June 2014 Sivan/Tammuz 5774
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE
Flowing & Flattering Israeli Designers Do it With Surprises All You Need is Love? The Hurdles of Marrying in Israel
Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger
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T E R PA G E 3 6
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How does it work? In simple terms? Gravity! In more technical terms, the elevator moves up and down through air suction. The principle operation is based on the ascending push generated by the difference between the atmospheric pressure on the top of the elevator car and the atmospheric pressure under the elevator car. The depression (vacuum) required to lift the car is achieved by turbines operating as exhaust fans which are located at the top of the unit. A piston gear, surrounded by a sliding air-tight seal allows an almost frictionless movement and hoists the elevator car due to the pneumatic depression generated on the upper part. A valve regulating inflow of air controls the pneumatic depression, enables descent and controls the speed of the elevator car.
Sounds very futuristic! It sounds futuristic and far out, but if you’ve ever done any drive-up banking or refilled a prescription from the car, a similar technology is used to deliver your medicine or banking information from the teller to where the drive up stand is.
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What is your affiliation with Naples Vacuum Elevators? That’s a very good question. Once I found out about the product and expressed interest in purchasing one for the dream home I was building, I was extremely impressed. The manufacturer was looking to expand to the west coast and I was inspired and interested in helping people solve the riddle of the stairs! I didn’t want to see people have to sell their dream home because they could no longer handle the stairs. I’ve been an Authorized Dealer/Representative ever since.
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JLIFE | Sivan/Tammuz 5774 | JUNE 2014
Cooking Jewish with Judy Bart Kancigor
Israel Scene At the Foot of the Mountain
Israeli Guy The White Stuff
Praising Kindness Honoring Rabbi Nancy Myers
On the Lighter Side Chelsea’s Choice?
Fresh Orange Jews O.C.’s Fresh Faces
Interfaith or Interfaithless? Programs welcome couples into the fold.
Searching for Soulmates An interview with Judith Gottesman.
All You Need is Love… and a Certificate The hurdles of marrying in Israel.
Flowing and Flattering Israeli designers do it with surprises. A&E
History/Blogs Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere
Rachel Goes Rogue Anti-Semitism Takes Center Court
EPIC Afikomen The only Easter-Day scavenger hunt without eggs. IN EVERY ISSUE
Choice Words A Letter From the Editor
J Doc On The Street What’s your view on interfaith unions?
Knock, Knock Yiddish colloquialisms.
The Peel Laughing it Off in the O.C.
Concert Calendar Courtesy of the Orange County Concert Guide
8 JUNE 2014 |
Letters/Who Knew Words From our Readers
Society Roundup Faces of the Community
Seniors Calendar Fitness, Education & More
Look inside for Kiddish, our new insert publication, right after page 36.
28 On the Cover
Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger – Navigating Relationships in The New Millenia
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OF CHEESECAKE AND CHOICE
Shavuot shines a light on our choice and commitment. BY ILENE SCHNEIDER
AT SUNDOWN ON June 3 we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. Besides being a holiday where we enjoy blintzes and cheesecake, symbolic of milk that nurtures babies as the Torah nurtures all of us, Shavuot commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people and marks the grain harvest in the Torah. It is directly connected with Passover, occurring 50 days later and bridging the exodus with the presentation of the Law. Moreover, Shavuot is about choice. We read the Book of Ruth, because it highlights one woman’s choice to join the Jewish people and accept the Torah. The holiday is often associated with confirmation, when young people affirm their commitment to Torah, as well as conversion, when people make a conscious choice to Interfaith embrace Judaism. relationships used However, not everybody to happen only makes that choice. Interfaith primary identification with Juin Hollywood, relationships used to happen daism. only in Hollywood, it seems, it seems, and, While some congregations and, in any case, to someone try to be welcoming, many in any case, to else. Since the 1970s though, are not getting the job done, someone else. intermarriage has been growaccording to a number of the ing among Jews. Different couples. Several local rabbis, strains of Judaism look at the along with others around the country, are trysituation differently. While Orthodox and ing to educate couples about the benefits and Conservative rabbis do not perform mixed beauty of Jewish tradition while trying to learn marriages, some Reform rabbis do so, but only after educating the couple about the benefits how they can serve intermarried couples and their children. of having a Jewish household. “Beyond the hostile (and essentially fearWhat happens after the wedding is another matter. In some cases the couple chooses to ful) attitude American Jews tend to espouse, abandon Judaism or to abandon religion al- [there] lies in mixed marriages a special lesson together. In others there is an attempt to in- in coexistence,” wrote Jewish World blogger corporate the customs of both religions into Benjy Cannon. For others, it may be a lesson the household. Still others want to have their in tolerance or integrating someone new into 12 JUNE 2014 |
the family, kicking and screaming or not. “Clearly,” said sociologist Jack Wertheimer of the Jewish Theological Seminary, “not all intermarried families are alike. Levels of Jewish connection differ, [such] as between families with an unambiguous commitment to Judaism and families exposing their children to aspects of two distinct religions; between those residing close to vital centers of Jewish life and those living at a geographic remove; between those where the Jewish partner has benefited from a strong Jewish background and those where the Jewish partner has not.” See how two young rabbis – and others – approach intermarriage in this issue of JLife. Clearly, the choice about intermarriage is not just about the couples, but about how the community approaches them. A
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14 JUNE 2014 |
Kvetch & Kvell
The Honorable Eddie Rose Former Laguna Niguel (CA) City Councilman
A RESPONSE TO THE MAY ISSUE’S “PROOF OF THE TRUTH?” LETTER A BIASED MEDIA? The left-wing media virtually had a cow over the racially biased, but private comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Yet, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made some public, vitriolic, anti-Israel comments at a recent meeting of world leaders, accusing Israel of fostering apartheid, nary a word could be heard from this same media. Now we know one of the reasons Hillary Clinton was asked to step down as Secretary of State. She was unwilling to carry the ball for President Obama’s pro-Arab, anti-Israel agenda, particularly when she is considering a run for President in 2016.
Like Ms. Gottfried, I also looked on the internet and did not find any press coverage of the incident you described. You said that on March 5, 2012, Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to exit the White House through the garbage door at President Obama’s request. I did find speculation that this could happen — postulated by two periodicals that referred to the president in a hateful and derogatory manner. Mr. Kaiden, why not use truth instead of unconfirmed speculation to influence readers regarding Anti-Semitism. We experience enough paranoia as it is. Steve Diamond
Who Knew? A grandson of slaves, a boy was born in a poor neighborhood of New Orleans known as the “Back of Town.” PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN
We also know where Kerry’s (and Obama’s) sympathies lie with the Palestinians. But Israel is the one and only true United States ally in the Middle East. How I wish we had an American President with the courage and integrity of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
His father abandoned the family when the child was an infant. His mother became a prostitute, and the boy and his sister had to live with their grandmother. A Jewish family, Karnofsky, who had immigrated from Lithuania to the U.S., had pity for the 7-year-old boy and brought him into their home. Initially given ‘work’ in exchange for his board and to feed this hungry child. There he remained and slept in this Jewish family’s home, where for the first time in his life he was treated with kindness and tenderness. Later, he learned to sing and play several Russian and Jewish songs. Over time, this boy became the adopted son of this family. The Karnofskys gave him money to buy his first trumpet, the custom in the Jewish families. They sincerely admired his musical talent. Later, when he became professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions, such as “St. James Infirmary” and “Go Down Moses.” The little black boy grew up and wrote a book about this Jewish family who had adopted him in 1907. In memory of this family and until the end of his life, he wore a Star of David and said that in this family he had learned “how to live real life and determination.” This little boy was called Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Louis Armstrong proudly spoke fluent Yiddish.
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Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV
At the Foot of the Mountain
EVERY ONE OF US PLAYED A RESPECTIVE ROLE IN DEFINING THE PERFECTION OF “THE WHOLE.” 22 JUNE 2014 |
DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG
Shavuot brings us together.
I GREW UP in a home where Israel “lived.” From the blue-and-white Jewish National Fund charity boxes that graced our window sills to the annual Israel Day Parade and Film Festival, my father made little secret that we were living a “secondary” Jewish life by virtue of not living in Israel. The extended family mocked him behind his back (and sometimes to his face), but outside arguments held little sway. We had a state, and Jews should be living there. Case closed; the defense rested. Utilizing 20-20 hindsight, my eyes still well up with tears as I consider his Zionist naiveté; every Israeli was a superior human being and falafel — even really rancid falafel — was manna from Heaven. To even suggest to my
father that there were Israeli con artists, prostitutes and other assorted lowlifes was tantamount to holding a pep rally for the Third Reich. One just did not go there. He loved all Jews and sported an aura of shame that he did not suffer along with his brothers in the Inquisition, 1929 Hebron Riots or the Nazi war machine. An early defender of elderly Jews living in decaying neighborhoods, my father marched into tenements and escorted octogenarians to doctors’ offices and grocery stores, defiantly wearing faux-military gear and an iron-set jaw. His children cringed with embarrassment as our guerrilla-warfare Daddy ranted non-stop about the need to protect those in need of protection. And while he would have gone to the mat for
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Judith Gottesman, MSW any human being — Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu and Jain — who wished to observe his or her faith in peace, he believed that historically, Jews had gotten the rawest deal of all in the tolerance department. Shavuot is the anniversary of when we received the Torah, and it always astounds me to think that our entire nation — regardless of lifestyle, background, ethnicity — stood shoulder-to-shoulder in silence, united by both the holiness and enormity of the gift we were about to receive. Like a magnificent multicolored, multi-textured tapestry, every one of us played a respective role in defining the perfection of “the whole.” I often reflect on what this means whether washing the dishes, folding laundry or performing some other solitary, mindless task. It takes “alone time” to let my imagination wander to a Woodstock place where we shared caring and hope as a united people. I must be alone to go there, because people — real flesh-and-blood people — get in the way of my “peace and love” reverie. All too often, the reality of Israel interferes with my fantasy of this chosen homeland. Stereotypes can, sadly, become all too real. The frequent coarseness of our citizenry, the filth in the streets of certain neighborhoods, the intolerance between religious and non-religious and the daily terrorist threat can make us wring our hands in hopelessness. My husband and I just returned from visiting our respective children and grandchildren who live on different continents, and we occasionally found ourselves questioning our decision to remain in Israel, so far away from the hugs and love we yearn for. This soulsearching makes us closer and, ultimately, results in our redefining our Zionism and commitment to assuming active roles in the unfolding of Jewish history. Living in Israel allows us to do this while standing “center stage.” Despite the aforementioned angst, there is no greater feeling than watching the streets of Jerusalem flood with people — young and old — walking to the Kotel (Western Wall) and back, throughout the night and wee hours of the morning. For many, it is the social event of the season, and the only rule seems to be that one wants to mingle with brethren. The closer one gets to the Old City, the denser the crowd; indeed, this swarm of Jewish humanity consists of Haredim in streimels, barefoot hippies, students in jeans, tourists encased in suits and ties, women with bare heads, women with scarves and wigs, Jews-by-choice, grandmas and grandpas and babies in strollers. These Jews are white, black and Asian, Eastern European and North African. Some are Torah observant, and others are not. But every one of them/ us/you grabs the gift of Shavuot with both hands and declares with our presence, “I’m here. Count me in.” On a personal level, the challenge remains for me to take my unbridled love out of the private sphere and learn to apply it while being jostled in the shuk or trying to ignore boom boxes on the beach in Tel Aviv. After all, there would seem to be no greater gift than discovering an ability to stand at the foot of the mountain with others and feel that we are finally worthy to receive God’s Torah. I know what that feeling is called. It’s called love.
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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.
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Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER
The White Stuff You want cheese with that?
AS IS TRUE OF JEWS THE WORLD OVER, ISRAELIS ARE PARTIAL TO CHEESECAKE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. 24 JUNE 2014 |
IN HONOR OF the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, with its tradition of eating dairy foods, I decided to write about the dairy section in Israeli supermarkets. Perhaps what is most striking about the Israeli dairy case is the size of the products: there are no gallon milk containers (the largest size is two liters — around half a gallon), there are no mounds of large hunks of cheeses and the various kinds of cottage cheese (differing mainly in fat content) only come in one size: 250 grams (one cup). My wife says that this is a throwback to a time when Israeli refrigerators were small. Most Israeli milk is sold in one-liter plastic bags (milk is also available in cartons and plastic jugs). The bags are fairly sturdy, though they can feel a little slimy to the uninitiated (this is because, while chances are good that they will make it into your refrigerator without springing a leak, there might have been a leaky bag in the supermarket’s bin). You need to buy a plastic milk-bag holder if you are going to buy the milk bags. The fancy ones come with a sharp edge upon which you can snip off a top corner of the bag before pouring; for those with non-fancy holders, a scissors does the job nicely, and the desperation method of biting off the corner works as well — though less nicely. As is true of Jews the world over, Israelis are partial to cheesecake at this time of year. However, rather than cream cheese (which has grown in favor only recently), the main ingredient in Israeli cheesecake is “white cheese.” A mark of white cheese’s popularity is that it comes in sizes ranging up to 850 grams. White cheese is similar to cream cheese, but it has the consistency of thick yogurt. My daughter Rebecca, our family’s white cheese fan, likes to use it as a dip for pita or chips. Hard cheeses occupy relatively little space in the Israeli dairy case. The Tnuva dairy giant (which monopolizes Israel’s dairy industry) mainly pushes its two “yellow cheeses” (akin to “American cheese”): Gilboa and Emek. Surprisingly, almost as large as the hard cheese section is the feta section (also known as “Bulgarian cheese” here).
