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January 2016 Tevet/Shevat 5776

JEWS & MEDICINE

500 Years of Tending the Sick

FITNESS AT 50

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Temple Beth Tikvah Adult Education Presents

“Take My Wife Please: Marital Relationships in the Bible” Sunday · January 24, 2016 · 7pm

A reform Jewish congregation with a warm approach to tradition, community, and education.

With Guest Speaker Dr. Sharon Keller

Interfaith families, young couples, and singles always welcome!

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Focusing on the theme, “Sex, Magic, and Death in the Bible and Its World”

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Co-sponsored by Temple Beth Tikvah & the Orange County Community Scholar Program

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inside VIEWPOINT

LIFESTYLE

20

50

What’s in a Word?

The Mediterranean Diet, Sabra Style

24

Israelis have the healthiest diet in the Western world.

To 120! And Beyond?

51

Israel Scene

On the Lighter Side

26

Israeli Guy About My Nose

FEATURES

26

Hebrew Language The Beauty of our Heritage

27

Walk for Autism Speaks Orange County 5k Walk and Autism Resource Fair

32

Give me Your Tired, Your Poor What constitutes a legitimate security concern?

Fresh Orange Jews O.C.’s Fresh Faces

57

History/Blogs Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere

58

Reading the Scrolls Unlocking ancient teachings.

IN EVERY ISSUE

(Well Almost Anyway)

16

Spotlight on Briana Booth How Zumba changed her life and could change yours!

34

Jews and Medicine A 500 Year History of Tending the Sick

When Trauma Hits Home

18

Letters/Who Knew Words from our Readers

54

News & Jews O.C. Jewish Scene

Conference: Navigating Teen Challenges

Seniors Calendar

40

Obituary Arnold David Feuerstein (z”l)

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

41

50

First & Foremost

38

It’s Tough Being a Teen

36

56

Fitness at 50

33

JLIFE | Kislev/Tevet 5775 | JANUARY 2016

60

Fitness, Education & More

62

Advertising Index 42

Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 32.

Sex, Magic and Death-Oh My! Community Scholar Brings Provocative Topics to Light

28 On the Cover

42

Out & About A Guide to O.C. Fun

44

Crossword May the Force Be With Jew

46

Cooking Jewish With Judy Bart Kancigor

Page 44

Reaching Great Heights Special Needs Kids Blossom with the Friendship Circle


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| JANUARY 2016 7


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THE BIG REUNION revisit. reunite. reminisce. Temple Beth Emet's 60th Anniversary Sunday, March 13, 2016 - 11:00 am Champagne Brunch at Anaheim Marriott Suites - Chapman & Harbor Entertainment by Jazz Soloist Victoria Goodman Deadline for ad submissions is February 26th. 1770 W. Cerritos Ave · Anaheim, CA 92804

8 JANUARY 2016 |

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Honoring Founding Members and Lou Abramovitz & Jordan Silverberg For advertising rates & registration information, contact us: Temple Beth Emet tbeanaheimshul@gmail.com www.tbe-oc.org/renunion (714) 772-4720


PUBLISHER | MODY GORSKY, LLM, MBA PUBLISHER | MARK EDELSTEIN PUBLISHER | MOTAN, LLC PUBLISHER EMERITUS | DR. MARK MOSS MANAGING EDITOR | TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY EXECUTIVE EDITOR | LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D. EXECUTIVE EDITOR | FLORENCE L DANN CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | TANYA SCHWIED CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | PERRY FEIN FOOD EDITOR | JUDY BART KANCIGOR EDITORIAL INTERN | HANNAH SCHOENBAUM CREATIVE DIRECTOR | RACHEL BELLINSKY PHOTOGRAPHER | CHARLES WEINBERG CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARTIN BROWER, MERAV CEREN, ADAM CHESTER, FLORENCE L DANN, ROBIN DAVIS, PH. D., RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE, HARRIETTE ELLIS, JUDY FLORMAN, STEFANEE FREEDMAN, LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D., EVE GUMPEL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, DVORAH LEWIS, CARINE NADEL, PAMELA PRICE, NAOMI RAGEN, MAYRAV SAAR, RACHEL SCHIFF, TANYA SCHWIED, ANDREA SIMANTOV, DALIA TAFT, TEDDY WEINBERGER COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS RACHEL BELLINSKY, ALLEN BEREZOVSKY, PEPE FAINBERG, JANET LAWRENCE ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581 (TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY) OR (949) 734-5074 EDITORJLIFE@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891, MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM, (949) 734-5074 ART ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM JLIFE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603

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Jlife is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to Jlife, 1 Federation Way, Irvine,CA 92603. Jlife is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to Orange County Jewish Life, LLC become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.

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How often do I need to review my estate plan? Although there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when you should review your estate plan, these suggestions may be of some help. BY THE STODDARD GROUP

You should review your estate plan immediately after a major life event

You’ll probably want to do a quick review each year because changes in the economy and in the tax code often occur on a yearly basis

You’ll want to do a more thorough review every five years

Reviewing your estate plan will not only give you peace of mind, but will also alert you to any other changes that need to be addressed. There will be times when you’ll need to make changes to your plan to ensure that it still meets all of your goals. For example, an executor, trustee, or guardian may change his or her mind about serving in that capacity, and you’ll need to name someone else. Other reasons you should do a periodic review include: •

There has been a change in your marital status (many states have laws that revoke part or

all of your will if you marry or get divorced) or that of your children or grandchildren •

There has been an addition to your family through birth, adoption, or marriage (stepchildren)

Your spouse or a family member has died, has become ill, or is incapacitated

Your spouse, your parents, or other family member has become dependent on you

There has been a substantial change in the value of your assets or in your plans for their use

You have received a sizable inheritance or gift

Your income level or requirements have changed

You are retiring

You have made a change in your estate plan (e.g., you created a trust or executed a codicil to your will)

ADVERTORIAL

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For more information call us at 949.218.9036 or visit thestoddardgroup.com. Advisory Services offered through IRA Solutions, Inc., A Registered Investment Advisor in the State of California. Jesse Lipscomb is an Investment Advisor, Registered Tax Preparer (CTEC ID: A259561), and Independent Insurance Agent, California Life Insurance Agent License: 0D22050, and is enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service under 31 Code of Federal Regulations Part 10 (Treasury Department Circular No. 230), EA Number 00119565.Website(s): www.RoadMapTax. com, www.TaxPlanningForRealtors.com, www. DeferCapitalGainsTax.com, www.AmendMyTaxReturn. com, www.FinancialCPR.netBroadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.


FIRST & FOREMOST

WHEN TRAUMA HITS HOME Finding Ways to Heal BY LISA J. GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.

THIS ISSUE OF Jlife is focusing on health, so it is appropriate to incorporate mental health, as most of us may still be reeling from last month’s terrorist attack in San Bernadino. It is always a terrible tragedy anytime lives are taken senselessly. But that tragedy is exacerbated when it is coupled with terror and chaos, such as it was last month. The feelings of helplessness, fear, and trepidation can be overwhelming at the very least. Sometimes they create such panic and anxiety it impacts our ability to function. In the world of the helping profession, this is known as “vicarious trauma.” The technical definition of vicarious trauma is “a transformation in the self of We were thrust a trauma worker or helper into a formidable that results from empathic understanding engagement with traumaof what our understanding of what our tized clients and their reports brothers and of traumatic experiences.” brothers and sisters in Israel sisters in Israel In other words, anyone with go through, on an almost go through the ability to empathize, had daily basis. This being estabon an almost difficulty seeing last month’s lished, what do we do? event in the media. And, daily basis. Vicarious trauma is often while most of us were not neglected and overlooked, exposed to last month’s as those who are not directly impacted by shooting directly, many of us experienced tragedy, may carry survivor’s guilt or not a version of vicarious trauma. Sleep disturfeel justified in being traumatized. But, left bances, difficulty concentrating, a need to talk about the events, (seemingly) irrational unchecked, it can lead to debilitating sympfear, and generalized symptoms of anxiety are toms of anxiety, aggression, and re-experiencall indicators that vicarious trauma may have ing or oversensitivity to trauma. We become walking open wounds, existing, but barely occurred around the events. Like France weeks before, we too became functioning. It is important to recognize the victims of terror. Suddenly and unexpectedly, signs and symptoms and take action to mitiwe Californians were thrust into a formidable gate their impact. 14 JANUARY 2016 |

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• Do not be afraid to talk about your feelings • Pay attention to sleeping and eating patterns • Note any changes in your mood • Do not be afraid to express emotions— we are living in difficult times and certain emotions are appropriate • Take even better care of your mental and physical health:

· Yoga · Meditation · Attending services · Speak to a professional · Make time for “down” time

• Get enough rest and sleep • Develop a safety plan, as this provides a sense of being in charge, while lessening feelings of helplessness It is also important to understand that lives were lost and, as a result, many lives were irreversibly impacted by this act of terror. As a psychologist I have seen first-hand the impact of tragedy on individuals, families, and the community—it is important to recognize what happened, and process any feelings or concerns we have in order to heal. I hope this month’s issue can be a part of the process to find respite and healing in our community. A Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.


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| JANUARY 2016 15


LETTERS

BULLETS & BAGELS CROSSFIRE As a proud member of Bullets & Bagels, I am writing to correct two errors in the letter published from Rhea Dorn, one factual and one conceptual. First, the factual error: Bullets & Bagels IS an Orange County organization. We meet at different locations each time, and the mere fact that the meeting written about took place just over the line in Corona does not negate that fact. Our membership, by and large, is from all over Orange County, one reason why the meeting place is varied. Second, and more importantly, the conceptual error: Like many Jews these days, you seem to have confused Judaism with Liberalism. Being a Jew does not automatically make one a knee-jerk liberal. In fact, the more observant Jews are, the more conservative we tend to be politically. Cherishing the Second Amendment is in no way antithetical to being Jewish. First, there is the Talmudic principle that “the law of the land is the law.” Much as some liberals may wish it were not so, that includes the

Constitution and the amendment that protects the entire rest of it, the Second. Next, in Exodus we read that “The Children of Israel went out of the land bearing arms.” From this, we learn that a free people is an armed people. Slaves are disarmed free people and have the right to bear arms. If one chooses slavery over freedom, one must lay down one’s arms. Nowhere in the Torah or Talmud is pacifism held up as a value. In fact, the right to self-defense is specifically stated. “If a man comes to kill you, take up arms and strike him first.” Even today, in Israel, citizens are being encouraged to go about their daily tasks armed, in order to discourage terrorists. In America, we, too have that right, thanks to the Second Amendment and NRA affiliated groups like Bullets & Bagels. The only “shanda” here is in your attempt to muddy the name of a legitimate Jewish group. I understand that you may not agree with our philosophy, but thank G-d in this country we all have the right to differ. Respectfully, Deby Goodman, Yorba Linda, CA

We welcome your letters! Email editorjlife@gmail.com with your feedback. 16 JANUARY 2016 |

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PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN

Kvetch & Kvell

Who Knew? Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away a Super Jew of epic proportions was born unto us. Brought down from the celestial skies to save us from perpetual darkness and a leader with chronic respiratory problems (cue Vadar’s “I am your father” here) Han Solo first has came to save us decades ago and has remained in our hearts ever since. But did you know that Captain Solo aka Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is also Jewish? That’s right! Ford’s father is Irish—but his mother is Jewish. And that makes him the best-looking, wittiest, Millennium Falcondriving JEWISH super hero this side of the Dagobath. “May the Schwartz Be with You!”


