • Using an umbrella.
The prohibition of ( בונהboneh) is the act of building something on Shabbat. Do the following actions on Shabbat qualify as boneh?
• Bilam's first blessing of the Jewish people (23:1). • Balak convincing Bilam to curse the Jewish people (22:2).
Act out these scenes with friends and family.
PARSHA SKIT ideas
Complete the crossword by translating each Hebrew word into English. Use the parsha reference for help.
• Before putting up 10 mezuzahs in his/her house? • After eating an apple and a banana?
How many blessings does one recite:
Avoiding wasting: HaShem gives each of us time to do mitzvot - try not to waste time (but we all do need healthy relaxing breaks).
good trait OF THE MONTH
© 2015 The Famous Abba
Brought to you by:
Find the bold italic words on this sheet. The unused letters spell a secret message!
Balak, King of Mo'av, was afraid of the Jewish people. He hired Bilam, a nonJewish prophet, to curse them. Originally, HaShem told Bilam not to go to Balak to curse the Jewish people, but then HaShem gave him permission to go. On the way to see Balak, Bilam’s donkey turned off the road and Bilam hit her. Then, the donkey spoke to Bilam and complained of being hit before continuing the journey. Each time Bilam tried to curse the Jewish people, blessings came out of his mouth. Bilam even prophesized about the End of Days and the coming of the Messiah. Toward the end of the Parsha, the Jewish people sin with the people of Mo'av and a plague begins. As a result of a bold action by Pinchas, the plague was stopped.
Visit www.thefamousabba.com/chinuch-podcasts for this week’s Chinuch Podcast! Hear from a new speaker each week.
400 300 200 100 90
א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת
סו ÷ יא
What we recite when we enter a shul:
(Hint: The Mourner's Kaddish - Look in a siddur for help)
spot the difference
Which one is different? (Hint: Bilam in Parsha Balak - Ch. 22)
• The battery died on your brand new car. • Your spoon at lunch was dirty.
Can you judge these situations favorably?
you be the judge
___ Apostomos burned the holy Torah ___ The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans ___ Moshe broke the first tables ___ The daily offering was suspended
Number the following items in the order in which they occurred (they all occured on the 17 of Tammuz):
SUPER SHABBAT SHEET 17 TAMMUZ 5775 PARSHA BALAK
Expand Your Horizons Let the world be your classroom. BY SUE PENN, M. ED. Precious moments create meaningful memories.
we are all Jewish women meeting at our religion’s holiest site. We then moved onto Robinson’s Arch, the egalitarian section of the Kotel. We joined my husband where the three of us prayed together and shared incredibly beautiful and intimate family bonding, while joining thousands of other Jewish people from across the globe acknowledging the Torah as a central component of Judaism. As you are enjoying your vacations, please consider a family trip. Precious moments create meaningful memories. When you take time to incorporate and model those values you hold dear, you build tradition. If you can afford
to visit Israel, I recommend you do so.
tanding on a balcony in the
to the wall, we must move amongst and
Every day is precious, every experience
Old City of Jerusalem while
between thousands of Jewish women
meaningful, and the effects of your
watching the sun rise over
from all over the world. Some so pious
acknowledging and incorporating
the thousands of people
and committed to their prayer that they
Judaism, will build identity and ground
at the Kotel (Western Wall) for
don’t even notice those around them,
your children for many years to come.
Shavuot, I breathe in the rich history,
others on a quest to move forward to
Nesiah Tovah (happy and safe
tradition and culture of our people.
touch the wall or to place a note in one
I see commitment to continuing it,
its crevices, asking Hashem to answer a
connections amongst those who came
prayer. We hear languages from the four
here together and a love for Jewish
corners of the world, see people who
look familiar but can’t place and feel an
As my daughter and I make our way
incredible sense of community. After all,
travels)! ✿ Sue Penn is the mother of three, Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, president of Jewish Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
The Fun of Learning Tasty treats plus family fun equals wonderful memories. BY AUDRA MARTIN
ust because the school year is
than that? We’d enjoy delicious treats,
done it doesn’t mean that kids stop
incorporate math, and involve family and
learning. Sometimes creativity
friends in the process. What I didn’t count
is needed to sneak learning into
on was the many memories our ice cream
summer vacation fun. One of our Camp Haverim families shared what happened when they mixed math with ice cream: “Each summer, we ponder how
What’s your favorite flavor?
