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March 2016 Adar I/Adar II 5776

Of Courage and Hate Lessons of Purim Forward, March! JFFS Program Propels Women Forward


An Exclusive Interview with our Favorite “Captain”






50 Shades of Shatner



Love, Life…and Beyond

Going to a Place where youàlready Are by Bekah Brunstetter directed by Marc Masterson

Roberta’s claim to have gone to heaven and back sounds crazy. But is it?

March 6 – 27 • Julianne Argyros Stage


Stephen Ellis

Linda Gehringer

Hal Landon Jr.

Rebecca Mozo Christopher Thornton

Honorary Producers: YVONNE AND DAMIEN JORDAN &



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4 MARCH 2016 |



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O.C.’s Fresh Faces



JLIFE | Adar I/Adar II 5776 | MARCH 2016

Fresh Orange Jews

Israel Scene

A Letter from the Publisher Introducing

Drinking as A Religious Obligation


Purim in Israel is a national party.

Babs Revisted

Annual Biblical Trial

On the Lighter Side



Was Moses Guilty of Destroying G-d’s Property?

Shushan Purim



Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere

Israeli Guy




With Chesed (Loving Kindness) Honoring Developmental Disabilities Month



Letters/Who Knew


Words from our Readers

Forward, March! JFFS Program Propels Women Forward


First & Foremost


The Other Queen

An Unparalleled Investment in Aronoff Preschool Faculty Professional Development

News & Jews

CIAO, Orange County!


Of Courage and Hate Lessons of Purim



Junun A Film/Album Review




O.C. Jewish Scene


Seniors Calendar Fitness, Education & More


Advertising Index Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 34. 48

Cooking Jewish With Judy Bart Kancigor


Out & About A Guide to OC Fun


Crossword On the Edge (revisited) All About Bill

28 On the Cover 50 Shades of Shatner An Exclusive Interview with our Favorite “Captain”

Cover photo by Rory Lewis Page 53


| MARCH 2016 9

A Bissel Tarbut V’Torah


an inquisitive learner THEN YOU’RE INVITED TO:


What: A Showcase of Jewish Learning by Students of the Samson Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies When: March 10th, 6:00-8:00 PM Where: TVT Lower Campus IF YOU’RE:

A Passover Seder Leader or Enlivener THEN YOU’RE INVITED TO:


What: Learn insights and innovations to bring to your seder table—every 7 minutes. When: April 6th, 7:00-8:30 PM Where: TVT Upper Campus IF YOU’RE:

An Upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah Child (+ parent) THEN YOU’RE INVITED TO:

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DVAR TORAH BOOT CAMP What: A place for your child to gain multiple ideas and perspectives about his/her Torah Portion – in 7 minute increments. When: May 17th, 6:30-8:00 Where: TVT Upper Campus

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It’s as simple as 1,2,3! 1. Go to 2. Click on ‘Submit an Article’ 3. Fill in the necessary information • 949-509-9500 5 Federation Way · Irvine, CA 92603 Made Possible by a Community Impact Grant Founded in loving memory of Naomi Gelman Weiss

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Proud Member

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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A BOUTIQUE SHUL THAT YOU CAN JOIN BY INVITATION ONLY I would like to tell you about my shul and me — and why we might be a good fit for you . . . My name is Rabbi Dov Fischer. Some call me “Professor Fischer” because I am an adjunct at two prominent Orange County law schools. Some call me “Counselor” because I bring fifteen years sophisticated legal practice to my rabbinical role, and I continue practicing litigation as an active member of the State Bar. Most just call me “Rabbi” — because that is my calling, my vocation and my life’s avocation. A Rabbi for 35 years — and I love it. In my role as Rav, I counsel couples in crisis, and I counsel other couples looking to reinvigorate their marriages. I conduct weddings. I counsel teens and college kids — and families. I teach pre-teens for bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah. I also advise and counsel some of the most prominent leading rabbis throughout the United States, in a role that my colleagues call “A Rabbi’s Rabbi.” And I root for the Mets (and Yankees) (and Giants) (and Jets). But most of all, I teach Torah for adults of all ages and backgrounds. I teach Torah with commentaries. I teach Hebrew Language and Conversation. I teach Talmud. Virtually every night of the week, I teach Torah here in Irvine. On Sundays, I teach the only class of its kind for Women in Orange County: a challenging, intensive, textbased class on Judaic values, texts, history, and ideas. And I conduct a modest Prayer Service every Friday night, Shabbat Morning, and Sunday Morning. I have been the Rabbi for eight Orange County Orthodox conversions to Judaism. I conduct weddings. (I let another guy do the brisses.) In short, with my darling

and wonderful wife as my life companion and best buddy, my life is devoted to serving the Jewish community. Our shul is called “Young Israel of Orange County.” (“Young Israel” is a national body of 140 congregations, named for the young adults who founded the Modern Orthodox movement in America a hundred years ago. Most of us are between 40-65, with lots younger and older.) Our 80 member households include a remarkably exciting blend of well educated and sophisticated people, successful and dynamic men and women, creative minds. Doctors, entrepreneurs, attorneys, realtors, accountants, high-techies, interior decorators, professors, whatever. Not all come to us with great Jewish backgrounds, but all love to learn and grow. None of us feels it ever is too late to grow Jewishly. Our “Boutique Shul” accepts our members carefully. That way we have a great group, and we leave kvetchers and “shul politics” for other places in town. We are diverse — even six families who are Democrat liberals. We were founded February 29, 2008. In this our eighth year, we just celebrated our second anniversary (the “Pirates of Penzance” thing.) We need the guys among you to help us with making minyan, and we would love to welcome you all into our family and into our Torah classes — each and every Jewish man and woman in The O.C. who would like to grow and evolve Jewishly. Just drop us an email at Give us a call at: (949) 300-8899. Check us out online at www.yioc. org. It can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Just in time for all our Purim events (Megillah, dinner, movie) March 23-24. — Rabbi Dov Fischer


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Kvetch & Kvell

Who Knew? GENETIC MEMORIES? Dear Editor: In a recent issue, there is an invitation for readers to write about our experiences with genetic genealogy. When I converted to Judaism, almost 49 years ago, I had no suspicion that later a DNA test would indicate that I had Jewish ancestry. I took the DNA Fingerprint Plus test given by DNA Consultants. It indicated both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish ancestry. On my world population matches, Jewish was in first place. I have had many experiences that just don’t make sense without Jewish ancestry. For example, when I first started attending Jewish services, I often experienced strong, nostalgic feelings about Jewish things. Later, a Jewish lady was extremely surprised when I told her that I was a convert. She said, “A Jew can usually sense another Jew, and I didn’t question it one bit when you told me you were Jewish.” A few years prior to my DNA test, I

started suspecting that I must have Jewish ancestry, but it didn’t seem to make sense. The people whom I read about, who found out as adults that they had Jewish ancestry, were children or grandchildren of immigrants. In contrast, I had ancestors in this country before, or soon after its founding. When I found out that there are identifiable descendants of the crypto-Jews of Spain and Portugal, who converted to Christianity but continued to practice Judaism in secret, a chill ran down my spine. Descendants of those Spanish and Portuguese crypto-Jews are still secretly practicing at least some aspects of Judaism. My DNA test did indicate some Portuguese ancestry. I suspect that there is crypto-Judaism on at least one side of my family, but unfortunately, the evidence is only circumstantial. Even though I can only wonder about the crypto-Judaism, knowing from the DNA test that I have some Jewish ancestry enables me to make sense of my unusual experiences. Norma Kellam

We welcome your letters! Email with your feedback. 16 MARCH 2016 |


Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer and songwriter. He has an incredible body of work, but he is best known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise. And did you know that Nimoy is Jewish? He is the son of Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine. Not only that, but for the character of “Spock” Nimoy drew upon his childhood experiences. “Spock is an alien, wherever he is,” said Nimoy. “He’s not human. He’s not Vulcan. He’s half and half—what we used to call a half-breed... he’s not totally accepted in the Vulcan culture because he’s not totally Vulcan. And he’s certainly not totally accepted in the human culture because he’s part Vulcan. That alienation was something I learned in Boston. I knew what it meant to be a member of a minority—and in some cases, an outcast minority. So I understood that aspect of the character, and I think it was helpful in playing him.” Nimoy also goes on to say that the iconic “live long and prosper” salute that he created for the character was remixed from a Jewish benediction ritual.

Have you ever had Shabbat dinner or lunch at the home of an Orthodox rabbi and rebbetzin? Just you, a companion, and maybe two or three other people at an intimate Shabbat table? Come join us for Shabbat dinner or lunch — free of charge; it’s our mitzvah — and experience Shabbat with us. Drop us an email, and let’s do it! Rabbi Dov Fischer Young Israel of Orange County

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| MARCH 2016 17



WHEN IT COMES to selecting a costume for their Purim party, most little girls choose to dress up as Queen Esther. But I would like to put forth—for your consideration—another choice Queen Vashti. The book of Esther begins with a description of the Persian King Ahasuerus celebrating with the leading men of his kingdom. After seven days of feasting and drinking, the king calls Queen Vashti to appear before him. The text says he calls her “in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she Rabbinic scholars was lovely to look at” (Esther 1:11). But Queen Vashti were eager to refuses and “then the king prove that Vashti became furious and burned was wicked, with anger” (verse 12). One readily assume that her attenconceited and of the King’s ministers advisdance at the feast was sought deserved her fate. es him to make an example to entertain the men in some of her, lest the women of way. So she said NO! the kingdom learn of her In a 2013 post, Isabel Kaplan makes a good behavior and begin refusing their husbands case for Vashti. She points out that, “rabbinic demands. Exit Queen Vashti. scholars were eager to prove that Vashti was Though the text doesn’t explain why Vashti wicked, conceited and deserved her fate. They refused to appear, a variety of theories have asserted some pretty ridiculous reasons for been suggested. According to Esther 1:11, her eventual demise.” However, these unflatQueen Vashti was told to appear “wearing her tering descriptions of Vashti are not found royal crown,” so one rabbinic tradition inter- in the Book of Esther, but come from later prets this as the king’s instruction to wear only commentary. Kaplan continues explaining her royal crown—in other words, to appear that Talmudic scholars came up with a host naked. According to that tradition, Queen of theories and explanations about Vashti and Vashti refused because she did not want to be her fate - theories that ranged from unfounded put on display. This view is not found in the to absurd: from leprosy to the sudden growth biblical text, nor is it supported by history. of a tail. However, it is likely that Vashti refused to “These theories,” writes Kaplan,” are based appear because she would have been humili- on the assumption that Vashti did not refuse the ated in some way. Think about it: the king and king’s summons because of her principles and his men had been feasting and drinking for dignity, but rather because she was ashamed of seven days. How noble could their intentions her body because of some deformity.” Besides have been in calling her to the party? One can being highly improbable, the Megillah offers no 18 MARCH 2016 |


evidence to support this; on the contrary, in it, Vashti is described as beautiful. Perhaps for Esther to rise, Vashti must first fall, and if Vashti’s fall was deserved and justified, the story is simplified. Then we can ignore poor Queen Vashti and can move on with the story and its primary focus—saving of the Jews. Kaplan asks isn’t the Purim story, the town of Shushan and even our own world big enough for two or more female heroes? I too feel that it is high time that Vashti “receives the appreciation and respect that she deserves, as a woman who said ‘No.’ As Kaplan says, let’s celebrate Vashti for having the courage to stand up to a drunken, salacious and demanding king, just as we celebrate Esther for persuading that same drunken king to free the Jews. 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.