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| JANUARY 2016 17


Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV

VIEWPOINT

What’s in a Word? And what does it have to do with me?

DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG

WE SCREAMED THE word, but no one heard. The word was “terror,” and over time it failed to stun those it was meant to awaken from a communal stupor. Some yawned, and others grew annoyed, from our pushy insistence that someone take notice of our plight. In the early days of this recurrent siege, the West split hairs in trying to determine whether the culprit was called Islam, radical Islam, ISIS, Hamas, allArabs, some-Arabs, not-badpeople-only-those-who-behavebadly-type-people. We might have weighed-in on some of the discussions, but time flies when stemming blood flow, calling for emergency medical help and concurrently performing CPR. In our Israeli world of “normal,” elementary-school children are routinely taught to tie a tourniquet and leave the knife in place. I try to explain to dear ones that driving to Bet El for shabbos is dicey, only to be asked, “Why, did something happen?” Or, from those who saw videos of the wedding celebration of Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Beigle, hearing a reaction such as: “That’s no wedding; it looks like a job-fair.” Blinking back tears, I think to myself, “Are we truly the same nation? Did we really stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the foot of Mount Sinai and receive the same Torah?” This sense of isolation felt akin to despair, when a former high-school classmate wrote on my Facebook page the by-now anemic bracha, “Stay safe, Andrea.” Unfairly, I wanted to lash out to this kind sentiment with: “What does that mean?” Was my neighbor Richard shot and stabbed on the neighborhood bus because he forgot the “remain vigilant” warning? If I don’t remember every utterance of “stay safe,” “be careful” and “watch yourself,” in case of the worst, G-d-forbid, will I be accused of

ISRAELIS ARE NOT IMMUNE BUT, SADLY AND TO OUR COLLECTIVE DETRIMENT, WE SEE EVIL LURKING UNDER EVERY ROCK. 18 JANUARY 2016 |

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complicity in my own demise? When I responded to my “stay safe” classmate that I felt frightened for America because, unlike Israel, I fear that the government underestimates the magnitude of this external threat, she answered me snappily, “Don’t worry about us. After 9/11, this government knows exactly what to do.” Really? Safety is no longer assured at Christmas parties, community centers, cinemas or classrooms. At one time Americans looked at blood-drenched Israel and, like Passover’s recalcitrant son, asked, “What does this have to do with me?” Today they know. So the next time your local paper devotes an inch or two to the Israeli citizens who are cut down as they purchase a container of milk, bring food to a homeless shelter or sit down at their Sabbath tables, please don’t turn the page because it has nothing to do with you. Stop. Look. Recognize. It’s called Terror. And we are you. A New York-born Andrea Simantov is a mother of six who moved to Jerusalem in 1995. She frequently lectures on the complexity and magic of life in Jerusalem and can be contacted at andreasimantov@gmail.com.


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Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 19


On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR

VIEWPOINT

To 120! And Beyond? Do we really want to live that long?

WE FORGET THAT WE CAN’T MANAGE TO FILL THE DAYS WE ALREADY HAVE ALLOTTED TO US. 22 JANUARY 2016 |

WHEN SOMEONE HAS a birthday, we Jews typically say, “To 120!” As in, “may you live until 120!” As in, “this is great cake, and I could go for at least 120 more servings.” It’s meant as a show of affection. A phrase that links the birthday boy to our biblical understanding of old, old age. But in a few years time, if a cohort of gerontologists has it right, “To 120!” might become an insult. A few years ago Aubrey de Grey, a Cambridge gerontologist and cofounder of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Research Foundation, made headlines when he said, “The first person to live to 150 years old has already been born.” This year, de Grey began saying that we are on the cusp of a biological revolution that will enable many of us, who are already born, to reach the ripe old age of 1,000. One Thousand! That’s. So. Much. Cake. The trick to living a vampirically long life, according to de Grey, rests in science’s just-aroundthe-corner ability to correct the wear and tear of living. Therapies that stimulate the immune system, treatments to help regenerate tissue. Science that keeps us one step ahead of degenerating. He calls it “longevity escape velocity.” I call it “terrifying.” I hope to live a long time. But there’s long, and there’s too long. Imagine if you were born in 1015 and were still alive today. You lived through medieval times and now you, I don’t know, work at Medieval Times. You’ve seen more bloodshed and more discoveries than any one human has any right to. You’ve buried friends and generations of family members, and now you’re 1,000 years old and playing Candy Crush on your iPhone just waiting for the day that G-d sees fit to finally—finally—let you die already. Because, let’s face it, that’s what you’d be doing. Many of us think we want to live forever, but then we forget Jlife

that we can’t manage to fill the days we already have allotted to us with anything resembling meaning and purpose. I spent a half-hour walking between Which Wich and Chipotle, trying to decide which carb-pushing joint to give my money to today (Chipotle won). A half-hour. How will mankind benefit by prolonging my stunning indecision for 1,000 years? It’s charming and romantic to think that if we knew we could conquer aging, we’d all suddenly contribute to art, science and beauty. That we would individually and collectively propel mankind to great heights. But, as is evidenced by the cosmetic surgery industry and the stratospheric sales of Viagra, we’d probably set our sights much, much lower. So, if the first person to live to blow out 1,000 birthday candles has already been born, then good for him or her. I, for one, am not interested in being that person. I like cake. But eventually, I think I’ll have my fill. A Mayrav Saar is a writer based in Los Angeles.


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| JANUARY 2016 23


Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER

VIEWPOINT

About My Nose

There’s no such thing as a “Jewish” nose in Israel.

THERE IS PROBABLY NOT ONE TRADITIONAL JEWISH NOSE AMONGST THE ENTIRE ETHIOPIAN JEWISH POPULATION. 24 JANUARY 2016 |

I LOST MY Jewish nose eighteen and a half years ago. No, I didn’t have it “fixed”—I just moved to Israel. There are no Jewish noses in Israel. Of course, there are several million Jews here, and upon each of their faces sits a nose, but I have never heard of, or read about a Jewish nose in Israel. In America, things are different. I learned from a young age that there was such a thing as a Jewish nose, that a Jewish nose was unappealing, and that I had one. What does such a nose look like? There are a number of variations of the Jewish nose. They can be long and hooked or, curved and bumpy, but one thing they all have in common is size: a Jewish nose is a big nose. A major reason that the Jewish nose disappears in Israel, is because you realize that a large number of Arabs happen to have Jewish noses. It seems that the long, aquiline (can-opener) type of nose is Semitic, rather than Jewish. Another reason why there are no Jewish noses in Israel, is that there are so many Jews whose noses don’t make the “Jewish” grade. Consider this: there is probably not one traditional Jewish nose amongst the entire Ethiopian Jewish population. One other reason why there are no Jewish noses in Israel is linguistic. The word “Jewish” in the phrase “Jewish nose” stands for something negative, and in Israel “Jewish” is not often used in a negative sense. In America, “Jewish” is, literally, a funny word. I can’t think of another word that contains the “j” and “sh” sounds—besides the word “josh,” whose meaning just goes to prove my point. Comedians in America can get some easy laughs simply by using the word “Jewish.” The word itself is funny because it’s such an unusual English word. In human society, however, what begins as funny and different often ends as strange and unpleasant, so you feel that you always have to be vigilant in America when you hear the word “Jewish.” The Hebrew word “yehudi” (Jewish), on the other hand, is much friendlier. The major sounds in “yehudi” appear in numerous words—ranging from “hand” (yad), to “know” (yada), to, in fact, “friend” (yedid). Thus, the Hebrew language itself undercuts an attempt to portray a Jewish nose in a negative light. Jlife

To be sure, plastic surgeons exist in Israel and sometimes they are called upon to do cosmetic work on the noses of Israeli Jews. Not every Israeli Jew is happy with the way their nose looks (though the culture’s definitions of beauty make room for larger noses than in America). Yet this unhappiness is not ordinarily connected to a person’s Jewishness. Having passed on my nose to a few of my children, I can breathe easier in Israel: it’s hard enough figuring out what it means to be Jewish, without the encumbrance of a Jewish nose. A Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is Director of Development for a consulting company called Meaningful. He made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. Teddy and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.


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F E AT U R E S

Hebrew is a language, with structure and rhythm.

HEBREW LANGUAGE The Beauty of Our Heritage BY DAWN KREISBERG, M.A.

FROM A YOUNG AGE, even before they become literate, children learn to recognize their world, explain their actions and describe their experiences in narratives. They invent stories about themselves and their surroundings, and put these events in a structure that is often found in the narrative genre. Hebrew literacy is connected through similar experiences, as children develop expressive Hebrew language and reading skills in the early years. 26 JANUARY 2016 |

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Recent research has shown that studying a second language early, boosts a child’s brainpower, vocabulary and self-esteem. Hebrew is a language with structure and rhythm. Using complete Hebrew sentences helps children learn the structure of the language and not just a list of vocabulary words. It is important to create a positive attitude towards Hebrew from the start. Hebrew is an integral part of our Jewish culture. It connects

us to Israel, to the Torah, to other Jewish texts, and to people around the world. At Olam Jewish Montessori Early Childhood Center, we weave Hebrew into our everyday lives, helping children become comfortable with the language. Using the Montessori approach, children are exposed to Hebrew letters and words through the use of miniature objects that correspond to the sounds and words that they are learning. Adoption of this multisensory, child-centered approach means taking into account that children differ from one another in their linguistic levels, their capabilities, learning styles, strengths and challenges. Children naturally love to learn and should also be introduced to Hebrew in an organic and fun way. The children’s ability to accept and understand Hebrew Language comes as they progress through the year. Initially, the children are exposed to spontaneous language, words and phrases, that are repeated throughout the day at certain times. During circle time, snack, story time or creative play, teachers can use Hebrew sentences, songs, music and words in print, to incorporate the bilingual Hebrew approach. As the children become progressively more familiar and comfortable hearing, understanding and responding in Hebrew, it becomes a more natural part of their thought process and learning. By reading stories, dancing to Israeli music, using props and acting out short skits children become engaged in fun and meaningful ways. Engaging children in Hebrew language early will naturally give them the beauty of our heritage. A Dawn Kreisberg M.A. is the Director of Olam Jewish Montessori Early Childhood Center and educational leader in Jewish education.