Whether they get it from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk, Israelis eat large amounts of feta cheese — in salads, but also with fruit and especially with watermelon. Labaneh and leben, exotic items in the States, are much more popular in Israel. Labaneh, sometimes known as yogurt cheese or strained yogurt, is often eaten for breakfast with olive oil and bread. Leben, which is technically “coagulated low-butterfat milk” (whatever that means), is similar to yogurt. And here is an interesting Israeli dairy-case story. I noticed that the same company (of course, Tnuva) makes two lines of leben. One line comes in slick colorful containers, while the other line comes in simple white plastic boxes. Other than a very slight price difference, the two lines of leben seem identical — and yet it is precisely the “no-frills” line that is more expensive. I asked Tiran about this (he and his brothers own and run my supermarket — it is part of Givat Ze’ev’s small-townness to note here that a few years ago Tiran married my neighbor’s daughter Oshrit and I went to their wedding). Tiran said, “Don’t you know?” He then pointed to the tiny “badatz” seal on the no-frills package. “Badatz” (the acronym in Hebrew stands for “high court of law”) is an ultra-Orthodox seal of kashrut. Tnuva’s regular leben only has the supervision of Israel’s chief rabbinate, which obviously is not good enough for a lot of people. Endnote: My wife, Sarah, eats 3-percent cottage cheese for breakfast every day. She says that “it is rich and creamy and is the perfect food.” Sarah also says that it epitomizes for her what the Bible means when it refers to the land of Israel as a “land of milk and honey” — an excellent quotation upon which to end this survey of the Israeli dairy case. Happy Shavuot!
Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is a tennis coach who made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. He and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.
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On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR
Chelsea’s Choice? How will they bring up baby?
THE POINT IS, WE SHOULD TRY TO EMBRACE THIS NEW FAMILY AS BEST WE CAN. 26 JUNE 2014 |
IT WAS THE ultrasound heard round the world: Chelsea Clinton is pregnant! The parents-to-be might not yet know whether they are expecting a boy or a girl, but those in my circles are more interested in whether they are expecting a Jew or a Methodist. In case you have been living under a rock for the last four years, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky married in 2010 in a beautiful ceremony replete with chuppah, tallit, Seven Blessings … and a Methodist pastor. It was an amazing interfaith wedding that got Jewish bloggers both kvelling and kvetching about the pros and cons of mixed marriages. For some, the union was seen as a high-profile example of how Jews are assimilating out of existence. For others, the willingness of the bride to include these very Jewish traditions into the wedding ceremony represents an opportunity to forge a larger Jewish community that includes non-converts dedicated to raising Jewish families. With this baby, we will find out whether the couple’s union really does mean “we’ve lost another one” or, as one of my favorite headlines on this matter suggests, “Bubba will be a Zeyde.” To my thinking, the entire fate of the ClintonMezvinsky child’s religious future rests on the Jewish community of New York, where the couple lives, and the community of Philly, where Marc’s family is from. So to them, I implore: Tone down the crazy. Chelsea is married to a Jewish guy and lives in New York, so odds are, she is aware that we are a neurotic bunch. But until she becomes a mom, she really has no idea how nutty we can be. If she catches wind too early, we can kiss Jewish day school goodbye. So, first off, hide the old women who will insist on spitting at the pregnant Chelsea to help ward off the evil eye. These are the same women will attempt to tie red thread around the baby’s wrists, you know, to scare off Lilith who comes in the night to steal babies’ souls. These women will freak Chelsea out. Tell the ladies there is a sale at Zabar’s or a new Chinese restaurant opening in Queens. Anything. Just keep them (more than spitting distance) away from Chelsea.
Otherwise, Marc’s synagogue can forget about a Clinton sisterhood luncheon sponsorship. Also, hold a baby shower. Chelsea probably grew up going to them. She doesn’t need to know that we don’t hold showers because we think celebrating something before it happens somehow magically causes that thing to then not happen. She’ll find out we are a fundamentally gloomy people soon enough. Let her eat melted chocolate out of a diaper first. Lastly, let Chelsea name the baby whatever she wants. No, Ashkenazi Jews don’t name after the living, but if Chelsea wants to honor her mother or father by naming the baby after one of them, what is the harm? So the world will have one less Aiden or Sophie in it. Big deal. The point is, we should try to embrace this new family as best we can and help Chelsea and Marc figure out their path. If that path should be a Jewish one, all the better.
After a 10-year career as a newspaper reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, Mayrav Saar left to try her hand at child rearing and freelance writing.
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28 JUNE 2014 |
Bravo’s Cupid Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger by Rachel Schiff and Tracey Armstrong Gorsky
avigating today’s dating scene can sometimes feel like you’re treading through a minefield. Online dating, speed dating, blind dating … phew! Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the choices alone, let alone by the amount of people we may meet. So just what is a single person to do? Ask for help! Turn to your friends, your family, and even better, a professional. That’s where Patti Stanger comes in. Patti is the owner of the dating service Millionaire Matchmaker, which has been documented on the television station Bravo. The show was an instant hit, and we have now enjoyed seven seasons of Patti’s no-holds-barred commentary and slyly efficient dating advice. Her show gives us a bird’s-eye view of Southern California’s dating ups and downs and hopefully gives us a head’s up of what to avoid along the way. One thing is certain, though: Patti will always keep us laughing with her witty personality and she will tug on your
heartstrings with her hopeless romantic attitude. JLife was lucky enough to catch up with this very busy lady, and she has imparted a few pearls of dating wisdom just for you. Do you get requests often for people of the same faith? It’s kind of 50/50. I don’t do denominational dating. If I have it in my database, I do it, but I’m all about the soul. So if the soul says I am Christian and he’s Jewish, I am all Namaste. I don’t advocate being with your own kind. I don’t categorize myself as a Jewish matchmaker. Do Jewish guys want to date Jewish women? Jewish women normally want to date Jewish men. Jewish guys normally want to date the shiksa. Sorry. It’s true. I didn’t create it; that what they asked for. Jewish religious guys I have, the more religious ones — they will only pick women that will convert. And as we know converts are usually better Jews than Jews by birth. The guys don’t want the Christmas tree in the house. You know he wants the Holy Grail. It’s impossible: 1 in 1000.
| JUNE 2014 29
What are some of the oddest requests you have had? I think it goes on the kinky side. Are their breasts real? I don’t do sexual persuasion dating. Once you first get the guy or the girl, it’s up to you when and how you’re going to have sex and what happens in the bedroom. I don’t go that far. The richer the man gets, the more they want kink. Porn has ruined our generation. It’s not about lovemaking. It’s all about wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Most men come to me when they want a relationship. They’ve already played and dated and are ready to settle down by the time they come to me. Do you have a problem with people sticking to the two-drink max? No, I think what happens is that it is more for the women than the men. Men can hold their alcohol and women cannot. Women usually are lighter weight and cannot usually hold more than two drinks, especially if you’re not eating. By the time you’re on the third drink, you’re not clear-headed and make poor choices because your libido is surging. Men can hold a lot more, but I don’t want them driving when they are intoxicated. Are there any behaviors you think single people should incorporate in their daily lives to increase the odds of finding their match? Yes, exercise. The statistics show us that happy people find happy relationships. In order to be happy, you have to exercise. It helps your endorphins flow and takes you out of depression. You know, looking for love is depressing, especially when you have wedding season upon us. Everyone’s a bridesmaid and never a bride. So you’re always feeling like it’s a race, especially in your 20s. More than even in your 40s, you feel like if you don’t find love in college, you’re nothing. You start to hit 29 and you are in that 30 spot and you feel like you’re an old maid. When I went to Israel when I was 26, they told me I was an old maid. So I got really depressed in Israel and when I got home the pressure started. East Coast mothers pressure you so much. I always felt like this little pest on my shoulder pressuring me, constantly, so I couldn’t relax. So with exercise and meditation, a hot bath, things that relax you ... you feel less heat. When you have less pressure you attract more men 30 JUNE 2014 |
because you’re relaxed. I spin every day. If I did spin in my 20s I would have figured it out. Every time you rush, you make a mistake. It distracts you from the goal, the place you want to end up. You mentioned your mom. Did she ever give you any dating advice and if so, what? Yes, she said nothing good ever happens after 11 oclock at night, so go home. If a guy wants to get hold of you, he will. You don’t have to be the last, cleaning up the party. He will find a way to get hold of you. He’ll find you. Always make them want you more.
OC lady. Well, they ended up running into one another and the girls figured out very quickly what was going on. They met in the bathroom to discuss the situation and both broke up with him that same night. I’ll never forget that. Too many hands in the candy store and you’re going to get busted. It’s a good story. He learned a lesson. He kept crying and trying to get both of them back and they just wouldn’t. I fixed the girls up with other guys.
What’s the strangest place you’ve seen a guy take a girl on a first date? It’s a very famous A-lister. I cannot tell you his name. He got majorly busted because he would take them to a swinger’s club. Not a “The statistics swing dancing club, show us that happy on a first date. I was the 911 phone people find happy call. By the time the relationships. In order third girl called, I realized he’s just to be happy, you have kinky. I dunno. I to exercise. It helps also had someone who took someone your endorphins flow to an army base. and takes you out of The army base had a party and he took depression.” her there for a first date. Not very millionaire, but oh well.
Do you remember your first date? OMG, I was fixed up. It was junior high and my parents’ best friends had a son who went to a different school than I did. And it was one of those dances and I remember I was wearing a prairie dress. Those were really in style at the time. And I didn’t want to go because I didn’t like him. My mother forced me and said “This is practice for the future so when the right guy comes along you’ll know how to do it.” I actually had a good night; it was fun.
What’s the funniest dating story you can think of, whether yours or a clients? I don’t think this is a funny story, but it is an interesting story. There was this guy who was from OC, Laguna Beach. And he was very much a player. And he had played every one of the girls in Newport, Corona Del Mar, everything. He gets a Beverly Hills woman from my company and she’s his dream girl. She’s gorgeous. Everything you can imagine. He just forgot to break up with his OC lady. One day, out of the blue he goes to his hot spot in Beverly Hills, where he told his BH girl he couldn’t go out that night, so he could take out his
What do you think is lacking in Jewish dating services? I think Jewish dating services are okay. JDate has been around since the beginning of time. There are a lot of Jewish matchmakers. Reform doesn’t need it as much as other sects of Judaism. Thank G-d for Jewish matchmakers. I couldn’t do it. The rules and regulations are so extreme; I couldn’t find anyone to fit that round hole in a square peg. Is there a dynamic difference between men and women? Women are doing so much these days. We are making more money. Taking their [men’s] jobs. Most of the Jewish boys over 40 were still living at home with their mother. I told momma that he [her son] couldn’t get out of the house for anyone right now. It’s not just Continued on page 32
| JUNE 2014 31
Interfaith Marriage A lot of marriages come from Patti’s personal consults.
Continued from page 30
Jewish; it’s every religion. Across the water, everybody gets a trophy; nobody has to compete anymore. It’s a backlash because of the hippies. They felt like they didn’t want their kids to have pressure. But, without that pressure and competitiveness and edge, they didn’t have a reason to push. They [now] have a sense of entitlement. I think behaviors start with the mother. You have to give your children a sense of competitiveness and not being a spoiled sport. They need sportsmanship. Once you get that, they enjoy the process. Remember, men are built to compete. Women are not; we can multitask, but competitiveness on top of that is too much to bear. Do you give men advice on what to wear as well as women? Yes, as well as on their homes, car, and lifestyle. We live in Southern California where everyone is beautiful. You really have to compete to pop off the page so the male or female will be 32 JUNE 2014 |
attracted to you. We do consultations and I do a half-hour for $1,500 and $3,000 for an hour. Also how to meet guys on your own and questions for dating. [We do] Skype and phone calls: we even have an option to spend the day with me for $10,000. My time is limited so you spend the day with me and you get a lot. A lot of my marriages come from the consult. I had three last week. One of them took me two years to get married. She bought a package for $40,000 and I spent two years working with her and she’s pregnant already. Finally after six months she started to realize my advice would help and she softened and she became a little flower. The guys then started paying attention to her. In California, it’s acceptable to be pregnant before marriage. It is Hollywood 101. We do everything backwards here. That’s a norm in Hollywood. It’s socially acceptable. People don’t think twice, but you may not want to be large on your wedding day.