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Finding humor in times of trouble.


THERE IS SOMETHING to be said about living in a country that is always a hair’s-breadth away from war. Not that hugging a husband who packs a pistol isn’t occasionally awkward, or having my purse searched before buying milk doesn’t get tedious after a while. But between the spikes in tension and fear, lie moments of unbridled mirth. Sometimes you just have to laugh. Dishes break, the dog poops on the Persian carpet, the car won’t start; I still choose laughter over disappointment because I live in Israel where chuckling is a rarity on most days. Until I moved here, the word “war” evoked images and feelings that are so very different from the technicolor reality. War was far away and bore foreign faces; war was villages without running water and poorly thatched huts with dirt floors. Soldiers were large, generic and laden with khaki rucksacks, helmets, muddy boots and heavy weaponry. The other opinions I held about the military were so uninformed, I’m too ashamed to share. Israel is under siege. Under siege by virtue of media lies, overt and orchestrated anti-semitism and really bad people with bombs, firearms, runaway tractors and knives. The Middle East’s only democracy experiences war unlike my childhood imagination. War is in our parking lots and hospital cafeterias. Our soldiers are the once-baby boys and girls who watched Barney and that we rocked to sleep with lips pressed to fevered brows. Our homes are not huts; we have marble floors and indoor plumbing. Still, it seems that every day there is a blood-bath somewhere in our land and, despite the hair-trigger vigilance of our security forces, wily murderers frequently elude the defensive measures. They’re usually shot dead,


resulting in a feeble Facebook round-of-applause, but take it from someone sitting in the front row of the conflict: Dodging inner-city guerrilla attacks takes a toll on one’s emotional well-being. It affects marriages, parenting and workplace productivity. Which brings me back to that laughter thing: One day I couldn’t reach my husband and knowing he’d been working in dangerous territory, I got a little crazed. When he finally called, it took some time to regain my balance. Eventually calm, I was chopping vegetables for soup when I heard what seemed to be a huge explosion coming from the bathroom. It was merely the dryer falling off it’s perch from atop the washing machine. Unfortunately, the door was closed and it became jammed. Water was seeping from under the door and the dryer-drum continued it’s loud cycle, stuffed with damp laundry. Waiting for the handyman husband to return home, I tried in vain to pry the door open when I lost traction and fell. One foot rammed the wall and I broke a toe. Wet, injured, and concerned about the cost of the still unknown damages, I was still sitting on the sopping floor when my husband came home. He took one look at me, the mess, and together we exhibited the most Israeli of responses. We laughed. 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


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On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR


Babs Revisted

What happened to the doll moms loved to hate?


AFTER YEARS OF hearing mothers lament about how Barbie poisons young girls’ minds with an unrealistic ideal of womanhood, Mattel created a new line of Barbies, with three different body types (short, tall and curvy), 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. These are not “friends” of Barbie, but actual Barbies. I should be rejoicing. But instead, I feel a little disquieted. It was so much easier to bash Barbie when she was the mean girl from high school, with the perfect coif and the impossible bust-line. But seeing her transformation is like running into your nemesis 20 years after graduation in the plussize aisle at Target and having her bend your ear about her scaring divorce. I need Barbie to remain ridiculously proportioned and blonde. The uber shiksa with the unobtainable curves. I need her to be that way because—after all these years¬—I realize that my problem with Barbie wasn’t a problem at all. As it turns out, I relied on Barbie to be blonde and button-nosed because I needed a foil for my Jewishness. I needed her to represent the ideal for assimilation, as well as the ideal for womanhood, so that I could know what to push back against, as well as what to embrace. It’s not for nothing that Barbie was created by a Jewish woman. Ruth Handler named the iconic doll after her daughter, Barbara (yes, Handler’s son’s name was Ken). At the time, the dolls were part of the feminist revolution. Barbie had a career, a home, a great car and an amazing wardrobe. And she did it all without a husband. After a while, though, girls stopped seeing Barbie as a role model and started focusing on her looks. I was one of them.


My kinky brown curls were far more conspicuous in the face of her silken blonde locks; my olive-toned hands stood out as I manipulated the perfect peachness of her plastic flesh. In creating my own funkier furniture for her Malibu dream home, and letting Skipper take the wheel of Barbie’s Corvette, I could discover how integral “otherness” was to my identity. What I learned by playing with Barbies is not that I wanted to be a scientist (in high heels) or an astronaut (in high heels) or a doctor (in high heels). It’s that I wanted to be a rebel. The counter-culture Jew girl who never wore a drop of makeup. In the absence of something to rebel against, what am I? This is the question that I’m left with now that Mattel has transformed this aspirational symbol of glamour into a panoply of gals who look as though they’re headed to Applebee’s on their lunch break. It’s the question that I’ll have to puzzle over as I decide whether to buy a Barbie for my daughter. But, it’s a question I welcome. After all these years, Barbie has given me something to play with. A Mayrav Saar is a writer in Los Angeles.



Shushan Purim An extra day to celebrate.


ON FRIDAY MARCH 25, while Jews in the rest of the country (and the world) will be getting ready for Shabbat, the Jews of Jerusalem will be celebrating Purim—complete with Megilah reading in the morning, sending baskets of food items to neighbors (“mishloach manot”), and sitting down to a festive Purim meal. The reason for Jerusalem’s Purim stems from the end of Megilat Esther, where we learn that the Jews of Shushan were given an extra day to slay their foes, and so, they celebrated Purim on the 15th day of the month of Adar. In Jewish tradition, this day became known as Shushan Purim, a day for Jews living in walled cities (like Shushan) to celebrate the holiday. As an acknowledgment to the centrality of the Land of Israel, which lay in ruins at the purported time of the Purim story (fifth century BCE), the rabbis determined that all walled cities from the time of Joshua would celebrate on that special extra day. Today, because of this decision, Jerusalem is the only city to exclusively observe Purim on the 15th day of Adar. I asked a few of my Jerusalem friends if there is anything special about celebrating Shushan Purim. Jonathan Duitch says that the day “reminds me how special the city is—our Sages changed the parameters of the holiday [by backdating “walled cities” to Joshua’s time] to give honor to Jerusalem.” Jonathan also notes a major advantage in celebrating Purim on the night of the 15th: celebrants are not concluding a day-long fast. For the rest of the Jewish world, which begins celebrating Purim on the night of the 14th (which this year is Wednesday night March 23), the reading of the Megilah is incorporated into the evening service that concludes the Fast of Esther. During the Megilah reading, you sort of can tell who is fasting—they are the ones looking at the noisemakers with murder in their eyes. Most of my respondents wrote that they do not find anything unique per se to the celebration of Shushan Purim. Madeleine Lavine and Frances Oppenheimer in fact point to the down side in celebrating a day late. Madeleine says: “I think the Purim experience in Jerusalem is just a longer one!” And Frances explains: “I think the biggest problem with Purim in Jerusalem is that when it finally happens I am already sick of it—


The walled city of Jerusalem

school parties, maybe a grown-up party and then finally it’s Purim in Jerusalem.” Many people who live in communities close to Jerusalem have friends who invite them for the Shushan Purim festive meal. For me, that friend is Shira TwerskyCassel, a Jerusalem resident for approximately half a century and my mother’s dearest friend. I am happy to close here with Shira’s comment: “If our Sages’ intention in having Shushan Purim be observed separately in walled cities, specifically Jerusalem, was to insure the rebirth of life in Jerusalem for future times, they succeeded tenfold.” 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.



28 MARCH 2016 |



Shades of

Shatner An Exclusive Interview with our Favorite “Captain” BY TANYA SCHWIED & DR. LISA GRAJEWSKI

William Shatner is going to be 85 years old soon. Not long after he hits that milestone,

Star Trek, the franchise that made him famous, will hit a milestone of its own, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. During

Star Trek’s half-century reign as one of pop culture’s most beloved science fiction franchises, William Shatner learned to lean into his Captain Kirk roots and the fandom that’s embraced him for the past 50 years Don’t miss a great opportunity to hear Mr. Shatner speak on March 6 at Temple Bat Yahm.

(and counting). That includes several generations of diehard Trekkies, NASA engineers, and even real-life astronauts! Jlife

| MARCH 2016 29



n addition to his iconic roles on television he’s made albums, won Emmys, directed films, written novels, “moonlights” as the Priceline negotiator, and just recently ended a run of his one-man show Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It. I’m tired from just writing all of that! You would think Mr. Shatner would start to slow down but he is only starting to ramp up for another banner year. His most recent endeavor is a powerfully emotional book, Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, which has already received rave reviews. Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventynine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine. In his book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life. Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another. Recently, Jlife Magazine’s very own coeditors got to sit down and chat (via phone) with the Enterprise captain himself about his legacy, his friendship with Nimoy, and he finally sets the record straight with the ageold question: Star Trek or Star Wars? Tell us about the book Leonard and one story that you believe best describes Leonard [Nimoy] and your friendship, perhaps one piece of advice that he gave you. The book is about friendship. The book, by the way, is getting rave reviews. It’s about friendship over a 50-year period, but also how difficult friendship is for men—specifically that men have more difficulty making friends and keeping 30 MARCH 2016 |


As for a story about Leonard, one that comes to mind is, his grandfather worked in leather—he either made shoes or repaired shoes—something like that. When [Leonard] would go home to Boston and [this] grandfather lived with his parents, Leonard would go home and while talking to his grandfather, he would find his grandfather’s fingers in his shoes feeling around the leather and the heel. And he realized he was checking them out to see whether he had the money to have his shoes repaired, thus he was able to ascertain how well Leonard was doing.

Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set.

them than women. Whether that is nurture or nature I’m not sure. In my case, I never had friends that were of the depth of Leonard, but slowly over the years we became brothers that define that kind of friendship. That’s what the book is about. I never had that kind of thing before, and having achieved it was remarkable to me. His death was a severe loss in my life. When you lose somebody you love, with whom you’ve had life experiences, all of those life experiences are not validated anymore. ‘Remember when we did this?’ There’s nobody left to say that to, so that memory is lost. A part of your life goes.