F E AT U R E S

THE 12TH ANNUAL WALK FOR AUTISM SPEAKS Orange County 5k Walk and Autism Resource Fair BY JLIFE

Families came out in full force for the 2015 Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

ON DECEMBER 6, 2015 over 8,500 participants headed to Angel Stadium in Anaheim to participate in Walk Now for Autism Speaks, which helped raise over $218,737 for Autism research. Hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News Anchor Phillip Palmer, this fun-filled, family-friendly event featured a large autism resource fair, kid-friendly activities and live performances by popular ‘80s bands. Speakers included Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and Assemblywoman Young Kim and performers included Missing Persons, Flashback Heart Attack, Dramarama frontman John Easdale and Diane & The Deductibles. Walkers were able to meet-and-greet with ABC 7 and JACK FM on-air tal-

ent, 501st Legion Star Wars characters, Smokey the Bear, Ronald McDonald, and the team mascots from LA Sparks and LA Galaxy. Also present at the walk was JACK FM’s Bustache and the Farmers Insurance Catastrophe Bus. Walk Now for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest grassroots autism walk program, is Autism Speaks’ signature fundraising and awareness event. This successful grassroots fundraising effort not only generates vital funds for autism research, but also raises awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism and the need for increased research funding to combat this complex disorder. For more information about the walk, go to walknowforautismspeaks.org/orangecounty. A Jlife

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COVER STORY

REACHING

GREAT

HEIGHTS A

s you enter the Friendship Circle main building, you immediately notice the incredible artwork hanging throughout the offices. “These were all done by the children, said Chani Mintz, Director of the Friendship Circle, the program designed for children with special needs. “These children are truly special,” she added. “They may be deficient in some areas, like social skills, but often that absence is compensated by skills and talents in a variety of other areas that continues to surprise and delight.” “Throughout the community there are many hundreds of children with special needs who, along with their families, often live with a sense of desperation and isolation,” said Rabbi Rueven Mintz who is quick to point out that the success of the Friendship Circle is due in large part to Chani’s passion and dedication. “I‘ve always had a soft spot for children with special needs,” she said. Under her leadership, the program has experienced tremendous growth. “I love the purity and innocence of the children; once they open up, you see how much they have to offer,” 28 JANUARY 2016 |

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Special Needs Children Blossom with the Friendship Circle By FLORENCE L. DANN

Chani continued. “What allows this blossoming is compassion, friendship and love, and an environment that does not set limits on each child’s potential. And while the effect on the children is often astounding, when parents see their children excelling and sharing their talents, it expands their vision and understanding of what their child may be capable of doing.” The centerpiece of the Friendship Circle program, founded in 2006, is the “Friends at Home” program which pairs local teenagers with the children for home visits. Teens are matched with a special needs child and meet with him or her at home for 60-90 minutes per week. In addition to providing friendship and mentorship for the children, Jewish teens interact with other Jewish teens, and do volunteer work in the community. “In appreciation and recognition of the invaluable work our teens do we created the Teen Scene,” said Chani. Teen volunteers get together and participate in a variety of activi-

ties. “It’s a chance for us to interact with the teens a little more and a perfect time for them to socialize with each other, strengthening the ties between Jewish youth all over Orange County,” she added. One of the most rewarding aspects of the Friendship Circle is the effect it has on the teens. In addition to the time they spend with special needs children, teens go through training, so it is truly an investment of time. “Many come in reluctantly,” commented Chani. “They are there to do a mitzvah project or fulfill some other community service requirement. But rarely does any volunteer leave after the ‘required time.’” Teens learn about their own gifts and experience the joy in being of service. One young man was barely verbal when he first joined the program as a boy. Today he is not only fully verbal, but now volunteers, and has remained friends with his teen volunteer to this day. This is not a rarity. The relationship between volunteer and child often goes on for years.


COVER STORY

PHOTO CHARLES WEINBERG

Original artwork created by members of the Friendship Circle.

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COVER STORY

PHOTOS BY CHARLES WEINBERG

Teens are matched with a special child and meet with him or her at home for 60-90 minutes per week.

Chani Mintz, Director of the Friendship Circle.

Happy campers from the Friendship Circle.

Over the years the Friendship Circle has developed a full range of activities and events, that cater to a wide spectrum of children with special needs, as well as their families. Those programs include the Sunday Circle, where kids participate in a wide variety of activities, both indoors and outdoors, including sports and art projects often related to the Jewish calendar. Art projects chosen are specially designed for two people, giving the children and their buddies some solid bonding time. Sunday Circle also means personal time for parents, who can drop off their children in capable hands, and have one less worry on their mind. Chani noticed how dressed up one mother was when she dropped off her child one Sunday. “My husband and I have a date today,” said the mom. “It is our first since our son was born.” To further alleviate the stress of those mothers of special needs children, a new program was created. “The stresses these mothers have today can seem overwhelming,” said Chani. “That’s why the Friendship Circle has developed Mom’s Night Out - a program just for the Moms. Monthly outings provide an oppor-

tunity for moms to unwind and relax. “We also pamper them with a variety of themed events.” Mom’s also need a supportive environment with a chance to talk about their concerns. “Coffee Chat” is the support group that provides that environment. “For moms who have felt alone and isolated,” said Chani, “this is a time for them to connect with other mothers.” It has also brought families together who have essentially formed their own small community. “Divorce is 20% higher in these families,” added Chani. “This program has allowed families to become involved in each other’s lives and often develop long-term relationships.” Families with little or no experience, who are facing a lifetime with a special needs child, often have to confront challenges for which they were never prepared. Many have tried other programs and have been disappointed. “We under promise and over deliver!” said Chani. Many families come into the program without much expectation. “Our goal is not only to ‘surprise’ them, but to delight them as well, as they witness their children thrive. We regularly seek feedback from families which in turn has led to new programs.” Their first ever “Winter Camp” went off very well. It was “jam packed” with exciting

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trips that gave the children the opportunity to visit some of our local attractions. From Boomers to Zoomers and the Long Beach Aquarium to Glow in the Dark Golf... they did it all. Another new programs “Hangin’ With Friends” is for young adults with special needs, fifteen years old, and their volunteers. “As our higher functioning children have begun to age, we recognized the need for a different kind of program for them,” said Chani. Social outings, like trips to Downtown Disney to see a film, educational field trips, hikes, scavenger hunts and community service projects, provide them with ongoing opportunities to make new memories with their friends. For these high functioning adults, the Friendship Circle has developed a program designed to teach basic life skills, so that they may ultimately achieve some level of independence. From making snacks to cooking full-blown meals for themselves, to purchasing food at the grocery store, this life skills program offers some comfort to parents who worry what will happen to their children when they are no longer able, or around to care for them. Young adults learn how to ride a bus, use the library and not fear those in uniform. For example, a visit to the fire station not only reduces the anxiety many may have, but also provides them with important information about fire safety. Especially as they learn to use the kitchen. As the program grows, so does the need for space. Their building is currently undergoing an expansion that will allow all the programs to take place in one location. The renovation will include an updated kitchen, art studio, resource library and therapy rooms. There will also be open spaces for music and dance— something the participants really enjoy. The remodel will enhance and enable the continued growth of the program. “Every child is special and has a soul and spirit that deserves love and attention,” says Chani. Those who have special needs offer us an opportunity to recognize the amazing gifts each of us has, and how much we can all contribute to a more compassionate and loving community. For more information please visit www.friendshipcircleoc.org or call (949) 721-9800 A Florence L. Dann, a fifth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.


F E AT U R E S

FITNESS AT 50 (Well Almost Anyway) BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.

The mighty Dr. Lisa in her element.

“Do what you love. That is the key to fitness.” THE GREAT PHILOSOPHER, physician, and rabbi Maimonides, also known as Rambam, not only gifted us with Principles of Faith, but, he told us, as Jews, “Taking care of health is required anywhere and any time, not only in times of disease but also, and in particular, in times of health.” It is the Rambam’s view that we should “persist in a regimen of health…” That being said, exercise and healthy eating are in our best interest. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week for overall cardiovascular health. And something is better than nothing, so even if you cannot achieve the recommended exercise a week, do what you can to get started. For me, exercise has not only been about physical fitness, but also a way of increasing 32 JANUARY 2016 |

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serotonin and endorphins, improving my mental wellbeing. But, at almost 50, that mental and physical fitness takes a bit more effort at times. So, what can an almost 50 year old do for exercise? Running, which is more like jogging these days, has been a part of my life for over 25 years. Living in California allows jogging to be a perennial activity, and I am fortunate to have jogging paths that also allow for frequent wildlife viewing. And, while I enjoy jogging, not everyone does. So, in the course of writing this article, I decided to consult with someone who knows a little more about the benefits of exercise: Briana Booth. Booth is one of the Merage JCC’s extraordinary fitness gurus. A Zumba instructor, Booth teaches classes at the JCC throughout the week and her high

energy makes the class worth attending. My first experience with Zumba was hearing 40and 50-something-year-old women discuss their class at 24 Hour Fitness… In my mind I pictured a room full of middle-aged women jumping around and “Sweating to the oldies” with Richard Simmons. Then I took a class on Monday evening at the J—I was hooked! Not only is Zumba a great workout, it is, according to Booth, a great way to diversify your exercise routine. It makes working out more enjoyable, therein making exercise more doable. For me it has also given me the opportunity to have fun and “let loose” something I am not always amenable to in a room full of people. But convivial hip hop music and Booth’s energy makes it difficult not to let it all hang out. Do what you love - that is the key to fitness. And for me, fitness is the key to a healthy body and mind. For me hiking, jogging, Zumba, and cycling all provide those 150 minutes a week—and sometimes more. Whether it is utilizing the JCC’s fitness center (which on any given day is packed with the most diverse group of fitness fanatics I have ever seen), stomping around one of Orange County’s copious hiking trails, or sweating to the oldies - take care of your health like the Rambam dictates—even in times of health. A Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.


F E AT U R E S

SPOTLIGHT ON BRIANA BOOTH

How Zumba changed her life and could change yours! BY TANYA SCHWIED

JANUARY IS THE one month where we can all band together as a nation and declare that our pants no longer fit. You can feel the resolutions in the air; it’s time to get in shape! “Zumba is basically a big dance party and everyone forgets they are working out. It’s a cool way to get people excited to exercise and get to the gym!” says Briana Booth, a fitness instructor here at our very own Merage JCC. How did you first hear about Zumba? Did you know right away that you wanted to teach it? One of my best friends, Jennifer Saar, has been a Zumba instructor for over four years and invited me to her class. I fell in love right away! I have been a dancer my whole life, on performance and competition teams growing up. I took a hiatus during college, which left a piece of my heart missing. The second I took this class and started dancing, my heart was engulfed with a fiery passion and love. What’s your favorite part about teaching? I get to share my passion with others. It has brought me friends and opportunities I’d never even dreamed of, it’s a complete “win-win.” I get to exercise and dance, two things I truly love, while simultaneously helping others be healthy and engage in an activity that boosts their confidence and allows them to have fun and get fit. Hands down some of my favorite moments are when students nail a move they have had trouble working on, seeing the

happiness and satisfaction on their face, and sharing that special connection with them. What makes you passionate about physical fitness? Physical fitness allows me to feel strong, healthy, happy, energetic and confident and these benefits are translated in every aspect of my life. My class features mainly Latin and hip-hop dance styles, but sometimes I’ll add flares of Bollywood or belly dancing. Also, I add a weight-lifting element to my classes. I have three songs per class that are dances with weights (1-3lbs) to add some strength training with my cardio. Tell me a little bit about the process of how you got to be a certified teacher and the origins of Zumba? In order to become a certified instructor, you have to take an all-day certification class. Once you receive your certification, it is up to you to create dances, find gyms to audition, and land an instructor job. The greatest thing with Zumba is that each instructor takes everything they learn and adds their own style and flare, so no class and no instructor is the same. For me, I add a lot of hip-hop because that’s where my experience lies. Take it from me folks, this class is incredible! Briana teaches at the Merage JCC on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., at 1 Federation Way #200, Irvine, CA. (949) 435-3400. Come join the dance party! A

Fitness instructor, Briana Booth, busts a move.

Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.