Is marriage a must? Some people choose not to be married. In the Orthodox community, it is clearly about marriage. I do this Oprah style. I live in sin with my boyfriend. I am more about the relationship than the contract. Today, in California, the contract can really hurt women. If you make more money than the man you can go broke, so you have to think twice before you step off the curb. I don’t see the men making the money they did in the tech boom. There are fewer millionaires than there were 10 years ago so you have to choose your guy wisely. Does he have money, ambition, and credit? That’s a big deal. Do you get invited to a lot of weddings? Yes, every single one I have fixed up I have been invited to. I can’t make all of them, but I go to as many as I can. I have made six weddings of my own at the start of my business. I usually get the “please don’t tell anyone we met through you,” but now I am famous and I show up and they toast me when they’re drunk. Have you had a kid named after you? No, but Ms. Patti the boat was named after me. How we can guide people to your service? Register at: millionairesclub123.com and ladies can register for free. Millionaires and Millionairesses can also contact me there to join my service. Miss Stanger also has a beautiful jewelry line appropriately named “Je T’aime” which can be found at www.shopjetaime.com. A
| JUNE 2014 33
F E AT U R E S
RELIGIOUSLY WED? Programs welcome couples into the fold. BY ILENE SCHNEIDER
34 JUNE 2014 |
F E AT U R E S
CONSIDER THE CASE of Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who married Jewish investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in 2010. They signed a ketubah, and he wore a kippah and tallit, but the wedding was co-officiated by a Methodist minister and was held before sunset on Saturday. Nearly six in 10 American Jews have married a non-Jew since 2005, up from 46 percent in 1990 and 17 percent before 1970. Of non-Orthodox Jews who have gotten married since 2000, 28 percent have a Jewish spouse, and 72 percent are intermarried. Intermarriage is more common among Jews who are the children of intermarriage. According to the Pew Research Center Survey of 2013, 17 percent of married Jews with one Jewish parent are married to a Jewish spouse, while 63 percent of married Jews with two Jewish parents have a Jewish spouse. “Refusing to perform weddings between Jews and non-Jews does not stop [people] from marrying the person they have fallen in love with, but only pushes them out of the Jewish community, when, in many cases, they are in fact very interested in remaining in, or coming closer to, the Jewish community,” Rabbi Natan Margalit, a nondenominational rabbi who lives in Israel and runs the organization Organic Torah, said in a recent article (JNS.org, “Is Intermarriage the New Normal for American Jews?” January 9, 2014). “Where discriminatory policies once limited the numbers of Jews on elite university campuses, in certain industries or neighborhoods, and at restrictive social and recreational clubs, today’s Jews gain easy entry into every sector of American society,” said Jack Wertheimer, professor of American Jewish history in another recent article (“Intermarriage: Can Anything Be Done?” Mosaic, September 2013. “Not surprisingly,
Nearly six in 10 American Jews have married a non-Jew since 2005, up from 46 percent in 1990 and 17 percent before 1970.
some meet and fall in love with their non-Jewish neighbors, colleagues and social intimates.” Then what? A lot of people are asking that question. Judith Gottesman, who started matchmaking informally more than 20 years ago and is now celebrating the five-year anniversary of her business, Soul Mates Unlimited® Personalized Jewish Matchmaking, headquartered in San Diego, said, “It’s hard to find love, no matter what your religion is, and it’s even harder for a small minority. There are successful intermarriages, but religion can be a complicating factor. It’s nice to share values and religious practices, and Jewish identity matters.” Continued on page 36
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F E AT U R E S
Continued from page 35
Gottesman added, “There are hard-core Republicans who won’t the quality of the Jewish community.” date Democrats and hard-core liberals who won’t date conservatives, Rabbi Adam Greenwald, director of the Miller Introduction to but some people don’t even think of religion as an issue.” Judaism Program at the American Jewish University, is conducting Equally surprised is Rabbi Drew Kaplan, who has served as the the “Two Faiths, One Family” initiative funded by the Roslyn and rabbi and director for Southern California Jewish Student Services Arthur Gilbert Foundation in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. “We for three years, working with university students and young adults to are reaching out not to ‘fix’ or ‘change’ anybody, but to show that enrich their Jewish identities. Kaplan, who recently held a program the Jewish community is a comfortable, safe place that cares about called “Bourbons and Boundaries” to explore the foundation of people,” he said. Jewish approaches to intermarriage in Biblical The intergenerational program has involved and rabbinic Judaism, said, “It blows my couples from Congregation B’nai Israel. Two mind that people don’t discuss how they will more will include couples from Temple Bat raise their kids. Marriage is not a corporation Yahm and Temple Beth El. merger. It involves raising a family, and couples The pilot program takes place in living room Nearly six in 10 need to be pragmatic about how they want to salons. It involves “gathering in the homes of do that. Why date if you don’t discuss what’s interfaith couples and inviting others to share American Jews have coming afterwards?” stories about the challenges, build connections married a non-Jew Kaplan noticed that there was an “explosion and give the Jewish community a chance to since 2005. of initiatives targeting the 20s and 30s demolisten,” he said, adding, “The Jewish comgraphic,” which he believes is a result of the munity spends time talking about or at inter2001 National Jewish Population Survey that faith couples but less time listening to them. showed a “startlingly high” rate of intermarriage. The idea was to bring Intermarriage is not going to go away, so we owe it to our families to people together to share their Jewish identity without focusing on make sure that communities are welcoming places.” marriage and/or to provide programming for those who had children. Greenwald was surprised to learn “how hungry people are to While Kaplan, who is Orthodox, believes that “shared heritage, be seen and heard even in welcoming settings.” People who have shared values and how the children are raised” are very important, he felt marginalized have provided “emotional stories and wonderful said that most of the organizations that address the younger crowd are insights,” he said. “For some people, this is about interfaith and for “not pushy,” adding that the events attract a “self-selecting crowd.” He some, it’s about interfaithless.” also noted that many of the people who come to the events are the chilHe concluded, “Jewish demography for the last 100 years has been dren of mixed marriages who, nonetheless, consider themselves Jewish. more like Nostradamus than science. I don’t know what’s coming, “This is not a numbers game,” he concluded. “These programs are but it will be fascinating to observe. The big question is what is the about quality and vibrancy, not quantity. My role is to help enhance next step.”
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FAMILY OFF-ROAD LEARNING
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Think outside of the box with these 20 great ideas for family bonding.
Complimenting the good behavior and deeds of your children can go a long way to building their self-esteem.
also inside! Editor’s Note 06 Kid’s Cooking 07 JCC Preschool 18 Kosher Dog 22 Word Hunt 23 For June calendar events please visit:
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PUBLISHER ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE EDITOR IN CHIEF TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY, MBA CREATIVE DIRECTOR RACHEL BELLINSKY COPYEDITOR MICHELLE ITEN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY. D, HEIDI KAHN, AUDRA MARTIN, SUE PENN, M. ED. ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA
ello, and welcome to the June issue of Kiddish
magazine. This month we are focusing on family relationships and how we can build them and make them even stronger. Family members
(SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL
mean a lot of things to different people, and the individual
relationships we have with each member are riddled with
nuances. They can be a source of strength and love, wisdom and guidance, or they can be a downright pain in the neck at times. One thing is certain, however: “Family is Family,“ and no matter what happens in life, they will almost always
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remain your “family“ and part of your inner circle. It goes
without saying that in Jewish life in particular family life
is a very big deal. It is thus not without significance that the Hebrew word for Jewish marriage (Kiddushin) means “holiness or sanctification.“ So it behooves us to try and make our family life the absolute best it can be. In this issue of Kiddish we have some great tips and ideas to help you
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND KIDDISH IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
increase your quality time with your families, whether that be enjoying relaxing time at home or hitting the fantastic sites of Southern California. It is the perfect time as well because summer is here and Orange County is an excellent place to let your family life thrive. So dig in, cuddle up and give your wonderful family a big “ Kiddish“ hug from us and you.
— 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.
Krazy Kale Salad So good, your kids may not even notice they are eating a healthy leafy green. BY HEIDI KAHN
What to do:
1 bag washed and cut kale DRESSING: 1/3 cup grapeseed oil 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 Fresh kale is bursting with vitamins!
Mix the ingredients to make the dressing.
2 cloves fresh crushed garlic salt and pepper to taste
4 Add dressing to kale the night before you plan to eat it and store in the refrigerator.
Heidi Kahn is a contributing writer to Kiddish magazine and the Pre-School Director at University Synagogue. She is an award-winning teacher who has over 30 years of experience in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education.
Toasted almonds add nutrition and flavor to this simple dish.
6 Try it with chow mein noodles.
Also delicious with cranberries. Toss and enjoy!
Family OffRoad Learning Let the highway be your classroom. BY SUSAN PENN, M.ED.
t is my fervent belief that there’s
these are life lessons that impact our
more to an education than school!
intellectual growth far beyond what a
The longer I work in education, the
textbook can teach us.
more I learn from students who have
As you travel with your families, take advantage of the opportunities for learning as they arise.
As an adult, I was stunned by the
benefitted from experiences far beyond
true beauty of Van Gogh’s “ Starry Night“
the classroom. The road trips to different
at MOMA in New York City. I had seen
states, the excitement of uncovering
numerous renderings and photographs of
some part of history that they learned
it, studied it at school and then later as an
about in school, figuring out how to pay
adult, and thought that I should go and
in a different currency or to navigate the
see it on a recent trip to New York City
underground in a city across the world—
with my niece. I was totally unprepared
Road trips can provide life lessons that impact our intellectual growth far beyond what a textbook can teach us.
for my reaction to finally seeing it. I was
Prayer, asks that we reach our destination
mesmerized and sat on the floor in front
in life, joy and peace. What is a
of the painting for a long time, staring
destination without learning along the
and remembering everything I had
way? Is anything gained from an empty
learned, making the connections to my
journey? As you travel with your families,
past, thinking about Van Gogh as he was
take advantage of the opportunities for
painting and all the while hearing Don
learning as they arise. Impart knowledge,
McClean singing in my mind.
share your stories and those of your
Learning experiences, be they
ancestors, explore, ask questions and
carefully constructed with education in
grow together. In the words of Debbie
mind, or random—taking advantage of
Friedman, “ May you be blessed as you go
the moment—represent some of the most
on your way.“ ✿
impactful learning we receive. A student remembers the Revolution for the rest of his life if he takes part in a reenactment, but will soon forget the sequence of events he read about in his textbook. Tefillat Haderech, the Traveler’s
Sue Penn is a mother of three, Education Director at University Synagogue, president of Jewish Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
A STUDENT WILL SOON FORGET THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS HE READ ABOUT IN HIS TEXTBOOK.
Summer Family Fun 20 cool things to do together. BY AUDRA MARTIN
Celebrate your heritage by finger-painting an Israeli flag.
or kids, summer is about fun and adventure. For parents though, as the weeks seem to go on and on, summer is the time
to wrack our brains for ways to engage our kids in creative and meaningful ways. Below are 20 everyday ways to have fun with your kids while exploring Jewish traditions and values.
Bake challah together, adding kid-
friendly elements like chocolate chips, sprinkles or cinnamon sugar.
Draw an Israeli Chutes & Ladders game
board: start with a map of Israel, add chutes and ladders and explore Israel.
3 Finger-paint Israeli flags with handprints. Use a piece of construction paper and dip childrenâ€™s hands in blue and white paint.
4 Make a word search using traditional Jewish words: for instance, mitzvah, falafel, Jerusalem, soldiers, simcha, candles, challah, shofar, tikkun olam and so many more!
Bake dog biscuits and donate them to a local humane society.
5 Take a virtual trip to Israel. Find an Israeli map and select seven cities. Visit one a night for a week. Look up each city,
regularly carry beeswax to braid candles and you can pick up plastic goblets to decorate at the same store.
searching for photos and information
9 Celebrate Havdalah at the beach with
about its history, traditions and industry.
a picnic dinner and your Havdalah kit.
What are the cities known for? Which
10 Have a scavenger hunt looking for
famous people come from each city?
613 leaves, rocks and shells. Over the
6 Celebrate animals while doing a
course of several weeks at the beach,
mitzvah project. “Bake“ dog biscuits and
one family collected 613 pieces of trash.
share with a local humane society. Mix
Jewish tradition understands there are 613
together 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, 1
mitzvot (plural of mitzvah) in the Torah.
teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon beef or
11 Work with your kids on learning
chicken bouillon granules and a half cup
and using one Hebrew word a week; for
of hot water. Shape into biscuits and
instance beach is “chof,“ food is “ochel“
allow to dry.
and “ma nishma“ means “What’s up?“
7 Take your grocery list and check out
which foods are kosher and not. Use the
centuries-old tradition of writing letters
symbols as a game.
or wishes to G-d to place in the Western
8 Create a Havdalah kit by collecting
Wall or Kotel. Drop off the wishes and
a spice bag, candles for braiding and a
letters at the JCC, and they’ll be taken to
wine goblet. For the spice bag, fill a piece
the wall on the next JCC Israeli trip.
Have your child(ren) be part of a
of fabric with cloves and other spices,
13 Create a scavenger hunt at the
and tie it up with ribbon. Crafts stores
local “shuk,“ which is a market. Have
CELEBRATE ANIMALS WHILE DOING A MITZVAH PROJECT.
Interview your Bubbe or Zayde, asking them their favorite Jewish memory.
your children look for foods from Israel
Sea and how salt affects its environments.
or foods that are part of your family’s
For example, experiment how salt affects
freezing. Fill two identical containers
14 Talk about kosher laws at the grocery
halfway with warm water. To one
store. Have your kids identify the various kosher symbols on the packaging.
Keep adding salt until no more dissolves.
15 Re-enact your favorite Jewish
You may have to use as much as one-third
traditions from your childhood.
freezer and check them every two or three
16 For another mitzvah project, collect RE-ENACT YOUR FAVORITE JEWISH TRADITIONS FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD.
container, slowly add salt while stirring.
cup of salt. Put both containers into the hours. Any differences between the two
books and share them with Think
must be caused by the salt.
Together, a local nonprofit that provides
19 Read them a vintage Superman
books to kids throughout Orange County.
Comic… did you know the author is Jewish?
17 Interview your Bubbe or Zayde, asking 20 Enjoy your children, the greatest of them their favorite Jewish memory.
18 Do a science experiment with salt and water and then talk about the Dead
all Jewish traditions. ✿ Audra Martin is the Director of Children and Camp Director at the Merage JCC.
Give Praise Encouraging kids in the right way can go a long way! BY TAMMY KECES, M.A.