This year is Star Trek’s 50th anniversary; we would like to know how playing the iconic role of Captain Kirk has impacted your life. Look how much good it has impacted upon me. I am talking to you, 50 years later, about a friendship that happened because of Star Trek. And I dealt with a whole circle of life with Leonard, from birth—the birth of his children, the birth of him as an actor—to death—his death, his passing, dealt with the grief, the eternal questions of what happens to a soul. All of the meaningful questions of life we awaken to and deal with when someone dies came to the forefront as a result of Star Trek. Add to that, on March 6th we are having an event that will help people, and people are coming to celebrate that. All as a result of what Star Trek has brought. The March 6th event you are referring to is that you are appearing at Temple Bat Yahm here in Orange County. What can we expect and look forward to? I don’t know. I am appearing and answering questions. Scott Siegel, President of Temple Bat Yahm, chimes in: You’re providing concepts from the book about humanity and a search for G-d. Not only does it have a search for G-d, it has moral questions on when to stand on principle and when to be politic. As the director of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the creation and meaning behind the film was quite a spiritual experience, considering the plot is how Captain Continued on page 32

Need an experienced Rabbi to talk to, in a pastoral context? A spiritual issue? Marriage counseling? Family issues? Drop me an email. Let me hear from you. I care. Rabbi Dov Fischer Young Israel of Orange County


| MARCH 2016 31

COVER STORY Continued from page 30

We are a Jewish lifestyle magazine. You were raised in Conservative and Orthodox Judaism and your grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. What aspects do you still incorporate in your life today? I am more spiritual in my Jewishness than in the formality; my parents had a kosher home, I do not. I was brought up with kashrut, treif was treif—no seafood. But I eat seafood. I imparted to one daughter the social and spiritual meaning of Judaism and as a result she holds Passover services at her home, which we all go to, and I used to attend Yom Kippur with Leonard at his shul—I would get seats with him—and we both worshiped at that shul and made sure we said [Yizkor] the prayers for the dead. Speaking of Leonard and Judaism, we read somewhere the “live long and prosper” phrase was Leonard’s idea based on the blessing of the Kohanim. Did he ever speak with you about that? That is part of the book as well as the shekinah, where he got this finger thing. Yes, he was very much more Jewish than I am. In fact he was raised speaking Yiddish, and I saw a piece of film of him doing Hamlet, “To be, or not to be” in Yiddish. As an author of over 30 books, we wonder what you are reading right now? I have 20 or 30 books on my telephone. I just finished a book on Attila the Hun. I am in the middle of a book about the Lusitania, that took America into World War I—The Wake. I finished The Martian. And I just completed the Revenant. We also read you are doing a new mini-series, can you tell us a little bit about it? Yes, it is called Better Late than Never, in which Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman, Henry Winkler, and myself spend a month in Japan, Thailand, Korea, and … someplace else in Asia. It will be on in May. 32 MARCH 2016 |



Kirk and his crew must deal with Mr. Spock’s long-lost half-brother who hijacks the Enterprise for an obsessive search for G-d at the center of the galaxy.

“I dealt with a whole circle of life with Leonard, from birth—the birth of his children, the birth of him as an actor—to death—his death, his passing.”

In the mean time I’m out on tour with my one-man show, called Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It. I was on Broadway with it and toured for a while—now I’m touring for a couple of weeks. In addition to that I have a science fiction novel coming out in late fall. You are involved in equine therapy. Can you speak to that and how it impacts your life? Thirty years ago I saw a Thalidomide Baby [thalidomide was a drug marketed in the 50s and 60s as a mild sleep aid that caused phocomelia, a side

effect in babies born to mothers who took the drug. Phocomelia is a condition that causes extremities to be attached close to the trunk.] She was missing one leg, had no arms and she was holding the rein of the horse in her toes - a beautiful child with that kind of handicap. The women who were running the program were discontinuing it as they could not raise the funds to keep it going. And I blithely said, “I’ll take over the horse show” thinking, “how difficult can that be?” So, 30 years later and several million dollars of contributions later, we have helped many, many children’s charities around this area, including many having to do with equine therapy. It was discovered, or rediscovered, that individuals—and this now applies to our veterans coming back from the wars, because they suffer many of the ills that these children suffer from, dissociation, mental, social—and the horses have a benign effect on them—a magical effect on the children and the veterans. It has to do with the physical [nature] of the horse, the largeness, the control that the people have on [the horse’s] back. It is also suggested, and I believe this myself, that the horses have a spirit that is a calming spirit that is part of the magic of the horse and the human being. Our last question to you: Star Trek or Star Wars? Infinitely Star Trek! Thank you, it was a pleasure to speak with you. There you have it folks, the man the myth the legend. Be sure to check out his website for all things Shatner,, and check your local TV listings for the new series, Better Late than Never on NBC. It might be cheesy but it’s the only way to properly end a William Shatner interview… Live long and prosper. A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services. 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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Hanukkah at the Mandel House.

WITH CHESED (LOVING KINDNESS) Honoring Developmental Disabilities Month BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.

IN 1987, PRESIDENT Ronald Reagan declared March as Developmental Disabilities Month. As a community we celebrate those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our Orange County Jewish Community. It can be understood that Judaism has always been enlightened when it comes to special needs; the Torah specifically prohibits “cursing the deaf or putting a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14). However, society tainted the way many, including our own Jewish community, viewed those with special needs. Often the intellectually and developmentally disabled were institutionalized and subjected to neglect and barbaric treatments. Children were kept ostracized from other children in “special” classrooms, and the lifespan of a child with a developmen34 MARCH 2016 |


tal disability was substantially shorter than a typical child. Until the 1980s, we often failed to see the value and importance of caring for individuals with developmental disabilities. The answer was to shut them away—either in hospital rooms, “special” classrooms—or by disabling them further with psychosurgery and medication. According to Reega Neutel, MSW, Coordinator, Special Needs Services at JFFS. “Taking care of [the] developmentally disabled in our society is a fundamental requirement in any community.” It is especially relevant to the Jewish community due to the concepts of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Tzedakah (charity), and Chesed (loving kindness). And it is especially relevant now. As our population grows so does today’s population of children

and adults with learning disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Down syndrome. According to Neutel, recent research reports the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome in the U.S. is approximately 60 years. That is an increase of 35 years since 1983. Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased 289.5%, ADHD 33% and developmental disabilities 17% in the last 15 years. This indicates that awareness and inclusion are key. Look around the Orange County Jewish Community and inclusion appears to be at the forefront. Programs like Friendship Circle provide a wide range of programming for families and children with special needs; Jeremiah Society serves the needs of Jewish adults with special needs; and Mandel House is Orange County’s first Jewish residential home for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Under the direction of Dr. Lauren Gavshon, JFFS Interim CEO, Mandel House has become part of the solution to a shortage of housing and residential facilities for the growing population of adults with special needs. In all of the Jewish programs supporting intellectual and developmental disabilities, dignity is part of the theme that runs through the Orange County Jewish community. Programming highlights the core values of dignity, respect and compassion for those served. We have come a long way from the days of shame, secrecy, and misguided therapies… But we still have a long way to go. In honor of March, the Whiteboard at work asked the simple question: How can we include those with intellectual and developmental disabilities? My question back: How can we NOT? 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.


A Symphony of Uniqueness Jewish Diversity in The O.C. Celebrate Each Day! A Lifetime of Positivity

Purim 101 Put on Your Party Pants MARCH 2016


a peek inside march 2016







Celebrating Jewish Diversity in the O.C.

Irvine Hebrew Day School Moves

Set your children up for a lifetime of positivity.

also inside! Editor’s Note 06 Super Shabbos 07 Kosher Dog 15

For March Calendar Events please visit:





Don’t forget the lessons of this celebratory holiday.

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ello Dear Readers and welcome to a new edition


of Kiddish magazine. Spring is here and the time

for celebration has sprung! In addition to the aroma of California wildflowers, the smell of

Purim is in the air. The hamentaschen is baking, the wine (for

parents) has been selected and the costume ideas are too

EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581


many and too cute to decide upon. However, there is more

(949) 812-1891

to Purim than just boisterous Halloween-ish revelry. Purim


is actually a great time to celebrate our family and friends and give back to people in need. In fact, one of the lessons of Purim is matanot l’evyonim (giving charity). Another lesson is that of mishloach manot (giving gifts to one another). Specifically, this lesson instructs us to give the gift of food (one gift of two portions of ready-made food). Hello yummy casseroles and tasty nibblers. What a great excuse to show



your love in a creative way that goes straight to the heart (and tummy). It is also a perfect opportunity to spend some time in the kitchen as a family and teach the next generation the family recipes you so cherish. Rarely do we get the excuse to really indulge in tasty treats and acts of kindness so why not use this opportunity to spread the love (and the carbs). After all, it is a time to celebrate!

— Tracey Armstrong Gorsky, Editor in Chief

Editor Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is the managing editor for Jlife and former editor and writer for Making Waves, Pet Product News, Veterinary Practice News and Surfing Magazine. She brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to Kiddish magazine and holds a Masters in Business Administration.

OCJL is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to OCJL, 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste. 204, San Diego, CA 92121. Orange County Jewish Life is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. OCJL is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to OCJL become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.



ACROSS 2. ‫( נהר‬23:31) 4. ‫( שן‬21:24) 6. ‫( לבד‬22:19)

DOWN 1. ‫( ארבעים‬24:18) 3. ‫( לפני‬21:1) 5. ‫( יד‬21:12) 7. ‫( אכל‬24:11) 8. ‫( שור‬21:32)





(Hint: Laws of Damages, Parsha Mishpatim, Ch. 22, verses 4-8)





• ֿThe teacher yelled at you for talking when you weren’t. • Your lunch was missing from your locker.

Can you judge these situations favorably?

you be the judge




Check your answers at:





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


• A Jew lending money to another Jew. (22:24) • The Shabbat of the week and of the years. (23:10)

Act out these scenes with friends and family:


Courage: Befriend another child that doesn't have many friends.

good trait OF THE MONTH







































© 2015 The Famous Abba

Brought to you by:






































































Find the bold italic words on this sheet. The unused letters spell a secret message!

The Torah details the law of a Jewish slave. If someone hurts another person on purpose, he is punished. If it was done by accident, there is a place to which he can run for safety and to seek refuge. The Torah tells us not to hurt a mother or father or to kidnap another person. If an animal hurts a person more than once, then the owner of the animal will be punished. Jews are commanded not to leave open pits in the ground, not to steal animals, and to make sure their animals don’t cause any damage. HaShem also gave the laws of borrowing and lending objects to other Jews. A Jew is told to be extra nice and help converts, orphans and widows and to extend interest free loans to other Jews. Judges must be honest at all times. Jews are permitted to work the land for 6 years and the 7th year is Shabbat for the land. HaShem tells the Jews to come to Him for Passover, Shavuos and Succot. HaShem says He will help remove the people currently living in Israel so the Jews can live there. The Jewish people agreed to everything that HaShem said and declared “We will do and we listen ”. Moshe went to the top of the mountain to receive the stone tablets.