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F E AT U R E S

JEWS & MEDICINE

A 500 Year History of Tending the Sick BY FLORENCE L. DANN

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F E AT U R E S

M

edicine and doctors have been the subject of Jewish humor and part of our cultural identity, whether we are comfortable with it or not. An example: Someone asks, “When, exactly, does the moment of life begin?” The answer: “The fetus is not considered viable until after it graduates from medical school.” I recently received a holiday card with two little girls—one Christian and one Jewish. They are comparing holidays.“We have a Christmas tree and baked ham,” says the little Christian girl “So, we have a menorah and potato pancakes,” responds the Jewish girl. “We have Santa Clause,” replies the first, to which the little Jewish girl replies, “And when he gets sick, I bet he calls a Jewish doctor.” What is it about the connection between Jews and medicine? Three years ago, the Yeshiva University Museum in New York featured an exhibit entitled: “Trail of the Magic Bullet: The Jewish Encounter with Modern Medicine, 1860-1960.” The exhibit’s curator, Josh Feinberg, explained the purpose and highlights of the exhibit. “There are so many reasons Jews and medicine have such a long, illustrious history, ranging from the purely practical to the ideological,” said Feinberg. “Practically, medicine was a way for Jews to gain acceptance, prestige and make a living. It’s one of

the few professions that remained accessible the custodians of public health. “The Talmud to Jews when many other doors were closed. suggests that human beings should instead But, on an even deeper level, the Jews have have learned to seek G-d’s mercy rather always placed a special, immutable emphasis than turn to medicine. Perhaps,” Washovsky on the value of human life - as it says in one continues, “this is what the Mishnah has in mind when it declares in Talmudic tractate, ‘If you no uncertain terms that ‘the save one life, it’s as if you best physician is deserving saved the whole world.’” of hell.’” While Jewish tradition But this situation was teaches that “human life Jews have ultimately and irrevocably is of infinite value, and continued to changed because Jews came that the preservation of life to regard the physician as contribute to supersedes almost all other the instrument through considerations,” there are medicine both whom G-d could affect numerous admonitions in by the creation the cure. Jewish physithe Torah, and in later rabof new medical cians, therefore, considered binic writings, that chaltheir vocation as spiritually concepts lenge that supposition. endowed and not merely an and by the According to Rabbi ordinary profession. Mark Washovsky, “The transmission “After all,” Washovsky Torah never explicitly comof medical continues, “if the Torah mands us to practice mediknowledge. itself sees the preservation cine, and some biblical pasof life as its highest goal,” sages are highly critical of then we are expected to do physicians and those who what is necessary, including the practice of resort to them. This negative attitude stems, medicine, to protect our lives and the lives of in large part, from the fact that, for much others. “Whatever its textual source, the staof its history, medical science was not far tus of medicine as mitzvah is unquestioned removed from the arts of black magic, which in Jewish religious thought; ‘whoever delays the Bible condemns in no uncertain terms.” its performance is guilty of shedding blood: In ancient times, medicine and religion were closely connected and the priests were Continued on page 37

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36 JANUARY 2016 |

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F E AT U R E S Continued from page 35

‘Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor’ (Lev. 19:16).” That ideal informs the belief that providing health care is an obligation for the patient and the doctor, as well as for society. The first well known Jewish doctor and scholar, Moses Maimonides, listed health care first on his list of the 10 most important communal services that a city must offer its residents (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De’ot IV: 23). As a result, most Jewish communities implemented systems to ensure that all their citizens had access to health care. Doctors were even required to reduce their rates for poor patients and, when that was not sufficient, there were communal subsidies. As a result, the practice of medicine became a chosen livelihood. Added to the fact that, for most of the Middle Ages, the Jews were excluded from almost all other occupations, there was yet another consideration. Throughout history, we Jews have had to take care of our own. We set up organizations and systems to meet the needs of our community. When Jews began immigrating to the United States, they did the same

thing. “Jews wanted to show they would not be a burden on society,” said Feinberg. And when Jewish students were faced with strict “unspoken” quotas when applying to medical schools, Jews created Jewish institutions such as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “But Jewish medical institutions were not just built as a reaction to anti-Semitism,” said Feinberg. “It would be a grave mistake to think these institutions were only built to help and cater to Jewish needs. Jewish contributions to the medical field have always been marked by an explicit determination to better society as a whole.” Jews have continued to contribute to medicine both by the creation of new medical concepts and by the transmission of medical knowledge. So, while the jokes may continue, the Jewish commitment to medicine seems to clearly reflect a higher commitment to the well-being of society. A Florence L. Dann, a fifth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.

IS THERE A JEWISH OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE? Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides (1135-1204) writes: • “Ball games, wrestling, boxing, etc. should not be viewed as frivolous; exercises and sports are imperative.” • “A person should aim to maintain physical health and vigor, in order that their soul may be upright. • A person “should engage one’s body and exert oneself in a sweatproducing task each morning.” • “Whoever is idle and does not exercise…even if he eats the proper foods… he will be full of pain for all his days and his strength will fade away” Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine went much further in connecting physical and spiritual health. “Great is our physical demand. We need a healthy body. We dealt much with soulfulness; we forgot the holiness of the body. We neglected the physical health and strength; we forgot that we have holy flesh; no less than holy spirit…”

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| JANUARY 2016 37


F E AT U R E S

IT’S TOUGH BEING A TEEN Conference: Navigating Teen Challenges BY ALLISON JOHNSON, LMFT, JFFS

As the Director of Client Services at JFFS, I have had the privilege of being a member of the planning conference committee and have asked my fellow members what they would like the community to know about the event.

Everything is easier when you have the support of your friends.

TECHNOLOGY, STRESS, ACADEMIC and peer pressure, and packed schedules are just some of the things that today’s teens face. In an effort to help teens and parents better traverse adolescence, Temple Beth El is hosting a half-day event for teens and their parents. With the support of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and St. Joseph Health, the conference will feature a resource fair, workshops, keynote speakers and a teen after party with musical guest Darshan. Keynote speaker, Wendy Mogel, will be discussing her book “The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teaching to Raise Resilient Teenagers.” 38 JANUARY 2016 |

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What is the main purpose of the conference? “The conference is going to bring attention to the pressures from school, peers and parents, as well as the bombardment of information learned through social media; this can really lead to anxiety and doubts about the teens themselves and their futures.” Amy Packer, Temple Beth El member and Mother. The subject of communication came up time and time again in the meeting, and the need to help parents and teens get on the same page on tough issues. “This conference won’t answer all of your questions, but hopefully it will give you a better set of tools to use and the resources you need to support yourself and your teens,” said Randy Haveson, Speaker & Life Coach and Father. What encouraged you to pilot this conference at Temple Beth El? “In the first stages of planning the conference, we were focusing on the drug and alcohol abuse issues that many of our teens struggle with, but then we became more interested in some of the core challenges that lead to those issues and others. In launching this conference, it’s Temple Beth El’s hope that the Orange County Jewish community leadership will continue to find ways to support our families in concrete ways by

continuing to provide professional resources and to have open conversations about difficult issues.” Rabbi K’vod Wieder, Temple Beth El and Father. What is one thing you hope attendees get out of the day? “I hope both teens and parents will learn to explore and face issues instead of being on autopilot or sweeping them under the rug, and that will result in better communication, more kindness and compassion for themselves and others, and the knowledge that there are resources available to help with the challenges of being a teen and raising a teen.” Marla Kaufman, Temple Beth El member and Mother. I encourage all Orange County parents and teens to attend this informative, meaningful and fun day! For more information please contact Allison Johnson, LMFT at allison@jffs.org. A Allison Johnson is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of Client Services at JFFS. She sees teens, adults and couples for counseling, as well as presents on relevant topics in the community.

PARTICIPATE! Sunday, January 24th 2:00 - 8:30 p.m. Temple Beth El Register at www.JewishOC.org/teen


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OBITUARY

ARNOLD DAVID FEUERSTEIN (Z”L) (1922-2015) BY JLIFE

IT IS WITH great sadness that we enjoying time at a vacation home in mark the passing of Arnold Feuerstein, Newport Beach, he and Ruth permaz”l. Arnold was a Jewish Community nently moved to Orange County in Foundation co-founder and long- 1982 and lived on Lido Island. time member of the board of direcThroughout the years, Arnold was tors. Along with his good friend Allan known for his keen sense of humor Fainbarg (z”l), Arnold generously and great storytelling. In addition donated the land and the building to his devoted support and involveof the Jewish Federation Campus of ment with the Jewish Community Orange County on Baker Street in Foundation and Jewish Federation & Costa Mesa, which operated from 1987 Family Services, Arnold was involved to 2004. Proceeds with Congregation from the sale of that B’nai Israel in Tustin, campus made the Heritage Pointe Jewish Federation’s and the Bureau of gift the second largJewish Education. est to the campaign The Feuersteins Arnold was known for the Samueli were passionate for his keen sense Jewish Campus, about establishing of humor and great established in 2004 a strong foundation storytelling. and now home to for the Jewish comJewish Federation & munity of Orange Family Services, the County, in order to Merage JCC, the Bureau of Jewish sustain and enhance Jewish life here. Education, the Jewish Community The funeral was held on Wednesday, Foundation of Orange County, Hillel November 11, at Mt. Sinai Memorial Foundation of Orange County, Jlife Park Cemetery, 5950 Forest Lawn O.C. magazine and Tarbut V’Torah. Drive, Los Angeles. After serving in the Air Force during the second World War, Arnold began We extend our heartfelt condolencdating his beloved future wife, Ruth es to the Feuerstein children, Roberta (z”l). He became a successful resi- and Elliot, and four grandchildren. dential developer in the Los Angeles May they be comforted among all the area, initially building low-priced mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and housing for post-WWII veterans. After may Arnold’s memory be a blessing. A

Arnold David Feuerstein

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SEX, MAGIC & DEATH-OH MY!

Community Scholar Brings Provocative Topics to Light in the O.C. BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.

THIS YEAR’S SCHOLAR will no doubt bring interesting and notable topics to light. Orange County’s Community Scholar Program (CSP) will kick off its 15th annual, one-month scholar program on January 5, 2016. The scholar is Dr. Sharon Keller, who, in addition to being a native New Yorker, describes growing up in a Conservative “shul going, kosher keeping” household. Keller, who holds a Ph.D. from NYU, will present her scholar topic entitled, “Sex, Magic, and Death in the Bible and Its World.” In addition to being this year’s Community Scholar, she has been an Assistant Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at The Jewish Theological Seminary and at Hebrew Union College; she has also held appointments at NYU, and New York City’s Hunter College, teaching biblical text courses and more general courses in biblical literature and history, as well as courses in art and archaeology of the lands of the Bible and the ancient Mediterranean world. She has written and edited numerous scholarly articles and academic books, most of which relate to the interplay between biblical Israel and ancient Egypt. CSP is no stranger to Orange County or Jlife magazine. The program, having graced the cover of Jlife, and a popular topic for articles, has been providing compelling, provocative, and noteworthy speakers since 2002. In addition, the program has incorporated a week-long summer program that has brought popular speakers and musicians to Southern California, and includes a retreat for adults

and children alike. This year’s scholar will, no doubt, bring interesting and notable topics to light. This is Keller’s first visit to Orange County—a land far away for this Liberal Jew, born and raised in New York, and she is looking forward to the challenge of presenting discussions that are interesting and fun. “People learn better when they are having fun,” says Keller. Keller teaches straight biblical text in its context. According to Keller, “The ancient texts have to be looked at from where they were. There is truth in the Bible that supersedes veracity. You see the larger picture, which allows you to see the text as it was, what it is, and what it can be.” Using the example of the biblical content referring to treatment of slaves, Keller reminded me that the Bible was not condoning we continue to have slaves. The interpretation relates to how we treat those who work for us. “The intention remains the same, but it applies to those who are reading [the text].” Keller is looking forward to the variety of different activities and venues slated for her visit. Beginning January 5, 2016 and going almost daily through January 31, Keller will present at various venues across Southern California. From omens, to murder, to politics and sex, the topics are sure to keep those attending the scholar program rapt and intrigued. For more information, please contact Orange County Community Scholar Program at: (949) 682-4040. A

Dr. Sharon Keller

Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.