Employing a positive approach to teaching and learning by encouraging children throughout the day.
he right kind of praise can
how children greatly benefit from daily
inspire children to have cour-
doses of encouragement. Rather than
age to take risks, overcome
motivation using stickers or trips to the
obstacles and become positive
treasure box, or evaluative praise such
leaders. Consider how you feel when
as “You are the best,“ encouragement
someone says, “I noticed how hard
has long-term benefits, such as intrinsic
you’ve been working“ or “I have faith
motivation. Stanford psychologist Carol
that you will complete this challenging
Dweck, author of “Mindset,“ found when
task.“ Educators and parents have the
students learn that their effort, rather
opportunity to support our children in
than innate intelligence, is valued, they
this manner using language that is rich
develop a “growth mindset,“ linked to
in descriptive, appreciative and empow-
perseverance and academic success.
ering types of encouragement. Rabbi Sacks noted, “Praise and
Employing a positive approach to teaching and learning by encouraging
how we administer it is a fundamental
children throughout the day, appreciat-
element in leadership of any kind. Rec-
ing them for who they are and noticing
ognizing the good in people and saying
their effort can make a critical differ-
so, we help bring people’s potential to
ence socially, emotionally and academ-
fruition. Praising their efforts rather
ically. Providing a home and school
than their innate gifts helps encourage
environment that focuses on positive
forms of encouragement allows for all
people to thrive. ✿
Educational approaches by Dr. Jane Nelsen, “Positive Discipline,“ and Dr. Daniel Seigel, “Mindsight,“ point out
Tammy Keces, M.A. is the Principal and Lead Secular Educator at Irvine Hebrew Day School. She is also a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer.
APPRECIATING THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE AND NOTICING THEIR EFFORT CAN MAKE A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE.
Good Day for a Good Deed Spend a day with the Israeli Scouts. BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
f you want something done … ask an
Dozens of kids worked in shifts with Jewish Federation Family Services employees to ensure the house would be ready for move-in day.
Israeli Scout! That is exactly what Dr.
Getting the house ready was a
Lauren Gavshon, Director of Clinical
collaborative effort between JFFS and
Services at Jewish Federation and
Orange County Israeli Scouts, a.k.a., Tzofim.
Family Services (JFFS) did to get the new
The scouts cleaned the entire house—from
Mandel House ready for residents. The
top to bottom—and planted sustainable
house, a project of JFFS, is the first home
gardens in the backyard that will provide
in the Jewish Community of Orange
herbs and vegetables for residents to use.
County for adults with special needs and
Everything in the house was donated,
Getting the house ready was a collaborative effort between Jewish Federation and Family Services and Orange County Israeli Scouts, a.k.a., Tzofim.
including the Scouts’ time. Good Deed Day, an annual project for the Tzofim, was special this year because it was for “ family.“ Last year Tzofim cleaned
with a resounding, “ Yes!“ Says Shani Amran, a seventh grader, “We would LOVE to come back!“ For more information on JFFS’s
up the beach, impacting the greater
Mandel House, contact JFFS at
community; this year, it was a little closer
to home. Under the watchful eye of Troop
For more information on Shevet
Leader Inbar Avgar and Chair Doron
Tapuz (Orange County Israeli Scout Troop),
Armony, dozens of kids worked in shifts
contact Inbar Avgar at (949) 235-6050. ✿
with JFFS employees to ensure the house would be ready for move-in day. But it was not all work. “ We talked and had fun…“ reported Romi Gilat, an Israeli-born Scout in the seventh grade. When asked by Dr. Gavshon if the Tzofim would come back, she was met
Dr. Lisa Grajewski has been a contributing writer for JLife since 2004. She is a former professional in the Orange County Jewish community, with over 10 years experience as a volunteer and professional. Dr. Grajewski recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology and is currently working toward licensure with a private practice in Tustin.
THE SCOUTS CLEANED THE ENTIRE HOUSE – FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.
Strike a Pose Local teens mix fashion and fundraising. BY SOPHIE GORDON
owadays it’s not unusual to
CEO. “Giving back is one of the important
hear about our teens running
values exhibited throughout our JCC. It
around the community
is inspiring to see that our teens are so
volunteering and doing
dedicated to tikkun olam, ‘repairing the
good work. It really is the norm. In fact,
world,’ and making a genuine difference.“
community service is frequently required
Dan continued, “We have become a
for high school graduation.
destination for many of the Jewish teens
Three local teens, part of the
in our community. Opportunities to make
Merage Jewish Community Center’s
a difference, like executing this event,
teen programs, have ventured further
strengthen our teens not only as better
than the typical required hours. On
Jews, but as better human beings. We are
May 1, Alexis Elfend, Sophie Gordon and
proud of their accomplishments.“
Shaina Maginot, all high school seniors
The team of three teens spread the
in Orange County, coordinated a fashion
word by creating collateral, connecting
show at the Merage Jewish Community
with various retailers, coordinating
Center (JCC) and earned close to $15,000
fittings and soliciting donations,
for a local nonprofit, The Joyful Child
sponsorships and auction items. They
Foundation. “ This isn’t a typical bake sale.
even recruited a crew of other teens to
While we are only 17- and 18-years old, we
serve as “ models“ and event volunteers.
are incredibly driven to make an impact
Alexis Elfend of Newport Beach
in our community,“ said Sage Hill senior
explained, “Doing something fun while
making a difference in the community
“ Our teens truly ran the event,“ said Dan Bernstein, Merage JCC President &
is what this event is all about. We want to engage our community, especially
Alexis Elfend, Sophie Gordon and Shaina Maginot (all high school seniors in Orange County) coordinated the entire event.
teens and donors, while making a sizable
in supporting our community’s future
difference.“ Sophie added, “We’re excited
leaders and in the safety of our children,“
to be working with the Joyful Child Foundation: not only is their work of protecting children important, but they are a small, local organization and our
said Katie Ellis, Executive Director of the Opus Community Foundation. Retailers showing off their wares in
fashion show will go a long way to make a
the fashion included LF, Laguna Beach;
difference with their work.“
Hobie, Newport Beach; Social B, Newport
In addition to their other efforts, the teens recruited Opus Community Foundation, the giving arm of Opus Bank, to support the fashion show and The Joyful Child Foundation with a
Beach; Stella, Newport Beach and No Rest for Bridget, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit www.
thejoyfulchildfoundation.org. And for
$10,000 matching grant challenge.“ I can’t
a head’s-up of great upcoming events,
imagine making a better investment than
check out www.JCCOC.org. ✿
IT IS INSPIRING TO SEE OUR TEENS ARE SO DEDICATED TO TIKKUN OLAM, ‘REPAIRING THE WORLD’, AND MAKING A GENUINE DIFFERENCE.
Our Little Ones Go Big A preschool expansion, a library and a Parenting Center for JCC.
The preschool is based in a center that supports the entire family.
preschool library. Lisa Monette gushes that the library with over 1,000 books “ is a wonderful opportunity to continue to open new worlds to our kids.“
Why a Parenting Center? The Parenting Center offers a variety of parent and children classes, helping parents learn about babies’ early development through discussion, music and playtime. The Center also regularly features seminars specifically
for parents on the latest educational and
pportunities for our kids
the next Jewish generation,“ says Lisa
parenting trends. Plus, they offer weekly
to grow, explore, learn, and
Monette, Director of Merage JCC Early
Tot Shabbat celebrations establishing
teach is growing in the hills of
Childhood Learning Center. Offering
Jewish traditions and positive memories,
Irvine. Recently, the Merage
Jewish Community Center (JCC) opened its doors to three new expansive, wellequipped playgrounds, five sunny stateof-the art classrooms, a preschool Library and a Parenting Center. “The past year, we had a waiting list of over 70 kids. We are thrilled to give more families the opportunity to give the children a Jewish education and ensure
programs for infants through 5-year-old, the Early Childhood Learning Center teaches 270 kids, as well as provides camps, enrichment, swimming and more.
OC’s First Dedicated Preschool Library The JCC offers the first preschool in Orange County with a dedicated
as well as a full array of Jewish holiday celebrations all year long.
And More! With fitness, aquatic and gym facilities as well as arts, dance, a theatre and gallery, the preschool is based in a center that supports the entire family. For more information visit:
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JUST FOR FUN
Jewish, you say? Check out this bunch of A-lister and up-and-coming Jewish Hollywood celebrities.
Andrew Garfield Raised in Surrey, England, this handsome up-and-comer and “Amazing Spider-Man“ is indeed Jewish. Instead of underwear and socks, maybe he gets new spidey webs and red boots for Channakauh.
Scarlett Johansson The bombshell’s surname name comes from her father’s Danish side, but her mother, Melanie Sloan, is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Sloan raised Johansson with a basic observance of Shabbat and the high holidays.
Drake Canadian recording artist Aubrey Drake Graham has a Jewish mother. She raised him in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Toronto, and he attended Jewish day school. He also had a bar mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage and celebration of entry into adulthood.
Elizabeth Banks The funny girl was not raised Jewish. But she went through some steps to convert for her husband, Max Handelman, whom she Scarlett Johansson
met on the first day of college at the University of Pennsylvania (she graduated magna cum laude.)
Isla Fisher The Aussie redhead is another funny girl who converted for her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, famous for his role as “Borat.“
Lenny Kravitz The musician’s father came from a Russian Jewish family, with roots in modern day Ukraine. When Kravitz was 5 years old, his mother told him, “You are just as much white as you are black, just as much Russian Jew as you are African-American.“ Elizabeth Banks
(Source: Policymic.com, May, 2014)
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Make your world more beautiful. GIFTS CANVAS PILLOWS ART PRINTS GREETING CARDS IPHONE CASES LAPTOP SKINS
kosher dog MEET JUNE’S WINNER, OUR TOP DAWG!
y name is “ Miss Sugar,“ but if you speak Brooklynese
like my parents, it's “Meshuga.“ I enjoy attending the Yiddish sing-alongs at our Shul and my photo is even featured in our latest Temple directory!
They tell me I’m such a sweet Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie)...sweet as Sugar! — Raquelita Braver
Among my favorite outfits are my pink lace Oscar night dress, my peacock-inspired tutu, my navy blue and white nautical sundress, my summer
Meet Scout, a 17-year-old Chihuahua from Laguna Niguel, whose favorite pastime in the OC is catching 40 winks (on the sofa, of course)! — Micki Nozaki
watermelon tank dress and my purple down parka. I flirt with the Great Danes in the neighborhood, enjoy munching on grainfree treats and love dining out at OC's finest dog-friendly joints. I love my daily ride in my very own car seat and enjoy stopping to smell the roses while walking
my Mom four times a day. I also love giving my family lots of licks!
Be July’s winner! Our pets are definitely part of our families, and here at Kiddish magazine we want to know what your four-legged friends are up to. Please send a picture of your pooch to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what they love to do in our wonderful Orange County neighborhood (a picture at the location is even better). Pictures of kitties are welcome too! We'll pick a winner each month, put their picture in the magazine and provide a wonderful treat for them courtesy of My Dog Bowl.
Word Search Some of the best times we can spend with our families is over a home-cooked meal (or excellent take-out). Parents have heard it for years: Family dinners help kids avoid risky behaviors and may even help them in school. But the more frequent these dinners, the better adolescents fare emotionally, says new research published this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health. So Bon Appetit and familiarize yourself with these Jewish staples.
BAGELS BAYTZAH BLINTZ CHALLAH CHAROSET GEFILTEFISH KARPAS KASHRUT KOSHER KREPLACH KUGEL LATKES
Z C G B B G E V E R A P K V M
T C M A S L L Z S L E G A B A
E S O R A S T G H B E L I H A O R E Z Y A B B A T E L Z X Z I K E Z A E N Q V H R Z T A I D E T Z F L E H I P O E S S N X H Z O O O I J M N T Z O B A
H H H L H T N I E V C M H K L
C C K L A A U T T H O B M C L
D A U G K T L R A T H T J B S
U L G K A I K L H S A P R A K
M P E Z F C L E R S V R Q K D
L E L E S A V N S D A L F J T
A R G H H E M M I Z T K S S K
T K W W M A R O R T R E I F D
LEVIVOT LOX MAROR MATZO BALLS MELIHAH PAREVE SABBATH SCHNITZEL SFRATI TALMUD TREIF TZIMME ZEROA
GEFILTEFISH: A mixture of ground boned fish.
KUGEL: A baked pudding or casserole.
MATZOBALLS: A Jewish soup dumpling.
SFRATTI: A Jewish pastry representing sticks.
KARPAS: Parsley dipped in salt water.
LATKES: Pancakes of potato, flour and egg.
MELIHAH: Meat soaked in water.
TALMUD: A text of Rabbinic Judaism.
BLINTZ: A type of thin pancake.
KASHRUT: Prohibitions on the consumption of unclean animals.
LEVIVOT: Israeli term for potato pancakes.
PAREVE: Prepared without meat and milk.
TREIF: Food that does not conform with kashrut.
CHALLAH: A braided bread.
KOSHER: Conforming to dietary law.
LOX: A fillet of brined salmon.
SABBATH: A weekly day of rest or time of worship.
TZIMME: A stew of vegetables and fruit.
CHAROSET: A sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits.
KREPLACH: Small meat or potato dumplings.
MAROR: Bitter herbs eaten at the Passover Seder.
SCHNITZEL: Boneless meat, coated with eggs and bread crumbs.
ZEROA: A lamb shank bone or roast chicken wing used during Passover Seder.
BAGELS: A bread product, traditionally shaped by hand. BAYTZAH: A hard-boiled egg.
THIS JUST IN!