‫לז‬ +‫ג‬

‫כ‬ x‫ה‬


‫ע‬ ‫סח צא‬ - ‫ סט‬- ‫לד ÷ פט‬

















weekly chinuch podcast - over 100 posted! parsha + chinuch < 5 minutes

400 300 200 100 90


‫א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת‬

‫א‬ x‫א‬

The Gemara details the laws of damages in:


• Into which blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh is "Al Ha-Nissim" inserted into on Purim? • True or False: One should recite 4 blessings at a meal consisting of water, spaghetti, meatballs, and green beans.





spot the difference

A shochet's knife An apple on a tree An orange on a table Your pet’s food

Which one is different? (Hint: The 3 Pilgrimage Festivals, Ch. 23)

• • • •

Muktzeh is something that is not “prepared” for use before Shabbat and can’t be moved during Shabbat. Are the following items muktzeh?


Share two things that made you think about HaShem this week.




MARCH 2016


A Symphony of Uniqueness Celebrating Jewish Diversity in the O.C. BY TAMMY KECES M.A.

Let’s celebrate our differences.


e have all heard the comical saying: “Ask two Jews, Get three opinions!” With over

100,000 Jews in Orange County today, imagine the number of opinions among us about what a Shabbat service should look like, how to conduct a Passover seder or the best bagel in town. We are all of the same tribe, yet it presents a mindboggling challenge to identify the thread that could unite us as a people. Our best clue, perhaps, comes from a quote from the Ethics of Our Fathers, “Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from all people.” At Irvine Hebrew Day School we embrace this adage by guiding our



MARCH 2016

Jewish knowledge is a unifying tool, the way music is to a symphony.

children in the celebration of diversity

Just as musicians must learn music

which begins with learning from one

fundamentals to create complex harmony,

another. Our children practice listening

Jewish people can be equipped with

without judgement, asking respectful

core Jewish knowledge as a unifying

curiosity questions and solving differences

tool. Our traditions, values and teachings

cooperatively as a community. Beginning

belong to each one of us, regardless of our

with our children, we are uniting Jewish

differences; and as we delve into Jewish

families from all backgrounds, teaching

texts and learn more about our heritage,

them to rejoice in that which unites us

we stop focusing on the colors of the

and to embrace our differences. As Rabbi

individual thread, but enjoy the tapestry

Jonathan Sacks says: “We celebrate both

as a whole.

our commonalities and differences,

To build unity and celebrate our

because if we had nothing in common we

uniqueness, let us teach our children

could not communicate, and if we had

that Jewish individuality is the force that

everything in common, we would have

strengthens us as a people. ✿

nothing to say.” How does one celebrate Jewish diversity and create true Jewish unity?

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



MARCH 2016


New Digs! Irvine Hebrew Day School Moves BY KIDDISH

Get ready for some new views.

Jewish creativity and self-expression through our innovative music program, supported by a JFFS grant and a generous private donation, which blends spiritual exploration with best practices in music education. IHDS has also designed a unique multi-modal arts program supported in part by a JCF grant, which explores Jewish themes in a variety of creative art forms. Our contemporary Jewish education is one that achieves spiritual growth through Jewish literacy, questioning,


active engagement, personal connection

rvine Hebrew Day School is

to join a campus that shares those values.

and meaningful discussion. Achieving

relocating to its new home on

Most importantly, IHDS teaches children

fluency in both Hebrew language and

the fully renovated Temple Beth

the language of celebrating diversity;

Jewish studies sets the foundation for a

Shalom campus! Situated on five-

showing them how to rejoice in that

lifetime of spiritual fulfillment, Jewish

acres including playgrounds, open fields

which unites us, and enjoy the process

connection and continuity.

and gardens for organic planting and

of exploring our differences. In teaching

meditation, students will enjoy both the

the language of mutual respect, we are

and Irvine will have access to a shuttle to

open play spaces for outdoor exploration

creating a united Jewish future.

and from the Beth Jacob/Samson Family

as well as the spacious classrooms

IHDS is committed to inquiry-

Students from south Orange County

Campus. We look forward to welcoming

designed for state of the art, progressive

based and experiential learning in all

the community to an open house on our


subjects, using the most proven and

new campus in the very near future.

Irvine Hebrew Day School values and celebrates diversity, and is honored

reputable curricula to investigate, think analytically and discover. It fosters

To learn more about IHDS visit our website at â&#x153;ż

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




MARCH 2016


Celebrate Each Day! Set your children up for a lifetime of positivity. BY SUE PENN

Every new day brings with it new possibilities.

grocery store, hear about a sick friend losing their fight with an illness, come face to face with a tragedy, or be in the midst of a personal or professional struggle. However, we are blessed to be in the position to confront these challenges! We wake up to a new day and are able to problem solve. Where there is life, there is hope - each new day brings additional possibilities. Nelson Mandela’s quote reminds us that we each have our personal baggage and struggles, but how we deal with them is what defines us. For our children to see us celebrating each new day, finding meaning and relevance in


every situation, facing the world with a

t is what we make out of

food, human interaction and often, love.

what we have, not what we

We are truly blessed to experience the

are given, that separates one

beauty of each new day, to enjoy the

person from another.”

unknown potential and promise the

—Nelson Mandela Waking up every morning is cause for celebration! A brand new day, filled with sunshine (or inclement weather),

day holds for us, and even to face the challenges that it may bring our way. Of course life isn’t perfect! We may have an accident on the way to the

positive outlook, sets them up for success. We are modelling optimism and helping them face their future with sunshine and rainbows. ✿ Sue Penn is a 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.

MARCH 2016


Purim 101 Don’t forget the lessons of this celebratory holiday. BY KIDDISH


here are four commandments to be fulfilled on Purim. These are in addition to the custom of disguising ourselves in costumes in commemoration of how G-d concealed himself when orchestrating the miracle of Purim (G-d’s name does not appear in Megillat Esther). The four commandments are:

Reading the Megillah (Kriyat Megillah) On Purim, Jews gather to read the story of the holiday as it is recorded in the Book of Esther. It is customary to make noise whenever the name of Haman is read in order to “blot out” his name.

Giving Charity (Matanot L’evyonim) On Purim, Jews are required to give gifts to the poor in order to commemorate the charity G-d gave the Jews by overturning Haman’s evil decree. The requirement is to give at least one gift to two different needy people, at least two gifts in total.

The Festive Meal (Seuda) In the afternoon of Purim we are instructed to partake in a festive meal. According to the Vilna Gaon this feast is commemorative of the feast Esther had with the King and Haman where she asked the King to save the Jews.

Sending Gifts to one Another (Mishloach Manot) We are commanded to give one another food gifts on Purim. The commandment is to send one gift of two portions of ready-made food to another. This commandment is commemorative of the brotherly love that awoke amongst the Jews after the story of Purim occurred. The most common food to be given in these gifts is Hamentaschen, triangular pastry pockets with various fillings.

Special Prayers On Purim, there are also special prayers recited. Al Hanissim is added to the Amidah prayer and Birkat HaMazon. The Megillah is read twice, once at night and again in the morning. ✿



MARCH 2016


Bloom’s Taxonomy Good for Teachers, Good for Parents BY LISA MONETTE


ur preschool recently opened up next year’s registration (already?!) and I was bombarded by the age-

old question of “play versus academics.” Again, I am here to tell you, that is the wrong question. The question to ask is how to best encourage critical thinking. Amongst many philosophies and practices, teachers are almost universally taught Bloom’s Taxonomy when addressing critical thinking. What’s good for teachers, is surely good for parents.

When our children recite the

Bloom’s Taxonomy, classifies six cognitive

alphabet or repeat stories, they

levels of thinking and learning:

demonstrate REMEMBERING. As they answer questions about stories,

CREATE: invent, imagine, construct

EVALUATE: select, recommend, rate

ANALYZE: explain, investigate, compare

• • •

APPLY: use, illustrate, complete UNDERSTAND: discuss, describe, give an example REMEMBER: state, label, find

they retell using their own words,

happen next? Do you think their plan is going to work? (EVALUATING) What would happen if they did something different? (CREATING) For an afternoon’s fun, dig in your

demonstrating UNDERSTANDING. Again,

kitchen drawers; find obscure tools

not a higher level skill.

relegated to dark corners. To encourage

Higher level thinking requires us to

analytical thinking, ask what the function


of the tool is. What are its parts or


features? How does it compare to…? To

What does this look like in our busy

develop evaluation skills discuss all the

lives? Reading gives us plenty of fodder

jobs the tool might do and the many ways

to develop critical thinking skills. Start by

it may be of use. To create, put the tool to


use. Did it work? ✿

Why do you think she did that? What do you think he was thinking then? (ANALYZING) What do you think is going to

Lisa Monette has worked with children for over 20 years, she is the Director of the Sheila and Eric Samson Family Early Childhood Center at the Merage JCC. Contact Lisa at

15 kiddish MARCH 2016


15 kiddish



his is Sandy. One of her favorite things to do in Orange County, is take a trip to PetSmart in Garden Grove. She gets to pick out toys and treats from a vast array of fun items.

— Danny Krebs, Orange County

Be our next winner! Our pets are definitely part of our families, and here at Kiddish magazine we want to know what your four-legged friends are up to. Please send a picture of your pooch to and tell us what they love to do in our wonderful Orange County neighborhood (a picture at the location is even better). Pictures of kitties are welcome too! We’ll pick a winner each month and put their picture in the magazine.

Sports Broadcasting Camp Back for our 8th year August 8-12, 2016 • Boys and girls 10-18 will have an opportunity to learn from the pros in the industry. • Meet sports celebrities. • Make sports anchor tapes in a TV studio. • Make reporting tapes from professional stadiums. • Make play-by-play tapes of the NBA Finals and Super Bowl. • Participate in sports talk radio and PTI style shows, trivia contests and much more. • Day/overnight sessions available.

Nation’s #1 Sports Broadcasting Camp For information call

800-319-0884 Come be a part of our community! For subscription or advertising info, call Mody at 949.734.5074 or visit

We like you. It’s ok if you like us too.

Join us on Facebook for news, updates and more. Come and say hello. We’d love to hear from you.


As seen o MSNBC.con m

Take a walk around the neighborhood Tails from the Fishbowl is a collection of animal portraits taken by Rachel Bellinsky while walking her dog through their Southern California neighborhood. This 72-page book features colorful, charming images of a world where every pet has a room with a view. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Humane Society.

Available at 16


| MARCH 2016 35


Cindy Johnson and Nancy Almaleh work with a grateful client.