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out&about THE MAIN SQUEEZE Energetic five-piece group The Main Squeeze will be performing at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa Jan. 23. The band’s roots originate in Bloomington, IN’s surprisingly vibrant live-music scene, and they have been leaving audiences “Freshly Squozen” since 2010. They put their stamp on the Rolling Stone Super Bowl XLVI Pre-Party and dazzled music lovers at the International Battle of the Bands in Macau, and have shared the stage with artists like The Roots, Jane’s Addiction, The Meters, Aloe Blacc and Trombone Shorty.

Cat Power

ACT 3 Rita Rudner and Charles Shaughnessy star in Act 3, a U.S. World Premier of a new play directed by Martin Bergman, and written by David Ambrose and Claudia Nellens. It is showcasing at the Laguna Beach Playhouse Jan. 6 – 31. The play introduces audiences to a couple old enough to know better, yet still young enough to want more. Come be a part of the experience of what happens when secrets collide.

42

LIN PLAYS MOZART Violinist Cho-Liang Lin will be performing Mozart with the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom Hall Jan. 7 – 9. Lin serves as both conductor and featured soloist for this delightful program, which includes both Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 and his grand and festive “Haffner” Symphony.

DAVID LIGARE David Ligare art exhibit California Classicist is currently on view at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art through Jan. 17. Ligare grew up in Southern California. His paintings offer a vision of California and the Pacific Ocean through classical eyes—a perfect setting in which to give form to the universal, humanistic ideas that are his themes.

TOWER OF POWER Quintisential California funk band, Tower of Power returns to the Coach House on Sun, Jan. 17. With radio classics like “So Very Hard To Go” and “What Is Hip?” the band has continued to tour and record over the years with their latest project, Hipper Than Hip, being a live flash back to their 1974 tour. Band leader and cofounder of the group, Emilio Castillo, says their love of the stage is the same today as it was back in 1968.


ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE | January 2016

The Beach Boys The Beach Boys delight Orange County audiences with a one-night only performance in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Sun, Jan. 24 as part of their 50th Annaversary World Tour. Revired as one of the most prolific and admired American bands of all time, the Beach Boys have created some of the most beloved and innovative songs in music history. From breezy, early songs about sun and fun to the group’s

groundbreaking “Good Vibrations” era of music, the Beach Boys’ influence cannot be understated. This group is simply put as “the very best of American rock and roll.” To mark their 50th Anniversary, the founding members of The Beach Boys have reunited for a major international tour and a brand new studio album that represents a whole new harmonic convergence from a group that has brought so much joy and harmony to fans worldwide. For millions of Beach Boys fans spanning multiple generations, this 50th Anniversary Tour and new album called That’s Why God Made The

Radio, which was released June 5 of this year from Capitol/EMI—represents a, “dream come true and an almost religious experience” according to the group’s website. This legendary group is “Do It Again” on the road, with original Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks. Their recent recording sessions at Los Angeles’ famed Ocean Way Studios marks the band’s 29th studio album, and the first in decades to feature all of the band’s surviving original members. The Beach Boys’ collaborative approach to writing and recording their new music is

evident throughout their latest album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, with all of the band members participating in the creative process of the album’s glorious harmonies, lyrics and arrangements. Through it all, the good times and the bad, The Beach Boys have always been at heart a musical family. And to mark a half-century of musical excellence, the surviving members of The Beach Boys family are reuniting as only family can, to reflect and to celebrate the music only they can create together as a true southern California rockn-roll band.

The Beach Boys, Photo by Robert Matheu

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CROSSWORD BY: YONI GLATT } KOSHERCROSSWORDS@GMAIL.COM } DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM

May the Force Be With Jew

HINT: 62 ACROSS

ACROSS

34 Seconds, in Israel

1 Asher ___....

35 Frum part of the Force?

5 Schindler of “Schindler’s List”

39 ___ Yikra

10 Word before Yisrael

40 Make like Moses hitting the rock, e.g.

14 False god of war 15 Didn’t dine in the Sukkah 16 Jewish frat 17 Weapon for an Israeli Jedi? 19 Scotch not used for kiddush

41 ___-mo, effect used by Kubrick 42 In a ___, might need some tzedakah 43 Wrap in Nichols’ “The Birdcage”

20 Ian Kinsler played at this level, once

44 Where Warren Buffet bought chametz from Rabbi Jonathan Gross

21 Fit for David or Achashverosh

48 Wookie of the tribe?

22 How Michaels’ show is broadcast

51 Rabbi Weil of the OU

23 Esau felt it for Jacob

52 It’s the least anti-Semitic country in the world, according to the ADL

25 Bounty hunting Prime Minister?

61 Savior of many a Jew during WWII, e.g.

13 What Diodotus Tryphon did to gain Jonathan Maccabee’s trust

46 Female foe of Daniel in the “Harry Potter” films

62 You might need one’s help for this puzzle

18 Israel has made several with neighboring lands

47 Garfield on screen

63 Kind of question asked before a l’chaim celebration

22 Jeremy who played with Casspi

50 Buenos ___, home of a kosher McDonald’s

64 Clarinetist Artie

24 Short-lived job for Ben Stiller in “Zoolander”

DOWN

26 ___ up (starts looking like Goldberg)

1 Balak’s curser

27 Yiddish pops, for short

2 Grande who practices Kabbalah

32 Former Adam Brody show

3 What Israel did in 1967 (land-wise)

33 Itzhak Perlman gift

4 Hero in a Sam Raimi film and TV series 5 Sinai springs

35 “The greatest thing in the world...”, according to Billy Crystal’s Miracle Max

53 NYU arts name

6 Guy in need of a shiduch, maybe

36 It’s prepared before shabbat

55 Like the Rova

7 Grill item

37 Piece of Talmud

29 Letter that can be long

56 (Just a) bissel

8 El Al, e.g.

30 Long in Ben Younger’s “Boiler Room”

57 Lord of Passover?

9 Makeup for Estee Lauder?

38 What some might call really slow cantors

31 Farmar, once

59 Like Shabbat after about 25 hours

10 Gush ___

60 Best group in the IDF, perhaps

11 Unlike matzoh

44 JANUARY 2016 |

12 Many Jews have one on 11 Tishrei

Jlife

51 Joe who’s a yutz 54 Marvel(ous) Lee 56 Particle studied by Bohr 57 Jewish beginning at night? 58 They work on this publication, briefly

34 The Negev, e.g.

28 “___ Monday”, tune by Susanna Hoff’s band

33 Sight for Eilat divers

49 Get on an Israir flight

39 Nickname Jonas Salk could have shared with Julius Erving 43 Some Stern degs. 45 ___ Zara

December Answers


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Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 45


PHOTO BY PHILLIP MATRAI

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46 JANUARY 2016 |

Lamb Tagine

Jlife


A&E

PHOTO BY PHILLIP MATRAI

Jewish recipes that nourish the soul without damaging the heart. Almond Mandelbread

HEALTHY CHOICES Think flavor, not fat. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR

BEFORE WRITING AWARD-WINNING grilling books, including “The Barbecue Bible,” “Planet Barbecue!” “How to Grill,” and “BBQ USA”; before his TV shows “Project Smoke,” “Primal Grill” and “Barbecue University,” before being dubbed the “Gladiator of Grilling” by Oprah, and before beating the Iron Chef in Tokyo, Steven Raichlen was garnering honors for his healthy lifestyle cookbooks, “High-Flavor Low-Fat Cooking,” “HighFlavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking,” and “Healthy Latin Cooking.” Then in 2001 he won the James Beard Foundation/ KitchenAid Book Award for his “Healthy Jewish Cooking.” “I was a restaurant critic for a major city magazine in the ‘80’s, eating out constantly, and developed a cholesterol problem,” Raichlen told me by phone from his home in Florida, so he began reducing the fat in his favorite recipes. The result was his “High-Flavor, Low-Fat” series and “Healthy Latin Cooking,” which won a James Beard award. No Pritikin Spartan, Raichlen then applied his Ten Commandments of low-fat cooking to the last bastion of the clogged

arteries, Jewish food, with “Think Flavor, Not Fat” his mantra, slashing his way through the schmaltz belt with “Healthy Jewish Cooking,” a lusciously photographed homage to his family, with tasty renditions of over 150 classic Jewish recipes that nourish the soul, without damaging the heart. “The great cooks of my childhood, who came of age during the depression, were more interested in filling plates than in the health consciousness of their dinners,” he writes. And with his slimmed-down versions of his family’s beloved recipes, we can have our knish and eat it too. For example, his Grammy Ethel’s chopped liver uses the cholesterol-laden liver for flavor, replacing most of it with mushrooms, and roasting instead of sautéing. For his Aunt Annette’s legendary matzo balls (“rabbis would drive from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore just to have a seat at our Passover table,” he said) he reduces the amount of schmaltz, winning a “thumbs up” from his then 92-year-old Aunt Annette. “The biggest surprises in the book,”

notes Raichlen, “are that chopped liver can actually be healthy and that schmaltz isn’t as bad for you as everybody thought. Compared to butter, schmaltz, which contains water, actually has one-third the amount of cholesterol and half the amount of saturated fat,” he said. “That’s not to say schmaltz is a health food—far from it—and you definitely use this golden elixir in moderation.” It is this common sense approach to creating a healthy lifestyle, not short-term deprivation, that makes Raichlen’s books so appealing. “Next to lemon juice, which is always wonderful in anything, and freshly ground black pepper, my favorite ingredient in low-fat cooking is extra virgin olive oil. That’s a fat, but a judicious little fillip drizzled on top adds such a lovely flavor.” Using wonton wrappers and filo, instead of high-fat dough, produces tasty kreplach and strudel. His bake-frying method is equally successful with empanadas and pirogi. Less of a challenge are the Sephardic recipes, which naturally rely on greater use of grains, beans, fruits and vegetables than those of his Eastern European forebears. But where Sephardic dishes call for deepfrying, Raichlen solves that problem neatly with what he does best: grilling. “Barbecue Bible” took me four years to write,” recalled Raichlen, who traveled to 25 countries on five continents researching the book, writing “Healthy Jewish Cooking” during the same period. “There was a lot of overlap. The Middle East is one of the real hotbeds of grilling expertise. Barbecue is not part of the Ashkenazi tradition. I don’t ever remember watching my grandfather grill, for example. None of the great cooks of that generation knew anything from fire cooking, but in Israel it’s very much a part of their culture.”

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A&E

With slimmed-down versions of beloved recipes, we can have our knish and eat it too.

Lamb Tagine

One traditional way to serve couscous is to stir harissa (North African hot sauce, available in Middle Eastern stores, specialty stores and online) into one cup of the broth and spoon it over the lamb. (Serves 8.) 2 pounds lean leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1/2 pound turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pound parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pound potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional) 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 1/4 cup chopped parsley (preferably flat-leaf)

1 Place lamb in mixing bowl and toss

with turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, pepper, and salt. Marinate 20 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil in large, heavy

non-stick pot. Brown lamb in batches. 4-6 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to platter with slotted spoon. Pour out all but 1 1/2 tablespoons fat.

3 Add onion and cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Continue cooking remaining parsley until onion begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

4 Return lamb to pot and stir in water, cinnamon stick, and saffron. Gently simmer one hour.

5 And turnips, carrots, parsnips, and

potatoes. Simmer until vegetables and lamb are very tender, about 30 minutes more. Add raisins and chickpeas 10 minutes before end. If tagine starts to dry out (it should be quite soupy), add more water. Tagine should be highly seasoned; add salt or pepper as needed.