Basketball Champions! Macabi Tel Aviv stuns the world by taking the 2014 Euroleague title.
Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Real Madrid for the 2014 EuroLeague Basketball title.
five titles. But in recent years, its aura has begun to fade. Last year, it lost the Israeli title for the third time in six years — after having lost it only once in the previous 39 — and entered the European championship as a huge underdog. The team that won back-to-back European titles in 2004-05 featured future NBA players like Anthony Parker,
Sarunas Jasikevicius and Maceo Baston.
accabi Tel Aviv’s European
TV and radio stations airing special
Later, homegrown talents Omri Casspi
basketball victory set off
and Gal Mekel also migrated to the NBA.
a national outpouring of
According to initial ratings figures,
In contrast, this year’s team was
about a third of the country watched
devoid of big stars. It needed a dramatic
that went far beyond the boundaries of
Sunday’s game live on TV, including
win on the road to even make it to the
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Final Four and its victories over heavily
President Shimon Peres. Both men called
favoured CSKA Moscow in the semifinals
Sunday with an overtime victory over
head coach David Blatt after the game to
and Real Madrid in the final were sparked
Real Madrid in the Euroleague basketball
by the outstanding play of its bench.
joy in Israel on Monday
Maccabi’s dream season culminated
final in Milan. Thousands of fans clad in Maccabi yellow filled Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square overnight Monday, with many jumping
“You were an example of
“No one believed in us,” Maccabi
determination. The whole team fought
captain Guy Pnini said. “It is hard to
like lions and won,” Peres told Blatt.
fathom and this will take a long time to
The team has dominated Israeli
into its landmark fountain. Celebrations
basketball for decades and has grown
erupted in other cities as well, with
into a European powerhouse, winning
sink in.” ✿
(Source: Associated Press)
F E AT U R E S
Art Imitates Life – or Vice Versa
hat is so enticing about getting involved with people of other faiths, and how do the movies see it? An Orange County Community Scholar Program called “JewishNon Jewish Romances: From Abie to Zohan” addressed the whys and wherefores of interfaith relationships as portrayed in movie history. “From the silent era to the talkies, Jewish-Gentile movie romances have provided plotlines to promote vastly different agendas: the Melting Pot ideal (The Jazz Singer), traditional resistance to intermarriage (Tevye the Milkman), American support of Israel (Exodus), contrasts between Jewish and Christian culture and politics (The Way We Were), multiculturalism (Keeping the Faith) and the individual over the state (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan), according to the program. Professor Emeritus Lawrence Baron, who held the Nasatir Chair of Modern Jewish History at San Diego State University from 1988 until 2012 and directed its Jewish Studies Program until 2006, provided his views on the subject. “The reasons, at least in movies, change,” he said. “Even since Jews were emancipated, there has always been a conflict between individual choice (romantic love) and communal solidarity.” “When Jews were still ghettoized, contact with Gentiles was limited to economic and not social interactions, and Jews were subject to rabbinical courts, not state courts,” Dr. Baron explained. In modern times, there is the lure of the forbidden: Fedya in Aleichem’s The Tevye Stories takes no risk in marrying Chava because
A scene from The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond, 1980.
she converts, according to Dr. Baron. Tevye grudgingly accepts it in Fiddler on the Roof (1971), but not in the Yiddish film that came out in 1939. There, Chava realizes that Russians and Jews are incompatible; she divorces Fedya and returns to her father. “In some of the earlier movies on intermarriage, Irish women marry Jewish men,” he added. “In that way the children of first generation immigrants Americanize.” Now that Jews have achieved much acceptance and success in American society, “the stigma of intermarriage is far less for both Gentiles and Jews,” Dr. Baron said. In some movies, the attraction may be that marrying a Jew constitutes upward mobility (The Way We Were), but the multicultural model often encourages the spouses to retain their faith or even convert to Judaism (Keeping the Faith). A
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F E AT U R E S
I strive to create happy, lasting marriages which also keep Jewish tradition alive.
harmony in the home, I encourage people to marry within their faith. I strive to create happy, lasting marriages which also keep Jewish tradition alive.
SEARCHING FOR SOULMATES An interview with Judith Gottesman. BY RACHEL SCHIFF
SOMETIMES THROWING YOUR hat into the dating ring isn’t enough. Many people choose to throw their proverbial hat into a more “defined” ring and find it important to date strictly within their religious faith. If this is the case and you fall into this category, then Soul Mates Unlimited may be a good option for you. JLife caught up with Soul Mates Unlimited owner Judith Gottesman to get the skinny on dating exclusively “Jewish.” What is your take on intermarriage vs. marrying Jewish? In my business I deal exclusively with Jewish clientele, so I only do Jewish matches. Most of my clients aren’t religious and many are will38 JUNE 2014 |
ing to marry (or already have married and divorced) people who aren’t Jewish. But, they still prefer a Jewish mate. Some people, due to the difficulties in raising children with their non-Jewish former spouse, definitely want a Jewish mate second time around. Of course some intermarriages can work, but with the divorce rate already high, why make things harder from the start? Seek similarities and things in common rather than major differences in a soulmate match. The best matches share core values, beliefs and lifestyle, and religion is part of that for most people. It can be very difficult for Jews to find one another, and for the sake of Jewish continuity and religious
What is your best advice for singles? Most importantly, stay hopeful. Believe there is someone out there for you. People who don’t give up, believe they’ll find love and stay open increase their chances for a relationship. Being open (to height, age, having kids, being divorced, long distance, etc.) to the person in a different package than you pictured, is really the most important thing for success in finding love. Having hope is the primary ingredient to get people to take action and be proactive about finding [love]. What can you do to look your best? Get your hair trimmed and/or styled so it looks healthy and fresh. Women: put on some make-up and make sure to cover those grey roots, if you have any. Whiten your teeth if they’re yellowing (there are inexpensive, natural, easy methods to do at home). Get a new, stylish outfit that makes you feel comfortable and attractive. Right before your date, brush your teeth and have a breath mint, and check your face and hair in the mirror. Most important while on the date: smile and have a good attitude! People who are tired of dating, cynical, bitter about an ex or the opposite sex, etc. will give off that energy and put off their date, so be positive, be friendly and keep the conversation light. Judith has a “Dating Tips and Horror Stories” in a video blog with some funny and weird dates worth checking out at: www.soulmatesunlimited.com/datingtips.html. A
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F E AT U R E S
The State of Israel will grant marriage rights to gay, intermarried, and most other couples, which helps to explain the huge number who marry abroad.
CERTIFIED BLISS The hurdles of marrying in Israel. BY MERAV CERAN
DANIELLE ISAAC, AN oleh hadash from Britain, is getting married on June 5. She and her husband-to-be Ofer met in South America. She moved to Israel after graduating Oxford to be closer to him. He proposed on a Tel Aviv beach on their two-year anniversary. A year ago, though, Danielle and Ofer’s marriage would have never happened. Israel is both a Jewish and democratic state. Marriage and other issues of personal status such as divorce are strictly controlled by the ultraOrthodox Rabbinate. To marry another Jewish person, you must prove your own Judaism. The definition of who qualifies is restricted to those born to a Jewish mother. If a person, or that person’s mother, converts, the conversion only 40 JUNE 2014 |
counts if it is done in a proven Orthodox way. Reform and Conservative conversions are not recognized. The country is peppered by horror stories of native Israelis and olim who must submit to lengthy conversion processes if they cannot prove their status or must marry abroad and have the union recognized by the state. Due to these heavy restrictions, some 20,000 couples marry overseas annually. That’s a shocking number, compared to the 48,000 who married in Israel under Orthodox rabbinical courts in 2012. The government has finally begun to respond to the flight of Israel’s love birds. In October of last year, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, passed the Tzohar Law, which now allows Israeli Jews to register their marriages with any rabbinate,
instead of the one which serves their city. This means that couples can shop around for a rabbi who may be less stringent in the myriad hurdles the couple must jump to prove their Jewishness, and may even help in gathering the necessary documents for the ceremony. Danielle is an example of why this law is so important. Her mother had converted in an Orthodox way, but when she approached the rabbinate in Jerusalem to receive the necessary documents to file for marriage to her Israeli-born boyfriend, the officials rejected her application, claiming they didn’t have enough information to convince them that the rabbi in London was doing conversions “properly.” Before the Tzohar law, that would have been the end of her options to marry in-country. A visit to Haifa’s rabbinate, where her husband-to-be works and they plan to move after the wedding, was all it took. Haifa’s rabbinate contacted the London rabbi and approved the papers. Though Danielle’s story ends happily, many others do not. Sarah Greenburg is among those 20,000 couples who chose to go abroad for their nuptials. She and her husband Tzachi decided to have a destination wedding. On a sunny Saturday on a beach in Cyprus in 2010, the two, who’d known each other since their army service, exchanged vows, surrounded by 80 of their closest friends. The Greenburgs had no trouble having their marriage recognized once they returned to Israel. The State of Israel will grant marriage rights to gay, intermarried, and most other couples, which helps to explain the huge number who marry abroad. These couples receive all the rights and privileges of other couples; they just lose the opportunity to marry in the place they call home. Israel is meant to be a home for the world’s Jews, and it is argued that, in order to protect the Jewish people, Israel should be strict about whom it allows to marry. But keeping native Israelis, let alone immigrants, from marrying isn’t what Herzl meant when he referred to a “new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.” Israelis, nativeborn and olim, should be able to love whomever they wish in the land they love. A Merav Ceren is a contributing writer to JLife Magazine.
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F E AT U R E S
FLOWING AND FLATTERING Israeli designers do it with surprises. BY ILENE SCHNEIDER
“Israeli designers are very creative, because they are influenced by avant garde designers in Europe.” 42 JUNE 2014 |
WHEN DVORA BRAUNSTEIN lived in Israel, her American sister-in-law always asked her to bring clothing designed by Israelis as gifts on her visits. Braunstein knew the designers personally. If her sister-in-law was going on line to find the fashions she wanted, other women probably were doing the same thing. When Braunstein moved to the U.S. seven years ago, she decided that representing Israeli designers in this country could be a good business venture. Braunstein has never looked back. “There were some designers represented here before I came,” she said. “When I opened a store in San Luis Obispo, a designer already represented here noticed that I was selling more than some stores in New York. I started representing her, and more designers came aboard.” Today Braunstein, who calls her company MaBelle 2 – World Fashion, has a showroom in Los Angeles and does shows in New York, San Francisco and Dallas. Merchandise from the designers she represents is sold in such stores as Pomegranate in La Jolla and Koi in South Pasadena. What distinguishes Israeli designers from others? Braunstein thinks the clothes are “more flowing, so that they are flattering to every woman’s body type.” She added that each item has an unexpected element. Clothing often combines different fabrics. Finally, she said, “Israeli designers are very creative, because they are influenced by avant garde designers in Europe.” Sometimes Braunstein does special events,
such as the fashion show she created for the Atid Group of Hadassah on April 24 at Temple Bat Yahm. Called the Israeli Fashion Fest, the event offered a look at some of the designers Braunstein represents. Avivit Yizhar is a successful fashion designer worldwide. Her collection is inspired by her work as a sculptor. After working for Kedem Sasson, she started her own line. Braunstein described the collection as “casual with a twist.” It is higher priced, designer quality and flattering to all sizes, according to Braunstein. Fashionistas like this designer, because they are seeking individual style and fun, she added. Frau Blau brings her graphic design background to her fashion designing in what the designer describes as a perfect mix of graphic arts and tailoring traditions. Using stretchy fabrics that flatter the body, she creates intriguing prints that change every season, Braunstein said. Daniella Lehavi handbags and shoes complement the fashions with compelling looks in various styles. The design process expresses the relationship between the raw materials and the final product with sensitivity to materials, textures, colors and comfort. “People love the creativity,” Braunstein said. What does Braunstein enjoy the most about her work? “I feel that I support the Israeli economy while living here,” she said. “By presenting Israeli fashion, I show a different side of Israel, one that fascinates Jews and non-Jews alike.”
F E AT U R E S
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MABELLE 2-WORLD FASHION
Daniella Lehavi handbags complement the fashions with compelling looks that express the relationship between the raw materials and the final product.
A Good Cause Too Proceeds from the Israeli Fashion Fest proceeds benefit Hadassah’s Heart Health ProgramTM at Hadassah Heart Institute, which pioneers new techniques for saving heart attack victims and investigating risk factors for heart disease, the number-one cause of death among women both in the U.S. and worldwide. Knowledge about screening, diagnosis and treatment for heart disease in women is fifty years behind what is known about heart disease in men. Dr. Chaim Lotan is an internationally recognized cardiologist who has pioneered heart health techniques used around the globe and is currently the Director of the Heart Health Institute at Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel. Hadassah, one of the largest women’s organizations in America with over 330,000 members, has developed the groundbreaking
heart health education program to empower women to become advocates in their own heart health. “Every Beat Counts” is the only comprehensive heart health program that works in-person to educate women on heart health. The Hadassah Medical Organization’s Heart Institute is developing innovative new techniques for saving heart attack victims and replacing valves, researching risk factors for heart disease and playing a central role in promoting heart health. Using the groundbreaking research and methods from Hadassah’s Heart Institute, the “Every Beat Counts” program brings this information to women across the United States in an effort to reduce risks associated with heart disease. The institute was the first medical center to use a minimally invasive technique (trans-catheter implantation of aortic valves) to replace diseased heart valves in 2009. A Jlife
| JUNE 2014 43
F E AT U R E S
FACES OF THE COMMUNITY | JUNE 2014
years, Grant Committee Chair Peggy Feder introduced three different grant recipient organizations representing our past, present and future. Dalia Taft from the OC Jewish Historical Society described how grants from the Foundation have provided funding to obtain videotaped interviews of many senior Jewish leaders in the community – capturing an oral history that would otherwise be lost. Arie Katz, speaking on behalf of the Community Scholar Program and representing the present, noted the Foundation’s support has been integral to CSP’s ability to bring the best Jewish speakers in world directly to Orange County and described the tremendous impact of the Create a Jewish Legacy program. Finally, as a representative of our collective future, Michael Penso, TALIT president of the Bureau of Jewish Education, described how participating in Foundation-supported Jewish social programming and a TIES trip to Israel supported has changed the course of his young life.