dates would generate for my son. Researching online, we selected eight ice cream shops in Orange County to test. We were going with home-bred shops,
to connect learning with 10 weeks of
no chains. As the summer went along
summer fun. Last summer we came up
and news of our adventures grew, more
with an idea: find Orange County’s very
recommendations came in and we ended
best ice cream! What could be more fun
up judging 12 stores. At each, we invited
Everything is more fun with ice cream!
friends and family to “guest judge” with
averages for each category and then a
us; our smallest party was four and our
largest 15. Each time we ordered a scoop
Han’s Ice Cream in Santa Ana, just
each of vanilla and chocolate to share this
across from South Coast Plaza, won our
served as our control group. Then each
contest for OC’s best ice cream. However,
judge ordered a special flavor for another
my son would like to share that Mama’s
on 39 in Huntington Beach’s malted
On a scale of 1-5, our judges rated the ice cream shops in five categories: taste of the ice cream, menu choices, special flavors, location and price. Taste was weighted 2x in the equations. After sharing and enjoying the treats, the math exercise began as my son collected the ratings at each place. Analyzing all the data, he came up with
chocolate was so good it shot Mama’s numbers up to a close second. It was an adventure, with the real winner being our family. Now we need to figure out what this summer’s learning experience will be!” ✿ Audra Martin has worked with children in the JCC field for over 17 years, she is the Director of Children and Camp at the Merage JCC. Contact Audra at email@example.com.
SOMETIMES CREATIVITY IS NEEDED TO SNEAK LEARNING INTO SUMMER VACATION FUN.
Barbeque Bonanza Add some kick to your summertime parties. BY TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY
Let the summer fun begin.
ummer is here and what better
few ways to make sure your family fun
way to usher in the fun than a
day “cuts the mustard.”
backyard barbeque? Making new connections is not only
great for kids, it’s nice for parents too.
Invitations It all starts with a great invite. Here
And a little summer block party can
are some unique ways to kick off the fun.
provide the ultimate opportunity to
• Hand-deliver barbecue sauces to your
make new friends. There are many ways to pull off the ultimate shin-dig, but we want yours to really stand out. Here are a
potential guests. Replace the store label with a custom one with all of the party details printed on it.
• Send each guest a piece of Tupperware
• And everyone loves glow jewelry. Let
with the details of the barbecue
them “glow” with good feelings by
inside. Invite each family to fill these
handing out fluorescent bangles.
“invites” with their favorite side dish or dessert to compliment your culinary creations. (The guests get to keep the Tupperware as a favor).
The Games! Of course, there is always the traditional potato sack races, balloon toss, tag and backyard baseball, but you can
Party Favors Send your guests home with something that reminds them of the blast
add even more sprinkles to your cupcake of fun. • Badminton, croquet, Frisbee and
they just had.
horseshoes, while seemingly usual,
• Plastic pinwheels, beach balls, plastic
are all actually great ways for people
foam plane gliders, yo-yos, kites,
to relax, socialize and be outside. Plus
bubbles, jump ropes, outdoor chalk and
they are activities for both the parents
water toys are great favors for kids.
and kids to enjoy. ✿
A LITTLE SUMMER BLOCK PARTY CAN PROVIDE THE ULTIMATE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS.
• Personalized soda bottles, BBQ sauce, BBQ tools or outdoor mugs are all
Tracey is a contributing writer to Kiddish magazine.
useful and appreciated by adults.
Go fly a kite!
Join The Circle, Join The Fun The Friendship Circle is waiting for you. BY TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY
Friendship Circle volunteer Phoneix Goldberg bonding with his buddy during sports at a Sunday Circle.