6 Serve over couscous sprinkled with remaining parsley; add harissa as a condiment.

Source: “Healthy Jewish Cooking” (Viking) by Steven Raichlen

10 cups water

Almond Mandelbread

1 cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water 1/2 cup raisins

At about 65 calories each, these cookies are a caloric bargain. If the dough is too sticky, freeze it until it is more manageable. (Makes about 42.)

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas 2 1/2 cups flour

Couscous, for serving

1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal

Harissa, for serving

1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt

48 JANUARY 2016 |

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3 egg whites, lightly beaten 1/4 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon almond extract Finely grated zest of 1 lemon Finely grated zest of 1 orange 1/4-1/2 cup dry white wine

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. 2 Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar,

baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together egg whites, oil, almond extract, zests, and 1/4 cup of the wine.

3 Gradually stir flour mixture into wine

mixture, adding wine if necessary to obtain a soft, pliable though. Divide dough into 3 portions and roll each into a log about 1 1/4” thick. Place logs on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, equally distant from each other.

4 Bake 20 minutes, or until top is firm to

the touch and bottoms are beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2 to 3/4inch slices. Place slices, cut side down on baking sheet and bake 6 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in oven until completely cool or overnight. Store in airtight container.

Adapted from: “High Flavor-Low-Fat Cooking” (Camden House) by Steven Raichlen 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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A&E

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET, SABRA STYLE Israelis have the healthiest diet in the Western world. BY MERAV CEREN

Hummus and finely chopped salad are a staple of the Israeli diet.

THE LAST GUY I dated before moving to Israel was a goy from Long Beach. Though properly laid back for a Southern Californian, he never understood my Israeli obsession with breakfast. More than that, he was downright weirded out by my insistence on salad with my eggs. The first time I chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion for my Israeli salad, he laughed at me. In the two years we dated, he couldn’t keep himself from throwing a thoroughly confused side-eye to the bowl of vegetables at our breakfast table. It turns out the joke is on him. A global study published last year by The Lancet Global Health group, ranked Israel as the healthiest diet in the West, and the ninth healthiest diet worldwide. Israel even ranked 50 JANUARY 2016 |

Jlife

higher than other nations with traditional Mediterranean diets, namely Turkey, Greece and Italy. The accolade was granted, in large part, due to the Israeli diet’s reliance on fresh vegetables, olive oil, fruit, and grains, and on only a moderate consumption of proteins. It’s as easy to be vegetarian in Israel, where hummus is a meal, as it is to keep kosher (though I ascribe to neither). Cucumbers are considered expensive at 5 shekel per kilo (less than $1.25/2.2 lbs). During this past High Holiday season, shortages in September sent tomato prices skyrocketing to a record 13 shekel/kg (about $1.50/ lb), shocking and angering consumers. It’s hard to get upset after a trip to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda shuk, though, after growing up with significantly higher prices

in Southern California. Growing up in a secular Israeli household, I was raised with food rituals. Saturday mornings meant waking to a spread of cheeses, deli meats, Israeli salad, hummus, baba ganouj, various smoked and pickled fish (my mom’s Polish-born and Israeli-raised), and eggs. If my dad was feeling especially ambitious, eggs might have meant shakshuka, the baked egg dish which Tunisian Jews brought with them, and Turkish coffee, which my parents called café botz, or “mud coffee,” which isn’t precisely accurate. Decades later, while on base in the West Bank, I learned that if you ask for botz, you’ll get hot water poured over instant Turkish coffee. It’s not as good as the stuff made in a Turkish finjan on a stove, but both are thick enough to eat with a fork. With new studies claiming coffee can do everything from make you smarter to prevent premature death, it appears the Israeli breakfast is a bastion of healthy eating. A Merav Ceren grew up in Southern California, where she attended UCI and led the reestablishment of Anteaters for Israel.


LIFESTYLE

An inflatable boat filled with refugees and other migrants approaches the north coast of the Greek island of Lesbos.

GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR

What constitutes a legitimate security concern? BY PERRY FEIN

YOU MAY HAVE seen an article recently being shared around the internet entitled “No, Muslim Refugees Are Not Jewish WWII Refugees. Here are 5 Reasons Why.” The article outlines in bullet-points what supposedly separates the two immigrant populations, aside from more than half a century. The first point is telling enough: “There was no threat of Jewish terrorists infiltrating the United States.” While this is technically true, it is also very misleading. There was certainly no perceivable threat of physical violence from the Jewish refugees of the Holocaust, but there

was absolutely a paranoia that permeated American public opinion in regards to the new Jewish immigrants. Over 900 Jewish refugees were turned away as their ship, the MS St. Louis, was docked in Havana because of a fear that they would bring communist sympathies to the United States. This was viewed as a legitimate security concern at the time, but it was inevitably shaped by anti-immigration political rhetoric, only natural during the worst economic downturn in American history. The Washington Post re-published the results of a poll conducted by Fortune

magazine in July 1938. The purpose of the survey, was to assess the American public’s level of acceptance to admitting mostly-Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. Two-thirds of polled Americans felt that “we should try to keep them out” and fewer than 5 percent of respondents thought that the United States should raise quotas, or encourage European refugees to resettle in America. General Wesley Clark and Virginia Mayor David Bowers, two Democrats, both recently hinted at the possibility of Japanese-style internment camps, in response to the perceived threat of receiving Syrian refugees. We’ve seen where this whirlwind of xenophobia can end, and now the flames of bigotry are being stoked by politicians on the left and right. This is why we must resist the urge to generalize and stereotype entire groups based on the acts of an extremist minority. Shortly after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo staff, ISIS confessed in their own magazine that they wished to “eliminate the gray zone.” Their goal is to diminish the conflict into a monochrome picture of a holy war between Islam and the West. If we succumb to the fatal error of framing the conflict as a “clash of civilizations,” we have already allowed the enemy an important semantic victory. We must stand arm-in-arm with moderates of all faiths and precisely identify the real danger, violent Jihadist extremism, if we are to prevail without forsaking our nation’s principles. A Perry Fein is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.

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News&Jews OC JEWISH SCENE | JANUARY 2016

JNF Breakfast Brings Support for Israel to New Heights In an overwhelming show of support for Israel and the work of Jewish National Fund, a record-breaking 1,400 Angelinos filled the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on December 10 for the annual JNF Los Angeles Breakfast. Consul General of Israel, David Siegel, gave remarks, with nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager as the keynote speaker. Consul General Siegel called JNF an organization that makes miracles happen. “JNF is building Israel and elevating Israel’s role in the world,” said Siegel.

Yiddish Policemen’s Union

A Shrek of a Trek Award-winning screenwriter, David N. Weiss (“Shrek 2,” “The Smurfs” movies, and “Rugrats“) will be the guest speaker at Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen/ Chabad in Yorba Linda on Sunday January 31, at 9:30 AM, Buffet breakfast and presentation, tickets online at www. OCJewish.com or call (714) 693-0770. The talk entitled “A Shrek of a Trek” is the story of a wild path to success and sanity of a Hollywood Screenwriter. Weiss’s story is a hilarious and inspiring adventure of a nice Jewish boy who spent years as a charismatic church youth worker before returning to his Jewish roots… via a blockbuster writing career.

Dennis Prager, keynote speaker

This 2007 novel by Michael Chabon is a detective story set in an alternative history version of the present day, based on the premise that during World War II, a temporary settlement for Jewish refugees was established in Sitka, Alaska, in 1941, and that the fledgling State of Israel was destroyed in 1948. Don’t miss the opportunity to share thoughts on this selection, for which the author has won several honors, including the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Sponsored by the Adult Program Committee at Congregation B’nai Tzedek, February 21, 2016, 10:00 a.m., at 9669 Talbert Ave, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. The book can be purchased at smile.amazon.com.

Global Soul Awards On November 18th, Jewish World Watch (JWW) presented its Global Soul Award at UCLA’s Royce Hall to a remarkable family of civic leaders, the Katzburg Gabriel Family—Stuart Gabriel, Judith Katzburg, Jesse Gabriel, and Oren Gabriel—recognizing their extraordinary efforts to prevent genocide and mass atrocities globally. Together they have placed their human rights activism at the center of their family life. Honorary Chairs of the evening included Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein & Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Ada & Jim Horwich, Alisa & Kevin Ratner, and May & Richard Ziman. 54 JANUARY 2016 |

Jlife


News&Jews

Meet Marcus Freed

StepUp Superfoods

Marcus Freed is a world renowned teacher of Jewish Yoga and Meditation and author. He will be teaching a class and speaking at the Merage JCC on Friday January 15 at 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.. He infuses Kabbalistic wisdom with modern yoga, meditation and workouts in a way that you can apply to everyday life. His latest book is called Kabbalah Sutra. This is an introductory class for all ages and ranges of physical ability. JCC members: $15 Public: $20

An Orange County, California-based health food company, announced that its full line of organic, non-GMO, vegan, Kosher and gluten-free products are now available across the United States. StepUp’s mission is to offer healthy products and educate their customers about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle, while offering products at great value and giving back to the community. Businesses that want to partner with StepUp can go to www.stepup.partners and order products at wholesale prices with free shipping. Through its “we-stepup” program, the company gives 10% of its net earnings back the community in the form of healthy foods, donations as well as educational seminars. For more information please visit: stepup.life.

Sandy Baren, Silver Streak Transportation Coordinator, accepting the award.

Silver Streak Transportation Receives Award Silver Streak Transportation was recently awarded the 2015 “Apple of Our Eye” Business Leadership Award. Silver Streak Transportation, a service of JFFS, gives the gift of independence and connection to people who have lost their mobility and are isolated at home. Interested in volunteering as a driver? Drive as much or as little as you want and receive mileage reimbursement. It’s an extraordinarily rewarding feeling knowing you have made a profound difference in someone’s life. Call (949) 435-3460 for more Gary Gould information.

Temple Beth El Celebrates Women with Special Shabbat Service Temple Beth El SOC will celebrate “every woman” and “woman’s voice”...kol isha... with their sixth annual all women-led Kol Isha Shabbat Service (“KISS”) on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 9:15 a.m. in the Eisenberg Chapel. The guest speaker will be cantorial student Heather Seid. This popular service draws men, women, teens and children from throughout the Temple Beth El community. Kiddush lunch, featuring specially choreographed entertainment, follows immediately after the service. For more information, email us at kol_isha_shabbat@cox.net. Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 55


LIFESTYLE

NextGen

Sam Shefler, Jordan Manor, Benjamin Taitz and Zachary Singerman Karl Olney, Diana Krivosheya, Sarah Van Zanten and Ilana Tidus

On Sunday, November 15, NextGen’s second annual “The O.C. Event” brought together over 100 young adults for an afternoon cocktail party in Pelican Hill! Event attendees learned about the extraordinary programs, grants, and services of JFFS, while overlooking pristine ocean views, and listening to the sounds of crashing waves and a live jazz band.

JewGlue

JewGlue SPARKED their philanthropy on Saturday, November 21 at the first ever JewGlue Spark Campaign Event! Over 80 attendees joined for an elegant night out at a luxury high-rise, filled with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts, delicious drinks, and a beautiful Havdalah Join ceremony. Spark was also an incredible JewGlue opportunity for on January JewGlue to give 9th for back. Attendees expressed how much the Orange County community means to them through their meaningful donations to the 2015 JFFS Generations Fund!

Michael Levitin, Andrew Krongold, Melissa Miller, Zachary Singerman, Katerina Hencova, Daniel Rothenberg, Barry Grossman and Miriam Gelfand

Jews on Ice!