Wendy Arenson, Irv Burg, Ellie Burg and Gideon Bernstein
Event Honors Longtime Leadership On May 4, one hundred community members gathered to celebrate the past, present and future of the Jewish Community Foundation and to honor its founders. Attending were honorees and current Foundation leaders, as well as leaders from throughout Jewish Orange County. Representatives from every Create a Jewish Legacy Partner organization attended in addition to clergy members from several local synagogues. Guests were greeted with champagne and mimosas while a trio of jazz musicians provided live music. Guests were invited to enjoy a running
44 JUNE 2014 |
photographic show containing images of our honorees and Foundation leadership over the last 30 years while they mingled and got together socially as a Foundation leadership group for the first time in twelve years. Gideon Bernstein, Foundation President, welcomed guests, and Wendy Arenson provided a D’var Torah on leadership. Bernstein led the Hamotzi along with Arnold Feuerstein, Roberta Feuerstein, Allan and Sandy Fainbarg, Steven Fainbarg, Irv and Nancy Chase, John and Kittie Rau and Irv and Eleanor Burg. After brunch, the Grants Committee provided an event highlight. After noting the Foundation’s grants program has donated to 219 different nonprofit organizations over the
At the end of the event, each guest was presented with a hand-crafted tzedakah box custom-made by Jewish preschool children throughout Orange County. The Foundation’s philosophy and direction were succinctly summarized by these small but meaningful gifts: our community’s children came together across a variety of affiliations to create unique, personal art pieces to benefit others. What better way to memorialize and honor our past, present and future? The Foundation will hold its Second Annual Community Endowment Book of Life Signing Event on November 16. To participate and join more than 80 other families that have signed the community-wide, united pledge to endow the Jewish community, contact: Wendy Arenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
featured Wiesel reading one of his short stories. Chapman’s Readers Theatre performed some of Professor Wiesel’s folkloric stories, including “King Solomon and His Magic Ring” and “The Golem,” onstage in the Fish Interfaith Center. Professor Wiesel joined them at the end to share insights on the storytelling process with the audience. The rest of the week included meetings with Chapman University classes and students, an event for Orange High School students and talks with faculty groups.
Elie Wiesel Returns to Chapman University Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, bestselling author, Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate, returned
to Chapman University April 6 to 13 as part of his Distinguished Presidential Fellowship at the university. Wiesel met with student groups, faculty members and classes during his Chapman visit. The theme of his visit this year was the art of story-writing and story-telling. One public event, “An Evening of Stories and Storytelling” on April 10,
Elie Wiesel is the author of the international bestseller “Night,” a work based on his experiences in the Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald concentration camps, and more than 50 other books. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work as a “messenger to mankind” of “peace, atonement and human dignity.” He accepted the position of Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University in 2010, a fiveyear appointment during which he visits Chapman each year to meet with students and classes in a variety of subjects, from Holocaust history to languages, religion and literature. Wiesel serves on the faculty of Boston University and retains that position while carrying out his Distinguished Presidential Fellowship at Chapman University.
Super Solar Hebrew Academy held a solar celebration and ribbon cutting to commemorate 45 years and 955 solar panels. The event, held on May 22, was part of the Jewish day school’s annual open house with food available for purchase from the Kosher Palate food trucks. Hebrew Academy honored the Alevy family and Yitzy Geisinsky for their generous support of the solar panels.
Super Sushi Atid Hadassah Group will hold “Shellfish-Less Sushi and Sake” on Tuesday, June 17, at 6:30 P.M. at the UCI Recreation Center, 680 California Avenue, in Irvine. Participants will make and eat their own sushi with Chef Jessica VanRoo. Associate members, husbands and significant others are welcome. The cost for members and associate members is $50; non-members, $55; and new annual members with program, $75. Contact Marcia Labowitz at email@example.com. Jlife
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J Doc ON THE STREET
What do you think about interfaith marriage? Orange County is a diverse, multicultural, multiethnic, multi-religious community encompassing all walks of life. In honor of this month’s issue discussing interfaith marriage, J Doc sought the input from across the spectrum and received thoughtful, but honest answers.
BY DR. LISA GRAJEWSKI
Deborah, a community member who grew up in a traditional Orthodox home, says: “It is hard for me to answer this question... — I believe it makes a relationship more compatible when both individuals in the couple are the same faith. That is also how we were raised, learning that as a Jew, we would marry another Jew. I would not ever put anyone down for marrying ‘out of the faith,’ but it is not something I would do…” Sari, community member and University Synagogue President, says: “If Jewish interfaith families are engaging in Jewish life and teaching their children about Jewish history and values, then they are likely creating homes that honor their religious heritage. Non-Jewish partners can find spiritual fulfillment within Jewish culture. Children who are raised to be Jews can still learn about and respect the traditions and back-
46 JUNE 2014 |
grounds of their non-Jewish parent and relatives and share in their experiences. Honoring and respecting both partners’ traditions and integrating them into a family’s life while still choosing one religion for a child’s identity is very important to most Jews. Interfaith marriage is a contribution to a multicultural society that can enrich lives.” Rabbi Dov Fischer, Young Israel of Orange County, says: In our Orthodox Jewish community, the purposeful life is driven by our commitment to the values we are taught in the Torah. Jewish religious endogamy is very central to our values. Yet, as I learned when I came to Orange County nearly a decade ago, a profoundly sizeable percentage of the Orthodoxobservant community here is rooted in once-intermarried households where a nonJewish spouse sought Orthodox conversion, and her husband
proceeded to embrace the Orthodox life alongside her. I had seen and celebrated that social and theological phenomenon before, but I never before had seen the phenomenon in such numbers that, literally, there would not be a meaningful institutional Orthodoxobservant presence in Orange County (in general) and in Irvine (in specific) if it were not for “once-intermarrieds” who now both observe Shabbat with devotion and sincerity, and now are rearing children to live a life of Torah. At the same time, I also gained a broadened awareness of and appreciation for embracing Jewish people who really, really want to cleave to G-d and to practice meaningful religious Judaism, notwithstanding other choices they made earlier in their lives. And once you embrace the Jewish partner in a household who has embarked on a life’s journey with his G-d, you come to embrace the non-Jewish partner, too. You just do. You see the sacrifices that the non-Jewish partner makes for the Jewish partner to engage his faith and to attend our shul, to daven regularly in a Sunday morning minyan or at a Shabbat morning service every week, to attend an Orthodox Seder or Orthodox High Holiday services, to come each and every Tuesday night to Chumash-Bible Study or every Thursday night all year to Talmud Class, and you come to see why the Biblical Naomi did not banish Orpah and
Ruth from her life during the approximately ten years that those Moabitess daughters-inlaw were married to her stillliving Jewish sons. You learn as a Modern Orthodox rabbi in Orange County that life is very complex and that people are deeply complex. You learn, from first-hand encounters at one synagogue, that there are many people who ostensibly are “observant” and “religious pillars” but who actually are Tartuffe-like hypocrites and phonies who would defame and destroy good people and sabotage their lives. And then you learn, at another shul — like ours at Young Israel of Orange County — that there are other people whose life choices place them in complex positions where they nevertheless search honestly and sincerely for G-d, yearn deeply for G-d, serve Him lovingly, and they can be amazingly wonderful and kind people, who really want to connect not only with Jewish faith and belief but, as much as practicable, with Jewish observance and practice. That is why we embrace conversion candidates who seek to become Jews By Choice and, for that matter, why we warmly welcome Jews of all backgrounds within the ambit of our Modern Orthodox congregational community.” Rachel, a member of the community, says: “As a product of interfaith marriage, I see the issue from two sides. On the one hand,
if two people love and respect each other, I believe they can make a marriage work and thrive regardless of different religious backgrounds. At the core, religions encourage similar values and an opportunity to learn about others and increase overall tolerance. On the other hand, if the marriage produces children, it is important to educate them about the two backgrounds they come from. I was not exposed much to either religion, and it left me feeling a bit lost to have two religions, but not know much or practice. Interfaith marriage, similar to interracial and same-sex marriage, is unfortunately still challenging the “traditional” view of what marriage is and puts the added responsibility of explaining one’s choice, and helping children and families to understand and accept that choice.” Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue says: “Intermarriage is a fact of life these days. People from different religious backgrounds fall in love and marry. Our synagogue is dedicated to supporting and fully integrating intermarried couples into Jewish life. We believe that the proper attitude of the Jewish community towards intermarried couples should be one of warmth, caring and love, representing the highest universal values of Judaism, while stressing our hope for these couples’ commitment in return.” A
Community members, we want your input! For July: To Clone or Not to Clone… What Is the Jewish Answer? Be seen and heard in JLife! Send your response to: editorjlife@gmail. com by June 20, 2014.
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Similar to colloquialisms, word usage changes over time when different cultures adopt a word with no previous knowledge of the its origin.
Learn about Yiddish colloquialisms still used today. BY DEBORAH LEWIS
EVER KNOCK ON wood as a way to ward off bad luck? Wonder where it comes from? The colloquialism has a few origins, depending on the culture. Many cultures believed spirits resided in trees and that knocking on the tree brought good fortune. The Christian evolution of the phrase is the most prominent, 48 JUNE 2014 |
given the religion’s dominance in American society. The “wood” refers to the cross. In fact, according to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, “wooden amulets were worn so that it could be touched more easily.” The superstition even has a Jewish origin dating to the Spanish Inquisition when Jews had to knock a secret code on wooden
doors in order to gain refuge. It is possible this explanation was created after the fact so that Jews did not feel excluded. There is a Jewish way of warding off bad luck: keyn a’yin ha-rah, which is a Yiddish phrase meaning “no evil eye.” I have heard this expression used a few times and it’s usually said by a family member more affiliated with the Yiddish culture than I am, such as a grandparent or even an aunt. More often than not, myself included, I have heard members of the Jewish community opt for “knock on wood.” Similar to colloquialisms, word usage changes over time when different cultures adopt a word with no previous knowledge of its origin. There has been a plethora of Yiddish words adopted within American English. Many non-Jews and Jews as well use Yiddish in everyday speaking without realizing it. Some of the most popular examples include bagel, lox, schlep, scheipel, schmooze, and schtick. This phenomenon is referred to as Yiddishism. It is fascinating that a language that was once looked down upon by not only Jews but Gentiles as a symbol of inferior status, has now been adopted by pop culture and American English used every day without a second thought. By immigrating to America, the Jews finally found a place where they were accepted, to a certain degree, and allowed to practice their religion and culture. As they assimilated and adopted American ideals, society reciprocated by adopting parts of the Jewish culture within mainstream culture. A Deborah Lewis is a contributing writer to JLife magazine.
The Sadistic Shiksa Temptress (and other dating dilemas)
LAUGHING IT OFF IN ORANGE COUNTY
50 JUNE 2014 |
N., why do I feel so confused?
I have met the girl of my dreams! Tall and thin, Christina has shiny blonde curls that fall gently to her shoulders. Her soft, alabaster complexion frames a delicate nose and piercing blue eyes. What can I say? Love at first sight.
— Heartbroken Dear Broken:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Christina’s last name isn’t Feigelbaum, is it? But then, what She’s very well educated. Like me, of it? In America, do such things really matter? Love is agnostic as she loves math; she even wears a well as blind (and, judging from silver pendant in the shape of a your letter, probably plus sign. suffers from a number I’m sure we were of psychiatric disormeant to be together. ders as well). G-d CAN’T But then, on our secFace it: your girl is EVEN SIT ond date, something goyish. Your honey IN HIS own troubling happened. was homeschooled. It was a Saturday CHAIR! Your in-laws of the afternoon. I took her future are intact of the to my favorite deli, foreskin. where I ordered my usual: ham and cheese on rye. She The good news is that you are ordered the same, but then, to hardly the only member of our my dismay, asked for it on white Tribe who’s fallen for a heretical hottie. The Pew Research Center bread... with mayonnaise! 2013 Survey of US Jews noted Her behavior seems so strange that in the past decade or so, to me sometimes. Like the time 58 percent of newly-married Jews I was yelling at the guy who cut wed spouses who have never even me off on the freeway, and she once tasted cholent. One assumes told me that I should “turn the the Jewish partner brings into other cheek.” I explained that I the marriage at least his or her always check over my shoulder grandmother’s recipe for lokshen before changing lanes, but that kugel (the key is to plump the just seemed to baffle her. raisins), or the whole enterprise
F E AT U R E S
THE BIRTHDAY PULLOVER
is doomed. Look, things could be worse: your milky-skinned maidele could be (G-d forbid) Modern Orthodox. As Rabbi Shalom Cohen, a leading expert on what G-d is thinking and member of Israel’s Shas Religious Council, said last year, “As long as there are [Modern Orthodox Jews], the throne [of G-d] is not whole.” G-d can’t even sit in His own chair! But that’s through no fault of your impish idolatrix; she may be modern, but she sure ain’t Orthodox (that is, unless her church is topped with domes shaped like the onions your mamaleh chops for her soup, but I don’t think those are the people Cohen was referring to). Not that there aren’t a few minor annoyances you might encounter. If you ever decide to move to Israel, for example, you may
experience a light bureaucratic headwind, or what a few whiners might call “institutional discrimination.” As Israel’s grand inquisitor and defender of the faith, Chief Rabbi David Lau, tells Ha’aretz, “Israel has to decide if it wants ... to [bring] in everyone who has a connection with Judaism, or perhaps only those who are Jews. Maybe we really can’t provide space here for everyone who wants.” Like the spouses of the 58 percent. Or their children. But surely that’s a small price to pay to live in a Holy Land paradise like Nazareth. You’re not the only one suffering in this situation, you know. It’s not going to be easy for your shayna shikse to break the news to her loved ones, either. Imagine her discomfort when she brings you home to meet her family.