CINDY JOHNSON, M.ED., CPCC and Nancy Almaleh at Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) are empowering women to make changes in their lives. At transitional junctions in their lives, women over 40 are getting a chance to reinvent themselves through the unique and innovative Women Forward Career Coaching program. The program, designed to provide coaching and support in securing employment and conquering long-term financial independence, also provides a no-cost speakers series. Entitled “From Ordinary To Extraordinary: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities,” the series will begin March 6 and carry on through September 2016. Speakers this year include Fortune 500 company executives, authors and members of law enforcement among others. The Women Forward event happens thanks 36 MARCH 2016 |


to Johnson, Coordinator, Career Coaching Programs and Almaleh, Case Manager. Both have had a consistent presence in the program and have years of professional experience. Johnson, a certified career and life coach has extensive experience in leading university, corporate and outplacement agencies. Almaleh, who provides financial coaching to participants, brings an extensive background in job development, community resources and financial literacy. And it is more than career and financial coaching, says Johnson, “Women Forward is not just about learning business or job search skills, although these tools are used. It’s not just about solving problems, although problems get solved. It’s not just about attaining goals, though this certainly happens. The heart of the program is about discovery, awareness and making positive choices for forging a

new path forward.” The women who benefit from Women Forward are diverse, and represent a wide swath of age, ethnicity, culture, background and experience. While most clients are women in their mid to late 50s, clients range from 40 to 73. The challenges of participants include everything from divorce and loss of a loved one, to domestic violence, health issues and long-term unemployment. Most women are seeking full or part-time employment, but some have developed a micro business or expanded an already existing business. Women in the program may also benefit from other wrap around services, such as counseling and emergency financial assistance, that help to bridge the transitional gap. Women Forward has enabled women to grow not only financially, but emotionally. Almaleh and Johnson both convey that it is a privilege for them to coach women who are often in a scary and vulnerable place. “I become very excited when a client tells me how she reduced a bill and used the savings to start an emergency fund. It’s wonderful to see a client take control of her financial life!” Funding for the Women Forward Program comes from the Marisela Foundation, which has enabled the Women Forward Program to continue to provide career and financial coaching to women over forty years of age who are working to be gainfully employed. For more information on the Women Forward Program or to attend the career coaching seminars at no charge, contact JFFS at: (949) 435-3460 or go to familyservicesoc. org/employment/women-forward. 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.


A lil’ postman in training.

CIAO, ORANGE COUNTY! An Unparalleled Investment in Aronoff Preschool Faculty Professional Development BY TANYA SCHWIED

DAN BERNSTEIN, MERAGE Jewish Community Center President and CEO, recently announced that the Merage JCC is sending its first cohort of nine teachers to Reggio, Italy, the home base of the Reggio Emilia curriculum the JCC’s preschool school espouses. The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was developed after World War II by a teacher, Loris Malaguzzi, and parents in the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy. Following the war, people believed that children were in need of a new way of learning. Malaguzzi believed that people form their own personality during early years of development, and that children are

endowed with “a hundred languages” through which they can express their ideas. The aim of this approach is teaching children how to use these symbolic languages (eg., painting, sculpting, drama) in everyday life. The program is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration, and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment, based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. According to Bernstein, this is just the first step in this professional development initiative. The JCC plans to add professional development opportunities in Israel as well, providing every faculty member with diverse and unparalleled opportunities. “We intend

to dig deeper into practices and philosophies that engage children and equip our teachers and families with leading-edge knowledge.” Research suggests that, like many professions, effective teaching is the result of study, reflection, practice, and hard work. Schools that provide team-based professional development demonstrate that they are serious about all educators performing at higher levels. Not surprisingly, additional research confirms that the most important factor contributing to a student’s success in school is the quality of teaching. “This is truly a remarkable undertaking that will touch every aspect of our community, our children’s growth and education. The word incredible is just not big enough to describe the school’s investment, the learning experience or the knowledge gained.” – Laura Landman, Merage JCC board member and Aronoff Preschool mom. Lisa Monette, Director of the JCC’s Eric & Sheila Samson Family Early Childhood Learning Center, explained, “The Reggio approach follows several key principles, chief among them is the idea that every child is ‘capable and competent.’ We’ll access presentations and seminars by pedagogistas (curriculum liaison), teachers and atelieristas (artists and naturalists) on this principle of the Reggio philosophy and on its values overall. Topics will cover the image of the competent child; observation, interpretation and documentation; the role of the environment; the pedagogy of listening; and a specific emphasis on parents’ involvement in the life of the school.” The teachers expect to return with more tools and resources to tap into every child’s individual creative processes. A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.


| MARCH 2016 37

F E AT U R E S Esther standing in the inner court of the King’s house.


MOST OF US are familiar with the story told in the Book of Esther. Haman, an evil minister of the Persian king, seeks revenge against the Jewish courtier, Mordechai, who refuses to bow down to him. Haman then spends a good deal of energy and his own money to coerce the king to annihilate the Jews. The king agrees, until it is revealed that his beloved queen is also a Jew. So instead, the king allows the Jews to have weapons to defend themselves, hangs Haman and his clan,

and appoints Mordechai to a prestigious government position. The Jews have survived, the evil plan is foiled, and its instigator is killed. Time to celebrate! “While in this particular instance the outcome was a favorable one, the mere possibility of a situation of mass murder of innocents is a terrifying one,” writes Mark Kirschenbaum in Tikkun Daily. And indeed there was a mass murder. “In recent years,” Kircshenbaum continues, “Purim has come under criticism from

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some Jewish thinkers, in large measure because states, “... it was not enough for him to punof the bloodiness of the triumph at its conclu- ish Mordecai alone, for having been told who sion (the Jews killed 75,000 Persians in a sin- Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to do gle day).” Is such a triumph to be celebrated? away with all the Jews” (Esther 3:6). Because We are taught at Passover that we should not of his anger at one man, Haman sought to rejoice in the death of the Egyptians. How can destroy all the Jews. Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs reminds us that teaching be reconciled with the joy at the end of the Purim story? Well, there is doubt that this is a textbook example of prejudice: among commentators and historians that the “Feelings about or against an individual that actual story occurred as written; therefore, grows into a generalized prejudice against perhaps we can read it as the metaphorical as entire group. As Jews we are well aware of that kind of discrimiovercoming of evil, rather nation. The prejudice we than the mass devastation of see in the book of Esther,” a people. adds Fuchs, “has confrontBut there are some real ed our people many times lessons in the story; one is There is throughout history and that of prejudice and hate doubt among continues to rear its head speech. Kirschenbaum with frightful frequency.” points out that a central commentators We are not alone. It contheme of Purim, “teaches a and historians fronts many other groups as few lessons about response that the actual well. “Racism, sexism, ageto hate speech. Haman story occurred ism, and homophobia are pitches his genocide to the just some of the prejudices king, by stating that the as written. that plague our world today. Jews are dangerous because The Purim story provides they are widely dispersed throughout the kingdom, and thus in some a vivid example of this phenomenon that we can profitably discuss with groups of all ages,” way threatening.” Haman’s prejudice is evident. When concludes Fuchs. And of course, we cannot discuss the lesMordecai refuses to bow down before Haman, he is furious - but as the Book of Esther sons of Purim without mentioning Hadassah

Hatach showing Esther the copy of the writing of the decree.

Continued on page 41



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40 MARCH 2016 |


F E AT U R E S Continued from page 39

Esther beseeches King Ahasuerus to revoke his decree against the Jews.

who became Esther. Rabbi Elliot Tepperman come is possible. Tepperman continues to say that “Esther points out that there is a reading of Purim that is critical of Esther precisely because she intermar- teaches us that our power and privilege are ries, hides her Jewish identity, and participates meaningless protections if we do not use them in a sordid beauty contest? The rabbis warned to ensure the safety of our people and others in the world. She recognizes us against participating that as long the Jews are in all of these activioppressed she too is in ties, but these were the danger. And if she or Jews exact actions that put are oppressed – others may her in the right place at face the same danger.” Our power and the right time to save Part of our challenge as her people. Let us not privilege are Jews is to determine what forget that Esther didn’t meaningless it takes to protect people have to do it. She could protections if we when they are in danger. have refused to put her“Esther’s example,” adds do not use them to self in danger, and cast Tepperman, “also speaks her lot with the entire ensure the safety of to the importance of creJewish people. our people. ating communities where The decision of all Jews feel welcome.” Queen Esther, a hidSo, this year, as we revel den Jew who reveals in the fun and games, music and hamantashen, her true identity, manipulates events “to set let us remember some of the lessons of Purim. the stage for a massive score-settling is the And as Fuchs suggests, modeling courage, recstory we celebrate,” writes Fuchs. “This draognizing prejudice, and combating it “make the matic turn of events certainly helped endear Story of Esther one that can enrich our Jewish the holiday to many generations of persesouls long after the celebration is over.” A cuted Diaspora Jews, and especially to those hidden Jews of Spain, for whom the Feast of Esther was among the most important vestiges of Jewish practice.” It is when Esther accepts her own reality that the positive out-

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.


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Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.


British Musician and American Filmmaker Make a Musical Pilgrimage BY PERRY FEIN

THE TRADITION OF pilgrimage to India in the music industry, made fashionable by the Beatles, has recently attracted Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and Israeli composer Ben Tzur Ben Tzur. In the town of Jodhpur they joined the Indian ensemble, the Rajasthan Express. American filmmaker, known for such works as Boogie Nights and Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson also accompanied them. Greenwood had previously composed scores for Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. Junun is the name given to both the film that Anderson produced, as well as the record that Greenwood and Ben Tzur recorded with the Rajasthan Express. The word “junun” is Hindi for “passion,” but more commonly means “obsession” or “madness.” It is an appropriate title for a project that is both acutely chaotic and intensely focused, wildly ambitious, but profoundly relaxed. Junun captures the energy and philosophy of the Indian musicians as well as the beautiful setting. It is a project that transcends boundaries. When Greenwood riffs on the guitar and Ben Tzur plays the flute with the variety of 42 MARCH 2016 |


percussionists, vocalists, and other musicians of the Rajasthan Express, it isn’t just genres coalescing. Also blended are the musical heritages of the musicians. While Ben Tzur has been classically trained in Indian classical music, Greenwood is most familiar playing alternative, experimental rock and electronic music. When he breaks out his lap top and starts programming beeps and dings, needless to say, all the Indian musicians’ heads turn. When Anderson decided to commit the entire production to film, the project also transcended mediums, merging the auditory with the visual. The vocals on the album is one of my favorite aspects of the project. While the majority of the lyrics are sung by Ben Tzur, he is accompanied on some songs by two elderly Indian singers—laden with stern mustaches—and two young, female singers. Each pair adds a range and depth to the tracks they perform, despite, we learn, not understanding most of the words they are singing. The songs that aren’t in Hindi or Urdu are Hebrew translations of ancient Sufi poetry. The talents of the Indian singers are best showcased on

the songs, “Hu” and “Chala Vahi Des.” In my opinion, the best performances by the horns and percussion sections are “Mode” and “Julus.” Ben Tzur shines on the track, “Azov,” and Greenwood adds the patented Radiohead, “Idioteque-esque” sound to the song, “Roked.” Twice during the filming of the project, the power went out and the band was forced to pause their recording. Anderson took advantage of the pause in music to give us a window into daily life on the streets of Jodhpur. We saw men buying clothing from a harassed-looking shopkeeper, boys riding in a taxi cab with their backpacks fastened to the back all along a very busy street. And the scene ended with one of the vocalists lighting incense and explaining the faith of the Manganiyar caste. He says that it is all-inclusive, believing in the gods of all religions and allows him the privilege and pleasure of playing music in “a temple, a mosque, in a holy tomb and a Sufi shrine.” Perry Fein is a contributing writer and editor to Jlife magazine.