Sheri and Jorge Garcia

56 JANUARY 2016 |

Marc and Susie Garelick

Jlife

JewGlue is a program of NextGen, the young adult department of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). For more information about NextGen and to learn about upcoming events, contact us at NextGen@JFFS. org, or visit www.JewishOC.org/ NextGen.


LIFESTYLE

ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY A Little More Energetic and Persevering BY DALIA TAFT

ORANGE COUNTY HAS long been perceived as having a higher percentage of anti-Semitism than other parts of California. The truth, as usual, is a bit more complicated. As seen in this 1921 editorial in the Santa Ana Register (today’s Orange County Register), there were individuals in positions of authority here that opposed anti-Semitism, and actively called it out as un-American. It’s interesting to note that, while the editor specifically mentions Henry Ford as one of the leaders of the growing anti-Semitic movement in the 1920s, he writes that Ford is “well-meaning but mistaken.” He couldn’t grasp that a well-respected American businessman would intentionally spread hate. He then goes on to state that “they [the Jews] happen to be a little more energetic and persevering than most of the other races” and that “this country is no place for such persecution.” So, while there were indeed neighborhoods where Jews couldn’t purchase homes, or clubs they weren’t allowed to join, it’s important to remember that there were those who stood up and spoke out.

Santa Ana Register, January 28, 1921

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 historical@jffs. org or at (949) 4353484, ext. 167.

BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!

FOOD, FAT AND FEMINISM Navigating the Contradictions of Judaism and Food

jwa.org/blog/health

KOSHER FOR HEALTH? Myths & Facts: Is Kosher Food Healthier?

www.foods4betterhealth.com

KASHRUT: JEWISH DIETARY LAWS Learn about the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut (kosher), why we observe these laws, the various foods and combinations that are forbidden.

www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 57


LIFESTYLE

The best way to connect kids with Judaism is to send them to a Jewish day school.

READING THE SCROLLS Unlocking ancient teachings. BY RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE

THE KIDS SQUINTED to examine the Hebrew text. Around them others gawked in amazement, surprised to see a group of children, ranging from 8 to 12, deciphering the Hebrew words on the ancient parchment of the Dead Sea scrolls. I had taken some of my grandchildren on a visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the California Science Center. Looking for a way to make the scrolls relevant, I suggested the children identify letters on the parchment. Then they started to find words. They were excited to find out they could read the ancient texts and even discover an actual verse in the Torah they recognized. For these kids, Jewish history came alive. In the writings of millennia ago, they saw 58 JANUARY 2016 |

Jlife

the Torah they study every day. In modern parlance, they told, me, “it was cool.” The problem today, is that most Jewish children lack the tools to understand the depth of the Torah and the wisdom of Judaism. Very few actually study the classical texts of the Torah, Talmud and the sages. It is a closed, mysterious book on a shelf, and sadly some Jewish homes today do not even have the books on the shelves. In the rush to modernity and success, generations of Jews have left behind the teachings that can bring meaning and purpose into their lives. The solution that is tried and true is quite simple - Jewish education. When we give kids the tools to explore Jewish learning and tradition, they invariably discover its depth

and relevance. Sadly, this may not be true for many Jewish kids. If you are lucky, it is a break in a busy week, for a few hours of Hebrew School, sandwiched between soccer and homework. And for many, even that is not happening. The best way to connect kids with Judaism is to send them to a Jewish day school. There, they can acquire the skills to truly be able to study Judaism properly; to discover Torah, Talmud and Jewish learning and how Judaism is a Divine wisdom, whose relevance is just as important now as it was thousands of years ago. Progress comes in the micro, not the macro. If you want to change Jewish destiny, help send another kid to a Jewish school; if you are a parent, sign up your child for Jewish programming; if you are a grandparent, sponsor the tuition. And if you are a friend, encourage someone to give their kid a Jewish education. And then, in a few years, take them to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and you will be amazed as they read the scrolls themselves and tell you “that’s what we learned in school.” A Rabbi David Eliezrie is a Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen/Chabad. His email is rabbi@ ocjewish.com.


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| JANUARY 2016 59


LIFESTYLE

SENIORS

CALENDAR JANUARY 2016

MONDAYS 10:00 AM News & Views Merage JCC

WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM & 10:00 AM Gentle Yoga Merage JCC

11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC 7:00 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC TUESDAYS 10:30 AM The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC

60 JANUARY 2016 |

Jlife

FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC MONDAYS, JAN. 4 – FEB. 22 (6 classes) 9:00 – 10:15 AM Gentle Yogalates Merage JCC

MONDAYS, JAN. 11- FEB. 29 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Mah Jongg Cards Last day of presale for 2016 Merage JCC

TUESDAY, JAN. 26 10:00 – 11:30 AM Books & Bagels “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street” by Susan Jane Gilman Merage JCC

WEDNESDAYS, JAN. 13- MAR. 2 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Learn to Play Mah Jongg Merage JCC

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Single Handed The Inspiring Story of Tibor Rubin International Holocaust Memorial Day Author & Speaker Daniel Cohen Merage JCC

FRIDAY, JAN. 15 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Jewish Yoga & Meditation Workshop Teacher/Author Marcus Freed Merage JCC SUNDAY, JAN. 24 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM An overview by Joan Rambo of the collection and use of the Orange County California Genealogy Society Library, located at the Huntington Beach Central Library. Temple Bat Yahm SUNDAY, JAN. 24 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM JCC Poker League Starts All Dates: 2/28, 3/30, 4/10, 5/15 Merage JCC MONDAY, JAN. 25 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Tu B’ Shevat- Succulent Potting Party Merage JCC

SUNDAY, JAN. 31 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Chess; Drop In & Play 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 Geri Dorman, Prime Time Adult Director at: gerid@jccoc.org. Temple Bat Yahm is located at 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach. For reservations please contact Michelle Sandler at: (714) 891-0788 or (714) 313-2733.


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Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 61


Advertising Index

59 A&B Home Health Care 61 Allan Silverman 19 Avarelle Realty 19 Benjie’s Diner 2 Bowers Museum 45 Bradley S. Erodsi Esq 61 Bristol Watch Caregivers 61 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 37 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 11 Callahan & Blaine 36 Camp Hess Cramer 31 Chabad Newport Beach

62 JANUARY 2016 |

15 Congregation Beth Jacob 23 Congregation B’nai Tzedek 45 Door Dash 59 Dr. Blake 49 Dr. Ivar Roth 17 Falafel4You 19 Feig Law Firm 61 Harbor Lawn 7 Heritage Pointe 9 Heritage Pointe 45 Heritage Museum 3 Israel Bonds

Jlife

20 Jewish Community Center 21 Jewish Community Center 13 Jewish Federation and Family Services 52 Jewish Federation and Family Services 53 Jewish Federation and Family Services 15 Klein Financial 23 Laguna Playhouse 23 Melvin M. Browndorf Realtor 35 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC 39 949 Fitness

59 Naples Vacuum Elevators 17 Outcome Genii 10 Renaissance Club Sports 8 Roll Out Quick 39 Russian School of Mathmatics 19 Prov31wraps 9 San Diego Opera 17 Segerstrom Performing Arts Center 34 Sherri Primes 17 Soul Mates Unlimited 36 South Coast Repatory Theater

8 Stoddard Group 12 Stoddard Group 5 24 Carrots 11 Temple Bat Yahm 3 Temple Bat Yahm 64 Temple Bat Yahm 4 Temple Beth Tikvah 39 Temple Beth El 8 Temple Beth Emet 17 Torah with Liora 63 Tustin Ranch 11 VITAS 25 Zounds


Jlife

| JANUARY 2016 63


ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH YOUTH & PARENTS

Mindful Parenting Starting the New Year Off Right

Slow Down! Find Time to Enjoy the Journey

Peddle Pushers Safety, Health & Fitness Fun

JANUARY 2016


2


a peek inside january 2016

08

10

BACK TO FITNESS, BACK TO SAFETY

SLOW DOWN!

Stay alert as you peddle your way to health.

Find time to enjoy the journey.

also inside! Editor’s Note 06 Super Shabbos 07

For January Calendar Events please visit: www.ocjewishlife.com

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MINDFUL PARENTING

CHOOSING THE “RIGHT” PRESCHOOL

Starting the New Year Off Right

The first step in formal education.


SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD? Estate Planning for Families with Children

Preparing Today Eases Tomorrow SCOTT FEIG ATTORNEY AT LAW

949-689-9715 FeigLawFirm@gmail.com 路 780 Roosevelt, Suite 210 路 Irvine, CA 92620

FEIGLAWFIRM.COM

World-famous Israeli DJ is now in Orange County!

Weddings { Bar/Bat Mitzvahs { Events 15 years of experience 714.812.3088 { www.djazvelos.co.il 5


6

EDITOR’S NOTE

kiddish

PUBLISHER ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE EDITOR IN CHIEF TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY, MBA CREATIVE DIRECTOR RACHEL BELLINSKY COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS TAMMY KECES,, M.A., AUDRA MARTIN, LISA MONETTE, SUE PENN, M. ED., HANNAH SCHOENBAUM ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE)

W

ell it’s not the Jewish New Year, but it is January and resolutions are in the air. Soon you will see twice as many ads for weightloss centers and gym memberships

EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581

TARMSTRONG24@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING

and Nutribullet campaigns will be on heavy rotation for

(949) 812-1891

most major Television networks. However, with all of this

SALES@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM

information being thrown at you, just where do you begin? Well we say, “when in doubt start at home.” Your home is where good health begins. You can cook healthy meals

ART

ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM

together as a family. You can make exercise fun by involving

ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND

everyone in fabulous outdoor activities. You can even make

KIDDISH ARE PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY

fitness a fun challenge by creating goals that you can tackle as a family. The point is, you are not alone. If you are looking to

ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603

make some healthy changes in your life, there is nothing but postive things that can manifest from that choice. In fact, it is your family that will be the first to benefit from second-hand healthfulness. So there’s no time like the present. Grab your jacket, lace up those sneakers and get out there and enjoy that beautiful O.C. air we all love to breath. Your family and your pants will thank 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.


7

5

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3

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Check your answers at: www.thefamousabba.com/SHEMOS

___ Baal Shem Tov ___ Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev ___ Rebbe Nachman of Breslov ___ Shneur Zalman of Liady

List the order the following rabbis were born:

historical timeline

I have no holidays or fast days in me. I am 29 days long and do not occur in the winter time. The shofar is blown many times in me.

wHat MONTH AM I?

DOWN 1. Sand (2:12) 2. Peace (4:18) 3. Mighty (4:4) 5. Sign (3:12) ACROSS 1. New (1:8) 2. Send (4:4) 4. Boys (1:17) 6. Call (2:7)

Complete the crossword by translating each English word into Hebrew. Use the parsha reference for help.

CROSSWORD

• Moshe being placed in the river and found by Pharoah's daughter. (2:3) • Moshe talking to HaShem for the first time. (3:2)

Act out these scenes with friends and family:

PARSHA SKIT ideas

Compassion: If a friend is struggling with homework, offer to help him with it.

good trait OF THE MONTH

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WORD FIND

When Yosef and his brothers died in Egypt, there were many Jewish people living there. The new king, who did not know Yosef, was worried the Jewish people would hurt him, so he decided to make life hard for them. When Moshe was born, his parents put him in a basket in the river and Pharoah’s daughter took him out and raised him. Moshe always tried to do good: he saved an Ivri man from an Egyptian, he tried to make peace between two Jews, and saved Re'uel’s daughters after he fled Egypt because Pharoah wanted to hurt him. Moshe married Tzipporah, one of Re'uel’s daughters. The king of Egypt died and the Jewish people cried out to HaShem. HaShem heard their cries and then appeared to Moshe, commanding him to go to Pharoah and take the Jewish people out of Egypt. HaShem gave Moshe signs for the people to believe he was the messenger of HaShem. When Moshe went to Pharoah, Pharoah refused to free the Jews and made their lives harder.