Individuals with special needs and their families are faced with unique challenges—not just at home, but out and about as well. Just planning a day out involves much pre-planning and vetting for destinations equipped to handle someone with special needs. Well, the Friendship Circle takes the legwork out and makes things much easier for these families. It also provides a unique
elcome to one of happiest places on
volunteer opportunity at the same time. Specifically, the Friendship Circle focuses on the pairing of local teenagers
Earth (and no, it’s not
with children and adults with special
Disneyland). It’s called
needs. These volunteers come straight to
the Friendship Circle and it is right
the kids for home visits and the program
here in Orange County. The Friendship
extends from there to a full range of
Circle is a non-profit organization that is
activities and events as well. Every visit,
geared towards children and adults with
every event and every program facet
special needs and their families. It was
is focused on enriching the lives of
founded in 2006, and in last decade has
individuals with special needs (and their
grown to become the largest program in
the O.C. to cater specifically to this often
Providing therapy for children with
Friendship Circle volunteers Rochelle Speckler and Danna Creager hanging out with their buddy during a day out at the park.
special needs can be tricky because there
One great example of the programs
is such a wide range of disabilities. A
The Friendship Circle provides is the
cookie cutter approach just doesn’t apply
Sunday Circle. The day is filled with
here. Instead, a differentiated approach is
a variety of both indoor and outdoor
the best way to ensure that each child gets
activities to enjoy (with all the equipment
the attention they need. The Friendship
and materials included). Sometimes just
Circle shines in this regard because they
giving the kids a day to play gives their
have many different ways to connect.
parents the small “break” they didn’t even
The non-profit organization’s philosophy
realize they needed. It can even give them
is that, “by integrating the wisdom of
a block of time to have a nice Sunday
professionals and the energetic spirit of
“date” to catch up and recharge.
teenagers, The Friendship Circle brings out the best from within all of those involved.” So bring on the teens! They’ve got all the energy many of us have lost and an innate pioneering spirit. What’s more is that the young volunteers are many times able to connect with these children in ways other therapy can not. They really make a difference in these children’s (and their families) lives. Whether it’s swinging by the house for some one-on-one time or a fun-filled day at the park, the Friendship Circle has something for everyone.
And it’s not just the kids and parents that benefit either. The teenagers that volunteer come away with life-changing experiences as well. It instills them with the values of giving and gratitude, which are attributes that can last a lifetime. So the next time you are looking for a fun, local option for you and your family, come join the Circle. For information on the Friendship Circle and how you can become a volunteer please visit
www.friendshipcircleoc.org. ✿ Tracey is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.
THE FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE BRINGS OUT THE BEST FROM WITHIN ALL OF THOSE INVOLVED.
Silver Gan Israel in High Gear The Cutting Edge of Cool
Fasten your fun belts. You’re in for a treat.
ilver Gan Israel Day Camp has
yet another human hamster ball, a new
a well earned reputation of
‘Game Kart’ and have erected a huge BAM
consistently being on the cutting
(Balance and Movement) area featuring
edge of cool. This year they
rockboards, stilts, unicycles, scooters, pogo
are proud to continue that tradition.
sticks, flash riders and more. Because
In addition to the regularly scheduled,
innovations are always complimented
fun-packed programs they have secured
by great programming, the new cooking
There is no shortage of fun at Camp SGI.
classes and weekly library visits are sure to
daily with new lessons, will make new
leave kids with valuable new information.
friends, build skills and learn spirited
“Summer camps are designed to
camp songs. The highly trained and
teach children to take healthy risks in a
experienced counselors are positive role
safe and nurturing environment,” said
models and exude a special warmth.
Sender Engel, the camp director. “With
Transportation and flexible
our new Balance and Movement program,
enrollment options are an added feature
children will not only build new skills, but
that makes the camp unique.
will enjoy a well deserved boost in selfconfidence and self-esteem.” The camp program runs through
Camp SGI has been accredited by the American Camp Association for close to 50 years. ACA accreditation is the
Friday, August 21. Every day will be packed
best evidence of a camp’s commitment
with activities including archery, laser
to the highest standard of safe and
tag, swimming, age appropriate field trips,
thoughtful programming. Parents can
hamster ball, arts & crafts, water sliding,
learn more, request a camp tour and
sports and much more. Parents will be
register by visiting www.campsgi.com or
happy to know that their children are in
by contacting Sender at 949.381.5610 x 101
a safe environment and will come home
or firstname.lastname@example.org. ✿
PARENTS WILL BE HAPPY TO KNOW THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT.
World Class Care Just Around the Corner!
Pediatric Dentistry Child, Teen & Adult Orthodontics
Irvine Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics 949.559.0674 SHAUL YEHEZKEL, DMD, BOARD CERTIFIED 4902 Irvine Center Dr., Ste. 111 • Irvine, CA 92604 email@example.com • www.irvinepdo.com
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