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44 MARCH 2016 |

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup




Legends aside, hamentaschen are cookies, and who doesn’t love a cookie?


PURIM GOODIES Celebrate the holiday in tasty style. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR

IF EVER A holiday cries out to be celebrated, it is Purim (beginning this year at sundown on Wednesday, March 23). Merriment and joy are the order of the day– we are actually commanded to eat, drink and be merry. The iconic Purim food, of course, at least for Ashkenazim, is hamantaschen, our beloved three-cornered filled cookie. Various legends explain its origin, one being that its shape represents Haman’s pockets, which supposedly held the lots (purim) he cast in order to choose the date for the slaughter of the Jews. Some say the shape represents Haman’s hat. However,

according to the late food historian, Gil Marks’ “Encyclopedia of Jewish Food”: “Persians never wore tri-cornered hats.” Mystics invoked the three patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – as the meaning behind the three corners. Hidden foods eaten on the holiday, such as the filling hidden inside the dough, represent G-d’s hidden presence in the Purim story, as there is no mention of G-d in the Megillah. Until the arrival in America of Eastern European Jews toward the end of the nineteenth century, hamantaschen were unknown here. Marks cites the first recording of the word in the 1903 “Jewish

Encyclopedia”: “The Haman Tash, a kind of turnover filled with honey and black poppy seed, is eaten on the Feast of Purim, but probably has no special meaning.” Among the Sephardim, fried strips of dough dipped in honey or sugar syrup called Haman’s Ear (“Oznei Haman”) are popular for Purim, perhaps because they are shaped like ears, or maybe, Marks suggests: “Eating a pastry bearing the name of the archfiend or formed to represent part of Haman’s clothing or anatomy–most notably his pocket, hat, foot or ear – thereby symbolically eliminating some part of Haman and erasing his name, contributed to the enjoyment and theme of the holiday.” Legends aside, hamentaschen are cookies, and who doesn’t love a cookie? Cookies are our earliest treats. Give a baby her first cookie, and she looks at you as if to say, “I’ve been eating strained squash and spinach, and all this time you’ve had these?” We learn to bake by making cookies. There’s mom in her organdy apron, pumps, and pearls, guiding your grubby little hands as you sift, stir and roll. She lets you lick the bowl…or at least she did before the raw egg police came along to spoil the fun <sigh>. This is the stuff of which memories are made…well, maybe your memories. My mother never baked cookies when we were growing up. She didn’t buy them either. Dad was a diabetic and we were supposed to be on diets. But when no one was home, one could always sneak upstairs to Mama Hinda and Papa Harry’s apartment. They weren’t diabetic and they didn’t diet either, so don’t cry for me, Argentina. Somehow between the organdy apron and the feminist movement cookie baking got a bad rap, as in the expression “staying home and baking cookies,” usually uttered with a supercilious sneer by some shrill virago probably wearing ill-fitting shoes. Like you have to “stay home” to bake cookies! Hah! That’s the beauty of cookies. Baking them doesn’t have to be a complicated, all-day project. Working moms


| MARCH 2016 45


That’s the beauty of cookies. Baking them doesn’t have to be a complicated, all-day project.

can create memories too. Here are some tips for creating perfect cookies: • To measure flour, stir, then spoon lightly into a measuring cup and level it off. (You’ve been scooping and sweeping, haven’t you?) • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Greasing the pan makes for burnt bottoms and overspread cookies. (Of course silicone liners are fine too). • Oven temperatures vary, so adjust baking times accordingly. Cookies bake for such a short time that even a minute can make the difference between a delectable bite and a burnt offering. • For rolled cookies, roll the dough between sheets of parchment or waxed paper while it is soft. Then refrigerate or freeze before cutting them out. • Most cookie doughs (except for soft cookies) may be frozen for up to 1 month. Take out as much or as little as you like and create your own memories. And why beans for Purim? Legend has it that Esther, while living in the king’s palace, ate only vegetarian foods in order to keep kosher. Therefore, the eating of beans, chickpeas and the like has become tradition for Purim in some communities.

4 When ready to bake, reroll dough within the paper to even it out.

With rim of cup or glass cut into dough to make circles. Place 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of filling in middle of each circle. To shape triangle, lift up right and left sides, leaving bottom side down and bring both sides to meet at center above filling. Lift bottom side up to center to meet other two sides and pinch together.

5 Brush pastries with melted butter or margarine; place on cookie sheet and bake until starting to turn golden, approximately 18 minutes. (Start checking bottoms after 16 minutes.)

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup This hearty soup comes from “Celebrate” by Elizabeth Kurtz (Feldheim). “A home- cooked meal is something to be cherished and remembered forever,” says Kurtz, creator of the kosher website (Proceeds from sale of the book benefit Emunah’s Children’s Homes in Israel.) Makes 10 to 12 servings 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped


4 cloves garlic, chopped

These hamantaschen adapted from “Cook, Pray, Eat Kosher” (Oakhurst) by Mia Adler Ozair, are a fun project to bake with your children or grandchildren, who love to cut them out, shape and fill them.

1 tablespoon ground cumin, or more to taste

Makes: About 5 dozen

3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained

1 cup sugar

1 (29-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/3 cup oil

6 cups beef broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth (no salt added)

1/3 cup shortening

1 (29-ounce) canned pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons orange juice

Toasted pumpkin seeds and Tofutti sour cream, for garnish (optional)

4 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon orange extract Melted butter or margarine, for brushing

1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion,

garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add black beans and tomatoes to stockpot; cook additional 2 minutes. Add broth, pumpkin, and wine; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, about 25 minutes.

2 pounds filling of choice (poppy seed, fruit jams or jellies, chocolate spread or chips, etc.)

2 Remove from heat; cool, uncovered. Puree with an immersion

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3 Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream before

2 Cream sugar, oil and shortening; add eggs and juice and mix well.

3 Blend with dry ingredients and roll dough into ball; divide dough into four parts. Roll each part approximately 1/8 inch between two sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate until firm enough to handle (2-24 hours).

46 MARCH 2016 |


blender or in a food processor until smooth. Serve warm. serving, if desired.

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.


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out&about ST. LUCIA St. Lucia is the stage name for South Aftrican-born performer, Jean-Philip Grobler, who will be playing in the OC at the Observatory on Fri, March 11. He is signed to Neon Gold Records, which released his self-titled EP and his debut album “When the Night.” His second fulllength album, “Matter,” was released Jan. 29, with cover art designed by New York-based artist duo Olivia Abbonizio and Devin McNulty. Grobler was part of the prestigious Drakensberg Boys Choir that sang in front of Nelson Mandela at the opening of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Cat Power






Laguna Art Museum is proud to be organizing the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of a key figure in twentieth-century California art, artist Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999), on exhibit through May 30, 2016. This exhibit will feature approximately sixty to seventy paintings that surveys Lundeberg’s career systematically, beginning with her landmark Post-Surrealist paintings of the 1930s.

The incomparable Mel Brooks comes to Segerstrom Center on March 13 at 3 p.m. for an exclusive, inside look at his storied career, and the making of the legendary and groundbreaking movie “Blazing Saddles.” This outrageous masterpiece, considered one of the top comedy films of all time, will be presented on the big screen followed by a live conversation and audience Q&A with Mel Brooks himself.

On March 10 – 13, the Pacific Symphony will be presenting the sumptuous tone and melodic mastery of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, which culminates in a triumphant final movement. The night will include Pablo Villegas on guitar performing three pieces; RimskyKorsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Rodrigo’s Fantasy for a Nobleman and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Rockabilly-genre revamp artist, Reverend Horton Heat will be at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on March 25. Formed in 1985, The Reverend Horton Heat exploded on the scene by playing gigs around their hometown of Dallas, TX, mixing elements of surf, country, punk, big band and rockabilly to create a genre that took the world by storm.


Bill Maher Comedian Bill Maher will bring his signature brand of politically charged humor to City National Grove of Anaheim on Saturday, March 5. Born in New York City, his father was a network news editor and radio announcer and his mother was a nurse. He was raised in his Irish American father’s Roman Catholic religion and until his early teens, he was unaware that

his mother was a Hungarian Jew. For more than twenty years, Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect” (Comedy Central, ABC, 19932002), and for the last thirteen years on HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 34 Emmy nominations.

Maher finally won his first Emmy in 2014 as executive producer for the HBO series, “VICE.” In October of 2008, this same combination was on display in Maher’s uproarious and unprecedented swipe at organized religion, “Religulous,” directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”). The documentary has gone on to become the eighth highest grossing documentary ever. In addition to his television program-which has featured Bill Maher

such regular visitors as Vice President Joseph Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kerry Washington, Michael Steele, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Eva Longoria, Drew Barrymore, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen. Wesley Clark, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, Gary Hart and Pat Buchanan— Maher has written five bestselling novels: “True Story,” “Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? Politically Incorrect’s Greatest Hits,” “When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden,” “New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer,” and most recently, “The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass.” Maher started his career as a stand-up comedian in 1979, and still performs at least fifty dates a year in Las Vegas and in sold out theaters all across the country. Four of his ten standup specials for HBO – 2014’s “Bill Maher: Live from DC,” 2007’s “The Decider,” 2005’s “I’m Swiss,” as well as the hilarious, “Bill Maher … But I’m Not Wrong” – have been nominated for Emmy awards. 49

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On the Edge



Remember la st month when we ran th puzzle square e wrong for these clues? Here is the correct on for your cros e sword restitu tion. SPOILER ALER T: the answer s for this puzz le are opposite page on the - try not to peek!