All through Sunday dinner, her brother asks you for financial advice as her father discreetly scans your scalp for evidence of horns. After you’ve left, she’s the one who has to explain to them that their ignorance is such an embarrassment, that you’re obviously not that kind of Jew (and no, not the doctor or lawyer kind, either), and that everybody knows that your horns are trimmed off when you are eight days old. But take heart, Broken, and look to our history for encouragement. Recall that our father Abraham took a non-believer, Hagar, as his wife. She bore him Ishmael, and everyone lived happily ever after. More or less. — N. Troyer Your questions annoy N. Troyer, and yet the author answers them in this column each month. Go figure.
It was Victor’s birthday in a few days time and his Bubbeh goes out to buy him a present. She finds a menswear shop that was having a halfprice sale and buys a luxurious rollneck pullover for him. Unfortunately, the pullover was for a size 14 neck and Victor was a size 18. When Victor receives his present, he immediately tries it on. He then writes a thank you note to his Bubbeh. This is what he wrote: “Dear Bubbeh, Thanks a lot for the beautiful pullover. I’d write more but I’m all choked up.”
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concert highlights THE BANGLES The Bangles play the Coach House June 6. Forming in the early 1980s, the band’s hits include “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade of Winter,” and the 1989 number-one single “Eternal Flame.” Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars), Vicki Peterson (guitars/vocals), and Debbi Peterson (vocals/ drums) formed the band in Los Angeles in December 1980. Hoffs was born on the Westside of Los Angeles, CA, to a Jewish family.
LIONEL RICHIE Lionel Richie will be playing at the Honda Center in Anaheim June 3. Richie earned his fame as an American singer-songwriter and musician in 1968 as a member of the musical group The Commodores, signed to Motown Records. Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album “Lionel Richie” and numberone hit “Truly.” Richie is also credited for being a record producer and actor.
ETHAN BORTNICK Ethan Jordan Bortnick will be performing at the Grove Of Anaheim June 28. He is a pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, actor, musician and one of the youngest philanthropists in the world. Bortnick was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida. His parents, Hannah and Gene Bortnick, were born in the Ukraine and are Jewish. Bortnick began playing a keyboard at the age three and was composing music by age five. He has been featured on national and international television programs. His parents have helped him raise money for charities through his performances.
Catch Raffia at Spaghettini’s on Wed, June 11. Raffia is a New York born-Los Angeles based singer and songwriter who studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA. Raised a short distance from New York City in the suburbs of Long Island, Raffia was constantly surrounded by a rich culture of soulful music, dance, and meaningful art, which later served as a foundation for her own musical talents.
COURTESY OF THE ORANGE COUNTY CONCERT GUIDE
THE COACH HOUSE
Wednesday, June 4 While You Wait Tour
33157 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano (949) 496-8930
Wednesday, June 4 MAX
Sunday, June 1 Rickie Lee Jones Monday, June 2 Stephen Stills Tuesday, June 3 Justin Hayward Friday, June 6 The Bangles Sunday, June 8 Jimmie Vaughan Friday, June 13 Cowboy Junkies Sunday, June 15 Rod Piazza Sunday, June 22 Spencer Day
JUNE 22, 2014 SPENCER DAY Tuesday, June 24 Cultura Profetica Thursday, June 26 The Winery Dogs Saturday, June 28 Janiva Magness Sunday, June 29 Strunz And Farah
GROVE OF ANAHEIM 2200 E. Katella Avenue Anaheim (714) 712-2700 Sunday, June 22 Melody Makers Friday, June 27 Miranda Sings Saturday, June 28 Ethan Bortnick
JUNE 14, 2014 LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES
THE HONDA CENTER 2695 E Katella Avenue Anaheim (714) 704-2400
Friday, June 6 Run River North Tuesday, June 10 T-Pain Thursday, June 12 King Buzzo (of The Melvins) Thursday, June 12 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
PACIFIC SYMPHONY 615 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa (714) 755-5799 Thursday, June 5 Saturday, June 7 Carmina Burana Thursday, June 12 Saturday, June 14 America
Friday, June 13 A Wilhelm Scream
3005 Old Ranch Pkwy. Seal Beach (562) 596-2199
Friday, June 13 The Paladins
Sunday, June 1 Darryl Williams
Sunday, June 15 Metronomy
Thursday, June 5 DW3
Tuesday, June 17 Kalin & Myles
Friday, June 6 U-NAM
Wednesday, June 4 Live Band Karaoke
Wednesday, June 18 Barrington Levy
Saturday, June 7 East Bay Soul
Saturday, June 7 Pacific Dub
Thursday, June 19 Tomorrows Tuilps
Sunday, June 8 Scott Wilkie Band
Tuesday, June 10 Battle For Vans Warped Tour
Friday, June 20 Anuhea
Wednesday, June 11 Raffia Ford
Thursday, June 12 Jana Kramer
Sunday, June 22 Back to Basics 3 (Day 2)
Friday, June 13 Elan Trotman
Tuesday, June 3 Lionel Richie
HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM 1530 S. Disneyland Dr. Anaheim (714) 778-BLUE (2583)
Saturday, June 14 Los Amigos Invisibles
Saturday, June 14 Larry Braggs
Tuesday, June 17 Detour Live
Sunday, June 15 Derrick & the Vinyl
Thursday, June 19 Intocable
Wednesday, June 18 Roman Street
Thursday, June 26 The Pirateâ€™s Booty Ball Friday, June 27 Superbowl Of Motorska
JUNE 18, 2014 BARRINGTON LEVY
Saturday, June 21 Al Williams Jazz Society Sunday, June 22 Joel Del Rosario
Saturday, June 28 Ninjapalooza
Friday, June 27 Owls
Friday, June 27 Melina
Sunday, June 29 Mcclain- Inc.
Sunday, June 29 Lil Debbie
Saturday, June 28 Incendio
Monday, June 30 So. Culture on the Skids
Sunday, June 29 Magnetiq
3503 S. Harbor Blvd. Santa Ana (714) 957-0600
PHOTO BY ROBERT ROSE, INC.
54 JUNE 2014 |
“The Cheesecake Bible” by George Geary
“Kosher by Design“ by Susie Fishbein
PHOTO BY JOHN UHER
Fishbein’s gorgeous cascading flowerpot salad bar buffet shown here is almost too pretty to disturb.
BLINTZ THIS! Shavuot is a dairy delight. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR
BETWEEN THE SHAKING (last month’s earthquake) and the baking (summer’s coming heat wave), glorious spring comes to Orange County with fruits and flowers in luscious abundance and a joyous holiday to celebrate them: Shavuot. As is our custom, we decorate our homes and synagogues with flowers and leafy branches for this occasion. But why? “The Midrash tells us that although Mount Sinai is in the desert,” explained Susie Fishbein, author of the wildly popular “Kosher by Design” (Artscroll) series cookbooks, “it suddenly bloomed with fragrant flowers and grasses on the morning that the Torah was given to the Jewish People.” They say you eat first with your eyes, and Fishbein’s gorgeous cascading flowerpot salad bar buffet shown here is almost too pretty to disturb. “To get this look, use
a floral tablecloth covered with purple cabbage-lined terra-cotta pots of all sizes,” she instructed. Arrange mixed salad greens in larger pots and all the fixings – multicolored tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, carrots, dried cranberries, chickpeas and so on – in smaller ones. And do as the caterers do: arrange your offerings at various heights. You can use the flowerpots’ saucers to lift some of the pots and to tilt others as well. “Stick loose roses and greenery in every open space,” suggested Fishbein. “Little touches, such as using colored enameled gardening tools as serving pieces and watering cans to hold dressing, really make this buffet charming and unique.” Shavuot is also known as Chag HaBikurim, a pilgrimage holiday when the first fruits were brought to the Temple of
Jerusalem as a tribute to God’s blessings. “Like the farmers and the Jews at Sinai,” noted Fishbein, “on Shavuot we affirm that G-d rules the world and that His blueprint for personal and national success is the Torah.” The holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah to our ancestors at Mt. Sinai, including the laws concerning keeping kosher. Because all their meat products and utensils were not kosher, for the first Shavuot they ate dairy products, probably a form of cheese curds made from milk – the blintzes came later! “Another reason for eating dairy,” added Fishbein, “is that the Torah itself is compared to milk in the Biblical passage: ‘honey and milk under your tongue.’” Blintzes are traditional for Shavuot, and Fishbein’s individual berry-topped muffins make a festive addition to your display. And in commemorating such a milestone moment in our history as the giving of the Torah, how fitting that serving a rich and decadent cheesecake has become a tradition as well, even causing some to call Shavuot the “cheesecake holiday.” I asked Chef George Geary, author of “The Cheesecake Bible” (Robert Rose) for some tips in baking cheesecakes. I have always used a springform pan, but Geary prefers a cheesecake pan, which has solid sides and a pop-up bottom. There is no spring mechanism, which can rust, and the pan does not need to be greased. “A springform pan needs to be replaced after only a few uses because the sides buckle and the spring in the release stops working,” he explained. “The bottom must fit very tightly into the pan edge or it leaks. If you do use a springform, lightly grease it or cut out a circle of bleached parchment paper for the bottom. “Thorough mixing is critical for a perfect cheesecake,” he noted. “And use the paddle attachment rather than the whip on a stand mixer.”
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How fitting that serving a rich and decadent cheesecake has become a tradition.
The big bugaboo in baking cheesecakes is that pesky crack down the center. “One great myth about cheesecakes is that cracks or crevices are caused by drafts inside the oven or during the cooling process,” Geary noted. “The truth is simply that eggs are proteins, which create pockets in the fat that explode when exposed to heat. Adding the eggs slowly one at a time and beating well after each addition will help eliminate the pockets and the resulting crevices.” Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature and that you remove the cake from the oven while the center still jiggles and the sides look somewhat dry, he added. “Don’t worry about the wobbling center. The cheesecake will continue to bake as it cools and the center will firm up. But if you do get a crack in the center, just cover it with whipped cream. The cheesecake will still taste wonderful.”
Baby Blintzes These may be served, hot, warm or at room temperature. Yield: 12 servings 8 ounces farmer cheese (regular, not unsalted) 8 ounces cottage cheese (2% or 4% milk fat) 3 tablespoons sour cream 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 tablespoons butter, melted 3 large eggs
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Heavily grease a
1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Have ready an
2 With electric mixer at medium speed,
2 Crust: In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom and sides of pie plate and freeze.
3 Fill each muffin compartment halfway with mixture. Place 1 raspberry and 2 blueberries on top of each muffin. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
3 Filling: In mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, 3 minutes. Add whole egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in blueberries, vanilla and almond extract by hand.
muffin tin with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
blend farmer cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, baking mix, vanilla, melted butter, and eggs.
4 Remove from oven. Sprinkle each baby blintz with cinnamon/sugar mixture; add small dollop of sour cream and serve. Source: “Kosher by Design” by Susie Fishbein
Blueberry Cheese Pie This pie gives you all the luscious cheesecake flavor with a simpler preparation. Yield: 5 to 6 servings CRUST: 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted FILLING: 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pie plate. Bake until top is light brown and center has slight jiggle, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours before decorating or serving. 5 Decoration: In well-chilled mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment, whip cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, sprinkle with sugar and whip until firm peaks form. Ice top of pie with whipped cream topping or pipe rosettes around top of pie. Top with blueberries. Source: “The Cheesecake Bible” by George Geary
4 ounces mascarpone cheese 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 egg yolk 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Cinnamon/sugar Sour cream
DECORATION: 1/2 cup whipping (35%) cream 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
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ungreased 9-inch pie plate.
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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Rabbi Nancy Rita Myers with her family.