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One of the nations who lived in Israel before the Jews:

gematria

• You never received your school pictures. • The mailman delivered your mail 3 hours late.

Can you judge these situations favorably?

KOHAIN

AMRAM

you be the judge

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spot the difference

Which one is different? (Hint: Moshe)

(Hint: Items/mitzvot that require a blessing)

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WORD CMRLESAB

Melaveh Malka 3 stars in the sky Se'udat Shlishi festive meal after Shabbat Shalom Aleichem The 3rd meal of Shabbat Tzeit Hakochavim 1st song sang on Shabbat

Match each Shabbat term with its definition?

SHABBat

SUPER SHABBat SHEET 21 TEVET 5776 PARSHAT SHEMOT


8

JANUARY 2016

kiddish

Back To Fitness, Back To Safety Stay alert as you peddle your way to health. BY MICHAEL RUBINSTEIN

I

t’s time again to focus on fitness. As

route you plan to take before getting in

preparations for the spring school

your car. Try to take into account road

term gear up and the holidays wind

closures or other delays that might

down, it’s a great time for parents

negatively affect your stress levels as

and students to review ways to increase safety and prevent accidents. Whether your children ride a school bus or their bicycles to school, or you participate in carpool, here are some general safety tips to keep in mind as your family heads back to classes.

you drive. • Give yourself enough time. Nobody likes to rush, and rushing while driving can have tragic consequences. Traffic congestion can be stressful in the morning, but don’t vent your frustration on the gas pedal. Give yourself enough

IT’S A GREAT TIME FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO REVIEW WAYS TO INCREASE SAFETY AND PREVENT ACCIDENTS.

For Drivers

time to get your children to school

• Put away your phone. As a reminder, it’s

before the bell rings.

illegal in California to use a handheld

• Shortcuts Can Be Dangerous. Many

device while driving (except to use

schools border residential streets.

navigation or GPS apps, like Waze).

Speeding down the adjacent residential

Texting, writing emails, and talking

street to beat traffic is a bad idea. It’s

on the cellphone are all dangerous

also the source of frequent complaints

distractions that cause unnecessary

from neighbors. Alleys are not

accidents on our roads. • Plan your route. Have an idea of the

racetracks either, so please be very careful when entering or exiting an alley.


kiddish

9

JANUARY 2016

Always look both ways before you cross and obey all traffic signals.

• Follow Crossing Guards’ Instructions

exit the school bus to cross the street

and the School Zone Speed Limit. Be

should do so in front of the bus, not

aware of the posted speed limit in the

behind it.

school zone. Be extra vigilant around

• Bicycles and Scooters. Everyone under

the school campus, where children may

18 must wear a helmet while riding

be jaywalking. Always yield to a crossing

a bike or scooter. If riding at night,

guard or adult assisting students

the bicycle must have functioning

crossing the street.

lights. Bicycle riding on the sidewalk

• Stop For the School Bus. The stop signs on the side of the bus are the same as regular stop signs. If the bus is dropping off passengers, stop and wait. Do not attempt to pass the bus. Be extra careful for children who may dart out into traffic.

is controversial, and while it’s legal in some circumstances, it does lead to

you may have successfully loaded your children in your car, but there may be cars ahead of you that haven’t. Honking will not make them fulfill their objective any faster. • Be extra vigilant. Children may run out

at stop signs and red lights.

cars. Make sure your childrens’ seat belts are fastened before you drive away.

For the Carpool Line Many parents participate in carpool. Here are a few tips for the carpool line.

• Cross only at intersections. Do not

• Do not park illegally! It can cause a

• Exiting the School Bus. Children who

• Do not blare your horn! It’s possible

unexpectedly from between parked

For Children/Students

• Never run into the street. Ever.

• Do not block alleys or driveways.

many accidents. Riders must also stop

• Put away your phone.

jaywalk.

do not hold up the line unnecessarily.

domino effect of traffic hazards and frustration for other drivers. Please be considerate of other parents. If you have retrieved your passengers, please

Wishing all the students in our community a wonderfully successful new year. ✿

Rabbi Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury attorney who represents clients in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He can be reached by calling (213) 293-6075, or visiting www. rabbilawyer.com. Follow him on twitter @rabbilawyer.


10

JANUARY 2016

kiddish

Slow Down! Find time to enjoy the journey. BY SUE PENN

Take the time to relax and be present with the people you love.

I

was sitting eating lunch with a

this message. It led me to reconsider

need to slow down and enjoy the

colleague a few weeks ago, when

my values, to think about how I spend

journey, however long it may be. Spend

she decided to share that she has

my time and money, and to be more

that little bit of extra time with your

a young son with a debilitating

purposeful in how I live my life. We live

loved ones, take time out to call a friend

disease, who may not live to be an

in exciting but scary times. Religious

or relative you’ve lost touch with, find

adult. As I sat there, processing what

extremism and terrorism exist side

the happiness in each day and enjoy

she had just shared, I felt sad about

by side with cures for cancer, virtual

those precious moments.

her situation and wondered how to

communities and advanced technology.

respond. I said, “I’m so sorry to hear

None of us know what tomorrow

that.” She responded by telling me

holds. We can only face each day with

that she has learned to consider each

the best of intentions. We can strive to

day a blessing and to slow down and

do good in the world, to fight evil and

enjoy the journey. This was a big “aha

spread light. Unfortunately, all of that

moment” for me.

can go away in an instant, something

I spent a long time thinking about

over which we have no control. We

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2016! ✿

Sue Penn is the mother of three, Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, president of Jewish Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.


Now Enrolling Kindergarten–3rd Grades

CONTEMPORARY JEWISH EDUCATION EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING POSITIVE TEACHING PHILOSOPHY A rich learning experience that includes: • Engaging Academic Rigor and Social Emotional Learning • Dynamic Torah Education and Hebrew Immersion • Small Student-Teacher Ratio and Individualized Learning • Affordable Tuition • Before and After School Care Available • Partnering with Families and Open Communication • Instilling Pride and Connection to Jewish Heritage

949-478-6818 www.irvinehebrewday.org

11


12

JANUARY 2016

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Mindful Parenting Starting the New Year Off Right BY TAMMY KECES

voices and give in to a cycle of rewards

Mindful Parenting can help keep you from flipping your lid.

and punishments. Fortunately, there is an encouraging alternative to “flipping your lid,” which brings us closer to our best selves and to our children: Mindful Parenting. It’s astonishing how we are able to arrive at mutually respectful solutions with our children, when we are calm enough to face our frustrations with a cool and clear mind. It is in those moments of experiencing a calm, rational brain that we begin to move in the

M

any years ago, when I

direction towards mindful parenting. The UCLA Mindful Awareness

found myself in a not-

Research Center defines mindful

so- peaceful parenting

awareness as, “Paying attention to present

moment, a wise person

moment experiences with openness,

advised me to repeat the phrase “Peace

curiosity, and a willingness to be with

begins with Me.” As we all know, parenting

what is. It is an excellent antidote to the

is hard. We lose our tempers, raise our

stresses of modern times. It invites us to


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13

JANUARY 2016

Take the time to connect with your children.

stop, breathe, observe, and connect with

begin their morning tefillah (prayer) by

one’s inner experience.” So, a mindful

sitting in a circle, bodies still and focusing

parent validates the child’s state of

on breath, to relax their inner noise

emotion by allowing him/her to be okay

preparing themselves for the day ahead.

with feelings of discomfort or frustration,

Most parents can attest to the fact

and acknowledges and accepts those

that raising children is one of the most

feelings, rather than rushing in to “fix” the

rewarding, but also the most emotionally

feeling or make it go away.

demanding experience of our lives;

In our busy states we often forget the

building a toolbox of strategies to help

value of breathing with intention, which

us navigate our course allows us to

instantly transforms our physiological

achieve our goals as parents and build

state. Our bodies respond positively

the loving relationships with our children

when we slow down long enough to

that we always hoped for. In those

“just breath,” calming our mind, body

moments, when you feel you may lose

and spirit. Mindfulness is known to

your mind, think: Mindfulness. You may

decrease anxiety and stress, enhance

find that these simple strategies bring

insightfulness, improve academic

extraordinary reward. ✿

learning and strengthen interpersonal relationships. It is for this reason that students at Irvine Hebrew Day School

Tammy Keces M.A. is the principle of Irvine Hebrew Day School and a lead Certified Positive Discipline Trainer.

IT IS IN THOSE MOMENTS OF EXPERIENCING A CALM, RATIONAL BRAIN THAT WE BEGIN TO MOVE IN THE DIRECTION TOWARDS MINDFUL PARENTING.


14

JANUARY 2016

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Choosing The “Right” Preschool The first step in formal education. BY LISA MONETTE

A

t this point the evidence is

things for themselves, from small tasks

conclusive, preschool is good

like pouring a cup of water to tackling

for our children. According

bigger issues like making decisions about

to the U.S. Department of

how to spend their free time.

Education, “Children in high quality

So we’re convinced, preschool is

preschools display stronger language,

important. Many preschools opened their

cognitive and social skills.”

registrations this month for the 2016-17

Kathleen McCartney, PhD, Harvard Graduate School of Education suggests

school year. It is already time to start planning your child’s future. How do you know which is the right

“At preschool, children become exposed

THEY LEARN HOW TO SOCIALIZE—GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHILDREN, SHARE AND CONTRIBUTE.

to numbers, letters and shapes. And, more

school for your child and for your family?

important, they learn how to socialize—

Visiting sites, talking to teachers, to the

get along with other children, share and

Director, and to parents is critical.

contribute.”

In addition to strengthening social

What is the look and feel of the school? Does it feel warm and

skills—how to compromise, be respectful,

inviting? Is it clean and organized,

and problem-solve—preschool provides a

or messy and chaotic? What kind

place where your child explores, plays and

of work is up on the walls? Do you

builds confidence. Children in preschool

see original art, or posters and

discover that they are capable and can do

worksheets?


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15

JANUARY 2016

With so many options, just which educational path should you choose for your children?

What are the safety procedures

How do parents get involved? Is

for picking up and dropping off

there an active parent organization?

children?

Can parents visit and volunteer in

What percentage of the staff hold

classrooms?

degrees in early childhood? What

Of course, there is the question

professional development does the

about discipline and social-emotional

school offer its teachers?

growth. How does the staff help children

How large are the classes and what is

resolve conflicts? We all expect to raise

the teacher-child ratio?

angels, but let’s be honest, a major part of

What does a typical day look like? Do children have time built in to choose activities? Studies show that when children have the chance to make choices, rather than having all

child development is testing boundaries. The way the school handles social and emotional issues should complement your approach at home. Consistency for preschool age children is essential. ✿

teacher-directed, they have better long-term academic outcomes. •

How much do the children play? Running around, active and imaginative play all are essential.

Lisa Monette has worked with children for over 15 years, she is the Director of the Sheila and Eric Samson Family Early Childhood Center at the Merage JCC. Contact Lisa at lisam@jccoc.org.

MANY PRESCHOOLS OPENED THEIR REGISTRATIONS THIS MONTH FOR THE 201617 SCHOOL YEAR. IT IS ALREADY TIME TO START PLANNING YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE.


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Jlife Jan 2016  

Jlife Jan 2016

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