63 Fancy car destroyed in Michael Bay’s “The Rock”

10 Chalav Yisrael source

41 Chaver, in Sicily

11 Rahab ran one

42 Reason for a sacrifice

36 What would be hanging from this puzzle, if it were a garment

67 Home of the El Ghriba Synagogue

12 They played “Spiderwebs” in Tel Aviv in 1997

45 Tim Whatley on “Seinfeld”, e.g.

68 Jerusalem Post fees

15 Unlike drilling in the Mediterranean

39 Snakes in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

69 Shot locale for Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie Felson

13 Nationality of some in the southwest corner of The Old City

16 Joining the army at 18, e.g.

44 Sakharov of Jerusalem’s Sakharov Gardens

70 Gets back on a good derech

14 A makolet might be one

47 East-African country whose President went to Israel for medical treatment in 1993

49 Nationality of Ambassador to Israel Jakr Boon- Long



34 Like one who is visited, hopefully 35 34-Across, e.g.

1 Faith in G-d and Torah, to many Jews 8 Was punished in gan

43 The ADL, e.g.

17 Had a siyum 18 Title for Moses? 19 “___ sher!” (“Bivadai!”)

21 Make 36-Across 1 Building locale for a macher

50 Studio founded by David Sarnoff

2 Haman, perhaps

51 Family or Orthodox 52 Actor Glen on Benioff’s “Game of Thrones”

3 Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, billionaire dubbed the Russian ___

53 ___ in Uriah

4 Rehovot need?

55 Shawarma rod

5 Kind of joke attempted by Borat

26 Jake Gyllenhaal is considered one

56 It can help you get around Isr.

6 Before, to Lazarus

27 Middle, to Rabbi Sacks

57 What Goldberg might call his shoulder muscles

7 Many a cab in Israel

60 Operation Solomon locale: Abbr.

9 Indian tourist locale that sounds like a recently unearthed fortress in Jerusalem

20 What is won in the Knesset 22 “As it glared ___ the river’s waves...” Emma Lazarus 23 Opening for Annie Leibovitz 25 Airer of Noah Wyle’s “Falling Skies”

29 Schmatta 32 Musician Rotenberg 33 Poor crossword solver’s need 52 MARCH 2016 |

61 Some tosses from Cy Young winner Steve Stone


8 Hillel, for one

24 Yehuda ha-Nasi and King George: Abbr. 25 ISIS creates it 26 “The Mirror ___ two faces” (Streisand film) 28 Official at Bloomfield Stadium, for short

46 Says the Amidah, like a chazan

48 Words of introduction for Yuri Foreman 54 Comparable to an animal that epitomizes tref 57 Jon Stewart reported behind one 58 New York county that’s home to a kosher animal city 59 Test before Cardozo

30 Medit. land

62 Hoffman quirk in “Rain Man”

31 Makes like the face of Moses

64 Address ending for YU

37 Be a nudnik

65 Education basics, in grammar school but not gan

38 Cat that would be of no use in Eilat 39 Olmert was caught in one 40 Get back on a good derech

66 Did the Jerusalem Marathon


All About Bill



73 “Bullets ___ Broadway”

25 Observed (Kosher)

58 Trigonometry abbr.

1 Guest passes

39 Show, for Alex Clare

74 Like Brooks or Rivers

26 Procrastinator

6 A Mama

40 Where Mr. Shatner had a “Nightmare” in 1963

75 Moses displayed it at the Sin of the Golden Calf

27 Da ___, Vietnam

59 What a Jewish mother often has after a meal

10 Recipe amts.

Al Jolson

45 Fifth-century warrior

29 Warren Beatty, according to Carly Simon

61 Bit open 65 Hasidic leader

64 Freudian topic

46 “Holy cow!”


47 Movie/video-game chain letters

1 Some workers on

30 Rock’s The ___, husband of Morleigh Steinberg

48 “___ ha-shalom”

2 Fairy king, in Shakespeare

35 Casspi, after a game

68 Call from a korban

17 Award-winning role for Mr. Shatner

50 Month in Spanish

3 Khan, for one

36 Pure tref

52 (False) god of war

4 Hero in Spielberg’s “Hook”

38 Radio band, for short

69 Watanabe in Zwick’s “The Last Samurai”

19 Stitch (with Bubbe, perhaps)

56 Cards most Rabbis would frown upon

5 Jewish rapper exiled in Israel

40 Word between “I am”, in Exodus

20 The Second Temple ___

41 Kind of skirt

21 “The Matrix” role

57 Website pitched by Mr. Shatner

6 One way to look for crossword answers

22 Behavior of 17-Across, at times

60 Beans brand

7 Battery type

43 Shabbat light

24 John hit “sung” by Mr. Shatner in 1978

62 Bagel topper

8 Fig. in identity theft

44 Enthusiasm (for Israel)

63 Sault ___ Marie

9 Author Silverstein

49 T.J.___

28 Like a Bat Mitzvah girl

64 First name of Magneto

10 Novels by Mr. Shatner

31 Giant Chris who married the coaches daughter

66 Name you knew HAD to be in this puzzle

11 Where many dress up as 66-Across for Comic-Con

51 Like Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist”

32 Actress Green

70 It’s often fixed

12 Telepathy, e.g.

33 Grip on a Firestone

71 Elvis Presley’s middle name

13 Prepare a Shabbat table

34 Nintendo DS competitor

72 Zellweger of “A Price Above Rubies”

18 Time zone for most of Eur.

14 West Indies folk magic 15 Half of this: # 16 “___ on Down the Road” (song in a Lumet film)

37 “The ___ Love”, title by REM and

23 Spiritual being

67 Notable role for Jeremy (Piven)

42 “Beam me up, Scotty!”

February Answers

53 On the way up 54 Roast chicken, but probably not gefilte fish 55 One looking (for new life and civilizations)


| MARCH 2016 53


Top 100 Wines of 2015 What do Castel Petit Castel and Flam Blanc have in common? They are three of the 100 wines featured in a firstever kosher wine top list produced by, a subsidiary of The JCommerce Group. The team selected the most exciting wines of the year from the thousands the site carries to put together its “Top 100 Wines of 2015.”

Irvine Has Heart Food Drive The City of Irvine, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, will host Irvine Has Heart, a community food drive, from Feb. 12 through March 31. The goal of the drive is to collect 3,500 pounds of canned food to help families and seniors in need. Donation barrels will be available at various city facilities, libraries and other locations, including the Irvine Civic Center and Irvine Police Department, 1 Civic Center Plaza, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit For additional program information, call (949) 724-6680.

Purim Extravaganza at CBI Celebrate Purim with Congregation B’nai Israel Sunday, March 20th from 12-2 p.m. for carnival games, food and fun and March 23rd at 5:30 p.m. for a family celebration and the costume parade, at 6:15 p.m. for a Shushan feast ($10/adult, $5/child), and at 7 p.m. for Megillah reading and musical Purim Shpiel. For more information and full service schedule please call (714) 730-9693 or check out Congregation B’nai Israel is located at 2111 Bryan Avenue, Tustin.

What Will Your Legacy Be? Twelve local Jewish institutions working together, $162,000 in unrestricted incentive grants and 330 new legacy commitments for our community with an estimated future value of over $12,000,000 – that’s the Jewish Community Foundation’s Create a Jewish Legacy program at work! Join us by contacting the Foundation’s Executive Director Wendy Arenson at or (949) 435-3490 to create your Jewish legacy benefitting the synagogues and Jewish organizations closest to your heart.

Jewish Music & Hot Latin Rhythms Yale Strom and his band, Hot Pstromi, take us on a musical journey from the Eastern European Shtetl to the swinging nightclubs in Miami Beach & the Catskills. Learn how Jewish and Latino musicians worked together in the 1950’s and 1960’s popularizing Latin dance rhythms to new audiences. Presented by Yale Strom a world renowned klezmer historian, violinist, scholar and a current Jewish Studies Artist in Residence at San Diego State University. He will perform with his band of gifted musicians Hot Pstromi. Sunday, March 6 at 4- 5:15 p.m. at Merage JCC, 1 Federation Way, Irvine (949) 435-3400. JCC Members $20, Public $25. 56 MARCH 2016 |



Stem Cell Research This Monday, Feb. 8, representatives from Israel’s Ministry of Science and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will gather at CedarsSinai Medical Center to sign a major collaborative agreement fostering university-to-university partnerships and joint funding opportunities in stem cell research. The agreement will provide a new framework for advancing this research, with CIRM and Israel’s Ministry of Science providing funding for institutions from California and Israel, respectively. The Israeli-American Council served as the facilitator for the agreement, helping to bring together the two signatories and develop the framework through which the partnership will function. For more information, please see the attached release. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. and is open to the media. For more info please e-mail Meira Feinman at or call (310) 571-8264.

Navigating Teen Challenges

Rabbi David Eliezrie

National Jewish Book Awards “The Secret of Chabad-Inside the World’s Most Successful Jewish Movement” was named a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. The prestigious awards recognize outstanding achievement in Jewish writing. Rabbi David Eliezrie, columnist for Jlife is the author of the book.

On Sunday, January 24th, over 200 teens and parents filled Temple Beth El’s sanctuary for the first-ever Navigating Teen Challenges Conference. Clinical psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. Wendy Mogel, gave the keynote address followed by workshops on social media, college admissions, substance abuse, mental health, communication strategies and more. Attendees had access to over 30 organizations at the resource fair. The Conference, co-sponsored by Temple Beth El, Jewish Federation & Family Services, CHOC Children’s and St. Joseph Health/Mission Hospital, focused on breaking through the stigma around the issues that families face as they navigate through modern adolescence.

The Lost Tribes of Israel Rabbi Marvin Tokayer will talk about the “The Lost Tribes of Israel–Tales of Jews of the Far East” on Sunday, March 13th at Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen/ Chabad in Yorba Linda. Tokayer served as a rabbi for over two decades in the far east and is a great story teller. The program features a buffet breakfast followed by the talk. Sunday March 13th at 9:30 a.m., reservations online at OCJewish. com or call (714) 693-0770.

Dr. Wendy Mogel

CSP Features Dramatic Israeli Short Films from the Ma’aleh School As part of her multi-city tour of the USA, Neta Ariel, Director of the Israeli Ma’aleh School of Television Film and the Arts, showed three dramatic short films at a Community Scholar event on February 9. Arie Katz, founder and chair of CSP introduced some Orange County residents to the school during an October 2014 trip to Israel. One film, “I’m Ready,” (in a clip shown here,) outlines the desperation of a grown son with Down syndrome and his elderly father, who realizes he is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and knows that they will have to be separated. Jlife

| MARCH 2016 57


Shalom Family & JewGlue

Liora Schneider, Terry Samuels and Alyssa Roy Gal Kohav, Neustaeder, Rachel Kahan, Sammy Shefler and Jordan Manor

On Saturday, January 9, JewGlue hosted over 60 young adults at the second annual “Jews on Ice” event. JewGlue enjoyed a fun game of Broomball at Anaheim Ice following a Happy Hour at Gypsy Den Café & Bar. On Wednesday, February 3, JewGlue sang their hearts out at a Karaoke Happy Hour, providing an opportunity for our hidden musical artists to shine!

Shalom Family hosted Jewish Parenting University, a threepart series designed for expectant and new parents focusing on an exploration of Jewish traditions and rituals connected to Join parenting through NextGen a Jewish lens. on March 10th Jewish Parenting University was for the made possible by partial funding from the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County.

Jewish Parenting University Class of 2016 Graduates

Macher’s Mark Social Hour!