PRAISING KINDNESS Honoring Rabbi Nancy Myers BY DR. LISA GRAJEWSKI
TEMPLE BETH DAVID is a source of pride to congregant Steve Harris — so much so that he and fellow congregants chaired a gala honoring the synagogue’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Nancy Myers, on Friday, May 9, 2014. Attendees were met with a sit-down dinner, presentation and a Shabbat service honoring the well-respected and loved rabbi. Rabbi Myers arrived on the scene 10 years ago with a husband and two toddlers in tow. In that time, according to Harris, “We have seen our temple become more diverse in its membership, more comprehensive in its 58 JUNE 2014 |
activities, and far more meaningful in the way Judaism is taught, practiced and upheld by the congregation.” This is evident just by attending any given service or event held at the synagogue. Part of Temple Beth David’s goals is to enhance the value of Jewish faith, practice, and pride, while at the same time embracing the diversity. From the clergy — a female rabbi and cantor — to the synagogue members (many of whom are Black, Asian, Latinos and members of the LGBTQ community), the congregation is representative of Orange County’s
heterogeneous inhabitants. And it is not just the congregants who believe in what Rabbi Myers is doing. Along with accolades from temple board members, congregants and fellow rabbis in Orange County, Rabbi Myers was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from United States Congressman Alan Rosenthal; a Certificate of Recognition from the County of Orange; and a Proclamation from the City of Westminster proclaiming May 9 as Rabbi Nancy Rita Myers Day. Rabbi Myers goes even deeper. Like all respectable super heroes, Rabbi Myers has her life outside of her super-powered duties as spiritual leader at Temple Beth David. Rabbi Myers loves being a wife and mother. She loves the outdoors, doing karate, listening to music and cooking — especially with new recipes. And making all of this possible is the support of her loving husband Paul and their children Gabriel and Shane. Mazel tov to Rabbi Myers and Temple Beth David in celebrating 10 years with a true Woman of Valor. A
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MEET & GREET! Adam Chester is the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at JFFS, working directly with young professionals ages 21-45, planning events and fostering meaningful relationships with OC Jews! Adam studied Clinical Psychology at UCSD and is happy to be back in Orange County, where he grew up. When not working, Adam loves to stay active through basketball, the gym, and skipping to and from the refrigerator, scavenging for leftovers. Adam actively volunteers, most frequently spending time with special needs children and their families.
Nitzana Harel was born and raised in Israel. After her service in the Israeli Air Force, she moved to the U.S. to take care of her grandfather, recently graduating from Cal State Long Beach with a BFA in Graphic Design. At JFFS, she is the NextGen Marcom and Events Coordinator, where she works on design, marketing, social media and event planning. Being part of the Jewish community is very important to her, providing not only a place for her to be as Jewish as she wants to be, but also an opportunity to freely share ideas with her peers. Meet Nathan Gershfeld — Moishe House’s newest resident — a chiropractor and nutritionist who recently moved to Orange County after two years on staff at the worldrenowned True North Health Center. He is currently in private practice in Yorba Linda, CA where he specializes in health promotion through nutrition and specific chiropractic. Apart from Jewish community events and his patients, he loves exploring the outdoors, practicing Russian, making new friends, and cooking healthy food. TOP LEFT: Nitzana Harel and Adam Chester TOP RIGHT: Nathan Gershfeld MIDDLE RIGHT: Adam Chester BOTTOM RIGHT: Ron Benporat, Dena Goldberg, Joella Savitt, Briana Booth, Jenn Saar and Giselle Frixione
62 JUNE 2014 |
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACKIE MENTER OF JEWISH FEDERATION & FAMILY SERVICES
ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY Live in the Wonderful World of Eichler BY DALIA TAFT
BORN IN NEW York City in 1900 to a Jewish immigrant family, Joseph Eichler graduated from NYU with a business degree and later moved with his family to San Francisco. There, he launched a career as a home builder after World War II and soon became famous for building architect-designed, mass-produced homes at affordable prices, something unheard of at the time. Close to 600 “Eichlers” were constructed here in Orange County: the Forever Homes tract in Fullerton and
the Fairhaven, Fairmeadow and Fairhills tracts in Orange. A strong proponent of fair housing and deeply opposed to racial discrimination, Eichler was the first large-scale tract builder to sell to minorities, including African Americans. Noted for their simple facades, floorto-ceiling glass walls and large central atrium, well-maintained Eichlers are still in high demand today.
BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!
Seen below: Eichler Homes Brochure Cover, 1960. Inset: Joseph Eichler.
(Michael) Oren is right that Israel can’t “outsource our fundamental destiny to Palestinian decision making.” He’s also right that there is no perfect solution to Israel’s problems. goo.gl/rcyxtB A school district in Rialto, California, assigned 2,000 8th-grade students to write an essay on whether or not they believe the Holocaust was “an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme.” tablet.com
DALIA TAFT, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society–a Connect 2 People Initiative of Jewish Federation & Family Services–highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishorangecounty.org/historical. You can also contact Dalia at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167.
To be fair, the IDF is by no means the first organization to have [its] twitter campaign taken over. It’s happened to McDonald’s, Walgreens and other corporations. thejewishweek.com
e o s G l R o e g h
interaction takes place? The events have the best intentions, but the depth of the event is shallow. On college campuses, the African American community seemingly affiliates more with Muslim Student Associations and Muslim Student Unions more so than Jewish organizations. Clearly there are more Muslims in the African American community so the link is easy to create, but the Jewish community can align themselves with these students as well. Our bond and history is relevant to one another’s. Recalling these things does b li h c ng not excuse Sterling’s comRa The so mentary, but it does y B fa remind me we need to events have J e w is h M ille n nial. improve our communithe best intentions, ty’s relations with other but the depth of subcultures in America. The discussion of race is the event is difficult; it does not come shallow. from a simple place. The It is times like this when I conversation is uncomfortask myself, How can we learn able, pointing out a difference in from this? What has the Jewish order to find the similarity. But, being community done and where can a Jewish complacent is not acceptable and ignoring ell, it is safe to say that community go? In the case of Sterling’s rhetwhat once existed does not do anyone an oric, it is clear we can only go up! But, this Donald Sterling (born Donald ounce of service. It is imperative that we cry from the media also made me reflect on Tokowitz) is not going to win remember that Jews once stood hand-inthe good things that the Jewish community the hearts of Los Angeles. In all hand with African Americans to fight for has done in conjunction with the African honesty, I did not even know civil rights, civil liberties, women’s rights and American community. who the man was, but his name was blaringly freedom of religious equality. Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) made a Jewish. This reason alone made me invesMajor figures in the community do not tigate who he was and why he might even documentary called “From Swastika to Jim speak on behalf of the Jewish population, matter. Now, it did not take more than two Crow,” discussing the connection of Jews and but their words are heard by outside comseconds to figure out he is the owner of the blacks in the early 1900s to the Civil Rights munities because their voices carry through Clippers, born in Illinois in the early 1930s, Movement. The documentary explains how media and in public forums. Finding ways far away enough that his Eastern European Jews and blacks worked together because of to connect to other subcultures has the family did not experience the wrath of the commonalities. The two subcultures empapotential to rekindle positive relationships, Nazi party. It might also be safe to say that thized with one another’s desire for equality, in hopes that hate speech will be muffled by of all the people in our community that forming a cohesive working relationship to the sounds of a unified group working for a we might be embarrassed of, or should be better the American public. Social amnesia more peaceful tomorrow. embarrassed by, Sterling is a new prime can- has allowed both communities to forget sim-
Anti-Semitism Takes Center Court
didate. (Let me interject with the following: Christians have Mel Gibson; we have Donald Sterling. Both have made comments about other communities that were fueled by hate and bigotry.) Ironically, Sterling’s bigotry got massive media coverage around Holocaust Memorial day, a time when we reflect on how far we have come and what we as a society need to work on with our neighbors. 64 JUNE 2014 |
ple history. Both Jews and blacks marched together, rode on the Freedom Ride together and helped form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Where are these unions for a better America now? I realize synagogues and churches create events structured around blending communities, but how often? What long-term
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Jewish American Spice Girls, top from left: Jennifer Saar, Dena Goldberg and Danielle Tobin. Bottom from left: Joella Savitt and Briana Booth.
EPIC AFIKOMEN The only Easter-Day scavenger hunt without eggs. BY ADAM CHESTER
WHOEVER SAID SCAVENGER hunts are for children ordered by a mythical rabbit to find brightly colored eggs clearly never participated in The Amazing Race: EPIC Afikomen. That’s right, adults like to play games too, and they can get quite competitive. On April 20, after months of planning and more logistical obstacles than empty boxes of Matzo after a carb-craving tenth day of Passover, Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County delivered what was considered one of the most exceptional events to ever hit Orange County—a scavenger hunt. Distinct clues led participants from one location to the next, as teams utilized their smart phones to find each stop. The race’s 66 JUNE 2014 |
organizers designed the clues to help the team learn about the participating locations and better understand what exists for Jewish adults within Orange County. At each stop, which included synagogues, private schools, and residential homes, teams did a fun activity before getting their next clue. Activities ranged from archery to hunts within hunts filled with Passover clues. Barbara Cohen, a member of team Matzo Balls of Fury, said EPIC Afikomen was “a really great event!” and “a rare time when the hype meets the reality.” Other competitors went by the quirky aliases of Hebrew Hammers, The Four Questions, Matzaholics, and the team winning the award for most spirited, Jewish
American Spice Girls, a group of five young women who went further than just a clever name; they dressed the part, cheetah print and all. Lisa Grier, Chair of the NextGen Board and active community member, played a significant role in conceptualizing and implementing the event. “EPIC Afikomen demonstrated why Orange County is the fastest-growing Jewish community in the U.S. Through the scavenger hunt, we built community and highlighted all of the incredible things offered to Jewish singles, couples and families,” said Grier. Following the scavenger hunt, participants had an “EPIC After-Party” located at Mandel House--the first Jewish residential home in OC for special needs adults--where indulging in a 100 percent homemade Kosher for Passover BBQ made for a beautiful eighth day of Passover. Sure, only the best (the team that tallied the most “California rolling stops”) walked away with top prizes, including Angels tickets, Universal Studios tickets, and a beer tasting tour at The Bruery. EPIC Afikomen turned out to be more than an opportunity for young adults to participate in a fun activity on an Easter Sunday, when most other recreational establishments were closed. EPIC provided a unique outlet for young adults to explore and galvanize their connection to Jewish Orange County in a way that left everyone winning. A
Adam Chester is a contributing writer to JLife magazine and the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at Jewish Federation and Family Services.
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What’s Up/ Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra Center AACA
CALENDAR JUNE 2014
MONDAY, JUNE 9 10 AM
Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein 10:30 AM
Stretching/Al Talberg 11-12 PM
What’s Up/ Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra Center AACA THURSDAY, JUNE 12 10:30 AM
Rabbi Joel Berman Ezra Center AACA SUNDAY, JUNE 22 1:30 PM
FREE Beginner’s Workshop in Jewish Genealogy Temple Bat Yahm (Advance reservations are required.)
MONDAYS 10 AM
WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM
News & Views Merage JCC
Gentle Yoga Merage JCC
MONDAYS 11:30 AM
THURSDAYS 9:30 AM
Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC
Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC
Men’s Wine Tasting (Advance reservations are required.) Merage JCC
FRIDAYS 10 AM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18 10:30 AM
Learn to Play & Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC TUESDAYS 10:30 AM
The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC
68 JUNE 2014 |
Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC MONDAY, JUNE 2 10 AM
Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein 10:30 AM
TUESDAY, JUNE 17 7PM
Body & Mind Connection to Food: Intuitive Eating Merage JCC TUESDAY, JUNE 24 10 AM
Books & Bagels The World Without You by Joshua Henkin Merage JCC
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25 10:30 AM
Writing Your Story Merage JCC The Merage Jewish Community Center is located at 1 Federation Way, Suite 200, Irvine (949) 435-3400 x 303 For reservations please contact Sid Field, Coordinator at (949) 464–9939, or e–mail Bacchus1961@cox.net. 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, (949) 854-8854 For reservations please contact Sandy Bursten at: email@example.com.
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Advertising Index 4 First Platinum Lending
31 Interim Healthcare
69 Allan Silverman
25 J. Daniels Real Estate
35 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC
31 Bowlmor Lanes
13 Jewish Community Center
37 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC
15 Jewish Federation and Family Services
59 Nancy Aynehchi
36 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 10 Cal Vista Mortgage 69 Callahan & Blaine 67 Catalina Treasure Wharehouse 27 Colony Theater 4 Congregation Bnai Tzedek
60 Jewish Federation and Family Services 61 Jewish Federation and Family Services 39 Jewish National Fund 67 John Fine Arts 33 Klein Financial 21 Laguna Hills Dental Arts
25 Merrill Gardens
6 Naples Vacuum Elevators 7 Naples Vacuum Elevators 59 New Life Framing 25 Nicole Lahmani 57 Pageant of the Masters
17 Silhouette Plastic Surgery 23 Camp Silvergan 67 Solomon’s Bakery 23 Soul Mates Unlimited 27 South Coast Repatory Theater 18 St. Regis 21 Stars ‘N Stripes 10 Stegmeier, Gelbart, Schwartz & Benavente, LLP 67 Stephen Danz & Associates 67 Ted Singer
3 Phil Roy Producer
14 24 Carrots
21 Larry Kutinsky
4 Renaissance Club Sports
67 Taly Hypnosis
27 Laura Dolan Realtor
65 RSM Plumbing
41 Laurie & Associates
71 Saddleback College
17 L’Dor V’Dor
11 San Diego Symphony
39 Gratz Colllege
69 Luggie Scooters
72 Scholar Share
59 Heating & Air
19 Mardan School
9 Heritage Pointe
67 Marvin White
5 Segerstrom Center of the Arts
67 Debbie Guimond 49 Dr. Ivar Roth 20 Eden Memorial Park 23 Foundation for Holocaust Victims
65 Master Construction
41 American Friends of Hebrew University
69 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place
70 JUNE 2014 |
13 Heritage Pointe at Home
2 Sheraton Anaheim Hotel
25 Tarbut V’Torah 31 Temple Bat Yahm 19 Temple Beth Emet 23 Torah with Liora 39 Tuscany Mediterranee Grill 33 University Synagogue
| JUNE 2014 71
Orange County Jewish Life & Kiddish Supplemental June 2014 - The Orange County Jewish Life is the sister publication of the San Diego Jewish...