Jeff Lobel and Russell Goldberg

58 MARCH 2016 |


Sarah Van Zanten and Amanda Schmutzler

Shalom Family and JewGlue are outreach and engagement initiatives 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 or visit

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Ultra Orthodox men celebrate Purim in Mea Shearim.


GROWING UP, MY favorite community holiday was Purim. We’d get together with the other Chabadniks (my very secular Israeli father insisted we only attend services entirely in Hebrew), there was always a magician, everyone would dress up, and all the attendees were boisterous and friendly. Years later, I realized that the friendliness was due in large part to the congregation’s wholehearted commitment to ad delo yada, the religious 60 MARCH 2016 |


requirement to revel in Purim by drinking until we couldn’t tell the difference between Mordecai and Haman (hiss, boo). The one sour spot of every holiday was that, without fail, a girl dressed as Esther would always win the costume contest. I guess the woman who saved us from the Persians does beat an enchanted dragon witch queen, or whatever amalgamation of crazy my young mind had concocted that year, but when I was younger,

it made little sense to me. Nowadays, I’d definitely support a defender against the Persian hordes, but that’s a topic for an entirely different article. Returning to the story of the Megillah, it was with great excitement that I learned, upon moving to Israel, that the Book of Esther is the touchstone of some of the most impressive displays of public revelry in the country. If you’ve ever been in Israel the month or so leading up to Purim, you may have seen popup shops along Ben Yehuda in Jerusalem or throughout Tel Aviv filled with costumes, the way Halloween shops emerge in the States. Parades and events for children are juxtaposed with huge street parties held for older merrymakers engaging in their religious requirements, though both are usually supported by the municipality. Purim festivals date back to around the end of the Second Aliyah, the wave of Zionist immigration to Ottoman Palestine. The longest-running parade, Adloyada, was first held in Tel Aviv in 1912 and boasted provocative costumes and puppets, a tradition continued for decades. In 1933, a puppet of Hitler with a sign around its neck reading “Kill Jews” earned a rebuke from the German consul in Jerusalem, who demanded an apology from Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff. Dizengoff refused. Today, the parade, still widely attended, has moved south, to Holon, and is much more child-friendly. The holiday has lost its political overtones. Street parades and parties are populated by “Simpsons” characters, or whatever costume can be cobbled together. A savvy Purim celebrant can even enjoy two a year! In Jerusalem, the holiday is celebrated the day after the rest of the country, on Shushan Purim, the 15th of Adar. A Merav Ceren grew up in Southern California, where she attended UCI and led the re-establishment of Anteaters for Israel.


Moses breaking the tablets of the law.



Was Moses Guilty of Destroying G-d’s Property? BY FLORENCE L. DANN

“AS IN THE past trials, leading lawyers will present the case to audience “jurors” on Sunday, March 13.” Exodus 32:19 cites, “And it came to pass, as soon as he (Moses) came unto the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount.” Was this an impetuous act or a deliberate one? Is acting out of anger acceptable? And did Moses have the right to destroy G-d’s work, G-d’s writing? This is the subject of University Synagogue’s Biblical Trial, “The People vs. Moses: Destruction of the Tablets of the Ten Commandments” There are several “explanations” about why

Moses broke the tablets. One says the tablets “weighed too much to be possibly carried by a single human being; but the divinely etched letters engraved within them miraculously lightened them, enabling Moses to carry the tablets. When the letters “saw” the golden calf which the Jewish people had made, they were revolted and “flew” out of the tablets, back to their divine source—leaving Moses with a burden he could not bear, and which he therefore dropped.” Others commentators say that Moses broke the tablets in order to discourage G‑d from annihilating the Jewish people creating a new chosen nation from Moses and his descendants (see Exodus 32:10). “Upon breaking the

tablets, he told G‑d, ‘Now I am a sinner just like them. If you decide to eradicate them, destroy me as well.’” But just what responsibility does Moses bear? University Synagogue holds its popular biblical trial program each year to determine that responsibility. In 2013, Moses was on trial for the murder of an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. Now, three years later, Moses is back in court charged with theft by embezzlement and vandalism for the destruction of the tablets. As in the past trials, leading lawyers will present the case to audience “jurors” on Sunday, March 13. UC Irvine School of Law Founding Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and Laurie Levenson, professor of Law and director, Center for Ethical Advocacy, Loyola Law School, will argue the case before Associate Justice Richard Fybel, 4th District Court of Appeals. After the lawyers argue the case and present their evidence, there will be a lively panel discussion of timeless and timely moral, ethical and philosophical themes. The panel will be led by Rabbi Arnold Rachlis, and will feature Dr. Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and UC Irvine Professor of English and Religious Studies, and the Reverend Dr. Sarah Halverson-Cano of Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa, CA. “To have hundreds of people studying Torah in a fun, thoughtful and ethical way on a Sunday afternoon,” commented Rabbi Arnold Rachlis,” with peerless attorneys and an engaging panel is truly a dream. This is exactly what Reconstructionism strives to offer – relevance, reason, intellectuality and joy.” For program information, call (949) 5533535. Or to order tickets visit 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.


| MARCH 2016 61


ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY Outstanding Selfless Dedication and Devotion BY DALIA TAFT

Anaheim Bulletin, January 7, 1967

BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy! PURIM—NOT YOUR JEWISH HALLOWEEN

RETIRED PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST Stanley Kegel, born and raised in Los Angeles, received his medical degree from the UC San Francisco School of Medicine in 1956 and did his post-graduate work at the LA County General Hospital and the UCLA Medical Center. He later moved to Orange County, where he began his medical practice, raised his family, and became very active in both the Jewish community and wider community that compromises Jews and non-Jews. Dr. Kegel was involved with, among others, the Anti-Defamation League, the OC Hillel Advisory Board, B’nai B’rith, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes and the UCI Interfaith Foundation. In 1977, he received both the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the O.C. chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was honored as Man of the Year from the National Foundation-March of Dimes. As if that wasn’t enough, he was the founding president of the Jewish Community Council of Orange County (today’s Jewish Federation & Family Services OC) from 1965-1967 and received Federation’s President’s Leadership Award in 1971 “in recognition of outstanding selfless dedication and devotion on behalf of the Jewish community of Orange County.” Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society - a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services - highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit You can also contact Dalia at or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167. 62 MARCH 2016 |


Purim is a great festival: great fear of annihilation, at first, and great joy after the salvation, at last. THE PURIM BLOG How one family celebrates Purim. THE STORY OF PURIM: THE BOOK OF ESTHER ABRIDGED VERSION In the third year of his reign, the King of Persia, Ahashverosh (also known as Ahasuerus and Ahashuerus) decided to have a feast…

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10:30 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC

FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC




7:00 PM

Gentle Yogalates & Meditation Merage JCC

10:00 AM

Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC

TUESDAYS 10:30 AM The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC

News & Views Merage JCC

10:00 AM Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein Ezra AAFC

10:30 AM

10:00- 11:00 AM MARCH 1-22 Inside The World of Poetry Merage JCC

Stretching/ Jerry Steinberg Ezra AAFC


11:00 AM

Gentle Yoga Merage JCC

What’s Up Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra AAFC


11:00 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC

64 MARCH 2016 |


Keeping Fit/ Mel Grossman Ezra AAFC

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

THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 - MAR. 10 1:00 – 2:30 PM Women Artists of the Modern Era Merage JCC

TUESDAYS, FEB. 9 – MAR. 22 9:45 – 11:45 AM

MONDAY, MAR. 21 12:00 PM Book Club Doris Glasser & Helen Bresenoff Temple Beth Tikvah

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 23 11:00 AM “Writing for Reminiscences” Marilyn Silverstein Temple Beth Tikvah

THURSDAY, MAR. 24 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM Mah Jongg Tournament Merage JCC

THURSDAY, MAR. 24 10:30 AM Movie The Frisco Kid Temple Beth Tikvah

SUNDAY, MAR. 27 1:30 – 3:30 PM

Intermediate Bridge Six classes Merage JCC

Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society Meeting Temple Bat Yahm

TUESDAY, MAR. 8 4:00 – 6:00 PM

TUESDAY, MAR. 29 10:00 – 11:30 AM

International Tracing Center Overview of Records from U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Temple Bat Yahm

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 9 “Writing for Reminiscences” Marilyn Silverstein Temple Beth Tikvah

THURSDAY, MAR. 10 Book Review The Secret of Chabad By Rabbi David Eliezrie Temple Beth Tikvah

MONDAY, MAR. 14 12:00 PM Book Club Doris Glasser & Helen Bresenoff Temple Beth Tikvah

SUNDAY, MAR. 20 1:00 – 4:00 PM JCC Poker League Merage JCC

Books & Bagels The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant 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: The Ezra Center is located at Temple Beth Emet on Monday & Thursday 1770 W. Cerritos, Anaheim, (714) 776-1103 and Temple Beth Tikvah on Wednesday 1600 N. Acacia, (714) 871-3535. Temple Bat Yahm is located at 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach. For reservations please contact Michelle Sandler at: (714) 891-0788 or (714) 313-2733

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Advertising Index

63 A&B Home Health Care 65 Allan Silverman 35 Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine 33 Art Therapy OC 43 Benjies Deli 47 Blueberry Hill 3 Bowers Museum 65 Bright Watch Caregivers 65 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 41 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 31 Callahan & Blaine 17 Congregation B’nai Israel 19 Congregation B’nai Tzedek

66 MARCH 2016 |

12 Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot 68 Crown Plaza 59 Door Dash 63 Dr. Blake 51 Dr. Ivar Roth 67 Fairmont Hotel 21 Feig Law Firm 5 Friends of Yad Sarah 38 Golden Dreidle 65 Harbor Lawn 13 Hebrew Academy 9 Heritage Pointe 13 Heritage Pointe Planned Giving 33 Israel Guide Dog 22 Jewish Community Center


23 Jewish Community Center 4 Jewish Community Center 25 Jewish Federation and Family Services 54 Jewish Federation and Family Services 55 Jewish Federation and Family Services 33 Kaufman Steinberg LLP 11 Klein Financial 31 Laguna Playhouse 19 Long Beach Garden Event Center 43 Melvin M. Browndorf Realty 39 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC

63 Naples Vacuum Elevators 50 OC Mixer 27 Omni La Costa Resort & Spa 21 Outcome Genii 40 Renaissance Club Sports 59 Roll Out Quick 59 Prov31wraps 14 Sam Tailoring 7 Segerstrom Center of the Arts 33 Sherri Primes 21 Soul Mates Unlimited 19 South Coast Repatory Theater 40 Stoddard Group 7 Swan Pools

6 24 Carrots 10 Tarbut V’Torah 11 Temple Bat Yahm 14 Temple Beth El 5 Temple Beth Tikvah 13 Temple Beth Sholom 21 Torah with Liora 2 Tustin Ranch 14 UCI University Club 35 University Synagogue 17 VITAS 43 Young Israel 31 Young Israel 17 Young Israel 15 Young Israel

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Jlife 0316 01 84 diged5b15d  


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